Business

Africa Faces Unsustainable Levels of Ivory Poaching
August 20, 2014 06:27 AM - Allison Winter, ENN

When it comes to illegal wildlife trade, one thing has always puzzled me ... Why is the demand for ivory so high? While I may not come across the black-market demands or understand the cultural or historical needs for these rare animal teeth, one thing is easy to see - populations of the African elephant are declining.

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Drilling in the Dark
August 1, 2014 08:54 AM - University of Wisconsin-Madison

As production of shale gas soars, the industry's effects on nature and wildlife remain largely unexplored, according to a study by a group of conservation biologists published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment on August 1. The report emphasizes the need to determine the environmental impact of chemical contamination from spills, well-casing failure, and other accidents. "We know very little about how shale gas production is affecting plants and wildlife," says author Sara Souther, a conservation fellow in the Department of Botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "And in particular, there is a lack of accessible and reliable information on spills, wastewater disposal and the chemistry of fracturing fluids. Of the 24 U.S. states with active shale gas reservoirs, only five maintain public records of spills and accidents." The 800 percent increase in U.S. shale gas production between 2007 and 2012 is largely due to the use of hydraulic fracturing. Also called fracking, the process uses high-pressure injection of water, laden with sand and a variety of chemicals, to open cracks in the gas reservoir so natural gas can flow to the well.

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SPOTLIGHT

UNESCO and the Barcelona Foundation for Ocean Sailing Join Forces in Ocean Conservation Effort

Guest Contributor, Jeff Pomeroy
Last Friday at the United Nations in New York, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) and the Barcelona Foundation for Ocean Sailing (FNOB) took major steps toward Ocean Conservation by presenting their joint commitment for ocean research. The announcement comes just two days before the start of the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona transatlantic sailing race. With members of the sailing community already acting as agents of sustainable use and protection of the world’s seas and oceans and with climate change listed as one of the key priorities of the member organizations of the United Nations for the 2015-16 agenda, this partnership represents an unprecedented alliance between the sailing and scientific communities. The partnership is part of ongoing efforts of UNESCO IOC to build a knowledge base about the oceans and coastal areas and to apply this knowledge to improve the protection and sustainable management of the marine environment and to promote sustainable communities. The formation of this partnership started at the 2011 Barcelona World Race; a two-handed, non-stop around the world race. During the race the teams pledged to collect data in the Southern Ocean, an area for which data is still lacking. The region is considered key in monitoring climate change.

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College Reduces Deadly Window Strikes While Lowering Electric Costs At Same Time

August 19th, 2014
Earlier this week I was sitting at the computer, minding my own business, when suddenly I heard a loud slapping sound against the window adjacent to me. Instantaneously I looked over to see the imprint and feathers of a panicked bird peeling itself off the window and promptly flying away. Unfortunately, I’ve seen this incident [...]
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Art With Purpose: Emily Dickinson Poetry Slam Edition

July 31st, 2014
Who robbed the woods, The trusting woods? The unsuspecting trees Brought out their burrs and mosses His fantasy to please. He scanned their trinkets, curious, He grasped, he bore away. What will the solemn hemlock, What will the fir-tree say?
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Why Norway is Keen to Collect the Rest of Europe’s Rubbish

July 28th, 2014
Norway is leading the way in Europe by turning other countries’ unwanted waste into energy, so they are successfully turning trash into cash...
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