Environmental Policy

Help the Monarch recover
August 19, 2015 06:42 AM - DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION via The ECRReport, ECOreport

Jode Roberts has spent a lot of the summer checking out ditches and fields along the sides of roads, railways and trails. At first, he didn’t like what he was seeing. Roberts, who is leading the David Suzuki Foundation’s effort to bring monarchs back from the brink, was searching for signs that the butterflies had visited patches of milkweed plants. Despite the bleak start, he recently hit the jackpot: a half-dozen eggs and a couple of monarch caterpillars, calmly munching on milkweed leaves.

Over the past millennium, eastern monarch butterflies have migrated northward from Mexico in spring, arriving in southern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes in early summer, where they lay eggs on the undersides of milkweed leaves. In the following weeks, their caterpillars hatch and eat a steady milkweed diet. In late summer, they form chrysalises and undergo the amazing transformation into butterflies. They then begin fattening themselves for the arduous return to the Mexican alpine forests where they overwinter.

Neighborhood electric vehicles
August 17, 2015 07:23 AM - BOB SHETH, Electric Forum

While much of the focus of late has been upon mainstream electric vehicles it seems as though the popularity of Neighborhood electric vehicles continues to grow. These vehicles have a history which is far more successful than there larger electric vehicle counterparts but receive very little in the way publicity or promotion. The Global Electric Motor (GEM) brand is by far and away the best known brand in this particular sector having changed hands on numerous occasions in the past.

So, why is it that NEVs continue to sneak under the radar yet gain in popularity?

Commentary on the US plan to reduce carbon emissions
August 16, 2015 07:45 AM - Tim Kruger, The Ecologist

President Obama's plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions may look like a climate victory, writes Tim Kruger - but it's no such thing. It's feeble because the US can meet its targets by reducing emissions to 2030 more slowly than it has since 2000. And it's fragile as any future President can scrap it at will.

Climate change-denying Republicans hate this plan (of course), therefore all good climate realists see it as a triumph. But it is a tiny, tiny step in the right direction and climatically immaterial.

No doubt, you heard the good news. Barack Obama has announced the US is pushing through plans to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Rejoice! Rejoice! We've got this climate problem licked - hurrah!

Long-term Protection Achieved for the Sumatran Forest
August 14, 2015 07:59 AM - WWF Global

One of the last places on Earth where Sumatran elephants, tigers and orangutans coexist in the wild has received long-term protection. The Indonesian Ministry of Forestry approved a conservation concession – a lease of the land – covering 40,000 hectares of forest on the island of Sumatra.

How the loss of Indonesian mangrove forests is linked to climate change
August 10, 2015 07:29 AM - Prodita Sabarini, The Ecologist

The loss of Indonesia's coastal mangrove forests for shrimp farming is a huge source of carbon emissions, writes Prodita Sabarini. But equally, a policy flip to preserve and recreate mangroves offers a major climate win.

Mangroves are important because of their high rates of tree and plant growth, coupled with anaerobic, water-logged soils that slow decomposition, resulting in large, long-term carbon storage. Mangroves store three to five times more carbon than rainforest

Preventing the loss of Indonesian mangroves would help in the global fight against climate change, new research shows.

Good news for Bobcats in California!
August 7, 2015 07:06 AM - Judy Molland, Care2

In a momentous decision, the California Fish & Game Commission has voted to ban the trapping of bobcats.

Assembly Bill 1213, prohibiting the trapping and killing of bobcats statewide, passed the California legislature in 2013, but for the past two years it has not been fully implemented.

A Care2 petition demanding that California legislators and the Fish and Game Commission be more diligent in protecting the bobcat by fully enforcing the Bobcat Protection Act has garnered over 77,000 signatures. In a huge victory for Care2 members, the members of the Commission voted to implement a total ban on bobcat trapping.

How changing land use pattern in the Caribbean is impacting storm risks
August 5, 2015 07:22 AM - José Rodriguez-Llanes, Catholic University of Louvain, SciDevNet

Turning natural landscapes in the Caribbean into urban areas or farmland may increase the risk of people dying from floods and storms, scientists suggest.
In a study published by Scientific Reports last month (8 July), researchers from Anguilla’s health ministry and the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium investigate which factors make the region more prone to deaths related to these disasters. Out of 20 variables, they found that using a greater proportion of land for agriculture and having a higher percentage of people living in urban areas were consistently linked with deadlier floods and storms. 

What you should know about America's Clean Power Plan
August 3, 2015 08:30 AM - Gina McCarthy, USEPA

Today, President Obama will unveil the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan—a historic step to cut the carbon pollution driving climate change. Here are six key things every American should know...

UN adopts resolution to attack wildlife crime
August 2, 2015 08:14 AM -

Faced with an unprecedented surge in wildlife crime, the UN this week adopted a historic resolution committing all countries to ramp up their collective efforts to end the global poaching crisis and tackle the vast illegal wildlife trade.   Initiated by Gabon and Germany and co-sponsored by 84 other nations, the UN General Assembly resolution, Tackling the Illicit Trafficking in Wildlife, is the result of three years of diplomatic efforts and is the first time that every nation has acknowledged the seriousness of wildlife crime and the urgent need to join forces to combat it.  

Not all whaling is the same
July 30, 2015 06:44 AM - David Lusseau, The Ecologist

The Faroe Islands' annual 'grindadráp', in which hundreds of pilot whales are slaughtered with knives and hooks, is a horrifying spectacle, writes David Lusseau. But unlike industrial whaling it poses no threat to the species. And is it really any worse than the industrial factory farming that we routinely ignore?

Anyone that signs a petition to stop the Faroese grindadráp only to go home and roast a chicken that never saw daylight or moved much when it was reared is a hypocrite.

In the mid-20th century pilot whaling still took place in many north Atlantic nations such as the US and Canada.

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