Rio Environmental talks may collapse: WWF
June 6, 2012 07:12 AM - Editor, WWF
Two weeks out from the 20-year reprise of the Rio Earth Summit, and two years after negotiations started, global conservation organization WWF issued a World Environment Day warning that failures of commitment, failures of process and failures of leadership could lead to the collapse of talks on achieving a long-term sustainable world. "Currently we are a long way from where we need to be in these negotiations," said WWF Director General, Jim Leape. "Heads of State still have a unique opportunity in Rio to set the world on a path to sustainable development — but they need to step up their game dramatically. As things currently stand, we are facing two likely scenarios — an agreement so weak it is meaningless, or complete collapse. Neither of these options would give the world what it needs."
France to ban pesticide linked to Bee Colony collapses
June 5, 2012 06:49 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
Following research linking neonicotinoid pesticides to the decline in bee populations, France has announced it plans to ban Cruiser OSR, an insecticide produced by Sygenta. Recent studies, including one in France, have shown that neonicotinoid pesticides likely hurt bees' ability to navigate, potentially devastating hives. France has said it will give Sygenta two weeks to prove the pesticide is not linked to the bee decline, known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). France's decision comes after its National Agency for Food, Safety, and the Environment (ANSES) confirmed the findings of two recent studies published in Science. The two studies found that neonicotinoid pesticides, although not immediately lethal, likely hurt bee colonies over a period of time.
Now Greece is looking at an energy crisis
June 4, 2012 07:24 AM - EurActive
Greece's debt crisis threatened to turn into an energy crunch, with the power regulator calling an emergency meeting this week to avert a collapse of the country's electricity and natural gas system. Regulator RAE called the emergency meeting on 1 June after receiving a letter from Greece's natural gas company DEPA, dated 31 May, threatening to cut supplies to electricity producers if they failed to settle their arrears with the company. An energy crisis would add to the debt-stricken country's political and financial strains, threatening households and businesses with power cuts ahead of a 17 June election which may decide if the country will stay within the euro.
European Parliament considers curbing food ads aimed at the young
June 3, 2012 10:18 AM - EurActive
The European Parliament has renewed calls to curb food and beverage advertising aimed at children and young people, with some MEPs even calling for a total ban on beer commercials aimed at youth. But it's not necessary, says the industry, "We can regulate ourselves". The European Parliament in a resolution last week (22 May) called on the EU Commission to analyse "whether stricter rules are needed regarding advertising aimed at children and young people," who are considered more vulnerable than other consumer groups. Children and young people "are more sensitive to advertising for food with high fat, salt and sugar content," the Parliament resolution says, underlining that this particular age group "increasingly suffer the consequences of sedentariness and obesity".
Arctic Monitoring Stations Report CO2 Levels of 400 parts per million
June 2, 2012 09:10 AM - Thomas Schueneman, Global Warming is Real
The Arctic region continues to serve as the global climate "canary in a coal" mine. Now, as with average temperature rise, the region is leading into a new troubling milestone as monitoring stations near a remote outpost near Barrow, Alaska are among several such stations to report that average concentrations of CO2 have reached an average of 400 parts per million (PPM) this spring. "The northern sites in our monitoring network tell us what is coming soon to the globe as a whole," reports atmospheric scientist Pieter Tans with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). "We will likely see global average CO2 concentrations reach 400 ppm about 2016."
North Korea lifts the veil on its agroforestry practices
June 1, 2012 08:37 AM - Mike Ives, SciDevNet
A new study offers a rare glimpse into North Korea's agriculture and forestry policies, and may open up new international connections with the country, say researchers. The report describes how locally appropriate, participatory agroforestry is helping reverse food shortages and land degradation.
New Zealand's natural heritage threatened by 20 years of environmental inaction
May 30, 2012 11:54 AM - Editor, World Wildlife Fund
Less than a month before world leaders meet at a major environmental summit, a new report warns that New Zealand is failing to protect some of its iconic species and habitats following a series of broken promises made at the Earth Summit 20 years ago. 'Beyond Rio' is released today by global conservation organisation WWF ahead of next month's meeting on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro, the location of the groundbreaking 1992 Earth Summit. At the historic summit New Zealand signed up to a series of agreements to tackle climate change, conserve biodiversity and live more sustainably.
Greenland glacier melt was faster in 1930s than today
May 30, 2012 06:44 AM - Staff, ClickGreen
A chance discovery of 80-year-old photo plates in a Danish basement is providing vital new clues into how Greenland glaciers are melting today. Researchers at the National Survey and Cadastre of Denmark - that country's federal agency responsible for surveys and mapping - had been storing the glass plates since explorer Knud Rasmussen's expedition to the southeast coast of Greenland in the early 1930s. In this week's online edition of Nature Geoscience, Ohio State University researchers and colleagues in Denmark describe how they analyzed ice loss in the region by comparing the images on the plates to aerial photographs and satellite images taken from World War II to today.
Climate Change Doubt not due to ignorance of the science
May 28, 2012 08:11 AM - Staff, ClickGreen
A new study has dispelled the myth that the public are divided about climate change because they don't understand the science behind it. And the Yale research published today reveals that if Americans knew more basic science and were more proficient in technical reasoning it would still result in a gap between public and scientific consensus. Indeed, as members of the public become more science literate and numerate, the study found, individuals belonging to opposing cultural groups become even more divided on the risks that climate change poses. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the study was conducted by researchers associated with the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School and involved a nationally representative sample of 1500 U.S. adults.
Canada closing its marine pollution program
May 26, 2012 08:08 AM - Miguel Llanos, msnbc.com
Canada has been sending letters to government scientists notifying them that their jobs will be eliminated or affected by the closure of the country's marine pollution program -- but at least one isn't going without making some noise. "It's perplexing that we face the loss of this program, given the 25,000 chemicals on the market and the ever-increasing threats posed by shipping and oil and gas exploration and development in temperate and Arctic waters," Peter Ross told msnbc.com. Ross is perhaps Canada's best known marine scientist for his work on identifying killer whales as the most contaminated marine mammals on the planet. "As can be expected when one is told their position is being terminated, one is shocked and saddened," he added. "However, when told that the entire pollution research and monitoring program for Canada's oceans is being eliminated, I was speechless."