Sustainability

The Mount Charleston Blue Butterfly can breathe a little easier today!
September 19, 2013 10:47 AM - Center for Biological Diversity

Following an agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity to speed decisions for protection of 757 imperiled species across the country, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized Endangered Species Act protection today for Nevada’s Mount Charleston blue butterfly. The butterfly occurs in just a few locations at very small numbers and is threatened by fire suppression, fuel reduction activities and recreational development. "This is great news for one of Nevada';s rarest species. The beautiful Mount Charleston blue butterfly is in desperate need of help and we've got to move quickly," said Rob Mrowka, a Center ecologist based in Nevada. "Even before prime areas of habitat were severely damaged by this summer's Carpenter 1 wildfire, there were very few of these butterflies left in the world."

Measuring the speed of thaw
September 19, 2013 10:17 AM - Editor, ENN

Researchers have known that ocean temperatures are rising but up until now haven’t had any way of measuring the effects of this rise on Antarctica's glaciers. New research will now enable scientists to determine how quickly ice is melting under a rapidly changing glacier.

Chimp Haven wins $10,000 Grant for Chimp's Artwork
September 19, 2013 09:10 AM - Judy Molland, Care2

Watch out, Picasso! Make room for Brent, a 37-year-old chimpanzee! One of Brent's paintings recently won first prize and $10,000 for Chimp Haven Sanctuary. Chimp Haven Sanctuary is a national sanctuary in northwest Louisiana for chimps retired from federal research. This is the same sanctuary that will be receiving many of the 310 chimps that the National Institutes of Health recently announced it will be retiring from research. The primate, a retired laboratory animal, who uses his tongue to apply color instead of a brush, received the most votes in the chimpanzee art contest organized by the Humane Society of the United States. Five other sanctuaries competed, using paintings created during "enrichment sessions," but Brent's delicate smears of blue, violet, yellow and turquoise triumphed. When The Associated Press asked for a comment from Brent on his success, his handlers at Chimp Haven said that the chimp couldn't be reached for comment because he was asleep. Ah, the hard life of an artist!

Snow Leopard Survival Threatened by Cashmere Industry
September 19, 2013 06:32 AM - Dr Charudutt Mishra, The Ecologist

As London Fashion Week concludes, Dr Charudutt Mishra explains how demand for cashmere is affecting Central Asian wildlife, and how enlisting the support of local people will be essential for the future of snow leopard conservation...The mountains of Central Asia are where the endangered snow leopards live. The higher Himalayas, the Pamirs, the Tien Shan, the Altai, all remote and faraway, seemingly insulated from our consumerist lifestyles. Indeed, the main causes of the cat's endangerment appear to arise largely from local activities - persecution in retaliation against predation on livestock, for instance. Understandable, as livestock continues to remain a precious resource for people in these climatically and topographically harsh mountain landscapes.

Flying High on Research and Development
September 18, 2013 02:45 PM - Robin Valinski, ENN

Sixteen universities have been identified to participate in Research and Development grants to support the United States Government (USG) commitment to a reduction in greenhouse gases in the commercial airline industry. In response to ongoing global pressures to reduce the impact of commercial aviation on climate change the USG through the FAA is aggressively seeking alternative ways to reduce emissions. The goal of the United States Government (USG) is to achieve carbon-neutral growth for U.S. Commercial aviation by 2020, which equates to a reduction in carbon dioxide of 115 million metric tons (MT) over that time period. To meet this goal, the FAA has organized a Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) initiative to achieve efficient aircraft operations and greenhouse gas emission reductions operationally and through airspace infrastructure improvements.

Fracking poses risk to UK farm animals and food safety, experts warn
September 18, 2013 01:02 PM - Andrew Wasley, Ecologist

US researchers behind a study that showed links between gas drilling and sickness in livestock say a moratorium should be imposed on fracking in the UK until its impact on food safety can be assessed. Andrew Wasley reports

Sustainable Forest Innovations Revitalize Hard Hit Communities
September 18, 2013 07:45 AM - Charlie Spies, CEO CEI Capital Management LLC, Triple Pundit

From Maine to Georgia to Arizona to Oregon, new forest-based enterprises are coming on line with financial support from New Markets Tax Credits every day. These tax credits provide incentives for private investors to fund projects that create or preserve jobs and diversify economies in distressed communities. The result is re-invention and job creation within the supply chain of an age-old industry: growing new forests, sustainably harvesting and moving the timber, and then processing it in 21st century ways by breaking down the trees into fiber and even into molecules with a variety of potential uses.

The Carbon Credentials of Smartphones
September 17, 2013 12:47 PM - Dave Thomas, The Ecologist

Launching alongside Apple's flagship 5S iPhone will be the 5C, the first mid-range iPhone, with fewer features and a plastic casing instead of aluminium. The 5S will have a carbon footprint of 70kg, the 5C a footprint of 60kg. Of the 5S's 70kg carbon footprint, 81% will be emitted during production and 12% during phone's 'career' (which is how I like to think of it). The new iPhones will be less environmentally friendly than those that came before. To be clear: the total carbon footprint per phone has increased, but mostly that is accounted for by production. In terms of running cost, an 13W energy efficient lightbulb is eight times more wasteful than an iPhone.

FIFA To Offset the 2014 World Cup Carbon Footprint
September 17, 2013 10:00 AM - Gina-Marie Cheeseman, Triple Pundit

The FIFA World Cup is the world's largest single-event sporting competition, so it only makes sense that FIFA wants to project what the carbon footprint of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be. That carbon footprint will be significant, with just over 2.7 million tons of carbon projected to be emitted altogether by both the 2014 World Cup and the 2013 Confederations Cup. Transportation is expected to account for 80.1 percent of the carbon footprint, according to a report released in May. Jerome Valcke, FIFA Secretary General, stated in a recent blog post that FIFA and the World Cup local organizing committee (LOC) will offset carbon emissions through offsetting projects and by encouraging stakeholders to "lower their carbon footprint."

Optimizing Corn Production in the Face of Climate Change
September 16, 2013 04:35 PM - Robin Valinski, ENN

Kenya is no stranger to adaptation when it comes to food production. Kenya’s cultural and political underpinnings are reliant upon adaptation to current climatic conditions. Present predictions are that drastic adaptation will be necessary once again. According to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), climate change is likely to threaten maize production for farmers in certain areas of Kenya. Conversely, other arable landmasses that have been less suited to maize production are likely to become better suited to this important crop forcing agricultural officials and farmers to reassess their farmland use and suitability.

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