Top Stories

Will Liberalization of Myanmar Bring Ruin to Its Vast Forests?

For years, Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has been under the control of a strong military regime. The restriction on freedom and human rights abuses they imposed made the nation an international pariah, and trade sanctions were established by all major world economies. Now, Myanmar is undergoing a stunning democratic transformation, its citizens are granted more freedoms, and the world is opening up to them. With this opening up comes a relaxing of trade restrictions, which may unfortunately bring disaster to Myanmar's native forests. It was over this long period of strong military control and lack of foreign investment which allowed the wild forests to be protected. Now that things are changing, the nation may not be able to control the economic forces from within and without, vying to exploit its natural resources. >> Read the Full Article

Let's Celebrate America Recycles Day by taking the Food Recovery Challenge!

Today is America Recycles Day, a nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting recycling in the US. All across the country, thousands of events are being held to celebrate recycling awareness in communities. One way organizations are participating this year is by taking the Food Recovery Challenge. The Food Recovery Challenge is a voluntary program established by the EPA with a goal to cut the 35 million tons of food wasted nationwide annually by reducing unnecessary consumption and increasing donations to charity and composting. >> Read the Full Article

Ocean-grabbing threatens the food security of entire communities

All over the world, food systems and the ecosystems they rely on are coming under pressure from the over-exploitation of natural resources. But nowhere are these impacts occurring as rapidly and dramatically as in the world's oceans. >> Read the Full Article

New research finds mine waste could provide an effective CO2 trap

It's time to economically value the greenhouse gas-trapping potential of mine waste and start making money from it, says mining engineer and geologist Michael Hitch of the University of British Columbia (UBC). Hitch studies the value of mine waste rock for its CO2-sequestration potential, or "SP." He says mining companies across Canada will, in future, be able to offset CO2 emissions with so-named "SP rock," and within 25 years could even be selling emissions credits. >> Read the Full Article

Pacific Walrus Changes

Weighing around 2,700 pounds (with a maximum weight of around 3200 lbs), Pacific walruses are the second largest member of the superfamily Pinnipedia, next to the Southern Elephant Seal. Walruses in general use sea ice to travel to new feeding grounds. Sparse summer sea ice in the Arctic over the past five years has caused behavioral changes in Pacific walruses according to research published by U.S. Geological Survey and Russian scientists. The effects on the walrus population are unknown. >> Read the Full Article

Great Potential for Energy Efficiency Improvements in UK

With the ambitious goal of kickstarting "a revolution in UK energy efficiency," England’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has just launched a new program called the Government's Energy Efficiency Strategy. The goal is to cut the equivalent of 22 power stations worth of energy consumption throughout the United Kingdom by 2020. Though the UK has already made some significant progress in energy efficiency, the new strategy underscores just how much more opportunity there is to save energy in a nation that boasts an impressive stock of centuries-old buildings. The challenges of upgrading castles, cottages and ancient estates is small potatoes, though, compared to some broader structural challenges the UK faces, and the DECC is not shy about laying those out. >> Read the Full Article

Warmer Summers

The world is warming up but not always evenly. So how much warmer are the summers? Analysis of 90 years of observational data has revealed that the world summer climates in regions across the globe are changing — mostly, but not always, warming –according to a new study led by a scientist from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences headquartered at the University of Colorado Boulder. >> Read the Full Article

Got (organic) milk?

In recent years, advertising for milk and milk products has been seen everywhere in mainstream America. Not only do we have our doctors telling us to drink more milk, but we also have celebrities endorsing the product. Of course milk does the body good, but do some types of milk do better than others? What about milk's impact on the environment? To analyze these questions, researchers need to study the types of farms from where the milk originates. As with the case for most farms, large-scale farm businesses have been taking over smaller, local farms causing tons of pasture-based dairies to disappear from the landscape. Even though the demand for organic milk and dairy products is on the rise (raking in at least $750 million annually), most of our country's milk is coming from cows confined in animal feeding operations known as CAFOs. Not only do CAFOs make a less nutritious milk product, but they also pollute our air, water, and soil and reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics in humans. >> Read the Full Article

Pacific Fishing Zones

Marine zoning in the Pacific Ocean, in combination with other measures, could significantly improve numbers of heavily overfished bigeye tuna and improve local economies, a fish modelling study has found. Scientists have found that a network of marine zones in the Pacific Ocean could be a more effective conservation measure than simply closing relatively small areas to some types of fishing. These marine zones, where different fishing activities are allowed in different areas, may have significant and widespread benefits for bigeye tuna numbers. Dr John Sibert of the university of Hawaii Joint Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Research is one of four scientists leading the study. After testing the effectiveness of a range of conservation measures with an ecosystem and fish population model. >> Read the Full Article

Risk of Parkinson’s disease Increases with Head Injury and Herbicide Exposure

The combination of having a head injury and being exposed to the common pesticide/herbicide, paraquat has been found to increase the risk of developing Parkinson's disease by three times. Paraquat is one of the most widely used herbicides, typically used on crops to control weeds and pests. The chemical is also deadly to humans and animals. A person with an already compromised head injury can compound that injury greatly by being around this poison, to the point of getting Parkinson's disease. The study was conducted by researchers at UCLA and published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. >> Read the Full Article