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Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate change

This is where you can talk about every subject (previously it was called shout room)

Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:11 am

Greta Thunberg says our war
against nature must end


The 16-year-old made the comments in a visit to a German forest, at the centre of an ongoing dispute over fears it is at risk of being destroyed for a nearby mine

She met with environmental protesters at the site on Saturday and demanded that "our war against nature must end today".

Hambach Forest in western Germany sits next to a massive open-cast lignite pit operated by utility giant RWE.

An expert proposal to end the use of coal in Germany by 2038, approved by the nation's government, was meant to save the forest.

However, activists say RWE is endangering what is left of the woods by pumping out precious groundwater.

Miss Thunberg, 16, said seeing the mine disturbed her deeply.

The teen's school strike for climate protest movement has mobilised tens of thousands of students across Europe each week calling on leaders to do more to tackle global warming.

In March, Miss Thunberg dedicated an award she received from German media to "those protecting the Hambach Forest and the climate activists who fight to keep the fossil fuels in the ground everywhere".

But it is not just the removal of fossil fuels that is damaging Germany's famed forests, as a second consecutive year of unusually dry and warm weather has left swaths of dead and dying trees in forests across Germany.

Officials say droughts, wildfires and hungry beetles destroyed 270,000 acres of forest in Germany in 2018, and the damage this year could be even worse.

The sight of bare trees has stoked debate about the impact of climate change and what measures Germany should be taking to adapt to and prevent global warming.

A poll released on Friday by public broadcaster ZDF found 62% of German voters say it is the most pressing problem, higher than any other issue.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has acknowledged feeling the pressure coming from Miss Thunberg and her mostly young supporters.

But she has cautioned that "we are also taking new directions, and these new directions must of course be thought through".

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/g ... 10516.html
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:13 am

Harvard Law School Debuts Program That
Trains Students to Fight For Animal Rights


This week, Harvard Law School (HLS) announced the launch of a new program that will train its students to advocate for animals

The Animal Law & Policy Clinic will be part of HLS’ Animal Law & Policy Program (ALPP) and will focus on issues affecting farmed and captive animals, wildlife, climate-change related topics, worker exploitation in animal agriculture, and other topics with the goal of creating future leaders in the animal protection movement.

“The Animal Law & Policy Clinic at HLS will train and prepare our graduates to embark on careers in the animal protection field, produce impactful litigation and policy analysis to benefit the animal protection movement, and provide an internationally renowned platform for educating the broader public about the many pressing issues involving animal law and policy,” ALPP Faculty Director Professor Kristen Stilt said.

The new clinic will be led by Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor Katherine Meyer (who founded leading animal-protection law firm Meyer Glitzenstein & Eubanks 26 years ago) and Clinical Instructor Nicole Negowetti (a nationally recognized food systems policy expert). “I am honored to help launch the Animal Law & Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School,” Negowetti said.

“The clinic will provide outstanding training for a new generation of advocates as we identify and pursue high-impact legal strategies to achieve a resilient, healthy, and just food system—for the benefit of human and non-human animals alike.” The clinic will give students a hands-on experience in litigation, legislation, administrative practice, and policymaking, both in the United States and internationally. “Animal law is a vitally important and rapidly growing field,” HLS Dean John F. Manning said.

“Our new Animal Law & Policy Clinic will give students real-world experience in this burgeoning field, build on Harvard Law School’s long tradition of innovative pedagogy, and prepare future graduates to address significant societal challenges.” HLS is one of 167 law schools in the US that now offer an animal-law course—an increase from just nine schools that offered such courses in 2000.

https://vegnews.com/2019/8/harvard-law- ... rZt0YvKpKk
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:21 am

Ethiopia Plants 350 Million Trees in
One Day to Fight Climate Change


Ethiopia just broke a world record during its fight against the climate crisis

In a single day, the country planted more than 350 million trees. Previously, India held the record for the most trees planted in one day, planting 50 million trees within 24 hours in 2016.

Ethiopia’s tree-planting success was the product of a national effort against climate change. The national Green Legacy initiative — a government campaign for a greener, cleaner, more environmentally-friendly Ethiopia — aims to see four billion trees planted across the country by the end of the summer. :ymapplause:

The government is encouraging every citizen to plant at least 40 seedlings. It even shut down public offices on July 29 so that civil servants could partake in the campaign.

A Simple Solution?

Planting trees could be the quickest solution to fighting climate change, some scientists say.

Last month, a study revealed the “mind-blowing” potential of trees in fighting climate change. Scientists revealed that planting billions of trees around the world is the quickest and cheapest way of buying humans more time to save the planet.

According to Professor Tom Crowther of Swiss university ETH Zürich, where the study was conducted, planting trees is a simpler solution than most, reports the Guardian.

It doesn’t involve convincing President Trump of the danger of climate change or the invention of widespread technology to suck carbon dioxide out of the air. It is a way for individuals to easily and instantly get involved.

“Trees not only help mitigate climate change by absorbing the carbon dioxide in the air, but they also have huge benefits in combating desertification and land degradation, particularly in arid countries,” said Dr. Dan Ridley-Ellis, the head of the centre for wood science and technology at Edinburgh Napier University, to the Guardian.

He continued, “they also provide food, shelter, fuel, fodder, medicine, materials, and protection of the water supply. This truly impressive feat [by Ethiopia] is not just the simple planting of trees, but part of a huge and complicated challenge to take account of the short- and long-term needs of both the trees and the people.”

“The forester’s mantra ‘the right tree in the right place’ increasingly needs to consider the effects of climate change,” he added, “as well as the ecological, social, cultural, and economic dimension.”

https://www.livekindly.com/ethiopia-pla ... WHi0dA4Tz0
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:39 am

Jason Momoa 'can't shoot Aquaman 2'
after injury in Hawaii protest


Jason Momoa says he 'can’t shoot Aquaman 2' because he 'got run over by a bulldozer' protesting construction on sacred volcano in Hawaii

Jason Momoa says he's unable to film the highly-anticipated sequel to Aquaman after suffering an injury while protesting construction on a volcano in his native Hawaii as part of the Thirty Meter Telescope project.

'Sorry Warner Bros we can’t shoot Aquaman 2,' Momoa, 40, wrote on a post alongside a photo depicting construction at the volcano site. 'Because Jason got run over by a bulldozer trying to stop the desecration of his native land.

The 6ft4 leading man expressed his frustration at the industrial work going on at the site, which he described as a 'scared mountain.'

    'F*** THIS. And TMT is 4x bigger,' the screen star said. 'THIS iS NOT HAPPENING. WE ARE NOT LETTING YOU DO THIS ANYMORE. Enough is enough. Go somewhere else.'
Referring to the shot, the Honolulu, Hawaii native wrote, 'This is what telescope construction looks like (Subaru Telescope, 1992). The TMT will be four times larger on unscathed land. We must protect our scared mountain from further desecration.'

    Momoa added the hashtags, #KuKiaiMauna #WeAreMaunaKea and #TMTShutdownto the emotionally-charged post.
In a subsequent post on Saturday, Momoa urged his 13.1 million followers to show support for the Protect Mauna a Wākea movement.

'How's that for a dad bod?' Jason Momoa at Hawaii protests

In protest: Jason shared a photo depicting construction at the volcano site, which he described as a 'scared mountain'

Leading man: Jason headlines Aquaman 2, which is tentatively slated to hit theaters in 2022

'During this time, we are trying to unite both kānaka and Hawai’i born peoples alike to protect not only the mauna, but also our way of life and greatest natural resources in Hawaii as a whole,' he said. 'We feel that our movement has successfully united all aspects of Hawaiian culture with the exception of our traditional ocean practices - namely surfing, fishing, paddling, etc.'

The actor, who previously played Aquaman in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and in 2017's Justice League, told his followers, 'This is where you come in. [Please] be an inspiration and raise awareness amongst the general public and the corporate realm to promote the conservation of our ‘āina for our generation and future generations to come.'

Momoa has been protesting the $1.4 billion telescope for the past few weeks, receiving support from fellow actor Dwayne Johnson, who also has family ties to the area.

Johnson, 47, told Hawaii News Now: 'When you come here to Mauna Kea you realize [it's] bigger than a telescope ... 'It's humanity. It's culture. It is people, Polynesian people, who are willing to die here to protect this land. This is very sacred land.'

Link to Article - Photos:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/a ... otest.html
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:13 am

Ricky Gervais blasts trophy hunter
who shot dead charging lion


Comedian Ricky Gervais posts expletive filled tweet blasting trophy hunter who shot dead a charging lion in sickening video

    Ricky Gervais shared the horrific 30 second clip on his Twitter on Friday morning

    In the clip, viewed two million times, a hunter raises his rifle and shoots the lion

    Afterwards colleagues gather around him and they all laugh and cheer together
Ricky Gervais has slammed a trophy hunter who shot dead a charging lion in sickening video - before he is congratulated by his comrades.

Sharing the clip on Twitter, the 58-year-old comedian said 'useless c*** cluster of the day' in a video now watched more than two million times.

The horrific 30-second clip shows a lion charge at a group of around ten men in a hunting party.

But one of the hunters raises his rifle and shoots the lion dead as it leaps towards him, leaving it sprawled on the floor in a heap.

Hunters seen shooting dead a charging lion in shocking clip

Sharing the clip on Twitter, the 58-year-old comedian said 'useless c*** cluster of the day' in a video now watched more than two million times

A couple more shots ring out as the hunting party ensures the animal is dead, before they all gather around the hunter and congratulate him.

Some can be heard laughing as they all gather round the kill in the clip, which Gervais shared with his 13.4million followers.

It was originally shared by James Melville, who works in public relations, who said: 'Please retweet if you think that there should be a worldwide ban on trophy hunting.'

Hundreds have commented on Gervais' post, with one saying: 'Awful people. The guy who gives the Lion a friendly whack after it has died is horrendous.

'Honestly can’t get the idea of a bunch of dudes hooking up to go out and kill animals for no reason.'

While another said: 'Why. What pleasure is there in standing there with a rifle and killing a magnificent sentient being

'I shall never ever understand the gory horrible evil cruelty of these so called men. Utter b******.'

Some can be heard laughing as they all gather round the kill in the clip, which Gervais (pictured) shared with his 13.4million followers

Hundreds have commented on Gervais' post, with one saying: 'Awful people. The guy who gives the Lion a friendly whack after it has died is horrendous

And one more, Amy Spray, said: 'How can anyone think this is ok? I’m not sure what’s harder to watch - the lion being killed or the barbarians shaking hands and congratulating the monster who did it.'

It's not the first time Gervais has slammed trophy hunters. Last month he took to Twitter to express his disgust at Pamplona's annual Running of the Bull event, calling it 'absolute filth'.

The 'Rapa das Bestas,' or the 'Capture of the Beasts' in Sabucedo saw hundreds of Spaniards wrestling wild horses to the ground, before hacking off their manes and tails as crowds cheered them on.

Last year he criticsed an Idaho state conservation official who posted photos of himself smiling alongside wild animals he killed during an African hunt.

The British comedian and animal rights advocate, referred to Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Blake Fischer as a ‘pathetic c***.’

And called a hunter who snuck up on a sleeping lion and then took three bullets to kill the magnificent beast a 'sniveling sadistic coward' in a tweet.

At the time retired energy company executive Guy Gorney refused to explain why killed the animal.

Link to Article - Photos:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... ayer_click
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:03 pm

University bans hamburgers
to help environment


Goldsmiths, University of London, is removing all beef products from sale - and charging a 10p levy on bottled water and single-use plastic cups

It plans to install more solar panels across its New Cross campus, in south-east London, and switch to a 100% clean energy supplier as soon as possible.

It will spend money on its allotment and identify other areas where planting could help to absorb carbon dioxide.

Carbon footprint

The university emits about 3.7 million kg of carbon each year but is hoping to become carbon neutral by 2025.

And it will try to increase the number of students studying climate change.

Scientists say beef is more damaging to the environment as cows produce more methane and require more land and water than other livestock.

The college's new head, Prof Frances Corner, said: "The growing global call for organisations to take seriously their responsibilities for halting climate change is impossible to ignore.

"Though I have only just arrived at Goldsmiths, it is immediately obvious that our staff and students care passionately about the future of our environment and that they are determined to help deliver the step change we need to cut our carbon footprint drastically and as quickly as possible.

"Declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words.

"I truly believe we face a defining moment in global history and Goldsmiths now stands shoulder to shoulder with other organisations willing to call the alarm and take urgent action to cut carbon use."

Follow suit

Goldsmiths Students' Union president Joe Leam said: "Our house is on fire," invoking the words of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.

"I believe Frances Corner and the university management are realising this and making these changes to put their part of the house fire out.

"The SU will be a part of this process every step of the way to make sure this stays true, seeking to speed the process up wherever possible, and will keep the college community updated throughout."

Rosie Rogers, of Greenpeace UK, said: "It's encouraging to see an institution like Goldsmiths not simply declaring a climate emergency but acting on it.

"From energy use, to food sales and plastic pollution - all universities and organisations with campus sites can make changes across their facilities that are better for our planet.

"We call on others to urgently follow suit and to include cutting all ties from fossil fuel funding in their climate-emergency response."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-49321560

I went to Goldsmiths - just thought I would say :D

I am certain other universities will follow their lead
:ymapplause:
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:50 pm

Saving the Arctic's Last Ice Area
Is a Race Against Time


A video of surging melt-waters in Greenland’s Naujatkuat River went viral this month, along with news that the territory lost an astonishing 12.5 billion tons of ice on a single day. The grey gushing flood was a powerful reminder that the climate crisis will likely cause the pace of ice melt to accelerate in the coming decades

As a result, most of the North Pole’s year-round sea ice will be lost by the end of this century—save for one final refuge known as the “Last Ice Area.” Arctic animals that are dependent on sea ice are expected to make a last stand in this region, which is why the Canadian government recently granted protected status to large portions of it.

But scientists say that major global changes, not just national policy, will be necessary to preserve this crucial stronghold of the Far North.

What is the Last Ice Area?

This narrow band of thick ice encompasses about a million square kilometers flanking the Northern coasts of Greenland and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

The Canadian branch of the World Wildlife Fund coined its popular name, but the general contours of the area were first defined in 2010 by a team of scientists that included Stephanie Pfirman, an expert in Arctic sea ice dynamics at Arizona State University.

“The wind and ocean currents transport ice across the Arctic to this region, so by the time it accumulates here, it is old and ridged and therefore thicker than ice in other regions,” Pfirman explained in an email. “This means that it takes longer to melt.”

Satellite imagery and onsite observations have confirmed that the area contains the oldest and most stable sea ice in the Arctic. Bob Newton, a senior research scientist at Columbia University who contributed to the 2010 study, has modeled the region’s fate under multiple global heating scenarios.

Some of these models project futures in which humans meet the climate targets set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which are aimed at limiting global temperature rise to within 1.5°C. In this scenario, there is “no reason to think you would lose” the ice in the region, Newton said.

The results of a “business as usual” scenario in which greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate will be much more dire, however, according to the models. “Under the ‘business as usual’ assumption, you do eventually lose even the Last Ice Area,” Newton said.

It is a bleak contrast in possible futures for this polar haven. As the Arctic warms over the coming decades, animals that depend on the sea ice habitat—such as polar bears, walruses, and eiders—will retreat to the Last Ice Area’s borders to survive. Nobody knows how well they will fare within its confines, but it is clear that the alternative option (losing it entirely) would be far more devastating.

“If we don’t have ice anywhere,” Newton said, “they will just be gone. The Last Ice Area is an area where many animals currently thrive, so we we’re quite hopeful they can survive there indefinitely—if the ice platform can be kept there.”

The ‘race’ to save the Last Ice Area

In an effort to preserve key portions of the region, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the creation of Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area on August 1 alongside the Premier of Nunavut and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA), a nonprofit that represents more than 15,000 Inuit in the Qikiqtani (Baffin) Region of Nunavut.

The new protected space on Nunavut’s coast is roughly the size of Germany, and its name means “the place where the ice never melts” in Inuktitut. In the announcement, Prime Minister Trudeau credited persistent advocacy from Inuit communities with encouraging the government to act.

The Tuvaijuittuq area has been granted interim protection from environmentally destructive practices such as seismic tests and drilling while the terms for full protection are being worked out.

The government also entered into an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement, which is required to establish Tallurutiup Imanga—a smaller region to the south of Tuvaijuittuq—as a national marine conservation area. The agreement can be expanded to cover Tuvaijuittuq, should it be permanently protected.

The agreements earmark roughly $250 million for a raft of initiatives to support the protection of these areas, including sustainable infrastructure investments, supporting Inuit-led research and governance, and more.

Closing off Arctic areas to harmful industrial activities will help maintain ice quality in the region over the long term, but it will not slow the loss of the sea ice habitat. Only the collective actions of people around the world can do that.

“The best way to preserve the Arctic ice over the long term is to reduce global warming through reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” Pfirman said.

“It is a race against time—we will need more than just switching away from carbon-based energy sources, we also need to sequester carbon in order to quickly slow the warming,” she noted. “Otherwise the last ice will be lost in summer along with the devastation of the ice-dependent ecosystem that we're trying to protect.”

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/pa7y ... =mbtwitter
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:22 pm

Greta Thunberg to sail
to climate conferences


Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has accepted a ride across the Atlantic by boat to attend two key climate conferences

The teenager will make the journey aboard the Malizia II, a high-speed 18-metre (60ft) yacht built to race around the globe.

"We'll be sailing across the Atlantic Ocean from the UK to New York in mid August," she tweeted.

Thunberg refuses to fly because of the environmental impact of air travel.

    In a Facebook post, Team Malizia said they were "honoured to sail Greta Thunberg emission free across the Atlantic".
She had previously said that she wanted to attend the UN Climate Action summit in New York on 23 September, but was struggling to work out how to make it without taking a plane or going on a cruise ship - which have similarly high emissions.

Hurricanes also often deter sailors from trans-Atlantic journeys in August.

"Taking a boat to North America is basically impossible," she previously told the Associated Press news agency.

Now, the 16-year-old will be able to attend the New York conference. She will later journey by low-carbon transport south to the annual Santiago Climate Change Conference in December.

Malizia II was built to compete in the 2016-2017 round-the-world Vendée Globe race. The high-tech vessel generates electricity through solar panels and underwater turbines.

Thunberg and her father will make the crossing with captain Boris Herrmann, Monaco royal family member Pierre Casiraghi and a Swedish documentary maker, Nathan Grossman. The journey is expected to take about two weeks.

A spokeswoman for Team Malizia told the BBC they approached Thunberg to offer to take her, and had no previous plan to sail the yacht across the Atlantic.

It is not known how the activist will return to Europe. She is staying in the Americas for nine months, so as yet Team Malizia has no plan to take her back to Europe.

Climate change activist Greta Thunberg will spend two weeks travelling across the North Atlantic on a boat with no toilets, kitchens or privacy.

Greta, 16, has stopped flying due to environmental reasons, but is due to attend a crucial climate change conference in New York.

She told the BBC that travelling by boat sends a signal that "the climate change crisis is a real thing".

Electricity on the boat will solely come from wind turbines and solar panels, meaning the journey has a zero carbon footprint.
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:30 am

Sulaimani locals urged to recycle plastic waste

Plastic bags, bottles, and other packaging are often found scattered around the Kurdistan Region’s beauty spots, polluting waterways and cluttering streets. Now the mayor of Sulaimani is calling on households to do their bit and recycle their plastic waste

According to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Board of Environmental Protection and Improvement, the Region generates approximately 10,000 tons of garbage every day. Roughly 55 to 60 percent of this is recyclable plastic, nylons, and paper.

Some 7,500 tons of trash is dumped into its landfills every day, according to official figures from the KRG Ministry for Municipalities and Tourism.

Years of war and financial crisis has done little to help foster a culture of recycling and conservation. As the economy gets back on track, however, local authorities in Sulaimani have been looking for sustainable solutions.

In May, Sulaimani rolled out a ban on plastic bags, becoming the first province in Iraq to implement such a policy

“We’ve taken some good steps like bakeries using paper bags. Restaurants should use those materials that pass quality control,” the city’s mayor Said Awat Mohammed told Rudaw.

His office has also called on the KRG to limit the amount of plastic it imports from abroad.

“We urge the government to take all measures to reduce harmful materials to the environment. All residential units in Sulaimani are informed to set an extra rubbish bin to separate plastic materials from garbage,” he added.

Kamal Nuri, who heads up a private sector-run council of Sulaimani residential units, said they will be setting out extra bins for residents to separate their garbage so that reusable, non-biodegradable materials can be recycled.

“We’ve asked for extra bins to separate plastic from garbage. The next step is to separate cartons, glass, and other recyclable materials,” Nuri said.

Kurdistan has just two recycling plants, one in Duhok and another in Akre, but more are in the pipeline as the government plans a Region-wide recycling program.

A facility in Sulaimani is close to being operational and one in Erbil is in the first stages, Newroz Mawlood, Minister for Municipalities and Tourism, told Rudaw in April.

Once they start working, “I dare say in the next two to three years, the whole Kurdistan Region will see recycling facilities operational,” she predicted.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/lifestyle/13082019
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:32 pm

Plastic particles falling out of sky with snow

Even in the Arctic, microscopic particles of plastic are falling out of the sky with snow, a study has found

The scientists said they were shocked by the sheer number of particles they found: more than 10,000 of them per litre in the Arctic.

It means that even there, people are likely to be breathing in microplastics from the air - though the health implications remain unclear.

The region is often seen as one of the world's last pristine environments.

A German-Swiss team of researchers has published the work in the journal Science Advances.

The scientists also found rubber particles and fibres in the snow.

How did the researchers carry out the study?

Researchers collected snow samples from the Svalbard islands using a low-tech method - a dessert spoon and a flask.

In the laboratory at Germany's Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven they discovered far more contaminating particles than they'd expected.

Many were so small that it was hard to ascertain where they had come from.

The majority appeared to be composed of natural materials like plant cellulose and animal fur. But there were also particles of plastic, along with fragments of rubber tyres, varnish, paint and possibly synthetic fibres.

The lead scientist, Dr Melanie Bergmann, told BBC News: "We expected to find some contamination but to find this many microplastics was a real shock."

She said: "It's readily apparent that the majority of the microplastic in the snow comes from the air."

Microplastics are defined as those particles below 5mm in size.

Addressing their potential effects on people, Dr Bergmann explained: "We don't know if the plastics will be harmful to human health or not. But we need to take much better care of the way we're treating our environment."

The scientists also analysed snow from sites in Germany and Switzerland. Samples taken from some areas of Germany showed higher concentrations than in the Arctic.

How is plastic pollution reaching the Arctic?

The researchers think microplastics are being blown about by winds and then - through mechanisms which are not fully understood - transported long distances through the atmosphere.

The particles are then "washed" out of the atmosphere through precipitation, particularly snow.

A study published in April by a British-French team showed that microplastics were falling from the sky onto the French Pyrenees, another supposedly pristine region.

Previously, research groups have found plastics in the atmospheric fallout of Dongguan, China, Tehran in Iran, and Paris, France.

As for where the pollution is coming from, here too there are uncertainties.
Ice floe near Spitsbergen, Svalbard Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Arctic is regarded as one of the last pristine environments on Earth

The presence of so many varnish particles in the Arctic was a puzzle.

The researchers assume that some of the contamination may have come from ships grinding against the ice. But they also speculate that some may have come off wind turbines.

The fibre fragments may be from people's clothing, although it's not possible to tell at the moment.

Dr Bergmann explained: "We have to ask - do we need so much plastic packaging? Do we need all the polymers in the paints we use? Can we come up with differently designed car tyres? These are important issues."

Dr Eldbjørg Sofie Heimstad, from the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, who was not involved in the latest study, told me that some of the particle pollution was local and some had drifted from afar.

She said: "We know that most of what we are analysing up there and measuring are long-range transported pollution coming from [Europe], from Asia, coming from all over the world.

"Some of these chemicals have properties that are a threat for the ecosystem, for living animals."

What does this mean for the Arctic?

The results follow on the heels of our exclusive report last year that the highest concentrations of plastic particles in the ocean were to be found in Arctic sea-ice.

Plastic waste is also drifting for hundreds or even thousands of kilometres to land on remote Arctic beaches.

It is depressing news for people who have regarded the far north as one of the last pristine environments on Earth.

At a dog sledding centre near Tromsø in the Norwegian Arctic, one of the staff, Lili, told us: "It makes me incredibly sad. We've got plastics in the sea-ice. We've got plastics in the ocean and on the beaches. Now plastic in snow.

"Up here we see the beauty of it every day, and to see that it's changing so much and being tainted - it hurts."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49295051
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:00 am

Starving 70-year-old elephant
collapses from exhaustion


A shocking picture shows a starving 70-year-old elephant collapsed on the floor after walking miles every night at a religious festival

The story of Tikiri the elephant has outraged animal rights groups after it emerged her emaciated body was being hidden by a colourful costume.

She was one of around 60 elephants that march through the streets for the annual Esala Perahera, a Buddhist festival in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

A local activist in Kandy sent Metro.co.uk this latest distressing photo of Tikiri after she succumbed to exhaustion yesterday.

*Content warning: There are further pictures in this story that you may find distressing*

About 20 men are seen standing around the elderly elephant whose leg has been chained to the wall behind her.

A spokesperson for the Sacred Tooth Relic, a Buddhist temple that organises the festival, said Tikiri suffers from a ‘digestive ailment’ which allegedly ‘prevents her from putting on weight’.

Elephants chained and whipped by keepers

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They said this ‘hasn’t affected her strength and abilities’ and she is not as ‘feeble and unfit’ as activists have suggested.

But this latest picture of Tikiri collapsed on the floor appears to contradict the temple’s claim.

Disturbing footage also shows elephants, which are used in Perahera festivals across Sri Lanka, being beaten with sticks by cruel keepers.

The distressed elephants try their best to avoid the whipping but their legs are chained to a post, preventing their escape.

In another video, sent to Metro.co.uk by the same local activist, an elephant is forced down a street with shackles around its legs.

Chained elephant marched down street in Kandy, Sri Lanka

The activist said elephant owners are ‘powerful people’ in Sri Lanka, but there is a growing movement trying to stop the animals being used in Perahera festivals.

In a statement, a temple spokesperson said Tikiri’s owner had ‘specifically requested’ her part in the festival as there is an ‘ancient belief’ that such religious offerings can cure weak animals.

They said: ‘It is an ancient belief that the performing of Pooja (Offerings) to gods by sick or weak elephants has healing powers.

‘Hence, given the digestive ailment of Tikiri, her owner specially requested the Diyawadana Nilame of the Vishnu Devala [chief of the temple] to allow Tikiri to take part in this year’s procession in hope of curing her.

‘Taking into account the great service performed by Tikiri to the Esala procession, the request was accepted in terms that she is proved to be fit to take the streets after a thorough examination.

‘Given that Tikiri was proved to be fit, she was allowed to take part in a few processions.’

Tikiri’s story came to light when Lek Chailert, who founded the Save Elephant Foundation in northern Thailand, shared photos of her skeletal body.

She wrote: ‘Tikiri joins in the parade early every evening until late at night every night for ten consecutive nights, amidst the noise, the fireworks, and smoke.

‘She walks many kilometers every night so that people will feel blessed during the ceremony. No one sees her bony body or her weakened condition, because of her costume.

‘No one sees the tears in her eyes, injured by the bright lights that decorate her mask, no one sees her difficulty to step as her legs are short shackled while she walks.

For a ceremony, all have the right to belief as long as that belief does not disturb or harm another.

How can we call this a blessing, or something holy, if we make other lives to suffer?

Today is World Elephant Day. We cannot bring a peaceful world to the elephant if we still think that this image is acceptable.

‘To love, to do no harm, to follow a path of kindness and compassion, this is the Way of Buddha. It is time to follow.’

Link to Article - Heartbreaking Photos:

https://metro.co.uk/2019/08/15/starving ... -10578627/
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:35 am

Plant-based milk the choice
for almost 25% of Britons now


While demand for traditional cow’s milk is falling, sales of alt-milk, made from oats, almonds and coconuts, have surged 10% over the past two years, according to a report

The report, from Mintel, said 23% of those polled had used plant milk in the three months leading to February this year, up from just 19% in 2018. The shift was particularly marked among women and the under 25s.

Emma Clifford, associate director of UK food and drink at Mintel, said plant-based milk was entering the mainstream as alternative products became more readily available on supermarket shelves. “This is part of a much wider plant-based movement, driven by concerns around health, ethics and the environment.”

Although cow’s milk is still a far bigger market, worth more than £3bn, Britons buy fewer pints than their parents. What was once touted as a one-stop source of health is slipping out of fashion; the average person’s milk consumption in the UK has fallen 50% since the 1950s.

In a significant shift in the UK, the number of vegans – those shunning all animal products including dairy and eggs – has risen. According to the Vegan Society, there were 600,000 vegans in Britain in 2018, up from 150,000 in 2014.

One of the big winners from this shift in consumption is oat milk, with shoppers buying £36m worth last year as sales surged more than 70%. Sales of coconut milk rose 16% and almond milk increased 10% over the same period. The Swedish brand Oatly said its UK sales had increased by nearly 90% to £18m in 2018 and were expected to exceed £30m this year.

Oatly’s UK general manager, Ishen Paran, said consumers were thinking carefully about the environmental impact of their purchases, with alternative milks increasingly appealing also to non vegans. “We’ve seen the introduction of the plastic bag charge, the phasing out of plastic straws and now the growing popularity of oat-based products. Last year we found that younger consumers were choosing to spend more during their grocery shopping on more sustainable options.”

Unchanged from last year, 96% of UK adults still used milk of some kind over the three months to February 2019. Standard cow’s milk remains by far the most widely consumed, at 87%, but its popularity is skewed towards older consumers, peaking at 92% among the over-45s. By comparison, Mintel’s research found, 73% of 16- to 24-year-olds consumed it in 2019, down from 79% last year.

At a time when many dairy farmers are struggling to make a living, Mintel said the 16- to 24-year-old group were the most likely to agree with the statement that dairy farming had a negative impact on the environment. The falling usage among this group was a “potential concern for the industry”, Mintel said.

One of the factors holding back consumption of plant-based milks was consumers being reluctant to cook with them or add them to cups of tea or coffee for fear of ruining the taste. Only 25% of buyers used the products for cooking, compared to 42% of those who bought cow’s milk.

The same was true of hot drinks, where only four in 10 added plant milk, compared with double that figure for traditional milk. The survey of 2,000 consumers claimed, thought, that a fifth of respondents thought “nut milks added more flavour to drinks than cow’s milk”.

https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/j ... d9TyzUvMkM
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:42 am

American biker gang destroys dog fight rings and rescues animals from violent owners

Angels doesn’t look pretty, you might say about these tattooed bikers. However, they saved countless animal lives all over the country

They even set up an organization, Rescue Ink, and their main goal is to save as many animals as possible.

They investigate cases of animal abuse, save pets from their violent owners and help the animals to find new homes.

Rescue Ink is a non-profit organization who fights for animal rights. All volunteers, the team members are bikers, bodybuilders, former military personnel, police detectives, and even lawyers.

“Some people like to think of us as superheroes. The truth is, we are super animal lovers. Through the years, and through many caseloads, obstacles, and downright challenges, we remain strong and dedicated to our mission,” they said.

They made agreements with animal shelters and public organization and they cooperated with the authorities to reduce and even stop animal abuse. Regular people and even famous artists joined their cause.

So far, these kind people managed to offer a much better life for a lot of animals, as dogs, cats, horses, pigs and even fish.

And when those heros don’t save animals, they’re teaching children to be kind and lovely with animals. They actually try to prove and to teach everyone that animal abuse is so wrong.

“Let’s just say an official goes to an abuser’s house, he pulls up in a cop car and, immediately the abuser knows the cop’s limitations, he has certain boundaries. But when we pull up, they don’t know what we’re going to do, they don’t know what we’re capable of doing. So it helps out big time,” teh team said in an interview with People.

These guys are real heros!

Link to Article - Photos:

https://blog.bikernet.com/american-bike ... gFEjVs4ax4
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:10 pm

The lions whose fate is sealed from birth as they're bred just for hunting

Thousands of big cats are being slaughtered every year in the barbaric ‘canned hunting’ trade

Between 8,000 and 12,000 lions are currently being held in some 300 captive centres across South Africa and are being bred purely for the bullet.

Conservationists say they are exploited at every stage of their lives — with innocent tourists unwittingly fuelling the practice.

Click to enlarge:

1207

Head of policy at international animal charity Born Free Foundation, Dr Mark Jones, told Metro.co.uk: ‘Africa’s lions are facing an unprecedented crisis.

‘There are now almost three times more in captivity than there are in the wild.

‘These animals have a short and traumatic life in what is an incredibly cruel and cynical industry.’

Trophy hunting is the shooting of certain animals for pleasure, usually big game such as rhinos, elephants, lions, pumas and bears.

The trophy is any part of the animal — such as head or skin — that the marksman keeps as a souvenir.

Canned hunting involves an animal, usually a lion, being confined to a fenced area from which it cannot escape.

Tourist marksmen, some from the UK, will enter the enclosure and be free to use guns, even bows and arrows, to kill the victim.

The death is rarely a precisely-executed slaughter and lions can take hours to die because the so-called hunters are inexperienced and take repeated shots.

Conservationists say visitors who cuddle lions while on holiday in South Africa or volunteer at centres are being duped into helping the trade.

The practice has expanded rapidly within the last three decades.

Born Free said that cubs were removed from their mothers within weeks of their birth

They are hand-reared and passed around tourists who have been ‘duped’ into thinking they are orphans who will be released into the wild.

Older cats will be used for tourism activities such as ‘walking with lions.’

Female lions will be ‘recycled’ into the breeding programme while the male lions are shot.

Dr Jones continued: ‘The males will be reared until they have grown a big mane, which usually happens when they are about two years old.

‘These lions are then sold off to hunting facilities. People can buy a package. You can even choose a lion that you want to hunt from a brochure.

A tame lion will not try to hide from people so, in a canned hunt, you are pretty much guaranteed a trophy

The remains of the dead lion will then be harvested and the bones legally exported to the Asian markets, where they are made into medicines or soups.

Experts say this is a growing trend, which is being actively encouraged by the South African government, which recently lobbied for exemptions to current wildlife trafficking laws.

Hunting became popular during colonial times and the populations have never recovered.

The most recent assessments by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature suggest that as few as 20,000 wild lions remain across Africa – just 8% of their historic level.

They are listed as globally vulnerable to extinction and scientists predict they will vanish from traditional areas within the next few decades. Despite this, lion hunting is on the rise and Britain does not have a ban on importing trophies.

In the last decade, the UK was the destination of some 2,242 such items – including heads, feet, tails, tusks and horns.

Among these were 80 lions, with 48 declared as ‘captive bred’, meaning they are likely to have come from canned hunts in South Africa.

In May, the former environment secretary Michael Gove said he wanted to explore a ban on trophies but his successor, Theresa Villiers, has yet to comment.

Supporters of the canned hunting trade claim that tourism can be used to enhance the economy.

But experts say captive breeding contributes nothing to conservation, the money raised is relatively small and does not go back into the communities.

Campaigners have also rejected claims that canned hunting stops wild trophy hunting, pointing out that they are targeting different markets.

According to pressure group Blood Lions, the canned experience can be completed over the course of a weekend for between £5,000 and £16,000.

In contrast, an average ‘traditional’ trophy hunt costs around £62,000 and requires a three-week commitment of stalking animals across the savanna.

Conservationists want canned hunting banned on ethical grounds whereas traditional operators believe it damages the reputation of wild hunting because it is not a fair chase.

That has led to an unlikely union putting pressure on the South African government to phase out the legal trade.

Dr Jones said: ‘Ultimately, stopping it will come down to public pressure public opinion. We like to think that that one day soon this activity will be consigned to history because wildlife is in real trouble.’

He added: ‘We would urge tourists not to visit captive facilities that are advertising opportunities for close contact with lions or other wildlife. If you are offered the chance to walk with cubs or lions, it is highly likely that it is a breeding facility.

‘A real conservation facility would not let you handle the animals, so do your research.

‘Canned hunting will continue while people are making money from tourists.’

‘This is all about cash before conservation and it’s a really cruel industry.’

Link to Heartbreaking Photos:

https://metro.co.uk/2019/08/17/the-lion ... -10508444/
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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:43 am

South Africa gets go-ahead to
increase black rhino trophy hunting


South Africa has won permission to almost double the number of black rhinos that can be killed as trophies after arguing the money raised will support conservation of the critically endangered species

The decision was made at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) after receiving support from some African nations and opposition from others.

Poachers supplying the illegal trade in rhino horn decimated numbers in the past but the population is now growing. About 5,000 black rhinos exist today, almost 2,000 of them in South Africa.

Since 2003, South Africa has been allowed to sell hunting rights for five black rhinos a year. The latest decision means it can take up to 0.5% of the population, meaning nine rhinos at today’s levels. South Africa said adult males would be targeted, to protect breeding females.

The request was opposed by Gabon, whose delegate said: “It is a very small population and threatened by poaching.” Kenya’s delegate said the move, along with poaching, would mean almost half the black rhino population increase each year being lost. NGOs also opposed the move, with Born Free’s delegate noting South Africa rarely used its existing quota.

But South Africa was supported by other rhino range states including Botswana, Zimbabwe and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), as well as the EU and Canada. South Africa agreed not to use the full quota if the rhino population fell below a certain level, but did not specify what this would be.

Tom Milliken of Traffic, a wildlife trade monitoring group, said the higher quota could help increase black rhino numbers. Older males could cause conflicts, prevent younger males from breeding and even kill females, he said. “It is a positive: you are basically preventing bar-room brawls and getting faster reproduction rates going,” Milliken said.

He said the black rhino was one of the highest-priced trophy animals, costing tens of thousands of dollars to hunt. “It really is providing conservation funds,” Milliken said.

But Elizabeth Bennett of the Wildlife Conservation Society said: “WCS remains concerned about the impact of illegal hunting and trafficking of black rhinos for their horns. We encourage major efforts to ensure their protection, the prevention of trafficking, and that any trophy hunting is truly sustainable and supports, not undermines, the conservation of the species.”

An earlier vote at the Cites meeting delivered a ban on wild African elephants being exported to zoos. Zimbabwe has sold dozens of elephants to Chinese attractions in recent years. The new rule says the only acceptable destinations are wild, native habitats.

The vote outcome could be overturned in the final session of the summit, which signs off all decisions. This is because the EU, which opposed the move, failed to vote.

Ivonne Higuero, the secretary general of Cites, said: “There was some confusion about credentials [proofs of identity required to vote]. Maybe there was a lack of preparation. Everyone can raise their voice at [the final session].”

The meeting of 183 nations, being held in Geneva, also considered the plight of sea creatures, and there was unanimous support for giving seahorses more high-profile protection. They are much sought after in the aquarium trade and for traditional Chinese medicine.

Cites has restricted international trade in all 44 seahorse species since 2002. Trade in live and dried specimens has fallen by 75% and 90% respectively in the past decade, but many millions still change hands each year.

The US delegate told the summit: “They are vulnerable because of their low birth rate, long parental care and habitat degradation. Ongoing illegal trade poses a threat to the survival of the species.”

The summit also agreed to increase focus on the soaring trade in marine ornamental fish, including many coral reef fish and sharks. The trade supplying public and private aquariums has increased 60-fold since 2000, with 1.5bn fish now sold each year.

The EU delegate said: “There is an obvious need to assess the trade as [it is] one of the major threats.” However, the European Pet Association said the approved Cites initiative was not balanced.
As the crisis escalates…

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... gYi16r6oMY
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