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Scientists believe the dying axolotl, or Mexican salamander, holds secrets of aging and regeneration PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Written by Joan Russow   
Monday, 16 February 2015 09:01

Scientists believe the dying axolotl, or Mexican salamander, holds secrets of aging and regeneration

MEXICO CITY — Dark, slimy and mysterious, the creature moves with a sluggishness reminiscent of prehistoric animals. But when it pulls in its legs, it can swim fast like a fish. If it loses a limb, it can grow it back.

The axolotl (pronounced ASH-oh-LOH-tuhl), as it was called by the Aztecs, is a fantastic amphibian that embodies the mysteries of Mexico’s ancient world. Revered for centuries, this Mexican wonder is under threat.

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The fall from grace PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Written by Joan Russow   
Monday, 16 February 2015 08:35

 

By Science in Society

http://www.i-sis.org.uk/AnnouncingScienceinSociety65.php

 

The dramatic fall in oil prices of nearly 60 % since June 2014 to a five-year low has fueled speculations on its causes and economic consequences. Superficially, the causes for tumbling oil prices are oversupply and decreased demand. The US’ ‘fracking boom’ has greatly reduced its oil imports, while the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has steadfastly refused to decrease production, resulting in a glut in supply. At the same time, the global economic downturn, especially the slowed growth in China’s economy, has substantially reduced the demand for oil.

The reality is more complicated, as pointed out in an article posted on Foresight Investor. Until 1973, the oil prices were controlled by the importing countries and kept as low as $2.50 to $3.50 a barrel (~$10 to $15 in today’s money). However, OPEC’s embargo on Western countries in 1973 caused prices to skyrocket. OPEC increased production, and prices eventually settled down to ~$35 a barrel, fluctuating around that level for almost thirty years.

After 2000, the low-cost high-yielding oilfields became depleted, and oil had to be extracted from less economical fields, thereby putting off investment at a time when the growth in emerging markets, especially China, was pushing up demand for oil. As a result, oil prices soared to over $140 a barrel just before the credit crunch of 2008.

During the credit crunch, oil price plunged from $140 in June 2008 to $44 in February 2009, but soon recovered to ~$110 a barrel and stayed around there until June 2014. The high price made previously uneconomic oilfields profitable and the US output grew about 50 % in the past five years to 13.5 million barrels a day as supply was collapsing in Nigeria, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Iran. However, production from those countries has recently recovered to some extent, with the largest increase in Libya. This sudden surge in supply caused oil prices to drop, and continue dropping when OPEC decided it would not cut back its supply to raise the price.

The article went on to spell out the economic consequences for different countries, the ‘biggest winners’ being those dependent on imported oil, the ‘biggest losers’ being producers that depend on oil for their economy. But it may have underestimated the impacts from more profound changes in the global energy landscape within the past decade.

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Doctors Worldwide Blast TPP's 'Chilling Effect' on Health, Climate Protections PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Written by Joan Russow   
Friday, 13 February 2015 22:56
 
by
 

While U.S. corporations have been involved in negotiations, 'health agencies have been forced to rely on leaks,' physicians point out in letter to be published Saturday

 
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'Our government is secretly locking New Zealand into an unhealthy deal to protect corporate profits,' says climate and health advocacy group. (Photo: Cool Revolution/flickr/cc)

An international coalition of doctors representing seven Pacific Rim countries is demanding the public release of draft trade agreements currently being negotiated in secret between world governments.

The corporate-friendly Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), along with the equally troubling Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), "threaten the ability of governments worldwide to provide affordable health care and to put in place health and environmental laws that protect public health and mitigate health inequity," reads a letter (pdf) signed by 27 health leaders, to be published Saturday in the international health journal The Lancet.  

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Zimbabwe’s Famed Forests Could Soon Be Desert PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Written by Joan Russow   
Monday, 09 February 2015 08:45

By Jeffrey Moyo

Uncontrolled woodcutting in remote areas of Zimbabwe like Mwenezi district has left many treeless fields. Credit: Jeffrey Moyo/IPS

Uncontrolled woodcutting in remote areas of Zimbabwe like Mwenezi district has left many treeless fields. Credit: Jeffrey Moyo/IPS

HARARE, Feb 6 2015 (IPS) - There’s a buzz in Zimbabwe’s lush forests, home to many animal species, but it’s not bees, bugs or other wildlife. It’s the sound of a high-speed saw, slicing through the heart of these ancient stands to clear land for tobacco growing, to log wood for commercial export and to supply local area charcoal sellers.

This, despite Zimbabwe being obliged under the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to ensure environmental sustainability by the end of this year.

“The rate at which deforestation is occurring here will convert Zimbabwe into an outright desert in just 35 years if pragmatic solutions are not proffered urgently and also if people keep razing down trees for firewood without regulation,” Marylin Smith, an independent conservationist based in Masvingo, Zimbabwe’s oldest town, and former staffer in the government of President Robert Mugabe, told IPS.

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All the Ways Germany Is Less Car-Reliant Than the U.S., in 1 Chart PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Written by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 05 February 2015 15:11

There are rather a lot of ways, as it turns out.

By Eric Jaffe @e_jaffe

http://www.citylab.com/commute/2015/02/all-the-ways-germany-is-less-car-reliant-than-the-us-in-1-chart/385163/?utm_source=SFFB#Image James-In-Transit / Flickr

 

Two light rail trains wait for passengers in Stuttgart, Germany. (James-In-Transit / Flickr)

 

For two Western powers with comparable wealth, democratic governments, legacy car companies, long histories of massive highway investment, and a shared affection for David Hasselhoff, the United States and Germany have followed dramatically different trajectories when it comes to automobile reliance. In the chart below, we list the various ways the countries diverge on driving trends.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 February 2015 16:43
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A New “Republic” to Save Chile’s Glaciers PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Written by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 05 February 2015 09:50

By Marianela Jarroud

 
A display of what the harvest of fruit and vegetables would be like without the water from the glaciers, in the Jan. 23, 2015 Fair Without Glaciers organised by Greenpeace in Santiago’s Plaza de la Constitución. Credit: Marianela Jarroud/IPS

A display of what the harvest of fruit and vegetables would be like without the water from the glaciers, in the Jan. 23, 2015 Fair Without Glaciers organised by Greenpeace in Santiago’s Plaza de la Constitución. Credit: Marianela Jarroud/IPS

SANTIAGO, Feb 4 2015 (IPS) - Chile’s more than 3,000 glaciers are one of the largest reserves of freshwater in South America. But they are under constant threat by the mining industry and major infrastructure projects, environmentalists and experts warn.

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The science is clear: Forest loss behind Brazil’s drought PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Written by Joan Russow   
Monday, 02 February 2015 21:00

BY 

 

http://blog.cifor.org/26559/the-science-is-clear-forest-loss-behind-brazils-drought#.VNBVffldU1a

Flickr photo.

New research is showing the effects of forests on rainfall in the Amazon, and as deforestation in the region continues, rainfall in the southern part of Brazil will continue to be affected. Flickr photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The role of tropical deforestation in global climate change has been the subject of much international discussion and debate in the media and in policy forums like the UN Climate Change Convention. However, the role of deforestation in local climate change has received much less attention.

Now, with southern Brazil suffering from unprecedented drought, attention is turning toward more localized impacts of deforestation.  Dr. Antonio Nobre, a scientist at the Brazilian National Space Research Institute, released a report, “The Future Climate of Amazonia,” that linked the current drought to deforestation in the Amazon Basin.Politicians are questioning these conclusions. What does the science say?

Last Updated on Monday, 02 February 2015 21:05
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'Suppressed' EU report could have banned pesticides worth billions PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Written by Joan Russow   
Monday, 02 February 2015 17:20

by  in Brussels

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/02/suppressed-eu-report-could-have-banned-pesticides-worth-billions

Science paper recommended ways of identifying hormone-mimicking chemicals in pesticides linked to foetal abnormalities, genital mutations, infertility and other diseases including cancer 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 02 February 2015 17:31
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'Suppressed' EU report could have banned pesticides worth billions PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Written by Joan Russow   
Monday, 02 February 2015 17:20

by  in Brussels

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/02/suppressed-eu-report-could-have-banned-pesticides-worth-billions

Science paper recommended ways of identifying hormone-mimicking chemicals in pesticides linked to foetal abnormalities, genital mutations, infertility and other diseases including cancer 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 February 2015 19:17
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there must be a global Ban on GMOS PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Written by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 29 January 2015 07:28
 

by Joan Russow Global Compliance Research Projecr, Ecological Rights Association *

 

Also See Excellent site on GE- free Zones

https://www.change.org/p/the-un-general-assembly-institute-a-global-ban-on-genetically-engineered-food-and-crops/u/7066660

Genetically engineered food and crops have contaminated the Global food system and undermined food security and must be banned.The institutional Collusion, in relation to genetically engineered food and crops, among corporations, governments, universities and regulatory agencies has been endemic; this collusion has sadly spread to certain scientific publications.  For the sake of food security for present and future generations: (i) this collusion must end; (ii) the precautionary principle must be invoked, (iv) genetically engineered food and crops, banned; (v) the charters of Monsanto et al, revoked; and (vi) charges of gross/criminal negligence against these corporations, levied.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 May 2015 20:24
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