Nature

Was Socrates in Space? A Question of Ancient Spaceflight

The ancient Greeks are credited with having made many early advancements in science and mathematics which influenced later western civilization. Caleb Strom Ancient Origins Aristarchus of Samos proposed an essentially heliocentric cosmology millennia before Copernicus, and Archytas is credited with inventing a steam-powered flying machine long before the Wright brothers invented their… As a result, it is not surprising that some speculate that the ancient Greeks and other similarly advanced civilizations, such as ancient China and India, may have been ... Read More »

What philosophers have to say about eating meat

WeWork, a co-working and office space company, recently made a company policy not to serve or reimburse meals that include meat. Joan McGregor The Conversation WeWork’s co-founder and chief culture officer, Miguel McKelvey, said in an email that it was the company’s attempt at reducing its carbon footprint. His moral arguments are based on the devastating environmental effects of meat consumption. Research has shown that meat and dairy production are among the worst culprits when it comes to the production ... Read More »

Parts of Spain and Portugal are more than 46℃ – here’s what is going on

Wildfires, drought and extreme heat have been the talk of the town and country across Europe this summer. Glenn McGregor The Conversation Attention has now turned to Portugal and Spain, where temperatures at the weekend reached more than 46℃ in some parts of both countries – close to the all-time European record of 48℃, set in Greece in 1977. Records aside, the obvious question is what is causing the current Iberian heatwave and whether this might be a harbinger of ... Read More »

We Are All Climate Refugees Now

This summer’s fires, droughts, and record-high temperatures should serve as a wake-up call. The longer a narrow and ignorant elite condemns Americans and the rest of humanity to wander aimlessly in the political desert, the more likely it is that we will all end up in a wasteland. Jeffrey D. Sachs Project Syndicate NEW YORK – Modern humans, born into one climate era, called the Holocene, have crossed the border into another, the Anthropocene. But instead of a Moses guiding ... Read More »

Coles caves and will give away free plastic bags indefinitely

Coles has hoisted a white flag in the face of angry shoppers aggrieved by having to bring their own bags or pay 15¢ for a “reusable” one, and has promised to give plastic bags away for free indefinitely. Patrick Hatch The Sydney Morning Herald The supermarket chain’s decision has raised the ire of environmental campaigners who say it is a return to the “bad old days” where plastic bags were used once and then discarded. Coles and its rival Woolworths removed thin ... Read More »

The Laos disaster reminds us that local people are too often victims of dam development

On July 22, the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam under construction in Laos’ Attapeu Province collapsed. Authors: The Conversation Flash flooding inundated eight villages, killing at least 29 people and leaving 131 officially reported missing. The final number of casualties could be much higher. Disaster response activities are ongoing. The deputy secretary of the province claimed that more than 1,100 people were still unaccounted for, as of July 27. Laotian authorities are investigating whether the collapse was caused by heavy ... Read More »

Grieving whale mother carries her dead calf for days as orcas become more endangered

A mother killer whale’s grief has left her carrying her dead calf for four days and separated from the rest of her pod. Simon Rushton iNews The calf – born to a Southern Resident orca called J35 – was alive for just a few hours before it became another grim sign of how endangered this whale species is. A research team for the Center for Whale Research sailed to the pair, off the Victoria shoreline in British Columbia, Canada, but ... Read More »

Jaimen Hudson: Wheelchair-bound filmmaker to dive with great whites in new film

His spectacular videos showcasing the southern coastline of Western Australia and the wildlife that call it home have been devoured on social media. Daile Cross WAtoday Images of dolphins frolicking in pristine waves near Esperance and a stand up paddle boarder getting up close and personal with a majestic whale are among the most well known of the images captured by Jaimen Hudson.  Around 250 million views of his videos is an impressive tally. He uses drones to make his films, ... Read More »

NASA spots huge green ‘whirlpools’ on the ocean (and the reason is alarming)

NASA satellites have spotted what looks like a huge, green ‘whirlpool’ on the surface of the ocean – and it’s evidence of a dangerous trend. Rob Waugh Yahoo News UK Every summer, phytoplankton spread across the northern basins of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, with blooms spanning hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles. Blooms this summer off of Scandinavia seem to be particularly intense – and could be ‘strangling’ the ocean beneath. On July 18, 2018, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) ... Read More »

Deal to Protect Waters Around ‘Jurassic Park Island’ Falls Through

Costa Rica’s government failed to execute a commitment to protect 4,000 square miles around Cocos Island National Park, a critical shark habitat. Stephen Leahy National Geographic A commitment to create a marine protected area around Cocos Island fell through, though the country’s new government may take another look. Two years ago, former Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís made international news by committing to a 4,000-square-mile expansion of the marine protected area around the extraordinarily biodiverse waters of Cocos Island ... Read More »

Extreme global weather is ‘the face of climate change’ says leading scientist

Exclusive: Prof Michael Mann declares the impacts of global warming are now ‘playing out in real-time’ Damian Carrington The Guardian The extreme heatwaves and wildfires wreaking havoc around the globe are “the face of climate change”, one of the world’s leading climate scientists has declared, with the impacts of global warming now “playing out in real time”. Climate change has long been predicted to increase extreme weather incidents, and scientists are now confident these predictions are coming true. Scientists say the global ... Read More »

Pantheism and how it could offer a new approach to preserving the planet

The scientists responsible for the “doomsday clock” moved it 30 seconds closer to midnight – the symbolic point of total catastrophe for humanity and the planet – at the beginning of 2018. Tim Lomas The Conversation The minute hand now hovers ominously at two minutes to 12, the closest point it has ever been (matching the previous peak of 1953 – the height of the Cold War). This judgement is a reflection of the multiple threats we face as a ... Read More »

A guide to the longest full eclipse of the moon this century, and more

On July 27th, 2018 most of the world will be treated to an extraordinary evening of activity in the sky. Daniel Cunnama The Conversation First, there will be a total lunar eclipse and although uncommon, this one is special because it’s going to last a lot longer than usual – in fact the longest this century. But that’s not all. Mars will shine brighter than it has in 15 years. Caroline Southey asked Dr Daniel Cunnama to explain the… There’s ... Read More »

Farmers join gun control advocates in bid to mute ban on silencers for recreational shooters

A proposal to end the ban on recreational shooters using gun silencers is set to go before Victorian Parliament. ABC Rural By Rachel Carbonell, National Regional Reporting Team The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party is introducing a private members’ bill which would make it legal for all licensed shooters to use silencers. Silencers, or suppressors as they are also known, reduce gunshot noise and are strictly controlled throughout Australia. Usually only specialists such as professional hunters and veterinarians are granted ... Read More »

Photos of the Devastating Wildfires Outside Athens, Greece

Strong winds drove wildfires across the villages, hills, and forests around Athens, Greece, starting on July 23, with authorities blaming the fires for at least 74 deaths. Alan Taylor The Atlantic More than 300 firefighters were quickly mobilized to the area, but many residents scrambled to safety on their own—with hundreds racing to the shore to evacuate in small boats, or to try to swim away from advancing flames. While most of the fire has now been contained, the risk ... Read More »

2017 was deadliest year for environmental activism: report

At least 207 activists were killed, with Brazil, the Philippines and Colombia named as the most dangerous countries. Charlotte Mitchell AlJazeera Nearly four land and environmental activists were killed each week in 2017, making it the deadliest year on record, according to a new report by Global Witness. In the report, published on Tuesday, the UK-based watchdog said 207 people lost their lives last year in their fight against companies and governments that seize land and harm the environment. Latin America was once ... Read More »