Environment and Climate Change

Irish butterfly monitoring scheme detects decline above global average

Almost 20% of insects are in decline and 13% are threatened while 7% have conservation status Kevin O’Sullivan The Irish Times The decline of butterflies and bumblebees in Ireland is matching a global trend, indicating insect populations are collapsing, according to the National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC). Commenting on its latest figures, senior ecologist Dr Tomás Murray said Irish butterfly and bumblebee monitoring schemes have revealed rates of decline in these important insects in line with a… The global scientific review confirmed ... Read More »

Is Nancy Pelosi a Climate Skeptic?

It’s time to reckon with the internal contradictions of climate policy. Bret Stephens The New York Times Is Nancy Pelosi a climate skeptic? Of course not — and I would know. But you might be excused for thinking so, given the curt wave-off the House speaker delivered to the liberally ballyhooed, legislatively stillborn Green New Deal. “The green dream, or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?” That was Pelosi talking about the deal as ... Read More »

Flood-affected farmers witness entire cattle herds wiped out by catastrophic deluge

Warning: Graphic content When rain started falling in Queensland’s west, drought-stricken farmers cried happy tears — but that emotion quickly turned to heartbreak. News Pty Limited — With AAP Farmers who managed to keep their cattle alive for seven years, through one of Australia’s worst droughts in history, have watched their herds wiped out in a matter of days after unprecedented floods devastated much of Queensland. If the cattle have not drowned or frozen to death in the elements, devastated farmers ... Read More »

Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’

Exclusive: Insects could vanish within a century at current rate of decline, says global review Why are insects in decline, and can we do anything about it? The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review. Damian Carrington The Guardian More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than ... Read More »

Lonely, unfit and hooked on air-conditioning – is this the summer of the future?

Bela Stantic did not stop to take in the vistas of Walgett on his great Aussie road trip this summer. The vineyards of Griffith passed in a blur. He stopped at Victoria’s Twelve Apostles, but took a few photos and then left. Nicole Hasham Brisbane Times It was not what the Griffith University professor had planned. But as a monster heatwave baked a crust onto southern Australia, “it was not possible to be outside at all”, he says. “I couldn’t ... Read More »

On the Front Lines of the Climate Change Movement: Mike Roselle Draws a Line

The beard is graying. The hair is clipped military-short. Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank CounterPunch He is a large man, oddly shaped, like a cross between a grizzly and a javelina. It’s Roselle, of course, Mike Roselle—the outside agitator. He and a fellow activist have just spread an anti-coal banner in front of a growling bulldozer in West Virginia on a cold February morning in 2009. He’s in this icy and unforgiving land to oppose a brutal mining operation ... Read More »

‘We won’: Landmark climate ruling as NSW court rejects coal mine

Environmental groups are cheering a decision in NSW’s Land and Environment Court that found the emissions of greenhouse gases and resulting climate change from a proposed coal mine were among the reasons to reject the project. Peter Hannam The Sydney Morning Herald Brian Preston, chief judge of the court, handed down his judgment in a case between Gloucester Resources Ltd and the NSW Planning Minister in Sydney on Friday. He concluded the mine project was “in the wrong place at ... Read More »

A draft plan from Puerto Rico’s utility reveals a huge shift towards solar power

The island’s future is slowly bending towards renewables, with ambitious plans for the future. Ε. Α. Crunden Think Progress A year and a half after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is increasingly looking towards more resilient energy sources as the island works for long-term recovery. According to a draft version of the 2019 integrated resource plan (IRP) from the publicly-owned Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), renewable energy is increasingly appealing for the island. The IRP, shared with ThinkProgress, lays out ... Read More »

‘Astounded’: former fire chief unloads on politicians over climate change inaction

Decorated Australian firefighter Greg Mullins says climate change is contributing to bushfires so horrendous that homes and lives cannot be protected, and the federal government will not acknowledge the link because it has failed on emissions reduction policy. Nicole Hasham The Sydney Morning Herald The extraordinary comments by Mr Mullins, a former NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner, coincides with the Tuesday launch of the group Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action, which will lobby the major parties to drastically reduce fossil ... Read More »

Chinese fishing boat captain arrested in waters close to Japan

A Chinese fishing boat captain has been arrested in waters close to Japan, according to state media in the island nation. Liu Zhen South China Morning Post Chen Wenting, 40, was detained by the Japanese coastguard on Saturday morning on suspicion of violating Japan’s fishing rights and trying to avoid inspection, NHK reported. The incident happened on the same day China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi told visiting Japanese senior deputy minister for foreign affairs Takeo Mori that 2019 was going ... Read More »

How A Brazilian Photographer Restored An Entire Forest With 2.7 million Trees In 20 Years

A part of growing up is becoming aware of changes. Have you ever wondered how your neighborhood completely changes when you are walking down those familiar streets ten to fifteen years later? Mayukh Saha Truth Theory Now, imagine if you lived in a place surrounded with trees and found all of them have vanished when you returned from a trip? That is what happens when we have rampant deforestation taking place all over the world. We are aware of the ... Read More »

American colonisation killed so many people it triggered climate change, study suggests

‘Genocide-generated drop in CO2’ resulted from abandoned farmland turning into forests that sucked climate-warming gas from atmosphere Josh Gabbatiss Independent The arrival of Europeans in the Americas left a trail of death in their wake that also triggered a period of climate change, according to a new theory proposed by British scientists. A University College London team estimates that 55 million indigenous people died following the conquest of the Americas that began at the end of the 15th century. The majority of these ... Read More »

‘Worse than last time’: Darling fish kill strikes again at Menindee

Hundreds of thousands of fish have died in the Darling River at Menindee, the second such event in three weeks, in what Niall Blair, the fisheries minister, described as “an environmental catastrophe”. Peter Hannam The Sydney Morning Herald Graeme McCrabb, a Menindee resident who was again among the first to raise the alarm, said the latest die-off could be “worse than last time”. “It’s started off bigger than three weeks ago,” Mr McCrabb told the Herald on Monday. While the ... Read More »

Dutch set out EU goals for 2019

Netherlands ready to fill void of UK’s exit by sending more officials to Brussels. By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN AND ELINE SCHAART Politico The Netherlands sees itself filling the void left by Britain’s departure from the EU — literally — by putting more Dutch civil servants into top positions in Brussels. That goal is among the highlights of a 56-page letter sent by Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok to the parliament in The Hague on Friday, titled: “State of the European Union 2019.” ... Read More »

The cave rescue you didn’t hear about — and its tragic outcome

Indian authorities have recovered one body from a flooded mine shaft where 15 miners were trapped in the northern state of Meghalaya last month. Siobhan Heanue ABC For 40 days loved ones hoped for good news, but there was little media coverage of the disaster, even in India. Rescuers struggled to pump water out of the mine after it flooded on December 13, and Indian navy divers were called in to help. The rescue operation was compared with the successful ... Read More »

Europe in pieces: Where voters disagree

How a divided Continent faces the 2019 election. By Ryan Heath, Arnau Busquets Guàrdia, Hanne Cokelaere and Hanna Pawelec Politico The European Parliament election in May is expected to produce a major turnover in political power in the EU’s institutions, with populist parties making new gains and voters across the bloc split on what issues to prioritize in the ballot.  But what are voters most concerned about and do they trust the European Union to deliver? Here’s a look at ... Read More »