Rainforest robot named “Chico Mendes” (in honor of slain Brazilian environmentalist) helps protect rainforests by patrolling the ecosystem and monitoring it. Why have I not heard of this before? Only thing that made me wonder is the fact that it’s backed by Brazilian energy firm Petrobras. So I dug deeper and found that the robot was actually designed to inspect the gas pipeline for leaks, etc. Well, I guess if it’s doing both things, that’s not bad. After all, a gas leak in the amazon would not be a good thing. Whether a gas pipeline should be running through the Amazon in the first place is an altogether different question
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Brazil: Amazon Destruction at Lowest Level:
It’s good to hear postive news every now and again… Annual destruction of the Amazon rain forest fell to its lowest recorded level this year, Brazilian authorities said Monday, hailing an enforcement crackdown for the drop.
Brazil’s government has stepped up enforcement of environmental laws in recent years, mostly by sending armed environmental agents into the jungle to carry out large raids on deforestation hotspots.
Pepperdine program certifies ‘green MBAs’ and expands its values
As corporations take a public beating for perceived greed and disruption to the world’s economy, Patagonia’s former CEO is working with Pepperdine University to change the way people do business.
Michael Crooke, who oversaw Patagonia from 1999 to 2005, has teamed up with Pepperdine University to encourage M.B.A. students to think about doing things differently after they graduate.
The university has launched a “Socially, Environmentally and Ethically Responsible (SEER) program.” More academic institutions need to follow suit.
Fruit bats are a carrier for the Hendra Virus, which has recently made the jump from bats to horses to humans:
For 17 years, the Hendra virus smoldered in its host - the fruit-bat population - only rarely crossing over to humans. Then it exploded, likely triggered by heavy rains and floods in Australia earlier this year. And that has public health doctors nervous about climate change.
“The interesting change was the big floods in January,” said Raina Plowright, a disease ecologist at the Pennsylvania State University’s Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics. “Floods are expected more frequently with climate change – so, if they are linked, climate change may increase disease.”
Thousands of Protesters Obstruct Nuclear Waste Train Transport:
Protesters have stalled a train carrying radioactive waste from France to Germany. A string of clashes and obstructions has made the journey the slowest one since the annual shipments of radioactive waste began in 1995.
The controversial cargo is headed for the Gorleben temporary storage facility for nuclear waste in northern Germany. On Monday, the 11 containers are to be moved by crane to a special transporter which will carry them the final 20 kilometers (12 miles) by road.
Anti-nuclear protesters have already gathered to block the road to Gorleben, in the western German state of Lower Saxony. In total, some 20,000 German police have been mobilized.
The Great Florida Reef, in South Florida, is America’s only living coral reef system. Already Elkhorn and Staghorn corals have declined in the reef by 90% due to climate change, overfishing and other forms of stress. If you can, go visit. I snorkeled in Biscayne National Park last year and it was a thrill.
Coral reefs are providing the basis for drugs that fight cancer and other deadly diseases, while several traditional antibiotics and medicines have lost their effectiveness to combat harmful bacteria and disease. We’re just beginning to discover what coral reefs can provide us. Unfortunately, we’re destroying this marine ecosystem at an alarming rate.
Observing Deforestation from Space: Global climate change can now be observed from space. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) launched a new technology that can survey the world’s forests via satellites and provide a more accurate, global picture of common threats to the environment, such as deforestation, degradation or illegal logging.
Fukushima disaster’s marine fallout: Nuclear contamination poses long-term threat to ocean ecosystem and to Japan’s fishing industry.
A new report shows the March 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan is now also responsible for the world’s worst nuclear sea contamination. During the peak of Ukraine’s Chernobyl cataclysm of 1986, the Black Sea was registering 1,000 becquerels per cubic metre of water; this appears miniscule in comparison to nuclear levels at Fukushima’s peak recorded at 100,000 becquerels.
HOPE! Deforestation could be stopped by 2020: but delaying action to save forests by even a decade means double the area of forests lost by 2030, says WWF.
According to WWF, United Nations climate talks, set to get underway this week in South Africa, provide a key opportunity for the world’s governments to unite on efforts to halt global forest loss. At these talks, details on a scheme in which developed countries pay developing countries not to cut down their forests will be agreed. This effort is called REDD+
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