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An innovative exchange of sovereign debt for marine conservation, backed by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, could pave the way to saving large swaths of the world’s oceans
The tropical island nation of Seychelles is to create two huge new marine parks in return for a large amount of its national debt being written off, in the first scheme of its kind in the world.
The novel financial engineering, effectively swapping debt for dolphins and other marine life, aims to throw a lifeline to corals, tuna and turtles being caught in a storm of overfishing and climate change. If it works, it will also secure the economic future of the nation, which depends entirely on tourism and fishing. With other ocean states lining up to follow, the approach could transform large swaths of the planet’s troubled seas.Continue reading...
A call for continued efforts to protect our water and our Earth
One year after the closing of the camp at the Standing Rock Reservation, Standing Rock is everywhere. Our collective water has been assaulted for many generations to the possible point of no return.
Our Elders foretold of a Black Snake and how the Water of Life — “Mni Woc’oni,” which is our first medicine — would be affected if we did not stop this oncoming disaster. Mni Woc’oni is part of our creation story, and the same story that exists in many creation stories around Mother Earth.Continue reading...
Sandy, Bedfordshire: These grit peckers are masters of last-minute escapology. But not always
Twice every day, soon after dawn and a little before dusk, wood pigeons come down on country roads to feed. Not for them the tyre-stamped carcasses that are peeled off the asphalt by crow beaks. Pigeons are grit peckers, heads down like chickens in a yard. They gobble up tiny stones to act as so many grinding pestles in the mortar of their digestive tract.
While crows have adapted to life in the fast lane with cunning and calculating judgment, wood pigeons are masters of last-minute escapology. But not always. Last autumn, I noticed one standing in the middle of a straight, wood-edged road, head lowered, picking away at the ground. I drove on, slowed and waited for it to fly. It flew all right: just a few metres in front of the car it gave a tiny hop that brought it just above the bumper. I heard a soft thud and then, through an explosion of down, a grey bundle smacked against the windscreen, after which I looked in the rear-view mirror to see the poor bird’s body cartwheeling off towards the verge. Weeks later, I was still picking out pale feathers that had wedged firmly on impact in the radiator grill.Continue reading...
Labor frontbencher says party must ‘get the policy mechanisms right’ over Carmichael coalmine
Anthony Albanese says Labor should not single out existing projects, like the Adani coalmine, that have already gone through approval processes “and then retrospectively change existing laws, which would have ramifications across the board”.
The Labor frontbencher has effectively ruled out Labor overhauling the Environmental Protection Biodiversity and Conversation Act as part of a strategy to boost legal options of killing the controversial Queensland coal project.Continue reading...
Traditional scale used goes only to five but strength and intensity of storms is increasing, says scientists
The increasing strength, intensity and duration of tropical cyclones has climate scientists questioning whether a new classification needs to be created: a category-six storm.
The Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale currently runs in severity from one to five, with five describing near-total destruction.Continue reading...
Multinational says deadline was predicated on a subsidised Australian government loan
Adani’s plan to build Australia’s largest coalmine has suffered another setback. The company has abandoned its March deadline for securing financing for the first stage of the Carmichael mine.
In October, Jeyakumar Janakaraj, the chief executive of Adani Australia, told Reuters it aimed to settle financing for the project by March 2018.Continue reading...
Potential for floating windfarms is huge, as many countries have windy sites close to shore
Floating windfarms are likely to be the next large-scale development in renewable energy. The first Hywind Scotland, developed by the Norwegian state oil giant, Statoil, has proved a greater success than its designers hoped. The five giant six-megawatt turbines, 25 miles east of Peterhead, produced more power than expected in the first three months and withstood hurricane-force winds and giant waves.
The potential for this technology is hard to overstate. Few countries have shallow continental shelves like the UK to build offshore windfarms on the sea bed, but many have windy sites close to shore where floating windfarms could be anchored to provide power for coastal cities.Continue reading...
These masters of disguise are some of the world’s oldest surviving mammals, but they are threatened by habitat loss, traffic and feral cats – and they need our help
They may be one of the world’s oldest surviving mammals – around for at least 25m years – but scientists don’t know much about echidnas. Now researchers believe the remaining Australian population may be threatened and they need citizen scientists’ help to save them.
Minette Batters becomes first woman to hold top job since NFU was founded in 1908
The National Farmers’ Union has elected Minette Batters as the first female president in the organisation’s 110-year history.
Batters, a Wiltshire beef, sheep and arable farmer who has also diversified her business into weddings and catering, was previously the NFU’s deputy president.Continue reading...