High levels of toxic pollutants in stranded dolphins and whales

A study led by researchers at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute examined toxins in tissue concentrations and pathology data from 83 stranded dolphins and whales along the southeastern coast of the United States from 2012 to 2018. Researchers examined 11 different animal species to test for 17 different substances in animals found on the shores in North Carolina and Florida.

This is the first study to date to publish a report examining concentrations in blubber tissues of stranded cetaceans of atrazine, an herbicide, DEP, (a phthalate ester found in plastics), NPE or nonylphenol ethoxylate commonly used in food packing, and triclosan, an antibacterial and antifungal agent present in some consumer products, including toothpaste, soaps, detergents and toys.

They also analyzed liver samples for five non-essential elements (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, thallium), six essential elements (cobalt, copper, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc) and one toxicant mixture class (Aroclor, a highly toxic industrial compound).

— source Florida Atlantic University | Aug 6, 2020

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Her freedom is bound to the state, as FIR number keeps staying


Climate activist Disha Ravi has said that her passport application was deliberately not processed to keep her from attending the COP26 summit in Glasgow. The activist was arrested earlier this year in the infamous ‘toolkit case‘. She says though she got bail, the “FIR number keeps staying” with her.

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Disha Ravi Couldn’t Attend COP26 Because Passport Was ‘Deliberately’ Not Processed

Bangalore-based climate activist Disha Ravi (22) has accused the Union government of deliberately not processing her passport and thus denying her an opportunity to attend the COP26 summit in Glasgow. She said she had applied for the passport 88 days back and yet she hadn’t received any response. Ravi was earlier charged with “sedition” and “promoting enmity among groups” by the Delhi police in connection with the January 26 violence [by a govt supporting small group] during the farmers’ tractor rally in Delhi, but was later granted bail after a court held that “there is no direct evidence establishing the link between the applicant/accused and the violence”.

— source thewire.in | 14/Nov/2021

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Conservation or Land Grab? The Financialization of Nature

Just in time for the UN’s policy push for “30 x 30” – 30% of the earth to be “conserved” by 2030 – a new Wall Street asset class puts up for sale the processes underpinning all life.

A month before the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (known as COP26) kicked off in Scotland, a new asset class was launched by the New York Stock Exchange that will “open up a new feeding ground for predatory Wall Street banks and financial institutions that will allow them to dominate not just the human economy, but the entire natural world.” So writes Whitney Webb in an article titled “Wall Street’s Takeover of Nature Advances with Launch of New Asset Class”:

Called a natural asset company, or NAC, the vehicle will allow for the formation of specialized corporations “that hold the rights to the ecosystem services produced on a given chunk of land, services like carbon sequestration or clean water.” These NACs will then maintain, manage and grow the natural assets they commodify, with the end goal of maximizing the aspects of that natural asset that are deemed by the company to be profitable.

The vehicle is allegedly designed to preserve and restore Nature’s assets; but when Wall Street gets involved, profit and exploitation are not far behind. Webb writes:

[E]ven the creators of NACs admit that the ultimate goal is to extract near-infinite profits from the natural processes they seek to quantify and then monetize….

— source ellenbrown.com | Ellen Brown | Nov 5, 2021

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Economists helped Big Oil obstruct climate action for decades

For more than a decade, researchers and journalists have tried to lay bare the PR machine employed by fossil fuel companies to delay climate action. Science historian Naomi Oreskes’ Merchants of Doubt detailed the critical role some scientists played in denying the soundness of climate science. Later, an investigation by InsideClimate News revealed that while Exxon denied climate change publicly, its own scientists were aware for decades of how fossil fuels warm the planet.

Political leaders have long cited economic research on how taking action on climate change would be prohibitively expensive. President Donald Trump even used the findings as part of his reasoning to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement.

But who exactly is behind that economic research? Legal expert, physicist, and now science historian Benjamin Franta, of Stanford University, decided to take a deeper look. He recently published his findings in the journal Environmental Politics: Since the late 1980s, economists at private consulting firms, funded by the fossil fuel industry, have played a key role in shaping public discourse about climate policy in the U.S., hawking flawed research and spreading disinformation everywhere from newspapers to congressional

— source grist.org | María Paula Rubiano A. | Oct 08, 2021

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Over 530 Arrested in Historic Indigenous-Led Climate Protests in D.C.

This week over 530 climate activists were arrested during Indigenous-led civil disobedience actions in Washington, D.C., calling on President Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency and stop approving fossil fuel projects. Indigenous leaders have issued a series of demands, including the abolition of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, whose offices they occupied on Thursday for the first time since the 1970s. The protests come just weeks before the start of the critical U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, which President Biden and senior Cabinet members are expected to attend. “We’re not going anywhere,” says Siqiñiq Maupin, with Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic, who traveled from Alaska to D.C. and was among those arrested during the BIA occupation. “We do not have time for negotiations, for compromises. We need to take this serious and take action now.”

The BIA was created to erase Indigenous people. It has always been against us. And today, or yesterday, and every day, we demand that it be abolished. We do not need a blood quantum to say how Indigenous we are or to qualify that. We know our Indigenous ways to protect this land, this Earth, this water. And we understand that the Earth is unbalanced. And we do not have time for negotiations, for compromises. We need to take this serious and take action now.

— source democracynow.org | Oct 15, 2021

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Digital Farm Technology Is Not the Climate Panacea Corporations Want You to Think It Is

Smartphones have revolutionised our way of living. No need to visit a library when looking for information—we just go online. Convenience is convincing. But can digital technology solve all the problems in the world?

The idea of going high-tech in agriculture gained traction as a silver bullet against world hunger and climate breakdown during the corporate-backed UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) last month.

“New and innovative technologies such as biotechnologies, precision agriculture and digital agriculture […] need to be harnessed to improve food systems,” in the words of the UNFSS Scientific Group.

Conglomerate

While technology is often associated with the pursuit of comfort and progress, it isn’t always so. Not everyone ends up as a winner.

— source theecologist.org | Astrud Lea Beringer | Oct 19, 2021

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People have shaped Earth’s ecology for at least 12,000 years, mostly sustainably

New research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) shows that land use by human societies has reshaped ecology across most of Earth’s land for at least 12,000 years. The research team, from over ten institutions around the world, revealed that the main cause of the current biodiversity crisis is not human destruction of uninhabited wildlands, but rather the appropriation, colonization, and intensified use of lands previously managed sustainably.

The new data overturn earlier reconstructions of global land use history, some of which indicated that most of Earth’s land was uninhabited even as recently as 1500 CE. Further, this new PNAS study supports the argument that an essential way to end Earth’s current biodiversity crisis is to empower the environmental stewardship of Indigenous peoples and local communities across the planet.

“Our work shows that most areas depicted as ‘untouched,’ ‘wild,’ and ‘natural’ are actually areas with long histories of human inhabitation and use,” says UMBC’s Erle Ellis,

— source University of Maryland Baltimore County | Apr 19, 2021

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COVID-19 is a product of our unhealthy relationship with animals and the environment

The world is facing unprecedented challenges. At the time of writing, the coronavirus COVID-19 has infected over 3.57 million people globally and as of the 4th of May 250,134 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. At present, people in most countries around the world are self-isolating at home (either alone or with family), keeping social distance and reducing going outdoors to a minimum. Some businesses have totally closed down, some carry on with staff working from home, some people are temporarily laid off, and thousands of people around the world have lost their jobs. Already the economic cost of all this is catastrophic.

We all follow the news and pray that the lockdown will end in country after country as the peak infection and death rate is reached and then gradually drops. This has already happened in China, where the COVID-19 coronavirus originated, thanks to the stringent measures undertaken by the Chinese government. We hope that a vaccine will soon be developed and that we can gradually get back to normal. But we must never forget what we have been through and we must take the necessary steps to prevent another such pandemic in the future.

— source news.mongabay.com | Jane Goodall | 4 May 2020

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