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Our Earth – Eco News Roundup: May 27, 2012

May 27, 2012

Our Earth

Our Earth – Eco News Roundup: May 27, 2012

The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.


Mongolia’s Dilemma: Who Gets The Water?

Mongolia, the land of Genghis Khan and nomadic herders, is in the midst of a remarkable transition. Rich in coal, gold and copper, this country of fewer than 3 million people in Central Asia is riding a mineral boom that is expected to more than double its GDP within a decade. The rapid changes simultaneously excite and unnerve many Mongolians, who hope mining can help pull many out of poverty, but worry it will ravage the environment and further erode the nation’s distinctive, nomadic identity.

 

Soft-Shell Lobsters So Soon? It’s A Mystery In Maine

April and May are fairly quiet times for Maine lobstermen and women, with the height of the summer season still a couple of months away. This year, strange things are happening on the ocean floor. Many of the lobsters have prematurely shed their hard shells, and lobstermen are hauling large numbers of soft-shelled lobsters much earlier than usual.

Beyond oil, can Alaska be tapped as a source for renewable energy?

hydro, wind, geothermal and other renewable resources, but the state’s rural villages are chained to diesel and suffer oppressive energy costs they say threaten their existence. Lawmakers, energy experts and Native leaders said Thursday it’s a dire problem with elusive solutions.

EPA warns Alaska mine could devastate rivers

SEATTLE — The Environmental Protection Agency is warning that plans for a massive mine in the hills above Bristol Bay in Alaska – home of the biggest sockeye salmon fishery in the world – could have devastating consequences for rivers and streams and wipe out habitat for fish.

See Also: Alaska pro-development luncheon becomes rally against EPA

How much carbon dioxide (and other kinds of greenhouse gas) is already in the atmosphere?

One of the strongest pieces of evidence for human-induced climate  change is the consistent rise in carbon dioxide (CO2) in modern times, as measured at NOAA’s  Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii,  where CO2 has been observed since 1958. As of mid-2011,           the seasonally adjusted concentration of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere was about 391 parts per million (ppm), with a steady recent growth rate of  about 2 ppm per year.

New Guide Aims to Improve Public Climate Literacy

A  guide is now available to help individuals of all ages understand how climate  influences them — and how they influence climate. A product of the U.S.  Climate Change Science Program, it was compiled by an interagency group led by NOAA.

Could a Changing Climate Set Off Volcanoes and Quakes?

Geological disasters might influence climate, for instance when volcanic debris blots out the sun. But climate cannot disrupt geology. Right? Well, actually no, says a British geologist Bill McGuire, in a troubling new book, Waking The Giant: How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Volcanoes.

Will Solar Windows Transform Buildings to Energy Producers?

If you picture the glittering glass skyscrapers that dot America’s cities, it becomes clear why the idea of using that vast window space to generate solar power is gaining traction. In 2009 alone, 437 million square feet of windows were installed in non-residential buildings in the United States. That many square feet of standard solar panels would generate around 4 gigawatts of power, roughly the total installed solar capacity in the U.S. today.

Africa’s Ambitious Experiment To Preserve Threatened Wildlife

“They’re Angolan refugees returning home,” biologist Mike Chase tells reporters. He’s not talking about people. He’s talking about elephants, moving out of his native Botswana, step by ponderous step. On their backs are riding the hopes of one of the most ambitious ecological experiments on the planet, the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, or KAZA.

The Vital Chain: Connecting The Ecosystems of Land and Sea

A new study from a Pacific atoll reveals the links between native trees, bird guano, and the giant manta rays that live off the coast. In unraveling this intricate web, the researchers point to the often little-understood interconnectedness between terrestrial and marine ecosystems.


Frack-Friendly New Report Debunked

Earlier this month, the State University of New York at Buffalo released a report concluding that fracking is getting safer, as both industry and regulators are doing a better job. The study got plenty of coverage–the Associated Press, Forbes, WGRZ, Buffalo News–but in the week since it was released, it’s been attacked for a number of flaws.


Here are some other links you may find worthwhile:
Climate Change News Digest
Climate Progress from Center for American Progress
Rocky Mountain Institute “an independent, entrepreneurial nonprofit think-and-do tank™ that drives the efficient and restorative use of resources.”


At BPI Campus our Progressive Agenda is:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.

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