Archive for the ‘Planet’ Category

Mann is Off the Hook, So Let’s Look at the Real Crime [Video of Mann]

Michael Mann, the somewhat infamous climate scientist from Penn State, shouldn’t be so infamous after all, we find out yet another time! “An academic inquiry into the so-called ‘climategate’ email scandal has concluded that a well-known U.S. scientist [Mann] did not directly or indirectly falsify data in his research,” according to Mike De Souza of the National Post. The investigation made it very clear (as other peer-reviewed analyses have done) that Mann’s “trick,” so horribly taken out of context and demonized by anti-science media and followers, was nothing unscientific, misleading or to be concerned about. “They were not falsifying data,” said the report. “They were trying to construct an understandable graph for those who were not experts in the field. The so-called ‘trick’ was nothing more than a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion by a technique that has been reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field.” Furthermore, the report went on to praise Mann for how he dealt with this greatly unfounded skepticism and criticism of his scientific work. “The report praised Dr. Mann for his ‘composure’ and ‘forthright response’ to all questions, finding no evidence that he ...

Is A Pill Take-Back Law in Our Future?

As the product stewardship movement gains steam, attention is turning to the issue of unsafe disposal of residue or unwanted consumer pharmaceuticals.  The widespread detection of pharmaceutical residues in public waters and fish has raised biologists’ concerns.  In Minnesota, the popularity of public-sponsored take-back days and a coming legislative proposal in the 2010 session to create a network of collection facilities, funded by pharmaceutical makers, adds a new twist to the problem. Read more of this story »

Ocean Conservancy Holds US Responsible for Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning

This week we’re on the topic of saving endangered sea life, and now is the best time to take action with the Ocean Conservancy! The Obama Administration has a newly formed Ocean Policy Task Force that’s accelerating a planning process for our glorious ocean and coasts. Since it’s up to us to make sure these plans maintain, protect, revive and restore the health of the sea sustainably, I also sent the message below to the Obama Administration and the National Ocean Policy Task Force. If we get these simple and straitforward letters to them before the February 12 deadline we’ll help lock in our country’s commitment to take action to ensure comprehensive, responsible ocean planning that holds us accountable in preserving a healthy marine environment for the planet. Here is the letter we’re sending to President Obama and the Ocean Policy Task Force: Read more of this story »

Saving BioGems : False Killer Whales Still in Danger in Hawaii

Last season NRDC announced it’s mission to save the Hawaiian island’s Whales, and now that this decision is facing the president we’re asking the Obama Administration to protect Hawaii’s false killer whales under the Endangered Species Act because the loss of even a few whales could endanger the survival of the entire population. These whales are among the most imperiled wildlife in the Hawaiian Islands with only 120 of them alive today. Help grant federal protection to Hawaii’s coastal population of false killer whales. Shown below is one of my letters urging the Obama Administration to protect Hawaii’s false killer whales. Read more of this story »

New National Wildlife Refuge System Coloring Book

Even if the U.S. government continues its pseudo protection to save the planet’s wildlife and natural resources they can be thanked indirectly as they recently created a new National Wildlife Refuge System Coloring Book. Most people might not be aware of the U.S. Refuge System, which includes more than 540 refuges, with at least one in every state and one about an hour’s drive from most metropolitan areas. Here in the Bay Area we have a few including Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Newark. Read more of this story »

It’s Time to Get Angry

It’s time to get angry. This is what John Kerry, not exactly the most extreme guy, is saying to us. Is it the best solution? This is what Kerry told advocates of climate legislation recently: “I want you to go out there and start knocking on doors and talking to people and telling people this has to happen. You know, if the Tea Party folks can go out there and get angry because they think their taxes are too high, for God’s sake, a lot of citizens ought to get angry about the fact that they’re being killed and our planet is being injured by what’s happening on a daily basis by the way we provide our power and our fuel and the old practices that we have. That’s something worth getting angry about.” (emphasis mine) As part of my Bachelor’s thesis in sociology and environmental studies, about 6 years ago, I studied the history of the environmental movement in great depth. Since then, I have been keeping my eye on things, on the bigger picture, as I work in different fields — natural and organic foods, city planning and sustainable development, alternative transportation, and, now, online journalism with a green tint. The ...

China to Ban Eating Cats and Dogs

Eating dogs and cats–which is an age-old delicacy in China–could soon be against the law. It’s the nation’s first law against such animal abuse. Currently, dog and cat meat is viewed as promoting bodily warmth. But if the law passes, people who eat either animal could face fines of up to $730 or 15 days in jail. Organizations involved the practice would face fines up to 100-times as much. Read more of this story »

Asian Carp Near Great Lakes: Are They So Bad?

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists with a bighead carp, one of two species whose entry into the Great Lakes is sparking widespread concern. Last week’s edition of Great Lakes Asian carp news brought both a U.S. Supreme Court decision and disclosure of the species’ environmental DNA in Lake Michigan.  But as members of Congress, state officials and Great Lakes advocates scramble to prevent a self-sustaining Asian carp population in the Great Lakes, a Minnesota commentator has challenged the prevailing wisdom, asking whether such a population would really be so detrimental to the Lakes and their resources.  Among other things, commentator Greg Breining argues whether the idea of a “healthy ecosystem” is valid and whether so-called invasive species are often a bad thing. Read more of this story »

MN Solid Waste Reform Could Sharply Reduce Greenhouse Emissions

A new Minnesota stakeholder report identifies 38 solid waste reform recommendations that could dramatically reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. A report submitted December 31 to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) outlines 38 ways the state could achieve a 20-year reduction of 52.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions through changes in solid waste policy and practices. Coordinated by the Minnesota Environmental Initiative (MEI), a nonprofit organization, the report contains 22 consensus recommendations from a roup of stakeholders and another 16 with majority support in the group. Read more of this story »

Killer Whales Are Evolving Into Two Different Species

Scientists have found that Killer Whales in the North Atlantic Ocean differ in both diet and genetic makeup. In fact, they’re in the process of splitting into two different species all together. Researchers examined the teeth of 62 whale skeletons, some that were hundreds of years old. They found that “type 1″ whales had longer teeth with significant wear in comparison to “type 2.” Type 2 whales fed on a combination of seals and fish. But type 1 whales stuck to dolphins and smaller whales, like that of Antarctic orcas. Read more of this story »