tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/energy1 energy news from mongabay.com 2014-08-13T15:03:01Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13659 2014-08-13T14:39:00Z 2014-08-13T15:03:01Z Unreal Thailand: stunning wildlife photographed in flooded Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0813.Asian-tapir-1-in-Khlong-Saeng-e1406263277651.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If someone told you there was a place where 200 million year old coral reefs had erupted from beneath the sea and were now draped in the oldest rain forest in the world, a place where marbled cats and clouded leopards prowl the sharp crags and their dark caves in search of dead bats and small prey, would you believe them? Jeremy Hance 9.058377 98.645914 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13629 2014-08-05T18:18:00Z 2014-08-05T18:28:04Z Featured video: new documentary highlights the Long March to save the Sundarbans Last fall tens of thousands of Bangladeshis participated in a five day march that took them from the country's capital to the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest. They marched to protest the proposal to build a coal plant on the edge of the great wetland. Filmmaker, Bratto Amin, was there. Jeremy Hance 22.605330 89.694824 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13628 2014-08-05T15:26:00Z 2014-08-11T01:30:43Z Biomass burning accounts for 18% of CO2 emissions, kills a quarter of a million people annually Biomass burning takes many forms: wildfires, slash-and-burn agriculture, clearing forests and other vegetation, and even industrialized burning for energy production. Yet this burning&#8212;mostly manmade but also natural&#8212;takes a massive toll both on human health and the environment. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13576 2014-07-23T19:14:00Z 2014-07-29T19:41:54Z Peru slashes environmental protections to attract more mining and fossil fuel investment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0166.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In an effort to kickstart investment in mining and fossil fuels, Peru has passed a controversial law that overturns many of its environmental protections and essentially defangs its Ministry of Environment. The new law has environmentalists not only concerned about its impact on the country but also that the measures will undermine progress at the up-coming UN Climate Summit in December. Jeremy Hance -13.018651 -70.498686 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13563 2014-07-21T15:48:00Z 2014-07-21T16:02:55Z Germany tops energy efficiency rating while U.S. remains stuck near the bottom Two years after the first energy efficiency ranking report put out by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), and the U.S. still lags widely behind most of the world's other large economies. In the second report, the U.S. came in at number 13 out of 16 nations&#8212;even beaten by new-comer to the report, India&#8212;while Germany took the top spot. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13453 2014-06-25T21:13:00Z 2014-06-26T04:31:26Z Brazil should convert pasture, not cerrado for biofuel crops If Brazil wants to respect its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions it should target low productivity cattle pasture rather than native cerrado for biofuel crops like sugar cane, argues a new paper published in <i>Nature Climate Change</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13381 2014-06-13T18:11:00Z 2014-06-13T21:46:38Z Oil drilling causes widespread contamination in the Amazon rainforest Decades of oil extraction in the Western Amazon has caused widespread pollution, raising questions about the impact of a new oil boom in the region, according to a team of Spanish researchers presenting at a conference in California. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13376 2014-06-12T22:30:00Z 2014-06-13T14:36:44Z What's an environmental journalist to do with so much good news? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0612.800px-Virunga_National_Park_Gorilla.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As an environmental journalist covering stories from the great Arctic ice melt to the rhino poaching crisis in Africa, you'll forgive me if sometimes in the morning&#8212;before I turn my computer on&#8212;I have a sudden desire to spend a few extra minutes in bed or have a leisurely breakfast with my daughter or just sit in the back yard with a cup of tea and a good book. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13371 2014-06-12T13:10:00Z 2014-06-12T13:23:20Z Chile drops hugely controversial mega-dam project in wild Patagonia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0612.Ri%CC%81o_Baker_03.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the world's most controversial mega-dam projects met its likely end this week when Chile's Committee of Ministers voted to cancel the permits for the HidroAysén project. Costing around $8 billion and expected to produce about 2.75 gigawatts, the project involved building five large dams on two wild rivers in Chile's famously-unspoiled Patagonia region. Jeremy Hance -47.023442 -72.831504 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13370 2014-06-11T16:54:00Z 2014-06-11T17:02:23Z Oil overthrow: Soco to suspend operations in Virunga National Park after sustained campaign by WWF <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0611.Rugendo_in_bukima.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a surprise announcement, British oil company Soco International has said it will suspend exploratory operations in Virunga National Park, home to half the world's Critically Endangered mountain gorillas as well as thousands of other species. The announcement follows several years of campaigning from conservation groups led by WWF. Jeremy Hance -0.176648 29.550871 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13366 2014-06-10T15:21:00Z 2014-06-11T13:21:24Z EPA carbon proposal may be crucial step in addressing global climate change The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) June 2nd regulation proposal hit all the expected chords. Following on the heels of a January regulation for new power plants, the Clean Power Plan focuses on all existing electric generation. By 2030, the plan aims to reduce 2005-level carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13345 2014-06-05T13:04:00Z 2014-06-08T22:34:58Z Oil company breaks agreement, builds big roads in Yasuni rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1112-5_Karla.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When the Ecuadorian government approved permits for an oil company to drill deep in Yasuni National Park, it was on the condition that the company undertake a roadless design with helicopters doing most of the leg-work. However, a new report based on high-resolution satellite imagery has uncovered that the company, Petroamazonas, has flouted the agreement's conditions, building a massive access road. Jeremy Hance -0.942388 -75.716907 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13290 2014-05-27T18:41:00Z 2014-05-27T18:46:21Z Upcoming EPA Proposal could put America back on track to lead on global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0527.temperature_nca-1991-2012_lrg.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A regulation proposal on coal plants that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will release in June could be great news for the climate change initiative. The EPA rolled out tough regulations on new constructions of electric generation facilities in January, but the nation's 1,500 existing power plants were left unaffected. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13249 2014-05-19T16:23:00Z 2014-05-19T16:24:39Z Dams be damned: study finds large dams are too expensive <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0519-congo-river-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hydroelectric power, supplied mostly from dams, provides approximately 20 percent of the world's electricity, an amount of energy equivalent to 3.6 billion barrels of oil. However, a recent study by researchers at Oxford University has found that large dams cost so much money and take so long to build that they may not be economically viable. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.555227 13.565246 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13207 2014-05-12T14:17:00Z 2014-05-12T14:27:50Z India, not China, has the world's worst urban air pollution Breathing in urban India is hard: of the world's top twenty cities with the worst air, 13 of them are found in India, according to a new analysis by the World Health Organization (WHO). Despite the attention recently given to Chinese cities for atrocious air pollution, many of India's cities are actually worse when comparing annual averages of fine airborne particulates. Jeremy Hance 28.617115 77.205427 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13192 2014-05-07T18:21:00Z 2014-05-07T18:33:43Z Stanford kicks coal out of its $18 billion endowment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0507.Coal_mine_Wyoming.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The fossil fuel divestment campaign won a major victory today as Stanford University announced it would drop coal companies from its massive $18.7 billion endowment, the fourth largest of any American university. The action follows a petition by student group Fossil Free Stanford and five months of research by Stanford's Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing. Jeremy Hance 37.425469 -122.168981 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13164 2014-05-01T19:40:00Z 2014-05-01T19:57:59Z 31 activists arrested attempting to stop Arctic oil from docking in Europe Dutch police arrested 31 Greenpeace activists today, who were attempting to block the Russian oil tanker, Mikhail Ulyanov, from delivering the first shipment of offshore Arctic oil to the European market. Jeremy Hance 69.155260 57.380491 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13102 2014-04-21T05:27:00Z 2014-04-21T05:31:00Z Brazil strips protected status from 5.2M ha While Brazil led the world in establishing new protected areas in recent years, it has also stripped legal protected status from some 5.2 million hectares (12.8 million acres) of land, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Conservation Biology</i>. Rhett Butler -3.995781 -59.097033 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13086 2014-04-16T16:20:00Z 2014-04-16T16:38:58Z Ecuador will have referendum on fate of Yasuni after activists collect over 700,000 signatures In what is a major victory for environmentalists, campaigners with United for Yasuni have collected 727,947 signatures triggering a national referendum on whether or not oil drilling should proceed in three blocs of Yasuni National Park in Ecuador. Jeremy Hance -1.438883 -76.068026 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13076 2014-04-14T14:53:00Z 2014-04-14T15:05:39Z Climate change solution? UN touts ambitious (but cheap) investment in renewable energy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0414.DR-jlh-044.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world is warming rapidly due to greenhouse gas emissions, threatening everything from our food supply to our ecosystems, but the solution may be surprisingly cheap, according to the third and final report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report recommends a rapid and aggressive switch from fossil fuel-based energy to renewables. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13023 2014-04-02T19:46:00Z 2014-04-02T19:55:09Z Featured video: celebrities speak out for Yasuni A group of celebrities, including recent Academy Award winner Jared Leto, <i>Law and Order</i>'s Benjamin Bratt, and <i>Kill Bill</i>'s Daryl Hannah, have lent their voices to a new Public Service Announcement to raise signatures to protect Ecuador's Yasuni National Park from oil drilling. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12986 2014-03-26T14:11:00Z 2014-03-26T14:26:16Z The best of the worst: fossil-fuel extractors pave the way for the low-carbon revolution At the end of last year, the world got some good news on the green business front concerning a very unlikely set of participants. A recent market review revealed that Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell, Duke Energy, PG&E Corporation, American Electric Power Company, ConAgra Foods and Walmart, among others, are including shadow carbon prices in their forecasts. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12978 2014-03-25T01:03:00Z 2014-03-25T01:07:07Z Indigenous communities demand forest rights, blame land grabs for failure to curb deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2207.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indigenous and forest-dependent peoples from Asia, Africa and Latin America have called for increased recognition of customary land rights in order to curb deforestation and ensure the survival of their communities. The Palangkaraya Declaration on Deforestation and the Rights of Forest Peoples calls on governments to uphold forest peoples’ rights to control and manage their customary lands and to halt rights-violating development projects being carried out without consent from local communities. Rhett Butler -2.302732 113.872063 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12959 2014-03-20T19:27:00Z 2014-03-21T13:42:24Z Oil or rainforest: new website highlights the plight of Yasuni National Park A new multimedia feature story by Brazilian environmental news group, ((o))eco, highlights the ongoing debate over Yasuni National Park in Ecuador, arguably the most biodiverse place on the planet. Jeremy Hance -1.425451 -75.992689 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12938 2014-03-16T21:14:00Z 2014-03-19T03:09:26Z Controversial Amazon dams may have exacerbated biblical flooding <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0319bolivia-flood150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Environmentalists and scientists raised howls of protest when the Santo Antônio and Jirau Dams were proposed for the Western Amazon in Brazil, claiming among other issues that the dams would raise water levels on the Madeira River, potentially leading to catastrophic flooding. It turns out they may have been right: last week a federal Brazilian court ordered a new environmental impact study on the dams given suspicion that they have worsened recent flooding in Brazil and across the border in Bolivia. Jeremy Hance 9.1600 64.3857 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12924 2014-03-13T15:56:00Z 2014-03-13T16:05:18Z Europe votes for an Arctic Sanctuary Yesterday, the European Parliament passed a resolution supporting the creation of an Arctic Sanctuary covering the vast high Arctic around the North Pole, giving official status to an idea that has been pushed by activists for years. Still, the sanctuary has a long road to go before becoming a reality: as Arctic sea ice rapidly declines due to climate change, there has been rising interest from governments and industries to exploit the once inaccessible wilderness for fish and fossil fuels. Jeremy Hance 82.452125 -173.416326 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12773 2014-02-13T16:53:00Z 2014-06-17T21:10:33Z Featured video: camera traps catch jaguars, anteaters, and a sloth eating clay in the Amazon rainforest These are sights that have rarely been seen by human eyes: a stealthy jaguar, a bustling giant armadillo, and, most amazingly, a sloth slurping up clay from the ground. A new compilation of camera trap videos from Yasuni National Park in the Ecuadorean Amazon shows a staggering array of species, many cryptic and rare. Jeremy Hance -0.636851 -76.147327 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12718 2014-02-04T12:57:00Z 2014-02-20T19:10:42Z Gas company to drill in Manu National Park buffer zone, imperiling indigenous people The Peruvian government has approved plans for gas company Pluspetrol to move deeper into a supposedly protected reserve for indigenous peoples and the buffer zone of the Manu National Park in the Amazon rainforest. The approval follows the government rescinding a highly critical report on the potential impacts of the operations by the Culture Ministry (MINCU), the resignation of the Culture Minister and other Ministry personnel, and repeated criticism from Peruvian and international civil society. Jeremy Hance -11.813588 -72.499695 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12716 2014-02-03T17:25:00Z 2014-02-03T17:40:50Z Total says it will not drill in any World Heritage Sites One of the world's largest oil and gas companies, Total, has committed to leave the planet's UNESCO World Heritage Sites untouched, according to the United Nations. The UN says the French energy giant has sent written confirmation that it will not explore or extract fossil fuels from any of the world's over 200 natural World Heritage Sites. Jeremy Hance -0.081711 29.518147 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12707 2014-01-30T13:06:00Z 2014-01-30T13:15:30Z Shell drops plans to drill in the Arctic for now Facing plunging profits, Royal Dutch Shell has announced it will cut exploration and development funding by nearly $10 billion this year, including halting their long-suffering plans to drill in the Arctic ocean. Shell's new CEO, Ben van Beurden, made the announcement yesterday that controversial plans to drill off the Alaskan coast will be put on hold for another year. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12699 2014-01-29T13:28:00Z 2014-01-29T14:27:38Z A series of oil spills sully Caribbean paradise, coating mangroves and wildlife (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0129.tandt.IMG_0266.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On December 17th, officials first discovered a massive oil spill in the Caribbean-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Since then, a series of oil spills have been discovered, coating beaches, sullying mangrove forests, and very likely decimating wildlife in Trinidad's Gulf of Paria. The oil spills have been linked to the state-owned oil company, Petrotrin, which has claimed that sabotage is behind at least two of the spills. However Trinidad and Tobago's Environmental Management Authority has recently slapped the company with a $3.1 million fine by for the damage, while some politicians have called for an independent investigation into the slew of spills. Jeremy Hance 10.243641 -61.620655 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12565 2013-12-23T14:17:00Z 2013-12-23T14:26:45Z World first: Russia begins pumping oil from Arctic seabed Oil has begun to be pumped from the Arctic seabed, according to Russian oil giant, Gazprom. The company announced on Friday that it has begun exploiting oil reserves at the offshore field of Prirazlomnoye. The project, which is several years behind schedule, is hugely controversial and made international headlines in September after Russian military arrested 28 Greenpeace activists protesting the operation along with a British journalist and Russian videographer. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12540 2013-12-19T15:01:00Z 2013-12-27T03:54:13Z Top 10 HAPPY environmental stories of 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1101olinguito.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>China begins to tackle pollution, carbon emissions: As China's environmental crisis worsens, the government has begun to unveil a series of new initiatives to curb record pollution and cut greenhouse emissions. The world's largest consumer of coal, China's growth in emissions is finally slowing and some experts believe the nation's emissions could peak within the decade. If China's emissions begin to fall, so too could the world's. Jeremy Hance 39.906576 116.413665 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12535 2013-12-17T20:54:00Z 2013-12-17T21:08:13Z Africa to build world's largest dam, but who will benefit? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1217.9144975491_9d684dfa16_k.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Congo River traverses the continent of Africa, ending its journey in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where it spills 1.5 million cubic feet per second into the Atlantic Ocean. Now, plans are underway to harness this tremendous force of water in what promises to be the world's largest hydropower scheme, The Grand Inga. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12514 2013-12-12T19:51:00Z 2013-12-13T14:44:28Z Featured video: U.S. forests decimated for 'green' bio-energy in Europe Wetland forests in the southern U.S. are becoming the victims of a drive for so-called green energy in Europe, according to activist group Dogwood Alliance, which has produced a new video highlighting the issue. The activists contend that bio-energy that depends on chopping down forests not only devastates vital ecosystems, but actually emits more greenhouse gases than traditional fossil fuels. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12498 2013-12-10T15:50:00Z 2013-12-10T15:59:39Z Average American consumes 50,000 pounds of raw materials annually for the stuff they buy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1210.open_pit_mine_truck.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The average American car weighs about 3,000 pounds. But to produce that vehicle, a lot more raw materials were used than its final weight! Maybe as much as 100 times more, as reported by scientists in a recent paper in the Proceedings of National Academy of Science. For this car to be produced, iron ore is mined in Australia and made into steel. Steel is then shipped to Japan and made into a car, which is then sold in the U.S. Most studies until now, measured national consumption by accounting only for the final weight of the products we purchase. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12496 2013-12-10T14:09:00Z 2013-12-27T03:35:31Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/south-africa/150/south_africa_kruger_1126.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>1. Carbon concentrations hit 400ppm while the IPCC sets global carbon budget: For the first time since our appearance on Earth, carbon concentrations in the atmosphere hit 400 parts per million. The last time concentrations were this high for a sustained period was 4-5 million years ago when temperatures were 10 degrees Celsius higher. Meanwhile, in the slow-moving effort to curb carbon emissions, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) crafted a global carbon budget showing that most of the world's fossil fuel reserves must be left untouched if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12490 2013-12-05T18:14:00Z 2013-12-05T18:31:58Z Top scientists propose ambitious plans to safeguard world from devastating climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/kauai_1097.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two degrees is too much: that's the conclusion of a landmark new paper by top economists and climatologists, including James Hansen formerly of NASA. The paper, appearing in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, argues that global society must aim for only one degree Celsius of warming above pre-industrial levels to avoid the worst impact of climate change, and not the two degrees Celsius agreed on by the world's governments. But given that the world's governments are not yet on track to even achieve the two degree target, how could we lock in just one? A combination of renewable energy, nuclear power, and, most importantly, a rising price on carbon emissions, according to the eighteen scientists. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12429 2013-11-21T17:05:00Z 2013-11-21T17:53:55Z Citizen groups walk out of UN Climate Summit to protest lack of ambition Thirteen citizen groups&#8212;including Oxfam, Greenpeace, and WWF&#8212;have walked out of ongoing climate talks in Warsaw to protest what they view as a lack of ambition and long-stalled progress on combating global climate change. Nearly 200 governments are currently meeting in Warsaw, Poland at the the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP) for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is meant to prepare the way for a new agreement in 2015. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12424 2013-11-20T23:16:00Z 2013-11-20T23:26:42Z Gulf of Mexico deep sea may need decades to recover from oil spill <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1120image150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The catastrophic explosion that spewed some five million barrels of oil deep into the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 will take a heavy toll in the ocean’s lowest layers for years to come. That’s the stark conclusion of seafloor research conducted six months after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The study, published on August 7 in <i>PLoS ONE</i>, examined life in the Gulf’s deepest waters near the blowout, about 1.6 kilometers below the surface. Here, the researchers found that the damages will take decades to reverse. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12414 2013-11-20T04:38:00Z 2013-11-20T22:10:23Z Mining the Heart of Borneo: coal production in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1119-top-coal-producers150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia is the world’s top exporter of coal – supplying energy to China, India, and elsewhere. Indonesia is also ranked the fourth top emitter of greenhouse gases in the world (after China, the USA, and the European Union), largely due to high deforestation rates and peatland fires. This ranking does not take into consideration the carbon emissions that Indonesia ‘exports’ in the form of coal. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12412 2013-11-19T19:41:00Z 2013-11-19T20:04:02Z UN talks tough to global coal industry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0613.800px-Kompalniaielektrownia.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Yesterday, at the International Coal and Climate Summit&#8212;just a couple miles from the ongoing UN Climate Summit&#8212;Christiana Figueres delivered a speech unlike anything ever heard at a coal industry meeting before. Figueres, the Executive Director of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), took time off from wrangling world leaders and officials toward a climate agreement to talk tough to an industry currently worth around $3 trillion. Jeremy Hance 52.266319 21.066184 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12393 2013-11-18T17:57:00Z 2013-11-19T19:53:19Z Fracking: the good, the bad and the ugly <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1117.800px-Vitoria_-_fracking_ez.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The last few years have ushered in a new national and global awareness of fracking, the 150-year-old technology for extracting natural gas and oil from rock. Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, uses ultra-high-pressure slurries to create hairline fractures throughout solid rock. Oil, and more frequently gas, comes rushing out while sand from the mixture holds the fractures open in this nearly alchemical process. As many readers are aware, there are two very divisive schools of thought on fracking. One side touts it as the future of energy. The other derides fracking as inherently toxic and demands its immediate and permanent cessation. Like so many aspects of life, the truth lies somewhere in between. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12395 2013-11-18T14:41:00Z 2013-11-18T17:35:40Z Japan pledges to raise carbon emissions, instead of cutting them In 2009, Japan pledged to cut its carbon emissions by 25 percent based on 1990 levels within 11 years. Four years later&#8212;including a nuclear meltdown at Fukushima&#8212;and Japan has reset its goal with a new target to cut emissions by 3.8 percent based on 2005 levels at the UN Climate Summit in Warsaw, Poland. But, the new target, which received widespread condemnation when announced on Friday, actually results in a 3.1 percent <i>rise</i> in emissions when viewed from the widely-accepted 1990 baseline. Jeremy Hance 35.689649 139.777565 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12394 2013-11-18T13:00:00Z 2013-11-18T13:37:32Z World's most vulnerable nation to climate change turns to coal power <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1117.480px-SCS_Aila_at_peak_intensity.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In October, a global risks analysis company, Maplecroft, named Bangladesh the world's most vulnerable nation to climate change by 2050. The designation came as little surprise, since Bangladesh's government and experts have been warning for years of climatic impacts, including rising sea levels, extreme weather, and millions of refugees. However, despite these very public warnings, in recent years the same government has made a sudden turn toward coal power—the most carbon intensive fuel source—with a master plan of installing 15,000 megawatts (MW) of coal energy by 2030, which could potentially increase the country's current carbon dioxide emissions by 160 percent. Jeremy Hance 23.712439 90.417366 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12388 2013-11-15T16:23:00Z 2013-11-15T16:26:41Z Coal's future carbon costs may make it more expensive than wind energy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1115Wind-Farm150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>At first glance, a recent report from the U.S. White House on the social cost of carbon reads like a daunting economics exam. A small chart poses the first question about the price tag policymakers attach to future greenhouse gas emissions: Does each metric ton of carbon that billows into the air cost $11, $33 or $52? The answer is all of the above. Rhett Butler 37.733526 -121.651572 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12374 2013-11-13T18:14:00Z 2013-11-13T18:50:16Z Richest countries spent $74 billion on fossil fuel subsidies in 2011, eclipsing climate finance by seven times In 2011, the top 11 richest carbon emitters spent an estimated $74 billion on fossil fuel subsidies, or seven times the amount spent on fast-track climate financing to developing nations, according to a recent report by the Overseas Development Institute. Worldwide, nations spent over half a trillion dollars on fossil fuel subsidies in 2011 according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12357 2013-11-13T06:45:00Z 2014-02-20T19:19:50Z Flawed from inception? Ecuador’s Yasuní-ITT initiative threatened indigenous groups with simple mapping errors <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1113-yasuni-map150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The plan from Ecuador’s government was simple: Pay us and we won’t destroy the planet's most extraordinary ecosystem. Dubbed the Yasuni-ITT initiative, the plan called upon developed nations to pay for protecting Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park from oil companies. Now, a recent study claims the plan was fraught with flaws as basic as drawing lines on a map. Rhett Butler -1.065269 -75.736706 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12362 2013-11-12T16:25:00Z 2013-11-12T16:42:13Z Murum dam blockaders may be suffering human rights violations warns NGOs A coalition of nearly 30 organizations has sent a letter to top authorities in Sarawak and Malaysia warning them of possible human right violations against a group of indigenous Penan who are blocking roads to the construction site for Murum Dam. Over 100 indigenous people have been blocking a road for over a month as they demand more compensation and land after being forced to move from their traditional lands to make way for the 900 megawatt dam. Jeremy Hance 2.135659 111.27697 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12358 2013-11-12T01:39:00Z 2013-11-12T18:12:39Z Exclusive: Stunning aerial photos reveal Ecuador building roads deeper into richest rainforest on Earth (Yasuní National Park) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1112-1_IVAN_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In August 2012, professional photographers Ivan Kashinsky and Karla Gachet were on assignment for National Geographic in Yasuní National Park, home to arguably the most biodiverse rainforest in the world. While there, they happened to take an aerial shoot above an area known as Block 31 (see Map), a controversial oil concession located in the heart of the park, at the precise moment that the national oil company, Petroamazonas, was secretly building a new oil access road. Rhett Butler -1.175455 -75.709927 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12345 2013-11-11T15:59:00Z 2013-11-18T21:06:09Z Bangladesh plans massive coal plant in world's biggest mangrove forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1110.Sundarbans_MM7666_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On October 22nd Bangladeshi and Indian officials were supposed to hold a ceremony laying the foundation stone for the Rampal power plant, a massive new coal-fired plant that will sit on the edge of the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest. However, the governments suddenly cancelled the ceremony, instead announcing that the project had already been inaugurated in early October by the countries' heads of state via a less-ornate Skype call. While the governments say the change was made because of busy schedules, activists contend the sudden scuttling of the ceremony was more likely due to rising pressure against the coal plant, including a five-day march in September that attracted thousands. Jeremy Hance 22.648235 89.651756 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12344 2013-11-11T14:59:00Z 2013-11-11T15:59:19Z Bay Area pledges to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 While many of the world's national governments move tepidly (if at all) to combat climate change, cities are showing increasing leadership. The San Francisco Bay Area's Air District Board signed off last week on a measure to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent within less than 40 years time as based on 1990 levels. The measure follows the same goal as an executive order made by California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in 2005. Jeremy Hance 37.933214 122.392763 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12318 2013-11-05T23:59:00Z 2013-11-06T18:16:46Z Indigenous groups expel workers, blockade another dam in Sarawak <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1105-baram-protest150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hundreds of tribal people in Sarawak have started blockading a second big hydroelectric dam project being built by a government, which critics accuse of nepotism and corruption. Late last month around 200 native Kenyah, Kayan and Penan people chased away workers and set up a blockade on a road leading to the site of the proposed 1200 megawatt Baram dam. Rhett Butler 3.920301 114.290854 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12316 2013-11-05T17:08:00Z 2013-11-06T16:38:06Z Zoos join fossil fuel divestment movement Last month, over a hundred representatives from zoos and aquariums around the world joined climate activism group, 350.org, pledging that their institutions would take action against global warming, including the possibility of divesting from fossil fuel companies. The effort, dubbed Zoos and Aquariums for 350, was launched during the annual meeting of the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12309 2013-11-04T17:43:00Z 2013-11-04T17:53:33Z New corruption allegations in Sarawak energy project An infrastructure company with ties to Sarawak's chief minister has just landed a $196 million contract to build transmission lines, sparking new complaints about cronyism and corruption in the Malaysian Borneo state. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12293 2013-10-31T15:23:00Z 2013-10-31T15:46:23Z 'Remarkable year': could 2012 mark the beginning of a carbon emissions slowdown? Global carbon dioxide emissions hit another new record of 34.5 billion tons last year, according to a new report by the Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, but there may be a silver lining. Dubbing 2012 a "remarkable year," the report found that the rate of carbon emission's rise slowed considerably even as economic growth continued upward. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12283 2013-10-30T16:24:00Z 2013-10-30T16:33:09Z Renewable energy revolution will require better management of metals If we are to avoid catastrophic climate change, scientists say global society will need a rapid and aggressive replacement of fossil fuel energy for renewable, such as solar, wind, geo-thermal, and tidal. While experts say a renewable revolution would not only mitigate climate change but also likely invigorate economies and cut life-threatening pollution, such a revolution would not come without challenges. According to a new commentary piece in <i>Nature Geoscience</i> one of the largest challenges of the renewable revolution will be rising demand for metals, both rare and common. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12280 2013-10-29T23:58:00Z 2013-11-19T22:15:39Z Belo Monte dam suspended Construction on Belo Monte, Brazil's largest dam, was again halted by a federal court due to concerns over its license, reports Amazon Watch, an NGO that is mobilizing opposition to the project. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12267 2013-10-28T19:24:00Z 2013-10-28T19:31:34Z Shanghai to ban coal by 2017 China's largest city and one of the world's biggest, Shanghai, is set to ban coal burning in just four years, according to a new Clean Air Action Plan. The city-wide ban on coal burning is one effort among many to get Shanghai's infamous smog under control as well as another sign that China has begun to take its pollution problems more seriously. Jeremy Hance 31.190483 121.509933 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12243 2013-10-24T13:37:00Z 2013-10-24T13:42:24Z Russia charges imprisoned Greenpeace protestors with hooliganism, instead of piracy Russian investigators announced on Wednesday they are dropping piracy charges against 28 environmental activists and two freelance journalists who have spent a month in custody since they were seized aboard Greenpeace's boat, the Arctic Sunrise. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12213 2013-10-17T15:22:00Z 2013-10-17T15:36:22Z WHO: air pollution causes cancer Outdoor air pollution has been officially classified as carcinogenic by the cancer arm of the World Health Organization. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said air pollution from traffic and industrial fumes was a definite cause of lung cancer and also linked to bladder cancer. The strong verdict from IARC, a cautious body that pronounces only when the evidence is strong, will put pressure on governments to take action. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12212 2013-10-17T13:59:00Z 2013-10-25T13:23:26Z Map reveals gas company flying over Manu National Park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1017.ANEXO3.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A map in an internal Peruvian government report reveals that gas company Pluspetrol has been flying over the protected Manu National Park (MNP) in the south-eastern Peruvian Amazon where UNESCO says the biodiversity "exceeds that of any other place on earth." The over-flight was done via helicopter on 3 February, 2012 by Pluspetrol personnel together with a team from the National Institute e Development of Andean, Amazonian and Afroperuvian Peoples (INDEPA). Jeremy Hance -12.068867 -71.386871 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12201 2013-10-15T19:56:00Z 2013-10-16T01:16:34Z Environmental journalism: rich with stories but 'extremely under-resourced' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1015-erik-hoffner150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Erik Hoffner is an environmental journalist and photographer whose work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including <i>Orion</i>, <i>The Sun</i>, <i>Northern Woodlands</i>, <i>Yale Environment 360</i>, <i>Earth Island Journal</i>, and <i>World Ark</i>. Recently two of his stories triggered strong public reactions: an expos&eacute; on damaging logging practices in Sweden and a photo feature on suburban fracking in Colorado. In an October interview with Mongabay.com, Hoffner discusses the fallout from these stories as well as his career in environmental journalism. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12175 2013-10-08T13:45:00Z 2013-10-08T13:55:22Z Divestment campaign could cause considerable damage to fossil fuel industry A campaign to persuade investors to take their money out of the fossil fuel sector is growing faster than any previous divestment campaign and could cause significant damage to coal, oil and gas companies, according to a study from the University of Oxford. The report compares the current fossil fuel divestment campaign, which has attracted 41 institutions since 2010, with those against tobacco, apartheid in South Africa, armaments, gambling and pornography. It concludes that the direct financial impact of such campaigns on share prices or the ability to raise funds is small but the reputational damage can still have major financial consequences. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12172 2013-10-07T18:31:00Z 2013-10-07T18:44:08Z Scientists uncover high radioactivity near fracking site in Pennsylvania Scientists have for the first time found dangerous levels of radioactivity and salinity at a shale gas waste disposal site that could contaminate drinking water. If the UK follows in the steps of the US "shale gas revolution", it should impose regulations to stop such radioactive buildup, they said. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12159 2013-10-03T15:13:00Z 2014-02-22T01:57:19Z Over 100 scientists warn Ecuadorian Congress against oil development in Yasuni <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/ecuador/Yasuni.150/Yasuni_22.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over 100 scientists have issued a statement to the Ecuadorian Congress warning that proposed oil development and accompanying roads in Yasuni National Park will degrade its "extraordinary biodiversity." The statement by a group dubbed the Scientists Concerned for Yasuni outlines in detail how the park is not only likely the most biodiverse ecosystems in the western hemisphere, but in the entire world. Despite this, the Ecuadorian government has recently given the go-ahead to plans to drill for oil in Yasuni's Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) blocs, one of most remote areas in the Amazon rainforest. Jeremy Hance -0.668091 -76.026192 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12151 2013-10-01T13:42:00Z 2013-10-01T13:47:51Z Clock is ticking on fossil fuels: for first time IPCC scientists outline global carbon budget <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1001.World_energy_consumption.svg.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's leading climate scientists have set out in detail for the first time how much more carbon dioxide humans can pour into the atmosphere without triggering dangerous levels of climate change&#8212;and concluded that more than half of that global allowance has been used up. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12150 2013-09-30T19:28:00Z 2013-09-30T19:31:30Z Coal railway could cause 'ecological disaster' in Indonesian Borneo, warn environmentalists Activists have urged the Indonesian government to cancel or reassess plans to build a 148-kilometer coal railway in Indonesian Borneo, claiming the project will be an 'ecological disaster' that will destroy watersheds and lead to increased coal exploitation in the region, threatening ecosystems and undermining local government commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12145 2013-09-30T17:12:00Z 2014-02-22T02:07:18Z Has Brazil turned against its progressive environmental policies? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0507.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year, Brazil rolled back crucial parts of its landmark Forestry Code, potentially opening vast tracts of forest for destruction; it is also moving ahead on a number of Amazon dams, including the infamous Belo Monte, despite international condemnation and conflict with indigenous people. Meanwhile, a new law under consideration proposes allowing large-scale mining in protected areas. Given this a new paper in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Science argues that Brazil has thrown off its once admired mantle of environmental legislation, imperiling hundreds of thousands of species in the most biodiverse country on Earth. Jeremy Hance -15.80001 -47.864525 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12135 2013-09-27T09:34:00Z 2013-09-27T09:38:03Z Borneo tribesmen block road as controversial rainforest dam impoundment begins Indigenous leaders have set up roadblocks in Malaysian Borneo to protest Sarawak's newest dam, report environmental activists who oppose the project. Rhett Butler 2.745874 114.079921 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12131 2013-09-26T18:10:00Z 2013-09-26T18:26:57Z 'Ecological Armageddon': mammals vanish entirely from forest fragments after 25 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0926.gibson3HR.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As tropical forests worldwide are increasingly cut into smaller and smaller fragments, mammal extinctions may not be far behind, according to a new study in Science. Tracking native smalls mammals in Chiew Larn Reservoir, Thailand for over 25 years, scientists found a stunning and rapid decline in mammal populations, until most forests were almost completely emptied of native mammals. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12130 2013-09-26T14:14:00Z 2013-09-26T14:34:50Z Global society must leave fossil fuels in the ground, unburnt, says top official World governments must get used to the idea of leaving fossil fuel reserves in the ground unexploited and unburned, one of the world's most senior diplomats has said, ahead of a landmark report on climate science to be unveiled this Friday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The former Irish president and UN high commissioner for human rights, Mary Robinson, is to spearhead a new international push aimed at breaking the climate talks deadlock and silencing skeptics, with a group of senior diplomats and politicians from around the world. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12102 2013-09-19T17:00:00Z 2013-09-19T17:31:07Z Judge halts construction of Amazon dam on Brazil's Teles Pires river A federal judge in Brazil has ordered the suspension of construction activities on the Teles Pires due to shortcomings in the environmental licensing process, including the project's impacts on three local tribes, reports International Rivers. Rhett Butler -9.340587 -56.776842 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12101 2013-09-19T05:58:00Z 2013-09-19T06:06:58Z Indigenous peoples resume occupation of Brazil's Belo Monte dam site 150 indigenous protesters have once again occupied the Belo Monte dam site in an effort to block the controversial project, reports Amazon Watch, an NGO that is helping lead the fight against the dam. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12100 2013-09-18T23:40:00Z 2013-09-18T23:47:48Z Zombie coal: Borneo resurrects controversial coal plant The Malaysian government is taking another look at building a hugely controversial coal-fired plant in the Bornean state of Sabah, a proposal that was thrown out in 2011 due to a large-scale grassroots movement. The 300 megawatt coal plant would have been built in Lahad Datu on the edge of a wildlife reserve and the state's renowned coral reefs. Reportedly, the government is now considering building the same plant only further south in Tawau, which also lies on the coast. Jeremy Hance 4.264246 117.933884 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12086 2013-09-18T00:26:00Z 2013-09-18T01:17:34Z Hydro projects a front for logging in Vietnam Small hydroelectric projects in forested areas in Vietnam may be a front for logging operations in the country's national parks, reports Vietnam Net. Rhett Butler 15.14902 107.953978 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12038 2013-09-09T20:04:00Z 2013-09-09T23:13:06Z Europe importing more palm oil for biofuels, raising risks for rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2148.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil imports into Europe for use as car fuel increased by more than three-fold since 2006, raising concerns than renewable fuels targets may be contributing to deforestation, displacing marginalized communities, and driving greenhouse gas emissions in Southeast Asia, finds a new study published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). Rhett Butler 50.845839 4.36693 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12024 2013-09-05T19:05:00Z 2013-09-05T21:47:27Z Organization proposes climate change warning labels at the gas pump <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0905warning150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Rob Shirkey is the founder of the Toronto-based, not-for-profit organization Our Horizon. Inspired by his grandfather's last words to him, "Do what you love," Shirkey quit his job and founded the organization. Our Horizon is founded on the basis that we are all responsible for global climate change through our daily collective choices. It endeavors to influence those choices, specifically with the goal of convincing municipalities to require climate change warning labels on gasoline pumps. Tiffany Roufs 43.656943 -79.390183 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12020 2013-09-04T21:24:00Z 2013-09-15T15:20:58Z Tools against climate change: carbon tax and cap-and-trade Climate-conscious folk agree that atmospheric carbon concentration is a key greenhouse gas and a large factor in global climate change. However, there are discrepancies in the methods chosen to address the problem. Some say that carbon emissions should be banned. Some say fossil fuels should be priced. Others say that there are nuances within each. Which tools can we realistically use to mitigate climate change and the drastic effects it will have on our world? Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12010 2013-09-04T02:48:00Z 2013-09-05T12:46:05Z Deforestation surges as Ecuador kills Amazon protection plan Data released this week by Terra-i, a collaborative mapping initiative, shows that deforestation in Ecuador for the first three months of 2013 was pacing more than 300 percent ahead of last year's rate. The report comes shortly after Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa killed off a proposed plan to prohibit oil drilling in Yasuni National Park in exchange for payments equivalent to half the value of the park's unexploited oil. Rhett Butler -1.100647 -75.806889 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11961 2013-08-26T16:41:00Z 2013-08-26T17:01:55Z Yasuni could still be spared oil drilling <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/ecuador/Yasuni.150/Yasuni_149.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Ecuadorean President, Rafael Correa, announced on August 15th that he was abandoning an innovative program to spare three blocs of Yasuni National Park from oil drilling, it seemed like the world had tossed away its most biodiverse ecosystem. However, environmental groups and activists quickly responded that there may be another way to keep oil companies out of Yasuni's Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) blocs: a national referendum. Jeremy Hance -1.183693 -75.605621 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11947 2013-08-20T20:58:00Z 2013-08-20T21:06:16Z Google Earth presents fish-eye view of coral reefs You can now visit up-close and personal some of the world's most imperiled ecosystems on Google Earth: coral reefs. The Google team is working with scientists to provide 360 degree panoramas, similar to Google street-view, to give armchair ecologists a chance to experience the most biodiverse ecosystems under the waves. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11944 2013-08-20T15:57:00Z 2013-08-22T21:33:00Z Humanity consumes this year's resources 133 days too early <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0820.800px-Traffic_jam_on_Phu_Nhuan_district.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Today is Earth Overshoot Day, according to the Global Footprint Network and WWF's Living Planet Report, which means the seven billion people on Earth have consumed the globe's renewable resources for the year. In other words for the next 133 days humanity will be accumulating ecological debt by overdrawing on our collective resources. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11942 2013-08-20T13:32:00Z 2013-09-15T15:21:26Z In defense of the financial industry: stocking up to end climate change On a cross-country bus trip through the American Midwest, I watch cool morning mist rise from patchwork fields. Between the fields stand groves of dark green mid-summer trees, I am reminded that this scene is in jeopardy. The region is cited for its vulnerability to desertification associated with climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11934 2013-08-19T13:05:00Z 2013-08-19T13:19:06Z China pledges $275 billion over 5 years to cut record air pollution Last week China announced it was going to spend over a quarter of a trillion dollars ($275 billion) to fight rampant and life-threatening pollution in its urban centers over the next five years. Recent decades of unparalleled economic growth has taken a drastic environmental toll in China, including record air pollution levels in Beijing. The announcement follows other news, including that the Chinese government has recently scrapped a massive 2,000 megawatt coal plant project near the cities of Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Jeremy Hance 39.887611 116.408157 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11927 2013-08-16T17:10:00Z 2013-08-23T13:34:06Z Ecuador shelves big idea for saving the Amazon The fate of the most biodiverse rainforest on Earth has been decided: it will be drilled for oil. Rhett Butler -1.142502 -75.811586 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11919 2013-08-15T16:29:00Z 2013-08-15T16:39:48Z Fracking sucks up all the water from Texas town Beverly McGuire saw the warning signs before the town well went dry: sand in the toilet bowl, the sputter of air in the tap, a pump working overtime to no effect. But it still did not prepare her for the night last month when she turned on the tap and discovered the tiny town where she had made her home for 35 years was out of water. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11800 2013-07-22T05:47:00Z 2013-07-23T05:31:08Z Deforestation rate falls in Congo Basin countries <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0722-africa-rainforest-map-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation has fallen in Congo Basin countries over the past decade despite a sharp increase in the rate of forest clearing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to a new study published in the <i>Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B</i> as part of a set of 18 papers</a> on the region's tropical forests. The special issue, which was put together by Oxford University's Yadvinder Malhi, covers a range of issues relating to the rainforests of the Congo Basin, including deforestation, the impacts of global change, the history and key characteristics of the region's forests, and resource extraction, among others. Rhett Butler -4.171115 20.823212 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11759 2013-07-10T23:31:00Z 2013-07-11T01:42:50Z Activists raise alarm over park that will dispossess Borneo tribe of land Rights activists are warning that a proposal to classify islands forming in the midst of the Bakun Dam reservoir will further deprive indigenous forest people of their traditional land. Rhett Butler 2.752389 114.065337 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11752 2013-07-08T20:27:00Z 2013-07-08T20:45:53Z Chinese lose 2.5 billion years of life expectancy due to coal burning Chinese who live north of the Huai River will lose an aggregate 2.5 billion years of life expectancy due to the extensive use of coal burning in the region, concludes a new study published in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>. Rhett Butler 32.901497 115.839629 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11706 2013-07-02T16:24:00Z 2013-07-02T16:24:53Z In age of climate change, Australia's vast coal fields could become worthless Australia's huge coal industry is a speculative bubble ripe for financial implosion if the world's governments fulfill their agreement to act on climate change, according to a new report. The warning that much of the nation's coal reserves will become worthless as the world hits carbon emission limits comes after banking giant Citi also warned Australian investors that fossil fuel companies could do little to avoid the future loss of value. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11639 2013-06-24T22:13:00Z 2013-06-26T18:13:38Z Over 30 tons of explosives to be detonated in Manu National Park buffer zone A consortium of gas companies headed by Pluspetrol and including Hunt Oil plans on detonating approximately 38 tons of explosives in the south-east Peruvian Amazon in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. The detonations are part of 2D and 3D seismic tests planned by Pluspetrol in its search for new gas deposits in the Camisea region&#8212;plans that are currently pending approval by Peru's Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM). Jeremy Hance -11.697962 -71.85379 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11621 2013-06-20T16:50:00Z 2013-06-20T17:06:55Z Building a new generation of local conservationists: how improving education in Uganda may save one of the world's great forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/kibale.IMG_3752.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservation work is often focused on the short-term: protecting a forest from an immediate threat, saving a species from pending extinction, or a restoring an ecosystem following degradation. While short-term responses are often borne of necessity, one could argue that long-term thinking in conservation and environmental work (as in all human endeavors) is woefully neglected, especially in the tropics. This is why programs like the Kasiisi Project are so important: by vastly improving education for primary kids near a threatened park in Uganda, the project hopes to create a "generation of committed rural conservationists," according to founder and director, Elizabeth Ross. Jeremy Hance 0.443569 30.417652 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11603 2013-06-13T14:30:00Z 2013-06-13T14:33:45Z Burning coal responsible for over 20,000 deaths a year in Europe <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0613.800px-Kompalniaielektrownia.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Air pollution from Europe's 300 largest coal power stations causes 22,300 premature deaths a year and costs companies and governments billions of pounds in disease treatment and lost working days, says a major study of the health impacts of burning coal to generate electricity. The research, from Stuttgart University's Institute for energy economics and commissioned by Greenpeace International, suggests that a further 2,700 people can be expected to die prematurely each year if a new generation of 50 planned coal plants are built in Europe. "The coal-fired power plants in Europe cause a considerable amount of health impacts," the researchers concluded. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11584 2013-06-12T17:26:00Z 2013-06-12T17:37:56Z 11,000 barrels of oil spill into the Coca River in the Amazon On May 31st, a landslide ruptured an oil pipeline in Ecuadorean Amazon, sending around 11,000 barrels of oil ( 420,000 gallons) into the Coca River. The oil pollution has since moved into the larger Napo River, which borders Yasuni National Park, and is currently heading downstream into Peru and Brazil. The spill has occurred in a region that is notorious for heavy oil production and decades of contamination, in addition to resistance and lawsuits by indigenous groups. Jeremy Hance -0.443569 -76.997738 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11581 2013-06-11T22:04:00Z 2013-06-11T22:10:12Z Bachmann was right? $2 gas, with a catch One of Republican House member Michele Bachmann's most famous and controversial campaign promises &#8212; that Americans would see $2-a-gallon gasoline prices if she were elected president &#8212; may have come true without her even winning the nomination. Only not in the way she expected. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11573 2013-06-10T21:05:00Z 2013-06-10T21:11:53Z CO2 emissions hit record in 2012 Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels use hit a record in 2012, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11568 2013-06-09T13:31:00Z 2013-06-18T13:08:17Z Brazil may lift ban on Amazon ethanol expansion In coming weeks Brazil will vote on a bill that would lift a ban on sugar cane mills across a large extent of the Amazon region, sparking fears that ethanol production could drive new deforestation and tarnish the country's image as an attractive source biofuels for environmentally-conscious markets, Rhett Butler -10.228437 -54.739809 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11564 2013-06-09T04:02:00Z 2013-06-09T04:10:16Z China to build $17B worth of dams in Indonesian Borneo Two Chinese companies &#8212; China Power Investment Corporation and Anhui Conch Cement &#8212; will invest $17 billion in dams in North Kalimantan, Indonesia's newest province located on the island of Borneo, reports the <i>Jakarta Globe</i>. Rhett Butler 3.535352 116.504087 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11562 2013-06-07T23:46:00Z 2013-06-07T23:52:40Z Indonesia’s Jatigede Dam Marred by Land Compensation Problems As Indonesia’s controversial Jatigede dam project moves closer to completion, West Java residents whose homes are set to be flooded for the planned 4,973-hectare reservoir brought their complaints to Jakarta, demanding that the country’s president step in to resolve land compensation issues. Rhett Butler -6.56187 107.826676