RIN Prices Are Not the Cause of High Gasoline Prices

first_img SHARE Facebook Twitter “They are fighting to maintain the blend wall and are willing to let RIN prices increase as they continue to erect every hurdle possible to maintain the blend wall and their monopoly in the liquid fuels market. “Studies show that ethanol blended into fuel saves domestic consumers about $8 billion per year. Ethanol is not to blame, it is the solution.  None of the recent press, or inflammatory statements from the oil companies mention the price savings that ethanol has generated in savings to the US motorist by ethanol trading at substantial discounts to gasoline. Facebook Twitter “The bottom line is that oil companies are wrong in blaming ethanol for higher gasoline prices when in reality they should be looking in the mirror. Just a few months ago RINS were trading at only a few cents per gallon and we still had record gasoline prices, who was to blame then?” Following the recent rise in the cost of RINs (Renewable Identification Numbers), which are essentially credits for renewable fuel, Tom Buis CEO of Growth Energy refuted charges that ethanol is driving up the cost of gasoline:“RIN prices are not the cause of high gasoline prices. What’s driving the recent record highs are the record profit margins the oil industry is profiting off of, currently at more than $1 per gallon. This is because the oil companies have a near monopoly on the marketplace. They are preventing any alternatives from entering the marketplace. To blame ethanol for higher gasoline prices being too high is blatantly false.“A great deal has been made over the price of the RINS in the past several days as it relates to gasoline price.  There is not a shortage of RINS for 2013.  There is a perceived shortage of RINS for 2014, but interestingly, no focus is being placed on solving that shortage.  The solution is to adopt the higher level ethanol blends such as EPA’s approved E15 for vehicles that are 2001 and newer – comprising approximately 80% of the US vehicle fleet.  As soon as the oil companies adopt the higher blends, plenty of RINS will become readily available. “In fact the reason we’re even having this discussion on rising RIN prices is because the oil companies are flat-out unwilling to blend ethanol and instead are willing to pay a premium specifically not to do their job under the law:  blend renewable fuels. Previous articleCoalition Writes Ag Leaders in Support of Crop InsuranceNext articlePurdue Ag Economist Offers Comparisons Of Crop Insurance Gary Truitt RIN Prices Are Not the Cause of High Gasoline Prices SHARE Home Energy RIN Prices Are Not the Cause of High Gasoline Prices By Gary Truitt – Mar 12, 2013 last_img read more

Finger pointed at US interposition force in the 2004 death of journalist Ricardo Ortega

first_imgNews HaïtiAmericas Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts News Journalist shot dead amid anti-government protests in Haiti November 14, 2019 Find out more RSF_en Follow the news on Haïti Organisation An official Haitian investigation has officially blamed the foreign interposition force present in Haiti after the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on 29 February 2004 for the murder of Ricardo Ortega of the privately-owned Spanish TV channel Antena 3.The conclusions of Haitian judge, Bernard Saint-Vil, were released by the Spanish journalist’s parents, José Luis Ortega and Charo Fernández, after their visit to Haiti, on 9 May 2008.Ortega was shot dead in Port-au-Prince on 7 March 2004, before the arrival in the country of the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (Minustah) on 1st June 2004. Reporters Without Borders joins with the family in asking for the investigation to be continued at an international level.“The conclusions of the judge, Bernard Saint-Vil, invalidate the theory, which has long been circulated, that the bullets which fatally wounded Ricardo Ortega came from the supporters of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, during demonstrations after he was ousted from power,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.“Considering the events go back some time, the circumstances of the death and the implication of a foreign military force, the continuation of the investigation at an international level and in particular in the United States, might be difficult. That is why we agree with the request of Ricardo Ortega’s parents for the Spanish government to mobilise the governments of countries represented in the interim force at the time of the killing”, it added. The parents of Spanish TV journalist Ricardo Ortega, of Antena 3, shot dead on 7 March 2004, have released the conclusion of a Haitian investigation blaming the US interposition force for his death. Reporters Without Borders joins the family in calling for the probe to continue at an international level. center_img to go further Ortega had arrived in Haiti as special correspondent for Antena 3 on 28 February 2004, one day before the departure of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. He was fatally wounded during fighting between supporters and opponents of the ousted president on 7 March, when he and his interpreter went to the aid of an American colleague who had been wounded in crossfire. Ortega was hit in the body as he left the patio of a building where he had taken refuge and was crossing the road. He was pronounced dead soon after his arrival at the Canapé-Vert hospital. His interpreter was also killed. The investigation at first focused on armed supporters of Jean-Bertrand Aristide but witness accounts gathered by a journalist colleague on Antena 3, Jesús Martín, who was sent to Haiti six months later, confirmed the thesis that the shooting had come from US troops “without anything happening that could have been interpreted at the time as a threat”, the family said in a statement. News Another journalist murdered in Haiti Violence against the press in Haiti: RSF and CPJ write to Minister of Justice HaïtiAmericas October 11, 2019 Find out more News May 13, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Finger pointed at US interposition force in the 2004 death of journalist Ricardo Ortega June 11, 2019 Find out morelast_img read more

In Africa, the stubborn challenge of malnutrition affects millions

first_imgThe world produces more food than ever before, yet an estimated 200 million people in Africa lack adequate nutrition, in part due to challenges ranging from drought and civil unrest to crop-destroying insects and sanitation problems. A coordinated, interdisciplinary approach among experts in agriculture, nutrition, environment, and public health is needed to help address these complex health and development challenges and to facilitate providing nutritious food to the undernourished, according to experts who spoke at a conference on African nutrition and health.The Agriculture, Nutrition, Health and the Environment in Africa conference was held Nov. 6–7, 2017 at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center and at Harvard Kennedy School. Students, researchers, faculty, and public health professionals from around the world participated.“Agriculture is one of the greatest human success stories ever told—how humans modified the environment to generate food and natural resources,” said keynote speaker Patrick Webb, the Alexander McFarlane Professor of Nutrition at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. While the world produces 2.6 billion tons of grains annually, more than 50 percent of the African continent is food insecure, he said. “There’s a huge gap.”In her opening remarks, Harvard Chan School Dean Michelle A. Williams said undernutrition encompasses a broad range of topics that are increasingly important and can’t be addressed separately or by any one discipline. These issues are of critical importance in Africa, where populations are growing and urbanizing rapidly. Food systems must be designed to meet the challenges of malnutrition and noncommunicable diseases and they must be done sustainably, said Williams.In his keynote address, Webb said much of the focus on agriculture globally has been on boosting production to generate income, and less attention has been paid to improving the nutrient adequacy of food and increasing access to the undernourished. “Agriculture is being asked to do a lot more than it used to be,” he said. Webb cited efforts by producers to grow more nutritious food, grow food more sustainably by using less water and fewer chemicals, and produce more crops for growing populations but with fewer greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change….Webb said multidisciplinary meetings like the Harvard conference and more education and training programs for professionals and students are needed. “There’s no one size fits all [solution] but I remain optimistic. We must take it one step at a time.”Other speakers included Wafaie Fawzi, Richard Saltonstall Professor of Population Sciences and chair, Department of Global Health and Population, who co-chairs the Walker Study Group, which brings together students from Harvard Chan School and Harvard Kennedy School to investigate domestic and global health systems change at the intersection of nutrition and agriculture; and Ramadhani Abdallah Noor, doctoral candidate in nutrition epidemiology at Harvard Chan  and research scientist at the Harvard-affiliated Africa Academy for Public Health in Tanzania….The event was a collaboration between Harvard Chan School, the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University Center for African Studies, and the Africa Academy for Public Health. Read Full Storylast_img read more

California utility PG&E, Tesla begin construction on 182.5MW/730MWh battery storage project

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:A massive battery storage project is officially underway in Monterey County, California, with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Tesla beginning construction on one of the largest battery energy storage installations in the world.Set to clock in at 182.5 MW and 730 MWh, the Moss Landing battery energy storage system will be comprised of 256 Tesla Megapack battery units on 33 concrete slabs at PG&E’s electric substation in Moss Landing. The project’s targeted completion and energization is set for early-2021, with the project achieving full commercial operation in Q2 2021.And while this project is certainly a noteworthy installation, it marks just the first step in PG&E’s huge battery storage project pipeline. In fact, this Tesla battery might not even be the biggest one located at the Moss Landing substation, as PG&E has signed a contract for a 300 MW storage system at the same location, which will likely clock in at 1.2 GWh of capacity. While this second system is currently set to be significantly larger than the Tesla one under construction, PG&E’s agreement with Tesla contains an option for upsizing, which would increase the capacity of this first system from four hours to six, or 1.1 GWh total.Outside of the Moss Landing behemoths, PG&E also has third-party contracts for a 75 MW transmission-connected project near of Morgan Hill, California and a 2 MW project at the Gonzales substation in the Salinas Valley. The utility also owns a 20 MW battery system located the Llagas substation in Gilroy, California.[Tom Sylvia]More: PG&E, Tesla begin construction on the world’s largest battery (for now) California utility PG&E, Tesla begin construction on 182.5MW/730MWh battery storage projectlast_img read more

Leafs begin quest for KIJHL title with AGM May 30 at Prestige Inn Lakeside Resort

first_imgBy The Nelson Daily SportsThe Nelson Leafs get ready to begin the quest for the 2012 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League title with the team’s annual general meeting Monday, May 30 at the Prestige Inn Lakeside Resort.The meeting, beginning at 7 p.m., is a chance for fans to have input for the upcoming season.“We don’t have any major things to talk about on the agenda,” said Leaf president Russell Stocks.The night is reserved a discussion on the team’s finances along with nomination of directors and any other business fans would like to ask the executive.The Leafs concluded its first season under the guidance of head coach and GM Chris Shaw.Nelson finished the season in third place in Murdoch Division regular season standings before being knocked out by Beaver Valley Nitehawks in a seven-game division semi final.The Leaf executive prior to the end of the season resigned Shaw to lead the green and white.Expansion Osoyoos Coyotes defeated the Castlegar Rebels to claim the 2011 KIJHL title.NOTES: The Leafs will hold a skills development camp July 25-29th at the NDCC Arena. The camp is divided into two divisions — regular skaters and elite skaters. The regular skater camp is for players 8-12 years while the elite division is for players 11-14-years. Register online at nelsonleafs.ca or call 250-352-1903. The five-day camp features 2.5 hours ice time and 1.5 hours of dry land and activities. Instruction is provided by Leaf coaches and players and includes a special guest [email protected]last_img read more

Citizen scientists use mobile apps to help “green” the ocean

first_imgArticle published by Sue Palminteri Marine debris litters beaches and underwater habitats across the globe, even in remote areas, where it harms hundreds of animal species, from corals to whales.Mobile phone apps have launched to encourage and assist volunteers in cleaning up marine habitats by facilitating the recording and sharing of their efforts via social media.Volunteers also become citizen scientists, as the apps compile data from thousands of clean-ups into global databases to permit analysis of trends in trash composition and distribution and to bring to light the damage being done by debris to marine creatures and systems. Few people get to witness the breadth and wonder of underwater life, from coral to kelp to fish and sea anemones. SCUBA divers gain a unique view of not only the beauty but also the condition of underwater communities. Unfortunately, they are increasingly seeing non-biodegradable trash—mostly plastic but also metal, glass, rubber, cloth, ceramic, and cardboard— on reefs and other marine habitats.Divers have the unique opportunity to observe sea life underwater, such as these sea goldies (anthias) at Little Brother, Red Sea, Egypt. Photo credit: Derek Keats, CC 2.0According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), marine debris “injures and kills marine life, interferes with navigation safety, and poses a threat to human health.” Some animals become entangled in ropes or fishing gear; others mistake debris for food, which can damage their tissues or cause them to starve. Plastics degrade very slowly and can leach harmful chemicals into the ocean. Fish and shellfish consume the waste particles and chemicals and are then caught and sold in our fish markets, causing concern about harmful substances in our food.A 2015 study calculated that 192 coastal countries worldwide generated 275 million metric tons (MT) of plastic waste in 2010, 5–13 million MT of which found its way to the ocean. Marine debris litters beaches across the globe, even those with little local human activity, as currents move trash across oceans.A sea turtle entangled in a “ghost net,” abandoned fishing nets that drift with ocean currents and harm corals and larger marine species. Photo credit: NOAAtomach contents of a dead albatross chick on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific include plastic marine debris fed the chick by its parents. Photo credit: Chris Jordon/USFWS , CC 2.0Government agencies, such as NOAA, and environmental organizations coordinate volunteers through programs and clean-up events to help remove some of the waste from beaches and coastal waterways.The annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), which took place September 16th, brings hundreds of thousands of volunteers to help clean the coasts each year. In 2016, more than half a million volunteers removed over 18 million pounds (over 8 million kg) of trash from beaches, coasts and waterways in 112 countries. Most trash is small—think cigarette butts, food wrappers and plastic straws— but volunteers have reported TV sets, toilets, bicycles, and refrigerators, as well as some specialty items like a tennis racket in South Africa, Christmas tree lights in Belize, and a blender in Jamaica.International Coastal Cleanup volunteers collect beach debris in Westport, Oregon. Photo credit: NOAAThese larger items are a big problem underwater as well, where they harm plants, corals and other structures yet remain invisible to most people. Underwater, “ghost” fishing nets and gear drift, tangle, and get caught on reefs, where they break or smother corals.“Sea” your results through mobile technologyMobile phone applications are now helping to encourage volunteers and use their widespread efforts to better understand the nature of marine debris. Two such apps are free to download for either Android or iOS systems. Dive Against DebrisIn response to demand from concerned SCUBA divers, Project Aware designed a new app to make its Dive Against Debris (DAD) dive site surveys more fun and more useful. The new  Dive Against Debris app aims to help divers to record and communicate marine debris found underwater, as well as its impacts on marine life.Launched in 2011 and coordinated by Project Aware, Dive Against Debris (DAD) surveys aim not only to reduce the amount of debris found at dive sites. They also help build a global dataset of the types and quantities of debris found in the ocean, in order to show trends and advocate for change.The Dive Against Debris survey locations in an interactive map. Since 2011, more than 25,000 survey divers 50+ countries have reported some 500,000 pieces of trash. Image credit: Project AwareIn 2015, more than 4,000 scuba divers participated in 454 DAD surveys at dive sites across the globe. They removed and reported over 32,000 kg (70,000 lbs) over 90,000 pieces of debris, over half of them  plastic, and over 1,000 marine creatures either entangled in debris or dead. In 2016, divers removed more than 157,000 pieces of trash during 1,122 DAD surveys, as well as logging 1,624 entangled marine animals.Some dive shops require divemaster trainees to complete a Project Aware reef survey during their training to ensure they grasp and care about the condition of their local dive sites.Joanne Marston, Project Aware’s Campaign Manager, said in an email to Mongabay-Wildtech, “The app includes a list of common debris items and uses geo-location for quick and easy reporting. The data reported becomes part of a global dataset used by conservationists and scientists to help drive long-term change.”“Divers bring their phones to the dive site,” explained Marston. “Once they remove trash and bring it to dry land, they sort, weigh, record and report the rubbish they have found onto their mobile device.”Sample screens of the Dive Against Debris app show survey sites, data entry for plastic trash, and mapping the survey site. The app also requests the number of volunteers assisting to estimate the effort expended to find the trash. Image credit: Project AwareA review of the new app by the Deeper Blue dive news platform wrote, “The new app is intuitive and easy to use, and includes a list of common types of marine debris, as well as the ability to use the smartphones’ inbuilt geolocation function to better report the whereabouts of the debris.”The app makes it easier for divers to record the location, estimate the area surveyed, types and quantities of trash items found underwater, and any entangled or dead wildlife. It also makes clean-ups more like a game or competition by encouraging users to view their contributions to the global debris dataset, upload images of their hauls, and share their impact via social media.“For surveys conducted in the same location and survey area, divers have the ability to duplicate core survey details from a previous approved survey,” said Marston. “This helps to quicken the process of data submission for our repeated surveys.  Divers also like seeing all their surveys in one place – they are able to see exactly how much impact they are making to clean our ocean.”Clean corals and reef fish in the Gulf of Eilat in the Red Sea (from 1969). Less than 10% of dives sites surveyed since 2011 are debris-free. Photo credit: Daviddarom CCMarston said, “Data collected by divers helps bridge a gap in knowledge of the types and quantity of marine debris found on the seafloor, as well as the impacts that debris has on marine life and habitats. Project AWARE works with a number of organizations and alliances to share the data we collect.” Clean SwellOcean buffs on land can generate marine debris distribution data through the Clean Swell app, created in 2016 by Ocean Conservancy (OC).A beach at Msasani Bay Dar es Salaam, Tanzania shows the extent of mainly-plastic marine debris littering the world’s beaches. Photo credit: Loranchet, CC-3.0The Clean Swell app aims to encourage beach clean-up volunteers by highlighting the value of their efforts and making it easier to log the trash they collect. Volunteers participating in clean-ups input the amounts and types of trash they remove from a given beach or coastal waterway into the app by clicking on trash categories. The app compiles the information and can tally results for a given clean-up or user immediately, as well as show off their achievements (number of clean-ups, distance cleaned, weight of trash collected) to others via email and social media.Sample screens of the Clean Swell app show categories of trash and amounts collected of each by an active volunteer. Image credit: Ocean ConservancyLike the Dive Against Debris app, Clean Swell converts user inputs into data on the amounts of each type of trash found and disposed at each clean-up site. The data are immediately added to the OC’s global ocean trash database, which makes data on debris trends available to researchers and policy makers.The organizations  hope that making clean-up a more fun and social activity will encourage more concerned citizens to clean trash from coastal and marine ecosystems, avoid tossing away single-use plastics, and feel ownership for their newly cleaned surroundings. For example, one user requested that the app add a place to record the brand of each item, so that the resulting data will show which companies produce the most commonly tossed items.Such comments are welcome, said Project Aware’s Marston. “There are so many opportunities to scale up the app to help identify gaps in our knowledge of marine debris. For now we’ll seek feedback from our community on ways we can improve the data submission process.”Fish spy the camera on a reef in Sabah, Malaysia. Photo credit: Sue Palminteri Citizen Science, Mapping, Marine, Marine Conservation, Mobile, Technology, Wildtech center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Indonesia investigates oil spill in Java Sea by state energy company

first_imgEnvironment, Environmental Crime, Fisheries, Fossil Fuels, Marine, Marine Ecosystems, Oil, Oil Spills, Pollution, Water Pollution Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored An oil well operated by Indonesian state-owned energy company Pertamina has been leaking crude into the Java Sea for nearly three weeks now.The slick has spread as far as 84 kilometers (52 miles) to the west and covers an area of more than 4,500 hectares (11,100 acres), according to satellite imagery.Pertamina says it may take eight weeks to shut off the leaking well, and three months for affected areas to recover from the environmental damage.The leak is the latest involving Pertamina. Five people were killed in March last year when oil from a ruptured Pertamina pipeline caught fire in Borneo. JAKARTA — A newly drilled oil well operated by Indonesian state-owned energy company Pertamina has been spilling thousands of barrels of oil into the sea and the northern Java coast for nearly three weeks now.The spill is believed to have been caused by a pressure imbalance in the well bore, known as a well kick, at Pertamina’s Offshore North West Java block on July 12. The company says it has deployed 30 boats, 3,500 meters (11,500 feet) of offshore oil boom, 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) of shoreline oil boom, and 700 meters (2,300 feet) of fishing net to contain the spill. It also says it has scooped up 17,830 sacks of oil-contaminated sand.The extent of the oil spill caused by Pertamina’s well as of July 18, outlined in red. Image courtesy of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi).The well was still leaking oil as of July 31, according to an environment ministry official.“It’s still in the emergency phase,” Rasio Ridho Sani, the ministry’s head of law enforcement, told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Jakarta. “[Pertamina] has to stop the spill and we have no idea when that will happen.”Rasio said the ministry had deployed a team to monitor Petamina’s management of the spill and investigate the cause.Pertamina says it expects to shut off the well in eight weeks. The spill has pumped an estimated 3,000 barrels of oil a day into the sea since it began, according to the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), the country’s biggest green NGO. Satellite imagery from Walhi also shows that the slick has spread across an area covering more than 4,500 hectares (11,100 acres). The energy ministry said separately that the oil was now dispersed as far as 84 kilometers (52 miles) west of the well.Pertamina says the oil has affected 11 villages, including in the districts of Karawang and Bekasi, which are satellite cities of the capital, Jakarta. Up to 80 percent of the fishing communities in Karawang and Bekasi have incurred some degree of economic losses as a result of the spill, Walhi says, and some 300 people involved in the local tourism industry have also been impacted by the oil washing up on beaches. The spill has also impacted on fish and shrimp farms in the coastal flats off Karawang and Bekasi, according to Meiki Paendong, Walhi’s executive director for the province of West Java.“The oil spill in the ocean and coast of Karawang is threatening the sources of livelihood and the sustainability of the environment,” he said.A beach on the northern coast of Java is covered with crude oil from the damaged well operated by Pertamina. Image courtesy of the National Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam).U.S. well control company Boots & Coots, affiliated with the U.S. oil well services contractor Halliburton, has begun the process of shutting off the damaged well with a cement injection, according to the energy ministry.The government’s priorities are to minimize the impact from the spill and close the damaged well quickly, according to Dwi Soetjipto, the head of the national oil regulatory agency.“Our target is that the spill won’t reach the beach by increasing the number of oil boom. And then to close down immediately the broken well,” he said as quoted by the Jakarta Post.Pertamina said it would take at least three months for affected areas to recover from the environmental impacts of the oil spill.Walhi plans to assist affected residents in filing a lawsuit against Pertamina over the spill. “Pertamina must fully restore the marine ecosystem, beaches and mangroves that are affected by the oil spill,” Meiki said.Clumps of oil and sand on a beach in Karawang. Image courtesy of the National Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam).The north Java spill is the latest such incident involving Pertamina. In March 2018, a Pertamina pipeline in Balikpapan Bay, in the Bornean province of East Kalimantan, ruptured and leaked crude oil after being hit by a ship passing through the area. Five people were killed after the oil caught on fire. The slick also contaminated a mangrove forest, prompted thousands of health complaints, and was blamed for the death of an endangered dolphin.An official investigation of the Balikpapan Bay spill found faults in the company’s operations. Among the findings by the environment ministry: the Pertamina refinery in Balikpapan that the pipeline served lacked both an early-warning system and an automated monitoring system. The latter would have alerted Pertamina immediately to changes in the pressure level in the pipeline and thus allowed the firm to respond swiftly to the leak.The ministry’s investigators also found that Pertamina failed to carry out routine inspections of the pipeline. Instead, the company only did so when needed or when required for certification purposes once every three years. The investigation also uncovered omissions from Pertamina’s environmental impact assessment document, including a lack of studies on the pipeline’s maintenance.A beach in Karawang covered with crude oil from the Pertamina well. Image courtesy of the National Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam).FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Article published by Basten Gokkonlast_img read more

Snow leopard population overestimated in Nepal? DNA study suggests it may be

first_imgResearchers conducted a large-scale survey of potential snow leopard habitat in Nepal to re-estimate the species’ population density using the non-invasive technique of collecting environmental DNA from scat samples combined with standard genetic analyses.This method enabled the researchers to sample a larger, more representative, area than many previous studies, often conducted in prime leopard habitats; they also found that they could obtain reliable DNA from scat samples.Previous studies on which conservation policies have been based may have over-estimated the big cat’s population. The researchers say similar studies are needed to more accurately estimate the population of snow leopards in Nepal and 11 other range countries. In September 2014, Nepali zoologist Madhu Chetri asked his professor Morten Odden a strange question during their fieldwork. “Are you tired?” he asked Odden as the duo from the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences trekked the Annapurna region of Nepal, collecting scats of the elusive snow leopard for a DNA study. “Prof Odden asked me why I’d asked him such as question,” said Chetri, who recently completed his PhD. “I told him that there’s a rock in front of us, if you look behind it, you’ll find snow leopard scat.”Snow leopard at ease in its high-mountain habitat. Image credit: Madhu Chetri.Snow leopards (Panthera unica) are shy cats ‘believed to be’ (a phrase used to describe almost anything related to the animal) living at extreme altitudes in the steep mountainous areas of 12 countries in central and South Asia. Until recently, less than 2 percent of the animal’s geographic distribution has been sampled systematically, primarily in small survey areas.“I worked in an area known as an important snow leopard habitat for over a decade, but I saw the animal with my own eyes only three times,” Chetri told Mongabay. He had a hunch that because only a tiny fraction of the species’ range, often areas considered to be prime leopard habitat, has been sampled so far, the population of these cats may have been overestimated.The global snow leopard population is estimated to be between 4,678 and 8,745 individuals with an average density of 0.9–1.8 leopards per 100 square kilometers (2.3–4.7 per 100 square miles). In the case of Nepal, snow leopard densities estimated in different parts of the country using sign (scats and scrape marks) and radio telemetry data show higher densities than the global average.A 1989 study in Langu Valley, Dolpa reported a density of 5–10 snow leopards per 100 square kilometers (13–26 per 100 square miles), following a 1997 study in Manang, Annapurna Conservation Area that reported 4.8–6.7 snow leopards per 100 square kilometers (12.4–17.3 per 100 square miles). “These studies conducted on small areas have formed the bedrock of all future estimates of snow leopards and policies to conserve them,” Chetri said.Chetri wanted to buck this trend. In 2013, he was awarded a scholarship to carry out his PhD research on snow leopards at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. His aim was to conduct a large-scale survey of a potential snow leopard habitat in Nepal and to re-estimate their densities using the DNA found in the animal’s scat. Due to constraints of time and resources, he chose the ‘central block’ (4,393 square kilometers, or 1,696 square miles) of the snow leopard habitat in Nepal so that other researchers could build on his work and do the same for the eastern and western blocks.Researcher in the field at Manang within Annapurna Conservation Area at 4,000 meters elevation preparing a genetic sample of snow leopard DNA from a scat. Scat samples are tough to find, so the research team collected all carnivore scat samples (nearly 600) that could potentially belong to snow leopards during 490 kilometers (305 miles) of transect surveys. 182 of the samples in this study came from snow leopards. The team had the samples processed at an established laboratory. Image by Madhu Chetri.“I decided to use the DNA method mainly because of weather conditions in high altitude areas,” said Chetri, lead author of a recent paper in the Journal Global Ecology and Conservation. “Camera traps are hard to install at higher altitudes, as the batteries don’t function well in the cold,” he added. “Similarly, getting camera traps for a large-scale survey is costly.”Leopard scats can provide robust environmental DNAHigh-altitude areas tend to be dry, and this means that snow leopard scats remain preserved for a longer period of time. Also, having worked in the area for over a decade, Chetri knew where to go look for snow leopard scats.The study area he and his colleagues chose was the Annapurna-Manaslu landscape, the northern part of which adjoins the vast Tibetan Plateau. Most of the area falls within these two conservation areas. The team defined the study area borders by delineating a minimum convex polygon around all scat sampling transects except in the northern section, where they used the Nepal-China boundary.However, as the habitat of snow leopards lies above the tree line at elevations ranging from 3,000 to 6000 meters (9,843 to 19,685 feet), the researchers removed from the initial polygon areas considered too far above or below this elevation range, resulting in a survey area of 4,393 square kilometers, or 1,696 square miles.Part of the study area. The Annapurna range from above the city of Pokhara, Nepal. Phewa lake (below) and the peaks of Machapucharé, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Annapurna II and Lamjung Himal (from left to right) on the horizon. Snow leopards generally range above treeline (3,000-6,000 meters elevation). Image by Jean-Marie Hullot, via Wikimedia Commons. CC-BY-SA 3.0.The team collected 573 scats from 490 kilometers, or 305 miles, of transects within twenty-six 5 × 5-kilometer (3.1 x 3.1-mile) sized sampling grid cells of the survey area with 5–10 kilometers (3–6 miles) between grid cells. This, according to Chetri, covered about 15 percent of the total study area.“However, due to financial constraints, we used only 347 scat samples for our analysis,” he said. “We also collected scats on trails connecting the cells and along some trails that were beyond grid cell borders. We avoided placing grids on areas that were inaccessible due to high elevation or ruggedness.” They also avoided areas falling in and around large settlements and those with cultural restrictions.Big cats such as leopards and tigers use their scats to mark their territory, and the team did not want to alter the natural environment for their study. So they only took half of the scat as sample and left the other half where they found it.A typical snow leopard scat. This one must have eaten well. Snow leopards and other big cats mark territory with scat and urine, so the research team left at least half of each sample in place. Image by Madhu Chetri.A population overestimation?In September 2017, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)‘down-listed’ the snow leopard’s extinction risk categorization.“Thanks to new available data, the Snow Leopard has moved from the Endangered to Vulnerable category,” the IUCN reported before warning that “its population continues to decline and it still faces a high risk of extinction through habitat loss and degradation, declines in prey, competition with livestock, persecution, and poaching for illegal wildlife trade.” The change was prompted by new estimates that more than 4,000 wild snow leopards, and possibly more, existed across Asia, with as many as 2,000 possible in China.“The talk of this ‘down-listing’ had been going on for several years, and it was seen as inevitable,” said Chetri, who was further motivated by the development to finish his PhD research and determine whether surveying a large area would produce a more accurate population estimate than those based on surveys of known smaller areas of “prime habitat”.Processing the DNA in the 347 scat samples using six microsatellite markers specifically designed for snow leopard confirmed that 182 samples were from snow leopards. Eighty-one of these gave sufficiently reliable high-quality results to show they belonged to 34 distinct individuals.Chetri and his colleagues used maximum likelihood-based spatial capture-recapture analysis to develop models from the DNA analysis results to test the effects of various covariates on density and detection of scats on transects. They found that snow leopard density increased with elevation until a certain point, then began to decline. Detection of scat varied primarily with topography, and it was highest in dry river beds and ridge trails.The analysis showed that the average density estimate of snow leopards for the central block within Nepal was around 0.95 animals per 100 square kilometers (2.46 per 100 square miles), with predicted densities varying between 0.1 and 1.9 animals in different parts—this was much lower than the 5-10 individuals per 100 square kilometers (13 to 26 per 100 square miles) density suggested by previous studies.A curious and possibly suspicious female snow leopard approaches lead researcher Madhu Chetri and his camera. Their large home ranges are in inhospitable terrain, so snow leopards see few people. Image by Madhu Chetri.“Data from previous studies was extrapolated to say that that Nepal was home to around 300-400 individuals,” Chetri said. “But if my data from the central zone is to be extrapolated in a similar way, it would suggest that only 48 individuals roam the centre block, and only 140 animals live in the 12,815 square kilometers (4,948 square miles) of potential snow leopard habitat in Nepal.”“But we should not extrapolate in such a manner, as snow leopard densities are not same even within the centre block, let alone the whole distribution range in Nepal. That is why need similar studies for the two remaining blocks,” he added.He and his co-authors write that the results highlight the need for similar large-scale studies of the species in its 12 range countries. As range country governments prepare for PAWS (Population Assessment of the World’s Snow Leopards), which aims to produce a robust estimate of the threatened cat’s population status within the next four years, Chetri hopes that his findings will provide input for those involved in the count.Zoologist Hem Sagar Baral, who was part of the technical team that prepared the Nepal Snow Leopard Action Plan (2017-21) said Chetri’s study shines new light on the ecologically important species. “The study’s inputs will definitely help policy makers incorporate the new findings when they sit for a mid-term review of the action plan soon,” Baral added.Snow leopard passes a camera trap at Marjhong in Upper Mustang in 2014. Image by Madhu Chetri.After Chetri completed his PhD defense, it was Prof Oden’s turn to ask Chetri a strange question. “How did you know that day that there were two snow leopard scats lying next to the rock?” Chetri recollected quoting the professor.“I told him, ‘I worked in the field for a decade and this was the most crucial factor in the research,’” he said. “On the surface, this study looks like a year-long effort, but this was a result of a decade-long work I did on snow leopards.”CitationChetri, M., Odden, M., Sharma, K., Flagstad, Ø., &Wegge, P. (2019). Estimating snow leopard density using fecal DNA in a large landscape in north-central Nepal. Global Ecology and Conservation, 17, e00548.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Sue Palminteri Big Cats, Carnivores, DNA, Endangered Species, Genetics, Leopards, Monitoring, Mountains, Population, Protected Areas, Research, Snow Leopards, surveys, Technology, Wildtech center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

[Rugby] Coupe du monde : la France bat l’Argentine 23-21 dans un match capital

first_imgSur orbite: le XV de France s’est ouvert la route des quarts des finale en dominant l’Argentine (23-21), samedi à Tokyo, grâce à un drop de Camille Lopez, tout juste entré en jeu, à la 70e minute lors d’une fin de match irrespirable, où les Pumas ont eu la pénalité de la gagne.Deux succès, lors des trois derniers matches face aux États-Unis (2 octobre), aux Tonga (6 octobre) et à l’Angleterre (12 octobre) devraient suffire aux Français pour accéder aux quarts de finale.Mais que les Bleus se sont fait peur! Camille Lopez, entré en fin de match, a sauvé le XV de France avec un drop décisif (70e) alors que Benjamin Urdapilleta venait de redonner l’avantage aux Pumas (20-21, 68e). Les Argentins ont eu la balle de match à la dernière minute mais la pénalité d’Emiliano Boffelli est passée à côté. Partager Les Bleus menaient largement à la pause (20-3) après une première période quasi-parfaite, et deux superbes essais collectifs de Gaël Fickou (18e) et Antoine Dupont (22e). Mais ils sont retombés dans leurs travers en seconde période, les Argentins rattrapant leur retard grâce à leurs avants qui ont marqué deux essais sur maul et provoqué des pénalités adverses.Les All Blacks vainqueurs face à l’Afrique du SudLes All Blacks, vainqueurs des deux derniers mondiaux (2011, 2015), ont débuté l’édition 2019 de la Coupe du monde par un succès face à un autre prétendant au titre, l’Afrique du Sud (23-13) samedi à Yokohama.Grâce à ce 15e succès consécutif en Coupe du monde, les All Blacks sont quasiment assurés de terminer en tête de la Poule B et d’éviter l’Irlande en quarts de finale.AFP/LQlast_img read more

Fishing the North Coast: Bumpy ocean predicted for holiday weekend

first_imgOn one of the most popular holidays for anglers looking for a little offshore adventure, it looks like the ocean may be a little lumpy for the weekend. Inland anglers who are considering making the long trek to Humboldt to enjoy our beautiful, coastal weather and to hit the ocean will want to pay close attention to the marine forecast just in case it changes for the worse. Saturday marks the re-opening of the Pacific halibut season, but conditions are looking less than ideal with seven-foot …last_img read more