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01.05.14

Environment and Energy News From Around the World (December 2013)

Posted in Action at 5:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Stories of interest from recent weeks, focusing on the environment and those who harm it

Japan

United States

United Kingdom

Canada

  • Right Now, It’s as Cold in Canada as Where Our Rover Is On Mars

    Canada is having a cold snap at the moment. This week, in Southern Manitoba, the temperature reached a blisteringly frigid -31 degrees Celsius, or nearly -24 Fahrenheit. (Wind chill values in Winnipeg—in case you were curious and/or in need of some meteorological schadenfreude—dipped to -58 Fahrenheit.) Which is crazy, and which makes for, as Yahoo’s Geekquinox blog puts it, “the coldest afternoon temperatures the area has seen in several years.”

  • Canadian libraricide: Tories torch and dump centuries of priceless, irreplaceable environmental archives

    Back in 2012, when Canada’s Harper government announced that it would close down national archive sites around the country, they promised that anything that was discarded or sold would be digitized first. But only an insignificant fraction of the archives got scanned, and much of it was “>simply sent to landfill or burned.

    Unsurprisingly, given the Canadian Conservatives’ war on the environment, the worst-faring archives were those that related to climate research. The legendary environmental research resources of the St. Andrews Biological Station in St. Andrews, New Brunswick are gone. The Freshwater Institute library in Winnipeg and the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland: gone. Both collections were world-class.

    An irreplaceable, 50-volume collection of logs from HMS Challenger’s 19th century expedition went to the landfill, taking with them the crucial observations of marine life, fish stocks and fisheries of the age.

  • Naomi Klein: climate movement needs radicals like Mandela

Africa

Chevron

  • Indigenous Groups Win Right to Seize Chevron’s Canadian Assets over $18 Billion in Amazon Pollution

    A court in Canada has ruled Ecuadorean farmers and fishermen can try to seize the assets of oil giant Chevron based on a 2011 decision in an Ecuadorean court found it liable for nearly three decades of soil and water pollution near oil wells, and said it had ruined the health and livelihoods of people living in nearby areas of the Amazon rainforest.

  • Chevron suspends shale gas exploration in Romania

    U.S. oil company Chevron has suspended exploration for shale gas in northeastern Romania after hundreds of anti-fracking protesters tore down fences.

    Chevron won approval to drill exploratory wells in the town of Pungesti, but halted work for a second time Saturday after residents blocked access to the site.

Deep Sea and Sea Traffic

Australia

Middle East/Persian Gulf

  • Israel Violates International Law by Selling Oil Drilling Rights in Occupied Syria

    Israel has granted oil exploration rights inside Syria, in the occupied Golan Heights, to Genie Energy. Major shareholders of Genie Energy – which also has interests in shale gas in the United States and shale oil in Israel – include Rupert Murdoch and Lord Jacob Rothschild.

  • Google Earth reveals Persian gulf fish catch is six times larger than thought

    Google Earth has been once again used by researchers for scientific discovery.

    Researchers from the University of British Columbia scoured Google Earth in search of fishing weirs along the coasts of seven Persian Gulf nations. They found some 1,900 fish traps, suggesting that the total fish catch in the Persian Gulf may be up to six times the officially reported level of 5,260 metric tons per year.

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