Investor buys stake in Guyana forest

This is actually pretty cool in my opinion. Someone actually placeing a cash value on some rainforest is probably a good step in the right direction for the market to actually start realise that they are in a new paradigm. The market is a subset of the environment, the environment is not a resource FOR the market to pillage as it sees fit or when it makes financial sense to do so. Without the environment there is no market …

Canopy Capital is the company, they have ‘bought’ an area of Guyanian forest larger than the island of Mallorca! Actually they haven’t bought anything other than the rights to the carbon stored in the forests trees. After the new set of talks regarding the Kyoto replacement agreement Canopy Capital hopes to sell these rights (a carbon offset basically) at a profit. The really cool thing is that 80 percent of the profit will actually go back to the Iwokrama reserve.

As far as I can tell slapping a market value on something is the only way to get the market to actually pay attention since they can then base their calculation on it and realise that they simply have to do something about climate change before it eats all of their investments and cold hard cash. This is something people like Lester Brown have been saying for years. Its really good to see something actually happening.

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Northwest Passage.

This is a pretty momentus event to happen in some ways … A New Shipping route … The Northway Passage. What’s this? Its a new direct shipping route that is now completely clear of ice that connects Europe and Asia. To quote the BBC – “historically, the Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans has been ice-bound through the year.” Not any more …

Andrea Thompson writes that since “the opening of the fabled Northwest Passage and the recent announcement that Arctic Sea ice has reached a new record summer low are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to polar problems.”

That’s not all either, it now seems that many parties are arguing over who actually controls this new passage. Canada, the US and the European Union are all arguing and jostling for the position of master in order to control these new open waters. Canada is claiming full control and the US and the EU are wanting the passage to be under international control so that any vessel can use the route.

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Our Whales are Being Destroyed–by the US Navy

Not very many people are aware of this issue at the moment but it’s something that needs some serious attention as far as i’m concerned.

“‘Nuke the whales” stickers have made the suffering of these animals a joke, but they are enduring a ferocious new onslaught from Naval sonars that have recently been deployed.

These sonars generate sound pulses of 235 deceibels [that is a frankly indescribable volume – a jet at take off is about 130db if your stood 100 feet away], the equivalent of a gigantic rocket launch. They shatter the sensitive audio sensors of whales, cause them internal bleeding, and kill them.

Recently, a federal court gave the go-ahead for the Navy to deploy this killer sonar system, but you can still make your concerns known, and perhaps get the Navy to reconsider the use of this cruel system, which is designed to detect enemy submarines–a need that can be just as effectively served using a number of other systems.”

You can register your objections here:
http://www.nrdconline.org/campaign/Act_Now_To_Save_The_Whales_JT

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Google Moon

Google has offered $30,000,000 to any company that lands a robot on the Moon and starts snapping photo’s and sending data back (presumably to Google …). A five million dollar bonus is offered for a robot vehicle that discovers ice or water, that can travel further than five kilometers or captures images of space vehicles abandoned there from old missions.

Interesting competition to say the least … and we’ll find out if we have actually been there already or not. Going on from that, if we had indeed already been there the easiest way to proove it would be to turn Hubble around and point it to the abandonded Lunar Lander and publish the photo’s … so why haven’t they?

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Yale Scientists Use Nanotechnology To Fight E. Coli

Amazing! SWCNT (single walled carbon nanotubes) are being used in the lab to combat bacteria. These technologies could one day provide the replacements for antibiotics and as far as my laymans understanding goes there wouldn’t be any way for these bacteria to combat nanotech as its the nanotubes that more or less batter the actual cells of the bacteria and destroy them physically rather than chemically. Really quite mental!

“We began the study out of concerns for the possible toxicity [Nanotoxicology] of nanotubes in aquatic environments and their presence in the food chain,” said Menachem Elimelech, professor and chair of chemical and environmental engineering at Yale and senior author on the paper. “While nanotubes have great promise for medical and commercial applications there is little understanding of how they interact with humans and the environment.”

“Using the simple E. coli as test cells, the researchers incubated cultures of the bacteria in the presence of the nanotubes for up to an hour. The microbes were killed outright – but only when there was direct contact with aggregates of the SWCNTs that touched the bacteria. Elimelech speculates that the long, thin nanotubes puncture the cells and cause cellular damage.”

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Summer Ends?

Well what a funny year its been eh! Don’t know about where your at but in my locality the weather has been decidedly unsummer-like. Granted where I am we also don’t have to endure tornadoes, extreme droughts and other directly life threatening weather systems but even so, its been an odd one.

I guess the people just north of us in Gloucesetershire wouldn’t agree with this as they have experiences some of the worst flooding the UK has seen in decades with people literally flushed from their homes and now being told they can’t return to them for 6-12 months. having said that its nothing in comparison to what has happened in places like India but its still extreme for the people that are experiencing it in their locality.

The thing that really concerns me is the next few years … 2008 sees the start of the next Solar Maximum leading up to that ubiquitous year 2012 where the Solar Maximum is due to hit its peak … why worry about that? Well more and more scientific studies are building stronger and stronger links between Sunspot cycles (part of the Solar lifecycle) and their Earthly effects. Judging from the last Solar Maximum and the last (extremely violent) Solar Minimum scientists are saying that we are about to witness the most powerful Solar Maximum ever recorded.

During the last Solar Minimum (the period with very few or no Sunspots) we saw the continued development of some of the most massive Sunspots ever seen. These also issued forth unprecedented solar flares so large that our satellite mounted measurement instruments were maxed out. The measure flares upto X20 in power and some scientists placed the unmeasurable flares at upwards of X50 … literally, off the scale.

Well, I guess there is no point in being too concerned, our little world has been through worse in its history i’m sure … maybe it will just end up in a nicer tan?

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Dolphines Get Prosthetic Tails!

This is just amazing … such a neat story about a female Dolphin that lost her tail in a crab trap when she was a mere nipper, even tho she has still learned to swim without one scientists have developed an prosthetic tail fin to enable her to swim even better and like a normal Dolphin. The really amazing thing is that she isn’t the first Dolphin to benefit from this technology … Fuji, a Japanese Dolphin was the first to receive this treatment …

Dolphin Prosthetics

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Swim at your own Risk

I love this webblog, its full of interesting stories about Sharks. I know its glib and unfounded to ‘be scared’ of sharks as in fact more people are killed by chairs every year than Sharks. There is just something I find facinating about them, I guess we can blame Steven for making Jaws such a massive worldwide hit. This site also includes from pretty grim Shark/Human encounters where we definitely came off worse!

Swim at Your Own Risk

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Dead Zones …

One of the 3 largest ‘Dead Zone’ (hypoxia) ever mapped has been found this year. This is seriously scary stuff … 7,900 square miles of almost oxygen free sea off the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing can live in these dead zones basically, its literally dead sea with no life supporting ability and sea creatures are forced to live on or near the surface in order to breath.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/07/29/dead.zone.ap/index.html

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FLOOD!

Well this is just insane! Apparently it seems that the Glade Festival near Oxford has been partly shut down due to flooding issues and cars floating around’ the car park! Poor folks!! I’m off to WOMAD this coming weekend so i seriously hope that the weather picks up for this weekend or i’ll be a grumpy bugger!!

Seems that Gloucestershire is the worst hit this time around with about 300,000 people directly effected by either electricity or water supply issues.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6911226.stm

And people will still be denying Global Warming, in fact I think that is directly one of the problems – terminology. It really shouldn’t ever be referred to as Globam Warming, its Climate Change. Two authors (Whitley Strieber & Art Bell) wrote and published a book in 1999 called “The Coming Global Superstorm”, it was initially subject to massive dirision from the corners of science dealing with climatology. And i don’t supposed the fact that it inspired the film “The Day After  Tomorrow”.
The real problem is that these same scientists guilty of laughing at its ideas are now themselves publishing peer reviewed white papers explaining the science behind their initial ideas.

The melting Greenland ice shelf reducing the salinity of the sea water and breaking the gulf stream … scary stuff …

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Where Are the Bees?

This is actually a pretty worrying event happening in the US. The Honeybee population is being decimated by something as yet unidentified. It also seems to be a cyclical thing that happens every now and again but not with this kind of fevour or consistency. Basically honeybees are so amazingly important to the entire food chain that this could really bring about some significant food problems in the future.

“Individual beekeepers are really taking a beating,” UM entomologist Jerry Bromenshenk said. “A guy down in Oklahoma lost 80 percent of his 13,000 colonies in the last month. In Florida, there are a whole lot of people facing 40, 60 and 80 percent losses. That’s huge.”

http://tinyurl.com/25vgsm

http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/527319/?sc=dwhn

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Manor Park Allotments

You may have already heard of this campaign – Manor Park Allotments in
Hackney are 100 years old. Many people here don’t have their own
gardens, just these well established and wildlife rich allotments. Sign
the petition to encourage their incorporation into the Olympic stadium
designs for 2012. Currently there are ear marked to be bulldozed 🙁

With enough support they may be saved!

http://www.lifeisland.org/

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The Stern Report

Well finally we have something concrete linking global climate changeand economics. In addition to the work of people like Lester Brown this report basically removes any other hidey holes for the climate change sceptics. And it could just well prove the point that you need to be *inside* the system to effect change and use the correct language in order to make those blind capitalists sit up and smell the ozone.

BBC Report
Stern Report

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Lester Brown

This is a seriously interesting chap, he’s referred to as one of the most influential thinkers in terms of world populations and resources. Makes for some really sombre thinking about our future, but by knowing these things about our position we’re much better equipped to realise the solutions – “Lester Brown has written the sort of book that once you’ve put it down you can’t pick it up again.”

Lester Brown Bio
Earth Policy Institute
Watch Lester Brown

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Oceans – Hypoxia – Dead Zones?

Something I’ve been hearing an alarming amount about lately are things called ‘Dead Zones’ … these are areas in the worlds oceans that are literally dead. Oxygen free areas in the sea that every living creature flee’s for fear of suffocation. In these areas the toxic biological bacterial organisms thrive and take over excreating more and more toxins into their environments. No animal life can survive in these dead zones … the fact is the more oxygen free the environment the better it is for the nasty polluting bacteria.

This is scary stuff, the seas are throught of as the source of all life … is this going to be cyclical and be the source of death for all life as well?

Basically these dead zones have always occured, there was a recorded figure of about 150 or them worldwide in 2004 but they are found all over the world. In the gulf of Mexico there is a dead zone that has been growing since 1993 … in 2005 the zone covered 4,564 square miles … however in some years it has covered upwards of 7,000 square miles.

Thats 7,000 square miles absent of *ANY* animal life … no crabs, no clams, no fish … absolutely nothing that requires oxygen to live can survive in these areas …

You can read more here on the NASA web site.

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Hawaii Earthquake

Apparently this is a very, very unusual earthquake in that its a large one right in the middle of a very large plate. Its been reported as a ‘vertical’ earthquake meaning that the majority of the energy was traveling up and down rather than side to side. Its reported that the island land mass is breaking up due to the weight of the island on the land beneath the sea line. Basically the structure that made the island out of the volcano is loosing its abaility to support its own weight! … mental …

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