Category: Environment

New Species Of Psychedelic Lichen Discovered In South America

Just when you thought psychedelic ventures couldn’t get weirder, a curve ball whips past. Researchers deep in Ecuador have discovered a new, mysterious species of psychedelic lichen. A cacophony of compounds exist within the species, renowned for cryptic effects on human consciousness.

This new species, Evolve Ascend reports, is the only known lichen to harbor psychedelic properties. Lichens are intriguing in that they exist due to a symbiotic, mutually beneficial algae-fungi relationship. Lichens are a kind of composite organism, making it all the more interesting that one is trip-capable.

A different kind of bank

The fossil fuel divestment movement argues that where we invest our money either helps move toward a cleaner future or props up polluting industries that are driving climate change.

Now government agencies are taking that idea to the next level by proactively encouraging investment in renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects. Called green banks, they are not banks as we typically think of them. They do not accept deposits from individuals, and they aren’t private institutions. Instead, green banks are government run and aim to leverage limited public funds by attracting private capital to these projects.

Anti-pipeline action targets Kelcy Warren’s borderland hideout

There may have been a snarling dog in the patrol truck in the play-Western “town” of the Lajitas Golf Resort, but it was an Indian dog, the deputy said. As for the man waving an American Indian Movement flag near the main offices of the multi-million-dollar resort shouting that its billionaire owner, Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, was a “criminal” and an “evil man”?

Zika Virus Pesticides Wiping Out Bees, BioTech Industrial Complex Booming

Honey bee populations, after having dwindled over the last couple decades, have just taken a turn for the worst. Pesticides sprayed to kill mosquitoes suspected of carrying zika virus purged millions of bees from America. Now they’re being considered for the endangered species list, and few are talking about any of it. Not only that, but Zika fear is now fueling a pesticide spouting, water tainting, genetically modified mosquito breeding, corporate biotech industrial complex.

Zika pesticide has been sprayed across several states, including South Carolina and Florida, over the last month or so. The pesticide, called Naled, is being used to kill a specific species of mosquito which carries the virus. Similar poisons have been used in South America, where the virus is spreading.

Sierra Club Releases Interactive #ToxicTrade Map

Trans-Pacific and Transatlantic Trade Deals Would Empower World’s Largest Polluters

After trade took center stage in the first presidential debate earlier this week, the Sierra Club today released a new map that reveals the coast-to-coast environmental threats of two pending trade deals — the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) — showcasing for the first time what the Sierra Club calls #ToxicTrade.

The Clean Power Plan and Inequality

An appeals court will rule on the legality of Obama’s plan, which could narrow economic gaps by lowering energy costs and creating jobs.

Lawyers for a coalition of states and businesses reliant on fossil fuels made their case September 27 to a federal appeals court that President Barack Obama’s plan to curtail climate-warming greenhouse gases is an unlawful power grab.11830516643_561ab36dd5_m-2

The Clean Power Plan is by no means perfect, but it has the potential to benefit American families, especially low-income people and people of color. These households are disproportionately affected by fossil fuel-fired power plants and the effects of climate change.

Climate Con: why a new global deal on aviation emissions is really bad news

A new climate deal is expected to be agreed upon soon by the International Civil Aviation Organization, the United Nations agency governing aviation. But it is a cop-out that allows airlines to carry on polluting, writes Oscar Reyes.

It sounds like a fine riddle: what can grow exponentially but still remain the same size? A new global deal on climate emissions from aviation promises just that, ‘carbon neutral growth’ from an industry that is the world’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gases.

The proposal has a series of loopholes big enough to fly a jumbo jet through

Huge fall in African elephant population as poaching crisis continues

Africa’s elephant population has crashed by an estimated 111,000 in the past decade primarily due to poaching, according to the IUCN’s African Elephant Status Report.

Released at the world’s largest wildlife trade conference, the authoritative report estimates that there are 415,000 elephants across the 37 range states in Africa – a huge drop since the last full update in 2006.

The surge in poaching for ivory that began approximately a decade ago – the worst that Africa has experienced since the 1970s and 1980s – has been the main driver of the decline, while habitat loss poses an increasingly serious, long-term threat to the species, according to the report.

Scientific Consensus: Why Should We Accept It?

Scientific consensus isn’t reached only through whipping up votes. It’s actually born out of an overwhelming agreement between scientists of varying fields of study regarding a particular issue at hand.
As if providing a systematic framework for understanding how everything in the cosmos works wasn’t enough, science is often found in the realm of the social — how people relate to each other as they live out their everyday lives. Across the world, arguments about bills and policies that govern entire countries cite “scientific facts” for support before they are passed into law. Companies convince their customers to purchase their products with appeals based on “scientific facts.”

India to be the Fifth Country to Generate Power From Tidal Waves

There are only approximately 20 locations on earth where power can be generated from tides and India is one of them.

In a bid to curb the country’s carbon emission levels, India will experiment with generating power from tidal waves. The government will tie up with an Israeli firm to set up tidal power plants in Goa. If the operation is a success, India will be the only fifth country in the world which to have operational tidal power plants.

Drone video from independent investigation exposes illegal burning of 3000 hectares

A drone video captured the extent of burnt oil palms and the clearing of land in the western region of Indonesia. The burning of land is believed to be the cause of the haze that has blanketed Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia every year.

The drone’s launch was part of an investigation by Eyes on the Forest Indonesia (EOF), a coalition of three environment groups which was established in 2004 to study the recurring forest fires.

Florida is Building a Pipeline That Could Explode and Kill Thousands

Florida will soon be home to a 515-mile interstate natural gas pipeline that will bring “affordable, clean natural gas supplies to Florida.” Of course, this is immediately suspicious because there is nothing “clean” about natural gas.

“Problematically, natural gas is prone to leaking from pipelines, wellheads, and the nooks and crannies of processing and storage facilities. ‘Accounting for methane leakage throughout the supply chain of natural gas, natural gas might actually be worse for the climate than coal,’ said Lena Moffitt, director of the Sierra Club’s Stop Dirty Fuels Campaign, at a panel on energy hosted by Politico.

A Toxic Mix of Illegal Logging and Corruption Is Devastating Europe’s Last Primeval Forests

Earlier this week, journalists from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and the RISE Project published a new documentary studying the effects of illegal logging in Romania and Ukraine. The film, titled “Clear Cut Crimes,” examines the collusion of illegal and legal businesses that are devastating the last of Europe’s primeval forests.

Hopes high for global climate deal’s early entry into force

Hopes for the early entry into force of the universal climate Paris Agreement will be boosted this week with a special meeting at the UN on 21 September where at least 20 countries are expected to announce they have ratified the agreement, and others will commit to ratifying it before the end of 2016.

The agreement requires 55 member countries representing 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions to ratify it before it can enter into force. In an unprecedented show of political will, more than 175 countries signed the agreement in April and more than 29 countries representing around 40 per cent of global emissions have ratified it to date.

Commenting on this, Regine Guenther, interim leader of WWF International’s Climate and Energy Practice said all actions which escalated climate action were welcome and necessary.

Indigenous communities mobilize to defend Guatemala’s forests from loggers

Across Guatemala, indigenous communities are organizing to challenge logging in the country’s vast forests. These communities are concerned with the impact that both legal and illegal logging will have on their watersheds and on the environment.

On June 15, concerned residents from the highland Ixil Maya municipality of Nebaj, Quiche staged a protest outside the municipal building to express their concern with the steady increase in trucks leaving town loaded with lumber. The action was organized by residents and members of the Indigenous Authority of Nebaj in order to pressure the state authorities to strip the nine companies of their licenses to exploit timber on private lands. Residents raise concern over the fact that the deforestation affects everyone in the area.