The sky was gray, the temp was just below freezing, the wind was whistling and sleet was pelting down on Kellogg Park in downtown St. Paul, MN, last week …
… but that wasn’t enough to stop more than 300 of us from across the Midwest who came to rally and march against the proposed expansion of the Alberta Clipper tar sands pipeline. With songs, speeches and buoyant enthusiasm, we gathered to say “No” to tar sands expansion and “Yes” to a future free of carbon emissions and oil spills.
Protestors Block Fracking Site With Giant Wind Turbine Blade
The campaigners arrived at the site and unloaded and assembled the 17-meter blade from its three component segments. They were spotted by a security guard who called the police, but the officers who arrived on the scene were too late to prevent the blockade from having the wind turbine blade set up.
The campaigners then left, leaving the heavy blade in place across the entrance, complete with a large red Christmas bow. All vehicle access to the site is disrupted by the 1.5-ton blade, which cannot be moved without large numbers of people or special equipment …
SEE MORE on EcoWatch:
Teen Embarks on South Pole to Bring Awareness to Climate Change
Parker Liautaud is in the midst of an attempt to set the world record for the fastest hike from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole. The parallels between the needed perseverance to accomplish this feat and what will be needed to tackle climate change are striking.
READ MORE on EcoWatch: http://ecowatch.com/2013/12/13/teen-south-pole-awareness-climate-change/
Greenpeace activists deployed a floating banner at a harbour in the Pacific directed at the members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), who are meeting in Cairns, Australia for their 10th regular session.
Greenpeace is urging the Commission to stop ignoring the science and put strong precautionary measures in place to ensure overfishing is halted and that the number of vessels in the fishery is urgently capped.http://act.gp/18uKrlr
© James Alcock/Greenpeace
more than 800 elementary students in hong kong’s repluse bay (second photo and fourth photo) celebrate kids ocean day on november 7 by raising awareness about the shark fin trade and the recent ban on trolling in hong kong waters. the campaign echoes the long running ocean day events held in san francisco (fifth photo) and san diego (third photo and first photo), among other coastal pacific north american cities, to highlight the effects of ocean acidification from climate change, unsustainable fishing practices, habitat destruction, and pollution. local elementary schools hold contests to select the picture to be used.
Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior, the floating, green-hued hub for environmental activism, pulled into Pier 15 Friday and will remain through Nov. 19, open for free public tours, art shows, films, panel discussions and live music. Up to 900 people a day are expected to visit the boat, made famous by a 1985 incident off the coast of New Zealand when the French bombed - and sank - its predecessor, the first Rainbow Warrior, during a nuclear weapons protest. The new Rainbow Warrior (actually, the third overall) is a $33 million, custom-built sailboat outfitted with a helipad, and unique A-frame masts that give the boat stability and allow it to derive 90 percent of its power from the wind. While in San Francisco, Greenpeace staff are protesting a Stockton palm-oil refinery that imports large volumes of palm oil from deforested Indonesian rain forest.
XPRIZE dives into Earth’s final frontier – our oceans and their future health
Scientific funding foundation launches new prizes for research into acidification, climate change, garbage and other issues.
The XPRIZE Foundation, once known for competitions for spaceflight innovation, has turned its focus to the seas, launching a series of new prizes for ocean health over the next seven years.
The Ocean Initiative represents the biggest XPRIZE commitment to date, reinforcing earlier competitions for devices to monitor ocean acidification and clean up oil spills.
"The oceans are in trouble. They have been under attack for the last half century, and we do feel we are at a tipping point right now,” said Wendy Schmidt, who is sponsoring the prizes, and is president of the Schmidt Family Foundation and co-founder of the Schmidt Ocean Institute.
The prizes mark the first time the XPRIZE has decided to concentrate on a specific research area. “Prizes in the past have been serendipitous – whatever comes along,” Schmidt said. “Getting this much focus on the inner space is definitely an important thing, I think, for this generation.”
Scientists say oceans remain the last great unknown – and research funding is drying up. Outfitting research vessels or embarking on “grand projects”, such as mapping the ocean floor, remain prohibitively expensive, out of reach of government scientific agencies or public research institutions.
Meanwhile, oceans are under threat from climate change, which is changing the chemistry of sea water, overfishing, and plastic pollution.
The competition launched on Tuesday will invite the public to help design the challenges for innovators, with a view to awarding between three and five prizes over the next decade.
Potential competitions include prizes for innovations in dealing with dead zones, such as those in the Gulf of Mexico, overfishing, which is threatening global food supply, or the great Pacific garbage patch, a vast swathe of remote ocean strewn with plastic debris.
The XPRIZE Foundation took a first dive into ocean health in the wake of the BP oil spill, offering $1.4m prize for the creation of a more efficient oil spill clean-up device.
The foundation last month returned with a new $2m prize for devices to monitor ocean acidification.
With the latest prize announcement, Schmidt and Peter Diamandis, the chairman of the XPRIZE foundation, said they would appeal to the public, as well as seek expert advice, to identify the most urgent challenges to ocean health. “There is not very much money being spent on ocean research, and the impact on humanity is so large. This might be a great place for crowd sourcing to have an impact,” Diamandis said.
The prize competition last month announced a $2m competition for devices that can monitor the changing chemistry of the oceans due to climate change.
Oceans have absorbed nearly a quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for climate change.
With greenhouse gas emissions, oceans are now about 30% more acidic than during the pre-industrial age, a shift that is devastating coral reefs and fisheries, and threatening food supplies.
The $2m competition announced last month will be split into two prizes – one aimed at research institutions for a highly accurate deep-water acidity monitor, the other for a more affordable monitor for shallow waters. The prizes will be announced in 2015.
Suzanne Goldenberg US environment correspondent
theguardian.com, Tuesday 22 October 2013
Photo: Commercial fishermen and other mariners form the words ‘acid ocean’ in Alaska in a 2009 protest against fossil fuel acidification Photograph: Lou Dematteis/REUTERS
Much has been made of the need to develop climate-change-adaptation plans, especially in light of increasingly alarming findings about how swiftly the environment that sustains life as we know it is deteriorating, and how the changes compound one another to quicken the pace overall. Studies, and numerous climate models, and the re-analysis of said studies and climate models, all point to humankind as the main driver of these changes. In all these dire pronouncements and warnings there is one bright spot: It may not be too late to turn the tide and pull Mother Earth back from the brink.
None of this is new to the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island. Besides already understanding much about environmental issues via millennia of historical perspective, Natives are at the forefront of these changes and have been forced to adapt. Combining their preexisting knowledge with their still-keen ability to read environmental signs, these tribes are way ahead of the curve, with climate-change plans either in the making or already in effect.
Continue reading at Indian Country Today Media Network