Anthropology, Climate, Environment, Green Living, News

Aboriginals boost kangaroo populations when hunting with fire

While they hunt kangaroos, aborigines in remote areas of Australia help boost marsupial populations by lighting bush fires. Image: acanberraboy.blogspot.com

The Aboriginal Martu people have been hunting kangaroos and sand monitor lizards for over 2,000 years. During this time, the natives have not only lived sustainably, but also became unwilling conservationists helping kangaroo populations grow by sparking wild fires that help them catch lizards, a study by researchers at University of Utah found. In other remote areas where this subsistence practice ceased, the researchers recorded rapid declines in threatened species, which also might be due to increased predation by invasive predators. [ALSO READ] Kangaroos use their tail as an extra leg when walking Kangaroos and fires, who would’ve thought? “We have uncovered a framework that allows us to predict when human subsistence practices…

Environmental Issues, News, Pollution

Sobering Aerial footage of the Mount Polley environmental disaster

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The Cariboo Regional District has released troubling video of what can already be called a full-scale environmental disaster following the release of five million cubic meters of effluent from a tailing pond at the Mount Polley gold and copper mine near Likely, B.C., on Monday. Mount Polley is an open pit copper/gold mine with a developing underground project, located in south-central British Columbia.It’s not yet clear what caused the breach. At the moment, the situation is really not stable especially at the base of the debris flow. Campers were evacuated, and people are warned to stay as far away as possible from the area. After the tailings dam broke, slurry…

Environment, News, Pollution

Beijing to shut down all coal-fired power plants and other coal facilities by 2020 to curb air pollution

coal plant China Beijing.

Beijing and the surrounding area will ban coal by the end of 2020, the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday. It’s not much, but it’s a start – about 1% of the Chinese population lives in that area, and over one quarter of the energy they use comes from coal, so banning it is definitely a good signal. Fuel oil, petroleum coke, combustible waste and some biomass fuels will also be prohibited as part of the effort to fight pollution, Xinhua said. Beijing is riddled with pollution-related problems. A recent study concluded that smog in Beijing reduces life expectancy by 15 years. Beijing’s pollution is so severe that it…

Chemistry, Environment, News

New Catalyst converts CO2 to methanol 90 times faster than current options

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Scientists have found a much more efficient way of converting CO2 into methanol, using a catalyst with oxide nanoparticles. The resulting system makes the conversion almost 90 times faster than currently existing systems….

Environmental Issues, News, Pollution, Science

Frack now, ask questions later: bio impact of fracking still largely unknown

A typical fracking well. Image: Frontiers of Ecology

Since 2007, shale gas has boomed by 700% in the US and is projected to rise for the next 30 years. While there are states where well fields span across hundreds of hectares, you’d think that the effects of exploitation of this caliber are well researched and documented. In reality, the bio impact of fracking remains largely unknown. …

News, Renewable Energy

In two years, wind energy in Denmark will be 2 times cheaper than fossil fuels

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Wind is already the cheapest form of energy in Denmark, and prices will plummet in the near future, the country’s government declared – 2 years from now, in 2016, wind energy will be 2 times cheaper than fossil fuels energy. Wind and solar energy are already nearing parity with energy from fossil fuels in many parts of the world; even without any tax breaks, wind and solar cost about as much as natural gas energy even in some states of the US, but the American government continues to pour subsidies into fossil fuels. But Denmark chose a different path. Denmark wants renewables to be dirt cheap; they want them to…