Bad News First…


Poachers Kill 80 Elephants in Mass Poisoning

“In a particularly cruel attack on Zimbabwe’s protected elephant population, ivory poachers took down large numbers at once by pouring cyanide into their watering holes. Over 80 elephants have succumbed so far to the poisoning…

in what authorities call “huge spiral effects,” the industrial cyanide, which is used in gold mining, also killed smaller animals that drank from the watering holes, and then the vultures and other predators who fed on the poisoned animals..

The United States is joining in the crusade as well. Next month, as part of a “broader effort by the administration…elevate trafficking from narrow conservation interest to urgent national security concern,” the White House plans to destroy its 6 million ton supply of seized ivory.”

State Department officials now openly refer to wildlife trafficking as a national security crisis.

As many as 35,000 African elephants were killed for their tusks last year. That amounted to 96 elephant killed every day, Clinton said.

“At this rate, African forest elephants will be extinct within 10 years,” said Clinton.

The profits from the illegal ivory trade were also fuelling extremist groups, including affiliates of al-Qaida in Somalia, she said.



I’m not sure what to make of this… some better news?

Fukushima’s Worst-Case Scenarios: Much of What You’ve Heard About the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Is Wrong

Nobody can say for sure how events would have unfolded if the worst had happened at Fukushima. Even the most sophisticated computer models are fallible.

But the public deserves to know what the best available science shows. Whatever conclusions people draw about the implications of the accident, the following should be borne in mind: The claim that an evacuation of Tokyo could have been necessary is based on flimsy, easily rebuttable evidence. Furthermore, the falsity of that claim is indicative of the distortions in much of the Fukushima news coverage. That coverage has given rise to baseless fears about Fukushima that have heavily influenced public opinion. It is time to dispel those fears.


Some Good News:

India Plans to Build The Largest Solar Plant in the World

“Indian utilities plan to use 23,000 acres of land to build the largest solar power plant in the world, at 4 gigawatts of power, bringing prices and production of solar energy closer to competitiveness with coal.

The plant in Rajasthan is expected to commission its first phase in 2016, providing 1 gigawatt of power, enough to make it India’s largest solar power project ten times over. It will be a joint venture of five government-owned utilities. The other 3GW would be produced in an arrangement determined by the success of the first phase.

The finished plant would be comparable in power production to the four in-progress coal-fired Ultra Mega Power Plants (UMPP) under production, at 4 gigawatts of power.”


Dead End for Monsanto Protection Act

“The so-called Monsanto Protection Act is set to expire, and will not be included in a bill designed to avert a government shutdown, according to a statement Tuesday from the press office of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).”


Wheat Field with Reaper and Sun, Van Gogh

“Merkley worked with legislative leaders to ensure the Farmer Assurance Provision rider would expire before it could be extended. In a statement Tuesday evening, the senator applauded those who helped him to avert the extension:

This is a victory for all those who think special interests shouldn’t get special deals. This secret rider, which was slipped into a must-pass spending bill earlier this year, instructed the Secretary of Agriculture to allow GMO crops to be cultivated and sold even when our courts had found they posed a potential risk to farmers of nearby crops, the environment, and human health. I applaud the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have worked hard to end this diabolical provision.”

Chalk one up for Congressional Democrats.


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