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Choice & Consequence: solar, wind energy vs deepwater drilling..4.2 million oil spews into ocean /day..birds, turtles, fish dead

wind farm vs. offshore drilling: oil spill in Gulf of Mexico
Top: "Large Air Spill at Wind Farm. No threats reported. Some claim to enjoy the breeze.". Bottom: in Gulf of Mexico, Deepwater Horizon oil rig explodes, burns, sinks (2 days later on Earth Day).

off shore drilling: Gulf of Mexico oil spill
Gulf Oil Spill: ~210,000 gallons of oil leaking per day.

European countries have hundreds of wind turbines

oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast, the oil slick will destroy this generation of the bird that nests along the Gulf coast beaches  read more »

Legal battles for Earth: Amazon defenders & James Cameron stall dam; Malaysian Judge gives lands back to rainforest community

James Cameron and Sigourney Weaver played a part in halting an industrial development project that threatens indigenous people of the Amazon
Avatar director James Cameron played a part in halting an industrial development project that threatens indigenous people of the Amazon.

deforestation by logging company & palm oil plantation
Palm oil plantation. Inset: deforestation by a logging company around a Penan village in the Middle Baram region in Sarawak.

(quote)

The Avatar director and one of its stars have played a part in halting an industrial development project that threatens indigenous people of the Amazon. Earlier this week, we brought you the story of James Cameron and Sigourney Weaver's trip to Brazil to raise awareness of the indigenous communities’ battles to stop the massive Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River in the Amazon rainforest. We are now happy to report that the Dam Project Auctions have been canceled, and both stars are now in Washington DC for meetings with US Government officials.

Judge Antonio Carlos de Almeida Campelo granted a preliminary injunction (urgent) seeing “danger of irreparable harm” considering the imminence of the auction. The decision is the result of the assessment of one of two public civil actions filed by federal prosecutors dealing with irregularities of the enterprise. It focuses specifically on the lack of regulation of Article 176 of the Federal Constitution of Brazil, which requires the issuing of an ordinary law for the use of hydraulic potential on Indian lands.  read more »

Ocean pollution. Sea "dead zones", oxygen-deprived, fishless: 1st recorded in 1970, 417 in 2008, largest covers 70,000 sq km

ocean deadzones concentrated mainly around coasts of industrialized countries, causing widespread killing of fish & other marine organisms
A new global study of Earth’s oceans shows a rapid rise in the number of “dead zones” - areas of seafloor with too little oxygen to sustain most marine life. The oxygen-starved waters have proliferated since the 1960s and now rank as one of the world's most pressing environmental problems.
largest ocean deadzone in Gulf of Mexico from Mississippi River delta
Clocking in at over 8000 square miles (21,000 km2) this year, probably the largest dead zone today stems from the Mississippi River delta in the Gulf of Mexico. This is a site at the confluence of significant farming in the midwest and significant fishing (and shrimping) in the Gulf area. The dead zone spans east to west along the Louisiana and Texas coasts.
Expanding dead zones in the oceans: Mississippi Delta, Yangtze River, and Pearl River
Several visible sites with expanding dead zones. Mississippi Delta at the top, with Yangtze River in the bottom left and Pearl River in the bottom right. The dead zones are the tinted clouds swirling at the coastal edge.
Map of ever-rising, now 400+ dead zones in world’s oceans. Their murky waters generate blackholes - no fish, no birds  read more »

Humans drive extinction faster than species can evolve; diversity loss due to destroyed habitats & climate change

threatened species: red squirrel and pine marten
Threatened. L: the red squirrel will be lost within the next 20-30 years unless effective action is taken. This poor fella's just heard the news. R: the pine marten. One of England’s rarest, & cutest, mammals.
Africa’s most endangered giraffe subspecies
A pair of giraffes nuzzle as they stand in the bush near Koure, Niger. The IUCN lists west African giraffes as an endangered species.
giraffes make surprising comeback in Africa
A giraffe from Africa's most endangered giraffe subspecies. Their numbers have quadrupled to 200 since 1996, an unlikely boon experts credit to the impoverished government keen for revenue that has enacted laws to protect them, a conservation program that encourages people to support them, and a rare harmony with humans who have accepted their presence.
Polar bears are losing their habitat due to global warming. Inset: cute polar bear cub.
Climate change is robbing polar bears of their habitats, & is the greatest threat to their survival.
melting sea ice in the Arctic will kill thousands of polar bears in coming years
Polar bear products are used for furs, rugs and taxidermy. Melting sea ice in Arctic will kill thousands of bears in coming years; US says commercial trade must not be allowed to make the situation worse.  read more »

Giant iceberg, 965sqmi (2500sqkm, 400m thick) split fr Antarctica, holding "enough water to fill River Thames 100 times."

iceberg the size of Luxembourg has sheared off from the Antarctic, threatening global weather chaos
An giant iceberg has broken off from Antarctica, created when it was hit by another iceberg two weeks ago. The size of Luxemberg, it could disrupt ocean circulation patterns.

Mertz Glacier, a 160-kilometer spit of floating ice protruding into the Southern Ocean from East Antarctica
The 965 sq mile (2,500 sq km) block of ice broke off from the Mertz Glacier which ends in a floating tongue of ice that protrudes 100 miles (160 km) out into the Southern Ocean. The 'calving' - or splitting of the ice sheet - resulted a collision with another iceberg.

What Is Global Warming? The Planet Is Heating Up - and Fast
Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, cloud forests are drying, and wildlife is scrambling to keep pace. It's becoming clear that humans have caused most of the past century's warming by releasing heat-trapping gases as we power our modern lives. Called greenhouse gases, their levels are higher now than in the last 650,000 years.

Antartic iceberg spotted floating near Australian island
A large iceberg was spotted off an island about halfway between Antarctica and Australia, a rare sight in waters so far north.  read more »

Pope Benedict XVI: "human dignity must be preserved", criticizing body scanners which Rabbis say violate Jewish women's rights

Top: Pope Benedict XVI: ‘human dignity must be preserved’. ‘Every action, it is above all essential to protect and value the human person in their integrity’. Bottom: hands-up to be scanned - ‘virtual strip search’ - at airport

"Every action, it is above all essential to protect and value the human person in their integrity". "For you this reality represents an ever more task of complex organization and it is a labour that if often discreet and barely known, not always noted but which does not escape the eyes of God, who sees all of Man's works even those that are hidden."

(quote)

Pope Benedict XVI criticises airport body scanners. Pope Benedict XVI has spoken out against the use of body scanners at airports insisting that "human dignity must be preserved".

The Pope made his comments during an audience with airport workers held at the Vatican. Although the Pontiff did not mention the words body scanner it was clear what he meant as he told the 1,200 strong crowd: "Every action, it is above all essential to protect and value the human person in their integrity.

"Respecting these principles can seem particularly complex and difficult in the present context.

"The economic crisis has had problematic effects on the civil aviation sector, the international terrorist threat which, precisely, has in its line of fire airports and aircraft to realise its destructive schemes.  read more »

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