Lost and starving polar bear seen scavenging in Russian city

dailymail.co.uk

By Will Stewart In Russia For Mailonline 09:07 18 Jun 2019, updated 09:44 18 Jun 2019

Lost and starving polar bear was spotted wandering in amongst traffic in Russia
Motorists in the nickel mining city of Norilsk watched as the beast dodged cars
Bear thought to have walked nearly 1,000 miles from Russian Arctic Ocean shore
Animal appeared too weak to attack humans and was seen scavenging for food

A starving polar bear has wandered into an industrial city in Russia after ‘walking almost 1,000 miles in the wrong direction’.

The lost beast headed south and inland from shore of the Arctic Ocean, far from its natural feeding habitat.

Motorists in the nickel mining city of Norilsk watched in amazement as the bear crossed busy roads.

The bear was scavenging for food and appeared too weak to attack people who were watching the wild animal – but local officials have warned of the threat to human life.

Locals said it is the first time a wild polar bear has been spotted in the city since the 1970s.

The animal is believed to have made a lonely trek of at least 950 miles crossing Arctic islands and frozen sea to reach Norilsk, according to reports.
The emaciated polar bear was seen on the streets of Norilsk dodging in and out of traffic and the animal scavenged for food
It is thought the polar bear walked nearly 1,000 miles from the Russian Arctic shore south to the mining city of Norilsk

Irina Yarinskaya, a photographer of Zapolyarnaya Pravda newspaper, snapped the bear dodging cars in the city’s traffic.

She told local media: ‘He is seriously hunger-bitten, he is hardly able to blink and keep his eyes open, almost unable to walk.

‘He was lying for a long time, having a rest, then he crossed the road and entered the industrial zone.

‘He went towards the gravel and sand factory. Then he crossed one more road and headed to a dump.’

Earlier, the same bear was spotted at Talnakh on the outskirts of Norilsk.

The animal has become a star attraction in a barren area normally populated by brown not polar bears, reported The Siberian Times.
The lost and starving wild animal appeared too weak to attack humans but was being monitored by the authorities as it still posed a threat to life
During the bear’s long walk it was pictured by residents of Norilsk and at one point was seen lying on the ground in the industrial city’s outskirts
The polar bear reportedly walked around 950 miles south from the Arctic shore to Norilsk

The bear had the ‘wrong compass settings’, and walked across the Taymyr Peninsula to reach the Soviet-era nickel city which is normally closed to foreign visitors.

Local police and emergency services are closely monitoring the bear – which poses a threat to residents.

But they are awaiting a decision from Moscow on whether to sedate the beast and return it to the Arctic shoreline – or move it to a zoo in Krasnoyarsk, the regional capital, come 950 miles further to the south.

Initially the local emergency services refused to believe there was a polar bear in the Talnakh district of the Arctic city which is some 350 miles inland.

Anatoly Nikolaychyuk, head of Taymyr department of state hunting control, said: ‘This is a unique and rare case.
The polar bear was seen wandering around industrial area of Norilsk and walking in busy roads looking for food
Norilsk is an industrial city in Krasnoyarsk Krai region above the Arctic Circle, east of the Yenisei River. It is what’s known as a ‘closed city’ as foreigners cannot visit and during the Soviet-era did not appear on maps, road signs or connect to public transport
Residents took videos and pictures of the emaciated polar bear as it made its long journey from its natural habitat over the Taymyr Peninsula

‘There are two options now – either to relocate him to the shore, or, perhaps, some zoo will take him.’

Local campaigners are demanding the bear is returned to its natural habitat.

Oleg Krashevsky – who specialises in tours to the remote Putorana Plateau – posted: ‘I don’t understand how the bear could have walked such distance, across Taymyr and not come across anyone.

‘He must have encountered many hunters. The same thing happened in 1970’s when a polar bear showed up at an explosives warehouse around the same place as this time.’

Polar bears are an endangered species in Russia’s Red Book.

The bear’s mammoth journey is believed to have started on islands deep in the Arctic either in Krasnoyarsk or Yakutia regions.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7153051/amp/Lost-starving-polar-bear-seen-scavenging-Russian-city-nearly-1-000-miles-natural-habitat.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ico=taboola_feed&__twitter_impression=true

Advertisements

Ottawa passes legislation that bans whale and dolphin captivity in Canada

ctvnews.ca
Liam Casey

Keeping whales and dolphins in captivity will no longer be allowed across Canada under legislation that passed Monday, drawing celebrations from activists and politicians who called it a significant development for animal rights.

The federal bill, which now only requires royal assent to become law, will phase out the practice of holding cetaceans — such as whales, dolphins and porpoises — in captivity, but grandfathers in those that are already being kept at two facilities in the country.

“Today’s a really good day for animals in Canada,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who sponsored the private member’s bill that began its journey in the Senate in 2015 before moving on to the House of Commons.

“Many scientists testified to why it was critical that we stop keeping cetaceans in captivity. We understand why because they are obviously not akin to other animals, for instance, livestock. Cetaceans require the ocean, they require the space, they require acoustic communication over long distances.”

Gord Johns, the NDP critic for fisheries and oceans said the bill’s passage marked “a celebration for cetaeans, for animals rights, the planet and our oceans.”

The legislation, which had its third and final reading Monday, received support from the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois, with some Conservatives opposed.

It bans the capture of wild cetaceans, but does allow for the rehabilitation and rescue of the aquatic mammals. The bill also changes the Criminal Code, creating new animal cruelty offences related to the captivity of cetaceans. Breeding is also banned.

Imports and exports of cetaceans will also be banned under the bill, with exceptions only for scientific research or “if it is in the best interest” of the animal, with discretion left up to the minister, thereby clamping down on the marine mammal trade.

“This is a watershed moment for whales and dolphins, and powerful recognition that our country no longer accepts imprisoning smart, sensitive animals in tiny tanks for entertainment,” said Camille Labchuk, executive director of advocacy group Animal Justice.

Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ont., and the Vancouver Aquarium in British Columbia are the only two facilities in Canada that currently keep captive cetaceans.

The Vancouver Aquarium announced last year that it would no longer house cetaceans and has one dolphin left at its facility. That came after Vancouver’s board of parks and recreation passed a bylaw amendment in 2017 banning cetaceans being brought to or kept in city parks after two beluga whales held at the aquarium died.

Marineland, meanwhile, has told the government it has more than 50 belugas at its facility.

It recently received approval to export two belugas, both owned by the Vancouver Aquarium, to a park in Spain. It also applied to move five more belugas to facilities in the United States, but hasn’t received those approvals yet, a Fisheries spokeswoman said late last week.

The facility told the government it had problems with the way the whale and dolphin captivity bill was written, noting that it would be in violation of the Criminal Code when the law comes into effect since some of its belugas are pregnant and set to give birth this summer.

On Monday, it said it will comply with “all animal welfare legislation in Canada.”

“Marineland began an evolution in our operation some time ago, and as that evolution continues we are confident that our operations remain compliant with all aspects of (the bill),” it said in a statement.

The head of Humane Canada, an animal welfare group, said the legislation was needed.

“If the bill didn’t do something to end captive breeding, we could have ended up with a beluga farm in Marineland,” said Barbara Cartwright.

Phil Demers, a former whale trainer at Marineland who testified at hearings on the bill, said he was “elated” at it passing.

“Marineland could never be again, if it wanted to start today,” said Demers, a longtime critic of Marieland who is engaged in a legal battle with the facility.

Marineland, for its part, has long said it treats its animals well.

“Marineland Canada continues to be a facility where children can learn about and be inspired by cetaceans without invading their natural habitats or disturbing cetacean populations that live in the ocean,” it said Monday. “We’re proud of our work, and our contribution to research, education, and conservation.”

https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/ottawa-passes-legislation-that-bans-whale-and-dolphin-captivity-in-canada-1.4459753

Elephant rides to stop at Angkor Wat in Cambodia by 2020

metro.co.uk
Lucy MiddletonSaturday 8 Jun 2019 9:08 am
Author image

Cruel elephant rides at a famous temple in Cambodia are now coming to an end.

The overworked group of 14 elephants will no longer be forced to work at Angkor Wat, where over 2.5 million international tourists visit each year.

They will be transferred to a conservation and breeding centre by early 2020, the The Angkor Elephant Group Committee confirmed.

In 2016, an elephant collapsed and died while ferrying two tourists to the monument, sparking international outrage at the practice.

Two years later, a petition to end elephant rides gained over 14,000 signatures in just 48 hours after another animal died from exhaustion.

Oan Kiry, director of the Angkor Elephant Group Committee, said: ‘In early 2020, our association plans to end the use of elephants to transport tourists.

‘They can still watch the elephants and take photos of them in our conservation and breeding centre. We want the elephants to live in as natural a manner as possible.’

Campaign group Moving Animals, who work to raise awareness of the cruelty behind elephant riding, have welcomed the move, calling it a ‘great relief’.

A spokesperson said: ‘The end of elephant rides at Angkor Wat is truly a watershed moment that shows the tide is turning against cruel wildlife tourism.

‘More and more tourists no longer want to pay to see animals in chains or captivity, and attractions where elephant riding continues, need to ban these rides if they are to stay in favour with tourists and animal lovers.’

There are still believed to be around 70 domesticated elephants in Cambodia, while experts believe there are around 500 in the wild.

This includes around 110 living in the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary and nearly 200 in the Cardamom Mountains.
The number of wild elephants in Cambodia and other countries in Southeast Asia has declined over the past due to illegal hunting, the destruction of habitats and conflict between the animals and people, studies suggest.

Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said: ‘The government is working with relevant organisations to formulate strategies to protect and preserve elephants in Cambodia for future generations.

‘To effectively protect natural forest habitats of elephants, law enforcement needed to be strengthened to tackle illegal wildlife hunting and the use of snares.’

He added that awareness among local farmers in protected forests needs to be raised as often they use chemicals on crops or harm elephants when they intrude on their farmland.

https://metro.co.uk/2019/06/08/elephant-rides-stop-cambodias-biggest-attraction-9871921/amp/?ito=cbshare&__twitter_impression=true

5 Things to Know About the State of Our Oceans for World Oceans Day

ecowatch.com
Tropical fish and turtle swim in the Red Sea, Egypt, an inlet of the Indian Ocean. vlad61 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Saturday, June 8 is World Oceans Day, a chance to honor and celebrate our blue planet. Ocean lovers around the world will attend beach cleanings and other events or join a March for the Ocean to call for an end to activities that harm marine life, like offshore oil drilling and plastic pollution.

The oceans generate most of the oxygen we breathe, provide food and medicine and help keep our climate stable, according to the day’s organizers. They are also home to amazing animals and ecosystems, like whales and coral reefs, that make the earth a more wondrous place to live. But the world’s marine environments face unprecedented threats. Here are five things to know about the state of our oceans in 2019.

1. Ocean Plastics Are on the Rise

It’s well-known that eight million metric tons of plastics enter the world’s oceans every year. But a study published in April gave new insight into how plastic pollution has proliferated in the past six decades. Researchers found that equipment used to collect plankton had increasingly been disrupted by plastic since it first got entangled with fishing gear in 1957.

“The message is that marine plastic has increased significantly and we are seeing it all over the world, even in places where you would not want to, like the Northwest Passage and other parts of the Arctic,” Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, England researcher Clare Ostle told The Guardian.

2. Plastic Pollution Threatens Marine Oxygen Production

All that plastic floating in the ocean kills one million birds and more than 100,000 marine mammals every year, according to the UK government. But a study published in May found it could have a disturbing impact on some of the ocean’s smallest life forms as well. Scientists exposed the ocean’s most abundant photosynthetic bacteria to chemicals that leach from plastic bags. The chemicals made it harder for the bacteria to grow and produce oxygen. This is scary because these bacteria are responsible for 10 percent of the oxygen we breathe.

“This study revealed a new and unanticipated danger of plastic pollution,” paper co-author and Macquarie University research fellow Lisa Moore told The Independent.

3. Global Warming Is Already Putting Fish in Hot Water

The oceans and the creatures in them are also threatened by climate change, and a groundbreaking study published in March found that rising ocean temperatures are already shrinking fish populations. A University of Rutgers-led team discovered that sustainable fish populations had declined by an average of 4.1 percent over 80 years. That might not sound like a lot, but it actually amounts to 1.4 million metric tons of fish lost between 1930 and 2010. And in some regions the decline was more extreme: sustainable fish populations fell by 34 percent in the northeast Atlantic and 35 percent in the Sea of Japan.

“We were stunned to find that fisheries around the world have already responded to ocean warming,” study co-author and Rutgers’ Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources associate professor Malin Pinsky told Rutgers Today. “These aren’t hypothetical changes sometime in the future.”

4. Marine Heatwaves Act Like Underwater Wildfires

Ocean warming doesn’t just damage individual species. It devastates entire ecosystems. A first-of-its-kind study published in March found that the number of ocean heat wave days per year is surging: The number has increased by more than 50 percent between two 29-year time chunks compared by the scientists. This has particularly harmed coral reefs in the Caribbean, Australian sea-grass beds and California’s kelp forests.

“You have heatwave-induced wildfires that take out huge areas of forest, but this is happening underwater as well,” lead author Dan Smale at the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, UK told The Guardian. “You see the kelp and seagrasses dying in front of you. Within weeks or months they are just gone, along hundreds of kilometres of coastline.”

5. Ocean Acidification Makes Life Even Harder for Coral Reefs

Marine heat waves threaten coral reefs by causing coral bleaching, in which corals expel the algae that give them color and nutrients. But the greenhouse gasses we are pumping into the atmosphere also endanger coral in another way. They cause ocean acidification, which is what happens when carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater and changes its chemical makeup. This reduces the amount of calcium carbonate that animals like corals use to repair themselves after stressful events like bleachings. In research published just last week, scientists found that some corals and algae they studied were not able to adapt to more acidic waters. This could alter the composition and function of reefs.

“We found that corals and coralline algae weren’t able to acclimatize to ocean acidification,” study author Malcolm McCulloch said.

 

https://www.ecowatch.com/world-oceans-day-facts-2638711550.html?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1

Carnival Cruise Lines Fined $20 Million For Illegal Dumping Of Trash Into The Ocean – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com
Posts by Alex Larson →
Photo by jonathan leonardo on Unsplash

Carnival Corporation will now have to pay $20 million after a court filing submitted on Monday said Carnival released food waste and plastic into the ocean, failed to accurately record waste disposals, created false training records, and secretly examined ships to fix environmental-compliance issues before third-party inspections without reporting its findings to the inspectors.

The violations took place on Princess Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival.

The settlement reached this week will require Carnival to pay $20 million within seven days, receive additional inspections, invest in more resources to ensure compliance with its probation, reduce the number of single-use plastic items on its ships, and establish teams to improve waste management. If the requirements are not met, they will have to pay penalties of $1 million to $10 million per day.

U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz approved the terms of the deal during a hearing Monday in Miami. She had appeared to grow increasingly frustrated as the company has continued to defy environmental regulations over the past couple decades.

“You not only work for employees and shareholders. You are a steward of the environment,” she told Carnival CEO Arnold Donald, who attended the hearing with other senior executives. “The environment needs to be a core value, and I hope and pray it becomes your daily anthem.”

In 2013, a whistleblowing engineer exposed the illegal dumping of contaminated waste and oil from the company’s Caribbean Princess ship. He told authorities that engineers were using a special device called the “magic pipe” to bypass the ship’s water treatment system and dump oil waste straight into the ocean. The company also tried to cover up this practice from investigators, according to the Justice Department.

http://seavoicenews.com/2019/06/07/carnival-cruise-lines-fined-20-million-for-illegal-dumping-of-trash-into-the-ocean/

Nearly Extinct Pink Dolphin Gives Birth To Pink Calf

 

lifeinsider.me

Uncommon pink dolphin mother gave birth to a charming infant dolphin. She was named Pinky, and the baby dolphin has been seen in the Calcasieu River in Louisiana. The pink calf was there, as well.

This warm-blooded animal became famous 12 years back. Chief Erik Rue was the first to recognize her. The video of Pinky and her child was posted on Pinky’s Facebook page. The dolphins were swimming before a huge boat in the Calcasieu Ship Channel.

As indicated by specialists, Pinky is a Rare River Dolphin who got the pink shading from an uncommon hereditary change. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recorded stream dolphins as jeopardized. Its populace is diminishing.

The birth of the calf gives us trust that calves have acquired their mom’s hereditary change which would help in the exertion of expanding the number of inhabitants in uncommon species.

Skipper Rue clarified that the dolphin is pink from its tail to the tip and has red eyes. Its skin is smooth and lustrous.

Pinky isn’t influenced by the earth or daylight however beyond any doubt likes to stay underneath the surface more than other animals.

She’s a fantastic mammal that conveys delight to local people, and visitors love seeing such a superb well-evolved creature.

Bridget Boudreaux spotted Pinky and her calf in the river some a time ago. She saw them swimming and bouncing around. Recognizing the mother and her child was a great encounter for her, and she even requested that the commander stop the vessel so she can see it better.

https://lifeinsider.me/nearly-extinct-pink-dolphin-gives-birth-to-pink-calf/

50+ items that you actually shouldn’t put in the refrigerator

Do you ever feel like your fridge seems to be getting smaller and smaller? Well, it’s probably because you’re putting things in there that you shouldn’t. Many Americans make the mistake of putting everything they get from the grocery store into the fridge, not knowing that it will actually kill the flavor of many foods. By removing these items from your fridge, you’re not only free up space, but you also improve but taste and quality of the items that should be stored at room temperature.

Here’s a handy list of things that really don’t need to be refrigerated.

https://homehacks.co/53-items-dont-need-refrigeration/?utm_source=twitter_ads&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=6b719901-6d93-af27-a55a-306176976dc0

Man seeks veteran’s family to return lost WWII regalia, including Bronze Star

 

ROY, Utah — A Utah man is searching for the family of a World War II hero.

Jim Thorpe has held onto a casket flag and war medals for nearly a year. He’s hoping he can finally return them to Thomas D. Walker’s family.

Walker was a World War II hero, a brave soldier in the Pacific Theater. He was honored for his conduct in the military and heroism in battle.

“He was obviously someone special that did something to earn those medals,” Thorpe told KSTU sitting on his porch on Memorial Day.

A Purple Heart and Bronze Star engraved with his name are among the five medals in a shadow box. Above them, a folded flag once draped over a casket. In front, a black and white picture of a helmeted young man holding a mortar.

“I feel it belongs with the family,” Thorpe said.

Thorpe never knew Thomas D. Walker. He doesn’t know where he lived or even which branch of the military he served. But in his possession, symbols of Walker’s courage and character.

“I can’t imagine this isn’t missed,” Thorpe said. “Somebody knows this is missing.”

It was found dirty and forgotten, in the back of the closet of a 31st Street Ogden apartment. Thorpe’s friend discovered it and gave it to him last summer.

The grandson of two WWII veterans contacted the US military and searched online for the soldier’s family.

“Honestly, I figured somebody would claim it right away. I didn’t think that I’d be holding onto it for so long,” Thorpe said.

The common name of Thomas Walker overwhelmed Thorpe while searching among 16 million WWII American soldiers.

In the middle of cancer treatment himself, Thorpe discovered two possible connections: one in Oregon, and another in Illinois. While nothing is concrete yet, Thorpe’s not giving up.

“I’d like to learn more about him. He’s been with me for a minute but I would like to get him back to his family. That’s the ultimate goal,” he said.

If you have information on Thomas D. Walker, Thorpe can be contacted through britneythorpe34@gmail.com.

https://fox13now.com/2019/05/27/roy-man-seeks-veterans-family-to-return-lost-wwii-regalia/

An Asteroid with Its Own Moon Will Zip Past Earth | Space

EarthSky reported that during the space rocks’ closest approach, they’ll be most visible in the southern hemisphere, appearing as fast moving shadows again stars in the constellation Puppis. The two remain visible for several days, according to EarthSky. North America asteroid hunters may spot the objects near the constellation Hydra on the evening of May 27.

Continue reading here and watch the amazing video.

https://www.space.com/asteroid-passes-close-to-earth.html

Wow! This Is What SpaceX’s Starlink Satellites Look Like in the Night Sky | Space

You have never seen a night sky sight quite like this.

It’s been one day since SpaceX launched its first 60 starlink internet satellites into orbit, and sky watching sleuth has already spotted them soaring across the night sky.

Neverlands-based satellite tracker Marco Langbroek stunned space fans tonight (May 24) with this jaw-dropping video of dozens of Starlink satellite soaring overhead.

Continue reading here and watch this amazing video.

https://www.space.com/spacex-starlink-satellites-spotted-night-sky-video.html

Hundreds of Sunscreens Don’t Work or Have Unsafe Ingredients, Annual Review Finds

ecowatch.com
Sam Nickerson

Summer is fast approaching, which means it’s time to stock up on sunscreen to ward off the harmful effects of sun exposure. Not all sunscreens are created equally, however.

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group released its 13th annual Guide to Sunscreens this month, which rated the safety and effectiveness of more than 1,300 sun protection products on the market. It found that two-thirds of those products either contained chemicals the Food and Drug Administration says could be potentially harmful or provide inferior protection from the sun.

EWG experts found that only 40 percent of the products it examined — including sunscreens, moisturizers and lip balms — have active ingredients that meet draft safety regulations developed by the FDA in February.

According to the FDA, just two of the 16 common active ingredients in most sunscreens, zinc and titanium oxides, have been tested enough to show they are safe and effective. Another two ingredients, PABA and trolamine salicylate, were found to be unsafe according to the proposed standards, while the remaining 12 did not have enough data for the FDA to indicate whether or not they worked and could be considered safe.

“The good news is that the FDA has reaffirmed what EWG has advocated for 13 years: Based on the best current science, the safest and most effective sunscreen active ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide,” said Nneka Leiba, director of EWG’s Healthy Living Science program, in a press release. “It’s long past time that the chemicals used in sunscreens were tested to show that they will not harm our health.”

Many of the chemical ingredients were not tested enough because they had been grandfathered in when the FDA set more rigorous testing regulations in the 1970s, Time reported, as the belief then was that creams, lotions and sprays did not penetrate deep enough beyond the surface of the skin. A recent FDA study, however, confirmed that common sunscreen ingredients avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule all end up in the bloodstream at levels beyond the threshold for further testing.

Oxybenzone is an allergen and potential endocrine disruptor that can have adverse effects on human growth, development and reproduction, USA Today reported, and could be damaging coral reefs. Oxybenzone was found in more than 60 percent of the sunscreens reviewed by the EWG.

Time also reported that sunscreen manufacturers have put stronger chemicals in their products in response to skin cancer concerns or increased listed sun protection factor (SPF) values, while health experts have suggested more frequent use of these sunscreens, potentially increasing the likelihood the chemicals are absorbed.

Legislation has since been enacted to improve the FDA review process, and the EWG supports an FDA proposal to limit SPF ratings, as research has not shown that higher SPF ratings provide additional protection from all ultraviolet rays. If anything, the EWG says, SPF values greater than 50+ provide a false sense of security leading to increased exposure.

The EWG’s 2019 sunscreen guide did provide some good news: more than 260 sunscreens meet its safety guidelines and would also meet the FDA’s proposed standards. The full list of those products is on the EWG website.

https://www.ecowatch.com/safe-sunscreen-guide-ewg-2638024475.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=9ece4f9c5f-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-9ece4f9c5f-86074753

Beer company creates edible 6-pack rings that feed sea turtles instead of killing them

mypositiveoutlooks.com
Farah R. | Positive Outlooks

In the midst of the massive plastic problem that is being experienced globally, a craft beer company is trying to help fight it by encasing their products in non-plastic and eco-friendly packaging.

The Florida-based beer company Saltwater Brewery, in collaboration with the startup E6PR (Eco Six Pack Ring) – who produces the eco-friendly six-pack rings – has upped their products’ sustainability game by putting their beers in edible six-pack rings instead of the usual plastic ones.

The cardboard-like rings are created from beer by-products – such as barley and wheat – that are left during the brewing process. They are completely safe for fish and humans to eat.

But before you start munching on them in place of your greasy potato chips, know this: The rings are edible for humans too, but they might be contaminated on their way to the production process so it really isn’t recommended. Plus, it doesn’t taste very appealing, with one E6PR founder saying that its flavor is comparable to “a very, very stale cookie.”

There have been many cases of marine life death due to plastic ingestion. Other sea creatures also get stuck within the loops of these plastic rings, causing deformities. If they don’t end up as a meal for fish, the edible rings are also 100% biodegradable and compostable, so disposal problems are avoided as well.

According to the brand, their own design is as sturdy and efficient as the plastic variant. However, the only downside is that edible six-pack rings are much more costly to produce, so customers would have to pay more for them. But they hope that patrons would be willing to shell out more cash to help the environment, especially animal life.

Peter Agardy, head of brand at Saltwater Brewery, said:

“It’s a big investment for a small brewery created by fisherman, surfers and people that love the sea.”

If more beer companies hop on the bandwagon, the company believes that prices will decrease. Also, if more companies invest in the technology of creating edible six-pack rings, then the production cost would go down as well and there is a chance that edible rings would become competitive with the plastic variant.

The brewery sells about 400,000 cans a month, and they hope that their target consumers – “surfers, fisherman, and people who love the sea” – will find the eco-friendly packaging worth spending for – all in the name of saving the environment.

Every day, approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find its way into the ocean, and it is killing our marine life. In fact, 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds are killed by plastic pollution yearly.

These are horrifying figures, but we believe that it is not yet too late to reverse it. Initiatives like this one started by EP6R and Saltwater Brewery gives us hope that more and more people and businesses are becoming aware of this serious environmental issue, and that they are doing their best to combat it in ways that they can.

“We hope to influence the big guys,” Chris Goves, Saltwater Brewery’s president, said. “And hopefully inspire them to get on board,”

We hope so, too.

If these edible six-pack rings are embraced by the market, maybe they’ll eventually make their way into soda cans and other packaged drinks! It’s still a far cry from the progress that we currently have, but that future is certainly something to look forward to.

How about you? What steps are you taking to reduce your use of plastic?

https://mypositiveoutlooks.com/beer-company-edible-6-pack-rings/

How to avoid the bite of a kissing bug

treehugger.com
Melissa Breyer MelissaBreyer April 25, 2019

Kissing bugs can carry the parasite that causes Chagas disease, and they are now making their way through the US.

Meet the kissing bug; the contrary insect with a charming moniker and deadly habits. While its name may bring to mind ladybugs or other cute critters, the kissing bug is actually a nocturnal bloodsucker that comes with an inflammatory infectious disease. Good times.

Also known as triatomine bugs, kissing bugs can carry Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease. Once found only in Latin America, this creepy crawler has worked its way north to the U.S., where it can now be found in dozens of states. The CDC says that an estimated 8 million people living in Mexico, Central America, and South America have Chagas disease, most of whom do not know they are infected. If untreated, infection is lifelong and can be life threatening.

The first (acute) phase can last for a few weeks to a few months and often shows no symptoms, but may also present with fever, fatigue, body aches, headache, rash, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting. In the chronic phase, which can last for decades or forever, approximately 20 to 30 percent of infected people develop cardiac complications and/or gastrointestinal complications.

Called the kissing bug for its propensity to bite the face, the bug doesn’t directly deliver T. cruzi to the host. The pathogen lives in the bug’s feces; to infect a person, it finds its way into the bite, another area of broken skin, or through a mucous membrane.

kissing bugCDC/Public Domain

And while all of this is rather disturbing, the CDC points out that the transmission of the T. cruzi parasite from a bug to a human is not easy:

It is important to note that not all triatomine bugs are infected with the parasite that causes Chagas disease. The likelihood of getting T cruzi infection from a triatomine bug in the United States is low, even if the bug is infected.

That said, babies, people with compromised immune systems, and pets are all especially vulnerable. So if you live in a state in which kissing bugs have been confirmed, you can take these CDC precautions to keep them at bay and avoid being bitten.

kissing bugCDC/Public Domain

KNOW WHERE THEY LIVE

Beneath porches
Between rocky structures
Under concrete
In rock, wood, brush piles, or beneath bark
In rodent nests or animal burrows
In outdoor dog houses or kennels
In chicken coops or houses

When the bugs are found inside, they are likely to be in one of the following settings:

Near the places your pets sleep
In areas of rodent infestation
In and around beds and bedrooms, especially under or near mattresses or night stands

HOW TO PREVENT INFESTATION

An important precaution to avoid being bitten is to make sure they can’t get in your home in the first place. Since they bite at night, in bed will be the most likely place a person will be bitten.

Seal cracks and gaps around windows, walls, roofs, and doors.
Remove wood, brush, and rock piles near your house.
Use screens on doors and windows and repairing any holes or tears.
If possible, make sure yard lights are not close to your house (lights can attract the bugs).
Seal holes and cracks leading to the attic, crawl spaces below the house, and to the outside.
Have pets sleep indoors, especially at night.
Keep your house and any outdoor pet resting areas clean, in addition to periodically checking both areas for the presence of bugs.

For more information (and the sources used for this story), see the CDC pages: Chagas Disease, Triatomine Bug.

Kissing bugs can carry the parasite that causes Chagas disease, and they are now making their way through the US.

https://www.treehugger.com/health/how-avoid-bite-kissing-bug.html?utm_source=TreeHugger+Newsletters&utm_campaign=95a00d3832-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_11_16_2018_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_32de41485d-95a00d3832-243719061

10 Years After Arrest, These Rhino Poachers are Finally Going to Prison

ladyfreethinker.org
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Bernard DuPont

Three South African rhinoceros poachers who tried to drag out their trials indefinitely have finally been sentenced — a decade after their crimes.

Senior Regional Court Magistrate Logan Naidoo convicted the men based on “overwhelming evidence” and declared that it would be a “travesty” to allow them to further prolong their cases.

On August 26, 2009, a rhino was shot to death in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve. Hours later, three men were arrested for the crime: 50-year-old Mutugokwakhe Khoza; 40-year-old Ayanda Buthelezi; and South African National Defence Force (SANDF) officer Mduduzi Xulu, 51.

The men were intercepted at a roadblock and discovered wearing bloodstained clothing and with a rifle, bloody axes, and a pair of rhino horns in their possession. DNA evidence later connected the severed horns to the carcass of the poached animal.

Cell phone records proved that extensive correspondence occurred between the criminals in the days leading up to the crime, despite some of them claiming not to know each other when they were caught.

To stall the proceedings and delay a verdict, Khoza and his accomplices hired and dismissed somewhere between 12 and 25 private and public lawyers throughout their trials.

On March 25, they sought further delays by firing their team of defense attorneys; but by then, court officials were fed up.

Despite threats from Xulu that the men would appeal their cases, Naidoo concluded that they had unreasonably delayed the trial and were therefore responsible for their own defense.

The three men were convicted on all eight of their original poaching charges. Khoza, who was convicted on a separate case of poaching that he committed while out on bail and served six years in prison for, was sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment. Buthelezi and Xulu were each sentenced to ten years, with five years suspended.

https://ladyfreethinker.org/10-years-after-arrest-these-rhino-poachers-are-finally-going-to-prison/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email

Trump Administration Wants More Wolves off Endangered Species List

The Trump administration is proposing to remove the remaining federal protections for wolves, just as it attempted to do with grizzlies in late 2018. In March, acting interior secretary David Bernhardt announced that the US Fish and Wildlife Service would remove Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the Lower 48. The move by the federal government is the latest in a long-standing battle among conservationists, hunters, and ranchers.

Tell U.S. Fish and Wildlife Principal Deputy Director Everson: Gray wolves need Endangered Species protections to survive.

Since 1978, the FWS has actively managed three regional wolf populations for recovery: in the Northern Rockies, the Great Lakes region, and the Southwest, where the Mexican gray wolf subspecies resides. In 2003, the FWS deemed wolf populations healthy enough to change their ESA status from endangered to threatened, which sparked a 15-year-long legal battle between the agency and wildlife conservation groups. In 2011, Congress took the unusual step of delisting a nationally protected species in a single region—the gray wolves in the Northern Rockies—when it tacked a controversial rider on to the budget bill. That allowed states like Idaho and Montana to begin preparing their own management plans.

But almost every time the FWS has moved to drop wolves from the ESA, federal courts have struck down the proposals. For example, in 2013, the Obama administration proposed removing gray wolves’ endangered status across the contiguous United States, in all areas outside of designated Northern Rockies and western Great Lakes protected regions. A federal court reversed that decision in 2014. The ruling argued that the FWS failed to account for the impact of historical range loss, and also for how a partial delisting would impact the species nationwide. Then in 2017, the FWS stripped protections for Wyoming’s wolves, leading the state to adopt a notoriously lethal “predator management” plan, which has already resulted in a 25 percent decrease in the state’s wolf population.

In Montana and Idaho, wolf hunting has been on the rise in accordance with the new state management plans, although to a lesser degree than in Wyoming. According to Earthjustice, around 3,500 wolves have been killed since 2011 in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming following the loss of federal protections. Currently, gray wolves have been delisted in Idaho, Montana, eastern Oregon, north central Utah, eastern Washington, and Wyoming, while retaining threatened status in Minnesota.

In its latest proposal, the Trump administration’s Fish and Wildlife Service argues that, based on the best available science and commercial information, gray wolves have sufficiently recovered. “Thanks to the partnerships involving states, tribes, conservation organizations, and private landowners galvanized under the ESA, the service is now able to propose turning management of all gray wolves back to the states and tribes who have been so central to the species’ recovery,” reads a FWS statement.

The proposal argues that under the ESA, the FWS is not required to restore a species to its entire historical range but rather to establish the species viability in the wild; the agency states, “there is no uniform definition for recovery and how recovery must be achieved.” The proposal acknowledges that a rise in legal human-caused mortality will follow the delisting but argues that “the high reproductive potential of wolves, and the innate behavior of wolves to disperse and locate social openings, allows wolf populations to withstand relatively high rates of human-caused mortality.”

That claim is one that wildlife advocates fiercely dispute, and they will likely continue to do so in the coming weeks when, per departmental regulations, scientific peer review and public comment periods are underway.

The FWS declined to be interviewed or respond to questions via email for this story. David Bernhardt, the former oil lobbyist currently leading the Interior Department and under fire for ties to industry, said in a press release, “The facts are clear and indisputable—the gray wolf no longer meets the definition of a threatened or endangered species. Today the wolf is thriving on its vast range, and it is reasonable to conclude it will continue to do so in the future.”

Conservation groups have balked at the Trump administration proposal, which, they say, would reverse wolves’ hard-won gains. Sylvia Fallon, senior director of the wildlife division at the National Resources Defense Council, says that the FWS has long resisted calls to implement a nationwide recovery plan, instead favoring piecemeal, regional management, even though the conservation community provided a road map to national recovery and management.

“I think [FWS wolf management] is a real truncated version of recovery and does not really bring the species to its full potential of recovery,” Fallon says. “For wolves to be recovered nationally, we would like to see them occupying the remaining available habitat in their historic range.” Fallon points to areas like Colorado, the Northeast, and parts of California as having ample suitable habitat for wolf rehabilitation.

At the time of European contact, there may have been as many as 2 million wolves inhabiting North America. After a centuries-long extermination campaign, wolf populations hit a nadir of around 1,000 animals, mostly living in the north woods of Minnesota, in the early 20th century. Today, an estimated 6,000 wolves are spread across the Lower 48. There are as many as 11,000 wolves in Alaska, where the species has never had ESA protection. According to Alaska Fish and Game, about 1,300 wolves are killed by hunters and trappers annually in the state, with up to 200 more taken by wildlife managers each year. Today, wolves occupy somewhere between 5 and 15 percent of their historical range across the Lower 48.

Colette Adkins, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, agrees that more historical range could support wolves. Adkins sees this latest delisting effort as largely political, characteristic of a distinctly antiscience administration.

“We know from experience that states can’t be trusted to sustainably manage wolves,” Adkins says. “When they lose their federal protections, they get subjected to aggressive trophy hunting, trapping, killing at the behest of the agricultural [livestock] industry.” Adkins points to Wisconsin, where the predator management plan aims for 350 wolves, or less than half of the population of roughly 900. She acknowledges that some states offer strong protections, but that those tend to be in areas where the animal is scarce, such as California and Colorado.

To a large extent, wolves will always be a highly contentious issue. Many cattle ranchers and sheep herders have long opposed the presence of wolves on the landscape. Fallon has seen some encouraging dialogue between ranchers and wolf advocates and is hopeful that people and wolves can coexist. “We’ve actually seen a lot of progress in the Northern Rockies in the last couple of years with ranchers making some changes to their practices,” Fallon says. “I think there’s huge potential there—particularly if we can help provide resources to help ranchers implement these nonlethal practices, to prevent conflicts from happening in the first place.”

In some areas, compensation programs provide cash payments to ranchers if it’s confirmed that wolves killed their livestock. By providing reimbursement, conservationists and managers are hoping to ease the pressure from industry and help assuage vitriol against wolves. But while some programs have been hailed as successful, not everyone in pleased. In Oregon, critics fear that the program is being abused by ranchers, while ranchers counter that livestock kills and wolf populations are undercounted.

Adkins is skeptical about the prospect for reaching consensus with the livestock industry. She emphasizes that there’s ample public support for wolf conservation. “The first step is to try to make sure that this proposal is never finalized at all,” she says. “But if the Fish and Wildlife Service does go ahead with the final rule, absolutely we will bring them to court.”

Earthjustice has a useful timeline of the wolf saga here.

https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/trump-administration-wants-more-wolves-endangered-species-list

Rep. Cunningham Introduces Bill Banning Offshore Drilling on the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts

cunningham.house.gov

The Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act would permanently ban oil and gas leasing off the coast of the Pacific and Atlantic

Washington, D.C. – Keeping his promise to make sure there is never offshore drilling on South Carolina’s coastline, today Rep. Joe Cunningham introduced the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act. This bipartisan legislation would permanently ban oil and gas leasing off the coast of the Pacific and Atlantic.

“I’ve been clear from the very beginning that our beaches, businesses, and way of life should not be for sale. South Carolinians want nothing to do with offshore drilling and the devastating threat it poses to our vibrant natural resources,” said Congressman Joe Cunningham. “I am proud to have the support of a bipartisan group of lawmakers, advocates, and organizations up and down South Carolina and across both the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to lead this bipartisan bill across the finish line to ban offshore drilling off our coast once and for all.”

“The Administration is trying to further oil and gas interests at an alarming rate, including major expansions of offshore drilling in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. This is nothing more than a hand-out to the oil and gas industries and runs counter to health, safety, and environmental safeguards we know must be in place to protect our coastlines. These actions also run counter to the will of the citizens in these coastal communities. I am proud to join with my colleagues in making it perfectly clear to this Administration – there will be no new drilling off our coasts,” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal.

“The Trump administration’s drill-everywhere plan has run into a wave of public opposition. Americans from coast to coast have made it very clear that they do not want to see more oil rigs in their oceans,” said Rep. Jared Huffman. “The Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act will halt Trump’s oil and gas drilling spree in its tracks, protecting coastal communities and fragile ecosystems from environmental catastrophe. In California, we know that our coastal economies would be placed at unacceptable risk by offshore oil and gas drilling, which threatens the tourism, recreation, and fishing industries. I’m glad to work together with Joe Cunningham on this ongoing effort to block offshore drilling on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and to shield both of our coastlines from dangerous exploitation.”

“From Congress to the Governor’s mansion to City Council chambers, bipartisan leaders across South Carolina have said time and time again they oppose drilling off our coast. Now Congressman Cunningham is leading the charge in Congress to ensure this threat never comes to be,” said John Tynan, Executive Director of Conservation Voters of South Carolina. “Voters in the Palmetto State have told their elected leaders to prevent drilling off our coast, and we’re proud to stand beside Congressman Cunningham as he leads the way in the fight to protect our coastline, tourism economy, and quality of life.”

“This smart measure responds to communities and leaders all along our Atlantic and Pacific coasts who strongly oppose offshore drilling. It would protect those coastal waters and wildlife from the risks of another BP-style disaster, as well as industrial ruin and ongoing harm. This bill deserves the support of everyone who cares about healthy oceans, marine life, our coastal economies and all they support”, said Alexandra Adams, Legislative Director, Nature Program, Natural Resources Defense Council.

https://cunningham.house.gov/media/press-releases/rep-cunningham-introduces-bill-banning-offshore-drilling-atlantic-and-pacific

Oil Leak In Solomon Islands Potentially Wreaking Havoc On World’s Largest Raised Coral Atoll – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com

by Alex Larson

An environmental crisis continues in the Solomon Islands as for more than month, a cargo ship off the coast of Rennell Island in the Kangava Bay has been leaking oil into the waters. This site also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage site as it is the world’s largest raised coral atoll.

The ship, a 740-foot-long ship called the Solomon Trader ran aground on February 5, 2019 where it was carrying more than 700 metric tons of oil according the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said Tuesday. So far, CNN affiliate Radio NZ has reported that the wreck has released more than 100 tons of oil into the sea that holds one of the most important coral atolls in the world.

While a large amount of the oil still remains in the ship, there is a high risk that the remaining oil on board could leak into the sea. According to the DFAT, the oil had spread about three and half miles and has begun to wash up onshore.

Speaking to the New York Times, Simon Albert, a marine ecologist at the University of Queensland explained that the spill is likely to cause long therm damage to the coral and local ecosystem.

When coral comes in contact with oil, it can either kill the coral polyps direct or significantly impact reproduction, growth, and behavior over the a long period of time. What this means is that this coral, which is already struggling to survive due to bleaching events and ocean acidification, will be impacted for generations of coral to come.

While the future will be problematic, there are already environmental impacts occurring according to Radio NZ. Loti Yates, the director of the Solomon Islands Disaster Management Office, told them that dead fish have been washing up on beaches.

“There are dead fish and crabs and all that,” Yates said. “The fumes that is coming out from the oil is also affecting communities and I just had a report it’s also impacting on the chicken and birds.”

The site is the largest raised coral atoll in the world, according to UNESCO, which said in a statement this week the leak is taking place just outside the World Heritage site.

The ship ran aground when it was attempting to load cargo of bauxite in the Solomon Island when Cyclone Oma pushed in into a reef. The ship is based out of Hong-Kong and insured by a Korean company.

Thus far, the company attempted to try and use a tugboat to move the ship but this only made matters worse as it pushed it further into the reef. Since then, Australian officials are supporting the Solomon Islands in efforts to mitigate ecological damage. The DFAT said the Australian government has deployed special equipment and an eight-person response crew from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

The companies are now working on transferring the remaining 600 metric tons of fuel oil on the ship to different tanks which will be pumped onto a separate barge that is en route.

They’ve also started deploying oil spill booms to contain the spread, and have begun cleaning along the shoreline, the statement said.

http://seavoicenews.com/2019/03/12/oil-leak-in-solomon-islands-potentially-wreaking-havoc-on-worlds-largest-raised-coral-atoll/

The Top 10 Detox Herbs

wakeup-world.com
February 26th, 2019

By Dr. Edward F. Group Guest writer for Wake Up World

Today I want to explore ten of the best detox herbs used to cleanse various organs and systems of the body. Most of these herbs have been part of the therapeutic lexicon for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and are known across many cultures and borders to help with various ailments and health conditions. Due to their long history, popularity, and reported effectiveness, some of these herbs are also active ingredients in some of our most effective body cleansing products.

Top 10 Detox Herbs

1. Organic Gum Acacia

Made from the sap of the acacia tree, this substance has been used for centuries to help relieve symptoms of diarrhea by adding bulk to bowel movements and improving electrolyte absorption. It is also one of several ingredients in Oxy-Powder®. As a hydrocolloid, it is used as an emulsifier to stabilize and facilitate synergy between two ingredients which would not normally mix well together. [1]

2. Dandelion

For centuries, parts of the entire dandelion plant have been used to help with a wide range of maladies. It promotes bowel regularity and good hydration levels in the body. And, its famous derivative, dandelion tea, has been used to help with joint discomfort. Dandelion root is used in our liver-cleansing product, Livatrex®because it supports bile production, and bile helps transport toxins out of the body. Dandelion is also believed by some to help the body’s immune system. [2]

3. Organic Milk Thistle

This herb has been used to help the gallbladder and liver for over 2,000 years. It has been known to help produce bile, which in turn improves digestive function. Milk thistle is an active ingredient in Livatrex, which is our most popular liver and gallbladder cleansing product. [3]

4. Black Walnut

Europeans were first introduced to this herb in the 1600’s. Three active agents in black walnut, juglone, tannins, and iodine, make it particularly effective in natural health and wellness practices. Juglone is the black walnut’s natural defense mechanism, which helps fight against harmful organisms like bacteria and fungus. Tannins also help deter harmful organisms. Iodine, an essential mineral to all life forms, helps reduce the lifespan of many harmful organisms.

5. Wormwood

The subject of much folklore, wormwood’s potent reputation as a component of absinthe lead to it being banned in the United States for many years. Despite the momentary hiccup, wormwood is back and has been used since Egyptian times to fight harmful organisms such as pinworms and roundworms. It has also historically been used to aid with digestion.

6. Cilantro

Cilantro is instrumental in helping the body rid itself of dangerous toxic metals that accumulate in organ tissues. It is also a very popular herb that is talked about on almost every cooking show. Cilantro possesses natural cleansing agents that contain compounds which bind to toxic metals and help pull them out of various tissues. [4]

7. Alfalfa Leaf

Herbalists have used Alfalfa leaf for centuries to help with a variety of infections. Many believed that it also helped the body fight stomach ulcers and also helped stimulate a healthy appetite.

8. Peppermint

Peppermint has a soothing quality that helps with coughing associated with colds and flu. It also helps with sore throats and sinus irritation. Because it helps also aids the body in fighting off harmful organisms, it is an active ingredient in lung cleansing products like Allertrex®. [5]

9. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is another herb that helps with lung cleansing. It possesses expectorant properties, helps fight bacteria, and attacks viruses. It can also be used as a topical ointment for chest congestion and a stopped up nose. Aboriginal medicine highly regarded it for its calming, soothing properties.

10. Stinging Nettle

Known for its ability to resist microorganisms, it also possesses antioxidant properties. Stinging nettle is also resistant to systemic redness and swelling and promotes normal blood pressure. [6]

Sources and References:

[1] Teichberg S, Wingertzahn MA, Moyse J, Wapnir RA. Effect of gum arabic in an oral rehydration solution on recovery from diarrhea in rats. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1999 Oct;29(4):411-7.
[2] Schütz K, Carle R, Schieber A. Taraxacum–a review on its phytochemical and pharmacological profile. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Oct 11;107(3):313-23. Epub 2006 Jul 22. Review.
[3] Saller R, Melzer J, Reichling J, Brignoli R, Meier R. An updated systematic review of the pharmacology of silymarin. Forsch Komplementmed. 2007 Apr;14(2):70-80. Epub 2007 Apr 23. Review.
[4] Aga M, Iwaki K, Ueda Y, Ushio S, Masaki N, Fukuda S, Kimoto T, Ikeda M, Kurimoto M. Preventive effect of Coriandrum sativum (Chinese parsley) on localized lead deposition in ICR mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2001 Oct;77(2-3):203-8.
[5] Shkurupi? VA, Kazarinova NV, Ogirenko AP, Nikonov SD, Tkachev AV, Tkachenko KG. [Efficiency of the use of peppermint (Mentha piperita L) essential oil inhalations in the combined multi-drug therapy for pulmonary tuberculosis]. Probl Tuberk. 2002;(4):36-9. Russian.
[6] Testai L, Chericoni S, Calderone V, Nencioni G, Nieri P, Morelli I, Martinotti E. Cardiovascular effects of Urtica dioica L. (Urticaceae) roots extracts: in vitro and in vivo pharmacological studies. J Ethnopharmacol. 2002 Jun;81(1):105-9.

https://wakeup-world.com/2019/02/26/the-top-10-detox-herbs/

Recommended articles by Dr. Edward Group:

Learn How to Lower Cortisol Levels Naturally
Study Finds Antidepressants to be Depressingly Ineffective
The 9 Best Fermented Foods for Your Gut
14 Foods that Cleanse the Liver
Top 5 Foods for the Pineal Gland
The Importance of a Kidney Cleansing Diet
The 9 Best Herbs for Lung Cleansing and Respiratory Support
7 Best Foods to Support Kidney Function
How Fluoride Damages Pineal Gland Health
10 Uses for Organic Oregano Oil
Lung Cleanse: 10 Ways to Detox Your Lungs

About the author:

Dr. Edward F. Group III (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) founded Global Healing Center in 1998 with the goal of providing the highest quality natural health information and products. He is world-renowned for his research on the root cause of disease. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center earned recognition as one of the largest natural and organic health resources in the world. Dr. Group is a veteran of the United States Army and has attended both Harvard and MIT business schools. He is a best-selling author and a frequent guest on radio and television programs, documentary films, and in major publications.

Dr. Group centers his philosophy around the understanding that the root cause of disease stems from the accumulation of toxins in the body and is exacerbated by daily exposure to a toxic living environment. He believes it is his personal mission to teach and promote philosophies that produce good health, a clean environment, and positive thinking. This, he believes, can restore happiness and love to the world.

Why Do Governments Recommend This Toxic Food Today When They Didn’t A Decade Ago?

wakeup-world.com
February 26th, 2019

By Marco Torres

Guest writer for Wake Up World

If we analyze the food guide and government advice on nutrition over a decade ago and compare those advisements to what is recommended today, there is one big difference–one specific food crept up onto the radar of public health officials as if it had some kind of miraculous nutritional benefit for the public. The problem is, 80 percent of this food is genetically modified, contains toxic phytochemicals and is linked to digestive distress, immune system breakdown, allergies, ADD and ADHD, higher risk of heart disease and cancer, malnutrition, and loss of libido. Yet, governments seem to think that’s not a problem.

You’ve probably already figured out that the food is soy.

I’ll get to how deadly soy is shortly, but first let’s backtrack to the year 2000 and analyze the food guides of two countries, namely Canada and The United States.

The waybackmachine is a beautiful tool that can show us exactly what a website looked like in the past. So if we plug in both the USDA and Health Canada websites in the year 2000 at about the same period, we can see exactly how each publicly funded message translated to each respective food guide or pyramid.
In the Year 2000

On the Health Canada website, there was absolutely no mention of soy at all. Under milk products, the main message was to choose lower-fat milk products more often. Most people had no idea back then how toxic pasteurized milk was, so it was heavily consumed, much more than it is today. There are currently huge debates throughout the internet as to why humans are drinking milk at all.

On the USDA website on either the Milk, Yogurt & Cheese page or the main page illustrating the Food Guide Pyramid, there is again no mention of soy. The recommendation was also low dairy.

So what happened?
In the Year 2013

Today, Health Canada promotes fortified soy beverages on their website for those who don’t drink milk. So we go out of the frying pan and into the fire. We go from the recommendation of a dead liquid, namely pasteurized milk to a beverage that may be even more harmful to public health.

“Have milk or fortified soy beverages by the glass or use them in recipes.”

“Use milk or fortified soy beverages when preparing scrambled eggs, hot cereal, casseroles and soups.”

“Create smoothies by blending lower fat milk or fortified soy beverage with a combination of fresh or frozen fruits.”

“Try a latte made with low fat milk or fortified soy beverage.”

“Use milk or fortified soy beverages to replace some or all of the water when reconstituting canned tomato or cream soups.”

The USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), kicked their message into high gear in 2002 when they started heavily promoting soy across the United States. Their key message is still to switch to fat-free or low-fat milk, however consume calcium-fortified soy milk is a main heading.

“For those who are lactose intolerant… include lactose-reduced or lactose-free milk, yogurt, and cheese, and calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage).”

Under Tips For Vegetarians

“Sources of protein for vegetarians and vegans include beans, nuts, nut butters, peas, and soy products (tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers).”

“Sources of calcium for vegetarians and vegans include calcium-fortified soymilk”

“Calcium-fortified soymilk provides calcium in amounts similar to milk. It is usually low in fat and does not contain cholesterol.”

“For breakfast, try soy-based sausage patties or links.”

“try veggie burgers, soy hot dogs, marinated tofu or tempeh, and veggie kabobs.”

The site is littered with soy recommendations not only for vegetarians, but also in the promotion of protein foods.

How did this happen? When soy industry lobbyists get together and decide to change the framework of nutrition for the masses, it happens. It’s really that simple.

It’s not only soy. If you care to investigate further, you’ll also notice how three of the most toxic genetically modified oils in the world, canola, corn and soyabean oil are heavily promoted today on both the Health Canada website and the CNPP website (on behalf of the USDA), and neither agency had those recommendations in 2000.

The USDA had absolutely no mention of any of these oils in 2000.

Health Canada also has no mention of these oils in 2000.
How Deadly is Soy?

With Monsanto’s patented genes being inserted into roughly 95 percent of all soybeans and 80 percent of all corn grown in the U.S., the company used its wide reach to control the ability of new biotech firms to get wide distribution for their products, according to a review of several Monsanto licensing agreements and dozens of interviews with seed industry participants, agriculture and legal experts.

Soy protein is not an effective alternative to any other protein. It is high in allergens (some 28 different proteins present in soy have been found to bind to IgE antibodies). It’s also worth noting that the more soy protein you eat, the more likely you are to develop allergies to it — and the more severe those allergies are likely to become.

As Dr. Spreen has pointed out, phytates in unfermented soy products actually obstruct absorption of protein and four key minerals: calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.

Even so, the public’s perception of soy as health food got a boost from the FDA with a rule that permits soy beverages, soy-based cheese substitutes, and soy-based butter substitutes to be fortified with vitamin D.

In their natural form, soybeans contain phytochemicals with toxic effects on the human body. The three major anti-nutrients are phytates, enzyme inhibitors and goitrogens.

These anti-nutrients are the way nature protects the soybean plant so that it can live long enough to effectively reproduce. They function as the immune system of the plant, offering protection from the radiation of the sun, and from invasion by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. They make the soybean plant unappetizing to foraging animals. All plants have some anti-nutrient properties, but the soybean plant is especially rich in these chemicals. If they are not removed by extensive preparation such as fermentation or soaking, soybeans are one of the worst foods a person can eat.

The most common soy (99%) sold at major grocery retailers in soy milks and processed foods is unfermented soy. It is deadly. Unfermented soy has been linked to digestive distress, immune system breakdown, PMS, endometriosis, reproductive problems for men and women, allergies, ADD and ADHD, higher risk of heart disease and cancer, malnutrition, and loss of libido.

The dangers of soy for men are a result of the high levels of the female hormone estrogen that soy and soy-based products contain. Primarily, soy affects the quality and concentration of a male’s sperm, especially if taken in large quantities or if the subject was exposed to high levels in the womb. A study at Harvard University showed that there was a definite correlation between men with low sperm counts and a high intake of soy foods. The study revealed that the average sperm concentration of 80 to 120 million per millimeter of an adult male was more than halved when soy formed part of the diet. The case is more compelling in the study of obese males whose sperm levels are even lower owing to the estrogen making properties of fat tissue.

When food is eaten, digestive enzymes such as amylase lipase and protease are secreted into the digestive tract to help break it down and free nutrients for assimilation into the body. The high content of enzyme inhibitors in unfermented soybeans interferes with this process and makes carbohydrates and proteins from soybeans impossible to completely digest. When foods are not completely digested because of enzyme inhibitors, bacteria in the large intestine try to do the job, and this can cause discomfort, bloating, and embarrassment. Anyone with naturally low levels of digestive enzymes such as elderly people would suffer the most from the enzyme inhibiting action of soy.

Groups most at risk of experiencing negative effects from the anti-nutrient properties of soy are infants taking soy baby formula, vegetarians eating a high soy diet, and mid-life women going heavy on the soy foods thinking they will help with symptoms of menopause.

Soybeans have a high content of goitrogens, substances that can block the production of thyroid hormone as well as cause goiter formation. Low thyroid activity plagues women in America, particularly middle-aged women. Thyroid hormone stokes the cellular furnaces, known as mitochondria. When thyroid production is low, energy levels as well as body heat are also low. Low thyroid level is what makes old people move so slowly and seem like every action is a huge chore. Low thyroid means the action of the heart is reduced, resulting in lack of oxygen to the cells, a prime condition for cancer.

Genistein, an isoflavone found in soybeans, can also block thyroid production. Phytate can accentuate these effects because it binds up zinc and copper, leaving little of these important minerals available to make thyroid hormone.

People filling up their shopping carts with raw or cooked soybeans, soy milk, and other non-fermented soybean products do not realize that the isoflavones they contain will not be available to their bodies. Most of the isoflavones in soy products are bound to carbohydrate molecules called glucosides. In this form genistein is actually called genistin. It is fermentation that transforms genistin into genistein. Many products in the U.S. do not distinguish between genistin and genistein on their labels.

Even with fermented soy foods, a little goes a long way. The nutrients found in miso, tempeh, and natto can be beneficial in the moderate amounts found in the typical Asian diet, but have the potential to do harm in higher amounts. In China and Japan, about an ounce of fermented soy food is eaten on a daily basis.

When fermented soy foods are used in small amounts they help build the inner ecosystem, providing a wealth of friendly microflora to the intestinal tract that can help with digestion and assimilation of nutrients, and boost immunity.

A study in an issue of Indian Journal of Medical Research suggests that eating soybean oil may boost cancer risk compared to eating a type of butter called cow ghee, a type of butter used in South Asian cuisine.

Soy Lecithin has been lingering around our food supply for over a century. It is an ingredient in literally hundreds of processed foods, and also sold as an over the counter health food supplement. Scientists claim it benefits our cardiovascular health, metabolism, memory, cognitive function, liver function, and even physical and athletic performance. However, most people don’t realize what soy lecithin actually is, and why the dangers of ingesting this additive far exceed its benefits.

Soybean lecithin comes from sludge left after crude soy oil goes through a “degumming” process. It is a waste product containing solvents and pesticides and has a consistency ranging from a gummy fluid to a plastic solid. Before being bleached to a more appealing light yellow, the color of lecithin ranges from a dirty tan to reddish brown. The hexane extraction process commonly used in soybean oil manufacture today yields less lecithin than the older ethanol-benzol process, but produces a more marketable lecithin with better color, reduced odor and less bitter flavor.

In theory, lecithin manufacture eliminates all soy proteins, making it hypoallergenic. In reality, minute amounts of soy protein always remain in lecithin as well as in soy oil. Three components of soy protein have been identified in soy lecithin, including the Kunitz trypsin inhibitor, which has a track record of triggering severe allergic reactions even in the most minuscule quantities. The presence of lecithin in so many food and cosmetic products poses a special danger for people with soy allergies.

If you eat soy in any form, unless it’s fermented and organic, you are risking your immediate and long-term health. Check your labels, check your ingredients and most of all stay away from anything that is heavily advertised with soy as being a health food.

If you haven’t already figured it out, your government in not your ally when it comes to your health, so do as much research as possible, and cross reference every detail that comes out of public health education.

https://wakeup-world.com/2019/02/26/why-do-governments-recommend-this-toxic-food-today-when-they-didnt-a-decade-ago/

Sources:

metrofarm.com
mercola.com
preventdisease.com
biophile.co.za
wisegeek.com
ndmnutrition.com

RECYCLE CLAMSHELLS AND HELP SAVE THE OCEAN

The Clamshell Report

When I think of all the hours that are spent looking at stupid stuff on screens instead of paying closer attention to the real world, the one we take for granted; trees, nature, water, and air, I wonder, “why is this happening?” All it would take would be a little (okay, a whole lot of!) people with passion and energy to make a difference. Wouldn’t it? It seems as if we humans have been stuck in a passive inertia vortex for too long, one that allows the problems to heap up and mount ever higher. We are drowning in our own discordance with nature.

Ignoring the “real world” is to ignore life’s positive energy, the tremendous gift of will to live, one that flows from the universe bringing us health, happiness, and vitality. To me, that is what Sustainably is. Want to feel better about this? Well, now you can…

View original post 1,554 more words

Breaking! Anger Mounts As Iceland Sets Quota For Commercial Whaling At 426 Whales Annually; This Must End! – World Animal News

By Karen Lane –
February 22, 2019

The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) strongly opposes Iceland’s decision Tuesday to establish a base whaling quota of 209 fin whales and 217 minke whales annually from 2019 to 2023. Due to this misguided regulation, Iceland’s image as a nature tourism destination could face irreparable damage.
Iceland’s Minister of Fisheries Kristján Þór Júlíusson based his decision, in part, on a macroeconomic review of Icelandic whaling released by the University of Iceland’s Institute of Economics in late January 2019. This review is an unsound document that does not provide a complete or accurate assessment of the impacts of whaling on Iceland’s economy, image and fisheries.
Iceland’s base whaling quota remains unchanged from last year, but it is still unclear if a carryover quota will increase the overall quota moving forward.
“Minister Júlíusson has failed not only Iceland’s whales but also the people of Iceland in making this decision,” said Susan Millward, AWI’s Marine Animal Program Director in a statement. “The deeply flawed macroeconomic review of whaling did not consider the welfare implications of whaling, nor did it accurately portray the negative impacts whaling has had on Iceland’s image and economy.”
Icelandic whaling quotas are not approved by the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the only appropriate international organization responsible for the conservation and management of whales. Furthermore, commercial whaling is inherently cruel, unsustainable and impossible to regulate. AWI advocates for an end to commercial whaling, including Iceland’s unprofitable and unnecessary whaling industry.

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-anger-mounts-as-iceland-sets-quota-for-commercial-whaling-at-426-whales-annually-this-must-end/

Contact us: contact@worldanimalnews.com

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

This Winter’s Top 5 Wildlife Webcams | Sierra Club

As the biting cold rips through civilization, people seek refuge in blankets and huddled by crackling fires. But many critters brave the elements and they don’t seem to mind. While winter keeps us somewhat evolved primates in hiding, we still can appreciate this round up of wildlife webcams, all of which showcase some of the amazing adaptations and quirky behaviors. So grab a hot beverage and enjoy the show.

https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/winters-top-5-wildlife-webcams-0?utm_source=insider&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

BUSTED: Photo Resurfaces Of Joy Behar Dressed As An African-American Woman dim and Videos of Both Fallon and Kimmel Wearing Blackface

https://ilovemyfreedom.org/busted-photo-resurfaces-of-joy-behar-dressed-as-an-african-american-woman/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email

Rescued Birds Are Helping Veterans Manage PTSD | Care2 Causes

PTSD can be a terrible and insidious health problem and a hard one to treat because of the many layers of trauma that can underpin the condition.

But animal companions, and recently birds, like parrots, have proved to be a powerful source of

joy and wellness for people dealing post traumatic stress. To understand why birds are particularly good companion animals for people with PTSD, it’s first worth learning a bit about the health problem.

What is PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is usually caused by a significantly traumatic event or prolonged exposure to trauma that may span months to many years. PTSD usually occurs right after the event itself, but in some cases it may show up several months or even years after the catalyst event.

The way PTSD manifests can be different for every person dealing with this condition and can depend on the trauma that person endured. However, common symptoms can include flashbacks or nightmares of the traumatic event itself or stress responses such as pain, sweating, feeling sick and trembling, to name just a few. These may occur as a result of stimuli that “trigger” the memory or may come on without warning.

PTSD is perhaps most widely understood by the general public as a condition effecting combat veterans, whose prolonged exposure to scenes of war and combat have had an impact on their mental wellbeing. However, PTSD can occur among almost all demographics. Women—for example those who have been in an abusive relationship—or children who have undergone prolonged stress or suffered the loss of a parent can also suffer from PTSD

PTSD can manifest through persistent negative self-talk that reinforces the person’s feelings of anguish surrounding the event. It can also lead to a state known as “hyper arousal” which might best be explained in this context as someone always being on edge. This can lead to sufferers having short tempers or being quick to anger or upset. In some extreme cases, PTSD can cause angry or even violent outbursts, though the actual number of PTSD sufferers who are violent is much smaller than media portrayals lead us to believe, and there is surprisingly little evidence to specifically link PTSD with violence.

Other problems that can manifest because of PTSD include an inability to concentrate, a “mental fog” state and an avoidance problem where sufferers will attempt to minimize their negative feelings. This can lead to sufferers not seeking treatment, avoiding responsibilities or stressful situations like employment, or attempting to medicate themselves in a variety of ways. Self-medication can manifest as obsessive behaviors, like over-exercise, through to alcohol and drug use, casual sexual encounters and more.

How is PTSD treated?

It is possible to successfully treat PTSD, but it is among the more complex class of mental health disorders. PTSD is distinct from panic disorders and depression, but the conditions can overlap, meaning that treatment has to take in some or many of these factors.

Treatment often involves therapy of some kind, sometimes underpinned by various medications designed to give the emotional breathing room for that therapy to take effect. These can include:

CBT, where patients learn to challenge negative thought patterns and introduce new thoughts to replace those old systems
eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, where eye movements are used during the recounting of past traumas as a means of helping a patient walk through the trauma while distracted (though exactly why this works isn’t fully understood)
group therapy medications specifically used for PTSD, like paroxetine and sertraline.

However, PTSD sufferers can find it hard to undergo therapy precisely, because it’s difficult to relive or deal with the past trauma that they have struggled with. This is where support animals can be effective.

Support animals don’t magically make PTSD symptoms go away, but they do offer love and support that can anchor people dealing with PTSD. Dogs and other support animals are also good at picking up when their human companions are in distress and lend support without their human needing to specifically communicate their distress, something that PTSD sufferers can find very difficult.

In addition, the very act of having to care for an animal can help bring a focus to the lives of PTSD sufferers that is outside of their own distress, thus helping to break the negative thought patterns or at the very least offering distraction.

Why Birds are so Helpful for People Dealing with PTSD

Some birds, such as ravens and parrots are incredibly intelligent and can learn to understand or even mirror basic language skills. Birds also display some surprisingly “human-like” behaviors, but at the same time have particularized and often demanding needs to which a human companion will have to attend. This creates a new dimension of interactivity for PTSD sufferers.

While there is a lack of specific wide-scale research on birds as animal companions for PTSD sufferers, there is growing anecdotal support for their abilities to help. So much so, in fact, that a number of groups, including Parrots for Patriots, have launched with the specific aim of matching abandoned birds with veterans who may be in need of an animal friend to care for and from whom they can take support. These birds don’t just help PTSD sufferers, but they may be particularly well-served by this scheme.

Below is a video from Serenity Park Sanctuary that demonstrates what a difference various schemes like this can have for veterans and people dealing with PTSD:

It’s worth noting that service birds which help with diagnosed mental health conditions have a complex status under the Americans with Disabilities Act and may not be protected in all spheres like other service animals are. It is important to know your rights, if you are thinking about adopting a rescued bird as a service animal, and the facility from which you are receiving your animal will likely be able to give you all the information you will need.

https://www.care2.com/causes/rescued-birds-are-helping-veterans-manage-ptsd.html

Photo credit: Getty Images.

HATE HOAX: Native American Activist Approached Chanting Covington Catholic Teens, Got In Their Face

The truth is in the videos!!

http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=59696

Scottish Wildcats are Virtually Extinct, but European Cousins Could Help | Care2 Causes

A new study finds that Scottish wildcats are now functionally extinct in the wild, with only a handful of so-called “pure” animals remaining in the wild.

The research, carried out by a team from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) at the Wildgenes Lab at Edinburgh Zoo, found that among the nearly 300 wildcats they tested, all of those living in the wild shared what has been dubbed a hybrid gene pool. This means that Scotland’s wildcats are now “virtually extinct”, the authors say, because the wildcats have bred with the now-ubiquitous domestic cats of Scotland, watering down their own genes to such an extent that there appears to be no true population of wildcats left.

Dr. Helen Senn, head of conservation and science at RZSS, told The Press and Journal, ”Crossbreeding with domestic feral cats has long been known to be a major threat to the Scottish wildcat. We now have genetic data which confirms our belief that the vast majority of Scottish wildcats living in the wild are hybrids to one extent or another.”

The population sample was an interesting mix. There were 125 “wild-living” cats who were deceased but whose cadavers had been collected over the last quarter of a century. In addition to these, there were the corpses of 60 cats believed to be wildcats that farmers had shot between 1895 and 1985. Added to this were 19 cats that were trapped by Scottish Natural Heritage, 72 confirmed wildcats, and 19 domestic cats (or their DNA) sampled from across Edinburgh. Together this allowed the researchers a good basis for unpicking the current makeup of Scotland’s wildcat population.

They found that there may be a small minority of wildcats whose genetics would put them in a class of “pure” wildcats, or at least close enough to that end of the spectrum to be a meaningful DNA source for future breeding campaigns. The vast majority of wildcats, however, are so hybridized that they are not viable. Until now, scientists suspected this to be the case, but they did not have concrete data to confirm it. Now they do, and it begs the question: how can we save Scotland’s majestic wildcats?
Be an informed activist.

Get fact-based insights about newsworthy causes delivered daily to your inbox.
How Do We Save Scottish Wildcats?

As few as 35 pure wildcats remain in the Scottish wilds, with feral cats outnumbering the wildcats 3,000 to one. To put it bluntly, there is now no way of helping the wildcat population in Scotland by relying on the population alone, as there are too few animals from which to build genetic diversity. However, there are some options.

Wildcats can be bred in captivity—which, for these purposes, means sheltered enclosures that are as close to their wild habitats as possible—but that alone is slow-going and would likely require greater genetic diversity than we currently have at our disposal in domestic zoos and wildlife facilities.

There is another option that can supplement and support this approach: introducing wildcats from abroad to enlarge the gene pool and create a more diverse platform on which to rebuild the wildcat population.

This kind of approach requires clearing a number of regulatory hurdles, and Scottish Natural Heritage would have to carry out the proper assessments and give approval, but there is precedent for an approach like this in Scotland. A 2009 project released Norwegian beavers in Argyll, then supplemented them with beavers from elsewhere in Scotland, helping to bring the beaver population back.

Wildcats live in several places across Europe, India and Africa, but they are on the IUCN Red List because of their low numbers. They are currently rated as “least concern”, but scientists say a new assessment is warranted. As is the case in many of these places, wildcat territory in Scotland has diminished rapidly over the past century. With the encroachment of feral domestic cats who, through sheer numbers can out-compete the wildcats, there is yet another layer of pressure as the wildcats—who aren’t choosy about their partners—cross paths with ferals and mate.

However, as serious as this situation is, there is hope. Unlike with issues facing other animals that involve complexities like fighting disease or finding a way to slow climate change, the wildcats’ problem is, while not simple, more easy to manage.

Researchers say that, as with other wildlife transplanting operations, we can build a framework and create reintroduction and management schemes to help the wildcats. This will take time, resources and financing from the government, but there seems no overriding reason why we can’t help the Scottish wildcats bounce back and protect their legacy for many years to come.

This research was a first step: by shining a light on just how bad the problem is we can take the first steps to solving it.
Take Action

Lack of diversity isn’t the only issue Scottish wildcats are facing. Deforestation is threatening their habitat. Join over 78,000 Care2 members and sign this petition asking the Scottish government to protect this endangered species.

https://www.care2.com/causes/scottish-wildcats-are-virtually-extinct-but-european-cousins-could-help.html

Photo credit: Getty Images.

Sandals Resorts To Eliminate All Styrofoam At Caribbean Resorts – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com
by Alex Larson →

Sandals Resorts is set to eliminate all styrofoam from its 19 Sandals and Beaches-branded resorts across the Caribbean, the company announced this week.

The company said the elimination of styrofoam was particularly important in the Caribbean, with its abundant marine life.

Ocean pollution continues to grow daily and the fact that cooperations are starting to recognize this is extremely important. A recent study found that 100% of all sea turtles tested on seven species of sea turtles across three different oceans all had micro plastics inside of them which also includes styrofoam.

In the first decade of this century, we made more plastic than all the plastic in history up to the year 2000. And every year, billions of pounds of plastic end up in the world’s oceans.

“As we enter the New Year, it’s incredibly important to our Sandals family that environmental sustainability remains a key priority,” said Adam Stewart, Deputy Chairman of SandalsResorts International. “After eliminating plastic straws, stirrers, laundry bags and gift shop bags last year, we’re choosing to eliminate Styrofoam from our resorts. We’re proud that many of the islands in which we operate are also making this shift to ensure that future generations can enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean.”

The company also said it would explore ways to eliminate other plastic across its resorts this year.

While this is move is a positive step, a much bigger change than having almost 20 resorts ban an item is needed. Most top notch resorts such as Sandals have programs in place that already due handle waste very well but trash and plastic can be found littering the pristine beaches of the Caribbean.

To take the next step, we need to push the countries such as the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and others to ban single-use plastics and styrofoam altogether.

http://seavoicenews.com/2019/01/08/sandals-resorts-to-eliminate-all-styrofoam-at-caribbean-resorts/

7 Year Old Jazmine Murder Solved? Police Have Arrested Two

truthtroubles.com
7 Year Old Jazmine Murder Solved? Police Have Arrested Two
5-6 minutes

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CBS NEWS)
A 20-year-old man in Texas was arrested Saturday and charged in the death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes, who was shot and killed while riding in a car with her family in Houston. Another man is being held in connection with the shooting but has not yet been charged, a lawyer for the girl’s family said.

Eric Black Jr., 20, was charged with capital murder and appeared in court early Sunday morning, wearing handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit. He was ordered held without bail. A prosecutor said Black admitted to driving the car when his passenger opened fire.

Lee Merritt, an attorney for the Barnes family, told CBS News another suspect had also been arrested.

The shooting occured in Houston on Dec. 30 when a car pulled alongside the vehicle carrying Barnes and her family at a stoplight and a gunman opened fire. Jazmine died of a gunshot wound to the head, and her mother was hit in the arm.

LaPorsha Washington, Jazmine’s mother, said in the days following the shooting that she believed it was racially motivated. Her 15-year-old daughter, who was also in the car, initially said the shooter was a white man in a red truck, and police released an artist’s sketch Thursday showing a thin, white man with a 5 o’clock shadow. Black, the alleged driver, is African American. The full name of the alleged gunman is not yet known, but Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Sunday the individual is also African American.

In a press conference Sunday afternoon, Gonzalez said there was indeed a red truck at the stoplight when shots rang out, but said investigators now believe the person or people in the truck were nothing more than witnesses. He urged the unidentified driver of the truck to come forward.

Gonzalez said investigators don’t believe “in any way” that family members were involved in anything “nefarious.” He added that investigators believe two people were involved in the shooting, but would not comment further since Black is the only individual who has been charged.

“We feel that they were truthful. This just went down very quickly when the gunfire erupted,” Gonzalez said. “You’re talking about small children — they witnessed something very traumatic. And it is possible that the last thing they did see was indeed that red truck and that driver that was in that truck, and that’s what they remembered last.”

jazmine-ssvo-frame-0.jpg
Jazmine Barnes.HARRIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Earlier Sunday, a prosecutor presented details of the case against Black at a hearing at Probable Cause Court in downtown Houston. Appearing by video conference, the prosecutor said Gonzalez had received an anonymous tip passed along by journalist and activist Shaun King. The source implicated two men identified as “LW” and “EB” in the shooting after authorities asked the public for help identifying the assailants.

The source for the tip said the suspects thought the vehicle carrying Jazmine was another vehicle they had seen earlier in the day, the prosecutor said, and didn’t realize they had hit the wrong vehicle until seeing the news later that day.

The source provided the sheriff with the name of an Instagram account used by one of the suspects, which investigators determined belonged to Black, the prosecutor said.

On Saturday, police stopped Black in a grey Kia for failing to signal when changing lanes, and held him for suspected marijuana possession after a deputy said he saw a plastic bag with what appeared to be marijuana in his glove box when Black opened it to find his insurance card. The officer searched Black’s car, found more marijuana and detained him, the prosecutor said.

eric-black-jr1.png
Eric Black Jr. appears in court for a probable cause hearing on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019.ONSCENE.TV

Homicide detectives interviewed Black on Saturday, and the prosecutor said Black admitted to driving the vehicle involved in the shooting. Black told investigators “LW” — identified in court only as “Larry” — was seated in the front passenger seat of a rental car and fired at the vehicle carrying Jazmine. Black returned that rental car after the shooting and picked up the car he was driving when he was pulled over Saturday.

The prosecutor said in Sunday’s hearing that Black then agreed to a search of his residence, where police found a 9 mm pistol consistent with shell casings found at the site of the shooting.

Gonzales, the sheriff, said Sunday that police had received more than 1,000 tips in the case. A reward of $100,000 had been offered for information leading to an arrest. At a rally in Houston on Saturday, more than 500 people honored Jazmine and helped raise money for the family.

Zachary Hudak contributed reporting.

http://HP://truthtroubles.com/2019/01/06/7-year-old-jazmine-murder-solved-police-have-arrested-two/#like-37107

#RallyForRangers – Rhino Protection Units in Java, Indonesia

The International Rhino Foundation Blog

Photo by Stephen Belcher

Rhino Protection Units in Java, Indonesia

The world’s sole remaining population of the Javan rhino – numbering merely 67 individuals – lives in Ujung Kulon National Park on the island of Java. Javan rhinos have survived in Ujung Kulon because they are protected year-round by Rhino Protection Units (RPUs), four-man units that patrol the park a minimum of 15 days per month, year-round, tracking rhinos, and apprehending poachers and encroachers.

Onpatrol, RPUs also collect data on all rhinos signs they encounter – footprints, wallows, feces, and evidence of feeding. These data tell us about population distribution, ranging behavior, new births, and more – critical information that helps park authorities and government officials decide how to manage and protect this Critically Endangered rhino population.

When you donate to IRF’s Rally for Rangers campaign, you’ll help Rhino Protection Units get the equipment they need to monitor and protect…

View original post 538 more words

Fish bones could help us trace the toxic path of coal ash

grist.org
By Greta Moran on Dec 29, 2018

When Hurricane Florence flooded the Carolinas in September, the rivers turned from blue to a sickly gray. The water ran so thick with soil, dead leaves, and pollution that you could see murky ink blots forming from outer space. Duke Energy admitted that the intense floodwaters had caused a breach in one of its dams, setting loose a gross sludge known as coal ash — a toxic byproduct of burning coal.

Laden with arsenic, lead, mercury, and other toxins, coal ash tends to be stored near low-income communities and communities of color. For this reason, Mother Jones reporter Julia Lurie noted that the sludge has “quietly become one of America’s worst environmental justice problems.”

Scientists have found a new, unlikely tool to help track the spread of coal ash contaminants: fish bones. Researchers at Duke University discovered that the pearlescent, calcified structure in a fish’s inner ear — known as the otolith — can provide a picture of coal ash contamination in rivers and lakes.

Looking at the otolith under a microscope, you can see a new layer laid down for almost every day of the fish’s life, says Jessica Brandt, the lead author of the new Duke study. “They grow like tree rings,” Brandt says. The layers contain a lot of information, from the fish’s age to its migration patterns — as well as if and when it came across coal ash contamination.

This knowledge could help researchers track changes over time with more accuracy and ease. “If you go and collect a water sample at any given point, you’re only getting information for the time of collection,” explains Brandt, who is also a researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey.

The scientists from Duke examined fish from two North Carolina lakes with a history of coal contamination, Mayo Lake and Sutton Lake (the lake that was contaminated by coal ash from a Duke Energy plant during Florence). In the wake of the hurricane, Duke Energy claimed that the leaked coal ash posed no environmental or health risks. But experts aren’t convinced.

“The fact that we are finding fish, which is the top of the predator system, with a ‘fingerprint’ suggests that the system is already affected by coal ash,” said Avner Vengosh, one of the authors on the study and a professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke University. Exposure to coal ash can lead to cancer and a number of other long-term health problems.

Vengosh’s previous research on coal ash was used in a lawsuit in 2017, when a judge ordered the Tennessee Valley Authority to clean up coal ash that had been leaking into nearby rivers in eastern Tennessee for decades. The ruling was recently overturned by a higher court. Still, the more we know about coal ash contamination, the better. Perhaps the pearly, inner ear of fish could also prove to be a useful tool for protecting people from the dangers of coal ash.

https://grist.org/science/fish-bones-could-help-us-trace-the-toxic-path-of-coal-ash/