Browsing articles in "Environment"
Jul 4, 2012
Julia

More Than 50 Workers Resume Cleanup in Areas Affected by Fuel in Asturias

 

More than fifty workers have resumed this morning, cleaning areas affected by the fuel spill detected on June 26 in Aboño, Asturias. Principality sources have reported that the sanitation operating on this day is composed of 56 operators, in addition to staff working with cleaners.

For its part, the sands of Rejoice in Perlora were clean and there are minimal contributions to La Palmera, Candas. Moreover, in the port of this town, there are remains, therefore, work is being done to clean the rails and wetlands.

Finally, in Playa Spain in Gijon, the minimum contribution and the operators are busy cleaning the fuel removal zone rocks.

The operation will continue to be coordinated by the Advanced Command Post at the Candas port. It reminds people that since Tuesday,  June 26, Carreño beaches are closed due to cleaning work being carried out on them.

Jun 27, 2012
Julia

Heat Waves Reach the Northern Peninsula

 

The Meteorological Agency forecast for this Wednesday, are significantly higher temperatures in most parts of the Peninsula and the Canary Islands. There will be intervals of strong wind on the Cantabrian coast and the Canary Islands.

Cloudy intervals, mainly middle and high clouds in the Peninsula, with possibility of a shower or thunderstorm in the afternoon in the northern half and southeastern mountainous area are forecasted. It will be more likely in the Cantabrian mountain range, high Ebro, Aragon and Pyrenees, where it may be locally moderate.

The weather will tend to be slightly cloudy in the afternoon and evening in the southwest quadrant. There will be cloudy intervals in Ceuta and Melilla.

It will be partly cloudy in the Balearics. In the Canaries, it will be cloudy to mostly cloudy in the northern islands of greater importance, and partly cloudy or clear in the rest.

There is a possibility for morning fog patches in Galicia and Cantabria, and a probable mist in the Calimas and the Canary Islands.

Daytime temperatures are moderate to significant rise in the Cantabrian East, in light to moderate decline in the Atlantic side of the peninsula and with little change in the rest.

There will also be weak to moderate winds from the east turning west, with some intervals of strong in the Cantabrian coast. Weak to moderate westerly peninsula in the Atlantic, and east in the Strait. There will be slack variables in the rest of the Peninsula and Balearic Islands. In the Canaries, it will be moderate from the north with some strong intervals.

Jun 26, 2012
Julia

The Power Auction Today Will Determine the Electricity Tariff Review in July

 

MADRID – The nineteenth auction of electricity between traders of last resort (Cesur) will be held today and serves to hold the corresponding term in the energy of light fare, with the next quarterly review will take place on July 1.

The result of these auctions has a weight close to 50% on Last Resort Rate, while the other 50% are electric tolls, which meet the cost regulated power system.

The previous auction, held in March, closed with declines of 7%, while Last Resort Rate finally rose 7% to collect tolls increased nearly 23% with the government complied with the judgments of the Supreme Court and ensuring balance between costs and revenues. The rise was accompanied by a reduction of regulated costs of 1.700 million.

The auction will coincide with the announcement of the energy reform in which government works, which aims to tackle the tariff deficit and avoid that in 2012 the gap exceeds 1.500 million. Secretary of State for Energy, Fernando Marti, has warned that the deficit in 2012 may be 4.000 million, if no action is taken.

In tomorrow’s auction of five providing electric service regulated tariff, which are Endesa, Iberdrola, Fenosa Natural Gas, HC and E.ON will acquire 5,036 megawatts (MW) base load and peak load 575 MW for the third quarter.

Apart from the decisions of the Government related to cost reduction of the electrical system, experts warn that it will be necessary to raise the income of the system and, to that end, not only will raise rates, but also expected to taxation .

Jun 24, 2012
Julia

Behaviors of Omission and Environmental Responsibility

 

The current development of human activities creates the need to understand the subject to be considered responsible for an event adversely affecting the environment .

For this reason, the case with the Legislature, has identified the operational mode to detect a case that may determine behavior in environmental responsibility.

The imputability of pollution can occur for active conduct , but also for failure to act and the proof can be given either directly or indirectly, i.e., in the latter case, the public administration responsible for environmental protection can make use of presumptions. Taking into account facts which can be drawn from the serious, specific and consistent evidence that would lead to a strong presumption, according to the id quod plerumque accidit, that pollution has occurred and that this is attributable to certain authors (cons. State, Sec. V, 16 June 2009, n. 3885).

The objective of this position of law is the need to identify environmental responsibility, for the demands of effective environmental protection, without the duty, the investigations aimed to identify specific factors responsible for the facts of contamination.

Jun 23, 2012
Julia

Waste: The Proceeding on Lazio

 

In 2007, the European Court of Justice ruled that Italy had failed to adopt its plan, necessary to protect human health and the environment. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner, Janez Potočnik, the Commission has decided to close the case.

The adoption of the plan is a very important first step, but the Commission remains concerned about its implementation and urges the Italian authorities to continue their efforts to ensure a proper waste management in the region. In a judgment as a result of Commission’s appeal (Case C-82/06) in June 2007, the European Court of Justice condemned Italy for the absence of plans for waste management in some regions and provinces, including the Lazio Region.

These plans are required under the Waste Framework Directive and the Directive on hazardous waste. Italy had adopted waste management plans to these directives to all affected areas (the regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia and Puglia and the provinces of Bolzano and Rimini), except for Lazio. The Italian authorities had notified the Commission several times to take steps to adopt the plan for Lazio. But, the Commission remained concerned about the slowness of this process.

As the judgment had not been respected, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice on May 8, 2008, and warned Italy that a second action could result in the imposition of financial penalties. On March 16, 2012, Italy finally submitted on waste management plan for Lazio adopted on January 18, 2012.

Based on the evaluation of the plan made ​​by the Commission, it shall comply with EU legislation. Although this is an important first step, the Commission expects that the authorities ensure the effective implementation of the plan. Overall, waste management in Lazio continues to cause concern, among other things, because a sufficient capacity for the proper treatment of waste before putting into landfill has yet to be created.

Jun 21, 2012
Julia

The Great Green Wall Project in Sahel

 

NEPAD has committed $2 billion for the Great Green Wall.  The head of the TerrAfrica agency and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Ousmane Djibo, said about $ 2 billion U.S. were identified to support the project of the Great Green Wall for the Sahel and in parts of West Africa. This was according to the information service and communication of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

In a speech presented Monday at the round table of high level on NEPAD and sustainable development on the fringes of Rio 20 conference, Mr. Djibo said the project’s development objective is to extend the sustainable land and water management in targeted landscapes and areas vulnerable to climate in the Sahel and West Africa.

“About 108 million U.S. dollars of total project were approved in May 2011 by the Global Environment Facility (GEF),” said Djibo, who added that 12 countries are already hard at work on their investment operations. Investments are made ​​in the areas of natural regeneration of the canopy forestry, integrated soil fertility, water harvesting, agroforestry, soil conservation, alternative livelihoods, watershed management and conservation corridors.

He said the project should also focus on the production and sharing of knowledge, especially in the economic analysis, the natural resource monitoring, mapping of land suitability, hydro-metallurgy and land degradation. This will strengthen institutional capacity for planning of land use, resource ownership, decentralization, innovation networks of farmers, enforcement and evaluation of environmental impact. Djibo also said that pointing out that land degradation affects nearly 500 million people and two-thirds of productive land.

Africa holds 17% of the world’s forests but half of its deforestation is caused by agricultural expansion. ECA is a strategic partner of the NEPAD Agency and support the implementation of its programs through direct technical assistance, analytical work of its advisory services and knowledge management.

Jun 14, 2012
Julia

“Xena” Pleads Guilty to Illegal Approach During New Zealand Protest

 

Actress Lucy Lawless, star of the television series “Xena: Warrior Princess”, and seven Greenpeace environmentalists, pleaded guilty today, to address an oil tanker illegally during a protest in New Zealand.

The environmentalists boarded the Discoverer ship and settled for 77 hours at the top of its derrick, which is 53 meters high, to protest Shell’s oil exploration off the coast of Alaska.

The police arrested and charged the environmentalists with eight counts of theft, which potentially threatened the career of Lawless for restricting entry to countries like the United States, but were later changed by illegal approach.

The district court judge in Auckland found that all defendants remain on bail and will be sentenced on Sept. 14, according to the television station TVNZ .

The environmental group read a joint statement justifying their actions and hoped that their actions “inspire others” and that people continue to support their fight against drilling in the Arctic Ocean.

Jun 13, 2012
Julia

Australia Will Create Largest Network of Marine Reserves

 

The Australian Government will create the largest network of marine reserves in the world and limit the exploitation of oil and fishing in sensitive areas to help protect the oceans.

The network will increase the number of reservations from 27 to 60 and will cover about 3.1 million square kilometers, more than a third of the ocean surrounding the country-continent.

“It is time that the world take a turn in the protection of our oceans,” announced the Minister of Environment , Tony Burke, noting that “Australia will lead the course” in favor of a more responsible management of marine and resources.

The minister stressed that many Pacific Island countries are concerned about the impact of mining activities and other resources in the oceans, so far not only responds to the need to “protect the environment” but is linked also to food security.

Under this plan, which must be subjected to a final consultation process before implementation in Australia, will expand the protection of animals such as whales, turtles and other endangered species including the gray nurse shark and dugong (sea mammal relative of the manatee).

Also, it aims to limit the oil and gas exploration, an activity that represents the engine of the Australian economy, and increase the protection of the reefs in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, which is home to the green turtles.

The initiative, announced a few days after the Rio Earth Summit +20, opens the possibility that the fishing industry in compensation claims around a $99.7 million.

According to the Executive in Canberra, the measure will affect only one percent of commercial fishing in the country.

But while there are “many interests at stake,” Australia has a “responsibility” as a country to lead global efforts to protect the oceans, said Burke.

The announcement sent alarm bells ringing in the fishing industry, which warned that the increase of protected areas will mean a greater volume of fish imported to the detriment of local industry.

For its part, the representative of the Australian Conservation Foundation, Chris Smyth, welcomed the measure, although he emphasized that the protected area will not be as extensive as he would have liked.

“There are many interests involved, the industry of oil and gas, commercial fishermen and amateurs as well as environmental groups,” he told ABC .

The new marine reserves announced by the Minister included the Perth Canyon, southwest of the country, “which is larger than the Grand Canyon,” although “the jewel in the crown” is the Coral Sea, northeast Australia .

The Coral Sea area and the adjacent Great Barrier Reef marine reserve representing the world’s largest, said the minister.

The director of the Australian Marine Conservation Society, Darren Kindleysides, said that in the Coral Sea can not be carried out activities such as oil and gas exploration, mining on the seabed and trawling.

The Coral Sea “has a long chain of coral atolls that are important for various species of fish and sharks,” said Kindleysides, who recalled that marine reserves help protect wildlife and biodiversity.

The creation of marine reserves is the highest level of protection and excludes extractive activities, although the movement of ships, tourism and recreational activities such as scuba diving are permitted.

In 2010, the tenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Nagoya (Japan) agreed that 10 percent of the world’s seas should be protected in 2020.

Jun 10, 2012
Julia

Cures in the Grotto of Lourdes

 

TOULOUSE – The water from the source to the sanctuaries and the very place of pilgrimage could be the source of healing found in the city where the Virgin appeared to Bernadette, scientists have considered together in conference, including the Nobel Prize Luc Montagnier.

“I look for rational reasons,” noted Professor Montagnier, co-discoverer of the AIDS virus, who presented his theories on the influence on health of electromagnetic waves of very low frequency of water.

“I can not explain the miracles,” said American rheumatologist, Esther Sternberg, claiming that a place like sanctuary created the “emotions” and that they probably have a “role on health, healing the sick.”

Professor Montagnier wanted to bring “a message of science alongside that of faith,” he warned before the participants of the symposium organized by the office of the medical findings of Lourdes on the theme of healing “in terms of reason and science, in connection with the influence of faith and prayer on human health.”

He recalled the “disturbances” (neurodegenerative diseases, cancer …) could result in the human body’s electromagnetic waves, and his own experiences on the water structure and its role in human disease.

He thus suggested that the spring water from the grotto of Lourdes, where the apparitions have taken place, could affect patient health, while stressing that the analyzes of this water did not show any particular property.

For Professor Sternberg, if stress can cause the disease, being “immersed in an atmosphere of compassion, as in Lourdes, can affect the emotions, and thus the brain.” It occurs “a change in the brain that allows the body and the immune system to heal,” she said.

“In a place like this, it already happens with the hope that we will feel better and it reduces stress,” rated the rheumatologist.

The Church recognizes that healing dropper: more than 7,000 cases of unexplained healings were recorded at Lourdes since 1884 but less than 1% of them, sixty, received official recognition.

 

Jun 8, 2012
Julia

Nature Takes its Place

 

MONTREAL – Small treasures are hiding in the streets of Plateau Mont-Royal. Agency tours in Montreal begins to unravel these unsung green gems.

During the weekends of June, Ivan Drouin will discover some curious alleys green with the City of Montreal and its citizens.

“It’s an exploration that begins with the history of the urban metropolis. I explain to people how the development of gardens and alleyways has changed since the French colonial houses, the English country houses, and homes of the industrial era,” Drouin spreads.

From this small back alleys of the explorers learn how over time, the alley, which was used by various services such as delivery drivers and sellers of coal in rags, will lose its practical nature. Neglected by the workers, the alley was somewhat deserted during the year.

Snowball effect

However, since the 1970s, some citizens decided to break down the fences of their backyard, but still extends to the alley. Thus, it is a community movement that was born and has snowballed into the neighborhoods.

“When people see a beautiful green lane, the desire to beautify their takes to turn the public space. Obviously, we need people precursors, ready to lead the movement because it is a lot of work, “says Drouin.

This is indeed the sweat of their brow as private citizens undertake to transform their driveway. For the district is involved, it often takes only two owners offer the project through their eco-neighborhood. The district may request a signed agreement from 60% to 90% of owners of buildings in the alley in question.

“We have a management plan, a timeline, a section of concrete. The process takes at least two years. And once all this is done, it’s not over, it is necessary that a committee Lane takes care of its maintenance,” said Drouin.

Social networks have facilitated the process, however, since a simple click on Facebook now allows members of these groups to know when will the next big semaison or watering periods. It is with trial and error that they have sometimes turned into their driveway concreted true way to blush with envy the Irish valleys.

Better quality of life

Beyond aesthetics, these managed lanes appear to improve the quality of life for residents.

“When they are clean and greened, motorists are less likely to pass through the narrow streets, reducing traffic and noise. In addition, there is less crime, fewer people use drugs at night, because they see that residents monitor and hold to their small passage, “says Drouin.

Jun 7, 2012
Julia

Quebec Wants to Reduce Emissions by 20%

 

Quebec will provide the bulk of investment in its Action Plan 2013-2020 on Climate Change (PACC 2020) to the transport sector, which alone emits 43% of all emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the province.

Of the $ 2.7 billion investment that will be granted at PACC 2020, two thirds, or about $ 1.8 billion will be spent on transport sector, including to promote public transit or carpooling develop.

The PACC 2020 will be self-financed from the carbon market and the fuel levy and fossil fuels, which has been extended until 2014.

“It works as a formula. The proof is done. There will revaluations to be made, but we are committed to a policy that can not stop, “said Premier Jean Charest.

The plan sets 30 priorities for action, particularly in the field of sustainable mobility, land use and energy.

Grants to spend oil heating to geothermal, wind, hydroelectric and solar power are also provided for.

The overall objective is to reduce 20% GHG emissions by 2020 compared to the reference year of 1990.

GHG emissions in Quebec have reached a historic peak in 2003 to 6.8% above the 1990 level. The level of GHG then decreased by 8.7% to in 2009 to 2.5% below the 1990 level, according to information from the government.

Reactions

Équiterre and the David Suzuki Foundation have found that this plan is “interesting, but incomplete” and that he will not, in their view, to achieve the goals by 2020.

The PACC 2020, however, contain in their opinion of “interesting things”, as Quebec’s participation in the carbon market and a commitment to devote two-thirds of this funding to the development of public transit. The Société de transport de Montreal (STM) for its part welcomed the measures announced.

“By dedicating two-thirds of the Green Fund, including public transit, the Quebec government confirms one of the components of the cocktail of measures that will enable us to provide funding for public transit, said Michel Labrecque, Chairman of Directors of the STM. This is good news confirming the central role of public transportation in reducing GHG emissions in Québec. ”

WWF was pleased “to see that Quebec wants to retain its role as a leader in Canada in regards to the fight against climate change, said Marie-Claude Lemieux, Director for Quebec WWF-Canada. It is imperative for Quebec to reduce emissions from the transport sector if it wants to achieve the 2020 target. ”

The Quebec Association of fight against air pollution (AQLPA), Greenpeace Quebec and Nature Québec have however said “overall disappointment” of this action plan.

The government is to “miss the boat,” according to André Bélisle, president of AQLPA plan since it identifies only the third of measures to achieve these targets.

“After missing the Kyoto targets for 2008-2012, the Quebec government is mired in contradictions and may miss its 2020 target,” he said.

 

May 25, 2012
Julia

Recycling Mobile Phones

Every year in Europe, there is an impressive figure of 160 million mobile phones that are thrown. And of this number, only 1% is recycled properly. This data came from a study of the Renewal Device Forum. Mobile phones are part of the so-called WEEE (waste from electrical and electronic equipment).

A huge number of polluting technology which, if recycled and reused, could lead to savings of 1.5 billion euros on materials and 120 million in energy savings.

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These huge numbers stress the lack of widely-used consumer products into the environment: “Few people return their phones at the end of its use, despite incentives, and (some) information campaign,” says an executive at Sony Mobile France.

How do we recycle? First of all, try to use your phones as long as possible. If they’re no longer working, however, confer them to the ecological islands (or recycling centers) in your municipality for recycling and recovery. The collection should always know what to do.