Jun 16, 2012
Julia

The Number of Cougars Would Be Up

 

Not only cougars are back in the forests of Canada and the United States, but their number is increasing, according to new research.

Cougars, also known as pumas, would be at the top of the food chain in the midwestern states and provinces of Western Canada, if their number had been declining since 1900.

In 1978, the cougar was endangered and there have only been a handful since observation of the feline, according to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

However, the researchers found evidence for 20 years that confirm the return of the animal.

Clay Nielsen, an assistant professor at the University Carbondale, Illinois, analyzed the data on confirmed sightings of cougar carcasses, tracks, photos, videos, and DNA evidence collected from 1990 to 2008 in 14 States and provinces across the U.S. Midwest.

With his assistant, Michelle LaRue, University of Minnesota, Mr. Nielsen has identified 178 cases of confirmed presence of a cougar and says this number is increasing.

“This paper provides quantitative information strongest to date on the recolonization potential of cougars in the Midwest, has supported Professor Nielsen. These results suggest that wildlife managers and the public could face an increased population of cougars in the near future. ”

Much of the Midwest lived without large carnivores such as cougars for over 100 years, he said.

The research results were published in the Journal of Wildlife 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 11, 2012
Julia

Red Ruffed Lemur (Varecia rubra)

 

Did you know?

That Red Ruffed Lemurs reproduce seasonally at the beginning of the wet season? This is because juveniles will be raised during a period after which there is a lot of food.

The adult Red Ruffed Lemur has a head to body length of about 55-60 cm with a tail that is equally long. Its body weight varies from 3.5 to 4.5 kg. The fur is thick, soft and rather long. There is much variation in the amount of coat. The color is usually black and white or red, black and white. But overall, the tail, hands, feet, shoulders, face and top of the head are black, while the back, hips, hind legs, and ears are red.

The Varecia rubia are social, living in groups of 2 to 16 animals. They reach sexual maturity at the age of two years. The females usually give birth to twins or triplets, sometimes up to six young at a time. Juveniles remain in the nest for several weeks. The young do not adhere to the mother. When the mother moves (changes the nesting site regularly), it carries its young in its mouth.

The maximum life expectancy of the Varecia rubia in the wild is 15-20 years. In the wild, the Red Ruffed Lemurs spend most of their time in the forest canopy. The clearing of mature trees in a forest in particular can lead to local extinction of the species.

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 28, 2012
Penny

Solar Flares: US & China battle it out over solar tariff

Things are definitely heating up between China and the USA when it comes to the trade front. With both nations trying to safeguard their own business interests, it seems that there is a full-on battle between two economic giants.

This is of particular significance in a world where many nations are suffering from a downward economic spiral and are trying hard to prevent the slide. While the planet is turning towards alternate energy and renewable sources to reduce on both domestic and business electricity prices, and cut down on both emissions and bills, the field of solar energy and trade has become the latest trade battleground.

Continue reading »

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.

May 24, 2012
Julia

Australian Tree Frog (Litoria splendida)

 

Did you know?

That the males of Litoria splendida produce a substance that is released into the water to attract female species?

The Australian Tree Frog is a large tree frog that is 10 cm in length. It has dark olive color schemes to bright green on its back, with yellow or white spots scattered. The inner surfaces of the forelegs, hind legs and groin are bright orange yellow. The belly is white and granular. A large gland completely covers the top of the head. The skin of the back is smooth. They have three fingers that are slightly webbed. The color of the species may vary depending on the region where they are.

The Litoria splendida breeds in the early rainy season with the onset of monsoon rains (December and January). A female lays eggs on average about 1,000, floating in groups and forming a single layer on the water surface. The larvae takes from 1 to 4 months to develop, depending on when the eggs were laid.

May 23, 2012
Julia

Facts About Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy is a nonrenewable energy source. Read some interesting facts about nuclear energy.

– Nuclear energy is the energy that is liberated by the decomposition of a nucleus of two atoms or by combining two atomic nuclei into a new atom.

– At the moment, nuclear energy is derived from the conversion of mass into energy during the splitting of the atom. This happened after the famous formula, E = mc2, by Albert Einstein was introduced. The formula says: E [energy] equals m [mass] times 2 by c [c – speed of light]. That is, the released energy is equal to the difference of the masses multiplied by the square of the speed of light.

– Nuclear energy is increasingly referred to as acceptable energy source because it produces no greenhouse gases and the Earth is not heated, unlike other non-renewable energy sources.

– Nuclear energy is produced by a controlled chain reaction and creates heat. This heat is used for the heating of the water, the production of steam and for the operation of the whole turbine.

– Nuclear power plants need much less fuel than the power plants that use fossil fuels. For example, one ton of uranium is the same quantity of energy that can be gained from a few million tons of coal or several million barrels of oil.

– Nuclear energy is the nuclear fission of uranium, plutonium or thorium or the fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium. At the moment, most uranium is used.

– Nuclear energy was accidentally discovered by a French physicist, Henri Becquerel in 1896. He saw that a photographic plate was dark after it was stored in the dark next to the uranium.

– In the U.S., the nuclear power plants generate about 19% of electrical energy. This is equal to the total consumption of electrical energy in three most populous states: California, Texas and New York.

– On the 27th of June 1954, the Soviet Union’s first nuclear power plant is the Obninsk, where electricity was generated and was thereby connected to the electrical grid. It produced approximately 5 MW of power.

May 22, 2012
Julia

Where is the Earth’s Water Stored?

The earth from space is considered a blue planet. This is the color of the water that covers three quarters of its surface. Only the presence of water allows life. On Earth, water is abundant, with 1.4 billion cubic kilometers in total. However, the water on the earth is distributed unevenly. This is why there are many places where there is too much or too little water.

The total amount of water on earth is estimated at 1.4 billion cubic kilometers. Of these, 97 percent is good salt water, while only 2.75 percent (38.5 million cubic kilometers) is fresh water. Although our very early ancestors came from the oceans, the salty taste of our blood reminds us that the apple has not fallen far from the tree. However, we cannot we not live by salt water. We need fresh water.

A large freshwater is found on the Antarctic ice, with a total of about three-quarters of the fresh water (29 million cubic kilometers) in glaciers and ice sheets bound. The 98.5 percent of the liquid fresh water (9.5 million cubic kilometers) is stored as groundwater in the cavities of the lithosphere . And only a small part of it, the small amount of 144,000 cubic kilometers or 0.0001 percent of all water on earth is easily accessible in rivers and lakes, soils, living organisms, and in the atmosphere.