Environment

Hollande says no climate deal if there is no climate fund

Written by The Associated Press Sunday, 01 March 2015 04:25

French President Francois Hollande said this week that a landmark climate deal may not be reached in Paris in December if wealthy countries don’t commit adequate funds to help poor nations fight global warming.

“There will be no agreement concluded in Paris if the countries, the poorest countries, are not convinced that there will be a fund ... which would be made available to them,” Hollande said in Manila after he and Philippine President Benigno Aquino III launched an international appeal to back efforts to seal a climate change accord.

GMO labeling bills introduced in Congress

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Thursday, 26 February 2015 12:39

Democratic lawmakers in February introduced House and Senate versions of legislation to direct the Food and Drug Administration to require the labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients.

U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon introduced the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act.

Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline bill

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 24 February 2015 14:44

President Barack Obama has vetoed the Keystone XL oil pipeline bill. The veto is the third of Obama's presidency.

The White House notified the U.S. Senate of the presidential action mid-day on Feb. 24.

Research links climate change and appearance of disease in new places, new hosts

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 16 February 2015 11:15

The appearance of infectious diseases in new places and new hosts is a predictable result of climate change, according to a zoologist affiliated with the Harold W. Manter Laboratory of Parasitology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

In an article published online in conjunction with a special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, Daniel Brooks warns that humans can expect more such illnesses to emerge in the future, as climate change shifts habitats and brings wildlife, crops, livestock and humans into contact with pathogens to which they are susceptible but to which they have never been exposed before.

Coalition seeks U.S. endangered species protection for elephants

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 12 February 2015 07:07

A coalition of wildlife groups has filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to uplist African elephants from threatened to endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Since the African elephant was originally listed as threatened in 1978, the species’ population has declined by about 60 percent, primarily due to poaching for the ivory trade. Habitat destruction and unsustainable trophy hunting also contributed to the decline. Scientists say elephant mortality is outpacing the natural birth rate, fixing the species in a pattern of ongoing decline.

1st GMO apples approved for sale in U.S.

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Thursday, 26 February 2015 12:35

— PHOTO: Okanagan Specialty Fruits

What would Johnny Appleseed do?

Reward offered after throats of 14 pelicans are slashed, 10 die

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 24 February 2015 07:11

Two national organizations — the Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust — are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for slashing the throat pouches of 14 brown pelicans in South Florida, leaving 10 dead and another four injured.

This adds to existing rewards totaling $6,000 offered by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and a local construction company. FWC is investigating the incidents, which occurred in January.

Negotiators agree on early draft of climate deal in Geneva

Written by The AP Monday, 16 February 2015 09:01

U.N. negotiators have produced an early draft of what eventually should become a landmark climate deal in Paris next December, piling on suggestions to make sure the document reflected every country's wishes.

So instead of shrinking to a more manageable size, the 38-page text from a previous climate change meeting swelled to 86 pages during the weeklong negotiating session in Geneva.

Study: GE crops threaten monarch butterflies

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Friday, 06 February 2015 06:20

The Center for Food Safety this week released a detailed scientific report revealing the severe impacts of herbicide-resistant genetically engineered crops on the monarch butterfly population, which has plummeted over the past two decades.

The CFS said the report, “Monarchs in Peril: Herbicide-Resistant Crops and the Decline of Monarch Butterflies in North America," makes it clear that two decades of Roundup Ready crops have nearly eradicated milkweed, the monarch caterpillar’s sole source of food, in cropland of the monarch’s vital Midwest breeding ground.

Activists join in global divestment day of actionActivists join in global divestment day of action

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Thursday, 26 February 2015 12:28

Activists in mid-February staged 450 demonstrations as part of the global campaign to drive institutions to divest of fossil fuel holdings and reinvest in clean, renewable energy industries.

“Those betting on a future based on coal, oil and nuclear will lose. Citizens globally are demanding a just transition to a green future,” said Kumi Naidoo, international executive director of the environmental group Greenpeace.

Cracks in nuclear reactors prompt call for worldwide inspections

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 17 February 2015 17:28

The discovery of thousands of additional cracks in critical components of two Belgian nuclear reactors prompted Greenpeace to call for immediate checks of nuclear power plants worldwide.

The cracks were found in the steel nuclear reactor pressure vessels in nuclear reactors Doel 3 and Tihange 2 in Belgium. The vessels contain highly radioactive nuclear fuel cores and the failure of the components can cause catastrophic nuclear accidents, according to Greenpeace.

Wisconsin congressman introduces measure to remove wolves from endangered species list

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 12 February 2015 10:41

Wisconsin Congressman Reid Ribble has introduced legislation that would remove gray wolves in those states from the "endangered" species list.

This legislation comes on the heels of two recent court cases that placed wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming back under federal protection due to overreaching state management programs that jeopardized wolf recovery. It is the first of several bills expected to be introduced this Congress seeking to weaken protections for wolves and to subvert a series of federal court rulings that determined that the federal government has too narrowly segmented wolf populations and that the states had overreached in their trophy hunting, commercial trapping and hounding programs.  

Environmental groups petition president for new rules to protect honey bees

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Friday, 06 February 2015 06:10

Environmental groups representing millions of Americans this week urged President Barack Obama to take action against neonicotinoid insecticides that are devastating honey bee and wild bee populations.

In a letter to the White House, the 11 groups called on the president to immediately suspend neonicotinoid use, take steps to curb the insecticides' adverse impacts and to instruct his administration to close a legal loophole that allows insecticides sales before the chemicals are adequately assessed for safety.