GM fungus rapidly kills 99% of malaria mosquitoes, study suggests

Found on BBC News on Friday, 31 May 2019
Browse Nature

A fungus - genetically enhanced to produce spider toxin - can rapidly kill huge numbers of the mosquitoes that spread malaria, a study suggests.

A 6,500-sq-ft fake village - complete with plants, huts, water sources and food for the mosquitoes - was set up in Burkina Faso. It was surrounded by a double layer of mosquito netting to prevent anything escaping.

"The transgenic fungus quickly collapsed the mosquito population in just two generations," said Dr Brian Lovett, from the University of Maryland.

It would be more efficient if the GMO would kill the malaria parasites, instead of the transmitter. Something similar should be released to fight ticks, since those are truly useless and just a pain.

Sea level rise could hit 2 metres by 2100 - much worse than feared

Found on New Scientist on Tuesday, 21 May 2019
Browse Nature

A new assessment found runaway carbon emissions and melting ice sheets could result in such a worst case scenario, potentially double the upper limit outlined by the UN climate science panel’s last major report.

Around 1.79 million square kilometres of land could be lost and up to 187 million people displaced. “Many small island states, particularly those in the Pacific, will effectively be pretty much inhabitable. We are talking about an existential threat to nation states,” says Bamber.

Seeing how this problem is handled by politicians on a global scale, better buy some waders and boats.

The elite soldiers protecting the Amazon rainforest

Found on BBC News on Friday, 10 May 2019
Browse Nature

French Guiana, a small French overseas territory on the north-eastern coast of South America, is one of the most forested nations on the planet, but its precious ecosystem is under threat from illegal gold mining.

Since then, the price of gold has continued to soar and rampant illegal gold mining has destroyed swathes of jungle from Ecuador across Peru, Colombia and Venezuela to Brazil.

They should just leave the bodies of the illegal miners in the forest; nature will take care of them. It's not only illegal gold mining though; a lot of forest vanishes for plantations to grow coconut palms for fat and oil. All with a "Bio" label...

Proposal to spend 25% of EU budget on climate change

Found on BBC News on Wednesday, 08 May 2019
Browse Nature

It was signed by France, Belgium, Denmark, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.

But not everyone is on board - there are 28 countries in the EU, and several of those absent from the joint position statement are significant players - including Germany.

The position of the eight countries is that climate change has "profound implications for the future of humanity" and that its impacts are already apparent - citing "the heat waves and scorching fires of last summer".

But several countries oppose strengthening current commitments, which have proven difficult to stick to just two years after the Paris climate agreement was signed.

Political and economic giant Germany is among them, fearing that further action could damage its industry.

It was not too long ago when "Climate Chancellor" Angela Merkel did not get tired to underline how important it is to stop the climate change; but when all that hot-air speeches require real action, there suddenly is no interest anymore. Even worse, the position completely changed. Now you have politicians like Altmaier who say that climate protection will only work as long as prosperity is not affected. People like him have no clue what the world is facing right now.

Deforestation: Tropical tree losses persist at high levels

Found on BBC News on Thursday, 25 April 2019
Browse Nature

Around 12 million hectares of forest in the world's tropical regions were lost in 2018, equivalent to 30 football fields per minute.

Millions of hectares of these forests have been lost in recent decades, having been cleared by commercial or agricultural interests.

There's an easy way to reduce deforestation: 9mm Para.

Britain (Yes, Rainy Britain) Could Run Short of Water by 2050, Official Says

Found on New York Times on Wednesday, 20 March 2019
Browse Nature

If preventive steps are not taken, in less than three decades, Britain might run out of water, the chief executive of the Environment Agency, a public body responsible for conservation in England, said on Tuesday.

The reasons, he said, were climate change and population growth. And he called for a change of attitude toward water conservation to help tackle the problem.

It probably won't take long until some politician calls that a result of the Brexit.

Remote South Atlantic Islands Are Flooded With Plastic

Found on Smithsonian on Thursday, 18 October 2018
Browse Nature

Now, reports Marlene Cimons at Nexus Media, that pollution is getting even worse. A new study in the journal Current Biology shows that plastic trash on the beaches and in the ocean has increased tenfold in the just the last decade and a hundredfold over the last three decades.

“Three decades ago these islands, which are some of the most remote on the planet, were near-pristine,” lead author David Barnes of the British Antarctic Survey says in a statement. “Plastic waste has increased a hundredfold in that time, it is now so common it reaches the seabed. We found it in plankton, throughout the food chain and up to top predators such as seabirds.”

If only it was possible to dump that junk onto those who created it. Instead, global politics fail so very hard at something so important as protecting the world everybody lives in.

Police Move to Clear Treehouse Protest Against Coal Mine in German Forest

Found on The New York Times on Friday, 14 September 2018
Browse Nature

Pushing their way into the heart of a forest that has existed for 12,000 years, where some 60 treehouses have been built over the past six years, thousands of police officers began cutting trees to reach a central community called “Oaktown.”

In recent weeks, environmentalists have drawn attention to the mine, which is operated by the energy company RWE in the Hambach Forest, east of the city of Aachen, in an effort to highlight the disparity between Germany’s pledges to reduce its carbon emissions and uphold its commitments to the Paris climate accord and the country’s heavy use of its only significant natural resource, soft coal, or lignite.

Politicians love to talk about how important green energy is to stop the climate change. Yet when it comes to the point where action is needed, they forget all those talks and promises and side with the energy industry, letting them destroy more and more nature to increase the CO2 levels and thus the global warming; and at the same time those politicans are wondering why people have lost faith and trust in them.

'Climate change moving faster than we are,' says UN Secretary General

Found on on Monday, 10 September 2018
Browse Nature

Mr Guterres painted a grim picture of the impacts of climate change that he says have been felt all over the world this year, with heatwaves, wildfires, storms and floods leaving a trail of destruction.

Despite the fact that the world agreed on a plan to tackle climate change in Paris in 2015, Mr Guterres said the world is way off track to achieve the modest goals of the pact.

Mr Guterres says he is committing himself and the UN to the effort of transforming the political landscape to tame the threat of climate change. He pointed to the forthcoming report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on how to keep the world from warming by more that 1.5 degrees C, which he says will be a sobering assessment.

Earth will take care of it all by itself. Simply with a fever that takes care of the parasites which infected the host.

Plastic bags: Charge could rise to 10p and be extended to smaller shops

Found on BBC News on Thursday, 30 August 2018
Browse Nature

Since October 2015, customers have had to pay at least 5p for each single-use bag - with all retailers employing more than 250 people made to take part in the scheme.

Many of the seven major supermarkets have already stopped selling single-use carrier bags in their stores. Sainsbury's 5p bags are thicker and stronger, so they are not considered to be single use, while Tesco only sells 10p bags for life.

Excessive packaging should be fined. Some products are wrapped up in ridiculous amounts of plastic.