Runkle has already started. He recently received $1
million from the USDA Climate Smart Agriculture
Initiative, a project led by USA Rice and Ducks
Unlimited. The award is part of $80 million in funding from US Department of Agriculture
to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions
associated with rice production.
The grant was one of 70 announced in September,
totaling a $2.8 billion investment.. in the creation of Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities by the USDA.
US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited Isbell
Farms in central Arkansas on Sept. 16 to highlight
the project. Runkle has collaborated with the
Isbells for several years, focused on making
rice production more sustainable and
$10.1 billion to be allocated to
environmental programs for
2023-2025: Russian minister
October 7th, 3:46pm (TASS)
Funding for environmental protection, natural
resources reproduction and use and forestry
development programs... will amount to
628 bln rubles ($10.1 bln) ..over the
next three years, Russian Minister
of Natural Resources Alexander
Kozlov said on Friday.
"The Environment Protection state programs - 320 bln
[rubles] ($5.1 bln) --- for the three-year period. We have such positions here as hydrometeorology,
environmental supervision, Arctic research
and hunting, and such federal projects as
Clean Country, Clean Air, Integrated
System of Solid Communal Waste
Management, and Preservation
of Lake Baikal, Biodiversity
and Eco-tourism," the
Funding for the state program... of natural resources
reproduction and use, will amount to 156 bln rubles
($2.5 bln) in the three years to come, and 152 bln
rubles ($2.45 bln) will be provided for the state
program of forestry development,
now discovered in plant leaves
September 12th, 10:37pm
The University of Presov in Slovakia said that in the
studied samples of plant leaves, scientists, for the first time, found traces of microplastics.
The findings are published in the journal BioRisk.
Plants from the genus of villi (Dipsacus) have
characteristic leaves growing in pairs on
several tiers --- which forms a kind of
receptacle that collects water and
attracts insects into it.
In the samples taken, experts found fragments and
fibres of multi-coloured microplastics -- some of
which were up to 2.4 millimetres long. No third
-party sources of pollution around the territory
were recorded, so the plastic got into the
flowers from the polluted atmosphere,
the researchers say.
Another suggestion is that it could have been
introduced by snails from the soil or from
In the future, experts plan to thoroughly study the
impact of microplastics on ecosystems of flora
and insects. In addition, they suggest using
villi as bioindicators of environmental
In June 2022, the University of Canterbury
announced the first detection of micro-
plastics in fresh snow.. in Antarctica.
Cuba will host the International
Agroforestry Convention in October
by Elsy Fors Garzon
August 27th, 3:43am
Cuba will host the 2022 International Agroforestry
Convention next October, a macro-event aimed
at researchers, academics, businessmen and
communicators, it was reported at a
The director of the Agroforestry Research Institute
(INAF), Pedro Pablo Henry, highlighted that the VIII
Forestry Congress of Cuba, the IV International
Congress of Coffee and Cocoa, the VIII
International Meeting of Young
Researchers and the VII Cuban
Congress of Beekeeping, will
meet, as part of the event.
Henry pointed out that for 4 days the event’s agenda
will occupy the link between forests and society,
biodiversity and ecosystem services, climate
change, production, as well as the
interactions of forests and water
and sustainable agricultural
Similarly, the director of the INAF, highlighted, that
the integrated management of soils and nutrients,
agroforestry activity ....facing the challenges to achieve the UNs Sustainable Development Goals, the quality, benefit and by-products of coffee, and cocoa, will be discussed & the improvement and breeding of bees.
Henry stressed that the convention will be an opportune
moment - to exchange endorsed scientific experiences
that directly affect the increase in productive activity.
The director of the INAF reported that the presence of
about 400 participants is estimated, and that to date
specialists from Italy, Peru, Panama, Mexico,
Colombia and Ecuador, have confirmed.
Many Ways Nature
August 7th, 10:31am (FNA)
A systematic review of 301 academic articles,
on "cultural ecosystem services" has enabled researchers to identify how the nonmaterial
contributions from nature, are linked to and
significantly affect, human well-being.
They identified 227 unique pathways through which
human interaction with nature - positively or
negatively - affects well-being. These were
then used to isolate 16 distinct underlying
mechanisms, or types of connection,
through which people experience
The comprehensive review brings together observations
from a fragmented field of research, which could be
of great use to policymakers --- looking to benefit
society through the careful use and protection
of the intangible benefits of nature.
Do you ever feel the need for a bit of fresh air... to
energize yourself, or to spend time in the garden
to relax? Aside from clean water, food & useful
raw materials, nature provides many other
benefits, that we might overlook, or find
hard to grasp and quantify.
Research into cultural ecosystem services (CESs) the
nonmaterial benefits we receive from nature, aims to
better understand these contributions, whether they
emerge through recreation and social experiences,
or nature's spiritual value and our sense of place.
Hundreds of CESs studies have explored the
connections between nature and human
well-being. However -- they have often
used different methods and measure
-ments -- or focused on different
demographics and places.
This fragmentation makes it difficult to identify
overarching patterns or commonalities, on
how these intangible contributions really
affect human well-being. Better under-
standing them could aid real-world
decision-making --- about the
environment, which could
benefit individuals and
the wider society.
To try to get a "big-picture" view, graduate student
Lam Huynh, from the Graduate Program in
Sustainability Science at the University
of Tokyo, and team... conducted a
systematic literature review of
301 academic articles.
After a critical reading, they were able to identify
hundreds of links. "We identified 227 unique
linkages between a single CES (such as
recreation or aesthetic value), and a
single constituent of human well-
being (such as connectedness,
spirituality, or health).
''We knew that there are many linkages, but we were
surprised ---- to find quite so many of them," said Huynh. "Then, through further critical reading, we could identify major commonalities."
In particular, they identified 16 distinct underlying
"mechanisms," or types of connection, which
refer to the different ways that people's
interaction with nature... affects their well-being.
For example, there can be positive interactions through
"cohesive," "creative" and "formative" mechanisms,
but also, negative interactions, through "irritative"
and "destructive" mechanisms. Previous studies
had identified some of these mechanisms, but
10 were newly defined --- including the more
negative effects, clearly showing that our
well-being is linked to the intangible
aspects of nature, in many more
ways than previously thought.
According to the paper, the negative contributions
to human well-being came mainly through the
degradation or loss of CESs, and through
ecosystem "disservices" ------ such as
annoyance at wildlife noise, which
can affect some people's mental
health, in particular.
However, on the other hand, the highest positive
contributions of CESs, were to both mental and
physical health, which were generated mainly
through: recreation, tourism and
"It is particularly interesting to note that the identified
pathways and mechanisms, rather than affecting
human well-being independently, often interact
strongly," explained co-author, Alexandros
Gasparatos, associate professor at the
Institute for Future Initiatives (IFI) at the University of Tokyo.
"This can create negative trade-offs in some contexts,
but also important positive synergies that can be
leveraged, to provide multiple benefits to
Despite the comprehensiveness of the review, the
researchers acknowledge that there may still be
more links, that have not yet been identified,
especially as the review revealed gaps in
the current research landscape.
"We hypothesize... that missing pathways and
mechanisms could be present in ecosystem
-dependent communities, and, especially,
traditional and Indigenous communities,
considering their very unique relations
with nature," said Gasparatos.
"Another of the knowledge gaps we identified --- is
that the existing literature on these nonmaterial
dimensions of human-nature relationships
--- mainly focuses... on the well-being of
individuals, rather than on collective
"This significant gap hinders our capacity to identify
possible synergies and trade-offs in ecosystem
management research and practice."
The team has now received a grant, to explore the
effects of CESs provision to human well-being in
the urban spaces of Tokyo. "This project is a
logical follow-up, to test whether and how
some of the identified pathways and
mechanisms unfold in reality and
...intersect with human well-
being," said Gasparatos.
The researchers hope that this study and similar efforts,
will make it possible to apply the key findings from this
complex and diverse body of knowledge, to enable a
Professor Kensuke Fukushi from IFI, and study co-
author, summarized their hope that: "an improved
understanding of nature's many connections to
human well-being & the underlying processes
mediating them, can help policymakers to
design appropriate interventions. Such
coordinated actions - could leverage
the positive contributions of these
connections - & become another
avenue to protect and manage
EU Climate Plan Doomed
July 10th, 10:29am
The controversial EU green transition plan, also known
as Fit for 55, which was designed to reduce the bloc’s
greenhouse gas emissions by 55%... by 2030, is
unfeasible --- unless sanctions against Russia
are lifted, EU lawmaker, Roman Haider,
“They don’t know how to save their unrealistic
and dangerous, Fit for 55 strategy --- without
canceling the sanctions against Russia,” Haider considered.
On Wednesday, the European Parliament backed EU
regulations designating nuclear and gas energy: as
environmentally sustainable economic activities,
saying that private investment in gas and
nuclear projects... may play a role in the green transition process.
Massively harmful to the environment
Haider indicated that the European Parliament
decision signaled that EU governments are
facing a stark reality, recognizing that
more time and more realistic goals
are required to transform the
“This package is a massive threat to businesses in
Europe. It makes Europe even more dependent on imports and drives the price spiral further
upwards. It destroys jobs, promotes the
impoverishment of Europeans --- and is
massively harmful to the environment.
In short, Fit for 55 - is a serious threat
to Europe,” the EU lawmaker warned.
He also stressed that to achieve carbon neutrality
by 2040.. and meet the goals of the Paris climate
agreement, Austria would have to cut emissions,
by 95% over the next 18 years, as a recent study
shows that the country’s CO2 emissions in 2021
reached 1990 levels.
Source: Agencies (edited by
Al-Manar English Website)
July 8th, 2022
The decision disregards the risk of serious and
irreversible damage that this experimental
technique represents --- for the human
environment, health, and integrity.
On Thursday, Colombian environmental defenders
rejected a decision whereby the Council of State
facilitates oil exploitation through hydraulic
"The decision disregards the environmental
precautionary principle -- and the risk of
serious and irreversible damage that
this experimental technique
represents: for the human
environment, health, and
integrity" ...the Fracking
Free Colombia Alliance
“Fracking is dangerous, in the context of the
climate crisis and openly inconsistent with
the international commitments acquired
by Colombia,” it recalled.
The ACLF also recalled, that the implementation
of this technique will increase risks to the lives
of environmental defenders and Indigenous
peoples in Magdalena Medio, "a territory
that has suffered oil exploitation and
armed violence, for more than
The Colombian debate about fracking's environmental
and social consequences intensified during the
administration of President Juan Manuel
Santos (2010-2018), who signed a
decree that opened the doors to
the use of fracking in so-called
Later, despite the social rejection of the pollution and
violence associated with the operations of fracking
companies, the far-right President Ivan Duque implemented this exploitation practice,
arguing that it would contribute to
the country's energy security.
During the last electoral campaign, the Historical
Pact candidate Gustavo Petro openly took a
position against hydraulic fracturing.
On Thursday, ratifying his political promises,
the President-elect Petro said "there will be
no fracking in Colombia."
The Brazilian Amazon Lost
3,987 SQ KM of Vegetation
July 8th, 12:53pm (teleSUR)
Since Jair Bolsonaro came to power, in
January 2019, the rates of devastation
in the jungle have increased by 73%.
On Friday, Brazil's National Institute for Space
Research (INPE) revealed that deforestation
in the Brazilian Amazon broke a record in
the first half of the year, with 3,987
square kilometres of devastated
vegetation, 10.6 percent more
than the same period in 2021.
The area of lost vegetation is equivalent to 483
football fields. In June alone, 1,120 square
kilometres of native vegetation were
destroyed in that region of the
country, 5.5 percent more
than in the same month
These are the highest rates - for the month and for
the semester - registered since 2016, when the
measurement began. The data corresponds to the Legal Amazon Deforestation Detection System in Real Time (DETER) which uses satellite images to offer early warnings
about the areas that are being deforested in the Amazon.
This system captures monthly deforestation alarms in
Brazil and differs from the PRODES system, which
only issues annual information between August
and July of the following year, which is
considered the reference period for
However, the figures are beginning to worry, as the
trend shows that the deforestation of the jungle
will grow for the 4th consecutive year,
something that environmentalists
attribute to the lack of controls
and supervision of President
to stop the activities that
destroy the forest, such
as illegal mining or the
illicit trade in wood.
In fact, the far-right politician defends the
exploitation of natural resources in the
Amazon and in indigenous territories,
where the law prohibits
Since Bolsonaro came to power in January 2019,
the rates of devastation in the jungle have
increased by 73 percent to reach 13,038
square kilometres in 2021. In 2018, a
year before the former Capitan took
office, only 7,536 sq. kilometres
of jungle were devastated.
The largest tropical forest on the planet
concentrates 72%of Brazil's mining
extraction and 99% of the wood
sold by the country is illegally
extracted from the Amazon.
Did you know...?
Russia is the only country in the world
where bio-resources... are increasing
every year: forests, fish and wildlife.
--- a priority in Cuba’s
by Ileana Ferrer Fonte
June 5th, 11:07am (Prensa Latina)
The protection of the environment in Cuba has
solid foundations in a regulatory framework
adapted to the peculiarities of the
Caribbean island, which faces
the severe impacts of
The Government’s will to promote sustainable
development is expressed in the design and
implementation of specific policies --- such
as the Natural Resources & Environment
Macro Program... that, in turn, responds to the priorities established in Cuba’s
National Economic and Social
Odalys Goicochea, general director for the
Environment at the Ministry of Science,
Technology and Environment (CITMA),
explained how regulations respond
to the existing social demands
“Tarea Vida” (Task Life), a Cuban State Plan to
Face Climate Change, for example, underwent
adjustments, in order to provide more specific
attention to social aspects, and the need to
involve scientists and the population
--- to solve community problems,
Several strategies... including the
National Environmental Strategy
- approved for the 2021-2025
period - will allow measuring
progress made in this area,
thanks to indicators:- such
as the ecological footprint
index, the environmental
quality index - & climate
resilience - are proof of
the efforts made in the
The highest expression of Cuba’s political
willingness to protect the environment,
is the recent approval by the National
People’s Power Assembly, of the
Law on Natural Resources and
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel
marks World Environment Day
by Ileana Ferrer Fonte
June 5th, 10:17am (Prensa Latina)
President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Sunday marked
World Environment Day, which is celebrated
in Cuba with firm steps to preserve nature.
On Twitter, the president recalled that Cuba has a
new law on Natural Resources and Environment,
includes the natural sphere in the Heritage
Protection Law, & ''types'' environmental
crimes in the Penal Code.
On #WorldEnvironmentDay, recalling that speech
made by #Fidel in #RiodeJaneiro in 1992 is
essential. It seems that it has been said
for today, Diaz-Canel tweeted, in
another of his messages.
The president referred to the speech given by the
historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel
Castro, at the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development in Brazil,
where he warned 30 years ago about
the negative impact of humankind
“Enough of selfishness. Enough of schemes
of domination. Enough of insensitivity,
irresponsibility and deceit. Tomorrow
will be too late to do what we should
have done a long time ago,” said
Fidel Castro on that occasion,
when he advocated for a just
international economic order.
World Environment Day has been celebrated since
1973 --- to raise awareness among the world’s
population -- about the importance of caring
for ecosystems and promoting respect
Plastic waste has more
than doubled since 2000
by Pavel López Lazo
February 24th, 6:35pm (Prensa Latina)
A report entitled Global Plastics Outlook on
Thursday, revealed that the amount of
plastic waste has more than doubled
globally since 2000 --- and nearly a
quarter, is dumped in uncontrolled
sites, burned in open pits or leaks
into the environment.
Plastic waste has more than doubled worldwide, since 2000, with a whopping 353 million tons produced in 2019.
After taking into account losses during recycling, only 9% of plastic waste
was ultimately recycled, while
19% was incinerated and
nearly 50% went to
“The remaining 22% was disposed of in
uncontrolled dumpsites, burned in
open pits, or leaked into
On the other hand, a scientific study shows
the oceans already accumulate 24.4 billion
pieces of microplastic.
Experts estimated that amounts range from
82,000 to 578,000 tons, or the equivalent
of roughly $30 billion 500-ml plastic
According to the journal Microplastics and
Nanoplastics, the study aimed to assess
the true impact these particles have, on
aquatic organisms and the environment.
Microplastics – up to 5-mm size – can travel
thousands of kilometres in the open sea
and, depending on their degradation,
remain at certain distances from
the ocean surface.
Although more research is needed to know the
effects of microplastics, several studies have
confirmed a real impact on people’s lives, as
they can suffer from alveolar lung disease,
and altered hormones, leading to other
disorders, including infertility
According to a report published by the World
Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), people are at
risk of ingesting around 5 grams of micro-plastic, per week.
WHY WE ARE ALL EATING SH*T
"A recent publication by a European commission on soil health found up to 70% of soils in the EU, are losing the capacity to provide crucial ecological functions."
"When soil is healthy, it stores and drains water. It also grows 95% of the food humans eat.''
''When soil is degraded, its basic life-giving processes don't function properly. "
They behaved on a par with industrial cities in China
such as coal-dependent Chongqing, they described,
adding that the findings suggest a sponge-like
behaviour of the rainforest trees.
The leaves, which are coated with contaminated dust,
also absorb gaseous mercury as they take in air,
they noted in the article.
The metal, eventually, finds its way to the ground
as leaves fall or rain washes away dust and after
capturing the dripping water, they discovered
more than twice as much rain washout,
compared to any other site.
The results indicated that forests can buffer some
of the harmful effects of mercury, by hiding it in
leaves and soil, the study participants noted.
People and wildlife are generally not at risk from
this locked-up mercury, explained Luis
Fernandez, a tropical ecologist and
executive director of Wake Forest
University’s Amazon Science
You could walk, swim in the water, bury yourself in
the leaves... and you’re not going to get toxicity
doing that -- a reason to keep tropical forests
standing, the expert emphasized.
Still, the airborne form of mercury can become very
dangerous when it seeps into water and sediment
and is converted to something else,
methylmercury, by bacteria in
the liquid, he warned.
The team involved found sobering signs, that
methylmercury is reaching forest creatures,
and by testing three species of songbirds
they had levels two to 12 times higher
than similar species caught in a
forest far from a mine.
This shows that it is entering the food web, said
Emily Bernhardt, a subject supervisor for
biogeochemistry and analysis at Duke
University in North Carolina.
Research data shows that gold mining recently
overtook coal burning, as the world’s largest
source of airborne mercury pollution,
annually releasing up to 1,000 tons
of the potent brain poison into
Media report environmental
impact of sea trafficin Europe
by Aleynes Palacios Hurtado
January 11th, 00:15am (Prensa Latina)
Sea traffic in Europe accounts for 13.5 percent
of the emission of greenhouse gases and
carbon microparticles into the airways
of crews working on ships,
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) made
public its 2021 report on the environmental impact
of those operations, which revealed that container
ships, bulk carriers and oil tankers account for 60
percent of the emission of those particles (soot).
It noted that cruise ships, despite making up a low
percentage of the total fleet, emit 10 tons per ship
a year, a figure lower than the 1.7 recorded for
an oil tanker.
The report warned about wastewater discharge: large
ships discharge huge quantities of dirty, oily, bilge
and ballast water and solid waste (plastics,
packages, food waste) into the sea,
causing damage to the
According to EMSA, the main dirty waters discharged
into the sea are used to clean exhaust gases of
chimneys through filters installed to retain
On the other hand, the report warned about the
accidental loss of huge amounts of containers
with all their content, which ends up at the
bottom of the sea.
Another negative impact is the so-called underwater
noise, caused by ships, which disturbs the life of
cetaceans and other species that use
frequencies to communicate with
2022 to be among
by Ana Luisa Brown
January 7th, 00:30am (Prensa Latina)
The average temperature in 2022 will be
between 0.97 and 1.21 degrees Celsius
(°C), among the warmest years since
1850, the World Meteorological
Organization (WMO) noted
regarding the estimates
from the UK Service.
The fact that the central figure has exceeded 1.0°C
since 2015 masks the considerable international
variation, explained one of the leading experts
in climate prediction, Doug Smith, who added
that in some places, such as the Arctic,
temperatures have risen several
degrees... since pre-
According to the head of Long Range Forecasting
at the British Met Office, Professor Adam Scaife,
the predicted temperature illustrates that the
increase in greenhouse gases in the
atmosphere is now warming the
planet at an exponential rate.
China's 'man-made sun'
sets new world record
December 31st, 2:22pm (PressTV)
Chinese scientists have set a new world record
by achieving a 1,056 second-long operation of
a "man-made sun".
The breakthrough was made on Thursday during
the latest round of experiments at the
experimental advanced super-
conducting tokamak (EAST),
or China's "man-made sun".
The scientists achieved a temperature of 70 million
degrees Celsius of long-pulse and high-parameter
plasma, lasting for 1,056 seconds, according to
Gong Xianzu, a researcher at the Institute of
Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of
Sciences. The scientist is in charge of the
experiment conducted in Hefei, capital
of east China's Anhui province.
They had earlier set a world record of achieving
a plasma temperature of 120 million degrees
Celsius for 101 seconds on May 28 this year.
The latest round of experiments started in early
December this year, and will last until at least
The ultimate goal of EAST, located in Hefei, is
to create nuclear fusion like the Sun, using
deuterium abounding in the sea, to
provide a steady stream of
World faces largest species extinction
since dinosaur era, WWF warns
December 31st, 1:09pm (RT)
Around a million species might disappear
within the next few decades..... the
conservation organization reports
The Earth is facing the biggest extinction event..
since the end of the dinosaur era, with a million
species at risk of becoming extinct, within the
next few decades, the World Wildlife Fund
(WWF) has said in a report.
Titled ‘Winners and Losers of 2021’, the article,
published on Wednesday, lists the endangered
animals whose populations have shrunk or
grown the most this year.
“African forest elephants, polar bears, tree frogs,
cranes and species of fish such as sturgeon and
huchen --- these are just some of the losers in 2021. They represent thousands of endangered animal species,” the WWF said.
Among the ‘winners’, the organization lists the Iberian
lynx – one of the rarest cats in the world – along with
Nepalese rhinos and great bustard birds. Noting that the success of these species is a tribute to
the efforts of conservationists, the WWF
emphasizes that the situation
“Around a million species could become extinct within
the next few decades, which would mark the largest
species extinction since the end of the dinosaur
era,” the organization claimed.
According to a WWF board member Eberhard
Brandes, species protection, now involves
the question of “whether humanity will
someday end up on the red list in a
hazard category and become the
loser of its own way of life.”
There are more than 40,000 animal and plant species
currently on the International Red List, qualified as
threatened with extinction by the International
Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
In total the Red List includes almost
142,600 endangered species.
Fully biodegradable food
December 21st, 2:55am (TASS)
The first food packaging made of laminated
cardboard, which decomposes in soil in
six months, was developed in Russia,
OSQ press service told TASS.
"Laminated craft packaging, when it gets into the
ground, 100% decomposes within six months
& has no analogs in Russia. For comparison,
plastic food packaging begins to decompose
in the ground only after 400 years. The
products of the company’s previous
brand underwent 70%
decomposition in the
The company specified that the production of
cardboard containers, cups, and other types
of packaging has been established at the
company's plant in Vidnoye, Moscow
Region. In the future, additional
capacities will be added to the
plant in Kaliningrad - with the
investments in construction
of 1.1 bln rubles ($14.85 mln).
Biden electric vehicle push
hits ''setback'' in US Senate
December 20th, 11:04am (PressTV)
A bid by the White House to dramatically boost
electric vehicle tax credits hit a major road-
block on Sunday, when a key Senate
Democrat... said he would not
support Biden's $1.75 trillion
domestic investment bill.
West Virginia's Joe Manchin appeared to deal a fatal
blow to President Joe Biden's signature domestic
policy bill, known as Build Back Better, which
also aims to expand the social safety net
and tackle climate change.
The bill includes increasing the current $7,500 EV tax
credit to up to $12,500 for union-made US vehicles
as well as creating a credit of up to $4,000 for
used vehicles. The bill would also, again,
make General Motors and Tesla Inc...
eligible for tax credits after they hit
the 200,000-vehicle cap on the
existing $7,500 credit.
The bill also includes a 30% credit for commercial electric vehicles.
GM and Ford are both launching electric pickup
trucks in 2022, and new tax credits could be
crucial to meeting initial sales targets, as well as meeting rising vehicle
Biden wants 50% of new US vehicles to be electric or
plug-in electric hybrid, by 2030. The administration
is expected, as soon as this week, to finalize
tougher new vehicle emissions rules
through 2026, automakers say.
Manchin opposes a $4,500 tax credit for union-made
vehicles that is part of the $12,500 proposal. He
calls the union credit "wrong" and
The EV tax credits are backed by Biden, many
congressional Democrats and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union and would
disproportionately benefit Detroit's Big Three automakers - GM, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler parent
Stellantis NV - which
assemble their US-
made vehicles in
Tesla, and foreign automakers operating in the
United States do not have unions representing
assembly workers --- and many have fought
UAW efforts to organize US plants.
Toyota Motor Corp, which has a plant in West
Virginia, but whose US employees are not
union members, has ''lobbied'' against
the $4,500 union credit.
Toyota announced this month it is building a $1.29
billion battery plant in North Carolina, while EV
startup, Rivian Automotive, said on Thursday
that it will build a $5 billion plant in Georgia.
Vehicles would have to be made in the United States
starting in 2027, to qualify for any of the $12,500
credit, which includes $500 for US made
batteries. It has faced criticism from
Canada, Mexico, Japan and
the European Union.
--- melting at an
December, 15th, 11:54am (RT)
A massive glacier in Antarctica, seen as crucial to the global sea level rise, could lose its ice shelf in
“as little as five years,” a team of scientists
The Thwaites Glacier in western Antarctica is
sometimes called the Doomsday Glacier
because of its great potential to raise
sea levels once melted. The glacier
is about 74,000 square miles...
which is roughly the size of
Florida, according to
A team of US scientists reported at a US Geophysical
Union meeting, this week, that new cracks were
forming on the eastern ice shelf --- which
supports one third of the glacier.
The shelf, which “acts as a dam to slow
the flow of ice off the continent into
the ocean,” appears to be “losing
its grip” ...due to warm water
seeping under the glacier,
researchers said, citing
“If this floating ice shelf breaks apart, the Thwaites
Glacier will accelerate, and its contribution to sea
level rise, will increase by as much as 25%,” the
scientists wrote, adding that the shelf could be broken up in “as little as five years.”
According to the study, one of the fastest-melting
glaciers in Antarctica is contributing as much as
4% of global annual sea level rises, today, while
the cracks are expanding into the central part
of the ice shelf, at rates as high as 2km
(1.2 miles) per year.
“There is going to be dramatic change in the front
of the glacier, probably in less than a decade.
Both published and unpublished studies
point in that direction,” geology
professor Ted Scambos, US
lead coordinator for the
told the BBC, Tuesday.
New FAO report on land,
water resources, paints
an alarming picture
by Pavel López Lazo
December 9th, 5:13pm (Prensa Latina)
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations (FAO) on Thursday launched a landmark
report highlighting the worsening state of the
earth’s soil, land and water resources and
the challenges it poses... for feeding a
global population expected to near
ten billion by 2050.
“The pressures on soil, land and water ecosystems...
are now intense, and many are stressed to a critical
point,” FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, wrote in
the foreword to the synthesis report, entitled the
State of the World´s Land and Water Resources
for Food and Agriculture – Systems at breaking
points (SOLAW 2021).... “Against this back-
ground, it is clear our future food security
will depend on safeguarding our land,
soil and water resources.”
The report says if we keep to the current trajectory,
producing the additional 50% more food needed
could mean water withdrawals for agriculture
increasing by up to 35%. That could create
environmental disasters, increase
competition for resources, and
fuel new social challenges
Among other aspects, it stands out that human-induced soil degradation affects 34% (1,660 billion hectares) of agricultural lands. Over 95% of our food is produced on land, but there is little room for expanding areas of productive land. Urban areas occupy less than 0.5% of the Earth’s land surface but the rapid growth of cities... has significantly impacted land & water resources,
polluting & encroaching on prime agricultural land that’s crucial... for productivity & food security.
With limited arable land and freshwater resources - a
rapid scaling-up of technology and innovation is vital.
We must strengthen the digital architecture needed to provide basic data, information & science-based
solutions for agriculture... that make full use of
digital technologies and are climate-proofing.
Land and water governance must be more inclusive
and adaptive, to benefit millions of smallholder
farmers, women, youth, and indigenous
peoples. They are the most vulnerable
to climatic and other socio-economic
risks, and face the greatest food
Sustainable soils, land and water are the foundations
for resilient agrifood systems. So the sustainable
use of these resources... is key to achieving
climate mitigation and adaptation targets.
Earth is Getting Its Own
That Will Tell What Caused
December 6th, 1:08pm (Sputnik)
The device will be placed on an empty plain in
Tasmania, Australia. The researchers behind
the project, say the area was chosen for its
geological as well as geopolitical stability.
Other locations proposed, were located
in Malta, Norway, and Qatar.
Researchers from the University of Tasmania...
have partnered with the Australian marketing
communications company, Clemenger
BBDO, to create a black box for our
planet, which they say.... will tell
future generations (and maybe
extraterrestrial guests, who
knows)....... what caused
Black boxes installed on airplanes and automobiles
play an invaluable role in establishing the causes
of accidents - so why shouldn't Earth have one,
researchers apparently wondered. Jim Curtis,
the executive creative director at Clemenger
BBDO, told ABC --- that the project is
The box will be made from 7.5 centimetre-thick steel
...and will be filled with a mass of storage drives,
which, according to researchers, will record
"every step we take... towards" a potential
catastrophe, meaning they are gathering
information: on pollution, the extinction
of species, ocean acidification, as well
as climate change-related events such
as average temperatures, and levels
of carbon dioxide. The latter traps
heat radiated from the Sun and
consequently leads to
The black box will have an internet connection and
will also collect contextual data ...such as news
about key international events like the United
Nations Climate Change Conference,
meetings between world leaders, etc.
Although the construction of the structure to house the
box will begin in the middle of 2022, the hard drives
have already begun recording information.
The black box, which will be the size of a bus, will also
have solar panels to provide backup power storage.
Jonathan Kneebone, a co-founder of the artistic
collective, Glue Society, which is also involved
in the project, said the device is "built to
outlive us all".
Researchers say that while the main objective is to
help future civilisations, or whoever accesses the
black box, to understand what should be done to
prevent catastrophes, they also hope that it will
make politicians... put their money where their
mouths are, when it comes to preserving the
environment and protecting life on Earth.
"It's also there to hold leaders to account – to make
sure their action - or inaction - is recorded. When
people know they're being recorded... it does
have an influence on what they do and say",
said Jonathan Kneebone.
FAOcalls for urgent actionon
sustainable soil management
by Luis Linares Petrov
December 4th, 00:15am (Prensa Latina)
FAO Director General Qu Dongyu called to take
urgent action - to improve information and
capacities in favoor of sustainable soil.
The head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO)took part in a video conference
of the eighth edition of World Soil Day, which has
been celebrated every December 5th, by
decision of the General Assembly,
Stopping salinization is the central topic this year,
which according to Qu is one of the main threats
to having healthy soils around the world.
The director general recalled that some 833 million
hectares are affected by salinization in all corners
of the planet, as shown in the World Soil Map
presented in October.
He pointed out that it is a problem present in all
regions, particularly in the Near East, South
America, North Africa, as well as in the
Pacific and Central Asia.
The effects of salt on soils pose a significant risk
to world food security, he noted, and called to
seek innovative ways to make agri-food
systems more efficient, inclusive,
resilient and sustainable.
Shell oil company abandons
controversial project in
by Erich Tellez Corrales
December 3rd, 9:24am (Prensa Latina)
The Anglo-Dutch multinational Royal Dutch Shell
announced, today, that it will abandon a
controversial oil exploration project
in the North Sea, in a decision
welcomed by the British
According to the company, a comprehensive
analysis of plans to exploit Cambo, a field
..outlined west of Scotland’s Shetland
islands, showed that the economic
benefits are not strong enough at
the moment, plus there are
possibilities of delays
to put the project
The announcement by Shell, which held 30%
of the shares, was greeted with rejoicing by
environmental organizations, and environ-
mental defenders who have been demand-
ing for years.. that the British government
prohibit exploration & exploitation permits.
Shell is out! This is the beginning of the end of
Cambo, said on Twitter the environmental
group, Stop Cambo, which warned,
however, that it will not rest until
the entire project is shut down.
Greenpeace’s UK affiliate, which last October lost a
legal challenge to force the government to reverse
a permit granted to British Petroleum to operate in a neighbouring North Sea field, said the Anglo-Dutch oil company’s withdrawal should be seen as a death blow to Cambo.
The right decision to ensure the UK’s energy security
is to speed up the introduction of renewable sources
and ensure that the interests of oil and gas workers
are protected through a fair transition, said Labour
MP and well-known environmentalist Ed Miliband.
The company Siccar Point Energy, which shared
the Cambo project with Shell, promised to look
for alternatives to continue exploration, while
the government limited itself to saying that it is a commercial decision... taken
independently by the Anglo-
The US – the world’s biggest polluter –
calls out countries that need to
'step up' on climate change
December 2nd, 11:26am (PressTV)
US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John
Kerry, has called out a number of countries
that need to “step up” on climate change,
despite the fact that the United States
has contributed more than any other
country - to the atmospheric carbon
dioxide that is scorching the planet.
According to studies, the US military is the
largest consumer of hydrocarbons on
the planet and one of the largest
polluters in history.
However, Kerry, in an interview at the Reuters
Next conference, on Wednesday, accused
other countries of falling short on their
commitments to stave off the worst
effects of global warming.
“And that means you have China, India, Russia,
Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, South Africa, a
group of countries that are going to
have to step up,” Kerry said.
“And we... have to help them. This, is not just
unloading responsibility on them,” he added.
Kerry has said the current climate situation
cannot be rectified... without the “full
engagement and commitment”
Democrats in the US House of Representatives
and Senate --- have already called on US
President Joe Biden to use targeted
sanctions to punish individuals
and companies that are
worsening the global
In a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last month,
Democratic lawmakers particularly targeted
China and its companies.
The lawmakers urged the US administration to use
sanction authorities under the Global Magnitsky
Human Rights Accountability Act --- to target
individuals and companies that are found
to be involved in climate-related
corruption and human rights
Both the Trump and Biden administrations used
the Magnitsky Act, to target individuals and companies they said were engaged in
corruption or human rights abuses
around the world.
Largely, individuals and companies from Russia,
China, Belarus, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Eritrea,
and Cuba, have been targeted.
Last month, scores of countries convened in
Glasgow, Scotland, for the COP26 climate
summit, where they reached a deal that
calls for cutting global carbon dioxide
emissions by 45% by 2030, when
compared to 2010 levels.
Kerry on Wednesday said private investments for
clean-energy technologies are also essential for
fighting climate change, according to Reuters.
“No government on the planet has enough money
to effect this transition... But, the private sector
does have that money. I believe the private
sector has the ability to win this battle
for us,” he said.
US is world's biggest plastic polluter: Report
According to a new report submitted to the US
federal government on Wednesday, the US is,
by far, the biggest contributor to global
plastic waste in the world.
Entitled "Reckoning with the U.S. Role in Global
Ocean Plastic Waste," the report calls for... a
national strategy to tackle the growing crisis.
The US contributed around 42 million metric tons
(MMT) in plastic waste in 2016: more than twice
as much as China has --- and more than all the
countries of the European Union combined, according to the analysis.
Every US citizen generates 130 kilograms of plastic
waste in a year, with Britain next on the list --- at
99 kilos per person, per year, followed by
South Korea, at 88 kilos per year,
"The success of the 20th-century miracle invention (sic)
of plastics, has also produced a global scale deluge
of plastic waste, seemingly, everywhere we look,"
wrote Margaret Spring, chief science officer of
Monterey Bay Aquarium, who chaired the
committee of experts that compiled
Another Government report says climate change
will shrink the US economy and kill thousands
of US people.
Vietnam readies 2nd largest
garbage recycling plant ...in the WORLD
by Lino Céspedes Rodríguez
December 2nd, 10:03am (Prensa Latina)
Vietnam polishes the finishing touches to a plant
that will recycle garbage into energy, and be
the second largest in the world, of its kind,
officials from investment company Thien
Y Environment, reported today.
Located on the outskirts of Hanoi, the plant will
have the capacity of processing 4,000 tons of
waste per day (60% of what is produced by
the capital) and producing 75 megawatts
of electricity per hour.
Built at a cost of nearly $ 310 million dollars... the
plant covers a surface of 173,900 square metres,
making it the second largest in the world, after
Chinese Shenzhen, which processes 5,000
tons of garbage per day.
Left over matter, after being used to produce energy,
will be incinerated and used in the manufacture of
bricks and other construction materials.
To fully ensure safety, it will count on a gas
filtration system: preventing the emission
of dioxins, mercury, nitrogen and other
polluting substances into
Vietnam thus takes a new step towards the
full elimination and use of... solid waste.
Currently the 3 main ways of waste treatment
in the country, are: burial, the production of
microbiological fertilizers, and burning.
Only 30% of Vietnam’s existing dumping areas
meet ecological standards, while most of its
nearly 300 incinerators, are small-scale.
November 25th, 7:41pm (PressTV)
Climate change, has long been debated under
different settings, researched and debunked
and ‘rebunked’ over the years, so much so
that you would think, strides should have
been made by now, unfortunately, how-
ever, that hasn't been the case. Major
corporations and rich countries have
all fallen short on their so called
Hypocrisy and inaction
COP 26 still lacks large coal using countries. Studies
show CO2 levels are back at pre COVID-19 levels in
the COP countries but did not include Australia,
China or the United States in the assessment.
Such a state of affairs led to climate protests decrying
one of the highlights of the COP 26 Summit, the
Children Youth Act climate activists protested
their concerns regarding the slow pace of
emissions reductions and lack of action
on the climate emergency.
Children Youth Act climate activists were rightly
worried about the slow pace of emissions
reductions and action on the
Nothing will be saved without it is important to
begin with the fact you're born to be creators
of the ground.
Yrsa Daley-Ward, Writer
The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties
to the United Nations Framework Convention on
Carolina Schmidt, President, COP 25
The opening of the COP 26 summit in Glasgow
was quite inspiring but it all came down to the
final draft communiqué.
Well, you know we got a very lengthy
draft decisions from the presidency…
Carolina Schmidt, President, COP25
We need much more concrete action to be
sure to actually really meet this 1.5 target.
Maarten Van Aalst, Director, Intl.
Red Crescent Climate Centre
But the details of the draft were inconsistent
with the declared intention of phasing out
coal as a fuel source.
As a reference of a phasing out of coal and we
are strong believers that that phase out of
coal [is imperative].
Luca Lacoboni, Greenpeace, Italy
Climate Reality, which is funded by the former US
Vice President Al Gore, claimed in an article that
more than 250,000 Americans are exposed to
levels of cancer risk above the highest
limits set by the EPA.
This is an environmental justice nightmare and the
main culprit is toxic pollution from fossil fuels and
This is what US Senator Ted Cruz said about
the climate change summit that took place
I’m not saying they do not believe what they're saying,
but their hypocrisy is rampant. Headed to this climate conference, these officials flew in giant jets.
John Kerry has a private jet that has flown dozens
of times, this past year, all around the country.
I don't know about you, but I don't have a private jet.
I don't believe any of the people on this stage have
their own private jet.
John Kerry when asked about his private jet said
"really, for someone like me it's the only way
that makes sense to travel".
What dripping, condescending, arrogance!
Ted Cruz, US Senator
Robert Evans is a former member of the European
Parliament MEP, and a British Labour Cooperative
politician..... who served as a member of the
European Parliament from 1994 until 2009.
He was first elected to the European
Parliament for London Northwest
and then in 1999 and 2004 for
the London constituency.
Taking a look at what the US Senator Ted Cruz has
said about US policy, slamming his fellow Senator
John Kerry and other world leaders as a whole
for travelling on jets to this cop 26 Glasgow
Summit, does he have a point?
Yeah, I think it's sending entirely the wrong message.
I realize the challenges that some global leaders have
getting from A to B or getting from their own country
to Glasgow, but I think it's sending entirely the
wrong message when they are arriving in
private jets to go around.
Most of the airlines have flights that come to
London where they could have got a train
or a number of people could have
Using private airplanes, which are very, very
carbon expensive, is entirely, not so much
unnecessary, but it's sending completely
the wrong message to everybody else.
We have the situation where our Prime Minister
Boris Johnson came back to London by
private jet. Well, I looked it up; there
were six possible scheduled
airlines flights he could
have taken, or a train
We cannot have one rule for them
and one rule for everybody else.
So global leaders need to reflect on that;
whatever the challenges, there are
plenty of airlines that could have
Robert Evens, Former MEP, British Labour Cooperative
That makes sense and sounds fair, but ‘therein lies
the rub’ and the barely veiled hypocrisy of what US
Senator Ted Cruz has said. He himself has, in fact,
received more money from oil and gas companies
in 2018 than any other senator.
Ted Cruz received nearly $800,000 from the oil and
gas industry in the year 2018. And as for other US
senators, one in four US Senators still hold fossil
The households of those 28 senators own a
combined minimum of $3.7 million, and as
much as $12.6 billion in fossil fuel assets.
"The vicious spiral of global debt these countries at
the frontline of the climate crisis, unable to respond
to his Fallout, and the failure of the world's richest
countries to lift the burden, exposes their climate
hypocrisy", according to The Tribune.
COP 26.. actually exposed the debt hypocrisy of the
rich nations, and that is where the problem is. Last
year, we had $72 billion flowing out of low income
countries in debt repayments. These are vital
resources that could have been directed to
tackling the climate emergency and easing
the effects of the Pandemic.
Instead, lower income countries are now spending
five times more on debt-repayments that they're
spending on fighting the climate crisis.
Luca Lacoboni is a campaign manager for
energy and climate at Greenpeace, Italy.
When you take a look at the developing countries
there was a lack of representation. Why was
that at this conference? It's a summit?
[The] most affected countries, the countries that
actually see climate change impacting their daily
life almost every day around the world are those
countries that are less represented in COP, in Glasgow and this is absolutely unacceptable
since the richest countries... are those who
are feeling the impacts of climate change less, --- and should hear the voices of the most affected countries and of the most effective people.
This is another important sign of the fact that at
the moment, also that COP26 in Glasgow is
doing a lot of words, but really, not
Luca Lacaboni, Greenpeace
One wonders how much money was actually spent
fighting the COVID 19 pandemic, and how much
was spent saving businesses and countries
from actually crashing.
For the prime minister of Barbados, the COP26
summit sheds light on how the desired 1.5
degrees Celsius goal could already have
The central banks of the wealthiest countries engaged
in $25 trillion of quantitative easing in the last 13
years, 25 trillion, of that, 9 trillion was in the
last 18 months, to fight the pandemic.
If we had used that 25 trillion to purchase bonds, the
energy transition or the transition of how we eat or
how we move ourselves in transport, we would
now be reaching that 1.5 degrees limit that is
so vital to us.
Mia Motley, PM Barbados
While social media giant Facebook changed its name
to Meta, a group of protestors placed a large melting
iceberg sculpture in front of the Capitol Building in
Washington. This group said Facebook had played
a major role --- by not stopping the spread of
Actually, climate disinformation is rampant on
Facebook. There's 1.3 million views of climate
Facebook says that they send 100,000 people
to their climate information centre every day.
But if we look at their numbers versus the numbers
that we're getting from the researchers, there's a
massive discrepancy of how much climate
misinformation there really is, on
Rewan Al-Haddad, Sumofus Campaign Advisor
When it comes to climate change there needs to be
strong will, on all fronts, from political incentives to
budgetary allocations. With so much ground to
cover on the issue, where would be the
good place to start?
The companies that are responsible for most of
the worlds greenhouse gas emissions would
be a good place to start.
The 20 major fossil fuel companies are collectively
responsible for 35% of global greenhouse gas
emissions. Surely if we know who these 20
companies are, then we should stop them
from doing what they're doing. If only it
were that simple.
What is needed is strong political will, and action
by the gas and oil companies responsible.
Considering the top corporations, for example,
Saudi Aramco, Gazprom, Exxon, Mobil, BP,
and Royal Dutch Shell, and examining how
much CO2 they actually emitted into the
atmosphere, we are looking at 480
billion tons of carbon dioxide.
That's a lot of CO2, regardless of all environmental
disasters that have happened over the past few
decades, however, that is not where the
The whole notion of the use of coal, oil and gas and its
detrimental effects on the planet and environments..
has been known from as long ago as the year 1965.
In 1965 the US president’s scientific advisory
committee announced that pollutants had
altered the carbon dioxide content of the
air and the lead concentrations in ocean
waters and human populations... on a
In simpler language, fossil fuels were causing the
release of carbon dioxide, which was altering the
air on a global scale, posing a huge risk
The American Petroleum Institute issued a warning
that there's still time to save the planet from the
catastrophic consequences of pollution but
that time was running out.
So there has been warning after warning, and, as if
that were not bad enough... an internal memo from
Exxon Mobil, in 1981, reveals a shocking warning.
One of the managers issued an internal memo
saying that the company's long term business
plans produce effects which will indeed be
catastrophic, at least for a substantial
fraction of the Earth's population.
The big oil companies, however, were not going
to ignore or forgo their profits, thus in 1989 a
company --- by the name of Global Climate
Coalition was established. It was, in fact,
not an environmental group, as the name
may suggest but was intended to really
to sow doubts about climate change.
It actually induced lawmakers to block clean
energy legislation and climate treaties
throughout the 1990s.
Which is, more or less, when the general public
began to doubt the effects of climate change.
The COP 26 goal was to reduce carbon
emissions in the hope of eliminating
The commitments made by various countries, for
instance India, which has pledged net zero
emissions by the year 2070, or Saudi
Arabia, which made a commitment
for net zero emissions by the
year 2060 are both very far
into the future.
We were under the impression that time is
running out and it now appears that
those commitments shall not
Saudi Arabia is a very rich country and it's
done very well out of oil over many years.
Of course, I understand why it's worried
about changing it.
But if you're going to have a net zero by 2060,
nearly 40 years away, it's totally unacceptable
as a target. Now, it may be that they don't
reach it till then but I do believe that
countries have got to set ambitious
targets and really make much
You know, the reason that we are still driving around
in petrol driven cars, to a large extent, when 50 years
ago, they had the technology to build battery vehicles,
they just haven't developed it, is because of the power
of the oil industry over the years, the oil industry in
the Middle East, and the plentiful supply of cheap oil.
The amount of investment (that could have) gone into
alternative forms that went into, for instance, mobile
phones, which are now very sophisticated pieces
If the same amount of effort and energy had gone
into more environmentally friendly, mass
produced vehicles, we would not all be
driving around in petrol driven
vehicles at the moment.
Robert Evens, Former MEP,
British Labour Cooperative
Subsidized Oil and Gas
The statement lays out important steps: CO2
emissions, as well as including the need to
accelerate using best efforts, by all of us,
to phase down unabated coal in this
decade, as fast as is achievable.
John F Kerry, US Climate Envoy
The US climate representative neglects to point out
the fact that the US government has actually subsidized coal, oil and gas for decades,
to the tune of a billion dollars a year.
So, in the draft today, we saw that coal was referenced
in the draft... as well as subsidies. That's not good