The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released new data on global warming that, again, the data supports the over-whelming view of scientists that climate change is a dire reality. The world has experienced record-breaking hot weather every month in 2015 and the year is all but guaranteed to be the hottest on record.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
The BBC presented an engaging and informative report concerning how the unprecedented demand for rare earth elements is leading to environmental degradation, especially in developing countries. It proposes that one of the ironic tragedies of manufacturing green technologies is that it is leading to concentrations of pollution in specific areas. This also brings forth the importance of having a conversation about advanced, consumer societies needing to engage in much self reflection on the causes of the insatiable appetites consumers have for top of the line electronics. Of which are designed with quick obsolescence as a business model.
Today I leave (reluctantly) Utah and its immense beauty. After the final event at the the Center for Constitutional Studies at Utah Valley University. I rushed back to the hotel and set off for a hike in the mountains around Sundance. As you have likely seen on television, the area has been inundated by rains that produced massive flashing flooding in some parts of the state. However, the rain abated in the afternoon and I took off for the trails. It was spectacular.
I have been highly critical of the environmental policies of Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott who has led the world in rolling back efforts to deal with climate change and reducing pollution while opening up pristine areas of mining and other industries. In a move that is likely to be celebrated by environmentalists around the world, Abbott is Prime Minister no more. In a remarkable change, ruling conservatives ousted Abbott (right) as party leader in favor of former party leader and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull (left).
Curiosity may not have killed the cat but Mollivirus siberium might have . . . and might still. Scientists are about to “wake up” a 30,000-year-old virus found in the melting permafrost. They published their plan in in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal. What could possible go wrong, right? Just the plot of a dozen horror films.
There is an interesting controversy brewing over the continued removal of water by Nestle from California’s water supply during the record drought in that state. Nestle continued to remove millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino National Forest to sell as part of its Arrowhead bottled water brand. While the rest of the state is facing stringent water reductions, Nestles has been criticized for removing 27 million gallons of water from 12 springs in Strawberry Canyon under a permit that expired in 1988. The expired permit’s fee for the water, according to critics? $524.
For an animal rights activist, the only thing worse than being beaten by a deranged individual at a protest would be to be beaten by a deranged individual using one of the very animals you are trying to protect. That happened to a man in the Catalonian town of Roses when a woman hit him with one of the ducks that protesters were trying to protect from use in an annual festival. The video is below.