Indigenous Environmental Leader Isidro Baldenegro López Assassinated

in Mexico, Goldman Environmental Prize winner Isidro Baldenegro López has been assassinated. The indigenous leader has long organized against illegal logging and deforestation in the Sierra Madre Mountains. Decades ago, his father was also murdered after leading mass protests against illegal logging in their family’s ancestral lands.

— source democracynow.org

The Top-22 Air Polluters Revealed

A mere 100 facilities, out of 20,000, produced one third of U.S. industry’s toxic air pollution in 2014. Another 100 released one third of industry’s greenhouse gas emissions, among 7,000 installations that discharge the gas. And according to an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity that created the rankings, 22 “super-polluter” sites appeared on both lists (noted below). Many are coal-fired power plants, and some rank high because they are very large.
Continue reading “The Top-22 Air Polluters Revealed”

Japan’s Biggest Coral Reef Devastated by Bleaching

Almost three-quarters of Japan’s biggest coral reef has died, according to a report that blames its demise on rising sea temperatures caused by global warming. The Japanese environment ministry said that 70 percent of the Sekisei lagoon in Okinawa had been killed by a phenomenon known as bleaching. Bleaching occurs when unusually warm water causes coral to expel the algae living in their tissues, causing the coral to turn completely white. Unless water temperatures quickly return to normal, the coral eventually dies from lack of nutrition.

— source climatecentral.org

Bumble bee is listed as endangered

The endangered designation is made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act for species that are in danger of becoming extinct throughout all or a portion of their range. Once common and abundant across 28 states from Connecticut to South Dakota, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces, the rusty patched bumble bee has experienced a swift and dramatic decline since the late 1990s. Abundance of the rusty patched bumble bee has plummeted by 87 percent, leaving small, scattered populations in 13 states and one province.

Causes of the decline in rusty patched bumble bee populations are believed to be loss of habitat; disease and parasites; use of pesticides that directly or indirectly kill the bees; climate change, which can affect the availability of the flowers they depend on; and extremely small population size. Most likely, a combination of these factors has caused the decline in rusty patched bumble bees.

— source fws.gov

Environmental police in Beijing

A new police force will crack down on environmental offenders in Beijing, city officials announced Saturday, marking the Chinese government’s latest attempt to reduce smog.

The environmental police squad was one of several new measures introduced by Cai Qi, acting mayor of Beijing, this weekend. Other measures included cutting coal use by 30 percent in 2017, shutting down 500 higher-polluting factories and upgrading 2,500 others, phasing out 300,000 higher-polluting older vehicles, and supplying cleaner gas and diesel at fuel stations starting Feb. 15. The announcement came one day after municipal authorities in Beijing announced they would install air purifiers in the city’s schools and kindergartens.

— source csmonitor.com