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Showing posts from March 12, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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500,000 miners exposed to mercury, study shows

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[Mining is a dangerously toxic industry generally, but small unregulated mining operations in the developing world can be death traps. *RON*]

Jakarta Post, 9 March 2017
About 500,000 traditional miners, including 100,000 women and children, are exposed to the highly toxic mercury, a recent survey shows.

Bali Fokus’ research in Sekotong, West Nusa Tenggara, and Paboyo in Central Sulawesi, found that the dangerous chemical is widely used to amalgamate gold. There, the risky process is done in people’s backyards and on their farms. Miners also use cyanide and directly dump the waste into rivers.

Billionaire property developer Nick Candy paid £1.2 million for Katy Perry to sing at his wedding

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[Guillotine watch. *RON*]

Shona Ghosh, Business Insider, 10 March 2017

Property tycoon Nick Candy "paid £1.2 million" for Katy Perry to sing at his wedding to popstar Holly Valance, the High Court in London heard on Friday.

Candy wouldn't confirm an exact figure, saying that it was "maybe less or more, I don't know," in response to questions from barrister Roger Stewart, who suggested the price tag.

Australian popstar and former soap actress Holly Valance married Candy in 2012. Candy said the purported £1.2 million price didn't reflect his wider lifestyle.

Great Barrier Reef suffers unprecedented second year's bleaching

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[If you have the opportunity, get down there and see it NOW. *RON*]
BBC World News, 10 March 2017

Scientists in Australia say the Great Barrier Reef has been hit by widespread bleaching of its corals for the second successive year.

Experts from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said their first aerial survey of 2017 showed large areas of the reef had become distressed by high water temperatures.

Coral can recover from bleaching, but this is the first time it has happened again within twelve months, increasing concerns over the reef's long term health.

EPA's Environmental Justice Head Resigned After 24 Years. He Wants to Explain Why.

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["To move backward didn’t make any sense." *RON*]

Rebecca Leber, Mother Jones, 9 March 2017

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency's Office on Environmental Justice submitted his resignation on Tuesday. First reported by InsideClimate News, the resignation of Mustafa Ali comes as the Trump administration considers layoffs and budget cuts at the EPA that, if enacted, would eliminate the environmental justice budget and cut funding to grants for pollution cleanup.

Ali, a founder of the program in 1992 who has worked there since, told Mother Joneshe resigned because he was concerned the administration's proposals to roll back its environmental justice work would disproportionately affect vulnerable communities. "That is something that I could not be a part of," Ali says.

"Each new administration has an opportunity to share what their priorities and values are," he says, adding that he has "not hea…

Earth's oceans are warming 13% faster than thought, and accelerating

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[New study improves estimates of the rate of ocean warming - a critical component of climate change. "This process is a major reason why 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded at the Earth’s surface, beating out 2015 which was the previous record. Additionally 2015 was a year with record hurricanes, heat waves, droughts, and wild-fires around the world." *RON*]

John Abraham, The Guardian, 10 March 2017

New research has convincingly quantified how much the Earth has warmed over the past 56 years. Human activities utilize fossil fuels for many beneficial purposes but have an undesirable side effect of adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere at ever-increasing rates. That increase - of over 40%, with most since 1980 - traps heat in the Earth’s system, warming the entire planet.

But how fast is the Earth warming and how much will it warm in the future? Those are the critical questions we need to answer if we are going to make smart decisio…