Category: Climate / Environment

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Climate-Change Documentary Streaming for Free

Before the Flood starring Leonardo DiCaprio shows him travelling the entire world showing the effects of climate change all over the world.

The documentary — which had lackluster publication — first debuted in September at the Toronto International Film Festival. On October 21, the documentary opened in theaters.

National Geographic had secured the rights of the film and released it on YouTube for free viewing. The video was also embedded on Twitter, Facebook, Hulu and the website of National Geographic itself.

The filmmakers’ intentions are clear that it is a message to all people that climate change issues are real and they are having adverse effects that could lead to humanity’s extinction.

DiCaprio said of the film:

“We cannot afford, at this critical moment in time, to have leaders in office that do not believe in the modern science of climate change,” he said. “We need to galvanize the world community to put in office people who are not only believers in the science, but are going to take rapid action immediately. And that’s why we wanted this film to come out before the next election, because as we’ve cited in this film, the United States is the largest contributor to this issue. We need to set the example for the rest of the world to follow.”

Teens Find Financial Security A Bigger Issue Than Environment

Fears about a possible nuclear war and environmental destruction are waning among teenagers across Europe. Money troubles had kept most teenagers awake at night.

According to a 28-year study, teenagers from the 80s said the issues that kept them awake at night included climate change and the threat of global conflict. Today, 92% of teenagers are troubled about money, personal accidents, bullying and terrorist attacks. This is in stark contrast to the nuclear threat and environmental destruction worries from more than two decades ago.

Lead author Dr Nanette Danielsson, of Karlstad University in Sweden, said:

“Many adolescents have sleep disturbances, and this is associated with adverse consequences.

“Sleep disturbance was strongly associated with worry for the family’s financial situation, followed by worry about illness or accidents.

“Relationships between sleep disturbance and worry for environmental destruction and nuclear war were weaker.

“Concerns closely tied to one’s personal life, as well as current political threats, may have stronger associations with sleep disturbance than global threats due to a closer proximity to one’s own life situation.”

Between 1988 and 2011, more than 20,000 Swedish teenagers were asked to complete a questionnaire about living conditions and their health. Sleep disturbance was reported by 24 per cent of girls and 16 per cent of boys.

Last Year Had “Shattered” Temperature Records Worldwide

The World Meteorological Organisation in Switzerland reports show that last year, the world shattered previous temperature growth records. The group recorded higher temperatures in tropical countries.

The organisation had also warned that the rate of climate change was faster than their expected numbers. The WMO said that this is “sending a powerful message to world leaders.”

The Status of the Global Climate report had alarmed the WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

“The year 2015 will stand out in the historical record of the global climate in many ways,” said WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas in the report.

“The future is happening now,” he said in a statement released alongside the report. “The alarming rate of change we are now witnessing in our climate as a result of greenhouse gas emission is unprecedented in modern records.”

According to University of New South Wales in Australia Dr. Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, this time, the WMO’s language was very strong:

“They are usually very conservative,” she said.

“We have to put this report in context. 2014 was the hottest year on record to date too. We’ve had something like 15 out of the 16 hottest years on record since the turn of the millennium,” she said. “Things aren’t getting better, they’re getting much much worse, and the tone of the report reflects this.”

Volkswagen Admits That 11 Million Cars Worldwide Could Be Affected By Emissions Scandal

Millions of petrol cars worldwide sold by Volkswagen are affected by the diesel engine emissions test scandal.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen and other diesel car manufacturers will be investigated for similar emissions rigging examinations.

The scandal has rocked the entire diesel engine car industry with many questioning the future of diesel engines.

British Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin had called for an investigation into Volkswagen following its admission that 11 million vehicles worldwide may have passed strict environmental exams by switcin to fume-suppressing technology during examinations.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and have been pushing for action at a European level for more accurate tests that reflect driving on the road,” said Mr McLoughlin.

“It’s vital that the public has confidence in vehicle emissions tests and I am calling for the European Commission to investigate this issue as a matter of urgency.”

In fact, these vehicles may be spewing double or triple the emissions reported in their examinations.

British motorists, along with motorists who had purchased Volkswagen brands Audi, Skoda and Seat could have their cars recalled. Industry experts said the 2 lt, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine said the engines could have been sold in Britain.

Meanwhile, British Politicians said European regulators are failing to enforce emissions standards at the scandal’s wake.

Carmichael Coalmine Overturned By Federal Court

Due to disregard for conservation advice for two endangered species, a case is brought against environment minister Greg Hunt for approving the Carmichael Coalmine.

The court has ruled that the environment minister, Greg Hunt, had ignored his own department’s advice about the coal mine’s impact on the Yakka Skink and the Ornamental Snake, two of the most vulnerable snake species in Australia.

Adani, who intends to set up the Carmichael Coalmine, is yet to have enough financial backing for the new coalmine. The company recently reduced its workforce on the project because it lacked the legal authority to start building.

Principal Solicitor at the Environmental Defenders Office Sue Higginson said:

“This kind of error in the decision-making process is legally fatal to the minister’s decision.

“The conservation advices were approved by the minister in April last year, and describe the threats to the survival of these threatened species, which are found only in Queensland,” she said.

“The law requires that the minister consider these conservation advices so that he understands the impacts of the decision that he is making on matters of national environmental significance, in this case the threatened species.”

“We now call on minister Hunt to see sense, honour his obligations, and take the opportunity he has been handed by the federal court to reject this disastrous project once and for all.”

Do ‘Garden Cities’ Actually Contribute To The Health?

Gardens are truthfully stunning and relaxing upon first sight. For the next few minutes, natural distractions help you focus on relaxation. However, is there evidence that ‘Garden Cities’ actually contribute to a person’s well-being?

The UK plans to reinvent Ebbsfleet, where there are new buildings and has become an ‘industrial paradise’, whichever connotation anybody wants to read it.

Environmentalists are praising the effort as it replaces everything with energy-efficient structures, green spaces and car-free zones, all the modern troubles of urban life blown away in one second.

Urban planners Arup had researched green cities to contribute to the well-being of its citizens and help the city become more prosperous and safer. They predict that two out of three cities in the world will live in such cities.

According to Arup Director of Landscape and Urbanism Tom Armour, humans are ‘hard-wired to enjoy nature’.

Exeter University’s 17-year study had found that UK residents who reside in greener urban environments have lower anxiety levels and had higher states of well-being.

A classic study, used as a related literature of the current study, showed that patients who are recovering from surgery recovered faster with a view of trees from their bed.

However, there are still more troubles ahead.

The greening of poor environments could possibly drive up property prices and force low income residents out. Marginalisation may widen as a result.

Greepeace Activists Could Face Extradition Due To Their Protests in Peru

Peruvian officials are considering extraditing Greenpeace activists for vandalising the Nazca lines in Peru. The centuries-old etching in the desert is a national historical treasure of the country.

The officials accused the activists of irresponsibility because they caused “irreparable damage” to the Nazca lines after its demonstrations and publicity stunt aimed to send a message to the UN climate talks in Lima.

Culture Vice-Minister Luis Jaime Castillo said “we will extradite them and bring them to face their penal and civil responsibility. Our heritage has been tarnished by this action. Now everyone wants to go the Nazca lines, but to see the area affected by Greenpeace’s actions.”

Peruvian authorities have identified six members of the group who participated in the Unesco World Heritage site protests last week. Proesecutors have filed charges of attacking archeological monuments, which could amount to six years imprisonment.

“Greenpeace says it wants to take responsibility but in not giving us the names so that those responsible can appear before a judge in Peru it is refusing to do that,” he said. “It’s a contradiction in terms.”

“It makes you wonder if they really are as ashamed as they say they are.”

Twenty activists entered the restricted area and left the sign “Time for Change! The Future is Renewable!” beside the giant figure of the hummingbird etched in the desert ground more than 1,000 years ago. Archaeologists said the protester’s footprints could remain on the desert ground for decades.


Magnitude 6 Earthquake Hits Tokyo Shores, Causes Delays and Injuries

A magnitude 6 earthquake struck early offs the Japanese coast about 62 miles south of Tokyo. The earthquake’s epicentre was at the coast of Izu Oshima Island. It happened around 5:18 AM local time according to the Japan Meteorological Agency’s website. The depth was 162 KM and had played around the intensity of 5-7 on the Japanese scale.

Despite the strength of the earthquake, the JMA did not announce a tsunami warning. The JMA considered it one of the strongest earthquakes the country had faced since the magnitude-9 earthquake during March 2011. The massive earthquake had caused the Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant to melt down.
According to local news network NHK, 17 people in Tokyo and Kanagawa’s prefectures were injured during the earthquake. Tokyo’s subways were temporarily halted, causing delays to people resuming their workday.
The JMA said the strongest shaking registered in central Tokyo. Four people were injured in Tokyo itself.
According to experts, the pacific tectonic plates are becoming more active day by day. Many noted the increase in earthquakes in the pacific, which meteorologists should study and predict to avert any possible future crises.

Freezing Weather All over the US

The schools were keen in watching for the weather forecast in some parts of the United States. There was a subzero temperature in the upper Midwest and Northeast that is forecasted to bring freezing rain to the South and Mid-Atlantic states in the US on Friday.

The US weather forecasters at the National Weather Service predict 4 inches of snow in the areas of Ohio and the Mid-Atlantic regions on Friday. Both, North and South Carolina and Tennessee Valley would be expecting a freezing rain early in the morning of Friday. One of the schools in Raleigh, North Carolina will be closing early due to the bad weather forecast, according to a spokesman from the Wake County schools.

The spokesman in a statement also told WRAL, one of CNN’s affiliate, “We’re going to make sure we put a plan in place so that the buses are rolling while it’s still safe and the students are back home before weather becomes an issue.” A dozen of schools in Tennessee and Northern Georgia also said that they will be closing.

Not only the schools were affected by the weather condition but also inbound flights in some airports in the US like the Nashville International Airport which has cancelled its American Airlines flights since Thursday night and until Friday morning, according to a spokeswoman from the airport, Emily Richard.

Meanwhile, in the Salt Lake City the freezing rain made all the runways of the city’s International Airport closed, according to a statement released by the Federal; Aviation Administration. The Kentucky Department of Transportation also said, “Rest assured, our team is monitoring the winter weather and have been pre treating roadways across the Commonwealth.”A number of states in the US has been preparing for the forecasted precipitation.