Archive for April 12th, 2010

Peru glacier collapses, injures 50

Agence France-Presse: Around 50 people suffered injuries Sunday when part of a glacier broke off and burst the Hualcan River banks in a development the local governor attributed to climate change. The mass of glacial ice and rock fell into the so-called "513 lake" in the northern Ancash region, causing a ripple effect down the Hualcan, destroying 20 nearby homes. "Because of global warming the glaciers are going to detach and fall on these overflowing lakes. This is what happened today," Ancash ...

Brazil’s huge river diversion project divides opinion

BBC: Outside his house by the Sao Francisco river, Emanoel de Souza toys with the skin of a caiman he hunted a month earlier. "There are plenty out there. You leave a cow's heart on a hook by the river, and by morning a caiman will have bitten," he smiles. The meat makes for a good meal and the skin provides an amusing decoration. But Mr de Souza gets much more than caimans from the Sao Francisco. The river also provides water for him to farm fish and rice. The profits ...

Can geothermal power our future¬ówithout shaking our cities?

Discover Magazine: Geothermal power, which taps heat from the earth's interior to generate electricity, could soon get a major technological upgrade. Because it consumes no fuel, geothermal is clean and almost endlessly abundant. Right now, though, it generates just 0.4 percent of the electricity in the United States. A big obstacle is that traditional, high-temperature geothermal plants require drilling as much as three miles into the earth's crust. Such digging is costly and may even carry the risk of ...

Niger: French State-Owned Company “Poisoning” Poor

Inter Press Service: Recent research by Greenpeace suggests that French state-owned company Areva's public claims of decontamination of populated areas near uranium mines in Niger are false. High radio-activity persists in towns and rural areas near the mines, affecting some 80,000 people. When uranium was discovered in the impoverished West African state in the 1960s, many thought that the radioactive mineral – indispensable as combustible for nuclear power plants and raw material for nuclear bombs – ...

Threats to Mangrove Species Growing Rapidly Worldwide, Report Says

Yale Envrionment 360: One in six mangrove species faces extinction as coastal ecosystems are being destroyed or damaged by development, aquaculture, logging, and climate change, according to a new study. Following an extensive survey of coastal ecosystems, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Sterling Zumbrunn/CIMangroves in Madagascar Conservation International placed 11 of 70 mangrove species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Mangrove forests, which grow in tropical and ...

Arab environment report to be released this month

Kuwaiti Times: A first of its kind report assessing the environment and future expectations of the Arab world will be released later this month. The commission of Arab Environment Ministers and the Arab League asked a number of scientific centers in various Arab countries to carry out the assessment. The announcement was made yesterday morning during a press conference held at the premises of the Kuwait Journalists Association in Shuwaikh. Khaled Al-Hajiri, chairman of the Kuwaiti based Greenline ...

Canada: Shell fights shareholders’ campaign for oil sands review

Guardian: Shell has dismissed shareholder calls for a review of its controversial oil sands developments. A group of institutional investors, led by campaign group FairPensions, had tabled a special resolution ahead of the Anglo-Dutch company's annual meeting next month. They want Shell to review the commercial and environmental viability of going ahead with its new projects in Canada's boreal forests. But the Anglo-Dutch oil company today urged other investors to vote down the ...

Brazil: Amazon facing ‘real-life Avatar’ says James Cameron

Telegraph: Cameron said he was in Brazil to support Indian and environmental groups as they stage protests against the Belo Monte dam project. The Titanic director attended an environmental summit in the Amazon last month with former US Vice President Al Gore. He returned this week to Sao Paulo to promote the DVD version of his blockbuster movie Avatar, in which the fictitious Na'vi race fights to protect its homeland, the forest-covered moon, Pandora, from plans to extract oil. He said he came ...

Glacier breaks in Peru, causing tsunami in Andes

Reuters: A huge glacier broke off and plunged into a lake in Peru, causing a 75-foot (23-meter) tsunami wave that swept away at least three people and destroyed a water processing plant serving 60,000 local residents, government officials said on Monday. The ice block tumbled into a lake in the Andes on Sunday near the town of Carhuaz, some 200 miles north of the capital, Lima. Three people were feared buried in debris. Investigators said the chunk of ice from the Hualcan glacier ...

China: Record Drought Exposes Water Woes

Inter Press Service: A once-in-a-century drought in south-west China has sparked concern over how China, which has one-fifth of the world's population but just 7 percent of its water, has managed its water supply and growing network of hydroelectric dams. In South-east Asia, where a number of countries have also been hit by the drought, the blame has fallen squarely the thirsty neighbour to the north, where many areas have not seen rain since October. Around 24 million people in Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou ...