Speaking on Q&A, Christopher Pyne rejects a suggestion that the Coalition’s Direct Action climate policy could operate as a de facto emissions trading scheme, while responding to a question from the audience, Pyne claims the scheme was not intended to work that way. The industry minister and his regular sparring partner, opposition frontbencher Anthony Albanese, were the only two panellists on Monday’s election special, which fell in week three of the eight-week campaignContinue reading...
BBC’s Chris Packham says nature reserves are becoming ‘a bit like art galleries’ while Martin Hughes-Games raises concerns about conservation
The presenters of BBC2’s Springwatch have warned that wildlife programmes are failing to reflect the reality of the natural world.
Chris Packham said there was a danger that nature reserves such as the RSPB’s Minsmere in Suffolk, where the new series of Springwatch is based, “become a bit like art galleries or museums where we go to get our fix” when much of the countryside is “largely sterile, too intensively farmed and with very poor biodiversity”.Continue reading...
Sir Venki Ramakrishnan says risks and benefits of germline therapy, which is banned in Britain, should be debated
The genetic engineering of humans has great potential to help those destined to inherit serious, incurable diseases, according to one of Britain’s most prominent scientists, who says the risks and benefits should be debated by society.
The invention of powerful new genome editing tools means researchers can now make precise changes to genetic material, and so consider correcting faulty DNA in human sperm, eggs and embryos.Continue reading...
In Barnaby Rudge, his novel of the Gordon Riots, Charles Dickens gives us a vision of sunlit bliss before the murderous climax
Barnaby and his mother have almost nothing, and Barnaby wants nothing, because he has his pet raven, Grip.
“A crust of bread and scrap of meat, with water from the brook or spring, sufficed for their repast. Barnaby’s enjoyments were, to walk, and run, and leap, till he was tired; then to lie down in the long grass or by the growing corn, or in the shade of some tall tree, looking upwards at the light clouds as they floated over the blue surface of the sky, and listening to the lark as she poured out her brilliant song,” wrote Charles Dickens in Barnaby Rudge, his 1841 novel of the Gordon Riots and the burning of Newgate in 1780.Continue reading...
A coalition of organisations have entered into unprecedented joint action to ensure climate change is in the minds of voters on 2 July
An unprecedented level of coordination between climate activists and conservation groups is aiming to raise the profile of climate change in this year’s election.
A coalition of groups has been organising tactics aimed at engaging both politicians and voters with climate change for the 2 July election.Continue reading...
Climate change has forced tens of thousands out. "I know I have a beautiful home," one islander says, "but ultimately it will go into the womb of the river. All we can do is try to delay the process."
Council approves shale gas tests in village of Kirby Misperton despite receiving 4,375 objections to the plans
Fracking is set to take place in Britain for the first time in five years after councillors approved tests in North Yorkshire, sweeping aside thousands of objections from residents and campaigners.Continue reading...
Squid, cuttlefish and their relatives appear to benefit from ‘live fast, die young’ mentality as study shows cephalopods have thrived over past 60 years
Octopuses, cuttlefish and squid have thrived in the world’s oceans over the last 60 years despite – or because of – human activity that has warmed oceans and reduced fish populations.
While today’s consumers demand all natural products, in the case of perfume, synthetics might prove to be the greener choice
In a coastal jungle in northern Madagascar, biologist Fanny Rakotoarivelo places a plastic bubble over a branch of papaya flowers. Inside, air currents run through the flowers, sucking out essential oils. The scented air that remains is funneled into another bag, which Rakotoarivelo places inside a metal briefcase. It will be flown and delivered to the German headquarters of Symrise, the second largest flavors and fragrances company in the world, where scientists will attempt to recreate the scent.
The mechanism Rakotoarivelo uses is, rather poetically, called a headspace. For the last thirty years, it has allowed scientists to recreate nature in a bottle, often in a far more environmentally friendly manner than tapping the real thing, according to a 2013 study by watchdog conservation organization ETC Group.
Western states like Colorado are balancing competing demands for waterways. When recreation, agriculture and civic interests find themselves at odds, how can water resources be divided fairly?
Arctic would warm by as much as 20C by 2300 with disastrous impacts if action is not taken on climate change, warns new study
The planet would warm by searing 10C if all fossil fuels are burned, according to a new study, leaving some regions uninhabitable and wreaking profound damage on human health, food supplies and the global economy.
The Arctic, already warming fast today, would heat up even more – 20C by 2300 – the new research into the extreme scenario found.Continue reading...
Drone footage shows around 70 tiger sharks eating a whale in the aptly named Shark Bay, around 500 miles north of Perth, Western Australia. The video was posted to the Eco Abrolhos Facebook page, which operates cruises to nearby islands.Continue reading...
The first of its kind, a new international treaty obliges signatories to intercept pirate fishers before they can sell their catch
In March, the Argentinian coast guard shot at and sank a Chinese vessel that was alleged to be fishing illegally in Argentinian waters (the crew were all rescued). While it’s unclear whether the boat was committing crime, the incident showed that the tension surrounding pirate fishing is reaching a peak, marked elsewhere by increasing conflict, and the detainment and scuttling of illegal fishing fleets. But for pirate fishers, the financial gains appear to be worth these risks.
Illegal fishing vessels siphon off up to 26 million tons of illegally caught fish each year, which amounts to over $23bn (£16bn) in profit. This not only deprives legitimate fishers of their catch, but as it’s an unregulated practice, it also undermines the stability of fisheries stocks around the world. Illegal fishing also has a hand in driving already threatened species closer to extinction—like the critically-endangered vaquita, the world’s smallest porpoise, whose fate is rapidly being worsened by illegal fishers in Mexico who tangle and drown the small, protected mammals in their gill nets.Continue reading...
A vote allowing Third Energy to frack for shale gas could pave way for technique to be used across England, critics say
North Yorkshire councillors have been urged not to turn the region into “the fracking capital of the UK” before a crucial vote that could pave the way for the technique to be used across England.
The UK firm Third Energy wants to frack for shale gas at its existing drilling site near the village of Kirby Misperton, between Malton and Pickering.Continue reading...
UN’s top environmental scientist warns bottles and bags do not break down easily and sink, as report highlights the ubiquity of plastic debris in oceans
Biodegradable plastic water bottles and shopping bags are a false solution to the ubiquitous problem of litter in the oceans, the UN’s top environmental scientist has warned.
Most plastic is extremely durable, leading to large plastic debris and “microplastics” to spread via currents to oceans from the Arctic to the Antarctic, a UN report published on Monday found.Continue reading...
Takeover would create world’s largest agricultural supplier in the biggest deal ever by a German firm
German drug and chemicals group Bayer has offered to buy the American GM seed pioneer Monsanto for $62bn (£43bn) in a deal that would create the world’s biggest agricultural supplier.
The offer of $122 a share in cash values the Monsanto group at 37% more than its closing share price on 9 May, before rumours of a bid emerged.Continue reading...
In a ‘Pepsi challenge’ test, economist and statisticians find mainstream climate arguments accurate and contrarian arguments wrong and misleading
In a new study published in Global Environmental Change, a team led by Stephen Lewandowsky tested the accuracy of some popular myths and contrarian talking points sampled from climate denial blogs and other media outlets. The scientists searched the blogs for key words related to Arctic sea ice, glaciers, sea level rise, and temperature to identify the most popular arguments. Not surprisingly, they found some common myths:
Councils have issued licences for thousands of animals, research shows, including lions, wolves and crocodiles
Lions, wolves and deadly venomous snakes are among thousands of dangerous animals being kept on private properties across the UK, figures have revealed.
Big cats including 13 tigers, two lions, eight leopards, seven cheetahs and nine pumas are prowling behind the fences of addresses up and down the land, an investigation by the Press Association has found.Continue reading...
Abthorpe, Northamptonshire Blue-purple columns of bugle and the crimped leaves of betony abound
“Do you ever get over to the Silverstone area?” queried John in his first email to me. I don’t, but when he then enthused that the rustic parish of Abthorpe “seemed to be a relic of a long disappeared countryside”, he had my attention.
South of Abthorpe a network of footpaths traverse straight lines across clayey fields of blossoming yellow oilseed rape and blue-green sprays of wheat. A visually unexceptional landscape perhaps, but an encounter soon hints at more. An unfamiliar voice from the apex of a small hedgerow tree: “Cheeese pleeese” it calls shrilly. And there it is, a neat little lemon-yellow bird with a fine acute bill – a male yellow wagtail. This red-listed insectivore was three times more common in 1970s Britain than it is today.Continue reading...
The best quote I heard during my 8.5 hour adventure on this course was "You all can keep this race, I'm not coming back". That was from a Texan who had never run a real Mountain ultra. This race is put on from some folks from Hardrock which is one of the most difficult Ultras in the world. The course is well marked, the staff/volunteers are extremely competent, and the aid-stations are perfectly stocked.
This was by far the most comfortable race I have ever run. Not only did I finish with no recovery issues, but I felt great the entire day. Many people I encountered were complaining about the bellies, cramps even heat (72F). I was fortunate to not suffer from any of those problems. Those problems have plagued me in previous races.
Here is why I think my race went well:
- I barely trained - my longest run in the last seven weeks was just over 8 miles. I did swim, do short runs and increased my cycling. My weekly exercise was averaging close to ten hours a week, but it was low effort. No risk of over training.
- I drank some beer - normally beer is a no no for my diet, but I like to drink the night before and after races.
- I went out last - in order to avoid going out fast I forced myself to be the last person to cross the start line as the race began.
- I ran at MAF - using a heart rate monitor I made sure to keep my heart rate as close to my 60% threshold for the first twenty miles after that I let my heart rate come close to my aerobic max.
- I ate chemicals - ketones, branch chain aminos, mct oil and chia seeds were my primary fuel. My best guess caloric intake would be 100 calories per hour.
- I ate some fruit - it probably came to two oranges, one banana and a few slices of watermelon all in. I carried a zip lock and would throw in some fruit chunks at each aid station. This kept me much more hydrated than in other races and let me move quickly through every aid station.
- I ate my salt pills - running slow made it easy to keep up on nutrition and salt. Usually I get too tired to keep up with the timing, but I remained clear headed enough to stay on top of salt pills every hour.
- No drop bags - planning the logistics of drop bags drives me crazy. It was a pleasure to just skip all that nonsense. Especially for a race that is under ten hours.
- I camped at the start line - this is my favorite part of ultras. When you show up to a good race there is a whole pre-race / post-race scene in the parking lots. It is also so much easier to wake up in the car, put on your pack and walk to the start line than the deal with driving to the race early in the morning.
- I finished a book - Iron War is a great read about the history of IronMan triathlons (it's on audible). Normally I would chit chat with the same few runners for the entire race. Since I started in back my day was filled with passing 70 other runners so my conversations were pretty minimal.
What is it like to eat a bunch of chemicals all day? I'll tell you what it's like. It is AWESOME. Taking in powders, pills and oil is a hell of a lot lighter than dragging along homemade nut balls. Also the products consumed in bulk are way less expensive than commercial packetized products. All the volunteers and other runners did look at my like I was nuts when I'd mix my elixirs by the aid-station water coolers.
I consumed very few carbs and no caffeine while my energy stayed consistently high. This has never happened for me. In case you are curious here is the bullet point list of the little science lab I carried around in my pack.
- Branch Chain Amino Acids - Prevents muscle wasting.
- Ketones - Alternative to glucose fuel for muscles and brain.
- MCT Oil - Produces ATP in 3 steps instead of the 23 sugar requries.
- Chia Seeds - fiber, fat, carbs and aminos...easy on the belly
- Salt Pills - sodium with a small amount of potassium - electrolytes
- Vespa Ultra-Concentrate - high powered, delicious aminos the price is high, but these little packs can turn your race around if you are crashing.