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Image of article 'We have to change Queensland': the environmental issues at stake in the election'

We have to change Queensland': the environmental issues at stake in the election

During an online environment forum organised by QCC, the state’s environment minister, Leeanne Enoch, the LNP spokesman, David Crisafulli, and the Greens MP, Michael Berkman, debated the reef regulations, climate policy and the need for more protected areas.

Graziers and sugarcane growers are lining up against the Labor government’s new laws that will allow the state to control the amount of pollution running into reef catchments.

Crisafulli moved quickly to try to hose down fears an LNP government would lead to a weakening of the state’s land-clearing laws, the Vegetation Management Act.

Crisafulli has pledged that an LNP government would retain protections for land within 50 metres of a reef watercourse, with another category covering areas protected by covenants or used for offsets.

Heath says Queensland’s fame internationally as a place rich in species and natural wonders – from reefs to ancient rainforests – should put environmental protections central to policy debates.

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Image of article 'Why Flexible Solutions International's Stock Is Trading Higher Today'

Why Flexible Solutions International's Stock Is Trading Higher Today

Flexible Solutions International (NYSE: FSI) shares are trading higher on Friday after the company late Thursday reported third-quarter revenue of $8.11 million versus $7.4 million year over year.

Flexible Solutions International develops, manufactures and markets specialty chemicals which slow the evaporation of water.

Its business is organized into two segments Energy and Water Conservation Products, and Biodegradable Polymers.

Flexible Solutions International shares traded up 15.73% to $2.46 on Friday.

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Why We're Doomed: Our Delusional Faith In Incremental Change

This is why our status quo is doomed: A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook coming soon) Read the first section for free (PDF).

As the crisis deepens, the default setting in organizations and conventional thinking is that incremental changes and reforms will be enough, because they've been enough for four generations.

Unfortunately for human organizations and conventional thinking, novel challenges demand precisely what they're incapable of: risky rapid evolution.

Therein lies the fatal problem: radical adaptation is never absolutely necessary in human organizations and conventional thinking until it's too late--and even then, the leadership and conventional thinking will fatalistically accept oblivion rather than opt for a risky strategy of testing every mutation and fast-tracking whatever has promise, even though the odds of failure are high since 1) the challenge is novel and therefore unpredictable and 2) most mutations will fail to provide the radical advantages needed to meet the challenge.

Unlike natural selection's process of generating random mutations and testing their efficacy and advantages over the existing programming, human organizations quickly habituate to stable eras by institutionalizing incremental changes as the only available process for reform / change.

Image of article 'Rewild to mitigate the climate crisis, urge leading scientists'

Rewild to mitigate the climate crisis, urge leading scientists

We need restored ocean habitats such as seagrass and oysters to help promote biodiversity but also to help secure future food supply through fisheries, and lock up carbon from our atmosphere.”

The study focused on land, but the oceans also offer vast benefits linked to biodiversity and opportunities for absorbing carbon dioxide and mitigating climate change, said Richard Unsworth, senior lecturer in marine biology at Swansea University, and director of Project Seagrass, which restores vital marine habitats.

Alexander Lees, senior lecturer in biodiversity at Manchester Metropolitan University, who was also not involved with the study, said: “[This] analysis indicates that we can take massive strides towards mitigating the loss of species and increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide by restoring just 15% of converted lands.

Nathalie Pettorelli, a senior research fellow at the Zoological Society of London, who was not involved in the research, said: “This paper provides further scientific evidence that ecological restoration is a sensible and financially viable solution to address the global climate and biodiversity crises.

Only about 1% of the finance devoted to the global climate crisis goes to nature restoration, but the study found that such “nature-based solutions” were among the cheapest ways of absorbing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the additional benefits being the protection of wildlife.

Image of article 'Aboriginal Groups Address Inquiry into Destruction of Sacred Rock Shelters'

Aboriginal Groups Address Inquiry into Destruction of Sacred Rock Shelters

SYDNEY - Aboriginal groups have spoken of their “grief” at an Australian parliamentary inquiry into the destruction by a mining company of sacred sites dating back 46,000 years.

In May, Rio Tinto, the world's biggest iron ore miner, destroyed two ancient rock shelters at the Juukan Gorge in Western Australia’s Pilbara region as part of a new development, despite fierce opposition from indigenous groups.

Indigenous groups say they are “in mourning at the desecration of our sacred site” at the Juukan Gorge.

It was blown up by Rio Tinto in pursuit of high-grade iron ore despite protests by community told a parliamentary committee that Aboriginal culture is “undervalued in Australia”.

New heritage laws are being drafted in the state of Western Australia to give indigenous groups a greater say in the protection of their land under the proposals.

Image of article 'Pull investments from companies not committed to environment, pope says'

Pull investments from companies not committed to environment, pope says

In June, a Vatican document urged Catholics to disinvest from the armaments and fossil fuel industries and to monitor companies in sectors such as mining for possible damage to the environment.

The pope listed three action points: better education about the environment, sustainable agriculture and access to clean water, and a transition away from fossil fuels.

Francis spoke in a video message for an online event called “Countdown Global Launch, A Call to Action on Climate Change”.

Vatican Media/ Handout/File Photo VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Saturday urged people to pull investments from companies that are not committed to protecting the environment, adding his voice to calls for the economic model that emerges from the coronavirus pandemic to be a sustainable one.

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis speaks during a meeting with the Committee of Experts of the Council of Europe at the Vatican, October 8, 2020, in this still image taken from a video.

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Image of article 'How threatened ‘seafood’ species slip through the law and onto your plate'

How threatened ‘seafood’ species slip through the law and onto your plate

Tracking threatened species: a logistical nightmare The plight of charismatic seafood species such as shark and tuna is starting to get some public attention.

It’s also vital to tighten loopholes and increase enforcement of national biodiversity protections, such as in the EPBC Act, and in food labelling laws, such as the Australian Fish Names Standard and country of origin labelling.

Both school sharks and scalloped hammerheads appear in Australia’s reported catch and import data, along with several other threatened sharks (including dusky, shortfin mako and porbeagle sharks) and the three threatened species of tuna (southern bluefin, Pacific bluefin and bigeye tuna).

The main legislation meant to reverse the declines in Australia’s threatened species, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act, is under review, with the final report due this month.

Our research examined global seafood data and found 92 threatened species reported in industrial catch records.

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Climate denial ads on Facebook seen by millions, report finds

We work to reduce the spread of climate misinformation on Facebook and we recently launched a climate ccience information centre to connect people with factual information from the world’s leading climate organisations.”

InfluenceMap compared a database of organisations it said had propagated climate disinformation in the past against Facebook’s Ad Library database to see which advertised on the platform in 2020.

Dylan Tanner, of InfluenceMap said: “[Climate disinformation adverts] will be of concern to advertisers like Unilever and others who are clearly concerned about climate, both from the viewpoint of the company’s risk and also being on the same platform as these ads.”

The Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren said: “InfluenceMap’s devastating report reveals how Facebook lets climate deniers spread dangerous junk to millions of people.

The 51 climate disinformation ads identified included ones stating that climate change is a hoax and that fossil fuels are not an existential threat.

Image of article 'Can It Be Stopped? California Gigafire May Be Just the Beginning'

Can It Be Stopped? California Gigafire May Be Just the Beginning

The August Complex, the series of fires we were talking about, is just 60% contained and Climate Central has discovered that since the 70s, things have only gotten worse with time.

Unfortunately, we may see firefighting becoming a new private work field before these natural disasters settle down.

Others are researching innovative ways to not stop wildfires from happening but prevent them from spreading further.

Now spreading over seven counties and bigger than a small US state, the wildfire has destroyed over a million acres, officially entering “gigafire” stage.

To get Earth to cool down and to keep wildfires at bay, we would need to rethink our infrastructure, the way we harvest resources, and use them afterward.

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NSW Government reaches compromise on controversial koala policy

Mr Barilaro threatened that his party would not support government legislation, would boycott joint party room meetings and would move to the crossbench over amendments to the SEPP.

Refining the blue Site Investigation Map and making it available to local councils.Last month NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian emerged victorious after Mr Barilaro effectively threatened to take his party to the crossbench over controversial planning legislation.

Other measures include: Decoupling the Private Native Forestry and the Land Management Codes within the Local Land Services Act 2013 from the Koala SEPP on the basis robust protections already exist.

Ministers agreed on changes to the policy and the Local Land Service Act on Tuesday night.Acting Deputy Premier Paul Toole, who stepped into the role after John Barilaro announced he was taking personal leave, said the new agreement would separate land management and private native forestry from the State Environmental Planning Policy so farmers could continue their operations “without getting weighed down in green tape”.

Under the proposed amendments, land owners would have been responsible for the koalas on their land, which could have impacted how they developed it, and the Nationals had reportedly been bombarded with calls from residents who were against it.Government sources reportedly claimed the Deputy Premier tried to make several demands, including to discuss the legislation at a cabinet meeting but none were accepted.

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Subsidies won't help boost exports; need to focus on quality, scale to meet $1tn goal: Goyal

NEW DELHI: Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday said quality, technology and scale of production will help India take its annual exports to $1 trillion and not government subsidies.He exhorted exporters and the industry as a whole to target $1 trillion worth of shipments.

"Why can't we aim for $1 trillion exports from India.

"At least in my six years of engagement, I have not found subsidies to be the solution for India's problems.

I think it's quality, technology, growth, scale; and sometimes for a short period you may need to give a little thrust or support.

But if they are looking at literally running a long term engagement with the world on subsidy, it is not going to work," he said.The minister was speaking at a webinar on strategies for alleviating policy constraints for exports in select sectors.He said there is a need to identify areas where sensible policies can help take exports to $1 trillion.

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Botswana extends emergency measures to combat virus

GABORONE, Botswana (AP) - Botswana has extended its state of emergency for a further six months to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Botswana, a diamond-rich, landlocked country of 2.3 million people, has reported 3,172 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 16 deaths, according to figures released Tuesday by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The disease burden has made it clear and imperative for us to extend the state of public emergency in the interest of the public,” said President Mokgweetsi Masisi, before parliament voted to continue the emergency on Monday night.

Leading opposition figures criticized the extension of the state of emergency.

“Households are under severe financial strain with wages in the tourism sector cut and the wage subsidy not in place to assist them,” said Dumelang Saleshando, leader of the opposition party, the Botswana Congress Party.

Hunters’ ‘open day’ celebrates biodiversity and sustainable management at Buskett

An open day organised by the Federation for Hunting and Conservation Malta (FKNK) in collaboration with the environment ministry served as as educational and awareness-raising exercise for visitors at the height of migration for many bird species, despite serious reports of poaching and illegal hunting taking place.

Buskett is amongst the most important Natura 2000 sites in Malta as an important grounds for many plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects.

We need to understand those who live a rural lifestyle, and respect our cultural heritage, but most importantly, understand the value of effective dialogue, of balance, and recognise that various sustainable activities can be more than compatible with conservation objectives and contribute positively to biodiversity in many sites, especially within the framework of a management plan.

“Effective dialogue and partnership between environmentalists, hunters, farmers, landowners, authorities, and keeping an honest and open mind and mutual understanding can be transformative: creating solutions for a variety of problems, from biodiversity to conservation to rural development to climate change,” Farrugia said.

We promise to reciprocate with facts by means of projects that encourage conservation and enhance biodiversity,” said FKNK President Joe Perici Calascione.

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Image of article 'N.J.'s new plastic bag ban would be strictest in U.S. Here’s what you need to know.'

N.J.'s new plastic bag ban would be strictest in U.S. Here’s what you need to know.

The New Jersey Food Council, which lobbies on behalf of grocery stores, specifically supported including the ban on paper bags in the bill.

State lawmakers included paper bags in the bill in part because of different environmental concerns: Paper bags take more energy to make and thus produce more greenhouse gases, according to the New York Times.

But, if California and New York are indications, the bill could lead to higher uses of heavy plastic trash bags and invite legal challenges.

New Jersey is on the verge of adopting the nation’s strictest ban on single-use plastics, thanks to a bill passed by state lawmakers on Thursday.

Smith said he does not expect New Jersey’s ban to be challenged in court if it becomes law, because it has the support of the grocery industry and because he doesn’t think the paper bag ban will harm the state’s paper manufacturers.

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Democrats unveil new agenda for economic recovery and climate action

Greening the economy while cleaning up the environment will improve people’s health Proponents of the THRIVE agenda say it could create close to 16 million new jobs, as estimated by economists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

To help people find their feet as COVID-19 and climate change disrupt economies and industries, the agenda outlines areas for investment without yet specifying how much money to spend.

The THRIVE agenda takes a broader approach, incorporating those elements into a new platform of eight pillars aimed at empowering workers, communities of color, tribal nations, and people affected by economic upheavals caused by COVID-19 and other crises.

The Green New Deal included three pillars: taking action on climate change, creating green jobs, and addressing environmental racism and injustice.

Democrats will commit today to a wide-ranging new progressive agenda that simultaneously tackles pandemic recovery, climate change, and systemic injustice.

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Image of article 'Portland adopts landmark facial recognition ordinances'

Portland adopts landmark facial recognition ordinances

Limited exceptions exist in both ordinances for personal use of facial recognition, like for opening smartphones.

"What makes Portland's legislation stand out from other cities is that we're prohibiting facial recognition technology use by private entities in public accommodations," Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) said during Wednesday's deliberations.

That second ordinance goes beyond the steps other cities, like Boston, San Francisco and Oakland, Calif., have taken to limit government applications of facial recognition.

The Portland, Ore., City Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted two landmark ordinances banning city and private use of facial recognition technology.

"With these concerning reports of state surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists and the use of facial recognition technology to aid in the surveillance, it is especially important that Portland prohibits its bureaus from using this technology," City Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty said in statement before the ordinances' passage.

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SI Group Announces Tackifier Capacity Expansion in China

Investment in Nanjing Supports Growing Market Opportunities in the Region SCHENECTADY, N.Y., Sept. 9, 2020 /CNW/ -- SI Group, a global leader in the innovative technology of performance additives, process solutions, active pharmaceutical ingredients, and chemical intermediates, announced today plans to expand capacity levels at its Nanjing, China facility.

"We have taken the appropriate steps necessary to grow our capacity in this key regional growth area," stated Robert Kaiser, Vice President, Rubber Adhesives Solutions at SI Group, adding, "This expansion allows us to differentiate our offerings and position in the market, providing superior solutions to our customers."

SI Group's expansion in Nanjing will also address energy conservation initiatives and sustainability efforts in compliance within a highly-regulated Chinese chemical industry.

About SI Group SI Group is a global leader in the innovative technology of performance additives, process solutions, active pharmaceutical ingredients, and chemical intermediates.

SI Group solutions are essential to enhancing the quality and performance of countless industrial and consumer goods within the plastics, rubber adhesives, fuels lubricants, oilfield, pharmaceutical, and industrial resins industries.

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Fig growing helps bread earning, boost economy in Afghanistan's Kandahar province

"Many farmers prefer planting figs alongside pomegranates in their gardens in Kandahar and its vicinity," Hai explained, saying the sales price at local markets are reasonable.

(Photo by Sanaullah Seiam/Xinhua) Figs, according to Hai, have been used as traditional medicine, becoming popular over the past few years in Kandahar and the neighboring Zabul and Helmand provinces.

Photo taken on Sept. 3, 2020 shows freshly harvested figs at a garden in Arghandab district of Kandahar province, Afghanistan.

An Afghan farmer holds a basket of harvested figs at a garden in Arghandab district of Kandahar province, Afghanistan, Sept. 3, 2020.

An Afghan farmer harvests figs at a garden in Arghandab district of Kandahar province, Afghanistan, Sept. 3, 2020.

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Image of article 'US sanctions major contractor in China's Belt and Road Initiative'

US sanctions major contractor in China's Belt and Road Initiative

Pompeo accused China of using its state-owned enterprises to "dredge and reclaim more than 3,000 acres on disputed features in the South China Sea, destabilizing the region, trampling on the sovereign rights of its neighbors, and causing untold environmental devastation," since 2013.

The Commerce Department also added 24 PRC state-owned enterprises to the Entity List, including several subsidiaries of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), he added.

"Today, the Department of State will begin imposing visa restrictions on People's Republic of China (PRC) individuals responsible for, or complicit in, either the large-scale reclamation, construction, or militarization of disputed outposts in the South China Sea, or the PRC's use of coercion against Southeast Asian claimants to inhibit their access to offshore resources," State Secretary Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

The U.S. has slapped new restrictions on certain Chinese state-owned enterprises and executives for "malign activities" in the South China Sea, effectively starting a war on the Belt and Road Initiative of China.

Calling CCCC "one of the leading contractors used by Beijing in its global 'One Belt One Road' strategy," Pompeo claimed that CCCC and its subsidiaries have engaged "in corruption, predatory financing, environmental destruction and other abuses across the world."

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Image of article 'Birth of panda cub provides 'much-needed moment of pure joy'

Birth of panda cub provides 'much-needed moment of pure joy

Although the place looks tiny for a big panda, the zoo said giant pandas in wild give birth in small dens.

“Giant pandas are an international symbol of endangered wildlife and hope, and with the birth of this precious cub we are thrilled to offer the world a much-needed moment of pure joy,” said Steve Monfort, John and Adrienne Mars Director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

An experienced mom, “Mei Xiang picked the cub up immediately and began cradling and caring for it,” the zoo said in a statement.

Birth of panda cub provides 'much-needed moment of pure joy' The National Zoo’s giant panda Mei Xiang has given birth to a wiggling cub, delivering what the zoo calls a “much-needed moment of pure joy” at a time of global pandemic and social unrest By CAROLE FELDMAN Associated Press August 22, 2020, 12:55 AM 3 min read Share to FacebookEmail this article WASHINGTON -- Delivering a “much-needed moment of pure joy,” the National Zoo's giant panda Mei Xiang gave birth to a wiggling cub Friday at a time of global pandemic and social unrest.

Rather than using a combination of stored frozen sperm and fresh semen, the zoo inseminated Mei Xiang only with thawed-out semen to minimize the number of close-quarters medical procedures.

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Image of article 'It’s Time to Redefine What Sustainable Fishing Means'

It’s Time to Redefine What Sustainable Fishing Means

Even if we are quite far from fully understanding the experiences of animals who spend their lives primarily underwater, research clearly reveals that harbor porpoises like the one whose cries haunted Dolman and other marine mammals are, like us, highly intelligent and social creatures.

Dolman and her colleague Philippa Brakes, a research fellow at Whale and Dolphin Conservation, outlined their approach for regulating “bycatch,” as unintentionally caught animals are called, and preventing entanglement in fishing gear in a 2018 paper published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science.

She says it’s time for fisheries policies to consider the welfare of individual whales and dolphins and other marine mammals.

Globally, fishing gear kills at least 300,000 marine mammals every year, and leaves many more individuals with scars both physical and psychological.

Even for less family-oriented marine mammal species, like humpback whales, notes Safina, “the death of a mother—or severe distress of a mother due to entanglement in fishing gear—can be, depending on age of a young one, completely devastating or very stressful.”

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USF's survey show Florida residents are eager for stricter coronavirus precautions

The study, which surveyed 600 Floridians from July 30 to Aug.10, asked respondents about emergency preparedness, the general coronavirus pandemic and policies relating to the virus.

Almost three-quarters of those surveyed support a statewide decision to close public schools this fall, with 54 percent stating they would "strongly support" doing so.

Even more respondents support a statewide mask mandate, with 87 percent stating a support and 73 percent stating they would "strongly support."

When it comes to closing establishments, 40 percent "strongly" support closing bars and restaurants, with 41 percent stating a strong support for closing places of worship and 42 percent giving strong support to close beaches and public parks.

There were also 40 percent of respondents who stated they "strongly support" issuing a new stay-at-home order.

Image of article 'Trump wants ‘perfect’ hair from stronger water flow in the shower — his Energy Department delivers'

Trump wants ‘perfect’ hair from stronger water flow in the shower — his Energy Department delivers

Read:Trump signs plan to spend $3 billion a year on national parks and public land during a 2020 crammed with EPA rollbacks Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes told the Associated Press that the 2013 Obama administration definition of “showerhead” clashes with what Congress intended, as well as the standards of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

The Department of Energy’s own database of 12,499 showerheads from a range of manufacturers showed 74% of them use two gallons or less of water per minute, which is 20% less than the federal standard.

Since 1992, federal law has dictated that new showerheads shouldn’t pour more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute as the country moved to more efficiency and cost savings.

The Department of Energy on Wednesday took the next step in delivering on President Donald Trump’s January pledge to get “rid of the restrictors” on water flow from showerheads, which the president has notoriously said keep him from having perfect hair.

The current efficiency standards for washing machines, which were set in 2012, save a typical consumer $365 over the life of an appliance, when factoring both utility bills and purchase costs, said the Appliance Standards Awareness project, which is opposed to the administration’s changes.

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Image of article 'Bertam Alliance bags water tank sub-contract in Sabah'

Bertam Alliance bags water tank sub-contract in Sabah

KUALA LUMPUR: Bertam Alliance Bhd said a unit was awarded a sub-contract worth RM22.9mil for the provision of maintenance and replacement of water tanks in Sabah.

The project, awarded by main contractor Teamcons Resources Sdn Bhd, is expected to be completed on Dec 20, 2021.

The locations of the water tanks are in Kota Kinabalu, Kudat, Kota Belud, Sandakan, Lahad Datu and Tawau.

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