THE GREEN PLANET BLOG - Our World and Environment...

All about conservation, ecology, the environment, climate change, global warming, earth- watch, and new technologies etc.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A lose-lose scenario: Killing honey-bees to grow white refined sugar - an expose...

sugar beets thinning (Sidi Smaïl, Morocco, 2007).
sugar beets thinning (Sidi Smaïl, Morocco, 2007). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A news report from Kittson County Top News Examiner, Ken Korczac:

How ironic is this? Bees produce the world's most natural healthy source of sweetness, honey. But here in the Red River Valley, bee populations have been 'declared dead' by many beekeepers.

At the same time The Red River Valley is also among the world's largest producer of unhealthy sweetness: white refined, nutrition - free sugar produced from sugar beets.

Read more of Ken's report here:

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Even the Colonel is into the act - supporting APP's illegal use of rainforest fibre...

PALEMBANG, SOUTH SUMATRA, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 10: An aerial view of stacks of timber logging plant on a vast pulpwood concession on land owned by PT.Rimba Hutani Mas, part of the Sinar Mas Group that owns Asia Pulp & Paper Co., during an aerial tour of the Sumatran forest with Greenpeace and South Sumatra Governor, Alex Noerdin, on December 10, 2010 in District Musi Banyuasin, Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia. Norway have agreed to support Indonesia's efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and the degradation of forests and peat lands, caused by pulp, palm oil and wood businesses. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

KFC's secret recipe is out of the bucket. It turns out the Colonel has been wrapping his greasy chickens in packaging made from Indonesian rainforests that the endangered  Sumatran tigers call home. I've never liked KFC anyway, but this would ensure I didn't buy the stuff in future.

The Asian Pulp and Paper company(APP) the parent company of the New Zealand based Cottonsoft who were exposed last year for trashing rainforests to make toilet paper rolls, is one of the most notorious, or perhaps even nefarious rainforest destroyers. I have posted here at the Green Planet about this despicable company just a few weeks ago. Scroll back and have a read.

You can read more here about evidence that has been released about the illegal usage of endangered rainforest timber, and the discovery that KFC in the UK, China and Indonesia has been using packaging containing rainforest fibre supplied by APP. A number of large international companies such as Mattel, Nestle and Adidas have dropped APP like hot coals -  the pressure is now right on the Colonel to stop using APP products and help win a real victory for the Indonesian rainforests.

Join the international revolt - people from Indonesia to China, New Zealand to America and Europe - are joining the revolt to go tell KFC and the Colonel that turning rainforests into trash is absolutely unacceptable.


Greenpeace Link.

View video

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A message to all Kiwis: Heed the call and support action to save the Maui dolphin.

New Zealand
New Zealand (Photo credit: erjkprunczyk)

Save the Maui's Dolphin

The Maui dolphin is facing extinction...
New Zealand is home to the world's smallest and rarest marine dolphin. But Maui's dolphin is in very real danger of extinction with new reports putting its entire population at only 55.
The Government has responded by proposing two interim protection measures until it can complete a full review later this year. But they are not strong or urgent enough and will leave Maui’s dolphins at risk from being caught and killed in fishing nets.

The measures include extending the set net ban along the west coast of the North Island to include the Taranaki coast from Pariokariwa Point south to Hawera and out to 4 nautical miles, and extending the marine mammal sanctuary along the west coast south to Hawera and out to 12 nautical miles.

It's not enough. What's needed is a total ban on gillnets and trawling out to 100m depth throughout Maui's dolphin habitat. As things stand, the Maui's dolphin are likely to become extinct in our lifetime. The time to act is now.

When they have all gone it will be too late New Zealand.  So act now and help save the Maui dolphin. Support Greenpeace and other conservationists!,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=6beb2876784300db&biw=1366&bih=537

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Daily Steps You Can Take to Help The Environment

Recycling Bin
Recycling Bin (Photo credit: Canton Public Library (MI))

Over the last few years, scientists and news outlets continue to warn of the insidious effects of global warming. Average folks may find the chimerical pleas of the scientific community incredulous, but the remonstrance demonstrations of scientific experts prove necessary. Everyday folks can do their part by conducting basic, everyday activities to cut back energy, conserve vital materials and curb the emission of harmful chemicals and gases. Some people even take online environmental studies classes to learn more about what they can do to help.
Most people remain unaware of the bevy of simple acts they can participate in to help save the Earth. From redesigning an energy efficient home to taking public transportation, these prodigious, environmentally friendly steps can help leave a better plant for the future generations.

Water Use

Everyone needs water. People need it to clean the dishes. Folks need water to wash their cars. Kids need water to take a shower. Even the grass, plants and trees interspersed outside a home need water. Water is an essential commodity to every home, but also one of the most misused and wasted.
Municipal systems require energy to clean and distribute water among homes; the more water consumed, the more energy needed to clean and provide folks with the essential liquid. Watch how you consume water. Turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth or while scrubbing your face with cleaning solutions. When you irrigate your lawn, try to water during the early morning hours, as these times are the coolest and help save the most energy.
Other water saving methods includes fixing leaky faucets and toilets. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a leaky toilet can use an upwards of 200 gallons of extra water per day; water and energy that other individuals may use for more essential tasks. Exercise some constraint, and be wise about your daily water consumptions, especially with water-dependent activities, such as washing the car, watering the lawn and taking a shower.

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!

The inordinate consumption of raw goods produces tons of hazardous gases that spew into the environment, making areas inhospitable due to the air quality and heat. By reducing the overconsumption of raw goods, the scientific community asks individuals to recycle. Newspapers, magazines plastic bottles and even aluminum cans make for the common, everyday items people recycle, but fire extinguishers, e-waste and chemicals are fatuously thrown away.
Continue to recycle old newspapers and bottles so that these materials get reused, but also throw away e-waste and chemicals away at the proper recycling centers. Discarding chemicals, batteries and even e-waste into the trash leaves hazardous products in landfills that can spill into the Earth, contaminating water and soil.
Visit a proper plant to discard of materials. Recycling products requires little effort and is a simple, everyday gesture you can do to avoid toxic materials from seeping into the earth. You do not have to be an environmental expert or take online classes to understand the importance of recycling.

Turn off Electronics

Computers consume an average of 40 watts of power per day according to Wire & Twine. If you happen to leave that same computer on the entire night, the device consumes a bit more. Turning off old electronics when not in use can save a few dollars a year, but more importantly help the environment.
Unplug the laptop when not in use. Disconnect the television set from the outlet, if you’re going out of town. Aim to keep the lights off when not in use. Get creative and discover what electronics you can shut off to preserve energy.
Turning off electronics and removing them from their power sources helps save hundreds on the electric bill. Something as simple as turning off the computer at night can save an average of $14 a year; may not sound like much, but your simple effort has prodigious effects on the environment.

Wash Your Clothes with Warm to Cold Water

Older electronic appliances failed to understand the science behind energy efficient standards. The more energy consumed, the more power plants must produce creating more hazardous chemicals. Newer, more efficient appliances, such as the washer machine, help curb the need for energy.
By switching to newer machines using warm to cold washing methods, individuals can save a few dollars on their electric bill and reduce the need for producing more energy. Granted, energy efficient products do cost more, but you can find creative ways to save on products.

Skip the Personal Transportation

Okay, this tip might be harder for some to do, especially with long commute times to desolate areas. Still, for the average individual venturing to a metropolitan area, try to carpool or avoid from using your car five days a week. Instead, take your bike two days a week to work or a form of public transportation.
By reducing the number of times you take your own car to work, you not only save gas, but reduce the number of dangerous emissions that creep into the environment every day. Be smart, take public transportation when you can.


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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Methane seen coming out of cracks in Arctic Sea ice...

More methane emissions lead to more warming, and more warming leads to more methane emissions.

As the Arctic warms due to global warming, the Arctic Ocean itself may be releasing vast amounts of methane, contributing to even more global warming, according to a study published today in the journal Nature Geoscience.

A new airborne study with NASA contributions measured surprising levels of the potent greenhouse gas methane coming from cracks in Arctic sea ice and areas of partial sea ice cover. This image was taken over the Arctic Ocean at a latitude of approximately 71 degrees North on April 15, 2010. (photo: NASA/JPL)

The researchers in the study led by Eric Kort of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., recorded higher levels of methane above cracks in Arctic sea ice and areas of partial sea ice cover. The openings allowed Arctic seawater to interact with the air and methane in the surface waters to escape into the atmosphere. Higher methane readings were not found above solid ice.

“It’s possible that as large areas of sea ice melt and expose more ocean water, methane production may increase, leading to larger methane emissions,” Kort said.
“As Arctic sea ice cover continues to decline in a warming climate, this source of methane may well increase," he added.

Read more:


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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Invester backlash results in APP contract cancellation...

Notorious company Asian Pulp and Paper (APP), linked to illegal logging and the clearance of Sumatran tiger habitat, today suffered another massive blow with Canadian investment giant Mackenzie Investments announcing that it has ceased in investing in APP operations...

A view of Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park, the biggest tiger habitat in Sumatra.
The notorious company Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), linked to illegal logging and the clearance of Sumatran tiger habitat, today suffered another massive blow with Canadian investment giant Mackenzie Investments announcing that it has ceased investing in APP operations.
Greenpeace recently exposed APP’s main mill in Indonesia for using illegal timber to fuel its operations. Not only did Greenpeace investigations find that the Indah Kiat mill is systematically violating Indonesia’s laws protecting the internationally protected tree species ramin, it also found that the mill is supplied with rainforest timber from areas mapped as habitat of critically endangered species like the Sumatran tiger, whose numbers are down to an estimated 400 in the wild.
In a brief statement posted online, Mackenzie stated:
PT Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper Corp. TBK is no longer held by Mackenzie. Based on a full review of the holding and taking all aspects of the investment into consideration, the portfolio manager determined that the sale of Indah Kiat was in the best interest of the Funds.
As an Imagine Canada Caring Company, Mackenzie Investments embraces corporate citizenship and is committed to following ethical and environmentally responsible business practices. Greenpeace strongly welcomes Mackenzie’s move.
The announcement comes on the back of another large international investor, Norway’s Skagen funds, selling its shares in Inda Kiat based on a “review of investment philosophy, ethical guidelines and our aim of providing our unit holders with the best possible risk adjusted return.” Indah Kiat’s share price fell a massive 25% last year alone.

Read more:;postID=4496131052897553358

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Peru: Dolphins in danger...

Whaling in the Faroe Islands. These are Atlant...
Whaling in the Faroe Islands. These are Atlantic White-sided Dolphins, on a concrete-floored dock at a small port called Hvalba, which is in the Faeroe Islands, located between the UK and Iceland. They've been caught for food, as has been done for at least a thousand years. Birds surround them, just not in the picture. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Peru: Dolphins in Danger:
    Director: Uli Pfoertner | Producer: Gilde & Medienkontor
    Genre: Documentary | Produced In: 2008 | Story Teller's Country: Germany
    Tags: Peru, Americas, Animal Rights, Ecology, Conflict
    Synopsis: Unnoticed from the rest of the world, in Peru every year a minimum of 15,000 dolphins are killed by humans. This problem stems from poverty. The fishermen sell the meat as “Chancho Marino” (“sea-pig”) on the local markets. The film is on dolphins, and the humans who fight for their survival. These activists are, in a special way, a “community of destiny”: the fish in the world’s former richest fishing grounds - once for both, the basis of existence - is gone. The German biologist Stefan Austermuehle and his Peruvian wife Nina Pardo fight a tremendous battle against the seemingly permanent dolphin slaughter - in an unusual and sustainable way: undercover research with hidden cameras, operations against the dealers together with the police, but most of all the training of the fishermen to become tourist guides for dolphin watching. Through these efforts, they can change the lives of the dolphins and of themselves. By bringing the fishermen new sources of income, the “partnership” between man and animal will also secure the dolphins survival - along the cost as well as in the rainforest, where the Peruvian pink river dolphins also seem to be highly endangered.... View here:
  • Kiwipete
  • Ecospree

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Russian researchers have spotted an extremely rare white albino orca off the coast of Kamchatka for the first time in history...

Iceberg the white Orca...

A Russian research ship has spotted an extremely rare white adult orca, or killer whale, off the coast of Kamchatka for the first time in history. The reason for the whale's unusual pigmentation is as yet unexplained.

­The scientists identified the whale by his pure white fin, swimming together with his pod, or family, all of which have the standard black and white coloration.

He has been given the nickname Iceberg, and appears to be behaving normally.
"Iceberg seems to be fully socialized; we know that these fish-eating orcas stay with their mothers for life, and as far as we can see he's right behind his mother with presumably his brothers next to him," said Dr. Erich Hoyt, who co-leads the scientific group that spotted the mammal.

Read more:

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Today: Live Broadcast on Polar bears

Polar Bear
Polar Bear (Photo credit: Kevin.Ward)
Polar Bears
Polar Bears (Photo credit: bugmonkey)

Today: Live Broadcast on Polar Bears
Tundra Connections
Four months after most polar bears ventured out to the sea ice to hunt, mothers and their cubs are finally emerging from their dens in search of enough food to last another season. Time and the warming environment are not on their side.
Hear about this and more directly from scientists who study these creatures, and join in on the conversation.
Today on our Siku pages, we will broadcast Tundra Connections, a special live interactive discussion led by our partners at Polar Bears International. Tune in at 1:00 pm EDT to join. A special discussion for kids begins at 12:00 pm EDT.
What questions would you ask a polar bear expert? Ask them in the comments or email them directly to us at
Never stop learning,
Charlie /

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Orangutans are endangered by the destruction of lowland forests making way for palm oil plantations...

Pongo pygmaeus English: A Bornean orangutan at...
Pongo pygmaeus English: A Bornean orangutan at Fort Worth Zoo, Texas, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Orangutan (Photo credit: mizmak)
Orangutan (Photo credit: GreenWhiteOrange)
The lowland forest habitats of Asia's only great ape are quickly disappearing. The are being cut down for timber or burned to make way for oil palm plantations and other agricultural developments.

 / ©: Shah / WWF
© Shah / WWF

Key facts

  • Species

    Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii), Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)
  • Location

    Sumatra (Indonesia), Borneo (Malaysia and Indonesia)
  • Status

    Endangered to Critically Endangered

Victims of logging and fire

Orangutans share a preference with humans for fertile alluvial plains and lowland valleys – a habitat once rich in tropical forests but now being replaced with logging and agricultural concessions.

Each of the two orangutan species is found only on the island from which it derives its name: Sumatra or Borneo. With numbers having fallen drastically over the past century and human pressures increasing, orangutans may be lost from the wild forever within a few decades.

Palm Oil is a threat to the Orangutang's future. Legal rhetoric is a deliberate obstacle to any government policy. Public boycotts of company products using palm oil can be effective. It was successful in New Zealand a couple of years ago.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

The New Zealand Whio, or Blue Duck, is a unique and threatened species and treasure of New Zealand...

Whio (Blue Duck, Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos) ...
Whio (Blue Duck, Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos) at Staglands in Akatarawa, New Zealand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Zealand's "Whio" or blue duck (hymenolaimus malacorhynchos) is a unique and threatened species of waterfowl endemic to that country. It is the only member of its genus and has no close relative anywhere on earth. It is a natural treasure of New Zealand.

It is believed that the blue ducks appeared at a very early stage in evolutionary history and the species' isolation in NZ has resulted in it acquiring a number of unique anatomical and behavioural features. The "Whio" really is a natural treasure of New Zealand.

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