Extinction of Insects: A planetary distress call

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Insects are facing extinction all over the world, at a rate that bodes disastrous ecological collapse, reports the first global scientific review published in the journal Biological Conservation. (FranciscoSánchez-Bayo, Kris A.G.Wyckhuys, Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers, Biological Conservation, Vol. 232, Apr. 2019)

More than 40% insect species are threatened with extinction and a third are endangered, according to the analysis. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, reptiles and birds. The total mass of insects is falling by 2.5% per year, that suggests with the best data available they could face total extinction within a century.Read More »

Of Insects and Men

by Evaggelos Vallianatos

Invisible denizens — everywhere

Insects are all over the world – in and over the waters at the edge of the seas, in and over the waters of lakes, rivers and creeks and swamps and irrigation ditches. They thrive in the forests, mountains, deserts, land, cities, villages, in the tropics and in the homes of the poor and the powerful. Their populations are the largest of all other species. They have been occupying the Earth for 400 million years.Read More »

The impact of air pollution on deaths, disease burden, and life expectancy across the states of India: the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017

by Kalpana Balakrishnan, Sagnik Dey, Tarun Gupta, R S Dhaliwal, Michael Brauer, Aaron J Cohen, Jeffrey D Stanaway, Gufran Beig, Tushar K Joshi, Ashutosh N Aggarwal, Yogesh Sabde, Harsiddha Sadhu, Joseph Frostad, Kate Causey, William Godwin, D K Shukla, G Anil Kumar, Chris M Varghese, Pallavi Muraleedharan, Anurag Agrawal, R M Anjana, Anil Bhansali, Deeksha Bhardwaj, Katrin Burkart, Kelly Cercy, Joy K Chakma, Sourangsu Chowdhury, D J Christopher, Eliza Dutta, Melissa Furtado, Santu Ghosh, Aloke G Ghoshal, Scott D Glenn, Randeep Guleria, Rajeev Gupta, Panniyammakal Jeemon, Rajni Kant, Surya Kant, Tanvir Kaur, Parvaiz A Koul, Varsha Krish, Bhargav Krishna, Samantha L Larson, Kishore Madhipatla, P A Mahesh, Viswanathan Mohan, Satinath Mukhopadhyay, Parul Mutreja, Nitish Naik, Sanjeev Nair, Grant Nguyen, Christopher M Odell, Jeyaraj D Pandian, Dorairaj Prabhakaran, Poornima Prabhakaran, Ambuj Roy, Sundeep Salvi, Sankar Sambandam, Deepika Saraf, Meenakshi Sharma, Aakash Shrivastava, Virendra Singh, Nikhil Tandon, Nihal J Thomas, Anna Torre, Denis Xavier, Geetika Yadav, Sujeet Singh, Chander Shekhar, Theo Vos, Rakhi Dandona, K Srinath Reddy, Stephen S Lim, Christopher J L Murray, S Venkatesh and Lalit Dandona.

[Excerpts of the research report are presented below. References/notes are not presented.]

Read More »

How Amazon powers its data centers can significantly impact carbon emissions

Greenpeace, USA

Amazon has a dirty secret.

Despite its commitment to renewable energy, the world’s largest cloud company is hoping no one will notice that it’s still powering its massive data centers with fracked gas and dirty coal.

Greenpeace’s brand new report, “Clicking Clean Virginia — The Dirty Energy Powering Data Center Alley”, found that Amazon’s Virginia expansion could lead to more pipelines, more pollution, and more problems for our climate.1 That’s because despite committing to use 100% renewable energy back in 2014, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has grown by nearly 60% in the past two years in Northern Virginia — the physical heart of the internet and where dirty energy is still the norm. In this same time period, AWS has not built a single new renewable energy project.Read More »

9,000+ scientists defend Endangered Species Act in letter to Trump administration

by Olivia Rosane

People’s World | September 25, 2018

9,000+ scientists defend Endangered Species Act in letter to Trump administration

A young Florida Panther, one of the many endangered species in the U.S. according to the Center for Biological Diversity. | Florida Fish and Wildlife

Thousands of scientists have signed two letters opposing changes to the Endangered Species Act proposed by the Trump administration that critics say would weaken protections in favor of developers, Reuters reported Monday.

The proposed changes were announced by the Interior and Commerce Departments in July, and include axing the “blanket rule’ granting threatened species the same protections as endangered species and removing language telling officials not to consider economic impacts when listing a species.Read More »

To Find a Story Under Every Old, Big Tree – Even in Delhi

by Neha Sinha

To Find a Story Under Every Old, Big Tree – Even in Delhi

A myna nests atop a chimney. Credit: Neha Sinha

New Delhi: Thorny shrubs, peripheral trees.

That’s the light cost of the redevelopment of Sarojini Nagar, best known for a thriving export-surplus market and government flats in various states of disrepair. According to form 1 and form 1A, required under the Environment Impact Assessment notification, 2006, and submitted by the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) for redevelopment – breaking down buildings to build new flats and malls would sacrifice very little, just a few “thorny shrubs”, some trees on the “periphery” of the project site and “no ecologically important flora or fauna species”.Read More »

India: Watch | In ‘Kodaikanal Still Won’t’, Artists Call Out Unilever’s ‘Environmental Racism’

The music video features Sofia Ashraf, T.M. Krishna and Amrit Rao.

The Wire | June 29, 2018

Watch | In 'Kodaikanal Still Won't', Artists Call Out Unilever's 'Environmental Racism'

New Delhi: The team that produced the video ‘Kodaikanal Won’t‘, featuring Chennai-based rapper Sofia Ashraf, has come together to produce another video, ‘Kodaikanal Still Won’t’. Through the video, activists are hoping the garner support and signatures for their campaign against Hindustan Unilever’s “environmental racism”.Read More »