Posted on November 1, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Groups show solidarity with indigenous people, call for halt to mining
A group of marchers in Australia are trying to prevent any new uranium mines from opening.
Anti-nuclear marchers in Australia.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — After nine weeks walking through rain, wind and dust across a big chunk of Australia, 50 protest marchers arrived in Perth to call for an end to uranium mining in Australia.
“Footprints for Peace have organized international walks against uranium mining for seven years. On each walk we hear the same stories about the broken promises from the nuclear industry. said march coordinator Marcus Atkinson. “This industry … divides communities and leaves people uncertain and afraid about the future.”
The group has been walking in solidarity with the Traditional Custodians of the Wiluna and Yeelirrie areas where uranium mines have been proposed; many are opposed to the mines but have no legal recourse. (more…)
Filed under: Environment, world news | Tagged: anti-nuclear movement, Australia, Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Environment, nuclear power, Summit County News, uranium mining, Wiluna Western Australia | 3 Comments »
Posted on October 11, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Activists protest by marching from Wiluna to Perth
Activists are marching across Western Australia to protest the permitting of a new open pit uranium mine.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Together with activists from around the world, a group of native Aboriginal custodians is marching 1,200 kilometers across Western Australia to protest plans for a new mine by Toro Energy in Wiluna.
Concerns about uranium mining have heated up in Australia recently, following government approval of the Olympic Dam mine, which would be the world’s largest open pit uranium mine.
“(It’s) is a very sad day for South Australia and Australia. Many people around the world will also be appalled at this decision by the Labour Party,” said Footprints for Peace organizer Marcus Atkinson.
“In December 2003, Footprints for Peace, having walked from Olympic Dam uranium mine to Hiroshima in Japan, learnt from Traditional Custodians about the destruction of sacred sites and the enormous amounts of water being taken from the Great Artesian Basin,” Atkinson said. (more…)
Filed under: energy, Environment, Summit County news | Tagged: Australia, BHP Billiton, Footprints for Peace, Olympic Dam South Australia, uranium mining, Walk away from Uranium mining | 4 Comments »
Posted on July 9, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Feedback loop could intensify impacts to carbon cycle
Massive fires have burned across more than 3 million acres in Texas. PHOTO COURTESY TEXAS FOREST SERVICE. Click on the image for a gallery of photos from this year's wildfires.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Scientists speaking at an international symposium in Australia this week said wildfires are likely play an increasingly important role in climate change, but that more study is needed to determine exactly what those effects will be.
Fires are one of nature’s primary carbon-cycling mechanisms, said Dr. Melita Keywood, a researcher with Australia’s national research agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
A press release from CSIRO highlighted some of the questions Keywood raised in a recent presentation at a gathering of geophysicists. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, forest fires, Forest health, forests, global warming, world news | Tagged: Australia, Black Saturday bushfires, carbon cycle, climate change, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, global warming, Summit County News, wildfire, Wildfires | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 3, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
Australian researchers say they've documented global warming impacts on 43 fish species. Photo from the Wikimedia Commons.
Southeastern Australia a climate change hot spot, with shifting currents and significant increases in water temps
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Warm-water fish around Australia are moving southward to colonize the cool, temperate waters of the Tasman Sea, according to Australian researchers who recently concluded that as many as 43 species are showing shifts thought to be related to global warming. The changes are affecting about 30 percent of the inshore fish families in the region.
The scientists with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) scoured published accounts, scientific surveys, records from spearfishing and angling competitions, as well as tallies of commercial catches and underwater photographic records from the late 1800s to the present.
“Increased water temperatures in the Tasman Sea are likely to have a cascading effect through local marine ecosystems.” said Dr. Peter Last, curator of the Australian National Fish Collection. “Furthermore, up to 19 species, or 5 per cent, of Tasmanian coastal fish fauna have undergone serious declines or are possibly extinct locally,” Last said. (more…)
Filed under: Environment, global warming, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Australia, Bass Strait, climate change, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, conservation, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, Tasmania, wildlife | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 11, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
A saltwater crocodile in the Adelaide River, Australia. PHOTO FROM THE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.
New research from Australia sheds light on dispersal of world’s largest reptiles across huge expanses of Pacific Ocean
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Salt water crocodiles colonized large swaths of the southeastern Pacific Ocean by riding surface currents to cross big expanses of open ocean, according to a group of Australian ecologists who recently tracked 27 adult crocodiles with underwater sonar.
The crocs are found in an area extending from East India to Fiji to southern China and all the way to northern Australia. Biologists have long wondered how they spread across such a large area without diversifying into different species. The research by Dr. Hamish Campbell from University of Queensland and colleagues from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Australia Zoo shows the animals can easily travel more than 500 kilometers in just a few days by finding favorable currents.
“The estuarine crocodile occurs as island populations throughout the Indian and Pacific ocean, and because they are the only species of salt-water living crocodile to exist across this vast area, regular mixing between the island populations probably occurs,” Campbell said. (more…)
Filed under: endangered species, Environment, Marine biology, Summit County Colorado, wildlife | Tagged: Australia, marine biology, saltwater crocodiles, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, wildlife | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 9, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
A running wildfire alongside a highway. PHOTO COURTESY U.S. FOREST SERVICE.
New research looks at basic ecological assumptions about the role of humans in nature
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Like most Americans, Australians tend to view fire as a destructive force on the landscape, and not as a natural part of ecosystem cycles that have been shaping plant and animal communities for millennia.
In Australia, where indigenous people have been part of those ecosystems for a very long time, there is evidence to suggest that fires set as part of their hunting practices have made some parts of the land more biologically diverse than areas that are untouched by human hands.
In research news from Stanford University, a recent article explains how anthropologists are trying to demonstrate what could happen if the indigenous people and their practices of setting fires were to be pulled off the land. The results of the research could be used to help shape fire management programs for Australian national parks, for example.
Specifically, the Stanford team is working with a group of about 800 “Martu” people who live in Australia’s Western Desert. Early results show that their practices of setting small fires to help hunt giant monitor lizards has played a key role in shaping the region’s ecosystems. The small-scale fires leave a patchwork quilt of habitat that encourages more plant and animal diversity.
Along with the research on how the fires affect the landscape, the work could challenge some fundamental ecological assumptions that humans are an outside destructive force that disturbs the balance of nature. (more…)
Filed under: Forest health, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Australia, ecology, Stanford University, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, Wildfires | 1 Comment »