The captain and three Britons from on board the seized Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise have been granted bail by a court in northern Russia. Peter Willcox previously captained Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior ship when it was blown up by French agents in harbour in New Zealand in 1985. The UK’s Alex Harris, Kieron Bryan and Anthony Perrett were bailed as were two Dutch nationals, a Swiss and a Dane. In all 20 of the 30 detainees have been bailed, with one actually released. Four more activists were released on the 21st November including Frank Hewetson and Iain Rogers and the other detainees should be released from what seem to be appalling prison conditions within days, as Russian legal procedures are followed through. Some commentators said that with the charges no longer of piracy (now of hooliganism) relating to the protest at an Arctic offshore oil rig operated by the Russian company Gazprom, and bail now being granted, there may be hope that the Russian authorities are taking a more reasonable approach.
Deforestation in the Amazon is on the rise again – Brazil’s Environment Secretary Isabelle Tiexeira said that farming and soyabean production were largely responsible for the 32% rise in forest destruction in the Northern state of Para and a 52% leap in Mato Grosso. Over 2,200 square miles of forest were lost last year.
In the UK wind turbine developers will have to consult local people if they plan to erect more than two turbines or any turbine over 15M tall.
The Sea Fish Industry Authority, a UK government backed body that supports the seafood industry, has said that consumers are being misled over easting North Sea cod – saying that stocks have risen and the fish should be taken off the Marine Conservation Society’s ‘red label’ lost as an endangered fish. Whilst the MSC says that conservation efforts have meant that there had been an “encouraging” rise in stocks, they say that cod should remain “firmly off the menu”. Stocks have now recovered to 1995 levels, but are still less than half of stock levels found in the early 1980s.
Electric bikes are replacing cars for those people who have longer distances to go, have hills to climb or stuff to carry. Here are five interesting facts about them from TreeHugger
Singapore is a city where space is at a premium – so the city now features green walls, roofs, gardens and parks. They even have gardens in the sky!
Here’s a short video of The Electric Hotel’s visit to the Shambala Festival – where they recharged over 1000 mobiles using people, wind, solar and water power – and planted over 1000 tress in Festival wood! They ROCK!
Getting the most out of solar panels might seem easy, but it isn’t. Common sense tells us that pointing them south (in the Northern hemisphere) will lead to the best performance, but according to a new study from the Pecan Street Research Institute, they actually do better when pointed west because peak demand on the power grid is in the afternoon and evening, and so getting more solar power during that period is actually more useful at reducing the need for polluting sources of energy. In short: To get maximum benefits, it’s not just about how much electricity is produced, but also when it is produced. More on Treehugger here.
Google has teamed up with with researchers from the University of Maryland, NASA and the USGS to bring the first high-resolution map of global deforestation to life using Google Earth Engine. The project was created using over a decade of Landsat images and puts global land use changes into a format that the public, NGOs and governments around the world can use to learn more about forestry practices and hopefully help deter unwanted deforestation. More here.