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31 January 2014



By The Australian, January 31st 2014

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has approved the dumping of up to three million tonnes of dredge spoil inside the park's boundary. The decision, related to the Abbot Point coal port expansion north of Bowen, was announced in Townsville. The Abbott government had already given its approval for the contentious dredging plan, which was strongly opposed by environmental groups. Authority chairman Dr Russell Reichelt said there had been strong community concern and debate about the application by North Queensland Bulk Ports Cor poration to dispose of dredge spoil in the park.

But he said allowing the project to proceed would help contain development to existing ports, and the reef itself and seagrass meadows would still be protected. "It's important to note the sea oor of the approved disposal area consists of sand, silt and clay and does not contain coral reefs or seagrass beds,'' Dr Reichelt said in a statement. The authority's general m a n a g e r f o r b i o d i ve r s i t y, conservation and sustainable use, Bruce Elliot, said strict e nv i r o n m e n t a l c o n d i t i o n s imposed on the project by the federal government would help protect the reef. "The federal environment minister, as part of his approval conditions for this development,

has required North Queensland Bulk Ports to identify alternate disposal sites within an identied investigation zone,'' Mr Elliot said. "We would support the use of an alternative site if it is found to be equal to or better in terms of environmental or heritage outcomes.'' The approved disposal site is located approximately 25km east-north-east of the port, while the investigation zone being assessed for alternative locations is located 20 to 30km from the area being dredged. The dredge spoils bound for the ocean will be tested before they are dumped to ensure they are safe. For more on this story visit:

Earths Cool - Educating the Young About Sustainability

Fracking: Untangling Fact From Fiction

Emergency Management Lets Plan Together

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PLANETLIFE 31 January 2014


Pictured: Children from NSW are being entertained by Druma Atweme at Earth Sanctuarys Earths Cool program.


By Bob Thomas, The Age, January 21st, 2014

How important is it that every schoolchild develops a balanced understanding of the challenge of sustainability, including the science of climate change and the kind of environmental threats that they and their offspring will inherit? My own view is that for children now in the education system, a sophisticated understanding of these matters will be as important to their future as literacy and numeracy. In recognition that the curriculum must be both relevant to the lives of students and address the contemporary issues they face, Australian educators have been involved in a ve-year process of national curriculum redesign.

It has been ag reed that Australian school curriculums need to give special attention at all stages and across multiple subject domains to three priority areas: sustainability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture, and Australia's engagement with Asia. Reasonably enough, the federal Education Minister wants to be assured that the new national curriculum will meet the needs of the education system, for which he has responsibility during his t e r m o f o f c e. H e h a s appointed a two-person commission to review the curriculum and make recommendations about it by midyear, so that if necessary, modications can be implemented in 2015. In his announcement he said that he

was looking to his nominated reviewers to evaluate the development and implementation of the Australian Curriculum and its robustness, independence and balance. A few days after the minister's announcement, 176 education leaders from across Australia signed an open letter to the minister expressing their concern at the timing of the review and the suitability of one of the two reviewers. They also pointed to the difculties that this process will impose on a system that is still being bedded down after ve years of professional deliberation by curriculum agencies and educators across the nation. For more on this story visit:

PLANETLIFE 31 January 2014


By Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic, January 30th 2014.

Illegal drugs have a surprising new victim: ecologically important lands in Central America, where criminal activities associated with the drug trade are wreaking havoc, scientists report. It has long been known that rain forests are often cleared to grow coca for cocaine, but a new paper in the journal Science warns that the business of transporting illegal drugs and laundering the proceeds is contributing to deforestation, too. Trafckers build landing strips and roads in the forest to move their product, the new research nds. Some trafckers bribe ofcials to look the other way, then buy up local land to convert it into palm oil plantations and ranching operations as a way of laundering drug money. "There are profound ecological impacts in trafcking corridors," says Kendra McSweeney, lead author of the new paper, which was published Thursday. McSweeney studies conservation and the interactions between people and the environment at Ohio State University and went to Honduras in 2011 to study how indigenous communities respond to climate change. Instead, she was struck by "rapid rates of forest loss, over massive areas in the heart of protected areas. "We wondered who had the money and impunity to do that, and when we looked into it we found that the answer was narco-trafckers," says McSweeney, who was conducting her research on a National Geographic grant. "The ow of drugs through the region resulted in ecological devastation."

She was quick to point out that deforestation in Latin America has many causes, including impacts from development projects such as dams and roads, pressure to convert forest into farmland, illegal logging, and urban sprawl. "But what we were seeing was over and above that, it was literally deforestation on drugs," she says, in that drug trafcking was accelerating forest-clearing. Linking Degradation and Drugs In their paper, McSweeney and colleagues from several universities in the U.S. and Germany note that deforestation rates have been particularly high in parts of Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, especially in the Caribbean lowlands. The Central American region is host to rich biodiversity and is sparsely populated, making in an attractive route for smuggling drugs from South America, where the drugs are grown, to the U.S., where they are consumed. Forest loss at the hands of narco-trafckers provoked UNESCO to list Honduras's Ro Pltano Biosphere Reserve as a "World Heritage in Danger" in 2011, the scientists write. In Guatemala's Peten region, rising drug trafcking activities are correlated with rising deforestation rates. Those activities include construction of large ranches owned by cartels inside Laguna del Tigre National Park. The presence of well-funded and potentially violent criminals has also inhibited the conservation work of government ofcials, scientists, environmental groups, and indigenous groups, the scientists say. For more on this story visit:

PLANETLIFE 31 January 2014


By Anthony Gucciardi, Story Leak, January 1st, 2014

Following the revelation that The Department of Health and Human Services has ordered 14 million doses of potassium iodide to be available by no later then the rst of February, it is easy to see that the same federal government responsible for silently raising the allowable limits of radiation in the food supply and turning off key radiation counters positioned in the west coast may now silently be preparing for a future Fukushima meltdown. The same type of Fukushima plant meltdown that has been predicted by leading scientists, such as those who spoke out against Fukushimas dangers while attending the scientic symposium at the!University of Alberta just a few months ago. Scientists like! David Suzuki went on record in stating that Fukushima is just an earthquake away from devastating Japan and swallowing other nations with its radioactive fallout. During the conference, Suzuki said: I have seen a paper which says that if in fact the fourth plant goes under in an earthquake and those rods are exposed, its bye bye Japan and everybody on the west coast of North America should evacuate. And Suzuki is not the only one with major concerns. In fact, Suzuki is perhaps one of the very few who actually received media attention due to his celebrity status as! a recipient of 16 signicant academic awards and host of the popular CBC Television program entitled The Nature of Things.! Yale University professor Charles Perrow has voiced similar concerns in a telling piece entitled Fukushima Forever, which highlights the very serious threat of nuclear meltdown as a result of human error when it comes to removing the plants spent fuel rods. A danger that the United States government certainly recognizes as legitimate based on the analysis of top experts, and undoubtedly is silently preparing for behind the scenes.

Much more serious is the danger that the spent fuel rod pool at the top of the nuclear plant number four will collapse in a storm or an earthquake, or in a failed attempt to carefully remove each of the 1,535 rods and safely transport them to the common storage pool 50 meters away. Conditions in the unit 4 pool, 100 feet from the ground, are perilous, and if any two of the rods touch it could cause a nuclear reaction that would be uncontrollable. The radiation emitted from all these rods, if they are not continually cool and kept separate, would require the evacuation of surrounding areas including Tokyo. Because of the radiation at the site the 6,375 rods in the common storage pool could not be continuously cooled; they would ssion and all of humanity will be threatened, for thousands of years. And silently stockpiling iodine is certainly the way that! The Department of Health and Human Services would prepare for such an event. As of this morning, a government source has told me that this purchase is indeed bizarre given the quantity and delivery time frame (requiring a whopping 14 million doses by February 1st), and it goes

alongside preparations we have seen in the past where the ofcial response will likely play off the mega purchase as a routine bulk acquisition with no real urgency or threat. The reality is that even getting a hold of low quality potassium iodide, which I would not ever personally take over a higher quality form of pure iodine, is becoming difcult as the population becomes aware of Fukushimas expansive dangers. Many manufacturers are now stockpiling raw iodine and holding on to the element as a for m of investment with the knowledge that Fukushima may very well meltdown in the coming months. For this reason, we have had a very hard time securing our nascent iodine formula! that many in the eld of preparedness have been stockpiling for quite some time.

PLANETLIFE 31 January 2014



By ABC, January 31st, 2014


An estimated 6,000 people gathered at Perth's Cottesloe Beach today amid nationwide protests against Western Australia's catch-and-kill shark policy. The protests came after the second shark killed under the policy was pulled from a baited drum line off Leighton Beach this morning. The shark - believed to be a 2-metre tiger shark - was placed further offshore. The policy allows for great white, tiger, and bull sharks larger than 3 metres to be killed, while smaller sharks are to be released. A 2.3m tiger shark was also caught this morning on baited drum lines off Scarborough Beach, and was released 1.4 kilometres offshore. PROTESTER LOCKS HERSELF TO BOAT The protest action kicked off at 4:30am (AWST) when a 19-year-old woman locked herself to one of the two sheries vessels being used to set and monitor baited hooks off the Perth coast. The woman had to be cut from the vessel by emergency services, and activists from the Marine Response Unit say the protest delayed the boat's departure by two hours. Elsewhere, nearly 2,000 people gathered at Manly Beach in Sydney, while protesters also gathered at Glenelg in Adelaide and beaches in Victoria and Queensland. Greens leader Christine Milne addressed the crowd at Cottesloe along with a number of conservation groups. "Rights, rights, rights for great whites," the crowd chanted. Cottesloe Beach protester Pat Murphy says she swims in the ocean every day and is appalled by the State Government's policy. "All I can say to Colin Barnett as a Liberal supporter, Colin Barnett you've let us down big time," she said. Premier Colin Barnett says shark attacks are increasing and that WA had seen seven fatal attacks in the past three years. For more on this story visit:

PLANETLIFE 31 January 2014


By Matt McGrath, BBC News.

Fracking, as it is known, is a controversial technique for recovering gas and oil from shale rock. But how concerned should people be about the environmental impacts? Hydraulic fracturing is widely used across the US to exploit reserves of oil and gas that were once believed to be inaccessible. But in the UK, the use of fracking was halted in 2011 after some minor earthquakes near Blackpool, in northwest England, were attributed to test wells being drilled by the energy company Cuadrilla. The company carried out its own report into the incident and found that it was "most likely" that the seismic events were caused by the direct injection of uid into the fault zone. The Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc) then asked three experts to make an independent assessment. Their report indicated that future earthquakes as a result of fracking could not be ruled out - but the risk from these tremors was low and structural damage extremely unlikely. The experts also made recommendations on how to minimise these risks. Another review, carried out by the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering, also gave fracking the green light - provided that strong regulations were in place. Earthquake issues have also been attributed to fracking in British Columbia, Canada, and in some parts of the United States. But according to the Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla, there needs to be a sense of proportion about the risk of earthquakes from fracking. "If you look at the British Geological Survey website, in the last two months alone there were nine events of the same magnitude," he told BBC News. "We have a host of measures in place to ensure there is no recurrence." It is expected that if fracking resumes in the UK, the government will insist on constant monitoring and a threshold of seismic activity.

If fracking causes a tremor above the limit, it could lead to a suspension of drilling. FLUID SITUATION Many people have concerns about the uid used in fracking. It is normally a mixture of water, sand and some chemicals that is pumped into the well under high pressure to force the gas from the rock. There have been worries that the uid is dangerous - suspicions that were fuelled by the reluctance of many companies in the US to disclose what's exactly in the mixture. Democrats in the US Congress released a report that detailed some 750 different chemicals and other components used in fracking uid. In the UK, Cuadrilla has been open about what is in its fracking mixture. But the liquid going down into the well isn't the whole story. Fracking requires tens of millions of litres of uid - much of what goes down the well comes back up as "produced water". It can contain a mixture of organic hydrocarbons, and naturally occurring radioactive material. In the US, this water is often stored in open pits before it is processed but in the UK the pits will have to be covered.

In many locations where the facilities don't exist on site, the water has to be trucked away to be cleaned. Prof Richard Davies, director of the Durham Energy Institute, says that this would also be the likely scenario in the UK if fracking becomes more widespread. "It'll be a bit like Pennsylvania, where a whole industry has grown up to deal with waste-water," he said. "We'll have to clean the water if we want to reuse it." The International Energy Agency (IEA) has suggested ways of cleaning up the water that is used in shale gas exploitation. The IEA says that the technologies to address these issues exist or are in development and if they are adopted, fracking might be more widely accepted. The other water issue associated with fracking is the potential of the technology to contaminate existing drinking supplies. In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigated complaints from residents in Pavillion, Wyoming, who complained that fracking was affecting their drinking water. For more on this story visit:

PLANETLIFE 31 January 2014


By Terry MacAlister, The Guardian, January 26th, 2014

Soaring electricity demand for air-conditioning, iPads and increasingly cars, combined with a growing population and inadequate investment in creaking power networks, is pushing the world towards frequent blackouts, academics warn. China, Brazil and Italy have all had signicant power failures in the past decade but these are just "dress rehearsals for the future" in which the lights will go out with increasing frequency and severity, predicts a new paper, Blackouts: a sociology of electrical power failure. The authors, Hugh Byrd of Lincoln University in the UK and Steve Matthewman of Auckland University in New Zealand, argue that the west needs to abandon the idea of uninterrupted electricity supply. "Supply will become ever more precarious because of peak oil, political instability, infrastructural neglect, global warming and the shift to renewable energy resources. Demand will become stronger because of population growth, rising levels of afuence and the consumer addictions which accompany this," they argue. They note that there have already been frequent warnings about future blackouts in Britain from as early as 2015 from government advisers, network operators and the energy regulator, Ofgem. Byrd and Matthewman argue the picture is broadly similar across the world, with the American Society of Civil Engineers warning that US generation

systems could collapse by 2020 without $100bn of new investment in power stations. The enormous growth in demand across the US is highlighted by gures showing that even as long ago as 2007 commercial and domestic air-conditioning alone consumed 484bn kilowatt hours of electricity not much more than the country's total energy consumption in the mid-1950s. It has grown substantially since then, while airconditioning sellers have moved on to China, where household ownership of units has tripled in a decade and is still growing at 20% a year. India is showing the same pattern, says Byrd, a professor at Lincoln's school of architecture, and Matthewman, an associate professor from Auckland's sociology department. Their report records a growing pattern of failures in power systems, starting with 50 million people being plunged into darkness on 14 August 2003 across the north-eastern US and Ontario, 60 million ofine on 10 November 2009 in Brazil and Paraguay, and 600 million affected by failures across India on 31 July 2012. However, the authors note that the move to renewable often intermittent and weather-dependent energy can also exacerbate the problem. There were blackouts in Kenya and Venezuela in 2010, and Tanzania in 2006, that were blamed on shortages of rain for hydroelectric power schemes. For more on this story visit:

PLANETLIFE 31 January 2014




By Japan Times

Although the central government earlier predicted that a Nankai Trough quake would cut tap water to only 4.3 million people, Osakas projection almost doubles that estimate. The prefectures estimate is more severe because it accounts for possible damage to water intakes along the Yodo River, its main source of tap water.

A powerful earthquake originating in what seismologists call the Nankai Trough off the Pacic coast could cut off tap water to roughly 8.32 million people in Osaka, or 94 percent of the prefectures residents, the Osaka Prefectural Government said Friday.

Any tsunami induced by the quake would put a combined 11,000 hectares The outage would be caused by of the area under water, roughly 3.6 damage to tap water infrastructure times that estimated by the central stemming from the intense oscillation, government, it said. tsunami and liquefaction, it said, quoting the conclusions of an advisory Osaka also assumes the quake would trigger tsunami that would reverse the panel to the prefecture. ow of the Yodo northeast toward An intense temblor would cut power to Kyoto and reach the prefectural border a combined 2.34 million households in about two hours, it added. (55 percent) in the prefecture, and gas to 1.15 million (34 percent), according The water intakes at 12 points along to the prefectural government. the river might be rendered useless, and direct damage to water pipelines is Damage to buildings, distribution also feared, it says. networks and other infrastructure For more on this story visit: would surpass 28 trillion.



these images out before we release them to the public". Next we have a man sergeant Karl Wolfe in the video, that was brought to Langley air force base where the NSA (National Security Agency) was bringing in information and pictures from the lunar orbiter. At that point one of the Ofcers said that they had found a base on the back side of the moon. Afterwords sergeant Karl Wolfe was shown images of the base from large towers to spherical domes over half a mile in diameter on a section of the dark side of the moon. He immediately stopped looking at the moon base pictures fearing for his safety. These are real Military personnel not just people off the street. They came forward knowing that they and their family's would be at risk just so they could reveal to the public the truth about UFOs and alien moon bases.
there an "Alien Base" on the Moon. More and more people are coming forward with stories of an Alien presence on the Moon. Rumors are that their "Moon Base" is on the dark side of the moon, the side we never see from Earth. Did you ever wonder why the Moon landings stopped and why have we not tried to build a Moon Base. It seems a better and easier idea than a floating space station? Is

By Dan Falzon, of Earth Sanctuary, January 31st, 2014

It isn't well known that the Governments have been covering up the fact the aliens have bases on the moon. There are many facts, Pictures, videos, satellite images, and testimonies that create hard evidence of this fact. From well known respected scientists, Astronauts, and military personal we gain a pretty dene perspective on this subject. First we have this video here ( ) which is part of the disclosure project that starts off with a women talking to Military personnel about an image from space that has an Unidentied Flying object in it. She asks, "is that a UFO" and he answered, "I'm not allowed to tell you that". Now we know that he could have even said yes because a UFO doesn't stand for some alien ship it simply means an Unidentied Flying object. But he instead says it's privileged information. When she asks what hes going to do with this extraordinary information he replies, "it's procedure to air brush

PLANETLIFE 31 January 2014


horric conditions with little or no shelter. They are starved, drugged, and beaten to make them aggressive. If they dont die in the ghting ring, the losers are killed by their trainersoften by being electrocuted, drowned, hanged, burned, or shot. Many others are abandoned to die slowly from their injuries. In rodeos, individuals try to look tough by provoking relatively tame animals (who, unlike the human participants, dont choose to participate in these dangerous events) into acting wild. Electric prods, spurs, and bucking straps are used to irritate and enrage the animals, all for the crowds amusement. Countless animals have been severely injured and killed in rodeos. Hunting and shing! are unnecessary, violent forms of entertainment that tear animal families apart and leave countless animals dead, orphaned, and/or badly injured. Most people who hunt or sh do so under the guise of saving deer from starving to death in the winter or to help regulate the population or simply for the pleasure that killing gives themnot because they need to in order to survive. Animals who are used in racingincluding, greyhounds, and dogs used in dog-sled racingare often drugged to mask sickness and injury and are forced to race. Between races, they are typically conned for most of the day to cramped stalls or crates with barely enough room to turn around in or, in the case of dogs used for dog-sled races, chained up outside. When they stop winning races, most of these animals are euthanized, shot, sold to laboratories for experiments, or sent to slaughterhouses. No animal deserves to be abused or killed for entertainment. Please help sideline these cruel sports by never attending or supporting them. For more on this story visit:


There is nothing remotely sporting about sports that involve unwilling animal participants. For the animals who are forced to participate in them, these activities are no gamethey are about survival. Even the winners emerge physically and emotionally scarredand the losers pay with their lives. Bulls who are used in bullghting are deliberately weakened before the ghts by being drugged and sometimes having their horns shaved down in order to disorient them, sandbags dropped on their backs, and petroleum jelly rubbed into their eyes to blur their vision. The tortured bulls never stand a chance against the matador, who tries to kill them slowly with repeated stabbing. Animals who are used in dogghting, hog-dog rodeos, and cockghting are typically kept chained outdoors in


PLANETLIFE 31 January 2014



By Todd Goldfarb

Meditation is the art of focusing 100% of your attention in one area. The practice comes with a myriad of wellpublicized health benets including increased concentration, decreased anxiety, and a general feeling of happiness. Although a great number of people try meditation at some point in their lives, a small percentage actually stick with it for the long-term. This is unfortunate, and a possible reason is that many beginners do not begin with a mindset needed to make the practice sustainable. The purpose of this article is to provide 20 practical recommendations to help beginners get past the initial hurdles and integrate meditation over the long term: MAKE IT A FORMAL PRACTICE You will only get to the next level in meditation by setting aside specic time (preferably two times a day) to be still. START WITH A BREATH Breathing deep slows the heart rate, relaxes the muscles, focuses the mind and is an ideal way to begin practice. STRETCH FIRST Stretching loosens the muscles and tendons allowing you to sit (or lie) more comfortably. Additionally, stretching starts the process of going inward and brings added attention to the body. MEDITATE WITH PURPOSE Beginners must understand that meditation is an active process. The art of focusing your attention to a single point is hard work, and you have to be purposefully engaged!

NOTICE FRUSTRATION CREEP UP ON YOU This is very common for beginners as we think hey, what am I doing here or why cant I just quiet my damn mind already. When this happens, really focus in on your breath and let the frustrated feelings go.


PLANETLIFE 31 January 2014



By Dan Falzon of Earth Sanctuary, January 31st, 2014

An Earthship is a type of passive solarhouse made of natural and recycled materials (such as earth-lled tires), designed and marketed by Earthship Biotecture ofTaos, New Mexico. Earthships are primarily designed to work as autonomous buildings using thermal mass construction and natural cross ventilation assisted by thermal draught ((stack effect) to regulate indoor temperature. Earthships are generally off the grid homes, minimizing their reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. Earthships are built to utilize the available local resources, especially energy from the sun. For example, windows on sun- facing walls admit lighting and heating, and the buildings are often horseshoe-shaped to maximize natural light and solar- gain during winter months. The thick, dense outer walls provide thermal mass that naturally regulates the interior temperature during both cold and hot outside temperatures. Internal, non-load-bearing walls are often made of a honeycomb of recycled cans joined by concrete and are referred to as tin can walls. These walls are usually thickly plastered with adobe. Tin can walls can also be used on top of the tire walls ("can and concrete bond beams") as an alternative to wooden shoes. An alternative to these concrete

bond beams are wooden bond beams with wooden shoes. The wooden shoes are made using wooden shimming blocks (of 6x6x8' dimensions) placed on top of the wooden bond beam (the latter is basically just 2 layers of 2x12 lumber bolted on concrete anchors; concrete anchors are poured blocks of concrete located inside the top tyres). Some rebars are used to "nail" the wooden shoes to the wooden bond beam. The tire walls are additionally strengthened by using concrete in the tires on the ends (called "concrete half blocks"). The roof is made using trusses or vigas (wooden support beams) which rest on the wooden shoes (or tin can walls) placed on the wooden (or concrete) bond beams. The roof as well as the north, east and west facing walls of an Earthship are also heavily insulated to prevent heat loss.


PLANETLIFE 25 January 2014

18 January 2014


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