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NEWS UPDATE #191


HIGHLIGHTS: *Flood deathtoll climbs in Kerala, Karnataka and Himachal *Government comes out with standard conditions for environment clearances *India bans 18 pesticides *Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve enters UNESCO list *India lost one-third of its coastline from erosion *July 2018 was third-warmest such month on Earth *Monsanto ordered to pay $289m as jury rules weedkiller caused cancer

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FLOOD UPDATE

Kerala floods: Rescue efforts intensified across state; toll rises to 168
Scroll
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said at least 168 people have died in the state since August 8. Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Thrissur are the worst-affected districts. Water levels in many rivers including the Periyar river have risen, inundating several towns. The Indian Meteorological Department has forecast heavy to very heavy rain in isolated places across the state till Saturday. The weather department has issued a red alert for 13 out of 14 districts for the next 24 hours. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the state on Friday, and conduct an aerial survey of flood-affected regions the following morning. (Related: Kerala received 316% more rainfall than normal on August 8: IMD)

Kerala floods: The ghost of past environment policy returns
Mongabay
Speaking to various regional media, Madhav Gadgil has said that irresponsible environmental policy is to blame for the recent floods and landslides in Kerala. He also called it a “manmade calamity”. He said that the committee report had recommended to protect the resources with the cooperation of local self governments and people, but those recommendations were rejected. He also pointed out that quarrying is a major reason for the mudslides and landslides. Other environmentalists also point fingers at the extensive quarrying, mushrooming of high rises as part of tourism and illegal forest land acquisition by private parties as major reasons for the recent calamity.

19 Dead In Himachal, Shimla Gets Highest Rain In 117 Years
NDTV
Heavy rain in Himachal Pradesh for the last three days has claimed 19 lives. The state capital Shimla also received the highest rain in August in 117 years, the weather office has said. It has warned the hill state could experience more rain. The India Meteorological Department or IMD has also forecast heavy rain in other states. Goa and the Konkan region, Odisha and Kerala will continue to experience heavy rain, the weather office has said. A fall in pressure in the Bay of Bengal will bring rain to Uttarakhand in the next 24 hours, the IMD has said.

Karnataka floods: 4 killed in Kodagu district
India Today
Four people were killed in Kodagu district when a house collapsed due to floods today. Karnataka, like its neighbouring state Kerala, has seen incessant rainfall, which has caused flash floods and landslides in the coastal areas of the state and Malnad region. The worst affected areas are parts of Kodagu district, which is on the foothills of western ghats. NDRF team is carrying our rescue operations along with the state officials. Major concern for the state is the number of landslides that has occurred. Every major highway from Kodagu is blocked because of landslides.

Of 681 Indian districts, 39% see monsoon deficit as IMD signals revival
Business Standard
The southwest monsoon was 33 per cent below normal in the first week of August, pulling down the cumulative shortfall to almost 10 per cent. The week in question is one of the worsts in terms of performance this year, data released by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) showed on Thursday. Several parts of the country, barring Kerala (which is faced with floods), Odisha, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, received less than normal rainfall in the August 02-08 week. So far, data showed around 39 per cent of the 681 districts in the country have received deficient rainfall, while showers have been normal in remaining 69 per cent in this monsoon season from June 1 to August 09.

INDIA

Government comes out with standard conditions for environment clearances
Mongabay
India’s environment ministry has come out with standard environment clearance conditions for 25 major sectors including coal, oil and gas, cement and hydropower projects. The ministry believes that the standard conditions will lead to a uniform, transparent process which will be free of corruption and any arbitrariness. It will lead to ease of business and cut down delays in time taken for granting clearances. Environmentalists feel it is yet another dilution of green laws that has been brought by the NDA government before the 2019 general elections and are questioning the role of the environment ministry as a regulator.

India bans 18 pesticides, has many more to go
Down to Earth
Around three years after the Anupam Verma Committee submitted its recommendations, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has finally issued the Pesticides (Prohibition) Order, 2018, banning 18 pesticides. Of these 18, 12 pesticides have been banned from immediate effect (from August 9, 2018) and ban on another six will be implemented from December 31, 2020. The ban applies to registration, import, manufacture, formulation, transport, sale and use of all these pesticides. The use of toxic pesticides in India has lately been in news in connection with death of farmers and agriculture workers Yavatmal region of Maharashtra. (Also read: NGT Orders Scientific Closure Of Abandoned Asbestos Mines In 4 States, Restoration Plan To Be Implemented By 6 Months)

Green fund rules must be withdrawn, Ramesh tells Vardhan
Down to Earth
In a letter, former environment minister Jairam Ramesh told Harsh Vardhan, the current environment minister, that the notification of Compensatory Afforestation Rules undermines the Forest Rights Act (FRA) and Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA). He added that it “is fit to move a privilege motion against you”. In a five-page scathing letter written on August 15, Ramesh said the rules are a “blatant breach of assurance” given by former environment minister Anil Madhav Dave in Rajya Sabha on July 28, 2016. (Related: 1) Down to Earth analysis: Green fund rules notified: Some hits, major misses 2) Benefits from more than Rs 66,000 crore greening fund will not be shared with forest dwellers)

With 4 Years To Go, 6% Of India’s Solar Rooftop Target Installed
IndiaSpend
ith less than four years left to meet its target of installing 40,000 megawatt (MW) of rooftop solar power capacity by 2022, India has installed just about 2,538 MW as of March 2018, a full 94% short of the target. At this rate, missing the target is a foregone conclusion, which also jeopardises India’s overall solar target of 100 gigawatt (GW, equal to 1,000 MW) by 2022. Rooftop solar has been a key part of the recent renewables revolution around the world, particularly in Germany and the U.S., and its appeal is clear–residential, commercial and industrial buildings can generate their own electricity, which is green and potentially less expensive than the electricity they draw from the grid. What’s more, they can inject the excess power back into the grid and get paid for it. (Related: India to invest Rs 3.85 lakh crore to set up 77,000 Megawatt solar capacity)

Forest Fires Increased 158% In 6 Years; Warming A Factor: Experts
IndiaSpend
Forest fires in India increased 1.5 times over six years to 35,888 incidents, according to government data submitted to Parliament on July 20, 2018. Experts believe that long dry periods, especially during winter and the pre-monsoon period, caused by increased warming, is a significant factor for more fires. The annual mean temperature in India has increased by 1.2o C since the beginning of the 20th century, according to an analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), an environment research advocacy.

Country Lost One-Third Of Its Coastline From Erosion, Says Government Report
Mid-Day
Natural causes such as cyclones and waves, as well as human activities like construction, have led to nearly one-third of a large part of India’s coastline to be eroded in the last 26 years, but almost an equal area has been added because of new sediment deposits, according to a government report. The National Centre for Coastal Research surveyed 6,031 kilometres of India’s 7,517-kilometre coastline from 1990 to 2016 and found that 33 percent of it has witnessed erosion, most of it along the eastern coast facing the Bay of Bengal, with West Bengal recording the highest erosion. At the same time, 29 percent of the surveyed coastline saw an accretion, or gain in deposits. (Also read: 1) How climate change can erode Indian coastline more intensely than ever 2) Maharashtra to begin 5-year acoustic study to understand marine life in November)

Delhi: As many as 2,403 sanitation workers died before reaching age of retirement in last 5 years
The Indian Express
As many as 2,403 sanitation workers died in the last five years before reaching the age of retirement, data provided by the three municipal corporations shows. The North corporation reported the most deaths, at 1,181. The South body saw 877 deaths, while 345 employees of the east body died before turning 60. There are around 32,000 sanitation workers employed by the North body — 17,000 permanent and the remaining temporary. The East has around 14,000 workers, of which half are permanent; while South has 12,000 permanent and 8,500 temporary workers. (Related: Delhi Government Survey Confirms Manual Scavenging Still Exists in the City)

India to invite global investors to develop Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep
Live Mint
India is set to invite global investors for a wide-ranging social and infrastructure development programme in the strategically important islands of Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep. The government will hold a pre-bid meeting with potential investors on 10 August before seeking formal bids so as to make the terms more accommodative, a person familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity. One of the key projects planned is a transshipment terminal at Campbell Bay at Great Nicobar, the largest of the Nicobar islands. Campbell Bay is 90km away from Malacca Strait, the principal sea route between the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Activists Protest Bullet Train on Environmental Grounds, Say 80,000 Trees Will Be Cut
The Wire
Raising serious environmental concerns over the bullet train project, a coalition of organisations has highlighted the fact that about 80,000 trees in reserved forests and mangroves will be cut down to make way for the high-speed corridor. Terming this a “clear climate-negative action” on the part of the government, the civil society group has questioned its economic viability and sought the rollback of the project. In addition, the group has also raised questions about the ridership forecast and the increased interest rate for the heavy loan repayment of the project.

We are planning private wildlife reserves: Karnataka to Supreme Court
Deccan Herald
The Karnataka government has told the Supreme Court it was contemplating formulating special rules for encouraging private landholders around the elephant corridors and the protected areas to declare their land as “private conservancies”. This would help in securing wider corridors for the long-ranging mammals like elephants, gaurs, tigers, leopards, sambars etc, it said. The state government submitted its action-taken-report following the apex court’s order seeking information about 27 high priority elephant corridors across the country. Of these, a few are in Karnataka.

Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve enters UNESCO list
The Hindu
The Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve (KBR) of Sikkim, the highest biosphere reserve in the country that includes the third highest mountain peak in the world, Kanchenjunga (8,586 m), has been included in the UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserve (WHBR). The decision was taken at the International Coordinating Council of Man and Biosphere Reserve Programme, UNESCO, in its 30th Session held at Palembang, Indonesia, last month, a press release by Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change said.

Himachal gives conditional NOC for dams
Tribune India
Even though Himachal has yielded to Centre’s demand of issuing NOC to pave the way for the setting up of Renuka, Lakhwar and Kishau dams to meet the growing water needs of Delhi but not without laying conditions to ensure its share of water under the agreement. The Cabinet at its meeting held here on Thursday agreed to issue the NOC but on the condition that Himachal would be allowed to draw its share from a convenient site and not having to spend extra to ferry the water from a distant place. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari is very keen that there is no further delay and the NOCs are issued by all the seven partner states of Delhi, Rajasthan HP, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

‘Victory’ rally in Bhangar
The Telegraph
Residents of Bhangar took out a march on Sunday to celebrate the “victory” of their movement against a power sub-station project in the area. Around 3,000 men, women, and children walked along a 6km stretch of the Rajarhat-Haroa Road, the arterial thoroughfare of the area. The Bengal government had on Saturday broken the 18-month deadlock over land protests in Bhangar, getting residents of the South 24-Parganas village to end their resistance to the power substation in exchange for an economic package.

In Gujarat’s Rs 4,000 Crore Groundnut Scam, Warehouse Fires, Sand and Pebbles Part of Cover-up
News 18
The groundnut procurement scam in Saurashtra region of Gujarat is growing in scale by the day and has put the government in the state on the defensive even as the opposition Congress upped the ante by alleging that several BJP leaders were involved in the fraud. Till date, the Gujarat police has arrested 27 persons, including officials of the two agencies that the government had contracted to procure groundnut worth Rs 4,000 crore from farmers. This is how the scam was carried out – a coterie comprising officials of National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and Gujarat State Co-Operative Cotton Federation Limited (GUJCOT) along with local politicians and middlemen allegedly stole and sold off the groundnut procured from farmers to oil millers.

Maharashtra farmers file police complaint against IMD for ‘inflated monsoon forecast’
Hindustan Times
Farmers from a village in Marathwada region have filed a police complaint against the India Meteorological Department, accusing it of colluding with seed and pesticide manufacturers and inflating the monsoon forecast figures. The complaint, filed at the Parbhani rural police station Tuesday, said department officials in Pune and Mumbai “colluded” with the manufacturers and caused loss of lakhs of rupees to farmers, who undertook sowing operations based on the forecast. The complaint was filed by Manik Kadam, Marathwada region president of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, led by Lok Sabha member Raju Shetti.

Clearance to controversial coal terminal in Goa is based on outdated rules from the 1990s
Scroll
A closer look at the environment ministry’s letter shows the project’s clearance is based on a notification issued in 1991, which was later revised; a delegation of powers between central ministries in 1997, which was later revoked; and an exemption given under a 1994 notification, which was later reversed. Even the Board’s experts could not recall these outdated rules, particularly since India has completely overhauled and strengthened its environmental clearance regime since 2006. But the environment ministry has now invoked them to give a fresh lease of life to JSW Group’s terminal. With the Board relenting and giving the project consent to operate on July 9, the terminal is all set to reopen.

8 years and Rs 228 crore later, Maharashtra fails to make even one village sustainable
Down to Earth
Launched with much fanfare in August 2010 and with a promise to certify villages as ‘environmentally sustainable’, Maharashtra government’s Paryavaran Santulit Samruddha Gram Yojana has not had one success yet. Despite zilla parishads receiving Rs 228 crore as incentives in the scheme’s first 5 years, not one village has been declared sustainable yet, says an audit conducted by the Comptroller and Auditor General. The scheme was aimed at making villages with a population of 5,000 or more sustainable with practices like solid waste segregation and laying sewage networks. The population size of the villages was chosen considering they would become small towns in the future.

BPCL explosion in Mumbai: Issue is industrial pollution, not infrastructure, says Medha Patkar
Counterview
Strongly reacting to the recent explosion in Mumbai’s BPCL refinery, leading to the injury of 43 persons, social activist Medha Patkar has called it a new assault on the people residing in the polluted area of the Mahul area, where they were shifted following implementation of the Tansa pipeline project. Thousands of families rehabilitated in Mahul are angry, she said in a statement, adding, the location of the explosion is just 50 feet away from the spot where the displaced poor people have been resettled

Soon, send email to seek justice from NGT: chairperson
The Indian Express
Soon people in remote parts of India will be able to send an email to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) seeking justice. “Another thing which we are going to introduce is to provide access to far-off areas, by online access to justice or online decision-making,” said NGT chairperson Justice A K Goel, adding that the tribunal is working out how best to implement this. “You can send an email from your mobile or your laptop, from anywhere in the country, and from that we will give a direction.” (Also read: MoEFCC “violates” Supreme Court order on online complaint monitor, sets up industry-facilitating portal instead)

“India Will Be Source Of Global Growth For Next 30 Years”, Says IMF
NDTV
India is a source of growth for the global economy for the next few decades and it could be what China was for the world economy, the IMF said today, as it suggested the country to take steps towards more structural reforms. “India now contributes, in purchasing power parity measures, 15 per cent of the growth in the global economy, which is substantial,” Ranil Salgado, International Monetary Fund’s mission chief for India, told news agency PTI. This is next to only China and the US, he said. Mr Salgado said spillovers from India are not that big because it is not a very open economy.

NGT allows Vedanta to access administrative unit of Sterlite plant in Tamil Nadu
Money Control
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today allowed mining major Vedanta to access the administrative unit inside its Sterlite copper plant at Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu. A bench headed by chair person A K Goel, however, said the company would not have access to its production unit and directed the district magistrate to ensure this. The green panel also directed the Tamil Nadu State Pollution Control Board to submit data on pollution around the Sterlite plant within 10 days and posted the matter for hearing on August 20. (Also read: Seal them within 48 hours: SC to TN govt on illegal private resorts in the Nilgiris)

Demand for Public Investigation into the Murder of Ajit Naik
ICR India
Ajit Maneshwar Naik, popular environmental and right to information activist, and well known lawyer, was brutally murdered in Dandeli (Uttara Kannada Dt., Karnataka) as he was returning home on the night of 27th July 2018. Ajit was a key campaigner of the Kali Bachao Andolan and the Dandeli Taluk Horata Samithi (Dandeli Taluk Struggle Committee). He also led the Dandeli Civic Initiative. Naik was 57 years old when he was killed. Even as several of us tired in struggling over decades against the reckless destruction of the Kali river and her fantastic forests, Ajit trudged on, working tirelessly, embracing the struggles of the poor and tribals, and exposing the reckless pollution of the Kali.

Why is the Central Government Silent on Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand’s Fast?
Countercurrents
86 years old Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand is on a fast unto death since 22 June, 2018 in Haridwar demanding a law for conservation of river Ganga but the Central government has not taken a step to convince him to give up his fast. This raises question on the intention of government. It appears that the government is deliberately ignoring Swami Sanand’s fast. Let us not forget that young seer Swami Nigmanand died on the 115th day of his fast demanding halt to illegal mining in Ganga in 2011. Swami Sanand is not merely a religious person. He was known as Professor G.D. Agarwal before he became a saint. He has served at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and as Member-Secretary, Central Pollution Control Board and is responsible for putting into place a number of pollution related norms.

Action against illegal Genetically Modified foods sought
The New Indian Express
A citizens’ delegation of India For Safe Food (IFSF) on Monday approached the Karnataka Food Safety Commissioner demanding the removal of unapproved Genetically Modified (GM) foods from the market and for penal action to be initiated against violators of laws that regulate GM foods in India. IFSF said it was not satisfied with the inadequate responses of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on the matter of “hazardous” GM foods flooding Indian markets illegally. This follows Centre for Science and Environment’s findings that 32% of the food samples it tested were GM positive.

Indian students mail 20,000 empty food wrappers to manufacturers
Tree Hugger
A group of school girls from the Indian city of Toothukudi in Tamil Nadu has tackled this issue in an interesting and innovative way. Prompted by city council, students at Subbiah Vidyalayam Girls Higher Secondary School collected all food wrappers that they generated during a two-week period. This amounted to 20,244 wrappers, with just over 10,000 attributed to food manufacturer Britannia and another 3,412 to wafer-maker Nabati. The girls mailed the wrappers to the companies, with the following letter:

WORLD

Extreme temperatures ‘especially likely for next four years’
The Guardian
The world is likely to see more extreme temperatures in the coming four years as natural warming reinforces manmade climate change, according to a new global forecasting system. Rising greenhouse gas emissions are steadily adding to the upward pressure on temperatures, but humans do not feel the change as a straight line because the effects are diminished or amplified by phases of natural variation. From 1998 to 2010, global temperatures were in a “hiatus” as natural cooling (from ocean circulation and weather systems) offset anthropogenic global warming. But the planet has now entered almost the opposite phase, when natural trends are boosting man-made effects. (Related: 1) Warmer soil releasing more carbon, worsening climate change  2) July 2018 was third-warmest such month on Earth, NASA finds)

A Foreboding Similarity in Today’s Oceans and a 94-Million-Year-Old Catastrophe
The Atlantic
The ocean is losing its oxygen. Last week, in a sweeping analysis in the journal Science, scientists put it starkly: Over the past 50 years, the volume of the ocean with no oxygen at all has quadrupled, while oxygen-deprived swaths of the open seas have expanded by the size of the European Union. The culprits are familiar: global warming and pollution. Warmer seawater both holds less oxygen and turbocharges the worldwide consumption of oxygen by microorganisms. Meanwhile, agricultural runoff and sewage drive suffocating algae blooms.  (Related: 1) Climate change has doubled the frequency of ocean heatwaves 2) Scientists find ‘natural pulses’ in recent melting of West Antarctic ice sheet)

“Hothouse Earth” Co-Author: The Problem Is Neoliberal Economics
The Intercept
By shifting to a “wartime footing” to drive a rapid shift toward renewable energy and electrification, humanity can still avoid the apocalyptic future laid out in the much-discussed “hothouse earth” paper, a lead author of the paper told The Intercept. One of the biggest barriers to averting catastrophe, he said, has more to do with economics than science.Asked what could be done to prevent a hothouse earth scenario, co-author Will Steffen told The Intercept that the “obvious thing we have to do is to get greenhouse gas emissions down as fast as we can. That means that has to be the primary target of policy and economics (Related: From greenhouse to hothouse: the changing language of climate change)

Plastics aren’t just polluting our oceans — they’re releasing greenhouse gases
Greenpeace
As part of our team’s research, we found that, as plastic decomposes, it is producing a new source of greenhouse gas pollution not included in previous climate models. These emissions are only expected to increase — especially as more plastic is produced and accumulated in the environment and degrades over time. Greenhouse gases have a direct impact on climate change — affecting sea level rise, global temperatures, ecosystem health on land and in the ocean, and storms, increasing flooding, drought, and erosion. Most plastic is created from natural gases, so the release of greenhouse gases from plastic waste might not seem surprising.

Monsanto ordered to pay $289m as jury rules weedkiller caused man’s cancer
The Guardian
Monsanto suffered a major blow with a jury ruling that the company was liable for a terminally ill man’s cancer, awarding him $289m in damages. Dewayne Johnson, a 46-year-old former groundskeeper, won a huge victory in the landmark case on Friday, with the jury determining that Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller caused his cancer and that the corporation failed to warn him of the health hazards from exposure. The jury further found that Monsanto “acted with malice or oppression”. Johnson was the first person to take the agrochemical corporation to trial over allegations that the chemical sold under the brand Roundup causes cancer. (Related: 1) How one man’s suffering exposed Monsanto’s secrets to the world 2) Monsanto Cancer Ruling Sparks Backlash Around the Globe)

The Amazon is a Man-Made Food Forest, Researchers Discover
Returns to Now
Ancient humans were practicing a form of agriculture known as horticulture or permaculture in the Amazonian rainforest 4500 years ago, which researchers have concluded is responsible for the overwhelming abundance of edible plants we now find there. They say the long-term success of the “forest-gardening” method of food production serves as a model of sustainability for modern farmers. The study is the first detailed history of long-term human land use in the region conducted by archaeologists, paleoecologists, botanists and ecologists from the University of Exeter in England. It shows that humans had a more profound effect on the supposedly “untouched” rainforest than previously thought, introducing crops to new areas, boosting the number of edible tree species and using fire to improve the nutrient content of soil. (Related: Illegal Fishing, Harm to Amazon Forest Linked to Tax Havens, Finds Study)

Largest King Penguin Colony in the World Drops by 90%
The New York Times
After three decades out of the public eye, a giant colony of king penguins has lost 90 percent of its population, according to a new study. The colony of 500,000 breeding pairs, long considered the largest of king penguins in the world, lived on the Île aux Cochons (or, less elegantly, Pig Island), a French territory in the Crozet archipelago in the southern Indian Ocean between South Africa and Antarctica. But the penguins haven’t been counted in person since 1982 when researchers last visited. In late 2016, researchers flew over it by helicopter and saw noticeably fewer penguins than expected.

Moratorium on new Mekong dams in Laos provides window of opportunity
The Third Pole
The July 23 dam collapse in southern Laos marks a turning point that squarely exposed the vulnerabilities of Laos’s current plans to become the “Battery of Southeast Asia” to the Lao government’s upper leadership. At least 34 people died in floods unleashed by the man-made disaster at the XePien-XeNamnoy dam in Attapeu province, and more than a hundred local villagers are still missing. Waters from dam breach rushed in the Sekong river and sent floods downstream to Cambodia where thousands were evacuated. The flooding reportedly also caused damage to agricultural fields in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. (Also read: BHP settles US class action over Samarco dam failure for $67 million)

Japan to host one of world’s largest biomass power plants
Nikkei Asian Review
Power supplier eRex will build its largest biomass power plant to date in Japan, hoping the facility’s scale will provide healthy margins and a means of skipping the government’s feed-in tariff program. The Tokyo-based electric company is in the process of selecting a location, most likely in eastern Japan. It aims to open the plant around 2024 or 2025 following a feasibility study. The facility will cost an estimated 90 billion yen ($812 million) or so, and have an output of 300 megawatts — enough to supply about 700,000 households.

History of oil & gas production from shale in pictures & charts: why US shale will crash and UK will fail
Jeremy Leggett
With fracking about to recommence in the UK after 8 years, a review of progress and prospects is in order. To understand why this latest fiasco in British energy policy and wider society has come about, it is necessary to go right back to the beginning, around 2006, when fracking began in earnest in American shale ….and a multi-hundred-billion-dollar doomed-to-burst debt bubble began to build.

Shark Mystery: Where Have South Africa’s Great Whites Gone?
Yale Environment 360
Sightings have dropped from a peak average of more than 11 events per trip in 2004 to around 0.3 events per trip in 2017 and this year. Other shark tourism operators and scientists have noted a similar change in the world’s best-known shark hunting ground and for at least a hundred miles to the east. The question now is, what has happened to the sharks? Fallows and his colleagues in South Africa’s shark tourism business think they have the answer. The culprit, they believe, is a long-line fishery that has been targeting smaller species of sharks, including soupfin and smooth-hound sharks, which are a favored prey species of great whites.

 

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