Archives for category: Environment

When you think of Antarctica, you probably imagine a frigid, windswept, icy, inhospitable domain; the whitest, most barren canvas on Earth. That’s pretty much the way the Southern continent has been for at least the last 3 million years, since the last time atmospheric carbon dioxide levels approached their current levels. But times, they are a-changing.

The effects of global warming are beginning to radically alter the Antarctic landscape in some surprising ways. Scientists say it’s like looking back in time, to an epoch when this bleached terrain was actually green. Mossy mats are rapidly spreading across the thawed, exposed soils at unprecedented rates, transforming the land from a place of desolation, to a place of viridescence.

Source: Global warming is making Antarctica green again, and it’s stunning | MNN – Mother Nature Network

 


Disabled people are being denied access to justice because of judges’ failure to make the reasonable adjustments that would make the court process accessible to them, according to a disabled human rights barrister. John Horan said the legal profession was failing to address the discrimination faced by disabled people who rely on family and commercial courts, employment and benefits tribunals, and the criminal justice system. One of the reasons for this failure is the pressure exerted on the legal system by government cuts to the courts and tribunals system budget, he has told Disability News Service (DNS). He says the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) provides a clear duty – under article 13, on access to justice – for UK courts to provide the necessary “accommodations” to ensure that every disabled person can play an “effective role” in all legal proceedings. But he says judges (and magistrates) are ignoring detailed guidance laid out in the Equal

Source: Disabled people ‘denied access to justice by failure of judges on reasonable adjustments’ | DisabledGo News and Blog


How does living in diverse, deprived inner cities affect our experience of health and what does this mean for services? David Buck looks at the work one charity is doing to answer this question.

Source: Health in a global city is local: how diversity and deprivation affect health | The King’s Fund


It sounds like a ghost story: A huge cargo vessel sails up and down the Norwegian coast, silently going about its business, without a captain or crew in sight. But if all goes as planned, it’s actually the future of shipping.

Last week, Kongsberg Gruppen ASA, a Norwegian maritime-technology firm, and Yara ASA, a fertilizer manufacturer, announced a partnership to build the world’s first fully autonomous cargo containership. Manned voyages will start in 2018, and in 2020 the Yara Birkeland will set sail all on its own. It’s the beginning of a revolution that should transform one of the world’s oldest and most conservative industries — and make global shipping safer, faster and cleaner than it’s ever been.

The commercial rationale for autonomous ships has long been clear. The U.S. Coast Guard has estimated that human error accounts for up to 96 percent of all marine casualties.

Source: Autonomous Ships Will Be Great – Bloomberg


Long-dormant bacteria and viruses, trapped in ice and permafrost for centuries, are reviving as Earth’s climate warms

Source: BBC – Earth – There are diseases hidden in ice, and they are waking up


The barriers disabled people face in navigating the built environment are an “unacceptable” attack on their quality of life and right to equality, according to a committee of MPs. The report on disability and the built environment, by the Commons women and equalities committee, calls on the government to take a more visible lead in improving access and inclusion. The report mirrors last year’s report on disabled people and the Equality Act by a Lords committee by concluding that the “burden” of achieving an accessible environment “falls too heavily” on individual disabled people. Instead, it says, this burden “needs to lie more obviously with the bodies who create, occupy and manage the environment”, such as central government and local authorities. The report describes a catalogue of barriers that were reported to the committee by disabled witnesses, including the shortage of accessible homes; public and commercial buildings without step-free access or with poor signage; inaccessible

Source: Disabled people face ‘unacceptable barriers’, and government must do more, say MPs | DisabledGo News and Blog


Environmental groups are suing the Trump administration, saying that part of the president’s executive order to expand offshore oil and natural gas drilling is illegal.

The coalition, led by environmental law firm Earthjustice, says President Trump cannot roll back drilling prohibitions that former President Barack Obama instituted in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans because they’re permanent.

The legal theory has never been tested in court before as no one has sued a previous administration for similar actions.

We believe that Trump’s executive order asserts authority that Congress did not give him,” said Jason Rylander, an attorney with Defenders of Wildlife.“No president before has every attempted to withdraw waters that have been reserved under that provision of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. We don’t believe that authority exists, and we believe it’s a bad idea,” he said.

The lawsuit is the first legal action to be taken against Trump’s order signed less than a week ago.

Source: Greens sue Trump over offshore drilling order | TheHill


The president also suggested changing the rules in the Senate to eliminate the legislative filibuster.

Source: Trump raises prospect of government shutdown to leverage better budget for GOP in fall – The Washington Post


The phrase “taking back control” will come under scrutiny like never before.

Source: This election is about Brexit – don’t kid yourself otherwise


The last message left by the killer Khalid Masood on the WhatsApp messaging service, revealing his motivation for the lethal attack in Westminster, has been uncovered by the security agencies, The Independent has learnt.

Source: Last message left by Westminster attacker Khalid Masood uncovered by security agencies | The Independent

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