Below is a gallery of a mere few of those moments in the last year:
Jan. 25—Belgium: With the aim of informing and warning people living in the Western region of Belgium about the danger of nuclear energy a Greenpeace airship flew near the Doel nuclear power station bearing the message "Nuclear energy, never safe."
March 10—Japan: Greenpeace activists joined tens of thousands of people who marched on the Japanese parliament in remembrance of the 2011 triple disaster in Fukushima. They demanded the Japanese government abandon its dangerous nuclear program.
March 28—South Korea: Samcheok villagers, 192km from Seoul, participated in a demonstration to oppose the planned construction of a nuclear power plant in their community.
July 9—South Korea: Greenpeace activists set up a hanging nuclear emergency camp between suspension cables on Busan's iconic Gwangandaegyo bridge (also called Gwangan Daero), calling for the Korean government to widen the official nuclear evacuation zone to a 30 kilometer radius.
Feb. 13—U.S.: The new chief executive of Duke Energy Corp., Lynn Good, received an aerial greeting on her first day on the job. In April, Google pressured Duke Energy, the nation's largest utility company, to offer renewable energy options in North Carolina, home of several data centers, including Google's data centers. A week after Google's news, Facebook would announce its newest data center will be in Iowa, one of the biggest producers of wind energy in the U.S.
Feb. 5—Indonesia: Following years of campaigning by a wide a range of NGOs, against Asia Pulp & Paper (APP)'s involvement in deforestation, the company released its new Forest Conservation Policy, which included an immediate end to the clearance of rainforests throughout its supply chain in Indonesia.
Aug. 8—Cameroon: A study by Dschang University, in collaboration with the University of Göttingen and supported by Greenpeace International, SAVE Wildlife and World Wildlife Fund Germany found a Herakles proposed deforestation zone to be a severe misrepresentation. The forests in the zone is still largely intact and is located in between four protected areas, including the iconic Korup National Park, and therefore acts as a vital corridor for the local wildlife. Herakles Farms has previously claimed its project in the South West Region of the country would convert an area of little conservation value. An aerial image of the oil palm nursery managed by Herakles Farms.
Dec. 6—Indonesia: Later in the year, Wilmar International, the world's largest palm oil trader would announce a No Deforestation Policy in response to pressure from Greenpeace, NGOs and consumers around the world. The policy has the potential to be a landmark win for the world's forests and the people that depend on them for their livelihoods.
June 7—Indonesia: Greenpeace International Executive Director, Kumi Naidoo met Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on board the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in Jakarta to express support for the President's legacy of protecting the nation's biodiversity.
June 24—China: Greenpeace tested 65 traditional Chinese herbal products and exposed a toxic cocktail of pesticide residues—some of which are illegal in China—highlighting the need to end the use of industrial agricultural chemicals.
June 22—Germany: Activists protested during a Greenpeace group action day in 50 German cities at three big hardware store chains (Obi, Praktiker and Toom) against the sale of bee-harming insecticides. In May the European Union took a significant step as a majority of EU member states voted for a partial ban of three bee-killing pesticides.
Feb. 25—UK: Greenpeace joined Hugh's Fish Fight to tell British parliament that more marine reserve zones are needed around the Isles. A group of delegates from local Greenpeace groups formed a massive shoal and crossed Westminster Bridge to lend support to this vital campaign.
April 10—Indian Ocean: The Greenpeace ship Esperanza patrolled the Comoros Islands in the Mozambique Channel documenting fishing activities in the Indian Ocean where a fish aggregating device was floating nearby.
July 10—Germany: Activists protested close to the Eilbek cargo ship at the Tollerort-Terminal in Hamburg. The ship was about to transport whale meat to Rotterdam. Four activists tied themselves to the ship's mooring lines holding banners that read: "Stop Whaling." At the same time, ten other activists installed a banner on the vessel's hull, reading: "Stop Trading In Whale Meat." The cargo ship and whale meat would would eventually to return to Iceland without delivering its contents.
Feb. 20—Italy: The "green gauntlet" was thrown for 15 luxury fashion brands as part of Greenpeace Italy's "Fashion Duel." Greenpeace is demanding brands engage in the smartest trend: beautiful clothes untainted by forest destruction and toxic pollution of our water's resources. During Milan Fashion Week, a Greenpeace activist walked along a vertical catwalk on the façade of the splendid Sforzesco Castle. The action greeted participants and journalists as the show opened its doors.
March 10—Indonesia: Greenpeace International investigations revealed the dumping of industrial wastewater containing a cocktail of toxic and hazardous chemicals, and caustic water, directly into the Citarum River in West Java.
April 8—Arctic: A Greenpeace team, including The Perks of being a Wallflower star, Ezra Miller trekked to the North Pole carrying with them a time capsule containing the 2.7 million names of supporters who wish to protect the Arctic. They lowered the capsule and a "flag for the future" on to the seabed beneath the North Pole.
April 20—Brazil: Volunteers formed an "I Love Arctic" human banner at Botafogo beach, Rio de Janeiro. More than 17,000 volunteers in more than 200 cities across the globe formed human images which spelled out "I Love Arctic." Greenpeace is demanding that political leaders protect the pristine Arctic environment.
July 11—UK: The team who climbed the Shard, London's tallest building, for the Save the Arctic campaign. The six women climbers are Sabine Huyghe (Belgium), Sandra Lamborn (Sweden), Victoria Henry (Canada), Ali Garrigan (UK), Wiola Smul (Poland) and Liesbeth Deddens (Netherlands). They chose to climb the Shard because it towers over Shell’s three London offices. Shell is leading the oil companies' drive into the Arctic. Greenpeace is campaigning for the area around the North Pole to be made a global sanctuary, off-limits to industrialization.
Aug. 24—Russia: The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise entered the Northern Sea Route off Russia's coastline to protest against Arctic oil drilling, in defiance of Russian authorities who refused the ship permission to enter the area.
Aug. 25—Belgium: A remote-controlled banner (which was secretly installed several weeks before) was unfurled in front of the winner's podium at the Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix. The banner reads "SaveTheArctic.org" with a subverted Shell logo. Shell is the main sponsor of the Belgian Grand Prix, paying millions to have its logo visible around the track. Shell is leading the oil companies' drive into the Arctic, investing billions in its Alaskan and Russian drilling programs. A worldwide movement of millions has sprung up to stop them.
Sept. 18—Russia: Greenpeace International activists were threatened with weapons during an attempt to climb the Prirazlomnaya, an oil platform operated by Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom in Russia's Pechora Sea. This is one example of the disproportionate use of force by the Russian authorities during a peaceful protest. The activists were there to stop the platform from becoming the first to produce oil from the ice-filled waters of the Arctic.
Oct. 5—Australia: Volunteers protested on Sydney's Bondi Beach. This protest was part of an emergency Global Day of Solidarity for the Arctic 30. Tens of thousands of people participated in activities held in over 160 locations in 46 countries throughout the world.
Dec. 9—Spain: Greenpeace showed Gazprom the red card to keep the company out of the Arctic and the European soccer arenas. At a press meeting in Copenhagen, before the Champions League match between FC Copenhagen and Real Madrid, a banner unrolled with a direct message to stop the company's environmental destruction: "Save The Arctic—Show Gazprom the Red Card." Gazprom would soon begin the first oil production ever in the icy waters of the Arctic. The Russian oil and gas company is among the major partners of the European Champions League tournament and has recently signed a deal to become sponsor of the world's soccer federation, FIFA, as well.
Dec. 18—Russia: Greenpeace International activists Phil Ball (left) and Camila Speziale showed their relief following a decision by the Russian Parliament adopting an amnesty ending legal proceedings against the Arctic 30. The Duma had officially adopted an amendment that extends an amnesty decree to defendants who have been charged with hooliganism. It therefore includes the Arctic 30 who were arrested, following a peaceful protest at a Gazprom-operated Arctic oil platform. The legal proceedings against the Arctic 30 will now come to an end and the 26 non-Russians will be free to return home to their families as soon as they are given exit visas by the Russian authorities.
Throughout all of our successes and challenges we give you our deepest gratitude for your support along the way. As a result of your amazing contributions towards our battle to protect the environment these pictures are for you, of you and about you. Because without you, none of this would have been possible.
We look forward to working together in the new year as we continue our cooperation towards reclaiming our planet from those who seek to exploit it.
Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Emily Grubert
Natural gas is a versatile fossil fuel that accounts for about a third of U.S. energy use. Although it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants than coal or oil, natural gas is a major contributor to climate change, an urgent global problem. Reducing emissions from the natural gas system is especially challenging because natural gas is used roughly equally for electricity, heating, and industrial applications.
<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6bd9fda1316965a9ba24dd60fd9cc34d"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3KaMnkmf0tc?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
What RNG Is and Why it Matters<p>Most equipment that uses energy can only use a single kind of fuel, but the fuel might come from different resources. For example, you can't charge your computer with gasoline, but it can run on electricity generated from coal, natural gas or solar power.</p><p>Natural gas is almost pure methane, <a href="https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/natural-gas/" target="_blank">currently sourced</a> from raw, fossil natural gas produced from <a href="https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/natural-gas/where-our-natural-gas-comes-from.php" target="_blank">deposits deep underground</a>. But methane could come from renewable resources, too.</p><p><span></span>Two main methane sources could be used to make RNG. First is <a href="https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/inventory-us-greenhouse-gas-emissions-and-sinks" target="_blank">biogenic methane</a>, produced by bacteria that digest organic materials in manure, landfills and wastewater. Wastewater treatment plants, landfills and dairy farms have captured and used biogenic methane as an energy resource for <a href="http://emilygrubert.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/eia_860_2017_map.html" target="_blank">decades</a>, in a form usually called <a href="https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/biomass/landfill-gas-and-biogas.php" target="_blank">biogas</a>.</p><p>Some biogenic methane is generated naturally when organic materials break down without oxygen. Burning it for energy can be beneficial for the climate if doing so prevents methane from escaping to the atmosphere.</p>
Renewable Isn’t Always Sustainable<p>If RNG could be a renewable replacement for fossil natural gas, why not move ahead? Consumers have shown that they are <a href="https://www.nrel.gov/analysis/green-power.html" target="_blank">willing to buy renewable electricity</a>, so we might expect similar enthusiasm for RNG.</p><p>The key issue is that methane isn't just a fuel – it's also a <a href="https://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/ghg_report/ghg_overview.php" target="_blank">potent greenhouse gas</a> that contributes to climate change. Any methane that is manufactured intentionally, whether from biogenic or other sources, will contribute to climate change if it enters the atmosphere.</p><p>And <a href="http://doi.org/10.1126/science.aar7204" target="_blank">releases</a> <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2019.07.029" target="_blank">will happen</a>, from newly built production systems and <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-methane-emissions-matter-to-climate-change-5-questions-answered-122684" target="_blank">existing, leaky transportation and user infrastructure</a>. For example, the moment you smell gas before the pilot light on a stove lights the ring? That's methane leakage, and it contributes to climate change.</p><p>To be clear, RNG is almost certainly better for the climate than fossil natural gas because byproducts of burning RNG won't contribute to climate change. But doing somewhat better than existing systems is no longer enough to respond to the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2923" target="_blank">urgency</a> of climate change. The world's <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/spm/" target="_blank">primary international body on climate change</a> suggests we need to decarbonize by 2030 to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.</p>
Scant Climate Benefits<p><a href="https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab9335/meta" target="_blank">My recent research</a> suggests that for a system large enough to displace a lot of fossil natural gas, RNG is probably not as good for the climate as <a href="https://investor.southerncompany.com/information-for-investors/latest-news/latest-news-releases/press-release-details/2020/Southern-Company-Gas-grows-leadership-team-to-focus-on-climate-action-innovation-and-renewable-natural-gas-strategy/default.aspx" target="_blank">is publicly claimed</a>. Although RNG has lower climate impact than its fossil counterpart, likely high demand and methane leakage mean that it probably will contribute to climate change. In contrast, renewable sources such as wind and solar energy do not <a href="https://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/carbon/" target="_blank">emit climate pollution directly</a>.</p><p>What's more, creating a large RNG system would require building mostly new production infrastructure, since RNG comes from different sources than fossil natural gas. Such investments are both long-term commitments and opportunity costs. They would devote money, political will and infrastructure investments to RNG instead of alternatives that could achieve a zero greenhouse gas emission goal.</p><p>When climate change first <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/1988/06/24/us/global-warming-has-begun-expert-tells-senate.html" target="_blank">broke into the political conversation</a> in the late 1980s, investing in long-lived systems with low but non-zero greenhouse gas emissions was still compatible with aggressive climate goals. Now, zero greenhouse gas emissions is the target, and my research suggests that large deployments of RNG likely won't meet that goal.</p>
- Solar Employs More Workers Than Coal, Oil and Natural Gas ... ›
- The Truth About Natural Gas: A 'Green' Bridge to Hell - EcoWatch ›
- Why Natural Gas Is a Bridge Fuel to Nowhere - EcoWatch ›
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a list of 431 products that are effective at killing viruses when they are on surfaces. Now, a good year for Lysol manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser just got better when the EPA said that two Lysol products are among the products that can kill the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
- Here's How to Clean Your Groceries During the COVID-19 Outbreak ... ›
- EPA Warns Against Fake Coronavirus Cleaners - EcoWatch ›
- What to Do if There's a Disinfectant Shortage in Your Area - EcoWatch ›
For all its posturing on climate change, the Democratic Party has long been weak on the actual policies we need to save us from extinction. President Barack Obama promised his presidency would mark "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow," and then embraced natural gas, a major driver of global temperature rise, as a "bridge fuel." Climate legislation passed in the House in 2009 would have allowed industries to buy credits to pollute, a practice known to concentrate toxic air in black and brown neighborhoods while doing little to cut emissions.
- Trump Neglects Climate Change in State of the Union While ... ›
- House Democrats Hold First Climate Change Hearings in More ... ›
- If the Democratic Party Is Serious About Climate Change, They Must ... ›
Bayer's $10 billion settlement to put an end to roughly 125,000 lawsuits against its popular weed killer Roundup, which contains glyphosate, hit a snag this week when a federal judge in San Francisco expressed skepticism over what rights future plaintiffs would have, as the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
- Judge Blocks California From Putting Cancer Warning on Roundup ... ›
- Bayer Settles Roundup Cancer Suits for Over $10 Billion - EcoWatch ›
By Charli Shield
When an elephant dies in the wild, it's not uncommon to later find its bones scattered throughout the surrounding landscape.
Elephant Burial Grounds<p>Highly social creatures that form deep familial bonds, elephants have long been observed gathering at the site where a peer or family member has died — often spending hours, even days, quietly investigating the bodies or the bones of other dead elephants.</p><p>Although the popular idea that dying elephants are instinctively drawn to special communal graves — so-called "elephant graveyards" — is a myth, their tendency to go out of their way to visit the bones and tusks of the deceased isn't unlike human rituals at graveyards, says animal psychologist Karen McComb.</p><p>"They spend a lot of time touching and smelling skulls and ivory, placing the soles of their feet gently on top of them, and also lifting them up with their trunks," McComb, who's been studying African elephants for 25 years in Kenya's Amboseli National Park, told DW.</p><p>The most striking part of watching an elephant experience loss, Poole recalls, is the quietude. She still remembers one of the first elephant deaths she witnessed; a mother who birthed a stillborn calf. That elephant stayed with its baby for two days, trying to lift it and defending it from vultures and hyenas.</p><p>"I was so struck by the expression on her face and her body. She looked so dejected. It was really like, 'Oh God, these animals grieve…'. It was just so different," Poole told DW. </p>
Witnessing Emotions in Animals<p>Not all scientists are comfortable concluding that elephants grieve. Among the more than 30 reports of elephant reactions to death that Wittemyer co-reviewed in <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10329-019-00766-5" target="_blank">a study published in November 2019</a> were accounts of "enormous variation and nuance" he says. "It can be incredibly involved and intricate for extended periods or can be relatively cursory checks."</p><p>In Wittemyer's own experience, it can be difficult not to attribute some kind of emotional experience to the more involved interactions between elephants and their dead.</p><p>He shares the story of an "extraordinary event" involving the death of a 55 year-old matriarch in Kenya in a protected area that happened to be near his place of work. She was visited by multiple unrelated families while she was dying, including another matriarch that exerted such enormous effort attempting to lift her to her feet that she broke her tusk, which Wittemyer says, is "like breaking a tooth." </p><p><span></span>"It was a remarkable example of this heightened emotional state, it was very clearly a very stressful interaction," he says.</p>
A Different Sensory World<p>One factor that limits our ability to fully grasp the way elephants process and respond to loss is our markedly different sensory experiences of the world.</p><p>An elephant's world is fundamentally olfactory — based on smell. Ours is visual. Previous <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25053675/" target="_blank">research</a> has shown elephants possess the most scent receptors of any mammal, and can <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17949977/" target="_blank">use smell</a> to discern the difference between different human tribes from the same local area.</p><p>That could explain why elephants exhibit such interest in sniffing the bones and tusks of others, as a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1617198/" target="_blank">2005 study</a> from McCombs highlighted. When presented with the skulls and ivory of long-dead elephants and those from other large herbivores, including rhino and buffalo, McCombs and her team found elephants approached and were specifically attracted to the remains of their own species. </p><p>Without access to the smells an elephant picks up on, Wittemyer says "an enormous amount of stuff" could be missed by humans when studying these behaviors.</p>
- Elephant Poaching Is on the Rise in Botswana, Study Confirms ... ›
- In 'Conservation Disaster,' Hundreds of Botswana's Elephants Are ... ›
- Botswana Auctions Off First Licenses to Kill Elephants Since Ending ... ›
The Trump administration began the formal process of withdrawing from the World Health Organization (WHO), a White House official said Tuesday, even as coronavirus cases continue to surge in the country.
- Trump Halts WHO Funding Amidst Criticism of His Own Coronavirus ... ›
- WHO Suspends Trial of Trump-Touted COVID-19 Treatment ... ›
- The U.S. Isn't in a Second Wave of Coronavirus – The First Wave ... ›
- What Does 'Recovered From Coronavirus' Mean? - EcoWatch ›
- Black and Hispanic Americans Suffer Disproportionate Coronavirus ... ›
- As Trump Pushes U.S. to Reopen, Internal Document Projects 3,000 ... ›