The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Oil Spill From Shipwreck Threatens Solomon Islands' World Heritage Site
The 740 foot MV Solomon Trader was stranded on a reef near Rennell Island, home to the largest raised coral atoll in the world and a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site, AFP reported. The bulk carrier has not been salvaged in the two weeks since it was stranded because of Cyclone Oma, Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) director Loti Yates told Radio New Zealand early Monday morning.
"The boat is still on the reef and that water is coming into the engine room, which means that the hull of the ship has been breached," he said.
Yates told Radio New Zealand there was "no sign of oil spillage," but The Guardian report, published in the evening New Zealand time, contradicted Yates' assurances:
"Situational reports seen by the Guardian say 'heavy fuel oil/black oil could be smelt from 800 metres' from the vessel.
'Discoloured brown water was observed in the lagoon approximately 600 metres south east.'
The report said the vessel could not proceed anywhere under its own power and would have to be towed.
'Indications are that the oil leak gets worse at low tide. At low tide the oil is going directly onto the exposed reef.'"
The Guardian further reported that the prime minister of the Solomon Islands had already asked for help from Australia to clean the spill.
The East Rennell World Heritage site is already under threat from logging and overfishing, according to UNESCO. It was added to its list of World Heritage in Danger in 2013.
The Rennell Island site is home to Lake Tegano, the largest lake in the insular Pacific. It also boasts several endemic species including a sea snake, four species of land birds, nine subspecies of water birds, seven species of land snails and one bat species, according to UNESCO.
About 1,200 people of Polynesian descent also live within the site. They live from subsistence gardening, hunting and fishing, and some of their food crops are threatened by rising lake levels due to climate change.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Mark Hertsgaard
The United Nations Secretary General says that he is counting on public pressure to compel governments to take much stronger action against what he calls the climate change "emergency."
A unique subpopulation of ancient walrus in Iceland was likely hunted to extinction by Vikings shortly after arrival to the region, according to new research.
By Tara Smith
Fires in the Brazilian Amazon have jumped 84 percent during President Jair Bolsonaro's first year in office and in July 2019 alone, an area of rainforest the size of Manhattan was lost every day. The Amazon fires may seem beyond human control, but they're not beyond human culpability.
By Natalie Hanman
Why are you publishing this book now?
I still feel that the way that we talk about climate change is too compartmentalised, too siloed from the other crises we face. A really strong theme running through the book is the links between it and the crisis of rising white supremacy, the various forms of nationalism and the fact that so many people are being forced from their homelands, and the war that is waged on our attention spans. These are intersecting and interconnecting crises and so the solutions have to be as well.
As the climate crisis takes on more urgency, psychologists around the world are seeing an increase in the number of children sitting in their offices suffering from 'eco-anxiety,' which the American Psychological Association described as a "chronic fear of environmental doom," as EcoWatch reported.
By Ben Jervey
Drivers of electric cars are being unfairly punished by punitive fees in several states, according to a newly published analysis by Consumer Reports. Legislators in 26 states have enacted or proposed special registration fees for electric vehicles (EVs) that the consumer advocacy group found to be more expensive than the gas taxes paid by the driver of an average new gasoline vehicle.