Breaking Waves: Ocean News

12/17/2018 - 12:00
Results of research into 2012 mass deaths offer insights into reef health and throw up further questions Conservationists want major bays and estuaries along the Great Barrier Reef tested for contaminants after a five-year study found “alarming” levels of some chemicals in unhealthy turtles on the reef. Scientists working on the research have also recommended expanded monitoring of turtle-population health on the Great Barrier Reef “as an indicator of the health of the reef itself”. Continue reading...
12/17/2018 - 11:00
Range of public figures from Jeremy Corbyn to Sue Perkins call for ban on imports A group of public figures including Jeremy Corbyn, Zac Goldsmith, Sue Perkins and Carol Vorderman have joined forces to call for an urgent halt to imports from trophy hunters. In a letter to the Guardian, the group, which also includes Piers Morgan, Liam Gallagher, Ed Sheeran and Joanna Lumley, condemns trophy hunting as “cruel, immoral, archaic and unjustifiable”. Continue reading...
12/17/2018 - 10:56
A 'gold rush' of seabed mining could lead to unprecedented damage to fragile deep-sea ecosystems, researchers have warned.
12/17/2018 - 09:30
Campaigners say they will force governments to act after lack of progress at UN summit Civil society groups have pledged growing international protests to drive rapid action on global warming after the UN climate summit in Poland. The summit agreed rules for implementing the 2015 Paris agreement, which aims to keep global warming as close to 1.5C (2.7F) as possible, but it made little progress in increasing governments’ commitments to cut emissions. The world remains on track for 3C of warming, which scientists says will bring catastrophic extreme weather. Continue reading...
12/17/2018 - 07:00
An investigation finds hundreds of shocking welfare incidents, fuelling concerns about standards in a post-Brexit trade deal Chickens slowly freezing to death, being boiled alive, drowned or suffocating under piles of other birds are among hundreds of shocking welfare incidents recorded at US slaughterhouses, according to previously unpublished reports. Among them are “inexcusable” violations, say campaigners, who ask if the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) current system, where inspectors issue reports when they see violations, really works. One inspector, who asked to remain anonymous, questioned the impact of those reports. Continue reading...
12/17/2018 - 06:00
A small but growing movement of millennials are seeking out a more agrarian life but the reality of life on the land is not always as simple as they hoped Eight years ago, Liz Whitehurst, then 25, was working in digital communications at a policy organization in Washington DC and dreaming of life outside a cubicle. She started exploring a different kind of existence by volunteering on local farms. When the farmer who provided the locally sourced vegetable box she signed up for invited her to work the fields one day, she was starstruck. “You’re my hero,” she recalls telling the farmer. “I want your life.” Today, she has it. Whitehurst grows a wide array of produce on Owl’s Nest Farm, set on a few acres in Upper Marlboro, Maryland (she bought it from that same farmer). Whitehurst grows sweet potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash – everything is handpicked. She also provides greens to a local pizza kitchen which was recently named one of the best new restaurants in the country. Continue reading...
12/17/2018 - 05:23
Private funders owed about £7m from charity behind abandoned London project The charity behind London’s garden bridge project faces being sued by wealthy donors who fear their money might not be returned even after the much-criticised scheme collapsed, with a loss to taxpayers of almost £50m. One individual donor claimed the money he gave to the Garden Bridge Trust had been “pissed down the drain by a bunch of incompetents”, and that he wanted it returned. Continue reading...
12/17/2018 - 04:51
With no new infrastructure or funding, questions remain on how to genuinely democratise cycling in a big city London has a new official plan for cycling. It’s full of bold statements of intent and has some interesting ideas. That’s the good news. Here’s the drawback: within the 59 glossy pages I could detect no new plans for cycling infrastructure. This all might seem a bit niche, not to say London-centric. But there is a wider lesson here: if cities are to truly move ahead in making cycling everyday and for everyone, good intentions aren’t enough. It involves political boldness, and taking risks. Continue reading...
12/17/2018 - 01:01
UK consumers are reining in spending as economic uncertainty dents footfall and hits sales Retailers vying for customers in the last full week of trading before Christmas are in for a tough time according to the latest predictions, with footfall expected to fall by about 3% this week as cash-strapped shoppers rein in spending. The forecast by retail analysis firm Springboard adds to the bleak picture facing the sector in the key festive trading season, as consumers uncertain about what Brexit will mean for the economy and their finances cut back on gift-buying this year. Continue reading...
12/17/2018 - 00:30
Dew farm, Peasmarsh, East Sussex: Ben Walgate wants to establish a vineyard that echoes the humus- and microbe-rich soil environment in which wild vines thrive In a coppiced corner of Dew farm, deep in the rolling Sussex Weald, grows a wild grapevine: ancient, gnarled and bountiful. When Ben Walgate moved here last year, he wild-fermented grapes from the vine and found he had made a wine that, as he put it, “tasted of the place”. Now Walgate, who comes from a long line of farmers, is creating a vineyard – Tillingham Wines – using that vine as inspiration. Instead of the intensive and chemical-dependent practices of traditional viticulture, Walgate, with the collaboration of the owner of the estate, the conservationist Lord Devonport, wants to establish a vineyard that echoes as closely as possible the natural, biodiverse, humus- and microbe-rich soil environment in which wild vines thrive. Continue reading...