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Pirate fishing in the Pacific Ocean – in pictures

In the Pacific Ocean, the source of most of the world’s tuna, thousands of fishing boats roam the seas, pirate vessels in their midst. Conservation photojournalist Paul Hilton joined Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior to expose the illegal fishing that leads to shark finning and the death of countless protected species

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Source: Guardian Environment

Land degradation costs the world up to $10.6tn a year, report says

Study says effective land management will be critical in meeting sustainable development goals of alleviating poverty and ensuring long-term food security

Land degradation is costing the world as much as $10.6tn every year, equivalent to 17% of global gross domestic product, a report has warned.

More than half of the world’s arable land is moderately or severely degraded, according to a report published on Tuesday by the Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Initiative (pdf). The report estimates the cost of this environmental destruction, not only from lost agricultural production and diminished livelihoods, but also from the lost value of ecosystem services formerly provided by the land, including water filtration, erosion prevention, nutrient cycling and the provision of clean air.

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Source: Guardian Environment

I was diagnosed with cancer at age 11. A factory leaked chemicals near my home | Gabriel Dunsmith

The Environmental Protection Agency panders to polluters and lacks the political wherewithal to hold them to account

When an MRI of my spine revealed an enlarged thyroid instead of the scoliosis the doctors had feared, they whisked me away for a biopsy. I lay awake as the surgeon stuck a needle into my neck and wiped away the blood. The next day, my mom told me the test result when I got home from school: thyroid cancer. I was eleven years old.

As the surgeons put me under for an operation that would remove my thyroid, I hoped I would still be able to run around outside with my brother, to clamber through the groves and streams that surrounded my home in the mountains of North Carolina.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Are Our Stock Markets Still Fit for Purpose?

The stock markets have once again returned to centre stage with the recent tumbling shares in China. Those financial events have yet to fully play out, but they do once again raise questions about the roles and purposes of the instruments of the finance sector in the global economy. John Fullerton, president of the Capital Institute, has written extensively on this subject and recently published his ideas about a new framework for the finance sector and global economy at large – Regenerative Capitalism.

Fullerton is quick to point out that stock markets were set up with a clear public purpose in mind. They were suppose to provide opportunities for companies to raise equity from a larger pool of investors and to a place where they could sell shares, or parts of the company to other stakeholders.

The 2008 financial crisis brought the nature and enormity of the short-termist, speculative and opaque. Still, a number of sources have actually suggested that the situation is even worse in 2015 than it was in 2008 with an even smaller percentage of investment being directed towards the “real” productive economy.

Fullerton’s argument is that the stock markets, as instruments, are no longer working for the benefit of the economy. Instead, a combination of factors, including the development of technology that enables a huge number of transactions to happen in a short space of time and the growth of “Wall Street intermediaries” has created a situation where much finance activity is actually working to the detriment of most of the economy. A re-thinking of the global economy also requires a re-thinking of the financial sector.

Another interesting link here is Ken Webster’s recent article on the subject of money:

The Circular Economy: Where Does Money Fit In?

Licensed under CC – credit Flickr user: Andreas Poike

The post Are Our Stock Markets Still Fit for Purpose? appeared first on Circulate.

Source: Circulate News RSS

Queues begin outside Malcolm Turnbull's door to push policies

From business to health to the environment to domestic violence, the new prime minister faces long wishlists from industry and policy groups

As Malcolm Turnbull prepared to be sworn in on Tuesday, industry and policy groups were busy outlining their list of policy priorities for the new prime minister.

Related: Malcolm Turnbull promises new style of leadership after overthrowing Abbott

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Source: Guardian Environment

Elephants electrocuted by sagging power lines | Janaki Lenin

Many elephants get electrocuted by low-slung overhead electric cables before authorities take action

On the night of 4 September, a large tusker was electrocuted by a sagging high tension electric cable in Kaziranga national park, Assam.

Two large bull elephants emerged from flooded Kaziranga to reach high ground across the highway that borders the park, when one blundered into the electric wire. There was no way the animals could have seen it at night.

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Source: Guardian Environment

With a nip and a bit of tuck Turnbull can bring a touch of green to Direct Action

The Coalition’s climate policy holds a hidden key which will allow its new leader to set tougher baselines that emitters are not allowed to exceed

Malcolm Turnbull once said he didn’t want to lead a party that wasn’t as committed to climate action as he was. Now he does.

Climate policy cost Turnbull the Liberal leadership in 2009 when he backed Kevin Rudd’s emissions trading scheme. He had to promise not to try to reintroduce an emissions trading scheme to gather the support he needed to win it back.

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Source: Guardian Environment

National Grid to remove electricity pylons from protected landscapes

Pylons to be replaced with underground cables in £500m project to improve scenery in New Forest, Peak District, Snowdonia and Dorset

Four protected landscapes are to be transformed by removing the electricity pylons and overhead lines that scar the view, under plans unveiled by National Grid.

Funding of £500m will go to reducing the visual impact of stretches of high-voltage transmission lines by replacing a total of 45 pylons with underground cables in three national parks – near Hale in the New Forest, near Dunford Bridge in the Peak District and near Porthmadog in Snowdonia – and the area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) near Winterbourne Abbas, Dorset.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Ed Davey to advise law firm on renewable energy projects

Former energy secretary to work for Herbert Smith, but not advise on their Hinkley Point or Swansea Bay work

Ed Davey, the former energy secretary, is to start private work today for City lawyers connected with both Hinkley Point C nuclear plant and the Swansea Bay lagoon.

Davey has been given clearance by the Cabinet Office to provide consultancy to Herbert Smith, a law firm that provides advice on the two power projects and where his brother is also employed.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Whales to gain 'long-sought protections' as navy limits sonar use, activists say

Court orders settlement after Earthjustice, Greenpeace and other organizations take legal action amid concern over the impact of military training activities

A federal court has ordered a settlement in two cases that challenged the United States navy’s training and testing activities off the coasts of Hawaii and Southern California.

Environmental legal aid organization Earthjustice tells the Guardian that the settlement will secure “long-sought protections for whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals by limiting navy activities in vital habitats”.

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Source: Guardian Environment