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Yanomami fear for their lives as miners invade their land

Yanomami
© Steve Cox/Survival
Yanomami mother and child.
Yanomami shaman and spokesman Davi Kopenawa has made an urgent appeal for support as the Yanomami territory in northern Brazil is being invaded by gold-miners.

Davi said, 'The arrival of miners is increasing, and the Yanomami are very worried... Soon there will be conflicts between the miners and the Yanomami... I know how the miners treat the Yanomami and I am also very sad because some Yanomami are working at the mining sites in return for food. They will fall ill; they'll catch malaria and sexually transmitted infections, because the miners will use the Indian women as they have done in the past'.

He added, 'I am very angry with FUNAI (the Brazilian government's indigenous affairs department) and the police; they have not controlled the entrance of miners. The Yanomami territory is being invaded'.

Davi Yanomami's warning comes just months after he met with President Lula to ask him to remove all the gold-miners working illegally in the Yanomami territory.

Mr. Potato

Al Gore Is Lying Low - for Good Reason

Image
© Ramirez
Maybe Al Gore's been advised by legal counsel to lie low. He may be the leader of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) movement, but he's not defending it in public, not even when it's falling apart and his new fortune is based upon it.

Mr. Gore and his financial backers earned millions of dollars in start-up "green" companies and carbon trading schemes. If the scam worked, he could've become the first "carbon billionaire."

"What goes up can fall down" applies to ill-gotten gains in the stock market or "carbon trading" schemes. In such schemes, it's foreseeable that trusting investors will (a) not only get hurt when the scam collapses, but they'll also (b) pursue legal remedies and sue him for fraud.

Mr. Gore's financial gains were based on the contradictory and error-plagued assertion that man's release of the trace gas CO2 will fry the planet.

Bandaid

Mission Impossible! UK Met Office to re-examine 150 years of temperature data in futile effort to re-sell 'global warming'

Image
© Holbert
Temperature records dating back more than 150 years are to be re-examined by the Met Office because public belief in global warming has plummeted.

The re-analysis, which was approved at a conference in Turkey this week, comes after the climate change email scandal which dealt a severe blow to the credibility of environmental science.

The Met Office says that the review is 'timely' and insists it does not expect to come to a different conclusion about the progress of climate change.

But the reassessment, which will take an international group of experts three years to complete, will be seen as a tacit admission that previous reports have been tainted by the association with the University of East Anglia's controversial Climatic Research Unit.

Since the leak of more than 1,000 emails and documents from the unit in November, belief in global warming has fallen from 41 per cent to 26 per cent.

Bizarro Earth

'Open the dam and let the water flow' - desperate plea from Omo Valley

Kwegu Boy
© Survival
A Kwegu boy outside his hut. The Omo Valley tribes are finding it hard to feed their children in these times of drought.
Many tribal people in the Lower Omo Valley in Ethiopia are starving as the region is in the grip of a drought and the river's annual flood has failed.

The Kwegu, a small hunter-gatherer tribe, have been badly hit. Survival has received reports that two Kwegu children and four adults died from hunger in November.

A Kwegu man sent this message: 'Go and give this news to your elders, we Kwegu people are hungry. Other tribes have cattle, they can drink milk and blood. We don't have cattle; we eat from the Omo River. We depend on the fish, they are like our cattle. If the Omo floods are gone we will die.'

Bizarro Earth

Mammoth Iceberg May Alter Ocean Circulation: Study

Paris - An iceberg the size of Luxembourg knocked loose from the Antarctic continent earlier this month could disrupt the ocean currents driving weather patterns around the globe, researchers said Thursday.

While the impact would not be felt for decades or longer, a slowdown in the production of colder, dense water could result in less temperate winters in the north Atlantic, they said.

The 2550 square-kilometre block broke off on February 12 or 13 from the Mertz Glacier Tongue, a 160-kilometre spit of floating ice protruding into the Southern Ocean from East Antarctica due south of Melbourne, researchers said.

Some 400 metres thick, the iceberg could fill Sydney Harbour more than 100 times over.

It could also disturb the area's exceptionally rich biodiversity, including a major colony of emperor penguins near Dumont d'Urville, site of a French scientific station, according to the scientists.

Bizarro Earth

Kalush an Environmental Disaster in Waiting

Toxic Dump
© Ukrinform
A man walks on a chemical waste storage dump in the Ivano-Frankivsk city of Kalush on Feb. 18. Outgoing President Victor Yushchenko declared Kalush and surroudning villages an environmental disaster zone.
Ukraine - Chemical waste from years of salt mining endangers western Ukraine's water arteries that could potentially reach the Black Sea.

Ivan Debych stands at the snowy edge of a tailings dam outside of this town in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, observing what looks like a large frozen lake, but in reality is a lurking danger for millions of people in the region.

"If the dam breaks or overflows, its deposits will get into the river system, and contaminate the drinking water in the entire region," said Debych, who heads Kalush's department of emergency services. "The dam is our immediate concern."

The problem, Debych explained, is that this particular tailing dam is filled nearly to capacity with industrial deposits from the nearby mining enterprise at the Kalush-Holynsky potassium salt and potassium ore field. The 48-acre dam, known as Number Two, can hold another 100,000 cubic meters of matter before it spills over into the fields below. The situation is particularly critical in a year like this one, when large amounts of melting snow can quickly fill the dam to overflowing.

"If the dam breaks, it will flood the factories and homes in the area," Debych said, gesturing toward a field that is home to an oil refinery, a carpet factory and another plant producing window blinds. "It would take only seven, eight hours."

The dam is just a part of the problem, though. Because of decades of mining and the region's geography, pockets of ground occasionally cave in around Kalush. Many homes and elements of municipal infrastructure are facing collapse.

Igloo

Another Cold, Wet Blanket Covers US Northeast

Snow here, rain there, and in many places a heavy mix of the two: nature threw another cold, wet blanket over the Northeast on Thursday, for the third time this month.

Travel was disrupted at major airports from Philadelphia to Boston, with more than 1,100 flights canceled in the New York area alone by 5 p.m. Officials said that number would probably grow as the winds pick up and temperatures drop into evening.

By late afternoon, the thermometer was still hovering just above freezing in Philadelphia and New York City, and thick flakes signaled what was to come - and what forecasters say will keep coming until Saturday morning.

Bizarro Earth

5.1 Earthquake Hits Southwestern China

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck China's southwestern province of Yunnan on Thursday, injuring 11 people and damaging many houses, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

The quake struck at 12:56 p.m. (0456 GMT) in Chuxiong prefecture, about 60 miles (95 kilometers) northwest of the provincial capital of Kunming, the national earthquake monitoring center reported.

The U.S. Geographical Survey gave the quake's magnitude as 5.0.

Xinhua cited a spokesman for the Yunnan Provincial Seismological Bureau as saying a large number of rural homes were badly damaged.

Black Cat

Leopard savaging a crocodile caught on camera

Image
© Hal Brindley/SOLO Syndication
The astonishing spectacle of a leopard savaging a crocodile has been captured for the first time on camera.
A series of incredible pictures taken at a South African game reserve document the first known time that a leopard has taken on and defeated one of the fearsome reptiles.

The photographs were taken by Hal Brindley, an American wildlife photographer, who was supposed to be taking pictures of hippos from his car in the Kruger National Park.

The giant cat raced out of cover provided by scrub and bushes to surprise the crocodile, which was swimming nearby.

A terrible and bloody struggle ensued. Eventually, onlookers were amazed to see the leopard drag the crocodile from the water as the reptile fought back.

With the crocodile snapping its powerful jaws furiously, the two animals somersaulted and grappled. Despite the crocodile's huge weight and strength, the leopard had the upper hand catching its prey by the throat.

Attention

Croat scientist warns ice age is overdue, could start in five years

Image
© National Geographic May 2005 issue
Tick, tock, tick, tock...
A leading scientist has revealed that Europe could be just five years away from the start of a new Ice Age.

While climate change campaigners say global warming is the planet's biggest danger, renowned physicist Vladimir Paar says most of central Europe will soon be covered in ice.

The freeze will be so complete that people will be able to walk from England to Ireland or across the North Sea from Scotland to northern Europe.

Professor Paar, from Croatia's Zagreb University, has spent decades analysing previous ice ages in Europe and what caused them.

"Most of Europe will be under ice, including Germany, Poland, France, Austria, Slovakia and a part of Slovenia," said the professor in an interview with the Index.hr.

"Previous ice ages lasted about 70,000 years. That's a fact and the new ice age can't be avoided.