There's a lot to love in the Pope's new encyclical on climate, poverty and the environment, and even the terrible stuff is de-emphasized. Read the rest
German photographer Kevin McElvaney shot portraits of the itinerant pickers who work on Agbogbloshie, the toxic e-waste dump outside of Accra, Ghana. Read the rest
Gmoke sez, "As someone who lives halfway between Harvard and MIT and has used that opportunity to monitor the scientists on climate change and energy, this is the first time I’ve seen anyone address these issues from the ecosystem perspective." Read the rest
Dave writes, "A birdwatching group sent a letter to two federal cabinet ministers citing concerns over the effects of certain chemicals on the life of bees. Shortly thereafter, they received a threatening letter from Revenue Canada telling them to stop with the political actions." Read the rest
"The scorpion hunters of Pakistan Read the rest
Shahid and Sohail, two friends who grew up together in a housing colony in Sindh province's Thatta district, have never been scared of the scorpion's venomous sting.
"As teenagers, we caught and killed scorpions as a game," Sohail told Al Jazeera. "Last year we found out that if we caught a live one, we could be instant millionaires."
On the hottest nights of the year, these hunters search for the nocturnal creatures in the 200-hectare dry forest behind their colony. Scorpions hibernate in cold weather, so Sohail says it is easier to catch them when it's hot.
Their broker, Faraz, is constantly in contact with other brokers who can sell the scorpion to foreign companies for thousands of dollars.
"I spend all my spare time connecting scorpion buyers with sellers," Faraz, who also works at Karachi Port Trust, told Al Jazeera. "When a big deal goes through, it will be like winning the lottery."
Michael sez, "As a volunteer climate change campaigner, over the years I've seen a number of lists of things people can do about climate change. They're often unconvincing." Read the rest
Jeff sez, "Turn pristine ecosystems into high-octane fuel in your own home -- all ages!" Public Lab'skit helps you understand the devastation and health risks from tar sands extraction by letting you boil your own back yard for oil. Read the rest
The new, stupid ban on "professional" photography violates the First Amendment, the Service admits that there's no actual need for it, and it will undermine the visibility of the national forests at a time when they are under unprecedented threat from developers, the energy sector, and mining. Read the rest
Patrick Nielsen Hayden uses an exceptionally silly Guardian op-ed about New York City as a "dangerous, intoxicating fantasy of freedom from nature" to extol big cities' environmental virtues: places where no one need own a car; where energy and resource reclamation and recirculation are common; where, in short, we all need to be. Read the rest