This video from the USA says about itself:
L.A. Gently Weeps As George Harrison Tree Is Felled By Beetles
22 July 2014
A local official said on Tuesday that a tree planted in memorial to late Beatles guitarist George Harrison following his death in Los Angeles in 2001 has been killed by bark beetles amid California’s epic drought. The pine tree, which was dedicated with a plaque to Harrison at the head of a hiking trail in the city’s Griffith Park, was among a number of trees that have succumbed to the beetles this year. City Councilman, Tom LaBonge said he expects to see a new tree planted in remembrance of Harrison in the fall.
From the Los Angeles Times in the USA:
George Harrison Memorial Tree killed … by beetles; replanting due
By Randy Lewis
July 21, 2014
In the truth is stranger than fiction department, Los Angeles Councilman Tom LaBonge, whose district includes Griffith Park, told Pop & Hiss over the weekend that the pine tree planted in 2004 near Griffith Observatory in memory of George Harrison will be replanted shortly because the original tree died as the result of an insect infestation.
Yes, the George Harrison Tree was killed by beetles.
Except for the loss of tree life, Harrison likely would have been amused at the irony. He once said his biggest break in life was getting into the Beatles; his second biggest was getting out.
The sapling went in, unobtrusively, near the observatory with a small plaque at the base to commemorate the former Beatle, who died in 2001, because he spent his final days in Los Angeles and because he was an avid gardener for much of his adult life.
This video is called Full Documentary – Incredible Nature: Hummingbirds – Magic in the Air.
From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:
New Citizen Science Blog Takes Flight
The citizen science program at the Cornell Lab invites you to be the first to preview a new kind of blog. Our new Citizen Science Blog is a blog inspired by the contributions and passions of citizen scientists—like you!
In its inaugural month, Citizen Science Blog will start with a look at everyone’s favorite winged jewels, hummingbirds! Can you match the speed of a hummingbird’s wings with your fingers? Find out in the interactive game, Beat the Beats. Plus, see how much liquid you’d have to consume to eat like a hummingbird. Check in often as new posts are added weekly.
This video says about itself:
Fukushima News 5/8/14: Irradiated Fukushima Worker Sues Tepco; Demands For More Decontamination.
From Associated Press:
Stigmatized workers quitting Tepco in droves
by Yuri Kageyama
21 July 2014
Stigma, pay cuts and risk of radiation exposure are among the reasons why 3,000 employees have left Tepco, the utility at the center of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Now there’s an additional factor: better paying jobs in the feel-good solar energy industry.
Engineers and other employees at Tokyo Electric Power Co. were once typical of the nation’s corporate culture that is famous for prizing loyalty to a single company and lifetime employment with it. But the March 2011 tsunami that swamped the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, sending three reactors into meltdown, changed that.
Tepco was widely criticized for being inadequately prepared for tsunami despite Japan’s long history of being hit by giant waves and for its confused response to the disaster. The public turned hostile toward the nuclear industry and Tepco, or “Tohden” in Japanese, became a dirty word.
Only 134 people quit Tepco the year before the disaster. The departures ballooned to 465 in 2011, another 712 in 2012 and 488 last year. Seventy percent of those leaving were younger than 40. When the company offered voluntary retirement for the first time earlier this year, some 1,151 workers applied for the 1,000 available redundancy packages.
The exodus, which has reduced staff to about 35,700 people, adds to the challenges of the ongoing work at Fukushima to keep the meltdowns under control, remove the fuel cores and safely decommission the reactors, which is expected to take decades.
The factors pushing workers out have piled up. The financial strain of the disaster has led to brutal salary cuts while ongoing problems at Fukushima No. 1, such as substantial leaks of irradiated water, have reinforced the image of a bumbling and irresponsible organization.
“No one is going to want to work there, if they can help it,” said Akihiro Yoshikawa, who quit Tepco in 2012.
After leaving he started a campaign called “Appreciate Fukushima Workers,” trying to counter what he calls the “giant social stigma” attached to working at Fukushima No. 1.
Many of the workers, as residents of the area, also lost their homes to no-go zones, adding to personal hardships.
The Fukushima stigma is such that some employees hide the fact they work at the plant. They even worry they will be turned away at restaurants or that their children will be bullied at school after a government report documented dozens of cases of discrimination.
While Tepco is out of favor with the public, the skills and experience of its employees that span the gamut of engineers, project managers, maintenance workers and construction and financial professionals, are not.
Energy industry experience is in particular demand as the development of solar and other green energy businesses is pushed along by generous government subsidies.
Currently the government pays solar plants ¥32 per kilowatt hour of energy. The so-called tariff for solar power varies by states and cities in the U.S., but they are generally lower than Japan’s version. The rate in Germany is about half that in Japan.
Sean Travers, Japan president of EarthStream, a London-based recruitment company that specializes in energy jobs, has been scrambling to woo Tepco employees as foreign companies do more clean energy business in Japan.
“Tepco employees are very well trained and have excellent knowledge of how the Japanese energy sector works, making them very attractive,” he said.
Two top executives at U.S. solar companies doing business in Japan, First Solar director Karl Brutsaert and SunPower Japan director Takashi Sugihara, said they have interviewed former Tepco employees for possible posts.
Besides their experience, knowledge of how the utility industry works and their contacts, with both private industry and government bureaucracy, are prized assets.
“It’s about the human network and the Tepco employees have all the contacts,” said Travers, who says he has recruited about 20 people from the utility and is hoping to get more.
Since September 2012, all Tepco managers have had their salaries slashed by 30 percent, while workers in nonmanagement positions had their pay reduced 20 percent.
But last year, Tepco doled out ¥100,000 bonuses to 5,000 managers as an incentive to stay on.
This video is about Látrabjarg seabird colony in western Iceland.
Great step forward for seabirds in Spain
By Elodie Cantaloube, Tue, 22/07/2014 – 16:17
Spanish landmark legislation increases 20-fold marine protected areas
Spain has officially established 39 new marine protection areas. The new sites are ‘Special Protection Areas for Birds’ (SPAs), designated under the European Birds Directive. The SPAs will offer protection to seabirds whilst they are at sea, complementing the existing network of sites on land.
Spain, with its Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines and islands, is extremely important for European seabirds. This includes Europe’s most threatened seabird – Balearic Shearwater, and other species endemic to the Mediterranean, such as the Yelkouan Shearwater and Audouin’s Gull.
The announcement is the culmination of many years of hard work by BirdLife’s Spanish Partner SEO/BirdLife, who has played a major role in this process: each of the 39 sites closely mirrors the Marine Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas identified by the organisation, following nearly a decade of scientific research.
Previously, Spain’s network of protected sites for seabirds was made up mostly of small sites at colonies and along coasts and islands. These sites mostly protect seabirds whilst on land, but do not protect them in the environment where they spend the majority of their time: out at sea. These new sites, many of which are large in size, and include areas offshore, will add an additional 50,000km2 to Spain’s protected area network for birds, a whopping 20-fold increase.
“The announcement is extremely important”, said Asunción Ruiz, Director of SEO/BirdLife “Now seabirds can be protected when they venture away from the Spanish coast. Carefully managed, these sites could make a real difference to the recovery of our threatened seabirds.”
The ground work carried out by SEO/BirdLife to identify these sites, involved many years of research tracking seabirds and understanding their behaviour at sea. The information on Marine Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas is collated on BirdLife’s Marine E-Atlas. Across Europe, these sites act as a ‘shadow list’ of sites which should be protected under EU law.
“It is extremely promising that Spain has moved to designate offshore sites and it is imperative for seabird conservation that other countries in Europe follow their example”, added Marguerite Tarzia, European Marine Conservation Officer at BirdLife “the addition of these sites means that Spain has gone from lagging behind other EU countries, to being one of the regional leaders in seabird protection at sea. It is important that the next steps include strong and effective management of sites, to ensure that the positive gains made today are followed through for real conservation outcomes.”
This video is about a roe deer in Yorkshire in England.
Translated from daily Tubantia in the Netherlands:
Wildlife mirrors save lives of roe deer
July 21, 09:24
Last year “only” 35 deer died. “That’s about 20 percent lower than in other years,” said Jurgen Hejink, secretary of the Wildlife Management Unit (WBE) Winterswijk and surroundings.
Blue reflectors are placed by the game management units along several roads in the Achterhoek. Roe deer are scared of light rays of cars that are reflected by the blue reflectors. That keeps them from running on the roads.
This video from Britain is called Separating Short-eared and Long-eared Owls.
Translated from Natuurmonumenten conservation organisation in the Netherlands:
Monday, July 21, 2014 11:11
Unique: Five owlets were born from a nesting pair of short-eared owls in Skrok nature reserve. Unique to the Frisian area, 10km north of Sneek. It is certainly twenty years since breeding short-eared eared owls had been observed there for the last time.
Ranger Sander Veenstra: “Now that we know this, we will definitely not mow this plot in the coming weeks.” …
“It’s a good short-eared owl year. This year there is a surplus of mice. And that is visible. In the nest of this couple there are mice which have not even been eaten. The parents have made a sort of a pantry. The owlets can use this as well in the coming months. In a few weeks’ time, they will fly off. A unique event for Skrok,” says ranger Sander Veenstra.