Oil spill kills birds, mammals in California, USA


Santa Barbara oil spill victims

These are figures of wildlife affected by the Santa Barbara oil spill in the USA.

United States religious fundamentalist blames gay people for drought


This video from the USA is called Crippling Drought in the Golden State: California Soul.

Not so long ago, in January 2014, there was flooding in Britain. Then, a politician of the far right Ukip party blamed LGBTQ people for those floods.

Now, there is an extreme right religious fundamentalist in USA, also blaming LGBTQ people for natural forces. This time, not for too much, but for too little water.

From EcoWatch in the USA:

Gay Marriage to Blame for California’s Epic Drought, Bill Koenig Claims

Anastasia Pantsios | May 8, 2015 10:56 am

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Obergefell vs. Hodges. The decision in that case, expected in June, could legalize marriage equality across the country in the dozen states that have not done so on their own.

But as that possibility inches closer, opponents have become more desperate and outlandish. Blaming gay marriage for everything wrong in the country seems to be their go-to explanation, even when things are wildly disconnected—such as climate change. When they’re not busy denying climate change exists, they just say it’s happening because God is angry that gay people aren’t being persecuted enough.

The latest to step forward with this explanation is commentator and White House correspondent Bill Koenig of the conservative World Watch Daily, which lists its beats as “wars and rumors of wars, economic news, military buildups, terrorism, political situations, difficult relations between countries, famines, natural disasters and drastic or record-breaking weather.”

It’s the last that Koenig recently connected to the move to assure equality rights for LGBT people. Talking to hosts Jan Markell and Eric Barger on the evangelical radio show Understanding the Times, which pushes the idea that all the conflicts and controversies in the world are part of God’s plan for what they see as the Biblical “end times,” Koenig claimed that gay rights in the U.S. are angering God so much he created the drought in California.

Breaking: rain in southern California: here. Also because of LGBTQ people!? [sarcasm off]

Lyrid meteor shower tomorrow


This video from the USA says about itself:

How to View a Meteor Shower | California Academy of Sciences

30 December 2014

Here are some fun tips for observing the upcoming meteor shower, brought to you by the California Academy of Sciences.

The California Academy of Sciences writes about this today:

On any given night, meteors can be seen as tiny particles of space dust burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. Don’t miss the next major meteor shower, the Lyrids, peaking tomorrow, April 22. Watch this helpful video to brush up on your meteor-spotting skills!

Astronomy Day, 25 April


This video from the USA is called 365 Days of Astronomy.

From the California Academy of Sciences in the USA:

We’re teaming up with NASA to celebrate Astronomy Day this Saturday, April 25! Touch a meteorite, learn about telescopes, observe the 3D nature of constellations, and more.

Explore Your Universe at the Academy

April 25 is Astronomy Day—an international celebration of space. This year, the Academy will explore the past, present, and future of space observation. Discover the wonders of the cosmos with special programing all day long.

Event highlights:

• Join us for PLUTO-PALOOZA, an epic celebration of space exploration with partners from NASA and SETI.

• Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope with Hubble-themed Hohfeld Hall shows.

• Test your space smarts with a Cosmic Quiz Show.

• Catch our newest award-winning show, Habitat Earth, in Morrison Planetarium, our 75-foot digital immersive dome and gain new perspective about our own planet.

Click for More Astronomy Day Events here.

Russian gray whale Varvara, longest mammal migration


This video from the USa is called Gray Whale Migration.

From Treehugger.com:

Longest mammal migration ever recorded measures in at 14,000 miles

Melissa Breyer

April 16, 2015

And the remarkable journey is raising questions about the status of a critically endangered whale species.

In a study using satellite-monitored tags to track three western gray whales, a team of U.S. and Russian researchers recorded a stunning round-trip trek of 14,000 miles. The trio traveled from their primary feeding ground off of Sakhalin Island in Russia across the Pacific Ocean and down the west coast of California to Baja, Mexico and back home again.

One of the whales, dubbed Varvara by the scientists, visited the three major breeding areas for eastern gray whales, which are found off North America.

For a long time it was believed that western gray whales had gone extinct, but a small group was discovered in Russia off Sakhalin Island; they now number around 150 individuals and have been monitored by scientists from Russia and the U.S. since the 1990s. Meanwhile, populations of eastern gray whales were also in a tight spot, but conservation efforts have brought them back – today they are believed to have a population of some 18,000.

But here’s why Varvara’s visit to the eastern gray whales is interesting. Not all experts believe that the two species are in fact distinct, separate species. A number of scientists have proposed that western and eastern gray whale populations are not isolated and that the gray whales found in Russian waters are a part of an eastern population that is restoring its former range.

“The fact that endangered western gray whales have such a long range and interact with eastern gray whales was a surprise and leaves a lot of questions up in the air,” said Bruce Mate, director of the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University and lead author on the study. “Past studies have indicated genetic differentiation between the species, but this suggests we may need to take a closer look.”

“The ability of the whales to navigate across open water over tremendously long distances is impressive and suggests that some western gray whales might actually be eastern grays,” Mate said. “But that doesn’t mean that there may not be some true western gray whales remaining.

He adds, “If so, then the number of true western gray whales is even smaller than we previously thought.”

Does this spell doom for the western whales? Protecting them has proven challenging. Five western grays have perished in Japanese fishing nets within the last 10 years and their feeding grounds off Japan and Russia include fishing areas, shipping corridors, and oil and gas production – as well as future sites oil sites. But with this new research, hopefully fresh data and visibility will inspire some momentum in conservation efforts. With so few of these wandering giants left, and maybe even fewer than we thought, the time is now.