Meet the Sochi Mascots: A snow leopard, a gummy bear, and a Teletubby. Right? Keeping with the mascot tradition of Olympics past, they’re ambiguously adorable.
Sochi is in the news today for less adorable reasons:
"Poisoned drinking water, illegal landfills, flooding, the fronts of houses falling off—these are just some of the complaints coming from people living near Sochi, Russia, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics."
Read about this and more of the day’s best environmental news and #greenreads from around the web at Today OnEarth.
Followed my friend Mike and his 9-year-old son over lichen-colored rock and fallen trees tangled with grapevine. Mike carried a box of white laboratory mice, the protocol being to offer up to four mice, one at a time, to any Mexican spotted owl we happened to see in this narrow canyon in the Gila National Forest of southwestern New Mexico. If that owl were to swoop down, grab the mouse, and eat it on the spot, it probably did not have hungry nestlings nearby. But if the owl were to swoop down, grab the mouse, and take her prey away—and if we were to track the flap of those chestnut-colored wings through ponderosa pine, following that suddenly flying mouse—then we might discover a nest of piteously ugly and relatively rare Mexican spotted owlets (Strix occidentalis lucida).
It all sounded improbable to me. But Mike is a gifted naturalist, and the U.S. government was paying him to camp out, hoot between dusk and dawn, wait for answering hoots, and confirm the location of any breeding pairs of Mexican spotted owls. One of those pairs frequented this canyon, where Douglas fir grew along the rocky bottom; where the sky had darkened now to a cobalt river above our heads; and where the scale was intimate, nothing grand, the original feng shui. Story by Sharman Apt Russell continued here…
OnEarth Magazine sent Reportage photographer Marco Di Lauro to Liberia earlier this year to document the environmental and social effects of oil palm production, which consumes an increasing amount of forest and farmland. In the accompanying article, reporter Jocelyn Zuckerman writes:
The oil palm companies in Liberia enjoyed a brief honeymoon. (In addition to GVL, the Malaysian corporation Sime Darby runs a 769,000-acre operation in the north of the country.) But it wasn’t long before local communities began to cry foul. Villagers I met during a visit to the Sime Darby concession accused the company of destroying their crops and grave sites, polluting streams, displacing residents by force, and failing to get “free, prior, and informed consent” before clearing their land. The work of planting and watering the oil palm was too hard, they said, the wages too low, and safety equipment inadequate or nonexistent.
Marco Di Lauro, an award-winning photojournalist, joined Getty Images in 2002, covering international news stories in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and Italy. Marco’s main topics are war and religion: he has covered the wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and the second intifada between Israel and Palestine. He is based in Rome and available for assignment.
Just got chilly in here: Following last month’s announcement that British curriculum guidelines for elementary-school-aged children would essentially be skipping over the topic of climate change, public outcry has been fervid. Now Sir David Attenborough — the Gandalf of British environmentalism — is adding his remarkable voice to the fray. Guardian
This bottle redeemable for $150,000: A Colombian activist who helped organize the work of Bogota’s 5,000 impoverished waste-pickers and recyclers has been honored for her efforts with a Goldman Environmental Prize, awarded by the eponymous San Francisco-based foundation that annually recognizes one “grassroots warrior” from each of the globe’s six inhabited continents. Nohra Padilla grew up poor, picking through the trash in Bogota dumps before becoming an organizer and recycling activist. Now, in addition to the $150,000 prize, she can enjoy a new degree of social acceptance for waste-picking — which, thanks to her efforts, has resulted in 1,500 tons of recyclable material collected daily that gets resold in international markets, and in city-issued paychecks for the people picking it all up. Los Angeles Times:Colombian activist’s work earns environmental prize
More of the day’s best environmental news and #greenreads from around the web at Today OnEarth.