Last orca bred in captivity at SeaWorld dies, aged 3 months

July 28, 2017 by  
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Keepers and animal rights activists are mourning the passing of the last orca bred in captivity under SeaWorld’s breeding program, which ended in 2016. The calf, named Kyara, was just three-months-old when she perished at the establishment’s San Antonio, Texas, park due to an unknown illness. Regrettably, she is the third killer whale to die at a SeaWorld park in 18 months. According to a statement made by SeaWorld on July 25, the exact cause of Kyara’s death is presently unknown. Additionally, the results of the post-mortem will take several weeks to be completed. Leading up to the calf’s death, however, she was being treated for a serious case of pneumonia . The marine park establishment is adamant the illness is not a result of living in captivity. In a statement , SeaWorld wrote that pneumonia is “the most common cause of mortality and illness in whales in dolphins, both in the wild and in zoological facilities.” “We’ve also had a lot of questions about how the orca pod in San Antonio is doing. We’ve checked in with the trainers, veterinarians and staff who all say that Takara and the orca pod are doing well,” the statement added. “They have been active all day and are engaging with the trainers, and we will continue to monitor any changes in their behavior.” SeaWorld announced it would end its controversial captive breeding program three years after the controversial documentary Blackfish was produced. The BAFTA-nominated film informed the public of the serious ethical concerns which result from keeping orcas in captivity and the questionable tactics used by employees to “train” orcas. Due to public outcry and plummeting ticket sales, the enterprise had no choice but to shut down the program. It is assumed that Kyara’s mother, Takara, became pregnant with the calf around the same time, as gestation in an orca lasts between 12 to 18 months. Because Kyara was the last killer whale bred in captivity, she was a treasure at SeaWorld . However, there is a reason the public requested SeaWorld end its breeding program, and that is because the mammals have been known to thrive beyond 100-years-old in the wild . Sadly, the young calf survived only three months in captivity. Related: Meet the 103-Year-Old Granny Orca That Spells Bad News for SeaWorld’s PR Upon hearing the news, John Hargrove, a former orca trainer at SeaWorld who appeared in Blackfish, tweeted : “I am grateful Tiki’s calf only lived for 3 months in a concrete box deprived of all things natural. For Takara, my heart is broken in pieces.” He added , “It’s an absolute insult to every one of us that they keep saying ‘healthy and thriving’ as they are dying from disease right in front of us.” Via NBC News Images via SeaWorld , Pixabay

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Last orca bred in captivity at SeaWorld dies, aged 3 months

This earth-sheltered Australian hobbit home stays cozy all year

July 28, 2017 by  
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Nigel Kirkwood worked in the mining industry for 25 years and it was his fascination with the natural sustainability of tunnels that led him to build his own underground, earth-sheltered home to live out his retirement years. Located in Quindalup, Western Australia, Kirkwood’s self-built hobbit house is buried under nearly 1,000 tons of soil and covered with greenery. Working in the mining industry taught Kirkwood a thing or two about the sustainable features of underground structures. Using the tunnel layout as inspiration, he built the home on two large concrete footings and covered the structure with 19 tons of high-quality steel. He then sealed the structure with a Polyurea water- and fire-proof coating and, as the final step, buried his new home under 1,000 tons of locally-sourced loam sand. Along with the protection against fires and storms that underground homes offer, the earth-sheltered structure has natural insulative properties, requiring require no heating or cooling. Additionally, the interior is virtually sound-proofed against outdoor noise. Related: This cute little hobbit home cost just $100 to build The interior of the home is surprisingly bright and airy, thanks to the all-glass entranceways on either side of the home. The rooftop is covered in natural plants and beautiful flowers that bloom in the summertime. The greenery is drip irrigated and fertilized throughout the year. Mr. Kirkwood will be opening his house to the public in September for Sustainable House Day in order to inspire others to consider sustainable building options. Via Homecrux Images by ABC South West: Roxanne Taylor, via Homecrux

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This earth-sheltered Australian hobbit home stays cozy all year

Solar-Powered Tags Give Threatened Shark Species a Fighting Chance

January 3, 2014 by  
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Great White photo / Shutterstock Studying sharks’ movements and how they behave in their natural environment is an integral part of keeping them safe from overfishing. To aid these efforts, scientists have developed a special solar-powered tag that can be used to monitor a shark’s trajectory for up to two years. Compared with older tags that ran on batteries and occasionally died before being able to transmit their valuable information, the new solar-powered variety may give sharks a fighting chance. Read the rest of Solar-Powered Tags Give Threatened Shark Species a Fighting Chance Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Antonio Fins , battery-powered animal tags , Desert Star Systems , Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation , shark conservation , shark finning , shark migration studies , shark overfishing , solar powered tags save sharks , solar-powered shark tag        

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Solar-Powered Tags Give Threatened Shark Species a Fighting Chance

Is the Massive Rise in Oklahoma Earthquakes Due to Fracking?

January 3, 2014 by  
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Fracking photo / Shutterstock In a state where residents regularly brace themselves for tornados, Oklahomans now have another disturbing hazard to watch out for: earthquakes . In recent years, there’s been a steady and worrying uptick in quake activity with almost 3,000 quakes in 2013—the state’s most seismically active year ever. As rattled Oklahomans eye the ground warily, researchers and environmentalists say that fracking and other oil and gas extraction techniques are likely to blame for the recent quakes. In October, the U.S. Geological Survey reported that fracking and its wastewater disposal methods could be linked to the over tenfold increase in Oklahoma’s earthquake activity since 2009. The controversial drilling practice involves injecting massive amounts of wastewater deep into the ground, which increases pressure along fault lines and makes them more susceptible to rupture. Research also warns that fracking may have been the reason behind a magnitude 5.7 quake in November 2011–the largest earthquake ever recorded in the state–that damaged 14 homes and injured two people. Though many of the quakes are mostly minor and register around magnitude 3.0, the yearly average for earthquakes has been rising to about 40 per year since 2008. Seismic swarms have also rippled across parts of the country in similar toxic wastewater disposal sites, where nearby faults become overloaded by fracking’s high-pressure injections. Although research has shown a high correlation between earthquakes and fracking’s wastewater wells, scientists and regulators still lack the necessary proof to back new laws to protect residents. In the meantime, worried Oklahomans are starting to turn to earthquake insurance. Via NPR Images via Wikimedia        

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Is the Massive Rise in Oklahoma Earthquakes Due to Fracking?

Microsoft uses carbon fee for big Texas wind power purchase

November 4, 2013 by  
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It will buy all wind power from the Keechi Wind Project in Texas, which will feed into the same grid powering its San Antonio data center.

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Microsoft uses carbon fee for big Texas wind power purchase

Lennar & KB Homes Go Solar in San Antonio

August 18, 2011 by  
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Image credit: Lennar Homes Earlier this summer, San Antonio, Texas made a big splash in the renewable energy world, announcing that plans for a 50MW solar power plant were being upgraded to 400MW on the basis of surprisingly favorable costs. Now the city looks set to make another move toward mainstream clean energy, as two of its largest home builders start offering solar power as an option on new homes in the area. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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O’Hare Airport Welcomes Beekeepers with Felony Convictions (Video)

August 18, 2011 by  
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Image credit: GCameraProductions German airports have already embraced beekeeping , using honey bees to monitor air quality in and around airports . Now Chicago’s O’Hare airport is getting into the beekeeping business too, although the motivation here seems to be more about putting unused land to good use than it is about monitoring air quality. They’re also giving people with felony convictions the c… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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O’Hare Airport Welcomes Beekeepers with Felony Convictions (Video)

Large-Scale Energy Storage is Making Renewables More Viable

August 18, 2011 by  
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Among the most commonly heard criticisms of renewable energy is the problem of intermittent supply. The sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow when you most need it to. While smart grids and demand response may get us some of the way to matching demand with supply, the viability of energy storage is also a hugely important factor. We’ve already seen New Jersey investing in compre… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Large-Scale Energy Storage is Making Renewables More Viable

Veja and FrenchTrotters Release Men’s Sustainable-Luxury Sneakers (Photos)

August 18, 2011 by  
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Photo: Veja x FrenchTrotters What happens when a fair trade footwear label partners with a high end Parisian boutique? Enter Veja x FrenchTrotters , a capsule collection of luxury mens sneakers that merge classic design with sustainable materials — available come fall at select boutiques around the globe. Photos: … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Veja and FrenchTrotters Release Men’s Sustainable-Luxury Sneakers (Photos)

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