Archive for the ‘earth’ Category

Vietnam’s 97 Year Old War Hero Still Has “Moral Authority,” Takes on Government

January 16, 2009

Vietnam‘s famed war hero General Vo Nguyen Giap has urged the communist government to reconsider plans for a major mining project, warning it would harm the environment and lives of ethnic minorities.

Giap, in an open letter to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung published Wednesday by the online news site VietnamNet, called for a temporary halt to a major bauxite mining project in the Central Highlands region.

AFP

Vietnam's legendary general Vo Nguyen Giap, seen here in ... 
Vietnam’s legendary general Vo Nguyen Giap, seen here in 2008, has urged the communist government to reconsider plans for a major mining project, warning it would harm the environment and lives of ethnic minorities.(AFP/File/Hoang Dinh Nam)

“I would like to propose to the prime minister to stop the implementation of bauxite exploitation” until its ecological impact is seriously studied by international experts, wrote the 97-year-old retired general.

Giap still carries much moral authority in Vietnam for leading the defeats of both the French colonial forces and the Americans as the military chief and close confidant of late revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh.

Dung in a November directive approved the exploitation, processing and use of bauxite ore, from which aluminium is made, state media reported.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090115/s
c_afp/vietnamminingenvironmentgiap_
20090115172647

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Coral reef growth is slowest ever

January 2, 2009

Coral growth in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has slowed to its most sluggish rate in the past 400 years.

The decline endangers the species the reef supports, say researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

They studied massive porites corals, which are several hundred years old, and found that calcification has declined by 13.3% since 1990.

Global warming and the increasing acidity of seawater are to blame, they write in Science journal.

BBC

Coral reefs are central to the formation and function of ecosystems and food webs for tens of thousands of other marine organisms.

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest in the world, composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands.

Dr Glenn De’ath and colleagues investigated 328 colonies of massive Porites corals, from 69 locations.

The largest corals are centuries old – growing at a rate of just 1.5cm per year.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/
nature/7807943.stm