Scientists warn Rio+20: biodiversity loss may hit tipping points, too

June 19, 2012

A group of scientists has warned – in advance of the Earth Summit 2012 that opens in Rio de Janiero tomorrow – that biodiversity loss could accelerate and produce a “global-scale state shift” in which large numbers of species become extinct.

The prospect that biodiversity loss could move sharply and dangerously, in a manner analogous to the tipping points in global warming that climate scientists warn of, is raised by University of California biologist Anthony Read the rest of this entry »

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The price of oil: Kazakh activists imprisoned

June 18, 2012

Seventeen people have now been sentenced to lengthy prison terms (3-7 years) in west Kazakhstan, after last year’s oil workers’ strike movement that culminated in a massacre by the police. It is to be hoped that an international campaign in defence of these trades unionists will get underway.

Most of the prisoners are activists and strike organisers, accused under such catch-all laws as one forbidding “incitement of social, national or religious enmity”, and – according to testimony heard in court – tortured during pre-trial detention. This month a further trial will start, of opposition activists and Read the rest of this entry »