Author name: James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

Untreatable Super Malaria Spreading Rapidly In Asia — How Will Convergence Of Climate Change Induced Mosquito Expansion & Drug Resistance Play Out?

The modern world has a problem of overspecialization. The limits of extrapolating generalized truths from what can be observed in limited contexts and over limited periods of times have become more and more apparent in recent years as the blowback of the industrialized way of life, and its associated ways of thinking and interacting with

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US EPA Approves Monsanto’s “RNA Interference” Insecticide — GMO Maize/Corn Intended To Actively Interfere With The Healthy Functioning Of Pest Genomes

When you think of insecticides you probably think of dangerous chemical compounds that allow modern industrial agriculture (and its high yields) to occur, but that also have some negative effects on the environment and also on human/animal health. The effects of a certain class of insecticides on honeybees, for instance, may well be what comes

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Plane Full Of Anti-Deforestation Activists Crashes In Brazil Due To “Unexplained” Causes, Investigation Underway

While the murder of anti-deforestation activists and environmentalists is nothing new in most parts of the world nowadays, the recent news that a plane carrying members of Brazil’s special environmental protection forces recently crashed due to “unexplained” causes does still stand out. Image by CIFOR (some rights reserved) If nothing else — I’d there was foul-play involved,

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Honeybees Exposed To Real-World Levels Of Neonicotinoids Die Early, Damaging Colony Health, Research Finds

Honeybees that are exposed to field-realistic (real-world, in other words) levels of neonicotinoid pesticides die earlier than those that are not — thereby reducing overall colony health — according to a new study led by York University. “A worker honeybee has been fitted with a RFID on its back so researchers can record when it

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World’s Total Animal Numbers Dropped ~50% Over Last Few Decades, Research Finds

The number of individual animals in the world — amongst birds, amphibians, mammals, and reptiles, etc. — has been reduced by as much as 50% over the last few decades, a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found. To put that another way, the last few decades, since

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Study: Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Protects Memory & Capacity To Learn, Protects Against Alzheimer’s Disease

Extra-virgin olive oil consumption protects against the loss of memory and lean ring capacity, and also against the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain (markers for Alzheimer’s disease), according to new research from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM). The new findings are detailed in a paper

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Many Insects Resistant To Genetic Manipulation Via CRISPR Editing Tool, Research Finds

Arguments for and against the use of genetic modification techniques in the agricultural and healthcare/disease-prevention sectors typically focus on potential impacts to human health, and/or to wider ecosystems and natural services (a much more important area to watch, in my opinion than human health). My issue with genetic modification and the use of genetically modified

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One Of The World’s Last “Giant Tusker” Elephants (Satao II) Killed By Poachers

One of the last giant tusker elephants in the world, named Satao II by conservationists, was killed in Kenya earlier this year by poachers. He had apparently been (very likely) killed with a poisoned arrow near the boundary of the Tsavo East National Park in Kenya in January. Satao II was named after a famous

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Texas Agriculture Commissioner Approves Poison Targeting Wild Hogs

The Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Sid Miller, has approved a new poison specifically intended for use against wild hogs known as Kaput Feral Hog Lure. The approval has resulted in the creation of a petition on Change.org calling for the approval to be rescinded. As some background here, the new poison includes warfarin — often used

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Forest Elephant Populations Have Seen An ~80% Decline In Central Africa’s Most Important Preserve Because Of Poaching

Forest elephant populations in Central Africa’s most important nature preserve, Gabon’s Minkébé National Park, have declined by between 78^ and 81% over recent times as a result of poaching, new research from Duke University has found. So, even in Central Africa’s largest nature preserve, poaching is still enough of a problem that forest elephants are

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Noted Anti-Deforestation Activist Isidro Baldenegro Murdered In Chihuahua (Mexico)

The noted anti-deforestation and environmental rights activist Isidro Baldenegro was murdered in the northern state of Chihuahua in Mexico on Sunday. Baldenegro was killed by gunmen who subsequently fled the scene, one of which has reportedly been identified but not yet detained. The murder follows not too long after the March 2016 murder of the

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Giraffe Numbers Have Fallen By ~40% Over The Last 30 Years, IUCN Reports

In conjunction with the decline of practically every other megafauna animal still in the world, giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) numbers have fallen by around 40% over just the last 30 years, according to new data from the IUCN. To put that quantitatively — there were between 151,702-163,452 giraffes in 1985; and around 97,562 giraffes in 2015.

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Ring-Tailed Lemurs Declining Rapidly, Now Fewer Than 2,500 Left, Research Finds

The iconic ring-tailed lemur of Madagascar (the only place that the primates known as “true lemurs” have ever existed) is rapidly headed towards extinction, according to new research from the University of Victoria in British Columbia and CU Boulder. The research found that as a result of growing levels of: habitat destruction, deforestation, open-pit mining,

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Deforestation By “Subsistence” Farmers In Congo Driven By Money-Making Not Self-Sufficiency, Only Very Small Portion Of Population Responsible For Most Deforestation, Research Finds

Despite some common presumptions on the matter, it seems that most deforestation occurring in the Congo Basin is the result of only a small share of locals, and those that are taking part aren’t doing so for self-sufficiency but rather to “increase their quality of life,” according to a new study from the University of

Deforestation By “Subsistence” Farmers In Congo Driven By Money-Making Not Self-Sufficiency, Only Very Small Portion Of Population Responsible For Most Deforestation, Research Finds Read More 👉

Ocean Acidification May Cause Cascading Loss Of Biodiversity In Some Marine Habitats, Research Finds

The ocean acidification that’s now occurring, as a result of increasing anthropogenic levels of carbon dioxide emissions, will led to cascading losses of biodiversity in many marine habitats and ecosystems, according to new research from the University of British Columbia and its partners. The new work is some of the first to investigate the likely

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Corals Grow To Be Much, Much Older Than Previously Assumed, Research Finds — Implications Relating To Ocean Acidification & Coral Bleaching Events

Specific coral genotypes (“individuals”) can live for more than 5,000 years (at the least) according to new research from the National Marine Fisheries Service, Penn State, and Dial Cordy & Associates. The findings — based on research focused on elkhorn corals (Acropora palmata) living around Florida and in the Caribbean — mean that corals are

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Mothman Sighting – Picture Taken In Point Pleasant, West Virginia, True Or Hoax?

The mothman, the giant supposedly human-like flying creature first spotted in Point Pleasant, West Virginia back in the 1960s has made its return to the popular consciousness once again it seems — with images recently taken (on 20 November 2016) by an unidentified man now making the rounds on the internet. While certainly nowhere near

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Coconut Crabs Possess Strongest Pinching Force Of All Crustaceans (Greater Than Biting Force Of All Terrestrial Animals Excepts Alligators), Research Finds

The coconut crab has the strongest pinching force of all crustaceans — with the force applied during pinching actually being greater than the biting force of all living terrestrial animals except for alligators — according to new research detailed in a paper published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. Notably, the research found that that

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Ant Species (Philidris Nagasau) On Fiji Has Been Symbiotically Farming With Epiphytes For Around 3 Million Years, Research Finds

While farming has long been a known phenomenon amongst various ant species, there’s much that remains unknown. With that in mind, new research has revealed some interesting things about the symbiotic partnership and farming that goes on between the ant species Philidris nagasau and at least 6 types of plant within the genus Squamellaria on

Ant Species (Philidris Nagasau) On Fiji Has Been Symbiotically Farming With Epiphytes For Around 3 Million Years, Research Finds Read More 👉

Compounds That Give Plants Their Vibrant Colors Improve Brain-Functioning In Older Adults, Research Finds

Many people find the bright, vibrant colors of various fruits and vegetables to be culinarily appealing, and an apparent appetite stimulant. Interestingly, new research has suggested that these same compounds, that give plants their visual appeal (to the eyes of humans, and various other animals), help to improve brain-functioning in older adults. The new research,

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Deforestation & Tree Deaths Can Have Significant Effects On Global Climate Patterns, Research Finds

Deforestation events and mass tree deaths — whether through drought, heat, and insect infestations — can have significant effects on global climate patterns, according to new research from the University of Washington. To put that another way, while deforestation and mass-deaths of trees can cause the complete upheaval of the local environment, effects also include

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Wild Chimpanzees In Bakoun, Guinea Regularly Go Fishing For Algae, Research Finds

While using the word fishing is perhaps a bit misleading (though some chimpanzees and orangutans do apparently go fishing with their hands sometimes), new research has found that a population of wild chimpanzees in Bakoun, Guinea regularly go fishing for algae during the dry season using sticks. Sometimes these sticks used are very long, up

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Purslane (Portulaca Oleracea) Nutritional Value Can Be Enhanced Through Nitrogen Fertility Management, Research Finds

Common purslane is, despite its public image as a weed in many regions, a very nutritious food item — with the plants being high in a number of different important vitamins and minerals. Notably, common purslane (Portulaca oleracea) possesses higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids than any other leafy green vegetable does. While purslane

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Googly Eyed Stubby Squid, Bobtail Squid, Flapjack Octopus, Dumbo Octopus,Vampire Squid, & Snail Fish (Nautilus Live Videos)

To the eyes of a land mammal, the deep ocean is a strange place. The colors, shapes, movements, and animal behaviors are quite different. With that in mind, the team of the Nautilus deep-sea submersible has a nice collection of videos and images on its website free for perusing. Here are some of the best

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New Research Supports Theory Of 9th Planet Orbiting On Fringes Of Solar System

The past few years have seen a lot of speculation and debate about a possible ninth planet orbiting somewhere on the very out fringes of the solar system. Now, new research from the University of Arizona has provided some further support for the theory. The research also narrows the possibilities of where such a planet

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Researcher: It Appears That The Entire Coast Off Washington, Oregon, & California Is A Giant Methane Seep

In an example of how little is actually known about what goes on in the world’s oceans, researchers recently discovered 500 “new” (newly discovered, that is) methane vents off the west coast of the US. “It appears that the entire coast off Washington, Oregon and California is a giant methane seep,” commented RMS Titanic discoverer

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Deep-Sea Animals Found To Now Be Ingesting Microplastics, Research Shows

Even deep sea animals, such as sea cucumbers, hermit crabs, and squat lobsters, are now ingesting microplastics pollution, according to a new study from Bristol and Oxford universities. The findings are the result of work down by researchers working in the mid-Atlantic and south-west Indian Ocean on the Royal Research Ship (RRS) James Cook. What

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Nearly 30% Of India’s Land Is Now Undergoing Desertification

Nearly 30% of India’s land is now undergoing desertification, primarily as a result of the land degradation accompanying overcultivation, overgrazing, deforestation, and the overexploitation of water resources in dryland regions, according to a new report from the Indian Space Research Organization. To put that in different terms, around 96 million hectares of land in India

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Even 10,000 Meters Under The Sea, Industrially Produced Chemicals Are Causing Problems For Animals — Deep-Sea Crustaceans Contain Higher Concentrations Of Man-Made Chemicals Than Animals In Coastal Waters

Very high levels of man-made pollutants and toxic chemicals — including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) — have been found in animals living in some of he deepest oceanic trenches in the world, according to brand new as yet unpublished research. The work involved the collection of small shrimp-like creatures, including Hirondellea

Even 10,000 Meters Under The Sea, Industrially Produced Chemicals Are Causing Problems For Animals — Deep-Sea Crustaceans Contain Higher Concentrations Of Man-Made Chemicals Than Animals In Coastal Waters Read More 👉

TransCanada Files Lawsuit Against US Under NAFTA Rules Claiming Over $15 Billion In Damages For Keystone XL Rejection

The foreign oil firm TransCanada has filed a lawsuit against the US government under NAFTA rules, seeking $15 billion in compensation for the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline project. To put that in plain language, a foreign corporation is suing the US government for $15 billion (in tax money) because the US government has

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Carcass Of Loch Ness Monster “Found” In Scotland — Photos, Facts, & Thoughts On The Approaching Extinction Of Many Marine Species

The supposed carcass of the Loch Ness Monster has been found on the shores of the infamous Scottish loch, according to some recent reports. Found in this case refers of course to the recent appearance of a rather interesting new hoax — the photos are quite fetching aren’t they? While animals that fit the description

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Polysolar’s New Solar PV Bus Stop In Canary Wharf, London Is The First In The UK

The UK-based firm PolySolar recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its first solar photovoltaic system outfitted bus stop in the UK — a 2.8 kilowatt bus stop located in Canary Wharf, in London. The new solar photovoltaic (PV) bus stop — equipped with Polysolar’s transparent solar-PV glazing, which reportedly works well even in low-light —

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Greenpeace Activists Put Face Masks On Famous London Statues As Part Of Protest

As part of a new protest campaign, Greenpeace activists in London recently placed face masks on some of the city’s most famous public statues. The protest campaign is intended to spur action on the city’s significant air-pollution problems. The activists, unsurprisingly, placed the face masks on the famous statues in the wee hours of the

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Hospital Water Pipes Home To Pathogenic Bacteria Communities, Research Finds

Microbial communities featuring potentially pathogenic characteristics have been found living in the shower hoses at a major US hospital, as a result of new research from the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Georgia Institute of Technology. While its long been known that the human-built environment is home to all sorts of specialized microbial communities,

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Costa Rica’s New Net-Metering Pricing Structure To Begin On April 7

Following more than a year of negotiations between the utility company I.C.E. and the solar energy organization Acesolar, a new net-metering pricing structure has been agreed upon — putting an end to a year long hiatus on projects intended to make use of net-metering — according to Costa Rica’s Regulatory Authority for Public Services. The

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2/3 Of All Industrial Greenhouse Gas Emissions Since 1854 From Only 90 Entities (Infographic)

Roughly two-thirds (63%) of all industrial greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane) since the year 1854 are tied to a relatively small group of only 90 entities, according to research from Richard Heede of the Climate Accountability Institute. The entities in question are/were all involved in fossil fuel extraction and cement production, as one would

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Reclaim The Power — Climate Activists Looking To Disrupt Activity At A Dozen Fossil Fuel Sites Around World In May

The climate change activist group “Reclaim the Power” will be looking to shut down a dozen “major” fossil fuel sites around the world in May, as part of its “Break Free 2016” campaign, according to recent reports. Amongst the sites to be targeted is the largest opencast coal-mine in the UK, the Ffos-y-fran mine, near

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