πŸŒ— The Leafcutter: No. 15

Climate change legal discrimination, tidal power's 'valley of death', and the stork who racked up a $2,700 phone bill... (Photo: DCNS)

Will Morley
CTO & Co-Founder
Conservation Guide

Amsterdam, NL

Welcome to The Leafcutter a weekly roundup of everything interesting in conservation and the environment, cut out from the internet and taken back to the nest to grow into a nutritious news fungus.

🌍 News

The UN Biodiversity Lab has launched a pretty crazy tool allowing you to visualise all sorts of environmental and socio-economic data on a map. Play and have fun

An activist group hopes to sue the UK government over climate change, arguing that it is discriminating against the young by failing to cut emissions fast enough. Compare with the Urgenda v Netherlands case: two very different arguments aimed at achieving the same goal. Article

An informative roundup of the tidal power industry: a potentially limitless source of consistent clean energy. It is, however, trapped in the "valley of death" - stranded between successful testing and the full-scale production that would start driving costs down. Off-shore wind farms (though less reliable) have been through this and are now snapping up all the government subsidies. Article

Researchers at the University of Manchester have invented a device that can instantly turn seawater into drinkable water. If it can be scaled it could provide cheap drinkable water to millions and help solve the global water shortage. Video

The UK government is launching a white paper to set new fishing standards post-Brexit. The rhetoric is firmly on the sustainability side but it remains to be seen whether future legislation will reflect that. Video

The University of Plymouth is joining forces with the Ocean Giants Trust to offer five scholarships each year to students applying for marine biology and conservation undergraduate courses. Press release

45 organisations, including Greenpeace, have written to the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to warn of significant loss of biodiversity if the world’s seabeds are opened up to mining. Big corporations are planning on taking advantage of lax legislation to exploit this potentially huge resource without concern for the environmental impact. Article

A great white shark has been spotted off the coast of Mallorca, the first time in over 40 years. Apex predators signify a healthy ecosystem. Check out the video, description, and a hopeful environmental message from one of the spotters involved. Article

Polish charity gets huge phone bill thanks to stork. The migratory stork's tracker fell off in Sudan, where someone removed the SIM card and used it to make $2,700 worth of phone calls. Article

πŸ‘€ Media

It's a lovely weekday morning in the village and you are a horrible goose. Video game

Insect of the day: An extraordinary katydid from Peru. Image

Violet-green Swallow babies. Image

Crow with a Yorkshire accent. Video

"What are your favorite bird hairdos? I'm personally fond of the female Magellanic Woodpecker's front-turned swoop" Image

Swimming with basking sharks. "There is no fear - just awe and exhilaration. The feeling that what I am witnessing is one of life's pure moments of the beauty and power of wild things." Video

πŸ¦‘ Learn Something

Sikkim's plastic ban could provide a model for the rest of India. Article

Seven things we learnt while building apps for remote Amazon communities: Field testing Forest Watcher in Colombia and Peru. Article

Polyergus kidnapper ants. Image

Japanese rice farmers use ducks instead of pesticides. Video

3D scans of a 7.2m basking shark. Article & Video

πŸ“‹Get Involved

The government is running a consultation to decide whether 41 sites in English seas will get protection. Add your voice. Petition

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🌳The Leafcutter: No. 14

Facebook for animals, wonky fruit and veg success, and signs of Australia shifting its environmental attitudes... (Photo: Xinhua / Barcroft Images)

🌊 The Leafcutter: No. 13

Trump exposes waters, Attenborough's tax, and a couple of very nice moths...

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