The Natural Resources Defense Council launched its BioGems Initiative in an effort to safeguard special places that face an imminent threat of destruction, from pristine coastlines to ancient forests to unspoiled habitats and the wildlife that thrive in them. Pictured: a Yellowstone Buffalo in winter. Photo cred: Ingram Publishing/ThinkstockEarthTalk®E – The Environmental MagazineDear EarthTalk: I heard of an effort to save what are being called “BioGems.” What are BioGems and what is being done about them? — Larry Dibner, Tallahassee, FL“BioGems,” a term created by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), describe the most endangered natural treasures around the Americas. NRDC selects special places in our hemisphere that face an imminent threat of destruction, from pristine coastlines that could become industrial ports to ancient forests that could be stripped of trees to unspoiled wildlife habitats that could be sacrificed to oil and gas drilling. “Our imperiled BioGems are irreplaceable remnants of wilderness that curb global warming, preserve biodiversity and provide sanctuary for rare and extraordinary wildlife, from threatened polar bears to endangered gray whales,” reports NRDC.NRDC launched its BioGems Initiative back in 2001 as a way to harness the power of online citizen activism to help save threatened lands. The group mobilizes its 1.3 million members and online activists “to bring overwhelming pressure to bear on governments and companies bent on industrializing the world’s last wild places.”Never afraid of a little attention, NRDC has enlisted the help of several celebrity partners in championing the cause of saving the BioGems. Robert Redford is spearheading NRDC’s campaign to keep the Polar Bear Seas safe from oil drilling, while Pierce Brosnan is leading the charge to try to bring an end to the commercial slaughter of whales. The group has also brought the star power of Leonardo Di Caprio, Paul McCartney, Alec Baldwin, Seth Myers, Jason Mraz and others to bear for the sake of saving BioGems.“Together, BioGems Defenders and our local partners on the ground have scored dozens of historic victories for the environment, proving that individuals can be a powerful force for conservation,” reports NRDC. Some of the campaign’s recent successes include: helping to persuade Iceland to call off its fin whale hunt for the second year in a row; protecting the last 340 beluga whales of Alaska’s Cook Inlet through filing a lawsuit; helping secure a breakthrough agreement for wild buffalo that allows them to roam outside Yellowstone National Park during the harsh winter months; and winning in court over trophy hunters keen on stripping the polar bear from its endangered status.Currently NRDC is focusing on a half dozen primary BioGems campaigns: keeping Shell out of the American Arctic (unfortunately the company’s drills just went in); stopping Big Oil’s attack on whales in Alaska’s Cook Inlet and up and down the Atlantic seaboard; stopping the pipeline from Alberta’s tar sands to Texas refineries (Obama has kyboshed the pipeline for now); stopping the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska; and saving British Columbia’s Spirit Bear coast.Individuals can get involved by customizing and sending pre-written e-mail messages to decision makers who are key to the particular locales in need of protection. NRDC will also gladly take donations of any size toward the BioGem campaign of the giver’s choosing. Of course, telling your friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members what you have learned about the potential despoliation of natural treasures, many in our own backyard, is also a big help.CONTACT: NRDC BioGems, www.savebiogems.org.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine ( www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.
Knights halfback Jaelen Feeney had found some open space immediately after the break and threw inside for Brock Lamb, but referee David Munro ruled the pass forward.After a dominant 14-0 display in the opening half, the Novocastrians fell away on the back of a high error rate in the second term and further 50-50 calls going the visitors’ way throughout the remainder of the game.Penrith took full advantage to pile on five tries in 25 minutes with strong performances from Australian representatives Trent Merrin, James Tamou and Matt Moylan ensuring the visitors clinched a 10-point win heading into their first bye week. Brown was adamant the call on Feeney’s pass was a factor in the result and also highlighted the strip call against returning lock Mitch Barnett when Panthers winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak lost possession close to his own line before the break.”The call before half-time with the strip was poor,” Brown said post-game.”We had forced the issue there and that was a loose carry.”Then after half-time we make a line break and that was not a forward pass.”The referees have responded to the media this week where everyone has been having a crack at forward passes. That was a bad, bad call. We never had the ball then for 20 minutes. “I’m not trying to make excuses but that was a bad call and had a big impact on the game.”The positive to come out of the clash for the Knights was the first 40 minutes when the team picked up where they left off against the Canberra Raiders. It was the first time the Knights had held their opposition scoreless in an opening half of football since Round 10, 2014.”To come in 14-0 up was really pleasing and we turned them away from our line a few times and attacked quite well,” Brown said.”Then we fell into that period of the game where under huge amounts of a lack of possession and fatigue we lost our way. “That is where we are as a team. “If we had gone 50-50 [with possession in the second half] we would have won that game and I think Penrith would agree to that. “I was just disappointed that we didn’t find a way to complete one or two good-ball sets, stick to the plan which worked so well in the first half and regain some sort of momentum.”Brown confirmed the Knights had a number of injury concerns to come out of the clash with Josh Starling failing to take the field after succumbing to a wrist injury in warm-up, while Jack Stockwell (shoulder) and Luke Yates (concussion) will be monitored in the club’s first bye week.Despite a promising fortnight, Brown believes the bye week has come at the right time.”It’s good for us and gives all our players an opportunity to rest up and get some good training days into them,” he said.”This period last year was by far where we got our most improvement and with what we’ve seen the last two weeks there has been a lot of good stuff so we can certainly see some more improvements in this block where we get some byes and long turnarounds.”
Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award “It wasn’t an easy decision to make,” Etheridge told the Inquirer on opting to focus on the Premier League. “As people know, I’ve worked so hard to be playing every week in the Premier League. After a long discussion with people involved, it would be unfair for me to take a spot of another player.”Etheridge was left out of the squad because he can only commit to play for one match—against South Korea on Jan. 7—as Cardiff City is currently locked in a tight battle to stay in the top flight in England.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“It’s a fantastic competition and a competition that everyone in Philippine football have worked hard to be a part of,” said Etheridge.“And unfortunately, the Asian Cup falls in January which is a frustration for players like myself when we’re still in season. I don’t believe this will be the final time that we reach the Asian Cup and in the future when situations change, I hope to be a part of it.” Neil Etheridge. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netNeil Etheridge more or less knew he was on the block as far as booking a slot in the Philippine team that will make a maiden appearance in the Asian Cup next month.Etheridge, who has 62 caps with the Azkals, understood that it would be unfair to the other squad hopefuls if he were given a slot when he can only play one game for the country owing to his obligations to English Premier League club Cardiff City.ADVERTISEMENT Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH’s Nietes shoots for historic stardom Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil MOST READ No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college LATEST STORIES Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum The players picked by Eriksson and his staff have 608 appearances for the national team between them with Phil and James Younghusband arguably the biggest names and with the most number of caps with 105 and 100, respectively.Paul Mulders is the oldest player in the side at 37 years old, while Patrick Strauss is the youngest at 22.Miguel Tanton, one of the top midfielders in the Philippines Football League, who signed with Ceres-Negros recently, was a surprise inclusion as he was not part of any of the squads in the buildup to the tournament.“I think we have formed a great group of players ready to represent the country in our biggest tournament yet,” said Azkals manager Dan Palami.The Azkals flew to Doha, Qatar, last Friday for the final stretch of their preparations that will include a friendly with Vietnam on New Year’s Eve.Among those who were also surprisingly left out of the team were defenders Amani Aguinaldo and Martin Steuble, who were both part of the squad that reached the semifinal of the AFF Suzuki Cup.Aguinaldo, however, will participate in the Azkals’ camp in Doha together with youngsters Marco Casambre and Jarvey Gayoso.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk With Etheridge out, Michael Falkesgaard is a lock to be the Azkals No. 1 with newcomer Kevin Ray Hansen, who plays for AC Horsens in the Danish League, as his backup.The team will have a third keeper in Ace Villanueva, one of just two homegrown players in the squad, the other being Jovin Bedic.The Azkals, though will still have a veteran team when it marches to battle in the United Arab Emirates.Phil Younghusband and Stephan Schrock will lead the Philippines as the 23-man squad announced late Thursday evening.Swedish coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has assembled a squad with an average age of 28 for the continental showpiece event, where the Azkals will be in a challenging group that includes South Korea, China and Kyrgyzstan.ADVERTISEMENT View comments