Chinese scientists discover Massive Caverns around underground River

China’s Ministry of Natural Resources announced on Friday that a group of scientists had discovered a giant cluster of natural sinkholes consisting of 19 huge caverns in a forest near the southern part of the country bordering Vietnam.

Researchers claim that the group of giant caves is one of the largest sinkhole clusters found in the country, in comparison with the world’s largest sinkhole cluster, also located in China.

The 19 caverns are reportedly spread “like a string of beads” around the basin of the underground river of Dingye, 60 km long, with a drop of 292 meters.

The volume of each of the caves is over one million cubic metres, and all are located at an altitude of over 1,000 meters. Researchers also discovered primitive vegetation and trees standing over 50 meters tall.

According to the ministry, the discovery of the sinkhole cluster is hope to cause a significant leap in the economy of geological tourism between the towns of Chengxiang and Longhe in the county of Napo, Guangxi Zhuang Napo, famous for its Karst geological formations.

Beijing claims to possess the deepest underwater cave in the world, as well as over two-thirds of the world’s known natural sinkholes, including the planet’s largest sinkhole cluster.

Crickey Nature Foundation 2019.

The Trouble With Corn as Biofuel

For months now the Trump administration has been promising to deliver a new biofuels package that would boost the market for production of soy- and corn-based alternative fuels.

The move would help American farmers hurt by the administration’s tariffs, as well as ease their anger over changing regulations that have exempted several oil refineries from blending biofuels with their other fuels.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandated that all fuels produced in the U.S. contain a minimum volume of renewable fuels. Part of that came in the form of biofuels, derived from living, renewable sources such as crops or plants.

The term “biofuels” generally refers to the gasoline substitute derived from corn, while “biodiesel” is a diesel substitute derived from soybean oil or animal fats.

At the time many experts predicted biofuels would provide a renewable source of energy, help reduce the use of fossil fuels, and lessen the risks of climate change.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the expansion of the biofuels industry — as a share of the fuel market and a lobbying power — is that the general public hasn’t really noticed.

Compared with fracking or coal, biofuels aren’t the subject of many policy reports or New York Times op-eds. Media coverage of the biofuels package has been limited.

But as President Donald Trump continues to make promises about the future of biofuels, two important questions loom.

Should the rest of the country care about what’s going on in Iowa and other corn-belt states? And is biofuel expansion something we should welcome or oppose?

Critics say this lobbying has allowed the industry to successfully broaden its market without fully informing customers of the potential costs and concerns, which range from reduced gas mileage to increased air pollution.

Advocates of biofuels around the country tout them as better for the environment than fossil fuels, a fact that polls tell us the public doesn’t disagree with.

Scientists, on the other hand, have begun to question some of those so-called environmental benefits.

According to some studies, biodiesels emit more of certain pollutants than regular diesel, and biofuels can have a larger carbon footprint than gasoline, depending on where you start in the production cycle.

Increased corn production can also harm farmland because it causes farmers to cut back on crop rotation, a process essential to maintaining soil quality and reducing pests. Farmers also have an increased incentive to plant corn in ecologically sensitive grassland or wetlands.

But the effects of biofuel production on wildlife and public health are subtle and hard to separate from the consequences of food production.

This sets biodiesel apart from other sources of pollution and environmental health, such as fracking, which are often much more immediately visible.

Corn requires more fertilizer than other crops, and the toxic algal bloom caused by fertilizer runoff into the rivers is a visible consequence of increased corn production to meet biofuel demand. However, these blooms occur out of sight in the Gulf of Mexico.

Eco Watch / Crickey Amigu di Natura 2019.

10,000 Dogs taking pills for a study on Canine and Human Aging

The Dog Aging Project at the University of Washington is looking to recruit 10,000 dogs to study for the next 10 years to see if they can improve the life expectancy of man’s best friend and their quality of life.

The project hopes that the study will also reveal something about human health, especially if they are able to identify genetic markers for particular man-made diet created diseases like cancer.

The researchers will collect a trove of data and test out a new drug. The data will include vet records, DNA samples, gut microbes and information on food and walks.

Five hundred study participants will test out a pill that may slow the aging process. What we learn will potentially be good for dogs and has great potential to translate to human health.

The benefits to human health is what convinced National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health to give the researchers a $15 million grant to conduct the study.

The researchers, which include teams from the University of Washington School of Medicine and the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, issued a joint statement that said, “Dogs truly are science’s best friend.

Dogs make excellent study subjects because they are intertwined with humans. The longer a dog lives, the more the canine consumes, which is also good for business.

“Unlike laboratory animals, they also share our environment,” said Matt Kaeberlein, a professor of pathology at the UW School of Medicine.

So we absolutely believe that, in that respect, pet dogs are going to be superior to laboratory models for understanding the aging process in humans, because we’re able to capture that environmental diversity.”

All owners who complete the nomination process will become Dog Aging Project citizen scientists, and their members will become members of the Dog Aging Project ‘pack.

Since large dogs tend to have shorter lifespans than small dogs, they will be prime candidates for the pill designed to slow the aging process. The dogs chosen to experiment with rapamycin, a drug that has extended the lifespan of mice, must weigh at least 40 pounds.

Eco Watch – ABC Flash Point News 2019.

Venice Flooded by High Tide during Heavy Rains

Venice has been inundated by an exceptional high tide which put three-quarters of the lagoon city under water. Large swathes of the rest of Italy have also experienced flooding and heavy winds which toppled trees, killing eleven people.

Schools remained closed on Tuesday in many regions. Century-old pine trees toppled in Rome, blocking roads and clogging traffic.

Violent thunderstorms, small tornadoes that blew roofs off homes, and hurricane-force winds lashed Italy from Piedmont to Sicily early this week, leaving at least 11 people dead.

Many more people got injured and firefighters and other rescue workers are scrambling to respond to emergency calls.

Tourists and residents donned high boots to navigate the streets on Monday after strong winds raised the water level 156 cm – more than 5 feet – before receding.

Water levels exceeded the raised walkways normally erected in flooded areas of the city, forcing their removal. Transport officials also closed the water-bus system, except to outlying islands, due to the emergency.

Residents and businesses typically reinforce their doors with metal or wooden panels to prevent water from entering but, this time, photos on social media showed shop owners using water pumps to try to protect their wares.

Much of Italy is under flood alert due to heavy rains, a problem exacerbated by a lack of maintenance of the country’s many river beds. High winds toppled trees that killed passersby in three accidents in Naples and Lazio.

Officials closed major tourist attractions in Rome, including the Colosseum and Roman Forum, early due to heavy rains.

It may not be visible to the eye, but structures age because of the salt water drenching the bricks, which were not meant to remain underwater for long; that goes for bronze.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes in towns in the mountainous Trentino-Alto Adige region, northwest of Venice, after rivers rose over their banks. Newspapers described fish swimming in the streets of one town.

Crickey Foundation Curacao 2019.

World’s largest ships emit as much pollution as 50 million cars

Ship pollution affects the health of communities in coastal and inland regions around the world, yet pollution from ships remains one of the least regulated parts of our global transportation system.

According to a report by the UK’s Guardian newspaper, just one of the world’s largest container ships can emit about as much pollution as 50 million cars.

The 15 largest ships in the world emit as much nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide as the world’s 760 million cars. Just try to imagine that for a while.

The problem isn’t necessarily with the ships’ 109,000-horsepower engines that endlessly spin away 24 hours a day, 280 days a year. In fact, these power plants are some of the most fuel efficient units in the world.

The real issue lies with the heavy bunker fuel oil the ships run on and the almost complete lack of regulations applied to the giant exhaust stacks of these container ships.

The good news is that pressure is building from various governments around the world, including the United States. This will lead to shipping regulations in order to combat the polluting issues.

The USA just recently introduced legislation to keep these ships at least 230 miles away from U.S. coastlines. Similar measures are likely to follow in other countries like the United Kingdom.

Crickey Foundation Flash Point News 2019.

Massa Tourisme ten Koste van Vissers en Algemeen Sociaal Welzijn

Tijdens een informele bijeenkomst heeft de vicepresident van de Raad van State in Nederland, Thom de Graaf ‘bijgepraat’ met onder andere premier Eugene Rhuggenaath en oud-gouverneur Jaime Saleh.

Ministerpresident Rhuggenaath (PAR) zegt desgevraagd dat ook staatsraad van het Koninkrijk voor Curaçao Paul Comenencia bij de ontmoeting aanwezig was, evenals ‘andere genodigden’.

Over wat er precies werd besproken doet de premier van Curaçao geen
uitlatingen, maar hij laat wel weten dat het ‘altijd goed is om contact te hebben met de vicepresident van de Raad van State gezien het belang van dit instituut voor het Koninkrijk’.

De Raad van State is onafhankelijk adviseur van de Nederlandse regering over wetgeving en bestuur en de hoogste algemene bestuursrechter van het land.

Koning Willem-Alexander, tevens lid de Bilderberg groep, is voorzitter van deze entiteit, maar de dagelijkse leiding berust bij de vicepresident, dat is nu Thom de Graaf.

De Graaf is tegelijkertijd voorzitter van de Afdeling advisering van de Raad. Wanneer het Koninkrijkszaken betreft is deze afdeling ook het advies orgaan voor de Raad van State van het Koninkrijk.

Daarvan maken ook de drie staatsraden voor Aruba, Curaçao en Sint
– de zogenaamd autonome landen binnen het Koninkrijk – deel uit.

Hervorming en het verloederen van culturele tradities, onder het motto van innovatie, vergezeld met bindende maatregelen opgelegd door het Cft bewijzen dat de onafhankelijkheid in de realiteit een wassen neus blijkt te zijn.

Het gaat dan dus over wetgeving en regels die alle landen binnen het Koninkrijk raken, zoals rijkswetten en verdragen en algemene maatregelen van bestuur.

De massa toerisme fabrieken op Curacao draaien op volle toeren, waarbij de KLM met haar vliegende piratenschepen de bezetters aan- en afvoert naar de grootste Caribische speeltuin voor de Venezolaanse olierijke kust.

Een paar jaar geleden investeerde het Koningshuis $6 miljard in Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA). De inkopen werden gedaan om een gedeelte van PdVSA in te lijven om daar profijt uit te slaan.

Daarom is de houding van Den Haag zeer tegenstrijdig met de Koninklijke belangen, tenzij er een aapje bij het gezelschap is betrokken.

Het Amerikaanse bankwezen bevroor miljarden dollars van PdVSA cash-flow, terwijl Washington er voor zorg draagde dat PdVSA haar aktiviteiten op de Antillen “afbouwde”, inclusivief de mega olie opslagplaatsen op Bullenbaai, Bonaire en St. Eustatius.

De Citco Group Limited (Citco) kon ook bevestigen dat het bezig is met het afstoten van een aanzienlijk deel van de Latijnse ‘Governance Services’-activiteiten.

Citco was in de afgelopen vier decennia geëvolueerd tot de toon aangevende dienstverlener en technologie-aanbieder voor de Alternative Investment Industry.”

De familie Smeets werd rijk tijdens de WW II, toen zij als notaris kantoor dienden om Joodse eigendommen in Nederland via officiele akten over te schrijven.

In die tijd waren de eilanden nog rijk aan vis en andere diverse culturen, maar nu bezetten toeristen de stranden en zorgen snorkelaars dat vissers hun vangsten met vertraging aan wal kunnen krijgen.

Met geld als wapen, worden de Antillen gezuiverd van ongewenste netwerken die niet willen deelnemen aan de eonomische overdracht van publieke eigendommen (zoals landhuizen) aan het bedrijfsleven.

Met behulp van het verdubbelen van de levenskosten en het niet indexeren van de lonen en salarissen, vallen lokale huishoudens om, en vertrekken de laatste kansarmen met de KLM naar Amsterdam. Met dank aan de PAR.

Crickey Foundation / ABC Colonial Islands 2019.

Cannibal Ants Escape from abandoned Nuclear Bunker in Poland

Researchers in Poland discovered a mysterious colony of ants, blocked from the outer world in a nuclear facility where the atomic weapons used to be stored during the Cold War.

Although the colony consisted only of working ants, it did not only manage to maintain its self-organisation but also grew in size.

The ants, which had lived in complete isolation for years without an opportunity to leave, used an alternative route build by researchers, to escape, leaving the dead bodies of their colony’s members behind.

After zoologists studied the remains, they discovered bite marks and holes in the abdomen and other parts, which led them to the conclusion that cannibalism had helped the underground ants survive.

According to the publication in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research, the team from the Museum and Institute of Zoology and the Polish Academy of Sciences discovered the little inhabitants of the former nuclear weapons storage in 2013.

They suggested that they might have fallen down there via a vent pipe from a colony above and become isolated.

Checking up on them two years later, the researchers discovered that there were even more insects than before, with the population having gone up to hundreds of thousands, although the colony consisted of worker ants and could not procreate.

The escape route was installed in 2016 to find out whether the hordes would use the opportunity to leave.

The survival and growth of the bunker ‘colony‘ through the years, without producing own offspring, was possible owing to continuous supply of new workers from the upper nest and accumulation of nest mate corpses.

The corpses served as an inexhaustible source of food which substantially allowed survival of the ants trapped down in otherwise extremely unfavorable conditions.

Crickey Amigu di Natura Foundation 2019.