Comments Off on Peru weakens environmental protections, Brazil seeds clouds to reverse drought, and “Science does not have a strong voice in Chile.”

24 July 2014

Peru weakens environmental protections, Brazil seeds clouds to reverse drought, and “Science does not have a strong voice in Chile.”

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Yanacocha mine in Cajamarca, Peru. Wikipedia

Peru

Peru has passed a new law that weakened its environmental protections.  The change comes ahead of the climate talks the country is set to host in December. “An embarrassment” is what one politician called the law.

Brazil

A drought in Brazil’s São Paulo and Minas Gerais states have forced authorities to resort to seeding clouds in an effort to make them produce rain and fill depleted reservoirs. Over the next two years, a company called ModClima will make US$1.9 million to seed clouds and artificially produce precipitation.

Brazil plans on releasing more genetically-modified mosquitoes to combat dengue among other mosquito-borne diseases. British biotech company Oxitec is currently building a commercial production facility in Brazil.

That previously uncontacted Amazonian tribe has apparently contracted the flu.

Chile

“Science does not have a strong voice in Chile,” argues Pablo Astudillo in a commentary in Nature magazine, despite the glossy images of Chile’s contributions to astronomy. Astudillo points to low government R&D investment, the controversy over forming a science ministry and the inadequate policies the government has come up with to reverse the brain drain.

Latin America

Latin America is underestimating its scientific potential, argues a new story from SciDevNet. The Knight Science Journalism Tracker has a good roundup of its story.