On the 4th of October 2018 the administrative court of Aachen lifted the ban of the mass rally against open pit lignite coal mining in Buir, Germany, declared by the police headquarters in Aachen. The next day 50,000 people joined the march to an open field near the pit. The demonstration took place in a spirit of peace and joy over a surprising second court ruling the day before by the higher administrative court (Oberverwaltungsgericht) of Münster that has stopped the mining for the next two years. The mass rally, following activist actions against tree felling in the Hambach forest several weeks earlier that were stopped by massive police actions, turned into a festival.
On the 27th and 28th of February a "Space for Nature" conference will be held in London, organized by the ZSL, the Zoological Society of London. Here you can watch their beautiful introductory film (first link). The conference details are shown in the second link. The world leaders have decided to leave only 12% of the entire biosphere for nature and its millions of species. How much do you think is appropriate?
Von Economo neurons (VEN) are associated with social awareness and fast decisions in rapidly changing social situations. A loss of VEN causes a loss of capacity to self-monitor in social situations. The brain part in which the VEN are located is activated in a number of social situations in which empathy, guilt, embarrassment, and resentment are strongly present. VEN are found in humans and great apes, but not in other primates. They are also found in dolphins, humpback, fin, sperm, and killer whales. Now they have been discovered in elephants by Ateya Y. Hakeem et al.
Here you can read a Guardian article of Paul Daley about the death of his dog and the mystery of a human-dog relationship.
The Guardian reports that Mount Taranaki of New Zealand will become “a legal personality, in its own right”, according to minister Andrew Little. Eight local Māori tribes and the government will share guardianship of the sacred mountain. Earlier the Whanganui river was also granted rights to be treated as a living entity.