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Eclipse 2019: How ancient Inca King thought Blood lunar eclipse was sign of terrifying END | Weird | News

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On January 21, a rare Super Blood Wolf Moon will be visible around the world, turning the Moon an eerie shade of red during a total lunar eclipse. Scientists today can easily explain the colour change of the Moon, however, for ancient civilisations, the celestial body changing colour was a frightening concept. One civilisation, the Inca, based their religion on the Sun and Moon and so feared the end of the world was nigh when eclipses occurred.

The Inca Empire existed between 1438 and 1572, living mostly in a large area of western South America, on the Andean Mountains.

The Inca as polytheists believed in many types of worship – the most important being that of celestial objects or beings.

Their king was believed to be the son of the Sun, and the Moon was referred to as Mama Killa – or Moon Mother.

According to Steven Roland Gullberg, author of the journal The Cosmology of Inca huacas published by James Cook University, solar worship was the official religion of the Inca empire and one that king Pachacuti, who reigned between 1438 and 1471, strongly enforced.

Read More: Blood Moon 2019: What conspiracists say will happen during the eclipse

Blood Moon 2019

Blood Moon 2019: The Inca feared the Blood Moon meant the end of the world (Image: GETTY)

Mr Gullberg writes: “The Incas benefited from existing Andean astronomical knowledge and beliefs and made solar worship the official religion of their empire.

“Pachacuti imposed it across the realm, maintaining that he was the son of the Sun and his wife the daughter of the Moon.

“The Incas venerated the Sun, the Inca and his predecessors.

“Their religion was tied closely to nature with the prosperity of the world at the whim of supernatural forces found within mountains, caves and streams, as well as in celestial objects such as the Moon, stars, rainbows and thunder.”

Due to this relationship with the Moon, Sun and stars, any alteration in the norm was a sign of terrible things according to David Dearborn, a researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

Mr Dearborn, who has written extensively on how the Inca viewed astronomy, explains: “[The Inca] didn’t see eclipses as being anything at all good.”

He says that according to accounts from Spanish settlers, there were several myths and practices surrounding eclipses.

One myth was that during a lunar eclipse, in which light is refracted in the Earths atmosphere turning the Moon a reddish colour, a jaguar had attacked and eaten the Moon.

Blood Moon 2019

Blood Moon 2019: The Inca Moon goddess or Mother Moon (Image: GETTY)

The attack explained the colour change, says Mr Dearborn, but also invoked fear among the Inca – who believed that after the large cat was finished with the Moon, it would come to earth to attack and eat people, triggering the end of the world.

In order to prevent the Jaguar savaging the Earth, the Inca would try and frighten the animal away by shaking spears at the Moon and create huge levels of noise.

One way they created noise was to tie up dogs and beat them, causing them to howl and bark.

This was not only to frighten away the jaguar but to try and bring back the darkened, discoloured Moon.

Blood Moon 2019

Blood Moon 2019: The Inca believed the Moon had been attacked by a jaguar (Image: GETTY)

Solar eclipses were also feared, with the Inca carrying out rituals as the Sun darkened.

Sacrifices of both children and livestock were made. Human sacrifice was rarely practised by the Inca, however, during a solar eclipse, it was believed the Sun was angry and offering sacrifices would please him.

In modern times eclipses are something to be revered rather than feared, with stargazers around the world staying awake into the early hours to witness them.

For how to watch January’s upcoming Blood Moon, and more information on this lunar phenomenon, see here.

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Canadian report reveals spike in food-related litter during pandemic

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TORONTO — Restaurants’ inability to offer their usual dine-in service during much of 2020 may explain why an unusually high amount of food-related litter was found across the country, a new report says.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup (GCSC) is an annual program in which volunteers are encouraged to clean up green spaces and other natural areas.

Last year, single-use food and beverage containers made up 26.6 per cent of waste collected through the program – nearly twice as high a percentage as in 2019, before the pandemic.

“We suspect the change may be one of the many implications of COVID-19, including more people ordering restaurant takeaway and consuming more individually packaged foods,” GCSC spokesperson Julia Wakeling said in a press release.

While food- and beverage-related litter accounted for a greater percentage of waste uncovered by GCSC than in the past, it wasn’t the single largest category of items picked up through the program last year.

That dubious honour goes to cigarette butts and other smoking-related paraphernalia, which comprised nearly 29 per cent of all items collected. There were more than 83,000 cigarette butts among the 42,000 kilograms of waste found and clean up last year.

So-called “tiny trash” – little pieces of plastic and foam – also accounted for a sizeable share of the waste, making up 26.8 per cent of the total haul.

In addition to smoking-related items and tiny trash, the main pieces of litter removed by GCSC volunteers last year included nearly 22,000 food wrappers, more than 17,500 pieces of paper, more than 13,000 bottle caps and more than 10,000 beverage cans.

Discarded face masks and other forms of personal protective equipment were also detected and cleaned up, although not tallied in their own category.  PPE waste has been repeatedly cited as a concern by environmental advocates during the pandemic; a robin in Chilliwack, B.C. is the earliest known example of an animal that died due to coronavirus-related litter.

The GCSC is an annual program organized by Ocean Wise and the World Wildlife Fund Canada. Its operations were disrupted by the pandemic as well; only 15,000 volunteers took part in the program last year, versus 85,000 in 2019, due to delays and public health restrictions making large group clean-ups impossible.

Still, there was GCSC participation from every province and the Northwest Territories in 2020. Nearly half of the volunteers who took part were based in B.C., where the program began in 1994.

Data from past GCSC reports was used as part of the research backing Canada’s ban on certain single-use plastic items, which is scheduled to take effect by the end of 2021.

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Canada: Significant Changes To Canada’s Federal Environmental Protection Regime Proposed

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On April 13, 2021, the government of Canada proposed significant changes to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (“CEPA”)1 through the introduction of Bill C-28, Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act (the “Amendments“).2

With these Amendments, the government hopes to modernize Canada’s environmental regime which has not undergone significant change in over 20 years. CEPA is the primary statute through which the federal government regulates and protects the environment. CEPA and its accompanying regulations regulate among other things the treatment and disposal of chemicals and hazardous waste, vehicle and engine emissions, equipment and other sources of pollution, and the prevention and impact of environmental emergencies such as oil and chemical spills.

This bulletin provides an overview of the major changes to CEPA that have been proposed.

The Right to a Healthy Environment and Certain Soft Rights

Significantly, the Preamble under the Amendments will officially recognize Canadians’ right to a healthy environment. Section 2 of CEPA will require the government to protect that right when making decisions relating to the environment.3

The Amendments set out specific obligations the government must undertake to safeguard this right, including developing an implementation framework to set out how this right will be considered in the administration of CEPA as well as conducting research, studies and monitoring activities to support this goal.

In addition, the Preamble will recognize some additional considerations, including confirming the government’s commitment to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as well as recognizing the importance of considering vulnerable persons, reducing or replacing the use of animal testing, and the right of Canadians to have access to information on product labels.

Project Impact Assessment

With respect to risk assessments under CEPA, under the new provisions the federal government must consider impacts on vulnerable populations and possible cumulative effects of the proposed conduct. Vulnerable populations will include groups of people with elevated biological susceptibility, such as children, and groups with elevated exposure risks, such an indigenous communities. Consideration of cumulative effects of proposed conduct takes a holistic approach to substance management by considering the compounding risks of exposure to various chemicals during daily life rather than looking at substances on their own.

Chemicals Management

The federal government has identified the management of chemicals as a key target area under the new CEPA.

The Amendments thus propose to overhaul this regime in order to better protect Canadians from the evolving risks of harmful chemicals and pollution. To accomplish this, the government has proposed wide ranging changes relating to risk assessment, public accountability, management of toxic substances and new substances, which are discussed in turn below.

Risk Assessment

The government must consult, develop and publish a Plan of Chemicals Management Priorities which will set out an integrated plan for the risk assessment of various chemical substances currently being used in Canada. The Plan will establish priorities for the management of substances, taking into account a number of factors including among others the views of stakeholders and partners, public comments, the effects on vulnerable populations, the toxicity of the substance, the ability to disrupt biological reproduction or endocrine systems, and whether there are safer and more sustainable alternatives.4 The government will also be empowered to make geographically targeted regulations to address pollution “hot spots”.

Additionally, the Amendments will establish a mechanism through which any person can submit a request to the Minister to assess a substance to determine its toxicity and risk to the environment. The Minister must provide a response within 90 days, indicating whether they intend to assess the substances and their reasons for their decision.

Public Accountability Framework

The Amendments intend to increase transparency and public participation in risk assessments by the government for the categorization and management of potentially toxic chemicals. Currently, CEPA contains a public accountability framework under section 77 and provides time limits for the government to assess substances under sections 91 and 92. However, these provisions only apply to certain risk assessments being conducted by the government such as substances placed on the Domestic Substances List that in the opinion of the Minister present the greatest potential for exposure to Canadians or are persistent or bio-accumulative. The proposed Amendments plan to amend section 77 to expand these transparency and accountability measures to all substance risk assessments for toxic or capable of being toxic substances, with the exception of assessments for new substances.5

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Scientists, Homalco First Nation team up to probe massive B.C. landslide — and its impact on salmon

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When the side of a B.C. mountain gave way on Nov. 28, 2020, crashing into a glacier fed lake and creating a 100-metre high tsunami, no one was around to see the destruction or hear the sound of rocks and trees tearing through the valley below. 

But scientists say the force, which was picked up by seismographs across North America, was the equivalent of a 4.9-magnitude earthquake. 

Fortunately, no one was in the slide’s path, but experts believe that a melting glacier likely contributed by making the slope less stable — and climate change means it is a growing risk. 

As more of Canada’s glaciers recede, scientists say there is great interest in finding out what exactly triggered this slide, and how the rocks and sediment have impacted the salmon population of nearby Elliot Creek and Southgate River. 

The mountain, which is located about 220 km north west of Vancouver, is on the traditional territory of the Homalco First Nation. 

It’s an area of remote wilderness, only accessible by air or by boating 80 km up Bute Inlet.

When the slide hit last year, more than 18 million cubic meters of rock barrelled down the slope hitting the lake within 30 seconds. 

“That is the equivalent of all of the cars in Canada coming down the hill at once,” said Marten Geertsema, a geomorphologist who works with the B.C. government studying landslides. 

He is one of several scientists, along with members from the Homalco First Nation, who have been studying the landslide and its cascading environmental impact on the watershed and salmon habitat. 

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