Hikers walk through the Tongass National Forest in southeastern Alaska. (Photo: U.S. Forest Service/Flickr/cc)
Conservation and climate action groups on Thursday applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s announcement of far-reaching new protections for Alaska’s Tongass National Forest as well as a restoration of a key rule that former President Donald Trump rescinded three months before leaving office in a bid to open millions of acres to industrial logging.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the administration would put back in place the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, also known as the Roadless Rule, which Trump exempted Alaska from in a move that outraged Indigenous communities in the region as well as environmental advocates. Continue reading →
Following years of warnings and mounting fears among scientists, “terrifying” research revealed Wednesday that climate change and deforestation have turned parts of the Amazon basin, a crucial “sink,” into a source of planet-heating carbon dioxide.
Though recent research has elevated concerns about the Amazon putting more CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than it absorbs, the new findings, published in the journal Nature, were presented as a “first” by scientists and climate reporters. Continue reading →
Indigenous rights and climate action groups on Friday welcomed the Biden administration’s announcement that the Department of Agriculture will “repeal or replace” former President Donald Trump’s assault on Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, in which a 20-year-old rule protecting wild lands was revoked three months before Trump left office.
Trump’s rollback of the 2001 Roadless Rule was made final last October and sparked fury among conservation groups including Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defense Council, which noted that the protection of the Tongass National Forest is vital for biodiversity as well as absorbing carbon emissions. Continue reading →
The world watched with a sense of dread in 2018 as Cape Town, South Africa, counted down the days until the city would run out of water. The region’s surface reservoirs were going dry amid its worst drought on record, and the public countdown was a plea for help.
By drastically cutting their water use, Cape Town residents and farmers were able to push back “Day Zero” until the rain came, but the close call showed just how precarious water security can be. California also faced severe water restrictions during its recent multiyear drought. And Mexico City is now facing water restrictions after a year with little rain. Continue reading →
In order to roll back catastrophic carbon emissions, humans must “start developing the technologies for large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere,” says one of the study’s lead authors.
Melting permafrost in Canada’s Northwest Territories sends carbon-rich sediment into the Mackenzie Delta. (Photo: Charles Tarnocai/Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)
Humanity may have passed the “point of no return” in the climate crisis—even if everyone on the planet stopped emitting all greenhouse gases at this very moment, according to a study published Thursday.
The study, published in the peer-reviewed British publication Scientific Journals, alarmingly asserts that “the world is already past a point of no return for global warming” and that the only way to halt the catastrophic damage caused by greenhouse emissions is to extract “enormous amounts of carbon dioxide… from the atmosphere.” Continue reading →
The Trump administration on Wednesday announced its finalized plan to gut protections for the nation’s largest national forest, Alaska’s Tongass, opening the carbon sink to clear-cut logging and irreparable ecological destruction.
The change—at total odds with public opinion—means 9.3 million acres of the wild public lands, home to the planet’s largest intact temperate rainforest, are exempted from the Clinton-era Roadless Rule, which prevented industrial activity. Continue reading →
As Australia’s bushfire crisis continues to impact wildlife, aircraft have been deployed to feed thousands of starving wild animals who have been stranded by the blazes.
The government of the hard-hit state of New South Wales (NSW) has begun a campaign of airdrops across scorched regions, delivering thousands of pounds of root veggies —like carrots and sweet potatoes —from choppers flying above in a bid to sate the appetites of hungry colonies of brush-trailed rock wallabies, reportsDaily Mail. Continue reading →
While Australia’s unprecedented wave of fires has devastated the country, it’s been difficult for experts and authorities to accurately measure the true extent of the damage sustained by the country’s wild animals and plants.
However, new figures released by specialists studying the blaze reveal horrifying new statistics about the number of animals killed in the bushfires, which likely now exceed one billion. Continue reading →
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, seen here at the U.N. General Assembly’s 74th session on Sept. 24, 2019, said Wednesday that the fires and deforestation in his country aren’t coming to an end. (Photo: Cia Pak/U.N.)
Right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro drew worldwide rebuke Wednesday after saying Amazon deforestation and fires would not end because “it’s cultural.”
Marcio Astrini, public policy coordinator at Greenpeace Brazil, told the Washington Post that “the only cultural aspect of deforestation in the Amazon is the culture of forest crime, which the government does not seem to want to confront.” Continue reading →
Unless world governments, consumers, and businesses all work together to address the root causes of the current burning of the Amazon rain forest, the Arctic, and forests in the Congo and Angola, the planet will continue careening toward a point of no return, the U.N.’s top biodiversity expert said Friday.
Cristiana Paşca Palmer, executive secretary of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, called the fires that have torn through more than 1,300 square miles of the Amazon this year “extraordinarily concerning.” Continue reading →