For the first time ever, scientists have documented a widespread extinction of bees that occurred 65 million years ago, concurrent with the massive event that wiped out land dinosaurs and many flowering plants.
GarryRogers NatCon News
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Curated by Garry Rogers
When Pope Francis releases his much-anticipated teaching document on the environment and climate change in the coming weeks, a network of Roman Catholics will be ready. These environmental advocates — who work with bishops, religious orders, Catholic universities and lay movements — have been preparing for months to help maximize the effect of the statement, hoping for a transformative impact in the fight against global warming.
“This is such a powerful moment,” said Patrick Carolan, executive director of Franciscan Action Network, a Washington-based advocacy group formed by Franciscan religious orders. “We’re asking ourselves, ‘What would be the best way for us to support the faith community in getting this out and using it as a call to action?’”
There are no oil rigs visible from Aberdeen itself, but evidence of the foundations of Europe’s oil capital is easy to see: plaques for the head offices of major fossil fuel companies, helicopters ferrying workers to and from offshore platforms, designer shops for a city that has more millionaires than any other in the UK.
It is not far from the centre of the granite city to the poorer wards, though, where like so many places, people struggling to pay ever-increasing energy bills are still forced to live in cold, damp, poorly insulated homes.
It seems incongruous then that in the last parliament the government gave the oil and gas industry billions of pounds in tax breaks and subsidies, while it spent barely £400m making buildings more energy efficient. Some argue it is particularly odd in light of the UK’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions by 80% by the middle of this century.
This pursuit of what some would see as growth at all costs is rooted in centuries of Treasury control of Whitehall, not just as a necessarily cautious finance ministry but the hub of economic strategy, too. Critics denounce its often secretive and some say arrogant culture, as well as its unabashed free-market, conservative, short-term growth agenda.
"The Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument would provide the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management the resource protection tools required to preserve the ecosystem integrity of this spectacular 1.7 million-acre expanse. With biodiversity declining worldwide and habitat destruction the number one cause, the over 20 sensitive species in the proposed monument need these safeguards.
As the title indicates, water is a key feature in this area of the Colorado Plateau, with springs and perennial streams vulnerable to increasing aridity from climate change and ground water pumping. These aquatic habitats are vital to the native wildlife in the region. Along with safeguarding wildlife, old growth forests, Native American cultural sites, and spectacular geologic formations, USFS and BLM natural resource staff will be able to monitor and improve public access for recreation. This area is well-known to birders, hunters, cyclists, hikers, horsemen, and many other types of outdoor use." --JOE SHANNON
If we don't drown or suffocate first, it's a very real possibility that life on earth will starve to death as climate change ravages planet Earth. Though it serves as the background story for Christopher Nolan's film Interstellar, the agricultural implications of climate change haven't been the face of the planetary event—polar bears are much cuter, of course—but a new documentary film from Academy Award-winning director Sandy McLeod aims to change that, bringing the human toll of drought and crop extinction to the forefront of the discussion.
The film, Seeds Of Time, tracks agriculture pioneer Cary Fowler as he races to preserve as many plant species as possible to retain genetic diversity as plant species extinction marches forward. As the former Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, Fowler traveled to places like Peru to help farmers catalogue and archive their crops, specifically potatoes in this case. Together with samples from other parts of the world, Fowler helped to found the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a seed storage facility in Norway that's like the Noah's Ark for agriculture.
Along with the vault, the film also explores the human angle of what will happen when biodiversity and agriculture fail. Namely, that the drought conditions we're already experiencing will lead first to rising food costs, then to increased conflict in starving regions and finally to the extinction of life-sustaining crops as we know it.
Target: Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell
Goal: Fight climate change by stopping the mass destruction of forests via logging.
This should also target Tom Vilsack of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the department responsible for the nation's forests.
While the Klamath National Forest finalizes its Environmental Impact Statement, and prepares to auction off our public forestlands to the highest bidder, citizens are beginning to organize and get out on the ground to explore the land that is targeted for what could be the largest timber sale in Klamath National Forest history. The Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion is rich with biodiversity, hosting more conifer species than any other temperate forest in the world. The region is considered an area of Global Botanical Significance, and is proposed as an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site.
Most of the timber units proposed in the Westside project include Late Successional Reserves that are set aside for the development of old growth forests, and many of the units are within riparian reserves, and Wild and Scenic river corridors which are intended to protect water quality. The Klamath National Forest admits that the Westside project would negatively affect water quality and cause more sedimentation in the Klamath River, and with recent data foreshadowing that a major fish kill in the Klamath River is likely, this is no time to inflict additional impacts to these watersheds.
GR: Private citizens must oppose this proposal. Like all significant U.S. Forest Service management actions, the plan benefits corporations and politicians, not the forest.