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Biodiversity / Biodevastation

Stories about Biodiversity and Biodevastation.

The Perils of Plastic Pollution

By: 
Meena Miriam Yust

Plastics are found in the products we use every day: the toys we give our children, the clothing we wear, the disposable cups we drink from, the automobiles we make, the straws we use, the list goes on.  Cheap and easy to make, plastic goods and plastic production have exploded in recent years.  Yet the junked cars, the used straws and cups, they all end up somewhere, perhaps in a landfill, or perhaps drifting in the wind.  91% of plastic goods are not recycled.  Most have found their way to rivers, lakes, and oceans, and over time break down into tiny microscopic particles of plastic.  Microplastics are everywhere, even in the deepest sea floor sediments and in the Arctic.  They can originate in small form from toothpaste or makeup, or can be derived from larger pieces of plastic, which over time break down into small particles.

Global Warming and East Coast Hurricanes

By: 
James Hansen and Makiko Sato

Maps below show the temperature anomaly for the past three months and the seasonal mean (Northern Hemisphere Summer). We draw attention to the cool region southeast of Greenland and warmth in the middle of the North Atlantic.

Nuclear Power Will Not Save Us from Climate Change

By: 
M. V. Ramana and Robert Jensen

The underlying cause here is “technological fundamentalism,” the belief that the increasing use of evermore sophisticated, high-energy, advanced technology can solve any problem, including those caused by the unintended consequences of earlier technologies. This Panglossian approach allows modelers to state the climate problem can be contained without giving up a social and political system that is founded on continued and endless economic growth.

This belief also allows for the idea that the business-as-usual approach can continue, and the solution is replacing coal, gas, and nuclear plants with solar panels, wind turbines, and batteries or other storage technologies. As supporters of the fossil fuel and nuclear industries like to point out, even these technologies have environmental and social impacts. To live sustainably on this planet—and despite what folks such as Elon Musk might promise, this is the only planet available for the vast majority of the world’s inhabitants—even these more benign technologies have to be limited in scale.

Global Warming and East Coast Hurricanes

By: 
James Hansen and Makiko Sato

This Communication is also our Monthly Temperature Update for August 2018 .  M onthly temperature update s  are available from either  web page ( Hansen  or  Sato ) or directly here .     Maps below show  the temperature anomaly for the past three months and the seasonal mean (Northern  Hemisphere Summer).  We draw attention to the  cool region southeast of Greenland and warmth in the middle  of  the North  Atlantic .

In Germany, 50,0000 marchers celebrate unexpected win for Hambacher Forest against energy giant

By: 
Mike Hembury

An unexpected High Court ruling in the German state of North Rhein Westphalia (NRW) has blocked energy giant RWE from further destruction of the Hambacher Forest for the next couple of years. The decision has been hailed as a major victory by the newly-revitalised German environmental and climate justice movement.

An Unforeseen Climate Beast Awakens!

By: 
Robert Hunziker

East Antarctica is a big-time global warming player. Nothing is comparable. It is the world heavyweight, and nothing can impact the world with so much calamitous clout. As such, it would be a huge mistake to discount its capability to turn mean-spirited, striking all of a sudden, catching scientists and humanity unawares. In fact, it’s already turning heads, and it alone is equivalent to 170 feet of water.

Disturbingly, early signals of destabilization have been detected at Totten Glacier/ East Antarctica, where, according to accepted science for years and years, we are not supposed to worry until the next century. Scientists have always said East Antarctica’s a “not to worry region,” nearly impervious to the impact of climate change.

India: The State of Independence. British Colonialism Replaced by a New Hegemony

By: 
Colin Todhunter

India celebrates its independence from Britain on 15 August. However, the system of British colonial dominance has been replaced by a new hegemony based on the systemic rule of transnational capital, enforced by global institutions like the World Bank and WTO. At the same time, global agribusiness corporations are stepping into the boots of the former East India Company.

The long-term goal of US capitalism has been to restructure indigenous agriculture  across the world and tie it to an international system of trade underpinned by export-oriented mono-cropping, commodity production for the global market and debtThe result has been food surplus and food deficit areas, of which the latter have become dependent on agricultural imports and strings-attached aid.

India Mortgaged? Forced-Fed Illness and the Neoliberal Food Regime

By: 
Colin Todhunter

Like many countries, India’s food system was essentially clean just a generation or two ago but is now being comprehensively contaminated with sugar, bad fats, synthetic additives, GMOs and pesticides under the country’s neoliberal ‘great leap forward’. The result has been a surge in obesity, diabetes and cancer incidence, while there has been no let-up in the under-nutrition of those too poor to join in the over-consumption.

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