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Biodiversity / Biodevastation

Stories about Biodiversity and Biodevastation.

At the edge of the Arctic Circle, oil drilling threatens the indigenous Gwich’in

By: 
Nathanael Johnson

The low boreal forest that spans the border between Alaska and Canada is the home of the Gwich’in people. There are some 6,000 Gwich’in, hunting and raising their children in villages at the edge of the Arctic Circle. They’ve been there for thousands of years, following the caribou, which provide a majority of their diet, even today.

Bernadette Demientieff, executive director of the Gwich’in steering committee, fears that the herd, and the culture that depends on them, will not survive if oil drilling is allowed on caribou calving grounds.

Sea level rise due to Antarctic ice melt has ‘tripled over past five years’

By: 
Daisy Dunne

The rate of sea level rise resulting from the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet has tripled over the past five years, according to new research from a global team of scientists.

The study, published in Nature, finds that ice loss from Antarctica has caused sea levels to rise by 7.6mm from 1992-2017, with two fifths of this increase occurring since 2012.

Tesla says its factory is safer. But it left injuries off the books.

By: 
Will Evans and Alyssa Jeong Perry

Inside Tesla’s electric car factory, giant red robots – some named for X-Men characters – heave car parts in the air, while workers wearing black toil on aluminum car bodies. Forklifts and tuggers zip by on gray-painted floors, differentiated from pedestrian walkways by another shade of gray.

There’s one color, though, that some of Tesla’s former safety experts wanted to see more of: yellow – the traditional hue of caution used to mark hazards.

Happy Talk About Weeds

By: 
George Wuerthner

I recently attended a presentation on invasive weeds by a representative of the Deschutes National Forest.

The problem with the presentation was that it promoted and legitimized an industrial paradigm to weed threats. The Forest Service (FS) promotes an Industrial Forestry Paradigm that treats the symptoms, not the causes of ecological degradation.

The biggest factors contributing to the spread of weeds on public lands comes from logging/thinning and livestock grazing. Yet during the entire Forest Service presentation, the one thing missing from the talk was any mention of why and how weeds are spread. Most species that we consider weeds are plants that thrive on disturbance. In other words, activities that create bare soil and/or reduce the viability of the native species to compete against weed species, thus promote weed invasions.

Kinder Morgan Pipeline is Never Going to be Built, Vow Activists

By: 
Ron Johnson

Whether for environmental reasons or Indigenous rights, there is enormous opposition to seeing the Trans Mountain project completed, and that opposition is only going to grow. A recent poll suggested that 12 percent of British Columbia residents would engage in civil disobedience against the project. Despite the change in ownership, it seems the protests against the pipeline will continue.

Canary in the Coal Pond

By: 
Talia Buford

In tests conducted in late 2017, one in three coal-fired power plants nationwide detected “statistically significant” amounts of contaminants, including harmful chemicals like arsenic, in the groundwater around their facilities.

This information, which utility companies had to post on their websites in March, became public for the first time under an Obama-era environmental rule regulating coal ash, the waste generated from burning coal.

Wolves Are Losing Ground to Industrial Logging in Southeast Alaska

By: 
Faith Rudebusch

Although hunting and trapping have the potential to eradicate wolves in the short-term, habitat loss from logging poses an even greater long-term challenge for wolf survival.

California’s Love Affair With Big Oil: from Marine ‘Protection’ to Cap-and-Trade

By: 
Dan Bacher

My long series of articles investigating the power of Big Oil in California, including my coverage of the passage last year of Jerry Brown’s legislation extending California’s cap-and-trade program past 2020, began at the Annual Legislative Fisheries Forum at the State Capitol in March of 2009.

When Nature Says "Enough!": the River that Appeared Overnight in Argentina

By: 
Uki Goni

The sudden appearance of a network of new rivers in Argentina’s central province of San Luis has puzzled scientists, worried environmentalists and disheartened farmers. It has also raised urgent questions over the environmental cost of Argentina’s dependence on soya beans, its main export crop.

“The roar was terrifying,” said Risatti, remembering that morning three years ago. “The land had opened up like a canyon. Water was pushing through as far as I could see. Huge mounds of earth, grass and trees were being carried along the water surface.”

Upper Green River Allotment Betrayal

By: 
George Wuerthner

Recently I attended a meeting with the Bridger Teton National Forest (BTNF) officials to discuss future grazing plans for the Upper Green River grazing allotment.

The allotment, one of the most outstanding wildlife areas in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, contains the headwaters of the Green River and lies north of Pinedale Wyoming between the Wind River Range and the Gros Ventre Range.

Basically, the Forest Service plans to allow the continued degradation of public resources by livestock grazing on what is one of the most important wildlife areas on the entire BTNF. The Upper Green Allotment is an excellent example of PPSC or “privatize profit, socialize costs.”

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