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Biodiversity / Biodevastation

Stories about Biodiversity and Biodevastation.

If We Plant Billions of Trees to Save Us, They Must Be Native Trees

Andrew Nikiforuk

Forests now occupy 11 per cent of Ireland and the country is committed to reaching 18 per cent coverage by 2050 with the hopes of offsetting its growing carbon footprint from dairy farms, vehicles and fossil-fuel power plants.

But most private interests and foresters can’t be bothered to replant what was lost. To date, the vast majority of Ireland’s new tree plantations consist of conifers including Canadian lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) or Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis). Why? Because they grow fast.

Yet industrial monocultures of lodgepole pines have acidified soils and waterways while plantations of Sitka spruce have crowded out native wildlife and created what rural residents describe as “load of crap forestry.”

How people came to believe that individual choices could save the Earth

Kate Yoder

It was the late 1980s, and the headlines warned of acid rain, air pollution, and contaminated water. So John Javna, then a writer best known for books found on the back of toilets, traveled from drought-stricken California to Washington, D.C., with his backpack, looking for practical advice on how to save the world.

Javna self-published the book he’d written in his attic in California: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth. The guide featured “unbelievably easy” steps, like installing low-flow showerheads and bringing cloth bags to the grocery store.

Blue Acceleration: Capitalism’s growing assault on the oceans

Ian Angus

"The Blue Acceleration: The Trajectory of Human Expansion into the Ocean,” published in January in the journal One Earth, describes and graphs capital’s growing drive to industrialize the oceans and sea beds. Commercial activity in the oceans is expanding rapidly, and “considerable investments … are driving growth in existing industries and the emergence of new ones, spanning an increasingly diverse range of activities.”[5] The authors believe that the blue acceleration marks the beginning of “a new phase in humanity’s relationship with the biosphere, where the ocean is not only crucial for sustaining global development trajectories but is being fundamentally changed in the process."

Why I Don’t Have a Mobile Phone

Julian Rose

In the late 1990’s I bought an early model Ericsson mobile phone. Travelling around the UK countryside visiting farmers, it seemed quite useful, in spite of the very intermittent signal availability of that time.After a while I started feeling the side of my head to which I held the phone, heating-up.

Killing the Messengers: Rising Violence Against Journalists and Indigenous Leaders Defending the Amazon

Gabriel Leão

In February 2005, the body of 73-year-old Sister Dorothy Stang was found on the side of a remote dirt road 33 miles from Anapu, Pará, in Brazil’s AmazonBasin. Seven bullets pierced her body. The first hit her in the abdomen, then after she fell face down, the killers fired bullets to the back and four to the head.

Genetically Engineered Golden Rice: A Silver Bullet that Misses the Target

Colin Todhunter

Promoters of genetic modification (GM) in agriculture have long argued that genetically engineered Golden Rice is a practical way to provide poor farmers in remote areas with a subsistence crop capable of adding much-needed vitamin A to local diets. Vitamin A deficiency is a problem in many poor countries in the Global South and leaves millions at high risk for infection, diseases and other maladies, such as blindness.


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