As environmental author and journalist Fred Pearce noted in an article in April, “there are growing concerns that the reforestation agenda is becoming a green cover for the further assault on ecosystems.” Be it the claim that planting a trillion trees will save us or the 2011 Bonn Challenge that promises to plant 1.35 million square miles of forest by 2030, the devil truly is in the details.
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Biodiversity / Biodevastation
Stories about Biodiversity and Biodevastation.
The oceans are crying for mercy, a fact that is starkly revealed in a telling 900-page draft of a forthcoming UN report due for release September 25. The draft report obtained by Agence France-Presse (AFP) assesses the status of the oceans and cryosphere. It’s a landmark UN report, and it’s not a pretty picture.
In the final analysis, the report amounts to self-destruction that’s largely ignored by most of the leading countries throughout the world. It’s all about greenhouse gassing as a result of human interference in the climate system, evidence that humans are heat machines!
Sea level has been stable, at current levels, throughout recorded history for 5,000 years. That’s about to change. Still, it’s very difficult for people to imagine a change in sea level after 5,000 years of rock solid stability.
Nevertheless, assuming sea levels do rise markedly, one of the biggest questions of the century is whether the world is prepared for sea level rise?
As a guess, the answer is: No, not even close.
Greenland is one of the biggest targets for global warming, in part because it’s so big it’s hard to miss. And sure enough, only recently crazy halting weather with inordinate hot temperatures hit Greenland bull’s-eye, dead-on with one helluva meltdown.
That’s bad news for pretty much everybody on the planet.
On the hottest days, the melt-off could fill 3 million Olympic-sized pools end-to-end, extending from California to Maine, back and forth, 17 times. That’s only one day. It’s staggering.
What’s going on?
About a century ago the American chestnut tree was attacked by the introduced fungal pathogen (Cryphonectria parasitica). This fungus drove the chestnut to functional extinction. Now, scientists at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) claim to have created, through biotechnology, a resistant American chestnut variety. They aim to petition the required regulatory agencies (USDA, FDA, EPA) for deregulation of their genetically engineered chestnut in the near future, with the stated goal of “restoring” the species to nature.
An Open Letter to Hon Michael Gove Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
It seems likely that a post-Brexit trade deal with the US could mean more of the same and lead to the introduction of GM crops in the UK alongside the lowering of standards for the use of biocides in agriculture. Sainsbury Laboratory already has plans for a new open air field trial of GM potatoes on farms in Suffolk and Cambridge.
At Fort Benning, Georgia, home of the “Maneuver School of Excellence,” (as well as the notorious School of the Americas, now renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation), live-fire and other training was threatened by threatened species and their habitats. Now the base and its partners are restoring habitat and offering contiguous land for buyers who would use the land for recreation. Among the partners are the Georgia Land Trust, The Conservation Fund, the Alabama Land Trust, and the Nature Conservancy (TNC).
"We all knew that restoring forests could play a part in tackling climate change, but we didn't really know how big the impact would be. Our study shows clearly that forest restoration is the best climate change solution available today. But we must act quickly, as new forests will take decades to mature and achieve their full potential as a source of natural carbon storage."