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Biodiversity / Biodevastation

Stories about Biodiversity and Biodevastation.

Social Ecology: Communalism Against Climate Chaos

By: 
Brian Tokar

The perspective of social ecology  allows us to see that fossil fuels have long been central to the capitalist mythos of perpetual growth. They have driven ever-increasing concentrations of capital in many economic sectors, and advanced both the regimentation and increasing precarity of human labor worldwide. In Fossil Capital, Andreas Malm explains in detail how early British industrialists opted to switch from abundant water power to coal-fired steam engines to run their mills, despite increased costs and uncertain reliability. The ability to control labor was central to their decision, as the urban poor proved to be vastly more amenable to factory discipline than the more independent-minded rural dwellers who lived along Britain’s rapidly flowing rivers. A century later, massive new oil discoveries in the Middle East and elsewhere would drive previously unfathomable increases in the productivity of human labor and breathe new life into the capitalist myth of unlimited economic expansion.

Rolling Back the Tide of Pesticide Poison, Corruption and Looming Mass Extinction

By: 
Colin Todhunter

An anthropogenic mass extinction is underway that will affect all life on the planet and humans will struggle to survive the phenomenon. So claims Dr Rosemary Mason in a paper (2015) in the Journal of Biological Physics and ChemistryLoss of biodiversity is the most urgent of the environmental problems because this type of diversity is critical to ecosystem services and human health. Mason argues that the modern chemical-intensive industrialised system of food and agriculture is the main culprit.

Have Monsanto and the Biotech Industry Turned Natural Bt Pesticides Into GMO “Super Toxins”?

By: 
Jonathan Latham

Is the supposed safety advantage of GMO crops over conventional chemical pesticides a mirage?

According to biotech lore, the Bt pesticides introduced into many GMO food crops are natural proteins whose toxic activity extends only to narrow groups of insect species. Therefore, says the industry, these pesticides can all be safely eaten, e.g. by humans.

A Different Dimension of Loss: Inside the Great Insect Die-off

By: 
Jacob Mikanowski

Sixth-extinction estimates are “biased towards a very small portion of biodiversity”. When it comes to invertebrates – the slugs, crabs, worms, snails, spiders, octopuses and, above all, insects that make up the bulk of the world’s animal species – we are guessing.

James Hansen's Generation IV nuclear advocacy: a deconstruction of nuclear fallacies and fantasies

By: 
Jim Green

Dr James Hansen is rightly admired for his scientific and political work drawing attention to climate change. His advocacy of nuclear power and in particular novel Generation IV nuclear concepts deserves serious scrutiny.

In a nutshell, Dr Hansen (among others) claims that some Generation IV reactors are a triple threat: they can convert weapons-usable (fissile) material and long-lived nuclear waste into low-carbon electricity. Let's take the weapons and waste issues in turn.

How Monsanto Captured the EPA (And Twisted Science) To Keep Glyphosate on the Market

By: 
Valerie Brown and Elizabeth Grossman

The EPA was only four years old when glyphosate entered the market in 1974, and the agency was faced with a large collection of chemicals to review. At the time, protocols for toxicology testing were relatively fluid, and it took the EPA until 1986 to finalize its guidelines. Yet the EPA’s analysis of glyphosate still relies heavily on the initial data.

In age of forest fires, Israel’s law against Palestinian goats proves self-inflicted wound for Zionism

By: 
Jonathan Cook

The Climate Catastrophe We’re All Ignoring

By: 
Jeremy Lent

Imagine you’re driving your shiny new car too fast along a wet, curvy road. You turn a corner and realize you’re heading straight for a crowd of pedestrians. If you slam on your brakes, you’d probably skid and damage your car. So you keep your foot on the accelerator, heading straight for the crowd, knowing they’ll be killed and maimed, but if you keep driving fast enough no-one will be able to catch you and you might just get away scot-free.

What Nicaragua Teaches Us about Climate Disasters

By: 
Douglas Haynes

From increasingly frequent storms to food insecurity, Nicaragua has been hard-hit by the impacts of climate change. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey and facing Hurricane Irma, we can learn from their response.

Logging won’t stop wildfires

By: 
Chad Hanson and Mike Garrity

A number of politicians have promised to weaken environmental laws and increase logging, supposedly to stop forest fires. Here’s what they aren’t telling you.

Fires, including large fires, are a natural and ecologically necessary part of forests in the Northern Rockies. Dozens of plant and animal species, such as the black-backed Woodpecker, depend upon post-fire habitat—including patches of forest where fire burns hotter and kills most trees—due to the abundance of standing dead trees, downed logs, flowering plants, and natural regeneration of trees, which provide both food and homes for fire-dependent insects and wildlife.

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