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It's later than you think


{Nature_and_Environment.114.17}: Glen Marks {wotan} Tue, 14 Jan 2020 23:50:11 CST (2 lines)



{Nature_and_Environment.114.18}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Thu, 16 Jan 2020 15:02:16 CST (37 lines)

Trump Dooms the Future by Gutting the National Environmental Policy
by George Ochenski

NEPA requires the government to consider the environmental effects
prior to issuing permits for industries or taking major action by
federal agencies. Importantly, the law also requires the analysis of
environmental impacts to be presented to the public for review and

Bending, as usual, to unrelenting industry pressure, Congress has
already shamefully exempted any number of projects — such as
clearcutting national forests — from the required environmental
reviews. These measures are intended, as in the case of national
forest “categorical exclusions,” to bolster the timber industry which
has largely cut itself out of a future by logging far beyond the
sustainable levels of forest replacement. In the parlance of the
timber industry, our national forests are not ecosystems in and of
their own right, supporting a vast array of wildlife and producing
clean water for our citizens, but are “100-year gardens” to be whacked
down and “harvested.”

The problem is that industry’s rap, as usual, is a total sham and
there’s no way timber companies are willing to wait a century for the
forests to grow back. Moreover, given the increasing impacts of
climate change, forest regrowth is not guaranteed.

On January 10th, the Trump administration decided to gut NEPAvia
administrative rules changes that will allow virtually unhindered
development, resource extraction and pollution. It’s one thing for the
Trump cultists to support certain policies, tariffs, sanctions and
war-mongering. It’s quite another to allow Trump’s anti-environmental
administration to doom the future by leaving generations to come a
smoldering, polluted and unlivable planet — which is just what gutting
NEPA will do.


{Nature_and_Environment.114.19}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Wed, 22 Jan 2020 01:11:43 CST (15 lines)

During the past 20 years, insecticides applied to U.S. agricultural
landscapes have become significantly more toxic—over 120-fold in some
midwestern states—to honey bees when ingested
Researchers identified rising neonicotinoid seed treatments in corn
and soy as the primary driver of this change.

This toxicity has increased during the same period in which widespread
decline in populations of pollinators and other insects have been

"This dramatic increase in oral-based toxic load is connected to a
shift toward widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides, which are
unusually toxic to bees when they are ingested," said researcher
Maggie Douglas.


{Nature_and_Environment.114.20}: Glen Marks {wotan} Fri, 24 Jan 2020 15:33:47 CST (2 lines)



{Nature_and_Environment.114.21}: Glen Marks {wotan} Mon, 03 Feb 2020 23:58:52 CST (2 lines)



{Nature_and_Environment.114.22}: Jay Hoffman {resist} Thu, 06 Feb 2020 22:20:14 CST (71 lines)

Why bumble bees are going extinct in time of 'climate chaos'
by University of Ottawa

"We've known for a while that climate change is related to the growing
extinction risk that animals are facing around the world," first
author Peter Soroye explained. "In this paper, we offer an answer to
the critical questions of how and why that is. We find that species
extinctions across two continents are caused by hotter and more
frequent extremes in temperatures."

"We have now entered the world's sixth mass extinction event, the
biggest and most rapid global biodiversity crisis since a meteor ended
the age of the dinosaurs."—Peter Soroye

Massive decline of the most important pollinators on Earth

"Bumble bees are the best pollinators we have in wild landscapes and
the most effective pollinators for crops like tomato, squash, and
berries," Peter Soroye observed. "Our results show that we face a
future with many less bumble bees and much less diversity, both in the
outdoors and on our plates."

The researchers discovered that bumble bees are disappearing at rates
"consistent with a mass extinction."

"If declines continue at this pace, many of these species could vanish
forever within a few decades," Peter Soroye warned.

"We know that this crisis is entirely driven by human activities,"
Peter Soroye said.

The researchers looked at climate change and how it increases the
frequency of really extreme events like heatwaves and droughts,
creating a sort of "climate chaos" which can be dangerous for animals.
Knowing that species all have different tolerances for temperature
(what's too hot for some might not be for others), they developed a
new measurement of temperature.

"We have created a new way to predict local extinctions that tells us,
for each species individually, whether climate change is creating
temperatures that exceed what the bumble bees can handle," Dr. Tim
Newbold explained.

Using data on 66 different bumble bee species across North America and
Europe that have been collected over a 115-year period (1900-2015) to
test their hypothesis and new technique, the researchers were able to
see how bumble bee populations have changed by comparing where bees
are now to where they used to be historically.

"We found that populations were disappearing in areas where the
temperatures had gotten hotter," Peter Soroye said. "Using our new
measurement of climate change, we were able to predict changes both
for individual species and for whole communities of bumble bees with a
surprisingly high accuracy."

This study doesn't end here. In fact, it opens the doors to new
research horizons to track extinction levels for other species like
reptiles, birds and mammals.

"Perhaps the most exciting element is that we developed a method to
predict extinction risk that works very well for bumble bees and could
in theory be applied universally to other organisms," Peter Soroye
indicated. "With a predictive tool like this, we hope to identify
areas where conservation actions would be critical to stopping

Dr. Kerr said, "Ultimately, we must address climate change itself and
every action we take to reduce emissions will help. The sooner the
better. It is in all our interests to do so, as well as in the
interests of the species with whom we share the world."


{Nature_and_Environment.114.23}: Glen Marks {wotan} Wed, 12 Feb 2020 21:29:38 CST (2 lines)



{Nature_and_Environment.114.24}: Glen Marks {wotan} Wed, 19 Feb 2020 11:11:24 CST (4 lines)

Coral reefs:



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