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What’s Threatening Biodiversity? Hint: It’s US!

What’s Threatening Biodiversity? Hint: It’s US!

Over the last century, humans have come to dominate the planet, causing rapid ecosystem change and massive loss of biodiversity across the planet.

Why This Matters: without a vibrant Earth our chances of adequately feeding and sustaining 9.8 billion people by 2050 become slim.

 

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Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Equates Climate Migrants to “Pollution”

Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Equates Climate Migrants to “Pollution”

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in a news segment on Monday night created a firestorm over racist remarks in which he claimed that proposals to allow many more climate refugees to enter the U.S. would result in overcrowding and would “despoil” and “pollute” our country. 

Why This Matters:  Millions of people around the world — including Americans — are already suffering due to climate change and it has created a refugee crisis.  According to the proposal’s proponents, since 2009, a climate-related disaster has displaced about one person every second due to severe weather events, famine, drought, and rising sea levels, and other climate impacts.  The United Nations believes that 22.5 million people worldwide have been displaced due to climate change since 2009 and that number could rise to 200 million forcibly displaced people by 2050. We will be confronted with this problem regardless of whether Congress passes a law allowing the government to deal with it directly.  

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The VA Won’t Fund Service Dogs For PTS Therapy

The VA Won’t Fund Service Dogs For PTS Therapy

Military dogs are often homeless once they are retired from service.  And worse, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) won’t pay for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) to adopt them or other dogs as service dogs. Congressman John Rutherford of Florida has introduced a bill — the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) Act of 2019  to provide funding to veterans diagnosed with PTS who would like to obtain a service dog.

Why This Matters: It would be a real win-win to see some of these dogs– or other dogs in need of homes — go to veterans who are suffering from PTS as an alternative or supplement to other treatments.

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Required Reading This Veterans Day

Required Reading This Veterans Day

Here are two pieces that we recommend you read today, one of which we’ve written and the other an op-ed in the Star Tribune calling on us to honor veterans by examining the environmental damage inflicted by the military. Michael McDonald, president of Twin Cities Veterans for Peace and Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, emeritus professor of justice […]

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Interview of the Week: Sam Hodder

Interview of the Week: Sam Hodder

Sam Hodder is the president and CEO of the Save the Redwoods League. Hodder has spent his career in land conservation overseeing complex conservation programs and land transactions from the remote wilderness to the inner city. ODP: What’s the difference between a redwood and a giant sequoia? SH: Giant sequoia are the most massive trees […]

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New Group Seeks to Address Harvard University’s Failure to Act on the Climate Crisis

New Group Seeks to Address Harvard University’s Failure to Act on the Climate Crisis

In response to widespread frustration in the Harvard community about the University’s inaction to climate change, a  coalition of alumni, students and faculty have launched a campaign called Harvard Forward to elect five new members of the Board of Overseers with the goal of changing the University’s policies on divesting from fossil fuels and on committing more resources to climate initiatives.

Why This Matters:   What makes this campaign interesting and different from previous ones (like South African divestiture in the ’80s) is that rather than protest the decisions of university leaders, this campaign is seeking the power to make the decisions themselves.  The last time the university restructured its Board of Overseers was almost 150 years agoIt seems like its time to modernize it and addressing climate change is the perfect impetus.

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