##conservationist
Greenhouse Gasses Declining Globally, But In U.S., Air Pollution Not Down As Much

Greenhouse Gasses Declining Globally, But In U.S., Air Pollution Not Down As Much

A study published yesterday in the journal Nature Climate Change found that greenhouse gas emissions are down by 17% globally compared to 2019 levels thanks to strict coronavirus lockdowns, which could result in as much as a 7% decline in emissions for the year. 

Why This Matters:  We need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4-7% each year globally for the foreseeable future to keep global temperature increases in check.

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Ocean Conservation Heroes: The Community of Niue

Ocean Conservation Heroes: The Community of Niue

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, big conservation wins are possible. Niue is a small island nation in the Pacific but it just made a huge contribution to global ocean health by finalizing this week the creation of an enormous marine protected area comprising 40% of the country’s vast ocean territory.  The new protected […]

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Interview of the Week: M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International

Interview of the Week: M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International

ODP: COVID-19 has caused so much suffering here and around the globe.  What is the leading cause of diseases that spread from wildlife to humans? MS: COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease. Like HIV, MERS, SARS, Hanta, and Ebola, it jumped from wildlife to people, likely through contact with an animal outside of its natural habitat. […]

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One Fun Thing: Birding on the Rise

COVID-19 has made us stop and notice the natural world we live in — and its been for the birds – literally!  The National Audubon Society has seen downloads of its bird identification app in March and April doubled over numbers since the same time period last year, and visits to its website are also […]

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Tesla Has Q1 Profit, Ford and Rivian Scrap Plans to Build EVs

Tesla Has Q1 Profit, Ford and Rivian Scrap Plans to Build EVs

CNBC reported yesterday that despite factory closures in China and the U.S., Tesla managed to eke out $16M in profit in the first quarter of the year, but it remains unclear how quickly its U.S. car plant and suppliers can ramp up production once it re-opens from Covid-19 restrictions

Why This Matters: The COVID pandemic is a setback for many industries — but particularly ones working to get off the ground like electric vehicle manufacturing.

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New Investigation Shows Pipelines Always Get Their Way With FERC

New Investigation Shows Pipelines Always Get Their Way With FERC

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) sides with pipeline companies over private landowners in 99% of the cases when landowners refuse to grant a company permission to bury a pipeline on their land.  

Why This Matters:  The FERC’s stilted process may soon end. In addition to Congressional oversight, a federal appeals court is considering whether to disallow FERC from blocking landowners taking their cases to court right away, before ground is broken.

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Animal Farm:  COVID Crisis Slaughtering the Meat Industry

Animal Farm: COVID Crisis Slaughtering the Meat Industry

Tens of thousands of pigs, chickens, and cattle are stuck on large livestock farms due to processing plant closures because of COVID outbreaks among plant workers.  Consequently, the President yesterday ordered the plants to remain open despite the fact that thousands of workers have tested positive or have been exposed to the virus and the plants have not taken the necessary precautions to protect them from contracting the virus.

Why This Matters:  The President’s order cannot change the course of the virus nor will it solve the problems caused by giant industrial hog and chicken farms, and unsafe slaughterhouses that the virus is exposing.

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One Cool Thing: Lizards Adapt to Better Survive Climate Change (shameless plus here)

One Cool Thing: Lizards Adapt to Better Survive Climate Change (shameless plus here)

In a groundbreaking new study, scientists examined lizards on Caribbean Islands and across Central and South America and found that in the places that had been hit repeatedly by hurricanes, the lizards had developed larger toe pads.  The New York Times explains that until now, “the strongest evidence for how evolution can be shaped by […]

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Fishers Caught In Coronavirus Storm, Some Change Business Model While Others Sit It Out

Fishers Caught In Coronavirus Storm, Some Change Business Model While Others Sit It Out

With many fishermen all around the U.S. forced to stop fishing due to restaurant closures and lack of tourism caused by the coronavirus, many are changing their businesses to sell directly to supermarkets and other retailers for home consumption. 

Why This Matters:  Like family farms, in the U.S., family-owned and small fishing businesses almost all struggle to stay in business due to stiff competition from cheap imports, and that was before COVID -19 struck.

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Earth Week Interviews with EPA Administrators Gina McCarthy and William Reilly

Earth Week Interviews with EPA Administrators Gina McCarthy and William Reilly

This week, The Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy produced a special double episode of its excellent Columbia Energy Exchange podcast, in which their Founding Director, Jason Bordoff, interviewed two champions of the environmental movement — one Republican, one Democrat. With the Center’s permission, we have excerpted each of them below. Earth Day At 50: […]

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Exclusive Earth Week Interview With John Podesta, Center for American Progress

Exclusive Earth Week Interview With John Podesta, Center for American Progress

John is an original Friend of the Planet, and the Founder of the Center for American Progress, a member of its Board of Directors, and a law professor at Georgetown University’s Law School.  Not to mention a hero of ours! ODP:  Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.  What will it take to recreate […]

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Trump Earth Day Announcements: Watered Down Clean Water Rule and Parks to Re-Open

On the eve of Earth Day, the Trump Administration published its final rule greatly narrowing the scope of the landmark Clean Water Act (CWA), known as the “waters of the U.S.” or WOTUS rule. Environmental groups immediately announced their intention to challenge it in court and thereby limit its impact. 

Why This Matters: The new rule puts in place an interpretation of the CWA first articulated by the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, even though it is not clear that Congress intended it to have such a limited scope.

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