Endangered Flower at Crossroads of U.S.’s Lithium Future

Endangered Flower at Crossroads of U.S.’s Lithium Future

A battle is raging in Nevada as the U.S. Fish, and Wildlife Service announces it will be listing Tiehm’s buckwheat flower as an endangered species, striking a blow to a lithium mining project in the region. Lithium is required for the batteries that power electric vehicles, which the government is making significant investments in to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint. But environmentalists argue that the Rhyolite Ridge lithium mine in Nevada will do more harm than good. 

Why This Matters: The world is facing two major crises: global temperature rise and biodiversity loss. In the U.S., investing in renewable energy and electric power has been identified by experts as the quickest path to net-zero emissions and preventing catastrophic temperature rise.

Continue Reading 531 words
Bitcoin’s Big Climate Footprint

Bitcoin’s Big Climate Footprint

CNBC Anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin, who also writes for the NY Times, was out yesterday with a thought-provoking piece about the huge amount of carbon emitted due to energy-intensive Bitcoin “mining.”  Studies show that Bitcoin’s business has a bigger carbon footprint than countries like, say, Argentina or New Zealand.  That’s not chump change when it […]

Continue Reading 239 words
Judge Strikes Down Trump’s Lift of Mining Ban in Threatened Bird Habitats

Judge Strikes Down Trump’s Lift of Mining Ban in Threatened Bird Habitats

Last week, a federal judge struck down a Trump administration action that abrogated an agreement under which no mining would occur in the habitat of the threatened greater sage grouse. While the judge’s decision doesn’t reinstate the Obama-era ban, the U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management must reevaluate the efficacy of mining in the region.

Why This Matters: In the midst of a global biodiversity crisis, the Audubon society reports that two-thirds of North American birds are at risk of extinction due to climate change.

Continue Reading 462 words
Bolsonaro’s Military Strategy Fails to Protect Amazon from Deforestation

Bolsonaro’s Military Strategy Fails to Protect Amazon from Deforestation

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s most recent effort to reduce the destruction of the Amazon rainforest has failed, The Washington Post reports. Bolsonaro’s plan to deploy military troops and take illegal mining operations by surprise ultimately failed when miners got wind of it. 

Why This Matters: The health of the Amazon rainforest is crucial in the fight against climate change.

Continue Reading 601 words
Top Ten Stories of 2020: Oil and Gas’ Really Terribly Awful Bad Year

Top Ten Stories of 2020: Oil and Gas’ Really Terribly Awful Bad Year

When 2020 began, even with oil prices relatively strong, many industry analysts were predicting it was the beginning of the end for oil and gas.  And then the pandemic hit and the Saudis and Russians decided to take advantage of the downturn.  With supplies still high and demand declining, the industry may never be the same again.

Continue Reading 555 words
Trump Rushes to Hand Over Sacred Indigenous Land to Mining Companies

Trump Rushes to Hand Over Sacred Indigenous Land to Mining Companies

by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer The Trump administration is continuing its hail-Mary attempt to develop public lands, even as the GSA announces it will begin the transition of power to the Biden administration. Trump has embarked on a rushed effort to transfer ownership of south-eastern Arizona’s Oak Flat, considered holy by the Apache people, […]

Continue Reading 695 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.