By Kate Wall When one thinks of the western United States it’s hard not to conjure up images of wildlife and wilderness. But a coalition of “western” lawmakers wants to change that. Last week the Congressional Western Caucus formally announced a raft of legislation aimed squarely at the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA has […]Continue Reading 894 words
The pangolin is the most highly trafficked mammal on Earth — they are poached at a higher rate than elephants, rhinos and tigers combined. Their scales are what the poachers want — they are ground up and used for medicine in China and Southeast Asia. Pangolins are on the brink of extinction — 120,000 were […]Continue Reading 128 words
The Independent newspaper reported yesterday the results on an investigation revealing that “shipping companies have spent billions rigging vessels with ‘cheat devices’ that circumvent new environmental legislation by dumping pollution into the sea instead of the air.” The devices, called open-loop scrubbers, remove sulfur exhaust air pollution from ships that run on heavy fuel oil. Air pollution from ships is a significant health problem — some estimate that a cruise ship running on heavy fuel oil emits as much air pollution as a million cars a day.
Why This Matters: Shifting pollution from one “medium” to another obviously is problematic — it does meet the spirit of the rule and is particularly disturbing given the U.N.’s report last week that ocean health is in dire trouble due to climate change. The sulfur that is diverted from the air into the water around the ships is harmful to oceans and marine life as well as exacerbating carbon dioxide emissions.Continue Reading 431 words
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The UN General Assembly’s #ClimateWeek may have been dedicated to governments making new commitments to meeting the Paris Accord, but many corporations also announced actions they will take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve their sustainability. According to The Climate Group, an NGO that works with businesses and governments to shift their climate policies, […]Continue Reading 456 words
CBS News and CNN are reporting that because of a major drought in Zimbabwe that occurred for months, more than 2 million residents of Zimbabwe’s capital and surrounding towns were without tap water on Tuesday because city officials had to shut down the city’s main treatment plant — they do not have the money to […]Continue Reading 406 words
This morning the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate which assesses the physical processes and impacts of climate change on ocean, coastal, polar and mountain ecosystems. The Report concludes that there is overwhelming evidence that the “Melting glaciers and ice sheets are causing […]Continue Reading 499 words
Why This Matters: The student activists have clearly gotten the attention of the adults in the room. But have they helped us to reach beyond those who were already listening? Will these protests lead to tangible political action? These are important questions and the success of the entire movement lies in building political support among current skeptics, and in pressuring politicians to take action. And if anyone can get to those adults who have not been paying attention or who still don’t believe the scientific evidence of a warming planet, it is their own children.Continue Reading 349 words
- Campaign for Nature
- Convention on Biodiversity
- National Geographic Society UN Convention on Biodiversity
- United Nations
Stephenne Harding is the Senior Director of the Campaign for Nature at the National Geographic Society and is also part of a coalition of environmental groups working to conserve at least 30% of the ocean by 2030. She spoke to ODP from a key meeting of the United Nations in Kenya happening this week. ODP: What is […]Continue Reading 753 words
- Campaign for Nature
- Conservation International
- endangered species
- protected areas
- United Nations
A new report from Conservation International published today in Science documents that governments have removed more than 500,000 square kilometers from protected areas and downgraded the protection for an additional 1.65 million square kilometers, the majority of which are associated with industrial-scale development.Continue Reading 479 words
The 186 nations who are a party to the United Nation’s Basel Convention on solid waste concluded a historic agreement late Friday that will require countries to monitor and control the movement of plastic waste between national borders in order to deal with the world’s plastic crisis. Unfortunately, the United States was not involved in the negotiations or the final agreement because it is one of just two countries that has not ratified the Basel Convention.Continue Reading 443 words
The United Nations report on the extinction crisis that came out on Monday made a relatively big splash. ICYMI, a group of scientists called the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), determined that biodiversity is declining at the fastest rate in human history, and only “transformational changes” to the way society operates can save the planet from ruin.Continue Reading 585 words
A major United Nations scientific report on biodiversity will be released later today, after a week of negotiations on the final text written by 400 leading scientists from 130 nations assessing the state of Nature — and its impact on humanity — across the globe, according to a draft obtained by Agence France-Presse (AFP).Continue Reading 445 words