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    News — forests

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    Boreal Forest Being Cut down

    Alexandra Heal in the Financial Times 9-10-22. "The Ancient subarctic forests at risk from climate change and war".  she says these forests are going fast due to global warming and fires.  They store lots of carbon.  more than humans have released since 1870!    

     

     

    Although much of the boreal is undeveloped, logging is rampant in parts of Canada and Siberia. More than 4,000 sq km of Canada’s ancient trees are cut down every year, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. This destroys wildlife habitats and can also release carbon from the soil. An environmental research paper found last year that fires in Siberia were more frequent near felling sites.

    Tell Politicians to Save Old Growth Forests- Stop Logging US National Forests

    NYT -'“greenhouse gas emissions from logging in U.S. forests are now comparable to the annual” carbon dioxide “emissions from U.S. coal burning.” Protecting federal forestlands from logging, on the other hand, would remove 84 million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year, they wrote.'

    Trees store carbon, and older trees store much more carbon than smaller, younger trees.  Older trees take carbon out of teh air and add it as new layers of bark, new branches, more roots, and new leaves.

    Forests harbor water, intact ecosystems, wildlife, rare species, and wildness-  Biden and Congress are considering cutting more of them down for the usual PR reasons : thinning to prevent fires; to provide jobs; to allow timer companies to cut massive old growth trees that are resistant to fires, so the companies can make extra money, so the companies will cut some of the little trees that are not worth much to the timber companies; because the timber companies pay off politicians  and get paid to cut and to build more logging roads; for institutional habits of giving major contracts to road builders and timber companies an sawmills.

    Tobacco Destroys Forests and Pollutes

    link    Per Year: 8 million people killed,    600 million trees cut down  (200,000 hectares of land clearcut), 20 milloion tons of water used to grow tobacco,4.5 trillion filters littered, 6 trillion cigarettes,  lots of batteries and cartridges for e-cigarettes. toxic pesticides and fertilizers used to grow tobacco, 7000 toxic chemicals released .

    Good and Not So Good News November 2021

    Autumn is here!

    Good News:

    Local people in Namibia organized and stopped a dam from flooding their ancestral lands.

     

    Forests:

    Good News. Land protected as parks and reserves has increased four fold . And countries have pledged to protect 30% of their land from development.

    Native peoples coexist with and protect their forests.

    Forests turn light and combine it with carbon dioxide to make plants and earth, storing carbon. Intact forests store 7 times as much carbon as replanting forests. Endangered and rare species thrive in the ecosystems of intact forests.

     

    Bad news:

    10 % of intact forests were damaged in the last 16 years. And the rate of destroying old growth forests is increasing.

    The main threats are oil and gas, logging, road building, and mining.

    Link - NYT Article - Climate Change Glasgow Deforestation

     

    Insects Apocalypse:

    Insect populations are tumbling- down by 30 to 40 to 75 per cent. the rate of extinction is 10,000 times higher that it was before humans. Insects pollinate, decompose, and support most food chains. Neonicotinoids and other toxic pesticides wipe out insects. Solutions include: planting native plants and trees in yards, parks, and along roads ; and taxing or banning pesticides and fertilizers.

    Link - New Yorker - Where have all the insects gone?

     

     

     

    Climate Change:

    Actions Work to Stop Big Oil from Accelerating Climate Disasters.

    Protests, non-violent direct action, boycotts, sit-ins, divestment, rallies, Fridays for the Future rallies, marches, lawsuits (civil, criminal, on behalf of endangered species, of future generations, of cities, states and countries, of young people), Congressional hearings and street theater are fun and effective against oil, natural gas, fracking, coal, utility, and pipeline companies, plus their banks and politicians.

     

    Divestment of fossil fuel stock by colleges and pension funds; lawsuits on behalf of young people and future generations ; sit-ins, Fridays for the Future rallies; lawsuits by cities, states, and countries; Congressional hearings; and civil, criminal, and lawsuits over are all effective. RICO ( Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) lawsuits would make oil executives change their ways. RICO lawsuit grounds include: funding climate change denial PR campaigns while knowing that climate change was real and that they were causing it, misleading investors, bribery, fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud, and depriving citizens of the honest services of their representatives.

     

    There is also the "necessity" defense for breaking lesser laws in order to stop breaking a higher law. This was used by Katherine Gun, the British intelligence official who leaked papers showing that the US and NSA were bugging the offices of UN diplomats in order to pressure the UN ambassadors to vote for invading Iraq. This was while this invasion was considered illegal by the British attorney general, but Bush, Blair, and Cheney wanted a vote by the UN in favor of invasion. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, and Blair knowingly lied, claiming Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction.

     

    Over 1800 climate lawsuits have been filed since 2015. Major wins have been in Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02424-7 Reasons for the lawsuits are floods, landslides, fires, hurricanes, sea level rise, loss of livelihood, destruction of homes, destruction of ecosystems, killing endangered species, and oil companies funding disinformation PR campaigns, lobbying, and the bribing of politicians while oil companies knew that they were causing climate change. These PR campaigns put out carefully tested and crafted talking points for politicians and spokespersons to claim the climate change wasn't happening; or if it was happening, then it wasn't caused by humans' actions; or it it was caused by humans, it wasn't caused by oil companies; or if it was caused by oil companies, then there were no way to prevent it; or if there were ways to prevent it, then they were too expensive; or if there were inexpensive ways to prevent, then it would decrease jobs; or if it would not decrease jobs, then it would cost union jobs; and if it would not decrease union jobs, then it would harm lower income and minority people. They never mention that stopping oil company plans to burn oil, coal and gas would take away billions in profits from oil companies that oil companies spread amongst politicians, bankers, and lobbyists. but it would save trillions in the costs of climate disasters and public health costs. Of course, the curse is that lower income people, natives, and minorities are the most harmed by oil, coal, and gas production, pipelines, refineries, and by climate disasters!

    Colleges and cities have now committed to divest over over $6 trillion of stocks an bonds of fossil fuel companies.

    Link - New Yorker - The Divestment Movement is All Grown Up

    Link - GoFossilFree.org - What is Fossil Fuel Divestment?

     

    $40 trillion has been divested from oil, coal, and gas stocks. Cities, states, colleges, pension funds, endowment funds, and countries are divesting: Ireland, New York City, Quebec, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Unitarians, Los Angeles.  On the other hand, hedge and equity funds have invested $1 trillion into fossil fuels. There are battles to get teachers' pension funds in NY and CA and TIAA to divest.

    Link - New York Times - Climate Change Divestment

     

    Think Differently- Solutions: Go for sustainable, local economies- protecting rivers, mountains, animals, and involving community owned utilities, and the struggle of public employees against resource exploitation states like TX, KY, WV, and OK.

    Three books show that the focus on economic growth leads to domination, extraction, genocide, depredation, depletion, and climate chaos. One study  warns  that  abillion lpeople may be made into climate refugees for each additional degree of warming.  The spoils go to the 1 %, and everything is viewed as something to exploit. The oil companies want to be in charge of fixing the disaster they caused - they claim they can do carbon capture! Or they plan giant sunshades in space or gargantuan dust veils! They are full of follies. Nature and natives are something to be conquered. Right wing parties probably funded by oil companies stoke fears of immigrants, terrorists, Islamic people, black men, critical race theory, along with the real issues for oil companies: preventing regulations, lawsuits, windmills, and photovoltaic farms.

    Link - New Yorker - Our Planet is Heating Up