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Mark Kernan – The Economics of Exploitation: Indigenous Peoples and the Impact of Resource Extraction

In 1937 George Orwell said that coal mining was the ‘metabolism’ of western civilisation. What he meant by this striking metaphor was that coal was the catalyst for an earlier industrial revolution, just as enzymes act as the life-sustaining catalyst within the cells of living organisms to maintain life. If Orwell were alive today however he would have good cause …

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Josh Schlossberg – The Bio-Massters: If You Build It, They Will Cut and Cut and Cut B

Generating biomass energy doesn’t result in more logging, according to the biomass industry, whose spokespersons claim facilities only make use of “waste” wood already coming from existing logging operations. Ron Kotrba, Senior Editor for Pellet Mill Magazine, wrote in the May/June 2015 issue that biomass is the “most unlikely of the forest products to drive the general practice of forestry …

Research Confirms Hydroelectric Dams Not Environmentally Friendly After All – Sarah Lazare

A new study by University of East Anglia researchers confirms what numerous Indigenous communities have long charged: gigantic hydroelectric dam construction projects are not environmentally friendly, as proponents claim, but in fact pose a profound threat to biodiversity and life in the Amazon. Widespread Forest Vertebrate Extinctions Induced by a Mega Hydroelectric Dam in Lowland Amazonia was published Wednesday in the …

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Lizzie Ward – Global Warming Is Already Clobbering the Amazon

WHEN IT COMES to doing research in the Amazon, Oliver Phillips says the worst part is the sweat bees. Phillips, an ecologist from the University of Leeds who has been working in the Amazon for 30 years, says the bees don’t bite or sting or carry diseases, like many of the rainforest’s other insects, but “they’re just all over you.” The …

Chevron

Chevron Whistleblower Leaks ‘Smoking Gun’ in Case of Ecuadorian Oil Spill

In what is being described as “smoking gun evidence” of Chevron’s complete guilt and corruption in the case of an oil spill in the Ecuadorian Amazon, internal videos leaked to an environmental watchdog show company technicians finding and then mocking the extensive oil contamination in areas that the oil giant told courts had been restored. A Chevron whistleblower reportedly sent “dozens of …

coal

The Great Burning: On Rising to the Greatest Challenge Humanity Has Ever Faced

We live in a time of what might be called The Great Burning. However, we tend to ignore the tremendous inferno blazing around us. Most of the combustion occurs out of sight and out of mind, in hundreds of millions of automobile, truck, aircraft, and ship engines; in tens of thousands of coal or gas-fired power plants that provide the …

Global-Warming-3845

The price to be paid for not cutting emissions of greenhouse gases could mean driving the planet across planetary boundaries, or “tipping points”.

An international team of scientists has tried a new approach to addressing the complex argument about the costs of climate change – and, once again, the prediction is that the costs of inaction will be so much greater than paying the bills now. The researchers − from the UK, Switzerland and the US − conclude that policy-makers must apply the …

deforestation

Deforestation is messing with our weather and our food

New research published in Nature Communications provides insight into how large-scale deforestation could impact global food production by triggering changes in local climate. In the study, researchers from the United States and China zero in on albedo (the amount of the sun’s radiation reflected from Earth’s surface) and evapotranspiration (the transport of water into the atmosphere from soil, vegetation, and …

shrinking habitats

Shrinking habitats have adverse effects on world ecosystems

An extensive study of global habitat fragmentation – the division of habitats into smaller and more isolated patches – points to major trouble for a number of the world’s ecosystems and the plants and animals living in them. The study shows that 70 percent of existing forest lands are within a half-mile of the forest edge, where encroaching urban, suburban …

Trees

University of Oxford finds trees inhale less carbon when they are drought – impacted

For the first time, an international research team has provided direct evidence of the rate at which individual trees in the Amazonian basin ‘inhale’ carbon from the atmosphere during a severe drought. The researchers measured the growth and photosynthesis rates of trees at 13 rainforest plots across Brazil, Peru and Bolivia, comparing plots that were affected by the strong drought …