Welcome back for another round up for The Environment This Month. Who’s ready for fall? I absolutely adore this time of the year. It’s when I get out the most, and am quite happy to stay outside non-stop. It’s also baking season!
This first update actually happened at the end of last month, but it didn’t make it into my roundup in time. It’s another positive for the future of our planet…
President Barack Obama on Friday expanded a national monument off the coast of Hawaii, creating a safe zone for tuna, sea turtles and thousands of other species in what will be the world’s largest marine protected area.
Obama creates world’s largest marine protected area
I promise that won’t be all the good news for this month, but we must move onto other issues. The hurricane that struck the Islands earlier this month is a product of the time of the year, but the severity is caused by climate change.
Maui residents are urged to begin making preparations for dangerous surf, high winds and heavy rain as Hurricane Madeline continues to make its way toward the
Maui Now : Maui Begins Hurricane Prep Ahead of Madeline
Florida wasn’t faring much better as hurricanes visited up the Atlantic. Worsening weather, however, isn’t the only problem with climate change. Waters are predicted to rise high enough to sink whole cities. A frightening aspect of that is the time has come, despite scientists predicting we yet had time to prevent such catastrophe.
Scientists’ warnings that the rise of the sea would eventually imperil the United States’ coastline are no longer theoretical.
Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Already Begun – The New York Times
We seriously are running out of time…
In what’s shaping up to be the hottest year on record, sea ice ties for the second-lowest extent.
Arctic sea ice just tied for the second-lowest level ever recorded – The Washington Post
A little further east, we find that China, a known major polluter, is still struggling with taking climate and environmental issues seriously. Yet, they have approved a climate deal ahead of the G-20. Is that approval just lip service, or are they actually trying to take strides to address the issue? I am sure, just like in the United States, China has leaders and citizens that do not want to address climate change for whatever reasons they hold. That can make getting any progress difficult.
Just over a month ago, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague issued two important rulings. One soundly rejected Beijing’s extensive claim of sovereignty in the South China Sea. The other focused on whether China had caused environmental damage as it constructed artificial islands in the region to help prop up its claim.The South China Sea’s disputed waters are claimed by seven countries, and The Hague rulings came in response to a case brought against China by the Philippines. China dismissed The Hague’s decision as “nothing but a scrap of paper.”
China’s Artificial Islands In South China Sea Are Harming Environment, Hague Tribunal Says : Parallels : NPR
If you’re like me, then you like to know how your representatives have voted on issues important to you. In New York State, you can do that here:
Breslin, Steck, Fahy and Santabarbara earn high environmental marks as Marchione, Amedore settle to bottom “Assemblymember John McDonald True Champion for Hoosick Falls” Albany County – EPL/Environ…
Spotlight News – Environmental Scorecard | How local state legislators voted on environmental issues in 2016
We’re lucky to be able to use watchdogs as a means to keep an eye on what officials are doing on our behalf before something devastating happens. Who approved spraying pesticides for zika virus in South Carolina? Humans doing their best, or humans panicking and reacting without thought. Those of us aware of the bee die-off that has been plaguing or planet for a few years reacted with utter horror. Beekeepers are devastated.
When a great calamity befalls a species, or a community, or even a civilization, that calamity was built by small steps toward the devastation.
A single bee farm lost 46 hives after an airplane sprayed the mosquito pesticide Naled.
‘Like it’s been nuked’: Millions of bees dead after South Carolina sprays for Zika mosquitoes – The Washington Post
It is my hope that this roundup will have a positive impact on those interested in the topics of environmental activism, and to help them keep tabs on those stories they are trying to track. One story I continue to track is that of the murder of Berta Caceres. We’re still awaiting a trial, but in the meantime, it appears there have been more arrests…
Authorities say they have arrested the 6th and last suspect sought for allegedly carrying out the killing of environmental activist Berta Caceres.
Honduras: 6th Arrest in Killing of Environmental Activist Berta Caceres – NBC News
Like Feminism and Racism, there is a blind spot in Environmental Activism. Sometimes activists even use an event to leverage the power of other activism to gain ground. For instance, journalists are asking if environmentalists are using Native Americans to gain power of the situation of the Dakota Pipeline. I think in that case, it is a matter of two camps finding common ground and banding together to wield greater power against those who would harm sacred lands and water. The question is better posed against ignoring construction in sensitive environments because we regard it as necessary or beneficial to ourselves.
Despite the threats military activities pose to the natural world, surprisingly few panel discussions at IUCN broached the subject.
IUCN: Where Is The Concern Over Military’s Environmental Impact? – Civil Beat News
While watchdogs are keeping an eye, it appears that international courts are adding their might to the fight to preserve the planet.
ICC to start focusing on crimes linked to environmental destruction, the illegal exploitation of natural resources and unlawful dispossession of land…
International Court to Prosecute Environmental Crimes in Major Shift
You know what I miss? I miss innovation. Growing up, there seemed to be no end to the advances we humans made. Of course, those technologies have taken their toll on the environment. We’re smarter now. We know what to look for, and what is ethical. In the United States, however, we lag behind. The old adage we’ve always done it this way carries the day. But why can’t we advance? Why is spending our budget on making our nation better for everyone always poo-pooed? In a nutshell: special interests. It’s not that other nations don’t have people with a vested interest in making boodles of money. In those nations that have surpassed the US, the money maker is in green solutions. Recently, I read an article that said the US will be on par with 1980s European transportation (trains) in the coming years. That’s way behind!
French company Alstom unveiled the first-ever passenger train powered completely by hydrogen at this week’s Berlin InnoTrans trade show.
Germany unveils world’s first zero-emissions hydrogen-powered passenger train | Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building
Thanks for reading! Until next time…
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