This is an archived newsroll page on A Socialist In Canada, consisting of headlines and weblinks, with occasional news summary and brief analysis, for the months indicated. For the current, ‘Ecology newsroll’ website page, go here.
Ecology newsroll headlines on A Socialist In Canada, June 2021
Historic heat wave in northwest U.S. may have killed hundreds, Associated Press, June 30, 2021
* Four-day heat wave in British Columbia has killed more than 100. Report by CBC News, June 29, 2021 [According to the Toronto Star on July 1, the province of British Columbia recorded 486 sudden and unexpected deaths during the five days beginning June 25, a time period corresponding to the multiple-record-breaking heat wave that hit the province. This is 321 more deaths than what is usually expected in BC over a period of five days, according to provincial coroner’s office.].
* BC premier says province’s residents must take ‘personal responsiblity’ to keep themselves safe during heat wave, Victoria News, June 29, 2021
[Canada’s housing stock has for decades been built with little or no protection from heat, excepting the ecologically damaging air conditioning for those who can afford it. The provision of housing has been a conspiracy among governments, urban planners, financial institutions and the automobile construction industry founded on the clearcutting of tree cover–particularly in poorer neighbourhoods— and rampant sprawl served by automobiles. Provision of public transit has been an afterthought and public transit agencies have acted as enablers of the conspiracy. It’s been a recipe for disaster in a warming world that is still receiving little attention by most critical analysts.].
How anomalous is the heat wave in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver BC? Off the charts, New York Times, June 29, 2021
Related: Vancouver’s crushing heat wave reminds us how access to cooling urban forests is concentrated in wealthier areas, The Tyee, June 29, 2021
How heat waves form, and how global warming makes them worse, Vox, June 23, 2021
What environmental footprint do electric cars really have?, Deutsche Welle, June 30, 2021
Related: Electric vehicles are false prophets in the fight for a better world, by Coby Lefkowitz, published in Marker (owned by Medium), June 16, 2021
16 dead, 145 still missing in condo building collapse in Miami region (NBC News, June 30, 2021):
The collapsed condo tower near Miami lost its battle with primal Florida, op-ed commentary in Washington Post, June 30, 2021
* Rising seas have long pressured Miami coastal properties, Washington Post, June 25, 2021 The 12-story condominium tower that crashed down early on June 24 near Miami Beach was built on reclaimed wetlands and is perched on a barrier island facing an ocean that has risen about a foot in the past century because of climate change. Underneath its foundation is sand and organic fill — over a plateau of porous limestone — brought in from the bay after the mangroves were deforested. The fill sinks naturally, and the subsidence worsens as the water table rises…
* Possible failure point emerges in Miami-area building collapse, New York Times, June 27, 2021
* Engineer warned of ‘major structural damage’ years before Florida condo building collapsed, Washington Post, June 26, 2021
* Deadly collapse of illusions in Miami, by Manuel Garcia, published on his website, June 26, 2021 Also published in CounterPunch, June 28, 2021 (Manuel Garcia is a retired physicist and contributor to CounterPunch.)
NASA surveys Louisiana’s river delta system to find what may be saved from rising sea levels, Associated Press, June 29, 2021 …Louisiana holds 40% of wetlands in the U.S., but they’re disappearing fast — about 2,000 square miles (5,180 square kilometers) of the state have been lost since the 1930s. That’s about 80 per cent of the country’s wetland losses, according to the U.S. Geological Survey…
Earth tipping points could destabilize each other in domino effect, reports study, by Elizabeth Claire Alberts, Mongabay, June 23, 2021
Ten reasons why climate activists should not support nuclear energy, by Simon Butler, published on Climate and Capitalism, June 23, 2021
Previously reported: Editor of Jacobin publishes statement in favor of nuclear power. Commentary by Bhaskar Sunkara, in The Guardian, June 21, 2021 [Support of nuclear energy on the part of left-wing and otherwise environmental thinkers is a sign of resignation before the juggernaut of the endless, mindless productivism of globalized capitalism. Such resignation is inevitable among those who refuse to countenance the imperative of degrowth. The latter is a strategy of class struggle for a radical reduction in the wasteful productivism of capitalism and to lessen and eventually overcome the great social and national equalities endemic to that same system.]
Dispossessed, again: Global warming hits Native Americans especially hard, special report in New York Times, June 27, 2021
Draft UN climate report (IPCC) warns of drastic changes over coming 30 years, Agence France presse, June 23, 2021
Iconic Yellowstone National Park faces startling changes due to global warming, Yale Environment 360, June 23, 2021 Since 1950, Yellowstone has experienced an average temperature increase of 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit, with the most pronounced warming taking place at elevations above 5,000 feet
The delusion of infinite economic growth, by Chirag Dhara and Vandana Singh, Scientific American, June 20, 2021 Even ‘sustainable’ technologies such as electric vehicles and wind turbines face unbreachable physical limits and exact grave environmental costs [This essay inadvertently makes a compelling case for the imperative of degrowth but doesn’t explore that path. The essay ends with an unanswered question: “The real question is this: how do we transition to alternative economic paradigms founded on the reconciliation of equitable human well-being with ecological integrity?” But it does link to the following 2020 essay.].
* Scientists’ warning on affluence, research paper (ten pages) by Thomas Wiedmann, Manfred Lenzen, Lorenz T. Keyßer and Julia K. Steinberger, published in Nature Communications, June 19, 2020 read the research paper here in pdf format: Scientists’ warning on affluence (June 2020)
* Is ‘green growth’ happening?, by Timothée Parrique, published on Uneven Earth, April 29, 2021 The answer is no. Decoupling of ‘growth’ from ecological pressures will not be enough to ensure ecological sustainability; for that, a downscaling of production and consumption is needed.
Wildfires threaten urban water supplies long after the flames are out, New York Times, June 24, 2021 After a forest burns, the resulting erosion can contaminate drinking water supplies for up to a decade. About two-thirds of drinking water in the United States originates in forests.
Related: How wildfires are polluting rivers and threatening water supplies, by Ed Struzik, Yale Environment 360, Oct 2, 2018
Container ship fire has caused one of the worst environmental disasters Sri Lanka has ever seen, Washington Post, June 15, 2021
Why the Green New Deal has failed, so far, by Matt Huber, Jacobin online magazine, May 5, 2021 [This essay is informative but of limited political and economic vision. The essay continues the author’s (and Jacobin‘s) refusal to embrace ‘degrowth’ as a fundamental guideline for political and social strategy in the face of the global warming emergency. This rejection is unfortunately common to the liberal environmental movement, including its ‘ecosocialist’ component. The essay has little to say about whether the imperialist Democratic Party machine can serve as an instrument for fundamental social and ecological change. (This recent commentary is the latest to argue a firm ‘no’ to that proposition.) If the Democratic Party is not such an instrument for change, then what new alignment of political as well as class forces can lead the fight against the exploitative and environmentally destructive policies of globalized capitalism? These policies endemic to globalized capitalism, so what is the systemic alternative? Such questions remain unexplored by critical environmental thinkers and advocates.].
Related: A response to Matt Huber: Facts and logic in support of degrowth, by Timothée Parrique, published on his website, Apr 12, 2021
Share of fossil fuels in global energy mix ‘has not movd by an inch’ in a decade, Common Dreams, June 15, 2021 ‘We are waking up to the bitter reality that the climate policy promises over the past 10 years have mostly been empty words,’ said the executive director of REN21, which released the new report
Related: No change in fossil fuel use despite ‘tremendous’ global growth of renewables, report finds, The Energy Mix (Canada), June 16, 2021
Global warming batters the U.S. West before summer even begins, New York Times, June 16, 2021 Global warming, driven by the burning of fossil fuels, has been heating up and drying out the American West for years. Now the region is broiling under a combination of a drought that is the worst in two decades and a record-breaking heat wave.
* An intense drought is gripping the American West, New York Times, June 10, 2021 (includes extensive mapping comparisons)
* The Southwest’s water problems are about to get much worse, Washington Post, June 9, 2021
* Most of the salmon in California’s 2nd largest river, the Klamath, are dead or dying due to a deadly pathogen prospering in record-low water levels, Daily Kos, June 15, 2021
* Water crisis ‘couldn’t be worse’ on Oregon-California border, Associated Press, May 24, 2021
Ice shelf of Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier is ripping itself apart, speeding up the glacier’s melting, by researchers at University of Washington, June 11, 2021 and read: The acceleration of Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier descent into the sea shows how global warming can rapidly break up polar ice and raise sea level, by Bob Berwyn, Inside Climate News, June 11, 2021
Reference: Ice-shelf retreat drives recent Pine Island Glacier speedup, by Ian Joughin, Daniel Shapero, Ben Smith, Pierre Dutrieux and Mark Barham, Science Advances Magazine, June 11, 2021
Squamish Nation asks B.C. government to defer old-growth logging for two years in its traditional territory just north of Vancouver, Global News, June 10, 2021 [The ‘War In The Woods 2’ that has unfolded in recent months in the forests around Port Renfrew, BC (some 200 km west of Victoria) is sparking a broader movement of opposition across the province to forest industry practices of clearcut logging, including of old growth forests. The government has bowed to public and protest pressure in calling a halt to old growth logging around Port Renfrew, but environmental activists say the announcement is deceptive and does not sufficiently protect the forested areas in dispute. The BC government says old growth makes up 23 per cent of all forests in the province, but an independent report by scientists in the spring of 2020 found only three per cent of the province’s land supports old growth. ]
* Scientists urge B.C. to immediately defer logging in key old-growth forests amid arrests, by Matt Simmons, The Narwhal, May 19, 2021
* It’s time to stop logging old-growth forests, by David Suzuki, published on the website of the David Suzuki Foundation, April 15, 2021
* Back to the blockades: Why I continue to fight for British Columbia’s old-growth forests, op-ed commentary by Tzeporah Berman, published in Globe and Mail print edition, May 24, 2021 read the commentary here in pdf format: Defending old growth forests
* The protests against destruction of old-growth forests centered around Fairy Creek on southern Vancouver Island are shaping up to be historic. Special report in Globe and Mail, May 27, 2021
Wealthy nations continue to finance natural gas for developing countries, putting climate goals at risk, by Nicholas Kusnetz, Inside Climate News, June 7, 2021 While natural gas once held the promise of serving as a “bridge fuel” to a cleaner future, a growing body of scientific research suggests the fossil fuel will need to be phased out rapidly in coming decades in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Report details fossil fuel industry’s deceptive ‘net zero’ strategy, Common Dreams, June 9, 2021 The 24-page report ‘The Big Con: How Big Polluters Are Advancing a ‘Net Zero’ Climate Agenda to Delay, Deceive, and Deny‘ is published by Corporate Accountability, the Global Forest Coalition, and Friends of the Earth International. It is endorsed by over 60 environmental organizations…
Related: Carbon capture and storage: Climate solution or prolonging humanity’s fossil fuel dependency?, Deutsche Welle, June 9, 2021
Nicaragua’s green revolution, by Rohan Rice, People’s Dispatch, June 6, 2021 While large polluting countries have refused to take necessary measures to slow the climate crisis, Nicaragua, one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, has taken impressive steps to shift to more sustainable energy
Related: How billion-dollar foundations fund NGOs to manipulate U.S. foreign policy: A case study from Nicaragua, by Rick Sterling, Covert Action Magazine, June 8, 2021
CO2 levels are at an all-time high — again, The Verge, June 7, 2021 and read: report in Common Dreams, June 7, 2021 …Planet-heating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere averaged 419 parts per million this May, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). That pileup of CO2 is comparable to where it was a little over 4 million years ago, when the average global temperature was about 7 degrees Fahrenheit hotter and sea levels were a whopping 78 feet higher than they are today…
New Zealand’s Climate Change Commission releases final report, RNZ, (Radio New Zealand), June 8, 2021 The Climate Change Commission has released its final report laying out the roadmap for the country to slash emissions and become carbon neutral by 2050
Related: ‘We need to move faster’: Climate Commission lays down challenge in final advice, The Spinoff, June 9, 2021
What does the Climate Change Commission’s roadmap mean for our lives?, by Olivia Wannan, Stuff.co.nz, June 9, 2021
New ‘ecosocialist’ statement reveals how the doctrine is spinning its wheels and failing to rise to the challenge of the global warming emergency. [A newly published ‘Ecosocialist Alliance Statement on G7 Conference‘ offers another example of how ecosocialism is stuck in the political mire. The entire statement is framed in an unrealistic call, to put it mildly, to the leaders of the large industrialized (imperialist) countries leaders to carry out a transitional, revolutionary program of social and environmental change. Among the reasons for the global warming emergency, according to the statement, is the “failure of governmental and corporate responsibility”. But in trashing the ecology of planet Earth, capitalist governments and corporations are doing exactly what the logic and imperatives of their economic order (capitalism) compel them to do. By their own anti-human standards, their efforts are not ‘failures’ but successes. They can no more change their ways than a leopard can change its spots. That is why a program of planned, step-by-step transitional measures is needed to combat the worst ravages of global warming, and it must ultimately lead to a planned, socialist economy. This is the only hope for humanity. The statement differs little from what coherent thinkers in social democratic or ‘green capitalist’ (Green) parties would write and say. There is no probing of political strategy in the statement, including no suggestions of the novel class alliances that are required to forge new paths for human development amidst the triple threat facing humanity: global warming, rising social and national inequities, and rising imperialist militarism and war (including the rising menace of nuclear weapons). Most notable of all, there is no mention of the imperative of degrowth, by which is meant a planned, radical reduction in the pillaging of the natural resources of the world and simultaneous reduction of the vast disparities in wealth and living standards between the tiny minority of wealthy capitalists and the vast majority of the world’s population, particularly the populations of underdeveloped countries. Instead, we read worn phrases and slogans lacking a coherent whole. The statement is a spinning of the ‘ecosocialist’ wheels in which the vehicle becomes more deeply stuck in a mire of its own making.—Roger Annis ]
Biden suspends oil leases in Alaska’s Arctic refuge, Associated Press, June 1, 2021
Related: Biden urged to create permanent protections from oil drilling in Arctic Wildlilfe Refuge, Common Dreams, June 1, 2021
The time has come to rein in the global scourge of palm oil, by Jocelyn C. Zuckerman, Yale Environment 360, May 27, 2021 The cultivation of palm oil, found in roughly half of U.S. grocery products, has devastated tropical ecosystems, released vast amounts of C02 into the atmosphere, and impoverished rural communities. But efforts are underway that could curb the abuses of this powerful industry.
Ecology newsroll headlines on A Socialist In Canada, May 2021
Two thirds of Canadians want governments to get tougher on business to tackle climate change and inequality, Toronto Star, May 31, 2021 A growing number of Canadians don’t believe in free-market solutions and want government to step in with stronger regulations in the fight against climate change. New survey data released by the Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation (CCPC) on May 31 has found that Canadian attitudes toward corporate accountability have shifted in the past year…
It’s wrong to blame ‘overpopulation’ for climate change, by Sarah Kaplan, climate and science writer,Washington Post, May 25, 2021 read the article and a related reading here in pdf format: Wrong to blame overpopulation
The enduring utopias of ‘ecosocialism’. [A book review by UK writer Martin Empsom of four recently published titles on the global warming emergency reveals the stubborn refusal (or inability) of ecosocialist thinkers to acknowledge the imperative of degrowth as the only viable path to overcome the emergency. The review appeared originally on the website of the right-socialist Socialist Workers Party in the UK. It has been re-published on the Climate and Capitalism website. A ‘degrowth’ strategy requires a careful assessment of the class alliances that are needed in order to carry out a transitional, step-by-step program to reduce global warming emission. Such a program would reduce the overall consumption of the planet’s natural resources while tackling the economic and social inequalities characteristic of globalized capitalism. It would also combat rising imperialist militarism and war. Instead, we read in the conclusion of the aformentioned book review these abstractions : “What we want is a democratically planned economy where production is organized in the interests of people and planet. This can only come out of mass revolutionary movements… the Paris Commune to the Soviets of the Russian Revolution, from the workers’ councils of the German Revolution in 1919 or the Hungarian and Portuguese revolutions of 1956 and 1974.” Note the absence here of any reference to countries in today’s world that are embarked on socialist paths of development–Cuba, Venezuela, China, Bolivia, North Korea–and in the case of Cuba, embarked of the radical economic and social changes required by the global warming emergency. That’s because for the ‘state capitalist’ thinkers of the UK Socialist Workers Party, there has been no revolutionary, social advances by the working class and farming classes since Russia in 1917! And further, according to these thinkers, any lasting achievements of the 1917 revolution in Russia have long been extinguished.]
Lithium, cobalt, and rare earths: The post-petroleum resource race and what to make of it, by Michael Klare, published in Tom Dispatch (a project of The Nation magazine), May 20, 2021
Extreme weather displaces record numbers of people as temperatures rise, Deutsche Welle, May 20, 2021 More than 40 million people were driven from their homes by continued conflict and worsening weather in 2020 as the climate grew increasingly chaotic.
The rapid growth of ghost forests on coastlines hit by salt water ingress, Smithsonian Magazine, May 17, 2021
Intensive fishing and the birth of capitalism, by Ian Angus, publisher, Climate and Capitalism, May 13, 2021 (part four of a foour-part series) Centuries before the industrial revolution, the first factories transformed seafood production
Int’l Energy Agency admits fossil fuels must stay in the ground, Common Dreams, May 18, 2021 The IEA’s new report, ‘Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector‘, states there is “no need for investment in new fossil fuel supply in our net-zero pathway”.
[The global warming consequences of the IEA report are being seriously misrepresented by liberal environmentalists such as Bill McKibben. The report encourages a vast expansion of ‘alternative energy’ infrastructure and production in order to maintain the proliferate levels of commodity production and consumption that are causing the global warming emergency in the first place. The ‘net zero emissions’ goal in the report is code language for imperialist countries to offload their production of global warming emissions onto the underdeveloped world, while only fools or ideologues can give credence to the report’s endorsation of the failed or unproven technologies to ‘capture and store’ carbon emissions underground.]
Filmmaker and environmental activist Avi Lewis seeks federal candidacy for pro-fossil fuel NDP. Report by CTV News, May 17, 2021 [Avi Lewis is embarked on a path already trod by others such as Svend Robinson to channel progressive social and environmental movement into the fold of the pro-fossil fuel, conservative New Democratic Party. In 2015, he and partner Naomi Klein spearheaded the issuance of the ‘Leap Manifesto‘ as a mechanism for transforming the NDP into a party responsive to the young generation of social and environmental activists. This was linked to their support to the various ‘Green New Deals’ around the world, which posit green capitalist measures to combat global warming. But the NDP hierarchy would have nothing of the Leap Manifesto; the initiative was formally dissolved in March 2021. Avi Lewis is seeking the NDP nomination in the electoral district of West Vancouver/Sea-To-Sky, one of the wealthiest electoral districts in Canada. In the 2019 federal election, the Green Party won 22 per cent of the vote in the district while the NDP won 14 per cent. Frictions between the two parties have worsened after the BC NDP government called a pandemic election in October 2020 with the express purpose of eliminating Green Party representation in the provincial legislature. The election call ‘worked’–the NDP government went from minority government status, reliant on Green Party representatives to approve legislation, to a majority government.]
Drastic methane cuts are both urgent and possible, by Tim Radford, Climate News Network, May 13, 2021
The United States has entered unprecedented global warming territory, warns a report by the Environmental Protection Agency suppressed for three years under the Donald Trump regime. Report in Washington Post, May 12, 2021 Read the report here in pdf format: EPA report issues dire warning
Related: As the climate warms, could the U.S. face another dust bowl?, by Nathaniel Scharping, Yale Environment 360, May 13, 2021 Improved agricultural practices and widespread irrigation may stave off another agricultural calamity in the Great Plains. But scientists are now warning that two inescapable realities — rising temperatures and worsening drought — could still spawn a modern-day Dust Bowl.
Climate emissions shrinking the stratosphere, scientists reveal, The Guardian, May 12, 2021
Air pollution from animal-based food production is linked to 12,700 deaths each year in U.S., study says, CNN, May 11, 2021
New modeling of Antarctic ice shows unstoppable sea level rise if Paris targets overshot, EurekAlert!, May 5, 2021 The world is currently on track to exceed three degrees Celsius of global warming. New research led by the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Rob DeConto, co-director of the School of Earth & Sustainability, shows that such a scenario would drastically accelerate the pace of sea-level rise by 2100. If the rate of global warming continues on its current trajectory, we will reach a tipping point by 2060, past which these consequences would be “irreversible on multi-century timescales.” The new paper is published today in the science journal Nature…
Related: Scientists are still struggling to understand the sea level risks posed by Antarctica, Washington Post, May 5, 2021 Two studies find the Paris climate goals could significantly reduce sea level rise by 2100 — but also show researchers still grappling with how climate change will alter the world’s largest ice sheet
Glass buildings singled out as climate disasters, by John Lorinc, Corporate Knights, Apr 22, 2021
The climate solution actually adding millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, by Lisa Song, ProPublica, and James Temple, MIT Technology Review, May 5, 2021 New research shows that California’s climate policy created up to 39 million carbon credits that aren’t achieving real carbon savings. But companies can buy these forest offsets to justify polluting more anyway.
What would a deep Green New Deal look like? by Don Fitz, published in Green Social Thought, Apr 28, 2021 Decreasing total energy use–including ‘renewable’ and ‘alternative’ energies–is a prerequisite for securing human existence.
Looming showdown as Michigan governor orders shutdown of Enbridge Inc. ‘Line 5’ pipeline carrying Alberta oil eastward through Lake Michigan, Washington Post, May 2, 2021 …Line 5, built in 1953, is part of Enbridge’s mainland system, which carries fuel from Alberta’s oil sands [sic] to the Midwestern United States and Eastern Canada. Running from Superior, Wis., to Sarnia, Ontario, it is a key conduit for refineries in those regions, which make gas, propane and home-heating oils, as well as jet fuels for airports in Toronto and Detroit. Line 5 splits into dual pipelines for 4.5 miles under Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac…
Glaciers melting at a faster rate, new study finds, Al Jazeera, Apr 28, 2021 Accelerating pace of melt contributing more than 20 percent to sea level rise, threatens populous coastal cities, reports new study in Nature magazine.
Related: Accelerated global glacier mass loss in the early twenty-first century, research report by multiple authors, published in Nature magazine, Apr 28, 2021 (paywalled)
Ecology newsroll headlines on A Socialist In Canada, April 2021
There aren’t enough trees in the world to offset society’s carbon emissions and there never will be, by Bonnie Waring (Imperial College, London), The Conversation, Apr 23, 2021
Oceans are ‘at the precipice of disaster’, says new report by researchers against toxic chemical pollution, news report by Climate and Capitalism, Apr 27, 2021 The aquatic food web has been seriously compromised by chemical pollution and climate change
* Escalating chemical production threatens aquatic food chain, media release by the International Pollutants Elimination Network and the National Toxics Network, April 27, 2021
* Aquatic pollutants in oceans and fisheries, 88-page report by lead authors Matt Landos, Mariann Lloyd Smith and Joanna Immig, April 2021 Here in pdf format
Wine industry in France suffers devatating blows from erratic weather, including record warm in March and record freezing in April, Washington Post, Apr 27, 2021
Climate scientists: concept of net zero is a dangerous trap, lengthy essay by James Dyke (University of Exeter), Robert Watson (University of East Anglia) and Wolfgang Knorr (Lund University), The Conversation, Apr 22, 2021 …’Net zero’ is the point at which any residual emissions of greenhouse gases are balanced by technologies removing them from the atmosphere. This is a great idea, in principle. Unfortunately, in practice it helps perpetuate a belief in technological salvation and diminishes the sense of urgency surrounding the need to curb emissions now…
Corporate media in U.S. hits the ‘snooze’ button on global warming alarm, by Julie Hollar, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, Apr 23, 2021
China’s 2060 climate pledge is ‘largely consistent’ with 1.5C goal, study finds, by Xiaoying You, Carbon Brief, Apr 22, 2021 [This informative analysis is nevertheless predicated on the dubious belief that a 1.5C degree goal for global warming can be treated like any other policy goal with a specific target. But 1.5C degrees of global warming will already be disastrous for humanity, leave alone the ‘multiplier’ effects that will continue to press global temperatires upward. Multiplier effects shred the notion of 1.5C being something akin to a light switch–once flicked on or off, as the case may be, mission accomplished.].
Related: Despite pledges to cut emissions, China goes on a coal spree, Yale Environment 360, Mar 24, 2021
Mexico’s drought reaches critical levels as lakes dry up, Associated Press, Apr 22, 2021 Drought conditions now cover 85 per cent of Mexico, and residents of the nation’s central region said Thursday that lakes and reservoirs are simply drying up, including the country’s second-largest body of fresh water…
A nasty pandemic problem in the U.S.: More flushed wipes are clogging pipes, sending sewage into homes, Washington Post, Apr 24, 2021
Further exhange by Monthly Review editors with the ecosocialists who condemn China in the harshest term. Exchange published by Monthly Review, Apr 12, 2021
Previously reported: China and climate change: An exchange by Monthly Review editors with the right-wing socialists who condemn China. Commentary by the editors of Monthly Review, published in MR Online, Apr 12, 2021 [This informative and timely commentary by the editors of Monthly Review unfortunately sidesteps the inaccurate and undocumented claims by multiple Trotskyist and pseudo-Trotskyist writers arguing that China is ‘imperialist’. The same writers also attach this epithet to Russia, similarly with zero research to explain and back their case. The issue is highly relevant because developed, imperialist economies, with their built-in expansion dynamics, are a far greater threat to the world’s ecology than the less stable economies of China and Russia. ‘Less stable’ means ‘more prone to pressure’. The Russian and Chinese economies, yes, are driven by expansion imperatives, but these operate differently and less forcefully compared to the imperialist economies. Both countries have achieved significant reductions in poverty during the past two decades, especially China. Elsewhere in this commentary, Monthly Review editors continue to move ever-so-slowly to endorsing the imperative of degrowth. They write, “China, like the rest of the world, desperately needs an ecological revolution, which must necessarily go beyond mere ecological modernization. This will mean questioning the whole role of economic growth…”]
Greta Thunberg says humanity must not be fooled by ‘bullshit’ climate targets of world leaders, Common Dreams, Apr 22, 2021 [Watch Greta Thunberg’s remarks, five minutes, to an April 22 session of the U.S. House Subcommittee on the Environment, at the 33’30” mark of the YouTube link in the Common Dreams article. “I don’t believe for a second that you will actually [fight against the climate crisis]… There is something that I really do wonder: ‘How long do you honestly believe that people in power like you will get away with it? How long do you think you can continue to ignore the climate crisis.. without being held accountable?’ ”
World Meteorological Organization releases its ‘State of the Global Climate 2020’ annual report, highlighting ‘relentless, continuing’ global warming, press release by World Meteorological Organization, April 19, 2021 The six years since 2015 have been the warmest on record. 2011-2020 was the warmest decade on record.
Related: UN chief warns the world is on the ‘verge of the abyss’ as WMO releases annual climate report, Common Dreams, Apr 21, 2021
Beyond the growth imperative, essay and book review by Olaf Bruns, published in Green European Journal, Apr 13, 2021 Reviewing: Post Growth: Life after Capitalism, by Tim Jackson, Polity Press, 2021 256 pp
Gov’t report on land use in New Zealand shows extent of destruction caused by dairy farming, Radio New Zealand, Apr 16, 2021
During visit by special envoy for climate John Kerry, U.S and China agree to cooperate on climate crisis with urgency, Associated Press, Apr 17, 2021
How finance from rich nations could drive 40 per cent of new coal plant emissions, Carbon Brief, Apr 14, 2021 Severe criticism is often levelled at Asian nations where the vast majority of coal power construction is taking place, while coal use declines in Europe and North America. However, our new study – published in Environmental Research Letters –
finds that a different picture emerges when emissions are based on who has financed coal plants rather than who is building them. Funding for coal projects has often come from banks and investors in wealthy European nations and the US. Based on financial inputs from overseas, we find that 40% of “committed emissions” from a sample of coal plants that have been built or proposed since 2015 could be attributed to these nations – with most of the remainder coming from Chinese banks…
New study in Journal of Applied Ecology finds undisclosed ingredients in Roundup that are lethal to bumblebees, Common Dreams, Apr 16, 2021
Carbon dioxide levels now at highest level in 3.6 million years, statement by U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Apr 7, 2021
The environmental impacts of ‘green’ technology, by Julia Barnes, CounterPunch, Apr 9, 2021 Julia Barnes is a Toronto-based filmmaker and director of the forthcoming documentary film Bright Green Lies. The film premieres on Earth Day, April 22, as a live-streaming event and Q&A with director Julia Barnes and book authors Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith and Max Wilbert. Tickets are available at https://www.brightgreenlies.com/.
Related: Read a synopsis of Bright Green Lies, including favorable mention by writer and author Chris Hedges, here. The book is 500 pages and is published by Monkfish Book Publishing.
One third of Antarctic ice shelf area at risk of collapse as planet warms, report by University of Reading (England), published in Phys.org, Apr 8, 2021
Are huge tree planting projects more hype than solution?, Yale Environment 360, Apr 8, 2021