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Category Archives: Environmental Law

Study – Climate crisis more politically polarizing than abortion for US voters

The Guardian – Democrats ranked global heating as the third most important issue on their list, while Republican voters ranked it last in a Yale poll: “Surging concern among Americans about an overheating planet has done little to shift a political polarization that has now reached a stunning extreme: climate breakdown divides Democrats and Republicans even more than abortion does.

When voters were asked to rank topics important to them for the 2020 presidential election, conservative Republicans put global warming last out of 29 issues. Liberal Democrats placed the issue third, behind only environmental protection and healthcare.

This yawning gap in priorities between the two voting groups, highlighted in new Yale University data, is more stark than traditionally divisive topics such as abortion and gun control. Abortion ranks fifth and gun policies sit in seventh for conservative Republicans, with these issues coming in at number 13 and number seven, respectively, for progressive Democrats…”

Why the Guardian is changing the language it uses about the environment

From now, house style guide recommends terms such as ‘climate crisis’ and ‘global heating’ – “We want to ensure that we are being scientifically precise, while also communicating clearly with readers on this very important issue,” said the editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner. “The phrase ‘climate change’, for example, sounds rather passive and gentle when what scientists… Continue Reading

Maryland and Virginia are among nation’s best states

US News Best States Rankings – Measuring outcomes for citizens using more than 70 metrics – “Some states shine in health care. Some soar in education. Some excel in both – or in much more. The Best States ranking of U.S. states draws on thousands of data points to measure how well states are performing for… Continue Reading

Jared Diamond: There’s a 49 Percent Chance the World As We Know It Will End by 2050

New York Magazine – Intelligencer: “Jared Diamond’s new book, Upheaval, addresses itself to a world very obviously in crisis, and tries to lift some lessons for what do about it from the distant past. In that way, it’s not so different from all the other books that have made the UCLA geographer a sort of… Continue Reading

This Bird Went Extinct and Then Evolved Into Existence Again

Motherboard – “We know of no other example in rails, or of birds in general, that demonstrates this phenomenon so evidently.” “…According to a study published Wednesday in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, the rail is an example of a rarely observed phenomenon called iterative evolution, in which the same ancestral lineage produces… Continue Reading

Winners of the 2019 BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition

Follow up to my previous posting on April 6, 2019 – Report – Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’ – Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’ – via The Atlantic – “Entrants in this year’s contest were invited to submit images that showcase Earth’s biodiversity and show some of the mounting threats to the natural world. These images originally appeared… Continue Reading

Report – Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’ – Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’

Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) – Current global response insufficient; – ‘Transformative changes’ needed to restore and protect nature; Opposition from vested interests can be overcome for public good – Most comprehensive assessment of its kind; 1,000,000 species threatened with extinction: “Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history… Continue Reading

Map identifies companies around the world most responsible for greenhouse gas emissions

The Decolonial Atlas – Names and Locations of the Top 100 People Killing the Planet – “Just 100 companies are responsible for more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988. The guys who run those companies – and they are mostly guys – have gotten rich on the backs of literally all life… Continue Reading

‘Climate denial’ just made it into the dictionary. Wait, what?

Grist: “The world is on fire, and so is our vocabulary. Merriam-Webster added 640 new words to its online dictionary last week. The additions include swole (“extremely muscular”), new meanings for snowflake (someone who is “treated as unique or special” or “overly sensitive”) and, you guessed it, a whole batch of neologisms tied to the… Continue Reading