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Category Archives: Environmental Law

One Thing You Can Do: Know Your Tree Facts

The New York Times Climate Newsletter – July 19, 2019: “We recently told you about a study that looked at how many more trees could grow on Earth and how much carbon they could absorb from the atmosphere. The answer: The planet has room for about 2.5 billion acres of forest, and all those trees could suck up an additional 200 gigatons of carbon. While that wouldn’t solve climate change, it would be a huge help. That kind of reforestation would be a monumental global undertaking, but every single tree still counts. They all sequester carbon. So, if you plant a tree, what kind should it be? Peter Del Tredici, senior research scientist emeritus at the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University said that, for trees to sequester a lot of carbon, they need to live long and healthy lives. “You want a tree that is going to survive in your climate with the minimum amount of maintenance,” he said. To have a meaningful effect, he said, a tree must live at least 10 to 20 years. “It takes that long for a tree to build up enough foliage so that it can have a substantial impact on the environment,” Dr. Del Tredici said. With that in mind, oaks can be great in the Northeast, while ficus trees might work better in Southern California. In the Northwest, just about everything does well. Nonnative, noninvasive species like the ginkgo tree are good options, too…

…The Arbor Day Foundation has a plenty of tools — like a best-tree finder and a hardiness zone look-up — to help identify the right tree for the right place. The Department of Agriculture’s I-Tree lets you design your optimal tree placement. Another useful exercise is simply to walk around an arboretum or botanical garden to get a sense of what you like. A nursery can be a great resource as well…”

Overlooked No More: Florence Merriam Bailey, Who Defined Modern Bird-Watching

The New York Times – “Her pioneering approach involved quietly examining birds in their natural habitat, rather than shooting them, as people had previously done…A student at Smith College at the time, Bailey decided to start a grassroots effort, with a simple step: She took her fellow classmates outdoors. “We won’t say too much about… Continue Reading

For 35 years a scientist and his team have been taking the pulse of 10 coastal glaciers

Hakai Magazine – The diagnosis is in. “…A high mountain glacier, in its frigid, deadly enormity, doesn’t feel much like a landscape meant for humans. In the European Alps, medieval myths held that glaciers carried curses and incarcerated the frozen souls of the damned. And yet, on a grand scale, where glaciers and humans coexist,… Continue Reading

The 100 Most Sustainable U.S. Companies

Barron’s – How much of a company’s journey toward sustainability is driven by the personal passions of its CEO? Based on the conversations Barron’s had recently with several corporate chieftains, quite a lot. That’s one of the insights from our second annual sustainability ranking of public companies… To create the rankings, Calvert Research and Management… Continue Reading

Decoupling debunked – Evidence and arguments against green growth as a sole strategy for sustainability

Via – EEB – Europe’s largest network of environmental NGOs, bringing together around 150 civil society organisations from more than 30 European countries (virtually all EU Member States plus some accession and neighbouring countries), including a growing number of European networks. “Is it possible to enjoy both economic growth and environmental sustainability? This question is… Continue Reading

Seeds of life: The plants suited to climate change

BBC – “Experts at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, selected 11 seeds from plants and trees that may be better suited to climate change than other species. Using a scanning electron microscope, artist Rob Kesseler created striking colourised images of the seeds in extraordinary detail. The five experts at Kew in London chose the species based… Continue Reading

NOAA designates new national marine sanctuary in Maryland

NOAA – Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary, about 40 miles south of Washington, D.C., will be the first national marine sanctuary designated since 2000.  “The designation of Mallows Bay as a national marine sanctuary is an exciting milestone for NOAA and an opportunity for the public to celebrate and help protect this piece of… Continue Reading

Bitcoin’s energy consumption ‘equals that of Switzerland’

BBC – “Bitcoin uses as much energy as the whole of Switzerland, a new online tool from the University of Cambridge shows. The tool makes it easier to see how the crypto-currency network’s energy usage compares with other entities. However, one expert argued that it was the crypto-currency’s carbon footprint that really mattered. Currently, the… Continue Reading