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Category Archives: Climate Change

Then the Birds Began to Die

The Atlantic: “I carried on for more than a year of the coronavirus pandemic, but I didn’t see the next plague coming…. David Curson, the director of bird conservation for Audubon Mid-Atlantic, told me that the earliest reports of the mysterious deaths had reached local authorities in late April, sparking investigations across the region. Researchers at the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. Geological Survey, and several state wildlife agencies have all rushed to study infected and dead birds to pinpoint a specific cause of the illness, but so far, the responsible pathogen remains unknown. “Really there’s two symptoms,” Curson told me. “One is that these birds’ eyes are crusty, so they’re showing signs of infection around their eyes. And then there’s neurological symptoms, twitching body parts of the bird, or the whole bird twitching or showing lethargy or disorientation … And then of course, eventually they’re dying.” Epidemics among birds are common. “Diseases circulate in wildlife populations regularly,” Curson said, “and there’s a lot of different diseases that influence birds … It’s no reason to panic just because there’s a disease in a bird population.” The alarming thing, he said, is that this sickness is yet unidentified, and that the birds themselves are so familiar. Grackles, starlings, jays, and robins are all among the more identifiable and robust birds that gather at our feeders, each with their distinctive plumage—blue or red or oil-slick starlight or iridescent peacock-teal shading into bronze. All of them are on the larger side for songbirds, closer to the two cupped handfuls of a mourning dove than the scant palmful of a house finch. When you find them, in other words, you notice them…”

These wildfire tracker maps show smoke, hot spots, and air quality by zip code

Fast Company: “Now that midsummer is synonymous with out-of-control wildfires, researchers and government agencies are putting out impressive online mapping systems to help people understand their peril. As California, Oregon, Washington, and other states brace for another devastating wildfire season, fire mapping has improved substantially since last year. Here’s where to bookmark…” Continue Reading

If you’re not a climate reporter yet, you will be

Nieman Lab: “Covid-19 coverage offers lessons for reporting on the climate crisis. The degree of interdisciplinary collaboration with the science desk is new, and it could prove a model for how news organizations cover the climate crisis.. Never in the history of modern news journalism has a science story — the story of a new… Continue Reading

Keeping Track of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Progress and Targets in 167 Cities Worldwide

Keeping Track of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Progress and Targets in 167 Cities Worldwide: “Actions in cities shape the outcome of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission mitigation and our climate change response. Accurate and consistent carbon inventories are essential for identifying the main sources of emissions and global comparison of carbon reduction progress and would help… Continue Reading

A Low Carbon Fuel Standard: In Brief

CRS: A Low Carbon Fuel Standard: In Brief July 7, 2021: “One policy option Congress may examine is a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS). An LCFS is a policy that requires transportation fuels to meet a certain energy-related GHG target (e.g., a specific carbon intensity) within a specified jurisdiction and time frame. Some states have… Continue Reading

From Syria to Lebanon, Saving the Seeds That Could Save Humanity

Newslines – “The story behind the seed genebank, or “doomsday vault,” and how it thrives despite war and displacement seeds that could save humanity were in a vault in Syria. Then the war came, and the seeds were relocated to Lebanon for safekeeping. The move was actually a return to Lebanon, where ICARDA was first… Continue Reading

We Are Living in a Climate Emergency, and We’re Going to Say So

Scientific American – “…This idea is not a journalistic fancy. We are on solid scientific ground. In January Scientific American published an article about a study entitled “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency.” At the time, more than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries had signed a report to signify their agreement that the world is… Continue Reading

Join NYT Today for Netting Zero Virtual Event Series on Climate Change

“Each episode of Netting Zero brings together New York Times journalists with climate experts from business, policy, government, and civil society. Join us on July 1 to discuss our built environment – The New York Times  Thursday, July 11:30 p.m. E.T. | 10:30 a.m. P.T. | 6:30 p.m. B.S.T.  In the past year, as cities… Continue Reading

Tree Equity Score

“A map of tree cover in any city in the United States is too often a map of race and income. This is unacceptable. Trees are critical infrastructure that every person in every neighborhood deserves. Trees can help address damaging environmental inequities like air pollution. The score evaluates data from each neighborhood’s: Existing tree canopy;… Continue Reading