Ecology International members often communicate with other ecologically oriented groups and companies committed to identifying and resolving the Earth's ecological issues. Below are copies of some of those emails and other recent communications that bring awareness to the status and key aspects of several on-going local and global ecological issues of current interest:
It's time to heed warnings about humanity's collision course by David Suzuki, David Suzuki Foundation (January 5th, 2017).
The longer we delay addressing environmental problems, the more difficult it will be to resolve them. Although we've known about climate change and its potential impacts for a long time, and we're seeing those impacts worsen daily, our political representatives are still approving and promoting fossil fuel infrastructure as if we had all the time in the world to slow global warming. We can't say we weren't warned. In 1992, a majority of living Nobel prize-winners and more than 1,700 leading scientists worldwide signed a remarkable document called "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity". Click here to view the details and get a sense of the urgency for us to act now!
"World class" may not mean much when it comes to oil spill response by David Suzuki with contributions from Senior Editor Ian Hanington, David Suzuki Foundation (November 3rd, 2016).
Governments and industry promoting fossil fuel infrastructure often talk about "world class" spill response. It's one of the conditions B.C.'s government has imposed for approval of new oil pipelines. But we're either not there or the term has little meaning as evidenced by recent small spills in B.C. and elsewhere. Click here for more details!
Before the flood by Leonardo DiCaprio and Fisher Stevens, National Geographic and Ratpac Documentary Films (October, 2016).
If you could know the truth about the threat of climate change — would you want to know? Presented by National Geographic, the film features Leonardo DiCaprio on a journey as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, traveling to five continents and the Arctic to witness climate change firsthand. He goes on expeditions with scientists uncovering the reality of climate change and meets with political leaders fighting against inaction. He also discovers a calculated disinformation campaign orchestrated by powerful special interests working to confuse the public about the urgency of the growing climate crisis. With unprecedented access to thought leaders around the world, DiCaprio searches for hope in a rising tide of catastrophic news. To view the film for free on YouTube, click here . For more information about the film, click here.
Will growing our fuels drive us to a cleaner future? by David Suzuki with contributions from Senior Editor Ian Hanington, David Suzuki Foundation (Jul 28, 2016).
The shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy is occurring mainly at the power plant level. But what about transportation? Can we significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by switching to cleaner fuels? Or is this just an attempt to keep 20th century technology chugging along while trading one set of environmental problems for another? Click here to learn more!
Feeding humanity in a warming world by David Suzuki with contributions from Senior Editor Ian Hanington, David Suzuki Foundation (May 27, 2016).
Calculating farming's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is difficult, but experts agree that feeding the world's people has tremendous climate and environmental impacts. According to the EPA, emissions from deforestation and agriculture are the second-largest global emitters after heat and electricity. David Suzuki says "We are part of nature, so harming it hurts us. The planet provides resources to feed us. We must learn to use them sustainably". Click here to read the entire article!
Geothermal: Tapping Earth's abundant energy by David Suzuki with contributions from Senior Editor Ian Hanington, David Suzuki Foundation (Apr 1, 2016).
In the midst of controversy over B.C.'s Peace River Site C dam project, the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association released a study showing the province could get the same amount of energy more affordably from geothermal sources for about half the construction costs. Unlike Site C, geothermal wouldn't require massive transmission upgrades, would be less environmentally disruptive and would create more jobs throughout the province rather than just in one area. Click here to read more!
Sea star wasting disease among worst wildlife die-offs say scientists by Lisa Johnson, CBC News (Jan 21, 2016).
The sea star wasting disease that's causing mysterious and dramatic die-offs on the Pacific coast is still killing the animals — and hitting a bigger range of species over a larger area than originally thought. "This is, if not the, certainly one of the biggest wildlife die-offs that have ever been recorded, and we're not just talking marine die-offs." Click here to learn more.
Heat record: 2015 was hottest year by huge margin by the Associated Press (Jan 20, 2016).
"El Nino partly to blame, but human was the main driver, NASA and NOAA scientists say". 2015 was by far the hottest year in 136 years of record keeping. NOAA said 2015's temperature was 14.79 degrees Celsius (58.62 degrees Fahrenheit), passing 2014 by a record margin of 0.16 C (0.29 F). Click here to read more!
Man-made heat put in oceans has doubled since 1997 by Seth Borenstein, phys.org (January 18, 2016).
Scientists have long known that more than 90 percent of the heat energy from man-made global warming goes into the world's oceans instead of the ground. The world's oceans absorbed approximately 150 zettajoules of energy from 1865 to 1997, and then absorbed about another 150 in the next 18 years. Click here to read more!
Ice sheets may be hiding vast reservoirs of powerful greenhouse gas by phys.org (January 13, 2016).
Ice sheets can create, contain and maintain large amounts of gas hydrates, a frozen form of concentrated climate gas methane. As the ice sheets retreat, the methane rich hydrates can melt, releasing the methane gas into the ocean and atmosphere. Click here to view the recent findings!
Ocean Acidification behind rise in price of B.C. shellfish by CBC News (January 8, 2016).
Scallops and oysters have long been among B.C.'s signature seafood stocks, but there is now concern that with oceans becoming more acidic, shellfish are struggling to survive. 'When we try to get our animals to reproduce ... they have difficulty creating their shell,' say hatcheries. Click here for more info!
Annual Arctic report card shows record warmth and retreating ice by Johanna Wagstaffe, CBC News (December 16, 2015).
Not only were Arctic temperatures well above average, some areas saw the highest temperatures since record-keeping began in 1900. For the second straight year, the Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the planet — a finding that was recently affirmed by Environment Canada scientists. Click here to read more
Failing phytoplankton, failing oxygen: Global warming disaster could suffocate life on planet Earth by the University of Leicester (December 1, 2015).
Falling oxygen levels caused by global warming could be a greater threat to the survival of life on planet Earth than flooding, according to researchers from the University of Leicester. Click here to read the full report!
In a report published by the American Meteorological Society, researchers took a look at all the extreme weather events of last year, and attempted to see which were linked to climate change and which were just flukes of nature. In all, 32 groups of scientists from around the world looked into 28 different extreme weather events, from drought and heat waves to storms, snowfall and flooding. Click here to see the results!
The island of Palau, which is as small as New York City, is creating a marine reserve larger than California. In one of the largest reserve projects ever announced, Palau is committed to protecting a jaw-dropping 80 percent of its territorial waters. Click here to read more!
A new report in the journal Science on global warming and the oceans is an implicit rebuke to climate laggards. The oceans are growing warmer, losing oxygen and becoming more acidic as they absorb carbon pollution. “Warm-water coral have already been affected, as have mid-latitude seagrass, high-latitude pteropods (marine snails) and krill, mid-latitude bivalves, and fin fishes,” the scientists say. That affects people from the high Arctic to the tropics who rely on ocean fisheries, coral reefs, mangroves and other aquatic ecosystems. The scientists hope their alarming findings, and their call for “immediate and substantial” cuts in greenhouse emissions, will focus minds and spur action at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year. The United States and 200 other nations will try to agree on a global deal to cut fossil fuel use from 2020 onwards, to prevent Earth’s temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius over the pre-industrial average. Click here to read more!
The idea is to encourage habits that we could continue all of the time to make helping the planet more than an annual activity. Can you incorporate these 30 reasonably simple practices into your everyday lives? Click here to check them out!
Giving up fossil fuels will not only save life on Earth — it will also save us money. And if our political leaders — whoever they are — believe that they will win or lose elections on this issue, then they will step smartly up to the plate, if only just in the nick of time. Click here to read more!