The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.

‘Indigenous people are stabilizing the global climate’

The Paris Agreement included indigenous peoples as a key element to improve climate protection. Recent studies have shown that titling land rights to indigenous communities decreases deforestation and forest degradation.

However, indigenous leaders say their land rights are still being violated – which prevents them from properly protecting the forests in which they live. Violent protests in Brasilia in late April have brought back the discussion back to the spotlight, as did a brutal attack on an indigenous tribe in Brazil at the beginning of May, in which a man had his hands cut off.

Humans on the verge of causing Earth’s fastest climate change in 50m years

A new study published in Nature Communications looks at changes in solar activity and carbon dioxide levels over the past 420 million years. The authors found that on our current path, by mid-century humans will be causing the fastest climate change in approximately 50 million years, and if we burn all available fossil fuels, we’ll cause the fastest change in the entire 420 million year record.

Wide-ranging recommendations for mitigating the grave effects of climate change on human health

A farmworker dies in 109-degree heat in a lemon orchard in California, in 2015. In Missouri, hospitalizations for heat-related illnesses skyrocket in 2006, a year of unusually high temperatures.

And since the arrival of Asian tiger mosquitoes in Memphis in 1983, the insects—capable of spreading Zika, dengue and West Nile Virus—have invaded 37 states. In the densely populated Northeast, Asian tiger mosquitoes are poised to triple their range before 2045—doubling the number of people potentially exposed to these diseases from 18 million to more than 30 million.

In every case, the root cause is climate change.

Arctic Nations May Confront U.S. on Climate Change

FAIRBANKS, Alaska—Diplomats from eight Arctic nations are facing a standoff […] over the Trump administration’s efforts to downplay the importance of climate change in an Arctic Council ministerial statement marking the end of the United States’ two-year council chairmanship.

During the meeting, the top government officials are scheduled to sign a final statement highlighting the accomplishments of the U.S. chairmanship, as well as Finland’s plans for its upcoming term as head of the council.

But foreign policy staff arriving in Fairbanks early this week said they have not yet signed off on the wording of the ministerial statement proposed by the White House in advance of the meeting. They disagree with Trump administration efforts to weaken the references to climate change and the Paris climate accord.

Slow-freezing Alaska soil driving surge in carbon dioxide emissions

Alaska’s soils are taking far longer to freeze over as winter approaches than in previous decades, resulting in a surge in carbon dioxide emissions that could portend a much faster rate of global warming than scientists had previously estimated, according to new research.

Measurements of carbon dioxide levels taken from aircraft, satellites and on the ground show that the amount of CO2 emitted from Alaska’s frigid northern tundra increased by 70% between 1975 and 2015, in the period between October and December each year.

Researchers said warming temperatures and thawing soils were the likely cause of the increase in CO2 at a time of year when the upper layers of soil usually start freezing over as winter sets in.

Wind Industry Just Chalked Up Strongest First Quarter in 8 Years

America’s wind power workforce installed 908 utility-scale turbines in the first quarter of 2017, totaling 2,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity. This is the wind industry’s strongest start in eight years, according to a new report released Tuesday by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

“We switched on more megawatts in the first quarter than in the first three quarters of last year combined,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA, in releasing the U.S. Wind Industry First Quarter 2017 Market Report. “Each new modern wind turbine supports 44 years of full-time employment over its lifespan, so the turbines we installed in just these three months represent nearly 40,000 job years for American workers.”

The early burst of activity reflects how 500 factories in America’s wind power supply chain and more than 100,000 wind workers are putting stable, multi-year federal policy to work. The industry is now in year three of a five-year phase-down of the Production Tax Credit, and Navigant Consulting recently forecast a strong 2017 for wind power, similar to 2015 and 2016.

Big Pharma’s Industrial Pollution Goes Unchecked, Breeds Superbug Crisis

Industrial pollution from Indian pharmaceutical companies making medicines for nearly all the world’s major drug companies is fueling the creation of deadly superbugs, suggests new research. Global health authorities have no regulations in place to stop this happening.

A major study published May 6 in the prestigious scientific journal Infection found “excessively high” levels of antibiotic and antifungal drug residue in water sources in and around a major drug production hub in the Indian city of Hyderabad, as well as high levels of bacteria and fungi resistant to those drugs. Scientists told the Bureau of Investigative Journalism the quantities found meant they believe the drug residues must have originated from pharmaceutical factories.

At BPI Campus our Progressive Agenda is:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.

 

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