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

Trees older than America: a primeval Alaskan forest is at risk in the Trump era

At south-east Alaska’s last industrial-scale sawmill, wheel loaders stack debarked logs two storeys high on the frozen ground. A bumper sticker on a battered Ford in the parking lot reads “Cut Kill Dig Drill”, a mantra that many in the 49th state appreciate repeating.

Viking Lumber Company employs 34 people and sustains itself primarily on old-growth trees harvested from the Tongass, the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world. Many of them have been around longer than the United States – some for 1,000 years.

Record Amount of Microplastic Found in Arctic Sea Ice

A record concentration of microplastics has been discovered trapped in the Arctic’s sea ice.

Researchers with the Alfred Wegener Institute at Germany’s Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research say they found up to 12,000 pieces of microplastic particles per liter of sea ice in core samples taken from five locations. The concentrations are three times higher than levels in previous studies, according to a press release.

‘We have to organize like the NRA’: outdoor industry takes on Trump

One morning in early December, about 50 employees of the outdoor brand Patagonia gathered in front of a projector screen in a building on their Ventura, California, campus. A scene they had expected, but that nevertheless seemed surreal to them, unfolded on television: Donald Trump announced he was shrinking two national monuments in Utah. After he had finished, staff did a final legal review of a webpage they had prepared earlier and published it.

On Patagonia’s site, the words “The President Stole Your Land” appeared in large white letters against a black background.

Fracking in Colorado: Lawsuit Targets Federal Shell Game Hiding Harm to Communities and Wildlife

Conservation groups on Thursday sued Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and the Bureau of Land Management for approving new leases to allow fracking on more than 45,000 acres in western Colorado, including within communities and within a half-mile of a K-12 public school, without analyzing or disclosing environmental and public health threats as required by federal law.

“Fracking is a filthy, dangerous business, and dodging environmental analysis puts people and public lands at risk,” said Diana Dascalu-Joffe, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The Trump administration is trying to ignore science, public health and climate change threats to enrich corporate polluters, but it can’t shrug off the law.”

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Denver, challenges leases in and around the towns of De Beque, Molina and Mesa on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. Fracking would be allowed near three state parks—James M. Robb-Colorado River, Vega and Highline, a migratory bird hot spot and the site of the “18 Hours of Fruita” mountain bike race. Leases also have been offered within a half-mile of a K-12 public school in De Beque and beneath Vega Reservoir, important for wildlife, recreation, irrigation and hydroelectric power.

Proving Extreme Weather Link to Climate Will Drive Liability Suits, Paper Says

The emerging science that is increasingly able to determine how much of an extreme weather event is attributable to climate change may drive growth in climate liability suits, according to a new paper published in the Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law.

The paper, by environmental lawyers Sophie Marjanac of ClientEarth and Lindene Patton of Earth & Water Law Group, is titled, “Extreme weather event attribution science and climate change litigation: an essential step in the causal chain?” And their conclusion is yes.

“Scientists are now able to better understand the drivers of extreme weather, and quantify the extent to which climate change shifts the goal posts of expected weather patterns,” the authors wrote.

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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