A new study has found that hotter summers and wetter winters could further destabilize the habitat already described as “the most severely eroded in the world,” making it a perpetrator of global warming instead of mitigating it through proper conservation.
The former U.S. vice president will descend on Victoria September 29, then cross the Georgia Strait for an engagement that evening in Vancouver. After his address, expected to focus on daily actions to combat climate change, the audience will be treated to high tea at the venerable Empress Hotel.
The U.S. Interior Department last week proposed new regulations aimed at permanently legalizing high-altitude strip mining of coal, a ruthless process that has thus far ruined 1,200 miles of streams and hundreds of square miles of forests. Due to the financial might of the coal industry, neither Democratic nor Republican administrations have made a serious effort to curb this serial decapitation of Appalachian coal seams, but the Bush people have been especially resourceful in perpetuating it.
The Bush administration is expected to issue a regulation Friday to enshrine the coal mining practice of mountaintop removal, which involves blasting off the tops of mountains and dumping the rubble into valleys and streams. Apart from a multiplicity of other forms of environmental degradation, use of the technique will expand dependence on coal, the largest source of atmospheric CO2, and slow conversion from fossil to renewable fuels.
China, the world’s most populous nation as well as its biggest greenhouse-gas emitter, is forecast to experience as much as a 10 per cent cut in its annual grain harvest due to global warming.
In a case brought by environmentalists, a U.S. court has ruled the White House broke the law by failing to prepare studies and plans for dealing with climate change, and ordered the administration to produce the required documents by early next year.
A growing consensus of scientists and others says greenhouse gases are causing civil wars in places like Sudan and Afganistan. The conflicts are aggravated by a scarcity of resources due to floods and drought, which are caused by climate change.
As global warming redefines the rules of both nature and politics, environmentalists and their political allies have come to realize that logging is less harmful for the planet than unchecked sprawl. And $70 million has been earmarked in the state budget to prevent its forests from being converted to housing and commercial developments.
A new study based on more than 20 years’ of data from forests in Panama and Malaysia says climate change could force a 50 per cent reduction in the rate that tropical trees grow, severely eroding or even eliminating their ability to cleanse the air of carbon dioxide.