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Thursday, 15 November


Avery: Early-season winter storm, snow and freezing rain to impact East, Ohio and Mississippi Valleys The Watchers Latest articles

An early-season winter storm is expected to bring freezing rain and snow from Lower/Middle Mississippi Valley eastward to the Southern Appalachians and northward to the Northeast. The Weather Channel named this storm Avery; it is the first named storm of the 2018/19...... Read more

Tropical Cyclone "Gaja" about to make landfall over southeastern India The Watchers Latest articles

Tropical Cyclone "Gaja," the 6th named storm of the 2018 North Indian Ocean cyclone season, continues tracking toward a landfall in southeastern India. RSMC New Delhi expects Gaja to intensify further into a Severe Cyclonic Storm and weaken back to...... Read more

Californias Tropical Forest Standard could be the states most important climate action (commentary) Conservation news

This week, the California Air Resources Board will meet to decide if it will adopt a set of comprehensive requirements for large-scale programs to reduce tropical deforestation emissions, known as the Tropical Forest Standard. Approving this Standard, with its robust social and environmental safeguards, is the most important thing California can do right now for the climate (including its own climate), for the Amazon and other tropical forests, and for the people who live in them. Heres why: Tropical forests play an important role in global temperature and rainfall regimes. Deforestation exacerbates climate problems around the world, but in California in particular. Reducing emissions from deforestation and sustaining regrowth of tropical forests could provide a third or more of whats needed to keep global temperatures below cataclysmic climate change levels. We know it can be done. Brazil, from 2006 to 2017, reduced the average annual rate of deforestation in the Amazon by more than 60 percent relative to the previous decade (1996-2005), while increasing soy and cattle production. But rates have ticked up since. Now extreme right-wing President-elect Jair Bolsonaro has threatened to freeze or roll back recognition of indigenous territories and open them to mining and agriculture, gut environmental regulations and governance, and perhaps leave the Paris Agreement. Brazilian scientists estimate that putting his rhetoric into practice would triple current deforestation rates. Once a global environmental leader, Brazil appears to be headed the other way. So why should California want to encourage tropical jurisdictions like Amazon states to get

Not all hope is lost as outlook for mountain gorillas brightens Conservation news

Decades of extreme conservation have lifted the mountain gorilla from the edge of extinction, leading the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to change the animals status from the more dire critically endangered to endangered. The good news is this really shows that when we invest long-term in conservation we can change the tide for these animals, Tara Stoinski, CEO and chief scientific officer of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, said in an interview. Mountain gorillas today number more than 1,000 individuals. Image courtesy of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. First brought to the attention of Western scientists and conservation groups by biologist George Schaller and later by researcher Dian Fossey in the 1960s, the mountain gorilla subspecies (Gorilla beringei beringei) had plummeted to just a few hundred individuals by the 1980s. Hunting, civil unrest and the loss of gorilla habitat to farmland in the forested mountains of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo led Fossey to warn that these animals, one of humankinds closest relatives, might appear only in the pages of books by the year 2000 if there wasnt an effort to save them. Fortunately for the gorillas, the governments of the range countries, along with the Fossey Fund and several other conservation groups, launched into action. Despite the still-mysterious murder of Fossey herself in 1985, they came together to work with local communities to halt habitat loss and manage conflict between farmers and gorillas, treat injury and disease in the populations, and protect

Oreo maker linked to destruction of orangutan habitat in Indonesia Conservation news

JAKARTA A new report has linked Mondelz International, the food giant behind such iconic snacks as Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers, to large-scale deforestation in Indonesia. The investigation by Greenpeace International found that between 2015 and 2017, 22 of Mondelzs palm oil suppliers cleared more than 700 square kilometers (270 square miles) of rainforest an area larger than the city of San Francisco. Of that area, 250 square kilometers (96 square miles) constituted the habitat of critically endangered orangutans. Mondelz continues to source from deforesters, the report says, despite the U.S. food giants series of commitments and policies to sourcing sustainable palm oil, a commodity found in items ranging from ice cream and laundry detergent to cosmetics and biofuels. Palm oil can be made without destroying forests, yet our investigation discovered that Mondelz suppliers are still trashing forests and wrecking orangutan habitat, pushing these beautiful and intelligent creatures to the brink of extinction, said Kiki Taufik, the head of Greenpeace Indonesias forests campaign. Theyre literally dying for a cookie. The report also noted that the scale of deforestation linked to Mondelz, whose brand portfolio also includes Cadburys and Toblerone, might be greater than what Greenpeace had unearthed. Alarmingly, these are just the cases that Greenpeace was able to identify Mondelz sources from hundreds of palm oil companies and this destruction is likely just the tip of the iceberg, the report said. Kiki said the findings were outrageous in light of Mondelzs publicly stated sustainability commitments. In 2010,


Orphan Elephants Rush To Comfort Baby Who Just Lost His Mom Thrillist

Life had just been turned upside down for this little calf.

Wandering near a river in Kenyas Tsavo East National Park, 1-year-old Mukkoka was all alone, and his mother or other elephants were nowhere in sight. He was tired, lonely and scared.

Credit: David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Thankfully, rescuers from David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), which saves and rehabilitates orphaned elephants, found the calf just in time. They were doing an aerial sweep of the area in a plane when they spotted Mukkokas lone tracks in the sand along the Tiva River. Sadly, they never found any sign of his mom, so theyre not sure what happened to her.

The team scooped up the little elephant and rushed him to the orphanage for medical care and a much-needed drink of milk after being alone for so long.

Credit: David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

A few days later, when he was feeling a bit better, his caretakers knew it was the perfect time to introduce him to the most helpful medicine of all: friends.

As soon as he was introduced, the other elephants instantly gathered around the baby, showering him with love and attention. He was part of their family now.

Credit: David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

They immediately enveloped him and led him out into the forest to meet the rest of the nursery herd, Rob Brandford, executive director of DSWT, told The Dodo. The greeting he was met with was a warm one, with the other babies reaching out their trunks to comfort and welcome Mukkoka as a new family member.

As highly social animals, elephants thrive wh...


GE Chestnut Tree: Trojan Horse Aimed at Opening Door to Risky GE Trees Global Justice Ecology Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  11/14/2018           Steve Taylor +1.314.210.1322              Genetically Engineered American Chestnut Tree Called Trojan Horse Aimed at Opening Door to Commercialize Risky GE Trees Opponents accuse researchers of seeking USDA approval... Read More


Judge Halts Construction of Keystone XL Pipeline Earth First! Newswire

by Hillary Beaumont / VICE News CA

Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline, demonstrating on the Dodge Street pedestrian bridge during rush hour in Omaha, Neb., on Nov. 1, 2017. Photo by Nati Harnik/The Canadian Press

A Montana judge blocked Trumps presidential permit, saying the environmental analysis fell short of a hard look.

A judge in Montana has halted the construction of Keystone XL, one of the most controversial pipelines in North America.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris ruled in favor of the Indigenous Environmental Network and Northern Plains Resource Council, who had argued that Trump violated several laws by approving the pipeline that would carry crude oil from Albertas oil sands to Nebraska.

The Obama administration had stopped the project due to concerns about its greenhouse gas emissions, but two days after he took office, President Donald Trump approved it with a presidential permit. The court case sought an injunction against that permit.

In granting it, the judge ruled the state departments analysis under Trump fell short of a hard look on the following points: the effects of current oil prices on the pipelines viability, the cumulative effects of greenhouse gas emissions, a survey of potential cultural resources, and an updated modeling of potential oil spills and recommended mitigation measures.

The major spills that occurred between 2014 and 2017 qualify as significant, the judge wrote. The department would have looked at those spills in its 2014 environmental review if that information had been available, he wrote.

But, similar to a recent Canadian court decision that sent the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion back for additional consultation and review, the U.S. court decision is not a death blow to Keystone XL. It simply means the Trump administration must go back and complete a proper assessment before approving the project.

Dallas Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network,...


US could meet Paris emissions pledge with natural climate solutions, study says Carbon Brief

The US could meet its pledge to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement through natural climate solutions (NCS), a new study suggests.

NCS comprise a group of techniques such as reforestation, seagrass restoration and fire management that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or boost carbon uptake from land and wetlands through changes to the way they are managed.

While the US has already made progress towards its Paris pledge, NCS has the potential to provide the remaining emissions reductions needed by 2025, the researchers say.

However, this would require a carbon price of around $100 per tonne to incentivise the use of NCS, the researchers estimate. And the measures would only be enough to meet the USs pledge whereas global commitments need to be roughly tripled in order to meet the terms of the Paris Agreement, the lead author tells Carbon Brief.

The research, which involves 38 researchers from 22 institutions, was led by scientists at the Nature Conservancy, an environmental NGO.

Natural climate solutions

As the special report on 1.5C from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) acknowledges, meeting the 1.5C limit without overshooting will require negative emissions techniques that remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store it on land, underground or in the oceans.

To achieve this, the integrated assessment models (IAMs) that generate emission pathways for 1.5C generally rely on large amounts of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). This technique involves burning biomass such as trees and crops to generate energy and then capturing the resulting CO2 emissions.


Republic of Congo names new national park, home to gorillas, elephants Conservation news

The Republic of Congo has officially created its fifth national park, lending protection to great apes, forest elephants and other threatened wildlife. The new Ogoou-Leketi National Park spans 3,500 square kilometers (1,350 square miles), and borders Batk Plateau National Park in neighboring Gabon. Together, the two national parks form a transboundary protected area covering more than 5,500 square kilometers (2,120 square miles). Ogoou-Leketi is also part of the Batk Plateau landscape, a unique patchwork of large rolling savannas on sandy hills, interrupted by long strips of dense forests and turquoise-blue river valleys. This savanna-forest complex is home to several threatened species, some found nowhere else in Congo, according to a press release from the Wildlife Conservation Societys Congo program, which has been surveying the area with the countrys Ministry of Forestry Economy since 2004. Ogoou-Leketi National Park was created by official decree on Nov. 9, 2018. Image courtesy of WCS. In 2009, the IUCN identified the region in which the park sits today as a priority conservation site for the protection of the critically endangered western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and the endangered central chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes troglodytes), said Mark Gately, country director for WCS-Congo. The forest sector of the new park is also home to several other species, such as the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), forest buffalo (Syncerus caffer nanus), red river hog (Potamochoerus porcus), and several species of monkey including the iconic mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx). The savanna part of the national park, too, hosts a wide range of wildlife. The park

No one is helping us: Venezuelan conservation crippled by crisis Conservation news

To leave my dream was difficult, but I had to do it for my son, says Ileana Herrera, a former ecologist from Venezuela, now living in Ecuador. Herrera, like many conservationists, fled the political and economic chaos engulfing Venezuela, a country rich in oil, but which many analysts are increasingly calling a failed state. She was living off a dismal salary some ecologists made the equivalent of $3 a month in 2016, according to a longtime researcher and facing a future of growing insecurity. I did not have enough money for my son to eat enough protein, she says, adding that if a child gets sick in Venezuela, there is no medication. The country is experiencing dangerous shortages of basic resources such as food and medicine. Then Herreras mother got cancer. Now I live in Ecuador and my dream of forming a research team on invasive species is forgotten, she says. There is only time to survive and help your relatives. Herreras story is not unique. The mass exodus from Venezuela in recent years has also touched the conservation community. Universities and research units, such as the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC), are experiencing heavy attrition. We have a saying now in Venezuela that more farewells are celebrated than birthdays, Herrera says. Small settlement in El Tam National Park. Image by Jhonathan Miranda. Without money, you can do nothing For those ecologists and conservationists who have stayed behind, getting any work done amid food shortages, lack of


AFM in Kids: More Cases Confirmed by CDC Fire Earth

IN PROGRESS TIA [September 24, Confidential 10] TNWG [October 22, Confidential 10] MIRR [Nov. 14, Confidential10] FIRE-EARTH MIU 111402 Nominated Groups: All Groups FIRE-EARTH Report: Paralyzing Illness AFM in kids: CDC Confirms 90 Cases At least 90 kids in 27 states have been diagnosed polio-like neurological condition acute flaccid myelitis, aka AFM, so far []

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Wednesday, 14 November


Wildfires are Now More Destructive than Ever Climate Change is Involved Frack Check WV

Neil Young looses California home to wildfire

Unfit Leader: Neil Young Loses Home to Fire, Rips Trump for Insensitive Tweet

From an Article by Lorraine Chow,, November 12, 2018

Musician Neil Young, who lost his Malibu home to the devastating Woolsey fire, is urging the world to come together to fight climate changeespecially since the president of the U.S. seems unfit to take care of the problem, as the icon said.

On Sunday, the legendary rocker posted a letter on his website, the Neil Young Archives, blasting Donald Trumps infamous denial of climate science and his Saturday tweet that blamed Californias wildfires on gross mismanagement of the forests even though most of the fires are burning on federal land.

Trumps tweetwhich was particularly callous amid the deadly and overwhelming destructionis also incorrect because the conflagrations in Southern California are urban interface fires, meaning they have nothing to do with forest management, as a local fire association pointed out.

California is vulnerable-not because of poor forest management as DT (our so-called president) would have us think, Young wrote. As a matter of fact this is not a forest fire that rages on as I write this. We are vulnerable because of Climate Change; the extreme weather events and our extended [droughts are] part of it.

Our temperatures are higher than ever here in our hottest summer on record. That has not helped, Young continued. DT seems to be the Denier. (Im holding back and not using the word liar just because it rhymes with denier). It really is time for a reckoning with this unfit leader. Maybe our new Congress can help. I sure hope so.

Young, a Canadian citizen, cannot vote in our elections but is a prominent environmentalist and is no fan of Trump. He was not happy when Trump used Rockin in the Free World to launch his presidential bid in 2015.

Hopefully we can come together as a people to take Climate Change on. We have the tools and could do it if we tried. There is no downside, Young wrote.

He concluded: Imagine a leader who defies science, saying these solutions shouldnt be part of his decision-making on our behalf. Imagine a leader who cares more for his own, conv...


Popular snacks fuelling deforestation for palm oil What's new

Popular snacks fuelling deforestation for palm oil

Catherine Early 14th November 2018
Teaser Media


Coal firm faces court for alleged wildlife crime What's new

Coal firm faces court for alleged wildlife crime

brendan 14th November 2018
Teaser Media


Fracking support remains low - government poll What's new

Fracking support remains low - government poll

Louise Gill 14th November 2018
Teaser Media


Fox analysis of US trade deal is work in progress What's new

Fox analysis of US trade deal is work in progress

Mandy Kessell 14th November 2018
Teaser Media


Tribute to a hero of organic farming What's new

Tribute to a hero of organic farming

brendan 14th November 2018
Teaser Media


Politicians are Selected, not Elected because It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere. Head Space

Does any sane and rational person really believe that all the people on social welfare. getting free benefits from the government while they are living with their parents, or in ghettos, or homeless camps, are going to set aside anything and part with the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to put their candidates in []


Nice IKEA Store Opens Its Doors To Protect Stray Dogs From The Cold Thrillist

Staff at this IKEA store in Catania, Italy, have gone above and beyond merely selling furnishing to fill a house they've begun providing a home to pups who need it most.

And the reception from customers couldn't be warmer.

Credit: Beppe Liotta

Martine Taccia was on a shopping trip to the retail giant on a chilly autumn day recently when she was surprised to discover a group of dogs nestled cozily among a living room display.

"My reaction was pure amazement," Taccia told The Dodo. "It's not a common thing."

But, as it turns out, the dogs were local strays and that little taste of home was actually a gift.

Taccia came to learn that the store had decided to open its doors to homeless pups in the area to give them refuge from the elements. And the welcome came with more than just a safe place to stay.

"The dogs receive daily food and pampering from IKEA's employees and customers," Taccia said. "Some dogs have even found a family, going home with customers."

Touched by the store's gesture of kindness, Taccia captured a video of the heartwarming scene:

Though it does not appear that IKEA's Catania location publicly advertises this policy of letting in needy pups, it's certainly made a positive impression on guests like Taccia. Another customer, Beppe Liotta, was likewise smitten with the store's dog-friendly initiative. 

"I felt a feeling of deep tenderness and great happiness in seeing dogs crouched in the exhibition space at the entrance of the IKEA," Liotta told The Dodo.

A quick search of Instagram photos taken at Catania's IKEA suggests plenty of other people have felt the same:

This isn't the first time IKEA has advocated for animals; the retailer once partnered with Home For Hope in a campaign to encourage pet adoption by placing...


Evicted Tenants Leave Dogs Behind With Rest Of Their 'Trash' Thrillist

Last Friday morning, Allen Boartfield woke up to a distressing phone call. Two small dogs had been spotted sitting next to a mountain of trash on a street corner in Barstow, California.

I was contacted about them at 8 a.m., Boartfield told The Dodo. I was given an intersection and told I couldnt miss them.

The dogs owner had been evicted, and in the process of packing up, had put her two dogs in a wire cage and left them amidst the pile of old blankets and unwanted clothes for the morning garbage pickup.

Credit: Dream Fetchers

Boartfield, a volunteer with Dream Fetchers: Project Rescue, drove to the intersection, and thankfully the two pups, now named Treasure and Catch, were still there. But it was clear to Boartfield that the tumultuous morning had taken a toll on the animals.

They were both extremely scared, Boartfield said. Treasure got used to me fairly quickly, but Catch never did.

Credit: Dream Fetchers

Catch, desperate to protect his sister, gave Boartfield a few nips on the hand, but it didnt deter the rescuer from getting the dogs the help they needed.

Catch is very attached to Treasure, Boartfield added. So attached that, when I moved Treasure into another kennel, even though Catch was very scared still, he ran across my lap to be in the same kennel as Treasure.

Credit: Dream Fetchers

The dogs were rushed to Camino Pet Hospital in Irvine, California, where staffers examined the...


The Democrats Model for America Head Space

Many American citizens should know by now; America is experiencing the effects of some of the most moronic, quasi-educated, undeniably illiterate, blatantly seditious, and outright treasonous representatives in its history. And beneath that sequestered sanctum and in the halls of racist political pandering, there is indeed a Completely Insane Clown Caucus making critical decisions for []


Alpaca Spotted Catching Ride With His Family In Taxi Thrillist

A man was walking down the busy city streets the other day in Cusco, Peru, when he saw something he had never seen before.

A family was climbing into a taxi cab and one of the family members was an alpaca

Credit: Andre Mendivil

That's when the man knew he had to take a short video to capture the moment. 

"He had never seen something like it," Andre Mendivil, the son of the man who took the video, told The Dodo about his dad's reaction. 

Credit: Andre Mendivil

In the video, a woman climbs into the back seat, while a little girl holds the door open and the alpaca patiently waits for the woman to get settled. 

Then the alpaca climbs in behind her as the little girl keeps holding the door. Both settled, she shuts the door behind them, and climbs in the front seat it would have been too much of a tight squeeze in the back. 

Credit: Andre Mendivil

The Mendivils believe the family was probably going back to their home from the city.



Horse Saved From 'Kill Pen' Has Magical Reaction To Meeting His New Neighbor Thrillist

Life just completely changed for a handsome white horse named Logan. 

Earlier this year, Logan was in an infamous Louisiana "kill pen," a place where unwanted horses end up just before they are sent across the border to slaughter

Thankfully, a kind woman stepped in and rescued him. But he had only been safe for a few months before he needed saving again. 

Credit: Tails Up No-Kill Animal Haven

"This lady lives around 60 miles from us, and due to family hardship, she recently needed to sell all of her horses," Jamie Lee Robinson, founder and CEO of OPKIT Kitty Sponsorship Program and Tails Up No-Kill Animal Haven by OPKIT, told The Dodo.

Credit: Tails Up No-Kill Animal Haven

Robinson has been focusing on helping hundreds of shelter cats find homes but she also has a background in training and rescuing horses.

"Late one night on Facebook, I saw Logan's picture, and I knew he was the one," she said. "I just knew."

Robinson was so eager to adopt Logan because she had a plan. 



Speed trap: Cameras help defuse human-cheetah conflict in Botswana Conservation news

Botswanas policy of zero tolerance for poaching and illegal hunting has given it the reputation of valuing wildlife conservation. But an increase in human-wildlife conflict in recent years appears to undermine those conservation efforts. Of particular concern is an apparent shoot-to-kill stance by livestock farmers against cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in Ghanzi district something conservationists hope to de-escalate with the help of remote-monitoring technology. Cheetahs on private lands Much of Botswanas cheetah habitat has been lost to private farmland, leaving the cats in close proximity to farmers. Their tendency to hunt during the day makes them vulnerable to killing by farmers and being blamed even for livestock kills they didnt make. It wasnt us. A pair of cheetahs caught resting on camera. Cheetahs diurnal nature and wide-ranging movements make them visible to farmers and blamed for livestock kills. Image courtesy of Cheetah Conservation Botswana. Multiple studies across the cheetahs range have shown that cheetahs preferentially kill wild animals over livestock, Lorraine Boast, a researcher with Cheetah Conservation Botswana (CCB), a nonprofit, told Mongabay. In her doctoral thesis exploring human-predator conflict on game ranches in Botswana, Boast said camera-trap surveys on Ghanzi farms were crucial, given that cheetahs are thought to cause the biggest economic losses to game ranches in the country. Cheetahs have disappeared from more than 90 percent of their historical range, and their global population numbers fewer than 7,000 mature individuals. To better understand cheetah movements on commercial farmland in Botswana, Boast and fellow CCB researchers estimated their


Cops Show Up To 'Disturbance' At Park And Find 14 Unlikely Culprits Thrillist

When police officers in Chula Vista, California, were called out to a park last week, they were met with some perps who turned out to be much fluffier than usual.

Hopping and running around the park were 14 rabbits but they werent just wild bunnies.

Credit: Facebook/Chula Vista Police Department

They were domesticated rabbits, and their owner was nowhere to be found. They were likely dumped there to fend for themselves which can be a death sentence for pet bunnies, who dont have the same survival skills as their wild ancestors.

The kind officers quickly got to work capturing the animals and successfully wrangled all 14. They then brought the 11 adult rabbits and three babies to Chula Vista Animal Care Facility, where employees were overjoyed to meet the entire group, now safe and sound.

Credit: Facebook/Chula Vista Police Department

Its all too common for people to abandoned their unwanted pet rabbits outside but these adorable critters were lucky enough to be found before anything bad could happen to them.

Credit: Chula Vista Animal Care Facility

Unfortunately, some people get rabbits before they do their research and get quickly overwhelmed, Linda Septon, rescue coordinator for the shelter, told The Dodo. They see wild rabbits in parks and think this may be their solution by letting their pets loose. We want to stress that releasing domestic animals into the wild is not the answer. Domestic rabbits lack the instinct and, as you can se...


Montana Hunter Attacked by Bear Northwest of Columbia Falls Earth First! Newswire

by Associated Press / The Missoulian

A Montana man is recovering from a bear attack that occurred while he was hunting northwest of Columbia Falls.

KECI-TV reports the attack happened at about 9:25 Sunday morning.


Next Generation May Never See the Glory of Coral Reefs Earth First! Newswire

by Jonathan Watts / The Guardian

Bleached coral in Guam in 2017. Photograph: David Burdick/AP

Undersea forests, bleached and killed by rising ocean temperature, might disappear in a few decades, experts warn.

Children born today may be the last generation to see coral reefs in all their glory, according to a marine biologist who is coordinating efforts to monitor the decline of the worlds most colourful ecosystem.

Global heating and ocean acidification have already severely bleached 16 to 33% of all warm-water reefs, but the remainder are vulnerable to even a fraction of a degree more warming, said David Obura, chair of the Coral Specialist Group in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

It will be like lots of lights blinking off, he told the Observer. It wont happen immediately but it will be death by 1,000 blows. Between now and 2 degrees Celsius, we will see more reefs dropping off the map.

Obura added: Children born today may be the last generation to see coral reefs in all their glory. Todays reefs have a history going back 25 million to 50 million years and have survived tectonic collisions, such as that of Africa into Europe, and India into Asia. Yet in five decades we have undermined the global climate so fundamentally that in the next generation we will lose the globally connected reef system that has survived tens of millions of years.

The warning follows a landmark UN climate report that upgraded risk assessments for corals following faster-than-expected global bleaching. Scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that if warming reached 2C, currently very likely in the next 50 years, there would be a more than 99% chance that tropical corals would be eradicated.

Most available evidence suggests that coral dominated ecosystems will be non-exi...


Agroforestry saves soil and boosts livelihoods in Tajikistan Conservation news

FAIZOBOD, Tajikistan Mirzoli Azizov, a 54-year-old farmer, is sorting apples from the second harvest this year from his agroforestry gardens in this district 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of the Tajik capital, Dushanbe. Its still warm and sunny in early October in this mountainous part of Central Asia, which is enjoying a new bounty from what used to be a heavily degraded landscape. Here we grow [varieties] like Krepson, Golden Delicious, Khuboni, and Simirenko, including [its] tender type for winter, which is called Red Simirenko, Azizov says, handling the yellow, green and red apples. Mirzoli Azizov holding some of his apples. Image by Daniyar Serikov for Mongabay During the Soviet era, incessant windy weather contributed to harvest losses here, so to survive, the local community opted for agroforestry gardens and pasturing. The main agroforestry technique used here is the growing of fruit-bearing trees or shrubs in rows, with forage crops or vegetables in the alleys between, in a system called alley cropping where the perennials shield the tender annuals from incessant wind and sun. In my garden on the slope of the mountain, we planted the apple, grape and nut trees during the FAO project, Azizov says of the agroforestry technologies supported by the U.N.s food and agriculture agency here from 2003 to 2005. We do not have [wide] alleys of potatoes or tomatoes between the apple trees, only tiny rows of them, because the distance is rather narrow. We did not expect that the trees will become so tall, now

Audio: A Half-Earth progress report from E.O. Wilson Conservation news

On this episode, a progress report on the Half-Earth Project direct from legendary conservation biologist E.O. Wilson. Listen here:   The Half-Earth Project recently held an event at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City called Half-Earth Day, which featured the launch of a new Half-Earth educational initiative. Thus there were hundreds of students in the crowd for the marquee event that night a panel discussion between E.O. Wilson, musician Paul Simon, and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman (listen to Paul Simon discuss why he supports the Half-Earth Project on a March 2017 episode of the Mongabay Newscast). Many of the students asked the same thing of the panelists: Given the enormity of the problems facing the planet right now, what could they possibly do to help ensure a better tomorrow? In a broader sense, E.O. Wilson already answered the question of what we can all do to protect the future of life on this planet in his 2016 book, Half-Earth: Our Planets Fight For Life. In the book, Wilson lays out an almost deceptively simple prescription for saving life on Earth: Devote half of Earths surface to nature, and save 85 percent of global biodiversity. Before the Half-Earth Day panel discussion, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Wilson briefly, and he told me about some of the more unlikely allies the Half-Earth Project has enlisted, including numerous businesses. In fact, earlier that day, a partnership between the Half-Earth Project and Burts Bees


The Race to the Abyss: California vs. Australia Fire Earth

IN PROGRESS TIA [September 24, Confidential 10] TNWG [October 22,Confidential 10] Nominated Groups: All Groups FIRE-EARTH PRESENTATION 111302   Its the Ecology, Stupid! Which will get there first, Australia or California? [Presented by FIRE-EARTH Science.] Presentation available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS. FIRE-EARTH Top Ten Alerts All Groups Latest FIRE-EARTH DIRECTIVES, ALERTS, FORECASTS, BULLETINS and MESSAGES available []


PNG to create 7,500 square kilometers of new marine protected areas in Bismarck Sea Conservation news

Papua New Guinea has announced its commitment to creating 7,500 square kilometers of marine protected areas in the Bismarck Sea by 2021. The government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) made the announcement at the 5th annual Our Ocean Conference in Bali, Indonesia with the support of two conservation NGOs: the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Marine Protected Areas Fund and Oceans 5. The PNG government has pledged to triple the coverage of its current marine protected area (MPA) network, and this new 7,500-square-kilometer (nearly 2,900-square-mile) commitment will achieve that goal. According to WCS president and CEO Cristin Samper, the new MPAs will also help the country meet its Aichi Target goal of protecting 10 percent of its territorial waters and coastline by the year 2025. Lavongai islands. Photo Credit: Elodie Van Lierde. The new MPA network will encompass 2,500 square kilometres of coastal areas around Tikana and Lavongai islands, including key coral reef systems, in the Bismarck Sea, as well as 5,000 square kilometres of offshore areas identified as high priorities for marine conservation in New Ireland Province. We applaud the Government of Papua New Guinea for its recently announced commitment to protect an enormous expanse of one of the worlds natural wonders: the Bismarck Sea, Samper said in a statement. Papua New Guinea is already well known as a land of great cultural diversity and home to the famous birds of paradise; what is less known is that the countrys marine riches are just as spectacular, and the Bismarck

Chile: Mining waste continues to be expelled into the sea Conservation news

Little by little, the ocean floor of Chapaco Bay is being blanketed in sludge. Hctor Zuleta is no longer able to harvest shellfish from among the caves, ridges and woodlands of the bay because everything is clogged up. Recently, fishers and shellfish gatherers have had to go and find other places to work. Zuleta attributes the reduction in marine resources to the activity of a local iron processing plant, but hes only confirming what the authorities already suspect. Compaa Minera del Pacfico (CMP), a member of the mining and steel conglomerate CAP (Compaa de Acero del Pacfico), has been discharging its mining waste into the sea in the port city of Huasco in northern Chile since 1978 dumping it directly on the beach initially, before piping it out into the bay from 1993 onward. Huasco sits on a patch of the most arid desert in the world, and in 2012 it was declared a sacrifice zone due to its high pollution levels. Huasco, Atacama region, Chile. Image by Claudia Pool/Oceana. That mining waste is being dumped in the bay has long been an open secret. However, what the inhabitants were not aware of was that CMP, the main iron ore producer on the western coast of South America and the largest steel manufacturer and processor in Chile, was doing so without environmental authorization. When the marine conservation organization Oceana submitted complaints to the environment superintendent in August 2017, the latter sanctioned the company for 20 regulatory infringements. Today, CMPs

Vietnam-EU legal timber agreement signed, but much work remains Conservation news

HO CHI MINH CITY The European Union has signed an agreement to support Vietnams forest governance improvement goals, aimed at ensuring that the timber it imports from the Southeast Asian country is legally sourced. The Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) was signed Oct. 19 in Brussels by Federica Mogherini, the EU high representative for foreign affairs, and Nguyen Xuan Cuong, Vietnams minister of agriculture. The implementation of the VPA will involve multiple steps, according to Bruno Angelet, ambassador of the EU delegation to Vietnam. Currently timber and timber products exported to the EU from Vietnam are subject to the due diligence requirements of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), which prohibits placement of illegally harvested timber on the EU market, Angelet wrote in an emailed response to Mongabay. They [Vietnam] will remain under the EUTR regime even after the ratification of the FLEGT-VPA until such time that Vietnam develops and implements the Vietnam Timber Legality Assurance System (VNTLAS) foreseen in the VPA. Vietnam now has to draft legislation to establish the VNTLAS, after which it and the EU will set up a committee to monitor implementation of the VPA. Phuc Xuan To, a program analyst with Forest Trends, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, said he was hopeful about the impact of the agreement, but cautioned that major challenges remained. Vietnam imports 4-5 million cubic meters [141 million to 177 million cubic feet] of timber from more than 100 countries every year, consisting of 150-170

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Tuesday, 13 November


The Carbon Brief Interview: Sir John Armitt Carbon Brief

Sir John Armitt is the chair of the National Infrastructure Commission. He was awarded a CBE for his services to the rail industry in 2007 and a knighthood in 2012 in recognition of his role as chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority. He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Civil Engineers.

  • Sir John Armitt on the role of the National Infrastructure Commission: We dont start with a view; we go out and its an evidence-based process and understanding what all the drivers are of infrastructure change and whats affecting it and then coming up, ideally, with an rational analysis of that and some recommendations.
  • On energy efficiency: The building stock that we have in this countryrepresents 80% of what we will have in 2050. So, making our existing building stock more efficient, consuming less energy and containing energy is going to be a major challenge.
  • On the political will for decarbonisation: I believe that ministers are up for that and they would like to do it.
  • On fracking: Shale gas is still going to produce carbon emissions so its not a long term solution.
  • On the role of infrastructure in tackling climate change: There is a challenge there for engineers to say: Well, can we use different materials which can be less dependent on carbon to manufacture?
  • On banning petrol vehicles: I think just saying, oh, we are going to ban all electric [sic petrol] and diesel vehicles by 2040, is probably a pretty draconian step and not the ideal way to go.
  • On a third runway at Heathrow airport: We believe, particularly in aviation traffic and the increase of aviation traffic, it would be unrealistic to assume that we can see a reduction in air travel.
  • On electric planes: My personal view has always been one of which, if we can imagine something, then sooner or later we will do it.
  • On HS2: In terms of climate change, then I think it has to be beneficial, which is why rail tends to be well supported by environmentalists, because on balance, its a clean way of travel.
  • On nuclear: We dont have to be as dependent on a nuclear solution...


China restores ban on rhino and tiger parts, for now Conservation news

China has backtracked on a recent decision to legalize the controlled use of rhino and tiger parts for cultural and medicinal use. In an announcement on Oct. 29, the Chinese government said it would permit the use of rhino horn and tiger bone, obtained from farmed animals, for medical purposes, and the use of powdered forms of the products in traditional Chinese medicine by qualified doctors in qualified hospitals. Trade in rhino and tiger parts that qualified as cultural relics would also be allowed. But the implementation of these regulations has been postponed after study, Ding Xuedong, deputy secretary-general of Chinas State Council, the countrys highest goverining authority, said in an interview published in state media on Nov. 12. China had previously banned the trade in tiger bone and rhino horn in 1993, removing both products from the list of medical ingredients in traditional Chinese medicines pharmacopoeia and curriculum. Despite the ban, illegal trade in parts of the two endangered species has continued in the country. The October circular relaxed some of these restrictions, prompting criticism from conservationists. But even with the ban restored for now, activists remain worried. Its critical that a clear message is sent about the acceptability of animal parts in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Peter Knights, chief executive of WildAid, a U.S.-based nonprofit environmental group, said in a statement. With effective alternatives available, opening the door to some uses only muddies the water, and puts every wild rhino and tiger in jeopardy. WildAid hopes the ban reversal will be


The global farmland grab by pension funds needs to stop - english

Money from pension funds has fuelled the financial sector's massive move into farmland investing over the past decade. The number of pension funds involved in farmland investment and the amount of money they are deploying into it is increasing, under the radar. This unprecedented take-over of farmland by financial companies has major implications for rural communities and food systems, and must be challenged. Leaving it to the companies to police themselves with their own voluntary guidelines is a recipe for disaster.


Extreme rainfall events wreak havoc across the Middle East The Watchers Latest articles

The Middle East has been hit by several waves of severe storms over the past 30+ days and registered anomalously high amounts of rain in very short periods. For some of the regions, the storms were the worst in decades. More than 50 people were killed. Severe storm...... Read more

Honduras aims to save vital wildlife corridor from deforestation Conservation news

Honduras has committed to protecting part of the tropical rainforests found in the Moskitia region, a move that conservation groups say will protect the regions rich wildlife, carbon stocks and indigenous groups from recent incursions by ranchers. The Moskitia is Central Americas second largest rainforest, one of the last wild places in the region, and contains expansive areas of primary forest, Chris Jordan, who heads the Central America and Tropical Andes program for the NGO Global Wildlife Conservation, said in a statement. Putting a stop to deforestation in the Moskitia will change the course of history for Honduras. A river flowing through the Moskitia region. Image by John Polisar/WCS. President Juan Orlando Hernndez announced the program SOS Honduras on Nov. 8, aimed at ridding the Ro Pltano Biosphere Reserve in the Moskitia of cattle and livestock ranching. The U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) says illegal ranching has caused 90 percent of the deforestation in the 21,000-square-kilometer (8,100-square-mile) Moskitia. Also beset with wildlife trafficking and the looting of its archaeological sites, the Moskitia has lost 30 percent of its forests in the past 15 years, WCSs research shows. As a state, we have taken actions to protect Ro Pltano, but the problem is so serious and delicate that it is necessary to redouble efforts to guarantee that it remains one of the most important protected areas of Honduras and at the same time a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Institute of Forest Conservation, a government agency, said according to the statement.


ACP and MVP are Polluting the Land and Streams in West Virginia Frack Check WV

Sediment flow penetrates barrier from stormwater

Pipelines repeatedly cited by state regulators for environmental issues

From an Article by Kate Mishkin, Charleston Gazette, November 8, 2018

As battles over two major natural gas pipelines play out in court, state regulators have continued to cite the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline for environmental problems.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline has received 19 violation notices from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection for failing to comply with the projects West Virginia/National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System general water pollution control permit. The violation notices date back to early April, and the most recent was issued in early October, according to the DEPs database.

The violations happened in several West Virginia counties, including Greenbrier, Harrison and Doddridge. The pipeline is approved to span 303 miles from Wetzel County, West Virginia, into Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

In many cases, a DEP inspector visited the site of construction and warned the site operator to take measures to comply with its permit. Then, the inspector wrote up a Notice of Violation, telling developers to provide a written response to the violation within 20 days. The violations dont come with a monetary penalty.

In the most recent case, an inspector followed up on a citizen complaint in Monroe County and found sediment was flowing off the right-of-way. The inspector, Jason Liddle, issued a Notice of Violation, citing three sections of the permit the pipeline builders had violated. Liddle also wrote that developers had violated state legislative rules governing water quality standards by letting distinctly visible settleable solids in pond and stream. Photos that accompany the Notice of Violation show muddy water and sediment deposits.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would also start in northern West Virginia and span 600 miles into North Carolina, has been cited twice for problems in Upshur and Randolph counties. Neither pipeline company responded to inquiries about the violations.

These are the kinds of problems residents feared from the very beginning, said Joan Walker, senior campaign representative for the Sierra Clubs Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign.



Climate displacement and sexual exploitation What's new

Climate displacement and sexual exploitation

brendan 13th November 2018
Teaser Media


Plenty of buzz - but no sting What's new

Plenty of buzz - but no sting

brendan 13th November 2018
Teaser Media


Lawyers lodge objection to Drax gas plant What's new

Lawyers lodge objection to Drax gas plant

brendan 13th November 2018
Teaser Media


Obama, climate and the audacity of hope What's new

Obama, climate and the audacity of hope

Louise Gill 13th November 2018
Teaser Media


Keeping a close eye on Antarctic species What's new

Keeping a close eye on Antarctic species

Catherine Harte 13th November 2018
Teaser Media


Watch These Adorable Service Dogs Run To Safety During Fire Drill Exercise Thrillist

In light of the deadly wildfires burning across large swaths of California, knowing what to do in the event of such emergencies has never been more important. But humans aren't the only ones brushing up on their preparedness skills.

A group of adorable service dogs at one training facility was recently given a refresher course on just what to do in case disaster strikes.

Credit: Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Guiding Eyes for the Blind is a New York-based nonprofit that specializes in shaping dogs into perfect companions for people with visual impairments. The group's training schools are host to well over 100 eager pups and keeping them safe from harm is the upmost priority.

"In the event of a fire, our staff needs to be able to clear the kennel of any dogs before fire trucks arrive (their response time as a volunteer firefighting department is approximately four minutes)," Guiding Eyes for the Blind wrote online.

But pulling that off takes practice. So, last week, the dogs partook in a fire drill, escaping from their kennel into a communal area out back.

And, as you'll see, they nailed it:

It was a potentially lifesaving exercise, but the dogs clearly had a blast, taking the opportunity to enjoy a little impromptu recess outside all together.



Because Class Matters Head Space

You know, you can put lipstick on a pig, but its still a pig. Michelle Obama says Melania Trump has never reached out to her for advice Washington Post (headline only) Why would she? Typically stereotyping and dividing: Michelle Obama: Any Woman Who Voted for Donald Trump Voted Against Their Own Voice Considering the reasons behind []


Firefighter Does Sweetest Thing For Two Terrified Donkeys Fleeing Wildfires Thrillist

Firefighter Chris Harvey and Sacramento Fire Chief Gary Loesch were driving down Honey Run Road in Paradise, California, on Saturday when they came across something entirely unexpected.

Just days before, the deadly Camp Fire had ripped through the Sierra Nevada foothill community of Paradise, leaving behind the charred remains of homes and husks of cars. The fast-moving blaze had claimed both human and animal lives, transforming a town of retirees and young families into something eerily deserted.

Or so they thought.

Credit: Facebook/Sacramento Fire Department

While en route to investigate an accident caused by a falling tree, Harvey and Loesch spotted two weary animals emerging from the smoke.

The donkeys were slowly hobbling down the center of the road in the opposite direction, and it was clear to Harvey that they were very lost.

Credit: Facebook/Sacramento Fire Department

We pulled over to let them pass, and saw that they looked very tired, worn out and thirsty, Harvey told The Dodo. I tried to give them some water in my hand from a water bottle, but it kept spilling out.

Credit: Facebook/Sacramento Fire Department

Harvey knew that after what the donkeys had been through the animals needed more than a few sips of water, so he grabbed the apples out of his and Loeschs sack lunches and fed them to the donkeys.

Immediately, Harvey could see the difference that his little act of kindness made to...


Stop Biodiversity Loss or We Could Face Our Own Extinction, Warns UN Earth First! Newswire

by Jonathan Watts / The Guardian

Deforestation in Indonesian to make way for a palm oil concession. Photograph: Ulet Ifansasti/Greenpeace

The world has two years to secure a deal for nature to halt a silent killer as dangerous as climate change, says biodiversity chief.

The world must thrash out a new deal for nature in the next two years or humanity could be the first species to document our own extinction, warns the United Nations biodiversity chief.

Ahead of a key international conference to discuss the collapse of ecosystems, Cristiana Paca Palmer said people in all countries need to put pressure on their governments to draw up ambitious global targets by 2020 to protect the insects, birds, plants and mammals that are vital for global food production, clean water and carbon sequestration.

The loss of biodiversity is a silent killer, she told the Guardian. Its different from climate change, where people feel the impact in everyday life. With biodiversity, it is not so clear but by the time you feel what is happening, it may be too late.

Paca Palmer is executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity the world body responsible for maintaining the natural life support systems on which humanity depends.

Its members 195 states and the EU will meet in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, this month to start discussions on a new framework for managing the worlds ecosystems and wildlife. This will kick off two years of frenetic negotiations, which Paca Palmer hopes will culminate in an ambitious new global deal at the next conference in Beijing in 2020.


Global coal use may have peaked in 2014, says latest IEA World Energy Outlook Carbon Brief

The world may never again use as much coal as during a peak in 2014, according to the latest World Energy Outlook from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The weighty annual outlook is one of the most widely respected and eagerly anticipated publications among energy analysts and policymakers. The 2018 edition runs to 662 pages and contains the IEAs latest view of how the future of global energy might play out, depending on political and societal choices.

Its prominence means the report is also a frequent target of criticism for having often failed to anticipate the rate or direction of change.

In its main scenario based on existing national policies, plus pledges and targets not yet codified in law the 2018 outlook points to a 25% increase in energy demand by 2040. This growth, largely driven by Asia, would be twice as large in the absence of continued improvements in energy efficiency, it says.

Rapidly growing renewables and nuclear are not expected to cover this new demand, the IEA says. This means that oil, gas and CO2 emissions will likely continue to increase. Even with coal use remaining flat, this leaves a huge gap to meeting the Paris Agreements climate goals, the IEA adds.

No forecasts

In its 2018 edition, the IEA is keen to emphasise what the outlook is, as well as what it is not. The report is based around a series of scenarios designed to explore possible futures and the actions that could bring them about. The IEA explains:

There are no forecasts in the WEONone of these potential pathways is preordained; all are possible. The actions taken by governments will be decisive in determining which path we follow.

The outlook has two main pathways a new policies scenario (NPS) and a sustainable development scenario (SDS). Each one models the worlds energy system between now and 2040.

Like all efforts to model the worlds economy, society and climate, the IEAs scenarios rely on a range of assumptions about the...


Wal Thornhill: Velikovskys Astrophysics The Watchers Latest articles

In 1950 Immanuel Velikovsky threw down a gauntlet to astronomers in his sensational best-selling book, Worlds in Collision, where he proposed, on the basis of documentary evidence, that gravitation is an electromagnetic phenomenon. Leading American astronomers were...... Read more

Bolsonaro merger of Brazil agriculture and environment ministries in limbo Conservation news

A meeting of the ruralista group major supporters of agribusiness with then candidate Jair Bolsonaro at center in white shirt. Tereza Cristina, to the right of the new president, is Bolsonaros choice as Minister of Agriculture. The Bolsonaro administration takes office in January. Photo: FPA / Flickr. Throughout his campaign, now victorious presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro pledged that he would abolish Brazils Ministry of Environment (MMA) and fold its functions into the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA) a very controversial position. Two days after winning the race, the former army captain announced the fusion of the two ministries as part of a plan to reduce Brazils current 29 cabinet posts by half. His explanation, given in a March interview, seemed to be based on his blame of the environmental ministry for economic harm: The MMA manages to do damage to what should not be done, he declared. In comparison, Bolsonaro sees agribusiness as paramount to Brazils wellbeing, as seen in an October speech: We need a president who will not get in the way of the rural producer. We will not have any more conflicts in that area. Bolsonaros reasoning is supported by an outspoken and extreme group within the ruralist agribusiness faction mostly cattle ranchers represented by Luiz Antonio Nabhan Garcia, president of the Ruralista Democratic Union (UDR). Garcia was a frequent figure seen alongside the candidate during Bolsonaros campaign and also in the first round of official acts as president in Brasilia last


Petty juvenile projections Consider the source Head Space

When facing the opposite direction, it is impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel is a train. CNN political commentator and pro-Russian Congressman Dana Rohrbacher aide Tara Setmayer has been a diehard Never Trump while supposed still claiming to be a conservative, Republican, or something along those lines. But like almost []


Thermonuclear War Games: Scenario No. 4 The Apocalypse Fire Earth

IN PROGRESS TIA [September 24, Confidential 10] TNWG [October 22,Confidential 10] Nominated Groups: CJ UUT IGE OCT TML TWM FIRE-EARTH PRESENTATION 111202 Thermonuclear War Games: Scenario No. 4 The Apocalypse   The War Games designed and supervised by FEWW-UUT. Details available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS. Related Links: Thermonuclear War Games: Scenario No. 1 Thermonuclear War Games: []

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Friday, 09 November


Geoengineering Is Fueling Firestorm Catastrophes Geoengineering Watch

Dane Wigington Yet again forests in the Western US are incinerating as the US east coast is anomalously wet and cool. All official sources are blaming the rapidly increasing extreme and deadly wildfire behavior on global warming alone, but is that the full truth? What factors are official sources not informing us of in regard

Thursday, 08 November


Climate Engineering Total Desperation, Engineering Catastrophic Wildfires To Temporarily Cool Earth Geoengineering Watch

Dane Wigington As the environment and climate systems collapse around us all, how extreme can the desperation of the climate engineers become? How far are the geoengineers willing to go in their attempt to mask the unfolding climate collapse from the masses? Are the climate engineers willing to incinerate huge swaths of Earths remaining forests

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