California Governor Newsom on the state of climate leadership.

November 4, 2019 by  
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A conversation at VERGE 19 with the chief executive of the world’s fifth-largest economy about climate change, innovation and the future of California.

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California Governor Newsom on the state of climate leadership.

Illegal logging possibly contributes to majority of mislabeled wood in US markets

October 28, 2019 by  
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In a first-of-its-kind study , the World Wildlife Fund, World Resources Institute and United States Forest Service collaboratively found that a disconcerting 62 percent of the U.S. wood products studied were mislabeled. Mislabeling often signals wrongful supply chain violations — illegal logging and deforestation — that consequently hamper endeavors to promote sustainable wood According to Amy Smith, the World Wildlife Fund’s forests deputy director, “Wood products are intentionally mislabeled, sometimes to pass off lower-value wood for more expensive varieties, and sometimes to cover up the fact it was illegally sourced. We wanted to know how often this fraud occurs, and our study indicates it could be alarmingly common. The wood you think you are buying is not what you get.” Related: More than half of Europe’s native trees face extinction How does mislabeling occur? Loggers, for instance, could harvest trees from a threatened or ecologically vital forest ecosystem , then mix wood species to cover up the illegal logging activity. Following transport to the lumberyard, species origin of the timber logs and boards are further misrepresented to allow illegal wood in the supply chain. Distortion persists as the wood is misidentified as a different species, continuing onward to the mill’s processing, the factory’s product manufacturing, and eventually reaching the import and retail junctures as an illegally sourced wood product made available for purchase. Mislabeling of wood is of high concern because illegal logging harms fragile forests, placing them at risk of biodiversity loss . Whether purposeful or not, mislabeling breaches the U.S. Lacey Act , first enacted in 1900 to ban trafficking of illegal wildlife , then amended in 2008 to include plants and plant products, like timber. The U.S. Lacey Act’s landmark legislation continues as the world’s first ban on the trade of illegally sourced wood products. To solve the crisis, the U.S. Forest Service strives to increase training in identifying wood species. Doing so pinpoints supply chain gaps that need measures to combat illegal logging, mislabeling and the sale of fraudulent wood products. It is hoped this will cultivate best practices in verifying sources of wood species to confirm they arrive from sustainable, responsibly managed forests. Similarly, consumers are encouraged to make a difference by pledging to purchase products approved by the Forest Stewardship Council as FSC-certified . The FSC is “the most rigorous, credible forest certification system” that ensures products reliably comply with environmental protection standards before gaining access to markets. “ Deforestation and illegal logging are critical threats to our world’s forests,” Smith added. “It’s our responsibility as consumers to demand legally and responsibly sourced forest products. We do that by purchasing FSC-certified wood and paper and letting businesses and policy makers know that enforcement of our import laws — plus investment in technologies to detect fraud — must be a priority.” + PLOS ONE Image via James Schnepf / WWF-US

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Illegal logging possibly contributes to majority of mislabeled wood in US markets

Amazon rainforest might reach irreversible tipping point as early as 2021

October 25, 2019 by  
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Relentless Amazon deforestation and gross mishandling of the region by Brazilian authorities and agricultural advocates are pushing the world’s largest tropical rainforest closer to the brink of catastrophic ecological collapse. Even more alarming, once that tipping point is reached, there will be no way to reverse it. Estimates reveal that if mass environmental mismanagement persists, within two years’ time, the forest will collapse and will be unable to generate enough rain to sustain itself. The news was shared in a policy brief put forth by Monica de Bolle, a Peterson Institute for International Economics senior fellow in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, the report only sparked controversy, with some climatologists and researchers arguing that the tipping point is still 15 to 25 years away. Related: IPCC landmark report warns about the state of the oceans, polar ice content and the climate crisis The Amazon is currently experiencing excessive deforestation, 75 percent of which is attributed to two ‘forest-risk commodities’: soybeans and beef — Brazil’s main exports. Widespread deforestation and land clearing diminish regional rainfall, exacerbating the risks of fire, drought and heat stress. These environmental stressors leave the trees and ecosystem vulnerable to parasites and pathogens, further predisposing the flora to far-reaching forest dry-up and ecological decline. Sadly, an unhealthy Amazon rainforest can no longer produce enough rain to sustain itself. The mortality of the rainforest’s trees would release billions of tons of carbon, intensifying greenhouse gas emissions and global warming . Dire consequences include biodiversity loss, rampant ecosystem failure and climate repercussions. Carlos Nobre, a leading climate scientist in Brazil, is one of de Bolle’s detractors. “The Amazon is already 17 percent deforested, so when you calculate at the current rate of deforestation, this 20 percent to 25 percent is reached in 15 to 20 years,” Nobre said. “I hope she is wrong. If she is right, it is the end of the world.” No matter whether the tipping point is reached by 2021 or later, what’s clear is that if things continue unabated in the Amazon, the once-treasured World Heritage site will collapse, and the entire world will suffer. Via The Guardian Image via NASA

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Amazon rainforest might reach irreversible tipping point as early as 2021

3 ways to support employee climate activism

September 22, 2019 by  
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Children around the world are leading climate activism — here’s how adults can provide support and solidarity.

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3 ways to support employee climate activism

Climate Week 2019: Time for bold commitments — and action

September 22, 2019 by  
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It’s a heightened emergency. Time for heightened ambition, writes BSR’s president.

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Climate Week 2019: Time for bold commitments — and action

Could planting 1 trillion trees counteract climate change?

September 20, 2019 by  
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The U.N. suggests that adding 2.5 billion acres of forest to the world could limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050. But some researchers aren’t so sure.

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Could planting 1 trillion trees counteract climate change?

Can the gene editing technology CRISPR help reduce biodiversity loss worldwide?

September 20, 2019 by  
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Though scientists are optimistic that CRISPR could help, they also emphasize caution and community engagement in order to get it right.

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Can the gene editing technology CRISPR help reduce biodiversity loss worldwide?

Earth911 Innovator Interview: World Centric’s Mark Marrinozi on the Battle to End Polystyrene

September 13, 2019 by  
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World Centric, a 15-year-old Rohnert Park, Calif.-based sustainability advocacy and … The post Earth911 Innovator Interview: World Centric’s Mark Marrinozi on the Battle to End Polystyrene appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Innovator Interview: World Centric’s Mark Marrinozi on the Battle to End Polystyrene

Are Virginia Data Centers Making Your Data Dirty?

September 9, 2019 by  
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It is said that 70 percent of the world’s internet … The post Are Virginia Data Centers Making Your Data Dirty? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Are Virginia Data Centers Making Your Data Dirty?

Three ways business is combating modern slavery

September 4, 2019 by  
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Around the world, more than 100 goods are probably produced with forced labor.

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Three ways business is combating modern slavery

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