Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Biodiversity (155)

Top scientists warn of a ‘ghastly future of mass extinction’

The Guardian / Phoebe Weston / 13 January 2021

The planet is facing a “ghastly future of mass extinction, declining health and climate-disruption upheavals” that threaten human survival because of ignorance and inaction, according to an international group of scientists, who warn people still haven’t grasped the urgency of the biodiversity and climate crises.

The 17 experts, including Prof Paul Ehrlich from Stanford University, author of The Population Bomb, and scientists from Mexico, Australia and the US, say the planet is in a much worse state than most people – even scientists – understood.

“The scale of the threats to the biosphere and all its lifeforms – including humanity – is in fact so great that it is difficult to grasp for even well-informed experts,” they write in a report in Frontiers in Conservation Science which references more than 150 studies detailing the world’s major environmental challenges.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Clothes washing linked to ‘pervasive’ plastic pollution in Arctic

The Guardian / Damian Carrington / 12 January 2021

The Arctic is “pervasively” polluted by microplastic fibres that most likely come from the washing of synthetic clothes by people in Europe and North America, research has found.

The most comprehensive study to date found the microplastics in 96 of 97 sea water samples taken from across the polar region. More than 92% of the microplastics were fibres, and 73% of these were made of polyester and were the same width and colours as those used in clothes. Most of the samples were taken from 3-8 metres below the surface, where much marine life feeds.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Could COVID lockdown have helped save the planet?

The Guardian / Jonathan Watts / 29 December 2020

When lockdown began, climate scientists were horrified at the unfolding tragedy, but also intrigued to observe what they called an “inadvertent experiment” on a global scale. To what extent, they asked, would the Earth system respond to the steepest slowdown in human activity since the second world war?

Environmental activists put the question more succinctly: how much would it help to save the planet?

Almost one year on from the first reported Covid case, the short answer is: not enough. In fact, experts say the pandemic may have made some environmental problems worse, though there is still a narrow window of opportunity for something good to come from something bad if governments use their economic stimulus packages to promote a green recovery.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Warmer winters causing more ice-free lakes in N. Hemisphere

CBC News / Nicole Mortillaro / 23 December 2020

Climate change is having a widespread effect on lakes across the Northern Hemisphere, a new study has found.

The study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, examined 122 lakes from 1939 to 2016 in North America, Europe and Asia, and found that ice-free years have become more than three times more frequent since 1978.

These ice-free years not only threaten the livelihoods of people who depend on them, but they also have the potential to cause deep ecological impacts.

“Ecologically, ice acts as a reset button,” said Sapna Sharma, co-author of the study and an associate professor in the biology department at York University in Toronto.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Ontario hiking ethanol content in gasoline

Driving / Jonathan Juha / 27 November 2020

Ontario plans to raise by half the ethanol content required in gasoline in a move to fight climate change that could also benefit Southwestern Ontario’s vast corn belt.

The province says it will gradually increase the required ethanol content in gasoline to 15 per cent from 10 per cent by 2030.

Made from corn, most of which in Ontario is grown in Southwestern Ontario, ethanol is also produced in the region, home to major refiners in Sarnia, Chatham, and Aylmer.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

[TB: Corn and soy are being monocropped increasingly across the province, reducing biodiversity, destroying soils and polluting lands with chemical additives … and with virtually zero EROEI.]

Fifth of countries at risk of ecosystem collapse, analysis finds

The Guardian / Damian Carrington / 12 October 2020

One-fifth of the world’s countries are at risk of their ecosystems collapsing because of the destruction of wildlife and their habitats, according to an analysis by the insurance firm Swiss Re.

Natural “services” such as food, clean water and air, and flood protection have already been damaged by human activity.

More than half of global GDP – $42tn (£32tn) – depends on high-functioning biodiversity, according to the report, but the risk of tipping points is growing.

Countries including Australia, Israel and South Africa rank near the top of Swiss Re’s index of risk to biodiversity and ecosystem services, with India, Spain and Belgium also highlighted. Countries with fragile ecosystems and large farming sectors, such as Pakistan and Nigeria, are also flagged up.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

«page 1 of 26

The Transition Framework

Transition Towns are in the forefront of those preparing for the changes ahead. Transitioners understand that the climate-changed future is hugely unpredictable and unstable. They feel keenly the dilemma of our daily life dependence on a dominant economic system that is threatening that very life with its insistence on unending material consumption and use of fossil fuels.

— Transition Town Peterborough
TB Projects

Subscribe to our Blog

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for local, provincial and national news highlights along with Big Picture articles, tips on what you can do, and an area events calendar.

Biodiversity of the 1000 Islands
Follow Us on Facebook