deforestation

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Girl Scouts: Thin Mints Killing Orangutans' Home

Duo protests cookies' palm oil recipe

(Newser) - America's cookie buyers shouldn't have to choose between buying Girl Scout cookies and saving orangutans, say a pair of Michigan girl scouts leading calls for the organization to change its recipe. Seventh graders Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva, who have rallied Girl Scout troops across the country and...

Nations Near Deal to Save Tropical Forests

Developing nations would be paid to preserve land

(Newser) - Looks like the UN climate talks under way in Cancun could yield at least one tangible deal—an agreement to start saving the world's tropical forests. The concept is simple enough: Developing nations such as Brazil, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea would be paid to stop bulldozing their forests, reports...

Back From Brink, Eastern Forests Face New Threats

Damage from early colonization recouped, but other forces conspire

(Newser) - In the early days—or, rather, centuries—of the American experiment, the vast Eastern forests were logged almost to oblivion. But with the opening of the frontier to the West, trees from the Northeast to the Gulf Coast rebounded, and by 1997 the forests had regained almost 70% of their...

Huge Sandstorm Turns Beijing Sky Orange

Storms have jumped sixfold in 50 years due to deforestation

(Newser) - China's capital woke up to orange-tinted skies today as the strongest sandstorm so far this year hit the country's north, delaying some flights at Beijing's airport and prompting a dust warning for Seoul. The sky glowed and a thin dusting of sand covered Beijing, causing workers to muffle their faces...

Why Whaling May Worsen Warming

Whales store carbon in their bones, scientists say

(Newser) - A hundred years of whaling has released about a forest's worth of carbon into the atmosphere, researchers say. Whales serve as "forests of the ocean" by storing carbon in their bones and releasing it when they die. "When you kill and remove a whale from the ocean, that's...

Deforestation Reveals Signs of 'El Dorado'

 Deforestation Reveals 
 Signs of 'El Dorado' 


lost city of gold found?

Deforestation Reveals Signs of 'El Dorado'

Team spots evidence of massive Amazon civilization

(Newser) - The legends of lost cities that drew Spanish explorers to their doom seeking "El Dorado" in the Amazon may have been rooted in truth after all. Deforestation in Brazil and northern Bolivia has revealed signs, including roads and massive earthworks, of an Amazon civilization much bigger than anything previously...

Your Guide to Greenhouse Gases
 Your Guide to 
 Greenhouse Gases 
A COPENHAGEN PRIMER

Your Guide to Greenhouse Gases

Carbon dioxide you know, but what about perfluorocarbons?

(Newser) - With things set to really heat up next week at the Copenhagen climate summit, the Guardian runs down greenhouse gases you oughta know:
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2): Industrialization and deforestation have produced high levels of this gas, which helps trap heat inside Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Methane (CH4): Thirty times more dangerous
...

Brazil: 'Gringos' Must Pay to Keep Rainforests

Industrialized nations have done most damage to Amazon

(Newser) - Brazil's president says "gringos" should pay Amazon nations to prevent deforestation, insisting rich Western nations have caused much more past environmental destruction than the loggers and farmers who cut and burn trees in the world's largest tropical rain forest.

Koalas Face Extinction by Climate, Chlamydia?

Changing world strips diet-staple eucalyptus of nutrients

(Newser) - Australia's koalas face extinction as their population has been decimated by climate change and the loss of trees due to development and wildfires. Six years ago, they were thought to number more than 100,000; today, their count is as low as 43,000. Threats to their diet of eucalyptus...

Biofuel Laws Make No Sense: Scientists

Kyoto Protocols actually encourage harming the environment

(Newser) - Biofuel laws around the world actually encourage harming the environment, prominent scientists argue in the latest issue of Science. Under the Kyoto Treaty, in laws throughout Europe, and in the bill that passed the US House, biofuels count as carbon-neutral, on the theory that the plants the fuel is made...

Let's Pay People Not to Cut Down Trees
Let's Pay People 
Not to Cut Down Trees 

analysis

Let's Pay People Not to Cut Down Trees

A deal could curb greenhouse gas emissions by 18%

(Newser) - Deforestation releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, so how about paying people to keep trees standing? A pilot project in Brazil has paid families to do just that, and aroused the interest of world leaders who plan to negotiate a climate deal in Copenhagen in December, the Economist reports. But...

Warming Earth Down to Its 'Last Chance': Charles

Prince warns of catastrophe if world continues to balk at taking action

(Newser) - Prince Charles warned yesterday that the world's unwillingness to take action on climate change means disaster is looming, the Daily Telegraph reports. The prince, addressing the Nobel Laureates Symposium, said that although a "mercifully small—if vociferous—number" of people still reject the science of climate change, a far...

EPA Eyes Crackdown on Not-So-Green Biofuels

Turns out, it's greener to burn plants than to make ethanol

(Newser) - Plants consume carbon dioxide, so growing corn to produce ethanol should be at worst a zero-sum game, emissions-wise, right? Wrong, says the EPA. There's another factor involved: Turning food crops into fuel drives up their prices, which raises demand for farmland worldwide. In places like Brazil, that means chopping down...

Save the Rainforest? Nature May Have It Covered

New jungle in the tropics might outpace deforestation

(Newser) - With all the talk of how much primeval rainforest disappears every year, it might come as a surprise to hear that much more new forest is springing up to replace it. Although new jungle taking over abandoned or destroyed farms in tropical nations is good for the planet—the UN...

Half of Amazon Could Be Gone in 20 Years
Half of Amazon Could Be Gone in 20 Years
opinion

Half of Amazon Could Be Gone in 20 Years

Lust for beef, ethanol drives deforestation; nations must act now

(Newser) - An "unprecedented" combination of ills is threatening the Amazon, and if nothing is done to ease the pressure on the world’s largest rainforest, more than half of it could be gone or withered in 20 years, Rhett Butler writes for Yale Environment 360. After a three-year decline, forest...

What Happened to the Paperless Office?
 What Happened to
 the Paperless Office? 
ANALYSIS

What Happened to the Paperless Office?

Still, huge financial incentives to cut down have wheels in motion

(Newser) - More than 30 years after Xerox guru George Pake predicted a "paperless office" by 1995, the dream is as elusive as ever. That's because the very computers that made paper theoretically obsolete, BusinessWeek notes, also brought us printers and copiers on practically every desktop. "The decision to print...

Organic Meat Is Climate Culprit

Livestock raised indoors is better for environment, reports say

(Newser) - The gas production, need for space, and food requirements required by organic and free-range livestock hurt the environment more than their traditional counterparts, the BBC reports. Organic poultry can heat the earth some 45% more than indoor poultry, one group said; and a UN division found that farm animals heat...

Brazil Targets Amazon Loggers
 Brazil Targets Amazon Loggers 

Brazil Targets Amazon Loggers

Government cracks down as deforestation rises sharply

(Newser) - Brazil is launching a new crackdown against the loggers who are destroying the Amazon rainforest at alarming rates, the Washington Post reports. After several years of decline, deforestation is surging as cattle ranchers clear land and loggers cut down trees for charcoal to fuel steel mills abroad. But Brazil will...

Rainforests Still Fall at Shocking Rates

Summit proposes financial rewards for conservation efforts

(Newser) - Rainforests continue to vanish at "alarming" rates worldwide despite decades of scientific warnings, experts say. Tropical trees are falling at 60 acres per minute—up 10 from a generation ago—accounting for roughly 20% of Earth's carbon emissions. Environmental leaders plan to preserve forests with a carbon trading system,...

Despite Laws, Amazon Jungle Disappearing

Even president's tough new measures may not halt rapid deforestation

(Newser) - The deforestation of the Amazon jungle is speeding up, and Brazil may be unable to stop it, Time magazine reports. Over the last five months an estimated 2,700 square miles of forest have been cleared—more than twice the size of Rhode Island. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva...

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