this is your first 10 in 2 of 2018.
...so here we go:
Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara, have found that a decrease in wildlife populations causes an upsurge in local tick populations, potentially increasing the threat of infectious diseases globally. Ticks transmit many diseases to both humans and animals, and are found on nearly every continent in every type of environment. I guess it isn't really shocking that conservation benefits both human health AND wildlife health. (phys.org)
The world’s last great wildernesses are shrinking at an alarming rate. In the past two decades, 10% of the earth’s wilderness has been lost due to human pressure, according to a mapping study by the University of Queensland. James Watson, the senior author of the study, said “If this rate continues, we will have lost all wilderness within the next 50 years.” I consider this great news for the tick population. (The Guardian)
A California bill seeks to ban sale of all fossil-fuelled vehicles by 2040. The legislation introduced on Wednesday in the state legislature, could mean that only battery-electric or hybrid fuel cell cars would available at dealerships, and is especially significant because more cars are sold each year in California than in any other state. (independent.co.uk)
The Trump administration said Thursday it would allow new offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all United States coastal waters, giving energy companies access to leases off California for the first time in decades and opening more than a billion acres in the Arctic and along the Eastern Seaboard. This could be a huge win for people that love oil floating on to their beaches, and for BP who might finally get out from under their image of being the uh, last company to have a major spill. (NYT)
A federal judge has handed a win to South Portland, Maine over a pipeline company that wants to send tar sands oil through the city, a proposal seen as opening a way for Canada's crude to reach the East Coast for export. But the fight is not over. A federal district court judge dismissed on Dec. 29 all but one of the company's claims against the city. The ruling still leaves open a key question: whether the city is violating the U.S. Constitution by blocking the project. (insideclimatenews.org)
More than one-quarter of the world's population could live in a state of drought by 2050 if the goals of the Paris climate agreement are not met, according to a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change It finds that if the Earth's temperature goes up by 2 degrees Celsius by 2050, more than 25 percent of the world's population would live in a state of drought. (The Hill)
I have a long read recommendation for you this week. From Quartz Media, a historical and 1st person account of coal mining history in Appalachia, where profit equals prosperity, regardless of its true costs. Seriously, just go read the piece, I could never do it justice in this quick and dirty format, it’s called “The 100-year capitalist experiment that keeps Appalachia poor, sick, and stuck on coal” (Quartz)
The ocean is running out of oxygen —and the depletion could choke to death much of the marine life. A review published Thursday in Science documented the causes, consequences and solutions and discovered a four-to-tenfold increase in areas of the ocean with little to no oxygen, which is alarming because half of Earth’s oxygen originates from the ocean. (Newsweek)
The Brazilian government has announced it will stop building mega-dams in the Amazon, according to reports in the Brazilian newspaper O Globo. This is a major victory for indigenous populations, river communities, and the entire ecosystem of the Amazon. (internationalrivers.org)
I am seeking feedback from all of you who are listening to this each week. In this hyper and overwhelming news cycle, is this round up of the weeks environmental news a valuable service? Does this format work well for you? One thing I struggle with personally is that while we try to shy away from politics as much as possible to keep from getting distracted, everything is so interrelated, it can be hard. If you have an opinion about the content of this show, or have suggestions as to ways we could make it better, that is something we are always interested in hearing. So, reach out via the contact form on our website, or send me an email directly at ZACH [at] BLUSKYE dot COM and I will reply with gratitude to each and every one of you.