By Andy Rowell
This resistance is needed now more than ever, as global temperatures edge towards the 400 parts per million (ppm) mark for the first time in millions of years, something that is seriously worrying scientists. “It looks like the world is going to blow through the 400 ppm level without losing a beat,” argues Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientist, Ralph Keeling.
One person who is part of this resistance is a young American activist Brian Eister, who has worked with John Kerry’s presidential campaign, League of Conservation Voters, Green Party, Public Citizen and was involved in the Occupy Movement.
But now he has put his body on the line for climate change. He is on day 29 of a planned 30 day hunger strike. For nearly the last month, all he has consumed is water, salt and potassium.
Eister is currently camped outside the American Petroleum Institute (API) in Washington, DC, the oil industry’s most powerful lobby group.
He is trying to raise awareness about climate change. “I am on hunger strike,” Eister writes, “because I can think of no action which could adequately express the urgency of humanity’s present situation. There are more than a few trends which, left unchecked, are likely to make life impossibly difficult for future generations.”
He argues that, “Given the urgency of what is coming, every one of our lives should, first and foremost, be dedicated to preventing this coming catastrophe.”
Over the weekend, Eister gave an interview as to why he is taking what many would argue is radical action. His anger is channeled towards those in power: politicians, the press and of course the oil industry itself.
“There are the policymakers, who treat this issue as though we had all the time in the world to fix it. They already know better,” he argues. “There are members of the press, who bury stories about the impending ruination of the world’s economy by global warming on page 13 of the newspaper, while consistently placing stories about members of congress wrangling over budgets on front page. They already know better.”
Perhaps saddest of all, he says: “there are educated, intelligent people who surely love their children working for groups like the American Petroleum Institute and Americans for Clean Coal Electricity. They already know better.”
The lobbyists at the API do know better, but like the tobacco barons before them, they are trying to still spin a web of denial and deception over the science and urgency of climate change.
As the world hurtles towards 400 ppm, the window for meaningful action on climate is rapidly closing. But, as Eister says, politicians, the press and the oil industry, all know better but carry on as if nothing is the problem.
If President Obama is to start listening to people like Eister, one first small step would be to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline. But that would only be the first small step of true meaningful action.
Eister argues, “In our minds, we imagine that somehow, someway, this problem will be solved: how, after all, could a world full of responsible adults allow all of our children’s lives, and their children’s lives, to be ruined?"
Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.
A tornado tore through a city north of Birmingham, Alabama, Monday night, killing one person and injuring at least 30.
- Tornadoes and Climate Change: What Does the Science Say ... ›
- Tornadoes Hit Unusually Wide Swaths of U.S., Alarming Climate ... ›
- 23 Dead as Tornado Pummels Lee County, AL in Further Sign ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Konisky
On his first day in office President Joe Biden started signing executive orders to reverse Trump administration policies. One sweeping directive calls for stronger action to protect public health and the environment and hold polluters accountable, including those who "disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income communities."
Michael S. Regan, President Biden's nominee to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, grew up near a coal-burning power plant in North Carolina and has pledged to "enact an environmental justice framework that empowers people in all communities." NCDEQ
- Report Urges Biden to Reverse Trump's Environmental Rollbacks ›
- US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ›
- Biden's EPA Pick Michael Regan Urged to Address Environmental ... ›
- Biden Faces Pressure to Tackle 'Unfunded' Toxic Waste Sites ... ›
By Katherine Kornei
Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.
A Pattern in the Rings<p>The <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coppice-standards-0" target="_blank">coppice-with-standards</a> management practice produces a two-story forest, said <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernhard_Muigg" target="_blank">Bernhard Muigg</a>, a dendrochronologist at the University of Freiburg in Germany. "You have an upper story of single trees that are allowed to grow for several understory generations."</p><p>That arrangement imprints a characteristic tree ring pattern in a forest's upper story trees (the "standards"): thick rings indicative of heavy growth, which show up at regular intervals as the surrounding smaller trees are cut down. "The trees are growing faster," said Muigg. "You can really see it with your naked eye."</p><p>Muigg and his collaborators characterized that <a href="https://ltrr.arizona.edu/about/treerings" target="_blank">dendrochronological pattern</a> in 161 oak trees growing in central Germany, one of the few remaining sites in Europe with actively managed coppice-with-standards forests. They found up to nine cycles of heavy growth in the trees, the oldest of which was planted in 1761. The researchers then turned to a historical data set — more than 2,000 oak <a href="https://eos.org/articles/podcast-discovering-europes-history-through-its-timbers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">timbers from buildings and archaeological sites</a> in Germany and France dating from between 300 and 2015 — to look for a similar pattern.</p>
A Gap of 500 Years<p>The team found wood with the characteristic coppice-with-standards tree ring pattern dating to as early as the 6th century. That was a surprise, Muigg and his colleagues concluded, because the first mention of this forest management practice in historical documents occurred only roughly 500 years later, in the 13th century.</p><p>It's probable that forest management practices were not well documented prior to the High Middle Ages (1000–1250), the researchers suggested. "Forests are mainly mentioned in the context of royal hunting interests or donations," said Muigg. Dendrochronological studies are particularly important because they can reveal information not captured by a sparse historical record, he added.</p><p>These results were <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78933-8" target="_blank">published in December in <em>Scientific Reports</em></a>.</p><p>"It's nice to see the longevity and the history of coppice-with-standards," said <a href="https://www.teagasc.ie/contact/staff-directory/s/ian-short/" target="_blank">Ian Short</a>, a forestry researcher at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, not involved in the research. This technique is valuable because it promotes conservation and habitat biodiversity, Short said. "In the next 10 or 20 years, I think we'll see more coppice-with-standards coming back into production."</p><p>In the future, Muigg and his collaborators hope to analyze a larger sample of historic timbers to trace how the coppice-with-standards practice spread throughout Europe. It will be interesting to understand where this technique originated and how it propagated, said Muigg, and there are plenty of old pieces of wood waiting to be analyzed. "There [are] tons of dendrochronological data."</p><p><em><a href="mailto:email@example.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Katherine Kornei</a> is a freelance science journalist covering Earth and space science. Her bylines frequently appear in Eos, Science, and The New York Times. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.</em></p><p><em>This story originally appeared in <a href="https://eos.org/articles/tree-rings-reveal-how-ancient-forests-were-managed" target="_blank">Eos</a></em> <em>and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.</em></p>
Earth's ice is melting 57 percent faster than in the 1990s and the world has lost more than 28 trillion tons of ice since 1994, research published Monday in The Cryosphere shows.
By Jewel Fraser
Noreen Nunez lives in a middle-class neighborhood that rises up a hillside in Trinidad's Tunapuna-Piarco region.