Mar. 03, 2011 03:12PM EST
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Environmental activist and Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio announced that his foundation has awarded $20 million to more than 100 organizations supporting environmental causes.
This is the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation's (LDF) largest-ever portfolio of environmental grants to date. The organization has now offered more than $80 million in total direct financial impact since its founding in 1998.
Erik Solheim, the head of the United Nations' Environment Program, made an interesting point during a recent speech in New York: Companies, not taxpayers, should pay the costs of damaging the planet.
"The profit of destroying nature or polluting the planet is nearly always privatized, while the costs of polluting the planet or the cost of destroying ecosystems is nearly always socialized," Solheim said Monday, per Reuters, at the annual International Conference on Sustainable Development at Columbia University.
Bigger isn't always better. Too much of a good thing can be bad. Many anti-environmentalists throw these simple truths to the wind, along with caution.
You can see it in the deceitful realm of climate change denial. It's difficult to keep up with the constantly shifting—and debunked—denier arguments, but one common thread promoted by the likes of the Heartland Institute in the U.S. and its Canadian affiliate, the misnamed International Climate Science Coalition, illustrates the point. They claim carbon dioxide is good for plants, and plants are good for people, so we should aim to pump even more CO2 into the atmosphere than we already are.
By Mary Anne Hitt
The latest facepalm/outrage comes in the form of confirmation hearings that start this week for four completely unacceptable nominees to critical leadership positions at EPA.
The latest is Michael L. Dourson, Trump's pick to head the EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, the government's chemical safety program. Media reports reveal that the toxicologist is under intense scrutiny for his extensive ties to the chemical industry and a resumé dotted with some of the biggest names in the field: Koch Industries Inc., Chevron Corp., Dow AgroSciences, DuPont and Monsanto.
By Tim Radford
Scientists in the UK have good news for the 195 nations that pledged to limit global warming to well below 2°C: it can be done. The ideal limit of no more than 1.5°C above the average temperatures for most of human history is possible.
All it requires is an immediate reduction in the combustion of fossil fuels—a reduction that will continue for the next 40 years, until the world is driven only by renewable energy.
As residents in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands prepared to take cover from Hurricane Maria, representatives of island nations devastated by hurricanes made a plea to the UN for recovery funding.
In a hastily-convened special session, leaders of Barbuda, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and other nations detailed the billions of dollars needed to rebuild after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and argued that the increasing impacts of climate change on island nations required a rethinking of how the UN provides humanitarian aid.
Climate change could be causing storms to become "bigger, larger, more violent," underlining the need to have a robust military response to disasters across the country, the top officer of the National Guard Bureau said Tuesday.
"I do think that the climate is changing, and I do think that it is becoming more severe," Gen. Joseph Lengyel told reporters, noting the number of severe storms that have hit the U.S. in the past month. The general might want to take U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt aside for a chat on climate change and disasters: Pruitt sat down for two friendly interviews on Fox yesterday to tout his idea for a red team/blue team "debate" on climate.