The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Mining and Fracking Public Lands Creates 4.5 Times More Carbon Than They Can Absorb
Public lands generate about 4.5 times more atmospheric carbon than they are currently able to absorb, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress. In short, oil and gas drilling is outpacing the capacity of our forests and grasslands to capture the carbon that is being emitted.
Every year, public lands are used for the extraction of:
- 42.1 percent of our nation’s coal
- 26.2 percent of its oil
- 17.8 percent of its natural gas
America's public lands should fulfill the opposite purpose by providing landscapes that naturally absorb and store carbon. But with increasing development, carbon emissions from public lands more than quadruple the amount that these lands are capable of absorbing, according to the report.
Unfortunately, public lands are also "'ground zero' for the effects of a warming world: glaciers are disappearing from Glacier National Park, polar bears are losing their Arctic habitat and water supplies in the Colorado River are diminishing," says the report.
Center for American Progress' assessment that a carbon-emissions reduction plan for public lands should be a crucial component of President Obama's Climate Action Plan.
While America's prized lands may no longer be able to balance our needs, our policies need to.
Visit EcoWatch’s ENERGY page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The annual Arctic thaw has kicked off with record-setting ice melt and sea ice loss that is several weeks ahead of schedule, scientists said, as the New York Times reported.
'This Should Scare the Hell Out of You': Photo of Greenland Sled Dog Teams Walking on Melted Water Goes Viral
By Jon Queally
In yet the latest shocking image depicting just how fast the world's natural systems are changing due to the global climate emergency, a photograph showing a vast expanse of melted Arctic ice in Greenland — one in which a pair of sled dog teams appear to be walking on water — has gone viral.
By Tia Schwab
It has been almost a year since Hurricane Florence slammed the Carolinas, dumping a record 30 inches of rainfall in some parts of the states. At least 52 people died, and property and economic losses reached $24 billion, with nearly $17 billion in North Carolina alone. Flood waters also killed an estimated 3.5 million chickens and 5,500 hogs.
'Huge Victory' for Grassroots Climate Campaigners as NY Lawmakers Reach Deal on Sweeping Climate Legislation
By Julia Conley
Grassroots climate campaigners in New York applauded on Monday after state lawmakers reached a deal on sweeping climate legislation, paving the way for the passage of what could be some of the country's most ambitious environmental reforms.
Tens of Thousands Flee Extreme Heatwave in India as Temperatures Topping 120°F Kill Dozens Across Country
By Julia Conley
Nearly 50 people died on Saturday in one Indian state as record-breaking heatwaves across the country have caused an increasingly desperate situation.
By Will J. Grant
In an ideal world, people would look at issues with a clear focus only on the facts. But in the real world, we know that doesn't happen often.
People often look at issues through the prism of their own particular political identity — and have probably always done so.