By Lisa Newcomb
As wildfires burn through California and the western United States, the Gulf Coast prepares for two potential hurricanes within a 48-hour timeframe, and record high temperatures dominate the summer, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday noted the resounding absence of any mention of the climate crisis during the first night of the Republican National Convention.
<div id="326b8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="12ac12cbb38f3d8bd97857fb446a772b"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1297954158914318336" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">I've dedicated my life to conservative politics...thousands of hours knocking doors/making phone calls. I've gone t… https://t.co/iUfcg0PSKb</div> — Benji Backer (@Benji Backer)<a href="https://twitter.com/BenjiBacker/statuses/1297954158914318336">1598291360.0</a></blockquote></div><p>Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah), whom League of Conservation Voters <a href="https://scorecard.lcv.org/moc/john-curtis" target="_blank">gives</a> a 3% rating on its environmental scorecard, <a href="https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2020/08/24/rep-john-curtis-says-gop/" target="_blank">told</a> attendees at an unrelated event Monday that his party has to start taking the climate crisis seriously.</p><p>"As a conservative, I regret that we have let ourselves be branded as not caring about the Earth," Curtis said. "It's time to stop being on the defensive and go on the offensive."</p><p>He continued: "We don't need to destroy the U.S. economy to be successful. As a matter of fact, I believe a once-in-a-generation opportunity is in front of us."</p><p>But Curtis remains in the minority of Republican lawmakers, and, Sanders wrote, tackling the climate crisis is a duty we share as global citizens.</p><p>"We are custodians of the Earth," he wrote. "All of us. And it would be a moral disgrace if we left to future generations a planet and that was unhealthy, unsafe, and uninhabitable."</p>
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Brett Wilkins
In a little-noticed development last week that drew ire after being reported Monday, the Trump administration's EPA granted the state of Oklahoma wide-ranging environmental regulatory control on nearly all tribal lands in the state, stripping dozens of tribes of their sovereignty over critical environmental issues.
<div id="33841" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5a14c6042aa0d0712fe13d5eb759cef5"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1313101832315641858" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">The Environmental Protection Agency @EPA has stripped indigenious tribes of regulatory control over environmental i… https://t.co/w1tlxBaWtl</div> — Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) (@Climate Justice Alliance (CJA))<a href="https://twitter.com/CJAOurPower/statuses/1313101832315641858">1601902847.0</a></blockquote></div><p>Wheeler's letter acknowledges <em>McGirt v. Oklahoma,</em> in which the U.S. Supreme Court <a href="https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/09/holding-us-government-its-treaty-promises-once-supreme-court-rules-nearly-half" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ruled</a> in July that much of eastern Oklahoma is Native American land. The new EPA move essentially means the state of Oklahoma now has the same rights as it did before <em>McGirt</em>. Attorney General William Barr has joined Republican leaders in <a href="https://www.kosu.org/post/us-attorney-general-visits-oklahoma-discuss-effects-scotus-ruling" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">seeking ways to undermine</a> the landmark ruling.</p>
<div id="19548" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0db07e3f6b7e98220fdf3d2d226ca16d"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1310611113575419906" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Cherokee Nation is now visible on Google Maps. It is the latest reservation added after a Supreme Court ruling in… https://t.co/G4yxXdRpJP</div> — AJ+ (@AJ+)<a href="https://twitter.com/ajplus/statuses/1310611113575419906">1601309014.0</a></blockquote></div>
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By Jeff Berardelli
At the first presidential debate on Tuesday night, former Vice President Joe Biden said point-blank that he does not support the Green New Deal — a progressive plan which not only aims to aggressively tackle climate change but also encompasses many other issues like social justice, jobs, housing and health care.
Goals and Costs<p>First, it is worth mentioning that comparing Biden's plan to the <a href="https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hres109/BILLS-116hres109ih.pdf" target="_blank">Green New Deal</a> is not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, because the Green New Deal is a broad resolution, not a specific plan. The goals of the Green New Deal are many, but the details on how exactly to achieve those goals are few. Thus, putting a price tag on the Green New Deal has been elusive; some experts estimate it would likely be <a href="https://www.aspeninstitute.org/blog-posts/how-much-will-the-green-new-deal-cost/" target="_blank">tens of trillions</a> of dollars over 10 years.</p><p>In contrast, <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/biden-unveils-2-trillion-climate-plan/" target="_blank">Biden's climate plan</a> would lay out $2 trillion over 4 years towards clean energy and infrastructure, which he says will create "millions" of jobs and move the U.S. closer to a carbon-free future. (For comparison, the cost, while expensive, it is still short of the one-year, $2.2 trillion price tag for U.S. coronavirus stimulus measures to date.)</p><p>Biden's plan is also much more narrowly focused than the Green New Deal, which <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-green-new-deal-about-to-get-real/" target="_blank">envisions broader reforms</a> across the U.S. economy. For instance, the Green New Deal includes a goal of "providing all people of the United States with high-quality health care" — an issue that is not addressed in Biden's climate plan. </p><p>However, like the Green New Deal, Biden's plan is aggressive in addressing <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/climate-change" target="_blank">climate change</a> while also attempting to tackle other related issues such as environmental justice, sustainable housing, supporting a "just transition" for workers whose jobs are affected, and the building of major infrastructure projects such as high speed rail, which is mentioned in both proposals. </p>
Green Jobs and Infrastructure<p><strong> </strong>At their core, both the Green New Deal and Biden's climate plan are about jobs as well as the environment. They both place an emphasis on supporting labor unions' right to organize and bargain for fair wages for their members. The Green New Deal sets a goal of providing a guaranteed job with a family-sustaining wage and benefits to every American — but Biden does not go that far.</p><p>Biden's jobs plan is big, but not as comprehensive as the Green New Deal's. He pledges to create millions of new jobs by retooling the auto industry for low-emission vehicles, building infrastructure for a green future, upgrading millions of buildings to be more energy efficient, constructing 1.5 million new sustainable housing units, and cleaning up pollution from oil and gas wells and coal mining sites. </p><p>"When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, he thinks 'hoax.' I think 'jobs'," Biden has <a href="https://twitter.com/joebiden/status/1305666390670675969" target="_blank">said</a>. He aims to provide additional jobs out of the pandemic by boosting this green energy economy.</p><p>Climate change is also expected to continually increase major stresses on America's already aging infrastructure. To address this, both plans call for major investments to, as the Green New Deal puts it, "meet the challenges of the 21st century." Biden's plan calls for making "smart infrastructure investments to rebuild the nation and to ensure that our buildings, water, transportation, and energy infrastructure can withstand the impacts of climate change."</p><p>However, on housing, Biden's proposal to build 1.5 million new sustainable housing units is far short of the lofty ambitions of the Green New Deal, which calls for "providing all people of the United States with affordable, safe, and adequate housing." </p>
Carbon Emissions and Fracking<p>On emissions reductions, Biden's plan calls for a carbon pollution-free U.S. power sector by 2035, with net-zero emissions throughout the economy by 2050. The Green New Deal's timeline is more aggressive, calling for a 10-year national mobilization to generate "100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources."</p><p>Both the Green New Deal and Biden's plan call for overhauling the American transportation industry to reduce pollution and greenhouse gases by creating more public transit and pushing the country toward more hybrid and electric cars. Biden's plan puts forth proposals like giving Americans rebates to trade in gas-guzzling vehicles for more efficient American cars, incentivizing auto companies to offer more zero-emission vehicles, and investing in 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations, among other ideas.</p><p>One area where Biden's position has differed more significantly from environmental activists — and many of his rivals in the Democratic presidential primaries — has been on fracking.</p><p>Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, is a drilling method for extracting natural gas from shale formations underground by injecting liquid at high pressure. Since 2005, the use of fracking in the U.S. has <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/011915/what-are-effects-fracking-environment.asp" target="_blank">grown exponentially</a>. Some energy experts <a href="https://www.energyindepth.org/report-the-united-states-will-be-the-worlds-top-lng-exporter-in-the-next-five-years/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">forecast</a> the U.S. will be the world's top exporter of natural gas within the next few years.</p>
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Google has continued to curry political favor with staunch conservatives by making substantial financial contributions to more than a dozen groups that deny that the climate crisis is real, as The Guardian revealed in a bombshell investigation.
Thomas Hawk / Flickr
By Risa Palm and Toby W. Bolsen
Advertisers understand that providing consumers with the facts will not sell products. To get people to stop and pay attention, successful advertising delivers information simply and with an emotional hook so that consumers notice and, hopefully, make a purchase.
Maps can be a way to see potential flood risk. www.FloodiQ.com, author provided
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You don't have to look far to find misinformation about climate science continuing to spread online through prominent social media channels like YouTube. That's despite the overwhelming scientific consensus that humans are driving the climate crisis.
Monetizing Misinformation<p>Examples of videos identified as containing climate misinformation include titles such as "ACTUAL SCIENTIST: Climate Change is a Hoax" and "CIA Whistleblower Speaks Out About Climate Engineering Vaccination Dangers and 911." Other videos feature interviews with climate science deniers, such as <a href="https://www.desmogblog.com/patrick-moore" target="_blank">Patrick Moore</a>, and promote false claims that there is no evidence that CO2 emissions are the dominant cause of climate change (<a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/ipcc_wg3_ar5_summary-for-policymakers.pdf" target="_blank">there is and they are</a>).</p><p>Not all of the channels promoting misinformation are owned by pseudonymous individuals with fringe ideas. Some come from established media organizations such as Fox News and the conservative media nonprofit <a href="https://www.desmogblog.com/prageru" target="_blank">PragerU</a>.</p><p>Avaaz uncovered these examples by reviewing over 5,000 videos using the search terms "global warming," "climate change," and "climate manipulation." The NGO found a number of videos containing misleading or false information for each search term.</p><p><span style="background-color: initial;">"</span>For the search term 'global warming,' 16 percent of the top 100 related videos included under the up-next feature had misinformation about climate change," the report states. The percentage of top 100 related videos with climate misinformation, promoted through YouTube's recommendation algorithm, dropped to 8 percent when the search term "climate change" was used. When the researchers typed in "climate manipulation," however, that percentage rose to 21 percent. According to Avaaz, the climate misinformation videos it reviewed had 21.1 million views collectively.</p>
Avaaz Recommends Further Action, Youtube Defends Its Policies<p>Avaaz acknowledged steps that YouTube and Google have taken to update the video platform's <a href="https://www.youtube.com/about/policies/#staying-safe" target="_blank">Community Guidelines</a> policy and fight disinformation. In 2015 YouTube initiated a campaign to help "change the way people discuss climate change," and climate-related videos now include a Wikipedia link to basic, definitive information on the term "global warming."</p><p>In February 2019 Google issued a <a href="https://www.blog.google/documents/37/How_Google_Fights_Disinformation.pdf" target="_blank">white paper on fighting disinformation</a>, stating: "We set out to prevent our systems from serving up content that could misinform users in a harmful way, particularly in domains that rely on veracity, such as science, medicine, news, or historical events." Google said it introduced a "higher bar" for the promotion of YouTube videos. YouTube has also updated its policies on the kind of content it prohibits and has taken steps to protect its users from exposure to misinformation on vaccine safety and conspiracy theories.</p>
The relative number and views of the top 100 videos found searching for "global warming" on YouTube and identifying those featuring climate misinformation. DeSmogBlog / Avaaz<p>But Avaaz says these actions are not enough.</p><p>"Climate misinformation threatens the health and safety of our societies and our planet. YouTube has taken notable strides to act against disinformation, but our research proves that more is needed," said Julie Deruy, senior campaigner at Avaaz. "YouTube can and should immediately move to include climate misinformation in the company's borderline content policy and allow advertisers to exclude their ads from videos with climate misinformation." (Borderline content refers to videos that walk the line of violating YouTube's terms of service and has been the <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/3/20992018/youtube-borderline-content-recommendation-algorithm-news-authoritative-sources" target="_blank">subject of much scrutiny</a>).</p><p>The Avaaz report outlines several recommendations, based on consultation with industry experts, advertisers, and legislators around the world. These recommendations, quoted here from the report, suggest the video platform: </p><ol><li><strong>Detox the YouTube Recommendation Algorithms</strong>: The company must end its free promotion of misinformation and disinformation videos by extracting such videos from its algorithms, starting immediately by including climate misinformation in its borderline content policy.</li><li><strong>Demonetize Disinformation</strong>: Add disinformation and misinformation to YouTube's relevant monetization policies, ensuring such content does not include advertising and is not financially incentivized. YouTube should start immediately with the option for advertisers to exclude their ads from videos with climate misinformation.</li><li><strong>Correct the Record</strong>: Work with independent fact-checkers to inform users who have seen or interacted with verifiably false or misleading information, and issue corrections alongside these videos.</li><li><strong>Transparency</strong>: Although YouTube promises to work openly with researchers, the company maintains an opaque process around its recommendation algorithms and on how effective its policies are in dealing with misinformation. YouTube should immediately release data showing the amount of views on misinformation content that were driven by its recommendation algorithms. YouTube must also work with researchers to ensure access to its recommendation algorithms to study misinformation.</li></ol>
Avaaz mock up of what effective misinformation corrections could look like on YouTube videos. DeSmogBlog / Avaaz<p>DeSmog also reached out to Google, parent company of YouTube, and a company spokesperson defended YouTube's policies, saying that false information does not necessarily violate the site's community guidelines. YouTube indicated that it is not inclined to adopt the recommendations in the Avaaz report, due to concerns on limiting free speech.</p><p>"We can't speak to Avaaz's methodology or results, and our recommendations systems are not designed to filter or demote videos or channels based on specific perspectives. YouTube has strict <a href="https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6162278?hl=en" target="_blank">ad policies</a> that govern where ads are allowed to appear and we give advertisers tools to opt out of content that doesn't align with their brand," a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement responding to the report. </p><p>"We've also significantly invested in <a href="https://youtube.googleblog.com/2019/01/continuing-our-work-to-improve.html" target="_blank">reducing</a> recommendations of borderline content and harmful misinformation, and <a href="https://youtube.googleblog.com/2019/12/the-four-rs-of-responsibility-raise-and-reduce.html?m=1" target="_blank">raising up</a> authoritative voices on YouTube," the spokesperson continued. "In 2019 alone, the consumption on authoritative news publishers' channels <a href="https://youtube.googleblog.com/2019/12/the-four-rs-of-responsibility-raise-and-reduce.html" target="_blank">grew</a> by 60 percent. As our systems appear to have done in the majority of cases in this report, we prioritize authoritative voices for millions of news and information queries, and surface information panels on topics prone to misinformation — including climate change — to provide users with context alongside their content. We continue to expand these efforts to more topics and countries."</p><p>Avaaz said it stands by its findings, and criticized YouTube for knowingly promoting false information on climate change.</p><p>"YouTube is the largest broadcasting channel in the world, and it is driving millions of people to climate misinformation videos," said Avaaz's Deruy. "This is not about free speech, this is about the free advertising YouTube is giving to factually inaccurate videos that risk confusing people about one of the biggest crises of our time. The bottom line is that YouTube should not feature, suggest, promote, advertise, or lead users to misinformation." </p>
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Signs added to Glacier National Park more than a decade ago predicting that the glaciers would be gone by 2020 are being taken down and replaced, as CNN reported.
By Timothy Graham, Tobias R. Keller
In the first week of 2020, hashtag #ArsonEmergency became the focal point of a new online narrative surrounding the bushfire crisis.
The message: the cause is arson, not climate change.
Bots, Trolls and Trollbots<p>The most effective disinformation campaigns use bot and troll accounts to infiltrate genuine political discussion, and shift it towards a different "<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02235-x" target="_blank">master narrative</a>."</p><p>Bots and trolls have been a thorn in the side of fruitful political debate since Twitter's early days. They mimic genuine opinions, akin to what a concerned citizen might display, with a goal of persuading others and gaining attention.</p><p><a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10584609.2018.1526238" target="_blank">Bots</a> are usually automated (acting without constant human oversight) and perform simple functions, such as retweeting or repeatedly pushing one type of content.</p><p>Troll accounts are controlled by humans. They try to stir controversy, hinder healthy debate and simulate fake grassroots movements. They aim to persuade, deceive and cause conflict.</p><p>We've observed both troll and bot accounts spouting disinformation regarding the bushfires on Twitter. We were able to distinguish these accounts as being inauthentic for two reasons.</p><p>First, we used sophisticated software tools including <a href="https://github.com/mkearney/tweetbotornot" target="_blank">tweetbotornot</a>, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/hbe2.115" target="_blank">Botometer</a>, and <a href="https://botsentinel.com/" target="_blank">Bot Sentinel</a>.</p>
Who to blame?<p>Unfortunately, we don't know who is behind these accounts, <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1369118X.2019.1637447" target="_blank">as we can only access trace data such as tweet text and basic account information</a>.</p><p>This graph shows how many times #ArsonEmergency was tweeted between Dec. 31 last year and Jan. 8 this year:</p><img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjQ5ODcyNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MDAyNTM5OH0.RQ5XKjBViMUr8jAuGjne4FQgeJblaYZbvcSkTtmxLUI/img.jpg?width=980" id="7d8d7" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c48957637707dc6223059ef71e9dd72a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
On the vertical axis is the number of tweets over time which featured #ArsonEmergency. On Jan. 7, there were 4726 tweets. Author provided
Weeding-Out Inauthentic Behavior<p>In late November, some Twitter accounts began using #ArsonEmergency to counter <a href="https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/not-normal-climate-change-bushfire-web/" target="_blank">evidence</a> that climate change is linked to the severity of the bushfire crisis.</p><p>Below is one of the earliest examples of an attempt to replace #ClimateEmergency with #ArsonEmergency. The accounts tried to get #ArsonEmergency trending to drown out dialogue acknowledging the link between climate change and bushfires.</p><img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjQ5ODczMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNTA3ODczOX0.PaMXEW_P1Jbq-n0eeHB4Qd-Rlgz5FiGIUNdlX6roC5E/img.jpg?width=980" id="2e204" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bc9b39e92218bb279ece99d797eea8d6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
We suspect the origins of the #ArsonEmergency debacle can be traced back to a few accounts. Author provided
The inauthentic accounts engaged with genuine users in an effort to persuade them. Author provided
Bad Publicity<p>Since media coverage has shone light on the disinformation campaign, #ArsonEmergency has gained even more prominence, but in a different light.</p><p>Some journalists are acknowledging the role of disinformation bushfire crisis — and countering narrative the Australia has an arson emergency. However, the campaign does indicate Australia has a climate denial problem.</p><p>What's clear to me is that Australia has been propelled into the global disinformation battlefield.</p>
Keep Your Eyes Peeled<p>It's difficult to debunk disinformation, as it often contains a grain of truth. In many cases, it leverages people's previously held beliefs and biases.</p><p>Humans are particularly vulnerable to disinformation in times of emergency, or when addressing contentious issues like climate change.</p><p>Online users, especially journalists, need to stay on their toes.</p><p>The accounts we come across on social media may not represent genuine citizens and their concerns. A trending hashtag may be trying to mislead the public.</p><p>Right now, it's more important than ever for us to prioritize factual news from reliable sources — and identify and combat disinformation. The Earth's future could depend on it.</p>
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By Andy Rowell
After weeks of inaction and ineptitude as his country burns, as a billion animals die, with entire species potentially wiped out, and with dozens of people dead and communities and lives ripped apart, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has finally slumbered into action.
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By Eoin Higgins
Australia is on fire.
The country on Saturday saw delayed flights on the second day of a national state of emergency due to raging brushfires near every major city and choked-out smoke conditions.
Kangaroos Flee Devastating Fires in Australia<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="89992373721960aec2364bde90649a95"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8QcH4Msa7GY?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
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By Ajit Niranjan
Civil society groups and public prosecutors in Brazil are taking President Jair Bolsonaro's government to court for failing to protect the Amazon rainforest, adding pressure to an administration already under fire for mismanaging the coronavirus pandemic.
Coronavirus and Deforestation<p>Brazil's environmental and health crises are closely linked. The coronavirus pandemic had given fresh impetus to land grabbers razing swathes of forests as lockdowns have kept law enforcement officers at home.</p><p>Now, the fires that typically follow the felling of trees could further strain health systems.</p><p>Blazing wildfires, like the ones that devastated the Amazon last year, spout pollutants that lower air quality and work their way into people's lungs, exacerbating the same <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-air-pollution-might-raise-risk-of-fatality/a-52977422" target="_blank">breathing diseases</a> that leave people more vulnerable to the coronavirus. A joint peak in forest fires and COVID-19 cases could overwhelm hospitals without "incisive intervention by the State to curb illegal acts," according to a report published in May by INPE.</p><p>That could collapse health systems in several Amazonian states that are already operating at the limit, the authors wrote. "If the turning point of the epidemiological curve of COVID-19 does not occur immediately, in May 2020, there will certainly be an overlap of fires with the pandemic."</p><p>This could spell disaster for indigenous peoples and uncontacted tribes, said Sarah Shenker, a campaigner with Survival International. "In Brazil, there are more than 100 uncontacted tribes and they could be wiped out if invaders are not removed from their territory."</p><p>Even before the current coronavirus crisis, scientists warned that <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/how-deforestation-can-lead-to-more-infectious-diseases/a-53282244" target="_blank">forest loss makes pandemics more likely</a> by increasing the chance that diseases jump from animals to humans. A study published in the journal PNAS in October found that deforestation of the Amazon significantly increases transmission of malaria, a different type of disease.</p>
Preserving the Climate<p>The Amazon rainforest — 60 percent of which lies in Brazil — is one of the world's great carbon sinks. Preserving its trees and plants is crucial to meeting international targets that <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/co2-emissions-gap-un-report-warns-of-collective-failure-to-act/a-51407286" target="_blank">limit global warming</a> to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.</p><p>Lawsuits that take years to complete are not going to produce results fast enough, said Ricardo Galvao, a former director of INPE who was <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/brazils-research-chief-sacked-after-deforestation-row-with-bolsonaro/a-49874119" target="_blank">fired by Bolsonaro</a> in August.</p><p>To curb deforestation in the Amazon, said Galvao, the best tools are "positive actions that show [that] exploring the forest, rather than destroying it, gives economic returns." For instance, international organizations like the UN could certify products from sustainably managed forests and countries could lower import taxes on such "green-stamped" goods.</p>
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By Ilana Cohen, Evelyn Nieves, Judy Fahys, Marianne Lavelle, James Bruggers
When New York Communities for Change helped lead a demonstration of 500 on Monday in Brooklyn to protest George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis, the grassroots group's activism spoke to a long-standing link between police violence against African Americans and environmental justice.
'I Worry About My Kids and Their Kids'<p>Watching the events of recent days unfold have been very painful for Arnita Gadson, a veteran environmental justice advocate who has played a pivotal role helping to keep a large chemical industry in Louisville accountable through a local task force, and also serves as Kentucky's Environmental Climate Justice Chair for the NAACP.</p><p>She is contributing to a local climate adaptation plan, and that work has continued through the recent strife, Gadson said, adding, "but I've been scared.</p><p>"I am a black woman living in a white world," she said. "If I go out, I might get shot and I may get killed. I worry about my kids and their kids."</p><p>In Salt Lake City, Utah, Grace Olscamp has been reaching out on social media, calling on environmentalists to do more than pledge support for people of color on behalf of the environmental group HEAL Utah, which has focused for two decades on hazardous and nuclear waste, as well as air pollution and climate change.</p><p>"It shouldn't have taken us this long to really step up and take action," said Olscamp, HEAL's communications director, noting that she, the group's staff and many of its members are white and "definitely in a place of privilege."</p><p>It's a problem among environmental organizations, generally, that they have failed to include more people of color and to hold themselves accountable for working toward real change.</p>
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