The Low-Down on How Sequestration Would Impact Environmental Health
If sequestration, the series of automatic budget cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011, goes into effect as scheduled on March 1, it will have a disastrous impact on our wildlife and ecosystems. Crucial funding for conservation—including programs that protect and restore wildlife habitat, ensure access to public lands, safeguard clean air and clean water, and invest in clean energy—is on the chopping block. And sequestration is a particularly devastating way of cutting spending: federal agencies can’t pick and choose which programs to cut, but have to cut every single program by 5.2 percent.
According to a poll released by the Pew Research Center, 77 percent of Americans think spending on the environment should either increase or stay the same.
In 2011, there were 435 million visits to lands managed by the Department of Interior—visits that supported 403,000 jobs and contributed $48.7 billion to local economies. Clean air and water, access to public lands, and protected wildlife habitats are critical to the 37 million hunters and anglers who spent $90 billion in 2011, and to the $646 billion outdoor recreation industry, which employs 6.1 million Americans. The National Park Service has already said that sequestration will force them to reduce visitor services and hours of operation, delay seasonal hiring indefinitely and possibly close some or all of certain parks.
Check out this infographic that provides the low down on how the impending budget cuts will affect environmental spending in your region:
By Brett Wilkins
One hundred seconds to midnight. That's how close humanity is to the apocalypse, and it's as close as the world has ever been, according to Wednesday's annual announcement from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a group that has been running its "Doomsday Clock" since the early years of the nuclear age in 1947.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
- Scientists Discover New Population of Endangered Blue Whales ... ›
- Endangered Blue Whales Make 'Unprecedented' Comeback to ... ›
- Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale Calves Spotted Off Coast ... ›
- Only 366 Endangered Right Whales Are Alive: New NOAA Report ... ›
By Yoram Vodovotz and Michael Parkinson
The majority of Americans are stressed, sleep-deprived and overweight and suffer from largely preventable lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Being overweight or obese contributes to the 50% of adults who suffer high blood pressure, 10% with diabetes and additional 35% with pre-diabetes. And the costs are unaffordable and growing. About 90% of the nearly $4 trillion Americans spend annually for health care in the U.S. is for chronic diseases and mental health conditions. But there are new lifestyle "medicines" that are free that doctors could be prescribing for all their patients.
Taking an unconventional approach to conduct the largest-ever poll on climate change, the United Nations' Development Program and the University of Oxford surveyed 1.2 million people across 50 countries from October to December of 2020 through ads distributed in mobile gaming apps.
- Guardian/Vice Poll Finds Most 2020 Voters Favor Climate Action ... ›
- Climate Change Seen as Top Threat in Global Survey - EcoWatch ›
- The U.S. Has More Climate Deniers Than Any Other Wealthy Nation ... ›
By Tara Lohan
Fall used to be the time when millions of monarch butterflies in North America would journey upwards of 2,000 miles to warmer winter habitat.
A monarch butterfly caterpillar feeds on common milkweed on Poplar Island in Maryland. Photo: Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program, (CC BY-NC 2.0)