Commentary: Gray wolf population in peril unless Biden restores 'endangered species' protections
After decades of bitter legal feuds and culture war skirmishes over the fate of wild wolves in the United States, the Trump administration has tried to put a point at the end of the sentence. In stripping gray wolves of their Endangered Species Act protection across the country, the responsible federal agency went against both science and public opinion, and declared the species “biologically recovered.”But this delisting rule won’t stand up to scrutiny. More wolves will die as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service squares off, once again, in court against conservationists with strong arguments t...
‘Environment and disasters: too much water or not enough of it’
Through the year’s annual cycle, we get disasters that happen with regularity. During part of the year, there could be too much water, but during the hot months, too little of it.Destructive floods and inadequate water supply. The visit of a one-two-punch succession of Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses just recently made this point abundantly clear.The country experienced disastrous floods, made complicated by the release of excess water from dams that have accumulated threateningly high water levels. The damage from these floods has led the government to declare the recent episode as a calamity in t...
Editorial: Trump's climate policies are a disaster. For Florida's sake, Biden should undo them — quickly
This doesn’t seem normal. Tropical Storm Eta, after making landfall in the Florida Keys this month, dumped almost 14 inches in 24 hours in Miramar.Miami Lakes experienced “flooding we haven’t seen in modern times,” according to resident and Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago.Sections of North Miami received about 7 inches of rain, while parts of Kendall were hit with about 6 inches. Overall, Miami-Dade saw 4 inches to 8 inches of rain, compared with normal rainfall of 3.27 inches for all of November.And rainwater so overwhelmed Hollywood’s sewage treatment plant that officials told residents to...
In Jamaica, backlash over limestone quarry in Puerto Bueno ecological area sparks youth online activism
A Stop sign located at the edge of the Puerto Bueno forest area along Jamaica's north coast. Photo by Wendy Lee, used with permission.A decision by Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness in favour of a limestone quarry in an ecologically sensitive area has provoked an angry backlash among environmental advocates, tourism stakeholders and several sectors of civil society.It has also sparked an energetic social media campaign by a group of young, passionate activists: #Youth4PuertoBueno.In May, the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the regulatory body that issues environmental per...
General Motors abandons Trump administration in legal fight over California standards
DETROIT — General Motors Co. is abandoning a legal battle between the Trump administration and California over the state’s right to set its own standards for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy rules, the automaker said Monday, and urging other automakers to do the same.The move signals a recognition by GM that its electrification and zero emissions strategy is more closely aligned with the priorities of the incoming presidential administration, and that it is preparing for the likelihood of more unified auto industry regulations under President-elect Joe Biden.On the campaign trail, Bid...
The Detroit News
GM dumps Trump in his attempt to bar California from setting emissions
DETROIT — General Motors is changing course and will no longer back President Donald Trump’s effort to stop California from setting its own emissions rules in an ongoing court fight.GM CEO Mary Barra said Monday that GM is withdrawing from preemption litigation between California, the Trump Administration and other non-government groups. In reaction to the move, President-elect Joe Biden said innovation and manufacturing will be priorities in his administration.The move comes days after GM said it is increasing the number of electric vehicles it will bring to market. GM will offer 30 new EVs b...
Detroit Free Press
Two white snakes, first of their species in the world, found in Nepal
One of the leucistic kraits discovered in Nepal. Photo by Dev Narayan Mandal and Ganesh Sah. Used with permission.According to a research paper published in October 2020, two white-coloured kraits (of the genus Bungarus) discovered during rescue calls in Nepal's southeastern region of Province No. 2, are the first such recorded cases in their species. Kraits are known to be some of the most venomous snakes found in the Indian subcontinent.On April 25, 2020, a pink-skinned, black-eyed wall’s krait (Bungarus Walli) was found in the Dhanushadham municipality in the province's Dhanusha District.“T...
New rule puts Indonesia’s protected forests up for grabs for agribusiness
JAKARTA — Indonesia’s dwindling forests may be cleared for farmland under a government-led program to boost domestic food production, raising fears of a surge in deforestation.The government’s “food estate” program calls for establishing millions of hectares of new farmland, mostly for rice and other staple crops. To ensure there’s sufficient land for the program, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry issued a regulation on Oct. 26 permitting protected forest areas to be cleared for that purpose on a “large scale.”Under existing laws, forest areas in Indonesia are off-limits for plantations...
Editorial: For Biden, ending US climate retreat is just a start
President-elect Joe Biden has made plenty of promises related to climate change and the environment. He has vowed to rescind or reverse some of the Trump administration’s moves to weaken regulations, which Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law has numbered at 159. The president-elect proposes a $2 trillion “Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice” plan that’s been described as historic, despite being far less ambitious than the Green New Deal authored by progressive Democrats. And Biden plans to deeply embed what could be called climate change consciousness into f...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Landmark Flint water crisis settlement grows to $641 million as it moves to court
DETROIT — A landmark settlement in the Flint water crisis came a step closer to reality late Tuesday, when attorneys in the class-action lawsuit presented the agreement to a federal court with an additional $41.2 million.The $641.25 million settlement, if approved by the court, would largely go to victims of the water crisis that emerged after Flint residents learned their drinking water had been contaminated with lead after a source switch to river water in 2014.“After years of hard-fought litigation and extensive negotiations, plaintiffs have reached an agreement to resolve claims against th...
The Detroit News