With Global Heating, Expect Inferno Seasons In The American West

More than 3.1 million acres have burned in California this year — some 3% of the state — with many wildfires still at zero containment and months of fire season left to go. This far exceeds the previous record set in 2018, when 1.7 million acres burned, including the town of Paradise.

These raging fires, some exacerbated by the blistering heat last weekend, are the direct result of climate change. The planet is currently 1.0°C to 1.2°C (about 2°F) hotter than it ought to be. This excess heat is entirely due to humans, mainly from burning fossil fuels and destroying forests.

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Clear-Cuts: Cause Hot Catastrophic Wildfires

Pack billions of the same-age trees close together, wait for dry-lightning or another ignition source, and you have an unnatural firebomb. The cause of thousands of annual catastrophic hot fires around the world are tree farms created by timber industry clear-cutting and fire suppression to prevent timber inventory loss.

I have seen it happen. About five years ago, driving home on Interstate 5 North of Lake Shasta, a dry-lightning storm began. It looked like the finger of God came down as lightning struck a conifer and it burst into smoke.

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Fairy Creek Blockade Expands To Protect Rare Old-Growth Forest

In the midst of an ongoing climate emergency, logging of the ancient rainforests continues at an unfettered rate. The amount of old-growth forest logged each day on Vancouver Island is equivalent to 32 soccer pitches according to the Wilderness Committee. These forests are not only vital for carbon sequestration, but also fundamental for the integrity of complex, interconnected ecosystems that support keystone and culturally significant species, such as salmon. Alarmingly, less than one percent of largest stature forest was found to be remaining on the Island according to the scientific report BC’s Old Growth Forest: A Last Stand for Biodiversity recently authored by Dr Rachel Holt, Dr Karen Price and David Daust. 

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Science Says Burning Trees Is A False Climate Solution

Hundreds of scientists are urging lawmakers to oppose legislation that would encourage wood burning or logging as potential climate solutions.

The science doesn’t support it, they say.

Last week, more than 200 scientists from 35 states sent a letter to members of Congress outlining their concerns.

“We find no scientific evidence to support increased logging to store more carbon in wood products … as a natural climate solution,” they wrote. “Furthermore, the scientific evidence does not support the burning of wood in place of fossil fuels as a climate solution.”

In recent years, members of both Congress and the Trump administration have proposed various measures that would define biomass burning as a carbon neutral energy source.

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NY Times Magazine Promotes GE Trees – We Set The Record Straight

An article printed in today’s New York Times Magazine, “Can Genetic Engineering Bring Back the American Chestnut?” by Gabriel Popkin, is a disappointing piece of questionable journalism.

In this post, I highlight and challenge some of the most egregious statements in the article and question its advocacy for the idea that humans can and should use technology to “improve” nature.

Note: Global Justice Ecology Project and our co-founders launched the first campaign to protect forests and communities from the risks of GE trees twenty years ago. Since then, the campaign has expanded globally and GJEP and other campaign members have testified at UN meetings, industry conferences and rural community workshops on five continents. Our advocacy and organizing to expose the potential dangers of GE trees led to a decision by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity warning countries of the risks of GE trees, as well as decisions by forest certification regimes like the FSC to prohibit the use of GE trees.

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Tropical Forests May Be Heating Earth By 2035

London – Within about fifteen years, the great tropical forests of Amazonia and Africa could stop absorbing atmospheric carbon, and slowly start to release more carbon than growing trees can fix.

A team of scientists from 100 research institutions has looked at the evidence from pristine tracts of tropical forest to find that – overall – the foliage soaked up the most carbon, most efficiently, more than two decades ago.

Since then, the measured efficiency of the forests as a “sink” in which carbon is sequestered from the atmosphere has been dwindling. By the last decade, the ability of a tropical forest to absorb carbon had dropped by a third.

All plant growth is a balancing act based on sunshine and atmospheric carbon and rainfall. Plants absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, and surrender it as they die.

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Reportback And Videos From The Forest & Climate Convergence

The Resurgence: 2019 Forest & Climate Movement Convergence took place over October 10-14, 2019. It brought together more than 300 people, including many front line community members and Indigenous Peoples, as well as organizers and grassroots activists from across the environmental and social justice spectrum.

The event was organized into Strategic Action Sessions under seven themes, each of which accomplished key objectives and concluded with concrete action plans to move their work forward.

As well, GJEP videotaped the entire event (excluding the strategy meetings) including around 20 interviews.  Ten of these are already available to view on the convergence vimeo page. Now we plan to produce a documentary from the event, to showcase this event and its amazing participants to a broader activist and public audience.

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