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When nature says ‘Enough!’: the river that appeared overnight in Argentina

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/01/argentina-new-river-soya-beans

Until the early 1990s, the Morro basin was a patchwork of water-absorbing forests and grasslands, but they are mostly gone, replaced by maize and soya beans.

It may be a good move to cut down on cattle ranching worldwide (to prevent deforestation, to cut back on carbon and methane production, to limit the ongoing human health crisis caused by increasing meat consumption, to avoid further water pollution from farm runoff, to limit predator persecution, and to spare countless animals the endless cycle of slaughter), but an irony here is that soya beans, the hero of every vegan and vegetarian, come at a terrible price. Deforestation and clearing for cattle ranching has been replaced with deforestation in favour of this detrimental monoculture of soya bean farming.

If course, it is true that the humble soya bean is the new answer to reducing or cutting out meat consumption, but the majority of this soya and maize is being grown to become feed for the animal agriculture industry, something the attached article completely fails to mention. Animal agriculture is literally eating up our planet in countless ways.

Less than a third of Argentina’s rainforest remains. Losing that much established forest means losing deep networks of tree roots which naturally absorb large amounts of water from underground aquifers. The result is a huge new river appearing on land as has happened in Argentina. Why is this a surprise now? There are myriad experts in these fields worldwide who would have known this was a likely outcome as a result of mass deforestation. Why aren’t scientists involved in such massive economic and environmental processes and decisions?

Brazil has been in the grip of terrible deforestation for decades. With a changing climate, increased precipitation and otherwise poor substrate, deforestation in these countries inevitably means more landslides and more flooding, and perhaps more new rivers. We are drastically altering the landscape of the planet, destroying habitats and disrupting entire ecosystems.

Countless wildlife have lost their homes during this shift to soya bean plantations and deforestation, something that cannot ever be undone. When are governments of countries with such invaluable habitats going to quit putting profit before protecting and preserving their and the world’s most precious and vulnerable natural heritage? Rainforests are incredibly diverse, most are quite ancient, and they are so important to the world in terms of carbon sinks and wildlife biodiversity – they must be protected.

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‘Extreme’ fossil fuel investments have surged under Donald Trump, report reveals

‘Extreme’ fossil fuel investments have surged under Donald Trump, report reveals

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/28/extreme-fossil-fuel-investments-have-surged-under-donald-trump-report-reveals

Following on from the last post with projections of 10cm sea level rise as glaciers melt, as a result of climate change, banks are responsible for much of our climate change by merrily investing in dirty fossil fuels despite knowing the impact and consequences. Is money really all that matters to these people? If your bank is one of them, dump them.

“RAN spokeswoman, Alison Kirsch, accused banks such as JPMorgan Chase of “moving backwards in lockstep with their wrongheaded political leaders”.

“If we are to have any chance of halting catastrophic climate change, there must be an end of expansion and complete phase-out of these dangerous energy sources,” she said. “Banks need to be accountable and implement policies guarding against extreme fossil fuel funding.”

Glacier shrinkage is past the point of no return : Research Highlights

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-03356-5

Today’s post is brought to you by, “What the hell are we doing?” And “Oh shit.”

Warming since the late nineteenth century has led to a marked retreat of most of the world’s glaciers. Ben Marzeion at the University of Bremen in Germany and his colleagues simulated the long-term response of thousands of glaciers to recent and projected climate change. The researchers found that glaciers are already committed to enough shrinkage to raise global sea levels by about 10 centimetres, even if global temperatures do not rise any further for centuries.