Environment

This is scaring some people - because they describe dramatic things that could happen like floods tens of meters deep, and the world too hot for humans. Most of this is for far into the future. The sea rising 10s of meters would be thousands of years into the future - many of the news stories didn’t make that clear.

Though countries like the United States and Ireland have far more forest than they did a century ago, professional environmentalists insist there needs to be more. From butterflies to bees, some groups insist more of the modern world must be reverted to nature, even when it comes to formerly ecologic wins like hydroelectric dams. 

Large ecosystems bring stability, they insist. But that isn't really true. Instead, stability and diversity happen when the ecosystem is complex, not just because it is large. And he branching complexity of rivers are absolutely vital in affecting regional population stability and persistence in nature.
American cities nationwide, riding a wave of populism brought about by media attention, are looking to ban straws, claiming they will save the planet doing so. Companies are naturally following suit - companies always will, because consumers pay the cost and if they are happy paying more while giving marketing departments something to promote it is an easy choice.
It is a cultural placebo that will make people feel like they did something important but it is meaningless. 
Instead, pollution is up because the world is wealthier, rich and relatively poor alike, than ever before. 

Millions of Americans head outdoors in the summer, whether for a day at a nearby lake or a monthlong road trip. For environmental economists like me, decisions by vacationers and outdoor recreators offer clues to a challenging puzzle: estimating what environmental resources are worth.

In 1981 President Ronald Reagan issued an executive order that required federal agencies to weigh the costs and benefits of proposed major new regulations, and in most cases to adopt them only if the benefits to society outweighed the costs. Reagan’s order was intended to promote environmental improvements without overburdening economic growth.

Across Europe, 95 percent of people claim to have seen seen litter when they visited the coast - yet they say they don't litter. And they don't trust scientists, corporations or government to solve it, which leaves environmentalists who don't ever actually send people into the wilderness to clean up litter.

Marine litter is a big deal thanks to environmental publicity but it is highly exaggerated - think mercury in salmon, alar on apples, floating barges of garbage, estrogen in drinking water and more to get an idea of how these issues get magnified. 

While environmentalists raise millions of dollars insisting they will get targeted pesticides (e.g. neonicotinoids) banned to save bees that aren't really in peril, science is looking at things which do actually put bees at risk.

At the top of the list is not pesticides, it's nature. An international team has discovered evidence of 27 previously unknown viruses in bees, which could help scientists design strategies to prevent the spread of viral pathogens among these important pollinators. 

A new analysis estimates that if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated, sea-level rise will endanger coastal wetlands across the United Kingdom.

That conclusion was derived by estimating salt-marsh vulnerability using the geological record of past losses in response to sea-level change. Data from 800 salt-marsh soil cores showed that rising sea levels in the past led to increased waterlogging of the salt marshes in the region, killing the vegetation that protects them from erosion.

In ireland 100 years ago, 1 percent of the island was forest, now it is 11 percent, and Irish people have no problem with food. They even grow Spruce, which is not native, to craft and sell furniture.

Given that developed countries have lots of forest now, despite going through periods of growth where they felled far more than they planted, it smacks of hypocrisy that wealthy nations tell poor ones how vital the rainforest is.  

Replacing fallow lands with cover crops in order to increase the levels of carbon and soil nitrogen  also enhances its quality and mitigates nitrate leaching in an agricultural land, according to a new analysis. 

After collecting data for ten years, results indicate that such cover crops, which maintain the soil protected during winter months, reduce degradation and provide an extra organic matter after their completion, though not without cost.