Environment

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.
Around 2,200 B.C, agricultural societies around the world experienced an abrupt cooling and a critical mega-drought. Humans had been progressing nicely since the end of the last Ice Age, and suddenly this cooling, and accompanying droughts, forced the collapse of civilizations in Egypt, Greece, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and the Yangtze River Valley, which led to migrations and regenerations in other areas. 

Evidence of this period, now called the 4.2 kiloyear climatic event, has been found on all seven continents and it has become the reason for the most recent unit of the Geologic Time Scale,  now called the Late Holocene Meghalayan Age.

A federal judge's recent discussion about why glyphosate should not have a warning label in California, despite the efforts of trial lawyers and the environmental groups they pay, not only shows the label would have no scientific validity, it calls into doubt Proposition 65 itself.<

The days when environmental litigation groups like Earthjustice and Farmworker Justice had friendly voices in EPA and the White House seem like two years in the past. Because they are two years in the past. Where once environmental groups could write entire documents for the White House to repost in the name of the U.S., now they cry foul if organizations like Heartland even have email exchanges with EPA.

Though it would seem that only global cooperation can solve global environmental problems, globalization in its current form works against sustainability. WTO-style capital liberalization causes investment to shift quickly to the site of highest returns, irrespective of national borders. To a far greater extent than in the past, fear of disinvestment causes CEOs to strive for maximum short-term profits.

It doesn’t take a genius to understand that corporate short-termism is incompatible with long-term sustainability.

Five years after the European Union imposed a temporary ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, an “experts committee” of the member states has now finally voted to make the ban permanent. This was hardly a surprise. The vote followed shortly after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published their advisory opinion that neonics “represent a risk to wild bees and honeybees,” a finding that got banner headlines across Europe and the U.S.