Friday, February 15, 2019

Loose Feathers #685

Horned Lark / Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Conservation and biodiversity
Climate change and environmental politics
  • This week the Senate passed a significant public lands bill that permanently renewed the Land and Water Conservation Fund and extended the Neotropical Migratory Bird Act in addition to expanding some national parks and increasing protections for other sites. See another summary here.
  • While that was a bit of good news, the destruction of two nature preserves in the Lower Rio Grande Valley still looms. The National Butterfly Center is seeking a restraining order to prevent wall construction that would block access to most of their property. A historic church is also fighting the wall, which would seal off the church from most of its parishioners.
  • The Green New Deal has many critics but relatively few counter-proposals that would result in the decarbonization recommended by the IPCC. 
  • It is also worth noting that "pragmatic" approaches to climate policy have largely failed in the U.S.
  • Adopting some of the policies being implemented in several states and European countries could take the U.S. most of the way to its stated goals in the Paris agreement (which are still short of what is necessary).
  • A new website tries to predict how U.S. cities will feel in 2080, using analogies to the current climate in other cities. See the website here.
  • Phil Murphy has promised to shift New Jersey to obtaining 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and 100% by 2050, but a dozen proposed fossil fuel projects stand in the way of those goals.

Friday, February 08, 2019

Loose Feathers #684

Common Merganser / Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Conservation and biodiversity
Climate change and environmental politics

Friday, February 01, 2019

Loose Feathers #683

American Coot / Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Conservation and biodiversity
Climate change and environmental politics

Friday, January 25, 2019

Loose Feathers #682

Turkey Vulture / Photo by Krista Lundgren/USFWS
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Conservation and biodiversity
Climate change and environmental politics
  • A warmer climate might lead to plants absorbing less carbon dioxide because of the increased risk of drought.
  • A triage approach can help planners decide how to adapt to climate change, but governments still need to budget enough to carry through with adaptation. 
  • The importance of the climate change problem tends to be underreported, even as communities are forced to move or disasters strike. 
  • Because it is an El Niño year, atmospheric carbon dioxide is expected to rise more this year than it did last year. 
  • Parts of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are now available for mining, but it remains to be seen if mining will actually happen.
  • Protests and corruption investigations stopped a series of dams along the Marañón River between Peru and Brazil that would have resulted in an environmental disaster.
  • A bill in the NJ Assembly would protect Liberty State Park from further development schemes.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Loose Feathers #681

Northern Shovelers / Photo by June Durbian/USFWS
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Conservation and biodiversity
Climate change and environmental politics

Friday, January 11, 2019

Loose Feathers #680

Black-billed Magpie / Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Conservation and biodiversity
Climate change and environmental politics

Friday, January 04, 2019

Loose Feathers #679

Ring-billed Gull / my photo
Birds and birding news
  • Last year, there were 185 active Bald Eagle nests in New Jersey, and they produced 172 young. About half of the state's nests were located in the Delaware Bay region. You can read the report of the New Jersey Bald Eagle Project here (pdf).
  • At the Magellanic Penguin breeding colony at Punta Tombo in Argentina, males outnumber females by about three to one, most likely because females are more likely than males to die at sea. Their death rate seems to be tied to a serious population decline.
  • Audubon covers the birding possibilities in the Red Dead Redemption video game.
  • A proposed conservation area for the endangered Black-throated Finch in Australia sits on top of a proposed coal mine, which raises questions about how serious the conservation plan is.
Science and nature blogging
Conservation and biodiversity
Climate change and environmental politics

Friday, December 28, 2018

Loose Feathers #678

Wood Ducks / Photo by James Roane / USFWS
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Conservation and biodiversity
Climate change and environmental politics

Friday, December 21, 2018

Loose Feathers #677

Sedge Wren / Photo by Alex Galt/USFWS
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Conservation and biodiversity
Climate change and environmental politics
  • The Trump administration is speeding ahead with preparations for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and expects to start selling leases next year. At least one million acres will become available for development.
  • A new international agreement created a rulebook for implementing the Paris agreement on climate change.
  • A Trump voter who works at the National Butterfly Center is upset that Trump will destroy the refuge to build his wall.
  • This year was the third-warmest year on record in the Gulf of Maine, with widespread effects on marine life.
  • Canada still refuses to require environmental assessments for in-situ oil mining projects.
  • Climate change, particularly sea-level rise, would disrupt Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, according to internal documents.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Loose Feathers #676

Northern Hawk Owl / Photo by Lisa Hupp/USFWS
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Conservation and biodiversity
Climate change and environmental politics