Friday, February 12, 2021

Loose Feathers #788

Red-winged Blackbird / Photo by Courtney Celley/USFWS

Birds and birding news

Science and nature blogging

Biodiversity and conservation

Climate change and environmental politics

  • Social media companies have gotten better at removing misinformation about COVID-19 and the 2020 election but need to apply the same standards to misinformation about climate change.
  • The Biden administration will need to decide what to do about the border wall. Recently the flood gates at the San Pedro River were found to be welded shut.
  • A Republican congressman from Idaho suggested breaching four dams on the Lower Snake River as part of a program to restore salmon runs and boost ecotourism.
  • Younger activists are using the term "intersectional environmentalism" in place of "environental justice," but the practical differences are unclear.
  • Water affordability and quality is also a part of the environmental justice agenda.
  • A glacier collapse in India started a landslide that broke a dam and caused flash flooding. Over 200 people were missing in its aftermath. The incident raises questions about the safety and sustainability of hydropower.
  • The pandemic caused a drop in the demand for energy from coal, and that drop could be maintained if more coal plants are retired.
  • Climate change is reducing yields from wild rice grown by the Ojibwe in Minnesota.
  • Half of a wetland in Staten Island is going to be paved over for a shopping mall even though the wetland protected the nearby neighborhood from Sandy.
  • The Trillion Trees Act would plant trees on public lands to absorb carbon emissions. The downsides are that the plantations would probably be monocultures and would be logged regularly which would reduce the benefit of carbon sequestration.