Friday, April 16, 2021

Loose Feathers #797

Bald Eagle / Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS

Birds and birding news

Science and nature blogging

Biodiversity and conservation

Climate change and environmental politics

  • A new study finds that the overuse of DDT has had consequences over multiple generations, as the granddaughters of women exposed to DDT are more likely to have an array of medical conditions associated with the pesticide.
  • DDT has also been in the news in California after a survey discovered hundreds of thousands of barrels dumped off the coast of Long Beach.
  • Conservationists are trying to find ways to reduce the damage from border wall construction, potentially removing some barriers like the one blocking the San Pedro River. Tracking studies show animal movements being stopped by the wall in both the US and Mexico.
  • Theoretically all new cars sold in the US could be electric by 2035.
  • Abandoned, unplugged oil and gas wells emit greenhouse gases and threaten local groundwater, but it is difficult to get companies to take responsibility for fixing them.
  • The American Jobs Plan can be more sustainable by following these suggestions, which include keeping new development within the existing footprint of the built environment and adding things like wildlife corridors and bird-safe glass to new or repaired infrastructure.
  • Republican governors are already working to prevent any progress on climate change with delay tactics coordinated by the American Legislative Exchange Council.
  • Pledges of "net-zero" emissions from fossil fuel companies are another delay tactic.
  • Since greenhouse gases persist in the atmosphere, it could take several decades to see improvements from cutting emissions.
  • The Southwest is likely to face a severe drought this year after a record-setting fire season last year.
  • Microplastics can remain airborne long enough to be blown around the globe, even into the remotest areas.
  • A new agreement seeks to reduce the massive carbon footprint of cryptocurrencies.