08 April 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on Environmental Justice & Human Rights

Articles

EPA chief directs agency to put focus on environmental justice
Reuters, 07 Apr 2021

Environmental Protection Agency chief Michael Regan on Wednesday directed the agency’s offices to sharpen their focus on tackling environmental injustices by strengthening enforcement against polluters, engaging with and investing in pollution-burdened communities and other measures.

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COVID-19 hasn't slowed global warming: Earth's carbon dioxide levels highest in over 3 million years, NOAA says
USA Today, 07 Apr 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic did nothing to slow the root cause of global warming. In fact, the level of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere is now higher than it's been in at least 3.6 million years, federal scientists announced Wednesday.

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Climate Change Demands Industry Change — Let's Figure It Out
Forbes, 07 Apr 2021

By now, it's common knowledge that the Earth's climate is changing at an alarming rate, and human activity is a contributing factor. It's also widely acknowledged that the infrastructure that's powering exciting advancements in technology — things like cloud computing, AI and IoT — has a big sustainability problem, especially when it comes to data centers.

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'Ecocide' movement pushes for a new international crime: Environmental destruction
NBC News, 07 Apr 2021

In 1948, after Nazi Germany exterminated millions of Jews and other minorities during World War II, the United Nations adopted a convention establishing a new crime so heinous it demanded collective action. Genocide, the nations declared, was “condemned by the civilized world” and justified intervention in the affairs of sovereign states. Now, a small but growing number of world leaders including Pope Francis and French President Emmanuel Macron have begun citing an offense they say poses a similar threat to humanity and remains beyond the reach of international criminal law: ecocide, or widespread destruction of the environment.

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'They are living maps': how Richard Mosse captured environmental damage in the Amazon
The Guardian, 06 Apr 2021

In 2019, this longstanding interest led him to conflict of a different kind, and to the beginnings of his latest project, Tristes Tropiques. News reports around that time of fires ravaging the Brazilian Amazon following years of deforestation caught Mosse’s attention. Intensive cattle and soybean farming had devastated the rainforest, and a full-scale ecological crisis was under way. He began to wonder how he could yet again push the boundaries of his craft to capture a subject as large as this one. “How can a modest camera tell such a hideously complex story that unfolds over many years, involving numerous processes that can often be very difficult to perceive in time and space? How can I find a lens wide enough?” he asked himself. The answer came to him in the form of a multispectral camera.

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Why the World Awaits Biden’s Pledge on Climate Change
Bloomberg, 06 Apr 2021

The U.S. is developing a new goal for reducing greenhouse gases, a required step after President Joe Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement. Biden says America’s new commitment -- officially known as a nationally determined contribution, or NDC -- will be much more ambitious than its initial one. It will need to be. Climate change hasn’t slowed enough since the landmark international pact was signed in 2015, and several other nations that have already increased their own objectives are pressing Biden to follow suit.

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Opinion: Goodbye, Amazonian rainforest
The Washington Post, 04 Apr 2021

The March 29 front-page article “ ‘Where would we go?’ ” was a horrifying article, but it really was just another in the many reports of exploitation of the Brazilian/Amazon rainforest for private interests. Generally, the Amazon has been exploited for farming of one sort or another and now this, for our aerospace desires.

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Dinosaur-killing asteroid strike gave rise to Amazon rainforest
BBC, 03 Apr 2021

Researchers used fossil pollen and leaves from Colombia to investigate how the impact changed South American tropical forests. After the 12km-wide space rock struck Earth 66 million years ago, the type of vegetation that made up these forests changed drastically.

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