Severe droughts in Amazon linked to climate change, says study – CBS News.
An area in the Amazon twice the size of California is experiencing what scientists call a “megadrought.” The prolonged drought, which began in 2005, has caused widespread damage to the area and may possibly be a sign that the rainforest is showing the first signs of large-scale degradation due to climate change.
A research team, led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, analyzed nearly a decade of satellite data over the Amazon. The team looked at rainfall measurements and the moisture content of the forest canopy.
Why has climate legislation failed? An interview with Theda Skocpol..
Posted by Brad Plumer on January 16, 2013 at 10:02 am
One of Skocpol’s key insights is that health care reformers spent much of their time in the run-up to Obama’s election studying past legislative failures and seeing what they could learn from them. Environmentalists, meanwhile, assumed they could build on previous successes and continue attracting Republican support. As a result, the climate movement was utterly unprepared for the GOP’s sharp turn against cap-and-trade in 2008.
It’s a complex analysis worth reading in full, but it’s also 140 pages. So, to discuss some of its main points, I called Skocpol to talk about why the cap-and-trade push failed—and whether climate legislation can ever be viable again. Following is our interview, lightly edited for length and clarity.
Brad Plumer: You spend a lot of time dissecting the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, the big collaboration between greens and businesses to push for a cap-and-trade bill that could win support from Republicans. It wasn’t a crazy strategy—cap-and-trade had picked up a fair bit of bipartisan support between 2003 and 2007. So why did it ultimately fail?
Study finds unsafe mercury levels in 84 percent of all fish – CBS News.
A new study from the Biodiversity Research Institute in Maine found that 84 percent of fish have unsafe levels of mercury. That poses a health risk for humans, exceeding the guidelines for eating certain kinds of fish more than once a month.
The report, a collaboration between IPEN and Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI), highlights the urgent need for an overall reduction in mercury emissions when government delegates convene next week in Geneva in their final negotiating session to establish an international mercury treaty – the first global treaty on the environment in more than a decade by the United Nations Environment Programme.