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OKIsItJustMe

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Member since: Mon Mar 6, 2006, 04:51 PM
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We're on the brink of mass extinction -- but there's still time to pull back

http://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/channels/news/were-brink-mass-extinction-theres-still-time-pull-back-268427
[font face=Serif][font size=5]We’re on the brink of mass extinction — but there’s still time to pull back[/font]

[font size=4]News

Both ominous and hopeful, a new report paints a picture of the value of biodiversity, the threats it faces and the window of opportunity we have to save species before it’s too late[/font]

Published: 31 May 2017

[font size=3]Imagine being a scuba diver and leaving your oxygen tank behind you on a dive. Or a mountain climber and abandoning your ropes. Or a skydiver and shedding your parachute. That’s essentially what humans are doing as we expand our footprint on the planet without paying adequate attention to impacts on other living things, according to researchers from the University of Minnesota and McGill University. Because we depend on plants and animals for food, shelter, clean air and water and more, anything we do that makes life harder for them eventually comes around to make life harder for us as well.

But, reporting with colleagues from around the world in this week’s special biodiversity issue of the scientific journal Nature, the researchers also note that all is not lost, and offer specific strategies for turning that tide before it’s too late.

Forest Isbell, of University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences, McGill biologist Andrew Gonzalez and coauthors from eight countries on four continents provided an overview of what we know and still need to learn about the impacts of habitat destruction, overhunting, the introduction of nonnative species, and other human activities on biodiversity. In addition, they summarized previous research on how biodiversity loss affects nature and the benefits nature provides — for example, a recent study showing that reduced diversity in tree species in forests is linked to reduced wood production. Synthesizing findings of other studies, they estimated that the value humans derive from biodiversity is 10 times what every country in the world put together spends on conservation today — suggesting that additional investments in protecting species would not only reduce biodiversity loss but provide economic benefit, too.

“Human activities are driving the sixth mass extinction in the history of life on Earth, despite the fact that diversity of life enhances many benefits people reap from nature, such as wood from forests, livestock forage from grasslands, and fish from oceans and streams,” said Isbell, who served as lead author the paper. “It would be wise to invest much more in conserving biodiversity.”

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature22899

James Hansen -- Carbon Tax and 100% Dividend -- No Alligator Shoes!

This comes from 2008: http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2008/20080604_TaxAndDividend.pdf
[font face=Serif][font size=5][center]Carbon Tax and 100% Dividend – No Alligator Shoes![/center][/font]

[font size=3]The charts for my talk (Climate Threat to the Planet: Implications for Energy Policy) on 3 June 2008 at the PACON 2008 conference (Energy and Climate Change: Innovative Approaches to Solving Today’s Problems) are available as a pdf http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2008/HawaiiPACON_20080603.pdf
or powerpoint http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2008/HawaiiPACON_20080603.ppt

The “Carbon Tax and 100% Dividend” chart warrants discussion. Tax and dividend is the policy complement that must accompany recognition of fossil carbon reservoir sizes for strategic solution of global warming (the physics: reservoir sizes imply the need to phase-out coal emissions promptly and quash unconventional fossil fuels).

Tax and 100% dividend can drive innovation and economic growth with a snowballing effect. Carbon emissions will plummet far faster than in top-down or Manhattan projects. A clean environment that supports all life on the planet can be restored.

“Carbon tax and 100% dividend” is spurred by the recent “carbon cap” discussion of Peter Barnes and others. Principles must be crystal clear and adhered to rigorously. A tax on coal, oil and gas is simple. It can be collected at the first point of sale within the country or at the last (e.g., at the gas pump), but it can be collected easily and reliably. You cannot hide coal in your purse; it travels in railroad cars that are easy to spot. “Cap”, in addition, is a euphemism that may do as much harm as good. The public is not stupid.

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Posted by OKIsItJustMe | Wed May 3, 2017, 07:56 PM (1 replies)
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