News you might have missed about climate change, biodiversity, pollution, conservation and related policy and politics.

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May 9 is Global Migratory Bird Day, and you can join in from your own backyard

May 8, 2020

Thanks to the pandemic, Americans are rediscovering birds at time that birds need to be noticed more than ever. Although a recent Audubon Society report shows that bird numbers have plummeted in North America over the last 50 years, millions of the feathered flyers are still migrating north to their seasonal breeding grounds. America’s newest […]

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Can the pandemic’s pollution plunge spur a smog solution?

April 27, 2020

From Manila to New Delhi to Los Angeles, residents are feeling some ironically positive effects from weeks of sharply reduced vehicle traffic due to coronavirus lockdowns, quarantines, and shelter-in-place orders. Millions of urban dwellers are for the first time learning what it is like to breathe air largely free of pollutants. And for those who […]

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The animal connection: What you need to know about the origins of COVID-19

April 17, 2020

The conventional wisdom is that harvesting wild animals for food is the route by which the coronavirus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic jumped from animals to humans. Critics say it’s not the fault of the animals, but rather how humans behave. Why animals? Here’s term you should get to know: “emerging zoonotic diseases.” These […]

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Just what, exactly, is a ‘wet market,’ and should they be illegal in China?

April 17, 2020

The conventional wisdom is that the coronavirus behind the COVID-19 pandemic jumped to human beings from animals sold for food in an open-air “wet market” in Wuhan, China. China has subsequently been widely criticized for permitted wet markets to remain open. Yet it turns out that these types of marketplaces are not the problem — […]

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It’s a pandemic — let’s deregulate!

April 8, 2020

A common response to COVID-19 by governments worldwide is deregulation. Advocates assert that rolling back health, safety and environmental rules is an economic necessity amid a virus-driven economic crisis, but critics say it’s nothing more than raw opportunism that brings profound long-term risks. Scotland: Save the … salmon farms? The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency has […]

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Briefs: Expert mocked on Twitter; Maine homesteaders (mostly) are prepared

March 27, 2020

Expert mocked for alarmist tweetstorm The data were in before the pandemic began, and one scientist tried to sound the alarm. A Harvard epidemiologist using Twitter tried to warn society back in January about the global threat COVID-19 represented. He was ignored, ridiculed, or asked to tone it down, in one case by the elite […]

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