Forests

Gathering Offers Sobering Look Ahead at 2024, But With Glimmers of Hope

Top environmental journalists and others at the Society of Environmental Journalists annual “Journalists’ Guide to Environment and Energy” program foresee some challenging realities to cover in 2024, most notably with the ongoing impacts of climate change. Bright signs emerged as well. Read our take, watch the event video and visit our full “2024 Journalists’ Guide to Environment + Energy” special report.

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PG&E Bills Will Go Up By $32 Per Month To Pay For Wildfire Protections

"About 16 million people in California will see their electric and gas bills go up by an average of more than $32 per month over next year in part so that one of the nation’s largest utility companies can bury more of its power line s to reduce the chances of starting wildfires."

Source: AP, 11/17/2023

As US Insurers Stop Covering Prescribed Burns, States And Communities Step Up

"Prescribed fires are a positive land management method, but when the flames occasionally escape control, the resulting damage to land and private property also hurts this conservation tool’s reputation. U.S. insurance companies are thus charging increasingly unaffordable premiums for coverage of this activity or are dropping the service altogether in the wake of some particularly large recent accidents."

Source: Mongabay, 11/16/2023

"Wood Pellet Giant Enviva Discloses a Financial Crisis"

"A financial crisis has enveloped Enviva, the Maryland-based company that’s been harvesting large swaths of forest in the Southeast United States to make wood pellets for electricity production in the United Kingdom and Europe." "The company’s stock price plunged as its new interim CEO announced financial losses. Environmentalists had long questioned a business model they said was based on greenwashing."

Source: Inside Climate News, 11/14/2023

"Giant Sequoias Are in Big Trouble. How Best to Save Them?"

"California’s ancient sequoias — some of which have stood more than 1,000 years — are facing an existential threat from increasingly intense wildfires linked to climate change. But federal efforts to thin forests to reduce fire risks are drawing pushback from conservation groups."

Source: YaleE360, 11/14/2023

How Much Can Trees Fight Climate Change? Massively, but Not Alone: Study

"Restoring global forests where they occur naturally could potentially capture an additional 226 gigatons of planet-warming carbon, equivalent to about a third of the amount that humans have released since the beginning of the Industrial Era, according to a new study published on Monday in the journal Nature."

Source: NYTimes, 11/14/2023

Floods, Fires, Dysfunction — Another Year Ahead of Faltering Steps on Environment, Energy

In our annual look-ahead on the environment and energy beat in 2024, we see a bumpy ride on global climate change talks coupled with more climate-driven disasters, even amid the evolving energy transition. And we see possible risks to ocean life from deep sea mining and continuing risks to human life from pollution of air, water and land. Insights in our overview and our full “2024 Journalists’ Guide to Environment & Energy” special report.

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"Deforestation In Brazil's Amazon Falls To Lowest Since 2018"

"Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon dropped by 22.3% in the 12 months through July, government data showed on Thursday, as President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made good on a pledge to rein in the destruction that happened under his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro."

Source: CNN, 11/13/2023

Future-Curious Climate Scientists Are Researching How Trees Form Clouds

"Ever looked up at the clouds and wondered where they came from? That's exactly what atmospheric researcher Lubna Dada studies at the Paul Scherrer Institute. She is part of an international project called CLOUD, wherein she and fellow atmospheric scientists study how clouds form and the role they play in the climate."

Source: NPR, 11/10/2023

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