We Outdoor Recreationists—All Of Us— Are Displacing Wildlife



by April CraigheadSUPPORT USGET NEWSLETTERThe trends of outdoor recreation pressure being documented, and the impacts of rising numbers of humans on wildlands being examined by the Craighead Institute is more than just a concern around Bozeman, Jackson Hole and Big Sky. It’s a phenomenon that is occurring up and down the Rockies from New Mexico to Canada. The question is how are public land managers dealing with this new reality to protect wildlife and prevent user conflicts? Photo of Handies Peak Wilderness Study Area in Colorado courtesy Bureau of Land Management
by April Craighead
We have all witnessed a large increase in recreational use on public lands and local trails in our area since the beginning of Covid-19. This has led to increased trail traffic, demand for parking spaces, short tempers against other trail users, and stress to wildlife. Obviously, people want to experience the outdoors more than ever. 
We all gripe about the problem, but little research has been conducted on trail use in Gallatin County—the fastest growing county in Montana— and its impacts. Current research at both the Craighead Institute and Headwaters Economics over the past year has begun to provide data on trail usage and its impacts.
This past year, the Craighead Institute developed a trails program designed to look at these problems. We wanted to better understand local trail use and the effects on wildlife regarding existing and planned trails. 
Our first goal was to develop in-person surveys to ask locals specifically about their trail use within the county, conflicts with other users and views on wildlife to name a few. We also employed trail counters and trail cameras to get a sense of human and wildlife use on some designated trails and some game trails.
How much tolerance does wildlife have for human presence before it will abandon an area? That’s a question being more vigorously explored. Photo courtesy Jacob W. Frank/NPSDuring the summer and fall of 2021, I gathered 115 surveys from four different trailheads within Gallatin County. I found that equal numbers of people consider themselves bikers or hikers and that a majority of people use the trails for recreation purposes (41 percent) followed by health and fitness (36 percent) and connecting with nature (21 percent). Many people want to see more trails everywhere within the county (44 percent) and would like more amenities added to trailheads, especially dog waste receptacles.
Wildlife is important to local residents and many people felt that their presence did affect wildlife (48 percent) and that most of them would be willing to limit their trails usage (53 percent). The results of our study indicate that locals around Bozeman, the fast-growing micropolitan city in America— are sensitive to their effects on wildlife and are willing to support changes to trail management. 
I found this very interesting and somewhat hopeful; however, it remains to be seen if people’s actions mirror their words if they suddenly find their favorite trail closed for wildlife needs.
All recreationists need to realize that their presence effects wildlife through loss of habitat, displacement and increased stress. No user group is less culpable than any other and there is substantial research to support this. Wildlife may respond slightly different to different user groups, hiker vs. biker vs. motorized vehicles. However, the end result is that most wildlife move away from humans and trails. 

All recreationists need to realize that their presence effects wildlife through loss of habitat, displacement and increased stress. No user group is less culpable than any other and there is substantial research to support this. Wildlife may respond slightly different to different user groups, hiker vs. biker vs. motorized vehicles. However, the end result is that most wildlife move away from humans and trails. —Craighead

So how do we mitigate these impacts? There are various management options; however most of them require changing how trails are used either seasonally or daily such as imposing partial closures or time share with other user groups. These options will not be popular with all recreationists. 
Education, collaboration with other user groups, and more research will be crucial to changing people’s behavior and perceptions of their actions. We all need to realize that if we want to share our public space with wildlife, we may have to limit our access to some of our favorite trails.
Another important aspect of this project was to determine the prevalence of conflict between user groups. What I found surprised me. I found that a majority of people, (68 percent) said they had not had conflicts with other users. This is not what I expected to find. Conflicts will always exist between user groups but it was encouraging to see from my results that most of the time that is the exception and not the rule.
All recreationists can reduce conflict with other users by using common sense. I hiked many of the trails during my survey period and what I found most helpful is to let other users know of your location with auditory cues. Bikers that let me know that they were coming and how many people were in their group were especially helpful on popular trails such as Triple Tree. 
People wearing ear buds or headphones caused trouble for all users. People who are tuned out don’t hear other users coming and their actions can be unpredictable for other bikers or hikers. Do we really need to tune out the sounds of nature? Recreationists must also realize that providing upgraded amenities costs money and for many organizations that is not easy money to come by.
In the coming years recreationists and trail managers will face many challenges. Not everyone will be happy with the eventual outcomes. However, if we all use a little common sense and kindness perhaps, we can all enjoy our trails together. I want to thank all the people who took the time to respond to my survey and I found that almost everyone was extremely helpful, friendly, and interested in our trails in Gallatin County.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Links for addition reading:
Scientist Says Wildlife Impacts Should Be Considered In Outdoor Recreation Decisions by April Craighead
Elk Responses to recreation on public forests (scientific paper in Forest Ecology and Management)Study Examines Recreational Impacts on Wildlife (National Parks Traveler)

An Influential Voice In US Flyfishing Decries ‘Rivergeddon 2020’ (by Kirk Deeter in essay that appeared in Mountain Journal)

Pacific Ocean garbage patch is immense plastic habitat

By Victoria Gill
Science correspondent, BBC NewsPublished19 hours agoShare


Researcher collecting debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Image caption,The researchers collaborated with the Ocean Voyages Institute to collect ocean debris

Scientists have discovered marine animals living on plastic debris in an area of the open ocean dubbed “the Great Pacific Garbage Patch”.

Many of the creatures are coastal species, living miles from their usual habitats, on a patch halfway between the coast of California and Hawaii.

Plants and animals, including anemones, tiny marine bugs, molluscs and crabs, were found on 90% of the debris.

Scientists are concerned that plastic may help transport invasive species.

The study examined plastic items more than 5cm (2in) in diameter gathered from a gyre – an area where circulating currents cause floating debris to accumulate – in the Pacific.

Lead researcher Dr Linsey Haram, who carried out the work at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Centre, said: “Plastics are more permanent than many of the natural debris that you previously have seen in the open ocean. They’re creating a more permanent habitat in this area.”https://buy.tinypass.com/checkout/template/cacheableShow?aid=tYOkq7qlAI&templateId=OTBYI8Q89QWC&templateVariantId=OTV0YFYSXVQWV&offerId=fakeOfferId&experienceId=EXAWX60BX4NU&iframeId=offer_0e763acc7b457c03340a-0&displayMode=inline&widget=template&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com

Dr Haram worked with the Ocean Voyages Institute, a charity that collects plastic pollution on sailing expeditions, and with oceanographers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Ocean debris with marine life attached
Image caption,More than half the items the researchers examined contained species usually found on the coast

The world has at least five plastic-infested gyres. This one is thought to hold the most floating plastic – an estimated 79,000 tonnes in a region of more than 610,000 square miles (1.6m sq km).

“All sorts of stuff ends up out there,” said Dr Haram. “It’s not an island of plastic, but there’s definitely a large amount of plastic corralled there.”

Much of that is micro-plastic – very difficult to see with the naked eye. But there are also larger items, including abandoned fishing nets, buoys and even vessels that have been floating in the gyre since the Japanese tsunami in 2011.

The researchers, who reported their findings in the journal Nature Communications, initially embarked on the investigation following that devastating tsunami.

The disaster caused tonnes of debris to be ejected into the Pacific ocean, and hundreds of coastal Japanese marine species were found alive on items that landed on the shores of the North American Pacific coast and the Hawaiian Islands.

“We want to get a handle on how plastics may be a transport for invasive species to coasts,” Dr Haram told BBC News.

A woman cries on a road in Miyagi prefecture after the 2011 Japan earthquake
Image caption,The research began following the devastating 2011 tsunami in Japan, which sent tonnes of debris into the Pacific Ocean

Some of the organisms the researchers found on the plastic items they examined were open-ocean species – organisms that survive by “rafting” on floating debris. But the most eye-opening finding, Dr Haram said, was the diversity of coastal species on the plastic.

“Well over half of the items had coastal species on them,” she said. “That creates a lot of questions about what it means to be a coastal species.”

The scientists said the discovery highlighted another “unintended consequence” of plastic pollution – a problem only expected to grow.

One previous study estimated that a total of 25,000 million tonnes of plastic waste would be generated by 2050.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, here’s what happens

Both sides of the abortion debate are ready to act in a ‘post-Roe’ world

By Sam Dorman| Fox News

  1. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/if-roe-v-wade-is-overturned-what-happens

Ben Shapiro: Supreme Court’s likely outcome in Mississippi abortion case is a split decision on Roe v. Wade

Political commentator Ben Shapiro breaks down what could happen to Roe v. Wade on ‘Fox News Primetime.’NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!Listen to this article0:00 / 6:401XBeyondWords

The Supreme Court may deliver a dramatic change to abortion jurisprudence in Mississippi abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — potentially allowing states to radically change access to the procedure.

While it’s difficult to predict outcomes, observers have suggested the court’s conservative majority will strike down decades of precedent following Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that limited government restrictions on abortion. In doing so, it could allow state legislatures to pass laws banning abortions prior to fetal viability.

People gather at an anti-abortion rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

People gather at an anti-abortion rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

It’s also possible that the court will set a new, vague standard for abortion restrictions — opening the floodgates for additional litigation and slowing Republicans’ efforts to prohibit the procedure.

How quickly state laws could change varies from state to state. Many red states already have trigger laws designed to restrict abortion in the event that Roe is overturned. For example, Texas is currently defending an effective six-week ban, but would revert to a more restrictive law if Roe is overturned. The state, which is where Roe originated, has a trigger law designed to automatically reinstate its previous ban.


A slew of other states have trigger laws that would result in banning all or nearly all abortions. These could receive guidance from anti-abortion groups like Americans United for Life (AUL). AUL government affairs counsel Katie Glenn told Fox News that her organization is ready to advise attorneys general on how they can respond to the Supreme Court’s decision next summer.

Abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court of the United States Supreme Court of the United States on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court of the United States Supreme Court of the United States on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Besides AUL, other anti-abortion groups like Family Policy Alliance have already started preparing for political battles after Roe is overturned. In blue and purple states, Republicans will likely encounter fierce resistance to newly proposed bans, creating the possibility that the state’s laws won’t change or at least not for a long while. And if Democrats win more seats in the House, they’ll be poised to continue pushing a codification of Roe at the federal level.

Liberalized abortion access is expected to continue in states like New York, which passed a bill in 2018 designed to codify Roe. 

Anti-abortion groups have warned that Roe is more extreme than most realize. While Roe legalized abortion early in a pregnancy, it left open exceptions for life and health of the mother at later gestational ages.  


The decision in Doe v. Bolton, released on the same day in 1973 as Roe v. Wade, argued that life and health of the mother encompassed a wide range of reasons. In his majority opinion, former Justice Harry Blackmun wrote that “medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age — relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.”

‘The beginning of a new stage’ in the abortion wars

As many anti-abortion advocates have noted, the end of Roe is only the beginning for another stage in their movement.

“If Roe is finally overturned, that isn’t the end of the pro-life movement, but the beginning of a new stage,” Ethics and Public Policy Center president Ryan T. Anderson tweeted on Wednesday. “Time to pass laws to protect babies, craft pro-family policies, build support systems for women. So much of this already exists, and now is the time to take to next level.”

PRO-LIFE CHARITIES RESPOND TO ABORTION LAW FALLOUT, BRACE FOR A ‘POST-ROE’ WORLDhttps://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NwYWNlX2NhcmQiOnsiYnVja2V0Ijoib2ZmIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1466158166484393990&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.foxnews.com%2Fpolitics%2Fif-roe-v-wade-is-overturned-what-happens&sessionId=ad089138beefef56e463d62dca839c69cc19e8cf&siteScreenName=foxnews&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9fd78d5%3A1638479056965&width=550px

As Fox News previously noted, the battle isn’t just political. Texas pregnancy centers and charities have already started experiencing what a post-Roe world might look like. 

Overturning Roe would return abortion law back to the sometimes messy democratic processes that influence state law. In blue states, that will likely mean a heavy emphasis on public education and changing public opinion on the issue.

The conservative Family Policy Alliance recently launched an “After Roe” campaign on its website that helps visitors identify laws in their state. It’s also geared to help them connect with their state family policy council and take action on the issue. The organization says the site will feature ways to partner with other anti-abortion groups like the Susan B. Anthony List and American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Maria Peña holds a rosary and sign out outside a building housing an abortion provider in Dallas, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021.

Maria Peña holds a rosary and sign out outside a building housing an abortion provider in Dallas, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

“Family Policy Alliance, together with family policy councils across the nation, stands ready to compete with the abortion industry — and win! — for every precious life,” said Craig DeRoche, President & CEO of Family Policy Alliance.


Much of anti-abortion groups’ efforts will represent a continuation their ongoing efforts: proposing legislation, informing Americans and lobbying for changes. The other side has indicated they’re unwilling to give up, with Democrats already pushing a federal codification of Roe and the idea that President Biden should pack the courts.

Abortion advocates like Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., have indicated they’ll continue fighting on the issue regardless of what the Supreme Court does. 

“We won’t stop. Nobody’s free until everybody’s free. Liberate abortion,” she said at a rally at the Supreme Court.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NwYWNlX2NhcmQiOnsiYnVja2V0Ijoib2ZmIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1466123585395871748&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.foxnews.com%2Fpolitics%2Fif-roe-v-wade-is-overturned-what-happens&sessionId=ad089138beefef56e463d62dca839c69cc19e8cf&siteScreenName=foxnews&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9fd78d5%3A1638479056965&width=550px

On Thursday, Axios reported on the aggressive focus that groups like Planned Parenthood have for the 2022 midterms. 

“The opportunity is that people are enraged,” Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson reportedly said. “What we saw in Texas, and what people will walk away from [the Mississippi oral arguments with], is a level of rage that we could be living in a world six months from now — where our children have fewer rights than we have right now.” 

She added that the rage will be seen “in statehouses across the country all the way through 2022.”

Students for Life Action (SFLA), a grassroots organization active in all 50 states, has already been pushing state legislatures and intends to bring measures reigning in chemical abortions. The abortion pill is expected to grow in popularity as it can be mailed to women and administered remotely. 

That option has already been the target of an executive order in South Dakota. It allows women to sidestep the typical clinic setting and is expected to face hurdles with new restrictions. It’s also cheaper, but has been criticized by anti-abortion groups as raising significant risks for complications.

“We look to introduce and seek roll call votes in support of Life at Conception Act or Heartbeat Bill in 15 states, Chemical Abortion Bans in 8 states and support pro-life ballot initiatives in Kentucky, Kansas, and, pending certification, Massachusetts,” SFLA president Kristan Hawkins told Fox News. 


She added that they are “targeting 26 key states in the primary and general elections with our Pro-Life Accountability Project.”

“And we have more than 100 days of action planned for 2022 that includes lobbying days, door-to-door canvassing, rallies, and direct voter contact.”

MP Urges Gvt To Slaughter Excess Elephants To Feed Starving Zimbabweans

 19th November 2021  News Headlineshttps://a3f5be9d01a835ebd3c1dc139e39d519.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlSpread This News

By Anna Chibamu

MAKONI Central legislator David Tekeshe left members of parliament and Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda in stitches Wednesday after he suggested that government must slaughter thousands of elephants which are in excess to provide free meat for starving citizens.

Tekeshe stood to pose a supplementary question on the issue regarding in-excess elephants in the country’s national parks due to a ban on the sale of ivory.         360p geselecteerd als afspeelkwaliteit×

“We are facing a challenge of human-wildlife population. The number of elephants in Zimbabwe is highly unsustainable. They have exceeded the desired number. Is it not possible for the government to slaughter the elephants that are in excess for relish,” Tekeshe amid laughter from other legislators.

He also queried Zimbabwe’s export policy regarding the export of live elephants to other countries.https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?client=ca-pub-0748628985910509&output=html&h=280&slotname=8317284935&adk=3656919904&adf=1354189234&pi=t.ma~as.8317284935&w=698&fwrn=4&fwrnh=100&lmt=1637606655&rafmt=1&psa=0&format=698×280&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newzimbabwe.com%2Fmp-urges-gvt-to-slaughter-excess-elephants-to-feed-starving-zimbabweans%2F&flash=0&fwr=0&fwrattr=true&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&wgl=1&uach=WyJXaW5kb3dzIiwiMTAuMC4wIiwieDg2IiwiIiwiOTYuMC40NjY0LjQ1IixbXSxudWxsLG51bGwsIjY0Il0.&dt=1637605799826&bpp=6&bdt=7387&idt=2240&shv=r20211111&mjsv=m202111110101&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D0c20ffb18af5295e%3AT%3D1637605803%3AS%3DALNI_MafvZAnNxLlhnftmT14LusvE40-xg&prev_fmts=160×600%2C160x600%2C200x200%2C200x200%2C200x200%2C200x200%2C0x0%2C1123x537%2C698x280&nras=2&correlator=2151246082545&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=920031139.1637605802&ga_sid=1637605802&ga_hid=739879038&ga_fc=1&u_tz=-480&u_his=2&u_h=640&u_w=1139&u_ah=607&u_aw=1139&u_cd=24&dmc=4&adx=91&ady=1786&biw=1123&bih=537&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=31062422%2C31063696&oid=2&psts=AGkb-H9ujBn2J91ZbSyckbcREqF1yajk2ApHJJvi1RIedQex-Q-qxBrjzg6R1YjJMzKKVElSmXigBdz4307FtBNpcNhsDLkl6F3eFbg1-qff%2CAGkb-H9dCri-UFNeOCvF8ZzpKg9DZj8FrsY8Xstliq-4r_UZXzAp1A594-vqe359Pbu_4DT3NGP3iPth8HYo6YzUQWgk6eFZSoQG7mvj0tzEv3o%2CAGkb-H9UmmlxN8LzNMAv2F_5qpm1wR55MG91nA5wbf9vpNzY4km3mku3fLjaNxwDMmTON2c0qvJw_yvvcPCaJK3Mm7Q1XEGxkB0mhnyYOHj-c2o&pvsid=992433032775179&pem=453&tmod=1711382956&eae=0&fc=896&brdim=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C1139%2C0%2C1139%2C607%2C1139%2C537&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7ClEebr%7C&abl=CS&pfx=0&fu=128&bc=31&ifi=4&uci=a!4&btvi=2&fsb=1&xpc=TvQsVhp3dv&p=https%3A//www.newzimbabwe.com&dtd=M

Zimbabwe currently has about 100 000 elephants against the carrying capacity of 45 000, which has resulted in spiking cases of deadly human-wildlife conflicts involving the giant mammals.

Leader of government business in Parliament Ziyambi Ziyambi admitted the parks had more than over 65 000 elephants countrywide.

“It is very correct that the carrying capacity for our elephants has been exceeded. We really want to downscale and have a reasonable amount of our herd of elephants. As a country, we are constrained because of the international conventions that we are party to but we really believe that this is very unfair,” Ziyambi said.

“We should be allowed as a country to sell off the excess stock of our elephants; it is one of the areas that our minister of Tourism is seized with and we are pushing as a block, particularly as African countries”

“Those that impose this ban do not have elephants in their countries and we believe that it should not be a blanket statement that applies to everyone else in the world. We must look at it region by region and look at it specifically looking at us here in Southern Africa, you find out that almost 50% of the elephants in the world are in Southern Africa outside Kenya – that is Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, and Zambia. We believe it is something that we must look at and continue pushing so that we are allowed that free trade,” he said.

26 thousand tons of Covid-19 waste ended up in the oceans

By nauticanews -13/11/20210241



Waste ended up in the oceans.

Less than 2 years after Covid-19 started, more than 26,000 tons of plastic waste related to the pandemic, such as masks and gloves, have ended up in the ocean.

And within a few years, some of those plastic gloves and shipping supplies from pandemic purchases could be swarming the North Pole in the case of the northern hemisphere.

193 countries produced around 9.2 million tons of plastic waste associated with the pandemic since the beginning of the pandemic Most of it is hospital waste

Of the mass of waste that has ended up in the sea, around 87.4% was used by hospitals and 7.6% was used by individuals. Packaging and test kits accounted for about 4.7% and 0.3% of the waste, respectively.

Poorly managed plastic waste, consisting of personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves, far exceeds the ability of countries to process it properly.

Last March the first case of a fish trapped in a medical glove was discovered, found during the cleaning of a canal in Leiden (the Netherlands).

In Brazil, a PFF-2 protective mask was found in the stomach of a dead Magellanic penguin.

By the end of the century, almost all the plastics associated with the pandemic will end up on the seabed or on the beaches.

The waste reached the sea transported by 296 major rivers

46% of badly managed plastic waste came from Asia, followed by Europe, with 24%, and North and South America, with 22%.

The thousands of tons of masks, gloves, test kits and face shields that leaked into the oceans were transported in 369 rivers. The main ones were the Shatt al-Arab in Iraq, which carried 5,200 tons of waste into the ocean; the Indus River, in Tibet 4,000 tons; the Yangtze River, in China, 3,700 tons; in Europe the Danube 1,700 tons.

Ahead of Glasgow climate conference, India and China dim hopes for reaching sweeping deal

Yahoo News

David Knowles·Senior EditorThu, October 28, 2021, 1:51 PM·3 min read

The hope that world leaders will reach a broad-reaching climate change accord in Glasgow, Scotland, to keep global temperatures from crossing 1.5 degrees Celsius of rise over preindustrial levels has continued to dim in recent days. 

China, by far the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases, announced Thursday that it would not go beyond previous commitments to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060 and to reach peak levels of carbon emissions by 2030. That means that at a time when scientists have warned that nations must commit immediately to reducing greenhouse gas emissions or suffer devastating extreme weather consequences, the world’s biggest atmospheric polluter plans to continue apace for nine more years. 

China’s defiance ahead of the U.N. Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, comes days after U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres issued a personal appeal to President Xi Jinping to bolster the commitments made in Paris in 2015.

“I commend President Xi Jinping for announcing at the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly that China will end financing of coal-fired power plants abroad and direct support to green and low-carbon energy,” Guterres said. “We must do everything possible to keep the 1.5-degree goal of the Paris Agreement alive. I appeal for China’s presentation of an ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution in the run-up to COP-26 in Glasgow.”

A heating plant in China
A heating plant in Jilin, China. (Reuters)

On Wednesday, India, the world’s third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, flatly rejected calls to set a deadline to achieve net-zero emissions.  

“It is how much carbon you are going to put in the atmosphere before reaching net zero that is more important,” Indian Environment Secretary R.P. Gupta told reporters. 

While the U.S., Britain and the European Union have all pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, the devil is in the details. Meanwhile, the fate of the climate change measures contained in President Biden’s infrastructure and spending bills remained in doubt as he left for Europe on Thursday. 

Story continues: https://news.yahoo.com/ahead-of-glasgow-climate-conference-india-and-china-dim-hopes-for-reaching-sweeping-deal-205142051.html





To prevent further biodiversity loss, we must address the impact of our growing human population. Please call on your country’s environment minister to support the inclusion of positive, choice-based population action in the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework.

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity is the key international agreement protecting global biodiversity. Signatory governments must develop plans to protect biodiversity in their own nations, set targets and coordinate international action. Yet, progress is slow, targets are not being met and leaders are not taking this issue seriously enough. 

Not a single one of the Aichi biodiversity targets have been met, in part because they fail to address human population growth, one of the main drivers fuelling the destruction of nature. It’s vital that the new programme of action to replace the Aichi targets addresses population to have any chance of success.

Using the form on this page, you can send a personal message to the environment minister in your country. Simply fill in your details in the Take Action fields and press Next. The suggested text for your message will then appear, with your details and those of the minister from your country filled in. You can amend that text if you wish. Original messages with unique subject lines are normally most effective but there is no need to make changes if you don’t want to – just click the button to send your message when you are ready. If you do amend the text, please keep your message polite and positive. The message the minister receives will include your email address, so you may receive a reply from them.

NB: If your country is not on the list and you have the relevant contact information, please let us know so we can add it.

Biden: Texas abortion law ‘blatantly violates’ Roe precedent


The president promised to defend abortion rights but the White House was vague on what he can or will do.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the White House.

President Joe Biden said the new law would “significantly impair women’s access to the health care they need, particularly for communities of color and individuals with low incomes.“ | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


09/01/2021 12:53 PM EDT

Updated: 09/01/2021 05:44 PM EDT

President Joe Biden vowed Wednesday to defend abortion rights after the Supreme Court let stand a Texas abortion law that bans the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy.

But the White House has been vague about what the president would, or could, do in the near term. And some abortion rights advocates are calling for a more clear-cut strategy in the wake of the court’s latest move.https://f3f748279202ebfc5b1c11bd4620233c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

“This extreme Texas law blatantly violates the constitutional right established under Roe v. Wade and upheld as precedent for nearly half a century,” Biden said in a statement.https://f3f748279202ebfc5b1c11bd4620233c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Biden added that his administration “will protect and defend” the right established under Roe v Wade, but did not explain what steps, if any, the White House would take. Abortion rights advocates have been in close touch with the White House and Congress and are urging the two branches to develop a strategy in response, particularly as the high court prepares to formally revisit and potentially overturn Roe v. Wade later this year when it hears arguments on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban.

The Texas state law took effect early Wednesday morning after the Supreme Court decided not to act on an emergency petition from Texas abortion clinics to put the new rule on hold. The new law not only bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, but it also allows Texas citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone who helps facilitate the procedure after six weeks.White House: Texas abortion law ‘blatantly violates’ Roe precedentSharehttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.478.1_en.html#goog_375650986Play Video

Though the Supreme Court could still block the state’s law in the coming days, the Wednesday decision renewed calls for changes to the makeup of the court, and questions about what steps the White House and Democrats could take — if any at all.

Pressed on what the administration plans to do, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said any action by the Justice Department in response to abortion laws will be made independently by the department. Psaki added that the president would continue to call for the “codification of Roe,” through Congress.

But some Democratic lawmakers admitted that legislation to enshrine abortion access is unlikely to garner enough support in the evenly split Senate.

Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), who introduced the House bill protecting abortion access as established in Roe, urged the White House to help woo enough senators to support the bill.

“It’s important for the White House to weigh in…we really are going to need their help to get the votes on the Senate side,” said Chu. “We will need to have all resources available but especially the most powerful voice in land, and that is our President Biden to weigh in on this.”

Biden’s statement was sharply critical of the new law, saying it would “significantly impair women’s access to the health care they need, particularly for communities of color and individuals with low incomes.” Many progressive lawmakers and advocates, who have been frustrated with the administration for not being more vocal on the issue up to this point, welcomed what they viewed as a shift in tone.

“It’s the first time that the word ‘abortion’ has been issued by the by the president’s office,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.). “And the White House has to continue to take an active role in preserving abortion rights in the United States and harness all resources to call for pass The Women’s Health Protection Act and the elimination of the Hyde Amendment.”

Psaki said the president would continue to “push” Congress to act and said there’s “no question” White House officials will be discussing responses to the decision in “conversations with members” and congressional staffers.


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But even if the Democratic majority in the House were to pass legislation codifying abortion access, the Senate presents a major barrier.

“Can we get to 60 in the Senate? I don’t know,” said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who said the Texas decision effectively “tells a woman that she has no control of her body.”

“Every man who impregnates one of these women should have you-know-what taken off,” Speier quipped. A future decision by the Supreme Court is the best chance of recourse, said Speier.

“[And] the extent to which the courts do not stand up to this probably means the rethinking of the Supreme Court as we know it today,”she added.

A growing number of Democrats have called for changing the number of justices on the Supreme Court to counter its conservative bent, but Biden opposed the idea during the presidential campaign.

The president “will wait” to hear from a Supreme Court reform commission the White House established earlier this year before making any changes to his position.

It also remains unclear if the Justice Department will take any actions in response to state restrictions on abortion access or the Supreme Court’s plans to reexamine Roe. The Congressional Progressive Caucus called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to “explore whatever steps” the department “can take.”

But while the Biden administration hasn’t drawn attention to its work on abortion, it has taken several major actions to undo Trump administration curbs on the procedure. In his first few months in office, Biden rolled back restrictions on abortion pills, reversed bans on funding for Planned Parenthood and overseas groups that provide abortion referrals, and removed hurdles to medical research that uses fetal tissue obtained from abortions.

Abortion rights advocates that have worked closely with the administration are pressing the White House to more aggressively use its bully pulpit and regulatory muscle in light of the Supreme Court’s actions. Destiny Lopez, the co-president of the group All* Above All, said two concrete demands are for the FDA to lift restrictions on distributing abortion pills by telemedicine and by mail, and for Biden to lean more heavily on Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and EACH Woman Act — bills that would bar states from passing laws like Texas’ and provide federal funding to low-income people who want the procedure.

“What I also read into [Biden’s statement] is that they’re deeply committed to this issue and that they’re now finally recognizing that Roe is not enough,” she said. “It never was enough to ensure people can get abortion care where and when we need it. So now we need to work with the administration on a real strategy.”