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OnPasture

Solar grazing: A new income stream for livestock producers

We are going to need renewables at a large scale in the U.S. — and soon. Rather than wipe out forests, we could encourage solar that works with farmland. We need conservationists to help make this a reality. You can share these articles to let people know that dual-use solar can help farmland and farmers.

Utility-scale solar arrays may cover 3 million acres across the U.S. by 2030, according to the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). This is causing tension with farmers and farmland advocates, as the panels are often sited on good agricultural land, displacing current production.

One solution is to restrict solar developments from being installed on farmland. But there are other solutions worth pursuing, too. Most large-scale solar arrays are located in rural areas where economies are hurting and farmer numbers are dwindling…

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Wind And Coal
Yale CC / DANA NUCCITELLI

Greens: Divided on ‘clean’ energy? Or closer than they appear?

The issue in contention is whether certain technologies, like fossil fuels that capture their carbon emissions, nuclear, and biomass power should be considered sufficiently “clean,” — or whether they should be eliminated from the American power generation mix for the sake of environmental justice. Conservation solutions are seen as part of the mix, too.

Solar, wind, and geothermal sources currently account for just 11% of U.S. electricity, with another 7% from hydroelectric dams, 20% from nuclear, 19% from coal, and 40% from gas. A host of energy modeling studies have concluded that renewable energy could be scaled up to supply 80-90% of U.S. electricity demand, but meeting the final 10-20% is exceedingly challenging.

The 2035 report by the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy estimated that the U.S. could achieve 90% emissions-free electricity by 2035, including 70% from wind and solar with batteries, 20% from nuclear, and 10% from gas…

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hayhoe
TNC

Glasgow Calling: In a crucial year for climate, The Nature Conservancy appoints renowned climate scientist and communicator Professor Katharine Hayhoe

Hayhoe brings rigor, awareness, and advocacy to Conservancy’s proud record of applying science for a sustainable future

Riding a wave of optimism about renewed global climate action, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is thrilled to announce the appointment of Professor Katharine Hayhoe as its new Chief Scientist…

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Little Girl
Joyce Carroll

How to talk honestly to kids about climate change — and still give them hope

Too often the message against renewables touts the negative impact on bird populations. Yet the impact of climate change on birds continues to grow, and the need to dramatically slow down climate change is increasingly apparent.

Climate change is no longer a future issue. It’s already affecting nearly every aspect of our lives and our children’s futures. It’s making our heat waves more deadly, our storms more intense, and our wildfires burn with ferocity.

When we talk to our kids, we have to be honest. Climate change is real, and it’s serious. But the most important thing we can give them is hope: that there are solutions, and everyone has something to contribute no matter their age…

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Butterfly
Wikimedia

Compounded effects of climate change and habitat alteration shift patterns of butterfly diversity

Climate change and habitat destruction have been linked to global declines in vertebrate biodiversity, including mammals, amphibians, birds, and fishes. However, invertebrates make up the vast majority of global species richness, and the combined effects of climate change and land use on invertebrates remain poorly understood…

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Monarch
Unsplash

‘Climate change’ may be a key factor in declining butterfly populations

The public tends to blame habitat loss and pesticides for the declining butterfly populations in the Western United States. But climate change maybe an equal, if not greater, factor.

As Pennisi points out, “butterflies are at risk in open spaces, too.” She writes: “Art Shapiro, an insect ecologist at the University of California, Davis, and colleagues have shown that over the past 35 years, butterflies are disappearing even in pristine protected areas such as the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the western United States”…

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Sun Spot
Unsplash

Scientists lay out 10 golden rules for restoring forests

In January, scientists at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in the UK warned that tree planting was often being presented as an easy answer to the climate crisis, and a way out for businesses to mitigate their carbon emissions.

“Scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBG Kew) and Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) have set out ten ‘golden rules’ for reforestation, published today in an open-access article in the leading journal Global Change Biology…”

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Lupine
Getty Images

The reason wild forests beat plantations

Trees can help pull carbon out of the atmosphere by trapping it in their trunks, roots, and leaves. But what if planting them wasn't the solution? We look beyond the U.S. to track relevant science.

In January, scientists at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in the UK warned that tree planting was often being presented as an easy answer to the climate crisis, and a way out for businesses to mitigate their carbon emissions. But it was not as simple as it seemed. The wrong trees in the wrong places can cause considerably more damage than benefits, and fail to help people, nature, or capture carbon.

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Solar Panels
AEN

Why put a price on carbon?

We are going to need to promote energy conservation incentives and renewable energy if we are to save the species we all cherish. That means advocating for dual-use, compatible renewables like wind and solar.

It also might mean that you encourage your local and regional conservation groups to support the Citizen Climate Lobby’s work on bipartisan efforts to put a price on carbon pollution…and then talk about why they are doing that.

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moose
Flickr

Moose in a warming climate

I love moose. They and other wildlife are part of the reason why I work so hard to slow down climate change. Yet the future of moose in this country is looking grim if we don't work quickly to slow down climate change, and get off fossil fuels.

“Moose populations across the northern United States are declining as the climate warms up. You wouldn’t think that a temperature increase of only 1.5 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit would kill a moose, but it appears that it does. In northwestern Minnesota, nearly all the moose have disappeared, and in northeastern Minnesota over 90 percent of the moose calves are dying during some years. Moose hunting is no longer allowed in Minnesota…”

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