Even Worldwide Pandemic Can’t Cull Unsustainable Human Population

Nature World: Environmental scientists for the most part agree that the human population is growing at an unsustainable rate, to the point that even fertility restrictions and a worldwide pandemic couldn't solve the problem, according to new research. There are currently more than seven billion people on Earth. And despite the United Nation's (UN) belief that humanity would level off, so to speak, a report published just last month shows that the 21st century may get a lot more crowded than previously thought....

As Great Barrier Reef Ails, Australia Scrambles To Save It

National Public Radio: The Great Barrier Reef has long been in trouble. One Australian government report in 2012 estimated the reef had lost more than half its coral since 1985. Now it's in such bad shape that the United Nations has warned it could list the World Heritage site as "in danger" next year. The Australian government is considering a new 35-year plan to rescue the reef. Nearly 2 million tourists travel to the reef each year. Many of them scuba dive to explore this expansive water world up close. It's what...

Melting Cave Ice Is Taking Ancient Climate Data with It

Scientific American: On a recent visit to Crystal Ice Cave in Idaho, climate and cave researchers had to wade through frigid, knee-deep water to reach the ice formations that give the cave its name. Cavers are good-humored about the hardships of underground exploration, but this water was chilling for more than one reason: it was carrying away some of the very clues they had come to study. Ice is an invaluable source of information about the earth's past. Pollen trapped in ice from polar ice caps and mountaintop glaciers...

Artists, musicians, writers protest government plans for massive coal plant in the Sundarbans

Mongabay: Over the weekend, Bangladeshi artists performed plays, sang songs, and recited poetry all in a bid to protect the Sundarbans-the world's biggest mangrove forest-from the threat of a massive coal plant. Construction is already under way on the hugely controversial Rampal coal plant, a 1,320 megawatt plant set just 14 kilometers from the edge of the Sundarbans. "We have many alternatives to produce electricity but no alternative to Sundarbans," said Anu Muhammad at the cultural protest. A renowned...

With storms intensifying, Milwaukee braces for bigger floods

Daily Climate: Back when Pabst Blue Ribbon was for working folks -- not hipsters -- the brewery was a Milwaukee icon, bustling along the western edge of the city's central business district. Hitting hard times, Pabst left town a couple decades ago. But now the site infamous for cheap lager has permeable roads, abundant gardens and an underground tunnel to catch excess rainwater. It has re-emerged a symbol of how Milwaukee is greening to keep pace with a changing climate. The site's developer, Joseph J....

Unsustainable population rise is unstoppable, scientists warn

Blue and Green: Not even a global one-child policy or a devastating third world war would reduce the human population to sustainable levels, a study has found. The paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concludes that population controls or a global disaster cannot stop the global population reaching 10 billion or more by 2100. A conflict on the scale of the first two world wars would barely register a blip on the population trajectory, while restrictions on the numbers of...

Population reduction no answer to environmental problems

Free Press: There is no quick fix for the ‘population time-bomb’ and even a world-wide one-child policy like China’s or catastrophic mortality events may still result in 5-10 billion people by 2100, according to a new study, reports PTI. Ecologists say that the “virtually locked-in” population growth means the world must focus on policies and technologies that reverse rising consumption of natural resources and enhance recycling, for more immediate sustainability gains. Fertility reduction efforts, however,...

Families seek damages stemming deadly Washington state mudslide

Reuters: Ten families who lost relatives in a Washington state landslide in March have filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging state and local officials were aware the area was at risk for a disaster but did nothing to prevent it, an attorney said on Monday. Forty-three people were killed when a rain-soaked hillside on the north fork of the Stillaguamish River collapsed on March 22, sending a deluge of mud and debris down on a rural community on the outskirts of Oso in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains....

Plan won’t save Great Barrier Reef: Australian scientists

Agence France-Presse: Australian government plans to protect the Great Barrier Reef are inadequate, short-sighted and will not prevent its decline, the country's pre-eminent grouping of natural scientists said Tuesday. The draft plan, released for consultation last month, was supposed to allay concerns by the United Nations about the reef's health after UNESCO threatened to put it on the World Heritage "in danger" list. Environment Minister Greg Hunt has said the proposal reflects an effort to balance the priorities...

Australia Blasted by Record Heat — Again

Climate Central: Strange early-season temperatures again dogged sweaty Australians over the weekend, with Saturday's continent-wide average maximum topping 97°F -- a record for October. Spring heat waves that have been baking the continent in recent weeks are "consistent' with the modeled effects of global warming in Australia, said Tom Knutson, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate modeler. But global warming alone couldn't explain the unseasonably hot weather. It's likely that climate...