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Our Environments Reality?

History

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I. Understanding the Historical Context:

There are many reasons for inaction in America, the most important one is the repetitive orchestrated confusion raised by few dissident scientists funded by corporations who have cast doubt on all the contemporary challenges we have faced as a nation, by minimizing the existence and magnitude of the various environmental problems including Ozone Depletion,Chemicals and Pesticides, Species Extinction and now Global Warming and Climate Change.

The modus operandi of the corporations has been consistently aggressive and deceptive by impugning the scientific credibility and professional integrity of scientists like Rachael L.Carson, Theo Colborn, Paul R.Ehrlich, James Hansen and Peter Wadhams that have raised concerns about the environmental hazards to our planet and humanity.

Given this history the responsibility falls on us the citizens of America to stop these insane repetitive polices that are not based on evidence.

Climate Change

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II. Facts on Climate Change:

As early as 1995 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had concluded that human activities were affecting global climate and concluded in 2007 that global warming was “unequivocal”. Major scientific organizations and prominent scientists around the globe have repeatedly ratified the IPCC conclusion. Today, ninety seven per cent of climate scientists are convinced that our Earth’s climate is heating up, and human activities are the dominant cause.

The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with the five warmest years on record taking place since 2010.
www.climate.nasa.gov

Evidence – Climate Indicators

IPCC recommendations is to restrict Global warming to 1.5 C above pre industrial levels, coral reefs will still decline by 70-90% but if temperatures rise to 2 C virtually all of the worlds reefs will be lost forever.

Carbon pollution would have to be cut by 45% by 2030 and come down to zero by 2050 to mitigate irreversible changes.
www.ipcc.ch
PDF Study: Warming

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Evidence – CO2 Emissions

The world’s countries emit vastly different amounts of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. The picture that emerges from these figures is one where—in general— developed countries and major emerging economy nations lead in total carbon dioxide emissions. Developed nations typically have high carbon dioxide emissions per capita, while some developing countries lead in the growth rate of carbon dioxide emissions.

 

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Evidence – Climate Lobbying

The five largest publicly-traded oil and gas majors (ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, BP and Total) have invested over $1Billion of shareholder funds in the three years following the Paris Agreement on misleading climate-related branding and lobbying. These efforts are overwhelmingly in conflict with the goals of this landmark global climate accord and designed to maintain the social and legal license to operate and expand fossil fuel operations.

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Benchmarking 

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III. Ranking - U.S. Performance Index

On the basis of standardized criteria, the CCPI currently evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 57 countries and of the European Union (EU), which are together responsible for more than 90% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

U.S. ranks at the very bottom #61 in its Climate Change Performance Index.

Best Practices

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IV. Ranking - U.S Climate Policy

G20 performance:As of last year nine of the G20 countries are rated low or very low for their performance in the Climate Policy category. 

EU performance:The EU improves by eight ranks in the Climate Policy rating and is rated high especially for its international climate policy.

U.S. ranks at the very bottom #61 in its Climate Climate Policy Rating.

V. Facts on Pesticides

Facts: U.S. Pesticide Use

Some might find irony in the prospect that humans in their restless quest for dominance over nature may be inadvertently undermining their own ability to reproduce or to learn and think.They may see poetic justice in the possibility that we have become unwitting guinea pigs in our own vast experiment with synthetic chemicals.” –Theo Colborn, “Our Stolen Future”.

Pesticides are an enormous prop of chemicals designed to kill unwanted insects ( Insecticides), weeds ( Herbicides), nematocides (Fumigants), rodents ( Rodenticides), fungi (Fungicides), (Repellents) and, microorganisms (Disinfectants). The problem is, many of the chemicals used to kill pests also endanger human health.

In the United States, each year, an estimated 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides are applied to U.S. farms, forests, lawns and golf courses. More than 20,000 pesticides are currently on the market and over 80,000 synthetic chemicals are in use. Only about 2% have been tested for carcinogenicity to toxicity

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Facts: U.S. Lawn Pesticides Use

Of 30 commonly used lawn pesticides 13 are probable or possible carcinogens, 13 are linked with birth defects, 21 with reproductive effects, 15 with neurotoxicity, 26 with liver or kidney damage, 27 are sensitizers and/or irritants, and 11 have the potential to disrupt the endocrine hormonal system.

www.beyondpesticides.org
PDF Study: Pesticide Facts
PDF Study: Health Effects
PDF Study: Environment Effects

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Facts: U.S. Citizens Pesticides in our Bodies

Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) measure pesticides and other chemicals in the bodies of Americans every few years. In the most recent study updated 2019, CDC tested for 212 chemicals, including 44 pesticides — and found most of them in over 85 percent of Americans tested, even though some chemicals such as DDT have not been widely used here since 1972.
www.cdc.gov
PDF Study: CDC 1
PDF Study: CDC 2

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Benchmarking 

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Comparing Europe (1), Canada (2), and US (Last) in pesticide use

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VI. Benchmarking U.S. vs Europe and Canada:

  1. While the European Union has banned or restricted 246 pesticides starting in 2005, many of these same pesticides are widely used in the United States.
    PDF Study: Greenpeace
  2. In Canada as of 2010, 171 municipalities including the entire provinces of Quebec and Ontario have now placed restrictions on the cosmetic use of synthetic lawn pesticides as a result of health and environmental concerns. Over 250 products are banned for sale and more than 95 pesticide ingredients are banned for cosmetic uses.
  3. In United States use of pesticides continues unabated.

Best Practices

Insecticides, Herbicides, Fumigants

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Banned Pesticides

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VII. U.S vs. Europe

i. Main Groups of Insecticides, Pesticides and Fumigants:

Insecticides- Neonicotinoids; Carbamates/Organophosphates; Organochlorine; Pyrethoids/Pyrethrins/Piperonyls.
Herbicides- Chlorophenoxy Herbicides; Glycophosate; Paraquat/ Diquat;
Trizine( Atrazine)
Fumigants- Organochlorine( 1,3-D)

ii. European Union nations have banned 5 Pesticide groups starting in 2005 and blacklisted 209 pesticides as of 2016.

Insecticides Banned:

1.Neonicotinoids, or “neonics,” are the main suspect in the mysterious mass disappearance of entire bee colonies and work as nerve agents on the bees. In 2013, EU voted to ban three of the most common but are used in U.S.: imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam.

Herbicides Banned:

  1. Paraquat, a pesticide linked to Parkinson’s disease, is banned in  EU but not the U.S. It’s highly toxic and kills weeds on contact.
  2. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, will soon to be banned in the Netherlands.
  3. Atrazine is the pesticide most commonly found in 90 percent of American drinking water. The EU banned it in 2004 but EPA approved its use in U.S. The weed killer is an endocrine disrupter, affects the immune system and is linked to birth defects.

VIII. Facts on Species Extinction:

Facts:  Species on Earth

“Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, we shall be saved.”– Jane Goodall, “Jane Goodall: 40 Years at Gombe”

Species are critical for a healthy planet, but a growing human population is placing them under enormous pressure. Habitat destruction, invasive species, overexploitation, illegal wildlife trade, pollution and climate change are threatening the survival of species worldwide.
www.iucn.org
PDF Study: UN Goals

Our planet is now in the midst of its sixth mass extinction of plants and animals. Unlike past mass extinctions, caused by events like asteroid strikes, volcanic eruptions, and natural climate shifts, the current crisis is almost entirely caused by us — humans. Today we are seeing an extraordinary high rate of extinctions. Because the rate of change in our biosphere is increasing, and because every species’ extinction potentially leads to the extinction of others bound to that species in a complex ecological web, numbers of extinctions are likely to snowball in the coming decades as ecosystems unravel.

 

Silhouettes of various animals walking the globe with the caption "Protect endangered species. They live here too"

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Facts: IUCN Endangered Species Red List

Currently there are more than 96,951 species on The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Species assessments are conducted following a standardized process using the rigorous IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, ensuring the highest standards of scientific documentation, information management, expert review, and justification.

There are eight IUCN Red List Categories based on criteria linked to population trend, size and structure, and geographic range. Species listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable are collectively described as threatened.

More than 77,300 species have been assessed on The IUCN Red List. The results are disturbing with several species groups facing a severe threat of extinction.

PDF Study: Red List

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Facts: ESA Under Attack

Science is the foundation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which was created more than 40 years ago to protect animals and plants from irreversible destruction, including threats like habitat loss and fragmentation, over harvesting, pollution, invasive species, and climate change. And it has been remarkably successful at preventing extinctions, with 99% of the species protected under the Act still sharing our planet today: Every time you see America’s iconic national bird, the bald eagle, you’re seeing evidence of its success of the Endangered Species Act. The ESA law today is particularly vulnerable with efforts to manipulate, disregard or censor science.

At the behest of deep-pocketed special interests, a barrage of legislative attacks have occurred on the endangered species in recent years, seeking to block, remove or weaken protections for a host of species.

The most accurate census, conducted by the Hawaii’s University in 2018, estimates that a total of 8.7 million species live on the planet. To date, a total of 1.8 million species have been identified and described : Mammals 5,500, Birds 10,000, Amphibians 8,001, Reptiles 10,000 and Insects 925,000.

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Engage to Change

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V. “Our Status Quo”: 3 Critical Things to Change

  1. Demand Fossil Fuel Divestment and Funding to mitigate CO2 emissions and Climate Change.
  2. Demand to adopt the ban of pesticides as initiated by European Countries, which is based on solid scientific evidence.
  3. Demand a halt to the proposed revisions that would change the way the agencies (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service) implement the Endangered Species Act – actions that could lead to the destruction of essential habitat and otherwise preventable species extinctions.