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San Ardo oilfield
Center for     Biological     Diversity   

UN Climate Report: Only Massive Action Will Avert Disaster

This week's report from the IPCC — the usually conservative scientific panel on climate change convened by the United Nations — delivered dire news. We must limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid devastating harm to life on Earth.

Achieving this requires immediate, far-reaching action to end fossil fuel use and transition to clean energy. Carbon pollution would need to fall to net zero in the next three decades.

The report warns that 2 degrees of warming would virtually wipe out coral reefs, cause devastating sea-level rise, make heat waves deadlier, and increase extinction risk for thousands of species.

The U.S. delegation to the UN said the country still plans to withdraw from the Paris accord at the behest of President Trump, who denies the necessity of fighting climate change now.

Read the Center for Biological Diversity's op-ed on Medium.

Kavanaugh protest

Our Executive Director on Kavanaugh's Confirmation

The Senate last Saturday confirmed Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court by a vote of 50–48. The Center's Executive Director Kierán Suckling issued a statement:

"This is a profound and shameful moment that will have disturbing ripple effects for decades to come. The U.S. Supreme Court will now tilt firmly in favor of right-wing ideologies, corporations, perpetrators and those to whom the notion of civil rights for all is a nuisance rather than a necessity.

"Beyond that Kavanaugh's vote on the Supreme Court will have awful consequences for clean air and water, wildlife, climate and anyone struggling against pollution in their own communities."

Read the whole statement.

The Revelator: Interactive Climate Map Looks at Rainfall

Climate change map

How will climate change affect rainfall and snow in your community? The Revelator mapped what the world will look like under current climate-change projections — and it won't be pretty.

By the year 2050, most parts of the planet will experience fairly dramatic shifts in precipitation, making some places wetter and others drier. Extreme weather events will shake things up further, climate experts warn. Check out the interactive map and subscribe to the Revelator newsletter.


This mesmerizing time-lapse video shows coral polyps eating by using stinging tentacles to pull zooplankton into their mouths. The world's corals and coral-reef ecosystems are in crisis due to climate change and ocean acidification.

South Texas border wall

Trump Waives Environmental Laws to Build Texas Border Wall

The Trump administration announced yesterday that it will waive dozens of environmental laws to speed border-wall construction through protected land in Hidalgo County, Texas.

Walls would cut through the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, National Butterfly Center, Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park, and the grounds of the historic La Lomita Chapel, as well as hundreds of family farms and other private property.

"The Rio Grande Valley is one of the most spectacular and biologically important landscapes in the country," said the Center's Laiken Jordahl. "Every acre is irreplaceable."

We're doing everything in our power to stop this destruction. And you can help by speaking out against the wall in the Rio Grande Valley.

Learn more at the Los Angeles Times.

Ask Dr. Donley: Should I Buy Local or Organic?

Farmer's market produce

What's the best choice for the health of people and the planet: local or organic?

In the latest Ask Dr. Donley column, Center Senior Scientist Nathan Donley delves into this debate. He breaks down the different benefits offered by local and organic food — and shares the real key to using our purchasing power to support a more sustainable food system.

Read more at the Center's Medium page.

Blac-capped petrel

Two Birds Proposed for Protection — Without Enough Help

Eastern black rails were once abundant in wetlands across the eastern United States; black-capped petrels are seabirds that forage along the south Atlantic coast but nest only in the Caribbean. After years of work by the Center and other groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finally proposed to protect both species as "threatened." But it failed to offer them all the help they need.

Rails have been driven to rarity by wetland destruction but are also threatened by sea-level rise. Without meaningful action on climate, they'll keep declining. Petrels are cliff nesters hurt by deforestation on land and fossil fuel exploration at sea. The proposed protection wouldn't protect them from offshore drilling.

Read more about protections for eastern black rails and black-capped petrels.

Humboldt marten

Elusive, Beautiful Martens Proposed for Protection

In potentially species-saving news, the Fish and Wildlife Service has just responded to a petition from the Center and allies to protect Humboldt martens under the Endangered Species Act. But sadly the Service's proposed protections exempted logging activities, the primary threat to martens, from being addressed to save them from extinction.

Martens are relatives of minks and otters, and fewer than 400 survive in California and Oregon, in four isolated coastal populations. The animals have been wiped out from 93 percent of their range by logging and trapping.

"It's deeply troubling that the agency charged with safeguarding Humboldt martens isn't protecting them from the habitat loss that's pushing them toward extinction," said the Center's Tierra Curry.

Read more in Eureka's Times-Standard.

Sage grouse

Sage Grouse May Lose 5 Million Protected Acres

The Trump administration has proposed cutting protections for greater sage grouse on 5 million acres of national forests and grasslands in Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. The proposal would also expand loopholes to allow more oil and gas development in the birds' habitat.

"We're really troubled to see the Forest Service following the Bureau of Land Management's lead and making it easier to drill, frack and mine on public land," said the Center's Michael Saul.

We'll keep fighting for sage grouse — and we're working on a way for you to help sage grouse too. Stay tuned.

Learn more in our press release.

Leafcutter bee

Wild & Weird: Emerging From a Pollen-filled Bee-rito

Leafcutter bees are solitary, gentle pollinators that construct egg chambers out of leaves, which they provision with nectar and pollen. The female leafcutter places a single egg in a chamber atop the food she's gathered, and then caps the chamber with pieces of leaves. She may construct as many as 20 of these pollen-filled "bee-ritos" before she's done.

Check out footage of a leafcutter bee emerging from a bee-rito on Facebook or YouTube.

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Photo credits: San Ardo oil field in Monterey County, Calif., by Loco Steve/Wikimedia; Kavanaugh protest by thisisbossi/Flickr; climate change map by Dipika Kadaba/Center for Biological Diversity; coral by ericabreetoe/Flickr; South Texas border wall by Donna Burton/U.S. Customs and Border Protection; farmer's market produce by Nicole Hennig/Flickr; black-capped petrel by Dan Irizarry/Flickr; Humboldt marten by Charlotte Eriksson/Oregon State University; female and male greater sage grouse by Elaine D. Wilson/Nature's Pics Online; leafcutter bee by Emily Doorish.

Center for Biological Diversity
P.O. Box 710
Tucson, AZ 85702
United States