Environmental organizations are pressuring the Biden administration to stop logging in old-growth forests because a new study indicates that the U.S. has caused other countries to suffer damages totaling more than $1.8 trillion.
According to research, the United States and China are responsible for $3 trillion in climate damage.
The top two greenhouse gas polluters in the world, China and the United States have cost the global economy more than $3 trillion in total, according to a study released on Tuesday.
Five of the largest emitters in the world—the United States, China, India, Russia, and Brazil—cost the global economy $6 trillion in lost GDP over a quarter-century, according to researchers at Dartmouth College.
China and the U.S., the two biggest polluters, were responsible for more than $1.8 trillion of the lost global income between 1990 and 2014.
This, according to researchers, might help establish a legal basis for climate litigation: The study’s lead author, Ph.D. candidate at Dartmouth University Christopher Callahan, stated in a statement that the study “provides an answer to the question of whether there is a scientific basis for climate liability claims – the answer is yes.”
“We have calculated each country’s share of the historical temperature-driven changes in income in every other country.”
The study also provided a quantitative assessment of the harm that big emitters have caused to developing countries, which are frequently particularly vulnerable because of their geographical placements in the global south and along continental coastlines.
For instance, the U.S. contributed $14.1 billion and China $13.6 billion respectively to economic losses in Bangladesh over a 25-year period.
According to Justin Mankin, a senior researcher on the project and an assistant professor of geography at Dartmouth, “greenhouse gases generated in one country cause warmth in another, and that warming might impair economic growth.”
This study “provides legally significant estimates of the financial losses particular nations have incurred as a result of other nations’ climate change activity.”
The study, according to researchers, refutes the notion that only international cooperation can prevent climate change, as opposed to national action.
Although countries must cooperate in order to stop global warming, Callahan insisted that individual nations are still capable of initiating change. This study disproves the idea that global warming’s causes and effects are the only ones that exist.
Stop the Harvesting, Say Environmental Groups to Biden.
In order to slow down climate change, environmental organizations are urging the Biden administration to put a stop to the harvesting of old-growth and mature forests.
According to a report released on Tuesday by a group of organizations including Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, and the Center for Biological Diversity, more than 240,000 acres of large, carbon-trapping trees are in danger of being felled.
About the size of Indianapolis, that area is made up of trees that are more than 100 years old.
The groups contend that the proposed cuts run counter to a Biden administration executive order issued in April that aims to restore and conserve the country’s old-growth and mature forests. This order, they claim, conflicts with a long-standing requirement that national land-management agencies supply lumber companies with a consistent supply of timber.
The Center for Biological Diversity’s Randi Spivak, director of public lands, stated in a statement that “the greatest way to safeguard these carbon-storing giants is to let them grow, but our federal agencies keep turning them into lumber.”
For instance, mature ponderosa pine trees are intended for removal from the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota, which contains the biggest targeted tract at 180,000 acres.
One planned clearcut in Oregon’s Willamette National Forest would remove 1,000 acres of old-growth and mature trees, while another planned clearcut on a state forest managed by the Bureau of Land Management would remove 4,573 acres.
The administration could halt climate change, according to Spivak, by “permanently safeguarding mature and old-growth trees,” he claimed, noting that it would take millennia for the carbon released when those trees were taken down.
When questioned about the situation, a representative of the U.S. Forest Service claimed that extreme weather is the main threat to old-growth forests and described the Biden administration’s efforts in this regard.
According to a statement from a spokesman, Larry Moore, “Recent, peer-reviewed science continues to show that the main threats to mature and old-growth forests are wildfires, drought, and other climate-induced disturbances, as we are seeing in real-time with threats to sequoia groves and Yosemite National Park in California.”
An Environmental Organization Sues the Epa Over the Fracking Pollution
On Tuesday, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), urging it to take steps to reduce the amount of air pollution Colorado’s oil and gas industry emits.
If the case is successful, the EPA would be compelled to require the State of Colorado to restrict the pollution produced by drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations in the Denver metro area and the Denver-Julesburg Basin, according to the petition.
The Denver-Julesburg Basin is a geological rock formation that runs along the eastern side of Colorado’s “Front Range” from southern Colorado into Wyoming.
According to Robert Ukeiley, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity, “we’re never going to fix our smog problem unless the EPA cracks down on Colorado allowing limitless air pollution from drilling and fracking.”
We will file a lawsuit, Ukeiley continued, “if that is what it takes to get that fixed.”
According to the center, the North Front Range and the Denver metro area both have ozone concentrations that are significantly higher than EPA guidelines intended to safeguard both public health and Colorado’s “natural beauty.”
According to a statement included with the lawsuit, the EPA demanded plans from the state’s Air Pollution Control Division, a division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, including smog remediation efforts.
The center said that a potential loophole may allow for limitless drilling and fracking-related pollutants, even though the EPA approved that plan, according to the statement.
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