January 2014


The continuing disappearance of Earth’s last healthy ecosystems, on land and in the oceans, is sadly no longer news. What is news is that saving these ecosystems is affordable and even profitable. An investor-driven approach to conservation finance has the potential to preserve these vital areas, and with them the planet’s natural capital stock of clean air, fresh water and species diversity.

Conservation finance represents an undeveloped private sector investment opportunity of major proportion. Our research suggests private investors—wealthy individuals, pension funds and other institutional investors and even mainstream retail investors—could supply as much as $200 billion to $300 billion per year needed to preserve the world’s most important ecosystems, ranging from the Borneo rainforest in Malaysia and Indonesia to the African Rift lake system of Rwanda and Uganda.

Click here to read more at www.ssireview.org

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Alex Breitler, Record

More than 20,000 salmon splashed up San Joaquin Valley streams to spawn last year, a relatively robust return that you’d think would bode well for future populations.

But now biologists are worried that the offspring of those fish will not survive, because there’s simply not enough water to flush the babies back downstream toward the ocean.

And if they don’t make it out alive, that means fewer adult salmon returning to our rivers three years down the road.

Click here to read more at Recordnet.com

By: Kristine Williams, published in Joaquin Magazine

Stockton cerca 1896When you think of government decisions, what do you picture? Maybe health-care, immigration or thoughts of taxation come to mind. Perhaps images of the White House, State Capitol or even the steps of Stockton’s own historic City Hall emerge in your head. But what about the bus stop? Do the words “government” or “politics” bring forth ideas of local parks, or how far your children have to walk to get to school? Those examples may not be your first thought but government – and those involved in its political process – has a hand in these often unobserved decisions.

These decisions, such as where to build a school, hospital or business, have a wide impact on how we live our day-to-day lives. Let’s look at the previous bus stop example. If you don’t own a car do you have adequate access to public transit? How far is the stop from where you live? Does that transit come frequently enough to be convenient? Does it run in the evenings or on weekends? How much do you have to pay to use that transit? The answers to these questions affect the livelihood of countless people, particularly low-income individuals who rely on such services to get to work or run errands.  (more…)

"U.S. Drought Monitor. Here's what you need to know: Red is bad." - Breitler

“U.S. Drought Monitor. Here’s what you need to know: Red is bad.” – Breitler

 

Click here to read Alex Breitler’s post on his blog.

The environmental movement faces a serious challenge. More people are more disconnected from natural systems than at any other time in the history of humanity. The reasons and evidence for this are so obvious that they hardly bear repeating. In short, most of us live in vast urban areas where the rhythms and patterns of wild nature are almost totally obscured. Nor do we have much interaction with what I would call “pastoral nature,” meaning agricultural landscapes. I think it’s fair to say that most Americans couldn’t tell a spruce from a hemlock, or an adolescent cabbage from an adolescent beet. In our post-industrial world, such knowledge is superfluous. If all of your basic needs are met through the modern magic of fossil fuels and industrial farming, then it’s easy to ignore nonhuman nature, to forget that it even exists.

Click here to read more at alternet.org

Here’s a quirky quiz posted on the BBC Nature site to see how much of a worldwide wildlife wonk you are. Happy New Year!

Click here to take the quiz

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