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6 Big Environmental Stories to Watch in 2022 • The Revelator
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6 Big Environmental Stories to Watch in 2022 • The Revelator

President Biden

New opportunities and new environmental threats are both part of the new year.

Many environmental issues, as we see every year, tend to be overlooked. Although climate change has seen some media coverage, there are still many important stories that are overlooked or ignored by partisan outlets. The media spends very little time or space on stories about endangered species, pollution, or sustainability.

This could be why legislators or the general population don’t pay much attention to these issues.

We can change that. Here are six of the most important, but often ignored, environmental stories. The RevelatorIt is expected that more will follow in 2022.

Following last year’s difficult elections, we declared 2021 to be the start of rebuilding years.

This has been somewhat true: Many of the antienvironmental initiatives and deregulatory attempts made by the previous administrations have fallen like dominoes under President Biden.

Biden has failed to live up to his campaign promises regarding environmental issues in other ways. The administration licensed, most notably. new fossil fuel drilling rightsHe will be moving at a rapid pace in 2021, in stark contradiction to the candidates’ promises (and even some early symbolic actions such as his executive orders to make the U.S. Government more efficient) Carbon-neutral by 2050).

President Biden
Photo: Dept. Photo: Dept.

The Beltway press doesn’t get into this as much, but all eyes should be on Bidens next environmental move. Can he address the real threats to the planet? Or will this administration fail to address the real threats to biodiversity and climate?

We are guessing that it will be a mixture of both.

The November 2022 midterm election will be the real test of the political pudding. It could pose long-term problems for the planet. The increasingly authoritarian Republican Party is doing everything possible to win the 2022 & 2024 elections in its favor. This includes voter suppression, redistricting and removing bipartisan election officials. They even passed legislation to allow the GOP to throw out election results that it doesn’t like. All the while perpetuating the damaging Big Lie, election fraud, to discredit the entire process.

This must be a core component of the stories that are told in the coming year. It should be the responsibility of the media, other legislators and activists, as well as voters. Trump, or someone like him, could ascend to the presidency again in 2024 or if Republicans take over Congress in 2022. Then it’s one step closer for the planet to be illuminated.

Many big-picture studies identified the extinction risks of large groups species in the past year. The studies revealed that shark species are at risk in three quarters of the world’s oceans. 30% of trees, Half of all turtles, 16% of damselflies and dragonflies, 30% of European birdsAnd 16% of Australian birds.

Then, of course there were the extinctions.

ivory-billed woodpecker
Photo: Tristan Loper (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Unfortunately, we don’t anticipate any of this to slow down by 2022. Sources have already informed us of potential extinction declarations for species that aren’t seen in many decades.

They are rarely covered in the mainstream media, as is the case with most conservation stories. We will do our best to bring you the latest news, as well conservation success stories, that often get overlooked in our if bleeds it leads media environment.

The pandemic will continue to impact conservation efforts, so it is important to keep these issues front and center. Although there has been less ground research in the past two years, some scientists have begun to get out into the field.

What about important international meetings? More than 190 countries are currently meeting in April to discuss international agreements to protect nature. One reminder that vaccines have not been distributed equally around the globe is the arrival of the Omicron variant. This meeting and others like it could be in danger.

But life has its way. Zoom is always available, even if we are unable to do work in the wild or in person. Without today’s online communication tools, the research that concluded sharks are at high risk of extinction wouldn’t have been possible. These events may not generate as much media attention, however they will generate stories that are worth telling if you are open to listening.

Will this be the year that the United States finally gets the message about plastic pollution’s dangers?

Let’s hope so. ReportAccording to the National Academy of Sciences, the United States is the top contributor to this problem. The report was published in December. According to the report in December, the United States produced more plastic waste than any other country in 2016, a staggering 42 millions metric tons. This is twice the amount of China and more than all of the European Union.

Marine litter
Plastic washes ashore along with other marine litter. (Photo by Bo Eide. Public domain)

The report was mandated by Congress and recommends that the United States develop a comprehensive policy for reducing plastic waste in the environment. Legislators could jump on this if Congress passed it. Get Rid of Plastic ActIntroduced last March

There is another strategy: stop the extraction of fossil fuels for plastic feedstocks, and stop the build up of huge amounts of plastic. New petrochemical plants. The Army Corps of Engineers is currently conducting an environmental review of a project worth $9 billion. Formosa Plastics, projectLouisiana, St. James Parish. This could be a good start for future progress.

No matter what happens to the other issues, the focus must remain on this issue which not only poisons communities but also worsens the climate crisis. It’s time to take leadership not just in this nation, but worldwide.

It should not be surprising that we are now in for a wild weather ride every single year due to climate change, which increases the heat and supercharges many wildfires and storms.

The United States had an average of seven weather and climate events exceeding $1 million each between 1980 and 2020. However, the average weather and climate events in the United States surpassed $1 billion each between 1980 and 2020. Average has shot up to 16.

Researchers are able to more accurately identify the effects of climate change on specific weather events. A Climate Brief investigationScientists have pioneered the field of extreme event attribution. World Weather AttributionThe study showed that climate change had made 70% of 405 extreme events more likely or worse. This connection should be made more often by media.

We know it is coming. So what can we do? You can expect to see more stories on climate change resilience and how states spend the $50 billion allocated to flood prevention in the new infrastructure bill. We should also see plenty of coverage about how this money gets there. It is the most needed community.

You could run or jog on the streets. race to decarbonize. Initial projections suggest that the United States will see record amounts of wind energy (27 gigawatts) and utility-scale solar (44gigawatts), as well as six times more energy storage (8 gigawatts), in 2022.

Moreover, 28% of U.S.-based coal plants are expected to be built in the future. Nearby 2035.

Going solar
New solar panels. Photo by Glacier National Park/National Park Service

However, don’t hold onto those projections for renewables. Rising costs and supply-chain issues could lead to rising costs. Some planned projects can be slowed or stopped. Renewables, on the other hand, are more affordable. Could see a significant boostIf Congress is able to pass the Build Back better bill.

Ramping renewables will present some other challenges that we should be aware of: Can raw materials such as lithium and cobalt still be sourced without putting lives at risk? Human rightsOr TerrestrialWhat about marine ecosystems? Can projects be planned and managed in a way that doesn’t exacerbate biodiversity issues? Can we make sure that the poorest communities and communities of colour that have been impacted by the fossil fuel economy are the first beneficiaries of the energy transition and the leaders in it? These are the kinds of difficult questions that everyone should ask as we make this important transition.

Even during the pandemics, dedicated environmental activists refused silence.

In the last few months, there has been a dramatic rise of direct action. Climate protestors temporarily have been temporarily represented. disrupting Australias largest coal portBy scaling and then suspending themselves above massive machinery, you can go on a Public 14-day hunger strikes, Protecting a sacred waterwayBritish Columbia protesting for voting rightsAnd much more.

They are just warming up. The Extinction Rebellion climate protest group promised a return to direct actionNow that vaccination rates are actually higher, they’ve been Very ActiveThese are the last few weeks.

Extinction Rebellion
Extinction Rebellion activists blockade ExxonMobil fuel terminal in Yarraville in Melbourne in December 2021. Photo: Matt Mhkac (CC BY 2.0)

Protests and disruptions are a result of anger at government and corporate resistance to reform. They bring the world powerful messages and dramatic images, which are often ignored by the media and legislatures. These events might not be very successful on their own but when they are combined, they can make a difference.

This is why such activism can be so risky. Last month, Chilean activist Javiera Rojas was assassinatedThe latest in a string of violent attacks and deaths against environmental defenders all over the globe.

These are the stories that we all need to see and the messages that we should never forget.

23 Gone, There’s Countless More to Save

Creative Commons

The editor of The Revelator. His work has been published in The Guardian, an award-winning environmental journalist. Scientific American, Audubon, Motherboard, and many other magazines and publications. His Extinction countdown column has been running continuously since 2004. It covers news and science related more than 1000 endangered species. He is a member of National Association of Science Writers and the Society of Environmental Journalists. John lives in Portland, Ore., and is surrounded by cartoonists, animals, and other people.

Is deputy editor The RevelatorShe has been a digital editor and an environmental journalist for over ten years. Her focus is on the intersections between energy, water, and climate. Her work has been published in The Nation, American Prospect, High Country News, Grist, Pacific StandardOthers. She is the editor for two books on the global crisis of water.

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