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News from The Treetalker

WWF“What does ‘protecting people and forests,
supporting economic growth’ mean to you?”

Forest News, Gabrielle Lipton, July 12, 2018, Dateline: Indonesia

At the 2018 Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit, Forest News spoke to the director for The Nature Conservancy about rethinking the way forests factor into development, if they are to keep giving us the things we want and need.

The initial economic growth of these countries has been fueled by harvesting and selling of timber. This area holds about 60% of the world’s population, and as people’s lifestyle improves, forested land disappears in favor of agriculture, animal husbandry and mining. This results in poor air quality because of carbon emissions.

The organizations attending the Summit are working to advance ideas about ways to help the population’s economic growth continue to expand without cutting down all the trees.

Read this article here.

Xavier Cortada

T Agitprop—12 Artists on Climate Change, by Zoe Lescaze of the New York Times, August 22, 2018

A strongly visual article about the work of 12 contemporary artists who focus on several different aspects of climate change, such as rising sea levels, or connections to other living species and our affect on them, the destruction of beautiful natural landscapes, the extraction of resources from the land, the impact of more powerful storms on society and critically endangered species and the issue of extinction.

Visit the article for a look at some of their works and their stories.

Xavier Leoty:AFP

From Angelique Chrisafis, in France, for The Guardian, August 24, 2018
Choose a Side: the Battle to Keep French Isle McDonald’s-Free

The Mayor of Ile d’Oleron, the second-biggest island off mainland france after Corsica, is a major tourist destination is leading the fight, saying the island is “not about mass consumption.” Others say, “Oleron is a beautiful place, it’s important to protect it. We don’t need McDonald’s in a place that is pioneering local organic food, sustainable development, zero waste and alternative ways of living that aren’t about mass consumption.”

The battle has been going on for 4 years. Recently, a court in Poitiers ruled that the town had no legal basis to stop McDonald’s and must let them come in or pay fines on a daily basis. The verdict on the appeal is due next month.

Read the article here.

Dmitry Kostyukov:NYT

Also from the New York Times:
Paris Bees at Work From Notre-Dame to the Luxembourg Gardens
Paris has seen a marked rise in urban beekeeping, with more than 1,000 hives atop landmark buildings as well as in community gardens across the city.
By Alissa J. Rubin, August 24, 2018

Hives have been on the roof of the Opera Garnier for over 30 years; there are hives on top of Notre-Dame Cathedral, and Luxembourg Gardens have been home to honeybees for over 150 years. They also give apiculture classes, with perhaps 200 people graduating every year.

Paris officials want to ensure that there will be enough bees to service the trees and flowers of the many local parks, gardens and cemeteries. “Perhaps one reason people now want to keep bees is that it’s a way of participating in the protection of the environment.”

Paris has all but ensured the relative purity of its honey by eliminating the use of pesticides in city parks and gardens, and forbidding pesticides on plantings on home terraces and roofs, as well as cemeteries.

Read the article here.


Remember, Secret Voices from the Forest—Volume Three: The East is now available, $32.95 on Amazon.

cover proof #1

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News from The Treetalker

Focus on: the Rainbow Snake

    Highly aquatic, this beautiful snake can be found among floating vegetation in freshwater streams, along riverbanks and in cypress swamps and marshes of the coastal plain of southern North America. Not a great deal is known about


this non-venomous species, as it is very reclusive and spends most of its life in the water or hiding in available cover.
As an adult, the Rainbow snake eats only American eels. Landlubbers such as myself probably never consider that eels are fish, with a complicated life cycle that begins in the Sargasso Sea. Visit this page for the rest of the article.

Young gorillas are working together to destroy poachers’ traps in Rwanda

Reblogged from Eben Diskin, June 5, 2018 – visit here for the full article:

Joakim Odelberg.jpg

Photo: Joachim Odelberg

The famed Highland Gorillas of the Rwanda National Park have apparently learned how to dismantle the traps that poachers have been setting for them, and have teamed up to do the job.  Kick ass! Read the original – it’s not very long.

Bringing more Green power to the Res, with Renewable energy:

Rachel Hamalian, volunteer from Trees, Water and People, reports from Pine Ridge about the Lakota Solar Enterprises. They say this about themselves:
“In partnership with Trees, Water & People (TWP), Lakota Solar Enterprises founded and now operates the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC), where Native Americans from around the country come to receive hands-on training in renewable energy applications from fellow Native American trainers. RCREC’s facilities also include demonstration solar air furnaces, a solar electric system, straw bale home demonstration sites, a wind turbine, green houses and garden, buffalo from the Red Cloud herd, and wind break and shade trees. In addition to educating about the benefits of renewable energy, RCREC’s workshops are creating green jobs for residents of Pine Ridge, S.D., as well as visiting trainees from other tribes. As tribal leaders learn how to incorporate sustainable technology into housing plans, employment training, and energy strategies, the impact will increase exponentially.”

from the NY Times weekly newsletter, Climate Fwd:

from June 27, 2018, both positive and negative. Please visit the page for the stories in their entirety. The reporters are Henry Fountain, Livia Albeck-Ripka, John Schwartz and Brad Plumer

Getty images

Bad News for Ozone Layer Recovery  (Getty Images)

1)  Research by an investigative reporter from the Times, stationed in Beijing, has shown that there’s a high probability that several businesses in China are supplying and/or using CFC-11, even though it’s long been banned. This could delay the restoration of atmospheric ozone by 10 years or more.

Maine Lobster – Greta Rybus for The New York Times

2)  Apparently climate change can be bad for some, good for others. There has been a recent boom of Maine’s lobster fishery. Warming waters and conservation efforts by the lobstermen has helped the industry increase by 500%.

Carl de Souza:Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

3)  Brazil isn’t doing so well in it’s efforts to protect its rain forests, with more than 3 million acres cleared by ranchers, farmers and miners. Not only are fires set deliberately, to clear the land, but a severe drought last year caused the fires to spread rapidly, out of control, making the losses much worse. Double-whammy, causing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere to increase ever more.

In all the world’s tropical forests lost roughly 39 million acres of trees. This is only slightly less than the total losses from 2016. Tropical forests are shrinking overall, with losses outweighing the gains. And they’re just talking about tropical forests. . .


Arkansas Rig – Andrea Morales for The New York Times

4)  From a new study that came out in mid-June, in the journal Science, we see that much, much more methane (the main component of natural gas) is leaking from domestic oil and gas operations than the industry admits – nearly 2 ½ percent – you might think, “That’s not much,” but in truth, it’s enough to fuel 10 million homes for a year.

Methane has the capacity to warm the planet 80 times as much as the same amount of carbon dioxide, over a 20-year period, if it escapes into the atmosphere before being burned. If the rate of leakage rises above 4 percent, it could actually be worse for climate change than burning coal!

The good news is that most of the leakage is fixable at a relatively low cost, and the fix would pay for itself with income from the saved gas, which is estimated to be some $2 billion a year. Exxon Mobil, the largest gas producer in the country, hopes to reduce its methane emissions by 15 percent over the next year and a half.

Not sure if that’s a sufficient sense of urgency.


That’s all the news for this posting. Don’t forget, Volume 3 of my series, Secret Voices from the Forest—Thoughts and Dreams of North American Trees, is brand new, and available through Amazon. Here’s the link.

Vol. 3 - The East copy

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Positive stories about Trees and the Environment

First up: Christmas Trees Get a Second Life as Plant Food During New York City’s annual MulchFest Recycling Program January 10-11. So get out there today and tomorrow, New Yorkers!!

Daniel Avila

and … Maine Farm Feeding Goats Discarded Christmas Trees


These stories and more can be found at my website.

And about the Environment in General: India’s Prime Minister Modi’s government just targeted $100 billion worth of investments to support reaching the ambitious goal of installing 100 gigawatts of solar energy by 2022


New York City set to Ban Enviromentally Troublesome Polystyrene Foam Coffee Cups and Food Containers – a Victory for Cleaner Streets, Parks and Waterways


Environment, environmental agencies, global warming, Nature, trees, Trees in the News

Stories from the Treetalker- Winter Solstice – 2014

Stories from the Treetalker- Winter Solstice – 2014

(Well, it’s only a day away.)

The Yuroks, CA’s largest tribe, is supplementing their income, not by selling their forests, but by selling carbon credits to some of the state’s biggest polluters. Believed to be a force in ultimately reducing carbon emissions, there is, of course, a lot of debate. Visit my website for details of this and the other stories.

Brian van der Brug

photo: Brian van der Brug, for the L.A. Times

 The U.S. Forest Service is growing “elite,” genetically resistant Whitebark pine trees to improve the chances of survival of the key high-elevation species, which blister rust is wiping out in the Northern Rockies. 

Tanya Murphy

photo: Tanya Murphy

Six years after a catastrophic coal ash spill in Tennessee washed away homes and polluted rivers, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday the first federal regulations for the toxic wastes created by coal burned to produce electricity. Many believe it is nowhere near enough regulation, believing coal ash should be classified as “hazardous waste.”

Gerry Broome:AP

photo: Gerry Broome, A.P.

Governor Cuomo of NY State bans fracking in the state. The state of New York has now developed the most comprehensive, deep-diving evaluation in the country of the science as it currently stands on fracking. You can be sure that affected communities and advocates in states across the nation will be bringing these science and health facts to their decision makers.


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Environmental and Tree News/The Treetalker

Environmental and Tree News/The Treetalker

Lotsa stories this week: First, an Indonesian project, funded by the Dutch branch of Oxfam, is helping survivors of the Dec 26, 2004 Tsunami to plant Mangroves and Casuarina trees along vulnerable coastlines, which is hoped will protect residents from future disaster, revive nature and improve local livelihoods.

Indonesian Mangrove forest/photo:Eric Guinther

Rainforest Rescue, funded by the Arbor Day Foundation, is working with locals in Madagascar to implement reforestation, which will also help wildlife. They gather fruit seeds that have been partially digested by lemurs, planting them in nurseries for eventual replanting.

The Nature Conservancy of Tennessee has partnered with Nashville’s Metro Parks to install custom tree signs in Centennial Park that have scanable QR codes and web addresses where you can go directly to a video of a Nashville music artist, telling you about that type of tree and why it’s important to us. Including Reba MacEntire, Will Hoge, Big Kenny.

John Partipilo/The Tennessean

Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen is funding a lawsuit against the Dept. of the Interior. The suit claims that allowing coal mining companies to do business on public lands without considering the environmental ramifications of doing so violates the National Environmental Policy Act.

photo: Associated Press

The Lima, Peru climate summit talks have continued past the dates of the conference. They aim to advance a new global treaty, but the talks have been hampered by the “rich nation/poor nation issue. US’s John Kerry says, “No country should have a free pass.”

photo: Reuters

And last, but not least—for me, anyway, since my books are all about what the trees have to say . . .

Plants Can Hear You! – a video with Trace Dominguez/Discovery News from March, 2013, talking about research that has shown that plants can not only hear you, but feel you, smell you, and remember things. (So vegetarians aren’t so kind after all!)


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Treetalker Stories for Nov 15

Three stories this week: _77763865_777591091st, Liberia is to become the first nation in Africa to completely stop cutting down its trees – Norway will pay the impoverished country $150 million to stop deforestation by 2020. (BBC)

Next, The American Chestnut Foundation and the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry have BOTH taken on the challenge of returning the American chestnut to North American Forests, albeit in their own unique ways. It’s a good story. Check out my website and links to find out more.

54526e1c0079e.preview-620 _77763865_77759109

Lastly – as I’ve said before, the greening of the cities by planting fruit and nut trees for the benefit of the citizenry is an up and coming idea. Another example is happening in Davenport, Iowa. Christened the Quad-Cities Community Food Forest, it will contain pawpaw (the poor man’s banana!) American persimmon, chestnut (probably not the American species) and pecan. What a great idea – keep it up, America!!

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New stories from The Treetalker

First, a 250 year old Bur oak gets moved at the Ann Arbor campus of the U of Michigan to make way for the expansion of the Ross Business School – controversial, because it was pricey to do, but in the immortal words of George Pope Morris, “Woodman, spare that tree!”


Also, a lovely slide show of the Bristlecone pine, photos courtesy of Linda and Dr. Dick Busher. Check out my website for that:

Also some additional stories you may find of interest:

A CSIRO test plant in Australia has broken a world record and proved solar power could efficiently replace fossil fuels. “… this step proves solar has the potential to compete with the peak performance capabilities of fossil fuel sources,” says Dr. Alex Wonhas, CSIRO’s Energy Director.

orchard2Research is being done to ascertain the role of various antibiotic-producing soil microbes in the composition and variety of tree species in tropical rainforests.

And—seems to be catching on, this— The U of Pennsylvania community is coming together to plant a campus orchard. These guys aren’t the first, and hopefully won’t be the last.