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Educating, informing and motivating website visitors on a wide range of environmental topics. That has been the mission of Our Environment since the early 1990s. Each column features "What We Can Do" information to assist in acting on important and timely topics. Here are a few examples of our current work.

December 2019

By Jeff Stark

As I write this Australia is still burning. Some reports indicate that well over 100 fires in nearly every section of the continent are out of control. Estimates of wildlife loss go as high as 1 billion, including many endemic species which may go extinct as a result of the fires. So far about 15 million acres have burned across the country - an area roughly the size of West Virginia - and there is no reason to believe that these fires won't continue burning and growing for a long time to come.
View from space shows the scope of the fires Australia's fires are, in part, a function of the longest drought in Australia since Europeans first began to settle the continent. For several years the Australia fire season has grown by leaps and bounds and will undoubtedly continue and accelerate. Climate change is making wild fires hotter and more dispersed all the time. As urban development all over the globe continues, ... MORE

November 2019

By Jeff Stark
Fossil Fuels ExplainedIn virtually every major issue the way forward includes generating financial resources and support. In some cases this means small donors sending in double digit contributions for local issues. At the other end of the scale are large projects that require huge amounts of money. Public works projects, powerplants, specialized buildings, educational institutions, all require large amounts of investment capital. Where does this money come from? In most cases large institutional international banks.

Of those large banks none is more influential and active in funding industrial scale and international scale energy projects than ... MORE

October 2019

By Jeff Stark

Is our planet in peril?There is no doubt that the environmental movement is built on science. From the very beginning, the days of John Muir and Henry David Thoreau nascent environmentalists have relied on the science of the day to fuel their work and writings on the state of the natural world. As time went by the science of science evolved and we began to hear more about emerging environmental problems. This was in part because more of us were discovering more and more as science became better at identifying, characterizing and reporting.

Over time this new focus on the scope and origin of environmental threats began to focus on global problems. We began to understand how diverse ecosystems were interconnected and how a seemingly benign phenomenon in one area could be a precursor for ... MORE

September 2019

By Jeff Stark

Backup power from the sun Few scientific issues feature the near complete agreement that climate change does. According to the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change well over 95% of the thousands of scientists working on climate change science share the same interpretation of the massive store of climate data. The scientific consensus is firm and unshakable. Climate change is here, it is happening, and it needs to be effectively addressed.

With this in mind it seems clear that our task as a species is to prepare for the changes we know are happening, as well as the ones we have not yet identified. It is also time to make our protocols for dealing with climate change fully reflect ...MORE

August 2019

by Jeff Stark

Trump vs. the Endandered Species Act"Once again President Trump has shown us all that his lack of care for the state of the environment is second only to his lack of ability to manage the state of the economy. His latest outrage came in the form of announcing a new set of regulations that reduce the protections that the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has provided to wildlife and habitats of animal, fish, and plant life forms by reducing the efforts of the federal government to protect species that are in danger of disappearing forever.

The ESA was signed in 1973. Its basic mission requires the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service, to identify and protect species facing the risk of extinction. When a species is identified it is listed as endangered or threatened. It is then protected from hunting, harvesting or threatening the species by damaging its habitat. The government is then also required ... More