The Global Extinction Crisis – The New York Times

Nowadays, with climate change being such an urgent problem, people often think that it is the main cause of animal and plant extinctions. It is true that it will play an increasingly devastating role. But for now, the main driver is simply taking over or changing the habitats of wildlife on land and at sea.

This dynamic was fully visible on Wednesday when federal officials announced a batch of new extinctions. A total of 22 animals and one plant are expected to be declared extinct and removed from the endangered species list, they said.

It may be a glimpse of the future. The announcement comes as the global biodiversity crisis worsens and threatens to wipe out a million species, many of them within decades.

I’ve interviewed biologists, federal wildlife officials, activists, and bird watchers. Some were choking as we spoke. Many hoped that these extinctions would teach humans a lesson. Please read the full article here.

Quote: “Each of these 23 species represents a permanent loss to our country’s natural heritage and to global biodiversity,” said Bridget Fahey, who oversees species classification for the Fish and Wildlife Service. “And it’s a sobering reminder that extinction is a consequence of human-caused environmental change.”

World leaders will meet in Scotland in November for COP26, the next round of international climate negotiations, and you can be there too. Join us at the New York Times Climate Hub, in person or online, to explore one of the most pressing questions of our time: How do we adapt and thrive on a changing planet? Tickets on

By the end of the century, more frequent and severe natural disasters could shrink the eurozone economy by 10% if no new climate change mitigation policies are introduced, according to a new report. In comparison, the transition costs would not exceed 2% of the gross domestic product.

Hurricane Ida, which hit the Louisiana coast with winds of nearly 150 miles per hour this summer, appears to have caused an increase in oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration began using satellite imagery to track oil leaks a decade ago. Normally, the agency detects about 25 spills per month across the country. In the two weeks since Ida, however, authorities released a total of 55 spill reports for the Gulf alone, including one near a fragile nature reserve.

It highlights the susceptibility of the region’s offshore oil and gas infrastructure to intensifying storms fueled by climate change. You can see an interactive map of the spills in the article I wrote with my colleague Blacki Migliozzi.

Quote: “The old pipelines are going to come loose, be moved, dragged over other things,” said Frank Rusco, director of natural resources and environment at the federal office of responsibility. “It really is a dangerous situation there.”

The Biden administration finalized critical climate change regulations to limit the use of chemicals that heat the planet used in refrigeration and air conditioning.

The Environmental Protection Agency rule would reduce chemicals, known as hydrofluorocarbons, by 85 percent over the next 15 years, according to official estimates. It would also help meet President Biden’s goal of halving U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

It is the key to American credibility. The United States is expected to show progress in its efforts to reduce emissions when world leaders meet at a global climate summit in Scotland in November. So far, the Biden administration has implemented few other completed policies.

Starting Friday, the United States will begin a national experiment in climate adaptation: forcing Americans to pay something closer to the true cost of their individual flood risk, which increases as the planet warms. The change will be felt the hardest in the towns and villages around Tampa Bay, where some homeowners will eventually see the cost of their federal flood insurance increase tenfold.

Federal officials say the goal is fairness – many homeowners further from the coast, whose flood insurance premiums often exceeded their risk under the old pricing system, will see their rates drop. But another goal is to get owners of hazardous areas to understand the extent of the risk they face, and perhaps move to safer ground, thereby reducing the human and financial toll of disasters.

Lawmakers on both sides are lining up to block the new tariffs, which will be phased in over several years. But if the new system goes ahead, it could have profound consequences for coastal real estate – changing where Americans build homes and how much people are willing to pay for it.

I’ve spoken with Florida homeowners facing sharp increases in their insurance bills, as well as elected officials who oppose the changes and flood experts who insist they are long overdue. . Whoever wins, the fight against flood insurance reveals a key truth about large-scale efforts to reduce Americans’ exposure to climate change: Not everyone will be happy with the outcome.

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