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Dr. Reese Halter

Dr. Reese Halter has 78 articles published.

Trump Greenlights Destruction of America’s Amazon-like Rainforest

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Nestled along 500 miles of Alaska’s verdant Inside Passage there are spellbinding skyscraper Sitka spruce, giant western hemlocks, colossal  western redcedars and weathered 1,800-year-old yellow cedars. The hallowed old-growth temperate rainforest is ruled by the monarchs of nature, three-quarter ton grizzly bears. Altogether, some 17 million dripping, breathing, climate-making Mother Earth forested acres are guarding a whopping eight percent of all the carbon held in the United States. The Tongass National Forest is America’s Amazon rainforest. It contains about one-third of the sanctified old-growth temperate forests left on our man-besieged planet. That priceless rainforest is every American (and planetary) Gen Zs birthright, and Donald J. Trump, the chief promoter of extinction, has just signed off on the death warrants for more than half of it, some 9 million acres.

Yellow cedar tree rings are living museums. They provide an unparalleled looking glass into the climate when the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great established his capital at Constantinople in 330CE (much later becoming Istanbul, Turkey).
Image Credit: Reddit
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Vengeance: Climate Fires

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* As I’m writing, the air is putrid and acrid. A fog of death has cloaked Washington, Oregon and California. Climate fires have incinerated about five million acres – a once-in-a-generation-event – and they are far from over.

The enormity and ferocity of these man-made, global heating fires is gobsmacking. The climate has reached a planetary tipping point. The only unknown is how we survive it – especially with Republicans intoxicated on Trumpism, recklessly reassured by Rupert Murdoch’s science-denying talking heads.

Four hundred and fifty million honeybees were burned to death during the December 2019 Australian climate-driven bushfires. Image credit: ABC News

*My upcoming book Gen Z Emergency has chronicled the hideous 2019-2020, worst-ever, Australian climate fires. More than one billion of our brethren and sistren, the animals, were cremated. This does not include frogs and insects, which would have elevated that number into several billions.

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A Sweet Story

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*Science is exhilarating, challenging and rich with rewards. As a scientist, the bees have shown me many things.

Last week, the bees revealed a lesson on speed and stamina. At 230 wingbeats per second, on my bicycle, I clocked one gal soaring down the street at 27 miles per hour (mph)!

honeybees
An indefatigable worker on a nectar run. Image credit: Reese Halter

She had an empty load. When topped-up with nectar, pollen, water or tree resin (used to make propolis, or bee glue), a honeybee can reach an impressive 20mph. She can maintain that stamina for possibly a couple miles or more.

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America’s Bees – 55 Billion Dead, Feds Drop Bee Survey

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*America’s bees are in big trouble. Instead of protecting our important buzzing brethren and those who  faithfully tend to them, the Trump administration is overtly pandering to Big Chem, the makers of more deadly nerve poisons.

Normally, a beekeeper can expect to lose about 12 percent of a colony to overwintering deaths. Since 2006, U.S. beekeepers have lost around 30 percent of their hives each winter. The winter of 2007-08 recorded a death spike of 36 percent. Some beekeepers were forced into bankruptcy.

America's Bees
Image credit: Reese Halter

Since then, my colleagues have conducted hundreds of scientific studies on the deadly effects of a wide array of nerve poisons used in commercial insecticides e.g. neonicotinoidssulfoxaflorflupyradifurone, chlorpyrifos. When honeybees encounter less than a dozen parts per billion of these nerve poisons, they instantaneously exhibit the full strength symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The Einsteins of the insect world lose their minds and shake to death.  Horrible. Keep Reading

Baking, Starving, Flooding, Goodnight Fossil Fuels

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*June was the hottest month ever recorded. At the G20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, U.S. President Donald Trump refused to sign a joint statement by the other 19 members on combating Man-made global heating. In the meantime, baking, starving and flooding are accelerating globally with vengeance.

Last week, France recorded its all-time hottest temperature, 114.6F (45.9C). Scientists reported that the recent European heatwave was at least five times more likely and 7.2F (4C) hotter due to global heating from burning planet-destroying fossil fuels. Keep Reading

Eavesdropping on Nature

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*Go outside. Close your eyes. Listen. What do you hear? There’s a whole world around us that’s rich with Nature’s symphony, or, soundscape, that we are all inexorably linked to.

Do you suffer from anxiety, stress, depression, burnout or low energy? If so, spend 17 minutes each day quietly breathing in Nature, preferably next to big trees. It will miraculously recalibrate your brain and boost your autoimmune system.
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Australia, Canada Commit to Unlivable Planet

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*The Great Barrier Reef and the Salish Sea have been thrown under the bus by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Justin Trudeau, Australia and Canada respectively, for more global heating subsidized fossil fuels.

What can be done to protect our only home from roasting to death?

Earth Roasting
A despondent malnourished polar bear scavenging the streets of the nickel-copper-palladium mining city of Norilsk, Russia. Image credit: Irina Yarinskaya/Zapolyarnaya Pravda/Reuters

It’s so hot that more starving Russian polar bears are entering into towns hundreds of miles away from the sea. On Monday, another heartbreaking report of a climate refugee with its paws caked in mud, emaciated, exhausted and frantically searching the streets of Norilsk, Russia, for food.

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Insane Fossil Fuel Ecocide

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*Earth is roasting right before our very eyes.

The heatwaves in Siberia and Lapland have begun with fury, again. Alaska recorded its hottest spring on record. It’s warming at 2.2C (3.96F), or, twice that of continental United States.

The more fossil fuels burned, the faster the globe heats. That means less polar ice and more global heating methane and laughing gas from the thawing soils. A deadly feedback loop.

The second heatwave in three weeks is parked over Siberia. Image credit: Twitter

At the melting North Pole, researchers have linked Man-made heat from fossil fuel combustion with the jet stream’s erratic sinuous behavior.

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1/4lb Slugs Protect Whopper Redwoods

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*Exploring the tallest forests is exhilarating. The treetops are 38 storeys, or, more than 380 feet away. The air is rich with oxygen. This must be heaven on earth!

Ambling slowly through these ancient living cathedrals is like peering back 100 million years through the looking glass of time. The dinosaurs have come and gone but not these colossal members of this exceptional race of trees.

A spring flush brings new redwood needles to exhale oxygen. Image credit: Reese Halter

In order to reach higher into the sky than any of the other 80,000 kinds of trees, these lofty monarchs need a helping hand to both get a start and survive for thousands of years. Keep Reading

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