Bulletin: O redwood tree, o redwood tree, can tree genetics save thee?

The devastating wildfires that ripped through California this year and last consumed nearly a fifth of the world’s giant sequoias, the largest trees on Earth by volume. According to official estimates, between 13 and 19 percent of the 75,000 sequoias over 4 feet in diameter were lost in just two years. While sequoias evolved with wildfire and need it to open their seed cones and to clear the forest floor so the seeds can germinate, the fires over the last two years—exacerbated by climate change-driven drought—were simply too hot.

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Bulletin: Author and activist Bill McKibben on the “timed test” of the climate crisis

When it comes to the climate crisis, author and environmentalist Bill McKibben hasn’t been a fully “objective journalist” since he finished penning his first book, The End of Nature, over three decades ago, and realized he didn’t want the world to burn up. While McKibben continues to write on the subjects of climate and the environment for publications like The New Yorker, The Nation, and the Bulletin, in recent years his attentions and energies have been at least equally spent on climate activism. The organization that McKibben and others founded in 2008, 350.org, is now a vast operation that has affiliations with some 300 other climate organizations around the world.

Earlier this year, McKibben founded a new group for Americans over the age of 60 called Third Act and started a Substack newsletter called The Crucial Years. In an interview with Bulletin associate editor Jessica McKenzie, McKibben discusses these new endeavors, when he realized the fight over climate was more about money and power than science and evidence, the technological shifts that make climate action easier now than 10 years ago, and which environmental crisis McKibben believes is underappreciated by the general public.

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Bulletin: “Harrowing” intelligence report still downplays threat of climate change to national security

In late October, 18 US intelligence agencies forecast that Americans will face “massive” impacts and “wrenching” adjustments because of climate change over the next two decades. The warning was buried on the last page of a report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on the threat climate change poses to US national security. The report states that the world is unlikely to meet the Paris Agreement’s stated goals for decarbonization and outlines scenarios that will probably play out, including geopolitical tensions that will arise as countries play the climate crisis blame game, and how climate change will exacerbate political instability around the globe. It is the first-ever National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to focus on the climate crisis, but a former intelligence analyst said the document downplays the risks.

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National Geographic: Love wild swimming? Try lake bagging

Karen Byer, 61, knows she’ll never join the 13,000 “ADK 46ers” who have summited all 46 of the major peaks in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. For one thing, she isn’t a fan of heights. But she’s part of an even more exclusive club of adventurers: the “ADK 47 Lakers,” a playful appellation for the small crew of “lake baggers” who have swum 47 lakes in the Adirondack Park.

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