Bulletin: War has been an environmental disaster for Ukraine

If Russia embarks on a full-scale invasion of Ukraine—as military maneuvering suggests it might—US intelligence officials estimate that between 25,000 to 50,000 civilians could die. An additional 5,000 to 25,000 Ukrainian soldiers and 3,000 to 10,000 Russian soldiers could also be killed. While the toll on human life would be steep, a full-scale military invasion would also have long-lasting environmental impacts in Ukraine.

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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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