Amazon Deforestation Accelerates as Pandemic Hinders Enforcement

Plant, Restore Soil, Repeat ; Privacy Versus Health Is a False Trade-Off ; and More Picks

Brazil, deforestation spike, pandemic
The author writes, “With hundreds of environmental enforcement agents sidelined by the pandemic, deforestation in Brazil's Amazon has increased to its fastest pace in years — and the season when clearing typically accelerates hasn't even begun yet. Satellite data collected by Brazil's National Institute for Space Research from August 2019 through March show 2,031 square miles of new clearings, nearly the size of Delaware. The newly deforested area is 71% larger than the previous high for the equivalent period, which was recorded in 2016 and 2017.” Photo credit: NOAA / Wikimedia/a>
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Plant, Restore Soil, Repeat. Could Nature Help Curb Climate Change? (Mili)

From the Christian Science Monitor: “‘Nature-based solutions’ are the latest climate buzzwords, offering a strategy to fight climate change that is gaining widespread and bipartisan support. But what does it mean to do this well?”

McConnell Says He Favors Allowing States to Declare Bankruptcy (DonkeyHotey)

The authors write, “McConnell said he was reluctant to take on more debt for any rescue. … The idea of allowing states to file for bankruptcy was raised in the wake of the last recession. It drew widespread disdain from Wall Street investors, public employee unions and both Republican and Democratic governors, who said it would unsettle the bond market and cause even the most fiscally sound states to face higher interest rates because of the risk the debt could be wiped out in court.”

Trump Administration Turns to Peter Thiel’s Palantir to Track Coronavirus (Russ)

From the Daily Beast: “The data-mining firm … is best known for its work with global intelligence, military, and law enforcement agencies. Now, the company has a contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to help the federal government create a new data platform called HHS Protect Now.”

Privacy Versus Health Is a False Trade-Off (Chris)

The authors write, “We can achieve the public health benefits of data without accepting abusive and illicit surveillance.”

Bats Get Blamed for the Coronavirus. But Bats Face Their Own Virus Risk — From Humans (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Until we have a better understanding about the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus to North American bats,” [bat biologist Alice Chung-MacCoubrey] said, the government is advising that “wildlife researchers, rehabbers and wildlife control operators avoid handling or coming within close proximity of bats.”

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