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The following blog post comes from our colleague TJ DiCaprio, who will be participating later today in the Commonwealth Club event titled ‘Forest Wars,’ and who published the article below over on Greenbiz.com.
This evening I’m participating in a discussion at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club with thought leaders from various industries to explore the environmental and economic impacts of deforestation.
Deforestation represents a large environmental issue: it is the source of 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Each year, 7 billion tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere as 35 million acres of forest are destroyed through slash and burn agriculture, logging and charcoal production. The impact is economic as well as environmental.
The New Year is upon us, and 2013 is expected to be a busy year in environmental sustainability, with GreenBiz predicting in a recent story on 2013 trends that investment in smart buildings and smart cities will continue to grow. The first few days of 2013 also included a down-to-the-wire political showdown as the fiscal cliff was narrowly averted by Congress. The environment was a winner in the final deal, which renewed the wind energy tax credit for an additional year.
Last week Microsoft Research’s Drew Purves published an article in Nature (paid access) about how computer modeling can help map the planet’s ecosystems and better understand threats to biodiversity; we blogged about the article in this post. Today our friends over at ClimateDesk published a video interview with Drew that explains in 90 seconds how computer models can predict the impact of climate change. Check it out!