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Justin Catanoso is a North Carolina-based journalist with 30 years of experience in covering health care, science, economic development and business. He is a Pulitzer Prize nominee and winner of the Science-in-Society Award for his coverage of the tobacco industry in the early 1990s. He has published travel stories from the U.S., Italy, Austria, Thailand and Canada. After 13 years as founding executive editor of The Business Journal in Greensboro, N.C., he is now director of journalism at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Your plastic is getting to the Caribbean more often than you are, and it’s spoiling your next visit

Who left their trash behind on this remote Caribbean island? Then I realized. It wasn’t left. It arrived. An endless flotilla of refuse heedlessly sent from afar. It’s heartbreaking. The image of a lone bottle washing up on a remote tropical island is the clichéd stuff of literature, movies and New Yorker cartoons. But what…

Much Maligned REDD+ Gets a Boost from Above for Climate Mitigation

LIMA, Peru (Dec. 8) – As the United Nations climate negotiations enter their second and final week, some progress – and thus some optimism — was claimed late Monday. They were small steps. And because huge leaps seem impossible in grappling with this global crisis, even small steps take on growing importance. At a carefully…

Unilever CEO: The saving face of corporate climate change

LIMA, Peru — The man behind the podium Sunday at the Global Landscapes Forum, an offshoot of the annual United Nations negotiations on climate change being held here, spoke in blunt terms: “Commercial agriculture accounted for 71 percent of tropical deforestation in the last 12 years. That translates into the loss of 130 million hectares…

Now starring as diplomat: Bianca Jagger defends forests at UN climate talks in Peru

LIMA, Peru – Whatever her youthful reputation as the wife of a world-famous rock star and glittery jet setter, Bianca Jagger has committed much of the past 30 years of her life to advancing causes associated with human rights and environmental protection in the developing world. On Sunday morning, during a side event connected with…

Woods Hole Research Center responds to misleading NY Times op-ed on climate change

  Climate scientists everywhere reacted with stunned outrage  as word spread about an op-ed piece in the New York Times on Sept. 20, 2014 under the headline: “To Save The Planet, Don’t Plant Trees.” Operating on kernals of truth that distort and misinterpret far larger facts and realities about the role of forests — tropical…

Peru’s first-ever high-resolution carbon map could help the world breathe easier

To put an accurate price on carbon, you need to know how much you have and where it’s located, researchers say Stanford University scientists have produced the first-ever high-resolution carbon geography of Peru, a country whose tropical forests are among the world’s most vital in terms of mitigating the global impact of climate change. Released…

Unlined and Dangerous: Duke Energy’s 32 Coal Ash Ponds in North Carolina Pose a Threat to Groundwater

Duke Energy’s coal ash pond in Eden, N.C., which dumped 39,000 tons of poisonous sludge and slurry into the Dan River on Feb. 2 — the third-largest such spill in U.S. history — has refocused national attention on the environmental damage these holding ponds can render. But the damage isn’t just confined to when the…

Jobs Go First, Then Recreation? Duke Energy’s N.C. Coal Ash Spill Spoils the Garden in Eden

Rockingham County promotes its rivers as economic revitalization; a massive, toxic spill threatens that effort EDEN, N.C. — Mark Bishopric doesn’t want to sound alarmist. However churned up he might feel inside about the coal ash spill in the Dan River, one of the worst in U.S. history and  just a few miles from his…

Corridors to Survival: Charting a Path to Combat Climate Change in the Tropics

New findings from Woods Hole Research Center scientists use satellite data to recommend habitat corridors between protected areas in the tropics to promote long-term conservation. The concept of habitat corridors in conservation has been around for a while. It’s a topic at global climate talks and an issue for NGOs eager to create pathways for…

Can Green Replace Gold When it Comes to REDD?

Warsaw climate talks give surprise boost to a struggling UN plan to provide incentives to reduce deforestation Chris Meyer sounded cautiously optimistic on the phone a few days ago. He’s had plenty of time to reflect on the two-week UN climate negotiations in Warsaw in November. Those talks yielded only modest progress on a range…

The Promise of REDD: Giving Tropical Countries a Choice in Whether to Decimate Their Forests

A U.N. program to reduce emissions faces stiff obstacles as it seeks to gain momentum in Warsaw A cruel irony of climate change is that countries that ring the equator – most of them poor and eager to develop – possess an incredibly valuable asset that they can only monetize if they destroy it: their…

Will Climate Change Imperil Your Cup of Starbucks?

A UN panel to conclude that rising temperatures will pose a risk to future food supplies. I never would have noticed it as I hiked down through a dense Andean cloud forest. The stubby tree with broad, thick leaves stood out no more to me than the endless jungle depths of ferns, schefflera and tree-clinging…

Politics of Climate Change: A Jungle Conversation

“Why can’t we just look at this subject on its own merits and weigh the evidence and what to do?” When it comes to global warming, Yadvinder Malhi, a leading tropical biologist from Oxford University, said he’s confounded by how the United States has transformed what is essentially a complex scientific issue into a battle…

We’re Living in the Tropics

When it comes to climate change, we live on a tropical planet, we just don’t realize it Finally, it seems, the world’s warmer climates – so often overlooked when it comes to the impact of climate change – shared the spotlight in a high-profile analysis of the earth’s steadily rising temperatures. The tropics, not the…