let’s help

tough for us ?

haitians hardest getting past matthew’s horror
haitian death toll now reported over 1,000

pax christi florida is helping
so can we all





Pax Christi Florida donated to the Sakala program run by Pax Christi Haiti
for restoration efforts in Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince

Sakala provides a safe space in the heart of Haiti’s largest underdeveloped area
where youth come together to grow, learn, and play.

You too can donate, CLICK HERE


Recommended by Pax Christi FL member, Mary Ann Holtz

Dear friends,

Please join me in dipping into our emergency funds and/or foregoing eating out/special treats in order to share our excess with the most vulnerable in Haiti.

I spoke with my friend, David Diggs at Beyond Borders, this morning and they are already planning with their other partner organizations to respond as soon as the storm passes Haiti and staff is able to get out to assess needs.

As you may remember from prior emails from me, I have been partnering with Beyond Borders for years.  It is likely that the community I have been partnering with on LaGonav has lost its school building.  Our hope is to help get the kids back in school ASAP since this helps them recover from this trauma.

To donate in a way that ensures your sharing is used wisely and well: 

As we begin to read about and see the images of the devastation, let’s allow the grief to flow through us into prayer and action.

Mary Ann


The Quixote Center is a multi-issue grassroots organization pursuing social justice and equality. We strive to make our world, our nation, and our church more just, peaceful, and equitable in policy and practice.

Hurricane Matthew has ravaged southern Haiti, a region already fighting for survival. The storm collapsed the principal bridge connecting the region to the rest of the country, making aid and relief efforts especially challenging. Communications are largely out, and until they are restored it is impossible to know th e full extent of the damage. We are waiting to hear from two colleagues in the region. Major damages from Hurricane Matthew will be seen in lack of clean water, the destruction of homes, and the drastic depletion of livestock.

High winds and heavy rainfall have damaged homes and caused flooding of low-lying areas of Gros-Morne, but our partners report that the effects were less severe in this area than predicted. I believe that this is due in part to the massive reforestation effort that the Quixote Center network has supported in the region for more than twenty years.

I am writing to ask you to reach deep in your pocket and donate to the relief effort in the south. We will direct these funds to organizations rebuilding in Les Cayes and Jeremie. Please make a donation today to kick off the relief and rebuilding effort. A gift today will help to sustain these struggling communities in the wake of this historic storm.

From all of us at the Quixote Center and from our friends in Haiti: THANK YOU!

With Hope,

Andrew Hocchalter
To donate, CLICK HERE

Pax Christi Florida
505 Palm Avenue
Ellenton, FL 34222

Nancy O’Byrne
Pax Christi Florida’s Coordinator

enough, enough !

time to go right to the top – for ma herself
if not recognizing what happened right here, this weekend

full ICN quote below
what only make’s sense this morning
after yet more trump-awful from last night

meantime, thanks pres obama for all you’re doing
along with everyone pulling the paris agreement into action



Following the devastation from Hurricane Matthew
and a campaign urging moderators to ask a climate question,
the issue was again ignored.

By Marianne Lavelle, InsideClimate News

Oct 10, 2016

Hillary Clinton affirmed her commitment to fighting climate change, while Donald Trump pledged to take advantage of what he called “clean coal” stores that will last a thousand years, in response to a question on energy policy in Sunday night’s presidential debate.

Climate change was treated as an afterthought, despite a campaign by environmental activists urging moderators to press the candidates on the issue—especially on a weekend that saw the southeast U.S. coast battered, and Haiti devastated, by the extreme weather conditions from Hurricane Matthew.

The debate focused on topics that drove much of the presidential campaign coverage over the weekend, in particular the revelation of a video in which Trump made lewd and aggressive comments about women.

The query on energy came near the end of the contentious evening, designed in a town-hall style with undecided voters reading many of the questions. The energy question didn’t mention climate change but was focused on the nation’s production of energy. “What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs,” a member of the audience asked, “while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly, and minimizing job loss for fossil power plant workers?”

Republican Trump, answering first, launched into an attack on environmental regulators. “Energy is under siege by the Obama administration, under absolute siege,” he said. “The Environmental Protection Agency is killing these energy companies.

“Now, I’m all for alternative forms of energy, including wind, including solar, but we need much more than wind and solar,” he said.

“Hillary Clinton wants to put all the miners out of business,” Trump claimed. “There is a thing called clean coal. Coal will last for 1,000 years in this country.”

He also spoke of the fracking boom and pledged to continue to encourage it: “Now we have natural gas and so many other things because of technology. Over the last seven years, we have found tremendous wealth right under our feet. I will bring our energy companies back. They’ll be able to compete, they’ll make money, they’ll pay off our national debt,” Trump said.

In sum, it was a repetition of Trump’s all-of-the-above, drill-baby-drill “America first” energy policy. And it continued his denunciation of the “war on coal” that he and his running mate have articulated as they dismiss the climate crisis as a meaningful issue.

Democrat Clinton, as she did often during the evening, walked close to the questioner to answer and said to him that it sounds as though he works in the energy industry. She said it was good that the U.S. was energy independent “for the first time ever,” but said the Middle East still controls the price of oil.

Clinton then turned to alternatives, beginning with natural gas, a sign that she, too, favors the all-of-the-above approach to fossil fuels.

“We are…producing a lot of natural gas, which serves as a bridge to more renewable fuels, and I think that is an important transition,” Clinton said. “We have got to remain energy independent. That gives us a lot more freedom and power than to worry about what goes on in the Middle East.”

“I have a comprehensive energy policy,” Clinton told the questioner, “but it really does include fighting climate change, because I think that is a serious problem. And I support moving to more clean, renewable energy because I believe we can be the 21st century clean energy superpower.”

Clinton said that her policy included a plan to revitalize coal communities along the way: “I want to make sure we don’t leave people behind.”

Some climate activists put out statements immediately after the debate expressing disappointment that the global crisis had been given short shrift. “We finally got a question about energy policy in the 89th minute of the debate, although it left out any mention of climate change,” said 350 Action Executive Director May Boeve. Nevertheless, Boeve said the answers revealed the “fault lines” in the election. “Trump doubled down on fossil fuels, while Hillary talked about a clean energy future that doesn’t leave anyone behind.”

Boeve did take issue with Clinton’s reference to natural gas as a bridge fuel: “It’s just a fast lane to more climate destruction,” she said. But she added that the group would work for her election: “350 Action will do everything we can to defeat Trump and then get to work pushing Hillary Clinton to move our country off all fossil fuels, including natural gas.”

Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard likewise lamented the debate’s handling of the subject. “The candidates spent very little time talking about climate change during tonight’s debate but it is on the minds of so many Americans, especially as Hurricane Matthew continues to take a heavy toll here and in Haiti,” she said in a statement. “Climate change demands the attention of both candidates and their parties, and it is shameful that it was given so little.”

Environmental and social activist groups, led by the League of Conservation Voters and Media Matters for America, a media watchdog grop, organized a social media drive that gathered 150,000 signatures urging moderators to bring up the topic.

“This summer, the climate crisis has fallen right into America’s front yards—from devastating floods in Louisiana to damaging droughts and sweltering heat, we are feeling the impacts of climate change every day,” said the environmentalists’ petition. “Yet according to a recent Media Matters study, ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox collectively spent five percent less time covering climate change in 2015 despite landmark actions to address global warming.”

Four questions on climate and energy were voted into the top 30 questions in the online poll organized by the Open Debate Coalition [1]. The organization, started in 2008 by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and progressive and conservative groups, has pushed for a debate format that allows for crowdsourced questions. The moderators of Sunday’s debate had agreed to “consider” the 30 most upvoted questions on the site. More than 3.8 million votes were recorded for some 15,900 questions.

“What are the steps you will take to address climate change? [2]” was the fourth most popular question on the site. It received 46,470 up votes, coming behind two queries on guns and one on Social Security.

The moderators asked one question from the online forum, about new Clinton emails posted on Wikileaks.

The high priority that poll participants gave to climate change contrasts with the topic’s near invisibility during the campaign. Trump’s only public statements on climate change were regarding a tweet he sent in 2012 claiming global warming was a hoax invented by the Chinese.

During the candidates’ first debate on Sept. 26, Clinton brought up Trump’s hoax statement as an example of the contrast between the two candidates. After Trump responded bluntly that it wasn’t true, his 2012 post became the most retweeted tweet during the debate.

CNN columnist John Sutter has called climate change “the most important issue [4] almost no one is talking about this campaign season.” And New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote on Friday that it would be “almost criminally irresponsible [5]” for the debate moderators to ignore it. “There is, quite simply, no other issue this important,” he wrote.

After last week’s vice presidential debate ended with only a brief mention of climate change, Heather Hargreaves, vice president of NextGen Climate, a political group run by Clinton supporter Tom Steyer, said in a statement: “Voters rely on debate moderators and the media to hold the candidates accountable for their views—a clear debate on the differences between the candidates’ climate policies is vital in helping inform citizens who will be making critical choices for their futures on November 8th.”

Although President Obama and his Republican opponent John McCain were asked about climate change [6] by an audience member in their 2008 town hall debate, global warming did not come up in the 2012 presidential debates. Clinton and her primary opponent Bernie Sanders faced off extensively [7] on climate and energy in an April debate. But Media Matters [8] noted that Trump did not have to field a single climate change question through 11 GOP primary debates. He has not had to address his climate denial in media interviews.

TV news coverage leading up to the debate focused on the revelations of recordings of Trump, which touched off a crisis in the Republican party. Some prominent Republicans withdrew their endorsements of him and the GOP suspended its Trump campaign activities.

Environmental scientist Peter Gleick, who has been calling for more attention to climate change in the campaign, tweeted before the debate that a climate question might come as a welcome relief for Trump.

Here are the other three climate and energy questions that made it into the top 30 on the Open Debate Coalition’s website:

Ranked 10th most upvoted: What is your plan to combat climate change & build a green economy? [11]

Ranked 14th: What will you do to protect the rights of Native Americans and their land? [12] ( related to the fight over the Dakota Access oil pipeline)

Ranked 29th: Is Climate Change a national security issue? Why or why not? [13]

Published Under:
Politics [14]
Election 2016 [15]
© InsideClimate Newsn

matthew coming – anyone else ?


matthew’s coming
as many before, nobody’s connecting

like 2012 debates once more
& over again – no one’s talking

deny the thing
not til knocking down own front door

everybody from everywhere wants up
nobody from anywhere sees whats up

coasting up, ma telling it loud & clear
esp tomorrow here in central florida

last night not a soul mentions her
not mike, not tim, not moderator-self

nowhere even on google this morn
. . . what-the-hell?

~ jim

well, one observer did once ask it too . . .


Climate change got 82 seconds in the presidential debate

By Emma Foehringer Merchant on Sep 27, 2016

One minute and 22 seconds were spent on climate change and other environmental issues in Monday’s presidential debate — and that was pretty much all Hillary Clinton talking. (Surprise, surprise.) How does that compare to debates in past years? We ran the numbers on the past five election cycles to find out.

The high point for attention to green issues came in 2000, when Al Gore and George W. Bush spent just over 14 minutes talking about the environment over the course of three debates. The low point came in 2012, when climate change and other environmental issues got no time at all during the presidential debates. Some years, climate change came up during the vice presidential debates as well.

2016 so far: 1 minute, 22 seconds in one presidential debate. A split-second in the vice presidential debate.

2012: 0 minutes.

2008: 5 minutes, 18 seconds in two presidential debates. An additional 5 minutes, 48 seconds in a vice presidential debate.

2004: 5 minutes, 14 seconds in a single presidential debate.

2000: 14 minutes, 3 seconds in three presidential debates. 5 minutes, 21 seconds in a vice presidential debate. ( Al Gore – GW Bush )

In total, over the five election seasons we looked at, climate change and the environment got 37 minutes and 6 seconds on the prime-time stage during the presidential and vice presidential debates. That’s out of more than 1,500 minutes of debate. Not an impressive showing.

loop the lake


home acting with mother earth

( CLICK for full story )

time to actually listen

to native americans, after 525 years

~ bill mckibben
grist online, 8/22/16

dakota access protest by joe catron, flickr

dakota access protest
photo by joe catron, flickr

The center of the fight for our planet’s future shifts. But this week it’s on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation straddling the border between North Dakota and South Dakota. There, tribal members have been, well, standing like a rock in the way of the planned Dakota Access Pipeline, a huge hose for collecting oil out of the Bakken shale and carrying it off to the Midwest and the Gulf where it can be made into gasoline.

The standoff has been picturesque and dramatic, featuring American Indians on horseback. But mostly it’s been brave and lonely, far from most journalists and up against the same forces that have made life hard for Indigenous Peoples for centuries.

The U.S. Army, for instance. It’s the Army Corps of Engineers that last month granted Energy Transfer Corporation the permit necessary to start construction near the reservation, despite a petition signed by 150,000 people, and carried—on foot—by young people from the reservation all the way to Washington. That would be the same U.S. Army that—well, google “Wounded Knee.” Or “Custer.” “Washita River.” “Pine Ridge.”

That’s not really ancient history, not any of it. It’s the reason that Native Americans live confined to bleak reservations in vast stretches of the country that no one thought were good for much of anything else. But those areas—ironically enough—now turn out to be essential for the production or transportation of the last great stocks of hydrocarbons, the ones whose combustion scientists tell us will take us over the edge of global warming.

And if former generations of the U.S. Army made it possible to grab land from Native people, then this largely civilian era of the Army Corps is making it easy to pollute and spoil what little we left them. As the corporation said over the weekend, it was “constructing this pipeline in accordance with applicable laws, and the local, state and federal permits and approvals we have received.”

But it’s not constructing it in accordance with the laws of physics. July was the hottest month ever recorded on our planet, and likely, say scientists, the hottest month since the beginning of human civilization. And in any event, those “applicable laws, permits, and approvals” are merely the cover for the latest plunder.

A spill from this pipeline would pollute the Missouri River, just as spills in recent years have done irreparable damage to the Kalamazoo and Yellowstone rivers. And that river is both the spiritual and economic lifeblood of the Standing Rock Reservation, one of the poorest census tracts in the entire country.

Forget, for a minute, the threat to the reservation, and forget, for a minute, the endless history of unfairness. Think instead of what it might mean if the Army Corps, or the Obama administration, simply said: “You know what, you’re right. We don’t need to build this pipeline.”

It would mean that after 525 years, someone had actually paid attention to the good sense that Native Americans have been offering almost from the start. It’s not that American Indians are ecological saints—no human beings are. But as the first people who saw what Europeans did to a continent when given essentially free rein, they were the appalled witnesses to everything from the slaughter of the buffalo to the destruction of the great Pacific salmon runs.

And in recent years they have been the vanguard of the movement to slow down climate change. Why did the Keystone XL pipeline not get built? Above all because Indigenous Peoples on both sides of the border took the lead in a battle that stretched over a decade. Why did Canadian leaders fail in their efforts to replace it with the Northern Gateway pipeline? Because tribes and bands across the west of that country made it clear they could not be bought off. Why will the easiest-to-access deep-water port on the Pacific coast not be turned into the country’s biggest new coal export terminal? Because the Lummi Nation at Cherry Point joined with protesters across the region to say no. This same dynamic is at play around the world, where Indigenous Peoples from the Amazon to the coral atolls of the Pacific are doing more than anyone else to slow down the grinding destruction of our earth.

One has the ominous sense of grim history about to be reenacted at Standing Rock. North Dakota authorities—who are in essence a subsidiary of the fossil fuel industry—have insisted that the Sioux are violent, that they have “pipe bombs.” There are rumors about calling in the National Guard. The possibility for renewed tragedy is very real.

But the possibility for a new outcome is there as well. The Army Corps of Engineers might back off. The president might decide, as he did with Keystone, that this pipeline would “exacerbate” climate change and hence should be reviewed more carefully. We might, after five centuries, actually listen to the only people who’ve ever successfully inhabited this continent for the long term.

If you’re interested in joining the fight but can’t get to North Dakota, there’s a rally on Aug. 24 from 1:00–5:00 p.m. in Washington, D.C., outside the federal court that’s considering challenges to the permits, at 333 Constitution Ave NW.

Bill McKibben is Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, and a founder of 350.org. He is a member of Grist’s board of directors.

family words

my own cover page comment + following article excerpts
do give this a look – all saying where we sure live too

Sam Mowe’s interview with Carl Safina on his new book
Beyond Words: What Animals Think & Feel

lead article in
Sy Safransky’s Sun Magazine, August 2016



Signs of Intelligent Life

The idea persists: other living creatures are motivated solely by instinct not thoughts and feelings. You have to deeply deny the evidence to conclude that humans alone are conscious, feeling beings.

Do animals possess consciousness ? Many do. Bear in mind that the category “animals” includes everything from sponges to killer whales. I doubt that sponges are conscious, and I’m not sure about clams either, or jellyfish. We have a skeleton that is almost identical to that of our immediate mammal ancestors. Just because ours is slightly different, we wouldn’t say that we have a skeleton and primates don’t. That would be absurd. It’s the same with consciousness. A lot of philosophers, however, when they define consciousness, think only of human beings.

French philosopher René Descartes, considered the father of modern Western philosophy, believed the mind does not arise from matter but is an immaterial essence separate from the body -a soul. In his view, other animals don’t have souls, which makes it’s all right to do whatever we like to them.

We now understand that all creatures are related by evolution. We are one family. We have learned that an octopus’s ability to use tools is on par with an ape’s; that some birds can think through several steps of problem solving, even though their brains seem tiny relative to those of apes and humans. It has taken forty years for science to recognize the social relationships within groups of elephants or wolves or whales.

The differences between humans’ consciousness and that of other animals ? There are key similarities, and what differences exist are of degree, not of kind. Many animals have the same five senses, although some may have additional senses that we lack. Some migratory animals sense the magnetic field of the earth. And some animal senses are more highly developed than ours. Elephants and humans can both smell, but an elephant’s sense of smell is much more acute. Birds’ eyesight is much better than ours. Dogs’ hearing is much more sensitive. But we can all hear. We can all see. We can all smell. So it’s difference of degree rather than of kind.

( Duck waddling towards me after therapy exercise this morning seemed to say hello in his close by looks, even tho no food was offered. Sure seemed to answer my hello loud & clear. Hit me right then & there: so connected are we to these so-called advanced words of ours, probably we’re losing miles of hearing, smelling, seeing. Hell, how much is basic sensitivity ever worth in advanced human culture, so-called ? Yes, these cousins of ours no doubt connect to us this much more than do we to them. -me )

( ok, but Safina goes on . . . ) Our basic mental and emotional experiences, such as the fear response, might be similar to those of other animals, but humans are capable of more elaborate thoughts. Our language allows us to share those thoughts among individuals and across generations.

We have technological superiority over other animals, but much of that is rather recent development. For a long time the most complicated technology in human culture was a bow & arrow. When you look at cave paintings in Europe, you realize that there were human minds at work all those years ago, using very limited technology. So it’s not this recent technological explosion that makes us human.

And yes, there are other species that use language to communicate. Some dolphins seem to be able to convey complicated information to one another through an unknown method. You can give trained dolphins in captivity a command of “ Do something you’ve never been taught to do ”, and they will execute some intricate jump or spin or flip completely in sync with one another. No one understands how they’re sharing that idea. Also, until the last few decades, elephants’ ability to communicate with each other over distances of several miles seemed to be mental telepathy. We didn’t understand that their low frequency vocalizations could travel through the ground and be sensed through another elephant’s feet.

Language is more developed in human beings. But some animals can navigate for thousands of miles underwater and return to the river of their birth, or can fly ten thousand miles and return to a nest on an island that’s half a mile wide amid millions of square miles of ocean. That’s vastly superior to what we can do.

So then is any species not superior to another ? Superior in what way ? I wouldn’t say that humans are better than elephants, for example, or vice versa. But elephants do take a lot less of the world. They experience the world in a more peaceful way. In the twentieth century civilized people killed about 150 million other civilized people. That’s not a huge advance over living like an elephant.

One way to see the folly in ranking species is to start by trying to rank groups of humans. Are the rich better than the poor ? Are the literate better than the illiterate ? Are those of us in Western civilization better than uncontacted tribes in the Amazon ? When you ask these questions, you realize that it’s just not appropriate to place living creatures in a hierarchy. Instead we should ask how we can all live together. Formally registered aspirations & principles of life, liberty, happiness, equality & so on should apply more generally, not just how human beings should try to treat other humans, but how we should try to treat all species. Consider other species’ treatment of us; most other species are far ahead of humans in respect to these principles. We treat them far worse than they treat us.

Humans are the animal who embodies the most extremes. We can give ourselves credit for being the most technologically talented, the most compassionate, and the most creative, but we also must own that we’re the most destructive, the cruelest, and the most violent. We are all those things simultaneously. We’re the only creature capable of creating global problems, but there is little evidence that we have the collective will to solve the global problems that we create. We continue to fight and kill one another. And what do we fight and kill one another over ? Small differences – for being different races, for belonging to different religions, for belonging to different denominations.

The tendency among humans is for the strong to obliterate the weak. Humans have done this with weaker groups of humans ( eg, European colonialism ). Many human groups have hunted animals to extinction. Each year we kill for food billions of animals we raise as prisoners and whose lives are often more terrible than their even deaths. If you brutalize animals you are probably hardhearted toward humans too.

In no way are humans in the center of the story of life on earth. We’ve improved our own lot, but for many other species we’re a negative presence. Large animals in particular are at their lowest population levels in history because of our incredible destructiveness. We have a lot of work to do if we don’t want to bankrupt the planet and rob future generations, human and otherwise. Part of accomplishing this is having the humility to see that this is not our planet to destroy. The idea that the earth was created just for us engenders a dangerous sense of entitlement. We need to acknowledge the damage we are doing. Other species manage to exist for millions of years without causing mass extinctions.

The best strategy to minimize such harm would be to leave them enough room. After all, they were doing quite well here without us. Don’t get me wrong; I like civilization. But there are far too many of us. The planet’s just not big enough for this many people – and more – to all have what they want. And the best way of easing the population problem is to correct the biggest social injustice in the world – how women are treated. Countries with flat or declining population rates are those where women also have access to education, financial stability, and family planning technology.

In my lifetime, as the human population has doubled, African lion populations have declined by 75 percent. For large animals – and most birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes – population levels are at their lowest in millions of years because of habitat destruction and hunting. Many species are missing from huge swaths of their former range, which has been transformed by human settlement. Elephants have been pushed out of about 90 percent of their African range and are probably at 1 percent of their Roman-era population.

What feels most religious to me now is the sense of being connected to the rest of the world. We are all part of the family of life. We are able to sense tremendous beauty and to feel tremendous love. We can experience every moment as miraculous. That is, in fact, how I often feel. The religious feeling is the sense of being connected to something larger, more powerful, and mysterious in the world and beyond, something from the deep past that will continue into the far future. I get that from the living world.

panama’s indigenous using drones to save their rainforest

. . . and for these ma-pix always we’ve been needing
( from me too  . . . soon )

drones becoming increasingly important tool in combating deforestation by david iaconangelo, staff christian science monitor, 6/11/16

drones becoming increasingly important tool in combating deforestation
by david iaconangelo, staff
christian science monitor, 6/11/16


In Panama, indigenous tribes are turning to a modern tool to help protect their homes: drones.

Vast rainforests, which once covered more than half of Panama’s land surface, are shrinking – eaten away by development, both official and unofficial. Forest land is becoming mines, hydroelectric projects, farmland, cattle habitat, and the site of illegal logging.

In response, seven indigenous tribes, whose members live in autonomous zones known as comarcas, have begun sending up drones to keep an eye on their forests.

Three members from each tribe received a month of training on how to use the drones, REUTERS REPORTS. That included FLIGHT PLAN DESIGN, ASSEMBLY, MANEUVERING, and image processing, reports the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

Indigenous groups are running the program in conjunction with the Panamanian environmental authority, the Rainforest Foundation, and the FAO, a UN anti-deforestation program.

The FAO believes the program will help tribes monitor watersheds, crop harvests, and forest fires by taking high-resolution images, among other data, that identify deforestation and other negative changes to forest cover.

“These tools enable us to better know the forests’ characteristics and resources we have in our territories,” said Eliseo Quintero, a representative of the Ngäbe-Buglé tribe, in a statement to Reuters.

The Ngöbe-Buglé comarca, located in the western part of Panama, is both the country’s largest comarca and one of the two most affected by deforestation, along with Darien province along the border with Colombia.

The drones have proven especially helpful in monitoring areas where manpower is limited and the rainforest is vast. Last May, NPR reported that a Peruvian conservation group was using drones TO SURVEY AND TAKE PICTURES OF A 145,000-MILE SWATH of the Amazon that had come under pressure from illegal loggers and miners.

Drones have fought deforestation another way, too: planting trees.

The CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR’S KEVIN TRUONG reported in September that the group BioCarbon Engineering, led by a NASA engineer, was using drones “in the entire three-step planting method. First, using mapping software to create accurate imaging of the prospective planting area. Second, actually planting the trees. And third, going back to monitor the progress and growth of their technological handiwork.”

And it’s not a minute too soon. Panama LOSES ABOUT 50,000 ACRES (50,000 hectares) of rainforest annually, estimates ANCON, a Panamanian conservation association, while some 2 million hectares of land and water resources – an area the size of New Jersey – is degraded each year. Reforestation efforts have yielded about 75,000 hectares of secondary growth.

Deforestation hurts the economy, too. In a 2014 study, THE UN ESTIMATED that the damage to rainforest from 1999-2012 cost Panama about $3.7 million, adding that better stewardship could create jobs while producing more food and preserving watersheds and other natural resources.

Rosilena Lindo, head of the Climate Change Unit of the Ministry of Environment of Panama, called the drone monitoring system “part of our country’s commitment to address the adverse effects of climate change.”

She said the country hopes to increase the carbon absorption capacity of its forests by at least 10 percent, or more with international financial support.