Tropical Forests

Deforestation is a major cause of global warming and habitat loss, and many common consumer products contribute to it. Our experts explain how UCS is fighting deforestation—and how you can help.


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Cattle ranchers have cleared ecosystems, including the Amazon, the Chaco, the Chiquitano, and the Cerrado (pictured here) for expansion of cattle pasture. Photo: Jorge ba/Wikimedia

America’s Top Brands, Cattle, and Deforestation

, analyst, Tropical Forest & Climate Initiative

Along with the rest of the world, I was transfixed by the Olympics last month in Rio. Besides the athletic feats of strength and prowess, I found myself fascinated by drama surrounding the games. Read more >

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Peak Oil, Peak Coal, Peak Deforestation, Peak Emissions…. and Why They’re Not Nearly Enough

, scientific adviser, Climate and Energy

Recent data related to our global emissions of heat-trapping gases suggest that humanity may have reached a turning point, or even several. We may be moving from increasing emissions, to peaking and starting to decline. We could be close to such peaks, or even have passed it, for several of the main sources of greenhouse gases, including coal and deforestation—perhaps even for humanity’s total emissions.

If so, this would be a momentous occasion, reversing centuries of growing global warming pollution. But before we start celebrating, we should realize that peaking is not nearly enough.

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Four Questions about a Fast Food Giant’s Role in Tropical Deforestation

, analyst, Tropical Forest & Climate Initiative

I took a close look at Restaurant Brands International’s commitments in terms of tropical deforestation, and found that their plan is lacking in real action. The framework raises more questions than it answers. Here are four of them. Read more >

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Where in the World Is Palm Oil Deforestation?

Varsha Vijay, , UCS

Tropical forests have always held great allure for me. Growing up in Iowa, my most memorable experiences of the tropics happened at home, where I poured over every issue of National Geographic, read books by explorers and dreamed of going to the same places myself. Read more >

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Book Review: The Global Climate and a Defense of Beef

, scientific adviser, Climate and Energy

Defending Beef, by Nicolette Hahn Niman, paints a picture of a better beef system, less damaging to the climate and the environment generally than the current system is. This is a vision I applaud, and one that my colleagues in the UCS Food and Environment program are researching. However, the book also raises scientific issues that I feel are worth exploring, since the dominant beef production system we have in place today, both globally and domestically, has some real problems. Read more >

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