Outdoor Updates: Robert Downey Jr. has a plan to clean up the planet

Robert Downey Jr. has a plan to clean up the planet

Robert Downey Jr. is launching a new venture named the Footprint Coalition, which will launch in April 2020. The company plans to use robotics and artificial intelligence to clean up the planet. He announced his plans during his keynote at Amazon’s Re:Mars conference. Downey said that, “between robotics and nanotechnology, we could clean up the planet significantly, if not totally, in 10 years.” Though the actor did not go into detail about what his planet-cleaning plan entails, he has since launched a website where those interested in receiving updates can provide an email address.

The US Forest Service warns that 1 billion acres are at risk for catastrophic wildfires

The chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Vicki Christiansen, is warning the public that a billion acres of public and private land across the country are at risk for catastrophic wildfires like the Camp Fire that struck Paradise, California last November. Christiansen said that a mix of wildfire suppression, rampant housing development in at-risk areas and climate change have all contributed to the risk. She also told NPR that “fire season is not an appropriate term anymore,” because the risk of fire is now year-round.

The forest service estimates that they may spend $2.5 billion fighting fires in 2019. The agency’s current budget for wildfire fighting is $1.7 billion.

Massive swarm of ladybugs shows up on the National Weather Services’ radar

The National Weather Service picked up a massive blob on their radar that turned out to be a gigantic swarm of ladybugs over Southern California. The cloud of bugs stretched 80 square miles as it flew over San Diego last Tuesday. The ladybug swarm flew between 5,000 and 9,000 feet in the air on its way to Mexico. It is estimated that millions or even trillions of ladybugs were involved in the massive migration.

Although scientists are not sure exactly which species of ladybugs made up the cloud of insects they hypothesize that it is likely the “convergent ladybird,” scientific name Hippodamia convergens. Scientists also point out that the bug swarm is good news for gardeners and farmers as the ladybug eats aphids and other pests that damage plants.

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