Farmers start field trial for carbon capture with fungi

The first field trials using fungi to reduce carbon in the atmosphere are under way in Australia. 

As carbon dioxide emissions increase in the atmosphere, scientists around the world are looking at solutions such as carbon sequestration. This process captures carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere for long-term storage.Researcher Guy Webb from SoilQuest has fun with fungi, all in the name of science.

Researcher Guy Webb from SoilQuest has fun with fungi, all in the name of science.

A group of Australian farmers is working with researchers to harness the power of fungi in soils. In the dry conditions of the Australian landscape, increasing soil carbon levels can help with water retention, boosting conditions for agriculture.

At the same time, by capturing carbon farmers can help contribute to addressing the problem of increasing greenhouse gases, climate change and global warming.   MORE

Study explores media coverage of pipeline controversies

Emblem-important-red.svgSupporters of fossil fuel infrastructure projects position themselves as friends of working people, framing climate action as antithetical to the more immediately pressing need to protect oil and gas workers’ livelihoods. And as the latest report from the CCPA-BC and Corporate Mapping Project confirms, this framing has become dominant across the media landscape.

Focusing on pipeline projects that connect Alberta’s oil sands to export markets, the report examines how the press treats the relationship between jobs and the environment. More broadly, it asks which voices are treated as authoritative and used as sources, whose views are sidelined, which arguments for and against pipelines are highlighted, and what similarities and differences exist between mainstream and alternative media coverage of pipeline controversies.  Read the report

 

INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE ACTION MUST INCLUDE LIMITS ON FOSSIL FUEL SUPPLY

“Efforts to reduce demand for fossil fuels are helping, but it is now quite clear that demand-side actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not enough,” Le Billon and Kristoffersen noted last week, as negotiations in Katowice, Poland reached a crescendo.

“Increasing carbon taxation on consumers has been relatively effective, but carbon taxes are facing increasing political resistance and can lead to a major backlash, as we are seeing with France’s current fuel riots. While the shift to renewable energy is gaining momentum, it is too slow. Per capita demand for energy has also been on the decline in the U.S. and many European countries for the past decade, but major new energy consumers such as China and India will take time to follow suit. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently pointed out, the current transition is still too slow to meet climate change targets.” MORE

Pipeline politics: Why $1.6B in aid for oil and gas industry is awkward for Canada

Hard to reconcile with the UN’s “life or death warning” for more and immediate action to limit global warming.

This morning [Dec 18] in Edmonton, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi and International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr announced a $1.6 billion federal aid package for Canada’s oil and gas industry. The money is spread over a variety existing programs to help companies find new markets, invest in clean technology and train staff.

Throw in Ottawa’s summer purchase of the aging Trans Mountain pipeline — $4.5 billion, with a promise to spend as much as $7.4 billion more for a planned expansion — and Canadian taxpayers now find themselves on the hook for somewhere between $7.7 billion and $15 billion in new support for an industry that was already receiving more than $3.3 billion a year in government   MORE

Canada won’t perform an environmental review of most new oilsands projects. Here’s why.

The future of development in Alberta’s oilsands lies in underground, steam-assisted operations that represent some of the country’s fastest growing greenhouse gas emissions. These projects have never been subject to federal environmental reviews and that’s not expected to change with Ottawa’s new-and-improved assessment rules. MORE