Renewables overtake coal as Germany’s main energy source

Renewables overtook coal as Germany’s main source of energy for the first time last year, accounting for just over 40 percent of electricity production, research showed on Thursday.

Wind turbines are pictured in RWE Offshore-Windpark Nordsee Ost in the North sea, 30 km from Helgoland, Germany.
Wind turbines are pictured in RWE Offshore-Windpark Nordsee Ost in the North sea, 30 km from Helgoland, Germany, May 11, 2015. REUTERS / Christian Charisius/Pool

The shift is in part due to a surge in solar panel installations and coal-plant closures, research showed Thursday.

The predominance of renewable energy in 2018 brings Germany’s goal for renewable sources to provide 65 percent of its energy by 2030 closer. It is part of an organized, long-term plan to transition from nuclear power by 2022 and to wean the country off coal. MORE

 

UNHINGED GDP GROWTH COULD ACTUALLY DESTROY THE ECONOMY, ECONOMISTS FIND

MAIDSVILLE, WV - AUGUST 21: The Longview Power Plant, a coal-fired plant, stands on August 21, 2018 in Maidsville, West Virginia. The plant's single unit generates 700 net megawatts of electricity from run-of-mine coal and natural gas. In a stop in West Virginia tonight, President Donald Trump is expected to announce a proposal to allow states to set their own emissions standards for coal-fueled power plants. Environmental activists say this would be a massive blow to reducing carbon emissions. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
The Longview Power Plant, a coal-fired plant in Maidsville, W. Va., on Aug. 21, 2018. 

For decades, scientists have warned of the pending crisis for the planet and humanity in the event of runaway climate change. But a new paper from prominent economists frames the situation in language that people might actually understand: Not addressing climate change, they conclude, will lead inevitably to “worldwide economic collapse.”

Researchers also have a warning for renewable energy evangelists and techno-optimists, concluding that it is a fantasy to believe that the economy can grow at a torrid pace — as measured by GDP — while simultaneously reducing or eliminating greenhouse gas.

That’s because the “P” in GDP — production — necessarily requires energy inputs, which means more burning of fossil fuels unless and until the shift is fully made toward clean energy. That’s not a case for despair, though: By allocating less than half of what world governments spend annually on fossil fuel subsidies to mitigation efforts, we can prevent the above dystopia and improve millions of lives in the process — especially compared to what’s coming our way if we don’t. MORE

 

“THE TRIAL OF THE CENTURY”: A PREVIEW OF HOW CLIMATE SCIENCE COULD PLAY OUT IN THE COURTROOM, COURTESY OF JULIANA V. UNITED STATES

As you know, in Juliana v. United States twenty-one individual youth plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Oregon against the United States, the president, and various other federal officials and agencies, claiming that the “nation’s climate system” is critical to their rights to life, liberty, and property; that the federal government has violated their substantive due process rights by allowing fossil fuel production, consumption, and combustion at “dangerous levels;” and that the government has failed to fulfill its obligations under the public trust doctrine.

As a remedy, the plaintiffs asked the court to compel the government to develop a plan to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions so that atmospheric COconcentrations will be no greater than 350 parts per million by 2100 – a science-based target consistent with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C.  MORE

Five climate struggles to watch in 2019

Key environmental struggles to keep track of in the coming year 


Protestors of the Extinction Rebellion movement. Photo: Stuart Mitchell/Alamy

According to the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, over 1,000 climate-change cases have now been filed against governments, corporations and individuals in 24 countries.

Many of these have important hearing dates in 2019. Keep an eye out for the young people taking legal action against their governments over climate inaction in the US, Canada, India, Pakistan and the Netherlands; crab fishers in California suing oil companies for the impact of climate change on their livelihoods; the results of an appeal in New York’s climate lawsuit against oil corporations, with other US cities waiting in the wings with similar claims; and the government of Vanuatu exploring how to sue polluting companies and governments for climate damages. MORE

What Would An Effective Solution To Climate Change Look Like?

What do the most viable climate solutions look like, and how should they be implemented? originally appeared on Quorathe place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Image result for bamboo forestBamboo rapidly sequesters carbon in biomass and soil and can thrive on degraded lands.

Answer by Katharine Hayhoe, Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, on Quora:

We need climate solutions that will:

    1. Generate energy from clean sources that don’t produce carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases – because fossil fuel extraction and combustion is the number one cause of climate change, responsible for about two-thirds of the problem (see figure below).
    2. Reduce heat-trapping gas emissions from other important sectors, like agriculture, land use change, industrial processes, wastewater treatment and more – because these are responsible for the remaining third of the problem.
    3. Help us use our resources more efficiently – because did you know that the average US household wastes $165 per year for a total of $19B on “vampire” power, and one-third of all the food grown world-wide is wasted? MORE
For a truly inspirational list of viable, practical, and beneficial climate solutions, please check out Project Drawdown.

Alberta taxpayers footing bill for delinquent oil and gas companies, investigation reveals

Landowners are supposed to get paid for wells on their property, but companies are increasingly defaulting, which means the Alberta government ends up picking up the tab. An investigation by The Narwhal reveals the province is almost never recouping these costs

Image result for oil jacks

“That guy’s gone broke I don’t know how many times,” he told The Narwhal. “[The regulator] still lets him start over again.”

Nelson, a director with the Alberta Surface Rights Federation — a group of landowners concerned about oil and gas activity on their land — wasn’t having it.

So Nelson did what many farmers do in this situation — he filed an application to Alberta’s Surface Rights Board. The Surface Rights Board is a tribunal that uses taxpayer money to reimburse landowners what they are owed by oil and gas companies. MORE

7 eco-friendly insulation alternatives for a green home

Insulation is an important part of any home. Not only does it retain heat during the winter by restricting air flow, but it also reduces the cost of heating and cooling throughout the year. For more than a century, most new homes were built with fiberglass insulation, but this can cause many health issues. If you are building a new house or remodeling in the near future, try one of these green home insulation alternatives to make your home safe and healthy. MORE

Electric-car sales soaring but Canada still nowhere near goal set in 2009


An electric car is plug into a charging station at Lansdowne Mall in Peterborough, Ont., on June 17, 2018. File photo by The Canadian Press/Doug Ives

A decade-old goal to get at least half a million electric cars on Canada’s roads by the end of 2018 appears to have missed the mark by more than 400,000.

The 2009 Electric Vehicle Technology Road Map for Canada, produced by a panel of experts in part for the Department of Natural Resources, aimed for 500,000 cars with the hope of galvanizing industry to make and sell them and government to encourage people to buy them.

Data compiled by FleetCarma, which tracks electric-vehicle sales each quarter, suggests that by the end of 2018, the actual number was fewer than 100,000.

The report warned the electric-vehicle train was already leaving the station and Canada wasn’t on it. It outlined things the government and the private sector should do to ensure Canada didn’t miss out on the economic and environmental benefits of an electric-vehicle industry. MORE

RCMP raids Gitdumt’en checkpoint and arrest 14 people to clear path for TransCanada pipeline


A sign for a blockade check point by the Gidimt’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation is shown in this undated handout photo posted on the Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidumt’en Territory Facebook page.

Mounties say the arrests took place at the Gitdumt’en checkpoint on Morice West Forest Service Road for various offences, including alleged violations of an injunction order against the blockade.

They allege officers saw a number of fires being lit along the roadway.

Journalists say that the land defenders who were protecting their territory were not armed.

MORE

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