We are a curse on life on Earth, even if often unwittingly so. We’re depriving wild animals of their habitats. We’re wreaking havoc with ecosystems. We’re even changing Earth’s very climate. Unless we mend our ways, and fast, we’ll soon be living on a bleak planet bereft of its once wondrous biodiversity.
So warn 100 prominent academics, politicians, authors and environmental campaigners from across the planet who have signed an open letter that calls on decision makers in powerful nations to start taking meaningful action to try and heal the planet, and life on it, before it’s too late. MORE
Ground zero in the global battle against climate chaos this week is in Wet’suwet’en territory, northern British Columbia.
As pipeline companies try to push their way onto unceded Indigenous territories, the conflict could become the next Standing Rock-style showdown over Indigenous rights and fossil fuel infrastructure.
Since 2010, the Unist’ot’en clan, members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, have been reoccupying and re-establishing themselves on their ancestral lands in opposition to as many as six proposed pipeline projects. MORE
During the holiday season, people often drink toasts to health. There’s something more we can do to ensure that we and others will enjoy good health now and into the future: combat climate change.
“Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, and tackling it could be our greatest health opportunity,” according to the medical journal The Lancet.
Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century
The Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change, by 150 experts from 27 academic institutions and intergovernmental organizations, including the World Health Organization and the World Bank, is blunt: “A rapidly changing climate has dire implications for every aspect of human life, exposing vulnerable populations to extremes of weather, altering patterns of infectious disease, and compromising food security, safe drinking water and clean air.” MORE
One county moves toward full reliance on renewable energy
Oxford County has adopted plans to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050 for eight municipalities within this mainly rural and heavily agricultural region.
In its plans to date, the county has not relied on provincial policies that the new PC government now questions, said Peter Crockett, Oxford County’s chief administrative officer, in a recent interview. County council’s renewable energy commitment is part of the strategic plan that the group adopted during the term that was completed in 2018.
The county set three key goals in its Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan: 100 per cent renewable energy, zero waste and zero poverty. MORE
When the Trump administration laid out a plan this year that would eventually allow cars to emit more pollution, automakers, the obvious winners from the proposal, balked. The changes, they said, went too far even for them.
But it turns out that there was a hidden beneficiary of the plan that was pushing for the changes all along: the nation’s oil industry. MORE
Survey of 163 experts sees turbine size going up, costs coming down.
A paper published in Nature Energy analyzed the opinions of 163 wind power experts from around the globe and found that they expect the cost of wind energy to fall even further. Those experts said that by 2030, both onshore and offshore wind turbines will get bigger, leading to additional cost reductions and smoother energy generation. MORE
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently highlighted a little-discussed benefit of using renewables like wind and solar to produce electricity: Unlike most power sources, they require “almost no water.”
According to the latest U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data from 2015, 41 percent of the water used in America is for power generation. The next highest use is irrigation for agriculture, accounting for 37 percent of U.S. water use (and close to two-thirds of that is consumptive).
The Union of Concerned Scientists was raising this alarm in 2012 when the nonprofit created an infographic focused on the “energy-water collision,” which “refers to the range of issues that can crop up where our water resources and our power sector interact.” That can include increased competition for dwindling water sources and problems when the water going into or out of power plants is too warm. MORE
The remaining oil is poor quality–and Canada’s tar sands produce the world’s dirtiest energy– and the energy required to mine this remote oil is so great that more and more energy goes into oil production itself, leaving far less available to fuel the rest of civilization.
This is the scariest chart I’ve ever seen. It shows civilization is likely to crash within the next 20 years. I thought oil depletion curve would be symmetric (blue), but this chart reveals it’s more likely to be a cliff (gray) when you factor in Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI). MORE
Abandon cars, reforest woodland, eat more veggies – what must humankind do immediately to stop global warming? This is what nine leading researchers told ZEIT ONLINE.
We can’t go on like this. If the Earth warms up by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, the consequences will be serious and irreversible climate changes will be set in motion,as the latest special report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows. MORE