This is an archived newsroll page on A Socialist In Canada, consisting of headlines and weblinks, with occasional news summary and brief analysis, for September and October 2019. See the current, ‘Ecology newsroll’ website page here.
Ecology newsroll headlines on A Socialist In Canada, September-October 2019
It’s the end of California as we know it, by Farhad Manjoo, columnist, New York Times, Oct 30, 2019 The fires and the blackouts are connected to a larger problem in this state: a failure to live sustainably …The fires and the blackouts aren’t like the earthquakes, a natural threat we’ve all chosen to ignore. They are more like California’s other problems, like housing affordability and homelessness and traffic. These are human-made catastrophes we’ve all chosen to ignore, connected to the larger dysfunction at the heart of our state’s rot: a failure to live sustainably… Our whole way of life is built on a series of myths — the myth of endless space, endless fuel, endless water, endless optimism, endless outward reach and endless free parking…
Fire conditions near LA prompt the National Weather Service to issue its first-ever extreme red flag warning, CNN, Oct 29, 2019
* How the climate crisis is fueling wildfires and changing life in the California, CNN, Oct 29, 2019
* In California, power outages and fires combined over the weekend to push the state’s disaster response capabilities to the brink, New York Times, Oct 27, 2019
* Intentional blackouts of this magnitude are unprecedented in California history, LA Times, Oct 28, 2019 The state’s largest utility has cut power to as many as 2.7 million people, the largest intentional blackout in California history.
* With raging fires, high winds and blackouts, California is living a disaster movie. Is this the ‘new normal’?, USA Today, Oct. 28, 2019
Keystone Pipeline in North Dakota spills 9,000 barrels of Alberta tar sands product, Common Dreams, Oct 31, 2019 …State regulators were on the scene on October 30. They estimated that the area of the spill was 1,500 feet long by 15 feet wide… Crude oil began flowing through the $5.2 billion pipeline in 2010. It is part of a system that is to include the proposed, $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline… [The Keystone pipeline system carries crude oil, upgraded tar sands bitumen (synthetic crude) and diluted bitumen to upgraders and refineries in the U.S. and to an export terminal on the Texas coastline.] Related: Keystone Pipeline spills 383,000 gallons of oil into North Dakota wetlands, by Phil McKenna, Inside Climate News, Nov 1, 2019 …The Keystone Pipeline, stretching 2,147 miles from the tar sands region of Alberta to the Midwest, has a history of oil spills…
Demand for SUVs a major contributor to the increase in global CO2 emissions, by Niko Kommenda, published on Yale Environment 360, Oct 29, 2019
The BC government’s costly and planet-wrecking expansion of auto and truck transportion. Two articles:
* Ending bridge tolls in Vancouver region has cost the BC gov’t $486 million, and counting, by Vaughn Palmer, columnist, Vancouver Sun, Oct 30, 2019 [The 2017 election promise by the New Democratic Party to end modest tolls on two of the region’s eight major traffic bridges amounts to a subsidy to the auto/fossil fuel/construction industry nexus. Add in the cost of non-existent tolls on six of those eight bridges and the annual subsidy tops a staggering billion dollars. Then there is the bloated, multi-billion dollar cost of building the ‘Millenium Line’ subway extension to the Univeristy of British Columbia. That amounts to a huge subsidy to the real estate and construction industry nexus. They have lobbied heavily for a subway in place of much less costly but equally effective rapid-bus or tramway options.] * Planet-wrecking plan by BC gov’t to expand and electrify auto and truck transport is ‘economical’ says report by Univeristy of British Columbia researchers. Press release by the University of British Columbia, Oct 30, 2019 and read: British Columbia will need to huge power supply increase to electrify transportation industry: report, by Tiffany Crawford, Vancouver Sun, Oct 30, 2019 UVic report finds that to electrify the transportation industry, B.C. will need to produce 60 per cent more electricity [The report by the UVic researchers nowhere mentions the huge greenhouse gas emissions which their proposal to ‘electrify’ auto and truck transport would produce due to the flooding of rivers for hydro-electric generation and construction and maintenance of large ‘renewable’ energy sources. The report states, “By 2055, BC will need to increase its electrical production capacity from a 2015 baseline of 15.6 gigawatts (GW) to 23 GW to meet forecast economic and population growth. Factor in all-electric road transportation as well, and up to 60 per cent additional capacity [emphasis added] will be needed. This would more than double BC’s electricity generation capacity to 37 GW.” By way of measurement, the hugely controversial, $10 billion-and-counting ‘Site C’ hydroelectric dam will add a mere one GW of electrical production. It is being constructed without First Nations consent and will itself produce huge amounts of greenhouse gases by flooding a long stretch of the Peace River. Meanwhile in Vancouver region, the BC government and municipal governments are pressing ahead to replace the four-lane, Massey traffic tunnel under the Fraser River with a multi-billion dollar, eight-lane bridge.]
Rising sea levels pose threat to homes of 300 million people – study, by Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, Oct 29, 2019 and read: report in Common Dreams, Oct 29, 2019 …Land that is currently home to 300 million people will flood at least once a year by 2050 unless carbon emissions are cut significantly and coastal defences strengthened, says the study, published in Nature Communications. This is far above the previous estimate of 80 million… “These assessments show the potential of climate change to reshape cities, economies, coastlines and entire global regions within our lifetimes,” said Scott Kulp, the lead author of the study and a senior scientist at Climate Central… In a worst-case scenario with greater instability of the Antarctic ice sheet, as many as 640 million people could be threatened by 2100, the scientists say…
Related: Maps of worsening projections for inundations of many of the world’s largest coastline cities, in New York Times, Oct 29, 2019
Deliberate drownings of Brazil’s rainforests are worsening climate change, by Daniel Grossman, New Scientist (weekly magazine published in UK), print issue of Sept 21, 2019 (This article was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.) It isn’t just Bolsonaro and the fires. Hydroelectric dams in the Amazon are submerging millions of trees, transforming huge carbon sinks into sources of planet-warming gases. Read the article here in pdf format: Greenhouse gases from hydroelectric dams in tropical zones
… Hydroelectric power is widely considered a good way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while satisfying our ever-increasing demand for power. The most recent study produced for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on this topic, released in 2012, reported that, taking into account construction and operation, hydroelectric power produces only half a per cent to three per cent of the warming of fossil-fuel power plants that burn coal, oil or natural gas. That is true for some dams, such as those built in relatively cool, dry places with relatively little vegetation that rots and turns into greenhouse gases. But the IPCC report ignored dams built in lowland tropical forests, where luxuriant jungle produces an unusually large amount of emissions… The reservoir at the Balbina dam is releasing 39,000 tonnes of methane every year. This more than doubles the amount attributable to the dam compared with previous estimates. The research shows that if you include methane and CO2, Balbina is nearly 10 times as bad for the environment as a coal-fired power station producing the same amount of electricity…
1.5 million packages delivered per day: The internet brings chaos to N.Y. streets, New York Times, Oct 26, 2019 …The push for convenience is having a stark impact on gridlock, roadway safety and pollution in New York City and urban areas around the world. An Amazon order starts with a tap of a finger. Two days later — or even in a matter of hours — the package arrives. It seems simple enough. But to deliver Amazon orders and countless others from businesses that sell over the internet, the very fabric of major urban areas around the world is being transformed. New York City, where more than 1.5 million packages are delivered daily, shows the impact that this push for convenience is having on gridlock, roadway safety and pollution… At least two million square feet of warehouse space is being built in New York, including what will be the largest center of its kind in the country. Amazon added two warehouses in the city over the summer… Images and videos of delivery trucks blocking bike lanes, sidewalks and crosswalks are easy to find on social media. In some neighborhoods, Amazon’s ubiquitous boxes are stacked and sorted on the sidewalk, sometimes on top of coverings spread out like picnic blankets. “They are using public space as their private warehouse,” said Christine Berthet, who lives in Midtown Manhattan. “That is not acceptable. That is not what the sidewalk is for”…
Report commissioned by Pentagon on global warming warns of dire future of chaos and collapse, by Nafeez Ahmed, VICE News, Oct 24, 2019 According to a new U.S. Army report [report here, 52 pages], Americans could face a horrifically grim future from climate change involving blackouts, disease, thirst, starvation and war. The study found that the US military itself might also collapse. This could all happen over the next two decades, the report notes…
A forecast for a warming world: Learn to live with fire, by Thomas Fuller and Kendra Pierre-Louis, New York Times, Oct. 24, 2019 CALIFORNIA–Facing down 600 wildfires in the past three days alone, emergency workers rushed to evacuate tens of thousands of people in Southern California on October 24 as a state utility said one of its major transmission lines broke near the source of the out-of-control Kincade blaze in Northern California. The Kincade fire, the largest this week, tore through steep canyons in the wine country of northern Sonoma County, racing across 16,000 acres within hours of igniting. Wind gusts pushed the fire through forests like blow torches, leaving firefighters with little opportunity to stop or slow down the walls of flames tromping across wild lands and across highways overnight. North of Los Angeles, 50,000 people were evacuated as strong winds swept fires into the canyons of Santa Clarita, threatening many homes… (California fires updates here]
…The total area burned in a single year by wildfires in the United States has only exceeded 13,900 square miles (3.6 million hectares)–an area larger than the country of Belgium–four times since the middle of last century. All four times have happened this decade, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA…
God and black gold: Lecture by Darren Dochuk (Notre Dame University, Indiana) at the University of Alberta, Camrose campus, 45-minute lecture followed by q&a, autumn 2019 (undated on YouTube broadcast page) (Darren Dochuk is the author of the 2019 book Anointed with Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America)
Britain is now the G7’s biggest net importer per capita of CO2 emissions, says UK Office of National Statistics, by Richard Partington, The Guardian, Oct 21, 2019 Britain has contributed to the global climate emergency by outsourcing its carbon emissions to developing nations, according to official figures, despite managing to weaken the domestic link between fossil-fuels and economic growth…
Turns out pumpkins are primarily grown to end up as landfill waste after Halloween, by Carla Cassella, Science Alert, Oct 25, 2019 Pumpkins are, first and foremost, a food. Right? Well, in the UK and the U.S., the vast majority of pumpkins actually end up in landfill – right after October 31. Of the nearly two billion pounds of pumpkin grown in the United States in 2014, an estimated 1.3 billion pounds were simply trashed instead of eaten or composted, according to the US. Department of Energy. It seems that jack-o-lanterns comprise their own special group of Halloween food waste. Beyond the sheer wastefulness of it, the agency warns that, once they’ve decomposed, these edible crops release methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change…
U.S. shale oil slump may spur demand for Canadian oil, by Emma Graney, Globe and Mail, Oct 20, 2019 Projections of a sharp slowdown in U.S. shale production in the next couple years could bode well for demand for Canadian oil.. (Read the article here in pdf format: Canada’s oil industry hoping for expansion) [Forget the global warming emergency and politicans’ feignings of concern, Canada’s death-cult oil industry and its federal and provincial government agents are anxiously hoping to expand production and fill the demand caused by declines in U.S. oil production.] Background: BP and Shell quietly plan for catastrophic 5°C global warming while publicly backing Paris climate agreement, by Ben Chapman, The Independent, Oct 27, 2017
The great wood biomass boondoggle, essay by Mary S. Booth, New York Review of Books, Oct 14, 2019 (Mary S. Booth is an eco-system scientist and the founder and director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity.)
Wall Street Journal and New York Times celebrate ‘shale revolution’ for investor class, despite its leading to our doom, by Joshua Cho, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR.org), Oct 16, 2019
We need a fair way to end infinite growth, by Samuel Miller McDonald, Current Affairs, Oct 1, 2019 …The unfortunate fact is that degrowth is inevitable. This is because it’s a basic fact of physics—”common sense”, as Czech-Canadian scientist Vaclav Smil puts it—that GDP cannot grow infinitely on planet Earth. There’s no form of economic activity that can be completely divorced from the finite materials provided by the Earth, regardless of who governs it: wealth is intrinsically tied to material resources…
Extinction Rebellion has a politics problem, by Erica Eisen, Current Affairs, Oct 11, 2019 …I do not think it is possible to find an apolitical solution to a political problem. More to the point, I do not believe that our current economic system is compatible with continued life on this planet. It is unrealistic and irresponsible to pretend that a proposed climate solution which keeps capitalism intact is any kind of solution at all. Put another way: There is no true green politics that is not a left politics. Rather than allowing the group to remain gracefully above the fray of contemporary political clashes, XR’s unwillingness to openly take an anti-capitalist stance erodes the credibility of its position because such silence lends tacit support to the carbon-belching powers that be…
Related: Extinction Rebellion faces backlash over ‘self-defeating’ disruption of London public transit on Oct 17, by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, Oct 18, 2019
Despite their promises, giant energy companies burn away vast amounts of natural gas, by Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times, Oct 16, 2019 …Last year, operators across the Eagle Ford and Permian basins in the Southwest and the Bakken basin near the Canadian border flared or vented a record 320 million cubic feet of gas, more than 40 percent above levels seen just five years ago. The pace for the first two quarters of 2019 has been even higher…
Death toll from Typhoon Hagibis in Japan reaches 72, CNN, Oct 15, 2019 …According to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s office, the typhoon brought “record-setting heavy rains and windstorms.” Hakone, southwest of Tokyo, received almost 1 meter (3.3 feet) of rain within 24 hours. Many areas received up to 40% of their annual rainfall over two days. 47 rivers burst their banks… Typhoon Hagibis is on course to be one of the costliest natural disasters to have hit Japan, with insured losses of more than $9 billion…
* From an earlier report in the New York Times: 1.5 million people live below sea level in eastern parts of Tokyo. Meteorologists have warned that as many as five million people would have to be evacuated if levees in low-lying areas were to be overwhelmed by surging floodwaters…
Related: Japan spent mightily to soften nature’s wrath, but can it ever be enough?, by By Ben Dooley, Makiko Inoue and Eimi Yamamitsu, New York Times, Oct 16, 2019 After a typhoon’s record-breaking rains breached dozens of levees, the country is wondering whether even the costliest systems can be future-proofed for the age of climate change.
Water stress rises as more wells run dry, by Tim Radford, Climate News Network, Oct 9,2019
California’s electricity production and distribution is unsuited to the new wilfire realities, begging the need for decentralized production and less of it. Commentary by Steven Weissman, New York Times, Oct 14, 2019 …Many of California’s worst fires, including last year’s Camp Fire which killed 85 people and destroyed over 18,000 structures, have been sparked by the failure of electric transmission and distribution equipment owned by Pacific Gas & Electric, one of the nation’s largest utilities, with 5.4 million electricity customers in the central and northern parts of the state. In recent days. the company shut down service to hundreds of thousands of customers because its equipment is not safe to operate when fire danger is high… If the new reality means less certainty from traditional grid-based power sources, then it also provides an opportunity beyond the old approach of relying on fossil fuels: Communities and individuals can begin generating renewable electricity on their own to improve reliability in a world where that is now less certain…
* California power lines spark wildfires and prompt blackouts. Why not just bury them?, by Janet Wilson, Palm Springs Desert Sun, Oct 11, 2019
* California power outages highlight economic disparity, Associated Press, Oct 13, 2019
Mediterranean is warming up faster than the rest of the planet, report warns, El Pais (Spain), Oct 11, 2019 …A new report shows that the temperature increase in the Mediterranean region has already reached 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels. What’s coming next, if additional measures to reduce greenhouse gases are not taken, is much worse: by 2040 the temperature increase will be 2.2ºC, and possibly as much as 3.8ºC in some parts of the basin by 2100. In just two decades, 250 million people will suffer from water scarcity due to the droughts…
Radical warming in Siberia leaves millions on unstable ground, Washington Post, Oct 3, 2019 … A Washington Post analysis has found that the region near the town of Zyryanka, in an enormous wedge of eastern Siberia called Yakutia, has warmed by more than three degrees Celsius since preindustrial times — roughly triple the global average. The permafrost that once sustained farming — and upon which villages and cities are built — is in the midst of a great thaw, blanketing the region with swamps, lakes and odd bubbles of earth that render the land virtually useless…
Related: Four ways Alaska’s unending warming impacts everyone, by Tim Lydon, The Revelator, Oct 11, 2019
Dire threat to bird species in Canada’s Arctic and boreal forest due to global warming, new report by National Audubon Society reveals, CBC News, Oct 10, 2019 Two-thirds of North America’s birds, or hundreds of species, will be squeezed by shrinking habitats if climate change continues at its current pace — especially Arctic birds like the snowy owl, boreal birds like the Canada jay and Western forest birds like the mountain bluebird, a new study from the National Audubon Society predicts…
Previously reported: North America has lost nearly three billion birds since 1970, Smithsonian Magazine, Sep 19, 2019 The staggering population loss of 29 per cent of North American birds could signal an ecological crisis Since 1970, North America has lost more than 2.9 billion birds, according to a study published in the journal Science on September 19…
Western media headlines Brazil’s right-wing president blaming unknown ‘foreigners’ for vast oil spill contaminating shoreline. Report in New York Times, Oct 8, 2019
Related: Unexplained oil spill hits beaches across eight states in Brazil, Reuters, Sep 27, 2019 …Environmental agency Ibama said that beaches along a 3,000-kilometre (1,860-mile) coastline of Brazil’s Northeast region had been hit by the spill…
As sea levels rise on the U.S. east coast, so do ghost forests, by Moises Velasquez-Manoff, contributor, and Gabriella Demczuk, photographer, New York Times, Oct 8, 2019 Salt water is killing woodlands along the U.S. East Coast, sometimes surprisingly far from the sea
Extinction Rebellion global network begins two weeks of action on Oct 7 to protest governments’ inaction on global warming threat. Statement by Extinction Rebellion, Oct 7, 2019 …The purpose of this rebellion is to use mass participation civil disobedience to put pressure on the UK Government to achieve the real emergency action needed to tackle the crisis.
U.S. Green Party debates Green New Deal, by Don Fitz, published in Green Social Thought, Sep 30, 2019 (Don Fitz is a member of the editorial board of Green Social Thought and was the 2016 Green Party candidate for governor of Missouri.) Despite the furor over the Green New Deal (GND), many of its supporters have no idea of the wide variety of views on it, especially within the Green Party where it originated. From June through August 2019, Missouri Greens held public discussions contrasting at least three distinct Green Party views to those of the Democratic Party…
A green Earth with peace and room for us all: ‘Red-Green’ statement from Denmark obscures the real threat to the world’s peoples. Programmatic statement of the Red-Green Alliance of Denmark, published on Aug 9, 2019 [Rising imperialist war and militarism is a key feature of the present world. Combined with the threat of global warming, the world’s peoples are threatened by the runaway capitalist order. Yet in their statement, the ‘Red-Greens’ of Denmark are confused by the imperialist threat, offering demagogy instead. “Great powers such as China, the EU, Russia, and India represent their national corporative interests and not justice. Although countries such as Russia and China are increasingly in conflict with the Western capitalist countries, these countries are by no means an alternative to the capitalist system.” But what is at stake for Russia and China is an assault by the Western imperialist countries, known as the new cold war. Russia and China choose to oppose imperialism’s regime-change wars–including its drive to overthrow the governments of Venezuela and Cuba–as part of defending their own national sovereignty. But the ‘Red-Greens’ dismiss the significance of this.[The Red-Greens write further in their statement: “Today we see how a large number of large countries and territories are moving in an authoritarian and undemocratic direction. This applies to India, the United States, Russia, China, a number of EU countries, Turkey, Brazil, etc.” This leads to downplaying the threat to the world’s peoples by the leading imperialist countries with their nuclear weapons and their extensive spying and disrupting apparatus (think Julian Assange and Edward Snowden!). And what an ‘oversight’ to fail to mention the extreme-right government in Ukraine (Europe) and the neo-Nazi legions it leans upon to rule. Our ‘Red-Green’ voices fall silent when it comes to the actions of their own ruling classes in allliance with the Trump regime in the U.S.]
The plastics industry’s long fight to blame pollution on you, by Sharon Lerner, video by Lauren Feeney, eight-minute video report broadcast on The Intercept, Oct 3, 2019
Greta Thunberg is right, fairy tales of endless growth will destroy us, by Jennifer Ellen Good (Brock University), published in The Conversation, Canada, Sep 27, 2019 (also published in The Tyee, Sep 30, 2019) Growth is driving climate change. But news media ignore the clear connection. [This commentary is part of a slowly rising trend among liberal environmentalists to identify ‘growth’ as a driver of global warming. But none of the left-wing researchers who have pioneered the study of the growth imperative of capitalism and why this imperative makes capitalism incapable of resolving the global warming crisis are cited in the commentary–for example, Jason Hickel and Giorgos Kallis. Instead, the commentary lists liberal environmentalists such as economist Juliet Schor, philosopher Thomas Homer-Dixon and writer Naomi Klein. Yes, they are beginning to cautiously sound concerns over capitalism’s unlimited growth, but they are not anti-capitalist in their outlook and they avoid discussion or even mention of the political imperative of degrowth.]
‘How dare you’: The climate crisis and the public demand for real action, by the editors, Media Lens (UK), Sep 30, 2019
Capitalism’s deadly disruption of the Earth’s nitrogen cycle, by Ian Angus, published in Climate and Capitalism, Sept 30, 2019 (This is part three of a four-part article series. Part one and part two explained how the global nitrogen cycle works and the environmental damage caused by a massive increase of reactive nitrogen in the soil, air and water over the course of the 20th century. Part three examines capitalism’s attempts to solve the metabolic rift in 19th century agriculture by plundering the global south. Part four will examine how capitalism’s solution to the nitrogen shortage has produced massive oversupply and overuse and an even larger rift in Earth’s global metabolism.)
Ten ways that the climate crisis and militarism are intertwined, by Medea Benjamin, Foreign Policy In Focus, Sep 27, 2019 [In this insightful essay, Medea Benjamin makes many valuable arguments why the eco-justice movement must place anti-militarism at the center of its program and outlook. Presently, we are far from that situation. The imperialist countries are waging a new cold war against Russia and China with little domestic opposition. But the most compelling argument for opposing militarism is missing, namely that if left unchallenged, imperialist war and militarism politically disarms the working class and its allies. Benjamin makes a call to “de-fund the Pentagon”, which the reader can reasonably interpret as “End imperialist war and militarism; cancel the military budgets of the imperialist countries, especially those NATO countries which posses and threaten to use nuclear weapons.” This is, above all, a political struggle to wrest political power from the capitalist rulers and open the path to a new civilizatoin of social justice and ecological harmony.]
‘Choices made now are critical for the future of our ocean and cryosphere’, press release by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Sep 25, 2019 (six-page release) The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report highlights the urgency of prioritizing timely, ambitious and coordinated action to address unprecedented and enduring changes in the ocean and cryosphere… The ‘Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate’ was approved on September 24, 2019 by the 195 IPCC member governments…
The full report is 1,170 pages. The report, including its 45-page ‘Summary for Policymakers’, can be downloaded here.
* New report by IPCC: Oceans rising faster, ice melting more, Associated Press, Sep 25, 2019
* IPCC report warns of a bleak future for oceans and frozen regions under climate change, Science News, Sep 25, 2019
Teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg honored with stunning street art mural in Bristol, England, story by Lee Moran, HuffPost, Sep 26, 2019 In Bristol, England, Jody Thomas has painted a 15-meter-high tribute to the campaigning Swedish schoolgirl
Roads closed as experts warn the Italian side of Mont Blanc glacier may collapse, report by The Local, Italy, Sep 25, 2019
Related: Scientists trek to Venezuela’s disappearing Humboldt Glacier, Associated Press, Sep 23, 2019 Scientists say Venezuela will be the first country in South America to lose all its glaciers
‘When is this going to end?’: Indonesians shrouded in toxic haze, Al Jazeera, Sep 23, 2019 Fires, started on plantations, have been burning since July, sending air pollution to hazardous levels.
[In 2015’s record year, fires scorched about 6.5 million acres of land in Indonesia and prompted the Indonesian government to declare a state of emergency (report here). More than 800,000 acres of forest have burned so far in 2019.]
‘Net zero emissions’: The new, trendy language of ‘delay and deflect’ responses to the global warming emergency:
* Liberal Party election campaign pledges Canada will have net-zero emissions by 2050 — but details are scarce, Global News, Sep 24, 2019
* Britain’s ‘net zero emissions’ climate target is a fantasy while we’re all still praying at the altar of economic growth, by James Dyke, The Independent, June 12, 2019 It isn’t good enough, but we should see Theresa May’s announcement as the first part of a wedge that we need to hammer in with increasing force. This is just the start of a generations long battle to save civilisation from climate breakdown
* Net zero: the story of the target that will shape our future, by Megan Darby, Climate Change News, Sep 16, 2019
* [European countries and now Canada are falling over each other to declare ‘net zero emissions by 2050’ (or choose your date) policies. Britain’s ‘policy’, announced in June 2019, does not cover the emissions by shipping and aviation industries, the goods and services Britain consumes that are produced overseas, nor the burgeoning biomass industry that includes the clearcutting of forests around the world to manufacture and burn wood pellets in place of coal. (See the following ‘related’ story). Canada, of course, is a leading environmental vandal due to its tar sands extraction and export. Continued and even expanded tar sands production in Alberta is supported by all parties in the Canadian Parliament (excepting the small Bloc Québécois party, in a province that produces vast quantities of hydro-electric power from huge dams on dozens of major rivers). Amazingly, there is almost no environmental literature that is critical of the burgeoning ‘delay and deflect’ language of ‘net zero emissions’.].
* UK net-zero emissions pledge undermined by biomass energy, Mongabay, June 19, 2019 The United Kingdom and the European Union are setting goals to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. But that declaration is deeply flawed, analysts say, due to a long-standing United Nations carbon accounting loophole that turns a blind eye toward the conversion of coal burning power plants to burning wood pellets. (ital)
…Worrying environmentalists further: former coal-fired plants across the EU, especially in Denmark and Belgium, are also fast converting to wood pellets, encouraged by a longstanding loophole in global carbon accounting that was not closed in the writing of the Paris rulebook last December during the 24th United Nations Climate Summit in Poland (December 2018).
…The biomass loophole “fundamentally undermines our ability to genuinely reduce emissions and increase the carbon sink [created by maintaining and restoring forests]; it’s a double whammy,” said scientist Mary Booth, director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity in the U.S., and a leading biomass accounting expert. “If you had to come up with one idea to really undermine the progress in climate mitigation, you really can’t do better than cutting down forests and burning them.” …
Greta Thunberg’s impassioned speech to the UN’s ‘Climate Action Summit 2019’
Speech delivered on Sep 23, 2019 (five minutes), broadcast on the YouTube channel of PBS News Hour. Read a news report on Thunberg’s speech here on VOX.com. The full text of the speech is contained in this pdf attachment: Greta Thunberg’s speech to UN’s ‘Climate Action Summit 2019’.
On September 23, 2019, Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg delivered an impassioned, five-minute speech to the ‘Climate Action Summit 2019’ of the United Nations. The summit meeting is a one-day event that is one of many summit meetings taking place during the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly, September 23 to 27.
Related: UN Climate Action Summit 2019 press release, Sep 23, 2019 (five-page document) In the face of worsening climate crisis, UN Summit delivers new pathways and practical actions to shift global response into higher gear
UN report: Climate change causes and impacts are increasing, news report published on Axios, Sep 23, 2019 Referencing:
‘United In Science: High-level synthesis report of latest climate science information’, 28-page report issued on Sep 22, 2019 by the Science Advisory Group of the UN Climate Action Summit 2019
From the report introduction: This report, 28 pages, has been compiled by the World Meteorological Organization under the auspices of the Science Advisory Group of the UN Climate Action Summit 2019, to bring together the latest climate science related updates from a group of key global partner organizations: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), UN Environment (UNEP), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Global Carbon Project, Future Earth, Earth League and the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS). The content of each chapter of this report is attributable to published information from the respective organizations. Overall content compilation of this material has been carried out by the World Meteorological Organization. This report is available electronically, together with more extended background reports and additional supporting material here…
Norway to pay Gabon $150 million to protect rainforests, by Laureen Fagan, Sustainability Times, Sep 22, 2019 The West African nation of Gabon has become the first on the continent to get paid to protect its rainforests as part of a global strategy to meet climate change challenges. A ten-year agreement will see Norway, working through the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), contribute US$150 million
…CAFI, established four years ago, includes six African nations and a host of global development agencies and European partners committed to protecting rainforests that cover an area the size of Western Europe…
[How significant is CAFI and the financial contribution by Norway? The GDP of Gabon in 2017 was USD14.6 billion.]
What to expect at five-day, annual UN General Assembly meeting beginning September 23, report in New York Times, Sep 21, 2019 September 23 will see the United Nations Climate Action Summit. No-shows or otherwise absent from the speakers’ podium will be the United States, Brazil and Japan. At the current pace, global temperatures are set to rise beyond 3 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels by the end of the century even if every country on Earth meets its goals under the 2015 Paris pact.
Related: UN Climate Action Summit taking place on September 23, 2019 during the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly. Report by ‘UN Climate Action Summit 2019’
Largest global warming protest in history draws four million worldwide, campaign enters entire week of more action, Common Dreams, Sep 21, 2019
Millions strike and protest for government action to respond to the global warming emergency, end the class war against humans and nature, report in Common Dreams, Sep 20, 2019 CBC radio news in Canada reports: “The students marching in the climate strike today have three key demands: end the dependence on fossil fuels; protect vulnerable communities on the front lines of climate change; punish the polluters
Related: UN climate summit on Sep 23 to test world’s resolve to halt warming, Reuters, Sep 20, 2019
System change not climate change, by Mike Treen, The Daily Blog (New Zealand), Sep 19, 2019 (Mike Treen is National Director of Unite Union in New Zealand.) …The capitalist market does not have a conscience. It only has winners and losers. Winners are those who more successfully cheat their workers and plunder the environment more successfully than others. They are then able to produce their commodities more cheaply than their competitor and win a greater market share and eventually drive the competitor out of business. This is capitalism’s creative destruction… It is also a system of endless growth. It has averaged about three per cent per year for 150 years. That means the global economy doubles every 25 years. A capitalist economy of commodity production-for-profit is an ever-expanding rapacious beast that will also double the exhaustion of the world’s natural resources and the exploitation of human labour power…
Scientists back global climate strike, by Alex Kirby, Climate News Network, Sep 20, 2019 Leading scientists have declared their support for the global climate strike which starts today. In a statement published by the Earth League, headed Humanity is Tipping the Scales of the World, 20 respected scientists throw their weight into the argument…
Ronald Wright, author of 2004 book ‘A Short History of Progress’: ‘Can we still dodge the progress trap?‘, by Ronald Wright, excerpt from the introduction to a new edition of his 2004 book, published in The Tyee, Sep 20, 2019
North America has lost nearly three billion birds since 1970, Smithsonian Magazine, Sep 19, 2019 The staggering population loss of 29 per cent of North American birds could signal an ecological crisis
World to become hotter than expected report updated climate models by French scientists, Bloomberg News, Sep 17, 2019 and read: related reports in Common Dreams, Sep 17, 2019 and in Phys.org, Sep 17, 2019
Court acquits Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) executives for role in Fukushima nuclear disaster, Common Dreams, Sep 19, 2019
Related: At International Atomic Energy Agency general conference, South Korea and Japan debate issue of dumping Fukushima’s contaminated water, The Hankyoreh, Sep 18, 2019
* North and South Korea oppose Japan’s plan to release radioactive Fukushima water into the ocean, Deutsche Welle, Sep 12, 2019
* Fukushima: Japan may have to dump radioactive water into the sea, environment minister says, ABC.net.au, Sep 10, 2019
The Democratic Party’s Green New Deal is ‘transformative’ says Naomi Klein in CBC Radio interview’, interview with Naomi Klein, broadcast on CBC Radio One‘s ‘The Current’, Sep 17, 2019 (interview begins at 23’30” mark) [In this wide-ranging interview, Naomi Klein makes the liberal environmental argument that a world awash in fossil-fueled excess can be salvaged by replacing fossil fuels with ‘renewable’ energies. She says that in the October 21 Canadian election, the NDP and the Green Party are advancing “pretty good plans” and she hopes to see a Liberal-NDP-Green government result.] Related: In new book, Naomi Klein makes the case for a Green New Deal to save the planet, interview with Naomi Klein, broadcast on Democracy Now!, Sep 17, 2019 (34-minute interview, with transcript) ‘I think, fundamentally, the Green New Deal is a transformational approach to the climate crisis that is on the scale of the crisis itself‘
China and the prospects for a global ecological civilization, by David Schwartzman, published in Climate and Capitalism, Sep 17, 2019 (David Schwartzman is Professor Emeritus of Biology at Howard University, Washington DC. This is a revised version of a paper he gave at the 2nd World Congress on Marxism, Peking University, May 5-6, 2018.)
Predatory climate deniers are a threat to our children, by Tim Flannery, published in The Conversation, Sept 16, 2019
Fossil fuels are an existential threat. Stop messing around and make laws to ban them, by Thomas Nash, guest writer, The Spinoff (New Zealand), Sep 17, 2019
On climate and food, what’s the lesson we insist on missing?, by Frances Moore Lappé, Truthout.org, Sept 17, 2019
Indonesia battles forest fires and condemnations from neighbours over toxic haze, ABC.net.au, Sep 16, 2019
Related: Palm oil was supposed to help save the planet. Instead it unleashed a catastrophe, by Abrahm Lustgarten, New York Times Magazine, Nov 20, 2018 A decade ago, the U.S. mandated the use of vegetable oil in biofuels, leading to industrial-scale deforestation — and a huge spike in carbon emissions.
Naomi Klein invents ‘eco-fascism’ as part of publicity boost for new book, comment by Roger Annis, Sep 16, 2019
Naomi Klein and other liberal environmentalists have spent years ignoring the rising threat of fascism in Ukraine and neighbouring eastern European countries. This despite the fact that the U.S., UK and Canada are arming and training extremist paramilitiaries and ‘regular’ armed forces in Ukraine and the Baltic countries while their allies in the European Union and NATO military alliance are chipping in providing essential political support to Ukraine. The West’s new cold war against Russia includes a U.S.-led renewal of a nuclear arms race. But the liberal environmentalists are silent on these threats. Instead, Klein is warning us of the nebulous and confusing concept of ‘eco-fascism’ (see: The dawn of climate fascism, in The Intercept, Sep 16, 2019 and Ecofascism: Naomi Klein warns the far right’s embrace of white supremacy is tied to climate crisis, interview on Democracy Now!, Sep 17, 2019). It is common for academics such as Professor Klein (Rutgers U) to invent concepts and categories in order to polish their academic credentials. Think, for example, of the term ‘neoliberalism’ which became all the rage beginning in the 1980s even though it obscured–and continues to obscure–the reality of the rise in the late 1970s and 1980s of today’s globalized capitalism. ‘Eco-fascism’ is a convenient mechanism for left-wing thinkers (evidently steeped in anti-Russia prejudices if not if not anti-China prejudices, too) to avoid the ‘uncomfortable’ subject of the rise of imperialist militarism and war and its related new cold war against Russia and China.]
Oil and gas companies approve $50 billion of major projects that undermine climate targets and risk shareholder returns, press release by Carbon Tracker, Sep 5, 2019 …This first study to identify individual projects that are inconsistent with the 2015 Paris Agreement on global warming finds that no major oil company is investing to support the agreement’s goals of keeping global warming “well below” 2°C and to “pursue efforts” to limit it to a maximum of 1.5°C.
…Since the start of 2018, all major oil and gas companies have approved project that are not consistent with the Paris goals. Carbon Tracker highlights $50 billion of investment in 18 major projects that are not even consistent with a 1.7-1.8°C pathway (IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario). They include Shell’s $13 billion liquefied natural gas project in Canada…
Read the full report here.
For liberal and radical environmentalists alike, the concept of ‘degrowth’ remains a ‘no-go’ area, comment by Roger Annis, Sep 15, 2019
An editor of Green Social Thought website has published an essay debunking a central plank of the greenwashing, ‘Green New Deal’ of liberal environmentalists who advocate ‘alternative energies’ to replace fossil fuel energies. They argue that transitioning to ‘alternative energies’ and various offshoots such as electric vehicles is the path to salvation from the grim future that the global warming emergency holds for humanity. In his essay, Don Fitz provides 15 compelling arguments why ‘alternative energies’ will do little to alleviate the accelerating global warming crisis. The essay is published in Resilience.org on September 12.
The author borrows the argument of degrowth advocates when he writes “the only form of truly clean energy is less energy”. But nowhere in his essay does he acknowledge or identify with the pioneering work of degrowth advocates, for example the work of Jason Hickel and Giorgos Kallis. Instead, we get a de-facto acknowledgement of degrowth doctrine but silence as to its actual existence and implications.
The Marxian journal Monthly Review has until now acted similarly. On August 30, its online news and analysis service MR Online published the weblink to an essay by Jason Hickel: Degrowth: a theory of radical abundance. All well and fine. But the MR Online notification of the essay comes five months after the original publication of Hickel’s essay. In an introductory note, the editors say they find Hickel’s essay to be “interesting” and worthy of notification to readers.
Why the reluctance to accept the societal and environmental imperative of degrowth? For liberal environmentalists, the reason is clear: degrowth, properly understood, is an anti-capitalist doctrine proposing radical economic and social transformation. Liberal environmentalists such as Naomi Klein (“I think Bernie [Sanders’] campaign has done a very good job of articulating what the U.S. piece of a global Green New Deal would look like”; the Democrats’ Green New Deal is “transformational“) and Extinction Rebellion shrink from an anti-capitalist program (even if Monthly Review and other Marxian environmentalists present Klein as a voice of anti-capitalism). For their part, radical environmentalists, including the Marxians, simply lack a political doctrine founded in class struggle. What forms of government should the working class and allies strive for in order to tackle the triple threat facing humanity: rising imperialist war and militarism, global warming emergency, and deepening social and economic inequities? What are the class alliances that are needed to achieve such governments, and what are the step-by-step measures they must initiate to lead human society back from the precipice? The radicals do not ask the questions, leave alone answer them. Instead, they are content with a doctrine consisting of abstract slogans: ‘revolution’, ‘socialism‘, etc.
In interview with Guardian, Naomi Klein slams Western left for inattention to consumerism while endorsing Democratic Party’s ‘Green New Deal’ that promotes ‘green consumerism’. Interview published in the pro-imperialist Guardian daily, Sep 14, 2019 Q: Do you feel encouraged by talk of the Green New Deal? A: I feel a tremendous excitement and a sense of relief, that we are finally talking about solutions on the scale of the crisis we face… [In her answer to the question, Klein says nothing about the actual content of the Democratic Party’s Green New Deal.]
Public Services International labor federation with 30 million member-affiliates calls on all unions to join Sept 20-27 global climate strikes, by Jake Johnson, Common dreams, Sep 12, 2019
The limits of clean energy, by Jason Hickel, Foreign Policy Magazine, Sept 6, 2019 ‘If the world isn’t careful, renewable energy could become as destructive as fossil fuels. The only truly clean energy is less energy.’
What if we stopped pretending that catastrophic change due to global warming can still be prevented?, by Jonathan Franzen, The New Yorker, Sep 8, 2019 (Jonathan Franzen is a widely acclaimed U.S. novelist. His latest book is The End of the End of the Earth (2018), a collection of essays.) …Some of the global warming denial, however, is more willful. The evil of the Republican Party’s position on climate science is well known, but denial is entrenched in progressive politics, too, or at least in its rhetoric. The Green New Deal, the blueprint for some of the most substantial proposals put forth on the issue, is still framed as our last chance to avert catastrophe and save the planet, by way of gargantuan renewable-energy projects. Many of the groups that support those proposals deploy the language of “stopping” climate change, or imply that there’s still time to prevent it. Unlike the political right, the left prides itself on listening to climate scientists, who do indeed allow that catastrophe is theoretically avertable. But not everyone seems to be listening carefully. The stress falls on the word theoretically…
In report, ‘world leaders’ call for effective ‘adaptation’ to the global warming crisis they helped create, press release by UN Environment, Sep 10, 2019 and read: report in pro-imperialist Guardian daily, Sep 10, 2019
Carbon emissions in British Columbia rose 1.2 per cent in 2017, showing no overall decrease in the past ten years, Vancouver Sun, Sep 9, 2019 [Liberal environmentalists around the world have praised British Columbia’s carbon tax, introduced in 2008. But the tax is a distraction and propaganda showcase: greenhouse gas emissions in BC have now increased in five of the last seven years. They are back to the 2007 level of 64.8 million tonnes. By far the largest source of emissions–from the provinces forests–are not even included in gov’t estimates! (see related report).] Related: Rising clearcutting, forest fires, insect infestations: Carbon emissions from BC forests are kept out of official gov’t emissions tally, CBC News, Jan 28, 2019 …Data released by the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change measured 64.46 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 compared to 64.76 million tonnes in 2007. [Climate-warming carbon emissions released from B.C. forests in both 2017 and 2018 were more than three times higher than from all other sources combined in 2016, the report from Sierra Club BC (six pages) estimates. Forest fire in 2017 caused an estimated 190 million tonnes of CO2 emissions; even more forest territory burned in 2018. Logging and slash burning add close to 50 million tons annually.]
In Brazil’s rainforests, ongoing deforestation means the worst fires are likely still to come, by Robert Walker, The Conversation, Sep 9, 2019 The number of fires this year in the Amazon is the highest since 2010, reaching more than 90,000 active fires. Farmers and ranchers routinely use fires to clear the forest. But this year’s number reflects a worrisome uptick in the rate of deforestation, which had started to drop around 2005 before rebounding earlier this decade. Many people blame the Brazilian government and its pro-agriculture policies for the current crisis. But as an environmental researcher who has worked in the Amazon for the past 25 years, I can say the seeds were planted before the election of President Jair Bolsonaro in 2018…
While the Amazon and the rest of the world burns, Cuba is increasing its forested area, Telesur, Sep 5, 2019 The socialist island is a rare example of large scale reforestation, whereas the rest of the world moves in the opposite direction … The report published in the Cuban daily Granma points to figures from the Forestry Department of the Ministry of Agriculture showing an increase of over 22,000 hectares of forested area in the last year, a small increase of 0.26 percent. Forest now makes up almost one third of the country’s surface area, just over 31 per cent. This is in stark contrast to 1959, prior to the revolution, when just 13 per cent of Cuba was covered by forest…
Bolivia’s president Evo Morales providing leadership in the face of fires burning the Amazon region, Granma (Cuba daily), Sep 5, 2019
Bahamas storm damage is ‘as though a nuclear bomb was dropped’ says head of U.S. Aid, by Aristos Georgiou, Newsweek, Sept 9, 2019
* In Bahamas, battered residents ask: Where is our government?, by Kirk Semple, Frances Robles, Rachel Knowles and Elisabeth Malkin, New York Times, Sep 7, 2019 [The tiny island nation of 400,000 residents has been overwhelmed by the catastrophic Hurricane Dorian. Its residents are losing patience with their government’s response. The death toll as of September 12 is 50, with 1,300 listed as missing.].
* Bahamians lash out at government over disaster response, CBS News, Sept 6, 2019 [In January 2010, the imperialist governments in the West along with their aid/charity nexus promised to ‘build back better’ in Haiti following the devastating earthquake on January 12 of that year that killed some 40,000 to 70,000 people (not the ‘250,000’ or ‘300,000’ numbers thrown around by Western governments and media, aid agencies and even United Nations agencies in order to garner more money for their work). Since 2010, the people of Puerto Rico and now The Bahamas are learning cruel lessons that proper disaster preparation and response in a warming world is ephemeral and reserved for those with money or influence.]
Ocean creeps ever closer to coastal houses in New Zealand, by Alex Braae, published as ‘The Bulletin’ (daily news summary), The Spinoff (New Zealand), Sep 9, 2019
ABC, CBS and NBC covered climate crisis connection to Hurricane Dorian only once in 216 segments on storm, Common Dreams, Sep 7, 2019
A globalised solar-powered future is wholly unrealistic – and our economy is the reason why, by Alf Hornborg (professor of human ecology at Lund University in Sweden), published in The Conversation, Sep 6, 2019
…Among most champions of sustainability, such as advocates of a Green New Deal, there is an unshakeable conviction that the problem of climate change can be solved by engineers…
Those who remain sceptical to the promises of technology – such as advocates of radical downshifting or degrowth – tend to be marginalised from politics and the media. So far, any politician who seriously advocates degrowth is not likely to have a future in politics…
So the general consensus seems to be that the problem of climate change is just a question of replacing one energy technology with another. But a historical view reveals that the very idea of technology is inextricably intertwined with capital accumulation, unequal exchange and the idea of all-purpose money. And as such, it is not as easy to redesign as we like to think. Shifting the main energy technology is not just a matter of replacing infrastructure – it means transforming the economic world order…
Climate change and the other horrors of the Anthropocene don’t just tell us to stop using fossil fuels – they tell us that globalisation itself is unsustainable.
Will deforestation and warming push the amazon to a tipping point?, interview with Carlos Nobre, by Fen Montaigne, published in Yale Environment 360, Sep 4, 2019 Carlos Nobre is Brazil’s leading expert on the Amazon and climate change. In this interview, he discusses the key perils facing the world’s largest rainforest, where a record number of fires are now raging, and lays out what can be done to stave off a ruinous transformation of the region.
Agribusiness against the Amazon, by Roger Maioli, published in Dissent Magazine, Sep 5, 2019 (Roger Maioli is a Brazilian professor of English at the College of the Liberal Arts and Sciences of the University of Florida.) …Widespread attempts to dismiss the crisis in the Amazon, including by Western media and the current Brazil government, are seriously misleading. They betray, at best, a misunderstanding about Brazilian environmental policies since the early 2000s. These years witnessed unsustainably high levels of forest fires in the Amazon; the fact that 2019 is above that average means that international concern over the fires is fully warranted…
The Amazon’s forest fires are a global peril – but so are Canada’s, op-ed commentary by Arno Kopecky, in The Globe and Mail, Sep 6, 2019 (Arno Kopecky is an environmental journalist in Vancouver. He is the author of The Devil’s Curve: A Journey into Power and Profit at the Amazon’s Edge (2012) and The Oil Man and the Sea: Navigating the Northern Gateway (2014). )
Related: So what’s a progressive voter to?, by Arno Kopecky, The Tyee, Sep 9, 2019 …Wherever you live, whatever you believe in, whichever leader you most love or loathe, you likely share a belief that things have already gone so far in the wrong direction that society — hell, civilization — now finds itself tiptoeing along several tipping points at the same time. For those of us who consider ourselves ‘progressive’ …these many points of no return fall under three broad headings of equal and codependent magnitude: climate change, inequality, and racism… [Has imperialist war and militarism disappeared from the Earth? If not, why is this not identified as one of the ‘points of no return’ for humanity?]
Climate minimizers don’t deny climate change, but they find endless reasons to reject Bernie Sanders’ plan to stop it, by Esha Krishnaswamy, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR.org), Sep 6, 2019 Climate change is an existential threat to human civilization. If only corporate media acted like it. While the majority of corporate media do not outright deny the reality of the human-caused climate crisis, they are filled with another brand of insidious ideologues that I call climate minimizers…
Related: CNN’s televised town hall went deep on climate crisis, but was anyone listening?, by Julie Hollar, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR.org), Sep 6, 2019
Getting lost on the road to communist utopia: A response to Aaron Bastani’s ‘Fully Automated Luxury Communism’, by Gabriel Levy, published on his website People and Nature, Sep 3, 2019
Phosphate fertiliser ‘crisis’ threatens world food supply, by Damian Carrington, environment editor, The Guardian (pro-imperialist UK daily), Sep 6, 2019 Use of essential rock phosphate has soared, but scientists fear it could run out within a few decades
Related: How the great phosphorus shortage could leave us all hungry, by Charly Faradji (Marie Curie Research Fellow, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol) and Marissa de Boer (Researcher VU Amsterdam, Project Manager SusPhos, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, published in The Conversation, Feb 11, 2016
Large majority of Canadians want ‘action’ from governments on global warming, latest polling shows, by Abacus Data, Sep 6, 2019
As Brazil burns, Northern media deploy a strategy of deflection, by Brian Mier, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, Sep 5, 2019
Your guide to the carbon sucking tech we need to save the planet, by Michael Le Page, New Scientist (weekly), print issue of Aug 10, 2019 Humans have emitted so much carbon dioxide that we must find ways of sucking it from the air. But planting a trillion trees isn’t quite the climate panacea it might seem. Read the article here in pdf format: Carbon removal from atmosphere
Outshining fossil fuel: Your guide to the revolution in solar energy, by Tom Shivers, New Scientist, print issue of Aug 10, 2019 Solar power is getting so cheap it is overtaking fossil fuels – and that’s without next-generation photovoltaic technology and artificial photosynthesis Read the article here in pdf format: Guide to the revolution in solar power
Twenty dead, more deaths expected and ‘total devastation’ on some Bahamas islands following passing of Hurricane Dorian, Associated Press, Sep 4, 2019 and view: Aerial video of the destruction on the Abacos Islands of The Bahamas, here. Before and after video of the destruction is here on New York Times.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative could drive warming to 2.7 degrees, in ‘360 Digest’, Yale Environment 360, Sep 4, 2019