We Have Five Years To Save Ourselves From Climate Change, Harvard Scientist Says Carbon pollution is rapidly forcing the climate back to a state last seen in the Eocene Epoch, when there was no ice on the poles, warned James Anderson, the Harvard scientist known for linking CFCs to erosion of the Ozone Layer. Shutterstock The level of carbon now in the atmosphere hasn't been seen in 12 million years, a Harvard scientist said in Chicago Thursday, and this pollution is rapidly pushing the climate back to its state in the Eocene Epoch, more than 33 million years ago, when there was no ice on either pole. "We have exquisite information about what that state is, because we have a paleo record going back millions of years, when the earth had no ice at either pole.
Recycling of Polyvinyl Chloride Polyvinyl chloride is one of the most widely used plastics worldwide. A major problem in the recycling of polyvinyl chloride is the high chlorine content in raw PVC and high levels of hazardous additives added to the polymer to achieve the desired material quality. As a result, PVC requires separation from other plastics before mechanical recycling. PVC products have an average lifetime of 30 years, with some reaching 50 or more years.
Climate Undermined by Lobbying For all the evidence that the benefits of reducing greenhouse gases outweigh the costs of regulation, disturbingly few domestic climate change policies have been enacted around the world so far. So say UC Santa Barbara professor and economist Kyle Meng, and co-author Ashwin Rode, a former UCSB Ph.D. student now at the University of Chicago, in a paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change. “There is a striking disconnect between what is needed to avoid dangerous climate change and what has actually been done to date,” said Meng, a professor in the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and in the Department of Economics. One common explanation for that disconnect, he added, is that jurisdictions are reluctant to adopt climate policy when they can simply benefit from the reductions implemented by other jurisdictions. However, say Meng and Rode, the political process that leads to climate change regulation can be a barrier to its own legislation.
Is inequality bad for the environment? That equality matters in terms of health and happiness has been clear for some years. But it is also better for the environment. The evidence (which is still emerging) suggests the most unequal affluent countries contribute more to climate change via pollution than their more equal counterparts. A large section of their people may suffer more, too. A new report predicts the United States will see its levels of economic inequality increase due to the uneven geographical effects of climate change – resulting in “the largest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in the country’s history”, according the study’s lead author.
A Year of Deep Adaptation « Professor Jem Bendell One year ago this month, our Institute at the University of Cumbria released my paper on Deep Adaptation to our climate tragedy. It has since been downloaded over half a million times, been translated into many languages, inspired Facebook groups (one with over 4000 people), many events, and been credited by commentators and activists as helping the Extinction Rebellion movement. Not bad for what one journalist suggested to me was a “career suicide note.” Over the past year I have sought to do what I could to channel the shock, anger, fear, despair, and passion of so many people who got in touch with me, into networks of solidarity, contemplation, inquiry and action. That has included the launch of the Deep Adaptation Forum for people who want to work through what this means for their day jobs – or whether to quit.
Renewables 2019 Market analysis and forecast from 2019 to 2024 "Renewables are already the world's second largest source of electricity, but their deployment still needs to accelerate if we are to achieve long-term climate, air quality and energy access goals" Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA Renewables 2019 is the IEA market analysis and forecast from 2019 to 2024 on renewable energy and technologies. It provides global trends and developments for renewable energy in the electricity, heat and transport sectors. The analysis this year contains an in-depth look at distributed solar PV, which is set to more than double in capacity in the next five years, accounting for almost half of all solar PV growth.
The Social Life of Forests The Social Life of Forests By Ferris Jabr Photographs by Brendan George Ko As a child, Suzanne Simard often roamed Canada’s old-growth forests with her siblings, building forts from fallen branches, foraging mushrooms and huckleberries and occasionally eating handfuls of dirt (she liked the taste). Her grandfather and uncles, meanwhile, worked nearby as horse loggers, using low-impact methods to selectively harvest cedar, Douglas fir and white pine. They took so few trees that Simard never noticed much of a difference.
1.9 billion people at risk from mountain water shortages, study shows A quarter of the world’s population are at risk of water supply problems as mountain glaciers, snow-packs and alpine lakes are run down by global heating and rising demand, according to an international study. The first inventory of high-altitude sources finds the Indus is the most important and vulnerable “water tower” due to run-off from the Karakoram, Hindu Kush, Ladakh, and Himalayan mountain ranges, which flow downstream to a densely populated and intensively irrigated basin in Pakistan, India, China and Afghanistan. The authors warn this vast water tower – a term they use to describe the role of water storage and supply that mountain ranges play to sustain environmental and human water demands downstream – is unlikely to sustain growing pressure by the middle of the century when temperatures are projected to rise by 1.9C (35.4F), rainfall to increase by less than 2%, but the population to grow by 50% and generate eight times more GDP.
One climate crisis disaster happening every week, UN warns Climate crisis disasters are happening at the rate of one a week, though most draw little international attention and work is urgently needed to prepare developing countries for the profound impacts, the UN has warned. Catastrophes such as cyclones Idai and Kenneth in Mozambique and the drought afflicting India make headlines around the world. But large numbers of “lower impact events” that are causing death, displacement and suffering are occurring much faster than predicted, said Mami Mizutori, the UN secretary-general’s special representative on disaster risk reduction. “This is not about the future, this is about today.” This means that adapting to the climate crisis could no longer be seen as a long-term problem, but one that needed investment now, she said. “People need to talk more about adaptation and resilience.”
Tobacco control, a ‘major component’ of environmental protection efforts – UN health official The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), which is celebrating the 15th anniversary of it being adopted this year – is a global health treaty that advocates for the control of tobacco production, sale and use, as a way of reducing tobacco-related illnesses, deaths, environmental degradation and poverty across the world. “People often immediately think of the health impact that tobacco has, but there is not enough awareness of how tremendously destructive it is for the environment too, on land, under water and in the air,” said Dr. Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, the Head of the WHO FCTC Secretariat. “Studies indicate that tobacco growing could be up to 10 times more aggressive than all other deforestation factors,” Dr. da Costa e Silva noted. Governments need to understand that tobacco control is a major component of any effective and holistic environmental protection effort - Dr.
They’re Among the World’s Oldest Living Things. The Climate Crisis Is Killing Them. Sequoia Crest, Calif. — Until a few years ago, about the only thing that killed an old-growth giant sequoia was old age. Not only are they the biggest of the world’s trees, by volume — the General Sherman Tree, considered the largest, is 36 feet in diameter at its base and 275 feet tall — they are among the oldest. At least one fallen giant sequoia was estimated to have been more than 3,200 years old. They last so long that, historically, only one or two of every thousand old-growth trees dies annually, according to Nate Stephenson, a research ecologist for the United States Geological Survey. Fire always was a frequent visitor to sequoia groves, but rarely a threat. Mature sequoias are virtually fireproof because the bark can be several feet thick.
Hard living: what does concrete do to our bodies? Michael has worked with concrete for 27 years. His job involves “breaking out” walls and floors, mixing concrete, injection work and drilling. These days, he suffers from chronic breathlessness, has had a cough for around three years and struggles to walk long distances. It is suspected that an emphysema-like condition called silicosis is to blame. Thanks to early-onset arthritis, he’s had both knees replaced. He’s 49.
Climate change is affecting crop yields and reducing global food supplies Farmers are used to dealing with weather, but climate change is making it harder by altering temperature and rainfall patterns, as in this year’s unusually cool and wet spring in the central U.S. In a recently published study, I worked with other scientists to see whether climate change was measurably affecting crop productivity and global food security. To analyze these questions, a team of researchers led by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment spent four years collecting information on crop productivity from around the world.
Cost of cigarettes must rise to reflect environmental damage from tobacco industry, WHO says The price of a packet of cigarettes should rise to reflect the wide-ranging environmental damage caused by the tobacco industry, from deforestation to water pollution, a major report has recommended. Backed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the study found the industry’s carbon footprint was comparable to entire countries. Tobacco farms accounted for the loss of around 5 per cent of forests in parts of Asia and Africa, it stated.