Why We Should Be Turning Waste Into Fuel

Why We Should Be Turning Waste Into FuelThe federal government recently announced that it is giving recycling company ResourceCo a loan of A$30 million to build two waste-to-fuel plants producing “solid waste fuel”. The Conversation

Fixing Methane Leaks Wouldn’t Cost That Much

Fixing Methane Leaks Wouldn’t Cost That MuchThe US Environmental Protection Agency recently enacted regulations to reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas production.

Why States Are Pushing Ahead With Clean Energy

Why States Are Pushing Ahead With Clean Energy Despite Trump's Embrace Of CoalOn Tuesday, March 28, President Trump traveled to the Environmental Protection Agency to sign an executive order rolling back a number of climate-related regulations that have taken effect over the past eight years.

How Electric Cars Can Help Save The Grid

How Electric Cars Can Help Save The Grid

A key question amid the consternation over the current state of Australia’s east coast energy market has been how much renewable energy capacity to build, and how fast.

How Conservatives Will Grow To Love Carbon Pricing

How Conservatives Will Grow To Love Carbon PricingIn some political circles, hostility to climate policy has become a way of showing off one’s conservative credentials. But a suggestion for pricing carbon, grounded in classic conservative principles, has now emerged in the United States.

A Good Idea, When It Comes From Real Conservatives

A Good Idea, When It Comes From Real ConservativesA group of former Republican officials (including James A. Baker, Henry Paulson, George P. Shultz, Marty Feldstein and Greg Mankiw) is proposing a carbon tax starting the tax at $40 per ton, that would gradually increase.

How Smart Solar Can Protect Our Vulnerable Power Grids

How Smart Solar Can Protect Our Vulnerable Power GridsSome commentators seem to be worried that our electricity networks are facing an impending voltage crisis, citing fears that renewables (rooftop solar panels in particular) will threaten the quality of our power supply.

Why 'Clean Coal' Plants Would Cost Billions In Taxpayer Subsidies

Why 'Clean Coal' Plants Would Cost Billions In Taxpayer SubsidiesFollowing a campaign by the coal industry, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has argued for new coal-fired power stations in Australia. But these plants would be more expensive than renewables and carry a huge liability through the carbon emissions they produce.

Is Food Our Best Hope For Cutting Methane Emissions?

Is Food Our Best Hope For Cutting Methane Emissions?A major opportunity for avoiding climate change’s worst impacts lies in reducing methane emissions, particularly from food production, according to a pair of new studies.

Why Wind Turbines Could Make Growing Conditions Better For Crops

Why Wind Turbines Could Make Growing Conditions Better For CropsGene Takle, professor of agronomy and geological and atmospheric sciences at Iowa State University, says tall wind turbines disbursed throughout a field create air turbulence that may help plants by affecting variables such as temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations.

How Nations Are Playing The Long Game In Fighting Global Warming

How Nations Are Playing The Long Game In Fighting Global WarmingWhile much of the media focus at this month’s climate meeting in Marrakech (COP22) was on US President-elect Donald Trump, there were signs that several countries have begun the long-term planning needed to avoid dangerous climate change.

Don't Bet On Renewable Energy Alone To Stop Global Warming

Don't Bet On Renewable Energy Alone To Stop Global WarmingThe Paris climate agreement has now officially come into force. Although Donald Trump and other climate change deniers have vowed to abandon it, most have hailed the agreement as a huge success and a significant milestone in our quest to limit the effects of global climate change.

Will China Lead On Climate Change As The US Appears Out Of The Running?

Will China Lead On Climate Change As The US Appears Out Of The Runing?The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States is bad news for the global environment. He has made it clear that he will not implement the steps required to meet the pledges to reduce emissions as part of the agreement reached in Paris at the end of 2015.

Why Emissions Near Equator Are Extra Dangerous

Why Emissions Near Equator Are Extra DangerousSince the 1980s, air pollution has increased worldwide, but it has increased at a much faster pace in regions close to the equator.

Magma Power: How Superheated Molten Rock Could Provide Renewable Energy

Magma Power: How Superheated Molten Rock Could Provide Renewable EnergyIceland is about to tap into water as hot as lava. Several kilometres below ground, a drilling rig named Thor will soon penetrate the area around a magma chamber, where molten rock from the inner Earth heats up water that has seeped through the seafloor.

India’s Solar Power Is Set To Outshine Coal

India’s Solar Power Is Set To Outshine CoalSolar power in India will be cheaper than imported coal by 2020, but replacing the subcontinent’s fossil fuels with renewable energy is an enormous task.

Trees Are Much Better At Cooling The Climate Than We Thought

Trees Are Much Better At Cooling The Climate Than We ThoughtThe pre-industrial atmosphere contained more particles, and so brighter clouds, than we previously thought. This is the latest finding of the CLOUD experiment, a collaboration between around 80 scientists at the CERN particle physics lab near Geneva.

Why Biofuels Turn Out To Be A Climate Blunder

Why Biofuels Turn Out To Be A Climate BlunderEver since the 1973 oil embargo, U.S. energy policy has sought to replace petroleum-based transportation fuels with alternatives. One prominent option is using biofuels, such as ethanol in place of gasoline and biodiesel instead of ordinary diesel.

Does The Climate Crisis Call For Fewer Children?

Does The Climate Crisis Call For Fewer Children?Earlier this summer, I found myself in the middle of a lively debate because of my work on climate change and the ethics of having children.

Over Cooling And Heating Buildings In US Emits As Much Carbon As Four Million Cars

Over Cooling And Heating Buildings In US Emits As Much Carbon As Four Million CarsSix years ago, Phoenix lay burning in the sun one day. It was 110 degrees Fahrenheit and I was the only person foolish enough to be out walking instead of moving by air-conditioned car. Arriving hot and parched at a bookstore, I opened the doors to be greeted by a blast of arctic air.

G20 Nations Emissions Pledges Are Far Too Low

G20 Nations Emissions Pledges Are Far Too LowAnalysts say cuts in emissions will need to increase sixfold if the powerful G20 nations are to meet the climate challenge on reducing greenhouse gases.

To Save The Planet, Do We Need To Shrink The Economy?

To Save The Planet, Do We Need To Shrink The Economy?What is so refreshing about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is that they recognise the inherent tension between economic development and the ecology of our planet.

Forest Restoration Can Turn Back The Climate Clock

Forest Restoration Can Turn Back The Climate ClockHalting tree-felling and land clearance is not enough to save tropical rainforests without programmes of forest restoration in degraded areas, scientists say.

Should Troubled Nuclear Reactors Be Subsidized?

Should Troubled Nuclear Reactors Be Subsidized?Since the 1950s, U.S. nuclear power has commanded immense taxpayer and customer subsidy based on promises of economic and environmental benefits. Many of these promises are unfulfilled, but new ones take their place. More subsidies follow.

Today's Electric Cars Can Cover Most Of Daily Driving Needs

General Motors is developing the all-electric 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, which is designed to have a driving range of about 200 miles. General MotorsElectrifying transportation is one of the most promising ways to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, but so-called range anxiety – concern about being stranded with an uncharged car battery – remains a barrier to electric vehicle adoption.

As Nuclear Plants Close, States Need To Bet Big On Energy Storage

Solar power plants that use the sun’s heat to make electricity can store energy as molten salt. Department of EnergyPacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) recently started the process of shutting down the Diablo Canyon generation facility, the last active nuclear power plant in California.

What Works And Doesn't Work With Carbon Pricing

What Works And Doesn't Work With Carbon PricingPolitical hurdles and low prices have made carbon pricing a low-impact affair. But there’s still hope it can help limit climate change. Earth’s atmosphere has long served as a free dump for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases generated by humans.

How Forests Respond To Increasing Levels Of CO2

How Forests Respond To Increasing Levels Of CO2Forests take up 25 to 30 percent of human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide—a strong greenhouse gas—and therefore are considered to play a crucial role in mitigating the speed and magnitude of climate change.

Why Paris Climate Targets Are Not Enough

Why Paris Climate Targets Are Not EnoughThe Paris climate agreement saw countries pledge to limit global warming to well below 2℃, and to aim to keep it within 1.5℃. The problem is that countries' current emissions targets are not enough to meet these goals.

How Solar Panels Save Everybody Money

How Solar Panels Save Everybody MoneyThe solar panels of about 40,000 Massachusetts households and community groups cut electricity prices for all of the approximately three million electricity ratepayers in the state, even those without the panels, also called photovoltaics (PV) systems.

Turning CO2 Into Stone

The test site in Iceland where gases from a geothermal power plant are pumped underground and converted into minerals by reacting with basalt stone. Juerg Matter , Author providedWe seriously need to do something about CO2 emissions. Besides shifting to renewable energy sources and increasing energy efficiency, we need to start putting some of the CO2 away before it reaches the atmosphere.

Climate Change Solutions At The Other End

An estimated 12% of the gross energy cows get from feed is lost in gusts of methane gas. Image: US Department of Agriculture via Flickr

Scientists have found a way to increase the energy cows take in from feed, while reducing the vast amounts of the greenhouse gas methane they pump out of the other end.

Saving the Planet is More Than Just Switching to Renewables

Photo credit: Bush Philosopher - Dave Clarke via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND. Among climate change activists, solutions usually center on a transition to renewable energy. There may be differences over whether this would be best accomplished by a carbon tax, bigger subsidies for wind and solar power, divestment from fossil fuel companies

How We Can Get Even More Energy From The Sun

Solar panels on a Walmart roof, Mountain View, California. Walmart/Flickr, CC BYGlobal demand for energy is increasing by the hour as developing countries move toward industrialization. Experts estimate that by the year 2050, worldwide demand for electricity may reach 30 terawatts (TW). For perspective, one terawatt is roughly equal to the power of 1.3 billion horses.

Three Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Helping To Save The World

Image by NASA’s EarthOne of the places machine learning is turning out to be the most beneficial is in the environmental sciences, which have generated huge amounts of information from monitoring Earth’s various systems — underground aquifers, the warming climate or animal migration, for example.

Scientists See The Future In Our Natural Resources

Research chemists in Sweden have found a way of making windows from wood. Image: Brett Jordan via Flickr

From creating transparent wood for solar panels or windows to turning carbon dioxide and plant waste into plastic bottles, scientists are finding ingenious ways to sidestep fossil fuels.

How Emissions Cuts Boost Health and Wealth

How Emissions Cuts Boost Health and WealthIt’s not just the planet that benefits from reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that intensify global warming.

Investors Are Warned To Forget Fossil Fuels

 Hope for the future at a protest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, against fossil fuel subsidies. Image: theverb.org via FlickrHistoric change heralded as investors are told they face losing their money if they continue to back the fossil fuel industry that is causing disastrous global warming.

Wasted Food Is A Heavy Burden On Our Climate

About one-third of all food produced never reaches a plate. Image: Taz via FlickrAs obesity levels soar, cutting the vast amount of food we waste could have a major impact on reducing the effects of climate change, as well as alleviating world hunger.

There Are Efficient Answers To Climate Concerns

Energy savings and power from wind and solar sources could be greater than from all imported fossil fuels. Image:Gerry Machen via FlickrNew research by the European Commission suggests that energy efficiency can become a “niche” market that will attract investors away from fossil fuels.

Will The Tesla Model 3 Recharge The U.S. Electric Vehicle Market?

Will The Tesla Model 3 Recharge The U.S. Electric Vehicle Market?Few product launches in recent memory have captured as much attention as last week’s unveiling of the Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle (EV), Tesla’s first vehicle pitched at the mass market.

We Keep Flushing Valuable Thermal Energy Down The Drain

We Keep Flushing Valuable Thermal Energy Down The DrainEvery time you flush your toilet or drain the bath, you’re losing something surprisingly valuable: heat. It takes a lot of energy to warm up the water in the first place, and vast amounts of this energy simply disappear down and is lost in the environment.

Asia Is Losing Its Appetite For Coal

Coal mining in India, the world’s second biggest consumer of the fuel. Image: TripodStories-AB via Wikimedia CommonsMany hundreds of planned coal-fired power plants in Asia will probably be shelved as economies slow and climate change and air pollution worsen.

The Farm That Grows Climate Solutions

The Farm That Grows Climate SolutionsHigh in the mountains of Veracruz, Mexico, a small cooperative is “farming carbon” — practicing agriculture in a way that fights climate change while simultaneously meeting human needs.

Is Nuclear Power Our Energy Future Or A Dinosaur In A Death Spiral?

Construction of a new reactor at Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant in Eurajoki, Finland, is nine years behind schedule and more than $US5 billion over budget. Photo courtesy of Teollisuuden Voima OyNuclear power is dead. Long live nuclear power. Nuclear power is the only way forward. Nuclear power is a red herring. Nuclear power is too dangerous. Nuclear power is the safest power source around. Nuclear is nothing. Nuclear is everything.

Why We Need to Keep 80 Percent of Fossil Fuels in the Ground

Why We Need to Keep 80 Percent of Fossil Fuels in the GroundPhysics can impose a bracing clarity on the normally murky world of politics. It can make things simple. Not easy, but simple. We have to attack this problem from both ends, going after supply as well as demand.

A Small Island In The Indian Ocean Offers Big Lessons On Clean Power

A Small Island In The Indian Ocean Offers Big Lessons On Clean PowerAs the sun sets on the small Indonesian island of Sumba, Danga Beru Haba begins weaving under the glow of a single incandescent lightbulb, the only one in her home. Although she is tired from working dawn to dusk in the fields surrounding her village of Kampung Kalihi, the sarong she is weaving to sell locally will provide extra...

What Is The Best Way To Protect Us From Climate Change?

What Is The Best Way To Protect Us From Climate Change? When we think about adapting humanity to the challenges of climate change, it’s tempting to reach for technological solutions. We talk about seeding our oceans and clouds with compounds designed to trigger rain or increasing carbon uptake. We talk about 

Utilities, Solar Energy and The Fight For Your Roof

Utilities, Solar Energy And The Fight For Your RoofBy many accounts, the spread of solar power is unstoppable. Costs continue to fall at a blistering pace, solutions to give consumers a solar-powered home without needing to connect to the grid for back-up power are emerging, and even the

And Now For Some Good News About Climate Change

 Dr. Letcher in a 15-year-old secondary forest in Costa Rica. Susan G. LetcherWhen you cut and burn a tropical forest, you’re left with a barren plain of cracked red mud, incapable of supporting life – the opposite of the teeming, hyperdiverse array of life that was destroyed. Once the trees are gone, the nutrients wash away and the soil degrades into a dense, brick-like layer so hardened that plant roots can’t get through it.

Politicians Hand The Climate Baton Off To Green Industries

Politicians Hand The Climate Baton Off To Green IndustriesThe international community has been negotiating on climate change since 1989, but the Paris Agreement marks a real step forward. It aims to accelerate a move away from fossil fuels to mitigate global warming and to help vulnerable countries adapt to the effects of climate change, and reflects a clear recognition of the urgency of the task.

How South Africa Can Spread Renewable Energy To Low Income Areas

How South Africa Can Spread Renewable Energy To Low Income AreasThere has been a rapid decline in the costs of solar and wind power, to such an extent that both technologies are now cheaper than nuclear or coal. This development will radically transform global electricity generation networks.

We Must Balance Our Food Farming Impacts

We Must Balance Our Food Farming ImpactsThe UK could reduce its emissions by converting farmland to absorb more carbon dioxide − but risks increasing climate change effects abroad.

How You Can Play A Part In Tackling Climate Change

How You Can Play A Part In Tackling Climate ChangeThere’s a curious paradox at the heart of climate change. Despite scientists asserting the need for urgent action and the widespread acceptance of the reality of climate change by people worldwide, it is a subject that we tend not to talk about with friends, family or colleagues.

China Gets Serious As It Clamps Down On Coal

China Gets Serious As It Clamps Down On CoalA slowing economy and falling energy demand, plus concerns over air pollution, spur Beijing to halt new coal mines and close hundreds of existing operations.

Markets Alone Can Not Solve The Climate Crisis

Markets Alone Cannot Solve The Climate CrisisHow did we get to where we are now? “Free range” capitalism could be the explanation for climate change, and needs taming, says one writer.

Why We Need To Get Serious About Negative Emissions Technology

Why We Need To Get Serious About Negative Emissions TechnologyThe Paris agreement was a diplomatic triumph. The nations of the world spoke with one voice of their desire to limit the damage of climate change. But there is a distinct disconnect between the ambition and the action required to achieve that goal.

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