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.

Why Emotional Intelligence Is Key To Tackling Climate Change

Why Emotional Intelligence Is Key To Tackling Climate ChangeClimate science has been instrumental in developing the ambitious carbon emission reduction targets negotiated at the recent climate talks in Paris. At the same time, the kinds of actions needed to avert the worst effects of climate change demand new ways of engaging that go far beyond science and formal diplomacy.

How Setting Our Sights On Soil Could Help Save The Climate

How Setting Our Sights On Soil Could Help Save The ClimateThe world’s soils could be a key ally in the fight to limit global warming to 2℃, thanks to their ability to store carbon and keep greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.

Dragon Water Could Power The Planet

Dragon Water Could Power The PlanetThe quest is on to develop new technology that can tap the intense heat deep below the Earth’s surface and supply the whole world with electricity.

Solar Power Can Cut Consumer Bills And Still Be Good For Utilities

Solar Power Can Cut Consumer Bills And Still Be Good For UtilitiesThe cost of solar energy continues to fall, so it is no surprise that more people are adopting solar. This rapid growth of rooftop solar, however, has led many electric utilities to try to apply the brakes.

Why Capitalism Must Evolve To Solve The Climate Crisis

It Is Capitalism That Must Evolve To Solve The Climate CrisisThere are two extremes in the debate over capitalism’s role in our present climate change problem. On the one hand, some people see climate change as the outcome of a consumerist market system run rampant. In the end, the result will be a call to replace capitalism with a new system that will correct our present ills with regulations to curb market excesses.

Solar Power Makes Giant Strides As Prices Fall

Solar Power Makes Giant Strides As Prices FallMassive solar power stations are being built in the world’s “sun belts” − with the US and India competing to have the largest in the world.

World Leaders Call For Fossil Fuel Phase-Out, But It Needs To Happen Sooner

World Leaders Are Right To Call For Fossil Fuel Phase-out, But It Needs To Happen SoonerThe G7 nations, at the week’s summit in Germany, have called for “a decarbonization of the global economy over the course of this century”. Of course, this group of nations is among those most heavily in favor of strong climate action, but the opportunities for climate-friendly growth are everywhere.

Do Infrasound and Low-Frequency Noise on Wind Farms Cause Health Problems?

The Science On Wind Farms, Noise, Infrasound And HealthThe article in The Australian by Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonjhelm highlighted some very good points about wind turbine noise and its effect on people living near them. People are complaining of a range of health related problems and are attributing them to wind turbines. The question is: what is the cause of these health problems?

As US Procrastinates China’s Energy Revolution Leads The World

As US Procrastinates China’s Energy Revolution Leads The WorldNew report says a successful outcome at this year’s Paris climate talks will be far more likely if the world takes note of how China is reducing emissions. The pace of change in China’s energy policy means that the targets it has set for cutting  greenhouse gases (GHGs) are likely to be achieved sooner than expected, according to a new study.

Apollo Initiative Asks For The Moon In Switch To Renewables

Apollo Initiative Asks For The Moon In Switch To RenewablesEminent group urges governments to make the massive research investment that would enable the world to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy by 2025. The vision is simple, the cost would be eye-watering, and the result could stop the growing threat from burning fossil fuels in its tracks.

Pakistan Turns The Desert Into A Sea Of Solar Panels

Pakistan Turns The Desert Into A Sea Of Solar PanelsEconomic links with China help Pakistan tap into enormous solar energy potential that can provide clean power to boost production and reduce poverty. One of the world’s largest solar plants has been opened in Pakistan with the aim of supplying clean, reliable energy and helping alleviate the country’s chronic power shortages.

You May Be Traveling Less And That's A Good Thing

You May Be Traveling Less And That's A Good ThingIn 1900, humans travelled a total of just 0.2 trillion km by vehicle, nearly all by train. By 1950, people travelled a total of 3.3 trillion km, and by 2010, the annual total was over 40 trillion km – or over 133,000 round trips to the sun. That’s an average of nearly 6,000 km per person each year. About half of all travel was by car, and 12% was by air.

Sao Paulo, Brazil's Water Crisis Shows The Failure Of Public-private Partnerships

Sao Paulo, Brazil's Water Crisis Shows The Failure Of Public-private PartnershipsSão Paulo’s ongoing water crisis has left many of the city’s 20m or more residents without tap water for days on end. Brazil’s largest metropolis is into its third month of water rationing, and some citizens have even taken to drilling through their basements to reach groundwater.

The Smart Money Is Embracing Renewable Energy

The Smart Money Is Embracing Renewable EnergyClimate-friendly boost for global energy mix as scientists say solar power alone could now meet the needs of California five times over.

Can Saltwater Quench Our Growing Thirst?

Can Saltwater Quench Our Growing Thirst?An increasingly water-stressed world takes a new look at desalination. It seems simple enough: Take the salt out of water so it’s drinkable. But it’s far more complex than it appears at first glance. It’s also increasingly crucial in a world where freshwater resources are progressively strained by population growth, development, droughts, climate change and more.

Finally, Scientists Zero In On The Solution To The Climate Crisis

Finally, Scientists Zero In On The Only Solution To The Climate CrisisIf you want to know what we have to do to avoid catastrophic climate change, 17 of the world’s leading climate scientists have worked out a simple but challenging solution: the world, they say, must turn by mid-century into a zero-carbon society.

Can We Still Avoid The Major Climate Tipping Points?

Can We Still Avoid The Major Climate Tipping Points?The researchers say their act-now, save-future-costs model not only demonstrates the dangers of underestimating the cost of future climate change, but is the first one to emerge from a purely market-based approach. The considerations do not have to be based on moral judgements about sustainability and the wellbeing of future generations.

How One California Farmer Is Dealing with The Worst Drought In 1,200 Years

How One California Farmer Is Dealing with The Worst Drought In 1,200 YearsCalifornia’s byzantine water system and crushing drought are leading farmers to extraordinary measures as they try to keep themselves from running dry. On a warm March afternoon, farmer Cannon Michael walks alongside wheat fields adjacent to his house in Los Banos, in California’s Central Valley. Most of these fields won’t be watered again this year.

Local Renewable Energy Companies Can Help You Save Money

energy meter New technologies are about to disrupt the traditional energy market in a big way. What if you could sit at home and use your smartphone to buy energy directly from the wind farm down the road or the solar panels on the local school roof? After all, you can already control your heating from your phone and set your washing machine going from your tablet...

Water Power for People and Cars: An Outside-the-Box Breakthrough

Water Power for People and CarsThe urge to solve humankind’s energy-generating problems is felt by innovators around the planet. Before the Internet and its open sourcing of knowledge, lone inventors tried to single-handedly save us from our dependence on dirty fuels. And long before hippies saw the dawning of an Age of Aquarius, a few individuals discovered that water is a key to independence.

States That Produce Renewable Energy Have Cheap Electricity

States That Produce Renewable Energy Have Cheap ElectricityTexas is known for cheap and plentiful energy resources, but they’re usually of the dirty, fossil fuel–based variety. That reputation is changing. Texans can now buy renewable energy packages that are as cheap as or cheaper than the coal- or natural gas–based alternatives.

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