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Lost Decade: How Shell Downplayed Early Warnings Over Climate Change

Narrated in the upper-crust accent favoured by British documentary-makers of the era, Shell’s 1981 film Time for Energy assesses the scope for solar, wind, nuclear, and other sources of power to end the world’s dependence on finite reserves of oil. By the closing credits, the viewer is left in little doubt that there is only one fuel plentiful and versatile enough to carry the world “safely” into the 21st century: coal. The 30-minute film makes no mention of the coal assets the Anglo-Dutch oil major had acquired in an effort to diversify in the wake of the 1973 oil shock. Nor does it refer to a topic that was of unequivocal scientific concern at the time: The “greenhouse effect,” or what is now known as climate change. 

Negotiators Influenced Final Text Of IPCC ‘Summary For Policymakers’

When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the “Summary for Policymakers” of the Synthesis of its Sixth Assessment Report on Monday, the text was not purely the work of scientists. Instead, delegates from 195 nations spent a week reviewing the document line-by-line and arguing over edits before finally approving it Sunday night. The ins and outs of the process were revealed this week by the International Institute for Sustainable Development Earth Negotiations Bulletin, the only media outlet allowed to observe the proceedings. The account demonstrates how major emitters and fossil fuel producers including the U.S., China and Saudi Arabia succeeded in weakening the message of the highly influential document.

Nitrogen Fertilizers Are Major Greenhouse Gas Emitters

When we think of greenhouse gas emissions, we typically think of coal-burning power plants, vehicle exhaust or maybe forests being cleared to make way for methane-belching cows. However, there is another important agricultural source of climate pollution: nitrogen-based fertilizers. A new study from University of Cambridge-based researchers has calculated these fertilizers’ total contribution to the climate crisis for the first time, but also revealed how that contribution could be reduced to around a fifth of current levels by 2050. “Our work gives us a good idea of what’s technically possible, what’s big, and where interventions would be meaningful — it’s important that we aim interventions at what matters the most, in order to make fast and meaningful progress in reducing emissions,” study co-author Dr. André Cabrera Serrenho from Cambridge’s Department of Engineering said in a press release.

Wealthiest 10% Responsible For Nearly 50% Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

A new study has highlighted the inequality underriding the climate crisis. The paper, published in Nature Sustainability Thursday, looked at the difference in per-capita emissions across the global economic spectrum between 1990 and 2019. During this time, the top one percent of emitters were responsible for nearly a quarter of all emissions contributing to the climate crisis and the top 10 percent are now responsible for nearly half of the total. “In my benchmark estimates, I find that the bottom 50% of the world population emitted 12% of global emissions in 2019, whereas the top 10% emitted 48% of the total,” the study’s sole author Lucas Chancel of the Paris School of Economics’ World Inequality Lab wrote. “Since 1990, the bottom 50% of the world population has been responsible for only 16% of all emissions, whereas the top 1% has been responsible for 23% of the total.”

Study: To Counter Global Warming, Focus Far More On Methane

The Environmental Protection Agency is drastically undervaluing the potency of methane as a greenhouse gas when the agency compares methane’s climate impact to that of carbon dioxide, a new study concludes. The EPA’s climate accounting for methane is “arbitrary and unjustified” and three times too low to meet the goals set in the Paris climate agreement, the research report, published Wednesday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, found. The report proposes a new method of accounting that places greater emphasis on the potential for cuts in methane and other short-lived greenhouse gasses to help limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. “If you want to keep the world from passing the 1.5 degrees C threshold, you’ll want to pay more attention to methane than we have so far,” said Rob Jackson, an earth system science professor at Stanford University and a co-author of the study.

Are We Really Past The Point Of No Return On Climate?

A controversial new climate study has found that, even if greenhouse gas emissions were halted tomorrow, it might not be enough to stop temperatures from continuing to rise. The study, published in Scientific Reports Thursday, was conducted by two researchers at the BI Norwegian Business School. They used the ESCIMO climate model to determine that, even if emissions ceased tomorrow, the permafrost would continue to thaw for hundreds of years. "According to our models, humanity is beyond the point-of-no-return when it comes to halting the melting of permafrost using greenhouse gas cuts as the single tool," lead author and professor emeritus of climate strategy Jorgen Randers told AFP.

The World Is On Lockdown – Where Are The Carbon Emissions Coming From?

Pedestrians have taken over city streets, people have almost entirely stopped flying, skies are blue (even in Los Angeles!) for the first time in decades, and global CO2 emissions are on-track to drop by … about 5.5 percent. Wait, what? Even with the global economy at a near-standstill, the best analysis suggests that the world is still on track to release 95 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted in a typical year, continuing to heat up the planet and driving climate change even as we’re stuck at home. A 5.5-percent drop in carbon dioxide emissions would still be the largest yearly change on record, beating out the financial crisis of 2008 and World War II. But it’s worth wondering: Where do all of those emissions come from? And if stopping most travel and transport isn’t enough to slow down climate change, what will be?

Climate Models Got It Right On Global Warming

There’s a favorite argument among doubters of mainstream climate science: Climate models overestimate the rate at which the Earth is warming. That claim surfaces time and again and is frequently based on single examples of uncertainty or cherry-picked data. Various studies have gone back and closely examined individual climate models in recent years and have generally found that they’re working pretty well. A study released yesterday has taken the exercise to the next level. The research takes a comprehensive look at all the global climate models published from the 1970s to 2007...

Under Cap & Trade California’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increase

Gov. Jerry Brown took the podium at a July 2017 press conference to lingering applause after a steady stream of politicians praised him for helping to extend California’s signature climate policy for another decade. Brown, flanked by the U.S. and California flags, with a backdrop of the gleaming San Francisco Bay, credited the hard work of the VIPs seated in the crowd. “It’s people in industry, and they’re here!” he said. “Shall we mention them? People representing oil, agriculture, business, Chamber of Commerce, food processing. … Plus, we have environmentalists. ...”

Solutionary Rail Means Deep Cuts To Greenhouse Gases

Electrify the trains: Electric cars and trucks will require resource-intensive battery manufacture and disposal. Electrifying the railroad, on the other hand, can take advantage of the fixed infrastructure of rail transport; like some bus lines in cities today, electric locomotives could receive electrical power by catenary wire accessed by a pantograph or an electrified third rail. An additional advantage of electric locomotives results from equipping them for regenerative braking – different from today’s diesel-powered trains equipped for dynamic braking, where energy is lost as heat.

Thousands Of Amazon Employees Walk Out For Climate Strike

“Were gonna strike cause the waters are rising, we’re gonna strike cause people are dying,” an Amazon organizer sang into a bullhorn in front of a crowd of around 3,000 at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle on Friday. Behind him, the Amazon spheres — two geodesic domes reminiscent of Buckminster Fuller’s failed experiment — glinted in the sunlight. Someone held a sign in front of the spheres reading: “Spheres are cool. Don’t wanna live in one.” Amazon employees have been organizing in the name of climate change for months now. Earlier this summer, more than 7,500 employees backed a climate change resolution that called on the tech giant to adopt an aggressive climate plan. Shareholders voted the resolution down. But the company’s climate activists refused to take “no” for an answer.

Study: Fracking Prompts Global Spike In Atmospheric Methane

As methane concentrations increase in the Earth’s atmosphere, chemical fingerprints point to a probable source: shale oil and gas, according to new Cornell research published Aug. 14 in Biogeosciences, a journal of the European Geosciences Union. The research suggests that this methane has less carbon-13 relative to carbon-12 (denoting the weight of the carbon atom at the center of the methane molecule) than does methane from conventional natural gas and other fossil fuels such as coal. This carbon-13 signature means that since the use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing – commonly called fracking...

The 9-Percent Lie: Why Are The USDA And EPA Hiding The Fact That Half Of All US Greenhouse Gas Emissions Come From Industrial Food, Farming And Land Use?

The Climate Emergency is finally getting the attention of the media and the U.S. (and world) body politic, as well as a growing number of politicians, activists and even U.S. farmers. This great awakening has arrived just in time, given the record-breaking temperatures, violent weather, crop failures and massive waves of forced migration that are quickly becoming the norm. Global scientists have dropped their customary caution. They now warn us that we have to drastically reduce global emissions—by at least 45 percent...

Washington Commits To 100% Clean Energy And Other States May Follow Suit

In the absence of federal action on climate change, more states are setting ambitious targets to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Washington became the latest on Tuesday when Gov. Jay Inslee signed a law requiring that 100 percent of the state's electricity come from clean energy sources by 2045. Washington is now the fifth state or territory—following Hawaii, California, New Mexico and Puerto Rico—to commit to 100 percent clean electricity, and at least six other states are considering similar legislation.

Names And Locations Of The Top 100 People Killing The Planet

Just 100 companies are responsible for more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988. The guys who run those companies – and they are mostly guys – have gotten rich on the backs of literally all life on Earth. Their business model relies on the destruction of the only home humanity has ever known. Meanwhile, we misdirect our outrage at our neighbors, friends, and family for using plastic straws or not recycling. If there is anyone who deserves the outrage of all 7.5 billion of us, it’s these 100 people right here.
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