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New York Times: These are rough times for carbon taxes, aimed at mitigating climate change. Australia recently repealed its carbon tax. South Korea delayed a carbon-based tax on vehicle emissions. South Africa put off a planned carbon tax until 2016. And yet, for environmentalists, a sliver of hope exists in the shape of Chile, one of Latin America’s fastest-growing economies, which last month approved the first carbon tax in South America. The measure, due to take effect in 2018, was part of a broad overhaul of...
Posted: October 30, 2014, 8:43 am
Business Times: A draft of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Synthesis report warns of "severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people, species and 27 ecosystems," unless action is taken, and taken soon.
To keep the temperature from rising above the two degrees threshold, net global emissions of carbon must drop 40-70% by 2050, hitting zero by the end of the century.
This will mean limiting carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere to 450 parts per million (ppm) by 2100, according to...
Posted: October 29, 2014, 10:00 am
RTCC: China, India and other emerging economies could see their levels of clean energy installations overtake rich countries in 2014.
Huge demand for energy and falling costs of renewables are driving stunning levels of growth, says a new "Climatescope" study by analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Between 2008 and 2013, 55 developing countries from China to Rwanda added 142 gigawatts of renewables capacity, excluding large hydropower facilities.
This represents a leap more than the total...
Posted: October 29, 2014, 9:59 am
RTCC: The EU is on track to overachieve on its climate targets for 2020, according to the European Environment Agency.
New greenhouse gas data shows emissions fell 1.8% between 2012 and 2013, leaving the bloc just 1% off its goal to cut emissions 20% on 1990 levels by 2020.
The EEA says member states could make overall cuts of 24% on 1990 levels by the end of the decade, if “additional measures” such as carbon market reform and new energy efficiency rules are adopted.
Based on existing policies,...
Posted: October 29, 2014, 9:59 am
Guardian: The federal government has waived the need for a full environmental impact study into the dumping of dredging spoil onto sensitive wetlands under the plan to expand the Abbot Point coal port in Queensland.
The federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, has agreed to a request by Queensland’s deputy premier, Jeff Seeney, to assess the controversial project using only paperwork from a discredited original plan to dump spoil in Great Barrier Reef waters.
The Australian Greens and environmental groups...
Posted: October 29, 2014, 8:17 am
Reuters: Australia's government has reached a compromise with independent senators and a key opposition party to secure support for a A$2.5 billion ($2.2 billion) fund to cut greenhouse gas emissions, Environment Minister Greg Hunt said Wednesday.
The ruling Liberal party has secured backing from the Palmer United Party (PUP) and independent senators Nick Xenophon and John Madigan on a contentious policy issue that brought down the country's two previous prime ministers.
"This is a tremendous outcome...
Posted: October 29, 2014, 7:47 am
Guardian: Our efforts to cut carbon emissions aren’t working and no-one else cares. Give up. It’s not a great thought to start the day, but that’s the defeatist message Britain woke up to a couple of weeks ago, when the BBC’s Today Programme interviewed newly-sacked climate-sceptic environment secretary, Owen Paterson. This climate defeatism also swirled around the rapturous reaction to Paterson’s argument from the usual suspects in the media. Having failed to undermine public acceptance of climate science...
Posted: October 29, 2014, 5:45 am
Grist: First, the good news: Young people care more about reducing carbon emissions than older Americans. And now, the bad: They are also much less likely to show up at the voting booth. D`oh!
Here`s how the age gap plays out in a recent survey from the University of Texas at Austin. The researchers polled 2,105 U.S. citizens about voting habits and influential issues. When it comes to the under-35 crowd, 68 percent said they`d be more likely to vote for candidates who support reducing carbon emissions,...
Posted: October 28, 2014, 11:08 pm
Nature World: Environmental scientists for the most part agree that the human population is growing at an unsustainable rate, to the point that even fertility restrictions and a worldwide pandemic couldn't solve the problem, according to new research.
There are currently more than seven billion people on Earth. And despite the United Nation's (UN) belief that humanity would level off, so to speak, a report published just last month shows that the 21st century may get a lot more crowded than previously thought....
Posted: October 28, 2014, 10:06 pm
Reuters: U.S. regulators said on Tuesday they wanted more input on elements of a sweeping plan to reduce pollution from power plants and about the role natural gas can play to achieve emissions cuts.
The Environmental Protection Agency identified areas of concern raised by "multiple stakeholders" since it unveiled its proposals in June, and hopes to get additional input before its public comment period ends on Dec. 1.
The plan called for the U.S. power sector to slash carbon emissions from 2005 levels....
Posted: October 28, 2014, 8:54 pm
Boston Globe: Do you think there is more or less fear in your life than there has been in previous years? I ask the question because it feels to me (not scientific of course) there is more fear in people’s lives than there has been in the past. If you manage money or work in a field having anything to do with Wall Street, then you likely have heard of the fear index. This simple index looks at what’s driving market sentiment right now, yesterday it registered at the extreme fear end of the scale. That’s just one...
Posted: October 28, 2014, 7:45 pm
Scientific American: On a recent visit to Crystal Ice Cave in Idaho, climate and cave researchers had to wade through frigid, knee-deep water to reach the ice formations that give the cave its name. Cavers are good-humored about the hardships of underground exploration, but this water was chilling for more than one reason: it was carrying away some of the very clues they had come to study.
Ice is an invaluable source of information about the earth's past. Pollen trapped in ice from polar ice caps and mountaintop glaciers...
Posted: October 28, 2014, 6:15 pm
Washington Post: It's no secret that certain political worldviews prevent people from accepting the science of global warming.
And it's not just that conservative and pro-free market beliefs are strongly correlated with dismissal of climate science. Get this: Conservatives who are more scientifically literate, or better at math, are even less likely than their ideological compatriots to accept global warming. That's how powerful ideology can be -- and such findings have often been used to call into question whether...
Posted: October 28, 2014, 6:09 pm
Mongabay: Over the weekend, Bangladeshi artists performed plays, sang songs, and recited poetry all in a bid to protect the Sundarbans-the world's biggest mangrove forest-from the threat of a massive coal plant. Construction is already under way on the hugely controversial Rampal coal plant, a 1,320 megawatt plant set just 14 kilometers from the edge of the Sundarbans.
"We have many alternatives to produce electricity but no alternative to Sundarbans," said Anu Muhammad at the cultural protest. A renowned...
Posted: October 28, 2014, 3:02 pm
Daily Climate: Back when Pabst Blue Ribbon was for working folks -- not hipsters -- the brewery was a Milwaukee icon, bustling along the western edge of the city's central business district.
Hitting hard times, Pabst left town a couple decades ago. But now the site infamous for cheap lager has permeable roads, abundant gardens and an underground tunnel to catch excess rainwater.
It has re-emerged a symbol of how Milwaukee is greening to keep pace with a changing climate.
The site's developer, Joseph J....
Posted: October 28, 2014, 2:00 pm
Mashable: Global warming-related sea ice melt in a portion of the vast Arctic Ocean has doubled the risk of colder and snowier winters in Eurasia since 2004, a new study found. The study is the latest in a spate of recent research to examine the ties between rapid Arctic warming and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere.
Much of that research is still highly contentious in the mainstream climate science community. Here is what scientists agree on:
The Arctic is warming at a rate about twice as fast as...
Posted: October 28, 2014, 2:00 pm
Blue and Green: Not even a global one-child policy or a devastating third world war would reduce the human population to sustainable levels, a study has found.
The paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concludes that population controls or a global disaster cannot stop the global population reaching 10 billion or more by 2100.
A conflict on the scale of the first two world wars would barely register a blip on the population trajectory, while restrictions on the numbers of...
Posted: October 28, 2014, 1:28 pm
Free Press: There is no quick fix for the ‘population time-bomb’ and even a world-wide one-child policy like China’s or catastrophic mortality events may still result in 5-10 billion people by 2100, according to a new study, reports PTI.
Ecologists say that the “virtually locked-in” population growth means the world must focus on policies and technologies that reverse rising consumption of natural resources and enhance recycling, for more immediate sustainability gains.
Fertility reduction efforts, however,...
Posted: October 28, 2014, 12:39 pm
RTCC: In the Amazon, everything is big – the trees, the rivers, the snakes, and the statistics that measure everything in numbers of football fields or areas the size of entire countries.
Now one of the biggest towers in the world – taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Chrysler Building in Chicago - is about to rise above the rainforest.
The purpose of the 325-metre (1,066 feet) Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO) is to gather vital information on how climate change is affecting the Amazon...
Posted: October 28, 2014, 10:00 am
RTCC: Scientists and delegates from more than 100 governments are meeting in Copenhagen this week to thrash out the definitive round-up of climate science.
By the end of the week, they will have approved the final building block of the UN climate panel’s fifth assessment report – a 100-page document bringing together five reports released over the last six years on the state of the world’s climate.
Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 2002, told delegates...
Posted: October 28, 2014, 10:00 am