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Pacific nations under climate threat urge Australia to abandon coal within 12 years

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/12/13 - 4:06pm

Frustrated leaders appeal to ‘all OECD countries’ to phase out use as Australia signals support for new plants

Pacific countries vulnerable to climate change have urged Australia to abandon coal power generation within 12 years, and to prohibit new coal plants or expansion of existing plants.

The call from 15 small Pacific island states came one day after the Australian government called for expressions of interest in new power generation projects, indicating it would be prepared to use taxpayer money to underwrite new coal plants.

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Categories: Environment

so many numbers...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2018/12/13 - 3:27pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

How The U.S. Can Still Advance Climate Negotiations Under The Trump Administration

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/12/13 - 2:20pm

NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Jonathan Pershing, former Special Envoy for Climate Change under President Obama, about how the U.S. can advance climate negotiations under President Trump.

Categories: Environment

China demands developed countries 'pay their debts' on climate change

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/12/13 - 12:28pm

Key sticking point at UN negotiations is how countries should account for their greenhouse gas emissions

China called on rich countries to “pay their debts” on climate change at global talks on Thursday, criticising developed countries for not doing enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide finance to help poor countries do the same.

The trenchant intervention by Xie Zhenhua, the minister who leads the Chinese delegation and a veteran of the UN climate negotiations, came as China faced increasing pressure to shift its stance on some of the key rules required to implement the 2015 Paris agreement.

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Categories: Environment

Black lung disease is still killing miners. The coal industry doesn't want to hear it

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/12/13 - 3:00am

Today’s black lung rates are higher than 50 years ago, affecting men as young as their 30s, and in Kentucky their right to decent healthcare is being curtailed

Dr James Brandon Crum was alarmed. For months, unemployed coalminers had been coming into his clinic in Coal Run Village, Kentucky, seeking chest radiographs.

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Categories: Environment

'Death sentence': butterfly sanctuary to be bulldozed for Trump's border wall

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/12/13 - 2:00am

More than 200 species make their homes at America’s most diverse sanctuary, but construction through the reserve could begin in February

On any given day at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, visitors can to see more than 60 varieties of butterflies. In the spring and fall, monarchs and other species can blanket the center’s 100 acres of subtropical bushlands that extend from the visitor center to to the banks of the Rio Grande river, where their property, and US sovereignty, ends.

“It’s like something from Fantasia,” said the center’s director, Marianna Wright. “When you walk you have to cover your mouth so you don’t suck in a butterfly.”

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Categories: Environment

Australia’s carbon emissions highest on record, data shows

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/12 - 7:38pm

If emissions continue at current rate, Australia will miss Paris target by 1.1bn tonnes, Ndevr Environmental predicts

Australia’s carbon emissions are again the highest on record, according to new data from the emissions-tracking organisation Ndevr Environmental.

Ndevr replicates the federal government’s national greenhouse gas inventory (NGGI) quarterly reports but releases them months ahead of the official data.

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Categories: Environment

Labor won't rule out using 'accounting tricks' to meet emissions reduction targets

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/12 - 4:44pm

Mark Butler says party will make decision on using carryover credits from the Kyoto protocol after Paris ‘rule book’ established

The shadow climate minister Mark Butler has not ruled out using carryover carbon credits from the Kyoto protocol to help Labor meet its more ambitious emissions reduction targets in the event it wins the next election.

Butler expressed reluctance about using accounting tricks as part of Labor’s climate policy arsenal, but told the ABC he would not make a decision about whether carryover credits were in or out until after the Paris rule book was established.

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Categories: Environment

minty fresh...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2018/12/12 - 4:17pm
Last silver order of the year.  Prepping once ounce fine silver open pour rounds for stamping next week.  56,65,46,0,C
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Australia turns back on allies as it refuses to cut emissions above Paris pledge

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/12 - 3:38pm

EU and 27 countries vow to toughen commitments as environment minister’s address at COP24 UN climate change summit accused of flying in face of reality

Australia will not commit to larger carbon emissions reductions above its Paris agreement target, despite a coalition of former allies and Pacific neighbours urging greater cuts.

In Paris in 2015 Australia was a part of a bloc of countries called the “High Ambition Coalition”, which includes the UK, the EU, New Zealand, the Marshall Islands and Fiji. Australia is outside that bloc now.

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Categories: Environment

'Rethinking The Past' In The Aftermath Of California's Deadly Wildfires

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/12/12 - 3:29pm

Last month's deadly Camp Fire has become a turning point in the debate over how western forests should be managed.

(Image credit: Adam Grossberg/KQED)

Categories: Environment

Arctic Report Card Documents 'Cascading Effects' Of Warming Ocean Temperatures

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/12/12 - 2:28pm

The U.S. government says warming ocean temperatures and melting ice have resulted in the "most unprecedented transition in history" in the Arctic, leading to extreme weather events across the globe.

(Image credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

What's Wrong With The Argument 'The Climate Is Always Changing'

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/12/12 - 2:23pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with climate scientist Stephanie Herring about why the argument "the climate is always changing" is problematic in explaining the temperature changes around the world today.

Categories: Environment

Climate change talks lead to heightened pledge to cut emissions

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/12 - 1:59pm

EU, Canada, New Zealand and developing countries to keep global warming below 1.5C

The EU and scores of developing countries have pledged to toughen their existing commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to enable the world to stay within a 1.5C rise in global warming.

The promise, which follows increasingly dire scientific warnings, was the most positive message yet to come from the ongoing talks in Poland.

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Categories: Environment

The Guardian view on global warming: time is running out | Editorial

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/12 - 11:55am
Rightwing nationalism threatens the global solidarity needed to avoid a climate catastrophe

Global warming is a crisis for civilisation and a crisis for life on Earth. Human-caused climate change was behind 15 deadly weather disasters in 2017, including droughts, floods and heatwaves. The world’s leading climate scientists, in a special report for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), have warned that there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C. To meet that target, global carbon emissions need to drop by 45% by 2030. Instead they are going up. We need radical, urgent change. So it is appalling that negotiators in Poland at the 24th Conference of the Parties, or COP24, are finding it so hard to push ahead with implementing the climate deal signed three years ago in Paris.

This is largely because rising rightwing nationalism has vitiated the global solidarity needed to avoid a catastrophe. Under the Paris agreement, effective action to tackle climate change requires global cooperation on three fronts: first, nations set demanding carbon-reduction targets for their own societies; second, countries are held accountable for meeting these targets through surveillance mechanisms; and third, rich states provide cash for poorer ones to transition to a carbon-free future. Yet none of this is possible when the most important actors on the world stage think that the chief business of the nation state lies at home. The biggest problem is the US president, Donald Trump – a longtime climate-change denier. While negotiators were discussing how to lower carbon emissions, Mr Trump’s officials unveiled two schemes promoting fossil fuels. The US’s rogue behaviour has encouraged others to behave badly: notably Saudi Arabia, which played a key role in attempts to wreck the summit’s “welcoming” of the IPCC report. Last month, Brazil’s president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, chose as his foreign minister a climate-change denier, and the nation has pulled out of hosting COP25. The top European leaders – Emmanuel Macron, Theresa May and Angela Merkel – are inwardly focused, leaving Poland, the current talks’ host, to sing the virtues of its large coal stocks. The other big players are India and China: the latter has the global heft but is not internationally deft; for the former, the opposite is true.

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Categories: Environment

We need a non-proliferation treaty for fossil fuels | Letter

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/12 - 10:47am
‘Peaceful use’ of fossil fuels could mean their continued but decreasing extraction, within enforceable limits constrained by the Paris agreement goals, writes Hugh Richards

In the face of the emerging climate emergency (Letters, 10 December) and projected unconstrained growth in global fossil fuel use, this is a plea for people with relevant expertise and influence to take forward the idea for a “non-proliferation treaty” (NPT) for fossil fuels, floated by Andrew Simms and Peter Newell (theguardian.com, 23 October) and supported by Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein and others (Letters, 30 October).

The analogy between fossil fuels and fissile nuclear materials is imperfect, but it should not be overlooked that the nuclear NPT promotes cooperation in and equal access to “peaceful use” of nuclear technology. “Peaceful use” of fossil fuels could mean their continued but decreasing extraction, within enforceable limits constrained by the Paris agreement goals, and an offsetting role for carbon capture and geo-sequestration (funded by fossil fuel producers). Safeguards and oversight could be provided by a new United Nations monitoring agency, akin to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which could also administer a global fossil carbon budget.

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Categories: Environment

Neil Young's made a start, but the arts must do more to oppose dirty money | Molly Scott Cato

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/12 - 8:22am

Galleries and arts promoters should be made to feel too ashamed to take money from industries linked with climate breakdown

Those attending the COP24 climate negotiations in Katowice, Poland, this week have been greeted by a bizarre sight: an artistic celebration of one of the main fuels responsible for destroying the global climate. Katowice is the centre of Poland’s coal industry, and despite hosting a conference that represents the last chance saloon when it comes to taking meaningful action on climate change, local politicians pride themselves on the black stuff. Perhaps we could have expected no different when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change decided on such an inappropriate venue and to allow coal companies to sponsor the talks.

If we do make it through climate change with some form of civilisation intact, we will look back at some of the things we are doing now with the moral repugnance we feel towards slavery. There are legitimate parallels here. Climate change will most hurt those yet to be born. Our failure to make the dramatic changes needed to our economy and society means we are behaving as if we own the lives of future generations and have a right to steal their lives from them.

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Categories: Environment

Rhetoric And Reaction: The Trade War In Northern Minnesota

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/12/12 - 8:06am

We spoke with union leaders about what it's like when federal policy affects the only trade in town.

(Image credit: Amanda Williams )

Categories: Environment

As climate change bites in America’s midwest, farmers are desperate to ring the alarm

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/12 - 4:00am

‘The changes have become more radical’: farmers are spending more time and money trying to grow crops in new climates

Richard Oswald did not need the latest US government report on the creeping toll of climate change to tell him that farming in the midwest is facing a grim future, and very likely changing forever.

For Oswald, the moment of realisation came in 2011.

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Categories: Environment

Australia likely to use controversial Kyoto loophole to meet Paris agreement

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/11 - 9:10pm

New Zealand urges others not to meet emissions pledge with ‘dodgy accounting’, but UN rules unlikely to prohibit using carryover credits

Australia appears likely be allowed to exploit a controversial climate loophole, using carryover carbon credits from the Kyoto protocol to meet its Paris agreement targets.

New Zealand has already ruled out using the carryover credits, saying it would discourage other countries from the practice.

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Categories: Environment
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