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Money will likely be the central tension in the U.N.'s COP27 climate negotiations

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2022/11/06 - 6:01am

Global efforts to limit climate change can't happen without more aid. Rich countries promised $100 billion to poorer ones to cope with global warming but seven years later, have yet to deliver.

(Image credit: Sally Hayden/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty)

Categories: Environment

Cop conferences are a big game of let’s pretend and 27 won’t be any different

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2022/11/06 - 3:00am

The climate summits do serve a purpose even while avoiding facing up to some awkward realities

The Cop is a strange beast – an annual event that everyone claims to hate but no one wants to miss. This year’s Cop is even weirder: it’s in a famous Red Sea seaside resort renowned for its warm blue seas and coral reefs, but the diving centres are closed for security reasons and in any case few of us will have time to so much as dip a toe in the sea.

We will spend all our hours inside a conference centre with little daylight, and only see the sun as we try to dash in our formal clothes from air-conditioned hotel to air-conditioned conference hall without getting covered in sweat.

The Secret Negotiators are representatives of developing countries involved in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations, and who will be attending the Cop27 climate conference.

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Categories: Environment

Biden’s climate bill victory was hard won. Now, the real battle starts

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2022/11/06 - 2:00am

Implementing the $369bn Inflation Reduction Act amid tight deadlines and high-stakes midterm will be a challenge

The bitter fight to deliver a climate change bill to Joe Biden’s desk this summer pitted the White House and its Democratic allies against some of America’s most powerful industry lobbies and every Republican in Congress. It may prove to have been the easy part.

At the heart of the hard-won Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a $369bn package of climate investments that Biden called the “most significant legislation in history” to tackle the climate crisis. Estimates suggest it could cut US greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.

Coordinating across dozens of different departments and agencies.

Minimizing waste and fraud.

Investing in risky and uncertain technologies.

Smoothing diplomatic wrinkles with international allies who object to the law’s manufacturing and sourcing requirements.

Meeting the expectations of climate organizations and advocacy groups whose support for the IRA was contingent on promoting environmental justice and protecting workers.

Seeking to head off the inevitable attacks and investigations of congressional Republicans.

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Categories: Environment

The Observer view on Britain’s urgent need to commit to nuclear power | Observer editorial

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/11/05 - 11:30pm
The government denied wavering over the future of Sizewell C, but it needs to come up with an energy plan – and quickly

For a moment last week, our cash-strapped government seemed ready to abandon a project that many experts believe is central to our plans of achieving energy independence and net zero emissions. According to the BBC, the Treasury had indicated the proposed new nuclear reactor Sizewell C was on a list of major construction projects that were under review for possible cancellation. Its days could be numbered, it was suggested.

The threat has since been denied by Number 10. The new atom plant in Suffolk will go ahead, it has insisted. For a nation that hopes to wean itself off its fossil fuel addiction and its dependence on natural gas imports, this is good news. The UK’s future prosperity depends on its ability to generate electricity, independently and at low cost and nuclear power is expected to play a critical role in ensuring this happens. The trouble is that these plans have very shaky foundations, as was revealed last week when uncertainties about Sizewell C first surfaced.

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Categories: Environment

No risk of blackouts despite breakdown of ‘old-fashioned’ power station, Queensland minister says

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/11/05 - 10:50pm

Latest incident at coal-fired power station Callide reignites debate about their future and transition to renewable energy

The Queensland energy minister, Mick de Brenni, says there is no imminent risk of blackouts linked to the latest serious breakdown of the Callide coal-fired power station.

The four units at one of Queensland’s largest generators, the failure-prone Callide power station near Biloela, were all offline after a series of incidents last week.

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Categories: Environment

Flood waters subsiding at Forbes and Wagga Wagga with downstream NSW towns on high alert

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/11/05 - 7:27pm

In Victoria, residents in Kenley outside Swan Hill on the Murray River have been ordered to evacuate immediately

Flood waters are subsiding in several New South Wales towns with others now on high alert as Victorian authorities issued another evacuation warning for a community on the Murray River.

The Lachlan River at Forbes in the NSW central-west reached a peak of about 10.7 metres on Saturday – slightly below the record set in 1952.

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Categories: Environment

Bob Brown accuses Tanya Plibersek of putting industry above environment on Tarkine trip

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/11/05 - 6:25pm

Environment minister visited Tasmania for two days and insists she’s taking mine decision seriously but Brown wanted her to visit rainforest with him

Bob Brown has accused the federal environment minister, Tanya Plibersek, of prioritising industry over the environment by not accepting his invitation to tour Tasmania’s takayna/Tarkine rainforest when she visited the site of a controversial mining proposal.

Plibersek visited Tasmania last week to meet with representatives and workers from the minerals company MMG about its proposal to build a tailings waste dam and pipeline infrastructure in rainforest near the town of Rosebery in the state’s north-west.

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Categories: Environment


The Field Lab - Sat, 2022/11/05 - 5:28pm

The big plants are 3rd generation and the four newly potted plants are 4th and 5th generation.63,78,35,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Rishi Sunak is a fossil fuel prime minister in a renewable age | Keir Starmer

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/11/05 - 3:31pm
Only Labour grasps the challenges of the climate crisis and why we must become a clean energy giant

Rishi Sunak will go on his day trip to Cop27 tomorrow, having been dragged kicking and screaming. His eventual decision to attend was an embarrassing U-turn. But his initial snub, one of his first decisions as prime minister, was the act heard around the world.

It said that Britain is not in the business of showing climate leadership on the world stage. That, because of his weak position, the prime minister’s first priority will always be the basest instincts of the Conservative party. For the Tories, it’s always party first. What is best for the country – and for the planet – comes a distant second.

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Categories: Environment

Sunak claims role as ‘clean energy champion’ on eve of Cop27

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/11/05 - 3:31pm

Scepticism from summit attendees as PM adopts Labour leader’s stated aim of making UK a green ‘superpower’

Rishi Sunak attempted an extraordinary volte-face on green policy on the eve of the Cop27 climate summit on Saturday, saying he would attend in order to “galvanise” world leaders to save the planet.

The prime minister – who had been criticised for saying he was too busy with domestic commitments to attend – also adopted precisely the same language on renewable energy that Labour leader Keir Starmer has been using for months, declaring that he now wanted to turn the UK into a “clean energy superpower”.

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Categories: Environment

Labour Facebook ads attack red wall Tory MPs in drive to swing voters

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/11/05 - 8:00am

New social media drive targets Conservatives’ failure to ban fracking, rising mortgage costs, and direct action taken by Just Stop Oil protesters

Red wall Tory MPs are being targeted by Labour attack ads over their failure to support a ban on fracking, as part of an overhaul of the party’s social media effort.

A new in-house digital team, filled with former Google and tech start-up employees, has been building new applications for the party to create, target and publish swift social media ads at swing voters. They have so far concentrated on fracking, the rising costs of mortgages, the Tory record on the economy and Labour’s opposition to some of the direct action taken by Just Stop Oil protesters.

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Categories: Environment

US voters hit hardest by climate crisis: ‘I need politicians to care about this’

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/11/05 - 6:00am

The devastating effects of climate change are motivating how voters cast their ballots in the midterm elections

Across the US, temperature records tumbled in a summer of heatwaves, enormous floods drowned entire towns and, in the west, an ongoing drought is now so severe that corpses are being uncovered in rapidly drying reservoirs.

Despite these increasingly ominous signs, the climate crisis has struggled to gain much visibility in the lead-up to next week’s midterm elections. “Many voters are more focused on things like inflation, understandably, because people are struggling to get by in this economy,” said Geoffrey Henderson, an expert in climate policy at Duke University.

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Categories: Environment

Lula’s victory in Brazil is a relief but it won’t solve the problem of globalised greed | The Secret Negotiator

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/11/05 - 5:00am

It’s great the new president is on the side of nature but no leader can succeed unless the Cop15 deal in Montreal is right on the money

We are a month away from Cop15 and money is on my mind. The election of President Lula da Silva in Brazil is good news for the chances of success in Montreal. But optimism must always consider reality: huge financial resources are needed to halt the destruction of the planet’s ecosystems, and we are still very far from a credible plan for raising the necessary funds.

Across the globe, almost without exception, nature is worth more dead than alive. That is the unfortunate truth. There is not yet a mechanism for tilting the playing field in favour of biodiversity and the climate, something I am sure will come up frequently at Cop27, too. To change that, we need to tackle two key issues: rural poverty and globalised greed.

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Categories: Environment

Cop27: crucial climate talks more fragile than ever after year of turmoil

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/11/05 - 5:00am

With war in Ukraine and a cost of living crisis, the global picture is much changed since last year’s conference

For oil and gas companies this has been the best year ever. The world’s five biggest alone have made a combined profit of $170bn so far in 2022, a figure likely to be just the tip of the iceberg – most producers are nationally owned, and not required to come clean on their profits. “We are getting more cash than we know what to do with,” as one senior executive from BP admitted, before the companies zipped up their communications in the face of public fury.

Party time for fossil fuels is not what climate experts had been hoping for. If the world is to get to grips with the climate emergency, oil and gas must be urgently phased out. Instead, they are becoming one of the most attractive investments in the global market.

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Categories: Environment

Brazil, Indonesia and DRC in talks to form ‘Opec of rainforests’

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/11/05 - 1:00am

Spurred by Lula’s election, the three countries, home to half of all tropical forests, will pledge stronger conservation efforts

The big three tropical rainforest nations – Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – are in talks to form a strategic alliance to coordinate on their conservation, nicknamed an “Opec for rainforests”, the Guardian understands.

The election of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known as Lula, has been followed by a flurry of activity to avoid the destruction of the Amazon, which scientists have warned is dangerously close to tipping point after years of deforestation under its far-right leader, Jair Bolsonaro.

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Categories: Environment

‘My parents thought hard times were long past’: readers’ power cut preparations

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/11/05 - 1:00am

Reactions to the UK’s National Grid warning of unlikely but possible power cuts this winter

Households across the UK have begun preparing after warnings that the National Grid may impose a series of rolling three-hour power cuts this winter if the supply of gas for power stations falls too low.

Some are preparing blackout boxes and buying candles, camping stoves and windup radios. Others are sourcing batteries and generators to keep vital equipment running, including a home aquarium and sensory equipment for an autistic family member.

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Categories: Environment

Mountaineers recover cameras lost in 1937 expedition to Canadian peak

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/11/04 - 11:00pm

Expert team studied maps, old photos and satellite data to estimate glacier movements and track lost gear

When the American mountaineers Bradford Washburn and Robert Bates summited Canada’s third-tallest peak in 1937, bad luck forced them to jettison hundreds of pounds of gear – including tents, fuel ice axes and valuable cameras – on a glacier before they began their ascent.

They then had to rework their planned route back due to poor weather, transforming a celebratory descent into a harrowing trek through Yukon territory.

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Categories: Environment

Superfood Security is a Seed Away: Doug Fine’s AMERICAN HEMP FARMER is here.

Doug Fine - Mon, 2020/04/13 - 2:54pm


Doug Fine’s AMERICAN HEMP FARMER is here.

As are many of us, I’m feeling grateful for a lot of things at the moment. In particular, I’m sure glad it struck the three-years-ago-version-of-me as a fun idea to write an optimistic, humorous book that also provides a blueprint for establishing food security in your backyard.

For whatever reason, folks seem to want “funny” and “uplifting” at the moment. And laughing your way to food security? Seemed like a pleasant route. Still does. I’m doing it today – my fingers are still dank with humus as I type. Hemp farming is pretty easy, it attracts bees, and it’s all around about the most fun you can have outside the bedroom.

What I’m describing (and living) is  my new book, AMERICAN HEMP FARMER. It details a season in the burgeoning and newly-legalized hemp industry from a regenerative farmer perspective. The premise is this: a billion-dollar industry is great, but only meaningful if the actual farmers benefit at the retail level from the hemp renaissance.

For customers, the  win-win is that regenerative farming modes result in by-far the best hemp products. It’s not even close. Like fresh squeezed OJ beats frozen concentrate. All while sequestering carbon.

Turns out we have friends in low places. In nurturing a hemp field, we’re not the only species midwifing our hemp crop by planting time. To name one of a few hundred million, I recently gathered and brewed some fluffy white steaks of my watershed’s mycelium allies (fungus), which my family and I applying to our preseason soil in a compost tea this week.

Which leads to the core reason I wrote the book, from the introduction:

Six years ago, a bear fleeing a wildfire in our New Mexico backyard killed nearly all of my family’s goats in front of our eyes. It wasn’t the bear’s fault: he was a climate refugee. It was June of 2013, and drought had weakened the ponderosa pines and Douglas fir surrounding our remote Funky Butte Ranch. Beetles took advantage, and all of southern New Mexico was a tinderbox. Ho hum, just another climate event that until recently would have been called a “millennial” fire.

That’s the paramount reason I’m an overworked employee of the hemp plant: The people I care about most are one blaze away from joining the world’s 20 million climate refugees. At least I get the pleasure of putting “goat sitter” under occupation on my tax form.

The conflagration convinced me that I had to do something, personally, to work on this climate change problem. After some research about carbon sequestration through soil building, it became clear that planting as much hemp as possible was the best way to actively mitigate climate change and help restore normal rainfall cycles to our ecosystem.

This is why I treasure much more than just hemp’s flower gold rush (CBD, CBG, etc.). I also love hemp seed’s superfood and hemp fiber. It’s why I carry a 3D printed hemp plastic goat nearly everywhere I go.

A biomaterials-based economy doesn’t just perform better in our stuff, it means goodbye Pacific Garbage Patch. That is, when everything, even our batteries, is compostable or reusable (I mention batteries because next-generation hemp-based supercapacitors are discussed in AMERICAN HEMP FARMER).

We actually have been given a realistic opportunity to bridge humanity’s climate stabilization mission with its digital trajectory. In AMERICAN HEMP FARMER, I endeavor to connect the dots in my work, my food, and my whole life, with the thinking that if enough of us do the same, humanity’s got a shot in this here bottom of the climactic ninth.

It’s a solution-based book. Which is to say, it’s chock full of my own mistakes, as well as the triumphs and travails of many of my regenerative farmer friends and colleagues. Michael Pollan argues that we have co-evolved with certain plants, including cannabis. To be sure, hemp/human relations do go back 8,000 years. AMERICAN HEMP FARMER broaches the proud history of government-supported Hemp For Victory gardens going beyond the well-known World War II “Hemp For Victory” effort, all the way back to George Washington himself: in fact, at Mount Vernon last fall, I helped harvest the first hemp crop since President Washington’s time – I did this in colonial clothing and with (trust me) a very sharp sickle.

And that was before nutritionists knew about hemp’s ideal Omega 9-6-3 balance, high mineral content, and rare amount of GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) — a fatty acid associated with anti-inflammatory properties, Whereas my family’s own hemp diet once bankrolled the Canadian economy, for the past there years it’s been free. Hemp got federally legalized in the 2014 Farm Bill, and I and my sons get in the soil at this time every year and grow it ourselves. In AMERICAN HEMP FARMER, you’ll even read about a study that indicates a hemp diet might combat obesity.

Sowing hemp is pretty easy, and the harvest is both copious (around 1,000 pounds per acre) and extremely delicious. And I eat a lot of it. Easily a cup a day. As do both my human kids and my goat kids. Indeed it’s very hard to keep the goats out of the field. Hemp seeds are an essential part not just of my family’s health maintenance plan, but of our food security plan. And anyone can do it.

AMERICAN HEMP FARMER is available everywhere now in book, e-book and audiobook form (I narrated the audiobook, which was super fun). And I hope that you find yourself at once giggling and learning as you read it. You can order it here.

Please feel free to share this Dispatch with your friends, family and professional networks. It would be great for folks everywhere to know that not just food security, but superfood security, is a seed (and a permit) away.

Meanwhile, it’s spring on the Funky Butte Ranch, and as AMERICAN HEMP FARMER advises, I’ve got my own hemp permit application filed, I’m building soil (just as the Funky Butte apricots burst into bloom), and I’m ready to grow another scrumptious crop. I like the feeling of knowing my family will thrive for another year no matter what.  When you read AMERICAN HEMP FARMER, you’ll see that you and yours can too. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy.

Some reviews follow below, and I’m sending immense thanks for your support/ in ordering this book and telling your friends. OK, I’m off to the field to dump more goat poop and alfalfa on the soon-to-be-planted Funky Butte Ranch hemp field

-Doug Fine

Funky Butte Ranch, New Mexico

April 13, 2020


Book Doug’s Live Event here.

 Subscribe to the Dispatches From the Funky Butte Ranch newsletter and follow Doug on Instagram and Twitter @organiccowboy



American Hemp Farmer would have been in George Washington’s library. President Washington grew hemp and was a passionate, regenerative agriculturist. Washington sought advice from those that practiced their trade. Doug Fine‘s American Hemp Farmer is a scholarly, practical and impeccably enjoyable work and a must-read for those who cultivate hemp or are interested in leaping in.”  –J. Dean Norton, Director of Horticulture, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate.

“With American Hemp Farmer, Doug Fine shows he is not just our preeminent hemp author, he is one of the most important authors of our time. As I’ve watched him leap between tending goats on his Funky Butte Ranch and hemp fields in Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont and who-knows-where else, it sometimes occurs to me that he might be the most interesting man alive. The resulting book is an absolute must read.  –Eric Steenstra, Executive Director, VoteHemp

“A fantastic piece of Americana that shows the way to a sustainable future.” -David Bronner, CEO, Dr. Bronner’s Soaps

“I hope every hemp farmer and policymaker reads this book carefully. It details a roadmap for success, for farmers and the planet. And that’s probably because Doug doesn’t just write about hemp, he lives it.” —Cary Giguere, State Hemp Program Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

                                  Further Praise for Doug’s Work
“Fine is a writer in he mold of Douglas Adams.” —Washington Post

“Fine is Bryson funny.” —Santa Cruz Sentinel

Doug has written the best book of the year and a blueprint for the future of America.”                       –Willie Nelson

About Doug Fine

Doug Fine is a comedic investigative journalist, bestselling author, and a solar-powered goat herder. He has cultivated hemp for food, farm-to-table products and seed-building in four U.S. states, and teaches a college hemp class. Willie Nelson calls Doug’s work “a blueprint for the America of the future.” The Washington Post says, “Fine is a storyteller in the mold of Douglas Adams.”  A website of Doug’s print, radio and television work, United Nations testimony, Conan and Tonight Show appearances and TED Talk is at dougfine.com and his social media handle is @organiccowboy.

Book Doug’s Live Event here.

 Subscribe to the Dispatches From the Funky Butte Ranch newsletter and follow Doug on Instagram and Twitter @organiccowboy

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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