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Ruth Milka – 2016: The year solar panels became cheaper than fossil fuels

It’s finally happened. The renewable energy future has arrived. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), installing new solar panels is cheaper than a comparable investment in coal, natural gas, or other options. Solar and wind is now the same price or cheaper than fossil fuels in more than 30 countries. According to Michael Drexler, head of development investing at …

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Andrea Germanos – New Study ‘Sounds Alarm’ on Another Climate Feedback Loop

The loss of Arctic sea ice has already been shown to be part of a positive feedback loop driving climate change, and a recent study published in the journal Nature puts the spotlight on what appears to be another of these feedback loops. It has to do with soil, currently one of Earth’s carbon sinks. But warming may lead to …

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To Hell with Neoliberal Environmentalism

I was poised to write a piece on the linkage between present-day veneration of duplicitous political elites and the crisis of national identity when I found the following op-ed in the Guardian: How to make a profit from defeating climate change It is subtitled “Given the right information, investors will deliver the best climate solutions” and co-written by Michael Bloomberg …

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UTHealth: Rapid population decline among vertebrates began with industrialization

HOUSTON – (Dec. 15, 2016) – Rapid population decline among vertebrate species began at the end of the 19th century when industrialization was at its peak, according to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The research was recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Industrialization …

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Donald Trump is a Real Threat to the Survival of the Human Species

Alan Singer at the Huffington Post writes about the Trump Team Revives McCarthyism in War on the Environment.  Singer writes, “Climate change deniers argue that the Earth’s climate sensitivity is so low that humans can use the atmosphere as a garbage dump pumping out carbon dioxide without worrying about global warming. Donald Trump has called climate change a ‘hoax’ and …

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Nika Knight – Methane Emissions Are Soaring, Report Finds, and Agriculture Is to Blame

Mere months after atmospheric carbon dioxide permanently surpassed a symbolic threshold of 400 parts per million, scientists have more bad news: emissions of methane, a more potent greenhouse gas, have skyrocketed in the past 20 years—and show no sign of slowing. That’s according to a new analysis published Monday in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The report, The Growing Role of …

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Tim Radford – Human ‘technosphere’ weighs 30 trillion tonnes

LONDON, 13 December, 2016 – Scientists have calculated the mass of that unnatural achievement called the “technosphere”, demonstrating the scale of human activity that drives climate change. The bleak conclusion is that cities, factories, cars, railways, cameras, computers, ballpoint pens, swords, machine guns and all other manmade things now weigh about 30 trillion tonnes. The scientists also estimate that the …

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Surge in methane emissions threatens efforts to slow climate change

Global concentrations of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas and cause of climate change, are now growing faster in the atmosphere than at any other time in the past two decades. That is the message of a team of international scientists in an editorial to be published 12 December in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The group reports that methane concentrations …

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Ecologists publish research on soil’s potential to increase the Earth’s CO2

MANHATTAN, KANSAS — Soil, an important part of the carbon cycle, might compound the world’s carbon dioxide problem, according to a global study involving Kansas State University researchers and Konza Prairie Biological Station. The study, “Quantifying global soil carbon losses in response to warming,” recently published in Nature, predicts that soils may release large quantities of carbon dioxide in response …

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Lorraine Chow – Finland Set to Become First Country in the World to Ban Coal

This is all part of Finland’s ambitious target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050. “Giving up coal is the only way to reach international climate goals,” Rehn added. According to The Independent, the “Energy and Climate Strategy for 2030 and Beyond” is the country’s plan to phase out coal within 14 years. Finland aims …