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Coal financing costs surge as investors opt for renewable energy

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/04/18 - 10:01pm

Study finds returns must repay four times the payoff from clean energy investment to justify escalating risk

Coal financing costs have surged over the last decade as investors demand returns four times as high as the payoff required from renewable energy projects to justify the risk of investing in fossil fuels, as the world moves towards cleaner energy sources.

A University of Oxford study found that over the same period the cost of investing in renewable energy sources, such as windfarms and solar arrays, has tumbled as the clean energy technologies prove they can be cost-effective and lucrative investments.

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Categories: Environment

‘A great deception’: oil giants taken to task over ‘greenwash’ ads

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/04/18 - 10:01pm

ClientEarth calls for tobacco-like health warnings on advertisements from fossil fuel firms

Some of the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies have used advertising to “greenwash” their ongoing contribution to the climate crisis, according to files published by the environmental lawyers ClientEarth. They describe the practice as “a great deception”.

The files compare the adverts produced by ExxonMobil, Aramco, Chevron, Shell, Equinor and others with the companies’ operations and products, overall climate impact and progress toward climate-safe business models.

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Categories: Environment

Microbes are ‘unknown unknowns’ despite being vital to all life, says study

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/04/18 - 9:01pm

Understanding these tiny organisms could be crucial to tackling threats such as coronavirus, but new research shows how little we know

A new study has highlighted how little is known about microbes – the hidden majority of life on Earth.

Life on the planet relies on an enormous quantity of bacteria, fungi and other tiny organisms. They generate oxygen, keep soils healthy and regulate the climate. Microbes play a crucial role in food production, such as cheese, beer, yoghurt and bread.

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Categories: Environment

I keep seeing this prayer...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2021/04/18 - 4:40pm


Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Despite Strained Relations, U.S. And China Agree To Combat Climate Change Together

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2021/04/18 - 2:17pm

The U.S. and China say they will work together to tackle climate change. It's a rare display of cooperation amid an overall tense relationship.

Categories: Environment

How can NSW allow new coalmines while committing to net zero emissions? It’s bizarre | Richard Denniss

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/04/18 - 10:30am

New mines won’t boost world demand for Australian coal — but they will cannibalise jobs from existing coalmines

The New South Wales government is simultaneously committed to a net-zero emissions target for 2050 at the same time as new coalmines in the Hunter Valley with the capacity to produce 10 times more coal than Adani’s Carmichael mine are being proposed by the industry. Welcome to the topsy turvy world of Australian climate policy.

Australia is the third-largest exporter of fossil fuels, behind only Saudi Arabia and Russia. But because of the way that international accounting rules for greenhouse gas emissions work, the emissions from burning the enormous amounts of coal and gas we export do not “count” towards Australia’s emissions. When Australia exports iron ore and coal to be turned into steel, cars and fridges that are sent back to Australia, it’s China that gets blamed for the emissions, not Australia. Cool, huh?

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Categories: Environment

Germany’s surging Greens step up election race to succeed Merkel

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/04/18 - 6:47am

Robert Habeck or Annalena Baerbock will be named as party’s candidate for chancellorship

Five months before national elections, a Green party that once styled itself as the rebel of German politics is finding itself in an unusually respectable position.

The party’s standing in the polls – in second place at 21-23% of the vote – means it will on Monday, for the first time in its 41-year history, nominate a candidate for chancellor. Furthermore, that candidate will have a realistic chance of filling the top job in German politics by the end of the year.

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Categories: Environment

U.S., China Agree To Cooperate On Climate Crisis With Urgency

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2021/04/18 - 4:58am

The world's two biggest carbon polluters agreed to cooperate to curb climate change with "seriousness and urgency" days before President Biden hosts a virtual summit of world leaders on the issue.

(Image credit: U.S. Embassy Seoul via AP)

Categories: Environment

Clam hunters’ supertool has California worried: ‘It might be too good’

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/04/18 - 3:00am

Hydraulic pumps can collect a day’s worth of clams in minutes, but experts are concerned about how they affect the ecosystem

Along the beaches of northern California, and the past year has seen a boom in crowds on the hunt for one of the region’s favorite edible delights: clams.

But among the buckets and shovels, clam hunters are increasingly coming armed with a powerful new tool: hand-operated, water-squirting pumps that allow them to take more clams, faster than ever before.

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Categories: Environment

Groundswell review – the fight against fracking in Ireland

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/04/18 - 1:52am

Johnny Gogan’s documentary highlights the misconceived plans of corporations that hoped to avoid protesters

In 2010, the American film-maker Josh Fox released something that in retrospect looks like one of the most influential and original documentaries of recent times: GasLand. It was about something new to many at the time: fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, under the earth to release natural gas from shale rock, at the risk of polluting the water table and turning areas of natural beauty into sludge dumps – and that is aside from the existing larger implications of gas consumption.

The film alerted many to a new environmental menace, and it plays its historic role in this new film from Johnny Gogan about the anti-fracking campaign in Ireland, often by people who were energised by seeing GasLand and determined to resist what one campaigner calls the new way of “scraping the bottom of the fossil-fuel barrel”. Exactly so. The coronavirus pandemic has, understandably, diverted many people’s attention from the climate crisis. But there is no vaccination for climate change.

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Categories: Environment

Supermarket ‘bags for life’ must cost more to cut plastic use, urge campaigners

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/04/18 - 1:45am

UK’s ‘bag for a week’ habit is no green alternative – rather, it has created more problems for the environment

Green campaigners have urged higher prices for so-called bags for life after dramatic sales increases at some retailers since the ending of sales of single-use plastic carrier bags.

Marks & Spencer sold six times as many bags for life in 2019 as the year before, up from 13.4m to 82.6m, according to figures from Greenpeace and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Iceland tripled its sales, to 107.3m from 34m the previous year.

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Categories: Environment

Vodka, toothpaste, yoga mats … the new technology making items out of thin air

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/04/18 - 1:15am

An exhibition at London’s Science Museum shows how far carbon capture research has come

Tackling climate change may bring unexpected benefits, London’s Science Museum will reveal next month. A special exhibition on carbon capture, the fledgling technology of extracting greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and emissions from factories, will display bottles of vodka, tubes of toothpaste, pens and yoga mats made from carbon drawn out of thin air.

In addition, the exhibition – Our Future Planet – will showcase prototypes of the gas-harvesting machines that can provide this carbon. They include the Lackner artificial tree which mirrors the actions of living plants by breathing in carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen. This Heath Robinson-like device – made up of dangling panels of carbon-absorbing material – was built by Klaus Lackner at Arizona State University and will be the first to be displayed in Britain.

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Categories: Environment

Hedgerow highway will keep dormice thriving in the Yorkshire Dales

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/04/17 - 11:30pm

Project is part of national plan to help the endangered species prosper after numbers plunge by half

For the first time in 100 years, dormice have the freedom to roam among the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales, thanks to a project to restore their delicate natural habitat.

Landowners and farmers in Wensleydale have grown a six-mile continuous stretch of woodland and hedgerows to provide a highway to join up two fledgeling populations of the charming native mammals.

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Categories: Environment

US and China commit to cooperating on climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/04/17 - 8:45pm

World’s biggest polluters release joint commitment to climate action following John Kerry visit to Shanghai

The US and China have “committed to cooperating” on the pressing issue of climate change, the two sides said in a joint statement on Saturday, following a visit to Shanghai by US climate envoy John Kerry.

“The United States and China are committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the seriousness and urgency that it demands,” said the statement from Kerry and China’s special envoy for climate change Xie Zhenhua.

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Categories: Environment

Scott Morrison signs $1bn deal to shore up energy reliability in South Australia

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/04/17 - 8:03pm

Federal-state deal will lower power prices, PM says, unlock gas supplies and start work on an interconnector between SA and NSW

The federal government has signed a $1bn deal with South Australia to reduce the cost and boost the reliability of energy supplies.

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, announced the deal on Sunday. It will include a $660m commitment from the commonwealth and $422m from the state government.

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Categories: Environment

$25 Million Worth Of Giant Clam Shells Seized In The Philippines

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2021/04/17 - 7:00pm

The raid Friday was the third giant clam bust in just over a month. Since the beginning of March, about $30 million worth of giant clams have been seized from illegal operations.

Categories: Environment

Pandemic Saturday

The Field Lab - Sat, 2021/04/17 - 5:12pm


daily cases worldwide3,000,000 dead

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Green investment bond offers 9% return – but there is a risk

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/04/16 - 11:00pm

While the climate-themed product seems attractive, it is not for the faint-hearted

Green-minded individuals with an appetite for risk are being targeted by a new investment paying an eye-catching 9% interest a year.

This five-year green bond, launched this week by the crowdfunding platform Abundance Investment, seeks to raise £4m for a private company called Iduna to finance the installation of 50 new electric vehicle charging points in Greater Manchester, provided in partnership with Transport for Greater Manchester.

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Categories: Environment

Another view of the Starlink swarm...

The Field Lab - Fri, 2021/04/16 - 3:10pm
Starlink satellite movements in a 6 hour timelapse. Each satellite completes a full orbit of the earth in approximately 90 minutes. Interesting note: The flat map of the world known as the "mercator projection" was created by 16th century geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator in 1569. A prolific map, globe, and scientific instrument maker - he is most renowned for creating a world map based on a new projection which represented sailing courses of constant bearing (rhumb lines) as straight lines—an innovation that is still employed in nautical charts today.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Environment minister Sussan Ley says climate action not her portfolio in stoush with states

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/04/16 - 1:00pm

Ley understood to have told state counterparts coordinating with them on climate mitigation beyond her portfolio

The environment minister, Sussan Ley, has rebuffed a push by her state counterparts to be kept in the loop about the Morrison government’s plans for climate action ahead of international talks in Glasgow in November – telling them she is not responsible for mitigation efforts.

Several sources have confirmed to Guardian Australia there was a stoush in Thursday’s meeting between Ley and a number of state ministers, both Liberal and Labor.

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Categories: Environment
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