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Category: Environment (Page 1 of 9)

A new Climate Change Act commits Finland to carbon neutrality by 2035, and carbon negativity by 2040

Protocol »

Assuming it is signed by President Sauli Niinistö, the law would make Finland the first country in the world to make its commitment to carbon negativity legally binding.

University of Eastern Finland international law professor Kati Kulovesi called the new targets “remarkable,” particularly the carbon negativity commitment. The targets are based on a scientific analysis of the country’s nationally determined contributions, which Kulovesi also commended.

Pollution is killing 9 million people a year » one in six of all deaths across planet

Damian Carrington, The Guardian »

The death toll from pollution dwarfs that from road traffic deaths, HIV/Aids, malaria and TB combined, or from drug and alcohol misuse. The researchers calculated the economic impact of pollution deaths at $4.6tn (£3.7tn), about $9m a minute.

The overall impact of pollution has not improved since the first global review in 2017, since when 45 million lives have been lost to it. Prevention was largely overlooked in the international development agenda, the researchers said, with funding increasing only minimally since 2015.

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Could Almere provide a glimpse of what living in cities will be like in the future?

BBC »

Almere’s evolution is inspiring other cities too, by providing examples of innovative urban planning in action. “Professionals – politicians, architects, city planners – come from all over the world to look and learn from Almere,” says JaapJan Berg, citing particular interest from China. “They have been working on new towns and cities there on a completely different scale – places like Shenzhen. In the UK, I would mention Milton Keynes, and in France, Marne-la-Vallee.”

MVRDV, meanwhile, have drawn on principles from Almere in their ongoing redevelopment of the city centre of the Dutch city of Eindhoven, which aims at allow that city to expand significantly, yet still retain an air of “cosiness”. Cues from Almere include creating green city centre living spaces and using brightly-coloured buildings in striking shapes to enliven the feel of the cityscape.

Principles learned in Almere are also being deployed on a smaller scale in the little Dutch village of Overschild, which saw almost 80% of its homes badly damaged as a result of earthquakes triggered by fracking in the area.

Key ideas trialled in Almere that are being introduced here include the chance for residents to design their own new homes, alongside collective decision making on infrastructure and facilities. “Residents were asked what their wishes were and how they felt the village should look like in 10 years – [then] we have given the residents a toolbox which will give them the help and inspiration needed to take the future into their own hands,” says Winy Maas. »

California nearly 100% powered by renewables for first time

Desert Sun »

Renewable electricity provided just shy of 100% of California’s electricity demand on Saturday, a record-breaker, officials said, much of it from large amounts of solar power now produced along Interstate 10, an hour east of the Coachella Valley.

Environmentalists over the weekend celebrated as an official online supply tracker surged to 101%, but a power official said late Monday that they had doublechecked the data, and adjusted it slightly due to battery charging and reserves and other resource needs.

While partygoers celebrated in the blazing sunshine at the Stagecoach music festival, energy demand statewide hit 18,672 megawatts at 2:45 p.m., “and at 2:50, we reached 99.87% of load served by all renewables, which broke the previous record … of 97.58%,” said Anna Gonzales, spokeswoman for California Independent System Operator, or CAISO, a nonprofit that oversees the state’s bulk electric power system and transmission lines.

How society loses touch with reality and is lead to tyranny

In this video After Skool and Academy of Ideas explore the most dangerous of all psychic epidemics, the mass psychosis.

A mass psychosis is an epidemic of madness and it occurs when a large portion of a society loses touch with reality and descends into delusions. Such a phenomenon is not a thing of fiction. Two examples of mass psychoses are the American and European witch hunts 16th and 17th centuries and the rise of totalitarianism in the 20th century.

What is it? How does is start? Are we experiencing one right now?

“Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

» Thomas Paine, The American Crisis

Video below ⤵️

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Blah Blah Blah

DW »

It was supposed to be the summit that would stop global warming. But now there’s deep disappointment, with environmentalists saying COP26 fell far short of the urgent action that’s needed. Negotiations in Glasgow went on beyond the deadline, as draft after draft came closer to producing a global agreement to restrict greenhouse gases. But the final document was met with anger after India scuppered its key provision – to phase out coal power.

Delegates did manage to come to an agreement at the end of the conference, which has been seen as a final hour, last ditch effort to stop catastrophic climate change.

Most countries agreed on new and more ambitious targets for reducing emissions. But the pledges fell short of what science says is needed to stop the world from heating beyond a dangerous 1.5 degrees Celsius.

India insisted on a last minute watering down of the final text, changing references of a coal phaseout to a phase down. And wealthy nations resisted calls to create a mechanism to compensate poor countries suffering the worst effects of climate change. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged countries to do more.

Leaders agreed to reconvene for talks in Egypt next year, where major emitters will be asked to present new targets. But with the goal of 1.5 degrees now on life support, activists say COP27 is already dead.

Meanwhile, New Delhi shuts schools as government considers ‘pollution lockdown’ over noxious smog »

France 24 »

New Delhi authorities announced Saturday a one-week closure of schools and said they would consider a “pollution lockdown” to protect citizens from toxic smog.

The Guardian »

Alok Sharma, the president of the Cop26 climate summit, offered an emotional apology on Saturday evening as a package was agreed with last-minute changes to its wording on coal. A commitment to ‘phase out’ coal, which was included in earlier drafts, was changed to ‘phase down’ after China and India led opposition to it. Sharma said he was ‘deeply sorry’ for how the negotiations had ended ‘The pressure for change is building’: reactions to the Glasgow climate pact Glasgow climate pact: leaders welcome Cop26 deal despite coal compromise Cop26 ends in climate agreement despite India watering down coal resolution

Elsewhere » COP Scorecard: What Did Two Weeks of Talks Actually Achieve? » Bloomberg

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