Renewable energy is expanding rapidly all around the world. The energy capacity of newly installed solar projects in 2017, for instance, exceeded the combined increases from coal, gas and nuclear plants. During the past eight years alone, global investment in renewables was $2.2 trillion, and optimism has soared along with investments. “Rapidly spreading solar technology could change everything,” announced a piece in the Financial Times, which also explained that, “there is growing evidence that some fundamental changes are coming that will over time put a question mark over investments in old energy systems.”
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Biodiversity / Biodevastation
Stories about Biodiversity and Biodevastation.
Thawing permafrost is a slow-motion disaster happening now in most of northern Alaska. Unlike a hurricane or a flood, the loss of permafrost is silent, rarely dramatic, and never fatal.
The low boreal forest that spans the border between Alaska and Canada is the home of the Gwich’in people. There are some 6,000 Gwich’in, hunting and raising their children in villages at the edge of the Arctic Circle. They’ve been there for thousands of years, following the caribou, which provide a majority of their diet, even today.
Bernadette Demientieff, executive director of the Gwich’in steering committee, fears that the herd, and the culture that depends on them, will not survive if oil drilling is allowed on caribou calving grounds.
The rate of sea level rise resulting from the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet has tripled over the past five years, according to new research from a global team of scientists.
The study, published in Nature, finds that ice loss from Antarctica has caused sea levels to rise by 7.6mm from 1992-2017, with two fifths of this increase occurring since 2012.
Inside Tesla’s electric car factory, giant red robots – some named for X-Men characters – heave car parts in the air, while workers wearing black toil on aluminum car bodies. Forklifts and tuggers zip by on gray-painted floors, differentiated from pedestrian walkways by another shade of gray.
There’s one color, though, that some of Tesla’s former safety experts wanted to see more of: yellow – the traditional hue of caution used to mark hazards.
I recently attended a presentation on invasive weeds by a representative of the Deschutes National Forest.
The problem with the presentation was that it promoted and legitimized an industrial paradigm to weed threats. The Forest Service (FS) promotes an Industrial Forestry Paradigm that treats the symptoms, not the causes of ecological degradation.
The biggest factors contributing to the spread of weeds on public lands comes from logging/thinning and livestock grazing. Yet during the entire Forest Service presentation, the one thing missing from the talk was any mention of why and how weeds are spread. Most species that we consider weeds are plants that thrive on disturbance. In other words, activities that create bare soil and/or reduce the viability of the native species to compete against weed species, thus promote weed invasions.
Whether for environmental reasons or Indigenous rights, there is enormous opposition to seeing the Trans Mountain project completed, and that opposition is only going to grow. A recent poll suggested that 12 percent of British Columbia residents would engage in civil disobedience against the project. Despite the change in ownership, it seems the protests against the pipeline will continue.
In tests conducted in late 2017, one in three coal-fired power plants nationwide detected “statistically significant” amounts of contaminants, including harmful chemicals like arsenic, in the groundwater around their facilities.
This information, which utility companies had to post on their websites in March, became public for the first time under an Obama-era environmental rule regulating coal ash, the waste generated from burning coal.
Although hunting and trapping have the potential to eradicate wolves in the short-term, habitat loss from logging poses an even greater long-term challenge for wolf survival.
My long series of articles investigating the power of Big Oil in California, including my coverage of the passage last year of Jerry Brown’s legislation extending California’s cap-and-trade program past 2020, began at the Annual Legislative Fisheries Forum at the State Capitol in March of 2009.