In fact, the Paris Agreement only gets us about halfway globally to the carbon reductions we need to avert catastrophic warming of the planet, of two degrees Celsius or more, 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit or more. So that’s the direct effect. The indirect effect of course is that it sends the wrong message to other major players, in particular, China and India. China is the largest emitter of carbon pollution today. And by signaling a pullout from the Paris Accord, it takes off the pressure, it takes the pressure off of China to meet its commitments. And in fact, before Trump entered the picture, China was going beyond their commitments. They were actually decommissioning coal fired power plants and carbon emissions globally had leveled off, the first step in actually bringing them down, which is what we need to do.
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Less of What We Don't Need
Stories about Less of What We Don't Need.
The Green New Deal promises everything. Its advocates anticipate a green industrial revolution led by workers, forging a power-grid run on renewables, a new and luxurious electrified transport system and affordable homes retrofitted for energy-efficiency.
We will see employment for all, workers on shorter hours enjoying high-paid green jobs and a democratised workplace. Equally as important, the UK will enact this great renewable transition without perpetuating colonial resource extraction abroad. It all sounds too good to be true. That’s because it is.
Industrial-scale renewable energy does nothing to remake exploitative relationships with the earth, and instead represents the renewal and expansion of the present capitalist order. We have inherited the bad/good energy dichotomy of fossil fuels versus renewable energy, a holdover from the environmental movement of the 1970’s that is misleading, if not false.
By 2050, up to six million tons of solar panel waste will need recycling, and the United States is expected to have the second largest amount of waste after China, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. But few states have started processes for handling the waste even as they require more energy produced by renewable sources.
Heavy industry is responsible for around 22 percent of global CO2 emissions. Forty-two percent of that — about 10 percent of global emissions — comes from combustion to produce large amounts of high-temperature heat for industrial products like cement, steel, and petrochemicals.
To put that in perspective, industrial heat’s 10 percent is greater than the CO2 emissions of all the world’s cars (6 percent) and planes (2 percent) combined. Yet, consider how much you hear about electric vehicles. Consider how much you hear about flying shame. Now consider how much you hear about ... industrial heat.
Not much, I’m guessing. But the fact is, today, virtually all of that combustion is fossil-fueled, and there are very few viable low-carbon alternatives. For all kinds of reasons, industrial heat is going to be one of the toughest nuts to crack, carbon-wise. And we haven’t even gotten started.
The Department of Defense spews so much greenhouse gas every year that it would rank as the 55th worst polluter in the world if it were a country, beating out Sweden, Denmark, and Portugal, according to a new paper from Brown University’s Costs of War project.
The irony is that the military is concerned about what will happen as the world keeps heating up. Last year, the Department of Defense reported that half of its bases were threatened by the effects of global warming. Rising seas are regularly flooding Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia, even on sunny days, and melting permafrost threatens the stability of military buildings in the Arctic.
Mongolia’s Action Plan for Implementation of the Green Development Policy ... The Green Development Policy also presents hydroelectric development as the next step for Mongolia to transition from fossil fuels. The Selenge River is considered a transboundary body of water under UN protocol. Originating in northern Mongolia, the Selenge River has Ramsar protected wetland status and is an integral tributary to the Lake Baikal in Russia, contributing to about half the lake’s volume of water. With a geologic history of over 25 million years, the Baikal is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known to contain about twenty percent of the world’s unfrozen fresh water.
The plateau encompassing Mongolia and Inner Mongolia (China) has in turn experienced a shrinking of lakes due to large-scale human intervention, from the demands of water-intensive coal-mining, to overgrazing and agricultural irrigation that disturbs groundwater and rivers.