Breaking Waves: Ocean News

04/19/2021 - 01:00
President will also call on major economies to join him in bold action at virtual summit of 40 world leaders So what has the rest of the world promised to do about climate change? Joe Biden faces a key test of his commitment to climate action this week, when he sets out his core plans for tackling the climate crisis and calls on all of the world’s major economies to join him in bold action to slash greenhouse gas emissions in the next ten years. The US president has made the climate emergency one of his administration’s top priorities, and stated that clean growth must be the route for the US to rebound from the coronavirus crisis. Continue reading...
04/19/2021 - 00:01
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. Continue reading...
04/19/2021 - 00:01
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. Continue reading...
04/18/2021 - 23:01
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. Continue reading...
04/18/2021 - 12:30
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? Continue reading...
04/18/2021 - 08:47
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. Continue reading...
04/18/2021 - 05:00
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. Continue reading...
04/18/2021 - 03:52
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. Continue reading...
04/18/2021 - 03:45
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. Continue reading...
04/18/2021 - 03:15
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. Continue reading...