jm + climate-change   10

Neoliberalism has conned us into fighting climate change as individuals | Martin Lukacs | Environment | The Guardian
These pervasive exhortations to individual action — in corporate ads, school textbooks, and the campaigns of mainstream environmental groups, especially in the west — seem as natural as the air we breathe. But we could hardly be worse-served.

While we busy ourselves greening our personal lives, fossil fuel corporations are rendering these efforts irrelevant. The breakdown of carbon emissions since 1988? A hundred companies alone are responsible for an astonishing 71%. You tinker with those pens or that panel; they go on torching the planet.

The freedom of these corporations to pollute – and the fixation on a feeble lifestyle response – is no accident. It is the result of an ideological war, waged over the last 40 years, against the possibility of collective action. Devastatingly successful, it is not too late to reverse it. The political project of neoliberalism, brought to ascendence by Thatcher and Reagan, has pursued two principal objectives. The first has been to dismantle any barriers to the exercise of unaccountable private power. The second had been to erect them to the exercise of any democratic public will. [...]

At the very moment when climate change demands an unprecedented collective public response, neoliberal ideology stands in the way. Which is why, if we want to bring down emissions fast, we will need to overcome all of its free-market mantras.
politics  environment  neoliberalism  future  climate-change  green 
19 days ago by jm
Bitcoin must die
If Bitcoin were to cease trading tomorrow, 0.5% of the world’s electricity demand would simply disappear. This is roughly equivalent to the output of ten coal-fired power plants, emitting 50 million tonnes of CO2 per year – which would cover one year’s worth of the carbon emission cuts required to limit temperature rises this century to 2C. It is not a solution by itself, but it would be a good year’s work. Bitcoin is made from ashes, and if ashes were legal tender, humanity would burn everything in sight and call it progress.
environment  bitcoin  ecology  future  earth  cryptocurrencies  pow  electricity  climate-change 
5 weeks ago by jm
IPCC 1.5 degrees target requires massive carbon dioxide removal technology efforts
The grimmest prognosis in the draft report is in the details of the effort it would take to actually limit warming to 1.5°C. Countries won’t just have to give up fossil fuels and stop emitting greenhouse gases; they’ll have to pull carbon dioxide straight out of the air.

“All pathways that limit global warming to 1.5°C with limited or no overshoot project the use of carbon dioxide removal (CDR),” according to the report. And not just a little, but a lot, upward of 1,000 gigatons of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere by the end of the century. This will require machines that scrub carbon dioxide out of the air as well as biofuels coupled with carbon capture and sequestration. These tactics have their own energy demands and environmental drawbacks, and we may not be able to deploy them in time.

“CDR deployment of several hundreds of [gigatons of CO2] is subject to multiple feasibility and sustainability constraints,” according to the IPCC report.
cdr  co2  greenhouse-gases  climate-change  technology  ipcc  un 
5 weeks ago by jm
Crazy maths makes nonsense of Irish climate change policy
'John FitzGerald on madness of Ireland burning peat for electricity:

'the current subsidy per job involved is at least €100,000 a year. The Bord na Móna annual report indicates that, in the year 2016/2017, its workers’ average pay was €50,000. In other words, the subsidy per job is around twice what the workers involved actually earn.

If the peat-fired power stations were closed tomorrow, and the workers involved continued to be employed on their current wages, subsidising these jobs would only cost €50 million, not €100 million. Electricity consumers would pay less to subsidise these jobs, and Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions would fall substantially as a result of discontinuing this polluting fuel use.'

We should plan for closure by 2020 of peat-fired electricity generation:

–greatly benefit environment;
–save electricity consumers money;
–protect livelihoods.
environment  peat  ireland  electricity  fossil-fuels  policy  climate-change 
june 2018 by jm
Bitcoin’s energy use got studied, and you libertarian nerds look even worse than usual | Grist
This is awful. What a waste:
Bitcoin’s energy footprint has more than doubled since Grist first wrote about it six months ago.

It’s expected to double again by the end of the year, according to a new peer-reviewed study out Wednesday. And if that happens, bitcoin would be gobbling up 0.5 percent of the world’s electricity, about as much as the Netherlands.

That’s a troubling trajectory, especially for a world that should be working overtime to root out energy waste and fight climate change. By late next year, bitcoin could be consuming more electricity than all the world’s solar panels currently produce — about 1.8 percent of global electricity, according to a simple extrapolation of the study’s predictions. That would effectively erase decades of progress on renewable energy.
energy  bitcoin  blockchain  cryptocurrencies  money  climate-change  planet  green 
may 2018 by jm
Ireland's staggering hypocrisy on climate change | Environment | The Guardian
The national climate policy is a greenwash – the country is certain to miss its 2020 emissions target and still handing out drilling licences
guardian  green  greenwashing  ireland  politics  energy  future  climate-change  nmp  oil  fossil-fuels 
july 2017 by jm
Burning Fossil Fuels Almost Ended All Life on Earth - The Atlantic
“what I like to talk about is ‘the Great Weirding’ and not just the Great Dying because the Great Dying seems to have been a relatively quick event at the very end. But if you just talk about the Great Dying you’re missing all of this other crazy stuff that led up to it,” he said. “The Earth was getting really weird in the Permian. So we’re getting these huge lakes with these negative pHs, which is really weird, we don’t know why that happened. Another thing is that the whole world turned red. Everything got red. You walk around today and you’re like, ‘Hey, there’s a red bed, I bet it’s Permian or Triassic.’ The planet started looking like Mars. So that’s really weird. We don’t know why it turned red. Then you have a supercontinent, which is weird in the first place. Plate tectonics has to be acting strangely when you have all the continents together. Eventually it rifts apart and we go back into normal plate tectonics mode, but during the Permian-Triassic everything’s jammed together. So there has to be something strange going on. And then at the end, the Earth opens up and there’s all these volcanoes. But we’re not talking about normal volcanoes, we’re talking about weird volcanoes.”
extinction  history  geology  permian-era  earth  climate-change  carbon-dioxide  scary  pangaea 
july 2017 by jm
When Will Climate Change Make the Earth Too Hot For Humans?
The Earth has experienced five mass extinctions before the one we are living through now, each so complete a slate-wiping of the evolutionary record it functioned as a resetting of the planetary clock, and many climate scientists will tell you they are the best analog for the ecological future we are diving headlong into. Unless you are a teenager, you probably read in your high-school textbooks that these extinctions were the result of asteroids. In fact, all but the one that killed the dinosaurs were caused by climate change produced by greenhouse gas. The most notorious was 252 million years ago; it began when carbon warmed the planet by five degrees, accelerated when that warming triggered the release of methane in the Arctic, and ended with 97 percent of all life on Earth dead. We are currently adding carbon to the atmosphere at a considerably faster rate; by most estimates, at least ten times faster.
climate  future  grim  climate-change  extinction  earth  carbon  anthropocene 
july 2017 by jm
March 2016's shocking global warming temperature record
Keep in mind that it took from the dawn of the industrial age until last October to reach the first 1.0 degree Celsius, and we’ve come as much as an extra 0.4 degrees further in just the last five months. Even accounting for the margin of error associated with these preliminary datasets, that means it’s virtually certain that February handily beat the record set just last month for the most anomalously warm month ever recorded. That’s stunning.


eek.
global-warming  climate-change  2016 
march 2016 by jm
It’s Not Climate Change — It’s Everything Change
now this is a Long Read. the inimitable Margaret Atwood on climate change, beautifully illustrated
climate  climate-change  margaret-atwood  long-reads  change  life  earth  green  future 
july 2015 by jm

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