jm + climate-change   68

The Green Cloud: How Climate-Friendly Is Your Cloud Provider?
good summary of the state of hosting at the big clouds. Topline recommendations:

* choose 100% sustainable locations for new Cloud instances (e.g. on Azure, Google Cloud or the sustainable AWS regions of Dublin, Frankfurt, Oregon or Canada) and transition existing VMs there as soon as possible.

* Enterprises should inform their datacenter providers that they require secure, sustainably-powered compute resources and insist on a delivery commitment.

* Google and Azure are doing significantly better than AWS in delivering transparency and sustainability.
datacenters  aws  azure  google  hosting  climate-change  sustainability  offsetting 
14 hours ago by jm
Factcheck: What is the carbon footprint of streaming video on Netflix?
Some decent numbers on datacenter usage and debunking some scaremongering figures:
Drawing on analysis at the International Energy Agency (IEA) and other credible sources, we expose the flawed assumptions in one widely reported estimate of the emissions from watching 30 minutes of Netflix. These exaggerate the actual climate impact by 30- to 60-times.
datacenters  internet  streaming  netflix  carbon  climate-change  iea  energy  emissions  video 
14 hours ago by jm
Heavy-duty electric truck driver ditches diesel
This is significant news -- sounds like electrified heavy trucks are well on the way:
When it is time to accelerate, the eCascadia’s single gear provides immediate power.

That matters during all-too-frequent slowdowns on California freeways. When traffic begins moving, Williams keeps pace. In a diesel, he would be left behind, working through gears to get up to speed.

“I would have the space of two diesel trucks in front of me. By the time I get going, five cars jump in front of me,” he said. “With this truck, I can stay right with the cars rather than being dropped back every time we stop and go.”

Even with the truck restricted to 60 mph, Williams said he can shave 15 minutes off the drive from the ports to Chino in heavy traffic.

With advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) like adaptive cruise control, which keeps his truck at a set distance from the vehicle in front of him, and automatic emergency braking, Williams also drives a safer truck.
trucks  lorries  vehicles  evs  electric  transport  future  diesel  climate-change 
2 days ago by jm
Methane as a greenhouse gas
Detailed thread from Zeke Hausfather on methane and its effects as a GHG; particularly on its short lifespan in the atmosphere
ch4  methane  ghgs  atmosphere  climate-change  science 
2 days ago by jm
The Heartland Lobby
A joint investigation from CORRECTIV and Frontal21 reveals how the American Heartland Institute is supporting climate change deniers in Germany with the goal of undermining climate protection measures:
Throughout the next half hour, Taylor shares the inner workings of his disinformation toolbox. He believes that Mathias, the PR agent sitting opposite him, wants to help his clients funnel cash into the intricate network of climate change deniers.

Taylor explains how he is able to raise awareness of topics in exchange for money, how people can make tax-deductible donations anonymously through a U.S. foundation, and how the Institute’s publications mimic the tone of the New York Times so obscure ideas are taken more seriously. He detailed how he intends to make a young YouTuber from Germany the star of climate denier, and how he works closely with German partners whose ideas are consistently cited by the AfD in the Bundestag.

Then a few weeks later, Taylor will send an offer in writing. It is something like a strategy document for a PR campaign in Germany: A campaign that the public will not recognize for what it really is, making it even more effective. The goal: No more prohibitive climate laws. Diesel instead of electric cars, energy from coal instead of wind turbines, industry growth instead of environmental protection. 
heartland-institute  germany  lobbying  astroturfing  misinformation  disinformation  climate-change  climate-denial 
8 days ago by jm
The false promise of “renewable natural gas”
RNG [renewable natural gas] can, depending on feedstock and circumstances, be low or even zero-carbon. Utilities argue that ramping up the production of RNG and blending it with normal natural gas in pipelines can reduce [greenhouse gases] faster and cheaper than electrifying buildings. By pursuing electrification, they say, regulators are pushing unnecessary cost hikes onto consumers.

It would be nice for the utilities if this were true. But it’s not. RNG is not as low-carbon as the industry claims and its local air and water impacts are concentrated in vulnerable communities. Even if it were low-carbon and equitable, there simply isn’t enough of it to substitute for more than a small fraction of natural gas. And even if it were low-carbon, equitable, and abundant, it still wouldn’t be an excuse to expand natural gas infrastructure or slow electrification.

It isn’t a close call. The research is clear: Especially in a temperate climate like California, RNG is not a viable alternative for decarbonizing buildings. It is a desperate bid by natural gas utilities to delay their inevitable decline. Policymakers would be foolish to fall for it.
decarbonization  carbon  climate-change  rng  renewables  natural-gas  pollution  environment 
9 days ago by jm
excellent letter to the editor of the Farmer's Journal regarding the IFA's climate-denialist stance
in full:
Dr Donal Murphy-Bokern M.Agr.Sc. (NUI), Kroge-Ehrendorf, Germany

Dear Sir: I've been involved in reseach on diet, sustainable agriculture and climate change for 25 years. Having followed the public debate across Europe in that time, I can only describe the current debate about diet and greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland as hysterical.

This hysteria started a year ago with the then Irish Farmers Association's president appearing to refer to the EAT Lancet Commission, which includes highly respected nutritionists from the Harvard School of Medicine, as "quacks masquerading as nutrition experts".

This was followed by his condemnation of the Taoiseach for answering a question about his carbon footprint by stating an intention to moderate his consumption of red meat. No vegan-led campaign could have better drawn public attention to the links between diet and environment than the IFA's boorish and ignorant reflex reactions.

The hysteria goes on. Now, just a year later, the IFA's chosen greenhouse gas "guru" reports that methane from farming should be treated differently to CO,, raising hopes of a get-out-of-jail card for cattle and sheep.

Self-description as a guru does not invite the confidence of scientific peers and Dr Mitloehner's presentation, published by the IFA, reveals why he is as controversial as is widely reported.

Methane's short-lived nature does not lead to the public policy outcomes that he implies it should with climate acquittal for ruminant production. He reduced discussion about the impact of livestock to one currency, which is carbon, and then misrepresented the valuation of that currency.

Despite being a native of Germany, where most land not suitable for arable crops is under forest, he argued that marginal land in Ireland cannot be used for anything other than for keeping cattle and sheep.

But what was most striking about the IFA's guru is how he worked the audience using rhetorical tricks more associated with demagogic politicians than science.

This science denial included using the strawman fallacy, raising and then countering several bogus opposing arguments. Listening to him, one could be forgiven for believing that vegans have been protesting on the streets of Dublin threatening to interfere with the nation's food supplies.

He used the classical conspiracy theory complete with a collective name for the conspirators: "destructors".

He then drew on popular images of Ireland ("green and lush" and "happy cows") to ingratiate himself with the audience while making wild and poorly informed assumptions about the scope for carbon sequestration on Irish grassland, displaying a poor understanding of basic soil science.

The IFA's stated purpose was the rebalancing of the public debate. Hosting a controversial US scientist who refers to those with views different to those of the IFA on these matters as "destructors" is hardly a promising way forward.

The IFA seems to continue to take pride in caring little for the concerns and expectations of the wider society upon which the real long-term interests of its members ultimately depend. Their faux-militancy might go down well with some members, but it now risks presenting Irish farmers as environmental and social pariahs.
letters  farmers-journal  farming  ifa  ireland  climate-change  climate-denialism 
9 days ago by jm
the CO2 footprint of email is greatly exaggerated
If you care about the environmental impact of tech, worrying about email is not the place to spend your time and energy.

Worry instead about the big tech companies accelerating the extraction of fossil fuels, when we need to keep them in the ground. [....] Worry instead about consulting companies you admire doing the same, and helping the same oil and gas companies, but keeping quiet about doing so. Worry about how blase we are about flying when it makes up a significant chunk of company emissions in many tech consultancies and enterprise sales teams.
climate-change  email  factoids  misinformation  carbon 
16 days ago by jm
The sustainable fashion conversation is based on bad statistics and misinformation - Vox
I pulled all of these statistics and other common "facts" from reputable sources. McKinsey. The United Nations. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The World Bank. International labor unions. Advocacy organizations. And these facts have been cited by publications like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

Not all of these highly respected experts could be wrong. Could they?

It turns out they could. Because only one out of the dozen or so most commonly cited facts about the fashion industry’s huge footprint is based on any sort of science, data collection, or peer-reviewed research. The rest are based on gut feelings, broken links, marketing, and something someone said in 2003.
bad-data  data  facts  factoids  misinformation  fashion  fast-fashion  climate-change 
16 days ago by jm
How can data centers use 100% renewable electricity?
The first step has been to offset. This is followed by matching usage with like-for-like energy purchases somewhere. The final stage is direct consumption of locally generated renewables, either in real time or stored from recent generation.

So the next time you see a tech company announcing a huge renewables project, you should look to see exactly what that mean and where that energy will really go. New renewables are good, but whether that energy is actually powering the company operations directly is another question.
datacenters  renewables  energy  power  climate-change  green  offsetting 
17 days ago by jm
How to Actually Personally Fight Climate Change – Erika Reinhardt
These are concrete, practical suggestions that it's possible for a normal person to achieve -- do them!
Mitigating the climate crisis is top of mind for many people. But it’s such a complex issue that it can be hard to distinguish between data-backed improvements and feel-good distractions. This is your action list with lots of context along the way on why not just how so you can soon be an emissions-fighting climate superhero. If you want to get started by just running through and checking off the easy items, start here.
climate-change  green-living  future  climate  carbon  tips  advice  todo 
27 days ago by jm
Climate Change Could Force Millions of Americans to Flee the Coast. AI Predicts Where They'll Go
By the end of the century, sea level rise could force 13 million people to move away from the U.S. coasts. But it’s not just the coasts that will be affected—so will the places where those migrants end up.

In a study published last week in PLOS One, researchers used artificial intelligence to predict where those places are. The findings could have huge value to people not only living on the coast, but the communities that may deal with an influx of climate refugees inland over the coming century.

“Our findings indicate that everybody should care about sea-level rise, whether they live on the coast or not,” Bistra Dilkina, a Computer Science Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California who led the study, said in a statement.


no shit, Sherlock -- and this will be dwarfed by levels of international migration....
climate-change  migration  papers  climate  ai  future  refugees 
28 days ago by jm
Climate Strike Software License
The key bit:
The Software may not be used in applications and services that are used for or
aid in the exploration, extraction, refinement, processing, or transportation
of fossil fuels.

The Software may not be used by companies that rely on fossil fuel extraction
as their primary means of revenue. This includes but is not limited to the
companies listed at https://climatestrike.software/blacklist
climate  activism  climate-change  fossil-fuels  energy  open-source  oss  licensing 
29 days ago by jm
Making a green internet with the Green Web Foundation
The tech sector is responsible for 2% to 4% of global emissions today. That’s less than all automobile transport, but roughly comparable to the global emissions of all shipping, or aviation. [....]

The problem is that even as our electricity grids transition to more sustainable sources of energy, by dropping coal in favour of renewables, for instance, this doesn’t automatically mean we’re getting a much greener internet. That’s partly because the internet, while distributed around the world, is not evenly distributed. If you were to look at a map of all the major infrastructures of the internet, you’d see that it clusters around a number of geographic features. The reason behind this is that there is a cost, both in time and money, to move data around the world, and even though that cost dropped over time, the rate that we generate and use data for processing has grown faster than this cost has dropped.

This creates incentives to increase the amount of infrastructure in a few places, rather than distribute it evenly. So, where we’ve previously seen data centres built in places with good access to fossil fuel energy, and in a regulatory environment that favours established fossil fuel industries over renewables, you’ll often see even more internet infrastructure being built, often using the same kinds of ‘grey’ power mixes.

The best example of this is the Data Centre Alley in North Virginia, USA. Here, the county of Loudoun boasts that 70% of the world’s internet traffic passes through its digital infrastructure. With 13.5 million square feet of data centres in use, and another 4.5 million planned or developed, it’s the largest concentration of infrastructure in the world. Most of the power needed for this data centre comes from a single company, Dominion Energy, which runs a particularly dirty energy mix, with most of its energy coming from fracked gas, coal and nuclear power. Less than 5% comes from renewables, and this figure will barely pass 10% by 2030.
green  climate-change  datacenters  energy  power  renewables  north-virginia  internet  carbon 
4 weeks ago by jm
Food types by CO2 footprint
You want to reduce the carbon footprint of your food? Focus on what you eat, not whether your food is local:
For most foods – and particularly the largest emitters – most GHG emissions result from land use change (shown in green), and from processes at the farm stage (brown). Farm-stage emissions include processes such as the application of fertilizers – both organic (“manure management”) and synthetic; and enteric fermentation (the production of methane in the stomachs of cattle). Combined, land use and farm-stage emissions account for more than 80% of the footprint for most foods.

Transport is a small contributor to emissions. For most food products, it accounts for less than 10%, and it’s much smaller for the largest GHG emitters. In beef from beef herds, it’s 0.5%. Not just transport, but all processes in the supply chain after the food left the farm – processing, transport, retail and packaging – mostly account for a small share of emissions.


Excellent graph from Our World In Data. tl;dr: beef is massively damaging in terms of emissions, poultry is far less, then fish, then various kinds of veg are at the low end. It's shocking how much impact beef has.
co2  food  data  farming  carbon  emissions  climate-change  methane  transport  locavores 
4 weeks ago by jm
Microsoft announces it will be carbon negative by 2030
This is *amazing* news, and really puts it up to the other big tech companies, particularly Google and Amazon: carbon negative by 2030, more responsibility for Scope 3 emissions, 100% renewables by 2025, and a $1billion fund for climate tech.
climate-change  microsoft  good-news  carbon  tech 
5 weeks ago by jm
Citizens' assembly ready to help Macron set French climate policies
(a) Good to see the citizen's-assembly model applied in other countries, after its success here in Ireland on the same-sex marriage and abortion issues; and (b) also a good idea to apply it to the thorny and potentially divisive issue of dealing with climate change at a national level.
france  climate-change  citizens-assemblies  lawmaking  government  future  taxation 
6 weeks ago by jm
SSP3: The Nightmare Scenario for Climate Scientists
“A resurgent nationalism, concerns about competitiveness and security, and regional conflicts push countries to increasingly focus on domestic or, at most, regional issues. This trend is reinforced by the limited number of comparatively weak global institutions, with uneven coordination and cooperation for addressing environmental and other global concerns. Policies shift over time to become increasingly oriented toward national and regional security issues, including barriers to trade, particularly in the energy resource and agricultural markets... A low international priority for addressing environmental concerns leads to strong environmental degradation in some regions. The combination of impeded development and limited environmental concern results in poor progress toward sustainability. Population growth is low in industrialized and high in developing countries. Growing resource intensity and fossil fuel dependency along with difficulty in achieving international cooperation and slow technological change imply high challenges to mitigation. The limited progress on human development, slow income growth, and lack of effective institutions, especially those that can act across regions, implies high challenges to adaptation for many groups in all regions.”

Hausfather called our current world “SSP3-ish,” particularly the rise of populism. Leah Stokes, an energy policy researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told Earther that in some ways “beginning to wake up to much of what SSP3 captures, which is fascism and nationalism and erecting of border between places.”

Research linking this vision with society and the climate paints a bleak picture. Findings show there’s no scenario in which society achieves the Paris Agreement goals of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) under SSP3. And the 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) goal is but a pipe dream if the world continues its march to fragmentation and lack of cooperation. Hausfather said because of this and computing limitations, the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report will only model SSP3 in conjunction with a high emissions scenario since it’s the most likely outcome.


Welp, that's depressing.
ssp3  climate-change  climate  populism  politics  fascism  nationalism  racism  future 
6 weeks ago by jm
ecotrip
Figure out how to get from A to B with estimates of CO2 emissions involved --

'Ecotrip is a platform that offers a solution to planes’ large CO2 emission by showing routes from user’s origin point to their desired destination, suggesting alternative means of transport ordered by their level of sustainability.'

works great! Pity it's almost impossible to get anywhere from Ireland without flying :(
travel  green  climate-change  co2  emissions  maps  sustainability  via:cat 
6 weeks ago by jm
New Left Review - Mike Davis: Who Will Build the Ark?
Mike Davis' 2010 essay predicting a failure of climate change mitigation - then rebutting himself in the second half
mike-davis  climate-change  climate  politics 
7 weeks ago by jm
COP25 Ended in Failure. What’s the Way Forward?
over the last few months, I’ve found myself thinking a lot more about the model offered by the nuclear nonproliferation agreements forged between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the late 1980s — the planet’s two superpowers reaching a kind of consensus about a global existential threat, taking significant (if not complete) steps to mitigate that risk, and then more or less bullying the rest of the world to follow suit. Climate change is a very different challenge, but policy negotiations to address it may nevertheless benefit from reducing the number of sides involved in a game-theory calculus from 186 (the number of nations party to the Paris accords) to just two (in this case, the U.S. and China). Of course, this would require not just a complete change of perspective on climate in Washington but some shift almost as complete in Beijing, where commitments made in 2019 to open new coal plants are sufficient on their own to eliminate the entire planet’s chances of staying below 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming.
nonproliferation  history  agreements  international  us-politics  usa  china  treaties  climate-change 
10 weeks ago by jm
COP-25 Report from Prof. John Sweeney of An Taisce
Very negative review from COP-25. This is depressing:
There is no doubt but that the failure of COP25 is symptomatic of a world failing to advance the multilateralism ideals many of us grew up with. International cooperation in economics, politics and in solving environmental problems, such as ozone depletion, have now given way to narrow national and populist ideologies. What is most worrying about current developments in tackling climate change is however the disconnect between the power brokers and society at large. The advice of the scientists and the pleas of the young were ignored in Madrid. Indeed some 200 young people were summarily ejected from the conference after a protest, and the eloquent arguments presented by the young Irish activists at several side events fell on deaf ears. Attempts by some world leaders and some media commentators to direct personal vitriol against young activists even surfaced.
cop25  world  future  climate-change  economics  politics  fail 
10 weeks ago by jm
Queensland school runs out of water as commercial bottlers harvest local supplies | Environment | The Guardian
'Water miners' are now a thing....
The Tamborine Mountain state school has run out of water, even as water miners in the Gold Coast hinterland are sending millions of litres to commercial bottling operations.

Trucks sent by the Queensland government carrying emergency supplies to the school, including Mount Tamborine bottled water, have been passing trucks heading in the opposite direction taking local water to bottling plants for beverage giants such as Coca-Cola.

Water miners in the Mount Tamborine area supply roughly 130m litres of water each year to commercial bottling operations. Now the local bores are running dry.
grim-meathook-future  water  water-mining  mining  resources  future  climate-change  queensland  australia 
10 weeks ago by jm
Denmark adopts climate law to cut emissions 70% by 2030
Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in the next eleven years.

The law targets carbon neutrality by 2050 and includes a robust monitoring system. New legally-binding targets will be set every five years, with a ten-year perspective. The first of these will be set in 2020.

In what the government claims is a first for a national legislature, the new law also has a commitment to climate engagement internationally. This includes an ongoing obligation to deliver on international agreements, including climate finance to developing countries.
denmark  green  climate-change  2030  eu 
11 weeks ago by jm
Spain Might Be The World’s Most Important Climate Test | HuffPost UK
Can Spain get a Green New Deal enacted in the EU?
the Sánchez administration was forced to call another snap election last month. The Socialists again eked out a slim win, and this time agreed to form a coalition with Unidos Podemos, a party to its left. If Sánchez’s center-left vision of a Green New Deal could be criticized for not being ambitious enough, the inclusion of the anti-austerity Podemos could make the country the first to seriously attempt the kind of Green New Deal progressives elsewhere have laid out to curb soaring economic inequality and planet-heating emissions. 

Green New Dealers on both sides of the Atlantic argue that addressing both crises at once is key to staving off a resurgent neo-fascist right wing. Vox, a far-right party openly nostalgic for Franco-era Spanish authoritarianism, surged from zero to 24 parliamentary seats last April. November’s election brought that total to 52, making it the third-largest party in Spain. 

But, even with a new left flank in the governing coalition, experts say the chances of making transformative changes are slim, thanks to the European Union’s rules on spending and public ownership. It’ll be a test for how much effectively the Green New Deal can beat back the far right while still confined by what one researcher called the “straitjacket of austerity.” 
green-new-deal  green  gnd  climate-change  spain  left-wing  eu 
11 weeks ago by jm
“Quite Divorced From Reality”: Climate Scientist, Activists Call Out Shell Exec at UN Conference - In These Times
“This is quite divorced from reality, what you are all discussing,” Simon Lewis, a climate science professor at University College London, told the oil executives during a Q+A. Lewis went on to explain to the audience that even if polluters invested in every nature conservation, sustainability agriculture or other “natural climate solution” in the world, those projects would only offset about 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions; the vast majority of cuts would still have to come about through actual reductions in fossil fuel use. Given this, Lewis asked them to explain how the initiative was any different from other corporate schemes put forth in past decades—good PR that doesn’t actually tackle the problem.

In addition, carbon offset trading—which has been going on at smaller scales for decades—is no silver bullet. It has had mixed results to date, including failed projects, outright fraud, and human rights abuses against rural, indigenous and other vulnerable communities, prompting fierce opposition from grassroots climate organizations against including carbon trading in the Paris Accord. The carbon trading question is one of the remaining thorny issues country negotiators are supposed to iron out during this two-week climate conference, which ends December 13. The rules for such “market-based solutions” (included in what is technically known as Article 6 of Paris Agreement) were supposed to be decided at last year’s meeting, but countries remain far apart; in fact, some observers wonder if it won’t be punted off again until next year.

Meanwhile, the oil majors have yet to unveil a plan for reducing their own company emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, which calls for dramatically reducing fossil fuel use to prevent climate catastrophe.
shell  offsets  climate-change  climate  simon-lewis 
11 weeks ago by jm
Climate models have been correct for literally 40 years
Well well well. Climate deniers have been making it up all along.
According to the research published today, almost every peer-reviewed climate model of human-caused global temperature rise dating back to 1970 lines up with the warming we see today.

“In scientific terms, we'd say there's no bias,” the paper’s co-author Henri Drake, a PhD candidate at MIT, told me over the phone. “Once we accounted for the differences in CO2 emissions, 14 of the 17 models we analyzed were consistent with current observations.”

“Taken together,” he added, “these climate models have always been quantitatively accurate.”
climate-change  climate  modelling  simulation  science  history  co2  ghgs 
12 weeks ago by jm
En-ROADS
An excellent global climate simulation tool, to roughly model climate change management strategies and their impacts. (It's not good news.)
climate-change  climate  simulations  tools  web  future 
12 weeks ago by jm
CMIP6 increases estimated effects of climate change
The RCP8.5 "business as usual" scenario is now up to an estimated average of 5.5 degrees C, which would be arguably civilization-ending IMO
rcp8.5  climate-change  climate  estimates  future  cmip6 
12 weeks ago by jm
Climate emergency: world 'may already have crossed several tipping points’
The world may already have crossed a series of climate tipping points, according to a stark warning from scientists. This risk is “an existential threat to civilisation”, they say, meaning “we are in a state of planetary emergency”.

Tipping points are reached when particular impacts of global heating become unstoppable, such as the runaway loss of ice sheets or forests. In the past, extreme heating of 5C was thought necessary to pass tipping points, but the latest evidence suggests this could happen between 1C and 2C.

The planet has already heated by 1C and the temperature is certain to rise further, due to past emissions and because greenhouse gas levels are still rising. The scientists further warn that one tipping point, such as the release of methane from thawing permafrost, may fuel others, leading to a cascade.
climate-change  climate  tipping-points  nature 
november 2019 by jm
Using solar power and carbon capture to make carbon-neutral liquid hydrocarbons
David Keith: 'Cheap intermittent solar power can make carbon-neutral hydrocarbons: high-energy fuels that are easy to store and use. My 12 min talk at Royal Society #CodexTalks describes a low-risk fast path to industrial-scale solar-fuels.'
carbon  carbon-sequestration  carbon-capture  royal-society  co2  hydrocarbons  fuel  solar  climate-change 
november 2019 by jm
(PDF) Carbon sequestration in the trees, products and soils of forest plantations: An analysis using UK examples
A carbon-flow model for managed forest plantations was used to estimate carbon storage in UK plantations differing in Yield Class (growth rate), thinning regime and species characteristics. If the objective is to store carbon rapidly in the short term and achieve high carbon storage in the long term, Populus plantations growing on fertile land (2.7 m spacing, 26-yr rotations, Yield Class 12) were the best option examined. If the objective is to achieve high carbon storage in the medium term (50 yr) without regard to the initial rate of storage, then plantations of conifers of any species with above-average Yield Classes would suffice. In the long term (100 yr), broadleaved plantations of oak and beech store as much carbon as conifer plantations.

Via Mark Dennehy
via:markdennehy  trees  co2  carbon-sequestration  climate-change  woodland  forests 
november 2019 by jm
Climate friendly investing when you’re using passive ETFs and tracker funds
Passive ETFs and tracker funds have become common way to achieve a low-cost diversified portfolio across global indices. The proportion to which the biggest greenhouse gas emitters feature in these indices, and correspondingly in my own passive investments bothered me, so I wanted to see what options I had to tackle it.
investment  investing  climate-change  climate  etfs  tracker-funds  money 
october 2019 by jm
The big polluters’ masterstroke was to blame the climate crisis on you and me | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian
the biggest and most successful lie it tells is this: that the first great extermination is a matter of consumer choice. In response to the Guardian’s questions, some of the oil companies argued that they are not responsible for our decisions to use their products. But we are embedded in a system of their creation – a political, economic and physical infrastructure that creates an illusion of choice while, in reality, closing it down.

We are guided by an ideology so familiar and pervasive that we do not even recognise it as an ideology. It is called consumerism. It has been crafted with the help of skilful advertisers and marketers, by corporate celebrity culture, and by a media that casts us as the recipients of goods and services rather than the creators of political reality. It is locked in by transport, town planning and energy systems that make good choices all but impossible. It spreads like a stain through political systems, which have been systematically captured by lobbying and campaign finance, until political leaders cease to represent us, and work instead for the pollutocrats who fund them.

In such a system, individual choices are lost in the noise. [...] This individuation of responsibility, intrinsic to consumerism, blinds us to the real drivers of destruction.
capitalism  consumerism  fossil-fuels  climate-change  plastic-straws  keep-cups 
october 2019 by jm
Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all carbon emissions
The top 20 companies on the list have contributed to 35% of all energy-related carbon dioxide and methane worldwide, totalling 480bn tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) since 1965.

Those identified range from investor-owned firms – household names such as Chevron, Exxon, BP and Shell – to state-owned companies including Saudi Aramco and Gazprom. Chevron topped the list of the eight investor-owned corporations, followed closely by Exxon, BP and Shell. Together these four global businesses are behind more than 10% of the world’s carbon emissions since 1965.
coal  emissions  business  gas  oil  fossil-fuels  climate-change  co2  carbon  chevron  exxon  bp  shell 
october 2019 by jm
A quarter of UK mammals and nearly half of birds are at risk of extinction
A quarter of UK mammals and nearly half of the birds assessed are at risk of extinction, according to the report, which was produced by a coalition of more than 70 wildlife organisations and government conservation agencies. When plants, insects and fungi are added, one in seven of the 8,400 UK species assessed are at risk of being completely lost, with 133 already gone since 1500.
xr  news  horrifying  extinction  uk  wildlife  future  climate-change 
october 2019 by jm
Gen A
Most of those under the age of around forty will live lives defined by the anthropocene: by the immense challenges contained in mounting climate chaos and ecological collapse. As these twin calamities evolve, there will be no meaningful way to distinguish between those young generations delineated by marketing agencies: Gen Z and Millennials, the two big generations still under forty. Instead, they will likely become a single transition generation overseeing our move from the old world to a new one. Their shared experiences will be grafted together by the wildfires they’ll weather together, their shared values moulded and alloyed by the acts of violence that have always trailed ecological collapse.

The existential crisis inherent to this transition is so dire and so unique that our usual way of demarcating generational cohorts needs revamping, and the generation experiencing it needs a new designation. Welcome Generation Anthropocene, or Gen A, to the social scene.
gen-a  generations  future  youth  anthropocene  climate-change 
october 2019 by jm
Project Drawdown
'The objective of the solutions list is to be inclusive, presenting an extensive array of impactful measures already in existence. The list is comprised primarily of “no regrets” solutions—actions that make sense to take regardless of their climate impact since they have intrinsic benefits to communities and economies. These initiatives improve lives, create jobs, restore the environment, enhance security, generate resilience, and advance human health.'

A little over-optimistic IMO, but a good resource nonetheless
climate-change  society  environment  climate  drawdown  future 
october 2019 by jm
Green New Deal critics are missing the bigger picture
This Vox article absolutely nails what we are facing, and why there's no longer any room to _not_ implement a Green New Deal world wide.
New EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler recently dismissed the latest IPCC report as being based on a “worst-case scenario,” which is darkly ironic, since the report is all about the dangers that lie between 1.5 and 2 degrees of warming. But 2 degrees is not the worst-case scenario. It is among the best-case scenarios. The UN thinks we’re headed for somewhere around 4 degrees by 2100. Believing that we can limit temperature rise to 2 degrees — a level of warming scientists view as catastrophic — now counts as wild-haired optimism. [...]

Two degrees would be terrible, but it’s better than three, at which point Southern Europe would be in permanent drought, African droughts would last five years on average, and the areas burned annually by wildfires in the United States could quadruple, or worse, from last year’s million-plus acres. And three degrees is much better than four, at which point six natural disasters could strike a single community simultaneously; the number of climate refugees, already in the millions, could grow tenfold, or 20-fold, or more; and, globally, damages from warming could reach $600 trillion — about double all the wealth that exists in the world today.

The worst-case scenario, which, contra Wheeler, is virtually never discussed in polite political circles in the US, is, as Wallace-Wells quotes famed naturalist David Attenborough saying, “the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world.”

That is alarming and, if you must, “alarmist,” but as Wallace-Wells says, “being alarmed is not a sign of being hysterical; when it comes to climate change, being alarmed is what the facts demand.” [...]

Choosing to continue down our present path is madness. Nihilism. It is not “moderation.”
activism  climate-change  climate  green-new-deal  green  future  ipcc  david-attenborough  nihilism  politics 
september 2019 by jm
IPCC Report: Oceans Face 'Unprecedented Conditions'
The IPCC report on the ocean is full of utterly disastrous science. One example:

The dangerous changes to the ocean don’t even begin to address the impacts of rising seas. Under all climate change scenarios, coastal areas will see what the report euphemistically calls “extreme sea level events”—that would be floods to you and me—that were once once-in-a-century will become annual occurrences by century’s end. But devastating effects will impact unnumbered people far sooner.

“Many low-lying megacities and small islands (including SIDS) are projected to experience historical centennial events at least annually by 2050,” the report authors wrote.


Bottom line:

'The world has shown little appetite to take a collaborative approach to these types of adaptation projects let alone drawing down emissions to-date, but the tide will have to turn if humanity is to have any chance of staying above water.'
climate-change  climate  oceans  sea-level  disasters  future  2050 
september 2019 by jm
A deconstruction of the BBC's "windmills actually increase global warming" article about SF6 from last week
'This is a neat example of how eminently resolvable challenges around the clean power transition are framed by deniers and ideologues as incurable curses, while actual scientists and engineers just get on with fixing them.'

As Aoife McLysaght notes: 'This is a great, informative thread. Yes SF6 is has a warming effect, but it’s released v little, is a feature of all switches (not only wind turbines as implied), and alternatives are in the works. Wind turbines aren’t zero emissions but they are v low.'
sf6  emissions  wind  electricity  global-warming  climate-change  bbc  bias  science 
september 2019 by jm
Trees on the Land
a cross-border initiative working to establish young native trees across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. We run an annual tree planting event where landowners across the 32 counties turn out to plant their trees on a selected Saturday in February.  Our next planting day is Saturday 15th February 2020.

We provide simple schemes for landowners to access quality native tree mixes each season.  We work with farmers, smallholders, community groups, councils, schools, colleges and many other landowners to coordinate sites to accommodate trees. Our vision is to establish tree cover and woodland in rural and urban areas that will grow for many years and provide valuable resources, beneficial ecosystem services and a lasting legacy for future generations.
trees  nature  ireland  woods  green  climate-change  regreening  rewilding 
september 2019 by jm
The Irish Native Woodland Trust are fundraising
"We're raising funds to help to plant trees on our reserves [in Ireland] and to create more woodland nature reserves like the 11 we already manage, from Donegal to Waterford"
trees  wildlife  nature  carbon  climate-change  rewilding  ireland 
september 2019 by jm
We aren’t terrified enough about losing the Amazon - MIT Technology Review

“Even if it’s a remote possibility, we cannot afford to ignore it,” says Jonathan Foley, executive director of Project Drawdown, a research group focused on decarbonization. “It would be absolutely catastrophic to the Earth’s carbon cycle, water cycle, climate, and biodiversity — not to mention the people who live there.” [...]

“We believe that the sensible course is not only to strictly curb further deforestation, but also to build back a margin of safety against the Amazon tipping point, by reducing the deforested area to less than 20%, for the commonsense reason that there is no point in discovering the precise tipping point by tipping it.”
amazon  climate-change  climate  tipping-points  brazil  future 
august 2019 by jm
'Bees, not refugees': the environmentalist roots of anti-immigrant bigotry | Environment | The Guardian
proclamations of looming dystopia in the form of a mass climate-caused global refugee crisis put well-intentioned environmentalists on some shared ground with fear-mongering nativists, even as they’re attempting to convey a useful urgency about the future of the planet and the disproportionate impacts of climate crisis on the developing world.

“Not to say there won’t be climate-related migration, but I think that portrayal of migrants as climate change refugees, especially these mass movements of people, feeds into the anti-immigrant environmental worldview,” said Hartmann. “Alarmist hyperbole and stereotypes around climate conflict and even climate mass refugee dislocation is based on kind of old, racially and colonially charged stereotypes of poor people of color being more prone to violence in times of scarcity.”

A worsening climate crisis could easily become a cudgel for anti-immigration activists looking to use ecological preservation as an excuse to close borders, a means of gesturing toward doing something about climate crisis that aligns with the right’s other political goals.

“As it becomes more difficult for Republicans to deny that climate change is a thing, this is a really likely next move for the right in climate politics,” said Hultgren.
environment  racism  politics  climate-change  future  dystopia  refugees  immigration 
august 2019 by jm
Loss of Arctic's Reflective Sea Ice Will Advance Global Warming by 25 Years
“Losing the reflective power of Arctic sea ice will lead to warming equivalent to one trillion tons of CO2 and advance the 2ºC threshold by 25 years. Any rational policy would make preventing this a top climate priority for world leaders,” said Ramanathan, a professor of atmospheric and climate sciences at Scripps. [....]

Computer forecast models are actually underestimating the extent of this trend.  “We analyzed 40 climate models from modeling centers around the world,” said Eisenman, a professor of climate, atmospheric science, and physical oceanography at Scripps. “Not a single one of the models simulated as much Arctic sea ice retreat per degree of global warming as has been observed during recent decades.”
arctic  climate-change  climate  global-warming  fear  ice  earth 
july 2019 by jm
Climate change: I work in the environmental movement. I don’t care if you recycle. - Vox
While we’re busy testing each other’s purity, we let the government and industries — the authors of said devastation — off the hook completely. This overemphasis on individual action shames people for their everyday activities, things they can barely avoid doing because of the fossil fuel-dependent system they were born into. In fact, fossil fuels supply more than 75 percent of the US energy system. If we want to function in society, we have no choice but to participate in that system. To blame us for that is to shame us for our very existence.

[...] But that doesn’t mean we do nothing. Climate change is a vast and complicated problem, and that means the answer is complicated too. We need to let go of the idea that it’s all of our individual faults, then take on the collective responsibility of holding the true culprits accountable. In other words, we need to become many Davids against one big, bad Goliath.
activism  climate  environment  green  climate-change  future  fossil-fuels  society 
june 2019 by jm
Carnival Cruise Line to pay a $20M fine over pollution
Carnival’s pollution problem is so bad that across its fleet, the large boats pollute 10 times more than all 260 million of Europe’s cars. That tidbit comes courtesy of a study by the European think tank Transport & Environment, which looked at 203 cruise ships sailing European waters in 2017.

The report also found that besides over-tourism and crashing into ports, there’s a good reason for European cities to dislike cruise ships: they are emitting sulfur dioxide all over the place. If you can’t keep your pollutants straight, sulfur dioxide causes both acid rain and lung cancer. Cruise lines, it turns out, have been dropping the gas all over Europe; the report says Barcelona, Palma Mallorca, and Venice were the cities worst affected by sulfur dioxide emissions. Per the FT, “sulfur dioxide emissions from cars was 3.2m kt versus 62m kt from cruise ships, with Carnival accounting for half that, the study found.”
carnival  cruises  cruise-ships  pollution  europe  eu  driving  environment  climate-change 
june 2019 by jm
Climate change: 'We've created a civilisation hell bent on destroying itself – I'm terrified', writes Earth scientist
'At some point in the future, the technosphere could even function without humans. We worry about robots taking over human’s jobs. Perhaps we should be more concerned with them taking over our role as apex consumers.'
technology  ecology  technosphere  extinction  er  fear  grim  future  automation  climate-crisis  climate-change 
may 2019 by jm
The Gold Standard
Reducing your climate change impact by funding offsetting projects worldwide; usable by individuals
climate-change  climate  offsetting  donation  crowdfunding  offset 
may 2019 by jm
What's next after the Extinction Rebellion demos?
You would think anyone who accepts the science on climate change and understands the civilisation-threatening scale of the risks spelled out in the most recent IPCC report would look at people willing to get arrested in their desperation to drive bolder action against those risks and recognise the least they deserve is an honest and engaged response, perhaps even characterised by a touch of humility and a guilty acceptance decarbonisation efforts to date are yet to make so much as the slightest dent in global emissions trajectories. But apparently not. Glib Tweets about China are obviously easier.

The response to the critical 'what's the plan' question seems to be 'more of the same, with a touch more ambition perhaps, but let's not scare the horses; look, we're doing our best here, we've got the message, no we haven't got any better ideas, can you please put the superglue down and let us get back to business-as-usual'. It is disappointing, a dereliction of duty, and in no way commensurate to the scale of the climate crisis, to put it mildly.
future  climate-change  climate-breakdown  xr  extinction-rebellion  uk-politics  green  politics 
april 2019 by jm
Excellent twitter thread on the "threat" of a "flood" of refugees post-climate-disaster
Once the middle latitudes become effectively uninhabitable, there will be increased migration towards the poles. This thread is an excellent discussion of this issue from a left-wing, pro-migrant standpoint, and how to avoid falling into a racist trap of talking about a "flood of refugees swamping Ireland/UK".
racism  fascism  climate-change  extinction  earth  climate-breakdown  migration  refugees  walls  borders  future 
april 2019 by jm
Amazon workers call for zero carbon emissions and cancellation of an AWS fossil-fuel friendly program
nice one.
Then the activists saw an article in Gizmodo, a technology news site, that outlined how Amazon’s cloud computing division was building special offerings for oil and gas companies. On its website, Amazon says its customers include BP and Royal Dutch Shell, and its products can “find oil faster,” “recover more oil” and “reduce the cost per barrel.”

In a second meeting with Amazon, the workers raised the oil industry connections with the company’s sustainability team; its members did not seem to be aware of the business, according to several employees at the meeting.

“That really showed us Amazon is not taking climate change seriously if the highest levels of the sustainability team are not even aware that we have an oil and gas business,” said Ms. Cunningham, who was at the meeting.
amazon  aws  fossil-fuels  zero-carbon  emissions  climate-change  sustainability 
april 2019 by jm
National Climate Assessment: How to deal with despair over climate change - Vox
The dominant narrative around climate change tells us that it’s our fault. We left the lights on too long, didn’t close the refrigerator door, and didn’t recycle our paper. I’m here to tell you that is bullshit. ... Don’t give in to that shame. It’s not yours. The oil and gas industry is gaslighting you.

That same IPCC report revealed that a mere 100 companies are responsible for 71 percent of global climate emissions. These people are locking you and everything you love into a tomb. You have every right to be pissed all the way off. And we have to make them hear about it.
climate  climate-change  anger  capitalism  ipcc  fossil-fuels  future 
march 2019 by jm
"Thread on climate change & Irish agri lobbyists"
'The massive levy income raised on beef & dairy gives the IFA a financial incentive to promote beef & dairy expansion and a disincentive to support any fundamental changes to Ireland’s agricultural model, regardless the public interest.'
dairy  beef  ireland  farming  climate-change  climate  lobbying  government 
december 2018 by jm
Billionaires Are the Leading Cause of Climate Change
That's largely because there is no "free market" incentive to prevent disaster. An economic environment where a company is only considered viable if it's constantly expanding and increasing its production can't be expected to pump its own brakes over something as trivial as pending global catastrophe. Instead, market logic dictates that rather than take the financial hit that comes with cutting profits, it's more reasonable to find a way to make money off the boiling ocean. Nothing illustrates this phenomenon better than the burgeoning climate-change investment industry. According to Bloomberg, investors are looking to make money off of everything from revamped food production to hotels for people fleeing increasingly hurricane-ravaged areas. A top JP Morgan Asset investment strategist advised clients that sea-level rise was so inevitable that there was likely a lot of opportunity for investing in sea-wall construction.
doom  capitalism  future  climate-change  environment  politics 
december 2018 by jm
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 
november 2018 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 
october 2018 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 
october 2018 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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