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Landscape with hundreds of wind turbines close to the North Sea in Ostfriesland, Germany.

Germany's green power surges ahead - at a price that's finally falling

Gert Brunekreeft

22nd October 2014

Germany's transition to a renewable power system is on track, writes Gert Brunekreeft. But it's costing households €218 a year in surcharges, causing voter enthusiasm to wane. That may be about to change though. The surcharge is about to fall, while targets stay the same - a sign that renewable energy costs may be falling faster than expected. more...
Are there more nasty surprises in store for fossil fuel investors? The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, 22nd June 2010. Photo: Oscar Garcia / via John Amos on Flickr.

To hit fossil fuel firms where it hurts, support divestment!

Franklin Ginn

20th October 2014

Fossil fuel companies are a risky investment thanks to the 2.8 trillion tonnes of 'unburnable' carbon in their reserves, writes Franklin Ginn. But there's an even stronger reason to support fossil fuel divestment: to erode their political power, which they use to block progress to a sustainable, low carbon future. more...
Flaring the Bakken shale with cows, North Dakota. Photo: Sarah Christianson / Earthworks via Flickr.

NASA confirms US's 2,500-square-mile methane cloud

Mike G / DeSmogBlog

18th October 2014

Floating over the US Southwest is a cloud of methane the size of Delaware, writes Mike G - reflecting the release of almost 600,000 tonnes of the powerful greenhouse gas every year. Its origins? Coalbed gas production, fracking and horizontal drilling. more...
Science can’t tell us exactly when the rising oceans will swallow up the Maldives, but it can give us a good idea. Photo: Hiroyuki-H, CC BY-SA.

Climate 'uncertainty' is no excuse for climate inaction

Richard Pancost & Stephan Lewandowsky

18th October 2014

Scientific uncertainties over future climate are widely used by 'sceptics' to justify a policy of no response, write Richard Pancost & Stephan Lewandowsky. But this reflects a deep misunderstanding: outcomes may end up much more severe than expected - and we should prepare for worst case scenarios. more...
Melting point: researchers study Arctic sea ice and melt ponds on the Chuckchi Sea. Photo: Kathryn Hansen / NASA via Wikimedia Commons.

Arctic ice loss sends Alaskan temperatures soaring

Alex Kirby

22nd October 2014

Scientists analysing more than three decades of weather data for the northern Alaska outpost of Barrow have recorded an astonishing 7°C temperature rise, writes Alex Kirby - and the likely cause is the decline in Arctic sea ice. more...
Infrastructure for shale gas in Scio, Ohio, Photo: Bilfinger SE via Flickr.

Global fracking boom could mean 12% higher emissions

Erik Bichard

17th October 2014

A full-scale rush for shale gas would increase emissions, writes Erik Bichard, giving the lie to politicians' claims that fracking is 'climate friendly'. A new study in Nature shows that abundant shale gas would cause CO2 emissions to rise by a median 4.5%. When 'fugitive' methane is included the figure rises to 9.5%. more...
Owen Paterson meets Hillary Clinton. Photo: from owenpaterson.org.

Keeping the lights on

Owen Paterson

16th October 2014

Last night's speech on Britain's energy choices by former environment secretary Owen Paterson's caused widespread outrage long before it was delivered. But what exactly did he say on the night? Read on, and be surprised to discover that it makes excellent sense - in parts. more...
Naomi Klein. Photo: Morpheu5 via Flickr.

This Changes Everything!

Mike Berners-Lee

13th October 2014

Naomi Klein finds kernels of hope amid the closely linked perils of climate change and untamed capitalism, writes Mike Berners-Lee. Ultimately it's down to us, the people, to come together and force the changes we need - but Klein's new book provides some valuable and timely inspiration. more...
Heavy oil undergoing extraction from tar sands, Alberta. Canada. Photo: Howl Arts Collective via Flickr.

Plan to label tar sands as 'polluting' scrapped by EU

The Ecologist

7th October 2014

The EU is dumping a plan to label fuel made from tar sands as 20% more polluting than oil from conventional sources, making it cheaper for European countries to import. But the concession - intended to smooth the TTIP trade deal - still has to be approved by the European Parliament. more...
What was once the Aral Sea at Muinak, Qoraqalpoghiston, Uzbekistan. Photo: so11e via Flickr.

Once a Sea - now it's the Aral Desert

Anson Mackay

16th October 2014

The Aral Sea is a well known environmental disaster zone. But this year, it got a whole worse, writes Anson Mackay, as its biggest basin dried up completely to expose a toxic, salty wasteland. With continuing irrigation and declining river flows due to climate change, the desert is only set to expand. more...
About half the world's coal is being produced at a loss, as buyers turn away. ALCOA Anglesea coal mine, Australia. Photo: Takver via Flickr.

Tide turning against global coal industry

Chris Rose / DeSmogBlog

2nd October 2014

King Coal's reign is coming to an end, writes Chris Rose, at least as a fuel for generating electricity. Following a price collapse half of all production is being sold at a loss - and major coal users like China are still moving away from the high-carbon fuel. more...
Buy baby buy! But remember - unsustainable human consumption is driving the destruction of the natural world. Photo: amy_buthod via Flickr.

Human consumption driving wildlife loss

Alex Kirby

1st October 2014

The plight of much of the world's wildlife seems 'worse than ever', writes Alex Kirby. To blame is unsustainable human consumption, which is driving habitat loss, climate change and the illegal wildlife trade. more...

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Cacao seedlings in the nursery - raised in biochar-enriched soil. Photo: Carbon Gold.

Corporate-smart greenwash: the Global Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture

Climate Smart Ag Concerns

30th September 2014

The Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture made its high-profile launch at the New York Climate Summit. But for a huge coalition of civil society organizations, it's a 'greenwash' initiative designed to promote intensive profit-driven industrial agriculture at the expense of small farmers, environment, and the real solutions. more...
These bananas in India are grown for their edible seed as well as their flesh. To increase food security in a warming world, we must increase the diversity of our food crops. Photo: VitaminGreen via Flickr.

In a warming world, food security means crop diversity

Sayed Azam-Ali

10th October 2014

The global homogenisation of food carries costs, writes Sayed Azam-Ali - notably the world's the increasing dependence on just a few 'elite crops', creating a precarious food system vulnerable to climate change. We must diversify our diets, and the crops that that feed us. more...
Park rangers working in  Priazovskii National Park. Photo: Dimiter Kenarov.

Ukraine - now the war is to rescue threatened nature

Dimiter Kenarov

1st October 2014

Ukraine's Priazovskii National Park epitomises the problems faced by the world's natural areas, writes Dimiter Kenarov, as it contends with inadequate funding, rising sea levels, dried-out rivers, industrial pollution and illegal hunting. And that's not to mention the war. But the staff battle on: 'If we don't do this, then who will?' more...
Former EPA Administrator Michael Leavitt speaks at an ALEC event sponsored by ExxonMobil, among other dirty energy interests and Fortune 500 companies. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Like Google, Facebook, responsible corporates must ditch climate-change denying ALEC

Forecast the Facts

30th September 2014

Google and Facebook have both recently quit ALEC, the corporate-funded climate change-denying US body that drafts right-wing laws for adoption by state legislatures. In a letter to Google, ALEC claims it does not deny climate change - an assertion strongly challenged by campaign group Forecast the Facts. more...
A Navajo Hotshot firefighter in Division A battles the West Mullan Fire in the Lolo National Forest, MT, July 2013. Photo: USDA via Flickr.com.

California burning points to more intense wildfires

Kieran Cooke

4th October 2014

As the forest fires burn on in the western US, writes Kieran Cooke, a new report predicts that climate-led temperature rise will lead to millions more acres across the world being burned to the ground, especially in southern Europe and Australia. more...
Amsterdam harbour: pollution like this costs lives and imposes health care costs of €900 bn per year across Europe. But is Juncker bothered? Photo: Erwyn van der Meer via Flickr.

EU Parliament must reject Juncker's anti-environment Commission

Green10

29th September 2014

The proposed structure of Juncker's new European Commission sidelines sustainability issues and risks undoing years of environmental legislation. The European Parliament must now block his deregulatory assault on the EU’s climate, energy, biodiversity, pollution, chemicals and environmental health policies. more...
View of the Riiser-Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Photo: Ben Holt - National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) via Wikimedia Commons.

Ice sheets will be melting, and raising seas, for centuries to come

Eelco Rohling

28th September 2014

A study of 120 ice sheet collapses shows that 68% went from initial change to maximum retreat within 400 years - and that once triggered, the process and the associated sea level rise kept accelerating for hundreds of years. We may face a 1m sea level rise by 2100, writes Eelco Rohling - and much more in centuries to come. more...
Many investors are already convinced: the Fllod Wall Street demo, 22nd September 2014. Photo: Resa Sunshine via Flickr.

Billionnaires against fossil fuels

Ruth Lumley / Trillion Fund

27th September 2014

The movement to divest from fossil fuels is gaining strength, writes Ruth Lumley, with $50 billion of institutional investment behind it. This week's news that almost $1 billion of Rockefeller money is moving from fossil fuels to clean energy shows that the world is changing faster than most ever imagined. more...
Less of this ... Liberia is one of the countries to sign the Declaration, and will aim to end deforestation by 2020. Photo: Global Witness.

UN: deforestation to halve by 2020, end by 2030

The Ecologist

24th September 2014

At the New York Climate Summit, an international agreement has been struck to halve, then end deforestation around the world. It has the support of major forest countries, multinational corporations, forest campaign groups and indigenous peoples. more...
We did it for the ozone layer. Noe it's the climate's turn. Photo: ozone conditions over Antarctica, 7th September 2014. NASA.

The UN saved the ozone layer - now it's the climate's turn

Nigel Paul

23rd September 2014

Thirty years after the UN took action to save the ozone layer, we can count the benefits - which only begin with 2 million fewer cases of skin cancer a year, writes Nigel Paul. With world leaders taking on the much greater climate challenge today, we should take cheer, and inspiration, from that historic success. more...
Falling costs make renewables such as solar energy competitive in the US without subsidy. Photo: US Bureau of Land Management via Wikimedia Commons.

Investor heavyweights call for climate action

Kieran Cooke

23rd September 2014

At the UN climate summit in New York today, institutional investors managing $24 trillion of assets are demanding stronger, more ambitious policies on climate change, writes Kieran Cooke. These include an effective carbon price and an end to fossil fuel subsidies. more...
Green and pleasant - GPT head office, Sydney. Photo: Woods Bagot.

Putting people at the heart of climate-friendly buildings

John Alker

24th September 2014

Energy efficiency in office buildings struggles to gain the attention of top management, writes John Alker - because energy is too cheap to really matter. But with 90% of operating costs spent on staff, show that green building design makes employees happier and more productive, and you're really onto something ... more...
The challenge is to ensure that her voice, and those of millions of other indigenous people, does not get drowned out by economic and political power. A woman from the Ndebele tribe in Kwadlaulale Market, South Africa. Photo: United Nations Photo via Flic

Indigenous women versus men of power: the real dispute at the UN

Lisa VeneKlasen

24th September 2014

Both the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and the Climate Summit have taken place at the UN this week, writes Lisa VeneKlasen - each producing their lofty declarations. But what really matters is whose voices are being heard, and will be acted on, in a profound clash of worldviews. more...

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