December, 2023

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Deep in the Wilderness, the World’s Largest Beaver Dam Endures

Yale E360

The largest beaver dam on Earth was discovered via satellite imagery in 2007, and since then only one person has trekked into the Canadian wild to see it. It’s a half-mile long and has created a 17-acre lake in the northern forest — a testament to the beaver’s resilience.

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Much of North America may face electricity shortages starting in 2024

New Scientist

Over the next several years, many regions of the US and Canada may struggle to ensure a reliable electricity supply amidst soaring energy demand from the tech industry and electrification of buildings and vehicles

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Statement from Environmental Defence on the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s Move to Reverse the OEB’s Decision on Gas Rates

Enviromental Defense

Statement from Keith Brooks, Programs Director Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat – It is shocking that the Ministry of Energy is moving to overrule the Ontario Energy Board, which made a very sound decision to save homeowners money by encouraging new homes to be built with heat pumps, rather than gas furnaces.

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Light Can Travel Backward in Time (Sort Of)

Scientific American

Light can be reflected not only in space but also in time—and researchers exploring such “time reflections” are finding a wealth of delightfully odd and useful effects

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Manufacturing Sustainability Surge: Your Guide to Data-Driven Energy Optimization & Decarbonization

Speaker: Kevin Kai Wong, President of Emergent Energy Solutions

In today's industrial landscape, the pursuit of sustainable energy optimization and decarbonization has become paramount. Manufacturing corporations across the U.S. are facing the urgent need to align with decarbonization goals while enhancing efficiency and productivity. Unfortunately, the lack of comprehensive energy data poses a significant challenge for manufacturing managers striving to meet their targets.

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COP28 Climate Fund Pledge Tracker

NRDC

At COP28, countries will pledge to UN climate funds that help developing countries reduce greenhouse emissions and address the impacts of climate change. Keep track here.

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Dying in the Fields as Temperatures Soar

Inside Climate News

Scores of California farmworkers are dying in the heat in regions with chronically bad air, even in a state with one of the toughest heat standards in the nation. By Liza Gross, Peter Aldhous For most of July 2019, stifling heat hung over the agricultural fields of California’s Central Valley, as farmworkers like William Salas Jiminez labored under the sun’s searing rays.

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Quantum physicists just got more certain about quantum uncertainty

New Scientist

An extension of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, which places limits on how precisely you can measure the properties of quantum objects, has found that it really isn't possible to cheat the laws of quantum physics

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Environmental and Farm Organizations Say Provincial Legislation Needs Major Changes to Keep Premier Ford’s Greenbelt Promises

Enviromental Defense

ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE Ten year review process must be overhauled to repair damage caused by Greenbelt scandal Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat – Nineteen of Ontario’s leading environmental and farm organizations are calling for significant changes to the Greenbelt Statute Law Amendment Act, 2023 – legislation introduced by the Ontario government last month in hopes of beginning to extract itself from th

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New Class of Antibiotics Discovered Using AI

Scientific American

A deep-learning algorithm helped identify new compounds that are effective against antibiotic-resistant infections in mice, opening the door to AI-guided drug discovery

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Proposed Hydrogen Tax Credit Rules a Win for Climate, Industry, Electricity Consumers

NRDC

WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Department of Treasury released its proposed guidance for the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) federal clean hydrogen tax credits, which are expected to amount to several hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies for the emerging.

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Implementing D.E.J.I. Strategies in Energy, Environment, and Transportation

Speaker: Antoine M. Thompson, Executive Director of the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition

Diversity, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion (DEJI) policies, programs, and initiatives are critically important as we move forward with public and private sector climate and sustainability goals and plans. Underserved and socially, economically, and racially disadvantaged communities bear the burden of pollution, higher energy costs, limited resources, and limited investments in the clean energy and transportation sectors.

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Reducing Methane From Livestock Is Critical for Stabilizing the Climate, but Congress Continues to Block Farms From Reporting Emissions Anyway

Inside Climate News

A long standing pattern of letting livestock producers off the hook continues, even as billions pour into the industry. By Georgina Gustin, Phil McKenna Anyone feeling compelled to look into a bill passed recently by the House of Representatives will see some familiar language.

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After a Decade of Planning, New York City Is Raising Its Shoreline

Yale E360

Inspired by the Dutch model of living with water, New York’s coastal defenses are on the rise. The city — like others around the country — is combining infrastructure like floodwalls with nature-based features, as it moves ahead with the largest resiliency project in the U.S.

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First ever photo of a snow leopard under a starry sky is spectacular

New Scientist

Photographer Morup Namgail set out to capture an image no-one had ever taken before, in the hope of drawing attention to the plight of the landscape and wildlife in his remote home region in Ladakh, India

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Canada’s Delegation to COP28 includes more fossil fuel lobbyists than ever

Enviromental Defense

Statement from Julia Levin, Associate Director, National Climate Dubai, UAE – Fossil fuel lobbyists are swarming COP28 this year, including Canada’s official delegation. According to the UN’s Provisional List of Registered Participants at COP28, 35 people with ties to the fossil fuel sector were given Party badges by Canada. Last year there were eight people with ties to the fossil fuel industry included in Canada’s list of badge holders.

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Shaping a Resilient Future: Climate Impact on Vulnerable Populations

Speaker: Laurie Schoeman Director, Climate & Sustainability, Capital

As households and communities across the nation face challenges such as hurricanes, wildfires, drought, extreme heat and cold, and thawing permafrost and flooding, we are increasingly searching for ways to mitigate and prevent climate impacts. During this event, national climate and housing expert Laurie Schoeman will discuss topics including: The two paths for climate action: decarbonization and adaptation.

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The 6 Most Intriguing Things We Learned about Pet Cats and Dogs This Year

Scientific American

In 2023 we learned that cats really are choosing to ignore humans and that—despite dogs getting all the glory when it comes to retrieving prowess—cats want to play fetch, too

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How Neonics Can Harm Soil Health and Soil Biodiversity

NRDC

This World Soil Day, let's acknowledge the effects that neonic pesticides can have on soil health and biodiversity, and the farms that depend on them

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EVs and $9,000 Air Tanks: Iowa First Responders Fear the Dangers—and Costs—of CO2 Pipelines

Inside Climate News

County officials say they’d need millions of dollars to buy the equipment required to safely carry out rescue operations amid a CO2 pipeline rupture, which can suffocate people and stall engines. But who’s going to pay? By Kristoffer Tigue From outdated equipment and evacuation plans to a lack of personnel and training, some Iowa first responders say they would be unable to safely carry out rescue operations in the case of a major carbon dioxide pipeline rupture.

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‘Green Roads’ Are Plowing Ahead, Buffering Drought and Floods

Yale E360

As the developing world witnesses a boom in road building, a movement to retrofit existing roads is gathering steam. Using embankments, channels, and dikes, so-called “green roads” harvest excess water for use in irrigation and flood prevention, while slashing maintenance costs.

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Sustainability at Retail

Sustainability impacts every nation, company, and person around the world. So much so that, in 2015, the United Nations (UN) issued a call for action by all countries to work toward sustainable development. In response to this and as part of a global Sustainability at Retail initiative, Shop! worked collaboratively with its global affiliates to address these critical issues in this white paper.

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We might officially enter the Anthropocene epoch in 2024

New Scientist

Scientific bodies are due to make an official decision in the coming year about whether to declare a new geochronological unit precipitated by the impact of humans on Earth

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Is the Canada Growth Fund Just a Fossil Fuel Slush Fund?

Enviromental Defense

Earlier this month at COP28 countries committed to transitioning off of fossil fuels and massively scaling up renewable energy instead. So you’re excused if, like me, you’re baffled by Minister Freeland’s first move in the wake of COP28: a giant new fossil fuel subsidy, via the new Canada Growth Fund. Not only does this not align with the global momentum to move beyond oil and gas, it’s yet another black mark for the Government of Canada’s promises to end fossil fuel subsidies.

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In the Search for Life beyond Earth, NASA Dreams Big for a Future Space Telescope

Scientific American

Astronomers are moving ahead in planning NASA’s Habitable Worlds Observatory, a telescope designed to answer the ultimate question: Are we alone in the universe?

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Municipal Compost is Key for Regenerative Farms and Sustainable Cities

NRDC

Compost is a physical reminder that soils, farms, and farmers are all part of a larger food system inextricably linked with municipalities and urban areas

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Nature Got a More Prominent Place at the Table at COP28

Inside Climate News

Animals’ roles in the carbon cycle have long been overlooked. At the climate conference in Dubai, scientists showed how rewilding ecosystems can have big climate benefits. By Bob Berwyn DUBAI, United Arab Emirates— As COP28 ended with just a faint glimmer of hope that the world will take seriously the need to decarbonize by 2050, leading scientists at the conference said it’s time to “put the protection and restoration of wild ecosystems at the heart of global climate policy” as a viable option

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Another Record-Hot Month Puts 2023 on Track to Be Hottest Year Ever

Yale E360

November was the sixth month in a row of record-warm weather, according to a new analysis that finds 2023 will almost inevitably end as the hottest year ever recorded.

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Supercomputer that simulates entire human brain will switch on in 2024

New Scientist

A neuromorphic supercomputer called DeepSouth will be capable of 228 trillion synaptic operations per second, which is on par with the estimated number of operations in the human brain

2024 145
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Indigenous Nations and Environmental Advocates Denounce Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s Greenwashing at COP28

Enviromental Defense

ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE, INDIGENOUS CLIMATE ACTION Indigenous nations impacted by pollution in the tar sands counter the Government of Alberta’s COP28 narrative of being a “clean energy leader” Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Today, members from Indigenous communities downstream of the tar sands and environmental advocates held a demonstration in response to Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s presence at COP28.

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Two Private U.S. Moon Landers Prepare for Historic Launches

Scientific American

The first vehicles to fly under NASA’s new lunar delivery initiative will aim to be the first commercial spacecraft to land softly on another celestial body

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Sabin Center Publishes Report on Climate Litigation in 2023

Law Columbia

Today, the Sabin Center published an end-of-year report on the state of climate change litigation in 2023. The report, titled Climate Change in the Courts: A 2023 Thematic Retrospective, examines key cases and rulings that have shaped the legal discourse on climate change in 2023 or that are poised to have an impact in the coming months and years. Drawing from the Sabin Center’s United States (U.S.) and Global Climate Litigation databases, the report provides examples that offer insights into em

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African Penguins Have Almost Been Wiped Out by Overfishing and Climate Change. Researchers Want to Orchestrate a Comeback. 

Inside Climate News

A hatchery in Cape Town breeds birds for release in a newly established sanctuary for penguins 146 miles east, where a few early signs suggest the penguins may have found a new home. By Kiley Price CAPE TOWN, South Africa—A weathered, green building stands at the edge of the cozy suburban Table View neighborhood in Cape Town, just a few blocks down from a Burger King and a community library.

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Next Year Likely to Surpass 2023 as the Hottest Ever

Yale E360

With climate change and an incipient El Niño driving up temperatures, 2024 is likely to eclipse 2023 as the hottest year ever, meteorologists project.

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The 2023 discoveries that made us rethink the story of human evolution

New Scientist

In 2023, archaeologists found evidence of architecture and art beginning earlier than we thought, and uncovered data that rewrites our ideas of how much power women had in ancient societies

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COP28 Marks a Turning Point Towards a Fossil Fuel Free Future

Enviromental Defense

On this final day of COP28, just a few hours after countries of the world agreed on the need to move away from fossil fuels, I’m overcome with a mix of emotions. Gratitude to the people in the climate and Indigenous rights movement, who have been pushing for this outcome for years. Inspired by the unstoppable momentum to secure a fast, fair, full and financed fossil fuel phaseout.

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Cats Kill a Staggering Number of Species across the World

Scientific American

Domestic cats are cherished human companions, but a new study shows the enormous breadth of species the felines prey on when they are left to roam freely