Sat.Nov 25, 2023 - Fri.Dec 01, 2023

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Science denial is still an issue ahead of COP28

Real Climate

It is 33 years now since the IPCC in its first report in 1990 concluded that it is “certain” that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities “will enhance the greenhouse effect, resulting on average in an additional warming of the Earth’s surface.” That has indeed happened as predicted, it has been confirmed by a zillion studies and has been scientific consensus for decades.

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Beyond Emissions: Opening a New Path on Climate and the Future

Yale E360

Adapting to climate change does not address the societal systems and values that spawned the current crisis. What’s needed is “systemic adaptation” that fundamentally changes our economy, our politics, and our priorities in ways that put community and the planet first.

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Cultural Heritage is a Human Right. Climate Change is Fast Eroding It.

Union of Concerned Scientists

A human rights-based approach to cultural heritage protection is an essential cornerstone for climate justice and just resilience, but it often seems completely missing from the climate policy equation. In contrast to civil, political, and economic rights, cultural rights have been side-lined and neglected in dialogues about climate policy and human rights.

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Why Do Small Changes in Global Temperature Matter So Much?

Legal Planet

Scientists are warning us that even comparatively small changes in average temperature may have disastrous results. If you turn up your thermostat 2 ºC (about 3.6 ºF), the difference may be noticeable but it’s no big deal. So why is that a scary increase in global temperatures? Some reasons are physical, particularly the difference between being one degree below freezing versus one degree above.

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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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Texas Court Considers Trespass by Produced Water Injection – Part 2

Energy & the Law

See yesterday’s post on Iskandia Operating, LLC v. SWEPI, LP SWEPI’s motion for summary judgment alleged that Iskandia presented no evidence of one or more elements of its trespass claim, noting that the Supreme Court of Texas has never recognized a cause of action for trespass based on deep subsurface water migration (to which some might respond, not yet).

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As Temperatures Rise, Dengue Fever Spreads and Cases Rise

Yale E360

With temperatures and rainfall increasing, the mosquitoes that carry dengue viruses are extending their range. More than 4.5 million cases have been reported this year, and global climate models project an additional two billion people could be at risk of infection by 2080.

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Another Study Regarding the Health Impacts of PM Emissions From Power Plants: What Impact Will It Have On Regulation and Litigation?

Law and Environment

An article in Science published last week indicates that the mortality risk from exposure to PM 2.5 from coal-fired electric generating units is roughly twice as high as the risk posed by PM 2.5 from other sources. According to the article, there were roughly 460,000 excess deaths in the United States from 1999-2020 resulting from exposure to PM 2.5 from coal-fired EGUs.

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Texas Court Addresses Trespass by Produced Water Injection – Part 1

Energy & the Law

I skandia Operating Inc. v. SWEPI, LP d/b/a Shell Western E & P reversed summary judgment for the defendant in a subsurface trespass claim involving injection of large amounts of produced water. The facts Iskandia produces oil from 100 wells across 5,000 acres from a shallow zone of the Delaware Mountain Group in the Dimmitt Field in Loving County.

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World Appears on Track to Triple Renewable Power by 2030

Yale E360

At the forthcoming UN climate talks, diplomats will push for a tripling of renewable power by 2030. A new analysis finds the world is likely already on track to hit this goal.

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Why Do Baby Carrots Drink So Much Water?

Union of Concerned Scientists

Recent stories in the New York Times ’ groundwater investigation series have highlighted growing concern for the global loss of groundwater, which has finally begun to raise awareness of the need for critical changes in how we are using our groundwater. This need is particularly evident in the Cuyama Valley of northeastern Santa Barbara County in California, where my family’s small vineyard and olive grove is located.

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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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DNA repair has been captured in a step-by-step molecular movie

New Scientist

Researchers have worked out how a protein called photolyase repairs DNA using light, and their discoveries could guide the development of light-based manufacturing technologies

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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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Why We Won't Know When We've Passed the 1.5-Degree Threshold

Yale E360

While the Paris Agreement aims to limit warming to 1.5 degrees C, experts won't know when we have surpassed this threshold, a fact that could undermine global efforts to tackle climate change, scientists say.

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2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season—a Wrap (Maybe)

Union of Concerned Scientists

“In the eye of a hurricane There is quiet For just a moment A yellow sky When I was seventeen a hurricane Destroyed my town I didn’t drown I couldn’t seem to die” The above lyrics written by Lin-Manuel Miranda from the musical Hamilton , bring out feelings—and facts—about hurricanes. Yes, Alexander Hamilton did, in fact, survive a hurricane that destroyed his native St.

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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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Passing star could fling Earth out past Pluto into the Oort cloud

New Scientist

If another star passed close to our solar system, there is a small chance that Earth could crash into another planet, get stolen by the interloping star or even be sent hurtling towards the Oort cloud

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Six-Planet System in Perfect Harmony Shocks Scientists

Scientific American

Six “sub-Neptune” worlds locked in a delicate dance around a nearby star offer fresh insights for the orbital evolution of planetary systems

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Conservationists Sue to Stop Planting of Giant Sequoias

Yale E360

The National Park Service is working to replant several groves of giant sequoias devastated by recent wildfires. But some conservationists say planting is unneeded and could damage forests.

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Focusing on Science, Justice, and Systemic Solutions at COP28

Union of Concerned Scientists

The twenty-eighth annual United Nations climate summit—or COP28 —has begun here in Dubai, UAE, where I’m joining the UCS delegation for another round of international discussions on how we can turn the global temperature down as fast as possible on our rapidly heating planet. Eight years after the 2015 COP that produced the Paris Agreement , in which the world’s nations agreed to stick to a strict schedule to cut global warming emissions, I’m balancing my hope that humanity can come together to

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Long covid: What we now know about its causes and possible treatments

New Scientist

Almost four years after the first cases emerged, we are accumulating evidence about the physiology behind this complex condition – from microclots to viral persistence

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Robots Made from Human Cells Can Move on Their Own and Heal Wounds

Scientific American

Researchers have created “anthrobots” out of human lung cells that are capable of moving independently and even healing damaged tissue

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Censorship Industrial Complex, Part 2: Michael Shellenberger Testifies Before Congress

Environmental Progress

The Censorship-Industrial Complex, Part 2 U.S. and foreign government support for domestic censorship and disinformation, 2016 - 2022 Testimony by Michael Shellenberger to The House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government November 30, 2023 Chairman Jordan, Ranking Member Plaskett, and members of the Subcommittee thank you for inviting my testimony.

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Federal Grants: Duct Tape or Catalyst for Environmental and Climate Justice? 

Union of Concerned Scientists

During my more than two decades of federal service, I learned many things about the function of government. The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), where I spent the most time, is charged with protecting public health and the environment, and it uses two primary levers setting rules and regulations to level the playing field for markets to work in the service of ALL residents of the United States providing resources to promote the public good.

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Extreme rainfall is increasing even more than expected as world warms

New Scientist

A study comparing weather records with climate model projections suggests that the latest models are underestimating how often future rainfall extremes will occur

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More than 100 Organizations Call for a Forest Accountability Framework

NRDC

At the start of COP28, civil society groups from around the world are urging countries to establish a Glasgow Declaration Accountability Framework (GDAF).

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From Toxic Leak to Cover-Up: Unravelling the Imperial Oil Scandal in Alberta’s Oil Sands

Enviromental Defense

A disastrous toxic spill in the tar sands In February 2023, 5.3 million litres of toxic industrial wastewater known as tailings spilled from Imperial Oil’s Kearl mine in the tar sands into the surrounding environment. Local Indigenous communities rely on the land and water for sustenance and cultural practices. Tar sands tailings “ponds,” store over 1.4 trillion litres of toxic wastewater from oil production.

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Michigan Policymakers Must Keep Working Toward an Equitable Clean Energy Future

Union of Concerned Scientists

Michigan legislators recently passed a series of energy-related bills that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign into law tomorrow. The package represents progress on a number of fronts. It adds Michigan to the growing list of states, including Illinois and Minnesota , that have adopted standards to increase renewable energy on the grid and move toward 100-percent decarbonization of the power sector.

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Traces of cannabis found in pre-modern human bones for the first time

New Scientist

A 17th century hospital crypt in Milan, Italy has yielded the first archaeological evidence of cannabis' psychoactive components in human bones

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New Microwave Weapons Could Defend against Swarms of Combat Drones

Scientific American

The Pentagon is readying high-powered microwave weapons that are capable of invisible strikes against swarming combat drones

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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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Loss and Damage Fund Launched at COP28 with Paltry Pledge from US

Union of Concerned Scientists

Yesterday, at the opening plenary of COP28, the UN climate talks underway in Dubai, nations agreed to operationalize the Loss and Damage Fund that was established a year ago at COP27. The fund is aimed at helping low- and middle-income countries cope with extreme impacts of climate change that are already causing billions of dollars of damage and immense human suffering.

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The wonder particle: How axions could solve more than just dark matter

New Scientist

Physicists are coming to realise that hypothetical particles called axions could explain not only dark matter, but dark energy too, and more besides.

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Sen. Gene Yaw Announces He Received The Marcellus Shale Coalition 2023 Shale Gas Advocate Award

PA Environment Daily

On November 29, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) announced he is the recipient of the 2023 Shale Gas Advocate Award from the Marcellus Shale Coalition. Sen. Yaw said the Shale Gas Advocate Award honors MSC members and other individuals for their outstanding leadership and exceptional contributions in advocating for the development, transportation, and use of Pennsylvania’s natural gas resources.

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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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At COP28, the Role of Food Systems in the Climate Crisis Will Get More Attention Than Ever

Inside Climate News

As food and agriculture take center stage, industry groups plan a full-on campaign to downplay the carbon impacts of meat and dairy. By Georgina Gustin By the end of the United Nations annual climate conference, going on now in Dubai, the term “food system transformation” will be very well worn.