2023

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How Mounting Rubber Demand Is Driving Loss of Tropical Forests

Yale E360

The growing market for rubber is a major, but largely overlooked, cause of tropical deforestation, new analysis shows. Most of the rubber goes to produce tires, more than 2 billion a year, and experts warn the transition to electric vehicles could accelerate rubber use.

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Electric Vehicle Sales Continue to Grow, Despite What Some Automakers Are Saying

Union of Concerned Scientists

The future of cars is electric. That’s not just what I think, it’s not just what is required to slow climate change, it’s what many of the world’s automakers have publicly stated. However, over the last month several automakers have said the transition from gasoline to electric vehicles (EVs) will need to slow down, in part citing demand. It’s important to understand two facts driving this flurry of pessimistic press.

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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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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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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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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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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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New Study Warns of an Imminent Spike of Planetary Warming and Deepens Divides Among Climate Scientists

Inside Climate News

James Hansen, the scientist who first sounded the climate alarm in Congress, sees a decrease in aerosol pollution driving a surge of warming and criticizes the U.N. climate science panel, drawing a backlash from other researchers. By Bob Berwyn During the past year, the needles on the climate dashboard for global ice melt, heatwaves, ocean temperatures , coral die-offs, floods and droughts all tilted far into the red warning zone.

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Could willow bark provide our next life-saving antiviral medicine?

Frontiers

by Angharad Brewer Gillham, Frontiers science writer Image/Shutterstock.com Scientists have found that specially processed samples of willow bark extract have an antiviral effect which isn’t seen in already known medical compounds from willow bark, such as salicylic acid, the precursor to modern aspirin. The extract worked against two common types of virus with very different structures, enteroviruses and coronaviruses, suggesting the potential for a new broad-spectrum antiviral to help us fight

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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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Litigating Enforcement: Germany’s Contested Climate Governance and the New Wave of Climate Litigation

Law Columbia

Climate litigation in Germany has achieved another major victory. On November 30, 2023, the Higher Administrative Court Berlin-Brandenburg ruled in DUH and BUND v. Germany that the federal government must adopt an immediate action program (‘Sofortprogramm’) under the Federal Climate Change Act (CCA). The program is intended to ensure compliance with the annual emission targets for the building and transportation sectors for the years 2024 to 2030.

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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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Former Employees Of Eureka Resources Oil & Gas Wastewater Treatment Company Ask For Criminal Investigation Of Eureka And An Audit Of DEP Over Alleged Workplace, Environmental Violations

PA Environment Daily

On December 11, former employees of the Eureka Resources oil and gas wastewater treatment company based in Williamsport wrote a letter to Lycoming County District Attorney Ryan Gardner requesting him to undertake a “criminal misconduct” investigation of alleged workplace and environmental violations by the company. They also requested an “internal audit” of the Department of Environmental Protection, the Wilkes-Barre OSHA Office, and the Williamsport Bureau of Codes for “willful neglect related

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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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Uncounted Emissions: The Hidden Cost of Fossil Fuel Exports

Yale E360

Oil, gas, and coal exports are not counted when countries tally their greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement. This allows wealthy nations to report progress on emissions reduction goals, while shipping their fossil fuels — and the pollution they produce — overseas.

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Ecosystems as Infrastructure: A New Way of Looking at Climate Resilience

Yale E360

Landscape architect Kate Orff works on rebuilding natural systems to help communities and cities reduce their climate risks. Places with interwoven ecological systems, she says, are more resilient and better able both to respond to emergencies and adapt for the future.

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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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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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As Climate Talks Near, Calls Mount for a ‘Phaseout’ of Fossil Fuels

Yale E360

With UN climate negotiations set for next month, a growing number of nations and business leaders are calling for a phaseout of fossil fuels. But with major fossil fuel expansion projects moving ahead around the globe, advocates of strong action face a daunting challenge.

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Thinking Long-Term: Why We Should Bring Back Redwood Forests

Yale E360

Only 5 percent of the redwood forests that once stretched across coastal Northern California have never been logged. An initiative to restore these forests is gaining momentum, aided by research showing that redwoods store more aboveground carbon than any forest on Earth.

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Road Hazard: Evidence Mounts on Toxic Pollution from Tires

Yale E360

Researchers are only beginning to uncover the toxic cocktail of chemicals, microplastics, and heavy metals hidden in car and truck tires. But experts say these tire emissions are a significant source of air and water pollution and may be affecting humans as well as wildlife.

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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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Why Is Britain Retreating from Global Leadership on Climate Action?

Yale E360

While Britain has long been a leader in cutting emissions, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is now implementing a stunning reversal of climate-friendly policies, with new plans to “max out” oil production. Business leaders have joined environmentalists in condemning the moves.

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From Carbon Sink to Source: The Stark Changes in Arctic Lakes

Yale E360

For millennia, lakes in Greenland’s dry tundra have locked up huge loads of carbon in their sediment. But as the region becomes warmer and wetter, scientists believe these lakes are becoming sources of carbon, which could have major consequences for the world’s climate.

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A Summer Light Show Dims: Why Are Fireflies Disappearing?

Yale E360

Fireflies — whose shimmering, magical glows light up summer nights — are in trouble, threatened by habitat destruction, light pollution, and pesticide use. With 18 species now considered at risk of extinction in North America alone, recovery efforts are only just beginning.

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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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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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Bits of an ancient planet called Theia may be buried in Earth’s mantle

New Scientist

Two strange, high-density blobs buried more than a kilometre underground may have come from the ancient world Theia, which is thought to have slammed into Earth to create the moon

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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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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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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

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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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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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Earth passes 2°C of warming on hottest day ever recorded

New Scientist

The global average surface temperature was more than 2°C higher than pre-industrial levels on 17 November for the first time since records began, according to provisional data

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Mind-reading AI can translate brainwaves into written text

New Scientist

A system that records the brain's electrical activity through the scalp can turn thoughts into words with help from a large language model – but the results are far from perfect

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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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Diversity in Science Includes Cultural Dress

Scientific American

Scientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our understanding of the world and shape our lives.