Land could be worth more left to nature than when farmed

The Guardian / Phoebe Weston / 8 March 2021

The economic benefits of protecting nature-rich sites such as wetlands and woodlands outweigh the profit that could be made from using the land for resource extraction, according to the largest study yet to look at the value of protecting nature at specific locations.

Scientists analysed 24 sites in six continents and found the asset returns of “ecosystem services” such as carbon storage and flood prevention created by conservation work was, pound for pound, greater than manmade capital created by using the land for activities such as forestry or farming cereals, sugar, tea or cocoa.

The study, which was led by academics at Cambridge University with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), suggests further modifying nature for human use could be costing society more than it benefits it, but these “natural capital” costs are often not taken into account by decision-makers.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

‘Hot Money’: a dire warning on climate change, financial system

NBC News / 2 March 2021

Scientists are raising the alarm about the worsening impact of climate change, and a new documentary, “Hot Money,” is issuing a dire warning on the ripple effect that climate change could have on the financial system.

Mann: ‘Good people fall victim to doomism. I do too sometimes’

The Guardian / Jonathan Watts / 27 February 2021

The author and eminent climate scientist on the deniers’ new tactics and why positive change feels closer than it has done in 20 years

Michael E Mann is one of the world’s most influential climate scientists. He rose to prominence in 1999 as the co-author of the “hockey-stick graph”, which showed the sharp rise in global temperatures since the industrial age. This was the clearest evidence anyone had provided of the link between human emissions and global warming. This made him a target. He and other scientists have been subject to “climategate” email hacking, personal abuse and online trolling. In his new book, The New Climate War, he argues the tide may finally be turning in a hopeful direction.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

For energy security, power is the new oil

Forbes / Mark Finley / 25 February 2021

[ TB: “Power” as used here appears to mean “electricity”. ]

The deep freeze that afflicted the center of the US last week caused massive power outages in Texas and surrounding states. The plight of millions without power and heat captured the headlines and attracted world-wide attention.

In the meantime, other energy-related disruptions triggered by the same weather events remained largely unnoticed, despite the fact that any of one of them would be on the list of biggest US energy disruptions ever:

  • As much as 4 million barrels per day (Mb/d) of US oil production was shut-in, nearly 40% of domestic crude supply, with the Permian basin especially impacted;
  • Nearly 6 Mb/d US Gulf Coast refining capacity was shut-in (roughly 30% of the national total);
  • Up to 20 billion cubic feet per day of US natural gas production was shut-in (20% of total production);

What little discussion there was of shortages at gasoline stations and of natural gas outages, was in the context of the power outages.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Atlantic Ocean circulation at weakest in a millennium: scientists

The Guardian / Fiona Harvey / 25 February 2021

The Atlantic Ocean circulation that underpins the Gulf Stream, the weather system that brings warm and mild weather to Europe, is at its weakest in more than a millennium, and climate breakdown is the probable cause, according to new data.

Further weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) could result in more storms battering the UK, and more intense winters and an increase in damaging heatwaves and droughts across Europe.

Scientists predict that the AMOC will weaken further if global heating continues, and could reduce by about 34% to 45% by the end of this century, which could bring us close to a “tipping point” at which the system could become irrevocably unstable. A weakened Gulf Stream would also raise sea levels on the Atlantic coast of the US, with potentially disastrous consequences.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

UN report urges end to ‘suicidal’ war on nature

The Energy Mix / 22 February 2021

A landmark UN report has delivered a shattering synopsis of the three intertwined emergencies facing humanity—the climate crisis, a devastated natural world, and catastrophic air and water pollution—along with an authoritative and detailed blueprint for how to fix a “broken planet.”

At the launch of his organization’s “Making Peace with Nature” report, UN Secretary-General António Guterres declared that “humanity is waging war on nature” — a war he called “senseless and suicidal,” writes The Guardian. “Making peace with nature, securing its health, and building on the critical and undervalued benefits that it provides are key to a prosperous and sustainable future for all,” he said.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

Transition initiatives share many of the same goals as other groups, and work collaboratively with a variety of organizations in their local areas. Transition differs in that it focuses specifically on preparing communities for the changes associated with unprecedented resource depletion and transitioning away from fossil-fuel dependency.

— Transition U.S.
TB Projects

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