CLIMATE CHANGE SEPT 11, 2021

CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS & VIEWS FROM AROUND THE WEB

QUOTABLES:

We are living in a Climate Emergency. A Climate Emergency caused by the violent exploitation of the earth and its inhabitance. A Climate Emergency rooted in the colonization of this land and resulting in the continued suppression of Indigenous rights and sovereignty.


Climate Justice Edmonton
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ALBERTA NEWS

Climate change action top of mind for Calgarians: poll

New polling shows climate change action is top of mind for Calgarians when it comes to their outlook on the future of their city and their priorities ahead of both the federal and municipal elections.

The poll, commissioned by Alberta Ecotrust Foundation, Calgary Climate Hub and Clean Energy Canada, showed 63 per cent of city residents who responded “believe Calgary’s future as a vibrant city is at risk if we do not become a leader in addressing climate change.”

Fifty-seven per cent of respondents also said they want to see Calgary emerge as a leader when it comes to investing in clean energy transitions, with people in all sectors being supported through those changes.

“Calgarians are worried about the future, as 53 per cent do not believe that Calgary is on the right track to be a better city 10 years from now. Plus, well over half (69 per cent) of Calgarians are concerned about climate change impacts,” the research found.

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CANADA NEWS

Treat the Climate Crisis Like It’s a Damned Emergency

It’s amazing to be back on Parliament Hill for the first time after 18 months of pandemic…a pandemic that showed us what to expect when we combine a climate crisis, a biodiversity crisis, and a crisis of global inequality.

We’re in a year of heat domes. Wildfires. A Prairie drought drawing comparisons to the Dustbowl of the 1930s. A massive hurricane that hit Louisiana and still carried enough wind and rain to kill dozens of people in the northeastern United States. We’re here because we’re watching those impacts. We can read the signs. And we expect every candidate in this election of every political stripe to read them, too.

Last month’s science assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was scary. But it carried a message of hope. It said that if we get on with carbon reductions… especially if we get on with methane reductions…we can still get climate change under control. So much of it depends on whether investors, corporations, and politicians get serious about the climate action we need. On whether they start “treating it like a damned emergency”.

For all of us here today, there are two takeaways from the IPCC report: First, that the last chapters of the climate story haven’t been written yet, and we’re here today to help write them. And second, that with the election 12 days away, success means electing the candidates who are closest to the emergency action we need, even if none of the parties—not one of them—is offering everything we want.

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Research project proposes turning CO2 into stone under the sea

Geologists know that the Earth’s systems naturally turn CO2 into solid carbonates, it’s a matter of figuring out how to engineer the process at a large scale.

University researchers want to test the idea that large amounts of carbon dioxide could be captured from the air offshore and injected into basalt aquifers deep beneath the ocean floor where it will solidify, essentially into stone.

A demonstration project won’t be cheap, $30 million to $60 million, but the consortium, which includes the University of Victoria, wants to figure out if this could be a game-changing technology in the race to stall climate change at 1.5ºC of warming.

“This is critically important,” said Kate Moran, project lead for the initiative under the name Solid Carbon, about carbon-capture technology. “By the middle part of the century or earlier, it has been demonstrated by the science community that we need to be removing CO2 from the atmosphere in order to keep the planet habitable.”

This test, planned for 2024, would involve injecting 10,000 tonnes of CO2 into a basalt aquifer within the Cascadia basin, 200 kilometres off the coast of Vancouver Island and under 2,700 metres of water. If it works as well as they hope, however, Moran said the technology could be developed into an industry that sequesters more than the equivalent of all of Canada’s emissions from transportation on an annual basis.

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WORLD NEWS

Saving Australian frog species on the brink of extinction

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UK Ministers Met 1-on-1 with Fossil Fuel and Biomass Producers Nine Times as Often as Renewables Since Kwasi Kwarteng Took Energy Portfolio

Geoffrey Supran, a climate researcher at Harvard University, said the UK government had its priorities “completely backwards” if the meetings could be seen as a proxy for where ministers were focusing attention.

Policymakers met with fossil fuel and biomass producers nine times as often as with their renewable energy counterparts, DeSmog can reveal, raising fresh concerns over the depth of the government’s commitments to reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

Analysis of the government’s latest transparency data shows ministers at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) held 130 one-on-one meetings with energy producers between July 22 2019 and March 18 2021, of which nearly half (63) were with producers of high carbon energy.

Despite promises of “building back greener” after the pandemic, government representatives only met with purely renewable energy operators seven times over the 20 month period. In comparison, ministers met with producers operating a mix of polluting and renewable energy on 29 occasions.

Sources from BEIS told DeSmog that meetings with fossil fuel producers were “vital” for ensuring a successful low carbon transition. 

The findings come less than two months before the UK hosts COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government will be charged with boosting global climate ambition. 

The UK has now pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 78 percent from 1990 levels by 2035. However, it has been criticised for a number of decisions seen to contradict bold climate action — from investing £27 billion in roadbuilding and supporting tax breaks for oil and gas companies in the North Sea, to failing to scrap plans for a controversial coal mine in Cumbria.

Reacting to DeSmog’s findings, Geoffrey Supran, research associate in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University, said the UK government had its priorities “completely backwards” if the meetings could be seen as a proxy for where ministers were focusing attention on the climate crisis.

“If we choose to continue our love affair with oil, coal, and gas, loading the atmosphere with evermore carbon dioxide, then at some later date when sense prevails, we’ll be forced to attempt sucking our carbon back out of the atmosphere,” he told DeSmog.

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