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Scott Morrison’s net zero modelling reveals a slow, lazy and shockingly irresponsible approach to ‘climate action’ | Ketan Joshi

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/12 - 3:20pm

The modelling was delayed until the final Friday of COP26 to avoid embarrassment. But it’s even worse than expected

In April this year, Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, said that “we will not achieve net zero in the cafes, dinner parties and wine bars of our inner cities”. This explains why he turned to the salt-of-the-Earth hard-workin’ rural folk at McKinsey – one of the biggest billion-dollar multinational consulting agencies on the planet – to produce the Australian government’s long-awaited modelling explaining the pathway to “net zero by 2050”.

In some parallel universe, the task may have gone to Australia’s chief science agency, the CSIRO (a former employer of mine). But it was revealed at Senate estimates a few weeks back that despite the CSIRO applying for the tender, the government rejected them and paid McKinsey $6m to model the changes Australian society must go through to decarbonise within 30 years. This choice makes sense in the context of recent leaks to the New York Times that revealed McKinsey has advised 43 of the 100 biggest corporate polluters, including “BP, Exxon Mobil, Gazprom and Saudi Aramco”. 1,100 of its employees signed an open letter pleading the consultancy reveal the carbon impacts of its clients.

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Categories: Environment

Birds in the Amazon have been shrinking. Here's why scientists think it's happening

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2021/11/12 - 3:03pm

Over the last four decades, birds in the Amazon have been shrinking — and scientists believe their smaller bodies may be a response to hotter, drier weather brought by climate change.

Categories: Environment


The Field Lab - Fri, 2021/11/12 - 1:02pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Sound the alarm: bees ‘scream’ when murder hornets attack, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/12 - 12:38pm

Royal Society Open Science research finds bees release ‘rallying call for collective defence’ that is ‘quite harsh and noisy’

A study has revealed a new defense mechanism used by bees when attacked by giant “murder” hornets: screaming.

When left unchecked, the giant Asian hornets can destroy a honeybee hive in hours, feeding on larvae and decapitating bees in what scientists call a “slaughter phase”. The hornets then feed severed body parts to their young.

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Categories: Environment

Cop26: deadline for agreeing crucial climate deal passes but negotiations set to continue – as it happened

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/12 - 12:18pm

Deadline passes for global deal to tackle climate change but negotiations to continue

My colleague Fiona Harvey says it is a surprise and a positive step that the coal phaseout has remained in the document at all, and that the fact it has remained in the draft is a positive step.

Paragraph 62 in the second draft is new:

62. Also acknowledges the important role of a broad range of stakeholders at the local, national and regional level, including indigenous peoples and local communities, in averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change;

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Categories: Environment

Strike me pink: Australia’s last two flamingos resurrected as gay emblems

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/12 - 12:00pm

Birds Chile and Greater, painstakingly restored by taxidermists, will be on display at SA Museum as part of Feast festival

Australia’s last flamingos will go on display this weekend after taxidermists restored the magnificent pink birds.

The last flamingo in Australia (named Chile) died in 2018, the second last (Greater) in 2014 – but they have been resurrected as gay emblems for South Australia’s Feast festival.

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Categories: Environment

Amazon birds shrink but grow longer wings in sign of global heating

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/12 - 12:00pm

Some species in Brazil have shrunk by nearly 10% over 40 years of measurements, say researchers

Birds in the Amazon are becoming smaller but growing longer wings, a study has found, with scientists saying global heating is the most likely explanation.

Several recent papers have reported birds getting smaller, but as their subjects were migratory birds there were many confounding factors that could have explained the results, such as hunting, pesticide use or habitat loss.

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Categories: Environment

Australia named ‘colossal fossil’ of Cop26 for ‘appalling performance’

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/12 - 11:51am

Climate Action Network give unwanted prize of worst country at the talks to Australia for its ‘breathtaking ineptitude’

Australia has been named the “colossal fossil” of the Glasgow climate talks for its “appalling performance” at the summit, with activists castigating the country for its ongoing embrace of fossil fuels.

At a mock ceremony held at the Cop26 summit, activists at the Climate Action Network gave the unwanted first prize of the worst country at the talks to Australia, which had previously been named “fossil of the day” five times during the two-week UN conference.

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Categories: Environment

In a first, U.N. climate agreement could include the words 'coal' and 'fossil fuels'

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2021/11/12 - 8:46am

The U.N. secretary-general warns the main goal of limiting global warming is "on life support." But Glasgow negotiators are making modest progress in their final hours.

(Image credit: Alastair Grant/AP)

Categories: Environment

Their lands are oceans apart but are linked by rising, warming seas of climate change

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2021/11/12 - 6:09am

Photographer Vlad Sokhin's latest work, Warm Waters, is an exploration of climate change traveling across 18 countries and off-the-map territories seen by seldom few.

(Image credit: Vlad Sokhin)

Categories: Environment

The shipping industry faces a climate crisis reckoning – will it decarbonize?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/12 - 6:00am

World’s largest shipping company Maersk plans to power new container ships on carbon-neutral methanol but very little of it is produced today

In August, Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, announced that it would add eight new container ships to its fleet that would be unlike any merchant vessels operating on the high seas today. Instead of running on “bunker” fuel – the gunky, tar-like substance left behind after oil is refined – Maersk plans to power these ships on carbon-neutral methanol, a colorless liquid made from biomass such as agricultural waste or by combining renewably generated hydrogen with carbon dioxide.

Globally, very little of this “green” methanol is produced today and compared with the oil industry waste product most ships run on, the cost is high. Maersk hasn’t yet announced a fuel supply for its new fleet but the company hopes that standing up the world’s first green methanol-powered fleet will spur the energy sector to significantly ramp up production of clean fuels.

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Categories: Environment

Delegates and a dinosaur: penultimate day of Cop26 – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/12 - 5:44am

Attendees on day 11 of UN summit in Glasgow included London mayor Sadiq Khan and a Tyrannosaurus rex

Cop26 climate summit: day 11 – as it happened

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Categories: Environment

A pair of bald eagles was caught on video entangled on a Minnesota street

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2021/11/12 - 5:01am

The two birds writhed around together on a residential street for minutes, unable to separate themselves from each other. They reportedly flew away unharmed without police intervention.

(Image credit: Plymouth Police Department )

Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/12 - 5:00am

The best of this week’s wildlife pictures, including a swinging gibbon, a cheeky macaque and a preying crocodile

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Categories: Environment

In southern California forest officials back culling trees. Locals are furious

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/12 - 4:35am

The measure could curb the wind-driven wildfires in the region, but critics want a deeper assessment

“That tree is dead. That tree is dead – we are too late for them,” Greg Thomson, the forester for Los Padres national forest says, as he traipses through a dense patch of conifers clustered on a peak overlooking Ventura county. Pine needles and yellowed grass crunch beneath his boots as he points to giant spiny tree skeletons with thick trunks.

These trees, he says, were victims of the drought, beetle infestations and a changing climate on an overgrown landscape that has not seen a good fire in too long – and it’s his job to do something about that.

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Categories: Environment

Fossil fuel companies owe reparations to countries they are destroying | Mark Hertsgaard

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/12 - 4:00am

Who pays for ‘loss and damage’ is in vogue at Cop26, but the authors of the climate emergency are still escaping accountability

Mohammed Nasheed made global headlines in 2009 by convening the world’s first underwater cabinet meeting. As president of the Maldives, a nation of 1,138 low-lying islands south-west of India, Nasheed donned scuba gear and descended beneath the waves with 13 government ministers. The officials used waterproof pencils to sign a document urging the world to slash carbon dioxide emissions so the Maldives would not disappear beneath rising seas.

“If the Maldives cannot be saved today, we do not feel that there is much of a chance for the rest of the world,” Nasheed told reporters.

This story is published as part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of news outlets strengthening coverage of the climate story. Mark Hertsgaard is Covering Climate Now’s executive director

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Categories: Environment

Cop26 reveals limits of Biden’s promise to ‘lead by example’ on climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/12 - 12:00am

US declined to join promise to end coal mining and to compensate poor countries for climate damage. Critics ask, is that leadership?

The crucial UN climate talks in Scotland have produced landmark commitments to phase out coalmining, to call time on the internal combustion engines and to compensate poorer countries for damage caused by the climate crisis.

The United States, which has trumpeted its regained climate leadership at the summit, has not joined any these pledges as the talks draw to a close.

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Categories: Environment

Makah Tribe in US hopes for rights to resume sacred tradition of gray whale hunting

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/11/12 - 12:00am

Washington state is debating wether to grant a special waiver after the tribe fought a lengthy legal battle to try to resume the historic practice

Hunting gray whales has long been a sacred tradition for the Makah Tribe, dating back thousands of years. But in recent decades, the practice has faced severe scrutiny from conservationists, and the tribe, located in Washington state, has fought a lengthy legal battle to try to resume the historic practice.

Now, the situation could be finally gearing up to a resolution.

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Categories: Environment

Australia’s only working carbon capture and storage project fails to meet target

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/11/11 - 9:54pm

Chevron says it failed to meet Western Australia’s target of capturing at least 80% of the CO2 that would otherwise be released at its Gorgon LNG project

Australia’s only working carbon capture and storage project in Western Australia has failed to meet its target to lock away greenhouse gases from a major gas processing plant.

Chevron, an America-based multinational oil and gas company, was given a target by the WA government to capture at least 80% of the CO2 that would otherwise be released at its Gorgon LNG project.

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Categories: Environment
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