International News

German prosecutors investigate ex-VW chief over emissions scandal

Guardian - June 20, 2016 - 10:44am

Braunschweig prosecutor’s office looking into Martin Winterkorn and another senior figure over suspected market manipulation

German prosecutors are investigating the former Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn and another senior executive over suspected market manipulation in relation to the diesel emissions scandal.

In a statement on Monday, the Braunschweig prosecutor’s office said the investigation centred on “sufficient real signs” that VW’s duty to disclose the possible financial damage of its manipulations may have arisen before 22 September 2015, when the carmaker publicly admitted wrongdoing.

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Categories: International News

Germany’s Energy Transition Overwhelmingly Popular, despite Deniers

Climate Crocks - June 20, 2016 - 8:02am
Above, 8 second snip from a Fox News report showing typical anti-renewable energy propaganda. I show this as comic relief in my presentations, and it’s always good for a laugh.. (full clip here if you’re interested) A quick look Fox reporter  Shibani Joshi’s wikipedia entry shows that she is married to Joshi Rahul Advani, “a principal […]
Categories: International News

New methods are improving ocean and climate measurements | John Abraham

Guardian - June 20, 2016 - 6:00am

Improvements to ocean temperature measurements are making good measurements great

I have often said that global warming is really ocean warming. As humans add more heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere, it causes the Earth to gain energy. Almost all of that energy ends up in the oceans. So, if you want to know how fast the Earth is warming, you have to measure how fast the oceans are heating up.

Sounds easy enough at first, but when we recognize that the oceans are vast (and deep) we can appreciate the difficulties. How can we get enough measurements, at enough locations, and enough depths, to measure the oceans’ temperatures? Not only that, but since climate change is a long-term trend, it means we have to measure ocean temperature changes over many years and decades. We really want to know how fast the oceans’ temperatures are changing over long durations.

We can see the effects of climate change in our oceans. To do this, we measure changes in temperature in our oceans over decadal time scales. Measuring the temperature of ocean water is not a new thing, it has been done for hundreds of years, and over time, measurement techniques have changed. In modern times, the XBT has been used extensively to measure ocean temperature and is only one of many methods. XBT data is special because it comprises ~50% of historical data between 1967 and 2001, a huge resource for oceanographers and for estimates of decadal changes in ocean temperature.

Small biases in the historical XBT data have been identified and various bias corrections have been developed which greatly improve the XBT data for climate change estimates. This work focusses on a purely physical method to estimate a fall rate for the XBT, which is unusual in the field of bias correction estimates. By looking at the physical shape of the XBT probe the fall rate is modelled. Other bias correction studies have looked at comparisons between XBTs and other instruments.

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Categories: International News

How the Coalition is using clean energy financing as an election slush fund

Guardian - June 20, 2016 - 4:13am

Some in the sector fear the government is trying to defund the Clean Energy Finance Corporation by stealth. The truth may be a little more mundane

After trying in vain to dismantle the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the Coalition is now using Labor’s $10bn financing scheme as an election slush fund, throwing its money at the Great Barrier Reef, at “smart cities” and even at the steel industry in South Australia.

These announcements left some clean energy sector experts crying foul, saying the government was trying to squeeze the CEFC for every last drop, and defund it by stealth.

Related: Boost renewable energy target to 50% and get 28,000 extra jobs, says report

Related: Great Barrier Reef needs $10bn for chance of survival, scientists say

Related: Saving Great Barrier Reef from climate change should be central election issue, says Tim Flannery

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Categories: International News

Mars' 100% renewables pledge: a cause for celebrations?

Guardian - June 20, 2016 - 12:00am

The switch to renewables by Mars and other companies is welcome, but building clean power facilities on-site should be the ultimate goal

On a beautiful barren stretch of the Scottish Highlands, just south of Inverness, spin 20 brand new 3,300-kilowatt wind turbines. The second these industrial-scale turbines came on stream last month, all Mars UK’s factories and offices became immediately zero carbon.

The US confectionary giant negotiated with the UK arm of Eneco, the Dutch utility behind the Moy Wind Farm, to buy 85% of the turbines’ output over the next 10 years. The move follows similar steps in the US, where Mars says its operations are carbon neutral thanks to a deal to buy power from a large-scale wind farm in Mesquite Creek, Texas.

Related: Facebook criticised for ‘worrying lack of transparency’ over climate change

Related: Can you power a business on 100% renewable energy? Ikea wants to try

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Categories: International News

Fundraising drive aims to save seabird paradise off Scotland

Guardian - June 19, 2016 - 1:36pm

World heritage site of St Kilda, 40 miles west of the Outer Hebrides, is suffering a dramatic fall in species due to warming seas

A fundraising appeal to help preserve St Kilda, the acclaimed world heritage site off the west coast of Scotland, has begun after research showed catastrophic crashes in seabird numbers linked to climate change.

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) is asking for donations to help fund the £270,000-a-year costs of conserving the once-populated archipelago, which sits in the Atlantic 41 miles west of the Outer Hebrides.

Related: Climate change is threatening the seabirds of St Kilda

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Categories: International News

Tesla: It Floats!

Climate Crocks - June 19, 2016 - 11:33am
We *def* don't recommended this, but Model S floats well enough to turn it into a boat for short periods of time. Thrust via wheel rotation. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 19, 2016 Preppers take note. With increased coastal flooding and extreme precip, might be a good sales point. Filed under: Crock of the Week
Categories: International News

Trees of life: tiny beetles turn Californian forests into tinder for energy

Guardian - June 19, 2016 - 11:00am

Dry weather in California and growing fire risks are prompting a new effort to cull dead trees affected by bark beetles and use them to make electricity

California’s record four-year drought has primed its coastal forests for a bug invasion. Millions of native bark beetles, which thrive in warm conditions, are burrowing into trees weakened by a lack of water, leaving in their wake dry, dead wood that becomes natural tinder. The beetles and drought have already killed off 29m trees, with tens of millions more expected to become casualties.

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), a California company, decided to turn the serious fire hazard into a source of low-carbon energy. It received the state’s approval last week. PG&E plans to clear away dead or dying trees close to its power lines and use them to produce electricity.

Related: US Forest Service stretched to breaking point after record year for wildfires

Related: California wildfire triples in size as heatwave looms

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Categories: International News

Batteries on a Game Changing Curve

Climate Crocks - June 19, 2016 - 10:40am
Joe Romm at ClimateProgress: Low-cost, high-performance electric batteries are a game changer for the two key clean energy sectors: power generation and transportation. They enable much greater adoption and penetration of both renewable energy and electric vehicles — not just electric cars but electric buses and electric planes. Since lithium-ion batteries have only just crossed […]
Categories: International News

Carbon capture: UK pays firms £30m despite scrapping projects

Guardian - June 19, 2016 - 9:17am

Government is accused of pouring money away with payments to companies including Shell and Drax

The government has handed out almost £30m to Shell and other companies for work on carbon capture and storage (CCS) despite scrapping their projects that could have played a role in beating climate change.

The payments, revealed in a written parliamentary answer, come as the UK government is about to host the international Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum even though it has just mothballed a £1bn CCS research programme.

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Categories: International News

Wentworth activists GetUp to mischief with Malcolm Turnbull's election posters

Guardian - June 19, 2016 - 4:10am

Lobby group says ‘guerilla street nannas’ are out in the PM’s electorate hanging climate change posters below Turnbull’s own

While the ordinary voters of Wentworth sheltered from the rain on Sunday afternoon, a small group of activists set out on a stealthy campaign against their local member, the prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Dubbed the “guerilla street nannas” by GetUp climate campaign director, Sam Regester, the group, mostly comprised of women in their 60s, braved the weather to check on their latest endeavour: a set of corflute signs showing the torso of a man in a business suit crossing his fingers.

Related: When you poke the Coalition's Great Barrier Reef 'rescue mission' it crumbles

Climate change #fizza #ausvotes pic.twitter.com/aFMrRLMPC1

Bravo @GetUp if you finish mine I wouldn't mind you maybe taking off about 10 kgs..#imissmalcolm pic.twitter.com/RjYGqNT6GE

Great to be in #Wentworth for the @evanevanhughes Labor launch. Tony has Malcolm handcuffed on #climatechange pic.twitter.com/mUT8e3A185

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Categories: International News

Exxon Sues to Make Lying “protected speech”

Climate Crocks - June 18, 2016 - 9:14pm
  Masslive: ExxonMobil has sued Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey over her investigation into whether the energy giant lied about climate change to mislead its shareholders and the public. Exxon’s complaint was filed Wednesday in federal district court in Fort Worth, Texas. Healey’s office has subpoenaed millions of documents from the company going back four […]
Categories: International News

Obama at Yosemite attacks 'lip service' to natural beauty amid climate inaction

Guardian - June 18, 2016 - 4:18pm

Barack Obama warned on Saturday that climate change could ravage many of America’s vaunted national parks, criticizing political opponents who “pay lip service” to areas of natural beauty while opposing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Related: Donald Trump would allow Keystone XL pipeline and end Paris climate deal

Related: Climate scientists urge Obama to rule out more Arctic oil and gas exploration

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Categories: International News

First Family Vacations In National Parks, President Obama Prioritizes Climate Action

Climate Progress - June 18, 2016 - 4:03pm

"The idea that these places that sear themselves into your memory could be marred or lost to history? That's to be taken seriously."

The post First Family Vacations In National Parks, President Obama Prioritizes Climate Action appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Categories: International News

Science Committee Seeks to Squash Exxon Investigation

Climate Crocks - June 18, 2016 - 11:51am
Reuters: A Republican-led congressional committee sought on Friday to assert oversight over inquiries that about 20 states are making into Exxon Mobil and climate change, reiterating demands to know more about state attorneys general’s consultations with environmental groups. In a letter, some 17 members of Congress and ranking members of the House Science, Space, and […]
Categories: International News

Music Break: Darryl Hall – I Can’t Go for That

Climate Crocks - June 18, 2016 - 11:50am
Filed under: Crock of the Week
Categories: International News

The Weekend Wonk: Atlantic Hurricane Season is On

Climate Crocks - June 18, 2016 - 11:45am
Above, National Hurricane Center video on the 2016 season. Description: NHC Director Rick Knabb discusses the Hurricane Specialist Unit operations area and chats with Senior Hurricane Specialist Dr. Jack Beve Earth System Science Center, Penn State University: The prediction is for 18.9 +/- 4.4 total named tropical cyclones, which corresponds to a range between 14 […]
Categories: International News

After Republicans Refuse, Democrats Hold Their Own Hearing On The Oregon Wildlife Refuge Takeover

Climate Progress - June 18, 2016 - 9:39am

This forum was the first time Congress has addressed extremism on public lands or the dangerous situations created by the Bundy family and their supporters.

The post After Republicans Refuse, Democrats Hold Their Own Hearing On The Oregon Wildlife Refuge Takeover appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Categories: International News

Remember, this is a Guy That Denies Climate Change

Climate Crocks - June 17, 2016 - 4:39pm
 Filed under: Crock of the Week
Categories: International News

Orlando

350.org - June 17, 2016 - 4:09pm

We write this with tears in our eyes.  We haven’t been able to get them out of our eyes since waking up on Sunday morning and seeing the news about the massacre in Orlando, Florida.

To be honest, we’ve been hesitant to write this. The reality of backlash, from individual emails to anger from governments and our own communities, is real and quite scary. Knowing this, we still chose to write this statement, because it’s important and needs to be said.

You might be asking yourself, why is an organization who focuses on climate change, responding to this horrifying night.  Because we’re all connected, as is our fight.

As LGBTQ+ staff at 350, we are a part of this movement, we are connected to this movement, and our survival depends on this movement for climate justice.

There are many folks at 350.org, in our networks, at our actions, in our community that identify as LGBTQ+. There are many of us who see the intersections of our race, class, gender and sexual  orientation as inextricably linked to the fight against fossil fuels and for our climate.

And to be honest, intersectionality is complicated.  At the heart of it, we live complicated lives, with overlapping identities. Many of us who are shoulder to shoulder with you in the streets are LGBTQ+. Many of us who’ve fought alongside you to stop climate change, and to ensure communities have clean air and water, are LGBTQ+. Some of us are also Latinx, as were those targeted in Orlando. And some of us are also Muslim, and are already facing a different sort of backlash as a result of this attack.  What we need is to be able to bring our whole selves in this movement, which means being clear about what we need when our LGBTQ+ lives and bodies are under attack.  

To those of you who identify as LGBTQ+, we see you, we stand with you, and we love you. We know that you’re our neighbors, and that our arms are linked with yours in the streets. We know that you’re our family, and our colleagues. We know that some of you are still hiding this part of yourselves, and we know what that feels like. We love you.

For those of you who aren’t part of this community, take this time to reflect on those in your life who are LGBTQ+.  Please reach out to them.  Let them know they’re loved and are seen. We don’t need you to know the right words. We need you to tell us that you love us.  For us to come together as a movement, and fight for a just future together, we need to know that you’re here with us.

This week is tough for many of us. To get through this, we need to let people know where we stand. Our organization fights for a just future. That doesn’t mean only climate justice, it means justice across all fronts.  If we aren’t fighting for a future that is safe for everyone, then what are we truly fighting for?  

Let us make sure to lift up those who will undoubtedly be targeted as a response to this attack.  Not just the LGBTQ community, but also folks who are Arab, Muslim, and the community targeted by this attack- the Latinx community. We uplift our siblings who hold many of these identities, and we see you. We love you.

If we are to move forward together in all of our interconnected struggles, we must make sure that everyone is cared for and safe. We cannot fight the biggest issue impacting our world without everyone. We cannot fight climate change without standing with each other when we come under attack.

350.org stands in solidarity with the communities affected by the homophobic attack in Orlando. We grieve for those who were slain, and we stand in solidarity with the communities who are struggling to heal and survive. And we will not let our grief and fear turn to hatred.

If you’re able to make a financial contribution to help the victims of the Orlando shooting, here’s where you can do so:

With so much heartbreak, and so much love,

Your friends at 350.org and our LGBTQ staff, including:

Linda Capato Jr

Elliot Altomare

Sabelo Narasimhan

Betamia Coronel

Everette R.H. Thompson

Vanessa Arcara

Emma Youfrau

Ellen Gibson

Liangyi Chang

Dani Heffernan

Kendall Mackey

Louise Hazan

Categories: International News

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