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The Economist (August 4)

2018/ 08/ 06 by jd in Global News

“Earth is smouldering. From Seattle to Siberia this summer, flames have consumed swathes of the northern hemisphere.” And humanity is not rising to the challenge. Three years following the Paris Accord, “greenhouse-gas emissions are up again. So are investments in oil and gas. In 2017, for the first time in four years, demand for coal rose. Subsidies for renewables, such as wind and solar power, are dwindling.” While “it is tempting to think these are temporary setbacks and that mankind, with its instinct for self-preservation, will muddle through to a victory over global warming. In fact, it is losing the war.”

 

Gizmodo (December 11)

2017/ 12/ 12 by jd in Global News

“Over the past year, Australia released an estimated 140 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in greenhouse gases,” excluding unreliable estimates for land use-related emissions. This marks a new record for down under and places Australia as one of “the worst polluters per capita among countries in its class.”

 

The Economist (November 18)

2017/ 11/ 20 by jd in Global News

“A market exists for rooftop solar panels and electric vehicles; one for removing an invisible gas from the air to avert disaster decades from now does not.” But it must and fast. The need for negative emissions technology “will be gargantuan. The median IPCC model assumes sucking up a total of 810bn tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2100, equivalent to roughly 20 years of global emissions at the current rate. To have any hope of doing so, preparations for large-scale extraction ought to begin in the 2020s.”

 

The Economist (February 18)

2017/ 02/ 20 by jd in Global News

We are approaching a tipping point. The automotive dominance of internal combustion engines (ICE) looks increasingly limited. Electric cars are “set for rapid forward thrust. Improving technology and tightening regulations on emissions from ICEs is about to propel electric vehicles (EVs) from a niche to the mainstream.” But the transition “from petrol power to volts will be a tough one for carmakers to navigate.”

 

New York Times (January 19)

2016/ 01/ 20 by jd in Global News

“China’s announcement last year that it would set up a national cap-and-trade system was hugely encouraging—the world’s largest emitter agreeing to tax itself to help solve a problem that, only a few years ago, it barely acknowledged.” This stands in stark contrast with the U.S. Congress where heads remain firmly planted in the sand of denial and falsehood. “Congress has refused to act even as it becomes clear that putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions is the most direct and cost-effective way to address climate change.”

 

New York Times (December 7)

2015/ 12/ 08 by jd in Global News

“Revelations of the extent of Volkswagen’s efforts to hide the true level of its automobile emissions just keep piling up, yet the company appears incapable of coming clean, responding to each new revelation with denial, feigned ignorance and weak apologies.”

 

Chicago Tribune (October 5)

2015/ 10/ 07 by jd in Global News

“Computer software now governs virtually every aspect of our lives, from cars to kitchen appliances…. But computer software can deceive us, and this was the disturbing message from the recent Volkswagen scandal, where the German carmaker fitted millions of cars with software that could outsmart emission-control testing.” This new era demands “a code of ethics, a Hippocratic oath, for our computer engineers and the software they create.”

 

New York Times (September 23)

2015/ 09/ 24 by jd in Global News

“What was Volkswagen thinking?” Clearly it was not about the massive fallout that has ensued since the automaker’s rigged emissions tests, affecting 11 million vehicles, came to light. “For something this deceitful and stupid, a corporate mea culpa is not enough. Volkswagen must explain how something like this could happen, and identify those who came up with the idea and authorized it.”

 

Washington Post (August 20)

2015/ 08/ 21 by jd in Global News

“If you care about climate change or air pollution, you cannot casually write off nuclear power, which produces virtually no carbon dioxide emissions while generating a tremendous amount of reliable power.” Renewables simply can’t fill the gap quickly enough. Without nuclear, burning additional fossil fuel is the alternative. “No one concerned about climate change should be willing to take it off the table…. The right response to Fukushima is to make sure reactors meet high safety standards, not to make the fight against global warming much harder.”

 

Chicago Tribune (August 3)

2015/ 08/ 04 by jd in Global News

“Shrinking ice caps, rising seas, more flooding, more intense heat waves—these phenomena are happening now. The question is whether we can band together as a planet in time to reverse the effects.” The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just announced limits for greenhouse gas emissions from power generating stations. The EPA’s plan is a step in the right direction. “The more seriously the U.S. acts, the more likely other polluting nations like China and India will do the same in Paris.”

 

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