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Extreme heat could put 40% of land vertebrates in peril by end of century

Study shows ‘disastrous consequences for wildlife’ if human-caused emissions push global temperatures up 4.4C

A female desert bighorn sheep in the Joshua Tree National Park, California. Such areas would be among the worse impacted if global emissions are not cut.
A female desert bighorn sheep in the Joshua Tree National Park, California. Such areas would be among the worse impacted if global emissions are not cut. Photograph: Michael S Nolan/Alamy

More than 40% of land vertebrates will be threatened by extreme heat by the end of the century under a high emissions scenario, with freak temperatures once regarded as rare likely to become the norm, new research warns.

Reptiles, birds, amphibians and mammals are being exposed to extreme heat events of increasing frequency, duration and intensity, as a result of human-driven global heating. This poses a substantial threat to the planet’s biodiversity, a new study warns.

Under a high emissions scenario of 4.4C warming, 41% of land vertebrates will experience extreme thermal events by 2099, according to the paper, published in Nature.

In worse affected regions, such as the Mojave desert in the US, Gran Chaco in South America, the Sahel and Sahara in Africa and parts of Iran and Afghanistan, 100% of species would be exposed to extreme heat. It is not possible to say if these areas would be uninhabitable, but it is likely that more species would become extinct.

A desert tortoise in the Mojave desert, southern California, US
A desert tortoise in the Mojave desert in California, US, an area that would be one of the worse hit by extreme heat. Photograph: Scott Trageser/Alamy

Researchers mapped the effects of extreme heat on more than 33,000 land vertebrates by looking at maximum temperature data between 1950 and 2099. They considered five predictions of global climatic models based on different levels of greenhouse gas emission, as well as the distribution of terrestrial vertebrates, to work out how exposed animal populations would be.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

The Energy Transition Will Run Through the Copper Gauntlet

And it may not survive

Since the 2018 IPCC climate report laid out the calamitous consequences of our unbridled carbon emissions, every pathway published by academics and think tanks that claim to save us from ourselves involves the expansion of solar and wind farms as well as net-zero and carbon capture dreams of unbridled optimism.

Net-Zero, the idea that we can keep emitting greenhouse gasses only if we somehow capture or offset those emissions by some yet-to-be-determined means was a dubious proposition at best. It relies on untested-at-scale projects such as carbon capture and sequester (CCS) as well as accounting fantasies that pretend a young sapling that takes 50 years to grow offsets the carbon released from the burning of a mature tree today after being shipped overseas.

Net-Zero plans also assume a rapid and universal deployment of renewable energy-capturing machines a.k.a. solar panels and wind generators. Unfortunately, contrary to their portrayal in mainstream media, solar panels and windmills do not produce renewable energy. These are machines designed to capture and transform energy (electromagnetic or kinetic) available to them and they are manufactured, installed, maintained, and replaced using fossil fuels.

It’s astonishing how the continual absence of any credible carbon removal technology seems to never affect net-zero policies. Whatever is thrown at it, net zero carries on without a dent in the fender.

James Dyke

Senior Lecturer in Global Systems, University of Exeter

Many other metals and rare earth elements have received a great deal of attention due to their exotic-sounding names, relative scarcity, and utilization in cutting-edge technologies, but one of the most critical minerals to the energy transition that is essential to curtailing the most serious effect of climate change is also one that the human race has learned to work earliest — copper.

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Energy requirements and carbon emissions for a low-carbon energy transition

Energy requirements and carbon emissions for a low-carbon energy transition


Achieving the Paris Agreement will require massive deployment of low-carbon energy. However, constructing, operating, and maintaining a low-carbon energy system will itself require energy, with much of it derived from fossil fuels. This raises the concern that the transition may consume much of the energy available to society, and be a source of considerable emissions. Here we calculate the energy requirements and emissions associated with the global energy system in fourteen mitigation pathways compatible with 1.5 °C of warming. We find that the initial push for a transition is likely to cause a 10–34% decline in net energy available to society. Moreover, we find that the carbon emissions associated with the transition to a low-carbon energy system are substantial, ranging from 70 to 395 GtCO2 (with a cross-scenario average of 195 GtCO2). The share of carbon emissions for the energy system will increase from 10% today to 27% in 2050, and in some cases may take up all remaining emissions available to society under 1.5 °C pathways.


The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C concludes that we can still meet the 1.5 °C target and that by doing so, we would reduce climate impacts and limit the risk of exceeding the tipping points of the climate system1. The report provides a range of low-carbon energy pathways compatible with limiting global warming to 1.5 °C. However, at present, there is no estimate of how much energy would be needed to build and maintain a low-carbon energy system, or what amount of greenhouse gas emissions would be associated with such a transition2,3,4. This is an important gap in knowledge, as previous research suggests that rapid growth of low-carbon infrastructure could use a substantial amount of the global energy supply5,6. Moreover, since the global energy supply is currently derived mostly from fossil fuels, the transition itself may become a source of significant emissions7,8.

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Rising CO2 is reducing nutritional value of food, impacting ecosystems

Exploring the Massive Clean Energy Boondoggle of Burning Trees as Carbon Neutral

Exploring the Massive Clean Energy Boondoggle of Burning Trees as Carbon Neutral

To the shock of everyone with any semblance of common sense, we are clearcutting forests and burning the trees based on the idea the process is carbon neutral.
Image from Smithsonian article below

Image from Smithsonian article below

EPA Declared That Burning Wood Is Carbon Neutral

In 2018, the EPA Declared That Burning Wood Is Carbon Neutral.

Yesterday [April 23, 2018], the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would begin to count the burning of “forest biomass”—a.k.a. wood—as carbon neutral. The change will classify burning of wood pellets a renewable energy similar to solar or wind power.

[But] Even if a tree is planted for every tree converted to fuel pellets, trees regrown on plantations don’t store the same carbon as natural forests. One recent study suggests it would take 40 to 100 years for a managed forest to capture the same amount of carbon as a natural forest. And since most plantation forests are harvested at 20 year intervals, they will never make it to the carbon-neutral point.

“Unless forests are guaranteed to regrow to carbon parity, production of wood pellets for fuel is likely to result in more CO2 in the atmosphere and fewer species than there are today,” William Schlesinger, President Emeritus of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies writes for Science.

Doomberg picked up on this idea in an extensive set of Tweets.

Doomberg Tweet Thread

  1. In the second half of the 16th century, Britain plunged into an energy crisis. At the time, the primary source of energy driving the British economy was heat derived from the burning of wood, and Britain was literally running out of trees.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Climate crisis: UN finds ‘no credible pathway to 1.5C in place’

Failure to cut carbon emissions means ‘rapid transformation of societies’ is only option to limit impacts, report says

A firefighter sets fire to land in an attempt to prevent wildfires from spreading in Gironde, south-west France.
A firefighter sets fire to land in an attempt to prevent wildfires from spreading in Gironde, south-west France. A rise in global temperature of 1C to date has already contributed to climate disasters. Photograph: Thibaud Moritz/AFP/Getty Images

There is “no credible pathway to 1.5C in place”, the UN’s environment agency has said, and the failure to reduce carbon emissions means the only way to limit the worst impacts of the climate crisis is a “rapid transformation of societies”.

The UN environment report analysed the gap between the CO2 cuts pledged by countries and the cuts needed to limit any rise in global temperature to 1.5C, the internationally agreed target. Progress has been “woefully inadequate” it concluded.

Current pledges for action by 2030, if delivered in full, would mean a rise in global heating of about 2.5C and catastrophic extreme weather around the world. A rise of 1C to date has caused climate disasters in locations from Pakistan to Puerto Rico.

If the long-term pledges by countries to hit net zero emissions by 2050 were delivered, global temperature would rise by 1.8C. But the glacial pace of action means meeting even this temperature limit was not credible, the UN report said.

Countries agreed at the Cop26 climate summit a year ago to increase their pledges. But with Cop27 looming, only a couple of dozen have done so and the new pledges would shave just 1% off emissions in 2030. Global emissions must fall by almost 50% by that date to keep the 1.5C target alive.

Inger Andersen, the executive director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), said: “This report tells us in cold scientific terms what nature has been telling us all year through deadly floods, storms and raging fires: we have to stop filling our atmosphere with greenhouse gases, and stop doing it fast.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Will global warming drive us extinct? A review of Peter Ward’s “Under a Green Sky”

Will global warming drive us extinct? A review of Peter Ward’s “Under a Green Sky”

Preface. Thank goodness for world peak oil production in 2018. And peak coal in 2013. Since oil is that master resource that makes every product and activity possible, including oil itself and coal and natural gas, peak oil means peak everything.  Oil, specifically the 25% of a barrel that’s diesel, is used by nearly all heavy-duty trucks, locomotives, and ships. Petroleum and natural gas are the for 500,000 products. And fossils are essential for products needing high heat in their manufacture, like cement, steel, iron, glass, ceramics, microchips, bricks and more — there are no electric or hydrogen substitutes and with peak oil in 2018, no time to invent them.

So I would argue we don’t have enough fossil fuels left to reach the hothouse world Ward proposes.  You might reply that tipping points have been or will be reached, methane from permafrost, the amazon rainforest turns into grass and so on.

Sure, but there are negative feedback loops. Diatoms evolved about 100 million years ago and consumed so much CO2 they created the polar icecaps for the first time.  They are doing very well with the increased CO2, dying, and sinking to the ocean floor in even greater numbers. Nor are methane hydrates likely to ever be exploited or released all at once.  And see these posts about why we may not be driven extinct by climate change and at worst reach low-medium IPCC projections.  And CO2 rates in the Permian and other extinctions were as high as today’s, so it’s not true that what’s happening now is unprecedented, and lasted for 10,000 to 20,000 years of volcanic pulses from deep in the earth, boiling their way to the surface via coal, natural gas and oil deposits…

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Where We’ll End Up Living as the Planet Burns

While nations rally to reduce their carbon emissions, and try to adapt at-risk places to hotter conditions, there is an elephant in the room: for large portions of the world, local conditions are becoming too extreme and there is no way to adapt. People will have to move to survive.

Over the next fifty years, hotter temperatures combined with more intense humidity are set to make large swathes of the globe lethal to live in. Fleeing the tropics, the coasts, and formerly arable lands, huge populations will need to seek new homes; you will be among them, or you will be receiving them. This migration has already begun—we have all seen the streams of people fleeing drought-hit areas in Latin America, Africa, and Asia where farming and other rural livelihoods have become impossible.

The number of migrants has doubled globally over the past decade, and the issue of what to do about rapidly increasing populations of displaced people will only become greater and more urgent as the planet heats.

We can—and we must—prepare. Developing a radical plan for humanity to survive a far hotter world includes building vast new cities in the more tolerable far north while abandoning huge areas of the unendurable tropics. It involves adapting our food, energy, and infrastructure to a changed environment and demography as billions of people are displaced and seek new homes.

Our best hope lies in cooperating as never before: decoupling the political map from geography. However unrealistic it sounds, we need to look at the world afresh and develop new plans based on geology, geography, and ecology. In other words, identify where the freshwater resources are, where the safe temperatures are, where gets the most solar or wind energy, and then plan population, food and energy production around that…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Imperialism in bright green

Imperialism in bright green

Voiced by Amazon Polly

The human ability to disconnect from and deny geopolitical reality lies at the heart of the “green” net-zero project.  Most obviously, those – like the current UK Prime Minister – who claim victories along the road to the Nirvana of net-zero must maintain blindness to the way in which the UK economy is integrated into a global industrial civilisation.  As a result, such measures as closing British coal mines and coal-fired power stations can be translated into lower national carbon emissions figures, even though all that is achieved is the outsourcing of UK emissions to other, less developed states elsewhere on the planet.  Aiding this sleight of hand is the international convention that we do not include emissions from shipping in anyone’s national data, giving the appearance that there is no difference between goods moved tens of miles by truck or train, and goods transported by ship from the other side of the Earth.

Nor is it only governments and politicians that get away with this dubious accounting trick.  Activists simultaneously demand the construction of thousands of wind turbines – manufactured on the other side of the planet – while denying the need for the materials from which wind turbines are made, deployed, and maintained.  Consider, for example, the recent outrage over the decision to extend the Aberpergwm anthracite mine in South Wales and the proposal for a new mine in Cumbria.  Both are intended to supply UK steelworks which, among other things, will produce the steel which is essential to the construction and deployment of thousands of wind turbines.  Activists have reacted as if wind turbines might otherwise magically construct and deploy themselves with the aid of the net-zero fairy, or – even less plausibly…

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Oilfield Approval Off Newfoundland Coast Would Undercut Climate Commitments, Harm Biodiversity, Experts Warn

Anxiety is running high in Newfoundland and Labrador as the province waits on a federal decision about a proposed offshore oil project about 500 kilometres east of St. John’s.

Equinor’s Bay du Nord project would open a fifth oilfield for the cash-strapped province, whose oil sector was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and crashing global prices, The Canadian Press reports. But there is mounting concern an approval from Ottawa would undermine federal climate commitments and send a message to other provinces that oil and gas is a viable industry on which they can hook their financial hopes.

“If we’re going to be serious about our net-zero commitment and our international commitments, then we cannot approve any new oil and gas projects,” said Debora VanNijnatten, a public policy expert and associate political science professor at Wilfrid Laurier University.

“And we have to have a plan to help those regions that we say ‘no’ to,” she added in a recent interview.

Oil accounted for nearly 21% of Newfoundland and Labrador’s GDP in 2019, according to its latest budget, which also forecasted a deficit of C$826 million and a net debt of $17.2 billion. With an estimated 800 million recoverable barrels of oil in the proposed Bay du Nord site, the project is “critical to the Newfoundland and Labrador economy,” said a statement Thursday from Energy Minister Andrew Parsons.

Meanwhile, Canada has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and to doing its part to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Bay du Nord is also among the first oil and gas projects to be considered for approval by the federal government since the International Energy Agency declared in May there can be no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects if the world is going to hit net-zero targets by 2050.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

West accused of ‘climate hypocrisy’ as emissions dwarf those of poor countries

Average Briton produces more carbon in two days than Congolese person does in entire year, study finds

The Democratic Republic of Congo and London, UK.
The Democratic Republic of Congo and London, UK. The Center for Global Development study highlights the energy inequality between rich and poor countries. Photograph: Getty/AFP

In the first two days of January, the average Briton was already responsible for more carbon dioxide emissions than someone from the Democratic Republic of the Congo would produce in an entire year, according to analysis by the Center for Global Development (CGD).

The study, which highlights the “vast energy inequality” between rich and poor countries, found that each Briton produces 200 times the climate emissions of the average Congolese person, with people in the US producing 585 times as much. By the end of January, the carbon emitted by someone living in the UK will surpass the annual emissions of citizens of 30 low- and middle-income countries, it found.

Euan Ritchie, a policy analyst at CGD Europe, said his work was prompted by the “climate hypocrisy” of western countries, including the UK and the US, that have pledged to stop aid funding to fossil fuel projects in developing states.

“At Cop26 there was lots of hand-wringing by rich countries about the extent to which aid and other development finance should finance fossil fuels in poorer countries,” said Ritchie. “The hypocrisy of this caught my attention.”

“Our analysis shows that in just a few days, the average person in the UK produces more climate emissions than people in many low-income countries do in an entire year. It would be a cruel irony if the countries that have least contributed to this problem won’t be able to have access to energy infrastructure.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Shell’s Massive Carbon Capture Plant Is Emitting More Than It’s Capturing

Shell’s Massive Carbon Capture Plant Is Emitting More Than It’s Capturing

A new Global Witness report found that it has the same carbon footprint per year as 1.2 million gas-powered cars.
Shell's Quest carbon capture and storage facility in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta.

A first-of-its-kind “green” Shell facility in Alberta is emitting more greenhouse gases than it’s capturing, throwing into question whether taxpayers should be funding it, a new report has found.

Shell’s Quest carbon capture and storage facility captured 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the hydrogen produced at its Scotford complex between 2015 and 2019. Scotford refines oil from the Alberta tar sands.

But a new report from human rights organization Global Witness found the hydrogen plant emitted 7.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in the same timeframe—including methane, which has 80 times the warming power of carbon during its first 20 years in the atmosphere, and accounts for about a quarter of man-made warming today.

To put that in perspective, the “climate-forward” part of the Scotford plant alone has the same carbon footprint per year as 1.2 million fuel-powered cars, Global Witness said.

“We do think Shell is misleading the public in that sense and only giving us one side of the story,” said Dominic Eagleton, who wrote the report. He said industry’s been pushing for governments to subsidize the production of fossil hydrogen (hydrogen produced from natural gas) that’s supplemented with carbon capture technology as a “climate-friendly” way forward, but the new report shows that’s not the case.

In an email, Shell said the facility was introduced to display the merits of carbon capture technology, but didn’t directly respond to the allegation that its hydrogen component emitted 7.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

To keep fossil carbon out of the air, just stop pulling it out of the Earth

To keep fossil carbon out of the air, just stop pulling it out of the Earth

Expectations for the COP26 climate summit were always low. They had dimmed even further by the time the prominent climate activist Vanessa Nakate of Uganda spoke from the main stage on the Glasgow conference’s next-to-last day.

Nakate chided her audience for sleepwalking toward catastrophe: “We see business leaders and investors flying into COP on private jets. We see them making fancy speeches. We hear about new pledges and promises. … I have come here to tell you that we don’t believe you.” She added, “I am here to say, prove us wrong.”

Throughout the summit, people of all ages and backgrounds had rallied in the streets outside to demand effective climate action, climate justice, an end to exploitation and other policies through which the world’s governments might prove Nakate wrong.

On Nov. 5, more than 8,000 children, teenagers, parents and teachers marched through the city, calling on the generation now in power not to ruin the future for generations who follow. The next day, a surge of more than 100,000 climate marchers demanded an end to fossil fuel investments, a global conversion to renewable energy financed by wealthy countries and reparations for Indigenous communities.

Tuntiak Katan, a member of the Shuar nation in Ecuador, reminded reporters that “Indigenous peoples already protect 950 million hectares of land worldwide.” Affluent nations, he said, must “abandon extractivism and get the oil, mining and agribusiness companies out of our territories, and apply a holistic vision, combined with the vision of the Indigenous peoples.”

The Glasgow marchers’ goals were both necessary and achievable, but they knew all too well that fossilized COP summits have failed the world 25 times since 1995, and COP26 would be no different.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Cop-26–Caught in a Net: Agriculture, Climate Change, and the Decarbonisation Agenda

COP26 – Caught in a Net: Agriculture, Climate Change, and the Decarbonisation Agenda


CopOut26, B Grade Cabaret Not Science

CopOut26, B Grade Cabaret Not Science

Mercifully, the charade known as Cop 26 has drawn to it’s ignominious end.

Almost all commentators are describing this latest Cop as a near total failure. As I have mentioned previously in this space it’s a near total success. The USA created the IPCC to prevent activists scientists from holding Capitalism’s feet to the abrupt climate change fire. It’s Time to Acknowledge the Spectacular Success of the IPCC.

In our video critique of the charade below I quoted the hyperlinked article from Democracy Now;
“Critiques of COP26 from activists both inside and outside its walls range from business as usual to abject failure. The United Kingdom’s shambolic management of the event, its strict visa requirements and its failure to deliver on its promised, pre-COP vaccination plan for attendees from nations with low vaccine availability have made this summit the whitest, most privileged COP in its 30-year history.” “While widespread access challenges have prevented thousands from participating, over 500 oil, gas and coal lobbyists have been given the red carpet treatment. If they were a nation, according to a new Global Witness report, they would be the largest delegation at COP26.”
Like Locusts, Lobbyists Swarm COP26 in Glasgow

“And here is the most impressive bluff: Just like in Kyoto and Paris, in Glasgow too, emissions of hothouse gases by all the world’s militaries are outside the game. Even though armies are some of the worst polluters on the face of the earth, no one is discussing them, no one is counting then, no one is proposing that their swelling ranks be cut. And not one single government is reporting honestly about the amount of garbage its army spews into the air.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…


Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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