‘There are no excuses left’: why climate science deniers are running out of rope

Guardian environment correspondent Fiona Harvey recalls being heckled at the House of Commons, and explains how attitudes to climate have shifted in the last decade The shouted words rang out across the packed parliamentary corridor: Fiona Harvey is the worst journalist there is. Shes the worst journalist of them all, because she should know better. They were the words of Lord Lawson, former UK chancellor of the exchequer, turned climate denier and now the 97% of the worlds climate scientists whose work shows human responsibility for global heating, and failure to give equal weight to the tiny number of dissenters. As the science of climate chaos has become vastly clearer in the past two decades, and the warnings more stark, …

How vested interests tried to turn the world against climate science

For decades fossil fuel majors tried to fight the consensus just as big tobacco once disputed that smoking kills In 1998 a public relations consultant called Joe Walker wrote to the American Petroleum Institute (API), a trade association representing major fossil fuel companies, with a proposed solution to a big problem. In December the previous year, the UN had adopted the Kyoto protocol, an international treaty that committed signatory countries to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions in order to avert catastrophic climate breakdown. Reducing emissions represented a direct threat to the profits of fossil fuel companies and the API was working on an industry response. As promised, attached is the Global Climate Science Communications Plan that we developed during our …

Revealed: top UK thinktank spent decades undermining climate science

UKs Institute of Economic Affairs has links to 14 members of Boris Johnsons cabinet The UKs most influential conservative thinktank has published at least four books, as well as multiple articles and papers, over two decades suggesting manmade climate change may be uncertain or exaggerated. The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has issued publications arguing climate change is either not significantly driven by human activity or will be positive. The group is one of the most politically influential thinktanks in the UK, and boasts that 14 members of Boris Johnsons cabinet, including the home secretary, foreign secretary and chancellor, have been associated with the groups past and current initiatives. Despite a Climate Accountability Institute,calculates how much carbon is emitted throughout …

Bad ancestors: does the climate crisis violate the rights of those yet to be born?

The long read: Our environmental vandalism has made urgent the question of ethical responsibilities across decades and centuries What if climate breakdown is a violation of the rights of those yet to be born? Finally, this urgent question seems to be getting the attention it deserves. Last month an astonishing 7 million people from nearly 200 countries took to the streets as part of the youth-led global climate strike. Young people around the world recognise that the disastrous repercussions of the already present ecological crisis will fall disproportionately on their shoulders, and the shoulders of generations to come in particular on those whose communities have emitted the smallest proportion of greenhouse gasses. Greta Thunberg, whose school strike for the climate …

Adaptation isnt enough. Weve got to throw everything at the climate crisis | Fiona Harvey

Jonathan Franzen preaches the gospel of adaptation. But without cutting emissions, it wont work, says Guardian environment journalist Fiona Harvey When were faced with threats of inundation, our reaction has traditionally been to build walls. Sea-level rises, storms and floods have been held back with solid barriers, seawalls and dykes. We have used walls to keep out people, too: the fact that this has failed throughout the ages has not stopped its recent According to the UN, climate-related disasters are already taking place at the rate of one a week, though only a few of them such as number of people facing water shortages set to leap from 3.6 billion today to 5 billion by 2050. At least $1tn a …

The world has a third pole and it’s melting quickly

An IPCC report says two-thirds of glaciers on the largest ice sheet after the Arctic and Antarctic are set to disappear in 80 years Many moons ago in Tibet, the Second Buddha transformed a fierce nyen (a malevolent mountain demon) into a neri (the holiest protective warrior god) called Khawa Karpo, who took up residence in the sacred mountain bearing his name. Khawa Karpo is the tallest of the Meili mountain range, piercing the sky at 6,740 metres (22,112ft) above sea level. Local Tibetan communities believe that conquering Khawa Karpo is an act of sacrilege and would cause the deity to abandon his mountain home. Nevertheless, there have been several failed attempts by outsiders the best known by an international …

Guy Lists 8 Global Problems You Dont See In Front Pages And It Goes Viral

Did you know that almost all of the media that the average American consumes – including 24-hour news stations, newspapers, publishing houses, Internet utilities, and even video game developers – are threat to democracy and innovation,” whilst at the same time giving the average person an “illusion of choice” where there is actually very little. These corporations are under no obligation to report impartially and present consumers with the truth – they often promote what best suits their own aims and agendas. “With the country’s widest disseminators of news, commentary, and ideas firmly entrenched among a small number of the world’s wealthiest corporations, it may not be surprising that their news and commentary is limited to an unrepresentative, narrow spectrum …

People Make Fools Of Themselves For Bullying A 16-Year-Old Activist Who Chose To Travel For 13 Days Instead Of Flying 10 Hours

The reason the 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl is traveling by sea is that she loves the environment so much, she refuses to fly on airplanes. This is just plain awesome. Unfortunately, some people don’t think so and lambasted her because they don’t agree with the message she’s sending. Some made fun of her because they think she just wants attention, while others think there’s nothing wrong with flying and rubbed their opinions in her face. Be sure to scroll down to the very end of this post to read Bored Panda’s interview with Marc Moran, who defended Thunberg on Twitter. Facebook | Instagram Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg is ‘making a splash’ by sailing to New York from Plymouth, England …

‘Ecological grief’: Greenland residents traumatised by climate emergency

Islanders are struggling to reconcile impact of global heating with traditional way of life, survey finds The climate crisis is causing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety to people in Greenland who are struggling to reconcile the traumatic impact of heating with their traditional way of life. The first ever national survey examining the human impact of the climate emergency, revealed in the Guardian on Monday, shows that more than 90% of islanders interviewed fully accept that crisis is happening, with a further 76% claiming to have personally experienced global heating in their daily lives, from coping with dangerous sea ice journeys to having sled dogs euthanised for economic reasons tied to shorter winters. Original Article : HERE ; The …

Trump administration weakens protections for animals near extinction

Changes to how Endangered Species Act is implemented come as world scientists warn biodiversity crisis will put humanity at risk The Trump administration is scaling back the US governments latitude to protect species nearing extinction, as world scientists warn that a biodiversity crisis will soon put humanity at risk. The 1,600 species are considered officially at risk in the US. A United Nations report this spring found humans are disrupting the natural world and putting North American wolverine, a species that depends on a cooler climate to survive. The 3ft-long creature, which resembles a small bear with a bushy tail, hunts across a vast range. But if temperatures rise at the expected rate, wolverines could lose a third of their …

What I learned writing about climate change and the US south for a year

I crisscrossed a region my own that is mired in a culture of denial and delay. The conversation on the climate crisis has not changed fast enough Its 96 degrees in downtown Beaufort, North Carolina, a place where I spent much of my childhood. The sidewalk is too hot for dogs to walk on. The iconic wild horses, visible on Shackleford Banks, wade in the marsh, munching cordgrass. Ive been watching the horses since I was in elementary school, and now Im sharing them with my elementary school-aged daughters on summer vacation. My girls love them, as I did. The legend is that the horses swam to safety from an old Spanish shipwreck. Its moving to watch the small, strong …

The science of influencing people: six ways to win an argument

Hidebound views on subjects such as the climate crisis and Brexit are the norm but science may sway stubborn opinions I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters of religion and politics a mans reasoning powers are not above the monkeys, wrote Mark Twain. Having written a book about our most common reasoning errors, I would argue that Twain was being rather uncharitable to monkeys. Whether we are discussing Trump, Brexit, or the Tory leadership, we have all come across people who appear to have next to no understanding of world events but who talk with the utmost confidence and conviction. And the latest psychological research can now help us to understand why. Consider the overestimate their …

Museum of underwater art to open on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Submerged sculptures and others that appear at low tide to be installed at several Queensland sites, as part of a project that also aims to rehabilitate sections of the reef From a colour-changing figure warning of warming seas to a sunken skeletal greenhouse encrusted with coral, a new museum of underwater art in Australias Great Barrier Reef marine park aims to raise awareness of the threatened ecosystem and rehabilitate parts of the reef. Created by British sculptor and environmentalist Jason deCaires Taylor, the deCaires Taylor hopes the museum will help to shape public debate and inform environmental policy. Our oceans are going through rapid change, and there are huge threats, from rising sea temperatures to acidification, and a large amount …

New Designs Could Boost Solar Cells Beyond Their Limits

The sun blankets the Earth with enough photons every hour to meet the entire world’s energy needs for a year. The question is how to efficiently convert them into electricity. Even under small-scale laboratory conditions, the world’s best single-junction solar cells—the kind found in most solar panels—still max out at capturing 29 percent of the sun’s energy. That puts them just shy of the hard limit of about one third that solar researchers calculated half a century ago. But scientists studying photovoltaics—the process by which sunlight is converted into electricity—have also long suspected that this limit is not as hard as it once seemed. The ceiling on solar cell efficiency, known as the Shockley-Queisser limit, is between 29 and 33 …

Ancient city of Babylon heads list of new Unesco world heritage sites

UN also names national park in Iceland among sites protected for their value to humanity The ancient city of Babylon and an Icelandic national park replete with glaciers, ice caves and volcanoes are among the sites that have been added to Unescos world heritage list. More than 1,000 sites around the world some cultural, some natural, some both are protected by listing. Landmarks or areas are chosen for their value to humanity. On Friday, the World Heritage Committee announced the addition of the first of this years batch. More sites will be named over the weekend. Perhaps the most famous site to be added to the list is the city of Babylon in Iraq. The city was first mentioned in …

Desalination Is Booming as Cities Run out of Water

This story originally appeared on Yale Environment 360 and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Some 30 miles north of San Diego, along the Pacific Coast, sits the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, the largest effort to turn salt water into fresh water in North America. Each day 100 million gallons of seawater are pushed through semi-permeable membranes to create 50 million gallons of water that is piped to municipal users. Carlsbad, which became fully operational in 2015, creates about 10 percent of the fresh water the 3.1 million people in the region use, at about twice the cost of the other main source of water. Expensive, yes, but vital for the fact that it is local and …