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What's new at the crossroads of culture, technology and science
Curated by Artur Alves
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How climate change is changing the oceans

Climate change and the Earth's oceans

Artur Alves's insight:

Resources on how climate change affects the oceans
«Climate change has caused ocean temperatures to rise, a trend that will continue in the coming centuries even if fossil fuel emissions are curtailed. The uptake of carbon dioxide also makes the oceans more acidic, affecting the ability of organisms to create and maintain calcium-based shells and skeletons. Warm-water corals are particularly susceptible to these effects and may not survive the century unless carbon emissions are greatly reduced. Climate change impacts in the deep ocean are less visible, but the longevity and slow pace of life in the deep makes that ecosystem uniquely sensitive to environmental variability. Marine vertebrates at every depth are being affected, as are humans. Even if international negotiations like those kicking off soon in Paris succeed, we will be coping with the impacts of ocean climate change for centuries.»

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Scientists: Human activity has pushed Earth beyond four of nine ‘planetary boundaries’

Scientists: Human activity has pushed Earth beyond four of nine ‘planetary boundaries’ | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
A paper contends that we have already crossed four “planetary boundaries,” including carbon dioxide levels and the extinction rate.
Artur Alves's insight:

«The Earth has faced shocks before, and the biosphere has always recovered. Hundreds of millions of years ago, the planet apparently froze over — becoming “Snowball Earth.” About 66 million years ago, it was jolted by a mountain-sized rock from space that killed half the species on the planet, including the non-avian dinosaurs. Life on Earth always bounced back. “The planet is going to take care of itself. It’s going to be here,” Richardson said.

“There’s a lot of emotion involved in this. If you think about it, the American ethic is, ‘The sky’s the limit.’ And here you have people coming on and saying, no it isn’t, the Earth’s the limit,” she said.

Technology can potentially provide solutions, but innovations often come with unforeseen consequences. “The trends are toward layering on more and more technology so that we are more and more dependent on our technological systems to live outside these boundaries,” Pierrehumbert said. “. . . It becomes more and more like living on a spaceship than living on a planet.”«

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Garbage Island: An Ocean Full of Plastic (Part 1/3) - YouTube

Vice sails to the North Pacific Gyre, collecting point for all of the ocean's flotsam and home of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch: a mythical, Texas-sized is...
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Sluggish Economy Prompts Europe to Reconsider Its Intentions on Climate Change

Sluggish Economy Prompts Europe to Reconsider Its Intentions on Climate Change | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
European Union officials are having second thoughts about how aggressively to remake the Continent’s energy-producing sector.

Via Willy De Backer
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Willy De Backer's curator insight, January 18, 2014 12:56 PM

Giving in to heavy lobbying from conservative European industries, the European Union is on the verge of making a radical U-turn on its already weak and inefficient climate and energy targets. It will leave future generations of Europeans with a dramatic legacy of suffering and debt. Time to start thinking of making them responsible for their actions before the International Court of Human Rights for crimes against humanity.

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First sign that humanity is slowing its carbon surge - environment - 06 November 2013 - New Scientist

First sign that humanity is slowing its carbon surge - environment - 06 November 2013 - New Scientist | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The ever-faster rise of carbon emissions worldwide slackened in 2012 – and that might signal a lasting trend
Artur Alves's insight:

The EU continues its decade-long fall in emissions. Its GDP might have dropped by 0.3 per cent in 2012, but emissions fell even further – by 1.6 per cent. The most significant change may be in China. After rising by about 10 per cent a year for a decade, its emissions are now almost twice those of the US. But in 2012, they grew by only 3 per cent, while its economy grew by almost 8 per cent. China still gets two-thirds of its electricity from coal, but it is shifting to natural gas, hydroelectricity, and nuclear (see "China: the big turnaround").

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Biofuel fails EU sustainability test, German researchers claim

Biofuel fails EU sustainability test, German researchers claim | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Study says EU-grown rapeseed biodiesel falls under 35% marker, adding weight to calls to end food biofuels...
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The De-Bikification of Beijing

The De-Bikification of Beijing | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Cycling has dropped precipitously in China's capital. Will it ever be popular again?

Via paradoxcity
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Fort McKay: the Canadian town that sold itself to tar sands

Fort McKay: the Canadian town that sold itself to tar sands | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
This tiny Alberta town is one of the world’s single biggest sources of carbon pollution. The community grew rich on oil, and was wrecked by oil. So local Cece Fitzpatrick decided to run for chief, promising to stand up to the industry that came there 50 years ago
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"We Help The Earth But Don't Call Us Environmentalists"

"We Help The Earth But Don't Call Us Environmentalists" | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Millennials are the most likely to favor traditionally pro-environment policies and believe climate change is man-made. But they are also the least likely generation to identify as environmentalists.
Artur Alves's insight:

Let's forget the use of the word "millenials" and see what happened to the environmentalist movements, along with its identity.

 

«This is the difference when it comes to millennials, 18-33 year-olds. Young Americans, including staunch environmentalists like Lisa, may be turning away from the word "environmentalist." A Pew Research Center poll earlier this year asked participants if they felt the term "environmentalist" describes them very well. Over 40 percent of respondents said yes, except when it came to millennials. Just 32 percent of them agreed. That might not seem substantial, but Pew says it's statistically significant.

«

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Methane burned vs. methane leaked: Fracking’s impact on climate change

Methane burned vs. methane leaked: Fracking’s impact on climate change | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Despite its problems, the fracking boom is still better than burning coal.
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Green Capitalism: The God That Failed

Green Capitalism: The God That Failed | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
No amount of ''green'' capitalism will ensure the profound changes we must make to prevent the catastrophic impacts of global warming.
Artur Alves's insight:

The path to climate crash is fraught with the empty celebrations of record profits and unhealty growth. Adding climate change scepticism is just making things even worse. Expecting an environmental "invisible hand" is not the way to deal with the growth of emissions and the anthropogenic chemical changes in our habitat.


"And contrary to green capitalism proponents, across the spectrum from resource extraction to manufacturing, the practical possibilities for "greening" and "dematerializing" production are severely limited. This means the only way to prevent overshoot and collapse is to enforce a massive economic contraction in the industrialized economies, retrenching production across a broad range of unnecessary, resource-hogging, wasteful and polluting industries, even virtually shutting down the worst. Yet this option is foreclosed under capitalism because this is not socialism: No one is promising new jobs to unemployed coal miners, oil drillers, automakers, airline pilots, chemists, plastic junk makers and others whose jobs would be lost because their industries would have to be retrenched - and unemployed workers don't pay taxes. So CEOs, workers and governments find that they all "need" to maximize growth, overconsumption, even pollution, to destroy their children's tomorrows to hang onto their jobs today. If they don't, the system falls into crisis, or worse. So we're all on board the TGV of ravenous and ever-growing plunder and pollution. As our locomotive races toward the cliff of ecological collapse, the only thoughts on the minds of our CEOs, capitalist economists, politicians and most labor leaders is how to stoke the locomotive to get us there faster. Corporations aren't necessarily evil. They just can't help themselves."

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Are traditional sail boats the future of trade? - CNN.com

Are traditional sail boats the future of trade? - CNN.com | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

"The 19th Century "Golden Age of Sail" is seeing a revival as modern day cargo ships turn to wind power -- in a bid for eco-friendly travel.

(...)The industry contributes 4% of global carbon emissions, United Nations figures show. Indeed, it says that if shipping were a country, it would be the sixth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.
But it could be that the winds of change are on the horizon. From January next year, new International Maritime Organization regulations will require shipping companies to cut emissions by 20% over the next seven years and a further 50% by 2050."

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Is Chernobyl a Wild Kingdom or a Radioactive Den of Decay?

Is Chernobyl a Wild Kingdom or a Radioactive Den of Decay? | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
This is the poisoned heart of the Red Forest, nearly 4,000 acres of pine trees that were blanketed with radioactive isotopes of strontium, cesium, plutonium, and microscopic pieces of uranium that roiled from the blazing core of reactor number four over 10 days in April and May of 1986. The pines died in a matter of days, the russet needles marking the windblown path of the most deadly radioactivity to escape the burning reactor. Twenty-five years later, it remains one of the most contaminated ecosystems on earth.
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Civilisation faces 'perfect storm of ecological and social problems'

Civilisation faces 'perfect storm of ecological and social problems' | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

Abuse of the environment has created an 'absolutely unprecedented' emergency, say Blue Planet prizewinners. 

"The current system is broken," said Watson. "It is driving humanity to a future that is 3-5C warmer than our species has ever known, and is eliminating the ecology that we depend on for our health, wealth and senses of self."

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