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Report Claims Ontario Govt Abandoning Actions to Cut GHG Emissions

After years of action, the Ontario government is now blowing smoke when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change, the province's environmental commissioner warns.

In a critical 84-page report, entitled "A Question of Commitment," released Tuesday at Queen's Park, Gord Miller said the Liberals have abandoned many environmental initiatives in part due to fiscal challenges.

"Clearly the Ontario government's commitment to responding to GHG emissions and climate change has become questionable," Miller told reporters.
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Stupidity Is Not A Valid Defense For Us - The Automatic Earth

Stupidity Is Not A Valid Defense For Us - The Automatic Earth | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

If we can't plead stupidity, what else is there? How do we live with ourselves? Is it all the stuff we buy that manages to numb our brains and consciences?

 

When I see a headline like this one at Bloomberg today, World Needs Record Saudi Oil Supply as OPEC Convenes, there’s just one thought that pops into my head: what the world needs is for us to stop doing this thing we’re doing. Even apart from peak oil concerns, it’s obvious we’re going to run out at some point or another, and it doesn’t matter whether that’s tomorrow or at some other point in the future, though we do know it’s not going to take another 100 years, or even 50.

 

And nothing will ever take the place of oil; once those unique carbons are gone, that’s it, we’ll have to find a completely different way of running our societies, and if we’re not smart enough to prepare for that beforehand, we’ll be cats fighting in a sack and use the last scraps to kill off each other. And our legacy won’t be the Greek thinkers and Picasso and Dostoyevsky and Walt Whitman and Maria Callas, since there won’t be the means for our children anymore to share what makes man great between them. Our main legacy will instead be bloodshed, we will have gone the exact same path that any non-thinking or even primitive organism would have taken, who don’t have opera or philosophy or poetry to their name.

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David Collet's curator insight, August 2, 8:26 PM

A thoughtfull read.

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Cuomo Turns "I'm Not a Scientist" on its Head

Cuomo Turns "I'm Not a Scientist" on its Head | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
New York banned fracking last week. One amusing footnote: In explaining why, Governor Andrew Cuomo explained that, since he "was not a scientist", he decided to listen to those actual scientists wh...
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At AGU: A Historic Series of Interviews

At AGU: A Historic Series of Interviews | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
I'm working with John Cook of Skeptical Science blog, interviewing an amazing list of some of the most productive researchers in the most critical areas of climate science. We've been completely bo...
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Electric vehicles could reduce air pollution deaths by 70%, study finds

Electric vehicles could reduce air pollution deaths by 70%, study finds | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Electric cars can save lots of lives from air pollution, but only if they're powered by renewable energy, not energy from coal or ethanol, a new study find
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Duane Tilden's curator insight, December 19, 2:55 PM

>" [...] The study, published Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that deaths from air pollution could be cut by 70% if electric cars use only renewable-source electricity. But if they use energy from "dirty" sources like coal, they could actually make matters worse and could increase the number of deaths by 80% or more.  

“These findings demonstrate the importance of clean electricity, such as from natural gas or renewables, in substantially reducing the negative health impacts of transportation,” said Chris Tessum, co-author on the study and a researcher in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering in the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering.

The University of Minnesota team estimated how concentrations of two important pollutants — particulate matter and ground-level ozone — change as a result of using various options for powering vehicles. Air pollution is the largest environmental health hazard in the U.S., in total killing more than 100,000 people per year. Air pollution increases rates of heart attack, stroke, and respiratory disease. [...]"<

David Collet's curator insight, December 19, 11:56 PM

I want to scoop this more because of other considerations than the actual topic.

 

Too often we race in a direction hoping to solve a problem when we have spent enough time investigating the problem.

 

Take electricity. I has many ways of being generated. There is no one solution that is suitable to all situations. 

 

In Canada on of the first water powered generators was installed a Niagara Falls and was a tremendous success. So much so that when it aged and needed to be seriously maintained, they opted to build a new one in a new place. No serious affect on the local geography. If fact the park that resulted was and is a serious tourist draw. Few people, if any, were displaced. Few trees cut down. At the time of construction and re-construction the distribution network had no other choice. High wires and land easements. Over the years it has paid for itself with little in the way of environmental impact. But if that were today, the story would be quite different.

 

Now, in China, the three gorges dam - almost the opposite. Now there are many alternatives to big generation facilities that result in much less environment disturbance, scale much more effectively for the target customers and lead to much less disturbance of local inhabitants.

 

In Germany, the local utility has committed to eliminating all coal fired generation and replace it with green energy - wind, solar, and yes, even water where it is suitable - in the span of about 10 years. Next will be the other fossil fuel, petroleum. 

 

Maybe moves like this are resulting in the melt down if fuel oil prices. 

 

My opinion.

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5 Animals Who Remain Safe After Keystone Pipeline Vote

5 Animals Who Remain Safe After Keystone Pipeline Vote | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

For the love of animals. Pass it on.

 

A bill intended to force the authorization of the Keystone XL pipeline failed to pass in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, falling one vote short of the 60-vote threshold it needed to pass. 

 

The defeat of the bill, which had been championed by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., was seen as something of a victory for environmental advocates, though not a complete one. When Republicans take over the Senate in January, they’re expected to have 63 votes in favor of approving a bill like this one, though it’s possible that President Barack Obama would still have the power to veto it. 

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A New Approach to Ocean Pollution

A New Approach to Ocean Pollution | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
How much plastic do you think is in the ocean? Just last week, a paper was published that estimates 5.25 trillion plastic particles, weighing about 269,000 tons, are floating in the ocean. This news helps confirm what many scientists have been saying for years: that plastic pollution in the ocean [...]
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Jeb Bush on climate change: "I'm a skeptic"

Jeb Bush on climate change: "I'm a skeptic" | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

"I'm not a scientist."

 

Today, Jeb Bush, the former Republican governor of Florida, announced that he would "actively explore" running for president in 2016. If elected, he'd have control over much of the US response to global warming. So how would Bush address the global climate crisis? With a mixture of skepticism, avoidance, and downright denial of the science—if his track record is anything to go by. Above is a quick sample of his views climate change.

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4 signs the Arctic is getting baked by climate change

4 signs the Arctic is getting baked by climate change | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the Earth.
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Will Population Growth End in This Century? | Vital Signs Online

Will Population Growth End in This Century? | Vital Signs Online | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

 Having nearly tripled from 2.5 billion people in 1950 to 7.3 billion today (see Figure 1), human population will continue growing through 2070, according to two recent demographic projections.1 After that, population either will begin to shrink or will continue growing into the next century, depending on which of the two projections more accurately forecasts the future.

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China's child labor problem

A labor shortage in China and rising wages creating incentive for employers to turn a blind eye to child labor. Children too young to be working are slipping through the system with fake IDs.
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Russians must get used to new way of life after rouble crash, says bank chief

Russians must get used to new way of life after rouble crash, says bank chief | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Currency hits historic lows after interest rate hike to 17% designed to halt fall
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Some companies won't survive the oil meltdown

Some companies won't survive the oil meltdown | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
America's shale oil boom has been the darling of investment circles in recent years. People were throwing cash at these companies, hoping to get a piece of the rapid growth.

Not anymore.

The dramatic plunge in oil prices has made some shale projects un...
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China industrial activity shrinks in December, calls grow for more stimulus

China industrial activity shrinks in December, calls grow for more stimulus | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
BEIJING (Reuters) - Activity in China's factory sector contracted in December for the first time in seven months, the latest in a string of weak economic indicators that will intensify calls for more stimulus
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That's Right ZuZu: Another Republican Signals Reality Check on Climate Denial

That's Right ZuZu: Another Republican Signals Reality Check on Climate Denial | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
I've posted twice in recent weeks on Republicans who are increasingly unwilling to ride the climate denial crazy bus. Seems like every time a bell rings these days, a Republican finds his or her co...
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New Conventional Wisdom: Climate Change is Real and Urgent

New Conventional Wisdom: Climate Change is Real and Urgent | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
David Gergen is a frequent go-to guy on news programs looking for good-old-boy Washington insider conventional wisdom. Gergen served in the Nixon, Ford, Reagan, as well as Clinton Whitehouses. He's...
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Arctic Report Card: It's Getting Dark in Here

Arctic Report Card: It's Getting Dark in Here | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Seth Borenstein of AP reports from AGU. AP: In the spring and summer of 2014, Earth's icy northern region lost more of its signature whiteness that reflects the sun's heat. It was replaced temporar...
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Tropical deforestation threatens global food production

Tropical deforestation threatens global food production | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Loss of forests in the southern hemisphere is accelerating global warming and distorting rainfall patterns
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Heroic Whale Rescue Reveals Sad Reality

Heroic Whale Rescue Reveals Sad Reality | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Crew members at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program are like superheroes for whales.

Case in point: On Wednesday, after lifeguards caught word of a young, distressed humpback wh...
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Pope Francis Makes Biblical Case For Addressing Climate Change

Pope Francis Makes Biblical Case For Addressing Climate Change | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
“Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude,” Pope Francis said.
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Researchers say feeling younger can help you live longer

Researchers say feeling younger can help you live longer | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Study explores how positive personal perception can manifest itself in a lower mortality rate.
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The People Have Spoken: This Is The Most Brazen Lie Of 2014

The People Have Spoken: This Is The Most Brazen Lie Of 2014 | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
PolitiFact's readers overwhelmingly picked climate denial as the year's biggest lie.
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Where the sea is closing in

The residents of Shishmaref, Alaska know all too well about the risks of living at the sea. Warming temperatures are melting the sea ice and eroding the permafrost, threatening to destroy this tiny village, more than 400 years old. The residents here...
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OPEC testing "pain point" of U.S. shale industry-Platts

Platts' John Kingston says oil prices will keep dropping as long as OPEC continues to test the U.S. shale industry's ability to weather a softening market globally. Bobbi Rebell reports.
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Venezuela benchmark bond yield hits highest ever as oil slides

CARACAS, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Venezuela's benchmark globalbond hit its highest yield ever on Tuesday amid a continuedtumble in the OPEC nation's debt, driven by falling oil pricesand concerns that the
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Petrobras Said to Cut Exploration Spending in Cash Crunch

Petrobras Said to Cut Exploration Spending in Cash Crunch | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Petroleo Brasileiro SA, the biggest oil producer in ultra-deep waters, is curbing refining and exploration spending in response to the collapse in prices and difficulties tapping debt markets during a corruption probe, said two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
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EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil's currency plunges as oil, ruble spook investors

(Adds trader comment, Tombini comments, updates prices) SAO PAULO, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Brazil's currency fell sharplyon Tuesday as diving oil prices, a plunge in the Russian ruble,and uncertainty
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