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Category Archives: Environmental Law

Dimming the Sun to Cool the Planet Is a Desperate Idea, Yet We’re Inching Toward It

The New Yorker [subscription req’d]: “The idea behind solar geoengineering is essentially to mimic what happens when volcanoes push particles into the atmosphere; a large eruption, such as that of Mt. Pinatubo, in the Philippines, in 1992, can measurably cool the world for a year or two. This scheme, not surprisingly, has few public advocates, and even among those who want to see it studied the inference has been that it would not actually be implemented for decades. “I’m not saying they’ll do it tomorrow,” Dan Schrag, the director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, who serves on the advisory board of a geoengineering-research project based at the university, told my colleague Elizabeth Kolbert for “Under a White Sky,” her excellent book on technical efforts to repair environmental damage, published last year. “I feel like we might have thirty years,” he said. It’s a number he repeated to me when we met in Cambridge this summer…”

Climate Change from A to Z

The New Yorker – The stories we tell ourselves about the future – by Elizabeth Kolbert  November 21, 2022. 
Illustrations by Wesley Allsbrook [subscription req’d – this is an articulate, insightful and cleverly designed chronologically organized longread]: “…Both the effort to limit climate change (by replacing the world’s energy systems) and the effort to adapt… Continue Reading

Zero-Emission Vehicles Factbook, November 2022

“This special report, Zero-Emission Vehicles Factbook, November 2022, has been produced by BloombergNEF in cooperation with the Accelerating to Zero Coalition and in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, to coincide with COP27, the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Since the last Conference of the Parties in 2021, global momentum towards zero-emissions road transport has continued… Continue Reading

How the forest dies

Washington Post: “The Amazon is going dry. In one parched corner, a desperate wait for water is only just beginning. For years, scientists have been warning that the Amazon is speeding toward a tipping point — the moment when deforestation and global warming would trigger an irreversible cascade of climatic forces, killing large swaths of… Continue Reading

Asteroids! Solar Storms! Nukes! Climate Calamity! Killer Robots!

Washington Post: “A guide to contemporary doomsday scenarios — from the threats you know about to the ones you never think of…There are just so many things we don’t want to happen. There are so many potential doomsdays. This is not the cheeriest topic, to be sure, but it’s endlessly fascinating if you can stomach… Continue Reading

9 in 10 US counties have experienced a climate disaster in the last decade

Rebuild by Design: “Ninety percent of U.S. counties have experienced a federal climate disaster between 2011-2021, with some having as many as 12 disasters during that time. In 2021 alone, the U.S. experienced 20 separate billion-dollar climate disasters with over 688 direct or indirect fatalities. We can do better. Rebuild by Design worked with APTIM and… Continue Reading

USGS – New maps provide carbon stored in wetland soils across the country

USGS – “These datasets represent a revised national scale estimate of wetland soil carbon stock assessments by improving representation of soil organic carbon densities. Carbon storage in wetland soils can have physical influences on water flow, water retention, and biogeochemical cycles and thus are critical to water models that guide decisions that affect downstream users.… Continue Reading

TIME The Best Inventions of 2022

“Every year for over two decades, TIME editors have highlighted the 100 most impactful new products and ideas. This year, in a rapidly shifting world, innovation boomed. So in 2022, for the first time ever, we selected the year’s 200 Best Inventions. To compile the list, we solicited nominations from TIME’s editors and correspondents around… Continue Reading

Ocean plastics: How much do rich countries contribute by shipping their waste overseas?

Our World Data – Hannah Ritchi: “Many countries ship plastic waste overseas. How much of the world’s waste is traded, and how big is its role in the pollution of our oceans? Most of the plastic that enters the oceans from land comes from rivers in Asia. More than 80% of it.Only a small amount… Continue Reading

Climate TRACE

“Climate TRACE is a global non-profit coalition created to make meaningful climate action faster and easier by independently tracking greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with unprecedented detail and speed. We harness satellite imagery and other forms of remote sensing, artificial intelligence, and collective data science expertise to track human-caused GHG emissions with unprecedented detail and speed.… Continue Reading

National-scale maps of carbon stored in wetland soil across all interior and coastal settings were created from harmonized public datasets

USGS: “These datasets represent a revised national scale estimate of wetland soil carbon stock assessments by improving representation of soil organic carbon densities. Carbon storage in wetland soils can have physical influences on water flow, water retention, and biogeochemical cycles and thus are critical to water models that guide decisions that affect downstream users. The… Continue Reading