By Jenna McGuire
The United States has the resources and technology to shift away from fossil fuels and build an energy system entirely run on renewables, according to a new report released Thursday by Environment America Research & Policy Center and the Frontier Group.
The study, We Have the Power: Reaching America's Potential for Clean, Renewable Energy, finds that not only does the U.S currently have more than enough wind and solar resources to meet all of its energy needs, but renewable technologies are becoming more advanced, while costs are plummeting
The research concluded that U.S. solar energy resources have the potential to meet America's 2020 electricity demand more than 77 times over, and U.S. onshore and offshore wind resources could meet demand 11 times over.
"This report shows that between the sunshine and the wind, we have the potential to run our society on clean energy, today and in the future," said Susan Rakov, chair of Environment America Research & Policy Center's (EARPC) Clean Energy program
The analysis identifies four key strategies that are crucial to transforming the nation's energy system—building out out renewable energy, modernizing the grid, reducing and managing energy use, and replacing direct uses of fossil fuels with electricity to take advantage of clean technologies.
“We Have the Power” proposes four key strategies to transition our country’s energy system to 100 percent renewable… https://t.co/7WVL63MCbx— Environment America (@Environment America)1622744940.0
"How quickly America shifts toward wind and solar will be decided by how and when we lean into fully erecting the four pillars outlined in this report," said Emma Searson, 100% Renewable campaign director at EARPC. "Given the remarkable technological advances and progress we've made so far, we should feel confident in our ability to build each and every one of them."
Coal, oil, and gas are responsible for 80% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, hundreds of thousands of annual U.S deaths from air pollution, and widespread environmental destruction, according to the report.
The analysis highlights that a transition to emission-free energy would help alleviate some of America's most urgent environmental and public health challenges and help slow the acceleration of the climate crisis.
The report calls on state and federal lawmakers to make bold commitments to a 100% clean and renewable energy future and ensure those goals are accomplished through the backing of financial and regulatory policies.
"Time is of the essence," reads the report. "Policymakers must do all they can to accelerate a shift away from fossil fuels to an energy system in which the vast majority of our energy comes from renewable sources like the wind and sun."
Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.
The bipartisan legislation currently under Senate consideration falls far short of President Biden's commitment to transforming the fossil-fueled underpinnings of the U.S. economy, the AP reports.
The deal includes hundreds of billions in total to support climate resilience, electric grid updates, and harden infrastructure against cyberattacks and climate change — as well as more than half a trillion for new public works projects. It does not, however, establish a Clean Electricity Standard nor a Civilian Climate Corps and includes just $7.5 billion for EV charging stations.
Environmental advocates slammed the bill. "It is clear that the deal does not meet the moment on climate or justice," said Tiernan Sittenfeld, a senior vice president of the League of Conservation Voters. Others, like Janet Redman of Greenpeace USA, were pithier. "This looks like the Exxon Infrastructure Bill," she said. "An infrastructure bill that doesn't prevent a full-blown climate catastrophe by funding a swift transition to renewable energy would kill millions of Americans."
Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey said the bill was "a good start," adding Democrats would pass a separate $3.5 trillion package without GOP support to "deal with the climate crisis in the magnitude, scope and scale that's required."
As reported by The Associated Press:
The Senate voted, 66-28, Friday to advance the bill, but it's unclear if enough Republicans will eventually join Democrats to support final passage. Senate rules require 60 votes in the evenly split 50-50 chamber to advance the bill but a simple majority to pass it.
The measure also faces turbulence in the closely divided House, where progressives are pushing for increased spending on climate change and other issues and centrist lawmakers are wary of adding to the federal debt.
Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, called the Senate bill inadequate and pledged to push for changes in the House, which passed a separate, $715 billion transportation and water bill in early July. Transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.
DeFazio, the House bill's lead sponsor, said his bill "charts our path forward,″ adding that he is "fighting to make sure we enact a transformative bill that supports our recovery and combats the existential threat of climate change.″
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Solar energy has been among the fastest-growing sources of power generation in the U.S. in recent years, catapulting from 1.2 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of generation in 2010 to over 90.1 billion kWh in 2020. While that's still just a small slice of the overall energy mix (2% of all U.S. electricity in 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration), the rate of growth is accelerating. The EIA forecasts that by 2022, solar capacity installations will outpace wind capacity installations for the first time on record after wind turbines had a huge head start.
The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic downturn of 2020 led to equipment shortages and other hardships for the solar industry. However, forecasts show the industry is primed for a resurgence in 2021 and beyond. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, solar installations are ramping up at a record pace and experienced a 46% year-over-year increase compared with the first quarter of 2020.
As 2021 continues to look like a prime year for solar power in the United States, which states are leading the charge? We can look to the recently released U.S. Solar Market Insight Report® from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) for some answers.
Top 10 States for Solar Energy
The Solar Market Insight Report included a ranking of the top states across the country based on the total amount of solar electric capacity installed and in operation as of the end of the first quarter of 2021. To put it into context, SEIA figures also include the equivalent number of homes that can be powered by that solar capacity in the individual state.
Here are the current leaders for solar power in the U.S.:
|State||Cumulative Solar Capacity (Megawatts)||Equivalent Number of Homes Supplied by Solar Energy|
On this leaderboard, some states show up that would be expected — California has long been the solar king, and they don't call Florida the Sunshine State for nothing — while other states represent surprising emerging solar hotbeds. For example, you may be surprised to see some smaller, northeastern states like Massachusetts and New Jersey beating out the field. But these results go to show it's not just about land space and the natural sunshine; the policies and economics driving these installations are just as impactful.
2021 Top States for New Solar Installation
With the solar market really exploding in recent years, traditional solar stalwarts like Arizona and Nevada are being actively challenged by some emerging contenders.
Specifically looking at where solar installations were most active during the first quarter of 2021, the SEIA report finds the following were the top states for solar installations from January through March:
On top, Texas added 1,525 megawatts (MW) of capacity, which is equivalent to 45% of the capacity installed in the state during all of 2020 and represents 16% of the state's cumulative capacity to date. California added 563 MW of capacity, equivalent to 14% of the capacity installed in 2020 and 2% of the state's cumulative capacity. Florida added 525 MW of capacity, which is 19% of the capacity installed during 2020 and 7% of the state's total capacity.
Compare the above list with the top 5 states for solar installations for all of 2020:
- North Carolina
A few compelling trends become evident when looking at the above numbers. First, it's never too late to become a solar leader. While Florida is in the top five of cumulative capacity today, and given its sunny reputation that result may not seem surprising, the truth is that 47% of that capacity has been added since the beginning of 2020. In just over a years' time, Florida nearly doubled its total solar capacity.
Another important trend to recognize is that geography alone doesn't decide whether a state will be a solar leader. Mid-Atlantic states like Virginia and North Carolina or Midwestern states like Indiana wouldn't necessarily be the first most would guess as being solar powerhouses, but thanks to policies like North Carolina's generous Solar Property Tax Exemption, Virginia's allowance for net metering and Indiana's solar easement laws, residents of these states are enjoying solar power on their homes in record numbers.
Where Does Your State Rank for New Solar Installation?
So, are you living in a state that's leading the way on solar or one that has some ground to make up? Factors to consider when looking at why some states are making more progress than others will include the types of policies in place, the availability of rooftops on which solar can be installed, the appetite for new energy generation and even the state's seasonal solar irradiance.
Taking all of those factors into account, here's where each state stands in SEIA's recently published rankings:
Here's how each state's Q1 2021 ranking compares to how it ranked for total solar installations in 2020:
for Q1 2021
for Total 2020
|Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories||25||33|
Seeing some states jump up or down the list from one year to the next may seem drastic, but keep in mind that certain tax incentives expire, new policies come into play and other market forces affect local solar industries. That reality underscores the point that being a solar-leading state takes continued commitment, and doing so can happen at any point state leaders decide to truly embrace the solar industry.
The Future of Residential Solar
As the Solar Market Insight Report indicates, solar energy is a hot and growing market. To date, though, solar still only provides a fraction of the total energy generated in the U.S. While some customers, buildings and regions see much higher penetration of solar into their power mix on a micro level, there's much improvement still on the way, especially as dirtier energy sources like coal continue to retire.
The recent SEIA report shows that it's a constant push and pull as well, as residential solar installations in the second quarter of 2021 were down 8% from the fourth quarter of 2020 but up 11% from the first quarter of 2020. The fact remains, though, that residential solar had its largest first quarter on record and its second-largest quarter of all at the beginning of 2021. These results signal a growing solar market, especially in states like Florida, Arizona and Texas.
Additionally, customer appetite for residential solar is as strong as ever: 19% year-over-year growth is expected to get the residential market to a total of 3.8 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity by the end of 2021, a sum that would have been unthinkable just 10 years ago. Indeed, the future remains bright for residential solar.
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That's the warning from a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Monday, which analyzed how the world's reefs would fare under a low, medium and high emissions scenario.
"Our work highlights a grim picture for the future of coral reefs," study lead author and Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington marine biologist Christopher Cornwall told ABC News.
Scientists have long known that the climate crisis threatens coral reefs in two major ways. First, the increase of carbon dioxide in the ocean leads to a process called ocean acidification, which makes it harder for corals to form calcium carbonate skeletons, a process known as calcification. Secondly, warming ocean temperatures increase the risk of coral bleaching, when corals expel the algae that give them food and color. The warming can also interfere with the calcification process.
But there's more. A certain type of algae known as calcifying red algae, or coralline algae, acts as adhesive binding reefs together and can even form its own reefs, Cornwall explained in a Victoria University of Wellington press release.
"While corals are highly susceptible to ocean warming, coralline algae are more vulnerable to ocean acidification. Coral reef growth is also dictated by the removal of this calcium carbonate through either bioerosion — living organisms eating the reef — or the dissolution of sediments that help fill in the cracks between larger pieces of calcium carbonate," Cornwall explained. "Both processes are likely to accelerate under ocean acidification and warming. However, no one study had put these processes together quantitatively previously."
Monday's study sought to fill in this research gap by looking at calcification, bioerosion and sediment erosion rates for 233 areas on 183 reefs worldwide. Forty-nine percent of the reefs studied were in the Atlantic Ocean, 39 percent in the Indian Ocean and 11 percent in the Pacific Ocean. The researchers then used models to determine what would happen to the reefs in 2050 and 2100 based on low, medium or worst-case emissions scenarios.
The news is grim. By 2100, the rate of carbonate production on the reefs will decline by 76 percent under a low emissions scenario, 149 percent under a medium emissions scenario and 156 percent under a high emissions scenario, the study found.
While 63 percent of reefs would continue to grow under a low-emissions scenario by 2100, 94 percent of them would begin to decline as soon as 2050 in the worst-case scenario. Under both the medium and high emissions scenario, reef growth would not be able to keep pace with sea level rise by the end of the century.
This would be a devastating blow for the marine biodiversity and human livelihoods that reefs support, ABC News pointed out. Furthermore, the decline of reefs would deprive coastal areas from an important protection against rising sea levels and surges from more extreme storms.
"The only hope for coral reef ecosystems to remain as close as possible to what they are now is to quickly and drastically reduce our CO2 emissions," Cornwall told ABC News. "If not, they will be dramatically altered and cease their ecological benefits as hotspots of biodiversity, sources of food and tourism, and their provision of shoreline protection."
The research also looked at which reefs would be most vulnerable, and found that Atlantic Ocean reefs, which are already more damaged, would be worse off compared to Pacific Ocean reefs. The researchers also predicted that coral bleaching would be the lead cause of these declines.
"We are already observing global shifts in coral assemblages and severely reduced coral cover due to mass bleaching events. It is very unlikely corals will suddenly gain the heat tolerance required to resist these events as they become more frequent and intense," Cornwall said in the press release.
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China now emits more greenhouse gas pollution than the 37 member nations of the OECD combined, a new report from the Rhodium Group says.
China's climate pollution has increased dramatically in recent decades and its cumulative emissions since 1750 are still far smaller than the cumulative pollution emitted by OECD nations.
China now accounts for more than a quarter of global climate pollution, well over double the U.S., Earth's second-largest polluter, which accounts for 11% of global climate pollutants.
China's much larger population, however, means its per-capita emissions are still far lower than the U.S., which remains the world's worst polluter per-capita.
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By Chris McGreal
After a century of wielding extraordinary economic and political power, America's petroleum giants face a reckoning for driving the greatest existential threat of our lifetimes.
An unprecedented wave of lawsuits, filed by cities and states across the US, aim to hold the oil and gas industry to account for the environmental devastation caused by fossil fuels – and covering up what they knew along the way.
Coastal cities struggling to keep rising sea levels at bay, midwestern states watching "mega-rains" destroy crops and homes, and fishing communities losing catches to warming waters, are now demanding the oil conglomerates pay damages and take urgent action to reduce further harm from burning fossil fuels.
But, even more strikingly, the nearly two dozen lawsuits are underpinned by accusations that the industry severely aggravated the environmental crisis with a decades-long campaign of lies and deceit to suppress warnings from their own scientists about the impact of fossil fuels on the climate and dupe the American public.
The environmentalist Bill McKibben once characterized the fossil fuel industry's behavior as "the most consequential cover-up in US history". And now for the first time in decades, the lawsuits chart a path toward public accountability that climate activists say has the potential to rival big tobacco's downfall after it concealed the real dangers of smoking.
"We are at an inflection point," said Daniel Farber, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley and director of the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment.
"Things have to get worse for the oil companies," he added. "Even if they've got a pretty good chance of winning the litigation in places, the discovery of pretty clearcut wrong doing – that they knew their product was bad and they were lying to the public – really weakens the industry's ability to resist legislation and settlements."
For decades, the country's leading oil and gas companies have understood the science of climate change and the dangers posed by fossil fuels. Year after year, top executives heard it from their own scientists whose warnings were explicit and often dire.
In 1979, an Exxon study said that burning fossil fuels "will cause dramatic environmental effects" in the coming decades.
"The potential problem is great and urgent," it concluded.
But instead of heeding the evidence of the research they were funding, major oil firms worked together to bury the findings and manufacture a counter narrative to undermine the growing scientific consensus around climate science. The fossil fuel industry's campaign to create uncertainty paid off for decades by muddying public understanding of the growing dangers from global heating and stalling political action.
The urgency of the crisis is not in doubt. A draft United Nations report, leaked last week, warns that the consequences of the climate crisis, including rising seas, intense heat and ecosystem collapse, will fundamentally reshape life on Earth in the coming decades even if fossil fuel emissions are curbed.
To investigate the lengths of the oil and gas industry's deceptions – and the disastrous consequences for communities across the country – the Guardian is launching a year-long series tracking the unprecedented efforts to hold the fossil fuel industry to account.
The legal process is expected to take years. Cities in California filed the first lawsuits back in 2017, and they have been tied down by disputes over jurisdiction, with the oil companies fighting with limited success to get them moved from state to federal courts where they think the law is more favorable.
But climate activists see opportunities long before verdicts are rendered in the US. The legal process is expected to add to already damning revelations of the energy giants' closely held secrets. If history is a guide, those developments could in turn alter public opinion in favor of regulations that the oil and gas companies spent years fighting off.
A string of other recent victories for climate activists already points to a shift in the industry's power.
Last month, a Dutch court ordered Shell to cut its global carbon emissions by 45% by the end of the decade. The same day, in Houston, an activist hedge fund forced three new directors on to the board of the US's largest oil firm, ExxonMobil, to address climate issues. Investors at Chevron also voted to cut emissions from the petroleum products it sells.
Earlier this month, developers of the Keystone XL pipeline cancelled the project after more than a decade of unrelenting opposition over environmental concerns. And although a federal court last year threw out a lawsuit brought by 21 young Americans who say the US government violated their constitutional rights by exacerbating climate change, the Biden administration recently agreed to settlement talks in a symbolic gesture aimed to appease younger voters.
For all that, American lawyers say the legal reasoning behind foreign court judgments are unlikely to carry much weight in the US and domestic law is largely untested. In 2018, a federal court knocked back New York City's initial attempt to force big oil to cover the costs of the climate crisis by saying that its global nature requires a political, not legal, remedy.
Other regional lawsuits are inching their way through the courts. From Charleston, South Carolina, to Boulder, Colorado, and Maui, Hawaii, communities are seeking to force the industry to use its huge profits to pay for the damage and to oblige energy companies to treat the climate crisis for what it is – a global emergency.
Municipalities such as Imperial Beach, California – the poorest city in San Diego county with a budget less than Exxon chief executive's annual pay – faces rising waters on three sides without the necessary funding to build protective barriers. They claim oil companies created a "public nuisance" by fuelling the climate crisis. They seek to recover the cost of repairing the damage and constructing defences.
The public nuisance claim, also pursued by Honolulu, San Francisco and Rhode Island, follows a legal strategy with a record of success in other types of litigation. In 2019, Oklahoma's attorney general won compensation of nearly half a billion dollars against the pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson over its false marketing of powerful prescription painkillers on the grounds it created a public nuisance by contributing to the opioid epidemic in the state.
Other climate lawsuits, including one filed in Minnesota, allege the oil firms' campaigns of deception and denial about the climate crisis amount to fraud. Minnesota is suing Exxon, Koch Industries and an industry trade group for breaches of state law for deceptive trade practices, false advertising and consumer fraud over what the lawsuit characterises as distortions and lies about climate science.
The midwestern state, which has seen temperatures rise faster than the US and global averages, said scorching temperatures and "mega-rains" have devastated farming and flooded people out of their homes, with low-income and minority families most at risk.
Minnesota's attorney general, Keith Ellison, claims in his lawsuit that for years Exxon orchestrated a campaign to bury the evidence of environmental damage caused by burning fossil fuels "with disturbing success".
"Defendants spent millions on advertising and public relations because they understood that an accurate understanding of climate change would affect their ability to continue to earn profits by conducting business as usual," Ellison said in his lawsuit.
Farber said cases rooted in claims that the petroleum industry lied have the most promising chance of success.
"To the extent the plaintiffs can point to misconduct, like telling everybody there's no such thing as climate change when your scientists have told you the opposite, that might give the courts a greater feeling of comfort that they're not trying to take over the US energy system," he said.
Fighting the Facts
Almost all the lawsuits draw on the oil industry's own records as the foundation for claims that it covered up the growing threat to life caused by its products.
Shell, like other oil companies, had decades to prepare for those consequences after it was forewarned by its own research. In 1958, one of its executives, Charles Jones, presented a paper to the industry's trade group, the American Petroleum Institute (API), warning about increased carbon emissions from car exhaust. Other research followed through the 1960s, leading a White House advisory committee to express concern at "measurable and perhaps marked changes in climate" by 2000.
API's own reports flagged up "significant temperature changes" by the end of the twentieth century.
The largest oil company in the US, Exxon, was hearing the same from its researchers.
Year after year, Exxon scientists recorded the evidence about the dangers of burning fossil fuels. In 1978, its science adviser, James Black, warned that there was a "window of five to ten years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategy might become critical".
Exxon set up equipment on a supertanker, the Esso Atlantic, to monitor carbon dioxide in seawater and the air. In 1982, the company's scientists drew up a graph accurately plotting an increase in the globe's temperature to date.
"The 1980s revealed an established consensus among scientists," the Minnesota lawsuit against Exxon says. "A 1982 internal Exxon document … explicitly declares that the science was 'unanimous' and that climate change would 'bring about significant changes in the earth's climate'."
Then the monitoring on the Esso Atlantic was suddenly called off and other research downgraded.
What followed was what Naomi Oreskes, co-author of the report America Misled, called a "systematic, organised campaign by Exxon and other oil companies to sow doubt about the science and prevent meaningful action".
The report accused the energy companies of not only polluting the air but also "the information landscape" by replicating the cigarette makers' playbook of cherry-picking data, using fake experts and promoting conspiracy theories to attack a growing scientific consensus.
Many of the lawsuits draw on a raft of Exxon documents held at the University of Texas, and uncovered by the Columbia Journalism School and the Los Angeles Times in 2015.
Among them is a 1988 Exxon memo laying out a strategy to push for a "balanced scientific approach", which meant giving equal weight to hard evidence and climate change denialism. That move bore fruit in parts of the media into the 2000s as the oil industry repositioned global heating as theory, not fact, contributing to the most deep-rooted climate denialism in any developed country.
The company placed advertisements in major American newspapers to sow doubt. One in the New York Times in 2000, under the headline "Unsettled Science", compared climate data to changing weather forecasts. It claimed scientists were divided, when an overwhelming consensus already backed the evidence of a growing climate crisis, and said that the supposed doubts meant it was too soon to act.
Exxon's chairman and chief executive, Lee Raymond, told industry executives in 1996 that "scientific evidence remains inconclusive as to whether human activities affect global climate".
"It's a long and dangerous leap to conclude that we should, therefore, cut fossil fuel use," he said.
Documents show that his company's scientists were telling Exxon's management that the real danger lay in the failure to do exactly that.
In 2019, Martin Hoffert, a professor of physics at New York University, told a congressional hearing that as a consultant to Exxon on climate modelling in the 1980s, he worked on eight scientific papers for the company that showed fossil fuel burning was "increasingly having a perceptible influence on Earth's climate".
Hoffert said he "hoped that the work would help to persuade Exxon to invest in developing energy solutions the world needed". That was not the result.
"Exxon was publicly promoting views that its own scientists knew were wrong, and we knew that because we were the major group working on this. This was immoral and has greatly set back efforts to address climate change," said Hoffert.
"They deliberately created doubt when internal research confirmed how serious a threat it was. As a result, in my opinion, homes and livelihoods will likely be destroyed and lives lost."
Exxon worked alongside Chevron, Shell, BP and smaller oil firms to shift attention away from the growing climate crisis. They funded the industry's trade body, API, as it drew up a multimillion-dollar plan to ensure that "climate change becomes a non- issue" through disinformation. The plan said "victory will be achieved" when "recognition of uncertainties become part of the 'conventional wisdom'".
The fossil fuel industry also used its considerable resources to pour billions of dollars into political lobbying to block unfavourable laws and to fund front organisations with neutral and scientific-sounding names, such as the Global Climate Coalition (GCC). In 2001, the US state department told the GCC that President George W Bush rejected the Kyoto protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions "in part, based on input from you".
Exxon alone has funded more than 40 groups to deny climate science, including the George C Marshall Institute, which one lawsuit claims orchestrated a "sham petition" denying manmade global climate change. It was later denounced by the National Academy of Science as "a deliberate attempt to mislead scientists".
Drilling DownTo Sharon Eubanks the conspiracy to deny science sounded very familiar. From 2000, she led the US justice department's legal team against nine tobacco firms in one of the largest civil cases filed under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (Rico) Act, which was designed to combat organised crime.
In 2006, a federal judge found that the industry had spent decades committing a huge fraud on the American public by lying about the dangers of smoking and pushing cigarettes to young people.
Eubanks said that when she looked at the fossil fuel industry's strategy, she immediately recognised big tobacco's playbook.
"Big oil was engaged in exactly the same type of behaviour that the tobacco companies engaged in and were found liable for fraud on a massive scale," said Eubanks. "The cover-up, the denial of the problem, the funding of scientists to question the science. The same pattern. And some of the same lawyers represent both tobacco and big oil."
The danger for the fossil fuel industry is that the parallels do not end there.
The legal process is likely to oblige the oil conglomerates to turn over years of internal communications revealing what they knew about climate change, when and how they responded. Given what has already come out from Exxon, they are unlikely to help the industry's case.
Eubanks, who is now advising attorneys general and others suing the oil industry, said a turning point in her action against big tobacco came with the discovery of internal company memos in a state case in Minnesota. They included language that talked about recruiting young people as "replacement smokers" for those who died from cigarettes.
"I think the public was particularly stunned by some of the content of the documents and the talk about the need for bigger bags to take home all the money they were going to make from getting people to smoke," said Eubanks.
The exposure of the tobacco companies' internal communications shifted the public mood and the politics, helping to open the door to legislation to curb smoking that the industry had been successfully resisting for decades.
Farber, the Berkeley law professor, said the discovery process carries a similar danger for the oil companies because it is likely to expose yet more evidence that they set out to deceive. He said that will undercut any attempt by the energy giants to claim in court that they were ignorant of the damage they were causing.
Farber said it will also be difficult for the oil industry to resist the weight of US lawsuits, shareholder activism and shifting public and political opinion. "It might push them towards settlement or supporting legislation that releases some from liability in return for some major concessions such as a large tax to finance responses to climate change."
The alternative, said Farber, is to take their chance on judges and juries who may be increasingly inclined to take the climate crisis seriously.
"They may think this is an emergency that requires a response. That the oil companies should be held responsible for the harm they've caused and that could be very expensive," he said. "If they lose, it's catastrophic ultimately."
This story originally appeared in The Guardian and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.
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The research, published in Geophysical Research Letters Tuesday, involves Earth's Energy Imbalance, or the difference between the heat our planet absorbs from the sun, and the thermal infrared radiation it sends back into space. If the Earth absorbs more heat than it emits, that means it has a positive energy balance. The study found that not only is the current energy balance positive, it has essentially doubled in the last 14 years, as NASA explained.
"The magnitude of the increase is unprecedented," lead author and principal investigator for CERES at NASA's Langley Research Center Norman Loeb told NASA.
The researchers based their findings on two data sets using measurements taken between 2005 and 2019:
- Skies: NASA's Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) satellites measure how much energy enters and leaves the planet.
- Seas: The Argo network of ocean floats measure how much the sea is heating up. Since 90 percent of the extra heat entering Earth is absorbed by the ocean, this is a useful data set.
"The two very independent ways of looking at changes in Earth's energy imbalance are in really, really good agreement, and they're both showing this very large trend, which gives us a lot of confidence that what we're seeing is a real phenomenon and not just an instrumental artifact, " Loeb explained to NASA. "The trends we found were quite alarming in a sense."
Earth's energy balance isn't actually off by that much, according to an E&E News article published by Scientific American. In fact, the difference between energy in and energy out stands at around 0.3 percent. But it's enough that Earth has heated by almost two degrees Fahrenheit in the last 150 years.
The researchers also looked at the cause of the rising imbalance. Much of it, indeed, is down to greenhouse gas emissions. But some of it is caused by feedback loops set in motion by the excess heat. For one thing, warmer temperatures mean less sea ice, and less sea ice means that more heat is absorbed by the darker ocean water. Furthermore, changes in cloud cover have also led to more heat staying on Earth.
Finally, there are some natural variations that contribute to the rising imbalance. Notably the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) switched from a cool to a warm phase from 2014 to 2020, NASA explained.
Now, Loeb says that scientists can use this data to confirm their models predicting how the climate will alter if Earth's energy imbalance continues to hike.
"My hope is this study will inspire people in the modeling community to... test the models in innovative ways that will enable us to say something more about what's gonna happen in the future," Loeb told E&E News. "There's more work to be done on the modeling side to unscramble this a little further."
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Beef cattle have an outsized environmental impact because they belch methane, a potent greenhouse gas. In total, they account for 3.7 percent of the United States' total greenhouse gas emissions, and nearly half of all agricultural emissions, Inside Climate News reported. To replace beef, some environmentalists and scientists have suggested choosing chicken instead, which produces significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions.
But a new study finds that consuming "less-carbon polluting meats," like chicken or fish, may not be a sustainable replacement to beef and instead may further add to its high emissions, The Academic Times reported.
The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Sustainability, examined meat consumption data between 1961-2013 -- a period when chicken consumption grew five-fold per capita and beef consumption almost stayed the same.
Richard York, a sociologist at the University of Oregon and the study's lead author, said, "If you have increases in the production of poultry and fish, it doesn't tend to compete with or suppress other meat source consumption," according to the University of Oregon. "It would be great if more poultry and fish production and consumption would reduce that of beef, but that doesn't seem to be the case."
In a 2012 study, York found that expanding renewable energy did not reduce fossil fuel emissions, but increased overall energy consumption. He called this phenomenon the "displacement paradox" and wondered if it could be applied to meat consumption patterns, The Academic Times reported.
"Adding more wind doesn't really result in using less coal. If we use more energy sources, we use more energy. Likewise, when additional meat choices are offered, that additional variety tends to, more simply, increase overall meat consumption," York explained, according to the University of Oregon.
Studies show that beef production creates about four to eight times the emissions of pork, chicken or egg production per gram of protein, according to The New York Times. Although emitting much less, chicken production still has a significant greenhouse gas impact.
Greenhouse gas emissions per serving of poultry, for example, are 11 times higher than those of one serving of beans, Leah Garcés, the president of Mercy For Animals wrote in Vox – "so swapping beef with chicken is akin to swapping a Hummer with a Ford F-150, not a Prius." Global poultry production is also rising globally. Between 1990 and 2013, it increased by 165 percent, while global beef production only increased by 23 percent, Garcés wrote.
While scientists admit they don't have a silver bullet solution to limiting global warming below the Paris agreement's target of 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius, they say curbing emissions from food production is a necessary part of the equation, calling it a "dark horse of climate change," The New York Times reported.
York suggests policymakers concentrate on supply chains, looking at the fossil fuel and meat industries side-by-side. "Rather than simply increasing renewable energy production, we need to actively suppress fossil fuel production instead of just giving more options," York said. "With meats, we may need to address the level of subsidies given for meat consumption to realize a desired reduction in meat production."
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In a first-of-its-kind ruling, a court of law has held a private company responsible for its contributions to the climate crisis.
"This is a turning point in history," Roger Cox, a lawyer for Friends of the Earth Netherlands, said in a press release. "This case is unique because it is the first time a judge has ordered a large polluting company to comply with the Paris Climate Agreement. This ruling may also have major consequences for other big polluters."
Tears. of. joy. 🚨WE WON! 🚨 The Dutch court just ruled Shell must cut its CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030 (relative t… https://t.co/vg8JPZIuU1— Friends of the Earth Europe🌍 #BlackLivesMatter (@Friends of the Earth Europe🌍 #BlackLivesMatter)1622037216.0
The lawsuit was first announced in 2018 by Friends of the Earth Netherlands (Milieudefensie). The group was joined in the case by six other organizations and 17,000 Dutch citizens. The plaintiffs successfully argued that Shell must abide by the Paris agreement, an international accord with a goal of limiting emissions to "well below" two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as BBC News pointed out. The ruling sends a message to companies that they may not only have to abide by national laws, but international policy as well.
Shell, for its part, said it would appeal the decision and argued that it had already taken internal steps to lower its emissions.
"Urgent action is needed on climate change which is why we have accelerated our efforts to become a net-zero emissions energy company by 2050, in step with society, with short-term targets to track our progress," a Shell spokesperson said in a statement reported by The Guardian. "We are investing billions of dollars in low-carbon energy, including electric vehicle charging, hydrogen, renewables and biofuels. We want to grow demand for these products and scale up our new energy businesses even more quickly. We will continue to focus on these efforts and fully expect to appeal today's disappointing court decision."
While the court did acknowledge Shell's climate commitments, it argued that they were not "concrete" and therefore ordered the Dutch-Anglo company to reduce its emissions to 45 percent of 2019 levels by 2030. It also said the company must move to do so immediately, and that it was responsible for the emissions of both its customers and suppliers, as Friends of the Earth pointed out.
Specifically, the court ruled that climate inaction on Shell's part violated the rights to life and family life as outlined by the European Convention on Human Rights, according to The Guardian.
Shell was named the ninth greatest polluter in the world between 1988 and 2015 by the Carbon Majors database. It is currently responsible for around one percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Advocates further produced documents in court showing that the company had known about climate change since the 1950s and about the severity of its consequences since 1986.
This is not the first time that a Dutch court has made a historic climate ruling. In 2019, the country's Supreme Court upheld a 2015 ruling that the country must reduce emissions by at least 25 percent of 1990 levels by 2020, according to The AP.
However, activists say the precedent sent by today's ruling could extend beyond one country.
"Our hope is that this verdict will trigger a wave of climate litigation against big polluters, to force them to stop extracting and burning fossil fuels," Sara Shaw from Friends of the Earth International said in the press release. "This result is a win for communities in the global South who face devastating climate impacts now."
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A new study is shedding light on what lies in the deep.
This first-ever deep-sea survey of both ends of the Salas y Gómez and Nazca ridges has revealed unique and fragile species. It also spurred a call for the protection of deep-sea habitats.
Using baited underwater camera systems, scientists targeted deep-sea communities at depths down to 2,400 meters, said Daniel Wagner, ocean science technical advisor for Conservation International and the study's co-author. They focused on seamounts located on the two ridges. The ridges are adjacent, underwater mountain chains that stretch across 2,900 kilometers in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, between Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and the Peruvian Coast.
Researchers recorded over 120 species along the seafloor — including corals, sponges, shrimp, sharks, fishes, eels and more. The location actually has "significant" marine biodiversity and one of the highest rates of unique species on Earth, a Conservation International press release said. According to the organization, that makes these ridges one of the most ecologically important areas on the planet, and there are still deeper waters in this remote region to explore.
Wagner explained why these underwater mountain ranges are so diverse and what is it about the geography of the area that allows life to flourish.
"Despite its geographic proximity to the South American continent, the biodiversity of the Salas y Gómez and Nazca ridges is isolated from South America by the Humboldt Current System and the Atacama Trench, creating a very unique marine fauna," he said. "For many groups of organisms, nearly half the species found in this region live nowhere else on our planet. This makes the region a top priority for conservation globally since if we lose their habitats and species, they will essentially be lost from our entire planet."
The ocean waters in this region are also uniquely clear — among some of the clearest in the world. This allows sunlight to reach greater depths than in other parts of the ocean, perhaps supporting more deep-sea corals and other photosynthetic animals, Wagner said. Unrelated recent scientific explorations of seamounts on the Salas y Gómez and Nazca ridges indicate photosynthetic marine communities in this region can occur below 300 meters depth, one of the deepest recorded on Earth, Wagner shared.
Wagner also called many of the species found "particularly fragile." He offered deep-sea corals and sponges as an example because they are slow-growing and long-lived. As a result, he told EcoWatch, "if their habitats are disturbed, it takes these species a very long time to recover, if they can recover at all."
"The Salas y Gómez and Nazca ridges are one of the most unique biodiversity hotspots on Earth, and we've only just begun to explore it," Alan Friedlander, lead author of the study and chief scientist for National Geographic Pristine Seas, said in the press release. "This region needs to be protected using the best available conservation measures if we hope to preserve its extraordinarily unique biodiversity."
Currently, the biggest threat to the region is a jurisdictional issue. Over 73 percent of the Salas y Gómez and Nazca ridges lie in areas beyond any national jurisdiction: they lie in the high seas, where they are unprotected and under threat from overfishing, plastic pollution, climate change, and potential deep-sea mining in the near future, Wagner said.
Luckily, the remoteness of the region has protected it from many human impacts so far. Scientists worry that future climate change impacts in the region will be substantial. They also fear that extractive and destructive practices will continue unregulated on the high seas.
Wagner recommended the below actions to conserve this unique, biodiverse area:
- Closing this region to fishing activities regulated by the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission.
- Closing this region to seabed mining activities regulated by the International Seabed Authority.
- Establishing a high seas marine protected area in this region once the United Nations Agreement on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction is finalized and comes into force.
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions globally to offer these special places the best chance of thriving in the future.
Other places like these ridges remain unexplored. In fact, according to Wagner, the deep sea (200 meters and below) covers over 95 percent of the volume that is inhabitable to life, encompasses the largest portion of our planet and harbors extraordinary biodiversity, Wagner said. He implored the global community to protect the few relatively pristine places that remain — including deep-sea habitats — for the health of the planet and its people.
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For those looking for a quick and convenient way to eat delicious, hearty meals with little to no hassle, there are plenty of meal kit delivery services to choose from. But out of all of the brands available, which is the best meal delivery service for the environment? We review the top eco-friendly meal kit services and discuss what makes a meal delivery service sustainable.
We've all seen the overwhelming number of meal kits promoted online, but many consumers are left wondering if these delivery services are really worth the purchase. Despite all the hype, these programs can be beneficial for a number of reasons, including their environmental impact, which you can read more about below our reviews.
Each kit comes with pre-portioned packets of produce, meat, or fish if requested, and all of the spices and seasonings you need to complete a chef-inspired dish at home. We've reviewed several leading meal kit delivery brands like Sunbasket, Freshly, and Purple Carrot, plus the best vegetarian meal delivery services, that promote their eco-friendly approach. Here is our list of the best eco-friendly meal delivery services.
Our Picks for the Top Eco-Friendly Meal Kits
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Best Overall - Sunbasket
- Best Plant-Based - Purple Carrot
- Best Keto & Paleo - Snap Kitchen
- Best "No-Cooking" - Splendid Spoon
- Best for Giving Back - Everytable
- Best for Snacks - Nature Box
- Best for Desserts - Love + Chew
How We Reviewed Each Meal Delivery Service
To create our list, we looked at each meal kit delivery service based on their food options, ingredient sourcing, packaging, and customer reviews to find the services we think are best for the conscious consumer.
- Dietary options - For the actual meals we considered both the quality and variety of the recipes and whether they offered vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options.
- Ingredients - We then examined how they sourced their ingredients, whether they were organic, non-GMO, and locally grown. We looked for important eco-friendly labels from authorities like the USDA, Non-GMO Project, and the Marine Stewardship Council.
- Packaging - An important component of our review was also the packaging for each meal, how much was recyclable or biodegradable, and whether the brand used recycled materials in their packaging.
- Customer reviews - Finally, we looked at customer reviews to see what users liked or didn't like about each service.
The 7 Best Eco-Friendly Meal Kit Services
Prices shown are starting price per serving/meal unless otherwise noted.
Best Overall: Sunbasket
Sunbasket is our favorite organic meal kit brand. Sun Basket delivers a box of 100% organic produce, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat, and farm-fresh eggs. Their approach to sourcing wild seafood was named Best Choice or Good Alternative by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® Program.
Why buy: Sun Basket aims to support farmers who push for sustainable water management and crop rotations, as well as ranchers and fisherman who treat the planet with respect. Read our full Sunbasket review to learn more about the brand's sustainability efforts.
Best Plant-Based: Purple Carrot
Purple Carrot offers all plant-based meal kits in a variety of tasty menu items. There's even a black bean burger if you want to prepare the vegan-skeptic member of your family a familiar plate. They make eating more plant-based meals easy and delicious.
Why buy: Purple Carrot meal kits, in many ways, support the idea that many small, smart choices can add up to a big impact. According to researchers, you could cut the carbon footprint of your diet by 60% by eating plant-based meals for two-thirds of your diet.
Best for Keto & Paleo: Snap Kitchen
Snap Kitchen is all about delivering clean, delicious, and sustainably-sourced meals that are ready to eat at affordable prices. They craft a variety of keto-friendly, paleo, low-carb, and Whole 30 meals that make it easy for people with busy schedules to eat healthier.
Why buy: We like that Snap Kitchen offers so many different dietary options for their prepared meals. Plus, their food is always free from hormones, preservatives, antibiotics, gluten, and artificial sweeteners.
Best "No Cooking": Splendid Spoon
Splendid Spoon offers plant-based smoothies, grain bowls, soups, and noodle bowls that are ready-to-eat and made with real ingredients. Their smoothies are a great option for when you are on the go, and the grain bowls, soups, and noodle dishes can help you add hearty, plant-based meals to your routine.
Why buy: We love that Splendid Spoon offers so many different plant-based meal options, especially for those who don't like to cook. Plus, they have a real commitment to sustainability, and their packaging is 100% recyclable.
Best for Giving Back: Everytable
Everytable is a meal delivery service with a purpose. Their goal is to help make nutritious, delicious, chef-prepared meals available to everyone in order to help build a more just food system. They offer a huge variety of hot plates, salads, wraps, snacks, breakfast foods, and more.
Why buy: We love that Everytable is committed to making good food available to underserved communities at fast food prices. These ready-to-eat meals offer a delicious way to do good in the community. The only drawback is that they are only available in Los Angeles at the moment.
Best for Snacks: NatureBox
NatureBox is all about creating healthier snack options that taste great and are actually good for you. Their snacks are made without high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, MSG, and contain less than 10 grams of sugar per serving. You can order specific snack products or get boxes that contain a variety of delicious snack options.
Why buy: We like NatureBox because they make it easy to enjoy healthier snacks at home or at the office. Choose from foods like popcorn, cookies, dried fruit, chips, crackers, nuts, jerky, and breakfast items like oatmeals. The price shown is for one box.
Best for Desserts: Love + Chew
The superfood cookies from Love + Chew are so much more than a sweet treat. They include 7 grams of protein and are made with clean label ingredients like almonds, real fruit, chia seeds, Fair Trade dark chocolate chips, and sea salt. Enjoy eating a dessert that's good for you with these vegan and gluten-free super cookies.
Why buy: We love that Love + Chew superfood cookies pack so much good stuff into each delicious cookie. You can join the Cookie Club to get regular deliveries of your favorites. The brand is also AAPI/Women-owned and donates a portion of all profits to Oasis for Girls, a San Francisco-based nonprofit for young girls. The price shown is for one box.
Are Meal Kits Really Sustainable?
Whether meal kits are really sustainable depends on how you define sustainability. While they produce more waste, they have lower greenhouse gas emissions and result in less food waste compared to grocery store meals.
Both a 2017 study out of the University of Texas at Austin and a 2019 study published in the journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling found that meal kits are more sustainable than purchasing ingredients from a grocery store for the following reasons:
- On average, meal kits produce 33% lower greenhouse gas emissions than grocery store meals.
- The pre-portioned ingredients in meal kits lead to less food loss and waste.
- Meal kits have lower last-mile transportation emissions than grocery store meals.
- The ice packs used in meal kit packages present an average emissions decrease versus retail refrigeration.
Now, if you plan your meals out each week, use all of the ingredients you intend to, compost what you don't use, and buy locally from a farmers market or other community shop, meal kits will likely be a step backward in terms of your food-related sustainability.
The studies also mentioned that meal kits produce more packaging waste than grocery store meals — UT Austin estimated an average of 3.7 more pounds of packaging material per meal. Because meal kits come in cardboard boxes and ship ingredients in small packages (for example, if you need a tablespoon of pine nuts for your recipe, they'll likely come pre-portioned a small plastic sleeve), there's much more plastic waste produced. One study found that "disposable packaging can represent over 50% of per-meal energy use for meal-kits."
Some of these items can be repurposed, such as the tiny glass jars that spices and condiments come in, which can be used for travel, crafting, or storing small objects. Others can be washed and recycled, depending on your local recycling guidelines. But most of the waste will end up in a landfill.
So, it's up to you whether you think the pros of lower carbon emissions outweigh the cons of more plastic waste.
Getting Started with a Meal Delivery Service
With so much variety, selecting a meal delivery service can turn into a stressful endeavor. Additionally, brands like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Home Chef, and Daily Harvest are options that might try to win you over, but they may not have as sustainable methods as some of the options listed above.
Although, the sheer number of meal kit options can also work to your advantage. These companies are competing for customers and often offer sign-up specials and discounts to get you started. When shopping for a subscription service, try multiple options, and take advantage of these deals. With many programs, you have the freedom to change or cancel your subscription, so you can try a few different options to find one that fits your taste and your budget. We also recommend that you compare your per-meal cost to what you might spend on dinners at the grocery store to maximize your savings.
If you give one of these meal kits a try, let us know what you think. We'll update this list regularly as we get feedback from readers and add additional sustainability notes as we dive deeper into new services.
Melena Gurganus is passionate health and wellness and her writing aims to help others find products they can trust. Her work has been featured in publications such as Health, Shape, Huffington Post, Cannabis Business Times, and Bustle.
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The research, published in Science Advances Friday, found that the vulnerable glacier had sped up by 12 percent over the last three years as the ice shelf holding it in place breaks up. This finding could accelerate the timeline for when the entire glacier collapses into the sea, and underscores the urgency of acting to combat the climate crisis.
"These science results continue to highlight the vulnerability of Antarctica, a major reservoir for potential sea level rise," Twila Moon, a National Snow and Ice Data scientist who wasn't part of the research, told The AP. "Again and again, other research has confirmed how Antarctica evolves in the future will depend on human greenhouse gas emissions."
The Pine Island Glacier is one of two Antarctic glaciers that most concerns scientists. It and the Thwaites Glacier sit side-by-side in western Antarctica, and keep the rest of the region's ice in check.
If they both collapsed, global sea levels would rise by several feet within a few centuries, a University of Washington (UW) press release explained. The Pine Island Glacier on its own contains enough ice to bump sea levels up by 1.6 feet if it melted. And it is already having an impact. It raises sea levels by a sixth of a millimeter each year and, according to The AP, accounts for about 25 percent of Antarctica's total ice loss.
But the glacier is kept from retreating further by its ice shelf, which acts like a flying buttress on a cathedral, containing its mass, the press release explained. That is why Friday's study is concerning. It analyzed satellite images to show that the ice shelf lost a fifth of its area between 2017 and 2020, and retreated by 19 kilometers (approximately 12 miles) during that time, the study authors wrote.
The images, recorded by the European Space Agency's Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, were taken every 12 days between 2015 and 2017, and every six days between 2017 and the present. They revealed that the ice shelf lost most of its mass in three big breakages, calving icebergs more than five miles long by 22 miles wide, according to The AP.
The study also looked at the relationship between the breakup of the ice shelf and the retreat of the glacier, and found that the glacier's movements were directly related to the ice shelf's deterioration.
"The recent changes in speed are not due to melt-driven thinning; instead they're due to the loss of the outer part of the ice shelf," study lead author and UW glaciologist Ian Joughin said in the press release.
All of this means that the shelf and the glacier could both collapse much sooner than previously anticipated.
"It's not at all inconceivable to say the rest of the ice shelf could be gone in a decade," Joughin told The Washington Post. "It's a long shot. But it's not that big a long shot."
In Today's Eco Update
- Keystone XL is dead.
- Revived Siberian microorganism.
- The Big Con.
- Record CO2 emissions.
- Dr. Bronner's chocolate.
– summaries below written by Angely Mercado
"The Company will continue to coordinate with regulators, stakeholders and Indigenous groups to meet its environmental and regulatory commitments and ensure a safe termination of and exit from the Project," the company wrote.
The news was met with jubilation from environmental and Indigenous groups who had spent years battling the project over concerns it would worsen the climate crisis and harm the ecosystems and communities along its route.
24,000-Year-Old Microorganism Revived From Permafrost
Scientists in Russia have revived a bdelloid rotifer — a multicellular microorganism found in wet environments — after the invertebrate spent 24,000 years frozen 11 feet beneath the Siberian permafrost.
According to a study published in Current Biology, research has suggested these tiny creatures can slow their metabolisms down to almost stagnant and survive frozen for up to 10 years. Scientists from the Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science found that rotifers can survive for much longer. The 24,000-year-old rotifer was able to reproduce and feed after being thawed.
Report Details Fossil Fuel Industry's Deceptive 'Net Zero' Strategy
A new report published by a trio of progressive advocacy groups unveiled the so called "net zero" climate pledges, which are often touted by corporations and governments as solutions to the climate emergency. The report's authors argued that it's simply a form of greenwashing that should be eschewed in favor of Real Zero policies based on meaningful, near-term commitments to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.
The report, The Big Con: How Big Polluters Are Advancing a "Net Zero" Climate Agenda to Delay, Deceive, and Deny, was published by Corporate Accountability, the Global Forest Coalition, and Friends of the Earth International, and is endorsed by more than 60 environmental organizations.
CO2 Reaches Its Highest Level in Human History
Last month, EcoWatch reported that atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels this year were expected to climb to beyond 2019 levels, despite falling during the pandemic. Two reports released earlier this week detailed that CO2 levels have indeed spiked, and that the annual peak reached 419 parts per million (PPM) in May, the highest level in human history.
Researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who published the reports, have tracked atmospheric CO2 for more than 60 years. But using other data, researchers were able to estimate that CO2 levels haven't been this high on Earth in more than 4 million years.
Dr. Bronner's to Launch Vegan, Organic Chocolate Bars
Dr. Bronner's, a popular natural soap brand, is releasing Dr. Bronner's Magic All-One Chocolate this Aug. 1 and will sell its product online by the fall. The dairy-free chocolate will come in six different flavors: roasted whole hazelnuts, crunchy hazelnut butter, salted whole almonds, salted almond butter, salted dark chocolate and smooth coconut praline. The bars will be made from cocoa grown through regenerative organic practices, and are made with lower-glycemic coconut sugar.
The push to produce chocolate began when Dr. Bronner's learned that the Ghanian farmers who supply its Regenerative Organic Certified Serendipalm also grow cocoa and decided to expand the partnership. The company's farming partners use dynamic agroforestry, a farming method used by Indigenous peoples of Latin America. Dynamic agroforestry creates "forest-like systems with high biomass production," according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.