Developing nations to study ways to dim sunshine, slow warming

Scientists in developing nations plan to step up research into dimming sunshine to curb climate change, hoping to judge if a man-made chemical sunshade would be less risky than a harmful rise in global temperatures.


The existential trap of solar geoengineering

With so much at risk from climate change, scientists in developing nations understandably argue they must be at the table as these technologies are explored for their benefits and costs (see commentary in Nature). This story from Reuters explores an initiative, the Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative (SRMGI.org) that is facilitating developing nation engagement in assessing solar geoengineering.

Let's hope their deliberations encompass the existential threat these technologies pose: One they are employed, they give excuses to avoid reducing carbon emissions. Yet once they are deployed, what happens if major societal disruptions bring them to a halt (for example, if financial collapse means there are no longer resources to pay for them)? The carbon emissions that were permitted to enter the atmosphere because of the promise of solar geoengineering will likely rapidly assert their impact on global temperatures. Any assessment of solar geoengineering must examine this endgame.

There are other obvious risks, most especially that solar geoengineering to lessen temperature increases does nothing to prevent further accumulation of carbon dioxide in the oceans and fresh water bodies, exacerbating acidification.

See the full story in Reuters.

insideclimatenews.org

Big banks make a dangerous bet on the world's growing demand for food

While banks and asset managers are promising to divest from fossil fuels, they are expanding investments in high-carbon foods and commodities tied to deforestation.

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www.post-gazette.com

In call for environmental justice, Biden's climate agenda reaches into neighborhoods

Mr. Biden's executive order to emphasize environmental justice — beyond his orders to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline and block new oil and gas drilling leases on federal lands — could reverberate in the Pittsburgh region.

www.alleghenyfront.org

Coal, gas given center stage by Pennsylvania lawmakers, even Democrats

At recent hearings in Harrisburg, fossil fuel reps told lawmakers that coal and gas are part of the climate solution. Some Democrats agree.
www.alleghenyfront.org

Groups want fracking waste included in health study

Fracking waste can be radioactive. Advocates want it included in a pair of state-sponsored studies into fracking and childhood cancer, asthma, and poor birth outcomes.

First Person: Melissa Burnett, community forestry fellow, helps make Pittsburgh greener

"A lot of Black communities don't really have time or the money to prioritize getting trees. And then other communities have an abundance of trees and they're large and big and healthy.”

Can the market save the planet? FedEx is the latest brand-name firm to say it’s trying.

FedEx aims at becoming carbon neutral by 2040. It will invest $2 billion to start buying electric vehicles for its fleet of 180,000 vehicles and it will donate $100 million to the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture.

www.nytimes.com

Joe Roman: America’s new whale is now at extinction's doorstep

Just 50 or so remain, eking it out in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast.