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.

5% of Earth's power plants create 73% of the energy sector's emissions

A handful of "super emitters" are responsible for the vast majority of all emissions in the energy sector.

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e360.yale.edu

The race for EV parts leads to risky deep-ocean mining

The electric vehicle boom is driving a surge in demand for metals needed for batteries and other components. Some companies say the solution lies in mining the deep oceans. Scientists say that could irreversibly damage a vast, largely pristine ecosystem.

www.politico.eu

In Nord Stream 2 fight, Ukraine gives EU taste of its own bureaucracy

Ukraine, which has been making reforms in the hopes of joining the EU, is now demanding the bloc lives up to prior commitments.
www.politico.eu

Belgium and Germany deal with ‘unimaginable’ piles of post-flood trash

The push is to get rid of the garbage as fast as possible, even if that means not following the niceties of recycling regulations.
www.nationalgeographic.com

More 'good fires' could help California control future catastrophes

Wildfire is inevitable. But prescribed burning—careful, intentionally set fire—could help manage the risks.
grist.org

What’s the true cost of retail giants shipping your junk across the ocean?

Tracing the impact on the environment from shipping any of these goods is tricky to do.

It's not even August and we've already used up the Earth's resources for the year

Earth Overshoot Day improved last year because of the pandemic. As the economy opens up, it’s moving in the wrong direction again.