Your summer reading list: Nature edition

Four books about the environment that you should add to your reading list.

Climate-fighting beads, record-breaking CO2, fossil-fueled plastics: 3 big stories you might have missed

Human Nature shares three stories from the past week that you should know about.

Gains for Greens in European Parliament Buoy Clean Energy Outlook

The prospects for renewable energy in Europe were buoyed by a strong showing for green parties in this month’s European Parliament elections, even though they performed below expectations, analysts said. The elections, which took place last week across 28 European Union member states, including the Brexit-fixated U.K., saw green parties grouped under the Greens-European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) banner becoming the fourth most important force in the Parliament. Talk of a “green wave” ultimately proved exaggerated, in an election marked by concerns over the rise of right-wing populist Eurosceptic groups such as Northern League in Italy.

Is China Ready for Subsidy-Free Renewables?

Subsidies play a key role in renewables project development in China, and for years have placed a major financial burden on the Renewable Energy Development Fund managed by China’s central government. By the end of 2018, the fund had already accumulated a deficit of over RMB 100 billion ($14.5 billion). China wants to reach its wind and solar power grid parity targets by 2020, so that electricity created by these sources can be sold to the grid at the same price as coal-fired power. To achieve this, the

2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #20

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, May 12 through Sat, May 18, 2019 Editor’s Pick 12 excuses for climate inaction and how to refute them Using moral clarity to counter defeatism around the climate crisis. Shutterstock There’s a reason why the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has successfully goaded powerful politicians

Introducing a new citizens initiative for carbon pricing in Europe

A new European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) called “The fast, fair and effective solution to climate change” was launched on May 6. The proposal asks that the European Commission introduce a carbon-pricing policy known as Carbon Fee and Dividend at the European Union level. The European Commission registered the proposal earlier this month. Organizers behind the initiative now have one year until May 6, 2020 to gather the 1 million signatures needed for the European Commission to consider the proposal. Scientists and economists agree: Putting an increasing price on pollution and giving the returns to households works. A steadily increasing price on fossil fuels will reduce pollution by

Forest carbon credits ‘worse than nothing’? There’s more to this story

More than 3,000 people in the United States had a heart transplant last year. This life-extending procedure crossed from the

Business in a changing climate, pollution loopholes, fishing bans: 3 big stories you might have missed

Human Nature shares three stories from the past week that you should know about.

California’s Gas Plant Pipeline Dwindles as Calpine Drops Mission Rock Application

Independent power producer Calpine has abandoned plans to build a new natural-gas plant in Southern California, swelling the ranks of recently canceled fossil fuel plants in the state. The company withdrew its application for the Mission Rock plant in a letter to the California Energy Commission dated May 21. That decision ended a years-long conflict over the permitting of the plant, a 255-megawatt combustion turbine facility planned on the banks of the Santa Clara River in Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles. The Native American Chumash people opposed the plant as a disruption to a river environment that

‘Every Asset We Deploy in the Field Has the Potential to Become a Sensor’

JEA, the municipal utility in Jacksonville, Florida, has become a leader in the state's residential energy storage landscape with the introduction of a rebate program and an updated net metering structure. It is considered as one of the most innovative municipal utilities in the country. Julio Romero Agüero is JEA’s Chief Innovation and Transformation Officer, and

2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #21

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, May 19 through Sat, May 25, 2019 Editor’s Pick Why school strikers are guest editing Climate Home News (Photo: Pixabay) Over the coming weeks (or months – let’s see how it goes) Climate Home News will host reporting, personal reflections and commentary written by a group of young people who have inspired the world. It’s normal for us to host commentary from activists. But this is something different. Something we would never normally do. It’s an open offer to a group to use our site as a

2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, May 26 through Sat, June 1, 2019 Editor’s Pick 12 books on how climate change is transforming businesses and the global economy For some businesses and entrepreneurs, climate change isn’t just a threat. It’s an opportunity. The significant transformations required to meet the challenges posed by climate change are, from another perspective, fabulous opportunities. Inventors, entrepreneurs, and business strategists recognized this fact many years ago. Their activities have since been chronicled and analyzed by reporters, researchers, and, in some cases, the entrepreneurs themselves. For this month’s bookshelf on climate change and business, Yale Climate Connections has assembled two different lists. This first

Mangroves, mullets, humpback whales: 3 new science stories you should know about

Three recent studies by Conservation International shed light on how we can help protect nature.

Medicated salmon, cold-water coral, insect rescue: 3 big stories you might have missed

Human Nature shares three stories from the past week that you should know about.

The Future for Australian Coal

Problems Australia is the worlds’ largest exporter of coal, selling thermal coal for electricity generation and coking coal for smelting world-wide. In 2017 its export of this commodity was valued at over $40 billion, most of it produced in Queensland and New South Wales. In addition, coal is mined for domestic use with about 42.3 million tonnes,valued at over $4 billion being consumed in 2017, primarily for generating electricity. Federal and State governments make important financial gains from this through collection

2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #15

Story of the Week… Toon of the Week… Coming Soon on SkS… Climate Feedback Review… SkS Week in Review… Poster of the Week… Story of the Week… How a Few Small Fixes Could Stop Climate Change “We have to act fast, and achieve the biggest possible impact with the actions we take.” Small steps could make a big impact on climate change. Source: Pexels When thinking about new ways to tackle climate change, University of Oxford researcher Thom Wetzer first points out how a modest rise in temperature could push the Earth to

5 ways you can help endangered species today

Human Nature asked five Conservation International experts for their best tips to help endangered species.

Emissions in NYC, plastic-eating bacteria, more accurate forecasts: 3 big stories you might have missed

Human Nature shares three stories from the past week that you should know about.

Bifacial or Bust? Engineering Solar Financings of the Future

The solar industry hates stasis, which is exemplified by industry members’ self-proclaimed rides on “the solar coaster.” Solar trade shows and conferences are filled with companies looking to provide solar with its “next big thing.” One of solar energy’s (literal) shiny new objects — bifacial modules — has been a hot topic at these conferences and in news articles for a few years now. Until recently, most of the potential benefits of bifacial modules have remained… potential. However, bifacial modules are starting to transition from theory into reality, as more projects around the world and in the United States specify bifacial

2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #16

Story of the Week… Editorial of the Week… El Niño/La Niña Update… Toon of the Week… Quote of the Week… Graphic of the Week… SkS in the News… Coming Soon on SkS… Poster of the Week… SkS Week in Review… Story of the Week… Satellite confirms key NASA temperature data: The planet is warming — and fast New evidence suggests one of the most important climate

2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #16

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Apr 14 through Sat, Apr 20, 2019 Editor’s Pick How We Roll: Study Shows We’re More Lone Wolves Than Team Players Results may explain why collective action on climate change and health policy is so difficult Credit: Steve Smith Getty Images What credo would you choose: “Share and share alike?” or “To each his

Nenana Ice Classic 2019

Wow. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the exceptional (relative) warmth in Alaska last month and in February, the record for the Nenana Ice Classic was shattered this year. The previous official record was associated with the exceptional conditions in El Niño-affected winter of 1939-1940, when the ice went out on April 20th 1940. Though since 1940 was a leap year, that was actually a little later (relative to the vernal equinox) than the ice out date in 1998 (which wasn’t a leap year).  Other records are also tumbling in the region, for instance the ice out data at Bethel, Alaska: The Kuskokwim River at Bethel has gone out. This is,

Editorial cartoonists lampoon, praise Green New Deal

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Michael Svoboda Like journalists, opinion writers, and TV newscasters and commentators, political cartoonists were quick to respond to the Green New Deal (GND) climate change initiative put out in early February by two liberal northeastern Democrats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. But there were striking differences in