The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.
Kenya is home to many of the rhinos surviving in the wild, but it is still reeling from a veritable massacre in July and August at one of the country’s most famous national parks: 11 eastern black rhinos dead out of a population of 750. And those responsible for the shocking deaths are not poachers, but the very same organizations charged with saving the species: World Wildlife Fund-Kenya, Kenya Wildlife Service, and Kenya’s Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife.
The tragedy began on July 13, when Kenyans woke to the news that at least seven black rhinos had died mysteriously, not killed by hunters. The death toll reached 11 in less than six weeks. All had lost their lives in the same sanctuary, where they had been relocated, precisely, in order to ensure the species’ survival.
With 1.5°C of warming just around the corner, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) considered several solutions for removing CO2 from the air—some as simple as planting more trees, others as complex as using technology to filter CO2 from the air. Their practicality and their risks vary considerably.
Some of the most viable options identified by the IPCC are based in the natural world, as opposed to more costly technologies that aren’t yet proven on large scales.
Of the options considered, the solution the IPCC found to have both the most potential for reducing CO2 and the lowest costs was what’s known as soil carbon sequestration.
The role of forests in combating climate change risks being overlooked by the world’s governments, according to a group of scientists that has warned halting deforestation is “just as urgent” as eliminating the use of fossil fuels.
Razing the world’s forests would release more than 3 trillion tons of carbon dioxide, more than the amount locked in identified global reserves of oil, coal and gas. By protecting and restoring forests, the world would achieve 18% of the emissions mitigation needed by 2030 to avoid runaway climate change, the group of 40 scientists, spanning five countries, said in a statement.
To keep global warming in check, the world will have to invest an average of around $3 trillion a year over the next three decades in transforming its energy supply systems, a new United Nations climate science report says. It won’t be cheap, but it’s also a change that’s already underway.
Much of that investment is money that would be spent on energy systems anyway. Instead of continuing to invest it in fossil fuel-based energy that worsens global warming and can harm human health, the report provides a pathway for shifting those investments to clean energy.
London could soon be awash with drinking fountains, with 100 new installations in the pipeline across the capital.
This year plans for 20 fountains were unveiled in a joint venture between the mayor of London and partners, with recent figures suggesting those installed so far have already dispensed thousands of litres of water to thirsty members of the public.
Now the mayor, Sadiq Khan, has announced a partnership with Thames Water to build on the success and install a further 100 fountains between spring 2019 and the end of 2020.
Khan said: “For many years, our public water fountains were discarded and neglected whilst single-use plastic waste soared. We’re determined to reverse that trend and help deliver hundreds more free public fountains in the capital for everyone to enjoy.
It seems that every day scientists discover more about the dangers of air pollution. It is well known that it causes heart and lung disease, but studies this year have linked it to dementia and found soot particles in placenta. Most recently, a study published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine found a connection between particulate matter and mouth cancer risk.
But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doesn’t seem to be paying attention. The agency, under the direction of former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, is moving to disband a panel of scientists that advise the agency on setting safe levels of particulate matter pollution, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
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2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
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