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    There’s no healthy economy (or planet) without healthy forests / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 7 June - 17:52 · 1 minute

Morning view of shady country road with some ray of light penetrating through trees

Enlarge (credit: Alfian Widiantono )

Forests are among the world’s best bets for carbon capture. But according to this year’s State of the World’s Forests report from the United Nations, forests are also the foundation of green and equitable economies, sustainable resource management, and biodiversity preservation and are generally key to a brighter future.

This latest report highlights how much forests are undervalued in economic analyses and re-emphasizes a three-pronged approach: preserve existing forests, restore degraded lands and expand agroforestry (the integration of trees and shrubs into agriculture), and sustainably use forest products. These actions need upfront financing, but the amount needed is modest compared to other government spending. And the return on investment—in terms of avoiding climate calamity and building a more equitable and sustainable economy—would be significant.

“Governments are estimated to spend $1.8 trillion a year in military expenditures and more than $5 trillion in fossil fuel subsidies, but only about $50 billion on landscape restoration,” said Robert Nasi, the managing director of The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and World Agroforestry (ICRAF) in CIFOR-ICRAF’s media release about the report. “It’s time for society to rethink our priorities to enable a better future.”

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Revealed: the ‘carbon bombs’ set to trigger catastrophic climate breakdown

#Oil and #gas #majors are planning scores of vast #projects that threaten to shatter the 1.5C climate #goal. If governments do not act, these firms will continue to #cash in as the world burns.

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    Discs vs. data: Are we helping the environment by streaming? / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 4 May - 17:41

Image of a pile of DVDs

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images )

Earth Day was April 22nd, and its usual message—take care of our planet—has been given added urgency by the challenges highlighted in the latest IPCC report. This year, Ars is taking a look at the technologies we normally cover, from cars to chipmaking, and finding out how we can boost their sustainability and minimize their climate impact.

Gone are the days of going to Blockbuster to pick out a film for a night in. Physical media like CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, Sony’s weird PlayStation Portable UMDs, and countless other formats have been thoroughly dethroned thanks to a barrage of streaming services like Netflix— itself ailing at the moment—Amazon Prime, and Spotify.

For the first time in the past 17 years, CDs saw an increase in sales—of 1.1 percent , or 40.59 million units in 2021, compared to 40.16 million units the year prior. In 2021, people purchased 1.2 billion pieces of physical video media, compared to 6.1 billion a decade prior. Meanwhile, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, revenue from music streaming grew 13.4 percent to $10.1 billion in 2020.

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    Can semiconductor makers meet surging demands sustainably? / ArsTechnica · Friday, 29 April - 16:19 · 1 minute

Can semiconductor makers meet surging demands sustainably?

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images )

Earth Day was April 22, and its usual message—take care of our planet—has been given added urgency by the challenges highlighted in the latest IPCC report. This year, Ars is taking a look at the technologies we normally cover, from cars to chipmaking, and finding out how we can boost their sustainability and minimize their climate impact.

While chips have been in short supply lately, there has also been growing concern about their environmental impact. Droughts and COVID caused factory (or fab) shutdowns just as the pandemic fueled a surge in demand for medical devices, tele-everything, and all the other gadgets to help people remain productive and less isolated. But the demand for chips has been growing for some time , making it important to ask whether meeting these demands is compatible with climate and sustainability goals.

The answer is that it’s a work in progress. Semiconductor manufacturers are building new facilities in Taiwan , the US , Europe , and elsewhere, providing an opportunity for the industry to incorporate sustainability from the very start. Doing so will help leading chip manufacturers meet voluntary pledges, such as reaching net-zero emissions by 2040 and 2050 . These promises are encouraging, but they're still shy of the urgent action needed, according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report . And pledging doesn’t guarantee delivery—but contributions from researchers, external regulators, and consumers can help with that.

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    As long as the People are not leading the change for an ecological paradigm-shift, the nightmare of flooding will prevail

    David Sauvage · Tuesday, 19 April - 07:19 edit

Why don't capitalists give Nature a break ? After a hotel project in the Blue Bay Ramsar site, an hotel in a dune system at La Cambuse, a planned hotel in a wetland at Les Salines Black-River, proposed villas in Pointe d’Esny and Belle Ombre wetland systems, and the Pomponette coastline to name a few, we need to end these ecocides.

The Ecological Crisis is such a tremendous challenge to address that all the People of the Republic of Mauritius should be deeply part of it. We believe that Rezistans ek Alternativ has paved the way forward as we succeeded to federate an unprecedented horizontal mobilisation to face the Wakashio oil spill, and such an eco-socialist open-approach is a must-have to face the Ecological Crisis.

The worst is that big corporations and oligarchs have access to such information, as it is the case for the ESA 2009 Study, for them to craft their EIA applications, or the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) to be able to carefully select the lands they speculate on, leaving the flood-prone lands to the working-class. Climate injustice also starts here.

#mauritius #esabillnow #ramsar #wetlands #climate

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    Increased smoke pollution on the horizon for Pacific Northwest / ArsTechnica · Friday, 1 April - 10:45

Firefighters from Stockton, California, put out flames off of Hidden Valley Rd. while fighting a wildfire, Friday, May 3, 2013 in Hidden Valley.

Enlarge / Firefighters from Stockton, California, put out flames off of Hidden Valley Rd. while fighting a wildfire, Friday, May 3, 2013 in Hidden Valley. (credit: Daria Devyatkina / Flickr )

In the western United States, summer 2018 was a bad time for wildfires. In all, according to the government of California , 7,948 separate fires saw 1,975,086 acres burnt to a crisp, 24,226 structures destroyed or damaged, and 100 confirmed deaths. In the following summers , things didn’t improve.

New research from a team assembled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and various universities suggests that, if climate mitigation efforts don’t go far enough, summer wildfires will only get worse. In a worst-case scenario, the research said that the problems caused by fires in the Pacific Northwest could result in a tripling of air pollution.

“This is the pathway we want to avoid at any cost,” Meiyun Lin, one of the authors of the paper and a NOAA researcher, told Ars.

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    Searching for methane leaks, scientists find “ultra emitters” / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 2 March - 15:31

Image of fossil fuel extraction equipment.

Enlarge (credit: Sean Hannon )

The fossil fuel industry is releasing millions of metric tons of methane gas in giant plumes during extraction and transportation of those fuels—at high costs for the climate, society, and even the industry’s pocketbooks.

Although methane emissions are relatively low compared to CO 2 emissions, each ton has a whopping 30 to 80 times the relative warming potential (depending on the timescale of interest). On the plus side, methane has a much shorter atmospheric lifetime—roughly nine years. So reining in emissions as soon as possible represents one of the better bets for lowering temperatures in the coming decades.

But to date, methods for detecting methane emissions have been limited, and it has been challenging to find, measure, and curtail all anthropogenic sources. A recent study describes how researchers used a European Union satellite to carry out a global survey of unusually large methane plumes, finding 1,800 “ultra-emitters” during the time frame of 2019 to 2020. Two-thirds of these emitters were connected to the oil and gas industry, and just three countries—including the US—were responsible for the majority of the problem.

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    Study: Reducing poverty and climate goals aren’t at odds / ArsTechnica · Monday, 21 February - 14:09

Image of slum housing.

Enlarge / Eliminating extreme poverty won't necessarily boost emissions as much as people fear. (credit: Soltan Frédéric )

The United Nations’ first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) aims to eradicate poverty around the world. If implemented, however, it might see people consume more—drive more often, buy more products—and, thus, produce more carbon emissions, fueling climate change. “With more money to spend, and therefore more consumption, there is usually a higher carbon footprint,” Benedikt Bruckner, a master’s student of energy and environmental sciences at the University of Groningen, told Ars.

But it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way, according to a new study put out by Bruckner, other researchers out of Groningen, and colleagues in the United States and China.

Published in Nature, the research makes use of high-level data about consumption patterns to show that reaching SDG 1—which shoots to move every person out of extreme poverty (under $1.90 per day) and half of everyone above the poverty lines of their respective countries—won’t excessively fuel climate change.

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