Daily Archives: August 16, 2019

A 15 Year Old Hong Kong Student Talks About What Protests Mean for Her and Her Future

VOA News

Published on Aug 16, 2019

A 15 year old Hong Kong high school student talks to VOA about what the protests mean for her and her future.

Global carbon emissions increased at a record rate in 2018 – Climate Action

A new report has found that global-energy related carbon emissions increased at a record rate in 2018.

27 March 2019 Rachel Cooper

A new report has found that global-energy related carbon emissions increased at a record rate in 2018.

The report, commissioned by the International Energy Agency (IEA), found that in 2018, global-energy related carbon emissions have risen by 1.7 per cent to a historic high of 33.1 Gigatonnes. It was the highest rate of growth since 2013, and 70 per cent higher than the average increase since 2010.

The increase in emissions was driven by high energy consumption. The report found that global energy demand rose by 2.3 per cent in 2018, its fastest pace this decade.

Natural gas emerged as the fuel of choice and accounted for 45 per cent of the rise in energy demand.

Renewables were also a major contributor to this power generation expansion, accounting for nearly half of electricity demand growth.

China remains the leader of renewables, followed by Europe and the United States. In 2018, China accounted for over 40 per cent of the growth in renewable-based electricity generation, followed by Europe, which accounted for 25 per cent. The U.S. and India combined contributed another 13 per cent and renewables also grew rapidly outside these markets.

However, despite solar and wind generation increasing by a double-digit pace, renewable energy was not fast enough to meet higher electricity demand around the world that also drove up coal use.

Coal use in power generation alone surpassed 10 Gigatonnes, accounting for a third of the total increase. The report highlighted that most of that came from a young fleet of coal power plants in developing Asia.

The demand for oil also grew in 2018, leading to a 1.3 per cent increase overall worldwide. Nuclear also grew by 3.3 per cent.

Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, said: “We have seen an extraordinary increase in global energy demand in 2018, growing at its fastest pace this decade. But despite major growth in renewables, global emissions are still rising, demonstrating once again that more urgent action is needed on all fronts — developing all clean energy solutions, curbing emissions, improving efficiency, and spurring investments and innovation, including in carbon capture, utilization and storage.”

Read the full report here.

Photograph: Tony Webster

World falling short on sustainable energy goals, finds report – Climate Action

A major new report has warned that the world is falling short on clean energy goals.

23 May 2019 Poppy Bootman

A major new report has warned that the world is falling short on clean energy goals.

In 2015, the UN agreed upon Sustainable Development Goal 7, promising to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” by 2030. The goal specified 4 key targets; universal access to electricity, universal access to clean fuels and technologies, deployment of renewable energy and improvement of energy efficiency.

A recent Energy Progress Report published in May by Tracking SDG7 claims that progress upon these targets is not developing fast enough. Whilst numbers of people having access to electricity, as well as clean energy and technologies has advanced, improvements are uneven across regions and sectors.

Notably, the report questioned the sustainability of the international community’s efforts and whether progress will continue to increase.

The report said: “Significant progress has been made on energy access in recent years, with the number of people living without electricity dropping from 1.2 billion in 2010 to 840 million in 2017… However, without sustained and stepped-up efforts, 650 million will still live without access to electricity in 2030”.

Universal access to clean fuels and technologies are in question, particularly in clean cooking where access to clean fuels only increased by 4% from 2010 to 2017. Health risks are associated with the biomass currently being used by 3 million people such as charcoal and wood, leading to 4 million deaths each year from the indoor air pollution it causes.

The report says that to reach the target of universal access by 2030, the pace of progress in access to clean fuels would have to increase six-fold.

Renewable energy consumption was found to have increased twice as fast as overall energy consumption, however these are only marginal changes. In 2010, total energy consumption from renewables was 16.6%, whereas in 2017 this has only increased to 17.5%.

Whilst progress in access to clean energy and technologies have been made, underlying in the report is the question of achievability of Sustainable Development Goal 7 where current progress will need to rapidly advance and spread to all countries and sectors soon to meet the 2030 deadline.

Read the full report here.

Treasures of a dinosaur hunt – BBC News

Published on Aug 16, 2019 BBC News

An international team of scientists has begun excavating a treasure trove of new dinosaur fossils in Wyoming in the United States.

Horrors in Hiroshima to Nuclear Nonchalance Now?

The Big Picture RT
Published on Aug 16, 2019

Holland Cooke sits down with American University professor Peter Kuznick to break down his recent visits to Hiroshima and Nagaski for their respective observances of the atomic bombings in 1945. Then, “Beyond Nuclear” founder Linda Pentz Gunter discusses how heads of state may be preaching peace and non-proliferation, yet the global nuclear arms race and shifts toward nuclear energy appear to fuel a very different narrative. When will we finally wake up to the devastating possibility of NUCLEAR GONE WRONG?


Greenland Is Not For Sale: Denmark Rejects Trump Proposal to Buy Territory

Aug 16, 2019

The Wall Street Journal is reporting President Trump has repeatedly asked advisers if it would be possible for the United States to buy Greenland from Denmark. Trump is said to be interested in Greenland’s abundant natural resources and geopolitical importance. The United States already has a major military base in Greenland — the Thule Air Base. But the government of Greenland has a message: “Greenland is not for sale.” One Danish politician said, “The idea that Denmark should sell 50,000 citizens to the U.S. is completely insane.” Trump is scheduled to meet with the prime minister of Denmark next month.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org.

NOAA: July Was Officially the Hottest Month on Record + related

NOAA: July Was Officially the Hottest Month on Record

Aug 16, 2019

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has confirmed July was the Earth’s hottest month since record keeping began 140 years ago. In a statement, the NOAA said, “Much of the planet sweltered in unprecedented heat. The record warmth also shrank Arctic and Antarctic sea ice to historic lows.” July was the 415th consecutive month with above-average temperatures.

Australia Accused of Watering Down Pacific Island Climate Agreement

Aug 16, 2019

Meanwhile, Australia is facing criticism for watering down a climate agreement at the Pacific Island Forum, which has just wrapped up in Tuvalu. Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama tweeted, “We came together in a nation that risks disappearing to the seas, but unfortunately, we settled for the status quo in our communique. Watered-down climate language has real consequences — like water-logged homes, schools, communities, and ancestral burial grounds.”

Study: Surge in Methane Gas Emissions Is Linked to Fracking Boom

Aug 16, 2019

A new Cornell University study finds that a global surge in methane gas emissions over the past decade is largely due to the fracking boom in the U.S. and Canada. Publishing in the journal Biogeosciences, professor Robert Howarth finds the recent increase in methane gas emissions is massive, with chemical fingerprints indicating a large increase of leaked gas from shale drilling. Methane is far more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere, and methane is the second-largest greenhouse gas contributor.

270 Die, 1 Million Displaced in India from Heavy Monsoon Rains

In other climate news, more than 270 people have died over the past two weeks in India due to heavy monsoon rains. More than 1 million people have been displaced.

The Great Land Robbery: How Federal Policies Dispossessed Black Americans of Millions of Acres

Democracy Now!

Published on Aug 16, 2019

Over the 20th century, black people in the U.S. were dispossessed of 12 million acres of land. Half of that loss — 6 million acres — occurred over just two decades, from 1950 to 1969, a period largely associated with the civil rights struggle. This mass land dispossession, which affected 98% of black agricultural land owners, is part of the pattern of institutional racism and discrimination that has contributed to the racial wealth gap in the United States. Many of the driving forces behind this land theft were legal and originated in federal policies, as documented by Vann Newkirk, staff writer at The Atlantic. His latest piece for the magazine is the September cover story: “The Great Land Robbery: The shameful story of how 1 million black families have been ripped from their farms.”

What we know about deadly radiation explosion at Russian military site

PBS NewsHour

Published on Aug 13, 2019

An explosion at a Russian missile testing site last week killed at least seven people and caused widespread fears of a radiation leak. While officials offered little clarity, analysts believe the Russians were testing a nuclear-powered cruise missile – one President Vladimir Putin boasts can’t be stopped by U.S. missile defenses. William Brangham talks to Angela Stent of Georgetown University.


Exclusive: President ousted by US-led coup tells all

RT America

Published on Aug 15, 2019

How did a CIA-backed military coup in 2009 turn Honduras into a violent, repressive dictatorship and lay the groundwork for the civil strife seen there today? RT America’s Michele Greenstein explains. Then former President Manuel Zelaya joins Rick Sanchez to explain how he was ousted and his progressive government dismantled for the sake of US-based transnational companies.