Daily Archives: September 20, 2019

We’re doomed if solar energy stalls—here’s how to keep it rising | Varun Sivaram | TEDxYale

TEDx Talks

Published on Mar 28, 2018

Solar energy is the world’s cheapest and fastest-growing power source, but its rise is in danger of stalling, risking catastrophic climate change. Energy expert Varun Sivaram argues that realizing solar’s potential will require innovation—creative financing, revolutionary technologies, and flexible energy systems. Dr. Sivaram is the Philip D. Reed Fellow for Science and Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of the book, “Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet” (MIT Press, 2018), which the Financial Times called “the best available overview of the solar industry and a roadmap for how to achieve that brighter future.” Dr. Sivaram is also a Professor at Georgetown University, where he teaches “Clean Energy Innovation”; an Adjunct Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University; and a board member for the Stanford University energy and environment institutes. He has served as Senior Energy Advisor to the Mayor of Los Angeles and the Governor of New York, and he holds a Ph.D. in condensed matter physics from Oxford University.

Varun Sivaram is the Philip D. Reed fellow for science and technology at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, a nonresident fellow at the Columbia University Center for Global Energy Policy, and a member of the advisory boards for the Stanford University Woods Institute for the Environment and Precourt Institute for Energy. He is the author of the book Taming the Sun (MIT University Press, 2018). Dr. Sivaram also serves as strategic advisor to the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Reforming the Energy Vision, and he was formerly a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he counseled Fortune 500 companies on adapting to the modern competitive landscape in energy. A Truman and a Rhodes scholar, he holds degrees from Stanford University in engineering physics and international relations, with honors in international security. Dr. Sivaram holds a PhD in condensed matter physics from St. John’s College, Oxford University.

Why Solar Energy Needs Innovation to Reach Its Potential

Council on Foreign Relations

Published on Mar 2, 2018

Solar energy, the world’s cheapest and fastest-growing power source, could one day supply most of the world’s energy needs. But in a new book, “Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet” (MIT Press), energy expert Varun Sivaram warns that solar’s current surge is on track to stall, dimming prospects for averting catastrophic climate change. Brightening those prospects, he argues, will require innovation—creative financing, revolutionary technologies, and flexible energy systems.

Climate change: the trouble with trees | The Economist

The Economist

Published on Sep 18, 2019

Tree-planting has been hailed as a solution to climate change. But how much can trees really do to tackle global warming? See our research here: https://econ.st/32HXvXY

Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy

Summer 2019 – More than 38,000 fires raged across the Amazon. Fires that were man-made. Over the past 50 years almost 17% of the world’s largest rainforest has been cleared. And globally deforestation has almost doubled in just five years.

Since the start of human civilisation it’s estimated that the number of trees around the world has fallen by almost half. Clearing forests increases carbon-dioxide levels but planting them could store away some of the carbon already in the atmosphere.

This woman runs safaris in England. Guests are not only here to see wild animals – they’re here to see wild trees.

Almost 20 years ago Isabella Tree—yes that is her real name-handed 1,400 hectares of Sussex farmland back to nature, by doing, well nothing. She thinks this is the best way to use the land to help tackle climate change.

To stabilise the climate global carbon emissions need to drop to net zero by 2050. Simon Lewis is a professor of global change science.

And there’s never been more global ambition to plant trees. In 2014, 51 countries pledged to plant over 3.5m square kilometres of forest by 2030 – an area slightly larger than India. The 2030 target looks likely to be met. But there’s a catch…

Monoculture tree plantations like eucalyptus grow quickly but the trees are harvested every ten or so years releasing much of the carbon stored in the tree back into the atmosphere – which means that, according to some studies they’ll store only around one-fortieth of the carbon natural forests do over the long term.

In fact, those pledges to plant millions of trees actually promise to store 26bn tonnes less carbon than they could. Sometimes the motives for planting forests are less green than they might appear. By 2020 Ireland ought to have cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 20% below 2005 levels. But at current rates it will have reduced them by only 5%. Planting forests might help Ireland avoid massive penalties for missing EU targets because the potential carbon these forests could store in the future can be counted as a carbon credit today. In the 1920s Ireland had the lowest forest cover in Europe at around 1%. That’s now risen to 11% and the government has set a target to cover 18% of the land with forest by 2046.

And now local community groups are protesting against these monoculture tree plantations. They say they’re doing more harm than good.

Tree-planting programmes invariably have an impact on the people living nearby. In east Africa one project is demonstrating what can be achieved
when there’s genuine buy-in from the local communities. Green Ethiopia is a mixed-tree planting charity.

The land is communally owned and co-operatives of local women receive benefits for planting trees which are protected from being harvested. Here conserving is just as important as planting. Green Ethiopia assesses whether the condition of the land is good enough to regenerate by itself. When it is—on about a third of the area the charity runs they leave it alone. Just like Isabella Tree, back in England.

Monoculture plantations are often preferred because they make money. So some experts are looking to a future where carbon payments could create financial incentives for natural forests. Ultimately though, the trouble with trees tackling climate change is space

Greta Thunberg Testifies Before U.S. Congress | NowThis

NowThis News

381K subscribers

GRETA IN CONGRESS: Teen climate activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg is speaking at a congressional hearing on ‘Voices Leading the Next Generation on the Global Climate Crisis.’ Thunberg will also appear at a press conference on the Supreme Court steps later today.

CLIMATE FORCING | Our Future is Cold

Suspicious0bservers

Premiered Aug 28, 2019

Climate Change, Solar Forcing, Ice Age | From volcanic cooling born beneath our feet to the most seemingly distant reaches of both space time, we lay out Climate Forcing: the problems, path forward, and character of the finish line.

#naturenow – Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot on natural climate solutions

Natural Climate Solutions

Published on Sep 19, 2019

The risk of climate breakdown is real, but it can be reduced if we protect, restore and fund natural climate solutions. Find out more about how you can help this vital mission at http://naturalclimate.solutions #naturenow This Gripping Films (@tommustill) Production was supported by: @Conservationorg @FOLUCoalition Gower St

This Gripping Films (@tommustill) Production was supported by:

@Conservationorg
@FOLUCoalition
Gower St

David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and Jane Goodall have a message for you about the planet

World Economic Forum
Published on Sep 19, 2019

From disappearing species to plastic pollution and our disastrously weak attempts to recycle it, here’s what the top voices on climate change – from Sir David Attenborough to Jane Goodall to Greta Thunberg – have to say about the planet’s escalating biodiversity crisis.

‘We’ve stolen our children’s future – and we’re still stealing it’ – Jane Goodall.

Sir David Attenborough, Jane Goodall and Greta Thunberg are joined in this global call for action by Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, the United Nations’ Cristiana Pasca Palmer, Daniela Fernandez of Sustainable Ocean Action, Brune Poirson, Malek Sukkar and Heather Koldewey.

Now you’ve seen the story, don’t stay silent. Raise your #VoiceForThePlanet and join the call for urgent action.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.voicefortheplanet.org.

http://www.weforum.org/