Weekend Reads: - Diversified Communications

November 12, 2022

Weekend Reads: A Look at the First Days of COP27; Midterms Climate Wins

It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.

‘A Reason to Act Faster’: World Leaders Meet on Climate Amid Other Crises (The New York Times) World leaders gathered Monday to wrestle with the crisis of climate change, amid a sea of other pressing challenges that threaten to set back already inadequate steps to pivot the global economy away from fossil fuels. Casting an ominous shadow over these talks is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, itself financed by the sale of Russian gas. The conflict has unsettled the global energy market, spurred inflation and led some to call for more oil and gas drilling. Meanwhile, poor countries suffering from climate effects are increasingly frustrated with wealthy countries whose emissions are driving global warming. And relations between the two biggest polluters, the United States and China, have fallen to a new low.

The unexpected climate wins of the midterms (Vox) The red tsunami of Republican midterm voters that so many predicted at the federal level also didn’t quite pan out in state elections. State laws have big implications for climate change throughout the country, because even in a divided Congress, states can still ramp up their clean energy and climate goals. The biggest setback of the night was in California, where voters rejected a proposal to raise taxes on multi-millionaires to fund electric vehicles for low-income people. Some races, like for Oregon governor and Arizona Corporation Commission have yet to be called. Even so, the early results show 2023 to be a year of serious headway in states on climate change. 

Is Ukraine war speeding Europe’s transition to renewable energy? (Al Jazeera) Renewable energy production in Europe reached record levels following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, leading some energy analysts to predict that Europe is poised to surge forward in creating clean energy. Other analysts, however, forecast a cut in European emissions through a widely expected recession, energy austerity and de-industrialisation next year. From March to September, electricity generated from solar photovoltaics and wind in the European Union increased by a record 13 percent – from 311 terawatt-hours to 350TWh – year-on-year, according to a report by energy think-tanks E3G and Ember.

Can wind decarbonize Great Lakes shipping? Cargo vessels “veer” into alternative power (Great Lakes Echo) The 330-foot-long, hydrogen cell powered sailing vessel is proposed by the Veer Group, a Bahamas-based company committed to zero carbon emissions. The design was approved by the American Bureau of Shipping. “If there was a desire for this in the Great Lakes, it would just make me super happy to be able to fulfill that,” said Veer CEO Danielle Doggett. Whether such vessels will someday ply the Great Lakes is uncertain. But interest is high in decarbonizing shipping. Globally, shipping’s 100,000 vessels are responsible for 3% of carbon emissions, according to Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center, a nonprofit research company committed to decarbonizing the maritime industry.

The geothermal moonshot (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists) From his home office in Carson City, Nevada, Paul Schwering monitors an old gold mine in the Black Hills of South Dakota, approximately 1,000 miles away and a mile underground. What was once the Homestake Gold Mine has been repurposed as a research station for enhanced geothermal systems, also known as engineered geothermal systems, a technology that could increase the United States’ geothermal power generating capacity 40-fold. Energy experts estimate that geothermal energy could contribute up to 10 percent of US electricity generation, but only if researchers can figure out how to make enhanced geothermal systems work on a large scale.

 

Keywords: Weekend reads

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