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China loses its allure
European climate policy
Current policies are a mess. Here’s how to fix them
SINCE climate change was identified as a serious threat to the planet, Europe has been in the vanguard of the effort to mitigate it. The policies it has adopted are designed with two aims in mind: to cut European emissions drastically and to push other big emitters into adopting similar policies. By both measures, they have failed.
That America and China have not taken serious steps to reduce their own emissions is hardly Europe’s fault. Yet had Europe’s policies worked better, other countries might have been more inclined to emulate the leaders in the field. That is one reason why the European Commission’s announcement on January 22nd of modest increases in its targets for emissions reductions and renewable-energy use, rather than a complete overhaul of the system, was such a disappointment (see article). Another is that the existing policies impose heavy costs on European consumers and companies, and ...
Researchers have identified a biological mechanism that could explain how the Earth’s atmospheric carbon dioxide and climate were stabilized over the past 24 million years. When CO2 levels became too low for plants to grow properly, forests appear to have kept the climate in check by slowing down the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Bowing to economic realities, the bloc proposed an end to binding national targets for energy production from sustainable energy sources.
You can’t understand the Arab awakenings, or their solutions, without considering climate, environment and population stresses.
A new study indicates that even a sharp increase in the use of electric drive passenger vehicles by 2050 would not significantly reduce emissions of high-profile air pollutants carbon dioxide, sulfur
In the 1930s, the ability of green plants to form oxygen through oxidation of water -- photosynthesis -- was discovered. Since then, no other large-scale biological formation of oxygen has been found, until now. New research results show that down in the dark depths of the soil, a previously unknown biochemical process is under way, in which oxygen is formed and carbon dioxide is reduced to organic material.
The World Economic Forum’s participants are saying that with the new confidence about the American economy, issues like climate change and the Syrian conflict are likely to get more attention.
Charity research director says advice to curb consumption remains as ‘any health benefit would be dramatically outweighed by calories’
Plumes of several anthropogenic pollutants (especially particulate matter and carbon monoxide) located near ground level over China have for the first time been detected from space. The work was
Two views of the role of scientists in clarifying climate change risks and pressing for solutions.
The winner of my neglected topic contest is climate change. And there is a lot to discuss!
Climate scientists can no longer stay on the sidelines of the global warming debate.
And nations are dragging their feet.
A new carbon nanotube sponge capable of soaking up water contaminants, such as fertilizers, pesticides and pharmaceuticals, is more than three times more efficiently than previous efforts.
European Union officials are having second thoughts about how aggressively to remake the Continent’s energy-producing sector.
The latest draft report by United Nations climate experts cites technologies that are still in their infancy, with few projects operating around the world.
Another 15 years of failure by nations to limit carbon emissions could make the situation virtually impossible to solve with current technologies, according to a draft United Nations report.
Scientists studying grasslands in Oklahoma have discovered that an increase of 2 degrees Celsius in the air temperature above the soil creates significant changes to the microbial ecosystem underground. Compared to a control group with no warming, plants in the warmer plots grew faster and higher, which put more carbon into the soil as the plants senesce. The microbial ecosystem responded by altering its DNA to enhance the ability to handle the excess carbon.
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Economists are getting to grips with the impact of climate change
THE “polar vortex” that brought freezing weather to North America chipped roughly $3 billion off American output in a week. It was a reminder that extreme weather has economic consequences even in the richest countries and that climate change—which may usher in even wilder fluctuations—is likely to have a big economic impact. A recent burst of studies look at how large it may be, adding useful detail to the initial efforts, such as the Stern review of 2010. The results suggest that climate change may be having an effect already; that the weather influences economies through a surprisingly wide range of channels; but that calculating the long-run effects of climate change is harder than estimating the short-run impact of weather.
The link between more heat and more poverty is robust. Tropical ...
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A lot can be done to make meat-eating less bad for the planet
IN DECEMBER angry farmers drove their cattle to Manapparai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and blockaded the market. They were protesting against a decision by health inspectors to close their own market at Trichy, 35 kilometres (22 miles) away, after cases of foot and mouth. India is famously tolerant of cattle in the road. Now, cows were everywhere.
It was just one example of the tensions affecting the livestock business worldwide. In places like Tamil Nadu, one of India’s richer states, middle-class supermarkets and food-safety rules coexist uneasily with older customs of selling live animals in cities and consumer preferences for local meat and milk. Europe has been transfixed after horsemeat was found in processed beef in Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands; French, Polish and Romanian suppliers were implicated. China is gripped by a donkey-meat scandal: the “Five Spice” donkey ...