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Big Pharma emits more greenhouse gases than the automotive industry

From The Conversation: The pharmaceutical industry rarely conjure up images of pollution and environmental damage. Yet, this recent study found that the global pharmaceutical industry is not only contributes significantly to global warming, but is also dirtier than the global automotive production sector. Also watch a video on extreme pharmaceutical waste pollution in Patancheru, Telangana.

Growth and garbage: A tour of India’s waste mountain

From Nature: In this in depth investigation of India’s feeble fight against consumerist waste, are robust statistics, compelling history and telling case studies. The authors, anthropologist Assa Doron and historian Robin Jeffrey, also throw the occasional philosophical curve ball, such as: “waste is in the eye of the beholder”. The result is both beguiling and disturbing.

What urban waste has to do with global warming

From The Indian Express: Greenhouse gas emissions from solid waste disposal by India increased at the rate of 3.1% per annum between 2000 and 2010, and by China at 4.6% per cent between 2005 and 2012. In both cases it is likely that the figures are underestimated, since they don’t consider emissions from waste transportation.

Memo to Trump: US president Lyndon Johnson acknowledged global warming 52 years ago

Dana Nuccitelli writes: On 5 November 1965, US president Lyndon Johnson’s science advisory committee sent him a report on the environment, which included a section on atmospheric carbon dioxide and climate change, written by prominent climate scientists. Reviewing it today, one can’t help but be struck by how well they understood climate change back then.

India has an ammonia problem but no policy to deal with it

The Wire reports: Using satellite data of the last 14 years, researchers have shown that a thick blanket of toxic ammonia lies over the world’s major agricultural areas, with India being the worst affected. It’s emitted mainly by fertilisers as well as poorly managed animal waste. However, India has no policy to regulate ammonia emissions.

Just 90 companies caused two-thirds of man-made global warming emissions

Suzanne Goldenberg reports: The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests. They range from investor-owned firms –household names such as Exxon and BP– to state-owned firms.

New study says solar panels have repaid their fossil fuel debt

Phys.org reports: The climate friendly electricity generated by solar panels in the past 40 years has all but cancelled out the polluting energy used to produce them, a study said Tuesday. Indeed, by some calculations, the so-called “break-even point” between dirty energy input and clean output may already have arrived, researchers in the Netherlands reported.

The Kigali Agreement on HFCs is nothing to celebrate; here’s why

The agreement has been welcomed because it would slow down what many fear would be an exponential rise in the greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons,  what with the increased use of refrigerators, ACs and cars in China and India in the years to come. But, IPCC data suggests we need to keep our excitement in check.

Clean energy won’t save us – only a new economic system can do that

Jason Hickel writes: When it comes to climate change, the problem is not just the type of energy we are using, it is what we’re doing with it. What would we do with 100% clean energy? Exactly what we are currently doing with fossil fuels: raze more forests, build more meat farms, expand industrial agriculture.

Video & report: Time to ditch industrial agriculture: here’s the evidence

‘ From Uniformity to Diversity: A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems’, calls for breaking the chains that lock monocultures and industrial-scale feedlots to dominant farming systems in order to unleash truly sustainable approaches. In the accompanying video, Food MythBusters show why we really don’t need industrial agriculture to feed the world.

The true cost of the obsession with GDP growth

Shankar Sharma writes: It’s evident that an economic policy focusing on high GDP growth rate has not only not resulted in the elimination of poverty, but is certainly leading to accelerated depletion of our natural resources and to the unacceptable level of pollution of land, water and air, while contributing to the global warming phenomenon.

Paris Climate Summit: A success? A failure? Or a fraud?

Bhamy Shenoy writes in Deccan Herald: There is a comforting thought that the fall in solar energy and wind energy prices, and their greater adaption will provide solution to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Often ignored or overlooked reality is the difficulty in reforming the existing energy scenario both in the developed and developing countries.

Why no meat at the Paris climate talks?

Devinder Sharma writes: The cumulative impact of cattle rearing in Australia, transportation of cattle from the ranches down under to China, and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions alone is going to be enormous. And yet meat consumption has not been mentioned at Paris climate talks. The reason is simple. The western lifestyle has not to be disturbed.

News update

Greenhouse Gas Pollution Sees Fastest Rise From The Scientific American Despite some recent regional reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and other industrial nations, the total concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continues its upward march at an unprecedented rate, the World Meteorological Organization has announced. Stand by for the ‘megadroughts’,