Travel industry backs strong Paris climate deal


The cruise ship industry aims to cut CO2 emissions by 30 percent in the next 15 years. @bberwyn photo.

Airline industry committed to cutting CO2 emissions 50 percent by 2050

By Bob Berwyn

World travel leaders say they’re on board with efforts to finalize a meaningful global climate agreement at the ongoing COP21 talks in Paris.

Highlighting the economic opportunities that the travel industry creates, several major international organizations reiterated the industry’s commitment to contribute to fight climate change. Continue reading

Biodiversity: Scientists say other insects beside bees are also an important part of the pollinator picture


Bees are only part of the pollinator equation. Other insects also play an important role. @bberwyn photo.

Global reliance on honeybees for pollination is a risky strategy

Staff Report

Australian scientists say it’s important to consider other pollinators besides bees when deciding on the application of pesticides. Farmers  using pesticides that spare bees but kill other insects might be ignoring important sources of crop pollination, the new study found.

“Many crops — including mangoes, custard apples, kiwi fruit, coffee and canola — depended on non-bee insect pollinators such as flies, butterflies, moths, beetles, wasps, ants, and thrips,” said University of Queensland plant ecologist Dr Margie Mayfield. Continue reading

Climate: Big banks back away from coal industry

The U.S. is the second-largest producer of coal in the world, thanks in part to massive surface mines like this one in Wyoming. Photo courtesy BLM.

Reducing financial support for the coal industry will help speed the transition to a low-carbon economy. Photo courtesy BLM.

New energy era on the horizon?

Staff Report

Citing concerns about climate change, major financial institutions today announced they are backing away from financing the coal industry. As the COP21 climate talks started in Paris, Morgan Stanley said its policy changes cover both lending and underwriting, with a long-term view toward ending financing for coal-fired power plant construction in developed countries.

The policy changes follow similar coal financing cuts at eight other banks earlier this year (Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Crédit Agricole, ING, Natixis, and Société Générale). Morgan Stanley’s commitment came after public pressure from climate activists as part of a campaign launched by Rainforest Action Network in October, as the group sought to hold U.S. banks publicly accountable. Continue reading


Show the world …

Despite all the turmoil, this weekend brought a show global unity, as people around the planet showed their support for reaching a climate agreement in Paris in the next few weeks. Thousands took to the streets, from Sydney to San Francisco, in hopes that world leaders will find the will and common ground to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avert disastrous climate change. People get it, and organizers of the worldwide rally said the marches show that now is the time to act. Here’s some info on the #climatemarch in Denver. Continue reading

Scientists track unexpected oceanic plankton surge

Scientists working in the Gulf of Mexico are tracking BP's spilled oil as it works its way up the food web, from bacteria to plankton. PHOTO COURTESY NOAA.

Will plankton rule in a globally warming world? Photo via NOAA.

‘Something strange is happening here, and it’s happening much more quickly than we thought it should …’

Staff Report

Atmospheric carbon dioxide ending up in the world’s oceans may be fueling a population explosion of microscopic marine algae in the North Atlantic, scientists said in a new study that shows how greenhouse gases can drive dramatic ecosystem changes. Continue reading

Are global CO2 emissions leveling off?


When will global CO2 emissions peak?

EU achieves big cuts; U.S. still largest per capita emitter

Staff Report

Global CO2 emissions slowed dramatically the past few years, potentially signalling the wane of the fossil fuel era, according to a new report from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

The carbon tally shows that after a decade when CO2 emissions grew at about 4 percent annually, the pace slowed significantly in 2012 (0.8 percent), 2013 (1.5 percent). Continue reading


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