Tag: climate crisis (page 2 of 3)

Live map of electricity production highlights carbon criminals

This live map of electricity production and consumption is really interesting, on a number of levels. First, it’s great that it exists! It really helps show, for example, that Poland needs to get its act together.

But also, design decisions matter. For example, the focus on carbon, while important, obscures the fact that nuclear might help get us out of the current mess but is really storing up problems for future generations.

Map showing Europe coloured different shades of green, yellow, orange, and red

electricityMap is a live visualization of where your electricity comes from and how much CO2 was emitted to produce it.

Source: electricityMap | Live CO₂ emissions of electricity consumption

Antartica used to be covered in rainforest

Given the news that both the Arctic and Antarctic are currently a lot warmer than expected, this is interesting news. Sea levels 170 metres higher than normal would mean that my house would be underwater…

A team from the UK and Germany discovered forest soil from the Cretaceous period within 900 km of the South Pole. Their analysis of the preserved roots, pollen and spores shows that the world at that time was a lot warmer than previously thought.

[…]

The work also suggests that the carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere were higher than expected during the mid-Cretaceous period, 115-80 million years ago, challenging climate models of the period.

The mid-Cretaceous was the heyday of the dinosaurs but was also the warmest period in the past 140 million years, with temperatures in the tropics as high as 35 degrees Celsius and sea level 170 metres higher than today.

[…]

They found that the annual mean air temperature was around 12 degrees Celsius; roughly two degrees warmer than the mean temperature in Germany today. Average summer temperatures were around 19 degrees Celsius; water temperatures in the rivers and swamps reached up to 20 degrees; and the amount and intensity of rainfall in West Antarctica were similar to those in today’s Wales.

Source: Traces of ancient rainforest in Antarctica point to a warmer prehistoric world | Imperial News | Imperial College London

Solarpunk and five climate futures

In this interview with Andrew Dana Hudson, he lays out a brief overview of the five futures he discusses in his book. This, in turn, is based on his Masters thesis.

There’s a lot of optimism in solarpunk approaches to the future, which is attractive. We just need to have the will to realise that it’s not already over.

There is a very optimistic sustainable scenario, full of community and open-hearted kindness and capitalist power fading to a bad memory. But there’s also a scenario of overclocked consumerism, another of neo-feudal inequality, and a third of persistent military conflict and global breakdown. And a middle-of-the-road scenario in which, like today, we slowly make some progress but never, ever enough.

[…]

Solarpunk also seems to me a bridge toward a future of energy abundance. It’s funny, given how much solarpunk is (wonderfully) influenced by crusty degrowthers and permacultural downshifters, but it’s possible that if we keep building renewables the way we’re projected to over the next decade or so, we might end up with access to way more energy than human beings have ever had to work with (at least during the day). What do we do with that? Those electrons have to go somewhere. Well, we’ll need a lot of energy to remove a Lake Michigan’s worth of carbon out of the atmosphere, in order to stabilize the climate and roll back ocean acidification. Call that Big Chemistry. But probably there’s room for Big Computation and Big Culture as well. If solar energy becomes cheaper than free, how does that broaden our artistic ambitions? And what does that sometimes-post-scarcity mindset mean for how we treat each other?

Source: Our Shared Storm: An Interview with Andrew Dana Hudson – Solarpunk Magazine