Erasing 100 Years of Carbon Emissions, Wind Turbine Island – Top 5 Happy Eco News – 2021-02-22
Thanks for reading the Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5 newsletter. This week we have environmental enthusiast Jamie D’Souza with a guest blog post about her educational and career trajectory.
We also have stories that feature how planting trees will help with carbon emissions, an artificial island being built in Denmark for giant wind turbines, 25 ways to save our planet after the pandemic, dispelling the myths around large-scale tree planting, and a report of how KLM achieved its first regular flight using sustainable synthetic fuel.
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Do you ever stop to think about your career journey? All the important moments and unexpected turns that led you to where you are today?
I just finished a master’s degree and while I spend my days trying to find a job in Montreal’s environmental sector, I spend a lot of time thinking about how I got to where I am.
I’ve always enjoyed being outdoors and close to nature. I love camping, going for walks, spotting wildlife, but I never really thought about having an environmental career. As a kid there were so many things I wanted to be when I grew up: a teacher, a writer, a singer. From what I can remember, I didn’t have much exposure to environmental information. In elementary and high school, we learned about the general picture of the world but never explored environmental issues in depth. At home, we recycled and composted. We brought our empty aluminum cans and glass bottles to the store. And I was the lucky recipient of secondhand clothing. But I never really thought about what these actions meant or even how important these efforts were. If I’m being honest, I think at these stages in my life, I was more concerned about Barbie’s wardrobe and taking selfies for Myspace. [read more]
Top 5 Happy Eco News
An area the size of the United States could be restored as forests with the potential of erasing nearly 100 years of carbon emissions, according to the first ever study to determine how many trees the Earth could support. Published today in Science , ” The global tree restoration potential ” report found that there is enough suitable land to increase the world’s forest cover by one-third without affecting existing cities or agriculture. However, the amount of suitable land area diminishes as global temperatures rise. Even if global warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the area available for forest restoration could be reduced by a fifth by 2050 because it would be too warm for some tropical forests. “Our study shows clearly that forest restoration is the best climate change solution available today,” said Tom Crowther, a researcher at ETH Zürich , and senior author of the study. That does not alter the vital importance of protecting existing forests and phasing out fossil fuels since new forests would take decades to mature , Crowther said in a statement. “If we act now, this could cut carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by up to 25 percent, to levels last … [read more]
When the Middelgruden offshore wind farm was built in 2000, it was the largest offshore wind farm in the world at 40 MW. Now two new farms that are respectively 125 and 205 times larger in capacity (and even bigger in terms of annual production) have been announced within days of each other. Image Credit: United Nations Photo Within days of each other, two projects have been announced which will, if completed, represent a transformation for offshore wind and renewable energy in general. Denmark has committed to building a world-first artificial island to act as a base for hundreds of gigantic wind turbines, while South Korea has given the go-ahead for an offshore farm dwarfing the largest currently in existence. Offshore wind offers some major advantages over land-based wind turbines. Some very rare exceptions aside, the wind is more constant out to sea with nothing to obstruct it. Delivering towers, blades, and turbines by ship avoids restrictions and neighbors’ objections that keep some onshore wind farms from reaching their ideal height. Consequently, offshore wind farms are usually bigger and can catch the more consistent winds at altitude, leaving far smaller gaps to be filled from polluting sources than onshore … [read more]
3. 25 Opportunities to Save the Planet After COVID-19
These 25 steps from the OECD will help us toward a green inclusive recovery. COVID-19 has presented us with a unique opportunity for a green and inclusive recovery that will make the world a better place for everyone, says the head of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). “The pandemic has shown us the importance of being prepared when crises hit. It has also shown us that postponing bold decisions can have huge costs,” says José Ángel Gurría, OECD Secretary General. “We were not prepared for the COVID-19 crisis, and we are even less prepared for the looming consequences of ongoing and worsening challenges such as climate change, biodiversity collapse, life-shortening air pollution, and ocean acidification.” Global emissions broken down by economic sector. OECD Here are the 25 things the OECD says we must do to accelerate a fair, low-carbon recovery, focusing on five key emitting sectors of the world economy – agriculture, buildings, electricity, industry and transport – and using five policy levers: investment, regulation, tax & subsidies, leadership by example, and information & education. Agriculture 4.0 Gigatonnes of Methane emissions come from land-use change. OECD 1. Improve agricultural productivity in sustainable … [read more]
Trees must be able to cope with projected climate change Scientists have proposed 10 golden rules for tree-planting, which they say must be a top priority for all nations this decade. Tree planting is a brilliant solution to tackle climate change and protect biodiversity, but the wrong tree in the wrong place can do more harm than good, say experts at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The rules include protecting existing forests first and involving locals. They provide a home to three-quarters of the world’s plants and animals, soak up carbon dioxide, and provide food, fuels and medicines. But they’re fast disappearing; an area about the size of Denmark of pristine tropical forest is lost every year. “Planting the right trees in the right place must be a top priority for all nations as we face a crucial decade for ensuring the future of our planet,” said Dr Paul Smith, a researcher on the study and secretary general of conservation charity, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, in Kew. image captionIt takes at least a century to restore damaged forests A raft of ambitious tree-planting projects are underway around the world to replace the forests being lost. Boris Johnson has … [read more]
5. KLM makes first regular flight with sustainable synthetic fuel
Air France-KLM’s Dutch arm operated a passenger flight from Amsterdam to Madrid that the carrier says was the first in the world to use sustainably derived synthetic aviation fuel. The Boeing Co. 737-800 narrow-body plane carried 500 litres of the fuel produced by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, equating to more than five per cent of the total requirement for the trip, KLM said in a statement Monday. While flights partly powered by plant-derived biofuels have become commonplace as aviation seeks to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, fully synthetic propellants have taken longer to develop. KLM said the Madrid flight, which took place on Jan. 22, was groundbreaking in combining carbon capture with solar and wind power to produce a fully sustainable kerosene substitute. “The introduction of sustainable aviation fuel is very important to us,” KLM chief executive officer Pieter Elbers said in a webinar on SAF, where news of the flight was disclosed. “The captain informed the passengers that this was a big step for the industry. They didn’t notice any difference.” KLM also operated the first commercial service to use biofuel in 2011, powered by a 50:50 blend of kerosene and used cooking oil. Availability since then … [read more]
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