Seabirds like the puffin are cute and curious things, and it turns out that if we help them thrive we can help the carbon cycle. Habitats that are good for seabirds can sequester carbon efficiently and due to the level of nutrients can provide energy for other lifeforms. The key for seabirds is their colony size, right now they are tiny and spirited; instead, by getting colonies to be in the same area the benefits are exponential due to more robust biodiversity.
Restoring seabirds could bolster ocean ecosystems and their ability to draw down carbon dioxide, said Hans-Otto Pörtner, a climate scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany, who recently co-authored a research paper in Science that spells out the the connections between biodiversity, ecosystem protection and climate stabilization.
In addition to direct CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels and other industrial processes, the disruption of ecosystems and biodiversity declines have also significantly contributed to rising atmospheric greenhouse concentrations that are heating up the planet, he said.
“Biodiversity loss contributes to climate change through loss of wild species and biomass,” the paper concluded. “This reduces carbon stocks and sink capacity in natural and managed ecosystems, increasing emissions.”
Luxury taxes can save us from climate collapse and we should start raising taxes now. You, the reader, will not have your taxes increased and nor are you likely to be impacted by a luxury tax; however, the benefits you will gain from a luxury tax are immense.
We already know that lifestyles of the rich and famous kill the environment faster than average lifestyles. It’s hard to compare the carbon footprint of the wealthy to people living in developing economies since the difference is so vast.
Researchers have concluded that the most ethical way to get to a carbon neutral economy is to tax the people what are over consuming.
Not only was the luxury tax “fairer” based on household income—affecting low-income households less and high-income households more—it also was slightly better at reducing yearly household emissions in the very short-term. The researchers note that this might be because it is more feasible to forgo luxury purchases than an essential purchase if the price increases.
While the luxury tax proved fairer in all countries studied, the researchers found that, in low-income countries, a uniform tax could also be fair. In South Africa, for example, low-income households already spend much less on fuel or heating than high-income households. Thus, a uniform carbon tax is already targeting high-income groups by design. In contrast, the luxury carbon tax is most beneficial in terms of fairness when applied to high-income countries. This tax can better account for flexible, nonessential purchases in countries like the United States, where it is difficult to avoid carbon-emitting activities like driving a car in a low-income lifestyle.
When policy makers think about climate change they sometimes take into consideration the whole impact of carbon regulation and reduction. The commonly held myth is that reducing carbon emissions will negatively impact the economy, now we have better numbers to help people no longer fall into believing that myth. Indeed, when the true cost of carbon is taken into consideration it’s clear that the worst carbon emitters ought to be charged tons more.
He said this year it’s even higher, at $261 per tonne of emissions, and by 2030 it will rise to $294.
“Pause for a moment to understand what this signifies,” Guilbeault said.
“Every tonne of carbon we reduce this year saves society as a whole $261 — and we are talking in terms of cutting megatonnes: millions of tonnes.”
Fusion power has been just a decade away for decades, or at least that was the joke. Yesterday it became outdated because it was revealed that nuclear fusion was ignited, stabilized, and proven to work reliably. Fusion energy is carbon-free energy production which has the potential to revolutionize how we use electricity. Hopefully we will be able to replace major power plants with this carbon free fusion solution.
To be clear, there’s still a lot to do to get fusion energy connected to the grid. We still need to focus first and foremost on renewable energy sources.
“The pursuit of fusion ignition in the laboratory is one of the most significant scientific challenges ever tackled by humanity, and achieving it is a triumph of science, engineering, and most of all, people,”LLNL Director Dr. Kim Budilsaid. “Crossing this threshold is the vision that has driven 60 years of dedicated pursuit—a continual process of learning, building, expanding knowledge and capability, and then finding ways to overcome the new challenges that emerged. These are the problems that the U.S. national laboratories were created to solve.”
Our global carbon footprint has risen dramatically since 1990, but only a few people are to blame for the worst of it. The wealthy have been increasing their carbon output without regard for anybody on the planet (or future generations). Reducing their carbon output is simple and easy, many ideas have been put on this very site. As always, we need politicians brave enough to stand up for the majority of people.
He finds that per-capita emissions of the top 1% of emitters in the world grew by 26% over 1990-2019. The top 0.01% saw an even larger rise of 80%. Meanwhile, the bottom half of emitters saw a more modest 16% increase in per-capita emissions. And the “lower- and middle-income groups of the rich countries” saw a drop in per capita emissions of 5-15%.