10 in 2 - Week of May 15th

1. What do the big dogs know that politicians don’t? According to NPR, energy companies including Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and BP have pledged their public support for the Paris climate pact and are urging Trump to keep the USA on the path. (NPR)

2. What’s more.. 24 big corporations signed a statement urging the president to ‘Keep the US in the Paris Agreement for the good of the US economy’ and then 30 CEO’s from other big companies sent a letter to President Trump highlighting the business case.

3. Well, there are some politicians listening and leading. According to Bloomberg, Canada’s president Trudeau is going to force a carbon tax and cap on holdout provinces not yet already involved. ‘Polluters should pay,’ he says. (Bloomberg)

4. And, in the end, it may not be so easy. A new study says inspiring action on climate change is more complex than you might think - People have to grasp how climate change impacts them personally, and we need to financially value environmentally sound behavior. (The Guardian)

5. A good trend. Apparently the California grid set a new record, with 67% of power coming from renewables. Better yet, the numbers do not yet account for electricity from rooftop solar arrays. Maybe we can stop the fracking? (SF Gate)

6. Nature is indeed resilient. Researchers are reporting that a coral from the Red Sea thrives under global warming simulations, giving them hope reefs will survive climate change. (The Scientist)

7. But nature can only take so much. Republican president Richard Nixon signed the U.S. Endangered Species Act into law in 1973. Since then it has contributed to saving more than 200 species from extinction—but with the current republican administration the act may itself be endangered.  Luckily for all of us and all those critters, the chairman of the Crow Nation, a leader with the perfect name, A. J. Not Afraid, is standing valiantly in their way. (National Geographic)

A. J. Not Afraid, chairman of the Crow Nation in Montana, is fighting to keep grizzlies—which are sacred to Native Americans—protected under the Endangered Species Act.  PHOTOGRAPH BY KATIE ORLINSKY, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

A. J. Not Afraid, chairman of the Crow Nation in Montana, is fighting to keep grizzlies—which are sacred to Native Americans—protected under the Endangered Species Act. 


PHOTOGRAPH BY KATIE ORLINSKY, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

 

8. If it weren’t true, it would be a good hollywood story. The Svalbard ‘doomsday’ seed vault was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. But the Global Seed Vault, buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle, has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter, sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel. (The Guardian)

9. Beachfront property in Ohio. The New York Times is doing a 3 part interactive story that details how the threat of major flooding to the world’s great coastal cities — Miami, New York, Shanghai and many more — is tied to Antarctica’s fate. Telling you about it won’t be enough. Go have a look, global catastrophes have never been so pretty. (NYT)

10. Everyone benefits. Research by professors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett shows how societies that are more unequal actually do much worse within a whole range of indicators of societal progress. And it's not just the poor — all members of unequal societies do worse than their counterparts in less unequal societies. (Shareable)



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10 in 2 - Week of May 8th

1. A leaked document shows the Labour Party’s 2017 priorities. The leak contains nefarious goals such as:  putting the UK back on track to meet its Paris Agreement climate targets, Ban fracking, introduce a new Clean Air Act, nationalize key parts of the energy sector, and prioritize access to the internal energy market and the European Atomic Energy Community in Brexit negotiations. (DESMOG UK

2. Tesla is now accepting deposits for its new solar roof system, offering an "infinity" warranty for tiles that integrate solar power into roof coverings and are cheaper than a traditional roof. (NPR)

 

3. On a previous '10 in 2' we shared our excitement for the impending release of the Netflix original show “Bill Nye Saves the World”. I watched part of one episode and had to turn it off. It means well, but the show is just not good. I revoke my previous recommendation. (Fatherly

4. There is a notable new sustainability podcast on the block. “Terrestrial” is hosted by Ashley Ahearn, who travels the country to bring listeners stories about people making personal choices in the face of environmental change. (KUOW)

5. Popular Mechanics did a profile of a guy hired by the state of Florida to hunt pythons in the everglades. It’s a good read, and includes quotes like "I feel like I won the lottery, and I make minimum wage," Florida man never disappoints. (PM

6. This weeks installment of fossil fuel company schadenfreude is the announcement that solar power is becoming even cheaper in India much faster than predicted. The price of solar in India dropped 12 percent over the past 12 months. (RenewEconomy)

7. One giant leap for narwhal science. Not only is the "unicorn of the sea" real, new footage reveals it uses its horn to club fish before eating them. (Canada.ca

8. In a shock to no one, the Dakota Access pipeline is already leaking. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe is not pleased about having to say “I told you so”, but here we are. (Vice)

9. A team of Australian scientists is building miniature ecosystems designed to simulate the impact of climate change. By playing with the chemistry of water tanks containing biological diversity, the experiments are already revealing dangers that would have been missed had researchers tried to study individual species in isolation. (NYT

10. Polar bears are ditching seafood in favour of scrambled eggs, as the heat rises in the Arctic melting the sea ice. A changing coastline has made it harder for the predators to catch the seals they favour and is pushing them towards poaching goose eggs. (New Scientist

 



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10 in 2 - Week of April 24th

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of April 24th

  • 10 news stories that piqued our interest us this week

 

...so here we go:

 

  1. A plastic-eating caterpillar can help us get rid of our trash. Don’t worry. They won’t be dumping millions of worms in landfills to eat our garbage, but they will be studying them to find out how. (Research Gate)

  2. Patagonia threatens to sue Trump over national monuments order. CEO Rose Marcario said in a statement. “We’re watching the Trump administration’s actions very closely and preparing to take every step necessary, including legal action, to defend our most treasured public landscapes from coast to coast.” (The Hill)

  3. Senators and movement leaders have introduced a 100 percent clean energy bill. The legislation comes ahead of the People's Climate March on April 29th, and aims to completely phase out fossil fuel use by 2050. The odds that it passes, however, are a bit less than 100. (Alternet)

  4. Artificial intelligence will replace half of all jobs in the next decade, says widely followed technologist. But never fear he says, it won’t just take our jobs, it will also wipe out poverty. (CNBC

  5. How long could humans live if all diseases were cured?  "According to a calculation by statistics website Polstats.com the answer is a respectable 8,938 years on average" (Motherboard)

  6. In case you ever find yourself in the company of Donald Trump: new research has found that female dragonflies fake sudden death to avoid male advances.(New Scientist

  7. A U.K. startup uses recycled plastic to build roads that are 60 percent stronger than traditional roadways, and 10 times longer-lasting (Curbed)

  8. Canada is now the world's leading 'deforestation nation'. A new satellite study reveals that since 2000 more than 104 million hectares of forests -- an area three times the size of Germany -- have been destroyed or degraded. (rabble.ca)

  9. The Alabama environmental agency's budget is less than $11 per person, the smallest per capita budget of all state environmental agencies, according to a new survey. (AL.com)

  10. The Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank known for attacking climate science, has been mailing a book to public school teachers. They plan send out 200,000 copies, until virtually every science educator in America has one. The book is called “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming.” (NYT)



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10 in 2 - Week of April 17th

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of April 17th

  • 10 news stories that piqued our interest us this week provided in about 2 minutes with links to the full stories found on our website.

  1. Think the climate isn’t changing radically? Ask someone who lives in the Yukon. The New York Times reports that In the blink of a geological eye, climate change has helped reverse the flow of water melting from a glacier in Canada’s Yukon, a hijacking that scientists call “river piracy.” This engaging term refers to one river capturing and diverting the flow of another. A process that would ordinarily take thousands of years — or more — happened in just a few months in 2016. (NYT)

  2. To make matters worse, according to Scientific American, we just breached the 410 PPM threshold for CO2. Right now we’re on track to create a climate unseen in 50 million years by mid-century. (Scientific American)

  3. This said, never doubt that a small group of companies can change the world. On Wed the world’s largest retailer launched an initiative to work with its suppliers to remove 1 gigaton (that’s 1 billion tons - billion with a B - equivalent of the annual emissions of Germany) of greenhouse gas emissions from its supply chain by 2030. (Greenbiz)

  4. More on the great epistemological question: how do you know you’re not a brain in a vat being manipulated by super scientists to think your life is real? The Wait but Why blog, in an effort to explain exactly what Neuralink, Elon Musk’s new company is, has released a 5 part longform essay that takes us through the history of humanity.  (Wait but Why

  5. Ever wonder why you can only like, comment, or share on Facebook? In a recent episode of his Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris spoke with Design Ethicist, Tristan Harris, about how 99.9% of internet apps are designed to persuade us to spend more ‘time on page’. Together they ponder the implications of this and how app designers might be persuaded themselves to rethink their ethical stance. (Sam Harris - Waking Up)

  6. The scientific method. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson released a video urging Americans to change how they relate to science. He calls it “most important words” he's ever spoken, and who knows, he might be right. (Business Insider), consistent with this...

  7. The global March for Science is Saturday, April 22. Earth day. Find a march in your area at MarchforScience.com.

  8. Where are the jobs? Blowing in the wind. U.S. Wind Industry now employs 100,000 people and job growth is nine times greater than the average industry in this country. (The Washington Post)

  9. Do you really need a $400 wifi connected juicer? If you do, Juicero raised $120 Million in funding to build one. Unfortunately, it turns out that you can just squeeze their proprietary juice packs with your hands and forgo the high technology. (Bloomberg)

  10. Happy Earth Day! Britain’s National Grid tweeted that due to a radical increase in renewable energy over the last 10 years, Britain is all set for the first coal-free day since Industrial Revolution began. (The Guardian)

 



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10 in 2 - Week of April 10th

  • This is the 10 in 2 report for the week of April 10th
  • 10 news stories that piqued our interest us this week

 

  1. Bret Bart. The New York Times hired Bret Stephens this week to its editorial staff. In 2015 he wrote that climate change — along with hunger in America, campus rape statistics, and institutionalized racism— are “imaginary enemies.” (ThinkProgress)
  2. One of my favorite podcasts “Science Vs”, digs into GM foods this week to find out whether they’re safe to eat and what impact they can have on the environment. Highly recommended listen. (Science Vs)
  3. Oman's mountains may hold clues for reversing climate change. A unique rock formation pulls carbon out of thin air, and geologists are pretty excited about the potential. (WRAL)
  4. A new device developed at MIT pulls water from dry air using a metal-organic framework, and is powered only by ambient light. This process isn’t new, but this super low energy-cost is groundbreaking. (phys.org)
  5. Apple is competing with the city of San Francisco to buy all of the trees. Apple is landscaping its new spaceship campus, and the city is building a giant park on top of the new transbay terminal.  This has led to a “surprisingly cutthroat” tree buying battle. (Business Insider)
  6. Tesla for the Air. Boeing and JetBlue have invested in Zunum Aero, an airline startup company working to design and build a fleet of short-haul hybrid electric aircraft by the early-2020s. (Quartz)
  7. Millennia-old ice samples extracted by scientists from locations across the Canadian Arctic, melted because of a freezer malfunction in a lab. 22,000 years’ worth of atmospheric information, were entirely or partially destroyed. A sad and ironic reflection of our global predicament. (NYT)
  8. Trump's border wall plan hits snag as congressman backs environmental suit. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona and the Center for Biological Diversity call for environmental analysis before construction, which could delay the project for years. (The Guardian)
  9. More proof that we are a lot like them. Ant Species Megaponera analis has been recently discovered to rescue wounded comrades on the battlefield. 95 percent of the ants that were carried home and allowed to mend lived to fight again. (Smithsonian)
  10. Asia-Pacific countries are beginning to consider their own form of universal basic income in the face of an automation-induced jobs crisis. Basic income has been floated as a potential solution for decades, if not centuries, but this time, the robots really are here and we are going to have to figure it out somehow. (South China Morning Post)


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10 in 2 - Week of April 3rd

  • This is the 10 in 2 report for the week of April 3rd

  • 10 news stories that piqued our interest us this week 

 

1. A Moment of Choice. Yesterday The Bureau of Land Management, which oversees over 200 million acres of public land, swapped out its website’s splash page photo of a young boy and his companion backpacking across a mountain meadow in favor of one showing a massive coal seam. (NPR)

 

2. The New Children’s Crusade. A nine-year-old girl has filed a lawsuit against the Indian government for failing to take action on climate change. Ridhima Pandey asks the court to order the government to assess industrial projects, prepare a “carbon budget”, and create a national climate recovery plan. (The Guardian)

3. Beer is Proof that God Loves Us. The illustrious Ben Franklin said this and were he around today he’d be smiling about how Carlos Brito, CEO of the world’s largest brewer, AB InBev, pledged to power their global operations with 100% renewable electricity by 2025. The company currently purchases 7% of its electricity from renewable sources. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

4. Nanotech alchemy to reduce suffering. A team of scientists at the University of Manchester have developed a way to use Graphene, the ‘hardest material ever made’ as a molecular sieve to transform seawater into drinking water. (Big Think)

5. Truth or Dare. Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire founder of eBay, pledged $100 million to support investigative journalism and fight "fake news." (CNN

6. Can you say uniformitarían principle? A new study says the combination of atmospheric increases in CO2 and sun intensity increases means that unless we shift direction quickly, we are heading for the warmest climate since 500 billion BC. As the article says, “Nothing like this has been recorded in the rock record for at least 420m years” (The Conversation

7. Help Mr. Wizard. AI, robots and automation could replace humans in the food services industry "by the mid [2020s]," according to the CEO of YUM Brands. This is in direct contrast to comments by the Treasury Secretary who recently said the change would take 50 to 100 years. (CNBC)

8. Truth or Dare redux. Scientists plan to head out of their labs and into the streets to protest on Earth Day, April 22. Science has become a political act. “Ice has no agenda. It just melts.” (The Inquirer)

9. Can you wrap your head around this? We’re bringing it back! The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum switching to solar power in hopes of saving money on energy costs. (SF Gate)

10. The old Switch and Bait. The internet exploded with jokes on the news that Trump donated the first three months of his presidential salary to the National Park Service, putting $78K and change back into a budget that he plans to slash by 1.5 billion. (The Hill



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10 in 2 - Week of March 27th

  • This is the 10 in 2 report for the week of march 27th

  • 10 news stories tangentially related to sustainability that piqued our interest us this week provided in 2 minutes (or in as short a time as we can).

 

1. The new podcast from the makers of Serial & This American Life is finally here. S-Town is a seven-part audio documentary the centers around John B McLemore, an antique clock restorer from Alabama who happens to be passionate about climate change. I haven't finished it yet, but I can already strongly endorse this true crime story which took YEARS to put together.   (S-Town

 

2. Arctic researcher Victoria Herrmann pleads with Trump to stop deleting climate research. And I quote “While working in one of the most physically demanding environments on the planet, we don’t have time to fill new data gaps created by political malice.” (Guardian)

3. Google’s online tool Project Sunroof now works in all 50 states, the software uses aerial photos and mapping data to calculate rooftop solar energy potential for your house (Project Sunroof)

4. In a water contamination crisis to rival Flint’s, it has been reported that in 29 California neighborhoods, nearly 14 percent of children under the age of six have elevated levels of lead in their blood.  (WNYC)

5. A New Zealand environmentalist has challenged his country's environment minister to a fist fight. Greg Byrnes, the general manager of a conservation trust, issued the challenge in a newspaper classified ad (CBC.CA

Environmentalist Greg Byrnes

Environmentalist Greg Byrnes

 

6. Infamous slacker Elon Musk announced his new company this week. Neuralink’s mission is to add a symbiotic digital layer to the human brain. (NPR)

7. Peruvian scientist Marino Morikawa "revived" polluted wetlands in 15 days using nanotechnology after getting a call from his father saying his childhood fishing spot was an illegal trash and sewage dump. He now plans to try to clean up Lake Titicaca. (EFE)

Peruvian scientist Marino Morikawa poses at the Japanese Garden - EFE/Ernesto Arias

Peruvian scientist Marino Morikawa poses at the Japanese Garden - EFE/Ernesto Arias

 

8. Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft say they will continue their efforts to combat climate change despite the current executive and legislative actions taking place (The Verge)

9. There are huge tunnels in South America dug by extinct giant sloths. The problem is that no one knows why or how. The tunnels are large enough for a person to walk through and some of them are thousands of feet long. (Popular Mechanics)

photo Heinrich Frank

photo Heinrich Frank

 

10. Just in case you are not aware, Planet Earth II is out, and it is mind-bendingly gorgeous and fun to watch. My one criticism is that there isn’t any footage of the extinct tunneling sloths. (BBC



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10 in 2 - Week of March 20th

 

 

1. The art of Leadership vs. the art of the Deal. Today California’s Air Resouces Board, representing a 12 state coalition and ⅓ of the US car market, voted to uphold the 2025 standard of an average miles-per-gallon of 54.5 in a direct rebuke to the federal administration's plans to ease those regulations. NYT

2. Working toward a future that doesn’t suck. The online periodical Grist named “50 fixers” for 2017. The list features emerging environmental leaders with fresh, forward-thinking solutions to some of humanity's biggest challenges. The featured leaders are saving soil, using comedy to spotlight indigenous rights, coaxing Angelenos onto bikes, and tackling basically everything else. This is the future that liberals want.   (Grist)

3. Enough about the B Team. Got a big idea to defend or improve the world? Start an A-Team (for Activist Team). An organization called Fight for the Future says they will pay you to quit your job and make a difference instead of sitting around wishing things would be different. Now you have no excuse. (Fight for the Future - A teams)

4. The future is now. According to Bloomberg, Store No. 8, Walmart’s new tech incubator in Silicon Valley will focus on “innovation in robotics, virtual and augmented reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence” Soon we’ll be able to think of what we want and experience it frictionlessly. (Bloomberg

5. Buzzkill. The rusty-patched bumblebee, once a common pollinator, has been added to the endangered list after a 90 percent decline in population and habitat in just 20 years. (CBS News

6. Counter intuitive. Futurist Alex Steffen, writing for the blog ‘The Nearly Now’ argues that Donald Trump is the best thing to happen for climate action in years and is actually accelerating the birth of the low carbon economy.  (The Nearly Now

7. Margaret Mead disciples. A ragtag crew of social media celebrities banded together to send food to Somalia. Incredibly, their Go Fund Me campaign raised over $2 million in just five days. Ben Stiller, Turkish Airlines and a host of others are in action. (Love Army for Somalia

 

8. An Inconvenient Exit. Former Vice President, Al Gore argues that climate change helped cause Brexit and is contributing to political instability around the world. (Independent)

9. Grass Fed M&A. Online meal kit pioneer, Blue Apron just acquired Bill Niman’s Northern California Ranch, hoping to provide low cost, grass fed beef for their customers who have come to expect only the best (in as many individually wrapped packages as possible).  (Eater)

10. Riverdance. New Zealand and India have legally decreed that rivers have the same rights as people. Like citizens and corporations in the USA, the Whanganui and the Ganges Rivers can now own property, petition the courts, and we assume, fight for their rights. (The Economist)

 



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The President of Chile and Tompkins Conservation Sign Historic Pledge to Create 11 Million Acres of New National Parks in Chile

photograph by Jimmy Chin

photograph by Jimmy Chin

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, leader of Tompkins Conservation, today signed a pledge to dramatically expand national parkland in Chile by approximately 11 million acres. The proposal represents the largest land donation in history from a private entity to a country; the area to be protected is three times the size of Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks combined.
 
This proposal will help create the “Route of Parks,” a 17-park network spanning more than 1,500 miles from Puerto Montt to Cape Horn that Chilean citizens, nature lovers, global adventurers and tourists from around the world can enjoy. The Route will safeguard Patagonia’s wilderness and provide a boon to economic development in the South of Chile, with the potential to generate US$270 million in annual, ecotourism-related revenue and employ up to 43,000 people in the region.

Blu Skye is proud to support Tompkins Conservation and our other clients in things that we can touch, taste and feel.


To celebrate this historic event, Zach interviewed Erin Billman on the significance of this announcement. Listen and subscribe on iTunes using this button, or on the SoundCloud player below.

 


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