News Press Review

Green Light For Mega Wind Farm And 12 Other Key Stories

Image: Michael Rosskothen / Shutterstock.com
Image: Michael Rosskothen / Shutterstock.com

Things are moving quickly as our planet makes the transition to a new, clean economy. You want to stay in the loop – but you’re busy, that’s why we keep an eye on the headlines for you!

Welcome to the 23 August 2016 edition of the Daily Planet’s weekly State Of The Planet. Don’t hesitate to send your tips and comments to @peter_koekoek or peter.koekoek@climate-kic.org.

1. Someone has turned depressing climate data into stunning art.

University of Maine student Jill Pelto, who describes herself as both a scientist and an artist, decided to combine her skills to communicate climate science through art to reach a broader audience.

At first glance you might miss that her beautiful paintings actually visualise climate science data, the Daily Planet reports, so have a good look!

2. It’s almost official: the Paris climate agreement will become law this year.

The Paris climate agreement will become international law by the end of 2016 if countries stick to the promises they have made, Climate Home reports.

Fifty-seven countries accounting for 59.88 per cent of global emissions have now indicated they will sign the agreement before end of 2016, according to the website.

3. The UK is going ahead with the second phase of world’s biggest-ever offshore wind farm.

The multibillion-pound Hornsea Project Two will include 300 gigantic turbines and span an area of 480 square kilometres in the North Sea, the Guardian reports. The area is lies between 31km and 190km off the Yorkshire coast, according to Denmark’s Dong Energy which will build the farm.

The clean energy project will create 2,500 jobs, according to a tweet by the UK government.

The announcement received a lot of media attention, and even the BBC’s 10 o’clock TV news got wind of the story according to Sarah Merrick of Danish wind energy company Vestas.

3. But the Guardian is calling for more UK climate financing in an editorial on climate change.

Former UK finance minister George Osborne’s “attack on ‘green crap’”, along with the eurozone crisis, has hit investment in renewable energy hard, the newspaper’s editorial board wrote last week.

“We need nuclear to keep the lights on. But not from [English nuclear plant] Hinkley C. Instead, redirect the £30 billion of subsidies into making the UK a good place for green investment again,” the editorial concludes.

4. The Netherlands could be on the brink of banning the sale of petrol-fuelled cars.

“We need to phase out CO2 emissions and we need to change our pattern of using fossil fuels if we want to save the Earth,” a Dutch Labour Party politician told the Independent. Clean energy magnate Assaad Razzouk tweeted the news article calling it yet another “end of age of oil” signal.

If the measures proposed by the Labour Party in March are finally passed, the Netherlands could join Norway and Denmark in making a move to boost the electric car industry, according to the Independent. The ban would apply to new cars sold, but vehicles purchased before the ban would still be allowed on Dutch roads, according to Yale Climate Connections.

5. Electric cars can make a bigger difference for climate change than once believed.

A new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has concluded that today’s electric cars can put a decent dent in climate change, Global News reports.

Roughly 90 per cent of the personal vehicles on the road daily could be replaced by a low-cost electric vehicle available on the market today, even if the cars can only charge overnight,” MIT’s Jessika Trancik told Global News.

6. Ford’s new affordable all-electric car will hit the roads in 2019.

Ford’s new “Model E” car is set to go into production in the spring of 2019, the automaker announced according to Digital Trends. The car will have a driving range of 320 kilometres, going after Tesla’s new “Model 3” consumer model which is set for a release in 2017 and promises a similar range.

7. Ford has also promised a fleets of driverless cars within five years.

Following competitors like Tesla, Toyota and Uber, Ford has announced it is working on driverless cars and will deliver them in five years, the New York Times reports.

8. Yet another good news story for Tesla: “‘I want my family back in a Tesla’ says father after surviving severe crash in a Model X.”

Orthopaedic surgeon Jonathan Braman has spent a lot of time working on patients injured in violent car accidents, according to Electrek, that’s why he knew what to expect for his family and himself after his Tesla Model X was struck by a large truck.

To his surprise however, all 6 passengers (and his dog) walked away from the severe accident, Electrek reports, while pointing out that it’s an example of how the large crumple zone – which is due to the lack of a large combustion engine in the front – helps take the bulk of the impact.

9. Extreme summer: From wildfires to deadly floods, global warming is increasingly apparent.

When it comes to our climate, everything is connected. And there has never been a year, and most especially a summer, that has so prominently and destructively showcased this, according to Mashable, pointing out we still haven’t arrived at the peak of the hurricane season.

10. Don’t miss these 13 big low-carbon investment stories from 2016’s first half.

We’re already halfway through 2016, and the historic Paris climate summit was over six months ago. Time to take a look at what has happened! The Daily Planet put together a selection of low-carbon investment stories that made headlines in the first half of 2016.

11. Another record broken: July 2016 is the hottest month ever.

Average temperatures measured by NASA during July beat all previous Julys, Mashable reports.

12. The Internet loves the jaw-dropping Arctic Ocean piano performance by Ludovico Einaudi.

Earlier this summer, Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi put on the show of his lifetime on a floating platform in the Arctic Ocean – and the internet has fallen in love with it, the Daily Planet reports.

About a minute and a half into the Greenpeace video, a piece of the melting Wahlenbergbreen glacier audibly crashes into the ocean while Einaudi plays his emotional Elegy for the Arctic on a grand piano.

The Daily Planet has rounded up some of the online reactions.

https://twitter.com/ClimateKIC/status/766534671240802304

13. A new web app helps reduce your old car’s carbon emissions.

The web-based ‘Green Driving Tool’ estimates the fuel-costs and CO2 emissions of your current petrol or diesel car based on information such as your car brand and model, engine power and your driving style, the Daily Planet reports.

The European Commission hopes that after seeing the predictions by the app you might decide to take public transport more often, in particular when you see how expensive your car trips are for certain journeys. The tool also shows what type of car would me most efficient for the journey of your choice, so you might also just decide to exchange your car for a different model.

Missed last week’s State of the Planet?

UN chief Ban Ki-moon called for swift ratification of the Paris Agreement, wildfires dominated the news in France, America’s first offshore wind farm is being built and a former NASA employee is living off-grid in America’s capital. Catch up on these and many other stories here.

Looking for something to fix?

One of these stories may just inspire your next business venture:

  • Climate change is making beaches saltier. Sand from America’s northeast coast has given scientists an interesting understanding of how rising temperatures impact ocean-water beaches, the Weather Network reports.
  • The wildfire smoke problem intensifies with climate change. A new study from Harvard and Yale universities predicts most of the smoke generated by fires on the US West Coast will flow straight to western Montana, the Montana Standard reports.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive next week’s State Of The Planet in your inbox. Don’t hesitate to send your tips and comments to @peter_koekoek or peter.koekoek@climate-kic.org!

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