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Water War Between India, Pakistan: Kashmir and Jammu
All over the world conflict situations arise between countries because people are confronted with decreasing natural resources like water as a result of climate change. In the Middle East and in Africa there are several examples of countries where climate change is seen as the cause of violent conflicts. But there is also a major conflict in Asia due to the lack of water resources - which can even involve nuclear weapons. India and Pakistan are directly opposite each other. The problem? Water. The Indus and its tributaries in the Indus Waters Treaty Pakistan and India share a number of important waters, the Indus and its tributaries - a crucial lifeline for both countries. The Indus River, along with its tributaries, is more than 2880 kilometres long. The river flows from north to south India and then ends up in Pakistan. In September 1960, the countries signed the Indus Waters Treaty. This treaty laid down how to deal with waters that start in India but are crucial for Pakistan. Please note: when the signatures were placed under the Indus Waters Treaty, the countries were still relatively peaceful with each other. The World Bank mediated this Indus Waters Treaty, where the six major rivers of the Indus basin were divided between India and Pakistan. The Baes, the Sutlej and the Ravi - the easternmost rivers - were given to India, and the western rivers, the Chenab, the Jhelum and the Indus, are under the control of Pakistan. That seems like a good distribution, but there is a big problem: the waters to which Pakistan is entitled largely flow through Kashmir, which is governed by India and widely controversial. Will the Indus Waters Treaty survive the dispute over the Kashmir region? The dispute over the Kashmir region has been an enormous conflict between India and Pakistan for more than six decades. After the division of the British Indies in 1947, both India and Pakistan claim the former princely state of Kashmir and Jammu. China is a third party in this struggle. The conflict escalated in three wars and several other armed conflicts. Even after these wars and other hostilities, the Indus Water Treaty remained standing, but how long will it take? Pakistan has accused India of throttling its water supply and violating the IWT by constructing dams over the rivers flowing into Pakistan from Kashmir. “Any country with nuclear weapons, if they’re backed into a corner because they have no water — that’s really dangerous,” said Jeff Nesbit, author and executive director of non-profit climate communication organisation Climate Nexus. The Indus is crucial for surviving For Pakistan, the Indus river and its tributaries are crucial waters for surviving. Most of the country depends on the waters as an essential source of freshwater - it also is necessary for ninety percent of the agricultural industry in Pakistan. Without this water, the industry will fall apart. Sherry Rehman, Parliamentary Leader of the left-wing opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the Senate tells that "water security has become a regional security threat.” She says: “We are now facing challenges brought about by climate change which were not a primary focus during the negotiations for the Indus Water Treaty.” A 2018 report from the International Monetary Fund ranked Pakistan third among countries facing severe water shortages. When the rapidly melting glaciers in the Himalayas , which feed the Indus waters, eventually disappear as predicted, the dwindling rivers will be slashed even further. The threat of a water war The Indus Waters Treaty almost broke down in September 2016. India accused Pakistani soldiers of a violent attack in Kashmir. The country threatened with the unilateral denunciation of the treaty. “Had they done that, it would have triggered a water war, it would have triggered an actual war. “Never mind a nuclear strike or a military strike, if they were to actually terminate the Indus Water Treaty, that’s much more dangerous to Pakistan’s survival, because they would have no way to grow food. And then they would be relying on food imports at a time when their population is exploding. So that particular incident was really dangerous.” Nesbit states that water issues between India and Pakistan have the potential to become the most deadly climate change-attributed conflict in the world. Why has India not yet lifted the Indus Waters Treaty? That is all because of the third party in this conflict: China. China can do exactly the same with India if they block the water flows to Pakistan. Because of China, the country can face exactly the same fate. That’s why China’s watching the India-Pakistan water wars quite closely, to see the decisions that India makes.  https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/climate/natural
All over the world conflict situations arise between countries because people are confronted with decreasing natural resources like water as a result of climate change. In the Middle East and in Africa there are several examples of countries where climate change is seen as the cause of violent conflicts. But there is also a major conflict in Asia due to the lack of water resources - which can even involve nuclear weapons. India and Pakistan are directly opposite each other. The problem? Water. The Indus and its tributaries in the Indus Waters Treaty Pakistan and India share a number of important waters, the Indus and its tributaries - a crucial lifeline for both countries. The Indus River, along with its tributaries, is more than 2880 kilometres long. The river flows from north to south India and then ends up in Pakistan. In September 1960, the countries signed the Indus Waters Treaty. This treaty laid down how to deal with waters that start in India but are crucial for Pakistan. Please note: when the signatures were placed under the Indus Waters Treaty, the countries were still relatively peaceful with each other. The World Bank mediated this Indus Waters Treaty, where the six major rivers of the Indus basin were divided between India and Pakistan. The Baes, the Sutlej and the Ravi - the easternmost rivers - were given to India, and the western rivers, the Chenab, the Jhelum and the Indus, are under the control of Pakistan. That seems like a good distribution, but there is a big problem: the waters to which Pakistan is entitled largely flow through Kashmir, which is governed by India and widely controversial. Will the Indus Waters Treaty survive the dispute over the Kashmir region? The dispute over the Kashmir region has been an enormous conflict between India and Pakistan for more than six decades. After the division of the British Indies in 1947, both India and Pakistan claim the former princely state of Kashmir and Jammu. China is a third party in this struggle. The conflict escalated in three wars and several other armed conflicts. Even after these wars and other hostilities, the Indus Water Treaty remained standing, but how long will it take? Pakistan has accused India of throttling its water supply and violating the IWT by constructing dams over the rivers flowing into Pakistan from Kashmir. “Any country with nuclear weapons, if they’re backed into a corner because they have no water — that’s really dangerous,” said Jeff Nesbit, author and executive director of non-profit climate communication organisation Climate Nexus. The Indus is crucial for surviving For Pakistan, the Indus river and its tributaries are crucial waters for surviving. Most of the country depends on the waters as an essential source of freshwater - it also is necessary for ninety percent of the agricultural industry in Pakistan. Without this water, the industry will fall apart. Sherry Rehman, Parliamentary Leader of the left-wing opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the Senate tells that "water security has become a regional security threat.” She says: “We are now facing challenges brought about by climate change which were not a primary focus during the negotiations for the Indus Water Treaty.” A 2018 report from the International Monetary Fund ranked Pakistan third among countries facing severe water shortages. When the rapidly melting glaciers in the Himalayas , which feed the Indus waters, eventually disappear as predicted, the dwindling rivers will be slashed even further. The threat of a water war The Indus Waters Treaty almost broke down in September 2016. India accused Pakistani soldiers of a violent attack in Kashmir. The country threatened with the unilateral denunciation of the treaty. “Had they done that, it would have triggered a water war, it would have triggered an actual war. “Never mind a nuclear strike or a military strike, if they were to actually terminate the Indus Water Treaty, that’s much more dangerous to Pakistan’s survival, because they would have no way to grow food. And then they would be relying on food imports at a time when their population is exploding. So that particular incident was really dangerous.” Nesbit states that water issues between India and Pakistan have the potential to become the most deadly climate change-attributed conflict in the world. Why has India not yet lifted the Indus Waters Treaty? That is all because of the third party in this conflict: China. China can do exactly the same with India if they block the water flows to Pakistan. Because of China, the country can face exactly the same fate. That’s why China’s watching the India-Pakistan water wars quite closely, to see the decisions that India makes.  https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/climate/natural
Water War Between India, Pakistan: Kashmir and Jammu
Water War Between India, Pakistan: Kashmir and Jammu
Climate Change: Cause Of The Next Global Economic Collapse
Did you ever think about the possibility of economic devastation because of natural disasters? Geoff Dembicki - journalist en author of Are We Screwed? How a New Generation Is Fighting to Survive Climate Change - did, and thinks you should, because it’s very real: we can all remember the wildfires in America that bankrupted the California utility PG&E. For Vice, he describes how this collapse could happen and how climate change could be causing the next financial crisis. "If you said just a few years ago that starting forest fires because of transmission malfunctions was going to collapse a major American utility, people would be like, ‘No that’s crazy, that can’t happen.’ But here we are,” says Elias Hinckley - an energy and climate finance lawyer at the global law firm K&L Gates in Washington, DC – to Dembicki for his Vice article. Because: what if a threat you dismissed as notional and vague suddenly becomes real - and impossible to stop? Bankruptcy by climate change That's exactly what happened to the Californian Pacific Gas and Electric Company, who provides natural gas and electric service in this state. Dembicki explains for Vice that the existential threat of bankruptcy by natural disasters was distant, until it was too close to ignore. According to his investigations on this matter, fire researchers found that PGE&E power lines and transformers started leastwise seventeen of the 21 major state fires in 2017, and even more in 2018, where the state fires turned into massive wildfires because of hot and dry conditions, worsened by a warming climate. The Californian utility faced answerabilities of 30 billion dollar and 750 lawsuits; investors freaked and PGE&E formerly beloved by hedge funds, declared bankruptcy. Its market value dropped from 25 billion dollar to less than $4 billion. A genuine threat to the economic system When you’re starting to see the worsening environmental condition as a real future risk for the financial world, you will sense vulnerabilities everywhere. According to Dembicki, the question isn’t no longer if climate change is a genuine threat to the economic system, but: who will it strike? He states some potential outcomes: a hurricane that bankrupts the state of Florida, a housing foreclosure crisis caused by flooding in Texas, an economic meltdown brought on by the Colorado River going dry. In December 2018, 415 investors put out a statement warning that climate change could cause $23 trillion in global economic destruction over the next eighty years. "That’s absolutely accurate," Beau O’Sullivan tells Vice. He is a spokesperson for the UK-based responsible investing advocacy group ShareAction. "When this carbon bubble bursts, we’ll see huge reverberations across our financial system, because climate change is a such a systemic risk that it touches every area of our lives."   Bend and break Dembicki has done his research and sends in the knowledge of Florida storm expert Lorilee Medders, a Florida storm risk expert. In a paper she states: "The state of Florida itself is heavily leveraged as insurer for much of the cost of extreme weather in the form of hurricanes and other tropical storms." But Michael Wara, a lawyer and research fellow at Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment, explained to Dembicki that the wrong combination of factors - for example a Category 4 hurricane tearing into Miami along with a major storm surge—might cause major financial disruptions. “You could easily see the state of Florida go bankrupt," he said to Vice. "The companies systems for managing risk can bend a little bit. But they don’t sort of gradually evolve - what happens is they break, and that is what we’re observing in California right now." Hypothetical scenarios Of course, a housing foreclosure crisis in Texas, a bankrupt of Florida because of a hurricane and an economic meltdown because of a dry Colorado River are all imaginary scenarios, states Dembicki in this article for Vice. He says that these scenarios are not guaranteed to happen, or even likely to happen. However, Dembicki says, if we observe the situation of PG&E’s collapse, climate change is now testing the limits of society’s ability to manage and define financial risk. This fact has yet to sink in with the planet’s top risk assessors: insurance companies. Climate aware investments According to Vice, a recent survey of the world’s 80 largest insurers done by the Asset Owners Disclosure Project found only one-third "can say their approach to investing is climate-aware." And 43 percent of the 'laggards' named by the survey—that is, insurers with limited or no consideration of financial risks created by climate change—are based in the US. What to think of that? “They’re probably not taking these risks seriously enough because they see them as long-term,” said O’Sullivan, who’s company also manages this Asset Owners Disclosure Project. "They think they have more time, but they don’t." Dembicki thinks it all seems to start with the realization that climate change is in fact a real future risk for companies. Hinckley, the energy and climate finance lawyer who Dembicki interviewed, agrees the risk of enormous and long-lasting financial damage from climate change is real. “If you start to see enough pressure in the system,” he said, whether from climate-related calamities or a loss of investor confidence that comes with them. "At some point you slide past the place where your economy is growing to one where it’s retracting. We try to avoid that." It cán happen What can we learn from this Vice article by Geoff Dembicki? Well, a global economic collapse really could be caused by climate change. It is important to keep our eyes open and not put this possibility away as fictive, it cán happen, as we saw on a smaller note in California, with a huge financial impact for the Californian Pacific Gas and Electric Company.  https://www.whatsorb.com/climate/the-paris-climate-agreement--no--we-won-t-make-it-
Did you ever think about the possibility of economic devastation because of natural disasters? Geoff Dembicki - journalist en author of Are We Screwed? How a New Generation Is Fighting to Survive Climate Change - did, and thinks you should, because it’s very real: we can all remember the wildfires in America that bankrupted the California utility PG&E. For Vice, he describes how this collapse could happen and how climate change could be causing the next financial crisis. "If you said just a few years ago that starting forest fires because of transmission malfunctions was going to collapse a major American utility, people would be like, ‘No that’s crazy, that can’t happen.’ But here we are,” says Elias Hinckley - an energy and climate finance lawyer at the global law firm K&L Gates in Washington, DC – to Dembicki for his Vice article. Because: what if a threat you dismissed as notional and vague suddenly becomes real - and impossible to stop? Bankruptcy by climate change That's exactly what happened to the Californian Pacific Gas and Electric Company, who provides natural gas and electric service in this state. Dembicki explains for Vice that the existential threat of bankruptcy by natural disasters was distant, until it was too close to ignore. According to his investigations on this matter, fire researchers found that PGE&E power lines and transformers started leastwise seventeen of the 21 major state fires in 2017, and even more in 2018, where the state fires turned into massive wildfires because of hot and dry conditions, worsened by a warming climate. The Californian utility faced answerabilities of 30 billion dollar and 750 lawsuits; investors freaked and PGE&E formerly beloved by hedge funds, declared bankruptcy. Its market value dropped from 25 billion dollar to less than $4 billion. A genuine threat to the economic system When you’re starting to see the worsening environmental condition as a real future risk for the financial world, you will sense vulnerabilities everywhere. According to Dembicki, the question isn’t no longer if climate change is a genuine threat to the economic system, but: who will it strike? He states some potential outcomes: a hurricane that bankrupts the state of Florida, a housing foreclosure crisis caused by flooding in Texas, an economic meltdown brought on by the Colorado River going dry. In December 2018, 415 investors put out a statement warning that climate change could cause $23 trillion in global economic destruction over the next eighty years. "That’s absolutely accurate," Beau O’Sullivan tells Vice. He is a spokesperson for the UK-based responsible investing advocacy group ShareAction. "When this carbon bubble bursts, we’ll see huge reverberations across our financial system, because climate change is a such a systemic risk that it touches every area of our lives."   Bend and break Dembicki has done his research and sends in the knowledge of Florida storm expert Lorilee Medders, a Florida storm risk expert. In a paper she states: "The state of Florida itself is heavily leveraged as insurer for much of the cost of extreme weather in the form of hurricanes and other tropical storms." But Michael Wara, a lawyer and research fellow at Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment, explained to Dembicki that the wrong combination of factors - for example a Category 4 hurricane tearing into Miami along with a major storm surge—might cause major financial disruptions. “You could easily see the state of Florida go bankrupt," he said to Vice. "The companies systems for managing risk can bend a little bit. But they don’t sort of gradually evolve - what happens is they break, and that is what we’re observing in California right now." Hypothetical scenarios Of course, a housing foreclosure crisis in Texas, a bankrupt of Florida because of a hurricane and an economic meltdown because of a dry Colorado River are all imaginary scenarios, states Dembicki in this article for Vice. He says that these scenarios are not guaranteed to happen, or even likely to happen. However, Dembicki says, if we observe the situation of PG&E’s collapse, climate change is now testing the limits of society’s ability to manage and define financial risk. This fact has yet to sink in with the planet’s top risk assessors: insurance companies. Climate aware investments According to Vice, a recent survey of the world’s 80 largest insurers done by the Asset Owners Disclosure Project found only one-third "can say their approach to investing is climate-aware." And 43 percent of the 'laggards' named by the survey—that is, insurers with limited or no consideration of financial risks created by climate change—are based in the US. What to think of that? “They’re probably not taking these risks seriously enough because they see them as long-term,” said O’Sullivan, who’s company also manages this Asset Owners Disclosure Project. "They think they have more time, but they don’t." Dembicki thinks it all seems to start with the realization that climate change is in fact a real future risk for companies. Hinckley, the energy and climate finance lawyer who Dembicki interviewed, agrees the risk of enormous and long-lasting financial damage from climate change is real. “If you start to see enough pressure in the system,” he said, whether from climate-related calamities or a loss of investor confidence that comes with them. "At some point you slide past the place where your economy is growing to one where it’s retracting. We try to avoid that." It cán happen What can we learn from this Vice article by Geoff Dembicki? Well, a global economic collapse really could be caused by climate change. It is important to keep our eyes open and not put this possibility away as fictive, it cán happen, as we saw on a smaller note in California, with a huge financial impact for the Californian Pacific Gas and Electric Company.  https://www.whatsorb.com/climate/the-paris-climate-agreement--no--we-won-t-make-it-
Climate Change: Cause Of The Next Global Economic Collapse
Climate Change: Cause Of The Next Global Economic Collapse
Ski Resorts Environmental Impact And Sustainability Efforts
Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to be outdoors during winter. Nevertheless, the impact of ski resorts on the environment is huge: they rely on a complex and energy-demanding infrastructure, with scores of employees and heavy use of water. While many ski-resort owners are switching to environmentally friendly practices such as renewable energy, recycling and composting, some feel that these adjustments fail to mitigate the overall negative effect of ski areas on the environment. What is the solution? Water use One of the problems is the excessive amount of water use in ski resorts. As a result of global climate change, most ski areas experience winters of increasingly shorter duration. If the snow base falls below a certain level, resort managers must use artificial snow-making systems. Artificial snow is made by mixing large volumes of water and high-pressure air, so the process demands an abundance of water and energy. When the water is taken from the local rivers and streams, it has a negative impact on the surrounding ecosystem. Disturbance to Wildlife Alpine habitats above the tree line are already threatened by global climate change, and disturbance from skiers is one more stressor. These disturbances can come from scaring wildlife or harming their habitat by damaging vegetation and compacting soils. An example: the population of black grouse, a creature that lives in the Swiss Alps, is usually found at half its normal density around ski areas. Land use change To create ski trails, a large amount of clear-cutting in forested areas is required. The resulting fragmented landscape negatively impacts habitat quality for many bird and mammal species. Also: wind, light, and disturbance levels increase near the open slopes, reducing habitat quality. To create ski trailers, a large amount of clear-cutting in forested areas is required. The resulting fragmented landscape negatively impacts habitat quality for many bird and mammal species. To create new trailers, ski resorts have to remove woody vegetation. The fastest way to achieve that is with a bulldozer, graded to remove tree stumps and any sort of slope irregularity. This process reduces topsoil depth and causes soil erosion. Also: wind, light, and disturbance levels increase near the open slopes, reducing habitat quality. Fossil fuel  energy Resort skiing is an energy-intensive operation, relying on fossil fuels, producing greenhouse gases and contributing to global warming. For example: ski lifts usually run on electricity, and operating a single ski lift for a month requires about the same energy needed to power 3.8 households for a year. Another one: to maintain the surface of the snow on the ski runs, a resort deploys nightly a fleet of trail groomers each operating on about 5 gallons of diesel per hour and producing carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate emissions. A complete estimate of the greenhouse gases emitted in association with resort skiing would need to include those produced by skiers driving or flying to the mountains. Ironically, climate change is affecting most ski regions. As global atmospheric temperatures go up, snowpacks are thinning, and the ski seasons are getting shorter. The solutions The environmental costs associated with resort skiing come in multiple dimensions, and so do the solutions. Many ski resorts have made substantial efforts to minimize their environmental impacts. Solar panels, wind turbines, and small hydro turbines have been deployed to supply renewable energy. Improved waste management and composting programs have been implemented, just like green building technologies have been employed. Forest management efforts have been planned to improve wildlife habitat. But it this enough? What you can do Research, research, research: it is now possible for skiers to gather information about a resort’s sustainability efforts and make informed consumer decisions. An increasing number of outdoor enthusiasts seek snowy slopes by practicing lower-impact forms of skiing. These backcountry skiers and snowboarders use specialized equipment that allows them to make their way up the mountain on their own power, and then to ski down natural terrain that has not been logged or groomed. These skiers have to be self-sufficient and able to mitigate a multitude of mountain-related safety risks. The learning curve is steep, but backcountry skiing has a lighter environmental impact than resort skiing. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/climate/man-made
Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to be outdoors during winter. Nevertheless, the impact of ski resorts on the environment is huge: they rely on a complex and energy-demanding infrastructure, with scores of employees and heavy use of water. While many ski-resort owners are switching to environmentally friendly practices such as renewable energy, recycling and composting, some feel that these adjustments fail to mitigate the overall negative effect of ski areas on the environment. What is the solution? Water use One of the problems is the excessive amount of water use in ski resorts. As a result of global climate change, most ski areas experience winters of increasingly shorter duration. If the snow base falls below a certain level, resort managers must use artificial snow-making systems. Artificial snow is made by mixing large volumes of water and high-pressure air, so the process demands an abundance of water and energy. When the water is taken from the local rivers and streams, it has a negative impact on the surrounding ecosystem. Disturbance to Wildlife Alpine habitats above the tree line are already threatened by global climate change, and disturbance from skiers is one more stressor. These disturbances can come from scaring wildlife or harming their habitat by damaging vegetation and compacting soils. An example: the population of black grouse, a creature that lives in the Swiss Alps, is usually found at half its normal density around ski areas. Land use change To create ski trails, a large amount of clear-cutting in forested areas is required. The resulting fragmented landscape negatively impacts habitat quality for many bird and mammal species. Also: wind, light, and disturbance levels increase near the open slopes, reducing habitat quality. To create ski trailers, a large amount of clear-cutting in forested areas is required. The resulting fragmented landscape negatively impacts habitat quality for many bird and mammal species. To create new trailers, ski resorts have to remove woody vegetation. The fastest way to achieve that is with a bulldozer, graded to remove tree stumps and any sort of slope irregularity. This process reduces topsoil depth and causes soil erosion. Also: wind, light, and disturbance levels increase near the open slopes, reducing habitat quality. Fossil fuel  energy Resort skiing is an energy-intensive operation, relying on fossil fuels, producing greenhouse gases and contributing to global warming. For example: ski lifts usually run on electricity, and operating a single ski lift for a month requires about the same energy needed to power 3.8 households for a year. Another one: to maintain the surface of the snow on the ski runs, a resort deploys nightly a fleet of trail groomers each operating on about 5 gallons of diesel per hour and producing carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate emissions. A complete estimate of the greenhouse gases emitted in association with resort skiing would need to include those produced by skiers driving or flying to the mountains. Ironically, climate change is affecting most ski regions. As global atmospheric temperatures go up, snowpacks are thinning, and the ski seasons are getting shorter. The solutions The environmental costs associated with resort skiing come in multiple dimensions, and so do the solutions. Many ski resorts have made substantial efforts to minimize their environmental impacts. Solar panels, wind turbines, and small hydro turbines have been deployed to supply renewable energy. Improved waste management and composting programs have been implemented, just like green building technologies have been employed. Forest management efforts have been planned to improve wildlife habitat. But it this enough? What you can do Research, research, research: it is now possible for skiers to gather information about a resort’s sustainability efforts and make informed consumer decisions. An increasing number of outdoor enthusiasts seek snowy slopes by practicing lower-impact forms of skiing. These backcountry skiers and snowboarders use specialized equipment that allows them to make their way up the mountain on their own power, and then to ski down natural terrain that has not been logged or groomed. These skiers have to be self-sufficient and able to mitigate a multitude of mountain-related safety risks. The learning curve is steep, but backcountry skiing has a lighter environmental impact than resort skiing. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/climate/man-made
Ski Resorts Environmental Impact And Sustainability Efforts
Ski Resorts Environmental Impact And Sustainability Efforts
Climate Change Efforts On Reducing CO2 Why Not Recycle It?
Most climate change efforts have been focused on reducing the amount of CO2 that is blown into our atmosphere. That is a fact - and definitely not one I am about to start arguing with. Research showing that CO2 is one of the main culprits driving global warming is plentiful and well established; and any and all attempts to reduce our reliance on the scarce resources emitting it should be applauded and encouraged.   Recycling CO2 by sucking it up Yet today, I would like to take a look at the matter from a slightly different perspective. There have been attempts made to quite literally suck the carbon dioxide out of our atmosphere. Nature already takes on a third of this work, soaking up carbon dioxide just by 'being'. In the past years, we have learned to do the same, whether through smart land management or through high-tech plants.   Especially the latter solution has received a lot of interest - and much-needed funding! - from the scientific field. In its simplest form, it appears like a machine that is able to scrub carbon dioxide from the air. While it might sound simple, it is far from. The filtering of huge volumes of air through a scrubber requires immense amounts of energy. Although while it is certainly cumbersome, it is not impossible, as has been proven by companies like Carbon Engineering and Climeworks. These run CO2 capturing facilities in Canada, Iceland, Switzerland, and Italy.   Through those activities, some 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide is captured each year. And there are still plenty of other ways of extracting carbon dioxide: scientists are heavily experimenting with projects that involve the use of seawater to absorb carbon dioxide from the air, and the weathering of rocks to react with carbon dioxide. All in all, we can expect considerable amounts of CO2 to be taken out of the atmosphere as a result of those technologies. What to do with the excess CO2? Before anything else, let me make something perfectly clear. This will not in any sense be a 'solution' for global warming. No one will pretend it is - it is not a get out of jail free card, nor is it a fix in and of itself. The current capacity is falling painfully short of what would be needed to even make a dent in global emissions, and the technology is too costly to implement on a massive scale. Yet it will prove to be a good addition to a healthy diet of restrictions on emissions; and increased reliance on renewable energy sources . Now that the technologies driving carbon dioxide removal are becoming more established, a new urgent question is arising: what to do with this excess CO2? While some have argued for safely storing it underground after ‘harvesting’ it, others have found ways of turning it into a raw material that has some promising applications. And this is, in my opinion, where it gets interesting: how can we re-use this substance to make it more than just a waste-product? If the re-using of carbon dioxide for other applications proves to be valuable, huge steps can be taken towards making CO2 removal more profitable. While large polluters are presently hesitant to invest in those kind of solutions to offset some of their emissions, this may drastically change once there is an actual business case for doing so. After all, it is human nature to look at profits before anything else - so if it will actually benefit their bottom line, it is definitely an argument for increasing their CO2 removal activities. Some of those re-use cases are already well-researched and even applied in real life. Take San Francisco International Airport, whose Terminal One has been partially built using rocks infused with CO2 emissions. Yes, that’s right: you can turn CO2 into rock . It will be converted into carbonate and mineralised, isolating it with a coating of limestone. This process actually occurs in nature as well: the famous White Cliffs of Dover serve as the poster child of CO2 stored in rocks.   A plus of this technology is that it does not require the carbon dioxide to be purified first: it can be used straight out of the plant and put to good use by turning it into a rock-solid building material. The California-based company Blue Planet has explored this avenue and made it its mission to turn construction projects into CO2-reducing operations, by using rock infused with carbon emissions for the building of roads, bridges, residences and office buildings. It is quite something, allowing the building industry to offset (some of) its carbon footprint. A solution that is closely related to the previous, is the use of CO2 to make cement . The process is somewhat similar to that of rock, only this time the raw flue gas from the plant is infused in calcium, releasing the CO2 and resulting in calcium carbonate - which, when dried, results in cement. A great alternative to regular cement-producing methods, which are notoriously pollutive: the global cement industry is responsible for 6% of all global carbon emissions, with only very few initiatives in place that are looking to push back those numbers.   The far majority of those polluters are based in China and India, which has made it harder for the lobbyists of this technology to actually make a difference: even innovative projects such as the one launched by Novacem, a London-based start-up, failed to do so. Their proposal for a technology to replace the 'conventional' binding material in concrete with magnesium oxide, a material that will capture carbon dioxide when it is mixed with water, fell through when they did not find any investors. Another material that is used often, despite being highly polluting, is carbon fibre. It has many applications because of its superior strength and light weight, in particular in the automotive and aerospace industry, although those benefits do not outweigh the grave damage that its production inflicts on the environment . Not only do its energy needs exceed those of steel, it also relies on petroleum for its production.   In an attempt to change this, scientists from Munich came up with a new production process. Here, carbon dioxide is fed to algae - turning carbon dioxide into carbon fibre . These special algae, capable of glycerol-production, can be cultivated in ponds near the Mediterranean coast, after which it will be fed carbon dioxide to create the highly coveted carbon fibre. And with their sights set on the construction industry as well, in a bid to replace steel or aluminium beams, these German entrepreneurs are definitely looking to create a market for their carbon dioxide-infused carbon fibre. Staying on the topic of re-using CO2 for building purposes: the British start-up Econic Technologies has come up with a way to incorporate CO2 emissions in polyurethane foams and similar plastics. This polyurethane is used for, for instance, mattresses, furniture, upholstery and car seats; alongside serving its purpose as an insulation material for houses. More and more people are looking to insulate their homes, as part of another government initiative pushed to combat climate change, and how to do so better than by re-using carbon dioxide, taken directly from the atmosphere? The usual production process of polyurethane involves the use of oil and requires quite a bit of energy. Using carbon dioxide instead, it will become environmentally friendlier ánd cheaper at the same time: much less of the more expensive oil is required. So you can make your house greener by using an insulation product that actively greens up the environment as well: the founders of the start-up claim that if they could only get 30% of the industry to implement their technology, it could already cut back CO2 emissions by some 3.5 million tons per year.   The examples given above - effectively turning CO2 in rocks, cement, carbon fibre or insulation foam - are only a handful of the many initiatives that have popped up in recent years that are hoping to put the freshly captured CO2 to good use. And while you might debate the individual benefits of each solution, the overarching conclusion will remain the same: extracting CO2 emissions from the atmosphere is just the first step of a potentially highly profitable process, that could lead to breakthrough innovations in some of the largest polluting industries.   Re-using CO2 emissions to fuel technologies that will cut back even more CO2 emissions: a promising cycle, that should be nurtured. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/climate/natural
Most climate change efforts have been focused on reducing the amount of CO2 that is blown into our atmosphere. That is a fact - and definitely not one I am about to start arguing with. Research showing that CO2 is one of the main culprits driving global warming is plentiful and well established; and any and all attempts to reduce our reliance on the scarce resources emitting it should be applauded and encouraged.   Recycling CO2 by sucking it up Yet today, I would like to take a look at the matter from a slightly different perspective. There have been attempts made to quite literally suck the carbon dioxide out of our atmosphere. Nature already takes on a third of this work, soaking up carbon dioxide just by 'being'. In the past years, we have learned to do the same, whether through smart land management or through high-tech plants.   Especially the latter solution has received a lot of interest - and much-needed funding! - from the scientific field. In its simplest form, it appears like a machine that is able to scrub carbon dioxide from the air. While it might sound simple, it is far from. The filtering of huge volumes of air through a scrubber requires immense amounts of energy. Although while it is certainly cumbersome, it is not impossible, as has been proven by companies like Carbon Engineering and Climeworks. These run CO2 capturing facilities in Canada, Iceland, Switzerland, and Italy.   Through those activities, some 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide is captured each year. And there are still plenty of other ways of extracting carbon dioxide: scientists are heavily experimenting with projects that involve the use of seawater to absorb carbon dioxide from the air, and the weathering of rocks to react with carbon dioxide. All in all, we can expect considerable amounts of CO2 to be taken out of the atmosphere as a result of those technologies. What to do with the excess CO2? Before anything else, let me make something perfectly clear. This will not in any sense be a 'solution' for global warming. No one will pretend it is - it is not a get out of jail free card, nor is it a fix in and of itself. The current capacity is falling painfully short of what would be needed to even make a dent in global emissions, and the technology is too costly to implement on a massive scale. Yet it will prove to be a good addition to a healthy diet of restrictions on emissions; and increased reliance on renewable energy sources . Now that the technologies driving carbon dioxide removal are becoming more established, a new urgent question is arising: what to do with this excess CO2? While some have argued for safely storing it underground after ‘harvesting’ it, others have found ways of turning it into a raw material that has some promising applications. And this is, in my opinion, where it gets interesting: how can we re-use this substance to make it more than just a waste-product? If the re-using of carbon dioxide for other applications proves to be valuable, huge steps can be taken towards making CO2 removal more profitable. While large polluters are presently hesitant to invest in those kind of solutions to offset some of their emissions, this may drastically change once there is an actual business case for doing so. After all, it is human nature to look at profits before anything else - so if it will actually benefit their bottom line, it is definitely an argument for increasing their CO2 removal activities. Some of those re-use cases are already well-researched and even applied in real life. Take San Francisco International Airport, whose Terminal One has been partially built using rocks infused with CO2 emissions. Yes, that’s right: you can turn CO2 into rock . It will be converted into carbonate and mineralised, isolating it with a coating of limestone. This process actually occurs in nature as well: the famous White Cliffs of Dover serve as the poster child of CO2 stored in rocks.   A plus of this technology is that it does not require the carbon dioxide to be purified first: it can be used straight out of the plant and put to good use by turning it into a rock-solid building material. The California-based company Blue Planet has explored this avenue and made it its mission to turn construction projects into CO2-reducing operations, by using rock infused with carbon emissions for the building of roads, bridges, residences and office buildings. It is quite something, allowing the building industry to offset (some of) its carbon footprint. A solution that is closely related to the previous, is the use of CO2 to make cement . The process is somewhat similar to that of rock, only this time the raw flue gas from the plant is infused in calcium, releasing the CO2 and resulting in calcium carbonate - which, when dried, results in cement. A great alternative to regular cement-producing methods, which are notoriously pollutive: the global cement industry is responsible for 6% of all global carbon emissions, with only very few initiatives in place that are looking to push back those numbers.   The far majority of those polluters are based in China and India, which has made it harder for the lobbyists of this technology to actually make a difference: even innovative projects such as the one launched by Novacem, a London-based start-up, failed to do so. Their proposal for a technology to replace the 'conventional' binding material in concrete with magnesium oxide, a material that will capture carbon dioxide when it is mixed with water, fell through when they did not find any investors. Another material that is used often, despite being highly polluting, is carbon fibre. It has many applications because of its superior strength and light weight, in particular in the automotive and aerospace industry, although those benefits do not outweigh the grave damage that its production inflicts on the environment . Not only do its energy needs exceed those of steel, it also relies on petroleum for its production.   In an attempt to change this, scientists from Munich came up with a new production process. Here, carbon dioxide is fed to algae - turning carbon dioxide into carbon fibre . These special algae, capable of glycerol-production, can be cultivated in ponds near the Mediterranean coast, after which it will be fed carbon dioxide to create the highly coveted carbon fibre. And with their sights set on the construction industry as well, in a bid to replace steel or aluminium beams, these German entrepreneurs are definitely looking to create a market for their carbon dioxide-infused carbon fibre. Staying on the topic of re-using CO2 for building purposes: the British start-up Econic Technologies has come up with a way to incorporate CO2 emissions in polyurethane foams and similar plastics. This polyurethane is used for, for instance, mattresses, furniture, upholstery and car seats; alongside serving its purpose as an insulation material for houses. More and more people are looking to insulate their homes, as part of another government initiative pushed to combat climate change, and how to do so better than by re-using carbon dioxide, taken directly from the atmosphere? The usual production process of polyurethane involves the use of oil and requires quite a bit of energy. Using carbon dioxide instead, it will become environmentally friendlier ánd cheaper at the same time: much less of the more expensive oil is required. So you can make your house greener by using an insulation product that actively greens up the environment as well: the founders of the start-up claim that if they could only get 30% of the industry to implement their technology, it could already cut back CO2 emissions by some 3.5 million tons per year.   The examples given above - effectively turning CO2 in rocks, cement, carbon fibre or insulation foam - are only a handful of the many initiatives that have popped up in recent years that are hoping to put the freshly captured CO2 to good use. And while you might debate the individual benefits of each solution, the overarching conclusion will remain the same: extracting CO2 emissions from the atmosphere is just the first step of a potentially highly profitable process, that could lead to breakthrough innovations in some of the largest polluting industries.   Re-using CO2 emissions to fuel technologies that will cut back even more CO2 emissions: a promising cycle, that should be nurtured. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/climate/natural
Climate Change Efforts On Reducing CO2 Why Not Recycle It?
Climate Change Efforts On Reducing CO2 Why Not Recycle It?
Five Minutes To Midnight: Climate Change Action Fighting The Clock
Right, we finally managed to wrap our heads around the concept that climate change is undeniable and real. And that we have to take action if we are to avert the majority of negative side-effects that this environmental disease, so to speak, brings along. So far, so good. Unfortunately, the close reader will quickly realise the fallacy here.   Yes, we have - some notable exceptions aside - largely agreed on the validity and reality of global warming. The Paris Climate Agreement and Poland COP24 are testament to this. Yet we somehow seem unable to turn this around to actual, hard-hitting action.   Lots of written words. Millions and millions of them, to be exact - these included. Lots of vague promises and pledges. Some half-hearted initiatives of the largest polluting countries and companies, that are all too easily mistaken for a publicity ploy instead. Yet the real urgency seems to be sorely lacking. Take the antibiotics or sit it out? Let’s draw the obvious comparison to your own, personal health. You feel miserable and after some days of calling in sick and staying in bed, there is no real improvement in your situation. You drag yourself to the GP, who claims that you have got a nasty case of the flu, which has led to pneumonia. He prescribes some antibiotics and urges you to take them twice a day for two weeks, to ensure that it does not get worse.   You consider yourself lucky that you are not living back in medieval times, when this ailment would often be considered a death sentence, and haul yourself to the pharmacy and back to bed. Time to take on this bug and get rid of it once and for all. Perhaps you’ll even consider giving up your precious cigarettes to give your lungs some much-needed relief. After all, you’ll still be needing them for the next decades. Why do we refuse the obvious  global warming medicine? So, what is the difference between our personal health vs the health of our environment? There must be one, as we somehow refuse the obvious medicine for global warming that will clear our earth’s lungs of the accumulated poison. We gladly accept the Doc’s explanation that the earth is sick, we’ve even decided on a course of action - to reduce our CO2 emissions, live more sustainably - yet we somehow forego the visit to the pharmacy. As of now, any action is mostly driven by young companies, aspiring eco-engineers and entrepreneurs. Some conscious households and communities, perhaps the odd lobbyist and politician. While we applaud their enthusiasm, most of us lack the real drive. Our minds do not seem to want to accept the small sacrifices we must bring if we are to enjoy this world for just a little while longer. The clock is ticking for climate change action Here is the reality check. If we do not cut our global carbon emissions in half in the next 12 years, we will not be able to avert the worst consequences of global warming. Fact.   And yet, while we read this, our minds already go in overdrive to find excuses for not taking action today, right now. It is a biological result of evolution, dating back to our ancestors living in caves. Their worries were pretty much focused on the present. Hunt. Escape from that sabre tooth tiger. Mate. Sleep. Repeat.   Do you think any of them worried about their retirement plans and next year’s elections? You bet they did not.   We are only human and this is how we have been trained to act and think for centuries and centuries. Our tendency to look towards the future and start worrying about tomorrow is still relatively new and fresh, with most of us still struggling to adjust.   What to change to avoid further climate change? The climate change lobby should therefore focus much more on playing to the psyche of people. It should explore why we are so hesitant regarding this perceived change and how we can turn this around to work in our favour. After all, there is nothing more astounding than human’s capability to adjust and overcome - the exact trait that has led to our survival over time. We have got to tackle the perception that we, as individuals, hold no control over this situation anyhow. So why bother?   Additionally, we’ve got to accept that even the smallest activities that we perform on a daily basis are malignant, such as stepping into our gas-guzzling car to take the kids to school. We have to stop undervaluing the impact of climate change on our lives. It may not be visible right now, but it sure will be in a decade of two.   Most importantly, we’ve got to educate ourselves and others. Ignorance is not a pretty trait in anyone, and in this case might even prove to be our downfall. We should stop telling people that they have to sacrifice and give up some comfort. Instead, start telling them about great new initiatives. Educate them about their personal emissions, open their eyes to their own actions. Get them excited about being a part of a massive movement that will clear our earth’s lungs.   Tell them that they will be the hero that saved the earth’s life. We hold the antibiotics that the earth so direly needs. We just got to start ingesting it. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate
Right, we finally managed to wrap our heads around the concept that climate change is undeniable and real. And that we have to take action if we are to avert the majority of negative side-effects that this environmental disease, so to speak, brings along. So far, so good. Unfortunately, the close reader will quickly realise the fallacy here.   Yes, we have - some notable exceptions aside - largely agreed on the validity and reality of global warming. The Paris Climate Agreement and Poland COP24 are testament to this. Yet we somehow seem unable to turn this around to actual, hard-hitting action.   Lots of written words. Millions and millions of them, to be exact - these included. Lots of vague promises and pledges. Some half-hearted initiatives of the largest polluting countries and companies, that are all too easily mistaken for a publicity ploy instead. Yet the real urgency seems to be sorely lacking. Take the antibiotics or sit it out? Let’s draw the obvious comparison to your own, personal health. You feel miserable and after some days of calling in sick and staying in bed, there is no real improvement in your situation. You drag yourself to the GP, who claims that you have got a nasty case of the flu, which has led to pneumonia. He prescribes some antibiotics and urges you to take them twice a day for two weeks, to ensure that it does not get worse.   You consider yourself lucky that you are not living back in medieval times, when this ailment would often be considered a death sentence, and haul yourself to the pharmacy and back to bed. Time to take on this bug and get rid of it once and for all. Perhaps you’ll even consider giving up your precious cigarettes to give your lungs some much-needed relief. After all, you’ll still be needing them for the next decades. Why do we refuse the obvious  global warming medicine? So, what is the difference between our personal health vs the health of our environment? There must be one, as we somehow refuse the obvious medicine for global warming that will clear our earth’s lungs of the accumulated poison. We gladly accept the Doc’s explanation that the earth is sick, we’ve even decided on a course of action - to reduce our CO2 emissions, live more sustainably - yet we somehow forego the visit to the pharmacy. As of now, any action is mostly driven by young companies, aspiring eco-engineers and entrepreneurs. Some conscious households and communities, perhaps the odd lobbyist and politician. While we applaud their enthusiasm, most of us lack the real drive. Our minds do not seem to want to accept the small sacrifices we must bring if we are to enjoy this world for just a little while longer. The clock is ticking for climate change action Here is the reality check. If we do not cut our global carbon emissions in half in the next 12 years, we will not be able to avert the worst consequences of global warming. Fact.   And yet, while we read this, our minds already go in overdrive to find excuses for not taking action today, right now. It is a biological result of evolution, dating back to our ancestors living in caves. Their worries were pretty much focused on the present. Hunt. Escape from that sabre tooth tiger. Mate. Sleep. Repeat.   Do you think any of them worried about their retirement plans and next year’s elections? You bet they did not.   We are only human and this is how we have been trained to act and think for centuries and centuries. Our tendency to look towards the future and start worrying about tomorrow is still relatively new and fresh, with most of us still struggling to adjust.   What to change to avoid further climate change? The climate change lobby should therefore focus much more on playing to the psyche of people. It should explore why we are so hesitant regarding this perceived change and how we can turn this around to work in our favour. After all, there is nothing more astounding than human’s capability to adjust and overcome - the exact trait that has led to our survival over time. We have got to tackle the perception that we, as individuals, hold no control over this situation anyhow. So why bother?   Additionally, we’ve got to accept that even the smallest activities that we perform on a daily basis are malignant, such as stepping into our gas-guzzling car to take the kids to school. We have to stop undervaluing the impact of climate change on our lives. It may not be visible right now, but it sure will be in a decade of two.   Most importantly, we’ve got to educate ourselves and others. Ignorance is not a pretty trait in anyone, and in this case might even prove to be our downfall. We should stop telling people that they have to sacrifice and give up some comfort. Instead, start telling them about great new initiatives. Educate them about their personal emissions, open their eyes to their own actions. Get them excited about being a part of a massive movement that will clear our earth’s lungs.   Tell them that they will be the hero that saved the earth’s life. We hold the antibiotics that the earth so direly needs. We just got to start ingesting it. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate
Five Minutes To Midnight: Climate Change Action Fighting The Clock
Five Minutes To Midnight: Climate Change Action Fighting The Clock
Climate

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