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Google, Apple, Facebook race towards 100% renewable energy target

Guardian climate change - 57 min 13 sec ago

A global campaign to promote 100% renewable energy use in the business world means more Silicon Valley giants are now investing in solar and wind electricity

Tech giants are jockeying to be the first to hit a 100% renewable energy goal. Google, which has invested in solar and wind energy for a decade, intends to get there by 2017.

Google is the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy, and plans to buy enough wind and solar energy to offset all the electricity used by its 13 data centers and offices in 150 cities worldwide, the company said Tuesday.

Related: What businesses want Trump to know about climate change

Related: The hydropower paradox: is this energy as clean as it seems?

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US could see extreme rains increase of 400% by end of century

Guardian climate change - 6 hours 50 min ago

As global temperatures rise, extreme downpours will increase putting huge strains on infrastructure and agriculture, finds climate study

When the skies open up and deluge an area, the results can be catastrophic, with roads washed out and homes destroyed by the resulting flash floods. Such extreme downpours are already occurring more often across the US, but a new study finds that as global temperatures rise, storms could dump considerably more rain and skyrocket in frequency.

The study, in the journal Nature Climate Change, suggests that storms that now occur about once a season could happen five times a season by the century’s end, a 400% increase.

Related: Houston floods - in pictures

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Josh Frydenberg backtracks on emissions trading comments

Guardian climate change - 8 hours 57 min ago

Energy and environment minister downplays Monday’s comments about a possible scheme for the electricity sector after internal pressure

The energy and environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, has folded in the face of internal pressure, declaring the Turnbull government will not pursue emissions trading as part of adjusting its climate policy to meet Australia’s international emissions reduction targets.

In media interviews on Monday morning Frydenberg explicitly said a looming review of the government’s Direct Action climate change policy would canvas the desirability of a trading scheme for the electricity sector.

Related: Stick it on the fridge: your form guide for political 'progress' 2017 | Kristina Keneally

Related: Australia's energy transmission industry calls for carbon trading

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England may be in deforestation state due to lack of tree planting

Guardian climate change - 10 hours 50 min ago

England fells more trees than it plants and government must keep to its targets to evade deforestation, say forestry groups

Every year Brazil, Congo and other developing countries are lambasted by environmentalists and western politicians for deforestation at a time when trees are needed to counter climate change and prevent flooding.

Now two prestigious organisations are warning that England may have tipped into deforestation, with more trees being cut down than planted for the first time in possibly 40 years.

Related: How millions of trees brought a broken landscape back to life

Related: £500,000 tree-planting project helped Yorkshire town miss winter floods

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More terrifying than Trump? The booming conspiracy culture of climate science denial | Graham Readfearn

Guardian climate change - 10 hours 57 min ago

Conspiracy websites and hyperpartisan media outlets are building huge online audiences who want to hear climate change is a hoax

Back in December 2015, Donald Trump gave a 30-minute live interview to the website Infowars.com and its combustible leader, Alex Jones.

“Your reputation is amazing and I will not let you down,” said Trump, who, at the time, was leading in most polls for the Republican presidential nomination.

Related: How a dubious tweet about illegal votes found its way to Trump's megaphone

Related: LeBron James will not stay at Trump-branded hotel in New York

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Why we’re all everyday climate change deniers | Alice Bell

Guardian climate change - 11 hours 50 min ago

Global warming is scary and abstract. No wonder we struggle to face up to it – and let politicians and industry off the hook

After Donald Trump won last month’s US presidential election, hot takes speedily declared it game over for the planet. But as Al Gore said at the weekend, “despair is just another form of denial”. About this, he is entirely right. Now is not the time to cry into your graphs of melting Arctic sea ice. That only helps the people who profit from delay on climate change.

Related: Frightened by Donald Trump? You don’t know the half of it | George Monbiot

Related: This is the most dangerous time for our planet | Stephen Hawking

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Australia must choose between coal and coral – the Great Barrier Reef depends on it

Guardian climate change - 16 hours 58 min ago

The government hopes its latest reports will keep the reef off Unesco’s world heritage in-danger list. But protecting the reef for future generations involves addressing the threat posed by climate change

At first glance, the progress reports on the Great Barrier Reef released last week by the Australian and Queensland governments might seem impressive.

The update on the Reef 2050 Plan suggests that 135 of the plan’s 151 actions are either complete or on track.

Related: The government's report on the Great Barrier Reef is a 'dog ate my homework' moment | Larissa Waters

Related: Great Barrier Reef: Australia's 'response plan' draft contains no new action or funding

The best estimate is that meeting water quality targets by 2025 will cost $8.2bn … If we assume that … $4bn is needed over the next five years, the amounts mentioned in the progress report (perhaps $500-600m at most) are … totally inadequate.

Related: The Great Barrier Reef: a catastrophe laid bare

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Direct Action review a legacy of Abbott years, says Malcolm Turnbull

Guardian climate change - 17 hours 16 min ago

Prime minister calls climate policy reassessment ‘business as usual’ as infighting breaks out in Coalition ranks

Malcolm Turnbull says Tony Abbott is responsible for the review of the Coalition’s Direct Action policy because it was built into the work program when he was prime minister.

The prime minister on Tuesday attempted to hose down a breakout within Coalition ranks triggered by the government releasing the terms of reference for the Direct Action review on Monday.

Related: Australia's energy transmission industry calls for carbon trading

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If Adani is not viable without public subsidies then the conservatives are backing the wrong horse | Ben Oquist

Guardian climate change - 17 hours 37 min ago

If the proposed Adani mine is not viable without public subsidies then the government are backing the wrong horse

If Malcolm Turnbull does provide $1bn in taxpayer support to the Adani Carmichael coalmine via the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) it will show that while the prime minister may have lost many things in the past 12 months, he has not lost his agility. The man who once staked his leadership on the need for Kevin Rudd’s carbon price will be the champion of subsidising the world’s largest new coalmine.

Never before has one announcement destroyed so many political cliches, so quickly, for so little political gain. In offering public money to subsidise the major cause of climate change, the PM simultaneously kills the idea that the Coalition is concerned about excessive public spending AND that they believe the world is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. So much for faith in the market, the need to embrace the technologies of the future and the idea that our cities are the engine of prosperity and productivity.

Related: Opposition to public funding for Adani rail link outweighs support, poll finds

Related: George Christensen backs $1bn federal loan for Adani railway line

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Australia's energy transmission industry calls for carbon trading

Guardian climate change - Mon, 2016/12/05 - 7:00pm

Emissions intensity scheme is the least costly way of reducing greenhouse gases, Energy Networks Australia and Csiro say

Australia’s electricity and gas transmission industry is calling on the Turnbull government to implement a form of carbon trading in the national electricity market by 2022 and review the scope for economy-wide carbon pricing by 2027.

Energy Networks Australia warns in a new report examining how to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050 that policy stability and regulatory certainty are the key to delivering lower power prices and reliable electricity supply.

Related: Australia is blowing its carbon budget, projections reveal

Related: We can't bank our future on Malcolm Turnbull's climate change magic pudding | Pat Conroy

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Google's satellite timelapses show the inconvenient truth about our planet

Guardian climate change - Mon, 2016/12/05 - 1:33pm

Google’s new Timelapse project allows you to see how anywhere in the world has changed in the last 32 years; from evaporating lakes to exploding cities, it’s a document of recklessness

The image of the Earth from space is so seared into human consciousness that it is hard to conceive what it was like to live without the picture of our planet as a blue sphere that we all now carry in our minds.

The first photographs of the Earth’s surface seen from 100 miles were taken in 1947. By 1968, the famous Earthrise image photographed by the crew of Apollo 8 framed our planet as a beautiful oasis in black space. Today, stunning and intensely informative pictures of the Earth’s surface are being taken from space constantly: so comprehensively, for so long, that Google has now created timelapses that show three decades of change.

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Fake news tries to blame human-caused global warming on El Niño | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian climate change - Mon, 2016/12/05 - 11:00am

Climate scientists and real science journalists pushed back, holding the post-truth crowd accountable

Human carbon pollution is heating the Earth incredibly fast. On top of that long-term human-caused global warming trend, there are fluctuations caused by various natural factors. One of these is the El Niño/La Niña cycle. The combination of human-caused warming and a strong El Niño event are on the verge of causing an unprecedented three consecutive record-breaking hot years.

Simply put, without global warming we would not be seeing record-breaking heat year after year. In fact, 2014 broke the temperature record without an El Niño assist, and then El Niño helped push 2015 over 2014, and 2016 over 2015.

Where'd you get your PhD? Trump University? https://t.co/P5Ez5fVEwD

People that say facts are facts, they’re not really facts … Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth or not true. There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore of facts. And so Mr. Trump’s Tweets amongst a certain crowd, a large part of the population, are truth. When he says that millions of people illegally voted, he has some facts amongst him and his supporters, and people believe they have facts to back that up.

as far as this issue on climate change … he has his default position, which most of it is a bunch of bunk

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Al Gore: climate change threat leaves 'no time to despair' over Trump victory

Guardian climate change - Mon, 2016/12/05 - 11:00am

Former vice-president expects backlash from environmentalists against Trump and hopes Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will join fight

The urgent threat of climate change means there is “no time to despair” over the election of Donald Trump, according to former vice-president Al Gore, who hopes that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will join an escalated climate campaign against the president-elect.

Related: 'Putting lipstick on a pig': experts on why Obama is lending Donald Trump a hand

It’s not naive or Pollyanna-ish to express hope that some of Trump's statements won’t turn into policies

Related: Republican defense community fills Reagan shrine with prayers over Trump

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Last winter's floods 'most extreme on record in UK', says study

Guardian climate change - Mon, 2016/12/05 - 10:14am

Highest ever rainfall recorded in UK was in December 2015 at Honister Pass in Lake District with 341.4mm falling in 24 hours

An appraisal of the winter floods of 2015-2016, published on the first anniversary of Storm Desmond, reveals it ranks alongside the devastating flooding of March 1947 as the largest event of at least the last century.

November 2015 to January 2016 was the wettest three-month period in records dating back to 1910, while December was both the wettest and, on average, the warmest on record for the UK.

Related: The great floods of 1947

Related: Storm Desmond - in pictures

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We can't bank our future on Malcolm Turnbull's climate change magic pudding | Pat Conroy

Guardian climate change - Mon, 2016/12/05 - 5:36am

Not only is the government taking short cuts on climate change, it is setting future generations up for a massive cleanup bill

Malcolm Turnbull’s climate change record is the equivalent of an athlete running 7km instead of 42km and claiming to be the greatest marathon runner of all time. Not only is he taking shortcuts, he’s setting future generations up for a massive clean-up bill.

This is because Australia is banking its environmental and fiscal future on a climate change magic pudding.

Related: Direct Action review: Coalition leaves carbon trading option open

Related: Climate countdown: is Australia on track to avoid catastrophe?

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Turnbull warned to expect backbench hostility if he tries to adopt carbon trading

Guardian climate change - Mon, 2016/12/05 - 1:28am

PM told Coalition unlikely to adopt carbon trading ‘at any stage’ after terms of reference for Direct Action review leaves option open

Malcolm Turnbull has been warned to expect backbench hostility if the government attempts to adopt carbon trading, even if a new scheme is restricted only to the electricity sector.

The Liberal MP Craig Kelly, who chairs the backbench committee on environment and energy, told Guardian Australia on Monday carbon trading was “contrary to Coalition policy” and argued it was “highly unlikely that the Coalition would adopt carbon trading at any stage”.

Related: Climate countdown: is Australia on track to avoid catastrophe?

Related: Australia is blowing its carbon budget, projections reveal

Federal Government to consider ‘ⓐⓝⓞⓣⓗⓔⓡ’ carbon price for power companies. https://t.co/D28fAQcEMe

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Anti-coal protesters rally in Melbourne against Adani loan proposal – video

Guardian climate change - Mon, 2016/12/05 - 1:17am

As prime minister Malcolm Turnbull plans to meet the boss of Indian company Adani in Melbourne, anti-fossil fuel campaigners rally against the federal government proposal to lend $1bn to the company to build a rail line from the planned Carmichael coalmine to the sea

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Adani protest: hundreds rally against proposed $1bn loan to mining company

Guardian climate change - Mon, 2016/12/05 - 12:08am

Melbourne protest precedes Malcolm Turnbull’s meeting with Gautam Adani during Australian Indian Leadership Dialogue

More than 300 people rallied in Melbourne on Monday to protest against a proposed $1bn federal government loan to Adani for a rail line before an expected meeting in the city between Malcolm Turnbull and the head of the Indian mining company, Gautam Adani.

Adani and Turnbull were expected to meet on the sidelines of the Australian Indian Leadership Dialogue in Melbourne, which they are both scheduled to attend.

Related: Adani coal mine: green groups fume over plan for $1b federal loan

Related: Galilee basin coal must be left in ground as a ‘priority’ – new report

Under these terrifying Pixar bobbleheads are Sean Dougherty (Nemo) and Marie Lakey (Dory). They look uncomfortable. #adaniprotest pic.twitter.com/ShtyfZbHdV

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Climate change likely cause of freak avalanches

Guardian climate change - Sun, 2016/12/04 - 9:30pm

Two vast ice avalanches that instantly changed the shape of a region in Tibet are being blamed on rising temperatures

For thousands of years the ice-capped Aru mountain range in western Tibet has been a steady presence, but this year, two vast ice avalanches changed the shape of the region in an instant.

The first, which occurred without warning on 17 July, sent 60m cubic metres (24,000 olympic swimming pools) of ice and rock tearing down a narrow valley in Rutog county, killing nine herders and hundreds of sheep and yaks. By the time it stopped the debris covered 10sq km and was up to 30 metres deep.

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Inspired by Stephen Hawking’s call to work together | Letters

Guardian climate change - Sun, 2016/12/04 - 7:07pm

Stephen Hawking (This is the most dangerous moment for our planet, 2 December) brought tears to my eyes; of all the articles published since the Brexit and Trump votes, this one, with his insight and suggestions as to how we should act now, is the most compelling. Whatever way people voted, whatever religion or nationality, we need to work together if our world is to survive for our grandchildren and future generations. As a retired GP, despairing about our NHS and wondering how best to act now, I feel inspired to do what I can, even in a small way.
Dr Anthea Kaan
Glenridding, Cumbria

Related: This is the most dangerous time for our planet | Stephen Hawking

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