Edition for 24 May 2020

Top Stories

Commentary: The wonder of clear skies and returning wildlife is our new climate problem (Channel News Asia)

  • During this current pandemic, reports of environmental recovery arising from lockdowns on economic activities and social movement have circulated widely.
  • But they are misleading given the stark reality of ongoing climate impact.
  • Episodic falls in carbon emissions and air pollutants aren’t enough to permanently move the needle on climate change.

We Analyzed How Dozens Of Textbooks Discuss Climate Change. Here’s What We Found. (Huffington Post)

  • Such descriptions of climate change are muddled and misleading, according to four climate scientists who reviewed them as part of a Hechinger/HuffPost analysis of 32 middle school and high school textbooks and digital curricula and what they say on the subject.
  • “What many of the texts have done is to give the few contrarian voices with their loud megaphones a much greater voice in the text than is warranted based on the science and the assessments of the various national academies of science and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” Richard Alley, a professor in the Department of Geosciences at Penn State who studies climate change, and who was most critical of the textbooks, wrote in an email.
  • That language is misleading, according to the experts we contacted, because it minimizes the overwhelming scientific evidence that humans are responsible for present-day climate change and suggests that the wide variations in climate before human civilization bring into question the role of human activities in the current warming.

Why is the Morrison Government leaving the back door open to a carbon tax? (The Spectator Australia)

  • As part of the ABC’s climate conspiracy agenda, Four Corners this week highlighted the “anger” at the government from the senior mandarins from its failure to deliver their goal of a carbon tax.
  • The first is a “$2 billion Climate Solutions Fund to support Australian farmers, businesses and communities to adopt new technologies that reduce emissions and increase efficiency and productivity.”
  • The second is $1.5 billion, partly to finance measures for Snowy and TasHydro links to shore up an electricity grid that subsidised renewable supplies have degraded, and partly to teach people how to reduce their emissions and for a network of electric vehicle chargers.
  • In addition, other government funding vehicles include Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation both of which Energy Minister Angus Taylor is encouraging to fund hydrogen, the latest tech will o’ the-wisp.

Safaricom’s Sanda Ojiambo Appointed United Nations Global Compact Executive Director (TechTrendsKE)

  • Sanda Ojiambo, Safaricom’s Head of Sustainable Business and Social Impact  has been appointed as the Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative.
  • “Sanda has been instrumental in leading our Sustainable Business team that focuses on Sustainability, Shared Value, Corporate Social Investment and Technology for Development.
  • She has also played a major role in the integration of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into our business operations,” said Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom CEO.

Up in smoke: B.C. backtracks on promise to deter logging industry from burning wood waste (The Narwhal)

  • When George Heyman became Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in July 2017, Premier John Horgan instructed him to extend the carbon tax to so-called “slash-pile burning” operations.
  • “We are committed to working directly with industry to develop a strategy to strike a balance between industrial competitiveness and our goal of cutting carbon emissions.” Yet some say the province’s delay is creating a cascade of problems as slash-pile emissions inflate B.C.’s climate impacts, heighten air quality concerns and lead to industrial practices that see valuable wood products going up in smoke.
  • Len Vanderstar, a resident of Smithers who regularly witnesses the emissions from slash-pile burning, said prior to the last provincial election he and other members of a local group called Voices for Good Air pushed local MLA and now Forests Minister Doug Donaldson to back the idea of applying the carbon tax to those emissions.

Seawall projects set to face stricter environmental checks to battle erosion (Bangkok Post)

  • The National Marine and Coastal Resource Management Committee has approved a policy that requires developers of seawall projects to follow stricter environmental guidelines to get development permission.
  • Local administrators and developers would need to follow "environmental checklists" to obtain seawall development permits from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
  • "This policy means the country finally has the environmental oversight to keep seawall projects in check instead of 'build it first and solve environmental impacts later', as has been happening during the past six to seven years," Asst Prof Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a member of this national committee, wrote on his Facebook page on Friday after the meeting.

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