ExxonMobil plays dirty to deny role in the climate crisis

January 19, 2022 by  
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ExxonMobil has turned to intimidation in attempts to stop its critics from taking legal action. The giant oil company is trying to use an unusual Texas law to target critics outside the state. Exxon has asked the Texas Supreme Court to allow it to use rule 202 to take on California municipal officials.   The move is in response to these California officials filing lawsuits against Exxon for its role in the climate crisis . Eight California cities and counties have accused the company of misrepresenting evidence to downplay the effects of climate change. The lawsuits claim Exxon even misrepresented evidence even from  its own scientists  about global warming. Related: New environmental racism scorecard calls out ExxonMobil The California lawsuits seek compensation from the company to address damages caused by wildfires , floods and other extreme weather events. Exxon claims that this infringes on its first amendment rights and that it will use rule 202 to demand justice from its accusers. “The potential defendants’ lawfare is aimed at chilling the speech of not just ExxonMobil, but of other prominent members of the Texas energy sector on issues of public debate, in this case, climate change,” the company claimed in its petition. Under rule 202, corporations are allowed to search for incriminating evidence, question individuals under oath and access documents. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has even written to the state’s all-Republican Supreme Court in support of Exxon’s request. Abbott accuses the California litigants of undermining the rights of Texan companies. “When out-of-state officials try to project their power across our border, as respondents have done by broadly targeting the speech of an industry crucial to Texas, they cannot use personal jurisdiction to scamper out of our courts and retreat across state lines,” Abbott wrote. Climate experts say that the move seeks to intimidate those who speak out against ExxonMobil and instill fear in anyone who wants to litigate against it. Via The Guardian Lead image via Mike Mozart

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ExxonMobil plays dirty to deny role in the climate crisis

Polar researchers discover enormous icefish nesting site

January 19, 2022 by  
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They have see-through skulls, transparent blood, and they built 60 million nests beneath the frigid waters of the Antarctic Sea. They’re Jonah’s icefish, and a polar  research  team has just discovered what might be their largest breeding colony in the world. Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute in  Germany  were cruising the Antarctic Sea last year on the RV Polarstern with a mission to study ocean currents. They were surveying the seabed below the ship, dragging a camera system the size of a car to transmit photos to the deck, when they discovered the nests.  Related: New study sheds light on Antarctic sea ice mystery “We just saw fish nest after  fish  nest for the whole four hours, and during that time we covered maybe six kilometers (3.7 miles) of the sea floor,” said Autun Purser, a postdoctoral researcher at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, as reported by CNN. “I’d never seen anything like it in 15 years of being an ocean scientist. After that dive, we emailed the experts on shore who know about fish like this. They said, yep, this is pretty unique.” Purser is the lead author of a study on the icefish colony published last week in  Current Biology . Icefish adapted to water temperatures as low as 0 degrees Celsius by evolving an anti-freeze protein in their blood that prevents the growth of ice crystals. An average icefish nest contains about 1,500 to 2,000 eggs and is guarded by an adult icefish.  Scientists  suspect these guards are male, but they admit they still have a lot to learn about these unusual creatures. But just because the ginormous icefish colony surprised scientists, it doesn’t mean nobody knew it was there. Weddell  seals , chubby carnivores who can dive down to depths of 2,000 feet, gave the nesting area five stars on the marine mammal review site Kelp, as well as naming it the top attraction on FlipperAdvisor. Scientists’ satellite tracking data confirms that the icefish nesting site is a major draw for Weddell seals. Via HuffPost , CNN Images © Purser et al., doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.12.022.

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Polar researchers discover enormous icefish nesting site

New winery in France is serving sustainable alcohol

January 4, 2022 by  
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Château Angélus recently acquired a new winery in Libourne, France , designed by Architect Eric Castagnotto from Architecte DPLG. The cellar is used for making Château Angélus’ second wine Carillon d’Angélus and a new wine Tempo d’Angélus introduced in Quebec in November 2021. Their goal is to create not only sustainable wine , but an eco-friendly winery rich in technological innovation, sustainable building and growing techniques. Carillon d’Angélus Cellar was already a winery but had become too small to accommodate new efficient equipment. The winery is located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site , limiting development possibilities and architecture for the new owners. Therefore, the owners decided to start from scratch with a new winery design in the nearby community of Saint-Magne-de-Castillon. Related: A French wine cellar’s updated facade doubles as housing for local bats The new  Carillon d’Angélus Cellar is 4,400 square-meter facility on 3.30 hectares. It is semi-submerged underground with a green roof . The wine-making cellar is gravity-fed. The design is inspired by wine-making cellar Fleur de Boüard in Lalande, which has 18 inverted truncated cone-shaped vats, hoist system and vat lift. Additionally, solar panels help with some of the power required for the operations. Furthermore, Carillon d’Angélus, and the full Chateau Angelus estate, is HVE3 certified. That means it is the highest level of High Environmental Value Certification honoring best practices regarding biodiversity , phytosanitary strategy and fertilization. The building is also Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) certified, which is the British equivalent of France’s Haute Qualité Environnementale (HQE). The new winery is planning plenty of experimentation with numerous prototypes for electronic mustimeters and grape washers. Carillon d’Angelus aims to be a center not only of eco-friendly wine production but of technological innovation for the industry. + GALLEON Fine Wines Images via GALLEON Fine Wines

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New winery in France is serving sustainable alcohol

20 new electric vehicles driving onto the scene in 2022

November 29, 2021 by  
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Technology is advancing at the speed of light. Fortunately, some of that innovative effort is being funneled into more efficient and more appealing electric vehicles . As the new year approaches, production lines are rolling out a variety of new options at all ends of the electric vehicle spectrum, from luxury rides, to trucks, to recreational vehicles.  Audi E-tron GT The 2022 Audi E-tron GT shares some body-style characteristics with the notable Porsche Taycan. Along with the sporty look, the dual electric motors crank out a combined output of 469 horsepower. There’s also a higher-performance Audi RS E-tron GT that shows up with 637 horsepower. EPA fuel-economy is pending, but is estimated to come in at around 232 to 238 miles. Related: Kalk anti-poaching e-bikes join the battle in the African bush Audi Q4 E-tron Not quite as expensive as the Q5, the Audi Q4 E-tron gives an option for those seeking a compact luxury SUV . The rear-wheel drive Q4 40 offers a single electric motor and 201 horsepower while the Q4 50 has two electric engines with a combined 295 horsepower output. There is also a Sportback model to consider.  BMW i4 The all-new electric vehicle by BMW offers the identifiable style of the Gran Coupe and a distinctive front grille with a base model in the eDrive40 and a dual-motor all-wheel drive in the M50. Range estimates predict 245 to 300 miles.  Bollinger B1 and B2 Some vehicles just make a statement and the long-anticipated Bollinger models are expected to deliver on that front. Love them or hate them, customers have been waiting through production delays, so we may see some roll out by the end of 2022.  These rugged beasts mirror the days of the classic Land Rover, yet aim to deliver 200 miles of range without the environmental impact. It’s exciting to see the EV world moving offroad, as well as addressing improved performance such as towing and hauling. The B2 is expected to handle a 7,500 lbs tow and have a payload capacity of 5,000 pounds.  Cadillac Lyriq This isn’t your grandparents’ Cadillac . In fact, the Lyriq is an SUV built for a new generation of modern EV enthusiasts that have been considering the likes of the Tesla Model Y, Jaguar I-Pace and Audi E-Tron. In addition to the comforts one would expect from a Cadillac, the Lyriq promises to deliver a 300 mile range. The company just began taking orders with a deposit to hold your place in the production line. Canoo Lifestyle Vehicle Let’s have some fun. This is the 2022 version of the original Volkswagen van, with a much greener design . Canoo is set to launch next year and is promoting it as a multi-purpose rig that can haul or accommodate sleepovers. The starting price is approachable at $34,750 and estimates 250 miles of range.  2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV It’s new, yet familiar. That’s because it’s basically a longer version of the widely successful Bolt . It’s a crossover SUV with front-wheel drive and an estimated 247 miles of range. Ford F-150 Lightning Truck lovers unite on Ford’s F-150 Lightning . The EV market started with small cars, so the fact that we’re finally moving into mainstream options for big rigs in the EV world will open the doors to an entirely new customer base. While it looks like the much beloved F-150, this full-size crew-cab truck comes in several trim options at different price points. There will be two battery options that provide 230 to 300 miles of range.  Fisker Ocean Now we even have entirely new companies joining the party too. Fisker was founded in 2016, so they’re likely just as excited as consumers to see the first model roll out next year. There aren’t many details yet, but it’s one to watch. Ford E-Transit When you need to haul cargo or passengers, the Ford E-transit can meet the demands without the carbon emission waste . Although it only offers a 126-mile range, Ford anticipates the E-Transit will offer an option for companies to make deliveries on regular routes with lower impact.  Genesis GV60 Adding to the slightly less-luxury-class of the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 , the GV60 hatchback will provide another option and will offer a variety of models and trims. GMC Hummer EV Pickup The easily identifiable GMC Hummer EV Pickup makes a statement in its massive composure, yet leaves behind a small footprint. The off-road design will take you places and the three electric motors will haul a load. However, you’ll have to get on a waitlist for this one or wait for other trims to be released next year.  Hyundai Ioniq 5 The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is an EV with many of the features you’d expect from the brand, but an entirely new exterior. The rollout may be sooner than expected as it may even hit the market before the end of 2021. There are a variety of trims and models with ranges from 244 to 300 miles. Kia EV6 Comparable to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 in many ways, the Kia EV6 brings battery options to an SUV-hatchback with a range up to 300 miles.  Lucid Air If you think Tesla is the only brand offering a sleek electric sedan, check out the much-anticipated Lucid Air. Not only will it bring a high-score for visual appeal, but it’s likely to set a new standard for energy-efficiency with a range estimate of 451 to 520 miles. Mazda MX-30 Another recognizable automaker is entering the EV market with Mazda’s MX-30 hatchback . The range is low at 100 miles and it will initially only be released in California, but we look forward to future redesigns.  Mercedes-Benz EQB and EQS What could be better than Mercedes-Benz quality blended with environment-loving EV technology? The fact there are two models to choose from. In fact, M-B plans to roll out a host of new electric SUVs and sedans over the next few years. The EQS carries a hefty price tag at around $100,000, but the EQB offers more affordability at half the price. While they work on a longer range, for a rig this size, the estimated 260 miles is worth consideration.  Rivian R1T Like we said, it’s fun to see EV trucks compete in the market. The all-new, fully-electric Rivian R1T brings four electric motors and notable ground clearance, so it’s suited for off-road action or a trip to the store. The range estimate is 316 miles.  Subaru Solterra Here again, we have yet another identifiable name with a first-time EV release. The Subaru Solterra has been a long time coming and will offer standard with all-wheel drive.  Volvo C40 Recharge Finally, at the end of the alphabet we have Volvo ’s first 100% EV. The all-wheel drive and dual motors offer a ride of 210 miles between charges. Via JD Power and Business Insider Lead images via Pexels

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20 new electric vehicles driving onto the scene in 2022

Renewables can power the world, according to new study

November 15, 2021 by  
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A recent study published in  Nature Communications  has found that renewables can meet most of the world’s energy needs. According to the authors, even the most industrialized countries that need a heavy power supply can rely on renewable energy, specifically wind and solar.   The study was led by researchers from the University of California, Irvine, to address concerns raised by critiques of renewable energy. As the world struggles to move away from fossil fuels , those opposed to the change have argued that renewables cannot reliably meet the energy needs of industrialized nations. Related: Solar program has customers saving money from renewable energy In response, the researchers behind the study analyzed the hourly electricity needs of 42 developed countries over the past 39 years. They found that wind and solar power could cover up to 80% of the energy needs of most developed countries without the need for heavy storage. The study further found that wind and solar could cover 72-91% of energy needs in most of the countries studied. With a boost of 12-hour battery storage, wind and solar could meet 83-94% of power needs in most countries. “Wind and solar could meet more than 80 percent of demand in many places without crazy amounts of storage or excess generating capacity, which is the critical point,” said Steve Davis, UCI professor of Earth system science. “But depending on the country, there may be many multi-day periods throughout the year when some demand will need to be met by energy storage and other non-fossil energy sources in a zero-carbon future.”  Researchers collaborated with experts from China’s Tsinghua University, the Carnegie Institution for Science , and Caltech. Although the authors agree that it will not be possible to phase out fossil fuels in a flash, they say that it can be done with consistent efforts from all stakeholders. “Historic data show that countries that are farther from the equator can occasionally experience periods called ‘dark doldrums’ during which there is very limited solar and wind power availability,” said lead author Dan Tong, assistant professor of Earth system science at Tsinghua University.  The scientists gave an example of a recent situation in Germany that left the country without solar for two weeks. In reference to such situations, they say that only small countries with high power demands such as Germany may be unable to meter their energy needs. “It comes down to the difference between the difficult and the impossible. It will be hard to completely eliminate fossil fuels from our power generation mix, but we can achieve that goal when technologies , economics and socio-political will are aligned,” said Davis. Via Newswise Lead image via Pexels

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Renewables can power the world, according to new study

VERGE 21 Opening Remarks: Climate action in a time of grief

November 2, 2021 by  
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GreenBiz Senior Vice President and VERGE Executive Director Shana Rappaport welcomes participants to VERGE 21 with a moving call to action about the power of embracing grief as we work to address the climate crisis. The surprise musical performance is by The Seastars, a band united by the shared purpose of using music and art as a vehicle to create a world that works for 100 percent of humanity and life on earth. “Move Me” is an original song by The Seastars — written by Ilana Lipsett, arranged by Sandra Kwak, with video direction and editing by Lilia Tamm for its world premier at VERGE 21.

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VERGE 21 Opening Remarks: Climate action in a time of grief

5 things you should know about green hydrogen

October 26, 2021 by  
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Plug Power has a message for companies building out clean fleet strategies: Don’t ignore green hydrogen, a fuel that doesn’t emit any carbon dioxide when it’s used to power fuel cells.

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5 things you should know about green hydrogen

How ESG is changing talent needs

October 26, 2021 by  
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Companies are looking for a range of experts, from analysts to investment leaders, reporting whizzes to heads of ESG.

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Research finds people want Apple and Samsung to go green

October 5, 2021 by  
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Smartphones have become an essential part of most people’s daily functions. Such a massive industry has the potential to have an extensive environmental impact, from production, to the waste cycle. Smartphone manufacturers are showing signs of accountability through efforts to incorporate recycled materials into product design and work towards carbon neutrality.  As consumers, we have the power to choose the company we feel is making the best effort towards these goals. Research company Piplsay found out how consumers feel about green initiatives touted by the smartphone giants. The results show consumers are willing to use the power of the dollar to uphold their expectations.  Related: Nimble makes phone accessories from recycled plastic, CDs and more Piplsay polled 30,760 Americans and 9,140 Britons in the research, asking about their response to sustainability plans such as Samsung’s mission to use plastic waste collected from the ocean in all future products, from phones to headphones to earbuds. Apple and Microsoft have released similar plans, including the goal of achieving carbon neutral production in the next ten years.  The results of the research show 80% of U.S. and U.K. respondents feel policies like Samsung’s decision to use ocean plastic in Galaxy phones will make a positive impact on the environment “to a great extent” or “to some extent.”    While smartphone makers have been working on making products more eco-friendly for some time, relatively few consumers are aware of it. When asked which initiatives they were aware of, 27% of Americans said they are aware of smartphone makers using recycled materials in their products, while 21% know about the reduced use of plastic in packaging.  Interestingly though, once aware of the efforts, consumers overwhelmingly said it could impact their buying decisions, with 68% of Americans saying they would proactively buy from smartphone brands that are taking eco-friendly measures and 71% of Britons stating the same. These responses align with the participants’ opinions that other brands should take responsibility by setting environmental goals, with a yes response from 72% of Americans and 80% from the U.K.   As for brand trust, 64% to 66% of all those surveyed placed Samsung and Apple at the top of the list for taking responsible environmental action. Complete results of the survey can be found here .  Via Piplsay Lead image via Pexels

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Huntington Beach oil spill destroys wildlife habitat

October 5, 2021 by  
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A wildlife habitat has been destroyed after 127,000 gallons of oil spilled along the Huntington Beach coast in Orange County, California. Officials are working round the clock to clean up the shores. The leak started on Saturday, about 5 miles off the coast, and continued for several hours. Currently, divers are inspecting the 17-mile pipeline to determine the cause of the spill. The pipeline is owned and managed by Amplify Energy. Company CEO Martyn Willsher told reporters the spill was first noticed on Saturday morning and immediately reported to the Coast Guard. The small oil company has just over 200 employees, and some of its facilities date back to the 1970s. Related: Los Angeles County to begin phasing out oil and gas drilling According to Willsher, the pipe has been “suctioned at both ends to keep additional crude out,” and stop further spill until the real cause was determined and corrected. The spill poses a threat to wildlife and human health. So far, wildlife experts have reported recovering four live birds covered in oil. One of the birds had to be euthanized due to its poor health condition. However, they also say that the extent of ecological damage cannot be estimated at the moment.  According to Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley, dead birds and fish have been spotted washing up on the shores. Foley says habitats that took years to build have been destroyed in a single day, all thanks to the spill. “These are wetlands that we’ve been working with the Army Corps of Engineers, with (a local) land trust, with all the community wildlife partners to make sure to create this beautiful, natural habitat for decades. And now in just a day, it’s completely destroyed,” Foley said. Due to the potential health risks to human life, residents have been urged to avoid all recreational activities in the area. All people who may have encountered the oil are encouraged to  visit local facilities  for medical checkups. Via CNN Lead image via Pete Markham

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Huntington Beach oil spill destroys wildlife habitat

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