Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation donates $20M to support environmental causes

September 20, 2017 by  
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The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) just announced their biggest portfolio of environmental grants ever given. LDF is giving $20 million to organizations working for conservation , climate solutions, and indigenous rights , to name a few. DiCaprio made the announcement yesterday during the Yale Climate Conference hosted by John Kerry , former Secretary of State. LDF CEO Terry Tamminen said, “With a lack of political leadership, and continued evidence that climate change is growing worse with record-breaking heat waves and storms , we believe we need to do as much as we can now, before it is too late.” LDF will give over 100 organizations grants across six categories: wildlife and land conservation; marine life and ocean conservation; indigenous rights; climate change; innovation, technology , and media; and LDF’s California program, targeted to help local communities transition to sustainable infrastructure, energy , and food . Related: Leonardo DiCaprio launches a new fund to save the lions In his speech at yesterday’s conference, DiCaprio called for people to get involved in tackling climate change. He said people can do three simple things: first, vote in the midterm elections next year for candidates who believe climate change is one of the most important issues the United States must address. Second, buy from environmentally friendly companies, and boycott those funding climate deniers or offering products that hurt the environment. Third, support charities and non-governmental organizations working for climate solutions. DiCaprio said, “I still believe that the United States has the potential to lead the world on this issue. We can only hope that the President begins to see it too…Time is up. The current events are a global wake-up call that must be heard all the way from you, to the private sector, to Washington, D.C. It is too late for any of us to be too timid or too ignorant or too silent. We must all take action together now.” + Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Via the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Images via screenshot

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Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation donates $20M to support environmental causes

London’s sewer-dwelling ‘fatberg’ will be converted into biofuel

September 20, 2017 by  
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IT’s not the only monster lurking in the sewers. Beneath the streets of London lies the now-notorious “fatberg,” a congealed mass of grease, oil, wet wipes and sanitary products that weighs as much as 11 double-decker buses. Thames Water Utilities has confirmed that the 820-foot-long fatberg will be removed from its subterranean lair and converted into biofuel . “It may be a monster, but the Whitechapel fatberg deserves a second chance,” said Thames Water waste network manager Alex Saunders. “We’ve therefore teamed up with leading waste to power firm Argent Energy to transform what was once an evil, gut-wrenching, rancid blob into pure green fuel.” Fatbergs appear when its necessary ingredients (fat, sanitary products, grease, etc.) are flushed down the toilet or the kitchen sink. They then meet and stick together. The notorious fatberg of London came together under Whitechapel Road and has damaged the area’s Victorian-era sewage system. Only about one-third of the mass has been removed for processing. The Museum of London hopes to receive part of the fatberg, which is heavy and solid, for display. “The discovery of this fatberg highlights one of the many issues London has to deal with as it grows and evolves,” said Sharon Ament, Director at the Museum of London. “Our year-long season, City Now City Future, explores what the future holds for people living in urban environments.” Related: Startup is developing kelp farms in the open ocean to make carbon-neutral biofuel Although this is not the first fatberg discovered, its conversion into fuel is breaking new ground. “It’s the perfect solution for the environment and our customers as we work towards our target to self-generate 33 per cent of the electricity we use from renewable sources by 2020,” said Saunders. “It also means the Whitechapel fatberg will get a new lease of life as renewable, biodegradable fuel powering an engine instead of causing the misery of sewer flooding. Even though they are our worst enemy, and we want them dead completely, bringing fatbergs back to life when we do find them in the form of biodiesel is a far better solution for everyone.” Via Alphr Images via Alphr

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John Kerry says Obama administration will work to stop Trump from leaving Paris agreement

November 16, 2016 by  
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As Donald Trump ‘s advisers seek a way out of the historic Paris climate change agreement , it appears the current administration doesn’t intend to let them succeed without a fight. United States Secretary of State John Kerry said the Obama administration will attempt to prevent Trump from leaving the Paris agreement. Before his address at COP22 in Marrakech, Kerry said, “This is bigger than one person, one president. We have to figure out how we’re going to stop this.” Kerry’s address at COP22 never mentioned Trump by name. But the Secretary of State delivered a call for action that seemed to be aimed at the president-elect. He asked for leaders in positions of power around the world to research the reality of climate change as they make decisions, and to listen to the voices of faith leaders, Fortune 500 businessmen, economists, farmers, and military leaders who take the threat of climate change seriously. Related: Trump advisers seek loopholes to allow ASAP withdrawal from Paris climate deal “Do your own due diligence before making irrevocable choices…And above all, consult with the scientists who have dedicated their entire lives to expanding our understanding of this challenge, and whose work will be in vain unless we sound the alarm loud enough for everyone to hear. No one has a right to make decisions that affect billions of people based on solely ideology or without proper input,” Kerry said in his speech . In his comments before the speech, Kerry didn’t provide many specifics on how the Obama administration might stop Trump. But he did leave the world with a warning at his last UN climate conference address: “We don’t get a second chance. The consequences of failure would in most cases be irreversible…So we have to get this right, and we have to get it right now.” At COP22, the United States released one of the first long-term climate strategies along with Mexico, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change . Under the strategy, America aims to reduce emissions by 80 percent under 2005 levels by 2050. Via The Guardian Images via screenshot and W ikimedia Commons

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Hillary Clinton and Al Gore connect Hurricane Matthew with climate change in Florida

October 12, 2016 by  
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Was Hurricane Matthew worse because of climate change ? Hillary Clinton and Al Gore appear to think so. The two spoke at Miami-Dade College in the swing state of Florida to a crowd of 1,600, and called for America to take a lead in the global battle against climate change. Clinton spoke of her goal to install 500 million solar panels by the end of her first four-year term, and Gore called for America to take a leadership role in the climate change fight by electing Clinton. In her speech, Clinton said Hurricane Matthew “was likely more destructive because of climate change.” Higher sea levels and greater sea temperatures only exacerbated the storm, she said. Gore said, “[Hurricane Matthew] spun up from a tropical storm to a category 5 hurricane in just 36 hours. That’s extremely unusual.” Related: What does Hillary Clinton need to do to win over climate hawk voters? The Washington Post reached out to atmospheric scientist Michael Mann of Penn State University, who said Clinton’s remarks were “absolutely” correct. Clinton reminded voters Trump is a “climate change denier” who “denies science.” Gore spoke of the “stark” decision America now faces, embodied in the choice of whom to elect president, as one candidate promises to continue Obama’s fight against climate change and the other has denied global warming exists and referred to it as an ” expensive hoax .” Gore said, “The world is on the cusp of either building on the progress of solving the climate crisis, or stepping back, washing our hands of America’s traditional role as a leader in the world.” It could be said Gore lost the 2000 presidential election in Florida, where he lost by around 500 votes. Clinton spoke out to the swing state about the daily realities they face as proof of climate change, such as ocean water “bubbling up through the sewer system.” More on her climate change policy proposals can be found on her website . Via The Guardian and The Washington Post Images via screenshot , Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons , and Al Gore Facebook

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Hillary Clinton and Al Gore connect Hurricane Matthew with climate change in Florida

Floating ‘space nation’ Asgardia promises to guard Earth from asteroids

October 12, 2016 by  
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Although this headline sounds as though it’s been ripped from a science fiction film script, we can assure you it’s real. Announced this morning in Paris, a new project will launch a satellite launch later this year, marking the first step toward the establishment of a ‘space nation’ dubbed Asgardia . The outlandish project calls for a floating, independent nation comprised of expat Earthlings who would work together to protect this green planet from asteroids, space junk, solar flares, and other threats floating around in space. Asgardia is now accepting volunteers to be among its first citizens. Asgardia takes its name from Norse mythology, specifically from the land ruled by Odin. Comic book fans will also recognize the project’s name, because it has a long history in Marvel lore . The project’s logo image features a rendering of a spaceship and while there is no telling whether the image represents any actual designs, it does suggest a number of things about the venture. The spaceship sports the Eye of Horus , an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, reinforcing Asgardia’s mission to protect Earth from asteroids and other threats. Related: Elon Musk reveals his big plans for colonizing Mars The project is operating on a first-come, first-served basis, granting citizenship to the first 100,000 people who sign up on the Asgardia website. It’s not clear at this point what that would entail, or when human volunteers would have an opportunity to take up residence on a floating spaceship nation . Who is behind this mysterious and incredibly ambitious project? The effort is an international one, backed by the Aerospace International Research Center and the center’s online space magazine, Room . The team is led by Dr Igor Ashurbeyli, a leading member of the Russian Federal Space Agency, who founded AIRC in Vienna in 2013 and is editor-in-chief of the online magazine. He was recently named chair of UNESCO’s Science of Space committee, and has launched Asgardia amid a swarm of criticism, skepticism, and even laughter. But, yes, in case you’re wondering, I am waiting to find out whether my citizenship request made it in under the wire. Via DailyMail Images via James Vaughn and Asgardia

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Scotland region will be 100% powered by kites within a decade

October 12, 2016 by  
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In parts of Scotland, one response to the need for renewable energy is to go fly a kite. No, really. In just under 10 years, kites will generate power for an entire region of Scotland , thanks to efforts by a British company named Kite Power Solutions. Their “kytoons” (hybrid kite-balloon power systems) look like parachutes, and fly on the jet stream at 20,000 feet elevation, moving up and down in the wind currents to generate hundreds of megawatts of energy for a super low cost.

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Scotland region will be 100% powered by kites within a decade

Donald Trump vows to nix Paris climate deal and pave way for Keystone XL pipeline

May 27, 2016 by  
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This week, Donald Trump became the presumed Republican nominee in the race to the White House, and almost immediately outlined an energy plan that could radically change the course of history . Speaking at an oil and natural gas conference in North Dakota on Thursday, Trump promised to withdraw the U.S. from the COP21 climate agreement , open up Atlantic offshore oil drilling, and welcome the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline . Effectively, Trump would reverse many key decisions made in recent years to protect the environment, and invite destruction, all in the pursuit of profit. Embed from Getty Images Trump’s energy policy was shaped largely by the advice of Kevin Cramer, a U.S. representative from North Dakota, who addressed the crowd before Trump took the stage, along with oil tycoon Harold Hamm. The presidential hopeful also cozied up to Hamm during his speech, whose advice also contributed to his hazardous energy policy. Trump, a longtime believer that manmade climate change is a “hoax,” didn’t mention those feelings in his speech, but he didn’t have to. Related: Trump taps climate denier, fossil fuels advocate as energy adviser With regard to the COP21 climate deal, Trump promised to reverse President Obama’s commitment, saying instead that he will only work with “environmentalists whose only agenda is protecting nature” and to “focus on real environmental challenges, not the phony ones.” Those comments make it clear that Trump distrusts the mounting scientific evidence about the human origins of climate change , as well as the goals agreed on by 195 national leaders from around the globe. Via The Guardian Images via Donald J. Trump/Facebook

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President Obama Says He Will Only Approve Keystone XL Pipeline if it Doesn’t Increase Carbon Pollution

June 25, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock In a landmark speech on climate change today, President Obama offered an insight into whether he’ll approve the controversial 1,700-mile pipeline, explaining that he will only approve the Keystone XL Pipeline if it is proven to not increase carbon emissions. In the run up to President Obama’s much-anticipated speech laying out his administration’s climate plan, observers speculated that Obama wouldn’t mention the Keystone Pipeline in the speech. Even a version of the speech that was leaked just hours before it was delivered made no mention of the pipeline. But in a surprise move, the president offered a hint at what his decision will be. Read the rest of President Obama Says He Will Only Approve Keystone XL Pipeline if it Doesn’t Increase Carbon Pollution Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alberta tar sands , Climate Change , keystone pipeline , keystone xl , Keystone XL Pipeline , obama , obama climate , Obama climate speech , president obama , tar sands        

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Why Obama is Right on the Money with His (Green) Jobs Speech

September 9, 2011 by  
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In saying that we don’t need to sacrifice our safeguards to create more jobs, and in calling for a race to the top rather than the bottom, the president tonight laid out a comprehensive, pragmatic and green solution to our economic crisis.

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If Congress Guts Even More Environmental Rules, How Many Jobs Will Be Gained?

September 2, 2011 by  
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WPA Band Playing In Lafayette Square, New Orleans, 1940 Image credit :Flickr , infrogmation President Obama is unlikely to address this headline question in his speech on jobs, nor will Republicans in their upcoming presidential primary debate. The short answer to my subject headline is that killing environmental regulations, as Republican candidates have espoused , won’t bring the jobs back. There would be … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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