What if someone told you that we have everything we need to decarbonize most of the economy? We would just need to start electrifying every new car, furnace, water heater, drier, and cookstove, and industrial process starting right now. And yeah, and put solar on every roof that can handle it. If we are on a wartime footing for decarbonizing the economy, our guest, Saul, could be considered a 5-star general of the “electrify everything” movement. He founded or co-founded around a dozen companies and organizations. And he has a PhD from MIT in materials science and information theory. Saul is now trying to marshal the world around his “a defensible and believable” pathway for decarbonizing America with clean electricity. - Energy Gang
Since Kenneth McDarment was a kid in the 1980s, he’s seen the foothills of the Sierra Nevada change. As a councilman of the Tule River Tribe, a sovereign nation of around 1,000 members living on 56,000-odd acres in the foothills of the Sierras, McDarment deals with everything water-related on the reservation. Today there’s less rain and less snow than there was even a decade ago, which means that the land in the foothills was dangerously dry during the last fire season, when wildfires were sweeping across the state. “If you don’t got water,” says McDarment, “we don’t got nothing. In 2014, McDarment began looking into getting ahold of some beavers. McDarment hoped that beaver dams would create soggy areas on tribal lands that wouldn’t dry out during heat waves. “We’re hoping that means our land will be less likely to burn during fire season,” he says. “Beavers were here originally. So why not bring them back and let them do the work they do naturally? There was just one problem—it is illegal to move beavers without a permit. And a permit to move a beaver isn't easy to come by. - Sierra
As the West Faces a Drought Emergency, Some Ranchers are Restoring Grasslands to Build Water Reserves
The world needs a “radical” shift towards renewables to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and secure the 1.5C goal, says the International Energy Agency (IEA). This would see renewable energy overtake coal by 2026, passing oil and gas before 2030. By 2050, it should go on to meet two-thirds of global energy supply and nearly 90% of electricity generation. In a 227-page report, titled “Net-zero by 2050: A roadmap for the global energy sector,” the IEA calls for “a total transformation of the energy systems that underpin our economies”. It says this is a “critical year at the start of a critical decade for these efforts”, which must start turning the world’s energy system from one dominated by fossil fuels into a future “powered predominantly by renewable energy like solar and wind”. - Carbon Brief
Heat stress has led to massive human morbidity and mortality in recent years. Severe heat stress (HS) events in the Midwest and the Gulf of Mexico coastal plains during the summers of 2019 and 2020, as well as many others during the 2010–2019 decade, are representative of the types of extreme hot and humid events expected to become more common in the contiguous United States (CONUS) in future. The HS is expected to become more severe due to an increase in frequency, duration, severity, and spatiotemporal extent of extreme warmth and moisture, which is an important, nonlinear, and often‐neglected component. While these different contributing factors are often investigated independently, we argue that a holistic analysis that integrates them is more informative from the standpoint of the potential impact of HS exposure. The HS events likely to significantly increase across densely populated regions of the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, coastal Pacific Northwest, central California, and Great Lakes region. - AGU
I started a CGCC Facebook page in May of '20 to share geo-environmental news but had accuracy concerns with FB. GeoNews is a response and partial solution, sharing a few items from reliable sources each week.