In this issue:
Climate change and health
The latest Lancet Countdown report has just been published revealing heat related deaths in the period 2018-22 were 87% up on 2000-04. Even more worrying is that warming at 2C above pre industrial levels would see heat related deaths increase by 370%. Other insights from the programme include heat related loss in labour capacity cost US$863bn (NZ$1,427) in 2022, a 28% increase in the potential for dengue (1951-60 baseline) and 27% of surveyed cities expressing concerns their health systems will be overwhelmed by climate change.
In some good news, it seems scientists may have been underestimating the absorption potential of vegetation. While most scientists are expecting the absorption of CO2 to increase, on average, as the planet warms, new analysis from Australian scientists suggests the rate of absorption will likely be higher than previously thought, perhaps by as much as 20%.
Do as a I say not as I do (2)
A couple of weeks ago we highlighted the rift between stated emissions targets and government plans around fossil fuel extraction among the largest extractors. It seems the same can be said for corporates. InfluenceMap has just published an analysis of 293 companies from the Forbes 2,000, reporting 58% are undertaking lobbying activities counter to their stated climate commitments. Greenwashing?
Next year California is introducing a ban on the purchase of new petrol powered landscaping tools, most notably the ubiquitous lawn mower. Fossil fuelled small engines, in effect garden tools, emit more pollutants in California than its passenger vehicle fleet and it’s estimated garden equipment emitted over 30 million tons of CO2 across the US in 2020. California has had enough. The co-benefit will be more peaceful Sundays. Sounds like a good idea worth following to us.
Water purifying energy generators
We love win-win stories. Scientists from the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia have developed autonomous micromotors that propel themselves through waste water using bubbles they generate themselves extracting urea and converting it into ammonia.
Water purifying energy generators (2)
Not to be outdone, Cambridge University researchers have been working on achieving similar outcomes. In their case, the equipment floats and uses solar power to generate hydrogen from water splitting and collects purified water vapour.
Irony, excess or both
It seems COP28, which is kicking off in just a few days, is expecting 70,000 visitors from around the world. That’s a lot of emissions!