Tipping points to Net Zero, smarter railroad tracks and Greenland’s accelerated meltdown

Tipping points to Net Zero, smarter railroad tracks and Greenland’s accelerated meltdown

Tipping points to Net Zero, smarter railroad tracks and Greenland’s accelerated meltdown

This weeks Current climatewhich brings you the latest news about the business of sustainability every Saturday. Sign up to get it in your inbox every week.

Aancient Greek mathematician and engineer Archimedes one is reported to have said, “Give me a place to stand and with one lever I will move the whole world” – emphasizing the power of simple machines to magnify the effort. This principle is limited to ancient Greece. This week, a report presented to the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos argues that there are points like this that can accelerate the world’s transition to an economy built on more sustainable principles to slow climate change. The researchers behind the report identified three potential “tipping points” that can be shifted to accelerate some of these changes.

The first is the transition to electric vehicles, as “government measures and better infrastructure are increasing [are] Make electric vehicles more attractive than petrol and diesel cars,” says a press release accompanying the report. A second game changer is replacing methods of producing ammonia with fertilizers in a more sustainable way, which the researchers say could have a side effect by lowering the cost of green hydrogen. The third tipping point is moving toward more alternatives to animal proteins, which could help reduce emissions from livestock and slow deforestation rates. All of these areas, the report argues, can have far-reaching implications for the economy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“This non-linear way of thinking about the climate issue offers plausible grounds for hope,” the report’s lead author said in a statement. “The more that is invested in socio-economic transformation, the faster it will unfold – and take the world to ‘net-zero’ greenhouse gas emissions sooner.”


The Great Reading

Greenland’s ice sheet is warmest in at least 1,000 years as scientists warn melting ice will accelerate sea level rise

Recent temperatures in Greenland’s ice sheet – a major cause of sea rise – have been the warmest in at least 1,000 years, according to a new report, as scientists warn melting Greenland’s ice sheet could threaten coastal communities around the world.

Read more here.


discoveries and innovations

Startup Wingardium Energy builds wind turbines which also serve as chargers for electric vehicles.

The Israel-based startup Steakholder Foods is collaborating with Singapore-based Umami Meats on the development 3D printed textured eel and grouper products made from cultured cells, not animals.

man-made light pollution has made the night sky nearly 10% brighter each year, according to new research, obscuring astronomical observations and posing a threat to migratory birds that rely on the position of the stars and moon to travel.

Almost two-thirds of the world’s coral reef shark and ray species are threatened die outreports a new study.


Sustainability deals of the week

Long-lasting batteries: California-based Noon Energy has raised a $28 million Series A round aimed at expanding its team and accelerating the commercialization of its carbon-oxygen battery for long-term energy storage.

Carbon Removal: Financial services firm Rothschild & Co has struck a multi-year deal with French startup NetZero to purchase carbon credits for NetZero’s biochar, which sequesters carbon by mixing it with topsoil, which also reduces the need for fertilizer in agriculture.

Electrification: The City of San Jose has awarded BlocPower a $489,000 contract to electrify 250 residential buildings.


At the horizon

Last week, Areas in Northern California experienced days of rain and strong winds that caused extensive damage to the area. And if sea levels continue to rise, it’s likely more storms are in the works for the region, according to new research released this week.


What else we’re reading this week

Climate misinformation “rocket boosters” on Musk’s Twitter (AP)

Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians Join Forces in Apache Fight to Save Oak Flat (Religion News)

Many popular carbon offsets don’t actually counteract emissions, says study (Popular Science)



Green transport update

WWhen it comes to moving people and goods, even fully electric vehicles cannot match the environmental benefits of trains. And when you think of “advanced rail technology,” bullet trains or maglev trains might come to mind. But what about the steel rails that freight and passenger trains run on? It turns out that the machine learning, big data collection, and speech recognition tools that have transformed manufacturing, cars, retail, and social media are also being harnessed to make vital rail operations safer and much more efficient.


The great history of transport

Cheap, functional electric cars would trigger big sales without subsidies

Dozens of new electric vehicle models are being launched, but most of them are still too expensive for most car buyers. What if automakers drastically reduced the price, weight, and battery size of EVs and focused on the short-haul applications that EVs do best?

Read more here.



More green transport news

Can California’s power grid handle 12 million electric cars? (cal counts)

The Corvette E-Ray 2024 brings the first electrification in Chevrolet sports cars

Red State backlash against EVs is incoherent — and gaining momentum (The Verge)

Study: London’s LTNs reduce car traffic on residential streets but not on main thoroughfares

Do you want to buy an electric vehicle? Warning: Charging stations are (often) broken

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 on test: The Pinnacle EV from Mercedes Benz


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