Global destruction of Mother Earth on fast track: “It is essential to understand the pace of change” says UN assessment

A little girl searches for recyclable materials in a garbage dump with smelling gas evaporating around her in Mandalay city, Mandalay province, Myanmar. (Photo: Nyaung U/United Nations Development Programme) With no region of the Earth untouched by the ravages of environmental destruction, the state of the world’s natural resources is in a rapid downward spiral, a comprehensive assessment by the …

Rural dialogue and problem-solving around climate change

The rural landscape is comprised of forests, farms and rangelands that can capture carbon when managed appropriately; land and resources for wind, solar and other renewable installations; and most importantly, people and ingenuity to implement the transition to a low carbon economy. While only 15 percent of U.S. residents live in nonmetropolitan counties, these counties account for 72 percent of …

Political support for the corporate order is disintegrating

David Korten, cross-posted from YES Public support for the corporate order is disintegrating. The three remaining presidential candidates are all running against the corporatist establishment. Of the three, Sanders is most credible in his anti-corporatist credentials and consequently does the best in national polls. He gives authentic voice to the hopes and aspirations of a nation betrayed, while Trump plays …

Updates on countries engaged in deep decarbonization and rapid shift to renewable energy

A fifth of the world’s electricity production in 2012 came from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and hydropower. The International Energy Agency estimates this could rise to a quarter of the world’s production by 2020. Note: I picked “over 80%” just for emphasis – I was surprised by the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa such as Zambia where hydropower …

Fossil fuels could be phased out worldwide in a decade, says new study

The worldwide reliance on burning fossil fuels to create energy could be phased out in a decade, according to an article published by a major energy think tank in the UK. Professor Benjamin Sovacool, Director of the Sussex Energy Group at the University of Sussex, believes that the next great energy revolution could take place in a fraction of the …

Climate change could aggravate water shortages in three-quarters of world’s small islands by 2050, researchers warn

Climbing sea levels bedevil low-lying islands. But a hotter planet brings a less obvious menace: drought. Three-quarters of the world’s small islands, home to 16 million people, are set to get more arid by mid-century, according to a study published in journal Nature Climate Change on Monday. Warmer temperatures will evaporate more water than they replenish in rainfall, the survey …

Cutting carbon emissions fuels jobs: more Californians work in “Advanced Energy” jobs than in farming or Hollywood now

If you still think that cutting carbon emissions will kill our economy, consider California. A report out Wednesday says that the number of Californians working in clean-energy jobs jumped by 18 percent between 2014 and 2015. That means the field is adding jobs at six times the rate of overall job growth in California. More Californians now work in energy efficiency or renewable …

Trying to put a price on fossil fuel industry’s obstruction of climate change policy

ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch/Shell, and three oil-industry groups together spend $115 million a year on advocacy designed to “obstruct” climate change policy, according to new estimates released by Influence Map, a British nonprofit research organization. The sheer fuzziness of corporate influence prompted the project. Nations hold companies to different standards—or none at all—for disclosures of how they are trying to influence public policy …

Oil companies assets and liabilities are being re-evaluated

Companies can only claim an oil deposit as a “reserve” if they have a reasonable likelihood of extracting the oil and selling it profitably. And in 2009, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission updated itsreporting standards to require companies to write off deposits not developed within a reasonable time frame. The collapse in prices means a lot of the reserves …

The Panama Papers are the biggest leak we’ve ever seen on how global corruption and tax evasion is facilitated

Rana Foroohar, assistant managing editor of economics and business at TIME magazine, arguedMonday that the corruption exposed in the Panama Papers will likely build on the mounting populist frustration—captured by the Occupy Wall Street movement, global anti-austerity protests, and the 2016 U.S. presidential election—and could potentially “lead to capitalism’s great crisis.”  Foroohar writes: The Panama Papers illuminate a key aspect of why the …