Weekly Newsletter #5

OHPA Weekly Newsletter #5

Week of May 10th 2024

By Stefan Stoyanov 

Welcome to the fifth issue of The Open Society Hub for the Politics of the Anthropocene weekly newsletter.

UPCOMING OHPA SEMINAR: Thursday, May 2nd 5:30-7:30pm

Resilient Futures  by Dr. Orit Halpern, Full Professor and Chair of Digital Cultures at Technische Universität Dresden. Register here and join us in Vienna and online.

UPCOMING OHPA Workshop: Monday, May 27th 9:30-19:00pm

Reluctant Decarbonization and Militant Petrostates with over 10 international speakers, including Dirk Moses. Register here and join us in Vienna and online.

Weekly article recommendations:

We asked 380 top climate scientist what they felt about the future…

The special interactive article on The Guardian features personal accounts from leading climate scientists who describe feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of the crisis and the limited progress made in addressing it. They discuss the emotional toll of witnessing the devastating impacts of climate change first-hand, from extreme weather events to loss of biodiversity. Despite their expertise and dedication, many scientists feel powerless in the face of political inertia and short-sighted decision-making. The piece underscores the urgent need for decisive action to mitigate the worst effects of climate change and calls for a collective effort from governments, businesses, and individuals to enact meaningful solutions.

Source: The Guardian 

More and faster: Electricity from clean sources reaches 30% of global total

On a more positive note, the AP News article discusses the growing dominance of renewable energy sources in the global energy landscape, surpassing fossil fuels for the first time in history. It highlights the significant shift towards solar and wind power, driven by technological advancements, declining costs, and increasing environmental concerns. The article explores how renewable energy is reshaping the energy industry, leading to reduced carbon emissions and offering hope for combating climate change. Despite challenges such as intermittency and storage issues, renewable energy adoption continues to accelerate, signalling a pivotal moment in the transition to a sustainable energy future.

Source: AP 

How Shadowy Corporations, Secret Deals and False Promises Keep Retired Coal Plants From Being Redeveloped

What happens when you close a coal plant? The Inside Climate News tries to explore the redevelopment potential of retired coal plants along the Great Lakes region. It discusses how these former coal sites present opportunities for economic revitalization and environmental restoration. The article highlights various initiatives and projects aimed at repurposing these sites for renewable energy generation, green infrastructure, and community development. By transforming these retired coal plants, communities can not only create jobs and stimulate local economies but also contribute to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. The article underscores the importance of innovative approaches to transitioning away from fossil fuels and embracing sustainable development practices in the Great Lakes region.

Source: Inside Climate News

World’s top climate scientists expect global heating to blast past 1.5C target

The next article is on the latest findings from the world's top climate scientists, indicating that global heating is likely to exceed the 1.5°C target set by the Paris Agreement. Despite efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, current trends suggest that temperatures will continue to rise, posing significant challenges for ecosystems, weather patterns, and human societies. The brief highlights the urgency of taking bold and immediate action to curb emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change, underscoring the need for global cooperation and ambitious climate policies. The article serves as a wake-up call, urging policymakers and the public to heed the warnings of the scientific community and take meaningful action to safeguard the planet for future generations.

Source: The Guardian 

Australia backs gas beyond 2050 despite climate fears

Finally, Australia plans to increase gas extraction until "2050 and beyond" despite global calls to phase out fossil fuels. Prime Minister Albanese's government argues it's necessary for energy security and transition to net zero. Critics warn it contradicts science, citing the IEA's call for reduced fossil fuel use. Australia, a major LNG exporter, justifies the move as ensuring reliable trade partnerships. Gas, accounting for 27% of energy needs, contributes a quarter of emissions. Environmentalists condemn the policy, prioritizing fossil fuel interests over the environment. Scientists caution gas reliance could lead to catastrophic warming, hindering efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.

Source: BBC

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