Manatees are the chubby vegan hippies of the sea. Neither predator nor prey, the world’s three remaining species are all considered vulnerable, including the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), of which the Florida manatee is a subspecies. Manatees seem to have evolved almost immune to Darwinian struggle. They’re small-brained, radically farsighted, almost deaf, and barely able to smell—effectively floating digestion machines propelled by paddle-like tails. They survive mostly on seagrass, 100 to 200 pounds of which is working through a manatee’s intestinal system at a given moment. Their lungs stretch the entire length of their trunk, helping them maintain optimal buoyancy so they can munch like Jersey cows grazing a field of clover. Yet though manatees are sitting targets, even sharks leave them alone, uninterested in an animal that, despite its corpulence, lacks a tasty, insulating layer of blubber. So unflappable are manatees that a wild one will roll over and let its only true predator—us—rub its tender underside.
Getting to net zero carbon emissions in just four decades is both necessary and a huge challenge. But the good news is that it is undoubtedly technically feasible – and at an acceptably low cost to the global economy.
By the end of this decade it may be too late to limit global warming to scientifically guided limits, if the infrastructure built in the next four years is constructed along the same lines as currently planned.
Populism is drawing momentum from environmentalism in the U.S. and Europe, threatening the world’s effort to rein in climate change.
Europe’s attempt to revive its carbon market is being thwarted by a lack of pollution.
The region’s warmest year in three decades has cut demand for heating, while utilities are generating a record amount of power from renewables and the ailing economy is crimping manufacturing. Electricity producers will need only about a third of the extra carbon permits being sold in 2015, according to data from Markedskraft ASA, a consultant in Arendal, Norway.
The path to a climate deal in Paris next year is littered with obstacles, foremost being how to differentiate between what rich nations must do to cut pollution and what commitments will be accepted by developing countries, such as India and Brazil.
Last week, envoys from some 190 countries gathered in Lima took a first step toward the goal of binding all nations to greenhouse-gas limits. But while they sketched out what information countries must provide to back up their pledges, commitments will be voluntary and the rich-poor divide remains an issue.
The UK has experienced its driest September since records began.
A coal pile buries the UN General Assembly, gas races down 42nd Street and then New York is lost under a blue mountain. These dramatic CGI scenes, depicting actual quantities, create an immersive journey that brings home the scale of global carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption.
A dynamic four-minute film, being launched at the UN Climate Change Summit in New York September 2014, shows the part that carbon capture and storage can play in limiting global climate change to 2 degrees.
To see the full film click the link below.