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Japan: Fukushima Clean-Up May Take Up To 40 years, Plant's Operator Says

          

A TEPCO employee walks in front of the No. 1 reactor building.  REUTERS/Toru Hanai

cnn.com - by Yoko Wakatsuki and Elaine Yu - February 11, 2016

Cleaning up Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which suffered catastrophic meltdowns after an earthquake and tsunami hit in 2011, may take up to 40 years.

The crippled nuclear reactor is now stable but the decommissioning process is making slow progress, says the plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Co, better known as TEPCO. . . .

. . . The biggest obstacle to closing down the plant permanently is removing all the melted nuclear fuel debris from three reactors, Ono told reporters after a press tour of the plant this week.

But TEPCO says it is in the dark about the current state of the debris.

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The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics

submitted by Albert Gomez

ellenmacarthurfoundation.org - January 19, 2016

Applying circular economy principles to global plastic packaging flows could transform the plastics economy and drastically reduce negative externalities such as leakage into oceans, according to this new report.

The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics provides, for the first time, a vision of a global economy in which plastics never become waste, and outlines concrete steps towards achieving the systemic shift needed.

The report was produced by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with analytical support from McKinsey & Company, as part of Project MainStream, a global, multi-industry initiative that aims to accelerate business-driven innovations to help scale the circular economy. It was financially supported by the MAVA Foundation.

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NOAA: Salt Marshes Combat Climate Change

             

Shorebirds feed in the shallows of Estero Bay State Preserve.  In the background are black mangroves, which are part of a salt marsh, which absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide.  (Photo: File photo by Andrew West)

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - PLOS One - Living Shorelines: Coastal Resilience with a Blue Carbon Benefit

news-press.com - by Chad Gillis - December 24, 2015

Natural, living shorelines in areas like the Gulf of Mexico absorb a lot of carbon dioxide and will help blunt the effects of climate change.

And coastal wetlands store several times the amount that can be absorbed by mature tropical forests, the research shows.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration studied wetlands in North Carolina and reports that plants, sand and rocks are better for the environment than man-made features like concrete sea walls and high-rise condominiums.

The report, published earlier this month in the journal PLOS One, shows that natural features in coastal areas help keep atmospheric carbon dioxide levels lower.

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Solar or Coal? The Energy India Picks May Decide Earth’s Fate

Flames rise from the ground in Jharia coalfield, where the land around the areas has burned for a century as a result of mining and venting gases.

Image: Flames rise from the ground in Jharia coalfield, where the land around the areas has burned for a century as a result of mining and venting gases.

wired.com - December 2015 - Charles C. Mann

A few minutes after I meet E. V. R. Raju, a vision pops into my head. I can see him on one of those lists of the World’s Most Important People released by the likes of CNN, Forbes, and Time. Besides the obvious entrants like the president and the pope, the lists always also include a few buzzy, click-generating names: Emma Watson, perhaps, or Bono.

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At Climate Talks, African Nations Pledge to Restore Forests

         

FILE - In this Sunday, March 21, 2010 file photo, shafts of sunlight filtering through the forest canopy strike smoke from fires burning outside family huts at an Mbuti pygmy hunting camp in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve outside the town of Epulu, Congo. Tree by tree, more than a dozen African governments pledged to restore the continent’s natural forests at the U.N. climate change talks in Paris on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015. (Rebecca Blackwell,File/Associated Press)

CLICK HERE - World Resources Institute - African Countries Launch AFR100 to Restore 100 Million Hectares of Land

CLICK HERE - African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100)

CLICK HERE - Global Landscapes Forum

washingtonpost.com - by Lynsey Chutel - December 6, 2015

JOHANNESBURG — Tree by tree, more than a dozen African governments pledged to restore the continent’s natural forests at the United Nations climate talks on Sunday.

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Satellites Expose Just How Bad Indonesia’s Fires Are

An image taken by German satellite TET-1, superimposed over one taken by NASA's MODIS, show just how many fires in Indonesia there were on September 24, 2015. DLR

Image: An image taken by German satellite TET-1, superimposed over one taken by NASA's MODIS, show just how many fires in Indonesia there were on September 24, 2015. DLR   

wired.com - November 9th, 2015 - Chelsea Leu

Indonesia has been aflame for a couple months now. That happens every fall—the country’s fire season is severe—but this time around, things are the worst they’ve been in almost two decades. This year’s crazy-strong El Niño has desiccated the region’s peat beds, while palm oil plantations exacerbate the problem by cutting down trees and draining the normally soggy land.

All that dry stuff adds up to create a big, flaming environmental catastrophe.

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In The Amazon's Fire Season, 'You Either Burn Or You Starve'

In the western state of Rondonia, a patch of the forest burns near a small farm. Kainaz Amaria/NPR

Image: In the western state of Rondonia, a patch of the forest burns near a small farm. Kainaz Amaria/NPR

npr.org - November 5th, 2015 - Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

They call it the "burning season" in the Amazon, and when we arrive in Brazil's western state of Rondonia, it's on fire.

A thick, acrid smoke permeates everything, making it difficult to see. Fire, people say in Rondonia, is part of the culture of the state: the ash from the burned trees is the only way to make the land fertile, argue some.

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How the Third Industrial Revolution Will Create a Green Economy

A photograph of a city skyline at dusk with lamps in the foreground that resemble stylized trees.

Image: A photograph of a city skyline at dusk with lamps in the foreground that resemble stylized trees.

huffingtonpost.com - October 20th, 2015 - Jeremy Rifkin

The global economy is slowing, productivity is waning in every region of the world and unemployment remains stubbornly high in every country. At the same time, economic inequality between the rich and the poor is at the highest point in human history. In 2010 the combined wealth of the 388 richest people in the world equaled the combined wealth of the poorest half of the human race.

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Dire Glimpses of What Pollution Is Doing in Bangladesh

Two women go back to their village after collecting garbage to sell to traders, Gazipur. PROBAL RASHID

Image: Two women go back to their village after collecting garbage to sell to traders, Gazipur. PROBAL RASHID

wired.com - October 14th 2015 - Laura Mallonee

Bangladesh is dominated by a vast river delta of rich, fertile and flat land no more than 40 feet above sea level. That makes it especially susceptible to climate change. Scientists estimate that rising sea levels will claim as much as 17 percent of the country by 2050, displacing as many as 18 million people.

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India announces plan to slow rate of greenhouse gas growth

Smoke rises from a chimney of a garbage processing plant on the outskirts of Chandigarh December 3, 2011. Reuters/Ajay Verma/Files

Image: Smoke rises from a chimney of a garbage processing plant on the outskirts of Chandigarh December 3, 2011. Reuters/Ajay Verma/Files

in.reuters.com - October 2nd, 2015 - Tommy Wilkes

India has promised to shave a third off the rate at which it emits greenhouse gases over the next 15 years, in a long-awaited contribution towards reaching a deal to slow global warming at a U.N. climate summit in December.

The world's third-largest emitter and last major economy to submit plans ahead of the Paris summit did not, however, commit to any absolute cuts in carbon emissions.

Of the top two polluters, China has promised its emissions will peak by around 2030, and the United States is already cutting, but India says its economy is too small and its people too poor to agree to absolute cuts in greenhouse gases now.

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