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Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction Event Under Way, Scientists Warn

Researchers talk of ‘biological annihilation’ as study reveals billions of populations of animals have been lost in recent decades

           

Earth already in midst of sixth mass extinction, scientists say

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - PNAS - Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines

theguardian.com - by Damian Carrington - July 10, 2017

A “biological annihilation” of wildlife in recent decades means a sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history is under way and is more severe than previously feared, according to research.

Scientists analysed both common and rare species and found billions of regional or local populations have been lost . . . 

 . . . “All signs point to ever more powerful assaults on biodiversity in the next two decades, painting a dismal picture of the future of life, including human life” . . . 

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Just 100 Companies Responsible for 71% of Global Emissions, Study Says

A relatively small number of fossil fuel producers and their investors could hold the key to tackling climate change

           

An oil rig exploring for oil and gas. A new report says more than 50% of global industrial emissions since 1988 can be traced to just 25 companies. Photograph: Dazman/Getty Images/iStockphoto

CLICK HERE - The Carbon Majors Database - CDP Carbon Majors Report 2017 (16 page .PDF report)

the guardian.com - by Tess Riley - July 10, 2017

Just 100 companies have been the source of more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988, according to a new report.

The Carbon Majors Report (pdf) “pinpoints how a relatively small set of fossil fuel producers may hold the key to systemic change on carbon emissions,” says Pedro Faria, technical director at environmental non-profit CDP, which published the report in collaboration with the Climate Accountability Institute.

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When Will Electric Cars Go Mainstream? It May Be Sooner Than You Think

           

A Volkswagen e-Golf electric car being charged in Dresden, Germany, in March. Volkswagen and Tesla each have plans to produce more than 1 million electric vehicles per year by 2025. Credit Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

CLICK HERE - Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) - Electric Vehicle Outlook 2017

nytimes.com - by Brad Plumer - July 8, 2017

As the world’s automakers place larger bets on electric vehicle technology, many industry analysts are debating a key question: How quickly can plug-in cars become mainstream?

The conventional view holds that electric cars will remain a niche product for many years, plagued by high sticker prices and heavily dependent on government subsidies.

But a growing number of analysts now argue that this pessimism is becoming outdated. A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a research group, suggests that the price of plug-in cars is falling much faster than expected, spurred by cheaper batteries and aggressive policies promoting zero-emission vehicles in China and Europe.

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Thousands Flee Wildfires Burning in the US and Canada

           

Thousands flee wildfires burning in the US and Canada - The Associated Press

abcnews.go.com - by The Associated Press - July 9, 2017

Wildfires barreled across the baking landscape of the western U.S. and Canada, destroying a smattering of homes, forcing thousands to flee and temporarily trapping children and counselors at a California campground.

Here's a look at the wildfires blackening the West.

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Attacks in Syria and Yemen are Turning Disease Into a Weapon of War

           

A cholera-infected man receives treatment at a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen, in May.  HANI MOHAMMED/AP

statnews.com - by Homer Venters - July 7, 2017

 . . . Today we are seeing another cruel method of warfare emerge on the battlefield: the weaponization of disease, particularly in Syria and Yemen.

Targeting health care facilities during conflict has occurred before. But unlike the attacks on hospital ships during World War I, or even sporadic attacks in more recent conflicts, the pace of attacks on health facilities, workers, and resources in Syria and Yemen is massive and unrelenting . . . 

 . . . We must not make the mistake of thinking of these deaths and illnesses as collateral damage of war. They are not accidental, and the destruction of medical and sanitation infrastructure is part of a cruel, illegal, and intentional strategy . .

 . . . there must be independent investigations of violations of international law when it comes to targeting health and humanitarian resources . . .

 . . . Hundreds of thousands have already died in Syria and Yemen. And without accountability and clear condemnation from the international community, millions more lives are at stake.

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Ebola: WHO declares outbreak in DR Congo

The world's deadliest Ebola outbreak hit West Africa in 2014-2015. GETTY IMAGES

Image: The world's deadliest Ebola outbreak hit West Africa in 2014-2015. GETTY IMAGES

bbc.com - May 12th 2017

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

At least one person has died after contracting the virus in the country's north-east, the WHO says.

The Congolese health ministry had notified the WHO of a "lab-confirmed case" of Ebola, it added on Twitter.

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France Set to Ban Sale of Petrol and Diesel Vehicles by 2040

           

Hybrid and electric cars, like this Renault, make up about 5% of the French car market - Reuters

bbc.com - July 6, 2017

France is set to ban the sale of any car that uses petrol or diesel fuel by 2040, in what the ecology minister called a "revolution".

Nicolas Hulot announced the planned ban on fossil fuel vehicles as part of a renewed commitment to the Paris climate deal.

He said France planned to become carbon neutral by 2050.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - France to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040

ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - France to Ban Sales of Gas, Diesel Vehicles by 2040

 

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Volvo to Drop Traditional Engines

           

GETTY IMAGES

Carmaker Volvo has said all new models will have an electric motor from 2019.

bbc.com - July 5, 2017

The Chinese-owned firm, best known for its emphasis on driver safety, has become the first traditional carmaker to signal the end of the internal combustion engine.

It plans to launch five fully electric models between 2019 and 2021 and a range of hybrid models . . .

 . . . "The announcement is significant, and quite impressive, but only in a small way. The hybrids they are promising to make might be mild hybrids, anything as basic as a stop-start system."

A stop-start system is one where electricity from batteries restart a car's petrol engine, after it has shut down when the car has come to rest at a junction, or in stationary traffic.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLES WITHIN THE LINKS BELOW . . .

CLICK HERE - Volvo, Betting on Electric, Moves to Phase Out Conventional Engines

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Deadly Heat Waves Could Threaten 3 in 4 People By 2100

       

A man trying to keep cool sat in the fountain at Washington Square Park last August in New York. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Even with aggressive reductions in carbon emissions, extreme heat is going to get worse, a new study has found.

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Nature - Global risk of deadly heat

huffingtonpost.com - by Chris D'Angelo - June 22, 2017

If humans fail to drastically cut carbon emissions, 3 in 4 people on the planet could be exposed to deadly heat waves by the end of the century, a new study has found. 

And even if countries take action to reverse climate change with aggressive emissions reductions, up to 48 percent of the global population will be plagued by at least 20 days of lethal heat per year by 2100. 

Camilo Mora, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of geography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, told HuffPost that our “assault on the planet has been so massive” that we’ve left ourselves without a good option.

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