The latest sustainability news, fun, facts and reviews from the Green Elephant for 10th February 2021.
07:28 Challenge update
Education’s what you need!
When the sun’s energy reaches the Earth’s atmosphere, some gets reflected back and the rest gets absorbed into the land and oceans, warming the Planet to around 33 degrees celcius. This stored heat is then radiated back towards space where some is stopped by certain gases. This GreenHouse Effect keeps the Earth at a temperature which can support life.
By far the most important gas in the atmosphere which helps keep the Earth warm is water vapour. Then the next most prevalent are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone, which all occur naturally. Finally there are synthetic Flourinated gases, like ChloroFluoroCarbons, which are all man-made.
Although the water vapour is responsible for around 60% of the GreenHouse effect, the impact of the less prominent gases on the water in the atmosphere alters the fine balance the Earth needs. The changes in the balance of these gases can increase, or decrease, the GreenHouse Effect.
To avoid us having to understand the impact of each of these gases we are emitting there is single measure we can use – C02e.
Carbon Dioxide, which is chemically known as CO2, has long been the focus of GreenHouse Gas discussions as it is produced by you and me personally (breathing) and when we do things like burning wood.
However, gram for gram CO2 has the least impact of the Gases mentions earlier. Methane (CH4) has 25 times more potential impact on Global Warming. Nitrious Oxide (N2O) is 298 times worse. However, some of the synthetic gases, like Sulfur Hexafuoride, can be equivalent to over 22,000 times the same amount of CO2.
So, to avoid having to keep the impact all the vast array of gases in the atmosphere, the Carbon Dioxide Equivalent, or CO2e, measure was born. Scientists, now more commonly, use CO2e to represent the impact of a gas in relation to something we are more aware of… Carbon Dioxide.
19:28 – Canoo unveils 100% electric delivery vans that start at $33K
20:36 – IKEA purchases forested land in Georgia for conservation
21:51 – Rio Tinto Launches First Sustainability Label for Aluminum Using Blockchain Technology
22:57 – Oil Giants Win Offshore Wind Leases in Britain
24:03 – Seattle Bans Gas Heating in New Large Buildings
24:48 – Countries must ramp up climate pledges by 80 percent to hit key Paris target, study finds
26:06 – Cities Are Underreporting Their Carbon Footprints
27:01 – Why France’s new “repairability index” is a big deal
Sustainable Technology News:
28:16 – Tasmanian island to be powered by wave energy
29:34 – ‘Forgotten workhorse’ hydropower needs government support, energy leaders say
31:06 – Face masks recycled for road base
32:19 – Scientists have turned spinach into biological sensors that email environmental alerts
Other Sustainability News:
33:38 – Namibia auctions 170 elephants amid uproar from conservationists
35:02 – In California, a Warming Climate Will Help a Voracious Pest‚ and Hurt the State’s Almonds, Walnuts and Pistachios
37:09 – Invasive Insects and Diseases Are Killing Our Forests
38:21 – EV owners drive them much less than gas-powered cars
39:13 Interview with Sharna Bourke from ZeroCarbon2030
We welcome carbon analyst Sharna Bourke from ZeroCarbon2030 onto the show. Sharna tells us about the work they are doing to rate the impact of companies and the new carbon ratings app they have released.
Sharna recommends the following books:
01:05:18 Behind the Scenes
01:09:22 Fact or Fake?
Government guidance and regulation based
- The Sustainable Development Specific Impact Test should be applied when first considering an issue and throughout the policy development process as appropriate.
- We want schools to make their own judgements on how sustainable development should be reflected in their ethos
- The Fisheries Bill gives us the powers to implement our own independent fisheries policy, improve our marine habitats and ensure the long term sustainability of the waters around the UK
- Organisations are required to demonstrate, through integrated reporting, how sustainability is an essential characteristic within strategic objectives, operations and policy making
- Actions UK government departments and their agencies will take to reduce their impacts on the environment are known as the “Greening Government Commitments”
Thanks for listening to this weeks sustainability show!.