Day: December 6, 2019

Apple Tells Congress You’ll Hurt Yourself if You Try to Fix Your iPhone

Read the full story at Motherboard.

In July, Congress pressed Apple on its repair policies, which Motherboard and others have repeatedly shown to be anticompetitive and anticonsumer.

Tuesday, Kyle Andeer, Apple’s Vice President of Corporate Law, answered those questions. In its testimony, Apple repeatedly denied accusations it was making it hard for people to repair their own phones and protecting a virtual repair monopoly. But its answers often didn’t align with reality.

UI System among 200 signatories to letter declaring “climate emergency”

Read the full story in the News-Gazette.

More than 200 higher-education institutions around the world, including the University of Illinois System, are declaring a “climate emergency” ahead of a major U.N. meeting on climate change next week in Madrid.

The “SDG Accord” is an effort by colleges, universities and higher-education organizations to support global sustainable development goals and urge action to avert climate change.

Winged Insects Made From Old Computer Circuit Boards And Electronics

Read the full story at Bored Panda.

Our society discards a lot of electronics, as they are rendered obsolete almost every day, but artists like Julie Alice Chappell, based in the UK, are there to pick up the pieces and turn them into beautiful recycled art. In her case, she turns old computer circuit boards and electronics into beautiful winged insects in a series called “Computer Component Bugs.”

Your Next Puffer Coat Will Be Filled With Flower Petals, Not Feathers

Read the full story in Vogue.

It’s officially puffer season. New York got its first major snowstorm yesterday, following a weekend of Midwest blizzards (and frustrating holiday flight delays). If you’re committed to shopping sustainably, though, puffer coats are a bit of a conundrum: Traditional goose down often entails animal cruelty (the birds may be plucked alive, or killed exclusively for their feathers), while vegan fill alternatives are typically made of a petroleum-based synthetic, like polyester, which won’t biodegrade and sheds microplastics. Neither option is ideal, so what’s a conscious—and cold—shopper to do?

Today, Pangaia, the science-forward basics line that launched last year, is addressing that gray area with its latest release: FLWRDWN, a capsule of puffers filled with natural wildflowers. It’s the rare sustainable solution that’s neither cruel to animals nor to the planet; in addition to being ultrawarm, fluffy, and hypoallergenic, the “flower down” is 100% biodegradable.

Clean Energy Standards: State and Federal Policy Options and Considerations

Download the document.

While market dynamics and current state and federal policies have led to recent growth in clean energy generation—such as the growth in renewable generation driven in part by state renewable electricity portfolio standards and federal tax incentives—projections for the power sector indicate that, absent significant new policies to promote clean generation, the pace of transition to cleaner power generation, needed to meet our climate change challenge, will be insufficient.

Given the imperative of transitioning to cleaner electricity, policymakers have redoubled their attention to a number of significant, climate-focused proposals, including the idea of a clean energy standard (CES) that prioritizes performance and outcome rather than particular technologies. A CES is a type of electricity portfolio standard that sets aggregate targets for the amount of clean electricity that electric utilities (and other retail providers) are required to sell. Program flexibility is provided by: (1) defining clean electricity more broadly than just renewables, and (2) allowing market-based credit trading to facilitate lower-cost compliance. As a concept, a CES builds on the successful experience of the majority of states that have implemented renewable and alternative energy portfolio standards and draws on a history of federal policy deliberation regarding national electricity portfolio standards.

This report explains how a CES works, describes the benefits that a CES can deliver, and explores federal and subnational options for CES policies. In addition, it examines some nuances of CES policy design, how a CES might integrate into economywide market-based solutions, and the implications of different design choices. This discussion can assist state and federal policymakers, utility regulators, and other stakeholders in deciding whether a CES is an appealing policy option.

CMIP6: the next generation of climate models explained

Read the full story at Carbon Brief.

Climate models are one of the primary means for scientists to understand how the climate has changed in the past and may change in the future. These models simulate the physics, chemistry and biology of the atmosphere, land and oceans in great detail, and require some of the largest supercomputers in the world to generate their climate projections.

Climate models are constantly being updated, as different modelling groups around the world incorporate higher spatial resolution, new physical processes and biogeochemical cycles. These modelling groups coordinate their updates around the schedule of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports, releasing a set of model results – known as “runs” – in the lead-up to each one.

These coordinated efforts are part of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects (CMIP). The 2013 IPCC fifth assessment report (AR5) featured climate models from CMIP5, while the upcoming 2021 IPCC sixth assessment report (AR6) will feature new state-of-the-art CMIP6 models.

CMIP6 will consist of the “runs” from around 100 distinct climate models being produced across 49 different modelling groups. The effort is already a year behind schedule, and it appears increasingly unlikely that all the CMIP6 models will be available in time for inclusion in the AR6.

Privatizing State Parks Can Save Them — or Wreck Them

Read the full story in Stateline.

…the role of private companies on public lands has come under increased scrutiny after a panel appointed by the Trump administration recommended last month privatizing national park campgrounds and opening them to WiFi, food trucks and Amazon deliveries. Critics note that many of the panelists tapped by the White House were leaders of concession companies.

While the national plan is hotly debated, state park systems across the country already vary widely when it comes to privatization. Some states use private companies to clean bathrooms, sell souvenirs and rent kayaks. Others allow contractors to run campgrounds or parks. And a few states have solicited large developments in their parks or sold public land to private companies.

Sometimes, that hasn’t worked out so well.

‘It’s something we’re really focused on now’: Inside Burberry’s sustainability plan, post-backlash

Read the full story at Glossy.

Last month, Burberry became one of the growing number of luxury brands to work directly with the secondary market when it teamed with resale platform The RealReal. Before that, the company joined the G7 Fashion Pact, committing to zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and setting a goal of carbon neutrality by 2022. These are just a few of the sustainability projects the company has tackled in the last few years. After a controversy last year revolving around the burning of excess clothes, these efforts are one way for Burberry to cultivate a more sustainable image.

Pam Batty, Burberry’s vp of corporate responsibility, said the company first began getting serious about sustainability more than 15 years ago. In 2017 — a year before Burberry reportedly burned more than $36 million worth of clothes — she helped develop a new five-year plan to put the company on track to being carbon neutral by 2022.

Sustaining roads with grape and agricultural waste

Read the full story from Washington State University.

The US spends $5 billion a year to repair damages to road infrastructure from winter snow and ice control operations and the use of traditional deicers. A team of researchers is developing a more sustainable solution using grape skins and other agricultural waste.

Ohio attorney featured in ‘Dark Waters’ movie continues legal battle against forever chemicals

Read the full story in the Fayetteville Observer.

Robert Bilott, an Ohio attorney who took on DuPont for contaminating water with toxic forever chemicals, is portrayed by Mark Ruffalo in “Dark Waters.”

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