1) Good News: Planet Earth Covered In Much More Forest Than Thought
Australian Associated Press, 12 May 2017 An area of forest more than half the size of Australia has been discovered, dotted across several continents. The amount discovered is equivalent to 60 per cent of the size of Australia and has increased the estimate of global forest coverage by 10 per cent. The forests have been identified in drylands in the Sahara desert, around the Mediterranean, southern Africa, central India, coastal Australia, western South America, north-east Brazil, northern Colombia and Venezuela and northern parts of Canada and Russia.
2) Earth’s Forests Just Grew 9% In A New Satellite Survey
Science, 11 May 2017 Hundreds of scientists and students have combed through 210,000 satellite images and found that the world’s drylands host 40% more forests than thought. That’s more than a 9% bump in total global forest coverage, or two-thirds the size of the Amazon. –Patrick Monahan
3) Found: ‘Lost’ Forests Covering An Area Two-Thirds The Size Of Australia
The Conversation, 11 May 2017 With current satellite imagery and mapping techniques, it might seem amazing that these forests have stayed hidden in plain sight for so long. But this type of forest was previously difficult to measure globally, because of the relatively low density of trees. What’s more, previous surveys were based on older, low-resolution satellite images that did not include ground validation. –Andrew Lowe and Ben Sparrow,
4) Europe’s Solar Industry Is Now Collapsing As Subsidy Cuts & Chinese Competition Bite
Belair Daily, 11 May 2017 In recent times China has been giving Europe’s solar power industry a run for their money. They have since driven Solarworld, a German-based company to insolvency and further reduced the overall profits of SMA solar, the world’s largest maker of solar inverters feeding solar power to various electricity networks. Regardless of the massive government subsidies that aided Europe in building their well-known global solar industry, even industry giants like SMA solar reported a drastic drop in their first quarter profits by about 90 %. In addition to statements issues by SMA solar, the popular German wind turbine maker, Nordex also issued a statement saying that its intake of orders in the first quarter had also dropped drastically by about 40%.
5) German Solar Energy: From “Technology Of the Future” To Extinction In Just 10 Years
No Tricks Zone, 12 May 2017 Once ballyhooed as the technology of the future bearing the promise of economic revival in East Germany, solar equipment manufacturing has crumbled and gone the way of dinosaurs, all in a matter of a decade. So rapidly can economic evolution send subsidized industries into extinction. Germany’s last remaining major solar manufacturer, Bonn-based Solarworld, led by a flamboyant Frank Asbeck, has officially declared it will file for insolvency after 6 years of red ink (operating results). In the early 2000s leaders and green energy proponents promised to turn parts of former communist East Germany into a “Solar Valley” that would boast secure, high paying hightech jobs. Today it’s a solar rustbelt with a ruined landscape of shattered visions and dreams. Spiegel calls it a “valley of tears”. –P Gosslin
6) Kicking The Can: Tillerson Says Trump Won’t Rush Decision On Paris Agreement
Associated Press, 12 May 2017 Arctic nations have renewed calls for the world to address climate warming, but U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the United States will not rush to make a decision on its policies. Mr. Tillerson spoke Thursday in Fairbanks, Alaska, at a meeting of the Arctic Council, an advisory group made up of the eight Arctic nations and indigenous groups. The council adopted a nine-page “Fairbanks Declaration 2017,” which noted that the Arctic is warming at more than twice the rate of the global average. Mr. Tillerson signed the document. But in opening remarks, he cautioned that the U.S. is reviewing several important policies, including how the Trump administration will approach the issue of climate change. “We are appreciative that each of you has an important point of view, and you should know that we are taking the time to understand your concerns,” Mr. Tillerson told other representatives on the council. “We’re not going to rush to make a decision. We’re going to work to make the right decision for the United States.”
7) Wall Street Journal Makes The Case For Pulling Out Of Obama’s Paris Deal
Editorial, The Wall Street Journal, 11 May 2017 President Trump is expected as soon as next week to order the Environmental Protection Agency to rescind its Clean Power rule that is blocked by the courts. But the President faces another test of political fortitude on whether to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. That’s suddenly uncertain. Mr. Trump promised to withdraw during the presidential campaign, correctly arguing that the accord gave “foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use.” His transition team even explored strategies for short-cutting the cumbersome, four-year process of getting out of the deal. But the President’s is now getting resistance from his daughter, Ivanka, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who are fretting about the diplomatic ramifications. No doubt many countries would object, and loudly, but this risk pales compared to the potential damage from staying in the accord.