Ukrainian fighters are trying to use the silent motion of electric bikes to topple Russian invaders as the ongoing war continues to devastate their country.
As The Washington Post reports, electric bikes – which have a top speed of 55 mph and are fairly quiet – have become important accessories for reconnaissance missions, demining operations and medical deliveries.
The move is reminiscent of World War II tactics from the Malay Campaign of the Conflict, during which Japanese soldiers used pedal-bikes to topple British forces in a “bicycle blitzkrieg”, according to The Washington Post.
While Ukrainian e-bike company Alyq donated some bikes to the military when the war broke out, the firm quickly began mass-producing bikes for the country’s fighters, the Post reported.
According to the Post, from a bomb shelter, Alik workers began producing a power bank from lithium-ion battery cells that were still in stock—eventually turning to electronic cigarettes when the batteries ran out.
welcome to balance, a newspaper that tracks the escalating global fight over the future of sustainability. We are Saul Albin and Sharon Sad. Send us suggestions and feedback. A friend forwarded this newsletter to you? Subscribe here.
Today we’ll explore the future of coal and natural gas in the US and Europe, followed by a look at two reports on some of the unique survivors and victims of extreme weather. Then we’ll see a surprising obstacle to climate action: pension funds invested in fossil fuels.
Programming Note: The fixture will not be published on Monday, May 30, in honor of Memorial Day. Enjoy the holiday weekend!
G-7 nations ‘finally’ agree to phase out coal
Our colleague for The Hill, Rachel Frazin, reported that the environment ministers of the Group of Seven (G-7) economic powers, including the US, agreed on Friday to a “final” phasing out of “uninterruptible” coal power.
What is unabated coal power? It is a method of coal-fired power generation that does not use technology to capture carbon dioxide as it gives off smoke.
And are G-7 nations? US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and UK
a step, even if eventually: The agreement is a step up from the countries agreed during November’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-26), to which they only agreed to a “phase-down” of coal, Rachael pointed out.
According to a joint statement by the countries, the G-7 nations pledged to create a “predominantly decarbonised power sector by 2035”.
Addressing high gas, oil prices: As gas and oil prices remain high around the world, countries called on the world’s oil producers to “act responsibly and respond by strengthening international markets”.
The role of US gas exports in the EU’s energy strategy
Experts say the EU’s scramble to halt Russian natural gas imports by 2027 may depend on near-term imports of US natural gas.
a “monumental act”: According to a comment excerpt in the journal Nature Energy, cutting ties with Europe’s main gas supplier would require “a coordinated policy response that includes securing supplies from major exporters, global diplomacy, expanding import capacity, and Europe’s climate goals.” with alignment involved.”
The authors described this vision as “an important task”, noting that natural gas supplied 24 percent of the EU’s energy demand in 2020 and remains a major fuel source in a wide range of sectors.
recycled resourcesLast year, Russia supplied about 40 percent of the bloc’s natural gas demand.
The authors explain that eliminating those sources means a combined strategy of expanding liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports, increasing renewable energy capacity and maximizing fuel flexibility – including keeping nuclear plants open and using coal short-term. Includes augmentation.
US LNG flow likely: The US recently announced that it will provide at least 15 billion cubic meters of additional LNG to the EU market in 2022, as part of a joint announcement by the US-European Commission Task Force, according to the commentary.
In addition, the European Commission has said it will work with member states to guarantee an additional 50 billion cubic meters of US LNG demand until at least 2030, the authors noted.
Is it technically possible to boost? It is uncertain. The researchers found that in the first three months of 2022, 19 billion cubic meters of US LNG arrived in Europe – an increase of about 12 billion cubic meters over the same period last year.
Meanwhile, two new gas “liquefaction” facilities will begin operating in the US this year, according to the comment.
theory cannot equal realityIf these trends continue, Europe could receive an additional 63 billion cubic meters of US LNG by the end of the year, the authors noted.
“However, such an increase is theoretically possible does not mean that it is practically possible,” he cautioned.
What would be the need of this vision? very.
The authors said that future deliveries in Europe will depend on flexibility in demand from contracted Asian buyers, winter weather forecasts and prices around the world, which make LNG vessels in Europe attractive.
Developing countries can be left behind According to the comment, increasing demand for LNG in Europe could keep prices high. Poor countries may therefore be forced to switch to other fossil fuels that are more polluting, such as coal or conventional biomass, the researchers warned.
“Thus, an unintended consequence of the shock for the global gas market is that even as Europe accelerates its shift to clean energy, developing countries risk being left behind,” he said.
The pillar of Caribbean ecology recovers from the storm
A microscopic foundation of the Caribbean’s coastal ecosystem is capable of withstanding even the largest storms, a good sign for coastal resilience.
This encouraging finding appeared in a new study in Science Advances, which looked at the effects of severe storms on microbial mats.
What’s in a Mat? According to scientists from Johns Hopkins University, the University of Colorado Boulder and the California Institute of Technology, these are communities of microscopic bacteria and archaea layered lasagna-like in coastal soils.
Can’t Put Down a Good Mat: Scientists determined that microbial mats began to grow back within 10 months, despite being ruined by Category 5 winds and disturbed by Hurricane Irma’s blown sand.
“The good news is that in these types of environments, there are mechanisms that can play an important role in stabilizing ecosystems because they recover so quickly,” Maya Gomes of Johns Hopkins University said in a statement.
build up: This is important for the resilience of a more well-known and visible natural community that depends on the mat for oxygen and other nutrients: mangrove swamps.
These flood-repellent, carbon-sucking and storm-absorbing landscapes protect the coastlines of states such as Florida, or islands such as Turks and Caicos or the Florida Keys.
A New Beginning: After the storm, the microbial mats beneath the mangroves “have just started to grow again and this means that as climate change continues to have more storms, these ecosystems will be relatively resilient,” Gomes said.
Strict hospital in front of extreme weather
Hospitals across the country are rushing to upgrade their facilities to cope with the rising tide of extreme disasters caused by climate change.
Dangerous irony: From Louisiana to Nebraska to New York, hurricanes, heat waves and fires are filling hospital waiting rooms with the injured, while severely crippling staff’s ability to treat them, according to a report from the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). strictly limiting.
Stuck in the middle: In July 2019, for example, a tornado cut power to a Wisconsin hospital that was already packed with people seeking treatment for a severe heat wave, Nation World News reports.
According to ABC, during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, New York University’s Langone Hospital campus lost power as the city’s grid failed and backup generators in the East River flooded, forcing the evacuation of 200 patients in the middle of the storm. fell.
looking to the futureThe AAMC report says hospitals are turning to high-tech measures in the form of drone patrols to clear clogged drains in Nebraska.
But such measures could also be as simple as flood fencing in New York City or a New Orleans-based barge fleet to aid in emergency post storm evacuation, the report said.
The property of slow adoption of renewable energy
A new study finds that retirement funds in wealthy countries will be particularly at risk from financial decline when existing fossil fuel assets are abandoned.
Diversified Assets, Concentrated Risk: Preventing the worst outbreaks of climate change would require large parts of global fossil fuel reserves to go unburned, meaning their value would eventually be lost as carbon-intensive assets become unusable.
But while the coal mines and oil fields themselves are spread around the world, their owners are fairly concentrated: a relatively small group of investors in wealthy countries.
Some interests: According to a study published Friday in Nature Climate Change, the benefits of the energy transition and the slowing of climate change are widely shared, but disproportionately in cost to property managers, pension funds and a small number of wealthy households. decline ensues.
Who is at risk: The study found that the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans own 82 percent of assets, which can rapidly lose their value amid the energy transition.
Much of that money is not in banks, but in less regulated entities like pension funds.
Slow Your Roll: However, that disparity also means those entities have a greater financial interest in lobbying to slow the transition as much as possible — or to demand a taxpayer bailout to go along with it, the authors found. .
Turning to the issues we explored this week
California drought could reduce hydropower, increase emissions
New accounting rules for a new industry
- According to The Wall Street Journal, the major U.S. Accounting Standards Board may set new rules this year to allow companies to set up new financial systems like carbon offsets and renewable energy credits, following the Securities and Exchange Commission’s announcement of new rules to tackle the greenwashing problem. How to account for assets. ,
heavy sand storm in the middle east
- Underscoring the link between pollution and an increased risk of respiratory problems, a monstrous wave of sandstorms swept the Middle East this week, shutting down homes and sending thousands of hospitals with respiratory problems, including a huge Badal was traveling from Iraq to Saudi Arabia, The Washington Post reported.
Please visit The Hills Sustainability section online for the web version of this newsletter and more stories. We will see you next week.
View full version here