31 March 2022 - NPWJ News Digest on Environmental Justice & Human Rights

Articles

Last stop, underwater: the Spanish railway line being devoured by the sea
The Guardian, 31 Mar 2022

The sea sparkles and laps against the shore of the Maresme coast, north of Barcelona, as the train runs alongside it, passing the few hopeful spring sunbathers and surfers. At points, Spain’s oldest train line runs so close to the shore it feels as if you’re travelling on the sea itself. Last Sunday, that could well have happened. Heavy waves took a giant bite out of the coast, threatening a section of the track with collapse and forcing the train company to lay on a bus service between La Pineda and Malgrat de Mar.
It wasn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last: coastal erosion and rising sea levels have put the future of the famed Maresme line in jeopardy. 

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Climate disasters rising faster in MENA than any other region
Aljazeera, 30 Mar 2022

The frequency and severity of climate-related disasters are rising faster in the Middle East and Central Asia than anywhere else in the world, a new study says. Climate disasters in the region have injured and displaced seven million people in an average year, causing more than 2,600 deaths and $2bn in physical damage, an International Monetary Fund research paper showed. 

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Facebook algorithm ‘pushes conspiracy theories at climate change sceptics’
The Times, 30 Mar 2022

Facebook’s automated algorithms push climate change sceptics to read increasingly extreme conspiracy theories and misinformation about global warming, a study has found. Instead of recommending reliable sources of information about climate change to those who deny that human activity is warming the atmosphere, Facebook’s algorithms push sceptics ever further down a rabbit hole of fake news and false information, researchers have said. 

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Climate change: Wind and solar reach milestone as demand surges
BBC, 30 Mar 2022

Fifty countries get more than a tenth of their power from wind and solar sources, according to research from Ember, a climate and energy think tank. As the world's economies rebounded from the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021, demand for energy soared. Demand for electricity grew at a record pace. This saw a surge in coal power, rising at the fastest rate since 1985. 

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Canada releases plan for a 40 per cent cut in carbon emissions by 2030
CBC, 29 Mar 2022

 Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault today released the government's plan to dramatically curb greenhouse gas emissions over the next eight years to meet ambitious 2030 reduction targets. It's a plan that leans heavily on deep cuts in the electricity, oil and gas and transportation sectors.

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Climate groups say a change in coding can reduce bitcoin energy consumption by 99%
The Guardian, 29 Mar 2022

Bitcoin mining already uses as much energy as Sweden according to some reports, and its booming popularity is revitalizing failing fossil fuel enterprises in the US. But all that could change with a simple switch in the way it is coded, according to a campaign launched on Tuesday. The campaign, called Change the Code Not the Climate and coordinated by Environmental Working Group, Greenpeace USA and several groups battling bitcoin mining facilities in their communities, is calling on bitcoin to change the way bitcoins are mined in order to tackle its outsized carbon footprint. 

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What is behind Russia’s interest in a warming Arctic?
Aljazeera, 28 Mar 2022

The last untapped area for shipping routes and exploitation is opening up and leading to new geopolitical tensions. 

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