Satellite Spies Ship Pollution

NASA’s Aura satellite using the onboard Ozone Monitoring Instrument can ‘see’ shipping lanes via NO2 emissions. This data was collected from 2005 to 2012. The shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and routes through the South China Sea are more visible because the geography of those areas constrain shipping to small lanes, whereas in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans the shipping lanes are not as confined. Also contributing to the visibility of the lanes is the relatively clean air of the northern Indian Ocean as compared to the coast of China where pollution from cities and offshore drilling ‘hide’ the shipping lanes.


Photo Credit: NASA

Further Reading:

In the last eighty years, as CO2 emissions have most rapidly escalated, the annual rate of climate-related deaths worldwide fell by an incredible 98 percent. This means the incidence of death from climate is fifty times lower than it was eighty years ago….

Once again, the leading experts we were told to rely on were 100 percent wrong. It’s not that they predicted disaster and got half a disaster – it’s that they predicted disaster and got dramatic improvement. Clearly there was something wrong with their thinking and we need to understand what it is because they are once again telling us to stop using the most important energy source in our civilization.

Alex Epstein, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels 

via Cafe Hayek

LEGO builds up to sustainable future

I want five

The LEGO Group has announced that it will be furthering its commitment to moving away from current raw materials used to manufacturing LEGO products and packaging, with the announcement of the LEGO Sustainable Materials Centre in Billund, Denmark.

Investing DKK1bln into research, development and implementation of new sustainable materials, the LEGO Group expects to recruit more than 100 new materials specialists in the centre planned to be established from 2015/16.

Classic Lego

This follows an announcement made by the Group in 2012, detailing the company’s ambition to find sustainable alternatives to manufacturing LEGO products by 2030. With more than 60 billion pieces made in 2014 alone, establishing alternative materials would significantly reduce the Group’s environmental impact.

Defining the sustainable material as having ‘an ever-lighter footprint than the material it replaces across key environmental and social impact areas such as fossil resource use, human rights and climate change’, the LEGO Group will be partnering with a number of experts and companies during its search including WWF.

Lego Group CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstrop commented, ‘What we announced is a long-term investment and a dedication to ensuring the continued research and development of new materials that will enable us to continue to deliver great, high quality creative play experiences in the future, while caring for the environment and future generations. It is a daunting and exciting future.’

The Materials World team is very pleased to be able to commit to continuing to spend inordinate amounts of money on LEGO. It’s for our children, yes.

By Khai Trung Le

Most of us don’t have chidren


A few images from a week or so cycling around the beautiful Shetland Islands- the United Kingdom’s most northerly region.

Stretching over the 60 degrees north line of latitude, they are further north than Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg and even the southern tip of Greenland! Consequently, in the weeks around the summer solstice (which was the 21st of June) the sun doesn’t really set, and the evenings and nights are light/never really dark.

From diverse geology, fantastic wildlife, beautiful land and seascapes- the islands contain some of the United Kingdom’s most important natural sites, a number of which have global significance (in particular for seabirds).

Some more images from my visit to the Shetlands during the solstice are at my photo tumblr Everywhereisnowhere, and my cycling tumblr Interconnectednomad.
Trudeau's climate change target won't be ready for a UN Summit on global warming

Federal leader Justin Trudeau caused some confusion about his climate change policies on Monday, after he suggested that his party would not determine Canada’s emissions reduction target until well after a UN climate summit in Paris, where the world will meet to tackle dangerously rising greenhouse gases.

“We need to take real action on climate change. It’s time Canada put a price on carbon pollution,” said Trudeau at a Vancouver beach press conference intended to launch the Liberal’s environmental platform.

“We’ll work with the provinces in the first 90 days of taking office to establish a framework for reducing Canada’s collective carbon footprint,” he added.

Trouble is, the federal election is expected to be Oct.19, and the Paris meeting starts Nov.30.

So 90 days from the election means Canada may not have an emissions target until January 2016 —well after the ink on a global climate agreement has dried.

"Trudeau has made it very clear that under the Liberals, Canada would go to Paris empty-handed with no target to contribute to the global fight against climate change,” reacted NDP MP Malcolm Allen, the party’s deputy critic of natural resources, near Niagara Falls, ON.

That’s not leadership, and it’s going make Canada a global climate laggard yet again.”

Adding to more confusion, the 90-day timeline Mr. Trudeau pledged verbally Monday is different than the Liberal environment and economy policy document that he held up in front of reporters. It states:

“Within 90 days of the conference, a First Ministers meeting will be held to work together on a framework to combat climate change.”

Continue Reading.