climate change

The humble shrub that’s predicting a terrible fire season

Enlarge Bryant Baker, Los Padres ForestWatch If you’re kind of judgmental when it comes to plants, you might describe the chamise plant as “meh.” Technically it’s a shrub, which in the hierarchy of plant types barely outranks a weed. Chamise grows up to a dozen feet tall and sprouts needle-like leaves less than a half-inch …

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Bezos says Amazon should “do a better job for our employees” after union vote

Enlarge Alex Wong/Getty Images Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos used his final letter to Amazon shareholders to focus on employee well-being and the company’s significant carbon footprint. Bezos’ new emphasis on employee well-being comes on the heels of a contentious unionization vote at one of its warehouses in Bessemer, Alabama. Though Amazon won, with 1,798 employees …

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More lightning in the Arctic is bad news for the planet

Enlarge / Lightning strikes in the far north of Canada. Sandra Angers-Blondin The Arctic isn’t doing so hot. That’s because it is, in fact, too hot. It’s warming at least twice as fast as the rest of the planet, which is setting off vicious feedback loops that accelerate change. Ice, for instance, is more reflective …

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JPMorgan Boss Says ‘Emerging Issues’ Like Cryptocurrencies ‘Need to Be Dealt With Quickly’

<div class=”featured_image_container”> </div> <strong>JPMorgan’s boss Jamie Dimon has a bone to pick with cryptocurrencies, shadow banking, and the financial technology (fintech) economy. In a letter to JPMorgan shareholders, Dimon explained that banks are “playing an increasingly smaller role in the financial system” and there’s a list of items like digital currencies he’s named that needs …

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Narwhal tusks tell a troubling tale

Enlarge Science & Society Picture Library | Getty Images Researchers have long debated what the 10-foot-long tooth that erupts from a narwhal’s head is actually for. Perhaps it has something to do with sexual selection, and males with longer horns attract more females. Or maybe the things sense salinity. Or perhaps a narwhal uses its …

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As a crop, cannabis has enormous carbon emissions

Enlarge / All those lights take energy. DEA Back in the pre-legalization days, cannabis production meant finding a rarely visited patch of land and growing outside, or it meant taking cultivation indoors—typically to a basement where your product wouldn’t be visible from the outside world. But the power use involved in lighting a basement growing …

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Biden administration puts a price on carbon

Enlarge Picture Alliance / Getty Images On Friday, the Biden administration announced it had fulfilled the requirements of one of the executive orders issued on the very first day of his presidency: determining what’s called the “social cost of carbon.” This figure tries to capture the cumulative economic value achieved by investing in limiting carbon …

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Amazon begins using three-wheeled EVs for deliveries in seven Indian cities

Amazon has started using electric three-wheelers for deliveries in India, a growing market for the online retailer, as part of its push to add more eco-friendly vehicles to its fleet. The company has deployed almost 100 auto rickshaws, made by Indian electric car manufacturer Mahindra Electric, across seven cities including New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, …

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Amazon begins delivering packages with prototype electric trucks

Enlarge / A prototype Amazon delivery truck in the Los Angeles area. Amazon A year and a half after Amazon announced that it would buy 100,000 electric trucks to reduce its carbon footprint, Amazon says it has begun using prototype vehicles for real-world deliveries in Los Angeles. Amazon expects to spend a few more months testing …

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New study: A zero-emissions US is now pretty cheap

Enlarge Picture Alliance / Getty Images In many areas of the United States, installing a wind or solar farm is now cheaper than simply buying fuel for an existing fossil fuel-based generator. And that’s dramatically changing the electricity market in the US and requiring a lot of people to update prior predictions. That’s motivated a …

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