Bioenergy is a form of energy produced through the conversion of biomass. Biomass is living organic matter that contains chemical energy captured during photosynthesis. When burned, biomass releases energy in the form of heat, which can be used to heat buildings or generate electricity. Alternatively, biomass can be converted into fuel or gas to be burned for energy at a later time.
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Agroecology is a science that melds western academics with traditional, indigenous farming knowledge. The goal is to form a cohesive understanding of sustainable agriculture using concepts such as biodiversity and nutrient recycling to create a farm system that functions much like an ecosystem.
Highlighting the link between a product’s consumption and its carbon footprint could potentially alter harmful consumer behavior that contributes to climate change. Similar to how warning labels on cigarettes changed the smoking habits of some users, placing climate change disclosure labels on gas pumps could introduce discomfort that serves as an effective intervention that connects consumers to the dangerous reality of fossil fuels and illuminates the hidden costs of climate change.
When it comes to crafting policy solutions to climate change, government messaging often depends on the ideological leanings of the electoral base. When an elected government official’s politics align with the politics of the majority of the constituent base, like it does in “red” and “blue” states, political support is easier to find. But what about in purple states where there are similar levels of Democratic and Republican support? For government leaders in purple states, writing policy that appeals to everyone can be difficult.
Urban Farming is one solution to agricultural emissions. Approximately 30 percent of Greenhouse Gas emissions are from agriculture and the food system, so finding ways to drastically reduce emissions is in this sector is key. Urban farms often feed local residents, which eliminates much of the emissions produced by transportation. They are also often farmed agroecologically, which is a kind of agriculture that promotes environmentally sustainable and socially just farming practices.
More than 40 percent of energy generated in the United States is used to power buildings, from heating and lighting to igniting gas-powered stoves. Decarbonizing buildings could put a serious dent in overall energy consumption, but it’s not an easy task.
Unpredictable weather patterns, crop disease, unstable governments–all of these symptoms of climate change are pushing North and Central Americans northward to find economic opportunity and safety. President Biden recently addressed this rising influx of climate migrants to the United States by issuing an executive order stipulating a humane, comprehensive framework to address the root causes of migration such as “improving governance and the rule of law, fighting against corruption and impunity, addressing climate drivers of migration, and respecting human rights.”
West Oakland experiences the highest level of diesel particulate matter — a toxic air contaminant and form of powerful, short-lived climate pollutant– of any community in the San Francisco Bay Area. Heavy truck traffic to the Port of Oakland, pollution from the Port and from the surrounding freeways along with decades of disinvestment resulted in this concentration of air pollution. Coupled with emissions from neighboring industry and activity, these pollutants have contributed to worsening climate change and generated higher rates of asthma, cardiovascular disease, premature death and other adverse health effects for the West Oakland community.
Former four-term California Governor Jerry Brown sat down with Climate Break to discuss policy solutions and possible government actions on climate change. While in office from 1975-1983 and then 2011-2019, Gov. Brown instituted significant environmental protections and regulations that became the standards for the nation to follow. Now retired, Gov. Brown continues to drive international conversation on clean energy, market climate solutions and global cooperation on climate change mitigation.
Likely to witness the environmental impacts of a changing climate within their lifetimes, young people have approached the issue of climate change with a certain urgency. Young adults are some of the most prominent supporters of the Green New Deal and have proven to be vigorous advocates for climate legislation and action. Recently, many youth organizations have gained national attention. Here are just a few: