Study Finds Risk to Global Food Systems from Shift Toward Fewer, Larger Farms!

According to a news statement from CU Boulder, the study is the first to track the size and number of farms annually from 1969 to 2013, with forecasts through the year 2100.

According to Zia Mehrabi, the study’s author and assistant professor of environmental studies at CU Boulder, “We see a turning point from widespread farm creation to widespread consolidation on a global level, and that’s the future trajectory that humanity is currently on.” Key environmental and social consequences are correlated with the size of the farm and the number of farms.

The research was published in the journal Nature Sustainability with the title Likely Drop in the Number of farms globally by the Middle of the Century.

According to Mehrabi’s research, the number of farms globally is expected to decline from 616 million in 2020 to 272 million by the end of the century. The typical farm size will double during that period.

There will be a continuation of recent trends in some regions, like Europe and North America, while there will be a shift toward broad consolidation in other regions, such as Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Oceania, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Mehrabi composed.

According to the press release, the study found that even in rural populations in Asia and Africa that depend on farming, there will be fewer active farms.

Mehrabi examined statistics on rural population size, an agricultural area, and GDP per capita for more than 180 nations from the UN Food and Agricultural Organization in order to reconstruct the progression of farm numbers during the research time period and project them through 2100.

Climate risk and the food systems in India

According to Mehrabi, one of the main causes of the decline in the number of farms worldwide is that when a nation’s economy improves, more people move to urban regions, leaving fewer people in rural areas to cultivate and care for the land.

Western Europe and the United States have witnessed this for many years. The most recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that there were fewer farms in 2008 than in 2007.

Even if the amount of farmland worldwide stays the same, Mehrabi’s analysis revealed that fewer people will own and farm the available land in the future, which could endanger biodiversity.

According to Mehrabi’s statement in the news release, larger farms often have less biodiversity and more monocultures. Smaller farms are often more resilient to insect outbreaks and climate shocks since they typically have a greater variety of crops and wildlife.

This might put the world’s food supply in danger. Previous studies by Mehrabi revealed that the world’s smallest farms produce a third of all food on just a quarter of the planet’s arable area.

The fewer farms there are, the less indigenous farmers have access to centuries-old expertise. Instead, automation and contemporary technology have taken the place of this essential information.

According to Mahrabi, having a variety of food sources provides long-term advantages.

Your portfolio is rather diversified if you’re investing in the current food systems, according to Mehrabi, who stated in the press release that there are about 600 million farms worldwide. If one of your farms is damaged, it’s likely that the effect on your portfolio will be balanced out by the success of another. The impact of that shock on your portfolio will rise though if you reduce the number of farms while increasing their size. You run a higher risk.

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In order to preserve Indigenous knowledge, maintain climate resilience, assure biodiversity protection, and create improvement incentives for the global rural economy, Mehrabi expects that the study’s findings will influence policy.

For the human species and the food systems that sustain it, this scenario in which a small number of huge farms replace a large number of smaller ones entails both significant benefits and threats, according to Mehrabi’s analysis.

Solar Energy Users in The UK Are Being Warned of ‘Unacceptable’ 15-Year Delays in Installations!

In the UK, members of the Environment Audit Committee (EAC) discovered that customers must wait up to 15 years for solar systems. Insufficient investment in grid infrastructure, such as cables and transformers, and poor management of grid connection applications.

Regulatory failure on the part of the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) and unresponsive operators in the distribution network are all cited by the EAC as contributing factors to the lengthy wait times, according to Business Green.

Although there is hope for a bright future for solar energy in the UK, the industry is dogged by delays that prevent it from reaching its full potential. Evidence presented before our Committee demonstrated that the UK has the capacity to achieve its goal of 70GW of solar-powered generating capacity.

According to Philip Dunn, chairman of the UK Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee, “Access to finance and the imposition of [Value Added Tax (VAT)] on batteries continue to be major sticking points for households.”

The lack of data on solar photovoltaic generation, particularly for installations on a smaller scale, as well as developers applying for connections to the grid without having obtained project planning permission, were two other areas where the connection to the grid was causing delays.

According to Business Green, Dunne wrote in a letter to Energy and Net Zero Secretary Grant Shapps last week that the government’s aim of 70 gigawatts of solar power by 2035 would be difficult given the present backlogs.

According to Business Green, Dunne said in the letter that this is inhibiting households and companies from investing in solar PV installations to lower their energy bills, which is hurting the economy and delaying the UK’s ability to reach its decarbonization goals.

Accelerating the solar transition will improve energy security in the UK, making it possible for individuals and businesses to reduce their energy costs, and significantly aid in decarbonizing the country’s electrical supply.

Solar energy is cheap to produce, but the EAC warned that it might be too expensive to deploy. According to Chris Hewett, chief executive of Solar Energy UK, solar projects with planning approval and ready-to-go financing can be advised to wait more than a decade just to connect to the grid. This is utterly unacceptable, according to Business Green. The scenario is costing the UK’s economy billions of pounds.

MPs recommended that the government look at measures to assist people in obtaining cheap loans and offer a VAT discount for battery storage. The EAC is starting another examination into the UK’s lack of solar connectivity to see whether other barriers stand in the way of renewable technologies being able to connect to the grid.

According to the press release, the committee will also take into account the possibilities for a smarter, more adaptable grid that enables dynamic demand management, peer-to-peer electricity trading, and storage. Dunne claimed that the UK’s target of net zero emissions by 2050 might not be achieved because of the delays in solar installation.

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Net Zero Britain may be significantly jeopardized if low-carbon energy sources, including solar, are unable to connect to the grid. Our investigation into solar power revealed that some developers can wait up to 15 years for a grid connection, which is inexcusable.

In the press release, Dunne stated that we must make sure that issues with infrastructure and planning are promptly addressed. We are starting a new inquiry today to address the growing concerns our Committee has regarding grid connections for low-carbon energy projects. I urge anyone who has opinions on these topics to provide supporting data.

This Is the First Solar Farm in The UK to Connect Directly to The National Power Grid!

A 49.5 MW battery energy storage system (BESS) with a 99 MWh power output will be part of the carbonizing-energy-system-trillions.html’ rel=’noopener no follow>renewable energy power source.

According to Roisin Quinn, director of National Grid Customer Connections, “Solar power has a critical role to play in the clean energy transition, so connecting the first PV array to our high voltage transmission network represents a key step on that journey.”

The solar plant, the first tandem solar and battery system of its sort, might assist the UK in achieving its 2035 carbon goals.

According to Ian Harding, co-founder and director of Enso Energy, the completion of this project is a significant milestone for renewable energy in the UK and offers additional proof that co-located solar and battery storage projects connecting directly to the transmission network will play a key role in the implementation of the UK set zero plans.

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The 152,400 solar modules that make up the 200-acre solar farm will produce more than 73,000 MWh annually, which is enough energy to power more than 17,300 houses.

When compared to the energy output from fossil fuels, the novel solar-to-grid connection will yearly offset 20,500 tons of carbon dioxide.

Utilizing the BESS to store energy during periods of peak production will increase the amount of clean power available when demand is high and guarantee the site’s optimal efficiency.

Solar farms in the UK relied on the nation’s lower voltage regional networks to supply power to homes and businesses prior to the Larks Green solar array being connected to the National Grid.

Clean energy can go further by being directly connected to the National Grid, and this initiative makes it possible for larger projects to be connected to them in the future.

According to Marta Martinez Queimadelos, CEO of Cero Generation, in a press release, “As the nation’s first solar project to connect to the transmission network, it represents true innovation that paves the way for others to follow and enables the rapid deployment of much more clean energy.”

The government has set a goal of five-folding solar energy deployment by 2035, including the installation of up to 70 gigawatts of capacity, which would be enough to power roughly 20 million homes, according to a recent report from the energy security strategy Powering Up Britain.

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The press release states that local wildlife resources will be included in the layout and construction of the solar farm and BESS, including the planting of woodlands to offer food and shelter for a variety of protected species. This will result in a net increase in biodiversity.

As we recognize the enormous advantages of co-location in advancing the green transition and supporting our mission of delivering a net-zero future, for this generation and every generation after it, Queimadelos said, we are proud to be celebrating a significant step in the UK’s renewable energy mission and in our journey into battery storage.

New York State Will Mandate That Public Power Companies Use Only Clean Energy By 2030!

In its most recent budget, the state of New York passed laws requiring its public power provider to obtain only clean energy for the generation of electricity by the end of this decade. The action encourages the use of renewable energy and may increase consumer control over their energy.

The law permits the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to construct renewable energy projects and control and manage them, which may cause more utilities to switch from private to public ownership.

According to Lee Ziesche, an activist with Public Power New York, which has fought for this legislation for four years, it’s a historic victory for the environment and for clean jobs. It will serve as a national example of public power and demonstrates the importance of making energy a shared benefit.

Parts of the Build Public Renewables Act (BPRA), which had already passed the state Senate, were included in the budget proposal that Governor Kathy Hochul first unveiled in February 2023.

Many of the elements mentioned in the BPRA have also been passed along with the budget. If the proposal is approved, NYPA will supply electricity from renewable sources to state-owned properties by 2030 and municipally owned facilities by 2035, respectively.

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In addition to the fact that publicly operated utilities are typically less expensive than utilities provided by privately held businesses, NYPA will be compelled to provide lower prices for renewable energy to consumers with low to moderate incomes.

The Act also establishes a shorter deadline for shutting down the six natural gas plants in the state that are run by NYPA. They will now be phased out by 2030 instead of the previous deadline of 2035.

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The Public Power New York alliance, however, said in a statement that the law is intended to make it more difficult to develop more renewable energy projects after 2035.

Even so, NYPA’s decision to move to renewable energy could inspire similar legislation in other states because it is the largest publicly owned state utility in the U.S.

According to a statement from New York Public Power, the Build Public Renewables Act will finally fulfill the promise of the Green New Deal by ushering in a new era of green union jobs in renewable energy production, reducing rising energy costs, and closing down dirty fracked gas power plants in Black and Brown communities.

With a publicly owned system that is accountable to New Yorkers, not stockholders, the new policy will allow New York to achieve its ambitious climate goals set forth in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).

Body Lotions, Cleaning Fluids and Other Commonly Used Products Contain Toxic Chemicals, Study Finds

It’s safe to use home goods like body lotions, shampoos, cleaners, and other things like that, right? Many of us believe that to be the case, but a recent study from the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) and the Silent Spring Institute shows that these goods actually contain dangerous compounds that may be harmful to our health.

These common goods frequently contain harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These substances, which are gases that penetrate the environment, can lead to a variety of health problems, including cancer.

The study’s authors reported their findings in The Conversation. “We found that many household products, including shampoos, body lotions, cleaners, and mothballs, release toxic volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, into indoor air.

” Additionally, we discovered toxic VOCs that are common in goods that employees use frequently at work, including cleaning solutions, adhesives, paint removers, and nail polish. However, due to legal voids surrounding ingredient disclosure, neither users of products nor employees are generally aware of what is contained in them.

The research was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology under the title Identifying Toxic Consumer Products: A Novel Data Set Reveals Air Emissions of Potent Carcinogens, Reproductive Toxicants, and Developmental Toxicants.

According to main author Kristin Knox, a scientist at the Silent Spring Institute, this study is the first to show the extent to which harmful VOCs are employed in commonplace products of all kinds that could cause major health issues, as reported by Making this information widely available might encourage producers to rework their goods and switch to safer ingredients.

The analysis found that in 2020, consumer products in California’s homes and workplaces released more than 5,000 tons of chemicals that are known to cause cancer.

The Conversation noted that for the study, the researchers examined data acquired by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on consumer goods VOCs released into the atmosphere in an effort to reduce smog levels.

The researchers discovered that 33 harmful VOCs listed under California Proposition 65, the state’s right-to-know law, were present in more than 100 consumer products. Businesses must inform Californians of any significant exposure to chemicals that are known to damage reproduction or cause cancer, according to legislation passed in 1986.

Because of their widespread usage and high levels of toxicity, the researchers designated 11 chemicals in 30 different types of products as a high priority for regulatory action or being replaced with safer alternatives.

The researchers also found that there is a good chance that people get exposed to several harmful substances through product mixes.

Janitors, for instance, might mix general cleaners, degreasers, detergents, and other maintenance supplies. According to the study’s authors, this might expose kids to more than 20 different VOCs that are listed under Prop 65.

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Diethanolamine was one substance that was found in 40 different product categories. Its usage in cosmetics is prohibited in Canada and the European Union because, when combined with other substances, it can react to produce compounds that may cause cancer.

While many personal care items and art supplies used by kids and expectant women contain some of the chemicals listed under Proposition 65, they also harm development and reproduction.

According to the authors, it is not necessary to disclose numerous dangerous chemicals to the Air Resources Board since they do not change from liquid to gas at room temperature, such as PFAS, lead, and bisphenol A (BPA).’



Because the products in CARB’s database are sold all over the country, this study illustrates how much work remains for product manufacturers and regulators, according to co-author Claudia Polsky, director of the Environmental Law Clinic at UC Berkeley School of Law, as reported by

Previous studies have found that because women use more personal care, cosmetic, and cleaning items than males, they are more likely to be exposed to harmful substances through these products.

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In addition, there is a special need to worry about worker exposure in settings like hair and nail salons where a variety of products are frequently used and each of them is likely to have been created with at least one dangerous chemical, if not many more.

The same is true for construction and automotive workers. According to, co-author Meg Schwarzman, a physician and environmental health expert at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, cautioned that the cumulative effects of all these exposures could be seriously harmful. Workers should, at the very least, be aware of their exposures. In the end, though, they deserve safer products, and this study ought to pressure manufacturers to make significant adjustments to safeguard the health of employees.

IEA Predicts that Sales of Electric Cars Will Grow by 35% in 2023!

Last year was a good year for the electric vehicle market. Of new cars sold in 2022, electric cars made up 14%, or around 10 million units, globally. Now, the International Energy Agency (IEA) is predicting that growth to continue, with electric car sales expected to increase by 35% in 2023 compared to last year.

In 2022, new electric car sales reached 14% of all new cars sold, compared to just 9% in 2021, according to IEA’s Global EV Outlook 2023. Already this year, 2.3 million electric cars were sold in the first three months 25% higher than electric car sales in Q1 of 2022.

IEA estimates that 2023 will reach 14 million new electric cars sold, a 35% increase compared to the number of units sold in 2022. Purchases are expected to increase in the second half of 2023, and electric cars could make up around 18% of new cars sold for the year.

Electric vehicles are one of the driving forces in the new global energy economy that is rapidly emerging and they are bringing about a historic transformation of the car manufacturing industry worldwide, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birolsaid in a press release.

The trends we are witnessing have significant implications for global oil demand. The internal combustion engine has gone unrivaled for over a century, but electric vehicles are changing the status quo. By 2030, they will avoid the need for at least 5 million barrels a day of oil. Cars are just the first wave: electric buses and trucks will follow soon.

China leads in electric cars, with more than half of all-electric cars in the world. Across Europe, the report found that electric car sales increased by 15% in 2022, while in the U.S., electric car sales increased 55% last year compared to the previous year. The U.S. is the third largest market for electric cars, making up 8% of all electric car sales globally.

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More policies on EVs are driving growth. TheInflation Reduction Actin the U.S. extends tax credits for electric vehicles and introduces tax incentives for used EV sales and commercial EVs while also investing in charging infrastructure. In the EU, the Fit for 55 proposals is expected to boost EV sales, as this package includes emissions reduction targets for vehicles, with a goal to reach 100% zero emissions for new car and van sales in 2035.

EV growth is also happening in smaller markets, according to IEA s report. In India and Indonesia, electric car sales more than tripled. Sales in 2022 were more than double the units sold in 2021 for Thailand.

Further, many regions are also seeing rapid electrification of smaller two- and three-wheel vehicles that are now outnumbering cars on the roads. Further, IEA predicts that more electrification will happen globally for larger vehicles, like buses and trucks.

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In total, the growing EV market could greatly reduce oil demand and emissions. The report predicts that global demand for oil needed for road transport will peak by 2025. Already in 2022, IEA estimates that EVs displaced 700,000 barrels of oil per day.

Road transport accounts for over 40% of global oil demand, but electric cars are driving a major transformation of the auto industry, Birolsaid on Twitter. EVs are set to displace over 5 million barrels of oil demand a day by 2030, based on current policy settings alone.

Greenpeace Says that China Approved More Coal Plants in The First Quarter of 2023 than In the Whole of 2021!

A new analysis from Greenpeace has found that in just the first three months of this year, China has already approved about 20.45 gigawatts of coal projects, more than the country approved in all of 2021.

In 2022, China saw a surge in coal project approvals, amounting to the approval of about two projects per week, according to the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air. Yet this year s figures for the first quarter of the year are already substantially higher than the same time frame of 2022 when China approved 8.63 gigawatts. In 2021, a total of about 18.55 gigawatts of new coal projects were greenlit, as reported by Al Jazeera.

Greenpeace analyzed figures in official approval documents and found multiple mentions of energy security concerns as justification for the new coal plants. Other concerns mentioned in the documents included meeting heating demand, meeting growing energy demand, and stimulating local economic development.

But Greenpeace noted that investing more in coal is actually less impactful at improving the grid and meeting high energy demands.

The 2022 coal boom has clearly continued into this year. Summer is around the corner, and there s a long list of energy infrastructure fixes needed all around China, Xie Wenwen, climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia, said in a statement.

But throwing more coal at the wall is t one of them. China s electric grid does t lack generation capacity. The grid lacks adequate flexibility and responsiveness. These problems will continue to inhibit electricity transfer and storage until we face them head-on.

Although the surge in coal in 2022 seems to be continuing for 2023, the country did see approvals for more sources of clean energy last year. Combined wind and solar projects that started operations in 2022 reached 121 gigawatts of capacity. Still, coal is the dominant energy source at 43.8% of capacity, compared to 15.2% solar and 14.3% wind by the end of 2022.

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More investments in clean energy and energy storage will be necessary for China to meet its goals of reaching peak carbon emissions before 2030 and becoming carbon neutral by 2060. The newly approved coal plants would need to operate at a loss in order for China to meet these goals, Al Jazeera reported.

Continuing to throw coal at the inefficiencies in China s energy system is a dead end. And it risks climate disasters, financial burdens, and locking us into a high-carbon pathway. China s power sector can still peak emissions by 2025, but we need to act now, Xie warned.

North Sea Countries Say They Will Quadruple the Amount of Offshore Wind Power by 2030!

France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, and Germany will all commit to developing green energy islands connected to renewable power generation sites offshore and to swiftly building wind farms at the second North Sea Summit, held in the seaside town of Ostend, Belgium on Monday, according to Reuters. The partnership will also launch projects for offshore renewable hydrogen.

The leaders of the various nations penned a joint op-ed for Politico titled “We Need Offshore Wind Turbines and We Need a Lot of Them.” In order to achieve our climate targets and free ourselves from Russian gas, which would guarantee a more secure and independent Europe, we need them.

According to Reuters, the group of nine nations hopes to have 120 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity in the North Sea by 2030 and more than twice that amount by 2050. The nations now have 30 GW of offshore wind capacity, according to WindEurope, an organization advocating the use of European wind power.

According to a draft of the countries’ declaration, which was obtained by Reuters, “We will accelerate our efforts to reduce fossil fuel consumption as well as dependence on fossil fuel imports in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and attempts at energy blackmail against Europe.”

By the end of the decade, Germany aims to add 26.4 GW of offshore wind capacity, the Netherlands 21 GW, Belgium 6 GW, and the UK 50 GW.

According to the draft paper, Germany will also undertake offshore hydrogen pilot projects utilizing renewable energy, and Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany would establish a group of energy islands.

The nations said in the op-ed, “Together, we will combine and coordinate our aspirations for offshore wind deployment and offshore electricity grid development, placing Europe on the path toward a green economy powered by offshore green power plants.

According to Reuters, the coalition of European countries also intends to work together to secure their new offshore initiatives from security concerns such as cyberattacks.

The countries stated that they will cooperate with NATO and the European Union to strengthen offshore and underwater infrastructure security, boosting efforts to effectively respond to escalating conventional and hybrid threats.

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The consortium also wants to guarantee that its future operations in the North Sea won’t have a negative impact on nearby people or the maritime environment.

We cannot wait years for permitting procedures as the world’s temperatures increase and autocratic governments have the ability to turn out the lights in our homes and stop business operations. Instead, the countries argued in the op-ed, we must work toward the rapid deployment of offshore wind while doing everything possible to protect our thriving marine ecosystems for future generations.

The Society of Authors Has Started a Campaign to Help the Publishing Industry Reach “Net Zero.”

Books provide a window into other people’s thoughts and emotions because they feel solid in your hands. A buddy, a confidant, a teacher, or while reading before night. Taking it to the park. a traditional custom that transports us to a more carefree age before screens. Even the fragrance of books is distinctive; it is the smell of astonishment.

However, books have a carbon footprint just like anything else created by humans.

The Society of Authors (SoA) has started a new campaign to offer authors encouragement and suggestions for how to approach their publishers regarding the sustainability of their books. The project, called Tree to Me, aims to ensure that authors are involved in the effort to reach net zero in the publishing sector.

It is doable, and I’m quite proud to have written a sustainable book. But for it to be the rule rather than the exception, authors must be able to communicate with publishers about their environmental impact in a straightforward and open manner. According to Piers Torday, author and chair of the SoA’s Sustainability Steering Committee, in a news release from the SoA, Tree to Me gives them the beginning kit to accomplish just that.

Ten questions are provided by Tree to Me for writers to ask their publishers regarding the paper, dust jackets, hardcovers, ink, packaging, and energy sources utilized to produce and distribute their books. In order to make supply chains greener, the questions are aimed to spark debates about sustainability and the climate problem.

I had no control over the paper or finishes of my book because I was a self-published author utilizing print-on-demand. In the news announcement, Sophie Galleymore Bird, author, and member of the SoA Sustainability Steering Committee stated, “Once I became aware of the impact of virgin paper pulp on the climate and biodiversity crises, I felt I had no choice but to withdraw the paperback from a sale.

” I’m thrilled to be a member of Tree to Me and the SoA’s Sustainability Steering Committee, and I hope the improvements writers advocate for will assure a thriving publishing sector for years to come.

Each industry, including publishing, has a duty to examine and modify its practices as part of the worldwide effort to reduce planetary warming as much as feasible.

The press release claims that publishers’ answers to the questions will provide a picture of their present business procedures and how they want to improve them in the future.

The Tree to Me campaign, which aims to improve communication on this crucial issue, has the [Association of Authors Agents (AAA)]’s enthusiastic support. In addition to the fact that the information provided can be perplexing and overwhelming, we are also aware that our member agencies and their clients’ clients’ clients care profoundly about sustainability.

According to Claire Wilson, vice president of the AAA, “We are thrilled that the ten questions at the center of this campaign will enable authors and agents to better work in partnership with their publishers toward a more sustainable future.”

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Authors can contribute to highlighting the significance of publishers adopting accountability for the environmental impact of the books they produce because of their position in the industry. Authors can inform their audience about the advancements their publishers are making as they begin to implement the necessary changes to improve the sustainability of their publications.

The SoA collaborated to establish the Sustainability Industry Forum with the Booksellers Association, Publishers Association, Independent Publishers Guild, Book Industry Communications, and the AAA. It is the first time that all book industry groups have worked together with the express purpose of fostering open communication to increase transparency and accountability, share best practices, and lessen duplication of effort in an effort to address the climate issue.

Montana Judge Revokes Permit for Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant Due to Climate Concern!

A judge in Montana decided to revoke the disputed natural gas power plant’s air quality permit due to worries about climate change.

Judge Michael Moses of the Montana 13th Judicial District Court ruled on Thursday that the 175-megawatt NorthWestern Energy plant would have released more than 23 million tons of greenhouse gases over its 30-year or longer lifespan, which is the equivalent of adding 167,327 new cars to the road each year. This is something that the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) did not fully consider when it issued the permit.

Moses wrote that DEQ’s failure to investigate this matter violated MEPA’s [the Montana Environmental Policy Act] in plain and obvious terms. It was arbitrary and capricious to ignore this problem, and it was a blatant MEPA violation.

According to AP News, NorthWestern Energy, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is constructing the $250 million plant alongside the Yellowstone River. According to a news release from the Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC), the Thiel Road Coalition has banded together to fight the facility in Laurel, Montana, where it would be located.

Retired refinery worker and resident of Laurel Steve Krum stated in the press release, “We are very concerned that this project will harm people who live near the proposed plant.” Our worries regarding the effects this plant will have on the neighborhood’s quality of life and the Yellowstone River have always been disregarded. We value the fact that our issues were ultimately given a fair hearing in court.

Together with the Sierra Club, MEIC filed a lawsuit in 2021 to challenge the permit, according to AP News. Moses suggested that the DEQ should think about how higher emissions might affect Montana in response to the DEQ’s claim that state law prevented it from making choices based on the effects of the global climate.

For instance, Yellowstone National Park saw major flooding in June 2022 as a result of a combination of excessive rainfall and snowmelt brought on by above-average temperatures. This prompted the park to close and significantly changed its environment. The severe precipitation and warmer temperatures, according to experts at the time, were exactly what was anticipated in the region as the climate warmed.

This is a vital endeavor to the majority of Montanans who appreciate their core constitutional right to a clean and healthy environment, Moses wrote.

Moses agreed with the plaintiffs that the DEQ had not sufficiently taken into account the effects of light pollution from the plant in addition to the effects on the climate.

He claimed that the DEQ’s stance on the matter was arbitrarily and capriciously determined since it failed to do the necessary in-depth analysis of the lighting emissions.

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NorthWest Energy responded to the decision by announcing it will appeal.

According to a statement from NorthWestern Energy Vice President of Supply and Montana Government Affairs John Hinessaid, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality issued the company an air quality permit on September 8, 2021, allowing the company to start construction on this project.

This decision appears to call for the use of new analysis criteria, endangering our Montana customers’ ability to rely on reliable service during periods of peak energy demand, such as the coldest nights and the hottest days, which are often times when renewable resources are producing little to no electricity.

The DEQ evaluated and authorized our air permit using criteria that have been in place for a long time. With this in mind, we started work on this project. The DEQ and I will collaborate to decide how to proceed. Meanwhile, DEQ informed AP News that it was evaluating the judgment.

However, the people of Laurel feel justified. It felt like a David vs Goliath conflict for far too long. I’m sick and weary of NorthWestern and the government ignoring us. Our home is here.

Farmer and small business owner Sarah Ronan, a member of the Thiel Road Coalition, was quoted in the MEIC press release as saying, “We have repeatedly expressed our worries about the effects of this plant. We have no other recourse but to turn to the courts when the government violates the law and won’t listen to the locals. We are grateful that the courts are prepared to take the side of regular Montanans who only have their health, property, companies, and future generations in mind.

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