Newsdesk – December 29

How hard is a low-carbon lifestyle? A Berlin family tells all. For the past year, Karin Beese and her family have been on a low-carbon diet in an effort to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and head off the worst effects of climate change. And it’s changed their lives. When mother of three Karin Beese used to think about climate change, it was more in the context of far away places than in the German capital, where she lives. A baseline measurement showed Beese’s family was producing around 6.5 tons of carbon dioxide per person, per year. Although far below the 2017 German CO2 average of 11 tons per capita, the family decided to set themselves an annual target of just four tons each. To keep track of their progress, they kept an online log of things like food, electricity, heating and transportation. Although they still use their car for certain trips, they do cycle, and because they’re vegetarians, they also scored alright on the food front – Deutsche Welle

  • Pine needles from old Christmas trees could be turned into paint and food sweeteners in the future –
  • Surprising Changes Will Affect Biodiversity in 2019 – Scientific American
  • The Year in Water, 2018 – Circle of Blue
  • European wheat lacks climate resilience –
  • How Native and White Communities Make Alliances to Protect the Earth – Yes! Magazine
  • US fossil fuel exports spur growth, climate worries –
  • Electric cars, public transport can get us to greenhouse goals – Niagara Falls Review

Meat grown in a lab is heading to your plate. Will you take a bite? Scientists have developed a way to grow meat in a lab that could be soon available at your local grocery store. Dr. Jill Roberts says so-called “in vitro meat” or “cell burgers” are perfectly safe and could help save the planet – by requiring less farm land to raise meat and creating less waste. Now an influx of San Francisco startups are developing burgers and chicken strips without slaughtering a single cow or killing any chickens. To make meat in a lab, scientists take cells from an animal and then grow those cells into a piece of meat using plants and nutrients. “When you take that little cell, you’re taking the cell of a muscle,” said Roberts. “The muscle doesn’t have all the bad stuff that’s in the meat – no cholesterol, higher protein… no antibiotics, no synthetic hormones” – ABC Action News

Welcome to ‘Climate City’ Asheville, North Carolina, known for its vibrant culture, has also become an important hub of climate expertise. Free thinkers, artists, environmentalists and Ph.D.s come to Asheville for many reasons, including the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Biltmore, bluegrass and beer. It comes as a surprise to many that this mountain community of 90,000 has also become an important center for climate expertise, earning a new moniker: Climate City. In Asheville, you go get a cup of coffee and never know when you’ll get into a deep conversation about the latest from the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] or whose coverage of the climate report is better,” says James McMahon, who ran The Collider before he founded The Climate Service, a risk analysis firm in The Collider that helps investors and corporations understand how climate change impacts them financially – US News

The Guardian view on COP24: while climate talks continue, there is hope. The agreement struck in Poland is not strong enough, but the UN process is all we have. The first thing to say about the compromise struck at climate talks in Poland at the weekend is that it came as a relief. The sticking point of carbon credits, with new demands from Brazil regarding the treatment of forests, was pushed back to next year. But the agreement on how governments will measure and report on emissions cuts is important. The dynamic that previously pitted developing against developed countries has significantly shifted. Minds will now turn to the next deadline: 2020, when countries must demonstrate that they have met old targets and set new, much tougher ones. This round of talks, which the UK aims to host, is even more crucial following recent warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that current goals are nowhere near ambitious enough – The Guardian