Temperatures

Iran’s smog, blackouts made worse by power-sapping crypto mining

Outages have been compounded by cryptocurrency mining, which uses banks of high-powered computers. Cities across Iran have been cloaked in thick layers of toxic smog and darkened by blackouts, as the alleged use of low-quality fuel and power-sucking cryptocurrency mining deepen the country’s hardships. Tehran’s Hamshahri newspaper, the country’s most-read daily, ran the headline, “20 Days Living in Smoke,” on Wednesday over a photo of the capital covered in smog. Power plants have been forced to switch to burning low-grade fuel oils to generate electricity because high levels of domestic consumption have led to natural-gas shortages, the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency reported. Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh denied earlier this week that any of Iran’s power stations are us...

Why coronavirus will not be last pandemic – UN report

United Nations The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the latest crisis facing the world, will not be the last until humans release their grip on nature, says a new UN report published on Tuesday. According to the report titled “The Next Frontier: Human Development and the Anthropocene,” world leaders need to take bold steps to reduce the immense pressure that is being exerted on the environment and the natural world, or humanity’s progress will stall. “Humans wield more power over the planet than ever before. Redefining issues of our time “In the wake of COVID-19, record-breaking temperatures and spiraling inequality, it is time to use that power to redefine what we mean by progress, where our carbon and consumption footprints are no longer hidden,” said Achim Steiner, the Administrator of ...

Pope commits Vatican to net zero carbon emissions by 2050

Pope Francis urged countries on Saturday to work towards net zero carbon emissions and committed Vatican City – the world’s smallest state – to reaching the target by 2050. Francis, who has championed environmental causes since his election in 2013, told a U.N. climate summit the 108-acre (44-hectare) city-state surrounded by Rome would be doing its bit to fight climate change. “The current pandemic and climate change, which are not only environmentally relevant, but also ethically, socially, economically and politically, affect, above all, the lives of the poorest and most fragile,” he said in a video message to the summit. “In addition to adopting some measures that cannot be postponed any longer, a strategy is needed to reduce net emissions to zero,” Francis said. He committed the Vatic...