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OUR TAKE: The Global Shipping Industry & Blocktrain by ClimateYou Senior Editor George Ropes

A recent Bloomberg news story, “The Blockchain on the High Seas” by Matt Levine, looks at how the blockchain can revolutionize the global shipping industry. Blocktrain technology, which Bitcoin uses, is a list of digital records, or blocks, that are chained together using cryptography. Levine points out that most shipping companies use their own blockchain platform, or website to access real-time cargo tracking. But shipping companies would greatly benefit from a similar system that was an industry-wide consortium that shared a database via the blockchain, which Levine says would be “more secure and reliable and adaptable and trustworthy, and perhaps more likely to be used.”

https://cryptona.co/samsung-pilots-successfully-blockchain-app-s-koreas-shipping-industry/

We here at ClimateYou believe if the shipping industry can adopt a unified blockchain accounting system to track all shipments, the impact will be huge, bringing down costs, delivery and settlement times, and back-office employment. Getting all shipping companies to agree to use one system rather than each company maintaining its own is no easy task. However, it’s not impossible, given the recent agreement through the auspices of the International Maritime Organization to cut shipping industry emissions by 50% by 2050. A similar industry-wide compact for one blockchain accounting system would benefit all, reducing both development and maintenance costs, yet at the same time assuaging each company’s concerns about the safety and security of their proprietary data, so there’s at least a fair chance that one common system can be negotiated. Together, agreements on emissions and digitalized secure accounting will revolutionize the shipping industry, boost the global economy, and contribute to achievement of the Paris climate targets. Shipping is currently responsible for about 3% of emissions, but is projected to reach 15% as industry emissions go up if not constrained

 
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Growing Population Economies, Water & Climate Change by City Tech Blogger Tahir Mahmood

A rising human population and resulting increased economic activities are some of the reasons for our environmental problems. These problems relate to water scarcity, air, soil, fauna and flora. Climate change in particular has led to an increase in water scarcity, particularly in Africa and the Middle East. With regards to water, humans use more than a quarter of terrestrial evapotranspiration for growing crops. Furthermore, more than half of the accessible water run-off is used for this purpose. The ensuing water crisis has been said to be worsening with growing populations. During the 20th century, global economic output grew by a factor of more than 20. This was accompanied by growing raw material extraction, and increasing levels of emissions (fluid and gaseous) that are often harmful to the environment. Whilst some have hypothesized that environmental degradation decreases with increasing income levels, in reality, it’s not always seem that simple. Some environmental degradation levels persist even in highly developed economies.

In Cape Town, South Africa, with a population of over 4 million people, the water crisis has been slowed enough to avert the D-Day scenario known as “Day Zero,” which predicted that the city would run out of water by mid 2018. Citizens of Cape Town are constantly reminded to conserve their water by flushing toilets less and taking 2-minute showers. Recently dam levels hovered around 18%, which officials says is an improvement.

 
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California Drought and Climate Change by City Tech Blogger Jerry Camilien

Climate change is drastically affecting the west coast of the United States, especially California which has experienced major droughts due to the lack of long rain. While living in California, I experienced the after-effects of a long drought, which devastated the state. In 2014 California the safe levels in reservoirs were severely decreased and was when California Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency. He also ordered mandatory regulations to conserve water for the first time in the state’s history. California agriculture was dramatically affected by the drought from 2012-2014, when farmers saw their crops yielding less and less. State officials estimated that more than 100 million trees die during the drought because of stress and infestations from bark beetles.

In June 2014, Lake Shasta was at 37% of capacity due to the long California drought. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

How does the changing climate cause these droughts?  Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently issued a study showing more frequent droughts in California. They have linked the disappearance of sea ice in the Arctic and the buildup of high ridges of atmospheric pressure over the Pacific Ocean, and the ridges push winter storms away from the state, causing drought. The rapidly melting Arctic sea ice now threatens to diminish precipitation over California by as much as 15% within 20 to 30 years. In California we have also see the air quality greatly affected by climate change. Many different species of fish are dying during the droughts as well. The dry forest regions have sparked forest fires across the state killing the wildlife in those areas. These after effects still remain throughout the California region.

My college major is information technology and I believe the gathering and analyzing data is one way to impact climate change. Utilizing big data through data collecting and data analyzing, will allow officials to make proper judgement calls so they can mitigate climate change in the state.

 

 
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Bring in the Aerodynamic Battery Powered Semi-Truck by City Tech Blogger Jorge Rivas

I believe that we as a society should strive to lower the amount of pollution caused by the vehicles we use, especially when it comes to trucks, our country’s main mode of transportation when it comes to shipping goods. While most of us do not drive trucks, we buy products these trucks deliver.  Trucks contribute to the large amount of greenhouse gas emissions, one of the main causes of climate change. It is nice to see that an influential company such as Telsa is looking to change the paradigm. Not too long ago Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Semi, an aerodynamic battery powered semi-truck. Anheuser-Bush, a beer-brewing company, ordered 40 Tesla Semis and stated that incorporating these trucks will allow them to reduce their carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2025. While the trucks have yet to be built, they show promising potential and if many companies switch over to an electric alternative, I believe that climate change can be slowed.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/310732

What I do not understand is that Semi trucks are not treated in the same manner as passenger cars. What I would especially like to emphasize is that many passenger cars are designed to be aerodynamic, therefore reducing the amount of gas needed to move the car from point A to point B. All of the trucks I have seen, most are blocky in design and look as there has been no innovation to the overall their design. I believe that any change that can help environment should be implemented.

 
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Fossil Fuels and Global Warming by City Tech Blogger Lok Ting Wong

Humans have come to rely heavily on fossil fuels but most people don’t know how they affect the climate. In this decade, climate change is the world’s biggest problem. How do we solve the problem of climate change? This is an important problem we all need to think about. Global warming has been, in part, characterized by extreme weather patterns. There is no doubt that fossil fuels are one of the main causes of climate change. Currently, our main energy sources are derived from utilizing fossil fuels. However, the use fossil fuel comes at a cost to the environment. Climate change is having a significant impact on animals, plants, and sea levels. Most of the greenhouse gas such as CO2 comes from burning fossil fuels, which causes the greenhouse effect. In order to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels we need to invest in reasonable energy sources.

https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data

The graph above is the Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Gas. The data shows the carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect. It is released mostly by human activities such as burning fossil fuel, industrial processes, deforestation, and improper uses of land. Methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases are other greenhouse gases which cause a rise temperature.

https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data

The graph above is the Global Carbon emissions from fossil fuels, 1990 – 2014. The data shows that levels of carbon dioxide have increased each year. This means the rise in temperature is directly related to the use of  fossil fuels. By utilizing renewable energy sources we can steadily reduce the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

https://www.popsci.com/burning-all-fossil-fuels-could-raise-sea-levels-by-200-feet#page-2

The image above depicts various carbon emission scenarios and the affect on glaciers. The data shows that the polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate due to high levels of CO2 and how those levels are seriously affecting the environment. The picture also shows when there is a decrease in the use of fossil fuels, the environment improves, and therefore, I believe we can preserve the environment but conserve energy.  Finally, we can see the relationship between burning fossil fuels and global warming. Each year the effects of global warming are getting worse. People should think about ways we can stop climate change. One of those ways is to use renewable energy sources, which will reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

 

 
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