Effort to Reduce Global Warming by Extracting Natural Gas from Cow Manure

(p. B11) Dominion Energy Inc. has struck a $200 million pact with a renewable energy producer and the Dairy Farmers of America Inc. to extract natural gas from cow manure.

. . .

It is the latest venture between big livestock concerns and power producers aiming to generate pipeline-quality natural gas from animal waste. Doing so results in gas that is more expensive than that which has flooded the market from U.S. shale formations. So-called biogas, however, is in high demand among consumers, businesses and local governments eager to lower their emissions and earn environmental plaudits. It can generate valuable and tradable carbon offset credits for buyers, which can make producing biogas worthwhile for companies like Dominion.

For the full story, see:

Ryan Dezember. “Dominion Energy Turns to Cow Manure in Gas Pact.” The Wall Street Journal (Thursday, December 12, 2019): B11.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date December 11, 2019, and has the same title as the print version.)

Green Nudism Counters Global Warming

(p. A27) Climate protests drew millions around the world in September. Many of the Democratic presidential candidates have rolled out ambitious plans to cut carbon while making the economy greener. There’s a sense of momentum to solve our planetary crisis. And yet a leading cause of climate change remains persistently overlooked or trivialized: clothing.

The clothing and footwear industry is responsible for 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, nearly the same as the entire European Union, according to a study by the environmental services group Quantis. Without abrupt intervention, the industry’s impact on the climate is on track to increase by almost half by 2030.

For the full commentary, see:

Elizabeth L. Cline. “Wear Clothes? That’s a Problem.” The New York Times (Monday, Sept. 9, 2019): A27.

(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date Nov. 3, 2019, and has the title “Wear Clothes? Then You’re Part of the Problem.”)

Parrots Are Politically Incorrect Food Wasters

(p. D2) According to a study last month in Scientific Reports, wild parrots across the world . . . waste food . . .

The new study provides “a comprehensive picture of parrots’ food wasting behavior in their natural environment,” said Anastasia Krasheninnikova, a biologist at the Max Planck Comparative Cognition Research Group in Spain, an independent commenter.

For the full story, see:

Cara Giaimo. “Polly Wants to Discard Another Cracker.” The New York Times (Tuesday, November 5, 2019): D2.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date Nov. 2, 2019, and has the title “Why Do Parrots Waste So Much Food?” The online version quoted above, but not the print version, gives the name of the journal Scientific Reports.)

The Scientific Reports study mentioned above, is:

Sebastián-González, Esther, Fernando Hiraldo, Guillermo Blanco, Dailos Hernández-Brito, Pedro Romero-Vidal, Martina Carrete, Eduardo Gómez-Llanos, Erica C. Pacífico, José A. Díaz-Luque, Francisco V. Dénes, and José L. Tella. “The Extent, Frequency and Ecological Functions of Food Wasting by Parrots.” Scientific Reports 9, no. 1 (2019): 15280, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-51430-3 .

“The Opportunities in Climate Change”

(p. B1) SKAERSOGAARD, Denmark — On a mild autumn morning, Sven Moesgaard climbed a sunbathed hill and inspected an undulating expanse of neatly planted vines. A picking crew was harvesting tons of hardy Solaris grapes that he would soon turn into thousands of bottles of crisp white and sparkling Danish wine.

A decade ago, winemaking was regarded as a losing proposition in these notoriously cool climes. But as global temperatures rise, a fledgling wine industry is growing from once-unlikely fields across Scandinavia, as entrepreneurs seek to turn a warming climate to their advantage.

“We’re looking for the opportunities in climate change,” said Mr. Moesgaard, the founder of Skaersogaard Vin, cradling a cluster of golden grapes. “In the coming decades, we’ll be growing more wine in Scandinavia while countries that have traditionally dominated the industry produce less.”

Nordic vintners are betting that they can develop what were once mainly hobbyist ventures into thriving commercial operations. The dream is to transform Scandinavia into an essential global producer of (p. B7) white wines, which are beginning to flourish along Europe’s northern rim.

The growth has been rapid: Denmark now boasts 90 commercial vineyards, up from just two 15 years ago, and around 40 have sprung up in Sweden. Nearly a dozen vineyards are operating as far north as Norway.

. . .

Nordic vintners point to southern England, where a world-class sparkling wine industry has emerged around a warming climate. Companies including Taittinger of France have invested in land in Britain to hedge against the effect of temperature spikes in Champagne.

For the full story, see:

Liz Alderman. “Bordeaux on the Baltic.” The New York Times (Saturday, November 17, 2019): B1 & B7.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the story was updated Nov. 11, [sic] 2019, and has the title “Scandinavian Wine? A Warming Climate Tempts Entrepreneurs.”)

Wind Power “Is Not so Clean and Not so Green”

(p. 4B) WALNUT, Iowa (AP) — At a western Iowa wind farm, a demolition crew saws through red slashes marked on 120-foot turbine blades, cutting them into thirds before stuffing the thinnest piece inside the base’s hollow cavity, making more room on a flatbed trailer.

The work is part of MidAmerican Energy’s efforts to “repower” almost 110 turbines, updating towers with longer blades, new hubs and refurbished generators.

. . .

MidAmerican’s retired blades, destined for the Butler County Landfill near David City, Nebraska, about 130 miles away, are among hundreds that will land in dumps across Iowa and the nation. Critics say the blades’ march to a landfill weakens the claim that wind is an environmentally friendly energy source.

“This clean, green energy is not so clean and not so green,” said Julie Kuntz, who opposes a wind project in Worth County in north-central Iowa. “It’s just more waste going in our landfills.”

. . .

The difficulty in reusing blades adds to the complaints of wind energy opponents. Some who live near the turbines complain that low-frequency noise and flickering light from the blades make them ill. And the spinning blades can kill migrating birds and bats.

For the full story, see:

The Associated Press. “As Wind Farms Age, Many Old Blades Are Going to Landfills.” Omaha World-Herald (Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019): 4B.

(Note: ellipses added.)

Napa Vineyards Adapting to Global Warming

(p. D8) Few in Napa Valley feel the urgency to address climate change more than Beth Novak Milliken, president and chief executive of Spottswoode, a family estate that makes superb cabernet sauvignons here on the western edge of St. Helena.

. . .

Ms. Milliken and Aron Weinkauf, the winemaker and vineyard manager, are experimenting with rootstocks that might do better in drought conditions, and grapes like alicante bouschet, mourvèdre and touriga nacional that, as Napa warms, might be blended with cabernet sauvignon to maintain freshness, structure and acidity.

. . .

Like Ms. Milliken, Larkmead is experimenting with different grapes. Mr. Petroski has already initiated a study, planting three acres with a variety of grapes like touriga nacional, tempranillo and aglianico to determine over the next 30 years what might be better able to withstand a hotter environment than cabernet sauvignon.

“I just want people to think that Napa Valley makes great, delicious California-style wines,” he said. “If this is a great vineyard site, it will grow great grapes. It doesn’t have to be only cabernet or merlot.”

For the full story, see:

Eric Asimov. “The Pour; Napa Valley Confronts Climate Change.” The New York Times (Wednesday, November 6, 2019): D8.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the story was updated Nov. 7 [sic], 2019, and has the title “The Pour; In Napa Valley, Winemakers Fight Climate Change on All Fronts.”)

“Climate Change Has Been Good for Us”

(p. A1) SLINDE, Norway—Perched on a steep slope overlooking the country’s largest fiord, tidy rows of vines spread on the frosted ground underneath towering pine trees.

On the 61st parallel—the latitude of Anchorage, Alaska— Bjorn Bergum’s vineyard is set to become the world’s northernmost commercial wine estate, a testimony to how global warming is disrupting century-old landscapes, traditions and oenological preconceptions.

“There is no doubt,” Mr. Bergum says. “Climate change has been good for us.”

. . .

(p. A9) “First we take Scandinavia, then the world,” says Erik Lindås, head of Norway’s nascent winegrowers association. “It’s motivating to work when people think you can’t make it. People laughed at English wine 15 years ago but they are not laughing anymore.”

Denmark and Sweden are commercially producing wines that have won international awards, while Britain and Belgium are experiencing a viticultural renaissance. Vintners in Germany, which has a proud winemaking tradition in the south, are exploring new terroirs farther north.

. . .

The northerners have a replique to southern arguments about boreal vineyards’ lack of tradition: During the so-called Medieval Climate Optimum, a warm spell from the ninth century to the 13th, winemaking thrived as far up as northern England and the Baltics.

Professor Hans R. Schultz, who studies climate change’s effects on viticulture at Germany’s Geisenheim University, says global warming is pulling the winemaking economy northward. In Germany’s terroirs, which used to lose entire harvests to cold spells, every vintage since 1987 was better than the previous, he says.

For the full story, see:

Bojan Pancevski. “New Wines Invade From Viking Terroir.” The Wall Street Journal (Wednesday, October 30, 2019): A1 & A9.

(Note: ellipses added; italics in original.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date Oct. 29, 2019, and has the title “Chateau Viking: Climate Change Makes Northern Wine a Reality.”)