All Environment stories

Virgin flight lifts off, powered by cooking oil

For those of you who are already freaked out by airplanes, we have some fun news: Soon, your plane could be kept in the sky entirely by stuff you’d find in a deep fryer.

What happened: A Virgin Atlantic plane powered entirely by a combination of waste cooking oil, animal fats, and other re-used fuels completed the journey from London to New York yesterday, a feat being celebrated as an environmental milestone in the aviation industry. 

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Wild pigs are taking over

If you’re worried about Canada’s housing market, just wait until we tell you about the country’s wild pig problem. 

Driving the news: A domestic swine and wild boar crossbreed known as ‘super pigs’ are wreaking havoc across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba — and are spreading at an alarming rate, ruining farmers' crops, killing wildlife, and contaminating water and livestock.
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Meet your new weather forecaster: AI

AI could force us to find a new go-to topic for small talk by bringing about a future where we already know everything about the weather.

Driving the news: A new study found that Google Deepmind’s AI weather model, called GraphCast, was more accurate than the leading conventional three-to-ten-day forecast system run by the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). 
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Global wine output is drying up

To any wine moms or vino snobs who may be reading, make sure you’re sitting down with a chilled pinto grigio before looking at this next story. You might find it too upsetting. 

Driving the news: Global wine production is set to fall to its lowest level in over 60 years, according to a new estimate by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). 
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Starbucks wants to weatherproof its coffee supply

Poor weather conditions are threatening to make your morning coffee even more expensive. 

What happened: Starbucks has developed new varieties of arabica coffee trees tailored to withstand the effects of climate change, the result of a decade-long effort to weather-proof their supply.
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Feds look to space to fight wildfires

This year’s historically bad wildfire season has the federal government searching for new ways to battle future blazes.

Driving the news: Three government agencies, including the Canadian Space Agency, are working together on a plan to use a series of satellites to monitor and track wildfires around the country.  
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No recycled Lego bricks

The world’s largest toymaker is having a hard time making its little bricks eco-friendly. 

What happened: Danish Toymaker Lego has abandoned a high-profile effort to ditch oil-based plastics from its bricks after finding that its new material — made from recycled plastic bottles — would lead to higher carbon emissions, per the Financial Times.
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Toronto ponders EV mandate for Ubers, taxis

Ride-sharing in Toronto could soon become an eco-friendly way to travel, which might make you feel a little better about all those Uber charges. 

Driving the news: Following the lead of cities like Amsterdam and New York, Toronto is considering requiring vehicles-for-hire — like taxis, Ubers, and Lyfts — to be zero emission by 2031, under a new recommendation by the Municipal Licensing and Standards division. 
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Amazon goes green(ish)

In an effort to offset the environmental impact of its business (and its founder’s 417-foot, US$500 million superyacht), Amazon is getting into the carbon capture game. 

Driving the news: Amazon has made its first investment in direct air capture technology (DAC), purchasing 250,000 tons of carbon removal credits over 10 years from 1PointFive, a DAC plant in Texas. 
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Firefighters make progress battling BC blaze

British Columbia introduced travel restrictions and expanded evacuation orders over the weekend as wildfires continue to rage in the province, but officials expressed optimism yesterday that fire crews were turning the corner in the battle to contain the blazes.

Why it matters: Around 35,000 people in BC and 30,000 in the Northwest Territories (75% of the territory’s population) have been displaced in the past week amid Canada’s worst wildfire season on record.
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