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At COP27 earlier this year, Microsoft called on global leaders to remain committed to the 1.5-degree target. Meeting this target hinges on one well-researched premise: the world cannot limit warming to 1.5 degrees by relying solely on carbon reduction. We need carbon removal too, writes Brett Shoemaker, Chief Sustainability Officer, Microsoft Australia and New Zealand.

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 29: A Microsoft corporate logo hangs on the side of their office building on Eighth Avenue on April 29, 2023, in New York City. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

Carbon removal is the process of extracting and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Research we’ve done with Concordia University and Simon Fraser University in Canada demonstrates that the temporary storage of carbon in nature (in carbon sinks like forests), can have permanent climate benefits by reducing peak warming. 

Nature-based solutions, which protect these natural carbon-storing habitats and biodiversity, are therefore vital to complement our efforts in combatting climate change and helping the world achieve net zero emissions. 

This is why Microsoft is committed to taking high-quality, nature-based solutions to greater heights, apace with our existing carbon reduction and removal efforts – both internally and with our global partners. 

Nature positive: the new global challenge 

Short-term, nature-based – or nature-positive – carbon removal can build resilience against climate change. For example, forest and soil restoration prevents flooding and erosion, while mangrove rehabilitation provides buffers against coastal storms.  

Nature-positive solutions currently dominate the carbon removal market because they are the most readily available at the lowest cost. However, they also have inherent risks of reversal, meaning that the stored carbon can be released back into the atmosphere due to any changes in the natural habitat. We saw this firsthand when a wildfire burned part of a forest carbon project from which Microsoft purchased credits in 2023.   

Reversal is only one of the risks of nature-positive solutions. It is inherently complex to measure and account for the climate benefits of nature-positive investments.  

This is why we’re collaborating with scientists, research institutions and other organisations around the world to improve accounting and measuring methods for nature’s contribution to climate solutions. 

For example, Microsoft has partnered with Australian startup Carbon Asset Solutions (CAS) to build an innovative digital measurement, recording and verification solution for soil-based carbon credits. In addition, CAS has signed on as a supplier and registry for Microsoft’s new Environmental Credit Service to improve the integrity of global carbon markets. 

Combining nature and engineering 

This is where technology and hybrid solutions come in. By bringing together the best in engineering and nature, we can help design nature-based solutions that sequester carbon for hundreds to thousands of years.  

For example, biochar is a coal-like substance that is produced when you heat biomass in an oxygen-free environment. It improves the performance of many substances, including composts, fertilisers, animal feed, and building and construction materials. Australian company, Rainbow Bee Eater, has designed a commercial process to produce biochar from organic residue like agricultural crop and timber waste, which would otherwise be land-filled. Microsoft has purchased carbon removal credits from this company to improve the overall durability of its carbon removal portfolio. 

We’re also supporting the development of nature-positive climate technologies through our US$1 billion Climate Innovation Fund. Microsoft established the fund in 2023 to identify and invest in solutions that will create meaningful and measurable impact by 2030. 

Recognising the need for principles and transparency 

The nature-positive movement is complex and not without risks, but it’s also an extremely exciting change that we’re proud to be a part of. Our research and learnings over the past few years have demonstrated that the next decade is about making investments with greater awareness. 

Microsoft is also developing its own approaches to mitigating the risks associated with nature-positive climate solutions. For instance, we’re working to incorporate principles such as the 10 golden rules for restoration into our carbon removal program. ​These rules were set out by scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Botanic Gardens Conservation International. 

​As we go forward, Microsoft is more committed than ever to improve standards and safeguards around nature-positive climate solutions, while remaining transparent about how our efforts are managed and the impact they have. 

By sharing our journey and lessons learned, we hope that more corporations are inspired to incorporate nature-positive climate solutions into their own sustainability strategies. We all have the opportunity to be customers of, investors in, and donors to these solutions, which will improve our chances of achieving net zero and making a meaningful contribution to combatting climate change. 

Look back on the week that was with hand-picked articles from Australia and around the world. Sign up to the Forbes Australia newsletter here or become a member here.

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You Can’t Escape Climate Change By Moving To New Zealand

Where’s the best place to ride out the environmental apocalypse when it arrives? This is a question that should now be taken much more seriously, especially as leading climate scientists across the world are warning of an even more intense and dire situation with the 2023 IPCC report. The pressure is on to find solutions to an ever-closer dilemma that puts all of humanity at risk. 

A few studies have already analyzed which parts of the world are going to be most affected by a changing climate. Some regions will experience deadly droughts, floods, increasing wildfires, and rising sea levels more than others. But everyone will be burned one way or another.

“Climate doesn’t care about political boundaries,” says Heidi Roop, an assistant professor of climate science at the University of Minnesota. “There’s not a corner of the globe that’s not feeling, or going to feel, the negative impacts of a warming planet.”

Now a more recent analysis, conducted by environmental scientists at Anglia Ruskin University in England, takes a hard look at which countries would be most insulated against a widescale shock like climate change. The resulting list included island nations like New Zealand, Tasmania, Ireland, Iceland, and the UK, plus the US and Canada, which tied for sixth place.

Does that mean it’s time to invest in a climate bunker on a hilly island off of Auckland? Probably not. The world is in this crisis together, Roop, who was not involved in the study, says, so it’s important to learn preparation tips from this research and help stabilize the most vulnerable populations.

[Related: The 4 biggest lessons from the latest IPCC climate report]

But as it turns out, nations that are self-sufficient and isolated are also the safest from collapse. After assessing the 20 lowest countries on a global climate-vulnerability index, Aled Jones, director of Cambridge University’s Global Sustainability Institute and one of the study authors, broke down a few telling factors. First he calculated how well each government would be able to feed its population with the land available. Then he checked if the government had already begun preparing for energy sufficiency and manufacturing potential to keep its society running. Finally, he gauged how well a government would be able to keep foreigners out. Some of these factors naturally favored wealthy countries—places that can afford to take big steps like switching to a renewable energy grid. But geography was an important variable too, namely for the islands, because of its influence on cross-border migration. That’s why the US and Canada, which have massive militaries, ranked near the top as well.

To put it another way, policies and resources can help a nation’s stability, but part of it rests on the uncontrollable. Humans have faced existential challenges before and seen their fair share of societal collapses, Jones says. The difference now is there are multiple threats looming at once.

“We’ve seen these big global impacts in the past, and so far, we’ve been able to withstand them all,” he says. “But if they happened at the same time … I don’t know how we’d fare.”

As we’ve discovered through current happenings and decades of research, climate change is a host of disasters rolled up together. Energy grids, public health, economic and political stability, and food systems are all teetering on the edge of serious disruption as weather systems become increasingly unpredictable. And what happens in one place can touch many others, because our lives are completely globalized. The food on our plates and the clothes on our backs are typically made from products sourced from all over the planet. So when a country is facing a crisis, be it due to climate change or financial stress or civil war, the entire world feels it. “[We] are mutually intertwined, no matter if we like it or not,” Roop says.

[Related: What is ecocide, and why might it be criminalized worldwide?]

The main point to remember is that the countries on Jones’s list aren’t immune to climate change and other problems. New Zealand, for example, is at risk of storms, fires, and pathogens just like many other parts of the world. Rather, the takeaway, Roop says, should be that we need to study different governments’ strategies through a lens of preparedness to understand what’s best for social stability. Knowing that can make it clearer how we can support the rest of the world.

“What they are specifically looking at are the starting conditions—not how the country could do hypothetically, but what are the assets that a country has currently that enable it to be responsive to or self-sufficient in the event that the global supply chain is disrupted,” Roop explains. This can mean anything from working toward a less material-dependent economy and prioritizing climate resilience in policies, both in local communities and on a global scale. For those of us who don’t live on isolated islands in the middle of the ocean, it also means working together with neighboring countries so that everyone, no matter where they live, has a fighting chance of living in a safe and healthy world.

Little Baby Doge Project Makes Climate Change Charity Fun!

LBD has already garnered the attention of several major sites, including CoinMarketCap and CoinTelegraph, who have lauded the project’s novel approach and strategy. The launch of Little Baby Doge was a resounding success, thanks to its wide appeal and enthusiastic following. On the 27th of November, the token went public and hit an all-time high of 0.000000007938. The token’s market valuation swiftly climbed to $4 million with just over 5,000 holders.

So, what’s all the buzz about, and how is it poised to take over China?

The Little Baby Doge team has a well-organized ecosystem that will match individuals’ product and service needs. It has an LBD wallet that incorporates news, real-time statistics, and adorable puppy updates. The LBD Exchange & Farms platform is a user-friendly SWAP platform that allows the simple swap of all BEP-20 tokens; this feature will be accessible in Q4. Moreover, they have an LBD Lottery that will enable holders to win more money.

The team is trying a slightly different strategy than what has previously been explored. It’s all about making climate change charity fun rather than focusing on the dreadful consequences of climate change. As the project’s success grows, the altcoin’s attempts to help more charities will increase, solidifying it as one of the most interesting new altcoins in the Chinese crypto market. was chosen as the recipient of this donation due to its relentless commitment to end all water-related crises on the planet. By taking this novel technique, LBD seeks to pique the interest of crypto enthusiasts in China who might not have otherwise offered their support.

We all want a safe environment for us and our upcoming generations, don’t we? Currently, the majority of altcoins are without a real mission. LBD, however, serves a more significant role. They hope that they will assist China in the fight against global warming. 

As per their Chinese community channel, they’re also hoping to attract current influential climate change supporters like Leonardo DiCaprio and Greta Thunberg, both of whom will assist bring extra visibility to the idea to launch many DeFi campaigns in their ecosystem. These efforts will help fundraise for climate change projects and increase awareness of less well-known activists.

The buyback function is a crucial aspect of the LBD’s strategy. It lowers supply and enhances demand, which results in an immediate effect on price when engaged. Six percent of each sale will be taxed, which will help to boost the market value of the remaining tokens. Also, this function will minimize whale manipulation in the market. With a substantial tax on sales, buyback should deter whales from selling large amounts of the coin.

There is an intention by the LBD team to place the token in the hands of the community. To achieve this, holders are compensated via prompt auto-staking of 2% of transaction volume. Additionally, they can track the progress of their holdings in real-time, which makes profiting from their investment relatively easy.

In the cryptocurrency space, LBD’s community is one of the most unique. Investing in LBD is about much more than financial gain. It’s all about protecting the earth by supporting global warming measures. Consequently, it will attract a group of climate-conscious investors in China who want to make money and save the planet’s future.

The Bottom Line

It is a no-brainer that LBD brings something extra to the table. LBD, unlike other cryptocurrencies, has unique features, especially its passion for the fight for a better environment and its commitment to put the token in the hands of the community. For crypto lovers who also want to make the world a better place, LBD is the perfect match for you.

For more information, visit their website and socials:

How To Move Or Change The Location Of My Documents Folder

By default, the My Documents folder is located in Windows XP and Windows Vista is located on the same drive or partition as the operating system. This is fine for anyone who has only a single drive or a single partition on their computers, such as the C drive, but if you have more than one physical or logical drive on your computer, it’s best to move your My Documents folder off the system drive.

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That means in Windows 7/8.1, you have to manually change the location for each of these system folders if you want to move them. In Windows XP, all the other folders were inside the My Documents folder. I prefer the setup in Windows 7/8.1 because I normally don’t need to move all of the system folders, just one or two.

So you might be asking why I would be recommending this? Here are the main two reasons I’ve moved the My Documents folder:

1. Free up precious hard drive space on the system partition – With all of the monthly updates for Office and Windows, my C drive was getting close to becoming full! Also, other system files like the paging file, system restore files, and hibernation files are all stored on the system partition. Once I moved the data off, I gave space-hogging Windows more space to live and breathe.

2. Easy backup and recovery of data in case of Windows crash – The best reason to move the My Documents folder is to better help protect your data. For example, if Windows crashes on you one day and you have to perform a reinstall, then all of your data will be lost if you didn’t have a backup. However, if your data is on the D drive, let’s say, and your Windows partition craps out, you can reinstall a fresh copy of Windows on the C drive and the rest of your data remains intact!

Of course, this will not save your data if the entire hard drive fails physically and your My Documents folder is on the same drive, just in a different partition, but there have been many occasions in my time when Windows has become unusable due to a virus, spyware or other calamity of sorts.

Using Libraries in Windows 7/8.1

Before we get into the actual steps for moving the different system folders in Windows, let’s talk about libraries as they are a pretty good solution for most people. Instead of physically moving the system folders to another location, you can simply move your data to wherever you like and then add that folder to one of the special libraries: Documents, Music, Pictures, Video.

This does not copy or move the contents of that folder to the library, it simply creates a shortcut to the folder, but it won’t look like a shortcut. It’ll seem as if the folder is actually located in that folder, where in reality it could be on a totally different disk.

In Windows 8.1, Microsoft suddenly hid the libraries feature for no apparent reason, even though it still exists. So instead of seeing Libraries in the left-hand menu in Explorer, you’ll see This PC with links to the system folders (Documents, Pictures, etc).

As I mentioned earlier, using libraries is a good alternative in case you don’t want to move a lot of data around from their current locations.

Move My Documents in Windows 7/8.1

Move My Documents Folder in Windows XP

To Guard Against Climate Change, Los Angeles Is Painting Its Streets White

Labor Day weekend delivered record-breaking temperatures to California as a heat wave swept the state, fanning the flames of the largest wildfire Los Angeles has seen in decades. The unusually warm weather bears the mark of climate change, which is fueling record heat around the globe.

While politicians elsewhere waffle on climate change, officials in Los Angeles are tackling the problem head on with a radical plan to lower the temperature of the city. Mayor Eric Garcetti intends to cut the average temperature in LA by 3 degrees F over the next two decades. As part of that effort, LA streets are getting a new coat of paint.

Cities are prone to overheating, thanks to something called the urban heat island effect. Cities tend to be short on trees, which provide shade, and they are covered with black pavement, which absorbs heat from the sun. Think of how it feels to wear a dark shirt versus a white shirt on a sunny day. A black shirt absorbs light, heating you up. But a white shirt reflects light, keeping you cool.

Densely populated cities tend to be warmer than surrounding areas. Heat Island Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The average temperature in a city of a million or more people can be more than 5 degrees F hotter than surrounding areas. That extra 5 degrees can turn a hot day from uncomfortable to deadly. As temperatures rise, cities will be an especially dangerous place to be during a heat wave, as sweltering weather threatens heat exhaustion, among other maladies. To protect public health, city officials are going to make the city cooler.

Today Los Angeles became the first place in California to install a cool pavement treatment on a public street! Ten deg cooler on summer aft chúng tôi LA Street Services (@BSSLosAngeles) May 20, 2023

CoolSeal will help Angelinos save money during the summer, when air conditioning sends power bills soaring. And it will save lives by lowering temperatures and improving air quality. Hot weather worsens air pollution by turning car exhaust into smog, which can make life miserable for people with asthma and other respiratory conditions.

Of course, LA will have to do more than paint over a few streets to cool off the city. Angelinos will also need to plant more trees and apply white paint to rooftops — at least those not already covered in solar panels. While LA is a pioneer of reflective streets, other cities, like New York, are already experimenting with reflective roofs or, like Melbourne, lowering the temperature by planting trees. LA is hardly alone in its effort to stay cool.

“This is an urgent challenge, and it’s much bigger than one person,” said Mayor Garcetti in a recent statement. “Climate change is a fact of life that people in Los Angeles and cities around the world live with every day.”

Jeremy Deaton writes for Nexus Media, a syndicated newswire covering climate, energy, policy, art and culture. You can follow him @deaton_jeremy. Mina Lee contributed to this report.

If Climate Change Is Impacting Your Desire To Have Kids, You’re Not Alone

We already know that climate change causes bounds of anxiety in some of today’s youth, but a new preprint in The Lancet also brings up a specific type of anxiety—whether or not to have kids amid some horrific climate change-induced disasters. 

“I meet a lot of young girls who ask whether it’s still OK to have children,” 25-year-old climate activist Luisa Neubauer told the Guardian. “It’s a simple question, yet it tells so much about the climate reality we are living in.”

Why young people may be hesitant to have kids 

According to this new research, which was led by psychologists from the University of Bath and still has to go through peer review, 40 percent of the 10,000 young people included in an international survey said they were hesitant to have kids in the future. This could be for one of a few reasons, says Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, an associate professor of environmental studies at Yale-NUS College in Singapore, who was not involved in the new study but has done research on eco-reproductive concerns—the first of which is “fears or concerns that one’s child will not have a good life.”

Considering the state of the planet right now, with increasingly dangerous weather and pollution, this isn’t an irrational fear. “People feel rightly scared that we aren’t on the right track,” says Kimberly Nicholas, an associate professor of sustainability science at Lund University in Sweden who was not involved in the new study. “Governments aren’t upholding their promises to reduce emissions fast enough.” In 2023, Schneider-Mayerson published a paper that showed that in 600 surveyed people between the ages of 27 to 45, 96 percent were either “very” or “extremely concerned” about how their kids would fare in a future marred by climate change. 

[Related: Kids are suffering from climate anxiety. It’s time for adults to do something.]

Another reason, Schneider-Mayerson says, is the carbon footprint of raising a baby, which can be surprisingly significant. Nicholas and colleague Seth Wyne’s 2023 paper demonstrated how having a child in a developed country totals around 58.6 tons of CO2-equivalent emissions per year—the biggest long-term impact a person can make on the Earth’s climate. “Environmentalists have taken that very seriously and want to do everything they can, and so some of them are having smaller families or not having children at all,” Schneider-Mayerson adds.

Not everyone is ditching parenthood

On the flip side of the coin, some adults that care about climate change argue that it’s essential to keep having children, Schneider-Mayerson says. Having kids may give individuals a stronger reason to stay on top of the crisis because they have a personal stake in the future. 

“The focus tends to be a lot more on worrying about a child having a hard life or a big carbon footprint,” Schneider-Mayerson says. “But I found that parents were concerned about investment in environmental politics. People say, ‘If I choose not to have kids, I don’t have a reason to care about the future, so I’m going to have kids to maintain this care about the future.’”

Another, slightly cynical reason Schneider-Mayerson mentions is that someone has to raise the next generation of environmentalists. Parents who ignore or deny the existence of climate change probably aren’t addressing it with their families. For some climate scientists and activists, that’s a little scary considering how many of their peers aren’t having kids, he says.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that your kids will turn out to be warriors for the planet—conservative parents sometimes end up raising radical leftist kids and vice versa, Schneider-Mayerson explains. Having kids in the hopes they’ll end up changing the fate of the planet is perhaps not the best thing to hinge a life-changing decision on.

So, what’s the right decision here?

At the end of the day, climate change can be part of your child-having discussion, but don’t let it be the only one. “I think the personal decision about having kids comes down to values,” Nicholas says. 

[Related: It’s about time adults start rising up against climate change.]

Besides, if you’re stressing about the potential carbon footprint of your offspring, there are ways to keep lowering it even as your family grows: Ditching your car, flying less, and eating meat on limited days of the week are three big changes you can make right now to slash your personal emissions. Some parents, such as Keya Chatterjee, now the Executive Director of the US Climate Action Network, take it even further by installing solar panels on their homes and buying baby products in bulk.

“It’s a human right to decide whether or not you want a child,” Nicholas says. “It’s not a human right to drive an SUV or fly in planes.”

On the other hand, no one should feel forced into being a parent. Wanting to have kids or not is a deeply personal decision, so follow your gut if you feel strongly one way or the other.

“There are so many factors involved, even for people whose number one concern is climate change,” says Schneider-Mayerson. “There’s still going to be nine or ten other factors for them and things that they aren’t even conscious of.”

Correction: This post originally credited the survey of 600 people between the ages of 27 to 45, 96 percent were either “very” or “extremely concerned” about children in the future of climate change to Kimberly Nicholas, but the study was actually done by Matthew Schneider-Mayerson.

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