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Britain went 90 hours without using coal for electricity, breaking its previous record.

TheUK has just completed a full week without using coal, for the first time since the first coal-fired power station for public use was opened in London in 1882.

The National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) said on Twitter that at 1.24 p.m. on Wednesday, the UK had officially gone 168 hours without coal — seven days exactly.

“While this is the first time this has happened, I predict it will become the new normal,” said Fintan Slye, director of ESO, in a statement.


The new 168-hour record significantly beats the previous record for UK electricity generation without coal — which was reportedly set over Easter weekend, when the UK went 90 hours and 45 minutes without coal.

It means that overall in 2019, the UK hasgone over 1,000 hours without coal — reportedly putting the country on track to beat all of itsprevious annual records.

Coal is one of the worst contributors to carbon emissions and global warming.

BusinessSecretary Greg Clark said this was a “huge leap forward in our world-leading efforts to reduce emissions, but we’re not stopping there.

“We’re now on a path to become the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions,” he added.

Clark was referring to the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) recommended targets for Britain, which were published last week.

The CCC, the independent adviser to the government on climate change, called on the UK to set legally-binding targets to cut carbon emissions to nearly zero by 2050, including emissions from aviation and shipping.

Hitting these targets would “stop the UK’s contribution to global warming” and would be achievable at low cost through UK domestic effort, according to the CCC.

A temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100 is considered the threshold for dangerous levels of climate change and, according to the CCC, if we’re going to stay below that rise we need global greenhouse emissions to hit zero by 2070 — and carbon dioxide (CO2)emissions need to be at zero by around 2050.

“As more and more renewables come onto our energy system, weekends likethis are going to increasingly seem like the ‘new normal,’” a National Grid ESO spokesperson told the Independent, about the latest coal-free record.

“We believe that by 2025 we will be able to fully operate Great Britain’s electricity system with zero carbon,” the spokesperson added.

“The transformation of how we get the energy to heat our homes and power our work is a massive change, but the advantages it brings in terms of green energy far outweigh any challenges,” they said.

Total coal power use for Britain has fallen by almost two-thirds for thefirst months of this year, compared to the same four month period in2018, according to BusinessGreen.

There are now reportedly just six coal-fired power stations operational in the UK, which are mainly used for back up during peak demand or when supplies drop from other means.

Back in 2014, coal was the main energy source for Britain, but it is now sixth on the list —behind gas, nuclear, wind, imports, and biomass.

Britain and Canada joined forces in 2017 to launch thePowering Past Coal Alliance, which is a voluntary coalition of governments, businesses, and other organizations.

As part of this, the UK pledged to close all of its coal power stations by 2025, and Canada pledged to do the same by 2030. There are now 80 members of the coalition, reported BusinessGreen.

But concerns have been raised about the increasing reliance on gas, given that it’s also a fossil fuel — although less harmful than coal.

The2008 Climate Change Act requires greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced by 80% compared with 1990 levels by 2050.

Muna Suleiman, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, told the BBC: “Electricity generated by renewable sources is a key part of the fight against climate chaos so it’s time to remove all the blockers to renewable energy.”

She added: “The government must prioritize the development of sources such as solar and onshore wind.”

This article originally appeared on Global Citizen. You can read it here.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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