Something to keep in mind…
is the inability
to separate yourself
from identifying your personhood
and your value
from the “stuff” that you own
The following is a comment from caucus99percent.com by WoodsDweller
For most of Earth’s history it would not have supported human life. For most of humanity’s history (about 300,000 years) the climate would not have supported agriculture. Climate extremes have occurred in the past, the worst ones were associated with the five mass extinctions. This is mass extinction number six, associated with a climate shift.
We know what the absorption spectrum of CO2, CH4, NO2, H2O, etc., are. If you want to debate that, get your own mass spectrograph and run the experiments yourself. They transmit visible light but are opaque to infrared. Increase their concentration in the atmosphere and the equilibrium temperature of the Earth goes up. Simple physics, it gets complicated when you introduce albedo changes (due to ice and snow cover and changes in vegetation, as well as sea level changes). Trying to predict the transition is tough, but the end result is predictable. Other factors, like variation in the Sun’s output, have been accounted for and they are measurable but insignificant.
The increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is far less than the amount of carbon we’ve extracted and burned (the majority has been absorbed by the oceans). In earlier ages, other factors accounted for warming, this time it’s us.
You are correct in pointing out the roles of other GHGs. The IPCC fifth assessment barely mentioned anything beyond CO2, the interim assessment started to address them. By sheer coincidence their OMG date moved from the end of the century to the middle. There is a concept of “CO2 equivalent” which includes other GHGs. CO2 levels are about 414 (ish) ppm, the CO2 equivalent is well over 600.
The rate of change is at least as important as the magnitude of the change, and this rate is unprecedented. It far exceeds the ability of higher species to adapt either by behavior or evolution. Species that can’t adapt fast enough go extinct.
There is a concept of “co-extinction”. When the species you depend on die back or go extinct, your species goes extinct even when the conditions aren’t enough to kill you directly. A paper published last fall (a simulation) showed that an abrupt 5.5 C temperature rise is enough to wipe out all life on Earth. They walked the results back, saying that it’s hard to believe all life goes, but those were the results. Note that that level is lower than hot house Earth, probably the most common condition over the last 2 billion years, but that rate of change is devastating. There is reason to believe we’ll see that much change by the end of the century.
Climate change isn’t our “ww2”. I wish it was merely global thermonuclear war. It’s much worse. There’s a non-zero chance that the Earth will be as sterile as the Moon within a century or two.
Industrial civilization is utterly devastating to the ecosystem. This is the solution to Fermi’s Paradox, the reason we don’t hear any signs of alien civilizations. Civilization destroys worlds.
HOT AIR NEWS ROUNDUP
This is an inspiring article…
In the Face of Climate Collapse, We Need the Wisdom of Elders
Elders or no, life is conspiring to catalyze new identity as life’s support systems collapse. A Great Initiation is under way on the planet, affecting all of us, as natural and human systems fail and we are all asked to transform our familiar and preferred lifestyles. Our former selves are being sponged out, mashed, decimated… rarely ushered out gracefully or without pain. At times, life presents a person who carries the spirit of elderhood to ease the way.
Global Assessment Animation
‘Business as Usual Is a Death Sentence’: Hundreds of Youth Activists Sit In at DNC Headquarters to Demand 2020 Debate on Climate Crisis
Common Dreams 6-25-19
Hundreds of youth activists held a sit-in at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday to demand a climate-specific presidential debate that treats the planetary crisis with the urgency and seriousness it deserves. … The youth-led protest comes just over 24 hours before the first of two scheduled 2020 Democratic primary debates in Miami, Florida is set to take place Wednesday against a backdrop of a 17,000-acre wildfire in the Everglades.
France failing to tackle climate emergency, report says
The Guardian 6-25-19
The report handed to the prime minister, Édouard Philippe, on Tuesday night suggests that everyday life in France does not match the political promises. France needs to seriously strengthen its climate policies – particularly on transport, car use and building renovation – if it is to meet its commitments under the Paris climate agreement
Climate change targets: ‘Northern Ireland is playing catch-up’
Northern Ireland is the only devolved administration without its own climate change legislation and targets for emissions cuts, though it does contribute to a wider UK target. Any targets are likely to cover agriculture, transport, energy supply and domestic heating, which all made a substantial contribution to Northern Ireland’s 2016 greenhouse gas emissions of 20 million tonnes of carbon equivalent. Mr Stark said the CCC was “constrained” in how it could advise politicians on measures here because of the absence of legislation.
The climate is changing so fast that cities could struggle to adapt
Yale Climate Connections 6-24-19
She says decision-making for adaptation projects like sea walls often moves at a glacial pace. Stakeholders must all weigh in. But getting everyone on the same page can be tough when climate change affects large, interconnected regions. Consider California’s Bay area: Grossman: “You’re thinking about 9 counties and 101 cities coming together and figuring out what should be the sea-level rise strategy for all the cities together. And if I build a seawall in Mountain View, it could flood Fremont. If I don’t build a seawall in Berkeley, it could interrupt the commute for the people from Contra Costa County. So we’re very interdependent and our government structures are very isolated and segregated.”
Wildfires fueled by climate change will mean shorter lives for many Americans
LA TImes 6-25-19
Climate change in the Western U.S. means more intense and frequent wildfires churning out waves of smoke that scientists say will sweep across the continent, affecting tens of millions of people and causing a jump in premature deaths. That emerging reality is prompting people in cities and rural areas alike to prepare for another summer of sooty skies along the West Coast and in the Rocky Mountains — the regions widely expected to suffer most from blazes tied to dryer, warmer conditions.
Thirteen journalists who were investigating damage to the environment have been killed in recent years. This is a long article with an extensive chart of the killings. Go read the whole thing…
Environment reporters facing harassment and murder, study finds
The Guardian 6-17-19
The first investigation concerns a Tanzanian mine where journalists trying to investigate its activities and relationships found themselves harassed and their stories spiked following pressure from police and state authorities. The allegations concern villagers being displaced and shot dead by police and security guards. A number of women have spoken of being raped by guards.
Capitalism = Extinction?
The Real News 6-19-19
In her Jacobin article ‘Socialism or Extinction,’ climate bureau producer Dharna Noor boils down the UN’s IPBES report to help us see what could lie ahead and how it is related to our economic system
[VIDEO] 14 mins
Here is the article referred to in the above video. Well worth reading…
Socialism or Extinction
Jocobin Magazine 6-15-19
A new report says that human action is driving one million plant and animal species to extinction. But it’s not just any human action: it’s the choices of a tiny minority of wealthy and powerful people.
Global Warming Pushes Microbes into Damaging Climate Feedback Loops
Inside Climate News 6-19-19
All life on Earth evolved from microorganisms in the primordial slime, and billions of years later, the planet’s smallest life forms—including bacteria, plankton and viruses—are still fundamental to the biosphere. They cycle minerals and nutrients through soil, water and the atmosphere. They help grow and digest the food we eat. Without microbes, life as we know it wouldn’t exist. Now, global warming is supercharging some microbial cycles on a scale big enough to trigger damaging climate feedback loops, research is showing.
A Democratic Think Tank Is Promoting Pushback Against Climate Lawsuits
The fossil fuel industry is pushing back, taking a page out of Big Tobacco’s playbook to rein in that liability litigation, and getting help from an unexpected source. Behind the scenes, politically affiliated groups are quietly providing support. One of the outfits promoting the efforts to counter the slew of climate lawsuits is none other than the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), a center-left Washington, D.C.-based think tank with links to the Democratic party.
LEGISLATION, ELECTIONS & POLICY
New York State Reaches Landmark Deal on Green New Deal-Style Climate Bill
Climate Change News 6-18-19
New York lawmakers reached a deal late Sunday night to pass one of the most ambitious climate bills in the nation, setting the Empire State on a course to shape what the Green New Deal could look like at a state level. The agreement to pass the so-called Climate & Communities Protection Act calls for New York to eliminate 85% of its overall planet-warming emissions by 2050, while offsetting or capturing the other 15%. The deal mandates 35% of state energy funding go to low-income, polluted communities, but sets a goal of investing 40%. The final legislation requires all state-financed energy projects to pay union wages.
Agriculture Department buries studies showing dangers of climate change
The Trump administration has refused to publicize dozens of government-funded studies that carry warnings about the effects of climate change, defying a longstanding practice of touting such findings by the Agriculture Department’s acclaimed in-house scientists. … All of these studies were peer-reviewed by scientists and cleared through the non-partisan Agricultural Research Service, one of the world’s leading sources of scientific information for farmers and consumers.
Cognitive Dissonance: Canada Declares a National Climate Emergency and Approves a Pipeline
On June 18, the government of Canada declared a national climate emergency. The next day, the same government approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (TMX), which will be able to move almost 600,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta to the Port of Burnaby in British Columbia. If this seems like a contradiction, you are not alone. To date, Canada is the largest single jurisdiction to have declared a national climate emergency, following nations like Scotland, regions like Catalonia in Spain and cities like Vancouver and San Francisco.
The embattled oilsands pipeline has become a proxy battle, pitting the urgency of the climate crisis against near-term economic concerns. This tells the gnarly political history of the pipeline…
Why we’ll be talking about the Trans Mountain pipeline for a long while yet
The Trans Mountain pipeline was an audacious undertaking even in its current form. Its 1,150 km length runs — as the name implies — across the Rocky Mountains, from Edmonton to Burnaby. It’s the only pipeline to do so in Canada. … Both the Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish First Nations, in whose traditional territory the pipeline ends, celebrated the court’s decision against Trans Mountain and have urged the government to reject it (other First Nations along the route have signed their support for it).
More lawsuits will almost certainly be filed.
EU leaders fail to agree on 2050 climate goal
European Union leaders failed Thursday to back a plan to make the bloc’s economy carbon neutral by 2050 in spite of promises to protesters across the continent to fight harder against climate change. … According to French president Emmanuel Macron and several other diplomatic sources, 24 countries including Britain, France and Germany supported the initiative, but were held back by Poland and three other nations which heavily depend on a fossil-fuel economy.
Japan waters down G20 climate commitment ahead of leaders’ summit
Climate Change News 6-25-19
Japan has drafted a weak statement on climate action as host of a G20 leaders’ summit later this week, in an apparent bid to keep the US onside. The draft communique, seen by Climate Home News, follows a G20 environment ministerial last week in which all countries but the US reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the Paris Agreement. The document shows efforts from Japan to build consensus with the US at a time when the two countries are negotiating a trade deal. But other G20 members, including the European Union, are expected to push for more ambitious language even at the expense of US endorsement.
Oregon Republicans Flee Capitol to Avoid Voting on Climate Bill
Democracy Now 6-25-19
In Oregon, state lawmakers are entering day six of a standoff after 11 Republican senators fled the state Capitol last week to avoid voting on a landmark climate change bill. Some are believed to be hiding out in Idaho. In an unbelievable turn of events, threats of violence from right-wing militias supporting the rogue GOP legislators then led the remaining lawmakers to shut down the state Capitol in Salem over the weekend. Oregon Democratic Governor Kate Brown sent out the state police to track down the senators last week. She said Monday she won’t negotiate with the lawmakers until they return to the Capitol.
Clouds dominate uncertainties in predicting future Greenland melt
New research led by climate scientists from the University of Bristol suggests that the representation of clouds in climate models is as, or more, important than the amount of greenhouse gas emissions when it comes to projecting future Greenland ice sheet melt. Recent research shows that the whole of the Greenland ice sheet could be gone within the next thousand years, raising global sea level by more than seven metres. … The difference in potential melt caused by clouds, mainly stems from their ability to control the longwave radiation at the surface of the ice sheet. They act like a blanket. The highest melt simulation has the thickest blanket (thickest clouds) with strongest warming at the surface which leads to two times more melt. Conversely, the lower end melt simulation has the thinnest blanket (thinnest clouds) which in turn leads to less longwave warming at the surface and less melt over Greenland.
New evidence shows rapid response in the West Greenland landscape to Arctic climate shifts
Science Daily 6-19-19
Evidence from an Arctic ecosystem experiencing rapid climate change reveals surprisingly tight coupling of environmental responses to climate shifts. Links between abrupt climate change and environmental response have long been considered delayed or dampened by internal ecosystem dynamics, or only strong when climate shifts are large in magnitude. The research team presents evidence that climate shifts of even moderate magnitude can rapidly force strong, pervasive environmental changes across a high-latitude system.
New research shows an iceless Greenland may be in our future
Science Dialy 6-19-19
New research shows that Greenland may be ice-free by the year 3000. This research uses new data on the landscape under the ice to make breakthroughs in modeling the island’s future. The findings show if greenhouse gas concentrations remain on their current path, the melting ice from Greenland alone could contribute as much as 24 feet to global sea level rise by the time it disappears.
Study Predicts More Long-Term Sea Level Rise from Greenland Ice
Capturing the changing flow and speed of outlet glacier melt makes the updated ice sheet model more accurate than previous models, according to the authors. As ocean waters have warmed over the past 20 years, they have melted the floating ice that shielded the outlet glaciers from their rising temperatures. As a result, the outlet glaciers flow faster, melt and get thinner, with the lowering surface of the ice sheet exposing new ice to warm air and melting as well. “Once we had access to satellite observations, we were able to capture the surface velocity of the whole Greenland Ice Sheet and see how that ice flows. We recognized that some outlet glaciers flow very fast — orders of magnitude faster than the interior of the ice sheet,”
U.S. ups rhetoric in Arctic, but not its game
Eye on Arctic 6-26-19
The Secretary of Defense’s report on its Arctic Strategy went on to identify the central problem facing the Joint Force: its “eroding competitive edge against China and Russia.” That edge is not just metaphorical. It literally is dissolving in the Arctic, too. The NDAA 2020 (National Defense Authorization Act)
quotes General John Hyten, Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, as saying earlier this year during testimony to the U.S. Senate:
In particular, the Arctic is an area that we really need to focus on and really look at investing. That is no longer a buffer zone. We need to be able to operate there. We need to be able to communicate there. We need to have a presence there that we have not invested in in the same way that our adversaries have. And they see that as a vulnerability from us, whereas it is becoming a strength for them and it is a weakness for us, we need to flip that equation.
Antarctica & Greenland on the same scale with/without their ice sheets. Comparison highlights the difference in dimensions, sea level rise equivalent, bedrock topography, ice-ocean interface,… pic.twitter.com/i0d6iAQCH2 — Stef Lhermitte (@StefLhermitte) June 19, 2019
Great article with lots of graphs…
The Defense Department Is Worried About Climate Change — and Also a Huge Carbon Emitter
I have studied war and peace for four decades. But I only focused on the scale of U.S. military greenhouse gas emissions when I began co-teaching a course on climate change and focused on the Pentagon’s response to global warming. Yet, the Department of Defense is the U.S. government’s largest fossil fuel consumer, accounting for between 77% and 80% of all federal government energy consumption since 2001. In a newly released study published by Brown University’s Costs of War Project, I calculated U.S. military greenhouse gas emissions in tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from 1975 through 2017.
U.S. military consumes more hydrocarbons than most countries — massive hidden impact on climate
Science Dialy 6-201-9
Research shows the US military is one of the largest climate polluters in history, consuming more liquid fuels and emitting more CO2e (carbon-dioxide equivalent) than most countries. … The research provides an independent public assessment of the US military’s greenhouse gas emissions. It reports that if the US military were a nation state, it would be the 47th largest emitter of GHG in the world, if only taking into account the emission from fuel usage.
Former Shale Gas CEO Says Fracking Revolution Has Been ‘A Disaster’ For Drillers, Investors
Steve Schlotterbeck, who led drilling company EQT as it expanded to become the nation’s largest producer of natural gas in 2017, arrived at a petrochemical industry conference in Pittsburgh Friday morning with a blunt message about shale gas drilling and fracking. “The shale gas revolution has frankly been an unmitigated disaster for any buy-and-hold investor in the shale gas industry with very few limited exceptions,” Schlotterbeck, who left the helm of EQT last year, continued. “In fact, I’m not aware of another case of a disruptive technological change that has done so much harm to the industry that created the change.” “While hundreds of billions of dollars of benefits have accrued to hundreds of millions of people, the amount of shareholder value destruction registers in the hundreds of billions of dollars,” he said. “The industry is self-destructive.”
Next Round Of Jordan Cove LNG Public Hearings Planned For Southwest Oregon
If built, Jordan Cove would be the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in Oregon. Carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases released in the production, transport and burning of natural gas are a significant contributor to global climate change, which is causing weather extremes, longer wildfire seasons and sea level rise. … “Recognizing significant public interest for this project and in anticipation of a large turnout, FERC staff has chosen to allot more time for the public comment sessions than is typical,”
What the ‘Fossil Fuel Economy Looks Like’: Demands for Climate Justice After Explosion Rocks Philly Oil Refinery
The Guardian 6-21-19
“The refinery processes approximately 335,000 barrels of crude oil per day (42 U.S. gallons per barrel), making it the largest oil refining complex on the U.S. Eastern seaboard,” the company website states, adding that the facility “strives to be a good neighbor in our surrounding community.” It is also “the largest single source of particulate pollution in the Philadelphia area even when there isn’t an emergency,” … “It makes no
sense to continue handing out massive tax breaks to dangerous refineries like the Philadelphia Energy Solutions facility,”
Pope Francis Just Convinced These Big Oil CEOs to Alter Their Message on Climate Change
In a joint statement, they agreed to the need for a three-pronged approach that calls for further innovation and investment in sustainable energy solutions and the introduction of new carbon pricing mechanisms, and even carbon taxes. “Reliable and economically meaningful carbon pricing regimes,” are needed, the signatories said, “whether based on tax, trading mechanisms or other market-based measures, should be set by governments at a level that incentivizes business practices, consumer behavior, research, and investment to significantly advance the energy transition while minimizing the costs to vulnerable communities and supporting economic growth.” …The conversations among executives was primarily focused on accepted climate science and on practical market-based measures like carbon tax pricing and how to be more transparent with consumers and shareholders about the CO2 impact of day-to-day operations
My overarching concern about carbon dividends is that time is of the essence. A super majority requires 290 votes in the House of Representatives. H.R.763 has 51 co-sponsors at this moment. They have only one republican co-sponsor and to be effective, need more. As well, they probably need ~70 co-sponsors to get H.R.763 out of committee…
Energy Innovation & Carbon Dividend Act Dataset
However, H.R.763 differs from both the CF&D and the REMI study in several ways that could affect predicted outcomes and data…
3554 ECONOMISTS’ MAKE A STATEMENT ON CARBON DIVIDENDS – The Largest Public Statement of Economists in History
Climate Leadership Council
Signatories Include 3554 U.S. Economists: 4 Former Chairs of the Federal Reserve (All). 27 Nobel Laureate Economists, 15 Former Chairs of the Council of Economic Advisors, 2 Former Secretaries of the U.S. Department of Treasury.
Point 1 of 5: “A carbon tax offers the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary. By correcting a well-known market failure, a carbon tax will send a powerful price signal that harnesses the invisible hand of the marketplace to steer economic actors toward a low-carbon future.
Carbon tax or cap-and-trade?
Savid Suziki Foundation 10-5-17
Both cap-and-trade programs and carbon taxes can work well as long as they are designed to provide a strong economic signal to switch to cleaner energy. However, some differences exist.
Cap-and-trade has one key environmental advantage over a carbon tax: It provides more certainty about the amount of emissions reductions that will result and little certainty about the price of emissions (which is set by the emissions trading market).
A carbon tax provides certainty about the price but little certainty about the amount of emissions reductions. A carbon tax also has one key advantage: It is easier and quicker for governments to implement. A carbon tax can be very simple. It can rely on existing administrative structures for taxing fuels and can therefore be implemented in just a few months.
In theory, the same applies to cap-and-trade systems, but in practice they tend to be much more complex. More time is required to develop the necessary regulations, and they are more susceptible to lobbying and loopholes. Cap-and-trade also requires the establishment of an emissions trading market.
Cap and trade in two and a half minutes
California’s carbon marketplace is one of the tools the state is using to work toward its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions goal. Large industries under the cap have choices about how they comply, including paying for permissions to pollute.
Cap and Trade: What is it?
Yurok Tribe Tosses Cap in Trade Ring
North Coast Journal 2-11-14
The Yurok Tribe has entered the carbon trade market, joining with sustainable forestry investment group New Forests Inc. to sell carbon credits based on a 7,660-acre patch of Doug fir and mixed hardwood forest the tribe’s promised to manage for increased carbon sequestration. The tribe will be issued 704,520 credits, according to a news release from New Forests.
‘Hell is coming’: week-long heatwave begins across Europe
The Guardian 6-24-19
Meteorologists said temperatures would reach or even exceed 40C from Spain to Switzerland as hot air was sucked up from the Sahara by the combination of a storm stalling over the Atlantic and high pressure over central Europe. … Emmanuel Demaël of Météo-France said the heatwave was unprecedented “because it’s hitting so early in June – we haven’t seen this since 1947.” Record monthly and all-time highs were likely to be set in several parts of the country, Demaël predicted, and night-time temperatures were unlikely to fall below 20C.
Protective Wind Shear Barrier Against Hurricanes on Southeast U.S. Coast Likely to Weaken in Coming Decades
Weather Underground 6-24-19
It’s well-known that high wind shear—a large change in the wind speed and/or direction with height in the atmosphere—is hostile for hurricane development, since a strong vertical change in winds creates a shearing force that tends to tear a storm apart. … But research published last month led by Mingfang Ting of Colombia University, Past and Future Hurricane Intensity Change along the U.S. East Coast, found that the Southeast U.S. protective barrier of high wind shear is likely to weaken in coming decades due to global warming.
This Indian City Has Run Out Of Water Amid A Scorching Summer
International Business Times 6-18-19
Chennai, a city located in the southern part of India and with a population of 4.5 million, is going through a crippling water crisis due to poor rainfall and soaring temperatures. Reports said the demand for water in India’s sixth largest city has gone up by 47 percent from 750 MLD in 2008 to 1,100 MLD in 2018. A local media report said metro water supply has declined by 8% from 650 MLD to 600 MLD. The most startling fact is that ground water is running at an all time low because of absence of rain. Moreover, reservoirs are also drying up.
More on the lack of water in Chinnai, India’s 6th largest city…
Chennai, India’s 6th-Largest City, Has Almost Run Out of Water
Democracy Now 6-25-19
The four reservoirs that supply the 5 million residents of Chennai have nearly run dry, forcing many to use well water, which is not considered safe to drink, and water delivered into the city, for those who can afford it. Twenty-one Indian cities, including the capital, New Delhi, will run out of groundwater by 2020, affecting 100 million people, according to some forecasts. The water shortage is linked to the climate crisis, which has weakened the monsoon season
ADAPTION AND RESILIENCE
Stop using plastic. This is insane. A reborn US recycling industry will need domestic markets for clean, sorted recyclables. CarbonLite Industries, a leading US recycler of plastic beverage bottles, turns 4 billion plastic bottles a year into pellets that are turned back into drink bottles…
The US Recycling System Is Garbage
Seirra Club 6-26-19
Then in 2018, as part of a domestic crackdown on pollution, China banned imports of dirty foreign garbage. … That system changed in the 1990s, when a rapidly industrializing China started to aggressively import mixed paper and plastics from western countries to get feedstock for the products that it was manufacturing and exporting back to those same countries. This coincided with a consolidation of the US trash business into the current dominance of a few large corporations … As early as 2013, China began warning US recyclers that it intended to address its own environmental problems and would limit contamination of recycling imports to 0.5 percent. … “What this crisis is really about,” says Vinod Singh, outreach manager for Far West Recycling in Portland, Oregon, “is shifting from the artificial situation China created, in which recycling more than paid for itself as a commodity, to the new reality of recycling as a cost.” The economics were shocking. Stamford, Connecticut, went from earning $95,000 from its recyclables in 2017 to paying $700,000 in 2018 to get rid of them. … A reborn US recycling industry will need domestic markets for clean, sorted recyclables. CarbonLite Industries, a leading US recycler of plastic beverage bottles, turns 4 billion plastic bottles a year into pellets that are turned back into drink bottles. … “Why are people sitting around for hours in coffee shops drinking out of paper cups?” Bourque asks. “It’s absurd when reusable ceramic cups are such a better option.”
Scientists map huge undersea fresh-water aquifer off US Northeast
In a new survey of the sub-seafloor off the U.S. Northeast coast, scientists have made a surprising discovery: a gigantic aquifer of relatively fresh water trapped in porous sediments lying below the salty ocean. It appears to be the largest such formation yet found in the world. The aquifer stretches from the shore at least from Massachusetts to New Jersey, extending more or less continuously out about 50 miles to the edge of the continental shelf. If found on the surface, it would create a lake covering some 15,000 square miles. The study suggests that such aquifers probably lie off many other coasts worldwide, and could provide desperately needed water for arid areas that are now in danger of running out.
‘Farming While Black’ author Leah Penniman wants to create a just, climate-friendly food system
YALE Climate Connections 6-19-19
Penniman: “If you look at every step in the food system from producer to consumer, there’s unfair distribution of resources.” She says few people of color own their own farms … yet they make up the bulk of the agricultural workforce. And in cities, minority communities often lack access to affordable, fresh produce. So Soul Fire Farm helps urban dwellers start growing vegetables on city lots. This gives them access to healthy food without trucking it long distances. Penniman: “The more we can grow food close to home – extremely close to home, like within 10 or 100 feet – the less impact we’re going to have on the climate.”
More energy needed to cope with climate change
PHYS ORG 6-21-19
Mid-century, climate change will increase the demand for energy globally, even with modest warming. … “The lower the level of income per person, the larger the share of income that families need to spend to adapt to a given increase in energy demand,” says Bas van Ruijven, a researcher with the IIASA Energy Program and lead author of the study. “Some scenarios in our study assume continued population growth and in those cases temperature increases by 2050 could expose half a billion people in the lowest-income countries in the Middle-East and Africa to increases in energy demand of 25 percent or higher.
Which climates are best for passive cooling technologies?
Researchers set out to gain a better understanding of the thermal balance of power plants and surfaces, like heliostat mirrors or solar panels, when exposed to both solar (shortwave) and atmospheric (longwave) radiation. They quickly realized that they would first need to determine what roles cloud cover and relative humidity play in the transparency of the atmosphere to radiation at temperatures common on Earth. … “Because of the physical processes involved, locations with drier atmospheres and the most frequent clear skies are the most appropriate for deploying passive cooling technologies.”
WILDLIFE & THE ENVIRONMENT
Roads and deforestation explode in the Congo basin
PHYS ORG 6-24-19
Logging roads are expanding dramatically in the Congo Basin, leading to catastrophic collapses in animal populations living in the world’s second-largest rainforest, according to research co-led by a scientist at James Cook University in Australia. Just as worrying is that the rate of forest destruction caused by new roads in the Congo Basin has risen sharply over time, quadrupling since 2000. … “When you build a new road, you get 2-3 times more deforestation in the DRC than anywhere else in the Congo Basin,” said Laurance.
South African forests show pathways to a sustainable future
Science Daily 6-19-19
Native forests make up 1percent of the landscape in South Africa but could play a key role in reducing atmospheric carbon and identifying sustainable development practices that can be used globally to counter climate change. … “Understanding what is an optimal level of productivity extraction from the natural system so we’re not degrading the system is an area of interest. We’re trying to figure out what the balance between forest productivity and resource extraction is.”
Pine woodland restoration creates haven for birds in Midwest, MU study finds
Restoration of pine woodlands, through the combined use of intentional, managed fires and strategic thinning of tree density, has a strikingly beneficial effect on a diverse array of birds, some of which are facing sharp declines from human-driven impacts like climate change and habitat loss. … The researchers found that the restored pine woodland created an open canopy and a lush ground layer, and was ideal for allowing a balance between species that prefer less tree density and canopy cover with those that prefer more. Several of the birds that were observed thriving in this habitat are in decline elsewhere, including the Red-headed Woodpecker and the Prairie Warbler.
PROTESTS • EXTINCTION REBELLION • RESISTANCE
This is a great rundown of all the different protests…
Climate Action: Can We Change the Climate From the Grassroots Up?
Alarming headlines regarding the climate crisis often overshadow positive actions taken by citizens around the world, but that doesn’t mean they’re not happening. They are, and sometimes with considerable success. DW looks at some civil society victories.
Blocking Fossil Fuels: Despite scientific warnings, governments and companies continue to green light fossil fuel projects around the world. But in many instances, these authorizations are accompanied by protests.
‘Fund Climate Solutions, Not Endless War’: 22 Arrested Demanding US Build Windmills, Not Warships
Common Dreams 6-22-19
Twenty-two climate and anti-war campaigners were arrested in the small town of Bath, Maine on Saturday as they held a direct action calling for conversion of the United State’s major weapons manufacturing facilities into places where the urgently needed economic and renewable energy transition can be realized.
‘Climate of urgency’: Tensions rising amid Greenpeace’s BP protests
BP has serviced an injunction against Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise amid growing tensions between the oil giant and the environmentalist group. The action is aimed at preventing the vessel from joining protestors onboard an oil rig in the North Sea near Cromarty, Scotland. Greenpeace said it wants to stop the rig from going out to the Vorlich field “where BP hopes to access 30 million barrels of oil”.
Climate protesters storm open-pit mine in western Germany
Hundreds of environmental activists broke through a police cordon to enter one of Germany’s biggest lignite coal mines Saturday, determined to draw attention to the urgency of climate change after a plan to make the European Union carbon neutral by 2050 failed to find agreement. Police ordered the activists to leave the vast, open-pit Garzweiler mine in western Germany, citing life-threatening dangers. … The occupation was among several demonstrations near the mine and adjacent power plants that attracted thousands of people to the village of Hochneukirch and surrounding Rhineland areas.
Fridays for Future
Tens of thousands join climate strike in New Zealand
Tens of thousands of school students left classes and joined protests in cities and towns throughout New Zealand last Friday, as part of the second coordinated wave of school strikes this year, involving 119 countries. The protests, demanding action to address climate change and the environmental crisis, were also joined by significant numbers of workers and university students. Protests were held at 24 locations around the country. Thousands of people staged a rally and lie-in on Queen Street and Aotea Square in central Auckland. In Wellington, students marched to parliament. Thousands more protested in Christchurch, Dunedin, Nelson, New Plymouth, Hamilton and other towns.
‘Flygskam’ is the Swedish travel trend that could shake the global airline industry
Market Watch 6-21-19
And in Sweden, where teen climate activist Greta Thunburg, 15, has led the charge to eschew air travel altogether, the growing stigma against leaving a large carbon footprint has allowed the term “flygskam” — Swedish for “flight shame” — to take off in Europe. In fact, Sweden’s main train operator, SJ, told the Associated Press that it sold 1.5 million more tickets in 2018 than the previous year as more people ride the rails to reduce their own carbon emissions. The train company reported that the number of business passengers rose 12% in the first three months of this year. … The U.S. rail network isn’t nearly as extensive or as fast; 80% of it is dedicated to long-distance freights, and an Amtrak ride from San Antonio to Austin, just 80 miles apart, takes nearly 3 1/2 hours. No wonder people fly; U.S. airlines and foreign airlines serving the U.S. carried an all-time high of 1 billion scheduled service passengers in 2018, or a 4.8% increase over the previous record high of 955.4 million in 2017.
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70 Arrested at Extinction Rebellion Protest Demanding More Urgent Climate Coverage From New York Times
Seventy Extinction Rebellion protesters were arrested outside The New York Times building Saturday as they demanded the paper improve its coverage of the climate crisis, Reuters reported. Protesters briefly blocked traffic on Manhattan’s Eighth Avenue, between the Times building and the busy Port Authority Bus Terminal, The Guardian reported. Demonstrators staged a die-in on the street outside the paper’s headquarters. They also attached banners to the two buildings. The one affixed to Port Authority read “Climate Emergency,” and the banner suspended from the Times building read “climate change = mass murder,” with “change” crossed out and replaced with “emergency,” Reuters reported.
Climate rally disrupts State House session
Times Argus 6-16-19
Thursday’s protest followed last month’s five-day march from Middlebury to Montpelier by climate activist group 350VT, and this month’s Rally for the Planet by the Vermont Youth Lobby — both to lobby lawmakers do more to combat climate change. A large banner unfurled over the balcony read, “See you in January,” as did the leaflets rained down on legislators, telling them that student activists would return for the next session in the State House and continue to press their cause.
Protesters call for climate change action in front of Portland City Hall
A climate change protest outside City Hall blocked a few streets in downtown Portland Friday afternoon. The protest blocked Southwest 4th Avenue in front of City Hall for several hours but police said the traffic impact was minimal. City Hall was placed on lockdown during the demonstration. There were no reports of violence, police said.
Oceanographers investigate the ocean’s carbon-absorbing processes over time
Phys Org 6-21-19
Gaining a good understanding of the trends in the ocean’s carbon cycle is key to improving current models of carbon uptake by the Earth’s oceans. This information could, in turn, yield better climate predictions … “We started off looking at the rate at which CO2 was accumulating in the atmosphere, and then we compared that to the rate of emissions,” DeVries said. “One would expect basically that if you’re increasing emissions at 10 percent, the accumulation rate in the atmosphere should increase at 10 percent, for example. “But what we found is that the rate at which CO2 was accumulating in the atmosphere doesn’t necessarily track emissions,”
Scientists discover the forces behind extreme heat over Northeast Asia
“The extreme heat over Northeast Asia was caused by an anomalous anticyclone, which corresponded to the northwestward extension of the western North Pacific subtropical high and facilitated the occurrence of extreme heat via a subsidence anomaly,” … “The cyclonic anomaly over the western North Pacific was accompanied by anomalous convection, which favored descending and anticyclonic anomalies over Northeast Asia through a local meridional cell,” says Chen. The researchers further discovered that cooling over the southeastern tropical Indian Ocean contributed to the above anomalous atmospheric circulation. “Cooling over the southeastern tropical Indian Ocean would have favored the cyclonic anomaly over the western North Pacific by triggering anomalous cross-equatorial flow and a local meridional cell,”
Melting of Himalayan glaciers has doubled in recent years
Science Daily 6-19-19
A newly comprehensive study shows that melting of Himalayan glaciers caused by rising temperatures has accelerated dramatically since the start of the 21st century. The analysis, spanning 40 years of satellite observations across India, China, Nepal and Bhutan, indicates that glaciers have been losing the equivalent of more than a vertical foot and half of ice each year since 2000 — double the amount of melting that took place from 1975 to 2000. The study is the latest and perhaps most convincing indication that climate change is eating the Himalayas’ glaciers, potentially threatening water supplies for hundreds of millions of people downstream across much of Asia.
This is a comprehensive article…
Multiple studies demonstrate global warming is melting glaciers faster
A world-wide survey by a team based at the University of Zurich, published in the journal Nature (18 April 2019), reports that on average glacial melting is occurring at a rate 18 percent faster than was estimated only six years ago, and five times faster than in the 1960s. Collectively, this currently represents a loss of 369 billion tons of snow and ice per year. … Another recently published study predicted that even if global temperature rise was kept to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the Himalayas would lose one third of their glacial ice, but if current trends continue the loss could double. In either case, there will be dire consequences for downstream populations regarding agriculture, ecology, and hydropower. … The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University reports that the spring thaw on Greenland’s ice sheet as well as sea ice loss are occurring several weeks earlier than normal. The melting is the most extensive that has been observed since satellite measurements began in 1979. Air temperatures as much as 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 Celsius) above normal have been recorded.
Unexpected culprit: Wetlands as source of methane
Science Daily 6-19-19
Wetlands are an important part of the Earth’s natural water management system. The complex system of plants, soil, and aquatic life serves as a reservoir that captures and cleans water. However, as cities have expanded, many wetlands were drained for construction. In addition, many areas of land in the Midwest were drained to increase uses for agriculture to feed a growing world.
Ozone depletion driving climate change in Southern Hemisphere
PHYS ORG 6-24-19
Ozone depletion in the stratosphere continues to affect not only ultraviolet (UV) radiation levels at the Earth’s surface but also climate in the Southern Hemisphere, an international study reports. … “Ozone is a greenhouse gas, so the ozone hole has kept Antarctica cooler, pulling the westerly wind jet that circles the continent closer and tighter to Antarctica. This has increased the speed of the wind, making Antarctica cooler and drier, pulling other Southern Hemisphere weather zones further south.”
Another article about the same study…
Damage to the ozone layer and climate change forming feedback loop
“What we’re seeing is that ozone changes have shifted temperature and precipitation patterns in the southern hemisphere, and that’s altering where the algae in the ocean are, which is altering where the fish are, and where the walruses and seals are, so we’re seeing many changes in the food web,” … The report found that climate change may also be affecting the ozone layer and how quickly the ozone layer is recovering. “Greenhouse gas emissions trap more heat in the lower atmosphere which leads to a cooling of the upper atmosphere. Those colder temperatures in the upper atmosphere are slowing the recovery of the ozone layer,” Rose said.
Is glue the answer to climate change? A sticky solution could improve carbon capture materials
Science Daily 6-19-19
A small amount of cheap epoxy resin replaces bulky support materials in making effective carbon capture solid sorbents, developed by scientists. … “We show that small epoxy molecules typically found in glues can stick larger ones together to make effective carbon capture materials potentially useful to tackle climate change,” … The cross-linked material modified with a hydrophobic additive captured almost 20% of its weight in pure CO2 at 90 °C. This finding confirmed a previous hypothesis that the introduction hydrophobic groups can disrupt the internal structure of the material to promote CO2 uptake by the polyamine.
Paul Beckwith: “I declare a global climate change emergency to claw back up the rock face to attempt to regain system stability, or face an untenable calamity of biblical proportions.”
Kevin Hester: “There is no past analogue for the rapidity of what we are baring witness to. There has been a flood of articles … 2C is no longer attainable and that we are heading for dangerous climate change”
Magi Amma: We need to turn on a dime at mach nine!
• 1 gigatonne equals one billion tons
• 1 gigatonne of carbon equals 3.67 gigatonnes of CO2
• 1 part per million of atmospheric CO2 is equivalent to 7.81 gigatonnes of CO2