Something to keep in mind…
The elections have come and gone and they mean nothing for Climate Breakdown.
Any glimmer of truth uttered about the unraveling state of the climate is refuted, re-storied, ripped asunder. The few measures that were on the ballot were voted down, except for one in Nevada.
God forbid that a half a mile buffer between peoples’ homes and fracking operations could be voted in. Every penny of profit must be made and forget people.
We, the people, are covered in ‘Bernays‘ sauce and put on the back burner.
I do not believe for a moment that anything will ever be said to anyone or anything done about the encroaching sea level, the onslaught of glacial disintegration, the exponentially increasing disappearance of species…
People do not even know what exponential means, apparently.
It’s Not Just About Removing CO2, It’s About Maintaining Biodiversity
Stop biodiversity loss or we could face our own extinction, warns UN
The Guardian November 3, 2018
The world has two years to secure a deal for nature to halt a ‘silent killer’ as dangerous as climate change, says biodiversity chief. … But overall, she says, the picture is worrying. The already high rates of biodiversity loss from habitat destruction, chemical pollution and invasive species will accelerate in the coming 30 years as a result of climate change and growing human populations. By 2050, Africa is expected to lose 50% of its birds and mammals, and Asian fisheries to completely collapse. The loss of plants and sea life will reduce the Earth’s ability to absorb carbon, creating a vicious cycle. “The numbers are staggering,” says the former Romanian environment minister.
Almost all of the Earth’s land and ocean wilderness has disappeared
Cosmos November 1, 2018
An international team, led by Australia’s University of Queensland (UQ), has just mapped intact ocean ecosystems … “A century ago, only 15% of the Earth’s surface was used by humans to grow crops and raise livestock,” says James Watson, from UQ’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. “Today, more than 77% of land – excluding Antarctica – and 87% per cent of the ocean has been modified by the direct effects of human activities.
How global warming caused mass extinctions TWICE in Earth’s history
The Daily Mail October 23, 2018
Study finds they caused ocean acidity to rise and coral reefs to collapse • Researchers analyzed extinction rates from the Late Triassic and Early Toarcian • It’s been thought these warming events intensified extinction already underway • But, new analysis shows the warming dramatically changed extinction patterns • Researchers say reef systems collapsed as ocean temperatures and acidity rose
B.C. approved 83 logging cut blocks in endangered caribou habitat in last six months
The Narwhal October 23, 2018 [video:https://vimeo.com/284036743]
The B.C. government has approved dozens of new logging cut blocks in endangered mountain caribou critical habitat since May, conservation groups revealed at a Monday news conference that included renowned Canadian naturalist and artist Robert Bateman. The 83 new logging cut blocks, the equivalent of 11 Stanley Parks in size, are in the critical habitat of B.C.’s eight most imperilled southern mountain caribou populations, found mainly along the province’s eastern border.
Indonesia’s Last Forest Frontier: 3 Facts to Know About Papua
World Resources Institute November 6, 2018
With declining forest cover in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Papua is the last frontier of intact forest in Indonesia. Indonesian Papua—which occupies the western half of New Guinea, the world’s second-largest island, and includes the provinces of Papua and West Papua—held 38 percent of Indonesia’s remaining primary forest in 2012. Home to one of the most biodiverse forests on Earth, as many as 20,000 plant species, 602 birds, 125 mammals and 223 reptiles live in Indonesian Papua. The forest also supports local people who rely on it for traditional sources of livelihood. Tree cover loss peaked in Papua in 2015—and regional leaders responded. In 2015 West Papua became the world’s first conservation province, a commitment echoed by the current governor in 2018. He also plans to review all forestry and plantations licenses across West Papua Province. Meanwhile, neighboring Papua Province has already established a roadmap document, Papua Province Vision by 2100, which aims to maintain 90 percent forest cover over the entire province while achieving low-carbon development objectives.
HOT AIR NEWS ROUNDUP
It’s drummed into us. America is number one in the world. And America is nowhere near number one in many areas. It has the highest rate of child poverty in the western world by a lot. It’s probably number 20th now in average wages. It has the highest number of people in jail per capita in the western world and it’s probably 20th, 22nd ranked in terms of our health care system and infant mortality. So, we have to get over the idea that America is number one. Ralph Nadar
Ballot measures taking aim at climate change, fossil fuels fall short
Washington Post November 7, 2018
The failure of environmental ballot measures in Arizona, Colorado — and the likely defeat of a proposal to impose fees on carbon emissions in Washington state — underscore the difficulty of tackling a global problem like climate change at the state and local level, where huge sums of money poured in on both sides. … One bright spot for environmental advocates came in Nevada, where voters appeared poised to pass a measure similar to the one Arizonans rejected. It would require utilities to generate 50 percent of their electricity from renewables by 2030. The proposal was leading handily with most votes tallied Wednesday. But before the measure could become law, it has to survive a second vote in 2020.
Excellent breakdown of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC for and by the Democratic Socialists of America…
Information for DSAers on the 2018 IPCC Report
DSA October 2018
In this document, we will break down the specific predictions and recommendations of the IPCC report so that you can understand its content, importance, and application to work in your community.
The IPCC Report Isn’t a Death Knell. It’s a Wake-Up Call.
NDRC October 22, 2018
NRDC’s approach illustrates how three key strategies could actually take us 90 percent of the way to the 80 percent goal. Meeting the more stringent target to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius will require going even faster on these key strategies (as well as the others described in our report): • We cut energy use by nearly half through ramped-up investment in efficient and/or electric vehicles, appliances, buildings, and industrial plants. The basic idea: If we use less energy to begin with, we’ll automatically shrink the demand for fossil fuels to heat our homes or power our gadgets. Less use of fossil fuels means less harmful and climate-changing pollution. Waste less, use less, pollute less! • We greatly expand our production of renewable energy so that wind and solar power represent at least 70 percent of our electricity mix by 2050—and renewable energy, as a whole, accounts for at least 80 percent. • We use this near-zero-carbon electricity to displace direct use of fossil fuels. Think electric vehicles that charge overnight using wind power, or electric heat pumps instead of natural-gas heating in our homes.
A Field Guide to the Petrochemical and Plastics Industry
Desmog October 28, 2018
The shale gas industry has been trying to build demand for fossil fuels from its fracked oil and gas wells by promoting the construction of a new petrochemical corridor in America’s Rust Belt and expanding the corridor on the Gulf Coast. To help demystify terms like “natural gas liquids” and “cracker plants,” DeSmog has begun building a guide to some of the equipment and terms used in the plastics and petrochemical industries.
Bangladesh: A Country Underwater, a Culture on the Move
NRDC September 12, 2018
In Bangladesh, the next big storm is always just on the horizon. A four-month monsoon season, from June through September, routinely inundates this riverine country. Meanwhile, a quarter of Bangladesh’s landmass, bound on the south by the northern Indian Ocean, hovers less than seven feet above sea level. And as floods grow increasingly frequent and severe, the 163 million who make their home in Bangladesh, the world’s most populous delta, know little escape from water. Often referred to as “ground zero for climate change,” Bangladesh ranked sixth on the 2018 Global Climate Risk Index, and for many Bangladeshis, particularly the rural communities in low-lying coastal areas, those risks are already unmanageable. Riverbank erosion displaces 50,000 to 200,000 people here each year.
UK Activists Kick Off ‘Extinction Rebellion’
EcoWatch November 1, 2018
The newly formed group Extinction Rebellion seeks to push the UK government to declare a state of emergency, work towards a carbon free economy by 2025 and convene an assembly of ordinary citizens to plan out the country’s carbon-free future. The group’s message has caught on in the wake of increasingly dire reports about the pace of climate change. Organizers had expected a few hundred to show up to the opening salvo near the seat of UK government. Instead, more than a thousand came and decided to block one of London’s busiest intersections for more than two hours.
This Supreme Court Decision Is the Best News of the Weekend
EcoWatch November 5, 2018
Friday afternoon, the U.S. Supreme Court kicked it off with a hopeful decision: The Trump administration can’t stop the historic youth climate lawsuit Juliana v. United States from going to trial. Our Children’s Trust, the organization supporting the young people behind the case, summed up the mood with a tweet featuring a quote from 22-year-old plaintiff Kelsey Juliana: “Stay with us, in hope and in the pursuit of justice.” … The lawsuit was first filed back in 2015 on behalf of 21 young people who argue that their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property have been violated by the government’s scandalous inaction on climate change. In a year of historic wildfires and hurricanes, it’s pretty easy to see where they’re coming from.
Bolsonaro’s election is catastrophic news for Brazil’s indigenous tribes
The Guardian October 31, 2018
Brazil has just elected as its president a far-right nationalist with authoritarian tendencies and fascist inclinations. The country’s 900,000-strong indigenous people are among the many minority groups Jair Bolsonaro has frequently targeted with vitriolic hostility. “It’s a shame that the Brazilian cavalry wasn’t as efficient as the Americans, who exterminated their Indians,” he once said. If he enacts his campaign promises, the first peoples of Brazil face catastrophe; in some cases, genocide. There are around 100 uncontacted tribes in Brazil, more than anywhere else on earth, and all are in peril unless their land is protected. Bolsonaro has threatened to close down FUNAI, the government’s indigenous affairs department, which is charged with protecting indigenous land. Already battling against budget cuts, if it disappears uncontacted peoples face annihilation.
Two articles about Pine Island Glacier calving…
From the Antarctic ice broke off an iceberg the size of Zaporozhye
Global Engineering News November 2, 2018
Monstrous icebergs have been breaking from Pine Island Glacier for the past five years, which is a worrying sign that western Antarctica is destabilizing. The last break occurred on the weekend. … All that activity has contributed to making Pine Island Glacier the most rapidly receding glacier on Earth. In addition to the calving area retreating, the ice has gotten thinner by about a meter annually over the past 15 years while shedding a staggering 45 billion tons annually. Much of that is driven by warm water eating away at it from underneath.
An Iceberg Five Times the Size of Manhattan Just Popped off West Antarctica
Earther October 30, 2018
The Pine Island Glacier … is destabilizing. The latest occurred this weekend. Satellite imagery shows an iceberg roughly 115 square miles—five times the size of Manhattan—breaking off the front of the glacier. “What is mostly remarkable about this event is that the frequency of calving seems to increase,”
“It’s a Ghost Page”: EPA Site’s Climate Change Section May Be Gone for Good
Mother Jones November 3, 2108
More than a year after the US Environmental Protection Agency took down information on climate change from its website for an “update”, it now seems uncertain whether it will ever reappear. In April last year, the EPA replaced its online climate change section with a holding page that said the content was being updated to “reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump”. Information previously found at epa.gov/climatechange made it clear that human activity was warming the planet, resulting in harm to Americans’ health as well as crucial ecosystems on which humans depend. The “update” page has now given way to a page that simply states: “We want to help you find what you are looking for.” Below, there are links to search other areas of the EPA website, as well as to an archived “snapshot” of the site from the day before Trump became president in January 2017. The switch was observed by the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative, which tracks changes in government websites.
We Have to Save the Planet. So I’m Donating $1 Billion.
NYT October 29, 2018
But some scientists, including the Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson, have concluded that at least half the planet needs to be protected to save a large majority of plant and wildlife species from extinction. Indeed, the food, clean water and air we need to survive and prosper depends on our ability to protect the planet’s biological diversity. In other words, we have to protect half to save the whole. … I, [Hansjörg Wyss, a philanthropist and conservationist.] have decided to donate $1 billion over the next decade to help accelerate land and ocean conservation efforts around the world, with the goal of protecting 30 percent of the planet’s surface by 2030. This money will support locally led conservation efforts around the world, push for increased global targets for land and ocean protection, seek to raise public awareness about the importance of this effort, and fund scientific studies to identify the best strategies to reach our target.
Short VIDEO, please watch it…
Protect the Boreal Forests NRDC November 2, 2018
The [Canadian] boreal forest, a major carbon storehouse, is a critical part of the fight against climate change. The rapid degradation of this forest threatens to have a global impact, exacerbating the effects of climate change on species, communities, and ecosystems around the world. In just 20 years, an area nearly the size of Ohio has been cut, with a huge portion of this harvested wood converted into pulps that are used to manufacture newsprint, paper, and tissue. We must protect the boreal.
Want to Save the Climate? Break Up the Big Banks.
In These Times October 30, 2018
Despite regularly claiming new commitments to “green finance,” the big banks continue to lend billions to the fossil fuel industry every year—including for the most extreme climate-damaging activities, like exploiting tar sands oils and burning coal. Continuing to invest in fossil fuels goes against all of the evidence about what needs to be done to tackle climate change. An estimated 80 percent or more of the world’s known fossil fuel reserves need to remain in the ground if we’re to have any chance of avoiding catastrophic consequences, like rising sea levels and melting glaciers.
Negative Emissions: Scientists Meet in Australia to Discuss Removing CO2 from Air
Climate Change News November 7, 2018
An international group of researchers and policymakers met in Australia’s capital this week for the country’s first major conference dedicated to the topic of “negative emissions”.
This is a 15 page PDF on phasing out coal…
A Coal Phase-Out Pathway for 1.5°C
Coalswarm & Greenpeace October 2018
is a global network of researchers developing collaborative informational resources on fossil fuels and alternatives. Current projects include the Global Coal Plant Tracker, the Global Fossil Projects Tracker (coal, oil, and gas infrastructure), the CoalWire newsletter, and the CoalSwarm and FrackSwarm wiki portals.
A rapid transition away from coal is technically and economically possible, but it will require aggressive retirement of coal plants coupled with equally aggressive deployment of efficiency measures and low-carbon power sources. The briefing explores the specifics of how such reductions could be implemented over the coming three decades, given the geographical distribution and age structure of the global coal plant fleet and the new coal plant pipeline.
This is an article on the above report…
How can we cut enough coal to get to 1.5?
Unearthed October 10, 2018
According to a new report – courtesy of Greenpeace and CoalSwarm – it can be done. The world must (a) stop new coal plant projects (b) reduce the utilisation of existing coal plants and (c ) close them as soon as possible. This may sound straightforward but it in reality it is anything but. In a bit more detail, the 1.5 pathway looks something like this: • All coal plants in the pre-construction phase are cancelled. • Existing coal power capacity is cut in half by 2030. • A full-phase out in OECD countries by 2030. • A near-total global coal power phase-out by 2050.
Oak Ridge Inches Closer to 15- Minute Wireless EV Charging
Climate Change News November 7, 2018
Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have developed wireless charging technology that they say could fill up a typical electric car today in under an hour. This represents a six-fold improvement over a similar wireless charging system they announced in 2016. That plugless EV charging technology, they report, is now being modified for commercial applications including delivery trucks.
Wildlife & the Environment
PHYS ORG November 2, 2018
The latest Living Planet report from the WWF makes for grim reading: a 60% decline in wild animal populations since 1970, collapsing ecosystems, and a distinct possibility that the human species will not be far behind. The report repeatedly stresses that humanity’s consumption is to blame for this mass extinction, and journalists have been quick to amplify the message. The Guardian headline reads “Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations”, while the BBC runs with “Mass wildlife loss caused by human consumption”. No wonder: in the 148-page report, the word “humanity” appears 14 times, and “consumption” an impressive 54 times. There is one word, however, that fails to make a single appearance: capitalism. It might seem, when 83% of the world’s freshwater ecosystems are collapsing (another horrifying statistic from the report), that this is no time to quibble over semantics. And yet, as the ecologist Robin Wall Kimmerer has written, “finding the words is another step in learning to see” … The WWF report is right to highlight “exploding human consumption”, not population growth, as the main cause of mass extinction, and it goes to great lengths to illustrate the link between levels of consumption and biodiversity loss.
Antarctic’s future in doubt after plan for world’s biggest marine reserve is blocked
The Guardian November 2, 2018
A plan to turn a huge tract of pristine Antarctic ocean into the world’s biggest sanctuary has been rejected, throwing the future of one of the Earth’s most important ecosystems into doubt. Environmental groups said Russia, China and Norway had played a part in blocking the proposal, with the other 22 members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, the organisation set up to protect Antarctic waters, backing the proposal. The 1.8m sq km reserve – five times the size of Germany – would have banned all fishing in a vast area of the Weddell Sea and parts of the Antarctic peninsula, safeguarding species including penguins, killer whales, leopard seals and blue whales.
Canada’s Tar Sands: The most destructive project on Earth?
VIDEO by Greenpeace
Canada’s Tar Sands is the third-largest proven crude oil reserve in the world behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. In 2011 it was believed the reserve amounted to 170.2 billion barrels of oil, or about 11% of total global oil reserves. But the development of Canada’s Oil Sands is concerning environmentalists for several reasons, not least the fact that producing “tar oil”, or “sand oil” as it’s also known, releases three times the volume of greenhouse gas emissions as conventional oil.
Canada’s northern ‘zombie mines’ are a lingering multi-billion dollar problem
The Narwhal October 29, 2018
The arsenic trioxide dust, released from the rock as it was roasted to get the gold, was pumped underground during most of the mine’s life. Better there than in the air (in the early days of the mine, it was sending up to 7,400 kg of the dust out into the environment, sickening locals and even killing a Yellowknives Dene child) but it presents its own problems underground. Dealing with the arsenic trioxide has been the central headache for the federal government since 2004, when it took over remediation of the mine from its bankrupt owner. The dust has meant that, barring an unforeseen technological breakthrough or unthinkable disaster, there will never be an end to the government’s role in keeping the site secure.
Here’s a real surprise…
Study Suggests Global Warming is Faster than Scientists Estimated
IISD November 6, 2018
Researchers at Princeton University and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography published a study that warns that global warming may be happening faster than scientists have previously estimated. The study, published in Nature, suggests that these findings may mean that emitted greenhouse (GHG) gases have generated far more heat than scientists originally predicted, meaning that the Earth is more sensitive to carbon dioxide than scientists thought.
Models suggest injection of sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere could have unintended consequences
PHYS ORG October 30, 2018
Instead of curbing gas emissions, it might be possible to cool the planet in other ways, such as by injecting sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere. The idea is to mimic the cooling effect of volcanic eruptions. … The researchers report that overall, the models showed the desired cooling impact. But they also showed something less helpful—reduced global rainfall. The models showed that the changes in rainfall would not be uniform, either.
Earth’s oceans have absorbed 60 percent more heat than previously thought
Science Daily October 31, 2018
Since 1991, the world’s oceans have absorbed an amount of heat energy each year that is 150 times the energy humans produce as electricity annually, according to a new study. The strong ocean warming the researchers found suggests that Earth is more sensitive to fossil-fuel emissions than previously thought.
Nutrient-recycling microbes may feel the heat
PHYS ORG November 5, 2018
While microbial communities are the engines driving the breakdown of dead plants and animals, little is known about whether they are equipped to handle big changes in climate. In a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Glassman and colleagues at UC Irvine examined what happens after microbial communities move into new climate conditions. The study is a first step toward understanding the vulnerability of these ecosystems to climate change. To mimic a warming planet, the researchers chose five study sites that differ in climate along the San Jacinto Mountains in southern California, three of which are in natural reserves operated by the University of California. Each site has its own set of resident microbes accustomed to the local climate.
Swiss researchers set out how to decarbonise cement
Climate Change News November 2, 2018
The construction sector can cut polluting emissions up to 80% by applying efficiency measures along the whole value chain, according to new research. If combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, emissions could even be brought down to zero by 2050, they argue. Achieving carbon neutrality in the cement and concrete sector won’t be easy but it’s technologically feasible … “However, given the cost and complexity of CCS it is important to first reduce CO2 emissions to a minimum by other means,” she added, saying this is best achieved by working through the whole value chain – “not only at the cement level, but also at the level of concrete and structure.” The report identifies 10 technologies that can be implemented at different stages of the construction value chain – from concrete and gravel production, to engineering offices, construction and demolition companies.
African smoke-cloud connection target of NASA airborne flights
NASA September 21, 2018
Over the southeast Atlantic Ocean, a 2,000-mile-long plume of smoke from African agricultural fires meets a near-permanent cloud bank offshore. Their meeting makes a natural laboratory for studying the interactions between cloud droplets and the tiny airborne smoke particles. This month, NASA’s P-3 research aircraft and a team of scientists return on their third deployment to this region as part of the Observations of Aerosols Above Clouds and their Interactions mission, or ORACLES, gathering data on how aerosols (such as smoke) affect clouds, and in turn, Earth’s climate.
Study: Impact of mercury-controlling policies shrinks with every five-year delay
MIT News November 1, 2018
Mercury is an incredibly stubborn toxin. Once it is emitted from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants, among other sources, the gas can drift through the atmosphere for up to a year before settling into oceans and lakes. It can then accumulate in fish as toxic methylmercury, and eventually harm the people who consume the fish. What’s more, mercury that was previously emitted can actually re-enter the atmosphere through evaporation. These “legacy emissions” can drift and be deposited elsewhere, setting off a cycle in which a growing pool of toxic mercury can circulate and contaminate the environment for decades or even centuries. A new MIT study finds that the longer countries wait to reduce mercury emissions, the more legacy emissions will accumulate in the environment, and the less effective any emissions-reducing policies will be when they are eventually implemented.
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”
Guy McPherson: “The recent and near-future rises in temperature are occurring and will occur at least an order of magnitude faster than the worst of all prior Mass Extinctions. Habitat for human animals is disappearing throughout the world, and abrupt climate change has barely begun.”
Magi Amma… We need to turn on a dime at mach nine!