CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK: LOSING NOAH’S ARK, SURGING SOLAR POWER, AND MORE!

 

Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded...

(note: all OO are links to corresponding stories)

Saving BUB, Beautiful Unique Biodiversity, as in this Giant Elephant Shrew (cousins to elephants, not American shrews), is another reason to preserve carbon storing forests.
Credit John White at calphotos.berkeley.edu

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

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OO Nations Come Together To Save Kenya’s Disappearing Coastal Forests - These forests:

  • have high levels of biodiversity; many unique plants and animals are found nowhere else in the world;
  • Are under increasing human pressure from arriving migrants;
  • have lost nearly 10 % of its tree cover in 15 years.
  • Threatened by planned major human and industrial developments.

A European funded program via the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, a trade bloc of several African nations, wants to help communities and governments better manage their forests, restore others, and monitor and maintain the wildlife within them.

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Short Term Greed, Long Term Loss - both for Indonesia, and the world: forests provide clean water and air, and moderate the climate, as well as store carbon. Source Mongabay

OO Higher Incomes Drive Indonesian Smallholders To Oil Palm And Rubber - creating an ‘agricultural boom’ that leads to clearing rainforest for agriculture, and a loss of the ecosystem services it provides - such as clean waterr for communities.

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.

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LOSING NOAH’S ARK

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Beautiful, and Now Rare are tigers worldwide. Credit Matt Gibson

OO World On Track To Lose Two-Thirds Of Wild Animals By 2020 major report warns.
“The richness and diversity of life on Earth is fundamental to the complex life systems that underpin it.”

OO Radical Overhaul Needed To Halt Earth’s Sixth Great Extinction Event - Takeaways:

  • biodiversity is vital to human survival;
  • it is being wiped out at both the population and species leves;
  • it started thousands of years ago when humans wiped out megafauna;
  • the latest surge of this mass extinction correlates with exploding human populations

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Not Just Useful, But Vital forest birds, like these birds of paradise, are essential to forest health, cleaning trees of pests and distributing seeds.

  • the WWF 2016 Living Planet Report shows a decline of nearly 60% in thousands of populations of thousands of animals worldwide;
  • these declines undercut our vital ecosystems.

How can we stop this?

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What Are You Doing To My Future? Right now, ruining it, unless we change towards a sustainable way of life - a happier, different one.

  • Bring our populations and consumption down to sustainable levels;
  • Protect remaining wilderness and reserves;
  • Ban overhunting;
  • Elect leaders who make all of this a priority.

HOT NEWS...

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A Spanish Future? And much of the rest of the Mediterranean will be like this as global warming heats the planet just a little more, a new report indicates. Source www.forocoches.com

OO Rapidly Warming Mediterranean Headed For Desertification study warns; even with 2 degrees of global warming, the current global goal, desertification would overtake parts of this lush and vibrant region.

Related Headline:

OO Why Spain Could Be A Desert By 2100 say climate researchers, as Mediterranean vegetation could change dramatically as the climate warms just a little further.

OO Meanwhile, In The Real World, Climate Change Is Creating Vast Deserts and these is little sign that a Trump presidency will stop it.

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FIXING CLIMATE CHANGE

@@ A Simple And Smart Way To Fix Climate Change given by Dan Miller in 2014 at a Ted talk suggests a way to profit as we tackle climate change, by finally charging those who sell and use fossil fuels - and distributing the revenues back to all of us.

The strategy is sure to speed transition to clean renewable energy. What’s not to like? Check it out!

 

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MELTDOWN...

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Danger: Subversive Melting Buying Big Sea Rise as dense salt water undermines vast ice shelves of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, threatening to destabilize the entire region, and thus raising sea levels worldwide by 4 to 15 feet. Source Rex Features via AP

OO Undermined By Warm Water, Antarctic Glacier Lost 1,600 Feet Of Ice
Within 10 Years
An influx of warm waters under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet will help determine the future of coastal cities worldwide.

IT’S THE KIDS...

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OO How Fossil Fuel Use Threatens Kids’ Health - Pollution and climate impacts of burning coal, oil and gas take a high toll, globally, on child health.

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS...

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OO Renewables Poised For Rapid Growth Worldwide With about 500,000 solar panels installed daily worldwide. In China, two wind turbines are built every hour, are among the stats in a new report.

Related Headlines:

OO IEA Boosts Renewables Growth Forecast As Global Installed Capacity Surpasses Coal in a new International Energy Agency report. - Takeaways:

  • Renewable electricity capacity is expected to grow 42% worldwide by 2021;
  • Global renewable energy deployments are set to grow at a much faster pace than expected;
  • Renewable energy resources made up over half of the world’s new electricity capacity in 2015.

OO Renewables Made Up Half Of Net Electricity Capacity Added Last Year Green energy accounted for more than half of net electricity generation capacity added around the world last year for the first time.

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Keeping the Pandoran Carbon Box Closed by increasing soil’s ability to keep carbon locked up in it. Source Natash at free images

OO Carbon-Storing Soil Preservation Gets Royal Touch - Prince Charles who joins an initiative to keep carbon locked in the world’s soils to combat climate change. Takeaways:

  • The goal is to reduce the amount of carbon leaked from soils by 0.4% a year - enough to halt the rise of carbon dioxide levels in the air.
  • Nearly 180 countries have signed up to the initiative;
  • Small farming changes could lock in large amounts of soil carbon.

OO US To Unveil Path To Decarbonize By 2050 In Morocco With a sweeping plan at the November climate summit, giving other nations a template to plan their own shift away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy sources.

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Electric Vehicle: Sign of a Healthier Future says the American Lung Association. Source NREL at energy.gov

OO Zero-Emission Cars Will Slash Healthcare And Environmental Spending says a new study by the American Lung Association.

  • In 2015, New York, Oregon, New Jersey and other states suffered24 billion in health-related costs,
  • including 220,000 lost work days, due to asthma, heart attacks, and other ailments caused by vehicle emissions.

OO New England Says No To Natural Gas, Yes To Renewables with a pair of decisions.


OO New Projects Boost Europe’s Attractiveness To Renewables Investors

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SOCIAL REPERCUSSIONS

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Source LinkedIn

OO The Carbon Bubble: Why Investors Can No Longer Ignore Climate Risks The financial risks posed by climate change and bad investments could make an ugly dent in your retirement savings, a new report warns.

OO Years Of Living Dangerously Documentary Series Returns to deal with the political realities of climate change that our presidential election has largely ignored - and will likely be ignored by president elect Trump.

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Against Her Will: Married at 13, Divorced at 14 is the fate of many Bengali climate refugee girls like this one, whose families can no longer support them. Source news.trust.org

OO Driven To Dhaka By Disasters, Bangladeshi Girls Harassed Into Marriage Girls forced from their homes by climate-linked disasters face early marriage in Dhaka’s slums.

OO Diseases Released By Permafrost Become A Bigger Worry As permafrost melts under global warming, releasing and re-activating ancient bacteria that could be harmful.

OO Food Shortages Fueling Bear-Human Conflicts In Bolivian Andes Climate change is placing stress on regional ecosystems and forcing species to compete for territory and food.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

@@ Climate Change 101: Why Care?
What You Need to Know
- Bill Nye tells it all in five minutes amid graphic, dynamic, engaging, compelling imagery. Check it Out!

 

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GOOD IDEAS...

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Feel the Power as you wear this fabric, which captures energy and generates power. Source Live Science

OO This Fabric Captures Energy To Power Your Electronic Devices Via sunlight and your own motions, storing it in embedded fibers.

OO Green Roofs Take Root Around The World With San Francisco as the first U.S. city to require that certain new buildings be built with a green roof—an eco-friendly design technique that sows plants above a roofline.

OO A Low-Carbon Future Is The ‘Only One Available’ Says noted British economist Lord Stern: green development is the only route to global economic growth and points to China leading the world on climate change action.

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OO Don’t Rebuild Where The Sea Is Rising:
Jersey Shore Rebuilds In Sea’s Inevitable Path
- even though Superstorm Sandy crushed N.J. communities in part due to rising sea levels, rebuilding has not accounted for rising seas.

OO California: Why Are We Sending Precious Water Downstream
For Fish In The Middle Of A Drought?
Because salmon may underpin much of what makes California special, from redwoods to Zinfandel to the carrion-eating condor.

OO Kenya Greens Drylands To Combat Land Degradation and is heavily investing in rehabilitation efforts to stave off the threat of desertification under continuing climate change and other human impacts.

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OO Landfills Have A Huge Greenhouse Gas Problem.
Here’s What We Can Do About It
Takeaways:

  • Landfill methane is captured and generating energy at many landfills,
  • But far more just escapes. Better approaches:
  • Cut down on food waste
  • And compost whatever organic waste remains.

NATURAL REPERCUSSIONS

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As Menacing As It Looks this giant mass of warm Pacific water, fueled by global warming, is disrupting wildlife and further fueling the California drought. Source NOAA

OO Dangerous ‘ Blob’ Is Back:
Warm Ocean Mass Severely Disrupting Weather, Wildlife
- Takeaways

  • A giant mass of warm Pacific water
  • Up to 300 m deep
  • Has waxed and waned since early 2014
  • Along the US western coast and much of the Pacific.

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Empty Crab Pots, Empty Jobs as an algal bloom stalled the 2015 crab season. Source lostcoastoutpost.com

  • The blob has caused toxic algal blooms;
  • Is severely disrupting wildlife
  • From plankton and fish to birds and mammals,
  • And disrupting fishing industries.
  • The blog warms air,
  • creating more rain, less snowpack,
  • Further fueling the California drought.

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A ‘Ridiculously Resilient’ High Pressure Ridge developed in 2014 over the Pacific and has never gone away despite waxing and waning. It shunts storms away from California.

  • The blog developed via
  • A longterm high pressure ridge
  • Resulting from abnormally warm west Pacific waters.
  • In that global warming is warming oceans,
  • the blob is linked to it,
  • and hints at further climate change disruptions.

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OO Warming Boosts Early Ocean Algae Blooms -
And Potential Ripple Effects
- New research shows that a base of the marine food chain, a common blue green algae blooms as much as 20 days earlier as oceans warm.

This, in turn, could disrupt the food chain, where, for example, whales and other marine animals have synchronized their life cycles to these blooms.

OO Australia Experiencing More Extreme Fire Weather, Hotter Days As Climate Changes and it’s projected to get worse.

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Coral Graveyards Now Common on the Great Barrier Reef as stressed corals further succumb to disease and predators. Credit Greg Torda, ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies

OO Northern Great Barrier Reef Coral Bleaching Damage Worse new surveys suggest, 6 months after the bleaching started, as a growing coral death rate due to heat stress is worsened by disease and predators, scientists say.

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Uncertain NZ future? Eastern Rockhopper penguins are critically threatened. Credit Laurent Demongin

OO New Zealand Oceans Deteriorating, Marine Wildlife Threatened as the oceans acidify and warm as a result of greenhouse gas emissions, a new government report warns.


Increased human pressure is risking the extinction of much of its native fauna, specifically:

  • 33+ % of New Zealand’s native species and subspecies of seabirds (eg, albatrosses, penguins);
  • 50+ % of shorebirds (eg, herons)
  • 25+ % of marine mammals (eg, dolphins, and whales)

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SPEAKING OUT

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OO Red, Race And Blue: Mobilize To Fight Climate Change - Bill McKibben and other activists are calling for a World War II-style mobilization to fight climate change.

OO North Dakota: Tribe Vows To Continue Pipeline Fight Despite Arrests

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FOSSIL FUEL FOLLIES...

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Caught In the Act as this video screencapture shows, of oil being released into the Gulf of Mexico by supervisors. Credit Evan Howington

OO Oil & Water: Video Catches Supervisors Dumping Oil In Gulf Of Mexico as they knowingly opened a valve on an oil pipeline 1,500 feet below, and 60 miles off the Louisiana coast.

OO What Is Causing The Rapid Rise In US Methane Levels? The rapid rise of gas mining in the US.

OO Australia’s Coal Seam Gas Emissions May Be Vastly Underestimated by the industry, says a new report, jeopardizing Australia’s commitments made at Paris and swamping any benefits gas has over coal,

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Let Them Eat Carbon

OO US, Rich Countries Are Still Pushing Dirty Energy On Poor Ones Even as they pledge to cut emissions, they are helping to finance new coal-powered plants overseas.

OO US Nuclear Retirements Largely Replaced By Fossil Fuels which will up climate changing emissions.

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If we do not live sustainably,
Our children will die inhumanely.

@@ The Cost of Unintended Pregnancy: Too Young

Teen childbearing cost US taxpayers $9+ Billion in 2010
And the costs of raising a child usually ensures decades, if not a life, of poverty for its mother.
- US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Help prevent unintended pregnancies in your community:
publicize where women can access affordable contraception.

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They can go here to find locations:

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And there are many more actions you can do, right here.

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SOLAR KEEPS DANCING

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OO Elon Musk Wants To Sell People Solar Roofs that look great, and he recently showcased a line of high-design roof tiles that generate power from the sun without the clunky panels sold by most companies.

OO US Company Launches All-In-One Home Clean Energy System
With Zero-Down Financing
- Takeaways:

  • Swell company will cut capital costs by drawing utility revenue for distributed grid services;
  • Combining rooftop solar panels, lithium-ion batteries, and an energy management system.
  • Customers get full-service electrical independence in exchange for a monthly fee.
  • Removing large upfront costs and maintenance responsibility will make for an easier sell.

MEH: In some ways this resembles Solpads except that Solpads sound more integrated.

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Check it out here, right now!

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Oct 12, 2014

How unusual has the weather been? No one event is “caused” by climate change, but global warming, which is predicted to increase unusual, extreme weather, is having a daily effect on weather, worldwide.

Looking above at recent temperature anomalies, much of the US and the waters surrounding it are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures: the eastern Pacific warm spot continues and so does the drought in California.

Much of the areas surrounding the North Pole are experiencing much warmer than normal temperatures - not good news for our Arctic thermal shield of ice. Hotter than usual temperatures continue to dominate human habitats.

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There is, of course, much more news on the consequences and solutions to climate change. To get it, check out this annotated resource list I’ve compiled, “Climate Change News Resources,” at Wordpress.com here. For more information on the science of climate change, its consequences and solutions you can view my annotated list of online information resources here.

To help you understand just what science does and does NOT do, check this out!

Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by this wild flower I photographed one spring. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a heck of a lot more jobs, and a clean, safe future. If you’d like to join the increasing numbers of people who want to TELL Congress that they will vote for clean energy candidates you can do so here. It’s our way of letting Congress know there’s a strong clean energy voting bloc out there. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.

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