A weekly collection of top articles on climate change and solutions.

25 Dec 2016

(1) The 10 Most Important Climate Stories of 2016
This year marks the third year in a row of record-setting heat, an unprecedented run. It’s a reminder that we’ve entered a new era, where our actions have changed the world we call home. We also have the ability to decide what comes next.
(2) Troubling Signs for Science under Trump
Science is going to need our help to survive this regime. We used to be the scientific leaders of the world. If we want to stay in the forefront of scientific advances, we will need to resist Trump and his merry band of anti-science lackeys at every turn. We'll need to speak out for science at every opportunity, ...
(3) Living the Good Life, Not the Goods Life
... the more people value materialistic aspirations and goals, the lower their happiness and satisfaction .... preoccupation with wealth and stuff makes pro-social values go down (e.g., cooperation, empathy, environmental concern.) ... intrinsic values—growing as a person, being close to family and community, and doing good in the world—not only promote personal, social, environmental, and ecological well being, but also work to immunize people against materialism. ...
(4) Trump Climate Change Take Action
Your choices will determine whether the United States helps to solve this problem, or whether we remain a major part of the problem itself. If you choose to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, our country will be an international pariah. We will be publicly shamed and vilified.... Millions of your fellow Americans are deeply concerned about climate change, and are looking to you for leadership. Your choice on Day 1 is clear. Leadership or denial. If it's the former, you'll have plenty of Americans willing to help you. If it's the latter, you'll have millions of powerful voices allied against you. Please choose wisely.
(5) Building a 21st Century Economy – Center for American Progress
It remains unclear when momentum for a federal-level carbon price will take hold in the United States. But when it does, policymakers will need to design a pricing mechanism that achieves significant pollution reductions while protecting low- and middle-income households from potential energy price increases
(6) Climate Change Is Here - National Geographic Magazine
Excellent series on climate change ...
(7) A Blueprint for a Carbon-Free America | National Geographic
Explore what your state's energy mix will look like on 100% renewable energy, using this infographic.
(8) The Twelve Days (and Months) of Climate Justice Day Four:  What Will It Take to Win? – Resilience
We face a series of time-sensitive existential emergencies that can only be overcome successfully with a drastic transformation of the entire economy accomplished at wartime speed. All available social and economic resources and industrial capacity must be mobilized toward the primary objectives of restoring a safe climate and reversing ecological overshoot as rapidly as possible.
(9) The Twelve Days (and Months) of Climate Justice Day One: Climate Justice is the Power of the People – Resilience
... “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” – meaning that it may take a while, but we are going to win. By contrast, the arc of the physical universe is short and it bends toward heat.
10) Denial, Distraction, and Deception | Sierra Club
It doesn't do much good to say we must reduce climate pollution if at the same time you are investing millions of dollars in Canadian tar sands, cozying up to Russian oil oligarchs, and fighting resolutions from your own shareholders seeking transparency and accountability on climate change. The last time we saw such cynical dissembling was when the second Bush administration pushed anti-environmental legislation with names like "Clear Skies" and "Healthy Forests." Look at the actions, not the words. Rex Tillerson's actions make it obvious that he will willingly sacrifice a healthy climate for the sake of oil and gas.
(11) Here’s how experts can rebuild trust in the post-truth era - Climate Outreach
Scientists and other experts are good at checking their facts, and being “right”, without always impacting public opinion much. Populists have the knack of being persuasive, but are too often not tethered to the facts. Rebuilding public trust in 2017, and rescuing the political discourse from the clutches of post-truth charlatans, means getting better at being “right” and persuasive at the same time.

18 Dec 2016

(1) Climate Change 2016 in 16 Numbers
1.5 deg C target unlikely ... 0.2 deg C temp increase in 2016 ... 10 ways for negative emission ...
(2) #Earth2Trump: Campaign: To Galvanize Resistance
The "resistance roadshow," spearheaded by the conservation organization Center for Biological Diversity begins Jan. 2, 2017 in Oakland, Calif. and Seattle .... bring speakers and musicians to 13 other cities before ending on Jan. 20... It's aimed at "rallying and empowering defenders of civil rights and the environment" to galvanize a network of resistance. ... The president-elect ... "is an unprecedented threat to our nation's democracy, health, and environment. He must not be allowed to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency, gut the Clean Air and Endangered Species acts, raid our public lands, eliminate regulations protecting poor communities from pollution, deport millions of people, take away our reproductive freedom, or force millions to live in fear."
(3) Obama & Trudeau Ban Oil and Gas Drilling in Most of Arctic and Atlantic Oceans
... in a joint announcement by Obama and the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who also put a moratorium on new oil and gas leasing in its Arctic waters, subject to periodic review.
(4) Cities Fighting Climate Change
Eleven cities from around the world were celebrated recently ... at the C40 Cities Awards for their commitment to innovation in the fight against climate change.
(5) Building a 21st Century Economy
... the goal of amplifying “effective carbon pricing policies that can maintain competitiveness, create jobs, encourage innovation, and deliver meaningful emissions reductions.

11 Dec 2016

(1) Trump, Putin & ExxonMobil Team Up To Destroy The Planet, Joe Romm
The aligning interests between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s choice for U.S. president (Donald Trump), and Big Oil represents the gravest threat to humanity (and democracy) since the rise of the Axis powers in the 1930s. ... if the oil giant is freed to produce and sell oil on the staggering 63.7 million acres of Russian land it leases, which is over 5 times the amount of land it leases in this country. Happy days are here again, for Exxon. ... imagine how much havoc Putin, Trump, and a new oily Secretary of State could wreak on future negotiations by coercing other countries not to keep making new pledges to ratchet down their emissions, which is the cornerstone of Paris’s strategy to avoid catastrophic climate change.
(2) Lies Hurt, Facts Matter & So Does Resistance
... we need to stand and be counted for the objective truth and the cold hard facts on which it stands.
(3a) Trump’s United States of Oilmen | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community
Rex Tillerson represents an existential threat to the planet and his nomination to be the next secretary of state must be rejected ... Tillerson personally spear-headed a stealth campaign to undercut and misrepresent widely accepted climate science by stating that current climate models are simply too vague to warrant any specific action to slow global warming.... Tillerson and his corporate cronies have recklessly pursued policies fueling climate change, in the process endangering the health of the planet, especially the most vulnerable among us—people who live on the front lines of global warming impacts but have no means to quickly adapt to rising seas, drought and a swiftly changing landscape.
(3b) Unprecedented Climate Change Denial in Trump's Cabinet
“What’s missing from this cabinet is the balance one would expect to bring the other side to the equation and it really leaves us wondering: who is looking out for us? Clearly the oil companies are well attended, but who’s looking out for us?”
(4) With Oil Sands Ambitions on a Collision Course With Climate Change, Exxon Still Stepping on the Gas
"The challenge at the heart of Canadian climate policy right now is this massive cognitive dissonance among people who want to do the right thing on climate change and think the tar sands can continue to grow," said Graham Saul, who led Canada's Climate Action Network until 2012. "Politicians are not being honest with Canadians."
(5) Trump Ignores the Precautionary Principle on Climate Change
... in accordance with the Precautionary Principle ... that is, we should take preventive action, even though the time-frame and consequences of climate change are not known precisely. ... Trump has cast the Precautionary Principle to the wind with his cabinet picks. He's defined our United States, not as a moral leader, but as the dominant nuclear-armed petrostate, allied with its fellow Russian petrostate. Surely, there must be some ethical Republican senators and representatives that will ally with Democrats to halt this existential lunacy.
(6) Climate Scientists Take To The Streets
1) Make America a clean energy leader; 2) Reduce carbon pollution and America’s dependence on fossil fuels; 3) Enhance America’s climate preparedness and resilience; 4) Publicly acknowledge that climate change is a real, human-caused, and urgent threat; 5) Protect scientific integrity in policymaking; and 6) Uphold America’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.
(7) Decoupling GDP & CO2 Emissions
Some 33 US states have cut CO2 emissions while growing their economies over the past 15 years ... The US as a whole is one of at least 35 countries around the world to have achieved the same feat, by decoupling GDP growth and CO2 emissions between 2000 and 2014.
(8) Solar Now Cheaper Than Wind Energy
... The cost of solar in 58 developing nations dropped to about a third of 2010 levels ... "[F]or populations still relying on expensive kerosene generators, or who have no electricity at all, and for those living in the dangerous smog of thickly populated cities," .... "the shift to renewables and increasingly to solar can't come soon enough."
(9) U.N. Green Climate Fund Misses 2016 Target
The Green Climate Fund ... total allocated by the UN’s flagship climate finance initiative in 2016 to $1.3 billion, far short of a $2.5bn aspirational goal. Looming over the fund is a threat by US president-elect Donald Trump to axe an outstanding pledge that accounts for nearly a quarter of the $10bn starting capital.

4 Dec 2016

(1a) Global Warming Amplified By Arctic Sea Ice Loss
The decline of Arctic sea ice also has profound global climatic effects, or feedbacks, that are already intensifying global warming and have the potential to destabilize the climate system. ... the overall ice/snow albedo effect in the Arctic could add as much as 50 percent to the direct global heating effect of CO2. ... What is needed today is a widespread global campaign to actually remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere ... initiatives to devise economically acceptable methods for carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere should be the most important concern of science and technology.
(1b) Extreme Artic Warming
... my hope is that these really conspicuous, rapid changes are going to be noticed by more of the public and they're going to realize that the people who've been saying that this is not a big problem, that it's really not happening and that humans don't have anything to do with it, they're going to start to question that opinion and realize that they've been fed a pile of lies, basically, and that this is a really big problem that's going to affect all of us.
(2) Investing In A Clean Energy Economy
Seriously addressing climate change requires reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050 in the U.S. and across all major economies. ... three pillars: moving from fossil fuels to electricity wherever possible, generating electricity with low or zero carbon emissions, and using energy much more efficiently.
(3) Six Steps For Trump To Take To Address Climate Change
1) Make U.S. a clean energy leader ... 2) Reduce U.S. fossil fuel use ... 3) Enhance U.S. climate resilience ... 4) Publicly acknowledge that climate change is real & human-caused ... 5) Uphold U.S. commitment to Paris Climate Agreement ... 6) Protect scientific integrity in policy-making .... "You have the support of the majority of companies, military leaders, scientists, engineers, and citizens to respond to the threats posed by climate change by reducing carbon pollution and expanding clean energy. ... We urge you to decide if you want your Presidency to be defined by denial and disaster, or acceptance and action."
(4) Climate Denying By The House Science Committee
When science is denied by our decision makers, this cannot stand. We must persist in calling out such misinformation when we see it, whether it will come from the House Science Committee, the Trump administration, or other decision makers in the future. Americans deserve leaders who respect science and scientists.
(5) Scott Pruitt Nominated To Head EPA
Pruitt has been a staunch opponent of the EPA — fighting the Mercury Rule, which seeks to limit the amount of toxic heavy metals from power plants; fighting the Waters of the United States Rule, which seeks to protect drinking water sources for a third of Americans; and fighting the Clean Power Plan, a carbon-reduction plan that is seen as the country’s best chance of complying with the Paris climate agreement ....
(6) Localism To Fight Trump
Can we enlist those people and many others not just in opposing Trump, but also in building genuine local alternatives to the globalist excesses that elected Trump in the first place? That can only happen as the result of thousands, perhaps millions of honest conversations among neighbors, friends, and relatives, in towns and cities across the nation. Arguments about politics often accomplish little, but efforts to find common ground in community projects that meet people’s needs could eventually change everything. Localism done right—that is, in an inclusive rather than exclusionary way—offers the best path toward maintaining and building national cohesion. And stronger communities, local economies, and greater self-reliance are all things that many people in Trump’s America would support.
(7a) Trump's Energy Plan
... a memo prepared by Trump's energy transition head Thomas Pyle ... The agenda includes withdrawing from the 2015 Paris Climate agreement, eliminating the Clean Power Plan, increasing the leasing of federal lands for exploitation of coal, oil and gas, expediting the approval of pipeline projects including the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline and rolling back federal fuel economy standards.
(7b) How Trump Can Influence Climate Change
U.S. emissions 61.6 Gt CO2e Business as Usual vs 55.3 Paris Commitments. The United States is the second-largest greenhouse gas emitter, behind China. If America does not fulfill its pledge, the world may not be able to slow the increase in global temperatures.
(7c) Trump Climate Change Research
The election of Donald Trump has climate scientists concerned about its implications for U.S. environmental policies and the worldwide effort to curb the worst effects of climate change. Though Trump recently said he would remain open-minded about climate change, he has surrounded himself with appointees who are fossil fuel advocates and climate change deniers ...
(8) Talking Climate Change With Kids
"The world is this incredibly beautiful, amazing, complex place. Sharing that beauty, that complexity, sharing that wonder fits very naturally with parenting. If you can give kids a foundation that makes them feel connected, makes them critical thinkers and makes them think the world is a place of wonder… that seems much more important to me than getting them to fix one particular problem." "...if we want our kids to do as we do—that is, to fight for a stable climate—we do better when we meet them on their own terrain—in the world of imagination, rather than in science and politics. "
(9) Trump's Bad Infrastructure Plan
“If you want a plan that is going to be economically transformational and deal with the fact of climate change, this is not your plan, ... It’s good for corporations and private interests. It’s bad for the average American and long-term economic performance.” ... Trump’s plan would suck up political energy, media attention, and tax revenue that would be better spent on a genuine effort to rebuild our crumbling, aging infrastructure. That’s worse than no plan at all.

27 Nov 2016

(1) What You Should Know About Trump’s Cabinet & Climate
All indications so far point to a bleak future for addressing climate change, or even recognizing it as one of the world’s largest challenges. A number of his cabinet nominees, political appointees and closest advisors are outright climate deniers while others have funded the denial of climate change or are lukewarm on accepting the science.
(2) Trudeau’s Favored Pipeline Company: Law-Breaking, Pollution, Cover-Ups
... the Trudeau administration approved a proposal by Texas-based energy company Kinder Morgan to build a large new oil pipeline through British Columbia to the shores of the Salish Sea ... move tar sands to the coast for export by way of the San Juan Islands and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The project is expected to draw ferocious opposition from Northwest tribes and First Nations, as well as from environmental advocates and local communities near the pipeline route.
(3) Trudeau Approves Two Big Oil Sands Pipeline Expansions
Trudeau has replaced the important step forward of his carbon tax with two steps backwards from additional upstream emissions that result from his pipeline approvals.
(4) Trump And The GOP May Be Trying To Kneecap Climate Research
It’s very possible that Congress will send Trump a budget that slashes Nasa climate research, and it’s also possible that his oil-allied team will advise him to sign it. Doing so would be a terrible mistake that would cripple the scientific community’s ability to monitor how rapidly we’re changing the Earth’s climate.
(5) Nine Things You Can Do Right Now To Fight Trump’s War On Climate And Democracy
Activism ... Investigate Trump ... Know What We're Fighting For ... Deliver Your Message ... End Climate Silence ... Support Climate Politicians ... Debunk Trumps Lies ... Get Good News Sources ... Never Give In ...
(6) Don't Let Politics Trump Science, 2000 Scientists Warn President-Elect
Signaling great pessimism about the future "role of science in policymaking," more than 2,000 scientists published an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump and the GOP-dominated 115th Congress on Wednesday warning against the dangers of allowing "political or corporate influence" to override scientific fact.
(7) What Trump & Pence Don't Get About Clean Energy
America’s clean energy industry – everything from wind turbines and solar panels, to home energy storage and energy efficiency ... is worth $200 billion after growing 29 percent over the past five years. That’s bigger than the United States airline industry and the pharmaceutical business. ... If Trump grabs hold of the clean energy potential right in front of him it won’t be good just for his legacy – but also for our economy, climate and future.

20 Nov 2016

(1) Trump’s Dilemma: To Please His Friends By Trashing The Paris Climate Deal, Or Not? Bill McKibben
So Trump faces a dilemma. Does he please his most extreme friends? If so, he will own every climate disaster in the next four years: every hurricane that smashes into the Gulf of Mexico will be Hurricane Donald, every drought that bakes the heartland will be a moment to mock his foolishness. That’s how that works.
(2) Art Of The Deal: How Trump Can Win By Playing Climate Game
If Trump and his Republican allies in Congress succeed in wrecking Obama’s climate change policies and turn their back on a clean energy future in favor of more fossil fuels, the world has scant chance of limiting global warming to well below two degrees. The author of the “Art of the Deal” has staked his career on the notion that he is a highly successful businessman and property developer. It is time that he wakes up not only to the threats posed by climate change, but also to the opportunities offered by a low-carbon transition.
(3) The Paris Agreement Is An Incredible Deal For The U.S. Trump Would Be Foolish To Cancel It. Joe Romm
What happens when President Trump withdraws from Paris, kills the EPA’s carbon pollution standards for existing power plants (the Clean Power Plan), promotes fossil fuel production and consumption, and works to undermine the global effort to ratchet down the world CO2 targets? As I’ve argued, Trump will be blamed for whatever catastrophic climate change subsequently occurs, the U.S. will become a “pariah” nation ...
(4) Donald Trump’s First Staff Picks All Deny The Threat Of Climate Change
Attorney General: Jeff Sessions. CIA Director: Mike Pompeo. National Security Adviser: Retired Lt General Michael Flynn. Chief White House Strategist: Steve Bannon. White House Chief of Staff: Reince Priebus.
(5) Trump To Scrap NASA Climate Research In Crackdown On ‘Politicized Science’
“Without the support of NASA, not only the US but the entire world would be taking a hard hit when it comes to understanding the behavior of our climate and the threats posed by human-caused climate change ... It would be a blatantly political move, and would indicate the president-elect’s willingness to pander to the very same lobbyists and corporate interest groups he derided throughout the campaign.”
(6) Trump’s Climate Denial Is Just One Of The Forces That Point Towards War | George Monbiot
The social, environmental and economic crises we face require a complete reappraisal of the way we live and work. The failure by mainstream political parties to produce a new and persuasive economic narrative, which does not rely on sustaining impossible levels of growth and generating illusory jobs, provides a marvellous opening for demagogues everywhere.
(7) Nine Obama Environmental Regulations in Trump's Crosshairs
... the Interior Department's Methane and Waste Prevention Rule for oil and gas operations on federal lands, finalized on Nov. 15. The Bureau of Land Management issued the regulations to curb venting, flaring and leaks of natural gas to reduce harmful emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane. ... Clean Power Plan (Aug. 3, 2015) ... Waters of the U.S. Rule (Aug. 28, 2015) ... Methane Rule: New Facilities (May 12, 2016) ... Methane Rule: Existing Sites (Underway) ... Blowout Preventer Rules (April 14, 2016) ... Greater Sage Grouse Protections (Sept. 25, 2015) ... Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal Lands (March 20, 2015) ... Coal Ash Regulations (April 17, 2015) .... Crystalline Silica Worker Safety Rule (March 23, 2016)
(8) How To Talk To Your Climate Change-Denying Relatives This Thanksgiving (Yes, You Can!)
1. Make It Personal ... it's making extreme worthy events worse ... it's expensive ... it's killing animals ... it could take away your wine ... 2. Appeal To Their Humanity ... 3. Use Cost-Benefit Analysis
(9) What's Happening To Our Planet — In 8 Infographics
The book "What’s Really Happening to Our Planet" clearly shows that .... humankind acted over decades and centuries to create the conditions that threaten us today — many of which risk further exacerbation by growing human population and consumption.
(10) Economists Agree: Economic Models Underestimate Climate Change
economists, while their views do show a wider spread on various issues than the views of climate scientists, do widely agree that climate is a serious problem requiring immediate action.
(11) Trump’s Coal Delusions
The only thing that keeps coal-based electricity even in the ballpark of prices for renewable energy sources is the industry’s ability to shift coal’s hidden costs—environmental and health damage—onto society at large. If climate regulations eventually kick in and the coal power industry adopts CCS as a survival strategy, the task of hiding from the market the real and mounting costs of coal can only grow more daunting.

13 Nov 2016

(1) Most Are Underestimating Trump’s Impact On The Environment
If Donald Trump and the GOP actually follow through on what they’ve promised, this time around will be a lurch in the opposite direction. Federal climate policy will all but disappear; participation in international environmental or climate treaties will end; pollution regulations will be reversed, frozen in place, or not enforced; clean energy research, development, and deployment assistance will decline; protections for sensitive areas and ecosystems will be lifted; federal leasing of fossil fuels will expand and accelerate; new Supreme Court appointees will crack down on EPA discretion.
(2) Military Leaders Urge Trump to See Climate as a Security Threat - Scientific American
...a bipartisan group of defense experts and former military leaders sent Donald Trump’s transition team a briefing book urging the president-elect to consider climate change as a grave threat to national security.
(3) The North Pole Is An Insane 36 Degrees Warmer Than Normal
... “It’s about 20C [36 degrees Fahrenheit] warmer than normal over most of the Arctic Ocean ... Not only are air temperatures unusually warm, but water temperatures are as well. “There are some areas in the Arctic Ocean that are as much as 25 degrees Fahrenheit above average now ... The sea ice is at a record low right now, for this time of year ... there’s so much heat in the upper ocean in these ice-free areas, the ice just can’t form right now.
(4) U.S. Companies to Trump: Don’t Abandon Global Climate Deal
Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk,” the companies said in a joint letter ... “But the right action now will create jobs and boost U.S. competitiveness.”

6 Nov 2016

(1) Republican Kelly Ayotte Lost Millions of Dollars by Defying Koch Brothers on Climate Change
New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte ... is the only Republican senator in a competitive race who acknowledges humans are behind climate change and who backs President Obama’s plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Her stance came at a cost: millions of dollars in lost funding from the climate-denial-funding oil billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch.
(2) Tax Meat And Dairy To Cut Emissions
Surcharges of 40% on beef and 20% on milk would compensate for climate damage and deter people from consuming as much unhealthy food
(3) Rich States Urged To Dig Deeper To Help Poor Respond to 'Climate Crisis'
From hurricane-ravaged Haiti to drought-parched southern Africa, the world's poorest countries are battling increasingly extreme weather being thrown their way as the planet warms. But the aid on offer globally to help them cope is still a pittance compared with what they need ...
(4) Climate Trumps Everything, No Matter Who is President
Trumps says he'll cancel U.S. support for the Paris Climate Agreement, cancel the EPA Clean Power Plan & reinvigorate fossil fuel use ... If the U.S. is to accomplish what Trump says he wants for our nation—economic growth, job creation, improved infrastructure and international respect—then we need to lead the world in clean energy research, development and deployment.
(5) Conservatives Elected Trump; Now They Own Climate Change
... the climate change we are seeing, and the climate change which is now unavoidable could have been stopped. I will count up the economic and social consequences of climate change which could have been stopped. These are now the liability of conservatives. The financial costs of adapting will also be owned by conservatives. They asked for it, they got it. Our job is to never let them forget it.
(6a) Trump’s Election Marks The End Of Any Serious Hope Of Limiting Climate Change To 2 Deg C
Limiting global temperature to 2 degrees would require large-scale, coordinated action now. And Trump means that isn’t going to happen. So we won’t stop at 1.5 deg C. We won’t stop at 2 deg C. We’ll be lucky to stop at 3 or 4 deg C. ... There’s going to be severe, dangerous climate change. Millions of people will suffer. ... We won’t avoid dangerous climate change. That’s what the US decided last night. There’s no point pretending otherwise.
(6b) Will Trump Go Down In History As The Man Who Pulled The Plug On A Livable Climate?
... “estimated emissions would be 16 percent higher after two terms of Trump’s policies than they would be after two terms of Clinton’s, amounting to 3.4 billion tons greater emissions over the next eight years.” ... he could probably slow it enough to destroy the modest chance we had to keep total warming “well below 2°C” as the world committed to in Paris. Avoiding global catastrophe requires an almost World War II-scale increase in clean energy investment and deployment

30 Oct 2016

(1) Nicholas Stern: Cost of Global Warming Is Worse
The costs involved – in investing in the development of alternative energy sources ... would be far outweighed by the costs of coping with an overheated world afflicted by flooding, soaring temperatures, ruined crops and farmland, lack of food and displaced people
(2a) Time to Move the Standing Rock Pipeline
A pipeline may well be the most profitable and efficient way to move a half-million barrels of crude oil a day across the Plains. But in a time of oil gluts and plummeting oil prices, is it worth it? Is it worth the degradation of the environment, the danger to the water, the insult to the heritage of the Sioux?
(2b) Dakota Access Pipeline Builder Ignored Obama Admin Request to Halt Construction
“To think Energy Transfer Partners would respect a voluntary request to be decent, even one by the President of the United States, was wishful thinking. If the Obama administration really wants to pause construction, as the President suggested he does, it needs to continue to suspend ETP’s permits to build under the Missouri River,”
(3) Paris Climate Deal: Don't Bet On Renewable Energy To Stop Global Warming
... simply switching to renewables alone will not solve the climate change problem. ... We need to start removing carbon from the atmosphere. ... We need to tackle the demand side. We cannot simply assume that relentless economic growth is compatible with a green future.
(4) Why Republicans Still Reject the Science of Global Warming
For the modern-day Republican Party, protecting fossil fuels wasn't a pet issue; it was a religion. The Church of Carbon. ... the Republicans as a party have taken the view that climate change – if it even exists – is not caused by man-made pollutants, and it's not really much of a problem," ... "It's an open hostility to science and evidence and facts that are becoming more and more undeniable."
(5) We Don’t Need a ‘War’ on Climate Change, We Need a Revolution - The New York Times
While world wars aim to decimate enemies and their capacities for violence, “revolutions” aim to transform violence and oppression by empowering people. Instead of a war against physics, a revolution in the control and direction of climate, natural resources and energy policy could enable democratic participation to redress past harms and guide environmental goals of the future. Such a revolution would affirm the right to a clean, healthy environment for all people; it would transform the relationships that regulate our metabolism with nature, relationships that now allow some to profit by denying this right to others. Solar panels alone won’t transform these relationships and secure this right.
(6) This Group Is Taking On The Biggest Obstacle To Climate Action
... some groups have already begun working at the national level to collect and publicize political contributions from the fossil fuel industry in federal races. NoFossilFuelMoney.org ... tracks contributions from oil and gas, electric utilities, coal mining and related sectors to both congressional challengers and incumbents, in an effort to “shine a light on how fossil fuels influence our democratic process.”

23 Oct 2016

(1) Four Harsh Truths for Canada’s Lovestruck Pipeline Politicians
Climate disruption, driven by oil consumption and forest destruction, has become a global insurgency that can only be combated by rapidly changing patterns of energy consumption. That means using less energy and living locally. Pipelines and their political champions now look and behave like horsemen of the apocalypse.
(2) Crossing the Fossil Fuel Industry Could Now Get You Locked Up – For Decades
In the United States, people have the right to protest, and the press has the right to write about it. But over the past month, multiple journalists, documentary filmmakers, and activists have been arrested in three different states for engaging in and reporting on protests against fossil fuel infrastructure projects.
(3) Report Shows 'Bold New Vision' for Carbon-Free Transportation System Is Possible
"We need a policy roadmap to 100 percent clean transportation," ... removing barriers to low-carbon transportation investments; ensuring that fees charged for motor vehicle use meet or exceed the full societal costs imposed by driving; fostering regional and public-private collaborations to encourage adoption of electric vehicles; expanding renewable energy production.; and encouraging early adoption of electric vehicles among low-income users. ...
(4) Can We Unify?
... finding a path to unity. ... Unity does not mean lock-step agreement on every issue or detail, it does mean finding an avenue by which to bring our presently atomized struggles for peace, the environment, racial, social, and economic justice together. ... Keep the language open, non-violent and inclusive, not filled with acronyms and jargon. Make every effort to find the points of compromise and agreement as possible, without focusing on the disagreements. Any positive step will build on itself and move the struggle forward. People are hungry for positive change and representative bodies that work – make it happen.
(5a) The Left’s Opposition To A Carbon Tax
... many activists believe that building a big leftist coalition is the only way major action on climate will happen. Recycling carbon-tax revenue, rather than showering it on interest groups, “loses you the left coalition, and with it the big left funders, and doesn’t gain you any Republicans.” Maybe ... this reflects not just a failure on the part of Republican climate head-in-the-sanders, but also of “the big left funders” and their intellectual enablers. If the movement cannot accept economically sound policy that would help solve the fundamental problem, there is something deeply wrong with the movement.
(5b) To Tax Or Not To Tax
... to tax or not is a strategic and highly political decision. Is there a Congress brave enough to enact a carbon tax that actually changes behavior? Will successive Congresses keep it in place in a fickle political environment? Does political will exist to ramp prices up at an ever-increasing level – to make fossil fuel use sufficiently costly that consumers will abandon them in favor of renewables and energy efficiency? Will policy makers finally take the long view or will they be constrained by shorter term objectives, like getting reelected?
(6) Climate Change Could Push Risk of ‘Megadrought’ to 99% in American Southwest
A megadrought spanning several decades could be almost certain to hit the American southwest this century if greenhouse gas emissions are not curbed, a new study says. Rising temperatures will “load the dice” in favour of a megadrought in the region ...
(7) To Diversify Agriculture, We Must Diversify the Questions We Ask
... asking how we can ‘feed the world’ is in fact a reflection of the power of dominant actors to keep the agenda focused on industrial agriculture. This framing predisposes us to approach the question in terms of global production volumes of mainly energy-rich, nutrition-poor crop commodities, i.e. what industrial agriculture is designed to deliver. Meanwhile, it sidelines a number of key questions about poverty and access, the root causes of inadequate diets, and the crucial issue of where and by whom additional food must be produced.
(8a) Outrageous Militarized Police Collaboration With Oil Companies at Standing Rock Against Protectors
“The current buildup of tremendous force at Standing Rock should be understood as a military invasion of a sovereign nation on behalf of a foreign oil company."
(8b) The Battle Over the Dakota Access Pipeline, Vox, Brad Plumer
the broader lawsuit against the pipeline is still moving forward — and may not get resolved before the end of 2016 ... What’s more, Dakota Access still must get one last bit of approval from the Army Corps of Engineers before digging on either side of Lake Oahe.

16 Oct 2016

(1) How the Western Water Wars May End
... farmers have joined with environmental groups and state and federal officials to both increase water availability and restore the natural landscape ... voluntary conservation programs, building new water-storage reservoirs, and adding structures to dams that would help fish seek cooler waters as they migrate upstream.
(2a) Millions Face Hunger by 2030 Without 'Deep Transformation' of Agriculture
Up to 122 million more people around the globe could be forced into extreme poverty by 2030 as a result of climate change ... diversifying crop production, better integration of farming with the natural habitat, agroecology, and "sustainable intensification" as strategies to help small-scale farmers adapt to a warming world. ... "To bolster food security in a changing climate, countries must address food and agriculture in their climate action plans and invest more in rural development," ... "take a holistic, collaborative, and integrated approach to climate change, food security, and equitable social and economic development."
(2b) We Need an Agroecological Revolution—So Why Are Governments Investing in Agribusiness?
... providing security of tenure for small-scale food producers, creating agricultural banks and wage boards, managing supplies and minimum prices, using public procurement to promote agroecology, and providing social protection, infrastructure, and research and technical support for small-scale producers.
(3) How to Fight Big Oil: Join Your Neighbors
Moral Authority ... Sovereignty ... Commitment ... Solidarity ... no new fossil fuel extraction or transportation infrastructure should be allowed if we are to have any prospect of keeping worldwide temperature increases to less than 2 degrees.
(4) It's Outrageous That I'm Facing 45 Years in Prison for Filming a Climate Protest
Journalism needs to be passionately and ethically pursued and defended if we are to remain a free democratic country. Freedom of the press, guaranteed by the First Amendment, is absolutely critical to maintaining an informed citizenry, without which, democracy is impossible.
(5) Why Locking in Fuel Subsidy Reforms Is A Top U.S. Priority
Subsidies that reduce consumer prices for fuels like gasoline, diesel or natural gas often strain government budgets and divert funds intended for the poor toward the rich. ... in the past two years, 10 countries have eliminated subsidies for at least one fuel and have reduced subsidies for another 12. Shrewd governments realize that plunging global oil prices ... will offset any fuel price increases from subsidy cuts.
(6) The Climate Questions the Next President Should Answer | Climate Central
How would incentivize energy efficiency? Which existing carbon-fee program would you consider as a model for the U.S.? How would you incentivize the transition to renewable energy? How do we phase out use of coal, oil & gas? What would your policy to geoengineering be?
(7) Review: 7 Key Scenes in Leonardo DiCaprio's Climate Film Before the Flood
know you’re American, so please don’t take this the wrong way, but your consumption is really going to put a hole in the planet. I think that’s the conversation we need to have.
(8) Stop Waiting For a Big Breakthrough On Climate Change.
If we’re going to solve global warming ... There will never be one dramatic moment you can point to and say, “Aha! There’s the turning point.” Instead, countries will plug away at small issues ... and build momentum over time. ... we’re going to have to “dream big, win small.”

9 Oct 2016

(1) How to Contact the 17 Banks Funding the Dakota Access Pipeline
“People should also ask these institutions why they are sinking so much money into maximizing the amounts of oil and gas that can be brought to the surface and burned at a time when climate science is clear we have to maximize what we keep in the ground instead,”
(2) How to Fight Big Oil: Join Your Neighbors
Moral Authority ... Sovereignty ... Commitment ... Solidarity ...
(3) On Climate Change, the Difference Between Trump and Clinton is Quite Simple
Clinton wants to keep chipping away at this enormous boulder of a climate problem, all in the hopes that bigger cracks eventually appear. Trump says the boulder’s fine as is — if anything, it could stand to be even bigger.
(4) The 'Good Anthropocene': Grassroots Initiatives Worldwide Show Path Forward
we’re building these global pathways from the bottom up, by crowdsourcing a rich data base of 'bright spots,' real places that demonstrate one or more elements of a positive future that might serve as seeds of a good Anthropocene."
(5) Investors Warn Car Industry Over Climate Change
“To achieve sustainable returns for clients and beneficiaries, investors in the automotive sector must engage to ensure companies are prepared to thrive in a carbon-constrained environment and support robust policy action sufficient to drive the transition to clean vehicles.”
(6) Patagonia Gets Political
“We’re fond of quoting [environmentalist] David Brower, that ‘there is no business on a dead planet,’” she said. “We care about a wide range of issues, but everything rests on having clean air, clean soil, and clean water.”
(7) Sanders, Other Senators Urge Obama to Halt DAPL for 'Imperative' Review
"We are writing to respectfully request that you direct the Army Corps of Engineers to require a full environmental impact statement for the Lake Oahe crossing of the Dakota Access Pipeline that includes meaningful tribal consultation," the letter reads. In addition to Sanders, it was signed by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Edward Markey (D-Mass.). ... "All fossil fuels infrastructure projects of this significance must be subjected to a test to consider the long term climate impacts. ... the pipeline would lock in 101.4 million metric tons of carbon per year—the equivalent of roughly 30 new coal plants.
(8) Obama's Legacy on Climate Change
Eight years of the Obama Administration have been marked by significant steps on environmental policy negated by an unregulated, unprecedented growth in domestic oil and gas production.

2 Oct 2016

(1) Americans Should Eat Less Meat, But Are Eating More
... consumption of meat in the United States rose by 5 percent in 2015 — the biggest increase in 40 years ... [the] industrial model of raising livestock has had all kinds of negative impacts: climate change, antibiotic resistance, water pollution, and air pollution. ... high meat consumption is linked to risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer, and premature death. ... "The average meat demand has stayed relatively steady. But ... there does seem to be uptick in consumers choosing to be vegetarian and vegan."
(2) A Good Anthropocene
Agroecology ... Green Urbanism ... Future Knowledge ... Urban Transformation ... Fair Futures ... Sustainable Futures ...
(3) Oregon Fosters Clean Economy Innovation with Seed Grants
Oregon BEST (which stands for Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies) is one of three research institutions the council has established.
(4) How Lakes Can Work Like Batteries - Pumped Hydro
When there’s a lot of power on the grid, like during the day when renewables like solar and wind are in high production, a pumped hydro project will pump the water uphill. Then when production is low and demand is high for electricity, the project will generate power like a hydroelectric dam – using the water to turn massive turbines.
(5) Republicans Are Rejecting Reality on Climate Change
Republican voters take their cues from party leaders and often get their information from conservative media outlets. On climate change, those leaders and media sources reject reality and substitute their own denial and misinformation, because it benefits them. Their voters become misinformed as a result, and thus don’t demand change from party leaders.
(6) World Needs $90tn Infrastructure Overhaul to Avoid Climate Disaster
“Though China has overtaken the US as the biggest producer of greenhouse gases, it is currently achieving a better balance between military and climate security spending ...
(7) Why Standing Rock Is a Test for Obama—and All Climate Choices Ahead
The United States cannot meet its obligations to the world if it continues business as usual. It’s just not possible; the math of carbon emissions cannot be wished away. The people who are camped at Standing Rock are giving President Obama the opportunity to show how a managed decline is possible. And, if done right, inspiring. As the president said, “This gives us the best possible shot to save the one planet we’ve got.”
(8) Why the Economy Should Stop Growing—And Just Grow Up
“How do we grow the economy?” is an obsolete question. The questions relevant to this moment in history are “How do we navigate the step to a mature economy that meets the needs of all within the limits of a finite living Earth?” How do we rebuild the strength and power of living communities? How do we create a culture of mutual caring and responsibility? How do we assure that the legal rights of people and communities take priority over those of government-created artificial persons called corporations?
(9) As Hurricane Matthew Threatens, Florida Governor Slammed for Climate Denialism
"Gov. Scott has utterly failed the people of his state ... "Instead of working to reduce carbon emissions, help homeowners and municipalities develop strategies to cope with climate impacts like sea level rise, erosion, flooding, salt water intrusion, insect-borne disease outbreaks and extreme heat, he has stuck his head in Florida's sand.
(10) How the Attack on Science Is Becoming a Global Contagion
Territorialists find climate change suspect, in part because it could mean that Europeans or Americans have to forego material wealth in order to help other people living in faraway lands, such as the inhabitants of Pacific Islands. The climate doesn’t have walls, and the science studying it is globalist by nature.
(11) New Study Ranks Eight Major Fossil Fuel Companies on Their Climate Change Actions
Fossil Fuel Companies should: Stop Spreading Disinformation on Climate Change ... Fully Disclose Climate Risks ... Plan For A Carbon Pollution Free Future ... Support Fair Climate Policies ... Pay Their Share of Climate Costs
(12) Why the Rich Should Reverse Inequality
My message to the planet’s most wealthy and privileged citizens ... is to “come home,” to make a commitment to place, to put down a stake, and work for an economy that works for everyone. ... sharing our wealth and paying our fair share of taxes. ... moving investment capital out of the old fossil-fuel economy, offshore accounts, and speculative financial investments—and redirecting it to the new relocalized economy, including regional food and energy systems and enterprises that broaden wealth ownership, such as cooperatives ...
(13) A Climate-Smart Infrastructure Upgrade for America
Investing in climate-smart infrastructure will improve and protect public health by ensuring cleaner air and water in our communities, and provide the next generation with a healthier, more sustainable country.
(14) Mobilising for Sustainability
“Sustainable systems require that we move from fragmentation to connection, which may involve reconnecting, making new connections or, in some cases, breaking connections,”

25 Sept 2016

(1) Family Forests Can Help Save the Planet
More than half of the 751 million acres of forestland in the United States are privately owned ... These family forests, environmental groups argue, represent a large, untapped resource for combating the effects of climate change.
(2) Fossil Fuel Spending Swings Ohio Senate Race to GOP
Nearly 40 percent of Portman's windfall came from the Freedom Partners Action Fund and Americans for Prosperity, two groups in the billionaire libertarian Koch brothers' network of political nonprofits ...
(3) US Emissions to Miss 2025 Target
... cheap gasoline and natural gas prices in the US have led to overconsumption of fossil fuels and slowed efforts to improve energy efficiency. ... putting a price on carbon ... would provide the largest single shove towards meeting the 2025 target.
(4) Hydropower Isn’t Carbon Neutral
... reservoirs of all sorts are important sources of the potent greenhouse-gas methane. The gas is produced by decomposing organic material underwater ... reservoirs created by dams produce about 1.3 percent of total annual global human-caused emissions.
(5) California To Regulate Cow Belches
California has a lot of dairy cows, and all that belching and farting and decomposing poop accounts for 5 percent of the state’s total greenhouse gas output.
(6) Dakota Access Pipeline and the Future of American Labor
We need a dialogue about “how we are going to create jobs for out of work construction workers – jobs that build America’s competitiveness, while we turn our nation’s economic future in a low carbon emission direction.
(7) China Is Serious About Combating Climate Change
Limiting coal use ... Carbon trading ... Cleaning up cars & trucks ... Improving building energy efficiency ... Building renewable capacity ... Building nuclear reactors ... Building high-speed rail
(8) First #ExxonKnew Lawsuit Filed Against Specific Company Facility
The low-lying petroleum tank farm ... is already flooding in heavy rainfall events, and will flood from storm surge during a Category 1 hurricane or with modest amounts of sea level rise. ... Such flooding could release carcinogens such as toluene, benzene, arsenic and other harmful pollutants present at the facility.
(9) Can Religion Overcome Climate Change Deniers?
“Because only when we think as one humanity can we save this planet.” ... Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders came together for the first-ever "Faith for the Climate" event. ... caring for the earth is our shared responsibility.
(10) Insurance May Be Dropped for Properties That Repeatedly Flood
Properties that flood repeatedly represent about 1 percent of the total policies in the program but add up to 25 to 30 percent of the claims. ... These are properties that file multiple claims and that are built and rebuilt again and again ... They have kind of this outsize financial impact."
(11) Citing Environmental Risks, Scientists Back Tribes in Dakota Access Fight
Close to 100 scientists have signed onto a letter decrying "inadequate environmental and cultural impact assessments" for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) ... As Bill McKibben said ... the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies: "They're holding the line against something that threatens not only their reservation, but threatens the whole planet. We do not—we cannot pump more oil. We've got to stop opening up new reserves."
(12a) The 'Spiral of Silence' on Climate Change
... there is a climate change “spiral of silence,” in which even people who care about the issue, shy away from discussing it because they so infrequently hear other people talking about it – reinforcing the spiral ... it threatens their status in social groups ...
(12b) End Climate Silence
So let’s end climate silence now. ... “Once third-rail issues transform into moral imperatives, impossibilities sometimes surrender to new realities.”
(13) From Neoliberalism to Ecologism
look for power amongst those who are disenfranchised by the capital accumulating system. ... "We need to seek legal redress for the many wrongs e.g. land grabbing, pollution, tax avoidance by corporations, oppression of Indigenous people for fracking, oil shale, tar sands, biofuels. We need to expose corruption, corporate power and the failures and undemocratic processes of the EC, World Bank and WTO."

18 Sept 2016

(1) The Standoff Between Big Oil and Big Corn
... ethanol has made America less reliant on Middle Eastern oil, saved consumers up to $1 a gallon at the pump and spared the air from vast clouds of harmful carbon emissions.
(2) Politicians Need to Realize Climate Change is a Threat
... these efforts to reduce the risk to future generations are now being imperiled by a small yet vocal group that denies the validity of the evidence and of scientific expertise in general. Of special and immediate concern is the stated intent of the current Republican Party platform and presidential nominee Donald Trump to promote the extraction and use of the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels, to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement and to rescind President Obama’s executive actions designed to reduce climate risk.
(3) How to Raise Trillions for Green Investments - The New York Times
SAVING our planet from the worst effects of climate change ... the world will need to mobilize $90 trillion in public and private capital over the next 15 years. ... [we need] environmental regulations to stimulate clean, sustainable development; incentives and subsidies for clean energy investments; and the pricing of carbon emissions. ... We also need to eliminate subsidies that encourage the use and extraction of carbon-based energy like coal and oil.
(4) Breaking the Climate Procrastination Habit
Keep it in the ground ... Support clean energy ... Encourage national grid ... Spur a fair transition ... Shrink farming's carbon footprint ... End fossil fuel subsidies ... Buck corporate influence ... Learn more about climate change ...
(5) The Key to Tackling Climate Change: Electrify Everything, David Roberts
If we know how to clean up electricity and we don’t yet know how to clean up combustion fuels, it makes sense to begin replacing combustion tech with electrical tech, insofar as it’s possible.
(6) SEC Probe Called Possible 'Moment of Reckoning' for Exxon's Climate Crimes
... the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has reportedly launched an investigation into whether Exxon Mobil deliberately deceived investors over the long-term value of its fossil fuel assets in light of the climate crisis.
(7) How You Can Support Standing Rock
Big Oil is pushing a massive new network of oil and gas infrastructure, retooling in a desperate attempt to extract the dirtiest fuels on the planet and squeeze the last few drops of profit out of an era that clearly needs to end. Without exception, these projects threaten tribal lands, and without exception, they face bold Indigenous resistance.
(8) A Security Strategy for the 21st Century
We must press at home and abroad for political and economic reorganization that advances democracy and enables all people to pursue a decent means of living in harmony with the living Earth. Scaling back dependence on fossil fuels, the power of global corporations, the international arms trade, and the grotesque inequalities within and between nations need to be high on our list of security priorities. This will lead to dismantling the costly obsolete war machinery ...
(9) Will the Naive Left and the Self-Interested Kill I-732, Cliff Mass
EVERYONE will be affected by climate change and EVERYONE must work on solutions. ... [opposing I-732] there is alliance between left-leaning, climate justice folks who want big government and funds directed to specific groups, and right-leaning energy-intensive industrialists who don't want to deal with global warming.
(10) Can Humanity Survive the 21st Century?
... ten huge man-made threats, which are now coming together to imperil our existence – ecological collapse, resource depletion, weapons of mass destruction, global warming, global poisoning, food insecurity, population and urban expansion, pandemic disease, dangerous new technologies and self-delusion ... There is no other way to deal with such a complex problem than to face up to it, to understand it thoroughly, and to then take resolute and agreed species-wide action to prevent it. ... The release of 2.9 trillion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere and oceans is predicted to drive the planet into a hot phase of +5-10 degrees Celsius ... [we've] already released 1.9 trillion tonnes of carbon and are adding 50 billion tonnes a year by burning fossil fuels and clearing land. The big risk is that, as the planet warms, this will cause the release of ... the 5 trillion tonnes of carbon locked as frozen methane in the tundra and seabed, causing unstoppable ‘runaway’ warming. ... World food security is on a knife-edge ... topsoil, freshwater, wild fish, oil and fertiliser [are all being depleted].
(11a) Soil Carbon Storage Not the Climate Change Fix
... it will take hundreds or even thousands of years for soils to soak up large amounts of the extra CO2 pumped into the atmosphere by human activity – far too long to be relied upon as a way to help the world avoid dangerous global warming this century.
(11b) Soil Carbon Can’t Fix Climate Change By Itself
While the new research suggests that soil might not soak up quite as much carbon as large-scale modeling efforts previously projected ... [but we need] aggressive strategies that both reduce fossil fuel emissions and foster soil carbon sequestration for a slew of reasons—food security being just one.
(12) Existing Coal, Oil & Gas Fields Will Blow Carbon Budget
The world’s working coal mines and oil and gas fields contain enough carbon to push the world beyond the threshold for catastrophic climate change ... it was imperative for governments to focus on shutting down new mines and fields before a sod was turned. “Once an extraction operation is underway, it creates an incentive to continue so as to recoup investment and create profit, ensuring the product – the fossil fuels – are extracted and burned. These incentives are powerful, and the industry will do whatever it takes to protect their investments and keep drilling,”
(13) A Quick Guide to the Clean Power Plan
... the Clean Power Plan is a federal (EPA) mandate for states to curb carbon emissions from their electricity providers. Electricity — largely from burning coal — produces nearly a third of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions.
(14) The New, New Climate Math
... the world has 17 years to replace current fossil fuel infrastructure with renewable energy. "That's enough time—maybe—to replace gas guzzlers with electric cars. To retrain pipeline workers and coal miners to build solar panels and wind turbines."
(15) Faced With Massive Opposition to Dakota Access Pipeline, Banks Could Still Pull Out
At this point anyone who finances any fossil fuel infrastructure is attempting to make money on the guaranteed destruction of the planet.
(16) Global Climate Impacts of Arctic Sea Ice Loss
What is needed today is a widespread global campaign to actually remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using techniques like direct air capture. .... initiatives to devise economically acceptable methods for carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere should be the most important concern of science and technology.

11 Sept 2016

(1a) Republicans Are Doing Big Oil's Bidding
The GOP has become the Grand Oil Party. The fossil fuel industry has now managed to dictate Republican Party actions on climate change in attorney generals offices, Congress, and for the party’s presidential nominee.
(1b) Fossil Fuel Money to GOP Grows
... this election cycle in 2015 through the first six months of this year, fossil fuel industry political action committees and employees donated $37.2 million to Republicans running for federal office. ... giving to Democrats totaled just $3.8 million. ... 82% of Democrats believe in human-caused climate change versus 47% of Republicans.
(1c) Donald Trump’s Economic Plan Would Be Devastating to the Climate
Trump’s energy plan ... he opposes any policy that will tackle the climate crisis or grow our clean energy economy, and he supports any policy that props up the dirty fossil fuel industry ...
(2) Military Experts Say Climate Change Poses a Significant Security Risk
... the US national security community warned that warming temperatures and rising seas will increasingly inundate military bases and fuel international conflict and mass migration ... the Department of Defense called climate change a “threat multiplier” which could demand greater humanitarian or military intervention and lead to more severe storms that threaten cities and military bases and heightened sea levels that could imperil island and coastal infrastructure.
(3) Agenda 21 Is Conspiracy Theory
The main thrust of most of those conspiracy theories ... Agenda 21 is in fact a UN plan to deprive nations of their sovereignty, and individuals of their property rights. On the fringes of the right, a benign agreement encouraging social and environmental stewardship became a disguised attempt to impose global communism on free citizens.
(4) WA State Limits Carbon Pollution
... large carbon polluters will be required to reduce carbon emissions by an average of 1.7 percent annually.
(5) Sioux at Dakota Access Pipeline
... Rather than conduct a fair assessment of the risks posed by an entire pipeline to ancestral homelands, sacred sites, climate, air, and water, the Corps divides it into hundreds of individual segments and then concludes that each of them (surprise, surprise) is too insignificant to worry about. ... the Army Corps of Engineers would need to do a proper environmental impact statement for the entire pipeline. ... any environmental assessment of a major pipeline such as this one should absolutely consider how it will affect climate change ...
(6) Adding to Obama's Legacy on Climate Change
Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline ... Reinstate the Ban on Crude Oil Exports ... Stop Pursuing the TPP ... Incentivize Renewable Energy ... Ban Fracking on Federal Lands
(7) Local Food is Great, But Can Go Too Far
Grow food. Mostly near you. ... But work with the seasons and renewable resources nature provides you. ... Ship the rest.
(8) Exploring the Gap Between Business-as-Usual and Utter Doom
In order for the transition to occur as smoothly as possible, we’ll need to change our expectations about speed, convenience, affordability, and entitlement. We’ll need to share what we have rather than competing for increasingly scarce resources. We’ll need to conserve, reuse, and repair. There will be no room for planned obsolescence, or for growing disparities between rich and poor. Cooperation will be our salvation. So, too, will be recognizing that there are limits—both to the planet’s capacity to support our numbers and activities, and to the role of technology in “fixing” these crises. But just because we can no longer continue to grow population, consumption, and complexity does not mean we can no longer grow happiness, well-being, or prosperity.
(9) The Climate Mobilization Victory Plan
Common purpose is key. People who lived through WWII on the home front — so weren’t at the front line facing the human tragedy — speak almost fondly of the time. The sense of unifying purpose, the community working together to face down and overcome a frightening external threat, the shift in culture from self-focus and consumerism to collective focus and purpose, left them feeling their lives were better, happier and more worthwhile.

4 Sept 2016

(1) U.S. Companies Publicly Support Climate Action, Privately Fund Deniers
Companies like Pepsi, DuPont, and Google might say that they support climate action, but in reality, they are funding lawmakers opposed to President Obama’s climate agenda ...
(2) Threat of Salmon Extinction Turns Small Tribe Into Climate Researchers by Nathan Gilles — YES! Magazine
... researchers hired by the Nooksack, outlined some of how the tribe’s cultural and natural resources will be affected by climate change. They discovered that local salmon runs are estimated to be a mere 2 to 8 percent of what they were in the late 1800s. These low numbers make the fish—all nine salmon species in the Nooksack River—especially vulnerable to even the smallest changes. And climate change will be a huge change, one that could lead to local extinctions.
(3) A Climate of Cash in Votes on Global Warming
Senators who have publicly denied that humans have had a significant impact on climate change took in an average of $467,022 more from the coal mining and oil & gas industries since 2010 than those who have publicly accepted humans’ role in the global rise in temperature.
(4) The TPP's Climate Blindspot
It is impossible to separate the outcomes of current trade regimes from the ways in which they were negotiated – often in secret, with heavy corporate influence and very little public scrutiny or input. Further, trade agreements should no longer be considered in isolation, or given legal priority over other global agreements. Trade policy is too influential, and provides too many obstacles for successful governing on issues like climate change, health, food security and natural resource management.
(5) Oceans Continue to Warm with DIre Consequences
Both fisheries and aquaculture would be "severely affected" if humans fail to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions ... with nations in the tropics and subtropics suffering the worst effects ...
(6) The Truth Behind The Kochs’ New Fossil Fuel PR Campaign
The campaign is called Fueling U.S. Forward ... [the claim is that] our vast wealth is built on cheap fossil fuels, and government efforts to promote clean energy deprive taxpayers and harm oil producers. He wants the world to believe that when production stalls and the price of gasoline spikes, low-income communities and communities of color are hardest hit. ... The Koch-inspired campaign claims clean energy would make life worse for working-class families. ... Every gallon of oil produces pollutants. Heat-trapping greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide fuel planetary warming and, by extension, heat, drought, coastal flooding and high-powered storms. Other pollutants, like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter have variously been linked to asthma, lung cancer, heart disease and birth defects, ... The cost of all this ... adds up ... to $3.80 per gallon of gasoline burned. ... [Who pays?] Overwhelmingly, it’s low-income communities and communities of color.
(7a) Who's Banking on the Dakota Access Pipeline?
... $10.25 billion in loans and credit facilities from 38 banks directly supporting the companies building the pipeline. ... Oil pipelines are inherently dangerous, and threaten our communities and environment with spills and explosions. They boost corporate profits and increase our dependence on fossil fuels, while bringing only risks and harms to those who live along the pipelines’ paths. ... We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, and we need an urgent shift to 100% renewable energy. 
The Dakota Access Bakken Pipeline is a direct threat to our air, water, and clean energy future. This is why we need President Obama to support the Standing Rock Sioux and other activists, and use his authority to revoke the federal permits and deny the Bakken pipeline.
(7b) Feds Step In for Standing Rock Sioux—the Big Win May Be for All Tribes Facing Pipelines
The agencies promised “meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights” and “government-to-government consultations” this fall.
(8) The Curious Case of a Climate Denier and a Utilities Conference
Giving Goreham a significant forum among power managers ... raises serious questions about their role in responding to global warming and their understanding of climate science. ... NEPPA represents about 80 not-for-profit, publicly owned utilities from across New England. It coordinates a sharing of resources among members, offers safety and other trainings and does some lobbying.
(9) If Real Change Starts at the Bottom, Why Is the Green Party Focused on the White House?
I’m conscious of the huge difference between treating politics as a tool as opposed to treating it as an ideology, theology, or certification of one’s own virtue. Campaigns are a tactic, like protests and boycotts, and the trick is to use them wisely, not to prove how good you are.
(10) What Would It Take To Mainstream "Alternative" Agriculture?
By moving beyond the simplistic science of industrial farming to a science that embraces this complexity, we create systems that produce not just food but also resilience, stability and sustainability — in the long run a far more valuable output than the one-dimensional yield of industrial agriculture.
(11) I'm Right and You're an Idiot.
People need to be held accountable and we need strong and vocal advocacy and we also need, when people are ready, the ability to sit down and work things out and be open minded.

28 Aug 2016

(1) California Urges President Obama and Congress to Tax Carbon Pollution
Revenue-neutral carbon tax is hard to dislike By returning 100% of the taxed revenue to American households, the policy blunts the rising costs of energy produced by burning fossil fuels. ... It makes polluters pay, helps tackle the immense threat of human-caused global warming, results in cleaner air and water by reducing the burning of dirty fossil fuels, and has a modestly beneficial overall economic impact. ... many in the fossil fuel industry oppose the policy ...
(2) Methane Emissions From U.S. Fracking
“... unless unleakable carbon is curtailed, up to 80–100% of our global natural gas reserves must remain underground if we hope to limit warming to 2°C from 2010 to 2050.” ... a switch from coal to natural gas for electricity production is not likely to curb global warming effectively, but rather delay effective measures further.
(3) An Energy Storage Idea
... pumping water deep into the earth to fill up the cracks in-between rocks that previously held fossil fuels. When the pressurized water is released, it acts like a spring as it races through a turbine-generator above ground, powering it to produce electricity. ... in a pilot project, used an abandoned natural gas well (2,800 feet deep, that could hold 50k gallons of water. ... after pumping water into the well for 12 hours, their technology could generate six hours of electricity.
(4a) Dakota Pipeline Approved by Army Corps Over Objections of Three Federal Agencies
The 1,134-mile pipeline would carry 500,000 barrels of crude per day from North Dakota to Illinois along a route that did not originally pass near the Standing Rock reservation ... After the company rerouted the pipeline to cross the Missouri River just a half-mile upstream of the reservation, the tribe complained that the Army Corps did not consider threats to its water supply and cultural heritage. "We believe the Corps did not adequately justify or otherwise support its conclusion that there would be no significant impacts upon the surrounding environment and community,"
(4b) An Oil Pipeline and a River: What Would Sitting Bull Do? Winona LaDuke
“The Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior and the National Advisory Council on Historic Preservation supported more protection of the tribe’s cultural heritage, but the Corps of Engineers and Energy Transfer Partners turned a blind eye to our rights. ... the Dakota Access Pipeline project is harmful. It will not be just harmful to my people but its intent and construction will harm the water in the Missouri River, ... To poison the water is to poison the substance of life. ... “Perhaps only in North Dakota, where oil tycoons wine and dine elected officials ... would state and county governments act as the armed enforcement for corporate interests." I am not sure how badly North Dakota wants this pipeline. If there is to be a battle over the pipeline, it will be here. For a people with nothing else but a land and a river, I would not bet against them. ... “What would Sitting Bull do?” ... he said 150 years ago: “Let us put our minds together to see what kind of future we can make for our children.”
(4c) Dakota Access Pipeline Company Attacks Native American Protesters with Dogs and Pepper Spray
Dakota Access pipeline company attacked Native Americans with dogs and pepper spray as they protested against the $3.8 billion pipeline’s construction. If completed, the pipeline would carry about 500,000 barrels of crude per day from North Dakota’s Bakken oilfield to Illinois.
(5) Global Warming Visualized
... these images tell a bigger story. They chronicle the history of a planet that’s become warmer and warmer as humans have filled the atmosphere with carbon pollution.
(6) Reforestation Must Be Done Right
The United Nations wants to stop deforestation through Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) programs, which seek to create financial incentives for forest management practices. ... indigenous groups have criticized REDD for allowing polluters like fossil fuel companies to continue extracting and burning fossil fuels by paying for reforestation elsewhere ... balancing the need for strengthening global forests might force people to make difficult choices, like giving up meat.
(7) Earth Is Warming Faster Than Any Time in Past 1,000 Years
Lingering carbon dioxide already emitted from power generation, transport and agriculture is already likely to raise sea levels by around three feet by the end of the century, and potentially by 70 feet in the centuries to come. Increasing temperatures will shrink the polar ice caps, make large areas of the Middle East and North Africa unbearable to live in and accelerate what’s known as Earth’s “sixth mass extinction” of animal species.
(8) Flooding of Coast, Due to Global Warming, Has Begun
In 2013, scientists ... [said] that three feet was the highest plausible rise by the year 2100 ... now some ... say that six or seven feet may be possible. A rise that large ... [is] likely to require the abandonment of entire cities.
(9) New Books on Non-Violence
"Nonviolent Struggle" by Sharon Erickson Nepstad. "Civil Resistance Today" by Kurt Schock. "A Theory of Nonviolent Action" by Stella Vinthagen. "Blueprint for Revolution" by Srdja Popovic.
(10) The Degrowth Debate Is Gaining Momentum
Sustainable degrowth challenges inequalities and the environmental destruction caused by a growth-oriented development paradigm; it calls for a downscaling of production and consumption, but also a rethinking of human and planetary wellbeing. It calls for a future where societies live within their ecological means, with open, localized economies and resources more equally distributed through new forms of democratic institutions. ... Efficiency helps the economy to grow further and sufficiency helps to live within planetary boundaries. ... "sufficiency includes, but is much broader than environmentalism. It's the counter-concept to "higher, faster, further, more".

21 Aug 2016

(1) Whopping $8.8 Trillion Climate Tab Being Left for Next Generation
"... unchecked climate change will impose heavy costs on millennials and subsequent generations, both directly in the form of reduced incomes and wealth, and indirectly through likely higher tax bills as extreme weather, rising sea levels, drought, heat-related health problems, and many other climate change-related problems take their toll on our society. ... [also] inaction on climate change means that we are missing out on a major opportunity for much-needed new investment and millions of new jobs by transitioning to clean energy."
(2) Flooding, Extreme Weather, and Record Temperatures: How Global Warming Puts it All Together
... global warming is among the main reasons why we are seeing places that never flooded before, such as Baton Rouge areas and Ellicott City, being swallowed by not only deep but very fast rising waters. Development and urbanization also play a big role in these events ...
(3) America's First Offshore Wind Farm
The Block Island Wind Farm, at a cost of $290 million, is expected to power about 17,000 homes ... the technical potential for offshore wind in the U.S. to be more than 4,000 gigawatts, much more electricity than the entire country currently consumes.
(4) A Court Ruling That Could Save the Planet - Bloomberg View
A federal court this week upheld the approach that the government uses to calculate the social cost of carbon when it issues regulations ... the social cost of carbon, last updated in 2015, is now $36. ... For climate change in particular, the court’s ruling is massively important. It upholds a foundation of countless regulations designed to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
(5) Is Natural Gas a Bridge Fuel?
If we think that coal plants would stick around for 15 years or more in the absence of gas, its probably better to replace them with gas today. If we think we will have the political will to retire gas plants early, we could also potentially benefit from a gas bridge. But if we end up locking in gas infrastructure that sticks around and delays renewables, we might be better off eschewing a gas bridge even if it means sticking around with coal a bit longer.
(6) Can B.C. Lead On Climate Change Without Moving Forward?
"The carbon tax worked. It reduced pollution. It created a stronger economy ... And it only stopped working when she froze it." Clark, for all her skill at public relations, may have an uphill battle convincing voters she's interested in actually leading the charge on climate change — as opposed to just bragging about it.
(7) How Much Food Can Cities Produce? David Suzuki
Toronto plans to supply 25 percent of its fruit and vegetable production within city limits by 2025 ... Detroit could grow 70 percent of its vegetables and 40 percent of its fruit on 570 vacant lots covering 5,000 acres of city land.
(8) U.S. West Coast Dungeness Crab Fishery At Risk From Ocean Acidification
The $170 million dollar crab fishery may collapse due to ocean acidification.
(9) Five Secrets of the Tea Party’s Success
1) Displayed their heart & soul to the media, 2) Created safe spaces for the silent to speak out, 3) They focused on three core values: individual liberty, fiscal responsibility & limited government, 4) They stayed in-touch & swapped strategies, 5) They picked fights they could win.
(10) The American Petroleum Institute’s Desperate Public Relations is Failing
" ... they want more oil and gas production everywhere, and no regulations to protect communities or the climate anywhere."

14 Aug 2016

(1) Alaska Native Votes to Relocate
Shishmaref is a barrier island about 130 miles north of Nome on the Chukchi Sea. Rising seas and more ice-free months are causing erosion that is eating away at the island. Residents fear it will be completely submerged within decades. Cost to relocate to the mainland is ~$200 million. 200 to 300 other villages will need to relocate in the next few decades.
(2a) We Need to Declare War on Climate Change, Bill McKibben
We’re under attack from climate change—and our only hope is to mobilize like we did in WWII. ... we have to have broad acceptance among the broader political community that we need urgent action, not just nibbling around the edges, ... Much of what we need to do can—and must—be accomplished immediately, through the same use of executive action ... halt drilling & mining on federal lands ... slow the build out of natural gas systems ... reject fossil fuel projects that exacerbate global warming ... require that federal agencies use clean energy & plug-in cars
(2b) Should We Think of Climate Change as a “World War”?, David Roberts
Praise 1: The war metaphor helps convey the significance of 2 degrees ... Praise 2: A tangible sense of what mobilization would look like ... Critique 1: No mention of the politics ... Critique 2: War requires a big tent ... Note of despair: Climate change defies all metaphors ... I think climate change is too big and unwieldy to be captured by any single metaphor ... It’s wicked like that. It’s an environmental problem, an energy transition, a national security threat, a market failure, an economic opportunity, an obligation to our children, a political dispute, a question of justice.
(3) Green Stamps: A Climate Equity Proposal
... ensuring a carbon pricing policy equitably benefits people who are hardest hit by the climate gap (i.e. the poor). A household-based approach might be more equitable in the Northwest ... because it would benefit all identifiable disadvantaged households, not just some of them.
(4) How A Few U.S. Cities Are Moving To A Fully Renewable Future
Normally, energy policy is dictated at a state level. But through climate action plans, mayoral decrees, standalone city council resolutions and public utilities, cities can start to move stakeholders along on renewable goals.
(5a) The Steel Magnate Helping Trump Assail Pollution Regulations
Under DiMicco (former CEO of Nucor Steel), Nucor contributed $502,000 to the Heartland Institute in 2010 and 2011, ... Nucor the top funder of the think tank during that time. Heartland Institute runs campaigns to obfuscate climate science and oppose carbon regulation ...
(5b) Donald Trump's Lack of Respect for Science Is Alarming - Scientific American
When the major Republican candidate for president has tweeted that global warming is a Chinese plot, threatens to dismantle a climate agreement 20 years in the making and to eliminate an agency that enforces clean air and water regulations, and speaks passionately about a link between vaccines and autism that was utterly discredited years ago, we can only hope that there is nowhere to go but up.
(6) Are We Feeling Collective Grief Over Climate Change?
ExxonMobil and The American Petroleum Institute have long sowed doubt about the science behind climate change, ... The Koch Brothers estimated by Forbes to be worth $44.2 billion each, have funneled mind-blowing sums through "charitable family trusts" and "think tanks" to influence policy and public opinion, planting seeds of uncertainty among the general public, and blocking attempts to regulate emissions, thereby ensuring that their pockets remain literally coated in oil. What does it mean when our Senate Majority Leader urges the country's governors to defy regulations to reduce carbon pollution? Some powerful forces have been messing with our opportunity to process the truth, and move beyond the stage of denial toward a stance of action. ... the world will look at our country and recognize that our per capita emissions, the droughts, floods, and searing hot days will be "because we gaily or callously, or with willful ignorance went about our ways, consuming what we wished, emitting what we felt like."
(7) Clinton Transition Team Headed by Anti-Climate 'Powerbroker'
[Ken Salazar] The former interior secretary has also previously said, "The TPP is a strong trade deal that will level the playing field for workers to help middle-class families get ahead. It is also the greenest trade deal ever," and has claimed that "there's not a single case where hydraulic fracking has created an environmental problem for anyone."
(8) Wind Power: Bigger, Better, Cheaper, David Roberts
Wind power provides 5.6% of U.S. electricity ... it provides jobs for 88,000 and by 2030 could yield 380,000 jobs.
(9) Can We Feed 10 Billion People on Organic Farming Alone?
Scaling up organic agriculture with appropriate public policies and private investment is an important step for global food and ecosystem security. The challenge facing policymakers is to develop government policies that support conventional farmers converting to organic systems. ... In a time of increasing population growth, climate change and environmental degradation, we need agricultural systems that come with a more balanced portfolio of sustainability benefits. Organic farming is one of the healthiest and strongest sectors in agriculture today and will continue to grow and play a larger part in feeding the world.
(10) CO2 Capture
There are a number of carbon-removal techniques in agriculture that lead to increased soil fertility and water retention in addition to carbon sequestration. ... so if we expand from just thinking about mitigation and adaptation to also thinking about carbon removal, that starts to unlock a lot of potential.
(11) Support for a Universal Basic Income
It’s simpler to provide basic income than to fund many overlapping welfare agencies ... basic income provides people more dignity and creates less hassle for them than the current system. ... poor people are more aware than the government of what they truly need.
(12) How US Farm Subsidies Make Taxpayers Pay Twice (And How We Could Change That)
... an overhaul of federal farm policy ... should include reducing crop subsidies, increasing funding for sustainable farming practices, and providing more technical assistance to farmers to adopt the alternative methods.

7 Aug 2016

(1) Urgency for Negative Emissions
“Instead of a big effort to promote biofuels, that should be completely abandoned from a scientific point of view and we need to be making a full-court press to protect and preserve and expand forests, wetlands, natural grasslands and natural ecosystems that are carbon sinks,”
(2) Clean Energy, Not Fracking
"Rather than betting on shale gas [fracking] ... [we] should do the only thing that makes sense – economically, environmentally and socially: invest in the shared wealth that can be generated by renewable energy and energy efficiency. ... invest in the future."
(3) Corporate March to Clean Energy, Utilities Not Required
A curious thing happened while U.S. utilities were focusing on cheap fracked gas, expensive nuclear power ... Some of the nation's largest corporations decided not to wait for utilities and took their interest in renewable energy into their own hands. They bought their own clean power. And they bought it directly from the companies that produced it. No utility middleman needed.
(4) Do Oil Companies Really Need $4 Billion Per Year of Taxpayers’ Money? - The New York Times
"... [fossil fuel] subsidies could be eliminated without causing much pain. And if the United States cuts its supports, it will have better standing to demand the same from the many countries that provide big consumer subsidies encouraging the consumption of fossil fuels."
(5) Trees Are Stressed From Drought
"As Washington’s climate changes, no one should be surprised to see effects on trees. On average, spring is earlier, fall is later and winter is getting squeezed on both ends, with a growing season about five days longer than it used to be ... It adds up to trees needing more water, more violent weather events that beat up trees already brittled by drought, and a bonanza of bugs that warmer winters don’t knock back."
(6) As Nuclear Power Plants Close, We Need More Energy Storage
California’s commitment to renewable energy sources has helped shift the state to using less fossil fuels and emitting less greenhouse gases. However, careful planning is needed to ensure that energy storage systems are installed to take over the baseline load duties currently held by natural gas and nuclear power, as renewables and energy efficiency may not be able to carry the burden.
(7) Local Government Solutions for Climate Migrants
.... [Climate migration] exceeds the capacities of these local governments to adequately address the challenges associated with rural-urban migration. Weak institutional, governance, and legal structures make it difficult for city officials to introduce reforms and laws to protect migrants’ rights, while ensuring that they have access to vital social services. Many cities in developing countries do not have the necessary infrastructure, i.e. buildings, transport networks, power supplies, water supplies, and sanitation, in place to deal with population growth. Cities are often too under-resourced, with limited funding, to adequately respond to the problems associated with migration. Lack of information and data on migration is limited in terms of availability and accuracy, therefore constraining the ability of municipal decision-makers to develop pro-migrant policies. Finally, the concerns of migrants are often not taken into consideration, nor integrated, into most city developm­­­ent plans and policies.
(8) Epic Middle East Heat Wave
On July 22, the mercury climbed to 129 degrees in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. ... It reached 129.2 in Mitribah, Kuwait. ... Iraq’s gross domestic product ... has probably contracted 10 to 20 percent during the summer heat. ... scores of farmers ... have been struggling with wilting crops, and general workforce productivity has decreased.
(9) Free Us From the ‘Dictatorship’ of the 0.01%
... chemical corporations (biotechnology and seed corporations) are trying to impose patents on all living organisms ... They are also trying to further destroy our local food systems and replace them with industrial junk food ... Finally, global corporations, and those who control them, are trying to define corporations as having personhood through investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) systems, which are secret tribunals where corporations and investors can sue governments for acting according to their constitutional obligations in the interest of their citizens. ... corporations are trying to replace our democracies with secret agreements and secret courts controlled by the 0.01 per cent super wealthy.
(10) US Must Stop Coal Leases on Federal Land to Meet Its Climate Goal, David Roberts, VOX
... taking the 2 degree target seriously — would likely entail an immediate halt to all federal fossil fuel leasing ...
(11) Washington County Shocks Big Oil With Ban on Fossil Fuel Exports
"The oil and gas industry have targeted Cherry Point ... as a sacrifice zone in their plans to export unrefined extreme oil, dirty coal and gas overseas," ... "We choose public safety, we choose a just and swift transition to clean energy. We also choose climate stability—coal and oil industry plans for Cherry Point would have caused twice the amount of carbon pollution that the entire state of Washington currently emits."
(12) China's Coal Peak Hailed as Turning Point
China is the world’s biggest polluter and more than tripled its coal burning from 2000 to 2013, emitting billions of tonnes of climate-warming carbon dioxide. But its coal consumption peaked in 2014, much earlier than expected, and then began falling. ... As coal declines, clean electricity in China is increasing rapidly with solar power up 28 percent in the first half of 2016, nuclear up 25 percent and wind and hydropower both up 13 percent. But challenges remain, including connecting new windfarms to the grid.
(13) American's Climate Change Views, Spring 2016
57% of Americans are worried about climate change. For 2016 Presidental race, climate change ranked 19th out of 23 problems. 75% of registered voters favor regulating CO2 as a pollutant; 68% favor a carbon tax, using the money to reduce other taxes.
(14) Train Coal Workers to Work in Solar?
... growth of solar-related employment could benefit coal workers, by easily absorbing the coal-industry layoffs over the next 15 years and offering full-time careers.
(15) Court Ruling Could Save the Planet
For climate change in particular, the court’s ruling ... upholds a foundation of countless regulations designed to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. ... In the U.S. and elsewhere, the social cost of carbon is likely to play a defining role in the coming years.

31 July 2016

(1a) Washington's Carbon Tax Initiative, I-732
I-732 is not perfect. It is easy to understand and administer, and it will put money in the pockets of hundreds of thousands of low-income families. But it does not benefit all low-income households, and it means that any given household’s utility provider plays an outsized role in the tax’s impact on that household’s budget, leaving benefits and costs for households to geographic luck. Its protections for energy-intensive, trade-exposed companies are blunt and may give money to businesses that don’t necessarily need it ...
(1b) Does I-732 Really Have a “Budget Hole”?
By current estimates, I-732 will likely have less than a 1 percent impact on state tax revenue for decades. If the Department’s annual report shows the swap drifting too far from neutral, it will be the legislature’s job to tweak the tax cuts so as to carry out the people’s intent of a revenue-neutral carbon tax.
(1c) Weighing the Critiques of CarbonWA’s I-732
I-732 would launch Washington to a position of global leadership on climate action. By implementing a pollution price, rising steadily for four decades and keeping pace with inflation thereafter, I-732 would reorient Washington’s economy away from fossil fuels and toward low-carbon options. ... By reducing Washington’s regressive state sales tax and funding tax credits for working families, I-732 would make the state tax code more progressive. On the other hand, I-732 would give an unfortunate windfall to Boeing and other aircraft manufacturers. It wouldn’t do enough to protect and boost the interests of all low-income Washingtonians or to help the hardest-hit Washingtonians thrive in a clean energy economy.
(2) Trump's Climate Change Claims
Donald Trump will find it increasingly difficult to be taken seriously outside the United States if he continues to propagate such ludicrous myths about climate change.
(3) Proxy Carbon Pricing
... so-called proxy or internal carbon pricing can take several forms. Some companies establish internal trading systems among divisions or internal fees in order to meet emissions reduction targets. Others assume a future price on carbon emissions when they evaluate the financial viability of potential long-term investments. This practice—called proxy carbon pricing or shadow carbon pricing—helps steer investments away from high-carbon projects and toward low-carbon alternatives. ... By adopting proxy carbon pricing in their national and cross-border infrastructure investment and permitting decisions—and encouraging its use in other contexts, such as international development finance and the private sector—the United States, Canada, and Mexico can help meet these obligations.
(4) The Alaskan Highway Is Melting
The highway’s dark surface absorbs sunlight while the shoulders trap water and snow that act like a warm blanket. The heat breaks down the permafrost (soil, rock or sediment frozen for at least two consecutive years). Annual repair costs ... are seven times the average ... Thawing also threatens airport runways, buildings, animal-migration patterns and energy pipelines. ... “Communities are unable to reach each other, it’s harder to get goods there, ... Thawing permafrost isn’t “just an inconvenience, folks; it’s a change in the way of life.”
(5) You Can’t Handle the Truth!
Regardless how we address the challenges of climate change, resource depletion, overpopulation, debt deflation, species extinctions, ocean death, and on and on, we’re in for one hell of a century. ... The times call for a candidate more in the mold of Winston Churchill, who famously promised only “blood, toil, tears, and sweat” in enlisting his people in a great, protracted struggle in which all would be called upon to work tirelessly and set aside personal wants and expectations.
(6) How We React to Climate Change, Film "After Denial"
Some 70 percent of Americans believe that climate change is happening, yet only half understand it is driven by human activities, and some think it is not happening at all. Many of those who do accept climate change struggle to cope with the scale and severity of the issue.
(7) Toolbox for Social Action, Beautiful Rising
Tactics, Principles, Theories, Methodologies, and Stories
(8) Oil Trains: Unsafe & Unnecessary
A fossil fuel-free, decarbonized energy system to serve our electric power needs is now within clear view. ... the region can meet foreseeable growth in power needs with energy efficiency. It projects declining emissions under existing policies, and shows how the region could reduce power sector emissions 70% by 2035 with current technology on its way to fossil-free future.
(9) Carrying Capacity of U.S. Agricultural Land: Ten Diet Scenarios
Annual per capita land requirements ranged from 0.13 to 1.08 ha person-1 year-1 across the ten diet scenarios. Carrying capacity varied from 402 to 807 million persons; 1.3 to 2.6 times the 2010 U.S. population. Carrying capacity was higher for scenarios with less meat and highest for the lacto-vegetarian diet.

24 July 2016

(1) Glacier Melt on the Tibetan Plateau
"Based on the figures from 1960 to 2005, in that 45 years, the Tibetan glacier only retreated by 260 metres. But in [the most] recent 10 years it retreated by 140 metres," he says. "The speed compared to the previous period has nearly doubled." And in a region where tension between countries over shared water resources is becoming increasingly common, the environmental threat is likely to spark a political one.
(2) Oil Lobby Paid Media to Host Climate-Change Deniers at RNC
The Atlantic, Washington Post & The Hill have all accepted money from the American Petroleum Institute to feature climate denial symposia & articles.
(3) New York Times Shills For Moribund Nuclear Power, Disses Renewables Revolution
Why does The New York Times keep pushing nuclear power, whose prices keep rising even as demand has collapsed in every market economy? And why do they keep dissing renewables, whose prices have dropped precipitously while demand has grown beyond expectation here and around the world?
(4) A Bright Future for America’s Hydropower
“The future of hydropower is not in building new dams. It’s in re-powering existing dams, adding power generation to those dams that don’t have it and upgrading and improving the dams that have hydropower in them,”
(5a) Calculating the Hidden Cost of Industrial Farming
a conventional corn & soybean industrial farm operates at a net annual environmental loss of $130 per acre ... Joe Salatin's super-sustainable, highly-diversified Polyface Farm has a net environmental gain of $19 per acre ...
(5b) How to Mainstream “Alternative” Agriculture?
Farms that ignore or discount the connections among abiotic (minerals, nutrients, wind, precipitation, energy), biotic (living) and social (needs of farmers, habits of eaters, political economies of local and global markets) components are less resilient to unpredictable changes like California’s now frequently recurring drought. By moving beyond the simplistic science of industrial farming to a science that embraces this complexity, we create systems that produce not just food but also resilience, stability and sustainability — in the long run a far more valuable output than the one-dimensional yield of industrial agriculture.
(6) GOP and Democratic Platforms Highlight Stark Differences on Energy and Climate
The GOP platform states "coal is an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource" and question the scientific integrity of the the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the global authority on climate science. Democrats say climate change is an "urgent threat" and call for an 80 percent cut in carbon emissions.
(7) Carbon Producers Face Human Rights Case
The world’s largest oil, coal, cement and mining companies have been given 45 days to respond to a complaint that their greenhouse gas emissions have violated the human rights of millions of people living in the Phillippines. ... For the first time, a national human rights body is officially taking steps to address the impacts of climate change on human rights and the responsibility of private actors,” ... “This is an important building block in establishing the moral and legal ‘precedent’ that big polluters can be held responsible for current and threatened human rights infringements resulting from fossil fuel products.
(8) Climate Scientist Speaks About Deniers
Global warming is no longer an anticipation. It is no longer something for children or grandchildren to worry about. This is it. We have created the global warming era, now. And ... the tools to solve the issue have begun to appear. The deniers and delayers have lost simply because they could not hide the economic logic of addressing the problem, or convince entrepreneurs not to invent.
(9) Visualizing Climate Change
“It’s always a challenge to compress complex research topics into simple accessible visualizations, but I believe that they help both the general public and expert researchers to understand scientific concepts. ... Our emissions from using fossil fuels are a main cause for rapid climate change — but it is in our hands to limit it if we act quickly.”
(10) Who Should Pay for Climate Change?
Technology is advancing at breakneck speed. Suppose there were technological fixes for climate change ... suppose that we didn't need to worry about how much we consumed. ... Pope Francis ... wrote [we need] a complete revolution in our attitude towards the environment. ... "If we approach nature and the environment without this openness to awe and wonder… our attitude will be that of masters, consumers, ruthless exploiters, unable to set limits on [our] immediate needs." ... then a [technological solution] to climate change might ... deprive us of the incentive to change our mindset, to readjust our relationship to the countryside and wildlife.
(11) Only a New Economic System Can Save Us
We must imagine a new global economy – one that maximises human wellbeing while actively shrinking our ecological footprint. ... material de-growth is not incompatible with high levels of human well-being. Our focus on fossil fuels has lulled us into thinking we can continue with the status quo so long as we switch to clean energy, but this is a dangerously simplistic assumption. If we want to stave off the coming crisis, we need to confront its underlying cause.

17 July 2016

(1a) Republican Platform Attacks the Environment
GOP’s agenda clear: deregulate pollution, halt any action to prevent climate change, and expand fossil fuel use.
(1b) Republican Platform Rejects Paris Climate Agreement
“We reject the agendas of both the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, which represent only the personal commitments of their signatories,” .... It also calls for an “immediate” halt to U.S. funding for the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change,
(2) Republicans Have No Answer for Coal Mining Collapse, Brad Plumer
Trump and other Republican aren’t really offering any alternatives at all. They spend most of their time railing against Obama’s "war on coal" ... pushing the illusion that all those jobs can somehow be brought back. ... Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is blocking a $4 billion plan in Congress that would send aid to troubled coal communities and shore up pension and medical care funds for retired miners.
(3) UN Must Reform to Address Climate Change
UN reforms needed: Address the responsibility-gap for managing climate risk. Improve understanding of climate risk. Monitor for climate tipping points.
(4) Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform
First, we need to clarify what we mean by “fossil fuel subsidies” – IMF says U.S. subsidies are $4.9 trillion but IEA says $493 billion. Second, there’s never a perfect time or place for fossil fuel subsidy reform. Reforms need to be tailored to the country context. Sometimes the best approach is to turn a crisis into an opportunity; other times it pays to lay the groundwork slowly and patiently. Third, we need to recognize that while climate change may be the priority for many of those advocating for fossil fuel subsidy reform, it’s not the priority on the ground. The more we know about the broader fiscal, economic and social benefits of well-crafted reforms, the stronger the case for reform will be. Think of the climate benefits as a bonus.
(5) A Climate Change Op-Ed for the Wall Street Journal
With an audience of movers and shakers from the top of the public and private sectors, the Wall Street Journal can boldly help lead the search for the best solutions to climate change. After years of misleading the public debate on climate change, the Wall Street Journal at least owes us the real, intellectual, and enlightening discussion that we deserve.
(6) Blazing Hot First Half of 2016
When comparing this year's temperature trends with past years, Schmidt said 2015 was also a very warm year, "but 2016 really has blown that out of the water."
(7) New Gas Infrastructure Will Completely Undermine U.S. Climate Goals
Emissions from leaks and combustion explain why ... the phrase "bridge to nowhere" is not uncommon when talking about natural gas. "It’s time for the fossil fuel industry to enter a managed decline ... [that] includes a just transition. "We can do this, but you have to make the decision to do it. You can’t really sugar coat it."
(8) Democratic Platform Calls For WWII-Scale Mobilization To Solve Climate Crisis, Joe Romm
We believe the United States must lead in forging a robust global solution to the climate crisis. We are committed to a national mobilization, and to leading a global effort to mobilize nations to address this threat on a scale not seen since World War II. In the first 100 days of the next administration, the President will convene a summit of the world’s best engineers, climate scientists, policy experts, activists, and indigenous communities to chart a course to solve the climate crisis. ... Our generation must lead the fight against climate change and we applaud President Obama’s leadership in forging the historic Paris climate change agreement. We will not only meet the goals we set in Paris, we will seek to exceed them and push other countries to do the same by slashing carbon pollution and rapidly driving down emissions of potent greenhouse gases like hydrofluorocarbons. We will support developing countries in their efforts to mitigate carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases, deploy more clean energy, and invest in climate resilience and adaptation.

10 July 2016

(1) Northwest Tribes Band Together to Stop Oil-by-Rail
“This derailment right along the Columbia River is ... a reminder that oil trains mean an ever-present risk of an oil spill into our waterways, threatening fisheries and livelihoods for Quinault Indian Nation members and our neighbors in Grays Harbor,” ...
(2) Historic Petition Demands Obama 'Turn Off the Carbon Pollution Spigot'
Hundreds of environmental groups deliver petition that ... urges government to end all fossil fuel leases on public lands ...
(3) U.S. Faces Dramatic Rise in Extreme Heat
Extreme heat is the No.1 weather-related killer in the U.S. ... By the end of the century, heat-related deaths are projected to increase by thousands to tens-of-thousands each year in the U.S.5 Those most at risk of heat-related health impacts are infants and young children, elderly over 65, those already ill, athletes, and outdoor workers ... Periods of extreme heat can wither crops. lead to harmful algal blooms and lead to degraded fish habitat ...
(4) If Carbon Pricing Is So Great, Why Isn’t It Working?
Jaccard ... [has] lost faith in the political viability of carbon pricing. He is suggesting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau focus on regulations that have direct and proven impact.
(5) How Growing Sea Plants Can Help Slow Ocean Acidification
kelp, eelgrass, and other vegetation can effectively absorb CO2 and reduce acidity in the ocean. Growing these plants in local waters, ... could help mitigate the damaging impacts of acidification on marine life.
(6) Cutting Carbon Emissions Isn’t Enough. We Need Negative Emissions.
Nobody knows for sure how successful or feasible any of those technologies will be in scrubbing the sky of carbon dioxide ... the urgency of climate change may demand that scientists develop solutions by the time today’s children are adults in addition to slashing emissions as much as possible in the meantime.
(7) The Future of Hydro in a Warming World, David Suzuki
Globally, hydro produces ~17% of our electricity. Expansion of hydropower may double its electricity production over the next 20 years. Drawbacks are: it impedes fish migration, it can alter river temperatures and dissolved oxygen & clearing vegetation around dams can release methane.
(8) Conservative Actions to Fight Climate Change
Carbon Tax .... Repeal Fossil Fuel Subsidies ... Eliminate Farm Subsidies ... Get Rid of Ethanol Mandate ... Increase the Gas Tax ... Phase Out the Home Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction
(9) Fall in fish catch threatens human health : Nature News & Comment
... declining numbers of marine fish will spell more malnutrition in many developing nations.
(10) Ocean Sustainability, Nature Conservancy
Ocean industries such as seafood, coastal tourism, energy and shipping are booming. Much of this development is happening without regard to both short- and long-term environmental impacts. Yet, we know that when we develop wisely, people are the ocean’s greatest hope.
(11) How Empathy Drives Social Justice & Environmental Action, Roman Krznaric
Empathy – to give a working definition – is the imaginative act of stepping into the shoes of another person, understanding their feelings and perspectives, and using that understanding to guide our actions.... we need to instigate a cultural shift from ‘buying’ to ‘belonging’ – from extrinsic to intrinsic values – where our personal identity and wellbeing is based much more on the quality of our relationships and sense of community engagement than on the size of our bank balance or the heady offerings of a luxury consumer lifestyle, and where more of us are willing to put common interests before self-interest. ... Although organizing strategies, ideologies, leadership and other factors all play a role in social change, empathy is essential for forging the social connections that make us care about the plight of others, and is an underlying force creating bonds of common interest and solidarity.

3 July 2016

(1) Stop Spreading Misinformation on Coal Demand
The [Australian] government and opposition, who accept donations from fossil fuel interests ... sing the praises of the Adani Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin, Shenhua’s Watermark Mine on the Liverpool Plains, Kepco’s Bylong Valley adventure and Hume Coal in the Southern Highlands. All based on ill-informed premises and substantially contributing to increasing global temperatures well above 2C. ... The cost to Australia, if this irresponsible misallocation of resources proceeds, would be enormous. ... stranded assets as these mines are forced to shut down as climate impact intensifies; the lost opportunity of not investing in low-carbon future; the loss of agricultural productivity as mining disrupts prime farming land and water supply; and the social disruption caused to regional communities from abandoned operations. Plus, the full impact of potentially catastrophic climate change in a country more at risk than any other.
(2) Global Clean Energy Employment Rose 5% in 2015
A boom in solar and wind power jobs in the US led the way to a global increase in renewable energy employment to more than 8 million people in 2015 ... More than 769,000 people were employed in renewable energy in the US in 2015, dwarfing the 187,000 employed in the oil and gas sector and the 68,000 in coal mining.
(3) Coal Baron Promises Huge Layoffs, Tells Workers To Vote Trump
The coal industry is killing itself, with debt it loaded up to fund deals that would only be profitable if Chinese demand for steel-making coal continued to surge. That was just before demand tanked. At the same time, coal has been battered by competition from cheaper natural gas and renewable energy ... In 1985, the industry employed 177,000 people. ... Now it’s just 56,000 ... Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has laid out a $30 billion, 4,300-word plan to retrain coal workers for new jobs. ... Trump has promised to pull out of [the Paris Climate] treaty, though that seems highly unlikely to happen. And even if he did, it wouldn’t change much for coal miners.
(4) Fertile Soil Can Help Reverse Climate Change
In the book Terra Preta: How the World's Most Fertile Soil Can Help Reverse Climate Change and Reduce World Hunger, Ute Scheub and co-authors claim increasing the humus content of soils worldwide by 10 percent within the next 50 years could reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations to pre-industrial levels. ... "If you pyrolyze organic wastes, up to 50 percent of the carbon, which plants have extracted from the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide, is converted into highly stable carbon, which can persist in soils for thousands of years."
(5a) The Limits to Green Growth
... the biggest obstacle to the socio-ecological transformation that the world needs is not, in the end, technological; much of what is required, from organic farming to networked mobility systems that don’t rely on private vehicles, is already within reach. The real problem is the lack of political will to implement and scale up those innovations opposed by vested economic interests. The challenge is thus to overcome these minority interests and ensure the protection of the broader public good – a task that is often left to civil society.
(5b) Economics for a Full World, Herman Daly
Policies for a Steady-State Economy: ... a) Develop Cap-Auction-Trade System for Basic Resources (e.g. Fossil Fuels) ... b) Tax Shift to Encourage Efficeint Resource Use .... c) Limit Inequality ... d) Reform the Banking Sector .... e) Manage Trade for the Public Good ... f) Expand Leisure Time .... g) Stabilize Population ... h) Reform National Accounts ... i) Restore Full Employment ... j) Advance Just Global Governance (not dissolution into a single world without borders but interdependent national economies ... focus our limited capacity for global cooperation on those needs that truly require it).
(6) The Climate Denial Apparatus, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Sen. Whitehouse exposes the web of denial—an industry-controlled apparatus deliberately polluting public discourse with climate science denial and blocking action in Congress.
(7) It’s Hard to Agree How to Fight Climate Change
Nuclear Power: "It's not cost competitive." ... Natural Gas: A bridge to nowhere. ... Fossil Fuel Companies: Attack their very existence or engage with the companies. ... Insiders vs. Outsiders: Mass movement against fossil fuel companies vs. working with industry. "We have to keep most of the fossil fuels in the ground ... We all agree with that ... We all agree that the conversion to clean energy should be as quick as possible."

26 June 2016

(1) Science Groups To Congress: Stop Denying Climate Change
In a blunt letter to Congress, 31 leading scientific societies reaffirmed the reality that humans are causing climate change and only we can stop it. “To reduce the risk of the most severe impacts of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions must be substantially reduced,”
(2a) Five Big Meat Companies Produce 162 Million Tons Of Manure Each Year
... a few solutions to the problem of factory farm-driven water pollution. The first calls for moving away from an industrial-style production of animals, towards a small-scale approach, and the second bans the use of leaking or unlined lagoons for manure storage.
(2b) Meat is a Big Source of Greenhouse Gases
... meat production contributes an estimated 14.5 percent to annual greenhouse gas emissions. That's more than emissions from every car, train, ship and airplane combined. Of that, 65 percent is enteric fermentation (or, cow, sheep and goat farting) and manure ... Along with a tax, a meat cutback could be achieved by making plant-based diets more appealing and less expensive. ... [there are] considerable health benefits that could be reaped from reducing meat consumption as part of a more nutritious diet.
(3) Five Common Foods Produce More Greenhouse Gas Emissions Than Nearly All Countries
... wheat, soy, corn, rice, or palm oil ... these five commodity crops emits more greenhouse gases annually than each of the world’s countries, save for the United States and China ... Agriculture ... accounted for 13 percent of global emissions in 2011 ... One of the most important thing that food companies can do to help propel climate action, ... is to adopt science-based targets for emission reductions throughout their entire supply chain ...
(4) Free Trade, DNC Platform and the Climate Crisis
The motion to oppose TPP was rejected. Despite both candidates being on record opposing the current TPP, the motion was rejected in a 10-5 vote. It was supported by appointees from Sanders and opposed by appointees from Clinton and the Democratic National Committee ... a motion calling for ending the use of eminent domain in support of fossil fuel projects was voted down. Another rejected motion was an endorsement of the so-called “climate test,” the principle that infrastructure and other projects shouldn’t be approved if they worsen carbon emissions. ... a carbon tax and a national fracking ban were both rejected. So too was a motion to keep fossil fuels in the ground by ending new leasing on our public lands and waters.
(5) Five Reasons There’s More to Climate Policy Than a Price on Carbon, David Roberts
1) Carbon pricing is politically constrained. 2) Getting the cheapest 3) Unpriced carbon emissions are not the only barrier to clean technology.carbon reductions first is not necessarily the best long-term strategy. 4) Minimal government ≠ maximal choice. 5) Market mechanisms are good servants but poor masters. ... What sort of society do we want? What kinds of technological and governance systems do we want? How do we want to live? These questions involve core concerns (equity, fairness, happiness) that are often absent from ... market transactions. They should be the subject of open, public deliberation, not subordinated to whatever markets-with-a-carbon-price happen to produce.
(6) India to Get Over $1 Billion from World Bank for Modi's Solar Goals
The World Bank will lend India more than $1 billion for its huge solar energy program ... this will boost its solar capacity nearly 30 times to 100 gigawatts by 2020

19 June 2016

(1) Clean Energy for the Poorest
Only a tiny fraction of climate change funding is going into small-scale solar, biogas and other off-grid systems that may be the best way to get power to the world's poorest ... around 1 billion people in the world without access to electricity, and nearly 3 billion who cook using smoky fuels such as wood, kerosene and dung.
(2) China to Cut Meat Consumption by Half
New dietary guidelines could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1bn tonnes by 2030, and could lessen country’s problems with obesity and diabetes ... Globally, 14.5% of planet-warming emissions emanate from the keeping and eating of cows, chickens, pigs and other animals – more than the emissions from the entire transport sector. Livestock emit methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas, while land clearing and fertilizers release large quantities of carbon. ... The average Chinese person now eats 63kg of meat a year, with a further 30kg of meat per person expected to be added by 2030 if nothing is done to disrupt this trend. The new guidelines would reduce this to 14kg to 27kg a year.
(3) Leadership of the Future
... the leadership of the future will not be provided simply by individuals but by groups, communities and networks. And these leaders must “… work to create the space where people living with a problem can come together to tell the truth, think more deeply about what is really happening, explore options beyond popular thinking, and search for higher leverage changes through progressive cycles of action and reflection and learning over time.”
(4) Commoning as a Transformative Social Paradigm - The Next System Project
... the commons has the capacity to speak at once to the worlds of politics, governance, economics, and culture. Importantly, it can also speak to the alienation associated with modernity and people’s instinctive needs for human connection and meaning, something that neither the state nor the market, as they are now constituted, can do. The commons paradigm offers a deep philosophical critique of neoliberal economics, with hundreds of functioning examples that are increasingly converging. But as an action-oriented approach to system change, everything will depend upon the ongoing energy and imagination of commoners, and would-be commoners, to develop this globally-networked living system.
(5) A History of Fossil-Fuelled Climate Change Denial
The fossil fuel industry has played a hugely damaging role in promoting misinformation about climate change. But without the broader picture including the role of political ideology, one can build an incomplete picture of climate science denial ...
(6) Kochs Continue to Fund Climate Change Denial
The Kochs have spent more than $88 million in traceable funding to groups attacking climate change science, policy and regulation. Of that total, $21 million went to groups that recently bought a full page New York Times advertisement defending ExxonMobil from government investigations into its systematic misrepresentation of climate science. ...
(7) Climate Damages Could Dwarf Tobacco Lawsuits
Victims of global warming such as citizens from small island states will increasingly look for redress in the courts ... The scale of damages could dwarf previous mass actions like those against tobacco and asbestos companies. ... If governments don’t take action against fossil fuel companies it is likely they will be targeted themselves. ...
(8) The AG’s Fight Against Exxon, Bill McKibben
Exxon’s chief executives spent years insisting that the globe was cooling, that the very computer models guiding their own actions were useless and wrong. Now, having helped delay political action for a generation, and in the process making billions, they sit astride a world where cities are scrambling to somehow cope with sea level rise themselves, where taxpayers around the planet are bearing the cost for the inaction they promoted. ... On a financial scale and in terms of human lives, this could add up to deception that’s larger than the tobacco conspiracy’s ... this could be the largest corporate scandal in history. ...
(9) Soft Power in Paris Agreement
For pledge and review to succeed, the basic challenge remains: the cost of failing to make and fulfil ambitious pledges must exceed the benefits of business as usual. The soft power of reputation is an important factor in this calculation. The power of reputation relies substantially on public engagement, and states and institutions display varying degrees of ‘commitment sensitivity’ — some are more likely to live up to their commitments and be more receptive to public pressure than others. ... but also on the vigour and sustained action of the people of the world expressing themselves in their economic and political behaviour as well as other areas of life. This is the only sure path to making the objectives of the Paris Agreement a reality.
(10) Carbon Farming: Hope for a Hot Planet
Carbon farming is agriculture’s answer to climate change. Simply put, the goal is to take excess carbon out of the atmosphere, where the element causes global warming, and store it in the soil, where carbon aids the growth of plants. ... Five Tenets of Carbon Sequestration: NO-TILL, ORGANIC MULCH, COMPOST, LIVESTOCK ROTATION, COVER CROPS
(11) EPA Rules for Wood Burning
The NRDC says the EPA is correct to conclude that wood energy is not always carbon neutral. It says it will pressure the agency to be highly critical of state proposals to count electricity from waste wood as zero carbon under the Clean Power Plan.
(12) Alaskan Villages Need to Relocate Due to Rising Seas
It's awesome that the community has received the funding that they need to relocate, but there are two issues when we're talking about this relocation institutional framework. One of the issues is at what point should a relocation occur, prior to a humanitarian crisis occurring, which is the focus of the work that we are currently doing here with the fourteen tribes. Then the other issue is once relocation is determined to be the best long-term adaptation strategy, who within state and federal government agencies is responsible for implementing that relocation process.
(13) Cowspiracy Movie Overestimates Livestock Greenhouse Gas Emissions
... counting the non-additional CO2 respired by livestock, and weighting the methane that ruminant animals emit nearly three times as heavily as most scientists do—account for the biggest differences between the scientific consensus of about 15% of [global livestock] emissions and the 51% figure that Cowspiracy uses.
(14) Risks of Oil Train Derailment is HIgh
"... the consequences of an accident from the Vancouver terminal could be grave. We shouldn’t trust only one analysis to make a decision, especially with the flaws demonstrated here. EFSEC has a responsibility to protect the public and it should commission several independent analyses using different approaches to assess the risk from more than one viewpoint. It should also do a thorough audit of Appendix E using an independent risk analysis consultant. Looking at the risks in a top-down way as I’ve done indicates there is much greater risk to lives, property, and the environment than the applicant believes. The recent Mosier derailment and its agreement with the top-down model’s estimated frequency bolsters that conclusion. Crude-by-rail transport is so new that we have no accurate way to estimate risk today, and our regulatory and reporting systems haven’t kept pace. Knowing what I do, were I making the decision I would deny the current application and wait at least five years before considering any more of them."
(15) What’s at Stake in the Quest to Stop Climate Change
"...we just might see an “exponential” growth of wind and solar that is sufficient to, in turn, trigger an “implosion” of the fossil fuel industry and thus help keep within the Paris targets. Something at least this dynamic would be needed to get the world to stop emitting fast enough to stay within the temperature “guardrail” above, without relying on pie-in-the-sky technological fixes like so-called negative carbon emissions."

12 Jun 2016

(1) Peak Fossil Fuels is Near
Call it peak fossil fuels, a turnabout that's happening not because we're running out of coal and gas, but because we're finding cheaper alternatives. Demand is peaking ahead of schedule because electric cars and affordable battery storage for renewable power are arriving faster than expected.
(2a) Coal Companies Funded Climate Change Denial
Coal beneficiaries include: The Center for Carbon Dioxide and Global Warming, American Legislative Exchange Council, Richard Lindzen, Willie Soon, State Policy Network, Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, George C. Marshall Institute, Institute for Energy Research, Roy Spencer, Donor's Trust, Energy and Environment Legal Institute.
(2b) Conservative Funders of Climate Change Denial
Peabody Coal & Koch Industries are funding climate change denial journalism.
(3) The Art of Changing the Climate Debate
“Science has discovered, to its despair, that new accretions of information may have no impact and that laying out a set of rational choices may not lead to action. Indeed, scientific understandings of the physical world may be of limited use for understanding the complexity and volatility of human values and motivations. ... The human sciences –the mixed bag of academic disciplines in the humanities – are ... a fertile and largely untapped resource of insight into human motivation, creativity and agency.”
(4a) Going Veggie Would Cut Global Food Emissions by Two Thirds
To seriously fight climate change, more plant-based diets will be needed. Our analysis shows if the world went vegetarian that cut in food-related emissions would rise to 63%. And if everyone turned vegan? A huge 70%.
(4b) Going Vegetarian Cuts Your Carbon Footprint
Vegetarians have roughly half the food-related carbon footprint of meat eaters. Vegans are lower still. But even if you don't want to give up steak entirely, just cutting back on meat can shrink the footprint of your diet by one-third
(4c) Eating Less Meat to Combat Climate Change
... to cut your food carbon: reduce meat, switch type of meat and, and cut waste ...
(5) Waiting for Big Oil to clean up its act
"The world is going to have to continue using fossil fuels, whether they like it or not.” says ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson. Lord Nicholas Stern says “it is becoming increasingly risky for companies to pin all business strategies on the assumption that extensive decarbonisation will not happen” and that “business models reliant on the assumption that governments were not serious in Paris are looking increasingly vulnerable”. “What BP says very loudly, very clearly, is that we need governments to lead on this. We need them to set the right incentives and we need a meaningful carbon price,” Mr Dale says. “If we do not put a price on carbon, you can forget about it,” Mr Van Beurden, Shell CEO, adds. Yet coal, oil & gas companies pay for climate change denial and massively fund climate change denying politicians.
(6a) Green Climate Fund Partner Banks Condemned For Fossil Fuel Funding
Two of the UN’s flagship green fund’s leading partners have been branded as major funders of oil, gas and coal projects in a study by four green groups. “None of these banks can claim to support the Paris Agreement, to be aligned with a 2C scenario or to be fighting climate change – as we too often read in their sustainability reports – if they continue to finance these destructive sectors.”
(6b) World's Banks Driving Climate Chaos with Hundreds of Billions in Extreme Energy Financing
... the world's biggest banks are dangerously advancing the climate crisis by pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into the world's most polluting fossil fuel industries, according to a new report ... the last three years, Citigroup, topping the list with $24.06 billion of coal power plant funding, and Bank of America "are the Western world’s coal banks." At the same time, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, and Bank of America—with a respective $37.7 billion, $26.49 billion and $24.85 billion in high-risk financing—"are the bankers of extreme oil and gas."
(7) Wall Street Journal's Climate Science Denial
Editors at Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal (WSJ) are about as anti-science they come ... “the Journal was less likely than the other newspapers to discuss the threats or impacts of climate change and more likely to frame climate action as ineffective or even harmful.”
(8) The Future of Agriculture
Computerized drip irrigation, precision farming, Agri-drones, driverless tractors, genetically-engineered C4 rice ....
(9) Who is Hurt Most by Food Price Rises
Benin, Mozambique and Nepal are among countries most exposed to climate change, water scarcity and food price volatility.
(10) Protect the Global Commons or Special Interests
We have a stark choice before us concerning the future of the planet and its peoples. On one side there are civil society, innovators in low-carbon technologies and socially responsible investors. These are working for a transformation of our economies which will protect our life-sustaining ecosystems. On the other side is sheer inertia, our collective addiction to fossil fuels and industries which are fixated on continuing as usual, regardless of the long-term costs to people and the environment. They have used their wealth to gain political influence and fund climate skepticism and denialism.
(11) What Would a Global Warming 1.5C Be Like?
"Two degrees ... contains significant risks for societies everywhere; 1.5 looks much more scientifically justifiable." “danger, risk, and harm would be utterly unacceptable in a 2°C warmer world, largely for ‘them’—the mollusks, and coral reefs, and the poor and marginalized populations, not only in poor countries—even if this danger has not quite hit home yet for ‘us’.”
(12) TPP is a Threat to Democracy
" ... TPP's "Investor State Dispute Settlement" (ISDS) provisions, which allow corporations to sue governments in closed, secret proceedings to repeal environmental, labor and safety regulations that undermine their expected profits.
(13) Our Renewable Energy Future
... getting to an optimal all-renewable energy future will require hard work, investment, adaptation, and innovation on a nearly unprecedented scale. We will be changing more than our energy sources; we’ll be transforming both the ways we use energy and the amounts we use. Our ultimate success will depend on our ability to dramatically reduce energy demand in industrialized nations, shorten supply chains, electrify as much usage as possible, and adapt to economic stasis at a lower overall level of energy and materials throughput. Absent widespread informed popular support, the political roadblocks to such a project will be overwhelming.
(14) Green Climate Fund: 8 Questions
The UN Green Climate Fund has $10.3 billion so far and is funding an initial set of 8 projects worth $168 million. "There will be some teething problems as we try and work out what the level of risk appetite is for the GCF ..." A critical problem is lack of capacity in developing countries to submit attractive proposals ... "In five year's time if you are judging success, it would be the GCF having built national capabilities, with national organizations having ownership of strongly embedded national plans that are able to access funds directly"
(15) Switch to Ecological Farming
Rather than the giant feedlots used to rear animals or the uniform crop monocultures ... the solution is to diversify agriculture and re-orient it around ecological practices ... these agro-ecological systems keep carbon in the ground, support biodiversity, rebuild soil fertility and sustain yields over time, providing a basis for secure farm livelihoods"
(16) A New Lay Catholic Movement
As we mark the 1st anniversary of "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home," Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment and human ecology, we wonder if -- and hope that -- we are seeing the emergence of a lay-led, community-based, action-oriented movement for the environment.

5 Jun 2016

(1) Solving Climate Change Requires Defiance
Conflict and war have become obsolete ... we must become reliable stewards of natural systems ... Climate disruption creates conditions where harm is more likely ... This exacerbates the risk of conflict, migration and failed states. Such conditions attract criminal networks who prey on people pushed into extreme vulnerability. We are now beginning to understand the many connections that bind human experience across the world, through Earth's life-support systems. We must dare to embrace the complexity of this emerging fabric of knowledge ... We must dare to use our intelligence ethically ... to serve the health and well-being of natural systems and of generations yet to come.
(2) Fossil Fuel Groups Warned Not to Ignore Paris Accord
Lord Stern says businesses should consider both the physical threat of a changing climate as well as the financial risks posed by tougher government rules to stem emissions or climate-linked lawsuits against fossil fuel companies. Even without such action, the pace of technological change could spur so much growth of low-carbon products, such as electric cars, that demand for fossil fuels falls faster than expected.
(3) Deadly European Floods In Line with Climate Change Predictions
“It is probably a good idea to invest in infrastructure that helps in dealing with heavier precipitation, in particular if you are not yet used to those events.” Warm air holds more moisture, and global warming is already increasing the odds of extreme rainfall.
(4) Don’t Count on an Orderly Transition to Clean Energy
Gradualists tend to believe that the embedded investment in the existing capital stock will be a sufficient drag to slow down the process of change. I don’t agree. If the new products are cheaper and more convenient they will dominate the market very quickly. ... a dozen countries that are currently overwhelmingly dependent on oil and gas revenue and very ill prepared for this transition – Russia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Algeria, Libya, Venezuela, Angola, Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan Kazakhstan and Mexico. ... The citizens of producing countries that have come to depend on oil and gas revenue start to lose immediately. Those in importing countries gain slowly over a much longer period. ... the risk of potentially disruptive responses such as a new wave of mass migration – this time away from the oil-producing countries. ... For the moment, oil demand continues to rise – although the rate of this is dangerously dependent on what happens in a single country: China. But energy supply is increasing by more than demand – particularly in natural gas. The result is weak prices, low revenue and widespread political instability. Just wait until demand starts to fall year by year. The transition cannot be resisted and it could be very rapid. It should be recognised as a likely source of some of the greatest political instability of the coming half century. ... The notion of a smooth transition is wishful thinking ...
(5) 'Free Trade' Will Kill Climate Movement
"...the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions, which allow multinational corporations sue nations in private, clandestine tribunals for passing laws they don't like ... "The TPP would let foreign oil and gas companies undermine the will of hundreds of communities that have worked tirelessly to protect themselves from the environmental and public health hazards associated with fracking, ... "This is an area where there is bipartisan agreement... that these deals harm workers, communities, and our environment."
(6) Climate Change Insurgency
Fossil fuel companies, and the governments that authorize their activities, are destroying the land, water, and atmosphere that sustain us. ... we are being sacrificed for the profit of fossil fuel companies. But these companies have a problem. – all of us – have rights to that land, water, and atmosphere. We have rights under a legal principle called the public trust. ... the government has a duty to protect shared natural resources, and to hold them in trust for the public and for future generations. But our governments are violating this obligation by failing to regulate fossil fuel emissions. They violate this right by subsidizing fossil fuels, by approving new dirty energy projects, and by locking us into further, deadly emissions.
(7) Climate Change Education in Canada
Climate change is included in public education in Canada.
(8) Oregon Oil Derailment
The June 3, 2016 Union Pacific train derailment spilled 42,000 gallons of Bakken crude oil. "Mosier still does not have potable water, still doesn't have a sewage system, and Union Pacific is moving trains again. It's clear that profit for the fossil fuel industry is trumping the health and safety of people that live along these corridors."
(9) Book on Fracking
The new book "Frackopoly" ... is a road map for the changes we need to make to create a sustainable energy future. The market alone is not going to get us where we need to go. We are going to have to keep increasing the size and political power of the incredible grassroots movement that has risen up from communities all across the country to demand that we ban fracking and keep fossil fuels in the ground.
(10) Make Cities Energy Efficient
Cities produce 70% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions ... Put up solar, Use heat pumps, Use wind turbines, Encourage urban farming, Bring back solar water heaters, Make cities more energy efficient ...
(11) Plant Corn, Not Pipelines
“These are seeds of resistance, Resistance to corporate greed and the destruction of Mother Earth. We want to save our land for our children and grandchildren. Also, for the animals that walk through here. When you stand up for the land, for the water, you stand up for all living things.”
(12) Green PR Firm Secretly Working for Oil and Petrochemical Industry
EnviroIssues’ green reputation is undeserved. The firm in fact works for several controversial oil and petrochemical companies, shepherding them through the environmental reviews that communities and decision makers depend on to assess projects’ local impacts. These include the highly controversial Tacoma methanol proposal and major oil-by-rail projects at Vancouver and Grays Harbor, Washington.
(13) Phase Out Rail Shipments of Crude Oil
Jim Hall, former NTSB chairman, says "It is time for all citizens in the Northwest, not just environmentalists, not just Native Americans, not just recreation enthusiasts, to say enough is enough. We need to phase out rail shipments of crude oil, and we need to begin in our nation's most sensitive regions, like the Columbia River Gorge, before the next accident devastates this American treasure."

29 May 2016

(1) Momentum for Carbon Pricing
13% of greenhouse gas emissions are now covered by carbon pricing. Carbon revenues are up 60% in 2015.
(2) Climate Scientists Decry Trump's Energy Plan
Trump says he'll cancel Obama's Clean Power Plan, cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and build the Keystone XL pipeline. Climate scientists say of Trump's plan: "Undoing these efforts would mean ... larger [greenhouse gas emissions] ... and pose greater risk to society." "...his comments show incredible ignorance with regard to the science and global affairs ... for Trump to make the pandering statements to the coal people and threaten to undermine all of these major achievements is a statement to me that he absolutely must not be elected." "Turning [these policies] back would not only diminish the quality of life for our children and their children, but it would also be a sorry message to the rest of the world that U.S. leadership does not base its decisions on facts or science but rather on greed and selfishness..." "...Donald Trump's climate change views and policy proposals constitute an existential threat to this planet."
(3) Big Oil’s “Long Twilight”
"... the industry has known about climate change for decades, it has just chosen the wrong business strategy to respond to it." The Financial Times said "Instead of railing against climate policies, or paying them lipservice while quietly defying them with investment decisions, the oil companies will serve their investors and society better if they accept the limits they face, and embrace a future of long-term decline."
(4) Switch to Ecological Farming
We must move from industrial-scale feedlots and crop monocultures with heavy fertilizer & pesticide use to agro-ecological food systems that keep carbon in the ground and rebuild soil fertility.
(5) Converting to 100% Renewable Energy, Dr. Mark Z. Jacobson
Jacobson has developed paths for all 50 states to convert to 100% renewable energy by 2050. Utilities question whether using only wind, solar & water power sources is 100% reliable and reasonable in cost. Some argue for nuclear power in the energy mix, but Jacobson says the costs are too high & there's risk of nuclear war.
(6) U.S. Congress Wants to Cut Climate Science - Scientific American
GOP legislators in the U.S. House propose 20% cut for NOAA's climate research and 12% cut for NASA earth science research. The Republican legislators said the climate and ocean research are "lower priority".
(7) Oil Train Fire in Oregon
"We're playing Russian roulette. I think the industry is perfectly willing to put a gun to our heads and risk our lives for the sake of making money. It is abundantly clear this enterprise is unsafe, unsustainable and they don't know how to manage it." "Just as safety experts predicted, the new rules are insufficient, and people, wildlife, rivers and lakes will continue to pay a huge price for the government’s failure to take steps to adequately protect us from oil trains."
(8) Federal Government Should Buy Coal Plants, Shut Them Down & Pay to Retrain Their Employees
The federal government should buy or, if necessary, seize under eminent domain all existing U.S. coal plants and close them over 10 years. This would allow the U.S. to meet our Paris commitments, it would help investors and it would provide meaningful benefits for workers.

22 May 2016

(1) Companies Begin to Adapt to Climate Change
This report describes companies beginning to adapt to climate change.
(2) Climate Change Dashboard
Temperature, CO2, Sea Ice, Sea Ice Extent Sea Level Rise & Ocean Heat Content
(3) World Energy Dashboard
Energy Consumption, Emissions, Energy Consumption per Capita, Emissions per Capita, Electricity Use
(4) Houston Business Columnist Calls for Exxon Climate Denial Investigation
"While individuals in the United States enjoy free speech, there are limits on how much corporate executives can spin the facts. Companies cannot intentionally misrepresent their product or its potential for harm, and investigators want to know if Exxon Mobil lied about the impact of CO2 on the climate to keep selling gasoline and other fuels. Publicly traded corporations must also disclose any risks to the company's future profits in their annual reports to the SEC. ... we know from the tobacco cases that major corporations are capable of committting large-scale fraud on shareholders while inflicting harm on the public. Prosecutors have a duty to investigate and determine if charges are warranted against Exxon Mobil."
(5) International Climate Change Action
To keep global warming < 2 deg C, we only have 1/3rd of the space remaining in our atmosphere; 2/3rds has been used up. Emissions need to peak by 2020 then decline. Actions we should take: 1) Establish development bank and World Bank lending policies that support GHG reductions, 2) Support developing countries climate action plans financially & with technical support, 3) Liberate private financial flows into clean energy & energy efficiency, 4) Establish greater partnerships between corporations & governments to fast track action.
(6) New Chinese Dietary Guidelines To Cut Meat By Half & Cut GHG Emissions
Chinese dietary guidelines cut meat consumption by half which cuts global emissions 1.5%. Livestock produce 14.5% of global GHGs, about the same as all vehicles in the world. If cattle were their own nation, they'd be the 3rd largest GHG emitter, after China and the U.S.
(7) Bill Gates And Exxon Now Share the Wrong Climate Policy, Joe Romm
Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon, says "There's no space between us and IPCC" ... yet Exxon continues to fund groups who discredit the IPCC, the science and the solutions. Tillerson also said "We've gotta have some technology breakthroughs but until we achieve those, just saying turn the taps off is not acceptable to humanity." Gates has said "the focus on ramping up deployment of [today's] technologies diverts attention from the critical need to greatly intensify spending on basic research and large-scale development of new energy technologies." Romm says "We don't have to choose between clean energy R&D and deployment, between ramping up research funding and ramping down fossil fuel use. We can do both and indeed, we must."
(8) Climate Action is Needed Despite Exxon
Gandhi said "first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." The decades-long attempt by Exxon to deceive the public around the existence of climate change has now entered the fight stage ... Exxon has bankrolled almost half a century of climate denial ... the network of think tanks connected to Exxon money includes the American Petroleum Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, American Enterprise Institute, Hoover Institution, Cato Institute ... we must "hold Exxon accountable for one of the greatest corporate wrongdoings in history"
(9a) Phase Out 9 Oil and Gas Tax Breaks
Phasing out these 9 tax breaks to fossil fuel companies would save the U.S. Treasury nearly $38 billion over 10 years: Deductions for costs of drilling wells, Domestic manufacturing for oil & gas production, Deductions for depletion of oil & gas deposits, Deductions for depletion of oil shale deposits, Deductions for costs of oil shale exploration & development, Amortization for geological & geophysical expenditures, Deductions for tertiary injectants, Exception to passive loss limitation for working interests in oil & natural gas properties, Marginal wells tax credit.
(9b) G7 to Cut Fossil Fuel Subsidies
G7 countries (US, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, UK) agreed to cut fossil fuel subsidies by 2025. Critics argued that it could be done twice as fast.
(10) Economics for a Full World, Herman Daly
The founding assumptions of neoclassical economics, developed in the empty world, no longer hold ... The prevailing obsession with economic growth puts us on the path to ecological collapse ... we must transition toward a steady-state economy focused on qualitative development, as opposed to quantitative growth, and the interdependence of the human economy and global ecosphere.

15 May 2016

(1) Civil Disobedience to Fight Climate Change
"...if we want climate justice ... we must support ... those willing to put themselves on the line ... Not everyone is in a position to take civil disobediance, but we can all get behind it." "The choice between clean, safe, democratic and sustainable energy / jobs or dirty, dangerous and undemocratic energy / jobs is a no-brainer. We have the technology right now to make the transition to {zero-carbon] ... the barriers are not technological but political."
(2) Environmentally-Friendly Hydropower
"... how much and how soon [will] governments take greater account of the environment when planning [hydropower] projects."
(3 )The Politics of Fertilizer and Climate Change
"Cutting out chemical fertilizers could reduce annual global greenhouse emissions by ... 10 percent ... the shift from chemical fertilizers to agroecological practices would allow farmers to rebuild organic matter ... and ... capture a possible two-thirds of the current excess CO2 in the atmosphere within 50 years ... When it comes to global food security, we should be much more worried about our dependence on the cartels that the fertilizer companies operate. During the 2007 food crisis ... fertilizer companies jacked up their prices and held governments and farmers at ransom. ... Kicking the fertilizer habit is really a matter of politics. No meaningful action can occur until the fertilizer industry's grip on policy makers is loosened."
(4) 10 Ways ‘Negative Emissions’ Can Slow Climate Change
"... 'negative emissions' technologies ... suck the CO2 out of the air to compensate for the ongoing release." Afforestation, Biochar, Biomass, 'Blue Carbon' Habitat Restoration, Building with Biomass, Ocean Alkali, Direct Air Capture, Ocean Productivity, Soil Carbon Sequestration ...
(5) Environmentalists Hate Fracking. Are They Right?
"...is fracking worse than coal? That claim seems highly dubious, given the myriad... benefits of reducing coal consumption and lowering CO2 emissions ... Ultimately, the only thing that really matters is getting as much renewable energy as possible as quickly as possible. So the 'bridge' only makes sense if we have a way to get off it ..."
(6) Fast-Melting Arctic, Chris Mooney
"Arctic amplification' = warmer air melts sea ice cover atop the Arctic ocean, especially during Summer, and thus the ocean absorbs more solar radiation, because it is not reflected away by ice cover; this explains why the Arctic is warming much faster than temperate latitudes. In 2016, the Arctic ice is really low, the temperatures are really high and fire season started very early. Arctic sea ice extent is the lowest ever recorded. ... permafrost melting with loss of carbon is "happening several times faster even than our previous measurements have told us."
(7) Advice to Middle Schoolers on Climate Change, David Roberts
"Make sure that your little corner of the world is reducing fossil fuels, increasing clean energy, and helping other people do the same. Change the systems and technologies that you have some control over ... keep thinking about it. Keep talking about it."
(8) Carbon Farming
Regenerative farming or carbon farming transitions away from conventional industrial farming, using little or no fertlizer and pesticides. It includes no-till, mixing crops together, planting trees & shrubs near fields, using cover crops and leaving stalks to decay in the field.
(9a) Exxon's Legal Woes Worse
Exxon has known about climate change and rising sea levels for decades but has not protected its Everett MA refining facility, putting the community at risk. The first significant storm surge that makes landfall at the Everett Terminal ... is going to flush you hazardous waste into the Island End and Mystic River and through those communities ... you have not taken appropriate steps to protect the public and the environment."
(9b) House GOP Protecting Exxon
House GOP are seeking documents from state AGs and environmental groups, claiming these groups have infringed the First Amendment rights of climate change denying fossil fuel companies. Annie Leonard of Greenpeace wrote "America's least respected politicians have now courageously stepped up to defend one of America's most-hated corporations from scrutiny. If these Representatives, who have historically low approval ratings, think they're somehow helping Exxon's public image with this nonsense, then they need to take some time away from lobbyist mixers and meet the people. If Exxon knwo its work made climate change worse and his this information for profit, it should be held accountable, not protected by elected officials who are to represent the American people, not corporations. Since 1999, these 13 elected officials have been paid millions in campaign contributions from coal, oil and gas companies, so this letter is more proof that the system works - for corporations."
(9c) Rep. Lamar Smith Abuses His Power, Again
"Record temperatures, rising seas and unprecedented flooding affects people around the glob3e and they rightly expect carbon producers to be held accountable for their deliberate strategy to deceive the public, shareholders and policy makers. ... [Rep, Lamar Smith] has spent the last 10 months harassing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists whose research he doesn't like. This abuse of power has been repeatedly and strongly rebuked by the scientific community. ... the public should demand that oil companies fully disclose what their scientists knew about climate change and when ... the public deserves to know which industry executives made decisions to mislead shareholders, policy makers and investors about the harm of their products."
(10) Youth Win Climate Case Against Massachusetts
MA Supreme Court ruled in favor of 4 youth that the Global Warming Solutions Act requiring an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases, "requires the department to promulgate regulations that address multiple sources of emissions impose a limit on emissions ... and sets limits that decline on an annual basis."
(11) Agricultural Emissions Must Be Cut
Ag greenhouse gas emissions must by cut by 1 Gigaton CO2e per year by 2030.
(12) Only 5 Years Before 1.5C Carbon Budget is Blown
At current rates of GHG emissions, the carbon budget for limiting global warming to 1.5 deg C will be blown in 5 years, i.e. in 2021.
(13) City-Integrated Renewable Energy for Urban Sustainability
Foa a low-carbon city, shift to clean energy and use energy more efficiently. "...individuals need to understand how their behavior affects energy use, society, and the environment ... [and] they need to care." "The challenge is to accelerate innovation and deployment so that cities can substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions in ways that make them more livable and equitable, no less so."
(14) Climate Scientists Should Make Their Voices Heard
"I believe most scientists are also, quietly and professionally, mourning the loss of the balance of Earth's life ... Standing our ground, shoulder to shoulder, and speaking truth, we can use our voices to preserve the wholeness of the life our grandparents and children deserve. The world is worth it."
(15) Exxon Won't Change Its Stripes, Bill McKibben
"Exxon has spent millions on climate policy obstruction, and - climate scientists' pleas to the contrary - plans to burn all of its reserves. If this [stakeholder's] meeting ends with the same dismal failure as the past 25, it's time to admit the obvious: the Exxons of the world are not going to change their stripes, not voluntarily. It will be time for state treasurers and religious groups to join those students and frontline communities and climate scientists who are saying 'No more.' It will be time ... to get serious, divest and break free of fossil fuels once and for all."
(16) Common Good As the Measure of Economic Success
The book "Change Everything: Creating an Economy for the Common Good" by Christian Felber ... uses 5 fundamental goals: human dignity, co-operation & solidarity, ecological sustainability, social justice, and democratic co-determination.
(17) How To Socialize America’s Energy
We need state intervention for energy democracy ... a Green New Deal, a Marshall Plan for the Earth. Three Models: 1) Municipalization = city government buys out private utilities. 2) Community Choice Aggregation = residents aggregate their buying power leading to local cooperatives and decentralized power generation. 3) Electric Cooperatives = a federal Renewable Electrification Administration could proliferate solar power well beyond market-based iniatives. "Can activists push their towns, cities, states and ... federal government to seize the opportunity for a greater good? Can we make clean, reliable power a basic right, guaranteed by a democratic state?"

8 May 2016

(1a) Exxon Tries to Contain Climate Change Crusade
The notion of holding oil companies responsible for global warming, in the same way tobacco companies had to pay billions of dollars in damages over the health effects of cigarettes, had long been seen as a quixotic quest led by scruffy, oil-hating extremists. But POLITICO’s interviews with dozens of activists, industry officials and lawmakers suggest that support for a legal crusade against Exxon is growing far beyond the political fringe — and now poses the biggest existential threat the company has faced in decades. "The First Amendment is not a defense for fraud... The Constitution provides no right to mislead shareholders."
(1b) AGU Fooled by Exxon
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Representative Ted Lieu, both Democrats, told the American Geophysical Union (AGU): “You have been fooled. Whatever position AGU chooses to take, you should not take it based on self-serving representations by ExxonMobil.” “We can attest that Exxon’s purported support for a carbon tax is not real. It is impossible to reconcile EM’s stated support for a revenue-neutral carbon tax with the lobbying activities of EM and the trade associations that claim to represent EM on the Hill. What we see in Congress is that their lobbying efforts are 100 percent opposed to any action on climate ... It is sadly not unheard of in legislative matters for an interest group to take a public position, but then flex its mighty lobbying and political muscle against that very position. As Members of Congress we wanted to warn you not to take the EM “position” on a carbon price at face value. It is false.” Professor Charles Greene “This is about it lying and misinforming the public, policymakers, and its own shareholders about climate change for years after its own scientists reported the risks involved. The damage is done and irreversible for centuries. Earth and climate scientists know this; so, how can we accept their dirty money in good conscience? The Board is breaking AGU’s bylaws, and I hope that they will be held accountable for it.”
(2) Green Climate Fund, Why is Progress Slow?
$100 billion promised by 2020; in 2016, only $10 billion actually given. GOP senators wrote "Giving billions of dollars to an international climate fund is a significant waste of American resources." Orenstein says "You can't expect a developing country that didn't cause the crisis and bears little responsibility for it to spend its own money ... We have a 'polluter pays' principle ... You break something ... you pay for it."
(3) Estimates of Climate Sensitivity by Climate Experts
Most put it at 3 deg C for a doubling of CO2 concentration. "... let’s all agree to start removing fossil fuels from the global economy. Because the necessity to reduce emissions, drastically, globally – that is far beyond these scientific undercertainties, beyond any doubt, whether it be mind, heart …or gut."
(4) ‎Halting Methane Leaks from Fracking
Climate implications of fracking policy decisions need equal consideration as economic impacts.
(5) The Clean Energy Miracle is Here Already, Joe Romm
Deployment of existing clean energy technology is primary now, because a quick transition to clean energy is needed to keep global warming below 2 deg C. R&D is important for later. We need trillion dollar deployment and billion dollar R&D.
(6) Bladeless Wind Turbines
Less expensive by 50% and take up less real estate.
(7) Koch Money Pushes Right-Wing Policies at Universities
Students act as foot soldiers for free enterprise ideals. Despite libertarian ideals they rely on government money. They threaten universities with Koch lawyers. They use universities to access media. They make 5-year agreements, not lifetime endowments, to guarantee right wing accountability.
(8) USDA Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture & Forestry
Incentive-based programs in 10 key areas seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by 120 million tons CO2e by 2025, equal to removing 25 million cars from our roads. Ten key areas include: soil health, nitrogen stewardship, livestock anaerobic digesters, conservation of sensitive lands, stewardship of federal forests, promotion of wood products, urban forests, rural energy efficiency ...
(9) US Underinvesting in Electricity Infrastructure, David Roberts, Vox
With growth of wind & solar power generation, investment in a long-distance, intgegrated national grid for energy transmission is essential.
(10) Envisioning 100% Clean Energy
Wind, solar and water for 100% clean energy, combined with low-tech energy storage.

1 May 2016

(1) Bill Gates' Errors About Climate Change, Romm
Gates is wrong that achieving the 2 deg C target requires focusing on R&D rather than deployment. He is wrong that a carbon price is not important. He is wrong to downplay the role of boosting energy efficiency.
(2) Benefits of Cutting Coal, Oil & Gas Extraction on US Federal Lands
Phasing out coal, oil & gas extraction on U.S. federal lands will cut GHG emissions by 100 million tons by 2030.
(3) Resettling America's First Climate Refugees
"We could give the money to the island to build back exactly as before, but we know from the climate data that they will keep getting hit with worse storms and floods, and the taxpayer will keep getting hit with the bill."
(4) Water Scarcity May Biggest Climate Change Impact, Chris Mooney
A World Bank report suggests that Africa, China, India & the Middle East may loose 6% of GDP due to water scarcity.
(5) Green Airplanes?, Brad Plummer
Aviation is about 3% of our global warming footprint. Improving aircraft & airport efficiency, using biofuels, improved wing design and hydrogen fuel cells are possibilities for reducing airline GHG emissions.
(6) Saving Appalachia Despite Big Coal Collapse
Labor & community activists want a robust job & transition program based on clean energy, sustainability and worker ownership. They want reclamation from the damage of mining pollution. They want development of water, broadband & electric grid infrastructure projects and a commitment to miner-retiree health benefits.
(7) Millennials & Climate Change, David Roberts
The majority of Millenials recognize the threat of climate change and the need to transition to clean energy. Millenials will equal baby boomers at 30% of the electrorate in the 2016 election. Few voters, including few millenials, list climate change as a top tier concern; instead, they list the economy, health care & affordable education.

24 April 2016

(1) Exxon Knew, Hold It Accountable
"We want to confirm that they [state AGs] are doing everything within their power to bring Exxon and fossil fuel companies to justice."
(2) Warren Buffett Pressured to Invest for the Climate
"If Mr. Buffett were to decide that fossil fuel-based investments were no longer worth his time or money and focussed on renewable energy ... that would be a huge shock to the markets ... The markets pay attention to where he puts his money." "He needs to be challenged to take a stronger leadership role on climate change."
(3) Will Trade Trump Climate?
TransCanada, citing NAFTA, filed a $15 billion lawsuit against the U.S. for blocking the Keystone XL pipeline. Both trade agreements [TTP, TTIP] limit "the ability of governments to put in place climate and other public interest policies" and give "huge power" to big polluters,"
(4) We Are Failing Our Children on Climate Change
"Our world has failed young people ... We have carried on with business as usual while burning away our children's future."
(5) How Arts Can Promote Climate Action
More creator, less consumer. Downplay car culture. Encourage empathy. Stand our from the noise. Tell stories to make it real.
(6) Political Hurdles Facing a Carbon Tax, David Roberts
Current active carbon taxes globally are way below the social cost of carbon. Political constraints on carbon taxes: 1) Concerns about distributional impacts ... it's a regressive tax, 2) Unwillingness to pay, 3) Opposition from fossil fuel interests. Tax shift ... revenue-neutral ... but polling suggests that most people want the tax to be used for clean energy. "We want to accelerate the technological development, early market commercialization and wide deployment of clean renewable energy, so that America can innovate, create jobs ... an spur economic development. We'll also set aside money to make sure that no one is left behind ... It's paid for entirely by a tax on fossil fuel energy."
(7) The Rising Tide From Climate Change
"Humanity is running on borrowed time ... unprecedented forest fires, coastal flooding, desertification and glacial recession ... could initiate large migrations of people. ... the surge of climate migrants demands an anticipation of the special rights of the displaced, the obligations of high-emitting countries to facilitate resettlement, and enforcement of these rights and obligations by the international community ... While you can say that climate change is making migrations far more likely ... rarely will you be able to say any particular migration is solely ascribable to climate change ... This century's climate migrants should be provided permanent residency abroad ... proportionate to historical national emissions ... [the U.S.] the world's largest historical emitter .... would be on the hook for millions of displaced people [67 million people over the next 35 years] ... What happens when these island nations, for all practical purposes, cease to be ... a country's exclusive economic zone ... is measured from its coastline. If an island disappears because of sea level rise, will its economy be wiped from the map? Will citizens of a former island nation, scattered throughout the world, still be able to advocate as a collective within the United Nations?"
(8) Ocean Oxygen Loss Due to Climate Change
Not only increased ocean heat and ocean acidity but also decreased ocean oxygen will result from global warming. This deoxygenation is evident now but will be widespread by 2030.
(9) Food System Shock Due to Climate Change
Extreme weather events could lead to marked decrease in agricultural output and marked increase in food prices leading to food riot's and mass starvation. Lloyd's of London estimates an 18% chance in the next 40 years.

17 April 2016

(1) American Geophysical Union Sells Its Scientific Integrity For $35,000 In ExxonMobil Money, Joe Romm
"ExxonMobil has been proven guilty again and again. It has not only spread lies for decades about one of the most consequential matters in human history -- helping to delay action for decades, bringing us close to .. crucial points of no return in the climate system -- it has been lying for years about whether or not it stopped spreading those lies."
(2) Why Limits to Growth's Forecasts Are Relevant Today
"... Limits to Growth continues to be of interest because it critically examines what is perhaps the most fundamental assumption in our current economic system: that growth will ultimately fix all of humanity’s problems, even those produced by growth itself."
(3) Change How We Eat, To Stop Global Warming
Producing & cooking food leads to ~30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Need to make more crop production organic and reduce meat consumption. Food waste leads to ~3.3 Gtons greenhouse gas emissions.
(4) Alliance of Black and Green Could Save the World
There are shared roots of environmental & racial justice. "How do we overcome our tragic legacy of subordinating nature to humans and humans to other humans? ... Love, care, respect - we owe these to each other and to the natural world, and their common wellspring is an attitude of the heart, an abiding humility, awe and reverence in the face of life's wondrous creations: the very opposite of arrogance." MLK said "We must rapidly begin the shift from a 'thing-oriented' society to a 'person-oriented' society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and extreme militarism are incapable of being conquered."
(5) 25 Smart Voices on Climate Change
Conversations with 25 smart voices on climate, security, energy and peace.

10 April 2016

(1a) Farmland to Store Carbon
Better agricultural soil management (no-till, cover crops, better nitrogen fertilizer use) could store ~10% of current carbon emissions per year. Subsidies for farmer's and consumers favoring low-GHG footprint foods could drive changes in ag soil managment.
(1b) Farmers Capitalizing on Carbon Sequestration
Converting to no-till and to using cover crops can achieve ~1 ton carbon sequestration per acre.
(2) Ocean Acidification & Pollution Threating West Coast Waters
Co-occurring stressors (ocean acidification & pollution) are compromising shellfish harvests in Puget Sound.
(3) Climate Change Could Be a $24 Trillion Hit to Global Economy
Unless we limit global warming to 2C, losses due to climate change could total $24 trillion by 2100. "It makes financial sense to a risk-neutral investor to cut emissions, and even more so to the risk-averse."
(4) Starving Farmers Asking For Food Shot By Filipino Forces
Record-breaking heat caused drought and crop failure. Protesting farmer's asked for food and were shot by Filipino police.
(5) Talking Climate Change
Meet people where they are. Clean energy makes communities more resilient. It improves kids' health. Give people solutions. Ask people what they want to be remembered for regarding the environment. Create healthy & safe communities & protect our families & children's health. Clean energy, made right at home ... Addressing climate change will make things better for our families, our children and future generations ... We need fines and rules for polluters ... We need to be good stewards of our Earth ... We need to eliminate outdated fuels ... "Clean energy to power our lives at home and work, create high wage work in America and free us from outdated fossil fuels that pollute our air and water and change our climate." "Our clean energy future is within our grasp. We can have locally made energy from the wind and the sun that ensures our air is clean and our water is healthy. We can have locally grown, tastier food; a traffic-free commute and a happy surprise when we open our energy bills - the choice is ours to make."
(6) Vertical Underwater Farming
Vertical underwater farming to: transform fishermen into restorative ocean farmers & to bring a new seafood plate to the table (seaweed, mussels, scallops, clams & oysters) .... 25 tons of greens & 250,000 shellfish per acre can grow in 5 months ... no fertilizer, no feed & no dry land is needed. Seaweeds are a biofuel ... 2,000 gallons of ethanol per acre. GreenWave promotes ocean agriculture. Ocean farmers can create a new climate cuisine, provide good middle-class jobs, restore ecosystems & feed the planet.
(7) Cutting Food Waste Mitigates Climate Change
14% of agriculture GHGs could be cut by 2050 by reducing food waste. "Food loss ... hurts people, costs money and harms the planet."
(8) BP Duplicitous on Climate Change, McKibben
Publicly BP acknowledges the risk of climate change ... but they lobbied against renewables and opposed carbon pricing (while supporting it publicly). BP is invested only 0.5% in renewables. "... this company had the singular capacity to change the course of world history for the better and instead it changed that course for the infinitely worse ... Deliberate and desperate attempts to find, exploit and sell more of oil and gas while pretending to care about the future is not just wrong, it's sick. It's also likely to end very, very badly for everyone, including BP."
(9) Ten Ways to Capture Carbon
NETs, Negative Emissions Technologies: Reforestation, Biochar, BECCS, 'Blue Carbon' Habitat Restoration, Building with Biomass, Cloud or Ocean Alkali, Direct Air Capture, Enhanced Ocean Productivity, Enhanced Weathering, Soil Carbon Sequestration.
(10) How to Spur More Clean Energy Investment
The key to getting more clean energy investment is to make it less risky. In contrast to fossil fuel investments, for clean energy 90% of the investment is upfront. Governments & the World Bank need to invest aggressively in clean energy to draw in private investment. Carbon pricing & withdrawing fossil fuel subsidies could also stimulate clean energy investments. We need about $1 trillion invested annually in clean energy.
(11) Fracking's Environmental Impact
In 2014, Fracking released 2.4 million metric tons of methane = GHGs of 22 coal-fired power plants. It created 15 billion gallons of toxic wastewater. Fracking is a dangerous threat.
(12) UN's Ban Ki-moon Urges Insurance Industry to Lead in Addressing Climate Change
The world's insurance companies have a $25 trillion investment portfolio. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon challenged insurance companies to invest in clean energy and divest from fossil fuels.
(13) Fears of Water Shortages
Water crises in the Middle East sparked civil wars in Syria and Yemen. 1/3rd of global population may be affected by water scarcity by 2025 ... severest in Middle East, Northern India, Northern China, Northern California and Western U.S. Saudi Arabia bought a hay farm in Arizona ... it ships hay to feed its dairy cattle. Arizonans say their wells are drying up due to all the water that the Saudis are pumping for their hay operation.

3 Apr 2016

(1) Climate Change Impact on Soil Microbiome
"Microbes run the world ... and provide numerous ecosystem services ... and serve as a major bulwark against environmental changes." The Unified Microbiome Initiative ... The Earth Microbiome Project ... the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative ... The TerraGenome Project ... Microbiomes in Transition Project ... will soil "be a sink or source of greenhouse gases in the future?" "We need to understand clearly how microbes are going to behave in a changing climate"
(2a) Fossil Fuel Industry Must Be Held Accountable for Climate Change Deception, Michael Mann
We hold corporations accountable when they deceive (e.g. asbestos manufacturers, Enron, VW "kill switch", tobacco industry). Fossil fuel companies funneled millions of dollars into front groups to spread doubt about climate change. They supported the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to spread climate science misinformation to state legislators. They funded campaigns to attack climate scientists and to suppress climate science research.
(2b) AGs Target Exxon's Climate Crimes
20 state Attorneys General launched investigation & prosecution of ExxonMobil & other fossil fuel giants for blocking attempts to combat global warming. "Fossil fuel companies have deceived investors and consumers about the dangers of climate change and must be held accountable." "The Exxon revelations may turn out to be the largest corporate scandal in history ... Everyone is impacted by climate change ... A trial of ExxonMobil and the fossil fuel industry would be even bigger thatn the case against Big Tobacco." "This converning may well be looked upon as a major turning point in the effort to hold to account those commercial interests ... who have been deceiving the American people about the dangers of climate change."
(3) Montanans Stop a New Coal Mine
"Our political system has demonstrated its inability to find adequate solutions to the climate crisis. It is time for everyone who wants to leave future generations a livable world to be in the streets."
(4) Concentrated Solar Power Uses Molten Salt for Energy Storage
The Crescent Dunes Solar Plant in Tonopah NV has 10,000 billboard-sized mirrors focusing sunlight onto the top of a tower the size of the Washington Monument, heating molten salt to 1,000 deg F. The molten salt then heats water to produce steam and drive a turbine to generate power. It stores enough power to heat 75,000 homes for 10 hours.
(5) World's Coastal Cities May Be Unsaveable Due to Sea Level Rise, Joe Romm
Miami, Boston, New York, New Orleans may not be saveable by 2100, unless we markedly cut carbon pollution in the next 2 decades.

27 Mar 2016

(1) How to Grow More Food on Less Land
Sustainable Intensification ... how to grow the most food on the least land with the least environmental impact. Currently, livestock production uses 75% of global agricultural land. EU's Nitrate Directive has led to a 30% reduction in fertilizer use. "... simply producing more cannot be thought of as sutainable without looking at how that food is distributed, who it is distributed to and who gets to make those decisions ... it cannot simply be left to concentrated and corporate-dominated 'free markets'". Decreasing food waste is also essential ... currently the world wastes the food output from 5.4 million square miles of land.
(2a) Eating Less Meat Could Save $31 Trillion
If everyone ate less meat we could reduce food-related greenhouse gases by 29% or more and could save $31 trillion by reducing environmental impacts, by cutting healthcare costs and by lowering lost work time. Livestock production leads to ~15% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
(2b) Plant-Based Diets Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
To keep "global temperature rise below 2 deg C, we need urgent and dramatic shifts toward plant-based diets" ... If we reduce meat consumption per healthy eating guidelines, we'll cut greenhouse gas emissions from the food sector by 29% ... if everyone goes vegan then we'll cut GHG emissions 70%.
(2c) Need to Cut Food Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Agri-food accounts for ~30% of greenhouse gas emissions. In U.S., we eat 3 times as much meat as is recommended. Reducing our meat consumption and switching from beef to pork or poultry will cut our greenhouse gas emissions.
(3a) James Hansen Says Sea Level Rise Will Occur in Decades, Not Centuries
James Hansen and 18 fellow climate scientists say that faster ice melt from Greenland and Antarctica is slowing ocean circulation which will increase superstorm intensity and increase the rate of sea level rise (perhaps 1 meter in 50 years and 2 meters in 60 years).
(3b) Leading Climate Scientists Say We Have a Global Climate Emergency, Joe Romm
Ice melt from Greenland & Antarctica may be accelerating, slowing normal ocean circulation and leading to 2 meters of sea level rise in 60 years and super-extreme storms. "Fossil fuel CO2 emissions should be reduced as rapidly as practical."
(4) Developed Countries Must Phase Out Fossil Fuels
Our remaining carbon budget is less than 1,000 gigatons (billion tons) of CO2 emissions, to stay below 2 deg C of global warming. If all known coal, oil & gas reserves are burned, it will emit 15,000 gigatons CO2 ... so we must leave most coal, oil & gas unburned, to avoid 14,000 gigatons worth of CO2. Energy efficiency & clean energy are part of the solution but that alone does not require private companies from extracting, marketing & burning fossil fuels. Energy efficiency & clean energy must be the new standard for all investment.
(5) Inoculate Against Climate Denial
5 Methods of Climate Denial: Fake Experts, Logical Fallacies, Impossible Expectations, Cherry Picking, Conspiracy Theories. Logical Fallacies include Oversimplification, Red Herring, Misrepresentation, Jumping to Conclusions, False Dichotomy. One inoculation approach is Fact-Myth-Fallacy.
(6) Trump "Not a Big Believer" in Climate Change
Trump said "I am not a great believer in man-made climate change" ... All major scientific institutions in U.S. (NAS, AAAS, Am Meteorolog. Soc, Am Geophys Union...) have affirmed man-made climate change ... for the presumptive GOP presidential nominee to say he "does not believe" is very concerning ... Trump's Mar-A-Lago club is on a narrow piece of land separating the Atlantic Ocean from the inland waterway ... one would expect Trump as the owner of this property to pay attention to climate projections and guard against climate change risks. A major part of what a U.S. president does is risk management ... Trump show no ability to assume this key role.
(7) Methane's Contribution to Global Warming, Bill McKibben
Our leaders thought fracking would save us from global warming, but they were wrong due to methane leaks. U.S. methane emission increased 30% from 2002 to 2014. EPA has under-estimated methane emissions for years. 3.6% to 7.9% of methane leaks from fracking operations, which causes more climate damage than coal. "The global warming fight can't just be about carbon dioxide any longer. ... Coal and oil and natural gas have to be left in the ground. All of them."
(8) Environmental Issues Fuel Violent Conflicts, Chris Mooney
Environmental issues can threaten food security, increase water stress, undermine the economy, displace populations and lead to civil unrest. Natural resource issues fuel at least 40% of internal conflicts. Competition for land and water and environmental degradation (deforestation, pollution, redirected water sources) can drive conflicts.
(9) TPP Climate Dangers
TPP would allow corporations to challenge offshore oil drilling restrictions and federal land drilling restrictions. "To keep fossil fuels in the ground, we cannot afford the new roadblocks posed by the TPP and TTIP."
(10) Climate Change Food Security
Singapore imports 90% of its food, mostly from Malaysia, Japan & Brazil. By 2030, climate change may reduce rice production by 18% & fish catch by 60%. Recommendations for food importing countries: Invest in Food Stockpiling & Storage and Consider Climate Impacts for Food Diversification.
(11) Wind & Solar Growing But Not Fast Enough, Brad Plumer
Renewables & nuclear make up 33% of global power but we need to be over 90% by 2050.

20 Mar 2016

(1) Denmark 100% Clean Energy by 2050, David Roberts
In 2013, 47% of Danish electricity generated by clean energy, 42% from wind power. Goals: 2030 no coal, 2035 all electricity from clean energy, 2050 all energy consumption from clean energy (electricity, heat, transport, industrial). Danes have a carbon tax of $31 per ton. Denmark's smart-grid interconnects with Sweden, Norway & Germany ... they export when they have excess wind power & import when wind is still. Let's start copying the Danes ... tax carbon, decentralize energy production, enforce efficiency goals, support build-out of clean energy & improve the grid.
(2a) Insane Coastal Development Continues Despite Flood Risk
In Miami, 2 multi-billion dollar construction projects are underway though widespread flooding is a near certainty within several decades due to sea level rise. Fort Lauderdale is building, though future flooding is nearly assured. "It is time we prepare to retreat from the rising sea."
(2b) Sea Level Rise Puts 13 Million Americans at Risk of Coastal Flooding
Sea level rise estimates are 3 to 6 feet by 2100. Sea level rise of 3 ft puts 4.2 million Americans at risk of flooding; 6 ft of rise puts 13.1 million Americans at risk. Over half of those at risk live in Florida.
(3) Coal Miners Protest Job Losses in China
As China's economy slows, the government is laying off workers in coal and steel. China is expected to lay off 5 million over 3 years ... they want to retrain and re-employ them in farming and forestry.
(4) Colorado Businesses Ask to Protect National Parks from Coal Pollution
Colorado's national parks are a large part of its $13 billion outdoor recreation economy. 100+ Colorado businesses are demanding that the EPA require Utah coal-fired power plants to install pollution control devices to cut nitrogen oxide pollution.
(5a) Fuel Truck Plunges Through Melting Permafrost in Arctic, Joe Romm
Melting permafrost in the Arctic is causing infrastructure losses ... roadway failures, bridge collapses ... "looks like Canada picked the wrong week to ignore global warming."
(5b) Arctic Heat Causing Food Insecurity
In 2015, U.S. government shipped in frozen fish because the walrus hunt failed. Once stable sea ice is breaking apart under the feet of indigenous hunters and their sled dog teams. On caribou herd had 450,000 in 1986 and now has 20,000.
(6a) Rubio's Climate Denial, Jonathan Chait
In response to a Miami Mayor's question on fighting climate change, Rubio denied man-made climate change and said there's nothing we can do about it. Rubio is "fighting to preserve ... a delusional, anti-government ideology unable to process or cope with real-world conditions. ... innovations have allowed the economy to decarbonize quickly without imposing noticeable costs on consumers. The coal industry is in a state of collapse ...." The combined worth of the 4 largest coal-mining firms fell from $34 billion to $150 million in the past 5 years. Rubio and the GOP are in full denial of the science and of the diplomatic and technological transformation well under way.
(6b) Sanders, Clinton, Rubio, Kasich on Climate Change
Rubio claimed the climate change policies will cripple the economy and kill jobs ... but failing to take action on climate change will have much greater costs ... One of these candidates will be the next U.S. president ... either we maintain momentum on the Paris Climate Agreement or we steer "the world toward more climate destabilization."
(7) Reframing Climate Change May Not Have Much Impact, David Roberts
Alternate framings have been suggested: economic opportunity, spur to innovation, national security threat, impact on health, moral imperative. A recent study suggested little impact of reframing climate change. Why not? An individual's climate policy views are strongly shaped by many factors that cannot be affected by climate change communication (political ideology, income, gender, general social norms, economic conditions of the country). People seek out reinforcing frames to preserve their existing worldviews, self-worth and beliefs of their social network. Repetition matters more than cleverness. The message must come from a trusted source. "...policymakers should keep a strong focus on climate risk reduction as the dominant justification"
(8) Transition to Clean Energy Too Slow, Chris Mooney
Feb 2016 was record-setting warm. The milestone of 2 deg C seems much closer and much more real than ever. We are currently not on an adequate clean energy transition path to stay below 2 deg C. We need half of all our energy from renewables by 2028; that's a massive scale-up. We need "a fast and sweeping energy transition."
(9) 7 Tasks to Implement COP21 Paris Agreement
1. Provide Guidance to Increase Ambition. 2. Ensure Accountability. 3. Track Climate Finance. 4. Promote Adaptation. 5. Develop Capacity Building in Developing Countries. 6. Promote Cooperative Mitigation. 7. Create a Technology Framework.
(10) Spiking Methane Emissions
Cows & rice production may be contributing more to spiking methane emissions. "Decarbonizing what we eat is just as important as decarbonizing what we drive or what we use to heat our homes."
(11a) Decoupling Carbon Emissions from Economic Growth, Joe Romm
The global economy grew while CO2 emissions were flat for the 2nd year in a row. Electricity generated by clean energy is an important factor. U.S. emissions fell 2% and China's 1.5%.
(11b) Decoupling Economic Growth & CO2 Emissions, Chris Mooney
Global economies grew 3.1% in 2015, yet CO2 emissions fell slightly to 32.1 gigatons CO2, per a recent IEA study. "...a decoupling of growth from emissions, while certainly good news, is not enough - emissions need to decline, quickly, to preserve hope of staying within a climate safety zone."
(12a) Coal Companies Pay Too Little to Mine Federal Lands
3/4ths of mined coal comes from federal lands. Coal is a dirty fossil fuel causing smog, acid rain, air pollution and global warming from its greenhouse gases. "...a federal program that has flooded the market with subsidized coal is clearly inconsistent with federal policy priorities to address climate change" The coal companies should be paying 5 times what they pay now. Coal companies spend millions to lobby government to keep federal lease costs low. In Jan 2016, Obama put a moratorium on coal leases.
(12b) U.S. Subsidizes Coal
Peabody Energy is the world's largest coal producer ... it has paid climate skeptics and funded climate skeptic organizations. Peabody is now likely to file for bankruptcy ... it's peak share price was $1,079 in 2011 and is $2 now. It's laid off 20% of its workers. Peabody ditched its pension obligations to retired miners through restructuring but the coal executives have received million dollar bonuses. Peabody has been heavily subsidized through cheap coal leases on federal land.
(12c) Obama Administration’s Investment into Coal Communities
The Obama administration just announced $65.8 million investment to help coal communities transition to new economic opportunities. The initiative is called Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER). The Sierra Club praised the administration and says Congress now needs to act to further allocate such resources.
(13) Energy Security Drives U.S. Military to Clean Energy
Energy security, not environmental concern, is the key driver for the Pentagon to pursue clean energy. U.S. Marines talk of "expeditionary energy" ... on-the-go solar & backpacks that generate electricity. The Air Force is pursuing on-site distributed generation and smart microgrids. The Army met 12% of its energy demand via renewables. The Navy's goal is to get 50% of its energy from renewables by 2020.
(14) Climate Change Threatens Fort Yukon
Fort Yukon in NE Alaska is 10 miles North of the Arctic Circle. Climate Change is causing weaker ice, shorter winters and new flora & fauna. Traditionally, they've lived off the land ... catching salmon, hunting moose & caribou, picking berries and growing food. Now they rarely see caribou and they catch 8# rather than 30# salmon. Their children "...won't have moose to eat or salmon" 3 million people live in the Arctic and are some of the first to experience climate change impacts.
(15) UK Budget Subsidizes Fossil Fuels & Ignores Climate Change
The UK budget does little to support clean energy and subsidizes North Sea oil. "The chancellor said several times that this was a budget for future genertations ... it's not evident that he has internalized the implications of the Paris climate summit."
(16) Global Warming: What Has Changed Already?
What has changed? Global surface temperatures, atmospheric temperatures, ocean heat content, sea level, the number of flood days, Greenland ice sheet extent, glacier extents, Arctic sea ice extent.
(17) Seattle Climate Change Impacts
Duwamish is most at risk from sea level rise. Heavier rain will lead to flooding. Toxic algae in Puget Sound is more likely. Inward migration from other areas impacted more by climate change will affect us.

13 Mar 2016

(1a) Clinton vs. Sanders on Fracking
Clinton said she does not support fracking if the local community does not want it, it causes pollution and when fracking companies don't disclose the chemicals they use. Sanders says he does not support fracking. Clinton said that we must transition to clean energy, but we need fossil fuels in the interim. Sanders calls for a complete end to fossil fuels and a revenue-neutral carbon tax.
(1b) Fracking Company Fined $4.2 Million For Contaminating Water
$4.2 million won't bring back drinkable water to the families of Pennsylvania .. Once groundwater is polluted, it's polluted forever ... Fracking poisons water ... The Frackers will be held responsible."
(2a) Air Quality Board Weakens Pollution Rules
Southern California's Air Quality Board voted to delay installation of pollution controls at 6 oil refineries, a delay backed by Western States Petroleum Association. The Board dominated by Republicans argued that pollution regulations hamper economic growth.
2b) Regulatory Capture of Air Quality Board by Oil Refineries in LA
The Air Quality Board approved weak air quality regulations submitted by the Western States Petroleum Association.
(3) A Livable Climate Destroys Buffett's Fossil Fuel Empire, Joe Romm
Warren Buffett has bet the future of his investment empire, Berkshire Hathaway, on dirty energy. Buffett's BNSF railroad is top hauler of coal and crude oil in North America. Oil shipped by rail jumped from 1 million barrels per month to 25 million barrels from 2010 to 2014. Buffett also bought Suncor which process Canadian tar sands oil. And Buffett bought up 14% of Phillips 66, a leading oil and gas refiner. Buffett says he's a leader "in pursuing planet-friendly technology ... BNSF uses only a single gallon of diesel fuel to move a ton of freight almost 500 miles ... four times as fuel efficient as trucks" As Romm says "Yes, BNSF is very fuel-efficient way of delivering vast amounts of climate-destroying fuels to market. ... if serious global climate action ultimately keeps oil prices low and renders much of the tar sands uneconomic, then Buffett's carefully constructed fossil fuel empire is going to keep suffering ... leading climate activists have been urging major investors to disinvest in fossil fuels for years, Buffett is doing the exact reverse ..."
(4) New York Pension Fund Divestment from Fossil Fuels Would Have Earned Billions
A study shows that had New York Pension Fund divested from fossil fuels and invested in clean energy, it would have earned $5.3 billion more. Fossil fuel investments aren't delivering significant returns because supply of oil, gas and goal is exceeding demand, driving the price down.
(5) Transformation Via Non-Violent Protests
Civil rights, overthrow of dictators, ousting the British from India & gay rights are examples of the transformative power of non-violent protests. Climate activists are fighting some of the richest, most powerful corporations such as ExxonMobil and Shell ...
(6) Congressional Climate Deniers Represent 63% Of Americans
59% of the GOP House caucus and 70% of the GOP Senate caucus deny human-caused climate change ... 76% of Americans and 59% of Republicans believe global climate change is happening ... 67% of Americans support Obama's Clean Power Plan. Congressional climate deniers received over $73 million from coal, oil & gas industries. Sen. Whitehouse says "Members of Congress should be accountable to their constituents, not to a fossil fuel industry that uses the threat of unlimited campaign spending to command their silence."
(7) Shell's Failure to Disclose Climate Risks
"...Shell funded and publicly engaged in a campaign to deceive the American people about the known risks of fossil fuels in causing climate change ..." Shell ..."intentionally obfuscated the role of fossil fuels in influencing climate change."
(8a) Big Banks for Green Climate Fund
HSBC and Credit Agricole have bid to manage Green Climate Funds, to help poor countries deal with climate change. Environmentalists argue these banks have heavily financed fossil fuel industries. NGOs say that accrediting HSBC and Credit Agricole "would pose serious reputational and moral risk to the GCF" because of recent fiduciary scandals, large exposure to the coal industry and weak compliance on managing environmental impacts of their lending.
(8b) U.S. Pays $500 Million to the Green Climate Fund
U.S. made its first $500 million payment to the Green Climate Fund, on its long-term pledge of $3 billion. The GCF will help poor countries adopt cleaner energy and help them adapt to climate change
(9a) Electric Cars to Replace Gas Cars in 10 Years, David Roberts
Total cost of ownership for electric cars will become cheaper than gas cars by about 2022.
(9b) Hydrogen vs. Electric Cars
Driving range, cost & recharging time are limitations of electric cars. Hydrogen fuel cell cars are limited by lack of a hydrogen refueling network. Hydrogen cars require only 3 minutes to refill; electric cars take 20 minutes or more to recharge.
(10) Bring Your Coffee Mug
Only 2% of coffee lovers bring their reusable mug to Starbucks for a 10 cent discount. Over 2 billion hot drink cups discarded in Cascadia every year.
(11) Low Oil Prices Impacting State Budgets
Louisiana, Alaska, West Virginia & Kentucky state budgets are all hurt by low oil and coal prices. Instead of cutting taxes and eduction spending, Jindal should have spent on a more educated workforce and diversified Louisiana's economy.
(12) Nuclear Power Too Expensive
Nuclear power is associated with large cost overruns and lengthy construction delays. Wind and solar power will be more important than nuclear power in the transition to clean energy.
(13) TPP Opposition Is Growing
All 2016 presidential candidates, both Democratic & GOP, oppose TPP. TPP could open up many corporate lawsuits against environmental regulations.
(14) Can GOP Support Clean Energy?
Jay Faison, a millionaire NC businessman, is trying to sway GOP to support clean energy with his website ClearPath.org.
(15) What's the Answer to Climate Change?
There's no one answer. "Climate change is vast, hopeless, horrifying, anxiety-inducing ... and it's a ... fascinating, thrilling, inspiring, mind-bending opportunity. ... What kind of society and democratic government will be best positioned to handle resource scarcity and the sequential emergencies associated with the now-inevitable consequences of climate change? How can we bring about that society? What kind of global governance will be needed? ... Can the world manage climate change and avoid its worst cataclysms, like hideous famines, mass migration, surveillance-powered authoritarians, and World War III."
(16) Poop-Based Biofuels for Your Car?
Livestock generate over 1 billion tons of solid waste per year. Genetically-engineered bacteria can break down poo into biofuels and fertilizer. Research is underway to attempt to scale this up.
(17) Protesters Halt Oil & Gas Leases on Public Lands
Environmentalist halted an auction for oil and gas leases on Nevada public lands with signs saying "Keep It in the Ground" and "Stand Up to Big Oil".
(18) Fixing Food Waste
The U.S. wastes 63 million tons of food annually. We spend $218 billion (1.3% GDP) growing, processing & transporting food that is wasted. Various solutions can reduce food waste 20%.
(19) US-Canada to Cut Methane Emissions & to Protect Arctic Communities
U.S. President Barack Obama and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed to cut methane emissions from oil & gas industry by 40% by 2025. They also agreed on more protections for Arctic & indigenous communities facing climate change and on improved fuel efficiency of heavy-duty vehicles.
(20) Kids Are Suing U.S. Government Over Climate Inaction | The Nation
By failing to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the young people claim violation of 5th and 9th Amendment rights to due process and equal protection, as well as the 'public trust' doctrine, that certain natural resources must be protected for public use. Climate inaction is discrimination because young people will be impacted more by climate change than the current generation. The suit asks the government to "cease the permitting, authorizing and subsidizing of fossil fuels."
(21) Methane & Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Agriculture Are Drivers of Climate Change
Though the biosphere is a net sink for CO2, it is a net emitter of methane & nitrous oxide. Overall, the biosphere emits the equivalent of ~4 to 5 billion tons (gigatons, Gt) of carbon dioxide each year. Changing agricultural practices can reduce this.
(22) Big Solar is Heading for Boom Times
Big utility-scale solar is growing because it's getting cheaper, even without federal tax credits.
(23) Climate Scientists Trust Surface Thermometers More than Satellites
Surface thermometer measurements are more accurate for documenting global warming than satellite measurements.
(24) Utah Legislature OKs $53 Million for Oakland Coal Port | The Salt Lake Tribune
Utah will partly fund a deep-water port in Oakland, CA, to export UT coal to China. "Investing in a coal terminal is like building a stateroom on the Titanic after it hits the iceberg." "It's distressing that the legislature will throw tens of millions of dollars at a doomed scheme to prop up a failing industry, yet balk at spending any resources at cleaning up our air or otherwise improving public health and the environment."
(25a) The Net Metering Fight
Utilities who own the grid must consider how to make money selling energy to consumers who can produce it themselves ... "net metering" allows customers with rooftop solar to sell excess power back to utilites for retail prices ... what is the correct value of the surplus energy, as utilities seek to lower the price they pay for electricity from rooftop solar owners ... rooftop solar makes rooftop solar systems more affordable by lowering electric bills and offsetting the cost of rooftop panels. Their are net metering fights in various states (CA, AZ, TX, MA, IA ...)
(25b) Utilities Blocking Solar in Florida
A Florida ballot initiative "Amendment 1" is being challenged in Florida Supreme Court. This initiative was created by "Consumers for Smart Solar" funded by Florida utility companies and conservative groups with ties to Koch industries. A challenge by EarthJustice says "If passed by the voters, the utility-sponsored amendment would be a constitutional endorsement of the idea that rooftop solar users should pay higher utility bills than other customers. ... This utility-sponsored amendment pretends to be pro-solar but is actually a disguised attempt to derail rooftop solar in Florida." Net-metering "is widely loathed by power companies ... they lose a paying customer to solar ... and have to pay that customer for their extra power they generate " It's the utilities attempt to kill net metering.
(25c) Buffett Tries To Kill Solar Energy? Joe Romm
Buffett owns NV Energy that successfully lobbied Nevada Public Utilities Commission to cut 'net metering' payments to solar customers ... Buffett is also trying to gut the 1978 Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), which requires utilities to buy renewable energy from non-utility generators ... it seems Buffett only likes clean energy if he can get all the profits ... also Berkshire Hathaway Energy gets over half its electricity generation from coal and Buffett's BNSF Railways hauls lots of coal.
(26) National Responsibilities for Climate Change
There's incongruity between the countries most responsible for climate change (U.S., Europe) and those most impacted (tropical rainforests, SE Asia, Africa, Pacific Islands). A carbon fee is necessary to include the external costs of fossil fuels into the price. Developed countries must provide assistance to developing countries. Developing countries have strong leverage ... their cooperation in improved agriculture and forestry practices to store more carbon are essential.
(27a) February 2016 Smashes Monthly Temperature Record
Global temperature this February were 1.35 deg C higher than the 1950-1980 average. The previous record was set Jan 2016. Average global temperatures are now ~1.0 deg C higher than the late 19th century and we are already committed to an additional 0.5 deg C. So we're approaching the globally agreed maximum of 2 deg C. Alaska, Canada, Eastern Europe & Russia were more than 4 deg C above average. Severe climate impacts so far in 2016: Vietnam $6.7 billion drought losses (4% GDP), Zimbabwe $1.6 billion drought losses (12% GDP, 1/4 of population facing food shortages), Fiji $470 million Cyclone Winston losses (10% GDP).
(27b) Record-Shattering February 2016 Warmth, Joe Romm
Feb 2016 was the hottest month on record at +1.35 deg C above average. Some Arctic areas averaged 10 deg C above normal. Arctic sea ice extent is at a record low. Fears are that this extreme Arctic warming will lead to permafrost melting with release of greenhouse gases (CO2 & methane) and resulting runaway global warming.
(28) The War on Coal in China, Brad Plummer
Coal use has dropped in China ... partly due to the economic slump and partly due to the central government clamping down on pollution. Central provinces are seeking approval to build 210 new coal-fired power plants ... China's central government may cancel these but this would lay off 1.8 million workers (15% of the workforce). The central government may need to spend $15 billion to assist these unemployed workers.
(29) Gov Inslee Can Take the Initiative on Climate Change, Michael McGinn
Two actions Gov Jay Inslee could take: 1). Issue an executive order subjecting all new fossil fuel infrastructure to strict regulatory review under existing laws. 2. Instruct his appointees to the State Investment Board to divest from fossil fuel companies (including $259 million invested in Exxon).

6 Mar 2016

(1) WTO Rules Against India Solar Program
India's solar power program plans to build 100 gigawatts by 2022. WTO ruled against India saying that its Domestic Content Requirement is against trade rules. India's view is that it can't institute a solar program that discourages domestic industry and workers.
(2) Replacing Diesel with Wind Power in Rural Alaska
Combing with wind power with battery storage, diesel generators & a smart grid, rural Alaskans are lowering power costs.
(3) Variable Spending on Climate Adaptation Globally
Only 0.4% of city wealth is spent on resilience-building currently. NYC is spending 35x more than Lagos; spending is on protecting physical capital, rather than people.
(4a) Break Free From Fossil Fuels Week of Action, May 7th
Week of May 7th is "Break Free From Fossil Fuels" week of action. "Public Trust Doctrine" ... governments cannot authorize the destruction of those natural resources today to the detriment of future generations ... "Instead of changing their business model to meet the scientific reality of climate change, these companies are demanding we adapt to an uninhabitable world that supports their profits. When you compare the two, I think it’s clear that our right to clean air and a healthy atmosphere is more important than their ‘need’ to make money off destroying our future" said X. Martinez of Earth Guardians ... governments do not have the right to destroy the climate ... people have the right to stop them if they do ... by the Public Trust Doctrine, climate activists are not breaking the law, they are enforcing it ... "Break Free From Fossil Fuels may be the harbinger for a global nonviolent climate insurgency. It is globally coordinated, with common principles, strategy, planning and messaging. It is utilizing nonviolent direct action not only as an individual moral witness, but also to express and mobilize the power of the people on which all government ultimately depends. It presents climate protection not only as a moral but as a legal right and duty, necessary to protect the Constitution and the public trust for ourselves and our posterity. It represents an insurgency because it denies the right of the existing powers and principalities – be they corporate or governmental – to use the authority of law to justify their destruction of the earth’s climate."
(4b) Climate Activists To Shut Down Coal Mines
'Reclaim the Power' will take direct action to shut down coal mines and other fossil fuel sites around the world on May 7th.
(4c) We Hit 2 Deg C, Bill McKibben
Global warming is coming much faster than science expected; it's a threat to present civilization. The time to fight is right now.
(5a) China Slashes Coal Use
For the 2nd year-in-a-row, China has cut its coal use and greenhouse gas emissions. It has closed 1,000 coal mines and made massive investments in wind & solar power.
(5b) China Sets Cap for Coal Use
China has pledged to cut carbon intensity 40% by 2020.
(6) Cut Phosphorus Pollution in the Great Lakes
Phosphorus pollution from fertilizer & manure run-off has led to massive algae blooms, resulting in tainted drinking water and in "dead zones" that kill fish.
(7) Nuclear Power - Is It Dead or Our Only Hope?
Some experts say that carbon-free nuclear power is our only hope ... Others say that nuclear is risky, unnecessary and far too expensive ...
(8) Climate Change Effects on Plant Growth
Satellite data shows how vegetation responds to climate change globally.
(9) Companies Committing to a Low-Carbon Future
The 1,000 largest companies produce 1/5th of global greenhouse gas emissions. Companies are now using science-based targets to do their share in cutting emissions.
(10) Warren Buffett Misunderstands Climate Risk, Joe Romm
Warren Buffett dismisses climate change risk in his annual letter to investors. He bought another $240 million in Canadian tar sands, for a total now of $1.1 billion. This can only make a big profit by helping to destroy a livable climate. Buffett hypocritically said that he made "major commitments to the future development of renewables" while he tried to kill solar energy in Nevada.
(11) U.S. Carbon Emissions Rising
U.S. carbon emission rose 1% from 2013 to 2014, due to higher methane emissions from fracking & more buying of gas-guzzling light trucks due to lower gasoline prices. U.S. Paris Pledge is to cut U.S. carbon emissions by >26% by 2025. Methane emissions are higher than previously thought, so more controls are needed.
(12a) Costs of Sea Level Rise
Costs of damages due to sea level rise are mostly due to extreme weather events superimposed on the sea level rise. Economic costs rise faster than sea level rise ... damage costs double with only 11cm of sea level rise.
(12b) Fort Lauderdale, Venice of America
Construction is booming, without considering long-term climate impacts. Sea levels could rise 2ft by 2060 & 7ft by 2100. At some point, these communities will no longer be able to maintain the infrastructure. Some buildings built in the last 5 years won't make it in the next 30 years.
(13b) Climate Views of 2016 Presidential Candidates
Trump says climate change is a hoax and wants the EPA dismantled. Clinton & Sanders support cap-and-trade and tax breaks for renewables.
(13b) Fossil Fuel Tycoons Supporting Cruz
Cruz took in $25 million from coal, oil & gas interests. Hillary Clinton received $1.1 million.
(14) Half a Million Deaths Due to Food Scarcity by 2050
500,000 deaths per year by 2050 due to food scarcity projected due to global warming.
(15) FBI to Investigate Exxon Climate Denial
U.S. Justice Dept referred the Exxon case to the FBI, at the request of U.S. Congressmen Lieu & DeSaulnier.
(16) Palm Oil: Which Companies Still Trash Forests?
Companies mostly meeting their palm oil commitments: Ferrero, Nestle, Danone, General Mills, Ikea, Kelloggs, Mars. Companies with failed promises: Pepsi, Johnson & Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive, Unilever, P&G, Orkla, Cadbury.
(17) Environmental Activist Berta Cáceres Murdered in Honduras
NGOs are asking international financiers to withdraw from the dam project that Caceres opposed.
(18) Signs of a More Sustainable World
More transparency. More regulation. Investors see risk. Innovation matters. We have heroes. Collaboration is happening.
(19) EPA Mercury Limits for Coal Power Plants Upheld by SCOTUS
Mercury is a neurotoxin; coal power plants are the primary source of mercury in the atmosphere.
(20) Unprecedented Arctic Warming
“What is happening in the Arctic now is unprecedented and possibly catastrophic," said Peter Gleick ... January Arctic sea ice extent was the lowest in the satellite record, attended by unusually high air temperatures over the Arctic Ocean… burning fossil fuel is the bad guy ... Maybe the real culprit ... is neoliberalism ... dedicated to profits and private enterprise over and above human welfare and the sanctity of the ecosystem. ... Neoliberalism preaches cuts in business taxes, free trade (in secret), busting unions, privatizing education (for profit ...), cutting pensions to meet austerity measures, shipping America's middle class jobs offshore to lowly bidders, privatizing prisons (for profit ...), abolishing regulations, ... militarizing police, demonizing government, overfunding warfare, underfunding welfare, denying climate change or pretending to do something about it ... The neoliberal school of thought embraces survival of the fittest tactics. ... "Profit for the sake of profits" is a dead end game that ignores and abuses the planet's one and only ecosystem.

28 Feb 2016

(1) What Clean Energy Can We Achieve in 10 Years, Richard Heinberg
Easy - Replace Coal with Wind & Solar, Heat Pumps for Home Heating, Electric not Gas Stoves, Go Electric Cars, More Walking & Bicycling & Public Transit, More Energy Efficiency in Buildings, More Local & Organic Foods. Hard - Grid-Level Energy Storage, Fuel cells for Trucks, Replace Fossil-Fuel Based Manufacturing. Hardest - Redesign Cement-Making, Convert to All Organic Agriculture, Minimize Packaging & Transport in Food System, Convert to Hydrogen or Biofuels for Aviation, Redesign Road Paving.
(2) Climate Change Denial is Political
Political affiliation, worldview & values are best predictors of climate change beliefs. Belief in the trustworthiness of scientists is also a strong predictor. Belief in climate change does not necessarily predict acceptance of specific climate change actions. ... even environmentalists don't like taxes ... 'the world' should deal with it ... don't ask any personal sacrifice of me.
(3a) Sea Level Rising Fast
Sea level to rise 3.3 feet by 2100, or even more. Climate change is already causing many more coastal floods. 20 to 30 million Americans will be impacted.
‎(3b) Climate Migration Due to Coastal Flooding
20% of the world's population will need to migrate due to coastal flooding, even if we keep global warming to < 2 deg C. If we transition to clean energy soon, we limit sea level rise to 5 ft versus 28 ft, if we don't.
(4) Rain Gardens Reduce Storm Runoff Pollution
Salmon and other marine life are harmed by stormwater pollution. Rain gardens and other bioretention strategies can significantly reduce these pollutants.
(5) AGU Urged to Reject Exxon Sponsorship
Climate scientists asked the American Geophysical Union (AGU) to reject further funding from ExxonMobil. "By accepting sponsorship, the AGU gives up the ability to call out Exxon for their climate science disinformation activities."
(6) More Heartland Institute Deception
Their report attacks the expert consensus on human-caused global warming ... this is another fossil-fuel funded disinformation campaign.
(7) Al Gore Optimism About Climate Change
Nice Al Gore TED talk.
(8) A Carbon Tax Makes Sense
Whether Republican or Democratic, the next president should implement a carbon tax ... it could lower U.S. long-term debt & cut taxes on personal income & on corporate profits.
(9a) Massive Methane Leaks From Texas Fracking Sites
Texas methane emissions from thousands of fracking sites far exceed the methane emissions from the California Aliso Canyon leak. The fracking industry does not seem to be able to police itself. Texas lawmakers often have financial interest in the fracking industry.
(9b) Fracking's Human Costs
Fracking has contaminated well water. Eminent domain used to cut down a family's maple orchard for contruction of a natural gas pipeline.
(9c) Fracking's Methane Emissions Are High
EPA says that methane emissions from oil & gas industries are substantially higher than previously understood. EPA wants to cut methane emissions by 40% or more by 2025.
(10a) We Need Energy Miracles, Bill Gates
Solar & wind power are intermittent and current energy storage options are expensive ... we need a massive R&D effort to develop clean, affordable energy ... "I recently helped launch an effort by more than two dozen citizens that will complement government research ... aimed at delivering enegy miracles ..."
(10b) Bill Gates Wrong on Need for Energy Miracle, Joe Romm
What is most needed now is accelerated deployment of technologies that are now market ready ... we need 100 times more money invested for deployment than for R&D right now ... we must vastly expand deployment now ... R&D won't provide energy miracles in time to avoid catastrophic global warming ... we don't have time to wait fo energy miracles ... the time to deploy is now ...
(11) Consumerism has a Big Carbon Footprint
Up to 60% of our carbon footprint comes from our household consumption ... annual per capita emissions ( tons CO2e): 18.6 US, 17.7 Australia, 3.4 World Average, 1.8 China
(12a) WTO Blocks Solar in India
India hopes to install 100 gigawatts of solar by 2022 ... it requires a certain percentage of panels to be manufactured locally ... WTO prohibits domestic content requirements ... 300 million Indians do not have electricity ... India's solar program aims to extend electricity and to fight poverty with job creation ... US filed the WTO complaint because of solar panel export losses ... the US solar industry praised the decision ... trade trumps climate action ... "Trade policies are preventing a sustainable future."
(12b) WTO Blocks Solar in India
India's goal is 100 gigawatts of solar by 2022 ... establish a leadership role in low-cost solar manufacturing ... The US brought a WTO case against India because 'Buy Local' provisions in India's solar plan ... Every country should have the right to set its own clean energy future. “Buy local” rules -- a standard policy tool to foster, nurture, and grow new industries -- can help push us toward the goal of 100 percent clean energy that our planet needs by cultivating domestic renewable energy firms that promote strong climate policies. The TPP further promotes this outdated model of trade that hinders global climate action.
(13a) Skagit River Salmon Undersized & Record Low in Numbers Due to Climate Change
A record low number of coho salmon returned to the Skagit River in 2015 (<6,000 vs 50,000 typical). Fish were half their normal weight (3.5lbs vs 7). Abnormally warm coastal waters ("the blob") was the likely cause ... normally, cold-water upswelling brings nutrients to the surface ...
(13b) US Seafood Vulnerable to Climate Change
Half the species in the NW Atlantic are highly vulnerable due to ocean warming & acidity from climate change. Seafloor species (scallops, lobster, clams) and fresh-salt water migrating species (salmon, sturgeon) are particularly vulnerable. Species that travel long distances and feed on a variety of prey (Atlantic herring, yellowtail flounder) are less vulnerable.
(14) Carbon Budget is Half What We Thought
To limit global warming to <2 deg C, from 2015 on, our global carbon budget is 1,240 billion tons = 1,240 gigatons (for a 66% probability to stay < 2 deg C).
(15) Oil Industry Must Oppose Keep It In the Ground
Speaking to oil executives in Texas, Saudi oil minister said "As an industry, we should be celebrating ... and better explaining the vital importance of these precious resources ... We should not be apologizing. And we must not ignore the misguided campaign to 'keep it in the ground' and hope it will go away. For too long, the oil industry has been portrayed as the Dark Side, but it is not. It is a force ... for good. ... We must continue to work together and we must stick together if we want to achieve our common goal of supplying energy for the betterment of the world and humankind."
(16) Electric Cars Will Cause Oil Glut
Tesla, Chevy & Nissan to sell long-range electric cars for ~$30k by 2020. Could displace 2 million barrels per day by 2023 to 2028. Battery costs must come down more.
(17) Carbon Capture is Expensive
Direct Air Capture of CO2 ... so far too expensive to scale up. BECCS (Bioenergy with Carbon Capture & Sequestration) - requires huge amounts of land to grow biomass. Plant Trees - requires huge amounts of land. Enhanced Weathering ... use crushed rock to capture CO2 but high costs to scale up.
(18) Colstrip Coal Power Plant
2 of 4 coal power plants may close due to Washington State legislation. Coal provides 85% of tax base for Colstrip MT. Burning coal emitted 16 million tons of CO2 in 2014 (11th in nation).
(19) Cut Meat & Dairy Intake to Meet EU Climate Goals
Eat less beef. Pork & poultry better for the climate.
(20) Kochs Attack Collectivism
Kochs oppose the collective ... worker's rights, public health care, regulatory action. Their alternative ... individual self-interest benefits the majority. "...galloping inequality in this country results from poor political choices .. it's not just about wealth, it's about power," per Marshall Ganz. "...The holdings of the rich are not legitimate if they are acquired through competition from which others are excluded, and made possible by laws that are shaped by the rich for the rich" per TM Scanlon
(21) Climate Scientist Cuts His Carbon Footprint
Author cuts his annual C02 emissions from 19 to 2 metric tons, partly by eliminating air travel, eating less meat and bicycling.
(9c) Maple Syrup Farmers Lose Eminent Domain Battle to Constitution Pipeline
Judge rules in favor of fracking pipeline and against maple syrup farmers.

21 Feb 2016

(1a) EPA's Clean Power Plan after Scalia's Death
DC Circuit Court will now rule on EPA's Clean Power Plan and will likely uphold the plan.
(1b) EPA's Clean Power Plan after Scalia's Death
Now more likely EPA's Clean Power Plan will be upheld.
(1c) EPA's Clean Power Plan after Scalia's Death
"...many justices [of the Supreme Court] do not view environmental law as a distinct area of law ... [Until] the Court's membership includes a coalition of justices who perceive environmental protection as a discrete and important value worthy of special protection under the Constitution and laws of the United States, all indications are that this judicial reluctance will continue."
(2a) Keep 80% of Fossil Fuels Unburned, Bill McKibben
Climate Change is People vs. Physics; compromise and lobbying won't resolve this. Coal, oil & gas reserves are worth ~$20 trillion but 80% must not be burned. We must block both supply & demand. Divestment. We can, we must and we will keep coal, oil & gas underground.
(2b ) Activists Disrupt Public Land's Auction for Gas & Oil Leases in Utah
Will protest until federal government stops selling off public lands for oil & gas leases. 'Keep It in the Ground' movement "... we must stop the burning of fossil fuels if we hope to stave off the worst impacts of climate change. ... We have to do this."
(2c) Exxon Must Strand Its Oil Reserves, Bill McKibben
"... had Exxon told the truth ... back in 1990, we might not have wasted a quarter of a century in a phony debate about the science of climate change ... we’re no longer talking about outright denial, just a denial that much really needs to be done ... Exxon’s PR team ... supporting a price on carbon ... the minimal price they recommend -- somewhere in the range of $40 to $60 a ton -- wouldn’t do much to slow down their business. ... Exxon’s done its best to make sure that what they pretend to support in theory will never happen in practice. ... Exxon’s political contributions from 1999 to the present, a huge majority of their political harem of politicians have signed the famous Taxpayer Protection Pledge from Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform that binds them to vote against any new taxes. ... The company spends huge amounts of money searching for new hydrocarbons. ... despite the current bargain basement price of oil, it still boasts of expansion plans in the Gulf of Mexico, eastern Canada, Indonesia, Australia, the Russian far east, Angola, and Nigeria. ... There are potentially many thousands of gigatons of carbon that could be extracted from the planet if we keep exploring. The fossil fuel industry has already identified at least 5,000 gigatons of carbon that it has told regulators, shareholders, and banks it plans to extract. However, we can only burn about another 900 gigatons of carbon before we disastrously overheat the planet. ... it’s wildly irresponsible for a company to be leading the world in oil exploration when, as scientists have carefully explained, we already have access to four or five times as much carbon in the Earth as we can safely burn. ... [Exxon's] betting that the price of oil will rise in the reasonably near future, that alternative energy won’t develop fast enough, and that the world won’t aggressively tackle climate change. And the company will keep trying to cover those bets by aggressively backing politicians capable of ensuring that nothing happens. ... "
(3a) Brief Window to Mitigate Climate Change, David Roberts
".... the next few decades offer a brief window of opportunity to minimize large-scale and potentially catastrophic climate change ..." The 2016 presidential election has climate implications that will reverberate for thousands of years. If the foundation of Obama's domestic climate plans [EPA's Clean Power Plan] is yanked away, it could strengthen the hand of skeptics and nationalists in China, India, and elsewhere, leading the whole superstructure to crumble [Paris Climate Treaty]."
(3b) Brief Window to Mitigate Climate Change, Andy Revkin
we must "... decide to make the transition to a carbon-free economy before we’re forced into it by the depletion of fossil fuels. We’re going to run out anyway, and will need to learn to do without fossil fuels, so why not get weaned early, before we’ve trashed the climate?"
(4) Climate Justice 2016
Scientists and policy wonks ... are frequently far from the realities of the communities being ravaged by extreme climate impacts ... The climate justice movement has made itself into a space for communities around the world who have been systematically silenced and oppressed and are thus more vulnerable to climate change. ... Their power lies in their numbers, their solutions are rooted in science (not in corporate coercion), ... It is only with hope that we are moved to act, and 2016 must be a year in which we act with unprecedented force, resilience, and unity. ...
(5) Fracking Propaganda
Facing ballot initiatives in Colorado to restrict fracking, Fracking Companies deploy propagandists in an 'educational outreach.'
(6) Governors of 17 US States Support Clean Energy
Governors from 4 Republican & 13 Democratic states signed an accord to promote solar, wind, hydroelectric & geothermal power. "Extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, wildfires and sea level rise can negatively impact electric reliability and the economy ..."
(7a) US Senators Tour AK Clean Energy
Republican & Democratic senators visit Bethel AK to see how wind & solar power can replace diesel for indigenous communities.
(7b) Alaska's Rural Energy Microgrids
If you can make rural clean power work in AK, you can make it work anywhere. DOE is spending $220 million in grid modernization, with a focus on remote energy systems in AK. AK legislature goal is 50% clean energy for the state by 2025 & 15% improved energy efficiency. Now remote power systems rely mostly on diesel but cost is high at $1 per kilowatt-hour ... many native Alaskans spend 50% of their earnings on their power bill.
(8) U.S. Tied to Spike in Global Methane Emissions
The U.S. contributed 30% to 60% of this spike in methane emissions over the past decade ... likely due to increased fracking & natural gas use. The government's tally of methane emissions underestimates what is calculated from satellite measurements. The U.S. must do more to cut its methane emissions.
(9) Neurotoxins from Algal Overgrowth Likely Killing Birds & Mammals in Alaskan Waters
Warmer Alaskan waters are leading to algal overgrowth ... algal neurotoxins are a risk for marine mammal health and for seafood security, particularly in Native communities.
(10) CA Drought Killing Its Trees
20% of California's trees are considered vulnerable to drought. Removal of dead trees is needed to reduce wildfire risk.
(11) Utilities Investing in More Energy Storage & Distributed Generation
Utility-scale renewables, distributed generation & natural gas are expected to increase in power generation. Coal & oil will likely decrease. Nuclear will remain stagnant.
(12) State-By-State Temperature Increases
See the U.S. regional & seasonal differences in warming.
(13) Why I'm Not a Climate Defeatist
Inherent in all political activism ... no guarantee that we will make any difference ... on the climate crisis, I remain radically hopeful ... Be strategic ... Activism biodiversity ... Do not despair ... Don't mourn, organize ...
(14a) Kochs Waging War on Electric Vehicles
Kochs are spending $10 million per year promoting petroleum-base fuels and opposing government subsidies of electric vehicles. Fossil fuels are subsidized ~$5 trillion per year.
(14b) Tesla Video
"Electric power can drive the world’s machinery without the need of coal, oil or gas ... " Nikola Tesla

14 Feb 2016

(1a) Buy Efficiency & Clean Energy, Not Oil
Oil will become unsellable due to efficiency & clean energy competition. Will Iran or Russia attack Saudi oil terminals?
(1b) Clean Energy Investment Rising
NYC's pension fund lost $135 million in 2015 on fossil fuel holdings. Australia's top funds lost $5.6 billion on fossil fuel investments. Returns on clean energy investments are 5.5% to 7%. Global clean energy investment was a record $329 billion in 2015.
(2) Act Now on Climate Change
Action in the next decade or two will profoundly affect sea level rise & ocean acidification. The next few decades offer a brief window to minimize large scale catastrophic climate change.
(3) U.N. Initiative to Cut Airline Carbon Emissions
Aviation industry agreed to 4% lower fuel consumption by 2028. Environmentalists say it's too little.
(4a) Mobilise Money to Mitigate Climate Change
a. Tax Wall Street. b, Remind politicans to spend money on the right things. c. Use money more efficiently. d. Prioritize INDCs. e. Ensure money flow to developing countries. f. Follow Uruguay's examle. g. Incentivize clean energy. h. Price carbon. i. Think long-term. j. Create a private sector in developing countries. k. Balance mitigation & adaptation funding. l. Ensure community engagement.
(4b) A Green Bank for Clean Energy Capital
A state-funded Green Bank can pool public funds to attract private investments for energy efficiency & clean energy.
(5) Lowest Winter Arctic Ice
Air temp at 13 deg F above average. Climate scientist Serreze says the Arctic is absurdly warm.
(6) Climate Change is Unfair
The biggest greenhouse gas emitters are relatively less vulnerable than low emitters, like small Pacific island & African nations. who will suffer the most.
(7a) SCOTUS Blocking EPA's Clean Power Plan Will Not Thwart Paris Climate Deal
A transition to low-carbon economic growth and a cleaner, safer, more prosperous world will win out in the end. This ruling delays but does not halt implementation of the Clean Power Plan. Climate economist Nicholas Stern said "...no surprise that vested interests have united against the Clean Power Plan ... delay is dangerous and faltering by the U.S. risks being amplified elsewhere ... it does not change the profound attractiveness to ... transtion to low-carbon economic growth, and a world that is cleaner, safer and more prosperous."
(7b) SCOTUS Blocks Efforts to Slow Climate Change
The court sided with 27 states who called this a federal "power grab" and Obama's "war on coal". These 5 conservative justices care more about their benefactors than clean air, the health of the planet or their own children. They threaten to destroy the Paris Climate Accord. They falsely believe that coal can play an important role in our energy future ... we must transition from coal and provide states, utilities and workers time and assistance to transition.
(7c) Harvard's Laurence Tribe Defending Big Coal
Many believe Tribe is making these bad legal arguments because he's a hired gun for Peabody Coal and not because he believes them. Tribe argues that the government cannot regulate polluters unless it pays them for taking their property.
(8) El Nino Causing Drought in Africa & Central America
El Nino exacerbates climate change effects.
(9) Relocating Communities Affected by Sea Level Rise
Obama's 2016 budget requests $400 million for climate-related relocation ... Alaska Native villages & Louisiana coastal tribal lands.
(10) Fund Managers Ignoring Climate Risk Could be Sued
Global warming is a systemic risk to the world economy and could cut the value of investments, ... those with fiduciary responsibility must act to reduce that risk, or be taken to court. The value of many pension funds could plummet, if they have high exposure to coal, oil & gas companies and fossil fuel reserves must be left unburned, to stop global warming.
(11) Protect Tropical Rainforests
1/3rd of climate emissions could be offset by restoring forest land ... you don't want to find out where a tipping point is by tipping it ... deforestation & a warming climate threaten carbon storage & the rain generation in the Amazon.
(12) WA Office of Fiscal Management Miscalculates I-732 Costs
OFM analysis claims I-732 is revenue-negative, causing a $900 million shortfall but OFM makes faulty assumptions.
(13) Companies BackTrack on Clean Energy
NRG CEO David Crane was fired because investors balked at his green initiatives. Big firms have made halting progress in clean energy (e.g. Shell, BP, NRG). How to manage tranformation of a big company? Not too fast. Not too slow. "Without government leadership, it is a futile effort for companies to do it by themselves ... Never underestimate the power of the status quo."
(14) Concentrated Solar Power
Morocco just built the largest CSP ... 500 Megawatts by 2018 ... cuts carbon emissions 0.8 Gigatons per year. South Africa is installing CSP; it will cut emissions 0.3 Gigatons per year.
(15) Stop Coal, Oil & Gas Leases on Public Lands
This bill in Congress keeps fossil fuels on public lands in the ground. Bill McKibben said "In a record hot world, let's hope Congress acts at record speed."
(16) China Wind Power Leader
China added 31 gigawatts wind power to its total of 145 GW. EU added 6 GW for a total of 142 GW. Total global capacity of wind power is 432 GW.
(17) More Rain, Less Snow in Winter
Less Winter precipitation is falling as snow & more as rain ... thus, more Spring floods, less Summer water supplies, more wildfires in the West & worse skiing.
(18) Carbon Tax vs. Regulation
A modest carbon tax and efficient regulation may be the most politically palatable and effective way to reduce carbon emissions.
(19) Flatten the Daily Energy Demand Curve
Solar energy supply peaks mid-day but energy demain peaks in the evening. 2 Long-term solutions: a) a national high-voltage national grid, b) energy storage. Short-Term solutions: target energy efficiency for uses in the evening, deploy peak-focused clean energy (e.g. hydropower, solar panels West-facing, concentrated solar plants), focus water utility pumping to off-peak hours, control electric water heater demand to off-peak hours, use ice-storage air conditioning, implement time-of-use pricing, shift consumer demand to off-peak hours, use inter-regional power exchanges ...
(20) Water Scarcity Increasing
2/3rds of World's population (4 billion) at risk for water scarcity ... India, China, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Pakistan, Mexico ... also Texas, California, Florida are at most risk. ... reduced harvests & loss of farm income, business water shortages, biodiversity losses, hampered river navigation, land subsidence & soil salinization are risks. The water table is dropping all over the world.
(21a) IPCC Climate Change Communication
IPCC wants to better target "policy-makers" ... those with PhDs in Physics to those who are illiterate village leaders. "If you can't explain it to a 6-year old, then you don't understand it yourself," as Einstein said.
(21b) IPCC Meeting on Communication
Oslo 2016 IPCC Meeting. Great resources to better understand the challenges of climate change communication.
‎(21c) Quaker UN Office on Climate Change
"We call on our leaders to make the courageous decisions needed to create a fair, sufficient and effective international climate change agreement. The goal is achievable but priorities will need to change ... The choices we make now, personal and collective, can ensure that the poorest and most vulnerable peoples now, and all our future generations, do not suffer profoundly as a consequence of our actions. Our faith in common humanity gives us hope: love, rather than fear, can lead us through this crisis."
‎(21d) Humanistic Communications Yale
The scientific community seeks ways to engage with diverse decision-makers in government, the private sector, and civil society ... Nice simple chart of climate change global impacts.
(21e) Climate Change Infographics, Finland
Infographics can be use freely ... but please cite the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, and Climateguide.fi
‎(21f) Young People & Climate Change
Young people have a unique perspective both about the risks they face themselves and about those present in their communities for others. Young people also have unique abilities to lend to climate change adaptation and mitigation. They are a strength both for the present and the future.
(21g) Climate Change Business Briefings, Cambridge
Briefings on: Agriculture, Buildings, Cities, Defense, Employment, Energy, Finance, Climate Science, Fisheries, Tourism, Transport ...

7 Feb 2016

(1a) National Grid Cuts Carbon Emissions
Carbon emissions from power generation can be cut 80% using wind & solar and a national high-voltage DC electrical grid. This grid compensates for the intermittency of wind & solar, without need for electrical storage.
(1b) National Grid Overcomes Intermittency of Wind & Solar
Wind & Solar with a national grid can cut carbon emission from electrical power 80% within 15 years at a lower cost than fossil fuels.
(1c) $220M DOE Grid Modernization Grants
88 R&D Projects over 3 years, to make grid more reliable, resilient & efficient.
(1d) Clean Energy is Unstoppable
Intermittency of wind & solar can be solved with a national grid, demand response, pumped hydroelectric storage, solar thermal electric power plants & electric storage batteries (now more affordable).
(2a) Exxon’s PR Stunt
ExxonMobil released it's annual 'Outlook for Energy' report ... they claim energy demand will grow due to rising incomes in developing countries. They say greenhouse gas emissions will peak in 2030 & fossil fuels will supply 80% of global energy in 2040. They create the idea of 'fossil fuel fatalism' ... we cannot transition to clean energy any sooner.
(2b) AGs Investigating ExxonMobil
ExxonMobil is suspected of lying to shareholders and the public about the risks of climate change and this may amount to securities fraud & violate environmental laws. Internal documents show that Exxon engaged in a multi-million dollar, decades-long disinformation campaign against climate change and solutions. That deception continues today through its ties to the Western States Petroleum Association.
(2c) Legal Case Against ExxonMobil
Exxon's climate denial campaign has caused irreversible global damage. Exxon funded junk science & climate denial. We must protect climate policymaking from coal, oil & gas industry interference.
‎(3) Financing the Green Climate Fund
Central Banks can print money to buy green climate bonds to finance transition to clean energy in developing countries. This will stimulate imports and create jobs. To stay below 2 deg C warming, $1 trillion per year investments in clean energy needed.
(4a) Climate Visuals
Human stories. Bring impacts home. Balance impacts & solutions.
(4b) Climate Visuals Library
Visuals: Easy to understand. Evoke positive emotions. Evoke negative emotions. Likely to be shared. Demand change. Link to everyday concerns. Promote positive social norms.
(5) Home Solar + Storage
Coming in 10yrs. Utilities must change their business model.
(6) Obama $10-per-Barrel Oil Tax
Yields $32B yearly for public transit, urban planning & clean vehicle research. House GOP will oppose.
(7) GeoEngineering Books
15 books on geoengineering.