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."