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.