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.