Climate Change Series

Top 10 Ways You Can Personally Help Slow Climate Change…


From David Suzuki

Ever wonder how your tiny carbon footprint really impacts the big picture of climate change? Though you might feel like your lifestyle is insignificant compared to things like oil extraction or vehicle emissions, the choices we make in our day-to-day life — how we get around, what we eat, how we live — play a major role in slowing climate change.

Here’s a list of 10 ways you can join in the fight to reduce our carbon footprint. Whether you save it on your desktop, share it with friends, or stick a copy on your fridge (PDF), this quick reference guide breaks down what you can do today to protect the planet for future generations.

1. Green your commute

Transportation causes about 25 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, so walk, cycle or take transit whenever you can. You’ll save money and get into better shape! If you can’t go car-free, try carpooling or car sharing, and use the smallest, most fuel-efficient vehicle possible.

Miami Finds Itself Ankle-Deep in Global Warming…


m

From NYT

[What to do?: Vote the Global Warming deniers out of office, redistribute their (Koch Brothers) money, and socialize our fossil fuel industry so we can stop fracking, start conserving fossil fuels, and use them to convert to alternative energy… -DS]

MIAMI BEACH — The sunny-day flooding was happening again. During high tide one recent afternoon, Eliseo Toussaint looked out the window of his Alton Road laundromat and watched bottle-green saltwater seep from the gutters, fill the street and block the entrance to his front door.

“This never used to happen,” Mr. Toussaint said. “I’ve owned this place eight years, and now it’s all the time.”

Down the block at an electronics store it is even worse. Jankel Aleman, a salesman, keeps plastic bags and rubber bands handy to wrap around his feet when he trudges from his car to the store through ever-rising waters.

Humanity’s Destruction of Earth’s Climate in Ninety Seconds…


From Common Dreams

Data visualization that compresses thousands of years of historic atmospheric data presents frightening prospects for humanity’s future..

As carbon emissions concentrate in the atmosphere, the planet is burning up… and fast. That is the well-known bottom line when it comes to human-caused global warming and climate change.

Over the course of April, according to the world’s premiere atmospheric monitoring station  Mauna Loa, Hawaii, which is run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the concentration of carbon averaged more than 400 parts per million for the entire month for the first time in human history.

For those looking for a short, visual expression of what that means and looks like, an animation from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) provides a  ninety-second, jaw-dropping look at the history of these concentrations and the “unparalleled” rise that has occurred over the last several decades:

As Climate Central‘s Brian Kahn notes, the visualization “makes clear that though there have been variations over time, the current rise is unparalleled.”

Global Warming: If You See Something, Say Something…


gw
From Michael Mann
NYT

The overwhelming consensus among climate scientists is that human-caused climate change is happening. Yet a fringe minority of our populace clings to an irrational rejection of well-established science. This virulent strain of anti-science infects the halls of Congress, the pages of leading newspapers and what we see on TV, leading to the appearance of a debate where none should exist.

In fact, there is broad agreement among climate scientists not only that climate change is real (a survey and a review of the scientific literature published say about 97 percent agree), but that we must respond to the dangers of a warming planet. If one is looking for real differences among mainstream scientists, they can be found on two fronts: the precise implications of those higher temperatures, and which technologies and policies offer the best solution to reducing, on a global scale, the emission of greenhouse gases.

For example, should we go full-bore on nuclear power? Invest in and deploy renewable energy — wind, solar and geothermal — on a huge scale?

Climate Change: Basically, we’re f***ed…


aAfterculture Artifacts

From DAVE POLLARD

Requiem for a Species

We [now] have no chance of preventing emissions rising well above a number of critical tipping points that will spark uncontrollable climate change.

I‘ve added professor Clive Hamilton’s new book Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change to my “Save the World Reading List” (retroactively). It’s the natural next step after the 15 essential readings and really sums up where we (our species and our planet) are now.

Clive starts out by saying what climate scientists know but are afraid to say:

Over the last five years, almost every advance in climate science has painted a more disturbing picture of the future. The reluctant conclusion of the most eminent climate scientists is that the world is now on the path to a very unpleasant future and it is too late to stop it. Behind the facade of scientific detachment, the climate scientists themselves now evince a mood of barely suppressed panic. No one is willing to say publicly what the climate science is telling us: that we can no longer prevent global warming that will this century bring about a radically transformed world that is much more hostile to the survival and flourishing of life. This is no longer an expectation of what might happen if we do not act soon; this will happen, even if the most optimistic assessment of how the world might respond to the climate disruption is validated.

Climate Change Denier George Will Keeps Getting Nuttier…


c
From NYMag

George Will hates climate science, and everything that springs from climate science, including any non-carbon-intensive mode of transportation, like fuel-efficient cars, or, heaven forbid, trains. Will’s column today celebrates his belief that Americans are once again disproving President Obama’s Big Government Social Engineering by flocking to ever-larger and less-fuel-efficient vehicles:

Have consumers thanked him for trying to wean them from their desire to drive large, useful, comfortable, safe vehicles that he thinks threaten their habitat, Earth? The 2013 numbers tell the tale of their ingratitude. In 2013, for the 32nd consecutive year, the best-selling vehicle was Ford’s F-Series pickups. This supremacy began, fittingly, in the first year of Ronald Reagan’s deregulatory presidency.

It is nice, in these dark socialist times, that Will can still detect the flicker of freedom in the hearts of Americans flocking toward Reaganite Freedomcars. And it is true that the Ford F-Series is the single best-selling vehicle in the U.S. But the single best-selling vehicle by itself accounts for less than 5 percent of all vehicles sold.

Arctic Sea Ice: The Death Spiral Continues…


From CLIMATE DENIAL CROCK OF THE WEEK

After watching several videos of the breakup of Beaufort sea Ice during the dead of winter, I decided to contact a leading ice expert, Walt Meier of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, for analysis and perspective. I mixed his comments in with the increasingly-on-the-same-page warnings from his fellow scientists around the country.
~~

Global Warming: Heat Records Exceed Cold by Increasing Margins…


From PETER SINCLAIR
Climate Denial Crock of the Week

Climate Central:

As the climate has warmed during the past several decades, there has been a growing imbalance between record daily high temperatures in the contiguous U.S. and record daily lows. A study published in 2009 found that rather than a 1-to-1 ratio, as would be expected if the climate were not warming, the ratio has been closer to 2-to-1 in favor of warm temperature records during the past decade (2000-2009). This finding cannot be explained by natural climate variability alone, the study found, and is instead consistent with global warming.

When you look at individual years, the imbalance can be more stark. For example, through late June 2012, daily record highs were outnumbering record daily lows by a ratio of 9-to-1.The study used computer models to project how the records ratios might shift in future decades as the amount of greenhouse gases in the air continues to increase. The results showed that the ratio of daily record highs to daily record lows in the lower 48 states could soar to 20-to-1 by mid-century, and 50-to-1 by 2100.
~~

Climate Denial Crock of the Week: Welcome to the Rest of Our Lives…


From CLIMATE CROCKS
~

ABC News:

Hundreds of thousands of Americans were left without power for days after a violent storm front moved through from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic last week. But what if — in the case of a blackout — you could just use your car to power your home?

It might sound futuristic, but in Japan it is already happening.

In Ginza, a posh shopping district in the heart of Tokyo — customers looking to buy a car can do something they can’t do anywhere else in the world — walk into a Nissan dealer and buy an all electric Leaf that will integrate into their home’s energy supply. Simply put

Dear Climate Change Deniers: ‘This Is Just the Beginning’…


From WORLD VIEW OF GLOBAL WARMING

Huge areas of drought spread across the United States, while heat and wildfires add to climate woes.

More than 2,000 heat records were broken last week around the U.S. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)…

“You know, as time goes on, we always expect to set new records, but there should be an equal number of highs and lows. And in the 1950s and the ’60s and ’70s, that was the case. But by the time we got to the 2000s, the ratios of highs to lows was about two-to-one and this year so far it’s running at about a ratio of ten-to-one. And so clearly this is just not natural variability anymore.”

More than three quarters of the area of the lower 48 states is in drought and dry conditions, apparently the most since weekly detailed drought mapping began in 2000. The National Drought Monitor map and analysis as of July 3, by the National Drought Mitigation Center, shows areas suffering “exceptional drought”

Thank God Global Warming is a Hoax


From MARK MORFORD
SFGate

I mean, right? You know? Because gosh Jesus in angry apocalyptic heaven, wouldn’t it be just terrible if it were all true?

Wouldn’t it be horrible if all this stunning, insanely mounting, irrefutable evidence — death, floods, fires, heat waves, the worst this and the most violent that in 1,000 years — were some sort of surefire, cumulative sign that we have, if not directly caused, then wildly accelerated and amplified the imminent implosion of this planet?

But we didn’t! And we haven’t! And we aren’t! I mean, whew.

I am delighted to remember that hardcore science has lied, misguided, misnomered and whatever else weird science does to confuse the world about the real impact humanity has had on global ecosystems. All those thousands of highly trained scientists educated at the finest universities, learning the most difficult and fraught information of our age, all in universal agreement that humankind’s actions directly affect climate change, and they are all totally full of it because they are clearly in cahoots with Nazi Liberal Jesus, the solar panel manufacturers and the hippies who want me to compost my KFC Double Down wrapper.

Are we prepared for whatever’s coming?


From ADBUSTERS

Just as in 1939 we had to give up on a massive scale the comfortable lifestyle of peacetime, so soon we may feel rich with only a quarter of what we consume now. If we do it right and with enthusiasm, it will not seem a depressing phase of denial but instead, as in 1940, a chance to redeem ourselves. For the young, life will be full of opportunities to serve, to create, and they will have a purpose for living.

- James Lovelock from The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning

If people know anything about the British scientist James Lovelock, it is his theory of a living Earth, known as Gaia. Lovelock began formulating this revolutionary vision in the late 1960s while working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. It was there, not far from the ground zero of West Coast counterculture, that he began to wonder: Might the Earth possess a sophisticated planetary intelligence, one that regulates the countless interactions of plants, animals, minerals, gases and the sun’s heat (all of the ingredients and products of ever-evolving life) in such a way as to maintain a climate homeostasis amenable to a lush, living planet? In short, does Mother Earth like life, and does she do her best to make us comfortable?

Once regarded as a quasi-mystical expression of longing more than a science-based insight, Lovelock’s theory has overcome the skepticism of his peers. Over the course of four decades of research and experiment, Gaia has officially graduated from a hypothesis to a theory. It is now widely accepted that the biosphere’s elements are no passive collection of independent actors responding to conditions but together form a living web that actively creates and maintains those conditions, including temperature. Lovelock has been compared to Copernicus and Darwin for fathering and nurturing the Gaia paradigm.

More at Adbusters
~~

Livestock and Climate Change: What if the key actors in climate change are… cows, pigs, and chickens?



From ROBERT GOODLAND AND JEFF ANHANG
Worldwatch Institute
Thanks to RON EPSTEIN
Ukiah

Whenever the causes of climate change are discussed, fossil fuels top the list. Oil, natural gas, and especially coal are indeed major sources of human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). But we believe that the life cycle and supply chain of domesticated animals raised for food have been vastly underestimated as a source of GHGs, and in fact account for at least half of all human-caused GHGs. If this argument is right, it implies that replacing livestock products with better alternatives would be the best strategy for reversing climate change. In fact, this approach would have far more rapid effects on GHG emissions and their atmospheric concentrations—and thus on the rate the climate is warming—than actions to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.

Livestock are already well-known to contribute to GHG emissions. Livestock’s Long Shadow, the widely-cited 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), estimates that 7,516 million metric tons per year of CO2 equivalents (CO2e), or 18 percent of annual worldwide GHG emissions, are attributable to cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, camels, horses, pigs, and poultry. That amount would easily qualify livestock for a hard look indeed in the search for ways to address climate change. But our analysis shows that livestock and their byproducts actually account for at least 32,564million tons of CO2e per year, or 51 percent of annual worldwide GHG emissions.

Complete article available here
~~

Fidel Castro on Climate Change, Copenhagen, and Obama



From FIDEL CASTRO RUZ
Thanks to Pinky Kushner
Ukiah

As the Revolution celebrated its 51st anniversary two days ago, memories of that January 1st of 1959 came to mind. The outlandish idea that, after half a century — which flew by — we would remember it as if it were yesterday, never occurred to any of us.

During the meeting at the Oriente sugar mill on December 28, 1958, with the commander in chief of the enemy’s forces, whose elite units were surrounded without any way out whatsoever, he admitted defeat and appealed to our generosity to find a dignified way out for the rest of his forces. He knew of our humane treatment of prisoners and the injured without any exception. He accepted the agreement that I proposed, although I warned him that operations under way would continue. But he traveled to the capital, and, incited by the United States embassy, instigated a coup d’état.

We were preparing for combat on that January 1st when, in the early hours of the morning, the news came in of the dictator’s flight. The Rebel Army was ordered not to permit a ceasefire and to continue battling on all fronts. Radio Rebelde convened workers to a revolutionary general strike, immediately followed by the entire nation. The coup attempt was defeated, and that same afternoon, our victorious troops entered Santiago de Cuba.

Copenhagen Accord Notes


From ROSALIND PETERSON
Redwood Valley

1) The United States is committed to implement qualified economy-wide emissions targets for 2020 to be submitted to the United Nations by January 31, 2010.

2) The U.S. Senate will be under the gun to pass their Cap & Trade, Energy & Jobs bill (S1733 or another similar bill) prior to January 31, 2010 to be in compliance with this Accord.

3) The current bill before the U.S. Senate will not reduce any pollution emissions until 2017 and then only a 17% reduction of 2005 identified greenhouse gas emissions (water vapor, a greenhouse gas, is excluded from this legislation). Thus, no action is planned by the Copenhagen Accord or the United States in reducing any greenhouse gases until 2017 or 2020.

4) The EPA, without any passage of legislation and under authority from a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, is now on track to immediately begin to reduce all pollution from every greenhouse gas source. Without interference from Congress or the White House compliance with the Accord will begin in 2010, and could put the United States in the lead in taking immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. The EPA model could set and example for the entire world and the United States would be immediately demonstrating its commitment to protecting the environment.

5) The Accord is weak in that no implementation of greenhouse gas reductions is to take place until 2020.

6) The Accord will use various approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions “…including opportunities to use markets, to enhance the cost-effectiveness of, and to promote mitigation actions…” This means that (S1733) a Cap & Trade System will be used in lieu of actual immediate reductions to allow polluters to “Buy & Sell the “Right to Pollute” between 2010 and 2017 or 2020. No pollution reduction will take place until either of these target dates.

In The Long Run We’ll All Be Dead



From digby
[Thanks to Janie]

I suspect that one of the things that allows the mendacious global warming deniers (as opposed to the delusional global warming deniers) think they have in their favor is the relatively long time horizon. If temperatures rise by 10 degrees by the 21st century, well, that’s their problem, right?

But this article in the NY Times today brings home the fact that there are very likely to be serious consequences quite soon, not the least of which is probable mass migration:

The glaciers that have long provided water and electricity to this part of Bolivia are melting and disappearing, victims of global warming, most scientists say. If the water problems are not solved, El Alto, a poor sister city of La Paz, could perhaps be the first large urban casualty of climate change. A World Bank report concluded last year that climate change would eliminate many glaciers in the Andes within 20 years, threatening the existence of nearly 100 million people.

It’s not about the planet, which is quite able to deal with climate change. It’s about the humans that live on the planet. The problems caused by climate change will cause huge dislocations of populations.

If they’ve ever thought about it, which is doubtful, Palin and her buddies would probably find that stimulating. She and her bloodthirsty brethren would love to have an excuse to “protect what’s theirs” in the event of massive shifts in population. (After all, Palin couldn’t even stand to live in Hawaii because of all those icky minorities.) But regardless of GI Joe and Jane seige fantasies, the fact is that climate change is going to affect large numbers of people in a fairly short period of time. And those people are going to move somewhere and cause dislocations and wrenching social change all across the planet. It’s not just about driving a Chevy Tahoe or the price of gasoline. It’s about starvation, migration and war.
~~

It’s Going to Be Beautiful


From BILL McKIBBEN
Yes! Magazine

There are reasons to be encouraged about the negotiations in Copenhagen, and ways to get involved in your own backyard.

I know many of you are busy preparing for this weekend’s vigils, and I know you’re all hearing a lot about the climate talks in Copenhagen.

But since we’re all working on the same team, I wanted to give you an inside/outside sense of all that’s happening in one of the more important weeks in the history of this ball of rock and water we call the earth.

From inside Copenhagen, our crew (which at exactly 350 mostly young souls is reportedly the largest accredited delegation to the talks!) reports the following:

  • It’s cold and gray and the sun sets at 3:30 pm, but exciting to be in a world where everyone is focused on the climate. Sometimes, amongst all the wonderful activists from every corner of the world, you can really sense how the planet might come together.
  • As of Wednesday evening, the 350 target is still in the treaty’s “negotiating text.” Our movement’s lobbying efforts-both in the UN and around the world-might end up bearing fruit. Few negotiators have managed to avoid our briefing papers on the science of 350, and many of them are showing their support in style with 350 ties and lapel pins.

Armed with peer-reviewed science, we fight for a sustainable world


From NARESH GIANGRANGE
Transition Culture

Transition reflections from Copenhagen

Klimaforum the people’s conference has started slowly. Maybe a 1000-2000 of us in many different locations feeling our way into perhaps the defining moment of our life and times which this conference represents and reflect the hopes an fears of our generation in a way that no other I have even been to does. There is a tension and an intensity that I have never felt before. Even though the first day felt a bit like a party conference, people wandering in and out of speeches that went on too long.

The mood is subdued and quiet, and focussed on the positive and the possibilities of going forward from here. I am sure many know this is the alternative conference. This conference  sits alongside the main COP15 conference at the Bella centre about 4 km away from where we the people are meeting.

Full article here

~~

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,552 other followers