Hundreds of business and government leaders from around the world, as well as experts, nonprofits, national officials, movie stars and celebrities will convene in San Francisco today and tomorrow for the Global Climate Action Summit. Missing is the US military. Heh. These folks are gathering ostensibly to find ways to meet the Paris Agreement goals. But, they will meet, talk, and what? Capitalists want profit. You do the math.
A parallel and alternative conference, sol2sol, reflecting social justice goals is also taking place this week. There is no difference between justice for Gaia and reverence for all people.
These activists realize that the GCA Summit presentations and their proposed solutions will largely be in the interest of big businesses and focused on profit.
“Business has certainly awakened to self-interest around climate,” said Kathy Gerwig (of Kaiser Permanente) … Kaiser donated $1 million to help fund the summit, as did the Schwab Charitable Trust, according to filings with the state. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation gave $1.25 million.
“There are business risks associated with climate change — infrastructure where facilities are located, storm damage. Those are real costs,” Gerwig said, referring to extreme weather and rising seas.
There are hundreds of official affiliate Summit events listed here.
You can watch the live stream some of the Summit conference here.
The Rise for Climate Protest on September 8th took place in ~95 countries. Around 30,000 people marched in San Francisco. There were over 260 events happening in the US and over 900 events in 90 countries...
Global protests unroll as key UN climate talks stumble
South China Morning Post September 9, 2018
From Bangkok to Paris and San Francisco, tens of thousands of people across the world took to the streets on Saturday to demand governments take action against climate change, as key UN talks attempt to breathe life into the Paris Agreement.
Nearly 1,000 events were organized in around 100 countries as part of the “Rise for Climate” protest movement that called on countries to end their reliance on fossil fuels and transition fully into renewable energy.
Organizers in France claimed 115,000 people turned out in what would be the largest environmental demonstration in the country’s history, with 50,000 marching in Paris, however police put the number in the capital at 18,500.
“This is the biggest day of climate action in France, it’s proof that the citizens are ready to demand commitments from our elected officials after a catastrophic summer when it comes to the climate,” said Clemence Dubois, the France campaigner for 350.org.
Dozens of Thai fishermen and labourers whose livelihoods are threatened by rising sea levels kicked off the day of protests in Bangkok, where the UN talks are being held.
Residents of Louisiana’s Cancer Alley Join Climate Movement in Call for Environmental Justice
Desmog September 10, 2018
Thousands turned out at over 800 actions spearheaded by 350.org, an environmental advocacy group, Alaina Boyett, a member of 350 New Orleans, a local affiliate of 350.org, organized two events dubbed “Rise For Cancer Alley.” Over 100 people were in attendance, which pleased Boyett. “Today Cancer Alley residents got a chance to tell their stories to a larger audience,” she told me, which was her goal. “I wanted to amplify the voices of people who often don’t feel they are being listened to.”
350 New Orleans collaborated … In the afternoon, they joined with HELP Association of St. James, to hold a gathering and march in St James, a predominantly low-income, African-American town of less than 1,000, where Energy Transfer Partners’ controversial Bayou Bridge pipeline will terminate, about 60 miles west of New Orleans.
HOT AIR NEWS ROUNDUP
Recent Climate Legislation
Calif Gov. Brown signs 100% renewables bill to fight 'existential threat of climate change'
Washington Times September 10, 2018
Citing the “existential threat of climate change,” Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Monday making California the first state to set a goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, despite concerns about increased electricity costs.
“California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change,” Mr. Brown said in his signing message. “This bill, and others I will sign this week, help us go in that direction. But have no illusions, California and the rest of the world have miles to go before we achieve zero-carbon emissions.”
Mr. Brown signed the measure over the objections of the state’s utility and agricultural sectors, including the Agricultural Council of California, Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas and Electric, and the Western States Petroleum Association.
Australia signs declaration saying climate change ‘single greatest threat’ to Pacific
South China Morning Post September 6, 2018
Pacific Islands Forum countries commit to implement Paris agreement – a declaration that is awkward politically for Australia, with new PM Scott Morrison at odds with his own government over that commitment
Bangkok Meet Fails to Finalize Draft on Climate Change Rules
US News September 9, 2018
An international meeting in Bangkok fell short of its aim of completing fruitful preparations to help an agreement be reached in December on guidelines for implementing the 2015 Paris climate change agreement.
The six-day meeting, which ended on Sunday, was scheduled to step up progress in the battle against rising global carbon emissions by adopting a completed text that could be presented at the COP24 conference in Katowice, Poland, three months from now.
Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said Sunday at the closing press briefing for the Bangkok meeting that progress was made on most issues but nothing was finalized.
The meeting was attended by representatives of most of the countries party to the Paris agreement, as well as the United States, which has announced that it is pulling out of the pact.
Harjeet Singh, climate policy manager for ActionAid International, said Sunday that a vital component of the Paris agreement is for wealthy nations to provide financial assistance to developing countries as they fight natural disasters brought by climate change.
But he said wealthy and developed countries "led by the United States and including countries such as Australia, Japan and even the European Union" refused to clearly show "how much money they are going to provide and how that is going to be counted."
Massachusetts Can Legally Limit CO2 Emissions from Power Plants, Court Rules
Inside Climate News September 6, 2018
While the Trump administration tries to roll back pollution controls, states are setting their own climate change rules in a shift toward cleaner energy.
General Climate Change News
Coastal labs studying increased flooding consider moving because of increased flooding
Minnesota Public Radio September 6, 2018
Scores of coastal research labs around the U.S. are helping communities plan for sea level rise. But now many are starting to flood themselves, creating a dilemma: stay by the coast and endure expensive flooding, or move inland, to higher ground, but away from their subject of study.
The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium lab is located along the state's fragile coast, about 80 miles southwest of New Orleans. The giant X-shaped building is at the end of a gravel road, surrounded by open water and grassy marshes.
NASA launching advanced laser to measure Earth’s changing ice
NASA August 22, 2018
Next month, NASA will launch into space the most advanced laser instrument of its kind, beginning a mission to measure – in unprecedented detail – changes in the heights of Earth’s polar ice.
NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) will measure the average annual elevation change of land ice covering Greenland and Antarctica to within the width of a pencil, capturing 60,000 measurements every second.
Climate Change’s Impact on Wildlife
Hedgehogs now found in just one fifth of rural areas as numbers plummet, study reveals
Independent September 7, 2018
Hedgehog numbers have plummeted across rural areas, and they face potentially “catastrophic” future conditions, a new study reveals.
Following estimates earlier this year that numbers had collapsed by as much as 97 per cent since the 1950s, the latest data indicates hedgehogs are suffering more in the countryside than in urban areas.
The research, led by a team at Reading University, and published in the journal Nature, reveals between 2014 and 2015 hedgehogs were only present at 55 of 261 sites across England and Wales.
Shining light on ancient global warming
Science Daily August 2018
The impact of global warming on shallow marine life approximately 56 million years ago is the subject of a significant, new paper by researchers at Syracuse University.
Linda Ivany, professor of Earth sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), is the lead author of an article in Science Advances(American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2018). Her team's research is the first to address the effects of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) -- a relatively brief period of global climate change, spanning 200,000 years -- on marine invertebrates, including snails, clams and other mollusks.
Caches of mummified penguins warn of climate-change impacts
Nature September 10, 2018
A throng of mummified penguins in Antarctica has been linked to long stretches of abnormally heavy precipitation, which caused the birds' deaths centuries ago.
Carbon dating revealed that the penguins perished in two die-offs that each lasted a decade or longer: one 750 years ago and another 200 years ago. Analysis of the sediment around the carcasses suggested that it was deposited over the course of several decades of unusually heavy rain or snow.
Birds retreating from climate change, deforestation in Honduras cloud forests: Bird diversity shifts upslope in tropical mountainous terrain
Science Daily September 6, 2018
The cloud forests of Honduras can seem like an otherworldly place, where the trees are thick with life that takes in water straight from the air around it, and the soundscape is littered with the calls of animals singing back and forth.
Otherworldly, yes, but scientists have found that the cloud forests are not immune to very down-to-earth problems of climate change and deforestation. A 10-year study of bird populations in Cusuco National Park, Honduras, shows that the peak of bird diversity in this mountainous park is moving higher in elevation. Additional land protection, unfortunately, may not be enough to reverse the trend, driven in part by globally rising temperatures. The study is published in Biotropica.
"A lot of these species are specialized to these mountain ranges," says study lead author Monte Neate-Clegg, a doctoral student at the University of Utah, "and they don't have a lot of options as to where to go should things go wrong."
Heads in the clouds: A cloud forest is an ecosystem that derives much of its moisture from water vapor in the surrounding air. Due to elevation and climate conditions, these forests are fed directly by clouds. Nothing ever dries, Neate-Clegg says.
Recent Climate Change Studies
This is a very long, well-written and easy to read article about two recent studies on the Gulf Stream...
Post & Courier September 5, 2018
The Gulf Stream is one of the mightiest currents on Earth. It moves at a rate of 30 billion gallons per second, more than all of the world’s freshwater rivers combined. On its way, it hauls vast amounts of heat; a hurricane that twists into it gets a blast of fuel. It’s a highway for migrating fish and a destination for deep-sea fishermen. It courses through an area that oil companies want to probe; an oil spill in the Gulf Stream would spread far and wide.
In 2009, the Atlantic’s system of currents, including the Gulf Stream, slowed by 30 percent in a matter of weeks. Sea levels in New England also rose 5 inches above normal. Scientists were stunned.
They found that amid a rapid increase of carbon dioxide levels, the Atlantic’s current system had weakened since the 1950s. The reduced flow was equivalent to roughly 14 Amazon Rivers. Researchers said a slower flow could have shifted the Gulf Stream farther north, created more storms in Europe and worsened droughts in parts of Africa.
The studies had different methods but similar conclusions: the Atlantic Ocean conveyor belt had slowed by 15 percent.
The Point of No Return: Climate Change Nightmares Are Already Here
Rolling Stone August 5, 2018
On July 20th, James Hansen, the former NASA climatologist who brought climate change to the public’s attention in the summer of 1988, issued a bombshell: He and a team of climate scientists had identified a newly important feedback mechanism off the coast of Antarctica that suggests mean sea levels could rise 10 times faster than previously predicted: 10 feet by 2065. The authors included this chilling warning: If emissions aren’t cut, “We conclude that multi-meter sea-level rise would become practically unavoidable.
Since storm systems and jet streams in the United States and Europe partially draw their energy from the difference in ocean temperatures, the implication of one patch of ocean cooling while the rest of the ocean warms is profound. Storms will get stronger, and sea-level rise will accelerate. Scientists like Hansen only expect extreme weather to get worse in the years to come, though Mann said it was still “unclear” whether recent severe winters on the East Coast are connected to the phenomenon.
And yet, these aren’t even the most disturbing changes happening to the Earth’s biosphere that climate scientists are discovering this year. For that, you have to look not at the rising sea levels but to what is actually happening within the oceans themselves.
Water temperatures this year in the North Pacific have never been this high for this long over such a large area — and it is already having a profound effect on marine life.
Atmospheric scientists increasingly believe that the exceptionally warm waters over the past months are the early indications of a phase shift in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, a cyclical warming of the North Pacific that happens a few times each century. Positive phases of the PDO have been known to last for 15 to 20 years, during which global warming can increase at double the rate as during negative phases of the PDO. It also makes big El Niños, like this year’s, more likely. The nature of PDO phase shifts is unpredictable — climate scientists simply haven’t yet figured out precisely what’s behind them and why they happen when they do. It’s not a permanent change — the ocean’s temperature will likely drop from these record highs, at least temporarily, some time over the next few years — but the impact on marine species will be lasting, and scientists have pointed to the PDO as a global-warming preview.
Climate change: Humanity will reach the 'point of no return' in 2035
Daily Mail August 30, 2018
The 'tipping point' to save Earth from climate change lies within the next two decades. That's according to climate scientists, who claim that if governments fail to act decisively to fight global warming, humanity could cross a point of no return by 2035. ... Scientists from the Utrecht Centre for Complex Systems Studies and Oxford University wanted to find the 'point of no return' for climate action. By this they mean the latest possible year to start strongly cutting greenhouse-gas emissions before it's too late to avoid dangerous climate change. ... And, alarmingly, the cut off point for reaching the more ambitious 1.5°C goal has already been reached.
Volcano under ice sheet suggests thickening of West Antarctic ice is short-term
Science Daily September 6, 2018
Volcano under ice sheet suggests thickening of West Antarctic ice is short-term
A region of West Antarctica is behaving differently from most of the continent's ice: A large patch of ice there is thickening, unlike other parts of West Antarctica that are losing ice. Whether this thickening trend will continue affects the overall amount that melting or collapsing glaciers could raise the level of the world's oceans.
A study led by the University of Washington has discovered a new clue to this region's behavior: A volcano under the ice sheet has left an almost 6,000-year record of the glacier's motion. The track hidden in the middle of the ice sheet suggests that the current thickening is just a short-term feature that may not affect the glacier over the long term. It also suggests that similar clues to the past may be hiding deep inside the ice sheet itself.
"What's exciting about this study is that we show how the structure of the ice sheet acts as a powerful record of what has happened in the past," said Nicholas Holschuh, a UW postdoctoral researcher in Earth and space sciences.
The data come from the ice above Mount Resnik, a 1.6-kilometer (mile-high) inactive volcano that currently sits under 300 meters (0.19 miles) of ice. The volcano lies just upstream of the thickening Kamb Ice Stream, part of a dynamic coastal region of ice that drains into Antarctica's Ross Sea.
Studies show Kamb Ice Stream has flowed quickly in the past but stalled more than a century ago, leaving the region's ice to drain via the four other major ice streams -- a switch that glaciologists think happens every few hundred years. Meanwhile the ice inland of Kamb Ice Stream is beginning to bulge, and it is unclear what will happen next.
QMS: Time to disconnect greed from the welfare of earth, if survival means anything. I like trees.
Paul Beckwith: "I declare a global climate change emergency to claw back up the rock face to attempt to regain system stability, or face an untenable calamity of biblical proportions."
Kevin Hester: "There is no past analogue for the rapidity of what we are baring witness to. There has been a flood of articles ... 2C is no longer attainable and that we are heading for dangerous climate change"
Guy McPherson: "The recent and near-future rises in temperature are occurring and will occur at least an order of magnitude faster than the worst of all prior Mass Extinctions. Habitat for human animals is disappearing throughout the world, and abrupt climate change has barely begun."
me… We need to turn on a dime at mach nine!