Hot Air

Something to keep in mind…
So we have not come here to beg the world leaders
to care for our future.
They have ignored us in the past
and they will ignore us again.
…

We have come here
to let them know that change is coming
whether they like it or not

Greta Thunberg calls a School #ClimateStrike 2018
Friday, December 14, tomorrow

Climate Protests

This Badass 15-Year-Old Just Stood in Front of a Bunch of World Leaders and Totally Called Them Out
Climate Desk December 6, 2018

Thunberg began a solo climate protest by striking from school in Sweden in August. But more than 20,000 students around the world have now joined her. The school strikes have spread to at least 270 towns and cities in countries across the world, including Australia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the US and Japan.

“I will instead let them know change is coming whether they like it or not.”
“Since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago,” she said. “We have to understand what the older generation has dealt to us, what mess they have created that we have to clean up and live with. We have to make our voices heard.”

Thunberg said the rapid spread of school strikes for climate around the world was amazing. “It proves you are never too small to make a difference,” she said. Her protests was inspired by US school students who staged walk-outs to demand better gun controls in the wake of school shootings. But initially her classmates refused to join in: “I had to do it alone.”

She also had a message for other school students: “You don’t have to school strike, it’s your own choice. But why should we be studying for a future that soon may be no more? This is more important than school, I think.”

More climate protests planned for Saturday as Australians back student activists
News.com.au December 8, 2018

Another mass student-led march will be held across Australia today following news Adani would self-fund its controversial coal mine in Queensland.

It comes after thousands of students copped criticism from politicians including Prime Minister Scott Morrison for skipping school last week to attend climate change rallies instead.

The rallies on Saturday will be to protest against the Adani coal mine and Jean said they were opposed to the use of coal for electricity and were also against the development because of the potential impact on the Great Barrier Reef.

Climate Reports

Paul Beckwith explains the following five major climate reports…

• IPCC SR1.5
• World Meteorological Organization GHG levels
• UN Emissions Gap
• US Fourth National Climate Assessment
• Lancet Human Health

Part one

Part two

U.S., Russia, Kuwait and Saudis block key climate study at COP24
Associated Press December 9, 2018

A diplomatic standoff over a key scientific study could set the stage for a bigger showdown during the second half of this year's UN climate summit.

Negotiators at COP24 took time out Sunday to rest after the first week of talks ended on a sour note the previous night, when the United States sided with Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in blocking endorsement of a landmark study on global warming.

"The United States was willing to note the report and express appreciation to the scientists who developed it, but not to welcome it, as that would denote endorsement of the report," the U.S. State Department said in a statement. "As we have made clear in the IPCC and other bodies, the United States has not endorsed the findings of the report."

Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait also called for the study to be "noted" but not "welcomed."
While none of the four-oil exporting countries spelled it out, their objection to the report likely included its suggestion that fossil-fuel use needs to be phased out by 2050. Oil, gas and coal are major sources of carbon dioxide, which traps heat in the atmosphere.

HOT AIR NEWS ROUNDUP

Excellent, long article about “clean” coal…

U.S. clean coal program fails to deliver on promised smog cuts
Reuters December 3, 2018

But refined coal has a dirty secret. It regularly fails to deliver on its environmental promises, as electric giant Duke Energy Corp found.

Duke began using refined coal at two of its North Carolina power plants in August 2012. The decision let the company tap a lucrative federal subsidy designed to help the American coal industry reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides – also known as NOx, the main contributor to smog and acid rain – along with other pollutants.

In nearly three years of burning the treated coal, the Duke power plants collected several million dollars in federal subsidies. But the plants also pumped out more NOx, not less, according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency analyzed by Reuters.

The NOx emission rate at Duke’s Marshall Steam Station power plant in Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, for example, was between 33 percent and 76 percent higher in the three years from 2012 to 2014 than in 2011, the year before Marshall started burning refined coal, the EPA data shows.

As Study Ties 'Great Dying' of 252 Million Years Ago to Current Climate Crisis, Experts Say Still Time for 'Different Path'

Common Dreams December 6, 2018

For the first time ever, researchers have tied "climate change triggered by volcanic greenhouse gases" to the largest extinction in Earth's history, often called the "Great Dying," 252 million years ago—and their findings, published Thursday by Science, are just the latest fuel added to the burning concern about the world's current extinction crisis.
..
While scientists have long believed the volcanic activity was tied to the mass extinction, as United States Geological Survey geologist and volcanologist Seth Burgess put it, this new research "takes the next step in figuring out why things died at the end of the Permian... It couples what we think was happening in the climate with the fossil record, and it does it elegantly."

The study determined that as ocean waters warmed and oxygen levels fell, marine animals suffocated and died out. "For the first time, we've got a whole lot of confidence that this is what happened," Deutsch told the Guardian. "It's a very strong argument that rising temperatures and oxygen depletion were to blame."

Blog Warming and O2 loss.jpg

"Voluminous emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, rapid global warming, and a decline in biodiversity—the storyline is modern, but the setting is ancient," Penn State geosciences professor Lee Kump, who was not part of the research team, wrote in a Science piece responding to the new findings.

"As our understanding of the drivers and consequences of end-Permian climate change and mass extinction improves," Kump added, "the lessons for the future become clear."

Climate change could bring fatal asthma thunderstorms to Australia
News.com.au December 7, 2018

The review, published in the latest issue of Public Health Research & Practice, reviews international studies since 2000 relating to climate change, allergens and allergy.
“Australia is highly vulnerable to any adverse impact of climate change on allergens and allergic diseases,” it says.

“This underlying vulnerability was highlighted in November 2016 when the world’s largest, most catastrophic epidemic thunderstorm asthma event occurred in Melbourne.”

Ten people died during or soon after a thunderstorm asthma event in Melbourne on November 21, 2016 which saw an unprecedented surge in demand for ambulances.

A combination of high pollen levels, strong winds, hot temperatures, air moisture and a cold front triggered severe asthma attacks.

This article discusses both sides of the argument…
Right to end life on Earth: Can corporations that spread climate change denialism be held liable?
Salon December 10, 2018

Michael E. Mann, a professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University, shared his own views on whether individuals who mislead the public about climate change should face penalties for doing so.

“In my book ‘The Hockey Stick and the Climate War,’ I state that those who knowingly misled the public and policymakers about the reality and threat of climate change must be held responsible for their actions, and that includes legal repercussions,”

Climate change is a hot topic at Art Basel, but this year locals are stealing the show

Miami Herald December 4, 2018

Climate change, the existential threat to the way of life of billions of people around the world, has always been a juicy topic for artists — especially during South Florida’s premiere artistic event, Art Basel.

Extensive report from which a lot of insights can be gleaned about oil industry politics…
Peak Oil Review
Resilience December 10, 2018

The OPEC+ Production Cut: The story of last week’s OPEC meeting seems to be one of concessions on the part of the Saudis who are taking by far the largest share of the cut while giving in to demands for exemptions by Iran, Libya, and Venezuela.  Moscow stated its opposition to a reduction several times in the last few weeks, but in the end, agreed to a slow starting cut of 228,000 b/d.  The Saudis were under pressure from President Trump who kept tweeting his opposition to any production cut that might drive prices higher. The Khashoggi affair and anti-Saudi bills floating around the US Congress are yet another aspect of the pressures the Saudis are facing.  Following the meeting, Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih tried to calm Washington by saying “We try to keep the market within a reasonable band for consumers.”

US Shale Oil Production: Unless the OPEC+ production cut results in a significant retracing of the nearly $25 a barrel drop in oil prices that has taken place in the past two months, next year may not be a good one for US shale oil producers.  Oilfield service companies this year have been hit by a slowdown in demand as regional oil prices have fallen with transportation bottlenecks faced by producer customers.

This addresses many issues that are tangential to Climate Breakdown. Can we change our consciousness quickly enough…
Assorted Thoughts On Politics, Humanity, And The World
Caitlin Johnstone December 11, 2018

What’s coming up in a mere generation or so is one of three possibilities: total freedom, total slavery, or total annihilation. Sorry centrists, there is no incremental option. The confluence of AI, automation, and an increasingly paranoid and controlling elite class means that we are likely to be subjected to more surveillance, more manipulation, more work for less pay as jobs disappear along with safety nets, if we don’t destroy ourselves altogether. Or, we change our consciousness so rapidly that we do away completely with the lack-driven punitive system that demands people work for a living, and embrace the abundance that is right here already. We will work of our own free will, and at our own pace doing the things we want to do. If that’s hard to imagine, I implore you to try to imagine it and see how it could be possible. It’s not that hard. We have all the tools we need already.

From mangoes to maize, climate change brings new hunger threats
Reuters December 9, 2018

In northern Ghana, where climate change is bringing an ever-shorter rainy season, struggling farmers are looking for more land they can plant to get enough of a harvest to feed their families.

That’s bad news for the region’s women, who cannot own land of their own but instead farm on plots men give them temporary permission to use, says Prince Ansah, a University of Ghana expert on adaptation to climate change.

“The vulnerable will have to give up the lands they have so other farmers can farm more,” he warned. “Women and minorities (and) migrants will be relegated in terms of some of those resources.”

“The Mayan holy book says we are made from corn,” she said. “Everywhere in Guatemala you find corn. It’s the basis of our food.”

But hotter and more extreme weather associated with climate change is making growing the crop much harder – presenting not just practical but cultural problems.

“If the corn crop is going to have difficulties, the Guatemalan people are going to have them too,” she said.

Canadian Government Declares Oil Trains Safe and Plans to Get Into the Oil Train Business
Desmog December 12, 2018

As Canadian oil-by-rail numbers reach record new volumes (and expected to rise), Canada's Transportation Safety Board (TSB) announced recently that it would no longer list shipping the hazardous material by rail as a top safety concern.

Just a month later, the Alberta provincial government — where the majority of tar sands oil is produced — announced plans to bail out the tar sands industry by getting into the oil-by-rail business.

Here's why that's bad news for the communities in both Canada and the U.S. where this influx of oil train traffic will pass...

Trump’s EPA Says ‘Merry Christmas’ as It Guts Clean Water Rules for 1/3 of Americans

Grit Post December 11, 2018

In a move both announced and signed Tuesday, the EPA changed the definition of WOTUS (Waters of the United States) put in place by the Obama administration, which is how the agency defines what waterways fall under its jurisdiction and the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers.

Under the Obama EPA, the WOTUS policy expanded what waters were deemed important for conservation to include smaller bodies of water. But on Tuesday, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler reversed this entirely. This has dramatic potential ramifications for the safety of the nation’s tap water.

New important study on permafrost…
Permafrost Melt Could Destroy a Third of All Arctic Infrastructure, Affecting as Many as 4 Million People

Earther December 11, 2018

Rising temperatures are melting frozen soil at an alarming clip with the changes visible before our very eyes today. But the future promises an even more dramatic shift according to a new study published Tuesday in Nature Communications. As the frozen ground turns to muck, it could result in millions of people left without homes or the infrastructure that makes living in one of the harshest environments on Earth possible. What’s more disconcerting is that even if the world slashes carbon emissions dramatically, these changes are basically locked.

The new findings offer what the authors call “an unprecedentedly high spatial resolution” look at how the melt of frozen soil, known as permafrost, will impact infrastructure. As permafrost melts, it essentially turns previously firm ground into a slurry of soil and water. Communities in the Arctic are already coping with the impacts the 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming since the industrial revolution has wrought. Infrastructure is collapsing or at risk of it as are traditional ways of life.

What’s most harrowing about the study is that this is basically all due to warming already locked into the climate system.

Inspections and pollution tests drop as Environment Agency sheds thousands of staff
Unearthed December 8, 2018

The EA has shed the equivalent of more than 2,500 full time jobs (20% of its workforce) since 2013. In a statement, minister for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) George Eustice said nearly 1,000 EA staff – all of which were in corporate services such as finance, HR and IT – have been transferred to the department to help it handle the Brexit workload.

Unearthed analysis of official statistics shows that, over the same time period, the agency has sharply scaled back on key duties, including inspections of permitted industrial sites and farms, water pollution sampling, and legal actions against polluters.

Climate Adaption

Cost of Carbon Capture Just Got Lower Thanks to New Tech
Green Optimist December 8, 2018

Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies aim to remove CO2 directly from the atmosphere. To that end, artificial photosynthesis refers to the CO2 fixation reaction which converts CO2 to sugar and other organic compounds using metal-complex photocatalytic systems. On the other hand, carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) extracts carbon dioxide from industrial exhausts, preventing its release.

A combination of ceramic nano-filters and powerful fans are used to filter CO2 from emitted gases. Captured carbon is compressed and liquefied and then it is either transported to be used in other industrial processes or it is stored underground in depleted oil/gas fields or saline formations.

This company is transforming plastics into building materials. Here is some information from their website...

Plastic's new life
ByFusion h/t janis

[Plastic is converted into] an advanced [building] material that has a better PSI rating than non-load bearing concrete blocks and exponentially superior thermal/sound insulation

ByFusion makes it financially profitable to solve the world’s plastic crisis that is choking our environment and landfills.
...
Stronger than bricks
Every pound of ByBlock is a pound less plastic waste
Provides sound and temperature insulation
Customizable density and configuration
Requires no glue or adhesives
95% lower green house gas emissions than concrete blocks
Won't crumble under pressure

This report includes statistics on wind turbines which have some downsides…
Rural Jobs: A Big Reason Midwest Should Love Clean Energy
Inside Climate December 7, 2018

The number of clean energy jobs is growing across the Midwest, and those gains are helping rural areas, according to a report issued today by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The majority of clean energy jobs in all 12 Midwestern states are in energy efficiency, the report says. That includes building design, energy efficiency upgrades and other aspects of reducing energy use that save people money on energy costs while also reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet, triggering climate changes that put Midwestern farms at risk.

World’s first industrial facility to recycle diapers and sanitary napkins in Italy
Green Optimist December 9, 2108

Diapers and sanitary napkins are widely used, take half a million years to decompose and, at least until now, they end up in landfill. For example, each baby uses an average of 6000 diapers in their lifetime, and 1.3 million tonnes of feminine hygiene products per year are disposed only in North America. In Italy alone, 900.000 tonnes of diaper end up each year in landfill.

Maersk Pushes the Net Zero Carbon Emissions Envelope
Triple Pundit December 7, 2018

The global shipping company A.P. Moller – Maersk has joined the growing list of top corporations pledging either 100 percent renewable energy or net zero carbon emissions. That’s a fairly straight forward task for some companies, but it in the global transportation sector the obstacles seem insurmountable. After all, carbon is the lifeblood of shipping and logistics.

Renewable energy and net zero are two complementary but distinct goals. For example, a net zero pledge can simply mean that a company is using offsets to counterbalance its carbon emissions, rather than making operational changes that shrink its carbon footprint.

Maersk already has its own fleet of more than 50 engineers working on efficiency improvements, partly in response to air quality initiatives at the Port of Los Angeles and elsewhere. If all goes according to plan, 2019 will see that in-house effort expand into an industrywide collaboration

South Cambridgeshire council vows to reduce carbon emissions to zero
UN News December 10, 2018

“The point I’m trying to make is that the biggest industrial market and financial opportunity of the century is in transforming the old devices, systems and infrastructures which are inefficient and polluting, into efficient and clean and much more profitable industrial processes, devices, systems, technologies and solutions,” Mr. Piccard told UN News in an interview at COP24.

From solutions which make homes carbon-neutral, to developing cleaner cooling systems, or producing stainless steel more efficiently and more economically, the pioneer hopes the initiative will help make the case that climate action can happen now. He said it should not have to wait until 2050, and can be about “winning, not losing” - something he believes to be particularly critical for the poorer and more remote communities across the world, which are often dependent on others for all their energy needs.

Activists launch Spokane Community Adaptation Project
Lewiston Tribune December 7, 2018

Yet in Spokane and the region, some groups are trying to get involved.
“People would be happy to learn how much adaptation is going on across the state, because people don’t tend to know that,” said Amy Snover, director of the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group. “It’s the tip of the iceberg. It’s nowhere near enough. But there are good people working on this.”

The goal is to take climate data and look at the various ways it will impact Spokane, Peterson said. Then, using that information, the group will make policy recommendations and provide information to individuals and businesses.

Participatory Development: A Humanitarian Alternative to Migration
Global Research December 11, 2018

Climate change, development and migration are part of an inextricably linked nexus. The Environmental Justice Foundation predicts that up to 10% of the world’s population could be at risk of forced displacement due to climatic hazards by 2050. At the GFMD conference, the EuroMedA Foundation, who hosted a side event entitled “ A Euro-African Approach to Migration” highlighted that key issues set to face Africa will be desertification, drought and food insecurity, risks that are only going to worsen. Climate change can also compound existing, or create new political and economic issues in at-risk countries and further drive migratory patterns, with the distinct possibility of turning plans for “Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration” on its head.

many migrants prefer not to be migrants, but instead seek the sustainable development of their origin communities. Involving local community members in the decision-making processes reveals key contextual insights into the priority initiatives that will enhance the wellbeing of their communities: these are highly viable and implementable because the projects respond to their self-defined needs, and are therefore most likely to be sustainable.

Good article…
More states opt to phase out oil production
Climate News Network November 29, 2018

A growing number of governments are choosing to phase out oil production, reasoning that cutting the availability of fossil fuels can help to cut the demand for them.

They say phasing out oil production could be the next big step in climate policy, thanks to an initial group of first-movers who’ve already taken the plunge.

One is Spain, which announced this month that it plans to completely decarbonise its electricity system by mid-century, a move which includes a total ban on all oil and gas exploration.

Climate driven or profit driven, it may still be a gain…
VW says climate drives its electric spurt
Climate News Network December 10, 2018

VW says it’s investing about €1.2 billion in altering production facilities at Zwickau, where more than 7,500 people are employed. The company is also creating electric car plants elsewhere, including two in China – one near Shanghai and the other at Foshan in the south of the country.

Several other major car manufacturers have announced similar plans to ramp up electric vehicle production.

Good read…
Net-Zero Energy Homes Pay Off Faster Than You Think—Even in Chilly Midwest
Inside Climate News December 10, 2018

Net-zero-energy homes—homes that are so efficient a few rooftop solar panels can produce all the electricity the home needs—can be built almost anywhere, even in places with brutal winters.

The costs and benefits of building net-zero houses vary widely in major cities, ranging from San Francisco, where the benefits would cover the costs in eight years, to Philadelphia, where it would take about three times as long.

Wildlife & the Environment
Climate players: Animals can swing a landscape's capacity to store carbon
PHYS ORG December 6, 2018

Advances in remote sensing technologies are helping scientists to better measure how global landscapes—from forests to savanna—are able to store carbon, a critical insight as they evaluate the potential role of ecosystems in mitigating climate change.

the very presence of wild animals can trigger direct or indirect feedback effects that alter a landscape's capacity to absorb, release, or transport carbon. In reviewing a growing body of research, they find that animals can increase or decrease rates of biogeochemical processes by 15 to 250 percent or more.

...
But the presence of grazing herbivores in other places—such as caribou and muskox in the Arctic or moose in boreal forests—can cause a 15 to 70 percent decrease in CO2 uptake and storage.

Could algae that are 'poor-providers' help corals come back after bleaching?
PHYS ORG December 6, 2018

reef-building is only possible because of a mutually beneficial relationship between the coral and various species of single-celled algae called dinoflagellates that live inside the cells of coral polyps.

The algae are photosynthetic—meaning capable of converting the Sun's energy into chemical energy for food, just like plants. And the exchange of nutrients between the coral and the algae is essential for healthy reef communities. The coral provides the algae with carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and other compounds that they need to survive and perform photosynthesis. The algae, in turn, can stimulate the growth of the coral by providing them with sugars and fats, which are created via photosynthesis.

"We're very interested in what happens when external conditions force corals to switch from hosting one symbiotic algal species to another," Grossman said. "Having a long-term symbiotic relationship with a native algal species is advantageous to the coral. But if the surrounding conditions are altered by climate change, could a different algal species confer corals with improved fitness and chances of survival?"

Better land use could slash US emissions
Climate News Network December 7, 2018

What they identify as 21 natural climate solutions – better use of croplands, the restoration of forests and tidal wetlands, slowing the felling of timber and the containment of urban sprawl – could help limit global warming, slow climate change and reduce sea level rise for the nation that has over the last century emitted more greenhouse gas than any other country.

The most effective single action in a study launched by the US Nature Conservancy and 21 other institutions, and published in the journal Science Advances, would be to step up reforestation: this alone could absorb the emissions of 65 million passenger cars.

'It's a sad reality': a troubling trend sees a 97% decline in monarch butterflies
The Guardian December 7, 2018

In the 1980s, roughly 4.5 million monarchs wintered in California, but at last count, there may be as few as 30,000

The hillside groves of eucalyptus trees that tower over the Santa Cruz shoreline would, not so long ago, be teeming with monarch butterflies at this time of year.

Boughs would be bent under the weight of black and orange clusters, as hundreds of thousands of the magical invertebrates nestled into the leaves, waiting out the frost on the California coast before returning north.

Leaked Memo: Government Scientists Warned Trump’s Oil Plan Would Threaten Alaska’s Polar Bears
Mother Jones December 11, 2018

In an internal memo circulated within the Interior Department earlier this year, government scientists issued a stark warning: The Trump administration’s plans to allow oil exploration in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) could further jeopardize the region’s already fragile polar bear population. The document, authored in September by the head of the state’s US Fish and Wildlife Service office, noted that the threat posed to the bears could make it legally challenging for the agency to authorize a series of seismic surveys of the area’s petroleum reserves—even if steps were taken to mitigate the project’s environmental impact.

Climate Studies
'Off the Charts': New Study Shows Greenland Ice Sheet Likely Hasn't Melted This Fast for More Than 7,000 Years
Common Dreams December 6, 2018

"What we found with our ice cores is that it's melting today more than at any time within at least the last three and a half centuries," he said, "and probably, melting more today than any time in the last seven to eight thousand years."

Trusel's team of international researchers analyzed ice cores extracted from Greenland, a massive island wedged between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. A primary takeaway from the study, Trusel said in a statement, is the speed of melting, especially over the past 25 years.

"It's not just increasing, it's accelerating," he explained. "That's a key concern for the future."

Why Energy Researchers Are Interested in a Tiny Wood-Eating Pest You’ve Never Heard Of
Climate Desk December 6, 2018

So, using gribbles from the southern English coasts of Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight, the team homed in on the “hind gut,” and observed how proteins called hemocyanins break down lignin, the near-impermeable polyphenol coating surrounding those coveted wood sugars. Besser calls the process a “pretreatment” for digestion. In other words, we knew that gribbles feed on potential biofuels, we just didn’t know how they unlocked them. It’s a simple process of oxidation, something hemocyanins are well practiced in. In order to carry oxygen through the gribbles’ tiny bodies, the hemocyanins bind to it with copper atoms, turning the invertebrates’ blood blue (compared to red blood, which gets its color from a reaction between oxygen and iron).

Using gribbles as a model to extract biofuels from wood could prove a game-changer in the quest to turn to alternative energy sources, and not only because the process is cleaner and cheaper than existing industrial techniques. “Woody plant biomass,” the team explains in a release, “is the most abundant renewable carbon resource on the planet …”

Detergent-like Molecule Recycles Itself in Atmosphere
NASA December 8, 2018


The hydroxyl (OH) radical—a molecule made up of one hydrogen atom and one oxygen atom with a free (unpaired) electron—is one of the most reactive gases in the atmosphere. It acts like a detergent in the air, breaking down other gases. In particular, OH is the main check on the concentration of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is second only to carbon dioxide in contributing to global warming.

New research led by a postdoctoral fellow at NASA has shown that hydroxyl radicals are recycling themselves and maintaining a steady atmospheric concentration even in the face of rising methane emissions.

UK's summer heatwave '30 times more likely' because of climate change
Telegraph December 6, 2018

New analysis from the Met Office has found that the record-breaking summer temperatures were about 30 times more likely as a result of climate change caused by human activities.

The UK now has around a 12% chance of summer average temperatures being as high as they were in 2018, whereas they would have less than 0.5% chance of happening in a "natural" climate, the Met Office said.

New algorithm provides a more detailed look at urban heat islands
PHYS ORG December 7, 2018

Greenland ice loss quickening
PHYS ORG December 7, 2018

Using a 25-year record of ESA satellite data, recent research shows that the pace at which Greenland is losing ice is getting faster.

The research, published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, uses radar altimetry data gathered by the ERS, Envisat and CryoSat missions between 1992 and 2016.

Radar altimeters record the height of the surface topography along the satellite's ground track. They precisely measure the height of ice, water and land by timing the interval between the transmission and reception of very short radar pulses.

"Over the full 25-year period, the general picture shows much larger volume losses are experienced in west, northwest and southeast basins of Greenland compared to the more steady-state situations in the colder far north."

Rules to boost fuel economy for vehicles will do more good than harm, new study shows
PHYS ORG December 6, 2018

Scholars from USC and other leading universities conclude that rules on the books to increase fuel economy for passenger vehicles will do more good than harm, contradicting claims by the Trump administration as it seeks to roll back fuel economy standards.

But the new study goes a step further, suggesting the shortcomings in the government's economic analysis are so egregious they seem like a deliberate attempt to manipulate statistics and mislead people.

…
First, the scientists say the economic analysis mistakenly concludes that relaxation of the rule will shrink the vehicle fleet by 6 million cars by 2029, which greatly skews the bottom line. It also flies in the face of economic principles because, the economists argue, only more stringent standards—not fewer—would increase costs for cleaner, new vehicles, and as prices for new and used vehicles increase, fleet size would diminish—not the other way around. The revision "is simply inconsistent with basic economic theory," the study finds.

Global Warnings

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."

Magi Amma: We need to turn on a dime at mach nine!

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The needle is threaded...
sew seeds, sow joy
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magiamma's picture

I greatly appreciate the amazing things you all bring to this thread each week. It is an open thread so, sow away

I will be here until late morning...

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

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The Aspie Corner's picture

Imperial France was much worse:

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

magiamma's picture

@The Aspie Corner
Thanks for the videos. Really appreciate the first one! And que supressa, the French were worse. Have a good one...

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

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@The Aspie Corner @The Aspie Corner
He used communism as an excuse to be a ruthless dictator just like Hitler used Naziism.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

The Aspie Corner's picture

@Timmethy2.0 EVER with regards to capitalism. And don't forget that the US propped up Hitler and Mussolini to fuck with the Soviet Union from the start. The atrocities committed by the US and British Empires worldwide before, during and after the Soviet Union make the numbers of supposed deaths caused by communism made up by western demographers look relatively tame by comparison.

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7 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

@The Aspie Corner @The Aspie Corner
Hilter and Stalin were in a league of their own as far as evil goes, ranking ahead of Pol Pot and some quite evil dictators that Trump has an affinity for today.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

The Aspie Corner's picture

@Timmethy2.0

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4 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

@The Aspie Corner
Can't see how capitalism had a role to play in that. What does Cambodia have to offer profiteers? It was maybe another abberation of the Cold War. The same war that George H.W. Bush saw to a successful conclusion without the worldwide nuclear conflagration that everybody feared and with something better for Europe than what the Soviet dictatorship offered. Quit putting roses on Pol Pot and evil, murderous, criminal dictators.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

The Aspie Corner's picture

@Timmethy2.0 for capital such as George H.W. Bush. That son of a bitch got a better death than he ever deserved. If there were any justice, his entire family would be in a jail cell at least for the crimes they committed throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

@The Aspie Corner
I think I share that sentiment with a lot of people.

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The Aspie Corner's picture

@Timmethy2.0 But I highly doubt much of the world does. Next, you're going to tell me that our siege on Venezuela aided by Colombia and Brazil is totally justified. Or that we were totally in the right for putting Pinochet in power in Chile. Or that we had every right to fuck with every country in Central and South America. Or that our 70 year siege on North Korea is totally acceptable.

Please, keep going. I love watching rightists and their sycophants hang themselves.

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

@The Aspie Corner @The Aspie Corner @The Aspie Corner
But I'm pretty sure that all of George Bush's bullshit in Panama and Iraq will be forgotten in the future and he will be remembered as the President that "peacefully" ended the Cold War. That's of much more historical significance. Just like Churchill is not really remembered for all his bullshit. G.H.W.B >>>>>>> trump

edit: Sorry, I think G.H.W.B. will also be remembered as beginning the process that led to the current historic shit in the Middle East. I think that's in large part because he helped concieve his son Dubya.

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The Aspie Corner's picture

@Timmethy2.0 I don't think so. If the pigs, the Bush/Clinton Crime Syndicate included, had things their way, the Soviet Bloc would have been nuked to nothing. Same with Cuba and other nations that refused to bow to pig interests.

No do you have any more whining to do on behalf of capitalism or are you done?

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

enhydra lutris's picture

@Timmethy2.0
Three US presidents are given joint credit for so doing, and none of them really did much of anything beyond failing to insist on continuing it. It was past time for it to be over.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

@The Aspie Corner @The Aspie Corner
You two both need to remember that our discussions are to be conducted in a civil manner and voice and that in addition to being civil, you need to eschew impugning each other's integrity or insinuating the existence of motives and/or support for persons, groups and positions not openly declared to exist.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

@Timmethy2.0
You two both need to remember that our discussions are to be conducted in a civil manner and voice and that in addition to being civil, you need to eschew impugning each other's integrity or insinuating the existence of motives and/or support for persons, groups and positions not openly declared to exist.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Deja's picture

@Timmethy2.0

. . . and some quite evil dictators that Trump has an affinity for today.

Which ones? Got links?

Now Killary? That bloodluster has an affinity for warmongering "right winger" racist extremists and has spoken about it. Albright, Kissinger, Bibi the Butcher. Should I post links?

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SnappleBC's picture

@Timmethy2.0

So if I was to add up the cost in death & suffering for America's imperialism over the last 6 years, I agree that WW2 still tops it. But I'm not sure that it counts as a "league of it's own". We're stacking up quite a few body bags when you count both direct deaths and indirect deaths due to refugees.

It'd take a war historian to really get accurate numbers there. But the toll of human death and suffering that is happening RIGHT NOW as I type this and is the direct result of US actions is pretty horrific.

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A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

enhydra lutris's picture

@Timmethy2.0
those of us present here to assert. That charge would have to come from, or most certainly be rejected by, the ghosts of the Moro; and of the Cheyenne, Comanche, Arapaho, Apache, Powhatan and oh so many others. Continent wide genocidal warfare is somewhat unique in history, unique to this nation, as is nuking civilian population centers.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Lookout's picture

Young people, like Greta, are stepping up.

More than 1,000 young Americans joined the youth-led group’s demonstration on Capitol Hill
http://occupyworldwrites.org/tag/sunrise-movement/

https://www.nationofchange.org/2018/12/11/we-gonna-rise-up-rise-up-til-i...

There is momentum building throughout the country for our leaders on Capitol Hill to take necessary action to address climate change and economic inequality through the creation of a “Green New Deal”. Hip Hop Caucus is all in, standing in solidarity for a better future for all. http://hiphopcaucus.org/think100-greennewdeal/

If the new House Democratic leadership torpedoes the Green New Deal committee, we should consider Naomi Klein’s suggestion to “set up some sort of parallel Constituent Assembly-like body to get the plan drafted anyway.”

As Klein writes, the movement has a growing “infrastructure of scientific, technical, [and] political...expertise” to draw on for such efforts. One can envision a process of organizing popular convergences that gather testimony from left-wing scientists and economists, community members, labor activists, migrants displaced by disaster and many others — and that synthesize this testimony into a national proposal for a Green New Deal.
https://socialistworker.org/2018/12/12/winning-the-green-new-deal-we-need

There were protests at Katowice COP24 too.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-notebook/katowice-cop2...

So young folks are out working for a better future.

I appreciate your excellent climate reporting each week Magi Amma!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

magiamma's picture

@Lookout

thank you and thank you for all you do and thanks for the links. I saw the news about the Katowice protests. Did you see the one where they came to the presentation on clean coal by the us of a. Empty room until filled by protesters. I have bookmarked the other links.

Good on the kids. So glad they are getting the information. Not hard to ack on it when you are that young. heh.

Protesters disrupt US panel's fossil fuels pitch at climate talks

have a good one...

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earthling1's picture

@Lookout
"Why should we be studying for a future that soon may be no more"
A profound truth.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

My partner assures me now that collusion has been conclusively proved and I will look stupid if I keep grinding this axe. The only thing I've found so far is the woman who supposedly infiltrated the NRA.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Lookout's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Jimmy talks with Aaron Mate last week debunking russiagate yet again...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tf3Fx7ycrk0 (11.5 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lq_-mxHx1UA (18 min)

We are the terrorists promoting coups and influencing elections in Ukraine, Brazil, Honduras, and Venezuela among other countries....including Russia -
https://freeukrainenow.org/2017/06/19/new-research-shows-communist-party...

f5357-time.jpg

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout

That interview was the last I heard as well. Aside from the lady infiltrating the NRA on behalf of Russia.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

magiamma's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
I watched the jimmy dore interview when lo posted it. Mate's info is very clear and the same that I have been seeing for a while. Not much of substance out there that supports the russiagate meme.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@magiamma

that's what I thought.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

and thank you for all this work. I saw a link to Greta Thunberg's interview with Amy Goodman last night in JS' EB. Greta is wonderful. She and all those like her are the reason to keep trying to make things better.
I have yet to dip into your extensive list of links, but I will.

The stylized nature of Tango reminds me of Flamenco.

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magiamma's picture

@randtntx
Love the flamingo and the music. We need the balance. I hope every kid on this planet gets how this will impact their lives and rises up. There's real hope in this. Looking forward to see what tomorrow will bring in terms of protests. The two young Australian women have started a movement there which is so amazing. gotta keep on keepin' on... Lol

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to help inspire and keep our spirits up;

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enhydra lutris's picture

note that link to byfusion that Janice brought up the other day. By coincidence, there was an article as SFGate today about TJ's plastic packaging problem (https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/trader-joes-packaging-plastic-rec... ) which included references to The Plastic Pollution Coalition https://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/ as well as Joy of Zero Waste https://www.joyofzerowaste.com/ which, in a most timely fashion, has a lot of suggestions for xmas gifts beyond stuff.

I also couldn't help but notice the link to Net-Zero Energy Homes Pay Off Faster Than You Think—Even in Chilly Midwest, which I haven't read yet and felt compelled to not that you don't have to go all the way to zero to win. When I was deciding to go solar I computed out a payoff of maybe 10 years of so and then extant rates of return available on CDs and such, market interest rates and the like and then current energy rates. Of course, PG&E has been boosting its rates in recent years at a rate far in excess of interest rates and such, which made 8 years more likely and a member of the PG&E crew who swapped my main (and who had gone solar himself) said 7. Regardless of that, there is an instant reward from doing the right thing and eschewing doing harm that is also triggered each month when we get a PG&E bill for maybe 10 to 15 bux, all for gas and fees, and an annual notice that our end of year true up will be a credit in our favor applied to our gas bill.

Thanks again for the column and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

@enhydra lutris
hmmm, well, gee, yes. Those folks are impressive. Some with only one cup of waste a year. It is really hard to avoid plastic. It is something I feel very strongly about but have chosen my battles, so to speak. On the good side, more and more people are aware. Actually, having China no longer take our waste is a big step. People here are talking about it now because our city is not able to recycle plastic any more. And are finding solutions. But it is not the biggest dragon we have to slay en esto momento. Thank you for the links.

No consumption for xmas would be my wish. None. We are indoctrinated consumers. So, I see some folks, getting on the don't-buy-stuff bandwagon, but again, mostly not. So many other choices out there even for kids. The root cause of the problem is capitalism, I think, which starts with 'c' and rhymes with... So, how do we root out capitalism? Food for thought... Have a very good one Smile

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janis b's picture

@enhydra lutris

Repeated

here and here … because they’re really good ones.

It reinforces hope through education. It seems like there is a lot of quality attention being paid to the subject of how to reduce plastic consumption, yet there still needs to be more worldwide industriousness in finding healthy (if possible) solutions to the plastic that is already present.

Kiwis are known for their ingenuity. They describe by nature a population that consistently prove that “Invention is the mother of necessity”. Imagine how recently in the scheme of things a small country, physically removed by thousands of miles (the closest being Australia, 2,500 mi.) was able to diversify and grow. When we moved here in ’96, computer use was in full swing. It was a revelation. When I think of the resources available in the US I lament that so little is directed toward valuable solutions.

In googling ‘companies worldwide that manufacture building materials from plastic’ I found mostly companies that manufacture plastics, rather than ones addressing the potential of how to use the excess already available.

Even though it’s difficult for me to imagine that homes built of plastic bricks are a healthy alternative, I hope they are. Maybe you scientists out there have some knowledge that can satisfy my questioning.

This though was a good find.

If you want a taste of some ‘Kiwi’ thinking and perspective on a number of diversified subjects, just spend 30 minutes listening to this.

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Edited for spelling
Good morning and thanks for all the links and news. We still have so much to do.

We have a friend and one of her workers presenting at the COP24 summit about women’s issues. She runs a NGO in a remote village in Zambia that is focused on education and empowering the young people of the village. Because it is in a remote area, girls tend to miss up to 5 days a month because of their menstrual periods. She has started making washable sanitary pads for girls in the village and they are available in her shop where tourists to the nearby South Luangwa National Park can purchase one to give to a needy girl in the village. She is pretty amazing all the various projects she has going at one time with this NGO.

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Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

Deja's picture

@jakkalbessie
I just don't know one from the next, and don't want to be paying for some fat cat's salary rather than actually getting products to the girls.

Do you have a link to your friend's org? Sounds like she's actually on the ground, not in some NYC corner office with a view, if you know what I mean?

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divineorder's picture

@Deja share the link you asked about and here it is:

http://www.projectluangwa.org/mhm

Here is a snippet from the link, but without the hotlinks in the text that you will find if you visit the site.

Many girls in rural areas of Zambia have little or no access to, or cannot afford, disposable sanitary wear and use traditional methods during menstruation instead. We found that because of this many girls who have reached puberty may miss up to a week of school in every four - that's 25% of their education - and that can add up to 18 months of lessons between grade 5 and completion of school. This can have obvious consequences regarding success with education and the final exams.

To help address this issue we are developing washable, reusable sanitary pad kits.

While I am here would add re: "Sounds like she's actually on the ground, not in some NYC corner office with a view, if you know what I mean?"

You have no idea how accurate that is.

We met her and her husband when we were camped in our tent next to them the first time we visited the South Luangwa National Park area over 10 years ago. We camp in the area almost every since, and have stayed in touch with them over the years.

They were living and working somewhere in the Middle East at the time but, like us, came to area to visit the Park every year .

At some point they became involved with bringing school materials, then eventually helped found an NGO that has built schools and so many other things, and especially has worked with empowering women in an area where men still choose to have multiple wives.

A local safari lodge owner offered to help support their work, eventually they moved to the valley, and Project Luangwa was born.

I think they have been so successful in part is because of the way they have involved the community in decision making.

Here the link to their mission statement.

http://www.projectluangwa.org/node/27

For some years we have been camping in the area for a about month at a time. We usually look them up and have dinner when there but also have visited their storefront shop and offices. Amazing work.

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Deja's picture

@divineorder
You gave me goosebumps with the brief history. I'm checking in out now!

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magiamma's picture

@jakkalbessie
That is great news. A win win win. Good on her. Have the best day... Smile

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magiamma's picture

later in the evening. Thank you for all the support and comments.

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divineorder's picture

I have seasonal asthma and allergies, so that excerpt on allergy storms was interesting to me

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3 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

janis b's picture

especially for the Piazzola and Klengel. They smooth things over.

I haven't had a response from byfusion. Hopefully it's an indication that they're flat-out busy.

Sweet 'Oblivion' ...

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