Something to keep in mind…
We have an economic system
that is killing life on earth.
“Anyone who believes
can go on forever
in a finite world
is either a madman
or an economist.”
CALLING CONCERNED CITIZENS
Tell the World What You Know
If you have insider information, however small, anonymously disclosing what you know could be your courageous contribution at this historic moment. TruthTeller. Life is here to show you how. It may be an email, a memo, a document, or a conversation you were privy to. Whatever it is, no piece of the puzzle is too small.
The truth you reveal, combined with those from others just like you, will help us join the dots and complete the puzzle. What will emerge, TruthTeller. Life believes, is an understanding of the scale of the threat we face to our daily existence, the fragility of our global systems, and the efforts of some to withhold the truth. If this story is told globally, then consensus will finally follow for urgent and meaningful action.
This website offers you a means to make this story happen, by disclosing information to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) - a global network of investigative reporters working for the best news organisations in the world.
The ICIJ has capability to share the information it receives among the specialist journalists in its network to be verified and analysed, and then coordinate publication around the globe.
Capitalism and the climate disaster: The issues posed by the worldwide protests
Young people are also becoming more conscious that any solution to the climate crisis inherently demands an international response, where the world’s resources are marshalled in a rational and scientific manner in order to halt and reverse decades of environmental destruction. Any real fight against climate change immediately cuts across national boundaries, corporate profits and military-intelligence interests.
A warning must therefore be issued to all those who have participated in or are planning to take part in future climate protests. That so many world leaders and corporate executives—along with various media personalities and leading academics—have embraced the Global Climate Strike is not a signal that these layers are submitting to “pressure” and will begin solving the climate crisis. It means instead that the protests themselves, whatever the sentiments of the broad masses taking part in them, are being directed along channels politically acceptable to the ruling class.
This is Not A Drill: 700+ Arrested as Extinction Rebellion Fights Climate Crisis With Direct Action
Democracy Now 10-8-19
More than 700 people have been arrested in civil disobedience actions as the group Extinction Rebellion kicked off two weeks of protests in 60 cities worldwide, demanding urgent government action on the climate crisis. Its members have superglued themselves to government buildings, occupied public landmarks, shut down roads and taken to the streets to sound the alarm about the impending catastrophe of global warming. Extinction Rebellion, a nonpolitical movement, launched last year in the U.K. and rose to prominence in April, when it disrupted traffic in Central London for 11 days. For more about the significance of the coordinated global protests, we speak with Extinction Rebellion co-founder Gail Bradbrook.
Hundreds of Extinction Rebellion protesters arrested in central London
The number of arrests of Extinction Rebellion (XR) climate protestors in London topped 500 yesterday, in a naked display of state repression designed to intimidate and silence political and social opposition among much broader layers.
By 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, the capital’s Metropolitan Police had arrested 212 peaceful protesters, after having arrested an initial 319 protesters by midnight on Monday. To this total must be added 10 “pre-emptive” arrests made Saturday by dozens of officers from the Metropolitan police’s territorial support group. …
The specialist riot police raided a building in Kennington, south London, where Extinction Rebellion was storing its equipment, using a battering ram to smash their way in. Activists who had begun moving equipment from the site were also arrested and their vehicles impounded. The activists were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance. XR reported that police seized items such as tents, toilets, disabled access equipment, wheelie bins, solar panels, hot water bottles, cooking urns and flasks.
Activists spray 1,800 liters of 'blood' in front of a ministry in the United Kingdom
EN24 10-3-19 h/t Ozone Tom
"Red symbolizes the people who die now in the south of the world and also the people who are going to start die for climate change across the planet if we do nothing, "one of the activists told Reuters, after assuring that the Ministry has been frustrating the efforts of other government departments to take measures in favor of the environment.
Rebellion grows against climate emergency
Climate News Network 10-8-19
Handing out leaflets entitled: “It’s time to tell the truth”, the protestors stressed their key message: “We are in trouble. Sea levels are rising. Heatwaves are killing crops. The Arctic is melting, and Africa and the Amazon are on fire.” Although the atmosphere was friendly there was no doubt about the determination of those taking part. There were young mothers with children. Italian Monia Salvini, in Trafalgar Square, was carrying her six-month-old daughter Delia. She had travelled from her home in east London and said she was there because she feared for her daughter’s future − “but I am not doing it just for her, I am doing it for everybody.” She had first learned about the climate crisis a year ago, and the more she read the more she realised how urgent it was and how little governments were doing about it. “I thought as soon as my pregnancy is over I must do something.” There were many homemade placards: “Choose Extinction or Rebellion”, “We can’t eat money, we can’t drink oil”, “Mars for the Privileged, Earth for the Poor”, and “We must rise before the tides.” Sarah, who did not want to give her surname, had travelled overnight by train from Edinburgh with her eight-month-old son and carried a notice reading: “Failure to Grasp Science is not an argument against it.” She said that, while the US and Brazilian governments were a disgrace, the United Kingdom led by Boris Johnson was just as bad “because after his government declared a climate emergency he has taken no action to do anything about it.”
The Climate Crisis Should Be the World’s Biggest News Story: The mainstream media is still struggling to catch up as millions march for climate justice across the world.
The Nation 10-1-19
Look what Greta started and what she did to me! I took part in the recent climate-strike march in New York City—one of a quarter-million people (or maybe 60,000) who turned out there, along with 4 million others across all seven continents. Then I came home and promptly collapsed. Which tells you one thing: I’m not 16 years old like Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen who almost single-handedly roused a sleeping planet and is now described as “the Joan of Arc of climate change.” Nor am I the age of just about any of the demonstrators I stopped to chat with that afternoon, however briefly, while madly scribbling down their inventive protest signs in a little notebook. But don’t think I was out of place either. After all, the kids had called on adults to turn out that day and offer them some support. … That night, back in my living room, I slumped on the sofa, pillows packed behind me, and turned on NBC Nightly News to watch anchor Lester Holt report on the breaking stories of that historic day in which climate strikers and their supporters had turned out in staggering numbers from distant Pacific islands to Africa, Europe, the Americas, and—yes—Antarctica. Even—bless them—a small group of young Afghans in that desperately embattled land was somehow still capable of thinking about the future of our planet and risked their lives to demonstrate! “I want to march because if I don’t survive this war,” said Sarah Azizi, one of those Afghans, “at least I would have done something for the next generation that they can survive.” (Where, though, were the Chinese demonstrators in a country that now releases more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than any other, though the United States remains by far the largest emitter in history?) … To understand what’s happening on this planet of ours from the bottom up, what our future might truly hold in a post-Trumpian world (that’s still a world), I wish you could have spent a little time, as I did that day, with those marchers. But I think there’s a way you still can. As I mentioned, I spent those hours, in part, feverishly jotting down what was written on the endless array of protest signs—some held, some pasted onto or slung over shirts, some, in fact, actual T-shirts (“No More B[oil], Leave it in the ground”).
HOT AIR NEWS ROUNDUP
If you read nothing else, read this…
Report: San Diego has unique edge to tackle climate change
SanDiago Union Tribune 10-7-19
San Diego is grappling with rising seas, coastal erosion and marine heat waves, periods when seawater hits record-high temperatures. However, natural variability in the region’s sea level, ocean temperature and chemistry may position coastal cities to stay ahead of future changes, several authors said. Understanding the risks specific to San Diego can help with that. … “Coastal flooding is certainly a problem in certain low-lying areas, but San Diego does benefit from having most of the built environment well above sea level,” he said. Although San Diego may be more resilient to flooding than some parts of the state, its more immediate threat is bluff and beach erosion, Merrifield said. “It might not mean that you’ll get flooding, but there will have to be attention paid to keeping sand on a beach,” he said. Early warning systems will be important to heading off threats, said So-Min Cheong, a professor of geography at the University Kansas, and an author on the chapter on risk management.
After failure in New York, we must reshape the politics of climate change
Climate Home News 9-28-19
The UNSG Climate Action Summit in New York finally took the temperature on the global politics of climate action. Spoiler alert – it wasn’t hot enough. The summit also triggered the diplomatic starting gun for the next set of critical climate decisions coming in 2020 at COP26 in Glasgow. With so much climate pollution in the atmosphere, without a big increase in action at Glasgow it will be practically impossible to keep climate change within safe limits. Since the landmark Paris accord in 2015 we have developed better clean technology, but global greenhouse gas emissions keep rising. The impacts of climate change are hitting harder and earlier than expected. Catastrophic damage from the Caribbean to Africa to Europe capture regular headlines. Scientific warnings on the risks of climate change are dramatised by unprecedented glacial melting in Greenland and wildfires in the Amazon.
Excellent article with great pictures…
Radical warming in Siberia leaves millions on unstable ground
Washington Post 10-3-19
A Washington Post analysis found that the region near the town of Zyryanka, in an enormous wedge of eastern Siberia called Yakutia, has warmed by more than 3 degrees Celsius since preindustrial times — roughly triple the global average. The permafrost that once sustained farming — and upon which villages and cities are built — is in the midst of a great thaw, blanketing the region with swamps, lakes and odd bubbles of earth that render the land virtually useless. “The warming got in the way of our good life,” said Alexander Fedorov, deputy director of the Melnikov Permafrost Institute in the regional capital of Yakutsk. “With every year, things are getting worse and worse.” For the 5.4 million people who live in Russia’s permafrost zone, the new climate has disrupted their homes and their livelihoods. Rivers are rising and running faster, and entire neighborhoods are falling into them. Arable land for farming has plummeted by more than half, to just 120,000 acres in 2017.
Whistle-blower Reveals Flawed Construction at North Dakota Gas Plants Where Massive Spill Was Downplayed
Two North Dakota gas processing plants in the heart of the Bakken oil fields have shown signs of an eroded safety culture and startling construction problems, according to Paul Lehto, a 54-year-old former gas plant operator who has come out as a whistle-blower. He described worrisome conditions at the Lonesome Creek plant, in Alexander, and the Garden Creek plant, in Watford City, where DeSmog recently revealed one of the largest oil and gas industry spills in U.S. history had occurred. Both plants process natural gas brought via pipeline from Bakken wells and are run by the Oklahoma-based oil and gas service company, ONEOK Partners.
A Green Army Is Ready to Keep Plastic Waste Out of the Ocean
Scientific American 10-7-19
It isn’t until you spot one digging through your trash that you really notice them: Canners. Gleaners. Scrappers. The world has given many names to what are collectively known as “waste pickers.” They collect cans and bottles for deposit as well as a wide range of materials for recycling and reuse. Waste pickers are among the world’s most vulnerable and stigmatized workers. But before turning down your nose at them, consider this: They have a critical role to play in keeping waste out of the world’s oceans. Waste meets the sea in many ways, and at every juncture, waste pickers are preventing materials from entering waterways.
Already Burning for a Month, Fracked Gas Blowout in Louisiana Could Last Two More Months
For the fifth week since the blowout began, a large flare is still burning**update below** at the site of GEP Haynesville, LLC’s blown out fracked gas wells in northwestern Louisiana. The blowout occurred on August 30, shortly after the company began a frack job, igniting two adjacent wells. A state official estimated that efforts to contain the blowout could take another two months, or more. The flare has gone out at times, resulting in fluid from the well, including what the oil and gas industry calls “produced water,” spreading a mist into the sky over a mile away, alarming nearby residents.
LEGISLATION, ELECTIONS & POLICY
Russia Signs Climate Accords & Putin Responds To Climate Change, But There’s A Catch
Clean Technica 10-4-19
When even Russia starts to believe in climate change, the world really is coming to an end. Yet to everyone’s surprise, that is exactly what happened. Russia just joined the Paris climate accords.
… The biggest problem is that the permafrost that used to stay frozen is turning into a swamp, and that has a dire consequence. The foundation for all infrastructure is built atop the solid permafrost that never melted. Now that it is melting for the first time, every manmade structure is at risk of collapse. Now while that is life threatening to a lot of people, it also threatens Russia’s main source of income. Oil and gas fields are located under the permafrost and a lot of the pipes are also built on top of permafrost. If the fossil fuel infrastructure collapses as well as the pipes, then that is a financial disaster for it, as well as a potential environmental disaster. Even if the country wanted to keep earning money on the world’s slow demise and eventually slowly switch to renewables, it now suddenly needs to do something immediately to prevent a loss of income and energy generation capacity. As some research notes, the production capacity of all existing facilities has already declined because the foundation can no longer bear the load.
NY governor announces $3M for municipalities to purchase zero-emissions vehicles and infrastructure
Green Car Congress 10-1-19
NY Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the availability of $3 million in state funds to help municipalities purchase zero-emission vehicles and install related infrastructure. The rebates and grants are administered by the State Department of Environmental Conservation and supported by the state’s Environmental Protection Fund.
Estonia backs European net zero carbon target. Poland loses an ally
Climate Change News 19-3-19
Estonia has joined a group of 24 European countries in favour of cutting emissions to net zero by 2050, the country’s prime minister Jüri Ratas announced on Thursday. Prime minister Ratas said the Estonian government unanimously supported the EU target, adding that supporting a European green deal was “the EU’s most important strategic goal for the future”. Estonia was one of four hold-out countries which blocked an EU-wide agreement for a carbon neutrality by 2050 target last June. Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic have not yet agreed to the EU’s long-term decarbonisation goal.
EU agrees to ‘update’ Paris climate pledge
Climate Change News 10-7-19
Under a first draft of the text, the EU would increase its so-called Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of 40% “in a manner that represents a progression of ambition beyond the current one and that reflects the EU’s highest possible ambition”. That part was ultimately cut from the final version, which now simply reads “in 2020, the EU will update its NDC as agreed in Paris”. EU climate chief Miguel Arias Cañete said in a press briefing afterwards that “under the Paris Agreement parties have to ‘update’ or ‘communicate’. Here, we’ve chosen ‘update’.” He also quoted the draft conclusions, labelling the final version a “progression of ambition”. Ten countries – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta, Poland and Romania – blocked efforts to include more explicit language. Of those ten, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland are the last hold-outs on the 2050 deal. “A long-awaited decision to massively scale up EU emission cuts has been delayed yet again at a time when millions of people take to the street to protest against government inaction,” said Wendel Trio, head of environmental group CAN Europe.
Why California Is Standing Firm Against Trump on Auto Emissions
e360 Yale 9-16-19
In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, talks about what’s next in this high-stakes environmental battle, the importance these standards play in meeting California and U.S. climate targets, and why the Trump administration’s efforts go against the momentum of the global auto industry. “The auto companies are in a difficult position because globally, they are being pushed to compete for a market that is increasingly demanding advanced technology vehicles,” Nichols said. “They can’t be operating with confusion over what the standards are going to be for their base product, the core of their business, which is still the internal combustion engine.”
Two of the most powerful forces in Brazil, the president and the pope, are pulling in opposite directions on an issue critical to climate change…
As Amazon Fires Burn, Pope Convenes Meeting on the Rainforests and Moral Obligation to Protect Them
Inside Climate News 10-6-19
Pope Francis convened nearly 200 bishops, climate experts and indigenous people from the Amazon on Sunday for an unprecedented meeting in Rome to discuss the fate of the Amazonian rainforests and the world's moral obligation to protect them. The meeting, or Synod, is the first of its kind to address an ecosystem, rather than a particular region or theme. It comes as fires continue to consume the Amazon rainforest.
Researchers outline policy approaches to transform fire management
"Successfully transforming fire management requires people working together across jurisdictions, and a commitment to long-term goals," said Schultz, who serves as the director of the Public Lands Policy Group at CSU. "It means people have to live with fire and smoke now, when the easier and, sometimes, the safer choice is to put fires out, and to not light fire. In governance terms, it requires a lot of collaboration and collective action. Community leaders and land managers need long-term vision and commitment." Moseley said that organizing human resource capacity, interagency agreements and planning in advance are critical to ensuring that prescribed fire and other work can happen in the right place at the right time. "Sometimes conditions for a prescribed burn in one place may be good, but you may have firefighters off in another area battling a fire or doing other work,"
Bolivian Amazon fires: relief as rains douse two-month inferno
The Guardian 10-8-19
Heavy rains over recent days in the Bolivian Amazon have helped put out forest fires that have raged for two months across the land-locked South American nation, charring more than 4m hectares of land, local authorities said on Monday. The storms helped Bolivia’s military contain blazes in the region of Chiquitania, home to large areas of dry forests and indigenous communities that have lived in them for centuries. “Satellite images no longer detect burning or reactivated fires,” said Cinthia Asin, an official for environmental issues for the provincial government of Santa Cruz, a farming province in eastern Bolivia hard-hit by the fires.
Study of past California wildfire activity suggest climate change will worsen future fires
Science Daily 10-8-19
In the wake of recent wildfires that have ravaged northern and central California, a new study finds that the severity of fire activity in the Sierra Nevada region has been sensitive to changes in climate over the past 1,400 years. The findings, published in Environmental Research Letters, suggest that future climate change is likely to drive increased fire activity in the Sierras.
THE ARCTIC • THE ANTARCTIC
Reported in the Washington Post last week…
Report Shows 'Stunning and Dramatic' Scenes of Thawing Permafrost in Siberia That 'Leaves Millions on Unstable Ground'
Common Dreams 10-4-19
Rising global temperatures from human activity are causing the world's permafrost—a mix of soil, rocks, and sand that remains frozen for two or more consecutive years—to thaw and release greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere, further warming the planet. In Siberia, according to the Post, "the permafrost that once sustained farming—and upon which villages and cities are built—is in the midst of a great thaw, blanketing the region with swamps, lakes, and odd bubbles of earth that render the land virtually useless."
If warming exceeds 2 C, Antarctica's melting ice sheets could raise seas 20 meters in coming centuries
PHYS ORG 10-3-19
We know that our planet has experienced warmer periods in the past, during the Pliocene geological epoch around three million years ago. … We were able to measure past changes in sea level by drilling cores at a site in New Zealand, known as the Whanganui Basin, which contains shallow marine sediments of arguably the highest resolution in the world. Using a new method we developed to predict the water level from the size of sand particle moved by waves, we constructed a record of global sea-level change with significantly more precision than previously possible.
IPCC Report Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate
Arctic News 9-27-19
How much carbon is present in the northern circumpolar permafrost region (map)? According to the report, there is 1460 to 1600 billions of tons of carbon (GtC¹) present in the soil on land. The report also mentions that there is additional carbon present on shallow Arctic sea shelves, but the report doesn't add figures. Natalia Shakhova et al. once estimated the accumulated methane potential for the Eastern Siberian Arctic Shelf alone to be about 500 Gt of organic carbon, with an additional amount in hydrates of about 1000 Gt and a further amount of methane in free gas of about 700 Gt. Back in 2008, Natalia Shakhova et al. considered release of up to 50 Gt of predicted amount of hydrate storage as highly possible for abrupt release at any time. The IPCC report projects permafrost near the surface (top 3–4 m) to decrease in area by up to 89% by 2100 under a high emissions scenario (RCP8.5), leading to cumulative release of tens to hundreds of billions of tons of carbon in the form of carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere by 2100.
Iceberg the size of Sydney breaks off Amery ice shelf in Antarctica
ABC AU 10-1-19
The 1,636-square-kilometre iceberg — named D28 — was calved from the Amery ice shelf in east Antarctica. … Scientists had been monitoring a section of the ice shelf known as the Loose Tooth, which is next to where D28 broke off and is so named because it looks precariously attached. "The calving will not directly affect sea level, because the ice shelf was already floating, much like an ice cube in a glass of water," Dr Galton-Fenzi said. "But what will be interesting to see is how the loss of this ice will influence the ocean melting under the remaining ice shelf and the speed at which the ice flows off the continent."
All you need to know about plastic. Plus, an awesome ongoing count of how many bags are being produced…
Plastic is Forever
The World Counts May 14, 2014
From bottled water alone, the US throws away enough plastic bottles in one week to encircle our planet 5 times! That’s just 5% of the global population. Globally, we use 160,000 plastic bags every second! These plastics when thrown in landfills or elsewhere, find their way into our oceans – killing the marine mammals that mistake them for food. This is just the tip of the plastic garbage issue that’s alarming environmentalists these days. What makes plastic so harmful to humans, animal and plant life and our environment is that they’re non-biodegradable. It only starts degrading in 700 years. This means that all the plastic that has ever been produced has not degraded yet.
We have created machines that enable anyone to recycle plastic
Precious Plastic h/t OzoneTom
The machines are made of different components that can be repaired, replaced, or customized. The blueprints and tutorials for our machines will always be freely available online, for anyone to access and use. By using basic materials, tools, and universal parts, the machines can be built all over the world. We've created a series of video tutorials that are easy to follow and help you get started building the machines.
Fast facts about plastic pollution
National Geographic 12-20-18
Versatile, pliable, durable, cheap to produce—and ubiquitous. Plastic is all of that. It is also both a life-saving miracle product and the scourge of the Earth. Here are eight essential facts to keep in mind. … In December 2018, Great Britain's Royal Statistical Society named the fact that only about nine percent of all plastic ever made has likely been recycled its statistic of the year. Read on for more facts on the global plastic pollution crisis. This article was created in partnership with the National Geographic Society. National Geographic is committed to reducing plastics pollution.
A Major Fossil Fuel State Is Joining RGGI, the Northeast's Carbon Market
Inside Climate News 10-3-19
Pennsylvania, one of the nation's largest coal and natural gas producing states, is moving to join the Northeast's carbon market. It would mark the largest expansion of the multistate initiative since its inception a decade ago and a milestone in the drive by states to counter the impact of the Trump administration's retreat from climate action. … Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said Thursday that joining RGGI would be a necessary step for achieving the targets for cuts in greenhouse gas pollution he set earlier this year.
Solar, Wind Are Now Cheaper Than Coal In Most Of The World
Oil Price 9-28-19
This week Bloomberg reported on the once unthinkable phenomena of solar and wind subsidies disappearing across the world because the industry has outgrown the need for them. “On sun-drenched fields across Spain and Italy, developers are building solar farms without subsidies or tax-breaks, betting they can profit without them. In China, the government plans to stop financially supporting new wind farms. And in the U.S., developers are signing shorter sales contracts, opting to depend on competitive markets for revenue once the agreements expire,”
Shale Boom Is Slowing Just When the World Needs Oil Most
The American shale boom is slowing as innovation plateaus—and just when shale’s importance in global markets has reached new highs following an attack on the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure. U.S. oil production increased by less than 1% during the first six months of the year, according to the Energy Department, down form nearly 7% growth over the same period last year. Unlike several years ago, when shale production fell due to a global price collapse, the slowdown this year is driven partly by core operational issues, including wells producing less than expected after being drilled too close to one another, and sweet spots running out sooner than anticipated.
Growing anti-coal alliance could become non-proliferation treaty for fossil fuel
Climate Change News 10-2-19
The powering past coal alliance (PPCA) announced an expansion of its membership, now also including countries such as Germany and Slovakia. The PPCA, established in 2017, is a multi-stakeholder partnership, co-chaired by the UK and Canada, that brings together state and sub-state governments, businesses and other organisations in order to establish a global coal phase-out by 2050 at the latest. It now counts 91 members, all vowing to curtail coal-fired power generation and end the construction of new coal plants by 2020.
"The EU and the US are currently negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership (TTIP), which, if agreed, could be very advantageous for the multinational fracking lobby. When President Obama attended an EU-US summit in Brussels in 2014 to discuss the Ukraine crisis, he said the new trans-Atlantic trade agreement would make it easier for his administration to approve American LNG exports to the EU. However, as long as TTIP is not signed and with significant problems in Poland, Ukraine seems to be the only way for the US shale gas lobby to set its feet in CEE.
Brave new world: Simple changes in intensity of weather events 'could be lethal'
Science Daily 9-30-19
Faced with extreme weather events and unprecedented environmental change, animals and plants are scrambling to catch up -- with mixed results. A new model helps to predict the types of changes that could drive a given species to extinction.
Eastern U.S. Roasts in All-Time Record Heat for October
Weather Underground 1-4-19
Dozens of locations across the eastern half of the United States got their hottest October days on record this week in one of the most intense early-autumn heat waves in U.S. history. The October heat came on the heels of what was the hottest September on record in more than 50 U.S. locations, strewn across the nation from Hawaii and Alaska to Florida. We’ll have more on the September heat next week in our U.S. monthly climate roundup. … A weather.com compilation found 75 locations—stretching from the Deep South to the Ohio Valley, eastern Great Lakes, and Northeast—that either tied or set a new all-time October record high.
Drought may hit half world’s wheat at once
Climate News Network 10-2-19
The planet’s daily bread could be at risk as the global thermometer creeps up and climates begin to change. New research has warned that almost two thirds of the world’s wheat-growing areas could face “severe, prolonged, and near-simultaneous droughts” by the century’s end. Right now, 15% of the world’s wheat producing regions are at risk of severe water scarcity at the same time. Even if the 195 nations that agreed in Paris to stop global average temperatures from rising beyond 1.5°C by 2100 keep that promise, the chance of simultaneous water stress across continents would still double between 2030 and 2070.
Heat waves could increase substantially in size by mid-century, says new study
[Scientists] found that by mid-century, in a middle greenhouse emissions scenario, the average size of heat waves could increase by 50%. Under high greenhouse gas concentrations, the average size could increase by 80% and the more extreme heat waves could more than double in size. “As the physical size of these affected regions increases, more people will be exposed to heat stress,” … “An increase in attributes like magnitude and duration is consistent with expectations of a warming climate,” said Lyon. “What is new in our study is the way we calculated them, which allowed us to consider size as a new heat wave dimension.”
The Return of Blob 2.0? Marine Heat Wave
Paul Beckwith 9-26-19
In 2014 a phenomena appeared on which there is no history. The ocean temperature off the west coast of North America rose and destroyed marine diversity and wreaked havoc on weather patterns around the globe. Known as the “BLOB”, this voracious spot raised water temperatures in the North Pacific between 4 and 5 degrees Celsius (7-8 F), killing off humpback whales, Pacific cod, and huge numbers of birds, among other creatures.
Hurricane Dorian Was Worthy of a Category 6 Rating
Scientific American 10-3-19
Category 5 Atlantic hurricanes are rare. Only 7% of the 243 hurricanes observed since accurate satellite measurements began in 1983 have reached that catastrophic intensity. And it is truly exceptional to see a category 5 hurricane as strong as Hurricane Dorian, which powered ashore on Great Abaco Island in The Bahamas on September 1, 2019, with sustained winds of 185 mph and gusts up to 220 mph. Winds of this strength would make Dorian worthy of a category 6 rating, if it existed. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which is used to rank hurricane winds on a scale of one to five, stops at category 5: sustained 1-minute average wind speeds of at least 157 mph (70 m/s). If we were to add a category 6 to the scale, we must consider that the scale is not quite linear.
Good stuff, check it out…
Climate Crisis and Health
New England Journal of Medicine
A collection of articles and other resources describing effects of climate change on physical and psychological health and on the function of health care systems, including resources to support action by physicians and other health care professionals.
ADAPTION AND RESILIENCE
This is a really big deal…
How garbage from landfills is advancing UC's clean energy future
U of CA 10-2-19 h/t enhydra lutris
Anaergia is building the Rialto Bioenergy Facility — the largest organic waste diversion and renewable energy recovery facility in North America. This plant is expected to open in late 2020. Once fully operational, the Rialto Bioenergy Facility is to divert about 400 million pounds of food scraps and other organic waste each year from southern California landfills. That material will then be fed into an anaerobic biodigester and transformed into clean, renewable natural gas and fertilizer. “We’re using the two largest organic waste streams in society — trash and sewage — to make renewable natural gas,” Yaniv Scherson, the managing director of Anaergia’s Western Region. “The anaerobic digester eats those organics and makes methane. We take that gas, clean it of impurities, and then inject it into the gas grid. It is exactly the same as other natural gas, but instead of coming from fossil fuels and fracking, this is renewable and is carbon negative.” … California needs many facilities like the Rialto Bioenergy Facility to hit its 2025 waste diversion target, Scherson said. It took state legislation to make recycling an everyday reality in California, and now it’s hard to imagine the state without it. Solar energy got a similar regulatory boost, and it’s now a thriving part of California’s economy.
A New Jersey city reuses abandoned industrial sites to capture stormwater
Yale Climate Connections 9-30-19
He says one solution is to create green spaces that absorb rain and floodwater, and abandoned industrial areas can be ideal sites. In Camden, many are located along rivers, so cleaning them up and planting vegetation can create valuable waterfront buffers.
For example, in the Cramer Hill neighborhood, an old city dump is now home to a community center, and the adjacent sixty-plus acres will soon be a waterfront park with restored wetlands and lots of trees.
After oil and gas: Meet Alberta workers making the switch to solar
The Narwhal 10-2-10
Something started to change for Taylor as the years went on in the oil patch. He remembers the 2010 BP oil spill as a pivotal moment in his thinking. “It was plastered all over the news for days, and I watched this giant catastrophe just unfold in front of our eyes for days on end,” he said. It was, he remembers, “a heartbreaking moment.” Fast-forward several years, and Taylor is one of thousands of solar workers in Alberta — and one of many who has transitioned out of the fossil fuel sector into renewable energy. … In response to the phase-out of coal-fired electricity, the Alberta government put together a plan to help workers losing their jobs — including retraining support, extended employment insurance and relocation allowances. Critics said the program wasn’t perfect, but a step in the right direction. Now many labour advocates are wondering if a similar program is necessary for the oil and gas industry. “The oil and gas industry is a threatened industry; a sunset industry,” Wood of Unifor told The Narwhal.
New York City’s plan to fight both traffic congestion and climate change
Yale Climate Connections 1-4-19
The city is developing a strategy to combat congestion. After 2020, it plans to charge drivers a fee to enter its most crowded districts. Energy policy analyst Charles Komanoff says the goal is to eliminate “maybe 15% of all of the traffic trips into and within the heart of Manhattan.” That means fewer tailpipe emissions and less carbon pollution. He says over time, the climate benefits will grow. The plan is expected to generate more than a billion dollars each year.
Without data on the hydrocarbon status quo, it’s difficult to determine the environmental impact of an oil spill or the success of cleanup efforts. It’s also hard to distinguish the effects of a spill from the effects of pollution from other more common coastal sources, such as urban runoff or industrial activities. Since the Deepwater Horizon disaster, researchers across North America have been working to gather this baseline data. They’re collecting the feces of marine mammals and analyzing them for the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are ranked as one of the top 10 most hazardous substances by the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Oil pollution from vessel traffic is a major concern in the Salish Sea.
The Real Problem With Beef
But beef, far more than pork or chicken, contributes to environmental harm, in part because it requires much more land. The greenhouse gas production per serving of chicken or pork is about 20 percent that of a serving of beef. Cows also put out an enormous amount of methane, causing almost 10 percent of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to climate change. … “There’s no profit to be made in ground beef,” she said. “That all comes either from leftover parts once cattle have been slaughtered for more expensive cuts, or from dairy cattle that have outlived their usefulness. If everyone gave up hamburgers tomorrow, the same number of cows would still be raised and need to be fed.” In other words, to improve the environment by reducing the number of cows slaughtered, we’d need to find a way to replace the many other cuts of beef Americans enjoy. No lab, and no company, is close to that. … Until people are truly ready to reduce consumption of dairy or consumption of higher-end beef cuts, or to commit to raising cattle differently, it seems unlikely that any of the changes with respect to ground beef will make a significant environmental difference in the near future.
WILDLIFE & THE ENVIRONMENT
In the Mountains, Climate Change Is Disrupting Everything, from How Water Flows to When Plants Flower
Inside Climate News 10-8-19
The growing wildfire risk is just part of an accelerating cycle of global warming impacts in the world's mountain regions, according to a new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that includes a section focused on mountains for the first time in more than 20 years. "Snow cover duration has declined in nearly all regions, especially at lower elevations, on average by five days per decade," the mountain chapter of the IPCC report says. On average across Western North America, the European Alps and High Mountain Asia, temperatures are warming by 0.54 degrees Fahrenheit per decade. That's melting glaciers and changing mountain river flows, disrupting plants and wildlife, and increasing the risk of extreme rockslides, avalanches and mountain floods caused by rain falling on snow. Taken together, global warming impacts represent an existential threat to millions of people in the Andes, the Himalaya, the European Alps, and the U.S. Mountain West including Alaska.
Managed forests in New Hampshire rich in carbon
Science Daily 10-3-19
A new study examining carbon stocks in an actively managed mixed wood forest in New Hampshire finds that places with more trees have more carbon stored in both the trees and the soil. The findings demonstrate the connection between above ground and below ground carbon, which has implications for forest management strategies.
The War on Drugs Is a War on the Climate
Otherwise, dangerous and violent drug-dealing organizations often enter the remote rainforests where there is little to no human activity or settlements and essentially claim them. Once that happens, it makes protecting those lands close to impossible with park rangers facing death if they retaliate against the narcos. Clashes like this have been unfolding in the Brazilian Amazon as criminal gangs look to convert the forest to cattle pastures and farms. Those are just some of the unintended consequences of this issue. The world is losing valuable, sometimes centuries-old forests, but people are also dying as a result of this infiltration. And those who survive do so by escaping to foreign lands where they’re treated as the other.
Analysis IDs ag practices to fight flood, drought
PHYS ORG 10-3-19
A synthesis of 89 studies across six continents has helped clarify which agricultural practices hold water when it comes to helping soils soak up precipitation—a factor critical to mitigating floods, outlasting drought and stabilizing crop yields. … "There are a number of ways to improve water getting into the soil, but what we found to be the most consistent are the practices that offer continuous roots," said Basche, assistant professor of agronomy and horticulture. When acting like sponges, soils can alleviate the worst consequences of torrential rains.
Northern forests have lost crucial cold, snowy conditions
Science Daily 10-3-19
Winter conditions are changing more rapidly than any other season and researchers have found clear signs of a decline in frost days, snow covered days and other indicators of winter that could have lasting impacts on ecosystems, water supplies, the economy, tourism and human health.
Infectious disease in marine life linked to decades of ocean warming
The researchers examined marine infectious disease reports from 1970 to 2013, which transcend short-term fluctuations and regional variation. They examined records of corals, urchins, mammals, decapods, fish, mollusks, sharks, rays, seagrass and turtles. For corals and urchins, reports of infectious disease increased over the 44-year period. In the Caribbean, increasing coral disease reports correlated with warming events. It is widely known that coral bleaching increases with warming, but Harvell said they have established a long-term connection between warming and coral disease. "We've finally linked a coral killer like infectious disease to repeated warming bouts over four decades of change,"
Study recommends special protection of emperor penguins
Science Daily 10-7-19
The researchers reviewed over 150 studies on the species and its environment as well as its behaviour and character in relation to its breeding biology. Current climate change projections indicate that rising temperatures and changing wind patterns will impact negatively the sea ice on which emperor penguins breed; and some studies indicate that emperor populations will decrease by more than 50% over the current century. The researchers therefore recommend that the IUCN status for the species be escalated to 'vulnerable'; the species is currently listed as 'near threatened' on the IUCN Red List. They conclude that improvements in climate change forecasting in relation to impacts on Antarctic wildlife would be beneficial, and recommend that the emperor penguin should be listed by the Antarctic Treaty as a Specially Protected Species.
PROTESTS • EXTINCTION REBELLION • RESISTANCE
Activists sailing to Chile from Amsterdam, following Greta Thunberg's footsteps
A group of environmental activists, students, and entrepreneurs is sailing to Chile from Amsterdam for the U.N. climate change conference COP25. The journey began on Oct. 2. and should last about seven weeks, according to the organization, Sail to the Cop's, website. This follows Greta Thunberg's journey on a sailboat from the UK to New York City this summer for the U.N. Climate Action Summit. "The sail trip is part of a year long (media) campaign for policy change at national and international level," the organization states on their website. "The aim is to make the transport playing field more equal.
Fridays for Future
Climate kids: Meet the global network of young activists in Greta Thunberg's green army
ABC AU 9-30-19
It's been six months since Alexandria began her own weekly strike outside the United Nations headquarters in midtown Manhattan, calling for more action on combatting climate change. Throughout the punishing cold served to New Yorkers during the polar vortex back in February, Alexandria carried out her protest at the UN in a sleeping bag. She continued her weekly protests in the pouring rain and kept up her strike through the crippling heat of summer. … In Berlin, 23-year-old university student Luisa Neubauer is on a wild ride. When Foreign Correspondent first met up with her in March, she'd been organising weekly school strikes for three months. Luisa was inspired to start the protests after a meeting with Ms Thunberg last year at the COP24 climate conference in Poland. Since then, her life has changed beyond recognition. … In Sydney, Jean Hinchliffe's mum is trying to nail down where her daughter will be staying when the 15-year-old flies to New York on her own for the UN Climate Summit. "Are you going to be sharing a room, and who with?" Lisa Healy asks. Jean is vague on the details. "Yeah, yeah," she replies. "It's with a few other strikers … but I'm not 100 per cent sure about some of the others who will be there." A Year 10 student at an inner-west school, Jean's life has also been transformed by her involvement in the youth climate strikes.
Greta Thunberg heads to US Midwest for Friday protest
After protests in New York and Montreal, teen activist Greta Thunberg has said she will join demonstrators in Iowa in the US Midwest on Friday for the latest "climate strike. This Friday I'm happy to say that I'll join the climate strike in Iowa City!" Thunberg said on Twitter on Wednesday, using the movement's hashtag "Fridays For Future."
Greta Thunberg is right: It’s time to haul ass on climate change
When your house is on fire, though, you don’t promise results in a decade or a year or a week. You grab a bucket and find some water. Immediately. When it comes to climate policy, Thunberg has it right. We are in a unique historical moment; we understand the danger of climate change and, for now, still have the resources and political space necessary to address it. But every second of delay makes the challenge more expensive, more difficult, and more dangerous. Let’s start with economics. The conventional climate policy recommendation from economists has been to start with a low carbon price and ramp up slowly, but a recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science (PNAS) flips that view on its head, urging instead an aggressively high price, starting now. The arguments are worth unpacking.
JOIN XR USA: on their website
XR NEWSLETTERS & EVENTS: on their website
XR USA: on YOUTUBE
NEW XR TRUTH TELLER SITE: on TRUTH TELLER.LIFE
“CALLING ALL CONCERNED CITIZENS: TELL THE WORLD WHAT YOU KNOW”
Humanity has the know-how to avert catastrophic climate and ecological breakdown. Yet we're failing to heed the scientific warnings and put them in place. Why aren't we adopting emergency measures the world over? And what are the near-term consequences of inaction? Do you know something that would help reveal what's really going on?
Researchers find global ocean methane emissions dominated by shallow coastal waters
PHYS ORG 10-8-19
used data science to determine how much methane is emitted from the ocean into the atmosphere each year. Their results, published in the journal Nature Communications, fill a longstanding gap in methane cycle research and will help climate scientists better assess the extent of human perturbations. The study is part of Weber's effort to use data science to better understand how various greenhouse gases, including nitrogen and carbon dioxide, affect global climate systems. Every three years, an international group of climate scientists called the Global Carbon Project updates what is known as the methane budget. The methane budget reflects the current state of understanding of the inputs and outputs in the global methane cycle. It was last updated in 2016.
Understanding Microplastic Levels, Pathways, and Transport in the San Francisco Bay Region
To develop critical baseline data and inform solutions, the San Francisco Estuary Institute and the 5 Gyres Institute have completed the first comprehensive regional study of microplastic pollution in a major estuary. This project supported multiple scientific components to develop improved knowledge about and characterization of microparticles and microplastics in San Francisco Bay and adjacent National Marine Sanctuaries.
Dust in ice cores leads to new knowledge on the advancement of the ice before the ice age
Working with the ice core ReCap, drilled close to the coast in East Greenland, researchers wondered why the dust particles from the interglacial period -- the warmer period of time between the ice ages -- were several times bigger than the dust particles from the ice age. The research led to the invention of a method able to map the advancement of the glaciers in cold periods and the melting in warmer periods. … t is important to know more about how glaciers react to changes in the atmosphere, and rather a lot is known on the composition of the atmosphere during the ice age. The results from the new method can now be used to compare the reaction in the masses of ice to changes in the atmospheric content of greenhouse gasses like CO2.
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"
Magi Amma: We need to turn on a dime at mach nine!
• 1 gigatonne = 1 billion tons
• 1 gigatonne Carbon = 3.67 gigatonnes CO2
• 1 part per million (ppm) of atmospheric CO2 = 7.81 gigatonnes CO2
• 1 part per million of atmospheric carbon = 2.13 gigatonnes of carbon