Hot Air News Roundup
Something to keep in mind…
May 24th over 1 million students
striked for the climate
The next global strikes will be September 20 and 27
with a global ‘action week’ in between
this time we call for adults
to join the General Strike
CAPTILISM IN CRISIS
We need to attack the Climate Crisis on all fronts. A shift away from a consumer based economy is essential.
We cannot have unending growth on a finite planet. The Earth simply can no longer support our way of life. To date we have produced 30 million metric tons of stuff. As it is, humanity each year uses resources equivalent to nearly one-and-a-half Earths. Simply said, we must move away, en masse, from capitalism.
To maintain the capitalist system, either the number of consumers must increase (more people) or each must consume more (higher standard of living).
The enormity of the change that must happen is daunting.
• The climate crisis must become real to all,
• Consumption must be curbed,
• Capitalists must cease their never-ending extraction and exploitation,
• At the same time we must focus on adaption and remediation solutions.
How do we move on? Can we even? If we can, can we do it fast enough.
The kids get it.
Momentum is building. More and people are becoming aware that consumption and capitalism go hand in hand and that capitalism is the root of the problem.
Conversely, more and more businesses are searching for ways to survive the upcoming climate crisis, to make a profit, often through ingenious technical solutions or at the very least by obfuscating the narrative.
However, clever technological solutions will not stop our careening capitalistic system. Although technical solutions are important, they are not enough.
“Our Current economies are running a Ponzi scheme with our planet,” … “We are borrowing the Earth’s future resources to operate our economies in the present. Like any Ponzi scheme, this works for some time. But as nations, companies, or households dig themselves deeper and deeper into debt, they eventually fall apart.”
You can’t declare a climate crisis without declaring a crisis of neoliberal capitalism … As the planet melts rapidly, we are avoiding three glaring facts.
1: Neoliberal capitalism is exacerbating and amplifying global warming.
2: Climate change is an existential threat to our species.
3: The current political spectrum simply cannot rise to the challenge.
For those on the Right, your days of denial and worship of capitalism are over.
For those on the Left, if your politics are not focused on climate change adaptation first and foremost, then you are part of the problem.
Tens of thousands of young people once again took to the streets across Germany on Friday to protest against climate change. Demonstrations took place in a total of 200 cities, including Hamburg, Freiburg, Leipzig, Munich and Cologne. In Berlin alone, more than 10,000 students and pupils demonstrated their opposition to the government and capitalism.
Members of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) distributed a statement that linked the issue of environmental decay to the threat of war and stated that only the overthrow of capitalism could prevent a catastrophe.
David Wallace-Wells asks some important questions…
“What will it mean for our politics to have an intuition of resource scarcity that dominates every transaction we make.”
HOT AIR NEWS ROUNDUP
— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) June 5, 2019
New Report Suggests ‘High Likelihood of Human Civilization Coming to an End’ Starting in 2050
[The report] has been endorsed by a former Australian defense chief and senior royal navy commander. The analysis, published by the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration, a think-tank in Melbourne, Australia, describes climate change as “a near- to mid-term existential threat to human civilization” and sets out a plausible scenario of where business-as-usual could lead over the next 30 years.
High Likelihood Human Civilization Coming to an End starting 2050: Video 11 min
Climate State 6-5-19 h/t Lookout
A chilling Australian policy paper outlining a Doomsday scenario for humans if we don’t start dealing with climate change suggests that by 2050
'Class of 0000' Campaign Denounces 'Cowardly' Censorship of Student Call for Climate Action
Common Dreams 6-7-19
"Before every revolution the group in power feels threatened, so they do everything they can to censor those who are speaking out...This is our revolution this time." More than 350 students across the U.S. have signed up to use their graduation speeches as a call to action directed at lawmakers and older generations, demanding their elders do everything in their power to solve the climate crisis and protect the planet—but many students are facing censorship as they try to get their message out.
Much more information about current developments after the link…
Why Advanced Nuclear Reactors May Be Here Sooner Than Many Imagine
Green Tech Media 5-24-19 h/t hawkfish
As the prospects for a nuclear renaissance in the U.S. based on conventional nuclear technology have dimmed, many nuclear advocates have pinned their hopes on advanced reactors that are smaller and utilize different technologies. … Yet many remain skeptical. Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists told the Washington Post earlier this year that developers of advanced reactors, like Bill Gates, are “misleading the public on how fast and effective” they could be commercialized or widely deployed. Beyond light-water small modular reactors (SMRs), five companies developing non-LWRs have begun prelicensing activities with the NRC, including three molten salt designs, one gas-cooled, and one sodium-cooled fast reactor. Canada’s nuclear regulator also just received its first SMR license application, and surprisingly it wasn’t an LWR but a tiny high-temperature gas-cooled reactor.
We Don't Mine Enough Rare Earth Metals to Replace Fossil Fuels With Renewable Energy
Motherboard 12-12-18 h/t hawkfish
Rare earth metals are used in solar panels and wind turbines—as well as electric cars and consumer electronics. We don't recycle them, and there's not enough to meet growing demand….This means that global production of several rare earth minerals used in solar panels and wind turbines—especially neodymium, terbium, indium, dysprosium, and praseodymium—must grow twelvefold by 2050. … But the study did not account for those other industries. This means the actual problem could be far more intractable. In 2017, a study in Nature found that a range of minerals essential for smartphones, laptops, electric cars and even copper wiring could face supply shortages in coming decades.
Final warning? China’s rare earths exports fall as trade war with US escalates
The world’s leading producer of rare earth metals, China, reduced its exports of the minerals last month, according to the country’s official customs data. Stopping supplies to the US could cripple the American tech sector. Statistics show that China exported 3,639.5 metric tons of rare earths (which are a group of 17 chemical elements with special characteristics) in May, down from 4,329 metric tons in April. The total exports unexpectedly rose more than one percent while imports fell by 8.5 percent. In 2018, China produced 120,000 metric tons or 70 percent of the world’s total rare earths, according to the United States Geological Survey. To compare, the US mined 15,000 metric tons of rare earths last year.
Temperatures are about to reach 30°C in the whole Siberian permafrost-area during the next 2 weeks.
Unprecedented for such a long period, this early in the summer. pic.twitter.com/iw0jIBNJDh
— Kris Van Steenbergen (@KrVaSt) June 9, 2019
Following Trump's Executive Order, EPA Moves to Limit States' Ability to Block Dirty Energy Projects
Common Dreams 6-7-10
The guidance is specifically about Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401, which empowers state and tribal governments to "certify" projects permitted at the federal level by the Army Corps of Engineers, EPA, or Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. E&E News, which first reported on the development Friday, explained how states have used that power and how the Trump administration intends to rein it in: In recent years, New York and Washington have used this certification process to deny permits for pipelines and coal terminals not just due to water quality concerns, but also because of their contribution to air pollution and climate change. Guidance issued today by EPA seeks to limit that practice. The guidance is meant as a stand-in while EPA works on formal regulations. The guidance itself doesn't carry the rule of law, and therefore states are not bound by it. But it serves as a significant warning shot. States that ignore EPA guidance could well find themselves in court, either fighting EPA for ignoring their certification decisions or fighting with industry. The guidance aims to restrict the scope of state and tribal certifications, and force the local governments to issue decisions more quickly.
Adding to Planetary Alarm Bells, Top US Finance Official Warns Climate Crisis a Recipe for Global Economic Collapse
Common Dreams 6-11-19
"The impacts of climate change affect every aspect of the American economy—from production agriculture to commercial manufacturing and the financing of every step in each process," he continued. "Any solutions seeking to address and mitigate climate risk must be equally focused on ensuring the safety and continued prosperity of our urban cores and rural communities. Failing to address financial market risks associated with climate change will impede economic growth, and most likely hit rural communities the hardest."
Australia's emissions rise
Emissions in Australia are rising, and experts warn that the current government has no policies to stop them. The quarterly update of Australia’s greenhouse gases, which span December 2018 to March 2019, showed a 0.7 percent hike in emissions. All sectors were up, save for agriculture and electricity. Pollution from the manufacturing, construction and commercial sectors and domestic heating shot up by 6 percent. … In April, the Coalition government axed the fund further, opting to spread $2bn over 15 years rather than 10 years. Merzian said: “So their plan is to do less of the same, and that plan has failed today and will continue to fail.” The government has said it intends to meet the Paris target using credits won in the era of the Kyoto Protocol – a measure most countries have ruled out.
New Report Exposes Pentagon's Massive Contributions to Climate Crisis Post-9/11
Common Dreams 6-10-19
"The U.S. military's energy consumption drives total U.S. government energy consumption," the paper reads. "The DOD is the single largest consumer of energy in the U.S., and in fact, the world's single largest institutional consumer of petroleum." "Absent any change in U.S. military fuel use policy, the fuel consumption of the U.S. military will necessarily continue to generate high levels of greenhouse gases," the paper warns. "These greenhouse gases, combined with other U.S. emissions, will help guarantee the nightmare scenarios that the military predicts and that many climate scientists say are possible."
LEGISLATION, ELECTIONS & POLICY
'This Is an Emergency. We Need the Democrats to Act Like It': Outrage as DNC Announces It Will Not Host 2020 Debate on Climate Crisis
Common Dreams 6-6-19
"Today, my team received a call from the Democratic National Committee letting us know that they will not host a climate debate," Inslee said in a statement. "Further, they explained that if we participated in anyone else's climate debate, we will not be invited to future debates. This is deeply disappointing." … Inslee said he will pressure the DNC leadership to change its mind, arguing that the climate emergency "merits a full discussion of our plans" rather than the "short exchange of talking points" typical of past presidential debates.
Tell the Democratic National Committee: Hold a climate debate – Sign the petition
Voters deserve to know:
• Which candidates commit to acting on climate change as a "Day One" priority when in office
• Whether presidential candidates support the Green New Deal or can offer their own climate plan that also meets the scale of the crisis
• Candidates' plans for a managed phase-out of fossil fuel production and end to the expansion of fossil fuel extraction
• How candidates would protect frontline communities and ensure a transition for workers that leaves no one behind
• How candidates would help communities adapt to the climate impacts already happening
• Whether candidates believe that fossil fuel companies should pay their fair share of climate costs and how they will make sure it happens
Resolution to Request a Democratic Presidential Debate on the Climate Crisis
This is the letter that nearly 50 DNC members are sending Tom Perez calling on him to sponsor a climate change-focused presidential debate. pic.twitter.com/dTjQkcdSnw
— Daniel Marans (@danielmarans) June 7, 2019
'Fantastic... Who's Next?' SEIU First National Union to Endorse Green New Deal
Common Dreams 6-6-19
In a statement announcing the move, Mary Kay Henry, international president of SEIU, singled out green advocates and said the union's support of the environmental proposal was in part due to the role unions will play in the new economics of the policy. "We've been inspired by the fearlessness and courage of the climate change activists whose direct action and bold demands for change have put this issue front and center in the national conversation," Henry said. "The Green New Deal makes unions central to accomplishing the ambitious goal of an environmentally responsible and economically just society."
Jay Inslee threatened with expulsion from DNC debates over climate change
Mr Inslee, in a series of tweets, said that the DNC had contacted his campaign to tell them that it would not host a debate focused on climate change. And, he wrote that his campaign had been informed he “will not be invited to future debates” if “we participated in anyone else’s climate debate”. “The DNC is silencing the voices of Democratic activists, many of our progressive partner organisations, and nearly half of the Democratic presidential field, who want to debate the existential crisis of our time,” Mr Inslee wrote.
[The Canadian] senate changes to environmental assessment bill are worse than Harper-era legislation: experts
The Narwhal 6-7-19
Following intensive lobbying by the oil and gas industry, the unelected Canadian Senate has approved more than 180 controversial amendments to Bill C-69. Experts describe the amendments as incoherent, badly drafted and an attempt to dodge climate change considerations. … Major reconstructive surgery came in the form of 187 amendments approved by the Senate on Thursday evening, following intense lobbying led by the oil and gas industry and an in-person appeal by Kenney. The new premier travelled to Ottawa only days after he was sworn in, telling members of the Senate’s energy committee that Bill C-69 was the “culmination of a full-frontal attack” on Alberta’s economic prosperity.
Greenpeace activists halt BP's North Sea oil rig
Greenpeace activists said on Sunday they halted the progress of an oil rig destined for BP Plc’s North Sea exploration program off the coast of Scotland. The activists demanded that one of the world’s biggest energy companies immediately end drilling new wells and invest only in renewable energy or shut its operations and return cash to investors.
Coal-dependent Chile vows to eradicate fuel by 2040
Climate Home News 6-4-19
The host of the next UN climate talks unveiled its plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, which will require one of the fastest coal shut downs anywhere … “We are going to deliver this pledge,” Piñera said. “The steps that we are announcing are the concrete and real way we will turn words and pledges into facts and reality.” Although Chile represents a mere 0.25% of global emissions, the country is one of the 10 most vulnerable nations to climate change, Pinera noted in his annual address to the nation on Monday. Chile volunteered to host the annual climate UN talks after Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro abruptly withdrew its invitation. The country has since been in a race to green itself in a bid to lead by example. Santiago de Chile now boasts 200 electric buses, the second largest fleet in the developing world after China. By comparison, the US currently counts 300 electric buses.
Michael Bloomberg Will Donate $500 Million to Help Close All Remaining U.S. Coal Plants
Climate Change News 6-9-19
$500 million to fund a new initiative to shut down every remaining coal-fired power plant in America by 2030, a high-powered effort to counter the pro-fossil fuel agenda emanating from the White House, his foundation said Thursday. “We’re in a race against time with climate change, and yet there is virtually no hope of bold federal action on this issue for at least another two years,”
Going Fossil-Free May Be Cheaper Than You Think
Columbia Business School 6-7-19
For $1.24 trillion — an amount less than the annual gross product of New York City — the entire United States could transition 100 percent of its energy grid to renewable power sources and end use of fossil fuels. … could end use of petroleum, natural gas, and coal if the country invested $950 billion in renewable energy capacity, $120 billion in transmission infrastructure, and $2.19 trillion for storage capacity. Those investments would be offset by $960 billion in fuel savings plus another $1.06 trillion for the estimated costs of replacing outdated fossil fuel plants. Breaking the numbers down further, the United States would be carbon free by 2050 if it invested $41 billion per year in renewable energy,
Here is the study referred to in the article above with more data and charts. It is very readable and has a lot of pertinent information…
Reflections—What Would It Take to Reduce U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions 80 Percent by 2050?
I assume that the goal is to be reached by extensive use of solar photovoltaic and wind energy (66 percent of generating capacity), in which case the cost of energy storage will play a key role in the overall cost. … These data indicate that decarbonizing electricity production is the key to decarbonizing the whole economy, because once we have carbon-free electricity, we can have carbon-free electric vehicles and carbon-free electric space, water, and process heating. Thus I will begin in the next section with an analysis of what it would take to decarbonize electricity production.
The Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) calls on government to end support for new fossil fuel energy projects by 2021.
"The Government claims that the UK is a world leader on tackling climate change, but behind the scenes the UK's export finance schemes are handing out billions of pounds of taxpayers money to develop fossil fuel projects in poorer countries. This locks them into dependency on high carbon energy for decades to come.
Congressional Dems to EPA's Wheeler: Stop Spreading Oil Industry Lies About Clean Car Rules
Two Democratic Congressional leaders are calling out U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler for knowingly deceiving the public and Congress on the proposed Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles rule. [They] sent a letter to Wheeler expressing concern that the EPA head “[has] made numerous public statements, including statements to Congress, that directly conflict with the information and analyses prepared by EPA’s career experts.” Through the SAFE Vehicles rule, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and EPA have proposed rolling back the Obama-era clean car standards — which harmonize fuel efficiency standards through the DOT with greenhouse gas emissions standards through the EPA.
Court to Big Fracking Company: Trespassing Still Exists — Even for You
Gas and other mineral companies must obtain permission from surface owners in order to use their land to reach reserves under other properties, Justice John Hutchison wrote for the court. “The right must be expressly obtained, addressed, or reserved in the parties’ deeds, leases, or other writings,” he wrote. … The 22-page court ruling Wednesday represents a rare victory for residents in a state where economics and politics are increasingly controlled by the natural gas business after decades of domination by the coal industry.
Corporations Are Poisoning People in Puerto Rico With Coal Ash
Community organizers in Guayama, Puerto Rico, are agitating for the closure of a coal plant operated by the Virginia-based multinational corporation AES, citing research showing that local rates of cancer and asthma have increased substantially since the plant opened in 2002. Now the fight has spread to the mainland United States: in early May, media reported that AES coal ash is now being shipped to a landfill in Osceola County, Florida. Even as AES continues to plague communities in Puerto Rico, it is now threatening to spread its poison to this Florida county with a large Puerto Rican community.
Enbridge Is Behind This Front Group Pushing the Company’s Line 3 Oil Pipeline Project
Minnesotans for Line 3, a group established last year to advocate for an Enbridge oil pipeline project, presents itself as a grassroots organization consisting of “thousands of members.” But a DeSmog investigation has found that behind the scenes, the Calgary-based energy giant is pulling the strings. Enbridge has provided the group with funding, public relations, and a variety of advocacy tactics. The investigation has also found that a public relations firm behind the operation recently tried to erase its ties to Enbridge.
Last month was hottest May in more than a century in Florida
PHYS ORG 6-10-19
A steadfast carousel of high pressure over Florida last month led to the warmest May in more than a century with an average temperature nearly four degrees above what's normal for the fifth month of the year. At 78.8 degrees—3.7 degrees hotter than normal—May in the Sunshine State earned the top spot for record heat in measurements that date back to 1895, according to a report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Wettest 12 Months in U.S. History—Again
Category Six 6-6-19
The year to date also ranks as the wettest January-to-May period in U.S. history. The nationally averaged total of 15.71” is well above the previous record of 15.13” from Jan.-May 1983. In fact, the difference of 0.58” is almost twice as big as the difference between any other two Jan.-May periods in the 125-year dataset, when arranged from dryest to wettest. … Three states—Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri—saw their wettest May on record in 2019, and twelve other states had a top-ten-wettest May. Only four of the contiguous U.S. states, all in the Southeast, were significantly drier than average in May.
Climate change may shift timing of summer thunderstorms
PHYS ORG 6-10-19
A new study in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters modeled weather patterns in western Germany, northern France and parts of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, under climate change. Under a strong climate scenario, where greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, extreme summer thunderstorms in these areas might break out more often overnight and in the morning rather than during their customary late afternoon periods, according to the new research.
ADAPTION AND RESILIENCE
One change can make diet more planet friendly
PHYS ORG 6-10-19
"We found that making one substitution of poultry for beef resulted in an average reduction of dietary greenhouse gases by about a half," said lead study author Diego Rose, Ph.D., professor and director of nutrition at Tulane University.
Pledge for nature!
Support the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve's call to Pledge for Nature! – a new local initiative to galvanise community action for nature’s recovery. … The priority is to give more space for nature and to create wilder areas – in our farmland, public spaces and gardens. Small bands of dedicated volunteers, farmers and conservation organisations are already working hard to conserve nature – but their efforts are not enough and the problems can only be solved by galvanising many more people who know and love the area. Each quarter the project will issue a “call to action” with 3-4 projects to engage the community in voluntary actions for nature.
Canada to ban single-use plastics in 2021: Trudeau
PHYS ORG 6-10-19
"I am very pleased to announce that as early as 2021 Canada will ban harmful, single-use plastics from coast to coast," Trudeau said, arguing Canada has a unique chance to lead to fight against plastic pollution as the country with the world's longest coastline.Trudeau said that in Canada less than 10 percent of plastics are currently recycled. Each year a million birds and more than 100,000 marine mammals worldwide suffer injury or death by becoming entangled in plastic or ingesting it through the food chain.
Europe’s largest solar plant unveiled amid Spanish renewable rebirth
Climate Home News 6-6-19
Spanish utility giant Ibedrola has laid out a plan to build Europe’s largest solar power plant in the country. The company is currently consulting the environment ministry over building a 590-megawatt solar farm in the Western region of Extramadurra, it said in a statement on Thursday. With a €300 million investment planned, the so-called Francisco Pizzarro plant will supply energy to 375,000 people every year and employ up to 1000 people in the process of construction, the company said.
The Path to Zero-Emission Transportation: Everything — Everything — Must Go Electric
Such sci-fi-like transit is one of many high-tech changes coming as California implements its planned electrification of transportation to radically reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The path to zero, as in zero-emission vehicles, extends well beyond flying taxis and the 5 million electric cars the state hopes will be on its roads by 2030. Everything—everything—will be replaced with an electric analog: from boats, planes and trains to delivery vans to farm tractors and even forklifts. The to-do list stretches as long as California’s seemingly endless blacktop, with freight as a major challenge.
This is a $15 trillion opportunity for farmers to fight climate change
Indigo Agriculture, the Boston-based start-up that uses natural microbiology to revolutionize the way farmers grow crops, has unveiled a first-of-a-kind program to tackle climate change worldwide. The company launched the Terraton Initiative on Wednesday to accelerate carbon sequestration from agricultural soil on a massive scale. The goal: to capture 1 trillion metric tons (a teraton) of carbon dioxide worldwide from 3.6 billion acres of farmland through a marketplace that gives farmers incentives to implement regenerative farming practices.
WILDLIFE & THE ENVIRONMENT
Microplastic Is Ruining the Beauty of Monterey Bay
Mother Jones 6-8-19
In some places, microplastic is swirling in concentrations greater than at the surface of the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch. … It’s poisoned with a menace no amount of conservation can stop: microplastic. Today in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, researchers present a torrent of horrifying findings about just how bad the plastic problem has become. For one, microplastic is swirling in Monterey Bay’s water column at every depth they sampled, sometimes in concentrations greater than at the surface of the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Two, those plastics are coming from land, not local fishing nets, and are weathered, suggesting they’ve been floating around for a long while. And three, every animal the researchers found—some that make up the base of the food web in the bay—were loaded with microplastic.
Another amazing article…
Where Whales and Plastic Meet
From filter-feeding baleen whales like humpbacks and fin whales, to toothed sperm whales and killer whales, all are consuming enormous amounts of plastic. The debris blocks their digestive tracts and, scientists suspect, delivers toxic chemicals into their bodies. But no one quite understands why whales are eating plastic in the first place—or precisely what these toxicants do to their bodies. … Geertz-Hansen wrestles the manta trawl on deck, emptying its contents into a stack of fine metal sieves. Combing through the debris, he pulls out a pile of orange krill and clear capelin eggs—then several shreds of monofilament fishing line and threads of synthetic blue rope, thin pieces of plastic film, and various hard plastic fragments. He calculates an average of 8,125 pieces of plastic per square kilometer just outside the mouth of the fjord.
Maybe, but what about the melting permafrost…
Siberia Could Become More Habitable Due to the Climate Crisis, Scientists Find
researchers found that even modest climate changes, such as summer temperatures rising by 1.9 C, could allow for a "five-fold increase" in the capacity of the area to sustain human populations by the 2080s. .. With more extreme temperature and precipitation increases, by the 2080s Asian Russia would have less permafrost coverage, decreasing from the current 65 percent to 40 per cent of the area, the team found—making the land seven times more favourable to humans.
Climate change drives widespread and rapid thermokarst development in very cold permafrost in the Canadian High Arctic https://t.co/8gdW1J6aP3
"Observed maximum thaw depths at our sites are already exceeding those projected to occur by 2090 under RCP 4.5" pic.twitter.com/BoJ7gMS80v
— Zack Labe (@ZLabe) June 11, 2019
How deep-ocean vents fuel massive phytoplankton blooms
Science Daily 6-5-19
A new study suggests vents in the seafloor may affect life near the ocean's surface and the global carbon cycle more than previously thought. It's the first to show how iron rising from beneath Earth's crust stimulates massive phytoplankton blooms.
New study shows how climate change could affect impact of roundworms on grasslands
Soil food webs play a key role in supporting grassland ecosystems, which cover about one-quarter of the land on Earth. Climate change poses a threat to these environments, partly because of the uncertainty of extremes in rainfall, which is projected to increase. To learn more about the effects of these extreme events, a team of soil and plant ecologists, led by Colorado State University faculty, studied nematodes, commonly known as roundworms, that play a key role in carbon and nutrient cycling and decomposition in soil.
This is such a great article and so very sad…
B.C. allows logging, mining companies to cut down thousands of endangered trees
The Narwhal 6-10-19
Ottawa designated white bark pine trees as an endangered species seven years ago, but British Columbia continues to sanction logging of the tree by forestry and mining companies. Tens of thousands of some of Canada’s most imperiled trees are being logged in British Columbia despite the federal government listing them as endangered seven years ago. The companies doing the logging include a major forest company and an international mining giant. None have been ordered to curb their logging activities or faced penalties for doing so.
Older forests resist change, climate change, that is with age, forests in eastern US and Canada become less vulnerable to climate change, study finds
Science Daily 6-7-19
Older forests in eastern North America are less vulnerable to climate change than younger forests, particularly for carbon storage, timber production, and biodiversity, new research finds. The study analyzed how climate change is expected to impact forests across the eastern US and Canada. It found that increased forest age reduces the climate sensitivity of forest carbon, timber, and biodiversity to projected increases in temperature and precipitation.
“The Great Insect Dying” in Europe and North America, Numerous Insect Species in Decline, Confirmed by Entomologists
Global Research 6-6-19
In recent months a debate over whether a global insect apocalypse is underway has raged in the mainstream media and among researchers. To assess the range of scientific opinion, Mongabay interviewed 24 entomologists and other scientists working on six continents, in more than a dozen countries, to better determine what we know, what we don’t, and, most importantly, what we should do about it.
‘Frightening’ number of plant extinctions found in global survey
The Guardian 6-10-19
The number of plants that have disappeared from the wild is more than twice the number of extinct birds, mammals and amphibians combined. The new figure is also four times the number of extinct plants recorded in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list. “It is way more than we knew and way more than should have gone extinct,” said Dr Maria Vorontsova, also at Kew. “It is frightening not just because of the 571 number but because I think that is a gross underestimate.” … “Millions of other species depend on plants for their survival, humans included, so knowing which plants we are losing and from where will feed back into conservation programmes,” said Nic Lughadha.
PROTESTS • EXTINCTION REBELLION • RESISTANCE
US Teen Climate Activist Takes Aim at Textbooks - and Presidential Debates
Climate Change News 6-9-19
Better climate change education is needed in schools - and it's time for the U.S. presidential election debates to take up the topic too, she says. … Next Friday, she plans to launch a global non-profit called Earth Uprising, demanding schools and teachers around the globe dedicate more resources to teaching about climate change and threats it presents. Today, only about 37 of 50 U.S. states, plus Washington D.C., have adopted science education guidelines that include teaching that climate change is largely a result of human activity, according to the National Center for Science Education.
Fridays for Future
From Washington, D.C., to Washington, Pa., Rudy Stolfer drums for a cause
Observer Reporter 6-8-19
A four-year Marine Corps veteran, Stolfer arrives each Friday morning at the veterans pavilion on South Main Street with his djembe, a goblet-shaped wooden drum with a goatskin drumhead that traces its origins to West Africa. “This is my weapon of choice,” he said of the drum he said he purchased uptown. “We need to wake up. I mean, this town is owned by fossil fuel.” … He was wearing a stars-and-stripes bandana yesterday, pointing out that his flag apparel was upside-down as a distress signal because “the corporatocracy’s in charge.” As a cancer survivor whose drinking water comes from a well, he said he’s concerned about pollution from “coal, oil, nukes and gas. I grew up here. I know we’re all asleep in this place.”
Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg gets Amnesty prize
Sweden's teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg was Friday awarded a prestigious Amnesty International prize for mobilising world public opinion on the looming peril of global warming. The 16-year-old issued a statement declaring it "a huge honour to receive Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award," saying it was recognition for everybody inspired by her "Fridays for Future" movement that has seen students strike from school to take part in climate protests. "To act on your conscience means that you fight for what you think is right," she said.
Hackers order Radiohead singer Thom Yorke to pay £150,000 ransom after stealing 18 hours of unheard music - but he refuses to pay and releases the tracks instead to raise money for Extinction Rebellion
Daily Mail 6-11-19
Radiohead are releasing a haul of unheard music in aid of Extinction Rebellion instead of paying a ransom to the hackers who broke into their archive. Guitarist Jonny Greenwood said 18 hours of material recorded around the time of 1997's OK Computer was stolen from frontman Thom Yorke. The thief threatened to expose the songs unless the band forked out £150,000. But Greenwood said that instead they are releasing it through the Bandcamp site so fans can decide for themselves whether they'd have been better off never hearing it.
The end of the Arctic as we know it
The Guardian 6-7-19
Since the start of the satellite era in 1979, the summer Arctic has lost 40% of its extent and up to 70% of its volume, says Wagner. Other scientists calculate the rate of decline at 10,000 tonnes a second. Much of the multiyear ice is now gone. Most of what is left is the younger, thinner layer from the previous winter, which is easier for the sun to melt and the wind to push around. Wagner expects ice-free summers in 20 to 40 years, which would allow ships to cruise all the way to the north pole. Ice-free summers are 10 times more likely if the world warms by 2C rather than 1.5C, according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The body of top international scientists said last year that the Arctic and coral reef systems were the ecosystems at greatest risk.
Rapid retreat of Arctic coastline revealed in images from the air
Science Daily 6-7-19
Extreme erosion of Arctic coastlines in a changing climate -- up to a metre a day -- has been revealed with drone surveys. Storms in the Canadian Arctic are washing away increasing amounts of coastal permafrost -- frozen ground -- which is exposed when sea ice melts during the summer.
Mysterious holes in Antarctic sea ice explained by years of robotic data
"We thought this large hole in the sea ice -- known as a polynya -- was something that was rare, maybe a process that had gone extinct. But the events in 2016 and 2017 forced us to reevaluate that," … "Observations show that the recent polynyas opened from a combination of factors -- one being the unusual ocean conditions, and the other being a series of very intense storms that swirled over the Weddell Sea with almost hurricane-force winds." … Analysis shows that when the surface ocean is especially salty, as seen throughout 2016, strong winter storms can set off an overturning circulation. Warmer, saltier water from the depths gets churned up to the surface, where air chills it and makes it denser than the water below. As that water sinks, relatively warmer deep water of about 1 degree Celsius (34 F) replaces it, creating a feedback loop where ice can't reform. Under climate change, fresh water from melting glaciers and other sources will make the Southern Ocean's surface layer less dense, which might mean fewer polynyas in the future. But the new study questions that assumption. Many models show that the winds circling Antarctica will become stronger and draw closer to the coast -- the new paper suggests this would encourage more polynyas to form, not fewer.
Carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere hit record high in May
Science Daily 6-4-19
The measurement is the highest seasonal peak recorded in 61 years of observations on top of Hawaii's largest volcano and the seventh consecutive year of steep global increases in concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2).
For the first time, scientists have applied a magnetic field that directly enhanced the production of hydrogen via water splitting…
Magnetism: An unexpected push for the hydrogen economy
en in alkaline water splitting via electrolysis. "The simplicity of the discovery opens new opportunities to implement magnetic enhancement in water splitting. Furthermore, the low cost of the technology makes it suitable for industrial applications,"
Attitudes of young scholars in Qingdao and Hamburg about climate change and climate policy – The role of culture for the explanation of differences
Science Direct 4-16-19
This article analyses differences in the attitudes related to climate change of young scholars in environmental science in Qingdao (China) and Hamburg (Germany). … Even if most of the Qingdao students consider climate change to be real, this majority is slightly smaller than that in Hamburg.
Fertilizer plants emit 100 times more methane than reported
"We took one small industry that most people have never heard of and found that its methane emissions were three times higher than the EPA assumed was emitted by all industrial production in the United States," said John Albertson, co-author and professor of civil and environmental engineering. "It shows us that there's a huge gap between a priori estimates and real-world measurements."
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