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Climate Change: Western Dust Bowls, Romney's Radical Energy Ideas, and More

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Up With Dirty Energy, Down with the Clean, Says Mitt Romney, who recently said he wants to steeply increase taxes on wind companies while keep subsidizing the already very profitable fossil fuel industries, says former executive director and chairman of the Sierra Club, Carl Pope. This is his idea of creating a level playing field for all energy sources.

"If you think THAT's bad, India" Department: The current Indian drought, which helped spur its recent blackout, highlights the challenge that future climate change will bring to an agricultural country already facing water stresses, reports Robert Eshelman at ClimateWire, and a large, still growing population.

Dust Bowls, Mega-Droughts To Be New Western Norm, says a new study, reports the National Snow and Ice Data Center. As it is, the last five-year drought was the worst in 800 years, and the current one is larger and no better, hinting at the new "normal," which is not adaptable, one climatologist noted.

A Solar Village Shines Out of the Indian Blackout, highlighting the hope increasingly cheap solar power offers to about 40 percent of India's population. The government's National Solar Mission plans to generate one sixth of India's total electricity from renewable resources by 2020, reports Max Frankel at Think Progress.

What Would God Say About Fracking? Not much, said religious leaders of all sorts at a recent anti-fracking rally in Washington, D.C., reports Catherine Woodiwiss at ClimateProgress. Both the resulting greenhouse gas emissions and pollution violates humanity's responsibility to care for God's creation, and is a basic human rights issue.

My foster baby Arctic chicks have hatched! Born in July, they are doing well and prospering, I hear, but not all chicks have the safety of bear-proof boxes, and the bears visit in August. Climate change has melted the ice pack food source of Arctic ice birds and is even starting to melt the frozen core of their nesting habitat, Cooper Island, making it a prime target for hungry polar bears. These Arctic "penguins" need more bear-proof nesting boxes from humans to keep their chicks safe. You can learn more here, and find out more about how dramatically climate change is changing their lives.

Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by these last old summer butterflies I photographed recently at Lily Lake. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a heck of a lot more jobs, and a clean, safe future. If you'd like to tell Congress that you're voting for candidates that will support clean energy, join the increasing numbers of people doing so here. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.

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