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Climate Change This Week: Megafarms Grow Climate Change, Rogue Weathergirl, and More

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Bad US Policy Boosts Climate Change on US Megafarms, says policy expert Mark Hertgaard at the New York Times, by skewing subsidies towards a few commodity crops that use vast amounts of fossil fuel. The resulting gigantic monocultures are then especially vulnerable when extreme weather and pests strike. And who pays out the proposed billions in crop insurance? We, the taxpayers, of course.

Windy Japan to Replace Glow with Blow, judging from the number of large companies building, or announcing plans to build offshore wind farms, reports Tomoya Fujita at the Asahi Shimbun. New feed-in tariffs, guaranteeing good market prices, is one of the incentives the government is using to replace nuclear with wind power.

Climate Change Likely to Clobber Tropics More than temperate areas, says ecologist Miles Silman and others, reports Elizabeth Kolbert at Yale Environment 360. There's more to clobber - species, that is, AND humans. Temperatures will hit new planetary highs, while forests have narrower ranges of heat tolerance. Many trees can't expand fast enough into cooler areas, which are, in any case, often used by humans for grazing... where are the Ents when we need them?

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet--Okay, maybe not, but a new study shows that ice sheets can grow and, it's implied, melt much faster than anyone ever suspected, reports Michael Lemonick at Climate Central. The rapid Arctic ice melt observed this year will affect the jet stream and likely cause more extreme weather, including winters, say scientists, reports Monte Morin at the LA Times. Find your mittens, you naughty kittens...

Now You, Too, Can Invest in Baby Renewables through the crowdfunding element in the JOBS act that Obama signed into law earlier this year, reports John Farrell at Climate Progress via Renewable Energy World. Perfect for local solar projects, and even wind projects, with a little tweaking of securities regulations.... Well, what are you waiting for? Go find a crowd!

On the Lighter Side: Weathergirl Goes Rogue - what happens when a weather girl finally decides to tell it like it is? I'll tell ya' - it's totally hilarious, and will have you tearing with laughter if not rolling on the floor by the end, even as it gets across major points of climate change. This viral youtuber is going into my permanent climate change funnies archives. (How do you think I manage to remain sane?)


Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by this new undescribed Hawaiian spider photographed by my friend Andy Rominger. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a heck of a lot more jobs, and a clean, safe future, despite what Mitt Romney thinks. If you'd like to tell Congress you'll VOTE for clean energy you can 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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