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Mary Ellen Harte

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Climate Change This Week: Impending Global Tipping Point, Clean Energy Tax Break and More

Posted: 06/12/2012 9:42 am

Tippy Global Canoe Department: Justin Gillis reports at the New York Times that in a new study, many prominent biologists and ecologists warn that Earth could be nearing a global tipping point driven by climate change, human growth and economic expansion, at which point sweeping environmental changes would undermine human welfare... which begs the question: you mean that with massive extinctions, rising human hunger and millions of environmental refugees already here, human welfare isn't being undermined already?

Break for Clean Energy: Democratic Senator Chris Coons proposes that we let the market determine the winners for all types of energy, including renewables, reports Roberta Rampton at Reuters News. He suggests tweaking the tax code so that energy companies don't have to pay taxes on profits, provided most profits go to investors. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is looking into acting sooner, using a similar method.

Earth Burns While Congress Fiddles: While Congress debates whether Earth is warming due to humans, scientists have been there and done that -- THEY are focused on how soon and how badly climate change will evolve, reports Katherine Bagley at InsideClimate News. A crucial flaw is that the most reputable recent IPCC report assumes that nations have been starting to curb carbon emissions (NOT!), so it seriously underestimates the immediacy and danger of global warming.

Meanwhile, New Heat Records: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a new report announcing four major heat records as of this spring, reports Andrew Freedman at Climate Central. The lower 48 states set temperature records for: the warmest spring, largest seasonal departure from average, warmest year-to-date and warmest 12-month period, all new marks since records began in 1895.

Burn, Megababy, Burn: At 271,000 burned acres and counting, the largest wildfire in New Mexico history is part of a series of recent southwestern megafires, caused by a fiery combo of climate change, drought conditions, and former land management changes such as fire suppression, which have allowed deadwood fuel to build up in forests, reports Andrew Freedman at Climate Central.


Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded when I photographed this butterfly. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a clean, safe future. If you'd like to tell Congress that you support clean energy and will vote for clean energy candidates, 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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