THE BLOG
01/18/2017 12:45 am ET

Climate Change This Week: Nuclear and Congenital Climate Change Threats, China Leads On Clean Energy, and More!

Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded.

And the chances of Donald Trump's family and fortune surviving climate change are small, dwindling daily and irreversibly.

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Saving BUB, Beautiful Unique Biodiversity, as in this Indonesian Owl Moth, is another reason to preserve carbon storing forests. Source Pinterest

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

OO How One Conservationist Is Sparking A 'Young Revolution' In Indonesia by training the next generation of forest guardians.

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Credit Carla Schaffer at AAAS

OO 'Last Frontiers Of Wilderness': Intact Forest Plummets Globally shows a new study. Takeaways:

  • 7+ % of intact forest landscapes (IFLs) that is 500+ square kilometer sized forest ecosystems that show no signs of human impact, disappeared between 2000 and 2013;
  • the rate of tropical loss is accelerating dramatically: 3x more IFLs were lost during 2011-2013, than duringv2001-2003;
  • timber harvesting and agricultural expansion are the leading causes of IFL loss.

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The Last Seen Cambodian Tiger - in 2007 via a night photo trap. Conservationists estimate there are fewer than 100 left there, and not a functionally reproductive population. Source Getty Images

OO NASA Releases Images Of Dramatic Deforestation In Cambodia Takeaways:

  • Cambodia lost roughly 4 million acres of tree cover from 2001 to 2014,
  • just 3 % remains covered in primary forest;
  • much of this cover has been replaced by the rapid development of rubber plantations.

  • thus, wildlife habitat has declined and tigers have disappeared;
  • millions of tons of climate changing CO2 have been released.

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.

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THE CARBON CLOCK IS TICKING: ONE YEAR LEFT

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The Global Carbon Budget Is Ticking Down here, showing that under current emissions rates, the world will hit a level of climate changing emissions that will lock in future global heating beyond 1.5 C, and far more damaging and dangerous climate change than we've bought so far. Source Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change

OO We Have ONE YEAR LEFT To Prevent Drastic Future Climate Change resulting from a 1.5+ C rise in global temperatures - humanity has one year before it exceeds the global carbon budget needed to keep the rise there; previous analyses show that even a 2 C rise will result in far more damaging climate change than a 1.5 C rise.

Even with a far more damaging 2 C rise, the most optimistic estimates show we have only 23 years to transition to clean renewable energy before we go beyond that, and lock in far more dangerous threats to human survival from climate change.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

@@ Climate Change 101: Why Care?
What You Need to Know
- Bill Nye tells it all in five minutes amid graphic, dynamic, engaging, compelling imagery. Check it Out!

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WATER, MORE AND LESS

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Credit Stephen B. Morton at AP

OO US Had More Floods In 2016 Than Any Year On Record - In total, 19 separate floods swamped the nation in 2016, says a new analysis.

OO Flooding In Denmark Becoming The Norm "Once-in-a-century" is already becoming far more frequent.

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Source droughtmonitor.unl.edu

Not Wet Where It Counts in California - central and northern California are out of drought, thanks to drenching rains - but not the agricultural center in the south, where partly empty aquifers will take several decades or more to replenish, depending on climate.

OO California Water Officials Optimistic
Despite 'Gloomy' California Snowpack Survey
- but the update since this article is that the agricultural heartland in the south is still in drought, unlike the wet north.

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OO A Side Effect Of The California Drought: More Climate Pollution

  • Droughts are getting longer and more severe because of human-caused climate change
  • in the American Southwest and around the world.
  • This means electric power less from clean hydropower and more from fossil fuels,
  • The burning of which creates climate change.

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TRUMP TRUMPED BY CLIMATE CHANGE

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Donald Trump's Children Likely Face Climate Apocalypse in their lifetimes; the likely crash of civilization that follows will crash their fortune and survival chances for their kids - and all of ours. Unless, of course, Trump acts to cut emissions, hugely. Source heavy.com

OO Climate Change May Be Escalating So Fast It Could Be 'Game Over' scientists warn; hnew research suggests the Earth's climate could be more sensitive to greenhouse gases than thought, raising the spectre of an 'apocalyptic side of bad' temperature rise of more than 7C within a lifetime.

OO Anti Clean Energy Group Helping Shape Trump Policy:
Institute for Energy Research
- and its advocacy arm, the American Energy Alliance, founded by a former lobbyist of the fossil fuel, climate change denying Koch brothers, are helping shape Trump's plans to dismantle Obama's climate initiatives.

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Credit Christopher Weyant at The Hill, modified

OO Trump Increases Threat Of Nuclear Climate-Changing War:
Leaves No One In Charge Of Maintaining US Nuclear Arsenal
- failing to announce any replacements for the current heads of the National Nuclear Security Administration when, at his request, they leave on January 20th.

What will our nuclear enabled adversaries think when they hear we have no one in charge of our nuclear weapons? An opportunity not to be missed?

VIA TRUMP, EXXON INCHES CLOSER
TO SELLING HUGE CLIMATE CHANGE

Takeaways:

  • a50 BILLION Russian deal Exxon had to produce climate changing oil and gas stopped when the US imposed sanctions on Russia for its 2014 invasion of Crimea;
  • Russian hacking favored the election of Trump;
  • Trump advisors include pro fossil fuel people with Russian ties, and climate deniers.

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Potential temporary winners from the megadeal:

  • Exxon, a corporate liar and merchant of climate change;
  • Russia, a corrupt dictatorship;
  • Donald Trump, likely to be rewarded by Exxon via his asset channels, especially after he leaves office.
  • Vladimir Putin, likely to get a hefty kickback via his corrupt government.

Potential losers:

  • humanity, democracy, and much of life on Earth.
  • Oh, and ultimately Donald Trump's fortune, family, and legacy.

Latest updates:

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Credit Jeff Darcy at Cleveland.com

OO Exxon's $180 Million Parting Package For Trump's Secretary Of State, Rex Tillerson - a nice parting gift for an Exxon lifer, who is likely to fight for Exxon interests over the future of humanity in an ever hotter world. Prove me wrong, Rex!

OO Trump Suggests He Would Be Open To Lifting Sanctions On Russia - surprise, surprise, folks: it's all part of the plan.

OO Federal Climate Investigation Of Exxon Likely To Fizzle Under Trump - Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump's choice as attorney general, has been a vocal opponent of investigating the oil giant for climate fraud.

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WANT TO BOYCOTT TRUMP? GRAB YOUR WALLET...

Send Donald Trump A Message He Understands: Boycott His Assets

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A Trump Asset: New Job, New Brand - so why not boycott all of his brands? Until, of course, he starts working for and producing the future he promised during his campaign.

So far, it appears he's only made America grate...

OO This Shopping Spreadsheet Is A One-Stop Way To Boycott The Trumps - started by some concerned grandmothers in November 2016, the list can be accessed here.

Feel free to email any of the retailers and let them know you will regretfully have to boycott them, until they let you know they no longer promote the Trump family. Throw a boycott party with your friends, emailing companies to let them know you're boycotting them, and why!

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Source www.merryjane.com

BUT WAIT - You can do MORE! Annoyed by yet another insane idea of his for your future?

Hold boycott rallies with your friends outside the businesses that support Trump products! Set up visiting delegations to their company heads, personally urging they drop the Trump brand! Protest at their stockholder meetings!

Finally, start emailing, visiting, and even picketing any of your representatives who support his insane actions, and let them know you will work to fire them, unless they stand up for your future.

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CLIMATE LEADERSHIP

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Source Free Wallpapers

The Paris That Can Be, Once Again if its mayor is successful in dramatically cutting auto emissions.

OO Paris Mayor Unveils Plan To Restrict Traffic And Pedestrianise City Centre to try to halve the number of private cars on the roads.

OO President Obama On Clean Energy: Decarbonization Is 'Irreversible'
"This should not be a partisan issue. It is good business and good economics to lead a technological revolution and define market trends."

OO Climate Changing Agriculture Now Being Tackled Widely by countries trying to reach their Paris emissions cuts pledges.

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CLUELESS LEADERSHIP

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Credit Mike Luckovish at the Atlanta Journal Constitution 2013

OO Endangered Species Under GOP:
Climate Change Information On The Web
- A recent scrubbing of the words "climate change" on a Wisconsin government climate change website could be replicated under a Trump administration.

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HOT NEWS

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OO NOAA: Earth IS Heating Faster shows a new independent test of global warming data, which confirms a groundbreaking 2015 study that showed warming was faster than prior estimates.

OO There Were A Crazy Number Of Record Highs In 2016 - many of them were heat.

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MELTDOWN

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Antarctica Is In Hot Water and it's dramatically melting the continent's glacial ice shelves. Source www.2luxury2.com

OO Antarctic Past Points To Sea Level Threat says a new study. Takeaways:

  • Nearly 15,000 yrs ago Antarctic ice sheets melted, raising sea levels by 10 feet;
  • it could happen again, as current global heating is setting up the same conditions.

  • Atmospheric conditions have changed the southern ocean:
  • it now has a layer of warm water on top,
  • which laps at the base of glaciers, speeding melt.

Related Headline:

OO Antarctic Ice Shelves Are Melting Dramatically, Study Finds

@@ BYU Studies Show Polar Bears On Thin Ice - And This Was Filmed In 2011...

OO Reject Drilling In Arctic Refuge Polar Bear Denning Grounds! According to new research, if we don't address Arctic warming now, we may have only a few decades before polar bears disappear from Alaska completely. We must do everything we can to address climate change and keep their habitat wild.

Urge your senators to vote against any legislation that would open polar bear denning grounds in the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling. Especially the newly introduced senate bill to open the refuge to drilling. You can email your senators here.

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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OO China To Plow $360+ Billion Into Renewable Fuels By 2020 said the country's energy agency said recently, as the world's largest energy market continues to shift away from dirty coal power towards cleaner fuels.

Keep flying, Green Dragon!

Related Headline:

OO China's Bold Claim On Clean Energy Leadership:
Aims To Spend $360 Billion On Renewable Energy By 2020

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Climate Loser Donald Trump's New Home: No Action Here - look to China instead as a world leader on clean energy and climate change action.

OO Where To Follow The Climate Action In 2017: The States, and Abroad Certainly not in Washington DC where GOPpers plan to destroy clean climate regulations. Takeaways:

  • 9 east coast states are operating a cap-and-trade program;
  • Washington state is considering a carbon tax;
  • California lawmakers have set the most ambitious 2030 climate targets in the world.

  • US Activists have helped prevent the building of yet more pipelines;
  • Green groups are preparing to engage yet more activists to engage locally.

  • US courtrooms will hear cases on the responsibility to provide a decent climate future for our children.
  • A growing number of private companies are investing in US clean renewable energy.

  • European Union will be pressured to reassess how clean biofuels are.
  • Global divestment from fossil fuels continues to grow.
  • China is assuming the role as clean energy leader in the world.

OO Sweet And Sour: Costa Rica's Clean Renewables Conceal Dirty Dependence On Oil - Costa Rica produced nearly all of its electricity in 2016 without fossil fuels -- but that makes up only 25% of its energy consumption: gas accounts for the rest, to fuel the rising number of cars.

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Scotland Blew Through 2 New Records recently with its beautiful wind turbines, which apparently do not affect tourism. Source Financial Tribune

OO Scotland Sets Two Wind Power Records - with its wind turbines generating power equivalent to all of the nation's electricity needs for a record 4 straight days: December 23-26, 2016.

During that time, a new record was set for the most wind power generated in a single day -- on Christmas Eve -- with 74,000+ MWh of electricity sent to the National Grid. Go, Laddies, Go!

OO Cornish Village Marks 25 Years Of UK Wind Power - the people of Delabole initially dismissed wind power when it began in 1991. Now it's one of more than 1,000 onshore projects across the country.

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SOCIAL REPERCUSSIONS

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Orange, The New Polluted Color Of Western Wilderness Skies as the western drought enables more large wildfires to fill the air with pollution - and climate changing emissions.

OO Hazier Polluted Skies In Western Wilderness due to drought and forest fires, scientists find, as a climate shift favors droughts and more wildfires in the Western U.S.

OO Global Warming Allowing Pathogens To Kill Alaska Wildlife, Sicken People - growing evidence indicates that as the Arctic heats - twice as fast as the southern zones - southern pathogens and pathogen-carrying species are invading it. For example:

  • Southern disease-carrying ticks are now established in Alaska;
  • Raw oysters now sicken people due to a southern virus, actived by warming waters;
  • A sea otter died from a fungus found in Midwestern bats.
  • Many sea otters died recently, likely from a combination of pathogens and a toxic algal bloom.

  • Animals weakened by pathogens are also more likely to die from predators.

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Source abc7news.com

OO Insurers Paid Out $50 Billion For Natural Disasters In 2016 Worldwide - almost double 2015's payout of $27 billion, a major re-insurer said in its annual natural catastrophe review.

OO Record-Breaking Extreme Weather In Australia In 2016 Devastates Ecosystems and was driven by humankind's burning of fossil fuels as well as a strong El Niño, noted the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's annual climate statement.

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The World Is Getting Too Hot For Some Babies' Hearts - whether from nuclear or heat radiation, when a heart is being formed in the womb, research indicates that unusual levels of such radiation are more likely to damage it. Source screen capture at Chernobyl Children International at www.youtube.com

OO Hot Days In Early Pregnancy: A Potential Risk Factor For Congenital Heart Defects a new study indicates that exposure to high heat in early pregnancy ups the risk for congenital heart defects, the most common type of congenital defect, by 30+%.

OO Iran's Intensifying Struggle With Climate Change - By 2070, if worldwide emissions aren't sufficiently reduced, the Persian Gulf would experience heat waves impossible for many humans to survive, a recent MIT study concludes. An Iranian photographs climate change in Iran.

OO How Climate Change In Central Asia Threatens To Spark Regional Conflict - Competition for dwindling mountain water supplies in Central Asia could erupt into regional conflict, Chinese researchers warn.

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GOOD IDEAS

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Saving Money, Coasts, and Restoring Beauty are some of many reasons to restore wetlands. Source Top China Travel

OO Louisiana: Restoring Wetlands Would Reduce Coastal Damage
By $8+ Billion Yearly
in 50 years, if a master restoration plan is implemented; it would create 800 more square miles of coastal wetlands and dry land.

OO How Do We Fix Air Pollution? It's Simple But Not Easy -
It Needs Political Will
- in the UK, diesel engines are to blame, but the government has yet to act.

OO Protecting Our Seas Stops Overfishing, Slows Climate Change indicates growing evidence; this is especially important for remaining pristine areas.

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An App For Avoiding This?

OO Carpooling Apps Could Slash Congestion, Fuel Use, And Emissions shows new research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers.

OO As Clean Energy Grows, Electricity Markets Must Evolve - Power markets sometimes devalue the energy from the growing levels of wind, solar and other clean energy resources, often focusing solely on price, without valuing added benefits, like less pollution.

To address the ever-growing US appetite for the increasing, most affordable sources of cleaner, carbon-free power, markets need to reflect clean renewable energy's real value rather than discriminate against them.

OO Lesotho, Africa: Drought-Resistant Farming
Could Also Lighten Female Domestic Burdens

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NATURAL REPERCUSSIONS

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New Changing Combinations of Species Mark Novelty Areas undergoing ecological change, as changing temperatures and precipitation create new weather regimes, and species shuffle, or die out. Areas high in such change are red, descending through yellow to blue. Source Ordonez et al, 2016, Nature Climate Change, at nature.com

OO A New Map Of Earth's Ecology-Scrambling Climate Patterns

OO Conditions That Form More Hurricanes Also Protect US -
But Fewer Stronger Ones Still Threaten
- periods of high hurricane activity create coastal buffers weakening storms at landfall, a new study indicates, but periods of low hurricane activity do not.

MEH: Previous studies show that under climate change, regardless of activity levels, extreme hurricanes are expected to intensify further.

OO Himalayan Bloom Brings Spring Forward Into Winter - The flowering season of Himalayan rhododendrons has moved forward by three months in response to climate change, with the peak shifting from May to February.

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OO Climate Change Threatening World's Coral Reefs With Bleaching in which heat-stressed corals evict vital symbiotic algae, often followed by death. Nearly all coral reefs will be affected by 2100, indicates a new analysis that looks at local impacts.

MEH: a 2011 study of general impacts, however, indicates that most coral reefs could be gone by 2050. Alas, previous experience suggests that scientists tend to underestimate how rapidly climate change engendered disasters unfold.

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Nesting Avocets Source National Geographic

OO What's Killing The World's Shorebirds? These highly migratory birds meet many increasing challenges along the way from summering Arctic grounds to the southern hemisphere. Takeaways:

  • Crashing populations indicate many species could rapidly go extinct.
  • Causes include rapid climate change in the Arctic taking its toll;
  • Coastal development and agricultural shifts are destroying habitat;
  • Hunting in the Caribbean could also be important.


OO Climate Change Threatens Many Birds that migrate and need "rest stops" along the way. Takeaways:

  • Climate change could destroy migrant route rest stops,
  • Depriving birds of needed food,
  • By disrupting the life cycles of forage vegetation and insects.

  • The pace of climate change is likely faster than birds' ability to
  • find new migratory stops, scientists worry.

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SPEAKING OUT

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Beautiful Brown University: The Only Ivy League That Signed On to a letter by hundreds of other US colleges and universities. Are you an Ivy League alumnus of Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Yale, University of Pennsylvania, or Cornell University? Get your fellow alumni to urge your alma mater to sign the open letter.

OO On Climate Change, Higher Education Leaders Call On Trump To Reverse Course - In an open letter, more than 200 leaders from educational institutions urge support for the Paris agreement and other measures to tackle climate change.

OO Boston: Thinking Globally, Suing Locally - As sea levels rise, the toxic Exxon pollution of a local river could eventually come pouring into local homes of a Boston suburb.

For the first time ever, people are suing Exxon for failing to take steps to protect their homes from such a scenario.

OO Native Americans Fight Texas Pipeline Using 'Same Model As Standing Rock' - The Two Rivers camp, protesting the Trans-Pecos pipeline, is the latest sign that the Standing Rock movement is inspiring indigenous-led activism across the US.

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A Safe, Just Future: Xiuhtezcatl Martinez wants it, and is willing to sue for it. Credit Nin Hindmarsh

OO Teenage Environmental Crusader Wants To Spark Youth Action:
Sues US Government for Destroying Her Future
- along with a group of other young people; Xiuhtezcatl Martinez made headlines around the world when she stood before the UN Earth Summit in 2015 to speak about environmental.

OO Philippines: Group Wants To Suspend Bataan Coal Power Plant Operations and called on concerned government agencies to uphold the suspension of the operations of the Limay Bataan coal power plant for dumping toxic coal ash.

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FOSSIL FUEL FOLLIES
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Jobless From an Unreliable Dirty Industry - why are lawmakers trying to support a floundering industry that continues to dirty its citizens' future?

OO Wyoming's Great Disconnect On Coal - The state's political leadership doubles down on coal while the industry flounders.

OO Ontario: Gasoline Prices Rise As Their Carbon Price Kicks In under the new cap-and-trade plan, and are expected to climb throughout 2017.

OO Population Growth To Fuel Surge In Energy Demand And Climate Change By 2040 notes Exxon if we don't bring our populations to sustainable levels, and switch to mostly clean renewable energy. [FD: they didn't mention the climate change connection.]

Exxon predicts oil will remain the primary fuel. Let's prove them wrong!

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The Whitehouse Will Be Open For Business January 20, 2017

OO US On Track To Become Net Energy Exporter By 2026
- And Thus, a Merchant of Climate Change
- The amount of energy Americans use and the pollution they emit from using coal, oil and natural gas are not likely to change radically over the next 30 years, says the latest U.S. Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy Outlook.

OO High Stakes Lawsuit: UK Judge To Rule On
Rights Of Communities To Sue Multinationals For Pollution
- specifically, Nigerian communities want to sue Shell Oil in London for polluting their environments as it profited from mining oil.

Depending on the decision, some legal experts predict this could attract more cases against multinationals in Britain.

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FIXING CLIMATE CHANGE

@@ A Simple And Smart Way To Fix Climate Change given by Dan Miller in 2014 at a Ted talk suggests a way to profit as we tackle climate change, by finally charging those who sell and use fossil fuels - and distributing the revenues back to all of us.

The strategy is sure to speed transition to clean renewable energy. What's not to like? Check it out!

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If we do not live sustainably,
Our children will die inhumanely.

@@ How Parents Can Help Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Teen childbearing cost US taxpayers $9+ Billion in 2010
And the costs of raising a child usually ensures decades, if not a life, of poverty for its mother.
- US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Help prevent unintended pregnancies in your community:
publicize where women can access affordable contraception.

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They can go here to find locations:

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And there are many more actions you can do, right here.

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SOLAR KEEPS SMILING

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OO What Customers Need To Know Before Going Solar: A Quick Primer - Americans are going solar in droves. Here's what you need to know as you join them.

OO Solar Industry Tackles Financial Barriers By Merging Two Key Organizations

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OO The States Most Friendly To Rooftop Solar, Ranked

OO Hawaii Electric Aims To Hit 100% Renewables 5 Years Early (2040) with a new power supply plan that involves an added mix of mostly solar power, some wind power, and demand response programs.

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Check it out here, right now!

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Jan 17, 2017

Source cci-reanalyzer.org

How unusual has the weather been? No one event is "caused" by climate change, but global warming, which is predicted to increase unusual, extreme weather, is having a daily effect on weather, worldwide.

Looking above at recent temperature anomalies, much of the US and the waters surrounding it are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures: the eastern Pacific warm spot continues and so does the drought in southern California, a major agricultural center.

Much of the areas surrounding the North Pole are experiencing much warmer than normal temperatures - not good news for our Arctic thermal shield of ice. Hotter than usual temperatures continue to dominate human habitats.

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There is, of course, much more news on the consequences and solutions to climate change. To get it, check out this annotated resource list I've compiled, "Climate Change News Resources," at Wordpress.com here. For more information on the science of climate change, its consequences and solutions you can view my annotated list of online information resources here.

To help you understand just what science does and does NOT do, check this out!

Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by this wild French poppy I photographed one spring. 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 join the increasing numbers of people who want to TELL Congress that they will vote for clean energy candidates you can do so here. It's our way of letting Congress know there's a strong clean energy voting bloc out there. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.

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CONVERSATIONS