THE BLOG

Climate Change This Week: The Good, The Bad, The Old, The New in 2013, and More!

12/26/2013 10:23 pm ET | Updated Feb 25, 2014

Jingle right along with us this week, folks, for the usual up and down sleigh ride!

Most Important Climate Message: "You CAN Do Something About It" is what people need to hear most, says a new study, reports Emily Atkin at Climate Progress. And it's true, now more than ever: individuals and families CAN do something significant. A family can invest in clean energy through crowdsourcing projects, buying or leasing rooftop solar panels, or, paying a little extra on their monthly energy bills to have clean energy brokers add the same amount of clean power to the grid that the family used that month (see below). Supporting a clean energy market will drive down fossil fuel use and pollution. Save money and energy by improving insulation in your house. Finally, you can vote for clean energy leaders, and let your leaders know today that you will do so. Don't wait for the next disaster to strike - you can act now.

If we ALL do it,

We can create a tidal wave of change

for our economy, our health, and our climate.

BELIEVE.

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@@ Photo essay by Peter Essick : Documenting the Swift Change Wrought by Global Warming. Here's a sample of this masterful piece.

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A Little Warming Will Make Water Drastically Scarce, US and Globally, says a new study, reports Jeff Spross at Climate Progress, especially for people in the US South, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and south China. Without drastic corrective action, and soon, the world is actually on track to blow past the 2°C (3.6°F) of global warming scientists view as the threshold beyond which climate change becomes truly catastrophic.

AN ALTERNATIVE:

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To find out how, check out Pear Energy and Ethical Electricity.

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Nightly Network News Covers Extreme Weather, Not Climate Change a new survey finds, reports Emily Atkin at Climate Progress. Despite the documented impacts of climate change on extreme weather, as noted by the US premier federal climate agency, the National Atmospheric and Space Administration, climate change is almost never mentioned when extreme weather is covered by the nightly news. Consider it censorship of the worst kind, comrade.

2013-11-29-mosaicjoinlogo_join_mosaic.png *****Ready to Invest Your Bucks in Solar Power? Check out Mosaic opportunities here!

Climate Change Is Destroying Human Rights say two recent major studies, reports Jon Letman at Al Jazeera. Increasingly, two issues - climate change and human rights - are being recognized as inextricably connected. The studies provide sobering evidence that a hotter, increasingly unstable climate is fueling more conflict and human rights violations, creating hunger, refugees, and spreading disease, and that it is happening sooner rather than later.

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Refugee children in the Sahel. Credit UN/Eskinder Debebe

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13 Major Clean Energy Breakthroughs Occurred in 2013 reports Jeff Spross at Climate Progress. These included using salts to store solar energy; electric cars that power buildings; energy storing wind turbines; harnessing ocean waves for energy and freshwater production; electricity from solar energy becoming as cheap as that from coal; better batteries, solar cells, and the list goes on...

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These SunEdison solar panels cover an Indian canal, keeping evaporation low as they harvest solar energy. Courtesy, SunEdison

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Arctic Melting Linked To US Extreme Weather says a new study by US and Chinese scientists, reports Tim Radford at the Climate News Network. Reporting their results in the reputable scientific journal Nature Climate Change, researchers have linked declining snow and ice in the polar north to catastrophic heat waves, droughts and floods in the mid-latitudes. Feeling the heat yet to do something about human driven global warming? You can...

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Bushfire in Tasmania, Australia, January 2013. Credit ToniFish at wikimedia commons.

@@ PHOTOS: 2013′s Most Terrifying Weather Disasters

Current US Wind Power Saves 150+ Million Tons Of CO2 Annually says a new analysis, reports Emily Atkin at Climate Progress. If the US continues the explosive growth of wind power seen over the past five years, it would also prevent a lot of harmful smog from forming, and bolster increasingly scarce water supplies. Let's keep those US made turbines coming, folks!

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Credit Mary Ellen Harte

BEFORE 2013 ENDS: Support Wind Power Jobs in America!
Give a real holiday gift to American clean energy workers today - Sign here to tell your legislators to extend the renewable energy production tax credit, PTC, due to expire at the end of 2013. Then spread the word!

Quote Of The Week:

"As moderators responsible for what millions of people see, we felt that to allow a handful of commenters to so purposefully mislead our audience was simply immoral."

OO Nathan Allen, scientist and reddit moderator, on reddit's new policy of banning climate deniers. December 17, 2013.

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☼☼☼ On the Bright Side ☼☼☼

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(>(>(> PEOPLE SPEAK OUT <)<)<)

OO Dems Call for Extension of Clean-Energy Tax Incentives

OO Ohio Group Pleas for Wind Energy Credit Extensions

OO Activist Tom Steyer Launches California Oil Tax Campaign

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OO Last Keystone Pipeline Holdouts Are in Nebraska: 27% Haven't Signed Easements

OO 200 Hollywood Celebs, Others Urge Obama to Reject Keystone XL Pipeline

OO Ivy League University Votes To Dump Oil And Gas Investments

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Cornell University has voted to divest from fossil fuel investments. Lets hope more institutions follow their lead.

OO Amazon Pollution Case: Indigenous Groups Win Right To Pursue Canadian Chevron Assets

OO UN Raps Malaysia On Palm Oil Abuses, Risks

☼☼☼ BRIGHT IDEAS ☼☼☼

OO New Way to Make Hydrogen Ups This Clean Fuel's Commercial Potential

OO UK University Climate Change Course Is Free - universities should be doing this worldwide - how about it, USA?

OO Turning Smart Meters Into Water Leak Detectors

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A smart meter that also detects water leaks to cut down on energy waste. Via PowWow Energy.

OO Home Insulation Can Translate Into Huge Savings in Energy and Dollars

OO Meat Tax Would Reduce Methane Emissions From Livestock

OO Eat Chickens Before Cows: new study finds cattle have outsized greenhouse gas footprint.

☼☼☼ BRIGHT DEVELOPMENTS ☼☼☼

OO SolarCity And Tesla Team Offers A Solar And Storage One-Two Punch

OO Transmission Investment Gets Largest Boost Since 2000

OO Keystone XL Pipeline Loses Support From US Customer

☼☼☼Acting Like You Care: The XL Keystone pipeline will make possible far more climate change, but President Obama might okay it anyway. Credo, 350 org and others are asking people to stand up and be counted as nonviolent resisters or help in other ways. I did. If you ever wanted to do something big for your future, now's your chance - here. 2013-11-29-ResistKeystoneXLcreditCredoActiontakethepledge180.gif

☼☼☼ BRIGHT SIDE, STATE SIDE ☼☼☼

OO The Most Important Solar Statistics of 2013 add up to another great year for US solar.

OO US Solar Manufacturing Wins Cash From DOE and VCs

OO $43M in USDA Loans Flow to Rural Smart Grids

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OO Renewable Energy Comprised Total US November Power Generation Gains

OO American Cities Tapped to Spur 'Climate Resiliency' Action Worldwide - see the slideshow @@ here.

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Several states already have statewide renewable electricity standards that promote clean energy development through creating a market - it's time for this idea to go national, says Senator Ed Markey! Help promote clean energy and a safe climate future - you can sign the petition here, asking Congress to create a National RES.

OO California: Solar Power Hitting New Records

OO California: Los Angeles Is First Major City To Require 'Cool Roofs'

OO California: Solar Panels Seen As Boost To Homes' Resale Value

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OO Iowa: Move Over, Wind? Solar Energy Market 'Exploding'

OO Iowa: Utility Launches Nearly $2 Billion Wind Power Expansion

OO Maine: City Passes Tar Sands Moratorium

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Maine isn't the only place that doesn't want tar sands. Via peacefuluprising.org

OO Michigan: Conservatives Launch Renewable Energy Group

OO Pennsylvania: Supreme Court Says Gas Companies Can't Frack Wherever They Want

☼☼☼ BRIGHT SIDE, WORLDWIDE ☼☼☼

OO Singapore Takes the Lead In Green Building in Asia

OO Renewable Energy, Once A Dream, Lights Up Some Of India's Slums

OO EU Reaches Deal To Cap Super-Warming F-Gases

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The destruction of carbon-storing forests for palm oil needs to stop; getting major companies to do so is a major step forward. Via Mongabay.com

OO Hershey Commits To Zero Deforestation For Palm Oil

OO Draft Pollution Law Seeks To Tackle Lethal European Air

OO Months After Banning Fracking, France Now Has A Carbon Tax - Vive la France!!!

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Mongolian yurt with a solar panel via Brücke-Osteuropa at wikimedia commons.

OO Mongolia's Nomads Warm To Solar Power

OO More And More Major Lending Banks Pledge Not To Finance New Coal Plants Overseas

OO Renewable Energy Now Makes Up 40 % Of Scotland's Electricity - and it plans to get to 100 % by 2020. What a bonny bright idea!

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The flag flies, May 21, 2013.

At Moore, OK, the day after a huge tornado demolished it.

Credit Major Jon Quinlan/defenseimagery mil

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***** US Climate Change News *****

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OO US Winters Are Warming

OO Let it Snow: US Sets Benchmark for Snow Cover - more extreme weather, both hot AND cold, is predicted under continued global warming.

OO Colorado: Chemicals Found In Water At Fracking Sites Linked To Infertility, Cancer

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OO Rising Sea Levels Torment Coastal US

OO Feds Have Stopped Trying To Raise Oil And Gas Royalty Rates

OO New Tropical Disease Arrives; Climate Change Can Help Spread It - the mosquito borne chikungunya virus is now in the Carribean, joining other recently arrived tropical diseases.

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The sort of mess that Shell is known for spreading.

OO Shell Shows It Can't Ensure Safe Arctic Offshore Oil Operations - the oil company flunked its own test in Alaska.

OO New US Energy Data Makes Need For More Tar Sands Imports Questionable

OO Shale Well Depletion Raises Questions About Oil Boom - the wells quickly dry up, sending companies into frenzies of further drilling. Sound like a good economic investment to you?

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OO California 2013 Wildfire Season Goes Out With A Blaze

OO California: Santa Ana River Watershed Faces Severe Climate Challenges

OO Michigan: How Climate Change Is Affecting Farming

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2013 was the year we broke 400 ppm of atmospheric carbon dioxide; in 2014 we will set a new record. Not the kind of record we want to break for our kids. Credit: World Meteorological Organization.

OO These Charts Happened: 2013 In Climate And Energy Graphs

OO Obama Talks Climate Change But Pushes Fracking

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OO Just how much extra heat is Earth trapping due to our activities? 400,000 Hiroshima bombs's worth, EVERY DAY, according to ex top US climate scientist James Hansen, reports Joe Romm at Climate Progress. How come it doesn't feel like that to us? Because it's the heat, not the kinetic (motion) energy, and it's spread out over the whole planet, a mighty big place. But we are starting to feel it, weatherwise.

OO Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Linked To Dolphin Lung Damage And Hormonal Imbalances

OO Top 5 Most Viewed Climate Progress Posts Of 2013

OO Louisiana: BP, Chevron Accused Of Illegally Dumping Toxic Radioactive Wastes Into Water

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Via the University of East Anglia Climate Change webpage

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<<<< Climate Change Round the World >>>>

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OO Most Companies Still Releasing Unsustainable Amounts Of CO2 - study.

OO Dramatic Declining Industrial Agriculture Could Mean 'Peak Food' hitting fundamental limits in its capacity to produce sufficient crops to feed an expanding global population says new research. Climate change is one of the factors in this alarming decline.

OO Warmest November On Record, Reports NASA, Places 2013 in Top 5 Warmest Years - recorded, as new studies confirm warming trend.

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OO Fossil Fuel Investments Face Major Risks Due to Climate

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Extreme weather in the Middle East: Snow Storm in Jerusalem - finally, reality is catching up with some of my Christmas card nativity scenes... credit Hedva Sanderovitz via the PikiWiki - Israel free image collection project, at wikimedia commons.

OO Rare Heavy Snowstorm Blankets Jerusalem Area

OO More Than 5,000 Evacuated From Gaza 'Disaster Area' Floods

OO Parched Jordan Faces Water Crisis As Syrian Refugees Flood In

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OO Climate Change Adds To East Africa's Food Plight

OO Indian Capital Blanketed In Thick Smog, Transport Disrupted as goes China, so goes India...

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Walking in a Winter Wonderland, seeking the snow in freakishly warm Siberia. Credit Anton Perebeinos.

OO Siberians Pose In Bikinis In Their Warm, Relatively Snowless Land - but Russia is promising snow in its subtropical Olympic games location in 2014.

OO China's First Smog Clinic Opens Its Doors

OO China: Second-Largest Carbon Market In The World Just Opened

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OO China Imported More Coal Than Any Country In History In 2012

OO China: A Village Poisoned, and the Toxic Trail of the Coal Industry


OO Vietnam: Sec. Kerry Returns To Address New Common Threat -- Climate Change

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Barn Owl, via wikimedia commons.

OO UK: Battle To Save Barn Owl After Freak Weather Kills Thousands

OO Price of Climate Change: UK Railroad Spends £5m For Extreme Weather Protection

OO Britain: Fracking Could Be Allowed Under Homes Without Owners' Knowledge

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OO Iceland's Vanishing Ice

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Ten Global Warming Indicators. Credit NOAA

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(((((((( Seeking the Science ))))))))

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OO Warming Earth Will Soon Produce Scattered, More Severe And Lasting Water Shortages -- study.

OO Oceans Storing More Carbon Than Believed

OO Natural Sponges: Forests Help Moderate Floods, Droughts, And Store Carbon

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OO Hurricane Wind Speeds Have Increased in Recent Decades, says study

OO Alps Warming At Double The Average Global Rate new study confirms

OO West Antarctic Ice Loss Speeds Up

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Reindeer will suffer under climate change. Credit Alexandre Buisse (Nattfodd) at wikimedia commons.

OO Reindeer Will Feel Effects Of Climate Change says study.

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@@@ Climate Change in the Media @@@

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@@ LIVING ON EARTH @@ PRI's Environmental News Magazine, covers climate change and other fascinating topics as well. Check it out!

!!!! Want to Save Energy & Help the Planet? Check out these helpful EPA Climate Change youtubers here! !!!!

@@ At Last, a Green Radio Show to counter the Lush Bimbaugh wasteland. Check out On the Green Front with Betsy Rosenberg at Progressive Radio Network to keep updated on climate change, and other green topics.
@@ Video: America's Dangerous Pipelines - the title says it all; compelling ....
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 these fiery leaves I photographed recently. 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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