02/07/2014 12:49 am ET Updated Apr 08, 2014

Climate Change This Week: Pipeline Picadillo, Penguin Babies, and More!

Today, the Earth got a little hotter.


Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Feb 5, 2014

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 (check out the jetstream and precip globes too, to see how all this fits), the jetstream appears to have shifted the polar aneurism somewhat westward, funneling polar weather deep into the mid and western US. Rain is finally falling in California, but building the snowpack up will be a long haul. Hotter than usual temperatures continue to dominate human habitats. (Add 0.3-0.4 C to have these anomaly values calibrate with those of NASA.) Daily updates of this map can be seen here.

US State Dept: No Major Climate Impact From Keystone XL Pipeline report Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson at the Washington Post. The Environmental impact report notes that no ONE crude oil pipeline is likely to significantly impact extraction or demand - sorta like saying that no one part of the arc of a thrown grenade is going to do damage... but why help the grenade along, guys?


This is the sort of logic expected from a report written by a company (ERM) with deep ties to the pipeline industry, as noted in Tom Steyer's open letter printed at InsideClimate News. Pipeline opponents are now focused on State Secretary John Kerry, report Sarah Wheaton and Coral Davenport at the New York Times: he will issue the final decision.


The State of our Union. Original created in 2008 by Olle Johansson, Sweden; pipeline modification by Mary Ellen Harte.

Quote of the Week

[Context: The State Department's Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone XL Project noted that "approval of any ONE crude oil transport project ... is unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction ... or demand for heavy crude oil"]

"This is the logic of the act: No single project is going to be the project that does us in, just like no single drink is what does the drunk in."

OO MSNBC Chris Hayes, on the report's logic of determining that the keystone pipeline will not significantly affect carbon emissions in the context of our oil addiction. "Obama is Like An Addict of Oil". Tweet this to Secretary of State John Kerry!


President Obama drives the chevy volt. Credit Pete Souza/White House

In his 2014 State of the Union speech, President Obama said:
"And when our children's children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say, "Yes, we did!"


Release the Clutch on Oil as You Put the Nation into Clean Energy Drive!

What Can YOU Do to Fight Climate Change This February? Plenty! Writes Iowa State Senator Rob Hogg and climate change fighter at Wordpress. He outlines the many ways people can participate individually or as a community this spring. Check it out!

☼☼☼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.

Expect More Frequent Blackouts in the Future warn experts in a new report, writes Terry Macalister at the UK Guardian. Soaring electricity demand for air-conditioning, iPads and increasingly cars, combined with a growing population and inadequate investment in creaking power networks, is pushing the world towards frequent blackouts, academics warn. If ever there was an argument to get a clean energy off-the-grid setup for your home...


Got Solar? Google does. Wikimedia Commons.

@@ Here's Why Solar Is Approaching the Mainstream explains GreenTechMedia VP of Research Shayle Kann to Stephen Lacey at GreenTechMedia in this video short. It's becoming a major source of new electricity capacity, it's increasing being deployed without incentives, and it's being taken seriously by electrical utilities AND investors. What's not to like? Why aren't the feds approving more of this?


Credit USGS at flickr

Canadian Arctic Warming Unprecedented In 120,000 Years says a new study, reports Joe Romm at Climate Progress. Recent warming has been unprecedented in speed, scale, and cause. A previous study study found the rate of warming since 1900 is 50 times greater than the rate of cooling in the previous 5000 years, which threatens to destroy the stable climate that enabled civilization. Waiter, make that a triple martini...


Obama's Natural Gas 'Bridge' May Be On The Verge Of Collapse reports Jeff Spross at Climate Progress. Although burning methane emits less greenhouse gas than coal or oil, this incredibly potent greenhouse gas in itself leaks into the atmosphere during extraction and processing, so the total emissions load is still problematic. Then there's the price - the more you mine it from one well, the more difficult and expensive it is to do so. Ultimately, you have to drill lots of short-lived wells, an expensive undertaking. Gas is only good as a very SHORT bridge - so let's race over it to renewable clean energy ASAP!


Ben & Jerry's just got more delicious, by vowing to divest fossil fuels from their foundation's portfolia, and joining 16 other likeminded foundations to form the Divest-Invest Philanthropy.

17 Foundations Pledge To Divest Their Stocks Of Fossil Fuels, reports Katie Valentine at Climate Progress. The foundations pledged to invest in companies working in renewable energy, efficiency and other environmental causes. Controlling about $2 billion in investments, they have joined to form the Divest-Invest Philanthropy, an organization that includes groups such as the Ben and Jerry's Foundation, the Park Foundation and the Wallace Global Fund. Hey, all you foundations out there - join the club!



Rooftop Solar Will Soon Be Cheaper Than Coal in Europe says a new study, reports Giles Parkinson at GreenTechMedia. It suggests that wind and solar plants are already competing economically with fossil fuel in Europe and soon, even household rooftop solar PV systems will generate electricity more cheaply than coal. The study from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy notes that even in cloudy northern Germany, solar can be generated at half the cost of grid-based electricity. Ahem, USA, what about us?


☼☼☼ On the Bright Side ☼☼☼


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

OO The Judge Speaks, and Shell Drops Arctic Drilling Plans - for Now

OO Nebraskans Resist Keystone Spurning TransCanada's Checks

OO Foes of Keystone XL Begin New Legal Battle Against State Department


300 or more vigils were held across the US on February 3rd urging Obama to reject the Keystone pipeline. Screencapture of scheduled vigils at by Mary Ellen Harte.

OO Some 300 US Rallies Held After State Dept Green Lights Keystone XL

OO Approving Keystone XL Would Be The Biggest Mistake Of Obama's Presidency says reputable climatologist Michael Mann.


OO UN Warns Us to Eat Less Meat and Lay Off Biofuels, or We're In For It

OO World Bank Chief Backs Fossil Fuel Divestment Drive


Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director, Wallace Global Fund. Wikimedia Commons.

"If you own fossil fuels, you own climate change."

Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director, Wallace Global Fund, in OO Will the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement Sweep Through U.S. Foundations?

OO Enviros Fire Warning Shot at Coal Export Investor - stop, or face public protest.

OO Wind Power Supporters Push Congress to Revive Expired Tax Credit


OO Teachers Oppose Virginia Bill Challenging Evolution, Climate Change Science

OO Activists Plan Virginia March On Climate Change

OO Norwegian Insurance Giant Blacklists Palm Oil Companies which chop up carbon storing forests for plantations.


Smog over the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. Credit Brian Jeffrey Beggerly via wikimedia commons.

OO Beijing's Mayor Urges "All-Out Effort" To Curb Air Pollution

OO China PM Calls For National Roll-Out Of Electric Vehicles


OO Climate Change: Someone Needs To Take A Dramatic First Step says UK's ex climate change diplomacy chief.

OO Public Pressure Puts UK Fracking On The Defensive


OO 6 Things Obama Can Do on Climate Without Congress

OO Leading US Cities Pledge Radical Carbon Pollution Cuts

OO How Wind Energy Can Improve Grid Reliability: NREL Study


OO Brazilian Soy Industry Extends Deforestation Moratorium

OO L'Oreal Pledges To Wipe Out Forest Destruction From Its Products By 2020

OO Next Big Idea In Conserving Carbon Storing Forests? Connecting Fragments


Orangutans inhabit Asian forests. Credit Rhett Butler at

OO Indigenous People: Careful Managers Of Asian Carbon-Storing Rainforests For 11,000 Years

OO Colombia To Track Coffee's Carbon Footprint

OO Ban Ki-Moon Selects Bloomberg As Cities And Climate Change Envoy


Climate protection is embedded in Tunisia's new constitution - what a great idea! Credit Tofuxs at (globes), wikipedia. (flag)


OO Tunisia Embeds Protection Of Climate In New Constitution

OO China Panel Makers Turn Solar Farmers To Counter Glut

OO Extending Smart Energy To All Home Appliances



OO How Wall Street Can Prompt Solutions to the Climate Crisis

OO The Secrets Of Selling Solar - honesty and education for the customer; retail partnerships with store chains, local retailers; offering leasing and purchase.

OO What Utilities Can Learn From Apple, Hybrid Cars And Telephones selling bundled services, and getting people to buy differently


OO Renewable Energy Gaining On Fossil Fuels


Via the 2012 edition of "Who's Winning the Clean Energy Race?" at Pew Environmental Initiatives

OO Efficiency Is Breaking The Link Between US Energy Use And Economic Growth

OO 10 US Cities Plan Coordinated Attack On Building Energy Waste

OO Philadelphia Rates Buildings For Energy Consumption


Source mjmonty via

OO Google Buys Swedish Wind Power , Bid To Be Fueled By 100% Renewables

OO Technology Choice Is Finally Coming To Residential Demand Response

OO Fissures In GOP As Some Conservatives Embrace Renewables


OO Bright Trends Behind USA's Booming Solar Jobs Market include:
customers are buying to save money; most jobs are decent paying, and cheap Chinese solar panels.

OO 2013 Broke Records For New Solar Jobs In America

OO U.S. Solar Jobs Grow 20% to More Than 142,000 Last Year


OO Obama's Agenda: EPA Leading The Charge On Climate Change

OO Obama Calls For New Incentives For Cleaner Fuel



OO Solar Provides 0.2% Of U.S. Electric Supply--Up From 0.02% Before Obama

OO Farm Bill Agreement With Wins For Conservation, Renewable Energy

OO Legal Climate Turns Nasty For Climate Deniers Harassing Climate Scientist

OO CBS Boss to Meet With Two Senators Pushing More Climate Change Tv Coverage


CERTs, Creative Commons via GreenTechMedia

OO Midwestern Farmers Are Leading the Way on Solar Power

OO In The Southeast, Solar Triggers Sea Change For Electric Business Models

OO Mojave Solar Project Tests Interior Strategy For Stemming Habitat Losses


OO California: Saving Mom & Pop Solar

OO Colorado: Rooftop Solar And Net Metering Win A Big Decision

OO Georgia: A Republican Is Working To Increase Access To Rooftop Solar Power


OO Illinois Utility Ordered To Boost Energy Efficiency

OO Minnesota To Update True Cost For Power Sources, Could Impact Coal's Future


Check it out here, right now!

OO Missouri: St. Louis Anti-Coal Initiative Heading For April Ballot

OO In Texas, Wind Nears 10 Percent Of Electricity Generation



OO Energy Efficiency: The 60-Cent Light Bulb Wasn't A Bargain

OO Why Investing in Dirty Fuels is a Bad Idea

OO Tesla Owner Completes First Coast-To-Coast Trip In Electric Vehicle


OO Japan: Fukushima To Use 100% Renewable Energy By 2040

OO South Korea Confirms 30% Carbon Reduction Target By 2020

OO China Unveils Comprehensive Pollution Monitoring System


OO Experts Eye Tesla To Spur China's Electric Car Market

OO China: Energy Efficiency To Slow Growth In Oil, Coal Consumption

OO UK Government Community Energy Strategy


OO Denmark: World's Largest Wind Turbine Starts Generating Power For First Time

OO India Leans On Europe To Establish Offshore Wind Industry


OO Norway's Giant Wealth Fund Deals $405m Blow To Coal Industry

OO EU Backs 6.5 Billion Euro Deal To Help End Over-Fishing

OO In Davos, Global Leaders Agree To Cut Tariffs On Environmental Goods



The flag flies, May 21, 2013.

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

Credit Major Jon Quinlan/defenseimagery mil



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




OO Government Lists 2013's Most Extreme Weather Events: 6 Takeaways

OO What We're Seeing Now: Record Warmth And Avalanches Isolate Alaska Town


OO The Polar Vortex Strikes Again

OO Deadly Ice Storm Turns Atlanta Into Parking Lot, Strands Thousands

OO Winter Storm Brings 'Once-In-Decade' Ice, Snow To U.S. South

The polar vortex blasted into the south last week - light lines represent actual NOAA data on surface winds at the time, via Climate Central. To view updated wind patterns for the Earth, visit ; for the US, check out Wind Map.

OO U.S. Propane Shortage Hits Millions During Brutal Freeze

OO Brutal Cold Shuts Schools, Delays Travel In Midwest

OO Frozen Northeast Getting Gouged By Natural Gas Prices


OO California Needs Big Steps To Save Water As Drought Worsens: Governor

OO Parched, California Cuts Off Tap To Agencies

OO California:17 Communities Could Run Out Of Water Within 2- 4 Months, state says.


California drought impact seen from a NASA satellite, January 2013, left, and January 2014, right. Credit NASA

OO Drought Forces California Farmers To Cut Back On Planting

OO As Drought Persists, Dirty Air Builds

OO California Snowpack Hits Record Low in over a half century of data keeping.


A monarch butterfly feeds on a favorite plant, milkweed. Wikimedia Commons.

OO The Magnificent Monarch Butterfly Migration Has Slowed To A Trickle as Mexican deforestation, loss of US habitat to farms, and yes, extreme weather like the western drought, occurs.

OO Migrating Birds Find Unlikely Respite in Dry California as rice farmers team with the Nature Conservancy to provide temporary wetlands, now that humans have destroyed most of them.


OO Napa Grape Growers Fret Over Their Future Amid Severe Drought

OO Struggling Ski Resorts Are Buyout Targets Amid US West Drought by big skiing chains.


This baby looks like he's already heard about the risks of fracking to his colleagues. Credit Ajsmen91 at Wikimedia Commons.

OO Babies Near Gas Wells More Likely To Have Birth Defects says study.

OO Americans' Mental Health Is Latest Victim Of Changing Climate

OO Anti-Fracking Activist "Imprisoned" By Fracking Company - Under a court order, she is not allowed into any place that the company owns or leases - this means stores, hospitals and other places, which drastically restrict her freedom within her local area. Welcome to the world of Big Brother!


In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Credit AP-Julio Cortez via Climate Progress

OO Despite Hazard of Sea Level Rise, Senate Halts Flood Insurance Reforms

OO Jekyll And Hyde: The Two Sides Of Obama's Energy Strategy

OO FEMA: Caught Between Climate Change and Congress



OO Reforming The Grid: US Falling Behind 21st Century Energy Demands - and blackout are increasing.

OO Great Lakes Go Dry: One-Fifth Of The World's Fresh Water Is Dwindling Away

OO Exporting The Colorado River To Asia, Through Hay during an extreme drought, no less... you'd think there'd be a law against that....


OO Crude Oil Rail Shipments Disrupting Amtrak Trains

OO Oil Rush A Cash Cow For Some Farmers, But Tensions Crop Up

OO Accidents Surge As Oil Industry Takes The Train


An oil train in Casselton explodes. Credit AP

OO Connecticut A Changing Climate: More Extreme Weather Ahead

OO Uncertainty A Big Hurdle In Colorado Climate Planning


OO North Dakota: It Could Take Years to Stop the Flaring Wasting 30+% Of Its Natural Gas

OO West Virginia's Chemical Spill Larger Than Reported, Company Reveals

<><><><> GOPPING IT UP <><><><>


Even elephants can't survive on oil. Credit: Mary Ellen Harte


OO 24 House Republicans Vote To Deny The Reality Of Climate Change

OO Lawmaker Could Easily Fix His State's Budget With Tax Breaks He Wants To Give Big Oil

OO None Who Gave GOP State Of The Union Responses Take Climate Change Seriously



Via the University of East Anglia Climate Change webpage



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




OO The New Threat From Shale

OO US Energy Revolution Turning US Into Largest Global Climate Change Merchant

OO Chevron Follows Shell, Exxon Mobil Profit Slide - but it's still enough to keep them fracking.


OO UK: January Flooding Breaks Nearly 250 Years Of Recorded Data engulfing southern and central England especially.

OO UK Flooding: Too Little Defence, Too Late, As The Waters Rise

OO Battered Britain: More Wet Weather... And Still No Sign Of Leadership


What the UK urban scene could look like someday - neighborhood fracking! Photo by Fort Worth Citizens Against Neighborhood Drilling Ordinance.

OO UK: Fracking Under Homes Without Permission Could Be Normal, As Govt Stifles Concerns - and looks into overhauling basic trespassing laws.

OO UK: Climate Change Funds Almost Halved Under Climate Denying Minister's Watch

OO 'Extreme' Weather Behind Sea Rescues On UK Coast


OO UK Closer To US Polarisation On Climate Change

OO Ireland's Turf War Plan Is 'Bad News For Climate'


Peat stores an incredible amount of carbon, which is released when burned. Credit Anne Burgess via Wikimedia Commons


OO Water Scarcity Heightens Caste Tensions In India

OO Bangladesh Climate Change Poses Health Risks For Coastal People

OO Norway Loves Electric Cars, But Incentives End Soon


Norway is full of electric cars, due to incentives. Via

OO Australia: Drought's Toll In The Bush Is Suicide for at least 16 ranch and farners in the past year alone.

OO Dumping Of Dredge Spoil For Coal Port Near Great Barrier Reef Approved

OO Black Carbon Pollution 2-3x Worse In India And China Than Thought


China added record amounts of solar power in 2013; unfortunately, it added far more power from coal, ensuring far more pollution for the country and the world. Source CATF from China National Energy Administration website for GW, accessed January 2014. Adapted from Washington Post graphic by Mary Ellen Harte.

OO China Installed Record Solar Power In 2013, But Coal Still Winning

OO China Smog Fears Spur Call For Ban On New Year Fireworks

OO Philippines Stretched Thin By Wave Of Natural Disasters


OO Tanzania: Electricity Hikes May Drive Poor To Deforest Instead - increasing the likelihood of even more variable rainfall which cut hydropower production originally, forcing the hikes.

OO South Africa World Heritage Site Threat By Planned Carbon Dioxide Dump - nevermind that the technology has yet to prove itself.

OO Fiji: As Sea Level Rises, Village Begins To Relocate People


Cyclones can really decimate forest,s endangering their inhabitants, like this cassowary. Credit Liz Gallie,

OO NASA Data Reveal Cyclone Impacts On Forests In Vietnam, Madagascar

OO At -32° C, TransCanada Pipeline Explosion Leaves Thousands Without Gas

@@ Oil Spills Decimate Wildlife In Caribbean Island Paradise


A Trinidad bird coated in oil from a recent spil.. Credit Marc de Verteuil via

OO Controversial Peru Gas Project Expansion Approved - potentially endangering isolated indigenous people.



Ten Global Warming Indicators. Credit NOAA


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




OO Warmth Spurs Plants To Move Or Bloom Earlier

OO Atlantic Changes Are Warming Antarctic

OO Tropics' Climate Sensitivity Increases


What do you get when you protect carbon storing forests on tropical islands? Beautiful nearby coral reefs. Credit: Dan Norton.

OO Protected Forests Linked To Healthy Coral Reefs In Fiji

OO Methane Emissions From Biological Sources Increasing - relative to that from natural gas mining, scientists note, though where it is coming from is uncertain, even though we know that methane from farm animals worldwide is increasing, as well as that from melting Arctic deposits in the tundra and undersea.

OO Newly Discovered Ice Anemones Threatened by Global Warming as it continues to warm the ocean that continues to melt the Ross Ice Shelf, where these incredible creatures were discovered.


Credit Frank Rack/National Scienc Foundation

OO Ocean Acidification Is Already Driving Changes In Northwestern Marine Ecology. Kelp species are changing off the tip of the Olympic Peninsula as the waters are already experiencing pH creep at a rate 10 times faster than models predicted.

OO Storm Surge To Be Mapped For Next Hurricane

OO Baby Penguins Dying From Increased Heavy Rains, Extreme Heat says a new study; Magellanic penguin chicks grow along the desert coast of Argentina, but increasing rains are waterlogging the chicks, too young to develop waterproofing. They then die from exposure. Conversely, when it gets too hot, they can't take a dip to cool off.


Even Magellanic parents can't keep their wet chicks warm enough at night. Credit Dee Boersma.

OO Fungi Are Important Regulators of Soil Carbon Storage


@@@ Climate Change in the Media @@@


* 2013-11-22-livingonearthLOElogo_resize.jpg

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

@@ Bill Moyers Essay: When Congressmen Deny Climate Change incisivee, as he usually is!

@@ The Year in Weather Like Never Seen Before Watch the actual weather roll across the global map for the entire year... condensed that is... amazing and insightful!


Credit EUMETSAT via Climate . Screen capture of the animation by Mary Ellen Harte.

@@ Powering The Planet - Earth: The Operators' Manual This uplifting, informative and compelling program presents 8 fast-paced case studies and stories about nations and communities transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable or low-carbon sources of energy. It covers all the important bases: what we stand to lose with business as usual, but what we stand to gain by switching! The "Can We Do It?" section reminds us that we can, pointing out how we overcame an equally great challenge - sanitation - with indoor plumbing and sewer systems. One of 3 parts. Plan a party or just download it and watch it yourself, then spread the word!

@@ Weather Nation Meteorologist Paul Douglas Explains How Climate Matters - A meteorologist who's watched weather for decades, he is able to show the connection between the weather and climate change. Check out his video series now!

!!!! 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 this flower 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