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Climate Change This Week: US Flunks Efficiency, Green Bonds Grow, And More!

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

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, July 276 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, the eastern Pacific warm spot continues to prevent much rain from reaching California; slightly warmer than average temperatures pervade much of the US.

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.

(Add 0.3-0.4 C to have these anomaly values calibrate with those of NASA.) Daily updates of can be seen here for both the temperature anomalies map, and the jetstream map. For real time animated US surface wind patterns, click here, and here, for the planet. (Clicking on "earth" there reveals data and map options.)

SOLAR KEEPS SAILING

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Venture capital continues to flow into the US solar industry, specifically $31 million to solar film cell startup Solerel. One US solar company has just hired ex NBA basketball star Bill Walton to market residential solar (score high, Bill!)

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Welcome NBA hall of famer Bill Walton as the new spokesman for NRG Energy!

Meanwhile, US utilities are catching the solar bug, and starting to contract for solar power sources not because they need to meet regulatory requirements, but because they want to... finally! The ways that the spread of US solar power installations is being financed has increased in just the last year, with loans playing an increasingly important role.

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Check it out here, right now!

Overseas, the solar market is set to boom in Central America, while US investors are planting capital into Chile's developing solar market.

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In India, a massive, interest-free loan program has been announced for solar users.

In the US-China solar trade war, the World Trade Organization foundthat the US violated global trade rules when it imposed tariffs on Chinese solar products. Ultimately, the White House should negotiate an end to these tariffs, so that all nations can advance solar power towards solving the climate problem, says the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy.

GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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Germany Outcompetes All in Energy Efficiency; US Lags Behind Major Economies reports Jeremy Hance at Mongabay, in the latest report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The U.S. came in at number 13 out of 16 nations--even beaten by new-comer to the report, India--while Germany took the top spot. The good news for the US - there's plenty of room for improvement!! Get with it, USA!

OO New Financing Partnership Models Are Emerging for the Energy Efficiency Industry


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OO Green Bonds Market Grows By 60% In A Year - could attract up to $25 billion or more in 2014 for low carbon projects, as this niche sector becomes mainstream

OO Want To Fund A Clean Energy Project? Try A State Level Green Investment Fund - like New York.

OO The Best States for Your Clean Energy Startup - Massachussetts, California, Vermont, Colorado and New York top the list, in that order.

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Credit Mary Ellen Harte

OO Colorado: Wind Turbine Manufacturer Hiring 800 People As Orders Pile Up

OO Feds Open 300,000+ Acres Of Sea Floor For Wind Power off New Jersey, taking advantage of Chris Christie's wind.

☼☼☼

OO Without Much Ado, Minnesota Reins In Its Utilities' Carbon Emissions - for decades.

OO What If Canada Exported Clean Energy Instead Of Oil? Fight climate change AND grow the economy - WHAT A CONCEPT!!! -- a Canadian company is already doing so.



WHAT WORKS

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Speaking Out:

OO In US Energy Boom, Communities Increasingly Decide If Fracking Comes To Town


OO Colorado: Most Want Voters To Decide Whether Their Community Welcomes Fracking

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OO This Congressional Candidate Isn't Running From Climate Change, She's Running On It

OO The Ghost of Climate Future: Big Oil Managers Clash With Investors Over Climate

Pointed Policies:

OO India, South Korea to Tax Australia Coal

OO Morocco Hailed As Climate 'Poster Child' After Oil Subsidy Axed - World Bank hails it.

OO EU Agrees To Improve Energy Efficiency 30% By 2030

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OO Giving Up Beef Will Reduce Carbon Footprint More Than Cars says expert.

New scientific insights:

OO Climate Models Accurately Predict Global Warming When Reflecting Natural Ocean Cycles such as the El Niño/La Niña cycles.

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Global Warming Causing Extreme Weather Via Jet Stream Waves says a new study, report John Abraham and Dana Nuccitelli at the UK Guardian. The waviness is linked to melting Arctic ice.

The study points out that certain patterns of extreme weather are more likely to occur in certain areas based on past observations: these "waves preferentially increases the probabilities of heat waves in western North America and Central Asia, cold outbreaks in eastern North America, droughts in central North America, Europe, and central Asia, and wet spells in western Asia." Just think what this means for California, an important food source for the US.

Related Headline: OO Cooler Temps Invade Eastern U.S.

OO Saharan Dust Feeds Iron To Amazon Forests, Deep Ocean Life - and by fertilizing forest growth, helps it store carbon.

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A famous phosphorescent bay in Puerto Rico has gone dark. Jedimentat44, Flickr via Creative Commons

OO Phosphorescent Bay, A World Wonder, Goes Dark, And Climate Change Helped - warming oceanic temperatures are causing plankton, including those that create these phosphorescent wonders, to decline.


OO Australia: After The Repeal Of The Carbon Tax , Focus On Renewable Energy


WHAT DOESN'T WORK

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Fossil Fuel Follies:

OO California Halts Injection Of Fracking Waste -- It May Be Contaminating Aquifers

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Marine mammals such as these dolphins are being threatened by seismic surveys for useless fossil fuels. Wikipedia

Obama Administration Opens Eastern Seaboard To Oil Drilling Surveys reports Ryan Koronowskia at Climate Progress. A federal agency will allow the use of seismic air guns, even as it acknowledges the use will disrupt , injure or kill millions of marine animals, including endangered whales, and the area may not even have that much oil or gas. Beyond that, why are they even allowing surveys for fossil fuel resources that cannot be burned without creating even further dangerous climate change?

OO Florida: Rare, Endangered Forest To Be Destroyed For a Walmart, Urban Spread - as yet more carbon storage is destroyed in a state destined to flood from rising sea levels.

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The greener the state, the cheaper the monthly average energy bill.

OO MAP: Which States Have The Most Expensive Energy Bills - those with cheap electricity didn't have the cheapest energy bills.

OO The Strange Relationship Between Global Warming Denial And... Speaking English
Polling from IPSO Mori shows US clearly the worst in its climate denial, followed by UK and Australia - highly correlated with the English-speaking Koch Bros and Rupert Murdoch, marketers of climate change denial....

OO Australia Becomes First Country To Repeal Carbon Price: Too Bad - It Was Working

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OO Climate Change and Rising Populations Create A Rapid Rise In Disasters
The world's population has nearly doubled in four decades, putting more people and property in harm's way. Rising populations also result in rising energy use and more climate-changing fossil fuel combustion.

CLIMATE CHANGE COMEDY CORNER

OO Report: Climate Change Skeptics Could Reach Catastrophic Levels By 2020 - Ouch! Who put this hard grain of truth into my bowl of rice crispies?

OO Deniers: As the Sky Rains Sharks, Skeptics Doubt Man's Role in It

RISING RISKS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Rising Costs:

OO Weather Disasters Have Cost the Globe $2.4 Trillion

Rising Global Heat:

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OO NOAA State Of The Climate In 2013: 'Our Planet Is Becoming A Warmer Place'

OO Planet is Running a Temp: State of the Climate 'Check-Up'

OO Planet's Hottest June On Record Follows Hottest May

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A rose colored world? No, all those rosy oceans are at above average temperatures... NOAA

OO Driven by Ocean Heat, World Sets Mark for Hottest June

OO Hottest March-June On Record Globally reports Japan Meteorological Agency

Drought and Wildfires:

OO Multiple Wildfires Burn Through Washington state, Destroying 150 Homes

OO Oregon, Washington Declare States Of Emergency As Wildfires Spread

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An aerial view of a wildfire in the Canadian Northwest territories. Credit NWTFire, Facebook

OO Canada: Fires in NW Territories in Line with 'Unprecedented' Burn

California Dryin'

OO Six Months In and Sizzling California Sets Record


OO Groundwater Is Drought Lifeline for California Farmers

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OO For First Time, California Gets Ready For Mandatory Water Restrictions

OO Drought Hinders California's Emissions Goals - drying up a major source of clean energy: hydroelectric dams.

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OO The Great American Oyster Collapse in the US northwest is tied to acidifying oceanic waters that prevent oyster larvae from developing shells - and the acidifying waters are tied to climate change.


OO Interactive: 1,001 Blistering Future US Summers


OO Chilling Map Shows Boston With A 7.5-Foot Coastal Flood

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OO Typhoon Rammasun Hits South China Sea, Killing 55, Injuring 100

OO Warmer Ocean Waters Transform A Typhoon Into A Super Typhoon

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Photo Amit Dave, Reuters

OO Dry North India: Armed Bandits Extorting Water From Locals as the 7-year monsoonal drought makes it a scarce precious commodity.

OO India: Extreme Floods Create Climate Change Widows as extreme rain storms sweep away their farming husbands high up in remote mountain villages. The villagers have never heard the words "climate change" but know that change is underway.

CLIMATE CHANGE MEDIA

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@@ Climate 2100: "To change the future, first you have to imagine it."
That's what this graphic documentary does - are you getting close to acting and need more motivation? Order some pizza and watch this with a bunch of like minded friends. At one screening potluck, the hosts had sign-up sheets ready afterwards to help direct people's new-found motivation.

Whether it is encouraging people to go solar, spearhead a green initiative or get involved politically, get your sign up sheets ready after the discussion that is sure to follow.

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OO Must-Read: 'The Collapse of Western Civilization' -- A View From The Year 2393
How would a historian in 2393 write about this century if we continue self-destructively ignoring climate science -- and as a result modern civilization as we know it had collapsed 300 years earlier? To find out, read the excellent and unique new book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway.

KEEPING CARBON STORED: FOREST UPDATE

OO NASA: Sumatra Fires On The Rise - raising concerns that dry conditions could unleash an especially severe haze this dry season in Indonesia.


OO Roads Through Rainforest Allow South America's 'Arc Of Deforestation'- creating a moral crossroads for the governments and agencies that build them.


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What Is A Peat Swamp, And Why Should I Care? Besides being a haven for endangered and threatened biodiversity ( think the Sumatran tiger, for ex.), and a cornucopia of resources for traditional cultures, reports Loren Bell at Mongabay, these special places provide a local buffer against flooding, and insurance against drought in dry times - important as climate change creates more extreme weather.

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Rare Sumatran tigers live in peat swamps. Photo: Monika Betley at Wikipedia

Peat swamps also store 20 times or more carbon than neighboring forests - and preserving them is the cheapest way to store carbon an increasingly critical function in our warming world. When cleared for human activities, we all lose.

OO 30% of Borneo's Rainforests Destroyed Since 1973 due to fires, industrial logging, and the spread of plantations, finds a new study

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OO Sri Lanka Still Losing Forests At Rapid Clip

OO Panama: Liana Vines Taking Over Warmer, Drier Forests due to more intense droughts linked to climate change. The displacement by lighter and less woody vines means that less carbon is stored in the forest.

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 fringed gentian I photographed one summer. 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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