THE BLOG

Climate Change This Week: The Chinese Connection, Solar Jobs Fly, and More!

03/16/2015 06:53 pm ET | Updated May 16, 2015

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

@@ Climate Change, the Elevator Pitch: Richard Alley,
Climate Scientist -- and Republican

@@ Richard Alley on being a Republican

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The Future Is Up Front: Wind turbines churn as coal cooling towers behind them emit steam in Germany 2009. Credit Pawel Kopczynski, Reuters

2014: First Time in 40 Years, World Economy Grew But CO2 Levels Didn't! says a new International Energy Agency Report, writes Chris Mooney at the Washington Post. Several factors are at play here, such as: China and other countries move towards renewables, higher energy efficiency overall, more efficient cars, and gas replacing coal in the US and elsewhere.

Another myth shatters: we CAN economically prosper as we move towards clean energy!

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Time to Wake Up: Republicans Outside of Congress Support Action on Climate Change - this is an oldie but goldie from December 2013, but still relevant today - unfortunately.

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Credit Mark Abeln

Through a Christian Lens:
God Created Universal Laws That Explain Manmade Global Warming

writes Chris Mooney at the Washington Post, in response to Senator Inhofe's strange mix of willful ignorance and literal biblical interpretations. Understanding how those laws operate can be viewed as a form of religious devotion, as even Galileo once indicated.

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@@ Everyday Climate Change at Instagram
Bringing you the face of climate change daily

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Credit @jameswhitlowdelano
An energy efficient tatami bedroom in Tokyo, Japan: One way the average Japanese person consumes roughly 50% as much energy as the average American is by sleeping in unheated houses even on nearly freezing winter nights The tatami (mat) room gets down to 46-50F, but it gets hot beneath the blankets stacked high.

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How Can 1 Billion Chinese Affect the USA?

Answer: China's Pollution Could Be Behind Cold, Snowy US Winters say NASA scientists, reports Michaeleen Doucleff at National Public Radio. As China has become a major carbon polluter in recent decades, more of its pollution (animation here) blows over the Pacific and ends up in Canada, where the carbon particles can form the nuclei of snow - lots of it, which then gets funneled into the northeast US. due to the changing jet stream.

Chinese Pollution Makes Life Horrendous for Chinese, Too:

What if YOU had to worry about your new baby surviving pollution? This gut- wrenching scene is the opening salvo indicting China's catastrophic and pervasive pollution.

@@ Full video: Under the Dome - Investigating China's Smog

OO China Blocks Web Access To "Under The Dome" - as it went viral, the searing documentary about China's catastrophic air pollution, had hundreds of millions of Chinese views, garnering praise for its honesty from official Chinese press. After one week, the government banned it.

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And New York Thought It Had It Bad...

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OO 8 Feet of Snow in 16 Hours dumped on Capracotta, Italy, a little mountain village, recently, breaking previous records. Source UK Telegraph

Meanwhile...
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OO 4 Cyclones Hovered over Australia Recently! Source Weather Channel

OO Satellite Data Suggests Forest Loss Is Accelerating much faster than previously thought. Oh-oh.

OO A New Price To Pay For Destruction Of Forests:
Resurgence Of The Plague
Deforestation to expand agricultural lands could be exposing more people to diseases like the "Black Death," which devastated populations in the Middle Ages

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Related Headline:

SOLAR KEEPS SAILING

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OO US Solar Generation Doubled in 2014
Renewable Output Grew 11%
- and that's not counting rooftop solar or distributed renewables

OO Solar Energy Jobs Growing By Leaps and Bounds

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Source: gigaom.com

OO First Big US Solar Company Dives into Energy Storage - the development that cements solar's future, and SunEdison has taken the jump.


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New York City. Credit Emma Johnson

New York Just Showed Every Other State How To Do Solar Right by forcing utilities to partner with service providers of distributed clean energy, rather than own the energy providers: this sets up a healthy competition among providers and resets utilities' vital function in maintaining the grid in this new energy world order, reports Tim McDonnell at Mother Jones. It could be a national model.

OO Rise In Rooftop Solar Systems Is Game-Changer For Electric Utilities

OO Going Solar in CA:
A Comprehensive Guide to Rebates and Tax Credits

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Source: The Daily Climate

OO Solar Plane Completes First Leg
Of Record-Breaking Global Transit

OO Solar Global Transit Plane Resembles Wright Brothers Design

OO Google Will Soon Send Solar-Powered Drones Into the Sky

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Wikipedia
Harnessing solar energy from space?

Japan Space Agency Advances In Space-Based Solar Power reports Jun Hongo at the Wall Street Journal. It says that it succeeded in transmitting electric power wirelessly to a pinpoint target using microwaves, which is an essential technology needed for the realization of space-based solar power.

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Check it out here, right now!

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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OO Once Extravagant, Renewable Power Plans Go Cheap

OO Texas: Incentives, Financing Make Going Green
Easier For Commercial Landlords

OO Colorado: US Ski Resorts Are Fighting Climate Change
By Galvanizing Politicians

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Wikipedia

OO The USDA Is Helping Rural Farmers Get Their Own Renewable Energy

OO Residential Clean Energy Financing Grows in California - Florida could be next.

OO California: Growing Community Energy Efforts Are Shifting the Utility Model

OO How Connecticut's Advantages Enable Green Energy Innovators To Succeed

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Source: The Daily Climate

OO Australia: Byron Bay First Regional City To Commit To Zero Emissions

OO Norway: Oslo Divests From Coal Companies

OO Waste-To-Energy Revolution Going Global

Spread Good Clean News to Your Elected Leaders

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Ready to Spread the Vision?

YOU CAN ACT

Make Sure Your Elected Officials Know the Difference Wind Power Can Make.

You can do so by making sure they see the Wind Vision report, which shows how wind power can be America's largest source of electricity by 2050; the report was recently released by the US Department of Energy. Powerofwind.org makes it easy for you to send your elected officials a note here.

Be part of the clean energy revolution!

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WHAT WORKS

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Speaking Out:

OO European Union Submits UN Climate Pledge,
Urges US, China To Follow

OO Europe Warned Pollution Will Lead To Premature Deaths says the European Environmental Agency.

OO In India, An Indoor Health Crisis - from fire cookstoves also adds to carbon emissions says the World Health Organization; experts are pushing governments to tackle the problem.

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Informed Leadership:

OO Michigan Democrats Seek 20% Renewable Power by 2022

Good Ideas:

OO Your Shower Wastes A Lot Of Energy And Water:
Here's What You Can Do

OO Climate-Friendly Refrigerants - ozone safe, climate friendlier refrigerants got the green light from the EPA.

OO Energy Efficiency Saves Consumers More
Than Searching for a Better Electricity Price

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OO Germany Tries Electric Car-Sharing Schemes To Boost Sales, Curb Emissions

Important Insights:

OO Oceans May Not Be Able To Cool Climate - as much as previously thought, especially over the next 15 years, says new research.

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WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies

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Credit University of Texas

OO California Orders Oil Companies To Stop
Drilling Near Drinking Water Supplies
after finding that the companies are contaminating water supplies with oil waste.

OO The True Cost of Gas?
About $4 More Per Gallon Than You Pay Now
says a new study that accounts for the social costs of burning it.

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Oil spill on the Washington River. Credit AP/ Washington Dept of Ecology

OO Motor Oil Spill Contaminates Washington River

OO Australia: Emissions Still Climbing As Coal Use Rises - despite climate change denying govt efforts to curb emissions, says recent report.

Misleading the Public

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Florida Governor Rick Scott has pled ignorance on an important security issue: climate change. AP

OO Florida Officials Ban The Term 'Climate Change' among employees.

OO Florida's Not The Only State Censoring The Term 'Climate Change'

OO Utilities Wage Campaign Against Rooftop Solar

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Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell. Credit AP/J. Scott Applewhite

OO Climate Traitor: GOP's McConnell
Tells States To Ignore US Carbon Emission Rules

OO Doubting Climate Science: Produced by ex Tobacco Marketers - who misled the public on how bad smoking is, along with some new faces, all fueled by the fossil fuel industry.

Inadequate Funding

OO India's Clean Energy Research Budget Disappoints Scientists

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Mar 16, 2015

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 to prevent much rain from reaching California, sending it into further drought.

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.

Social Repercussions:

OO Better Air Quality Helps Lungs Grow, Science Shows

OO Warming Spurt Looms is the ominous conclusion of a vast and growing body of research.

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Not for Everyone? Climate change is already disrupting food distribution. Wikipedia.

OO Climate Change Poses Serious Threats To Food Distribution and is already impacting it.

OO Human-Caused Warming Helped Trigger Syrian Conflict, Rise Of ISIS

OO Climate Change Aids Sex Trafficking in the overpopulated islands of Bangeladesh, where climate change worsens poverty, pushing women to fall for false marriage proposals and being lured, instead, into the sex trade.

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OO California's Terrifying Forecast Of Future: Droughts Almost Yearly says a new study.

OO US Northwest: What A Record-Low Snowpack Means For Summer - it will probably affect salmon production, recreational activities, and later on, in drier areas, agriculture.

Natural Repercussions:

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Not Your Typical El Nino, this weather cycle is weaker and will not send California the rain that previous cycles have, but its warming effect will probably help set 2015 as a record hot year.

OO NOAA Announces Arrival Of El Niño,
2015 Poised To Beat 2014 For Hottest Year

Related Headlines:

OO Maps Show El Niño Won't Help the West's Water Woes

OO After Much Ado, El Niño Officially Declared

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OO Arctic Sea Ice Is Getting Thinner, Faster

OO Once Again, A Record-Hot Winter for California

OO Drought Weakens the Amazon's Ability to Capture Carbon

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The rare everglades cowhorn orchid, one of many plants threatened by rising waters. Credit Vince Lamb

OO Florida: Rising Seas Threaten Rare Everglades Plants say researchers

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YOU CAN ACT

OO You Can Stop the Keystone Pipeline

*** Climate Action Across America, March 27 - April 12 ***

Join in: meet with your Congressional representatives, Senators, or their staff about the urgent need for climate action. This is during their Easter recess when they are scheduled to be home meeting with people in their districts. Bring along friends, and be some of those people!

Share your message with the public - letting them know that people across our country are speaking up for climate action, and urging them to contact their elected officials to support climate action.

Share the Facebook page for Climate Action Across America

On Twitter, use the hash tag, #ClimateActionAcrossAmerica.

KEEPING CARBON STORED: FORESTS UPDATE
Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

Threats:

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Palm oil plantations eat away at forests in Borneo. Source: Mongabay.com

OO Palm Oil Deforestation Spreads to the Amazon --

Peru: Palm Oil Firms Plan To Destroy 57,000 Acres Of Primary Forest - after deforesting much of southeast Asia, palm oil cultivation is now starting in the Amazon.

OO Humans Cause Erosion 100 Times Faster Than Normal - via deforestation and agriculture, shows a study on the southeastern US.

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Milton's Titi monkeys are a newly discovered and threatened species with flaming sideburns and tail. Credit J. Dalponte

OO Newly Described Monkey Species Found In Threatened Amazon Forest

OO Madagascar's Frog Haven: Rich, Underexplored, Threatened - on an overpopulated island that has lost most of its forests, and continues to lose more.

OO Somali Charcoal: Funding Terrorism Through Deforestation

Solutions:

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When Borneo forests are protected from development, so are their orangutans. Source National Science Foundation

OO Borneo: East Kalimantan Reaffirms Moratorium On New Mining, Logging

OO 3M Unfolds New Policy to Reduce Its Deforestation Impact

OO Researchers, Locals Work Together To Save Ethiopia's 'Church Forests'

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Africa's iconic baobob trees are endangered by the demand for firewood. Credit Kjdhambuza at Wikimedia Commons

OO Firewood Fervor May Turn Zimbabwe Into An 'Outright Desert' says a new study.

OO Colombia Proposes Protected Corridor Across South America

OO Employing Shame For Environmental Change - a new book explores another--arguably more positive--side of shame: its potential to challenge rule-breaking and ethically-defunct corporations.

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 protea I photographed last 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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