THE BLOG

Climate Change This Week: Record Hot Antarctica, the Immoral Ethics of Denial, and More!

04/06/2015 12:23 pm ET | Updated Jun 06, 2015

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

Breaking: Climate Change Hoax Revealed!

Wow, this is SUCH a relief! I was really worried there, for a few decades...

*
*

Okay, back to reality, after a late April fools... sigh...

@@ The Elevator Pitch on Climate Change: Naomi Oreskes
Harvard professor of scientific history, and author of OO Merchants of Doubt describing the industrial campaign to create public doubt and confusion about the science of climate change.

*
*

2015-04-06-1428336768-8037444-chickSourceidealpoutry.comccr271.jpg
Source idealpoutry.com

Climate Change Creature Feature: Scientists race to develop heat tolerant chickens, whose production is also a significant source of global carbon emissions.

*
*

2015-04-06-1428334755-2876655-journalistwikipediaccr271.jpg
Wikipedia

How Should Journalists Treat Candidates Who Deny Climate Change? Educate the readers on the real reason for climate change denial, reports Michael Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times - that is, the fossil fuel industries' financing of climate change denial candidates. Don't be fooled by their scientific sounding gibberish - follow the money, folks!

Related Headline:

OO Media Contribute to 'Hope Gap' on Climate Change - by emphasizing the catastrophes and under-reporting the technological and political solutions.

*
*

2015-04-06-1428334790-6060611-forestfragmentationworldwide2015asourceclimateprogressccr271a.jpg

Only two major large forests remain on Earth: in Brazil's Amazon, and in Africa's Congo Basin (blue patches). 70% of the remaining forests are within 1 kilometer of forest edge due to human induced fragmentation. Bar graphs show historical declines in Brazil forests. Source Climate Progress

There Are Only Two 'Big Blobs' Of Forest Remaining On Earth says a new study, reports Ari Phillips at Climate Progress - one in Brazil's Amazon, the other in the African Congo. Worldwide, 70% of remaining forest is within 1 kilometer of forest edge, as forests fragments under the increasing pressure of expanding human developments.

2015-04-06-1428334824-6059904-forestfragmentationBrazilsourcemongabayccr271.png
Fragmentation results in up to a 75% loss of biodiversity, and seriously impairs ecosystem functions. Source: Mongabay

On the brighter side:

OO New Online Platform Tracks Corporate Actions In Tropical Forests - like illegal deforestation, or violating pledges not to destroy forests.

2014-07-06-populationmatters2green.png

*** As populations rise, we lose even more forests. ***

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

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Raise public awareness about the population problem. Talk to your friends and colleagues, to your representatives, and to the media.

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

*
*
*

SOLAR KEEPS DANCING

2015-01-19-solarkeepsdancingonthebeachatflickrccr260.jpg

OO Solar Energy Emerging As Cheapest Power Source
In Many Parts Of The World
by 2025 says a new report, but the success of that scenario depends on stable regulations.

OO Georgia Legislature Unanimously Approves Third-Party-Owned Rooftop Solar

OO New Kind of Tandem Solar Cell uses two different layers of solar absorbing materials (silicon and perovskite) to harvest a far broader range of sunlight. This could up the efficiency of solar cells.

2015-04-06-1428334933-1277256-solarthermalplant2Ivanpah_Solar_Power_Facility_OnlinecreditAioannidesatwikimediacommons_resize.jpg
The Ivanpah solar thermal facility.Credit Aioannides at wikimedia commons

OO California Leads States In Getting 5+% Of Its Power From Large Solar Projects

OO California: PG&E Hits A Milestone Of 150,000 Solar Customers

2015-04-06-1428334966-4887152-solarmoney.png

OO Florida Conservatives Trying To Make Solar Energy More Accessible with a petition seeking to legalize the sale of solar power from one citizen to another.

OO Community Solar: Key Considerations in Designing a Successful Program are who owns the installation and where to locate it.

2014-01-31-geostellargetcleanenergy.png

Check it out here, right now!

*
*
*

GOOD CLEAN NEWS

2013-12-08-smog659pxBeijing_Forbidden_City_SmogacreditBrianJeffreyBeggerlyviawikimedia_resize.jpg

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

OO China: Beijing to Shut All Major Coal Power Plants to Cut Pollution

OO China: Shenzhen City To Pump $800M Into Electric Car Incentives

2015-04-06-1428334994-2995409-coalmineWyomingwikipediaccr271.jpg
Coal Mines: Eyesores That Will Not Be Missed. Wikipedia

OO US Coal Sector In 'Terminal Decline' say financial analysts, with the coal industry losing 75% of its value in the US over the past 5 years, and over 200 mines closing.

Related Headline:

OO Deteriorating Coal Markets May Lead
Coal Companies to 'Run Out of Time'
says
BB&T Capital Markets analyst Mark Levin.

OO Plan To Expand Regional Support For Wind Power
Takes Shape In The Midwest

2014-03-14-cleanenergybulb500solutionsideabulblead972x514viaclimateprogresscctw97.jpg

Renewable Energy Grids Could Dominate 'in Our Lifetime' say a majority of energy industry experts, reports Julia Pyper at Greentechmedia. Getting to 70% renewable generation is not a technical question, but political one, says one exec.

OO US Cities and Towns Choose Renewables to Save Money

OO EPA: New Cars Are More Efficient Than Ever By Far

2015-04-06-1428335045-5302200-windfarmgreenviawinddailycomcctw97.jpg
via winddaily.com

OO A Big, Clean Energy Industry Matures At Sea where unobstructed winds off the coast of Denmark, for example, are capable of spinning up enough power to electrify around 1 million German households.

OO U.K. And Norway To Build Multi-billion Electricity Link
To Access Renewable Energy
from Norway to UK, when needed, potentially cutting electricity bills.

2014-05-16-moneybagsgreenmrviaforcechangecomcctw92.jpg

OO India: Renewables To Get Most Of $1 Billion Bank Credit

OO Oslo's Decision To Divest From Coal
May Inspire Bigger Cities To Do The Same
- a series of major urban areas have made bold moves recently, ridding themselves of fossil fuel investments and becoming more carbon friendly.

*
*
*

WHAT WORKS

Speaking Out:

2015-04-06-1428335091-46183-neiltysoncosmosSourcethehigherlearning.comccr271.jpg
Neil deGrasseTyson hosted the extremely popular series "Cosmos", which aired on Fox and National Geographic.

OO Neil deGrasse Tyson: Voters Are Responsible
For Electing Climate Leaders or Deniers
and need to be better educated on climate change.

OO Museums' Ties To Climate Denying Koch Brothers Not OK, Scientists Say

OO Oil Giant BP Drops Membership With Conservative Lobbying Group ALEC that pushes legislation favoring big polluters over citizens' health.

2015-04-06-1428335125-9165230-episcopalianbishoponunethicsofclimatedenialCreditTonyAvelarAPPhotoccr271.jpg
Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, right, said that denying climate change is akin to turning one's back on God's gift of knowledge. CreditTonyAvelar/AP Photo

OO Episcopal Presiding Bishop Makes Religious Case Against Climate Denial noting that those who deny the overwhelming facts abuse God's gift of knowledge and the ability to think.

OO California Gov Jerry Brown: Ted Cruz Unfit for Presidency
Because of His Climate Change Views

OO Guardian Media Group Divests Its $800 Million Fund of Fossil Fuels

Informed Leadership:

2015-04-06-1428335224-2353840-ParispollutedPhotographWittSipaRexccr271.jpeg
The summit of European city leaders comes after Paris was recently declared the most polluted city on the planet when a choking cloud almost obscured its most symbolic monuments. Photograph: Witt/Sipa/Rex

OO Leaders Of European Cities Make Pledge To Tackle Climate Change

OO Maryland: Senate Passes Bill
To Declare Fracking An 'Ultrahazardous Activity'

Insights:

@@ Jon Stewart Pretends Climate Change Doesn't Exist - the gem is 3 minutes in, with actual footage of a Florida state official trying not to say the words "Climate Change" with hilarious results - but stick around for understanding just who is sucking up all the water in California - and getting away with it. For a better video copy go here.

For just the gem I referred to above, watch:

OO Florida's Unspeakable Issue Leaves Climate Change Official Tongue-Tied

2015-04-06-1428335320-6370915-wildfirevortex500MorganFireNEofSFcredMattGranzcourtesytwittersacramentoNationalWeatherService_resize.jpg
Credit Matt Granz, Courtesy Twitter,/Sacramento National Weather Service

OO Wildfires Tied to Drought, Heat & Topography, Not Beetles

*
*
*

WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies

OO Japan Uses Climate Cash For Coal Plants

OO Canada Pushes Ahead with Alternatives to Keystone XL

OO Water Use For US Fracking Has Skyrocketed, USGS data show, even as the western drought makes the stuff ever more precious.

Bad Ideas:

2015-04-06-1428335362-8209284-droughtsignprayforrainsourcefacebookccr253.jpg
Source facebook

OO How Growers Gamed California's Drought - Consuming 80% of California's developed water but accounting for only 2% of the state's GDP, agriculture thrives while everyone else is parched.

OO China's Massive Use of Cement a Big Source of Carbon Emissions - and it is using more than it really needs.

Clueless Leadership:

OO Ted Cruz Is Trying To Gut The Clean Air
Act And Repeal All Climate Regulation

*
*
*

WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

2015-04-06-1428335430-7907083-anomaltempapr052015.png

Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Apr 5, 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.

Natural Repercussions:

2015-04-06-1428335494-2940342-icebergantarcticcreditNOAAFlickr.jpg
As Antarctica warms up, so is the melting of its ice shelves. Credit NOAA at Flickr

OO Antarctica: Record-Breaking Hot Temperature Recently - 63.5°F. Setting a new all-time temperature record for an entire continent is an exceedingly rare event, reports Ari Phillips at Climate Progress. Meanwhile, new heat records worldwide are far outpacing new cold records.

Related Headlines:

OO 63.5°F in Antarctica - where the most recent century has been the fastest warming one in the past 2,000 years.

OO Antarctic Ice Shelves Melting 70% Faster a new study shows, raising concern that an important buttress keeping land-based ice sheets from flowing to the sea could collapse or vanish in coming decades.

OO Antarctica's Icy 'Doorstops' Thin, Creating Rising Seas Risk

2015-04-06-1428335538-3642459-gulfstreamslowsthedailyclimateccr271.jpg
Source: The Daily Climate

OO The Gulf Stream System May Already Be Weakening: Not Good -this crucial heat conveyor belt hasn't been this weak in 1,100 years, perhaps due to an influx of freshwater from Greenland's melting ice sheet.

OO Report: Diversity Of New England Plant Life Is Threatened by climate change and expanding human development.

OO California Snowpack Hits All-Time Low: 8 %Of Average

2015-04-06-1428335624-8345628-starvingsealionpuponCAbeachfeb2015CreditNOAAFisheriesWestCoastatFlickrccr271.jpg
Starving sea lion pups are just the most visible dramatic effect of warming waters on US coastal ecosystems. Credit NOAA Fisheries West Coast at Flickr

OO The West Coast Is in Hot Water creating a slew of changes to marine food chains.

Social Repercussions:

OO The Salton Sea: A Time-Bomb Amid California Drought - As the sea dries, the toxic pollutants in its bottom are set to be dispersed by wind, polluting far and wide, as migrating birds are deprived of an important rest stop.

OO Florida's Climate Denial Could Cause Catastrophic US Recession - because there's now a trillion-dollar real-estate bubble in coastal property. When it bursts from a catastrophic storm, U.S. taxpayers -- all of us -- will have to pay the bailout bill.

2015-04-06-1428335659-5077239-IndiamonsoontrafficCreditLijiJinarajatwikipediacommonsccr271.jpg
Indian traffic as monsoons flood. Credit Liji Jinaraj at wikipedia commons

OO Tropical Rainfall Rising As Big Storm Events Increase, especially big thunderstorms, study finds.

OO Australia: Queensland To Create Permanent Disaster Recovery Agency to deal with a future of more extreme cyclones and floods brought on by climate change.

*
*
*

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 these strawberries 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.

2015-04-06-1428335695-8966528-strawberriesDSCN5148a_resize.jpg