THE BLOG

Climate Change This Week: The Melting Ice Connection, Sharing Solar, and More!

06/15/2015 03:54 pm ET | Updated Jun 15, 2016

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

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"Yoda" Bat Is Threatened from climate change and climate changing activities like deforestation. Discovered on New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea in 2009, it remains undescribed.
Credit Piotr Naskrecki,/iLCP at Mongabay

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

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If greenhouse gas emissions are not curtailed soon, then global warming may bring about the most sweeping re-arrangement of ocean species in at least 3 million years, according to a new study.

OO Global Warming Risks Largest Changes To Ocean Life In 3 Million Years - says a new report, including extinctions of keystone species and widespread influx of "invasive" animals and plants, migrating due to changing environmental conditions.

Related Headline:

OO Global Warming May Cause Largest Ocean Species Migration In 3 Million Years

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Now imagine these numbers rapidly spinning away... Credit Duncan Clark at the UK Guardian

@@ Fuel Ticker: Just How Fast Are Climate Change Drivers Being Mined? AKA fossil fuels; don't watch after a full meal.

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Polar bears aren't the only ones being affected by melting ice.

OO Rapid Arctic Ice Loss Linked To Extreme Weather Changes In Europe, US - from the massive snowstorms and bone-chilling cold in the U.S. to flooding in Britain and record temperatures in Europe, new research appears to confirm.

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Global Warming 101

OO NOAA: New Analysis Shows No Pause in Global Warming - the so-called "pause" was an illusion based on inadequate data; when corrected, there is no pause in surface warming of the planet since the mid-1900s.

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IKEA has a wind farm in Ireland; now it wants to tackle climate change. Source www.evwind.es

Stepping Up When Governments Won't:

OO IKEA Pledges Over $1 Billion To Slow Climate Change - via renewable energy and helping poor nations cope with climate change - the latest example of firms upstaging governments in efforts to slow warming.

Ikea's CEO: the investments will be "good for customers, good for the climate and good for IKEA too."

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Current national plans to reduce climate changing emissions won't go nearly far enough to prevent worsening extreme weather.

OO Major Economies Falling Short On Emissions Target says the independent monitoring group Carbon Tracker initiative.

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If we can put a man on the moon, we can replace fossil fuels with clean renewable energy on earth. NASA

OO Global Apollo Programme Seeks to Make
Clean Energy Cheaper Than Coal by 2025
the new campaign will emulate the famous space race to the moon.

A group of eminent scientists, economists and businessmen aim to channel $15 billion annually into research, development and demonstration of green energy and its storage - the same funding, in today's money, spent by the US to put a man on the moon.

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Although some appliances are used far more often than others, it's often home heating that uses the most energy. Source bebrainfit.com

OO People Often Don't Know How Much Energy They Use - says a study, because they
tend to think most of the enrgy they use comes from the things they use most often - not true.

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Fluorite crystals, the solid form of fluorine. Fluorine chemicals, used in deodorants and refrigerants (and others still used today) Source BBC magazine

Fluoride Gases Cause Up to 14% of Man Made Global Warming
- And More In the Future
- the current 14% comes from gases leaked from refrigerators and air conditioners in the 1960s-80s, now banned, reports Laurence Knight at the BBC News Magazine - but these gases are 1000s times more potent at global warming than CO2 and often stay in the atmosphere far longer - up to 12,000 years. Those leaked 20th century gases are still up there, warming the planet.

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As the number of cars explodes in China and India, so do leaks of their air conditioner fluoride gases, which are 1000s times more potent at global warming than CO2. Source thedrivenblog.com

Now, new fluoride gases with much shorter atmospheric lives - e.g., decades - are used in industry, but are still 1,000 times more potent than CO2.

These gases cause up to 1-2% of man made global warming - but this is predicted to rise to 20% by 2050, as they leak from car air conditioners, whose numbers will explode with car use in developing countries.

Why aren't we RESTRICTING these super global warmers for ONLY absolutely vital functions?

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Big Oil: Pretty Icons For Dirty Companies. BP (left) and Shell (right) join other mega oil companies in calling for a price on carbon. Source www.salon.com

OO In Stunning Reversal, 'Big Oil' Asks For Carbon Price - say Shell, BP, Total, Statoil, Eni and BG Group - the oil biggies.
http://newsletters.dailyclimate.org/t/187823/26488/141985/0/

But - did they do this, knowing that ...

OO Global CO2 Pricing Seen Unlikely To Be Big Part Of Paris Climate Deal - some experts say, because many countries have little faith in such cross-border initiatives.

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A hut leapfrogs over the electric grid, an increasingly common sight in developing countries.

OO French President: Developing Countries Could Leapfrog West With Clean Energy - as rich countries struggle to wean themselves off fossil fuels.
Good point.

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OO 'Radical Transition' Of Economy Needed To Curb Climate Change as shown by mounting harmful impacts such as heat waves and sea level, says a new study.

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OO Drought Has Cost California Economy Nearly $3 Billion due to agricultural losses, researchers said.

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OO California Advances Sweeping Climate Change Legislation - approving legislation to help the state tackle climate change by setting new targets for generating renewable energy, reducing gasoline use and increasing energy efficiency in buildings.

Related Headline:

OO CA Senate Passes Climate Package Aiming For 50% Renewable Power,
Halving Petroleum Use By 2030.

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

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Source UK Guardian

OO Why One Child Is Enough for Me--and Might Be for You

Takeaways: various studies find that:

* marital happiness maxes out at one child
* each additional child means an extra 120 hours of housework annually
* parenting demands have exploded, so even one is a challenge

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Help your local groups bring down the rate of unintended births.

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

SOLAR KEEPS SAILING

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OO Major Insurance Company UBS:
Solar Will Become the 'Default Technology of the Future'
say its analysts.
"We believe solar will eventually replace nuclear and coal."

OO Helping Utilities Provide Community Solar Power to Customers - a new startup company approaches a new market.

OO Latest Solar Breakthrough -
Major Improvement of the Next Gen Solar Cell
- getting rid of those pesky pinholes on the top layers of perovskite cells.

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Source GreenTechMedia

OO US City Property Represents a Big Solar Opportunity - equal to a quarter of the current total US solar capacity installed.

OO California Setting New Solar Records at Rapid Pace

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OO Nevada: Feds Fast-Track Approval for 3 Solar Power Farms

OO Minnesota: State Govt Approves Largest Solar Energy Project Yet
"Something big is happening in solar energy in Minnesota."

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OO Nearly $31 Million Raised To Create Flexible US Grids For Solar, Wind Power
http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/smart-wires-raises-30.8m-for-transmission-power-routing

OO Nearly $5 Million Raised to Scale Up Energy Storage Software

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This power manager allows rural villagers to share their solar power with neighbors - a big step in providing access to power to over 1 billion rural people worldwide who lack it. Source MIT News

OO MIT's New System Allows Rural People WorldwideTo Share
Solar Power With Neighbors

Solar Overseas:

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Dawn over Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Credit Gab1209 at Flickr

OO At OPEC, the Saudi Oil Minister Mainly Wants to Discuss Solar Power

Yet...

OO Prices Are Down, But Saudis Keep Oil Flowing possibly in part because their economy just got far more expensive due to their now empty aquifer, which now forces them to import wheat rather than grow it.

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A Russian solar farm. Source russia-insider.com

OO Russian Oil Billionaire Makes $450 Million Bid to Ramp Up Russian Solar Power
Billionaire Viktor Vekselberg is out to prove that solar has a place in Russia, the world's largest exporter of oil and gas.

Maybe he wants to show the Chinese, who have pledged $1 billion recently towards developing Russian solar power, that Russia can help itself, too.

Imagine if a US big oil Company did the same thing!

OO In Quake-Prone Nepal, Solar Power Is An Energy Solution to climate change, and a path toward energy security and economic stability, especially when things get shaky again.

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Check it out here, right now!

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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Sales of the Chevy Spark soared once new financing was introduced. Source Buffalo News

OO New Finance Deals Help US E-car Sales Soar

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A kit that makes your energy smart home smarter now has a market of compatible devices developing around it. Source GreenTechMedia

OO Apple HomeKit Compatible Products Hit the Shelves - lights, sensors, smart thermostats and smart plugs are just the beginning.

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Source solarplaza.com

OO South Africa: How Renewable Energy Is Quietly Stealing Up on Coal - Solar, biomass and wind energy systems are popping up all over the country.

"It is set to completely transform these deep rural communities in terms of healthcare, education, job creation and a raft of other interventions. All this while putting green electricity on the grid at affordable prices."

OO South Africa: Big Oil Firm, Total SA, To Boost Gas, Exit Coal Mining By 2020 as part of a new policy on fossil fuels and climate change.

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Keep flying, Green Dragon!

OO China Emissions Might Peak Early - By 2025 says a new study, as the giant continues switching to clean renewables.

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WHAT WORKS

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Seattle kayakers protest Shell's presence in their harbor.

OO Greens In One Last Legal Bid To Block Shell From Drilling Arctic

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OO Pester Power:
Guilt Trip Your Parents to Act More on Climate, Kids!
- urges the world's leading climate economist.

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OO What Kids Can Do - join the kids' iMatter Movement - check it out!

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OO Oxfam To World Leaders: Kick Killer Coal Habit
"Let them Eat Coal" report shows national G7 leaders how to do it without financial difficulty; else millions will starve as climate change disrupts food production.

Subsidizing the Right Stuff:

OO Elon Musk's Clean Tech Empire Fueled by Nearly $5 Billion in Govt Subsidies
- a model of public-private financing of long-shot startups, to fuel much needed innovation.

Of course, this is pittance compared to US fossil fuel subsidies.

OO New York Agency Seeks To Aid Large Scale Renewable Energy Projects - with $1.5 billion over next decade.

The Right Vision:

OO Tesla Co-Founder Sees Future In Electric Commercial Trucks - great idea, since the needed battery takes up, percentage-wise, far less space in a big rig - and if it crashes, no big fireball.

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WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies

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No Daddy, No!! Why did you leave this mess for me?

OO Exxon: 25 Years Of Rejecting Shareholder Concerns On Climate Change - a record of shame and suicidal greed.

OO EPA Finds Drinking Water Vulnerable To Fracking - says a new study but provides no new detailed data that would help to quantify the scope of any contamination that has occurred across the US.

OO Big Oil's Plan To Become Big Gas - oh, great: replace one disgusting fossil fuel with another disgusting fossil fuel that ultimately causes as much climate change - what a big fracking mess - and all for blind greed.

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A Fox Pup: One of the US Losers from Europe's climate policies. Source www.fanpop.com

OO Europe's Climate Policies Are Burning US Forests -
And Producing More Climate Change
- as forests are turned into wood pellets that Europe burns to help cut coal use - yes, this is just as insane as it sounds. Bye-bye, wildlife.

(FD: we have a family of foxes living under our subalpine lab cabin these days: as the sun sets, the kits bark goodnight to us.)

OO Corn Ethanol Is Worse Than Keystone Pipeline says a new analysis by the Environmental Working Group. US ethanol production drives overseas destruction of our best carbon-storage systems - forests - to replace US croplands lost to ethanol. And the carbon footprint needed to produce ethanol doesn't make it better than standard fossil fuels.

So why aren't Keystone activists outside the White House, protesting its ethanol policy?

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What Poland Stands To Lose: its children, who often sicken and sometimes die from its coal pollution. Many of them are fantastic dancers. A good reason to ditch coal. Source: syrenkachildrenspolishdancers.org

OO Poland: Coal Is Lowering Life Spans of men, women, and children from the ghastly pollution.

Delay Means Money:

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Source www.evwind.es

OO Demand Response Electric Grids Could Save Texans Up To $85 Million DAILY - but there's no political will for meaningful demand response in Texas

It's up to Texan voters to change that.

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS extreme weather, California dryin',
Google Weather around the world month year to get latest update from Jon Plotkin; ck the summary.

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, June 15, 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. Check out how Alaska continues to fry, with Anchorage - you know, that city in the north - hitting above 80 F today!

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:

OO Insane Heat Wave in Alaska Put Temperatures Higher Than in Arizona occurred in late May.

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Social Repercussions:

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Climate change adds to the destabilization of a poor, already politically unstable, atomic nation. Source blogs.tribune.com.pk

OO Climate Change Costs Pakistan $24 Billion Annually - further destabilizing an already poor, politically unstable country - and one that has the atomic bomb.

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 Rocky Mt rose 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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