THE BLOG
09/08/2014 03:08 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Climate Change This Week: CA Solar Dream, Power Plants Punch, and More!

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

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Sep 8, 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 western US is experiencing warmer than normal weather; the eastern Pacific warm spot continues to prevent much rain from reaching California.

Much of the North Pole and surroundings 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.)

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Via Climate Progress

SOLAR KEEPS SURFING

OO California: New Bill Could Make Residential Solar In California A Lot Cheaper
Solar customers could save up to $1,000 if the new bill is signed into law.

OO Texas: Austin Mandates 800 MW of New Solar Power by 2020

OO Hawaii's Largest Utility Announces Plan To Triple Rooftop Solar By 2030

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Check it out here, right now!

GOOD CLEAN NEWS

Renewable Energy Capacity Grew At Fastest Pace Ever In 2013 reports Jeff Spross at Climate Progress. The International Energy Agency said renewables now produce 22 % of the world's electricity, likely rising to 26 % by 2020 -- though this pace won't ultimately meet international climate targets.

OO Chile Is Poised To Pass South America's First Carbon Tax

OO Grid Perfection, Not Defection: the Evolving US Microgrid Landscape

WHAT WORKS

Speaking Out:

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Why Clean Energy Bests Fossil Fuels To Power Poorer Economies, argues energy policy expert Carl Pope at GreenTechMedia, is rooted in the reality of those economies:

1.creating the grid to hook up most customers to fossil fuel power is far more expensive than distributed clean energy (solar and wind),

2. fossil fuel pollution is an economic drain,

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3. fossil fuels use much more increasingly scarce water, and

4. clean energy is now just as cheap as fossil fuels - even more so when you factor in health benefits.

OO 'Urgency of Climate Change' to Debut as Legal Defense

OO Gubernatorial Candidate Connects Pipeline To Climate Change

OO US Govt Estimate of High Social Cost of Carbon Is Accurate says a new Government Accountability Office report.

OO United Nations Predicts Climate Hell In 2050
With Imagined Weather Forecasts
'Reports from the future' warn of floods, storms and searing heat in campaign for climate change summit

You Can Act:

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Bus or Train to People's Climate March, New York City, Sept. 20-21 - Multiple organizations have come together to organize the People's Climate March in New York City, September 20-21. Buses and trains to New York City are available. For more details, go here.

#B4UMarch Campaign - Call Congress Sept. 15-19 -Whether you march or not, it is critical that Congress hear from Americans that we support climate action.

Using the hash tag, #B4UMarch, take a few minutes to call your state's Congress people at their Washington, DC offices before the People's Climate March. Get the Washington, DC contact information for your state's Congressional representatives and Senators here.

Scientific Insights:

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In just 5 years, satellite maps that measure topographic height very accurately show that the melting of Greenlandic ice has doubled; for West Antarctica, it has tripled, says an author of a new study.

OO New Satellite Maps Show Polar Ice Caps Melting At 'Unprecedented Rate'

Good Ideas:

Cut Carbon, Breathe Easier, Live Longer says a new MIT study, reports Brian Palmer at Climate Central. The effect of fossil fuel pollution is so economically disastrous to human health, cutting carbon emissions through a cap and trade policy would produce a 10x economic payback - for every $100 invested, the US would see a $1000 return. And that's just the payback for cutting pollution.

The payback will be far larger, in terms of slowing climate change...such a deal! Tell your Congress people how much you want this!

OO How to Encourage Home Energy Savings - segue it with owners' highest priorities: security, and economy ; it's not that hard to do.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies:

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Credit Peter Essick

World's Fossil Fueled Plants Are Increasing, Locking in More Emissions, Climate Change says a new study, reports Jeff Spross at Climate Progress.

Such plants are being built faster than they are being retired, which is guaranteeing an increase in global carbon emissions, exactly the opposite of what needs to be done to avoid ever more catastrophic climate change for humanity.

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Credit Kleineolive at Wikimedia.

Building these plants is an act of economic lunacy: the pollution will continue to eat away at economic development if they function, or current investments will be worthless if they are replaced by clean energy, needed if human civilization is to continue to thrive.

OO New Coal Power Stations Threat To EU's Emissions Target - burning Europe's reserves of lignite would wipe out the EU's entire carbon budget from 2020 until the end of the century, says Greenpeace.

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Credit Ajsmen91 at Wikimedia Commons

OO Potential Health Risks for Babies Born Near Fracking say initial studies.

OO Pennsylvania: Fracking Has Contaminated Drinking Water 100s of Times

OO US State Dept Underestimates Carbon Pollution From Keystone XL

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Oil is being delivered faster than perishable food crops to human communities.

OO Food Crops Pushed Aside As Oil Trains Sail Through and the delays are hitting farmers - and food companies - in the pocketbook, hard.

Denying Reality:

OO Climate Sceptic Says Australia's Record Breaking Heat Is Fabricated Conspiracy as he accuses the Bureau of Meteorology of falsifying the data -- the road of denial takes yet another bizarre turn.

RISING RISKS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

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Summer Recap of Hot, Cold, and Rainy Extremes
Consistent With Global Heating
, notes meteorologist Jon Plotkin at Decoded Science, as he ticks off various new weather records around the US. A recent heat wave promised a very warm start to the fall in the US and Europe.

OO NOAA Lists 20 Coral Species As Threatened From Climate Change, fishing and pollution.

Pests Pose Increasing Risk to Food Security says a new study, reports Tim Radford at Climate Central, as climate change and human transmission continue to ease the spread of pests from their points of origin to possible host countries.

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Source: CIAT/flickr

Few countries now host most of the pests that could possibly thrive in them, but the spread of pests, over 2,000 of them, is accelerating, and that will mean further damage to crops increasingly stressed by increasingly extreme weather under continuing climate change.

Ferocious Feedbacks:

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Credit: Steve Dunleavy at flickr

California: Mountain Forest Changes Threaten Water Supplies says a new study, reports John Upton at Climate Central, as changing temperature gradients are "dragging" water-hogging forests uphill. This could reduce state water supplies up to 25% by 2100.

California Dryin':

OO Drought-Stricken California Moves To Regulate Underground Water
-- For First Time Ever

OO Battle Wages for California's Groundwater Rights - as neighboring farmers sue each other, and a bill regulating it looms.

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Well before it became crowded with people., the west has seen megadroughts spanning 30 to 100 years long in the past 1000 years. Current climate change increases the chances of the current drought turning into one.

OO Climate Change Ups Odds of a Southwest Megadrought

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

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This used to be a Canadian forest. Now it's a toxic wasteland from tar sand extraction. Via RTCC

OO More Tar Sands Trouble:
Oil Extraction Leading To Big Forest Loss In Alberta, Canada

OO Brazil: Govt Busts Major Illegal Loggers' Gang

OO Saving The Atlantic Forest Would Cost Less
Than Making 'Titanic' Movie

and the payback would be far greater, if private landowners were paid to protect this forest.


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When Indonesian forests are destroyed, orangutans die. Source: Mongabay

Indonesia: Poverty Drives Illegal Logging in Sumatra reports Robert Eshelman at Mongabay. 'I make six times the money I'd make working legally'says an illegal logger. Lack of government support for even modest help in village farming projects drives villagers to make money illegally. The country and the world loses.

OO Map: Siting New Roads to Save Forests, Wildlife

OO How Do We Save The World's Vanishing Old-Growth Forests? Make their conservation a national priority worldwide.

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A selfie taken by a Sulawesi Crested Macaque. Deforestation threatens its home, and that of many species still undiscovered there.

OO Life We May Never Know:
Deforestation Threatens Sulawesi's Unique , Unknown Wildlife

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 butterfly 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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