10/13/2014 09:24 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Climate Change This Week: The Walrus Sings, Renewables Rising, and More!

Altaeros Energies is developing turbine-equipped tubular helium balloons that float up to 2,000 feet in the air to capture wind energy. (From Altaeros Energies)

OO A Lighter-Than-Air Turbine To Harness High-Altitude Winds



OO The Latest Climate Refugees: 35,000+ Walrus Mass on Beach as their homes, sea ice, have melted away.

OO Largest Massing Ever a Sign of Warming Arctic


Why Does This Threaten Walruses? Walruses are built for sea ice and like to cuddle; on land they are prone to overheating in their thick fat coats while trying to rest between foraging. It also increases the energy they must expend to travel to their feeding grounds.


Walruses: The Climate Change Canaries of the Arctic

OO Giant Walrus Massing Is New
---And We Don't Know How Bad It Will Get

OO Oceans Getting Hotter Than Anybody Realized says new data.

Credit D. Dixson

OO Oceans Acidifying Faster Than Fish Can Adapt - says a new study, which indicates it can take several generations for a fish to start adapting.

A new edgy take that punches home the stark message: nature doesn't need us - WE need nature. Harrison Ford is the ocean. Check out the entire series with other superstars at Nature is Speaking.



Solar Power Is Taking Off At Airports Across The USA reports Emily Atkin at Climate Progress, creating construction jobs and reducing air pollution across the country.

OO Solar Power Is Growing So Fast
That Older Energy Companies Are Trying To Stop It

OO SunEdison Proposes New Dividend Yielding Company
For African, Asian Solar Projects
- yet one more avenue for investors to profit from the expansion of clean energy.


African Solar Designs

OO India Will Be Renewables Superpower,
Says Energy Minister

OO Latin America On Track to Install Lots of Solar PV in 2015



Germany: Home Solar, Plus Storage Battery,To Be Cheaper Than Fossil Fueled Grid Soon reports Jeff Spross at Climate Progress, says a new analysis by global investment bank HSBC, and the US could be there by 2020, say US experts.

President Obama Promises $1 Billion To Boost Solar Projects In India recently which should help Prime Minister Modi's ambitious renewable energy agenda writes Seth Zuckerman at ClimateCast. Rural areas in the global South crave the benefits of electricity, and require appropriately scaled efforts to obtain it, such as this 10-year-old program that trains grandmothers to install and maintain photovoltaic-powered systems in their villages. Way to go, grandma!


Check it out here, right now!


OO Tackling Global Warming Will Improve Health, Save Lives, And Save Money


OO Cutting Carbon Emissions Would Have Almost Immediate Health Benefits says new study.

OO Conventional Fossil Fuel Generators Headed Towards Decline says a new report by global investment bank HSBC.

Chile Is First Nation To Announce a Carbon Tax reports Seth Zuckerman at ClimateCast. with a $5 per metric ton charge on power plant emissions to begin in 2018. Meanwhile, in the wake of the carbon tax repeal Down Under, Aussie renewable projects sank by 70% compared with 2013.


Global Clean Energy Investment Makes Strides reports Seth Zuckerman at ClimateCast. Bloomberg's 2014 New Energy Finance Report on global renewable energy trends finds investment ($175B) up 16 percent during the first three quarters of 2014, compared to the same period last year, driven largely by China's record-breaking investment in solar.Yieldcos (public companies that bundle long-term renewable energy contracts and yield reliable dividends).

OO England Harnessing The 'Power Locked In Poo' To Fuel Homes

OO Even Big Oil Abandons ALEC, the Climate Denying Lobby



Speaking Out:

OO Michigan Resident Confronts Gas Pipeline Surveyors
-- With A Shotgun
- when they show up unannounced and start planning a pipeline right across his property.

OO Federal Court Backs EPA's Veto Of Large Surface Mine In Appalachia
"This should send a signal that the tide has turned on mountaintop mining."

Good Ideas:

OO Trying To Fight Climate Change Without Admitting We Are To Blame

OO Embrace Boycott Politics for Climate Action


OO Make Fighting Climate Change Work For Workers --
Invest In Clean Energy And Energy Efficiency
- when you cut carbon dioxide, workers benefit.

OO Study: EPA's Power Plant Rules Could Prevent Thousands Of Deaths Annually
The health benefits of the reduced power plant pollution would result in 3,500 fewer premature deaths, 1,000 fewer hospital visits, and 220 fewer heart attacks every year.

Supporting Informed Political Candidates:

OO Greens Take 2014 Fight To States



Fossil Fuel Follies:

OO Burning Coal To Blame For US Rising Carbon Emissions in 2013

OO MIT: Global Energy Use, Co2 May Double By 2100

Clueless Leadership:


OO A Complete Guide To Politicians Who Plead Ignorance
And Oppose Action On Climate Change
- wait, wait, don't tell me - they're all Republicans, aren't they? Just a wild guess.


OO Population Zooming Unsustainably
And Little Is Being Done to Stop It
- which will make it much more difficult to address climate change.


As the world human population has doubled from 1970,
HALF the number of wild animals have disappeared.

OO Human Activities Have Cut Animal Populations In Half Since 1970


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


Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Oct 12, 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, 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.

OO Ocean's Surface Warming Much Faster Than Previously Thought - as previous sampling is found to be inaccurate.

OO Unchecked Warming To Dust-Bowlify Southwest, Central Plains, Amazon, Europe


The effect on global warming on weather is clearly seen in heat waves and droughts.

OO In Extreme Weather, More Sign Of Human Fingerprints

Australian Heat Wave, Other Disasters Linked To Global Warming says a new study reports Seth Zuckerman at ClimateCast. With the global warming links most clearly connected to droughts and heat waves.

California Dryin'

Idaho Dept of Fish and Game

Drought Driving Botulism Epidemic Among Waterfowl - Many Thousands Dead reports Nate Schweber at Al Jazeera America. The drought has helped the toxic bacteria to explode, even as waterfowl concentrate in ever shrinking wet habitats, allowing the contagious disease spread that much faster.

OO California Faces A Record-Breaking October Heat Wave


Folsom Lake: as the lakes in California dry up, so does the hydroelectric power they generate.
CA Dept of Water Resources

OO Drought Dries Up California Hydropower

OO Canada: Climate Change Affecting Forests 'Faster Than The Global Average,' says a government report.


Viva La Blub-blub-blub-blub-blub.... is the new French song, as an extreme storm flooded Montpellier recently.

WxNick at Twitter

OO South France Floods From 10 Inches of Rain in 3 Hours

OO Humans, Climate, Drain 4th Largest Lake on Earth - and replacing a source of moderate climate with salty windblown dust for countries surrounding the inland Aral Sea.

New Max in Antarctic Ice Belies Continued Global Warming reports Andres Thompson at Climate Central. Besides a continually warming planet, the percentage increase in Antarctic ice is outstripped by the percentage loss of Arctic ice. Ice loss has far more climate impact than ice gain, say experts.

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

Wikimedia Commons

OO $42 Billion in Economic Damages Yearly
From Carbon-Rich Mangroves' Destruction
- globally coordinated action and policy needed to stem loss of one of the planet's most threatened ecosystems.

OO Despite High Deforestation,
Indonesia Making Progress On Forests
, says Norwegian official

OO Indonesia: High Court Denies Appeal By Company That Cleared Protected Peat Forest which store high amounts of carbon.

When palm oil companies destroy forests, orangutans die. Mongabay

OO Malaysian Palm Oil Company Destroys Borneo Forests, despite buyer's zero deforestation commitment.

OO Remnant Shrubs And Trees Play Vital Role In Regenerating Forests

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 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 grasshopper I photographed recently. 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.