THE BLOG
11/01/2014 10:44 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Climate Change This Week: Coal's Creepy Cancer, Saving Capitalism From Polluters and More!

Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded..... bwahahahahahaha!!!!!
Hmmmm.... Actually, this really IS scary....

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Fossil fuels are turning our planet into a pretty scary Jack o' Lantern. Vote for clean energy leaders on Nov 4th! NASA

OO Hottest Year On Record, Says NOAA;
Data 'Show No Pause In Warming'
- Oct 2013 to Sep 2014 broke all existing average heat records for the planet...

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Oct 31, 2014

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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 California drought continues.

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.

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SOLAR KEEPS SMILING

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OO An Innovative New Way For Normal People To Invest In Solar Power - bypassing the banks, SolarCity is offering a direct-to-consumer bond for $1000 a piece that will help finance its ongoing installations of residential solar.

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Cheap Solar Power Just Became An Employee Benefit For More Than 100,000 People reports Ari Phillips at Climate Progress. Three major companies - Cisco Systems, 3M, and Kimberly Clark - announced they will now give employees a deeply discounted way of buying or leasing solar panels for their homes. Sunny news, indeed!

OO US Solar Is About 60% Cheaper Now
Than Predicted In 2010

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Check it out here, right now!

GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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Solar And Wind Energy Running Rampant reports Seth Zuckerman at ClimateCast. SolarCity kicked off a $200 million bond sale to individual investors recently, to get more capital to install photovoltaics on customers' rooftops and sell them the clean power. The favorable economics stem from the falling price of solar, which was driven until 2012 by lower panel prices, and since then, by lower costs of other system components.

Meanwhile, wind energy's success is leading to the closure of coal- and gas-fired plants in Scandinavia and the Baltics, as wind power outcompetes fossil energy.

OO Innovations In Energy Storage Boost US Renewables and large-scale US energy storage projects -- from massive lithium-ion battery installations to giant, compressed air caverns - are now planned.

OO Illinois: From Chicago To Small Towns, Spreading The Smart Grid Gospel - the mandated delivery of home smart meters will likely spark significant energy savings - relieving burden on power supplies and saving money for residents.

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OO Renewables And Efficiency Made Up 70% Of The Drop In US Emissions Since 2007

OO Africa: Renewable Energy Set To Surge By 2040, IEA Says in a new report.

OO Wind Could Provide Almost One-Fifth Of Global Electricity By 2030

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wolfgangstaudt at Wiki Commons
The new German Parliament building is an energy efficient one.

OO Germany: Shift To Renewable Energy Creates Energy Rates Close To US Range

OO European Union Agrees To Cut Its Emissions 40% By 2030 -
But That's Too Little, Too Late
- says an official of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the most reputable body of climate change experts in the world.

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greenhouse.net

Solar paneled greenhouses beneath utilitiy lines will cut down on wasted grid energy, and grow organic greens. A tasty win-win story. * Turning Wasted Grid Energy Into Organic Greens is planned by a new California startup, reports Justin Lichter at Climate Central. Keeping a required backup of energy means that the grid ultimately wastes much of it, when it isn't needed.

Courage-US will create solar paneled greenhouses beneath the energy lines of power utilities, selling them power when they need it. And when they don't, the power will grow organic greens. I predict a delicious green future...

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WHAT WORKS

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Speaking Out:

OO US Green Voting Bloc Growing Into Electoral Powerhouse

OO At US Local Level, Pragmatism On Climate Change Trumps Politics as communities see climate change lapping, burning, or baking at their doorsteps.

Quote of the Decade:

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An excerpt from Naomi Klein, in her latest book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate, available here.

OO Progressives, Enviros, And Scientists Can Save Capitalism argues Joe Romm at Climate Progress, from the pro-collapse polluters and their enablers. Pursuing relentless short term economic growth that leads to longterm collapse from climate change is the ultimate form of anti-growth.

Thus, unchecked capitalism is a Ponzi scheme that must collapse. Our prolonged inaction in the face of that growing threat of collapse forces drastic action now.

OO Floridians Deliver Petition,
Urge Gov. Rick Scott To Cut State Emissions

"It's time we put a clean power plan in place for Florida that cleans up dirty coal fired power plants."

OO Texans Call On School Board
To Remove Climate Denial From Textbooks

OO Climate Change Takes Center Stage on Instagram

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OO Condoms Fight Climate Change - but no one wants to talk about it: the one time when sex is an intelligent topic of conversation... sheesh....

Scientific Insights:

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NASA
The yellow line shows the average minimum of the Arctic ice cap for the past decade. As global warming eats away at our planetary thermal shield, the exposed darker seawater absorbs more heat, changing air circulation and stalling frigid Arctic weather systems over surrounding lands, resulting in more frigid winters more often in Europe and Asia.

Cold Winters in Europe, Asia Linked to Sea Ice Decline reports Andrea Thompson at Climate Central.

As ice melts away under continued global warming, the expanding areas of darker seawater absorb more heat, changing the atmospheric pressure above them.

This leads to stalled weather systems, which can lock in frigid air weather longer over lands, chilling them even further. Time to invest in down booties - and clean energy!

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OO Frost Free Seasons Are Lengthening

OO Climate Change And Rising Violence Are Linked say 55 scientific studies.

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UCAR at Flickr

OO Tornado Days Decrease,
But Number Per Day Rises

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WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies:

OO Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Linked to Cancer Among Residents

OO Evidence Connects Quakes to Oil, Natural Gas Boom

OO Ohio: Fracking Triggered 400 Tiny Earthquakes Over 3 Months say scientists; Ohio requires companies to stop fracking if it causes earthquakes.

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Would you want this to be your child's school view?

OO Pennsylvania: Mom Doesn't Want Fracking Near Daughters' School - she and 3 other parents, concerned about the resulting water, air and noise pollution, are legally challenge a local decision to allow fracking near a campus of 3,200 children.

OO Methane Leaks Wipe Out Any Climate Benefit Of Fracking, satellite observations confirm.

OO Texas: Deadly Gas On The Rise In Oil Fields

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Dirk Ingo Franke at Wikimedia Commons

Natural Gas Is The Bridge Fuel To Nowhere reports Seth Zuckerman at ClimateCast.
The abundance of cheap natural gas would do little to slow climate change, says a new study. Five independent computer models that simulated the impact of abundant gas on the world economy found carbon emissions and global warming pressures would remain virtually unchanged.

The reason: cheap gas would result in higher energy use, and slow down the adoption of clean energy such as wind and solar. This research echoes a recent study's similar findings for the U.S.

OO Low Oil Prices Could Spike Carbon Emissions through increased consumption.

Fouling Feedbacks:

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Peter Essick

OO Polar Vortex Spiked U.S. CO2 Emissions in 2013 - as people burned more fuel to stay warm from the Arctic chill, helping to up US emissions 2-3% in 2013.

Inadequate Action, Vision:

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idorianofjapan at Wikimedia Commons

All sources of seafood are threatened by ocean acidification, caused by the increased absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. US northwest shellfish fisheries are already being damaged.

OO Federal Watchdog: U.S. Govt Not Doing Enough To Stop Ocean Acidification -
one of the biggest and least talked about effects of global warming.

OO EPA Underestimating Renewables Potential,
Could Easily Be Doubled
says the Union of Concerned Scientists.

OO Natl Public Radio Guts Environment, Climate Reporting Team,
-- Becomes 'Part Of The Problem'
- shame, NPR, shame!

Clueless leadership:

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Even elephants can't survive on oil. Credit: Mary Ellen Harte

OO Louisiana GOP Rep. Cassidy: 'Not Sure Climate Change Is The Issue'
As Coastline Disappears
from erosion faster than anywhere else in the world.

OO GOP Rep. Paul Ryan: Doesn't Know That Humans Cause Climate Change - unlike the 97% of scientists, and the insurance companies dealing with it.

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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OO Australia: Spring Heat Wave Breaks Records Across Country - the irony is, it's literally fueling the global warming fires that help bake it, by exporting coal. A country that doesn't need to be told to go to hell -- it's creating its own.

OO Pentagon: Global Warming Poses 'Immediate Risk' To US National Security

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AP/Julio Cortez
As continued climate change guarantees more disasters like this but people fail to act to prevent it, insurers are wisely deciding not to pay for it.

OO Insurers Retreating from Covering Increasing Weather Disasters worldwide, reveals a new study.

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Lake Oroville, CA, an important reservoir, is drying up as the drought continues.

OO CA Heads for Warmest Year As Drought Hangs On

OO Unsafe Groundwater Adds To California Drought Misery - as decimated surface water supplies force more Californians to use groundwater, which is unsafe for nearly 800,000 residents, says the state's water resources control board.

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Credit ABC15news

OO Climate Change Will Worsen Bushfire Season
says a new report; it predicts the economic cost of fires will triple by 2050 and urges reduction in carbon emissions.

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ForestWander at Wikimedia Commons

OO Climate Change Could Ruin Fall Color Shows For US and dry up hundreds of millions of tourist dollars for the economies of particularly colorful areas.

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Changing climate is enabling more unseasonable weather that spells disaster in the Himalayas.
Credit Ryszard Pawlowski at Wikimedia Commons

OO Himalayas: Unseasonal Blizzard Results in Trekking Disaster - with 32 dead and 35 missing.

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

OO Amazon Deforestation Spikes 190% After Long Reported Decline - with an area 10x Manahattan recently cleared over 2 months.

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CIFOR/flickr

Drying Amazon Could Be Major Carbon Concern reports Brian Kahn at Climate Central. The Amazon rainforest, the lungs of the planet, are drying out, threatening to cough up much of its carbon reserves. A new study shows that since 2000, drier conditions are decreasing its lung capacity.

If the Amazon's breaths become shallower, a possible feedback loop could set in, further reducing lung capacity and throwing the carbon balance further out of whack.

OO Brazil: São Paulo Running Dry As Rain-Making Amazon Vanishes - South America's biggest and wealthiest city may run out of water by mid-November if it doesn't rain soon.

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 giant jack o' lantern I photographed one autumn, happily eating other jack o' lanterns. 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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