THE BLOG
11/17/2014 06:00 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Climate Change This Week: A BIG Climate Pact, Cheap US Solar Soon All Over, and More!

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


South Florida and Sea Level Rise - A Slow Motion Catastrophe - latest in the This Is Not Cool Series by Peter Sinclair.

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OO U.S., China Reach 'Historic' Deal To Cut Emissions - it's a long overdue beginning, and no where close to what it needs to be, but for now, "China, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship...."

SOLAR KEEPS RISING

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Brazilian solar bids roll in at high volumes and low prices to supply solar power to the nation's electric grid, resulting in nearly a gigawatt of new contracts reports Seth Zuckerman at ClimateCast. Less than 10% of the many proposals could be accepted, all at less than 9 cents per kilowatt-hour.

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Here Comes The Sun: America's Solar Boom - an energy analyst at Deutsche Bank came to a startling conclusion recently, reports Tim McDonnell at Mother Jones: By 2016, solar power will be as cheap or cheaper than electricity from the conventional grid in every state except three. That's without any changes to existing policy.

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Check it out here, right now!

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

OO Green Energy 'Creates More Jobs Than Fossil Fuels' study says.

OO Scotland Produced Enough Wind Energy To Power Every Home In October.

OO LEDs the Fast-Rising Heroes of Efficiency are becoming the affordable and more efficient replacements of compact fluorescent lights.

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EU Plans 'Supergrid' To Boost Security, Renewables reports Paul Brown at the Daily Climate. The European Union, nervous about Russia cutting off gas supplies and keen to cut emissions by developing renewable energy sources, aims to link all 28 member states to one electricity grid.

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WHAT WORKS

Speaking Out:

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You Can Help Fight Climate Change with Reality Drop, a project by the Climate Reality Project, to combat the rampant online misinformation about climate change and its solutions, especially clean energy. It makes it easy for you spread the truth or combat the denial surrounding hotly debated articles in their comment sections. Like a good fight? Here ya go!

OO We Must Manage Climate Risks By Cutting Carbon Pollution,
Top Scientists Conclude

OO Australia: Yawuru Native People Camp Out To Oppose Fracking

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Source dailycollegian/Flickr

Divestment Movement Growing Among NGOs, Cities reports Seth Zuckerman at ClimateCast. The Oregon Environmental Council shed its dirty stocks and invested in green companies recently. And 350.org's Fossil Free movement enlisted its 30th city worldwide (Orebro, Sweden) to divest its investment portfolio from coal and oil.

The movement is growing, with campaigns up and running in London and eight German cities, and Paris waiting in the wings. Nearly 200 institutions, managing an estimated $50 billion, have pledged to divest since 2011; the number of investment professionals offering fossil-free portfolios has increased more than 50% this year.

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Where Voters Made a Difference on Climate:

Although the 2014 US elections shifted control of Congress under to a group dominated by climate deniers, who profess to understand nothing about the science, the elections also saw climate change solutions becoming a voting priority, reports Seth Zuckerman at ClimateCast.

Fracking bans won in a Texas oil town, an Ohio college town, and in two of three California counties that voted on the issue. In the northeast, the voter elected Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, who promised to bring his state into the Northeast's Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

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Zack Malitz on twitter

OO Americans Are Voting For Fracking Bans -
They Don't Trust The Oil And Gas Industry

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Creating Sustainable Populations Humanely:

Educating by Entertaining on Population, Health: African Radio - a new soap opera radio series launched in Rwanda aims to engage people emotionally as it confronts taboo subjects and informs on reproductive health and fertility, reports the Institute for Reproductive Health.

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Doing what's responsible and right for humanity and the planet: getting a vasectomy.

The Latest Climate Change Statement:
Webcast Your Vasectomy
and be counted among the heroes on World Vasectomy Day, which was on November 14th this year, reports Jason Plautz at the National Journal. The day is a worldwide celebration of a different sort of sacrifice: men who get vasectomies.

Learning More About Climate Change:

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OO Getting the Picture: Our Changing Climate - a learning tool for students and educators.

Good Ideas:

OO A Web Vacuum That Sucks CO2 from Your Email - at gmail, by identifying all those 1,000s of old emails you have yet to clean out of your email box; storing them uses up energy. Check it out here.

OO Scientists Create First Detector
Of Fracking Contamination In Water
- they can trace leaks and spills of fracking fluids--and even detect their presence in treated water.

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WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies:

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OO US Energy Boom Might Be A Short One since the majority of the country's shale oil and gas reserves could prove too deep and too expensive to drill.

OO Cheap Oil Bad For Carbon Cuts -
And For Fossil Investment, Too

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How close does your family live to an oil refinery? It's a Matter of Health
Find out on this interactive map here. Earth Justice

OO Rich Countries Subsidising Oil, Gas And Coal Companies $88 Billion A Year

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This is where the US is subsidizing exploration for oil we cannot afford to burn - the US, and Russia -- and Putin's buddies. To see where others are subsidizing this, go here:

OO How The G20 Subsidises Exploration For Fossil Fuel - Interactive

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Ajsmen91 at Wikimedia Commons

OO Air Pollution Exposure Can Drastically Increase
A Child's Chances Of Developing ADHD

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Wikipedia

OO Affordable Food or Cheap Gas? Choose One as food and fracking corporations fight for the same precious resource, water.

OO India: Air Pollution 'Cutting Crop Yields By Almost Half'

OO China's Reliance On Coal Costs Over 600,000 Lives A Year says a new study.

Clueless Leadership:

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Republicans do not want to regulate this pollution. Source RTCC

OO Senate Republicans Vow To Dismantle Carbon Emissions Rules

OO Climate Change Denier Jim Inhofe (R)
In Line For Senate's Top Environmental Job

OO GOP Election Rout Delivers Blow To US Leadership On Climate Change

Inadequate Action:

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Even capping warming at 2 C will not prevent even more extreme weather in the future many scientists now say - unless we move dramatically to cut emissions via a transfer to clean energy and greater energy efficiency.

OO Capping Warming At 2 C Not Enough To Avert Disaster, many experts warn.

OO Cutting Methane, Soot Not Enough to Tackle Warming

OO Australia 'Losing Out' On Renewable Energy Investment - renewable energy investments there has dropped by 70% in the last year, says the national Climate Council, as foreign investors go elsewhere because the government has no clear renewable energy policy.

Faith in Techno-Fixes:

OO Many Experts Now Say: Technology Can't Fix Climate Change

Not Speaking Out:

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This could be a bittersweet memory decades from now, if we don't halt ocean acidification. chidorian of japan/Flickr

OO Censored: Acidification Tops List Of Important Stories Ignored By Media

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Nov 17, 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 switched suddenly to abnormally cold as a massive Arctic front moved in. This will happen increasingly often under climate change, as melting Arctic ice creates conditions that slow Arctic winds (the jetstream) and make their geographic patterns ever more wavy - with some of those big "waves" pushing Arctic cold deep into the US.

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California reservoirs remain low as the drought continues.

Meanwhile US waters and the far north are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures, with Alaska warmer than Texas on some days. 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.

Extreme Weather:

OO 2014 Will Go Down As Hottest In California's History

OO Heat,Drought Worsen Smog In California, Stalling Decades Of Progress

Social Impacts:

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Wikipedia

OO From Bar Fights To Wars, Climate Change Will Make Us More Violent

OO Hostages Of Climate Change: Trapped Poor Populations - the range of climate change calamities projected by many scientists - from floods to heatwaves and rising seas -will take its heaviest toll on the poor.

OO US: 'Nobody Is Truly Ready' For Rise of Seas

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USDA at Flickr

OO China: Drought Ends Run Of Record Corn Harvests

OO UK: Drought And Flood Fears After Warm 2014

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OO Climate Change Disrupts Bee's Pollination of Flowers - with increasing global temperatures to blame, says new research..

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

OO Peru Has Massive Opportunity To Avoid Emissions From Deforestation

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A once rare malaria is on the rise in Malaysia as carrier monkeys, fleeing deforestation, encounter people.
Rhett Butler at Mongabay.com

OO Human Infections By 'Monkey Malaria' Increasing
As Forests Disappear


OO Central Africa: Chinese Companies Wreaking Environmental Havoc - as they exploit without oversight.

OO Reducing Tax Evasion Could Help Save The Amazon - through taxing already cleared, underused land, says a new study.

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Aaron Escobar via Wikimedia Commons

Brazil: Global Meat Demand Plows Up Vast 'Underground Forest' reports Autumn Spanne at the Daily Climate. Far more threatened than the Amazon forest, the vast lands of the Cerrado have deep roots that store vast quantities of carbon -- but industrial farming is releasing this fast.

YOU CAN ACT to protect our homeland:

From re-elected Iowa State Senator Rob Hogg (Facebook: "Climate Action Across America"):

If 400,000 people can march for climate action in New York City, we can get 100 people to contact every Congress person by phone, email, or in person:

urge them to oppose the Keystone "export" pipeline and to act on climate.

It is okay to contact their offices regularly, and to invite others to contact them - they need to hear from Americans about the growing support for climate action.

<<1>> Please tell them we already have too much greenhouse gas pollution in our atmosphere, and building Keystone would make it even worse.

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The Keystone XL Pipeline would sacrifice American farms and endanger our water, so that a foreign company could export oil. Is this fair?

<< 2 >> You can add that Keystone would:

sacrifice American farms and ranches through eminent domain
and endanger our water -
just to let a foreign company export oil.

That would be #BadForClimate & #BadForAmerica, so say #NoKXL.

<< 3 >> Tell them to help US Wind Power instead: urge them to extend the Wind Energy Production Tax Credit.

Then let Rob know that you did it.

Finally, Endorse the EPA Carbon Pollution Rules here << Comment Deadline December 1 >> and be sure to copy your Congressional representative and Senators.

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 autumn tundra I photographed years ago. 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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