THE BLOG
12/02/2014 02:35 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Climate Change This Week: the Pepsi Hijack, Cooling Mirrors, and More!

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

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An Inspiring Conversation on Addressing Climate Change
National Scientific Advisor John Holdren on David Letterman , viewed here.

Takeaways:

There is a huge difference between doing nothing and doing a lot to address climate change: 3.5 F warming is VERY different from 10 F warming, so even if 3.5F is inevitable, we can't stop trying to do as much as possible and ASAP to address climate change.

Addressing climate change will also vastly improve air quality and people's health worldwide, which is a big reason why China and other countries are investing bigtime in clean energy sources.

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As predicted, these wonderful animals are declinging dramatically as their habitat melts away...
Gerard Van der Leun/Flickr

OO Polar Bears Decline 40%

SOLAR KEEPS FLYING

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OO Solar Energy's Popularity Increases As Rooftop Panels Get Cheaper

OO It Was $40 Billion Cheaper to Install Solar in 2013 Than in 2012

OO America Could Get 10% Of Its Energy From Solar Power By 2030 says a new report , if the US implements ambitious policy goals for solar energy.

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The new scenery for air travelers flying west: solar farms!

OO Renewable Energy Farms Spread Through California Deserts

OO Topaz, the Largest Solar Plant in the World, Is Now Fully Operational

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NREL

OO Solar Companies Morph Into Publicly Traded Quasi-Utilities, led by SolarCity, to fuel rapid expansion, in an effort to bring down solar costs as fast as possible before a key fed incentive dies in 2016, reports Morgan Lee at the Sand Diego Union Tribune.

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Check it out here, right now!

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

OO 2014 Report Card: All US States Remain Strong on Consumer Clean Energy Policies

OO Solar And Wind Energy Start To Win On Price Vs. Conventional Fuels

OO US Poll: 67% Of Americans Would Pay Higher Prices To Cut Power Plant Emissions


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OO World Bank To Focus Future Investment On Clean Energy and only fund coal projects in "circumstances of extreme need" because climate change will undermine efforts to eliminate extreme poverty.

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Report Maps Out "80 by 50" Decarbonization Plan for US reports Bobby Magill at Climate Central. No technological or economic barrier stands in the way of the U.S. eliminating 80% of its carbon emissions by 2050, says the United Nation's Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project. Report. Political will is the only barrier.

OO Germany May Shut Down Eight More Coal Power Plants, the draft of a new law shows, as the country reaches for ambitious climate goals.

OO Amazon Commits to Achieving 100% Renewable Energy Use - now THAT's something to smile about!

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Stanford Engineers Invent High-Tech Cooling Mirror For Buildings notes the Stanford Report, to beam heat away into space.

The new ultrathin multilayered material can cool buildings by radiating warmth from inside the buildings into space while also reflecting virtually all sunlight to reduce incoming heat.

By redistributing heat, it cuts emissions that would otherwise arise from using air conditionars. What a win!

OO Largest US Independent Power Producer Targets A 90% Cut
in Carbon Emissions by 2050
and 50% by 2030.

OO Ex DOE Official: Critics of the Clean Energy Loan Program Were Proved Wrong

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OO Google, IKEA, And SunEdison Bought A Lot Of Wind Power Recently

OO Hawaii to Test Smart Water Heaters as Grid Resources

OO China To Cap Coal Use By 2020 To Meet Game-Changing Climate, Air Pollution Targets

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OO A Shift in Lighting: LED Bulbs Fall Below $8

OO Africa: World's First Rural Paying Minigrid is emerging, guaranteeing solar energy generating households a fair market price.

OO Green Climate Fund Nears $7 Billion after U.S. pledges $3 billion.

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Green Beef? A new San Francisco restaurant will carefully source its ingredients, as in beef from ranches that practice "carbon farming", a technique that uses cattle to increase carbon storage in soils.

OO New Restaurant To Pioneer Ways Food Industry Can Fight Climate Change

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WHAT WORKS

Speaking Out:

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ActOnClimate at twitter

OO White House Offers Climate Change Help to US Cities - we must both act on climate change, and be prepared for its reality of climate change.

OO Climate Talk Radio Is Launching!

OO Canadian Police Arrest Protesters Blocking
Proposed Tar Sands Pipeline Path

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Outraged over Pepsi's weak safeguards for sourcing deforestation-free palm oil, activists hijacked Pepsi's recent launch of its "green" soda at amazon.com; note the reviews!

OO Activists Hijack Pepsi's New Product Launch On Amazon Over Deforestation

OO UK Govt Advisor: Britain Left Exposed
To More Floods, Heatwaves From Climate Change

Good Ideas:

OO How EPA Could Cut National Methane Leaks Almost In Half
And Create More Jobs
by tightening regulations on leaks from equipment currently in use.

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Wikipedia

OO Next Step in Sustainability: Requiring Homes to Recycle Water

OO Drought Revives 'Forgotten Art' At Wineries: Farming Without Irrigation

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A new fly in the forest? Wikia

OO Cargill To Use Drones To Monitor Zero Deforestation Commitment making sure its palm oil suppliers are not deforesting.

OO Possible New Fuel Additive At Berkeley Gas Stations: Guilt. Filling your gas tank in Berkeley will soon come with a little guilt: a message that your driving hurts the planet. Ah, y'gotta love us Berkeleyites!

OO Using Games To Teach Kids
The Value Of Conserving Nature And Philanthropy

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Before you munch on that ahi, think: are you going to eat an endangered species? Ahi is often sourced from blue fin tuna, which was just added to the global IUCN Endangered Species List.

OO Shifting The Way The World Shops - if you are what you eat, you are also what you buy ... so the next time you open your wallet, speak up for conservation and chose a certified eco-label. You are part of the critical mass needed to shift the way the world shops.

Insights:

OO 'Green Revolution' Brings Greater CO2 Swings but what , if any, ultimate significant effect that has on global warming is not yet known.

OO Ending Deforestation Won't Stop Carbon Emissions From Land Use Change since agriculture will exploit other non-forest systems (eg, grasslands) that will also release large carbon emissions.

Informed Leadership:

OO Obama Protects George Washington Natl Forest
From New Oil , Gas Drilling

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WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies:

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Notice how the fracking rig blends in with school playground colors?
Credit: Brooke Anderson/Fractracker.org

OO 350,000+ California Kids Attend School Near Fracking
-- And Most Of Them Are Minorities

OO Oil's Volatile Price Can Push Investment in Stable Renewable Energy and falling oil prices could help bust American fracking and Canadian tar sands, expensive ventures which need high oil prices to be profitable.

OO Keystone Left Behind As Canadian Oil Pours Into US using alternative existing pipelines.

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Brine leaks beyond the pond at this fracking site. www.catskillmountainkeeper.org

OO Another Big Fracking Pollutant: Many Fracking Brine Leaks which leaks far more often than oil and poison the soils.

Not Investing Enough in Cutting Carbon Now:

OO Climate Investments 'Falling Short' of 2°C Goal

Clueless Leadership:

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

OO Democrats Block Keystone Pipeline,
But GOP Vows New Fight in 2015

OO GOP Said China Wouldn't Follow Through On Its Climate Pledges
-- Wrong Again

Inadequate Vision:

OO Promised Cuts In Carbon Emissions By US, Nations,
Not Enough To Prevent Dangerous Warming

WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Dec 1, 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 World Policy Makers Need to Mind the Carbon Emissions Gap widening between actions needed to avert a 2C warming, and ever rising carbon emissions.

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These estimated oceanic acidity maps of 1800, 2020 and 2100 show how the oceans are set to become dangerously acidic just decades from now, as they lose the ability to buffer all the acidifying carbon dioxide entering them.

You can watch the animation here -- note how the oceans redden around 2050 or so, right around the time your kids are grown and growing families of their own...
Credit Tobias Friedrich/University of Hawaii

OO 40 Years of Data Now Show How Fast Our Oceans Are Acidifying - providing a needed benchmark against which to measure the progressive acidification of the world's oceans.

What WILL Survive in Hot, Acidic Oceans? Cocclithophores ... plankton soup, anyone?


The One-Two Punch of Climate Change, a video by Tanya Dodgen illustrates just how much our coral reefs are endangered by climate change.

OO Hottest October And Year To Date On Record Globally, NOAA Reports - with the recent US Arctic cold surge a mere blip of the overall global picture of an ever warming planet.

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NASA

OO Growing Evidence: Global Warming Is Driving Crazy Winters as in the craziness the US just experienced, say meteorologists.

OO Arctic Faces An Ice-Pocalypse - think thick ice coating roads, homes, and pastures, dead reindeer, no radio transmissions, and flights canceled for days. Get ready for more as Arctic extremes occur more frequently.

OO Huge, Hidden Cost Of Protecting Homes From The Rising Sea will be borne by insurance companies willing to insure homeowners or the homeowners themselves. The costs are already rising.

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No more of these cute fellers? Sea otters are endangered by climate change, too. Wikipedia.

OO Over 1,400 Endangered Species Are Threatened By Climate Change,
Says New 'Red List'

OO Climate Change Threatens To Melt Icons Of Glacier Natl Park

Social Repercussions:

OO Retired US Navy Admiral Warns Of Climate Change Conflicts

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Warming climes allow the spread of mosquitoes - and the diseases they carry. Credit James Gathany

OO More Than Ebola, Other Tropical Diseases Pose Growing Threat To US and climate change is enabling the spread of all 3 diseases by increasing the range of the mosquitoes that carry them - but climate change is never mentioned in the article. Hmmmm...

OO Report: Global Warming Could Undercut Efforts To End Poverty

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One of many poignant signs in California these days. Source: Facebook

OO California's Drought Gets Personal:
Portable Showers, Rain Barrels, And Sewage Water

OO California Water: Thieves Just Can't Get Enough

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

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Take the Deforestation Free Holiday Shopping Pledge here.

OO Malaysia: Sarawak Govt Minister Calls State's Logging Industry 'Corrupt' - a striking new tone from an historically aloof government.

OO Rising Deforestation, Fossil Fuels Use Drive Brazil's Emissions Higher and the government's silence on it is deadening.

OO Brazilian Govt Silent As Deforestation Rises In The Amazon

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When forests are destroyed in Indonesia, orangutans die. Mongabay.com

OO Giant Palm Oil User Cuts Supplier Over Deforestation Allegations

OO IKEA Commits To Zero Deforestation Palm Oil from its suppliers.

OO Indonesia Imposes Moratorium On New Logging Permits

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OO Disappearing Himalayan Biodiversity Hotspot:
NE India Losing Forests As People Move In

OO Conflict-Fueled Deforestation In Assam Continues

OO Palm Oil Interest Surge In Papua New Guinea Threatens Local Communities

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 Osorno, a Chilean volcano 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.

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