THE BLOG
12/07/2014 06:06 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Climate Change This Week: The Munchkin Dilemma, Solar Cash Crop and More!

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

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And They're All the Same Age! Not. But a new study indicates that El Nino, which is exacerbated by climate change, can stunt kids' growth. The grandmother of these kids, though, wonders what future awaits them in a climate change world.

OO Another Side Effect Of Climate Change And El Niño Events? Shorter Kids.

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OO Polar Bears Die Off by 40%

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OO Protect Bristol Bay from Offshore Drilling

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SOLAR KEEPS RISING

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OO Iowa Conservative Farmers Find New Cash Crop: Solar Power with the help of a popular tariff program, forming the most successful US community-based solar energy programs.

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OO Solar Power As Next Industrial Revolution - Led By China

Globally, China's delay on some solar projects means that Japan might be the biggest solar market in 2015, with a predicted installation of 10-12 gigawatts. But a new study indicates that China can get 40% of its energy from renewables by 2040, economically.

Iran plans to double its wind and solar power production, as does India, which plans to boost its renewables to 15% of total energy supply by 2020.

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Check it out here, right now!

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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OO Energy Efficiency May Be The Key To Saving Trillions

OO Solving The Climate Crisis By Making You Comfy - with smart software that allows office workers to adjust their immediate working climate; it seems to be working.

OO Canada: 'Accessible' Geothermal Resources Are Cheaper Than Hydro

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OO Scotland: Renewables Now Largest Source of Power

OO Norway Fund Targets $3 Billion In Green Technology

OO Germany's Largest Utility Gets Out Of The Fossil Fuel Business - in favor of expanding wind and solar power interests.


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OO China Outcompetes US As Clean-Energy Market Frontrunner

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WHAT WORKS

Speaking Out:

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Talking Climate Change With Family Deniers Over the Holidays:
Some Pointers

reports Ryan Koronowski at Climate Progress, include:

* Cold weather? The planet is warming and that's changing climate, causing both extreme hot AND cold weather. But the number of new heat records are far outpacing the cold records.

* There is no "pause" in the warming; some of the heat started going more into the oceans, but it's still incoming, and 9 of the 10 hottest years have occurred since 2000.

* Forget conspiracy: there is broad consensus among scientists that climate change is happening, mostly because we burn fossil fuels.

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Warm weather might sound nice, but climate change affects us all, including our food as this interactive shows.

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What You and Your Conservative Family Can Agree On:
Some Pointers

reports Emily Atkin at Climate Progress, include:

* Let's keep emotions out of it, and stick to the facts: refuse to be baited.

* Climate action is economically good and patriotic: clean energy is becoming as cheap as, and less economically volatile than, fossil fuels, and builds US energy independence.

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Peter Essick

* Carbon is bad, because of the sickening air pollution, and it can cause harmful irreversible effects that are economically damaging. Adaptation can only do so much.

* Carbon emissions threaten property rights: letting companies emit carbon that ultimately raises sea levels and floods coastal properties is not fair.

* Carbon emissions threaten homeland security, says the US Department of Homeland Security, because of the resulting harmful effects: damaging extreme weather, rising sea levels and more.

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Wikipedia

OO Pope Francis Issues Call For EU Green Jobs Creation

OO George Shultz Defies GOP In Embrace Of Climate Adaptation

OO Republican Senator: GOP Needs Real Position On Climate Policy

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OO Groups Sue US Interior Dept
Over Climate Impacts Of Coal Leasing Program
- burning the coal leased under this plan would unlock almost an estimated 17 billion tons of carbon pollution.

OO Other Texas Towns Join Denton In Challenging Fracking

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OO EPA Rejects Texas Clean-Air Plan,
Orders Upgrades On Some Big Coal Plants

OO California: Climate Change Lawsuits Press County Leaders

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Where the drilling was stopped: a view from Burnaby Mountain, where protestors stopped a company from drilling. Diane Worth/Flickr

OO Canada: Protestors Force Company to Stop Drilling

OO Canadians Want Action On Reducing Greenhouse Gases,
Poll Shows

Insights:

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Recent Warming Trends: Significant, Paused - Or What? Here's how to interpret the temperature records for the planet, writes Stephan at RealClimate, where climate scientists explain the climate science.

As he summarizes: "since the 1970s we simply are in an ongoing global warming trend which is superimposed by short-term natural variability."

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Where Do We Go From Here? Carbon Emissions Past, Present and Future This interactive shows how fast we are plowing through our planetary carbon budget that avoids a dangerous rise in temperature, and how we can extend it dramatically.

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A Colorful History of Our Planetary Carbon Emissions: this interactive shows, through the floating, changing bubbles of Han Rosling's famous and fascinating moving charts the expansion and ever-changing players that emit carbon on our planet. Although the US is a dominant culprit, China and India are now major players as they burn coal to develop.

OO How Global Warming Is Making Heat Waves And Precipitation More Extreme

Good Ideas:

OO The Intelligent Light Switch That Saves Energy - Remotely

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Think of it as a giant heating brick for your home: the German company Cloud and Heat is happy to heat your homes free by storing its heat-generating servers there. Cloud and Heat

OO This German Data Center Wants To Heat Your House With Its Servers

OO France To Stop Credits For Coal Projects In Developing Countries - vive la France!

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OO Financial Systems Must Consider Extreme Weather,
Or Risk Condemning Millions To Die
A new Royal Society report calls for changes to global financial accounting and regulation to ensure extreme weather risk is correctly accounted for.

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WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies:

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Wikipedia

OO Fracking Risk Compared To Thalidomide, Asbestos
In UK Report
by chief national scientific advisor.

OO India: World's Most Polluted City Urged To Close Schools On Bad Air Days - as fossil fuels worsen air quality to critical levels.

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OO Air Pollution Costs Britain £10 Billion A Year, a European Union agency report shows, and costs Europe up to £149 billion a year.

OO Climate Funds For Coal Highlight Lack Of UN Rules

Population Matters:

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OO Overpopulation Merges With Antibiotics to Create Spreading Epidemic - and pull resources away from addressing another byproduct, climate change. Overpopulation in developing nations also hampers the source of funding, the economy.

OO Green Revolution Trebles Human Burden On Planet - US researchers say seasonal swings in temperatures and CO2 levels are evidence of how agricultural advances and the population explosion have tilted nature's balance.

Consumerism:

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Prisoner541 at Flickr

'A Quarter Of The Energy We Use Is Just In Our Crap':
Black Friday And The Destruction Of Planet Earth
- Black Friday, notes Joe Romm at Climate Progress, has become an orgiastic celebration of unbridled consumerism. It's a good time to look at how the global economic system is a Ponzi scheme, an utterly unsustainable system that robs our children's future to pamper our present lifestyles.

Denial, Even As You Bake:

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Australians protest their government's head in the sand approach to climate change.
David Gray/Reuters

Australia Govt Ignores Climate Change, Even With Its Hottest Spring and November Yet

Clueless Leadership:

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OO Careless About Climate Change Congress: GOP Leaders of Climate Denial, Skepticism - from left to right, Roy Blunt, unknown, John Barrasso, Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, and lastly, Jim Inhofe, in line to be head of the House Committee on Environment... so much for Congress acting on climate in 2015... David Gray/Reuters, Wikipedia.

OO Florida OKs Plan To Gut Solar, Conservation Incentives - hang on, isn't that the state whose bustling tip is being eaten away by rising sea levels? Way to go, Florida!

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Dec 6, 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: despite the rain reaching California, it is still in the depths of a severe 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.

Social Repercussions:

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OO Climate Change Poses Deadly Threat To Elderly who are an expanding part of the population.

OO Climate Change Forces The Alps To Adapt By Moving Villages away from flooding, and contemplate defenses against landslides.

OO Water War Amid Brazil Drought Leads To Fight Over Puddles!

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OO UN Climate Talks Begin As Global Temperatures Break Records

Endangered Nature:

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Extinction Is Not A Pretty Picture: many beautiful animals and plants face extinction from human activities, and the climate change that results from them.

OO Animal Extinctions From Climate Rival Asteroid Extinction of Dinosaurs

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Starfish are disappearing as a wasting disease decimates them along the Pacific northwest coast.
Credit Jonathan Martin

OO Scientists: Climate Change Means Sicker World For Sea Life- rising temperatures likely will make ocean disease outbreaks worse in the future.

OO California: Large-Scale Die-Off Of Small Seabird Along Coast - starving as ocean warming decimates their food source, ocean krill.

OO Sharks To Decline Under Climate Change - as fewer sharks survive a warmer, more acid infancy, research indicates; bad news for magnificent creatures already endangered from overfishing.

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

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Mongabay.com

OO Indonesia Cracks Down On Deforestation In Symbolic U-Turn

OO Indonesia To Audit Licenses Of Palm Oil Companies
That Clear Carbon Rich Peatlands
the cheapest way to store carbon underground - short of leaving coal and oil unmined.

OO Former Malaysian Chief: Legal Logging Also 'Destructive' Of Forests - and is calling for limits on legal logging in the Southeast Asian nation.

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"I'm wild about my home!" Besides storing carbon, the forests of Guyana are home to amazing wildlife, like this hawkhead parrot.
Source: www.guyanatimesinternational.com

OO South America: Chinese Logging Company Takes Over Guyana's Forests - paying lip service to national laws as they plunder the forests and add to climate change worldwide.

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A forest massacred: when forests are destroyed, we all lose.
Mongabay

OO Progress Being Made In Curbing Illegal Timber Imports - says a new series of reports.

OO Amazon Deforestation Moratorium Extended 18 Months - by the Brazilian soy industry, formerly accounting for up to 20% of recent deforestation.

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 these chanterelles I harvested and 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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