THE BLOG
12/23/2014 11:46 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Climate Change This Week: Bishops Bugle, Latin Solar Salsa, the Price of Heat, and More!

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


@@ The 2014 IPCC Synthesis Report Video - informative, engaging...

OO Study: Hotter Days In US Mean Less Cold Cash - Days that averaged about 77 degrees ended up reducing people's income by about $5 a day when compared with days that were about 20 degrees cooler.

2014-12-23-droughtsignprayforrainsourcefacebookccr253.jpg

OO American Drought: California's Economic Crisis - recent storms are not going to end the 'worst drought in a generation' that is turning much of central California into a dust bowl, and bringing one of the richest states in America to its knees.

2014-12-23-popefrancisandbishopsAPphotoAlessandraTarantinoccr256.jpg
"We express an answer to what is considered God's appeal to take action on the urgent and damaging situation of global climate warming." Alessandra Tarantino/AP Photo

OO Catholic Bishops From Every Continent Call
For 'An End To The Fossil Fuel Era'

*
*
*

SOLAR KEEPS FLYING, RISING, SAILING, SMILING, SURFING,

2014-12-23-solarkeepssurfing2windsurfingatColvabeachsourcebeachesingoacomapr2012.jpg

OO Texas: Austin Aims for 950MW of Solar Along With Bold Distributed Energy Goals

OO First Solar Plans to Expand US Solar to All
with Community Solar Projects
- and has acquired a solar community project company to do so.

OO Distributed Generation Like Solar Will Double Globally By 2023 says a new report.

2014-12-23-sunwithsombrero.png

Latin America's Breakthrough Solar Year, reports Adam James at GreenTechMedia, is characterized by the fastest growing solar PV market in history. Chile dominates the solar boom, and has the largest merchant solar plant in the world. But the US Company SunEdison is scoring on the action as the major developer behind the boom... way to go, SunEd!

OO Australia Reaches 4GW Of Rooftop Solar PV

OO Solar Rises In Malaysia During Trade Wars Over Solar Panels

2014-01-31-geostellargetcleanenergy.png

*
*
*

GOOD CLEAN NEWS

2014-12-23-Copenhagen_at_nightRoei.tabakatWikimediaCommonsccr256.jpg
Copenhagen at night. Roei.tabak at Wikimedia Commons

OO Copenhagen Lighting The Way To Greener, More Efficient Cities - a growing wireless network of streetlamps and sensors is saving money, cutting the use of fossil fuels and easing mobility, part of its ambitious goal of becoming the world's first carbon-neutral capital by 2025.

OO Paying For A Healthier Planet - using green bonds to encourage Mexicans to save energy.

OO West Coast States Lead Electric Vehicle Adoption In U.S.

2014-12-23-Chinagreatgreenwallwww.care2.comccr256.jpg

OO Great Wall Of Trees Keeps China's Deserts At Bay a new study says of the massive belt of trees being planted across China's arid north.

OO China Is In A Genuine Retreat From Coal,
Says Ex Energy Secretary Steven Chu

OO Many Govts Now Embrace Zero Carbon Emissions By 2050 - in a historic first.

2014-12-23-goplogohalfgreenelephant220_resize.png

OO Poll: Half Of Republican Voters Back Limits On Carbon - something for the GOP Congress to remember in 2015.

*
*
*

WHAT WORKS

2014-04-25-DITV507mb2.jpg

Speaking Out:

OO Top Scientists To Media:
Stop Using 'Skeptic' To Describe Climate Science Deniers

OO 'We're Running Out Of Time':
Leading Climate Scientist Unveils Latest Numbers On Climate Change


OO Seattle Billionaire Steps Into Coal Fight - to fund a suit against the Dept of Interior on leasing public land for coal. He's Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen.

2014-12-23-localsprotestsouthernoregonpipelineMailTribuneJamieLuschccr256.png
Mail Tribune/Jamie Lusch

OO Oregon: Most Residents Speak Against Proposed Southern Gas Pipeline

OO 11 SenatorsTold EPA How To Make Its Carbon Rule
Cut Even More Power Plant Emissions

2014-12-23-ObamaonStephenColbertReportDec82014ccr256.png

OO Colbert Report: Obama Downplays Keystone Benefits, Highlights Drawbacks

OO Climate Change Should Be A Human Rights Issue announced the International Bar Associatio, able to be challenged in a court of law.

2014-12-23-endangeredgoldenrumpedshrewinEAfricaKenyacoastforestccr256.jpg
The endangered golden rumped shrew inhabits an endangered habitat, an east African coastal forest.

OO Greens Protest, And Company Backs Away
From Kenya's Rare Coastal Forest

OO Groups Call On World Leaders To Stop Incentives For Big Dams which often destroy communities, important habitat, and emit the potent greenhouse gas methane.

Insights:

2014-12-23-choicebetweenactionnoactionviaIPCCviaClimateprogressccr256.jpg
Humanity's choice (via IPCC): Aggressive climate action ASAP (left figure) minimizes future warming. Continued inaction (right figure) results in catastrophic levels of warming, 9 °F over much of U.S.

OO What We Learned About Climate Change In 2014, In 6 Charts - here are two of them, above and below; remember, often climate models underestimate the real effects... and the costs.

2014-12-23-droughtacrossplanetby20812100viaClimateProgressccr256.jpg
Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) for 2080-2099 with business-as-usual warming. By comparison, during the 1930s Dust Bowl, the PDSI in the Great Plains rarely exceeded -3 (see here). Source: Cook et al. and Climate Progress.

*
*

2014-12-23-globalweirdinginteractiveishereglobalweirding.ishereccr256.png
The beginning of the global weirding interactive - hint, hint: the spinning ball gets redder as time rolls on...

OO Here's What Will Happen This Century
If We Don't Do Anything About Climate Change
Via cool graphics and animation, Global Weirding helps summarize how the planet may change over the rest of the century, using the most reputable source of information, the latest IPCC report.

OO Greenland's Ice Sheet Shifts Could Speed Melt - the sheet's dynamics are changing, which could ultimately raise sea levels that much faster.

2014-12-23-methaneleakfromoceanflooruseastcoastccr256.jpg

OO Warming Ocean May Be Triggering Mega Methane Leaks Off Northwest Coast as methane that was trapped in crystalline form beneath the seabed melts and is being released. -- and fast.

See also:

OO 'Widespread Methane Leakage' From Ocean Floor Off US Coast

2014-07-06-populationmatters2green.png

OO Mainstream Media - Newsweek - Tackles Overpopulation:
222 Million Women Need Access to Contraceptives
- not just physical access with accurate information about their use and results, but cultural encouragement and freedom.

2014-12-23-orchidcollage550MEHccr245.png
Many orchids are now endangered or going extinct, as we destroy their special habitats.

As it is, our exploding populations are changing the climate and irreversibly extinguishing much of the beautiful tapestry of life on Earth, and our mega life support systems, our ecosystems.

*
*
*

WHAT DOESN'T WORK

The Legacy of Fossil Fuels, and Their Combustion:

"We have privatized profits and socialized costs"

Fossil Fuel Follies

2014-12-23-santaflyingthrupollutionccr256.png
Santa to Planet Earth: All You'll Get For Christmas Is More Coal - And Global Heat

OO Coal Demand Set To Break 9 Billion Tonne Barrier This Decade

OO Sloppy Fracking Practices Result In Large Methane Leaks

OO Florida Fracking: State Uilities Want You To Pay For It

<><><><>

OO Methane Still Belches From US's Old Oil And Gas Wells

OO As U.S. Cleans Up, It's Exporting More Pollution

2014-12-23-teslaelectricroadsterwwindturbineswikipedia.jpg

A Tesla electric roadster: it can be a lot dirtier than it looks, depending on how the electricity was generated. Wikipedia

OO Without Clean Electricity E-Cars Aren't Clean says a new study; electricity from coal makes them worse than regular gas cars.

OO The U.S. Energy Story: Not a Pretty Picture
A new interactive map of US energy production over the past 20 years shows the biggest growth has been in natural gas, nuclear and biofuels; 2 out of 3 spout carbon emissions....

Ignorance:

OO Most Americans Aren't Aware Of The Health Impacts Of Climate Change

Bad Ideas: Damning Big Dams

OO False Victories For Sustainability: Amazonian Hydropower - there is a rising backlash against the huge economical, environmental, and sociological costs dams bring.

OO Lao Hydro Dam To Seriously Affect Vietnam's Mekong Delta both agricultural and aquatic resources, experts warn.

Delaying Action:

OO Climate Accord Struck In Lima, But Key Decisions Postponed

*
*
*

WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

2014-12-23-anomaltempdec222014.jpg

Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Dec 22, 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 enough rain from reaching California, where the 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.

Social Repercussions

2014-12-23-PerupotatoesimperiledbyclimatechangeMilagrosSalazarIPSccr256.jpg
Peruvian potatoes are imperiled by climate change. Milagros Salazar IPS

OO Climate Change Creates New Geography of Food

OO UN: Drought In Central America Has Pushed 2.5m People Into Food Insecurity

OO Climate Change In Nicaragua Pushes Farmers Into Uncertain World

2014-12-23-endangeredanimals4www.kidsdiscover.comccr256.jpg

OO Earth Faces Sixth 'Great Extinction' As a growing human population and climate change eats away vital habitats.

OO Peru's Melting Glaciers A Deadly Threat As Temperatures Rise - with up to 40% of ice lost, water is filling existing lakes to the brim and spawning hundreds of new ones.

OO Developing Countries Need A Lot More Investment To Adapt To Climate Change

2014-12-23-BeachwithpeoplesurfersSydneyAustraliaWikipediaCommonsccr256.jpg
Endless Summer Ending? The world's beaches are disappearing from human development and climate change. Wikipedia.

OO World's Beaches Being Washed Away Due To Coastal Development increasing, and ever higher sea walls to defend against fierce winter storms and rising sea levels, say two of the worlds' leading marine geologists.

OO Rising Sea Levels Could Make Florida Residents 'Climate Refugees'

OO Waters Warm, And Cod Catch Ebbs In Maine

2014-12-23-prawnsoupwculturedshrimpinVietnamThyKhueLyflickrccr256.jpeg
A special regional soup in Vietnam features the area's cultured prawns. Thy Khue Ly at Flickr

OO Under Current Practices and Climate Change, Aquaculture Boom Is Unsustainable

OO Australia: National Agency Warns Of '$1 Trillion' Natural Disasters Exposure

Nature's Repercussions:

2014-12-23-supertyphoonusaginearsPhilippinesNOAAccr256.jpg
Note that the size of super typhoon Usagi is as large as the Philippines. NOAA

OO Warm Ocean Waters Boosting Typhoons, Record Heat

OO Reindeer Populations Declining Due To Climate Change, study finds.

California Dryin':

2014-12-23-roadkillbearfishermansdaughteratflickrccr256.png
A casuality of the road. fishermansdaughter at Flickr

OO California Animal Deaths Spike On Sierra Roads As Drought Hits Habitat sending bears and deer especially loping across roads and highways this fall, apparently searching for scarce food.

OO California's Drought Probably Wasn't Caused By Climate Change - But Worsened By It indicates new research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

<><><><>

OO Storm Pounds CA, But To The Drought, Just A Spritz

OO California Needs 11 Trillion Gallons of Water to Recover from Drought - ummm, that's 11,000,000,000,000 gallons.

*
*
*

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

2014-12-23-AmazonrainforestRhettButlerccr256.jpg
Amazon rainforest canopy. Rhett Butler at Mongabay

OO Growth Of Forests May Not Be Keeping Pace With Rising CO2 Levels

OO Forest Conservation Tied To The Rights Of Indigenous Communities

OO Indigenous Communities 'Among The Very Few Best Protectors' Of Peruvian Amazon

2014-12-23-indigenousforestcommunityinPeruAchuarwww.pachamama.orgccr256.png
An indigenous forest community in Peru, the Achuar. www.pachamama.org

OO Deforestation Puts Cultural Survival Of Forest-Dependent Peoples At Risk

OO Indonesia: Huge Borneo Forest Swath To Be Destroyed By 'Sustainable' Company

2014-12-23-bambooinMadagascarRhettButleratMongabayccr256.jpg
Rhett Butler at Mongabay.com

OO Bamboo Could Help Fight Global Warming as a fast growing forest species that can store carbon and repopulate degraded forest, and be harvested for commercial use.

OO An App To Save 400 Million Animals which are essential to the health of the forests that nurture them. The app helps track poachers, traffickers.

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 wildflowers I photographed one spring. 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.

Happy Holidays, Folks!

2014-12-23-DSCN1560a_resize.jpg