THE BLOG
01/05/2015 01:41 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Climate Change This Week: Foul Fracking Fumes, Solar Sponge, and More!

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

@@ Why the US China Climate Deal Is Real - because their rapid development of fossil fuels, particularly coal, has put them on a collision course with some very, very, hard physical limits - like water.

OO China Plans More Closures Of Coal Mines Through 2016 - closing 2,000+ this year, and limiting itself to 10,000 by 2016.

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Fracking wells occur all over, such as near schools -- or near you.
Credit: Brooke Anderson at fractracker.org

OO Fracking Fumes: Hazardous to Your Health - Emissions from oil-and-gas production threaten human health significantly. Immediate steps are needed to reduce exposure to the toxic pollution, says a new analysis of studies by by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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Wikipedia

OO The Bread Threat:
Warming Will Reduce Wheat Production
, research shows.

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Wikipedia

OO Pope Francis to Issue Climate Edict


SOLAR KEEPS RISING

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OO How I Chose to Pair My Solar System With an Electric Car

OO Net-Zero Communities Using Solar Power
Expand In Florida

OO Japan to Build World's Biggest Floating Solar Farm

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Check it out here, right now!

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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OO 2014: 4 Key Developments in Distributing Clean Energy

* Germany's Top Utility Chucks Coal, Concentrates on Clean Energy

** Solar Power With Storage Becomes Competitive for a CA Utility

*** New York Plans a Large Scale System of Clean Energy Microgrids

**** Hawaii Demands a Solar, Wind Power Future With Energy Efficiency


OO Employment Drops All Over the Power Sector--Except in Renewables!


OO 2014 Saw Key Developments in Storing Clean Energy - with California making big strides, Tesla's Giga battery factory, and the breakout of new batteries.

The Best Things That Happened To Renewable Energy In 2014 reports Katie Valentine at Climate Progress include:

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The 230 foot long bicycles-only road will produce enough solar power for 3 homes. From acorns grow...
Solarroad

> World's First Solar Road In The Netherlands

<> Solar Power Efficiency Broke The 40% Barrier!

><> World's Largest Solar Plant Comes Online

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> Scotland Was Totally Powered By Wind For A Month!

<> World's Largest Tidal Array Gets Green Light

><> World's Largest, Most Powerful Wind Turbine Comes Online

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Australia: university students built Sunswift, a solar car that went 500 km on a charge, with an average 87 mph speed - fast and far. Now, they're working on making it legal for regular roads. Sunswift

> Solar Car Hits Speed Record, Could Soon Hit The Streets

> Researchers Continue To Develop New Ways To Use Solar - from solar cloth to a solar sponge that can, researchers claim, convert 85% of solar energy into steam.

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OO Washington State: Offers Ambitious Cap-and-Trade Plan - one of the most sophisticated and all-encompassing climate-pollution pricing programs.

OO Vermont Closes Nuclear Power Plant to Invest in Renewables

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Already a fixture in some European cities, commuting by bicycle programs are starting to take off in the US. Wikipedia

OO Bicycle Commuting Programs Start Lowering US Emissions
and Enriching US Cities


OO Australia Records Biggest Emissions Drop in Decade
Due to Carbon Tax
- the bad news is that the new Prime Minister axed the tax. BOOOOO!

WHAT WORKS

Speaking Out:

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AP Photo/Mike Groll

OO New Yorkers Strongly Approve Of State's New Ban On Fracking

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OO The Climate Action Senator:
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse Pushes for Change In 83 speeches
- doing what no man has done before....

Informed Leadership:

OO Obama's Secret Love For Science

Good Ideas:

OO Regional Cap N Trade State Groups:
the Congress-free Climate Solution

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WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies :

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OO Fossil Fuel Industry Spent $700+ Million During 2014 Elections - 10 times more than environmental groups.

OO Disused Oil And Gas Wells A Major Source Of Methane

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AP Photo

OO Barehanded Children Help Clean Up Massive Bangladeshi Oil Spill - in the world's largest mangrove forest, a protected sanctuary for a rare dolphin, as experts arrived to help.

OO World's Top 500 Firms' Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rise 3% from 2010 to 2013, far off the cuts urged by the United Nations to limit global warming, says a new study.

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The massive oil spilled by Deepwater Horizon is replicated every two months on average in Russia. Wikipedia

OO A Deepwater Horizon Every 2 Months:
Constant Oil Spills Devastate Russia

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Source: Government of Australia

OO The Population-Pork-Climate Change Connection:
China's Massive Pork Appetite Raises Emissions
- via greenhouse gas emissions from its massive farms, and from the deforestation to plant soybeans, a pig feed. The bad news? Pork consumption is ever rising in China

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Jan 4, 2015

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 eastern 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, continuing its long 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.

Natural Repercussions:

OO Earth Could Lose Its Summer Thermal Shield by 2020 (yeah, in 5 years) say experts; an ice-free summer Arctic Ocean would significantly add to global heating, as dark waters absorb the heat from 24-hour sunlight that ice once reflected.

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Credit: Dan Norton

OO 'Doomed' Corals To Face Worst Bleaching In Decades - as a trade wind cycle winds down in the next few years, accelerating warming and ocean acidification. A recent UN report estimated that warming ocean climes, ocean acidification, and the resulting bleaching events will cost the world economy over a trillion dollars in various resources and services by 2100.

Social Repercussions:

OO UK: Almost 7,000 Properties To Be Sacrificed To Rising Seas over the next century with no compensation to owners, as it becomes too costly to protect them.

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As climate warms, the mosquitoes that carry dengue fever spread ever farther afield.
Credit James Gathany

OO Dengue Fever Could Spread to Europe say UN researchers, and expand in South America and Africa due to climate change and urbanization.

OO Malaysia: "Unusually Strong" Rain Causes Worst Flooding in Decades;
100,000+ Flee

OO Irreversible But Not Unstoppable:
The Ghost Of Climate Change Yet To Come


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K. M. Chaudary/Associated Press

OO The Extreme Weather And Climate Events Of 2014 In 13 Photos meteorologically speaking, 2014 saw record heat, record snow, record flooding, record drought, rising sea levels and super typhoons -- and extreme climate events are expected to continue unless humans take action to reduce emissions.

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These deadly twins devastated parts of Nebraska in June 2014. See the video here.
Mashable at twitter

OO U.S. Could See Damage Of $1.1 Trillion Through 2100
From Sea Level Rise, Storm Surge

OO Land-Based Ice Is Melting Faster Than Thought
-- Raising Sea Levels Faster, Too
- as in Greenland and Antarctic glaciers.

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Research indicates that the wonderful flavor of shrimp decreases as the water in which they grow becomes more acidic. Wikipedia

OO The Taste of Climate Change Coming Soon: Yucky Shrimp - say researchers, who raised the bad tasting shrimp in acidified waters, like those that are expected to occur in the near future; the seafood economy is likely to suffer.

OO Acidic Oceans Threaten World's Mussels - and seafood palates.

California Dryin':

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Wildlife is getting killed as they cross roads more in search of scarce food in California. fishermansdaughter at flickr

OO California's Drought Is Threatening Its Wildlife as animals flee their homes and risk their lives in search of food.

OO Once Desert Springs Are Now Dry As California's drought continues.

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Marzipan Memories Fading? Almonds are a key ingredient in marzipan. Crowbot at Wikimedia Commons

OO Water Source For Almonds In California May Run Dry - drying up the $11 billion boost to the state economy.

OO Lost California Rangeland Poses Greenhouse Gas Risk - as destruction from human activities replaces these carbon storage systems with ones that emit greenhouse gases

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

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A beautiful inhabitant of Brazilian forests, the scarlet macaw. Rhett Butler/Mongabay.com

OO Brazil's Forests Threatened By 'Chainsaw Queen'
-- the New Agriculture Minister

OO Restored Forests Help Efforts Against Climate Change - conserving and expanding the world's immense tropical forests is the single most promising near-term strategy.

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 at the De Hoop reserve in South Africa 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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