THE BLOG
01/12/2015 01:34 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Climate Change This Week: The Heat Is On, A Wind Power Tree, and More!

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

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Japan Meteorological Agency is the first of 4 major global temperature recordkeepers to release their data for 2014, notes Brian Kahn at Climate Central.

OO 2014 Was The Hottest Year On Record Globally By Far - says the Japan Meteorological Agency; NOAA and NASA are expected to concur soon.

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Despite some winter rains, California remains in the depths of a prolonged drought, probably worsened by climate change brought on from burning fossil fuels.

Climate Change's Connection to Extreme Weather Is Ever More Evident, reports Andrea Thomspon at Climate Central, as studies increasing show firm connections between climate change and extreme weather, especially extreme heat. The results support predictions of ever worsening heat, both globally and locally, and worsening extreme weather.

OO New Treelike Wind Turbine Is Small, Silent, Ideal for Cities says NewWind, the French company producing them. Small green plastic wind turbines on the treelike trunk harness power from the smallest breezes blowing through the Wind Tree.


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Over the past 17 years, Earth has had the 15 hottest average years ever recorded, with 2014 being the hottest yet. Imagine what 2015 will be like!

Climate Change in 2014: The Heat Is On reports Brian Kahn at Climate Central. Given the recent history - a staggering string of hottest years ever recorded on Earth with 2014 the hottest yet - it's likely that the heat will keep increasing, worsening the climate change already under way.

@@ Featured New Video: 'Sumatra Burning' - the second of two hard-hitting documentaries illustrating the connection between climate change and the palm oil in the processed foods we eat.

Producing palm oil is nasty in many ways:

> destroying forest for palm oil plantations releases huge amounts of greenhouse gases

<> it destroys the cheapest way to keep massive amounts of carbon stored

><> it robs us of unique and important biodiversity

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When Sumatran forests are destroyed, orangutans, like this mother and child, die. Credit Vier Proten, Four Paws RHOI Rex AP

> it robs local communities of water supplies, weather conditioning, and tourism opportunities

<> palm oil is hazardous to your health

This film focuses on Sumatra, an Indonesian island experiencing some of the highest deforestation rates on the planet, as palm oil plantations spread.

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Kids calling for action on climate change at a San Francisco climate march.

OO 2014: The Year Climate Change Undeniably Arrived - the hottest year on record provided the setting for conclusive scientific findings as a mushrooming climate movement pressed world leaders to act.

SOLAR KEEPS SMILING

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OO Global Solar To Grow To Nearly 60 GW In 2015 says Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) which is "fed up of being wrong on the downside" with previous predictions.

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Check it out here, right now!

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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California governor Jerry Brown. AP/Rich Pedroncelli

OO CA Governor Jerry Brown Calls for 50% Renewable Power by 2030

"The challenge is to build for the future, not steal from it."

OO 2014 Brought Lasting Action On Climate Change Policy

OO Electricity, Not Gas, Gains Market Share in US Home Heating - use of oil and kerosene decreases.

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New US government dietary guidelines will probably emphasize more fruits and vegetables, produced with far less carbon emissions than meat. Wikipedia

OO US Govt Dietary Guidelines May Back Off Meat To Cut Emissions

OO New Technologies Harvest Energy From Movements, Sound And More - "energy harvesting" often gets energy from body movements and heat.

OO Tesla Motors Model S Gets Some Competition from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche with upcoming electric cars planned.

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Credit Mary Ellen Harte

OO U.K. And Germany Smash Wind Power Records

OO Scotland Could Be Fossil -Fuel Free by 2030 says a new report because of its wind power development.

OO Global Campaign Aims To Inspire British Cities To Choose 100% Clean Energy

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WHAT WORKS

Speaking Out:

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OO Pope, Catholics Think Climate Change Is A Major Threat:
Vatican Teachings On the Way
- in the form of a papal letter; the pope will personally lobby for
climate action in a series of high profile meetings.

OO Christian Aims to Make Conservatives Care About Climate Change

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Video screen capture of David Attenborough.

OO Sir David Attenborough: Climate Change Is Real And Deadly he says in an outspoken attack on senior politicians who deny the dangers of climate change.

OO Australia: Heat Is On Abbott Govt Over Its Climate Change Denial - from other nations.

OO Norwegians Turn Ambivalent On Their National Oil Company - known as Statoil, which accounts for nearly a quarter of the country's gross domestic product and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide; pressure from within is now growing.

Good Ideas:

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Source insideevs.com

OO 2014 Energy breakthroughs Include Electric Airplane, Long Range Electric Car and more...

OO Smart Glass Windows Slash Energy Bills - and could help create buildings that produce most of their pown power. The company predicts a $900 million market worldwide by 2022.

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WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies:

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Credit Dirk Ingo Franke at Wikimedia Commons.

OO "Delaware-Sized " Gas Plume Over US West
Illustrates Cost Of Leaking Methane
- verified as the country's biggest methane "hot spot," by NASA and other scientists, it is the most dramatic example of a $2 billion leak problem: methane loss from energy production sites across the US.

OO Pennsylvania Report Details Troubling Legacy Of Coal Mining - in 10 counties, raising questions about the true cost of coal for those communities.

OO Energy Companies Try Legal Coercion on Local Community Fracking Bans

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Jan 11, 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 US west are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures: the eastern Pacific warm spot continues to prevent much rain from reaching California, prolonging its extreme 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 US Must Face The Dark Side Of Climate Change: More Power Outages says a new report.

OO 17 US Cities on Track for Hottest Year

OO US Eastern Shore Faces Sea Level Rise, a Consequence of Climate Change

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One of 6 charts showing just how hot DownUnder is getting.

OO Six Key Charts Show How Australia Is Getting Hotter

OO Australian Firefighters Battle Worst Bushfire In Decades

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All of these animals are nearly gone forever:
(top) the Western Lowland Gorilla, the Amur leopard, the Soala;
(mid) the Greater Bamboo Lemur, the Javan Rhino, the Yangtze Finless Porpoise, the Sumatran Orangutan, the Vaquita;
(bottom) the black rhino, the Siberian Tiger, the Sumatran Elephant, and the Mountain Gorilla.

OO Human Populations Explosion, Climate Change,
Pushing Species Extinct in 2015: Intimate Portraits
- of 13 species among the dozens of species being lost every day from habitat destruction by human activities. Humanity is creating an historically massive extinction event.

OO Atlantic Salmon Face Extinction From Farms And Climate Change

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As permafrost beneath lakes melt, the bubbles rise through cold water, solidify, and wait for the spring melt to be released. Credit Chip Phillips at Flickr

OO Siberian Methane Release Is On The Rise from the region's thawing permafrost.

OO Canadian North: Methane Release, Threatened Polar Bears
Top Environmental Stories Of 2014

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

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Credit jarO at Flickr

OO Tropical Forests Play Huge Role in Inhaling GreenhouseEmissions - and may be more effective as CO2 levels in the air increase, says a new study: even more reason to conserve them...

OO 2014: 'The Year of Zero Deforestation Commitment - in the production of palm oil pledged by nearly two dozen major companies, and including peatlands in that pledge.

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Choose Life for a Forest: Buy Pre-Loved Clothes - much of the dissolve pulp from a destroyed forest goes into making synthetic cloth for new clothes. You can choose not to support this by swapping clothes with friends -- or shopping at thrift or consignment shops! Renewable fashion at fantastic prices! Source: elizabethany.com

OO Activists Call Out 'One Of The Worst Deforestors In Pulp And Paper' - as emblematic of how growth of the industry threatens existing forests.

OO South American Commodity Boom Drives Deforestation, Land Conflicts - even as the exploitation temporarily helps millions out of poverty. But the resulting climate change and conflicts could undo that.

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 wild flax I 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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