THE BLOG
08/26/2015 06:07 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Climate Change This Week: Wind Winds Up, Extinctions Explode and More!

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

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Indonesian peatlands store tons of carbon -- and wildlife, like this rufous backed kingfisher. Credit: Chong Lip Mun at pinterest.com

OO Indonesia: Giant Paper Consortium To Restore Peatlands - by clearing plantations, a notable step for Asia Pulp & Paper.

Peatland forests are one of the best forms of carbon storage; their destruction there fuels climate change and major haze over Asia.

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

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@@ We Are the Asteroid - extinction is forever, and we're in the midst of a giant extinction event right now. Check it out!

By destroying our genetic "library," we decrease our own future options -- via food and medicine flexibility -- to survive.

Related:

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Morpho butterflies light up the Amazon forest, increasingly eaten up by agriculture, often to grow cattle feed. Source www.webexhibits.org

OO Your Meat-Eating Habit Is Killing More Than Just Cows - says a new report, which cites the land degradation, pollution, and deforestation caused by rising global demand for meat as "likely the leading cause of modern species extinctions."

The problem is only expected to get worse.

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Bye- Bye Butterfly? Climate change threatens the survival of some UK butterflies... and much more, of course.

OO UK Butterflies At Risk Of Extinction Due To Climate Change, says a new study, as severe droughts caused by global warming could have a far greater impact on some species than once thought.

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President Obama has made promoting clean renewable energy a vital part of his plan to address climate change, as he seeks to regulate emissions from dirty fossil fuels responsibly.

OO Barack Obama's Quiet War on Oil includes emission cuts for rigs and refineries, tightening oversight of drilling and strict ozone limits.

The oil industry, swimming in profits from selling pollution and climate change, is wailing about the costs of cleaning up its act -- not about its responsibility to not pollute our lives and future.

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DISAPPEARING LAND

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No More Beaches? We burn, ice melts, the sea rises, and they disappear.

OO Scientists Foresee Losses As Cities Fight Beach Erosion - the beaches are being lost.

Related:

OO Gulf Eats Away At Coast
Outside Levee-Protected New Orleans

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Costs less, so use more? Not necessarily... climate change costs a lot!

OO Americans Are Fueling Up Cheaply, And Their Climate Suffers - as cheap gas lets people drive more and buy gas-guzzlers, it reverses a long decline in greenhouse gas emissions from cars.

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"Out Due to Drought" might be the frequent future food message. Source ourworld.unu.edu

OO Major Food Production Shocks To Increase Due To Extreme Weather - becoming three times more likely within 25 years, as extreme weather increases due to global warming, warns a new report.

Related:

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Source thekrazycouponlady.com

Yearly, unsustainable population growth is emptying the shelves of our planet's yearly supplies ever earlier.

We get the rest of the year's supplies by consuming some of the finite sources for those supplies -- thus, decreasing further the planet's ability to replenish in the future.

We're slowly destroying our resource base.

Meanwhile, the resulting consumption fuels climate change.

OO Humans Have Already Used Up 2015's Supply Of Earth's Resources - says a new analysis.

Earth Overshoot Day -- the day each year when our demands on the planet outstrip its ability to regenerate -- came six days earlier in 2015 than 2014.

The world's population currently consuming the resource equivalent of 1.6 planets a year.

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States that have profited from lax taxes as they sold coal will now face a new reality, based on the cost of carbon emissions.

OO States Selling Climate Change Will Now Pay
to Pollute Under Clean Power Plan

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Expect more as nations do little...

OO Rich Nations' Climate Plans Will Not Avert Catastrophic Climate Change - the plans to cut warming emissions nearly 30% by 2030 fall far short of the halving advised by a U.N. panel of scientists.

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OO Pope Sets Up Yearly Care For Environment Day - as a Catholic church day to draw attention to the plight of the planet; perhaps he'll start drawing attention to what's driving environmental destruction: too many people.

But --

OO Pope's Climate Push At Odds
With US Catholic Oil Investments
- in major US Catholic organizations, which have millions of dollars invested in dirty energy, from hydraulic fracturing firms to oil sands producers. Can the Pope order them to divest?

Not to be outdone by the Christians...

OO Muslim Scholars, Leaders To Call For Action On Climate Change - the message:
"It's the religious duty of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims to fight global warming."

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WEST WILDFIRES GO WILD

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OO How Megafires Are Remaking American Forests - Supersize fires are burning up bird habitat, killing trees, and turning forests into open range. Climate change will only make it worse.

Alaska:

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As permafrost melts, lakes form, and once solid ground fails to support trees. Credit G. Hugelius

OO Alaska's Permafrost Threatened By Intense Fires, Climate Change
One of the state's worst wildfire seasons in history has scorched 5 million acres of tundra and forests; they heat threatens further melting of the permafrost.

OO Stunning: Wildfires Have Burned 5 Million Acres in 2015 - so far, ranking No. 2 in Alaska's wildfire record books, with 238 fires still burning.

Washington, Oregon, & California

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@@ Oregon, Washington:
Wildfire Map Tracking Many Fires in Both States
- as forests dried from the drought light up.

OO Washington Wildfires Called State's Biggest Ever;
Overseas Help Arrives


@@ California: Map Shows Many Fires Still Active

Idaho

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Idaho's Soda fire. Credit Joshua Bessex at AP

OO Idaho: Firefighters Struggle As Soda Fire Becomes Largest In US

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Already declining, sage grouse were harmed further by a wildfire in southwest Idaho that burned 200,000+ acres of their habitat and damaged local ranching communities. Wikipedia

OO Idaho: Wind-Whipped Inferno Torches 256K Acres Of Grouse Habitat

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Is Oil Really That Reliable an Investment? A foreign fluctuating market makes it bad for the US, and burning it is bad for everyone.

OO Oil's $4.4 Trillion Hole: Low Prices Deflate Portfolio over the next 3 years, it's estimated, based on the current outlook for prices and demand, compared to just a year ago.

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Source Citizens of the Planet

OO How California Is Winning The Drought - Takeaways:

  • up to 40% of fields are now drip irrigated
  • crop flooding has decreased significantly
  • desalinization, water recycling are increasing

  • groundwater is finite, regulated for communities
  • the economy has new jobs and growth,
BUT:
  • resilience will last just 1-2 more years
  • groundwater is unregulated for farmers, and disappearing fast

Related:

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Trees that have stood long and strong are starting to die in California.

OO California Drought: 'Emergency Situation' For State's Trees

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OO Australia: Global Warming Seen Lurking Behind
This Summer's Deadly Heat Waves
- as temperature records have broken on several continents.

OO Heating Up: July Added To String Of Record Hot Months Globally - July was the hottest on record globally as a large El Nino event gathered strength in the Pacific, making it more likely that 2015 will exceed last year as the warmest year recorded.

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WIND WINDS UP

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OO US Wind Power Creating A Growing Number of Jobs as it rapidly grows amid plummeting costs, and technologies advance, say two new reports.

Related:

OO US Wind Power: a Growing Market at Record Low Prices

OO USDA Invests $63M in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects

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THE HEALTH CONNECTION

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Hazy skies brought on by lack of rain in the West are damaging human respiratory health.

OO Drought Is Damaging Our Human Respiratory Health

OO China: Polluted Air Linked To 1.6 Million Deaths A Year - says a new study.

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Nasty Invader of Humans: Salmonella organism - apparently they also have fine hairs over their surface,too. Source www.suggestkeyword.com

OO Climate Change Could Trigger More Salmonella Infections - especially in coastal areas during extreme weather, a new study says.

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OO Feeding People, Creating Jobs With Would-Be Waste in Philadelphia, where a pilot program collects grocery store discards for food pantries, or to teach people how to cook food, while the grocery stores gain revenue from the culled food. A win for all.

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Where's The Ice Going? These walruses seem to thinking. Source USGS

OO Alaska: Walruses Are Running Out Of Sea Ice This Year. Again. - and may force another massive walrus haul-out, which is dangerous for the animals.

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CLEAN POWER CLEANS CLIMATE

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OO Europe's Offshore Wind Industry Begins To Expand Rapidly in 2015

OO Wind Power Sets Records As Countries Seek Climate Fixes - US wind's costs are plummeting, and offshore farms are soaring in Europe.

OO Wind & Solar Surge Sends European Emissions Tumbling

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If we do not grow sustainably,
Our children will die inhumanely.

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This woman owns and operates a family planning clinic in Pakistan, where cultural resistance to family planning is great. Source www.impatientoptimists.org

OO Pakistan: A Tough but Vital Place to Do Family Planning
"Her resources were so meager that she had to feed her children in shifts -- three on one day, and the other three the next day." Description of a woman in desperate need of family planning services.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Urge your Congressional representatives to support family planning overseas and Planned Parenthood, an important organization for the health of many American voters, both men and women.

And there are many more actions you can do, right here.

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SOLAR KEEPS SURFING

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OO Google Launches an Online 'Treasure Map' for Potential Solar Customers - how golden is your roof?

OO Solar Is Having a Great Year, Except on Wall Street which has been dumping solar shares -- ah, but these days at the stock market everyone is dumping everything...

OO US Solexel Raises $70 million for its Thin Silicon Solar Technology

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OO India Maps Out Path for 100-Gigawatt Solar Mission by 2022

OO US SolarCity's Nonprofit Will Light 1,000 Off-Grid Schools
Worldwide in 2015

OO US Youth Tap Solar Energy As 'Gateway' To Betterment - as poor youth learn the science, and add the art to a solar installation that will power their local community center.

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Check it out here, right now!

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

OO Wind Could Replace Coal as US Primary Energy Source for electricity, indicate new data from NREL.


OO California: New Interconnection Maps A Huge Win for Distributed Energy

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OO More Than $500 Million Raised for Smart Adaptive Windows

OO Energy Efficiency Platform Provider Lands $50 Million Utility Deal

OO Clean Energy Storage: 8 Potential Battery Breakthroughs

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WHAT WORKS

Speaking Out:

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OO Canada: United Church To Drop Fossil Fuels
From Investments Due To Climate Concerns

OO Pacific Island Nation Calls For Moratorium On New Coal Mines

OO Speaking Out Pays Off:
Plunging Prices, Climate Concerns Hit
Canadian Oil Sands Producers Hard


Insights:

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Sunspots come in cycles. Source www.nasa.gov

OO Study: No Link Between Sunspot Activity, Climate Change

Good Ideas:

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Anchors Away: Largest US Naval Base Threatened by Rising Seas - the Norfolk Naval Base. Source research.archives.gov

OO Virginia: Protect Norfolk From Drowning -- Join Cap And Trade - via the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a successful multistate collaboration from Maine to Maryland, to voluntarily cut emissions.

OO Glass Paint: Secret To Keeping Metal Roofs Cool On Sunny Days - instead of white paint for rooftops to keep buildings cool on sunny days, a new glass-based option could offer a longer-term fix.

OO Quantum Energy Storage Redesigns the Flywheel for Microgrids

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WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies

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OO Coal Costs US Up To $0.5 Trillion Annually for its dependence on the black stuff for 40% of US electricity, a 2011 study from US researchers nationwide found.

The costs come from subsidies, and damage to human health, climate, communities, economies, and ecosystems.

Today, the costs are even higher, as people understand further the many damaging effects of burning coal.

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Aug 25, 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 and the waters surrounding it are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures, despite the relatively cooler interior: 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.

Natural Repercussions:

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Screen capture from the video.

@@ With Climate Change, A Terrifying New Normal For Western Firefighters - this video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters who describe what it's like to continuously confront deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Check it out!

OO Mount Rainier Melting Unleashes 'Glacial Outbursts' Of Debris - 2015's dry, hot conditions are likely to blame the blasts of muddy water, rock and boulders that barreled down the volcano's western flank.

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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 this foliage 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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