THE BLOG
08/31/2015 11:49 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Climate Change This Week: Economic Impacts, An Islamic Call to Action, and More!

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

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Saving Indonesia's Forests Helps Save Human And Forest Lives - like the famed orchid mantid, posing on an orchid.

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

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Thousands of fires, many illegally lit, destroy carbon-storing forests, produce harmful haze, and contribute to climate change annually in Indonesia. This shows Indonesia's fire activity for one week in August 2015.
NASA data via Global Forest Watch at mongabay.com

OO Choking Asian Haze Spurs Efforts to Save Indonesia's Forests as its neighbors and the world pressure Indonesia to stop the thousands of fires creating the haze and emitting climate-changing gases.

Related Headline:

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By threatening the world's forests, humans ultimately harm themselves.

OO The Forests Of The World Are In Major Trouble scientists report. Takeaways:

  • Tropical forests are disappearing under human pressures; only 26% are intact, w. others fragmented or degraded
  • Temperate forests are dying from droughts, pathogen attacks, and wildfires
  • Boreal forests are under rapid warming and pest threats
  • Many living trees will be thermally stressed under continued climate change.

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@@ The World's Glaciers: Past, Present, and Future - two top glacier researchers review their past, present and iffy future - and how that affect all of us.

Related Headline:

"Chasing Ice" excerpt from the 2013 documentary shows what the latest event was probably like...

OO Greenland: World's Fastest-Melting Glacier Loses Massive Chunk In Two Days - possibly the largest on record; this does not bode well for low-lying coastal cities and nations around the world.

Related Headline:

OO A Fast Melting Glacier May Have Calved the Biggest Berg On Record

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For the military, energy efficiency is about tightening the gears on the war machine.

OO US Military: Forget About Saving Energy; This Is About Saving Lives

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Besides lowering productivity, the consequences of climate change will harm our economies much more; carbon-free electricity is cheaper than climate inaction.

OO Climate Change Is Harming Our Economic Productivity & Effectiveness - say two economic researchers. Takeaways:

  • The most pressing issue of climate change is economic.
  • As thermal stress (hot or cold) increases, effectiveness and productivity decrease.
  • This affects entire economic sectors: agriculture, transport, tourism, more.
  • Continued climate change could create an endless Great Recession.

  • Climate consequences will harm our economies further, and far more.
  • Carbon-free electricity is cheaper than the cost of inaction.

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A new Center for American Progress report and scorecard details the extent to which different federal resource-extraction programs are ripping off the American taxpayer.

OO US Taxpayers Are Getting Ripped Off By Fossil Fuel Extraction

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Source www.solarpanelsforyour home.us

OO Investment Bankers Think Solar and Wind Will Grow Way Faster Than the IEA Forecast - Citibank's projections show these deployments will save almost $2 trillion by 2040.

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OO Macarthur Foundation Pushing Climate Solutions:
Pledges $50 Million To Green Groups

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Source www.cagle.com

OO The Fracking 'Loophole' That Just Keeps Growing

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Credit Brian Snyder at Reuters

OO Hillary Clinton Opposes Arctic Drilling

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It's Getting Hotter All the Time... in the Sahara, and faster, too.

OO Saharan Heat Amped Up By Climate Change - the searing desert is getting even hotter, two to four times faster than the rest of the tropics, says a new study.

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Credit Julie Jacobson via cp at AP

OO President Obama Announces Improved PACE Program - making home solar and energy efficiency features even easier to get, just one of many energy initiatives announced by him recently.

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Credit Erika Schultz at The Seattle Times via AP

OO Wildfires Exploding Across the US West:
A Stunning 7 Million Acres Burned So Far
- overstretching resources and resulting in tragic consequences.

Related Headlines:

OO Five Myths About Wildfires Exposed

Takeaways - what we really know about wildfires:

  • It's people, not technology, that continue to battle fires
  • Fires are not bigger, but are burning far more intensely (due to management, climate change) -- making recovery more difficult
  • At some point, big fires are uncontrollable
  • Fire is needed to manage our forests

OO Aboriginal Fire Management Could Slash Global Emissions - if adopted worldwide, says a new UN report, by preventing catastrophic wildfires.

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The agency said the rules were designed to ensure that oil and gas companies reduced waste and sold more gas that would otherwise be lost.

OO US EPA Announces New Rules To Cut Methane Emissions - BUT...The rules only apply to new oil and gas sources, not existing ones -- which is where most of the leaks are happening.

Related Headlines:

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Coming Soon to the US: a Canadian company is set to open the first US dirty tar sands operation by destroying a beautiful remote sagebrush ridge in Utah.

OO First US Tar Sands Mine Set To Open In Utah - oh, goodie.

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OO Global Warming Is Reversing 1,800 Years Of Natural Ocean Cooling study finds.

Related Headline:

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OO Too Warm, Too Few Fish: Health Warning For World's Oceans - overfishing, pollution, global warming and acidification are doing in marine life, says a new analysis.

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OO We Could Have Roads That Will Charge Your Car as You Drive if it's electric, concludes a new British feasibility study on the subject.

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A toxic algae bloom that began this spring now stretches from California to Alaska, and is poisoning marine life from shellfish to sardines to sea lions.

OO US West Coast: Toxic Algae Is Killing Sea Lions & More,
Shows No Sign Of Diminishing

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OO Islamic Leaders Want A Jihad Against Global Warming - calling on others of their faith to wage a jihad on global warming, and calling on Islamic governments to reduce fossil fuel use.

Related Headline:

OO An Islamic Climate Change Declaration To Inspire 1.6 Billion Muslims

There is no one supreme Islamic leader, but with so many large Muslim countries highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, a statement had to be made.

It unites Muslims with a common message, although initial authors do not include any from the oil-producing Middle East.

"We have a duty to do the right thing to protect the Earth."

The declaration calls for a world "free from polluting fossil fuels and built on a foundation of 100 percent clean, safe, and renewable energy."

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

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Too Many People Breed Conflict: A Nigerian leader noted the link between his country's overpopulation and its security problems, including the Boko Haram.

OO Basic Infrastructures Can No Longer Support Nigeria's Population - said the head of the National Population Council there.

He noted that the security implications of Nigeria's fast growing population were being manifested in the current challenges such as militancy in the Niger Delta, Boko Haram, and conflicts between farmers, among others.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Help your local community prevent unintended pregnancies. Get creative.

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

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SOLAR KEEPS DANCING

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OO Next Texas Energy Boom: Solar with companies investing $1 Billion in solar farms there.

OO Barry Goldwater Jr. To Michigan Conservatives:
Rooftop Solar Is About Choice, Freedom And Liberty

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A concentrating solar power plant in Chile. Source www.evwind.es

OO Latin America Solar Gains in Honduras and Guatemala, More - as they bring massive amounts of solar online. Mexico, Chile, and Brazil, expected to be the largest solar markets up to 2020, are laying foundations for massive growth.

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

OO Zero-Net-Energy Homes Are Increasing as are commercial buildings across the US.

OO South Africa: $300+ Million Saved in Blackout Costs With Renewable Power in 6 months of 2015

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WHAT WORKS

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Some of Modi's Favorite Things - solar panels.

Speaking Out:

OO Prime Minister Modi Calls Solar 'Ultimate Solution' To India's Energy Problem

Good Ideas:

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A state-of-the-art water reclamation facility in Pensacola, FL. Source www.alternet.org

OO New Process Treats Wastewater, Captures Carbon, and Makes Renewable Energy via microbial electrolytic carbon capture (MECC), purifies wastewater in an environmentally friendly fashion by using an electrochemical reaction that absorbs more CO2 than it releases while creating renewable energy in the process.

OO Ultrasonic Wave Technique Makes Wind Energy Cheaper by predicting when bearings inside wind turbines will fail.

OO How To Stay Powered Up When You're In The Wild - need more juice for that iPhone? Have solar panel will travel: bring a mid-sized rechargeable battery with a 20 watt solar panel you can put by your car's back window. And that's just for starters.

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WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Mass Media Denial:

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Source otherwords.org

Fossil Fuel Follies

OO BP Lobbied Against EU Support For Clean Energy To Favor Gas Instead documents reveal... Why am I not surprised? From the folks that brought you Deepwater Horizon....

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Smog over the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. Credit Brian Jeffrey Beggerly via wikimedia commons.

OO China: Air Pollution Much Worse Than Thought says a new study, which used new monitoring techniques to improve observations.
"Breathing Beijing's air is [like] smoking almost 40 cigarettes a day."

OO Canada: As Oil Debt Soars to Record, an Industry Shakeout Looms

OO Australia: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increase Amid Record Global Heat

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Is Pumping More Really a Good Idea, Texas?

OO U.S. and OPEC Keep Pumping Even With Oil Price Declining

OO US: As Oil Prices Keep Tumbling, Frackers Feel the Pain

Bad Ideas:

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OO Time for a Cleaner Art Fest: Burning Man Helps Burn Our Future

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Aug 30, 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.

The eastern Pacific warm spot continues to prevent much rain from reaching California, sending it into further drought, and fires continue to burn in the dry northwest.

Much of Canada is warmer than normal, and so is Greenland which just shed a near-record large iceberg recently.

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 Repurcussions:

OO California: Ongoing Drought Would Sear Rural Areas, Wildlife And Forests Most study finds. Two to three more years of below average rainfall would likely cause serious problems for many low-income rural communities and endanger certain birds, fish and forests.

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Bye-Bye Salmon? If the drought drags on for another year or two, wild populations of some of the most prized fish are likely to vanish.

OO Drought's Hidden Victim: California's Native Fish - much of California's salmon could vanish in the next few years under continued drought, and the delta smelt will likely go extinct.

OO Climate Change And Africa: A Catastrophic Mix in the Making for both people and the environment.

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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 barrel gentian 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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