THE BLOG
09/29/2015 01:11 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Climate Change This Week: Blown Away, Cool Houses, and More!

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

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Forest not only store carbon but beautiful and equally crucial biodiversity, such as this red eyed frog on a brilliant bromeliad. Credit Cheryl Schneider

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

OO Forests Play Crucial Role In Climate Change, Economic Development - said experts at a recent World Forestry Congress, and should be recognized as "more than trees."

Related:

OO Shade Grown Coffee: A Good Climate Move - says scientists and world leaders, as preserving the tall trees lessens deforestation and keeps carbon stored in them.

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Toxic Storm: In Mongolia, winds often whip up a vast expanse of toxic radioactive waste, dumping millions of tonnes of it towards villages. Credit Frederic J Brown at AFP, Getty Images

OO Land Degradation, Much from Climate Change,
Costs The World Up To $10.6 Trillion Yearly
a new report says - equal to 17% of the blogal bross domestic product.

Related:

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Blown Away? Biocrust (foreground) protects the soil of semi-arid ecosystems from wind. Needles, Canyonlands National Park. Credit Bill Bowman, University of Colorado

OO Drylands, 40% of Earth's Land, To Be Blown Away
By Climate Change -
Think BIG Dust Storms
warn worried scientists. Biocrusts, thin layers of hardy mosses, lichens, and other species, store carbon and protect soils from blowing away in semi-arid to desert lands, but a new study shows that continued heating will damage them greatly - imagine much of it looking like the Sahara....

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Sahara: No Biocrust Means Gigantic Dust Storms that are seen from space - and plumes of it are often wafted across oceans to other countries. Now imagine US semi-arid lands going that way.... the dust storm shown hit Phoenix AZ in July 2011. Sources shutterstock, L; Daniel Bryant, R

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A Beautiful, Clean City: Stockholm, Sweden, is over 90 % fossil free. Source soperlage.com

OO Cities Worldwide Using Less Fossil Fuels:
50+ Get 75% From Clean Energy
- says the 2015 Global Cities Report, marking significant progress towards a cleaner world. Takeaways:

  • As huge consumers, cities are big opportunities to cut emissions;
  • Cities see cutting emissions as a big economic opportunity
  • Cutting fossil fuels provides private investment opportunities
  • Cities can drive a global shift away from fossil fuels

Related:

OO The Cities That Are Replacing
The Most Fossil Fuels With Renewables

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The 2015 CDP Cities Report chronicles significant progress in many cities that are replacing dirty fossil fuels with clean renewable energy. Source www.cdp.net

OO Carbon Pricing Schemes Double Since 2012 In Climate Fight says the World Bank, but most taxes or markets have prices too low to prevent damaging global warming.

OO Israel Approves Greenhouse Emissions Reduction Plan

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Credit Julie Jacobson/AP

OO Obama Announces $120M Climate Plan Yess!! Thank you, Mr. President!!!

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The Eiffel Tower has a wind turbine, but clean energy alone isn't enough, and the weak national pledges expected at the December 2015 climate talks in Paris won't avoid catastrophic global warming.

OO UN: Paris Climate Summit Pledges Won't Avoid Catastrophic Warming to 2°C, the U.N.'s climate chief and UK government sources warn.

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It's Cloudy - But Still Dry as global warming contributes to California's long drought, says a daily forecast at Wxshift.com, a new website launched by Climate Central, giving the weather within the context of climate change trends and projections. Source wxshift.com

OO Local Weather In a Global Warming World:
A New Weather Website

"This is just putting weather and climate data together. There's no spin to it."
Takeaways:

  • daily US local weather forecast within a climate change context
  • studded with short videos, great graphics
  • explore the menu of climage change indicators
  • tutorials - eg, dewpoint... who knew?
  • Climate change news, and more!

Bookmark this page for your local weather - and climate change effects!

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Sierra Nevada's Snowpack At A 500-Year Low. No wonder why skiers, hikers, farmers, forests, and virtually every other living thing in California are feeling the effects.

OO California: Sierra Nevada Mtns At Epic, 500-Year Snow Low - as a climate-change enhanced drought continues to drain the state dry.

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A western wildfire rages. Source AP

OO The California Wildfires: An Escalating Crisis

Related:

OO Global Warming's Health Impacts Hit Arizona - as drought and wildfires impact air quality and heat takes its toll: increased disease, death and health costs.

OO When Climate Change Meets Clean Energy:
CA Wildfire Damages Geothermal Utility


OO The Forest Service Had To Divert Another $250 Million To Fight Wildfires

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Lake Powell, CA 2012 and 2014. Source www.viralspell.com

OO Lake Powell's Receding Waters Show Risk Of US 'Megadrought'

OO LA Faces An El Nino Winter of Fiery and Rainy extremes - as a recent intense downpour portends, say forecasters.

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El Norte, Ho! the causes are social now, for these Central American migrants, but could be climate driven later. Source The Washington Post

OO Climate-Forced Migrations And Prospect Of Refugee Crises Concern Experts as social conditions are blamed for already driving thousands of children into Texas from Central America in 2014. But analysts warn it could get much worse under continued global warming.

related:

OO Gov. Brown: Climate Change Could Inundate California
With Latin American Migrants

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Wuhan: Beauty and the Polluted Beast - show the two possibilities for this Chinese city, which pledges to curb its emissions. Sources Stringer at Reuters, L; sites.psu.edu, R

OO Chinese Cities Pledge Early Carbon Emissions Peak Under Deal With US - before China's national target of 2030.

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OO A Hot Topic for the Paris 2015 Talks:
A Record Hot August Worldwide
as a giant El Niño event builds, with August easily the hottest in 124 years of data, says Japan's Meteorological Agency.

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Coal Kills as its air pollution prematurely kills millions of people each year. And there's an obvious fix - stop burning it!

OO The Enormous Social Cost Of Cheap Coal:
3+ Million Deaths Annually
- including 55,000 US deaths, both stats set to double by 2050, unless we stop burning coal, says a new analysis.

Related:

OO US And Australian Taxpayers Pay Billions A Year To Fund Coal - says a new report.

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Credit Eugene Garcia at AP

OO Wind Industry Says It Could Supply 25% Of EU Electricity By 2030 if member states come good on energy and climate pledges, said an industry report.

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Bye-Bye Birdies? Hundreds more of England's most important wildlife sites are now at risk from fracking after 1,000 square miles were opened to the controversial technology, says a new analysis. Credit John Giles at PA

OO Britain: New Fracking Licenses Threaten Hundreds Of Key English Wildlife Sites

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Greening the Mall - People aren't shopping much at this Silicon Valley mall, so they're turning it into a green, walkable neighborhood.

OO California: World's Largest Green Roof
To Sit On Top Of Dying Mall
- as it gets transformed into a green leafy wonder.

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Credit Tom Toles at the Washington Post

OO Pure Greed: Exxon Put Profits Before Truth on Climate,
Misled Public 20+ Years
- Exxon knew the impact of burning fossil fuels on climate from its own research, which it stopped, then promptly funded climate denying organizations, once executives realized resulting policies would harm company profits.

Exxon's Richard D. Keil does not deny funding deniers but insists, "ExxonMobil scientists have been involved in climate research and related policy analysis for more than 30 years." Funding it equaled a tiny 0.3% of their profits from selling climate changing fuel. Gee, thanks, Dick!

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Credit Mike Keefe at the Denver Post

OO Atlantic Ocean Excited To Move Into Beautiful Beachfront Mansion Soon! reports the satrap of satire, The Onion. I'm sure we'll all be SO excited when it does so, too!

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An ultra efficient affordable housing building that fools tenants into thinking it's air-conditioned. Credit Mark Peterson for Politico

OO The Ultra-Efficient House That Could Make a Climatic Difference - relying on creating an air-tight envelope via insulation and triple paned windows, these homes use 80% less energy than a standard house - and redefine how we live in a heating world.

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OO 'America is not a planet' & Other Reasons
Why GOP Candidates Avoid Climate Action
as they debate. No, America is ON a planet -- an ever hotter one. Rubio says the economy must come first - not realizing that climate action will benefit it.

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Louis Masai's Art Spreads the Buzz on how humans, via global warming and other pathways, are contributing to the dramatic decline of these vital pollinators.

OO To Bee Or Not To Bee: Ask Not For Whom the Bee Toils - oh, alright, I'll tell you - they do it for themselves and us: without their pollination, we're minus many important fruits, nuts and vegetables. Louis Masai uses art to communicate the problem of bees' decline and spur solutions.

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Wind and Wave Power can help Britain go fossil fuel free.

OO 85% Of British Power Can Be Via Renewables By 2030 if it undergoes significant changes in energy production and use, says a new study.

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

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Recognize when the news involves overpopulation, but doesn't mention it.

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

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SOLAR KEEPS SAILING

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OO Vice President Biden To Special-Interests: Stop Stifling Solar Market Growth

OO California Climate Law: an $8.6 Billion Opportunity for Solar Utilities in terms of investment, and could be as much as $10 billion.

OO CA: $1 Billion Devoted To Spreading Solar Energy to Poor Communities

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Source Green MPs on Flickr

OO Solar, State By State - Takeaways:

  • Solar power spreads in North Carolina, as South Carolina begins creating solar incentive programs.
  • Alabama approved a utility's request to install 500 MW of renewable energy capacity.
  • Virginia launched a $20 million loan program to increase energy efficiency and clean renewable energy.
  • California's new law mandates a 50% increase in building efficiency, and 50% of electricity come from clean renewable sources by 2030; the solar tax credit was extended and the state will divest from coal.
  • In Nevada, a utility proposes to launch a community solar subscription program.
  • Washington state added $40 million to its Clean Energy Fund.

OO Tax Breaks Drive Vermont's Solar Gold Rush - the US solar industry is booming due to multibillion-dollar federal tax breaks, and developers are eyeing Vermont because of its additional cash incentives.

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Check it out here, right now!

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

OO Commercial PACE Projects Get $200 million in Funding - as funding expands for smaller commercial projects.

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WHAT WORKS

Speaking Out:

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The Act on Climate national bus tour is stopping in areas worst affected by high pollution and social inequality, driving the message that urban communities and people of color are most afflicted by climate change.

OO People's Climate Music Hip Hop Tour
Brings Diversity To Climate Change Fight

OO Canada: Activists, Artists Back A Call To End Fossil Fuel Use to shift the economy to a sustainable, fossil fuel-free one.

OO Obama Administration Facing More Opposition To Atlantic Drilling Plans

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WHAT DOESN'T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies

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Seashells and the US economy are better off without oil.

OO Crude Prices Could Stay Low for 15 Years say experts, exposing how fossil fuels make us dependent on the Middle East - let's declare a clean energy revolution!

OO How Shale Oil Can Kill via volatile train transport that create lethal catastrophic explosions. Time to change.

OO Shale Drillers Spending Most of their Cash Paying Off High Debt showing how unreliable the industry is in supplying good long term jobs, besides promoting harmful climate change.

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Sep 29, 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. Even whales are washing up on the west coast, as warm waters shift their food sources towards the coast, putting whales on a collision path with ships.

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.

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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 these fringed gentians 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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