Global Warming for Dummies — Climate Change for Dummies

Burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas for our energy has increased levels of heat-absorbing gases, especially carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere. So, our planet has warmed over one degree Fahrenheit, and will continue to heat further and faster, as more of these gases build up.* Most climate scientists, including the National Academy of Sciences, agree this is what’s happening, and that something must be done soon to stop the heating, before climate change starts accelerating.

The heat doesn’t sound like much, but a little goes a long way towards changing climate. Scientists predict that our planet could heat up another 6 to 11 degrees by the end of this century, roughly the same DIFFERENCE in temperature that separates our climate from the last ice age, when 300-foot thick ice sheets covered the northern US.

Think of Earth as a big ball, covered with water and air. The sun heats up the water and air, and some heat becomes motion, moving the mix around the ball, just like heating moves water in a pot. The long-term patterns of this heat and these movements are our climate, changing slowly enough over the eons so that most life can adapt to it. But add to this water-air mixture a sudden jolt of heat,* and the planetary water cycle speeds up, something scientists are seeing now. This results in bigger and stronger storms and floods. The extra heat also creates more extreme heat waves, droughts, and melts ice globally, which raises sea levels.  All this is threatening our sources of food, water and shelter, the basics of our survival.

The good news is that we can stop too much harmful climate change if we act fast. We just have to stop emitting global warming gases. We can do this mostly by: a. using energy more efficiently; b. switching from fossil fuels to clean renewable energy — like solar, wind, and geothermal energy; and c. stopping deforestation. We’ve got the technology to do all this, and doing so would create more jobs and improve our economy, as other countries have already shown. So would another important solution: bringing our populations to sustainable levels.

Changing energy sources won’t be easy or cheap politically. But it’s cheaper economically than what we’re doing now. We’ve spent trillions defending foreign oil sources. Furthermore, fossil fuel pollution and mining inflicts heavy damage on human health and our environment.  So, even if climate change wasn’t happening, it pays for us to switch to clean renewable energy anyway.

How do we solve this?  MOVE THE MONEY. Our government must stop supporting fossil fuels and tax breaks for the rich, and start creating tax breaks for clean energy and energy efficiency in the marketplace.  But fossil fuel lobbyists are strong and influential.  So, it’s up to you, the voters, to elect strong leaders who are going to pull the plug on fossil fuels, and promote clean renewable energy and efficiency, as fast as possible.

It’s all about our economy, our future.   

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You can help the planet by making this go viral — please spread it far and wide!

Another way to help? I  started a Clean Energy Voting pledge online, to let Congress know many voters are monitoring their action on climate change. When we can show Congress that a large voting bloc consider this an important voting issue, Congress will act seriously on it. You can pledge here:
http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176
Please help make THIS go viral, too — spread it far and wide! Thanks!

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*SOME BASIC SCIENCE:

for a summary of the science behind climate change that uses the simple analogy of boiling water, see my posting: Climate Change for Dummies: Go Boil Water at the HuffingtonPost

Why do some gases absorb more heat than others?

 All gases can absorb heat, but some absorb more than others. Why? Different gases are made up of molecules of varying complexity. Since the building blocks of molecules are atoms, the more atoms in the molecule, the more complex it is.  More complex molecules can hold, or absorb, more heat than simpler ones, just like larger houses can hold more heat than smaller ones.  So, the more heat-absorbing gases in the atmosphere are ones that have more than 2 atoms (#)  in them – carbon dioxide (3), water vapor (3), methane (4), nitrous oxide (3), and so on. Lucky for life on Earth, there are relatively small amounts of these more complex molecules in the atmosphere.

Large amounts of simpler molecules make up the bulk of our atmosphere:

Nitrogen (2) makes up about 78 percent,

Oxygen (2) makes up about 21 percent

Yeah, that’s right!!  All those bothersome, heat-absorbing, so-called greenhouse gases that are creating climate change make up only about 1 percent of our atmosphere, but boy are they potent, especially in terms of the climate change they can affect when their levels are changed!

Physical and Ecological Feedbacks Mostly Speed Up Global Warming

Relatively little global warming is caused directly from the heat trapped by the gases emitted from burning fossil fuels — it is what comes next that really creates an ultimately unsafe situation. The initial warming creates physical and ecological effects that usually, in turn, speed up global warming and reinforce themselves. These reinforcing processes are known as positive (as in reinforcing) feedbacks. Remember, all an effect needs to do is to cause a further increase in heat absorption or in atmospheric greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane, which, in turn, reinforce that effect, for it to be a positive feedback.

Physical effects include decreasing the ability of the planet’s surface to reflect light and heat. When the warming causes ice to melt, for example, the light surface of ice is replaced by the much darker surface of water and soil, decreasing its reflective ability, or albedo. This new surface will absorb more heat, causing adjacent areas to melt faster. And so, the albedo effect reinforces itself as it adds to global warming by absorbing more heat.

Warming in the Arctic melts frozen methane deposits in the soils, lake beds, and sea beds. Once melted, the methane rises into the atmosphere, significantly adding to the global warming effect that will help melt more methane deposits. There is a huge amount of methane stored in these Arctic deposits.

Ecological feedback effects occur because many ecosystems store carbon, keeping it from becoming greenhouse gases. Huge amounts of carbon are stored soil and in forest trees, for example. As soils warm, soil microbes start releasing the carbon as carbon dioxide. Global warming also results in warmer drier seasons and more extreme droughts. These create longer fire seasons, increasing the frequency and size of wildfires, which release large amounts of carbon in the form of carbon dioxide.

These are just some examples of physical and ecological feedbacks, the overwhelming majority of which are positive feedbacks that result in further warming of the planet and further climate change. There are plenty more.

About that “Sudden” Jolt of Heat

 “Sudden” is a relative term in time, of course.  What’s sudden for the planet can be nonexistent for us, who usually live less than a century.  The planet as a whole usually changes so slowly that to see its changes, we have to look at the history of how it changes geologically (like how mountain ranges form or continents drift) over millions of years, or how it evolves biologically over the same time scale.   Most atmospheric changes on the planet have happened slowly, over thousands of years.  The rate at which we are changing the atmosphere is SO fast on that timescale, however, that it constitutes a veritable explosion. So, jolt is actually a pretty conservative term.

Although the total average increase in temperature is small so far, this constant infusion of extra heat represents an energy inbalance in our planetary system, points out NASA climate scientist Pushker Kharecha.  “No question about it, it’s a lot of energy,” says senior climate scientist Warren Washingtion at the National Center on Atmospheric Research.  Just how much?  250-500 million Megawatts of energy. It’s like having up to half a million EXTRA, large coal burning plants on Earth. Yeah, a half million….

Sources:

1. Cool The Earth, Save the Economy: Solving Climate Change Is EASY , a free, downloadable book available at: www.CoolTheEarth.US . Readable, and comprehensive, with lots more information and detail, accrued from hundreds of reports, peer-reviewed scientific studies, and informative articles, listed in the Bibliography. Published in 2008 by an award-winning environmental scientist and a biologist (that’s me), online only. Although the sections on technological advances are already outdated, the relevancy of the bulk of it is pretty much unchanged. Am still trying to work on an updated edition.

2.  250-500 Million MW of Extra Energy Now Roiling the Earth’s Climate System

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 09:30 AM PDT.  As extreme weather events multiply, scientists are still in the early stages of understanding how more energy is influencing complex weather phenomena.  By Lisa Song, SolveClimate News

3. Wikipedia, Composition of the Atmosphere:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Earth

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Welcome to the Climate Change Reports Blog

Welcome to my blog.  Here you’ll find the Climate Change Reports — newscasts  being uploaded every weekday for those of you who want to keep updated with developments, both good and bad, related to climate change and global warming.  The reports are basically compressed newscasts about events, studies, reports, and more that are being churned out around the planet about the consequences of and solutions to global warming EVERY DAY, but rarely see the light of day, especially in US broadcast media. If you want to listen to most of them, go to http://cooltheearth.us/climate-report.php which features downloadable podcasts, suitable for rebroadcast on radio. While you’re at that website, check out the free, downloadable book co-authored by an internationally recognized climate change scientist and ecologist, John Harte, and myself, Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte.

Why don’t more people in the US recognize that global warming exists and is creating harmful climate change?  I don’t buy the argument  that it is “because people tune out news they don’t want to hear.”  Nah. US voters are hearing bad news every day — about jobs, the economy and more — and not tuning out, as the Occupy movement shows.

Rather, I think the lack of recognition of global warming is because mainstream US media rarely mention it or connect it to the every day news events that affect our lives — such as the weather and its consequences, or the latest advances happening in clean renewable energy. Did you know, for example, that the first big heatwave in Russia in 2010 was actually part of a giant continental heatwave that extended across Eurasia, from Europe to Japan?  And which of these facts are you more aware of — the failure of a solar company, Solyndra, or that the solar industry is the fastest growing industry in the US today? And when was the last time you heard a TV meteorologist mention global warming in the context of the record-breaking heatwaves, droughts and floods we’ve been having?

Let’s look at a more explicit recent example.  Despite all the coverage of Hurricane Irene, the media, for the most part, once again managed not to say the words “climate change” or “global warming”.  Apparently, these words are the Potterian “Voldemort” of the daily news media when extreme weather is reported. Media hawks are noticing, as the slate of extreme weather events continues to pile up, and the words are rarely spoken.[1]  Amy Goodman herself noted as much on Democracy Now as she introduced Bill McKibben,[2] who advocates averting climate change.

This surreality reminds me of a Jon Stewart segment in which Samantha Bee tried, without saying the word herself, to get Republicans to utter “choice” at a convention a while back.  Similarly, my husband and I play a spectator form of this game with one of the most liberal mainstream broadcast media, National Public Radio. (There is no sport in even attempting this with the lalaland of Fox et al.) In fact,  we think a record of sorts occurred as we listened one warm morning in July 2011 to a slate of NPR headline topics. It started with the huge wildfires burning in the west, then smoothly segued into US heat waves, and finally discussed the plight of polar bears watching their habitat literally melt away. All of these events are intimately tied to climate change, as our free online book explains.[1] Each time, we slyly speculated if we would hear the forbidden words – would we? would we? — but they remained forbidden, even with polar bears. We laughed through tears of hilarious sadness.

How are we going to vote for leaders who will act on slowing global warming, if we aren’t being reminded every day how global warming is intimately tied to our economy and jobs, our health, and our future?  Just remember, folks, that if we don’t roll on this soon, all those other important voter issues will go out the window as things turn catastrophic. It already has been for farmers (and food prices) affected by drought, and people affected by extreme weather, such as heatwaves, floods and hurricanes.

So, I’m hoping US media coverage will improve, but in the meantime, welcome to my blog.  My reports come from items I find, sifting through feeds from:   The Daily Climate,   World Environment News (Reuters),    Inside Climate News,    GreenTech Media,    EnvironmentalResearchNews,  and RSOE EDIS – Climate Change News, among others. And they represent just my personal highlights. I welcome yours.

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte

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Climate Change: West Coast Is in Hot Water, Record Hot Antarctic, and More!

WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

2015-04-06-1428335430-7907083-anomaltempapr052015.png

Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Apr 5, 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.

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:

2015-04-06-1428335494-2940342-icebergantarcticcreditNOAAFlickr.jpg
As Antarctica warms up, so is the melting of its ice shelves. Credit NOAA at Flickr

OO Antarctica: Record-Breaking Hot Temperature Recently – 63.5°F. Setting a new all-time temperature record for an entire continent is an exceedingly rare event, reports Ari Phillips at Climate Progress. Meanwhile, new heat records worldwide are far outpacing new cold records.

Related Headlines:

OO 63.5°F in Antarctica – where the most recent century has been the fastest warming one in the past 2,000 years.

OO Antarctic Ice Shelves Melting 70% Faster a new study shows, raising concern that an important buttress keeping land-based ice sheets from flowing to the sea could collapse or vanish in coming decades.

OO Antarctica’s Icy ‘Doorstops’ Thin, Creating Rising Seas Risk

2015-04-06-1428335538-3642459-gulfstreamslowsthedailyclimateccr271.jpg
Source: The Daily Climate

OO The Gulf Stream System May Already Be Weakening: Not Good -this crucial heat conveyor belt hasn’t been this weak in 1,100 years, perhaps due to an influx of freshwater from Greenland’s melting ice sheet.

OO Report: Diversity Of New England Plant Life Is Threatened by climate change and expanding human development.

OO California Snowpack Hits All-Time Low: 8 %Of Average

2015-04-06-1428335624-8345628-starvingsealionpuponCAbeachfeb2015CreditNOAAFisheriesWestCoastatFlickrccr271.jpg
Starving sea lion pups are just the most visible dramatic effect of warming waters on US coastal ecosystems. Credit NOAA Fisheries West Coast at Flickr

OO The West Coast Is in Hot Water creating a slew of changes to marine food chains.

Social Repercussions:

OO The Salton Sea: A Time-Bomb Amid California Drought – As the sea dries, the toxic pollutants in its bottom are set to be dispersed by wind, polluting far and wide, as migrating birds are deprived of an important rest stop.

OO Florida’s Climate Denial Could Cause Catastrophic US Recession – because there’s now a trillion-dollar real-estate bubble in coastal property. When it bursts from a catastrophic storm, U.S. taxpayers — all of us — will have to pay the bailout bill.

2015-04-06-1428335659-5077239-IndiamonsoontrafficCreditLijiJinarajatwikipediacommonsccr271.jpg
Indian traffic as monsoons flood. Credit Liji Jinaraj at wikipedia commons

OO Tropical Rainfall Rising As Big Storm Events Increase, especially big thunderstorms, study finds.

OO Australia: Queensland To Create Permanent Disaster Recovery Agency to deal with a future of more extreme cyclones and floods brought on by climate change.

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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 thisout!

Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by these strawberries I photographed one spring. 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 andtexts are freely available.

2015-04-06-1428335695-8966528-strawberriesDSCN5148a_resize.jpg

Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here. This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2016!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

 

For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week

 

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Climate Change: Cemented by China, Fracking, and More!

WHAT DOESN’T WORK

Fossil Fuel Follies

OO Japan Uses Climate Cash For Coal Plants

OO Canada Pushes Ahead with Alternatives to Keystone XL

OO Water Use For US Fracking Has Skyrocketed, USGS data show, even as the western drought makes the stuff ever more precious.

Bad Ideas:

2015-04-06-1428335362-8209284-droughtsignprayforrainsourcefacebookccr253.jpg
Source facebook

OO How Growers Gamed California’s Drought – Consuming 80% of California’s developed water but accounting for only 2% of the state’s GDP, agriculture thrives while everyone else is parched.

OO China’s Massive Use of Cement a Big Source of Carbon Emissions – and it is using more than it really needs.

Clueless Leadership:

OO Ted Cruz Is Trying To Gut The Clean Air
Act And Repeal All Climate Regulation

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Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here. This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2016!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

 

For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week

 

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Speaking Out: Climate Denial is Immoral, and More!

WHAT WORKS

Speaking Out:

2015-04-06-1428335091-46183-neiltysoncosmosSourcethehigherlearning.comccr271.jpg
Neil deGrasseTyson hosted the extremely popular series “Cosmos”, which aired on Fox and National Geographic.

OO Neil deGrasse Tyson: Voters Are Responsible
For Electing Climate Leaders or Deniers
and need to be better educated on climate change.

OO Museums’ Ties To Climate Denying Koch Brothers Not OK, Scientists Say

OO Oil Giant BP Drops Membership With Conservative Lobbying Group ALEC that pushes legislation favoring big polluters over citizens’ health.

2015-04-06-1428335125-9165230-episcopalianbishoponunethicsofclimatedenialCreditTonyAvelarAPPhotoccr271.jpg
Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, right, said that denying climate change is akin to turning one’s back on God’s gift of knowledge. CreditTonyAvelar/AP Photo

OO Episcopal Presiding Bishop Makes Religious Case Against Climate Denial noting that those who deny the overwhelming facts abuse God’s gift of knowledge and the ability to think.

OO California Gov Jerry Brown: Ted Cruz Unfit for Presidency
Because of His Climate Change Views

OO Guardian Media Group Divests Its $800 Million Fund of Fossil Fuels

Informed Leadership:

2015-04-06-1428335224-2353840-ParispollutedPhotographWittSipaRexccr271.jpeg
The summit of European city leaders comes after Paris was recently declared the most polluted city on the planet when a choking cloud almost obscured its most symbolic monuments. Photograph: Witt/Sipa/Rex

OO Leaders Of European Cities Make Pledge To Tackle Climate Change

OO Maryland: Senate Passes Bill
To Declare Fracking An ‘Ultrahazardous Activity’

Insights:

@@ Jon Stewart Pretends Climate Change Doesn’t Exist – the gem is 3 minutes in, with actual footage of a Florida state official trying not to say the words “Climate Change” with hilarious results – but stick around for understanding just who is sucking up all the water in California – and getting away with it. For a better video copy go here.

For just the gem I referred to above, watch:

OO Florida’s Unspeakable Issue Leaves Climate Change Official Tongue-Tied

2015-04-06-1428335320-6370915-wildfirevortex500MorganFireNEofSFcredMattGranzcourtesytwittersacramentoNationalWeatherService_resize.jpg
Credit Matt Granz, Courtesy Twitter,/Sacramento National Weather Service

OO Wildfires Tied to Drought, Heat & Topography, Not Beetles

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Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here. This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2016!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

 

For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week

 

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China: Coal is Out, Electric Cars In, and More!

GOOD CLEAN NEWS

2013-12-08-smog659pxBeijing_Forbidden_City_SmogacreditBrianJeffreyBeggerlyviawikimedia_resize.jpg

What China is trying to Clean Up:

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

OO China: Beijing to Shut All Major Coal Power Plants to Cut Pollution

OO China: Shenzhen City To Pump $800M Into Electric Car Incentives

2015-04-06-1428334994-2995409-coalmineWyomingwikipediaccr271.jpg
Coal Mines: Eyesores That Will Not Be Missed. Wikipedia

OO US Coal Sector In ‘Terminal Decline’ say financial analysts, with the coal industry losing 75% of its value in the US over the past 5 years, and over 200 mines closing.

Related Headline:

OO Deteriorating Coal Markets May Lead
Coal Companies to ‘Run Out of Time’
says
BB&T Capital Markets analyst Mark Levin.

OO Plan To Expand Regional Support For Wind Power
Takes Shape In The Midwest

2014-03-14-cleanenergybulb500solutionsideabulblead972x514viaclimateprogresscctw97.jpg

Renewable Energy Grids Could Dominate ‘in Our Lifetime’ say a majority of energy industry experts, reports Julia Pyper at Greentechmedia. Getting to 70% renewable generation is not a technical question, but political one, says one exec.

OO US Cities and Towns Choose Renewables to Save Money

OO EPA: New Cars Are More Efficient Than Ever By Far

2015-04-06-1428335045-5302200-windfarmgreenviawinddailycomcctw97.jpg
via winddaily.com

OO A Big, Clean Energy Industry Matures At Sea where unobstructed winds off the coast of Denmark, for example, are capable of spinning up enough power to electrify around 1 million German households.

OO U.K. And Norway To Build Multi-billion Electricity Link
To Access Renewable Energy
from Norway to UK, when needed, potentially cutting electricity bills.

2014-05-16-moneybagsgreenmrviaforcechangecomcctw92.jpg

OO India: Renewables To Get Most Of $1 Billion Bank Credit

OO Oslo’s Decision To Divest From Coal
May Inspire Bigger Cities To Do The Same
– a series of major urban areas have made bold moves recently, ridding themselves of fossil fuel investments and becoming more carbon friendly.

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Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here. This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2016!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

 

For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week

 

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Solar Now Powers 150,000+ California Homes, and More!

SOLAR KEEPS DANCING

2015-01-19-solarkeepsdancingonthebeachatflickrccr260.jpg

OO Solar Energy Emerging As Cheapest Power Source
In Many Parts Of The World
by 2025 says a new report, but the success of that scenario depends on stable regulations.

OO Georgia Legislature Unanimously Approves Third-Party-Owned Rooftop Solar

OO New Kind of Tandem Solar Cell uses two different layers of solar absorbing materials (silicon and perovskite) to harvest a far broader range of sunlight. This could up the efficiency of solar cells.

2015-04-06-1428334933-1277256-solarthermalplant2Ivanpah_Solar_Power_Facility_OnlinecreditAioannidesatwikimediacommons_resize.jpg
The Ivanpah solar thermal facility.Credit Aioannides at wikimedia commons

OO California Leads States In Getting 5+% Of Its Power From Large Solar Projects

OO California: PG&E Hits A Milestone Of 150,000 Solar Customers

2015-04-06-1428334966-4887152-solarmoney.png

OO Florida Conservatives Trying To Make Solar Energy More Accessiblewith a petition seeking to legalize the sale of solar power from one citizen to another.

OO Community Solar: Key Considerations in Designing a Successful Program are who owns the installation and where to locate it.

2014-01-31-geostellargetcleanenergy.png

Check it out here, right now!

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Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here. This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2016!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

 

For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week

 

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Climate Change: Fragging Forests, Chicks, and More!

@@ The Elevator Pitch on Climate Change: Naomi Oreskes
Harvard professor of scientific history, and author of OO Merchants of Doubt describing the industrial campaign to create public doubt and confusion about the science of climate change.

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2015-04-06-1428336768-8037444-chickSourceidealpoutry.comccr271.jpg
Source idealpoutry.com

Climate Change Creature Feature: Scientists race to develop heat tolerant chickens, whose production is also a significant source of global carbon emissions.

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2015-04-06-1428334755-2876655-journalistwikipediaccr271.jpg
Wikipedia

How Should Journalists Treat Candidates Who Deny Climate Change?Educate the readers on the real reason for climate change denial, reports Michael Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times – that is, the fossil fuel industries’ financing of climate change denial candidates. Don’t be fooled by their scientific sounding gibberish – follow the money, folks!

Related Headline:

OO Media Contribute to ‘Hope Gap’ on Climate Change – by emphasizing the catastrophes and under-reporting the technological and political solutions.

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2015-04-06-1428334790-6060611-forestfragmentationworldwide2015asourceclimateprogressccr271a.jpg

Only two major large forests remain on Earth: in Brazil’s Amazon, and in Africa’s Congo Basin (blue patches). 70% of the remaining forests are within 1 kilometer of forest edge due to human induced fragmentation. Bar graphs show historical declines in Brazil forests. Source Climate Progress

There Are Only Two ‘Big Blobs’ Of Forest Remaining On Earth says a new study, reports Ari Phillips at Climate Progress – one in Brazil’s Amazon, the other in the African Congo. Worldwide, 70% of remaining forest is within 1 kilometer of forest edge, as forests fragments under the increasing pressure of expanding human developments.

2015-04-06-1428334824-6059904-forestfragmentationBrazilsourcemongabayccr271.png
Fragmentation results in up to a 75% loss of biodiversity, and seriously impairs ecosystem functions. Source: Mongabay

On the brighter side:

OO New Online Platform Tracks Corporate Actions In Tropical Forests – like illegal deforestation, or violating pledges not to destroy forests.

2014-07-06-populationmatters2green.png

*** As populations rise, we lose even more forests. ***

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

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Raise public awareness about the population problem. Talk to your friends and colleagues, to your representatives, and to the media.

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

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Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here. This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2016!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

 

For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week

 

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Climate Change: Expect More Blizzards, Less Flavorful Food, and More!

WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

2015-03-30-1427724712-3329516-anomaltempmar292015.png

Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Mar 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. Part of the US is also experiencing unusually cold weather, also predicted to occur as climate change effects produce both extremely cold and hot weather.

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:

@@ Welcome To The ‘Double El Niño’
— And More Extreme Weather
– a rare weather phenomenon that climatologists had warned about several months ago.

2015-03-30-1427724741-8792617-BostonsnowcoverscarsFeb2015CreditStevenSenneAPphotoccr265.jpg
A common Boston winter scene. Credit Steven Senne/AP

OO Boston’s Record-Breaking Snow Season
‘A Harbinger Of The Future’ Say Climate Scientists

Natural Repercussions:

2015-03-30-1427724771-5988158-vegetablesfruitswikipedia.jpg
Changing flavor? Climate change will likely lower the quality and taste of produce.Wikipedia

OO Climate Change Could Make Food Taste Worse – report warns as higher temperatures and less reliable rainfall affect the quality of food grown.

OO Farming Absorbs 22% Of Cost Of Disasters In Developing Countries – especially poor farmers who do not have the insurance or resources to rebuild their lives, says a UN report.

2015-03-30-1427724871-5506729-Californiadrought10FolsomLakebeforeafterdroughtcreditGoogleEarthCADeptWaterResourcescctw92.png
Folsom Lake, CA, before and after the drought, where far less water is running through the dam. Credit Google Earth, CA Dept Water Resources

OO California Staring At Decline In Hydro-Power Due To Drought

OO California Drought Pushes Up Utility Bills study finds

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 thisout!

Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by these crocuses I photographed one spring. 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 textsare freely available.

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Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here. This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2016!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

 

For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week

 

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