Coal Ash Monster, Bird Decline, Michigan Goes Radioactive, and More!

North Carolina coal ash pollution, a growing toxic monster. WaterKeeper Alliance Inc at flickr

Weak Laws:

OO North Carolina Lawmakers Pass Weak Coal Ash Bill – claim environmentalists, and set a loose cleanup timetable, as yearly the US produces 140 million tons of toxic coal ash pollution.



Sorry, Bill Gates: Clean Energy, Not Fossil Fuels, Will Lower Poverty Far More notes energy analyst Jigar Shah at GreenTechMedia, and freely admits knowing more about energy policy than Gates, but far less about running a software giant. Gates has been getting advice on Bjorn Lomborg, a climate skeptic known for his ignorance on climate change and its effects. Time to switch advisers.

OO UK Public Ignorant Of Climate Science Consensus:Poll and underestimates the public support for clean energy – dangerous ignorance.

Fossil Fuel Follies:


Wikimedia Commons

OO Keystone Pipeline Company Sidesteps Its Permitting Fight – opting to push more oil through its already established US pipeline, with the State Department’s permission. Ooooh, sneaky!

OO At Least 10% Of Fracking Fluid Is Toxic – For another 33% we have no idea. Important, because there are many thousands US fracking wells, all of which will leak at some point.

OO Michigan Is Becoming A Radioactive Fracking Waste Dump – for other states whose stricter laws prohibit the waste.

Like a giant fungus, fracking, a generator of small earthquakes in Oklahoma, is spreading its tendrils across the US landscape. Source: Safe Water Movement

OO Oklahoma Gets Hit With 20 Earthquakes In One Day
With 2,500+ small earthquakes in the past five years, nearly all linked to fracking.

OO Maryland: Fracking Threatens The Health and Breathing Of Nearby Residents – says a new report.

OO Duke Energy Spills 5,000 Gallons Of Diesel Into The Ohio River – officials worked to keep the spill from contaminating drinking water supplies.

As human population rises, it denies birds vital habitat, poisons them with pollution, and burning fossil fuels creates harmful climate change for them: 1 in 8 bird species is threatened with extinction.

Winged Warnings: Birds Are In Trouble Worldwide as rising human population denies them vital habitat, poisons them with pollution, and creates harmful climate change, all warnings for our own species, writes Alanna Mitchell atEnivronmental Health News. First in a series.

Source: Environmental Health News


Social and Health Threats:


Credit: Alexander Cahlenstein at Flickr

OO As in Past, Climate Change Could Destroy Current Civilization a new study indicates, finding that ancient climate changes doomed ancient civilizations in its presumed birthplace, the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East.

OO Global Climate Inaction Will Mean Economic Turmoil for South Asia, Warns Bank – cutting South Asia’s growth by 9% by 2100, reports Reuters.


Climate change allows disease-carrying mosquitoes, like this tiger mosquito, to invade new areas, spreading the disease. Credit James Gathany

6 Ways Climate Change Threatens Health involve basic human needs, says a new study, reports Megan Darby at Responding To Climate Change:

1. Increasing blood suckers and other disease carriers

2. rising allergens and air pollution, which kills 1 in 8 people worldwide, the WHO estimates. Climate change increases wildfires, generating much air pollution.

3. heatstroke

Ggg depression from disasters, Max Boschini at flickr, ccr 240
Disasters generate depression among their victims. Max Boschini at Flickr

4. mental depression

5. malnutrition, as crops fail

6. skin cancer, as ozone levels could increase

Extreme Weather:

Record-Breaking High Daily Minimum US Temps characterize the late summer heat wave more than the maximums, but being minimums, they don’t get the press that the maximums do, writes meteorologist Jon Plotkin at Decoded Science.

Nonetheless, minimums are insidious, in that warmer nights during heat waves rob human bodies of the chance to cool down enough before the next hot day begins. This can trigger more heat strokes.

As the planet warms, the atmosphere can hold more water, allowing the formation of more clouds. Clouds both absorb and reflect radiation, so their combined effect on climate is complex, but could result in higher daily minimum temperatures.

OO Heat Island Effect & Global Heating Cooking U.S. Cities – threatening health and productivity. Cities form hotspots in the temperature landscape; increased urbanization and global heating will worsen this.

California Dryin’

Credit: AP photo/Jae C. Hong

OO Drought Dries Up Tap Water For Hundreds Of Californians

OO California Has Given Out Rights To 5x More Water Than It Has – oh-oh.

OO California Drought Has Wild Salmon Competing With Almonds For Water


OO California’s Drought Is Denying Forage For Honeybees threatening honey production in a major producing state.

OO Epic CA Drought Is Literally Moving Mountains – a measurable 15 mm in the past 2 years, as dramatic water loss doesn’t weigh them down.

Source: CA Dept of Water Resources

@@ Shocking Photos: What the CA Drought Looks Like

OO Wildfire Burns Near Yosemite National Park, Prompts Evacuation Of Thousands – The wildfire is the third in a year to burn near Yosemite.

Map of current wildfires in the US as of August 30, 2014. You can keep tracking current US wildfires at this interactive map here at Climate Central.

OO California Is ‘Woefully Unprepared’ For Sea Level Rise says a new report, with a projected 3 feet rise by 2100, and billions in damage to the economy.

Ferocious Consequences:

OO ‘Widespread Methane Leakage’ From 500+ Vents Off East Coast – a previously unknown source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

OO Arctic Sea Ice Could Shrink Even More as melting ice increases water areas, allowing larger waves that, in turn, help break ice further.


Source: Climate Central

OO Rising Seas Could Ultimately Bankrupt New York, Miami – even current unfinished plans don’t look beyond the 2050s, when sea level will rise even faster.

OO NY: Long Island Sound Becoming More Acidic


OO Pakistan’s Largest City Thirsts For A Water Supply – water protests developing.

OO Europe Holiday Destinations Potential Hot Spots For Dengue Fever as climate change allows its spread there.



OO How Bad Weather Around The World Is Threatening Nutella


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 this year!) 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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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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