Climate Change This Week: Where Inaction Leads, Clean Jobs Boom, and More!

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

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Forests Protect The BUB: Bizarre, Useful and Beautiful biodiversity that sustains all of us, besides storing carbon — and Amazonian spiders that mimic orchids.Credit Mary Ellen Harte

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

OO Pastureland and Farming Are Major Deforestation Drivers
In South America
– with pastureland accounting for over 70% of deforestation between 1990 and 2005. Got enough beef yet?

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.

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HOT NEWS

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OO World Would Warm by Massive 10C If All Fossil Fuels Are Burned – says a new study.

Civilization would end – as would your future children’s future. Why?
This extreme scenario would wreak profound damage on human health, food supplies and the global economy, and leave some regions uninhabitable.

Actually, civilization would probably end well before a rise of 10C — even 6 or 7C could do it, because of the cascading catastrophies that would envelop us. But let’s just look at the 10C consequences for fun.

Forget about farming – we cannot genetically engineer plants to grow in a climate that is beyond the biophysical capabilities of its genome. Some cereal crops in the Sahel are already reaching those limits, and even important US crops face a declining future at far less than a 10C rise.

Forget about hunting – It would be worse than the Stone Age, for we are plunderingour natural resources even now, and destroying the natural environments that supported our ancestral hunters. Hot acidic oceans would not support much of anything edible beyond non-nutritious jellyfish.

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Source ArtefactoryLab at Vimeo

Rising sea levels and extreme weather would flood many major infrastructures.

Supporting even small populations would be challenging, let alone our big one. That means massive die-offs and civil chaos. Move Game of Thrones into a place like the Mideast – and then watch humanity face extinction.

“I think it is really important to know what would happen if we don’t take any action to mitigate climate change,” said lead researcher Katarzyna Tokarska, at the University of Victoria, Canada.

“Even though we have the Paris climate change agreement, so far there hasn’t been any action. [This research] is a warning message.”

Related Headline:

OO Effect of CO2 on Warming Is Worse Than We Thought – record rising temperatures in the past 3 years lead a number of scientists to conclude that our climate is more sensitive to rising CO2 levels than previously thought — which means the world will get hotter faster and our climate will change faster.

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If You Don’t Vote For Climate Action, You Can Forget The Rest – in a climate-changing world of famine, drought, rising seas, giant storms and heat waves, there will be no security in jobs, health, wealth, or national safety. There will be chaos ensuing from increasing crises and disasters. Vote.

TIME TO ACT. Vote for leaders who understand this enormous problem facing us, and who are courageous enough to turbo-drive its known solutions:

  • Stop burning fossil fuels ASAP, and ramp up clean renewable energy;
  • Take our populations to sustainable levels with humane policies;
  • Act to reduce consumption;
  • Rely on economic policies that create sustainable existence, not infinite growth;
  • Trees are important to store carbon: conserve and increase our forests.

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THE FACE OF FUTURE FLOODING

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Source ArtefactoryLab at Vimeo

@@ 5:46 AM – Paris Underwater – what do the French do when their home floods? Why, go out and film it, of course! Viva la France! Although this was filmed 5 years ago, the Louvre is closed today and moving artwork to higher levels, as its lower ones face flooding.

Consider this an increasing portent of things to come for all of us, under worsening climate change.

OO Coastal Flooding: a Sign of the Damage Our Economy
Is Wreaking on Our Fragile Environment
– says the former Archbishop of Canterbury.

Related Headline:

OO Statue of Liberty and Venice Under Climate Change Threat, says UN

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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OO Global Clean Energy Jobs Rose 5% in 2015
Due to US Boom
– in solar and wind power jobs, increasing global renewable energy employment to more than 8 million people in 2015, says a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency.

About 770,000 people were employed in renewable energy in the US in 2015, dwarfing the 187,000 employed in the oil and gas sector and the 68,000 in coal mining.

The gap is set to grow further, with jobs in solar and wind growing by more than 20% in 2015, while oil and gas jobs fell by 18%.

OO Governments Raised $26 Billon from Carbon Pricing in 2015 – it’s a start, but it needs to rise much faster to help the energy transition and fight climate change.

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FOSSIL FUEL FOLLIES

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As If This Isn’t Bad Enough? Not only destroying carbon-storing forest and producing climate changing fuels, the Alberta oil sands mining also creates harmful polluting vapors. Feel the burn? Courtesy Howl Arts Collective at flickr

OO Pollution From Canadian Oil Sands Vapor Is Substantial – says a new study.

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CLUELESS LEADERSHIP

@@ Kimmel Pooh-poohs Pompous Palin’s Denial:
“What if I decide to deny the existence of yogurt?”
Or of gravity? Ultimately, K notes, “Either you believe in science, or you don’t.”

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And for even more nonsense…

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‘I’m not a big believer in man-made climate change.’ says Don The Denier of man-made global warming. Credit: modified piece by Nate Beeler at the Columbus Dispatch

OO Donald Trump’s Election Would Derail Paris Climate Deal,
Warns Its Architect-
Former French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said, “If a climate change denier was to be elected, it would threaten dramatically global action against climate disruption.

More Trumpery…

OO Coal Industry Group Backs Trump – one dinosaur backs another.

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OO Fund Investors Ignoring Climate Risks Rose Last Year Despite BOE Warning – that is, from the Bank of England, which warned about the potential for “huge” losses from a sudden shift in regulation designed to curb global warming and fossil fuels.

Almost half of the world’s top 500 investors are failing to act on climate change risk and management. Oh-oh.

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

@@ The Cost of Unintended Pregnancy: Too Young

Teen childbearing cost US taxpayers $9+ Billion in 2010
And the costs of raising a child usually ensures decades, if not a life, of poverty for its mother.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Help prevent unintended pregnancies in your community:
publicize where women can access affordable contraception.

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They can go here to find locations:

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

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SOLAR KEEPS SURFING

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OO Solar Power Is Contagious – fully one third of the customers for the largest US Solar rootop installer were referred by a friend or neighbor. If you install solar photovoltaic panels on your roof, that increases the odds that your neighbors will install their own panels.

Rooftop solar is expanding rapidly in the US— by some estimates, a new system goes up every four minutes.

OO US: Solar Surges As Coal Collapses -Solar capacity is surging; by the end of 2016, there will be twice as much solar as there was in 2014.

Meanwhile, recent coal plants closings bring tally of closed (or closing) coal generation to 100 gigawatts’ worth since 2010, says the Sierra Club, which has focused on limiting and now reducing coal use since 2002.

OO New Record Set for World’s Cheapest Solar –
Now Undercutting Coal

Solar power set another record-low price as renewable energy United Arab Emirates developers promised project costs that undercut even coal-fired generators.

They bid as little as 2.99 cents per kilowatt-hour to develop 800 megawatts of solar-power projects there – 15% lower than the previous record set in Mexico last month.

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Check it out here, right now!

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WHY WE MUST ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, June 7, 2016

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 North America (indeed, most of western Canada, where a wildfire still burns), and the waters surrounding it and the US, are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures: despite El Nino driven precipitation, California remains in drought, and its “water freezer”, the snowpack in the Sierras, is melting away rapidly.

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Similar to What I Saw but with alpen glow the supercell cloud I saw glowed hot pink for a while. Source wikipedia

Up here in the Colorado Rockies, my summer research home, unusually hot weather predominates. I got to see my first supercell, a giant mushrooming cloud that you would normally find occurring under extreme weather conditions in the midwest — they mushroom up, fill with lightning, then eventually collapse like a souffle, releasing heavy amounts of rain. Luckily for us, the storm was south of us.

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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Think primitive initial conditions at a cabin in a remote part of the Colorado Rockies and broken computers, and you can understand why this week’s column is so short.

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 this wild columbine I photographed one spring in the Colorado Rockies. 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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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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