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

2016-06-28-1467156927-7126507-furrybeetleinsectWJavagbohneatwww.flickriver.comccr288.png

Saving BUB – beautiful unique biodiversity, like this furry Javanese beetle, is another benefit of conserving carbon-storing forests. Source gbohne at http://www.flickriver.com

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

2016-06-28-1467156967-5091886-indigenousAmazonforestpeopleAwaorGuajaSourcepinterestccr322.jpg

Locals Know Best such as these Amazonian Awa forest people, when it comes to conserving forests. Source pinterest

OO Indigenous Rights, Private Funding Key To Slowing Deforestation,
Says Norway Minister
– Efforts to save the world’s forests hinge on securing private sector funds and ensuring indigenous communities in tropical forests are more involved in protecting their environment.

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2016-06-28-1467157001-582924-landslideSangiheJavaIndonesiaJune2016CourtesyofSutopo_BNPBccr335.jpg

A Lethal Landslide, and More Rain in a Javanese village. Courtesy of @Sutopo_BNPB

OO Java, Indonesia: Massive Deforestation, Heavy Rain Create
Lethal Landslides
– Takeaways:

  • 64 died in recent landslides;
  • 1800s to present: Java forests declined from 10 to 0.4 million hectares.
  • Since 2005: 2000+ people have died from landslides.

Forests anchor soil; remove them, add heavy rain, and landslides result.

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.

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2016: THE YEAR CLIMATE SHATTERED

2016-06-28-1467157053-5245677-extremeweatherbcompositedroughtheatwavestormwildfiremehccr290.png

An Extreme Mosaic: Heat waves, droughts, and flooding have already broken records in 2016.

OO Shattered Records Show Climate Change Is An Emergency Today,
Scientists Warn
– May was the 13th month in a row to break temperature records, say recent data.

It’s the latest in a string of climate records this year — from vanishing Arctic sea ice, to carbon dioxide levels in the air, to drought in India and the vast bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef — records that scientists have described as a bombshell and an emergency.

Noted UK Meteorologist Adam Scaife, “Including this year so far, 16 of the 17 warmest years on record have been since 2000 – it’s a shocking statistic.” Fast-rising CO2 levels are “almost entirely” the reason for the record-busting year, with some help from El Nino.

This year’s high temperatures so far mean 2016 almost certainly will be the hottest year on record.

Related Headline:

2016-06-28-1467157082-6403603-aerialviewofGreatBarrierreefcoralbleachingSourcewww.youtube.comccr335.jpg

That’s Bleached Coral, Not Snow in this aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef, where massive amounts of coral have bleached and died, just one of several record-breaking climate events that have occurred so far in 2016. Source The Centre of Excellence, Coral Reef Studies

OO Seven Climate Records Set So Far In 2016 – a sampler:

  1. Warmest Arctic winter
  2. Last 9 months are hottest on record
  3. India’s hottest day: 51C (128 F)
  4. Alaska warmest spring on record
  5. Increase in CO2 levels far more than in previous years
  6. Australia’s hottest autumn (US spring) yet
  7. Record massive bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef

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SPEAKING OUT

2016-06-28-1467157116-35601-kayakactivistsprotestseattleCreditJoshuaTrujilloatseattlepi.comccr316.jpg

Not Just The Public, But Scientists All Over Agree – no Arctic drilling. Credit Joshua Trujillo at seattlepi.com

OO Scientists Urge Obama to Halt Oil Leasing in the Arctic – 400+ scientists from over a dozen countries signed the letter, urging him to do so, because of the significant environmental and climate risks associated with further fossil fuels exploration there.

OO Obama At Yosemite Attacks ‘Lip Service’ To Natural Beauty Amid Climate Inaction – he warned that climate change could ravage many of America’s vaunted national parks, and criticized political opponents who “pay lip service” to areas of natural beauty but oppose efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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@@ Climate Change 101: Why Care?
What You Need to Know
– Bill Nye tells it all in five minutes amid graphic, dynamic, engaging, compelling imagery. Check it Out!

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HOT NEWS

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Hot Times

OO May 2016: One More Record-Hot Month for the World says NASA, with record-breaking warm temperatures for the globe; So far this year, every month has been record warm.

February and March set consecutive records for the most anomalously warm month (ie, deviating the most from average temperatures), show data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

OO 370 Months And Counting…
Global Warming Is Causing A ‘Fundamental Change’ In The World’s Weather
the UN warns, as NASA reports the hottest spring in history for the northern hemisphere, accompanied by unusually high rainfall recently in parts of the US and Europe.

World Meteorological Organization global climate director Dr. David Carlson said the new data showed 370 straight months of warm or warmer-than-average temperatures worldwide.

He noted, “The state of the climate so far this year gives us much cause for alarm…Exceptionally high temperatures. Ice melt rates … Once-in-a-generation rainfall events.”

2016-06-28-1467157189-6988548-heatwavesuninArizonaandtrafficSourceNSFCentralArizonaPhoenixLTERsiteccr335.jpg

The Heat Is On… Source NSF Centra lArizona Phoenix LTER site

Scientists warn of regular record breaking global temperatures within 50 years without dramatic reductions of carbon emissions, researchers find. By 2061-2080, summers around the world are likely to exceed the warmest on record today, affecting health and food production.

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Why Climate Change Makes Stronger Storms — it’s the added heat. Just add heat, and watch things stir.

“We have no choice but to address climate change, or it will address us.“ — Michael Mann

@@ Coal Country Clobbered by Climate-fueled Cataclysm

The sad fact about the working class people who have supported right wing politics historically in the US, is that they are themselves so often the victims of the policies their political heroes advocate.

This is certainly true in areas of environment and climate, and yet another of those increasingly common “one in a thousand year” events in West Virginia illustrates vividly.

OO Greenland Was Hotter Than New York City Recently – Greenland, the Arctic nation that is basically one huge ice cube, is feeling rather balmy lately.

OO 120+ F Expected As Monster Heat Wave Hits Southern California

2015-04-13-1428954510-2485514-wildfirevortexMorganFireNEofSFcredMattGranzcourtesytwittersacramentoNationalWeatherService.jpg

Credit Matt Granz

OO Dangerous Fires, Extreme Heat Causes Misery Across Southern California with 100+ temperatures across a wide area that are fueling dangerous fires.

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OO What Would A Global Warming Increase Of 1.5 Degrees Be Like? The difference in temperature of 1.5 or 2 degrees C is marginal.

But what about rises of 1.5 C and 2 C?
The effect on more extreme weather – think floods, droughts, storms, and heatwaves — is not:
Research suggests that a 1.5 C rise would double the risks of the extremely heat waves and droughts that were once rare but now occurring more often – yeah, we’d likely get twice as much as the present.

Now, add another 0.5 C rise – and the risks double again.

And the probability of even more extreme events increases even faster.

2016-06-28-1467157308-6473796-FTFdrought375006_516399868408087_1044385372_ndroughts.png

What does a 2 C rise mean for life on Earth?

  • Parts of the Middle East would become uninhabitable without permanent air conditioning.
  • Some experts predict a massive decline in the food crops critical for human survival:
  • Parts of Africa would see their corn crops cut in half, for example.

Two degrees, says Johan Rockström, director of the Stockholm Resilience Center,“contains significant risks for societies everywhere; 1.5 looks much more scientifically justifiable.”

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FIXING CLIMATE CHANGE

@@ A Simple And Smart Way To Fix Climate Change given by Dan Miller in 2014 at a Ted talk suggests a way to profit as we tackle climate change, by finally charging those who sell and use fossil fuels – and distributing the revenues back to all of us.

The strategy is sure to speed transition to clean renewable energy. What’s not to like? Check it out!

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BURNING UP

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Burning Up: 31 large (1,000+ acres) US wildfires are now burning in the west; the wildfire season has grown 100+ days longer. Source Climate Central at wxshift.com

OO Everything You Need to Know About Wildfires in One Map – the new US wildfire tracker map at Climate Central keeps you updated on all, and puts it in the context of our changing climate.

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UP, UP, AND AWAY

OO Atmospheric CO2 Levels Forecast To Pass Grim 400 Ppm Milestone –
And Won’t Fall Below It In Our Lifetimes
says the UK Meteorological (Met) Office, the national meteorological government agency.

Related Headline:

OO Antarctic CO2 Hit 400 ppm For First Time In 4 Million Years and is the last CO2 monitoring station on Earth to do so.

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2016-06-28-1467157418-5928204-biomassburningwildfireSourcesoftpixel.comccr331.gif

An Increasingly Common CO2 Generator with help from El Nino, which has helped spark wildfires worldwide. Source softpixel.com

OO El Niño Likely To Boost CO2 In 2016 which has warmed and dried the tropics, limiting the ability of forests to take up CO2 from the atmosphere and triggering huge fires around the globe.

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AGRICULTURE EMISSIONS IMPACTING CLIMATE MORE

2016-06-28-1467157460-2870730-cowlookingatyouSourceopensourcevegan.comccr282.jpg

Climate-Changing Cows are the main culprits, emitting methane as they burp and fart; their numbers increase as the world’s appetite for meat does. Source opensourcevegan.com

OO Climate Impacts From Farming Are Getting Worse say new United Nations figures.

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GOOD IDEAS

2016-06-28-1467157529-8233765-beautifulvegetariansaladSourceFullyRawatpinterest.comaccr335.jpg

Beautiful Good Food Source Fully Raw at pinterest.com

OO Going Vegetarian Can Cut Your Food Carbon Footprint In Half says a big recent study on diets in the United Kingdom.

OO China Aims To Halve Meat Eating and has issued guidelines to help wean its citizens onto a more vegetarian diet − offering huge potential health gains and cuts in greenhouse gases. The country consumes 28% of the world’s meat due to its population size.

The Chinese health ministry has published new dietary guidelines recommending that people should eat from 40g to at most 75g (1.5- 2.5 oz) of meat a day, which is close to the level recommended by British health authorities to limit the risk of developing bowel cancer.

2016-06-28-1467157557-8407033-wildlifecorridorSourcefirstforwildlife.wordpress.comccr335.jpg

A Green Way for Wildlife Source firstforwildlife.wordpress.com

OO Natural Corridors Could Help Wildlife Survive Climate Change – Linking up natural areas with migration corridors could help wildlife keep pace with climate change.

OO It’s The Economy That Needs To Be Integrated Into The Environment –
Not The Reverse
– BP’s call for a ‘meaningful carbon price’ is the latest example of wrongly trying to apply economic theories and tools to the environment.

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2016-06-28-1467157583-2996859-maninstallingsolarpanelsjobsSourceGreenMPsonFlickrccr296.jpg

Source Green MPs on Flickr

OO UK: Retailer Crowd Funds Solar Panels For Its Stores to Help Communities – Marks & Spencer is partnering with Energy4All, a not-for-profit group that helps community groups set up energy co-ops, with the aim of raising £1.23 million to put panels on nine large stores.

Investors will be guaranteed a 5% yearly return, M & S will buy the energy it needs, and further profits will be invested in community energy projects. Triple Win!!!

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MELTDOWN

2016-06-28-1467157632-5888759-riveroficeontheLarsenshelfSourceHubbardetal.2016ccr335.jpg

The River Below – a massive subsurface river of ice may be speeding the flow of ice into Antarctic waters, and speeding sea rise. Source Hubbard et al., 2016

OO An Antarctic River of Ice Might Hasten
Ice Shelf Collapse & Sea Level Rise
– as ice collapses into the sea. The discovery of the 300 ft thick moving layer of ice beneath a major ice shelf, the Larsen C, might be speeding its collapse into the sea, says a new study.

<> 2016-06-28-1467157663-4072022-permafrostturnsintowetlandnrGooseLakeTDCccr305.jpg

It’s Melting, Melting… and as permafrost dries, releasing even more climate changing CO2.

OO As Permafrost Melts and Dries,
Its Carbon Emissions Will Double
– under a 10C rise in temperature, says a newstudy that mimicked such warming in the arctic permafrost. In real time, this will happen when the rest of the world heats just 5C, since the Arctic is warming about twice as fast.

As the soil warms and dries, microbial activity increases and starts using oxygen, increasing emissions. Using oxygen results in releasing more CO2, which lasts far longer in the air than the methane released by anaerobic microbes in waterlogged permafrost.

Doubling the release of climate changing emissions will further accelerate climate change and accelerate even greater releases of these emissions.

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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OO Renewables Will Replace Gas as Top U.S. Power Source in 2031 a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analysis shows, becoming the dominant source of electricity generation in the U.S. in 2031, even without subsidies, as wind and solar costs plunge.

Solar and wind capacity will become cheaper than gas or coal without any incentives after 2020.

OO Solar, Wind Costs Could Fall Up To Nearly 60 % By 2025, a study by the International Renewable Energy Agency says, if governments create the right policies that minimize transaction costs and streamline administrative procedures and approval processes.

OO Scotland Exceeds Emissions Targets—Six Years Early – beating out much larger countries.

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CORAL REEF CATASTROPHE CONTINUES

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Beautiful, But Can It Reproduce? Healthy looking Carribean elkhorn coral have been found that cannot reproduce. Source http://www.mnn.com

OO ‘Zombie Corals’ Pose New Threat To World’s Reefs – as if massive die-off from heat bleaching, ocean acidification, and pollution weren’t bad enough threats to reefs , scientists have discovered the existence of ‘zombie corals’ which look healthy but cannot reproduce – they are essentially walking dead, and useless for any hopes of repopulating dead reefs.

Researchers also found a common sunscreen ingredient is killing and mutating corals in tourist spots.

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2016-06-28-1467157742-8255568-PalaureefmandarinfishSourcewww.palaudiveadventures.comccr335.jpg

When A Reef Dies, Its Fish Disappear such as this Palauan Mandarin fish in Palau, Micronesia. Source http://www.palaudiveadventures.com

OO Another Season of Bleaching Predicted for Northern Coral Reefs – Takeaways:

  • current global coral bleaching event started in 2014;
  • It is the longest-lasting and largest such event ever recorded;
  • It is expected to last til the end of 2016, at least.
  • .

  • Northern hemisphere reefs can expect another season of bleaching.
  • Micronesia reefs face the biggest threat;
  • Micronesia depends on reefs for food and tourism revenue.

OO Australia: Prime Minister Unveils £500 Million Plan
To Save The Great Barrier Reef
– to pursue solutions such as solar panel projects, improved sewage treatment, and helping farms and businesses to prevent pollutants and fertilisers entering waterways.

Sounds good (except he really can’t do anything about the damage already inflicted), but this is an election campaign pledge …. need I say more?

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CLIMATE LEADERSHIP

2016-06-28-1467157782-3763734-popefrancisencyclicalSourcetheDailyClimateccr282.jpg

Four Australian Catholic Orders are jointly and publicly divesting from coal, oil and gas:
‘We believe the Gospel asks no less of us.’

OO Australia: Catholic Orders Take Their Lead From The Pope
And Divest From Fossil Fuels

OO White House Commits To Boosting US Energy Storage capacity, as it rolled out a suite of executive branch and private sector commitments to do so.

This will assist President Barack Obama’s goals of fighting climate change and modernizing the grid by smoothing the integration of renewable energy and creating resilient backup systems.

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ELECTION YEAR:

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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.

OO Global Warming Policies We Set Today Will Determine The Next 10,000 Years – of global warming, a new study shows — and whether our civilization survives or not: history shows that harmful climate change has destroyed civilizations before.

This time, it could be worldwide. Let’s keep “The Hunger Games“ in the realm of fiction.

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NATURAL REPERCUSSIONS

2016-06-28-1467157814-5196686-soilcarboncyclefromKirketal.2016Fig1atcarbonbrief.orgccr335.png

The Carbon Cycle – how it flows from air to plants to soil to air to… Source Kirk et al, 2016, Fig1

OO Alpine Soils Losing Up To A Third of Their Carbon
As Summers Warm
Takeaways:

  • The top meter of the world’s soils holds 3x the carbon in the entire atmosphere;
  • Losing that soil carbon will speed up climate change;
  • The Alps are already losing carbon as summer temperatures rise;
  • German alpine soils have lost an average 14 % of their carbon, up to 32 % in places.

2016-06-28-1467157954-2534276-warmingmeadowRMBLJohnHarte_resize.jpg

The Warming Meadow – has been heating since 1991, and showed over a few years what global warming can do to ecosystems over decades. It continues to serve as a field climate change lab. Credit John Harte

MEH: SIMILAR US RESULTS occurred in the first and longest running climate change field experiment (FD: John Harte, my husband, started it in 1991) in a subalpine meadow in the Colorado Rockies.

From 1991-1996, the soils lost 20-25 % of their carbon, and then slowly rebounded.Now, unheated plots are starting to show this same effect, albeit far more slowly, as real world global warming sets in.

OO First Mammal Species Wiped Out By Human-Induced Climate Change – sea level rise did in an endemic island rat.

An interesting sidenote, but a drop in the bucket compared to the mass extinction of animals and plants humans are causing as they continue to spread, and destroy natural habitat for their own purposes.

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A SWEET SPOT IN CREATING SUSTAINABLE POPULATIONS

2016-05-11-1462993989-2532103-medicines360.orgbanner5Sourcemedicines360.orgccr328.png

Triple Win: Using Profits to Provide Needed US Family PlanningMedicines360.org is key to creating a sustainable US population and bright futures for women – AND saving taxpayers many billions yearly in community costs by preventing unintended pregnancies. Source medicines360.org

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SOCIAL REPERCUSSIONS

2016-06-28-1467157981-1472552-RosenbergTexasfloodingJune2016SourceTexasClimateNewsccr335.jpg

The New Venice, Like It Or Not – just one of several Texas towns that recently flooded. Source Texas Climate News

OO US Flooding Costs Will Soar In A Warming World, Economic Analysts Say– Damage from Texas flooding in 2015 and 2016 have reached into the billions. Expect more.2016-06-28-1467158026-2015883-VietnamdroughtforcesfarmerCreditKhamatReutersccr335.png

Drought Dries Up the Promise of Food for this Vietnamese farmer. Credit Kham at Reuters

OO Vietnam Drought Leaves One Million In Urgent Need Of Food – the worst drought in 90 years coupled with seawater intrusion into Mekong River delta have destroyed fruit, rice and sugar crops.

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FOSSIL FUEL FOLLIES

2016-06-28-1467158155-2974709-traffictransportationTDCccr335.jpg

OO Power Plants Are No Longer America’s Biggest Climate Problem –
Transportation Is.
Takeaways:

  • US cars, trucks, and airplanes now emit more carbon dioxide than its power plants do;
  • The US has made remarkable progress in cleaning up its electricity sector since 2005;
  • Power plants account for only about one-third of America’s CO2 emissions;
  • .

  • Transportation, another third (and now the biggest source);
  • Transportation remains much tougher to address;
  • And since 2013 transport emissions have been creeping upward again.

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2016-06-28-1467158186-4491396-republicansclimatehoaxcartoonCreditMichaelLukovichccr295.jpg

Credit Michael Lukovich

OO Biggest US Coal Company Funded Dozens Of Groups Questioning Climate Change

OO Oil Bust Leaves States With Massive Well Cleanup as the recent oil bust is putting oil producing states on the hook for thousands of newly abandoned drilling sites at a time when they have little money to plug wells and seal off environmental hazards.

OO Exxon Sues a Second Attorney General to Fight Off Climate Fraud Probe – following the ancient tradition of killing the messenger if the message threatens you.

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2014-07-06-populationmatters2green.png

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.

2015-12-15-1450211150-3188590-larccontraceptivepostercoupleeyeslookingsidewaysmehccr307.png

Find locations here:

2015-12-15-1450211215-359134-contraceptivealocationengineqrcode.png

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

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SOLAR KEEPS FLYING

2014-12-30-Solarkeepsflying500SolarplanethesolarimpulsecourtesyofSolarImpulse.jpg

OO Investments in Solar Energy Grow to $9.4 Billion in 2015, Says World Bank
Private infrastructure investment was 72% higher than the average of the previous five years.

2014-01-31-geostellargetcleanenergy.png

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

2016-06-28-1467158214-2238133-anomaltempjun282016.png

Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, June 28, 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 the US and the waters surrounding it are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures: the eastern Pacific warm spot continues and so does the drought in California, where wildfires rage even as an extreme heat wave occurred.

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 thisout!

Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by this wild flower 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 texts are freely available.

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For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly columns 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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