Climate Change This Week: A Hot New High, Kids Show the Way, and More!

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

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Saving BUB, Beautiful Unique Biodiversity, as in these Amazonian red eyed tree frogs, is another reason to save our carbon storing forests. Source michaelturco.com

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

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Red Reads Dry – increasingly so for the Amazon, just over the past decade.Source NASA

OO Climate Change Scourge:
Dry Amazon Likely To Burn Bigtime This Year
– NASA images now show. Takeaways:

  • NASA says wildfire risk (July-Oct) greater than 2005 and 2010, when wildfires burned large swaths;
  • Amazon has burned more thru June 2016 than previously;
  • Satellite data show most of Amazon soil is dryer than normal.

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Worlds Of Life Goes Up In Flames – as the Amazon and forests worldwide burn.Source The Atlantic

Through fossil fuel burning we have created giant outdoor ovens;
because we know why, we are no longer innocent.

In drought, trees evaporate less water, and burn easier.

“This puts millions of trees under stress and lowers humidity across the region, allowing fires to grow bigger than they normally would.”

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.

OO Tanzania: Growing Mushrooms Helps Save Forests – Takeaways:

  • Crops are failing from climate change;
  • For income, some turned forests into charcoal/wood fuel;
  • Tanzania has one of sub-Saharan’s highest deforestation rates.

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A Mushroom House surrounded by moist forest. Source mapprinter.wordpress.com

  • Growing mushrooms is an alternative income, not reliant on crops/livestock.
  • Forests supply the local moist conditions to grow them.
  • NGO Farm Africa is showing farmers how.

“When the forest is logged or burned, not only does carbon absorption stop but the carbon stored in trees and other vegetation is released into the atmosphere, increasing the amount of climate-changing gases,” said a field officer.

OO US, Others: Global Climate Spending Focusing On Forest Protection

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HOTTER CLOUDY FUTURE

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Clouds High N Low – wispy high cirrus clouds, “mare’s tails”, differ greatly from low “puffy” cumulus clouds. Source earthdata.nasa.gov

OO Climate Change Models Predicted Change In Clouds;
Altered Patterns Will Worsen Warming
says a new study that analyzed satellite data over 2 decades, starting in the1980s. Takeaways:

  • Clouds are shifting towards the poles;
  • Clouds are shifting higher in the atmosphere;
  • Findings confirm fast pace of warming predicted by climate models.

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Northward, Ho! 2011 Atlantic hurricanes show how they typically track northward.Source geo-mexico.com

These changes are consistent with 3 main atmospheric changes:

  • Expansion of the subtropical dry zones, the desert belt, on either side of the equator;
  • Shift of mid-latitude storm tracks towards the poles:
  • Clouds are rising higher as a warmer atmosphere makes them more buoyant.

Related Headline:

OO ‘The Most Singular Of All The Things That We Have Found’:
Clouds Study Alarms Top Scientist

OO Climate Change May Already Be Shifting Clouds Toward The Poles

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WE’RE HARMING NATURE — AND OUR FUTURE

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Source Wikimedia Commons

OO Expanding Farms Plunge Biodiversity, Nature
Below Safe Limits
Over Nearly 60% Of World’s Land
reveals a new study, as well as expanding roads and cities, leading to a dangerous decline of natural services, including:

  • The ability of forests to absorb carbon dioxide;
  • The biodiversity that humanity needs for food, medicine, and more;
  • The moderation of climate;
  • The filtration needed for clean air and water.

“If we keep degrading biodiversity there will be a point where it’s very difficult to support agriculture,” said the lead study author.

Related Headline:

OO Biodiversity Is Below Safe Levels
Across More Than Half Of World’s Land

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HOT NEWS

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And So The Egg Fries…

OO Eastern Hemisphere’s All-Time Temperature Record:
Kuwait Fries in 54°C (129.2°F) Heat
under continued global warming, it will get hotter…

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Hot Stuff! The heat alerts issued on July 23, 2016. Source National Weather Service

OO Dangerously Hot Temperatures Cover Much of the U.S. Now Takeaways:

  • High temperature and humidity is widespread;
  • Creating 100+ F Heat indices*, sometimes up to 115 F;
  • Scorching central and eastern US, pushing into the Southwest.
  • Several heat stroke deaths already, both young and old;
  • CNN warns that overnight heat can be more deadly than daytime;
  • National Weather Service issued heat alerts for 25 states.
  • A massive upper atmospheric dome of high pressure is keeping it hot – and may persist through the week!

*Heat Index combines temperature and humidity levels to estimate “feels like” temperatures on the human skin.

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As Alaska Bakes, It Sinks into melting permafrost, perma no more. Source walkersplanet.com, ccr 339

OO Alaska Bakes In Heat Wave While Arctic Sea Ice Continues To Melt – with highs in the 80s across much of the region.This year Alaska has witnessed a freakishly warm first six months with the state’s temperature averaging 30.4°F, 9°F higher than normal.
As a result, the state’s fire season had an early start this year.

OO D.C.’S Summer Heat Is Rapidly Becoming More Oppressive analysis finds, but so many clueless frogs in that pot refuse to notice what’s driving it.

OO US Faces Dramatic Rise in Extreme Heat, Humidity shows a new analysis. Takeaways:

  • Florida, Texas, and the Southwest have already seen dramatic rises in heat, humidity;
  • Further dramatic rises will be widespread by 2050, if climate changing emissions are unchanged;
  • By 2100, yearly US heat related deaths will range in 1,000s to 10,000s.

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OO California Drought, Marine Heat More Likely With Global Warming and is already starting to affect the weather and water, even though the coastal warm waters, which blocked drought-quenching storms from reaching California last year, were caused by the coincidental interplay of natural ocean cycles, a recent study shows.

OO In Warming Oceans,
Stronger Currents Releasing Heat In Bigger Storms
a new study says. The currents are releasing 20% more heat than 50 years ago. Japan, China and Korea will warm faster and can expect more storminess.

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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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NATURAL REPERCUSSIONS

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Now, Imagine Them All In Category 5… 4 hurricanes forming off the US in 2011.Source NASA

OO Tropical Cyclones On Track To Grow More Intense As Temperatures Rise

OO UK: Unpredictable Weather Disrupts The Lives Of Wildlife – prolonged wet and cold summer spells force insects to hold off feeding, courting, or laying eggs, for example.

@@ From Floods To Forest Fires: A Warming Planet – In Pictures

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SOCIAL REPERCUSSIONS

OO California: Drought Hits Low-Income Bay Area Communities Hard

OO Wildfires Rage Across Southwest, Forcing Home Evacuations

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Fishy Future in Play – studies show that the environment for inland fish is heating up.

OO Climate Change Harming America’s $73 Billion Angling Industry – Takeaways:

  • Inland fish play critical roles in US ecosystems and economics;
  • Fish keep nature in balance, feeding,
  • and in turn, feed iconic species like eagles, bears.

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Source mel-nik at iStockphoto.com

  • Warming waters are changing ranges,
  • Life cycles, fish abundance,
  • and is especially affecting trout.

OO Montana’s Rivers Are Warmer Than They Should Be,
Which Is Bad News For Trout
What worries many experts is that, for the past 15 years, some of America’s finest fishing rivers keep breaking records for early snowmelts, too-warm water and low flows.

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Too Hot to Handle? The health effects of climate change on workers are diverse.

OO Climate Change Is Making Farm Work More Dangerous Than It Already Isresulting in heat-related deaths, and disease, such as kidney disease.

OO Earth’s 5th Costliest Non-U.S. Weather Disaster On Record:
China’s $22 Billion Flood
– continues, where torrential monsoon rains along the Yangtze River Valley in central and eastern China since early summer have killed 237 people.

OO Britain Must Urgently Prepare For Flooding, Heatwaves And Food Shortages, due to continuing climate change, says a government report.

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MELTDOWN

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Pole to Pole, Glaciers Are Crumbling like this one in Antarctica. Source http://www.komar.org

OO Warmer Oceans Driving Antarctic Peninsula Glacier Melt – and not warmer air, as was previously suspected, a new analysis of data shows. Of the 670+ glaciers on the Peninsula’s western side, almost 90% are retreating.

OO Retreating Glaciers A Sign Of Alaska’s Major Meltdown – this summer’s record-breaking temperatures hasten glacier, permafrost melt.

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Greenland Mosaic of melt ponds and streams net the melting icescape. Source earthobservatory.nasa.gov

OO Deep-Blue Ponds And Streams Highlight Melting on Greenland Ice Sheetwhich is melting at a near-record pace.

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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OO Developing Nations’ Energy Intensity Down 40% Since 1990:
Energy Use Is Decoupling From Economic Productivity Worldwide

Related Headline:

OO Efficiency, Clean Energy Put Dent In CO2 Emissions Takeaways:

  • More zero-carbon energy is being produced from wind and solar;
  • low natural gas prices and mercury pollution regulations prompt coal plant closings,
  • and opening natural gas plants, which emit less carbon dioxide.

OO EU To Introduce Limits On Truck CO2 Emissions

2016-07-26-1469566390-8047425-coralreefpacificislandponapepohnpeiCreditdavefleethamccr339.jpg

As Waters Rise Nations Move to Act on a treaty to stop climate changing emissions. Credit Dave Fleetham

OO Pacific Islands Nations Consider World’s First Treaty To Ban Fossil Fuels– The 14 countries would ban new coalmines and embraces 1.5C target set at Paris climate talks.

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OO Distributed Wind Has Floundered for Years –
Now Oil Companies Are Investing in It

OO South Australia Reaps 83% Of Electricity In One Day From ‘Wild’ Wind

OO Money Flows Into Batteries for Buildings, Power Grid

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OO California: Renewable Energy Creates Good Jobs
In Distressed Areas of California

OO Canada to Introduce National Carbon Price This Year

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SPEAKING OUT

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They Have The Right To Know Credit Jared Flesher

OO Nation’s Largest Teachers Union Endorses Teaching “Climate Justice” – teaching the truth about the severity of the climate change crisis facing our children.

OO Number Of Americans ‘Alarmed’ By Climate Change Rises In Latest Poll

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OO UN Human Rights Council Declares Climate A Priority

OO UN Criticises UK And Germany For Betraying Paris Climate Deal by financing the fossil fuel industry through subsidies..

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FOSSIL FUEL FOLLIES

OO Europe’s Oil Imports ‘Dependent On Unstable Countries’

OO Power From “The New Coal”, Natural Gas, Expected
To Reach A Record High,
Despite Climate Concerns
– bad news, because besides the bad methane emissions from its production and distribution, burning it adds further emissions.

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OO US Coal Ash Crisis Builds – Coal production and use has plummeted, but the wastes left behind after burning it keep on coming, and they have been stored in lightly regulated, water-filled basins since at least the 1950s.

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OO China Pledged To Curb Coal Plants.
Greenpeace Says It’s Still Adding Them.
The construction boom would result in about 400 gigawatts of excess capacity and waste more than $150 billion on building unneeded plants, said the new a report.

But …

OO Record Growth In Chinese Renewable Energy Markets

OO Coal India Accused Of Bulldozing Human Rights Amid Production Boomsays Amnesty International report.

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OO Fossil Fuel Industry Risks Losing $33 Trillion in revenue in the next 25 years due to global efforts to curb greenhouse gases, says a new economic analysis.

OO BP Fined Further $2.5 Billion Over Deeepwater Horizon Spill

OO China Energy Giant’s Big Bet On Canadian Oil Sands Backfires

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Source news.yahoo.com

OO Nigeria Oil Addiction Destroying Its Future – Takeaways:

  • 70% of Nigerian revenues come from oil sales;
  • Big Oil has been allowed to environmentally wreck much of its south;
  • Low oil prices have dramatically cut revenues;
  • Southern militants are blowing up pipelines, to free the oppressed south.
  • Civil war is brewing.

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GOOD IDEAS

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OO Engage TV Weathermen to Talk Climate – the climate journalism organization, Climate Central, among others, is helping them do so.

OO Stop US Food Waste:
Half Of All US Food Produce Is Thrown Away
new research suggests.

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OO Carbon-Free Banking: Where To Save, Invest And Borrow

OO Expansion Of California’s Electric Grid Would Save Consumers $1.5 Billion a new study says.

OO French Carbon Pricing Committee Proposes Tax On Coal-Fired Power

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OO Your Kids’ Energy-Saving Habits Are Having An Impact On You shows a new study.

OO California: Going Net-Zero With Help from Geothermal Power

@@ Not Too Windy, Not Too Calm: Capturing Iceland’s Winds – the startup Icewind is building a new type of funky wind turbine designed to perform well in low-wind conditions but also to slow itself down in high-winds, preventing it from catching on fire or ripping apart.

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Soccer Energy Lights the Field with the help of underground tiles that converts all the energy of those pounding feet into electricity. Courtesy of Pavegen and Shell

OO From Favelas To The White House, Tiles Turn Footsteps Into Electricity

OO A Possible Model For Australia Going 100% Renewable: Kangaroo Island

OO International Space Station Crew Is Testing 3-D Solar Cells

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Acid Reducers – kelp, eelgrass, and other vegetation can effectively absorb CO2 and reduce acidity in the ocean, so growing them could help mitigate the damaging impacts of acidification on marine life.

OO How Growing Sea Plants Can Help Slow Ocean Acidification

OO Why Drones Are ‘Game-Changing’ for Renewable Energy but they’ve had their wings clipped by regulations.

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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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A SWEET SPOT IN CREATING SUSTAINABLE POPULATIONS

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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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CLIMATE LEADERSHIP

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OO Bernie Sanders Endorsed Hillary Clinton,
Citing Climate Change As A Top Issue

“Hillary Clinton is listening to the scientists who tell us that if we do not act boldly in the very near future there will be more drought, more floods, more acidification of the oceans, more rising sea levels,” Sanders said.

OO DEM Senators Target The ‘Many-Headed Dragon’ Of Climate Change Denial

OO Democrats Embrace Price On Carbon
While Clinton Steers Clear Of Carbon Tax

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One of Many Ad-Hoc Methane Factories – as long as we let landfills belch it.

OO EPA Updates Methane Requirements For Landfills

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CLUELESS LEADERSHIP

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modified, Credit Nate Beeler at the Columbus Dispatch

OO Donald Trump Would Be the World’s Only National Leader to Reject Climate Science

OO Trump Ends VP SusPence, Picks Koch Darling Pence a GOP insider with ties to Big Industry.

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Credit Donar at politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com

OO The Republican Party’s Platform Says Coal Is ‘Clean’ Energy – Yeah, right – and Donald Trump is a Mormon.

OO House Republicans Target Subsidies for Utility-Scale CSP preferring dirty to clean energy.

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OO TTIP Proposal Casts Doubt On G20 Climate Pledge a leaked EU draft shows.

OO UK: Government Axes Climate Department -Ed Miliband, the former energy and climate secretary under Labour, called the move “plain stupid.” It comes at a time when the government is being urged to ratify the Paris climate change deal.

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

@@ How Parents Can Help Prevent Teen Pregnancy

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

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 flying

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OO Historic Round-The-World Solar Flight Showcases Clean Energy
As It Concludes

OO California’s Biggest Utilities Break Own Record for Solar Power – the California Independent System Operator, or ISO, on Tuesday managed enough solar energy to power 2 million homes.

OO Germany Sets A New Solar Storage Record – 40+ % of its solar installations have backup batteries, a world record.

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Check it out here, right now!

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, July 26, 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.

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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