Climate Change This Week: Siberia Exploding, Too Hot to Work, LED Job Surge, and More!

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

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Soon This May Be The Only Kind Of Tropical Frog In Existence – one made of painted women; better to conserve our carbon-storing tropical forests. By Johannes Stoetter, source http://www.rebelsmarket.com

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

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Palm Oil Eats Away as its plantations wipe out forests. Credit mongabay.com

OO Can We Feed The World Without Cutting Forests? It can be done, says U.N. (MEH: not really – see below.) Agriculture is biggest driver of deforestation globally, but:

  • Giving people clear land ownership creates sustainable management;
  • Boosting investment boosts land productivity;
  • Forests can be protected.

MEH: The above argument is greatly flawed:

  • boosting land productivity beyond sustainable limits has already destroyed arable land;
  • our global population levels are already beyond sustainable limits;
  • forests fall when desperate, unsustainable populations use them for resources.
  • 80% of all arable land is already under cultivation globally;
  • The total amount of arable land is decreasing due to desertification and overuse.

Humanity is crashing through its global limits.

FORESTS ARE BURNING UP

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Climate Change Drives Wildfires – as higher temperatures both melt out mountain snowpacks earlier (meaning less water later in summer), and, in combo with drought, dries out trees, creating tinderbox conditions for fires. Source Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory

OO Wildfires Have Burned More Than 2.6 Million Acres So Far This Year – under continuing climate change, higher temperatures and more frequent and intense droughts will fuel ever more intense and larger wildfires – until we run out of forests.

OO California’s Costly Wildfire Season Might Never End until it runs out of forests.

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Source siberiantimes.com

OO Huge Swaths Of Russia’s Forests Are Ablaze
– Possibly A Record Fire Season
– The past few years have seen huge conflagrations in this region, from a combination of forest management practices, firefighting policies, human-caused global warming and shorter-term weather fluctuations.

OO Russian Wildfires Put Key Climate Change Resource At Risk – as the government’s practice of leaving massive wildfires to burn out of control in sprawling stretches of Siberia shrinks a key global resource for absorbing climate-warming emissions: its trees.

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.

2016-08-04-1470347260-8969114-cattledeforestationamazonbrazilSourcewww.vox.comccr340.jpg

Just How Desperate Are You For A Hamburger? – enough to fuel climate change by destroying carbon sinks? Source http://www.vox.com

OO Cattle Grazing Is Now Causing Massive Deforestation Hotspots
In The Peruvian Amazon

OO Drought ‘Shuts Down Amazon Carbon Sink’ by killing trees and slowing trees’ growth rates, a study has shown.

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OO Global Warming Could Limit Forest Capacity as Carbon Sinks – more specifically, North American forests, says a new study.

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OO How To Stop Deforestation?
Give Indigenous People Rights To Land
– Indigenous people are better than governments at preventing forests from being cut and should be seen as a solution, not a barrier to protecting them, said a UN official.

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GOING, GOING…

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Fracking As Far As The Eye Can See Credit Mark Gamba at Corbis via Foundation for Deep Ecology

OO Humans’ Consumption of Earth’s Natural Resources Has Tripled in 40 Years – says a new UN report.

Growing consumption drives climate change, as it uses huge amounts of climate-polluting energy; those energy sources, in turn, are using increasing amounts of energy just for extraction and distribution.

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Asia Deforests Source ulet ifan at flipboard.com

Trees, Orchids, Beautiful Birds, And More – All Gone when a tropical forest disappears, and often extinguishing unknown, unique forms of life.

“The alarming rate at which materials are now being extracted is already having a severe impact on human health and people’s quality of life,“ said UN International Resource Panel co-chair, Alicia Bárcena Ibarra.

“We urgently need to address this problem before we have irreversibly depleted the resources that power our economies and lift people out of poverty.

[It] calls for a rethink of the governance of natural resource extraction.”

OO UN: Shorter Working Hours May Be Needed To Save Environment – to increase efficiency of resources used and slow their extraction.

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HOT NEWS

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OO Heat Alerts Blanket US. – N.Y.C., L.A. and Chicago were all under heat advisories recently, plus 23 states in between.

OO Deadly Dangerous Heat Wave Scorched Central And Eastern U.S. with at least 6 heat related deaths. The heat index, a measure of how hot it actually feels, could reach 115°F in parts of Washington, DC and 108°F in Philadelphia.

Related Headlines:

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How Much Hot Temperatures Differed for June 2016 in the US from the average. Source NOAA

OO Sizzling Midwest Previews a Hotter Future Climate‘Climate change is putting heat waves on steroids,‘ says prominent climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, with dire consequences for public health.

“Heat waves are getting more frequent and stronger.”

OO Heat Dome Had Tens Of Millions Sweating From Minneapolis To Mississippi and the high pressure area persisted for days, creating a vast heat wave across much of the US.

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OO Eastern Hemisphere’s All-Time Temperature Record:
Kuwait Fries In 54°C (129.2°F) Heat
on July 21, 2016 in the Middle East.

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A Hot Map tracing global temperature anomalies. Source Climate Central via NASA, NOAA data

OO First Half of 2016 Blows Away Temp Records -the first half of 2016 has blown away temperature records, capped off by a record hot June, once again bumping up the odds that 2016 will be the hottest year on record globally, according to data released recently.

OO Earth On Track For Hottest Year Ever As Warming Speeds Up – and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also confirmed that June was the 14th consecutive month to break temperature records.

OO Global Warming Happening Faster Than Predicted says the World Meteorological Organization, reporting the first six months of this year have seen all previous global warming records broken.

It also marked the 378th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th century average.

@@ 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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MELTDOWN

OO Siberia: Areas Leaking Methane 200 Times Faster Than Usual,
Massive Releases Creating Giant Holes, ‘Trembling Tundras’
– as Russian scientists measured the gas emitted by the mysterious bubbles The ‘trembling tundra’ also contains concentrations of carbon dioxide 20 times higher than usual levels.

Scientists theorize the sudden appearance of giant holes in northern Siberia – a 2013 eruption was heard 60 miles away – is from methane gas from melting tundra is trapped in existing ice, exploding it.

Siberia: Scientists Discover Unusual Methane Bubbles Underground

OO Siberia: Heat Wave Sparks Anthrax Outbreak – as it melted the decades old, anthrax riddled carcase of a reindeer, allowing the pathogen to spread. 1500 other reindeer died from the highly infectious disease, and 13 people were hospitalized.

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A Canyon in White – as Greenland melts away. Credit James Balog

OO Greenland Lost A Staggering 1 Trillion Tons Of Ice In Just Four Years – How much is that?

Think of the ENTIRE weight of humanity currently – now multiply that by about 3,000.

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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Sun Lights A Night Time Street with solar powered LEDs. Source http://www.truelite.us

OO Off-Grid LED Lighting Could Create 2 Million Jobs as solar systems come on-line across the globe.

OO Governments Look to Phase Out HFCs, which are potent climate changing gases, causing 1,300 times as much warming as carbon dioxide over a span of 100 years even though they exist for a shorter duration in the atmosphere.

Diplomats and leading national ministers are negotiating to phasing them out. Originally, HCFs substituted chlorofluorcarbons (CFCs) as refrigerants for air conditioners.

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OO Solarcity Raises $345 Million To Fund New Projects

OO Corporate Investment In Energy Efficiency ‘At An All-Time High’

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@@ Time To Choose – this is the trailer but one can view the entire documentaryhere via download torrent.

OO Not Your Typical Climate Change Documentary:
It Focuses On Solutions, Not Doom
– The film provides a compelling argument to its audience that renewable energy and alternative forms of living and eating are not only legitimately effective, but can give us a real shot at stopping climate change.

OO California: Alameda County Bans Fracking – the results of 2+ years of persuasion from a coalition of environmental groups.

OO California Moves Forward With Oil, Gas Methane Rules to slash methane emissions from oil and gas facilities 40-45% by 2025.

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OO Obama Plans to Expand Solar for Low-Income Homes to One Gigawatt – via the ‘Clean Energy Savings For All’ initiative by 2020.

The DOE also will award up to $100,000 for projects that develop solar farms and train solar workers in low-income communities.

OO India Doubles Down On Solar Parks After Sunedison Setback – the company formerly contracted to build major solar projects. India will double the target for energy to be generated from solar parks by 2020.

OO PM Modi Lures India’s Top Fossil Fuel Companies To Back Solar Boom

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OO Elon Musk Unveils Tesla’s ‘Master Plan’:
Package Electric Cars, Solar Panels and Energy Storage for Customers
by merging two big companies, Tesla and Solarcity.

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OH-OH

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What We’re Doing Won’t Prevent More of This and worse, as climate change continues. Use your vote to tell leaders we have to do more.

OO The World’s Climate Pledges Are Not Even Close To Good Enough – the Paris agreement won’t prevent our planetary thermal shields, the polar ice caps, from melting, or rainforests from dying.

But there’s still time to prevent even more catastrophic change – and the good news is, countries can easily do more than they’ve promised so far.

“If all countries were to replicate policies that are currently successfully implemented by some countries, the gap toward two degrees Celsius could almost be closed,” says a senior Netherlands government climate policy analyst.

Beyond national governments, organizations and corporations are also moving to effect change. Get involved.

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Missing In Action are measures to prevent the drowning of European civilization.Source http://www.caribflame.com

OO EU Climate Targets Fall Short Of Paris Deal Ambitions, Experts Warn – the European Commission missed an opportunity recently by failing to introduce a mechanism to increase emissions targets over time, a European coalition of environmental NGOs said.

OO Six EU Countries Have Already Met Their 2030 Climate Targets – indicating that the targets are way too weak.

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SPEAKING OUT

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OO ‘World Can’t Afford To Silence Us’:
Black Church Leaders Address Climate Change
– One of the largest and oldest black churches in the US warns that black people are disproportionally harmed by global warming and fossil fuel pollution.

OO France And UN Press For Ratification Of Climate Agreement

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NATURAL REPERCUSSIONS

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Higher and Higher – what is now our lowest global average temperatures is higher than the highest global average temperatures just 40 years ago… Credit Climate Central using NASA data

OO The Climate That Most Of Us Grew Up With Is Gone For Good

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Climate Change > Drought, Heat > Dry Forests > Wildfires in the US WestSource http://www.climatesignals.org

OO Massive Wildfires Rage Across California – destroying lives, homes, forests and sparking mass evacuations.

Extreme heat and years of ongoing drought, both linked to climate change, are increasing wildfire risk in California, and ten of the state’s 20 largest wildfires on record have all burned in the last 10 years.

OO Flame Broiled Alaska: With soaring temperatures and crackling lightning, wildfires erupt across the state.

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Credit Claudio Accheri at flickr

OO Tropical Storms To Get Fiercer As The World Warms − known variously as cyclones, typhoons and hurricanes, they bring death and destruction to huge swathes of the Earth’s surface. And new research suggests that they are likely to become even stronger.

Air pollution that cools the air masks the accumulating heat on the planet, and as the air gets clean, that mask will be stripped away: heating air absorbs more water – that extra water and energy translates into fiercer storms.

As if life weren’t exciting enough already…

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A Stinking Green Monster Is Engulfing US Waters – toxic algal blooms are sickening swimmers, suffocating water life, driving away tourists, and smell like “death on a cracker.” Credit Rick Egan at The Salt Lake City Tribune via AP

OO Why Disgusting Toxic Blue-Green Algae Blooms Seem Increasingly Common – across the US and elsewhere, sickening algal blooms are occurring more frequently.

“We’ve primed the system perfectly for blue-green algae blooms,” says Australia government scientist Darren Baldwin:

  • Nutrient runoff from agriculture settles in lakes and coastal areas;
  • Fiercer storms, fueled by climate change, stir up those nutrients more;
  • Hot waters, heated by global warming, and nutrients fuel massive algal blooms.

<> 2016-08-04-1470348232-2961094-greatbarriercoralreefcollapseatLizardislandCreditJustinMarshallattheUniversityofQueenslandccr340.jpg

An Undersea Rainbow Collapses Into Gray and Brown – as corals bleach die, taking down an entire ecosystem with them in the Great Barrier Reef and elsewhere. Credit Justin Marshall at the University of Queensland

OO Sections Of Great Barrier Reef Suffering From ‘Complete Ecosystem Collapse’ as fish numbers tumble and surviving corals continue to bleach into winter, says a scientist witnessing it.

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What Once Was Is No More at Lizard Island and other devastated areas of the Great Barrier Coral Reef.

These natural undersea wonders, the evolutionary work of millennia, have been destroyed, and will not come back for generations, if ever.

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The Face of Climate Change – this could be the face of humanity in coming decades, if we do not address the underlying causes of climate change. Credit Kerstin Langenberger at Facebook

OO Polar Ecology In Flux Due To Climate Change – glacial melting and rising ocean temperatures are affecting the feeding, breeding and dispersion patterns of species, such as krill, cod, seals and polar bears, in the polar regions, say two new research studies.

Ask not for whom the bell tolls…

OO Wildlife Dying En Masse as South American River Runs Dry – the Pilcomayo River in Paraguay is littered with dead caiman and fish carcasses; in some areas almost all the caimans and capybaras – furry river animals – have died.

WASTE MAKES CLIMATE CHANGE

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OO America Wastes $160 Billion In Food Every Year But Is Too Busy To Stop

OO Denmark Leads Europe In Tackling Food Waste – 33+% of all food is spoiled or squandered, resulting in nearly a loss of $1 Trillion, and generating 8% of global greenhouse emissions.

“Waste makes everybody poorer,” said a Danish minister.

Led by a passionate activist, Denmark has been working intensively on solutions backing a global food waste measurement standard; once measured, it can be managed.

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Credit S. Brandlin at Deutsche Welle

Strategies include:

  • Supermarket “stop food waste areas” where nearly expired food sells very cheaply;
  • “ugly” food gets used in prepared food;
  • Public campaign urging people to eat their UFOs* once a month;
  • Too Good To Go startup pairs unsold meals with people who can buy them cheaply at day’s end.

*Unidentified Frozen Objects found in overstocked freezers. Yes, you probably have some.

OO Wal-Mart, America’s Largest Grocer, Is Now Selling Ugly Fruit And Vegetables – at a discount, using weather dented produce that might otherwise go to waste.

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SOCIAL REPERCUSSIONS

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OO Soaring Temperatures Will Make It Too Hot To Work, UN Warns.

OO Global Warming Set To Cost The World Economy $2+ Trillion By 2030 as it becomes too hot to work.
‘If you are physically active in work, the hotter it is, the slower you work.’

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OO Heat Stress To Wipe Billions Off GDP In India, China

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So Pretty, So Deadly For Humanity – the loss of reflection as ice melts, not only speeds Arctic warming, but contributes to climate disruption worldwide. Source NASA

OO This Year’s Record Arctic Melt Is A Problem For Everybody“Melt ponds are a major contributor to radiation and heat in the Arctic,” says a NASA sea ice scientist. Takeaways:

  • Global warming is melting ice;
  • This increases Arctic heat absorption by darker waters;
  • Further heat speeds Arctic warming;
  • Arctic warming wobbles the polar jet stream;
  • Wobbling further mixes extreme cold and warm air masses over the northern hemisphere;
  • Thus, the wobbling is linked to more extreme weather where humanity lives.

So, Arctic warming helps fuel more extreme weather. Be concerned.

WATER, MORE AND LESS

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OO Torrential Rains, Floods Kill At Least 112 Across China,
With Scores Missing

OO Colorado: Climate Change Causes Earlier Snowpack Runoff,
Late Summer Water Scarcity For Farmers

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Drought Continues even as the devastating 2015-16 El Niño subsides; many parts of Africa, Central
America and Southeast Asia rains and harvests are not expected to recover until 2017.

OO Devastating Droughts Continue As El Niño Subsides

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OO Nigeria: Pests and Drought Hit Farms of Tomatoes – a staple of Nigerian diet. Increasing drought and desertification, along with pesticide resistance to the tomato moth worm, are decimating this important food crop.

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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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CLUELESS LEADERSHIP

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Credit Donar at politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com

OO GOP Platform, Which Calls Coal ‘Clean’,
Would Reverse Decades Of US Energy And Climate Policy

OO Republican Platform Rejects Paris Climate Agreement,
Climate Regulations

OO Republican Dream Of Shrinking EPA Could Hurt Industries former EPA officials say, and “rejects 40 years of environmental history and success,“ says an ex EPA head under the GHW Bush administration.

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Credit Nate Beeler at the Columbus Dispatch

OO President Trump Would UP Climate Change
By Upping US Oil, Gas Production
– a policy promoted by his energy advisor.)

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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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GOOD IDEAS

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Source Wikipedia

OO Invest In Small Scale Renewable Projects Too,
To Ensure Universal Access To Low Carbon Energy

OO The Public Health Case For Energy Storage – A new study proposes storage and demand response to avoid extra air pollution while meeting peak demand.

OO Curb the Marijuana Industry’s Voracious Energy Appetite – policymakers should start by requiring indoor cultivators to consume only carbon-free energy sources or to pay a carbon fee until such measures can be implemented.

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Some Like It Cool – but if a cool pool isn’t nearby, try a cool neck wrap instead.Source http://www.arcticspas.com

OO The Best Strategies To Keep Bodies Cool In A Heatwave, say researchers, is full body immersion or cooling the extremities to help maintain healthy body temperatures.

Okay, let’s just assume we all don’t have a cool pool handy at home or work. What to do?

The Wet Scarf: Carry a cotton scarf/cloth, a wash cloth, and bottle of water with you. When you start heating up, thoroughly wet the scarf and wash cloth, roll the latter inside the former, and tie around your neck. It makes a BIG difference. Replenish occasionally with ice cubes or cold water (often free at fast food places).

At night, keep a wet wash cloth nearby for periodically swabbing down your extremities.

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Google Data Center Source Google/Rex

OO Google Uses Artificial Intelligence To Cut Data Centre Energy Use By 15%

OO How A Former Wal-Mart Executive Is Helping The Air Force Cut Energy Costs

OO Paying Businesses To Power Down ‘Could Save UK Billions’ a new industry report finds.

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Zipping Around In a Borrowed Car helps reduce pollution.

OO Car-Sharing Reduces Pollution, Autos On The Road says a new study, filling in the small gaps between those who commute using mass transit or bicycling.

OO China Launches New System To Efficiently Channel Wind Power Investments – to prevent investment in areas where lack of infrastructure results in useless power production.

OO Australia, Cheap And Clean:
Company Creates Hydrogen With Near-Zero Emissions
– using cheap iron ore to convert methane into hydrogen, capturing any resulting carbon as graphite.

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CLIMATE LEADERSHIP

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The Man Gets It “Stay safe as it heats up: Drink water, stay out of the sun, and check on your neighbors,” tweeted President Obama. Source http://www.baltimoresun.com

OO Weather-Communicator-In-Chief? President Obama Calls Attention To Heat Wave

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FOSSIL FUEL FOLLIES

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OO Increased Asthma Attacks Tied To Exposure To Natural Gas Production

OO Ships Worsen Air Pollution Over China, Killing Thousands finds a new study.

OO The Future Of Big Oil?
At Shell, It’ The “New Coal,” Natural Gas
as the deluded energy giant thinks this will help address climate change.

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Credit Joel Pett

OO New Documents Reveal
Oil And Tobacco Industries’ Dirty History Of Working Together
to mislead the public on the harms of each.

OO Tobacco And Oil Industries Used Same Researchers To Sway Public – as early as the 1950s, the two groups shared scientists and publicists to downplay dangers of smoking and climate change.

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

@@ Myth vs Truth: The Huge Value of Contraception is an incisive, heartfelt recognition of the value of contraception by Sarah Brown, CEO, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

Unintended Pregnancy Costs US Taxpayers:

Unintended Pregnancies Cost US Taxypayers Nearly $11 Billion Yearly
the Guttmacher Institute

Teen Childbearing Alone 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 RISING

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OO Tanzania: Dodging Costs And Power Cuts,
Firms Profit From Solar Drive

OO China Installed 20 GW Of Solar Power in first-half of 2016; triple from a year ago.

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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, Aug 4, 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 spotted coralroot orchid 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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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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