Climate Change This Week: Another Dangerous Pipeline, Solar Community Power Grows, and More!

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


Saving BUB, Beautiful Unique Biodiversity, like this south American treehopper, is another reason to preserve forests. Credit Robert Oelman

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon


OO Amazon Is Burning At Near Record Level – the forest fires, coming on top of recent droughts – raise concerns that ‘we’re in a different regime.’

OO Climate Change Pledges Not Nearly Enough
To Save Tropical Ecosystems
– made by 178 nations, they won’t likely save tropical coral reefs and cloud forests, or prevent mass global extinctions. More is needed.


If Only It Worked That Way… deforestation, whether through wildfires or human activities, cuts carbon storage. Credit Hilary Price

OO Gabon, Africa: Trading One Dirty Oil Addiction For Another – as the country starts allowing companies to destroy forests and replace them with palm oil plantations. Bad for the planet, and not good for an economy that needs to diversify… beyond oil.

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.




Standing Up For Their Lives and millions of other Americans, the Sioux are protesting a pipeline that will enable far more climate change, and could poison their homeland. Source

OO Taking A Stand At Standing Rock Takeaways:

  • the US govt has fast tracked a 1,200 mile Bakken oil pipeline to Illinois
  • that will bore through the Missouri River, a drinking and irrigation source for millions,
  • and go through native American lands without their meaningful consent.


Police Harassment challenges the protestors, who are subject to road blocks, police racial profiling stops and checkups, and more harassment. Source

  • Farmers, ranchers and others stand with Native Sioux in pipeline opposition;
  • Thousands of Sioux are camped in protest along the river;
  • Enabling further climate change, this pipeline will affect all Americans.


Riding to Act and set up a protest camp against the Dakota Access pipeline. Credit Waniya Locke

“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.”
Chief Sitting Bull of the Hunkpapa Lakota

Related Headline

OO ‘For As Long As It Takes’:
Native American Protesters Defy North Dakota Pipeline
construction, with hundreds of them and activists massing on the site where a $3.7bn pipeline is being constructed; 18 have been arrested so far.



OO Law Professors Issue Takedown Of Decision Striking Fracking Rule – dozens of law professors banded together this week to assail a federal court’s recent decision striking down the Obama administration’s hydraulic fracturing rule.

OO Green Party Candidate Jill Stein Calls For Climate State Of Emergency pointing to California wildfires and Louisiana flooding in a push for a Green New Deal to address both environment and economy.

Too bad she doesn’t have the experience of working with Congress – or with any level of government – to make that a reality.


The Green Promise of Jobs is one of many the clean energy transition is starting to deliver.

OO Clean Tech Leaders Put A Business-Friendly Spin On Climate Change Policies
to show that support for environmental regulations extends beyond tree huggers to people who sit in corner offices and to prevent skeptical lawmakers from dismissing climate policies as “anti-business.”




OO Earth’s Hottest Month On Record Was July 2016: NASA and the record-shattering warmth shows no signs of stopping.




OO Melting Planetary Thermal Shield Clearly Linked To Burning Fossil Fuels – historical data shows Arctic melt of last two decades is ‘unprecedented’ And since 1979 is ‘enormously outside the bounds of natural variability.’

This melting is clearly linked to humans burning fossil fuels, research shows.

OO ‘Next Year Or The Year After, The Arctic Will Be Free Of Ice’ – says scientist Peter Wadhams who believes the summer ice cover at the north pole is about to disappear, triggering even more rapid global warming.


OO Peru: Melting Glaciers Pose Threat Beyond Water Scarcity: Floods – putting cities like Huaraz, located downslope from a melting glacier about 35 miles (55 kilometers) away, at risk from what scientists call a “glof” — glacial lake outburst flood.

Sound dangerous? It is.



@@ 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!




Having Fun Adding to Climate Change some pokemon go players help up climate changing emissions. Source

OO Internet Energy Ups Climate Change – new research warns, as growing reliance on smart technologies is leading to a rapid rise in internet electricity demand that will push up carbon dioxide emissions, since not enough of that power comes from clean renewables. Researchers call for limits on data transfer growth.

In the meantime, a new documentary probes the social and cognitive effects of screen time on children…

@@ Screenagers is a new documentary that probes the addictive nature of screentime for children, and how we can all address it. Interested? You can host a screening.




OO Save The Animals, Save The Planet – species conservation helps lower carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, by saving their natural, carbon-storing habitats.

OO The Netherlands Could Be The First Country To Ban Gas, Diesel Vehicles if
Dutch politicians have their way.


As Overpopulation Undercuts Our Future, How Many Kids Should We Have?

OO How Many Kids Should We Have
In The Age Of Climate Change?
especially when each new consuming US citizen will add far more climate change than the poor of other nations who will suffer much more from its impacts. Think ethics.

If we hope to ensure a safer future for all our children, the number is one or none, to bring human populations to sustainable, rather than suicidal, levels.

Credit John Giles at PA Wire

OO A Unified, Long-Term Vision:
How To Build An Effective Political Climate Movement
– such a vision made the neoliberal movement into a political mainstay; it’s a lesson for the climate movement.

OO China Turns To Free Markets To Tame Fossil-Fuel Pollution:
Cap And Trade Pollution


A Small, Green, Clean Village that has substantially cut its climate changing emissions. Credit Elizabeth Dalziel for the New York Times

OO English Village Becomes Climate Leader In Cutting Community Emissions – the 1,000 or so residents of Ashton Hayes cut emissions 24% in a decade by adopting clean energy traditions, from clotheslines to solar panels. Now hundreds of other villages worldwide are coming to find out how they did it.




Triple Win: Using Profits to Provide Needed US Family 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




Credit Eugene Garcia, EPA

OO ‘A Changing Climate Is And Will Continue To Put People Out Of Their Homes’ – says a CA official, as 82,000 were ordered to evacuate their homes recently in the path of an explosive wildfire that “hit with an intensity that we hadn’t seen before,” as one fire official said, and surged across 30,000 acres.

OO Study: California’s Wildfire Season And Air Quality To Get Worse – because the amount of air pollution from wildfires in the Western U.S. is expected to rise as more fires ignite because of climate change.

OO Eroding Alaskan Island Village Votes To Relocate To Mainland – as rising seas and worsening storms under continued climate change eat away at their land.


Getting Wetter All The Time heavy precipitation has increased throughout the US over the past few decades. Source 2014 National Climate Assessment

OO Climate Change Worsening The Risk Of Extreme Flooding In Louisiana
– And Worldwide

  • As the atmosphere warms, it absorbs more water vapor;
  • When it rains, more water comes down;
  • Heavy precipitation has increased throughout the US

Given the reality of climate change, “it is not a question as to whether it is playing a role but what that role is,” wrote NCAR scientist Kevin Trenberth and colleagues in a 2015 scientific paper.


“Louisiana is always at risk of floods, naturally, but climate change is exacerbating that risk, weighting the dice against us. How long will it be until we finally recognize that the dice are loaded?” asks climate researcher Katharine Hayhoe.

OO As Louisiana Floodwaters Recede, The Scope Of Disaster Comes Into View – with 11 people dead, and about 30,000 people rescued. Now will come the devastation and mold in its wake.

OO Search For Living, Dead: Louisiana Fights Back From Flooding with search parties looking for survivors or bodies trapped by flooding that in some cases sent caskets floating from cemeteries.


OO Climate Change Will Redraw Louisiana’s Flood Maps – FEMA creates flood risk maps that delineate areas with a certain likelihood of being flooded every year – but aren’t updating them as fast as climate change is changing them.

OO Louisiana’s Sinking Coast Is A $100 Billion Nightmare For Big Oil
The state can’t pay, so someone has to. And the water keeps rising.

OO Louisiana Flood: Worst US Disaster Since Hurricane Sandy Red Cross says.


OO Connecting The Dots On 2016’s Extreme Summer Weather And Global Warming
“Whether it’s the multitude of thousand-year flooding events
we’ve seen over the past year,
the massive wildfires,
the strongest hurricanes in both hemispheres, etc.,
we are now dealing with the impacts of climate change
on a daily basis,”

says climate scientist Michael Mann.

OO Sewage Floods Likely To Rise as systems in many cities, stressed by age and growing populations, will spew more raw refuse into the streets during heavy rains.

OO Insurers Lag In Preparing For Climate Change – recent studies show the insurance industry still faces a lot of uncertainty in how it will address climate change.


Bye-Bye Dungeness Crab Dinners?

OO Uncharted Waters: An Uncertain Future For Dungeness Crabs
On U.S. West Coast
– and for those who fish it; the fishery is one of the most valuable on the west coast, worth nearly $170 million in 2014.


“Was That A Mosquito I Just Saw?” Source

OO CDC Issues Zika Travel Warning For Miami Beach after mayor says “no Zika outbreak” there. Climate change favors the spread of zika carrying mosquitoes.



OO India Walls Off Bengali Climate Refugees – both present and future ones with a new fence along its border.



OO Bigger, Better, Cheaper: Wind Power Is Flourishing In The US

OO White House Sets New Fuel-Efficiency Standards for large trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles, the latest in a series of efforts aimed at slashing greenhouse gas emissions and weaning the nation from its dependence on fossil fuels.

OO US Coal Regulator Boosts Campaign To Fix ‘Outdated’ Cleanup Rules with plans to toughen “out-of-date” rules for guaranteeing mine cleanups.


OO A Big Oil Company Seriously Commits To Clean Energy – France’s Total expects part of its new growth will come from having 20% of its assets in renewables by 2035. Meanwhile, other big oil companies have divested their portfolios of renewable, confident of rising oil demand.

Let’s disappoint them!




OO Ocean Slime Spreading Quickly Across The Earth – spurred by warming oceans and more nutrient runoff from more fertilizers and wastewater fueled by massive human population growth.


Bye-Bye Beauty? Rare wildflowers, like this highland saxifrage, are disappearing as climate change makes it too hot for them to survive. Credit Kim Hansen, Wikimedia Commons

OO Rare Plants Vanishing As Climate Change Hits Scottish Peaks – disappearing at an “alarming rate” and face possible extinction, says new research for the country’s leading conservation charity.



“Maybe that’s why the American Petroleum Institute logo looks like it’s being impaled by a polar bear’s dick,” explains a sunny actress in John Oliver’s response to API plagiarizing his show’s style. Warning: some offensive language.

OO John Oliver To Oil Lobby: You Bozos Picked The Wrong Man To Plagiarize – the American Petroleum Institute aired a commercial during the Rio Olympics that essentially carbon-copied the opening credit sequence of Oliver’s show. Oliver shot back with one of his own.


Natural Gas, the New Coal, Adds to Climate Change emitting the same global warming emissions that other fossil fuels do, both in its burning, as this plant shows, and in its production.Source

OO CO2 Emissions From Burning Natural Gas, The “New Coal,” Will Surpass Coal In 2016for the first time since 1972, says the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

OO In US Methane Hot Spot, Researchers Pinpoint Sources Of 250 Leaks across the Four Corners region of the American Southwest, using airborne sensors.

OO Big Coal Sticks US Taxpayers With Cleanup, As Its Execs Get Bonuses – bankrupt Peabody Energy coal company got US court approval for 3 states to help cover $1+ Billion in cleanup costs, and for a bonus plan for its top executives.


Source PriceWaterhouseCoopers

OO China: Peaked On Coal,
But Not Enough To Stay Within Safe Warming Limits
– as the coal plants planned there and elsewhere in the world will easily push us past a 2 C warming limit, into ever more dangerous climate change.

OO Coal Burning Causes The Most Air Pollution Deaths In China study finds – about
366,000 premature deaths in the country in 2013, Chinese and American researchers concluded.

Burn, Baby, Burn the pipeline is the motto for angry victims of Big Oil’s unregulated pollution in Nigeria. Source

OO Nigeria: Big Oil Created Hellish Pollution – Now Angry Victims Cut Oil Output – oil companies and even Nigerian officials are losing faith that national production will be restored via a deal with angry victims turned avenging militants.



OO Hillary Clinton Picks TPP And Fracking Advocate To Set Up Her White House
Two big issues dogged Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primary: the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and fracking. She had a long history of supporting both.


Credit Nate Beeler at the Columbus Dispatch

OO Donald Trump’s Lack Of Respect For Science Is Alarming – the U.S. presidential election shows how far the political conversation has degenerated from the nation’s founding principles of truth and evidence.




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.



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


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


They can go here to find locations:


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




OO It’s The Dawn Of The Community Solar Farm – increasingly consumers are buying into community solar farms that allow renters and apartment dwellers to access renewable energy produced on neighborhood plots that can be small enough to host a little league baseball game.


Check it out here, right now!




Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Aug 30, 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. Extreme weather this summer, manifested in new heat records, extreme rainfall and flooding, and near-record levels of wildfires, has been predicted and expected under continuing climate change. And it will get worse.

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.



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 here. For more information on the science of climate change, its consequences and solutions you can view my annotated list of online information resourceshere.

To help you understand just what science does and does NOT do, check this out!

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.


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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