Climate Change This Week: Breakthrough in Home Solar Power, Redefining Resiliency, 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 this Indian bullfrog, a denizen of Myanmar forests, is another reason to preserve carbon storing forests. Source all-that-is-interesting.com

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2016-10-05-1475646086-6852945-LadyAmherstChrysolophusamherstiaepheasantbirdMyanmarSEAsiaSourcetumblr.comccr349.jpg

One of Many Myanmar Forest Beauties is the Lady Amherst pheasant; its habitat is shrinking. Source tumblr.com

OO ‘We Are Revolutionaries’: Villagers Fight To Protect Myanmar’s Forests

A community-run conservation initiative in southern Myanmar is using local knowledge to preserve both the environment and their ways of life.

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

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Gold Mining Scars A Protected Reserve and other parts of the Amazon rainforest.

OO Deforestation Jumps Into Peru Reserve:
40,000 Acres Of Rainforest Lost
recently spotted forest loss for agriculture and gold mining threatens endangered wildlife and indigenous communities in El Sira Communal Reserve.

OO U.S. Imports Of Amazon Crude Oil Driving Expansion Of Oil OperationsCrude oil imported to the U.S. from the Amazon, most of which gets refined in California, is driving expansion of oil operations and forest loss, in the Amazon.

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.

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HOT NEWS

OO Stuck On Record Warm: Earth Has Unprecedented 16-Straight Warmest Months

OO Climate Change Could Cross Key Threshold In A Decade with the planet passing a key target on world temperature rise in about a decade, scientists said recently.

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Source NOAA

HURRICANE MATTHEW FITS CLIMATE CHANGE TREND:
EVER MORE INTENSE HURRICANES

OO Haiti Hurricane Matthew Climate Change Effects:
Global Warming Means More Devastation, Climate Refugees

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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OO UN Signals That Climate Deal Has Backing Needed To Enter Force as soon as this year.

OO India To Ratify Cop21 On October 2,
Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday
Mahatma would have been honored.

OO Climate Deal Comes One Step Closer To Effect At United Nations when dozens of countries deposited their ratification of the deal at the United Nations recently.

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OO California Governor Backs Rules On Cow, Landfill Emissions escalating state efforts to fight climate change to include methane and other pollutants.

OO America’s First Wave-Produced Power Goes Online In Hawaii – via a US Navy test site. Go Navy!

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OO $22.5 Million Raised For Off-Grid Solar As Energy Giants Take Notice – providing an opportunity for traditional energy companies to step into clean energy waters.

Meanwhile…

OO IEA: Oil, Gas Investments Fell 25% In 2015 Energy experts say global investment patterns show a spectacular shift, with renewables on the rise and support for fossil fuels in sharp decline.

OO 100 Countries Push To Phase Out Potentially Disastrous Greenhouse Gases the
hydrofluorocarbons used in cooling appliances.

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SPEAKING OUT

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You Don’t Have To Be A Genius like Albert Einstein to realize that global warming poses a serious threat to mankind.

OO 375 Top Scientists Warn Of ‘Real, Serious, Immediate’ Climate Threat – including 30 Nobel Prize winners, in a published open letter regarding climate change.

OO Obama Appeals For Climate Investment In Valedictory UN Speechappealing for a scaling up of climate finance to reduce global inequality in his last speech to the UN General Assembly as US president.

OO Bank of England Governor Backs Green Finance
To Cut Emissions And Boost Growth

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OO Dozens Of U.S., Canadian Tribes Unite Against Proposed Oil Pipelines to “collectively challenge and resist” proposals to build more pipelines from tar sands in Alberta, Canada.

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NATURAL REPERCUSSIONS

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OO Soil Absorbs Less Carbon Than Thought —
Which Could Warm Us Up Further Even Faster
than thought, reveals new research.

OO Climate Change Is Here: Inside The Summer Of Hell And High Water – with a catastrophic season of wildfires, megafloods and major hurricanes, the climate-change siege is fully upon us.

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OO How Climate Change Is Screwing Up Your Favorite Season Recent evidence indicates climate change might zap everything colorful and crispy out of fall.

2016-10-05-1475646553-8417720-balsamfirchristmastreewstarSourcepack230dc.comccr349.jpeg

Bye-Bye Christmas Trees? Balsam fir, a commercially valuable tree often used as a Christmas tree, is slated to decline as global warming shrinks its habitat. Source pack230dc.com, modified.

OO Balsam Fir May Disappear In New Brunswick Due To Climate Change New Brunswick may see softwood species such as balsam fir and black spruce disappear from the province’s forests over the next 80 years or so as their habitat heats up, says a forestry professor.

OO Toxic Algal Bloom Exploded In Chesapeake Bay this summer, and beyond, expanding farther and lasting longer than scientists have ever seen before.

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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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SOCIAL REPERCUSSIONS

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Even the Syrian Conflict Is Linked to Climate Change where an intense drought – and uncaring government – has helped foment a civil war and mass migration from the country.

OO Climate Change Is Already Destabilizing Communities Worldwide a stark report warns from the U.S. intelligence community.

@@ AUDIO: How Climate Change Is Cranking The Heat On Public Health Crises Dr. Jonathan Patz, director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, notes that public health is suffering from:

  • More extreme weather: heatwaves, droughts, storms
  • And their effects, such as:
  1. Destruction of homes, spread of water-borne diseases;
  2. Increasing ranges of mosquito borne diseases – eg, Zika;
  3. Increased conflicts;
  4. Failed crops and malnutrition.
  • Climate change is already damaging the public health of over a quarter of the world’s humans.

OO Utah: Beached Boats, Pink Water As Drought Saps Great Salt Lake – key to Utah’s economy and identity, the lake is skirting record-low levels after years of below-average precipitation and record heat.

OO US: When It Rains It Pours, And Sewage Hits The Fan – Increasing heavy downpours, fueled by climate change, cause billions of gallons of sewage overflows nationwide.

2016-10-05-1475646619-7551160-ChinapollutionblowswesttoUScitiesin5dayssatelliteSourceNASAandORBIMAGEccr349.jpg

Source NASA and ORBIMAGE, modified

When Americans Buy Chinese Goods, They Buy Chinese Pollution – due to the westerly winds, which ship the pollution to US cities in about 5 days — a good reason to buy only what you really need, made from clean renewable energy, no matter who makes it.

OO China Makes Goods For West, Fueling Pollution, Climate Change in East Asia, a new study shows.

Daily Climate Editor JP Myers notes that “Most of the apparent ‘decoupling’ of GDP growth from carbon emissions in the US is the result of outsourcing of carbon-intensive manufacturing. Then the US imports the goods. That’s not good carbon accounting.

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MELTDOWN

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Antarctic Icicles, harbingers of warming. Credit Grant Dixon

OO East Antarctic Ice Sheet Collapsed 3+ Million Years Ago,
And Could Do So Again Soon,
Raising Sea Levels Rapidly
– indicates a new study, that incorporates new observations of current melting, and fossil evidence. Takeaways:

  • Fossil diatoms indicate the East Antarctic ice sheet collapsed
  • When Earth’s CO2 levels were at the same current levels, 400 ppm,
  • And the atmosphere was 1-2 C warmer than currently,
  • the estimated temperature of late 21st century Earth.

This collapse would add another meter to already rising sea levels worldwide by 2100!

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A River of Melt Runs Through It – many, in fact, all over the Greenland ice sheet.Credit James Balog

OO Greenland May Be Losing Ice Even Faster Than We Thought reveals new research: it finds that the ice loss — and contribution to sea level — is higher by 20 billion tons per year.

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GOOD IDEAS

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Source blog.ucsusa.org

Building US Sea Walls Are Bandaids – if not re-inforced with a philosophic revolution that emphasizes sustainability, not perpetual growth.

OO Redefine Resilience To Mean Sustainability:
Exploring the Gap Between Business-as-Usual and Utter Doom
– Takeaways:

  • Our current growth of consumption is not sustainable,
  • Even by replacing fossil fuels with clean renewable energy sources;
  • We need to transition to a simpler, more localized conserver economy – simpler pathways for meeting basic human needs.
  • Resilience needs to be re-defined to mean transformative change in how we live,
  • Not short term fixes for unsustainable, perpetual growth.
  • Halting growth in population, consumption and complexity can grow personal happiness.

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Sharing Benefits All – and is a great way to solve not only climate change, but many problems. Source http://www.seancast.com

  • Social innovation will mean returning to older, proven methods:
  1. make our expectations more realistic re speed, convenience, affordability and entitlement;
  2. share, rather than compete – ie, cooperate;
  3. conserve, reuse, and repair;
  • Funding needs to be re-oriented towards developing these sustainable solutions, rather than unsustainable growth.

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Breakthrough Could Make Homes Energy Independent Cleanly, Easily – modular solar capture and storage units, SolPads, are much cheaper to install, and are set to go on market in late 2017.

OO SolPads Make Your Home Energy Independent Easily – designed for the masses. Takeaways:

  • SolPad are units that both generate and store solar power;
  • A unit contains a high efficiency solar panel, inverter, battery and
  • Smart software to promote sustainable energy use.
  • These modular units can be linked to increase production easily.

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If Those Were SolPads the owner would get clean energy independence and save money on installation.

  • Versions exist for both rooftops and microgrids
  • Cuts solar installation costs by 50%
  • Invented by Christopher Estes at SunCulture Solar
  • Products are on track to come to market by late 2017

This sounds like the Apple of the residential solar world, doesn’t it?

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OO Canada Is Building A Network Of Microgrids starting with 3, located in Maine, Nova Scotia and Toronto.

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Repair First and Save Money doing so, as the Swedish government plans to slash sales tax rates (VAT) on repairs to bicycles, clothes shoes. Source bikerepairsman.blogspot.com

OO Waste Not Want Not: Sweden To Give Tax Breaks For Repairs so it will no longer make sense to throw out old or broken items and buy new ones, via proposals to:

  • slash sales (VAT) taxes on repairs to bicycles, clothes, and shoes;
  • create income tax deductions on 50% of big appliance repairs.

OO Toyota Is Mining Sewage For Hydrogen To Power Its New Car

g2016-10-05-1475646914-1603311-eelectronicwastecellphonesSourceScienceandSocietyLibraryviaGettyImagesccr349.jpg

One Man’s E-Waste Could Be Another’s Treasure – especially if it is easy to do so. Source Science and Society Library via Getty Images

OO Portable Micro-Factories Could Turn E-Waste Trash Into Treasure and are being developed by Australian researchers. Takeaways:

  • Global electronic waste is vast, but only 15% or so is properly recycled;
  • It contains extractable amounts of silver, gold and other precious minerals.
  • a prototype for a portable micro-factory to mine these is being developed.
  • Shipping-container-sized, these can be deployed at collection sites worldwide.
  • The goal: micro-factories will churn out high-value metal alloys, ceramics, composites and nanomaterials, while simultaneously eliminating any hazardous impact.
  • Benefits: eliminates emissions from shipping e-waste long distances and mining, and creates jobs.

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Source motherboard.vice.com

OO North American Windpower: Using Drones To Inspect Turbines and cut costs, by understanding when and where turbines need repair or replacement.

OO Sunpower Embraces Drones, Robots To Help Evolve Its Solar Farms, lowering costs, while minimizing the impact that the farms have on land.

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FOSSIL FUEL FOLLIES

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Cute, But Climate-Changing – our transport is using too much dirty energy, and creating too much climate changing emissions. Source ClipArtCorner

OO Planes, Trains, And Automobiles Have Become Top US Carbon Polluterssurpassing the generation of electricity in 2016, says a new analysis of government data.

OO How Much Cleaner Really Is A Tesla? Depends On Where You Charge Your Batteries – via electricity generated from fossil fuels or renewable clean energy.

OO Many Car Brands Emit More Pollution Than Volkswagen report finds: all major diesel car brands, including Fiat, Vauxhall and Suzuki, are selling models that emit far higher levels of pollution than Volkswagen.

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OO Electric Robotaxis Could Cut Emissions Dramatically, Fast – and save consumers money, indicates a new a truly sweeping report on the future of vehicles by the Rocky Mountain Institute, known for its bold visions in energy efficiency.

OO Chevron’s Lobbyist Now Runs The House Committee On Science For Chevron, the second largest oil company in the country with $26.2 billion in annual profits, it helps to have friends in high places.

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CLIMATE, OR CLUELESS LEADERSHIP

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OO Obama Requires US Govt To Factor Climate Into National Security Policy –
First Time, Ever

OO Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson:
Ignore Climate Change – The Sun Will Destroy The Earth One Day
– meanwhile, he denounced “cap-and-trade taxation,” said we “should be building new coal-fired plants,” and argued that the “trillions” of dollars it would cost to combat climate change would be better spent on other priorities.

Seriously, Gary? Like what – buying bandaids for this ever-worsening “climate disease”?

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.

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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 FLYING

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OO Spillover Can’t Stop Utility-Scale Solar’s Biggest Year Ever – Utility-scale PV will dominate U.S. solar into next year, but the market’s drivers are rapidly evolving.

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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, Oct 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 flower I photographed one spring in Chile. 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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2 Responses to Climate Change This Week: Breakthrough in Home Solar Power, Redefining Resiliency, and More!

  1. Good stuff, as always! 🙂
    I was a little taken aback today by a woman who replied to my latest blog posting (where i had mentioned that my wife and i decided not to have kids due to the world being way too overcrowded the way it is); the woman suggested that i was being judgemental and mentioned that she has seven children.
    I know a number of alcoholics that do not think that they are alcoholics and who also try to rationalize their actions.

    • melharte says:

      I remember once introducing some ladies to wildflowers along a trail one day. Somehow we got on the subject of children. I mentioned I had one, a daughter. One of the ladies said something like, “Oh, don’t worry, she’ll probably give you a bunch of grandchildren.” Without thinking I replied,” I doubt it – she knows it’s unethical to have more than one in this world.” It was met by silence — and I continued telling them about wildflowers…

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