Climate Change This Week: Running Out of Earth, Inspiring Students, and More!

Climate Change This Week: Running Out of Earth, Inspiring Students, and More

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Check for National Geographic venues (including youtube and other online opportunities) here !
Spread the word!

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Saving BUB, Beautiful Unique Biodiversity, as in this family of Amazon tree frogs, is another reason to preserve carbon storing forests. Source Alamy

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

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Will You Help Protect This Child’s Way of Life? Sign the petition below urging Brazil to enforce its laws that protect his home and family.

OO Cry From The Amazon Forest:
HelpThe Paiter Surui People!
Their homeland and way of life are being destroyed because Brazil refuses to enforce its own laws to protect them from brutal forests destroyers: greedy resource exploiters. Please lend your voice to a crescendo of international outrage here, and demand that Brazil enforce its laws. Then spread the word!

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Murdered For Protecting Forests Luiz Alberto Araujo was gunned down in front of his family for doing his job: enforcing environmental laws that protect forests. Source Mongabay.com

OO Brazilian Environmental Official Murdered:
The Debate Over Saving Rain Forests Is Now A War
– gunmen executed the man, known for strongly enforcing environmental laws in a Brazilian state where conflicts over ongoing, wide-scale Amazon deforestation have led to murders and bloody fights.

  • Araujo’s work led to the 2016 arrest of a major illegal logging operator;
  • Araujo also uncovered the illegal 2016 fish kill by an energy company setting up a new megadam;
  • Previous 2014 work uncovered large scale deforestation elsewhere in the Amazon.

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Forests – And Their Protectors – Are Being Murdered – as greedy farmers, ranchers and international corporations exploit the Amazon under a corrupt government.

  • Araujo was shot to death in front of his wife and stepsons.
  • 448 environmentalists were killed in Brazil between 2002-2013 — half the total murdered worldwide.

When will the world sanction Brazil for these deaths, and a major crime against humanity: allowing the destruction a major global carbon storing system?

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.

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DANGER: TOO MUCH HOPE IN SEQUESTERING CARBON

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Forests, A Proven Method of Large-Scale Carbon Storage are far cheaper to maintain, and supply far more important services than any man-made system could devise. Source http://www.huffingtonpost.com

OO We’re Placing Far Too Much Hope In Pulling Carbon Dioxide Out Of The Air scientists warn. arguing that relying on the uncertain concept of negative emissions as a fix could lock the world into a severe climate-change pathway.

The take-home? Don’t spend a carbon allowance you don’t have yet.
Think this unlikely? Read on, my friends…

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Believing in Unproven solutions is just as bad as ignoring the problems. Source joyoftech.com

MEH: A Personal OMG Moment: After my husband gave a talk in 2011 to Statoil (Norway’s Big Oil) execs on climate change – which they totally got – we overlapped slightly as they started their company meeting.

I was shocked as I heard them discuss climate impacts of future activities in terms of needed units of sequestered carbon – as if it was already available and affordable. OMG.

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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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RUNNING OUT OF EARTH TO LIVE ON

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OO We’re Running Out Of Earth To Live On says the Global Ecological Footprint Report. Takeaways:

  • For more than 40 years, humanity’s demands have exceeded what our planet can regenerate.
  • This year, people are using natural resources equivalent to 1.6 times that found on Earth.
  • Every year, people are using up our yearly replenishable resources more quickly.
  • That is, we are robbing our children’s future.
  • Human lifestyles tend to waste resources, and use dirty energy.
  • Such lifestyles are depleting fisheries, forests, biodiversity, and driving climate change.

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Source capsweb.org

  • This is a significant imbalance between Earth’s biocapacity and our ecological footprint.
  • As resources dwindle, competition and conflict escalate among nations.

The solution? build economies that fit within the budget of one planet.
Not mentioned: without bringing our populations down to sustainable levels, our children face a harsh future and far worse lifestyle.

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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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HOT NEWS

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Like a Climatic Yo-Yo Earth has undergone at least 2 dozen abrupt heating spikes lasting 1000-2,000 years, within the past 100,000 years, likely due to changes in atmospheric CO2 levels interacting with ice sheets in the last glacial period (Ice Age). Here are the last dozen or so, verified by several different independent data sets from around the world. Source http://www.ces.fau.edu

OO Recent Past Shows The Earth Can Get Hot Fast – And We’re Doing So Now – Takeaways:

  • the interplay of air, ice, and energy that causes climatic heat spikes can be as complex as clockworks;
  • at least 25 such climatic heat spikes (D-O events) in the last Ice Age show they can occur fast and last 1000+* years, (Within those spikes, sea levels probably changed dramatically.)
  • these D-Os were probably linked to changing CO2 levels (e.g. volcanic activity can do that);
  • the temperature rise can produce enough polar melt freshwater to disrupt the oceanic conveyor belt, the major distributor of heat worldwide, and cause worldwide climate change;

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And Then, Suddenly, It Got a Lot Hotter… Source xkcd.com

  • the difference between these past and present events? We’re adding far more CO2 into the atmosphere, FAR FASTER.
  • simultaneously, it is worsening an already catastrophic extinction of life on Earth from human activities, as this abnormally fast pace of change outstrips species’ ability to adapt.

From an ethical perspective, our greed is destroying paradise.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

@@ 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

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When The Ice Melts removing weight from the volcano, it can allow magma to move more freely, and possible trigger an eruption.

OO How Climate Change Can Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis And VolcanoesTakeaways:

Main ideas:

  • When substantial weight above seismic faults, this can release tension, causing earthquakes; conversely, increased weight might inhibit such activity.
  • Links have been observed between storms & melting ice, and changed volcanic & seismic activity.

For example:

  • Prehistoric data link melting ice to increased volcanic and seismic activity, as the weight of frozen water was removed. In Alaska, vast ice melting is correlated with increased seismic activity.

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First A Hurricane, Then An Earthquake hit Haiti in 2010. Source Britannica.com

  • Storms decrease air pressure – literally removing the weight of air – above the surface. Scientists have linked typhoons to small earthquakes beneath the sea. But small earthquakes can prevent buildup of large earthquakes.
  • If seismic tensions have built up to hair trigger levels, a “slight” decrease in weight can trigger it.
  • If torrential rains are absorbed deeply by land, they increase its weight, possibly tamping down seismic activity. Such a correlation is seen in Nepal.
  • Earthquakes sometimes produce tsunamis.
  • Be prepared, then, for the unexpected.

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Melt From Above forms lakes on the giant Greenland ice sheet, which can suddenly empty, as the water finds its way to the bottom of the sheet, where it leaks out and helps erode coastal glaciers. Credit Sam Doyle at Aberystwyth University

OO Greenland Melting From Above And Below — and scientists say they’re linked. Takeaways:

  • Melting ice forms glacial lakes on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet;
  • These lakes can suddenly disappear as the water leaks down through the sheet.

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Falls Into the Sea, the meltwater erodes glaciers as it does so, sometimes as waterfalls, but mostly as hidden underwater plumes that incorporate warm ocean water, further speeding glacial breakup. Credit Dustin Carroll

  • The leaked water emerges at the base of coastal glaciers, either falling into the sea or pluming beneath it.
  • Pluming tends to incorporate warm ocean water and undercut big glaciers, speeding their breakup into the sea.

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Starving and Dangerous polar bears are victims of human driven climate change, and their decline is tragic. Credit Kerstin Langenberger at Facebook

OO Polar Bears, Growing Desperate For Food, Threaten Native Alaskans

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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More of These EVs Please – Germany will want, presumably, to replace its gas guzzlers – and lots more bicycles!

OO Germany Wants To Ban Fossil-Fuel-Powered Cars by 2030, says its parliament.

OO Nations Reach Landmark Deal On Powerful Refrigerant That Warms Planet 170+ countries reached a legally binding accord to counter climate change by cutting its worldwide use in air-conditioners and refrigerators.

OO Half Of Scotland’s Energy Could Be Produced By Wind And Sunlight Within 15 Years new report says.

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OO $85 Million Raised To Scale Up Home Solar Storage Batteries which can sell power back to the grid when needed, turning them into grid assets, as well.

OO Wal-Mart Leads The Nation In Corporate Solar Deployments
What Will It Do With Storage?
My guess: make money. Lots of it.

OO Something We Can All Agree On:
Support For Clean Renewable Energy
is widespread, and bipartisan.

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Some of Germany’s Many Power Producers Source http://www.telegraph.co.uk

OO Germany: Drowning In Wind Power and not a rapid enough expansion of its power grid to distribute it is behind its plans to temporarily scale back expansion of its wind power capacity.

OO Texas: Coal Is Getting Killed By The Market of cheap natural gas and renewables.

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SOCIAL REPERCUSSIONS

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OO Climate Change Behind Surge In Western Wildfires report leading scientists.

OO North Carolina: Flooding So Deep That Rescuers
Need Sonar To Locate Cars, Victims

OO The Next Zika – Four little known insect-and tick-borne viruses are now worrying researchers.

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Source cajnewsafrica.com

OO ‘Climate Change A Big Threat To Food Security says a UN official The world’s poorest, many of whom are farmers, fishers and pastoralists, are hit hardest by higher temperatures and an increasingly frequent weather-related disasters..

OO Coffee And Climate Change: In Brazil, A Disaster Is Brewing for its coffee belt after 3 years of drought.

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CLIMATE CHANGE, THE DESTROYER

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Imagine a Giant Blender – that grinds everything up, then pours it back down from the sky. Imagine more of this as climate change continues wreaking destruction, especially in poor places like Haiti. Credit Logan Abassi at the UN

OO Reducing Mega-Storm Risks Is Hard – Takeaways:

  • with better warning systems, deaths can be reduced, but
  • better urban planning for poor countries is too expensive, and not likely;
  • future storms will continue mass destruction of poor areas;

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Source Deutsche Welle

  • post-storm, many people will continue to die from disease, hunger,
  • and ever more frequent, intense storms
  • combined with rising sea levels,
  • worsening flooding from storm surges,
  • and surging populations putting more people in harm’s way.

Related Headline:

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Haiti Storm Peril exposes climate burden in poor nations – characterized by larger death tolls, larger infrastructure damage and longer recovery rates. Source AP Images

OO Haiti: About 1.4 Million People Need Assistance,
Entire Towns,Villages Have Been Wiped Out
and flood survivors are going hungry.

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No More Bananas for 10 Years – destroyed by Hurrican Matthew, fruiting trees will need a decade to regrow and produce. Credit Rebecca Blackwell at Associated Press

OO Haiti ‘There’s Nothing Left’:
Farmers Left Devastated After Hurricane Matthew
nearly 100% of crops and 50% of livestock destroyed in one region, that had just started recovering from a drought that had cut food production by half.

“Everything is gone here,” a farmer said. “People are going to just leave.”

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GOOD IDEAS

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Source earthday.net

OO Inspiring Students: Pathways To Green India a new free downloadable and viewable online book describes many projects developed by Indian students that are making a difference.

OO Border Carbon Tax Could Cut Emissions – not a tariff so much as paying for the carbon footprint.

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Global Warming Will Change The Clothes We Wear – especially as temperatures rise, and new clothing becomes more expensive. Thrift shops can become your place to create new fashion, and unearth treasures. Credit Bruce Stambaugh

OO How Global Warming Is Leading People To Re-Use Their ClothesTakeaways:

  • one company buys old clothes, re-fashioning them into new ones;
  • The majority of fashion purchases are worn just seven times;
  • Not mentioned: you can find truly sustainable clothing at various recycling events:
  • Yard sales, flea markets, thrift shops, ebay, etsy, etc.

OO Google Is Using Big Data To Protect The Environment – with a wide-range interest in sustainable fishing, green buildings and renewable energy. It is also:

  • Creating vast databases to monitor and reduce environmental impact and problems,
  • Increasing company energy efficiency and conservation

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Envisioning a Hyperloop Train Credit Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

OO Efficient Transport: Hyperloop Demo Planned For Early 2017 The Hyperloop One company just raised $50 million, and plans to bring Elon Musk’s ultra-fast transport concept to life with a full-scale demo in early 2017.

OO Why Insurance Companies Want To Subsidize Your Smart Home – to prevent expensive accidents (the iron you left on when you left on vacation…) and burglaries.

The possible side-effect? Saving energy and encouraging the spread of clean renewable energy.

OO Time To Stop Subsidizing People Who Live In Hurricane-Prone Areas

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NATURAL REPERCUSSIONS

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The Fastest Ever Recorded Hurricane: Patricia Source NOAA

OO Fastest Hurricane Ever Tied To Climate Change – Takeaways:

  • 2015’s Hurricane Patricia (HP) winds peaked at 213 mph
  • It got its energy like Hurricane Matthew
  • From abnormally hot surface AND deeper waters.
  • As global warming heats oceans, they’re getting hotter, deeper.
  • Hurricanes stir deep waters.
  • Formerly, those cool waters would “cool off” the storm.
  • Now, those hot waters are fueling hurricanes.*

*HP peaked over fresher water (local river outflows) – heavier water that effectively prevented it from churning up even deeper, cooler water – but this was a minor effect.

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OO Sandy’s Surge Was Extreme.
It Could Become Normal
says recent research, showing that the risk posed by future storms like Sandy is only going to increase due to climate change.

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SPEAKING OUT

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Shut It Down, Baby! As these activists opted for direct action recently on an oil pipeline. Source Climate Direct Action via Reuters

OO Activists Disrupt Key Canada-US Oil Pipelines Climate-change activists disrupted the flow of millions of barrels of crude in a rare, coordinated action targeting several key pipelines simultaneously.

Related Headline:

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Arrested for Arresting Climate Changing Fuels these activists posed for the occasion: Emily Johnson, Annette Klapstein, Leonard Higgins, Ken Ward, and Michael Foster. Courtesy of Climate Direct Action

OO Northwest Activists Arrested After Shutting Down Canada-To-US Oil Pipelines at five sites across the northern U.S. where pipelines deliver oil from Canada’s oil sands to American refineries.

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Credit Wasserman at the Boston Globe

Debate Journalists, Evening News Programs Have Failed Americans by not questioning candidates on the most important challenge to human survival in the 21st century, climate change, nor showing how Hurrican Matthew is linked to climate change. Journalists who cover such weather without noting this are equally at fault. Credit Wasserman at the Boston Globe

OO Debates Pitch Climate Change Shutout “most Americans haven’t even noticed the absence of virtually any high-level campaign discussion of environmental issues, let alone what many have called the biggest challenge of the 21st century.”

Those journalists who remain silent on climate change are failing us, and the rest of humanity.

More…

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OO Evening News Programs, USA Today Ignore
Climate Change Context Of Hurricane Matthew
even as they reported on Hillary Clinton and Al Gore explaining the role that climate change played in worsening the storm’s damage.

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Fueling Our Planes With Rainforests? That’s no answer to climate change. Credit Rettet den Regenwald at Rainforest Rescue.

OO Aviation Deal To Cut Aircraft Emissions Won’t,
Says Rainforest Rescue
– the deal depends on the International Civil Aviation Organization’s proposed solution, “carbon-neutral growth”, based on trade in CO2 offsets, the use of biofuel, and aircraft with greater fuel efficiency. The problem?

  • CO2 offsets do not actually reduce emissions. Allowing airlines to only buy the “right” to pollute, this practice is doubted by experts to actually help.
  • vast areas would have to be dedicated to plantations to produce the biofuel necessary to replace only a few percent of the 260 million tons of fossil fuel that the aviation industry burns annually.

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Source treesleeve at pinterest.com

  • Palm oil is the most likely biofuel to be used; ever more carbon-storing rainforests are being destroyed to cultivate it, releasing vast amounts of climate changing gas into the air.
  • Other proposed biofuel sources are algae, wood and organic waste, yet production methods on a suitable scale have not yet been developed.

>> Better solutions? Avoid unnecessary air travel – and sign the petition to the ICAO to scrap their plan.

Related Headline:

OO Important Global Warming Pollutants Excluded From ‘Historic’ Aviation Pact

aviation is also responsible for emissions like nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur oxide and soot — climate change-inducing emissions the ICAO’s market-based measure doesn’t cover.

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OO As Tensions Rise, Tribes Protesting Pipeline Dig In: “We’re Staying.” As dozens more protesters were arrested, Native Americans in North Dakota prepared for a long fight over the Dakota Access pipeline.

OO Florida: Show Utilities You’re Not Suckers – ballot item Amendent 1 is a power grab by FL utilities over cheap solar options, notes the author.

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FOSSIL FUEL FOLLIES

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After The Fire, Incurable Illnesses are surfacing in locals from the resulting pollution. Photo Source Wikipedia

OO Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster Extends Its Toxic Reach – Health experts believe it created a toxic mix that sickened thousands of locals with chemically induced illnesses that doctors are unable to treat.

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Another Beautiful Ecosystem Polluted by Oil spilled by a grounded barge. Credit Paul Nicklen

OO Petroleum Disaster In The Great Bear Rainforest Part of the largest coastal temperate rainforest in the world. After a fuel barge crashed on rocks on October 13, it leaked nearly 60,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the sensitive marine ecosystem, and continues to leak.

OO Leading Fossil Fuel Companies Fail Climate Responsibility Test says a comprehensive study of the eight top producers – Exxon and coal firms ranked at the bottom.

OO Study Finds About 100 Super Polluters Are Fouling The Air We BreatheThe Bergen Generating Station is the largest producer of toxic air emissions in North Jersey — and one of the state’s top producers of greenhouse gases.


href=”http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2016-10-26-1477458959-734008-methaneleakcartoonJan2015CreditTomTolesattheWashingtonPostccr318.jpg”>2016-10-26-1477458959-734008-methaneleakcartoonJan2015CreditTomTolesattheWashingtonPostccr318.jpg

Prescient in 2015 Credit Tom Toles at the Washington Post

OO Fossil Fuel Production Emits More Methane Than Previously ThoughtNOAA says. The exhaustive global study found emissions from oil, gas and coal sites are 20-60% higher than many earlier estimates.

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CLIMATE LEADERSHIP

OO Hillary Clinton And Al Gore Reunite, Campaigning On Climate Change and used Gore’s electoral history to convince Florida voters that every vote counts.

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Credit Rick Wilking at Reuters

OO The Difference Between Trump And Clinton On Climate Is Really Quite Simple

Climate change is one of the most important issues facing humanity for, oh, the next 10,000 years,
but you never hear about it in the presidential debates.
Moderators don’t bother asking.
So let’s rehash the difference between Trump and Clinton on climate.
Because it’s really quite simple:

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Clean Energy and CE Jobs are also goals of Hillary Clinton – but can she deliver without Congress?

Hillary Clinton wants to:

  • use various presidential regulatory levers to nudge down US greenhouse gas emissions;
  • tighten fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles here;
  • plug methane leaks from natural gas infrastructure there, and more.
  • That is, everything she can do without Congress – and it’s laughably inadequate.

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Credit Nate Beeler at the Columbus Dispatch, modified

Trump’s plan? He doesn’t have one.

OO Three Cheers For The Real Hero Of The Presidential Debate, Ken Bonewho asked an important question about energy policy. One hour after the debate ended, there were 56,400 tweets about Ken Bone, compared to 21,500 about Justice Scalia. Moderators, are you listening?

OO When It Come To Climate Leadership, Don’t Forget The Children

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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SOLVE THESE PROBLEMS, AND SAVE HUMANITY

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Worsening Weather Threatens Humanity Credit Shannon Dizmang at Flickr

OO Solve Five Of The World′S Biggest Environmental Problems,
And Save Humanity
and many other species, many of which we depend on for survival. The problems and solutions are:

Air Pollution & Climate Change – Switch to clean renewable energy which is feasible; only political will is stopping us.
Deforestation – Conserve the remaining and regrow more – but this requires strong governance in many poor nations where poverty and corruption drive forest loss.
Species Extinction – collaboration on protecting and restoring habitats, as well as preventing illegal trade needs to develop internationally. This also means battling international conglomerates that profit from habitat-destroying activities.

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An Ancient Way to Conserve Soil is still used in China and many countries: terracing. Source picture-alliance, ZUMAPRESS.com

Soil Degradation – all nations need to adopt a broad array of soil conservation and restoration techniques that already exist.
Overpopulation – Experience shows that giving women control over their reproduction works best, achieved through access to education and family planning resources.

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If we do not live 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 SMILING

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OO How A US Company Is Tapping Into The State-By-State Community Solar Market – NRG Energy exploits each state’s advantages.

Community solar projects allow customers:

  • to get a lot more power than from their rooftops;
  • longterm savings on their energy bills;
  • invest in truly clean, renewable energy development, key to slowing climate change.
  • 24 states have community solar projects running;
  • 20 states are starting to enact community solar projects;
  • 5 states – NY, CA, MI, MA and CO – are major community solar players.

OO $7 Million Raised To Cut The Costs Of US Residential Solar For Customers – lowering soft costs by providing every residential solar buyer with big data and competitive pricing.

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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 25, 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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