Climate Change This Week: Poverty Predicted, The China Model, and More!

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The Green Winner We Need to Tackle Climate Change – vote for a safe future for your children, and for the planet they call home. Clinton is going to need a green senate, too, so don’t forget to vote for Congress candidates who support climate action! Source Inhabitat.com

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

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Saving BUB, Beautiful Unique Biodiversity, as in this Monkey Face orchid found in Yasuni NP Ecuador, is another reason to preserve carbon storing forests. Source gardenofeaden.blogspot.co.uk

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

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Ready To Fascinate You are the thousands of wonderful creatures, like this many banded aracari, that live in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador – and facing destruction as oil companies destroy and pollute the forests. Support its survival by visiting the rainforest! Credit Kevin Rushby for the Guardian

OO Ecuador’s Yasuni Park: Where Oil Vies With Tourism For The Rainforest – The Sani people face a choice between encouraging ecotourism to their rainforest – one of the world’s most biodiverse – and allowing in the oil companies.

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Beef Production Burns, destroying the Amazon forest more than any other single human activity. Source http://www.forestjustice.org

OO Danger: US Beef Companies, Despite Vows, Failing In Effort To Slow Amazon Deforestation says a new study by the reputable Union of Concerned Scientists. Takeaways:

  • Beef production is the single biggest destroyer of rainforests worldwide;
  • 10% of global carbon emissions come from burning rainforests to clear them.
  • Only 15% of the beef industry is committed towards “deforestation free” beef

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These Bad Guys Score Zero when it comes to stopping deforestation for beef production, but even the highest scorers, MacDonald’s and Wal-Mart, had failing grades – the rest, in order of increasing failure, are: Mars, Safeway, Nestle, Hormel Foods, Wendy’s, Jack Links, and Subway.

  • Ending deforestation and restoring damaged forests
  • could deliver up to 40% of the emission cuts needed
  • to meet the Paris climate treaty goals.

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Where Once Was Stored Carbon – And Beautiful Biodiversity are now palm oil plantations, spreading explosively in Peru. Source mongabay.com

OO Peru: Small Oil Palm Plantations Driving Big Damage In Rainforests in the central Amazon, shows a new analysis, along with medium sized plantations.

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.

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THE CHINA MODEL

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Watch Leo DiCaprio’s Powerful Climate Movie Free! Via streaming here.

Besides panoramic and personal effects of climate change, the film offers important insights in how different government leaders are tackling it, including those in the biggest polluting nation in the world, China.

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Chinese Media Talk Climate Change on a constant basis – unlike most US media. Source http://www.chinadaily.com.cn

@@ Protests Move Chinese Leaders To Invest Big In Clean Energy – The US and China are Earth’s top carbon emitting nations, but with important differences on how they act, one of the takeaways in “Before the Flood“.

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Chinese Demonstrate, and Leaders Listen – because Mao showed how the masses can change leadership; this history means leaders have a real stake in listening to mass complaints. Source Before the Flood screen capture

In the film (29 minutes in), Leo DiCaprio interviews the founding director of China’s Institute of Public & Environmental Issues, Ma Jun, who notes that:

  • Chinese experience daily the harsh effects of carbon emissions on their health;
  • Most Chinese mass demonstrations are over environmental pollution.
  • Leaders now invest BIG in clean energy to tackle that pollution and climate change.

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Beijing Pollution: Burning As Much Coal As the Entire USA on any given day, notes Ma Jun. Source Before the Flood screen capture

Ma Jun has created:

  • a national pollution map database for China that monitors
  • hourly pollution from the nearly 9,000 major factories,
  • Showing how well they are complying with national standards.

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Checking Up On Real Time Pollution is available to Chinese, but not Americans. Source Before the Flood screen capture

  • People can check on this pollution data on their cell phones,
  • And push for violators to address their pollution.

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HOT NEWS

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OO Another Dangerously Warm Month: September 2016 is the second warmestSeptember on record, punctuating an unprecedented streak of 16 straight warmest months, and almost ensuring 2016 will be our warmest recorded year yet.

“While monthly rankings are newsworthy, they are not nearly as important as long-term trends,” NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies director Gavin Schmidt. September 2016 marks the 381st month in a row of hotter than average 20th century monthly temperatures.

September highlights included extreme heat, weather, and extreme flooding in the US, China, and elsewhere.

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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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OO Danger: Greenland Is Melting The ice sheet is shirnking earlier and far faster than researchers expected:

  • triggering feedback loops that accelerate the global crisis, and
  • could reinforce these feedbacks enough to create a self-sustaining melting
  • that is unstoppable.

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Greenland Melt Canyon Credit James Balog

The BIG danger:

  • Once feedbacks take over, climate can change quickly, -and radically.
  • As the last ice age ended, sea levels rose 1+ foot per decade at one point.
  • It’s likely that melting feedbacks are now self-sustaining,
  • and that large sections of Greenland and Antarctica are fated to melt.

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Seas Are Rising and are likely to rise faster in the future. Source NOAA at Bloomberg

How fast and how much will sea levels rise?

  • Greenland’s Ice sheet is melting far faster than Antarctica, with enough ice to raise sea levels 20 feet.
  • Research indicates a large part of Antarctica is unstoppably melting, and will raise sea levels 4 feet.
  • Melting is occurring faster than predicted, and will cause sea levels to rise faster.

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One Child Families Are Safer economically, and for our future.

What can you do to prevent further “buy-in” of sea level rise?

You can:

  • Help bring ourselves to safe, sustainable levels, via one child or child-free families.
  • VOTE for climate-change-solving leadership;
  • Promote and adopt clean renewable energy.

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CLIMATE CHANGE COSTS

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Portland, Maine: A Safer Seaside Haven? Sea levels will rise slower in the north than further south, as Greenland’s plummeting mass decreases its gravitational attraction by surrounding waters — but ultimately we’ll ALL be paying the huge costs of continuing climate change.

OO Retreating To Safer Cities, As We All Pay Rising Costs:
9 Safer Havens, Temporarily
– for the next 20 years to avoid “drought, wildfire, extreme heat, extreme precipitation, extreme weather and hurricanes” havens include: San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Detroit, Madison, Boise, State College, (PA), Portland (ME), and Toronto, suggest various climate scientists.

But there’s no ultimate escape.

OO How The Drought Is Impacting Investment Markets – with investments such as:

  • “The Big Short” famous hedge fund manager believes in investing in arable land with water – likely to increase in value in the future.
  • Some large investment firms are investing in land with water rights, and growing cash crops.
  • Others want to invest in municipal bonds that help utilities develop drought resiliency.

In all cases, of course, the devil is in the details – and the drought.

OO Wealthy Countries Not Doing Enough
To Help Poorest Cope With Climate Change
as the drought in southern Africa shows, offering a grim foretaste of worse to come.

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A FRACKING STRIKE AT AMERICAN FREEDOM

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Fracking May Be Free to Invade Your Community unless you vote to stop it. Check your ballots! Source paperblog.com

OO Colorado: A Ballot Measure To End All Anti-Fracking Ballot Measures is funded largely by the oil and gas industry. Surprise, surprise.

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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Go Navy, Go Solar! as this US Naval base does in San Diego, CA. Source popularmilitary.com

OO The Navy Leads The US Government In Clean Energy Deployment by quickly adopting clean energy as a better way to fulfill its mission—leading to massive solar procurements, used submarine battery storage projects and microgrids on bases.

Related Headline:

OO The U.S. Government Just Made Its Biggest Clean Energy Purchase Ever– to help fuel 14 Navy bases in California.

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OO The U.S. Companies With The Most Solar Power – Target tops the list, followed by Wal-Mart, says a new report. Other large solar users include Prologis, Apple, Costco, Kohl’s, and Ikea.

The report shows how companies — from retailers to tech companies — are increasingly turning to the sun to power buildings as the cost of solar panels has declined dramatically in recent years.

OO For European Wind Industry, Offshore Projects Are Booming with offshore turbines proliferating from the Irish Sea to the Baltic Sea as the European Union pushes away from fossil fuels and toward renewables.

OO Wind, Solar Almost Half The Cost Of New Coal Generators In South Africasays an analysis by the country’s principal research organization.

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Drilling for Magma Energy in Iceland Source Statoil

OO Truly Volcanic: Iceland Drills Hottest Hole To Tap Into Molten Magma Energy to
massively increase the potential to exploit Earth’s inner heat.

OO Indonesia, A Top Carbon Emitter, Ratifies Paris Climate Deal as its parliament agrees to shift course. But will it, really, as the government allows its rainforests to be burned for palm oil production?

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SOCIAL REPERCUSSIONS

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Climate Change Is Already Costing Nations from droughts to floods, destructive storms, and more.

OO Climate Change Could Spark The World’s Next Financial Crisis former Bank of England executive warns.

OO Climate Change Is Increasing Areas Of Skin Disease Concern As the planet warms, many bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites can survive in areas where they haven’t been found before.

OO The US West Is Burning, And Climate Change Is Partly To Blame As the drought increases and the wildfire season lengthens, western wildfires have increased 1200+ % in the 21st century compared to the 1970s-1980s.

WATER, MORE OR LESS

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As Water Goes Down, Populations Up, Tensions Rise between India and Pakistan over a common resource, the Indus River system. Source hindi.oneindia.com

OO India and Pakistan Struggle Over Kashmir’s Water with tensions rising, and India threatening to revoke the nearly 60-year-old Indus Water Treaty.

OO Sea Level Rise Upping ‘Sunny Day’ Floods in US With little chance to recover between events, coastal cities are constantly reminded that climate change is encouraging more frequent and bigger floods due to wetter, stronger storms and rising sea levels.

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Spreading Deserts Sprout Sand Storms and Refugees in China. Source The New York Times

OO Living In China’s Expanding Deserts People on the edges of China’s vast seas of sand are being displaced by climate change.

OO Climate Change Killing East Africa’s Water Resources UN warns, as warming has dried Mt. Kiliminjaro’s forests and increased wildfires that have destroyed them and their ability to capture and store water. Resulting floods and landslides have furthered damaged the watershed.

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Here Today, North Tomorrow if lobsters don’t attack your boat first… alright, I know you’re dying to know: the largest lobster ever caught weighed 44 lbs and was a little over 3 feet long… but, oh, those incredible claws!

OO Climate Change Is Driving Lobsters Farther North To Maine – For Now

  • As oceans heat, lobsters are surviving better in cooler northern waters,
  • but the Gulf of Maine is one of the fastest warming bodies of seawater globally,
  • so the lobster boom there will be temporary, as lobsters continue shifting north.

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Wine Falls In Major Production Regions Worldwide In 2016. Source http://www.wisegeek.org

OO Global 2016 Wine Production Expected To Fall Due To ‘Climatic Events’ by 5%, but up to 20- 30+% in Argentina and Chile, which may concern malbec fans. French production fell 10+ %.

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GOOD IDEAS

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UN: Global Agriculture Needs A ‘Profound Transformation’ to fight climate change and protect food security.

OO 120+ Millions Could Be In Extreme Poverty By 2030 Due To Climate Change Food Shortages says a new report. It highlights how:

  • unsustainable farming practices
  • contribute hefty greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere
  • and drive more warming, which can then continue to hurt global crop production.

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Creatively Tackling Climate Justice Majandra Rodriguez Acha is an inspiration for the world. Source Global Greengrants

OO Peru: A Young Activist Is Sparking A Movement For Climate JusticeMajandra Rodriguez Acha is an ally for indigenous communities who live in the firing line of climate change:

  • With her group, Acha and other activists organize conferences, protests, and gatherings
  • that connect young urban activists with indigenous activists in remote communities.
  • The idea is to get people talking, learning, and united for collective action.

OO Shore Up 400+ Aging US Natural Gas Storage Facilities to prevent leaks, urges a new US federal report.

OO Make Safe Walking, Cycling Infrastructure
To Prevent Millions Of Deaths Globally
that occur due to a current lack. The United Nations is asking countries to invest at least 20% of their transport budgets to create such infrastructure to save lives, reverse pollution and reduce carbon emissions.

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SPEAKING OUT

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Fiery Birth of an Activist – a gas well explosion turned one woman into an activist against fracking contamination. Source WTAE.com

OO A Gas Well Explosion Sparks Activism After a gas well blew up near her home, a Wyoming woman took action to fight fracking contamination.

OO Pennsylvania Rules Against Eminent Domain In Contentious Pipeline Project – Fracking companies cannot seize land for their pipelines.

OO Norway Faces Climate Lawsuit Over Arctic Oil Exploration Plans – Campaigners say decision to open up the Barents Sea violates the nation’s constitution and threatens the Paris climate agreement.

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FOSSIL FUEL FOLLIES

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Credit Tom Tole at the Washington Post

OO Global Governments, Loath To Change, Are Wasting Subsidies on Oil from South America to the Middle East, despite an economic rebound and cheap oil.

OO Big Companies Fail To Meet Carbon Goals 900+ of the world’s largest companies have a plan to cut their carbon pollution but only a fraction are doing enough to meet the goals of the Paris climate change accord, shows a new report.

OO Statoil Chief: Rise Of Electric Cars Will Shrink Oil Industry with some predicting it could take a 35 % share of car sales by 2035 – bad news for oil majors, and good reason to switch to clean renewable power to generate the clean electricity for those cars.

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CLIMATE OR CLUELESS LEADERSHIP: YOU DECIDE

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Credit Rick Wilking at Reuters

OO The Hillary Clinton Environmental Scorecard She has an aggressive agenda to tackle climate change, which has been a main campaign theme. She pledges to:

  • cut US carbon emissions up to 30% by 2025;
  • cut US oil consumption by a third;
  • ensure that a half billion solar panels will be installed within the US by 2020;
  • her targets to cut carbon and grow solar are more aggressive than Obama.

OO Trump’s Views On Science Are Shockingly Ignorant – And Alarming say the editors of Scientific American.

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OO Florida Ballot Measure Could Halt Rooftop Solar Power, But Do Voters Know That? Amendment 1 is written in pro-solar language, but backed by the state’s utilities; opponents say it will crush solar power growth in Florida.

Related Headline:

OO Leaked Recording Reveals Plan To Confuse Florida Voters About Solar Amendment – part constitutional amendment, part psychological warfare.

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Gov. Rick Scott Ensured More of This by denying how climate change was going to change Florida, rather than recognizing the risks and protecting his state.

OO Truth, And Consequences:
How Gov. Scott Quietly Stole Florida’s Future
When he was elected in 2010, there was bipartisan support for tackling climate change and its causes, with a plan in place, and a commission to enact it.

Instead, the governor abolished the commission and banned mention of climate change among his officials.

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Not The Green Future Florida Deserves are the toxic algal blooms that drive away tourism. Source http://www.miamiherald.com

Now:

  • Rising seas are threatening the drinking supply of 7 million Floridians through salt intrusion;
  • Hotter temperatures are fueling toxic algae blooms that clog estuaries, and cause massive fish kills.
  • Massive diversions of extra freshwater must be used to cool the cooling canals for Florida’s nuclear power plant.
  • Corals are bleaching extensively.
  • Wet and dry seasons are erratic.

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Not Just a Mosquito But a Zika Agent that is spreading as its living conditions spread in an ever hotter world. Credit James Gathany at Wikimedia Commons

  • Zika, Dengue fever, West Nile disease, parasitic screw worms—all contracted from carriers attracted to the increasing heat and humidity—are infesting Florida neighborhoods.
  • Frequent tidal flooding is now a problem in Miami – and will be elsewhere.

The governor chose to deny rather than act and protect.

OO US Senate Could Block Landmark HFC Climate Treaty via Republicans, who often favor short term profits (and few regulations) for the rich over long term protection of all.

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Credit Tom Toles at the Washington Post

OO The Climate Questions The Next President Should Answer say climate experts, include

  • How do you plan to deal with the huge leaks of the super climate-changing gas methane from fracking?
  • Would you provide individual and private sector incentives to increase energy efficiency? If so, how?
  • Do you understand the serious risks of climate change, and how will you tackle them?
  • How will you make the US a global leader in the needed transformation of the energy market?
  • Which existing carbon fee programs would you use as the US model?
  • What incentives would you use to speed the transition to renewable energy sources?

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Credit Mike Keefe at the Denver Post

  • How will you prepare the country for the sea level rise and extreme weather we have already “bought”?
  • What do you see as the energy strategy of this nation in the short, medium and long term?
  • What role do you see for government in helping the economy make the necessary transitions from each phase to the next?

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ELECTION YEAR:

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If You Don’t Vote For Climate Action, You Can Forget The Rest – in a climate-changing world of famine, drought, rising seas, giant storms and heat waves, there will be no security in jobs, health, wealth, or national safety. There will be chaos ensuing from increasing crises and disasters. Vote.

OO Global Warming Policies We Set Today Will Determine The Next 10,000 Years – of global warming, a new study shows — and whether our civilization survives or not: history shows that harmful climate change has destroyed civilizations before.

This time, it could be worldwide. Let’s keep “The Hunger Games“ in the realm of fiction.

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If we do not live 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 SURFING

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OO US Energy Shakeup Continues As Solar Capacity Triples by 2017.

OO Solar LED Lighting Has Eliminated 20 Million Kerosene Lanterns and is having a real impact on dirty, dangerous lighting sources.

OO Why Solarcity Will Give Up To $1,000 In Cash To Airbnb Host CustomersThe new partnership falls in line with Airbnb’s claims that home-sharing is more environmentally friendly than traditional hotels.

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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, Nov 1, 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. September 2016 marks the 381st month in a row of warmer than average 20th century monthly temperatures.

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 our right to vote this season. 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 candidatesyou 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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