Climate Change This Week: Extinction, Taxing Climate Denial, and More!

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

And the chances of Donald Trump’s family and fortune surviving climate change are small, dwindling daily and irreversibly.

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Saving BUB, Beautiful Unique Biodiversity, as in these Borneo proboscis monkeys, is another reason to preserve carbon storing forests. Wikipedia

OO Deforestation On Borneo: Fighters For The Forest – As humans dramatically shrink Indonesia’s rainforests, 4 activists fight to stop the loss, using everything from their bare hands to smartphones.

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

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Forest in Flames Fanning Climate Change releasing huge amounts of climate changing gases as it is destroyed. Credit Dado Galdieri at AP

OO Brazil: Amazon Deforestation Increased Almost 30% Over Last Year

OO Huge Peru Rainforest Lost To Illegal Gold Mining says a recent analysis, with up to 150,000+ acres of forest lost in four years.

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.

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SOIL AND CLIMATE

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Imagine This Gone… Imagine Famine as the world’s population rises, and arable land falls. Source dujardindesign.com

OO Only 60 Years Of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues – Generating three centimeters of top soil takes 1,000 years.

If current rates of degradation continue all of the world’s top soil could be gone within 60 years, a senior UN official said.

But, what if climate change accelerates soil loss?

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Flooding Causes Loss of Crops – AND Soil Source http://www.bbc.co.uk

OO Climate Change Impacts On Soil include accelerating erosion due to:

  • more frequent and intense flooding;
  • more coastal storm erosion;
  • more loss of arable soil through rising sea levels and salinization;
  • more droughts that desertify soils;
  • more intense wildfires that literally burn up the soil.

This means we likely have significantly less than 60 years of farming left.

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Photo Credit Lester Lefkowitz at Corbis

‘While it now seems that ploughing of any kind is incompatible with the protection of the soil, there are plenty of means of farming without it.’

OO What If The World’s Soil Runs Out? Flawed farming practices and policies are destroying the soil and fuelling health crises as well as conflicts, warns a soil expert. And climate change is helping.

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TAXING CLIMATE DENIAL

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The Two Scourges of Fossil Fuels: Global Warming and Toxic Pollution

OO Taxing Climate Denial
Via The Paris Climate Accord
– Takeaways:

Donald Trump’s administration plans to ignore climate change.

  • If the US fails to participate in the Paris climate accord,
  • US inaction could boost global temperatures up to nearly a 2 C rise by 2050,
  • Both through direct pollution,
  • and discouraging others to act.
  • Fossil fuels destabilize the planet via climate change,
  • And toxic air pollution that causes roughly 4,000 deaths daily.

Thus, the US should pay for the damage and deaths its promotion of fossil fuels will cause.

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Not Just Preserve But Regrow Our Carbon Storing Forests Source http://www.huffingtonpost.com

The solution?

  • Have every participant of the Paris climate accord
  • Agree to impose a multilateral carbon tax
  • on the trade (goods and services)
  • of any country which abandons its agreement.
  • The tax would be used to promote carbon cutting solutions:
  • Vastly developing clean, renewable power globally;
  • Reforestation;
  • Developing water and food security measures.

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WE ARE THE EXTINCTION METEORITE

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Faces of the Doomed include many species of plants and animals that cannot adapt to climate change fast enough. We might be among them.

OO Climate Changing “Too Fast” For Species – A study of more than 250 species of plants and animals suggests their ability to adapt to changes in rainfall and temperature will be vastly outpaced by future climate change.

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TRUMPED BY CLIMATE CHANGE

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Losing Out to China means losing the opportunity for the US to make billions in the global clean energy market, and to create thousands of good paying jobs.

OO With Trump, China Emerges As Global Leader On Climate – For China, it is a matter of self-interest – reducing the choking pollution in its cities and seizing the economic opportunities of a low-carbon future.

OO Trump To Scrap NASA Climate Research In Crackdown On ‘Politicized Science’ as Trump seeks to shift focus away from home in favor of deep space exploration. Talk about wasting money.

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Get Ready for More Of This – as regulations in the Clean Power Plan that cut toxic pollution are dropped, more children will get sick from it. Source EarthJustice.org

OO Obama Environmental Regulations In Trump’s Crosshairs – all rejected by the fossil fuel industry:

  • Clean Power Plan to address climate change; Trump can simply cut EPA funding.
  • Wetland and Stream Protection plan.
  • Preventing Leaks of Methane, a super climate changing gas, from fossil fuel facilities, present and future.
  • Preventing Another Deepwater Blowout rule.
  • Protecting the Endangered Greater Sage Grouse from extinction; doing so slows gas lease sales.
  • Improve Fracking Safety on public lands.
  • Regulating Disposal of Toxic Coal Ash.
  • Protect Fracking Workers From Silica Dust.

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Expect More of This Under Trump Source wwf.com

OO Trump Wants To Lift Restrictions On ‘Clean Coal.’
— Whatever That Is
and pledged that in his first 100 days in office he would abolish a host of regulations to stimulate domestic energy production.

OO Trump’s Coal Delusions Such as coal meeting US energy needs for the next 1,000 years. No official agency thinks so. And that’s just for starters.

@@ 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!

OO Trump Admits Humans Have ‘Some Connectivity’ On Climate Change and wavered on whether he would pull the U.S. out of international accords aimed at combating the phenomenon.

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Photo Credit Lars Plougmann

“Climate change is real and a potential threat to global food security.” – Phil Miller, Monsanto Vice President

OO What Businesses Want Trump To Know About Climate Change – Nearly 400 companies and nonprofits, including Monsanto and Staples, signed a letter urging Trump to stay in the Paris climate agreement and support policies that combat global warming.

Combating climate change is good for their customers, and good for business.

OO Trump Doesn’t Need To Choose Between Economy And Environment – helping the environment will help the economy.

OO Progress Under Obama Won’t Be Undone By Trump,
Says EPA Chief,
arguing “the inevitability of our clean energy future is bigger than any one person or nation.”

She cited new actions to help create thousands of jobs in renewable energy such as wind and solar power.

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CLIMATE LEADERSHIP

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realclearenergy.org

OO Obama’s Agencies Push Flurry Of ‘Midnight’ Actions, executive actions in the last two months of Barack Obama’s presidency.

OO Blackfeet Tribe Regains Sacred Land after Obama’s administration cancelled oil and gas leases on 30,000 acres of Montana’s Badger-Two Medicine region near Glacier National Park.

OO Canada: Trudeau Government Deserves Credit For Getting Rid Of Coal

OO EU Requires Pension Funds To Assess Climate Change Risks in their investment strategies, under a new law that ecologists hope will encourage money to flow out of fossil fuels and into greener sectors.

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HOT NEWS

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OO US Record Highs Will Far Outpace Lows With Warming says new research, showing how

  • even seemingly small increases in average temperatures can make a big difference to the extreme weather that people experience.

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MELTDOWN

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North Pole, December 2016: Dark… and Unusually Hot with temperatures in some areas as much as 35+ F higher than normal. Source cci-reanalyzer.org

OO The Arctic Is A Seriously Weird Place Right Now – as intense warmth in both the air and oceans drove a mini-meltdown in November, when sea ice should have been rapidly growing.

It’s December now, and still abnormally hot.

OO Huge Antarctic Glacier Retreat, Triggered In 1940s,
Now Sped Up By Climate Change
– it now contributes more to sea-level rise than any other ice stream on the. A 1940s El Nino system enabled warm water to get under the glacier and melt the ice that had it hooked in place.

Once moving, however, global warming helps fuel its acceleration and melting.

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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OO Economics To Keep Wind And Solar Energy Thriving With Trump – Environmental rules and government subsidies are no longer the key drivers for clean power. Economics are.

OO Tesla Shock Means Global Gasoline Demand Has All But Peaked

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Keeping It Awesomely Beautiful the US is blocking new mining claims near Yellowstone.

OO US Moves To Block Mining Near Yellowstone – new claims, that is, to keep industry out of natural and environmentally sensitive areas.

OO Michigan’s Biggest Electric Provider Phasing Out Coal despite Trump’s stance.

OO Finland Set To Become First Country To Ban Coal Use For Energy and expected to announce a switch to renewable energy, becoming the first to outlaw the fossil fuel.

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Canada Just Got More Beautiful by planning to phase out coal use, which means clearer skies for viewing the aurora borealis. Source pinterest

OO Canada Announces Plan To Phase Out Coal By 2030 – coal currently accounts for close to 10% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Related Headlines:

OO Canada: Alberta Reaches $1+ Billion Deal To Shut Down Coal Plants

OO Environment And Climate Change Minister Plans To Move Canada To Cleaner Fuels – Minister Catherine McKenna is steamrolling ahead with growing measures to move Canada toward cleaner fuels and energy.

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SOCIAL REPERCUSSIONS

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Source ABC13.com

The Sea Slowly Reclaims at high tide on Palm Isle in South Carolina, a prelude of the eventual disappearance beneath the waves as sea rise proceeds.

OO Perils Of Climate Change Could Swamp US Coastal Real Estate – Homeowners are slowly growing wary of buying property in the areas most at risk, setting up a potential economic time bomb in an industry that is struggling to adapt.

OO On Virginia’s Vulnerable Coast, Fear Of Flooding Rises as experts warn that the Hampton Roads region is sinking while the sea is rising at the highest rate on the US East Coast.

OO Report: Climate Change Threatens New Mexico Surface Water Sources – Fallout from climate change is one factor straining the water supply in parts of Santa Fe, Los Alamos and Rio Arriba counties, home to more than 200,000 residents.

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Bolivia: A Dried Dam and Thirsty Citizens Protest over water shortages.

OO Bolivia Declares State Of Emergency Over Worst Drought In 25 Years making funds available to alleviate a crisis that has affected families and the agricultural sector.

OO Bolivian Water Crisis As Glaciers Vanish From climate change impacts, and leave cities without water.

OO The Impact Of Bolivia’s Fast-Melting Glaciers – Takeaways:

  • Bolivia’s glaciers have shrunk by 40+% in the past few decades.
  • This further strains an already stressed water supply,
  • while the meltwater lakes left behind risk collapsing in sudden, catastrophic floods.

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Credit Andrew Renneisen at Getty Images

The Hungry Faces of Climate Change worsened by an El Nino weather system; they queue for food in Malawi and elsewhere in southern Africa.

OO Southern Africa Cries For Help
As El Niño And Climate Change Savage Corn Harvest
– Malawi is one of seven southern African countries on the brink of starvation and requires immediate action, the UN says.

Not enough aid is being delivered.

OO Climate Change “Threatens Thai Fight Against Illegal Fishing” environmental groups say.

OO Death Toll From Australia’s Thunderstorm Asthma Reaches 6 and five remained on life support after the storm struck Australia’s second-largest city.

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GOOD IDEAS

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Solar New York Source inhabitat.com

OO How Cities Plan To Fight Climate Change In The Trump Years – Local leaders learned how to take action when Washington couldn’t. Now they’re betting those efforts can survive an age of science-denying federal overlords.

OO There’s A Right Way—And A Wrong Way—For Cities To Mitigate Climate Change -After Superstorm Sandy, New Yorkers initiated community-labor partnerships to decide on how they wanted their city to be made more resilient.

OO Analysis: Trapping Carbon Works, But High Cost Will Limit Its Use To Essential Processes

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OO If Climate Change Comes Up During The Holidays, It’s OK To Talk – Important topics don’t necessarily have to be unspeakable ones, if handled in the right way.

OO Climate Finance For Farmers Key To Avert One Billion Hungry – Agriculture and food security experts say it is more critical than ever to implement locally appropriate solutions to help smallholder farmers adapt to changing rainfall patterns.

OO From Black Bags To Green Gas: How Garbage Could Heat Our Homes – Last week, the UK’s National Grid announced a $10+ million investment in the world’s first commercially-operating plant to produce “green” gas from black bag rubbish.

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NATURAL REPERCUSSIONS

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A Slope of Ghostly Trees Hint at the Future Credit Paul Hennon at http://www.treehugger.com

OO Alaska: Massive Die-Off Of Ancient Yellow Cedar Forecasts Big Future Losses– Yellow cedars, iconic temperate rainforest trees that can live 1,000 years, are dying over vast swaths of warming Alaska and British Columbia.

OO How Big Droughts, Forest Fires Could Be The New Normal In Appalachia – Wildfires have burned 100,000+ acres across seven states in the southern Appalachian Mountains since late October.

OO Hundreds Of Puffin Deaths Suggest Dangers Of Warming Seas

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SPEAKING OUT

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Now Investors Are Suing Exxon Credit Pat Bagley at the Salt Lake Tribune

OO Class-Action Lawsuit Adds To Exxonmobil’s Climate Change Woes – Investors allege Exxon should have adjusted its accounting of oil reserves based on what it knows about climate change and coming climate action.

OO New Voice For The Climate? Washington Teens Sue Over Emissions Policy – 8 teens asked a Washington state court recently to find the state in contempt for adopting what they argue are insufficient rules for lowering carbon emissions.

2016-12-07-1481144517-8426743-PerumountainguideSaulLucianoLliuawmeltingChurupGlassierglaciersuesenergygiantSourceAFPccr358.jpg

As a glacier melts in the background, Peru mountain guide Saul Luciano Lliua sues a big energy giant. Source AFP

OO Peru Farmer Sues German Energy Giant Over Climate Change that has caused glacial melting in the Andes, threatening his home and livelihood.

OO Thousands Of Nigerian Fisherman Sue Shell For Destroying Their Communities and
Britain’s High Court is set to rule on the case.

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FOSSIL FUEL FOLLIES

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OO Oil And Gas Companies In North America Less Green than those in EU. ExxonMobil and Chevron among worst in terms of CO2 emissions and investment in renewables, says new research.

OO The Gulf Oil Spill Literally Caused Wetlands To Sink Beneath The Wavesscientists say.

A new study reports extensive shoreline recession in the Mississippi River Delta; the spill’s impact was even more widespread than the erosion caused by Hurricane Isaac two years later.

OO Oil And Water: 11,700 Gulf Oil Spills Since Deepwater Disaster Raise New Fears and include recent discoveries of illegal, unreported oil discharges and systematic dumping of chemicals from rigs and platforms.

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The Return of Heavy Metal? If coal revives, expect mercury levels in tuna to do so, too. Source nz296 at http://www.lab-initio.com

OO Bringing Back Coal – And Tainted Tuna – mercury contamination in tuna had declined as the US shifted away from coal; that could now change under Trump.

OO China Risks Wasting $490 Billion On Coal Plants that would be unneceesary, said a climate campaign group.

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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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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.

2015-12-15-1450211150-3188590-larccontraceptivepostercoupleeyeslookingsidewaysmehccr307.png

They can go here to find locations:

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

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SOLAR KEEPS RISING

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OO Solar Power Store Highlights Bright Potential For Clean Energy

OO Solar, Wind Industries Hope Years Courting Republicans Pays Off Under Trump

OO Scientists Have Created A Solar-Powered Fabric composed of copper “ribbons” that are thin and flexible enough to be embedded in a woven fabric, and capable of harvesting and storing solar energy simultaneously.

“Instead of having two separate devices, we integrated [the solar cell and storage battery] into a single filament,” said the lead researcher.

The innovation could prove important for making wearable tech self-powering – perhaps one day you’ll be able to buy a solar-powered jacket that can charge your phone.

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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, Dec 6, 2016

Source cci-reanalyzer.org

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, despite recent winter rains and cold.

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 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.

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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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