Climate Change This Week: The Fossil Fuel Alzheimers Connection, Trump Threatens Farming, 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.

Saving BUB, Beautiful Unique Biodiversity, as in this asian butterfly, is another reason to preserve carbon storing forests. Source hongkongkwildlifephotos.blogspot.com

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

OO Norway Starts $400-Million Fund To Halt Deforestation, Help Farmers by bolstering sustainable small-scale farming.

Norway is using $100 million to leverage the rest from other countries.

The aim is to preserve 500+ million hectares of peatlands and forest.

Bye-Bye Birdies? We will lose some of the most beautiful birds on Earth, such as many of these real hummingbirds that exist in the ever dwindling forests of the Amazon. Credit Ernst Haeckel via wikimedia commons

OO We Are Destroying Rainforests So Quickly They May Be Gone In 100 Yearsand stopping climate change will remain an elusive goal unless poor nations are helped to preserve them.

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.

*

*

THE GROWING THREAT OF NUCLEAR CLIMATE CHANGE

Now Imagine 100s of These Going Off in the US – and, yes, it would definitely change not only our landscape, our lives, our future, but our climate, too. The threat is real. Wikipedia

OO As Trump Promotes Arms Race,

Doomsday Clock Reset To 2.5 Minutes Before Midnight – its 1953 year level, when the US and USSR tested their first hydrogen bombs. The danger level has risen because, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists noted:

  • Humanity has failed to adequately address climate change and nuclear weapons;
  • The worldwide rise of nationalism heightens the likelihood of war;
  • Trump’s call for an expansion of nuclear weapons and an arms race further endangers the world.

*

*

FOSSIL FUEL POLLUTION FUELS DEVELOPMENT OF ALZHEIMERS, DEMENTIA

OO The Polluted Brain: Evidence Builds That Dirty Air Causes Alzheimer’s, Dementia –Takeaways:

  • Smaller pollution particles can penetrate and damage human cells more than larger ones.
  • DNA and other cellular structures can be damaged.
  • Such fine pollution is already well linked to asthma, lung cancer and heart disease.

Now, growing evidence indicates this pollution can significantly:

  • Harm the brain;
  • Increase cognitive aging;
  • Increase the risk of dementia such as Alzheimers.
Polluted Brains Aren’t Very Colorful as these MRIs show. Source brainpictures.org

How significantly? Studies found:

  • Areas polluted beyond EPA accepted limits nearly doubled dementia in older women;
  • This alone could account for 20+% of worldwide dementia cases.
  • Living within 50 m of a major road ups pollution 10x, and the dementia risk by 12%, than at 200 m away.

The research area is young, so links are controversial, but studies and evidence are growing: air pollution can drive you crazy as you age.

*

*

TRUMP TRUMPED BY CLIMATE CHANGE

Trump Cuts Public Liberty Further on the right to know about climate change from federal scientists, by extending a blackout on climate change to the EPA website and banning any climate updates from federal agencies to the public. [modified from the February 3, 2017 cover of Der Spiegel, a high profile reputable Germany magazine followed by many internationally.]

OO Trump Bans Agencies From ‘Providing Updates On Social Media Or To Reporters’ – The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture have been placed under de facto gag orders.

OO Donald Trump Plans To ‘Reform’ The Way Environmental Agency Uses Science report claims.

OO Reports On Climate Change Have Disappeared From The State Department Website

For now, the information lives in archives.

Credit Steve Breen at creators.com

OO Trump Administration Tells EPA To Freeze All Grants, Contracts which could affect everything from: state-led climate research to localized efforts to improve air and water quality to environmental justice projects aimed at helping poor communities.

OO EPA Science Under Scrutiny By Trump Political Staff

Danger: Something Trump Might Take Seriously – can you imagine his staff explaining to him how gigantic ice cubes aren’t really the answer?

@@ Futurama – Global Warming!

OO EPA Transition Leader: Need To Purge ‘Scientists Who Believe The Global Warming Alarmist’ Agenda

and floated the idea of downsizing EPA from 15,000 to 5,000 employees as an “aspirational goal”.

OO Trump’s New EPA Transition Team Draws From Oil Industry Groups Surprise, surprise.

Prove You’re Not a Clean Energy Loser, Trump!

OO Trump’s Energy Plan Is Nonsensical say experts; his plan is:

  • Short on details;
  • Full of contradictions;
  • Full of outdated assertions on the status of the US energy supply.

His plan to bring back coal and increase oil and gas defies reason.

OO Keystone XL, Dakota Pipeline Green-Lighted In Trump Executive Actions

OO Key Trump Donor Stands To Profit From Approved Keystone XL, Dakota Access Pipelines

A Heating Global View from NOAA shows how burning fossil fuels is changing our planet’s climate, especially the northern hemisphere, which includes the USA; the new boss of NOAA doesn’t want to discuss the cause, simply the effects. Source NOAA

OO Dept Of Commerce Trump Nominee Will Let NOAA Climate Scientists

Share Climate Impacts But Not Causes NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is one of the largest US agencies involved in weather and climate research.

OO Trump’s Team Wants To “Recalculate” The Social Cost Of Carbon The far more realistic cost of burning fossil fuels to our society. Guess who will lose?

OO Even Before Formal Death Knell, Clean Power Plan Is History since none of its targeted industries will cut emissions while it is being challenged by environmentalists.

OO As Trump Ignores Record Temperatures, Taxpayers Are Paying A HUGE Climate Change Bill Takeaways:

  • Climate change is already costing US taxpayers, consumers, $10s billions
  • Due to increasingly extreme storms, droughts, wildfires.
  • Western wildfires have increased 500% in past 40 years.

Adopting better climate policies now will save future costs.

  • Trump is responsible for protecting Americans:
  • He needs to recognize the serious climate risks and costs,
  • And is morally obliged to act.

When a Dam Fails, Will The USDA Alert People in Time? There are many repercussions from limiting information flow between federal agencies and the public. Source floodlist.com

OO Trump Endangering Us Agriculture As He Gags Science Takeaways:

  • The Dept of Agriculture and other federal entities work closely with farmers,
  • supplying timely information such as monitoring dams and pest invasions.

Without the quick, efficient transfer of information:

  • Major crops could be lost if, as new pests invades, new pesticides are not developed fast enough.
  • Jobs will be lost that currently employ facilitators between government and farmers.
  • If a dam fails, lives could be lost.

What are the climate change connections? As climate changes, so do the ranges of pests; and ever worsening droughts can actually damage dams. These are just a few examples.

OO How Trump Could Help Spread Flesh Eating Bacteria by ignoring global warming: warming waters are linked to its spread.

The more Trump ignores warming, the more this vicious bacteria will spread, and people with weakened immune systems are at most risk.

The Climate Deregulation Tracker will track Trump’s terrible legacy.

OO Climate Regulations Under A Watchful Internet Eye – Bracing for a rollback, the Climate Deregulation Tracker website run by Columbia Law School alerts any time President Trump or Congress change a rule involving climate change or energy.

11 actions are already listed from January 30 to February 3, 2017.

OO Strangling Huge US Climate Policy Machine Won’t Be Easy For Trump

*

*

HOT NEWS

OO Our Planet Is Breaking Global Heat Levels Every 3 Years Denial and “alternative facts” haven’t stopped the Earth from warming to record-shattering levels.

@@ Visualize 137 Years Of Global Warming via NASA global temperature data.

OO Rapid Cuts In Emissions Needed To Avert Looming Dangerous 2 Degrees C OfHeating – which is much closer than most scientists acknowledge, says a prominent climate scientist.

*

*

MELTDOWN

OO Powerful Images Show Impact Of Global Warming On Greenland’s Ice Sheet

OO Europe Faces Droughts, Floods And Storms As Climate Change Accelerates – the northern hemisphere is warming faster than the global average and ‘multiple climatic hazards’ are expected, says a new study.

OO Sea Level Rise Estimate Grows Alarmingly Higher

In Latest Federal Report – predicting a worst-case scenario of 8 feet of rise by 2100 says an Obama era NOAA report, just as Donald Trump takes office with pro-fossil fuel policies.

Ocean City: More Ocean, Less City – as severe flooding is projected to be severe on a monthly basis within 30 years. Source abcnews.go.com

OO This Week’s Jersey Floods Are A Taste Of What’s To Come – Every year or two, the Jersey Shore tends to get severe flooding; by 2050, the Shore should expect floods this bad every month, on average, say new projections.

OO People Of The Sea Ice See Cracks Forming – the “People of the Sea Ice” are seeing their namesake disappear, and must reinvent their lives amid a thawing landscape.

*

*

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!

*

*

GOOD CLEAN NEWS

OO Solar Employs More People In U.S. Electricity Generation Than Oil, Coal And Gas Combined says a new Department of Energy report. Solar power employed 43% of the electric power generation sector’s workforce in 2016, nearly twice that of fossil fuels combined.

Just under 374,000 people were employed in solar energy, according to the report, while coal, gas and oil power generation combined had a workforce of slightly more than 187,000.

During the past decade, electricity generation from natural gas increased 33% while solar expanded 5,000%.

<><><>

OO Reuters: UK Offshore Wind Costs Fall By Nearly A Third In Four Years – Four years ahead of schedule, the cost now beats that of new nuclear power, said a new industry report.

OO Scotland Eyes 50 % Renewable Energy By 2030 in shift away from North Sea oil.

OO In Message To Trump, EU Says Will Remain Top Investor Against Climate Change

Says its European Investment Bank, aiming to invest around 20 billion dollars a year to fight climate change over the next five years.

A Clean Energy Mecca to Dawn? Perhaps, if Saudi Arabia goes through with its planned investments in clean energy. Credit Gab1209 at Flickr

OO World’s Largest Oil Company Considers Investing $5 Billion In Renewable Energy – Saudi Aramco, is considering as much as $5 billion of investments in renewable energy firms as part of plans to diversify from crude production, say sources.

Saudi Arabia is planning to produce 10 gigawatts of power from renewable energy sources including solar, wind and nuclear by 2023 and transform Aramco into a diversified energy company.

Fashion Goes Green as the industry becomes more sustainable. Source gucci.com

OO Luxury Fashion Executive: Why Green Is The New Black Takeaways:

  • Fashion is the second largest polluting industry (oil is first);
  • Long term investment is needed to keep fashion sustainable;
  • A start is tackling waste.

More luxury fashion companies are starting to tackle their carbon footprints.

OO Climate Change March To Descend On Washington DC In April – and will protest President Trump’s agenda of attacking climate action and promoting fossil fuel development.

OO Largest US Offshore Wind Farm Will Be Built East Of Long Island with up to 15 turbines that can power 50,000 average homes over all.

*

*

SOCIAL REPERCUSSIONS

Flooding Is One of Many Climate Change Impacts on Europe Photo Source Source strangesounds.org

OO EU Economy Suffering The Worst Ever Impacts Due To Global WarmingImpacts have risen sharply since the 1980s; and are set to worsen under the continuing impact of global, says a new report.

According to the European Environment Agency (EEA):

  • the extreme weather has caused 85,000 deaths,
  • which amounts to nearly 393 billion euros between 1980 and 2016.
  • Annual 1980s damage from climate change averaged nearly 7.6 billion euros,
  • Reaching an average 13.7 billion euros by the 2000s.

OO As Pollution And Drought Make Clean Water Scarce, Fewer Americans Can Afford It – it’s true: many Americans cannot afford clean running water, an important component of maintaining good health. Trump ‘s Congress recently undid a law protecting US streams from pollution.

OO Without Enough Chill, Many US Crops Are Doomed Takeaways:

  • Crop trees – like peaches, almonds, pistachios – need a minimum number of “chill hours”
  • Frigid temperatures, between 32-45 F, for 700 hours each winter are needed for trees to bud.
  • Less chill time results in non-uniform budding, and dramatically lower yields.
  • Many California fruit trees are not getting enough chill time.

In California, rising temperatures might drastically cut down the ability to grow such crops by 2050.

OO Climate Change Poses Multi-Faceted Threat To Oregon report says.

The threat posed by climate change is real and the potential impacts if climate prediction models are correct will be acute in Oregon, a team of researchers said in a report to the state’s lawmakers. Portland Oregonian, Oregon.

*

*

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!

*

*

GOOD IDEAS

OO Study: Real Facts Can Beat ‘Alternative Facts’ If Boosted By Inoculation in the form of showing the flaws of misleading denialist myths when presenting the facts of climate change.

OO How To Boost Rural Incomes In Africa? Plant More Trees say researchers, especially fruit or cash crop (eg, coffee) trees, which are more resilient to extreme weather and climate shifts, producing when other crops fail.

OO Reaching Global Warming Targets Under Ice-Free Arctic Summers Requires Zero Emissions By 2045 – say researchers. Okay, so lets get started!

As darker, far more heat absorbing waters replace melting Arctic ice, the results add to global warming. What is less known, however, is the impact of a no-summer ice scenario on the world’s ambition to maintain global warming below 2°C by 2100.

*

*

SPEAKING OUT

So Many Davids Vs. the Trump Goliath – a group of kids suing the government may well block Trump’s attempts to remove climate change information from federal websites. Credit Chris Pietch at AP for The Register-Guard

OO 21 Kids Stand In The Way Of Trump’s Attempts To Delete Federal Climate Websites They are already suing the US government and fossil fuel companies for failing to address climate change, even though the risks are well known.

Now lawyers for these kids, age 9 to 20, have notified the US government and fossil fuel companies that removing climate information from websites without archiving it could threaten the ability of students to make their case, and be in likely violation of the law.

OO Badlands National Park Goes Rogue On Trump, Tweets Global Warming DataWhich went viral, before being removed.

OO Climate Change Summit Scheduled To Replace One CDC Scrapped and Al Gore helped organize it.

Safe For Now is climate change information at the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, thanks to employees who objected to the Trump plan to remove it. But the website material is “under review”, so its future is not certain. Source screen capture of climate indicators at http://www.epa.gov

OO EPA Objects To Trump Plan To Scrap Climate From Its Website;

Trump Gang Backs Down for Now from its plan to remove climate information for now, but website material is “under review” so its future is uncertain.

OO Meteorologists Malpractice If They Do Not Face Causes Of Climate Change – meteorologists hold a sacred position between people and science, noted a doctor to an audience of meteorologists. Like doctors, when they fail to look at the systemic causes of the immediate problems in front of us, they are guilty of malpractice.

*

*

FOSSIL FUEL FOLLIES

Trump Ready To Waste Taxpayer Money, Fueling Further Climate Change for a wall that will damage the US more than protect it.

OO Trump’s Envisioned Massive Wall: An Act Of US Climate Self- Sabotage – not just a costly mistake, but the massive amount of required concrete will create massive emissions that further fuel climate change.

  • Current walls create erosion and flooding in border communities
  • And block wildlife migration, further endangering already threatened wildlife.

ggg carbon emissions air pollution, electric lights at Vattenfall coal mine, TDC, ccr 367.jpg

OO The World Passed The 400ppm Carbon Threshold: Why It Matters It’s a stark reminder that:

  • The world has failed to limit CO2 emissions and their climate impacts;
  • The planet is on course to hit 500ppm in 50 years, creating
  • Boosts in heat that would endanger human food supplies and
  • Cause disruptive mass migrations.

Past history indicate even 400 ppm CO2 levels will massively change our planet, in ways likely to threaten human existence.

  • Bringing CO2 levels down to at least 350 ppm to preserve conditions that
  • Nurtured the development of humanity will require a gargantuan effort.

OO Fossil Fuel Industry: Robots Reduce Already Poor Job Sourc and are taking over jobs on oil rigs now.

*

*

If we do not live sustainably,

Our children will die inhumanely.

OO Overpopulation: Overfishing, Pollution Tips Bay Of Bengal Towards Disaster – Takeaways:

  • Most of 200,000,000 coastal people depend on the bay for food and livelihoods;
  • water scarcity has driven desperate Indian farmers to fish;
  • overfished and polluted, the bay provides only a meager living for most.

Now:

  • a large dead zone has developed, and could ultimately envelop most o f the bay;
  • under climate change the bay is also heating, killing its already damaged coral reefs.

Neither India nor this article recognize how overpopulation contributes to this disaster.

@@ 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.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Help prevent unintended pregnancies in your community:

publicize where women can access affordable contraception.

They can go here to find locations:

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

*

*

*

SOLAR KEEPS DRIVING

OO National Solar Jobs Census 2016: 2% Of ALL New US Jobs Were Solar Ones – That is, one in 50 US new jobs. Takeaways:

Solar jobs have increased 20% yearly, over the last 4 years;

Solar employers expect to see total US solar jobs in 2017 to surge to close to 300,000.

Five top 2016 solar job states: California, Florida, Texas, Massachusetts and Nevada

OO Who Installs More Solar Power? Republicans And Democrats Are Pretty Much Tied

Check it out here, right now!

*

*

*

WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Oct 12, 2014

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.

Unusually heavy rains have released California from a SURFACE water drought, but California aquifers keep 60+% of the state in a GROUNDWATER drought, which will likely take decades to disappear. It also means this major US agricultural region has a small safety net, when the next dry year strikes. Dance in the rain while you can!

Much of the areas surrounding the North Pole are experiencing much warmer than normal temperatures – in fact, some areas are experiencing up to 40+ F degrees higher than normal temperatures! Not good news for our Arctic thermal shield of ice. Hotter than usual temperatures continue to dominate human habitats.

*

*

*

There is, of course, much more news on the consequences and solutions to climate change. To get it, check out this annotated resource list I’ve compiled, “Climate Change News Resources,” at 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.

 

For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly columns at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week

 

Find this interesting? Please re-post it!

Advertisements

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.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Climate Change This Week: The Fossil Fuel Alzheimers Connection, Trump Threatens Farming, and More!

  1. We can only hope that they impeach him soon. He is a cadaverous nightmare for this small planet!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s