Climate Change This Week: The Population Connection, Protections Gone, 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 montage of Amazonian wildlife, is another reason to preserve carbon storing forests. Source http://www.peruforless.com

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

Credit Lorinda Taylor

“Save me!” Pygmy Hippos are now threatened in Liberia, as Liberia’s corrupt timber industry destroys its forest home, and people hunt them for food. You can take action here.

OO Keep Liberia’s Illegal Timber Out of the EU – sign here to urge to EU to keep illegal Liberian timber out of Europe. Keeping it legal will prevent rampant deforestation of Liberia’s threatened Upper Guinean Rainforest.

OO Deforestation Rises With Incomes In Developing Economies A new study examining the changes in forest cover along national borders finds that as incomes increase, so does deforestation.

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.

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MERCURY RISES IN THE FOOD CHAIN AS CLIMATE CHANGE PLAYS OUT

The Mercury Food Chain In Action Credit Ian Adams Photography

OO After Decades Of Decreases, Mercury Rises In Great Lakes Wildlife Takeaways:

  • As coal consumption zooms in Asia and elsewhere,
  • So has atmospheric mercury pollution
  • Which travels quickly around the planet.

How Mercury Goes Through The Food Chain Source http://www.myhousecallmd.com

  • Scientists suspect that warming waters
  • Are quickly converting mercury into toxic methyl mercury,
  • And store less oxygen, requiring fish to pump water faster,
  • Increasing their exposure to dissolved toxics.
  • More precipitation on the lakes also dissolves more land toxics.

It’s another ecological problem borne of the complex interplay of toxics, global warming, our food and, ultimately, our health.

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HUMAN POPULATIONS WILL CRASH IF WE IGNORE EARTH’S FEEDBACKS

A Decent Family Size Ensures A Decent Future as the planet becomes increasingly hostile to the future of human existence under our current explosion of populations.

OO Modeling Sustainability: Population, Inequality, Consumption,

And Bidirectional Coupling Of The Earth And Human System – Takeaways:

  • Exploding human populations are dramatically changing Earth.
  • Resulting in climate change, widespread pollution, and
  • the destruction of ecosystems vital to human existence;
  • these growing feedbacks will dramatically cut future human population levels.

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  • Population growth projections do not fold in planetary feedbacks
  • Nor the effects of population on those feedbacks,
  • Thus, seriously underestimating future levels of human populations.

Running Out of Room Credit Alper Doruk at www.hongkiat.com

  • We are underestimating our level of future survival,
  • Both in numbers and the quality of that existence.
  • If we hope to have a decent future,
  • We have to confront the real effects of, and on, feedbacks
  • From our overabundance on this planet.

OO Confronting The Big Lie:

Unlimited Growth DOES Have Consequences – the planet is finite, and so is human growth. We can decide whether we will humanely sustain ourselves or be brutally decimated by the consequences of overshooting our resources.

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TRUMP TRUMPED BY CLIMATE CHANGE

Donald Trump’s Own Children Likely Face Climate Apocalypse in their lifetimes; the likely crash of civilization that follows will crash their fortune and survival chances for their kids – and all of ours. Unless, of course, Trump acts to cut emissions, hugely. Source heavy.com

Trump Starts Cutting American Safety Nets

OO Donald Trump ‘Taking Steps To Abolish Environmental Protection Agency Myron Ebell, a key presidential aide, said climate education material could be ‘withdrawn’ and review of car fuel efficiency standards could be reopened.

OO Trump Wants To Scrap Two Regulations For Each New One Adopted – even if it means lessening protection for Americans. Business comes first.

OO Scott Pruitt Is Seen Cutting The EPA With A Scalpel, Not A Cleaver he has a blueprint to repeal climate change rules, cut staffing levels, close regional offices and permanently weaken the agency’s regulatory authority.

Trump’s Fossil Fuel Follies

OO Army Corps Ordered To Issue Final Dakota Access Pipeline Permit two lawmakers say.

OO Donald Trump’s Inauguration Fueled By Tobacco, Oil And Drug Company Money

OO Exxon’s Ex CEO Is Now In Charge Of U.S. International Climate as well as international aid efforts on climate-related disasters.

OO Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Is Foe Of Major Modern Regulatory Law that matters greatly to climate change advocates.

Trump Doesn’t Want You To See This and other information from our national scientists showing the heating up of the planet through burning fossil fuels. Source NOAA

Trump Threatens Vital Science

OO NOAA Scientists Worry About Climate Change Skeptic In Trump Transition

OO Mounting Anxiety For Threatened Climate Research At National Labs

Still There, But Changes Afoot – elsewhere at the website, federal climate plans from Obama are now gone. Source screencapture, climate indicators at http://www.epa.gov

OO The EPA Has Started To Remove Obama-Era Information And replacing pollution language with adaptation. Right, we’ll adapt to sickening pollution rather than remove it – brilliant!!!

OO Canadian Scientists Were Followed, Threatened And Censored:

Trump Could Do The Same Despite White House denial.

Credit Adam Zyglis at the Buffalo News

Trump Misleads

OO Trump’s Promise To Pay For Infrastructure With Fossil Fuel Revenue Rings Hollow It is not a simple equation.

OO Green Movement ‘Greatest Threat To Freedom’ says Trump adviser. Climate-change denier Myron Ebell says he expects Trump to withdraw the U.S. from the global climate change agreement.

OO Only A Quarter Of Trump Voters Believe In Human-Caused Climate Change which is reflected with Trump’s gang, which has generally shown a lack of concern for human-caused climate change, at best — and, at worst, disbelief in its existence.

Resisting Trump

Scientists Take A Stand For Science Source Facebook

OO An Obscure Law To Ensure Accurate Information From Agencies

Might Prevent Censorship On Climate Change

OO Scientists Ready For A New Battle With Trump Over Censorship With new tools, like the 2012 WhistleBlower Protection Enhancement Act, government wide scientific integrity policies, and the changing mindset of scientists towards speaking out publicly on climate change when politics will not.

OO Climate Scientists Challenge Conservatives’ NOAA Lawsuit fearing more to come under Trump.

Researchers strive to keep their unpublished work private.

OO In Age Of Trump, Scientists Show Signs Of Taking a Stand in a profession that has been loath to do so in the past.

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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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CLIMATE LEADERSHIP

New York Banned Fracking in 2015 – Will Florida Follow? Source Getty Images

OO Florida Fracking Ban Bill Draws Bipartisan Support

OO Maryland: Lawmakers Veto Override, And Renewable Energy Is On The Rise

OO Maryland: Fracking Opponents Press For Statewide Ban

OO Faced With US Retreat On Climate Change, EU Looks To China

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CLUELESS LEADERSHIP

Credit Jonathan Schmock at JonathanSchmock.com

OO GOP Congress Erased Some Very Important Environmental Protections – These included Obama era rules that:

  • Protect streams and drinking water sources from permanent coal plant pollution;
  • Curb climate changing methane emissions from fossil fuel operations on public lands.

Now, coal companies are free to permanently destroy US streams, and fossil fuel operations can spout a very potent climate-changing gas on public lands, without any legal oversight.

OO Coal Rule Killed By US Congress, Others Near Chopping Block – The U.S. Congress moved swiftly to undo Obama-era rules on the environment, corruption, labor and guns, and a rule aimed at reducing water pollution.

OO This Lawmaker Wants To Ease Rules On Drilling In National Parks – yes, he’s a Republican.

Preventing Climate Change, Pollution? Not Worth the Cost, Say GOP by their actions in Congress these days.

OO Repeal Without Replace: A Dangerous GOP Strategy On Obamacare And Climate – House Republicans are explicitly saying that protecting public and environmental health isn’t worth a few jobs or a small cost.

OO Rep. Lamar Smith Launches New Assault On EPA’s ‘Secret Science’

OO Republicans Want To Make The EPA Great Again By Gutting Health Regulations

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HOT NEWS

OO Intense Heat Grips Eastern Australia – Total fire bans issued as parts of Australia swelter in their hottest January on record, including Sydney and Brisbane.

OO Record Heat And Drought Seen In Amazon During 2015-16 El Niño on its rainforest, and that’s bad news for curbing climate change: carbon storing trees both die faster and grow slower, decreasing the ability of the Amazon to function as a major global source of carbon storage.

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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!

GOOD CLEAN NEWS

OO Electric Cars And Cheap Solar ‘Could Halt Growth of Fossil Fuel Demand By 2020’ a new report suggests.

OO Turbine Breaks World Record For Wind Power Generated In Just One Day and it happened in Denmark. The single, 700+ foot tall turbine produced enough power to power 240 US homes for a month!

Why Beijing Is Cleaning Up Its Act Source AFP at http://www.scmp.com

OO China: Beijing Vows 30 % Cut In Coal Use In 2017 To Fight Smog

OO Deutsche Bank Pulls Out Of Coal Projects To Meet Paris Climate Pledge – not bad for the biggest bank in Germany.

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SOCIAL REPERCUSSIONS

California Snowpack, 2014 and 2017 Source NASA

Moist On Top, Dry Below – describes California’s water supply: an ample 2017 snowpack supply hardly dents the large “groundwater drought” occurring in its aquifers, which are needed when rains and snow don’t come. Source NASA

OO Even As The Snowpack Piles Up, California’s Drought Is Not Over Say experts: a single snowy winter is just a drop in the bucket of groundwater storage needed to make up for the century long decline of underground water reserves in the agriculturally important Central Valley.

OO Kenyans Turn To Wild Fruits And Insects As Drought Looms part of the drying of the climate that is occurring.

OO In Peru, Droughts Give Way To Floods As Climate Change Looms – reeling from drought to devastating downpours, the sort of extremes in weather expected to be more frequent under climate change.

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GOOD IDEAS

Cutting Emissions Is Necessary No Matter What Source wwf.com

OO Confronting Reality: Renewables Can’t Deliver Paris Climate Goals Alone

– Big Cuts In Carbon Emissions Are Needed to stave off catastrophic climate change, scientists warn.

OO Canada Pension Managers Weigh High Costs Of Climate Change

OO New York City Pension System To Analyze Carbon Footprint amid concerns of potential investment risks from companies that fail to adapt to climate change.

These Solar Panels Power Air Conditioners Source http://www.nature.com

OO How Heat From The Sun Can Keep Us All Cool using heat-collecting solar panels that operate air conditioners, heating up environmentally friendly refrigerants so that they will condense and expel heat as the refrigerants are sent outdoors during the air conditioning cycle.

OO Phasing Out Cookstoves A “Win-Win” For Climate And Health study shows.

Replacing traditional wood and coal-burning cookstoves with cleaner technology worldwide could trim nearly a tenth of a degree from global temperature and save more than 10 million lives by 2050.

OO Scientists Measure Carbon Storage In Different Wetlands Worldwide Which are best, and why?

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NATURAL REPERCUSSIONS

Tiny Algae Kill Marine Goliaths – as the toxins from algal blooms in ever warmer Alaskan waters are linked to large kills of whales, including the threatened fin whale. Source http://www.adn.com

OO Warming Ocean Waters Off Alaska Bring Widespread Ecological Changes with more expected in the future. Fish, birds and other creatures are showing effects of warmer conditions, according to numerous studies.

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SPEAKING OUT

Source registerguard.com

OO The Constitution Might Be The Key To Climate Action and a group of young climate plaintiffs are making their case.

OO US EPA: Dem Lawmakers Boycott Committee Vote On Pruitt having no hope of preventing an incompetent from being nominated, lawmakers opt for taking a stand instead.

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FOSSIL FUEL FOLLIES

The Best Way to Keep Coal Clean

OO The Myth Of Clean Coal:

Why Emissions Reductions From Coal Remain A Pipe Dream

OO Canada: More Oil Spills Reported

OO Java, Indonesia: Villagers Say Coal Plant Reduced Livelihoods,

Brought Little New Employment since construction began in 2007.

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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

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.

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.

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SOLAR KEEPS FLYING

OO America’s Community Solar Market Will Surpass 400MW In 2017 By 2019, there will likely be 500 megawatts of community solar projects installed each year in states across the country.

Check it out here, right now!

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WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

Ggg anomal tempfeb162017

Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Feb 16, 2017

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.

Unusually heavy rains have released California from a SURFACE water drought, but significantly depleted 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 – 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 these wild flowers I photographed one summer. 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 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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