Australia’s PM is caught between Biden and his Coalition partner while the country suffers. Watch the salesman promise what he can’t or wont deliver.
The importance of having a U.S. leader like Joe Biden, who has come to believe in the necessity of drastically cutting the emission of greenhouse gases, was demonstrated Wednesday when Japan announced that it was doubling its proposed cuts to carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. This according to Reuters.
Our burning of gasoline, coal and natural gas on a massive global scale, putting tens of billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere annually, is turning the earth into . . . well, a greenhouse. Greenhouses are closed up, keeping in heat and moisture. In a greenhouse, the moisture might form rivulets down the internal windows. On earth, the skies open to dump lakes worth of water down on people.
Alaska’s thawing permafrost is undermining the supports that hold up an elevated section of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, putting in danger the structural integrity of one of the world’s largest oil pipelines. In a worst-case scenario, a rupture of the pipeline would result in an oil spill in a delicate and remote landscape where it would be extremely difficult to clean up. “This is a wake-up call,” said Carl Weimer, of Pipeline Safety Trust, a nonprofit pipeline watchdog group based in Bellingham, Washington. “The implications of this speak to the pipeline’s integrity and the effect climate change is having on pipeline safety in general.”
Gasoline demand in the U.S. rebounded vigorously in the week leading up to the 4th of July, to an average of 9.6 million barrels a day, the highest rate seen since September, 2019, well before the pandemic. This is bad. During the 2020 pandemic year, global carbon dioxide emissions plummeted from 36.6 billion metric tons to a mere 34 billion metric tons. It is the kind of 7% a year reduction we need if we are to avoid the worst effects of the climate emergency. The bad news is that as the post-pandemic economy rebounds, our carbon emissions are shooting right back up. In China, where the government used masking, lockdowns and social distancing to all but defeat the virus by late summer of 2020, carbon dioxide emissions were down less than 2%. As we blithely go back to our gas-guzzling ways, and as brain-dead state governments like that of North Dakota actively attempt to keep unprofitable coal plants in operation, the earth atmosphere on which we are inflicting our 36 billion metric tons of CO2 (sort of like blowing up myriads of atomic bombs up there) is taking revenge on us with rocketing temperatures.
There’s abundant evidence about the climate change problem. On July 7th, writing in the the New York Times Henry Fountain observed: “The extraordinary heat wave that scorched the Pacific Northwest last week would almost certainly not have occurred without global warming, an international team of climate researchers said Wednesday. Temperatures were so extreme — including readings of 116 degrees Fahrenheit in Portland, Ore., and a Canadian record of 121 in British Columbia — that the researchers had difficulty saying just how rare the heat wave was. But they estimated that in any given year there was only a 0.1 percent chance of such an intense heat wave occurring.”
The death toll from the record-breaking heatwave that struck the US Pacific north-west last week has risen to nearly 200, with health authorities reporting 116 deaths in Oregon and 78 in Washington state.
But sometimes an engineering solution just won’t be possible. “Some of the adaptation strategies could be that we just relocate the entire community, because for some reason we cannot defend them using in-place structures like sea walls,” says Shirzaei. This is known as managed retreat, and it’s already happening in some cities. San Francisco, for instance, is giving up part of a coastal highway by replacing two lanes with a trail so the land can better hold back rising waters.
June was an exceptionally hot month for several countries in the northern hemisphere. Since Friday June 25, at least 486 sudden deaths have been recorded in Canada’s British Columbia province as temperatures soared to nearly 50C (122F). In the United States, the ongoing heatwave has buckled highways and melted power lines. A so-called “heat dome”, where high pressure traps the heat, is being blamed for the excessively high temperatures.
Climate action advocates reiterated demands for urgent measures to rein in global heating after the World Meteorological Organization warned Thursday that there’s a 40% chance the planet will temporarily hit 1.5°C of warming in the next five years. The WMO, a United Nations agency, also said in its update that there’s a 90% chance at least one year between 2021 and 2025 will be the hottest on the books—a record currently held by 2016.
Over the past five decades, the Arctic has warmed three times faster than the world as a whole, leading to rapid and widespread melting of ice and other far-reaching consequences that are important not only to local communities and ecosystems but to the fate of life on planet Earth.
As thousands of homes remain underwater in what appears to be yet another historic flood event in New South Wales, insurance companies are being inundated with calls from worried customers. The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that Insurance Council of Australia has declared an insurance catastrophe following more than 5,000 claims over the weekend.
During Friday’s edition of Fox News’ Outnumbered, the panelists repeated a number of false claims about the ongoing blackouts in Texas, both in an attempt to cover up negligence by the state government and private power utilities and to deny the role of climate change in severe weather events. Fox has been waging a sustained propaganda campaign attempting to blame renewable energy sources for the state’s crisis. By contrast, local media outlets in Texas have done a much better job at explaining how the breakdowns across all energy sources — including from fossil fuels, which still normally provide a majority of the state’s electricity — are the result of the state’s failure to adequately winterize its infrastructure, even after prior blackout events. But these facts were entirely left out of the conversation on Outnumbered.
A new study from Australian and Chinese researchers adds weight to scientists’ warnings from recent United Nations reports about how sea levels are expected to rise dangerously in the coming decades because of human activity that’s driving global heating.
In Australia and internationally, climate lawmaking has been going on for more than a decade. The evidence is clear: well designed, binding climate laws do effectively tackle the climate crisis. Anything less may well turn out be an empty promise.
The flash flood in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand has killed at least 12 people, with fears for 170 more.
A glacial flood that tore through a Himalayan valley, killing at least 12 people with fears for 170 more, has sharpened concerns about an acceleration in climate change disasters, as rescuers scramble through the hostile terrain to find survivors.
Ammonia does not produce greenhouse gas emissions when burned. Engineers are working on ensuring that it also does not produce nitrogen oxides, which are a pollutant that contributes to ozone. Ammonia can be used in coal-fired electricity plants instead of coal. It is also suitable as a fuel for, e.g., large ships.
Rooted in Germany’s metalworks industries, IG Metall is one of the world’s strongest trade unions. But the need for climate action is forcing it to take a more critical approach to the industries where its members work — and fight for a green transition that creates new kinds of high-paid, fulfilling jobs.
Joe Biden’s thumping victory in the US presidential election is also a thumping victory for the global climate. Biden campaigned unabashedly to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, to pledge net-zero emissions by 2050, and to spend AU$2.4 trillion on new climate initiatives. His election is a game-changer for global climate action.
This past summer, an outbreak occurred as far north as Connecticut, where the state health department issued a rare alert after five residents contracted the deadly V. vulnificus bacteria. Meanwhile, in the Carolinas, rising seas and intensifying storms are washing the virulent strains further inland. Since 2007, when the CDC required states to report Vibrio cases, South Carolina has seen a three-fold increase in its incidence rate and North Carolina’s reported rate soared 1.6 times. By 2019, according to more recent state data, the bacteria had sickened at least 550 people in both states.
The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction issued a report today concluding that natural disasters caused by the human impact on earth’s climate have doubled in the past twenty years. Human beings have put increasing amounts of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in the past 40 years by driving gasoline cars and burning coal and natural gas for electricity and heating and cooling buildings. Using a comprehensive database, UNDRR found that from 2000 through 2019 there have been 7,348 huge disasters.
If you go back and look at the predictions of climate scientists about 2020, you’ll see that they gave a range, of best- and worst-case scenarios. In every instance, it is the worst case scenario that has come to pass. Even the most jaded and alarmed scientists in 2000 were not pessimistic enough. Mother Nature is trying to tell us something but we are not listening.
COVID and our response to it, as well as the new research, have stripped away the remaining excuses not to make this transition as rapidly as possible to flatten, and eventually squash, the
Liberate citizens from the centrally controlled fossil fuel industries. Expand opportunities for work and self determination from the grass roots up transition to not from new opportunities. (ODT
Just as we’re remembering to wash our hands more than we used to, coming out of the pandemic, it will pay to be more attentive about remembering to choose the zero-emissions option at every step.
We stand at a crossroads. If government stimulus packages around the world favour carbon-intensive practices and miss the moment to modernise and decarbonise, we will lock ourselves into a warming future.
If, however, we rise to the challenge, we can use the recovery from one crisis to simultaneously address another.The Conversation
Seibt is promoted by the Heartland Institute. The Koch bros Institute seems to miss an essential point. Neither Science nor those arguing the reality of man-made Climate Change being real are declaring it’s “all” only man made. However, the accumulated effect human activity has had on the accelerating the rate of change can’t be discounted as the trigger and only humans can alter that over the long term.
Righteous anger is a valid response to call for a stop on CO2 emissions. Given the history of denial, which has only recently seen a psuedo shift by denialists like the Kochs and remains neither scientific or rational but purely political, economic and self-interested the anger stems from concern for the common good of the planet. Seibt on that basis is a red herring just as Dr Bjorn Lomborg and his Coppenhagen Climate Council was when also financed by the Koch Bros to distract from the evidence science has and continues to accumulate for over the past 60 years. Today proving the negative influence CO2 emissions have on the planet’s changing climate. (ODT)
“I don’t want to get people to stop believing in man-made climate change, not at all,” she told the Washington Post on Monday, while acknowledging she found the idea that human activity alone was responsible for the warming planet “ridiculous.” The outlet’s profile of the young activist, whom it not-so-subtly dubs “the anti-Greta,” proceeds to paint her as a puppet of the Heartland Institute, which is “paying [Seibt] to question established climate science” – as if she would never have done so on her own.
Rather then give Seibt the benefit of the doubt, at least one other outlet pounced on WaPo for not being harsh enough on the German activist. Motherboard accused the outlet of “amplifying climate change denialism” from a “noted propaganda factory” that “can routinely be found peeing in the public discourse pool on behalf of its corporate donors.” Imagine what hell would break loose if anyone used such terms to describe Saint Greta…