Daily Archives: December 18, 2012

Still Hurting In The Heartland: The Historic Drought Continues

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/12/17/1341371/still-hurting-in-the-heartland-the-historic-drought-continues/

By Climate Guest Blogger on Dec 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm

by Bill Becker

Superstorm Sandy may be remembered years from now as the pivot point in the United States’ response to global climate change. Politically speaking, Sandy’s true power was not its wind and water; it was the fact that it hit the principal center of America’s population, finance institutions and media.

It was another wake-up call, but with more people in high places hearing the alarm. Network news anchors are now acknowledging that climate change may be the common denominator in all the weird and destructive weather we’ve seen in recent years. Mitt Romney’s view that we don’t need FEMA is now unthinkable, and Congress should be getting the message that climate change is a budget buster – that investments in mitigation are far cheaper than paying for damages.

The Paul Reveres of climate change may find New Yorkers and New Jersyans joining their ranks. This is a case where “fugetaboutit” should become “do something about it”.

While the spotlight is on Sandy, however, let’s not forget the weather victims who’ve become yesterday’s news. The people who lost their homes in Colorado’s super-fires are still hurting. Wildfires burned a record 8 million acres in the United States last year and more than 6 million acres through August of this year. NASA scientists say wild fires will get worse in the years ahead.

The historic drought is still underway. In the mountains of Colorado where I have a home, wells are running dry. The drought is affecting 80% of the country’s farmland, bankrupting farmers, ranchers and small businesses, destroying crops, and killing livestock. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says families everywhere will start to feel the ripple effect next year with higher prices for beef, pork, poultry and dairy products. Meanwhile, water levels are still dropping on the Mississippi River, impacting billions of dollars freight normally shipped by barge. ...(more)

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Cyprus International Institute (CII) (Harvard School of Public Health) http://Cyprus-Institute.us
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

Cleaning Up Carbon Pollution 101

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/12/17/1343231/cleaning-up-carbon-pollution-101/

By Climate Guest Blogger on Dec 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm

by Danielle Baussan and Daniel J. Weiss

Largely due to destruction caused by recent climate-related extreme weather events in the United States, there is a new urgency in our nation to adopt additional carbon pollution reduction measures. In 2011 and 2012, 21 such events each caused $1 billion or more in damages. This new evidence demonstrates that our climate change problem is much more imminent and severe than previously thought. Instead of idly waiting for the next devastating storm, flood, drought, or heat wave to hit, we should tackle climate change head on by further reducing our carbon pollution.

The World Bank, International Energy Agency, and the U.N. Environment Programme have all issued reports since the presidential election last month predicting a steep escalation in carbon pollution in the atmosphere over the coming decades. These warnings heighten the necessity of reducing carbon and the other pollutants responsible for climate change. If we don’t take action now, we will inevitably face more devastating changes to our weather, water, land, air, and food supply. We must reduce carbon pollution from power plants to help fight climate change and its associated destructive extreme weather, as well as other serious public health impacts such as respiratory deaths and illnesses caused by more smog and the onset of tropical diseases. ...(more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Dithering In Doha: We Need To Re-Frame The Politics Of Climate

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/12/17/1343391/dithering-in-doha-we-need-to-re-frame-the-politics-of-climate/

By Climate Guest Blogger on Dec 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm

by Steve Herz

Last week, a full day after it was scheduled to end, this year’s United Nations climate negotiations finally ground to an anticlimactic and dispiriting conclusion.

Despite the near round-the-clock endgame and down-to-the-wire drama, negotiators from more than 194 member countries ultimately had precious little to show for their efforts. Yes, they managed to ensure that the Kyoto Protocol would continue for another term. And they tied up some loose ends from previous meetings and made some incremental progress on emerging issues. But on the core issue affecting the fate of the planet — the need to rapidly reduce emissions to have any hope of keeping climate change to manageable levels — progress was nowhere to be found. They moved the process forward, but the problem rages on.

In one sense, this exceedingly modest outcome was no surprise. From the outset, we were warned that this was just an “implementation” or “transitional” meeting; the big issues were not to be discussed. This is because at last year’s meeting in Durban, the Parties decided on a three year schedule to negotiate an overarching agreement, and nothing in the climate negotiations happens until the last possible moment. The Durban timetable all but assured that incrementalism and procrastination would rule the day in Doha.       ….(more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

3-D Maps Pictured Sandy’s Devastation–Five Years Ago

http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20121101/hurricane-superstorm-sandy-storm-surge-rising-sea-levels-scientists-global-warming-climate-change-flooding

Is the destruction from superstorm Sandy a preview of what’s to come as sea levels continue to rise from climate change?

By Jason Plautz, InsideClimate News
Nov 1, 2012

Map of New York City if sea levels rise 3 meters (areas underwater are in light blue). The map was published in 2007 in a report warning about the dangers of unabated climate change and sea level rise. The picture resembles superstorm Sandy’s impact on Lower Manhattan. © 2007 2030, Inc. and © 2007 Google. Image courtesy of Architecture 2030, www.architecture2030.org

Five years ago, a report called “Nation Under Siege” illustrated the vulnerability of 31 U.S. coastal cities to flooding. But not just to any kind of flooding—to the flooding of a permanent kind from sea level rise.

What will happen to these cities, the report asked, as sea levels continue to increase from global warming?

The study provided answers in a series of 3-D maps constructed using data from federal science agencies and the United Nations’ climate panel. The maps provide an uncanny prediction of what transpired Monday night when superstorm Sandy engulfed 1,000 miles of Atlantic coastline.

Most striking is the 3-D map of New York (pictured above), which shows what could happen to the city with a 3-meter (9.8-foot) rise in sea level: Lower Manhattan, the East Village neighborhood and the FDR Drive underwater. That’s exactly what Sandy’s 3-meter storm surge delivered.

Was superstorm Sandy a preview of what sea level rise will bring—permanently—to New York and other coastal cities by century’s end? …(more).

Cambridge Climate Research Associates
http://Climate-Research.Com http://Climate-Research.TV
Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Cyprus International Institute (CII) (Harvard School of Public Health) http://Cyprus-Institute.us

Iraq Birth Defects


VOAvideo

Published on Dec 18, 2012

The Iraqi city of Fallujah is now experiencing an alarming increase in birth defects. A recently-published medical study indicates that exposure to toxic metals from U.S. munitions could be responsible, though the Pentagon denies the claim.

Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Pirate Fishing Exposed – The Fight against Illegal Fishing in West Africa and EU


EnvironmentalJustice

Published on Oct 11, 2012

Sierra Leone, a small coastal state in West Africa, has seen a dramatic drop in Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) or ‘pirate’ Fishing following a groundbreaking investigation by UK-­‐based NGO Environmental Justice Foundation.
During the dramatic two-­‐year investigation set out in the new report Exposing Pirate Fishing, EJF documented rampant illegal fishing in Sierra Leone by vessels exporting fish to the EU.
EJF has been working in partnership with local fishermen in Sierra Leone since the beginning of 2010 to document and report illegal fishing. The groundbreaking project based near the rich fishing grounds of Sherbro Island i the south of the country, involves local fishermen calling an EJF coordinator on a mobile phone when they witness trawlers fishing illegally. A speedboat boat is then deployed so that photo, video and GPS evidence of the boats’ illegal activities can be gathered.

Read EJF’s new report about illegal pirate fishing, find out more on www.ejfoundation.org
and Sign out to our petition!

Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

Human Rights Day 2012: Climate Change and Human Rights


EnvironmentalJustice

Published on Dec 18, 2012

Climate Change is not just an environmental issue, it’s a human rights too.

Environmental Justice Foundation is calling for a new Special Rapporteur on Climate Change in the United Nations Human Rights Council.
This Human Rights Day, stand up for the human rights of people affected by climate change.

Sign the petition at ejfoundation.org/climate/human-rights-day

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Keyword Learn: Search Engines and Interactive Education – YouTube


ForaTv

Published on Dec 18, 2012

Brian Parish, founder of IData Incorporated, looks at how the search engine Passion Dragon uses algorithms to make learning more interactive and geared towards the student.

Full video available for free at: http://fora.tv/2012/12/03/Classroom_Technology_Brings_Big_Ideas_Into_Big_Reality

Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
media

Assessing natural capital


stockholmresilience

Published on Dec 18, 2012

Panel debate with Dr. Åsa Gren (The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics), Dr. Thomas Hahn (Stockholm Resilience Centre) Prof. Garry Peterson (Stockholm Resilience Centre) and Dr. Maria Tengö (Stockholm Resilience Centre). The debate took place 21 November 2012.

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Managing multiple ecosystem services


stockholmresilience

Published on Dec 18, 2012

Seminar with Garry Peterson, 21 November 2012. Read more here: http://bit.ly/T4rP6B

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120