Daily Archives: December 5, 2013

350 Or Bust: Scientists Warn Even 2°C Warming Leads To ‘Disastrous Consequences’ And Must Be Avoided

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/03/3014701/scientists-warming-disastrous-350/

By Joe Romm on December 3, 2013 at 5:04 pm

350 Or Bust: Scientists Warn Even 2°C Warming Leads To ‘Disastrous Consequences’ And Must Be Avoided

Humanity is choosing to destroy a livable climate, warn 18 of the world’s leading climate experts in a new study. Led by James Hansen, they make the strongest case to date for a target of 350 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 in the air, or about 1°C (1.8°F) total warming.

Yes, we are already near 400 ppm (and rising 2 ppm a year), and have warmed more than 0.8°C since preindustrial times, so the authors understand the challenge. But in their must-read article in the journal PLOS One, the scientists argue that “aiming for the 2°C [3.6°F pathway would be foolhardy” because it “would have consequences that can be described as disastrous”:

sea level rise of several meters could be expected. Increased climate extremes, already apparent at 0.8°C warming, would be more severe. Coral reefs and associated species, already stressed with current conditions, would be decimated by increased acidification, temperature and sea level rise. More generally, humanity and nature, the modern world as we know it, is adapted to the Holocene climate that has existed more than 10,000 years.

They point that even a modest temperature rise will end the stable climate that enabled modern civilization is clear in this figure derived from another recent study:

Temperature change over past 11,300 years (in blue, via Science, 2013) plus projected warming this century on humanity’s current emissions path (in red, via recent literature).

A key point of the new study — bluntly titled “Assessing ‘Dangerous Climate Change’: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature” — is that 2°C warming is unlikely to be stable because it “would spur ‘slow’ feedbacks and eventual warming of 3–4°C with disastrous consequences.”

As Climate Progress has previously reported, the thawing permafrost alone is projected to add as much as 1.5°F (!) to total global warming by 2100 and ocean acidification could add another 0.9°F.

….(read 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

Pennsylvania’s New Head Of Environmental Protection Doesn’t Think Climate Change Is Harmful

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/05/3025311/pennsylvania-dep-head-climate-change/

By Katie Valentine on December 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Pennsylvania’s New Head Of Environmental Protection Doesn’t Think Climate Change Is Harmful

Acting DEP Head Chris Abruzzo

CREDIT: Pennsylvania DEP

The new head of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection doesn’t think the environment needs to be protected from climate change.

Chris Abruzzo, Pennsylvania’s Acting DEP secretary, said during his confirmation hearing with the state’s Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Wednesday that he didn’t think climate change was harmful, StateImpact Pennsylvania reports.

“I’ve not read any scientific studies that would lead me to conclude there are adverse impacts to human beings, animals, or plant life at this small level of climate change,” Abruzzo said.

When pressed by Pennsylvania Sen. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery) on whether he hadn’t read the numerous news stories over the years on “the immediate and drastic results of climate change on species’ diversity, on human sustainability, on deaths from air pollution, on all kinds of things,” Abruzzo conceded that he believed climate change exists, but still didn’t think it posed a major risk.

“Climate change is such a broad topic. I would say that I haven’t drawn any conclusions across the board,” he said. “I do agree that it exists, and I think that there are things that we, not only as Pennsylvanians, but we as Americans and we as citizens of the planet can do to address some of the factors that contribute to climate change.”

Pennsylvania, Abruzzo said, is already doing its “fair share” to combat climate change and didn’t need to change its policies.

Sen. Leach, the only Senate member to vote against Abruzzo, said the acting DEP head’s comments on climate change were “mind-blowing.”

“This is a reflection of what I view to be a lack of seriousness with which the governor treats environmental issues,” Leach said. “It’s just not a serious nomination.”

…(read 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

ALEC calls for penalties on ‘freerider’ homeowners in assault on clean energy | World news | theguardian.com

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/04/alec-freerider-homeowners-assault-clean-energy
Documents reveal conservative group’s anti-green agenda
• Strategy to charge people who install their own solar panels
• Environmentalists accuse Alec of protecting utility firms’ profits

ALEC facing funding crisis after exodus of big donors

Solar panels on a home in Los Angeles. Alec will promote legislation planning to penalise individual homeowners who install solar panels. Photograph: Cultura/Rex

An alliance of corporations and conservative activists is mobilising to penalise homeowners who install their own solar panels – casting them as “freeriders” – in a sweeping new offensive against renewable energy, the Guardian has learned.

Over the coming year, the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec) will promote legislation with goals ranging from penalising individual homeowners and weakening state clean energy regulations, to blocking the Environmental Protection Agency, which is Barack Obama’s main channel for climate action.

Details of Alec’s strategy to block clean energy development at every stage – from the individual rooftop to the White House – are revealed as the group gathers for its policy summit in Washington this week.

About 800 state legislators and business leaders are due to attend the three-day event, which begins on Wednesday with appearances by the Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson and the Republican budget guru and fellow Wisconsinite Paul Ryan.

….(read 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

NSA Collecting 5 BILLION Cell Phone Records A DAY! Including Tracking Locations

MOXNEWSd0tC0M

Published on Dec 5, 2013

December 05, 2013 BBC News

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

Secretive Right-Wing Group Continues Its War On Clean Energy | ThinkProgress

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/05/3022271/alec-solar-clean-energy-freeriders/

By Ari Phillips on December 5, 2013 at 9:16 am

Secretive Right-Wing Group Continues Its War On Clean Energy

CREDIT: Shutterstock

This week the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an influential lobbying group composed of Republican politicians and big businesses, is hosting its “States and Nation Policy Summit” in Washington, DC. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is giving the keynote, and Republican budget leaders Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) will also give speeches. All three are climate deniers with poor environmental records, so they will feel at home as ALEC renews its efforts in 2014 to weaken or repeal clean energy policies in states across the country.

On Tuesday, The Guardian showed how ALEC is facing a funding crisis after losing a number of members due to its policy on gun laws. In the last two years ALEC lost lost almost 400 state legislators and more than 60 corporations largely due to the group’s involvement in the Stand Your Ground law that originally allowed George Zimmerman to walk free after he killed Trayvon Martin.

The next day, the paper explained how ALEC “is mobilizing to penalize homeowners who install their own solar panels — casting them as “freeriders” — in a sweeping new offensive against renewable energy”:

“Over the coming year, ALEC will promote legislation with goals ranging from penalizing individual homeowners and weakening state clean energy regulations, to blocking the Environmental Protection Agency, which is Barack Obama’s main channel for climate action.”

Even though ALEC lost all 13 of its anti-clean energy legislative fights at the state level this year, the group is opting to up the ante in 2014 by promoting bills and resolutions targeting President Obama’s nationwide climate action plan, especially when it comes to cutting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

…(read 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

Climate Changes Happening Faster Than We Thought

freespeechtv

Published on Dec 5, 2013

Joe Romm — Climate Progress Editor joins Bill Press to discuss a recent report by scientists that says the effects of climate change are happening faster than we thought.

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

Vandana Shiva & Jane Goodall on Serving the Earth & How Women Can Address Climate Crisis | Democracy Now!

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/12/4/vandana_shiva_jane_goodall_on_serving

At the recent International Women’s Earth and Climate Initiative Summit, Jane Goodall and Vandana Shiva discuss their decades of work devoted to protecting nature and saving future generations from the dangers of climate change. A renowned primatologist, Goodall is best known for her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees and baboons. An environmental leader, feminist and thinker, Shiva is the author of many books, including “Making Peace with the Earth: Beyond Resource, Land and Food Wars” and “Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace.”

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to put off a debate on nuclear power that we had planned today to turn to two remarkable women, Jane Goodall and Vandana Shiva. I had the opportunity to sit down with them recently. It was right before the U.N. climate summit that took place in Poland, but we were in Suffern, New York, at the International Women’s Earth and Climate Initiative Summit. Jane Goodall, renowned primatologist, best known for her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees and baboons; Vandana Shiva, an environmental leader, feminist and thinker from India, author of many books, including Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace and Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development. I began by, well, going back to the beginning, with each of these remarkable women, and asking Vandana Shiva, who had just flown in from India, to talk about where she was born.

…(read 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
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV