Atmospheric Concentration of Co2 Tops 400 ppm for Longest Period on Record
The global level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has topped 400 parts per million for the longest time in recorded history. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the grim milestone was reached on average for the entire month of March. The 400 parts per million threshold has been an important marker in U.N. climate change negotiations, widely recognized as a dangerous level that could drastically worsen human-caused global warming. The environmentalist group 350.org takes it name after the 350 parts per million threshold that scientists say is the maximum atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide for a safe planet.
House Panel Votes to Slash Funding for Climate Science
The news comes as the Republican-controlled House Science Committee has voted to cut over $320 million in funding for the study of climate change. The money would come out of the budget for NASA’s earth science research.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on his weekly program, Brunch with Bernie, says the Republican budget would take away health care for 27 million Americans, impose huge cuts in Pell Grants and nutrition programs, while giving the top 2/10 of 1 percent a huge tax break.
Thom Hartmann says while President Obama travelled to Oregon to talk up the Trans-Pacific Partnership at Nike Headquarters, The New Balance athletic shoe company says it would have to lay off numerous workers at it’s factory in Maine due to increased foreign competition because of TPP.
James Hansen, a former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies who was one of the first scientists to raise concerns about global climate change, spoke at MIT Tuesday in the biennial David J. Rose Lecture, sponsored by the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE).
Richard Lester, the Japan Steel Industry Professor at MIT and department head of NSE, said in introductory remarks that Hansen “may well be the world’s best-known climate scientist.” Hansen came to prominence in the late 1980s, when he first testified before Congress about the perils of accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere — testimony that “had a galvanizing effect,” Lester said.
“I think it’s really important that young people understand the situation that we older people are leaving them with,” said Hansen, currently an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. “It’s going to be extraordinarily difficult to deal with … and I’ve become frustrated with governments that don’t recognize their responsibilities to future generations.”
We are working to halt the global march toward catastrophic climate change via a strategy that leads as rapidly as possible to a near-universal carbon fee on fossil fuels.
Geophysical scientists presumed that as the reality of human-caused climate change became apparent, governments would be influenced to affect energy policies so as to mitigate long-term climate change. Reality is proving to be quite different. The science of climate change has become clearer during the past several years, revealing that continued “business-as-usual” burning of fossil fuels will result in certain large-scale climate change this century and beyond.
Yet governments are allowing and even encouraging, often with direct or indirect subsidies, a dash for ever more fossil fuels, including some of the most carbon intensive fuels, such as tar sands and tar shale, with mining activity in places and with methods that cause local and global pollution. The science is clear enough to the relevant scientific community: we cannot go down that path without guaranteeing that we leave youth and coming generations a more desolate planet, with continuing, growing repercussions.
Brendan Fischer, Center for Media and Democracy / ALECexposed joins Thom Hartmann. So – are we finally witnessing the beginning of the great Republican revolt against the Koch brothers? And if so – how will that impact the fight to take money out of politics?
Connecticut NOFA: Monday, May 4, 2015
By Bill Duesing
Little is more emblematic of our culture’s dysfunctional relationship with Earth than our relationship with the dandelion. We spread cancer-causing, chemical toxins around our homes and public places to kill plants that produce healthy and delicious dark green leaves (and may also help cure cancer). Check on pesticide toxicities here. Meanwhile we eat store-bought dark green leaves (which are mostly water), packaged in plastic and grown 3,000 miles away in a state in its fourth year of serious drought.
I really enjoy snacking on dandelion leaves when I’m working in the garden. Dandelions were the last food I harvested outside in January before the snow buried everything and the first green leaves we ate this spring. Besides garden snacks, we’ve used these vitamin-rich greens in salads and stir fries for at least a month now.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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