Daily Archives: August 18, 2015

Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: August 30-31, 2015

The Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience, or GLACIER, will highlight international and domestic priorities in the Arctic. The Department of State will host GLACIER in Anchorage, Alaska on August 31st. At the direction of the U.S. Arctic Executive Steering Committee, the Department of State is developing the agenda for GLACIER in close coordination with the White House, and Departments and Agencies of the United States Government with Arctic responsibilities.

This global leadership focus on the Arctic is intended to generate momentum and expedite progress in addressing some of the most pressing issues facing the region. This conference will bring together Foreign Ministers of Arctic nations and key non-Arctic states with scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders from Alaska and the Arctic. Representatives of Arctic indigenous peoples will be invited to attend and encouraged to participate. GLACIER will discuss individual and collective action to address climate change in the Arctic; raise the visibility of climate impacts in the Arctic as a harbinger for the world, and the Arctic’s unique role in global climate change; identify ways that Arctic innovators are responding to these critical challenges; and share opportunities to prepare and respond to other issues in the changing Arctic.

GLACIER will take place during the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, but is not an Arctic Council sponsored event. GLACIER is also not directly related to the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (otherwise known as COP-21) taking place in late 2015. This conference will, however, help to focus attention on the challenges and opportunities that the Arctic Council intends to address and highlight how a region vulnerable to climate change is experiencing and responding to these impacts, helping to drive political will for ambitious action at COP-21.

The full-day event will begin with an opening plenary session, after which attendees may participate in one of three tracks. Foreign Ministers will participate in sessions focused on changes in the Arctic and global implications of those changes, climate resilience and adaptation planning, and strengthening coordination on Arctic issues. Occurring in parallel will be panel discussions between international and domestic policymakers, scientists, NGOs, and industry representatives, as well as representatives of Arctic indigenous peoples and Alaskans. These sessions will address topics such as climate change in the Arctic and beyond, strengthening emergency response, preventing unregulated Arctic high seas fisheries, renewable energy, science cooperation, and household innovations that promote economic efficiency and community health. A plenary session will conclude the conference and a “Chair’s Summary” will capture the outcomes of this important event.

Participation at GLACIER is currently by invitation only. Should additional seats become available, the State Department will implement an online registration process for interested attendees that will be announced on this site.

For additional information please email GLACIER.

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Rising Seas Summit – Presented by the Association of Climate Change Officers

The 3rd annual Rising Seas Summit brings professionals together to highlight the interrelationships between sea level rise, climate change and extreme events. Last year’s marquee event, held during Climate Week New York, was attended by nearly 300 professionals across sectors.

As the recent findings related to the Antarctic ice shelves cast clearer light on rates of sea level rise, the coastal ecosystems and inland water systems are at even greater risk, and the recent catastrophic impacts from hurricanes and typhoons have made the need to plan for adaptation a clear and present necessity.

These emerging and increasing environmental challenges require that stakeholders share knowledge and work together to reduce and mitigate environmental, economic and social degradation induced by climate change.

2015 Program Highlights

  • 4 plenary sessions featuring elected officials, Federal agency leaders, recognized thought leaders and scientific experts
  • 12 breakout panel discussions examining best practices on modeling and planning for sea level rise, providing case studies from existing efforts, quantifying the term economic implications of sea level rise, making sound investments, planning for more frequent and significant extreme events
  • 4 CCOTM training bootcamps on leveraging climate data and tools, stakeholder engagement and organizational change strategies, adaptation planning, and assessing/disclosing climate risk
  • Off-site tours (to be announced) of adaptation and resilience project sites
  • Metcalf Institute workshop for environmental journalists
  • Innovative Tools and Planning Methodologies Showcase and Poster Session feature presentations from technical experts in the public and private sectors
  • Poster session
  • Women’s Climate Collaborative speed mentoring event
  • CCO Roundtable networking lunch in which senior officials and experts from across sectors share their experience and wisdom with attendees

Rising Seas Summit Steering Committee

The 2015 steering committee has been announced:

  • Frank Ayotte – Regional Leader, Conveyance and CSO, Hazen and Sawyer
  • Pinar Balci – Director, Bureau of Environmental Planning and Analysis, New York City Department of Environmental Protection
  • John Bolduc – Environmental Planner, Cambridge Community Development Department
  • Dennis Carlberg – Sustainability Director, Boston University
  • John Englander – Author, High Tide on Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis
  • Ira Feldman – President & Senior Counsel, Greentrack Strategies
  • Joan Fitzgerald – Director, Law, Policy and Society Program, Northeastern University
  • Tim Grandia – Program Director, Sea Level Rise, Climate Central
  • Lara Hansen – Chief Scientist and Executive Director, EcoAdapt
  • Anthony Janetos – Director and Professor of Earth and Environment, Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, Boston University
  • Archie Kasnet – Vice President, Sustainability, Altenex LLC
  • Daniel Kreeger – Executive Director, Association of Climate Change Officers
  • Robbin Peach – Program Manager of Resiliency, MassPort
  • Cammy Peterson – Clean Energy Manager, Metropolitan Area Planning Council
  • Bud Ris – Senior Advisor, Barr Foundation and Boston Green Ribbon Commission
  • Carl Spector – Director of Climate and Environmental Planning, City of Boston
  • Erika Spanger-Siegfried – Senior Analyst, Climate and Energy Program, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Ed Thomas – President, National Hazard Mitigation Association
  • Ray Toll – Navy NOAA Liaison, Old Dominion University
  • Susanne Torriente – Assistant City Manager, City of Fort Lauderdale
  • Catherine Williams – Senior Director for Marketing and Communications, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

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Companies the NSA Found “Extremely Willing” To Spy On Americans


The Big Picture RT

Published on Aug 18, 2015

Mark Klein, Wiring Up The Big Brother Machine…And Fighting It joins Thom. You blew the whistle on the fact that AT&T was routing traffic through a NSA-controlled room in San Francisco – and that made it so the EFF could sue AT&T. Tell us a little about what you discovered and why you came forward?

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Why Build A Nuclear Power Plant Near A Volcano?


The Big Picture RT

Published on Aug 18, 2015

Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear, joins Thom. Japan put a nuclear reactor online last week for the first time since the Fukushima disaster in 2011. But less than a week later – a new subterranean danger is threatening the island’s nuclear facilities – and its citizens.

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Nuclear

I Sea Change Youth Action Island Summit with Jack Johnson


UNEP

Published on Aug 18, 2015  from The Island School

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NASA | What Are The Chances Of Another Katrina?


NASA Goddard

Published on May 13, 2015

For more information: http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/n…

The U.S. hasn’t experienced the landfall of a Category 3 hurricane or larger since 2005, when Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma all hit the U.S. coast. According to a new NASA study, a string of nine years without a major hurricane landfall in the U.S. is Iikely to come along only once every 177 years.

The current nine-year “drought” is the longest period of time that has passed without a major hurricane making landfall in the U.S. since reliable records began in 1850, said Timothy Hall, a research scientist who studies hurricanes at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York.

The National Hurricane Center calls any Category 3 or more intense hurricane a “major” storm. Hall and colleague Kelly Hereid, who works for ACE Tempest Re, a reinsurance firm based in Connecticut, ran a statistical hurricane model based on a record of Atlantic tropical cyclones from 1950 to 2012 and sea surface temperature data.

The researchers ran 1,000 computer simulations of the period from 1950-2012 – in effect simulating 63,000 separate Atlantic hurricane seasons. They found that a nine-year period without a major landfall is likely to occur once every 177 years on average.

While the study did not delve into the meteorological causes behind this lack of major hurricane landfalls, Hall said it appears it is a result of luck.

Research: The frequency and duration of U.S. hurricane droughts
Journal: Geophysical Research Letters, May 5, 2015
Link to paper: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/d…

This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/deta…

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NASA | Lakes On A Glacier


NASA Goddard

Published on Aug 18, 2015

How deep is that icy blue water on Greenland’s ice sheet? Dr. Allen Pope, of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, is using data from the NASA/USGS Landsat 8 satellite to find out. In this video, Dr. Pope shares what he sees when he looks at a Landsat image of the Greenland ice sheet just south of the Jakobshavn Glacier.

Because the lakes are darker than the ice around them, they absorb more energy from the sun. A little bit of melt concentrates in one place, and then melts more, establishing a feedback mechanism accelerating the growth of the lake. When the lakes get big enough they can force open fractures that then drill all the way down to the bed of the glacier, transporting this water to the base where it can temporarily speed up the flow of the ice.

NASA and the U.S. Department of the Interior through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) jointly manage the Landsat program, and the USGS preserves a 40-plus-year archive of Landsat images that is freely available over the Internet.

http://www.nasa.gov/landsat
http://landsat.usgs.gov

This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11973

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A Big Week In Energy For The Obama Administration

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

On May 6, 2015, two ships sit moored at Seattle’s Terminal 5, including the Shell support vessel Aiviq, where Royal Dutch Shell wants to park two massive Arctic oil drilling rigs. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

There is mixed news this week for environmentalists and oil and gas companies. Yesterday, the Obama administration granted Royal Dutch Shell a long-sought victory with a permit to drill in the Arctic Ocean. Then today, the Obama administration is expected to give a win to environmentalists with new restrictions on methane emissions – part of a broader effort to slow climate change.

Guest

Phil Flynn, energy market analyst at Price Futures Group.

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Snowden Documents Reveal AT&T’s “Extreme Willingness to Help” NSA Domestic Spy Program


Democracy Now!

Published on Aug 18, 2015

http://democracynow.org – Documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have exposed how extensively the NSA relied on telecommunications giant AT&T for its vast spying operations. Records described by The New York Times and ProPublica laud AT&T’s “extreme willingness to help” the NSA’s spying efforts. According to the piece, the company supplied access to billions of emails flowing across its domestic networks and technical aid in carrying out a secret order allowing the wiretapping of all Internet communications at the headquarters of the United Nations — an AT&T customer. In 2013, the NSA’s top-secret budget for its partnership with AT&T was reportedly more than twice that of the next largest such program.

and:

Meet the Whistleblower Who Exposed the Secret Room AT&T Used to Help the NSA Spy on the Internet

Democracy Now!

Published on Aug 18, 2015

http://democracynow.org – As documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden expose how AT&T aided the NSA’s vast spying operations, we speak to former AT&T technician Mark Klein, who worked at the company for 22 years. In 2006, he blew the whistle on AT&T’s cooperation with the National Security Agency by leaking internal documents that revealed the company had set up a secret room in its San Francisco office to give the NSA access to its fiber-optic Internet cables.

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The President’s Hard Carbon Emissions Push | On Point

In this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H. President Barack Obama on Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, will unveil the final version of his unprecedented regulations clamping down on carbon dioxide emissions from existing U.S. power plants. (AP)

August 4, 2015 at 10:00 AM   With guest host John Donvan.

Tough new carbon restrictions. What the president is proposing, Germany’s already doing. Will the American people buy in?

He says he wants America in the lead on fighting climate change, so this week, President Obama announced new rules for power companies that will dramatically reshape the way the US makes electricity in just 15 years. In fact though, it’s Germany who leads the world here — already committed to have its electricity all wind and water-driven by the middle of the century. And Germany’s already started. With the public’s enthusiastic support. While here, debate still rages. So what makes Germany different? And what can we learn? This hour On Point, The President’s Clean Power Act and the debate for hearts and minds,

– John Donvan

Guests

David Unger, energy editor at the Christian Science Monitor. (@dungerdunger)

Alison Cassady, director of domestic energy policy at the Center for American Progress. Former senior staffer for US Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA). (@alcassady)

Oren Cass, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Former domestic policy director for Mitt Romney’s 2012 Presidential campaign. (@oren_cass)

Miranda Schreurs, director of the Environmental Policy Research Center at the Freie Universitat Berlin, where she is also a professor of comparative politics.

…(read more).

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