Daily Archives: March 25, 2017

Bill McKibben: Citizens Must Hold Government Accountable on Climate

Polar bear on an ice float. (photo: National Geographic)

 By Bill McKibben, The Boston Globe,  25 March 17

few things that happened this week: one set of researchers announced that February was the planet’s fourth-warmest month on record, which is especially bad news since the El Niño that produced last year’s record-breaking heat is over and we’re supposed to be cooling a little. Another group of scientists published data showing that, for the third year in a row, Arctic ice has set a new record winter low. Still other statisticians showed that, to date, this has been by far the worst wildfire season on record in the United States — two million acres burned against an average of 200,000. In Peru, last fall’s record drought has given way to record flooding, with dozens dead and 100,000 homes damaged. In Namibia, the worst flooding in history . . . I could go on.

Someone should do something. But that someone clearly isn’t going to be the federal government. Instead, President Trump’s appointees spent the week dismantling 40 years’ worth of environmental laws and regulations. In the past few days, we’ve learned that they plan to ditch Obama-era laws that would increase gas mileage for cars and shut down old coal-fired power plants. A new analysis shows that if such plans are carried out, it will be impossible for the United States to meet the targets it pledged to hit in the Paris climate accords — we’d break our promise by a billion tons of carbon. One way of dealing with those unpleasant truths is to stop paying attention. A spokesman for the White House said last week that the federal government was no longer going to “waste money” on climate research. Money to maintain even existing climate satellites is disappearing. NASA has been told to stop worrying about our home planet and focus on Mars.

So who’s going to stand up? The answer, for the moment, is states and cities. On Wednesday, the governors of the West Coast states and the mayors of most of its big cities put out a stirring joint message: “We speak as a region of over 50 million people with a combined GDP of $2.8 trillion. There is no question that to act on climate is to act in our best economic interests. Through expanded climate policies, we have grown jobs and expanded our economies while cleaning our air.” They would, the officials promised, keep at it. They added that they hoped other local and regional leaders would “join us in leading and re-affirming our commitment to cut carbon emissions and reverse the damaging impacts to our communities of unfettered pollution.”

This is not just a national effort — California Governor Jerry Brown has been helping spearhead the Under2 coalition, joining together “subnational units” from around the planet working to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050. (Massachusetts is a signatory.) And state officials are doing their best to keep the fossil fuel industry honest, even as Washington effectively ends any real oversight. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, for instance, has bravely joined her New York counterpart, Eric Schneiderman, to investigate Exxon’s outsize role in fostering the climate denial now in power in Washington. States and cities may be able to keep some of the clean energy momentum rolling. But they can’t do it by themselves, at least, not for long. Reuters recently reported on the growing number of national governments trying to rein in mayors and governors who push “too fast” on climate pollution — from Norway to Australia, conservative governments are now trying to rein in progressive big-city mayors.

Which means that the rest of us need to add our weight to the political balance. Upset by EPA chief Scott Pruitt and his assertion that carbon dioxide isn’t driving global warming? Scared by Trump’s insistence that climate change is a Chinese hoax? Inspired by the plucky local officials determined to try and keep the fight alive? Then show up in Washington on April 29, for the next great mobilization of the cresting resistance. More than 100,000 people have already RSVP’d for the People’s Climate March — it’s our chance to say we won’t stand silently by as the planet melts.

US scientists launch world’s biggest solar geoengineering study | Environment | The Guardian

Scientists say the planet could be covered with a solar shield for as little as $10bn a year. Photograph: ISS/Nasa

Arthur Neslen

Friday 24 March 2017 08.39 EDT

Research programme will send aerosol injections into the earth’s upper atmosphere to study the risks and benefits of a future solar tech-fix for climate change

US scientists are set to send aerosol injections 20km up into the earth’s stratosphere in the world’s biggest solar geoengineering programme to date, to study the potential of a future tech-fix for global warming.

The $20m (£16m) Harvard University project will launch within weeks and aims to establish whether the technology can safely simulate the atmospheric cooling effects of a volcanic eruption, if a last ditch bid to halt climate change is one day needed.

Scientists hope to complete two small-scale dispersals of first water and then calcium carbonate particles by 2022. Future tests could involve seeding the sky with aluminium oxide – or even diamonds.

Is geoengineering a bad idea?

“This is not the first or the only university study,” said Gernot Wagner, the project’s co-founder, “but it is most certainly the largest, and the most comprehensive.”

Janos Pasztor, Ban Ki-moon’s assistant climate chief at the UN who now leads a geoengineering governance initiative, said that the Harvard scientists would only disperse minimal amounts of compounds in their tests, under strict university controls.

“The real issue here is something much more challenging,” he said “What does moving experimentation from the lab into the atmosphere mean for the overall path towards eventual deployment?”

…(read more).

See also:


See further elaboration of David Keith’s ideas for geoengineering, especially:

UN raises $90 million to tackle devastating drought

Trump Administration Looking at New Nuclear Posture

The United Nations is to begin negotiations Monday on a legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons. This comes as the United States begins a review of the role its nuclear weapons should now play. VOA White House Bureau Chief Correspondent Steve Herman reports.
Originally published at – http://www.voanews.com/a/trump-admini…


Michael Shermer – The Moral Arc: How Science & Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice & Freedom

1.4 Acre Urban Public Park Grows Healthy Food & Empowers Community

Published on Mar 25, 2017

John from http://www.growingyourgreens.com/ visits a 1.4 Acre Urban Farm Park in West Oakland, California that is a publically operated park complete with kids area but also a community garden, and production farm that grows food for the local community.

In this episode, you will learn more about city slickers farms, a nonprofit organization that operates this privately owned, publically operated farm park. You will get a tour of all the major aspects of the park including the different areas and learn how they are making the best use of their space to grow food.

Next, you will discover why this community garden is one of the best maintained, and best growing that John has ever visited.

Next, you will learn about many different areas of the City Slickers farms, and how they are being more sustainable on their land by catching water and producing their own compost.

You will then learn how City Slickers Farms improved the well-being of their chickens by using observation and the resources they provided without being harvested for the meat.

John will then take you on a mini-tour of the farm sharing with you some of the easiest vegetables to grow in the bay area as well as some helpful gardening tips along the way.

John will then share the #1 vegetable that you must grow that grows like a tree and will provide you with leafy greens to eat 365 days a year!

Finally, John will interview the executive director, Rodney Spencer of City Slicker Farms to learn more about the farm and how it operates.

0:34:11 Start of Interview
0:34:37 What is the mission of city slickers farms?
0:36:46 How are you able to Build a Raised Bed Garden for people at No Cost?
0:42:21 How does the farm make money if you’re selling food at a loss?
0:48:30 Who are some of your sponsors that have made this possible?
0:52:20 How did the City, County, and State Government make this farm possible?
0:57:33 How can someone start a public farm park without money?
1:02:56 What is the best tip you would like to share with my viewers?
1:07:20 How can someone learn more about the farm and volunteer?

After watching this episode, you will be empowered to grow and teach the power of healthy food to others, and maybe even be motived to start your own non-profit farm to help feed your local community.

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Recommended Videos:
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CMG Architecture


The Plan To Spray The Skies | Spraying Event Announced

Published on Mar 25, 2017

Major spraying event: https://www.theguardian.com/environme…

See also:


See further statements about Professor David Keith’s approach to geoengineering, especially:

Defending the Climate in the Age of Trump

Published on Mar 25, 2017

Centre for Sustainable Economy’s Ted Gleichman says we need to see the fossil fuel industry as a rogue industry that can no longer be considered just another normal part of the economy

South Sudan faces famine, potential genocide in civil war

The country of South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in 2011, but two years later, this new nation of 11 million people became embroiled in civil war. The conflict has led to a man-made famine, accusations of mass rape and ethnic cleansing, and a massive refugee crisis. NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Simona Foltyn went to South Sudan to report on the growing humanitarian crisis.


None of Trump’s Supreme Court Picks Should be Confirmed Until Trump Comes Clean

Inequality Media

Published on Mar 24, 2017

None of Trump’s Supreme Court Picks Should be Confirmed Until Trump Comes Clean