Daily Archives: July 31, 2018

Sustainable Agriculture – According to Monsanto

Monsanto Company
Published on Jul 31, 2018

How climate change makes the Carr Fire more likely

Climate State
Published on Jul 31, 2018

Several specific conditions are feeding the Carr fire. Afternoon temperatures have peaked in the triple digits around Redding, Calif., since early last week. On Wednesday, the high was 107 degrees. At the same time, winds that were persistent but manageable earlier in the day picked up, gusting to 21 mph. The dew point — a measure of how much moisture is in the air — dropped precipitously through Thursday afternoon until humidity was 10 percent as the temperature reached 110 degrees.

On top of that, the soil in Northern California is exceptionally dry. A hotter-than-average summer and a very dry winter have led to tinder-dry vegetation. When it ends Tuesday, this month will become Redding’s hottest July on record, with an average temperature of 86.7 degrees. The energy release component, or how much fuel is available for the fire, is at the highest it has been around Redding since at least 1979. https://goo.gl/VG9mGj

Beheading Dragons: Streamlining China’s Environmental Governance

Published on Jul 16, 2018

In March, China’s National People’s Congress passed sweeping reforms to streamline environmental governance in order to more rapidly mitigate China’s crushing air, water, and soil pollution. Natural resource and pollution regulation have long been fragmented and managed by overlapping bureaucracies in China, leading to infighting and buck passing. The Chinese idiom “nine dragons rule the waters” (jiu long zhi shui) aptly captures how nine different government agencies have competed to regulate water. Under today’s reforms, China’s lead environmental watchdog—newly renamed Ministry of Ecological Environment (MEE)—will share water regulation with the Ministry of Water Resources, decreasing nine dragons to two. Another major dragon-slaying reform was to grant most regulatory power over climate change to MEE, a move that will require this newly reconfigured agency to become significantly more powerful than its earlier incarnation.

On July 12, CEF has invited three speakers to unpack the drivers and impacts of this major reform in China. Liu Zhuoshi (Environmental Law Institute) will detail how legal and regulatory authorities around pollution and climate issues are changing. He will also reflect on hurdles Chinese government faces to expand these reforms at the subnational level. Hu Tao (WWF – U.S.) will explore how the new MEE could act more holistically to manage complex pollution issues, like a better coordination on the joint management of air pollution and carbon emission regulations. Liu Shuang (Energy Foundation China) will reflect on the implication of China’s recent governance reforms on efforts to create a national carbon emissions trading systems and what other policies and institutional changes are needed to make it succeed.

Whats New in EndNote X9

Published on Jul 31, 2018

An overview of the new features in EndNote X9

England Wikileaks founder free on bail

The Ring of Fire   Published on Jul 31, 2018


Yanis Varoufakis on Brexit: ‘How can these smart people be so deluded’ – BBC Newsnight

Reinventing Islands

Islands innovate to thrive in a high-stress world

By Megan Rowling July 23, 2018

When the Caribbean island of Barbuda was battered by Hurricane Irma last September, about 90 percent of homes were destroyed or damaged, and the entire population had to be evacuated.

Since the school year ended last month, the pace of families returning from neighbouring Antigua – where many lodged with relatives or in state-run centres – has picked up, even though reconstruction is unfinished, the Red Cross said.

Almost half of Barbuda’s roughly 1,800 people have gone back, as the cash-strapped, twin-island nation works on ways to protect people from future disasters while waiting for promised aid funds to rebuild homes – which could take years.

“It’s going to be a long and painful process,” Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“We just have to rely mostly on our resources, and to find creative ways to generate income to continue the recovery efforts.”

In the face of serious and growing threats, experts detect a sea change in many of the world’s 57 small island states and other remote island economies that share development challenges.

They are finding innovative alternatives to lurching from one crisis to the next – whether the problem is extreme weather, mass tourism, plastic waste, water shortages or migration.

Barbuda, aware it will take time to get back on its feet even as this year’s hurricane season began in June, aims to stay safer in future – like many of its Caribbean neighbours.

Brennan Banks, Red Cross operations manager for the Irma response, said the aid agency plans to build a new office on Barbuda that can double up as an emergency shelter.

It is also offering free first-aid training to locals and fixing up rainwater-collection systems, while working with the government to improve early warning on the two islands.

Such solutions – often developed at least partly with islands themselves – are already improving lives, and protecting communities and environments on a small scale.

But their fledging efforts need far more funding to make a difference – and lessons learned in these living laboratories must be shared widely, say officials and resilience experts.

…(read more).

Climate experts now cite global warming during extreme weather disasters



“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” Rahm Emanuel, former President Barack Obama’s first chief of staff, once said.

The spirit of the now-mayor of Chicago’s words live today among climate change researchers and activists, who are using a string of emergencies around the globe to draw attention to human-driven global warming.

With deadly wildfires scorching Greece and California, drought throwing Capetown, South Africa, into a water crisis and deadly heat searing Japan, just days after flooding killed 150, the signs of an over-stressed planet seem everywhere.

For many who study such calamities, the moment cries out for an explanation and offers an opportunity.

“Obviously, the first order of business in extreme events like these is protecting public safety and coping with the tragedy,” said Ben Strauss, CEO of Climate Central, a Princeton, New Jersey-based non-profit that helps educate the public about global warming. “But it’s also important to understand why these things are happening and why we can expect more and more of them. And the reason is climate change.”

Experts previously have been hesitant to attribute specific extreme weather events, or wildfires, to climate change. But there is now a developing consensus that scientists can be more precise and forceful in connecting some extreme weather events to a warming planet.

A feature article in the journal Nature Monday suggested that “attribution” research is allowing scientists to connect more weather anomalies — particularly heat waves, droughts and wildfires — to global warming. The article said that scientists had completed “attribution” studies on 190 extreme weather events between 2004 and the middle of 2018. In about two thirds of those cases, the researchers concluded the events had been made more likely, or more severe, because of humanity’s role in warming the Earth.

…(read more).