Daily Archives: August 15, 2018

U.N. Official: Trump’s Attacks on Press Are “Very Close to Incitement to Viole nce”

Aug 14, 2018

The outgoing United Nations human rights commissioner has criticized President Trump’s attacks on the media. Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said Trump’s description of the media as the “enemy of the people” is “very close to incitement to violence.” Meanwhile, more than 200 newspapers in the United States are planning to run editorials on Thursday to decry Trump’s attacks on the press.

Trump Signs $716 Billion Military Spending Bill; Includes $21 Billion for Nuke Program

Aug 14, 2018

President Trump has signed a record-setting $716 billion military spending bill. That’s a $82 billion increase over the current year. President Trump signed it during a visit to Fort Drum in New York.

President Trump: “We got $700 billion. And next year, already approved, we have $716 billion to give you the finest planes and ships and tanks and missiles anywhere on Earth. Nobody makes them like we do. And very, very far distant in this case. Jobs are very important in all cases, but in this case, military might is more important than even jobs.”

The bill includes over $21 billion for nuclear weapons programs, including $65 million for a new submarine-launched, low-yield nuclear weapon. The bill also allocates money for Trump’s proposed military parade. The official title of the defense spending bill is The John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. But President Trump made no reference to McCain, who has been a vocal critic of the administration, during his remarks. In 2016 Trump said of McCain, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

Big Oil and Climate Change | Counting the Cost (feature)

Al Jazeera English
Published on Aug 15, 2018
Though oil and gas companies have known about global climate change for decades, they’ve deferred reducing crude and gas production until the second half of this century. But with global climate accords like Paris global weather patterns in flux, activists have been demanding that energy companies set and commit to more rapid action on curbing oil and gas production.

New calls for action come amidst forecasts by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that, by 2014, demand for oil and gas could fall by almost 50% – but only if carbon emissions reduction targets are met.
With this threat to profits, many ask if big oil companies are serious about addressing global climate change

Oil majors like Royal Dutch Shell has acknowledged that climate change will be a major challenge for years to come, but Total and others are still expecting strong demand for fossil fuels over the next few decades – and Exxon Mobil is under investigation over financial disclosures for climate change.

Anthony Hobley, CEO for the financial think tank Carbon Tracker, told Counting the Cost that when it comes to profits and compliance with international carbon reduction agreements, big energy companies are sending mixed messages:

“I think they’ve been a bit schizophrenic. They are looking at climate risk and we’re now being deluged with disclosure and scenario analysis from the companies that are effectively stress testing their business models against a Paris compliant two degrees pathway. But then when they talk to investors they’re still talking up demand.”

The transition to a modified oil and gas market has begun, even as oil and gas companies continue to push production at current levels of demand:

“What we’re seeing is a range of disclosure that tells us that every single oil and gas company is a winner,” Hobley told Counting the Cost’s Hazem Sika, “but that simply can’t be possible. Some of them may well do well in the transition, but not all of them – so there will be winners and losers. And at the moment it’s very difficult to discern who the winners will be and who the losers will be.”

Calls to limit oil and natural gas emissions could force energy companies to keep oil, natural gas and coal reserves in the ground. International asset managers Sarasin & Partners have asked BP, Shell and Total to reveal the risk they face if they meet carbon emission targets. Shareholders are also increasingly concerned about the medium and long-term viability of their investments – especially with the emergence of competing energy sources like wind and solar.

“Fossil fuels is no longer the only game in town, they’re now having to compete with new kids on the block, which is clean energy,” Anthony Hobley said. “And as clean energy goes up the learning curve, and is now essentially part of the ‘s’ curve, we’re seeing dramatic drops in price for solar, wind, batteries and electric vehicles, and that is eating into demand for the incumbent’s product – oil, gas and coal – combined also with dramatic steps forward in energy efficiency which while global energy demand is growing, is being offset dramatically by advances in energy efficiency.”

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Counting The Cost | Business and economy stories that matter
Al Jazeera English

Website – http://aljazeera.com/countingthecost/  or  https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/countingthecost/

When The Wind Blows: Predicting How Hurricanes Change With Climate

Published on Jun 20, 2018

The 2017 hurricane season was the most expensive on record for the United States, inflicting a staggering $268 billion in damage. Areas of Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico are still rebuilding after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria made landfall last summer. The occurance of three devastating hurricanes in a single season highlights the importance of research on the relationship between climate change and the strength of hurricanes. Now that that 2018 hurricane season has begun, scientists are working to predict what’s in store for this year and for years to come as sea surface temperature continues to rise. In this talk, Sydney Sroka, Tom Beucler, and Jonathan Lin, three graduate students studying various aspects of hurricane predictability and atmospheric physics at MIT, describe how hurricanes intensify, the state-of-the-art technology of hurricane prediction, and the way climate change is expected to influence hurricanes.


Climate Boston

&  WGBH Forum – Considering Climate Change

Climate Fwd: Newsletter – The New York Times

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New York Times Newsletter on Climate Change.

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This week: Germany’s moment of reckoning

See sample of Climate FWD Newsletter

See Climate & Environment Section of the New York Times

Can we stop climate change by removing CO2 from the air? | Tim Kruger

Published on Nov 21, 2017

Could we cure climate change? Geoengineering researcher Tim Kruger wants to try. He shares one promising possibility: using natural gas to generate electricity in a way that takes carbon dioxide out of the air. Learn more — both the potential and the risks — about this controversial field that seeks creative, deliberate and large-scale intervention to stop the already catastrophic consequences of our warming planet.

The Last Time the Globe Warmed

PBS Eons
Published on Dec 4, 2017

Try CuriosityStream today: http://curiositystream.com/eons Imagine an enormous, lush rainforest teeming with life…in the Arctic. Well there was a time — and not too long ago — when the world warmed more than any human has ever seen. (So far) Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: http://youtube.com/pbsdigitalstudios Special thanks to Nobumichi Tamura for allowing us to use his work: http://spinops.blogspot.com/

Science Bulletins: PETM – Unearthing Ancient Climate Change

American Museum of Natural History

Published on Feb 21, 2013

Fifty-five million years ago, a sudden, enormous influx of carbon flooded the ocean and atmosphere for reasons that are still unclear to scientists. What is clear is that as atmospheric CO2 content increased, the average global surface temperature rose 5°C to 9°C (9°F to 16°F). The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), as this global warming event is known, lasted upwards of 170,000 years and had dramatic impacts on living things both on land and in oceans. In this feature, a team of paleontologists, paleobotanists, soil scientists, and other researchers take to the field in Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin to document how the climate, plants, and animals there changed during the PETM. Their work will help predict how our current global warming event could affect life on Earth.

Florida’s southwest coast hit by toxic ‘red tide’

CGTN America
Published on Aug 15, 2018

Breakfast With a Dose of Roundup? | Children’s Health Initiative | EWG

Weed Killer in $289 Million Cancer Verdict Found in Oat Cereal and Granola Bars


By Alexis Temkin, Ph.D., Toxicologist

Popular oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars come with a hefty dose of the weed-killing poison in Roundup, according to independent laboratory tests commissioned by EWG.

Glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer by California state scientists and the World Health Organization, was found in all but two of 45 samples of products made with conventionally grown oats. Almost three-fourths of those samples had glyphosate levels higher than what EWG scientists consider protective of children’s health with an adequate margin of safety. About one-third of 16 samples made with organically grown oats also had glyphosate, all at levels well below EWG’s health benchmark.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the Monsanto weed killer that is the most heavily used pesticide in the U.S. Last week, a California jury ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a man dying of cancer, which he says was caused by his repeated exposure to large quantities of Roundup and other glyphosate-based weed killers while working as a school groundskeeper.

…(read more).