Climate Change This Week: A Climate Treaty, Declining Water Supplies, and More!

Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded.

Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

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When American forests disappear, so do their valuable and fascinating biodiversity, like this hickory horned devil. Source www.buzzle.com

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.

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Coal's Inroads Into Our National Legacy - mutilate our forests with roads and giant denuded landscapes to mine coal, destroying valuable carbon storage, habitat and biodiversity. Source earthjustice.org

OO Coal's Toll on Colorado's Forests

Related Headlines:

@@ The Link Between Climate Change And Terrorism

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OO Deforestation Decreasing Native African Fruit Trees - of traditional importance, and could lead to their ultimate disappearance.

OO 10 African Nations Aim To Restore 100 Million Hectares Of Land By 2030 currently degraded and/or deforested, to become productive again... but as carbon-storing forest? That takes a century or more.

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@@ Drought, Water, War, and Climate Change

OO Bhutan: Forest Conservation Help Make It Most Carbon Negative Country - its forests absorb three times more CO2 emissions than its population create.

OO Heroic Stories From The Frontlines Of Climate Change:
Bun Saluth, Guardian Of The Cambodian Forest
- Around the planet individuals have been working on the front lines of climate change for years.

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HISTORIC CLIMATE TREATY SIGNED

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OO Barack Obama on Approval of Paris Climate Deal: 'This Is Huge'

OO Paris Accord Is A Big Win For Obama, Even As Climate Dangers Still Loom

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Source cleantechnica.com

OO Two Cheers for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change - Takeaways:

  • it has the potential to mark a shift in negotiating cooperation on climate change via an encouraging mechanism: legally binding all nations to create emission cutting plans & report progress every 5 years
  • it meets the modest goals of the meeting
  • it encouraged businesses to increase engagement in finding positive solutions

  • there are no consequences for nations failing to take action

  • an aspirational goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 Celsius is not connected to any realistic means of achieving it: formal daydreaming
  • it is inadequate to ensure the dramatic cuts in climate change pollution needed to avert catastrophic climate change
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    Source deadline.com

    OO China, US Relationship Key In Climate Agreement - China, once a laggard, emerged as a key player in the battle to help avert the worst effects of global warming.

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    SOBERING INSIGHTS

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    The Consumer, and The Consumed: The relatively rich tourist consumes far more than the indigenous Peruvian, causing far more of the climate-changing emissions that are melting Andean glaciers and making life increasingly difficult for that Peruvian and her fellow Andeans. Source Contiki Holidays

    OO World's Richest 10% Produce 50% Of Global Carbon Emissions, says Oxfam, while the poorest half of world's people contribute to just 10% of emissions.

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    It's Much Easier To Doubt rather than absorb the reality of climate change, especially if your ideology primes you to do so. Credit Horsey at the Los Angeles Times

    OO Much Easier to Sow Doubt Than Information on Climate Change - finds a messaging study.

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    2015-12-15-1450210380-2381733-sustainableagriculturefarmingSourcesustainableaged.orgccr306.jpg
    Land Is Going, Going... The world has lost a third of its arable land due to erosion or pollution in the past 40 years, which, combined with climate change, creates potentially disastrous consequences as global demand for food soars, scientists have warned.

    OO Earth Has Lost A Third Of Arable Land In Past 40 Years, scientists say... as humans have increased by 2.5 billion.

    Related Headlines:

    OO To Feed The World In 2050 Will Require A Global Revolution The forms of governance needed to more equitably distribute resources become ever more difficult to sustain on a crowded and degraded planet. FD: I sleep with one of the study authors.

    OO Australia: Good Southern Crop Land Decreasing As Heat Limit Creeps South - remember, the cooler lands are in the south in the DownUnder country.

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    Water Is Going, Going...

    OO Humans Are Using Up Far More Of Earth's Water Than Previously Thought shows alarming research.

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    Wealthy Nations Subsidize Pollution 40x More Than Clean Air by subsidizing the fossil fuels that cause pollution 40 times more than renewable clean energy. Credit Jason Lee at Reuters

    OO Rich Nations' Fossil Fuel Subsidies Exceed Climate Aid 40 To 1: say researchers.

    OO Experts Cite Looming Risk From Industrial Coolants, Methane which is a far more potent climate changing gas than carbon dioxide.


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    GOOD CLEAN NEWS

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    Climate Changed, And People Are Acting in myriad ways from a Green pope to forest guardians and switching to clean energy. Source www.takepart.com

    OO Climate Change(d) -Global warming is all too real for hundreds of millions of people. They're not waiting for their leaders to take action. Check out stories from all over showing how climate change is affecting us all--right now.

    OO US Surpasses 100MW of Storage Deployments Already in 2015, Best Year Ever - storage is crucial for increasing the use of renewable energy.

    OO California Added 11MW of Energy Storage in Batteries in 3 Months Recently - as the energy storage market grows.

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    2015-12-15-1450210616-5707222-solarpoweratGoogleplexsolarpowerwikimediacctw89.jpg
    The solar powered Googleplex headquarters in California. Wikimedia

    OO Google Almost Doubles Its Pledge on Renewable Energy

    OO New York Calls for 50% Renewables by 2030

    OO Engineering Firm Sees Climate Change Opportunity In US Cities

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    2015-12-15-1450210652-6550427-windfarmingermanynationwmostturbines460Sourcewww.telegraph.co.ukccr307.jpg
    Germany has the most wind turbines of any nation. Source www.telegraph.co.uk

    OO Germany Pays to Halt Danish Wind Power to Protect Own Output as it is now producing so much electricity that it pays to stop Danish production from overloading its network.

    OO Uruguay Makes Dramatic Shift to Nearly 95% Electricity From Clean Energy

    OO New Generation Wave Energy Could Provide One Third Of Australia's Electricity

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    NATURAL REPERCUSSIONS

    @@ Climate Change 101: Why Care? What You Need to Know - Bill Nye tells it all in five minutes amid graphic, dynamic, engaging, compelling imagery. Check it Out!

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    2015-12-15-1450210724-6205997-gaugesofclimatechangegraphicSourceTheWashingtonPostccr307.png
    Scientists Measure Climate Change through its various integrated effects.

    OO The Gauges of Climate Change graphic does not translate clearly when resized to 570 pixel width, so check out the full sized original here. Takeaways:

    • left gauges & column shows emissions by major contributors and the rest of the world

  • mid-left gauges show global average CO2, methane and oceanic acidity levels (top-bot)

  • mid right gauges show global average surface temperature change and ocean heat content
  • right gauges show how fast ice is melting; column shows increase in sea levels since 1991
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    OO What Difference Will Temperature Rises Really Make? Each two degrees F rise sees an incredible rise in people exposed to flooding, water stress, and heatwaves - and declines in food.

    OO Animals In Strange Places: Climate Change Allows Atlantic And Pacific Oceanic Life To Mix as the barriers between them break down in the warming Arctic ocean, resulting in animals ending up in strange places.

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    Source www.simonsgallery.com

    OO Rising Waters Prompt China's Sea Change On Climate Sea level rise threatens up to 85 million people who currently live on land that will either be flooded or at risk of inundation in the future, says a new study.

    OO Northern China Is Suffering Under A Cloud Of Heavy Pollution Bigger Than Spain

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    SPEAKING OUT

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    OO Pope: World Close To Suicide Over Climate Change

    OO USA: Ecology, Religion A Natural Mix For Some Evangelicals
    "The Bible has always been clear about the call to care for the world that God has created and to love our neighbors," says a national organizer for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action.

    OO Wind Energy Aligns With Conservative Values - America's renewable energy resources strengthen U.S. energy independence, transform local communities and will improve the lives of American families for generations to come.

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    OO Sanders Goes Even Bigger On Climate Change - his new platform envisions steeper long-term carbon cuts and tougher auto mileage rules than Obama has pledged.

    OO Coalition Of Business Leaders Challenges Govts To Set Strong Targets - the B Team, a coalition of high profile chief executives for climate action, said governments should aim for a stronger target than the agreed goal of 2C and aim for actions that would eventually limit warming to 1.5C.

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    2015-12-15-1450210878-2756323-chinaclimateartactivistNutBrotherWangRenzhengsmogintobricksCreditTomPhillipsattheUKGuardianccr307.jpg
    Smog Into Bricks: Beijing climate art activist Nut Brother Wang Renzheng vacuums up smog and turns it into bricks, to raise awareness about it. Credit Tom Phillips at the UK Guardian

    OO China: Climate Art Activist Turns Beijing's Smog Into Bricks - Nut Brother hopes his 'smog bricks' will raise awareness.

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    OO Paris Is Covered in Fake Ads That Mock the Climate Talks' Corporate Sponsors my favorite: VW saying "We're sorry we got caught." Same for Exxon, I imagine.

    OO Ex Energy Secretary Steven Chu: Carbon Price Is Better Than Regulations he told Obama as he left government, and is the best way to attack climate change.

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    @@ Climate Change Deniers' Anthem: A Koch Bros Parody - from the Funny or Die Team, released in conjunction with climatetruth.org. This could have used some splicing of real weather disasters in between all the singing, but it's a good sendup nonetheless.

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    CLUELESS LEADERSHIP

    OO Republicans' Climate Change Denial Denial - "if we are [doomed] you know who will be responsible: the Republican Party," writes Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman.

    OO GOP Congress Moves To Sabotage The Paris Climate Summit - with their message to other nations of "Don't trust the United States."

    OO US Conservatives Are Out Of Touch With The World

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    Expect even more climate change charged disasters with exploding costs, if the US does nothing.

    OO Climate Change Will Continue To Hurt America If We Do Nothing - it won't be long before more Americans - in Florida and across the south-east, for instance - will have to live with and confront climate change risks daily.

    OO Chris Christie: "Hell No," America Shouldn't Lead On Climate Change unlike what most Americans think, according to a recent poll.

    OO U.K. Becomes Only Major Economy to Increase Fossil-Fuel Subsidies

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    GOOD IDEAS

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    Heal Farming To Store Carbon in Soil by restricting plowing, planting cover crops that store nitrogen in the soil between regular crops, and avoiding synthetic fertilizers helps soil to absorb carbon. Source maumeeag.osu.edu

    OO Store Carbon In Soil - but soil damaged by poor farming practices must be healed first by better farming to do so.

    OO Cooling Panels Pull Heat from Buildings, Beam It Into Space via a specially coated mirror that both sucks up the heat and reflects it to space - check out this research abstract - especially the last line, which sounds like something right out of science fiction... fascinating!

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    OO Goldman Sachs: Investors Should Be Focused on 4 Technologies for Maximum Climate Impact - solar, wind, LEDs and electric cars for maximum climate impact.

    OO PG&E's Pay-for-Performance Pilot Is a Big Deal for Energy Efficiency - getting closer to making efficiency a resource that can be procured when needed.

    OO PG&E's 75MW Energy Storage Procurement to Test Flywheels, Zinc-Air Batteries

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    2015-12-15-1450211003-1143885-GermanParliamentenergyefficientbldgcredwolfgangstaudtatWikiCommonsccr249.jpg
    Germany's Green Parliament Building is energy efficient, reflecting the green values of the parliament.

    OO Germany: A Model For Reining In Fossil Fuel Use As Economy Grows

    OO Energy Efficiency Is by Far the Best Way to Tackle Climate Change - Pick the low-hanging fruit to get tough on climate change.

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    Destructive Giant Typhoons: One of Many Looming Asian Climate Challenges - to maintain its influence there, the US may have to develop a massive aid program to counter increasingly extreme weather under continued climate change.

    OO Climate Change Threatens US Influence, Interests In Asia;
    Massive Aid Needed There to Address Challenges
    say security experts in a new analysis -- massive international aid along the lines of a "Marshall Plan" aid for climate.

    OO China Plans To Launch Carbon-Tracking Satellites Into Space
    to monitor its greenhouse gas emissions as the world's top carbon emitter steps up efforts to cut emissions

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    BAD IDEAS

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    OO Planned Coal Plants Could Tip Warming To Dangerous Levels if built, analysts said

    Related Headline:

    OO 2400 Coal-Fired Power Plants Planned Globally Despite Climate-Friendly Pledges

    OO Despite Push For Cleaner Cars,
    Sheer Numbers Could Work Against Climate Benefits
    with a billion additional cars coming to the world's roads in coming decades.

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    If we do not grow sustainably,
    Our children will die inhumanely.

    Unintended Pregnancy Costs US Taxpayers:

    Unintended Pregnancies Cost US Taxypayers Nearly $11 Billion Yearly
    -the Guttmacher Institute

    Teen Childbearing Alone Cost US Taxpayers $9+ Billion In 2010
    And the costs of raising a child usually ensures decades, if not a life, of poverty for its mother.
    - US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    @@ The Cost of Unintended Pregnancy: Too Young

    WHAT YOU CAN DO

    Help prevent unintended pregnancies in your community:
    publicize where women can access affordable contraception.

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    They can go here to find locations:

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    And there are many more actions you can do, right here.

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    SOLAR KEEPS DRIVING

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    OO US Commercial Solar Rebounds: Large Corporate Installations Up 60% in 2015
    Apple, Intel, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Target, GM and AT&T are leading the charge.

    OO Solar Becomes India's Favored Technology

    OO India Unveils Global Solar Alliance of 120+ countries with the French president, François Hollande. "The dream of universal access to clean energy is becoming more real. This will be the foundation of the new economy of the new century," said India Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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    OO Chinese Investments Spur Middle East Renewable Energy Ambitions

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    2015-12-15-1450211348-7305572-solarpanelinstallationinKenyaafricaSourceTDCccr288.jpg
    African Solar Is Starting To Surge

    OO Solar Company Makes Profit Via Poor African Consumers - M-Kopa plans to be a $1 billion company by selling solar panels to rural residents--and providing them with credit.

    OO African Solar Company Raises $19 Million, Furthering Off-Grid Financing

    OO Africa: Solar Financing Company Raises $8 Million For Commercial Solar Projects possibly sparking a strong commercial solar market in sub-Saharan Africa.

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    Check it out here, right now!

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    WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS

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    Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Dec 14, 2015

    How unusual has the weather been? No one event is "caused" by climate change, but global warming, which is predicted to increase unusual, extreme weather, is having a daily effect on weather, worldwide.

    Looking above at recent temperature anomalies, much of the US and the waters surrounding it are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures - and it's December! The eastern Pacific warm spot continues to prevent much rain from reaching California, keeping it in drought.

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    Credit Jewel Samad at AFP

    Much of the areas surrounding the North Pole are experiencing much warmer than normal temperatures - not good news for our Arctic thermal shield of ice. Hotter than usual temperatures continue to dominate human habitats.

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    There is, of course, much more news on the consequences and solutions to climate change. To get it, check out this annotated resource list I've compiled, "Climate Change News Resources," at Wordpress.com here. For more information on the science of climate change, its consequences and solutions you can view my annotated list of online information resources here.

    To help you understand just what science does and does NOT do, check this out!

    Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by all these wild flowers I photographed one spring in South Africa. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a heck of a lot more jobs, and a clean, safe future. If you'd like to join the increasing numbers of people who want to TELL Congress that they will vote for clean energy candidates you can do so here. It's our way of letting Congress know there's a strong clean energy voting bloc out there. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.

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