Climate Change This Week: Big Savings Via Family Planning, Zooming Emissions, 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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Fascinating Ants: Another Reason to Preserve Forests, as these Indonesian weaver ants demonstrate. Credit Eko Adiyanto

When we harm forests, we harm ourselves.

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Africa's and the World's Loss, China's Temporary Gain - this was once a climate changing carbon storehouse. Source www.bailiffafrica.org

OO China's Is Regrowing Its Forests --
But Fueling Deforestation Elsewhere
a new study shows; the national logging ban is good, but its lumber imports have soared, fueling loss of forests in other countries.

Over half of the raw wood being shipped anywhere in the world is destined for China.

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Problems With Beetles? Cut The Tree Down is the short term vision of Polish foresters in charge of this last European primeval forest.

OO Poland Approves Large-Scale Logging
In Europe's Last Primeval Forest
in a bid to combat a beetle infestation despite protests from scientists, ecologists and the European Union.

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A Now Annual Lethal Smog Event - the illegal burning of Indonesian forests for palm oil plantations sites.

OO Indonesia is Burning Again

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THE TRIPLE WIN OF FAMILY PLANNING : ECONOMY, CLIMATE, FUTURE

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Family Planning Yield Billions in Savings Yearly for our communities, economy and climate, if we invest in it.

OO The Enormous Fiscal Dividend to Family Planning - if the US invested in family planning, a recent study indicates, says a Boston University economist. (Warning: the link will still require you to search "Family Planning" at the site.) Takeaways:

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Single, Homeless, With Kids - is an increasing plight in the US for women and kids. It doesn't have to be that way. Source single-mother-help.org

  • single mother families have exploded in the past 50 years, expoding social costs;
  • neither increasing care for them, nor promoting marriage have been shown to help;
  • borderline poor families have also increased.
  • investing in family planning (IFP) would solve the challenges of these families.

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A Future of Tremendous Savings - awaits the US, if we invest in a better future via family planning.

A Colorado program offering free contraceptives statewide yielded:

  • 40% reduction in teen births;
  • 35% reduction in abortions;
  • 25% reduction in high risk pregnancies.

More takeaways:

  • IFP has been shown to give a return of 700+% on US taxpayer investment in 2010 (15.2 Billion savings for a2.4 Billion investment)
  • avoiding unplanned pregnancies alone would save taxpayers about25+ Billion yearly;
  • if savings are reinvested into family planning, savings would compound into trillions per decade.

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Saving money and avoiding abortions this way is a bipartisan issue we can all act on.

IFP may be the single most effective bipartisan solution to many of our domestic problems.

Effective family planning also requires education, so that everyone "understands the benefit and availability of family planning to their future."

Not mentioned here, but this would also slow climate change, since both consumption and population growth are the main ultimate drivers behind it.

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@@ 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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HOT NEWS

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OO Global Warming Taking Place At An 'Alarming Rate',
UN Climate Body Warns
- typically conservative in style, the World Meteorological Organization used "very strong" language to describe unprecedented greenhouse gas emissions, record-topping temperatures, intense heatwaves, exceptional rainfall and extensive Arctic sea ice melt in 2015.

With record warming down to 700m and 2,000m, the oceans are the real signifiers of global warming.

Related Headline:

OO 2015 One For The Climate Record Books - the long-term warming of the planet, and an exceptionally strong El Niño, led to numerous climate records in 2015, says the World Meteorological Organization's annual State of the Climate Report.

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What Do Dinosaurs and Humans Have In Common? Incredible carbon emissions - 66 million years ago it was related to the asteroid impact that wiped dinosaurs out; today it's the "human" bomb of exploding fossil fuel emissions. Source www.express.co.uk

OO Carbon Emissions Highest In 66 Million Years, Since Dinosaur Age

Related Headline:

OO Humans Are Releasing Carbon 10 TIMES Faster Than Ever Before pushing Earth's climate into 'uncharted territory', says new research. The current pace of carbon emissions is 'unprecedented' since the age of dinosaurs, 66 million years ago.

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Not a Surreal Sunset but a wall of fire, part of the largest recorded wildfire in Kansas. Imagine looking out your window and seeing that headed your way... Source Deb Farris at twitter.com

OO Largest Wildfire In State History Ravages Kansas - burning nearly 400,000 acres across 2 states; abnormally hot temperatures made Kansas more susceptible to wildfire.

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Weather, With A Dose of Climate Change is the reality for most weathermen/women.

OO Climate Skepticism Has Lost Major Ground Among Weather Experts -

some 99% of weathermen now accept the reality of climate change,
and about 96% of the American Meteorological Society.

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THE PROMISE OF SOLAR POWER

@@ New Documentary: The Promise Of Solar Energy - What do an unemployed American worker, a Tea Party activist and a Chinese entrepreneur have in common? They're all part of a new documentary film highlighting the growth of solar energy around the world.

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Happy Sharing Solar Friends

OO Love Solar Power But Got No Rooftop?
"Shared Solar" is Coming for You
It refers to small-scale solar installations that multiple individuals co-own, or that divide their power output among multiple "subscribed" individuals.

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RISING SEAS REPORTS

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Source www.simonsgallery.com

OO Antarctica: The Past Shows It Alone Could Raise Sea Levels 3 Feet by 2100 through sped up melting, says a new research study, which cites new data on processes like how ice shelves break down. We might raise levels relatively quickly, but it will take much longer to bring them down, the paper notes.

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The Dragons Might Survive, But Not the Buildings with a few meters rise in sea levels in China.

OO China's Sea Level Rises Faster Than Global Average says a report released by its government.

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The Black Holes of Greenland - these cryoconites are created when a deposited mass of soot, consisting of glued amalgums created by bacteria, focuses heat absorption, melting deep holes into the ice. Millions of these now cover its ice sheet, as fossil fuel burning and wildfires have increased. Source tothepoles.files.worpress.com

OO How Bacteria Help Speed The Human-Based Melting Of Greenland's Ice - a single species of bacteria glues the soot of human pollution and wildfires into particles that darken the icy surface, increasing absorption of heat and speeding its melt.

"I think this is going to contribute to the overall picture of Greenland melting.Greenland holds about seven metres of sea level rise," said one researcher.

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This Might Happen Far Sooner Than You Think - with coastal cities being lost to rising sea levels, says a new study authored by many respected scientists, including James Hansen. Credit Nickolay Lamm at Climate Central.

OO We Had All Better Hope These Scientists Are Wrong
About The Planet's Future
- An influential group of scientists has published a dire climate study indicating that even a 2C warming might not prevent far quicker and more catastrophic global warming impacts than previously thought.

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BURNING FOSSIL FUELS IS KILLING THE LARGEST CORAL REEF

OO Fossil Fuel Burning Is Behind Great Barrier Reef Bleaching Takeaways:

  • Fossil fuel burning drives global warming
  • Global warming has been steadily warming the ocean surface waters
  • Surface waters are now so hot that masses of stressed corals are dying

Related Headline:

OO Startling Images Reveal Devastating Coral Bleaching On The Great Barrier Reef across unusually warm parts of the Great Barrier Reef, as the marine park authority overseeing the environmental icon has raised its response to the highest level possible.

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As one coral reef loss expert notes, "I don't think it is much of an exaggeration to say that in the history of humanity, no habitat/ecosystem has ever been degraded/destroyed so quickly at such a massive scale, i.e., in days/weeks across thousands of miles.

It's like all the world's tropical trees suddenly dying."

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GOOD IDEAS

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A Beautiful Diet for the Planet

OO Healthy Diet, Wealthy Climate:
How A Vegetarian Diet Could Help Save The Planet
- shifting to a mostly vegetarian diet would make a large dent in greenhouse gases, bringing down emissions by 60+% says a new, Oxford study..

Cutting meat consumption to healthy levels would cut global food-related emissions by 30% by 2050; shifting to veganism would see emissions fall by 70%.

OO Not Exploiting The Earth Can Decrease Violent Conflict - since exploitation of natural resources can be the driver or the consequence of war.

OO Why Liquid Metal Batteries Will Soon Get Cheaper - they'll be made out of calcium, the stuff of bones, due to a new innovation that potentially opens up a new family of battery designs.

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Cows And Rice crops are big sources of the potent climate-changing gas, methane. Source opensourcevegan.com

OO Failure To Tackle Farm Emissions Could Make 1.5C Limit Unachievable say experts, who note that 30% of global emissions are created by the agri-food sector.

OO San Francisco, 'The Silicon Valley Of Recycling' - the recycling center there is a worldwide showcase for other cities wanting to develop successful, efficient recycling of resources.

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SOCIAL REPERCUSSIONS

OO Farms, Hydropower At Risk In US West's Changing Climate Warned the US federal government recently.

OO Hungry Asia: Global Warming Hits Rice Bowls with current disruptions in food productivity from extreme weather likely to increase in intensity and frequency, says a new study.

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Extreme Typhoons Destroy Both Towns and Crops Credit Trocaire, Creative Commons

OO Climate Change Threatening Philippines's Food Security as ever more extreme typhoons decrease food productivity, warns a government official.

OO Africa: Millions Go Hungry in Drought,
But Only 15% of Needed Aid Supplied
so far.

OO England's Growing Season Now Almost A Month Longer -
But With More Threats to Crops
says the UK Meteorological Office; extreme weather is also increasing, affecting food production, and faster maturation of current crop varieties indicate smaller harvests.

OO Australia: Spike In Global Temperature Fuels Climate Change Fears as the world lurched closer to the 2-degree global warming limit recently, scientists called for clearer policies in Australia and other rich nations to end carbon emissions before 2050.

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SPEAKING OUT

@@ George Pataki: I Don't Get Why The GOP Denies Climate Change - a stunning moment of climate clarity amidst a party of fog and denial. Of course, his party has forgotten him...

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She Spoke Out - And Paid With Her Life - and winning the 2015 Goldman Award did not stop gunmen from bursting into her home and killing Berta Cáceres Flores, an eloquent defender of her village's river and other life-giving rivers around the world threatened with damnation by dams.

OO For Latin American Environmentalists, Death Is A Constant Companion Long before gunmen burst into Berta Cáceres Flores's house in rural Honduras, Beverly Bell gave up any hope that her friend would live to an old age. "This was a marked woman," said Bell, who kept a long list of the death threats. "Everyone knew it."

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Storming An Executive Meeting in lieu of stopping a lease sale, they made themselves heard. Credit Laura Borealis at Picasa

OO Hundreds Protest Offshore Drilling

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GOOD CLEAN NEWS

THE DUMP ON COAL

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Time to Put Coal Back Where We Found it -- in the Earth, where it belongs. Source ruralblacksmith.blospot.com

OO Why Investors Are Dumping Coal - started on moral grounds, the economic arguments for doing so are become overwhelming, as clean renewable energy has become almost as cheap.

OO Rockefeller Fund Dumps All Investments In Fossil Fuel Companies - Started by John D Rockefeller - who made his fortune from oil - the fund singled out ExxonMobil, calling the world's largest oil company 'morally reprehensible.'

More:

OO Rockefeller Fund Dumps Exxon Holdings That Made Family's Fortune - noting that
there's "no sane rationale" for companies to explore for oil as governments contemplate cracking down on carbon emissions.

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China Destroys Coal Plant - just the beginning of many, one hopes. Source www.businessinsider.com

OO China Halting Construction of Coal Plants in 15 Regions - to tackle a capacity glut in that sector. Let's hope clean energy development will permanently halt them.

OO Coal Suffering Bleak Year In China On Weakening Industrial Use as China's coal use is forecast to fall a third year as industrial output slows, dimming the hopes of global miners for an uptick in demand by the world's biggest consumer.

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OO Scotland Closes Last Coal-Fired Power Plant -
Wind Now Fuels the Land
with the help of a $900 million investment in offshore wind farms. Declining global use of coal and a pricey carbon tax ultimately did in the last Scottish coal plant. Credit Graeme Maclean

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OO Wind And Solar Are Growing At A Stunning Pace --
Just Not Yet Enough To Stop Climate Change
The worldwide growth is astounding.

OO If a US Power Plant Is Built, It's Likely to Be Renewable - either wind or solar, says a new US Department of Energy report, even with low natural-gas prices likely to keep utilities building plenty of gas-fired (the "new coal") power plants, too.

OO Can You Grow The Economy Without Adding Pollution? Create jobs, and still shrink our carbon footprint? There's new evidence that "decoupling" may be starting.

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OO Apple Now Operates on 93% Renewable Energy Worldwide
The electronics giant also has a nifty new recycling robot.

OO Cities Worldwide Promoting Zero-Energy Buildings because national governments won't, including the US, where there is a nationwide movement within the building sector, which comprises the majority of global greenhouse gas emissions, toward zero net emissions.

THE CHINA FACTOR

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OO China Leads As Green Energy Investment Plans Hit Record High in 2015, offsetting a sharp fall in Germany, says a new UN report that predicts further growth.

OO China Pushes For Mandatory Integration Of Renewable Power to its power grid, to end a bottleneck that has left a large amount of clean power idle.

OO China State Firms Seen Boosting Green Energy Investment In Australia now that Australian leadership is more open to it.

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A Chinese Wind Blows... Source www.bbc.com

OO China Is Adding a Three Gorges Dam Worth of Wind Every Year
Meanwhile, America is adding lots of new "Hoover [dam] units."

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OO Canada: Liberals Unveil Spending as 'Champion of Clean Growth' - with a plan spend $7+ billion over the next two years on environmental protection: fixing the country's water infrastructure and aiding provincial efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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CLUELESS LEADERSHIP

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Now You See It, Now You Don't - Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull announced a new $1 billion clean energy fund, but not the $2.3 billion cut to clean energy funding elsewhere in his government. That is, he turned a funding cut into a seeming boost for clean energy.

OO Australia Cuts Clean Energy Funding,
As It Presents "New" Fund
- announcing a new $1 billion clean energy fund the government failed to mention its move to cut $2.3 billion elsewhere in clean energy funds. And I thought US Republicans were good at misleading marketing...

OO Trump Isn't a 'Believer' in Climate Change - from fossil fuels, but from nuclear war.
Scientists say the potential nuclear war threat still exists, but it remains a less immediate threat than the constant pollution humans send into the environment.

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FOSSIL FUEL FOLLIES

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Fracking Is Warming Our Atmosphere Far More Than Thought - leaking far more methane into the air during mining and distributing, than previously estimated by the EPA, satellite data reveal. Credit Mike Theiss at National Geographic Creative

OO Global Warming's Terrifying New Chemistry
From Fracking
- the US is leaking methane, a far more potent climate changing gas than carbon dioxide, in massive amounts -- enough to have possibly increased US emissions of climate changing gases in the past 8 years (not decreased, as thought).

Harvard researchers' data show that from 2002 to 2014, US methane emissions increased by 30+%, accounting for 30-60% of an enormous spike in methane in the entire planet's atmosphere.

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A Leaky Picture of Boston reflects a far greater picture of climate changing methane leaking across the US, due to producing and distributing natural gas, which is mostly methane, mined through fracking. Source NOAA, US Navy et al

Takeaways:

  • natural gas production must be halted until most leaks in its production are plugged.
  • The US must switch to clean, renewable energy sources far faster than it's doing.
  • Coal and oil and natural gas have to be left in the ground - ALL of them.

Meanwhile...

OO Fracking Now Fuels Half Of US Oil Output says the Energy Information Administration.

OO US Subsidized To The End:
Not Even Corporate Welfare Can Save Big Coal
- even though billions of subsidies have gone down the tubes, no conservatives are talking about that - another energy hypocrisy in their carefully constructed mindset.

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Leak Plugged But Health Threat Lingers as residents returning home a month after gas leak ends report lingering illnesses as SoCal Gas prepares to cut off relocation housing payments this week.

OO The Air Around Aliso Canyon Is Declared Safe.
So Why Are Families Still Suffering?

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ELECTION YEAR:

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If You Don't Vote For Climate Action, You Can Forget The Rest - in a climate-changing world of famine, drought, rising seas, giant storms and heat waves, there will be no security in jobs, health, wealth, or national safety. There will be chaos ensuing from increasing crises and disasters. Vote.

OO Global Warming Policies We Set Today Will Determine The Next 10,000 Years - of global warming, a new study shows -- and whether our civilization survives or not: history shows that harmful climate change has destroyed civilizations before.

This time, it could be worldwide. Let's keep "The Hunger Games" in the realm of fiction.

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CLIMATE HAWKS VOTE: Cutting To The Point, Climate - an issue that voters are increasingly - and intimately -- acquainted with. Source www.climatehawksvote.com

OO A Scrappy Group Whose Scorecard Isn't For The Fainthearted - Meet Climate Hawks Vote, a plucky California group that is seeking to make climate change a defining electoral issue.

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

@@ The Cost of Unintended Pregnancy: Too Young

Teen childbearing 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

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 SAILING

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OO A US Solar Company Raises $200 Million for Residential Solar Projects

OO Recycling Sunlight: A Solar Cell Revolution? Takeaways:

  1. Solar cells work by absorbing the sun's light energy and convertin it into electrical charge, sent to electrodes that bring it to the power-hungry world.
  2. Hybrid lead halide perovskite cells were already known to do this efficiently.
  3. Now, research shows the perovskites are actually able to emit light themselves after creating charge - and then reabsorb that light energy.
  4. Thus, this solar cell acts like a concentrator, able to produce more energy - to boost the voltage obtained from a given amount of light - than cells lacking this recycling ability.
  5. These perovskite cells could be made cheaply.

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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 Temperature Apr 05, 2016

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: although El Nino driven rains have filled central and northern California, these might be only a temporary reprieve, since not enough water has been stored in the snowpack to relieve the drought conditions that persist throughout the state.

The map of the US is one of extremes: unusually hot conditions from Alaska down through the west, and unusually cold conditions from the mid to north east. That, too, is a hallmark of climate change, which continues to create both extremely hot and cold conditions.

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 this everlasting wild flower 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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