How did these issues get wrapped up together? On its face, there isn’t a clear reason—other than a marriage of convenience—why attacks on evolution and attacks on climate change ought to travel side by side. After all, we know why people deny evolution: Religion, especially the fundamentalist kind. And we know why people deny global warming: Free market ideology and libertarianism. These are not, last I checked, the same thing. (If anything, libertarians may be the most religiously skeptical group on the political right.)
And yet clearly there’s a relationship between the two issue stances. If you’re in doubt, watch this Climate Desk video of a number of members of Congress citing religion in the context of questioning global warming:
Using the Bible to Resist Climate Action: A Supercut
Indeed, recent research suggests that Christian “end times” believers are less likely to see a need for action on global warming……. http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/11/why-climate-change-skeptics-evolution-deniers-joined-forces
Climate-threatened Solomon Islanders prepare for evacuation, trust.org, Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation – Mon, 25 Nov 2013 Catherine Wilson AUKI, MALAITA PROVINCE, Solomon Islands – In the Solomon Islands, where the sea level rise of 8 millimetres per year is almost three times the global average, survival of communities on the low-lying atoll of Ontong Java is already threatened.
But identifying a new home for those who are eventually displaced will be difficult, even in this sprawling nation of more than 900 islands located northwest of Fiji, in the southwest Pacific region. “The number one obstacle will be access to land,” said Hudson Kauhiona, deputy director of the government’s climate change division, in the capital, Honiara. “It is going to be a very big challenge when moving people.”…….
Resettlement is the last option for atoll communities impacted by climate change. But the situation is becoming critical as the encroaching sea erodes Ontong Java, which is an average of 2-3 metres (6-10 feet) above sea level and has just 12 square kilometres (4.6 square miles) of land area.
Adaptation activities, including an atoll agriculture project and installation of rainwater tanks to provide salt-free drinking water, are currently being implemented by the Anglican Church of Melanesia’s mission programme………
The Solomon Islands is not only on the frontline of climate change, but also a pioneer in developing new strategies to deal with climate-related displacement. The European Union is currently assisting the Solomon Islands government in developing its first climate change relocation policy, which is expected to be finalised by the end of 2014.
“According to scientific projections, the climate change situation is not going to get better,” Kauhiona said. “Cases such as Ontong Java, where people have to move to other islands, will only increase. So we might as well put ourselves in a better position now, rather than in 30 or 50 years time when things are happening and we aren’t prepared.” According to the Pacific Climate Change Science Program, ocean acidification, extreme rainfall and temperatures will steadily increase in the Solomon Islands, while the sea could rise by up to 15 centimetres (6 inches) by 2030. Looking ahead is vital given that an estimated 1.7 million people in the Pacific Islands could be displaced due to climate change by mid-century, programme officials say.Catherine Wilson is a journalist based in Sydney, Australia. http://www.trust.org/item/20131125112530-1wkla
* Warsaw talks go into overtime due to deadlock
* Delegates still discussing “climate aid”
By Alister Doyle and Nina Chestney WARSAW, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Almost 200 nations kept a plan to reach a new U.N. climate pact in 2015 alive on Saturday when rich and poor countries reached a compromise on sharing out the efforts needed to slow global warming.
A two-week negotiation in Warsaw had been due to end on Friday, but was blocked over a timetable for the first U.N. climate accord that would set greenhouse gas emissions requirements for all nations. The pact is due to be agreed in 2015 and come into force after 2020.
Negotiators finally agreed that all countries should work to curb emissions – a process described in the jargon as “intended nationally determined contributions” – as soon as possible and ideally by the first quarter of 2015.
The agreement ended deadlock between rich and poor about sharing out the burden of limiting emissions blamed for causing more heatwaves, floods, droughts and rising sea levels.
Under the last climate pact, the Kyoto Protocol, only the most developed countries were required to limit their emissions – one of the main reasons the United States refused to accept it, saying rapidly growing economies like China and India must also take part.
“Just in the nick of time, the negotiators in Warsaw delivered enough to keep the process moving,” said Jennifer Morgan of the World Resources Institute think-tank…..http://www.trust.org/item/20131123161140-rkh7z
Australia turns into ‘anti-climate’ force at Warsaw REneweconomy, By Giles Parkinson on 19 November 2013It has taken just 7 days, but already the reputation of Australia as a constructive force in international climate policy has been completely trashed – both in terms of its domestic actions and in the wrecking ball tactics it has sent to Warsaw.
Australia is now seen as an “anti-climate” nation that is actively working against any consensus at these talks, as its domestic policies are translated onto the international stage.
Australia has – many times over the 20-plus years of UN-led climate talks – been seen as an outlier, courtesy of its huge reliance on coal power and exports. But its actions in Warsaw have come as a shock to negotiators who are dealing with familiar faces who had been constructive, if not progressive, at previous conferences.
Carbon emissions most in history http://www.smh.com.au/national/carbon-emissions–most-in-history-20131119-2xtnh.html#ixzz2lDChdy76 November 20, 2013 Larissa Nicholson Journalist at The Canberra Times. The world will release more carbon dioxide through the burning of fossil fuels in 2013 than any other year in human history, putting it on track to reach 2C above pre-industrial times in 30 years.
That is the verdict of the Global Carbon Project’s annual carbon budget, a report card on carbon for the world, released on Wednesday.The report, put together by leading scientists, says worldwide carbon emissions caused by burning fossil fuels will reach 36billion tonnes in 2013, an unprecedented level.
It says worldwide carbon emissions caused by fossil fuels are set to grow 2.1 per cent this year, slightly less than the average 3.1 per cent since 2000. The Global Carbon Project is based in Canberra and led by CSIRO marine and atmospheric research scientist Josep Canadell.
It brings together experts from around the world to collaborate in measuring greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.The scientists consider worldwide energy consumption and the resulting carbon emissions, and the impact of changing land use and deforestation. They also take into account how much carbon gets taken up by plants and trees and how much ends up in the ocean,
then use the information to report on how much carbon dioxide humans are emitting and how much is ending up in the atmosphere.
Report co-author Michael Raupach, a CSIRO fellow, said if worldwide emissions continued to grow as they had since 2000, the Earth’s climate would warm by 2C, a temperature international policymakers have agreed should not be exceeded.
”Worldwide, emissions have not peaked and started to decline,” he said The countries and regions responsible for the largest portion of worldwide emissions in 2012 were China, at 27 per cent, the USA, 14 per cent, the European Union, 10 per cent and India, 6 per cent.
The USA and European Union managed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions between 2011 and 2012 by 3.7 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively, but China and India increased their emissions by 5.9 per cent and 7.7 per cent each.In 2012, China was responsible for the largest increase in emissions at 71 per cent and the USA for the largest decrease of 26 per cent.
Australia contributed a 6 per cent decrease in overall emissions.
In 2012, burning coal was the biggest producer of greenhouse gas emissions. Dr Raupach said a particularly large amount of carbon had been absorbed by the land in 2011, because a lot of rain and indirect radiation from the sun meant plants grew strongly and absorbed CO2. ”The land sink was amazingly strong, an all-time record in that year, and in 2012 it was a lot weaker … and came back something close to the trend over the last decade,” he said.
100% renewables ‘key to CO2 fight http://renews.biz/54420/call-for-100-renewables-targets/ re News, 19 Nov 13, The Global 100% Renewable Energy Coalition has called on governments to commit to 100% renewable energy targets and strategies.
A joint statement at the UN climate summit today asserted that “communicating and proving the urgency and feasibility of 100% renewable energy is key to breaking the climate deadlock”.
Members of the coalition including the World Wind Energy Association, World Bioenergy Association and the Fraunhofer ISE Institute also criticised “the ongoing stagnancy of the climate negotiations and their struggle to agree upon and implement measures that effectively combat the crisis”.
World Wind Energy Association secretary general Stefan Gsänger said: “The growing global movement shows that making the transition to 100% renewable energy is primarily a political, not technical, challenge. The necessary technologies and knowledge already exist.”
In Germany, 74 regions and municipalities have already reached 100% renewable energy. Entire nations like Denmark, Iceland, Scotland, Costa Rica, Maldives Islands, Cook Islands, Tuvalu, and Tokelau “have set and already partly achieved this ambitious target”, the group said.
“Climate change debates have become all too often associated with failing political negotiations and inadequate actions. There is an urgent need to change this,” added World Bioenergy Association president Heinz Kopetz.
Nuclear vs Climate Nuclear News No.56, November 2013, http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo56.pdf
Nuclear power is back in the climate headlines after climate scientist James Hansen was joined by three others in posting a public letter in which they jointly urge environmental organizations to stop opposing nuclear power. In the letter they say that more nuclear energy is urgently needed and essential in the fight against global warming -because, in their opinion, wind and solar “cannot scale up fast enough to deliver cheap and reliable power at the scale the global economy requires.” (1)
Mark Jacobson a professor at Stanford in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering finds that perspective to be “without foundation or factual support.” Research by Jacobson paints a completely opposite picture and says that wind, water, and solar can replace fossil fuels quickly, without nuclear. He said that nuclear power actually takes “10-19 years to plan, permit, and install, compared with 2-5 years for a solar or wind farm.” Regarding next generation nuclear power, Jacobson said that it “does not even exist, except in theory and in the lab, and there is no guarantee it will ever exist at the commercial scale.” (2)
Dr Daniel Kammen, co-director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment at the University of California says:“Nuclear power is certainly low-carbon in the use phase, but the problems with the nuclear fuel cycle, as managed today, are of: cost and extreme accidents. Today, nuclear power plants can cost as much as $10 billion for a 1500 MW plant and take a decade to construct … The climate crisis demands significant low-carbon deployment today, and it is not clear if nuclear can meet that immediate challenge.” (3) Read more »
Tiny islands with big climate change problems http://www.enn.com/wildlife/article/46672 Tiny island states that speck the vast swathe of the Pacific Ocean have a far greater importance in understanding global climate change than their tiny populations would suggest. This was the message given to delegates during a side event of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 19th annual meeting in Warsaw today
The delegates from Fiji and Samoa believe their nations do not get the support they need to conduct vital climate observations in the region.
“In terms of climate change, up to 90 per cent of heat is absorbed by oceans, so understanding how the oceans behave is critical to understanding how the atmosphere will change,” says Neville Koop, a climatology advisor with the Samoan delegation.
Considering the huge marine areas that Pacific nations cover — Kiribati consists of 800 square kilometres of coral atolls spread over an area half the size of Europe — the poor observational capacity of island states creates a large gap in the global climate data set, he says.
Better oceanic and high altitude measurements, as well as more rudimentary metrics such as rainfall and atmospheric pressure are vital for producing more accurate climate models, Koop adds.
Furthermore, as the birthplace of the El Niño Southern Oscillation weather system that periodically warms the waters of the Pacific Ocean, this patch of ocean influences climates across Asia, Africa and the Americas, and so accurate observations are necessary to predict future changes, he says.
But with populations often in the tens of thousands, these states’ meteorological agencies can never hope to fulfill this vital task alone, Koop says.
Some governments, such as the United Kingdom’s, are already working to increase the observational capacity in the Pacific, but a concerted international effort is needed to fully plug the data gaps, he says.
(Also, as pointed out previously – it’s lucky that the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was never fully activated. )
“It’s time to stop this madness” – Philippines plea at UN climate talks RTCC 11 November 2013, Yeb Sano tells UN summit in Warsaw “colossal devastation” from Typhoon Haiyan should serve as warning to planet Philippines lead negotiator Yeb Sano has just addressed the opening session of the UN climate summit in Warsaw – calling for urgent action to prevent a repeat of the devastating storm that hit parts of his country at the weekend. A full transcript of his speech is below………
The science has given us a picture that has become much more in focus. The IPCC report on climate change and extreme events underscored the risks associated with changes in the patterns as well as frequency of extreme weather events. Science tells us that simply, climate change will mean more intense tropical storms. As the Earth warms up, that would include the oceans. The energy that is stored in the waters off the Philippines will increase the intensity of typhoons and the trend we now see is that more destructive storms will be the new norm.
This will have profound implications on many of our communities, especially who struggle against the twin challenges of the development crisis and the climate change crisis. Typhoons such as Yolanda (Haiyan) and its impacts represent a sobering reminder to the international community that we cannot afford to procrastinate on climate action. Warsaw must deliver on enhancing ambition and should muster the political will to address climate change…..
What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness. The climate crisis is madness. ………. :http://www.rtcc.org/2013/11/11/its-time-to-stop-this-madness-philippines-plea-at-un-climate-talks/#sthash.XNwbM2xW.OYYJsoyC.dpuf
Greens dispute climate scientists on nuclear power http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/189258-greens-dispute-climate-scientists-on-nuclear-power By Ben Geman, 7 Nov 13 Environmentalists are pushing back against four prominent climate scientists who say the green movement should embrace nuclear power plant construction to help fight climate change.
E2-Wire wrote about the open letter from the four scientists to environmentalists on Sunday.
Several anti-nuclear environmental groups said Tuesday that it didn’t change their minds. Greenpeace wasn’t swayed by the letter from scientists James Hansen, Ken Caldeira, Tom Wigley and Kerry Emanuel.
“While we respect Dr. Hansen and his advocacy to raise the alarm about catastrophic climate change, we thoroughly disagree that nuclear power has any role to play in addressing the threat posed by global warming. If we are to abate the worst impacts of climate change we need solutions that are fast, affordable, and safe. Nuclear is none of these,” said Jim Riccio, nuclear power analyst with Greenpeace USA. Read more »
Study to focus on Arctic after Greenland Sea found to have warmed 10 times faster than global ocean ABC News, By Phoebe McDonald Sat 2 Nov 2013,Scientists have revealed plans to examine temperature changes in the Arctic Ocean after a long-term study found the Greenland Sea is warming 10 times faster than the global ocean.
Scientists from Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) analysed temperature data from the Greenland Sea between 1950 and 2010.
Their results show that during the past 30 years water temperatures between two kilometres deep and the ocean floor have risen by 0.3 degrees Celsius.
Dr Raquel Somavilla Cabrillo, AWI scientist and lead author of the study, says researchers are surprised by the results. Read more »
Tea party Republicans are biggest climate change deniers, new Pew poll finds WP, BY JULIET EILPERIN AND SCOTT CLEMENT November 1 Tea party Republicans are now the only group of Americans who think the Earth is not warming, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, with just 25 percent of tea party Republicans saying global warming is happening. By contrast, 67 percent of all Americans say there is evidence climate change is underway, including 61 percent of non-tea party Republicans.
Democrats and independents are more confident about global warming: 88 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of independents say there is solid evidence climate change has taken place over the past few decades.
Despite broad belief in warming overall, fewer than half the public believes human activity is to blame (44 percent), a number hardly changed from last year (42 percent). That’s despite a significant rise in the share of Americans who believe scientists generally agree the Earth is getting warmer because of human activity, from 45 percent last year to 54 percent now…….http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/11/01/only-tea-party-members-believe-climate-change-is-not-happening-new-pew-poll-finds/?tid=hpModule_ba0d4c2a-86a2-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394
Should we give the green light to geoengineers?http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22029412.200-should-we-give-the-green-light-to-geoengineers.html#.UngInHBwo7p 02 November 2013YOU might think that giving people free rein to experiment with technologies that could cool the planet is a recipe for chaos. But as things stand, pretty much anyone could carry out field tests at will. Most geoengineering exists in a legal void (see “Geoengineers are free to legally hack the climate“).
Should we let tests go ahead? Our copious emissions of carbon dioxide, among other things, mean we are already carrying out huge, unplanned experiments with the climate. Letting a few more proceed, particularly ones intended to improve matters, might be more pragmatic than waiting the decades it might well take to agree international treaties that set out what is acceptable.
But such tests are likely to have unintended consequences, maybe including damage to health or ecosystems across international boundaries. They could even be weaponised – by creating acid rain, say, or killing fish stocks.
So some degree of oversight is desirable. It would be good to notify the neighbours when tests are about to begin. And some monitoring, perhaps through the UN or its Framework Convention on Climate Change, would be well advised. Vigilance, after all, is the price of freedom.
Climate change pact sends a message SF Gate, , October 29, 2013 Climate change may still be a taboo topic in Congress. But the West Coast of the United States – and Canada – is leading the charge to tackle the issue. The landmark climate change pact signed by the governors of California, Oregon and Washington, along with a representative of the premier of the province of British Columbia, may matter more as a political statement than hard policy statement.
But it’s an important statement nonetheless, and it lays the groundwork for the region to create the kind of tough policy that we’ll need to create in order to have an impact on global warming.
Crucially, it also lays the groundwork for regional policy – the kind of coordinated effort in which the U.S. has proved unwilling to join at the global level. This region is no slouch at the global level, either – combined, these three states and British Columbia represent the fifth largest economy in the world, with 53 million people and a combined annual GDP of $2.8 trillion. Under the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, the four governments have agreed to put a price on carbon dioxide emissions. They’ve also agreed to use similar rules for encouraging the adoption of electric cars and the development of alternative fuels. Sea acidification, another symptom of rising carbon dioxide levels, will also be studied and addressed……… If the region is successful in overcoming political obstacles and making a serious, sustained effort against climate change, that will inspire others to do the same. The impact of this plan would then become exponentially greater. http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/editorials/article/Climate-change-pact-sends-a-message-4937510.php
Media false balance as illustrated in the IPCC reporting by outlets like the BBC, Wall Street Journal, and Fox News is largely to blame for this “consensus gap.” This practice of false balance misinforms the public and does us all a disservice.
Conservative media outlets found guilty of biased global warming coverage http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/oct/11/climate-change-political-media-ipcc-coverage by John Abraham and Dana Nuccitelli
New studies show conservative and politically neutral media outlets are creating false balance in climate change reporting There’s a 97 percent consensus on human-caused global warmingin the peer-reviewed climate science literature and among climate experts. There’s a 96 percent consensus in the climate research that humans are responsible for most of the current global warming. The 2013 IPCC report agrees with this position with 95 percent confidence, and states that humans are most likely responsible for 100 percent of the global warming since 1951.
Yet a new study conducted by Media Matters for America shows that in stories about the 2013 IPCC report, rather than accurately reflect this expert consensus, certain media outlets have created a false perception of discord amongst climate scientists.
Background of guests who accept and reject human-caused global warming in IPCC media stories, courtesy of Media Matters.
The 19 percent of guests classified as ‘climate scientists’ in the above graphic is also very generous to the conservative American media outlets. Read more »
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