Tag Archives | Climate Change

Rising seas causing routine floods in U.S. cities: study

By Moyan Brenn via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

By Moyan Brenn via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

via Times Live:

Rising sea levels create a higher platform for tides and storm surges. Scientists compare the effect to slam dunks in basketball: Raising the gymnasium floor would increase the number of slam dunks per game.

The report’s projections build on recent studies – including one by Reuters published in July – that documented a dramatic increase in tidal flooding over the past half century. Many coastal communities are already struggling to cope with routine flooding that makes streets impassable and overwhelms storm-water systems.

Using a methodology similar to those of the recent studies, scientists projected the trends 15 to 30 years into the future at 52 sites around the country. The study used moderate sea-level rise projections from the National Climate Assessment, a U.S. government report based on input from some 300 scientists, engineers, industry officials and other specialists.

The Union’s study posits a sea rise of about 5 inches over the next 15 years and about 11 inches over 30 years.

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What 35,000 Walruses Forced to the Beach Tell Us About Global Warming

Close-up of an estimated 35,000 walrus haulout on a barrier island near Pt. Lay on September 27, 2014. (Photo: Corey Arrardo / NOAA/NMFS/AFSC/NMML)

Close-up of an estimated 35,000 walrus haulout on a barrier island near Pt. Lay on September 27, 2014. (Photo: Corey Arrardo / NOAA/NMFS/AFSC/NMML)

via Sarah Lazare at Common Dreams:

Federal biologists have discovered an unusual phenomenon on a beach in northwest Alaska: a massive gathering of walruses—35,000 of them—crowded onto a small strip of shore.

This swarm, which was sighted in a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration aerial survey on Saturday, is a direct result of a warming climate and declining sea ice, say scientists.

Pacific walruses, who live in the Bering Sea during winter, require floating sea ice to meet their survival needs, using them for rest in between journeys to forage for food, such as clam, snails, and worms, as well as for giving birth and caring for their young. But as the oceans warm, this sea ice is receding, especially near coastal areas, forcing these walruses to take to the beach for resting and foraging, according to an explanation from the NOAA.

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These actions have done the most to mitigate climate change

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via The Economist:

ON SEPTEMBER 23rd 120-odd presidents and prime ministers will gather in New York for a UN meeting on climate change. It is the first time the subject has brought so many leaders together since the ill-fated Copenhagen summit of 2009. Now, as then, they will assert that reining in global warming is a political priority. Some may commit their governments to policies aimed at reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. What few will say is how many tonnes of carbon dioxide these will save—because they almost never do.

According to scientists, cutting carbon-dioxide emissions is an essential part of reducing catastrophic risks from climate change. Yet governments are persistently averse to providing estimates of how much carbon a policy saves. That may be because, in countries where climate change is controversial, it makes more sense to talk about the other benefits a scheme offers rather than its effect on carbon.

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Belabored Podcast #61: When Climate and Labor Converge

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I stumbled across Dissent awhile ago and added them to my Feedly list. However, I had the habit of skimming past their articles (my Feedly account is large and continues to grow). However, Ross Perlin’s essay, “Radical Linguistics in an Age of Extinction,” caught my eye. I’ve since pored over their website and have even signed up for a print subscription.

Two Dissent authors (Sarah Jaffe and Michelle Chen) run a podcast, Belabored, which tackles the labor movement in the US and abroad. I thought the podcast-listening Disinfonauts may be interested.

When Climate and Labor Converge (Live!), with Nastaran Mohit and Lara Skinner

This particular episode addresses the relationship between sustainability and “green” jobs and the labor groups in the US.

via Dissent:

As people around the world prepare to converge on New York City for the People’s Climate March, there seem to be more reasons than ever to despair about climate change, but perhaps also more reason than usual to be optimistic.

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Capitalism vs. the Climate: Naomi Klein on Need for New Economic Model to Address Ecological Crisis

via Democracy Now:

As the United Nations prepares to hold one-day global summit on climate change, we speak to award-winning author Naomi Klein about her new book, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.”

In the book, Klein details how our neoliberal economic system and our planetary system are now at war. With global emissions at an all-time high, Klein says radical action is needed.

“We have not done the things that are necessary to lower emissions because those things fundamentally conflict with deregulated capitalism, the reigning ideology for the entire period we have been struggling to find a way out of this crisis,” Klein writes. “We are stuck because the actions that would give us the best chance of averting catastrophe — and would benefit the vast majority — are extremely threatening to an elite minority that has a stranglehold over our economy, our political process, and most of our major media outlets.”

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Scientists Turn to Pope Francis and World’s Religions to Save the Planet

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John Bingham writes at the Telegraph:

It has been one of the most fraught relationships of recent centuries, at least in the popular imagination.

But a group of scientists are pinning their hopes for the salvation of the planet, in the face of climate change and habitat destruction – on religion.

Their case, set out in an essay in the journal Science, is being described a “watershed moment” for scientists and faith leaders alike.

It argues that engaging religious leaders, rather than relying on politicians, could hold the key to mobilising billions of people around the world to change aspects of their lifestyles to help prevent catastrophic climate change.

The article singles out Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church, with its 1.2 billion-strong network of followers, as the key but calls for religious leaders of every stripe to be recruited.

It argues that religion can provide a unique combination of “moral leadership” and global organisational structures required to bring about practical changes which could have an immediate effect, such as providing millions of the world’s poorest people with cleaner forms of fuel.

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‘They’re Right': Citing Climate, Prosecutor Drops Charges Against Coal Blockaders

Ken Ward (left) and Jay O’Hara on the boat they used to block the delivery of 40,000 tons of coal to a power plant in Somerset. (Photo: 350Mass)

Ken Ward (left) and Jay O’Hara on the boat they used to block the delivery of 40,000 tons of coal to a power plant in Somerset. (Photo: 350Mass)

Jon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

A local district attorney in Massachusetts surprised parties on all sides on Monday after he sided with two climate justice activists who employed a “necessity defense” to justify their use of a small lobster boat to block the path of an enormous coal freighter trying to dock at the Brayton Point Power Station in the town of Somerset last year.

Several serious charges were brought against two men, Jay O’Hara and Ken Ward, for their attempt to wedge their boat, the Henry David T., between the dock and an approaching coal freighter, the Energy Enterprise, on May 13, 2013. (Read Common Dreams original reporting on the action here.)

For the brazen act of civil disobedience both O’Hara and Ward faced many thousands of dollars in fines and as much as two years in jail, but it was Bristol County DA Sam Sutter who decided that all charges in the case would be dropped after he determined that their expressed purpose—to put an end to the carbon-spewing pollution directly related to the current climate change crisis—was an adequate and defensible position.  Sutter dropped all charges against the two.

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It’s personal: why leaders don’t turn climate knowledge into action

By Nicola Jones via Flickr

By Nicola Jones via Flickr

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

By Simon Divecha

There is an abundance of profitable business opportunity to be found in addressing sustainability issues. These stand out against the difficulties we face implementing effective change. Globally, the World Bank recently found that tackling climate change would help to grow the world’s economy by US$1.8 to 2.6 trillion a year.

Private sector investors argue for action as well. One prominent example is the Carbon Disclosure Project which represents 767 institutional investors holding US$92 trillion in assets worldwide. Its programs reward and promote companies acting on climate change.

There is detailed analysis, alongside successfully implemented examples, across nearly every industry sector showing an 80% reduction in environmental impact for each dollar of economic output. This is not, necessarily, even a case of implementing new technology. Planning and design help to deliver similar outcomes – for example, in residential developments.… Read the rest

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