“You can’t link climate change to specific weather events.” That is the accepted wisdom that has been trotted out repeatedly as the wettest winter in at least 250 years battered England and Wales. But the accepted wisdom is wrong: it is perfectly possible to make that link and, as of today, you can play a part in doing so.
A new citizen science project launched by climate researchers at the University of Oxford will determine in the next month or so whether global warming made this winter’s extreme deluge more likely to occur, or not. You can sign up here.
The weather@home project allows you to donate your spare computer time in return for helping turn speculation over the role of climate change in extreme weather into statistical fact. That debate has been reignited by the devastating winter weather and the flooding and storm damage it wrought (more on that debate here).
The research that links global warming to particular extreme weather events is called attribution and has already notched up notable successes. The Oxford team showed in 2011 that climate change was loading the extreme weather dice as far back as 2000, in a study that showed serious flooding in England that year was made two to three times more likely by man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The killer heat waves in Europe in 2003 and 2010 were also made far more likely by global warming, similar research has demonstrated, while another new study shows how hurricane Katrina would have been far less devastating had it happened a hundred years ago.
In 2013 Japan not only exceeded the cumulative capacity of 10GW, but also jumped up to a top position in the world PV market, exceeding the US and Germany. The nationwide feed-in tariff (FIT) that was launched in July 2012 was the biggest driver for the market growth, rejuvenating the domestic PV market. However, many industry participants predict that the Japanese PV market will hit the ceiling in 2014.
The United Nations has been working on climate change mitigation and adaptation methods for many years. They have been joined by many countries who recognize the urgency of global action to solve humanity's greatest challenge.
You don't hear much about the UN efforts in the U.S. because of corruption of our media by supporters of right-wing climate change denial which is financially sponsored by the fossil fuel industry and its major enablers, the Koch brothers.
The UN has been especially persevering in connecting the dots between climate change, agriculture, and food security. Their copious research involving scientists from around the world not only connects the dots but brings forward the understanding that agricultural is one of the few sectors in which mitigation and adaptation join together creating immense opportunity for solving the climate change crisis.
Please read below the fold for more on the United Nations' new publication.
Click headline to read more, access hot link to new publication and watch UN video clip--
Rashmee Roshan Lall: Solar energy is clean, green and can help to solve Haiti's power crisis. Now the world's largest solar hospital is lighting the way.
For Haiti, the hospital is a shining symbol of what the future might look like, powered by the island's plentiful sunshine. Solar energy is definitely the future for Haiti, says Daniel Schnitzer, whose non-profit EarthSpark International plans to expand the country's first prepay micro grid with a 100-kilowatt solar power system to cover all of Les Anglais town centre in southern Haiti by June.
It’s here! On Wednesday, Connecticut became the first state in America to pass a law that requires food manufacturers to indicate the presence of genetically-engineered ingredients on the label.
If you’re surprised, you’re not the only one. After bitter defeats at the hands of big food lobbyists in California and Washington, I would have thought that we’d have to wait a long time to see another labeling measure with even a slim chance of passing. Yet here is Gov. Dannel Malloy, commemorating a bill that finally honors Americans’ right to know what’s in their food.
Well, once I took a closer look at the bill itself, it became clear why we didn’t see a knock-down, drag-out fight between food labeling advocates and Big Food like in California and Washington.
According to a statement from Gov. Malloy’s office: “Connecticut’s GMO labeling law goes into effect only after four other states enact similar legislation. Additionally, any combination of northeastern states with a combined population of at least 20 million – including Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey – must adopt similar laws.
“The bill also includes language that protects Connecticut farmers by ensuring regional adoption of the new labeling system before requiring local farms to analyze and label genetically engineered products.”
So, while the law sounds great, and Connecticut legislators are patting themselves on the back for the accomplishment, it means absolutely nothing. Although the bill is now law, it doesn’t change a thing for Connecticut families, and doesn’t require food companies to do anything differently. Perhaps the only comforting thing is that we can tack a “yet” onto the end of that sentence.
A project in West Marin shows how ranchers, and a whole lot of compost, can help mitigate climate change.
On a windswept ranch above the tiny West Marin town of Nicasio, a man in a worn Carhartt jacket holds up a blade of grass with a triumphant smile. This is rancher and philanthropist John Wick, and he’s explaining how he hopes to help save the world using an unexpected tool: dirt.
The ten One Planet principles provide a framework that allows us to examine the sustainability challenges we face and develop action plans to live and work within a fair share of the earth’s resources.
The Center for Ecoliteracy supports and advances education for sustainable living.
With mounting pressures on schools today, the suggestion that teachers should also be preparing students to address our growing ecological crises might seem ridiculous at best. But what if doing so could boost student achievement?
What if it could lead to the kind of thinking and caring we need to solve the unprecedented problems before us? What if it could be accomplished without neglecting concerns about state standards? And most surprising, what if it was actually inspiring education?
When scholars of the future write the history of climate change, they may look to early 2008 as a pivotal moment. Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth was bringing the science to the masses. The economist Nicholas Stern had made the financial case for tackling the problem sooner rather than later. And the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had just issued its most unequivocal report yet on the link between human activity and climatic change.
The scientific and economic cases were made. Surely with all those facts on the table, soaring public interest and ambitious political action were inevitable?
The exact opposite happened. Fast-forward to today, with the release of the IPCC's latest report on the state of climate science, and it is clear that public concern and political enthusiasm have not kept up with the science. Apathy, lack of interest, and even outright denial are more widespread than they were in 2008.
How did the rational arguments of science and economics fail to win the day? There are many reasons, but an important one concerns human nature.
Through a growing body of psychological research, we know that scaring or shaming people into sustainable behavior is likely to backfire. We know that it is difficult to overcome the psychological distance between the concept of climate change—not here, not now—and people's everyday lives. We know that beliefs about the climate are influenced by extreme and even daily weather.
One of the most striking findings is that concern about climate change is not only, or even mostly, a product of how much people know about science. Increased knowledge tends to harden existing opinions.
These findings and many more are increasingly available to campaigners and science communicators, but it is not clear that lessons are being learned. In particular there is a great deal of resistance toward the idea that communicating climate change requires more than explaining the science.
A Nebraska judge on Wednesday struck down a law that allowed the Keystone XL pipeline to proceed through the state, a victory for opponents who have tried to block the project that would carry oil from Canada to Texas refineries.
Lancaster County Judge Stephanie Stacy issued a ruling that invalidated Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman's approval of the route. Stacy agreed with opponents' arguments that the law passed in 2012 improperly allowed Heineman to give Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. the power to force landowners to sell their property for the project. Stacy said the decision to give TransCanada eminent domain powers should have been made by the Nebraska Public Service Commission, which regulates pipelines and other utilities.
A spokeswoman for Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said the state will appeal the ruling. Heineman said he supports the decision to appeal.
"This is an important issue for the State of Nebraska," he said.
Stacy's decision could cause more delays in finishing the pipeline, which is critical in Canada's efforts to export its growing oil sands production. It also comes amid increased concerns about the dangers of using trains to transport crude oil after some high-profile accidents — including a fiery explosion in North Dakota last month and an explosion that killed 47 people in Canada last year.
A spokesman for pipeline developer TransCanada said company officials were disappointed and disagreed with the decision, which came in a lawsuit filed by three Nebraska landowners who oppose the pipeline. The company planned to review the ruling before deciding how to proceed.
"TransCanada continues to believe strongly in Keystone XL and the benefits it would provide to Americans — thousands of jobs and a secure supply of crude oil from a trusted neighbor in Canada," said spokesman Shawn Howard.
Foes say the pipeline would carry "dirty oil" that contributes to global warming and are also concerned about a possible spill.
Grain traders who've been selling GMO-free food to Japan are now supplying the U.S. market.
Quite possibly, you've noticed some new food labels out there, like "Not made with genetically modified ingredients" or "GMO-free." You might have seen them on boxes of Cheerios, or on chicken meat. If you've shopped at Whole Foods, that retailer says it now sells more than 3,000 products that have been certified as "non-GMO."
Recently at the annual American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, a number of climate researchers and communications specialists sounded off about the problems involved in conveying climate science information to the public. Naomi Oreskes, the Harvard science historian, noted one of the many challenges: There's a huge gap between how grave the climate issue actually is, and how clinical and detached climate scientists seem to sound when they discuss it.
"Our tone doesn't match our words," Oreskes said. As a result, climate communications often lack emotional authenticity.
But not every scientist fails to communicate effectively (or, seems to emulate Spock when doing so). And now one climate expert, Gregory C. Johnson, has done something truly innovative when it comes to sharing global warming information in an understandable, and even moving, way.
Sightline.org has published 19 illustrated haiku by Johnson (see one example above) that attempt to distill the message of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's recent Summary for Policymakers. The "SPM," as it's known, is a highly technical and difficult document; Johnson, as a lead author, understands it far better than most mortals. However, he has replaced its wonkery with a series of brief poems, each accompanied by a watercolor illustration.
One problem is that the process of growing food itself actually releases 7.3 billion to 12.7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide – some 14 to 24 percent of total global emissions. Trying things like growing trees on farms and practicing low-till agriculture are therefore "climate-smart" because they can simultaneously increase production while minimizing environmental impact. These approaches are essential if we want to meet our food needs while preserving scarce natural resources and cutting our climate footprint.
The danger climate poses to agriculture – and, correspondingly, the threat our current approach to agriculture poses to the planet’s climate patterns – have been recognized at the Warsaw talks. A leaked draft report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that because of global warming, food production will flatten out, decreasing by as much as two percent every decade, failing to keep pace with rising demand, which is expected to increase by as much as 14 percent each decade.
And the risk for climate-driven hunger is greater in the tropical regions, where adaptive capacity has not kept pace with the impact of climate change. In vast parts of Africa, for example, the growing season will shrink by an estimated 20 per cent within two generations. Life is already extremely harsh in these areas; less food will be devastating.
What kind of "stewardship" fits our emerging world? When we consider the powerful forces transforming our world — climate change, peak oil, water and food shortages, species extinction, and more — we require far more than either crude or cosmetic changes in our manner of living. If we are to maintain the integrity of the Earth as a living system, we require deep and creative changes in our overall levels and patterns of living and consuming. Simplicity is not an alternative lifestyle for a marginal few. It is a creative choice for the mainstream majority, particularly in developed nations.
If we are to pull together as a human community, it will be crucial for people in affluent nations to embrace a deep and sophisticated simplicity as a foundation for sustainability. Simplicity is simultaneously a personal choice, a community choice, a national choice, and a species choice.?
For the millions of hungry and underfed people on the planet, food security is not an issue of insufficient production, but is an issue of inadequate access, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
In a report release today, and presented with the Rio+20 Earth Summit just weeks away, the FAO argues that the "only way to ensure [global] food security is by creating decent jobs, paying better wages, giving world's hungry access to more productive assets and distributing income in a more equitable way."
Calling for a "transition to sustainable agriculture" the report, Towards The Future We Want, says that will entail world governments making "fundamental changes in the governance of food and agriculture and an equitable sharing of the transition costs and benefits."
Nafeez Ahmed: Converging climate, energy, and economic crises signal the potential to transition to a prosperous post-carbon era ▶ BEYOND 'BUSINESS-AS-USUAL': THE CRISIS OF CIVILISATION IS AN UNPRECEDENTED OPPORTUNITY
The Converging climate, energy, and economic crises. Importantly, that's not to say that we're all doomed. Far from it: while the crisis of civilisation shows that business-as-usual is not sustainable - and could at worst lead to an uninhabitable planet by the end of this century based on the consensus science projections - I've argued that we are already in the midst of a process of civilisational transition which offers unprecedented opportunities to re-envision new forms of prosperity that can function in harmony with our environment, rather than in conflict with it. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/sep/24/crisis-civilisation-unprecedented-opportunity-transition
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.