November 2012

Largest Corporate Donation November 2, 2012 : 10:15 AM

As you would expect, it came from an oil company:

“Chevron, the second-largest oil company in the U.S. and eighth-largest in the world, contributed $2.5 million in October to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC to elect House Republicans. That makes Chevron’s super PAC donation the single largest from a corporation.”

“The donation comes after House Republicans voted 109 times this Congress to enrich oil companies. According to Public Campaign Action Fund’s Adam Smith:"

“The donation appears to be the largest from a publicly-traded corporation in the post-Citizens United era. The corporate donation is double what the company’s PAC and employees have already donated to federal candidates and committees this cycle, according to analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics.”

Source: Climate Progress


A Threat to the Food Chain November 3, 2012 : 11:51 AM

A new study from Science shows the dangers of rising ocean temperatures:

“Of all the plants and animals facing a potentially dire future because of climate change, a study released Thursday in Science paints a potentially grim picture for one of the most important and underappreciated groups of living things on Earth. The study reports that phytoplankton — water-dwelling, single-celled micro-organisms including algae and other species — may have trouble adjusting to rising ocean temperatures.”

“Phytoplankton have evolved to do really well at current temperatures,” said lead author Mrudil Thomas, of Michigan State University, “but if they don’t evolve further, the warming this century is going to lead them to move their ranges, and their diversity in tropical oceans may drop considerably.”

Source: Climate Central


The Oil Boom's Impact November 4, 2012 : 2:48 PM

More harm to the climate:

“In the world today, global warming is our collective cancer, and despite dire and clear warnings, the oil industry is still smoking away. The best climate science in the world tells us that in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we need to limit global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius. But the amount of new oil production the industry is bringing online over the next eight years is exponentially more than we can afford to burn and stay under two degrees. We simply cannot afford to burn all the oil that the industry is capable of producing over the next few years, and in the long term.”



Hurricane Sandy Exacerbated by Climate Change November 5, 2012 : 10:34 PM

Australia’s Climate Commission released a report arguing Sandy was exacerbated by climate change:

“The Climate Commission has created a brief paper to be released on Saturday 3 November 2012 that states that Hurricane Sandy has been exacerbated by climate change.”

Climate Commissioner Professor Will Steffen said, “The terrible devastation of Hurricane Sandy has prompted many in the public and the media to ask the Climate Commission about the influence of climate change on Hurricane Sandy. This paper briefly outlines what we know.”

“The Chair of the Climate Commission’s Science Advisory Panel Professor Matthew England states, “The evidence suggests that climate change exacerbated the severity of Hurricane Sandy.”

Read the report by clicking here.


Rain and Drought November 8, 2012 : 10:28 PM

While Sandy’s rain created havoc, much of the country was experiencing drought. Another sign of climate chaos:

“On the one hand, we had Frankenstorm Sandy inundating the East, with 12.55 inches of rain in Easton, Maryland, 11.91 inches in Wildwood, NJ — and a “crippling amount of heavy, wet snow”:

- "34.0 in. – Gatlinburg, Tenn."
- "33.0 in. – Clayton, W. Va."
- "29.0 in. – Redhouse, Md."
- "24.0 in. – Norton, Va."

“On the other hand, the overwhelming majority of the rest of the country is in drought, especially the Great Plains. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports the drought is still slamming farmers and ranchers:”

“Hay in drought dipped to 62 percent, down two percentage points from a week ago and down seven points from the Sept. 25 peak.”

“Cattle in drought also fell two percentage points to 69 percent, and is down seven points from Sept. 25.”

“Winter wheat in drought decreased for the sixth consecutive week, although drought still covers nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of the production area.”

Source: Climate Progress


Cloudy forecasts becoming clear November 9, 2012 : 4:41 PM

In trying to solve one global warming's most vexing questions—the role of clouds—scientists have found that more likely than not, our planet will experience cataclysmic warming by the end of the century.

From the Washington Post's Brian Vastag:

“Warming is likely to be on the high side of the projections,” said John Fasullo of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., a co-author of the report, which was based on satellite measurements of the atmosphere.

"That means the world could be in for a devastating increase of about eight degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, resulting in drastically higher seas, disappearing coastlines and more severe droughts, floods and other destructive weather."

"Such an increase would substantially overshoot what the world’s leaders have identified as the threshold for triggering catastrophic consequences. In 2009, heads of state agreed to try to limit warming to 3.6 degrees, and many countries want a tighter limit."

"No supercomputer is powerful enough to predict cloud cover decades into the future, so Fasullo and colleague Kevin Trenberth struck on another method to test which of the many climate simulations most accurately predicted clouds: They looked at relative humidity. When humidity rises, clouds form; drier air produces fewer clouds. That makes humidity a good proxy for cloud cover."

"Looking back at 10 years of atmospheric humidity data from NASA satellites, the pair examined two dozen of the world’s most sophisticated climate simulations. They found the simulations that most closely matched humidity measurements were also the ones that predicted the most extreme global warming."

"“The models at the higher end of temperature predictions uniformly did a better job,” Fasullo said. The simulations that fared worse — the ones predicting smaller temperature rises — “should be outright discounted,” he said."


It's Global Warming Stupid November 10, 2012 : 3:18 PM

From Bloomberg Businessweek’s cover story:

“An unscientific survey of the social networking literature on Sandy reveals an illuminating tweet (you read that correctly) from Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. On Oct. 29, Foley thumbed thusly: “Would this kind of storm happen without climate change? Yes. Fueled by many factors. Is storm stronger because of climate change? Yes.” Eric Pooley, senior vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund (and former deputy editor of Bloomberg Businessweek), offers a baseball analogy: “We can’t say that steroids caused any one home run by Barry Bonds, but steroids sure helped him hit more and hit them farther. Now we have weather on steroids.”


Respect? November 10, 2012 : 7:37 PM

Nicholas Kristof asks “Will Climate Get Some Respect Now?

“President Obama and Mitt Romney seemed determined not to discuss climate change in this campaign. So thanks to Hurricane Sandy for forcing the issue: Isn’t it time to talk not only about weather, but also about climate?”

“It’s true, of course, that no single storm or drought can be attributed to climate change. Atlantic hurricanes in the Northeast go way back, as the catastrophic “snow hurricane” of 1804 attests. But many scientists believe that rising carbon emissions could make extreme weather — like Sandy — more likely.”


On the Road November 11, 2012 : 2:44 PM

Bill McKibben goes on the road:

“Bill McKibben is lanky, soft-spoken, scholarly and engaging.”

“And he's in show business now. Still soft-spoken, but very, very angry.”

“On a crisp night earlier this month, a mostly-Gen Next crowd filled the University of Vermont's Allen Chapel to see the dress rehearsal of the coast-to-coast road show that McKibben hopes will ignite a campus movement.”

“"Do the Math" will visit 20 cities starting Nov. 7. It mixes McKibben's grim analysis with a little inspiration and hope, with a goal of inspiring America's youth to righteous anger, and to lead where the grown-ups have utterly failed.”

Source: Climate Central


Climate and Security November 12, 2012 : 7:16 PM

The National Research Council has just released a must read report on the climate crisis’ impact on security:

“Climate change is accelerating, and it will place unparalleled strains on American military and intelligence agencies in coming years by causing ever more disruptive events around the globe, the nation’s top scientific research group said in a report issued Friday.”

“The group, the National Research Council, says in a study commissioned by the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies that clusters ofapparently unrelated events exacerbated by a warming climate will create more frequent but unpredictable crises in water supplies, food markets, energy supply chains and public health systems.”

Source: The New York Times


Watch the Record Melt November 14, 2012 : 2:49 PM

In a new video from NOAA you can watch with your own eyes the record Arctic melt this year:

“The summer meltback of Arctic sea ice still hadn't reached it's full extent when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released this video on Monday (best guess was that it would happen within a few days), but what it shows is dramatic enough as it is: you can watch the ice shrink inexorably from January 1 through September 14, 2012, at which point it covers nearly 40 percent less area than its historical average.”

Source: Climate Central


Symphony of Science November 15, 2012 : 8:12 AM


Wind Turbine Syndrome November 16, 2012 : 4:19 PM

Stephen Colbert once again nails it:


68% November 17, 2012 : 4:31 PM

Americans know the dangers of the climate crisis – its time for Washington to catch up:

“Polls have consistently shown that Americans’ understanding of global warming grows with an increase in extreme weather events. In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, that number continues to grow.”

“According to a new Rasmussen poll conducted a day before the election and released this morning, 68 percent of American voters said that global warming is either a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem. This represents a major increase over the last few years. In 2009, Rasmussen reported that only 46 percent of Americans believed that global warming is a problem. (Interestingly, while more people say they are concerned about the problem, there was a drop in the number of people who say it’s human caused).”

Source: Climate Progress


New World Bank Report November 19, 2012 : 12:59 PM

From the AFP:

"The World Bank warned that global temperatures could rise by four degrees this century without immediate action, with potentially devastating consequences for coastal cities and the poor. Issuing a call for action, the World Bank tied the future wealth of the planet -- and especially developing regions -- to immediate efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions from sources such as energy production."

"The time is very, very short. The world has to tackle the problem of climate change more aggressively," World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said on a conference call as he launched a report conducted for the global lender."

"We will never end poverty if we don't tackle climate change. It is one of the single biggest challenges to social justice today."

"The study said the planet could warm 4.0 degrees Celsius (7.2 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels as early as the 2060s if governments' promises to fight climate change are not met."

"Even if nations fulfill current pledges, the study gave a 20 percent likelihood of a four-degree rise by 2100 and said that a three-degree rise appeared likely. UN-led climate negotiations have vowed to limit the rise of temperatures to no more than two degrees."


Take the Climate Reality Pledge November 20, 2012 : 10:56 PM

The Climate Reality Pledge from Climate Reality on Vimeo.

Millions tuned into 24 Hours of Reality. Now it’s time for the next step – take the Climate Reality pledge by clicking here.


Ranchers and the Climate Crisis November 23, 2012 : 10:31 AM

Ranchers are being hard hit by the effects of the climate crisis:

“For western Colorado ranchers, the decision to sell cattle during tough times can hinge on a flower. Local cattle have developed immunity against the poisonous larkspur that live among more edible grasses. So a rancher culling a herd he can't afford to feed faces a problem restocking once economics improve: The replacements may die if they binge on the purple and pink larkspur.”

“That's the problem confronting Carlyle Currier, who owns a 4,000-acre ranch in Molina, Colo. and is mulling a decision to trim his herd of 500 Angus-Hereford-Charolais hybrids. Basic economics also worry him; he knows that he may well have to pay more later to buy replacement calves if the price per head of cattle rises from today's rock-bottom lows. But like many ranchers across the West and central plains, Currier has little choice. This year's record drought has made his operation untenable.”

"This is probably the worst it's been since 1977," Currier says. "We just can't grow enough to feed the cattle ourselves."

Source: Climate Central


Renewables Over Keystone November 24, 2012 : 8:53 PM

Public opinion overwhelmingly favors renewables:

“The polling outfit Zogby Analytics has just conducted a survey showing very strong support for renewable energy and minimal support for the Keystone pipeline among centrist voters.”

“According to the poll, which was released by the National Wildlife Federation, independent voters say they would choose renewable energies like wind and solar over Keystone XL by a 4-1 margin. Only 12 percent chose Keystone as a priority. And among all voters surveyed across party lines, renewables received twice the support as fossil energies.”

Source Climate Progress


Climate Deniers Join ALEC November 26, 2012 : 8:55 PM

Dirty energy-funded climate deniers are trying to dismantle important renewable energy mandates. Terrific story by Juliet Eilperin in the Washington Post:

"The Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank skeptical of climate change science, has joined with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council to write model legislation aimed at reversing state renewable energy mandates across the country."

"The Electricity Freedom Act, adopted by the council’s board of directors in October, would repeal state standards requiring utilities to get a portion of their electricity from renewable power, calling it “essentially a tax on consumers of electricity.” Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have binding renewable standards; in the absence of federal climate legislation, these initiatives have become the subject of intense political battles."

"The legislative council, or ALEC, is a conservative-leaning group of state legislators from all 50 states that has sought to roll back climate regulation in the past. It lost some corporate sponsors early this year because of its role promoting “stand your ground” laws that allow the use of force in self-defense without first retreating when faced with a serious threat."

"But the involvement of the Heartland Institute, which posted a billboard in May comparing those who believe in global warming to domestic terrorist Theodore J. Kaczynski, shows the breadth of conservatives’ efforts to undermine environmental initiatives on the state and federal level. In many cases, the groups involved accept money from oil, gas and coal companies that compete against renewable energy"


Coal Plants and Communities of Color November 28, 2012 : 10:02 PM

A new report details how coal plants are affecting minority communities:

“Coal plants place a disproportionate burden on poor and largely minority communities, exposing residents to high levels of pollutants that affect public health, according to a new report led by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).”

“The report ranks all 378 coal-fired power plants in the United States according to a plant's impact on the health, economics and environment of nearby communities. People living near coal plants are disproportionately poor and minorities, the report found; the six million people living within three miles of those 378 plants have an average per capita income of $18,400 per year; 39 percent are people of color.”

"The message arising from this report is simple: These polluting, life-compromising coal plants must be closed," the NAACP concluded in its report, Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People.”

Source: The Daily Climate


The Drought Continues November 29, 2012 : 4:12 PM

Well over half the country is still experiencing drought:

"Over half of the contiguous U.S. has been in a drought since summer. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor report showed a rise in the extent and increases in the severity of drought:"

"The report showed that 60.1 percent of the lower 48 states were in some form of drought as of Tuesday, up from 58.8 percent the previous week. The amount of land in extreme or exceptional drought — the two worst classifications — increased from 18.3 percent to 19.04 percent."

Source: Climate Progress


Passing the Point November 30, 2012 : 5:05 PM

We are passing a very dangerous milestone. More than ever we need our leaders to take action:

“Global greenhouse-gas emissions already have passed the point where the worst effects of global warming could be averted, and they are still rising, according to the third annual United Nations report on the so-called emissions gap.”

“Some countries have made pledges to help reverse this trend by lowering their emissions. However, the report by the U.N. Environment Programme warns that the gap between these pledges and reductions necessary to cap average global warming at 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2020 continues to widen.”

"In addition we have one year less to close it," said Niklas Höhne, one of the UNEP report's lead authors.

Source: Huffington Post