BOTH WAYS, REALLY? . . . JANUARY 23- 29, 2015

 – Major paradigm shifts create battling and conflicting beliefs. Obama and the Pope are smart enough to recognize profound problems, yet cling to obsolete, destructive beliefs. Driving with brakes on doesn’t win the race! First from Obama in his State of the Union address- “No challenge – no challenge – poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” Then “And today, America is number one in oil and gas. The typical family this year should save $750 at the pump.” We can have it both ways- really?-  Editor
State of the Union address 2015 transcript

QUOTE
“We need to see, with the eyes of faith, the beauty of God’s saving plan, the link between the natural environment and the dignity of the human person. Men and women are made in the image and likeness of God, and given dominion over creation.
As stewards of God’s creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family. When we destroy our forests, ravage our soil and pollute our seas, we betray that noble calling.”
AND
“Some think that, excuse me if I use this word, that in order to be good Catholics,
we have to be like rabbits.
No. Responsible paternity- that is clear.”

Pope responsible paternity quote WB

Pope Francis on the plane

 

- Next are the Pope’s conflicting paradigms. He clearly sees the “ravages” of both environmental and social impacts caused by unconstrained population growth. Yet modern contraception and abortion are forbidden! We will not solve the climate problem if numbers of people keep growing. – Editor

Polluting the planet is a betrayal of God, says Pope Francis

In comments made to reporters on board his flight from Sri Lanka to the Philippines, Pope Francis said that the “majority” of climate change is man’s fault, and that he had been disappointed at the political response in Lima.
Article
and

Pope: ‘Catholics do not have to be like rabbits’

Pope Francis has supported the right of parents to choose the size of their families, saying good Roman Catholics did not have to keep having children. He told reporters on his flight home from the Philippines that the church supported safe, responsible parenthood.
BBC News
Follow-up

climatedenierCatholicsWBPope Francis Says Humans Cause Climate Change. These Catholic Members Of Congress Disagree

Thirty-five of those members of Congress are self-identifying Catholics, 12 of whom have used the tenets of Catholicism to justify certain policy positions.
Article

 

 

49 pc of U S Senate just voted against basic climate science

It’s pretty sad what hundreds of millions of dollars in oil money will do to a democracy. Maybe a vote on gravity is next?
Facebook 

Senate49agntclchWB

New Senate Environment Chair Gets His Gavel, Goes On Rant Arguing Climate Science Is A Hoax

Wednesday was a big day for Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK). In the morning, he officially took the gavel as chairman of the Senate’s Environment Committee. In the afternoon, he took the Senate floor for a long speech about how human-caused climate change is fake.
Article
but
- Of course, Sen. Inhofe is from Oklahoma, where fracking for fossil fuels is worrying Oklahomans because of “incredible surges” of earthquakes! Wind and solar should be viewed as a blessing for this one reason alone- no creating unstable, quaking ground! – Editor

Vestas Signs On To 298 MW Oklahoma Wind Project

Danish wind energy juggernaut Vestas Wind Systems has announced it will be providing 149 wind turbines to the Kingfisher Wind project in Oklahoma.
Article

 

- With solar and wind zooming forward, storage and 24/7 power are becoming more pivotal. Here’s one intriguing new system for 24/7 power generation! So many cities need to work on their pipes anyway, this could be invaluable! Get your city to review this! - Editor

electricityfromwaterpipesWBPortland Now Generating Hydropower In Its Water Pipes

A Portland start-up has tapped the city’s water pipes as a new source of renewable hydropower that doesn’t disrupt fish migration or stream flows. Lucid Energy has installed a series of small hydroelectric generators inside a pipe that carries drinking water to the city. It’s the first of its kind in the country. Lucid Energy CEO Gregg Semler said his company’s in-pipe system offers a way to generate hydropower without environmental impacts. Plus, he said, it’s constant – unlike solar and wind energy. The Lucid system taps the power of gravity in the city’s water system. “There’s a huge amount of potential for this,” he said. The company is already working on possible projects in California, Arizona and Las Vegas.
Article
For an encouraging 2 minute video

 

SIGN OF INSANITY

(London’s) Financial Times Stock Exchange’s 100 chief executives had surpassed
the average employees wage by their second day at work this year.
Article

 

- Social justice is related to climate change. Power in the hands of a few who make addictive amounts of money from fossil fuels and other obsolete destroyers clearly isn’t working! – Editor

Richest 1% on track to own more than all the rest by 2016

Global inequality has been labelled as “simply staggering” after it was revealed that the wealthiest 1% is set to own more than the rest of the population combined by 2016. A report published by charity Oxfam, entitled Wealth: Having it all and wanting more, found that the wealth gap is continuing to widen, despite the issue rising up the global agenda. The study has been released to coincide with the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
Article
For the report

 

- Every time it gets cold, climate deniers say “See?” This simple graphic shows why our air temperatures have not risen as much as some expected- it is the oceans that are taking in the most energy. Definitely serious because some feel there might be ways to get CO2 out of the atmosphere, but no way to get it out of the oceans! – Editor

oceanholds90percentWB

The oceans are warming so fast, they keep breaking scientists’ charts

NOAAChartWBGlobal warming is properly viewed as the amount of heat contained within the Earth’s energy system. The energy stored within the ocean (which is 90% or more of the total “global warming” heat), increased significantly. We can now say that the 2014 Earth had more heat (thermal energy) than any year ever recorded by humans. We can also say that the folks at NOAA will likely have to rescale their graph to capture the new numbers.
Guardian article
For the image, go to slide 2
For general audience article

- Many corporations are making commitments and claims about reducing environmental impacts. Measuring emissions is critical but needs accuracy and consistency. These new standards are key to comparing corporations and really understanding progress. Send this report to corporations! – Editor

For corporations- The new GHG Protocol- What you need to report now

GHGProtocolsScope2GuidanceWBBusinesses consume half of all the electricity produced, and generation of electricity, steam, heating and cooling accounts for 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. But an increasing number of companies are supplanting the energy purchased from nearby utilities with purchases of more solidly renewable sources. Given that the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard is used by most large companies the world over, with 86 percent of Fortune 500 companies responding to a Climate Disclosure Project survey about emissions using the GHG Protocol to report them, it’s likely to have a big impact
To standardize greenhouse gas emissions, the World Resources Institute released an updated Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard. The new GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance covers electricity purchases of various stripes.
Article
Guidance

QUOTE
We are seeing the accelerated impact of climate change. Last year was the hottest on record. That matters. Extreme weather is real.
It’s a complete no brainer to move towards cleaner, more livable cities.
The key is coming up with a vision of
how we are going to finance mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
If we can find ways of being creative, particularly on funding,
we are more likely to find agreement.”
JimKimWorldBankWB
Jim Kim, president of the World Bank

Davos 2015: World Bank chief makes climate action plea

The president of the World Bank has urged the international community to help developing nations cope with a warming planet as the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos was dominated by calls to make 2015 a year of action on climate change.
Al Gore launched an initiative to get the world’s population behind climate change ahead of crucial United Nation talks scheduled to begin in November by teaming up with pop star Pharrell Williams. A 24-hour-long live music extravaganza is to be held in June.
Article

 

Al Gore and Pharrell Williams at Davos 2015- When I first felt how powerful Pharrell’s song Happy was (it’s hard to sit still), I immediately asked why we didn’t have music and popular icons as a powerful tool to grasp the hearts of the public on climate change. Looks like stiff Gore got the idea of using this upbeat cultural icon to reach those who bogey rather than dive into scientific reports. YES! Smart move! Bring on the singers, artists, pop stars of all genres to get people moving on stopping emissions and living the new life! – Editor
For more on Live Earth 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Transforming the way the world feeds itself
“One acre of lettuce in California requires about 190 million gallons of water to bring it to market.
If you grow that hydroponically or aquaponically, you could save about 163 million gallons of water.
If you multiplied that out across the state’s production of lettuce,
this one step would solve the state’s water crisis.
Traditional food production right now is a leading cause of climate change
and a leading cause of habitat destruction.
We simply can’t keep doing it this way and feed more people.
The leading cause of habitat destruction is expanding agricultural needs. ”
BillTooneaquaponicquoteWB
Bill Toone
Ecolife Conservation Foundation
Video
As water becomes less available and weather more extreme, the safest food supply can be the one requiring little water and protected indoors that you can also walk to. Every city needs large, productive urban ag programs, for both emissions reductions and adaptation- being prepared when, for example, California stops sending enough vegies in because their water has run out!The price of California vegies does nothing but get more and more expensive. – Editor

NEW WORLD OR THE WATERS COMETH JANUARY 16- 22, 2015

- The issue of 24/7 electricity generation is critical since intermittency of solar and wind is a political rationale for not making the essential shift to renewables. Here is a new, flexible 24/7 system of modular distributed solar thermal (DST). Each small-footprint base unit is 100 kWh, and more modules can be added on. Towns, corporations, etc. could begin with the 5 modules shown in the picture (500 kWh) and then expand. Modules could be placed close to where the electricity is to be used, allowing grid-free electricity. The company is developing algae as a biogas to eventually replace the fossil gas. Arizona has the first module in the U.S., hopefully leading the way for others.  – Editor

SolarTulipprojectwithgasWB

Solar Tulip: 24/7 Solar Energy/Biofuel Power Plant Moves Forward SolarTulippowersourcestorageWB

Final construction of AORA Solar’s 24/7 solar energy/biofuel power plant is expected to be operational in September (in Arizona).
Article
From the website: Tailored to demand- allowing for phased construction. Capable of producing constant output regardless of weather and solar conditions. Turbine can be powered by virtually any fuel including bio-gas. Ideal for arid climates- minimal water usage. 
For more information 

Britain brings back the battery-powered train

batterytrainWBThe first battery-powered train to run on Britain’s rail network in more than half a century is to enter passenger service this week. The pioneering engine marks an important milestone in the project to demonstrate the viability of an eco-friendly battery-powered train for the twenty-first century. The new train contributes to Network Rail’s commitment to reduce its environmental impact, improve sustainability and reduce the cost of running the railway by 20 per cent over the next five years.
Article 

 

Solar Is Cheaper Than the Grid in 42 of the 50 Largest US Cities reportGoingSolarinAmericaWB

Millions of people live in cities where going solar would cost them less than their current utility rates — and most of them don’t even know it. According to a new report by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, a fully-financed solar PV system costs less than the energy purchased from a residential customer’s local utility in 42 of the 50 largest cities in the United States.
Article
For the report Going Solar in America 

QUOTE
“The mass loss of these glaciers is increasing at an amazing rate.”
IsabellaVelicognaWB
Isabella Velicogna, Earth system scientist at both UC Irvine and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

 

- Over the years, talking with various climate scientists leaves one deeply unsettled- their aura of objectivity conflicts with the incredibly serious implications of their findings. Just recently, I was talking with a climate scientist I’ve known for years. He was explaining that the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet could now be unstoppable which means major sea level rise over time. In the past, he was always so cool, so objective. This was the first time I could feel and see his distress and disbelief that humanity would allow this to happen, dooming coastal metropolitan areas and treasures around the world. My thought- “Finally, he gets it! – Editor

Antarctic warming ocean trebles glacial melt

As temperatures rise in the Southern Ocean, warmer currents are eroding the Antarctic ice sheet from below causing the melting rate to treble in two decades to 83 billion tonnes a year. The Antarctic ice shelf is under threat from a silent, invisible agency – and the rate of melting of glaciers has trebled in the last two decades.
Article
For the report Multidecadal warming of Antarctic waters 

 

QUOTE
“Sea level is going to go up. The IPCC is right on that.
We can argue on how much, but the boundaries of that argument are within ‘bad’ or ‘worse.’
Greenland, for instance, is melting faster than anybody thought it would. Ditto Antarctica.
If you melted just a tenth of Greenland, you’d have .7 meter rise.
That finishes off Miami. That finishes off Wall Street.
It doesn’t take a lot to wreak havoc.”
TimBarnettScrippsWB
Tim Barnett, a marine physicist with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography

- What a great argument for divestment in fossil fuels! Add Greenland and West Antarctica together! Wall Street- wake up! And if Wall Street wakes up, the Republicans will, too. – Editor

Sea Level Rise From Climate Change A ‘Larger Problem’ Than Thought, New Study Claims

Article 
For the report Correcting estimates of sea level rise 
For a good 3 minute video on Greenland ice melt 

- Are you confused? What planet are they on in Washington, anyway? – Editor

Senate to vote on whether climate change is happening

voteonclimatechangerealWB

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday he will allow the Senate to vote on an amendment asking if they agree that climate change is impacting the planet. McConnell said “nobody is blocking any amendments” to legislation that would approve construction the Keystone XL pipeline.
A measure proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) asks whether lawmakers agree with the overwhelming consensus of scientists who say climate change is impacting the planet and is worsened by human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Democrats believe the measure could be a tough vote for some Republicans, particularly GOP senators running for reelection in 2016 in states carried by President Obama in 2012.
Article 

- Keystone pipeline is not the job creator that solar is! That’s a false excuse – Editor

Solar Is Creating Jobs Nearly 20 Times Faster Than Overall U.S. Economy

All those senators currently debating in Washington D.C., calling the Keystone XL pipeline approval bill an urgent “jobs creation bill,” are looking for jobs in all the wrong places. Renewable energy outperformed the slowly improving U.S. economy, creating jobs at nearly 20 times the rate of the overall economy. Last year, jobs in solar increased by 21.8 percent, adding up to 31,000 new jobs in 2014 and bringing the total number of solar-related jobs in the U.S. to 173,800. Those jobs can’t be outsourced, won’t disappear in two years like the Keystone XL construction jobs and don’t come with negative health impacts or harmful impacts on the environment.
Article 
For the report National Solar Jobs Census 2014 

QUOTE
“We saw a lot of climate adaptation plans (in cities throughout the state) that
seemed like separate, stand-alone documents.
They didn’t integrate well with day-to-day planning activities, master plans or ordinances.
This seemed pretty important:
Could we integrate a resilient adaptation plan with conventional master planning processes?”
HarryBurkholderMichiganplanningWB
Harry Burkholder, Resilient Michigan planner

- HOW transition plans are put together really matters. No matter how good your plan for climate is, if no one is following it, why waste the trees to print it? Probably the majority of climate plans are done separately from the ordinances and administrative processes, which leads to the “same old” not dealing with the new realities. Check out some useful ideas here! – Editor

MichiganclimatechangeWB“Resilient Michigan’ preparing cities for climate change

Resilient Michigan has spent the past year and a half in five towns updating master plans to account for planned changes associated with climate change. The area already is saving tens of thousands of dollars a year from energy efficiency measures. “Efficient use of energy is a crucial component of a resilient community. Reduced energy usage also reduces costs, pollution, and vulnerability to disruptions in supply. As communities live through extreme weather conditions, those climate impacts became real, very quickly.
Article 

Planning for Resilient Communities
The overall project mission is to foster and support community‐wide planning efforts that lead to the adoption of significant revisions to existing master plans to promote community resilience in the face of rapid economic changes and increasing climate variability.
Website 

 

 

 

QUOTE
“If the social cost of carbon is higher,
many more mitigation measures will pass a cost-benefit analysis.

DelavaneDiazStanfordWBDelavane Diaz, Stanford University report co-author

The real social cost of carbon- $220 per ton, report finds

How much does each ton of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere really cost us? A new paper contends that current government estimates of the “social cost of carbon” — a key metric of the economic damage caused by climate change used in cost-benefit analysis of regulations — could fall woefully short of reality. The researchers contend that the social cost of carbon on the global economy is actually about $220 for each ton of carbon dioxide emitted, a far cry from the $37 calculated by the U.S. government. The government may be improperly weighing the costs of carbon emissions while shaping regulatory policy.
Article
For the report Temperature impacts on economic growth warrant stringent mitigation policy

QUOTE
“While setting methane standards for the first time is an important step, failing to immediately regulate existing oil and gas equipment nationwide
misses 90% of the methane pollution from the industry.
conrad_schneiderWB
Conrad Schneider of the Clean Air Task Force

Obama’s climate plan won’t work if he can’t cut down on methane leaks

The White House just announced a goal of reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations 40 to 45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025. The plan involves new oil and gas wells. But environmentalists said the administration needs tighter regulations on existing oil and gas equipment, the source of roughly 90 percent of methane leaks. More broadly, the US can’t meet its climate goals — cutting greenhouse-gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 — without curtailing methane emissions, which are expected to rise with the fracking boom.
Article
For the report Waste Not: Common sense ways to reduce methane pollution from the oil and natural gas industry  

ACTION: Thank EPA for curbing methane AND ask to include existing leaks
Petition

DOLLARS AND SOULS . . . . . JANUARY 9- 15, 2015

QUOTE
Companies spent over $670 billion (£430 billion) last year searching for and developing new fossil fuel resources.
They will need to rethink such substantial budgets if policies are implemented to support the 2°C limit.
Investors in these companies should also question spending such budgets.
I would expect prudent investors in energy to
shift increasingly towards low-carbon energy sources.”

PaulEkinsInstSusWB

Paul Ekins, report’s co-author and the University College London’s Institute for Sustainable Resources director

 

- What wonderful things could we do with $670 Billion! Money so often dictates decisions, but we waste so much on obsolete assumptions, rules, and practices, just redirecting what is spent now could lead us to a far more secure future!- Editor

Vast reserves of fossil fuels should be left untapped

The sheer scale of the fossil fuel reserves that will need to be left unexploited for decades if world leaders sign up to a radical climate agreement is revealed in a study by a team of British scientists. Policy makers must realise that their instincts to completely use the fossil fuels within their countries are wholly incompatible with their commitments to the 2°C goal.
It shows that almost all the huge coal reserves in China, Russia and the US should remain unused, along with over 260 billion barrels of oil reserves in the Middle East − the equivalent of Saudi Arabia’s total oil reserves. The Middle East would also need to leave over 60% of its gas reserves in the ground. In total, a third of global oil reserves, half of the world’s gas and over 80% of its coal reserves should be left untouched for the next 35 years.
Article 
For the report 

QUOTE
“When you’re building a power plant today, you’re not just thinking about what the price of fuel is today, you should be thinking about what the price of fuel will be over the life of that power plant.
You will always know what the price (of wind) will be (it’s free, the only costs are mechanical).
You can’t say that about any other (fossil fuel) energy source.”

MichaelGogginWINDWB

Michael Goggin, Director Research, American Wind Energy Association

recordcoldwithwindWBWind power saved PJM residents $1 billion in two days

Wind power saved PJM residents $1 billion in two days last year. Frigid Arctic temperatures spread over the 13 Mid Atlantic and Great Lakes states (PJM) on January 6 and 7, 2014. There was not enough conventional energy to meet demand. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), spot prices would have skyrocketed if had there not been an abundance of wind energy available.
Article 

QUOTE
“Do we want dirty expensive coal/ nuclear from aging plants or
do we want new solar and wind that is guaranteed for 25 years?
(The power company) PNM said they have this model called Strategist, and
it chose coal and nuclear to reinvest in.
We said we have to see that model.
We paid $17,000 for 2 month lease, and
when we ran PNM numbers, it was astounding.
We found out it was not prudent to reinvest in coal and nuclear, but also in this case, to close down the entire San Juan (coal) plant as more economical for ratepayers over 20 years.
It’s 330 million dollars cheaper to close down the entire coal plant and
to invest in solar, wind and gas.
And that is the truth.”

MarielNanasiWB

Mariel Nanasi, Executive Director, New Energy Economy

 

This short verbal summary from the radio doesn’t explain that the initial report done by the power company PNM concluded that coal and nuclear were the best- and cheapest, but when the inputs to the program were reviewed, various issues came up. Large underestimates for cost of coal, and additional assumptions clearly biased the results. When more accurate figures were used, the conclusions were totally different! For those of us who have run the numbers using computers, GI-GO (Garbage In- Garbage Out) remains true! When any report defies logic- it’s cheaper to pay for fuel than get it free, for example- go back to the original numbers to look for flaws.
Of course, even if the free fuel of sun and wind were more expensive, the world can’t take more coal! When one is in survival mode, survival has to top economics! – Editor
KSFR Radio clip
And for the New Energy Economy organization (report not yet available)

 

- For additional information on the battle occurring in Northern NM this week- here health, jobs, and water use in our desert are added in the discussion- the health impacts of living near coal are horrendous, and this does not mention the brain-damaging poison mercury in coal plant emissions. So many lakes and streams in New Mexico are poisoned that fishing is prohibited in many areas! Is polluting our earth and our life what we want? – Editor

Public Regulatory Commission should reject PNM’s fossil fuel-laden plan

pnm_san_juan_generating_stationWBPNM’s assessments, however, do not adequately account for human suffering caused by the coal plants and mines. According to the San Juan Citizens Alliance, SJGS contributes 33 premature deaths, 600 asthma attacks, 31 asthma-related emergency room visits, along with associated socialized health care costs exceeding $254 million every year.
I’ll mention in closing an oft-overlooked feature of energy generation: water usage. Thermoelectric power plants account for 41 percent of all freshwater withdrawals in the United States. As a recirculation-cooled power plant, San Juan Generating Station consumes between 480 and 1,100 million gallons of water per year. With shrinking reservoirs and an increasingly insurmountable water debt to our southerly neighbors, we can ill afford in our high desert climate to evaporate so much water
Article 

2014 Was The Hottest Year On Record Globally By Far

chartrisingtemperaturesworldwideWBThe Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has announced that 2014 was the hottest year in more than 120 years of record-keeping — by far. NOAA is expected to make a similar call in a couple of weeks and so is NASA.
Article 
For the chart and the announcement 

QUOTE

“Around 60% of businesses expect that more regular heatwaves over the next 20 years would hit their profits, when many industries would have to heatproof their operations, including agriculture, retail, and insurance companies. They are thinking about how can we insure for extreme events like bushfires that are precipitated by heatwaves, so they have to model for an increasingly unpredictable climate. Large shopping centres are looking at dramatic increases in electricity costs as they try to increase air conditioning.
Heatwaves are becoming longer, and they are becoming more severe, and that becomes hard to manage depending in which business sector you are in.
Almost two-thirds of businesses expect future heatwaves to hit their profits!
So my own take is that a lot of businesses are probably fairly unprepared for what is coming.”

ProfWrightAustraliaheatWB

Prof Christopher Wright from the University of Sydney Business School

 

- Do increasing temperatures really matter? “Heat-proofing” farming will eventually be “fruitless.” It’s already getting harder to produce food outside. Temporary measures can work for a while, but raise new questions. What are the health impacts from eating sunscreen in your fruits and your wine? What foods will no longer even be available in the future? But if our minds are riddled only in economics, having two thirds of businesses already realizing that climate change will impact their profits is BIG, and puts a monstrous hole in economic arguments for continuing fossil fuels! – Editor

Why Australians are using sunblock to protect grape crops

Sunblock is being used to safeguard the health and vitality of Australian grapes as the nation reflects on another scorching year when temperature records continued to tumble. This region has temperatures that can exceed 113F (45C). Spraying sunscreen on grapes is now routine.
BBC Article

 

- Watch sixteen minutes of hope! Major rethinking of all our systems is so fundamental now that seeing such rethinking of basic assumptions at the neighborhood level makes you want to get off your duff and make good, sustainable transitions happen right where you live! “Criminals” lead the way to sustainability and amazing neighborhood- and personal- regeneration! This is replicable everywhere in some form or another! – Editor

Farmin’ in The Hood 2

Everything from Urban Agriculture to Robotics and a huge basement full of Aquaponic growing. A 20K square ft Laboratory that will change the game for the inner city youth.
Watch You Tube 
For donations

 

This article may seem irrelevant, but it haunted me. Do read it! The Froot Loop experiment is fabulous! It should be required of everyone!
Climate destroying emissions are created by just 2 big variables- the amount of carbon emissions each of us creates multiplied by the number of people. If greed overtakes our brains, as it has with so many, it’s not good for our earth, our future, and our souls! So much would fall into place if we could get to this fundamental, deep issue. People like the Koch brothers seem victimized by insatiable craving. – Editor

What wealth does to your soul

dontletmoneygotoyourheadWBGetting rich won’t make you happy. But it will make you more selfish and dishonest. What is clear about rich people and their money — and becoming ever clearer — is how it changes them. A body of quirky but persuasive research has sought to understand the effects of wealth and privilege on human behavior. There is a growing awareness that the yawning gap between rich and poor is no longer a matter of simple justice but also the enemy of economic success and human happiness. It’s not just bad for the poor. It’s also bad for the rich. It’s funny, when you think about it, how many rich people don’t know this. But they are not idiots; they can learn.
Article

Why Pope Francis is going green in 2015

pope_francisWBIn March 2015, according to The Guardian, following a visit in Tacloban, the Philippine city ravaged by typhoon Haiyan in 2012, the pope will issue an encyclical on climate change and human ecology, the first environmentally themed encyclical in history. He is also slated to address the UN General Assembly in September and convene a summit of world religious leaders to address climate change.

Why is the pope doing all of this?
First, perhaps Pope Francis wishes to make clear that when it comes to matters of creation, the church should be a major player, not a marginal voice. The earth is not just a geopolitical arena, but it is also, from an ecclesial perspective, God’s creation, and is thus of central concern to the church.
Second, perhaps Francis is underscoring that this is not just a question of policies and carbon emissions, critical as they are, but it is also one of persons, especially poor and vulnerable persons, who often contribute the least to carbon emissions but suffer the most from “climate chaos”.
Third, might Pope Francis be suggesting that climate change is not only a moral crisis, but a deeply spiritual crisis as well, one that cuts to the core of who we are and how we relate to all that is?
Article 

ACTION: SUPPORT PRESIDENT OBAMA IN VETOING THE UPCOMING KXL BILL!

The incoming Congress has pledged to pass a bill that would force the approval of the dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline as one of its very first actions. But on Tuesday, the White House announced that the president would NOT sign Congress’s KXL bill. It is more important now than ever before to encourage President Obama to stand by this pledge!
ACTION

MOVING TO WARTIME FOOTING . . . . Dec. 5, 2014 – Jan. 8, 2015

QUOTE
“Harvard’s endowment is 36.4 billion dollars- the largest endowment in the world.
Our main motivator should be about the students, and
how can you invest in fossil fuel companies that are threatening our future?
It is an immoral bet against my generation.”
HarvardChloeMaxmindivestWB
Chloe Maxmin, 22 year old Harvard student and co-founder Divest Harvard
Watch the CNN video!

The 22 year old is right! Is she alone? What do some thinking investors believe? Here is a warning from Jeremey Grantham, a British investor and co-founder and chief investment strategist of a Boston-based asset management firm, who also warns of the need for rapid change from a different angle. – Editor

The Beginning of the End of the Fossil Fuel Revolution (From Golden Goose to Cooked Goose)

It is vital, therefore, to emphasize fuel efficiency, reduce wastage of all kind, and encourage the rapid development of sustainable “alternative” forms of energy, particularly those that displace oil. These alternatives are competitive today with only very high-cost fossil fuels but in 20 to 30 years, if encouraged, may replace $40 or $50 barrels of oil, at which price the global economic system may muddle through. Unfortunately, this target is hindered by the fossil fuel industries, which actively oppose incentives for alternatives.
As a sign of the immediacy of this problem, we have never spent more money developing new oil supplies than we did last year (nearly $700 billion) nor, despite U.S. fracking, found less – replacing in the last 12 months only 4½ months’ worth of current production! Clearly, the writing is on the wall. It is now up to our leadership and to us as individuals to read it and act accordingly.
Article 
and

QUOTE
“The world is likely to strengthen its resolve on climate change.
Investments in fossil fuels should be seen as a rather risky activity.”
NicholasSternWBused
Nicholas Stern, member U.K. House of Lords, and former chief economist at the World Bank

Oil Investors at Brink of Losing Trillions of Dollars in Assets

Some operators and regulators are taking note of the risks from exposure to fossil fuels. EON SE, Germany’s biggest utility and second-largest polluter, said yesterday it will spin off its fleet of dirty, aging power stations and oil fields to focus on renewable energy.
Hours later, a letter emerged from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney to a committee in Parliament stating that he had instructed his staff to review whether sizable losses from stranded coal, oil and gas reserves could hurt banks, investors, insurance companies and the rest of the financial system.
Bloomberg Article

and

Bank of England to assess ‘carbon bubble’ risk

Article 

 

This is really important! The faster signals are sent, the faster solutions will fall into place. Speed is our survival mechanism. – Editor

ACTION: JOIN Global Divestment Day in February- Prep Workshop December 10

Global Divestment Day Web Workshop 1: Planning For Action
Wednesday, December 10th 5:30pm PT/8:30pm ET
GlobaldivestmentdayAreyouinWBLet’s make fossil fuels history!
On February 13 and 14, we need thousands of people everywhere to turn out and take up collective action demanding our institutions do what is necessary for climate action by divesting from fossil fuels.
To answer questions and generate ideas with you on how to participate in this historic day, we are holding an open web workshop Wednesday, December 10, 2014.
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- Beyond divestment, we must take a serious look at determining embodied energy in the things we consume. An electric car is not enough. So much destruction around the world happens because of consumerism. Estimates range, in part because of measuring different variables, in part because it’s complex! Is it only an energy issue when a primal forest is torn down for paper towels? One study says 44 percent of our total emissions are from “stuff”- non-food products and packaging. Others say 68% when food is included! This can not be ignored, and is so relevant around the holidays. – Editor

Urban RAM: Assessing the Energy Impact of Having People in Cities

embodied energy68percentWBA new model—the Urban Rapid Assessment Model (Urban RAM)—was built to provide a high-level breakdown of the major contributors to a given city’s energy and carbon footprint. By allocating both embodied and operational energy consumption to the various functions of city residents, such as living, commuting, shopping, or working, it is possible to understand better the drivers of urban emissions growth and areas of possible policy intervention. The model calculated three-quarters is energy embodied in the city’s infrastructure and goods and services consumption and the other 26% is operational energy. Of the embodied energy, nearly 80% came from goods and services that city residents consume each year, of which nearly half came from food and nearly one quarter embodied in the clothing.
Everyone knows that it takes energy to produce anything. The energy used in mining, transport, processing, manufacturing, delivery, management and disposal is “embodied” in every product we consume.
Article 
and

‘A Quarter Of The Energy We Use Is Just In Our Crap’- Black Friday And The Destruction Of Planet Earth

The tragic irony is that much of this holiday shopping is supposedly for our kids — and yet this overconsumption is a core part of our climate inaction, which, as President Obama has said, is a betrayal of our children!
Article
and

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Systems-based view including emissions embodied in international trade

Productsandpackaging44pcGGemissionsWBBased on the report, nonfood products are associated with 37 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Extending the EPA analysis to include the impacts from producing products abroad that are consumed in the U.S. brings the share of products and packaging to 44 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Article

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 DEEP HUMOR

blackfridayhumorWB

What a great question! Cities should whittle away at consumerism. So many solutions exist! Here are many that are easily implementable- start a project or two in your city, help slow the ripping apart of our Earth and feel great! – Editor

What Role Should Cities Play in Sustainable Consumption?

toolswapWBToday Portland is on the cutting edge of an issue with which cities around the world are grappling: sustainable consumption. ResourcePDX is a program encouraging Portlanders to buy smart, reuse, borrow and share, and fix and maintain to reduce waste.
Article 
For Resourceful PDX 

Geegaw Nation

tackychristmasdecorationsWB’Tis the season: for plastic, for wrapping, for quantity, for abundance. Has the sheer abundance of our continent ultimately conspired to corrupt our better angels? Or were we doomed by some inner corruption, some genetic predisposition to be the bipedal locusts hoovering up all in their path? Do all the geegaws we purchase this holiday season give us any more sense of well-being? Where we have ended up is as the spoiled kid on Christmas morning, surrounded by new geegaws and already bored.
Article  

 

 

 

- Dr. Sandra Steingraber understands “the unextendable time frame that remains to us.” She won’t be buying boxes and boxes of plastic gee-gaws for the family! Have you had the experience of being deeply concerned for life on this planet and the well-being of our kids while others blindly re-enact the lifestyle of America’s 1950’s, continuing Earth’s destruction? I sure have! – Editor

The Crappy Mom Manifesto- Letter to Fellow Mothers from the County Jail

crappymombeingarrestedWBWe mothers who are already fighting on the frontlines (of protesting fracking) —with our whole hearts, all of our spare cash and as much time away from our kids, spouses and jobs as we dare offer— inhabit two parallel worlds. When we rush back from the rally, the press conference, the public hearing, the arraignment, in order to attend the soccer game, the Halloween party, the parent-teacher conference, we listen to other moms talk about bake sales, home improvement projects, vacation plans. Some of us are on wartime footing. Some of us don’t yet know there is a war going on.

Article

 

 

 

 

- Major solutions in providing responsible electricity are occurring more rapidly in some places. Here we have national, state, and city examples which must serve as models for others to truly cut global emissions. Help make these new models work wherever you are!- Editor

 

QUOTE
E.ON’s move would be “a great influence on the Energiewende, making it more possible and probable. This is a structural change that gives you hope that our big approaches will have success.
It is really something.”

mariakrautzbergerWB

Maria Krautzberger, President of the German Federal Environment Agency

E.On’s switch to renewables is a sign of things to come, say experts

ECOnelectriccompanyGermanyWBGermany based energy giant E.ON has announced it is switching its focus to renewable energy, away from nuclear, coal and gas energy. More companies are likely to follow. The Energiewende transformation is reconfiguring Germany’s power generating capacity, with a nuclear phase-out planned by 2022 and a renewables roll-out that is slated to provide 35-40% of electricity by 2025, rising to 55-60% by 2035 and at least 80% by 2050. About a quarter of Germany’s electricity currently comes from renewables compared to 6.2% in the US and 4.8% in France.
Article
and even the state of Hawaii is jumping in:

NextEra Energy to acquire Hawaiian Electric Industries in $4.3B deal

NextEra Energy announced plans to acquire Hawaiian Electric Industries in a $4.3 billion transaction. The Florida energy company plans to move Hawaiian Electric further toward renewable energy, adding more rooftop solar energy, improving Hawaii’s electric grid and decreasing the state’s use of foreign oil. Hawaiian Electric provides power to about 95 percent of Hawaiians.

Article 

 

and get your city to compete with Palo Alto:

A California Community Shoots for the Moon: Palo Alto Targets Carbon Neutrality

Palo Alto, the heart of Silicon Valley and regional birthplace of Google, is eyeing today’s version of reaching the moon—becoming the first carbon-neutral city in the United States. Palo Alto’s now carbon-neutral (and soon to be all-renewable) electricity prices are 23 percent below the California average.
Article
The City website

 

Happy holidays of simplicity! Share non-consumable joys! We will, plus taking time to catch up on other projects- please join us again in January! – Editor

BRICKS FALLING, ONE BY ONE. . . November 14- December 4, 2014

Barack Obama Xi Jinping

- Disastrous U.S. election results might blind us from seeing some of the bricks falling, one by one, from the Berlin Climate Wall. Berlin’s seemingly permanent wall, mortared together with rigid fear, fell quickly, but only once people took power. Controlling climate won’t be one big whack at the wall, but bricks are falling. Beijing helps tackle a piece of the wall; yet, there are still huge segments beyond Beijing. Each of us can haul off a wheel barrel of bricks, too. – Editor

The climate deal that almost wasn’t

Top administration officials had worked secretly for months to nail down a major climate change deal with China. When the sides finally agreed to a final text late Tuesday, Obama had secured a startling political and policy victory — one that turbocharges his goal to reduce global carbon emissions and invigorates a presidency deflated by last week’s midterm elections. Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping stood side by side on a raised platform in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, greeted by a military band and cheering schoolchildren, to announce that the world’s two biggest carbon polluters were jointly pledging to throttle their greenhouse gas output — with the hope that the rest of the world will follow. The administration took pains to keep a tight lid on the talks for fear that leaks could spook the Chinese. Analysts warned that the 2025 target won’t do enough by themselves to limit the average global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, which scientists call the tipping point to preventing catastrophic climate change. Future administrations will need to make even bigger cuts.
Article

SCIENTISTS’ QUOTES
My take is that this is an historic agreement for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that we now have a good faith effort on the part of the planet’s two leading carbon emitters to
work together to lower planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.
 It is probably our last-ditch opportunity to stave off
dangerous human interference with the climate.”
Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University.
and
Efforts to reduce U.S. emissions have been blocked, in part, by people who argue that the U.S. should wait for China to act. [The deal] has potential to get us all beyond what has been a major — maybe the major — political challenge for emissions reductions in the U.S.”
Paul Higgins, a climatologist and Director of the American Meteorological Society’s Policy Program
and
“There will be a lot of pressure on the rest of the world if the U.S., China, and Europe are all on board to getting major reductions in emissions going. An important part of this is that it will likely produce momentum in energy and transportation systems towards alternative approaches that hopefully will in turn then drive prices down.”
Donald Wuebbles, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Illinois
and
“The agreement with China is a good first step. But we hope it is but a first step because it is not enough to prevent significant climate change. Since the current strategy allows considerable climate change to occur, a second part needs to be how we will cope with the changes that will certainly occur. The absence of such planning means we live with the consequences, which can be severe and uneven, and often fall on the heads of many innocent peoples
such as small island states inundated with high sea levels.”
Kevin Trenberth, distinguished senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

Article
and
“It does at least begin to move the US in the right direction, but let me say behind the European Union. The EU and other countries are using 1990 as the baseline, the US is using 2005, and that does make it easier for the US.
Nevertheless, this is a very important announcement.
It means we are very likely to get an agreement in Paris in December 2015.”
SirDavidKingWB
Sir David King, UK’s lead climate diplomat
Article

ENVIRONMENTALISTS’ QUOTES
“I don’t think it’s hyperbole. It’s a groundbreaking political moment.
It will change the nature of these negotiations.”
Heather Coleman, climate change policy manager at Oxfam America
And
“This is an incredibly positive signal, but we need more.”
Nat Keohane, vice president of international climate at the Environmental Defense Fund
and
“I hope that this pledge becomes a very low floor for presidential aspirants and
not a ceiling for what is possible in the United States.
Erich Pica, president of the environmental group Friends of the Earth

Article
and
Bill McKibben- The Big Climate Deal: What It Is, and What It Isn’t-
10 things you need to know about the US-China climate deal
It is historic. It isn’t binding in any way. It is proof that renewable energy is ready to go. It is not remotely enough to keep us out of climate trouble. It is a good way to put pressure on other nations. It is a reason projects like Keystone XL and fracking make even less sense than ever. It’s not, in any way, a stretch goal. It is — and this is the real key — a reminder that movements work. It isn’t, in other words, a reason to slack off one bit in the ongoing fight for a livable climate, a fight we must continue at all cost.

Article at 350

and
4 REASONS REPUBLICANS ARE UPSET
Obama is throwing down the gauntlet.
It takes away the “But we can’t do anything because China won’t” argument.
It’s another death knell for the coal industry.
Republicans are becoming internationally isolated, and it makes them look foolish.
 Article 

US climate pledge 4% less ambitious than at Copenhagen

KerryandXiWBPresident Barack Obama’s pledge to curb US greenhouse gas emissions 26-28% on 2005 levels by 2025 received widespread praise on Wednesday. But the figures presented to the world are actually 2-4% less ambitious than those the US tabled in 2010 in the aftermath of the Copenhagen Accord, agreed at a UN summit in 2009. The reality is the US government won’t have to change its policy significantly to meet its new goal. It’s becoming clearer much of this joint pact is simply business as usual, now packaged up in an agreement that makes that trajectory slightly harder to break.
Article

38 federal agencies reveal their vulnerabilities to climate change — and what they’re doing about it

The Obama administration published a small library’s worth of climate change documents on Friday, outlining 38 federal agencies’ vulnerabilities to global warming and how they will address them — as well as a separate and even larger set of new government-wide plans to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and achieve new targets for sustainability. In many cases, the vulnerabilities revealed are stark. The Defense Department released its own updated adaptation plan earlier this month, with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel describing climate change as a “threat multiplier” because it worsens many of the challenges that the military faces, including terrorism and disease. The Department of Agriculture, for instance, sees “the potential for up to 100 percent increase in the number of acres burned annually by 2050″ by wildfires. The Department of Health and Human Services, in its new report, says it views climate change as “one of the top public health challenges of our time.”

Article
For a list of reports

 

QUOTE
Way above what I would say are more standard returns,
I think renewable energy is good business.
I think we could really start a renewable energy movement in the U.S.
If businesses act, and
we don’t wait for policy, it could make a big difference.”
PatagoniaCEORoseMarcarioWB
Rose Marcario, CEO, Patagonia

- Recognizing our power and not waiting are vital!  The power of a rose! – Editor

Patagonia Will Start Paying for Homeowners’ Solar Panels

Patagonia plans to use state and federal tax credits to invest $13 million in the construction of solar panels on 1,000 homes in Hawaii, turning the eco-conscious retailer into the financial backer of a green electrical utility. Patagonia is joining forces with a tiny solar-financing company, Kina’ole Capital Partners as well as a local Hawaiian bank to create a $27 million fund to pay for rooftop installation and upkeep. The goal is to make solar energy available to homeowners at no upfront cost. Customers will instead pay monthly fees for the electricity generated, at a rate about 40 percent lower than average in Hawaii, according to Kina’ole. Patagonia and Kina’ole are eager to advise other companies on how to make use of state and federal tax credits and direct tax money to build clean energy infrastructure.
Article
and

AndrewYaniandBlairHerbertHawaiiWB
Andrew Yani and Blair Herbert, founders of Kina’ole Capital

- Look what two people can accomplish! A great vision, determination, and willingness to dare to think big! Get some friends together, be inspired, dream, plan, take risks, and get started! Don’t wait for Federal policy to do it, especially this post-election! – Editor
For Yani and Herbert’s small solar-financing company- Kina’ole Capital
Kina’ole Capital Partners is a solar finance company dedicated to offering low-cost, solar energy that saves our customers money while contributing to our country’s shift to clean, renewable energy.
Last year the startup approached Patagonia about investing tax equity in building a renewable energy infrastructure in Hawaii. Marcario sealed the deal within a month.
Website
One example from prior projects- Portfolio Spotlights: Simply Storage: By The Numbers
298 state-of-the-art panels manufactured in the USA by SolarWorld; $29,135 Yearly Savings
In just under two and a half years, their solar system paid for itself; In 30 years, Simply Storage will have saved more than 1.8 million dollars on its electric bill.
Website

- The rules of the game are shifting rapidly. Large organizations like utilities tend to just fight change, failing to see the writing on the doomed wall. – Editor

Solar + storage is cost effective already in Australia

UBSsolarbatterydemandWBA new study from investment bank UBS says solar plus storage already make economic sense for Australian households. The arrival of cost-competitive solar plus storage will have major impacts on utilities, depending on how they react. They could see it as an opportunity – and provide zero-down installations of battery storage and solar to their customers and help the costs come down even quicker for Australian households. Or they could see it as a threat, and leave the way open for others to do the same. The UBS analysis estimates that such systems are already offering a return of capital of 10 per cent a year or more compared to buying power from the grid.
Article

Solar Panels + Energy Storage For German Market

Berlin-solarwithbatteriesWBAn integrated residential rooftop solar and energy storage system will be launched in Germany in December. Hanwha Q Cells rooftop solar and Samsung lithium-ion batteries will be sold together so German citizens can produce their own electricity from the sun and store it at home. The integrated storage technology is called Q.HOME. The intention of the Hanwha Q CELLS and Samsung energy storage residential product is to allow consumers to become more independent of the grid. This goal not long ago was generally perceived as being something for a survivalist living in a rustic cabin. Now it seems almost poised to become mainstream, at least in Germany.
Article

 

- Paying for solar panels and energy efficiency through property taxes makes total sense, with potential to rapidly accelerate city energy goals, but until now, the Feds have put major kinks in a great system. Some more bricks just got quietly hauled off!  – Editor

Are Housing Regulators Quietly Dropping Their Opposition to PACE?

PACEHomeMortgageWBThe Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) public opposition to property-assessed clean energy (PACE) initially slowed growth of these programs, which allow homeowners to finance an energy efficiency retrofit or renewable energy installation over twenty years through their property taxes. Many communities worried that FHFA would redline them if they expanded PACE offerings. The FHFA is reportedly easing its opposition to local programs that allow homeowners to pay for renewable energy and efficiency retrofits through their property taxes. For the past four years, FHFA has been publicly opposed to underwriting mortgages for homeowners that have received property-assessed clean energy (PACE) loans. After five years of experience, there is no evidence that PACE has increased the risk of default. In the last year, communities throughout California, Connecticut, Florida and New York have started offering PACE loans in record numbers.
Article 
For a good place to learn more and check on your state’s status

Texas Utility Oncor Wants to Invest $5.2B in Storage- Can It Get Approval?

TXOncorWBTexas utility Oncor wants to spend billions of dollars on batteries to back up its transmission and distribution network– a major investment in grid-scale energy storage that will require major changes in the country’s most deregulated energy market. Oncor’s plan calls for up to 5 gigawatts of batteries, ranging from refrigerator-sized to containerized units, across its service territory. The Dallas Morning News mentioned that utility executives had met with Tesla Motors, builder of the Giga factory lithium-ion assembly plant in Nevada, along with several other companies with similar distributed-scale energy storage products on the market. Oncor’s plan represents one of the biggest potential energy storage procurement opportunities in the country — if it actually comes to pass. So far, California has led the country in energy storage, with a 1.3-gigawatts-by-2022 mandate.
Article

Also

 

- Divestment typically means some reinvestment strategies. Lots of options, but beware of some advisors- this list includes natural gas- not wise if you care about human and environmental health! – Editor
2015 Alternative Energy Stock Predictions
Time to lay out my top five alternative energy stock picks for the coming year.
Article

 

Enjoy your holidays! We are taking a few weeks off for other piled-high projects, plus several days with delightful friends, support for the local, organic food economy, and no carbon footprints of air travel!

MORE RESOLVE THAN EVER. . . NOVEMBER 7-13, 2014

QUOTE
The heat has turned us into nocturnal creatures, and
we have no alternative but to adapt.”
Abey, village elder

 

- It is the human side of heating our planet that insulated Americans aren’t getting. It’s an abstract concept to people who live in buildings where the A/C keeps an even, cool temperature no matter what. Just numbers on some chart- so who cares? But for most of the world, the shifts already occurring are forcing unprecedented, harsh changes to normal living. – Editor

Northern Kenyans adopt nocturnal life to escape extreme heat

KenyannocturallifestylefromheatWBOver the past decade, villages in northern Kenya have suffered through a series of ever-worsening droughts that have made normal life increasingly difficult. This year, for the first time, temperatures hitting over 104 F during the day have made farming, schooling, healthcare and other daily activities a struggle. The punishing heat has forced people and livestock to spend their days simply trying to stay cool. Shelters – circular huts made of dried sticks and grass – hold up to 15 people waiting for the night and the chance to get back to work. With the heat making it hard for children to walk to school and to focus once they are there, the local authorities have come up with an innovative way to ensure children aren’t robbed of an education. The answer, they found, is night school- run from 6 pm to 9 pm, then the children return home to eat, sleep and do their homework before returning at dawn for another 2-hour session. The local dispensary has had to close during the day due to the soaring temperatures.
Article 

 

- The strongest warning yet, but Kenyans who haven’t read the report GET IT in such real ways more than those who have and those who sit in A/C and don’t let science bother them! – Editor

World’s Scientists Warn: We Have ‘High Confidence’ In The ‘Irreversible Impacts’ Of Climate Inaction

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the “synthesis report” of their fifth full scientific climate assessment since 1990. More than 100 governments have signed off line by line on this review of more than 30,000 studies on climate science, impacts, and solutions. The authors clearly understand this is the last time they have a serious shot at influencing the world’s major governments while we still have a plausible chance of stabilizing at non-catastrophic levels. We are at risk of making large parts of the planet’s currently arable and populated land virtually uninhabitable for much of the year — and irreversibly so for hundreds of years.
Article
For the CLIMATE CHANGE 2014-SYNTHESIS REPORT 
For CLIMATE CHANGE 2014 SYNTHESIS REPORT Longer report  

Why two crucial pages were left out of the latest U.N. climate report

IPCCCopenhagenOct272014WB(The) latest IPCC “Synthesis Report” painted a pretty dire picture. Significant global warming, the report said, is already “irreversible” — and if policymakers don’t act, a dangerous 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warming threshold will be breached. That’s a strong message — but it might have been even stronger. You see, one of the report’s more powerful sections (in a box) wound up being left out during last minute negotiations.
Not everybody agrees that 2 degrees Celsius is even a safe threshold at all. Many think 1.5 degrees would be safer — a number that would imply a much tighter global carbon budget and an even narrower window to avoid “dangerous” climate change.

 

QUOTE
The box “provided a very precise [time] frame for the emissions that are compatible with a 2 degree of warming. And there is no similar sentence anywhere in the report.”
and
“I have a very strong view that scientists have a last word on what is in the report.
What they don’t have the last word on is what is not in the report.
Jean-Pascal van Ypersele de Strihou
Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, a Belgian climate researcher who is vice-chair of the IPCC

Article in Washington Post
and
The 10 things you need to know from the new IPCC climate report
Another article 

- Dumbfounding U.S. election results pierce our hearts; yet, our only choice is to keep fighting. The Berlin Wall did finally fall, and when it did, it was fast. Automobile makers switched to fighter jets in merely 6 months when the U.S. entered World War II. We can change quickly, and now every local action we take matters far more than it did a few days ago. Fundamental facts can be obscured- but only for a while. – Editor

The Climate Lost Big-Time in Tuesday’s Election

Tuesday’s elections were a major defeat for those who want to take serious action against global warming. (Here are) some of (the) most significant electoral blows in the battle against climate change:
The Senate’s environment committee will be run by the biggest climate denier in Congress. There’s new life for the Keystone pipeline. Tom Steyer’s climate super PAC largely fell flat. A Washington State carbon tax? Not so fast. Climate adaptation measures passed. Local fracking bans.
Article
and

What the election results mean for the climate movement

(The) election results were pretty rough. But when times get tough, it’s really important to remember to breathe, and focus on how we’re going to fix this problem together. Here’s my early sense of what this election means for the climate movement:
The fossil fuel industry knows it’s in a fight for its life. 2. Climate action works from the ground up. 3. Keystone XL is back on the agenda. 4. Divestment matters more than ever. The path to federal climate action is that much tougher. But we’re not going to let that drive us to panic or fear. We’re going to use it as a catalyst to get bolder and smarter.
With more resolve than ever- May Boeve, 350.org
Article 
ACTION: JOIN IN THE 350 MOVEMENT  

- Looking at who gives politicians money is important, but Big Money influence is far more than election time. Our media are so controlled by vested interests that the American public’s manipulated not just during elections. Our household does not watch TV, but doing research for Climate Today sometimes leads to online places like Fox TV. The incessant ridicule of “liberals” and the blatant scorn for our president drone on 7X24. And all our media do “See the birdie!”- a technique that works on adults as well as toddlers. “Pay attention to this star’s dress or that Hollywood divorce – keep focused on trivia, folks, so you ignore the big issues- and we can continue to make obscene amounts of money! I’ll buy all the air conditioning I want!” – Editor

Climate Deniers In Congress Take 3.5 Times As Much Money From Dirty Energy Interests

dirtyenergymoneybuyspoliticiansWBAs the US Environmental Protection Agency attempts to draw down emissions from power plants via its Clean Power Plan, fossil fuel interests are, of course, fighting back. A new special report from Earthjustice exposes the “unparalleled political spending by dirty energy industries” intent on defeating the EPA’s climate initiative. Just follow the money.
Article
For the report Getting a Clean Power Plan 
For the EPA’s Clean Power Plan  

QUOTE
Information is the currency of democracy.”
Ralph Nader

- Project Censored is so correct! Ocean acidification is indeed THE top ignored subject. Climate Today has covered this topic for years. So, if the Republicans insist our planet is not warming, what would happen if this basic chemistry equation- water plus carbon dioxide equals carbonic acid- were understood? They could even ask their high school kids if this equation is legit. This alone is a tremendously powerful reason to stop filling our world with more CO2! This topic needs far more publicity, understanding, and action! Share this. Try it on a conservative. – Editor

Project Censored

OceanAcidWBOur oceans are acidifying—even if the nightly news hasn’t told you yet. Although the news media have increasingly covered the climate weirding of global warming, our ocean’s peril has largely stayed submerged below the biggest news stories. The rising carbon dioxide in our oceans burns up and deforms the smallest, most abundant food at the bottom of the deep blue food chain. One vulnerable population is the sea butterfly. In a few short decades, the death and deformation of this fragile and translucent species could endanger predators all along the oceanic food web, scientists warn. This “butterfly effect,” once unleashed, potentially threatens fisheries that feed over 1 billion people worldwide. (Ocean acidification makes) the top story of Project Censored, an annual book and reporting project that features the year’s most underreported news stories, striving to unmask censorship, self-censorship and propaganda in corporate-controlled media outlets. Will the problem make the front page tomorrow, while there’s still time to act? Probably not, and that’s why we have Project Censored and its annual list.
Article
For an important 12 minute video- share this!

QUOTE
We need to pursue our own efforts in finding a solution.”
Javier-GonzalesWB
Javier Gonzales, Mayor, Santa Fe New Mexico

 

- A hundred people in the audience on a Monday morning let out loud cheers when the Mayor of Santa Fe announced the City would be pursuing its own electricity company and community solar! With the incredibly worrying national election results, Mayor Gonzales took the lead and said our nation’s cities will have to spearhead climate actions! He’s so right! Local transitions are essential! – Editor

Energy Independence Ahoy

Gonzales noted what he calls that Santa Fe’s “partnership” with the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) is still in place, but there hasn’t been enough progress in lowering costs and providing comprehensive solar energy. PNM holds a monopoly on electricity service in the city. Doubling down on campaign promises to provide cheaper solar energy for Santa Fe, Mayor Javier Gonzales said today that he will soon start rallying support to establish a city-owned power company. (Also, he wants community- owned solar) “one that dedicates at least 20 percent of its resources to low-income renters who can’t easily access solar power, due to its cost, and the fact that they don’t own homes.”
A 2012 report conducted by New Energy Economy estimated that with a $155 million investment, Santa Fe could take ownership of its electricity.
Article 
For background on the city owning its own power
For the New Energy Economy 

 

–  Share your community ideas with others- just what is needed! Check it out! – Editor

Clean energy may be dead in D.C., but here’s how you can lead the charge

OpenIdeoWBThrough Dec. 10, the OpenIDEO challenge — sponsored by the 11th Hour Project, which was founded by Grist board member Wendy Schmidt and also funds Grist — is collecting community renewable energy knowledge and examples. After the research phase, collaborators will develop ideas to address specific challenges, and then test and improve the most innovative ideas. In the end, the OpenIDEO platform will become a hub for sharing the best ideas, connecting communities with people who can implement those ideas, and — with any luck — sharing real-world success stories.

Article 

How might communities lead the rapid transition to renewable energy?
Watch the 2 minute video on the OPENIDEO Challenge

 

 

QUOTE
Farmers are at the pointy end of climate change. Last year was our hottest on record, this one’s shaping up to be even worse, and we’ve got a raging drought over a vast area. In spite of the overwhelming scientific evidence, our idiotic politicians are hooked on coal and gas, which is the cause of the problem.
robmccreathfarmerWB
Rob McCreath, farmer

Individual actions might make a difference, too. McCreath wasn’t allowed to rent a billboard to encourage the G20 politicians coming to Australia to face the CO2 issue, so he took his message to the field! – Editor

farmerfieldGoSolarWB

A Darling Downs farmer has sent a direct appeal to world leaders attending the G20 (in Australia), ploughing the message GO SOLAR in giant letters in a field.
Article from Australia   

 

cartoon AmpeoplehavespokenWB

 

Cartoon 

ANSWERS VERSUS WALNUT BRAINS . . . OCTOBER 31- NOVEMBER 6, 2014

- Elections are here, and some devastating results are being predicted. Climate change is not the Top Story, which is incredible when one understands the gist of the science. How can this be? What role do the media play? Who controls the media? How can other issues be more important? We have to change- and soon! Gary Larson is right- walnut brains didn’t work before. If we proceed without stopping climate change, are we also walnut brains? – Editor

Climate change isn’t a top concern for most voters.
Only 3 percent think it should be the country’s top priority, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling.”

Reuters

 

 

dinosaurs-picture-is-bleakWB

 

“The picture’s pretty bleak, gentlemen…

The world’s climates are changing, the mammals are taking over, and
we all have a brain about the size of a walnut.
Gary Larson
Cartoon 

 

 

EGAD QUOTE
“One of the things we always do is change in response to the changing world.”
Anne Gudenkauf, senior supervising editor of NPR’s science desk

- Perhaps Anne lives on a different planet? Seems some big money is calling the shots from the back room. This is NOT in the public interest! Take a few minutes, contact NPR and share the Siemering quote below. – Editor

NPR Reduces Its Environment Team to One Reporter

NPRheadquartersWBNPR has cut back on the number of staffers focused solely on the environment and climate change. Earlier this year, the news outlet had three full-time reporters and one editor dedicated to covering the issue within NPR’s science desk. One remains—and he is covering it only part-time. NPR’s decision to cut back its environment-focused staff comes at a time when other news outlets are ramping up their climate beats.
(On the other hand) the New York Times announced earlier this month that it added an editor and three reporters to focus on the topic exclusively. This is in addition to the four staffers already covering climate change.
Article 
and

ACTION: Contact NPR and share this quote, saying Anne is wrong!

Email  

QUOTE
PURPOSE OF NPR
“In its journalistic mode, National Public Radio will actively explore, investigate and interpret issues of national and international import. The programs will enable the individual to better understand himself, his government, his institutions and his natural and social environment so he can intelligently participate in effecting the process of change.”
NPRpolicybillsiemeringWB
William H. Siemering, 1972
Quote 

ANOTHER EGAD QUOTE
‘I have studied (climate change) seriously for years.
It has become a political and environment agenda item, but the science is not valid.
There is no significant man-made global warming at this time, there has been none in the past, and
there is no reason to fear any in the future.”
JohnColemanWeatherChannelWB
John Coleman, co-founder of the Weather Channel

Weather Channel backpedals after its co-founder said humans aren’t causing rise in temperatures

The Weather Channel has released an official statement arguing that man-made global warming is real, just days its co-founder said it does not exist. The group claims said the planet is ‘indeed warming,’ with temperatures increasing 1 to 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit (0.6°C to 0.9°C) in the last 100 years. The Atlanta-based channel also states humans are helping make the planet warmer as a result of burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.
Article 
and
Article 

ACTION: Tell the Weather Channel Thank you- solving climate change is the most important thing we can do

Action - Click Feedback tab on right- then on Compliment

 

 

 

- Should politicians protect fossil fuel production? How much is a child’s health worth? Is it worth more if it is your child? If the background to this playground were solar panels and wind turbines, would the kids be getting sick? – Editor

How Houston’s Biggest Polluters Are Buying Texas’ Elections At The Expense Of Its Residents

ManchesterPlaygroundpetrochemicalsWBPeople in Manchester and the surrounding areas are sick. Yudith Nieto, 25, an environmental justice advocate who has lived in Manchester most of her life, says her low-income, heavily Latino community has high rates of childhood leukemia, asthma, and bronchitis — and this includes her family members and friends. Her observation has been backed up by data from the Environmental Protection Agency and the University of Texas which found “unacceptable” levels of cancer-causing pollutants in Manchester’s air.
No candidate for office in Texas has put environmental interests at the forefront,” Diana Flores, a trustee of the Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Oil and gas companies are buying them off and preventing things from getting done.” The most recent data is from the EPA, which conducted a study of East Houston’s air in 2010 and found the presence of seven human carcinogens that posed an “unacceptable increased cancer risk,” including diesel particulate matter, chromium 6, benzene, and formaldehyde.
Because of this, Manchester’s local schools are ranked among the top one percent of the most polluted in the country. The children who go there are 56 percent more likely to get leukemia than those living more than 10 miles away.
Article 

ACTION: Tell the Walton Family: Stop your hypocritical undercover campaign to destroy rooftop solar.

According to a new report, the Walton family, which owns Walmart, is working to radically undermine rooftop solar by promoting anti-solar state policies and donating millions of dollars to fossil fuel-backed front groups.
Act
For the report How the Walton Family is Threatening Our Clean Energy Future 

 

- Climate change speeds extinctions! Pulling out threads from our earth’s web of life is risky business, and this campaign begins to open the topic! All 5 are true (it should be all bees not just honeybees- read the amazing book The Forgotten Pollinators), but of course, even invisible soil organisms are critical, as well. And CO2 acidifying our oceans and weakening plankton is by far enough of a reason all by itself to stop increasing carbon in our atmosphere. – Editor

5 Animals Humans Need For Survival

BATWBBees provide the world with something far more important than delicious honey: they provide pollination — which is what makes most of the plant life on Earth grow. It allows plants, flowers, trees and fruits to exist which, in turn, feed both other animals and humans. Bats comprise one in every five mammals in the wild, and are one of the largest consumers of insects on Earth. Why are plankton important? Because they’re the reason we can all breathe. Through photosynthesis and some healthy appetites, both phytoplankton and zooplankton play an important role in converting energy into oxygen and distributing it around the world. Plankton are responsible for half of the world’s oxygen.
Article 

 

 

 

QUOTE
The argument that we need this baseload power ticking over in the background is basically false.
We don’t have a constant demand, so this idea that
we need a constant supply is a myth.”
GarthHeronWindLabWB
Garth Heron, GM Australia for Windlab

Wind power is more reliable than gas – and much cheaper, too

It seems like a good time to revisit one of the more persistent anti-renewables myths bandied about by fossil fuel types (and most of the – Australia’s- Abbott government): that renewable energy is unreliable in meeting electricity demand. This old myth – long since busted by a UNSW research team, among others – “is based on the incorrect assumption that baseload demand can only be supplied by baseload power stations.” As for the suggestion that wind energy is too unreliable to make any kind of meaningful contribution to the National Electricity Market, that’s a myth too, says Heron. The literally unpredictable outages at fossil fuel plants aren’t the only x-factor clouding the horizon of traditional centralised generation networks, says Heron. The elephant in the room, he says, the point that’s usually missing from the fossil fuels vs renewables debate, is the idea that gas and coal and any fossil fuel have huge volatility on pricing.
Article

 

- Politics! We CAN do renewables and efficiency, but reopening nuclear power plants continues to hold the big bucks in the bank accounts of the powerful few. – Editor

After Fukushima, Japan gets green boom — and glut

YonagaSolarParkWBKyushu Electric Power Co., the utility to which he must sell his electricity, has recently placed on hold all new (solar) applications for getting on its grid. Four other utilities have made the same announcement. The utilities say they can’t accommodate the flood of newcomers to the green energy business, throwing in doubt the future of Japan’s up-to-now aggressive strategy on renewable energy. The unfolding green glut in Japan echoes similar experiences in Germany and Spain. Prime Minister Abe’s conservative pro-business government is determined to restart at least some of the nuclear reactors.
Article 

 

 

Underwater “Windmills” Could Power One-Third of Scotland

A new tidal power plant to be installed off the Scottish coast this fall, will aim to make the country a world leader for turning sea flow into electricity. Unlike other renewable energy sources like sun and wind, tides come at the same time, and roughly the same speed, every day, meaning that the new plant will be able to rely on and plan for a fixed level of production.
Article 

 

Twenty-Four Reasons We Can Stop Climate Change

 

ClimateRealityHopeWBThe climate challenge is urgent, but today we’ve got the technology we need to ditch the dirty fossil fuels driving the crisis, and the popular will to do it — all a whole lot easier and more affordably than ever before. What this means is that these days, you don’t need to look into a crystal ball to see a sustainable future taking shape. You just need to look out your window.
So we’re counting down the key 24 developments we’re seeing in areas like clean energy, community action, and international negotiations, with highlights from this year’s 24 Hours of Reality: 24 Reasons for Hope. It’s no longer a question of how can we stop climate change, but how soon. And we’ve got the numbers to prove it.
Article 
For an upbeat video 
To dedicate a day to change

ACTION: The Pricing Carbon Initiative- Sign up to organize an event in your community.

The Pricing Carbon Initiative (PCI) is encouraging communities around the country to organize a range of grassroots, locally-inspired events that convey the urgent need to address climate disruption with a price on carbon emissions centered around this November 14th, 15th, and 16th. These November events will serve as a launching point for the beginning of a national dialogue and movement to price carbon pollution in the United States.
The events are timed to occur after the November elections and before the next round of international climate negotiations in Lima, Peru. By coming together at this crucial time, we can add to the growing momentum for climate action in our country and point the way towards solutions.
Article and simple video explaining carbon tax

SHOW THE LEADERS WE’RE READY FOR MORE. . October 24- 30, 2014

eusummitWB

NY Times

 

- The European adults smile upon making this climate agreement, despite the fact it’s a total compromise. Scientists, their research, and the Earth plead for faster action- so the young boy here represents his generation- what are the impacts for him and his peers? This picture says it all! The U.S. E.P.A. is similarly proud, yet its proposed Clean Power Plan sets an even weaker target, which scientists are trying to make somewhat more ambitious. – Editor

EU leaders agree to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030

European leaders have struck a broad climate change pact obliging the EU as a whole to cut greenhouse gases by at least 40% (of 1990 levels) by 2030. But key aspects of the deal that will form a bargaining position for global climate talks in Paris next year were left vague or voluntary, raising questions as to how the aims would be realised.
Article
and

States Can Produce Twice as Much Renewable Electricity as EPA Calculated

The EPA should increase the total emissions reductions achieved by the Clean Power Plan from 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 to approximately 40 percent. Strengthening other parts of the plan could help achieve even deeper reductions
Article
For the plan

 

QUOTES
We could argue that we should just let nature take its course,
but nature has never really faced this situation before.
We’ve just never seen things changing at this pace.”
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Meredith Cornett, the science director of the Nature Conservancy chapter conducting the experiment
and
“I was someone who was a real believer of keeping things in their own ranges.
The quote that hits home for me is that ‘climate change changes everything.’
It’s true. It’s just a game changer.

JohnPedlarassistedmigrationWB

John Pedlar, Natural Resources Canada forest landscape biologist

 

What are the trees thinking of the proposed emissions cuts? Of course we want our forests to stay the same beautiful places of nature they have been! But deeply held beliefs about preserving nature are grinding against reality, and not facing our changing reality can lead to disasters. Having been through miles of burnt forests that are predicted to never grow back with the same species because of temperature increases, it’s better to be realistic, face the changes, and then move wisely forward. Don’t waste time, money, and years of labor doing something that’s going to fail! Adaptation is critical! – Editor

If you plant different trees in the forest, is it still the same forest?

The Nature Conservancy wants to test “assisted migration”, a lightning-rod conservation practice that broadly means moving species from one region to another either to help that species or the target region adapt to changing conditions. The Iron Range Experiment, is a small test meant to compare how specific tree species – and genotypes, or variations – within those species fare under different climate conditions and forestry practices.
Article 
For the article Placing Forestry in the Assisted Migration Debate

 

QUOTE
This takes the bulk purchase model from individual neighborhoods and organizations to a national scale. A coast-to-coast, low, flat rate helps mitigate two major barriers of solar adoption — complexity and price — making it possible
for more American families to save the planet without leaving their homes.”
KeyaChatterjeeWWFWB
Keya Chatterjee, senior director of renewable energy at WWF

 

Sluggish politics be damned! We CAN change! Speed bottoms up while top down slugs along! – Editor

Cheap Solar Power Just Became An Employee Benefit For More Than 100,000 People

SolarCommmunityIniativeWBThree major companies announced they will now give employees a deeply discounted way of buying or leasing solar panels for their homes. Called the Solar Community Initiative, the program promises a flat rate that is on average 35 percent lower than the national average and roughly 50 percent less expensive than average electric utility rates. New organizations — including companies, municipalities, schools, and clubs — can join the Solar Community initiative to increase their bulk purchasing power and utilize Geostellar’s platform to expand access to cheap solar for employees, residents or members.
Article 
For short video

A Norwegian Town Paid People A “Reverse Toll” If They Walked Or Biked

NorwegianreversetollforbikesWBA clever way to get support for more bike lanes: hand out cash to anyone not commuting in a car. As cyclists and pedestrians passed a certain point on the main street in the town of Lillestrøm, Norway, they were pulled over by local officials–not to be ticketed or warned about wearing a bike helmet, but to be handed cash. The town was experimenting with a “reverse toll“: Everyone commuting without a car was given about $15. Here’s hoping it serves as inspiration for cities like New York, where police have been criticized for ticketing cyclists more often than drivers, or London, where police pulled over cyclists to tell them to wear brighter clothing. More cities should focus on telling active commuters what they’re doing right.
Article

 

– These 2 articles offer insights into the power of motivating employees to create major environmental changes, and these ideas can apply to any offices, manufacturing plants, schools, and more. Educating and motivating employees about climate change, the need to reduce all waste, and more is critically important! Most people work somewhere! Having been a corporate Environmental Planner, I know there is tremendous potential in companies with thousands of employees to reduce emissions and waste of all types. These 2 articles are focusing on the “bottom’s up” approach, educating and empowering employees to face the challenges. Of course, local organic food would reduce emissions and environmental destruction even more, but as long as people throw packaged foods into their grocery carts, it’s better to reduce the impacts from manufacturing. Educating and motivating employees, however, applies everywhere. – Editor

ConAgra Foods’ green strategy: Award employees for sustainability efforts

TavillConAgraWBLast year, ConAgra Foods — the U.S. packaged-foods company – saved millions of dollars while dramatically cutting its energy consumption. The accomplishments stemmed from an awards program, launched in 1992, developed to encourage employees to proactively look for ways to eliminate waste and reduce water and energy consumption. By allowing different divisions to set their own sustainability goals and awarding employees that met those goals, the Nebraska food giant saved 300 million gallons of water, eliminated 61,000 tons of landfill waste and reduced its carbon emissions by more than 43,000 metric tons. These efforts also saved the company $28 million.
Article
and

How ConAgra sets the table for climate resilience

Some basic training came first. “Initially, we had to educate our team on what GHGs are and our past performance, so that they could understand and communicate to others about our goals,” said ConAgra’s senior EHS specialist Debbie Stanley. The hardest part was actually putting in the time and resources to ensure employees understood GHGs. To get employees on board with energy efficiency, ConAgra’s frozen food facility held a Green Day during Earth Month. The local Green Team led activities to raise awareness and engage employees, hosting games such as “Spin the Wheel,” to help them learn about energy facts, and a dice game, to answer questions on all three key resources — electricity, water and compressed air. The rewards are many, from lowering utility costs for the facility, to boosting employee enthusiasm for the measures. “We’ve made [it] a big deal by really recognizing those who helped implement sustainability projects.”
Article 

QUOTE
“When there is a national emergency, a homeland security disaster, (like) a flood or tornado,
you want your National Guard to be able to continue to operate.
So having our energy source supply that is renewable, that generates our own power, and not be dependent on the grid is very important for us.”

MichiganNationalGuardMichaelStoneWB
Michael Stone, Brig. Gen. of the Michigan National Guard

National Guard tests novel wind funnels

SheerwindWBThe Michigan National Guard is spending $1.5 million on two new machines to generate electricity from wind. Unlike traditional windmills, the system captures wind from all directions, concentrating and accelerating it before sending it through a turbine on the ground, according to its designer Sheerwind. The company says that the system generates six times more electrical energy than conventional wind turbines and can work at wind speeds as low as 2 mph. And it’s cheaper to build and operate. The Michigan National Guard seeks to increase the percentage of renewable energy that it uses to 25 percent by 2020.
Article
For a fun video to see turbines spinning inside

For the company

 

QUOTE
“When you speak to homeowners, the common feedback is, yeah, I’m interested in solar, but I’ve heard the payback takes a long time. Then we have to education them, that there is no payback.
The savings are immediate and you’re just paying less for energy.
Given the choice of paying more for dirty power or less for clean power, which one do you like? Then they giggle, they start asking questions, why isn’t everybody doing this?
It’s that tipping point, it’s that moment, where people realize, wow, this is real.
There is no investment. The system gets installed,
I just pay for the energy, and I pay less for that energy than I paid the utility.
I’m still connected to the utility—
but for 60 percent of my electrical needs, I’m paying 20 to 30 percent less.”
LyndonRiveSolarCityCEOWB
Lyndon Rive, CEO, Solar City
Explaining to customers the benefits of Solar City’s financing methods
There Is No Cost to Solar Energy, Only Savings
Article

For Solar City

How To Make Electric School Buses As Cheap As Diesel-Fueled Transit

electricschoolbusWBA yellow school bus is usually a pollution nightmare, but a new business model could make it easier for schools to go electric. The idea is called vehicle-to-grid (V2G) and basically, it involves using EVs to back up the mainstream power system. Revenue from “grid services” could help offset the higher upfront cost of EVs themselves. The researchers found that an average suburban school district in Delaware could save $38 million across a whole fleet, and that the higher upfront costs would easily pay for themselves.
Article 

ACTION: Pricing Carbon Initiative

CarbonpricinginitiativeWBA broad network of groups is building consensus around a price on carbon pollution. People of faith, students, businesses, civic associations, and climate activists are coming together across the country to engage in dialogue and show their leaders they are ready for policy solutions to climate change.
Petition to Congress and the President of the United States

ENERGY LEAP, THE 10 DAY MAKEOVERS.. OCTOBER 17- 23, 2014

Zero Carbon Retrofits by the Millions

- Diligent efforts have been made to establish high energy efficiency standards for new buildings, but with very little impact because this typically represents an extremely low percentage of buildings, in Europe a mere 1%. We have to retrofit millions of older buildings to slash energy usage (causing about 40% of European emissions), but how? Here’s an exciting and doable plan for millions of homes of low-income people. A fabulous project for multiple reasons! We all need this! Read the entire article and share- this model is great!! Actually, we simply can’t reach carbon goals or stop needing natural gas without this type of plan! – Editor

Energy Leap- Ikea helps sell insulation to Dutch – and UK could be next

retrofithouseEuropeWBThe Dutch consortia Energiesprong (Energy Leap) could give zero carbon retrofits (for low-income homes) across England, using innovative wrap-around insulated panels, if EU funding is approved. More than 100,000 homes across the UK could be given a carbon-neutral retrofit by 2020. (Energy Leap) initiative involves completely wrapping houses with insulated panel-facades that snap on like Lego. Insulated roofs adorned with 24 high-efficiency solar panels each are fastened on top, while heat pumps, hot water storage tanks and ventilation units are stored in garden sheds. The deceptively simple idea behind the initiative has been to finance the roughly 300,000 mass-produced (10-day makeovers) renovations from the estimated €6bn of savings from energy bills that they will make each year.
exteriorinsulationprojectWBWith support from the Dutch government, Energiesprong dangled the carrot of secured long-term contracts for a market of up to 2.3m homes, and then asked a depressed construction sector what solutions they could come up with. The result was the beginnings of a reindustrialisation of the Dutch building sector, with construction companies taking 3D scans of houses to offer factory-produced refurbishments tailored to each house’s dimensions. Trade unions have enthusiastically signed up to Energiesprong.
Must read Article 
and
Zero on the Meter; the new standard for all rental-and owner-occupied housing in the Netherlands.
(This includes a vibrant online community for private home owners with an energy-neutral home or remodeling plans.)
Website 

QUOTE
“We see sustainability as a driver of building a new and better IKEA.
It is a driver of a renewal of our business, renewal of our products and a driver of innovation of all kinds.”

IKEAheadPeterAgnefjallWB Peter Agnefjall, chief executive IKEA

IKEA might lead the pack even more! Some smart cookies are running this company! Their entire “embodied energy,” from raw materials to disposal, being equal to one-half of Sweden’s total emissions is a critical analysis, and a wake-up call to every organization, including governments. Buying, consuming, and disposing of goods from around the world is a huge part of GHG emissions, yet often doesn’t even make the list of GHG sources! – Editor

IKEA may tighten carbon rules to protect environment

IKEAstoreWBIKEA Group, the world’s biggest furniture retailer, may introduce an internal carbon emissions price to help its drive to protect the environment and create a “new and better” company. IKEA is also on target to invest $1.5 billion in solar and wind power by 2015 (goal of net zero by 2020), and bought a higher proportion of its wood and cotton from sustainable sources in 2014. After attending a U.N. summit on climate change in New York, Agnefjall said the Swedish furniture giant will consider internal carbon pricing — a system that can give incentives to shift investment from fossil fuels.
About 150 major companies worldwide, including Google, used some form of internal pricing of carbon emissions in 2013 (called “shadow prices”), mostly for long-term planning, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project. The price varied widely, from $6 to $60 a tonne.
IKEA will study how a shadow carbon price “will affect the choices of materials, the investments we’ll make with suppliers.” IKEA has already invested heavily in greener energy. It has 700,000 solar panels on its stores and a commitment to own and operate 224 wind turbines.
IKEA is one of very few companies to assess its entire greenhouse gas emissions — from raw materials to the disposal of its products. For 2013, it put its worldwide total at 28 million tonnes, equivalent to half of Sweden’s total emissions.
Article
and
But not all company decision-makers are awake to the fact their children will always live on this planet. – Editor

Walmart Owners Investing Millions Into Anti-Solar Activities

The heirs and still majority owners of the Walmart fortune, the Walton family, have been spending millions of dollars in recent years funding a huge number of anti-solar energy groups, according to a recent study from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). “The Waltons claim to have a deep commitment to sustainability, but their support for anti-solar initiatives tells a different story. The Waltons are investing in efforts that both undercut clean energy and prevent average Americans from benefitting economically from solar power.

Article
For the report 

 

 

– A good example for promoting solar that could apply elsewhere. – Editor

Tokyo in the spotlight as citizen groups start generating solar power

TokyoCitizensSolarWBThere are currently 20 citizen groups operating or in the planning stages for solar power generation businesses funded by private contributors in Tokyo. Large companies do not get involved in solar projects in Tokyo because they are too small in scale. Tokyo may be an excellent place for citizen-supported power generation projects, which are less focused on making major profits than are large companies. At Tokyo Citizens Solar LLC, a limited liability company established in Setagaya Ward in July, numerous representatives of citizen-supported power generation efforts have joined as employees in the hope that the company will be a “platform” for finding ways to solve problems together.
Article 
For Setagaya Energy for All – with model homes, energy-shift workshops, etc. Good ideas!

 

QUOTE
“Climate change is a global problem.
Its impacts do not respect national borders.
No nation can deal with it alone.
We must work together, building joint capabilities to deal with these emerging threats.”
Chuck Hagel, U.S. Defense Secretary

US Defense Secretary Hagel Outlines Military’s Response to Climate Change “Threat Multiplier”

DefenseClimateChangeAdaptationRoadmapWBWhile U.S. politicians continue to disagree on global warming and its potentially catastrophic consequences, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has just released a report saying climate change will have serious implications for national security. Hagel said the U.S. military refers to climate change as a “threat multiplier” because it has the potential to exacerbate many of today’s challenges – from infectious disease to terrorism. Hagel added that the potential consequences of climate change means politics or ideology must not get in the way of sound military planning. “In the past, the Pentagon’s response to climate change has focused chiefly on preparing military installations to adapt to its effects, as in protecting coastal naval bases from rising sea levels. But the new report calls on the military to incorporate climate change into broader strategic thinking about high-risk regions — for example, the ways in which drought and food shortages might set off political unrest in the Middle East and Africa.”
Article
For the report Department of Defense: 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap
and For the Dumb Award:
The U.S. House of Representatives, however, has actively acted to prevent the military from considering these risks. Back in May, the House passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) that would have forbidden the Pentagon from using any of its funding to address the national security impacts of climate change.
Article 

Who Will Pay for the Costs and Damages of Climate Change?

Canadian oil and gas companies could be liable for billions of dollars of damages per year for their contribution to climate change caused by toxic greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study. The global financial cost of private and public property and other damage associated with climate change in 2010 has been estimated at $591 billion, rising to $4.2 trillion in 2030. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu recently called on global leaders to hold those responsible for climate damages accountable. “Just 90 corporations – the so-called carbon majors – are responsible for 63 per cent of CO2 emissions since the industrial revolution,” Tutu was quoted as saying. “It is time to change the profit incentive by demanding legal liability for unsustainable environmental practices.”
Article 
and for the report- Payback Time? What the Internationalization of Climate Litigation Could Mean for Canadian Oil and Gas Companies

A Shift from Fossil Fuels Could Provide $1.8 Trillion in Savings, Two New Reports Conclude

ClimatePolicyInitiativeLOGOWBA worldwide transition to low carbon fuels could save the global economy as much as $1.8 trillion over the next two decades, according to two reports published by the Climate Policy Initiative.
By switching to renewable energy sources, the high costs associated with extracting and transporting coal and gas could be avoided. This would free up funds to bolster financial support for wind, solar and other renewables – with enormous sums left over.
Article 
Moving to a Low-Carbon Economy: The Financial Impact of the Low-Carbon Transition
“When all of these factors are taken together, we find that transitioning to a low-carbon electricity system could actually increase the capacity of the global financial system by as much as $1.8 trillion between 2015 and 2035.”
Report and
Moving to a Low-Carbon Economy: The Impact of Policy Pathways on Fossil Fuel Asset Values
Report 

 

This article is a fine explanation of the conflict of modern agriculture and our vital need for an array of pollinators, very much worth reading, giving details of fundamental issues with pollinators. We are meant to give kudos to Cascadian Farms, yet its parent company, General Mills, is mostly not organic and justifies toxic GMO’s and their poisons, so it’s no accident the film doesn’t mention pesticides or GMO’s or moncultures! The short video can warm our hearts- a small plane spewing out massive amounts of wild flower seeds to help a variety of pollinators, with cheering crowds. Watch it but toxic Big Ag is behind it. – Editor

Serious about saving the bees? Time to rethink agriculture

flowerseedsforbeesfromplaneCascadianWBWe need multicultural pollinator communities if we want to keep eating our favorite foods. This is where the “stop spraying and plant some flowers” campaign comes in. Is it really that simple? Well, yes. But also, no. All these wild pollinators, particularly native bees, need habitats full of plant and structural diversity, which you don’t get in monocultures. Wild pollinators love fruit tree blossoms, but they can’t eat, sleep, and nest inside an almond blossom. They need all the other food and shelter in natural vegetation too. A group of scientists combined data from all these studies and found that wild pollinators had a universally positive effect on fruit production in 41 global crops, regardless of how many honeybees were around. No to insecticides and yes to flowers. Reducing pesticide use, especially neonics, is a given. (And) different kinds of resources need to be within flying distance — that’s less than a mile for most insects. Piles of messy leaf litter, dead wood, and ‘weedy’ ground covers are where many insects hide over winter and feed in between crop blooms. We also need to rethink farms as ecosystems, not production lines.
Article 
Watch Cascadian Farm’s publicity to save the bees
Article 

CREATING CARBON COOPS . . . October 10- 16, 2014

QUOTE
“People are paying a fortune in their (energy) bills. The way to get them to pay less on their bills is
actually enable people to be charged less by using less of it.
Our view is that if we can get consumers united together, show them a pathway for getting that
(high) level of reduction, then they’re going to look around to help their neighbors out and look at their service providers- where they shop and where they work-
“Here’s my bit; where is your bit?”
energyefficiencyproject2050goalsWB
Charlie Baker
Baker is showing the new external insulation on his home.
Watch this video- How community groups are generating their own energy

 

– Of course, the best energy solution is to not use it in the first place. Too many home energy efficiency projects create only minimal reductions in energy use, but here, it’s a whopping 80%! Coop formation, group participation, mutual help, high goals, and organized publicity are powerful tools. Replicating this project in cities throughout the world would be fabulous! Get a Carbon Coop going where you live! – Editor

How community groups are generating their own energy

Carbon Coop’s unique Community Green Deal programme is working with 12 owner occupiers around Greater Manchester to create a network of eco show houses, retrofitted to achieve emissions reductions of 80%. We believe the process of improving our homes to 2050 standards will be quicker, easier and cheaper if we work together, teaming up with friends and neighbours to share experience, knowledge and reduce costs through bulk purchase.
Article 
Repowering London ( all 3 projects)

- PLEASE take a few minutes in a quiet place to really watch at least 3 of these incredibly powerful, remarkably deep, videos- Julia Roberts as Mother Nature (http://natureisspeaking.org/mothernature.html), Harrison Ford as The Ocean (http://natureisspeaking.org/theocean.html) and the Edward Norton The Soil are all brilliant!. I transcribed every word of all 3- what profound truth! Take the time to watch and then rewatch. Please share these! - Editor

Nature Is Speaking

The Soil
“I am the soil.
I am in hills, and valleys, the farms and orchards
Without me, humans could not exist,
but you treat me like dirt.
Do you realize that I am just a thin skin on this planet?
And that I am actually alive, full of organisms that grow your food?
That I am broken, aching, overused, sick because of you.
You have withered me away to less than half of what I used to be just over 100 years ago.
Are you paying attention?
I am turning to dust.
So maybe you could treat me with a little more respect.
I suppose you still want to eat,
right?”
NatureisspeakingSOILWB
Voice of Edward Norton
Video less than 2 minutes

QUOTE
Energy efficiency is the invisible powerhouse in IEA countries and beyond,
working behind the scenes to improve our energy security, lower our energy bills and
move us closer to reaching our climate goals.”
MariavanderHoevenIEAWB
IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven

IEA Marks Energy Efficiency As World’s “First Fuel”, Worth $310 Billion

A new report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has estimated the global energy efficiency market to be worth at least $310 billion annually, a figure that is growing, and leads the IEA to confirm energy efficiency as the world’s “first fuel”.
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For the report, saying that “Energy savings equate to the entire fuel consumption of the European Union”
And
The Carbon Co-op is right! – Editor

Tougher energy efficiency target would boost UK economy by £62bn

A 40% cut in energy use by 2030 through efficiency measures would increase the UK’s GDP by £62bn and create 40,000 new jobs, according to unpublished EU figures. GDP gains are three times higher with a 40% reduction target than with 30%.
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and another article on this report uncovers the anti-earth forces:
These predictions come to us via a study from the independent consultancy Cambridge Econometrics — one which was reportedly suppressed by the EU secretary general’s office in order to not rankle “conservative European states and energy intensive industries.” It’s only coming to light now owing to efforts by WWF to see the report released.
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WAKE-UP FACT
“About 40 percent of the nation’s freshwater withdrawals are used for
cooling thermoelectric power plants.”

Source

- In case you think lethal chemicals in fracking waste water don’t impact you, the Central Valley aquifers are being pumped to irrigate a huge amount of the food being shipped to your state! Bon appetit! – Editor

Confirmed: California Aquifers Contaminated With Billions Of Gallons of Fracking Wastewater

CalifwateraquifercontaminedbyfrackingAfter California state regulators shut down 11 fracking wastewater injection wells last July over concerns that the wastewater might have contaminated aquifers used for drinking water and farm irrigation, the EPA ordered a report within 60 days.
It was revealed yesterday that the California State Water Resources Board has sent a letter to the EPA confirming that at least nine of those sites were in fact dumping wastewater contaminated with fracking fluids and other pollutants into aquifers protected by state law and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Nearly 3 billion gallons of wastewater were illegally injected into central California aquifers and that half of the water samples collected at the 8 water supply wells tested near the injection sites have high levels of dangerous chemicals such as arsenic, a known carcinogen that can also weaken the human immune system, and thallium, a toxin used in rat poison. Adding insult to injury, fracking is a water-intensive process, using as much as 140,000 to 150,000 gallons per frack job every day, permanently removing it from the water cycle.
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For the announcement 

- One issue deniers love to point to is the phenomenon of Antarctic ice currently expanding. Now there is a scientific explanation to this paradox- huge amounts of land ice are melting into the sea and making the water less salty- and thus more likely to freeze! Weird, but in this case, sea ice increases, at least for a while, because fresh water ice is melting rapidly off the land! And note that it is land ice that raises sea level. – Editor.

NOAA- Record Antarctic Sea Ice Growth Linked To Its Staggering Loss Of Land Ice

AntarcticSeaIceWBThe most important thing to know about Antarctica and ice is that a large part of the South Pole’s great sheet of land ice is close to or at a point of no return for irreversible collapse. The rate of loss of that ice has reached record levels, tripling in the last five years alone. 90 percent of Earth’s ice is in the Antarctic ice sheet, and even its partial collapse could raise sea levels by tens of feet (over a period of centuries) and force coastal cities to be abandoned.
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NOAA’s news release

- And this next article is disturbing- it makes the understanding of our measurement of carbon in the atmosphere questionable since so much as gone into the oceans, only to return to the atmosphere years from now. Let’s get Carbon Coops going! – Editor

Oceans Getting Hotter Than Anybody Realized

ArgofloatWB(Argo floats) are gathering and transmitting data that’s providing scientists with the clearest-ever pictures of the hitherto-unfathomed extent of ocean warming. About 90 percent of global warming is ending up not on land, but in the oceans. Article 

Prepare for climate change — or else, says FEMA

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which helps communities recover from natural disasters, is making a big policy change. This is the firstfloodmitigationreportWB time (states) specifically must address climate change. That’s because most states use historical data, not forward-looking data, which predicts more frequent, severe disasters associated with climate change. FEMA’s shrunken austerity budget is stretched to the max because $1-billion-plus disasters are growing 5 percent a year since 1980, according to NOAA. Every dollar spent on prevention saves $4 in recovery assistance. The National Flood Insurance Program is $18 billion in debt and that will increase as floods zones grow from rising sea levels.
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 Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves

Washington DC could face 300 floods a year by 2045

Washington DC could be under siege from rising sea levels by the middle of the century, according to the US Union of Concerned Scientists. According to UCS, global sea levels rose eight inches from 1880 to 2009, and are expected to rise by a further foot (30cm) by 2045. “Without serious measures, frequent flooding will start to disrupt daily life and change the way an area functions—and could do so sooner than most of us anticipated,” said Erika Spanger-Siegfried, a co-author of the report and senior analyst at UCS.
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For the report  Encroaching Tides- How Sea Level Rise and Tidal Flooding Threaten U.S. East and Gulf Coast Communities over the Next 30 Years

and

QUOTE
People will have to go someplace and this is one of the more obvious places.
Upstate New York could look like LA in 20 years.
LeiboStevenWB

Steven Leibo, a Sage College professor

- For so many years, people have been asking me in whispered tones “Where do we go to avoid the worst of climate change?” If we gave big bottles of NoDoz pills to government officials and mortgage insurers to wake them up, we might soon just be able to look it up on actuarial tables! – Editor

Climate change will make Albany a big city

Just as the Union of Concerned Scientists study warns that rising high tides will make flooding a regular occurrence along the East Coast, Leibo says the Albany metropolitan area will become a much bigger urban area. Climate change is playing out differently in different locations. People and companies will be increasingly factoring in climate change more and more in the years to come as they decide where to build their future. At a certain point, what is going on with the climate is going to become the driving factor in business decisions, especially concerning real estate transactions and where to invest. Real estate markets and mortgage insurers will be especially sensitive to the long-term consequences of climate change. Ultimately, actuarial tables will force decision makers to look toward this region.
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