Countdown to Earth Day - Environmental Issues

ballettmaus

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13,043
While Hurricane Lorenzo isn't forecast to make landfall, he is only one out of two hurricane of this strength that far east in the Atlantic. https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/09/26/tropical-storm-karen-expected-weaken-while-lorenzo-becomes-category-hurricane/

Lorenzo is the strongest hurricane this far east out of any on record in the Atlantic, save for Julia in 2010. ...

Eric Blake, a meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center, tweeted that only 10 Atlantic hurricanes had ever formed east of 40 degrees west longitude. Five of them have occurred in the last decade — which he described as “probably no coincidence.” His tweet alludes to the likely connection between climate change and more rapidly intensifying storms, not to mention the expected tendency toward stronger storms overall.
 

BlueRidge

AYS's snark-sponge
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54,319
This is a good corrective to the "we are all to blame" narrative:

Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all carbon emissions (The Guardian)

The Guardian today reveals the 20 fossil fuel companies whose relentless exploitation of the world’s oil, gas and coal reserves can be directly linked to more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the modern era.


New data from world-renowned researchers reveals how this cohort of state-owned and multinational firms are driving the climate emergency that threatens the future of humanity, and details how they have continued to expand their operations despite being aware of the industry’s devastating impact on the planet.

The analysis, by Richard Heede at the Climate Accountability Institute in the US, the world’s leading authority on big oil’s role in the escalating climate emergency, evaluates what the global corporations have extracted from the ground, and the subsequent emissions these fossil fuels are responsible for since 1965 – the point at which experts say the environmental impact of fossil fuels was known by both industry leaders and politicians.
 

aftershocks

Well-Known Member
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16,180
Greta Thunberg and Michael Moore on Climate Change ('point of no return'):

The above is the part with Michael Moore being interviewed. I haven't found the clip with Thunberg alone being interviewed, but she talks a bit during this clip... "I cancel meetings with heads of state because I don't want to make small talk with them..." She also dismisses Trump's ridiculous tweet about her.

ETA:
Here's the clip with Thunberg, but alas, it's not in English. :lol: Hit CC (closed captions for English translation)
 

BlueRidge

AYS's snark-sponge
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54,319
Well this is rather dire:
Rising Seas Will Erase More Cities by 2050, New Research Shows

It reports a new study that finds that numerous large cities are actually at lower elevations than previous studies have shown and with rising seas will be below high tide level by 2050. Among the cities are Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Mumbai, Alexandria Egypt, and Shanghai.

The article notes that governments can take action to protect cities as has historically been done for below sea level cities, but it will be very expensive and needs to begin now. And the new estimates likely mean that there will be even more people migrating from places inundated by rising seas.

Oh well.
 

BlueRidge

AYS's snark-sponge
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54,319
This is a disturbing article:
For Europe’s Far-Right Parties, Climate Is a New Battleground

Right-wing populist parties now on the rise across Europe are elevating opposition to climate action into a new culture war issue, American style. Some, like the Alternative for Germany, or AfD — which holds the third-largest number of seats in the Bundestag and is better known for its strident anti-immigrant views and antipathy toward Muslims — overtly reject climate science. Others say they accept it, but dismiss calls for action as overblown hysteria, arguing that carbon-cutting measures are unnecessary, unaffordable, or pointless in the face of a problem so vast.
While immigration remains a political hot button across Europe, it is cooler than it was at the height of the refugee crisis in 2015 and 2016. So populists “are looking for a new subject to polarize,” said Stella Schaller, a climate expert at adelphi. “They’ve mastered the tools of drama, emotionalization, personalization.” The recent attacks on Greta Thunberg have demonstrated those strategies.

“The language they’re using is strong — speaking of ‘eco-dictatorship,’ ‘climate hysteria’ or ‘deindustrialization,’” continued Schaller. “Those are emotional words that reach people at the gut level. We live in volatile, uncertain times with huge inequality, so these narratives meet fertile ground.”
The article notes that the biggest political impact the far right parties may have by this is to pull mainstream parties farther away from endorsing action to fight climate change. :(
 

ballettmaus

Well-Known Member
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13,043
Thunberg was nominated for the Nordic Council environmental award. She declined because she doesn't want an award, she wants politicians to start listening to science and do something. :respec: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2019/10/30/greta-thunberg-rejects-prestigious-honor-saying-climate-crisis-needs-action-not-awards/

A day later, Denmark (a member of the Nordic Council) proved her point when they gave the go-ahead for the nord stream 2 pipeline. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50247793
 

BlueRidge

AYS's snark-sponge
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54,319
Sea levels set to keep rising for centuries even if emissions targets met

These are the costs of the industrial revolution. Put over onto future generations.

Sea level rise is set to challenge human civilization for centuries to come, even if internationally agreed climate goals are met and planet-warming emissions are then immediately eliminated, researchers have found.

The lag time between rising global temperatures and the knock-on impact of coastal inundation means that the world will be dealing with ever-rising sea levels into the 2300s, regardless of prompt action to address the climate crisis, according to the new study.

...The results reveal the daunting prospect of a near-endless advance of the seas, forcing countries to invest huge resources in defending key infrastructure or ceding certain areas to the tides. Many coastal cities around the world are already facing this challenge, with recent research finding that land currently home to 300 million people will flood at least once a year by 2050 unless carbon emissions are drastically slashed.
The growth ideology essentially convinced everyone that there was a free lunch. There's no free lunch.
 

KCC

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1,741
My sister just shared an article on Facebook that said NASA admits that climate change is due to changes in the earth's path around the sun, not burning fossil fuels. Facebook followed immediately with a few fact checker articles, but she is getting "likes" anyway. My husband the climate scientist is not amused and I feel sucker punched -- again.
 

KCC

Well-Known Member
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1,741
It is hard for me to cut the cord completely since there are kids & grandkids involved, but this is exactly why I've drifted so far from my siblings. You can't change their minds on these topics, so DH & I stopped trying.

I don't post anything on Facebook and won't respond to her, but many of her forwarded posts are like this one - obviously fake articles that she doesn't fact check. We keep our (5/year) phone conversations superficial, only with topics like weather & travel plans. She lives in FL and I don't expect to see here anytime soon unless someone dies. I'll get over it, but right now, it hurts to see this crap coming from family.
 

BlueRidge

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I find this absolutely galling:

Americans like Green New Deal’s goals, but they reject paying trillions to reach them (Washington Post)

Journalists and pollsters purport to be reporting whether people will support the Green New Deal by telling them how much it may cost BUT WITHOUT TELLING THEM HOW MUCH CLIMATE CHANGE WILL COST if we don't do anything.

Any discussion of policies to address climate change must start with the cost of NOT doing anything to address climate change or else there is no reasonable context to consider the costs of policies to address climate change.


Flipping media malpractice.
 

Susan1

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5,659
I couldn't think of anywhere else to put this. Just saw a tease from Ari Melber last night -
https://www.voanews.com/usa/michael-phelps-big-easy-step-save-water
" "Leaving the water running when you’re brushing your teeth ruins and wastes 4 gallons of water. It’s like 64 glasses of water,”

“In the morning when I do take a shower, I’m brushing my teeth in the shower,” said the now-retired athlete."

#1 WTF? I thought the interview was going to be a joke.
#2 Yeah, I turn the water off while brushing my teeth.
#3 How much more water are you using with the shower running while you are brushing your teeth. It's not like you are getting yourself any cleaner while you are standing there with the water running. That has never made sense to me.
#4 Where does he think pool water comes from - the Olympic fairy. I realize he does not fill up his pool every day, but still. Why don't you save more water and brush your teeth while you are swimming?

"Olympic-size swimming pools are approximately 50 m or 164 feet in length, 25 m or 82 feet in width, and 2 m or 6 feet in depth. These measurements create a surface area of 13,454.72 square feet and a volume of 88,263 cubic feet. The pool has 660,253.09 gallons of water, which equals about 5,511,556 lbs."
 

FGRSK8

Toad whisperer.....
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18,726
Sea boiling with methane discovered in Siberia. We are f*cked.

And so are manatees and Key deer.

I have stated elsewhere we are actually past the tipping point. Methane is now in a runaway chain reaction, i.e. A positive feedback loop. The only way to slow it down or stop it is temperatures to drop drastically, i.e., a massive volcanic eruption or some other element to release vast amounts of aerosols into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight and lower temperatures to the point where arctic areas refreeze and temperatures in the oceans cool to slow the release of methane hydrite from the ocean floor.

the weather is going wild. I have never seen a jet stream pattern this chaotic so late in the season. Normally by now it has settled into a stable pattern that last through the winter. The current pattern is undergoing wild swings where the weather gets more volitile with big storms and extreme temperature extremes.

My brother admitted to me yesterday that 40 years ago I was saying that CO2 was increasing and it was not a good thing and he thought I was an alarmist. He admitted now that I was right.

Not to sound doom and gloom, but what I can say if weather people tell you to batten down the hatches or evacuate, do so. Ignore the blogs, ignore the talk shows or the talking heads. If a weather person says run, you run.....
 
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Japanfan

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22,328
I wasn't sure whether this merited it's own thread, so am posting it here. Greta Thunberg named Time Person of the Year. A teenage girl unafraid to speak truth to power, who is striving to change the world, perhaps is already changing it. Amazing young woman!

 

BlueRidge

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Sorry the actual report is behind a paywall but its worth noting its publication in Science--or maybe they have opened this one to public access, try clicking...

Pervasive human-driven decline of life on Earth points to the need for transformative change (Science)

The time is now
For decades, scientists have been raising calls for societal changes that will reduce our impacts on nature. Though much conservation has occurred, our natural environment continues to decline under the weight of our consumption. Humanity depends directly on the output of nature; thus, this decline will affect us, just as it does the other species with which we share this world. Díaz et al. review the findings of the largest assessment of the state of nature conducted as of yet. They report that the state of nature, and the state of the equitable distribution of nature's support, is in serious decline. Only immediate transformation of global business-as-usual economies and operations will sustain nature as we know it, and us, into the future.
 

BlueRidge

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I can't even think of anything to say about this, other than FOR GOD'S SAKE WORLD, ACT!!

Top scientists warn of an Amazon ‘tipping point” (Washington Post)

Continued deforestation and other fast-moving changes in the Amazon threaten to turn parts of the rainforest into savanna, devastate wildlife and release billions of tons carbon into the atmosphere, two renowned experts warned Friday.

“The precious Amazon is teetering on the edge of functional destruction and, with it, so are we,” Thomas Lovejoy of George Mason University and Carlos Nobre of the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, both of whom have studied the world’s largest rainforest for decades, wrote in an editorial in the journal Science Advances. “Today, we stand exactly in a moment of destiny: The tipping point is here, it is now.”
Here is the link to the scientists' article which has an optimistic part, though I don't know how realistic it is:

Amazon tipping point: Last chance for action

The good news is that we can build back a margin of safety through immediate, active, and ambitious reforestation particularly in the deforested regions that are largely abandoned cattle ranches and croplands, about 23% of destroyed forest territory. These areas, which now lay fallow, are probably the main reason why the Amazon has not already become an expanding savannah.

The only sensible way forward is to launch a major reforestation project especially in the southern and eastern Amazon, actions that could be part of Brazil’s implementing its commitments under the Paris agreement. Embarking on such efforts would not only qualify Brazilian states for support under the new California Tropical Forest Standard, which allows states not only to get financial support from carbon-capped California companies but could also bring positive attention to the country and draw support and assistance from the rest of the world. Efforts in Brazil would empower other countries with Amazonian territories to follow suit. Any additional increment of deforestation should be matched by three times as much reforestation, with details tailored at national levels.
 
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BlueRidge

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This is a depressing article. It makes it clear though that changing how much we use plastic needs to be part of the movement to stop climate change.

The Plastics Pipeline: A Surge of New Production Is on the Way (Yale Environment360)

Companies like ExxonMobil, Shell, and Saudi Aramco are ramping up output of plastic — which is made from oil and gas, and their byproducts — to hedge against the possibility that a serious global response to climate change might reduce demand for their fuels, analysts say. Petrochemicals, the category that includes plastic, now account for 14 percent of oil use, and are expected to drive half of oil demand growth between now and 2050, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says. The World Economic Forum predicts plastic production will double in the next 20 years.

...
The impact goes beyond the waste problem that is the focus of public concern. Although plastic is often seen as a separate issue from climate change, both its production and afterlife are in fact major sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

Global emissions linked to plastic — now just under 900 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually — could by 2030 reach 1.3 billion tons, as much as almost 300 coal-fired power plants, the Center for International Environmental Law found. If output grows as planned, plastic would use up between 10 and 13 percent of the carbon emissions allowable if warming is to stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the center reported.
 

BlueRidge

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Trump Removes Pollution Controls on Streams and Wetlands

The steamroller that is the anti-environmentalism of the Republican Party just keeps on. Its part and parcel of the denial of facts and reality. Protecting the environment makes us as a country stronger, more prosperous, and more prepared for the future. It just makes no sense to rollback everything.

The new water rule will remove federal protections from more than half the nation’s wetlands, and hundreds of thousands of small waterways. That would for the first time in decades allow landowners and property developers to dump pollutants such as pesticides and fertilizers directly into many of those waterways, and to destroy or fill in wetlands for construction projects.

“This will be the biggest loss of clean water protection the country has ever seen,” said Blan Holman, a lawyer specializing in federal water policy at the Southern Environmental Law Center. “This puts drinking water for millions of Americans at risk of contamination from unregulated pollution. This is not just undoing the Obama rule. This is stripping away protections that were put in place in the ’70s and ’80s that Americans have relied on for their health.”

Mr. Holman also said that the new rule exemplifies how the Trump administration has dismissed or marginalized scientific evidence. Last month, a government advisory board of scientists, many of whom were handpicked by the Trump administration, wrote that the proposed water rule “neglects established science.”
 

Artistic Skaters

Drawing Figures
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7,177
Sadly all the non-profit orgs who are suing him over this stuff are not bottomless pits of money. I hope everyone will keep donating as much as possible or pretty soon we'll be watching chemical and waste run off fires on the Cuyahoga River again if something isn't done.
 

DORISPULASKI

Watching submarine races
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11,602
One plus. The Supreme court has ruled that the citizens of Flint, Michigan, can sue the state and municipal officials who ruined their drinking water.


So Trump can get rid of regulations, but there is now judicial precedent that he and all officials involved in ruining drinking water can be sued for doing it.
 

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