Climate Change

There’s More CO2 In The Atmosphere Now Than Any Point In Almost A Million Years

  The World (10/30/17) Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere hit a new record in 2016. The concentration of the heat-trapping gas is higher than it’s been in at least 800,000 years, including all of human history.30/17) That’s the word from the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization. The WMO says last year’s CO2 spike was 50 percent greater than the average increase over the past decade, which Petteri Taalas, the organization’s secretary-general, says is very bad news. “This is demonstrating that we are not moving in the right direction at all,” Taalas said at a news conference Monday from the WMO’s home…

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Warning Of ‘Ecological Armageddon’ After Dramatic Plunge In Insect Numbers

  By Damian Carrington The Guardian (10/18/17) The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists. Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon”, with profound impacts on human society. The new data was gathered in nature reserves across Germany but has implications for…


Interior Sec. Zinke Mocked For Flying Goofy Flag When He Visits Interior Dept. DC Office

“His Royal Heinous Sir Ryan of Zinke, clown prince of Interior, has an official flag that is raised when he appears at his departmental seat.” By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (10/13/17) The Washington Post on Thursday reported that the Department of the Interior raises the department’s official flag above its Washington, D.C. headquarters to indicate when Secretary Ryan Zinke visits the office. Zinke—who has cultivated a reputation for launching unprecedented attacks on public lands and jettisoning key protections for wildlife—”has revived an arcane military ritual that no one can remember ever happening in the federal government,” the Post reported. The Post explained: “A security staffer takes the elevator to the seventh floor, climbs…


General Motors To Run Ohio, Indiana Factories With 100% Wind Power

    By Greg Alvarez Nation of Change (9/24/17) Last week I predicted it wouldn’t be long before we had more news on Fortune 500 wind power purchases. Well, a whole seven days passed before there were new deals to report. Wind powers the open road for GM General Motors (GM) just announced wind power purchase agreements with projects in Ohio and Illinois. The automaker is buying enough wind-generated electricity to power the Ohio and Indiana factories that build the Chevrolet Cruze and Silverado, and the GMC Sierra. “Technology is driving solutions for mobility and safety in our vehicles, as well as the new energy solutions that…


Former Sierra Club Leader Carl Pope With A Creative & Hopeful Message On Climate Breakdown

  West Minster Town Hall Forum (9/19/17) Carl Pope is the former executive director and chairman of the Sierra Club and a veteran leader in the environmental movement. He is now a senior climate advisor to former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and the principal advisor at Inside Straight Strategies, where he focuses on the links between sustainability and economic development. A graduate of Harvard College, he is the author of three books, including Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet, which he co-authored with Michael Bloomberg. He was a founder of the BlueGreen Alliance…


Buzz Kill: Climate Change Threatens Coffee-Pollinating Bees

  By Marlene Cimons Nexus Media (9/11/17) The best coffee grows in the mountains, where it is cool. It needs low temperatures to thrive, which is why growers often put shade trees in their fields. But the mountains are getting hotter. And the higher you go, the less room there is to grow coffee. This is one reason scientists predict coffee will suffer in a changing climate. New research suggests the fate of coffee may be worse than previously thought. Earlier projections underestimated the effects of climate change, specifically in Latin America, and failed to consider the consequences for coffee-pollinating bees, according…


Scientists Warn Climate Breakdown May Wipe Out A Third Of World’s Parasites, With Disastrous Ripple Effects

  Democracy Now! (9/11/17) As the United States continues to deal with unprecedented floods and hurricanes, a new study has revealed climate change is also driving the mass extinction of parasites that are critical to natural ecosystems, and could add to the planet’s sixth great mass extinction event that’s currently underway. The report in the journal Science Advances warns that about a third of all parasite species could go extinct by 2070 due to human activity. The loss of species of lice, fleas and worms could have profound ripple effects on the environment and might pave the way for new…


Harvey, Hell, High Water & Hypocrisy

  By John Atcheson Common Dreams (9/4/17) Katrina, Sandy, Harvey. Three record-breaking storms in a dozen years. Harvey is a 1,000 year storm, Sandy had the largest diameter of any hurricane on record to strike the US, and Katrina had the largest storm surge ever recorded. [Add to the total Hurricane Irma, now surging toward Florida. – Ed.] Meanwhile, the fire map for California covers the entire state, and for much of August, British Columbia’s record-breaking wildfire season blanketed the entire northwestern portion of the US and Canada with a dense, impenetrable layer of smoke and haze. Driving through western North Dakota, Montana, Idaho…


A ‘Commoner’ Writes With A Question: Could There Be More To Hurricane Harvey Than Climate Change?

  Dear Commoner Call, Considering that many have investigated geoengineering processes and have shown significant data from many sources, I think it is important to question how it is that a huge storm like Hurricane Harvey could behave as oddly as it did. The questioning of geoengineering and the likelihood that these processes must also be included in weather analysis as opposed to simply assigning ‘climate change’ influence as the explanation to weather anomalies.  This is NOT to say that those investigating geoengineering are climate change deniers.  In fact, it is their concerns about climate change that prompt them to…


We Have A Moral Duty To Talk About Climate Change

  By Mark Lynas CNN (9/1/17) This is what climate change looks like. Entire metropolitan areas — Houston in the United States and Mumbai in India — submerged in catastrophic floods. Record-breaking rainfall: Harvey’s 50-plus inches of torrential deluge set a new national tropical cyclone rain record for the continental United States. They used to make Hollywood disaster movies about this sort of thing. Now it’s just the news. Officials as senior as Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, have suggested that now — during a natural disaster — is not the time to raise the divisive and highly politicized issue of global warming….


Santa Fe Aiming For 100% Renewable Energy By 2025

  By Lorraine Chow EcoWatch (8/1/17) New Mexico’s capital has joined the growing movement of U.S. cities committing to 100 percent renewable energy. On Wednesday, Santa Fe’s City Council unanimously adopted Mayor Javier Gonzales’ resolution directing City Manager Brian Snyde to develop a feasibility study on how the city can transition to renewables by 2025. Snyde will report the findings in 90 days. “The City of Santa Fe has historically been a leader in the fight against global warming and has a responsibility to continue to set a positive example for other cities, states and countries to follow,” the resolution states. “Such a transition to…


Meet The Two Young Catholic Workers Who Secretly Sabotaged The Dakota Access Pipeline To Halt Construction

  Democracy Now! (7/28/17) Two Iowa-based Catholic Worker activists revealed they secretly carried out multiple acts of sabotage and arson in order to stop construction of the controversial $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline. We speak with Jessica Reznicek and Ruby Montoya about how they set fire to heavy machinery being used to construct the pipeline. They say their actions were inspired by the anti-nuclear Plowshares Movement which used nonviolent direct action to target nuclear warheads and military installations. Link to Story and 21-Minute Video


All Hell Breaks Loose As The Siberian Tundra Thaws, Releasing Deadly Anthrax & Methane

  By Jeremy Plester The Guardian (7/20/17) Strange things have been happening in the frozen tundra of northern Siberia. Last August a boy died of anthrax in the remote Yamal Peninsula, and 20 other infected people were treated and survived. Anthrax hadn’t been seen in the region for 75 years, and it’s thought the recent outbreak followed an intense heatwave in Siberia, temperatures reaching over 30C [That is 86F. – Ed.] that melted the frozen permafrost. Long dormant spores of the highly infectious anthrax bacteria frozen in the carcass of an infected reindeer rejuvenated themselves and infected herds of reindeer and eventually local people….


A Million Plastic Bottles Per Minute Enter Planet’s Waste Stream

  Dr. Mercola Mercola.com (7/18/17) The immense waste that comes along with one-time-use plastic products is clearly evident, yet despite the growing amount of plastic waste filling up our oceans, coastlines and landfills, their usage continues. The number of plastic bottles alone is staggering, with data obtained by The Guardian suggesting 1 million plastic bottles are purchased every minute worldwide. Worse still, this is expected to increase by 20 percent by 2021 and reach more than half a trillion sold every year by 2020.1 Most of this waste comes from the seemingly insatiable thirst for bottled water, which exists even in…


Bloody Price Of Capitalism: Record Numbers Of Environmental Defenders Being Killed Globally

TheCommonerCall.org   By Jonathan Watts & John Vidal The Guardian (7/13/17) Last year was the most perilous ever for people defending their community’s land, natural resources or wildlife, with new research showing that environmental defenders are being killed at the rate of almost four a week across the world. Two hundred environmental activists, wildlife rangers and indigenous leaders trying to protect their land were killed in 2016, according to the watchdog group Global Witness – more than double the number killed five years ago. And the frequency of killings is only increasing as 2017 ticks by, according to data provided exclusively to the Guardian, with 98…


The Toughest & Most Important Story You Can Read This Month: The Uninhabitable Earth

(Editor’s Note: Ok, yes, this is a hard story to read, but it really is the most important one you can read this month. There is a concept in Buddhist psychology called ‘radical acceptance’. It is not acceptance that a situation is okay and should just be tolerated, but instead that, yes, things are as bad as they appear and that is the starting point to needed change. This article is an essential dose of radical acceptance for us all. – Mark L. Taylor) By Davide Wallace Wells New York Magazine (7/9/17) I. ‘Doomsday’ Peering beyond scientific reticence. It is, I…


Facing Down Big Oil In Richmond, California: A Small City’s Big Lessons About Progressive Organizing

  Saavy Progressive Alliance Organizes Year Around. By AaronMate’ Real News (7/5/17) Richmond, California, is home to one of the largest oil refineries on the West Coast and also a working-class community that has seen many struggles. Chevron, the city’s largest employer, has been responsible for hundreds of industrial accidents in the area, including major fires, spills, explosions, and air contamination. At the same time, for decades, it’s maintained a controlling influence over the city’s electoral politics. However, in recent years, the community at Richmond has fought back, organizing to raise the local minimum wage and demand fair taxation from…


As Climate Threats Mount & EPA Chief Dithers, Experts Say No Time Left For Deceitful “Debate”

  By Julia Conley Common Dreams (7/3/17) As new and worrying evidence of global warming’s destructive impacts mount around the globe, climate experts are saying efforts by the Trump administration’s EPA chief to discredit decades of climate science research should be seen as a deceitful—and dangerous—tactic. Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator who sued the agency more than a dozen times before President Donald Trump nominated him to lead it, “has expressed interest in the idea of formally challenging the scientific consensus that human activity is warming the planet” according to reports by the Washington Post. “What the American people deserve is a true,…


Grandson Of Former VP Henry A. Wallace On Standing Rock’s Fossil-Free Future & Looming Threat Of American Fascism

“Trump is that merger of government and corporate power.” Democracy Now! (7/4/17) As we continue to look at how the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is embracing renewable energy, we turn now to Scott Wallace and Ellen Dorsey of the Wallace Global Fund. The fund recently awarded the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe the inaugural Henry A. Wallace Award and a $1 million investment in renewable energy projects led by the tribe. The award is named after Scott Wallace’s grandfather Henry A. Wallace, who served as vice president under Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1941 to 1945. In 1944, Wallace published an iconic…


What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Utility Refuses To Budge On Placing Nuke Waste Dump On Shore Of Great Lake

  By Lorraine Chow EcoWatch (6/1/17) Canadian energy company Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is not budging on its plans to dump nuclear waste less than a mile from Lake Huron, despite objections from hundreds of communities in the U.S. and Canada that fear water contamination. The utility issued a lengthy analysis on Friday [6/26] reaffirming its favored option to bury low to intermediate radioactive waste at the Bruce Power nuclear complex near Kincardine, Ontario. OPG assures that the lake would not be threatened since the waste would be encased in rock. “The Bruce Site is the safest, most appropriate site…


Starve The Beast: The Best Way To Resist Trump Dumping Paris Climate Pact? Divest From Fossil Fuels

  By Jamie Henn The Guaradian (6/3/17) fter Trump’s decision to exit the Paris climate agreement, many of us are looking for a way to fight back. One of the simplest and most powerful things we can do right now is to divest from fossil fuels. What we saw in the Rose Garden on Thursday was Trump and his advisors making a bet. A bet that the scientists have got it all wrong, that climate change is a hoax, and climate action nothing but a globalist scheme to hurt the American economy. For most of us, this sort of denial…


Scientists Were Right To Fear Our Federal Data Would Disappear Under Trump. It Already Has

TheCommonerCall.org By Emily Atkin The New Republic (/5/15/17) It’s a good thing all those scientists scrambled to preserve publicly funded data before Trump took office in January. AsThe Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin reported on Sunday, the Trump White House has “removed or tucked away a wide variety of information that until recently was provided to the public, limiting access, for instance, to disclosures about workplace violations, energy efficiency, and animal welfare abuses.” The information purged from federal government websites so far is wide-ranging. In its tally, the Post cites information about animal welfare abusers that has disappeared from the Agriculture…


Justin Trudeau: A Good Looking Climate Change Hypocrite

  By Bill McKibbon The Guardian (4/17/17) Donald Trump is so spectacularly horrible that it’s hard to look away (especially now that he’s discovered bombs). But precisely because everyone’s staring gape-mouthed in his direction, other world leaders are able to get away with almost anything. Don’t believe me? Look one nation north, at Justin Trudeau. Look all you want, in fact – he sure is cute, the planet’s only sovereign leader who appears to have recently quit a boy band. And he’s mastered so beautifully the politics of inclusion: compassionate to immigrants, insistent on including women at every level of…


WTH? The New York Times Just Hired A Climate Denier Columnist

TheCommonerCall.org   By Kate Aronoff In These Times (4/12/17) In late March, the New York Times’ editorial board called President Trump’s move to dismantle Obama-era climate protections “deeply dismaying,” citing “the rock-solid scientific consensus that without swift action the consequences of climate change—rising seas, more devastating droughts, widespread species extinction—are likely to get steadily worse.” Today the paper announced it has hired a climate denier as an op-ed columnist. Bret Stephens, currently the Wall Street Journal’s deputy editorial page editor, has won a Pulitzer Prize. He has also written multiple pieces casting doubt on what in 2014 he called “the purported…


What Could Possibly Go Wrong? White House May Back Planet-Hacking Geoengineer Experiments That Could Cause Further Climate Disruption

  By Martin Lukacs The Guardian (3/27/17) Harvard engineers who launched the world’s biggest solar geoengineering research program may get a dangerous boost from Donald Trump, environmental organizations are warning. Under the Trump administration, enthusiasm appears to be growing for the controversial technology of solar geo-engineering, which aims to spray sulphate particles into the atmosphere to reflect the sun’s radiation back to space and decrease the temperature of Earth. Sometime in 2018, Harvard engineers David Keith and Frank Keutsch hope to test spraying from a high-altitude balloon over Arizona, in order to assess the risks and benefits of deployment on…