What’s Hot in Climate Change, June 2017

Welcome back to What’s Hot in Climate Change!  We start out with concerning new research that shows the planet may cross the 1.5C threshold of warming within 15 years.  The 1.5C threshold is what the Paris Climate Talks identified as an important goal to hold global warming under.  One result of global warming is sea level rise.  A recent study of US population displacement shows us that sea level rise is not just a coastal problem, but a problem for those places where the people displaced from the coasts will end up. If all this concerns you, there are plenty of ways we can help keep the temperature below 1.5 C.  Tesla is taking deposits for their amazing, new solar roofing that looks like a regular Read More …

Trump and Climate Change – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Since Trump was made President by the Electoral College there has been no shortage of prognostication over what his presidency will mean for the U.S. efforts to fight climate change.  Think Progress asks “Will Trump go down in history as the man who pulled the plug on a livable climate?”  While Vox definitively states that “Trump’s election marks the end of any serious hope of limiting climate change to 2 degrees.”  The doom and gloom may be overblown, although there are definitely many ways a Trump administration could hurt the world’s efforts to combat climate change.  This post will walk through the good, the bad and the ugly of a Trump administration’s impact on US efforts to combat climate change. Trump has had no shortage of ignorant comments about Read More …

What’s Hot in Climate Change – Oct. 2016

Time for another What’s Hot in Climate Change, a summary of the most interesting and/or important climate change stories from the previous month or so.  For those paying attention, horrific news with respect to the climate seems to be coming at an ever increasing pace. There’s also plenty of encouraging news.  The adoption of alternative energy seems to steadily exceed all expectations.  The race is on between the worst effects of climate change, and those measures we take to stop it from happening.  Our fate quite literally hangs in the balance.   Corrected sea level rise estimates or… it’s worse than you know Climate scientists had been scratching their heads because models predicted faster sea level rise than what has been seen over the past few decades.  This Read More …

The climate agreement, 2 degrees, and your children’s future

Not too long ago, just after the Paris COP21 climate meeting, I read two interesting articles that contradicted each other.  The first said “COP21: Paris deal far too weak to prevent devastating climate change, academics warn.”  The second was more optimistic, “Rapid switch to renewable energy can put Paris climate goals within reach.” “So which is it?”, I wondered. The first one discussed a letter sent by eleven supposedly prominent climate scientists to The Independent that warned that the climate deal reached at the COP21 gives “false hope” and will result in insufficient action being taken. A few choice quotes from the letter sent to The Independent include: “ The hollow cheering of success at the end of the COP21 agreement proved yet again that Read More …

Sylvia Earle, my new favorite scientist; and other tidbits

Sylvia Earle I was recently listening to the ClimateOne podcast, one of the best podcasts about climate change out there.  They were interviewing Dr. Sylvia Earle, a famous oceanographer and outspoken advocate for the world’s oceans, about the decline of the worlds oceans.  She has been an oceanographer for some time, and is a pioneer in the field for women, and in general.  She was formerly NOAA’s Chief Scientist, among many other accomplishments, and is a National Geographic Explorer in Residence. She’s very well spoken and really brings home the huge declines that have occurred in the world’s oceans due to human activities, such as industrialized, factory fishing and climate change.  Check out this snippet of video from that interview, then listen to the full podcast (click on the Read More …

China Outshines U.S. On Climate Change

The big climate change news from the last few weeks is that China has finally released it’s CO2 mitigation plan. It’s fairly impressive, all things considered. I’d call it a good start, and even though it’s fairly ambitious; however, just like the U.S. plan — it falls far short of what will eventually be required. But let’s just be hopeful for the moment. Here’s a quick rundown of what China proposes… Cut the amount of greenhouse gas emitted per unit GDP to 60-65% of 2005 levels by 2030 Put a nationwide cap and trade program for carbon dioxide in place for industry (they already have several pilot programs modelled after California’s cap and trade system) Increase the use of alternative energy to about 20% of Read More …