Blog Archive

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Climate-related news for the week of March 8, 2015

First aid reaches Vanuatu islands ravaged by Cyclone Pam.
Aid is beginning to arrive in Vanuatu after the Pacific island nation was hit by a cyclone which President Baldwin Lonsdale described as a "monster". BBC Mar 15
US and Chinese companies dominate list of most-polluting coal plants.
The 100 global power companies most at risk from growing pressure to shut highly polluting coal plants have been revealed in a new report from Oxford University. The Guardian Mar 15
NPR's Scott Simon interviews Guardian editor on intensive climate change focus.
NPR's Scott Simon talks with Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, about his recent column detailing his personal motivation for intensifying the paper's focus on climate change coverage.Weekend Edition, NPR Mar 15
Washington state rain no cure for drought, due to bleak snowpack.
It is possible to have rain — lots of it — and still be plagued by drought. Los Angeles Times Mar 15
Top 10 energy storage countries.
The state-record $25 million fine levied against Duke Energy last week over leaking coal-ash holding ponds might make some critics of the nation's largest power company feel better. But the fine does nothing to ensure leaks are immediately stopped and the ponds are cleaned up, along with any collateral contamination, including polluted groundwater. CleanTechnica Mar 15

 What Changed the World This Week

Carbon emissions stop growing globally.
The growth in global carbon dioxide emissions stalled in 2014 for the first time in the 40 years the International Energy Agency (IEA) has been tracking it that a slowdown wasn't connected to an economic downturn. The Hill, District of Columbia Mar 14
Baked Alaska.
If the Last Frontier is the canary in the climate coal mine, we’re in trouble. Slate Mar 12
Arctic sea ice dwindling toward record winter low.
While balmy hints of spring melt piles of snow in the eastern U.S., the impending end of winter marks peak season for Arctic sea ice. But this year, that winter maximum area is currently on track to hit a record low since satellite records began in 1979. Climate Central Mar 12
NASA chief has perfect comeback to Ted Cruz's attack on Earth science.
Texas Republican Senator and likely presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has had it with NASA researching our home planet, preferring that NASA devote its attention to sending humans to Mars and inspiring children with space exploration missions. Mashable Mar 13
Tesla for the masses: Electric, fuel cell buses take off.
In cities worldwide, buses are morphing into giant battery-powered rolling computers. Equipped with the same technologies as the luxury Tesla sedan, they offer a clean, quiet ride for the price of a bus fare. National Geographic News Mar 13
States give Senate an earful on EPA greenhouse gas plan.
In an ornate room on Capitol Hill this week, U.S. senators heard two wildly different views from Western states on the viability of a proposed rule to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation. High Country News Mar 14
Fracking next to a cemetery? 10 unlikely sites targeted for drilling.
Companies eager to capitalize on the boom have nominated tracts beneath or adjacent to farms, historic sites, art installations, and even whole towns. A new report finds fault with attempts to lease public land for energy development. National Geographic News Mar 13
Florida isn't the only state trying to shut down discussion of climate change.
In a growing number of states, conservatives have been taking a rather novel approach to climate change - simply preventing people from talking about it. Vox Mar 11
Will the GOP try to block a climate deal just like they did with an Iran deal?
In December, world leaders will gather at a U.N. conference in Paris to hammer out a new international climate deal. Senate Republicans are already a major impediment to getting an optimal climate agreement. Grist Mar 14
Christian duty: Cardinal indicates themes of pope's climate change document.
A Vatican official who helped write a first draft of Pope Francis' upcoming encyclical on climate change acknowledged disagreement over the causes of global warming but said Christians have a duty rooted in "ancient biblical teaching" to address the problem. Associated Press Mar 13
Oil company lease stirs revolt in green Seattle.
The environmental messaging never stops here, whether from a city-owned electric utility that gets nearly 98 percent of its power from sources untainted by carbon (and is not about to let residents forget it) or the fussy garbage collectors who can write tickets for the improper sorting of recyclables. New York Times Mar 14
Modi's budget slashes environmental funding for India.
Environmentalists in India have expressed alarm over the new budget of the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which they say fails to address the country’s worsening pollution and vulnerability to climate change. Reuters Mar 13

 The Mix

Poll: 90 percent of 12-year-olds accept climate change.
In an event organized by the advocacy group Avaaz, students will visit a dozen offices to ask senators — including Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul — to take a simple elementary school quiz on climate change science. New Republic Mar 12
'Find a new way to tell the story' - how the Guardian launched its climate change campaign.
Climate change is the biggest threat to humanity. Yet journalism has struggled for two decades to tell a story that doesn’t leave the public feeling disheartened and disengaged. The GuardianMar 12
Wind could supply a third of the country’s power needs by 2050, government says.
Wind power could provide more than a third of the country’s electricity by 2050 while yielding a net savings in energy costs paid by consumers, the Energy Department reported in a major study released ThursdayWashington Post Mar 12
Who next to head up the UN's top climate science body?
It is 13 years since the top job in the world’s leading authority on climate change was last contested. Responding to Climate Change, United Nations Mar 11


Big Oil’s business model is broken.
Many reasons have been provided for the dramatic plunge in the price of oil to about $60 per barrel (nearly half of what it was a year ago). Grist Mar 15
Globe? Warm? Who, Me?
This is the time of year when we start to think about global warming. Because the weather is about to get warmer. Please God. New York Times Mar 14
Environmental activism needs “good cops” and “bad cops."
The ol’ good cop/bad cop shtick: One of the oldest techniques in the book and a cinematic trope that’s been used for decades. It has stuck around because it’s melodramatic and it kind of works. Ensia Mar 14
Carl Hiaasen: Scott’s ‘creative editing’ deftly deletes ‘climate change.’
Please pay no attention to recent news reports about my administration banning the use of the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in official documents, letters or emails. Miami Herald, Florida Mar 14


‘Climate change’ - there, we said it!
Denial is strong, but those rising seas are stronger. Miami Herald, Florida Mar 13

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