Month: July 2014

How ignoring climate change could sink the global economy.

Song of Flood and Fire Refrain: Epic Canadian Floods Wreck 5.5 Million Acres of Cropland

Getting harder to ignore climate change.


For the Northwest Territory of Canada, the story this summer has been one of record-setting wildfires. Fires casting away smoke plumes the size of thunderstorms, fires that burn regions of tundra the size of small states. Fires that just burn and burn and burn for weeks on end.

But to the south and east in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the story is drastically different. For over the past month, unprecedented flooding in this region has wrecked untold damage to Canada’s farmlands.

Canada floods

(Powerful storms over Manitoba and Saskatchewan on July 23rd, 2014. Image source: LANCE-MODIS)

This situation is the result of an odd and wreckage-inducing tangle in the Jet Stream. For hot air has been funneling up over the Northwest Territory for the better part of two months now, pushing temperatures in this Arctic region into an unprecedented range topping the 70s, 80s, and even 90s on some days. This high…

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Arctic Ice: Then and Now

Climate Denial Crock of the Week


The impacts are increasingly being felt everywhere – bigger storms in the Midwest, soggy summers in England, drought in Colorado. But nowhere on the planet are the impacts as dramatic as the Arctic, and the ice cap is a prime example.

If you’re sweltering in New York or Miami or Los Angeles, the only ice you’re probably thinking about is the stuff melting fast in your drink.

But up in the Arctic, the ice pack is on pace for another record low. Scientists won’t know for sure until mid-September, the end of the North’s melt season. But two snapshots, one from July 21, 1979, the other from July 21, 2014, show the change.

Below, time lapse of Antarctic September Sea ice extent from 1979.

And here, changes in Arctic (northern) sea ice during the same 1979 to 2012 period.

NSIDC graph current as of 07/24/14


National Snow and…

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Greens: Government must send mental health Crisis team to Christmas Island

Christmas Island at crisis point.

Real News One - RN1 - Independent News

Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said “Christmas Island is at crisis point,” and has called on the Abbott Government to immediately send a team of mental health experts to Christmas Island to deal with the current crisis in the centre.

“The children are suffering terribly and they need specialised mental health support now.” Stated Senator Hanson-Young.

She also noted that a lack of female staff on the island has seen mothers put on 24-hour suicide watch under the supervision of male prison guards.

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young also said that it’s clear that the Nauru detention centre needs to be opened up to independent investigators.

“The Australian Government pays for, runs and controls the Nauru centre but they have banned the Australian Human Rights Commission from setting foot inside.”

“Until these women and children can be brought to Australia, the Abbott Government should be doing everything they can to reduce…

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Oz Update

No longer the land of the ‘ fair go’

Unload and Unwind

oz updateWell as I said in a previous post things have gotten somewhat interesting here in the land of Oz and not in a good way.  For a country that is supposed to pride itself about providing a ‘fair go’ for everyone we seem to be failing rather badly on a variety of fronts.  I don’t want you to think that we’ve suddenly turned into jack booted thugs overnight BUT it would be a fair assumption if you were going on nothing but current policy in regards to health, education, asylum seekers and the environment.

On top of that it seems that Australia has also gained some notoriety in regards to gender equality and representation in the government sector.  The past month has provided an ongoing litany of injustices being perpetrated by the current government but we have to start somewhere and as a women I think it is fair to…

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CO2 emissions drive heatwaves on despite warming ‘hiatus’

Simple Climate

A measurement taken on a shaded back deck in Oswego, Oregon on July 29, 2009 at 6pm. 41.3°C or 106.34°F - just one example of increasingly common hot summers in the Northern Hemisphere. Image copyright  Sean Dreilinger used via Flickr Creative Commons licence. A measurement taken on a shaded back deck in Oswego, Oregon on July 29, 2009 at 6pm. 41.3°C or 106.34°F – just one example of increasingly common hot summers in the Northern Hemisphere. Image copyright Sean Dreilinger used via Flickr Creative Commons licence.

Human influence on climate is set to make otherwise unusually hot summers in the Northern Hemisphere more frequent, even if the current warming slowdown continues. That finding, from a new study by Youichi Kamae from the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Tsukuba, Japan, and his colleagues, could now heat up climate talks. “The recent hot summers over land regions and the climate hiatus have opposite effects on ongoing global negotiations for climate policies,” Youichi underlined. “The findings of this study can have significant implications for policy makers.”

Over the past 15 years, growing ‘anthropogenic’ or human-emitted CO2 hasn’t turned into significant average temperature rises on the…

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