Month: March 2015

The Venus Project.

The Venus project

The Venus Project is an organization that proposes a feasible plan of action for social change, one that works towards a peaceful and sustainable global civilization. It outlines an alternative to strive toward where human rights are no longer paper proclamations but a way of life.

We operate out of a 21.5-acre Research Center located in Venus, Florida.

When one considers the enormity of the challenges facing society today, we can safely conclude that the time is long overdue for us to re-examine our values and to reflect upon and evaluate some of the underlying issues and assumptions we have as a society. This self-analysis calls into question the very nature of what it means to be human, what it means to be a member of a “civilization,” and what choices we can make today to ensure a prosperous future for all the world’s people.


  

Arctic ice melt sets yet another record

Grist

This story was originally published by Slate and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Every year around the end of February, after a long winter, Arctic ice reaches its maximum extent. This year that happened around Feb. 25, when it encompassed 14.54 million square kilometers (5.61 million square miles) of ice around the North Pole.

Sound like a lot? It’s not. Really, really not. This year’s maximum extent was the lowest on record.

Ice extent (area covered at least 15 percent by ice) for 2015 (solid blue line) compared with 2012 (dashed) and the average from 1981-2010 (black line).Ice extent (area covered by at least 15 percent by ice) for 2015 (solid blue line) compared with 2012 (dashed) and the average from 1981-2010 (black line).NSIDC

The plot above shows the situation. The solid line shows the average ice extent over the year (measured from 1981 to 2010) and the gray area represents a statistical measure of random fluctuations; anything inside the gray is more or less indistinguishable from the…

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Mexico just shamed the rest of the world with its climate plan

Grist

Mexico is the first developing country to formally make its climate action pledge ahead of U.N. negotiations to be held in Paris later this year. And its plan is actually pretty ambitious, analysts say.

Mexico on Friday said it intends to have its greenhouse gas emissions peak by 2026 and then begin to decline. It will cut its “black carbon” emissions — particulate pollution generated by burning fuels like wood and diesel — in half by 2030. The net effect is that, by 2030, Mexico’s emissions will be 25 percent lower than if the country had continued without making any changes, and by 2050, emissions will be 50 percent below 2000 levels. The country is also working on reducing its “carbon intensity” — the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of GDP.

“That would make Mexico’s announcement a bit more ambitious than what is expected from China, but not as ambitious as what…

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The whole world is breaking the law by ignoring climate change

Grist

The countries of the world are violating national and international law by polluting the atmosphere and heating up the planet, according to a group of respected lawyers. Regardless of what kind of climate deal the U.N. comes up with in Paris later this year, governments already have a legal responsibility to take action, the jurists argued today in London as they launched what they’re calling the Oslo Principles on Global Climate Change Obligations.

From a Guardian column by two legal experts:

What the Oslo principles offer is a solution to our infuriating impasse in which governments — especially those from developed nations, responsible for 70% of the world’s emissions between 1890 and 2007 — are in effect saying: “We all agree that something needs to be done, but we cannot agree on who has to do what and how much. In the absence of any such agreement, we have…

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More Than Scientists: New Campaign Humanizes Climate Researchers

Climate Denial Crock of the Week

In coming to know hundreds of oceanographers, atmospheric scientists, glaciologists and other climate specialists over the last few years, I am continually struck by the humor, warmth, creativity, smarts, and humanity of the people working in these fields.
Most folks don’t get to meet a lot of full time scientists in their day-to-day lives, and a new video series seeks to remedy that.

“More than Scientists” is a new social media project that seeks to bring a human face to the people involved in this very special work, and they’re producing a series of really well done videos that I think should get a wide audience.

morethanscientists.org:

Science – The disciplines are as diverse as life on earth. A problem of global scale requires everyone: from physicists to physicians, marine biologists to atmospheric chemists, ice to fire ecologists, from the soil to the upper atmosphere, it takes us all.

We…

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Burning coal can help the planet, delusional U.N. board decides

Grist

Good news, America! The U.N. has just proved that the United States does not have the world’s monopoly on bad climate ideas. The board in charge of the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund — money that’s supposed to be used to help developing nations fight and prepare for climate change — decided last week that some of its funding can be used to build … coal plants.

That’s right — the dirtiest, shittiest fuel we have (at least until someone figures out how to make electricity from used diapers) is perfectly acceptable! Totally fine! Definitely NOT going to kill you and me and everyone you’ve ever known and loved including the panda-cam pandas and this dog who takes herself to the park on the bus!

Now, presumably, the U.N. is aware that pollution from coal plants kills more than 100,000 humans in India each year alone, and even more in China, and is…

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Ted Cruz and the GOP have a big climate problem

Grist

This story was originally published by theGuardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Ted Cruz officially kicked off the long U.S. presidential campaign when he declared his candidacy last week, but his anti-environmental rhetoric has already set the stage for a looming war over whether climate change denial is a legitimate barrier to the most powerful job in the world.

Leading scientists are preparing for an American election in which global warming may receive much higher billing than before — and Republicans’ statements will be exposed to a level of scrutiny they have not formally had to deal with.

Cruz, the red-meat Texas senator with an army of conservative followers, raised eyebrows on March 24 when he told the Texas Tribune that people who believe global warming is real are “the equivalent of the flat-Earthers.”

“It used to be it is accepted scientific…

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Drought Damage Will Cause Widespread Forest Death by 2050.

It is well known that climate change is causing all sorts of extreme weather, and may lead to events such as 35-year-or-longer “megadroughts” that will be the worst we’ve seen in 1,000 years. Now researchers are giving us another glimpse into the future, saying that drought damage will likely cause widespread forest death by the 2050s as a result of climate change.

A team lead by the Carnegie Institution describes in the journal Nature Geoscience how tree mortality can radically transform ecosystems, affect biodiversity, harm local economies, and pose fire risks, and even further increase global warming.

“A forest die-off over a large area like the Amazon Basin, could have a major impact on Earth’s system as a whole,” researcher Joseph Berry explained in a statement.

On one hand, rising concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) can benefit trees and help them use water more efficiently. On the other hand, rising temperatures and resulting droughts from climate change can cause many forest trees to die off. The latter is what occurred during the 2000-2003 drought in the American southwest, which triggered a widespread die-off of about 17 percent of aspen forests around the region – including most of Colorado, as well as parts of the western United States and Canada.

They used this newfound information to predict drought-induced forest mortality in the future. What they realized was that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, the threshold for widespread drought-induced vascular damage would eventually be crossed.

This, in turn, will lead to widespread tree deaths on average across climate model projections in the 2050s.

“Finding the thresholds in plant physiology after which climate stress causes tree mortality will allow us to resolve uncertainty over the fate of forest ecosystems in a changing climate,” said lead author William Anderegg. “But most importantly, a lot rides on human decisions to slow climate change. The clock is ticking on the future of these forests.”

Unfortunately, with the world’s 2 degrees climate goal being “utterly inadequate,” according to a recent report, the likelihood that we will save the world’s forests in the future seems bleak.

Press link for more: Jenna Iacurci | natureworldnews.com

What severe drought in the Colorado River Basin looks like.

Lake Powell one of the U.S. ‘s largest reservoirs, is now below 45 percent of its capacity.

Straddling the border between Utah and Arizona, the man-made reservoir is part of the Colorado Water Basin that supplies water to 40 million people.

Lake Powell stores water from states in the upper Colorado basin — New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming — for the states in the lower basin: Nevada, Arizona and California. Along with generating electricity, the reservoir also protects the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead from flooding.

For more than 14 years, the basin and the Western states have been plagued by drought. Almost every year, all of the water from the Colorado River is pumped out before emptying into the the Gulf of California.

“Many climate scientists think the Southwest is again due for a megadrought,” Jonathan Waterman wrote in National Geographic. “The Bureau of Reclamation’s analysis of over a hundred climate projections suggests the Colorado River Basin will be much drier by the end of this century than it was in the past one, with the median projection showing 45 percent less runoff into the river.”


Press link for pictures: Nick Kirkpatrick | washingtonpost.com

It’s time we looked at droughts in the U.S., Brazil, Middle East & Australia & listened to the climate scientists. We must demand a system change before we face extinction. #TZM The clock is ticking.