The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.
A decade ago, former Vice President Al Gore had one of the unlikeliest hit films of all time, An Inconvenient Truth. Now he’s back with a follow-up, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, which premiered in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.
In an interview with Stephen Colbert on CBS’s The Late Show Monday night, Gore joked, “And to young people in particular, I really recommend this movie as a date movie… it’s a hot date movie. It’s an amazingly hot date movie.”
But the truth is this movie is a great movie for anyone who cares about humanity and where we are headed.
COLUMBIA, Pa. — The end of the road, where the street suddenly stops and the towering wall of corn begins, always called out to Linda Fischer. She would pedal her bike there slowly as a child, back before they built any houses on the road, when it was just the cornstalks growing thick toward the sky. It was the silence she found there, the holiness she felt in that stillness, that led her to dedicate her life to God.
Fischer has always known this land as sacred.
Now the 74-year-old nun and her sisters in their Catholic order suddenly find themselves fighting to protect the land from an energy company that wants to put a natural gas pipeline on it.
Human-induced climate change was almost certainly responsible for a marine heat wave off Tasmania’s east coast that lasted 251 days and had an area of impact seven times the size of the island, a new study shows.
Climate change was almost certainly responsible for a marine heatwave off Tasmania’s east coast in 2015/16 that lasted 251 days and at its greatest extent had an area of impact seven times the size of Tasmania, according to a new study published today in Nature Communications.
The marine heat wave reduced the productivity of Tasmanian salmon fisheries, led to a rise in Blacklip abalone mortality, sparked an outbreak of Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome and saw new fish species move into Tasmanian waters.
At its peak intensity, waters off Tasmania were 2.9°C above expected summertime temperatures.
Fact is, if you add up all the emissions cuts every country promised in their Paris pledges, it still wouldn’t keep the planet’s temperature from rising beyond the agreement’s goals—to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2˚ C higher than they were before the Industrial Revolution, and as close to 1.5˚ C as possible. If Earthlings want to avoid a heat-soaked, tide-swamped, and war-clouded future, they need to do more. This raises the specter of geoengineering: things like seeding the stratosphere with sulfur, or using ice crystals to dissolve heat-trapping clouds. But geoengineering is a dirty word many climate scientists and climate policy experts avoid, because humans meddling with nature doesn’t have the best track record. Which is why they say world leaders need to come up with some rules about geoengineering ASAP, before desperation over the coming climate catastrophe forces humanity to do something it might well regret.
As the temperature rises, it has knock-on effects that drive the mercury higher still in a vicious circle that the likes of Professor Stephen Hawking have warned could turn the Earth into a planet like Venus, where it’s a balmy 250 degrees Celsius and the rain is made of sulphuric acid.
One of the most feared of these feedback loops is the vast amount of organic material currently trapped in permafrost, which would release methane and other greenhouse gases in large amounts given the right conditions.
And now a team of researchers has discovered another significant source of emissions that would result from the thawing of the tundra. For the frozen ground acts as a cap on much more ancient gas deposits, preventing them from escaping into the atmosphere.
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 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.
More recently, a huge explosion was heard in June in the Yamal Peninsula. Reindeer herders camped nearby saw flames shooting up with pillars of smoke and found a large crater left in the ground. Melting permafrost was again suspected, thawing out dead vegetation and erupting in a blowout of highly flammable methane gas.
Three California municipalities filed lawsuits Monday against 37 of the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies, including Chevron, Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell. The legal challenges, brought by Marin and San Mateo counties and the city of Imperial Beach, allege that the companies knew about the harm of burning fossil fuels and therefore should pay for current and future damages to the municipalities due to climate change.
The suit also alleges the fossil fuel companies launched a “coordinated, multi-front effort” to discredit climate science and spread doubt.
At BPI Campus our Progressive Agenda is:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.
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