Tag - Global Warming

Let’s support the Philippine climate change delegate on hunger strike – until the conference does the right thing

Mark Karlin is right on target with this piece on the extreme rationality (which counts as heroics in this world) of the hunger strike by the Philippine representative for climate change.   He’ll eat when the international body does the right thing — addresses climate change.

palehorseDismayed by 10000 Dead, Philippine Negotiator at UN Vows to Fast Until Steps Taken to End Global Warming By Mark Karlin, Editor Buzzflash at TruthOut.org

With more than 10,000 estimated to be dead as a result of a typhoon in his homeland, Yeb Sano — the chief Philippine delegate to the current UN climate change talks in Poland — vowed to stop eating until serious actions are taken to reduce global warming.  According to The BBC online,

At the opening of the two-week Conference of the Parties (Cop), Mr Sano said he was not just speaking for those who lost their lives but for the thousands who were now orphans.

He told the meeting he would refuse to eat until progress is made.

“In solidarity with my countrymen who are struggling to find food back home, I will now commence a voluntary fasting for the climate, this means I will voluntarily refrain from eating food during this Cop, until a meaningful outcome is in sight.”

“What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness, the climate crisis is madness. We can stop this madness right here in Warsaw,” he said.

Axe comes down on climate body

The Age (AU), By Tom Arup and Peter Hannam, September 20

The Abbott government has swiftly set about abolishing Labor-era climate institutions, shutting the door at the Climate Commission and beginning the process to axe other bodies.

A day after being sworn in, Environment Minister Greg Hunt on Thursday called chief climate commissioner Professor Tim Flannery to say the body he led would be abolished immediately.

The commission was established by the Gillard government in 2011 to provide public information on the science, impacts and potential solutions to global warming.

[…]

Mr Hunt said the decision to axe the commission – which had been well flagged by the Coalition before its win at the September election – was about streamlining government processes and would save $1.6 million a year. He said future advice and analysis on climate change would now be provided by the Environment Department.

Allow me to introduce myself.

Profile picture of Jeff Wegerson

I’m a second generation Chicagoan. Live on the north side and work on the west side. I was around in the 70’s as a hippy. What little of Marx I understood then I liked. So when governments are democratic l tend to prefer them especially, of course, over corporations. My standards for democracy are extremely high. At the moment I don’t really count the plutocratic U.S. I believe that the bigger an organization is the more regulations it needs to follow. To me “to big to fail” means way more than big enough to nationalize.

I miss the diary system here at the Agonist….

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Fueling Climate Change Deniers

koch mapIf Hitler had never been born, or if he’d been killed in World War I or in an accident in 1925, would the Holocaust never have happened? Or would someone else have taken the lead in history’s inevitable direction? Do important events in history depend on the life of one person, or do they become inevitable regardless of the presence or absence of that one person, once conditions are right?

Human-caused climate change threatens us with flooding, drought, and famine. Some say it’s human nature to underestimate – grossly, even fatally – the risk from a cause so hard to see, so theoretical, as climate change. We evolved, doncha know, to be able to keep ourselves safe from such obvious things as predators and lightning; we’re not made to recognize human-caused global dangers. Is that true, or is denial driven by just a few powerful people, the way the Holocaust was driven by Hitler?

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A Fix for China’s Air Pollution Crisis – Damned if they do and damned if they don’t

beijing dayIf China fails to take short term corrective action to address toxic levels of air pollution in its major cities, millions of Chinese people will die over the coming years.  If China takes effective short term corrective action to address airborne toxins, global warming will accelerate causing threats to the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions in China and the rest of the world. (Image)

The perils of air quality in China have been a topic of concern for some time.  The issue became red hot this week with a study published in the British medical journal, Lancet.   The study estimates that 1.2 million premature deaths occurred in China in 2010 alone.

The Unites States embassy in Beijing has measured air quality levels over the last five years.  January 2013 saw record measures — thirty times above levels considered safe for activities of daily living. Particulate matter consisting of metals, acids, and allergens, enter the lungs as fully fledged carcinogens.   That’s just part of the strange brew that includes CO2,  nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxides, and ozone.

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Doubling Down on Our Faustian Bargain – James Hansen

dr faustusDoubling Down on Our Faustian Bargain

James Hansen, Pushker Kharecha, Makiko Sato
29 March 2013

Summary: Humanity is doubling down on its Faustian climate bargain by pumping up fossil fuel particulate and nitrogen pollution. The more the Faustian debt grows, the more unmanageable the eventual consequences will be. Yet there are plans to build more than 1000 coal-fired power plants and plans to develop some of the dirtiest oil sources on the planet. These plans should be vigorously resisted. We are already in a deep hole — it is time to stop digging.

Humanity’s Faustian climate bargain is well known. Humans have been pumping both  greenhouse gases (mainly CO2) and aerosols (fine particles) into the atmosphere for more than a century.  The CO2 accumulates steadily, staying in the climate system for millennia, with a continuously increasing  warming effect. Aerosols have a cooling effect (by reducing solar heating of the ground) that depends on  the rate that we pump aerosols into the air, because they fall out after about five days.

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Hurricane Sandy and Climate Change Perceptions in the U.S. (VIDEO)

Via New Security Beat:

Did Hurricane Sandy change the discussion about climate change in the United States? In this latest episode of the Wilson Center’s Dialogue program, Senior Wilson Center Advisor and Ohio University Professor Geoff Dabelko joins host John Milewski to discuss the potential impact of Sandy on climate policy and dialogue in the United States with Darryl Fears (The Washington Post) and Bob Deans (Natural Resources Defense Council).

WATCH:

(h/t)

PreviouslyChristie Blasts House G.O.P. Over Stalled Sandy Aid Bill

100 mln will die by 2030 if world fails to act on climate – report

Reuters, By Nina Chestney, September 26

London – More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments said on Wednesday.

As global average temperatures rise due to greenhouse gas emissions, the effects on the planet, such as melting ice caps, extreme weather, drought and rising sea levels, will threaten populations and livelihoods, said the report conducted by humanitarian organisation DARA.

It calculated that five million deaths occur each year from air pollution, hunger and disease as a result of climate change and carbon-intensive economies, and that toll would likely rise to six million a year by 2030 if current patterns of fossil fuel use continue. Read More