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Republicans Seek to Use Tax Bill to Suppress Climate and Clean Air Saving Electrical Vehicles

Republicans in Congress seem more concerned with cutting taxes for the rich than dealing with present and worsening problems like Russian interference in U.S. democracy or the ever-escalating damages coming from human-caused climate change related to fossil fuel burning. In fact, the Republican Party today signaled its intent to use the presently proposed tax bill in a manner that would make one of these problems dramatically worse.

According to news reports, Republicans intend to use their tax cut plan to remove incentives for electrical vehicle ownership by the end of 2017. Presently, buyers of all-electric vehicles enjoy a $7,500 tax credit. An incentive that helps the U.S. clean up its air and reduce the kinds of greenhouse gas emissions that fuel sea level rise, more powerful storms, and worsening droughts, deluges, and wildfires.

(In the U.S., more than 200,000 people die every year as a result of outdoor air pollution to which vehicle transportation is now the primary contributor resulting in 53,000 such deaths per year. That’s more deaths than from vehicle accidents. Moreover, air pollution impacts like asthma, stroke, heart attacks, and reduced lung function are far more widespread. Image source: EPA.)

Though such a policy might not be much of a surprise coming from the party of a Rick Perry, who today falsely claimed that fossil fuel burning prevented sexual assault against women, climate change denier Inhoffe, and tilting at windmills Donald Trump, it would have wide-ranging negative impacts for every American. Impacts like bad air quality which is a health risk for everyone, worsening climate change which is now causing many Americans to lose their homes or be forcibly displaced, and loss of economic advantage coming from new jobs and new industry.

Presently, U.S. automakers hold a global edge in high quality electrical vehicle adoption due to this and other related policy supports. Top EV automakers like Tesla, GM and Ford who produce renowned vehicles like the Model S, Model 3, and the Chevy Bolt. But, apparently, it looks like Republicans are now using tax policy as a means to legislate an attack on this innovation, which result in reduced fossil fuel demand, more energy independence for the U.S., and far less in the way of harmful particulate and greenhouse gas emissions.

(Tesla stock reacts negatively to news that Republicans are adding a provision to remove electrical vehicle incentives to their tax bill. Image source: Google Finance.)

Tesla bears, who have been rabidly consuming and perpetuating bad news (a good portion of it exaggerated or invented) about the leading U.S. electrical vehicle manufacturer, went nuts over the Republican announcement today. Tesla share prices dropped from around $320 to $296 following the move. More than a bit of this investor flight appears to be irrational. Ironically, Tesla is less exposed to risk from removal of this tax cut than automakers like GM due to the fact that it is already approaching the 200,000 EV limit under the tax credit. After this point, tax incentives for EVs from individual automakers drop off. And Tesla has already sold 250,000 vehicles globally with more than 150,000 of those sales coming from the U.S.

Republicans have once again proven that they are the anti-renewable energy, pro harmful impacts from climate change party. They have also once again proven that their capacity to use tax policy to greatly increase a variety of bad effects — ranging from worsening inequality in the U.S., to undercutting innovation and American technological leadership, to fighting directly against the very solutions and mitigations for a rapidly worsening climate situation.

RELATED STATEMENTS AND INFORMATION:

Links:

Republican Tax Plan Kills Electrical Vehicle Credit

EPA

Air Pollution Causes 200,000 Early Deaths in the U.S. Each Year

Rich Perry Says Fossil Fuels Will Prevent Sexual Assault in Africa (Hint: FALSE)

Hat tip to Suzanne

This post is dedicated to DT Lange

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98 Comments

  1. wili

     /  November 2, 2017

    Thanks for pointing this out, and especially for the touching dedication to DT.

    The whole thing shows how scared sh!tless the rabid, fossil-death-fuel funded delirious far right is about these threats to the source of their main gravy train.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  November 2, 2017

      By the way, this new gov cc report may be worth a peruse. Surprised it got past the tRumpublican censors.

      Reply
    • I suppose the U.S. House Republicans are now far right? That might be accurate these days given what’s happened in the primaries lately.

      Reply
  2. Jim

     /  November 2, 2017

    I tried to leave an Off Topic comment on the previous post, but wasn’t able for some reason.

    The US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled in favor of Suniva and SolarWorld who argued that inexpensive PV solar panels made it impossible for them to compete. The ITC has proposed three remedies that range from a 35% tariff to a quota of 8.9GW of imported panels. To put that in perspective in 2016, the US installed 15 GW of solar, which was a record and reflected uncertainty over the continuation of the investment tax credit. In 2017 the US is expected to install between 8-10GW, which is forecast to grow to 20GW by 2020.

    For context, China has already installed 42GW through the first 9 months of 2017 toward a 50GW forecast.

    The ITC proposals were far short of the tariffs proposed by Suniva, so the broader solar industry has thus far viewed this as a win. However, Trump is under no obligation to follow the recommendations of the ITC, and can pretty much do as he pleases. Given his disdain of PV solar, climate change, trade position with China, and love of coal, one can only imagine what he’ll do. The ITC recommendations go to him on Nov 13, and he has 60 days to decide what he’ll do.

    At a time when we should be accelerating the move to renewables we’re rapidly moving backward under this clueless administration.

    Reply
    • Thanks for this, Jim. Much appreciated. Not seeing your post held up on my end. Might be a wordpress thing. Definitely newsworthy stuff!

      The ITC recommendations appear to be far more rational than those proposed by Sunivia and Solarworld and probably wouldn’t have majorly damaging impacts on the industry. At least that’s my view. We’ll see what Trump proposes in turn. Hopefully not something as ridiculous or more riduculous than the original Sunivia/Solar World asks.

      Reply
      • Jim

         /  November 3, 2017

        Posting problems are either WordPress or more likely my antiquated ( 9 year-old Mac Pro) which is no longer supported by Chrome, as problems occurs with regular frequency. I felt good about keeping the old thing running by installing a new power supply, but Apple needs the revenue you know. So much for their commitment to sustainability 🙂

        Reply
        • Suzanne

           /  November 3, 2017

          Jim…I am having the same problems with my “older” MacBook (not as old as yours)…but still frustrating that even though I continue to get little things like the mousepad replaced so I can keep it going…Apple doesn’t seem to want me to keep it with my dwindling software options.

        • Stevan

           /  November 4, 2017

          Jim, if your Mac Pro is Early 2008 (macpro3,1) or later, you can upgrade your operating system to El Capitan (OSX 10.11) and no further. Once upgraded, you can install and use the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox. I also recommend you have 8GB RAM installed, though you can get by with 4GB.

  3. Suzanne

     /  November 3, 2017

    And at Newsweek today…
    “Trump wants to save Big Coal with $11 Billion ANNUAL bailout”
    http://www.newsweek.com/trump-coal-taxpayers-energy-nuclear-695346

    The Trump administration wants to force electricity customers to pay for a $10.6 billion annual bailout of the failing coal and nuclear industries through surcharges on their monthly energy bills.

    The quietly announced proposal would require ratepayers to fully underwrite a new mandate that coal and nuclear plants hold a minimum of 90 days’ worth of fuel on-site under the false premise of providing security from power outages.

    But critics say the subsidy is just a massive government-mandated transfer of wealth from consumers to coal and nuclear companies.

    So what is going on? Evidence points to a big handout to Big Coal from a president who campaigned on reviving the declining industry
    _____________________________________

    Thank you for keeping the memory of D.T alive…

    Reply
    • paul

       /  November 3, 2017

      There can be no true democracy when so much money can be given to politicians to win their influence.
      This damages all of us.

      Reply
  4. Suzanne

     /  November 3, 2017

    Published today at UT News (The University of Texas at Austin)…November 1st:
    “Intensifying Winds could increase East Antarctica’s Contribution to SLR”
    https://news.utexas.edu/2017/11/01/winds-driving-warm-water-under-east-antarctic

    AUSTIN, Texas — Totten Glacier, the largest glacier in East Antarctica, is being melted from below by warm water that reaches the ice when winds over the ocean are strong — a cause for concern because the glacier holds more than 11 feet of sea level rise and acts as a plug that helps lock in the ice of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    Research led by The University of Texas at Austin has found that wind is responsible for bringing warm water to Totten’s underbelly, causing the glacier to melt from below. This finding helps answer the question of what causes Totten to speed up some years and slow down in others. Climate change is expected to increase the intensity of winds over the Southern Ocean throughout the next century, and the new findings show that Totten Glacier will probably respond to the changing winds.

    “Totten has been called the sleeping giant because it’s huge and has been seen as insensitive to changes in its environment,” said lead author Chad Greene, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG). “But we’ve shown that if Totten is asleep, it’s certainly not in a coma — we’re seeing signs of responsiveness, and it might just take the wind blowing to wake it up.”

    The study was published Nov. 1 in the journal Science Advances. UTIG is a research unit of the UT Jackson School of Geosciences.
    _____________________________________

    Cool video graphic included with article.

    Reply
  5. Mblanc

     /  November 3, 2017

    That pyramid is an excellent representation of the fact that the deaths are the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to air pollution. In a decent world, that would be on the front page of every big city newspaper in the world.

    It is disappointing to see those tax credits dropped and Tesla taking some heat, but the subsidies only had a few years left on them (given the trends) and Tesla production has always been a bit ‘lumpy’.

    Personally. I want to see the truck. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and commented:
    GR: By eliminating the all-electric vehicle tax credit, the Republicans are trying to slow the switch from gas burning to clean powered vehicles. They don’t want us to own a Tesla. That’s it–this tax bill sucks!

    Reply
    • Jim

       /  November 3, 2017

      Also living in AZ – I fully agree. Must be nice living along a creek.

      In Phoenix all of the crickets in the summer are gone, along with most of the cicadas. It’s weird, but there is a startling absence of insects and birds here. I don’t know if widespread use of insecticides and herbicides, general warming, or a parasite; but it used to be that when you stepped outside in the summer you had to push crickets away. Now, I haven’t seen one at my house in years!

      Reply
      • paul

         /  November 3, 2017

        This worries me more than any of our other problems as the consequences of loss of insect life will be almost immediate and catastrophic.
        This has been a slow burner for decades but once a tipping point is reached it will be swift as food chains and populations collapse throughout the web of life.
        I hope we are nowhere near that point at the moment.

        Reply
        • Jeremy in Wales

           /  November 3, 2017

          I think we have all noticed the reductions in insects whether while out and about or the reduced number of squashed bugs on the car. Pesticides must be a large part of this (17,800 tonnes in the UK in 2015) but there may well be other factors, microwave radiation used in mobile phones, routers and DEC phones which is at a similar wavelength to microwave ovens, and possibly air pollution and particulates in particular which may invade insects respiratory systems.
          Get rid of the roundup from the garage, switch off routers and computers/phones when not in use, scrap a diesel and use a bike. Easier said than done I know.

        • Agreed, Jim and Paul. The loss of insects is heartbreaking. My “build it and they will come” mentality when it comes to my Sydney city balcony garden has not worked as I’d hoped. I still see the occasional skink lizard on the brick walls and was overjoyed that a honeybee successfully pollinated my dwarf lemon tree in recent weeks. But the only significant group of insects I’ve seen are dozens of tiny flies. Even the gorgeous, sandstone – cliff – edged pocket park at the end of my street which is heavy with plants that are indigenous to the local area has been strangely devoid of the hum of insects for a very long time now, even on the balmiest of evenings. Occasionally I hear a frog after a downpour and I wonder what they are surviving on. Cockroaches, maybe, not that I’ve even seen many of those either come to think of it.

          There has been fewer birds, too. Even the pesky Indian mynahs are less visible. Thank goodness a little gumtree reserve still attracts rainbow lorikeets regularly I will see what happens when my cherry tomatoes and strawberries ripen.

          Re air pollution and gas masks, DT once recommended the absolute best of the best type of masks to get and I often find myself wishing I’d made note of its make and model at the time. Anyone?

          Of course, I wish more that he was still with us…

    • John McCormick

       /  November 3, 2017

      Terrible timing!!!!! Virginia and New Jersey elections of governors looming. She gave Trump a bigly gift.

      Reply
      • Suzanne

         /  November 3, 2017

        +1 And all done, IMO..to sell her book. I refuse to rehash the DNC of 2016. There is a completely new leadership in the DNC now. This nation is in a 911 situation..and I am putting all my energy into GOTV in my district and state…to turn us BLUE in 2018. Airing all this dirty laundry is absolutely self serving and not helping, again IMO.

        Reply
        • wili

           /  November 3, 2017

          Part of me agrees, of course. But shouldn’t also really be taking a good look at all that went in to our losses in the past if we are going to have any chance of avoiding them in the future?

        • Brazile has proven herself to be quite inaccurate with this book. And, in any case, any rational person supporting the democratic party would agree that an election is not the time to revisit old wounds, wouldn’t you agree??

        • wili

           /  November 3, 2017

          Ah, I see that the revelations may be prompting some rule reforms in the DNC. If some good comes out of this, it may be worth any new divisiveness within the party it might have caused: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/11/03/dnc-leaders-call-for-rules-reform-after-2016-primary-revelations/?utm_term=.74ad9df1b68f

          “DNC leaders call for rules reform after 2016 primary revelations”

          “The top two officials in the Democratic National Committee have pledged to reform the party in the wake of revelations that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign got a special joint fundraising agreement before she won the 2016 nomination. Yet even as they tried to get past the story, kicked off by former DNC chair Donna Brazile’s upcoming memoir, DNC Chairman Tom Perez and Deputy Chairman Keith Ellison took slightly different views as to what needed to change.

          In an email to DNC members last night, Perez said that the party had already begun reforming its primary rules to ensure “that 2020 will be a transparent process,” and that “even a perception of impropriety — whether real or not — is detrimental to the DNC as an institution.” The DNC’s charter, he pointed out, required total neutrality in primaries.

          But Perez sidestepped the growing criticism of the 2016 JFA for Clinton’s campaign — which, according to Brazile, allowed the Democratic front-runner’s campaign veto power over some party decisions.

          “The joint fundraising agreements were the same for each campaign except for the treasurer, and our understanding was that the DNC offered all of the presidential campaigns the opportunity to set up a JFA and work with the DNC to coordinate on how those funds were used to best prepare for the general election,” Perez said. “Since then, both of those joint fundraising committees have been shut down.”

          Perez did not respond to the criticism of former staff and supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who argued yesterday that the JFA was slanted toward Clinton, and that the party gave her special treatment. In an interview, former Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said that the JFA, by its nature, benefited the candidate who could set up high-dollar fundraisers, and that the DNC did not help Sanders organize large donors.

          “Who are the wealthy people Bernie was going to bring to a fundraiser?” Weaver asked. “They never set up a single event.”

          In his statement, released separately from Perez’s, Ellison did not get into the weeds of the 2015 arrangement. But he did call specifically for the DNC to change its rules to specify that no future campaign could get a favorable JFA.

          “We must heed the call for our party to enact real reforms that ensure a fair, open and impartial nominating process in elections to come,” Ellison said. “I’m committed to working with Chairman Perez to make the DNC more transparent and accountable to the American people, whether that’s by ensuring that debates are scheduled far ahead of time or by guaranteeing that the terms of joint fundraising agreements give no candidate undue control or influence over the party.”

          The DNC will meet next month to hear recommendations from a “unity commission” that has met four times, in four cities, to research problems with the primary process and debate reforms. Multiple state Democratic chairs are lobbying specifically for new language in the party bylaws about JFAs, an issue that might be forced at a later meeting.”

        • Well that’s good news. But all something that should have happened and been discussed before or after the election… Hmm???

        • Various informed refutations and clarifications:

      • So I don’t think Brazile intended for the book to be released at this time. That decision is made by the publisher. Clearly they were trying to get the biggest splash possible. Of course, like many for-profit driven institutions, they might or might not have been thinking about how this might impact the election. Not sure who the publisher is. But many are now owned by Murdoch and the like.

        I’ve looked through the info RE Brazile and it seems that many are stating that her account is inaccurate. Party funds go to the winner, Hillary did not control party funds during the primary, and Brazile could not have arbitrarily switched Biden for Hillary as candidate (only if Hillary actually was very sick and unfit to run or serve). The tone of Brazile’s message and various innaccuracies feed directly into a false narrative that has been politically weaponized against the democrats. The endless focus on division by media and directly targeted by conservatives and russia-bots generates a purely false perception.

        To be clear, Bernie has moved past the election, democrats are working together and internal issues are being addressed.

        But we should also consider the fact that whenever Trump or Republicans are under pressure they go back to the usual whipping post of Hillary in an attempt to generate cover for their position. The uranium one narrative is a mostly invented story with practically zero supporting evidence. A fake narrative drummed up to create cover for the very real Russia issue. DNC division has been greatly overblown. The party has always had a struggle between its liberal and moderate wings. At least since 1896. When fractures emerge, as we saw more recently with McGovern in 1972, it ends up being terrible for the party and for America as a whole. And the reason is that when democrats wage war with one another, then they are unable to act in their primary role as leaders for responsible and effective government. This allows the anarchical tendencies of republicans free reign, at least in the context of the modern era (1950s to now and more particularly 1990s to now).

        The democratic party is far more diverse politically than the republican party. Unlike them, we should embrace this diversity, not work to continue to enflame division by endlessly focusing on what amounts to a tabloid of distraction.

        As for our ‘friends’ who fell for the Jill Stein distraction in the previous election… We should remember that the primary angle of attack of our political foes, which now include Russia, is to attempt to target historic divisions within the democratic party and get us fighting amongst ourselves.

        Related:

        Reply
        • wili

           /  November 6, 2017

          This points out that many claims swirling around the Brazile story are inaccurate. Of course, this piece itself needs to be examined for accuracy…and so it goes:

          (Taking this link down. The intercept checks none of the ‘facts’ for its claims.)

        • Think — Who’s talking about this??

          Not Bernie Sanders:

          Not really any real democrat that’s actively involved at this time.

          The media and Brazile are spinning up an inaccurate narrative that feeds into division during election time for ratings and book sales. The facts will be parsed after the election. But, meanwhile, the democratic party suffers. This is exactly what hurt us in 2016 and it’s hurting us now. More than any hurt coming from internal division is the hurt that comes from this continuous and misleading and false airing of dirty laundry. Some of it real, but much of it contrived and exaggerated.

        • Basic fact here:

    • Sheri

       /  November 5, 2017

      I don’t want to give any help to Republicans but we seem to have little option to watch both parties suffer through suffering whatever illegal or unethical stuff coming out until it runs it course. I am so personally repulsed by both parties I wish them both to melt down and hope something better and relevant to our reality come out of their ruins.

      .What Jim in AZ said about the insects in our summers is correct.Cicadas and particularly crickets seem to be gone. And the black widow spiders are even nonexistent this summer and we have a lot of them where I live.

      By this time in November, the temp inside my house should read just about 68 degrees, without any heat or cooling. This hasn’t happened this year, stead mid-70s is what I have had for the last week. 😦

      Sheri

      Reply
      • wili

         /  November 5, 2017

        Thanks for sharing your thought and observations, Sheri. (link removed by moderator)

        Reply
        • Actually, I think truthout is not learning the lessons of 2016 by reporting on this issue in this fashion.

          Wili — you know you’re kinda falling prey here too, right?

    • Complete distraction full of inaccuracies that opponents of the democratic party will seek to weaponize to sow division during a critical election period.

      Reply
  7. Suzanne

     /  November 3, 2017

    For DT Lange….

    At Newsweek yesterday…”Incoming EPA Adviser Thinks Air is too Clean”
    http://www.newsweek.com/robert-phalen-epa-air-too-clean-700143

    One of the new White House appointees to a critical environmental panel once said that the air these days is just too clean to promote good health.

    Robert Phalen, an air pollution researcher at the Irvine campus of the University of California, said in 2012 that children need to breathe irritants so that their bodies learn how to ward them off.

    “Modern air,” he told the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “is a little too clean for optimum health.”

    Phalen is one of 17 new appointees to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Scientific Advisory Board, which helps develop environmental policy. Other nominees include scientists from the oil industry, a chemical industry trade association, and various universities and consulting groups.

    Like Phalen, many are expected to argue for less regulation, an agenda that is backed by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

    Reply
  8. Vic

     /  November 3, 2017

    Their modelling is of low certainty at this stage, but Noaa is predicting better than even chances of yet another mass bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef this summer. Although the event is not expected to be as intense as what occurred over the last two summers, it would be focused around the southern section of the reef, the only section that mostly escaped bleaching in 2017 & 2016.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/03/more-coral-bleaching-feared-for-great-barrier-reef-in-coming-months

    Reply
    • Vic

       /  November 3, 2017

      An early summer full moon shining across the Great Barrier Reef tomorrow night looks set to trigger the annual coral spawning event of multiple species throughout the region over the coming weeks.

      For badly hit parts of the northern Great Barrier Reef however, University of Queensland reef expert Dr Selina Ward said the spawning event was likely to be so adversely affected that they would be relying on coral spawning from the Coral Triangle to bring recruits through ocean currents.

      On a wing and a prayer.

      Reply
  9. Loni

     /  November 3, 2017

    A free and independent media is sorely missed in our democracy.

    Reply
  10. Jim

     /  November 3, 2017

    A bit of good news this Friday, Republican Representative Lamar Smith has announced his retirement in 2018.

    Smith chaired the House Science Committee and is well know for launching investigative probes into scientists whose work didn’t align with Smith’s climate denial beliefs. He supported Exxon Mobil, and fought against those who’ve been trying to compel Exxon Mobil to reveal the extent they know about climate change, instead choosing to spread false information intended to deceive the public.

    http://www.nature.com/news/controversial-chairman-of-us-house-science-committee-to-retire-1.22954?WT.ec_id=NEWSDAILY-20171103

    Reply
    • He’s probably not conservative enough for the base…. Bannon is probably running some whack job against him in the primaries.

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  November 6, 2017

      I suspect another factor is with all that Congress and the Administration have and are achieving including killing off the Earth Monitoring Satellites (Through the Science Committee he chaired by defunding the program and the launches).
      Being a bought and paid for saboteur, Job done now vanish before the smelly stuff really hits the fan and he is held publicly accountable

      Reply
  11. Greg

     /  November 3, 2017

    Trump administration releases 2000 page comprehensive report finding ‘no convincing alternative explanation’ for climate change. “I think this report is basically the most comprehensive climate science report in the world right now,” said Robert Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers. The report’s release underscores the extent to which the machinery of the federal scientific establishment, operating in multiple agencies across the government, continues to grind on even as top administration officials have minimized or disparaged its findings.The report could have considerable legal and policy significance, providing new and stronger support for the EPA’s greenhouse-gas “endangerment finding” under the Clean Air Act, which lays the foundation for regulations on emissions.
    (Paywall after limited number of articles)
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/11/03/trump-administration-releases-report-finds-no-convincing-alternative-explanation-for-climate-change

    Reply
  12. coloradobob

     /  November 4, 2017

    Climate change sucks moisture from the West, adding to droughts, fires, federal study reveals
    WASHINGTON
    The Trump administration released a sweeping report Friday that pegged man-made climate change to droughts and wildfires in California and the West, but for reasons you may not expect.

    Scientists have uncovered little evidence that climate change is a driver of reduced rainfall and snowfall in the region, including during the drought of 2001-2015. But studies have found strong links that higher temperatures, caused by climate change, have reduced soil moisture in California and other states. That in turn has affected farm operations and dried out vegetation, creating fuel for wildfires.

    “Much evidence is found for a human influence on surface soil moisture deficits due to increased evapotranspiration caused by higher temperatures,” said the congressionally mandated National Climate Assessment, an annual review of scientific literature on climate change affecting the United States.

    http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/environment/article182632821.html

    Reply
  13. coloradobob

     /  November 4, 2017

    Alaska’s plan to pay for climate change: drill for more oil
    State officials want to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling to close its budget deficit

    https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/11/3/16602764/alaska-climate-change-oil-anwr

    Reply
  14. coloradobob

     /  November 4, 2017

    Insects Are In Serious Trouble
    In western Germany, populations of flying insects have fallen by around 80 percent in the last three decades.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/10/oh-no/543390/

    Reply
    • Jim

       /  November 4, 2017

      Same in Arizona, Coloradobob,

      Crickets, which used to be ubiquitous are gone. Hundreds used to be on my patio in the summer 15 years ago. I’ve not seen a single one in years.

      Cicadas which used to drown out evening conversations, are now hardly heard at all. You’ve got to be quiet, then you’ll hear a few.

      Birds, which used to line up on rooftops to devour winter grass seed. Nowhere to be found. After two weeks I finally found a few birds on my lawn. I left them alone.

      I guess most people don’t understand the rate at which things are changing. This is not a 100 year problem. This is 10-30 year problem. Half of the CO2 in our atmosphere has been added since 1988. We’ve seen a decrease of 75% -80% in our insect population since 1987.

      The rate of change is a real problem as Paul, yourself and others have pointed out.

      ~Jim

      Reply
      • Allan Barr

         /  November 4, 2017

        Next door neighbour keeps their lawn green all summer long and does not use pesticides, have an abundance of crickets. Perhaps the ever hotter seasons with the lack of water are one of the huge issues? Wonder how many people ensure that their local wildlife gets access to water?

        Reply
      • Sheri

         /  November 5, 2017

        I support what Jim says about the insect situation in Arizona. I can only speak for central Phoenix really.
        Sheri

        Reply
  15. coloradobob

     /  November 4, 2017

    Thanks for the DT reminder , we’re about one tear from his light flickering out.

    Reply
  16. coloradobob

     /  November 4, 2017

    Catastrophic fires sweep through iconic Brazilian national park

    Wildfires have consumed more than a quarter of Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, a much visited and beloved Brazilian preserve known for its biodiversity, spectacular waterfalls and ancient bedrock.
    Though 2017 has been a very dry year, authorities suspect arson, with the park’s enlargement from 65,000 to 240,000 hectares earlier this year a possible motive.
    Firefighters have now contained the blaze and the park has reopened.
    The fire destroyed at least 65,000 hectares of habitat. It will be years before the preserve’s flora and fauna recover, say experts.

    https://news.mongabay.com/2017/11/catastrophic-fires-sweep-through-iconic-brazilian-national-park/

    The piercing cries of blue macaws could be heard rising through the forests as flames approached the birds’ nestling chicks. For 12 days, the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, located in the state of Goiás, endured the largest and most damaging fire in its history, in a year when record wildfires — mostly human-caused — have engulfed vast areas of the Amazon and forests in other parts of Brazil.

    Reply
  17. coloradobob

     /  November 4, 2017

    Listening to songs tonight , this one merits a post here.

    Chris Rea – The road to hell (long version CD) HD

    Reply
    • redskylite

       /  November 4, 2017

      CB – Thanks for including that moving and appropriate song – now the Scribbler posts have come alive again. D.T Lange was a fantastic poster of facts and information and he really cared, as do the contributors of this great commentary.

      Reply
  18. coloradobob

     /  November 4, 2017

    This points to the wine fires. 115 F days in a row set them up, All water was sucked from every plant.
    This event primed for the fires . Then came the winds.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  November 4, 2017

      This new report is is scary , because heat not snow and rain will drive the West.

      Reply
  19. Abel Adamski

     /  November 4, 2017

    A slight digression
    From a Murdoch rag that actually linked the Paper
    I don’t think they put 2 and 2 together to understand the ramifications and the powerful truth in that paper, I have a comment pending, being facebook required I used the ID I created for Wendy which she chose not to use. That comment is pending but I will post.

    http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/space/alien-life-dont-expect-it-to-be-all-that-different-oxford-university-researchers-say/news-story/dccb989241b084a56da71957b1a8cdfa

    The paper
    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/international-journal-of-astrobiology/article/darwins-aliens/89B3E0F2165EB8D63A7C5EAA7D9702D3
    My comment
    Frank_Speaking
    pending
    These evolutionary ‘transitions’ often followed a natural cataclysm, or a single significant shift in biological complexity.
    Essentially, its when individual organisms come together to form a higher-level entity in response to an external challenge.
    Single-celled organisms evolved into multicellular organisms.
    “It was a revolution of ecosystems, it was the rise of algae,” researcher Jochen Brocks from the ANU said earlier this year.
    “If you are picturing anything more complex or purposeful than a simple molecule, then the alien you are picturing has undergone natural selection,” the paper reads.
    Among the ‘major transitions’ experienced on Earth is when free-floating cells merged in a symbiotic relationship. At a later point, some of these cells diversified — helping each other instead of replicating each other — to form multicellular partnerships.
    “The cells can now have very different functions (a division of labour), as each is just a component of a multicellular machine, sacrificing itself for the good of the group, to get a sperm or egg cell into the next generation,” the research paper reads.
    Thus a self-sustaining chemical system has been created (life) that will inevitably be exposed to the pressures outlined by Darwinian evolution.
    “As a result, diverse specialised forms such as eyes, kidneys, and brains were able to develop.”

    Fancy that , advanced species are a result of and dependant on pure Socialist principles and mutuality. In fact you could say that Libertarian and capitalistic principles equate to cellular cancerous cells that break down and destroy the mutually beneficial cellular interactions for the benefit of a single cell or group of cells.

    P.S our Haemoglobin is just a variant of Chlorophyll, a different core atom

    Reply
  20. “US report finds climate change 90% manmade, contradicting Trump officials
    Major report by government agencies goes against senior members of Trump administration and finds evidence of global warming stronger than ever.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/03/climate-change-report-us-government-contradicts-trump

    Reply
  21. Abel Adamski

     /  November 4, 2017

    Here we go round the Mulberry bush
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171101151243.htm
    Versatile marine bacteria could be an influence on global warming, scientists discover

    Scientists have discovered that a ‘rare’ type of marine bacteria is much more widespread than previously thought – and possesses a remarkable metabolism that could contribute to greenhouse gas production.
    Nitrococcus bacterium is found in oceans worldwide, and has the astonishing ability to live without oxygen by reversing its metabolism.

    The usual biological ‘function’ of Nitrococcus – and a handful of other similar bacteria – is to replenish nitrate (NO3-) in the ocean through the oxidation of nitrite (NO2-) – while at the same time converting carbon dioxide (CO2) into building blocks for their cellular structures.
    The usual biological ‘function’ of Nitrococcus – and a handful of other similar bacteria – is to replenish nitrate (NO3-) in the ocean through the oxidation of nitrite (NO2-) – while at the same time converting carbon dioxide (CO2) into building blocks for their cellular structures.

    Nitrococcus can – in the absence of oxygen – ‘switch’ its metabolism so that it reduces nitrate to nitrite and further to nitrous oxide (N2O), while producing, instead of capturing, CO2.

    However not all negative

    In addition, the team discovered that Nitrococcus has the ability to oxidise sulphide, a compound that is highly toxic to most life, such as in the so-called oceanic dead zones – low-oxygen water bodies associated with high biological productivity. Nitrococcus’s ability to convert hydrogen sulphide (H2S) to harmless sulphur may then contribute to ‘sulphide detoxification’ and protect other life forms.

    Whoopsie

    Reply
  22. Suzanne

     /  November 4, 2017

    At Weather Underground…”Blockbuster Assessment: Humans Likely Responsible for Virtually All Global Warming since the 1950’s”

    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/blockbuster-assessment-humans-likely-responsible-virtually-all-global-warming-1950s

    Humans are likely responsible for 93 – 123% of Earth’s net global warming after 1950, says a blockbuster climate report issued on Friday. The Climate Science Special Report is the first product released by the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA); the core assessment itself, focusing on impacts, will be released in 2018. The NCA is an congressionally mandated quadrennial effort by hundreds of U.S. scientists to assess how the climate is changing in the United States. The project is carried out by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Preparation of the report included workshops around the nation, a public-comment period on the draft, and a technical review spanning 13 agencies.

    Reply
  23. Suzanne

     /  November 4, 2017

    And wayyyy O.T. but I feel worth sharing. Frontline’s piece “Putin’s Revenge”. Our Nation’s election was “hacked” by Putin…something that seems to get lost in all the unbelievable chaos of Trumpism. I think we all should try to focus on that fact…we were attacked by Putin, without him ever firing a missile…
    And no, I am not a neoconservative hawk, but it is time to face the reality of Putin’s role in giving us Trump…and promoting divisiveness in our country using social media to do so.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/

    Reply
    • Jeremy in Wales

       /  November 4, 2017

      Think US citizens should remember that their Government has interferred in others elections since WWII let alone organised coups like Iran in 1953 that brought the Shah to power or orchastrated invasions (Bay of Pigs).
      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/05/americans-spot-election-meddling-doing-years-vladimir-putin-donald-trump
      What goes around comes around.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  November 4, 2017

        Of course, the US gov has been doing horrible things to directly and indirectly affect other countries. And I’ve been out in the streets protesting pretty much each one. Do you think citizens of the US should not be upset at all this time? If you see these other interferences as wrong, do you see this one as somehow not also wrong?

        I guess I really don’t understand this line of reasoning, especially since it was specifically the US government establishment committing those earlier harms, whereas it is arguably the rights of US citizens that are being harmed here.

        Reply
        • Shawn Redmond

           /  November 4, 2017

          From the outside looking in check out this list:
          https://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/interventions.html

        • Jeremy in Wales

           /  November 5, 2017

          Wili, of course US citizens will be upset but from my perspective I am surprised that it has not happened previously or more likely that this was the first time it has been so influential in a US election.
          Of course the UK has in the past few centuries intervened in one way or another in pratically every state on Earth and since Suez has meekly followed the US line. Result Russia probably interfered – money most likely – in the UK Brexit referendum to weaken the EU (the UK is not reliant on Russian gas, Germany is)
          Now what you have to ask yourself is why Russia is now being so assertive, probably because we have extended NATO right to their borders (when Gorbachev was given assurances that NATO would be dismantled) and the US & EU have been interfering in Ukraine (along with the Russians which again cannot be excused).
          The US & its allies have interfered in Russian elections, funding NGOs, that the Russians would give equivalence too https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/democracy-post/wp/2017/07/21/did-the-united-states-interfere-in-russian-elections/?utm_term=.6b565d733d28
          Unfortunately the US also seems to believe that it is above international law. For example the International Criminal Court in the Hague, set up in 1998, seven countries voted against its establishment China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar, the United States, and Yemen. Four signatory states—Israel, Sudan, the United States and Russia—have informed the UN Secretary General that they no longer intend to become states parties and, as such, have no legal obligations arising from their signature of the Statute.
          Simplistically the rest of the world sees the US as wanting to set the rules and have everyone else have to follow them – that causes tensions which have now manifested themselves internally in the US & UK.

  24. We can mess around in the details of the republicans, or we can call them what they are: too stupid to pass natural selection tests, rendering them unwitting bio-terrorists.

    If you’re climate denying at the local bar, that’s one thing. If you’re taking money from philosophic dinosaurs while slinging non-selectable code, you’re bringing “premature and perverted death” to our kids.
    With the democrats, we still get collapse and mass death, maybe a little slower, maybe not.

    But, from a long term evolutionary perspective, they/we all hold a get out of responsibility card. We’re all too stupid to navigate the emergent and alien environs we’ve generated via exponentially accelerating complexity, which includes exponentially accruing knowledge.

    As Frank Vertosick said here http://ow.ly/4neV0l in 2006: it’s just more human hubris to think that humans can be planetary stewards, reality is too complex. I argued with him; I was wrong.

    Here’s one manner of distillation:
    Humans aren’t sufficiently coded — biologically, culturally or technologically — to pass natural selection tests in environs undergoing exponentially accelerating complexity for X number of years.
    Year X approaches.

    And here’s some cake icing from Frank Zappa, circa 1984:
    “My recommended approach would be this: you can bet everything will come to an end. It’s going to be ugly and it’s going to be a mess, and it’s going to be something that somebody did in the name of God, okay? Whether it’s us saying that God’s on our side because we’re tremendous Christians and we’re protecting our religion and our flag, or whether it’s a Moslem saying that the infidels must die or whether it’s a communist saying that there is no God and we’re doing this for the people.

    The point is that they’re going to do it in the name of something greater than themselves but you can bet your ass they’re going to do it. There’s no way around it. That is, I’m sure mathematics would bear me out on that. The statistics are staggering. That is what is going to happen. So the question is, what do you do with your spare time until you’re a cinder? And the answer is, you do whatever you can that makes your particular life more beautiful and you get involved in art. ‘Cause that’s what makes things beautiful.”

    The interview with Mr. Zappa is here:
    http://ow.ly/4neUPy

    Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  November 4, 2017

      We really don’t have to run the planet.

      We just have to stop interfering with the biosphere and let it run itself. Hopefully, we’re smart enough to do that.

      Reply
  25. kassy

     /  November 4, 2017

    Nephrologists don’t think the air is “too clean” :

    Air pollution causes millions of cases of kidney disease each year

    American Society of Nephrology

    Highlights
    The estimated global burden of chronic kidney disease attributable to fine particulate matter is more than 10.7 million cases per year.
    Results from the study will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2017 October 31-November 5 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA.

    New Orleans, LA (November 4, 2017) — The global toll of chronic kidney disease (CKD) attributable to air pollution is significant, according to an analysis that will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2017 October 31-November 5 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA.
    Benjamin Bowe, MPH, (Clinical Epidemiology Center at the VA Saint Louis Health Care System) and his colleagues previously described an association between increased levels of fine particulate matter and risk of developing CKD. In their latest research, the investigators used the Global Burden of Disease study methodologies to estimate the burden of CKD attributable to air pollution.
    The estimated global burden of incident CKD attributable to fine particulate matter was more than 10.7 million cases per year. Epidemiologic measures of the burden of CKD attributable to air pollution including years living with disability (meaning years living with kidney disease), years of life lost (meaning early death attributable to kidney disease), and disability-adjusted life years (a measure that combines the burden of living with the disease and the early death caused by the disease) suggest that the burden varies greatly by geography, with higher values seen in Central America and South Asia.
    “Air pollution might at least partially explain the rise in incidence of CKD of unknown origin in many geographies around the world, and the rise in Mesoamerican nephropathy in Mexico and Central America,” said Bowe.

    https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/ason-apc102717.php

    Reply
  26. wili

     /  November 5, 2017

    Reply
  27. Abel Adamski

     /  November 5, 2017

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/nov/05/donald-trump-accused-blocking-satellite-climate-change-research
    Donald Trump accused of obstructing satellite research into climate change
    Republican-controlled Congress ordered destruction of vital sea-ice probe
    President Trump has been accused of deliberately obstructing research on global warming after it emerged that a critically important technique for investigating sea-ice cover at the poles faces being blocked.

    The row has erupted after a key polar satellite broke down a few days ago, leaving the US with only three ageing ones, each operating long past their shelf lives, to measure the Arctic’s dwindling ice cap. Scientists say there is no chance a new one can now be launched until 2023 or later. None of the current satellites will still be in operation then.

    The crisis has been worsened because the US Congress this year insisted that a backup sea-ice probe had to be dismantled because it did not want to provide funds to keep it in storage. Congress is currently under the control of Republicans, who are antagonistic to climate science and the study of global warming.

    At present three ageing satellites – DMSP F16, F17 and F18 – remain in operation, though they are all beginning to drift out of their orbits over the poles. The latest satellite in the series, F19, began to suffer sensor malfunctions last year and finally broke down a few weeks ago. It should have been replaced with the F20 probe, which had already been built and was being kept in storage by the US Air Force. However it had to be destroyed, on the orders of the US Congress, on the grounds that its storage was too costly.

    Many scientists say this decision was made for purely ideological reasons. They also warn that many other projects for monitoring climate change, including several satellite missions, face similar threats from the Trump administration and Congress.

    Reply
  28. PlazaRed

     /  November 5, 2017

    This article may be of some interest to people interested in monitoring sea ice loss.

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/nov/05/donald-trump-accused-blocking-satellite-climate-change-research

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  November 6, 2017

      Thank you for the link…I some times feel as though the Trump/Republican Regimes are taking us back to the Dark Ages. This quote from the article says it all…for me. Truly a war on science..

      Many scientists say this decision was made for purely ideological reasons. They also warn that many other projects for monitoring climate change, including several satellite missions, face similar threats from the Trump administration and Congress.

      Reply
  29. kassy

     /  November 5, 2017

    What a bunch of retards. Have this as a not so surprising sidedish:

    Plans by the Trump administration to promote coal as a solution to climate change at a major UN meeting have angered environmentalists.
    An adviser to the president is expected to take part in a pro-coal presentation in Bonn next week.
    Separately, a group of governors will say that the US is still committed to climate action despite Mr Trump’s rejection of the Paris agreement.

    Speakers from coal giant Peabody Energy, among others, will make a presentation to highlight the role that coal and other fuels can play in curbing the impacts of rising temperatures.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-41859283

    Slide 1: keep it in the ground….the end.

    Reply
  30. kassy

     /  November 5, 2017

    Cape Verde’s goal is 100% renewable energy by 2025. Why it may just do it

    Cape Verde, the small island archipelago nation off Africa’s northwest coast, has set itself a very bold renewable energy target. As part of its “sustainable energy for all” agenda, it has pledged to obtain 100% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2025.
    Cape Verde is made up of 10 islands, nine of which are inhabited, that lie about 600km west of Senegal. Almost all of the islands’ 550,000 residents have access to electricity, but about one-third still rely on firewood and charcoal for cooking. Cape Verde’s per capita electricity consumption of 727 kWh per person per year is substantially higher than the sub-Saharan Africa average of 488 kWh per person per year. But electricity prices are high. They range from US$0.26 – 0.32 in recent years compared, for example, to an average of US$0.13 for residential homes in the US.
    Although most of its electricity is produced by generators, which run on imported petroleum products, Cape Verde has started to diversify its energy portfolio. A quarter is now provided by renewable sources. This is good news because there are estimates that, between 2015 and 2020, Cape Verde will almost double its annual electricity consumption to 670 GWh, up from 360 GWh.
    With cutting-edge technologies and innovative business practices, Cape Verde can achieve its 100% renewable energy goal in a way that is cost-effective and equitable. One research team suggested that a system based on solar, wind and energy storage (as batteries and pumped hydropower) could meet Cape Verde’s goals. It certainly has a wide range of options for increasing its share of renewable energy to achieve this.
    Some countries obtain almost all of their electricity from renewable sources, but these have substantial hydroelectric resources. Cape Verde, lacking large hydropower resources, would be unique in achieving 100% renewable energy with a diverse resource mix.

    more on:
    https://theconversation.com/cape-verdes-goal-is-100-renewable-energy-by-2025-why-it-may-just-do-it-85759

    Reply
  31. Mblanc

     /  November 5, 2017

    I found this nice article looking at the future of commercial electric flight, something we were previously told was impossible.

    It really gets down into the numbers necessary to make this happen. Here is a snippet…

    Is aviation on the verge of an electric propulsion disruption?

    ‘Clearly, the inevitable transition to electric propulsion is not around the corner as electrical power storage has a long way to go before becoming a viable alternative, but there is good news on the horizon.

    Samsung is said to already be providing Tesla with 300 W·h/kg Li-ion batteries. Pellion Technologies next-generation magnesium-ion may offer batteries with 50% higher energy density than current Li-ion, reaching 360 W·h/kg. Solid Energy with lithium metal, is claiming a new era in technology, with a battery capable of 450 W·h/kg. With several new suppliers trying to win a position on the future $30 billion market for lighter and more powerful batteries it is reasonable to expect further improvements.

    Starting with 117 W·h/kg in 2008 the battery energy density doubled by 2015 reaching 250 W·h/kg, and will almost double again between 2015 and 2018 reaching 450 W·h/kg. At that pace, by middle 2020’s we may expect new batteries, most likely beyond lithium, and new fuel cells, capacitors, or a combination of them all reaching 1000 W·h/kg storage capacity.

    That is when it gets interesting for aviation, as 1 kW·h/kg may be the necessary threshold upon which the electric aircraft can compete head-to-head with internal combustion engine propulsion.’

    http://articles.sae.org/15735/

    Reply
  32. New maps of Greenland’s coastal seafloor and bedrock beneath its massive ice sheet show that two to four times as many coastal glaciers are at risk of accelerated melting as had previously been thought.

    Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, NASA and 30 other institutions have published the most comprehensive, accurate and high-resolution relief maps ever made of Greenland’s bedrock and coastal seafloor. Among the many data sources incorporated into the new maps is data from NASA’s Ocean Melting Greenland campaign.

    Additionally, the OMG campaign surveyed large sections of the Greenland coast for the first time ever. In fjords for which there are no data, it’s difficult to estimate how deep the glaciers extend below sea level.

    The OMG data are only one of many datasets Morlighem and his team used in the ice sheet mapper, which is named BedMachine. Another comprehensive source is NASA’s Operation IceBridge airborne surveys. IceBridge measures the ice sheet thickness directly along a plane’s flight path. This creates a set of long, narrow strips of data rather than a complete map of the ice sheet.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171101151227.htm

    Reply
  33. Jeremy in Wales

     /  November 5, 2017

    Ozone hole smallest since 1988 – what the world can do when it works together
    https://www.universal-sci.com/headlines/2017/11/4/nasa-hole-in-earths-ozone-layer-is-the-smallest-its-been-since-1988

    Reply
  34. Abel Adamski

     /  November 5, 2017

    The Paradise papers.
    The fun begins
    https://www.theguardian.com/news/live/2017/nov/06/reaction-around-world-release-paradise-papers-live?google_editors_picks=true

    https://www.icij.org/investigations/paradise-papers/paradise-papers-exposes-donald-trump-russia-links-and-piggy-banks-of-the-wealthiest-1-percent/

    A trove of 13.4 million records exposes ties between Russia and U.S. President Donald Trump’s billionaire commerce secretary, the secret dealings of the chief fundraiser for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the offshore interests of the queen of England and more than 120 politicians around the world.

    The leaked documents, dubbed the Paradise Papers, show how deeply the offshore financial system is entangled with the overlapping worlds of political players, private wealth and corporate giants, including Apple, Nike, Uber and other global companies that avoid taxes through increasingly imaginative bookkeeping maneuvers.

    One offshore web leads to Trump’s commerce secretary, private equity tycoon Wilbur Ross, who has a stake in a shipping company that has received more than $68 million in revenue since 2014 from a Russian energy company co-owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    In all, the offshore ties of more than a dozen Trump advisers, Cabinet members and major donors appear in the leaked data.

    The new files come from two offshore services firms as well as from 19 corporate registries maintained by governments in jurisdictions that serve as waystations in the global shadow economy. The leaks were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and a network of more than 380 journalists in 67 countries.

    Reply
  35. Abel Adamski

     /  November 6, 2017

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-italy-climatechange/from-better-bulbs-to-more-trees-italys-assisi-takes-on-climate-change-idUSKBN1D60GK

    ASSISI, Italy (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The small medieval Italian pilgrimage town of Assisi, birthplace of Francis, Catholic patron saint of ecologists, is embarking on a quiet revolution.
    Mayor Stefania Proietti, an energy expert, plans to cut carbon emissions 40 percent between now and 2030, and hopes the “city on the hill” will inspire others to change too.
    Assisi draws about 6 million visitors each year, including Nobel Peace Prize winners, rock stars, Popes and presidents.
    Last month the city committed to shun investments in fossil fuels and shift to greener energies, alongside an international coalition of 40 Catholic organizations.
    “The most important thing is (encouraging) people’s belief that adopting a new lifestyle is important. One person’s action will not have much impact (on climate change), but 7 billion actions can change the world,” Proietti said.
    Hanging on her office wall is former Pope John Paul II’s proclamation making Francis, a 13th century monk, the patron saint of ecologists, and nearby sits a panda statue – a gift from the World Wildlife Fund.

    This year, Italy, along with much of southern Europe, experienced severe drought, wildfires, and crop losses.

    “The environment is going crazy” and it is the poor and homeless “who are the first to suffer the disastrous consequences of these climatic changes”, she said.

    Reply
  36. Suzanne

     /  November 6, 2017

    Op-Ed at the NY Times today…
    “The Climate Risks we Face”

    The report concludes that “global climate continues to change rapidly compared to the pace of the natural variations in climate that have occurred throughout Earth’s history.” It finds that “human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” The bottom line is that this report confirms and strengthens what the vast majority of climate scientists have known for decades: that climate is changing and humans are primarily responsible.

    Reply
  37. coloradobob

     /  November 6, 2017

    Solar greenhouses generate electricity and grow crops at the same time

    The first crops of tomatoes and cucumbers grown inside electricity-generating solar greenhouses were as healthy as those raised in conventional greenhouses, signaling that “smart” greenhouses hold great promise for dual-use farming and renewable electricity production.

    “We have demonstrated that ‘smart greenhouses’ can capture solar energy for electricity without reducing plant growth, which is pretty exciting,” said Michael Loik, professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and lead author on a paper that appears in the current issue of the American Geophysical Union’s journal Earth’s Future

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-11-solar-greenhouses-electricity-crops.html#jCp

    Reply
  38. coloradobob

     /  November 6, 2017

    New Maps Show How Greenland’s Ice Sheet Is Melting from the Bottom Up
    Significantly more ice in Greenland’s glaciers may be exposed to warming ocean waters than previously thought, new research suggests. Indeed, more than half the ice sheet may be subject to the melting influence of the sea.
    These are the latest conclusions of a detailed mapping project exploring the topography of the seafloor and bedrock around and beneath Greenland’s glaciers.
    Published in their final form last week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the maps draw on a variety of data sources, including satellite radar and aerial imagery, as well as special sonar data collected on ship expeditions to the front of the ice sheet.
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/new-maps-show-how-greenland-rsquo-s-ice-sheet-is-melting-from-the-bottom-up/

    Reply
  39. Abel Adamski

     /  November 7, 2017

    A blast from the past
    WHERE IS THE ELECTRIC CAR?
    By JOHN HOLUSHA, Special to the New York Times
    Published: July 10, 1981
    http://www.nytimes.com/1981/07/10/business/where-is-the-electric-car.html?pagewanted=all

    How the world has changed

    Reply

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