Klobuchar breaks from the populist pack
- One of Klobuchar's best moments came when she was asked how she would include rural communities in the climate change debate.
- Later, Klobuchar was asked what she wished the public knew better about her political life, which may have been a reference to allegations that she is abusive towards her staff.
- Klobuchar turned another potentially sensitive issue to her advantage when she spoke about her father's battle with alcoholism, and how his receiving treatment allowed him to turn his life around.
- She spoke about her father's battle with alcoholism, and how his receiving treatment allowed him to turn his life around.
- Whether it is opioid or meth addiction, or any other form of substance abuse, Klobuchar said that she believes, "everyone has that same right to have the life that my dad eventually had ...That is what this country is about." Again, referencing her personal experiences in an authentic way showed good political instincts.
The UK has already had more wildfires in 2019 than any year on record
- The spate of blazes follows a series of major wildfires during the hot, dry weather of 2018, including the Saddleworth Moor fire near Manchester, which burned for five days and made pollution levels spike.
- Paul Hedley, national wildfires lead for the NFCC, said it was “really significant” that the number of large wildfires in 2019 had already overtaken 2018’s tally so early in the year.
- Layered on top of that seasonal risk has been fire-friendly weather and an increased risk of ignition through accidents, such as a barbeque in the case of the West Yorkshire blazes, or arson.
- But they draw fire engines away from towns and cities, increasing fire risk there, and can cause health problems by causing pollution levels to rise, as happened in Greater Manchester last year.
Inequality is decreasing between countries—but climate change is slowing progress
- Economists, development experts, and world leaders have long warned that climate change is likely to hurt poor countries more than rich ones.
- Nor did hotter countries, and their economic penalty was even greater, especially when average temperatures crept above 20 degrees Celsius, or 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
- And it suggested an obvious next question: As the climate warmed over the past decades, had colder countries benefited economically?
- Globally, economic inequality—the difference between the poorest countries and the richest countries—has narrowed over past decades (by one measure, it dropped by about 15 percent between 1975 and 2010).
- Without those direct links, and without thinking about how past warming could have impacts that play out on longer timescales (the authors primarily focused on immediate economic responses to temperature, within a year), it’s premature to say that any countries have benefited from climate change, he says.
Why looking at Earth from above is our most critical space mission
- That provides us with an understanding of the dynamics of the atmosphere, which not only helps us improve weather forecasting models, but also gives a more complete picture of climate phenomena such as the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a multi-year change in the tropical Pacific’s wind and ocean currents.
- In March 2019, NOAA warned that large parts of the U.S. will see record flooding this spring as a result of both a moderate El Niño steering moisture-laden air our way and the general impacts of climate change, which has yielded a warmer atmosphere that supports more intense rainfall.
- In our exploration of the universe, including the many exoplanets orbiting distant stars that Kepler found, Earth remains the only planet we know that can provide a home to us—or any life at all, for that matter.
Perspectives: Joseph Stiglitz: Corporate greed is accelerating climate change. But we can still head off disaster
- It will require a mobilization of resources — the kind we saw during the New Deal and the Second World War. Government will have to take the lead, and it will require public investments — including in infrastructure and research — and regulations.
- It would make so much more sense to spend money retrofitting our economy to reduce the risk of disastrous climate change rather than spending money to deal with the enormous economic and human costs of coping with its consequences.
- But there are broader changes that would help grow the economy, providing some of the needed resources: curbing the excesses of corporate power more generally would lead to a more efficient economy and to more equality.
- The mobilization during World War II had some long‐term salutary effects on our economy and society: It brought women into the labor force and it helped transform us from an agrarian to an urban society.
Global CO2 Emissions Hit a Record High Last Year. These Countries Are to Blame
- Despite increased calls to reduce global emissions in light of climate change, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions worldwide went up by 1.7% last year, hitting a record high, according to the International Energy Agency.
- It’s the largest rate of growth seen since 2013.
- While emissions declined in Europe, they were up in big economies like the U.S., China, and India.
- Coal, especially in Asia, played a significant role in the increase.
- At the same time, it’s worth noting that according to 2017 data, the U.S. still produces twice as much carbon dioxide per capita as China and nearly nine times as much as India, highlighting the increased environmental impact of a higher standard of living.
- All of this means the Paris climate agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature increase to 1.5° C could be a pipe dream if energy use worldwide doesn’t change.
Climate change: Do you know the basics?
- Today, climate change is commonly used as a term to describe the effects of global warming that have occurred as a result of human activity following the industrial revolution in the 18th century.
- Since the industrial revolution the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has been increasing as a result of human activities like burning fossil fuels, deforestation and modern farming practices.
- A 2013 report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN body of climate scientists, found that the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration had risen by 40% since the industrial revolution, resulting in earth's temperature increasing by 1C.
- Their report said there was a 95% chance that human activity in the past 50 years had directly resulted in increasing the temperature of the earth.
Half of all land must be kept in a natural state to protect Earth
- All of this needs to be done by 2030 to have a real hope of keeping climate change under the “danger zone” target of 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) and to prevent the world’s ecosystems from unravelling—according to an ambitious plan called the Global Deal for Nature.
- Only when 50 percent of the Earth’s terrestrial areas are protected, along with substantial cuts in fossil-fuel use and major increases in renewable energy, will we have a good chance of meeting the Paris climate target of less than 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) of warming, the scientists argue.
- Although the Global Deal for Nature is focused on land, the study authors support the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and its member organization’s call for 30 percent protection of the oceans by 2030.
We Stink at Tackling Climate Change
- Biological evolution is an organic process that can never proceed more rapidly than one generation at a time, and many generations are nearly always required for any appreciable change to occur.
- During a single generation, people have selectively picked up, discarded, manipulated, and transmitted cultural, social, and technological innovations that have become largely independent of any biological moorings.
- At the same time, as cultural evolution proceeded and we endowed ourselves with language, impressive cognition, complex social organization, and increasingly potent technology, the ability to employ these skills to master our immediate environment almost certainly outran our biological evolution.
- Much of the blame resides, once again, in the disconnect between the imprint of our biological past and our present-day predilections made available by our cultural interventions.
Was There a Civilization on Earth Before Humans?
- In my work as an astrophysicist, I’d begun researching global warming from an “astrobiological perspective.” That meant asking whether any industrial civilization that rises on any planet will, through their own activity, trigger their own version of a climate shift.
- When it comes to direct evidence of an industrial civilization—things like cities, factories, and roads—the geologic record doesn’t go back past what’s called the Quaternary period 2.6 million years ago.
- Now that our industrial civilization has truly gone global, humanity’s collective activity is laying down a variety of traces that will be detectable by scientists 100 million years in the future.
- Atmospheric scientists call this shift the Suess effect, and the change in isotopic ratios of carbon due to fossil-fuel use is easy to see over the last century.
- If a civilization uses fossil fuels, the climate change they trigger can lead to a large decrease in ocean oxygen levels.