by David Spratt
Quite suddenly, in the wake of the recent IPCC report, it’s become commonplace to talk about a global climate emergency. Al Gore told PBS on 12 October: “We have a global emergency. You use a phrase like that and some people immediately say, ‘okay calm down, it can’t be that bad.’ But it it is.”Read More »
Massive Plantations: A Viable Means of Carbon Sequestration?
A recent article in Wired offered a cogent critique of the foremost technofix put on the table as a solution for the climate crisis 1. The article, “The Dirty Secret of the World’s Plan to Avert Climate Disaster,” by Abby Rabinowitz and Amanda Simson, reveals that the key technology at the heart of half of the IPCC’s models to hold global warming to 2°C, known as “bioenergy with carbon capture and storage” (BECCS), would burn cultivated crops for electricity, and then capture and store the resulting carbon dioxide underground. BECCS is a largely untested computer model. But, the IPCC models rely on it scrubbing some 630 gigatons of CO2, “roughly two-thirds of the carbon dioxide humans have emitted between preindustrial times and 2011,” from the atmosphere at a cost climate scientist James Hansen estimated at $140–570 trillion this century.2 If implemented, according to climate scientist Kevin Anderson, BECCS would require a land area the size of up to two Indias and a water supply equivalent to the entire current global agricultural usage, among other major difficulties.3Read More »
WASHINGTON – Mainstream media outlets scored poorly on major metrics of climate change coverage in 2017, despite major extreme weather events, according to a new report by Public Citizen.
The analysis, “Carbon Omission: How the U.S. Media Underreported Climate Change in 2017,” looked at coverage from all U.S. news outlets in LexisNexis and conducted a separate targeted search of major outlets, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Network and MSNBC.Read More »
by JOHN WOJCIK
A family evacuates their home in Houston, Sunday, Aug. 27. Rescuers answered hundreds of calls for help as floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey rose high enough to begin filling second-story homes, and authorities urged stranded families to seek refuge on their rooftops. Mark Mulligan | Houston Chronicle via AP
The National Weather Service, the Environmental Protection Administration, scientists, elected officials and citizen activists have been warning for years that global warming would eventually translate into an epic disaster for the city of Houston. “It’s only a matter of when, not if,” they have been saying. Tragically, the “when” is now upon the people of Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city.
In what reporters at the Weather Channel said Sunday morning is the worst flood disaster in U.S. history, two feet of rain had fallen on Houston since Hurricane Harvey came on shore along the Texas Gulf Coast on Friday night, with another two feet of rain forecast for Houston by Wednesday. The weather services in Europe, whose models are often more accurate than the ones in the U.S., are indicating as much as a foot more than that.Read More »
Growing concerns about climate change and other environmental trends have set off the next round of old Malthusian diagnoses and solutions.
As a case in point, ecological economist William E. Rees recently wrote in the Canadian alternative magazine The Tyee (“Staving Off the Coming Global Collapse” July 17, 2017):
The “competitive displacement” of other species is an inevitable byproduct of continuous growth on a finite planet. The expansion of humans and their artifacts necessarily means the contraction of everything else. (Politicians’ protests notwithstanding, there is a fundamental contradiction between population/economic growth and protecting the “environment.”)
Read More »
A Journal of People report
High and rapidly rising suicide rate in India have been linked to crop damage due to increasing temperature trends over the last 30 years, finds a new study.
One fifth of the world’s suicides happen in India, typically at more than 130,000 deaths a year. With more than half of the country’s population employed in agriculture, crop failures due to increasing temperatures have been suspected to be behind the increasing trend in suicides in the past three decades. Nearly all parts of India are experiencing rising temperatures due to climate change.Read More »