Climate Changes Updates 23-26 May 2013
1) Where’s President Obama’s climate agenda?
2) UT climate expert chased butterflies to prominence, awards
3) Inquirer Editorial: Climate change is real, so do something about it
4) Green Desert: Attention to climate patterns is crucial
5) From global warming to fluoride: Why do people deny science?
6) EU: 2030 climate policy must address global UN deal
7) Disaster risk must be part of new development goals – global forum
8) U.S. carbon tax could boost revenue, curb climate change – report
9) Earth’s Mantle Affects Long-Term Sea-Level Rise Estimates
10) Lord Deben: UK must commit to low carbon technology to achieve 2050 emissions target
11) Tar sands exploitation would mean game over for climate, warns leading scientist
12) Deforestation Dries Up Dams Threatening Hydropower
13) Hay Festival 2013: global warming is ‘fairly flat’, admits Lord Stern
14) Reports: China eyes absolute CO2 cuts for 2016
15) The conversation about climate change is stuck. This American Life investigates why.
16) Uncertainty no excuse for procrastinating on climate change
17) Matt Ridley’s misguided climate change policy
18) On the value of consensus in climate communication
19) Edinburgh to host Int’l Conference on Climate Justice
20) EU: 2030 climate policy must address global UN deal
21) Climate change threatens health in the new megacities
22) Comment: Health overlooked in our response to climate change
23) British Royals freeze out US climate media coverage
24) 11-Year-Old Says, “When You Drive, The Earth Smokes”
25) Russia evacuates ‘drifting’ Arctic research station as ice floe melts
26) Will Climate-Change-Fueled Superstorms Wipe Out London?
Climate Change Updates May 24, 2013
World on course to run out of water, warns Ban Ki-moon http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/may/22/world-run-out-water-ban-ki-moon1 Ban HYPERLINK “http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/ban-ki-moon”KiHYPERLINK “http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/ban-ki-moon”-moon has warned the world is on course to run out of freshwater unless greater efforts are made to improve water Speaking on the UN’s International Day of Biological Diversity, Ban said there was a “mutually reinforcing” relationship between biodiversity and water that should be harnessed. “We live in an increasingly water insecure world where demand often outstrips supply and where water quality often fails to meet minimum standards. Under current trends, future demands for water will not be met,” Ban said. Water, food, energy and climate are all linked. Most forms of energy generation require water, variable weather is making agriculture harder while extreme weather events are hindering natural water storage.
New EU climate policy unlikely before 2015: Poland http://uk.news.yahoo.com/eu-climate-policy-unlikely-2015-poland-192910930.html#AgyD1Ih The European Union is unlikely to hammer out its new policy on global warming ahead of a global climate deal that could be clinched in 2015, Poland’s environment minister said Wednesday. “A long discussion on climate change is getting underway. There’s no chance that new measures will be adopted during the current terms of the European Parliament and the European Commission,” minister Marcin Korolec told Poland’s PAP news agency. In its efforts to reduce global warming, the international community is to draw up new, universal climate pact by 2015, which should come into effect by 2020. Korolec’s comments come after UN climate chief Christiana Figueres warned last week that the world had entered a “new danger zone”, with record levels of Earth-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Korolec believes Brussels could soon propose cutting EU fossil fuel imports by 30 percent by 2030, and back production of electric cars.
Saudi Arabia sees win-win in solar energy boom http://www.arabianbusiness.com/saudi-arabia-sees-win-win-in-solar-energy-boom-502687.html A slide in solar power costs and a surge in oil prices over the last few years has made solar power a win-win strategy for Saudi Arabia: saving billions of dollars of crude for export while making electricity at less than half the cost. Riyadh plans to install 41,000 megawatts (MW) of solar power over the next 20 years, but to date has built only 12 MW – or less than even Britain installed in early May. Despite year round sunshine, the oil and gas rich countries of the Gulf have lagged far behind most of the world in solar power – so far. Saudi energy officials have talked of becoming major solar players for years, but while China built 5,000 MW in 2012 alone, Saudi solar capacity is still insignificant.
EU summit set to turn climate agenda upside down http://www.euractiv.com/energy/energy-council-set-turn-eu-clima-news-519883 The draft text says that EU policy must ensure “competitive” energy prices, and declares it “crucial” that Europe diversify its energy supply and develop “indigenous energy resources” – a reference to renewable energies, but also coal, nuclear power and shale gas. One high-profile German MEP Holger Krahmer (ALDE), hailed the end of “climate hysteria” in a jubilant press statement. “For the first time, rising energy costs and the declining competitiveness of the European economy will be rated higher than obviously unenforceable global climate change ambitions,” he said. “The economic and social consequences of collective hysteria can no longer be ignored, as the governments of the EU member states admit in this paper,” Krahmer added, saying that it was right to give more attention to energy sources such as gas and coal.
Merkel protege struggles with Germany’s green revolution http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/23/germany-energy-election-idUSL6N0E215J20130523?feedType=RSSHYPERLINK “http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/23/germany-energy-election-idUSL6N0E215J20130523?feedType=RSS&feedName=governmentFilingsNews”&HYPERLINK “http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/23/germany-energy-election-idUSL6N0E215J20130523?feedType=RSS&feedName=governmentFilingsNews”feedName=governmentFilingsNews BERLIN, May 23 (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel appointed him for his charm and political skill as marshal of her vision of a ‘green revolution’ in Europe’s biggest power market. A year on, Peter Altmaier finds himself spurned by many environmentalists, disdained by industry and viewed cooly by a public wary of the costs. Now, the chancellor herself seems to be turning her back on him, an increasingly isolated figure, as September polls near.
Climate change boosted human development: study http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hwnXgtOoR-zxesY9_rBhdfuMHlkA?docId=CNG.945e0940b30f2076656a59b4ea8de2b5.01 PARIS — Early humans living in South Africa made cultural and industrial leaps in periods of wetter weather, said a study Tuesday that compared the archaeological record of Man’s evolution with that of climate change. Anatomically modern humans, Homo sapiens, first made their appearance in Africa during the Middle Stone Age which lasted from about 280,000 to 30,000 years ago. Some of the earliest examples of human culture and technology are found in South Africa — with fossil evidence of innovative spurts whose cause has left scientists puzzled. The record reveals that a notable period of human advancement occurred about 71,500 years ago, and another between 64,000 and 59,000 years ago.
Bangladesh farmers battle water woes http://atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/SOU-01-230513.html HAPAINAWABGANJ, Bangladesh – Fahima Begum rises each morning at dawn and walks two kilometers to a small pond, the nearest source of fresh water. On her way she passes the rusty old hand-pumped tube well that used to supply water to her village in Bangladesh’s arid Barind region until the water table here dropped out of reach.
Beijing Art Show Confronts Climate Change http://blogs.wsj.com/scene/2013/05/23/beijing-art-show-confronts-climate-change/ BEIJING — Residents of this smog-choked city are uniquely prepared for an impassioned discussion of the environment, whether it’s the state of the air or the fears about food and water safety. The nonprofit Cape Farewell hopes to inject the topic into the cultural sphere as well. On Friday, it opens “U-N-F-O-L-D,” a group exhibition of works showing artists’ reactions to the environmental impact they witnessed in Greenland, Peru and the Arctic, on trips organized by Cape Farewell.
Natural disasters, climate change, and the ‘burn it all downers’ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/wp/2013/05/21/natural-disasters-climate-change-and-the-burn-it-all-downers/ Pastor Mark Driscoll, who ministers in Seattle, told a Catalyst gathering a few days ago that “I know who made the environment and he’s coming back and going to burn it all up. So yes, I drive an SUV.” No joke. That’s what he said. Actually, Driscoll says it was all just a joke. A lot of people didn’t get the humor. Maybe it was because last week scientists HYPERLINK “http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/05/10/atmospheric-carbon-dioxide-concentration-400-parts-per-million/”declaredthat CO2 levels had reached 400 parts per million (ppm), and 350.org released their film, “Do the Math” on the crisis of climate change.
Absolute emissions cap proposed for China http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2013/5/22/carbon-markets/absolute-emissions-cap-proposed-china According to local Chinese media, the government’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has proposed that China adopt an absolute cap on its greenhouse gas emissions by 2016. To date the Chinese government has refused to take on absolute emissions targets, choosing instead to pursue emissions intensity targets linked to their level of economic growth. The current government target is to cut its carbon emissions intensity per unit of GDP by about 40 per cent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels. This would allow for considerable growth in emissions.
World Must Face Up To Climate-Driven Disasters: UN http://www.authintmail.com/news/science/environment/world-must-face-climate-driven-disasters-un GENEVA — The world needs to wake up to the risk of a spike in natural disasters linked to climate change and strive to find ways to cut the human and economic cost, the United Nations warned on Tuesday. “We live in a time of huge natural disasters which are made worse by climate change,” the UN’s deputy secretary-general, Jan Eliasson, told reporters at the start of a three-day conference on risk reduction in Geneva.
A mission on climate change http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/eugene-robinson-obamas-mission-on-climate-change/2013/05/23/fee2f5a2-c3e7-11e2-914f-a7aba60512a7_story.html President Obama should spend his remaining years in office making the United States part of the solution to climate change, not part of the problem. If Congress sticks to its policy of obstruction and willful ignorance, Obama should use his executive powers to the fullest extent. We are out of time. With each breath, every person alive today experiences something unique in human history: an atmosphere containing more than 400HYPERLINK “http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/05/10/atmospheric-carbon-dioxide-concentration-400-parts-per-million/” HYPERLINK “http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/05/10/atmospheric-carbon-dioxide-concentration-400-parts-per-million/”parts per million of carbon dioxide. This makes us special, I suppose, but not in a good way.
Heat-related deaths may increase with climate change http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/23/heat-related-deaths-in-nyc-may-increase-with-climate-change/ Heat-related deaths in New York City’s borough of Manhattan may rise about 20 percent over the next decade, according to a new study. Researchers at Columbia University in New York analyzed the relationship between daily temperatures and temperature-related deaths across all seasons between 1982 and 1999 in Manhattan, which comprises the most densely populated county in the United States. The findings were published online May 19 in the journalNature Climate Change.
Timelapse Could Help Scientists in Climate Change Research http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/timelapse-could-provide-guidan/12809643 A new product powered by Google calledTimelapse shows the Earth’s surface changing over an extended period of time. Google made a deal with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in 2009, after the data became free to the public, to turn the images collected by Landsat into mini-movies.
On Science, Politics and Climate Change http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-chameides/on-science-politics-and-c_b_3327473.html Smith, a Republican, represents the 21st District of Texas, which includes his hometown of San Antonio, and chairs the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. I met him a few weeks ago at a hearing on climate held by the Subcommittee on the Environment. He was the consummate gentleman. Despite the fact that I was testifying as a witness for the Democratic Party, he was cordial and gentle in his questions. I thought,Now there’s a reasonable man