Tuesday, December 31, 2019

8th Environmental Documentary Series at Siena Heights University

The Sustainable College Committee proudly announces the 8th Environmental Documentary Series.

Almost all films will start Wednesdays 6:30 PM in the Science Building, Room SCI 131 and are free and open for everybody. This faculty-led program and any related discussion is for educational benefit only. A campus map can be found at: http://sienaheights.edu/About/Campus-Map-Parking
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For the details of every showing, including links to information about the films, please refer to the schedule at: http://sustainability.sienaheights.edu/environmental-documentaries.html
This year we will host a pre-release screening of Nor Any Drop to Drink focusing on the Flint water crisis and how appointed emergency managers violated democracy in the State of Michigan.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Secretive energy startup backed by Bill Gates achieves solar breakthrough - CNN

New York (CNN Business)A secretive startup backed by Bill Gates has achieved a solar breakthrough aimed at saving the planet.



Heliogen, a clean energy company that emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday, said it has discovered a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to reflect so much sunlight that it generates extreme heat above 1,000 degrees Celsius.



Heliogen, backed by Bill Gates, has achieved a breakthrough that could allow cement makers to transition away from fossil fuels. The company uses artifical intelligence and an array of mirrors to create vast amounts of heat, essentially harnessing the power of the sun.
Heliogen, backed by Bill Gates, has achieved a breakthrough that could allow cement makers to transition away from fossil fuels. The company uses artifical intelligence and an array of mirrors to create vast amounts of heat, essentially harnessing the power of the sun.

Continue reading at: Secretive energy startup backed by Bill Gates achieves solar breakthrough - CNN

The Project Drawdown of Agriculture - Growing Better: Ten Critical Transitions to Transform Food and Land Use

Attached is the executive summary of the executive summary of this important initiative to reshape agriculture. In my view, it compares to a “Project Drawdown” to radically reshape agriculture to be truly sustainable and unleash the full potential of agriculture for climate mitigation and adaption.


My 5-page compilation of the report can be downloaded at: http://wassmer.org/Adrian/Growing Better.pdf
The full report can be found at: https://www.unsdsn.org/growing-better-ten-critical-transitions-to-transform-food-and-land-use

Friday, November 29, 2019

Products – The Meadow Project

Best resources to restore pollinator gardens and native prairies. Black Friday Discount

Products – The Meadow Project

SCI Blog :: Solar Cookers International

SCI Blog :: Solar Cookers International

Newsletter 32: "Yet My Hunger for Change Propels Me" - Extinction Rebellion

Newsletter 32: "Yet My Hunger for Change Propels Me" - Extinction Rebellion

Fifty percent more atrazine coming to your water | Pesticide Action Network

Fifty percent more atrazine coming to your water | Pesticide Action Network

Pollution from planned fossil fuel production would overshoot Paris climate goals » Yale Climate Connections

Pollution from planned fossil fuel production would overshoot Paris climate goals » Yale Climate Connections

13 new books and reports about the future of food » Yale Climate Connections

13 new books and reports about the future of food » Yale Climate Connections

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Protect the Great Lakes from Factory Farm Pollution | Help Wildlife, Protect the Environment, Support Nature Conservation, Save the Planet

Industrial agriculture operations like CAFOs are like fossil fuels, unnecessary, immoral and unethical. In the age of the climate catastrophe with a rapidly closing time window for global reorientation, we can simply not afford business as usual that pollutes our water and air, produces substantial amounts of methane and is severely inhumane to farm animals. As it is way overdue that we switch our energy supply to 100% clean renewable sources, we need a new agriculture based on agroecology, which protects the environment, produces healthy, pesticide-free food and rewards farmers with better earnings. Protecting soil carbon is also one of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gases. It is inevitable that the world will go this way - the only question is - are we going to do it before we doom the livelihood of our children and grandchildren - and before we loose most of the precious species that we share this planet with.

Protect the Great Lakes from Factory Farm Pollution | Help Wildlife, Protect the Environment, Support Nature Conservation, Save the Planet

Italy passes law to send unsold food to charities instead of dumpsters

Italy passes law to send unsold food to charities instead of dumpsters

Massive Attack help create carbon-zero tours

Up to now only a handful of artists are doing this but it will spread and shows how everybody needs to transition into a low carbon economy.

Scientists from the University of Manchester are creating a blueprint to help bands and pop stars to perform live and tour the world without contributing to climate change.

It's after the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research were approached by the group Massive Attack who say they want to help find solutions to the climate crisis.

The findings will be shared with musicians from across the industry and, it's hoped, will inspire millions of fans to live more sustainably.

Continue reading at: Massive Attack help create carbon-zero tours

Coldplay pause touring over environmental concerns

Great gesture and educational for the fans:
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Continue reading at: Coldplay pause touring over environmental concerns

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Climate Action Tracker: Independent scientific analysis that tracks government climate action and measures it against the globally agreed Paris Agreement aim of "holding warming well below 2°C, and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

It is easy to know how bad it is and how little most countries are doing...


Continue reading at: Home | Climate Action Tracker

From Uniformity to Diversity - IPES Food Report - Agroecology Now!

There are paths out of the worst of the crisis...



Continue reading and download the report at:

Thai deer found dead with 7kg of 'underwear, plastic bags' in stomach - BBC News

Unlike most “developed “ countries, Thailand is to ban single use plastic next year...


Image copyrightTHE PROTECTED AREA REGIONAL OFFICE 13 (PHRAE)The deer
Image captionThe 10-year-old deer was found dead with various items inside its stomach
Image copyrightTHE PROTECTED AREA REGIONAL OFFICE 13 (PHRAE)The deer
Image capti
Continue reading at: Thai deer found dead with 7kg of 'underwear, plastic bags' in stomach - BBC News

Could Victoria Falls dry up?

Climate criminals and deniers Brave New World: Droughts in California, Zimbabwe and many other places- and flash flooding and mudslides in others...

Victoria Falls during dry season. Picture: Victoriafallstourism.or

Continue reading at: Could Victoria Falls dry up?

Friday, November 22, 2019

Sunday, November 17, 2019

World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency | BioScience | Oxford Academic

...we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.


Change in global human activities from 1979 to the present. These indicators are linked at least in part to climate change. In panel (f), annual tree cover loss may be for any reason (e.g., wildfire, harvest within tree plantations, or conversion of forests to agricultural land). Forest gain is not involved in the calculation of tree cover loss. In panel (h), hydroelectricity and nuclear energy are shown in figure S2. The rates shown in panels are the percentage changes per decade across the entire range of the time series. The annual data are shown using gray points. The black lines are local regression smooth trend lines. Abbreviation: Gt oe per year, gigatonnes of oil equivalent per year. Sources and additional details about each variable are provided in supplemental file S2, including table S2.
Figure: Change in global human activities from 1979 to the present. These indicators are linked at least in part to climate change. In panel (f), annual tree cover loss may be for any reason (e.g., wildfire, harvest within tree plantations, or conversion of forests to agricultural land). Forest gain is not involved in the calculation of tree cover loss. In panel (h), hydroelectricity and nuclear energy are shown in figure S2. The rates shown in panels are the percentage changes per decade across the entire range of the time series. The annual data are shown using gray points. The black lines are local regression smooth trend lines. Abbreviation: Gt oe per year, gigatonnes of oil equivalent per year. Sources and additional details about each variable are provided in supplemental file S2, including table S2.



Continue reading at: World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency | BioScience | Oxford Academic

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

World Scientists' Warning to Humanity

World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency (Condensed Version)

William J. Ripple, Christopher Wolf, Thomas M. Newsome, Phoebe Barnard, William R. Moomaw, xxxxx scientist signatories from xxx countries







We scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat. In this paper, we present a suite of graphical vital signs of climate change over the last 40 years. Results show greenhouse gas emissions are still rising, with increasingly damaging effects. With few exceptions, we are largely failing to address this predicament. The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than many scientists expected. It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity. We suggest six critical and interrelated steps that governments and the rest of humanity can take to lessen the worst effects of climate change, covering 1) Energy, 2) Short-lived pollutants, 3) Nature, 4) Food, 5) Economy, and 6) Population. Mitigating and adapting to climate change entails transformations in the ways we govern, manage, feed, and fulfill material and energy requirements. We are encouraged by a recent global surge of concern. Governmental bodies are making climate emergency declarations. The Pope issued an encyclical on climate change. Schoolchildren are striking. Ecocide lawsuits are proceeding in the courts. Grassroots citizen movements are demanding change. As scientists, we urge widespread use of our vital signs and anticipate that graphical indicators will better allow policymakers and the public to understand the magnitude of this crisis, track progress, and realign priorities to alleviate climate change. The good news is that such transformative change, with social and ecological justice, promises greater human wellbeing in the long-run than business as usual. We believe that prospects will be greatest if policy makers and the rest of humanity promptly respond to our warning and declaration of a climate emergency, and act to sustain life on planet Earth, our only home.

Continue reading at: World Scientists' Warning to Humanity

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Gabby Ahmadia to speak tonight October 30, 2019, 7 pm in Rueckert Auditorium, Dominican Hall, Siena Heights University

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Dr. Gabby Ahmadia is a director of marine conservation science on the Ocean Conservation team at WWF where she provides programmatic and technical support on a range of marine issues. Gabby is interested in how we better design and implement conservation programs at the intersection of communities and coastal ecosystems (primarily coral reefs and mangroves). She has expertise in tropical marine ecology, community-based conservation, area-based management (i.e. LMMAs, MPAs), monitoring design and implementation, and impact evaluation of marine conservation interventions. Gabby is focused geographically in the Coral Triangle and Coastal East Africa.
Originally hailing from Hawai‘i, Gabby has a wealth of experience, ranging from monitoring and eradication programs for invasive plant species in Natural Area Reserve Systems in Hawaii to marine ecophysiology to developing rapid vulnerability and resilience assessments for coral reefs. She has worked for over 15 years on marine science and conservation issues across the Pacific Ocean and into the Coral Triangle, with a recent expansion into Coastal Africa.  Gabby completed her PhD in Coastal and Marine Systems Science from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, investigating factors that structure coral reef fish assemblages.

The title of Gabby’s talk is "Conservation in the Anthropocene: creating a world where both people and nature can co-exist”.
Species and habitats are declining at alarming rates and are under siege from overuse, exploitation, and degradation from human activities. These threats are being further compounded by impacts from climate change that are changing the environment including changes in rainfall patterns, frequency and intensity of storms, ocean acidification, increasing sea-temperatures, and rising sea-levels.   With an increasing human population, conservation is shifting from the traditional biodiversity focus in a world that restricts access to those ‘wild places’ to increasing considerations of sustainable development and human well-being while maintaining a healthy, intact environment.  And it’s also not all ‘doom and gloom’; there are examples across the globe in which NGOs, governments, communities, and other stakeholders come together to tackle environmental issues and provide sustainable solutions for both nature and people.  This presentation will: (1) give an overview on global trends in biodiversity in both the land and the sea; (2) describe the evolution of conservation approaches;  (3) provide a dose of conservation optimism and journey through different regions of the world with conservation success stories, highlighting projects that WWF has supported; and (4) discuss collective action: how individuals can act across the world to help tackle biodiversity loss and climate change.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Nobel Prize for Economics 2019 Awarded to 3 Pioneers for Their Fight Against Poverty

The recipients include Esther Duflo — who’s the youngest winner ever and only the second woman.
This year, the Nobel Prize for Economics has been awarded to three pioneers in the fight against poverty: Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee, and Michael Kremer.
The recipients of the prestigious award were announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Monday morning in Stockholm.
The economics prize — officially known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize — was awarded to the three academics for their work, which has “dramatically improved our ability to fight poverty in practice,” according to the Academy.
Image result for Nobel Prize for Economics 2019
The 2019 Nobel Prize in economics winners, from left to right, Michael Kremer, Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee. PHOTO: FROM LEFT: JON CHASE/HARVARD UNIVERSITY/EPA/SHUTTERSTOCK; ERIC FOUGERE/VIP IMAGES/CORBIS/GETTY IMAGES; SAUMYA KHANDELWAL/HINDUSTAN TIMES/GETTY IMAGES

Continue reading at: Nobel Prize for Economics 2019 Awarded to 3 Pioneers for Their Fight Against Poverty

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Plato’s Warning: If You Don’t Vote, You Will Be Governed by Idiots

A dire warning what can easily happen if wise and skilled women and men are not running for office - Trump can happen...

Plato (427–347 BC) is considered one of the most brilliant and influential philosophers in history. Plato (his given name was Aristocles; Plato is his nickname, from platos, meaning “broad” since he had a broad physique and forehead) was a student of Socrates and took what he learned to found the influential Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the West. Amidst a beautiful grove of olive trees, Plato taught some very fortunate and intelligent students (including Aristotle who later founded his own academy) philosophy, mathematics, politics, and astronomy. His most famous and influential work, that is still widely studied in universities, is the Republic, where Plato covered a broad (pun intended) range of significant topics: philosophy, ethics, moral psychology, epistemology, metaphysics, and of course, political philosophy. It is this last topic that concerns us today as we examine his views on political participation.
Image result for plato
Plato. Luni marble, copy of the portrait made by Silanion ca. 370 BC for the Academia in Athens. From the sacred area in Largo Argentina. Wikimedia.
The quote that serves as the title of this post is actually a tongue-in-cheek variation (underscoring the importance of voting in a critical election) of the quote most often attributed to Plato, ubiquitous on the internet: “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics, is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” There are many other variants of this famous quotation. Among them is this one crafted by poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson that appears in Society and Solitude (1870): “Plato says that the punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the government, is, to live under the government of worse men.”
Continue reading at: Plato’s Warning: If You Don’t Vote, You Will Be Governed by Idiots

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Using momentum to build a stronger movement

Mark and Paul Engler's 'This Is an Uprising' proposes a craft that makes the best of both mass protest and community/labor organizing traditions.
George Lakey March 1, 2016
   
We always looked forward to the annual visit of Saul Alinsky when I taught at a small graduate school. Alinsky was the terror of city hall bosses everywhere, and he told us colorful stories from his organizing experience. Ours was the Martin Luther King School of Social Change. The students could earn an M. A. in Social Change, which, when asked, I would explain stood for “Master’s in Agitation.”

ThisIsAnUprising-CoverOnly-wKlein

This was the late 1960s and most of our students were drawn from front-line communities where the struggles were hot. The students were famously direct and critical, and by the time Alinsky turned up they would have read his “Rules for Radicals” and been eager to take him on.

Continue reading at: https://wagingnonviolence.org/2016/03/using-momentum-to-build-a-stronger-movement/

The Albert Einstein Institution

The Albert Einstein Institution is a nonprofit organization founded by Dr. Gene Sharp in 1983 to advance the study and use of strategic nonviolent action in conflicts throughout the world.

We are committed to the defense of freedom, democracy, and the reduction of political violence through the use of nonviolent action.  Our goals are to understand the dynamics of nonviolent action in conflicts, to explore its policy potential, and to communicate this through print and other media, translations, conferences, consultations, and workshops. 

The Institution has been responsible for the translation and dissemination of some of the most influential texts on nonviolent action. Many of these works have been studied among resistance movements worldwide.


Dr. Sharp’s most popular book, From Dictatorship to Democracy, was first published in Burma in 1993. It has since been translated into at least 34 other languages and was used by the campaigns of Serbia’s Otpor, Georgia’s Kmara, Ukraine’s Pora, Kyrgyzstan’s KelKel and Belarus’ Zubr. One of Pora’s leaders, Oleh Kyriyenko said in 2004, “The bible of Pora has been the book of Gene Sharp, also used by Otpor, it’s called: From Dictatorship to Democracy.”

Continue reading at: https://www.aeinstein.org/about/

This Is Not a Drill: 700+ Arrested as Extinction Rebellion Fights Climate Crisis with Direct Action

More than 700 people have been arrested in civil disobedience actions as the group Extinction Rebellion kicked off two weeks of protests in 60 cities worldwide, demanding urgent government action on the climate crisis. Its members have superglued themselves to government buildings, occupied public landmarks, shut down roads and taken to the streets to sound the alarm about the impending catastrophe of global warming. Extinction Rebellion, a nonpolitical movement, launched last year in the U.K. and rose to prominence in April, when it disrupted traffic in Central London for 11 days. For more about the significance of the coordinated global protests, we speak with Extinction Rebellion co-founder Gail Bradbrook.


The study on collapse they thought you should not read – yet

Posted by jembendell on July 26, 2018
A research paper concluding that climate-induced collapse is now inevitable, was recently rejected by anonymous reviewers of an academic journal.
It has been released directly by the Professor who wrote it, to promote discussion of the necessary deep adaptation to climate chaos.
“I am releasing this paper immediately, directly, because I can’t wait any longer in exploring how to learn the implications of the social collapse we now face,” explained the author Dr Bendell, a full Professor of Sustainability Leadership.  deep adaptation paper
In saying the paper was not suitable for publication, one of the comments from the reviewers questioned the emotional impact that the paper might have on readers. “I was left wondering about the social implications of presenting a scenario for the future as inevitable reality, and about the responsibility of research in communicating climate change scenarios and strategies for adaptation.” wrote one of the reviewers. “As the authors pointed out, denial is a common emotional response to situations that are perceived as threatening and inescapable, leading to a sense of helplessness, inadequacy, and hopelessness and ultimately disengagement from the issue…”

Nature Doesn’t Do Deals – why we rise on climate

Posted by jembendell on October 5, 2019

It is easy to pick holes in it. We can question tactics, timing, scope or messaging. But climate activism works. Over the past year, non-violent activism has increased awareness of climate change, so that many politicians now refer to it as the emergency that it is. Yet within a toxic economic system that requires us to borrow and grow forever, and a toxic media system that misleads us about what to blame and whom to hate, it isn’t surprising that rising awareness has not delivered change in our environmental impact. Nor has it triggered inquiry into why we got into this mess and how we might prepare as the climate gets worse for human habitation.

It is why we go again. This month, the non-violent civil disobedience campaign to demand government action on the climate and ecological emergency is calling on #EverybodyNow to take to the streets.

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Some commentators in the UK, where the movement began, are asking whether now is the right time for disruptive tactics. But Extinction Rebellion has become a global movement that is rising again this month. It started in London, and Brits are playing a key role in waking up humanity, so can’t step down because of the current performance of our government. Our climate isn’t waiting for Brexit – or any political squabble. Whether wanting to leave or remain in the EU, all Britons want to eat well. After the rise of climate activism in 2019, British MPs admitted the country faces a food security crisis. Extreme weather has been damaging both domestic and foreign food production and increasing the risks that simultaneous crop failures in key exporting countries could make prices shoot up to unprecedented levels.

Extreme rainfall is another sign of the destabilising climate, with 150 flood alerts issued for the UK for the weekend before the #InternationalRebellion. More scientists are admitting publicly that they have been too cautious, partly because they were seeking to be relevant to mainstream policy makers. Climatologist Dr Wolfgang Knorr explains that such scientists should be the first to admit failure, recognise how scientists norms of communication have been counter-productive – and consider direct action to promote social and political change.

Continue reading at: https://jembendell.com/2019/10/05/nature-doesnt-do-deals-why-we-rise-on-climate/

Thursday, September 26, 2019

(97) A #NatureNow message from Greta Thunberg. - YouTube

#NatureNow, a new short film narrated by Greta Thunberg and political journalist, author and activist George Monbiot, serves as a call to action to protect, restore and fund #NaturalClimateSolutions. Credits: Tom Mustill/ www.grippingfilms.com


(97) A #NatureNow message from Greta Thunberg. - YouTube

(95) WATCH: Greta Thunberg's full speech to world leaders at UN Climate Action Summit - YouTube

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg chastised world leaders Monday, Sep. 23, for failing younger generations by not taking sufficient steps to stop climate change. "You have stolen my childhood and my dreams with your empty words," Thunberg said at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York. "You're failing us, but young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you," she added. Thunberg traveled to the U.S. by sailboat last month so she could appear at the summit. She and other youth activists led international climate strikes on Friday in an attempt to garner awareness ahead of the UN's meeting of political and business leaders.

(95) WATCH: Greta Thunberg's full speech to world leaders at UN Climate Action Summit - YouTube

16 Young People File UN Human Rights Complaint on Climate Change | Earthjustice

Youth petitioners take fight for global climate change action to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child
SEPTEMBER 23, 2019
New York, NY — Today, 16 young people from around the world submitted a groundbreaking legal complaint about climate change with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. Their petition shows how five regional leaders and G20 members — Respondents Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey — have known about the risks of climate change for decades. Despite that knowledge, they are failing to curb emissions, while continuing to promote fossil fuels. The climate crisis was caused and is being perpetuated by the actions and inactions of all states, but without the leadership of the respondents, the global effort to solve the climate crisis cannot succeed.
The youth petitioners are between the ages of eight and 17 and hail from Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Palau, Marshall Islands, Nigeria, South Africa, Sweden, Tunisia, and the United States. Among the petitioners is Greta Thunberg, a Swedish student climate activist, who sparked a global youth climate action movement through her Fridays for Future school strikes in 2018. Greta is joined by Alexandria Villaseñor, a fellow American activist who co-founded the U.S. Youth Climate Strike. Alexandria, inspired by Greta, conducted her own Friday climate protests outside of the New York United Nations headquarters. The other petitioners are devoted activists and educators in their own right in their home countries.
Youth petitioners display their signs before marching in the Sept. 20 Global Climate Strike in New York City.
Youth petitioners display their signs before marching in the Sept. 20 Global Climate Strike in New York City.

In making their complaint, the authors narrate the impact climate change has had on their own lives, including brushes with death and loss of neighbors from wildfire or flooding; threats to traditional ways of life such as reindeer herding or fishing; significant health hazards such as dengue fever, malaria, and asthma; hardships from drought, air quality, and poisoned marine life; and mental anxiety or depression about the present and future.
Continue reading at: 16 Young People File UN Human Rights Complaint on Climate Change | Earthjustice

Friday, September 20, 2019

Deeper Insight Into 2019 Fires From Satellite Study of Amazon Rainforest

Throughout August and early September 2019, media around the world have reported on the extensive forest fires ravaging Brazil’s Amazon rainforest. Much of the concern stems from the Amazon’s significance to regulating the world’s climate. According to the Associated Press, the Amazon absorbs 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide every year — about 5% of global emissions. Thus, fires in the region eat away at this carbon-absorbing capacity while at the same time adding carbon to the air through burning.

Map Jaru Biological Reserve Flux Tower

This map shows the study area and location of the flux tower used.


A recent study in the peer-reviewed journal Ecohydrology headed by University of Kansas researcher Gabriel de Oliveira gives important context to the fires burning big swaths of the Amazon today, most of which were set intentionally by farmers and ranchers to convert forest into land suitable for grazing animals or growing crops. The researchers sought to discover how these changes to land cover affect the exchange of water and heat between the surface of the Amazon and the atmosphere overhead.

Continue reading at: Deeper Insight Into 2019 Fires From Satellite Study of Amazon Rainforest

Climate Strike in my Hometown Freiburg, Germany

I am so proud of the young people in my hometown Freiburg, Germany



‏Fridays for Future Freiburg @F4F_Freiburg
30,000 on the streets in a city with a population of 230,000. Freiburg stressed clearly: "We have enough from the climate cabaret (#Klimakabarett der GroKo)! Our future is non-negotiable.



EPA Silent As Dicamba Drift Rages On | Pesticide Action Network

I am reading Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" published in my year of birth 1962 and it sounds like she is writing about what is going on today. "When will they ever learn?".



Each year since Monsanto’s dicamba-resistant Xtend seeds have hit the market, farmers and rural communities have braced for record levels of pesticide drift. Even with this year’s late start to planting season, 2019 may see the highest number of dicamba drift incidents yet.

Long before Xtendimax was approved, dicamba was well-known as a particularly volatile chemical - it simply does not stay where it is put, no matter how it is applied. Early advocates warned of the damage this herbicide can and would do to off-target organisms.

Bayer, however, refuses to accept that its new star pesticide is a problem. Instead, the company is taking a page out of the “deny, deny, deny” corporate playbook, while blaming applicators for applying the product incorrectly.

From its inception, the Xtend crop system was bound to be a divisive disaster for all kinds of farmers. Herbicide resistance is just another instance of Monsanto (now Bayer) promising a short-sighted “solution” to a problem of its own creation. While farmers who don’t use the Xtend system are hit with dicamba drift, crop damage, and yield loss, Bayer is reaping the financial gains of an increase in acreage planted to dicamba-resistant soybeans.

Pesticide drift farm


Continue reading at: EPA Silent As Dicamba Drift Rages On | Pesticide Action Network

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Due to Climate Change the Landscapes We Are Familiar With Are Disappearing

Agnes Anderson, doctoral student of the School of Natural Sciences and Health of Tallinn University, recently defended her doctoral dissertation, in which she explores how the changing climate and human influence change the aeolian coastal dune landscapes. The dissertation concluded that the coastal dune landscapes are losing their distinctive features and diversity due to those influences.
The most dynamic, fragile, and attractive part of the coastal zone is characterized by the aeolian coastal dune landscapes, which extend over a 200 km² area in Estonia. Their formation is mostly determined by climate, sediments, and vegetation, which affect the movement of sand and the formation of dunes.
Lõimastu Beach in Estonia
This is Lõimastu beach in Estonia. Credit: Tallinn University

Due to Climate Change the Landscapes We Are Familiar With Are Disappearing

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The 'no-buy' movement: could you give up buying clothes and beauty products? | Environment | The Guardian

With the fashion industry’s environmental impact under scrutiny, there’s a move to eschew new stuff and wear what you already own

Splashed out in the sales? Cashed in your Christmas gift cards? The average Briton spends more than £1,000 on new clothes and shoes each year, according to the statistics agency Eurostat – and many are shelling out much, much more. But with a focus now on the environmental impact of the fashion industry, some of the bloggers, vloggers and influencers who cut their teeth sharing details of an endless array of new clothes and products, are changing tack – enter the “no-buy” movement.

Will the ‘no-buy’ movement mark the end of ‘so last season’? Photograph: Radius Images/Alamy Stock Photo

The idea is simple: instead of buying new clothes or beauty products, you make a commitment to use the things you already own. Some people, such as the beauty blogger Hannah Louise Poston, sign up to a “no-buy year” – and document their progress in much the same way that they once tracked their purchases. Others pledge not to buy for a few weeks or months or opt for “low-buy” options with a strict spending cap. A subreddit thread named MakeupRehab, offering tips and support for those undertaking not to buy new products, now has more than 50,000 subscribers.
Continue reading at: The 'no-buy' movement: could you give up buying clothes and beauty products? | Environment | The Guardian

Friday, August 30, 2019

An introduction to the state of solar power in the U.S. » Yale Climate Connections

Though still a small contributor to the electricity supply, solar power already is revolutionizing how



U.S. consumers generate and consume electricity.

olar power offers enormous promise as a non-carbon-emitting energy resource. Yet in the U.S. today, less than 1% percent of our total energy supply – roughly 2.3% of our electricity – comes from the sun. Accelerating the shift to an economy substantially fueled by solar and other renewable energy resources will demand major policy changes at all levels of government. The technology, however, is largely at hand.

Arizona State U solar
Photovoltaic array atop a parking garage, Arizona State University-Tempe. Solar power supplies nearly 50% of the peak daytime electric load at ASU’s four campuses and Research Park. (Photo credit: Philip Warburg)

A bit of solar power history

Through most of the 20th century, efforts to tap solar energy focused on the sun’s thermal properties. Commercially introduced in California in 1909, water-heating solar collectors achieved greater status in the wake of the 1973 oil embargo, when President Jimmy Carter installed a much-heralded solar array on the White House, producing hot water for its laundry and cafeteria.



The technology for reliably converting sunlight to electricity emerged from Bell Labs in the 1950s, but the expense of manufacturing photovoltaic, or PV, cells confined them to high-value uses such as remote radio transmission and the space program. It was only with a dramatic drop in the price of silicon PV cells, from $76 per watt in 1977 to a fraction of a dollar in recent years, that PV has come into widespread use.



Continue reading at: An introduction to the state of solar power in the U.S. » Yale Climate Connections

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Climate Change Is Warming Europe Faster Than Expected

Climate change is increasing the number of days of extreme heat and decreasing the number of days of extreme cold in Europe, posing a risk for residents in the coming decades, according to a new study.

Temperatures in Europe have hit record highs this summer, passing 46.0 degrees Celsius (114.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in southern France. New research in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters finds the number of summer days with extreme heat has tripled since 1950 and summers have become hotter overall, while the number of winter days with extreme cold decreased in frequency by at least half and winters have become warmer overall.

The new study finds parts of Europe are warming faster than climate models project.

ESA 2019 Heatwaves Satellite Image

This is a satellite image of the heat energy emitted from Europe during 25 July 2019 shows this summer’s highest extremes. Credit: Copernicus Sentinel data (2019) ESA – Copernicus Sentinel data (2019)


“Even at this regional scale over Europe, we can see that these trends are much larger than what we would expect from natural variability. That’s really a signal from climate change,” said Ruth Lorenz, a climate scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, and lead author of the new study.

Continue reading at: Climate Change Is Warming Europe Faster Than Expected

Climate Change Threatens the World’s Food Supply, United Nations Warns

Climate Change Threatens the World’s Food Supply, United Nations Warns

Cattle grazing outside Sokoto, Nigeria, where large-scale farming is in conflict with local communities. CreditCreditLuis Tato/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The world’s land and water resources are being exploited at “unprecedented rates,” a new United Nations report warns, which combined with climate change is putting dire pressure on the ability of humanity to feed itself.
The report, prepared by more than 100 experts from 52 countries and released in summary form in Geneva on Thursday, found that the window to address the threat is closing rapidly. A half-billion people already live in places turning into desert, and soil is being lost between 10 and 100 times faster than it is forming, according to the report.
Climate change will make those threats even worse, as floods, drought, storms and other types of extreme weather threaten to disrupt, and over time shrink, the global food supply. Already, more than 10 percent of the world’s population remains undernourished, and some authors of the report warned in interviews that food shortages could lead to an increase in cross-border migration.
A particular danger is that food crises could develop on several continents at once, said Cynthia Rosenzweig, a senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and one of the lead authors of the report. “The potential risk of multi-breadbasket failure is increasing,” she said. “All of these things are happening at the same time.”
Continue reading at: Climate Change Threatens the World’s Food Supply, United Nations Warns

Monday, August 26, 2019

What Satellite Imagery Tells Us About the Amazon Rain Forest Fires - The New York Times

Scientists studying satellite image data from the fires in the Amazon rain forest said that most of the fires are burning on agricultural land where the forest had already been cleared.



By The New York Times ·Sources: Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research; NASA

Most of the fires were likely set by farmers preparing the land for next year’s planting, a common agricultural practice, said the scientists from the University of Maryland. Satellite images like the one below show smoke plumes from fires emanating from agricultural areas.
The majority of the agricultural land currently in use in Brazil’s Amazon region was created through years of deforestation.
“Most of this is land use that have replaced rain forest,” said Matthew Hansen, who is a co-leader of the Global Land Analysis and Discovery laboratory at the University of Maryland.
“Brazil has turned certain states like Mato Grosso into Iowa,” said Mr. Hanson, referring to the Brazilian state on the southern edge of the Amazon region. “You’ve got rain forest, and then there’s just an ocean of soybean.”
The grid of maps below show the month-by-month pattern of fires across the Amazon rain forest in Brazil each year since 2001. The increase in fires every August to October coincides with the season when farmers begin planting soybean and corn.

Continue reading at: What Satellite Imagery Tells Us About the Amazon Rain Forest Fires - The New York Times

Friday, August 23, 2019

How climate change threatens public health » Yale Climate Connections

From prolonged droughts to dangerous sun exposures, the weather affects human health in numerous ways, and climate change has already ratcheted environmental health threats up a notch. Disease-carrying bugs have expanded their range, hotter heat waves last longer, and storms have gotten more extreme.

“Climate change is impacting our communities, in our backyards, right now,” says Amir Sapkota, a professor at the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health.

Citing health threats posed by climate change, more than 70 major medical groups in the U.S. released a call to action in June 2019 declaring climate change “a true public health emergency.”

Jonathan Patz, M.D., MPH, director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin, is an expert on climate change and public health. His view: “It’s so important that people recognize that climate change is about our health. There are so many pathways through which climate impacts our health.”

Airman

A 2013 heatwave caused near-record temperatures at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, forcing those stationed there to hydrate frequently to avoid heat-related injuries such as heat stroke. (Photo credit: U.S. Air Force)


Those pathways include heat, air pollution, extreme weather, vector-borne diseases, and access to safe water and food. The health risks posed by climate change already disproportionately harm marginalized groups including people with disabilities or infirmities, low-income families and individuals – and climate change is likely to deepen those disparities.

Continue reading: How climate change threatens public health » Yale Climate Connections

Iceland holds ceremony for first glacier lost to climate change | News | DW | 18.08.2019

Iceland has been commemorating the loss of Okjokull with the prime minister and guests from international universities and the United Nations. A ceremony at the site highlighted the urgency of climate protection.

Island Luftaufnahme Gletscher Okjökull | 1986 & 2019

These two photos taken in 1986 and 2019 show the loss of ice at the glacier


Iceland has been commemorating the country's first glacier lost to climate change, with a memorial plaque warning of the effects of global warming being installed at the site.

Icelandic officials, activists and others took part in a ceremony on Sunday that included poetry, silence and political speeches on the urgency of taking action to curb rising global temperatures.

The disappearance of Okjokull, a glacier in the west of the sub-Arctic island, is being seen as directly due to the warming of the climate caused by human activity.

The memorial for the Icelandic glacier is the first of its kind. The words are written by Icelandic author and poet Andri Snaer Magnason.

Continue reading: Iceland holds ceremony for first glacier lost to climate change | News | DW | 18.08.2019

Watch: "We are chasing the last of the big fish" – Fisheries scientist on overfishing, whaling and climate change - Unearthed

One of the world's most prominent fisheries scientists talks to Unearthed about overfishing, whaling and climate change




Watch: "We are chasing the last of the big fish" – Fisheries scientist on overfishing, whaling and climate change - Unearthed

US Subsidizes Fossil Fuels To The Tune Of $4.6, $27.4, Or $649 Billion Annually, Depending On Source | CleanTechnica

In 2022 in the USA, wind will get zero subsidies, solar will get very little, and fossil fuels will get $4.6 to $649 billion depending on accounting.


Graph courtesy of US Congressional Research Service



Continue reading at: US Subsidizes Fossil Fuels To The Tune Of $4.6, $27.4, Or $649 Billion Annually, Depending On Source | CleanTechnica

Sanders to unveil $16tn climate plan, far more aggressive than rivals' proposals | US news | The Guardian

Democratic presidential hopeful’s 10-year plan warns of devastating economic consequences if crisis is not addressed

Bernie Sanders has laid out an ambitious 10-year, $16.3tn national mobilization to avert climate catastrophe, warning that the US risks losing $34.5tn in economic productivity by the end of the century if it does not respond with the urgency the threat demands.

The Vermont senator has long spoken of the climate crisis as a existential danger to the US and the world, and he has previously endorsed a Green New Deal, which he put forward with the New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.


 Bernie Sanders’ plan calls for complete decarbonization by 2050. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Sanders will formally unveil his proposal on Thursday during a campaign visit to Paradise, California, a town that was destroyed in 2018 by one of the deadliest wildfires in US history. After the tour, the senator will hold a climate change town hall in Chico, California.



Continue reading: Sanders to unveil $16tn climate plan, far more aggressive than rivals' proposals | US news | The Guardian

Amazon fires an emergency, say Merkel and Macron

The French and German leaders say the record number of fires in Brazil's Amazon rainforest is an international crisis which must be discussed at this weekend's G7 summit.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the "acute emergency" belonged on the agenda, agreeing with French President Emmanuel Macron's earlier rallying cry.
"Our house is burning," he tweeted.
Environmental groups say the fires are linked to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's policies, which he denies.
Mr Bolsonaro has also accused Mr Macron of meddling for "political gain". He said calls to discuss the fires at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, which Brazil is not participating in, evoke "a misplaced colonialist mindset".
Satellite image of forest fires burning in the Amazon rainforest, Brazil. 14th August 201
Smoke from fires burning in the Amazon can be seen from space. NASA
The largest rainforest in the world, the Amazon is a vital carbon store that slows down the pace of global warming.
It is also home to about three million species of plants and animals, and one million indigenous people.
Map showing active fires in the Brazilian Amazon

Continue reading at: Amazon fires an emergency, say Merkel and Macron

Rivers in the Sky: How Deforestation Is Affecting Global Water Cycles

A growing body of evidence indicates that the continuing destruction of tropical forests is disrupting the movement of water in the atmosphere, causing major shifts in precipitation that could lead to drought in key agricultural areas in China, India, and the U.S. Midwest.
very tree in the forest is a fountain, sucking water out of the ground through its roots and releasing water vapor into the atmosphere through pores in its foliage. In their billions, they create giant rivers of water in the air – rivers that form clouds and create rainfall hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
But as we shave the planet of trees, we risk drying up these aerial rivers and the lands that depend on them for rain. A growing body of research suggests that this hitherto neglected impact of deforestation could in many continental interiors dwarf the impacts of global climate change. It could dry up the Nile, hobble the Asian monsoon, and desiccate fields from Argentina to the Midwestern United States.
Moisture produced by the world's forests generates rainfall thousands of miles away.
Moisture produced by the world's forests generates rainfall thousands of miles away. RICHARD WHITCOMBE / SHUTTERSTOCK

Until recently, the nuggets of data delivering such warnings were fragmented and often relegated to minor scientific journals. But the growing concerns came to the fore in reports presented at two forest forums held by the United Nations and the Norwegian government in recent weeks.
In Norway, Michael Wolosin of the U.S. think tank Forest Climate Analytics and Nancy Harris of the World Resources Institute published a study that concluded that “tropical forest loss is having a larger impact on the climate than has been commonly understood.” They warned that large-scale deforestation in any of the three major tropical forest zones of the world – Africa’s Congo basin, southeast Asia, and especially the Amazon – could disrupt the water cycle sufficiently to “pose a substantial risk to agriculture in key breadbaskets halfway round the world in parts of the U.S., India, and China.”
Trees pull water from the ground and release water vapor through their leaves, generating atmospheric rivers of moisture.
Trees pull water from the ground and release water vapor through their leaves, generating atmospheric rivers of moisture. WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE

Continue reading at: Rivers in the Sky: How Deforestation Is Affecting Global Water Cycles

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The advisory list for self classification of hazardous substances

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency publishes an advisory list for self classification of chemical substances – with advisory classifications of more than 54,000 substances.

The advisory list for self classification of hazardous substances

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Why The Green New Deal Cuts Consumer Energy Costs & Unemployment

The Green New Deal is a proposal to transition the United States entirely to clean, renewable, zero-emission energy in all energy sectors, to promote removal of carbon from the air through natural reforestation and land preservation, and to create jobs. By focusing on renewable energy that is both clean and zero-emission, the Green New Deal reduces, in one fell swoop, energy insecurity due to the fossil fuel and nuclear industries, 62,000 deaths and millions more illnesses annually from US energy-related air pollution, and the US’ contribution to global warming.

Critics claim, though, that the Green New Deal is unaffordable and uneconomical and will sink the US into more debt. Having led the research team that developed science-based plans to transition each of the 50 states to 100% wind, water, and solar (WWS) in all energy sectors (electricity, transportation, heating and cooling, and industry), we conclude the opposite is true: the benefits of clean energy systems greatly exceed the costs. 10 other independent research groups similarly find that 100% renewable energy systems are low cost without fossil fuels with carbon capture or nuclear power.

However, a 100% transition of all energy sectors by 2030, while technically and economically possible and desirable, may not occur that fast for social and political reasons. As such, we have consistently proposed a goal of 80% transition by 2030 and 100% no later than 2050 and hopefully earlier. The electricity sector, for example, can transition by 2035. If accomplished worldwide, this goal limits global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Continue reading: Why The Green New Deal Cuts Consumer Energy Costs & Unemployment

Across U.S., Toxic Blooms Pollute Lakes

TOLEDO, Ohio – In the middle of a muggy summer night, Keith Jordan got an urgent text: Toledo’s tap water wasn’t safe to drink.

“I thought it was a joke," said Jordan, who works with at-risk youth in Toledo’s inner city. He went back to sleep. When he got up a few hours later, he took a shower and had a cup of coffee, then turned on the news.
“They were saying don't drink the water, don’t take a shower – the water is messed up,” Jordan said. “You couldn’t even touch the water. It was something you could not believe was happening here in Toledo.”

That was Aug. 2, 2014. For the next three days, half a million people in and around this industrial city at the western edge of Lake Erie scrambled to find safe water.
Continue reading at: Across U.S., Toxic Blooms Pollute Lakes

A Quarter of Humanity Faces Looming Water Crises - The New York Times

BANGALORE, India — Countries that are home to one-fourth of Earth’s population face an increasingly urgent risk: The prospect of running out of water.

From India to Iran to Botswana, 17 countries around the world are currently under extremely high water stress, meaning they are using almost all the water they have, according to new World Resources Institute data published Tuesday.
Many are arid countries to begin with; some are squandering what water they have. Several are relying too heavily on groundwater, which instead they should be replenishing and saving for times of drought.
In those countries are several big, thirsty cities that have faced acute shortages recently, including São Paulo, Brazil; Chennai, India; and Cape Town, which in 2018 narrowly beat what it called Day Zero — the day when all its dams would be dry.
Continue reading at: A Quarter of Humanity Faces Looming Water Crises - The New York Times

National Drive Electric Week 2019 - Event Map

National Drive Electric Week™ is September 14-22, 2019.
Join us for a celebration near you.
Image result for National Drive Electric Weekâ„¢ is September 14-22, 2019
If you're thinking of organizing or helping at an event, please join us for a National Drive Electric Week Webinar:
Drive Electric Week: Engaging With Media Tuesday , August 20, 2019 at 9:00 am Pacific/12:00 pm Eastern
Drive Electric Week: Engaging With Attendees Tuesday , August 27, 2019 at 9:00 am Pacific/12:00 pm Eastern

National Drive Electric Week 2019 celebrations will take place across the US and other countries. The map below shows all of the event locations. Click on a pin to get more information about any of the 238 2019 events.
Continue reading at: National Drive Electric Week 2019 - Event Map

A new map is the best view yet of how fast Antarctica is shedding ice | Science News

The research could help improve projections of sea level rise
Decades of satellite observations have now provided the most detailed view yet of how Antarctica continually sheds ice accumulated from snowfall into the ocean.
Antarctica
ICE ICE BABY  Glaciologists used observations from a cohort of satellite missions over decades to create the most detailed map yet of ice flow across Antarctica. ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΊΑ ΠΟΡΤΝΆ/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The new map is based on an ice-tracking technique that is 10 times as precise as methods used for previous Antarctic surveys, researchers report online July 29 in Geophysical Research Letters. That offered the first comprehensive view of how ice moves across all of Antarctica, including slow-moving ice in the middle of the continent rather than just rapidly melting ice at the coasts. 
Charting Antarctic ice flow so exactly could reveal the topography of the ground underneath, as well as improve forecasts for how much ice Antarctica stands to lose to the ocean in the future. Ice melting off the continent is already known to be a driver of global sea level rise (SN: 7/7/18, p. 6).
Glaciologists at the University of California, Irvine, uncovered subtle movements of Antarctic ice with a kind of measurement called synthetic-aperture radar interferometric phase data. By using a satellite to bounce radar signals off a patch of ice, researchers can determine how quickly that ice is moving toward or away from the satellite. Combining observations of the same spot from different angles reveals the speed and direction of the ice’s motion along the ground.
Continue reading at: A new map is the best view yet of how fast Antarctica is shedding ice | Science News

Friday, August 16, 2019

New UN climate report is bleak, but there's a solution: trees

Humanity must overhaul the global food system to stop the climate breakdown, according to a dire report released today.
The report, issued by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), lays out in stark terms the disastrous environmental impacts of unsustainable agriculture and its potential to exacerbate the effects of climate change.
The world’s food system — from farming to transportation to grocery store packaging — is a top cause of deforestation, contributing approximately 30 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, the report finds. It also projects that climate change from deforestation will create additional stress on agricultural land systems, adversely impacting crop yields and food security, and causing soil erosion. As countries continue to clear forests and peatlands for agriculture, their commitments under the Paris Agreement to cut climate-warming carbon emissions edge further out of reach.
In response to the report, conservationists called for the widespread restoration of forests, which absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere.
“Restoring forests is the only thing on Earth that can reverse the emissions that drive global warming,” Conservation International CEO M. Sanjayan said, calling the report a “wake-up call.”
A recent study quantified 1.7 billion hectares of treeless land around the world where forests would naturally grow and planting programs could thrive, without encroaching on food production or living area.
Continue reading at: New UN climate report is bleak, but there's a solution: trees

Climate Change: The Science and Global Impact | edX

Free to attend - $49 for certificate
Climate Change: The Science and Global Impact
About this course
Climate change is arguably the greatest challenge of our time. Human activity has already warmed the planet by one degree Celsius relative to pre-industrial times, and we are feeling the effects through record heat waves, droughts, wildfires and flooding. If we continue to burn fossil fuels at the current rate, the planet will reach two degrees of warming by 2050 - the threshold that many scientists have identified as a dangerous tipping point. What is the science behind these projections?
Join climate scientist expert Michael Mann to learn about the basic scientific principles behind climate change and global warming. We need to understand the science in order to solve the broader environmental, societal and economic changes that climate change is bringing.
By the end of this course, you will:

  • Develop a deep scientific understanding of HOW the climate system has been changing;
  • Articulate WHY the climate system is changing;
  • Understand the nature of these changes;
  • Develop a systems thinking approach to analyzing the impacts of climate change on both natural and human systems.

Continue reading and enroll at: Climate Change: The Science and Global Impact | edX

Paris Is Building the World's Largest Organic Rooftop Farm

It will be roughly three football fields in size.
Why Global Citizens Should Care: Urban agriculture can help cities improve food security for their residents, while also combating climate change and air pollution. The United Nations encourages countries to invest in innovative agricultural methods to end hunger by 2030.
A 150,695-square-foot organic rooftop garden will open in the heart of Paris in 2020, according to the Guardian.

Image: Valode & Pistre Architectes

More than 30 different plant species will be grown on the roof and gardeners will be able to harvest a metric ton worth of fruit every day. The fresh produce will be used to feed local communities and supply a restaurant in the building. The project will use state-of-the-art watering technology and doesn’t require soil, making the farming process incredibly resource-efficient.
This verdant feat of engineering will be the largest such farming project in the world and its realization provides a window into a rapidly growing form of agriculture that could significantly improve global food security, combat climate change, and reduce air pollution. 
Continue reading at: Paris Is Building the World's Largest Organic Rooftop Farm

Video: The North Atlantic ocean current, which warms northern Europe, may be slowing » Yale Climate Connections

'We are 50 to 100 years ahead of schedule with the slowdown of this ocean circulation pattern,' says climate scientist Michael Mann.
A stubborn blue spot of cool ocean temperatures stands out like the proverbial sore thumb in a recent NASA image of the warming world – a circle of cool blue on a planet increasingly shaded in hot red.
Globe showing blue spot
Watch the video
A region of the North Atlantic south of Greenland has experienced some of its coldest temperatures on record in recent years, a cooling unprecedented in the past thousand years. What explains that anomaly?
Climatologist Michael Mann of Penn State University, in this month’s “This is Not Cool” video, explains that this phenomenon may be an indication that the North Atlantic current, part of a larger global ocean circulation, is slowing down.
This current played a role in the 2004 science fiction movie The Day After Tomorrow, a film that was “based on science, but greatly overblown” and that therefore “frustrated a lot of climatologists,” Jason Box of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland points out.
Stefan Rahmstorf of the University of Potsdam, Germany, says this circulation – called the thermohaline circulation, but popularly known to many in the U.S. as “the Gulf Stream” – keeps northern Europe several degrees warmer than it would otherwise be at that latitude.
Continue reading at: Video: The North Atlantic ocean current, which warms northern Europe, may be slowing » Yale Climate Connections

Could traditional architecture offer relief from soaring temperatures in the Gulf?

Temperatures in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and Iran could soar to uninhabitable levels during the course of this century, according to a new study.
Already, places such as Al Ain and Kuwait can experience temperatures of up to 52℃. But the study predicts that the effects of global warming and the increase in greenhouse gases could push the average temperature up to the mid 50℃s or lower 60℃s.

Erwin Bolwidt/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA
Currently, many residents of the gulf can find refuge in air-conditioned homes, shopping centres and cars. But as temperatures increase, so does the need for cheaper, more sustainable, less energy-intensive ways of staying cool. Fortunately, the region’s past offers a rich source of architectural inspiration.
Continue reading at: Could traditional architecture offer relief from soaring temperatures in the Gulf?