India Gets On Board

150126-obamamodigardens-editorial

This is a chart of the total GHGs in the world, by country, as of 2011.  This, including greenhouse gases from land-use change, amounts to about 46 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.  (The brilliant folks at the World Resources Institute have made this very valuable “climate data explorer,” CAIT 2.0 available to everyone.)   As you no doubt know – and can see clearly from the chart – China and the US account for 36% of the world’s annual output of GHGs.  India, although much less of a contributor, is still responsible for more than 5% of the problem. Continue reading

Thresholds

PB_FIG33_upgraded_mediaBLANK_11jan2015The Stockholm Resilience Centre has a paper in Science that updates their work on planetary boundaries.  “The planetary boundaries framework defines a safe operating space for humanity based on the intrinsic biophysical processes that regulate the stability of the Earth System.”  Of the nine planetary boundaries, the scientists reckon that four have now been crossed.  Does this mean we’re dead?  Not necessarily.  The lead author, Will Steffen, says “Transgressing a boundary increases the risk that human activities could inadvertently drive the Earth System into a much less hospitable state,…”  We’ve heightened the risk.  There’s quite a bit more here on the updated findings. Continue reading

2014 – Hottest Year on Record

noaa 2014 anomalies

The graphic above illustrates how hotter ocean and atmospheric temperatures drive any number of dangerous and destructive weather events and climate trends.  The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has declared 2014 Earth’s warmest year on record.  The Japan Meteorological Agency had the same finding last week.  Today, NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies has provided further confirmation.  The UK’s Hadley Center will come out soon with yet another series of data, undoubtedly showing the same thing.  (Here is an excellent explanation from them of how these records are compiled and interpreted.)

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Keystone → Veto

KXL rally NYC outside Koch theatreI went to a cool little rally last evening here in New York City.  We were standing across from the David H. Koch theater at Lincoln Center to say “No!” to the KXL.  We were there, of course, because the Koch Brothers have been the principal funders in recent years of any number of reactionary organizations, including Americans for Prosperity and ALEC, not to mention the Tea Party itself.  Of course, they have a serious vested interest in the Canadian tar sands.  By the time I left, we had a good 200 or so people out on a cold night.  The excellent folks at 350NYC organized the rally and we knew that there were scores more across the country at the same time. Continue reading