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Climate Scientist: World’s Richest Must Radically Change Lifestyles to Prevent Global Catastrophe

Climate Scientist: World’s Richest Must Radically Change Lifestyles to Prevent Global Catastrophe

The 24th United Nations climate summit comes amid growing warnings about the catastrophic danger climate change poses to the world. In October, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that humanity has only a dozen years to mitigate climate change or face global catastrophe—with severe droughts, floods, sea level rise and extreme heat set to cause mass displacement and poverty. But on Saturday, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait blocked language “welcoming” the landmark IPCCclimate report. New studies show global carbon emissions may have risen as much 3.7 percent in 2018, marking the second annual increase in a row. A recent report likened the rising emissions to a “speeding freight train.” We speak with Kevin Anderson, professor in climate change leadership at Uppsala University’s Centre for Environment and Development Studies, and 15-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg about the drastic action needed to fight climate change and the impact of President Trump on climate change activism.

Transcript
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Yes, this is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. We’re broadcasting from the U.N. climate summit right here in Katowice, Poland. And we’re continuing our conversation with Greta, who has been on a school strike calling for climate action. She sits outside the Swedish parliament every Friday. In September, before the election, she sat for three weeks straight on weekdays. A number of kids also then started to join her.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Countries that Blocked ‘Welcoming’ of Major Climate Science Report at UN Talks have Dozens of Delegates with Ties to Oil, Gas, and Mining

Countries that Blocked ‘Welcoming’ of Major Climate Science Report at UN Talks have Dozens of Delegates with Ties to Oil, Gas, and Mining

COP24 plenary

At least 35 delegates from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Russia and the US are either currently employed or used to work for companies and organisations involved in the petrochemical and mining industries or lobbying on behalf of those industries.

On Saturday, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) “noted” the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) landmark 1.5 degrees report at the annual talks in Katowice, Poland. Poor and undeveloped countries, small island states, Europeans and many others called to change the wording to “welcome” the study, Climate Home reported.

The IPCC’s report, released in October 2018, warned that the world has 12 years to radically cut emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change. The report was commissioned by countries at the annual climate talks in Paris in 2015.

Of the 35 delegates DeSmog UK has identified with ties to the fossil fuel and mining industries, 12 are representing Saudi Arabia, and nine are representing Russia. NGO Climate Tracker previously identified 13 delegates representing Kuwait that worked for the fossil fuel industry.

Most of the Saudi Arabian delegates currently work for state oil and gas producer Saudi Aramco – reportedly the most profitable company in the world – including Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s Minister Energy, Industry and Natural Resources and chairman of Saudi Aramco. The company is estimated to be worth around $2 trillion.

Two of the Russian delegates at this year’s annual talks work for natural gas producer Gazprom, in which the Russian government holds the majority stake. Six delegates work for aluminium producer, Rusal.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What World Do We Seek?

What World Do We Seek?

If David Attenborough (the British Natural Historian, narrator of the video series, Planet Earth and a national treasure in the U.K.), gives a speech to the UN proclaiming the end of civilization and few hear it, does our world still collapse? If the President releases the Congressional report on climate change on Black Friday and no one heeds it, does it have an impact? If Trump tweets his denial of the substance of the report (which strongly affirms the reality of global warming) – does that mean anything at all? And, if the U.N. releases a chatbot designed to empower the people of the planet (at least, those with access to Facebook) to act in reducing carbon emissions, does that signal a democratization of the process or a profound cynicism as to the likelihood of an organized, intra-government, legislative solution to the climate catastrophe?

We are being stress-tested on our ability to survive in the multiverse, the fractured continuum of space, time, matter and energy thatmanifests in parallel worlds wherefactual and counterfactual narratives co-exist.

We are being asked, by our political circumstances, to believe in both truth and untruth, the fake and the real, and yet retain our equanimity. We are being asked to hold two opposed ideas in our mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function – a feat that F. Scott Fitzgerald considered “was the test of a first-rate intelligence”. We are being asked to consume and to conserve; to change and to sustain; to believe in progress – time’s arrow, and in the everlastingness of a regenerative natural world – time’s cycle.

We are being asked to believe in the possibility of continued fossil-fueled economic growth while that phenomenon’s miasmic specter of global warming threatens to destroy the productivity and habitability of vast swathes of the planet.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Biological Annihilation: a Planet in Loss Mode

Biological Annihilation: a Planet in Loss Mode

If you’ve been paying attention to what’s happening to the nonhuman life forms with which we share this planet, you’ve likely heard the term “the Sixth Extinction.” If not, look it up.  After all, a superb environmental reporter, Elizabeth Kolbert, has already gotten a Pulitzer Prize for writing a book with that title.

Whether the sixth mass species extinction of Earth’s history is already (or not quite yet) underway may still be debatable, but it’s clear enough that something’s going on, something that may prove even more devastating than a mass of species extinctions: the full-scale winnowing of vast populations of the planet’s invertebrates, vertebrates, and plants.  Think of it, to introduce an even broader term, as a wave of “biological annihilation” that includes possible species extinctions on a mass scale, but also massive species die-offs and various kinds of massacres.

Someday, such a planetary winnowing may prove to be the most tragic of all the grim stories of human history now playing out on this planet, even if to date it’s gotten far less attention than the dangers of climate change.  In the end, it may prove more difficult to mitigate than global warming.  Decarbonizing the global economy, however hard, won’t be harder or more improbable than the kind of wholesale restructuring of modern life and institutions that would prevent species annihilation from continuing.

With that in mind, come along with me on a topsy-turvy journey through the animal and plant kingdoms to learn a bit more about the most consequential global challenge of our time.

Insects Are Vanishing

When most of us think of animals that should be saved from annihilation, near the top of any list are likely to be the stars of the animal world: tigers and polar bears, orcas and orangutans, elephants and rhinos, and other similarly charismatic creatures.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The clean green pipeline machine – a free-market fairy tale

The clean green pipeline machine – a free-market fairy tale

A review of Donald Gutstein’s The Big Stall

In late 2016 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was ready to spell out his government’s “Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change”. His pitch to Canadians went along these lines:

We recognize that climate change is a serious challenge and that we must transition to a new economy which dramatically cuts carbon emissions. To make this transition we need a strong economy and a united country. To have a strong economy we must allow our fossil fuel sector to continue to grow. And to keep our country united while we impose a modest price on carbon, we must also build new pipelines so that oil sands extraction can grow. That is why my government is proud to lead the way in reducing carbon emissions, by ensuring that the oil sands sector emits more carbon.

If you think that sounds absurd, then you’re likely not part of Canada’s financial, industrial, political or media elite, who for the most part applauded both the minimal carbon tax and the substantial oil sands expansions being pushed by Trudeau and by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

How did we get to a point where oil companies and governments are accepted as partners in devising climate action plans? And why did these climate action plans, decade after decade, permit fossil fuel companies to continue with business as usual, while carbon emissions grew steadily?

This is the subject of Donald Gutstein’s new book The Big Stall: How Big Oil and Think Tanks are Blocking Action on Climate Change in Canada. (James Lorimer & Co., Toronto, October 2018)

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Sport, Fashion, and Tourism: Corporate Greenwash’s New Frontiers at the UN Climate Talks

Sport, Fashion, and Tourism: Corporate Greenwash’s New Frontiers at the UN Climate Talks

What do Adidas, Hilton hotels, and the World Surfing League all have in common?

They’re all climate champions, apparently.

They also have a lot of customers and fans. Much more than most climate activists – just take a look at their Twitter followings – which could explain why this year’s annual UN climate talks welcomed them with open arms.

But are the industries serious about addressing the problem, or are they simply following a greenwash playbook rolled out by the fossil fuel industry each year at the talks?

Fanbase

With its global reach, universal appeal and the power to inspire and influence millions of people around the globe, sport is uniquely placed to drive global climate action and encourage crowds to join in”, International Olympic Committee member, former Olympic bobsledder, and Prince of Monaco, Prince Albert II, told the conference.

As countries here in Katowice prepare to turn their climate commitments into reality, we stand ready to leverage the power of sport to support their efforts”, he said. Mainly through making sportspeople ambassadors for climate change, and trying to offset some of the many, many flights major athletes and clubs take.

The sports industry isn’t alone at stepping up to the plate in the former coal town of Katowice, where this year’s talks are being held.

Climate change is “a risk and challenge we take seriously”, Daniella Foster, Hilton’s senior director of Global Corporate Responsibility told a side event. That’s why the hotel chain is looking at ways to “gamify” the “guest engagement piece” of its sustainability strategy – developing an app to help users save energy when they stay. The company has also pledged to cut its environmental footprint in half by 2030.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Ghost Empires

Ghost Empires

As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information

Drought is a normal recurring feature of the climate in most parts of the world. It doesn’t get the attention of a tornado, hurricane or flood. Instead, it’s a slower and less obvious, a much quieter disaster creeping up on us unawares.

Climate change is currently warming many regions, warmer temperatures increase the frequency and intensity of heat waves and droughts.

We can prepare for some climate change consequences with public education, water conservation programs, limiting pumping from our freshwater aquifers to recharge rates and putting in place early warning systems for extreme heat events.

Unfortunately some things cannot be prepared for…like the pervasiveness and persistence of a hundred year drought caused by climate change.

The collapse of some of the world’s earliest known empires was because of drought.

Akkadians

The Akkadians of Mesopotamia forged the world’s first empire more than 4,300 years ago. The Akkad’s seized control of cities along the Euphrates River and swept up onto the plains to the north – in a short period of time their empire stretched 800 miles, all the way from the Persian Gulf to the headwaters of the Euphrates, through what is now Iraq, Syria and parts of southern Turkey.

Tell Leilan was a small village founded by some of the world’s first farmers. It’s located in present day Syria and has existed for over 8,000 years. The Akkad’s conquered Tell Leilan around 2300 B.C. and the area became the breadbasket for the Akkadian empire.

After only a hundred years the Akkadian empire started to collapse.

In 1978, Harvey Weiss, a Yale archaeologist, began excavating the city of Tell Leilan. Everywhere Weiss dug he encountered a layer of dirt that contained no signs of human habitation. This dirt layer corresponded to the years 2200 to 1900 B.C. – the time of Akkad’s fall.

…click on the link above to read the rest of the article…

Attenborough and the deluded elites of Katowice

Attenborough and the deluded elites of Katowice

Transcript of the speech by Sir David Attenborough COP24, Katowice, Poland
3rd December 2018.

Your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen.

‘We the peoples of the United Nations’. These are the opening words of the UN Charter. A charter that puts people at the centre. A pledge to give every person in the world a voice on its future. A promise to help protect the weakest and the strongest from war, famine and other man-made disasters. Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate Change.

If we don’t take action the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.

The United Nations provides a unique platform that can unite the whole world. And as the Paris agreement proved, together we can make real change happen. At this crucial moment, the United Nations has invited the world’s people to have their voice heard, by giving them a seat. The People’s Seat; giving everyone the opportunity to join us here today, virtually, and speak directly to you the decision makers.

In the last two weeks, the world’s people have taken part in building this address, answering polls, sending video messages and voicing their opinions. I am only here to represent the ‘Voice of the People’: to deliver our collective thoughts, concerns, ideas and suggestions.

This is our ‘We the peoples’ message.

…….THE PEOPLES’ SEAT VIDEO SEQUENCE…..

The world’s people have spoken. Their message is clear. Time is running out. They want you, the decision makers, to act now. They are behind you, along with civil society represented here today. Supporting you in making tough decisions but also willing to make sacrifices in their daily lives.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Weather Channel Declares November Coldest in 50 years

The Weather Channel just declared that North America just had its most extensive November snow cover in at least a Half-Century. We really face Global Cooling as this is now the third winter which this is becoming the colder with each passing year. It is serious that the emphasis on Global Warming is distracting society to such an extent that we are making no preparation whatsoever to stockpile food reserves which is what we should be doing. As a former hedge fund manager, the best way to always maintain your performance is to assume you are always wrong. That forces you to have Plan B and Plan C with key lines that when crossed you are compelled to take action. We should be stockpiling food as a HEDGE right now. The worst outcome is the Global Cooling trend is wrong, then you have excess food to sell off. Best case is you survive a downturn.

From a timing perspective, if we see next year get colder than this year, that will CONFIRM this is going to get much worse before it will get warm again and that first uptick may not take place until 2026. The computer is showing a commodity rally will arrive after 2020.

Coldest December on Record in China

China is also experiencing the coldest day record during December 6 below zero C. Snow is falling in Beijing to Shanghai. It has been in the 70s in Abu Dhabi and in Tampa Florida, so the cold is dipping lower and lower across the planet. Temperatures in China have been held under 4 below zero C on only seven December days since 2000. This is the coldest on record so far. The real question becomes when will people start noticing that the summers are dry and short with the winters getting colder?

London Assembly passes climate emergency motion

London Assembly passes climate emergency motion

The London Assembly has passed a motion by a vote of 12 votes for, 0 against, for declaring a climate emergency. The motion by UK Greens Councillor Caroline Russell urges that the Mayor should “declare a Climate Emergency, supported by specific emergency plans with the actions needed to make London carbon neutral by 2030”.

This follows on from the City of Bristol declaring a climate emergency on 13 November 2018, the first UK council to declare a climate emergency. The Bristol motion was passed unanimously. Consequently, the city council set an ambitious goal of making Bristol carbon neutral by 2030.

Caroline Russel also referred to David Attenborough speech to the United Nations climate change conference COP24 meeting in Katowice, Poland, in which he warned, “If we don’t take action the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.” The IPCC 1.5C climate science report published in October was also referred to in motivating rapid social transformation needed for meeting the Paris Agreement climate targets and avoiding dangerous climate change..

The debate within London Assembly on the motion to declare a climate emergency

Caroline Russell AM, who proposed the motion said:

“Catastrophic climate breakdown might be as little as twelve years away – this would have profound impacts on every aspect of our lives in London from flooding and overheating in summers, disruption in our food supply chains as well as in the wider natural world.

“The Mayor need to be at the forefront of this challenge, declaring a climate emergency and an urgent updating of his carbon reduction targets to make London carbon neutral by 2030, decades ahead of his current plans, setting a precedent for other major and world cities.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

State Of Emergency Declared As “Historic Winter Storm” Pounds Carolinas; 100,000 Without Power

A significant and possibly “historic” winter storm is pounding North Carolina to central and southern Virginia with heavy snowfall will bring the likelihood of widespread power outages and travel disruptions into early next week.

AccuWeather meteorologists forecast the heaviest snowfall is expected from the southern Appalachians into the western Piedmont of North Carolina and southern Virginia. Snowfall totals could range in the 12 to 18 inches range, especially in the mountains of North Carolina with the possibility of over two feet of snow.

Over 85,000 customers are without power in North Carolina, with around 35,000 people without power in northwestern South Carolina, according to poweroutage.us as of Sunday morning.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is This The Answer To Global Warming?

Is This The Answer To Global Warming?

Globe

In my previous article – Indisputable Facts On Climate Change – I addressed some of the things we know to be true as it relates to carbon dioxide and global temperatures. Note that I didn’t try to connect any number of potential threads, nor make dire predictions. My article was based on facts, period.

In today’s article, I want to take another step and address the stakes, according to a recent report on global warming. But mostly I will focus on potential methods for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, or for preventing it from entering the atmosphere.

The Stakes Are High

In October 2018, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a Special Report on Global Warming. The report reiterated the urgent need to limit rising global temperatures but admitted that “limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”

Various agreements, such as the 1992 Kyoto Protocol, have had some success in curbing regional carbon dioxide emissions in developed countries. However, global emissions continued to rise. More recently, the 196 parties attending the 21st yearly Climate Change Conference (COP 21) negotiated the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit the global temperature rise to “well below 2 °Celsius” compared to pre-industrial levels.

This week – three years later – the COP 24 convenes in Poland from December 3rd-14th. Attendees will tout measures aimed at reining in carbon dioxide emissions, but multiple agencies, such as the International Energy Agency’s (IEA), have warned that even if the pledges made as part of the 2015 Paris Accord are enacted into binding laws, it doesn’t go nearly far enough to meet the global temperature target.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Yet Another Trillion-Dollar Unfunded Liability: WHY California Is Burning

Yet Another Trillion-Dollar Unfunded Liability: WHY California Is Burning

The apocalyptic fires that hit California last month have left observers scratching their heads and wondering how destruction on that scale could be possible – and how much it will cost in the future if the causes aren’t addressed immediately.

This morning’s Wall Street Journal concludes that 1) the problems aren’t being addressed and 2) this failure is going to cost a fortune that no government is prepared to cover (emphasis added below).

Why Californians Were Drawn Toward the Fire Zones

Building codes, state grants and low insurance rates have encouraged people to flee expensive cities for their dangerously fire-prone fringes.

California fires
A Nov. 15 view in Paradise, Calif., above, shows charred remains of houses among the trees after the Camp Fire burned down more than 11,000 homes. PHOTO: CAROLYN COLE/LOS ANGELES TIMES/GETTY IMAGES

The historically deadly wildfires that have roared through California this fall, and a string of similarly destructive ones over the past two years, are boosting calls to do more to slow climate change. But another underlying problem has contributed to the fires’ tragic damage: For decades, California, supposedly the greenest of states, has artificially lowered the cost of encroaching on nature by living in the woods.

Permissive building codes, low insurance rates and soaring taxpayer spending on firefighting and other services have provided an economic framework that has encouraged people to flee the state’s increasingly expensive cities for their leafy fringes. The forested exurbs, including places once thought too hilly or too dry to develop safely, have offered comparatively affordable living with jaw-dropping views.

The upshot: More houses have been packed into the fire-prone border between civilization and forest—known among planners as the “wildland-urban interface,” or WUI—in California than in any other state.

…click the above link to read the rest of the article…

Preppers Love Diatomaceous Earth

Preppers Love Diatomaceous Earth


Survivalists love hacks that can help out in many different situations. That’s why preppers stock up on diatomaceous earth (DE). This organic product keeps animals – including us humans – healthy, protects food storage, gardens, and living quarters, and can help filter water.

You say you’ve never heard of this miracle stuff, much less how to pronounce it? Take heart, you are not alone.

First off, say “die-uh-tuh-MAY-shous” a few times to get the hang of it. Or use its short handle DE.

Diatomaceous earth is completely natural. It’s made from the fossilized remains of tiny algae-like organisms called diatoms (“DI-a-tomz“) that lived in ancient lakes, rivers, and oceans. Today, diatoms are mined to manufacture the soft white or off-white powder that has slightly abrasive properties.

Silica (or silicon dioxide) occurs is one of the two most abundant elements found in the Earth’s crust. Silica sand is used to make concrete and mortar. It is also used as a fine grinding polish for glass and stone, in foundry molds, and in glass-making.

Silica gel is often used as a desiccant, something that removes moisture.

The silica powder made from DE feels soft to our fingers but, in fact, is like microscopic concertina wire for insects. Tiny razor-sharp edges cut down any small-scaled intruder that attempts to cross a perimeter.

It might surprise you to know that diatomaceous earth comes in a food grade form that is safe and healthy for human consumption. [CAUTION: Non-food grade diatomaceous earth is NOT SAFE to be inhaled or ingested.]

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) strictly regulates food grade DE, for obvious reasons. Lives are at stake. Products must be clean, uncontaminated, and safe for internal bodily use. Non-food grade DE is used mostly as an agricultural and household insecticide.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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