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Wed, 31 Oct 12
Climate change is about the economy
Washington Post: Many people on the East Coast were unable to go to work Monday or Tuesday because of Hurricane Sandy, an unusual storm fueled by the unusually warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Climate change very probably contributed to or caused this warmth. So why do the presidential campaigns continue to ignore the issue of climate change? The biggest topic is the economy, but climate change is definitely a drag on the economy and will continue to be for generations. It seems that it has recently contributed...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Food switch could offset climate threat to staples - study
AlertNet: Climate change could significantly depress yields of maize, wheat and rice, constrain supplies of animal protein and force a rethink of diets and the crops farmers grow, researchers said on Wednesday. Yields of the world's three biggest crops in terms of calories provided will decrease in many poorer countries as temperatures rise and rainfall becomes more unpredictable, according to a policy brief from the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). By...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Is Climate Change Turning New York Into a Hurricane Hotspot?
Slate: New York isn't known for its hurricanes. At least, it never has been before. But after Irene in 2011 and Sandy in 2012, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he joked to President Obama that "we have a 100-year flood every two years now.' Is it possible that climate change has somehow turned the Big Apple--and the northeast in general--into a hurricane hotspot? Possible, perhaps. But the atmospheric scientists I've talked to say it would be misguided to conclude based on those two storms that the northeast...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
East Coast crippled by massive storm, death toll climbs
Reuters: Millions of people were left reeling in the aftermath of the whipping winds and heavy rains of the massive storm Sandy on Tuesday as New York City and many parts of the eastern United States struggled with epic flooding and extensive power outages. The storm killed at least 40 people, including at least 18 in New York City, and insurance companies started to tally billions of dollars in losses. Sandy, which crashed ashore with hurricane-force winds on Monday near the New Jersey gambling resort...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Food may cause almost a third of greenhouse emissions -study
Reuters: Food production accounts for up to 29 percent of man-made greenhouse gases, twice the amount the United Nations has estimated comes from farming, a study published on Wednesday said. Looking at emissions across the food system - including forest clearance, fertiliser production and transport - rather than just farming itself - agriculture research organisation CGIAR said much more work was needed to cut climate change emissions from food. Its report, "Climate Change and Food Systems", estimated...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
You can't blame the superstorm on climate change — not yet
Associated Press: Climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer stood along the Hudson River and watched his research come to life as Hurricane Sandy blew through New York. Just eight months earlier, the Princeton University professor reported that what used to be once-in-a-century devastating floods in New York City would soon happen every three to 20 years. He blamed global warming for pushing up sea levels and changing hurricane patterns. New York "is now highly vulnerable to extreme hurricane-surge flooding," he...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
When the chips are down: potato, maize and rice crop yields set to fall
Guardian: Farmers will need to grow different crops as rising temperatures and unpredictable rainfall lead to a drop in yields of maize, rice and wheat in developing countries, according to agricultural experts. The three crops are the main source of calories globally, but all regions will have to change their approach to what they grow and eat, researchers said in a report, Recalibrating food production in the developing world, which analysed the potential effects of climate change on 22 of the world's...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Water professionals urge caution over shale gas
BusinessGreen: Proposed shale gas projects in the UK should face mandatory environmental risk assessments, according to a water industry body that has become the latest organisation to warn the government it must tread carefully in developing the controversial energy source. In the UK, there is currently a moratorium on the process used to extract the gas, known as fracking, until more is known about its potential impacts, which campaigners say extend to earth tremors, landscape degradation, water contamination,...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Wind farms see massive upswing in planning approvals
BusinessGreen: Onshore wind farms may be entering a new era of development, as government approval rates surged last year for the first time since 2008. That is the surprise finding of a new report from trade association RenewableUK analysing the state of the onshore and offshore wind industry in the UK between June 2011 and June 2012. The report finds that overall capacity approval of wind farms increased by nearly 50 per cent compared to the previous year, with 110 schemes receiving consent providing up...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: What Happens to the Birds?
National Geographic: The devastating superstorm that hit the U.S. East Coast this week didn't just wreak havoc on human communities-the spawn of Hurricane Sandy also damaged habitat for coastal bird species. ee "Hurricane Sandy: Why Full Moon Makes 'Frankenstorm' More Monstrous.") We talked to Bryan Watts, director of the Center for Conservation Biology in Williamsburg, Virginia, to get a bird's-eye perspective on the disaster. How do birds react to hurricanes? When birds encounter a storm like this, they're...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Sandy Far From Finished: Why Storm's Still Super, Headed for New Targets
National Geographic: What was once Hurricane Sandy has already affected more than 50 million people in 20 eastern U.S. states, leaving millions literally powerless and flooding New York City with a record-breaking storm surge. But the superstorm, today downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, isn't finished yet. Sandy's secret? Size matters. As of 11 a.m. this morning, Sandy was about 120 miles (193 kilometers) east of Pittsburgh and moving westward at about 10 miles (16 kilometers) an hour. Even so, the storm's...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
How Superstorm Sandy's Floods Can Make You Sick
National Geographic: As much of the U.S. Northeast grapples with the inundation of Hurricane Sandy, the most dramatic photos show standing water filling busy U.S. streets in New York City, New Jersey, and along the coastline. Public health officials caution that stagnant water from floods can pose significant health risks, many of which can worsen with time. ee "Hurricane Sandy: Why Full Moon Makes 'Frankenstorm' More Monstrous.") David Doyle, a spokesperson for New York's Office of Emergency Management, cautioned...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Nuclear Plants Get Through the Storm With Little Trouble
New York Times: The nuclear reactors in Sandy’s path mostly handled the storm well - better than other parts of the region’s electric system. But one reactor, on the New Jersey coast, declared a low-level emergency because rising water threatened to submerge pumps it uses to pull in cooling water. That plant, Oyster Creek, in Toms River, about 60 miles east of Philadelphia, had shut a week earlier for refueling, but still had cooling requirements, especially for its spent fuel pool, where fuel used decades...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Did Global Warming Contribute to Hurricane Sandy's Devastation?
New York Times: Was the bizarre storm called Sandy a product, in whole or in part, of human-induced climate change? That may not be a top-of-mind issue for the millions of people who will spend coming weeks recovering from the damage. But it is an important scientific question, one whose answers could shed light not just on why this storm happened but also on what to expect in the future. The first thing to say is that climate scientists are just not in a good position to answer it yet. Some of them are...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Climate Change Impact Often Felt Most by the Poor and Migrants Displaced by Extreme Weather
Democracy Now: Henia Belalia of the group Peaceful Uprising about the issue of climate change, which was not raised in any of the three presidential debates. "The reason that we always bring this back to being a social justice issue is that we’re looking at this infinite growth machine that is the U.S. economy, and in order to continue to grow on a planet that is comprised of finite resources, we are decimating what were once independent economies and having those people be forced to leave their homes and to migrate...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Superstorm Sandy: Give Climate Change Science a Chance
Huffington Post: I start this blog on climate politics as superstorm Sandy expends its fury on the eastern coast of the U.S. The satellite imagery shows the movement of the gathering storm as it builds and breaks over land, bringing with it massive destruction and massive upheaval in the wealthiest and most powerful nation of the world. It speaks of the extraordinary power of nature and should leave us both shocked at the possibilities of destruction but also in awe of its sheer force. This is the shock and awe that...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Hey Pols: Hurricane Sandy Is Climate Change
Huffington Post: Following the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, New York City is a total mess. Flooding has rendered the subway system and under-river tunnels useless for an as-yet-undetermined length of time. Over a million residents are without power following downed power lines and the explosion of transformers throughout the city. Around 1 o'clock this morning, a bright blue flickering light filled the sky before a powerful white flash and loud boom gave way to darkness as a transformer in my Brooklyn neighborhood...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Sandy reminds us of climate change and other forgotten campaign issues
CNN: Superstorm Sandy's ability to wreak havoc on the most populated parts of the country this week has pointed out a noticeable gap in the 2012 presidential election -- how little the candidates have focused on climate change, the environment and other under-covered issues. "With flooding in NYC and 3 feet of snow in W VA, isn't it time for candidates to address climate change and extreme weather," tweeted Darrell West, a director at the Brookings Institution, a public policy think tank. Mike Tidwell...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Two Views of a Superstorm in Climate Context
New York Times: In the hours before Hurricane Sandy thundered ashore, igniting power stations and Queens neighborhoods and darkening urban and rural communities alike, I filed two pieces for Dot Earth. The first, "The #Frankenstorm in Climate Context," was on the storm in the context of climate history and the science pointing to greenhouse-driven climate change. The second was on the impact of our tribal nature on climate communication, including my own. Yesterday, as the winds here in the Hudson Valley rose...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy May Force Pols to Discuss Climate Change
U.S. News and World Report: While scientific research continues to indicate the frequency of megastorms and hurricanes like Sandy are on the rise as a result of climate change and global warming, politicians from both sides of the aisle have been loathe to discuss the issue in recent years. On the presidential campaign trail, it's been virtually ignored by both President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Global warming skeptics on the Republican side have pushed many candidates to disagree with the notion...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Climate Change Likely Makes Storms Like Sandy Worse
Technology Review: Yesterday a confluence of bad weather that included Hurricane Sandy brought sustained winds of 80 miles per hour, threw a large 13-foot storm surge against New Jersey, and spanned a thousand miles. It forced the cancellation of over 10,000 flights, has left millions without power, and has killed at least 17 people. One early estimate puts the cost of the storm at about $20 billion. The intensity and sheer size of the storm have meteorologists declaring that they’ve never seen anything like this before....

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Clinton swipes at Romney on climate change
Politico: Former President Bill Clinton took a swipe Tuesday at Mitt Romney's position on climate change in the aftermath of the landfall of Hurricane Sandy, saying that President Obama's policies were better for the environment. "In the real world, Barack Obama's policies work better," Clinton said at a campaign rally in Minnesota. Clinton said that Romney mocked Obama's position on climate change during the first presidential debate, although the topic didn't come up. "He ridiculed the president...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
The Year Climate Change Became Real to Me
Huffington Post: It started this summer... conversations on the playground, on my favorite blogs, at work: Is this climate change? The hottest summer on record, Midwest tornadoes and floods, out-of-control forest fires. And this after a summer hurricane (Irene) and freak ice storm on Halloween 2011 had crippled my suburban Boston neighborhood and sent 100-year-old trees crashing into our houses. Oh and don't forget, we had hardly any snow last winter. This must be it, finally, moms in my formerly sheltered area thought....

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Sandy leaves millions in the dark as officials warn restoration will be slow
Guardian: Millions of people on the US east coast faced the prospect several days without power after superstorm Sandy ripped through power lines on her arch north. As of midday Tuesday, some 8.2 million homes and businesses had been caught up in mass outages across New York, New Jersey and further afield. With transport down and roads still hazardous due to strong winds, utility firms were facing an uphill battle to hook up electricity to homes across the region. Densely populated lower Manhattan...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Climate Change, Hurricanes and the Fate of America's Coastal Cities
Democracy Now: Climate author and activists Mark Tidwell argues "we are all New Orleanians up and down the East Coast," as he relates the devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy to the experience of those in the past of similar storms that hit the Gulf Coast. "The fingerprints of climate change are all over this storm" and others, says Tidwell as he joins us from Takoma, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C., where the federal government has shut down and life has come to a complete stop as the nation`s capital...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Here's The Mountain Of Evidence Linking Climate Change To Bigger Storms
Business Insider: Data from monitoring stations along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, where the daily tide levels have been recorded all the way back to 1923. The huge superstorm Sandy has left a path of destruction across the Eastern seaboard and everyone's wondering -- was this insanely intense storm that some are calling a once a century event related to climate change? Some researchers will say yes, it's likely that the two are related. Their theory goes that warmer waters inject more energy into...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Climate Change and Sandy: Why We Need to Prepare for a Warmer World
Time: After a campaign season in which it was the missing in action issue, climate change roared back into relevancy in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Bill McKibben, the writer-turned-activist behind 350.org, put it in stark terms. "This is an absolutely unprecedented storm," he told POLITICO on Monday evening. "This entire year should be a seriously wake-up call--and the public`s beginning to get it." Some scientists and science writers, however, were just as quick to caution that we can`t really attribute...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Silence on Climate Change Is Deafening
World Resources Institute: The recent silence on climate change in the U.S. political discourse is extremely troubling. As we can see from the recent spate of extreme weather events, the costs of inaction are clear in terms of both environmental and economic impacts. If we are going to meet the challenge of the global climate threat, we need to have a real, rational discussion about climate change. Having that discussion requires national leadership on this issue. The irony is that despite the relative silence on the campaign...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy Abruptly Puts Climate Change on the Election Agenda
EcoWatch: Last week, both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney stressed their commitment to developing oil and gas to improve energy security. Climate change was not mentioned. This position is senseless. The U.S. Midwest has just experienced the worst drought in 60 years, one which has seen economic growth depressed by 0.4 percent GDP as a result and higher food prices resulting from a 13 percent drop in corn production. As the East Coast slowly emerges from the deluge and debris of the past 24 hours, the job of...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Hiatchi energises future of low-carbon power
Guardian: The future of low-carbon energy in the UK became a little clearer on Tuesday when a new player entered the nuclear race, and the government published a shortlist of four potential carbon capture and storage projects that will compete for funding. To the relief of ministers, the Japanese industrial company Hitachi agreed to buy the nuclear consortium Horizon, a former project of the German utilities RWE and E.ON which they put up for sale when they decided to bow out of UK nuclear energy in March....

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy: A Disaster Foretold
Climate Desk: In 2007, I published a book called Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming. It was inspired by what my family had been through in Hurricane Katrina (I`m from New Orleans), but at the end, I looked forward to what other families and other cities might have to experience--if we don`t start to think in a much broader way about our society`s stunning vulnerability to hurricane disasters. As I wrote: Even as we act immediately to curtail short term vulnerability, every...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy Shows We Need To Prepare For Climate Change, Cuomo And Bloomberg Say
Huffington Post: A day after New York City experienced its worst storm surges in recorded history, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city may need to respond to climate change with steps like storm barriers. Such protections would be extremely costly, but climate change experts said Hurricane Sandy provided a first glimpse of the challenges all coastal areas will face as sea levels rise and extreme weather events become more frequent. Cuomo said on Tuesday that he told President Barack...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy Paralyzes New York, New Jersey
Climate Central: For years, public officials and coastal residents of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast were told that the region is extraordinarily vulnerable to storm surge from nor'easters and hurricanes, but it took Hurricane Sandy, an unprecedented combination of both of those storms, to realize the worst-case scenario on Monday evening. When the storm roared ashore near Atlantic City at 8 p.m. on Monday, it pushed a record high wall of water into Lower Manhattan and coastal New Jersey, flooding parts of Lower...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Obama cancels third campaigning day to oversee storm response
Reuters: U.S. President Barack Obama will stay in Washington on Wednesday to oversee the response to Hurricane Sandy, canceling another day of campaigning roughly a week before Election Day, the White House said on Tuesday. Obama will be in Washington to "monitor the response to Hurricane Sandy and ensure that all available federal resources continue to be provided to support ongoing state and local recovery efforts," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. "As a result, the president...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Nuclear Plant in N.J. on Alert, 3 Others Shut as Sandy Tests Industry
Bloomberg: Hurricane Sandy forced three nuclear power plants to shut and put another on alert as federal regulators dispatched inspectors to monitor 11 facilities in the path of the storm, the biggest test for the U.S. industry since a crisis in Japan more than 18 months ago. Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PEG) manually closed its 1,174-megawatt Salem Unit 1, about 18 miles south of Wilmington, Delaware, when four of six circulating pumps were no longer available because of weather, according to Joe...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
U.S. East Coast crippled by gigantic storm, 30 dead
Reuters: Millions of people were left reeling in the aftermath of the massive storm Sandy on Tuesday as New York City and a wide swathe of the eastern United States struggled with epic flooding and extensive power outages. The death toll climbed to at least 30. Sandy, which crashed ashore with hurricane-force winds on Monday near the New Jersey gambling resort of Atlantic City as the biggest storm to hit the country in generations, swamped parts of New York's subway system and Manhattan's Wall Street district,...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
A year of extreme weather — and little climate change talk
Washington Post: So far this year we`ve seen: Probably nothing to worry about. (AP) -- The first nine months of 2012 have been the hottest in the United States on record. (Globally, this has been the eighth-warmest year on record.) -- The U.S. wildfire season this year was the second-largest by area since records began in the 1960s, topped only by 2006. In Colorado, 600 homes were destroyed in the Waldo Canyon fire. -- The biggest drought in half a century parched the Midwestern United States, sent food...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Global warming hits home
Salon: In the middle of Monday night`s Eastern seaboard chaos - the power transformers exploding in sheets of white light, the drowned carousels and vanishing boardwalks - I saw a photograph posted on Facebook so arresting I tweeted it instantly without thinking. The picture showed floodwaters pushing through the closed door of an elevator shaft into the Hoboken PATH station. The image captured the sheer terror and sense of helplessness provoked by rising floodwaters more succinctly than hours of cable...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Art offers a glimpse of Hurricane Sandy's impact
Daily Climate: An art project showing wind speeds across the United States in real time offers a fascinating glimpse of the scale of Hurricane Sandy's impact on the eastern third of the United States. The map is a personal art project from the Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg at Point.B.Studio. The pair set up a website that visualizes wind speed data gathered from the National Digital Forecast Database – near-term forecasts updated once an hour. But the federal data is gobbledygook. Viégas and Wattenberg...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Climate and energy: How do Romney and Obama compare?
USA Today: He pushed to make homes and businesses more energy efficient. He offered government incentives for renewable power and, early in his administration, tried to tackle climate change with fees on excessive corporate emitters of greenhouse gases. President Obama? Well, it may sound like him, but it's GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts -- a blue state with a Democratic-led legislature -- from 2003 to 2007. The two men have fairly similar governing records...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Index aims to guide adaptation investment
AlertNet: Channeling private investment toward climate adaptation will be crucial to supplement public funds and raise the tens of billions of dollars needed each year, say the authors of an index intended to help guide that investment and highlight investor opportunities. The Global Adaptation Institute (GAIN) Index, launched in 2011 and updated this month, evaluates the vulnerability of countries to climate change and their readiness to withstand its impacts, based on a wide range of data, from efforts...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Why Sandy's extreme weather may be the shape of storms to come
Toronto Star: Climate scientist Kerry Emanuel of MIT calls Hurricane Sandy a hybrid storm, a rare type that scientists don't know much about. He says its damaging rainfall is the sort of thing we'll see more of in the future due to climate change. Lisa Palmer: Some scientists say Sandy's enormous size is not related to climate change. Others say that all storms now have a global warming component because climate change has altered the background state. What does the science say? Kerry Emanuel: It is correct...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy has lessons for Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology says
Age: Australian atmospheric scientists and the Bureau of Meteorology are closely monitoring Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy for what it tells them about climate risks in our own region - and the best way to communicate the dangers to the general population. "Everybody's tracking it here closely," said Karl Braganza, manager of climate monitoring at the Bureau of Meteorology's National Climate Centre in Melbourne. Sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic region when Hurricane Sandy - since downgraded...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Study refines calculations of thawing permafrost
Associated Press: A new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey refines estimates of how frozen Arctic soils could thaw and release gases into the atmosphere, including nitrogen, which could have an effect on plants and water. Lead author Jennifer Harden, a USGS research soil scientist, said it's too soon to make grand statements about nitrogen's effect. "It's sort of a flag to look at it and measure it in different environments," she said from Menlo Park, Calif. "As of yet, it looks like a very small amount...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Temporary fix to ETS a "no brainer": EU climate boss
Reuters: A temporary fix to the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is "a no brainer", EU climate chief Connie Hedegaard said on Tuesday, and reiterated her plea for political agreement on the issue before the year-end. The Commission is expected in November to publish plans to bolster the ETS, which earlier this year saw allowances collapse to a record low, far below the levels needed to spur green energy, chiefly because of a surplus of allowances generated by recession. On Tuesday allowances were...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Big Story Weather Special Storm Report - Super Storm Sandy
redOrbit: This morning the Metro area is dealing with downed trees, flooded streets, and also a large number of power outages. The region is dealing with heavy rain and just to the west in the mountain region, people are dealing with the wrath of heavy snowfall. West Virginia: Snowfall amounts have been piling up with reports coming out of the region of 12-18 inches of snowfall on the ground and it`s still falling. Power outages are being reported in this region as well along with blizzard conditions still...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Bill McKibben: Hurricane Sandy a 'wake-up call' on climate change
Politico: Environmental activist Bill McKibben says Sandy should be a "wake-up call' to elected officials about the effects of climate change. "This is an absolutely unprecedented storm,' he said Monday evening. And it comes during the warmest year in recorded history in the United States -- dating back to the late 19th century -- and one in which many areas were affected by a serious drought. "This has been, this entire year, should be a serious wake-up call and the public's beginning to get it,' said...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Are 'Frankenstorms' like Sandy the new norm, thanks to climate change?
International Business Times: “It's a matter of probabilities,” says Jeff Masters, a meteorologist at Weather Underground. “When you add more heat energy to the ocean, you have more energy available to power strong storms. We've now made it possible to have something we've never seen before.” The bottom line: a warmer climate means that bigger and later hurricanes like Sandy are more and more likely. “We do know that if you heat up the oceans, you tend to increase the length of hurricane season and have storms earlier and...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Poland accused of creating 'climate of fear' for environmental campaigners
EurActiv: Polish environmentalists say that they are operating in a 'climate of fear' involving harassment by the country's security police, and denunciations from government ministers for "working against the public interests of the state". Earlier this month, Treasury Minister Nikolaj Budzanowski used that phrase to drub a registered environmental charity, Client Earth, which has campaigned against coal-fired power plants and for shale gas regulation. "This kind of organisation should accept that there...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Bad weather hits British honey production
Press Association: Rain and cold weather this summer saw honey yields from hives fall by almost three-quarters, the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) said today. The average crop per hive was down 72% compared to 2011, with just 3.6kg (8lb) of honey produced compared to an annual average of 30lb (13.6kg), the annual honey survey by the BBKA revealed. The survey of 2,712 beekeepers in England, Northern Ireland and Wales found that 88% said this summer's bad weather caused the fall in honey yields. The cold,...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Extremely dangerous hurricane aims at New York City and mid-East Coast areas
ClimateWire: As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, federal forecasters are warning that the massive storm could bring "life-threatening" storm surges, flooding, hurricane-force winds, heavy rain and even blizzardlike snowfall over an area stretching from the Carolinas to Canada, and west to Ohio. The slow-moving storm, a rare and powerful hybrid of hurricane and nor'easter fueled by an influx of Arctic air, is expected to make landfall in New Jersey later today. Officials say 50 million to 60 million...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Obama's message of tough love
CNN: President Obama's remarks Monday on Hurricane Sandy were in some ways the most significant of his presidency. They were, at their core, about the role of government -- all governments -- and the responsibility of citizens to take care of themselves and each other when times are tough. By embracing self-reliance and resiliency -- "take care of yourselves" and "we will get through this" were themes -- Obama did more to defend and explain the role of government than any presidential debate ever could....

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Sandy's storm surge explained and why it matters
Climate Central: As Hurricane Sandy comes ashore and grinds its way inland, the hurricane's storm surge -- the pulse of seawater pushed ashore by Sandy's winds and low atmospheric pressure -- will almost certainly cause more concentrated damage than the hurricane's powerful surface winds, torrential rains and mountain snows. Those other factors will be bad enough, especially since Sandy's landfall in New Jersey -- the nation's most densely populated state, located smack in the middle of its most densely populated...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy a Chance at Redemption for FEMA
New York Times: As Hurricane Sandy approached landfall Monday, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials here were struggling with the question of how to deploy resources in the face of a powerful, far-reaching storm that was bearing down on a string of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. Based on forecasts and calculations, the officials decided to focus their resources on the southern part of New Jersey, where they had hundreds of thousands of ready-to-eat meals and bottles of water and hundreds of staff...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Hours before Hurricane Sandy hit, activists protested climate inaction in Times Square
Mongabay: On Sunday, as Hurricane Sandy roared towards the coast of the Eastern U.S., activists took to the streets in New York City to highlight the issue of climate change. Activists organized by 350.org unfurled a huge parachute in Times Square with the words, "End Climate Silence," a message meant to call attention to the fact that there has been almost zero mention of climate change during the presidential campaign, including not a single reference to the issue in the four presidential debates. "Meteorologists...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Vulnerability of Infrastructure Revealed During Hurricane Sandy
Yale Environment 360: The storm that crippled the New York City region has revealed the extreme vulnerability of its transportation and electricity infrastructure and highlights the need to better protect subways, tunnels, low-lying roads, and power substations as sea levels rise and storms produce higher seawater surges in the future. New York City and the surrounding area experienced unprecedented damage to its transportation infrastructure, with the subway system knocked out for an estimated four to five days, several...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Effects of climate change increase risk of storms' impacts
Boston Globe: Tweeters are calling Hurricane Sandy Mother Nature's revenge: Because so few prominent politicians have even mentioned climate change this election season, they say, she has cooked up a reminder. Climate change is probably part of Sandy's story, scientists and environmentalists say, but there are also short-term weather forces conspiring to create the sprawling, powerful storm. The interwoven ways climate and weather operate make it difficult to say any one storm is attributable to climate change...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Are hurricanes hitting New York in October a sign of global warming?
Houston Chronical: It`s late October, when seas outside the tropics are supposed to be falling into a winter chill. So what is a "super" hurricane doing approaching the northeastern United States and strengthening as it`s crossing the mid-latitude waters of the Atlantic Ocean? This is a fair question. It`s also reasonable to ask whether this storm is a product of climate change, that a warmer world will produce more "super" storms. Hurricane blame game to begin soon. Certainly that`s the point of view espoused...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
UK shortlists carbon capture projects competing for £1bn fund
Press Association: Four schemes have been shortlisted for a £1bn competition to develop technology to capture and permanently store emissions from fossil fuel power plants. Plans for new coal-powered stations with carbon capture and storage (CCS) at Grangemouth, Scotland, and Drax, North Yorkshire; a coal-powered project on Teesside and a bid to fit the technology on to an existing gas plant at Peterhead, Scotland, are on the shortlist, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) said. The £1bn government...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
United Kingdom: No Dash For Gas power station promise
Guardian: Climate change protesters perched 91m (300ft) up two power station towers have repeated promises to stay for as long as possible, in spite of derisive criticism from the local Labour MP and police estimates that local taxpayers could be hit for £200,000 costs. The two occupying groups from No Dash for Gas are planning to fly kites in a stiff, chilly breeze from the water cooling towers at West Burton in north Nottinghamshire which has been targeted as one of the UK's new generation of gas-fired...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Obama Surprised At Climate Change No Show During Presidential Debates
Triple Pundit: Much has been made of the fact that climate change was not mentioned during the presidential debates this year for the first time since 1984. Last week, President Obama also expressed his surprise that climate change didn`t come up during the debates. "I`m surprised it didn`t come up in one of the debates," Obama said during an October 26 MTV interview with Sway Williams. It is surprising indeed to those of us who care about the environment. BUT why is Obama surprised that it didn`t come up? An...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
U.S. Nuclear Plant Declares 'Alert' After Sandy Storm Surge: NRC
Reuters: Exelon Corp declared an "alert" at its New Jersey Oyster Creek nuclear power plant due to a record storm surge, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said, warning that a further water rise could force the country's oldest working plant to use emergency water supplies to cool spent uranium fuel rods. The alert -- the second lowest of four NRC action levels -- came after water levels at the plant rose by more than 6.5 feet, potentially affecting the pumps that circulate water through the plant, an...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
TransCanada Partnering with Chinese Firm for Oil Sands Pipeline
Toronto Sun: TransCanada Pipelines is partnering with a Chinese state energy firm to construct a $3 billion pipeline from Alberta's oilsands. The Calgary-based firm announced Monday it would split ownership of the proposed Grand Rapids Pipeline with Phoenix Energy Holdings Ltd. that would transport crude from the oilsands 500 km to terminals in the Edmonton region. If approved, it would provide a much-needed link to servicing the western oilsands region, TransCanada spokesman Grady Semmens said. It would...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Sandy Slams Northeast: NJ Levee Topped and Homes Swept Away
MSNBC: President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in parts of New York state Tuesday as superstorm Sandy pounded the Northeast coast, sweeping homes out into the ocean, flooding New York City subway tunnels and leaving millions without power. In New Jersey, rising waters sparked an alert at the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant while Geanne Baratta, chief of the Bergen County Executive, told Reuters that the towns of Moonachie, Little Ferry and Carlstadt had been "devastated" by the sudden arrival...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy Throws the Presidential Campaigns Off Course
The Hill: Hurricane Sandy is hitting the presidential race and the East Coast at the same time, throwing both candidates off their schedules and threatening to alter the voter-turnout calculus. The powerful storm made landfall late Monday, lashing towns along the eastern seaboard with strong winds and rain, knocking out power for more the five million and claiming at least seven lives. The storm comes at a tough time for both President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney, with the election only seven...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy Could Undo Mitt Romney’s Late Play For Wisconsin
Daily Beast: The Republican presidential nominee was compelled to axe an event in suburban Milwaukee, a GOP stronghold, Monday evening as his team (like President Obama’s) apparently decided to stop politicking with flooding, power outages, and even deaths on the horizon. But a Romney visit may not have made all that much difference, as just a few months removed from the conservative movement’s resounding victory over organized labor in the bitter Scott Walker recall fight, Wisconsin seems to have reverted...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
GOP Senator Would Likely Oppose Potential Romney EPA Chief Nominee
The Hill: Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is signaling that fealty to former President George W. Bush’s administration does not guarantee a potential senior nominee a clear path through Senate confirmation. Vitter told Greenwire last week that James Connaughton, Bush’s former head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, would not get his support to be Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator. Because the EPA nomination must pass through the Senate Committee on Environment and Public...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Japan's Hitachi buys UK's Horizon nuclear project
Reuters: Hitachi is taking over the Horizon project to build up to six nuclear power plants in Britain in a move analysts said would be good for the UK's ageing energy infrastructure but would stretch the Japanese company to meet tight timelines. Hitachi, which earns just under 10 percent of its overall sales from its power systems segment, said it expected to have the first 1,300 megawatt (MW) nuclear power plant in the UK operational by the mid-2020s, while Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Hitachi confirms £700m Horizon nuclear deal
BusinessGreen: Hitachi has this morning confirmed it will buy the Horizon nuclear venture from E.ON and RWE in a £696m deal that could see the Japanese conglomerate build between four and six new reactors in the UK. The widely trailed purchase is a much-needed shot in the arm for the government's plans to build 16GW of new nuclear capacity by the mid-2020s, which had looked in jeopardy after the two German utilities put Horizon up for sale earlier in the year. Hitachi said it intends to progress with plans...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Climate change rears head
Vancouver Sun: As America's financial and political capitals braced for what the National Weather Service has called a storm of historic proportions, the subject that politicians here dare not mention has suddenly been pushed to the forefront of public attention by the massive power of nature. Both U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney suspended their campaigns Monday. Obama was at the White House where he was briefed on storm preparations. He said there is a potential for fatalities as...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Inequality deepens climate challenge for India's women farmers
AlertNet: Being a women farmer in India isn't easy at the best of times, due to unequal land rights, a lack of training and limited access to affordable credit. Now changing climate patterns are making it even harder. Women are in a weaker position when it comes to dealing with the droughts and erratic rainfall that have cut their yields in recent years -- especially as many are marginal farmers with less than 3 acres (1.2 hectares) of land. Anima Mitra, a 42-year-old marginal farmer from Sonamara, a...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Renewable energy will overtake nuclear power in UK, study says
Guardian: Renewable energy capacity will overtake nuclear power in the UK by 2018, if current rates of growth continue, and will provide enough power for one in 10 British homes by 2015, according to new research. The amount of electricity supplied by wind energy alone is up by a quarter since 2010, in a surprisingly good year for the renewables industry. While the government has notably cooled on wind power – more than 100 Tory MPs signed a statement this year opposing new windfarms, and the chancellor...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
United States: Hurricane Sandy has drowned the New York I love
Guardian: New York is the city I love best, and I'm trying to imagine it from a distance tonight. The lurid, flash-lit instagram images of floating cars in Alphabet City or water pouring out of the East River into Dumbo, the reports of bridges to the Howard Beach submerging and facades falling off apartment houses – it all stings. It's as horrible in its very different way as watching 9/11. But it's the subways I keep coming back to, trying to see in my mind's eye what must be a dark, scary struggle to...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
BP beats forecasts with $5bn profit and raises dividend
Guardian: Oil giant BP raced ahead of analysts' expectations with a third-quarter profit of $5.2bn (£3.2bn) and is raising its dividend for shareholders. A week after announcing the sale of its 50% stake in Russian oil group TNK-BP to the Kremlin-controlled Rosneft, BP said it would increase its third-quarter dividend to 9¢ per share - a rise of 12.5%. BP's chief executive, Bob Dudley, said: "BP's performance and the strong progress we are making in transforming the company give us the confidence to increase...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Greens blast Romney, Obama on climate as Sandy hits
Agence France-Presse: The White House hopeful of the Green Party on Monday accused President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney of failing to address climate change as Hurricane Sandy battered the East Coast. "The Republicans and Democrats each talk about the election of the other party as the end of the world; maybe they're right," the Green candidate, physician Jill Stein, said in a statement. "Hurricane Sandy is not the first warning we've had; let's not let there be another such warning before we...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Orangutan rescue: Dramatic images of seven Sumatran apes saved
Daily Mail: Their home has been destroyed by bulldozers to make way for an oil palm plantation. Seven Sumatran orangutans, including three mother and baby pairs, were saved from the tiny patch of forest that was being bulldozed by a company which is a member of an industry group responsible for protecting their habitat. They were rescued from the PT Sisirau plantation in Aceh Tamiang, Aceh province, Sumatra, Indonesia and have now been safely released back to the Gunung Leuser National Park. Critically...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
India: Climate change adding sting to mosquito bite, says WHO report
Economic Times: The warning is ominous - climate change and global warming will make vector-borne diseases like dengue and malaria - already causing havoc in the country more lethal. A landmark report on climate change and health, published by the World Health Organization on Monday, said that in the last 100 years, the world has warmed by approximately 0.75 degree Celsius. Over the last 25 years, the rate of global warming has accelerated, at over 0.18 degree Celsius per decade. Global health will suffer...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Climate changing fastest in North America
Record Searchlight: The climate is changing faster right now than it ever has in the history of the planet and nowhere is the world transforming faster than on our North American continent. According to Munich Re, "Weather risks are changing faster in North America than anywhere else in the world." According to Wikipedia, Munich Re is s one of the world's leading reinsurers and in 2010 the company's equity amounted to EUR23.0 billion ($29.7 billion). The group's premium income for the year (gross premiums written)...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
Storm Barrels Through Region, Leaving Battered Path
New York Times: As Hurricane Sandy churned inland as a downgraded storm, residents up and down the battered mid-Atlantic region woke on Tuesday to lingering waters, darkened homes and the daunting task of cleaning up from once-in-a-generation storm surges and their devastating effects. Power remained out for roughly six million people, including a large swath of Manhattan. Early risers stepped out into debris-littered streets that remained mostly deserted as residents awaited dawn to shed light on the extent of...

Wed, 31 Oct 12
New York City floods as Sandy slams into eastern U.S.
Reuters: Millions of people across the eastern United States awoke on Tuesday to scenes of destruction wrought by monster storm Sandy, which knocked out power to huge swathes of the nation's most densely populated region, swamped New York's subway system and submerged streets in Manhattan's financial district. At least 15 people were reported killed in the United States by Sandy, one of the biggest storms to ever hit the country, which dropped just below hurricane status before making landfall on Monday...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Details about Hurricane Sandy in Vermont
Associated Press: GENERAL SITUATION: Gov. Peter Shumlin declared a state of emergency, enabling him to call upon the National Guard as needed. Many Vermonters, some of whom are still recovering from flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Irene last year, were anxious. The National Weather Service said that unlike Irene, the primary threat from Sandy will be wind, with gusts expected to reach 60 to 80 mph late Monday and early Tuesday. Flooding, however, is possible, especially in southern Vermont. POWER OUTAGES:...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
We Are All New Orleans Now:
The Nation: The presidential candidates decided not to speak about climate change, but climate change has decided to speak to them. And what is a thousand-mile-wide storm pushing 11 feet of water toward our country's biggest population center saying just days before the election? It is this: we are all from New Orleans now. Climate change--through the measurable rise of sea levels and a documented increase in the intensity of Atlantic storms--has made 100 million Americans virtually as vulnerable to catastrophe...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Bill McKibben does the Sandy math
Salon: As a writer and activist Bill McKibben has devoted his life to tackling the threat posed by man-made climate change. As Hurricane Sandy brought normal life on the East Coast to a standstill, McKibben`s Twitter feed went into overdrive - a veritable deluge of storm updates and political commentary. A few moments ago, he took some time out of a very busy day to explain why climate change hasn`t been a bigger issue in the run-up to the ongoing catastrophe: The candidates refused to talk about climate...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
New Yorkers initially calm in face of Sandy, then worries set in
Reuters: As Hurricane Sandy aimed straight for them, promising to hammer the place they live with lashing winds and extensive flooding, New Yorkers seemed to be all about nonchalance on Monday morning - an attitude that didn't last into the afternoon. Throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, few store owners had even bothered to board up their buildings. There was little taping of windows or buying of sump pumps. Many New Yorkers, who watched last year's Hurricane Irene taper away without taking a big toll...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Southern U.S. States Inch Towards Renewable Energy
Inter Press Service: - With the U.S. East Coast virtually shutting down Monday with the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, the broader debate over transitioning to cleaner energy sources and slowing, if not halting, climate change is taking on ever greater urgency. While some parts of the U.S. have been made significant strides towards such a shift, the south has generally lagged behind. That remains the case, but recent signs suggest that utility companies and even Republican officials are beginning to change their tune....

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Facebook, Twitter abuzz with hurricane chatter
Associated Press: Whether you call it Frankenstorm, Stormpocalypse or simply Hurricane Sandy, the giant weather system barreling into the East Coast is a favorite topic of conversation on social media from Facebook to Twitter. As people post updates to friends and family, relay emergency information and lighten the mood with humor, it's clear that discussing natural disasters on social media has become as much a part of the experience as stocking up on bread and batteries. As of Monday afternoon, the hashtag ''Sandy''...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
U.S. Nuclear Plants Brace for Hurricane Sandy Impact
National Geographic: The oldest nuclear power plant in the United States, Oyster Creek Generating Station, is girding for the full force of Hurricane Sandy's expected landfall in Southern New Jersey this evening. Oyster Creek, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Atlantic City, generates 630 megawatts (MW), or enough electricity to power 600,000 households. Situated about a mile inland from the brackish inlet of the Atlantic Ocean known as Barnegat Bay, it shares the same design as Japan's tsunami-crippled coastal...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Sandy Moving Toward Landfall in Next Hour or So, NHC Says
Bloomberg: Sandy, now a powerful wintry storm, moved toward landfall in southern New Jersey or central Delaware with top sustained winds of 85 miles (137 kilometers) per hour, the National Hurricane Center said. Sandy is no longer a hurricane, because it’s drawing energy from temperature differences and not the ocean, making the transition to a superstorm that may push a wall of water ashore in the Northeast and lash the East with wind, rain and snow. As of 7 p.m. Eastern time, Sandy was 20 miles south...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Sandy Cuts East Coast Fuel Supply; Refiners, Pipelines Shut
Reuters: The supply of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel into the U.S. East Coast ground almost to a halt on Monday as Hurricane Sandy forced the closure of two-thirds of the region's refineries, its biggest pipeline, and most major ports. Benchmark New York Harbor gasoline futures jumped as much as 11 cents a gallon As traders feared that power outages and flooding could leave refiners struggling to restore operations after the broadest storm ever to hit the United States. Prices later pared gains to close...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Why U.S. and Canada Refuse to Kick Their Fossil Fuel Addiction
DeSmogBlog: Just three short years ago, it appeared that North America was on the verge of finally kicking that nasty dirty energy addiction that has been crippling our economy and energy independence. The U.S. had elected a President Barack Obama who set incredibly lofty goals for renewable energy targets, and green energy investments across the continent were higher than anywhere else in the world. And then, all of a sudden, nothing happened. The promises of politicians went unfulfilled, investments began...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
#Frankenstorm Sandy, Climate Science and 'Reverse Tribalism'
New York Times: In e-mail exchanges earlier this year, Thomas Crowley, a retired climate scientist who`s been a longtime source, proposed the term "reverse tribalism" for a trait in some people studying and communicating about human-driven climate change. The trait, he proposed, comes to the surface when such people confront strong messaging on the need for emissions reductions amid enduringly murky science on what`s driving some particular extreme environmental phenomenon in the world - whether a brief period...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy Pummels East Coast
New York Times: Hurricane Sandy churned relentlessly through the Atlantic Ocean on Monday on the way to carving what forecasters agreed would be a devastating path on land that is expected to paralyze life for millions of people in more than a half-dozen states, with extensive evacuations, once-in-a-generation flooding, widespread power failures and disruptions of mass transit. The huge storm, which picked up speed over the water on Monday morning, was producing sustained winds of 90 miles per hour, up from 75...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Gazprom plans Vladivostok pipeline amid falling demand from Europe
Reuters: Russia's Gazprom has pledged more than $38bn (£23.7bn) to develop an East Siberian gas field and build a pipeline to the Pacific port of Vladivostok to lessen its reliance on exports to Europe and develop Asian markets. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has ordered Gazprom, the country's pipeline gas export monopoly, to forge close ties with fast-growing Asia Pacific consumers, such as China and Japan, to offset sagging demand in Europe. Gazprom's chief executive, Alexei Miller, told Putin...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy blows away election ephemera, leaving stark choice
Guardian: In any election, politicians' pretty much always-false modesty prompts them to exclaim that they themselves are playing but a part in the march of history. Obama cut an ad that admitted: "Sometimes, politics can seem very small – but the choice you face? It couldn't be bigger." Last week, Paul Ryan made a feint at bipartisanship with a similar argument: "Mitt and I have a message that's bigger than party." Hurricane Sandy reminds us of what truly monumental events, and the decisions we...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy: Why Full Moon Makes "Frankenstorm" More Monstrous
National Geographic: Expected to affect as many as 60 million people from North Carolina to New England, Hurricane Sandy's been dubbed Frankenstorm as much for its monstrous proportions as for the disparate factors that have fueled its fury. In an unfortunate, timely twist, even the full moon is helping to stir up the Halloween superstorm, making a bad situation even worse, especially for the New York City area, where flooding has already begun. ee Hurricane Sandy pictures.) Sandy should make landfall on the New...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
In US Elections, Weather Can Make Waves at Polls
RIA Novosti: The photograph of former US President George W. Bush staring down at hurricane-ravaged New Orleans from the window of Air Force One in 2005 remains a textbook example of ill-considered political photo-ops--one Bush later called a "huge mistake' that made him look "detached and uncaring.' But with Hurricane Sandy pounding the US east coast Monday--just eight days before the US presidential election--the now-iconic photo also underscores a peculiar finding by political scientists: When it comes...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Did Climate Change Supersize Hurricane Sandy?
Climate Desk: As I write this, Hurricane Sandy`s minimum central pressure has dropped to a stunning 940 millibars, meaning that air is rising in this storm in a way similar to a Category 4 hurricane. Sandy is strengthening as it approaches an East Coast landfall tonight--even as the storm also undergoes a much-discussed "extratropical" transition from a hurricane into a winter cyclone. In the next 48 hours, we are going to find out the difference between just bad and the worst-case scenario. One thing, though,...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
'Frankenstorm': Why climate change will not be denied in this election
Washington Post: The false controversy created by climate change deniers has stymied government action on environmental issues and is a contributing factor to the deafening silence on climate change in the presidential election debates for "the first time in a generation.' A Halloween week hurricane, dubbed a "Frankenstorm' by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has just changed that. Deny it or not, violent, erratic climate events are happening and they are destroying lives and property. Climate...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Yes, Hurricane Sandy is a good reason to worry about climate change
Washington Post: Every time a major natural disaster barrels along, people want to know whether it has anything to do with global warming. Is climate change causing this storm? That drought? Will we see more disasters like it if the planet keeps warming? When it comes to tropical cyclones like Hurricane Sandy, the climate links can be somewhat difficult to pin down. On the one hand, humans have warmed the planet about 0.8°C since the Industrial Revolution. As Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Shallow Waters and Unusual Path May Worsen the Surge
New York Times: Like a hand pushing water in a bathtub, the winds of a hurricane push the water of the Atlantic Ocean. When the windblown water runs up against land, the water piles up and flows inland. That describes a storm surge. “It’s almost a little bit like a tsunami,” said Klaus H. Jacob, a scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. When Hurricane Sandy makes landfall late Monday or early Tuesday, the pulse of windblown water will be “in a word, bad,” Dr. Jacob said. “It’s of course...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Watching Sandy, Ignoring Climate Change
New Yorker: A couple of weeks ago, Munich Re, one of the world`s largest reinsurance firms, issued a study titled "Severe Weather in North America." According to the press release that accompanied the report, "Nowhere in the world is the rising number of natural catastrophes more evident than in North America." The number of what Munich Re refers to as "weather-related loss events," and what the rest of us would probably call weather-related disasters, has quintupled over the last three decades. While many factors...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy picks up speed, nears landfall as it lashes East
LA Times: Hours before one of the largest storms on record makes landfall in southern New Jersey Monday evening, Hurricane Sandy was speeding up and lashing the East Coast, pushing floodwaters in low-lying areas from Maryland to New York, bringing transportation systems to a halt and snapping electrical connections. Even though the superstorm was still about 200 miles offshore, Sandy's relentless march to land sped up to 28 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Flooding was reported in southern...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy Roars Ashore, Threatening Record Surge
Climate Central: After days of intense preparations, East Coast residents were beginning to feel the full effects of Hurricane Sandy on Monday as it brought tropical storm force winds to New York City, along with a damaging storm surge. Officials and homeowners from Delaware to Massachusetts were anxiously awaiting Monday evening's high tide, which will occur just as the fiercest winds and waves pound the coastline, possibly causing a record storm surge in New York City, Atlantic City, and other vulnerable coastal...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
New UN "atlas" links climate change, health
Associated Press: Two U.N. agencies have mapped the intersection of health and climate in an age of global warming, showing that there are spikes in meningitis when dust storms hit and outbreaks of dengue fever when hard rains come. Officials said Monday that their ''Atlas of Health and Climate'' is meant to be a tool for leaders to use to get early warning of disease outbreaks. Though the data or conclusions aren't necessarily new, the way in which they are presented may sharpen governments' ability to respond...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
How climate change may be worsening Hurricane Sandy
Mongabay: While scientists are still debating some fundamental questions regarding hurricanes and climate change (such as: will climate change cause more or less hurricanes?), there's no debating that a monster hurricane is now imperiling the U.S. East Coast. A few connections between a warmer world and Hurricane Sandy can certainly be made, however: rising sea levels are likely to worsen storm surges; warmer waters bring more rain to increase flooding; and hotter temperatures may allow the hurricane to push...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
On Romney, Obama and U.S. Investments in Science
New York Times: During the second presidential debate, I had to complain via Twitter when, after President Obama spoke of the importance of sustaining innovation through federal funding of science, Romney offered an odd overheated mantra: Government does not create jobs. Government does not create jobs. Setting aside the obvious reality that government does create jobs directly through investment in everything from armies to highways (there`s a separate discussion to be had about the economic merits of this),...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Slow-moving hurricanes such as Sandy on the rise
New Scientist: Parts of New York City are already underwater as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the US east coast, bringing intense winds, torrential rain and a dangerous storm surge. Sandy is merging with a winter storm from the west and an Arctic weather system, to become a hybrid "Frankenstorm". Its winds have strengthened, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), reaching sustained speeds of 150 kilometres per hour. Tropical-storm-force winds extend 780 kilometres from the storm's centre. According...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Boston climate vigil disrupted by Sandy
Boston Globe: A storm many environmentalists see as linked to climate change has forced the end of a climate vigil in Boston. Some 200 people had participated in a round-the-clock vigil since last Tuesday to protest the lack of climate change in the presidential debate and call on Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren to discuss the issue during the final scheduled debate tomorrow. "The fact that this storm was made worse by climate change (is) not lost on us,'' said Vanessa Rule, a mother of two from Somerville...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy barrels toward Northeast; 'Get out before you can't'
LA Times: Hurricane Sandy churned the Atlantic Ocean as it barreled northward bringing fierce winds, drenching rains and flooding to the nation's Northeast, where officials warned residents to stay home and ordered those along coastlines to head to high ground. "Get out before you can't,' Connecticut's governor, Dannel Malloy, told residents of his state early Monday. New Jersey's Gov. Chris Christie was more blunt: "Don't be stupid. Get out.' Christie said Monday that there was already flooding along...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Little Attention To Climate Change In US Senate Race
WBUR: In the U.S. Senate contest between Republican incumbent Sen. Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, climate change has not been one of the hot topics. But a group of activists is holding vigil on City Hall Plaza in Boston to bring attention to the cause. Sunday was day six of the vigil, with two more to go. A bedraggled group of 50 or so climate change activists huddled under hooded raincoats and umbrellas. Marla Marcum stood a few steps above the crowd in front of a cardboard...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Thawing permafrost could lead to massive carbon release
TG Daily: As much as 44 billion tons of nitrogen and 850 billion tons of carbon stored in arctic permafrost could be released into the environment over the next century by the effects of global warming. This is roughly the amount of carbon stored in the atmosphere today, and its release could have a serious impact onecosystems, the atmosphere, and water resources including rivers and lakes. "This study quantifies the impact on Earth's two most important chemical cycles, carbon and nitrogen, from thawing...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Sandy and the real climate change question
Salon: While Hurricane Sandy batters increasing stretches of the East Coast, she has also thrown up somewhat of a false dichotomy question - "climate change or freak storm?" Climate scientists remain split on the debate of whether extreme weather can indicate a shifting global climate, as Tom Chivers of UK newspaper the Telegraph noted, "The answer is no, or yes, or better yet 'you`re asking the wrong question`." Succinctly, Chivers explains why Hurricane Sandy can neither be used to prove nor disprove...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Climate change: War on the poor
TomDispatch: In ancient China, the arrival of a new dynasty was accompanied by “the rectification of names,” a ceremony in which the sloppiness and erosion of meaning that had taken place under the previous dynasty were cleared up and language and its subjects correlated again. It was like a debt jubilee, only for meaning rather than money. This was part of what made Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign so electrifying: he seemed like a man who spoke our language and called many if not all things by...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
The Science Of Why Sandy Is Such A Dangerous Storm
National Public Radio: Here are a few reasons government forecasters at the National Hurricane Center and emergency management officials are so concerned about Sandy: 1. Sandy is one of the largest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S. Sandy's winds cover an area of more than 1,000 miles in diameter. That's enormous by hurricane standards. So instead of affecting an area a couple of hundred miles across, Sandy will cut a huge swath. That means many millions of people are probably going to be exposed to high winds, heavy...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Southeast Asia poised for an energy revolution
Nation: The world's energy system has bestowed great benefits on society, but it has also come with an expensive price tag: climate change due to human activities that led to the build-up of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The evidence of climate change is solid and humanity faces an increasing peril if we don't move decisively in the coming years from an economy based on fossil-fuels towards one that is based on cutting-edge renewable energy (RE) technologies. The impressive...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Wind is cheaper than new coal
Cape Times: Wind is the now the cheapest form of electricity generation, with an average price of 89c a kilowatt hour compared to 97c/kWh for Eskom's new coal-fired power stations. This was said by Roger Price, chief executive officer of Windlab, an international wind energy company that is investing in wind energy in South Africa. "The costs are unlikely to go up because, unlike coal, there are no input costs as wind is free,' Price said. When comparing the prices of electricity generation for wind and coal,...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Economic worries? It's the environment
Guardian: In recent weeks a slew of stories has hit the news about the soaring price of food, petrol and household energy – and the financial pressure this is putting on cash-strapped households. But as politicians scrabble around for the best short-term fix, a fundamental cause underpinning much of these economic woes is often overlooked. Under the bonnet, there's something big going on: we're damaging the planet and draining its resources, and it's starting to cost us big time. With growing confidence...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
London Array wind turbines generate first power
Press Association: The first power has been generated from the world's largest offshore windfarm, the companies behind the scheme said on Monday. The first phase of the London Array project, around 12 miles off the coasts of Kent and Essex in the Thames Estuary, will see 175 turbines generating enough power to supply more than 470,000 homes. Already 151 turbines have been installed since construction began in March 2011, and when the first phase is completed by the end of the year, the 630-megawatt scheme will...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Shale gas benefits called into question
Financial Times: The US shale gas boom is not curbing global greenhouse gas emissions as much as some of its proponents claim, according to a study by British climate change researchers. The reason is that although the so-called shale revolution has led to the US burning less coal, a far dirtier fossil fuel than natural gas, more American coal is being exported, so the overall benefits of switching fuels is not so great. The report is the latest in a stream of studies examining the environmental impact of natural...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
With All Eyes On Hurricane Sandy, A Good Time to Evaluate Micro-Grids
Forbes: The Weather Channel this morning reports on a “remarkable” storm “of potentially historic proportions,” as Sandy barrels north and the low out west prepares to join the party. It may be another ‘perfect storm,’ But we just had two historic storms last year in the northeast, with damage exceeding a billion dollars. Such storms wreak havoc on the electric grid, which is why a workshop I attended in Hartford, CT on “Micro-Grids in New England” seems particularly relevant. Micro-grids are independent...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Climate change raises stakes for New York
CNN: I spent much of Sunday in touch with a group of fellow researchers. Like myself, they are college professors who are interested in understanding how people respond to weather and climate. When we recognized last week that Hurricane Sandy was likely to make landfall rather than turning out to sea, we decided to conduct a telephone survey. On Friday, we began asking East Coast residents how likely they thought the storm was to strike, how dangerous it would be, and what steps they were taking...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Government mulls simplified road-pricing with 'two-tier' road tax
BusinessGreen: The government is reportedly considering a simplified version of road-pricing that would see the introduction of a "two-tier" road tax regime, allowing motorists to pay reduced Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) if they agree not to drive on the motorway network. Both the Telegraph and the Sunday Times reported that the proposals are being investigated as part of the joint feasibility study into new ownership and financing models for the road network being undertaken by the Department for Transport (DfT)...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Trenberth: Hurricane Sandy Mixes Super-Storm Conditions With Climate Change
ThinkProgress: As I write this, Hurricane Sandy remains a very large, powerful hurricane. On Sunday afternoon (local time), Sandy brought winds gusting to 103km/h to coastal North Carolina. Heavy rains are already occurring from North Carolina to New Jersey with amounts recorded of 4cm so far. But Sandy is predicted to turn left and move ashore on the Atlantic coast somewhat south of New York and north of Washington DC in a day or so. Rainfalls exceeding 15cm are likely in some areas, but a major risk is from...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Pinpoint global warming impacts on South Pacific rainfall
Summit Voice: While some weather observations and climate models suggest specific global warming impacts to southern hemisphere weather patterns, a new study by the International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa suggests rainfall will be affected by two competing factors. In the South Pacific, these two effects -- an increase due to overall warming and a decrease due to changes in atmospheric water transport -- may cancel each other out, resulting in highly uncertain rainfall projections....

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Two Degrees Clubs: How Small Groups of Countries Can Make a Big Difference on Climate Change
World Resources Institute: Two Degrees Clubs: How Small Groups of Countries Can Make a Big Difference on Climate Change | WRI Insights Follow WRI: Twitter Facebook Youtube LinkedIn RSS Home Projects Topics Experts Two Degrees Clubs: How Small Groups of Countries Can Make a Big Difference on Climate Change Submitted by Jennifer Morgan and Lutz Weischer on October 29, 2012 We are seeing a renewed interest in "clubs"--smaller groups of countries coming together to act on climate change. Photo credit: Flickr/Alex...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Robert Redford Cuts 5 Anti-Fracking Ads
EcoWatch: Academy Award winning director and actor Robert Redford hopes that more people will turn their attention to one of the most contentious environmental issues of our time--fracking. Fracking is the process of injecting millions of gallons of chemically laced fluids into underground rock formations to release natural gas or oil. To that end, this summer he taped a series of ads on the issue. Abundant shale gas reserves have been touted as a safe, clean energy supply that can help prevent climate...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
United Kingdom: 20 Climate Change Activists Shut Down UK’s Gas-Fired Power Plant
EcoWatch: This morning, more than 20 climate change activists evaded security to shut down the UK’s newest gas-fired power station. They climbed two smokestacks at EDF Energy’s West Burton plant in Nottinghamshire, England, and have abseiled down the insides of the chimneys. They are now setting up camp in tents suspended from ropes inside the flues. As long as they hold their position above the furnaces the plant is unable to operate. The occupation fires the starting gun on a huge nationwide battle over...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Barack Obama is the king of the 'Oil Presidents'
Post-Examiner: President Barack Obama spent his last campaign and his first term championing clean and renewable energy sources, but when it comes down to it, he could be considered the “oil president” just as easily. Since the Baltimore Post-Examiner already has run a story saying the president has won re-election, I can write this without too much concern about swaying any independent votes, which is not my intention. But we can’t ignore that the clean energy president, who has been vilified for various green...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Is Global Warming Happening Faster Than Expected?
Scientific American: Over the past decade scientists thought they had figured out how to protect humanity from the worst dangers of climate change. Keeping planetary warming below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) would, it was thought, avoid such perils as catastrophic sea-level rise and searing droughts. Staying below two degrees C would require limiting the level of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 450 parts per million (ppm), up from today's 395 ppm and the preindustrial era's 280 ppm....

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Words are the greatest weapon for political activists
Tom Dispatch: In ancient China, the arrival of a new dynasty was accompanied by "the rectification of names", a ceremony in which the sloppiness and erosion of meaning that had taken place under the previous dynasty were cleared up and language and its subjects correlated again. It was like a debt jubilee, only for meaning rather than money. This was part of what made Barack Obama's first presidential campaign so electrifying: he seemed like a man who spoke our language and called many if not all things by...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Atlas of health and climate launches new collaboration between public health and meteorological communities
Reuters: As the world's climate continues to change, hazards to human health are increasing. The Atlas of health and climate, published today jointly by WHO and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), illustrates some of the most pressing current and emerging challenges. Droughts, floods and cyclones affect the health of millions of people each year. Climate variability and extreme conditions such as floods can also trigger epidemics of diseases such as diarrhoea, malaria, dengue and meningitis, which...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Asia–Pacific Analysis: Solving the water dilemma
SciDevNet: The Pacific islands are surrounded by water, yet inhabitants face severe water shortages. Crispin Maslog highlights potential solutions. As we approach the end of the 'Water for Life' Decade in 2015, concerns over water availability in the Pacific island nations have taken an urgent turn. In October last year, big headlines about two idyllic South Pacific island nations, Tokelau and Tuvalu, which are facing a water crisis, made a splash in the Asia--Pacific region. After six months without...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
EU agrees strict limits on sulphur belching ships
Reuters: Tough new sulphur limits for shipping fuel will be phased in across EU waters as part of European Union efforts to free the air of toxic chemicals that shorten thousands of lives. EU environment ministers backed the rules on Monday, in a final stage of the process before official publication of the law. From 2015, the maximum sulphur content of shipping fuels will be cut by 90 percent to 0.1 percent in restricted Sulphur Emission Control Areas, which include some of Europe's busiest waters,...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
A Modest Hurricane Proposal for Honoring Climate Change Deniers
Huffington Post: For almost 70 years, we have given tropical cyclones names. We now, for example, are focused on Hurricane Sandy. The "S" in Sandy means that this is the 18th tropical storm of the season. Next year, the first ten will be named Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Ingrid and Jerry. This practice is, alas, boring and not the least bit instructive. We should turn to a much better option. Because the odds of extreme weather conditions have increased due to man-made...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Storm Gains Strength as It Churns North
New York Times: Hurricane Sandy grew stronger before dawn on Monday as it churned northward through the Atlantic Ocean en route to what forecasters agreed would be a devastating landfall, possibly within 100 miles of New York City. At 5 a.m., the huge storm was producing sustained winds of 85 miles an hour after turning due north, according to the National Hurricane Center. It was expected to veer again to the northwest later Monday morning and take dead aim at the coastline of New Jersey. With a wary eye on its...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Sandy Would Like To Hear Climate Change Discussed More: Seven And A Half Things To Know
Huffington Post: Thing One: Sandy Brings Climate Change Back To Campaign: If this morning's newsletter sounds a little panicky, that's because it is being typed to the sound of a freight train blowing through the treetops around 7.5 Things Headquarters in northern New Jersey, with the occasional accompaniment of an air-raid siren thrown in, for extra terror. Sandy, a monster storm stretching hundreds of miles across, is barreling slowly toward the area, threatening some 60 million people with walls of water along...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
The dash for gas is a dangerous gamble
Guardian: So, are the "No dash for gas" protesters perched atop the cooling towers of the new West Burton gas-fired power station in Nottinghamshire right? They argue: The new 'dash for gas' will leave us dependent on a highly polluting and increasingly expensive fossil fuel for decades to come. It would make even our modest carbon reduction targets impossible to hit, and cause household energy bills to soar even further. The answer is mostly yes, for reasons I'll explain below. So why is the new dash...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
New UN "atlas" links climate change, health
Associated Press: The two U.N. agencies for health and weather services have created a new "atlas" of scientific data that they say offers fresh evidence of the links between climate change to outbreaks of meningitis, malaria and other diseases. The World Health Organization director-general says the manual, which includes maps, tables and graphs, provides a practical guide to "climate-sensitive diseases" that decision-makers and leaders can use as a tool for prevention. Dr. Margaret Chan told reporters Monday in...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy causes evacuations, closings throughout East Coast
Washington Post: Hundreds of thousands of East Coast residents had moved to higher ground on Monday, and cities announced shutdowns that typically occur after several feet of snow, as the mammoth storm system known as Hurricane Sandy conspired to assault the most populous part of the United States. The Washington region’s entire public transit system — Metro, Virginia Railway Express and the Maryland Transportation System — ceased Monday operations, leaving residents to either drive themselves to work or stay home....

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Zimbabwe turns to drought-resistant crops
AlertNet: As planting season approaches amid concerns about successive poor harvests, research into drought-resistant seeds is gaining momentum in an indication that the Zimbabwean government is waking up to the reality of climate change. Earlier this month, the country's Meteorological Services Department announced that another drought is likely during what should be the rainy season. Zimbabwean farmers have suffered a succession of poor harvests with yields far below what the country needs, forcing...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Climate change protesters arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass
Telegraph: Nottinghamshire Police said climate change protesters had scaled buildings at West Burton Power Station after gaining access to the site at about 1.20am today. A police spokesman said: "Around ten (protesters) are thought to have climbed the water towers and have secured themselves to restrict their removal. "Searches are ongoing to find a number of other people who are also believed to have gained access to the site." One of the protesters said a total of 17 people had climbed two towers...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Community energy is on the up. But will the government hobble it?
Guardian: Last year, when I co-wrote a little book on community energy, it still felt like a niche topic. There was exciting stuff going on around the country but unless you happened to be involved in local green group or living somewhere such as Settle then you probably wouldn't have heard about it. Even if you had, there wouldn't necessarily have be an easy way for you to invest. In the past couple of months, though, a host of new websites and projects have appeared, suggesting that community energy is quickly...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Climate activists occupy West Burton gas power station
Guardian: Around 20 climate change protesters have seriously disrupted operations at one of the UK's new generation of gas-fired power stations at West Burton in Nottinghamshire. Police have made five arrests but climbing parties from the campaign group No Dash for Gas successfully scaled two 91m (300ft) concrete cooling towers overnight, securing themselves on ledges with supplies for a week. One of the group tweeted exuberantly with accompanying pictures: "Guess where we woke up this morning! Dawn...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Big Coal Is Putting Climate Targets Hopelessly Out Of Reach
Guardian: Coal is enjoying a renaissance, with the highest consumption of the fuel since the late 1960s. The unexpected development threatens to put climate change targets out of reach -- and much of the reason is the rise of a supposedly "green" fuel, natural gas. The controversial use of shale gas in the US, where it now makes up a quarter of electricity generation, has brought down carbon emissions there -- but the greenhouse gases have simply been exported elsewhere, meaning no net gain for the planet,...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
As Hurricane Sandy looms, Obama breaks climate change silence
BusinessGreen: President Obama broke his recent silence on climate change policy late last week, stressing there was a "huge contrast" between his commitment to tackling climate change issues and the Republicans' rejection of climate science. Obama has faced criticism from green businesses and NGOs in recent weeks, after climate change failed to appear in any of the three presidential debates, making it the first time since 1984 that the issue has not been aired in the formal pre-election debates. Speaking...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
'Green projects contributed to sustainable development'
Indo-Asian News Service: Ninety-six percent of Indian industry believes the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) - investment in emission reduction projects - has contributed to sustainable development in the country, according to a survey released Thursday. The FICCI survey titled 'Impacts, Governance and Future of CDM - Indian Industry Perspective' found that amongst the investments made on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, as many as 48 percent of respondents have made investments in energy efficiency projects...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Indonesia: Green film portrays the plight of Merbabu farmers
Jakarta Post: For many people, especially those living in the most remote villages of Indonesia, climate change is unlikely be a familiar term, despite their daily struggles against the incomprehensible changes to the seasons. An internationally acclaimed documentary made by Indonesian film director Shalahuddin Siregar entitled Negeri di Bawah Kabut (The Land Beneath the Fog), intimately captures the daily lives of two humble farming families living in Genikan village on the slopes of Mount Merbabu in Central...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
'New Zealand may quit Kyoto'
Dominion Post: New Zealand has been tipped to quit the Kyoto Protocol, designed to cut global emissions. Government officials next month travel to Doha in Qatar for the latest round of negotiations on the treaty, but with less than four weeks before the summit, acting Climate Change Minister Simon Bridges says the Government has "not made a decision" on its commitment. "My understanding is that decisions have yet to be made on that matter," he said. But the actions of participants in the carbon market,...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
In aftermath of drought, U.S. corn movement turns upside down
Reuters: The devastating U.S. drought and ensuing crop disease are upending traditional grain movement patterns, with dozens of trains and barges shipping North Dakota or Mississippi corn into the Corn Belt rather than out to the coasts. Processors and ethanol producers in No. 2 corn state Illinois, where the average corn yield was the lowest in nearly 25 years, are "importing" millions of bushels of the grain - an unprecedented volume - from North Dakota, which produced a record crop this year, trade...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
East Coast Grinds To Halt As Superstorm Bears Down
Associated Press: Hurricane Sandy bore down on the Eastern Seaboard's largest cities Monday, forcing the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds, soaking rain and a surging wall of water up to 11 feet tall. Sandy strengthened before dawn and stayed on a predicted path toward Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York - putting it on a collision course with two other weather systems that would create a superstorm...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Land deals in Africa have led to a wild west – bring on the sheriff, says FAO
Guardian: Amid warnings that land deals are undermining food security, the head of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has compared "land grabs" in Africa to the "wild west", saying a "sheriff" is needed to restore the rule of law. José Graziano da Silva, the FAO's director general, conceded it was not possible to stop large investors buying land, but said deals in poor countries needed to be brought under control. "I don't see that it's possible to stop it. They are private investors,"...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Five protesters held at West Burton power station
Press Association: Five climate change protesters have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass at the site of a gas-fired power station. Nottinghamshire police said some of those involved in the protest had scaled buildings at West Burton power station after gaining access to the site at about 1.20am. A police spokesman said: "Around 10 are thought to have climbed the water towers and have secured themselves to restrict their removal. Searches are ongoing to find a number of other people who are also...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Why Saudi Arabia is taking a shine to solar
Christian Science Monitor: Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, an important member of the Saudi royal family, announced last week that his hope was that Saudi Arabia would replace 100 percent of its power generation with renewables within his lifetime. This follows public announcements earlier in the year that the kingdom was in the process of raising $109 billion in investments for solar power and was already in the process of constructing 100 megawatts of solar generation in Mecca as part of a larger renewable energy plan for...

Tue, 30 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy expected to stun US and be a climate change reminder
Times of India: The United States, at least the eastern seaboard of the country, is under attack. Not from Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela or any of the usual suspects. The offender who dares to assault the world's only superpower is a hurricane, innocuously named Sandy. Sandy though is an overgrown progenitor of Mother Nature, who no one messes with; not even a superpower. As if to remind US Presidential candidates that it is not a good idea to put global warming -- or human aggravated climate change -- on...

Sat, 27 Oct 12
What's A Lake Doing In The Middle Of The Desert?
National Public Radio: One place you don't expect to see waves lapping against the shore is in the middle of a desert. But that's exactly what's happening deep inside the United Arab Emirates, where a recently formed lake is nestled into the sand dunes, and a new ecosystem is emerging. Drive through the desert in the United Arab Emirates, and all you see mile after mile are red, rolling dunes. Maybe some occasional trees or shrubs, but otherwise a dry, red sandscape. And then, suddenly, a bright blue spot comes into...

Sat, 27 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy: 41 dead as as authorities declare state of emergency
Guardian: A state of emergency was declared in some areas along the US east coast on Friday as experts warned Hurricane Sandy could contribute to a storm of "historic" proportions. The hurricane left 41 people dead as it passed through the Caribbean and headed north. Sandy could strike the US coastline anywhere between Virginia and Massachusetts as early as Monday. Meteorologists warned that weather conditions could be complicated as Sandy is expected to meet two separate weather systems somewhere over...

Sat, 27 Oct 12
Has climate change created a monster?
Climate Science Watch: To adapt a famous quote on another subject: you may not be interested in climate change, but climate change is interested in you. While both presidential candidates and moderators of the debates have taken criticism for avoiding the subject of climate change, it may not be that easy for residents on the U.S. East Coast to avoid the effects of the "Frankenstorm" -- Hurricane Sandy. I can see it now, a few decades in the future. It’s Halloween 2075 and a little girl walks up to a home in a Philadelphia...

Sat, 27 Oct 12
Exposing REDD: The False Climate Solution
YouTube: Do you know about REDD? The Mending News checks in with IEN (Indigenous Environmental Network) Executive Director, Tom Goldtooth, to get the download on the real story of REDD, the deceptive climate 'solution' proposed by the UN. It sounds good on paper "Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries" but the reality is that REDD enforces the global colonization of mother earth and a stolen future.

Sat, 27 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy looks as the 'Bride of Frankenstorm' Approaching U.S. East Coast
ScienceDaily: NASA's TRMM satellite revealed Hurricane Sandy's heavy rainfall and the storm is expected to couple with a powerful cold front and Arctic air to bring that heavy rainfall to the Mid-Atlantic and northeastern U.S. Some forecasters are calling this combination of weather factors "Frankenstorm" because of the close proximity to Halloween. However, because Sandy is a woman's name, the storm could be considered a "bride of Frankenstorm." NASA satellites have provided forecasters at the National Hurricane...

Sat, 27 Oct 12
Climate change mitigation 'far cheaper than inaction'
SciDevNet: Tackling the global climate crisis could reap significant economic benefits for both developed and developing countries, according to a new report. The impacts of climate change and a carbon-intensive economy cost the world around US$1.2 trillion a year -- 1.6 per cent of the total global GDP (gross domestic product), states 'Climate Vulnerability Monitor: A Guide to the Cold Calculus of A Hot Planet'. For this reason, "adapting to climate change is very likely a cost-effective investment in almost...

Sat, 27 Oct 12
U.S. East Coast battens down ahead of Hurricane Sandy
Reuters: Virginia declared a state of emergency on Friday, neighboring states readied utility crews and New York City said it may shut down mass transit as authorities along the U.S. East Coast prepared for a potential pounding from Hurricane Sandy. From the Carolinas to Maine, municipal authorities kept a close watch on forecasts tracking the shifting path of the fierce "Frankenstorm," which could come ashore Monday with heavy rain, storm surges and possibly near hurricane-force winds. In New York...

Sat, 27 Oct 12
The Real Frankenstorm
Huffington Post: As forecasters in the Northeast predict a major storm they have labeled "Frankenstorm" -- the confluence of Hurricane Sandy with other weather conditions -- another, less visible perfect storm with potentially much more devastating consequences has been developing throughout the last few decades. Climate change and its resulting dramatic consequences remain a footnote in political discourse as discussion of effective climate policy has been squashed by the radical right and ignored by the media....

Sat, 27 Oct 12
Climate Change and Mideast Insecurity: The Hidden Connection
Huffington Post: The remarkable silence of this year's presidential candidates on the issue of global warming was all the more notable during Monday's debate on foreign policy. For all the talk of violent threats to American security in Syria and North Africa, neither candidate connected them to a powerful contributing cause: climate change. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration concluded in 2011 that "human-caused climate change [is now] a major factor in more frequent Mediterranean droughts." That...

Sat, 27 Oct 12
Hurricane Sandy Aims For East Coast As a ‘Frankenstorm’
Climate Central: As Category 2 Hurricane Sandy continues to lash the Bahamas with strong winds, heavy rain, and a damaging storm surge, computer models were projecting even more dire scenarios for locations along the East Coast of the U.S. from Virginia north to Maine, with an intense, perhaps even historic, storm making landfall there early next week. Most projections from Thursday were indicating that Sandy will slam much of the northeastern corridor, home to about 50 million people, not to mention billions in...

Sat, 27 Oct 12
Historic ‘Frankenstorm’ Aimed At Mid-Atlantic, Northeast
Climate Central: Hurricane Sandy is evolving into a potentially unprecedented storm, nicknamed "Frankenstorm,' and is headed for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, where it threatens to cause widespread damage that will rival some of the biggest storms on record in the region. The storm, which has already killed at least 29 people in the Caribbean and Bahamas, will be part hurricane, part fearsome nor'easter, and is expected to bring tropical storm force winds to a wide swath of the coastline, from North Carolina northward...

Sat, 27 Oct 12
Sandy Is a Truly Unusual Event, Worthy of Our Attention
Climate Central: Sandy has already begun to expand as it loses some of its tropical characteristics, and this expansion should continue. The National Hurricane Center is currently predicting that Sandy will retain enough tropical character to still be a hurricane as it makes its approach to the coast, but the storm should be large enough that gale-force winds will cover a wide area. The exact path will determine which locations are subject to the heaviest rains and most severe coastal flooding. The latter will be...

Sat, 27 Oct 12
EU environment ministers clash over carbon plans
Reuters: EU environment ministers clashed over a huge surplus of UN pollution permits, a technical spat with the potential to derail international efforts to tackle climate change. Settling the issue is crucial to UN environment talks in Doha, beginning next month, which will seek to hammer out the detail of a second phase of climate action after the first Kyoto commitment period expires at the end of this year. "There is no agreement in sight," an EU official said on Thursday, speaking on condition...

Sat, 27 Oct 12
Flood-hit Pakistan moves toward disaster insurance
AlertNet: Hussain Khan lost everything in the 2010 floods that swept through Pakistan: His two children, his home on the banks of the Swat River, his dozens of cattle, sheep and goats, and his six-acre cherry crop. Today the 43-year-old farmer, the sole breadwinner for a family of 10, works as a motel waiter in Mingora, a bustling town in the Swat Valley, some 160 kms (100 miles) northwest of Pakistan's capital city Islamabad. He is grateful to no longer be begging to survive, but he doubts he will recover...

Sat, 27 Oct 12
Canada: Haida Gwaii experiment may embolden others, critic warns
Canadian Press: A small British Columbia First Nation making waves around the world with a controversial experiment in the Pacific Ocean is on the front lines of climate change, critics admit. And as the fears of global warming grow, there is a risk that potentially dangerous geoengineer-ing experiments like the ocean fertilization carried out off the islands of Haida Gwaii will be unleashed as a quick fix, warns Jim Thomas, spokesman for Montreal-based ETC Group, a geo-engineering watchdog. "In desperate...

Sat, 27 Oct 12
Cutting Carbon: Is Europe's Emissions Trading System Broken?
Spiegel: Emitting CO2 into the atmosphere is dirt cheap in Europe these days. At just 8 euros per ton, the low price is undermining the European Union's effort to establish an effective cap and trade system. Implementing necessary fixes to the system, however, won't be easy in the face of industry opposition. Europe's carbon market is in deep trouble and it's not just environmentalists sounding the alarm. Back in April, the CEO of Shell said that the European Union's system for trading allowances for the...

Sat, 27 Oct 12
Shale oil and gas boom puts global warming issue on the back burner
South China Morning Post: A technological revolution is transforming the world's energy landscape as we move from an expectation of shortages of oil and gas to a new era of abundance. The development of natural gas from shale, that has already taken off in the US, and a variety of technologies are creating new options for oil development, so much so that the notion of peak oil has vanished from the conversation. We can expect some consequences. Chief among them is the fact that, as energy gets more abundant, the incentives...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
Experts fear Hurricane Sandy could do more damage than Irene
Reuters: As Hurricane Sandy makes its way toward the eastern seaboard of the United States, disaster experts and meteorologists warn that the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states face dangerous winds and heavy rains that could trigger flooding in the coming days. Some forecasters even say that Sandy has the potential to be a multibillion dollar disaster greater than last year's Hurricane Irene, though it may be too soon to tell if it has the power and trajectory to fulfill that worst-case scenario. There...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
EU environment ministers clash over "hot air"
Reuters: EU environment ministers clashed over a huge surplus of U.N. pollution permits, a technical spat with the potential to derail international efforts to tackle climate change. Settling the issue is crucial to U.N. environment talks in Doha, beginning next month, which will seek to hammer out the detail of a second phase of climate action after the first Kyoto commitment period expires at the end of this year. "There is no agreement in sight," an EU official said on Thursday, speaking on condition...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
BP caps dome believed to be source of oil sheen
Associated Press: BP PLC said Thursday it has capped and plugged an abandoned piece of equipment that is believed to be the source of a sheen spotted near the site of its massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The London-based oil giant said it placed a 750-pound cap over an 86-ton steel container that the company had deployed in a failed effort to contain the spill. BP also inserted plugs on the top and sides of the container, which had been lowered over a leaking drill pipe in an effort to funnel oil to...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
Cameroon urged to reduce disaster risk after northern floods
AlertNet: Following severe flooding in the north of Cameroon, the country is being urged by the United Nations to take steps to reduce disaster risks in the face of extreme weather. Three weeks of heavy rain in August in the North region caused the partial collapse of the Lagdo dam and the overflow of the Benue River, triggering deadly flooding in some 15 villages of both Cameroon and Nigeria. According to UN reports, 30 people died and 60,000 were displaced in Cameroon's North and Far North regions,...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
Rains help shrink drought but High Plains still parched
Reuters: Many areas of the drought-stricken United States continued to see improvement over the last week as steady rains started recharging parched soils, but for key agricultural areas of the U.S. Heartland, there was little relief, according to a climatology report issued Thursday. "We've seen some improvement ... but the impact of the drought and the dryness is far from over," said Brian Fuchs, a climatologist at the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Roughly 61.79...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
France: No damage from leak at Flamanville nuclear reactor
Reuters: A contained radioactive water leak detected at EDF's Flamanville nuclear plant did not cause any damage to the environment or harm any employees, France's nuclear safety watchdog ASN and EDF said on Thursday. The nuclear safety agency said on its website EDF had detected a leak in a water pipe that feeds the plant's reactor 1 primary circuit late on Wednesday. It was stopped and did not cause any radioactive contamination. The incident was defined as a grade 1 incident on the international...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
Where to put Fukushima's radioactive water?
MSNBC: Japan's crippled nuclear power plant is struggling to find space to store tens of thousands of tons of highly contaminated water used to cool the broken reactors, the manager of the water treatment team said. About 200,000 tons of radioactive water -- enough to fill more than 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools -- are being stored in hundreds of gigantic tanks built around the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. Operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. has already chopped down trees to make room for more tanks and...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
Solar islands floated as clean energy source for crowded continents
BusinessGreen: Global consultancy and certification firm DNV has unveiled designs for floating solar arrays that could rival offshore wind farms. The plans envisage a group of hexagonal artificial islands linked together and supporting 4,200 solar photovoltaic panels across an area the size of a football stadium. Multiple islands connected together could then make up a solar field of 50MW or more, producing enough electricity for 30,000 people. The concept, dubbed SUNdy, is made possible using 560W thin film...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
China lifts nuclear power ban in attempt to accelerate emissions reduction
BusinessGreen: The Chinese government has released a new nuclear strategy, confirming that it has lifted the moratorium on new nuclear plants imposed in the wake of the Fukushima disaster and expects a "small number" of new coastal nuclear reactors to be approved before 2015. The cabinet yesterday approved a package of new nuclear safety and inspection rules, which would ensure all new plants would be restricted to coastal areas and forced to comply with "third generation safety standards". The new standards...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
Rapid Thinning of Glaciers Seen After Collapse of Antarctic Ice Shelf
Yale Environment 360: NASA has released satellite photos that vividly depict the precipitous thinning and retreat of two Antarctic glaciers following the disintegration of the Larsen B Ice Shelf. That ice shelf -- which floated on top of the Weddell Sea and once was the size of Connecticut -- collapsed in 2002 after several years of warm summer temperatures. The Larsen B had acted as a buttress slowing the flow of numerous glaciers into the sea. The NASA satellite images, taken in 2002 and in 2012, demonsrate how swiftly...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
Sign on now, UN climate chief says
WA Today: THE United Nations climate chief has called on Australia to sign up to a new round of the greenhouse-gas-limiting Kyoto Protocol, saying it already has significant clean-energy policies in place. EU likely to exceed Kyoto carbon-cut target ''From a national perspective it wouldn't change that much what Australia is already doing,'' the head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, said in Sydney. ''It would send a very clear message internationally that what...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
A call for climate diplomacy
Trinidad Express: IT'S an issue noticeably absent from the US presidential election but climate change and its effects are felt everywhere. So pressing are the economic, social and environmental effects of climate change that there is an urgent need for the world's governments, particularly foreign ministries, to engage in climate diplomacy to avert future crises, warn representatives from Adelphi. According to its website, Adelphi is a think tank that offers creative solutions and services on global environment...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
Old ship logs seen holding Arctic clues
Reuters: A project to help track Arctic climate change using volunteers to transcribe US ship logs online was launched on Wednesday by the National Archives and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Using citizen scientists to transcribe thousands of pages of logbooks from Navy, Coast Guard and other ships from 1850 to World War Two will fill a big data gap, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco said. Scientists in recent decades have gotten weather data from satellites and ground...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
EU likely to exceed Kyoto carbon-cut target
Bloomberg: European Union governments will probably reduce emissions outside the bloc`s carbon market by 8.8 per cent more than required under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, according to projections published today on an EU website. The oversupply of reductions among the 15 older members of the bloc will amount to 1.03 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in the five years through 2012 compared with a limit of 11.8 billion tons, according to the data. That includes 419 million tons of United Nations...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
Utah board backs first US oil sands project
Associated Press: Utah gave its final approval Wednesday for the nation's first commercial tar sands project, handing a victory to a Canadian company that aims to start producing 2,000 barrels of oil next year in the start of what could grow into a much larger operation. The Utah Water Quality Board upheld the decision of state regulators and turned back an appeal from a Moab-based environmental group that vows to take up its fight in the state courts. Living Rivers has fought the project every step of the way,...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
Pacific Ocean hacker speaks out
Scientific American: This past July Russ George served as chief scientist on a cruise to fertilize the northeastern Pacific Ocean with iron—the latest in a long string of similar, and usually controversial, efforts he has led. He has been attempting to commercialize such ocean fertilization efforts for years, including setting up the failed company Planktos. In parallel, he has also been promoting plans to generate carbon credits for companies and governments, allowing them to emit greenhouse gases in exchange for replanting...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
Canada: Can controversial ocean iron fertilization save salmon?
Scientific American: In a bid to restore lost fish abundance, the Haida Salmon Restoration Corp. (HSRC) undertook to mimic the effects of a volcanic eruption by fertilizing the ocean with iron. The idea was to provide the missing nutrient for a plankton bloom that would then trickle up the food web and restore salmon—with the ancillary effects of gathering data on the ocean food web and, potentially, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. "What if this is a means by which ocean pastures can be stewarded and...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
Energy independence for US? Try energy security
National Public Radio: Gone from this year's presidential campaign are most mentions of climate change, environmental pollution, or green jobs. Former Gov. Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee, prefers to call attention instead to the country's continuing dependence on foreign energy sources. "I will set a national goal of North American energy independence by the year 2020," Romney declared in August. The line is now a standard part of Romney's stump speech, and he repeated it in his first two debates with...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
Monterey climate-change workshop looks at the latest shoreline impacts
Monterey County Weekly: A sand-mining operation in Marina is chewing at the southern Monterey Bay shoreline, and the West Coast sea level is rising faster than we thought. This is among the evidence that climate change is here, and our policies have a lot of catching up to do. Last December, the Monterey-based Center for Ocean Solutions initiated that regional conversation with a workshop on climate change impacts on the Monterey Bay coast. This Thursday, Oct. 25, it’s inviting local science and policy leaders back for...

Fri, 26 Oct 12
David Attenborough: US politicians duck climate change because of cost
Guardian: The broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough says scientists and environmentalists have been cautious of overstating the dangers of global warming Link to this video One of the world's leading naturalists has accused US politicians of ducking the issue of climate change because of the economic cost of tackling it and warned that it would take a terrible example of extreme weather to wake people up to the dangers of global warming. Speaking just days after the subject of climate change...

Thu, 25 Oct 12
Green Energy Would Save EU trillions by 2050
Reuters: A green revolution to make EU energy almost totally carbon-free by 2050 would generate 3 trillion euros ($3.9 trillion) in fuel savings, a report commissioned by environmental campaigners said. The energy shift would already create around half a million extra jobs by 2020, researchers from German aerospace centre DLR, which also specialises in energy and transport, found. The European Union has legislated to ensure that 20 percent of the energy mix is green by 2020, as part of a set of three main...

Thu, 25 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Is the Chancellor preparing to cap new onshore wind farms?
BusinessGreen: Negotiations over the precise content of the Energy Bill could yet result in a cap being placed on new onshore wind farm developments, according to reports in The Times. Columnist Rachel Sylvester yesterday reported that a "possible compromise" between Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey and Chancellor George Osborne was on the cards, which could see the Lib Dem agree to a limit on the expansion of onshore wind farms in return for a "wider Treasury commitment on funding" for low carbon...

Thu, 25 Oct 12
India's grid expansion erodes island solar scheme
AlertNet: Eight years ago, Sagar Island in the Bay of Bengal was a shining example of India's efforts to power remote, impoverished areas with solar energy. But a government decision to hook up the island with the electric grid has left the solar scheme in tatters. Between 2000 and 2004, a range of solar power systems - including household photovoltaic panels, home and street lighting, and mini grids - were installed on Sagar with large state subsidies. The government also helped cover generation and distribution...

Thu, 25 Oct 12
Italy faces huge fines over illegal landfills
Reuters: The European Commission asked the EU courts on Wednesday to impose huge fines on Italy over its failure to clean up hundreds of illegal waste landfill sites. The EU's executive asked the European Court of Justice to impose a lump-sum fine of 56 million euros ($73 million), plus a daily fine of 256,819 euros until Italy complies with a 2007 ruling ordering it to resolve the problem. "While some significant progress has been made, it is clear that problems persist in almost all Italian regions....

Thu, 25 Oct 12
China to approve only "small amount" of nuclear reactors before 2015
Reuters: China will restrict the number of new nuclear reactor approvals to a "small amount" before 2015, and will only allow them to be built in coastal regions, the government said on Wednesday. At a meeting of the State Council chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao, the Chinese government passed new nuclear safety and industry development plans which raised the safety standards for the nuclear sector. According to a statement issued on official government website www.gov.cn, China will use only "the highest...

Thu, 25 Oct 12
China to encourage private investment in energy: white paper
Reuters: China will seek to encourage more private investment in its state-dominated energy sector, according to a new industry white paper published by official news agency Xinhua on Wednesday. China is preparing for a once-in-a-decade leadership transition in November, and its new leaders are widely expected to push for the sort of market-oriented reforms that will break up monopolies in sectors such as energy. The new policy document said China planned to "give full play to the fundamental role of...

Thu, 25 Oct 12
Malaria study challenges warmer world predictions
New Scientist: A world with "rampant" malaria transmission is often seen as an inevitable consequence of global warming. But a new study radically challenges existing ideas of how the disease will spread with rising temperatures. Previous models have predicted that the optimal temperature for transmission is 31 °C. The new model suggests this is 25 °C. It also suggests that transmission would drastically decrease above 28 °C. "Past models showed the whole world was going to light up with malaria - it was...

Thu, 25 Oct 12
EU: Spain, Italy putting EU emissions cuts at risk
Associated Press: Debt-ridden Spain and Italy could hinder the European Union from achieving its goal of cutting greenhouse emissions under an international climate pact, the EU's environmental agency said Wednesday. The EU considers itself at the forefront of the fight against climate change and as a bloc it's on track to meet its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, which limits the emissions of gases that warm the planet. But the 15 countries that were EU members when the 1997 pact was adopted must also...

Thu, 25 Oct 12
Presidential debates offered nothing on climate change
Wichita Eagle: For the first time since the topic surfaced in a presidential race in 1988, nominees made no mention of climate change during the prime-time television debates this year between the presidential contenders themselves or their running mates. Debate moderators also chose not to ask President Obama or former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney about the issue, despite a clamor by climate activists and some not-so-gentle prodding on the part of pundits and scientists. The national hush on climate change...

Thu, 25 Oct 12
Pollution as big a health problem as malaria or TB, finds report
Guardian: Waste from mining, lead smelters, industrial dumps and other toxic sites affects the health of an estimated 125 million people in 49 low- and middle-income countries. This unrecognised health burden is on the scale of malaria or tuberculosis (TB), a new report has found. This year's World's worst pollution problems (pdf) report was published on Tuesday by the Blacksmith Institute in partnership with Green Cross Switzerland. It documents, for the first time, the public health impact of industrial...

Thu, 25 Oct 12
US downplayed effect of Deepwater on whales, emails reveal
Guardian: A cache of newly uncovered documents from the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – including gruesome photographs of a dead whale – are raising questions about the environmental cost of the disaster and the price tag the oil company will have to pay to set it right. Documents, obtained by the campaign group Greenpeace under freedom of information provisions and made available to the Guardian, offer a rare glimpse into how many whales came into close contact with the gushing BP well during...

Thu, 25 Oct 12
Liquid metal battery: Can we invent our way out of climate trouble?
Christian Science Monitor: After President Obama and Mitt Romney spent three presidential debates steering clear of climate change, there was plenty of hand-wringing among the pundits. The candidates were letting down the electorate. The nation needs serious discussion about the looming challenge. But what would happen if the solution to climate change turned out to be, well, sort of fun? What if an inventor went on, say, The Colbert Report, and told the audience he had a neat solution for America's dependence on fossil...

Thu, 25 Oct 12
Carbon traders prepare for global market expansion
BusinessGreen: The International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) has today launched an initiative designed to ensure businesses are adequately prepared for the rollout of new carbon markets in countries around the world. The new Business Partnership for Market Readiness (B-PMR) will run alongside the World Bank's Partnership for Market Readiness initiative, which provides funding and technical assistance to help developing countries devise carbon trading schemes. Up to 15 developing countries are currently...

Thu, 25 Oct 12
Gas flaring target of London conference
BBC: A conference in London on Wednesday aims to press oil firms to reduce gas flaring - the burning of natural gas at oil production sites. Flaring mostly happens in remote areas where gas at the surface as an oil by-product cannot be brought to consumers. The World Bank says $50bn (£31bn) in fuel goes up in polluting smoke yearly. It says countries are starting to clamp down, but should do more. Friends of the Earth says flaring should be banned entirely. The conference convenes the Global...

Thu, 25 Oct 12
Climate Change Minister reacts to carbon tax inflation claims
Australian Broadcasting Corporation: Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Greg COmbet joins us to respond to claims a 1.4 per cent rise in the Consumer Proce Index is due to post-carbon tax electricity and gas prices.

Thu, 25 Oct 12
Bigger Than Either of Them?
New York Times: “DRILL, baby, drill.” It is among the best-remembered lines of the 2008 presidential campaign, colorfully capturing the desire of many Americans for cheap, reliable energy produced at home rather than in unpredictable places like Iran or Venezuela. No slogan in the current presidential campaign has emerged to match it, but energy has taken center stage again as an issue that encompasses concerns about the environment and national security, and now, even more pressingly, economic revival. Presidential...

Thu, 25 Oct 12
Africans demand fairness in global climate change fight
Press TV: African civil society organization are blaming the developed countries in the west for putting forward their selfish interests instead of minding the whole globe as far as mitigating the climate change risks is concerned They have now launched their own demands that they want the oncoming climate change conference in Doha Qatar to address, if Africa is to benefit. The global climate change convention slated for 26th November to 7th December is expected to effect more measures to ensure that the globe...

Thu, 25 Oct 12
EU needs to decide carbon reform "without delay": draft
Reuters: A rapid rise in surplus EU carbon credits is expected to slow from 2014 onwards, but to tackle a short-term glut member states need to decide before the end of the year on a temporary fix, a European Commission draft document said. The draft report on the carbon market also called on the member states to discuss and explore options for more lasting changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) after allowance prices hit a record low in April. It urged the Climate Change Committee "to decide...

Thu, 25 Oct 12
Will designation of new administrative districts lead to more deforestation in Indonesia?
Mongabay: On Monday Indonesia's House of Representatives moved to establish "North Kalimantan", a new province in Indonesian Borneo. It also voted for four new districts: Pangandaran in West Java, South Coast in Lampung (Sumatra), and South Manokwari and Arfak Mountains in West Papua (New Guinea). While the moves aim to improve governance by boosting local autonomy, they could make it more difficult for Indonesia to meet its deforestation reduction goals if recent trends - detailed in a 2011 academic paper...

Thu, 25 Oct 12
Canadian Government Continues to Choose Dirty Energy Over Democracy
EcoWatch: On Oct. 22, more than 3,000 people braved the rain and cold on the front lawn of the legislature of British Columbia to protest the Northern Gateway pipeline project. Why, when so many people oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project, would government and industry resort to such extreme measures to push it through? The problems with the plan to run pipelines from the Alberta tar sands across northern B.C. to load unrefined, diluted bitumen onto supertankers for export to China and...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Impoverished Niger creates fund to fight desert spread
Reuters: Niger said on Monday it will launch a $110 million project to counter the impact of rapid expansion of deserts and increasingly unpredictable rains in one of the world's poorest countries. "The programme aims to test strategies that will help us integrate climate risk and adapt climate change into our national planning," Abdou Souley, spokesman for Niger's planning and community development ministry, said. The five-year programme aims to improve community use of water resources and alter herding...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Ignoring Climate Change and Global Warming
Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Last week, 350.org sent out an “email pointing out that 270 minutes of Presidential debate had passed without a single mention of the words ‘climate change.’ If the candidates don`t speak up tonight, this will be the first time since 1988 that climate change hasn`t been discussed in a Presidential debate. “ It’s at 360 minutes now. With the fossil fuel industry blocking progress our politicians won`t even mention the words "climate change" - ExxonMobil PAC and Koch Industries PAC spent a over...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Sierra Club chief says 'reasonable' Republicans doomed
Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Whatever happened to Massachusetts "green" Gov. Mitt Romney, who once championed a regional climate initiative and staged a photo op in front of a coal plant to decry its dirty emissions and tout clean energy? "Go to OpenSecrets.org and look at his contributor base, which is filled with money from executives within fossil fuel industries, and there`s a second reason: It is almost impossible for a thoughtful, reasonable person to make it through the Republican primaries," Michael Brune, executive...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Can cities be both “resilient” and “sustainable”?
Scientific American: This article arises from Future Tense, a partnership of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State University. On the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 24, Future Tense and Scientific American will be hosting an event in New York City on building resilient cities. To learn more and to RSVP, visit the New America Foundation website. If you`ve successfully flushed a toilet recently, then you appreciate (at least subconsciously) the workings of a good sewer system. Waste disappears, no matter...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
US Presidential Debates’ Great Unmentionable: Climate Change
Guardian: The Pentagon ranks it as a national security threat and, left unchecked, climate change is expected to cost the US economy billions of dollars every year – and yet it has proved the great unmentionable of this election campaign. Amid unprecedented melting of the Arctic summer sea ice, new temperature records in the US and a historic drought, the last of three presidential debates wound up on Monday night without Barack Obama or Mitt Romney ever uttering the words climate change. It was the...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
United States: Governor's race brings rare climate discussion
Crosscut: This election season it's unusual for candidates in any race to talk about clean energy as a solution to the jobs crisis let alone the climate crisis. The Washington state governor's race gets about as close as any to talking about the issues. Jay Inslee, the Democratic candidate in the Washington governor's race, has a long track record in championing renewable energy and environmental protections. During the Bush administration, then-Congressman Inslee introduced the New Apollo Energy Act, a...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
A Look at Climate Silence and the Romney-Obama Debates
New York Times: Below you can see my two-slide Powerpoint explanation for the presidential debates` resounding #climatesilence (that`s the Twitter hashtag for the failed push to get global warming on the debate agenda). Try to find slide one - depicting the online tussle over climate science and policy - within slide two, which places the first issue in the flow of the moment`s news (via the fascinating newsmap.jp Web site): Obviously, Bob Schieffer could have slipped in a reference to climate in various ways,...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
14 Activists Arrested Protesting Coal in South Africa
Greenpeace Africa: Fourteen activists including groundWork's Bobby Peek, Earthlife`s Makoma Lekalakala and Greenpeace Africa's Melita Steele have been arrested while protesting at the Eskom megawatt park. Today, three campaigning organizations joined forces to put South Africa’s energy utility, Eskom, under "new management." Activists confronted the utility to publicly highlight that Eskom has failed to deliver clean, affordable, accessible electricity to the people of this country, and demand a shift away from coal....

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Coal Exports Booming at U.S. Taxpayers’ Expense
ThinkProgress: Here’s an energy-related foreign policy issue that isn’t getting any campaign attention: Coal exports are booming, fueling a surge in global warming pollution--and American taxpayers are picking up a good portion of the tab. The latest figures from the Energy Information Administration shows just how strongly coal exports have risen. Boosted by growing demand in Asia, the U.S. is on track to ship record amounts of coal overseas this year, surpassing the previous all-time high set in 1981. If...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Canada: Thousands Say No to Northern Gateway Pipeline
EcoWatch: And so they came in their thousands to gather on the front lawn of the legislature of British Columbia yesterday to protest against the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline. More than 3,000 people braved the rain and cold to protest against the Northern Gateway, which is planned to take the dirty tar sands from Alberta through the forests of British Columbia to the west coast of Canada. At the end of the protest they unfurled a black banner which was 235 metres long, the same length as an...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
MUST SEE TV Ad Reveals the True Costs of Fracking
EcoWatch: As scientists and physicians continue outlining the disastrous health impacts of fracking, New Yorkers Against Fracking today began a new effort to outline the negative economic impacts of fracking. In a new television ad that will air starting tomorrow in the Binghamton and Elmira markets, Pennsylvania residents detail lies the gas industry told and the devastating impacts on property values that came along with fracking. “I’m holding a mortgage on a home I can’t give away,” says Pam Judy in...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
A New Sustainability Chief for New York
New York Times: New York City’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability is about to see a changing of the guard. In a few weeks Sergej Mahnovski, the current director of energy policy for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, will take over the sustainability office, which puts changes into effect related to the mayor`s PlaNYC environmental agenda. Mr. Mahnovski succeeds David Bragdon, who will become the director of planning for the revitalization of parkland around Jamaica Bay. That program will turn 10,000 acres...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Nations meet prior to climate change talks in Doha
China Daily: The Like Minded Developing Countries (LMDCs) on climate change, a new group of developing countries, have been coordinating their positions on climate change negotiations ahead of the upcoming climate change talks in Doha, Qatar, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has said. Representatives of a number of developing countries-from Bolivia, China, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Venezuela-attended the first meeting...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Food and Climate: A New Warning
New York Times: As we have noted many times, one of the major questions about climate change is what it will do to the world’s food supply. Competing factors are at work. On the one hand, the rising level of carbon dioxide in the air significantly bolsters the growth of plants, potentially raising yields. Conversely, rising heat and, in some places, additional weather extremes like drought and heavy rains threaten to reduce yields. Climate contrarians like to cite the upside potential of rising carbon dioxide...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
The Issue that Dare Not Speak Its Name
New York Times: A mountain of scientific evidence points to climate change as a serious risk for the human future. The Pentagon sees it as a threat to national security. Arctic sea ice hit a record low this summer. In some low-lying countries threatened by sea level rise, evacuation planning has already begun. Yet the presidential debates are now over, and not once did climate change surface explicitly as an issue. This campaign is the first time that has happened since 1988, and environmental groups – and environmentally...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Climate Scientist Michael Mann Sues National Review for Libel
Daily Climate: Michael Mann, an influential climatologist who has spent years in the center of the debate over climate science, has sued two organizations that have accused him of academic fraud and of improperly manipulating data. Mann, director of Pennsylvania State University's Earth System Science Center, on Monday sued the National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, along with two of their authors, Rand Simberg and Mark Steyn. The lawsuit, Mann's lawyer said in a statement, was based upon...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
United States: Judge Postpones Hearing to Halt Enbridge Pipeline Project
Inside Climate News: A federal judge in Michigan has postponed a hearing to decide whether a Canadian company should be blocked from further work on a project to replace an aging oil pipeline until the company complies with state and local regulations. The continuance came yesterday after a brief hearing before U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland in which the judge asked for clarification about whether the group seeking the injunction against Enbridge Inc. could legally ask for an order to halt to the billion-dollar...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
190 Million Tons of Ice a Day Has Sea Rising 1MM a Year
Age: Antarctica is shedding an average of 190 million tonnes of ice every day, according to a landmark study that used satellites to ''weigh'' the vast landmass. Although parts of East Antarctica are growing, glaciers in West Antarctica are melting faster, leading to a net loss of ice across the continent, according to the study published in the journal Nature. ''We're confident that the ice cover is shrinking, and the rate along the Amundsen Sea coast is accelerating,'' said the lead researcher...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Canada: B.C. Premier Christy Clark Warns of National Crisis Over Pipeline
Globe and Mail: Any move by Ottawa to green-light the Northern Gateway pipeline over British Columbia's objections would ignite a national political crisis, says Premier Christy Clark. Putting its foot down on a provincial matter would fan the flames on both sides of the debate and run afoul of political reality: the pipeline will only get built if it has the "social licence" to proceed, Ms. Clark said. She made the comments in a wide-ranging interview with The Globe and Mail, in which she softened some of...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Low Electricity Prices Lead Dominion to Decommission Wisconsin Reactor
E and E: Richmond, Virginia-based Dominion Resources Inc. said Monday it will shut down and decommission the Kewaunee Power Station near Green Bay, which would make it the first U.S. nuclear reactor to be permanently retired since 1998. The company said the decision was purely based on economics, which may signal trouble for other nuclear power plants at a time when cheap natural gas and the slowly recovering economy are holding down electricity prices in many parts of the country. Dominion President...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Canada: Northern Gateway Protesters Vow to Lie Down in Front of Bulldozers to Stop Pipeline
CTV: Thousands of protesters demonstrated against the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline Monday in B.C., vowing to lie down in front of bulldozers if necessary. When asked by a speaker whether they were willing to block machinery if the project is approved, thousands shouted "Yes!" However, the demonstration in front of the provincial legislature in Victoria didn't take the violent turn that some expected it to. Organizers had said demonstrators would be carrying out acts of civil disobedience during...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Romney, Obama Go One Last Round in Debate on Clean Energy, Solyndra
The Hill: President Obama and GOP White House nominee Mitt Romney grappled over federal funding for clean energy in Monday’s final presidential debate. Obama said the federal government must maintain basic research to keep pace with nations like China, which heavily subsidizes its clean energy industry. "We will lose the lead in things like clean energy technology” if basic research funding falls, Obama said. Romney responded that he supports basic research funding for universities and laboratories,...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Canada: Shell's Tar Sands Expansion Could Violate First Nations Treaties
SustainableBusiness: The residents of Fort Chipewyan, an indigenous community near the Arctic Circle, that lives directly downstream from Canada's tar sands in Alberta, are officially challenging tar sands expansion there on constitutional grounds - saying it violates their rights under Canada's First Nations treaties. For the first time, a Canadian First Nation will officially challenge tar sands development on the grounds of aboriginal rights. If this test case is successful, it would embolden indigenous groups across...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
South Africa: Climate change activists arrested after Eskom protest
Business Day: SEVERAL climate change activists who blocked the entrance to Eskom’s headquarters in Johannesburg on Tuesday morning were arrested by police. The campaigners were protesting against the electricity supplier’s current management and its reliance on coal for energy. Eskom had failed South Africans by "failing to deliver clean, affordable and accessible electricity by continuing to invest in coal", said Greenpeace Africa climate and energy campaigner Melita Steele. Greenpeace has challenged...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Lack of climate change in presidential debates part of larger trend
Mongabay: The final presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, focusing on foreign policy, ended like all the others: without a mention of climate change or its likely impacts on Americans, from rising sea levels to worsening extreme weather to the threat of instability abroad. While environmental groups have kicked-off a campaign to target this "climate silence," the lack of discussion on climate change is a part of a larger trend in the U.S. where media coverage of the issue...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
A new way to measure the ocean's health
Mongabay: A diverse array of institutions have come together to release a new, revolutionary ocean health assessment called the Ocean Health Index. Researchers formed the index in order to gauge the health of the world’s oceans. The index is the result of a huge collaborative effort, including top researchers crossing a diverse range of disciplines such as the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and Conservation International. "We are very excited about the launch of the Ocean...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Climate change shut out of presidential debates
The Hill: Climate change never emerged as a topic in the three presidential debates, disappointing greens who say President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney have avoided discussing the issue. With Defense Secretary Leon Panetta commenting in May that “climate change has a dramatic impact on national security,” some environmental activists thought the topic could wriggle its way into Monday’s foreign policy debate. But like the previous two debates, climate change was shut out of the conversation....

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Independent supervision urged of carbon market
China Daily: A climate change organization on Monday suggested Chinese policymakers establish a national regulatory commission for the country's fledging carbon market, noting that current plans call for setting up a national market within the decade. To drum up the financing needed to contend with climate change, seven emissions trading systems are being tested out in China. The National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, is now in charge of the systems, but an independent...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Australia: Climate change unit axed in cost-cutting push
Australian Broadcasting Corporation: The Northern Territory Government is disbanding the Energy Policy and Climate Change Unit set up by Labor inside the Environment Department. The Government says the move will save about half a million dollars, and was put forward as a cost-cutting measure by the new Department of Lands, Planning and Environment. Territory Environment Centre spokesman Stuart Blanch says the three-person unit deserved more funding, not the axe. "We don't want to slip behind other states and other countries...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Scientists Eat Crow on Geoengineering Test. Me, Too
Climate Central: Harvard's David Keith calls it the "goofy Goldfinger scenario' -- a rogue nation, or even an individual, would conduct an unsupervised geoengineering experiment -- and he confidently predicted in a story I wrote last month that it would never happen. It took about a month for him to be proven wrong. In mid-October, the Guardian reported that an American named Russ George had dumped 100 metric tons of iron sulfate into the waters off western Canada, triggering a bloom of algae. George claimed he...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Obama, Romney like green energy. Climate change? Not so much
Christian Science Monitor: No one wants to talk about it. With a few exceptions, voters don't ask. And presidential candidates don't tell. Now that the 2012 presidential debates are over, commentators have begun to take notice. Not once during the three presidential encounters or the single vice-presidential debate did the subject come up. "National elections should be a time when our nation considers the great challenges and opportunities the next President will face," opines the website ClimateSilence.org, a project...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Official radiation monitoring stations in Fukushima unreliable: Greenpeace
Greenpeace: Following new radioactive contamination checks in Fukushima City and the heavily contaminated Iitate(1) last week, Greenpeace has found that official monitoring stations systematically underestimate the radiation risks for the population, and that the Government’s decontamination work remains patchy, misdirected, and insufficient, with evacuated areas receiving greater attention than heavily populated ones. More than 75% of the 40 government monitoring posts checked by Greenpeace in Fukushima City...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Colorado goes fracking free: we have the power
Guardian: Recently, I joined a movement called Frack Free Colorado, helping to educate all of us energy consumers on the ease of moving to renewables like wind and solar, and away from the more toxic oil, gas and coal. I'll be speaking on Tuesday, on the lawn of the Colorado state capitol, along with others like Leilani Munther, known as the "Carbon-free Girl" race car driver, actor and environmental activist Daryl Hannah, scientist Sandra Steingraber, musicians Jakob Dylan and Rami Jafee of the Wallflowers,...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Ikea unveils plans to use 100% clean energy by 2020
Business Green: Ikea plans to be energy and resource independent by 2020 under an ambitious new sustainability strategy backed by EUR1.5bn in clean energy investment and unveiled today by the global furniture retailer. The People and Planet Positive plan is designed to protect the company from price shocks and tap into customers' desire for a greener lifestyle, the firm said in a webcast this morning. Alongside its energy and resource goals, the plan commits the company to helping Ikea's 770 million customers...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Nuclear test ban body's new head to seek compliance of key powers
Reuters: A 183-nation body set up to monitor a ban on nuclear bomb tests elected a new head on Tuesday to face the tricky task of helping convince the United States and other hold-outs to finally turn the landmark treaty into global law. After four rounds of voting to separate the five candidates, Burkina Faso geophysicist Lassina Zerbo was picked as new executive secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). Seen as a cornerstone of efforts...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Bird watchers descend on Rhode Island for rare sighting
Reuters: Scores of bird watchers have descended on Rhode Island to glimpse a bird rarely seen on the U.S. mainland and that may have flown from as far away as Siberia. The wood sandpiper, a migratory bird commonly found in Europe, Asia and North Africa, was first spotted 10 days ago in a marshy area in Jamestown, George Armistead, events coordinator for the American Birding Association, said on Tuesday. The brown-and-white medium-size shore bird has been seen and recorded only a few times in the lower...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Simulating secure carbon dioxide storage
ScienceDaily: The race is on to develop the most secure solution for storing carbon dioxide in Earth's crust. A small Norwegian company has developed a method for studying precisely how this greenhouse gas is bound inside rock. CO2 capture and storage is a key measure for mitigating climate change. The gas can be pumped into Earth's crust and deposited in various types of porous rock that is currently saturated with seawater. But how secure against leakage is this practice, and what is the holding capacity...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Bill McKibben Launches Campus Crusade for Climate
Daily Climate: Bill McKibben is lanky, soft-spoken, scholarly and engaging. He may also be the closest thing the U.S. environmental movement has to a leader. And he's in show business now. Still soft-spoken, but very, very angry. On a crisp night earlier this month, a mostly-Gen Next crowd filled the University of Vermont's Allen Chapel to see the dress rehearsal of the coast-to-coast road show that McKibben hopes will ignite a campus movement. "Do the Math" will visit 20 cities starting Nov. 7. It mixes McKibben's...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Climate Change Was Shutout of the Debates For First Time Since 1984
Slate: Here was CNN's Candy Crowley consoling environmentalists and climate hawks after leaving a question about global warming on the cutting room floor during the second presidential debate: "Climate change, I had that question. All you climate change people. We just, you know, again, we knew that the economy was still the main thing." And here was CBS's Bob Schieffer getting that same group's hopes back up heading into last night's third and final debate: "That last segment [the rise of China and...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Tribe Appeals EPA Ruling Over Coal-Fired Power Plant
Yahoo!: The Moapa Paiutes, represented by Earthjustice, have filed a suit in federal court, appealing a decision that allows a coal-fired power plant in Nevada to continue emitting nitrogen oxide. According to a press release from Earthjustice, the tribe -- along with the Sierra Club and the National Parks Conservation Association -- is calling for retirement of the plant and a "transition to cleaner sources." Here are the details. * The Reid Gardner Generating Station is a 557-megawatt coal-fueled, steam-electric...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Helping North America's marine protected areas adapt to a changing climate
ScienceDaily: Top marine predators like tuna and sharks are suffering from the effects of climate change as the availability of prey decreases and the spatial distribution of their prey shifts. Countless other marine plants and animals are also affected. One way to adapt to or mitigate these changes is to design marine protected areas (MPA) and MPA networks that integrate these and other climate-related considerations. Accordingly, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) has published Scientific...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
Climate Change, the Taboo Phrase in U.S. Electoral Politics
Inter Press Service: The United States endured its hottest summer in history this year, with droughts and wildfires ravaging the country. And according to a new report from the global reinsurance giant Munich Re, insurance losses related to extreme weather have nearly quadrupled in the U.S. since 1980. So one might expect that climate change would be a hot topic in the debates being held ahead of the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 6. But during the four nationally televised debates held so far -- three presidential...

Wed, 24 Oct 12
What Killed Climate Change Legislation?
Atlantic Wire: The presidential debates are over and to the chagrin of earthly-minded individuals, the topic of global warming was roundly ignored by the moderators and both candidates. The lack of discussion wasn't due to a sinister corporate plot, but the reality that no climate legislation is even remotely in the works in Congress, and few foresee it happening anytime soon. How come? AsNew York Timescolumnist David Brooks pointed out last week, the outlook wasn't always so grim: "The period around 2003 was the...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Earth First!ers Lock Down NC DENR Headquarters
EcoWatch: This morning seven people locked themselves to the front of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina, in protest of the state’s continued path towards the legalization of fracking for natural gas. Environmentalists across the state have organized and campaigned against hydrofracking legislation for more than a year, which resulted in a veto of SB 820 this past summer by Beverly Perdue. The legislature overrode the veto shortly after during...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Climate conflict: Warmer world could be more violent
USA Today: If climate change predictions turn out to be true, some parts of the world could become a more violent place, according to a new study released today. "The relationship between temperature and conflict shows that much warmer-than-normal temperatures raise the risk of violence," the authors write in the study, which appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study was led by John O'Loughlin, a professor of geography at the University of Colorado. It was done...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Gender gap in agriculture 'must be addressed'
SciDevNet: Productivity losses due to the agriculture "gender gap" are straining global economies, a conference has heard. This was the consensus of gender scientists and agricultural researchers at a workshop in Malaysia that aimed to develop an agenda for gender transformative research for the agricultural sector. The conference, held in Penang earlier this month (3--5 October), was convened by the CGIAR Consortium. According to Paula Kantor, a senior gender scientist at the Malaysia-based WorldFish...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Solyndra bankruptcy plan approved over U.S. objections
Reuters: Solyndra, the solar panel maker that failed despite a $528 million federal loan, on Monday won court approval for its plan to repay creditors and end its politically charged bankruptcy, after a judge overruled objections by the U.S. government. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath in Delaware rejected the government argument that the plan was improper because its main purpose was to provide tax breaks. Venture capital firms Argonaut Private Equity and Madrone Capital Partners will control Solyndra's...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Sempra to build $1 billion natural gas line Arizona to Mexico
Reuters: Sempra Energy unit Sempra Mexico has been chosen to build a $1 billion natural gas pipeline that will connect the U.S. grid in Arizona with northwest Mexico, after a bidding process was completed, the company said on Monday. The 500-mile line, which will be built in two sections, will supply some of the abundant reserves of U.S. natural gas to Mexican government-owned power plants that until now have run on fuel oil, Sempra said in a statement. The first 310-mile (500-kilometer) section, which...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Impoverished Niger creates fund to fight desert spread
Reuters: Niger said on Monday it will launch a $110 million project to counter the impact of rapid expansion of deserts and increasingly unpredictable rains in one of the world's poorest countries. "The program aims to test strategies that will help us integrate climate risk and adapt climate change into our national planning," Abdou Souley, spokesman for Niger's planning and community development ministry, said. The five-year program aims to improve community use of water resources and alter herding and...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Appeals court: Kinder Morgan's Ruby Pipeline should get another look
Reuters: A U.S. appeals court on Monday ruled that federal wildlife authorities improperly certified the Ruby Pipeline Project without taking into account its impact on groundwater wells and certain fish species along the route. The natural gas pipeline, which runs over 678 miles from Wyoming to Oregon, has already been completed. The pipeline is owned and operated by Kinder Morgan Inc. Even though the pipeline is in service, it is still possible to mitigate its impact on the fish and critical habitats,...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
IKEA to move to clean energy by 2020, protect forests
Reuters: IKEA, the world's largest furniture retailer, will shift to renewable energy by 2020 and grow more trees than it uses under a plan to safeguard nature that has won support from environmentalists. The Swedish-based group, which wants to build on many customers' desire for a greener lifestyle, also said on Tuesday it would limit sales by 2016 to energy-efficient products including induction cookers and LED light bulbs. "This will be a great driver of innovation," said Mikael Ohlsson, chief executive...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
United States: Dominion closing nuclear plant due to low natgas prices
Reuters: Dominion Resources Inc plans to shut its Kewaunee plant in Wisconsin next year, the first U.S. nuclear plant to fall victim to the steep drop in power prices as rising natural gas production makes some plants uncompetitive. After claiming hundreds of coal-fired plants, the boom in U.S. shale gas output is now starting to grind down the nuclear industry, with smaller older plants like the 566-megawatt (MW) Kewaunee plant first to be affected. The surge in U.S. shale gas has upended the domestic...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Climate linked to conflict in East Africa, study finds
LA Times: A study relating climate to conflict in East African nations finds that increased rainfall dampens conflict while unusually hot periods can cause a flare-up, reinforcing the theory that climate change will cause increased scarcity in the region. The study was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Politicians and many scientists have called climate change a security risk, based on the idea that unusual variations in weather are likely to put immense strain on...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
US elections: Barack Obama accused of 'climate denial'
Guardian: The Green party's presidential candidate has called Barack Obama a "climate denier" for failing to talk about climate change during the elections. On the eve of the third and final presidential debate, the Green party's Jill Stein said Obama's failure to speak out about environmental concerns made him virtually identical to Republicans who deny the human causes of global warming. The absence of climate change from the elections, after a year of record temperatures, wildfires and drought, has...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Grim Storm Scenarios Loom for Mid-Atlantic, Northeast
Climate Central: A swirl of thunderstorms in the Caribbean, which is a notorious breeding ground for October hurricanes, is expected to coalesce into Tropical Storm Sandy and possibly intensify to hurricane strength as it moves toward Jamaica, eastern Cuba, and the Bahamas by Wednesday and Thursday. But it's what could happen after that that has some weather forecasters pondering some rather bizarre scenarios -- think if a hurricane and nor'easter mated, possibly spawning a very rare and powerful hybrid storm, slamming...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Nobody Mentions Climate Change. But Somebody Did Something About It.
Time: I constantly whine about the Beltway media, and I believe global warming is the most important issue facing humanity. So I was infuriated but not surprised to hear Candy Crowley explain after the last debate that she considered a question for “you climate change people,” but ditched it because “we knew the economy was still the main thing.” Actually, the technical term for people affected by climate change is “people.” It’s already an economic issue--drought is overwhelming the middle of the country--and,...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Wealthy nations, excluding U.S., pledge to double funds for biodiversity
Mongabay: Although negotiations came down to the wire, nations finally brokered a new deal at the 11th meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Hyderabad, India; at its heart is a pledge to double resources from wealthier countries to the developing world by 2015 to conserve embattled species and ecosystems. While no numbers were put on the table, observers say a doubling of current resources would mean around $10-12 billion a year. However, this amount is still far short of what scientists...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
The Green Climate Fund Board Meeting: Highs, Lows, and a Host Country
World Resources Institute: The Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board wrapped up its second meeting on Saturday with a major decision: selecting Songdo City in South Korea to host the Fund. The decision, which was adopted by consensus of the Board, was greeted with joy by the Koreans, who spared no effort to provide an offer of the highest quality to earn the confidence of the Board. The UNFCCC Conference of Parties will have to endorse this decision at its next meeting in Doha later this year to confirm the selection. The Host...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Blessing or Curse? Understanding the Risks of Fracking Poland
EcoWatch: Today, a wide range of Polish and international non-governmental organizations and academics gathered in Warsaw, Poland, to critically assess the ambition of the Polish government to develop its potential shale gas resources on a large scale. After a long string of corporate conferences on the topic, the Boell Foundation in Warsaw and Food & Water Europe offered a platform to concerned citizens and groups to air the legitimate concerns about the environmental and economic impacts of fracking....

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Huge Protest Underway Against Canadian Tar Sands Pipelines
EcoWatch: With the sound of drums and voices raised in song, hundreds of First Nations have arrived at the legislature to defend our coast and their traditional lands. Their walk forms a human chain, and the crowd separates to allow them to kick off the protest. First nations have led this uprising since the start, and their rights and title are the main legal weapon the people have to push back on projects. More than 1,500 people from across Canada and all walks of life have gathered in front of the B.C....

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Solar Geoengineering Projects Could Be More Effective on Regional Scale
Yale Environment 360: A new modeling study by several geoengineering experts suggests that injecting aerosols into the atmosphere to block more of the sun’s energy and reduce temperatures could be most effective when done on a region-by-region basis. The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, said that injecting aerosols over the Arctic Ocean in summer, for example, might be an effective way to not only slow the rapid loss of Arctic sea ice but possibly even restore it to pre-industrial levels. The researchers...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Shifting Arctic Wind Patterns May Cause Increased Melt, Study Says
Yale Environment 360: U.S. scientists say unusual air pressure patterns over the Arctic during the month of June in recent years have altered wind patterns in the region, funneling warmer air into the Arctic and contributing to record low Arctic summer sea ice extent from 2007 to 2012. Writing in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, a team of researchers illustrated how the formation of two unusual high pressure areas over the North American Arctic and Greenland disrupted the normal westerly flow of winds, creating...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Can climate change be changed back again? Maybe, say boffins
Register: Climate boffins now reckon that solar geoengineering could be done safely by targeting specific regions. Solar geoengineering basically works by reflecting sunshine back into space, thereby offsetting global warming. Scientists would pump aerosols into the stratosphere or create low altitude marine clouds to scatter solar heat from the Earth. But geoengineering has a whole host of potential side effects, where, for instance, attempting to eradicate the effects of climate change has different...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Fake 'addendum' by conservative group tries to undo federal climate report
Daily Climate: A new "addendum" to be released as soon as this week purports to update with the latest science a 2009 federal assessment on the impacts to the United States of climate change. The addendum matches the layout and design of the original, published by the U.S. Global Change Research Program: Cover art, "key message" sections, table of contents are all virtually identical, down to the chapter heads, fonts and footnotes. But the new report comes from the conservative Washington, D.C.-based Cato...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Canada: Iron dumping in Pacific Ocean done for financial gain, group claims
Vancouver Sun: The iron dumped off the coast of Haida Gwaii was primarily a bid to sell carbon credits -- not a scientific experiment , according to a marine conservation society working on B.C.’s Pacific coast. The Living Oceans Society obtained correspondence between the Old Massett village council, which is running the project, and the Northern Savings Credit Union, which lent the council $2.5 million to finance it. The documents were made available on the society’s website and show the lender was aware the...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Extreme weather creating urgent need for better forecasts
AlertNet: Since returning to farming after decades of displacement during Sri Lanka's long civil war, Kusmalatha Tammitta has faced a new enemy: extreme weather, particularly long droughts followed by bursts of heavy rain. "There are 22 wells in this village. All are dry,' Tammitta told AlertNet. After an eight-month drought, she said, she had lost two acres of paddy land and a banana plot of around 300 trees. "There are around 100 coconut trees we planted in the village since we returned. All are withered,'...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Australia: Carbon price's feared impact a 'storm in a teacup'
Sydney Morning Herald: IT IS almost a case of ''now you see it, now you don't.'' The tax of $23 per tonne of carbon emissions arrived on July 1, but not before the government splurged on $2.85 billion in handouts so most families wouldn't notice. It's not going have that much of an effect on the economy overall Treasury's modelling shows the carbon price will inflate consumer prices by 0.7 percentage point by June 2013. Just don't expect the Australian Bureau of Statistics to provide a progress report on the impact...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
Is Ohio's secret energy boom going bust?
Reuters: Dozens of wells drilled this year across rural Ohio are quietly pumping out the answer to the U.S. energy industry's most loaded question: Is the Utica shale formation, touted as a potentially $500 billion frontier, a boom or a bust? Yet the answer is likely to remain concealed for some time. More than a year after Chesapeake Energy Corp Chief Executive and top Ohio driller Aubrey McClendon declared the Utica to be "the biggest thing to hit Ohio since the plow," investors, landowners and even...

Tue, 23 Oct 12
In vulnerable Greece, mosquitoes bite back
Reuters: Just when it seems things couldn't get any worse for Greece, the exhausted and indebted country has a new threat to deal with: mosquito-borne diseases. Species of the blood-sucking insects that can carry exotic-sounding tropical infections like malaria, West Nile Virus, chikungunya and dengue fever are enjoying the extra bit of warmth climate change is bringing to parts of southern Europe. And with austerity budgets, a collapsing health system, political infighting and rising xenophobia all...

Mon, 22 Oct 12
End silence on climate change
Tampa Bay Online: With the final presidential debate scheduled in Boca Raton on Monday, young people in Florida are wondering: What about climate change? On climate change and clean energy, we've heard only silence from President Obama and Gov. Romney. With new information just released on the threat of sea-level rise to Florida's economy and communities -- with forecasts of billions of dollars in expenditures just to mitigate its effects -- climate change is a top issue for Florida voters. I am a young voter....

Mon, 22 Oct 12
REDD+ receives first report card
Sustainable Development Update: A new global assessment shows that impacts of actions under Reduction of Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) on biodiversity and carbon vary across forest types and landscape conditions. Deforestation (e.g. by converting forests to agriculture) is one of the major sources of carbon dioxide emissions and a major cause of global biodiversity loss on Earth. The UN initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD+) seeks cations to reduce deforestation...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
The Energy Rush: After the Boom in Natural Gas
New York Times: THE crew of workers fought off the blistering Louisiana sun, jerking their wrenches to tighten the fat hoses that would connect their cement trucks to the Chesapeake Energy drill rig — one of the last two rigs the company is still using to drill for natural gas here in the Haynesville Shale. At its peak, Chesapeake ran 38 rigs in the region. All told, it has sunk more than 1,200 wells into the Haynesville, a gas-rich vein of dense rock that straddles Louisiana and Texas. Fed by a gold-rush mentality...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
Fears grow over Conservatives' links to fossil fuel lobbyists
Guardian: Government backing for new forms of gas extraction such as "fracking" are coming under acute scrutiny, after a sacked energy minister warned against "betting the farm" on them and green groups expressed alarm at links between the fossil fuel lobby and the Tories. An Observer investigation has established that energy trading giant Vitol, whose boss has given more than £500,000 to the Conservatives, has emerged as a major shareholder in a company bringing "hydraulic fracturing", commonly known as...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
Oklahoma dust storm shuts down portion of Interstate 35
Associated Press: A massive dust storm swirling reddish-brown clouds over northern Oklahoma triggered a multi-vehicle accident along a major interstate Thursday, forcing police to shut down part of the heavily traveled roadway amid near blackout conditions. In a scene reminiscent of the Dust Bowl days, choking dust suspended on strong wind gusts shrouded Interstate 35, which links Dallas and Oklahoma City to Kansas City, Mo. Video from television station helicopters showed the four-lane highway virtually disappearing...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
African states asked to take climate change seriously
Daily News: THE second annual conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa opened here on Friday with a call for African countries to push hard for scaling up national and international efforts in relation to adaptation, mitigation, finance, technology transfer and development. Addressing delegates, the Prime Minister Federal Republic of Ethiopia, Mr Hailemariam Dessalegn said finance needed for climate change action in Africa must be real and significant. “The performance by developed countries...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
Greens divided on whether to hit Obama on climate change
The Hill: The environmental movement is divided over how hard to pressure President Obama on climate change in the homestretch of the 2012 campaign. The contrasting strategies were evident in statements and e-mails to members that green groups released after Tuesday’s debate, which saw Obama and Mitt Romney battle at length over energy without once mentioning global warming for the second-straight onstage battle. Some groups praised Obama for strongly touting renewable energy and efficiency, while others...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
Despite 2012 algae break feds invest in longterm Great Lakes controls
Great Lakes Echo: Is it a political risk for an administration to spend nearly $6 million during an election year on a near-shore issue that was practically non-existent that same summer? Not when that issue is Great Lakes algae. The Obama administration spread about half that sum, or $3 million, among seven Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant recipients in Ohio and nearly as much to four in Michigan, mostly for nutrient-reduction projects aimed to help reduce algae. The administration’s support for addressing...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
In Japan, need of fossil fuels pushes climate change targets to back seat
Washington Post: With Japan's oil and gas plants firing at full capacity, officials here say there is little chance of meeting a pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions significantly over the next decade, a startling retreat for a country that once spearheaded an international agreement on climate change. The earlier, ambitious target to slash emissions 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 has been overrun by a more urgent, short-term need: to burn fossil fuels and maintain a steady electricity supply in the wake...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
The New Oil and Gas Boom
Time: Back to Article Click to Print Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 The New Oil and Gas Boom By Fareed Zakaria In their second debate, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney began with a spirited discussion on energy, during which they both agreed on the goal of making America more energy independent. This has been part of presidential rhetoric since Richard Nixon declared energy independence his Administration's aim. As it happens, regardless of who is elected President, a tidal shift is taking place in energy...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
Reports: Marcellus reserves larger than expected
Associated Press: There's been plenty of debate over the Marcellus Shale natural gas field, but new research adds a twist that could impact political and environmental battles. Two independent financial firms say the Marcellus isn't just the biggest natural gas field in the country -- it's the cheapest place for energy companies to drill. One of the reports adds that the Marcellus reserves that lie below parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York are far larger than recent government estimates, while...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
Australia: Climate change bill of $1b for suburbs
Age: WATERFRONT communities from Southbank to the Mornington Peninsula face a damage bill of more than $1 billion from severe storms and rising sea levels over the next 90 years, according to a confidential climate change report. The report, by federal, state and local governments, warns that parts of Rosebud foreshore could be completely submerged by 2100 during coastal flooding, while residents around Elwood's canals face massive annual losses if government and local councils fail to act. Maps...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
South Korea to house new UN Green Climate Fund
Deutsche Welle: The United Nations has chosen South Korea as the home for its Green Climate Fund. South Korea is reportedly viewed by many as a bridge between developing and developed nations. The new United Nations Green Climate Fund, established to manage billions of dollars to assist developing countries tackle climate change, is to be situated in Songdo, Incheon City, South Korea, the board of the fund announced on Saturday. The former German capital city of Bonn, home to the UN's Climate Change Secretariat,...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
One Mother’s Reaction To The Climate Silence: ‘I’m Angry As Hell And High Water’
Think Progress: Over here at Moms Clean Air Force, I`ve been--I`ll admit it--profoundly depressed that the candidates have blown their chance to talk about the most important issue facing our planet. Climate Change. Two debates down. A moderator who says "Whoops! Ran out of time to ask about climate. So sorry!" Well, I`m sorry too. And I`m angry. Angry as hell and high water. Two debates about "domestic policy" and not one word has been uttered about the chaotic domestic weather we`ve been enduring. Not...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
Global warming's new math
WGBH: This year we’ve seen what many experts agree are real symptoms of global warming - from fires in Colorado to drought that has afflicted more than 60% of the country. And this July was the hottest ever for those of us in the lower 48. Except that it wasn’t just July. The average temperature from last summer to this summer is hotter than any 12 month period on record in the U.S. So, what’s going on here? We dive into the science -- and the politics -- with author and activist Bill McKibben and...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
In a warming Arctic, U.S. faces new security concerns
LA Times: In past years, these remote gray waters of the Alaskan Arctic saw little more than the occasional cargo barge and Eskimo whaling boat. No more. This summer, when the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bertholf was monitoring shipping traffic along the desolate tundra coast, its radar displays were often brightly lighted with mysterious targets. There were oil drilling rigs, research vessels, fuel barges, small cruise ships. A few were sailboats that had ventured through the Northwest Passage above Canada....

Sun, 21 Oct 12
Frack Free Colorado—Choose Your Future Oct. 23
EcoWatch: A rapidly growing list of business and environmental leaders, non-profits and entertainers are joining forces to fight against hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in Colorado. On Oct. 23, at Civic Park on Capitol Hill in Denver, a coalition called Frack Free Colorado will draw attention to the dangers of fracking and call for a concrete plan to move the state of Colorado away from natural gas and other dirty extractive industries and toward a renewable energy economy. “As Coloradans, we feel that...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
A debate no show
Press-Enterprise: CNN’s Candy Crowley said shortly after Tuesday’s presidential debates that she regretted that she didn’t have time to get to a question about each candidate’s stance on climate change. If she had, President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney would have had to address a nation that is growing less skeptical about climate change. More and more Americans believe climate change is real, according to a national survey released Thursday, Oct. 18. But several pundits have noticed the that Obama and Romney...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
Images that highlight the trade killing our rhinos
Guardian: A wealthy Vietnamese woman sits at a roadside cafe and prepares a dish for her own consumption. She is grinding up rhino horn. After a few minutes, water is added and she drinks the mixture out of a shot glass as a cure for her kidney stones. The woman paid several thousand US dollars for the piece of horn. The rhino died. The image is one of a series taken by South African photographer Brent Stirton, who won an award at the 2012 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition,...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
United States: Candidates have real chance to talk about climate change
Sun-Sentinel: Many years of hard work, planning, and cooperation among local governments is coming to fruition for the citizens of southeast Florida, as four county commissions, partners to the Southeast Florida Climate Change Compact, will soon consider and vote on a Regional Climate Action Plan for addressing the regional impacts of climate change. Rather than focusing on partisan differences, elected leaders and county staff within Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties have pooled expertise,...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
The UN's secret climate adaptation summit
RTCC: COP11 in Hyderabad is probably the biggest climate adaptation conference you have never heard of. Representatives from 192+ countries have travelled to India, drawing a crowd of 14,000 delegates to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) bi-annual summit. But aside from a solitary New York Times journalist who arrived on Monday, media coverage outside India is fairly low-key. This is a pity, as the subjects up for discussion are fascinating, and directly relevant to the climate debate....

Sun, 21 Oct 12
South Korea picked as HQ of new U.N. Green Climate Fund
Reuters: A new U.N. fund meant to manage billions of dollars to help developing nations combat climate change will be based in South Korea, leaders of the fund agreed on Saturday. The Green Climate Fund is to be sited in Songdo, Incheon City, South Korea, the board of the fund said. Germany, Mexico, Namibia, Poland and Switzerland had also sought to be the headquarters. Developed nations agreed in 2009 to raise climate aid, now about $10 billion a year, to an annual $100 billion from 2020 to help developing...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
Chinese government mulls policies to support solar power industry
Reuters: China is working on policies, including subsidies and easier access to the grid, to help its ailing solar power producers expand in the domestic market, the China Daily reported on Saturday, citing industry officials and government sources. The State Grid Corp, China's largest state-owned utility, is considering giving its subsidiaries at city level the authority to approve solar power plants with less than 10,000 kilowatts of installed capacity to be connected to the grid, said deputy director...

Sun, 21 Oct 12
The First Victims Of Climate Change
Planet Save: People are accustomed to equalize terms of “global warming” and “climate change,” but in fact they are pretty much distinctive. Global warming is one of the reflections of climate change, which might be compared to glaciers’ meltdown, natural disasters, and overwhelming precipitations. Certainly, they follow the global process of climate change, which results in major influence on various fields of human everyday life, as well as on animal habitat. One of the recent “trends” of the process is...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Actress Julianne Moore Asks Washington for a Plan to Fight Climate Change
Huffington Post: It's just a few weeks before the presidential election and the season is heating up with debates, powerful speeches, and truly dreadful TV ads. These all serve to remind us what matters most: our freedom. As parents, we watch democracy in action and cannot help but wonder what the world will be like for our children. Why haven't the presidential candidates talked about their plan to combat climate change? We trust scientists to guide and inform us about global warming and we look to celebrities...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
The Face of Food Security Is Female
Inter Press Service: In a major endorsement for investment in women -- the bulk of food growers in the developing world -- United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said food security could not be achieved without women, and that the world`s hungry also needed leaders to prioritise actions. "Girls and women are society`s best chance to overcome hunger," Ban told a gathering of world leaders, researchers, farmers and policy-makers at the presentation of the 2012 World Food Prize. Global leaders meeting in the...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Presidential candidates must take a stand on climate change
Orlando Sentinel: This summer's unbearably hot temperatures resulted in the hottest July on record and likely will result in 2012 being the hottest year on record. The health of all of us -- not just the residents of Florida -- our collective economic well-being and the safety of future generations are now on the line. Could there be a more compelling cry for us to be the good stewards of this earth that we are called to be? Reflecting the growing spirit of religious activism in this realm, the Interfaith Moral...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Native village defends ocean experiment; Canada launches probe
Reuters: Leaders of a tiny, native village off Canada's remote northwest coast on Friday defended their decision to dump 120 tons of iron dust into the ocean as a legal experiment to revive salmon stocks, but Canada said it was investigating a possible breach of environmental law. The village council conducted its C$2.5 million ($2.52 million) experiment in August in the waters around Haida Gwaii, an archipelago some 130 kilometers (81 miles) off the British Columbian coast. In a project that has drawn...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
The sad history of climate policy, according to David Brooks
Washington Post: This is, according to David Brooks, the sad history of Washington`s efforts to address climate change. 1) "The period around 2003 was the golden spring of green technology. John McCain and Joe Lieberman introduced a bipartisan bill to curb global warming." 2) "Al Gore released his movie “An Inconvenient Truth” in 2006. The global warming issue became associated with the highly partisan former vice president. Gore mobilized liberals, but, once he became the global warming spokesman, no Republican...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Climate, energy crisis could use a co-ordinated dose of star power
Toronto Star: Starpower could do for climate change what it did for global hunger with the We are the World campaign. By Tyler Hamilton Energy and Technology Columnist Back in the mid-1980s dozens of high-profile music artists from the United Kingdom, United States and Canada got together in their respective countries to raise awareness and stimulate discussion of famine in Ethiopia. Bono, David Bowie and Sting helped lead Band Aid, the U.K. supergroup that created the song Do They Know It’s Christmas? This...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Cheap weapon against the coral-killer starfish found
SciDev.Net: Scientists have stumbled upon an "effective" way to halt the advance of destructive crown-of-thorns starfish, which feed upon coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific region, causing them severe damage and death. An international research team from the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoERS) at James Cook University, Australia, reports that a protein mixture, commonly used to grow bacteria in laboratories, could destroy starfish in as little as one day. The...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Threatened species listing for polar bears contested in U.S. court
Reuters: Polar bears' designation as a threatened species was challenged in a U.S. appeals court on Friday, with a lawyer for Alaska and other parties arguing that regulators had failed to back up the listing. Alaska and other plaintiffs that include hunters and the California Cattlemen's Association are appealing a federal court ruling last year that upheld the Interior Department's 2008 designation of the bears as threatened because their icy habitat is melting away. Murray Feldman, a lawyer for Alaska...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Ecuador says companies join novel Amazon protection fund
Reuters: About a dozen companies are contributing to a novel conservation plan that pays Ecuador to protect part of the Amazon rainforest in return for barring oil drilling, the head of the initiative said on Friday. Ivonne Baki said the scheme to conserve the Yasuni area of the Amazon basin, launched by leftist president Rafael Correa in 2010, has so far raised about $200 million, mostly from foreign governments. "When I started last year it was only governments," she told Reuters by telephone from...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
NGOs Square Off Over REDD in California
Ecosystem Marketplace: In February of this year, exasperated indigenous leaders from 11 organizations in the Brazilian state of Acre sent an open letter to CIMI (Conselho Indigenista Missionário), a Catholic missionary organization that has won high marks over the years for its support of indigenous rights. The letter (see "Open Letter to CIMI", right) thanked the organization for its past good works but then -- in a stunning and public rebuke -- accused the organization of playing loose with facts and even of adopting...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Powerful Windstorm Winds Down in Plains, Midwest
Climate Central: A massive windstorm is finally winding down after it snarled traffic, helped burn down a tiny North Dakota town, and caused a dust storm that spawned a multi-vehicle accident in Oklahoma. The winds flipped tractor trailer trucks onto their sides in South Dakota, as drivers were unable to maintain control against hurricane-force crosswinds. The storm, which was centered across the Upper Midwest but has since drifted eastward and weakened, was a powerful area of low pressure fueled by the strong...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Most controversial aspects of Brazil's new Forest Code vetoed as legislation signed into law
Mongabay: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff signed into law a revised version of the country's Forest Code, vetoing some of the most controversial changes proposed by agricultural interests in Brazil's Congress. The law, signed late Thursday after President Rousseff voted nine clauses Wednesday night, requires landowners to replant millions of hectares of illegally cleared land and retains earlier provisions for maintaining forest cover of 80 percent on private properties in the Amazon rainforest. However...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
4 Key Factors for the Sustainable Development Goals
World Resources Institute: Earlier this week, I participated in a United Nations Special Event Panel on “Conceptualizing a Set of Sustainable Development Goals,” which took place before an audience of senior policymakers and UN ambassadors and delegates. At the Rio+20 summit in June, world leaders agreed to create global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a means to embed sustainability into economic development. This week’s event sought to start a discussion about what these goals might look like and how they could...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
U.S. wind industry adding record number of turbines
Reuters: U.S. wind power developers are installing record-high numbers of turbines in 2012 but that growth could weaken if a production tax credit expires at the end of this year, an industry group said. The U.S. wind industry in August for the first time surpassed 50,000 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity - enough to power 13 million homes, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said in a report issued on Thursday. Wind developers have added 4,728 MW of wind power so far in 2012 with another...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Profitable climate fixes tempt rogue geoengineers
Guardian: It was only a matter of time before somebody broke the fragile social and political consensus surrounding geoengineering, and had a first crack at "experiment Earth". The news that American businessman Russ George has dumped 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the Pacific Ocean in an attempt to fertilise algal blooms that absorb carbon dioxide, was received with justified indignation and outrage by campaigners and mainstream scientists. But there have been rumblings (and rumours of shadowy trials)...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Okla. dust storm causes highway pile-ups, injuries
MSNBC: A dust storm swirling reddish-brown clouds over northern Oklahoma triggered multiple crashes involving about three dozen vehicles on Thursday, forcing police to shut down part of the heavily traveled Interstate 35 for several hours amid near blackout conditions. More than a dozen people were injured as winds up to 55 mph whipped up the soil off farmlands near Blackwell, NBC station KFOR-TV reported. In a scene reminiscent of the Dust Bowl days, choking dust shrouded Interstate 35, which links...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Once this landscape was a pristine wilderness
Daily Mail: These incredible pictures show the bleak landscape of bitumen, sand and clay created by the frantic pursuit of 173billion barrels of untouched oil. The Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada, are the world's third largest oil reserve - but lush green forests once blanketed an area there larger than England. The region where the blackened earth now stands has been dubbed as the most destructive industrial project on earth by shocked environmentalists. Amazing scene: Oil floats on the surface of an...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
As waters warm, predators may go hungry
San Francisco Chronicle: Predators of the North Pacific Ocean - among them many sharks, whales, seals and sea turtles - will be forced to swim farther from their food supplies or go hungry as the world's warming climate shifts their normal habitats, a marine scientist has concluded. Yet the changes pushed by ocean warming may benefit some seabirds and fast-swimming tuna, which are built to forage farther than their competitors, according to a study by Elliott Hazen, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fisheries...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Why aren't candidates debating climate change?
Philadelphia Daily News: THE PAST 12 months have been the hottest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Throughout the nation, drought, wildfires, floods and other extreme weather have made global warming a visible reality. So it was maddening - and tragic - that both presidential candidates spent significant time during Tuesday's debate trying to one-up each other on how much more fossil fuels they plan to extract, burn and allow into the atmosphere. In three debates so far, climate...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Beware simple answers?
New Statesman: These are times of profound challenges for the energy industry and for climate change policy both in the UK and globally -- being able to keep prices low, dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid relying on unstable regions for our energy seems an impossible combination. It did not always seem so difficult. Throughout the 1990s, the UK had the luxury of being an oil and gas exporter. The shift from coal to gas in electricity generation helped reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions and...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Extreme global warming may have caused largest extinction ever
LiveScience: Feverishly hot ocean surface waters potentially reaching more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) may have helped cause the greatest mass extinction in Earth's history, researchers say. "We may have found the hottest time the world has ever had," researcher Paul Wignall, a geologist at the University of Leeds in England, told LiveScience. The mass extinction at the end of the Permian Era about 250 million years ago was the greatest die-off in Earth's history. The cataclysm killed...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
No wars for water
Foreign Affairs: The world economic downturn and upheaval in the Arab world might grab headlines, but another big problem looms: environmental change. Along with extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels, and other natural hazards, global warming disrupts freshwater resource availability -- with immense social and political implications. Earlier this year, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence published a report, Global Water Security, assessing hydropolitics around the world. In it, the authors show...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
New political realities aren't just bad for democracy, they're bad for your health
Fast Company: After the 2000 census, many states used politics and innovative mapping technology to gerrymander new electoral districts to lock in gains for one party or the other. California politicians, for example, drew new “safe” seats and the result was hyper-partisanship and politicians who didn’t need to pay attention to anyone that wasn’t singing from their sheet music. Alarmed by the partisanship and its resulting gridlock, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (my old boss) led an effort to reform the system...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Australia: The role of coastal estuaries in cleansing the atmosphere
Coffs Coast Advocate: AUSTRALIAN estuaries may be more important than previously thought in capturing and storing carbon from the atmosphere, according to new research from Southern Cross University's Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry Research. Dr Damien Maher and Centre director Professor Bradley Eyre have published a paper in Global Biogeochemical Cycles that measured carbon flows and CO2 fluxes in three temperate Australian estuaries. "Knowing carbon fluxes from these ecosystems is important in understanding...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
US on course to notch record year of heat
Reuters: After a hot spring and a scorching summer, this winter is likely to continue a US warming trend that could make 2012 the hottest year since modern record-keeping began, US weather experts said Thursday. Drought that ravaged much of the United States this year may spread in the coming months, said Mike Halpert at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center. "The large majority of that drought we expect to persist," Halpert said. "We even see drought expanding...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Why the wildfires still rage
New York Times: THE cooler temperatures of fall may have arrived on the East Coast, but in California and the Pacific Northwest, fire season burns on. There are six large fires raging out West, and this year’s season is likely to burn 10 million acres of land, more than in any year since 1960, when federal records began to be kept. Explanations abound: global warming has provided consistently hotter weather, and warmer winters have meant less snow melt during the spring. Drought has plagued the country, and invasive...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Warming freezing economies
Agence France-Presse: Climate change caused by global warming is freezing the world economy and already leading to the deaths of millions every year, a report commissioned by 20 of the world’s most vulnerable countries said. “Climate Vulnerability Monitor: a guide to the cold calculus of a hot planet” says global warming will not only lead to environmental catastrophe, but is choking the international economy. Key findings include estimates that carbon-intensive economies and associated climate change are responsible...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Koch Brothers Goal: Defeat the Wind Tax Credit
ThinkProgress: The wind energy industry faces a lame duck fight in the House of Representatives over extending the expiring production tax credit. The tax credit has broad bipartisan support, and considering that 81 percent of U.S. wind projects are installed in Republican districts, GOP lawmakers have a good reason to support it. But with Koch Industries and fossil fuel groups mobilizing to defeat the credit, its future after 2012 is uncertain. The American Energy Alliance, which has Koch ties, told Politico...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Will Obama and Romney Address Climate Change in Florida Debate?
Huffington Post: What a difference four years makes. In 2008, during the second presidential debate--a town hall format similar to what we witnessed a few days ago--an audience member asked the two candidates: "I want to know what you would do within the first two years to make sure that Congress moves fast as far as environmental issues, like climate change and green jobs?" In response, John McCain and Barack Obama both acknowledged the reality of global warming. Obama said it is "one of the biggest challenges...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Australia: Climate change: journalism's never-ending fight for facts
Guardian: The debate about climate change is dogged – possibly even defined – by its interminable, intractable tug of war over the "facts". A hand grenade is lobbed into no-man's land triggering a volley of return fire. But, when the dust settles, can anyone truly claim to have advanced their position? Of course, the art of "manufacturing doubt" has long been in the playbook of those hoping or needing to divert attention away from evidence. We saw it a generation ago with smoking, just as we see it today...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Climate Talks May Trigger Tighter EU Carbon Target, Rogers Says
Bloomberg: Climate talks starting Nov. 26 in Doha, Qatar, may help trigger a tighter emissions-reduction target in the European Union within three years, according to Chris Rogers, a Bloomberg Industries analyst in London. While Poland, for instance, is not immediately interested in supporting tighter carbon limits, the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention talks through Dec. 7 may prompt the start of negotiations among EU member states, Rogers said today by phone. “Something could be sorted...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Reckless Coal Expansion Threatens South Africa’s Water Supply
EcoWatch: Water is the foundation of life: we’re unable to survive without it. But the problem is that water is scarce, and South Africa is running out of it. More than 98 percent of South Africa’s water has already been allocated, and this country is facing a severe water crisis in the coming decade. We’re going to face skyrocketing water prices, droughts due to climate change and increasing competition over water--possibly leading to conflict. Already a lack of access to water is leading to service delivery...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
In climate puzzle for crops, ancient tree offers clues
Reuters: On a windswept Swedish mountain, a 10,000-year-old spruce with a claim to be the world's oldest tree is getting a new lease of life thanks to global warming, even as many plants are struggling. Scientists are finding that the drift of growing areas for many plants out toward the poles is moving not in a smooth progression but in fits and starts, causing problems for farmers aiming to adapt and invest in cash crops that are more sensitive to climate than is this ancient conifer known as "Old Tjikko"....

Sat, 20 Oct 12
‘Virtual Water’ – A New Way to Look at Climate Impacts
Climate Central: While international trade results in carbon emissions thanks to the fossil fuels burned by planes, trucks and ships, a Princeton University research team has found that world trade could also mean more efficient water use as a side benefit. And since water is a key resource in the production of climate-friendly energy sources, including hydroelectric and nuclear power, that could at least partially offset trade's negative impact. Focusing on agriculture, which accounts for 80 percent of freshwater...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Why the chill on climate change?
Washington Post: Not a word has been said in the presidential debates about what may be the most urgent and consequential issue in the world: climate change. President Obama understands and accepts the scientific consensus that the burning of fossil fuels is trapping heat in the atmosphere, with potentially catastrophic long-term effects. Mitt Romney's view, as on many issues, is pure quicksilver -- impossible to pin down -- but when he was governor of Massachusetts, climate-change activists considered him enlightened...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Russia hints at plans to quit Kyoto Protocol
Agence France-Presse: "One has to admit that we never got any real commercial gain from the Kyoto Protocol," news agencies quoted Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as telling a government meeting. "That does not mean that we have to try and drag it (the treaty) out any further," Medvedev added. European diplomats at the May G8 summit in France said that Russia along with Japan and Canada had confirmed plans not to join the second round of carbon cuts. Russia ratified the treaty in 2004. It has since argued that...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Costa Rica: A first step toward carbon neutrality
Tico Times: By David Boddiger Environment Ministry officials on Wednesday presented the first phase of Costa Rica’s plan to be completely carbon-neutral by 2021. Lindsay Fendt Costa Rica is the only tropical country to boast more than half of its territory is covered in forests. Officials plan to convert land used in cattle ranching and coffee farming into more forests by planting 7 million trees in coming years as part of its efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2021. It may have been a politically...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
'REDD+ actions can have varying impacts'
SciDev.Net: Impacts of actions under Reduction of Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) -- a UN mechanism to stem deforestation and degradation -- on biodiversity and carbon vary across forest types and landscape conditions, a new global assessment shows. Key findings of the preliminary assessment of links between biodiversity, carbon, forests and people, prepared by the International Union of Forest Research Organisations' Global Forest Experts Panel (GFEP), were released this week (16 October) at the international...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
U.S. officials to visit Indonesia for palm oil emissions talks
Reuters: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will visit Indonesia next week, officials said on Friday, in what may prove a crucial step in the battle to meet green standards and open up a potentially huge market for the world's top palm oil producer. Indonesia is seen as a key player in the fight against climate change and is under intense international pressure to curb its rapid deforestation rate and destruction of carbon-rich peatlands. A recent blow to the Southeast Asian palm oil industry,...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Americans increasingly believe in global warming, Yale report says
LA Times: For the first time since the United States entered a deep recession five years ago, 70% of Americans now say they believe global warming is a reality, according to researchers. In a report released Thursday by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, authors wrote that America's concern about global warming is now at its highest level since 2008, and that 58% of Americans expressed worries about it. "Historically Americans have viewed climate change as a distant problem -- distant...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Canada: US businessman defends controversial geoengineering experiment
Guardian: The American businessman who dumped around 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the Pacific Ocean has become a lone defender of his project, after a storm of criticism from indigenous peoples, the Canadian government and a UN biodiversity meeting in India. Russ George, who told the Globe and Mail that he is the world's leading "champion" of geoengineering, says he has been under a "dark cloud of vilification" since the Guardian broke news of an ocean fertilisation scheme, funded by an indigenous village...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Climate change-How to fix it
Economist: The Carbon Crunch: How We’re Getting Climate Change Wrong--and How to Fix It. By Dieter Helm. Yale University Press; 273 pages; £20. To be published in America next month; $35. Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk IN DECEMBER 2009, as the Copenhagen climate conference fell apart, the chairman of Greenpeace UK, John Sauven, said “the city of Copenhagen is a crime scene tonight, with the guilty men and women fleeing to the airport.” His remark captured some of the salient characteristics of climate...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Green Investment Bank - Banking on a Green Future
Earth Times: One of the major stumbling blocks to all sorts of technological innovation is finance. The UK is about to launch a Green Investment Bank to help get green projects financed. TheAldersgate Group of green businesses hosted a packed-out event on Tuesday in central London where the British government's Business Secretary Dr. Vince Cable outlined how the bank will create sustainable growth, when the legislation goes through early next year. The bank will finance green infrastructure projects. Initially...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Drilling Payments Cause a Dispute in Pennsylvania
New York Times: Four Pennsylvania townships are challenging a state regulator’s decision to withhold their share of proceeds from a statewide levy on drilling by the booming natural gas industry there. The townships, in a heavily drilled area of southwestern Pennsylvania, were excluded from a list of 35 counties and 1,485 municipalities that will receive a total of $108.7 million from a new “impact fee” charged to energy companies to help compensate for the effects of gas drilling on local communities. The payout,...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
United Arab Emirates: Expert stresses role of climate change and sustainability for future growth
The Peninsula: Senior professionals from the oil and gas, real estate, construction and banking industry yesterday discussed the system of megaforces important for business leaders and opportunities for future proof economic growth in Qatar. Hosted by the global audit, tax and advisory firm, KPMG, the seminar included a presentation from Yvo De Boer, KPMG's Special Global Advisor, Climate Change and Sustainability. "Increasing strain on infrastructure and natural systems is likely as patterns of economic...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
"Lethally Hot" Earth Was Devoid of Life—Could It Happen Again?
National Geographic: Extinctions during the early Triassic period left Earth a virtual wasteland, largely because life literally couldn't take the heat, a new study suggests. Between 247 to 252 million years ago, Earth was reeling from a mass extinction called the end-Permian event. The die-off had wiped out most life on Earth, including most land plants. The planet was baking, and life at the Equator struggled to survive. Plants gobble up carbon dioxide, which warms the planet. So without them, Earth became "like...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Ghana Calls for Support to Tackle Climate Change
Public Agenda: Ghana's appreciable level of consciousness about Climate Change is a mark of progress but can be meaningful if the country can translate that consciousness into measures that seek to arrest the consequences of the negative effects of the menace, Hon. Sherry Ayittey, Minister for Environment Science and Technology has observed. But according to the Minister, the desire to translate the consciousness into measures would become a reality if the international community made good their pledges under...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Winter Wheat Crop Now Feeling Impact of U.S. Drought
Climate Central: During the past week, drought conditions have improved slightly across the U.S., but the majority of the lower 48 states continue to suffer from what is proving to be a widespread and pernicious drought event, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor statistics, released on Thursday. The drought put a major dent in the U.S. corn and soybean crop, and now it is delaying the emergence of winter wheat, which is grown in some of the hardest-hit drought states, such as Nebraska. Two storm systems...

Sat, 20 Oct 12
Iron Fertilization: Savior to Climate Change or Ocean Dumping?
National Geographic: Unbeknownst to most scientists until a few days ago, two hundred thousand pounds of iron sulphate were dumped into North Pacific Ocean in July, with the aim to trigger a large plankton bloom. This experiment was conducted by the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation, under the direction of businessman Russ George. Why dump this dirty brown powder into the ocean and why to trigger a plankton bloom? All in the name of reversing man-made climate change. Phytoplankton is photosynthetic, needing sunlight...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
KMPG: Businesses failing to tackle water risks
BusinessGreen: None of the world's largest 250 companies report on the water footprint of their entire supply chain, despite the fact that the majority of them have started to look at how water risks could impact their operations. Those the stark findings of a new report from consultancy KPMG, which aims to understand how businesses are preparing to tackle the growing risks presented by water scarcity. Published yesterday, the report assesses the corporate responsibility (CR) reports of the largest companies...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Activists: Put climate change on presidential debate agenda
Miami Herald: Despite a year that has produced unprecedented ice melts in the Arctic and Greenland, a devastating drought across much of the country and hundreds of record high temperatures around the world, the subject of climate change has managed to remain in the deep freezer of presidential politics. At a small rally in Miami Beach on Thursday, environmentalists took one last longshot at making global warming a meaningful campaign issue — hoping that if freaky global weather wasn’t enough, maybe salty Atlantic...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Climate change activists beg more attention from Romney, Obama
LA Times: With just 2 1/2 weeks left before election day, there's an urgency on all fronts in the presidential race. For activists, it's not just about whether President Obama or Mitt Romney will win, but whether either man will pay attention to their issue. Perhaps no interest community has been as disappointed as those who worry about global climate change. They have repeatedly called for more attention to the issue and, for the most part, failed to get it. This week's presidential debate prompted...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Brazil's Rousseff enacts forest law in blow to farm lobby
Reuters: Brazil enacted a controversial law on Thursday meant to protect forests and force farmers to replant trees on scattered swathes of illegally cleared land totaling an area roughly the size of Italy. The law, signed by President Dilma Rousseff, overhauls the "forest code," a set of laws unchanged for decades that dictates the minimum percentage and type of woodland that farmers, timber companies and others must leave intact on their properties. The new code, following years of tense negotiations...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
BP says Gulf spill well sealed despite surface oil sheen
Reuters: BP Plc. on Thursday said its ill-fated Macondo well remains sealed and that an oil sheen spotted on the Gulf of Mexico near the site of the sunken Deepwater Horizon is likely from a cofferdam used in an attempt to cap the runaway well in 2010. London-based BP reported a sheen on September 16 in block 252 of the Mississippi Canyon, about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. The U.S. Coast Guard said last week test samples indicated that the sheen matched the type of oil from the mile-deep Macondo...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Solar power is contagious
ScienceDaily: People are more likely to install a solar panel on their home if their neighbors have one, according to a Yale and New York University study in the journal Marketing Science. The researchers studied clusters of solar installations throughout California from January 2001 to December 2011 and found that residents of a particular zip code are more likely to install solar panels if they already exist in that zip code and on their street. "We looked at the influence that the number of cumulative...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
With Tight Research Budgets, Is There Room for the Eternal Promise of Fusion?
New York Times: Moving beyond the country`s, and world`s, existing energy menu, which is still by far dominated by abundant and relatively cheap fossil fuels, is hard, whatever your preferred path. To use a sports analogy (and setting aside, for the moment "stasists" locked into the status quo), the debate tends to break down to those pushing the ground game, investing in deployment of today`s non-polluting sources like wind and solar, and those pursuing tough, but potentially game-changing advances in technologies...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Dear Candy, You Blew It on Climate Change
Huffington Post: Candy Crowley, I want to congratulate you on the great job you did moderating the town hall presidential debate. But disappointed doesn't begin to express how I feel about the question you didn't choose from the audience. You had a chance to get the candidates on record on how they will deal with climate change, and you blew it. Some great topics were debated Tuesday night, but unless Bob Schieffer changes his mind and adds global warming to his issue list in next week's foreign policy forum,...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Kenya Climate Innovation Center Helps Address Climate Change
Voice of America: Quickly becoming known as the home of the "Silicon Savannah,' Kenya hopes to make the world a bit greener with its new Climate Innovation Center. The center will assist entrepreneurs in securing financing and other services for their companies while helping the country and region address the effects of climate change. Kenya's recently-launched Climate Innovation Center, or CIC, is positioned to become the business hub for African climate technology entrepreneurs. The center is the first of its...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Fishery collapse near Venezuela linked to climate change
ScienceDaily: Even small increases in temperature from global warming are causing climatology shifts harmful to ocean life, a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science shows. Modest changes in temperature have significantly altered trade wind intensity in the southern Caribbean, undercutting the supply of key phytoplankton food sources and causing the collapse of some fisheries there. "Global warming isn't occurring uniformly over the Earth's surface -- it's been much greater at the...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
U.S. trial set in Chevron fraud case against Ecuador lawyers
Reuters: A U.S. trial has been set for next fall in a Chevron Corp lawsuit that accuses Ecuadorean residents, their lawyers, and advisers of fraud in obtaining a $19 billion pollution award against the U.S. oil company. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan said at a brief hearing on Thursday that the trial would begin on October 15, 2013. The battle over the pollution case has lasted for nearly two decades and is being fought in courts inside and outside the Andean country. It has escalated...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Roasting Triassic heat exterminated tropical life
New Scientist: Some 249 million years ago, parts of Earth were so hot they were literally uninhabitable. The scorching temperatures directly led to an extinction event - the only time this has happened in Earth's history. Many species were unable to survive in the tropics and could only cling on close to the poles. "These were the hottest times the Earth's ever had since it cooled from a molten blob," says Paul Wignall of the University of Leeds, UK. The extreme heatwave happened in the early Triassic period,...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Shadow Over Aichi Biodiversity Targets
Inter Press Service: With negotiations to mobilise resources for preservation of biodiversity at a major United Nations conference going nowhere, the Group of 77 and China have hinted at possible suspension of the "˜Aichi targets' under the Nagoya Protocol. Algeria, current G 77 chair, stressed in a statement at the 11th Conference of Parties (COP 11) to the CBD, underway in this south Indian city, that developing countries had made significant commitments at COP 10 in Nagoya, Japan, on the expectation...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Baku Mulls “Green Tax” on Corporate Polluters
Inter Press Service: Azerbaijani officials appear to buy into the idea that taxation policy can be an effective way of managing the environment. While environmentalists are generally supportive of a government idea to introduce a "green tax" on companies, some experts voice concern that such a provision would be prone to manipulation. Despite various clean-up efforts over the past decade, Azerbaijan wins few international accolades for the state of its environment. Problems range from pollution of the Caspian-Sea's...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
What about climate change?
Baltimore Sun: Last month, a Republican-aligned polling firm called on hunters and fishermen nationwide to get their views. Some of the results were unsurprising: Outdoorsmen regard themselves as politically conservative and register Republican over Democratic by a more than 2-to-1 ratio. But here's one response that may have caught President Barack Obama and his re-election team by surprise, if they noticed it at all: A majority of these sportsmen believe global warming is the cause of this past summer's high...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Canada: Iron-Dumping Experiment in Pacific Alarms Marine Experts
New York Times: An environmental entrepreneur whose plan to dump iron in a patch of the Pacific Ocean was shelved four years ago after a scientific outcry has gone ahead with a similar experiment without any academic or government oversight, startling and unnerving marine researchers. The incident has prompted an investigation by Canadian environmental officials, and in the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it was misled into providing ocean-monitoring buoys for the project....

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Great Lakes at Risk of Major Oil Spill, Report Warns
Inside Climate News: Two aging oil and natural gas pipelines running under the sparkling waters of the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan are time bombs that could devastate the upper Great Lakes if they rupture, according to a report issued today by the National Wildlife Federation [3]. The pipelines are owned by Enbridge Inc. [4] and carry an estimated 20 million gallons of oil and natural gas every day under the pristine water from Superior, Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario. The company announced in May [5] that...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
U.S. drought to continue through winter, may spread
Reuters: The drought that ravaged the United States this year does not appear to be abating and may spread through the winter, government forecasters said on Thursday. "The large majority of that drought we expect to persist," said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "We even see drought expanding westward ... into Montana, Idaho and part of Oregon and Washington."

Fri, 19 Oct 12
How climate change disappeared from the debates
Washington Post: Over at the New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert laments the fact that neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney had anything to say about climate change during the second presidential debate Tuesday. Oh, sure, they talked about energy -- about oil leases, about coal, a few quick nods toward renewable energy. But nothing about this warming planet of ours. Nothing about the summer`s droughts or wildfires or the rapidly melting Arctic. So I was curious to look back at how Obama and John McCain talked about...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Drought areas shrink, wheat states see improvement
Reuters: Drought retreated across many areas of the United States over the last week as storm systems pushed through parched areas, bringing coast-to-coast relief from record-breaking dry conditions. Roughly 62.39 percent of the contiguous United States was experiencing at least "moderate" drought as of October 16, down from 63.55 percent a week earlier, according to Thursday's Drought Monitor, a weekly compilation of data gathered by federal and academic scientists. The portion of the United States...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Three Debate Questions to Break the Climate Silence
Huffington Post: Two presidential debates and a VP debate have come and gone, with no mention of climate change. Instead, there have been some exchanges about energy policy, about whether enough public land has been drilled, and who was more of a "coal man." Both candidates claimed to be pro-oil and pro-coal, and said positive things about oil and gas pipelines such as the KeystoneXL pipeline. To be fair, President Obama also included renewables in his discussion, and he emphasized the need for demand reduction through...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
United States: Ocelots, pro pitcher and pipeline builder tied up in lawsuit
NBC: How did a pro baseball pitcher (Josh Beckett of the L.A. Dodgers), ocelots and a natural gas pipeline builder make it into the same news headline? They're all part of a lawsuit filed by Beckett after the company used eminent domain to clear land on his 7,000-acre hunting ranch in south Texas. Beckett alleges the company, Eagle Ford Midstream, violated the Endangered Species Act by clearing land that was habitat for the ocelot, of which only 100 are thought to be left in the wild in the U.S. On...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Canada: Panel makes final pitch for national price on carbon
Globe and Mail: A blue-ribbon advisory group that was killed by the Harper government is issuing a final plea for a national price on carbon. The National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy was created 24 years ago by former prime minister Brian Mulroney as he embraced the concept of sustainable development. But after a series of reports that challenged the current government's policies, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty cut off its funding in last March's budget. The roundtable's final report, to be...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Alan Jones ordered to undergo 'factual accuracy' training
Sydney Morning Herald: CONTROVERSIAL shock jock Alan Jones has been ordered to undergo ''factual accuracy'' training, and to use fact-checkers, in another damaging blow to his credibility. External trainers will conduct training sessions for Jones and other news and current affairs staff at 2GB. But their task could be a challenging one, with many leading journalism academics having been involved in the online ''Destroy the Joint'' campaign against Jones. That campaign led to droves of advertisers abandoning the show...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Canada missing out on green revolution, panel says
Ottawa Citizen: The Canadian economy will miss out on a booming market of green goods and services worth trillions of dollars if governments fail to steer away from foolish energy and climate change policies, says a new report to be released Thursday. The analysis, the sixth and final report in a research series undertaken by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, concluded that goods and services promoting reductions in greenhouse gas emissions were part of a sector that's growing faster...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Is geography behind sea-ice paradox?
Japan Times: When sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean fell to a record-low level last month, much of the analysis in Asia and the Pacific focused on the opening of new and shorter commercial shipping routes to Europe, and increased access to Arctic offshore oil and gas resources. These could be very positive developments for the region, especially for the energy-short trading economies of Northeast Asia led by Japan, China and South Korea. But the dramatic decline in both the extent of Arctic sea ice and...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Photographer James Balog traces glacial decay in his latest documentary, "Chasing Ice."
Fast Company: When James Balog set out to document decaying glaciers via time-lapse photography, he first had to build a camera that could withstand hurricane winds and temperatures of 40 degrees below zero. Balog talks us through the labor-intensive project--35 cameras were placed at 18 glaciers for more than four years--the results of which can be seen in this month’s documentary Chasing Ice. Why build your own equipment? I entered this project thinking I'd be able to buy this equipment off the shelf,...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Canadian expert says warmer, wetter, weather adding to extreme weather woes
Canadian Press: A gradual warming of the atmosphere coupled with a melting snowpack and receding glaciers is likely to lead to continued incidents of extreme weather, says a Canadian water-policy expert. Bob Sandford, EPCOR Chair for the Canadian Partnership Initiative of the United Nations Water for Life Decade, took some of the world’s leading water and climate scientists, engineers, risk managers, municipal planners and policy experts on a tour of the Columbia Icefields on Wednesday. The experts, from the...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Sea level rising faster than average in the U.S. northeast
Climate Central: Sea level is rising all over the world thanks to the heat-trapping effect of greenhouse-gas emissions, but according to a new study published in the Journal of Coastal Research, the northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada have seen the ocean rise at an accelerating rate in recent decades. Based on readings at 23 tidal gauges stretching along the entire East Coast, John Boon of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science has determined that the rate of sea level rise began to accelerate in 1987 at points...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Glacier retreat affects stream ecology, water resources
Calgary Herald: Dozens of scientists took a bus early Wednesday to the middle of the snow-covered Athabasca Glacier in the Columbia Icefield, stepping into a site that’s known as Canada’s hydrological apex. Along the edges, there are signs the glacier was once wider. At the bottom, markers show how much it’s retreated — more than 1.5 kilometres in the past 125 years. The tour — led by the University of Calgary’s Shawn Marshall and Michael Demuth of the Geological Survey of Canada — is a stark reminder of how...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Australia: Future Fund declines to reveal climate risk plans
Sydney Morning Herald: Australia`s sovereign wealth fund, the Future Fund, has snubbed a request to reveal how it plans to manage climate change risks, declaring ''resource constraints`` prevented its involvement, according to an advocacy group. John Hewson, chair of the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP), said the $77 billion fund needed to disclose its plans for dealing with future challenges posed by global warming. ''It is quite extraordinary that Australia`s largest fund which will have to supply pension...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Adaptation to climate change should be focus
Business Day: ATTEMPTS to control or curb the emission of greenhouse gases, linked by science to the overall rise in global temperatures, were "probably too late to arrest the inevitable trend of global warming", two scientists, one from South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), said in an opinion piece published in the peer review journal Nature Climate Change on Wednesday. Governments and institutions, especially in developing countries, should focus on adapting to climate change, instead of...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Carbon tax can aid clean energy
Atlanta Journal Constitution: My hat is off to Georgia Power following its recent announcement to significantly boost the amount of solar-generated electricity it distributes to customers, 10 times the amount it currently buys and sells. Given what we`ve seen this year with corn-killing drought and record-setting temperatures, any efforts to shift toward clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions is extremely welcome. Georgia could benefit from reduced air pollution, since there are about 10,000 hospitalizations for...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Study helps pinpoint East Coast sea level rise
Summit Voice: Calculating sea level rise has been vexing for climate and ocean scientists. Melting ice and thermal expansion both contribute, but the water doesn`t just go up evenly like a bathtub that`s filling up. Pinpointing the rate and location of sea level rise is critical for planners tasked with adapting their communities to coastal flooding, said John Boon, emeritus professsor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. “Localized projections of sea-level rise are needed to guide the regional planning...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
UK Met Office responds: It's still getting warmer
EarthSky: If you were engaging in social media this past weekend, you might have found an October 13, 2012 article suggesting that global warming stopped 16 years ago. The article is here. David Rose of the Daily Mail wrote it. The article says the UK Met Office sent out a news release release saying its data showed that global warming has stopped and that there is no "discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures." It now comes to light that this information is not true. The UK Met Office did not release...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
New Research Links Health Problems with Oil and Natural Gas Development
EcoWatch: The largest health survey to-date of Marcellus Shale residents living near oil and gas development shows a clear pattern of negative health impacts associated with living near gas facilities, according to a new report released by Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project today. Titled Gas Patch Roulette: How Shale Gas Development Risks Public Health in Pennsylvania, the project surveyed 108 residents in 14 Pennsylvania counties, and conducted air and water tests at more than half of the households...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
EU climate committee sets 2013-2020 CO2 limits for non-ETS sectors
Platts: The EU's climate change committee on Thursday approved new annual national limits on greenhouse gas emissions for sectors not covered by the EU's emissions trading scheme, the European Commission said. The climate change committee comprises experts from national governments and is responsible for establishing technical rules implementing EU climate policy. Its draft decision Thursday sets out in metric tons how much non-ETS sectors are allowed to emit in each member state for 2013-2020. "The...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Weak El Nino pattern may develop this winter: U.S. government
Reuters: Ocean temperatures may enter a weak El Nino pattern this winter, which could affect U.S. weather in coming months, government forecasters said on Thursday. Parts of the Mississippi Valley and eastern plains may experience less precipitation than normal this winter, while the Gulf coast may have wetter weather due to El Nino, the U.S. National Weather Service said in its annual winter outlook.

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Four power stations' worth of locally-owned renewable schemes could be installed by 2020
Independent: Four power stations' worth of locally-owned renewable schemes could be installed by 2020 if the Government supports community energy, it was claimed today. A coalition of organisations including the Co-operative, the National Trust, the Church of England and the Women's Institute are calling for measures to boost the community renewable power and energy efficiency schemes. They want national targets for community energy, promotion of local ownership to increase public acceptance of renewables,...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Natural Disaster Trends Report Cites Link To Climate Change 'Footprint'
Huffington Post: North America has seen the world’s sharpest increase in the number of natural catastrophes during the past 32 years, a trend that in some respects is linked to manmade global warming, according to a report released Wednesday from the global reinsurance giant Munich Re. The study, which has not undergone scientific peer review, examined natural disaster losses between 1980 and 2011, finding that weather-related loss events in North America “nearly quintupled” during the period, compared to just an...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
UK drought and flooding 'unprecedented'
Guardian: The dramatic switch from drought and hosepipe bans in England this spring to the wettest April to June ever and widespread flooding was of a magnitude never seen before, water experts said on Thursday. While water supplies have made "dramatic" recoveries from droughts before, such as in 1975/76, "sustained recoveries of this magnitude during the late spring and summer have not been seen before," said Terry Marsh, from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH). Earlier this month, the CEH...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Protesters call on George Osborne to recognise green economy's potential
Guardian: Deborah Meaden, the businesswoman and TV "Dragon", on Thursday attacked what she said was the failure of the chancellor, George Osborne, to promote green energy and businesses, as she led hundreds from business, environment, trade union, faith and women's groups in a protest outside the Treasury. Meaden, a Dragon's Den judge, told the Guardian: "Osborne needs to overcome his blindness for green issues. Businesses need a framework – clarity and stability. You can't get the green economy going without...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Oracle predicts 'huge' market for UK water smart metering
BusinessGreen: Business software giant Oracle is hoping to tap into a potentially "huge" market for smart water metering in Britain, as utilities try to tackle the loss of billions of litres of water through undetected leakages. Water companies are facing mounting political and consumer pressure to reduce the 3.2 billion litres of water leaking from the UK water network every day, and are increasingly turning to new technology to reduce water stress and predict leak hotspots. Oracle is to publish a report...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Shell Canada denied in bid to block critics from Jackpine oil sands hearings
Financial Post: A regulatory panel has denied Shell Canada’s efforts to have critics excluded from participation in upcoming environmental assessment hearings for its Jackpine oil sands mine expansion north of Fort McMurray, Alta. Shell had hoped to benefit from the new Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, enacted this summer as part of Ottawa’s “Responsible Resource Development Plan.” The act is intended to ease the regulatory burden on companies and spur investment in Canada’s natural resources by...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Clean Water Act’s Essential Role in Restoring the Great Lakes
EcoWatch: As the Clean Water Act celebrates its 40th anniversary, conservation leaders are asking public officials to not undermine protections which have lead to healthier water to drink; cleaner streams, rivers and lakes in which to swim, fish and play; and dramatically lower rates of natural wetland loss. “The Clean Water Act has been instrumental in improving our environment and economy for people across the nation,” said Jan Goldman-Carter, senior manager of Wetlands and Water Resources for the National...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
What’s Wrong with Putting a Price on Nature?
Yale Environment 360: Ecosystem services is not exactly a phrase to stir the human imagination. But over the past few years, it has managed to dazzle both diehard conservationists and bottom-line business types as the best answer to global environmental decline. For proponents, the logic is straightforward: Old-style protection of nature for its own sake has badly failed to stop the destruction of habitats and the dwindling of species. It has failed largely because philosophical and scientific arguments rarely trump...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Japan tightening nuclear safety rules-chief regulator
Reuters: Japan's new nuclear regulator will impose tighter safety standards for atomic plants, taking account of geological data in the earthquake-prone country, its head said on Thursday. Shuichi Tanaka, in an interview, also said his new body would have the authority to restart reactors idled since last year's Fukushima disaster once new safety standards were in place and met. Restarting such units is a key point in reducing the import bill for fossil fuels to produce electricity. Tanaka, head of...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Climate change a factor in spiralling weather disaster costs
Business Green: Weather catastrophes have cost North America $1,060bn over the past 30 years, insurance giant Munich Re reported yesterday, warning that climate change means weather-related costs are rising fast. A company study estimates insured losses from storms, floods, drought and heat waves over the period from 1980 to 2011 totalled $510bn. The report also reveals a five-fold rise in weather-related loss events in North America over the past three decades, compared with a four-fold increase in Asia,...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Disaster reduction aid way below target - report
AlertNet: Most donor governments have grasped the importance of policies to reduce the risk of disasters, but few are giving enough aid to put them into practice, says a report from a UK-based aid research group. Data analysed by Development Initiatives (DI) shows that the 23 richest countries and the European Union invested only 3.4 percent of their humanitarian spending in disaster prevention and preparedness in 2010, down from 4 percent in 2009, and well below an international target of 10 percent. For...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Using film to square up to the horrors of factory farming
Ecologist: Pig Business charts the rise of Smithfield Foods, now the world's biggest pork producer, and its expansion into Poland and Romania where it dominates the industry, taking advantage of low capital costs, cheap labour and unenforced regulations. Both countries, expecting employment and the benefits of inward investment have woken up too late to the aggressive and predatory nature of a business whose profits go to global investors while stench, pollution, disease and bankruptcies are the costs paid...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Business Lobbying for Kyoto Emissions Role
Moscow Times: Representatives of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the Economic Development Ministry and state-owned banks VTB and Sberbank have made a joint call for the government to rethink its refusal to sign the Kyoto 2 environmental treaty. At a meeting on the issue hosted by the Higher School of Economics last week, delegates from several financial institutions and business groups said they would pass along their recommendation that Russia join Kyoto 2 to presidential adviser and...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Climate change means conservation ethics must change
Fort Worth Star Telegram: For decades environmentalists have been guided in their work by what became known as the "precautionary principle." This decision-making guide was first put forward in environmental terms by pioneering naturalist and biologist Aldo Leopold in his landmark 1940s essay "Round River." His focus was the complexity of the environment. "If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Scientists Solve Mystery Of Disappearing Salt Marshes
National Public Radio: Marshes along streams and estuaries protect land from storm surges. But they're disappearing fast and now scientists have discovered a previously unknown marsh killer: nutrients. Nitrogen from fertilizers and sewage makes marshes grow faster, but the roots grow smaller so the soil can't hold the bigger plants. That means soil banks collapse and marshes turn to mud.

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Climate Politics: It's Laugh Lines Vs. 'Not A Joke'
National Public Radio: Scientists view climate change as one of the world's most pressing long-term problems. But the issue has barely surfaced in the U.S. presidential race. President Obama has taken steps to address climate change during his time in office. Republican challenger Mitt Romney would not make it a priority in his administration. In fact, as Romney stood on the stage to accept his nomination at the Republican National Convention, he used global warming as a laugh line. "President Obama promised to begin...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Poor nations spend more on climate change: UNEP
Khaleej Times: Developing countries are allocating more money than the developed world for fighting climate change, the UN said Wednesday, lauding India for pledging $50 million for bio-diversity conservation at a meet here. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner, who is here to attend the 11th meeting of the Conference of Parties on Conservation of Bio-diversity observed that the rich nations are yet to give money promised to poor nations for fighting climate change. "The...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Will climate change lead to more droughts?
Guardian: Although climate change is expected to lead to slightly more rainfall at the global level, the timing and distribution of that rain is likely to change, increasing the chance of drought in some regions. The details are very difficult to predict, however. This is partly because regional climate impacts are strongly dependent on large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns like the jet stream, which are hard to model in climate simulations. There is some indication from climate modelling that the Mediterranean,...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
CCS runs into financial difficulties
European Voice: European Union member states, particularly the UK, are struggling to meet the European Commission's deadlines for securing funding for pilot projects to demonstrate carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. Without the pilot projects, CCS is unlikely to contribute significantly to reducing the EU's carbon emissions. At stake is €1.5 billion of EU funding that had been earmarked for CCS but can be secured only if member states put up co-financing. In theory, CCS offers the prospect of low-carbon...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Intercropping with nitrogen-fixing crops leads to increased maize yields, says study
Environmental News Network: Growing maize crops alongside legume trees has been shown to naturally fertilize fields and increase crop yields in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa. As a region known for its extremely volatile climate and it's population facing global hunger issues, this discovery is extremely important for the future of agroforestry in the area. In a study published in the Agronomy Journal by researchers at the World Agroforestry Center, researchers compared yield stability in three scenarios: maize intercropped...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
NOAA Revives Weather Satellite After Lengthy Outage
Climate Central: Technicians with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boeing, and ITT successfully revived one of the country's main weather observing satellites, which had malfunctioned in September. The satellite, known as "GOES-13," is used for keeping tabs on weather across the East Coast and Atlantic Ocean. The satellite, which was taken offline on September 23, had experienceed increasing vibrations, or "noise,' in its sounder and imaging instruments. In a press release, NOAA said...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
China's timber imports plunge
Mongabay: Imports of logs and timber to China plunged 19 percent during the first eight months of 2012 relative to the same period a year earlier reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. The slowdown is attributed to a drop in demand due to reduced construction. China imported $4.3 billion worth of logs and lumber through the end of August, 19 percent last year. Log imports dropped 17 percent by volume, lumber volume fell 5 percent. The biggest decline in log imports were from Russia and the U.S. Prices fell...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Clean Coal is a Hoax, Mr. President, So Drop it
EcoWatch: Out of all the meaningless slogans bantered around this election season, President Obama`s clinging to the "clean coal" banner ranks as one of the most specious. "Clean coal" is a hoax, and the president knows it, and outside of appeasing a few Midwestern Big Coal sycophants and his Duke Energy coal buddy Jim Rogers, who helped to underwrite the Democratic Convention this summer in Charlotte, Obama has little to gain from invoking the offensive phrase. You`re offensive, President Obama, to...

Fri, 19 Oct 12
Why I’m Standing Up to TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline
EcoWatch: On Oct. 4, in rural east Texas, a 78-year-old great-grandmother, Eleanor Fairchild, was arrested for trespassing on her own property … and I was arrested standing beside her, as we held our ground in the path of earth-moving excavators constructing TransCanada`s Keystone XL pipeline. Seems there`s showdown in Texas--but, in fact, it`s a battle being waged all over the U.S. It`s being fought by ordinary citizens of all colors, economic strata and political persuasions--against the world`s wealthiest...

Thu, 18 Oct 12
Will we need to pull carbon out of the atmosphere to save ourselves?
Mongabay: This year saw the Arctic sea ice extent fall to a new and shocking low, while the U.S. experienced it warmest month ever on record (July), beating even Dust Bowl temperatures. Meanwhile, a flood of new research has convincingly connected a rise in extreme weather events, especially droughts and heatwaves, to global climate change, and a recent report by the DARA Group and Climate Vulnerability Forum finds that climate change contributes to around 400,000 deaths a year and costs the world 1.6 percent...

Thu, 18 Oct 12
Canada: Alberta sets up oil sands monitoring agency
Reuters: The Alberta government said on Wednesday it is creating an arms-length scientific agency to monitor the environmental impacts of oil sands production as the industry seeks to expand its markets into regions that are increasingly wary of the process. The Conservative government of Premier Alison Redford said the body will focus on what should be monitored as well methods and locations, following a series of previous scientific studies and government reports that have suggested the Lower Athabasca...

Thu, 18 Oct 12
Climate Change, The Debate's Great Unmentionable
New Yorker: Early on in Tuesday night’s debate, the candidates faced off about gasoline prices. In the subsequent coverage, that discussion was very nearly ignored in favor of Mitt Romney’s claim to have hired “binders full of women” as the governor of Massachusetts and the question of what, exactly, the President said about Benghazi in the Rose Garden. But the exchange deserves attention because it demonstrates why America has never had—and, at the rate things are going, never will have—an even remotely sane...

Thu, 18 Oct 12
What about climate change?
Salon: For environmentalists, Tuesday`s night presidential debate posed a dual conundrum: What`s harder to understand? That the candidates could discuss the rise or fall of oil production on public lands during Obama`s first term without mentioning the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, or that the entire fight to determine who supported fossil production more fervently could take place without a single reference to climate change? By and large, environmentalists already know who they are going to vote for...

Thu, 18 Oct 12
Some Caribbean Hotels Back Away from Battered Coastlines
Inter Press Service: The postcards portray sand, sea and sun. But key players in the Caribbean tourism industry are warning that it`s time to shift gears away from the region`s threatened coastlines and instead promote inland attractions like biodiversity. "Climate change is one of the things that is affecting the hotel industry, and the fact that most of our hotels are right on the beaches (means) they are subject to violent storms, the frequency of which has been projected to increase due to climate change issues,"...

Thu, 18 Oct 12
United Kingdom: 'The environmental Taliban'
Independent: George Osborne has started referring to Parliamentary climate change campaigners as the “environmental Taliban”, it emerged today, as the Treasury fights to water down renewable commitments in the Government’s flagship Energy Bill. Members of the Coalition’s quad of decision makers including the Chancellor, David Cameron and Nick Clegg met today in attempt to thrash out details of the bill which is due to be published within weeks. Ed Davey, the Climate Change Secretary, is pushing for the...

Thu, 18 Oct 12
'Climate Change Footprint' Cited in Disaster Loss Trends
Climate Central: North America has seen the world's sharpest increase in the number of natural catastrophes during the past 32 years, a trend that in some respects is linked to manmade global warming, according to a report released Wednesday from the global reinsurance giant Munich Re. The study, which has not undergone scientific peer review, examined natural disaster losses between 1980 and 2011, finding that weather-related loss events in North America "nearly quintupled' during the period, compared to just an...

Thu, 18 Oct 12
One Last Energy Fact from the Presidential Debate
New York Times: One assertion by President Obama about energy achievements in Tuesday night’s campaign debate drew little notice. Refuting Mr. Romney’s charge that he had jeopardized American energy security by vetoing the Keystone XL pipeline for carrying crude oil from Canada, the president said: “And with respect to this pipeline that Governor Romney keeps on talking about, we’ve — we’ve built enough pipeline to wrap around the entire earth once. So I’m all for pipelines; I’m all for oil production.” According...

Thu, 18 Oct 12
Top 20 Health Concerns Related to Fracking
EcoWatch: A fracking rig and operation stands among forests and fields in Bradford County, Pa. The state has been a hotbed of fracking activity and controversy over the exact impact of fracking has on groundwater, human health and the environment. Photo by Bob Warhover Grassroots Environmental Education, a nonprofit organization that organized and facilitated meetings between medical professionals, scientists and senior staff from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and New York...

Thu, 18 Oct 12
Why ‘that Pipeline from Canada’ Won’t Deliver the Energy Policy America Needs
EcoWatch: In last night’s town hall debate, Governor Romney suggested that the President was wrong in rejecting “that pipeline from Canada.” Governor Romney was referring to the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline that benefits the oil industry by linking tar sands to the deepwater ports of the Gulf Coast while putting our climate, fresh water and lands at risk. But it was the governor who was wrong in equating this tar sands pipeline to attaining North American energy independence. Putting energy use...

Thu, 18 Oct 12
China: Chinese Report Acknowledges Nuclear Safety Concerns at Reactors
Yale Environment 360: In a new report, the Chinese government has laid out a plan to upgrade the security at its nuclear power reactors over the next decade, suggesting that the country may be ready to resume a planned expansion of its nuclear sector halted in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster. The Ministry of Environmental Protection report indicates that roughly 80 billion yuan ($12.75 billion) will be required by 2015 to upgrade radioactive-contamination controls at the nation’s plants to international standards....

Thu, 18 Oct 12
Time is Short: Reports, Reflections & Analysis on Underground Resistance
Deep Green Resistance: The modern environmental movement began some 40 years ago, and by virtually every metric, the state of the planet has spiraled horrifically into catastrophe since then. Air, the world over, is more polluted and congested with poisons than ever before. Water available to ecosystems and people is reduced every year as more and more is stolen for industry and corporate agriculture, and what is left over is increasing toxified; 80% of rivers in the U.S. no longer support life. On this continent, 98%...

Thu, 18 Oct 12
Court hears arguments in California clean fuels case
Associated Press: In a case seeking to stop California's first-in-the-nation mandate requiring fuel producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, federal justices on Tuesday focused their questions on whether the law discriminates against out-of-state businesses. A three-justice panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments about the constitutionality of California's "Low Carbon Fuel Standard," a piece of the state's landmark global warming law, AB 32. The California Air Resources Board,...

Thu, 18 Oct 12
Climate change awareness in Africa and Asia 'varies greatly'
SciDevNet: For women living in rural areas of developing countries, levels of vulnerability to climate change and the capacity to adapt to its impacts varies greatly -- with some even more resilient than men, three pilot studies in Africa and Asia has revealed. Researchers found that women's abilities to cope with various climate change impacts depend on factors such as social status; access to resources; cultural norms; and access to social networks such as discussions in community groups and message passing,...

Thu, 18 Oct 12
EU biofuels rules a step forward, not perfect, Commissioners say
Reuters: New EU rules to limit how much food can be made into biofuels are "not perfect" and make it harder to achieve overall goals on switching to low carbon energy, European Commissioners said on Wednesday. But they insisted the proposals sent out the right signal to the biofuel industry, which would have to move on to new-generation fuels that do not compete with demand for food. The Commission announced a major policy shift in September, saying it planned to limit crop-based biofuels to 5 percent...

Thu, 18 Oct 12
Reinsurers should price in rise in natural disasters -Munich Re
Reuters: Reinsurers should take into account the fact that climate change has boosted natural catastrophes when they price weather disaster insurance, insurer Munich Re said. Climate-driven disasters accounted for $510 billion of insured losses in North America between 1980 and 2011, the highest amount anywhere for claims against natural catastrophes, the world's biggest reinsurer said in a study on Wednesday. The reinsurance industry, which takes on some of the risks underwritten by insurers, faced...

Thu, 18 Oct 12
United States: Asserting risks, City Hall drafts statement on climate change
Park Record: City Hall staffers have drafted a carefully worded statement intended to broadly outline a strategy for the municipal government to address climate change, asserting that there could be economic consequences alongside environmental changes that leaders should prepare to handle. The statement has not been widely publicized. It was drafted as staffers continue their long-running work on updating City Hall's General Plan, a document that guides growth in the community. The Park City Planning Commission...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Squirrels boom after mild winter, good nut crop
Associated Press: Don't let the bright eyes and bushy tails fool you. These squirrels are up to no good. Last year's mild winter and a bumper crop of nuts have caused an apparent explosion in the squirrel population in patches of the country, bewildering fruit growers with their ravenous appetites, littering highway shoulders as roadkill, and keeping homeowners and pest control experts busy. In southern Vermont, Clarence Boston said he hasn't seen such an infestation of pests in the 33 years he has been an orchardist...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Increased Rainfall Causes Drop in Sea Level?
Environmental News Network: Current perception of climate change leads us to believe that sea levels are constantly rising due to thermal expansion and melting ice caps. However, from the beginning of 2010 until mid-2011, the average level of the world's oceans dropped by 0.2 inches. According to a recent study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, this sea level decline was due to an increase in the amount of rainfall in Australia, northern South America and Southeast Asia. This increase in rainfall led to La...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
S.Asian children abused, put to work after climate disasters
AlertNet: South Asian children suffer physical violence and sexual abuse in the wake of climate-related disasters, and some are sent out to work or to beg for food and money, according to new research that includes firsthand accounts from children. Interviews, group discussions and consultations with more than 3,400 disaster-affected children and nearly 1,200 adults revealed "challenges" to children's safety and protection, says a briefing from the Overseas Development Institute and charity Plan UK. For...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
'Physical Internet': Shared transportation system would increase profits, reduce carbon emissions
ScienceDaily: The Physical Internet -- a concept in which goods are handled, stored and transported in a shared network of manufacturers, retailers and the transportation industry -- would benefit the U.S. economy and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study by engineers at the University of Arkansas and Virginia Tech University. If 25 percent of the U.S. supply chain operated with such an interconnected system, profits for participating firms would increase by $100 billion, carbon...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Canada set to lose WTO green energy dispute: report
Reuters: Canada is set to lose a dispute at the World Trade Organization brought by the European Union and Japan over support for renewable energy in Ontario, according to a newsletter published by a Geneva-based trade think-tank. Ontario's green scheme aimed to guarantee prices for renewable energy as long as it was generated with Canadian made equipment, which Japan described as protectionism when it brought the case against Canada. The WTO adjudication panel considering the case has issued an "interim...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Energy Bill horse-trading raises investment fears
BusinessGreen: Tension is mounting across the entire energy industry ahead of a meeting later this week of the "quad" of senior ministers, which is expected to finalise the content of the Energy Bill before it is put before parliament next month. Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, and Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey are scheduled to meet within the next two days in an attempt to iron out differences...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
September tied for world's warmest on record
Mongabay: September 2012 tied with 2005 for the warmest on record around the globe, according to new data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The average land and ocean temperature was 16.27 degrees Celsius (61.31 degrees Fahrenheit) for this September, 0.67 degrees Celsius (1.21 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th Century average for the month. Shockingly, this is the 331st month in a row that has been above the 20th Century average. The NOAA says that temperatures have...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Canada: Geoengineering experiment called violation of international law
Vancouver Sun: A private company has conducted what is being described as the world’s biggest geoengineering experiment off Canada’s west coast, dumping tonnes of iron into the ocean that may have triggered an artificial plankton bloom up to 10,000 square kilometres in size. The experiment, which critics say is a ”blatant violation” of United Nations rules, involves controversial Californian businessman Russ George who teamed up with a First Nations village on Haida Gwaii to establish the Haida Salmon Restoration...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Communities organize to confront climate change in El Salvador
Tierra America: Armed with chainsaws, machetes and shovels, local residents of El Salvador's Lower Lempa River Basin, near the Pacific Ocean, are unblocking the flow of rivers and pruning the branches of trees on riverbanks to keep them from falling into the chocolate-colored water. One team is working on clearing the El Espino River. Another is doing the same in El Borbollón, also located in the Lower Lempa River Basin in the department of Usulután, in southwest El Salvador. When the water flows more freely,...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Antarctica could follow same path as Arctic sea ice melt
Sydney Morning Herald: Asia and the Pacific has focused on the opening of new and shorter commercial shipping routes to Europe, and increased access to Arctic offshore oil and gas resources. Photo: David Neilson When sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean fell to a record low-level last month, much of the analysis in Asia and the Pacific focused on the opening of new and shorter commercial shipping routes to Europe, and increased access to Arctic offshore oil and gas resources. These could be very positive developments...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
World matched record for hottest September - again
Associated press: Something about September keeps bringing out the record heat in the world. The globe last month matched a record for the hottest September, set in 2005. It was the third time since 2000 that the world set or tied a heat record for September. In addition to 2012 and 2005, previous hot September records were set in 2003. And these records go back to 1880. Last month's average temperature was 60.2 degrees Fahrenheit worldwide, which is 1.2 degrees above normal, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
United Kingdom: 'RSPB wants to erect a wind turbine that will kill birds' claim protesters
Scotsman: A MAJOR wildlife charity has been accused of hypocrisy and double standards after revealing plans to erect a wind turbine at one of Scotland`s largest nature reserves. RSPB Scotland has submitted plans to Aberdeenshire Council to install a 62ft high “domestic” turbine at its Loch of Strathbeg reserve, near Crimond, in Buchan. The reserve is home to almost 300 species of birds during the year and in winter tens of thousands of geese, including up to a quarter of the world’s population of pink-footed...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Florida officials and scientists urge presidential candidates to address sea-level rise
ClimateWire: More than 120 Florida officials and scientists sent a letter to the campaigns of President Obama and Mitt Romney last week, urging the candidates to address sea-level rise in their final debate and during tours of the state. The action comes at a time when four counties in southeast Florida are weighing passage of a regional climate plan, completed this month, that sets broad goals on how to alter Florida infrastructure for rising seas and warming temperatures. Broward County, which includes Fort...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Court to hear arguments in California clean fuels case
Associated Press: A federal appeals court will hear arguments in a case seeking to stop California's first-in-the-nation mandate requiring petroleum refiners and ethanol producers to make cleaner fuels for millions of cars and trucks in the state. At issue before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is the constitutionality of California's "Low Carbon Fuel Standard," an important piece of the state's landmark global warming law, AB 32. The mandate requires petroleum refiners, fuel distributors and others to...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Why the Daily Mail was wrong to claim global warming has stopped
Skeptical Science: The British newspaper The Dail Mail and its writer David Rose are notorious for publishing misleading (at best) climate-related articles, as we have discussed previously here, for example. They have recently struck again, claiming that according to a "quietly released" Met Office report, global warming stopped 16 years ago (a myth which Skeptical Science debunks here and here). This assertion is entirely fabricated, as the Met Office explained by publishing David Rose's inquiry and the Met Office's...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Avian malaria found spreading in local Alaska birds
ClimateWire: A tropical plague is spreading among birds in America's northernmost state in part due to a changing climate, according to new research. Malaria, a scourge that haunts many parts of humanity, also afflicts our feathered friends. The avian version of the disease does not harm people, but it can serve as an analogue for future infection patterns in humans as the climate changes. Because mosquitoes transmit the disease, it tends to reside in warmer and wetter parts of the world, areas that are...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Clean energy must be election priority
Des Moines Register: “The death of our civilization is no longer a theory or academic possibility. It is the road we are on.” — Peter Goldmark, former Rockefeller Foundation president and member of the Environmental Defense Fund. I want to thank The Des Moines Register for printing the guest commentary by Hunter Lovins (“Climate Change Is About Jobs and the Economy,” Oct. 4) in which she described the problem of carbon dioxide pollution of our planetary home. The Register provides an important service by calling...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
EU Commission weakens biofuel rule changes: sources
Reuters: The European Commission has watered down proposals to reduce the indirect climate impact of biofuels, but is sticking to a strict new limit on the amount of food crops that can be used to make fuel, EU sources said on Tuesday. The late changes mean that fuel suppliers will not, as originally planned, be held accountable for the indirect emissions biofuels cause by displacing food production into new areas, resulting in forest clearance and peatland draining - known in EU jargon as ILUC factors....

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Polar science is accountable to the public, not industry | Alice Bell
Guardian: Apparently, the Natural Environment Research Council (Nerc) – the body responsible for managing UK environmental sciences – feel it's its job to help "de-risk" major investment decisions in the polar regions. It's page four, point 19 of their submission to a recent government consultation on merging research centres. The last bullet point is the key one, but it should be read in the context of the whole section, along with the extra reporting from the Guardian's Terry Macalister. There are many reasons...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Keystone XL Pipeline Historic Standoff Continues
EcoWatch: More than 50 blockaders on Monday tried to enter the site where activists have been holding a historic standoff to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, to expand and support the ongoing Tar Sands Blockade tree village in east Texas. Several managed to break through police lines to attempt to re-supply activists who have been occupying trees in the pathway of the Keystone XL pipeline since Sept. 24. The rest of the blockaders rallied nearby, blocked by police and TransCanada`s hired security, who had...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Deadly Tornado Outbreaks Linked to Climate Pattern
LiveScience: Some of the deadliest outbreaks of tornadoes in recent years have been linked to a particular type of climate pattern by a new study. The findings could help forecasters determine when twisters are most likely to strike. The pattern is called Trans-Niño and is part of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the climate cycle influenced by surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific, which affects global weather patterns. Trans-Niño occurs most notably when La Niña is winding down in the springtime,...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Solidarity Rallies Abound in Support of Tar Sands Blockade
EcoWatch: At lunchtime yesterday in Washington, DC, more than 100 activists and organizers gathered in front of the American Petroleum Institute (API) to bring attention to the increased violence against peaceful protesters in Winnsboro, Texas, and the need to halt the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. "This protest and protests like these are important so that the people who work at the API know that the resistances against the pipeline is across this country. Yet, more importantly it shows the...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
49 of the Top 50 US Employers are Concerned About Battling Climate Change
Triple Pundit: In this election year there have been ubiquitous declarations about the concerns of America’s “job creators” which is understandable given the high rate of unemployment. But what has been missing from the discussion is that all but one of the top 50 employers in the U.S. is concerned about battling climate change. An analysis of sustainability reports and corporate websites of the Fortune 50 list of top U.S. employers reveals that 68 percent specifically cite climate change as a key challenge,...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Climate Change: No Longer on the Backburner
Triple Pundit: Thousands of heat records were broken over the past few months in one of the hottest summers in recent history. Thankfully, this heat wave has reengaged the public’s interest in climate change and what can be done to curb the emission of greenhouse gases. The fact of the matter is that consensus has shifted. At the turn of the 21st century, skepticism with regard to climate change was acceptable; this is no longer the case. Richard Muller, a University of California physicist and self-proclaimed...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Indonesia to double efforts at climate conference
Jakarta Post: The Indonesian government is expected to double down on its efforts on the climate-change issue by sending more delegates to the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Doha, Qatar, slated for between Nov. 26 and Dec. 7. The government hopes that it can engage more in global cooperation, mainly in the green-business sector. Spokesperson for the government-sanctioned organization tasked to deal with climate change, the Climate Change National Council (DNPI),...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Extreme highs and lows: Climate change and the Missouri River
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Since the end of the last ice age, the Missouri River has experienced extreme fluctuations in volume. The Missouri has always bounced up and down because the weather across the Great Plains quickly shifts between hot and cold and between bone dry and monsoonal. Since last year, Missouri Basin residents have witnessed firsthand the river’s capricious character. In June 2011, the Upper Missouri (the river northwest of Sioux City) hauled an astounding 13.8 million-acre-feet (MAF) of water. Never...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
UN emissions credits sink to record low as demand wilts
Bloomberg: United Nations Certified Emission Reductions dropped to their lowest ever as German power for 2013 fell to a record amid Europe`s continued debt crisis. CERs for 2012 decreased 12 per cent to close at 1.46 euros ($1.82) a metric ton on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London. European Union allowances for December declined 1.8 per cent to 7.69 euros, the lowest since Oct. 4. ICE handled 8.3 million tons of December CER trades as of 5:57 p.m., the most since Nov. 25 and the second highest ever....

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Sunpower to streamline Philippines ops, cut 900 jobs
Reuters: Solar panel maker SunPower Corp said it will restructure its Philippines manufacturing operations and cut about 900 jobs, citing challenging industry conditions. The company said it will temporarily idle six of its 12 lines at its cell manufacturing plant and 20 percent of its panel manufacturing in the Philippines to reduce inventory, lower operational costs and improve efficiency. Sunpower will also reduce its workforce by about 900 employees, mainly in the Philippines. The San Jose, California-based...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Renewable energy ratings and carbon emissions mapped: an international breakdown
Guardian: Direct Blinds has used data from Yale University's Environmental Performance Index to create an interactive map of energy standards across the globe. Taking scores from the index relating to renewable energy and carbon dioxide emissions, the graphic shows data for the 19 single-country members of the G-20, and for the 10 top performing nations in each of the two categories. Click one of the tabs above the map to filter the countries, and then select a country to see how it fares

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Seabird atlas shows 3,000 ocean sites key to conservation
Reuters: A new atlas of the world's oceans issued on Tuesday shows more than 3,000 sites important to seabirds as part of a drive to improve conservation. The free online atlas could help governments plan, for instance, where to set up wildlife protection areas at sea or where to permit offshore wind turbines or oil and gas exploration, they said. The atlas, showing areas vital to birds including pelicans, sandpipers, cormorants and skuas, was compiled by BirdLife International, drawing on work by 1,000...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Shaman and British wife embark on campaign against oil threat
Guardian: An Ecuadorean shaman and his British wife will embark this week on a house-to-house campaign in their Amazonian village to dissuade locals from granting exploration rights to an oil company in an area of pristine forest close to the Yasuni national park. Patrico Jipa and Mari Muench hope to thwart the advances of PetroAmazonas, which has promised villagers from the Kichwa indigenous group that they will get cash, new schools, a new eco-lodge, better healthcare and university education for their...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
New nuclear costs could squeeze renewables from UK energy mix
Guardian: Keeping people warm and keeping the lights on while meeting our carbon emissions targets means we have to use all the lower carbon electricity generation technologies – gas, wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, maybe even a bit of geothermal and wave. At least, this is the politically comforting narrative behind the current proposals to reform the electricity market. No hard choices here. There is something for everyone. Government sets out its energy and climate security goals and the market chooses...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Why saving energy is critical to addressing climate change
BusinessGreen: The passing of the world's first Climate Change Act here in the UK was a very exciting time for us at WWF. It confirmed what we already knew; climate change is a very real and serious threat that requires a real and serious response. Recent reports from the likes of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the UN Environment Programme continue to highlight the urgency of tackling climate change. The IEA in particular stated that "stringent new action" is needed by 2017 to ensure we stay within...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Obama and Romney engage in coal wars, as polls show mounting climate fears
BusinessGreen: President Obama is set to face a fresh wave of attacks over his coal and energy policy in key swings states as the election race enters its final straight, despite the results of a new poll showing mounting concerns over climate change impacts amongst the US public. Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have clashed repeatedly over coal policy in recent weeks with both candidates targeting the key coal-rich swing states of Ohio and Virginia. Romney has consistently argued the Obama administration...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Can Facebook activate a billion consumers to be green?
BusinessGreen: What if you had the opportunity to engage a billion people around sustainability? What issues would you choose? What messages would you impart? How would you leverage the opportunity to affect behavior change at scale? Carefully, no doubt. Pushing folks too hard or in the wrong direction or with a less-than-compelling messages might squander the opportunity, maybe even turn people off. But inform and inspire such a sizeable audience to act and - well, anything's possible. That's the delicious...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Climate, campaigns and corruption
VTDigger: Two leading progressive thinkers brought their latest big ideas for political campaign reform and climate change activism to motivated audiences at the University of Vermont last weekend. At 7 p.m. on Saturday author and 350.org organizer Bill McKibben staged a dress rehearsal of his multi-media Climate Change Musical Road Show before a packed house at Ira Allen Chapel. Also known as the “Do the Math Tour,” it is a frontal attack on fossil fuel industry plans to exploit reserves that threaten...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
T. Boone Pickens Sells Off Stake in Wind Farm
The Hill: Billionaire oil-and-gas tycoon T. Boone Pickens is abandoning his long-planned wind farm, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Pickens has in recent years changed his eponymous “Pickens Plan” for reducing oil imports to emphasize natural gas rather than wind power for electricity generation. The Star Tribune reported Pickens sold his stake in the Goodhue County, Minn., farm, but that the 50-turbine, $180 million project will go forward. In the original plan he rolled out in 2008, Pickens...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Is Obama Really Waging a War on Coal?
Inside Climate News: Power plant operators are shuttering aging coal facilities at record rates [3]—a trend presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his supporters pin squarely on EPA air pollution rules. "People in the coal industry feel like it's getting crushed by your policies," Romney told Obama during the first debate. "Stop the War on Coal. Fire Obama [4]" signs dot lawns in coal-producing swing states, and Twitter is full of posts commenting on the "war on coal" refrain [5]. But analysts contend the issue is...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Texas Judges Issue Restraining Orders Against Keystone XL Protesters
News-Journal: Two state district court judges have issued temporary restraining orders against Keystone XL Pipeline protesters in Wood and Franklin counties. The court orders prohibit protesters from interfering with, preventing or obstructing construction of the pipeline being built across private property in the two counties en route to the Gulf Coast. The Wood County restraining order was issued last week in 402nd District Court, about the same time a New York Times reporter and photographer were detained...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Antarctic climate facing 'rapid' changes: chief scientist
AAP: Australia's chief Antarctic scientist says claims by climate experts about environmental changes in the southern continent are not alarmist. The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) told a Senate estimates hearing today "rapid changes" taking place across the icy land mass would have significant impact on global climate. Changes in ocean flows and shifts in Antarctic ice cap levels were occurring at rates faster than at any other time in history, chief scientist Nick Gales said. "That's the part...

Wed, 17 Oct 12
Housing, Climate Change and Environment Linkages
Sudan Vision: In all cases, the association between housing and health is complex, and causal relationships can be hidden in or otherwise influenced by confounding variables and effect modifiers. Climate change mitigation strategies can directly and indirectly affect housing and health. Presenting the full range of housing and health impacts allows systematic consideration of climate change mitigation policies that reduce health risks and generateoptimal health co-benefits. This chapter summarizes key environmental...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Dalai Lama Considers Climate Change At MIT Forum
WBUR: Every nation will suffer if governments don’t think about common interests and responsibilities in dealing with climate change, rather than national interest, the Dalai Lama told a crowd in Cambridge on Monday. "Whether we can really solve these problems or not, we have to make an attempt, that’s how I feel," the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader said at a forum hosted by the The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values, a nonprofit think tank at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology....

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Warming climate sends US corn belt north
Bloomberg: Joe Waldman is saying goodbye to corn after yet another hot and dry summer convinced the Kansas farmer that rainfall won`t be there when he needs it anymore. "I finally just said uncle," said Waldman, 52, surveying his stunted crop about 100 miles north of Dodge City. Instead, he will expand sorghum, which requires less rain, let some fields remain fallow and restrict corn to irrigated fields. While farmers nationwide planted the most corn this year since 1937, growers in Kansas sowed the fewest...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Seabird atlas shows 3,000 ocean sites key to conservation
Reuters: A new atlas of the world's oceans issued on Tuesday shows more than 3,000 sites important to seabirds from albatrosses to penguins as part of a drive to improve conservation. The free online atlas (www.birdlife.org/datazone/marine) could help governments plan, for instance, where to set up wildlife protection areas at sea or where to permit offshore wind turbines or oil and gas exploration, they said. The atlas, showing areas vital to birds including pelicans, sandpipers, cormorants and skuas,...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Tidal records expose surge in hurricanes
New Scientist: The world really is getting stormier. US tide records have provided compelling evidence that global warming is making large storms and cyclones more frequent. If current trends continue, the US will be battered increasingly often, and by more big storms like Hurricane Katrina. Many studies have claimed that hurricanes are becoming more common, or stronger, but they were open to challenge because older hurricane records are less reliable than modern satellite data. "The earlier evidence is quite...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Global warming is 'causing more hurricanes'
Independent: Scientists have found support for the controversial idea that global warming is causing more frequent and destructive hurricanes, a subject that has been hotly debated during the past decade. Data gathered from tide gauges, which monitor the rapid changes to sea levels caused by storm surges, show a significant link between both the frequency and intensity of tropical storms and increases in annual temperatures since the tidal records began in 1923. The study found that during the 90-year period,...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
If extreme weather becomes the norm, starvation awaits
Guardian: I believe we might have made a mistake: a mistake whose consequences, if I am right, would be hard to overstate. I think the forecasts for world food production could be entirely wrong. Food prices are rising again, partly because of the damage done to crops in the northern hemisphere by ferocious weather. In the US, Russia and Ukraine, grain crops were clobbered by remarkable droughts. In parts of northern Europe, such as the UK, they were pummelled by endless rain. Even so, this is not, as a...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
New Study Ties Hurricane Strength To Global Warming
Climate Central: One of the major unanswered questions about climate change is whether hurricanes have become more frequent and stronger as the world has warmed. Until now, there hasn't been enough evidence to settle the question, but a report published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences may have changed all that. Using an entirely new method of tallying hurricane power and frequency, a team of scientists say that hurricanes are, indeed, more of a danger when ocean temperatures are higher....

Tue, 16 Oct 12
A Record Lack of Rain in Drought-Stricken Nebraska
Climate Central: The 2012 drought has already set a slew of records, and is destined to go down in history as one of the worst droughts since the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s. The drought is not having the same impacts in every state, with recent improvements taking place in the lower Mississippi River Valley, parts of the Midwest, and the East. However, in the Plains and Upper Midwest, along with the West in general, the situation looks bleak. Nebraska, for example, was experiencing "exceptional" drought conditions,...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
UK sustainable investment nears £11bn milestone
BusinessGreen: UK green and ethical funds are worth nearly £11bn and are on track to return to record investment levels, according to new figures released to mark the start of National Ethical Investment Week. Not-for-profit sustainable investment body EIRIS yesterday released data showing that as of June this year the value of 80 UK domiciled green and ethical retail funds stood at £10.95bn. The investment category is now worth more than double the £3.8bn recorded in 2002 and has grown more than 60 per cent...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Energy efficiency subsidy could cut UK demand 40 per cent
BusinessGreen: Introducing a financial incentive for energy efficiency could help the UK deliver electricity demand reductions at far lower cost than building new low carbon generation capacity, green campaigners have said. A report to be published today says an electricity efficiency feed-in tariff (EE FiT) paying projects that can demonstrate measured electricity use savings should be introduced as part of the upcoming Energy Bill. It comes ahead of a key meeting later this week of the coalition Quad group,...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Tracking a Worrisome 'Dead Zone'
New York Times: For over a quarter-century, the marine ecologist Nancy Rabalais, the executive director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, has worked to understand and to spread awareness of the so-called dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Shrimpers trawling the Gulf of Mexico first began noticing a decline in their catch rates in the 1950's. By the time Dr. Rabalais entered the scene in 1985, fishermen and scientists knew that marine life there was suffering recurring, devastating bouts of death by...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
UN Warns of Food Shortages Worldwide, Pres. Candidates Remain Mum on Climate Change
EcoWatch: Thanks to extreme weather wrought by climate change, officials are worried that the planet faces a massive hunger crisis. The United Nations has issued a warning that grain reserves across the planet--including in the U.S.--are dangerously low, and continued severe weather in the U.S. or any other food-exporting nation could lead to food shortages worldwide. "We`ve not been producing as much as we are consuming. That is why stocks are being run down. Supplies are now very tight across the world...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Norway to double carbon tax on oil industry for climate change programs
Mongabay: Beginning next year, Norway will nearly double the carbon tax on its domestic oil industry to help set up a $1 billion climate change fund for programs in developing nations among other green projects. The Scandinavian nation is the world's 13 largest oil producer and third biggest oil exporter, yet has been one of the most active champions of funding climate change projects. Norway's carbon tax on its North Sea oil industry will rise from around $37 (210 krone) to $71 (410 krone) next year with...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Senator Bernie Sanders: End Polluter Welfare
Think Progress: The Big Energy industries (oil, coal and gas) along with their political allies like Mitt Romney are waging war against sustainable energy and the need to transform our energy system and reverse global warming. In many instances they are aided and abetted by the very powerful nuclear power industry. One of their main lines of attack (used repeatedly by Romney in his first debate with President Obama) is that the federal government is picking energy “winners and losers.” In fact, Romney has said...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Global Climate Change -- In the News Again!
Huffington Post: It seems like every few weeks another scientific study or report comes out about global warming and the political spectrum goes crazy with their own interpretations of the scientific study. This week it is a report discussing that Antarctic ice is increasing. The scientists claim it is a result of changing ocean currents due to global warming in combination with cooling due to the hole in the ozone layer. The opposition claims that it is evidence that global warming is a fraud. Many have their own...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Fracking’s Dark Side Gets Darker
Natural Resources Defense Council: Fracking for oil in North Dakota is so lucrative that when natural gas bubbles up alongside the oil, most oil companies simply view it as waste. It`s cheaper, in the short term, to burn the gas than it is to build the infrastructure to pipe and sell it--so they burn it. Across the North Dakota prairie, natural gas flares light up the night sky like huge torches. Every day, they burn off enough gas to heat half a million homes. The risks and challenges of extracting natural gas, and fracking, in...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Lummi fishers and non-Indians essemble fleet in opposition to coal terminal plan
InterContinental Cry: A fleet of boats piloted by Native and non-Native fishers gathered today in the waters off Xwe’chi’eXen (Cherry Point, Wash.) to stand with the Lummi Nation in opposition to the proposed Gateway Pacific coal terminal at Xwe’chi’eXen. “We have to say ‘no’ to the coal terminal project,” said Cliff Cultee, Chairman of the Lummi Nation. “It is our Xw’ xalh Xechnging (sacred duty) to preserve and protect all of Xwe’chi’eXen.” A ceremony of thankfulness, remembrance and unity was held on the beach...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
September tied global heat record: U.S. government scientists
Reuters: Last month tied for the warmest September in the global modern record, scientists at the U.S. government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported on Monday. This September tied with the same month in 2005 for the record. The land-and-sea global average temperature was 60.21 F (15.67 C), or 1.21 F (.67 C) above the 20th century average. In addition to being hottest since 1880, the month was the 36th consecutive September and 331st consecutive month with a global temperature above...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Cities can get greener by 2030 as new urban areas built -UN
Reuters: The world's urban areas will more than double in size by 2030, presenting an opportunity to build greener and healthier cities, a U.N. study showed on Monday. Simple planning measures such as more parks, trees or roof gardens could make cities less polluted and help protect plants and animals, especially in emerging nations led by China and India where city growth will be fastest, it said. "Rich biodiversity can exist in cities and is extremely critical to people's health and well-being," wrote...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Using Partnerships and Governance to Solve the Energy "Trilemma"
World Resources Institute: The theme of today’s Blog Action Day is the “Power of We,” a celebration of people working together to make a positive difference in the world. The idea of partnership is at the core of WRI’s Electricity Governance Initiative (EGI), a network of civil society organizations dedicated to promoting transparent, inclusive, and accountable decision-making in the electricity sector. In honor of Blog Action Day, this post outlines some of EGI’s most recent work towards finding new responses to the emerging...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Rain slows Argentine corn sowing, soy starts soon
Reuters: Rains that have slowed Argentine corn sowing are expected to give way to sunshine by midweek, setting the stage for easy planting of the country's key soy crop, climate experts in the grains-exporting powerhouse said on Monday. Consumer nations hope the South American country will step in with ample corn, soy and wheat supplies to help soften prices squeezed higher this year by dry crop weather in heavyweight producers Russia, the United States and Australia. "The rain this week will be concentrated...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
NOAA: Around World, September Tied Record For Warmest Temperatures
National Public Radio: This chart offers another perspective on just how warm it was around the world last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says. The agency has been keeping records since 1880 and the "average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for September 2012 tied with 2005 as the warmest September on record." According to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, "the average global temperature across land and ocean surfaces during September was 0.67°C (1.21°F) above the...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Britain cannot rely on world food supplies
Guardian: To describe Britain's attitude to food security over the past couple of decades as cavalier is a serious understatement it. In the grand new globalised world you didn't have to grow apples because you could ship them from New Zealand or South Africa. You didn't have to worry about peas or beans , they came from Peru or Kenya. Chicken from Thailand; fish from wherever the latest ocean-hoovering operation was destroying future stocks – no cause for alarm there. All you needed was a fistful of pounds,...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
New Report Confirms Fracking is Reckless
Frack Action: A new report1 on shale resources and hydraulic fracturing from the Government Accountability Office (GAO)--an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress--concludes that fracking poses serious risks to health and the environment. The report, which reviewed studies from state agencies overseeing fracking as well as scientific reports, found that the extent of the risks has not yet been fully quantified and that there are many unanswered questions and a lack of scientific data....

Tue, 16 Oct 12
‘Rogue’ Geoengineering Scheme in Pacific Violated Moratoria, Groups Say
Yale Environment 360: A project sponsored by a controversial U.S. businessman dumped about 100 tons of iron sulphate into the Pacific Ocean this summer, an experiment in geoengineering that environmental groups say violated international agreements, The Guardian has reported. According to the report, satellite images appear to confirm that the iron dumped from a fishing boat sponsored by Russ George, the former CEO of Plankton Inc., triggered a nearly 10,000-squre-kilometer plankton bloom off Canada’s west coast. Some...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Heavy rains raise concerns for Ivory Coast cocoa
Reuters: Heavy rainfall across most of Ivory Coast's principal cocoa growing regions last week could hinder proper drying of beans and risks damaging flowers and young pods, farmers and analysts said on Monday. Harvesting of the main crop in Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer, officially opened earlier this month under a widespread reform of the sector that is being closely watched by traders. Earlier concerns that fungal disease caused by over a month of cool, overcast conditions could harm output...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Globe Records Warmest September on Record
Climate Central: According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the globe recorded its warmest September on record, tying with 2005 for the title. Global surface temperature records stretch all the way back to 1880. September marked the 331st straight month with above-average temperatures, and the 36th straight September with a global temperature above the 20th-century average. The last below-average September temperature was in 1976, when Gerald Ford was President and Steve...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Drought demands wiser water decisions
Daily Climate: Midway through October, almost 64 percent of the contiguous United States remains in some form of drought, as the nation's most widespread drought since 1956 continues to threaten drinking water supplies, crops and livestock. A stunning 90 percent of the West is abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, with large areas of extreme drought in Colorado and Wyoming. Moderate to severe drought now stretches from Montana, south to Arizona, New Mexico and California. The summer's epic...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Globalisation of floods: The start of a hundred years of change in Nigeria
Vanguard: “Climate change is more threatening than people realize”- Dr Kim, CNN, October 12, 2012. Another climatologist has gone further by stating that climate change and the advent of perennial floods are already reshaping civilization as we know it and very few countries will emerge intact from the impact of climate change. Nigeria is no exception. Countries with long coastal regions and many rivers, which hitherto had benefitted from water provided by rivers, seas and oceans will be the hardest hit....

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Authority models emissions without renewable energy target
AAP: The Climate Change Authority is using a lower carbon price than that suggested by Treasury in its review of the renewable energy target (RET). The authority reviewing the renewable energy target (RET) is looking at what would happen to electricity generators' emissions if the target was scrapped and the carbon tax alone was left to drive change. The Climate Change Authority is also modelling what would happen in terms of the nation's carbon reduction if there was no carbon tax in play and the...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
California greenhouse gas rules face major court test
Mercury News: Having fended off a challenge to groundbreaking emissions standards for new cars, California now finds itself in a legal tug-of-war to preserve some of its unprecedented regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of fuels. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday will hear arguments in a legal challenge to the 2006 regulations, which a Fresno federal judge last year struck down as unconstitutional. The judge sided with an array of gas, trucking and farming industry interests aligned...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Maldives sticks to carbon neutral aim
Minivan News: The government says it remains committed to pursuing the previous administration`s carbon neutral ambitions despite recent political tensions reportedly affecting investment potential for such schemes. Environment Minister Dr Mariyam Shakeela contended that some of the programs presently being undertaken by her ministry had started seven years previously – before Nasheed came to power -- and were being adhered to on the grounds they would benefit the nation. “We are continuing with the carbon...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Great storm: a wind of change for conservationists
Guardian: It came – famously unheralded by BBC weatherman Michael Fish – off the Atlantic. It roared over northern France and the West Country, howled through Berkshire and the Midlands. Finally, the storm turned its full, hurricane-force, 110mph gusts on south-east England. In the wildest night in 300 years, whole landscapes were changed as woods were flattened, trees snapped and parks and gardens were devastated. An estimated 15 million mature trees were uprooted in what has become known as the "great...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Latest Climate Signs Should Jolt Leaders Into Global Action
Ecosystem Marketplace: The evidence is hardening that climate change presents a clear and present danger, rather than one which is uncertain and distant. At the same time, the UN climate talks roam around the world, marking time to match electoral cycles, hoping that a quasi-legal agreement will come into force in 2020. We are forcefully reminded of Giddens’ paradox:people will not act until they come face to face with the consequences of climate change – by which time it will be too late. Disaster is certainly close....

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Corn Belt Shifts North With Climate as Kansas Crop Dies
Bloomberg: Joe Waldman is saying goodbye to corn after yet another hot and dry summer convinced the Kansas farmer that rainfall won’t be there when he needs it anymore. “I finally just said uncle,” said Waldman, 52, surveying his stunted crop about 100 miles north of Dodge City. Instead, he will expand sorghum, which requires less rain, let some fields remain fallow and restrict corn to irrigated fields. While farmers nationwide planted the most corn this year since 1937, growers in Kansas sowed the fewest...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Sumatran orangutan rescued in western Indonesia
Associated Press: A critically endangered Sumatran orangutan was rescued from an isolated forest area in western Indonesia where palm oil companies have been illegally destroying the environment, a conservation group said Monday. The adult male orangutan, named Seuneam, had been trapped for several days in an area surrounded by palm oil plantations and was isolated from the rest of the surviving orangutan population in Tripa swamp in the Nagan Raya district. It was found and safely evacuated over the weekend, the...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
What Is the Future of King Coal in China?
World Resources Institute: When it comes to coal consumption, no other nation comes close to China. The country reigns as the world’s largest coal user, burning almost half of the global total each year. About 70 percent of China’s total energy consumption and nearly 80 percent of its electricity production come from coal, and its recent shift from being a historical net coal exporter to the world’s largest net coal importer took only three years. China’s great thirst for coal is undeniably troubling from a sustainable...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
: 50+ Rally in Support of Keystone XL Tree Sitters, 3 Arrested
EcoWatch: Following a weekend of nonviolent civil disobedience training in North Texas by Tar Sands Blockade, dozens of protesters and supporters are rallying today at the site of the largest and longest tree sit in Texas history to stage the largest walk-on site protest and civil disobedience in the history of Keystone XL pipeline construction. Several individuals are defending the tree sitters and the trees by locking themselves to construction equipment being used in proximity to the forest blockade. Solidarity...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
River Runners: The Latest Victims of Climate Change
Outside: For the contiguous United States, the first nine months of 2012 were the warmest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As of October 2, 64 percent of the United States was in the middle of a drought. Wyoming and Colorado experienced the warmest summer on record, while Wyoming and Nevada saw the driest summer on record. In western and central regions of the country, wildfires burned a record-breaking 3.6 million acres in August. In other words, it was a cruel...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
German green energy shake-up sparks row over costs
BusinessGreen: German consumers will see payments to support renewable energy developments increase 47 per cent from next year, despite the government hinting at plans to impose a new subsidy cap on wind and solar power. The country's four network operators confirmed today that the Germany's renewable energy surcharge, known as the umlage, will increase from 3.6 cents per kilowatt hour (KWh) in 2012 to 5.3 cents in 2013. The total cost of the umlage is now expected to reach EUR20.36bn next year, equating...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Some GMO Cheerleaders Also Deny Climate Change
Mother Jones: "GMO Opponents Are the Climate Skeptics of the Left," declares the headline of a recent piece by Keith Kloor in Slate. The argument goes like this: Just as certain conservative writers flout science by denying the urgency of climate change, there are progressive writers--he named me as a prominent example--who defy an alleged scientific consensus by criticizing the genetically modified crop industry. We're hypocrites, the charge goes, because we thunder against the denial of good science when it...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Canada probes TransCanada's safety record
United Press International: Federal regulators in Canada expressed concern over pipeline company TransCanada's safety record, though the company said it has addressed any issues. TransCanada aims to build an extension to the Keystone oil pipeline in order to ship so-called tar sands oils to refineries along the southern U.S. coast. The Canadian National Energy Board, in a letter to the company, said it was "concerned" by the company's safety record. The regulator said it would "not hesitate to take appropriate corrective...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
United Kingdom: The Great Storm 25 years on: The positive impact on our woodland
Telegraph: On the night of the Great Storm, October 15, 1987, Ray Hawes was sitting in bed nervously watching the trees outside his window. They blew "back and forth, back and forth, back and forth... then one just kept coming forward until it practically fell into my bed.' A huge 150 year-old oak crashed through the window within 3ft of the bed where the young forester and his new wife were sitting. Fortunately, such a close brush with death did not deter Mr Hawes, 57, from clambering up tree trunks for...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Poland sticks to plan to build $15.8 billion nuclear power station
Reuters: Poland will pursue its plan to build the country's first nuclear power station, a government member said on Monday, playing down suggestions from commentators that the 50 billion zlotys ($15.8 billion) investment might be scrapped. The nuclear program, run by Poland's top utility PGE, was not mentioned in Prime Minister Donald Tusk's policy speech on Friday, which enumerated a number of planned investments in infrastructure to boost a slowing economy. The government's plan for the power sector...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Lithuanians send nuclear plant back to drawing board
Reuters: Support for the plant in Lithuania, one of the European Union states most dependent on imported energy, waned after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan last year. With results counted from about three-quarters of Lithuania's districts after Sunday's referendum, 62.7 percent voted "No", while 33.96 percent were in favor. Turnout was about 52 percent, just over the threshold to make the referendum valid. The referendum on Sunday was consultative, so Lithuania's leaders are not obliged...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Iranians plan oil spill to block Hormuz strait: German weekly
Reuters: Iran's Revolutionary Guards chief has drafted a plan to cause an environmental disaster in the Strait of Hormuz to block seaborne oil exports with the goal of removing economic sanctions imposed on Tehran, the weekly Der Spiegel said in an unsourced report. There was no independent confirmation of the report. The German newsmagazine reported that Mohammad Ali Jafari's plan, codenamed "Muddy Water", envisages the Iranians steering a tanker onto the rocks in the Strait, the world's most important...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
German green power surcharge to rise 47 percent in 2013
Reuters: Subsidies levied on German consumers to support renewable power will rise by 47 percent next year, putting pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition to keep energy costs in check ahead of a federal election next year. Merkel's decision to abandon nuclear power following last year's Fukushima disaster has led to a growing need for alternative energy sources, causing higher charges that are tagged on to consumers' energy bills. Germany's surcharge for renewable energy will rise...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
U.S. crude oil exports may be inevitable: Kemp
Reuters: Requests from Shell, BP and Vitol, among others, to start sending substantial amounts of U.S. crude to refineries in Canada have hit the headlines, as oil producers try to find outlets for surging production of light oil from North Dakota and elsewhere by easing decades-old restrictions on exporting domestically produced crude. Less well-known is that record volumes of light hydrocarbons such as propane, butane and pentane are already being exported, as oil and gas producers seek alternative markets...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
World's biggest geoengineering experiment 'violates' UN rules
Guardian: A controversial American businessman dumped around 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the Pacific Ocean as part of a geoengineering scheme off the west coast of Canada in July, a Guardian investigation can reveal. Lawyers, environmentalists and civil society groups are calling it a "blatant violation" of two international moratoria and the news is likely to spark outrage at a United Nations environmental summit taking place in India this week. Satellite images appear to confirm the claim by Californian...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Japan: Fukushima disaster could have been avoided, nuclear plant operator admits
Guardian: The company at the centre of Japan's worst nuclear crisis has acknowledged for the first time that it could have avoided the disaster that crippled the Fukushima Daiichi power plant last year. In a reversal of its insistence that nothing could have protected the plant against the earthquake and tsunami that killed almost 20,000 people on 11 March, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said it had known safety improvements were needed before the disaster, but had failed to implement them. "When looking...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Climate change threatens fall colors
Delmarva Daily Times: Fall colors are arriving later and are fading more quickly because of climate change, according to researchers. The climate-driven changes are already visible in some forests in New England. Scientists worry that leaf-peeping hotspots in Maryland also could eventually see duller foliage and delays in the start of leaf season. “It (climate change) certainly could have an impact here, as well,” said Saran Twombly, a researcher at the National Science Foundation who studies the impact of climate...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Rising sea levels threaten US coastline
Al Jazeera: The sea level on the east coast of the US is rising five times faster than the global average. The prospect of flooding is a major threat to millions of people who live in the region. Scott Heidler reports from a small community in the state of Delaware, which has found itself on the front line of the problem.

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Don't Block the Sun
New York Times: Picture the good news: a third industrial revolution, powered by decentralized energy and massive digital connectivity. Picture the bad news: the residual institutions of the second industrial revolution, powered by oil and 20th century transportation habits, threaten to hold this third revolution back, maybe kill it. These were two future scenarios debated by industry leaders at an IHT conference in Barcelona recently. Solar, with its soaring global sales and plunging prices, featured as a talisman...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Incheon aims to host UN climate fund
Korea Herald: Songdo, a newly developed international business district of Incheon, aims to host the secretariat of the Green Climate Fund. (Incheon Metropolitan City)Six cities in race to host Green Climate Fund; decision expected on Friday Korean officials are making a final pitch to host a U.N.-operated fund which will be the single largest source of financing for global efforts to fight climate change. Songdo, a newly developed international business district in Incheon, is vying with five other cities...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
UNESCO disturbed by gas plans for Peru’s Manu National Park
Mongabay: Major concerns about the danger posed by gas exploration in a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Amazon rainforest has prompted UNESCO to promise to lobby the Peruvian government. Manu National Park’s biological diversity exceeds "that of any other place on Earth," according to UNESCO's website, and is inhabited by indigenous people living in "voluntary isolation" who could be decimated if they come into contact with gas workers. Marc Patry, a Programme Specialist in the Special Projects Unit...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Nebraska Pipeline Debate Fizzles Despite Unresolved Problems with Keystone XL Route
Inside Climate News: The decision to detour the Keystone XL around land owned by its noisiest opponents, plus the distraction of the fall election, has lowered the volume of protests against the proposed pipeline. In the reroute TransCanada released in early September, 55 miles of the pipeline still run through Holt County, an area that sits above the aquifer and is especially vulnerable to oil spills due to its permeable soils and high water table. Despite a few small adjustments, the route through the county is nearly...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Green Crude: The Quest to Unlock Algae’s Energy Potential
Yale Environment 360: Tiny Columbus, New Mexico (population, 1,678) is hot, flat and uncrowded -- an ideal place to launch a new green revolution in agriculture. That, in essence, is what a well-funded startup company called Sapphire Energy wants to do: It is turning a 300-acre expanse of desert scrub into the world’s largest algae farm designed to produce crude oil. Sapphire began making oil there in May, and its goal is to produce about 100 barrels a day, or 1.5 million gallons a year, of oil, once construction of the...

Tue, 16 Oct 12
Australian Ski Industry Bound to Get Eliminated Due to Global Climate Change
International Business Times: Skiing aficionados who often go to Australia to experience the resource-rich nation's ski resorts and alpine regions may be forced to scout other locations in the coming years as the worsening global climate change could kill the Australian ski industry by year 2020. A report by Sky News predicted two-thirds of the snow in Australia's popular ski resorts could already be gone eight years from now, a terrible blow to an industry that rakes in at least A$1 billion (£700 million) annually. Australia's...

Mon, 15 Oct 12
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney energy policies broken down
Express-Times: Extracting domestic natural gas has become a "game changer" since President Barack Obama took office in 2009, and in Pennsylvania it`s been neither a Democratic nor Republican issue. The state Department of Environmental Protection says it issued 1,742 permits for Marcellus Shale wells in 2009 under then-Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell and - as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, took off - 3,512 in 2011, the first year of his Republican successor, Gov. Tom Corbett. In breaking down the energy policies...

Mon, 15 Oct 12
Food security: Improving Africa's wheat potential requires more than a few good seeds
ClimateWire: The Kulumsa Research Center, located in the pastoral East Africa Rift Valley 86 miles southeast of the Ethiopian capital, is an oasis of high wheat productivity in the bread basket of Ethiopia. But its blooming realities are not yet Africa's. The center, where the country's National Wheat Breeding Project is located, is home to extensive field research on bread wheat. Here, agronomists and plant breeders test seed tinkered to endure drought, heat and diseases like stem rust while pumping out high...

Mon, 15 Oct 12
Causes aside, many believe Louisville area is already feeling impact of global warming
Courier-Journal: Until a relentless heat baked Louisville with 10 days over 100 degrees this summer, Bellarmine University wellness teacher Chris Catt was skeptical about global warming. But now, “I’m a believer,” he says — so much so that he is organizing a tree-planting campaign for his Dundee Estates neighborhood because he noticed that it was so much hotter there than just three blocks away, where towering shade trees line the roads. “The lack of shade became really obvious,” he said. “It became unbearable...

Mon, 15 Oct 12
Louisville starts efforts to adapt to harsher climes
Courier-Journal: Deadly tornadoes, freak windstorms, crippling ice, torrential downpours, unrelenting heatwaves and flash flooding that swallows streets and homes — Louisville’s recent weather has become a roller coaster of extremes. In the past four years, four weather-related disasters have been declared for Louisville, two for Southern Indiana and 11 total for Kentucky, costing the Federal Emergency Management Agency more than $700 million in damage reimbursements and mitigation grants. Whether it’s an example...

Mon, 15 Oct 12
End subsidies for fossil fuels
Asbury Park Press: Five years ago, the New Jersey Legislature passed the Global Warming Response Act. With the bill’s passage, New Jersey became the first state to require an 80 percent reduction in global warming pollution by 2050. The Legislature put science ahead of politics, adopting the emissions reduction levels that scientists say we need to meet to avoid the worst impacts of global warming. Reducing emissions significantly is critical — because we will be vulnerable to rising sea levels, impacts to agriculture...

Mon, 15 Oct 12
REDD Critic
Living on Earth: Transcript CURWOOD: From November, California will phase in a state-wide cap and trade system that allows polluting companies to buy carbon offsets from REDD projects in the developing world. Roman Paul Czebiniak is a Greenpeace Senior Policy Advisor on Climate Change and Forests. He says the problem with the California plan is one of scale. CZEBINIAK: We're very much in favor of financing forest protection at many different levels. Our issues is with the push for including sub-national forest...

Mon, 15 Oct 12
Environmental science agencies told to help oil firms drilling in polar regions
Guardian: Some of Britain's top environmental science agencies are being told to use their skills to help "de-risk" investment for UK oil companies in the polar regions. The demands are contained in a consultation document on an already controversial move to merge the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) with the National Oceanographic Centre. The "outrageous" new strategy direction is at odds with a House of Commons committee calling on the government to stop drilling by Shell in the Arctic over safety concerns...

Mon, 15 Oct 12
Australians involved in PNG land scandal
Australian Broadcasting Corporation: An Australian-led logging company in Papua New Guinea has been involved in arrangements which have seen more than 2 million hectares of land, much of it pristine forest, taken out of customary ownership. Land in PNG is almost sacred but over the past eight years it has been under assault from a land scandal that has seen 11 per cent of the country leased under controversial Special Agricultural and Business Leases. The leases are meant to be for small agricultural developments, not for logging,...

Mon, 15 Oct 12
The Coral Reef Crisis Threatens Nature’s Ability To Help Us Deal With Climate Change
ThinkProgress: As a marine scientist, and surfer, I’m always initially surprised when I hear that many island folks, like most of my friends in Eleuthera (Bahamas, 25° 8' 22? N; 76° 8' 59? W), are scared of the sea. That’s of course before I quickly remind myself that people on Eleuthera (an island that averages about 2 miles wide across its 90 mile length), have survived one too many storms – like Hurricane Irene, whose eye gazed directly on them last August 25. Indeed, like my friends in the Bahamas, billions...

Mon, 15 Oct 12
Barack Obama's Record On Addressing Climate Change In First Term Under Scrutiny By Activists
Huffington Post: "I think I missed the part where they discussed the Arctic melting," the environmentalist and author Bill McKibben recently quipped. A tireless spokesman for a planet in rapid and, as he sees it, dangerous flux, McKibben had taken to his Twitter account in the aftermath of last week's presidential debate and, like many other Americans, he found the whole affair wanting -- though his reasons were singular. "Wasn't there some kind of drought or something this summer?" he continued. "Maybe I'm misremembering."...

Mon, 15 Oct 12
Faith matters in climate change
Jakarta Post: The Green Bible is a 2008 edition of the Christian holy book, published by HarperCollins. There are more than 1,000 references to the Earth in the Bible, and this 2008 copy is printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink. Likewise, Islam’s Koran also contains numerous surahs (chapters) that both enlighten and command Muslims to use and not abuse the natural bounty the Earth provides. “Do not commit abuse on the Earth, spreading corruption.” (Al-Ankabut 29:36) is just one example. Meanwhile...

Mon, 15 Oct 12
Lower lake levels could hurt region, industry
Medill News Service: Climate change is expected to drop water levels in the Great Lakes, affecting industry and the region. Levels could drop anywhere from a few inches to several feet as water evaporates in the drought conditions, experts said Wednesday. Extreme weather will become more commonplace. Heat waves will be more severe. Drought will be more frequent, said Don Wuebbles, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Illinois. Those are local impacts of climate change that are already occurring,...

Mon, 15 Oct 12
Give us a mandate for what America needs: a Green New Deal
Guardian: President Obama and Governor Romney are talking a lot about how they're going to save the economy. But it doesn't take a genius to recognize that what they're saying is only talk. The debates are an opportunity for them to broadcast campaign promises, but where is the accountability, when past promises have already been left in the dust? Romney's fairytale features tax breaks for the wealthy, deregulation and more dirty energy. He promises 12m new jobs, but has no plan to get us there. His track...

Mon, 15 Oct 12
A climate change call to arms
Boston Globe: THE OFFICIAL START OF WINTER may still be more than two months away, but in New England, we should be watching the long-term forecasts. Despite predictions for a snowy winter, the season's temperatures have been rising over the long term. And the implications of climate change for this region's economy -- including how we play on and earn our livings from the snow -- are enormous. For more than five decades, the changing face of winter has been studied by scientists...

Mon, 15 Oct 12
Is REDD + an option for climate change, but problem for forest biodiversity and communities?
SciDevNet: It looks like a solution for one of group of environmentalists can, sometimes, become a problem for another. Or so I learnt this afternoon at a session that examined whether countries’ forest policies are promoting or hindering biodiversity conservation. The answer? Hindering. The topic turned to REDD (Reduction of Deforestation and Degradation) – a mechanism under the UN that is designed to use market and financial incentives in order to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from deforestation...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
As gas price soar, city cycling more attractive
Associated Press: With an autumn chill in the air on a gray San Francisco morning, the five-member Ades family rubbed the sleep from their eyes, strapped on their bike helmets and rode right past their two cars to the kids' elementary school about a mile away. "It's good exercise, and there's an environmental aspect to it as well," said Stan Ades, of his decision to start his kids--ages 6, 8 and 10--bike commuting to school. Statewide, Californians are increasingly pumping air into the flat tires on their dusty...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
United States: Lake drained for LA water at center of dust lawsuit
NBC: The powerful Los Angeles Department of Water and Power sued air regulators Friday over demands to control dust from Owens Lake nearly a century after the exploding metropolis siphoned water to quench its growing thirst. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Fresno, marks the latest salvo in a bitter back-and-forth over water rights in the arid region that was set in motion in 1913, when Los Angeles began diverting water from the lake 200 miles to its north. The lake went dry in 1926 and...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
Women Hit Hard by Natural Disasters
Inter Press Service: In the aftermath of a natural disaster, women are often the most vulnerable. Particularly in rural areas, women suffer disproportionately from inadequate shelter and poor sanitation facilities and are often tasked with rebuilding shattered homes. The theme for this year's international day of disaster reduction, led by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), is more relevant than ever: "˜Women and Girls: The [in]Visible Force for Resilience'. Across India, droughts and...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013
Guardian: World grain reserves are so dangerously low that severe weather in the United States or other food-exporting countries could trigger a major hunger crisis next year, the United Nations has warned. Failing harvests in the US, Ukraine and other countries this year have eroded reserves to their lowest level since 1974. The US, which has experienced record heatwaves and droughts in 2012, now holds in reserve a historically low 6.5% of the maize that it expects to consume in the next year, says the...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
Food scarcity: the timebomb setting nation against nation
Guardian: Brandon Hunnicutt has had a year to remember. The young Nebraskan from Hamilton County farms 2,600 acres of the High Plains with his father and brother. What looked certain in an almost perfect May to be a "phenomenal" harvest of maize and soy beans has turned into a near disaster. A three-month heatwave and drought with temperatures often well over 38C burned up his crops. He lost a third and was saved only by pumping irrigation water from the aquifer below his farm. "From 1 July to 1 October...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
GM food: we can no longer afford to ignore its advantages
Guardian: Given the crises facing the planet, with the population set to reach the 9 billion mark by 2050 and increasing strains being placed on water, energy and food supplies, it would be wrong to hope there could be a single solution to the storms that lie ahead. As the government's chief scientific adviser, Sir John Beddington, once put it in an Observer interview: "There will be no silver bullet." However, the population biologist added a crucial caveat. It would also be foolish not to make the maximum...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
United States: A Grand Experiment to Rein in Climate Change
New York Times: Braced against a steep slope, Robert Hrubes cinched his measuring tape around the trunk of one tree after another, barking out diameters like an auctioneer announcing bids. “Twelve point two!” “Fourteen point one!” Mr. Hrubes’s task, a far cry from forestry of the past, was to calculate how much carbon could be stored within the tanoak, madrone and redwood trees in that plot. Every year or so, other foresters will return to make sure the trees are still standing and doing their job. Such audits...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Heathrow third runway may triple number of early deaths from pollution, report warns
Telegraph: A third runway at Heathrow would triple the number of early deaths from pollution linked to the airport, a new study claims. In contrast, moving London's main airport to the Thames Estuary - a plan championed by London mayor Boris Johnson - would cut the number of deaths, the report by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Cambridge University says. They say a third runway at Heathrow would increase deaths from air pollution linked to the airport from the current 50 a year to...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
First photos of Shell's Arctic rig add perspective to drilling debate
Daily Climate: Oregon-based photographer Gary Braasch flew to Alaska, chartered a plane in the town of Deadhorse, far above the Arctic Circle, and flew out to the rigs. His photographs provide, for the first time, a sense of perspective of the Kulluk rig in its environment, 12 miles offshore of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. "The location has been published for years in Shell's permits," he said in a phone interview. "We just went out there and, sure enough, there it was. But having the landscape just...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
Romney would have to fight for energy agenda
Politico: Mitt Romney would most likely have to dip into his political capital to meet his pledges to unravel President Barack Obama’s energy agenda. It could mean rewriting long-standing laws, wading into court battles that have lasted through multiple administrations and pulling the plug on a deal that has drawn praise from U.S. automakers. The question: How hard is Romney willing to fight? To listen to the GOP nominee on the stump, he's dead serious — pledging to create millions of jobs and make...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
Q&A: Disaster Resilience Starts with Grassroots Women
Inter Press Service: Women and girls can be powerful agents of change, but they are disproportionately affected by disasters because of social roles, discrimination and poverty. The International Day for Disaster Reduction on Saturday this year celebrates the theme of "˜'Women and Girls -- the [in]Visible Force of Resilience''. IPS correspondent Julia Kallas sat down with three women -- Josephine Castillo, grassroots community leader and organiser with DAMPA in Manila, Philippines; Haydee Rodríguez, president...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
Northeastern Minnesota experiment to study effects of climate change
Northland's NewsCenter: Researchers are hoping that a first of its kind experiment in Northeastern Minnesota will provide new information on the effects of climate change. Construction is underway on the $50 million project, called SPRUCE (Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change). The project is located in the Marcell Experimental Forest, north of Grand Rapids. "This is a whole ecosystem experiment," said Randy Kolka, a soil research scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
Natural gas producers open up in joining leak study
Fuel Fix: After months of insistence from natural gas producers that methane leaks are not a concern, nine energy companies are supporting research that may prove the opposite. The move could signal a more head-on approach from the industry to tackling public concern over oil field operations. The companies, including some of the largest natural gas producers in North America, announced earlier this week that they`re joining with the Environmental Defense Fund to support a University of Texas study of...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
Democrats in coal states diverge on Obama policies
Associated Press: Friends of coal are certain they know the enemy. They fault President Barack Obama and his Environmental Protection Agency for new clean air rules they deride as a devastating blow to a multibillion-dollar industry that has been the lifeblood of Appalachia for generations. The agency standards imposed earlier this year tightened limits on existing coal powered-plant emissions while guidelines on restricting greenhouse gases could affect new plants as early as 2013. Along the rolling hills of...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
Combatants start 'huge, multidimensional chess game' over Northwest exports
Greenwire: Garrett Thompson is waiting for a train, but he's not going anywhere. As a line of empty freight cars approaches, Thompson moves to an air pollution monitor on the pedestrian overpass near Richmond Beach State Park and begins recording spikes in soot and dust as the train rumbles by. While he's primarily looking for coal haulers, even empty trains are helping build a database aimed at assessing a link between airborne particulates and coal trains. "In maybe a two- to four-minute time span I'll...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
Fukushima operator must learn from mistakes, new adviser says
Reuters: Tokyo Electric Power Co must adopt measures used in other Japanese industries to reform after acknowledging that it failed to anticipate and tackle the Fukushima disaster, the utility's newly installed outside adviser said on Saturday. Tokyo Electric, also known as Tepco, acknowledged for the first time on Friday that it failed in its response to the radiation crisis in March 2011 when three reactors melted down at its Fukushima Daiichi plant after it was hit by an earthquake and tsunami. Dale...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
Some climate scientists, in a shift, link weather to global warming
LA Times: The worst drought in half a century has plagued two-thirds of the nation, devastating farms and stoking wildfires that scorched almost 9 million acres this year. Withering heat blanketed the East Coast and Midwest, killing scores of people and making July the hottest month ever recorded in the U.S. And in the Arctic this summer, polar snow and ice melted away to the smallest size ever observed by man. Extreme events like drought, heat waves, intense rainfall, flooding and fires have prompted many...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
Them pests!
IRIN: While a lot of attention has been devoted to the effects of a changing climate on food crops in Africa, relatively little has been given to the effects on crop-destroying pests like cereal aphids, fruit flies, armyworms and locusts. Munene Macharia, an entomologist with the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, reported at the Wheat for Food Security Conference that outbreaks of pests such as cereal aphids, which suck sap from plants like wheat and transmit viruses, have become increasingly common...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
Protesters Gather at Keystone XL Site in Texas
New York Times: Deep within the oak and pine forests that blanket this stretch of East Texas, the chug of machinery drones on late into the day, broken only by the sounds of a band of activists who have vowed to stop it. Here, among the woods and farmland, what might be one of the last pitched battles over the Keystone XL oil pipeline has been unfolding for weeks now, since construction of the controversial project’s southern leg began in August. As bulldozers and diggers churn up a 50-foot-wide path for the pipeline...

Sun, 14 Oct 12
Antarctic Sea Ice Hits Record ... High?
National Geographic: Despite frequent headlines about a warming planet, melting sea ice, and rising oceans, climate analysts pointed to a seeming bright spot this week: During Southern Hemisphere winters, sea ice in the Antarctic, the floating chunks of frozen ocean water, is actually increasing. In fact, in late September, satellite data indicated that Antarctica was surrounded by the greatest area of sea ice ever recorded in the region: 7.51 million square miles (19.44 million square kilometers), the U.S. National...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
How a Green Fuel Turned Slimy
New York Times: How did the oil industry and the Environmental Protection Agency end up with a system for tracking the production of biodiesel that was vulnerable to fraud? As I report in The Times, the agency is working on new rules to rescue the program after a yet-to-be-determined number of swindlers manufactured over 100 million credits tied to the manufacture of biodiesel that did not actually exist. This was possible, it appears, because the structure of the market for “RINs," or renewable identification...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Clean Energy Primed to Replace Nuclear Power Plant
EcoWatch: In just the last year, New York State began developing at least 25 percent of the alternative electricity sources necessary to replace the Indian Point nuclear power plant, according to a new report released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Riverkeeper. The report provides a detailed roadmap for fully and cost-effectively replacing the aging nuclear facility’s power with equal investments in energy efficiency and renewable power sources alone, with no impact to the reliability...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Why the US needs a networked energy grid
Washington Post: C. Boyden Gray served as White House counsel to President George H.W. Bush and was one of the principal architects of the 1991 Clean Air Act Amendments. He teaches a seminar on energy security at the New York University School of Law and leads the Washington-based law and consulting firm Boyden Gray and Associates. His firm has clients in the nuclear and natural gas industries. The recent debate over the wind-production tax credit ignores the big picture of how electricity is produced in this...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Small fish can play a big role in the coastal carbon cycle
Terra Daily: A study in this week's issue of Scientific Reports, a new online journal from the Nature Publishing Group, shows that small forage fish like anchovies can play an important role in the "biological pump," the process by which marine life transports carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and surface ocean into the deep sea-where it contributes nothing to current global warming. The study, by Dr. Grace Saba of Rutgers University and professor Deborah Steinberg of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science,...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Hottest year so far for Philadelphia
Philadelphia Inquirier: 2012 is on pace to be the warmest on record in more than 100 U.S. towns and cities, including Philadelphia, and for the continental United States as a whole, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Philadelphia has certainly seen some extremes in recent years. 2011 was Philadelphia's wettest year on record, with precipitation equalling 64.33 inches of water. The winter of 2009-10 had the most snow ever, 78.7 inches. For the first nine months of 2012, Philadelphia's...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Climate war looms over US coal exports to China
New Scientist: PLANS for mega exports of US coal are poised to become the next flashpoint in the battle over climate change. The industry wants to massively increase shipments of coal to China and other energy-hungry Asian nations. Such a move would undo the environmental benefits of weaning US power plants off the carbon-rich fuel and lock developing countries into decades of dirty power. So far, protests about the proposed exports have mostly been local affairs, led by those living along the railroads that will...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Owen Paterson: True blue countryman putting wind up green campaigners
Guardian: The little orphaned badgers Bessie and Baz, one-time pets of the new environment secretary, Owen Paterson, are enjoying a surprising posthumous fame thanks to his new role overseeing the imminent cull in England, which could result in a third of the population being shot dead. "I was perhaps about 10 years old when a local farmer rang us up to say he had found a young badger and would we take it in," Paterson reminisced in 2004. "So we did; it was a female called Bessy and she lived in the boiler...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Researchers find links between Arctic melting and summer floods and fires
ClimateWire: A new weather pattern that sends blasts of warm southern air into the Arctic each June has fueled the recent, dramatic decline of the region's sea ice, according to a new government-funded study. But that is not all it has done, the analysis suggests, linking the shifting summer winds to record thaws of the Greenland ice sheet, unusually wet European summers and Rocky Mountain wildfires. Researchers say the switch from light, variable east-west winds to stronger, warmer blasts of southern air...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Panel: Extreme weather adds urgency on climate policy
Climate Central: The recent rash of extreme weather and climate events -- droughts, heat waves, extreme precipitation -- has provided a greater impetus for taking action to reduce planet warming greenhouse gas emissions. But a lack of political will and the complexities of the climate system pose enormous obstacles, according to international development and climate scientists who spoke at a Columbia University forum on Thursday. The gathering of United Nations advisers, climate experts, and international students...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
No polar bears within few decades, Russian expert predicts
Postmedia News: While Arctic sea ice reached a record low this summer, it is not widely known that almost all the ice that melted or drifted away was on the Russian, not the Canadian and Greenlandic side of the great northern sea. One immediate consequence has been further grief and peril for Russia’s already seriously distressed polar bear population. “It is worse for Russian polar bears than the bears in Canada or Greenland because the pack ice is retreating much faster in our waters,” said Nikita Ovsyannikov,...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Shell Seeks to Export U.S. Oil as Production Booms
Dow Jones: Royal Dutch Shell PLC said late Thursday it has applied for a permit from the U.S. Department of Commerce to export crude oil in a sign of how a boom in U.S. oil production from shale rock is reshaping the country's role in the global energy marketplace. The U.S. currently exports less than less than one half of 1% of its total oil imports, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. However, the revolution in hydraulic fracturing technology that has coaxed large volumes of light...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
As Arctic melts, business as usual
Asia Sentinel: Record melting of Arctic ice has alarmed climate scientists, but the extraction industry and shippers are thrilled at new business prospects. Having drained the world of most accessible oil, companies see in the Arctic Circle a most striking source for long-term fossil-fuel development. Shipping companies plan direct routes to Asia. It's high time governments wake up to real danger. A recent UN report projects Arctic summer ice to be non-existent by 2020. Climate researchers warn that the rapidly...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Weather-beaten UK farmers lament a dismal year for food production
Guardian: "It's been the worst year in living memory," says Jonathan Lukies, who farms 288 hectares (720 acres) of arable and fruit orchards near Stansted, Essex. "It was horrific." This year's weather has been a rollercoaster for British farmers that most now just want to forget. With a record drought afflicting most of England in the early spring – one so severe it prompted a series of emergency meetings with government – farmers desperately needed above-average rainfall to replenish the soil for planting....

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Climate change threatens one million farmers in Central America
Ag Professional: Higher temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns could transform the agricultural landscape of Central America, threatening the livelihoods of one million maize and bean farmers, according to a pioneering report released that for the first time takes a specific look at the impact of climate change on a local level. Published by scientists at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), as part of a project led by...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Forests to feel climate change effect—damage could cost billions
PhysOrg: A new pan-European study suggests that the economic value of forests will decline between 14 % and 50 % due to climate change. If measures are not taken to change this, the damage could reach several hundred billion euros, say researchers led by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) in Switzerland. The study was presented in the journal Nature Climate Change. Researchers from Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland believe that changes in both temperature...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Electric cars aren’t the future of car sharing – yet
Fast Company: On the surface, carsharing services seem like an ideal place for electric cars: They let people test out the vehicles without committing to buying them, carsharing users often take short trips that work well with electric vehicles’ limited range, and the cars are always parked after each trip at a spot outfitted with a dedicated charging station. The reality is a little more complicated, despite the proliferation of EVs in carsharing fleets--and in carsharing services that only feature EVs, like...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Wildlife studies in mid-Atlantic seen as crucial to offshore wind industry's future
Greenwire: Each fall, the blackpoll warbler flies about 1,800 miles over the Atlantic -- potentially nonstop -- from the northeast United States to its winter home in South America. Around the same time, the critically endangered right whale migrates from the Gulf of Maine, where it feeds, as far south as Florida to give birth. The problem for biologists gathered at a conference here on offshore wind is not where the wildlife begins or ends its journeys -- it's how it gets there. The mystery could spell...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Ryan admits seeking funding from 'green pork' package he attacked
BusinessGreen: Republican vice president candidate Paul Ryan attacked the White House's stimulus packages for green energy in last night's debate -- although was forced to admit he had sought funding under the programme for projects in his home state. Ryan attacked what he labelled as "$90bn in green pork to campaign contributors and special interest groups" as he took on incumbent Vice President Joe Biden in the televised contest in Kentucky. "The vice president was in charge of overseeing this," Ryan said,...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Carbon trading in China could secure global climate deal
BusinessGreen: China's forthcoming carbon trading pilot scheme could dovetail with other global platforms, paving the way for a global climate change agreement coming into force in 2020, according to a new report launched today. Australian research organisation The Climate Institute yesterday unveiled a report prepared by project developer Climate Bridge examining the potential impact of China's future emissions trading scheme. The world's biggest producer of carbon dioxide (CO2) is to launch seven pilot...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Cimate change's lightning rod
Albany Times Union: A prominent climate scientist whose "hockey stick" climate change chart became symbolic for supporters and foes alike compared himself Wednesday to a gazelle being pursued by predators. Michael Mann has gone from unknown university physicist to a lightning rod for a vocal, aggressive reaction to a growing scientific consensus that greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels are driving up global temperatures. Ever since Mann published his 1998 study -- dubbed the "hockey stick" because a key...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Obama, Romney asked to debate climate change
Agence France-Presse: More than 120 Floridians who either serve on official bodies on sea level or hold advanced degrees on the issue signed a letter to the two candidates ahead of their third and final debate October 22 in the coastal city of Boca Raton. The letter asked Obama and Romney to explain policies they would take to reduce the risks of a future rise in sea levels and adapt to the impact, as well as how they would work with other nations on climate change. The experts said that the sea level has risen...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Brazil sparks REDD+ duplication row
RTCC: United Nations environmental negotiations on the REDD+ mechanism need to be streamlined, according to coalition of Brazil, Columbia, Ethiopia and Argentina. The call came on day two of the Convention on Biodiversity`s (CBD) bi-annual conference in Hyderabad, India. In today`s working group on biodiversity and climate, Brazil argued that negotiations did not reflect the progress made at the UN climate talks (UNFCCC) on REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). Negotiations...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Indians believe govt needs to tackle climate change: Study
Indian Express: A Yale Foundation study has found that Indians understand and respond to the idea of climate change affecting their lives and their future prospects, and have faith in science to tackle it. Called ‘Climate Change in the Indian Mind’, the study conducted interviews with 4,031 Indian adults, both rural and urban, to find out their responses, awareness, behaviour and approach to climate change. When first asked about it, only 7 per cent said they knew “a lot” about global warming, while 41 per...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Global wheat and corn stocks to fall in 2013, says US government
Reuters: World wheat stocks will drop by 13% next year and US and corn stocks will also be lower than expected until well into 2013, the US government predicted on Thursday, prior to farm ministers from across the globe meeting to discuss high food prices. It was the second time in two weeks that the US agriculture department (USDA) delivered low estimates of crop stocks to the markets. This time, the USDA said unrelenting demand would drag down US corn and soybean stocks to the lowest levels in years...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Oil prices set to fall, forecasts IEA
Guardian: Oil prices could come down over the next five years due to sluggish economic growth around the world and rising oil production in Iraq and North America, the International Energy Agency predicts. The organisation, which advises most major governments on energy policy, expects the average import price of oil to fall from $107 a barrel this year to $89 in 2017. Problems in the eurozone had dampened expectations for economic growth, it said. "Even China, the main engine of demand growth in the last...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Climate change likely to heat up Western Colorado
Grand Junction Free Press: Western Colorado could get 6 degrees warmer by 2080, which would make Grand Junction feel like somewhere in Arizona - although probably not as far south as Phoenix. The higher temperatures would also increase the severity of droughts. That was part of the message given by Dr. Jeff Lukas of the Western Water Assessment team at the University of Colorado in the lecture he gave for Colorado Mesa University's Natural Resources of the West Seminar Series on Monday evening titled, "Drought and Climate...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
China's emissions trading may spur global accord, report says
Bloomberg: China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases linked to climate change, may create the impetus for a global carbon market as it begins pilot trading programs, according to the Climate Institute. “China’s emerging schemes can dovetail with other global schemes as a stepping stone towards a global climate change agreement by 2015,” John Connor, chief executive officer of the Sydney-based institute that commissioned a report released today, said in an e-mailed statement. The world’s second-biggest...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Some Improvement, Some Deterioration for Drought in U.S
Climate Central: Despite a series of low-pressure systems that brought rain to the northern Great Plains, the Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic states, and Florida over the past week or so, the drought that has gripped the Lower 48 states since the spring (and even longer than that, in some areas) is still holding on, according to the latest update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. The report shows that while the overall drought footprint has shrunk slightly, the scope of the most intense areas of drought have actually expanded...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Disney's radical new paper policy to have major impact
BusinessGreen: Back in 2010, the activist group Rainforest Action Network sent a bunch of children's books to a lab for analysis. The group learned that the paper in most books - including those from The Walt Disney Co., which is the world's largest publisher of children's books and magazines, producing 50 million books and 30 million magazines a year - contained tropical hardwood pulp, likely from Indonesia. Many kids books are made in China, and China gets much of its paper from Indonesia, where rainforests...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
China's carbon trading debut defies doubters
Brisbane Times: China`s first steps to build what is destined to be the world`s second-biggest emissions market are boosting the prospects for fledgling programs from Australia to California. Four cement makers in China, the world`s biggest emitter, bought 1.3 million pollution permits for 60 yuan ($9) a metric ton last month in Guangdong. The province plans the largest of seven pilot programs for a proposed national market within three years. Exchanges will trade permits to emit an estimated 1 billion metric...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Tribes Add Powerful Voice Against Northwest Coal Plan
New York Times: At age 94, Mary Helen Cagey, an elder of the Lummi Indian tribe, has seen a lot of yesterdays. Some are ripe for fond reminiscence, like the herring that used to run rich in the waters here in the nation’s upper-left margin, near the border with Canada. Others are best left in the past, she said, like coal. “I used to travel into Bellingham and buy my sack of coal,” she said, standing in sensible shoes on a pebbled beach at a recent tribal news conference, talking about her girlhood of rural subsistence...

Sat, 13 Oct 12
Tiff over carbon tax on aviation may end soon
Economic Times: The face-off between the European Union (EU) and India over carbon tax on aviation could see a resolution, with a compromise formula likely to evolve at the UN's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)'s meeting to be held in end-October. Under the proposed formula, an international market-based mechanism would be developed for taxing international flights but it would apply to flights between developing countries at a later date, covering only the developed nations to begin with. Revenues...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Are businesses ready for mandatory carbon reporting?
BusinessGreen: More than two thirds of the FTSE 350 are ready to meet new mandatory carbon reporting regulations that are due to come into effect next year, while over three quarters of mid-sized firms are also committed to delivering sustainability reports. Those are the findings of two major new reports published this week detailing how firms are preparing for the introduction of mandatory carbon emissions reporting requirements in six months' time. Under new regulations due to come in effect from April...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
US confirms up to 250 per cent tariffs on Chinese solar imports
BusinessGreen: The US has imposed tariffs of up to 250 per cent on solar imports from China, after claiming the country's manufacturers had benefitted from government subsidies and "dumped" products on the American market at below the cost of production. The Commerce Department yesterday revised a preliminary decision to impose tariffs made in May following a complaint brought by the US arm of German manufacturer SolarWorld. It claimed China has sold solar cells in the US between 18 to 250 per cent below...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Biofuels benefit billionaires
ScienceDaily: Biofuels will serve the interests of large industrial groups rather than helping to cut carbon emissions and ward off climate change, according to research to be published in the International Journal of Environment and Health this month. Simone Vieri of the University "La Sapienza" of Rome, Italy, explains that, in its policies to combat climate change, the European Union has planned to increase to 10% the share of fuel derived from biofuels on the market by 2020. It has focused attention on...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Disney revamps paper buying to protect rainforests
Reuters: Walt Disney Co, the world's biggest publisher of children's books, said on Thursday it changed its purchasing policies to reduce paper use and avoid paper harvested from endangered forests. The new policy aims to eliminate paper made with "irresponsibly harvested fiber" and maximize use of products that come from areas approved by the Forest Stewardship Council, Disney said in a statement. It follows similar moves by other major publishers. Disney's guidelines also are meant to minimize paper...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
James Hansen, Climate Change Scientist, Suggests Price On Carbon
LiveScience: Prominent climate scientist James Hansen has been warning that humans have brought the planet to a tipping point, after which changes, such as melting ice, can pick up momentum with potentially devastating effects. At a discussion today (Oct. 11), Hansen suggested society has reached its own tipping point. "We are at a fork in the road. We can either continue with business as usual and addiction to fossil fuels, or we can put an honest price on carbon that makes fossil fuels pay their cost...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
U.S. Struggles to Rescue Green Program Hit by Fraud
New York Times: A Maryland man is awaiting sentencing for what may seem an unusual crime: selling bogus renewable energy credits and using the $9.3 million in illicit proceeds to buy jewelry and a fleet of luxury cars. In a similar case in Texas, a man has been indicted for selling a whopping $42 million in counterfeit credits. He bought real estate, a Bentley and a Gulfstream jet. As a result of such cases, the Environmental Protection Agency is scrambling to retool a program that relies on such credits to encourage...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Shocking Data Reveals Arctic Sea Ice Free Fall
Earth Policy Institute: The North Pole is losing its ice cap. Comparing recent melt seasons with historical records spanning more than 1,400 years shows summer Arctic sea ice in free fall. Many scientists believe that the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free in the summertime within the next decade or two, and some say that this could occur as early as 2016. The last time the Arctic was completely free of ice may have been 125,000 years ago. Between March 20 and Sept. 16, the Arctic lost ice covering 11.8 million square kilometers--an...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
How’s that big carbon-capture push going? Slowly. Too slowly.
Washington Post: If you ask the experts at the International Energy Agency how the world can avert drastic global warming, they’ll say it will take lots of different solutions. We’ll need more renewable energy. More efficient cars. More forests. But we’ll also need to figure out how to capture some of our existing carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants and industrial facilities and bury them deep underground. So how’s that going? A big new report from the Global CCS Institute takes stock of carbon capture...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Oysters' future imperiled as oceans acidify
LiveScience: Oysters, those slimy mollusks whose juices are thought to boost sexual desire, may be losing their comfy sea homes. Only on NBCNews.com Ann Johansson for NBC News 'Pinktober' ignores late-stage breast cancer BP, Justice Dept. reportedly near spill deal NBC News NYC denizen shows how to live in tiny apartment Environmental nonprofit's donation tough to figure Hidden Planet: Church of the Resurrection Paying $2 million to get your kid into Harvard? Are private inspectors keeping food safe? The...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Global warming causing Antarctic ice to expand
Associated Press: The ice goes on seemingly forever in a white pancake-flat landscape, stretching farther than ever before. And yet in this confounding region of the world, that spreading ice may be a cockeyed signal of man-made climate change, scientists say. This is Antarctica, the polar opposite of the Arctic. While the North Pole has been losing sea ice over the years, the water nearest the South Pole has been gaining it. Antarctic sea ice hit a record 7.51 million square miles in September. That happened just...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
US corn ethanol cost poor nations $6.6 bln - study
AlertNet: Growing use of U.S.-produced corn for biofuel has added $6.6 billion to the food import bills of developing countries over the past six years, highlighting the need to rethink energy policies that are making food more expensive for poor people, says new research. The amount of U.S. maize that goes into ethanol equals around 15 percent of global corn production, and in recent years this has contributed to rising food prices around the world, says the study from Tufts University in Massachusetts....

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Report calls for using ecosystems in disaster prevention
SciDevNet: More research is needed to understand how ecosystems can help reduce disaster risks around the world, according to a report launched in Brussels, Belgium, today. The World Risk Report 2012 says that human development activities have "massively raised the hazard potential". It cites the destruction of coral reefs and mangrove forests in South-East Asia -- which has reduced protection against flooding and tidal waves -- and increased deforestation, which has led to worsening soil erosion and the...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Drought persists, hits wheat growers hard - report
Reuters: Drought conditions in the United States grew even worse over the last week as historic drought conditions crept north and threatened new winter wheat planting in several states. September was the driest in 118 years of U.S. record keeping for North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana and was the third-driest September for Nebraska and Oregon, said Mark Svoboda, a climatologist with the University of Nebraska's National Drought Mitigation Center. Farmers trying to plant the nation's new winter...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
EU carbon up 1 percent on hedging, sale delay
Reuters: European carbon edged up more than 1 percent on Thursday after a sale for nearly half of the 5 million permits expected by the market this week was postponed, spurring utilities to buy allowances. Front-year EU Allowance futures added 8 cents to 7.80 by 1541 GMT on light volume of 9.2 million units. "There's a little bit of demand, mainly utility hedging ... (but) carbon's struggling to go in either direction. A lot of people want to short this but others still want to buy it for hedging purposes,"...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Run-off from Greenland may weaken carbon sink
New Scientist: More fresh water isn't always a good thing. The volume of fresh water gushing into the Atlantic from Greenland has increased in the past few decades. The water will interfere with Atlantic currents and may even reduce the ocean's ability to store carbon. "Greenland has been losing increasing amounts of mass," says Jonathan Bamber of the University of Bristol in the UK. What had been unclear was how much of that was due to losing water to the ocean, as opposed to factors like reduced snowfall....

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Group Calls for Swift Growth Of Carbon Capture-and-Storage Facilities
Yale Environment 360: An industrial group says that to avoid “dangerous climate change” an additional 55 facilities that capture carbon from power plants and store it underground must be built by 2020. The group, the Global CCS Institute, said that only one new carbon-capture-and-storage (CCS) plant was built in the past year, bringing the current number to 75. The institute acknowledged that the goal of building 130 CCS plants by 2020 was unlikely, but argued that the technology is a proven method of reducing carbon...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Norway Proposes CO2 Tax Hike To Increase Climate Mitigation Funds
Yale Environment 360: Norway has announced plans to nearly double its carbon tax on the nation’s offshore petroleum sector to create a £1 billion fund to help combat the effects of climate change, including in developing nations. In a draft budget released this week, government officials proposed a climate program that would increase the tax on oil companies from about £24 per ton of carbon dioxide to £45 (Nkr410) per ton. The plan would allocate about £1 billion (Nkr10 billion) to promote green energy initiatives, reduce...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Oil sheen near Deepwater Horizon site from Macondo, U.S. says
Reuters: An oil sheen spotted on the Gulf of Mexico near the site of the sunken Deepwater Horizon rig matches samples from BP Plc's ill-fated Macondo well, the U.S. Coast Guard said. BP reported a sheen on September 16 in block 252 of the Mississippi Canyon, about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. Test samples indicate that "the sheen correlates to oil that originated from BP's Macondo Well", the Coast Guard said in a statement late on Wednesday. Swiss-based Transocean Ltd owned the Deepwater Horizon...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
@BarackObama tweets on Climate Change
Huffington Post: The Obama-Biden reelection campaign has sent out a tweet on climate change issues: "Climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and wildfires are not a joke. They're a threat to your future."--President Obama -- Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 9, 2012 This quote from the President's DNC speech was the second most applauded line in the speech and, when given, raised hopes that the campaign would end the climate silence. Sadly, "climate change" has not (yet...) emerged as a major element...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
UK tidal power potential estimated at 153GW
BusinessGreen: The UK has the potential to install tens of gigawatts (GW) of tidal and wave power capacity, according to a new report from the Crown Estate designed to help predict the future growth of the marine energy industry. The Crown Estate today unveiled the findings of a new study into the UK's potential marine energy resource, which show that there is the potential to harness up to 153GW of tidal power capacity in the UK, using three types of technology. The report predicts tidal stream devices could...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
A conversation with environmental campaigner Wendell Berry | Emma Brockes
Guardian: Wendell Berry doesn't come to New York very often. The 78-year-old lives in Kentucky, where his family has farmed for five generations. When he flies to the city next week, it's to collect a Leadership Award from the James Beard Foundation for over half a century of campaigning for better methods of food production. During his career, Berry has demonstrated against everything from Vietnam to nuclear power, from mountain-top coal mining to the death penalty. Most famously, he has campaigned against...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
New World Bank Head Wants to Address Climate Change
Science: Jim Yong Kim, the new president of the World Bank, said in Tokyo today that dealing with climate change will be one of his priorities. "Since becoming president of the World Bank, I have looked deeply into the data on climate change, and I have to say I was surprised that even in last 6 months to a year, the data has become ever more frightening," he said. "As a scientist, I feel a moral responsibility to be very clear in communicating the dangers of climate change." Kim, a public health specialist...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Why do we play down the horror of climate change?
Green Futures: So here I am, writing this on a flight out to join Forum for the Future colleagues in New York (I know, I know...), pondering, as always, how to manage the advocacy challenge that lies ahead. I'm leaving on the day the British media went into overdrive on the latest data from the Arctic on the extent of melting in the summer sea ice. Superlatives abound: 'worst ever', 'unprecedented', 'no known comparison in at least three million years' etc. But the thing that really grabbed me in all the coverage...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Wind Power Lowers Electricity Costs
EcoWatch: Here’s something that shouldn’t surprise anyone: A company that benefits from high power prices is lobbying for policies that would raise power prices for consumers. What should surprise everyone, however, is the sheer audacity of their effort: using a deeply flawed study to argue that tax incentives for wind power are “distortionary” while arguing for the exact same incentives for their preferred technologies. Earlier this summer Exelon Corporation, a large U.S. power generator and utility operator,...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
U.S. sets steep final duties on Chinese solar panels
Reuters: The United States on Wednesday slapped steep final duties on billions of dollars of solar energy products from China, but turned down a request from lawmakers and U.S. manufacturers to expand the scope of its order. China's government and its solar manufacturers criticized the decision, adding more heat to the U.S.-China trade relationship following a congressional panel report on Monday urging American companies not to do business with two Chinese telecommunications companies because of security...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
UK energy minister wants to fund two CCS projects
Reuters: Britain's energy minister wants to financially support two pilot carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects, a technology the UK is banking on to reduce climate-warming emissions and to develop as a new export product. Britain sees CCS as a key technology for reducing carbon emissions in the energy sector, and the government has launched a 1 billion pound ($1.60 billion) competition to fund one or more projects. Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, will next week meet...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Al Gore has thrived as green-tech investor
Washington Post: Before a rapt audience, Al Gore flashed slides on a giant screen bearing the logos of 11 clean energy companies he predicted could help slow climate change. "We can't wait. . . . We have a planetary emergency,' the former vice president told industry leaders and scientists at the 2008 conference. "Here are just a few of the investments that I personally think make sense.' Today, several of those clean tech firms are thriving, including a solar energy start-up and a Spanish utility...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
China rejects US solar panel tariffs as protectionism, says they will hurt clean energy
Associated Press: China demanded Thursday that Washington repeal steep tariffs on solar panels that Chinese producers fear will shut their equipment out of the American market. The tariffs upheld Wednesday by the U.S. Commerce Department add to financial pressure on struggling Chinese solar panel manufacturers that are suffering heavy losses due to weak demand and a price-cutting war. "The United States is inciting trade friction in new energy and sending a negative signal to the whole world about protectionism...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Global warming adding to Antarctic ice, experts say
Pioneer Press: The ice goes on seemingly forever in a white flat landscape, stretching farther than ever before. And yet, that spreading ice may be a cockeyed signal of man-made climate change, scientists say. This is Antarctica, the polar opposite of the Arctic. While the North Pole has been losing sea ice over the years, the water nearest the South Pole has been gaining it. Antarctic sea ice hit a record 7.51 million square miles in September. That happened just days after reports of the biggest loss of...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Australia: Too many researchers spoil climate studies
Age: AS THE world's elite global warming experts began poring over the drafts of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report this week, one leading scientist believes the process shouldn't be happening at all. ''I think it will be less successful than the last assessment, and I think it will be blander - I'm disappointed in what I've seen so far,'' said Kevin Trenberth, the head of the climate analysis section at the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research. Professor Trenberth's...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Palm oil set to grow Indonesia's climate changing emissions
ClimateWire: Despite government pledges to rein in deforestation, Indonesia is on track to release vast amounts of greenhouse gases over the next decade as its burgeoning palm oil industry churns under carbon-rich peat and cuts down its rainforest. According to a new study by researchers at Stanford and Yale universities, emissions from the palm oil industry alone could release 558 million metric tons of carbon dioxide -- more than the national emissions of Canada -- by 2020. The study adds doubt to a compact...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Germany eyes cap for support for wind power, biomass
Reuters: Germany's environment minister outlined plans on Thursday to limit support for wind energy and biomass generation following a similar cap imposed on the photovoltaic sector, as part of a proposed reform of renewable energy policy. Peter Altmaier also raised Germany's green targets, saying he wanted renewables to account for 40 percent of total power production in Germany by 2020, up from 25 percent now and an original target of 35 percent. The increase came as no surprise, given the rapid expansion...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Antarctic ice map may hold clues to global warming
Reuters: Scientists have produced the first three dimensional map of the surface beneath Antarctic sea ice, helping them better understand the impact of climate change on Antarctica. The team of scientists from eight countries have used a robot submarine to chart a frozen and inverted world of mountains and valleys, allowing accurate measurements of the crucial thickness of Antarctic sea ice. By combining the data with airborne measures of surface ice and snow, scientists can now accurately measure...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Experts expect global warming to pack more ice onto Antarctica
Associated Press: The ice goes on seemingly forever in a white pancake-flat landscape, stretching farther than ever before. And yet in this confounding region of the world, that spreading ice may be a cockeyed signal of man-made climate change, scientists say. This is Antarctica, the polar opposite of the Arctic. While the North Pole has been losing sea ice over the years, the water nearest the South Pole has been gaining it. Antarctic sea ice hit a record 7.51 million square miles in September. That happened...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Alaska village short of water as winter nears
Associated Press: Inupiat Eskimo villagers in a small Alaska community are facing six long months of melting ice and snow nearly every time they want to cook a meal or bathe, after freezing temperatures hit before workers could fill the village's two large storage tanks with water. Officials in Kivalina had hoped to pull more than 1 million gallons from the nearby Wulik River before it froze over -- enough to allow residents to cook, clean and keep its Laundromat, or "washeteria," open all winter. But city administrator...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Canada: More carbon capture and storage projects needed to meet targets
Leader Post: Building carbon capture and storage (CCS) plants, like SaskPower's $1.24-billion Boundary Dam Integrated CCS demonstration project at Estevan, could help meet global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets and save electricity customers trillions of dollars, according to a global CCS study released Wednesday. But with only 50 new CCS plants expected to be operational by 2015, that's well short of 130 needed to reach the International Energy Agency's target of limiting global temperature increases...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
The year the grains failed: Why poorer countries are scheduling 'food-free days'
Environment Health: World grain prices have risen so high that families in poorer countries are being forced to schedule "food-free days" each week, according to one of the leading experts on global agriculture. The extreme rationing is an "an unprecedented manifestation of food stress," according to Lester Brown, president of the Washington-based Earth Policy Institute, and the most respected environmental observer of food and agricultural trends. While regional food shortages are far from uncommon, the sheer...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Norway to double carbon tax on oil industry
Guardian: Norway is to double carbon tax on its North Sea oil industry and set up a £1bn fund to help combat the damaging impacts of climate change in the developing world. In one of the most radical climate programmes yet by an oil-producing nation, the Norwegian government has proposed increasing its carbon tax on offshore oil companies by £21 to £45 (Nkr410) per tonne of CO2 and a £5.50 (Nkr50) per tonne CO2 tax on its fishing industry. Norway will also plough an extra £1bn (Nkr10bn) into its funds...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Climate change impacts Antarctic penguins and their entire ecosystem
Examiner: In October, the Northern Hemisphere prepares for winter; in Antarctica, summer has begun. After six months of darkness, the sun rises, spilling light on the coldest environment on earth. The Antarctic winter (March through September) over, the Adélie Penguins of the Ross Sea migrate to the colony to nest and rear chicks. “Penguins are very territorial and can be aggressive if you get too close," explains Dr. David Ainley, Ph.D. Animal Behavior/Ecology Senior Marine Wildlife Ecologist at H.T. Harvey...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Romney, Obama reps debate energy plans at MIT
Christian Science Monitor: Democrats and Republicans alike hope for an energy independent future--an America freed from the whims of a temperamental global energy market. The differences arise when determining what to do today to make that future a reality. For Mr. Cass, speaking on behalf of Romney, the path to energy independence lies in cultivating private sector innovation via funding for early-stage research coupled with an easing of regulations. Mr. Cass criticized Obama’s increase in clean energy subsidies, portraying...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Global warming may shift summer weather patterns
Climate Central: By altering the heat balance between land and sea, manmade global warming may be altering summer weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere, a new study found. The study, published on Sept. 30 in Nature Geoscience, shows that the sprawling high pressure areas that set up shop over the Western North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans during the summer months have become larger and stronger during the past 40 years, and these trends are likely to continue during the next several decades as temperatures...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
CO2 May Fragment Glaciers, Driving Ice Into the Sea Faster
Climate Central: Scientists expect sea level to go up by 3 feet or so by the end of this century, thanks mostly to changes in the great ice sheets that dominate Greenland and Antarctica -- but they worry about unknown factors that might drive ice into the sea faster than projected. Now a pair of MIT scientists has identified what might, in theory, turn out to be one of these "unknown unknowns.' In a study released Wednesday in the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, Zhao Qin and Markus Buehler show that carbon...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Fiscal woes, fears spur waste-to-energy debate in NYC
City Limits: In the years since a tugboat nosed the last barge full of garbage into the massive Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island when it was officially closed back in March of 2001, the tax burden and environmental impact of dealing with New York City's trash have increased dramatically. City officials estimate that in a single year, tractor-trailers log 40 million miles to haul 3 million tons of trash from the five boroughs to out-of-state landfills, mostly in Pennsylvania and Virginia. The flat cost of...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Report: Low carbon cars can drive 100,000 jobs in Europe
BusinessGreen: Investing in the development of fuel efficient technologies could create over 100,000 manufacturing jobs across Europe, according to a new report published today by campaign group Transport and Environment (T&E). The research, conducted by Dutch consultancy CE Delft, rejects automakers' claims that reducing emissions from cars would lead to job losses and diminished competitiveness. It also highlights how consumers saving money through using less fuel increase their spending in other parts...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Investment in UN's carbon scheme to 'dry up' as prices plunge
BusinessGreen: UN carbon credits could be worth just 50 euro cents by the end of the decade due to a huge oversupply of allowances, hitting investment in its Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), analysts Thomson Reuters Point Carbon warned yesterday. The current surplus of Certified Emission Reduction (CER) credits generated in the UN's CDM and Joint Implementation (JI) schemes, and used by companies to offset their emissions, could be as large as 1.43 billion for the period up to 2020, the company said. The...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
The Latest Science from Europe—Safe Fracking is a Fairy Tale
Natural Resources Defense Council: There are a few new reports from Europe on fracking that provide a lot of valuable information: A joint report from Germany`s Federal Environment Agency and Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety was released in September. Among the conclusions about the environmental impacts of fracking: Fracking technology can lead to groundwater contamination. There are current gaps in knowledge about environmental risks. Germany should use a step-by-step approach...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
The new 'golden age of oil' that wasn't
Al Jazeera: Last winter, fossil-fuel enthusiasts began trumpeting the dawn of a new "golden age of oil" that would kick-start the American economy, generate millions of new jobs, and free this country from its dependence on imported petroleum. Ed Morse, head commodities analyst at Citibank, was typical. In the Wall Street Journal he crowed, "The United States has become the fastest-growing oil and gas producer in the world, and is likely to remain so for the rest of this decade and into the 2020s." Once this...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
As US presidential election nears, a new debate over 'clean coal'
StateImpact: Imag­ine a chart track­ing U.S. green­house gas emis­sions since 2005. Do you imag­ine a line head­ing up, or down? It’s down actu­ally. Emis­sions are decreas­ing, thanks to the weak econ­omy, more use of wind and solar power, and the sud­den influx of cleaner burn­ing nat­ural gas. So where does that leave Pennsylvania’s for­mer energy titan, king coal? If you’re watch­ing TV or rid­ing down the turn­pike, you’ll notice the coal indus­try is work­ing hard to pol­ish its reputation. The clean...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Why did environmental nonprofit donate to conservative pro-coal group?
MSNBC: "Environmentalists punish companies without protecting people' is the headline of a column that appeared on the website of the American Action Forum a year ago. The group has called for increased domestic production of oil, coal and natural gas. Officials there have criticized President Barack Obama's "eagerness to speed our progression to a low-carbon economy' and argued that the administration is "regulating coal out of existence.' The American Action Forum is also connected with a nonprofit...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
U.S., OPEC cut global oil demand estimates
Reuters: Global oil demand is looking weaker than previously forecast as the slowing economy continues to weigh on consumption, according to monthly reports released on Wednesday by the U.S. government and OPEC. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries trimmed its forecast for growth in world oil demand in 2013 by 30,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 780,000 bpd and said the risk remains skewed to the downside. The producer group maintained oil supplies are adequate and pointed out this year's...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Nigeria: Ogoniland Oil Spills: Dutch Case Against Shell to Begin
BBC: The Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell has rejected claims by four Nigerian farmers that it should pay compensation for damage to their land. The farmers are suing the company in a civil court in The Hague, claiming oil spills ruined their livelihoods. Shell's lawyers told the court it could not be held liable because most spills were caused by criminal damage. They said repairs were hard to carry out because of insecurity in the Niger Delta. Shell lawyer Jan de Bie Leuveling Tjeenk told the...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Minnesota Lawmaker Aims to Roll Back EPA Regional Haze Powers
Greenwire: Minnesota Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack is pushing for legislation to roll back the EPA`s ability to promulgate federal air visibility guidelines. Cravaack`s H.R. 6507 would compel the agency to approve Minnesota Pollution Control Agency plans for dealing with regional haze. The agency would also temporarily be prohibited from pre-empting state standards. The legislation focuses on processing facilities for taconite, a certain type of iron deposit that helps fuel the economy in Cravaack`s northeastern...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
EPA Worried That Dilbit Still a Threat to Kalamazoo River, More Than 2 Years After Spill
Inside Climate News: The hidden, long-term effects of the 2010 pipeline accident that spilled more than a million gallons of heavy Canadian crude oil into Michigan's Kalamazoo River became public last week when the EPA revealed that large amounts of oil are still accumulating in three areas of the river. The problem is so serious that the EPA [3] is asking Enbridge Inc. [4], the Canadian pipeline operator, to dredge approximately 100 acres of the river. During the original cleanup effort, dredging was limited to just...

Fri, 12 Oct 12
Maine Becomes New Front in Battle Over Canadian Oil Sands
Globe and Mail: The latest flashpoint is in Maine, where activists held a news conference on Wednesday to denounce an allegedly secret plan by Portland Pipe Line Corp. to open a new route to carry western crude by way of Ontario and Quebec through northern New England to the Atlantic coast. That prospect highlights the mismatch between abundant, low-cost western crude and the reliance of eastern refineries on premium-priced offshore imports. As the oil industry looks to spread eastward, governments in Quebec...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Prime Real Estate for Renewable Energy
EcoWatch: In real estate we have the saying "location, location, location." This slogan also applies to the siting of renewable energy projects. Where we choose to install wind turbines, solar panels and other large-scale renewable energy installations matters. As always, the devil`s in the details. As reported today by Think Progress, the Department of the Interior announced yesterday that is has approved 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy projects on public lands. This meets a goal set by Congress in...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
UN warns of rising food costs after year's extreme weather
Guardian: The UN has warned of increasing meat and dairy prices in the wake of extreme weather in the United States and across large parts of Europe and other centres of global food production. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome, global wheat production is expected to fall 5.2% in 2012 and yields from many other crops grown to feed animals could be 10% down on last year. "Populations are growing but production is not keeping up with consumption. Prices for wheat have already...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Extreme Weather: A Mixed Bag for Dead Zones
World Resources Institute: This year’s extreme weather events--a warm winter, even warmer summer, and a drought that covered nearly two-thirds of the continental United States--has certainly caused its fair share of damages. But despite the crop failures, water shortages, and heat waves, extreme weather created at least one benefit: smaller dead zones in the Chesapeake Bay and Gulf of Mexico. On a normal year, rain washes pollutants like nitrogen and phosphorous from farms and urban areas into the two bodies of water, fueling...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Waterkeepers Take Legal Action to Stop Toxic Coal Ash from Contaminating Groundwater
Waterkeeper Alliance: Conservation groups today asked the N.C. Environmental Management Commission (EMC) to require Progress Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Carolinas to clean up groundwater contaminated by old, unlined coal ash lagoons at 14 coal-fired power plants that have been leaking toxic substances for decades. Coal ash is the toxic waste that remains after coal is burned. The Southern Environmental Law Center filed the complaint with the EMC on behalf of the Cape Fear River Watch, Sierra Club, Waterkeeper Alliance...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
As Arctic Melts, Business As Usual
YaleGlobal: The compulsion to use dangerous substances dominates routines at an addict’s peril. And such is the case with global dependence on burning fossil fuels, as they irreparably ruin the planet, argues Will Hickey. An example is melting Arctic ice, already changing global weather patterns. Still, governments and oil companies are impatient to head to the Arctic and drill for more fossil fuels. As data pile up on rising seas, raging wildfires and floods, volatile weather of all types, few in government...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Garifuna Women, Custodians of Culture and the Environment in Honduras
Inter Press Service: Hurricane Match, which devastated Honduras 14 years ago, prompted a group of Garifuna women to start organising, to help the people in greatest need of assistance. Since then they have expanded their work, and have become an example of the commitment to preserving the environment, farming in a sustainable manner, and preserving their culture. The experience gave rise to the Garifuna Emergency Committee of Honduras, led mainly by women from the Caribbean province of Trujillo, one of the most...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Climate Change, Narcissism, Denial, Apocalyptic Anxiety
Huffington Post: On October 5, 2012, on the front page of The Huffington Post, appeared a terrifying image of melting arctic ice, accompanied by the chilling headline, "Arctic Ice Melt and Sea Level Rise May Be 'Decades Ahead Of Schedule.'" Why have the majority of Americans and American politicians been largely oblivious to this extreme threat? I believe there are two principal reasons. The first is unbridled narcissism. Psychoanalytic developmental theorist Erik Erikson famously characterized an essential aim...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Mitt Romney defends coal industry as US sees rising popularity of natural gas
Guardian: Mitt Romney hit the campaign trail in Ohio and Virginia this week accusing Barack Obama of waging war on coal. But the real enemy of coal, it turns out, is free enterprise – and strong competition from another home-grown source of American energy: natural gas. Falling prices for natural gas made it far more economical to burn natural gas instead of coal in the country's power plants over the last few years. Environmental regulations – a favourite target of Romney – had little to do with the...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
U.S. Supreme Court Refuses Chevron Challenge of Ecuador Damages
Yale Environment 360: The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear Chevron Corp.’s challenge of an $18.2 billion judgment issued by an Ecuadorian court over large-scale damages caused by oil drilling in the Amazon. The Supreme Court decision is the latest development in a long legal battle that led to a ruling last year by an Ecuadorean court that Chevron had to pay the damages for massive oil dumping by Texaco, which Chevron acquired in 2001. Chevron was challenging a ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Over 70 percent of Americans: climate change worsening extreme weather
Mongabay: According to a new poll, 74 percent of Americans agree that climate change is impacting weather in the U.S., including 73 percent who agreed, strongly or somewhat, that climate change had exacerbated record high temperatures over the summer. The findings mean that a large majority of Americans agree with climatologists who in recent years have found increasingly strong evidence that climate change has both increased and worsened extreme weather events. In the poll the majority of Americans say...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
US Supreme Court refuses to hear Chevron’s pleas against US$19 billion fine
Globe and Mail: Chevron Corp. has lost a bid to have the U.S. Supreme Court consider its call for a worldwide ban on attempts to collect on a controversial $19-billion (U.S.) environmental judgment levelled against the company in Ecuador. The decision comes with lawyers in Canada poised to battle in a Toronto courtroom next month over an attempt by the Ecuadorean plaintiffs to seize Chevron's considerable Canadian assets to cover at least part of the massive judgment - a judgment the oil giant dismisses as fraudulent....

Thu, 11 Oct 12
High and volatile food prices are the new normal: we must act now
Guardian: Following a summer of dramatic increases in international and UK food prices, the third spike since 2008, it is becoming clear the dynamics of the international food system are changing – and not for the better. With increases of 10% on international food markets, and domestic staples up by as much as 113% in some countries, it is time to focus on what needs to happen next. Research by Save the Children, due to be published next week, will highlight that we are facing a "new normal" of high and...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
As Cameron hails offshore wind, Siemens confirms delay to planned factory
BusinessGreen: On the same day as the Prime Minister hailed the UK as the global leader in offshore wind energy, one of the sector's largest investors confirmed it had delayed plans for a wind turbine factory in Hull. Just days after it emerged that Siemens and six other green energy firms had written to the Prime Minister warning that they could shelve investment plans unless the government delivers a more stable policy environment, the German engineering giant confirmed it has postponed a final decision on...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Watch out New England, Tar Sands Pipeline is Headed Your Way
National Wildlife Federation: We’ve written before about Big Oil’s new playbook on tar sands: using stealth tactics to make it harder for the public to figure out what dangerous projects they have in mind and trying to pull one over on the public. Bearing locally-based labels like “Portland Pipe Line Corporation” and “Montreal Pipe Line Limited,” the proposed Trailbreaker tar sands pipeline is actually owned by ExxonMobil, via its Canadian Subsidiary Imperial Oil, with tar sands giant Suncor Energy having a minority stake in...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Not merely a parrot then....
Ecologist: As the Conservative party winds up its annual conference, Bibi van der Zee takes a closer look at some of its key players and gleans a little more about their ‘positions’ on the environment Owen Paterson, for instance, has been stomping all over environmental sensibilities this week So Cameron has wound up party conference season with a solid, nothing-too-blinding speech, that made him look like a prime minister, but didn't really tell us very much else. To his credit, he did actually refer...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
'Soviet-style' wind farm subsidies to face the axe
Telegraph: Owen Paterson, who took on the role last month, said wind developers should "stand on their own two feet' instead of asking for money from the state. He said green technologies such as wind farms might actually have a worse impact than climate change, because they are causing "public insurrection'. "There are significant impacts on the rural economy and the rural environment, all of which probably weren't intended when these things were thought up,' he told an event at the Conservative Party...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Greens may face reckoning over Keystone
Politico: Green groups came out early — and hard — for President Barack Obama this season. They threw in money from the start. They drummed up big-name endorsements when other liberal groups hung back. And they’ve joined the ranks of campaign foot soldiers. So environmentalists should be excited to see their guy ahead in the polls — a sign that their hard work is paying off. Instead, they’re grappling with a tough reality: Even a win could be setting themselves up for a colossal loss early next year. Many...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Germany: Lines of contention
Financial Times: Peer Schulze holds his arm aloft to trace the path of the high-voltage power line that one day might cut through the green fringes of the town of Stadtilm in central Germany. “It’ll run over this barn, across that field and come within 100 metres of those houses,” says the 48-year-old construction engineer, a member of a local action group. “If, that is, the power line ever gets built.” The 380-kilovolt transmission line, more than 100km long, is meant to join the hilly, wooded state of Thuringia,...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Global warming will wipe species off earth
Deccan Herald: Climate change and global warming will result in the death of a number of plant and animal species, affecting the earth’s vast biological diversity. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) estimates that a rise of each degree in temperature will place an additional 10 per cent of species at increased risks of extinction. The CBD has also admitted that there is ample scientific evidence that climate change affects biodiversity. Climate change, according to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment,...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Coping with deep climate uncertainty
Scientific American: There is a great post at the Council on Foreign Relations blog where by Michael Levi boils down global climate change in to two overarching unknowns: (1) extent of damage by an accumulation of greenhouse gases, and (2) an uncertainty around which policies, or set of policies, will succeed in reducing emissions. The danger, he writes, is that policies that make drastic, big bets face high risks of failure: Focusing on particularly disruptive policies because they’re the only ones that have a chance...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Water is the next global problem
The Star: The world is on the verge of the greatest crisis it has ever faced. Worsening water security will have irreversible consequences on ecosystems, livelihoods and the global economic system. The ever-expanding water demand by the world's growing population and economy has made water scarcity a reality in many parts of the world. We are witnessing severe damage to livelihoods, human health, and ecosystems. It is predicted by most accounts that by 2013, global water requirements would increase by 40%...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Six penguins die after malaria outbreak at London Zoo
Independent: Six penguins have died after an outbreak of malaria at London Zoo this summer. The birds contracted the avian strain of the disease from mosquitoes and died in August, despite the zoo taking extra precautions to prevent the killer infection. Zookeepers increased the birds' anti-malaria medication due to fears that the wet weather created the perfect conditions for mosquitoes to thrive. Avian malaria cannot be passed on to humans, nor can it be passed from bird to bird, and the zoo says the...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
This is the Cost of Coal!
Sierra Club: Today the Sierra Club and Sierra Magazine released a photography project examining the effects of coal on the lives of everyday Americans. The feature, Cost of Coal, follows the life-cycle of coal, using sharp, poignant images to show the impact coal mining, burning and disposal has on families across the country. The Cost of Coal project includes an 18-page photo spread (see a sampling of the photo essay below) in the November/December issue of Sierra, accompanied by a new, interactive website...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Water funds on the rise
Reuters: Water has yet to live up to its hype as the commodity bet of the future, but the world's most basic resource is drawing ever more money as asset managers seek steady inflation-protected returns. Investment opportunities are increasing as cities in faster growing markets expand and as governments in more developed countries, short of cash, are forced to turn to the private sector to fund upgrades to meet tougher environmental standards. Meanwhile, investors such as pension funds want alternatives...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Norway: Climate change to lengthen growing season
PhysOrg: Across much of Norway, the agricultural growing season could become up to two months longer due to climate change. A research project has been studying the potential and challenges inherent in such a scenario. Scientists expect the global mean temperature to rise in the future. One consequence is that by the end of this century, Norwegian farmers could be growing their crops for up to two months longer. In areas of higher elevation, in fact, the difference could turn out to be three months. The...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Political storms threaten Europe's offshore wind goals
Reuters: Political wavering in Britain, the world's biggest offshore wind market, is casting doubt on European ambitions to build a fleet of gigantic turbines out at sea, desperately needed to meet legally binding climate change targets. The increasing scale of offshore wind means it is the one green energy source able to make up for the phase-out of nuclear generation - especially in the EU's largest economy Germany - and for the closure of ageing and polluting coal plants in other countries such as Britain...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
British shoppers warned of fruit and veg shortages
Guardian: This summer's poor UK harvest has left some supermarkets struggling to keep shelves stocked with fresh produce and taking the unusual step of apologising for the fact that some fruit and vegetables are of lower quality than usual. Following today's warning from the National Farmers' Union (NFU) on low wheat yields, supermarkets have not ruled out the prospect of price rises in the future. But they pledged to help Britain's hard-pressed families by offering "competitive pricing" of staple and essential...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Food prices to rise after wet summer hits harvests
BusinessGreen: Food prices look set to rise after the second wettest summer on record damaged harvests in England and Wales. Wheat yields are down over 14 per cent on the five-year average, hitting the lowest levels since the 1980s, according to a new survey from the National Farming Union (NFU). Food prices were already on the rise following the worst drought in 50 years in the US and a heatwave in Russia. Over the past 12 months the global price of wheat has soared around 30 per cent, while overall global...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
As temperatures rise, so does public concern about climate
Houston Chronicle: There`s weather (today`s temperature, this week`s forecast for Houston) and there`s climate (the average U.S. temperature in 2006, average global temperature in 2100). Scientists, generally, are careful not to mix the two. For example, a hotter-than-normal summer in Houston cannot entirely be blamed on climate change, any more than a cold February can be used to disprove climate change. But the public does not see matters so clearly. And in the United States, it`s been hot of late. And as we`ll...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Three-Fourths of Americans Now Think Climate Change Is Influencing the Weather
Treehugger: So, after a year marked by record breaking heat, massive wildfires, and drought that consumed 60% of the nation, almost three quarters of Americans now recognize that climate change is driving some of that funny business. A new poll from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communications says as much. Some of the highlights: A large and growing majority of Americans say “global warming is affecting weather in the United States” (74%, up 5 points since our last national survey in March 2012)....

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Global warming could make washout UK summers the norm, study warns
Guardian: A repeat of this year's washout summer is the last thing most people want from the English weather – but more of the same could be on the way, and could become the norm, a new study has warned, thanks to human activities warming the climate. Ice melting in the Arctic has been linked to duller, wetter English summers in a much-anticipated study published online on Wednesday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Last month, the extent and volume of the ice cap reached a record low. Experts...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Scotland's North Sea energy policies 'irreconcilable with green government'
Guardian: Alex Salmond's claim that he heads one of the world's greenest governments has been vigorously contested after it emerged his North Sea oil plans could pump up to 10 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. Senior climate scientists and environmentalists said Scotland's first minister was guilty of "indefensible" and "irreconcilable" policies on energy and climate change that seriously undermined global attempts to prevent significant global warming. A Guardian analysis of his government's...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Kashmiri farmers face drought losses without government support
AlertNet: The failure of Muhammad Saddique's maize crop following a three-month drought has left him threatened with lack of food and economic ruin. But the government of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, where Saddique lives, seems unprepared and unable to help farmers like him adapt to changing weather patterns that are linked to climate change, he and other farmers say. Sitting in the yard of his two-room, tin-roofed mud house in the border village of Chakohti, 32-year-old Saddique looks over his stunted...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Greenpeace activists hide overnight at Swedish nuclear plants
Reuters: Six environmental activists evaded police and hid overnight at two Swedish nuclear power plants after the sites were invaded on the previous day by Greenpeace campaigners demanding the closure of the stations on grounds of poor security. A spokeswoman for Greenpeace Nordic said on Wednesday the six had remained in restricted areas around the west-coast Ringhals plant and Forsmark on the east coast by hiding on rooftops. On Tuesday, plant owner Vattenfall said police had detained in all 59 people...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Japan's new carbon tax to cost utilities $1billion annually
Reuters: Japan's new tax on carbon emissions will cost utilities about 80 billion yen ($1.02 billion) annually from 2016, adding to their already high costs of running power stations after the Fukushima crisis shut most of the country's nuclear plants, a government backed think-tank said. Japan will gradually phase in the tax on oil, natural gas and coal over the next five years, in a move that will hit the balance sheets of businesses from refineries and power plants to factories and gas stations. The...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
From rooftop to alleyway, Chicago fights extreme urban heat with greener ideas
PBS: REPORT AIR DATE: Oct. 9, 2012 From Rooftop to Alleyway, Chicago Fights Extreme Urban Heat With Greener Ideas SUMMARY One of Chicago's most beautiful and hidden gardens is located on top of City Hall, part of an effort to 'green' roofs in order fight rising temperatures. Hari Sreenivasan reports on the actions the city of Chicago is taking to mitigate climate change in an urban landscape. GWEN IFILL: Next, our series on Coping With Climate Change looks at how the city of Chicago is dealing...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Scientists mapping Los Angeles sources of greenhouse gas emissions
LA Times: Climate scientists are creating a three-dimensional carbon dioxide emissions map of the city of Los Angeles that will detail greenhouse gas emissions for individual buildings, road segments and power generators over time. The mapping project is part of an effort by Arizona State University researchers to eventually map all major cities in the United States to help guide climate policymakers. In a report published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, atmospheric scientist...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
The food security risk index – map
Guardian: The index has been developed by the risk analysis company Maplecroft for governments, NGOs and business to use as a barometer to identify those countries which may be susceptible to famine and societal unrest stemming from food shortages and price fluctuations. This map shows the results of evaluating the availability, access and stability of food supplies in 197 countries, as well as the nutritional and health status of populations

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Rising food prices are climate change's first tangible bite into UK lives
Guardian: Are rising bills at the supermarket checkout turning out to be the first tangible impact of climate change on the daily lives of all Britons? It very much seems so. The damage wreaked by the dismal summer of 2012 on UK harvests was revealed on Monday and will push food prices up. In these austere times, with food banks feeding the hungry, that is going to hurt. There are two lessons to be learned. First, the UK is not going to gradually warm into a pleasant Mediterranean climate, with sunny...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Europe rejects ban on Arctic oil drilling
Guardian: The European parliament's industry committee has rejected attempts to introduce a moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, overruling a contrary vote by its environment committee last month. The key vote in the industry committee yesterday (9 October) instead proposed a new directive to ensure that companies have "adequate financial security" to cover the liabilities that could be incurred by any accidents. Drilling companies would also have to submit to national authorities...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
The state of crop harvests around the world
Guardian: New UN forecasts indicate world cereal production will be reduced by 2.6% in 2012 following last year's record crop. Wheat production is expected to fall 5.2% – largely because of the heatwave in the United States, and other grains by 2.3%. The global rice crop is expected to remain mostly unchanged, with falls in India offset by an increase in China, Japan and the Philippines. "The decrease will result in a significant reduction in world inventories by the close of seasons in 2013, even with...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Australia's largest solar farm opens amid renewable target debate
Reuters: Australia switched on its first utility-scale solar farm on Wednesday, bringing the country a step closer to achieving ambitious renewable energy targets that traditional coal and gas power producers are now fighting to soften. The Greenough River Solar project, just outside the small town of Walkaway in the state of Western Australia, is a joint-venture between Western Australian state-owned Verve Energy and US conglomerate General Electric. It is expected to have a capacity of 10 megawatts,...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Greenpeace activists evade security at Swedish nuclear power plants
Greenpeace: Exposing the vulnerability of Swedish nuclear power plants, at least seven Greenpeace activists stayed more than 24 hours undetected at two sites following a test of their security procedures. More than 70 Greenpeace activists entered the Ringhals and Forsmark nuclear power plants on Tuesday to hold peaceful stress test of the sites and to demand that minister Lena Ek, responsible for nuclear security, order the closure of the risky reactors. Many of the activists were arrested on Tuesday, but...

Thu, 11 Oct 12
Most Americans link weather to global warming - survey
Reuters: Nearly three-quarters of Americans say global warming influences U.S. weather and made this year's record-hot summer worse, a survey said on Tuesday. Conducted by Yale and George Mason universities, the survey found 74 percent of Americans believe that global warming is affecting weather, up 5 percentage points since March 2012, the last time the two organizations asked these questions. Seventy-three percent of Americans said global warming made the record-high temperatures of summer 2012 worse,...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Honda offers $3,000 worth of fillups for natural gas Civic buyers
Reuters: American Honda and natural gas fueling station operator Clean Energy Fuels Corp are offering $3,000 for fillups to customers buying a 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas car, the companies said on Tuesday. Buyers of the new compact Civic will get debit cards that can be used at any of the 163 Clean Energy stations in the United States. Honda has sold 1,576 of the car, which runs on compressed natural gas, since it was introduced last October, Honda spokesman Marcos Frommer said. American Honda is...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
United States: Non-Native Plants Show a Greater Response Than Native Wildflowers to Climate Change
Science Daily: Warming temperatures in Ohio are a key driver behind changes in the state's landscape, and non-native plant species appear to be responding more strongly than native wildflowers to the changing climate, new research suggests. This adaptive nature demonstrated by introduced species could serve them well as the climate continues to warm. At the same time, the non-natives' potential ability to become even more invasive could threaten the survival of native species already under pressure from land-use...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Tracking A City’s Emissions, Building by Building
Climate Central: Scientists at Arizona State University have announced a new computer simulation that displays a city's greenhouse-gas emissions in unprecedented detail, showing how much heat-trapping carbon dioxide individual buildings and highways generate. The model, known as Hestia (after the Greek goddess of the hearth), and described in a paper in the October 9 issue of Environmental Science and Technology, could give cities a much better handle on how to reduce their emissions most efficiently. The idea...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Climate Extremes Index on Rise, As Climate Attitudes Shift
Climate Central: From dessicating drought to blistering heat, the lower 48 states have taken it on the chin so far this year when it comes to extreme weather events. In fact, as measured by the federal government's Climate Extremes Index, the January-through-September period has been the most extreme such nine-month period on record. The Climate Extremes Index, or CEI, is used to track the highest and lowest 10 percent of extremes in temperature, precipitation, drought, and tropical storms and hurricanes across...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Salazar approves massive Wyoming wind farm project
Associated Press: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Tuesday authorized what he described as potentially the largest wind energy project in the United States, if not the world: A Wyoming wind farm with up to 1,000 turbines that would provide electricity to some 1 million homes. Roadwork and groundwork could begin next year for the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project. After that, turbines could go up over a three-year period within an area covering 350 square miles of the hilly sagebrush country south...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
'Warmest year' looking more likely for US in 2012
NBC: With less than three months left this year, it's looking increasingly likely that 2012 will go down as the warmest year on record in the continental United States. January-September was already the warmest first nine months, according to temperature data released Tuesday by the National Climatic Data Center. Moreover, six of eight scenarios charted by the center have 2012 ending warmer than any other year in records that go back to 1895. The only scenarios where that would not happen are if...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Don't count on recessions to keep climate change in check
Washington Post: For as long as humanity has relied on fossil fuels, there`s been a tight relationship between economic growth and the carbon-dioxide emissions that are heating the planet. When a country`s economy expands, its energy use and carbon pollution go up, up, up. When a recession strikes, energy use drops and emissions sink back down. But that relationship has never been perfectly symmetrical, according to a new study in Nature Climate Change by Richard York of the University of Oregon. The uptick in...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
U.S.-China climate action suggested
United Press International: Australia's former prime minister urged China and the United States -- the top two emitters of carbon dioxide from fuel combustion -- to cooperate on climate change. "If the United States were to achieve some sort of compact with the Chinese on how to entrench national actions within a global regulatory framework, then we'd start to cook with gas, literally," Kevin Rudd told The Australian newspaper. China emitted 8 billion tons of carbon in 2011 and the United States about 5.26 billion tons,...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Greenhouse gas emissions mapped to building, street level for U.S. cities
ScienceDaily: Arizona State University researchers have developed a new software system capable of estimating greenhouse gas emissions across entire urban landscapes, all the way down to roads and individual buildings. Until now, scientists quantified carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at a much broader level. Dubbed "Hestia" after the Greek goddess of the hearth and home, researchers presented the new system in an article published Oct. 9 in Environmental Science and Technology. Hestia combines extensive public...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
New Orleans warns residents of possible water contamination
Reuters: New Orleans scrambled on Tuesday to take precautions against possible bacterial contamination of its water supply, the second time in two years a power outage in its aging water system has prompted a health warning. At least 17 schools were closed, businesses and residents were told to boil water, and some of the city's fabled restaurants brought in ice from outside the region after Monday's three-minute outage at the city's main water plant left the safety of its water in doubt. City and state...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Greenpeace breaks into grounds of Swedish nuclear plants
Reuters: Environmental activists from Greenpeace broke into restricted areas surrounding two Swedish nuclear power plants on Tuesday to highlight what they said were safety deficiencies. The stations' owner, Vattenfall, said police had detained 43 people who had used ladders to climb over fences into the grounds of the Forsmark plant on the east coast, and another 16 people at the west-coast Ringhals plant who cut holes in the fence and entered on bicycles. "The activists only reached areas with a lower...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Argentine soy, corn planting seen boosted by rains
Reuters: Corn and soy planting in the eastern Argentine province of Entre Rios will be helped by light rains this week while the country's key farm area to the south starts getting the sunshine needed to recover from recent flooding, a forecaster said on Tuesday. The wet start to Argentina's spring planting season has raised hopes for big harvests after dry crop weather in the United States, Russia and Australia sapped food stocks and squeezed global grains prices higher. The South American country...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Global recession halts decades of steady progress in reducing world hunger
Independent: Two decades of steady progress in reducing world hunger have come to a stop with the recession of the last four years, new figures from the United Nations reveal. The number of people without enough to eat fell from one billion in 1990-92 to 867 million in 2007-2009, the figures from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) show, but then went back up to 868m in the period 2010-2012, while in Africa, the worsening trend is even more pronounced. The development “should sound alarm bells...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
United States: Utilities must accept the reality of climate change
Baltimore Sun: Whether or not they accept the scientific evidence that climate change is man-made, Maryland businesses and families with electric lights know that climate change has already had a dire economic impact on our region. Unprecedented weather extremes have pummeled our state and power distribution system. Crippling storms and heat in the summer and snow storms in the winter, previously rare in Maryland, have become commonplace. Such extreme weather events dramatically increase the risk to Maryland's...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Global Warming Spurs Extreme Weather, Most in US Believe
LiveScience: The majority of Americans think global warming is not only affecting weather but is also worsening extreme weather events, including record-high summer temperatures and the Midwest drought, a new survey released today (Oct. 9) finds. Between Aug. 31 and September, more than 1,000 participants ages 18 and over answered survey questions about their beliefs on global warming and its link to weather events. The results were weighted to give nationally representative numbers. Overall, there has...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
TransCanada—The Whole World is Watching
EcoWatch: In a remote corner of northeast Texas, there are people living in trees because, they say, they’re trying to protect the planet from increased carbon emissions over the next century to help slow climate change. Challenging this treehouse blockade (see video below) is the advancing Keystone XL pipeline whose owners, the Canadian power company TransCanada, say they’re trying to save the oil industry from worsening economic conditions over the next decade. TransCanada started building the Texas section...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Big Coal Wins Latest Battle to Blast Historic Blair Mountain
Appalachian Voices: In a jaw-dropping display of contempt and disregard for the communities and landscapes where they mine coal, three coal companies back in 2009 challenged the listing of West Virginia’s Blair Mountain on the National Register of Historic Places. The companies, including mining behemoths Alpha Natural Resources and Arch Coal, opposed the listing of Blair Mountain as a historic site because it could interfere with their plans to conduct mountaintop removal mining operations on the Spruce Fork Ridge...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
A way to assess the carbon emissions of your building
New Scientist: How much CO2 does the building you live in give off? What about your office? For the most part, mapping urban carbon emissions has been based on broad figures that don't home in on specific buildings or streets. A computer program called Hestia can now record and map carbon emissions with a new level of detail. The US Department of Energy measures energy consumption for each state, and many companies do their own energy usage and emissions assessments, says Kevin Gurney of Arizona State University...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
74 Percent of America: Climate Change is Affecting Weather in US
Huffington Post: Society, throughout history, has embraced "truths" later revealed to be false: The Earth is flat, the Sun revolves around the Earth and, now, climate change is a hoax. Strong evidence -- including the fact that the Arctic ice melt has reached the lowest point in history -- shows that climate change is real. Yet Republican members of Congress still refuse to take meaningful steps to address what can be done to protect our planet from this growing threat. The first eight months of 2012 were the...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
September Bookends the Warmest 12 Months on Record
Climate Central: NOAA's latest State of the Climate roundup shows that September marked the 16th month in a row with above-average temperatures for the lower 48 states of the U.S. Both the calendar year and the 12-month period from October 2011 through September 2012 were the warmest on record, and statistics show that it will require an unusually cold October through December period for 2012 to rank anything other than the warmest year. The U.S. has never before recorded 16 straight months of above-average temperatures,...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Bicycles Defend Their Place in Mexico City’s Concrete Jungle
Inter Press Service: Juan Longueiro, 56, uses the bicycles of the Ecobici system three times a day, to commute to and from work and to exercise along the Paseo de la Reforma, a central Mexico City avenue. "I think it's a good service," he told Tierramérica. "I use it in the morning and in the afternoon to go to and from the office, and at noon to get exercise," said Longueiro, who works for the Ministry of Public Education and in September signed up for the Ecobici Individual Transport System, which the city government...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Yet Another Reason GMOs Suck
EcoWatch: The U.S. is suffering the worst drought in 50 years. But crop damage may well have been avoided if high quality non-GM (genetically modified) varieties were available to farmers. Further evidence is emerging that glyphosate-tolerant crops are ill-equipped to deal with drought, while high quality non-GM varieties are flourishing. Monopoly of the seed industry has left farmers unable to get non-GM varieties, despite the drought having global repercussions including steep rises of cereal prices and...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Polar ice is melting … or is it?
Epoch Times: Everyone has heard about it: Global warming is causing polar ice to melt. But is it actually melting? This much-publicized phenomenon, like many others related to global warming, has been attacked by so-called climate skeptics, and getting to the bottom of what is actually going on with the icecaps is not a straightforward matter. Steve Goreham, executive director of the Climate Science Coalition of America, recently wrote an article in response to a Sept. 20 PBS NewsHour segment about the...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Supreme Court denies Chevron appeal in Ecuador case
Reuters: The Supreme Court denied a bid by Chevron Corp to block an $18.2 billion judgment against the company in a pollution case in Ecuador. A lower court threw out an injunction blocking enforcement of the judgment. Chevron appealed to the Supreme Court, which rejected the appeal without explanation. Justice Samuel Alito did not participate in the decision. On January 26, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said Chevron had been premature to challenge the judgment, which residents...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Hot, dry weather batter maize crops across eastern Europe
Reuters: Sizzling temperatures and lack of rains have scorched maize or corn crops across eastern Europe, further reducing global supplies already hit after the worst drought in the United States in 50 years. Heat waves and lack of moisture in maize producers Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria, were the main reasons why the European Union's crop monitoring unit cut its outlook for average EU maize yields to 6.05 tonnes per hectare. With maize harvests almost halfway through in major producers in eastern...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
More US coal plants to retire due to green rules, according to study
Reuters: More U.S. coal-fired power plants could retire due to environmental regulations and weaker-than-expected electric demand, costing the industry up to $144 billion, economists at consultancy Brattle Group said. In a new study, Brattle's economists forecast 59,000 to 77,000 megawatts (MW) of coal plant capacity would likely retire over the next five years. That was about 25,000 MW more than the firm had estimated in 2010, Brattle said in a release. There is about 317,000 MW of coal-fired capacity...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Temperature target may doom climate talks, study says
Climate Central: At the much-heralded climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009, world leaders agreed to limit manmade global warming to less than 2°C (3.6°F) above preindustrial levels. The agreement at Copenhagen, however, and in multiple rounds of subsequent negotiations, hasn't led countries to make actual commitments to the kind of emissions reductions that would put the world on a path to meeting that 2°C target. According to a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, however, this...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Global clean energy investment set to fall for first time in eight years
BusinessGreen: Global clean energy investment looks to be heading for a dip this year following a weak performance over the third quarter of 2012. A total of $56.6bn was invested from July to September, a five per cent drop on the previous quarter and 20 per cent lower than the same period last year, figures from analyst Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) revealed today. BNEF forecasts the full year 2012 figure is therefore likely to fall short of last year's record $280bn, marking the first down-year for...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Carbon emissions target urged by business leaders
BBC: Ministers must set a specific target for restricting carbon emissions from power generation, businesses have said. The plea is made in an open letter to Chancellor George Osborne signed by 50 businesses and organisations. They want a target for how emissions should be curbed by 2030, arguing that a failure to show commitment to reducing carbon emissions may harm the economy and their commercial prospects. Mr Osborne has outlined plans to get energy from gas beyond 2030. Labour Leader...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Global warming may intensify subtropical high pressure systems that shape northern hemisphere weather patterns
Summit Voice: The big subtropical high pressure systems that already shape mid-latitude weather patterns to a large degree could become even bigger players on the global climate scene as they intensify under the influence of global warming, according to a new study led by Duke University researchers. The study suggests that, as summertime near-surface high-pressure systems over the northern Pacific and Atlantic oceans strengthen, they could influence the occurrence of drought and extreme summer rainfall, in...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Record Wind Power Generation in Spain
Greenpeace UK: On a windy night in September, whilst most people were sleeping, wind power reached a record of 64.2 percent of Spain’s electricity demand. The vast majority of Spain`s power that night came not from fossil fuels but clean, renewable energy generated by wind turbines on the Spanish hills. And what couldn`t be used in Spain wasn`t wasted. Some was exported via giant cables linking Spain to the rest of Europe and some was used to pump water uphill so it could be allowed to flow back down later,...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Science faces the fate of the sea
Crosscut: One way to measure the urgency of the scientific response to ocean acidification is by its carbon footprint. In 2004, 125 marine scientists gathered in a single room in Paris to ponder the effects that surging loads of human-generated carbon dioxide into the atmosphere might have on the sea below. They heard 24 research presentations, nearly the sum total of papers published on the subject worldwide that year. That they were discussing "ocean acidification' at all was somewhat serendipitous: The...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Yes, Coal is Dying, But No, EPA is Not the Main Culprit
Grist: Imagine my alarm when I read this headline in The Christian Science Monitor: "Study: EPA regulations squelch US coal industry." This is a very popular attack from conservatives, including Mitt Romney, but I`ve never seen a reputable study that supports it. Could I have been wrong all along? The story, from "guest blogger" Charles Kennedy, refers to a report [PDF] from the research consultancy Brattle Group. So I went and read the report. And it doesn`t say what Kennedy says it says. At all. In...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Why You Need to Worry About How the Media Covers Climate Change
Union of Concerned Scientists: Renewable energy developers and advocates often find themselves talking about climate science. And sometimes they run into skepticism and even hostility on the topic. Understanding where bad information about climate change comes from and why some people reject climate science can help us communicate more effectively about climate change as well as the role renewable energy plays in reducing climate-altering emissions. Scientists are clear when it comes to what they know about climate change....

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Canada's ozone science group falls victim to government cuts
Guardian: Thousands of people have avoided getting skin cancer thanks to Canadian scientists who invented the UV index and the gold-standard tool for measuring the thickness of the Earth's ozone layer. But now Canada's ozone science group no longer exists, victim of government budget cuts. "Everyone who was still left in the ozone group has been re-assigned," said Prof Thomas Duck of the department of Physics and Atmospheric Science at Canada's Dalhousie University. In 2011 Canada unexpectedly experienced...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Scaling up sustainability: time for forestry to come out of the forest
Guardian: Ending deforestation has been a political goal for decades, even centuries – an unmet ambition up there with finding world peace and eradicating global hunger. The challenge has received increased attention in the past five years because of climate change and the fact that forests keep massive stores of carbon away from the atmosphere. The UN-backed scheme known as REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, plus the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks),...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
UK calls on EU to cancel 1.8bn carbon permits
Energy and Environmental Management: The UK has called on the EU to cancel supply of up to 1.8bn CO2 permits in the Emissions Trading Scheme, to force carbon prices higher and encourage the private sector to invest in technology that cuts emissions. The European Commission is proposing to delay the sale of up to 1.2bn permits over the next three years to double current prices of about 8 euros, thereby encouraging investment in renewable energy and carbon capture and storage plants. Its plan is to introduce the permits into the market...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Spying Activities on Anti-Fracking Groups in Poland Exposed
EcoWatch: Recent media reports from Poland show that heavy-handed tactics such as spying and undercover operations are being used against groups and individuals who question shale gas development. Shale gas companies have sent spies to anti-fracking meetings and reported their findings to the highest levels of the Polish government and internal security services, according to reports in a Polish daily newspaper. Food & Water Europe today urged Polish Members of the European Parliament who are active...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Polish government to approve shale gas law next week
Reuters: Poland's government will approve a long-awaited new shale gas law during its sitting next week, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Tuesday. "The assumptions are ready. We will be approving this draft at the government's sitting next week," Tusk said at a news conference. Poland, which aims to be Europe's shale gas pioneer, has postponed the publication of a legal framework for the development of the potentially lucrative energy resource several times in the past few months.

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Obama, Romney largely silent on climate change
San Francisco Chronicle: Global warming may be the biggest topic that neither President Barack Obama nor GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to touch. Obama devoted all of four sentences to climate change in his speech at the Democratic National Convention last month. Romney rarely mentions it at all. It's a stark change from the 2008 presidential race, when both Obama and his Republican opponent, John McCain, preached the need to reduce greenhouse gases. And environmentalists are furious the issue is largely...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Indian farming getting resistant to climate change : Pawar
Business Standard: Despite recurring droughts and floods in various parts of the country, because of changing climatic patterns, Indian agriculture is gradually developing a semblance of resistance to changing weather patterns. India's total annual foodgrain production has seldom dropped below 200 million tonnes since 2005-06, despite suffering drought or floods in some parts of the country, including the worst drought in more than 30 years in 2009. Also Read Related Stories News Now -Farmers' suicide a serious...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Climate change to hit Central America's food crops
AlertNet: Climate change is expected to reduce maize and bean harvests across Central America, leading to economic losses of more than $120 million a year by the 2020s and threatening the incomes of around 1 million small farmers, says a new scientific study. Researchers from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) examined how the region's two most important food crops would be affected by higher temperatures and shifting...

Wed, 10 Oct 12
Animated graphics show records broken in levels of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice
Guardian: A pair of animated maps show how records were set in September for the average extents of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. The time-lapse maps, created by New Scientist's Peter Aldhous, show the average areas of sea ice at each pole for the month of September going back to 1979. Data is taken from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center. Arctic sea ice was at a record low last month - the September average fell year-on-year from 4.61 to 3.61 million km². Simultaneously a record high was set in the...

Tue, 9 Oct 12
Maldives: International Human Rights and Climate Change Activist Mohamed Nasheed Arrested
EcoWatch: Former president of Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, center, after being detained by Maldivian police in Fares-Maathodaa island, Maldives on Oct. 8. Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically elected President of the Maldives, who was ousted from office in February, was arrested today and taken into custody. In a brutal display of force, Nasheed was taken away Monday morning by Maldivian National Defence Forces (MNDF), to stand trial for the “unlawful” arrest of a judge during his last days in power....

Tue, 9 Oct 12
Burning need for charcoal hits Cameroon's forests
AlertNet: Cameroonians are burning increasing amounts of charcoal for cooking and heating as the country's electricity and gas supplies fail to keep pace with demand, raising concerns among environmentalists about growing deforestation and carbon emissions in the country. At local markets in Yaounde, the country's capital, sales of charcoal are booming. The trade is especially attractive to young people who are jumping at a rare employment opportunity, and even older traders are now changing their wares....

Tue, 9 Oct 12
Why sea ice records are poles apart
New Scientist: September saw records for sea ice set at both ends of the Earth. Just a couple of weeks after Arctic ice reached a new low, a record high for sea ice extent was recorded around Antarctica. New Scientist puts these records in context. Why are we seeing record highs and lows for sea ice at the same time? When the Arctic experiences summer, it is winter in Antarctica. So when sea ice reaches its annual low in the north, every September, it is at its maximum extent in the south. Different processes...

Tue, 9 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Osborne offers tax breaks for shale gas
Independent: Britain will seek to open up its potential reserves of the emerging but controversial fuel, shale gas, with a "generous new tax regime", the Chancellor has revealed, in a promise which has dismayed environmentalists. The pledge reinforced George Osborne's aim of making a "dash for gas" the main thrust of Britain's future energy policy, raising more concerns that the Coalition was moving away from its promise of being the "greenest government ever". Mr Osborne's Liberal Democrat coalition partners...

Tue, 9 Oct 12
Climate Change Threatens Maize and Bean Farmers in Central America
Huffington Post: Climate change is real, and it is going to have real effects on real people in Central America. That is evident in a new report that for the first time takes a specific look at the impact of climate change on a local level. "Tortillas on the Roaster" exposes the risks of climate change to the cultivation of maize and beans -- the two most-important food crops in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. The report makes clear that in this area where it is already tough to make a living,...

Tue, 9 Oct 12
Wind farms on the bog of Ireland could provide UK electricity
Guardian: Hundreds of wind farms could be built on the great bog of Ireland to generate electricity exclusively for the UK's national grid under plans being considered by ministers. Element Power, the company behind the £5 billion proposals, hopes to build more than 700 turbines and transport power through two dedicated undersea cables across the Irish sea. Company executives met Ed Davey, the cabinet minister in charge of climate change, and civil servants to discuss the plans this summer. The plans...

Tue, 9 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Raise the price of producing carbon dioxide, says Lib Dem minister
Guardian: The EU should raise the price to businesses of producing carbon dioxide to reduce greenhouse gases and improve efficiency, the Liberal Democrat energy and climate minister told a conference in London on Monday. Ed Davey said the price to businesses was too low, because companies had been awarded an excess of permits to produce carbon under the EU's emissions trading scheme, far greater than the number they need. If those excess permits were permanently cancelled, the price of emitting carbon for...

Tue, 9 Oct 12
Scientists Close in on the Cause of Arctic Methane Leaks
Climate Central: It's been called the Methane Bomb -- a stash of gas buried under the Arctic seafloor whose heat-trapping power is much greater, molecule for molecule, than the carbon dioxide people usually worry about. As climate change forces the Arctic to warm, experts warn that methane could escape, speeding global warming. They can't predict when the great escape might begin, however, or how fast it might proceed. They can't even rule out the possibility that it might have already started. So they've been cruising...

Tue, 9 Oct 12
Some plants in arid regions benefit from climate change, study finds
PhysOrg: Dryland ecosystems cover 41% of the Earth's land surface. These ecosystems are highly vulnerable to global environmental change and desertification. But climate change seems to have a positive impact on some plants. A study involving the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock has come to this conclusion. Using demographic methods, ecologist Roberto Salguero-Gómez investigates desert plants to find out how vulnerable they are to climate change. The results of his newest study...

Tue, 9 Oct 12
Malaysia: Indigenous blockade expands against massive dam in Sarawak
Mongabay: Indigenous people have expanded their blockade against the Murum dam in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, taking over an additional road to prevent construction materials from reaching the dam site. Beginning on September 26th with 200 Penan people, the blockade has boomed to well over 300. Groups now occupy not just the main route to the dam site, but an alternative route that the dam's contractor, the China-located Three Gorges Project Corporation, had begun to use. "The major works on the construction...

Tue, 9 Oct 12
Canada's Caribou Preservation Plan at Odds with Oil Sands Activity
Canadian Press: The federal government is promising to work harder to preserve habitat needed by Canada's vanishing woodland caribou. In a document released late Friday afternoon, Environment Canada released the final version of long-awaited recovery strategy for the animals, which scientists believe could be wiped out from some areas within a generation. The plan puts the emphasis on habitat restoration, saying that all caribou ranges should be at least 65 per cent undisturbed. "For boreal caribou ranges...

Tue, 9 Oct 12
Supreme Court Rejects Appeal and Upholds Clinton’s Roadless Rule
EcoWatch: The Supreme Court decision not to hear an appeal of the 10th Circuit Court decision upholding the Clinton administration’s Roadless Area Conservation Rule is a huge victory for wildlife. As a part of the team who helped establish the rule, I can say that the 11-year battle was well worth it. The “roadless rule” was a directive from President Clinton to protect all remaining roadless areas on our national forests. Of the 192 million acres of national forests in the U.S., 58.5 million acres--or...

Tue, 9 Oct 12
Oil on the Tracks—Rail Quietly Picks Up Pipelines’ Slack
EcoWatch: We’ve talked a lot at DeSmogBlog about oil (and tar sands crude) pipelines. Like the Keystone XL, which TransCanada is currently ramming through Texas, using whatever means necessary (including violence), and Enbridge`s Northern Gateway, which was just declared "dead" by one of Canada`s top newspapers. And we’ve talked quite a bit about coal trains, but we haven’t ever delved into the growing trend of shipping oil by train. Trains are a crucial--and growing--part of oil industry infrastructure,...

Tue, 9 Oct 12
300+ Youth Activists Break the Silence on Climate Change
EcoWatch: More than 300 young people converged at Florida A&M University (FAMU) for the Southeast Student Renewable Energy Conference (SSREC) last weekend, coming together to learn the skills they need to fight big polluters and take action on climate change in their campuses and communities. Young clean energy activists from all over the southeast converged to learn from each other through a series of workshops, speakers and trainings, and to share with their communities all over the region. But it...

Mon, 8 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Birds still at risk from lead poisoning despite shotgun laws
Independent: Lead poisoning is still a major cause of death among swans, ducks and other waterfowl despite legislation aimed at restricting the use of toxic lead pellets by shotgun owners, a study has found. A third of wild waterfowl sampled at four wetland sites in Britain showed signs of lead poisoning which accounted for at least 12 per cent of deaths among waterbirds over the past decade, scientists said. A single shotgun cartridge contains up to 300 tiny lead pellets most of which fall to the ground...

Mon, 8 Oct 12
Thailand: Jan Egeland issues climate change alert
Bangkok Post: Investing in measures to adapt to climate change would pay better returns than paying for emergency disaster relief, said global climate justice advocate Jan Egeland. The Norwegian expert, who spoke at the Foreign Correspondents' Club on Friday, said he was disturbed that many developing Asian countries are prioritising development over climate change adaptation. "We are burning so much oil and gas, stealing from our children's resources. The severe impact of climate change also stands to make...

Mon, 8 Oct 12
Economic Decline Not Enough to Reduce Planet-Warming Emissions
LiveScience: Nations hoping to curb global warming face a quandary: Economic growth means more planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions. On the flip side, economic decline means a drop in greenhouse gas emissions as consumers tighten their belts, factories slow down and less money is spent. A new analysis of data from 1960 to 2008 indicates during economic decline carbon dioxide emissions decline at about half the rate at which they grow when an economy is booming. "In a sense, economic decline only undoes...

Mon, 8 Oct 12
We ignore the environment as an issue at our peril
MetroWest Daily News: This election is all about jobs and the economy, right? That's what the candidates are saying, and that's clearly what the American public is demanding. We all want a strong economy with a lower unemployment rate. But to me that's not the most pressing issue of the day. The most pressing issue of the day is the environment and it's being virtually ignored this campaign season. Think about it. Every day stories from around the globe bombard us, telling of new developments and problems caused by...

Mon, 8 Oct 12
Global warming deniers are loudest in the U.S. and UK
Summit Voice: Researchers taking a close look at media coverage of climate science came up with some interesting results, finding that the political leanings of a newspaper don`t always influence the news stories, but definitely color editorials. The survey analyzed climate stories published in newspapers in Brazil, China, France, India, the UK and the U.S. Overall, the results suggest that global warming skeptics have a more prominent, and sometimes uncontested, voice in UK and US newspapers compared to other...

Mon, 8 Oct 12
Greenhouse gases rise with GDP, slower to fall in recession
Reuters: Greenhouse gas emissions rise when economies expand but don't fall as quickly when recession strikes, perhaps because people stick with a higher-emitting lifestyle from the boom times, a study showed. The report in Monday's edition of the journal Nature Climate Change dents many governments' hopes that recession can at least bring the consolation of a sharp contraction in greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, rose by an average of 0.73 percent for every...

Mon, 8 Oct 12
Conservative politicians argues Republicans can lead in dealing with climate change
Public Radio International: Bob Inglis is out of Congress now, but he's still a committed conservative. Unlike many of his brethren, however, he's ready to tackle climate change. And he says Republicans, conservatives, are in the perfect position to engage on the issue and lead solutions to deal with it. Polls show many of Mitt Romney supporters don't see climate change as a real problem, but a former Republican congressman believes that conservatives should take the lead on the issue. Bob Inglis, a former representative...

Mon, 8 Oct 12
Warm North Atlantic ocean causing UK's wet summers, study shows
Guardian: The UK's dismal recent summers can be blamed on a substantial warming of the North Atlantic ocean in the late 1990s, according to new scientific research. The shift has resulted in rain-soaked weather systems being driven into northern Europe, increasing summer rainfall by about a third. The pattern is likely to revert to drier summers and may do so suddenly, according to Professor Rowan Sutton, at the University of Reading, who led the work. "I can't guarantee it but it is likely," he said. "However...

Mon, 8 Oct 12
Industry players slow to act on climate issues
Financial Times: Many people in the asset management industry are convinced that climate change is caused by human actions, but few are actually managing money in line with that belief. A new initiative from Australia, the Asset Owners Disclosure Project, has so far failed to gather support for its suggestion that asset owners such as pension funds and endowments should be transparent on what they are doing about climate change. Since some $30tn in assets is managed or owned by signatories to the UN Principles...

Mon, 8 Oct 12
Clouds are gathering over Britain's new nuclear dawn
Independent: The politicians of Cumbria County Council have cooled on the idea of burying hundreds of thousands of tonnes of nuclear waste but a kilometre beneath their feet. Initially tempted by the huge economic benefits a £12bn nuclear research and disposal would bring, councillors now seem dismayed that the waste wouldn't be considered safe for another 100,000 years. On Tuesday, the council put back plans to test the suitability of potential sites until next year. This is the latest in a series of blows...

Mon, 8 Oct 12
United States: Even After Rains, Facing Long-Term Water Needs
New York Times: With its pretty rivers and lakes, this city of 95,000 people is sometimes called the oasis of West Texas. But San Angelo recently came within a year of running out of water, as it faced a severe drought that produced brown lawns, dying bushes and fear. “Who wants to pull up to a hotel and it’s dead?” said Bob Banskter, general manager of the Rodeway Inn in San Angelo, referring to the state of the landscaping. It was late September, a day after City Council members had voted to ban the use of outdoor...

Mon, 8 Oct 12
British Gardeners Battle Over Peat, for Bogs’ Sake
New York Times: For Britain’s legion of gardeners, peat has long been as essential to gardening as beer is to the corner pub. So trowels flew after the British government — heeding environmental concerns — announced plans to gradually eliminate peat from all gardening products, setting off an intense battle over how to prioritize two of this country’s defining passions: indulging the yard and protecting the planet. While many gardeners regard the partially decomposed plant matter known as peat as an almost magical...

Mon, 8 Oct 12
Scientists Adopt Tiny Island as a Warming Bellwether
New York Times: From a stretch of rocky shoreline on this tiny island, one can, on any given morning, watch otters floating on their backs, elephant seals hauling out of the water and a bald eagle flying past murres huddled along a cliff face. The startled birds perform a synchronized dive into the sea, their ovoid black-and-white bodies resembling miniature penguins. It appears as if the island’s wildlife is thriving at this remote outpost, which is also a former Coast Guard station crowned by a decommissioned...

Mon, 8 Oct 12
Romney’s Goals on Environmental Regulation Would Face Difficult Path
New York Times: Mitt Romney vowed in a campaign appearance earlier this year to “take a weed whacker” to the thicket of federal regulations adopted by the Obama administration and promised to impose a rigid freeze and cost cap on all new government rules. He has pledged to reverse a half-dozen major Environmental Protection Agency pollution and public health rules, to swiftly approve the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, to rewrite the ambitious new vehicle fuel efficiency standards and to open untouched coastal...

Sun, 7 Oct 12
Dems use climate change to tag Republicans as extreme
The Hill: Climate change has become a sleeper issue in a number of Senate races as Democrats attempt to paint their opponents as extreme, based on their views on the issue. It’s a largely straightforward peg for an attack that some Democrats hope will appeal to centrist voters that may be swayed if they see the Republican candidate as part of the party’s extreme. In the Maine and Nebraska Senate races, the independent and Democratic candidates, respectively, have focused in on their opponents’ position,...

Sun, 7 Oct 12
Radiation from Idaho fire posed no health risks: officials
Reuters: Smoke from a wildfire in Idaho that burned mining sites with traces of uranium and thorium contained elevated levels of radiation, but none that posed a risk to human health, state officials said on Friday. The state Department of Environmental Quality last month took air samples in North Fork, a town in the burn zone in east-central Idaho, after the so-called Mustang Complex fire swept through a former uranium mine and two abandoned gold mines. Health officials said then they believed risks...

Sun, 7 Oct 12
Ireland: Robinson warns on climate change
Irish Independent: FORMER President Mary Robinson (right) has warned that climate change will be one of the "greatest injustices" we inflict on our grandchildren. Addressing the International Bar Association annual conference in Dublin's Convention Centre yesterday, Mrs Robinson said the public needs to urgently motivate political leaders to act on climate change. "Until there is greater demand from people in all walks of life for meaningful action on climate change, political leaders will continue to be able...

Sun, 7 Oct 12
Jays hit by acorn shortage
Independent: A poor acorn crop this year could be pushing jays into gardens in search of food, experts said today. Jays, the most colourful member of the crow family, have been more visible than normal around the UK as they widen their search for food in the face of a poor autumn for acorns, the RSPB said. Jays from Scandinavia and other parts of Europe could also be arriving in the country to join the UK population of the shy woodland bird, indicating that food sources may be scarce elsewhere, the wildlife...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
Government starts review of draft IPCC working report
Sydney Morning Herald: The Australian government has begun its review of the latest draft of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change`s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, pledging ''an open and comprehensive approach`` as it taps selected input. The review will draw on comments from experts, state and territory governments, industry groups and research organisation, the government said in a statement. "IPCC Assessment Reports are a vital reference and evidence base for policy considerations on climate change by...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
Show Your Solidarity for Frontline Activists Protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline
Rainforest Action Network: As we write, our friends with the Tar Sands Blockade are blocking construction of TransCanada`s Keystone XL pipeline in the woods of Texas. For the past six months they have built a movement of climate activists, rural landowners, Texans, Oklahomans and people from all over the country to fiercely resist it. For two weeks, they have captured the imagination of the world with a daring tree-sit and bold ground actions near Winnsboro, TX that have delayed TransCanada`s operations. TransCanada has...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
Biofuels and the food that's going up in smoke
Telegraph: 'It's possibly,' someone remarked to me this week, "one of the worst things ever to come out of Brussels.' Quite a condemnation, everything considered -- and all the more so for coming from an Action Aid campaigner against poverty and climate change. For the EU biofuels policy is supposed to tackle both. But that was putting it mildly. The growing use of energy from crops has driven up food prices and hunger, spurred enormous corporate land grabs in poor countries, and probably made global warming...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
Global warming can trigger extreme Pacific weather, says study
SciDev.Net: Global warming is likely to alter rainfall patterns in East Asia and the Pacific, causing more intense drought and floods in decades to come, according to a study published in Nature last month (15 August). A team of Australian-based scientists estimated that increased greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere will enhance equatorial Pacific warming by two degrees Celsius by 2050. This will cause the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) -- the Southern Hemisphere's most expansive rain band,...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
EPA says California has not requested winter fuel waiver
Reuters: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not received any request from California for a waiver to allow early sale of winter-blend gasoline, the agency said on Friday. California gasoline prices have spiked sharply this week on tight supplies.

Sat, 6 Oct 12
EPA asks full court to rehear air pollution case
Reuters: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday asked a U.S. appeals court to rehear a case in which a three-judge panel struck down a rule that would reduce harmful emissions from coal-burning power plants. The EPA filed an "en banc" petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which in August ruled 2-1 to suspend the agency's cross state air pollution rule and ordered it rewritten. The EPA rule targeted sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from power plants, ensuring...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
Starfish Blamed For Great Barrier Reef Coral Loss
National Public Radio: IRA FLATOW, HOST: This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Australia's Great Barrier Reef is in trouble. In the last 27 years, the world's largest coral reef system has lost 50 percent of its coral cover, and if this trend continues, the amount of coral could halve again by 2022. According to researchers at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, 10 percent of the loss was from coral bleaching, which is primarily caused by warming ocean temperatures; 48 percent from storm damage; and 42...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
Watch out for the roads
IRIN: Disaster reduction experts have been calling on countries to "climate-proof' infrastructure like roads, but until now, there have been no studies showing the scale or importance of these interventions. A recent study by the Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-Four says developing countries will have to spend about US$200-300 billion per year by 2020 to construct public infrastructure - like bridges, power supplies and roads - that are not only environmentally friendly but can also withstand extreme...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Blackouts possible as coal power stations go offline early, warns Ofgem
Guardian: Britain faces the possibility of power blackouts and even higher electricity prices within three years as a result of coal-fired and other polluting power stations being phased out more quickly than expected. The warning, in a report by the energy regulator, Ofgem, could embolden the government to trigger an early "dash for gas" which critics fear would mean higher carbon pollution for decades to come. Ofgem believes that the spare generating capacity available to cope with peaks and troughs...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
The Plague of Climate Denial Confronts an Actual Plague
Esquire: We are not ready for a serious national response to the problem of climate change, not are we anywhere near ready to provide a national response to its most predictable consequences. Just to get your weekend off to a happy start, there seems to be an outbreak of the hantavirus in Yosemite, and folks aren't entirely sure that it will stay there, or that it will be the only little biological horror to visit these shores. For the purposes of the blog, though, I was intrigued by two elements of the...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
The Browning of America
Environmental News Network: Nearly two thirds of the contiguous United States was experiencing some level of drought by the end of August 2012, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. 39 percent of the nation suffered from severe to extreme drought. Though the numbers changed a bit in mid-September, the drought parched much of the interior United States and left both domestic and wild animals scrounging for food. There were also plenty of spectacular wild fires. The browning and withering of vegetation in the United States and...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
Human Greenhouse Gas Emissions Traced to Roman Times
LiveScience: By burning wood, humans have been significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions as far back as the Roman Empire, researchers say. The finding may lead scientists to rethink some aspects of climate change models, which assume humans weren't responsible for much greenhouse gas before the Industrial Revolution. "It was believed that emissions started in 1850. We showed that humans already started to impact greenhouse effects much before," study co-author Célia Sapart of Utretcht University...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
Coal-Fired Australia, Buffeted by Climate Change, Enacts Carbon Tax
National Geographic: Australia's enormous coal deposits long seemed like an unmitigated gift in an expansive land of sweltering summers. On the planet's driest inhabited continent, fossil fuel delivered cheap, reliable electricity through both extreme heat and torrential storms. But drought, rampant wildfire in the outback, and the degradation of the treasured Great Barrier Reef have forever altered how Australia views its energy endowment. Facing a future as one of the places on Earth most vulnerable to climate change,...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
More efficient all-organic catalysts in fuel cells
ScienceDaily: Organic catalysts are a breakthrough in the quest for inexpensive and efficient materials for environmentally friendly production of energy in fuel cells. A new study by physicists at Umeå University in Sweden, published in ACS Nano, provides better knowledge about key processes in producing these catalysts. The world's needs for energy and raw materials are constantly growing, and the search for readily accessible and inexpensive material for energy applications is driving research teams all...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Government ties £250m “carbon leakage” support package to industry efficiency gains
BusinessGreen: The government has today launched its long-awaited consultation on how it proposes to distribute a £250m support package designed to help the UK's energy intensive industries cope with the impact of carbon pricing policies. The proposals, which will now be open for consultation until December 21, detail which industries will be eligible for support and outline how payments will be tilted in favour of those firms that deliver the highest levels of energy efficiency. The £250m fund was announced...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
Coalition calls for changes to halt change in climate
Nebraska Radio Network: A coalition of special interest groups has formed to press for change to curb the effects of climate change. The Nebraska Farmers Union, the Nebraska Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Bold Nebraska, Nebraskans for Peace, and the League of Women Voters held a news conference prior to the upcoming study release by the United States Global Change Research Program this weekend. A study by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln High Plains Climate Center, indicating there has been a two-degree increase in...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
Innovate to put climate know-how into practice - experts
AlertNet: Knowledge is now plentiful on how to adapt to climate change and build resilience to its impacts, but putting that expertise into practice remains a problem around the world, climate and security experts say. "We're at a point where we've run through the theory and have to start doing practical stuff,' said Nick Mabey, the chief executive of E3G (Third Generation Environmentalism), an international non-profit organisation that works on accelerating transitions to sustainable development. Applying...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
Flood-stricken Pakistan seeks to improve weather forecasts
AlertNet: Ghulam Qadir suffered a heart attack when he saw the rushing floodwaters swamping the rice crop he had been about to harvest in the village of Bakhshapur. "My father crashed to the ground in agony when he saw the damage to his 22 acres (8.9 hectares) of rice,' said Qadir's 21-year-old son Bilal Hussain. "His life was saved by quick medical attention, but doctors say it will take months for him to recover from the shock.' Qadir, 49, is one of about 4.8 million people affected by the monsoon...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Road building programme gets green light by stealth
Ecologist: With a government seemingly intent on pushing through the latest road-building programme via its localism agenda campaigners are readying themselves for combined resistance using legal experts, alliance groupings and direct action The ‘first and worst’ of the current tranche of new roads is the £120m Bexhill Bypass set to cut a swath through the pellucid water meadows and reed beds of Combe Haven Valley with construction slated for January 2013. Speaking at a weekend camp there (Sep 29-30), John...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
Impact of U.S. ethanol waiver would arrive year later: think tank
Reuters: If the Obama administration relaxes the requirement to use corn-based ethanol in gasoline, the benefits would arrive a year later, with more corn available at lower cost for livestock feed and lower ethanol production, said a think tank on Thursday. The governors of seven states in the U.S. South and Southwest have asked for a one-year waiver of the ethanol mandate on grounds it drives up feed costs and is bankrupting cattle, hog and poultry farmers. The corn harvest, now under way, is forecast...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
Japanese minister: reactors can restart if watchdog gives OK
Reuters: Economics Minister Seiji Maehara said on Friday nuclear reactors can be restarted if a new regulator deems them safe, throwing into confusion how the dozens of units idle since the Fukushima disaster could be used in future energy plans. Maehara, whose ministry had led debate in the cabinet on energy policy, said a new law empowered the regulator to endorse bringing reactors back on line. He said the idle reactors could be a key source of power generation for now, a notion certain to anger Japan's...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
Actress Daryl Hannah arrested in Keystone pipeline protest
Reuters: Actress Daryl Hannah was arrested in Texas on Thursday after she stood in front of an earth-moving machine clearing ground for the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, her representative said. The protest took place outside Winnsboro, Texas, about 80 miles east of Dallas, said Hannah's agent, Paul Bassis. Hannah, 51, a longtime environmental activist, was arrested last year outside the White House in another protest against the pipeline. The Keystone XL pipeline, a project...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
World Bank chief Kim signals changes to come
Reuters: The head of the World Bank said on Thursday he is preparing broad reforms at the development lender to make it more effective in ending global poverty and will discuss the changes with member countries at meetings in Tokyo next week. The annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank from Oct. 11-14 in Japan will be the first opportunity for Jim Yong Kim to put his mark on the institution since becoming president in July. "We're not ready to ask for specific changes yet ......

Sat, 6 Oct 12
Small Farmers in West Africa Need Support – Despite Good Rains
Inter Press Service: Despite an abundance of rain, promising good harvests for the current growing season, small-scale farmers and non-governmental organisations are calling for support to smallholders to be maintained with a view to eradicating food insecurity in Africa's Sahel region. The Permanent Interstate Committee for drought control in the Sahel forecasts that between 57 and 64 million tonnes of grain will be harvested in West Africa in 2012-2013, representing an increase of between five and 17 percent over...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
Africa's mineral wealth hardly denting poverty levels, says World Bank
Guardian: Strong economic growth in the past decade among African countries rich in oil and minerals has failed to make a significant dent on their poverty levels, according to a World Bank report. Africa's Pulse, a twice-yearly analysis of Africa's economic prospects, noted that the decline in poverty rates in resource-rich countries has generally lagged behind that of countries without riches in the ground. Some countries, such as Angola, Congo-Brazzaville and Gabon, have witnessed an increase in the...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
Daryl Hannah arrested in Keystone XL protest
Associated Press: The actor Daryl Hannah was arrested in northeast Texas on Thursday, along with a landowner as the pair protested against an oil pipeline designed to bring crude from Canada to the Gulf Coast. "They've arrested Daryl Hannah and a rural Texas great-grandmother," said Paul Bassis, Hannah's attorney. Hannah and Eleanor Fairchild were standing in front of heavy equipment in an attempt to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline on Fairchild's farm in Winnsboro, a town about 100 miles east of...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
Global Food Prices on the Rise, U.N. Says
New York Times: Global prices for meats, dairy products and cereals resumed rising last month, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported Thursday, adding to concerns that developing countries may face food shortages. The agency said that on average, prices rose 1.4 percent in September, after remaining steady in July and August. Scorching heat and drought in the United States, Russia and Europe constricted agricultural production and pushed up prices of corn and soybeans to record highs, the...

Sat, 6 Oct 12
United States: Daryl Hannah and East Texas Great-Grandmother Arrested Protesting Keystone XL Pipeline
Tar Sands Blockade: Actress and activist Daryl Hannah was arrested today alongside East Texas farmer, Eleanor Fairchild while defending her farm from the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The duo peacefully stood in front of TransCanada’s heavy machinery, which was burning piles of once-majestic trees from Eleanor’s beloved farm and delicate wetlands. How can you be arrested for “trespassing” on your own land? Well, anything can happen when a multi-national corporation comes in and expropriates your farm for their...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Climate Change Ignored Entirely in Presidential Debate
EcoWatch: [Editor's note: As I sat and watched the debate last night with my 13- and 15-year-old kids, I was hoping, mostly for their sake, that at least one of the two candidates running for President of the U.S. would focus on the most important issue our country faces--the health of our planet. Why is it so hard for people to understand that the health of the planet directly impacts our own survival? The Earth provides us with water, food, energy, shelter and all the other things that we need to live. We...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Tracking Methane - Emissions Traced All The Way Back To Roman Times
redOrbit: Analysis of the Greenland ice sheet is allowing scientists to trace the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane back thousands of years. A research team, led by the Niels Bohr Institute, has determined how much methane originates from natural sources and how much is due to human activity using special analytical methods. The resulting data can be dated back to Roman times and up to the present. More than half the emissions today are man-made. Partly emitted from natural sources and partly from...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Outlook precarious in Sahel ravaged by drought and rebels-UN
AlertNet: The humanitarian crisis in the Sahel is in danger of escalating unless a careful political solution is crafted to end violence and the chronic shortage of food produced in the West African region is addressed, a United Nations official said on Wednesday. Rebel militias in Mali are recruiting child soldiers and the outlook for the harvest is uncertain, creating fresh threats that could easily worsen the crisis in a region reeling from its third severe drought since 2005, a military coup in Mali...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Romney’s $90 billion green jobs attack
Washington Post: Mitt Romney said that Obama put $90 billion into green jobs and that half the recipients failed. Nowhere near half of the federal loan or grant recipients have failed. The GOP presidential candidate claimed the administration gave green energy companies $90 billion through the stimulus bill, saying, “Now I like green energy as well, but that’s about fifty years of what the oil and gas industry received." The Energy Department put $90 billion worth of grants, loan guarantees and loans into what...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Japan stokes renewable energy plan
Globe and Mail: First it was Europe and then it was China, but as the world absorbs the impact of Tokyo's decision to phase out nuclear power over the next three decades, some are starting to ask whether the next big centre of renewable energy growth will be Japan. "It is absolutely possible," says Jim Long of Greentech Capital Advisors, a global adviser on renewable energy, headquartered in New York. "This could provide a significant stimulus for the development of a major renewable energy market in Japan,...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Nitrous oxide and methane: the forgotten gases in the forests and climate change debate
RTCC: Policy makers seeking to reduce greenhouse gases from deforestation cannot ignore the levels of nitrous oxide and methane released into the atmosphere as part of land conversion for palm oil, soya bean and other crops, scientists say. While these forgotten gases account for only a small fraction of total greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation, nitrous oxide is up to 300 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere when compared to carbon dioxide over a 100-year time period. Methane...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Costa Rica's youth eye a carbon neutral future
RTCC: Costa Rica is one of the world`s smaller countries, but in the world of climate change it stands tall. Former President Jose Maria Figueres is chairman of the Carbon War Room, while his sister Christiana Figueres is Executive Secretary of the UN climate convention, leading negotiations towards a legally binding emissions treaty. Most impressively of all, Costa Rica aims to be the world`s first carbon neutral country. It already meets over 95% of its primary energy needs from renewable sources,...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
EU energy chief 'satisfied' with nuclear safety despite critical report
Guardian: The European Union's energy chief has called the bloc's nuclear power stations "satisfactory" despite a report on Thursday that is likely to show hundreds of defects, with dozens of reactors failing to meet international safety standards. The report – the "stress test" of Europe's 145 nuclear reactors – was commissioned after the Fukushima incident in Japan last year. It is expected to find that bringing Europe's nuclear power stations up to international standards could cost EUR25bn. It is likely...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Climate change is about jobs and the economy
Des Moines Register: Climate chaos is not a future threat. It’s real, it’s here today, and it’s causing misery in Iowa. Left unchecked, it will get worse. Iowa is ground central for climate change. Almost 60 percent of the state is in extreme drought, with 80 percent of its soils moisture deficient. Nearly three quarters of the corn crop is threatened, driving the price from $5.50 a bushel last year to over $8. If food prices climb as predicted, a family of four will spend $600 more next year to buy food. Hot...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Climate change absent from first Obama-Romney contest
The Hill: Global warming was frozen out of the first debate between President Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney Wednesday night. Green groups, including the League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club, had delivered what activists said was more than 160,000 signatures on a petition urging moderator Jim Lehrer to ask about the topic during the match-up in Denver. But he didn’t. And while Obama and Romney traded punches on energy policy, neither mentioned climate change or carbon emissions. “Millions...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Methane emissions can be traced back to Roman times
ScienceDaily: Emissions of the greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere can be traced back thousands of years in the Greenland ice sheet. Using special analytical methods, researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute, among others, have determined how much methane originates from natural sources and how much is due to human activity. The results go all the way back to Roman times and up to the present, where more than half of the emissions are now human-made. The results are published in the scientific journal,...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Climate-change denial getting harder to defend
LA Times: It was a long hot summer. The United States experienced the warmest July in its history, with more than 3,000 heat records broken across the country. Overall, the summer was the nation's third warmest on record and comes in a year that is turning out to be the hottest ever. High temperatures along with low precipitation generated drought conditions across 60% of the Lower 48 states, which affected 70% of the corn and soybean crop and rendered part of the Mississippi River nonnavigable. Arctic...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
A forecast for the American West: hot and hotter
LA Times: Over the summer and on into the fall, images of flames, smoke plumes, firefighting teams and ruined homes have been on replay, and with good reason: As of Aug. 31, this year tied the record for total acreage burned by wildfires, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. More than 8.4 million acres have burned to date -- an area larger than the state of Maryland up in flames. But as intense as the wildfires have been this year, they provide just a glimpse of the future of the American...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Chinese energy firm sues Obama for blocking wind-farm deal
Independent: A Chinese energy company is suing President Barack Obama for blocking a deal for it to build wind farms on land next to a US military site in Oregon. The President cited national security concerns when he intervened last week to stop Ralls Corp building turbines near the site, which is apparently used by the Navy to test drones. Ralls, which is registered in Delaware but owned by two executives from Sany Group, China's largest manufacturer of engineering machinery, says the block is "unlawful"....

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Climate Victims Deserve a Hearing, Whether Here or in The Hague
Huffington Post: Last week, leaders of the 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly descended upon New York to open that body's sixty-seventh session. Among the pressing questions facing the body is the adequacy of the international community's current approach to the problem of climate change. The leaders also held a high-level meeting on the rule of law at the national and international levels. The two agenda items could not be more in sync: All over the world, climate change is creating victims who...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Land acquired over past decade could have produced food for a billion people
Guardian: International land investors and biofuel producers have taken over land around the world that could feed nearly 1bn people. Analysis by Oxfam of several thousand land deals completed in the last decade shows that an area eight times the size of the UK has been left idle by speculators or is being used largely to grow biofuels for US or European vehicles. In a report, published on Thursday, Oxfam says the global land rush is out of control and urges the World Bank to freeze its investments in...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
In West, September Brought Record Heat and Dry Weather
Climate Central: While September finally brought some relief from the unrelenting summer heat to the Central and Eastern parts of the U.S., the prevailing weather pattern helped set heat and dry weather records and gave rise to wildfires throughout the West. Death Valley, Calif., which is the country's hottest spot, set a record for the warmest September on record, with an average temperature of 96.3°F. That beat the old record of 95.7°F, which was set in 1915. Records for Death Valley date back to 1911. At Needles,...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
A Drought’s Toll on Farm Families
New York Times: They have canceled vacations. Their children are forgoing out-of-state colleges for cheaper ones close to home. They are delaying doctor’s visits, selling off land handed down through generations and resisting luxuries like new smartphones. And then there is the stress — sleepless nights, grumpiness and, in one extreme case, seizures. Lost amid the withered crops, dehydrated cattle and depleted ponds that have come to symbolize the country’s most widespread drought in decades has been the toll...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Inquiry Finds No Proof That Federal Biologist Falsified Data
New York Times: An internal investigation of allegations that a government biologist omitted critical data to “advance a global warming agenda” has yielded no evidence that he did so. The scientist, Charles Monnett of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, is known for four 2004 sightings of dead polar bears in the Beaufort Sea that helped turn the bear into a symbol of the impacts of climate change. In its final report, issued late last week, the bureau’s inspector general office did fault Dr. Monnett for leaking...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
A Thousand Words on Global Warming
New York Times: "When I searched for a global warming icon, nothing appeared," said Luis Prado, a graphic designer who illustrates publications and creates interpretive signs at his job at the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. "So I made one." Two months ago, Mr. Prado learned about The Noun Project, created in 2010 as an online storehouse for “the world’s visual language.” Impressed with the open-source and visual nature of the project, he began designing and uploading icons he had created for...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Good News on Climate Change....And Not So Good News
Mother Times: Chris Mooney has a piece for us today arguing that public opinion is turning around on climate change. What's more, he says, recent studies suggest that climate can even be a winning political issue: The first of these studies emerged in 2011 from Stanford pollster Jon Krosnick and his colleagues....Both Democrats and independents strongly favored a green candidate over a neutral one, while for Republicans it was basically a wash--neither a pro or anti-climate candidate moved them much. "By taking...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Pentagon Study Cites Climate Change as National Security Threat
Huffington Post: Even before recent predictions that Arctic sea ice would melt by the summer of 2016 in a "final collapse," setting off a "global disaster," the Pentagon and the Center for Naval Analyses's (CNA) Military Advisory Board had already gone on record warning about the impacts of climate change as a threat to national security. To better understand the impact of global water challenges on U.S. national security interests, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton requested the intelligence community to produce...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Republican climate sceptics face battle for re-election as green groups hit back
Guardian: It is the issue most notable by its absence in the 2012 presidential race. But the environment may yet have an impact this election as campaign groups target the vulnerable congressional seats of Republicans who dismiss the dangers of climate change. The present US Congress is generally considered the most unfriendly to the environment on record – with multiple votes in the House of Representatives to strike down or weaken environmental regulations, cut back funds for developing clean energy,...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
United Kingdom: British nuclear plans suffer blow as Chinese investors pull out
Guardian: The government's nuclear energy plans were in trouble on Wednesday with Chinese investors withdrawing interest in two projects and local councils postponing a decision on hosting atomic waste storage. Areva, the French nuclear engineering group, confirmed that it had pulled out of the running to buy a stake in Horizon Nuclear Power, the enterprise planning to construct new reactors at Wylfa in Wales and Oldbury in Gloucestershire. Areva said its partner, the state-owned China Guangdong Nuclear...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Monsanto sees U.S. 2013 corn acres steady at 96 million acres
Reuters: Monsanto Co., the world's largest seed company, said Wednesday that U.S. corn and soybean plantings in 2013 are likely to be similar to what was seen this year, though soybean acres may climb. As the company starts selling its seed products for the spring planting season, Monsanto President Brett Begemann said the company was planning for about 96 million acres of corn planted in the United States in 2013, and 76 million or more in soybean acres. "As I think about seed availability 2013 is...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Deepwater to build first U.S. offshore wind farm
Reuters: Deepwater Wind is racing to build the first U.S. offshore wind farm off Rhode Island and hopes to parlay that into a string of East Coast farms, the company's chief executive told Reuters. The privately held U.S. wind power developer plans to begin construction of the $250 million, 30-megawatt (MW) Block Island project by early 2014, ahead of a farm proposed by Cape Wind long expected to be the nation's first offshore facility. "The Block Island project is on target to become the nation's first...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Russia accuses al-Qaida of 'forest jihad' in Europe
Guardian: Russia's top security official has alleged that al-Qaida was waging "forest jihad" in Europe by sparking the wildfires that have ravaged the continent in recent summers. "Forest fires in EU countries should be considered one of the new trends in al-Qaida's 'thousand cuts' strategy," Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the Federal Security Service, told a security conference in Moscow on Wednesday, Russian news agencies reported. "This approach allows them to inflict significant damage on the economy...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
In Wake of Sea Ice Loss, Focus on New Models, Melt Ponds
Climate Central: Since Arctic sea ice extent plummeted to a record low in September, shattering the previous record set in 2007, much has been made of the fact that sea ice has declined at a much faster pace than what most scientists had anticipated. Until recently, most computer models failed to capture the precipitous decline in Arctic sea ice that has occurred since satellite observations began in 1979. In order to make improved projections, scientists are fine-tuning their understanding of the many influences...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Researchers: World's fish to get smaller as oceans warm
CNN: Be prepared for smaller fish. That's the warning from researchers at the University of British Columbia, who say that we could see the maximum body weight of fish shrink by as much as 20% by the middle of the century, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. They blame global warming, which is heating up the world's oceans. Warm water holds less oxygen than cold water. “A warmer and less-oxygenated ocean, as predicted under climate change, would make it more difficult...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Stop Fracking Up Our Water—New Study Supports Water Contamination Due to Fracking
Earthworks: An independent analysis of new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) water monitoring data verifies a 2011 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigation into whether hydraulic fracturing contaminated the Wind River aquifer near Pavillion, Wyoming--an important groundwater source that provides water to thousands of Wyoming residents and farmers. The preliminary results of U.S. EPA’s study was one of the first to document hydrocarbons consistent with fracking fluid chemicals in drinking water...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
No Compromise on NY Fracking Health Impact Assessment
EcoWatch: As Governor, Andrew Cuomo will continue to be an environmental champion by . . . making sure health and environmental risks are comprehensively studied before natural gas exploration in New York’s Marcellus Shale formation occurs. --2010 gubernatorial campaign website, Nov. 1, 2010 Obviously if there was a public health concern that could not be addressed we would not proceed. --DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens, New York Times, Sept. 20, 2012 Summary Statement Four years of study and...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Major Policy Shifts Needed To Maintain Decline in U.S. CO2 Emissions
Yale Environment 360: A decline in U.S. carbon emissions in recent years is unlikely to continue over the long term unless there is a significant shift in how the nation produces and uses its energy, according to a new analysis. While several factors have triggered a 9 percent decline in annual carbon emissions in the U.S. since 2005 — including a decrease in the use of coal-fired electricity as a result of the natural gas boom — the most significant factor has been the economic recession, according to the group Climate...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
How to argue with “climate sceptics”
BusinessGreen: I've been procrastinating for a long time about whether or not to write about the latest developments in the ever exciting world of climate scepticism. The reasons for my reticence are multiple: writing about climate scepticism is a singularly depressing experience, simultaneously frustrating, futile, coarsening, and, worst of all, staggeringly boring. Frustrating, because you find yourself engaging with a school of thought that refuses to subscribe to normal rules of rational argument, has no...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Bike Tour Exposes How Plastic Pollution is Destroying our Planet
EcoWatch: Today, the 5 Gyres Institute launched the Last Straw Plastic Pollution Solutions Outreach Tour, a 1,400 mile bicycle tour along the East Coast of the U.S. to educate the public on marine plastic pollution, conduct beach and watershed cleanups, and give evening presentations to the public. Presentations will share their expeditions to all five major oceans studying plastic pollution in the oceanic Gyres or “garbage patches,” and will engage audiences in realistic solutions. In 2011, 5 Gyres completed...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Economic Reality Check—Climate Change Costs Big Bucks
EcoWatch: The failure of world leaders to act on the critical issue of global warming is often blamed on economic considerations. Over and over, we hear politicians say they can’t spend our tax dollars on environmental protection when the economy is so fragile. Putting aside the absurdity of prioritizing a human-created and adaptable tool like the economy over caring for everything that allows us to survive and be healthy, let’s take a look at the economic reality. A new scientific report concludes that...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Poland aiming to enact new shale gas law in 2013
Reuters: Poland wants its new shale gas law to go into force next year, Piotr Wozniak, the deputy environment minister responsible for the draft law said on Wednesday, but added that it would be best if a shale gas tax waited until at least 2016. Poland, which aims to be Europe's shale gas pioneer, has postponed publication of its legal framework for the development of the potentially lucrative energy resource several times in the past few months. Discussions over a shale gas tax were causing the delays,...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Sumitomo takes 25 per cent stake in giant US solar project
BusinessGreen: Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corp has bought a 25 per cent take in one of the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) developments in the US. The company yesterday announced that it will invest an undisclosed sum in the 550MW Desert Sunlight Solar Farm in the California desert. The deal is Sumitomo's first involvement in a US solar project, although it holds stakes in four US wind projects along with four solar farms in Europe. In a statement, the company said it would continue "to actively seek...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Kenya steps up geothermal power
AlertNet: Kenya has inaugurated Africa's biggest geothermal power project in a bid to meet its growing need for electricity and lower its consumption of nonrenewable energy. The 280 megawatt (MW) Olkaria Geothermal Project was commissioned by Kenya's president, Mwai Kibaki, in July. It is being built at a cost of 82.5 billion Kenyan shillings ($980 million) and is due for completion in June 2014. Experts say that it should be an important source of "green' energy in a country that has seen its hydropower...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
New UK nuclear power station plans suffer setback
Guardian: Plans for new nuclear power stations in the UK have suffered a setback with reports that Chinese financial backing for two new reactors has failed to materialise, and a bid by French nuclear group Areva has not been submitted. In March, German utilities E.ON and RWE scrapped plans to build two new reactors at Wylfa in Wales and Oldbury in Gloucestershire, inviting bids for the project, called Horizon Nuclear Power. Of the three bids expected, one by Areva with the China Guangdong Nuclear Power...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Zimbabwe: Climate change threatens Zambezi dam projects
AlertNet: Ambitious multi-billion dollar dam projects along the Zambezi River, carried out by southern African countries seeking to boost hydropower generation, could turn out to be white elephants because of growing climate challenges, experts say. Concerns that some African countries are responding inadequately to climate change forecasts are highlighted in a new report that warns that governments have failed to appreciate the effects of poor rainfall and of potentially devastating floods -- both linked...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
How the mafia is destroying the rainforests
New Scientist: It's not as glamorous as cocaine or diamonds, but the illegal logging industry has become very attractive to criminal organisations over the past decade. A new report finds that up to 90 per cent of tropical deforestation can be attributed to organised crime, which controls up to 30 per cent of the global timber trade. For years, environmental regulators thought that illegal logging was decreasing worldwide. But they were just looking in the wrong places, says Christian Nelleman, author of the...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Australia admits neglecting Great Barrier Reef
Telegraph: Tony Burke, the environment minister, said research released on Tuesday by scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the University of Wollongong should be setting off alarm bells across the country. "I reckon the report would have sent shock waves through a whole lot of households," he told ABC television late on Tuesday. "We've all heard about damage to the reef over the years, but that 50 per cent figure, I think, rang a warning bell loud and clear for many people." The...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Women farmers can influence policy through theatre
SciDevNet: Theatre is a powerful tool to mobilise women farmers in Africa, say agriculture specialists Lindiwe Majele Sibanda and Sithembile Mwamakamba. Women farmers produce more than 90 per cent of the food on the African continent, yet they are largely excluded from decision-making: their needs are rarely reflected in local and national agricultural policies and they have limited access to credit, fertiliser, labour, seeds and other production inputs. In 2009 the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Delays dog U.S. government loans to green energy projects
Reuters: A year after the U.S. government raced to meet a deadline to finish loan agreements with dozens of clean energy companies, less than half the total money promised has been handed over. Technical questions and companies' own failures in hitting contractual milestones are behind some of the holdups. But government officials fearful of taking a risk on firms that could collapse may have also caused some of the delays. The political firestorm after the failure of Solyndra, a solar panel maker that...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Cumbria delays nuclear burial decision amid rising worries about trust
Guardian: The fiasco on the west coast mainline – full coverage here – coincides with deepening unease about another vast exercise that depends on trust in government and civil service calculations. Exactly this issue of trust has also been highlighted this morning by the leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband. Read more in Andrew Sparrow's live conference blog here. The beautiful arc of the west coast in Cumbria is seeing growing unease about proposals to bury higher activity radioactive waste – the...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Chinese-owned Ralls sues Obama over blocked Oregon windfarm project
BusinessGreen: A Chinese company sued Barack Obama on Tuesday for blocking its windfarm project in Oregon on the grounds it was a national security threat. Obama made the rare decision last week to bar the company from buying four small windfarms close to restricted air space used by a navy weapons training facility. The privately owned Ralls Corp responded on Tuesday by accusing Obama of overstepping his authority as president and adding his name to its lawsuit against the treasury department's foreign investment...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
United States: Climate Change On The Election Backburner
Progress Illinois: Jim Lehrer, moderator of the first presidential debate, received a petition of 160,000 signatures collected by nine environmental organizations last Friday. The message to Lehrer from these environmentalists was modest: Ask one question about what each candidate will do on climate change. “We are really optimistic that he will ask a question,” says Jeff Gohringer, spokesman for the League of Conservation Voters in Washington, D.C. But, Gohringer adds, “It’s fair to say the economy will be first...

Fri, 5 Oct 12
Is Climate Change the Sleeper Issue of 2012?
Climate Desk: It was quite the messaging turnaround. In his September 6 acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, President Obama--whose reticence about so much as mentioning global warming has flummoxed environmental activists--used the subject to launch an unexpected attack on his opponent. "Climate change is not a hoax," the president declared. "More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They are a threat to our children`s future." In the after-speech gabfest, Politico...

Wed, 3 Oct 12
Solar cell consisting of a single molecule
ScienceDaily: An team of scientists, led by Joachim Reichert, Johannes Barth, and Alexander Holleitner (Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Clusters of Excellence MAP and NIM), and Itai Carmeli (Tel Aviv University) developed a method to measure photocurrents of a single functionalized photosynthetic protein system. The scientists could demonstrate that such a system can be integrated and selectively addressed in artificial photovoltaic device architectures while retaining their biomolecular functional properties....

Wed, 3 Oct 12
Sumitomo to invest in massive U.S. solar project
Reuters: Japan's Sumitomo Corp on Tuesday said it would take a 25 percent stake in a 550-megawatt solar power project in California, giving the trading house a foothold in the growing U.S. solar industry. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company, which has stakes in four U.S. wind projects, joins GE Energy Financial Services and NextEra Energy Resources as an investor in the Desert Sunlight solar farm located in Riverside County. Sumitomo made its investment by buying a part of GE's stake,...

Wed, 3 Oct 12
Sea Rise Will Be Irreversible Over Next Several Thousand Years Due To Greenhouse Gas Emissions
redOrbit: A groundbreaking study by a team of European researchers warns that greenhouse gas emissions will cause an irreversible rise in sea level over the next several thousand years. The study, published in the latest edition of the journal Environmental Research Letters, expanded the scope of typical climate change studies to include thousands of years in its projections and also took into consideration all of the Earth’s land ice, something which had never been done before. Using thermomechanical...

Wed, 3 Oct 12
Clam Shells Record Climate Events Over Past Thousand Years
redOrbit: Modern climatologists have access to a wide array of technological tools, but an international team looking to study climate events from the past thousand years has decided to utilize something a little more old school. Researchers led by Alan Wanamaker from Iowa State University have been collecting clam shells from the waters of the North Atlantic because the mollusks act as tiny recorders, storing information about their environment in the growth bans that runs along their shells. As these...

Wed, 3 Oct 12
Feeling The Economic Impact Of Climate Change
National Public Radio: Everyone knows that the weather this summer in the United States was a disaster. Temperature records fell faster than knickknacks off a broken bookshelf across much of the country. Vast swaths of the nation were facing "extreme" or "exceptional" drought conditions. And while it is impossible to say with certainty if any particular weather event is caused by climate change, the events of the summer are pretty much exactly what climate scientists have been predicting for decades. Given the onslaught...

Wed, 3 Oct 12
Ocean Acidification Leaves Mollusks Naked and Confused
Inter Press Service: - Climate change will ruin Chilean sea snails` ability to sniff out and avoid their archenemy, a predatory crab, according to Chilean scientists who presented their findings at an international science symposium here. Researchers from Australia also revealed that as the oceans become more and more acidic, some fish become hyperactive and confused, and move towards their predators instead of trying to escape. "The conditions in oceans are changing 100 times faster than at any time in the past,"...

Wed, 3 Oct 12
All the world's a stage – and all the men and women merely environmentalists who hate BP
Independent: It is a Saturday night in Stratford-upon-Avon and theatregoers are settling into their seats for an evening with the world's greatest playwright. Duly the actors appear on stage – but this isn't Shakespeare as we know it. Parading in a green and yellow ruff, a character called BP is taken down a peg by the Bard's famous clown, Feste: "For some are born green, some achieve greenness, and some purchase a semblance of greenness by sponsoring cultural events." The performance, an unscheduled prelude...

Wed, 3 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Green light for power plant that will produce energy from waste
Guardian: A 60MW energy-from-waste plant in Cheshire backed by Tata Chemicals and E.ON has been given government approval on Tuesday following a year-long public inquiry. A Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) statement confirmed the inquiry recommended consent be given for the construction of the £250m plant at Lostock, Northwich, after taking into account concerns around its potential health and visual impacts, as well the implications for traffic safety and the local environment. "It is...

Wed, 3 Oct 12
U.N. climate chief urges greater ambition in Doha
Reuters: The U.N. climate chief said Monday that countries have not backed off what they had agreed in climate talks in Durban last year but said current actions and pledges are not enough to avert a dangerous rise in global temperatures. Speaking at the Carbon Forum North America in Washington, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said although both developing and developed countries are making "good progress in the right direction" toward a legal agreement, current global efforts are insufficient....

Wed, 3 Oct 12
U.N. carbon price forecasts to 2020 cut further : Reuters poll
Reuters: Analysts cut their price forecasts for United Nations' carbon permits to 2020 further on Tuesday as over-supply continued to put pressure on prices, a Reuters poll of 14 analysts showed. U.N. carbon permits, called certified emissions reductions (CERs), have lost more than 70 percent of their value over the past year on the continued over-supply of permits, low demand due to the global economic downturn and concerns about restrictions on CER use in other countries' carbon markets. Prices for...

Wed, 3 Oct 12
California on track to link CO2 scheme with Quebec in 2013
Reuters: California is on track to link its forthcoming emissions trading scheme to Quebec's in 2013, pushing the state one step closer to its goal of connecting to a wider carbon market, the state's chief air regulator said on Monday. Mary Nichols, chairperson of the California Air Resources Board (ARB), said that California Governor Jerry Brown will sign off on rules that would enable linkages for the state's CO2 market after review by the attorney general. The governor must within 45 days find that...

Wed, 3 Oct 12
California governor signs cap-and-trade revenue bills
Reuters: California Governor Jerry Brown has signed two bills related to the use of revenue raised through the sale of carbon allowances, although details of how the money will be spent won't be determined until next year. The bills are the first to address the estimated $660 million and $3 billion in revenue that will be generated during the first year of California's carbon cap-and-trade scheme, which begins in January. The first bill creates a new account for the revenue to be deposited into, and...

Wed, 3 Oct 12
EU to monitor shipping emissions from next year
Reuters: Global steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping industry are moving too slowly so the European Union will introduce its own system next year in a bid to accelerate reform, its executive body said on Monday. International shipping accounts for around 3 percent of the world's emissions of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas widely blamed for global warming, and this share could go to 18 percent by 2050 if regulation is not in place, according to the International Maritime Organisation....

Wed, 3 Oct 12
United Kingdom: Peat supplier blames summer rains for shortage
Guardian: Britain's biggest peat supplier has warned that the awful summer could leave garden centres struggling to grow enough plants, after admitting it had been unable to harvest the nation's waterlogged bogs. William Sinclair Holdings issued a profits warning on Tuesday, saying it had only been able to achieve about a fifth of its normal annual harvest of about 570,000 cubic metres of peat. "With the lousy sunshine we haven't had five solid days of sunshine to allow the [harvest] cycle to take place,"...

Wed, 3 Oct 12
Norwegian Arctic Summers Warmest in 1,800 Years
Yale Environment360: Summer temperatures on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard in the High Arctic are now higher than during any time over the last 1,800 years, including a period of higher temperatures in the northern hemisphere known as the Medieval Warm Period, according to a new study. In an analysis of algaeburied in deep lake sediments, a team of scientists calculated that summer temperatures in Svalbard since 1987 have been 2 to 2.5 degrees Celsius (3.6 to 4.5 degrees F) warmer than during the Medieval Warm...

Wed, 3 Oct 12
Experts See Signs of El Niño, but a Weak One
New York Times: A season of warmer ocean waters that has been expected to produce a Niño episode and perhaps bring relief from the continuing drought may turn out to be a bit weaker than advertised, according to climate experts. The periodic upwelling of warmer waters in the eastern equatorial Pacific can be one of the most telling calls that a climatologist can make. A powerful Niño can drive global patterns of drought, storm, snow and flood, with big consequences for farmers and fishermen, relief organizations...

Wed, 3 Oct 12
Irreversible warming will cause sea levels to rise for thousands of years to come, new research shows
ScienceDaily: Greenhouse gas emissions up to now have triggered an irreversible warming of Earth that will cause sea levels to rise for thousands of years to come, new research has shown. The results come from a study, published today (Oct. 2) in IOP Publishing's journal Environmental Research Letters, which sought to model sea-level changes over millennial timescales, taking into account all of Earth's land ice and the warming of the oceans -- something which has not been done before. The research showed...

Wed, 3 Oct 12
California's vanishing snowpack is another victim of climate change
Long Beach Press-Telegram: As a professional snowboarder lucky enough to ride mountains around the world, I have seen the impacts of climate change first-hand. I've seen once-famous slopes now with zero snow, ski resorts that have shut down, and glaciers that are disappearing. In my native state of California, boarders and skiers are bracing for the effects of a warmer world. Scientists are predicting the Sierra snowpack will decline by 25 percent by 2050. We caught a preview this past ski season, when Lake Tahoe and Squaw...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Australia in talks to link carbon market with California
BusinessGreen: Australia has reportedly opened talks with the US state of California to link their planned carbon markets. Mark Dreyfuss, the country's Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Minister, has used a visit to the US to set up an "ongoing working relationship" with the California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, news agency Bloomberg reported yesterday. Dreyfuss also met Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC),...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Climate change: monsoon season likely to be delayed by 2-3 weeks annually: expert
Business Recorder: Rapid climate change is likely to delay monsoon season for 2-3 weeks annually across the globe, Dr Moetasim Ashfaq, Computational Climate Scientist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA said here on Monday. He was delivering a special lecture on "South Asian Summer Monsoon in 21st Century" organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). He said that high resolution climate models used at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA have predicted weakening of summer monsoon precipitation over...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Oregon Activists Say No to Coal Exports
Sierra Club: Dead end. That was the message the Portland City Council, the Metro and the city of The Dalles sent Big Coal last week after they all approved resolutions opposing coal exports through the Pacific Northwest without a full area-wide environmental review conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers. Portland`s council vote was just the latest example in a string of cities and municipalities demanding environmental reviews and putting the interests of communities and public health before Big Coal...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Australia: Scientists report ‘major decline’ of Great Barrier Reef coral
NBC: Calling it the most extensive review of how coral on Australia's Great Barrier Reef is faring, scientists on Monday reported some alarming news: The amount of coral covering reefs there has been cut in half since 1985 and will likely continue to decline unless steps are taken to at least attack the easiest of several factors. "We show a major decline in coral cover from 28 percent to 13.8 percent" of the entire system, the experts wrote after reviewing 2,258 surveys of 214 reefs within the marine...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Great Barrier Reef loses half its coral in 27 years
Telegraph: A comprehensive survey monitoring 214 of the individual reefs along the World Heritage site found that coral cover decreased from 28 per cent in 1985 to 13.8 per cent this year. If replicated across the entire Great Barrier Reef, which runs the length of Queensland's coast and stretches 155 miles from shore, the figure equates to a loss of coral across almost 19,300 sq miles of reef -- more than twice the area of Wales. One of the key factors in the deterioration of coral was population explosions...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Restricting nuclear power has little effect on the cost of climate policies
ScienceDaily: By applying a global energy-economy computer simulation that fully captures the competition between alternative power supply technologies, a team of scientists analyzed trade-offs between nuclear and climate policies. Strong greenhouse-gas emissions reduction to mitigate global warming shows to have much larger impact on economics than nuclear policy, according to the study. Incremental costs due to policy options restricting the use of nuclear power do not significantly increase the cost of even...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Australia: Storms to starfish: Great Barrier Reef faces rapid coral loss: study
Reuters: The world's largest coral reef - under threat from Australia's surging coal and gas shipments, climate change and a destructive starfish - is declining faster than ever and coral cover could fall to just 5 percent in the next decade, a study shows. Researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) in the northeastern city of Townsville say Australia's Great Barrier Reef has lost half of its coral in little more than a generation. And the pace of damage has picked up since 2006....

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Global Warming Is Already Causing Loss of Life and Damage to the Economy Around the World: New Report
Huffington Post: From devastating floods in China and the Philippines to droughts in Africa, the same extreme weather patterns that have hit the United States have impacted locations around the world. This is the face of global warming. According to a new report, climate change has already contributed to 400,000 deaths per year and over $699 billion, 0.9 percent annually, in loss to gross domestic product (GDP). The report estimates even greater damage from air pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels which...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
So-Called Medieval Warm Period Not So Warm After All
Climate Central: The so-called Medieval Warm Period (MWP), a 400-year span from about 950 to 1220 A.D. when the Vikings colonized Greenland, was relatively balmy by the standards of the past 2,000 years, leading some to argue that the global warming we're now experiencing isn't that big a deal. But a new report in the journal Geology argues that the MWP wasn't all that warm after all -- and certainly not as warm as the climate is today. According to William D'Andrea of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
The Grid: Climate Groups Push Questions in Presidential Showdown
Bloomberg: Aside from Mitt Romney's recent jab at Barack Obama's concern over global warming--and the president's tit-for-tat response --climate change has been largely under the radar in the campaign. But several groups, backed by hundreds of thousands of petitions, are trying to change that, at least for one night. Nine environmental organizations Friday delivered more than 160,000 petitions to Jim Lehrer urging him to ask a question about climate change during Wednesday's first presidential debate....

Tue, 2 Oct 12
UN official: Climate skeptics are losing
The Hill: Christiana Figueres, the United Nations’ top climate change official, expressed optimism Monday that skepticism of scientific views on global warming is on the wane in the United States. Figueres, who is steering U.N. efforts to win a new global climate pact, said that the U.S. president will be forced to confront global warming regardless of who wins in November. “You see both trends -- both understanding that the climate is changing and that it is manmade -- both trends are moving in the...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Great Barrier Reef loses half its coral in less than 30 years
Mongabay: The Great Barrier Reef has lost half of its coral cover in the last 27 years, according to a new study released today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Based on over 2,000 surveys from 1985 to this year the study links the alarming loss to three impacts: tropical cyclone damage, outbreaks crown-of-thorns starfish that devour corals, and coral bleaching. "We can't stop the storms, and ocean warming (the primary cause of coral bleaching) is one of the critical impacts...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Great Barrier Reef loses more than half its coral cover
Guardian: Coral cover in the Great Barrier Reef has dropped by more than half over the last 27 years, according to scientists, a result of increased storms, bleaching and predation by population explosions of a starfish which sucks away the coral's nutrients. At present rates of decline, the coral cover will halve again within a decade, though scientists said the reef could recover if the crown-of-thorns starfish can be brought under control and, longer term, global carbon dioxide emissions are reduced....

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Haiti plastics ban gets mixed reaction from cost-conscious poor
Reuters: Haiti imposed a ban on plastic and foam food containers as well as black polyethylene bags on Monday, amid concern that the country's poorest consumers would not be able to afford the substitutes. The ban is the first in a series of government measures aiming to help the environment of the poorest country in the hemisphere. A broader prohibition on plastic and petroleum-based products in the Caribbean country could be combined with the eventual local production of biodegradable alternatives. ...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
U.S. seeks to stamp out deceptive "green" advertising
Reuters: Advertisers who try to entice customers with promises that their products are "green" or "eco-friendly" could quickly get in hot water with regulators if they cannot prove it, the Federal Trade Commission said on Monday. Environmental and consumer groups have long been frustrated by advertising that touts products as good for the environment when, in fact, they often are not. The commission, which enforces rules against deceptive advertising, warned companies that they should make environmental...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Climate change said threat to U.S. forests
United Press International: Forests in the U.S. Southwest could be crippled by climate change as rising drought brings stress and tree mortality, researchers say. Scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory, the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Arizona combined tree-ring growth records with historical information, climate records, and computer-model projections of future climate trends to forecast the future health of the region's forests. Southwestern forests grow best when winters with high precipitation...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Extreme weather in Pakistan pulls many into downward spiral
AlertNet: Floods may be devastating parts of Pakistan, but Mukesh Menghwar is facing drought, just a year after he lost six cows, eight goats and his millet crop to extreme rains. The weather extremes are hitting farmers like him hard, pulling them into a debt spiral and worsening poverty, he says. In May, he took out Rs 65,000 ($688) in credit from a local money lender, at a 20 percent interest rate, to buy seed and fertilizer. He also rented a pair of camels for 25 days for another Rs. 6,000 ($64)...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Climate change affecting Ark. Post
Stuttgart Daily Leader: Water hyacinth has crowded the waterways at Arkansas Post National Memorial this summer and fall. Arkansas Post National Memorial Park Ranger Kirby McCallie said it’s just one example of the effect climate change has had on the national park. McCallie describes climate change as, basically, the long-term shift in the earth’s weather. This past year’s unusual weather conditions have allowed for untimely growth, such as with the water hyacinth. The non-native, free-floating perennial plant is a native...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Australia: Personal dramas amid the crisis over climate change
Sydney Morning Herald: SYDNEY is flooded. A climatologist feels guilty and anxious that he failed to predict the rising tide, having allowed realpolitik to drown his science. This is Between Two Waves, Australia`s contribution to the theatre of climate change, written by and starring the actor Ian Meadows, who portrays Daniel, a Sydney climate scientist turned policy adviser awash in his home town, the Marrickville-Cooks River district. But does theatre on global warming succeed, or does the message overwhelm the...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Atmospheric aerosol climate caution
ScienceDaily: Carbon dioxide is not the only problem we must address if we are to understand and solve the problem of climate change. According to research published this month in the International Journal of Global Warming, we as yet do not understand adequately the role played by aerosols, clouds and their interaction and must take related processes into account before considering any large-scale geo-engineering. There are 10 to the power of 40 molecules of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere....

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Climate change cripples forests
Science Codex: Combine the tree-ring growth record with historic information, climate records and computer-model projections of future climate trends, and you get a grim picture for the future of trees in the southwestern United States. That's the word from a team of scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory, the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Arizona, and several other partner organizations. Described in a paper published in Nature Climate Change this week, "Temperature as a potent driver of regional...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Let's add climate knowledge to agroforestry plans
SciDev.Net: Much is known about agroforestry -- the mixing of tree species with crops and livestock to enrich farmers' livelihoods. But less is known about how it can help farmers adapt to climate change. This gap in our knowledge is increasingly worrisome. With weather patterns becoming more erratic, farmers around the world are finding it increasingly difficult to know when and what to plant, risking shortfalls in food yields. South Asia and South-East Asia alone are home to more than one-third of the...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
German government may subsidies electric cars
Reuters: Germany may subsidize electric cars after the next general election in order to meet a lofty goal of 1 million fossil fuel-free vehicles on the road by 2020, according to Chancellor Angela Merkel. "The question of how we will tackle this during the next legislative period (starting late 2013) and whether one needs more incentives - that will be decided when the time has come," Merkel told reporters on Monday. She was speaking after a meeting of a group set up to devise Germany's electric-mobility...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Climate Change Hits Pacific Islands
Inter Press Service: Climate activist Wanita Limpus, from the low-lying island nation of Kiribati in the Central Pacific Ocean, says the outcome of the Rio+20 Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in June was a serious letdown for small, developing island states. Half of the 10 million people of the Pacific islands reside within 1.5 km of the coastline, and Limpus stressed that climate change and rising sea levels were not a prediction but a reality threatening human security now. Kiribati, with a population of over...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Break the Candidates' Silence on Climate Change'
Huffington Post: The Obama and Romney campaigns are making the point that there are big differences between the positions of the two presidential candidates, and America has a clear choice between two futures. There are no issues on which those statements are truer than energy policy and its impact on global climate change. The candidates haven't said much about climate change so far. They should be forced to talk about it in one of the upcoming presidential debates, preferably the first of the three mano a mano...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Biogas power plants clear one million tonne food waste milestone
BusinessGreen: The combination of new corporate waste strategies and council food waste collections has led to a surge in the amount of organic waste being used to generate energy and produce fertiliser. That is the conclusion of a new report from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) containing the most recent figures for the size of the UK's anaerobic digestion and organic waste processing sectors. The report shows that in 2010 the amount of organic waste being processed at waste-to-energy anaerobic...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
WTO to probe US tariffs on Chinese solar goods
BusinessGreen: An international panel will be convened to decide whether US tariffs imposed on China solar panels and other green products contravene trade rules. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) last week agreed to establish the group after China complained the US had acted "inconsistently with WTO rules and rulings in many aspects" when investigating whether Chinese companies receive government loans that breach global commerce agreements. A US investigation earlier in the year backed a group of companies...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Barry Commoner Dies at 95
New York Times: Barry Commoner, a founder of modern ecology and one of its most provocative thinkers and mobilizers, died Sunday in Manhattan. He was 95 and lived in Brooklyn Heights. His wife, Lisa Feiner, confirmed his death. Dr. Commoner was a leader among a generation of scientist-activists who recognized the toxic consequences of America’s post-World War II technology boom, and one of the first to stir the national debate over the public’s right to comprehend the risks and make decisions about them. Raised...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Hollywood, Persian Gulf oil barons have common foe: fracking
MSNBC: Who would have thought that Hollywood environmentalists would find themselves aligned with Persian Gulf oil barons? But the strange politics of energy have managed to bring the greens into line with the OPEC-member United Arab Emirates on the issue of fracking. "Promised Land" is a new film starring and written by Matt Damon and John Krasinski, based on a story by San Francisco-based writer Dave Eggers. In the film, Damon and actress Frances McDormand play a team that shows a rural town hard...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Three Climate And Energy Debate Questions For Mitt Romney And Barack Obama
ThinkProgress: In the 2008 presidential debates, moderators Tom Brokaw (2nd debate) and Bob Schieffer (3rd debate) asked presidential nominees Barack Obama and John McCain about climate change and reducing American dependence on oil. Both candidates vigorously supported reductions in carbon pollution, though the means to that end differed. Since that election, the scientific evidence that climate change is real and human caused has only grown. The health impact and economic costs of the...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Glacier and Climate Mysteries in Shangri La
New York Times: Today we set out on what is to be a collaborative, interdisciplinary scientific effort to examine the links among climate, glaciers and society in the high passes of the Bhutan Himalaya. Nearly 3.2 billion people in South Asia depend on the water that originates from melting glaciers and snowpack of the high Himalaya, yet a gulf of uncertainty hinders our ability to assess the fate of this ice and snow in a warming world. Thus, the goals of this expedition are to collect data that will shed light...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
British government comes out against drilling in Virunga National Park by UK company
Mongabay: The British government has come out in opposition against oil drilling plans by UK-based, SOCO International, in Virunga National Park, reports Reuters. The first national park established on the continent, Virunga is home to one of only two populations of mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) in the world. In March of this year, two oil exploratory permits came to light granting SOCO seismic testing inside the park by the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A statement...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Iraq: Clean Water Act Inspires Water Advocates Worldwide
EcoWatch: When I tell people that I work for an Iraqi environmental non-profit organization, the first question I am invariably asked is, “Doesn’t Iraq have more important things to worry about than environmental protection?” To which I respond, “What could be more important to a country and people than water?” I say this not to minimize the myriad concerns in Iraq but only to put things in perspective: the awful threat of violence is sporadic and localized whereas the threat of cholera or typhoid from a drinking...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Fish to Shrink By Up to A Quarter Due to Climate Change, Study Reveals
Guardian: Global warming is likely to shrink the size of fish by as much as a quarter in coming decades, according to a groundbreaking new study of the world's oceans. The reduction in individual fish size will be matched by a dwindling of overall fish stocks, warned scientists, at a time when the world's growing human population is putting ever greater pressure on fisheries. "We were surprised as we did not think the effects would be so strong and so widespread," said Prof William Cheung from the University...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Ocean acidification emerges as new climate threat
Washington Post: Kris Holderied, who directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Kasitsna Bay Laboratory, says the ocean's increasing acidity is "the reason fishermen stop me in the grocery store.' "They say, 'You're with the NOAA lab, what are you doing on ocean acidification?' ' Holderied said. "This is a coastal town that depends on this ocean, and this bay.' This town in southwestern Alaska dubs itself the Halibut Fishing Capital of the World. But worries about the changing chemical...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Climate change cuts world GDP
Vancouver Sun: Climate change and pollution related to carbon-dioxide emissions are reducing the world's gross domestic product by 1.6 per cent a year, about $1.2 trillion, according to a report. If unchecked, rising temperatures may cut global GDP by 3.2 per cent a year by 2030, according to the Climate Vulnerability Monitor, from by the Madrid-based humanitarian group DARA and the Climate Vulnerable Forum. As the economic impact of climate change grows, so will the cost of curbing it, according to leaders...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Jatropha can revive degraded land, says study
SciDevNet: Large-scale cultivation of Jatropha -- known as a potential source of biofuel -- can improve the soil quality of degraded lands and address climate change, says a new study. Jatropha curcas seeds yield oil that can be processed into biodiesel, but scientists at the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad, have found that Jatropha plantations can also sequester carbon in abundant quantities. The findings, reported in October in Agriculture, Ecosystems...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Japan rolls out environment tax
Indo-Asian News Service: The Japanese government Monday introduced an environment tax to help curb the use of fossil fuel and combat global warming. According to the official estimate, each household will have to pay about 1,200 yen more in environment tax in fiscal 2016 than current levels, reported Xinhua. The introduction of the tax, which will be imposed on fossil fuels, including crude oil and natural gas, is in line with the government's policy of aiming to cut emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020....

Tue, 2 Oct 12
United States: Climate change important issue in US Senate race
Kennebec Journal: The Republican candidate, Charles Summers, denies that mankind is the principle cause of climate change. However, 97 percent of the true experts (climate scientists around the world) recognize that we are causing climate change, and they are pleading for us to do much more to reduce it. Should we believe people who have spent their whole careers studying climate, or politicians who think that somehow they know more than the experts, without having to know the facts? If we elect a Senate majority...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
The green deal still has big gaps to plug
Guardian: As the evenings grow cooler, what better time to launch the biggest transformation of the nation's draughty housing stock ever attempted? The government's "green deal", which begins on Monday, aims to plug the gaps in 14m of Britain's leaky homes, making them cosier, cheaper to heat and producing less climate-heating carbon emissions. Yet severe doubts are swirling around the programme like a bitter winter wind, some even whipped up by the government's own analyses. If the immediate prospects...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
'Our best way forward is for communities to build local resilience'
Guardian: The question here is "what should we do differently?" The answer is: pretty much just about everything. Nationally and internationally, while the scale and pace of climate change are accelerating, meaningful responses are dwindling. Part of our collective paralysis comes from the fact that we struggle to imagine a world with less energy, less consumerism, less annual GDP growth. What will it look like, sound like, feel like? Does it inevitably mean that you should start seeking out your cave on Dartmoor...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
'We need to set our own personal carbon targets'
Guardian: Truer words could not be said: "normal" isn't working. Normal means more financial growth, 40 hours a week, shop-for-prosperity. But normal values run deep, and 50 months isn't a lot of time. We must now act, in ways that are as radical to the degree that the situation is serious. As David MacKay, the Department of Energy and Climate Change's (Decc) chief scientific adviser, noted: "If everyone does a little, we'll achieve only a little." So what can we do? The problem needs to be tackled on all...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
'Our lifestyles in rich countries come at a cost for others'
Guardian: It is time to talk about how we live our lives in rich countries. As an international development agency, Oxfam has always sought to put poor people in the spotlight: to amplify their voices, to explain their struggles, to support their causes. This work will and must continue. But alongside it, we must now also confront the crisis of consumption within developed countries. Our work on climate change, along with all our partners and allies, has helped to show the human face of an environmental...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Pushing problems from the North to the South is not a forest solution
Greenpeace: Greenpeace wants to see a world where deforestation is a dirty word and where polluters can’t hide by buying dubious forest offset credits. Former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger initiated the Governors’ Climate and Forest Task Force (GCF) in 2008. From its very beginning the GCF has been a leading advocate for using questionable forestry programs that allow industrial polluters to weasel their way out of emissions reductions. This is why we found ourselves in San Cristobal de las...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Obama Administration Marks 1 Million Homes Weatherized Under The Stimulus
Forbes: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) celebrated a significant milestone on Thursday. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced the completion of the 1 millionth home weatherized under funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in 2009. As I wrote earlier this week, ARRA, commonly known as the stimulus, included a one-time supplemental appropriation of $5 billion for the DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). The cash infusion represented a five-fold...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
REDD Funding: The Horror Story That Isn't
Ecosystem Marketplace: The climate-change fiasco reads at times like one of those horror/action films that Hollywood loves to crank out. Some hapless planet -- perhaps our own, at some unspecified time in the future -- is on the ropes. Its atmosphere is changing dramatically, entire cultures, societies and ecosystems are straining, and a nasty tipping point appears imminent. Planetary leaders gather in the capital of a frigid northern city in the dead of winter to right the ship and avert catastrophe. Anarchists and...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Germany, UK to start early Phase 3 EU CO2 auctions
Reuters: Germany's European Energy Exchange (EEX) and London-based ICE Futures Europe released details on Friday of the timings of early auctions of Phase Three European Union carbon permits on behalf of their respective governments. The EU's Emissions Trading Scheme caps carbon emissions on more than 12,000 industrial and power plants across the 27-nation bloc and governments are allowed to sell a certain number of carbon permits each year. The scheme's third trading period starts next year and lasts...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Australia: Alan Jones – climate change clown
Climate Spectator: 2GB radio talkback host Alan Jones has been one of the most prominent opponents of the carbon tax, and the idea that Julia Gillard had misled Australians about its introduction, coining the term JuLIAR in relation to this policy. And in a speech to the Sydney University Liberal Club he went probably a step further than even his loyal listeners could handle, when he claimed Gillard’s father’s death was attributable to the shame he would have felt about her lying. What is surprising about these...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Carbon Trading Grows as Preferred Policy Tool, IETA Says
Bloomberg: The expansion of carbon-trading mechanisms demonstrates that emission markets are the “policy instrument of choice” for cutting greenhouse gases, according to the International Emissions Trading Association. New carbon markets are developing in several regions, including Australia, California, Chile, South Korea and China, IETA said in an annual report published today. “These schemes all have their own timelines but are emerging as evidence that market-based trading systems are on the rise...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
With New Delays, a Growing Sense That Gov. Andrew Cuomo Will Not Approve Gas Drilling
New York Times: A few months after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was poised to approve hydraulic fracturing in several struggling New York counties, his administration is reversing course and starting the regulatory process over, garnering praise from environmental groups and stirring anger among industry executives and upstate landowners. Ten days ago, after nearly four years of review by state regulators, the governor bowed to entreaties from environmentalists to conduct another study, this one an examination of potential...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Upto 30% of global timber trade is illegal
Wildlife News: A new report produced jointly by the United Nations and Interpol which was published yesterday will make depressing reading for anyone involved over the last 30 years in environmental campaigning. The report called Green Carbon -- Black Trade states that anything between 15% and 30% of global timber trading involves illegally source logs. To put some financial value to that it means that organised criminals are making between 30 and 100 billion US dollars a year from destroying protected forests....

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Indonesia: Aceh revokes permit controversial oil palm plantation in Sumatra
Mongabay: Aceh Governor Zaini Abdullah officially revoked the business permit for a company developing a controversial oil palm plantation in a peat swamp in Sumatra, concluding a case that had tested Indonesia's commitment to a moratorium on new concessions in peatlands and rainforests. Abdullah revoked palm oil company PT Kallista Alam's permit on Thursday after an Indonesian court instructed him to do so. Earlier the central government's REDD+ task force concluded the plantation in the Tripa peatland...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
A multi-model boost for climate change research in India
Economic Times: J Srinivasan, professor at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, goes through his work days secretly hoping for a global major climate crisis. As a leading climate change scientist in India, he knows that the country and the world are inching towards disaster. A serious crisis now would shake up people and make them act, he thinks. "I remember the ozone hole crisis while I was a student," says Srinivasan. "Scientists were talking about it for a long time, but they took action only...

Tue, 2 Oct 12
Think climate change isn't your problem? It will be when you can't eat
Daily Maverick: Climate change is ravaging the world's nutritional supplies, and in the very near future we'll be looking at astronomical prices for staple foods. Which will lead to starvation, conflict, and hugely increased competition for resources. Can we really afford to let that happen? I recently attended a briefing session of the High Level Panel on the post-2015 discussion in New York. If I had to measure the urgency of these discussions against the crisis the world faces, I would be tempted to jump off...


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