This week saw two important notes in climate news and events. First, an AP Wire story on new climate data revealing an alarming but unsurprising trend–more CO2 in the atmosphere.
The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the air jumped dramatically in 2012, making it very unlikely that global warming can be limited to another 2 degrees as many global leaders have hoped, new federal figures show. Scientists say the rise in CO2 reflects the world’s economy revving up and burning more fossil fuels, especially in China. Carbon dioxide levels jumped by 2.67 parts per million since 2011 to total just under 395 parts per million, says Pieter Tans, who leads the greenhouse gas measurement team for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That’s the second highest rise in carbon emissions since record-keeping began in 1959…More coal-burning power plants, especially in the developing world, are the main reason emissions keep going up — even as they have declined in the U.S. and other places, in part through conservation and cleaner energy.
“The danger signs are all around.” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
While we really don’t need UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to tell us how f’d the planet and all of us are, it’s somewhat refreshing hearing a die-hard moderate like Ki-Moon speaking honestly about the coming crisis. Speaking from Doha last week at the annual UN climate talks.
Ki-Moon told members that time is running out, citing a growing number of recent reports that all show rising CO2 levels and other similar worrisome environmental indicators. “The abnormal is the new normal,” Ki-Moon told those at the UN meeting. “This year we have seen Manhattan and Beijing under water, hundreds of thousands of people washed from their homes in Colombia, Peru, the Philippines, Australia.” Read More
This post is a little dated now, but still worth highlighting in my opinion.
In a surprising turn of recent events, the North Carolina legislature voted July 3rd that history is not really history, but we can still use it to make legislation about the future, as long as we don’t really take the future into account, thereby foreclosing any chance of seeing the future, thanks to living in the past which is not really the past. If this sounds like a bunch of confusing nonsense, you’re probably not alone. Read More
“I do not believe that this legislation changes the scientific standards that are taught in our schools or the curriculum that is used by our teachers.”
–TN Governor Bill Haslam on the new Tennessee law mandating creationism be taught in science curriculum.
This week, like so many, has been one of those crazy periods of unrelated and unrelenting randomness, occasionally punctuated with a few rays of sunlight amidst an otherwise unsettling and stressful Spring. Ok, what am I talking about? Well, rather than try and explain it all in a coherent way, let me offer you a random sample–a meze if you will, of my own personal News of the Weird for this week.
A quick note on the list below: I have a bad habit of finding oodles of interesting news stories without time to reflect on them. As I’m surfing the internets and come across an interesting story I dump the link into a draft blog post, with plans to come back later and write about it. This post was originally about the Anthropocene, a part 2 continuation, but as I added more related–or what I thought were related stories–the original Anthropocene thread got lost–don’t worry, I’ll write that post soon, in a future post. So here is this week’s News of the Weird, compiled from my web travails… Read More
By most activist accounts, COP17–which just ended in Durban, SA this weekend–has been yet one more long, official failure to reach any real climate agreements or GHG reduction targets. And like in the past, no binding agreements were set and any real work on climate change reform was pushed back into the indefinite future. Here’s what Climate Justice Now had to say in their press release on the negotiations–”COP17 Succumbs to Climate Apartheid.”
Decisions resulting from the UN COP17 climate summit in Durban constitute a crime against humanity, according to Climate Justice Now! a broad coalition of social movements and civil society. Here in South Africa, where the world was inspired by the liberation struggle of the country’s black majority, the richest nations have cynically created a new regime of climate apartheid. Read More