“It’s a mistake to ignore methane,” said Rob Jackson, professor of earth system science at Stanford University and a co-author of both studies. “If we can reduce methane emissions quickly, we could shave a half-a-degree Celsius off peak temperatures.”
The problem is that methane keeps rising. And rising. Starting in 2007, methane emissions started climbing fast, after remaining fairly stable for the previous seven years. But scientists couldn’t figure out exactly why.
“Natural gas, a fossil fuel, has long been called a “bridge” to a cleaner energy future because burning it has a much lower carbon footprint than burning coal or oil. But research has called that narrative into question by showing that methane leaking across the natural gas supply chain raises its climate impact significantly. Recent developments have called the economics of natural gas into question, too: In early July, the developers of the high-profile Atlantic Coast Pipeline decided to abandon the project after an onslaught of lawsuits made the pipeline too expensive to build.
California, Massachusetts, and New York haven’t decided whether — or to what extent — natural gas can remain in their energy mixes. But the point of these investigations is much larger than those questions. There’s no established roadmap for managing the transition to zero-emissions buildings, and there are serious consequences to getting it wrong — huge cost burdens on residents, mass layoffs and bankruptcies at utilities, and of course, climate disaster.” ... See MoreSee Less
"In few places is the problem more pronounced than in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix and its suburbs. In 2019, the region saw 103 days of triple-digit temperatures and 197 fatalities from heat-related causes. It was the highest number of heat-associated deaths on record for the county, and the fourth year in a row of record-setting heat deaths there. Those numbers are only expected to increase as the climate changes. Image: Two years into her first term as mayor, Democrat Kate Gallego wants to make Phoenix “the most sustainable desert city on the planet." Two years into her first term as mayor, Democrat Kate Gallego wants to make Phoenix “the most sustainable desert city on the planet."
But Phoenix may also serve as a role model for cities seeking ways to cool down. Ortiz and other community activists are helping residents develop heat action plans and fight for shade structures in their neighborhoods. Local scientists are working with the city’s sustainability office to establish a framework for “heat ready” certification, which would evaluate a community’s preparedness for extreme temperatures in the way the National Weather Service’s “storm ready” program sets the standard for responding to bad weather. Mayor Kate Gallego (D), who holds an environmental science degree, wants Phoenix to be a model for the nation." ... See MoreSee Less
“But it’s also whose interests are automatically included when you enter the public sphere and say, “I want to change society.” Whose interests are not negotiable? I don’t think the interests of any person, North or South, can be disposable. If we agree with that, then the very first thing is to examine the legitimate demands coming from poor or less powerful people in the North and the South. It’s a method for thinking about how to do politics.
What that brings us to is the set of fundamental demands that animated the global climate justice movement until around 2014 when they became increasingly submerged. The essence of it is the call for ecological or climate debt. If you took the most minimal G77 program in 2012 or 2014, for example, that was calling for $100 billion per year to be ramped up rapidly. These were the most minimal calls. There were much more radical calls out there. One can calculate climate debt much more expansively as well.
Stan Cox, who has a fantastic book called The Green New Deal and Beyond, estimated the cost of worldwide clean transition at $100 trillion—and said the US should shoulder a huge portion of that. Which really begins to get more properly at this question of climate debt. This was the fundamental demand that came from the Cochabamba meetings that brought together all the radical civil society of the Global South, but also the Global North, and was supported by the Bolivian government. This wasn’t something that didn’t have an echo in the Global North. If you talk to anyone who was really involved in these proceedings, they will say “it’s common sense.” ... See MoreSee Less
Canadian Dimension spoke with Max Ajl, an associated researcher at the Tunisian Observatory for Food Sovereignty and the Environment, about his critiques of the Green New Deal, its relationship to cap...
“Centered in the equatorial tropics, Africa is the world's hottest continent, and millions of people there are facing a growing threat from deadly heat waves. But no one knows how many people have died or been seriously affected in other ways by extreme heat because the impacts have been poorly tracked.
Coordinated reporting is lacking and, at the global level, research and tracking of the impacts of climate change are biased toward developed countries, scientists concluded in a new study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Africa is warming faster than the global average, and the lack of data is a roadblock to effective disaster preparation, assessment of vulnerability and planning for climate resilience, said co-author Friederike Otto, acting director of the University of Oxford Environmental Change Institute. She said she noticed the information gap when she reviewed the international disasters database (EM-DAT), for another recent study on extreme weather events in lower income countries.” ... See MoreSee Less
“Mongabay spoke with experts on both sides of trophy hunting for the 5th anniversary of the lion 'Cecil' being shot by an American dentist: interesting remarks from the Namibian conservationist saying how trophy hunting does in fact support her local community in multiple ways, despite lack of published studies that prove it so -- also the scientist from Oxford on how it impacts ongoing science.” ... See MoreSee Less
On this episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we take a look at the state of the debate over trophy hunting five years after the killing of Cecil the Lion sparked widespread outrage. Listen here: Last w...
“Socio-environmental activists are an endangered species in the Brazilian Amazon, with regularly occurring assassination-style killings like those of activists Chico Mendes in 1988 and Sister Dorothy Stang in 2005 creating an ongoing climate of fear. According to human rights watchdog Global Witness, Brazil in 2017 was the world’s most dangerous country for environmental acivists: 57 out of 201 deaths worldwide occurred in Brazil. Intimidation and murder of activists continues into the present.” ... See MoreSee Less
“Previously, scientists had thought singing occurred only during courtship and mating, but now they think whales may also use song while migrating and hunting. They know song has a crucial role in the whales’ lives.
“There’s a whole other dimension to humpback whale song,” Ryan says. “It is a mode of cultural transmission in this species. They learn songs from each other. They share songs as a population, and when populations mix and mingle, they learn new ideas, they explore with their song, improvise, and it’s a real essential part of their culture.”
In 2015, institute researchers placed a hydrophone 3,000 feet deep, recording and analyzing humpback whale songs. Between 2015 and 2018, they collected over 26,000 hours of audio, which they used computer software to analyze. The researchers determined “peak singing season” in November through January, and they found most singing occurred at night. During peak season, songs were heard around 70% of the night.
However, from September 2015 to May 2016, they detected whales singing only about 11% of the time. Those months correlated with a period when the water temperature was especially high, depleting stocks of vital food sources like anchovies and krill, and correlating also with a toxic algal bloom. Scientists think the whales may have had to devote more time and energy to finding food, leaving less for singing. As researchers continue to study the worlds’ oceans, they will undoubtedly learn more about underwater mysteries.” ... See MoreSee Less
“the real harm that Fauci does is in leading the discussion away from the cause of Covid 19 and similar zoonotic diseases. Rob Wallace (Big Farms Make Big Flu) explains that the bases for the rise of new zoonotic diseases (ones which jump the species barrier to human beings) are factory farming and habitat destruction. These are putting humans and domesticated meat animals (like fowl, pigs, etc.) into ever closer contact with wild species (like bats) and also encouraging the evolution of viruses into new forms that can infect humans. (See this article for a fuller explanation.) What Wallace also explains is that once a new virus has been discovered it’s already too late. What’s necessary is to change the conditions that lead to the evolution of these viruses. Anything else is really just closing the barn door after the horses have gotten out.
The approach of Fauci and the majority of scientists fits with that of the less insane politicians like Joe Biden. From global warming to endocrine system disruption to zoonoses, what they advocate is in effect that human society – meaning capitalism – can continue to rape the natural world with impunity and all that’s needed is some technical fixes. This idea is most clearly expressed in the school of thought called ecomodernism. In a way, ecomodernism could be called “scientific capitalism” as opposed to the lies of Trump and the mysticism of the likes of Mike Pence and others like him.” ... See MoreSee Less
Our violent system has claimed another comrade.Migrant Justice / Justicia Migrante leader Durvi Martinez died on July 1st from COVID-19. Durvi contracted coronavirus soon after being deported from Vermont to Mexico. Durvi, a trans woman who had suffered severe violence before immigrating to the United States, was deported despite a pending asylum claim.
Before being deported, Durvi was part of the farmworker community in Vermont and a member of Migrant Justice. They were a brave and outspoken advocate for immigrant and LGBTQ rights. Durvi will be remembered as a loving and supportive friend.
Durvi was arrested by ICE in January, 2020 and spent three months detained in deplorable conditions. They were held in an all-male section of the prison, denied medication, and suffered severe weight loss. Durvi’s months in detention led to a weakened immune system that likely increased their susceptibility to the virus that ultimately took their life.
Durvi was in the midst of preparing an asylum application based on the horrific and systemic violence that they experienced as a trans person in Mexico. When the coronavirus pandemic began spreading in immigration detention centers in March, ICE chose to quickly deport Durvi, ignoring the asylum claim and failing to notify Durvi’s lawyer. Rather than releasing Durvi, ICE deported them to their death.
Migrant Justice unequivocally denounces Durvi’s unjust detention and deportation, and we hold Immigration and Customs Enforcement responsible for their death.
Durvi’s family must now pay significant hospital bills and funeral costs and support is urgently needed. Please donate to their family’s GoFundMe to help cover these expenses: gf.me/u/yfivu4... See MoreSee Less
"To understand the root causes of the pathologies we see today, which impact all of us—but affect Brown, Black and Poor people more intensely—we have to examine the foundations of this society which began with Colonization…. the way the extractive economic system of Capitalism came to this land, supported by systems of supremacy and domination which are a necessary part to keep wealth and power accumulated in the hands of the colonizers and ultimately their financiers.” — Dr. Rupa Marya #AnotherWorldIsPossible #FutureWeWant #DefundPolice ... See MoreSee Less
Are you hearing about defunding the police and wondering about how it can be done?:
"They don’t carry guns or lay charges – both because they can’t and they don’t want to. The distinction has earned them trust and respect in the community, as well as national and international attention.
Mr. Park and his colleagues have picked up intoxicated teens stumbling through 40-below nights, finding them safe places to go. They’ve attended overdoses, administering Naloxone, interceded in incidents of domestic violence and consistently check on people struggling with addictions. They also drive kids to hockey, have helped write résumés, change light bulbs, chase bears out of the community and pick up hitchhikers, such as the 90-year-old elder they took on a spontaneous Christmas lights tour last winter." ... See MoreSee Less
“As a group whose pursuit is environmental justice, we recognize that racial justice is at the forefront of that effort. Our extraction-fueled, profit-driven society is built upon the oppression of the Earth and, by the same token, entire groups of people. Fossil fuel infrastructure, toxic waste dumps, and more are usually located within low-income communities and communities of color, disproportionately affecting their health and cutting their lives short. These communities routinely suffer the most from polluted land, air, and water, and make up the vast majority of those on the frontlines of the ecological and climate crisis, despite doing the least to contribute to the destruction themselves. Our extractive society is sacrificing them for short term profit. This must stop.” ... See MoreSee Less
On this Memorial Day, as we mourn the needless loss of thousands of fellow humans in days past and future, we acknowledge that these losses are rooted in the diseases of domination, greed, violence, militarism, discrimination, and war. Let us today make a commitment to support egalitarian, regenerative, and sustainable solutions for generations to come. ... See MoreSee Less
After everything that’s happened, does anyone still think petitions are going to change anything? If you’re not already fired up to get out of your comfort zone, now’s the time to light that fire. ... See MoreSee Less
Last Saturday, Extinction Rebellion Vermont and allies, using extreme social distancing techniques, planted 39 chestnut trees in honor of nonviolent warrior Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated the same day in 1968 at the age of 39.
The trees were planted on property where working class families once lived before the City of Burlington razed their homes to expand BTV airport and pave the way for the appalling F-35 war aircraft. Vermont's contingent of F-35s burns thousands of gallons of toxic fuel in mere moments and is contributing to the ill health of neighboring communities due to their freakishly loud engine noise.
Burlington has turned a working class neighborhood into a wasteland. The ghostly footprints of former homes remain, waiting for a purpose and reminding us of the disdain that the forces of destruction have for life. These forces are not resting during this pandemic, and neither can we.
The city has said it has a landscape plan for the area, but we all know that "plan" likely consists of occasional mowing. Extinction Rebellion's planting of these 39 "MLK Trees" will help the city with their landscaping, provide healing to these maltreated residential lots, and begin the process of recapturing a fraction of the carbon burned by the military's death machines next door.
We invite the City of Burlington to use these trees as a catalyst for a full reforestation of this besieged territory. ... See MoreSee Less
When the COVID-19 pandemic is past, societies may adopt some important measures that would lower emissions, from more teleconferencing to shortening global supply chains. But the most lasting lesson m...
soil is usSOIL IS US We owe our existence to soil. In a sense, we are animate consciously-aware expressions of the life generated by soil. Without soil there would be no terrestrial life forms on earth. Four-hundred-and-seventy million years ago fungi cytoplasts united with bacteria and algae to become lichen and launched their mutualistic partnership upon a vast single continent of rock. They know longer waited for weatherization to wash nutrients to the sea. They colonized the rock and became the primogenitors of pedogenesis. The Permian forests grew from the soil lichen first built---laying down the coal oil and shale we burn today. Back then the CO2 in the atmosphere was 7000-8000 ppm. Deep soils teeming with life drew CO2 down to as low as 100ppm. Soil gave rise to hydrologic systems. Established the balanced climate in which our species evolved. Yet, to judge by our actions, soil is the most under-valued and abused of all the natural resources at our disposal. The last 30 years have seen an explosion in exciting new panoramas of research into the complex mutualism between plants and the soil biome. We now know that through photosynthesis plant roots deliver a 3rd or more of the sugars plants produce to the soil microorganisms. This liquid carbon drives the vast food web of our biosphere. The soil carbon sponge is designed to be the repository of excess carbon. It is the living library out of which all our dreams of existence are spun. We have come to understand that fungi are a keystone species in this hidden world. And that the conventional agriculture we have developed over the last 60 years has reduced that soil fungal population by 90%. We have degenerated degraded and desertified ½ of the terrestrial planet that is not covered with ice. If we restore this land just think of how much carbon we could draw down. ... See MoreSee Less