TEMPERATURES IN 2016 APPROACH LIMIT SET AT PARIS CLIMATE CONFERENCE...

Apr 27, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report The first three months of 2016 have been so warm that global temperatures are already nearing the limit set at the COP21 climate conference, whose international commitments haven’t even been ratified by its signatory countries yet. (Photo: francediplomatie / Flickr) On April 22 (Earth Day), US Secretary of State John Kerry, with his granddaughter in his lap, signed the international commitment that is supposed to slow the pace of anthropogenic climate disruption. The commitment, which was the result of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference last fall, was signed by more than 150 countries at the UN. Its aim was to limit global temperature increases to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial baseline levels. The problem is, three days before Kerry made his symbolic signature, NASA...

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WE’RE FLIRTING WITH APOCALYPSE: THE PLANET INCHES EVER CLOSER TO 1.5C DEGREE THRESHOLD...

Apr 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Analysis finds the world will have to dramatically accelerate emissions reductions to meet Paris climate agreement VIDEO Climate Central   VIA SALON.COM This article originally appeared on Climate Central. Global leaders are meeting in New York this week to sign the Paris climate agreement. One of the expressed purposes of the document is to limit warming to “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.” A Climate Central analysis shows that the world will have to dramatically accelerate emissions reductions if it wants to meet that goal. The average global temperature change for the first three months of 2016 was 1.48°C, essentially equaling the 1.5°C warming threshold agreed to by COP 21 negotiators in Paris last December. February exceeded the 1.5°C target at 1.55°C, marking...

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U.S.-CANADA PACT ERASES ARCTIC FEARS...

Apr 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Valerie Brown / Climate News Network  VIA TRUTHDIG   The Trans-Alaska pipeline runs 800 miles from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Alaska. (Luca Galuzzi via Wikimedia Commons) This piece first appeared at Climate News Network. OREGON—A joint pledge by the US and Canada to reduce methane emissions for oil and gas activities in the Arctic and limit fossil fuel extraction is putting pressure on Russia to follow suit. The pledge was in response to increasing concern across the world at the intention of the eight nations with territorial claims in the Arctic to exploit its resources, even though this risks making climate change far worse. At the poles, the Earth is warming twice as fast as the global average. In the Arctic, this is disrupting the way of life...

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THIS EARTH DAY, LISTEN UP: MOTHER EARTH IS CALLING US BACK...

Apr 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment Those of us who succumbed to the false promises of Western consumerism at great cost to the planet and to ourselves are Earth’s prodigal children now returning home. By David Korten / Yes! Magazine   VIA ALTERNET Photo Credit: gletham GIS / Flickr April 22 is Earth Day 2016. Each Earth Day marks another milestone in a profound human reawakening to the truth that we are children of a living Earth who survive and prosper only as contributing members of a living Earth community. The first Earth Day, in 1970, brought 20 million people to U.S. streets, parks, and auditoriums in a massive demonstration of public support for political action to limit human harm to nature. As the first mass demonstration in defense of nature, it marked the birth of the modern environmental...

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SCIENTISTS LOOK TO SOIL TO SAVE EARTH FROM OVERHEATING...

Apr 18, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Tim Radford / Climate News Network   VIA TRUTHDIG     Four-fifths of annual emissions from fossil fuel combustion could be retained by soil, climate scientists believe. (Ron Nichols / NRCS via Flickr) This piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—Climate scientists anxious to find ways to limit atmospheric greenhouse gases have started to look at the ground beneath their feet. They calculate that although the world’s soils already hold 2.4 trillion tonnes of gases in the form of organic carbon, there’s room for more. Scientists from the US and Scotland report in Nature journal that with a few changes to agricultural practice, there would be room for another 8 billion tonnes. “In our fight to avoid dangerous climate change in the 21st century, we need heavyweight allies,” says Dave Reay, a...

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BURNING ISSUES: WHEN FRACKING GOES GLOBAL...

Apr 18, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] AMERICANS FOR A SAFE FUTURE Burning Issues Video Hydraulic fracturing – “fracking” – to extract oil and gas deposits deep underground is rapidly becoming a global concern, says Jesse Coleman, a research investigator for Greenpeace, in this Burning Issues video segment. The globalization of what has been a United States environmental issue intensifies the global warming crisis, Coleman explains, and undermines the deployment of renewable energy in developing countries. Nonetheless, the United States government is supporting U.S. oil companies as they engage in fracking in other countries. Coleman reviews the positions of the presidential candidates. On the Democratic side, Coleman explains that while Hillary Clinton favors regulating future fracking activities, Bernie Sanders supports banning fracking altogether because of its global warming and environmental...

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Climate Will Become the Most Dominant Factor in Human Health, but We Are Woefully Ill-Prepared...

Apr 18, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Climate change is the ticking time bomb in global public health that is being ignored. What needs to be done? By Susie Pearn / AlterNet   MILAN MALPENSA – NOVEMBER 12, 2014: Ebola emergency simulation in Malpensa. A bogus infected patient has arrived in the airport, and then carried to “Sacco Hospital” by a special modified ambulance. Photo Credit: Davide Calabresi / Shutterstock.com The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 140,000 people die annually as a direct result of the climate change that has occurred since the 1970s. As the Earth’s temperature continues to rise, we will fast reach a tipping point where the climate will be the most dominant influence on human health and our health systems, far outstripping current drivers such as the aging population and lifestyle related diseases. By 2050,...

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OIL INDUSTRY’S SUPPRESSION OF CLIMATE SCIENCE BEGAN IN 1940’S, DOCUMENTS REVEAL...

Apr 14, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams   VIA TRUTHDIG Tim J Keegan / CC BY 2.0 A trove of newly uncovered documents shows that fossil fuel companies were explicitly warned of the risks of climate change decades earlier than previously suspected. And while it’s no secret—anymore—that the companies knew about those dangers long ago, the documents, published Wednesday by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), reveal even more about the broader industry effort to suppress climate science and foment public doubt about global warming. Industry executives met in Los Angeles in 1946 to discuss growing public concern about air pollution. That meeting led to the formation of a panel—suitably named the Smoke and Fumes Committee—to conduct research into air pollution issues. But the research was not meant to be a public service;...

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WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD SCIENCE JOURNALS...

Apr 11, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Climate by Joe Romm CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Shutterstock   A deeply flawed new study tries to challenge the basic scientific understanding that “wet areas are likely to get wetter and dry areas drier in a warmer world.” This Nature article has been justifiably criticized for both its methodology and for ignoring a vast literature that contradicts it. “It is sad for the science,” when “papers like this gets published and get attention,” according to Kevin Trenberth, a leading expert on how climate change impacts the hydrological cycle. “This paper does some useful things but … the extrapolations, model evaluations and conclusions are not justified!” Let’s start with the basic science — and the basic reason I’m surprised this article made it through peer review and got published in Nature. The study “Northern Hemisphere...

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WHILE THEY WERE SHOUTING — A BOTANIST’S LAMENT ABOUT PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS...

Apr 10, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]  By Andrew C. Revkin   Photo Clockwise from top left, Donald J. Trump, Hillary Clinton, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas during campaign events.Credit Left, Eric Thayer for The New York Times; Top right, Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times; Bottom right, Max Whittaker for The New York Times Peter H. Raven, a lifelong prober and defender of biological diversity and president emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden, just distributed a note placing this year’s surreally unpredictable presidential race (watch in virtual “surreality” here) in the broader context of consequential environmental and social trends that perpetually seem to hide in plain sight. He starts with a retro-feeling reflection by Adlai Stevenson and then links to an essay he just wrote for Environmental Health News, which is reposted here:...

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NEW YORK: BERNIE SANDERS IS OUR LAST CHANCE...

Apr 9, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] THE BLOG New York: Bernie Sanders Is Our Last Chance John Sanbonmatsu Writer, philosopher, and magician.  HUFFINGTON POST “We won’t see a presidential candidate like Bernie again in our lifetimes.” As I heard these words, spoken by a woman at a Sanders campaign event recently, I felt a chill go through me. Because I knew she was right. We won’t. We won’t see another presidential candidate who refuses to take campaign donations from the wealthy and the corporate elite. We won’t see another candidate with the courage to take on Wall Street. We won’t see a candidate with the guts to tell the American people that they have lost their democracy. We won’t see another candidate who mentions the working class and the poor in his speeches. We won’t see another candidate sounding...

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SEA SENDS EARLY WARNING OF HEATWAVES...

Apr 8, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Tim Radford / Climate News Network  VIA TRUTHDIG     New York City in the summer. (Bill via Flickr) This piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—Americans could have as many as seven weeks’ advance notice of devastating heatwaves. A telltale pattern of sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean could presage weeks of intolerable temperatures in the cities and plains of the US. Research published in Nature Geoscience reveals that a “fingerprint” of sea surface temperatures about 20 degrees north of the Equator—and dubbed the Pacific Extreme Pattern—meant that the chances of sustained and extreme heat 50 days later in the US Midwest and East Coast stepped up from one in six to one in four. And 30 days ahead, the same pattern brought the odds to better than...

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WE’RE TELLING OUTER SPACE ALL ABOUT OUR BIGGEST EARTH MISTAKES...

Apr 8, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Maria Starovoytova / Shutterstock By Suzanne Jacobs   GRIST Don’t answer right away, but here’s a question for you: “How will our present environmental interactions shape the future?” This is what the people behind Edinburgh-based nonprofit A Simple Response to an Elemental Message are asking the public as they put together a kind of time capsule of this current moment in the Anthropocene. Later this fall, they’ll beam that time capsule into space, where our words will propagate for eons upon eons, probably outlasting all of humanity and whatever climate change havoc we’ve wrought on this Earth. So, you know, choose your words wisely. The project, a collaboration between researchers at the Edinburgh College of Art, the U.K. Astronomy and Technology Center, the Royal Observatory of Edinburgh, and the University of Edinburgh, is less an attempt to convince E.T. that we have a moral compass and understand...

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THE PLANET IS A BIG WOBBLY TOP — AND MELTING ICE IS CHANGING HOW IT SPINS...

Apr 8, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Brian Kahn GRISTSHUTTERSTOCK Cross-posted from Climate Central The spin of the earth is a constant in our lives. It’s quite literally why night follows day. And while that cycle isn’t going away, climate change is messing with the axis upon which our fair planet spins. Ice melting has caused a drift in polar motion, a somewhat esoteric term that tells scientists a lot about past and future climate and is crucial in GPS calculations and satellite communication. Before 2000, Earth’s spin axis was drifting toward Canada (left globe). Climate change-driven ice loss in Greenland, Antarctica and elsewhere is pulling the direction of drift eastward.Before 2000, Earth’s spin axis was drifting toward Canada (left globe). Climate change-driven ice loss in Greenland, Antarctica and elsewhere is pulling the direction of drift eastward.NASA Jet Propulsion...

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We’ve Changed a Life-Giving Nutrient Into a Deadly Pollutant—Can We Change It Back?...

Apr 6, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Environment In the process of producing food, we’ve inadvertently filled our planet with toxic forms of nitrogen. By Elizabeth Grossman / Ensia   VIA ALTERNET A lot of dead fish on the beach Photo Credit: Brandon Seidel/Shutterstock Coastal dead zones, global warming, excess algae blooms, acid rain, ocean acidification, smog, impaired drinking water quality, an expanding ozone hole and biodiversity loss. Seemingly diverse problems, but a common thread connects them: human disruption of how a single chemical element, nitrogen, interacts with the environment. Nitrogen is absolutely crucial to life — an indispensable ingredient of DNA, proteins and essentially all living tissue — yet it also can choke the life out of aquatic ecosystems, destroy trees and sicken people when it shows up in excess at the wrong place, at the wrong time, in...

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CLIMATE CHANGE IS SUCKING THE COLORADO RIVER DRY...

Apr 4, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Shutterstock By John Upton GRIST Cross-posted from ClimateCentral Even as the number of Americans relying on the Colorado River for household water swells to about 40 million, global warming appears to be taking a chunk out of the flows that feed their reservoirs. Winter storms over the Rocky Mountains provide much of the water that courses down the heavily tapped waterway, which spills through deep gorges of the Southwest and into Mexico. ow water levels in late 2014 at Lake Powell, which is a Colorado River water reservoir built along the border of Utah and Arizona.Low water levels in late 2014 at Lake Powell, which is a Colorado River water reservoir built along the border of Utah and Arizona.Jessica Mercer But flows in recent decades have been lighter than would have been expected...

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GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS CAN THRIVE AS THE WORLD WARMS...

Apr 4, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Alex Kirby / Climate News Network  VIA TRUTHDIG     Rice harvesting in Indonesia. (Curt Caremark / World Bank via Flickr) This piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—Genetically engineering photosynthesis in plants could take advantage of rising global temperatures and increased levels of carbon dioxide, US scientists say. They believe this could achieve much higher yields on the same amount of land and help to stave off the prospect of widespread hunger as human populations increase. Researchers at the University of Illinois report in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B on their experiments with an enzyme that can determine the rate of photosynthesis—the way that plants use light to produce oxygen and organic compounds—and a molecule linked to plant growth They say field tests have shown that their...

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STUDY CONFIRMS WORLD’S COASTAL CITIES UNSAVABLE IF WE DON’T SLASH CARBON POLLUTION...

Apr 4, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Joe Romm CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: South Florida and “Miami Island” in 2100 after 5 feet of sea level rise (via Climate Central).   A new study confirms what leading climate scientists have warned about for many years now: Only very aggressive climate action can save the world’s coastal cities from inundation by century’s end. We still could limit sea level rise to two feet this century if we keep total warming below 2°C, according to analysis using these new findings. Otherwise, we should be anticipating five to six feet of sea level rise by 2100 — which would generate hundreds of millions of refugees. That isn’t even the worst-case scenario. This latest research from the journal Nature underscores that what the nation and the world do in the next decade or two...

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EVEN WORSE THAN IMAGINED: SEA LEVELS WILL RISE NEARLY DOUBLE THAN THE PREVIOUSLY CONSIDERED “WORST-CASE SCENARIO” DEVASTATING STUDY REVEALS...

Mar 31, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] New research suggests that the landmark Paris accord may be insufficient to prevent catastrophic sea level rise Michael Garofalo   SALON.COM NASA’s DC-8 flies over the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica, October 26, 2010. (Credit: Reuters/Michael Studinger) In December 2015, representatives of 195 nations reached a watershed climate agreement widely hailed as a crucial step towards preventing the most devastating threats posed by climate change. The agreement, which requires nearly every country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, was met with jubilation by the thousands of delegates gathered for the Paris summit.“This is truly a historic moment,” said United Nations SSecretary General Ban Ki-moon. “For the first time, we have a truly universal agreement on climate change, one of the most crucial problems on earth.” But new research suggests that the terms of the landmark...

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THIS MASSIVE WIND-POWERED SKYSCRAPER WOULD COOL THE ENTIRE PLANET...

Mar 31, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   by Lacy Cooke  INHABITAT View Slideshow Paolo Venturella Architecture just unveiled plans for a fantastical Global Cooling Skyscraper that’s designed to fight global warming by cooling the entire planet. The massive skyscraper would extend into space, providing a barrier between the Earth and the Sun in the form of a greenhouse. Accumulating heat in the colossal greenhouse would propel air to flow, generating wind to cool the planet and provide “clean energy for all.” The architects cited the challenges of climate change as an inspiration; they said the strategies we have to combat global warming are not enough, and only a “global strategy” could halt the nature disasters resulting from climate change. So they designed an imaginative skyscraper that would utilize wind power to cool the planet. Related: Bio-Pyramid turns Egypt’s ancient...

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TIME MAGAZINE GOT GLOBAL WARMING RIGHT IN 2006: ‘BE WORRIED. BE VERY WORRIED.’...

Mar 31, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Joe Romm CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Time   Ten years ago this week, Time magazine published a landmark cover on global warming with the headline, “Be Worried. Be Very Worried.” The main story was a very solid, even prescient, piece of reporting — warning about polar ice loss, sea level rise, severe drought, and other extreme weather: Indeed, Time warned that “global climate systems are booby-trapped with tipping points and feedback loops, thresholds past which the slow creep of environmental decay gives way to sudden and self-perpetuating collapse” — tipping points that a decade of inaction has brought us right to the edge of. The article even warns of the possible ramifications if warming shuts down the Gulf Stream or if our dawdling locks in multi-meter sea level rise — much the same...

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SCIENTISTS MAY HAVE FOUND A WAY TO PREDICT HEAT WAVES – 50 DAYS IN ADVANCE...

Mar 31, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Shutterstock By Xian Chiang-Waren GRIST Normally, I don’t trust the weather forecast to know the difference between sunshine or showers even a few days out. But a new study just published in Nature Geoscience indicates that meteorologists are close to being able to predict heat waves on the East Coast up to 50 days before they occur. The advance warning could help big cities, utilities companies, transit systems, and agricultural operations prepare for extreme temperatures — and, hopefully, prevent serious disruptions like power blackouts.“There are many possible health, economic and other impacts of these hot temperatures and advanced warning can only help,” as climate scientist Jonathan Overpeck of the University of Arizona told the Associated Press. But how is it even possible? So glad you asked. Basically, the study’s authors found a strong correlation between water temperatures in the north-central Pacific Ocean...

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CLIMATE DISRUPTION IN OVERDDRIVE: SUBMERGED CITIES AND MELTING THAT ‘FEEDS ON ITSELF’...

Mar 28, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report A flooded street sits unused in Elmhurst, Illinois, on July 24, 2010. (Photo: Clark Maxwell)   As the presidential campaign circus dominates headlines across the US, glaring signs the planet is undergoing abrupt anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) abound. A major study published in Nature Climate Change shows that the planet is warming a stunning 50 times faster than when it comes out of an ice age. The implications of the rapidity of this warming, for those who care to digest it emotionally, are horrifying. The study shows that even if carbon reduction targets are achieved and the planet’s temperature is kept below the 2 degree Celsius warming threshold, sea-level rise will still inundate major coastal cities around the world, forcing one-fifth of the total world population...

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‘HUMANITY’S FINAL EXAM’ – DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN MOMENTARY AND MILLENIAL RISKS...

Mar 28, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Climate Change By Andrew C. Revkin Raymond Pierrehumbert, a longtime climate scientist now at Oxford, stopped by The New York Times earlier this month for a long fruitful chat on climate change science and solutions and the hurdles — mostly internal and social (including political) — that impede progress. He concluded by saying this juncture in our history — decisions (or indecision) in our lifetimes — constitutes “humanity’s final exam”: The biggest challenge is grappling with divergent scales. Compare the year-to-year scale at which humans make policy decisions, reflected in our political frameworks, to the multi-millennial consequences of today’s energy choices, as delineated in “Consequences of twenty-first-century policy for multi-millennial climate and sea-level change,” the important recent commentary in Nature Climate Change by a host of top climate scientists, including Pierrehumbert. (I explore this...

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What You Need to Know About the Irreparable Harm of Climate Change (VIDEO)...

Mar 28, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] A new video explains why we may be approaching the point of no return. By Dr. James Hansen / Huffington Post polar bears on Arctic ice Photo Credit: U.S. Geological Survey We made a video discussing some of the main points in our “Ice Melt” paper, which is about to be published in Atmos. Phys. Chem. The main point that I want to make concerns the threat of irreparable harm, which I feel we have not communicated well enough to people who most need to know, the public and policymakers. I’m not sure how we can do that better, but I comment on it at the end of this transcript. From the video: Hi, I’m Jim Hansen, Director of the Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions program at Columbia University Earth Institute. I want to...

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CARBON SINKS: THE NEXT BIG THING (PART 3)...

Mar 27, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] THE BLOG HUFFINGTON POST William S. Becker Executive Director, Presidential Climate Action Project This is the 3rd in a four-part post on using ecosystems to store carbon. Part 1 was about the need to bring the Earth’s carbon cycle back into balance. Part 2 discussed how restoring carbon sinks is a necessary part of America’s climate action plan. In this part, I describe why we should not always choose a technical fix to solve environmental problems. The late American critic Lawrence Clark Powell noted, “We are the children of the technological age”. He might have added that like children, we run to technology when we have a problem. We want a technical fix. A technical fix has appeal because it allows people to continue business as usual without the usual consequences — to...

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THE LUCKY ONES: NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBE RECEIVES $48 M TO FLEE CLIMATE CHANGE...

Mar 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] THE GUARDIAN In Louisiana, the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe has been awarded a natural disaster grant to resettle away from their sinking land. But other indigenous Americans have no way out The Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe in Louisiana has found money to relocate due to the impact of climate change. Others aren’t so lucky. Photograph: Charlie Varley for the Guardian Autumn Spanne  THE GUARDIAN   The tiny Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe has called the coastal marshlands of southern Louisiana home ever since their ancestors settled there to avoid forced relocation under the Indian Removal Act of 1830. But the close-knit community of Isle de Jean Charles has grown increasingly fragmented as their island slowly disappears beneath their feet and powerful storms ravage their homes and crops. A potent combination of accelerating sea level rise, salt water intrusion and subsidence...

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Food Companies Plan to Label GMOs—but Is There More to the Story?...

Mar 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Companies’ change of heart may mask a larger strategy to pass a rival bill. By Katherine Paul and Ronnie Cummins / AlterNet Photo Credit: Burtmurno/Flickr Creative Commons The world’s largest food corporations have spent hundreds of millions of dollars (some of it illegally) to avoid being required to label the genetically engineered ingredients in their products. But with the July 1 deadline for complying with Vermont’s GMO labeling law on the horizon, a handful of the largest multinational food corporations have announced they will now label GMOs—not solely because they will be forced to, but because as General Mills claims, they believe “you should know what’s in your food and how we make ours.” Have consumers won the GMO labeling battle? Have these food companies that so fiercely fought to keep labels off their products really split...

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NOW, EVEN SOIL IS ACCELERATING CLIMATE CHANGE...

Mar 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Tim Radford / Climate News Network  VIA TRUTHDIG     Climate change is being accelerated by gases such as methane emitted by cattle. (Kman999 via Flickr) LONDON—In the great book-keeping of climate change, scientists have just discovered a big mistake. They have been wrong, they now think, to count on the mountains, the plains, the forests and the grasslands as an agency that slows climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide. It does absorb carbon dioxide. But the chilling news is that the soil itself may be making the world warmer. That is because humans have changed the way the landscape and its living things works, and now—thanks to those other greenhouse gases, methane and nitrous oxides, from cattle, fertilisers, manure and agriculture—the terrestrial biosphere is actually accelerating climate change. Twenty-three scientists...

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THIS SCI-FI NOVEL’S POST-APOCALYPTIC FUTURE COULD BECOME A REALITY ALL TOO SOON...

Mar 23, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Ari Phillips CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: flickr/ Vibin JK   Our future selves are all characters in New York Times best-selling author Paolo Bacigalupi’s penetrating and environmentally driven sci-fi novel, The Water Knife, published by Knopf in May and an Amazon Best Book of June 2015. Note to future selves: don’t move to Phoenix. Why not? In the future Phoenix is even hotter, drier, and dustier than it already is. Also it is overrun by migrants from Texas — a state that has been left out to dry, literally, after prayers for rain fell on deaf ears — and hordes of others from across the West hoping to make it to the land of plenty, California, or of at least some, Nevada. Known as “Merry Perrys” after former-governor Rick Perry and his happy-go-lucky...

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