Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Monday, August 13, 2018

Environmental Reports from Spring 2018 Nonviolent Change: http://www.nonviolentchangejournal.org
Compiled, May 3, 2018

Environmental Developments

Compiled by Stephen Sachs
                "Showing Paris Not Enough, Studies Find 2°C Target Won't Stop 'Destructive and Deadly' Impacts of Global Warming: "A series of scientific studies published in a British journal on Monday echoes warnings from long-time critics of the Paris Agreement that meeting the accord's main goals will not be enough to prevent "destructive and deadly" impacts of the worldwide climate crisis.
                The May issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A explores the challenges of working to achieve the 2015 agreement's foundational objectives, which are 'to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C.'
                While the agreement has the support of all the world's nations except the United States—President Donald Trump has vowed to withdraw from it as soon as he can—it ultimately relies on signatories to develop their own pathways for meeting the goals, which has raised concerns among experts that the global community will fail to stay below the 2°C threshold.
                The new journal issue's introduction emphasizes that this 'multidisciplinary challenge'—a changing planet that is expected to influence nearly or all aspects of human life—requires 'not only climate scientists, but the whole Earth system science community, as well as economists, engineers, lawyers, philosophers, politicians, emergency planners, and others to step up.'
Multiple studies from the journal warn that global warming is likely to exacerbate worldwide inequality, particularly in poor countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
                One analysis concludes that 'projected impacts on economic growth of 1.5°C warming are close to indistinguishable from current climate conditions, while 2°C warming suggests statistically lower economic growth for a large set of countries." However, those researchers found that even 1.5°C warming would likely take a notable toll on economic growth in the Tropics and Southern Hemisphere.
                Another study examines how 'emission pathways consistent with limiting temperature increase to 1.5°C raise pressing questions from an equity perspective,' noting that 'these pathways would limit impacts and benefit vulnerable communities but also present trade-offs that could increase inequality.' The researchers urge policymakers to more carefully evaluate the equity implications of various proposals and outline a strategy for doing so.
                Among the greatest concerns about the warming plant is how changing weather patterns, including increased drought, flooding, and heatwaves, will decrease food security.
                A team of researchers led by Richard Betts, head of climate impacts research at the University of Exeter, found that the nations which will face 'the greatest increase in vulnerability to food insecurity when moving from the present-day climate to 2°C global warming are Oman, India, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil.'
                Another team explored the long-term impacts of global warming on coastal communities, concluding that even if the goals of the Paris agreement are met within this century, "potential impacts continue to grow for centuries" and "therefore, adaptation remains essential in densely populated and economically important coastal areas under climate stabilization."
                The release of these studies follows findings, published last month in Environmental Research Letters, that limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels—rather than 2°C—could save the homes of an estimated 5 million people.
                While this estimated difference in impact on coastal homes was considered stark by some experts, the broader takeaway from both that report and the studies published Monday is that meeting the goals outlined in the Paris agreement will not be enough to spare many millions of people from the consequences of the global climate crisis.
                'People think the Paris Agreement is going to save us from harm from climate change,' the earlier study's lead author, DJ Rasmussen, said in a statement. 'But we show that even under the best-case climate policy being considered today, many places will still have to deal with rising seas and more frequent coastal floods.'
                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License."

                Jessica Corbett, "On Sweltering Planet, Hottest April Temperature Ever Recorded on Earth Hits Pakistan: 'We need to dramatically increase our ambitions' in terms of combatting global warming, the UN climate chief said this week," Common Dreams, May 02, 2018, reported, "While climate scientists worldwide continue to issue urgent warnings that human-caused global warming will make heat waves "hotter, longer, and more frequent," a city in Pakistan on Monday may have set a record for the highest April temperature ever recorded on Earth.
                As highlighted by French meteorologist Etienne Kapikian on Twitter, the city of Nawabshah hit 50.2°C (122.36°F) on Monday, which "caused dozens of people to faint' from heatstroke, according to the Pakistani newspaper The Dawn.
                Kapikian claimed it is the hottest April temperature ever recorded not only in Pakistan but across Asia. Extreme weather expert and historian Christopher Burt not only backed up that assertion—he told told the Earther that it is likely 'the hottest April temperature yet reliably observed on Earth in modern records.;
                ''There was a 51.0°C reading reported from Santa Rosa, Mexico in April 2011," Burt acknowledged, "but this figure is considered of dubious reliability."
                This is the second straight month that Nawabshah has broken an extreme heat record. The city hit 45.5°C (113.9°F) in March, Pakistan's highest ever for that month.
                And, as Kapikian and 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben pointed out, it's also the second year in a row that Pakistan set a record for the month. On April 19, 2017, the temperature in Lakarna soared to 50°C (122°F).
                The potential new record temperature even surpasses the highest that was recorded during an "unbelievable" heat wave that struck the region in June of 2015, killing hundreds of people and forcing Pakistani officials to declare a state of emergency for hospitals.
                As the Washington Post noted, the "reading in Nawabshah adds to a long list of international hot weather extremes since 2017, which includes Spain's and Iran's highest temperatures ever recorded last summer" and Pakistan breaking the monthly world record when the temperature reached 53.5°C (128.3°F) in Turbat last May.
                ''The recent eye-popping temperatures in Pakistan fall in line with a growing body of research showing how climate change is making heat waves more common and intense nearly everywhere,' which is 'particularly dire news for what's already one of the hottest parts of the world,' Earther concluded.
                A study published last summer by the journal Nature Climate Change found that half the world could experience deadly heat waves by the end of the century. The research, combined with the record-breaking temperatures, boslters calls to ramp up efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are fueling global warming.
                Speaking at press conference on Monday, UN Climate Change executive secretary Patricia Espinosa said, 'We are witnessing the severe impacts of climate change throughout the world.'
                'Every credible scientific source is telling us that these impacts will only get worse if we do not address climate change, and it also tells us that our window of time for addressing it is closing very soon,' Espinosa added. 'We need to dramatically increase our ambitions.'
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                "Climate Change Trends and Impacts on California Agriculture: A Detailed Review, by Tapan B. Pathak 1,* , Mahesh L. Maskey 2, Jeffery A. Dahlberg 3, Faith Kearns 4, Khaled M. Bali 3 and Daniele Zaccaria, 2  Agronomy, Received: 9 November 2017; Accepted: 21 February 2018; Published: 26 February 2018, https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/4405251/Agronomy-08-00025.pdf, * Correspondence: tpathak@ucmerced.edu; Tel.: +1-209-228-2520
found, "Abstract: California is a global leader in the agricultural sector and produces more than 400 types of commodities. The state produces over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts. Despite being highly productive, current and future climate change poses many challenges to the agricultural sector. This paper provides a summary of the current state of knowledge on historical and future trends in climate and their impacts on California agriculture. We present a synthesis of climate change impacts on California agriculture in the context of: (1) historic trends and projected changes in temperature, precipitation, snowpack, heat waves, drought, and flood events; and (2) consequent impacts on crop yields, chill hours, pests and diseases, and agricultural vulnerability to climate risks. Finally, we highlight important findings and directions for future research and implementation. The detailed review presented in this paper provides sufficient evidence that the climate in California has changed significantly and is expected to continue changing in the future, and justifies the urgency and importance of enhancing the adaptive capacity of agriculture and reducing vulnerability to climate change. Since agriculture in California is very diverse and each crop responds to climate differently, climate adaptation research should be locally focused along with effective stakeholder engagement and systematic outreach efforts for effective adoption and implementation. The expected readership of this paper includes local stakeholders, researchers, state and national agencies, and international communities interested in learning about climate change and California’s agriculture."
                The full article is at: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/4405251/Agronomy-08-00025.pdf.
                Findings included, "The impacts of climate change on crop yields for different field crops such as alfalfa, cotton, maize, wither wheat, tomato, rice, and sunflower in Yolo County and throughout the Central Valley as seen in Figure 11 [40,41] were modeled using a process-based crop model named Daycent. The model provided best estimates of yields for the period from 2000 through 2050 under high- and low-emission scenarios. While alfalfa yields were predicted to increase under climate change, yields from tomato and rice remain unaffected. The effect on wine grape yield is not expected to be high; temperature increases might adversely influence fruit quality. Heat waves in May predicted yield losses of 1–10% for maize, rice, sunflower, and tomato, whereas heat waves in June affected maize and sunflower yields [41]. Overall, a 4 C increase in temperature may reduce yields from most fruits by more than 5%, and this figure may reach up to 40% in some important regions [42]."
"Many fruit and nut crops require cold temperatures in winter to break dormancy. This requirement defines a location’s suitability for the production of many tree crops [43,44]. These fruit and nut species adapt to temperate or cool subtropical climates where chilling each winter is needed to achieve homogeneous and simultaneous flowering and steady crop yields. Quantifying chilling requirements is crucial for the successful cultivation of such crops, and temperature records are converted into a metric of coldness. The lack of adequate chilling hours can delay pollination and foliation, reducing fruit yield and quality [45]. The effects of insufficient winter chill can vary among species. Walnuts and pistachios depend on synchronization between male and female flowering that is regulated by the number of chilling hours. For various stone fruits, a lack of winter chill results in delayed foliation, reduced fruit set, and poor fruit quality. In many cases, insufficient winter chilling hours result in reduced tree crop performance.
                Figure 12 portrays historic and projected future changes in winter chill in California according to two different chilling models: chilling hours and dynamic models [44]. This research aimed at determining time-line management measures, such as the spraying of dormancy-breaking chemicals, as a predictor of crop yield potential for the season. The study reported that climatic conditions by the end of the 21st century would no longer support some of the main tree crops currently grown in California."
                Bob Berwyn, "Climate Change Is Happening Faster Than Expected, and It’s More Extreme: New research suggests human-caused emissions will lead to bigger impacts on heat and extreme weather, and sooner than the IPCC warned just three years ago," Insideclimate News, December 26, 2017, https://insideclimatenews.org/news/26122017/climate-change-science-2017-year-review-evidence-impact-faster-more-extreme, reported, " In the past year, the scientific consensus shifted toward a grimmer and less uncertain picture of the risks posed by climate change.
                 When the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its 5th Climate Assessment in 2014, it formally declared that observed warming was "extremely likely" to be mostly caused by human activity.
            This year, a major scientific update from the United States Global Change Research Program put it more bluntly: 'There is no convincing alternative explanation.'
Other scientific authorities have issued similar assessments: (which are in the article at: https://insideclimatenews.org/tags/year-review-2017, with direct links to these reports)."
                "'A Deadly Tragedy in the Making'
                Some of the strongest warnings in the Royal Society update came from health researchers, who said there hasn't been nearly enough done to protect millions of vulnerable people worldwide from the expected increase in heat waves.
                'It's a deadly tragedy in the making, all the worse because the same experts are saying such heat waves are eminently survivable with adequate resources to protect people,' said climate researcher Eric Wolff, lead author of the Royal Society update.
                Atmospheric scientist Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research said climate science has progressed in all directions since the IPCC report was published in 2014. He works with a group of scientists trying to update the IPCC reporting process to make it more fluid and meaningful in real time.'"
            "One of the starkest conclusions of the Royal Society update is that up to 350 million people in places like Karachi, Kolkota, Lagos and Shanghai are likely to face deadly heat waves every year by 2050—even if nations are able to rein in greenhouse gas emissions enough to keep the average global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as per the Paris climate agreement.
                There's also an increasing chance global warming will affect a key North Atlantic current that carries ocean heat from the tropics toward western Europe, according to a 2016 study. It shows the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current weakening by 37 percent by 2100, which could have big effects on European climate and food production."
                Other reports cited and linked toindicate severe impacts relating to the oceans, including, "Among them are changes in ocean ecosystems that go far beyond rising sea levels. Ocean acidification is increasing, as is oxygen loss, and scientists are more acutely aware than before of the severity of their impacts. In some U.S. coastal waters, these trends are 'raising the risk of serious ecological and economic consequences.'"

                The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), "Canada Moves Forward on climate action,"E-mail, May 2, 2018, reported, "Canada has become the first country in the world to commit to national limits on methane — a potent greenhouse gas — from both future oil & gas operations and those currently in operation today."
                "The oil & gas sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada — and recent scientific data across Canada shows oil & gas emissions are much higher than what industry reports.
                This pollution is disastrous when it comes to climate change: Methane is responsible for 
a quarter of the global warming we’re experiencing today, and is 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in the short-term.
                Other countries need to be following Canada’s lead.

            The International Energy Agency’s most recent analysis shows that globally, we can cut oil & gas methane pollution in 
half at no net cost — which would have the same climate benefit in 2100 as immediately closing all the coal plants in China."

                John Schwartz, "Providing for 7 billion. Or not," The New York Times, February 14, 2018, , reported, "Can we provide good lives for the seven billion people on Earth without wrecking the planet?
                Daniel O’Neill of the University of Leeds and colleagues asked this enormous question in a recent paper in the journal Nature Sustainability and on an accompanying website.
                Their answer is uncomfortable. After looking at data on quality of life and use of resources from some 150 countries, they found that no nation currently meets the basic needs of its citizens in a sustainable way. The nations of the world either don’t provide the basics of a good life or they do it at excessive cost in resources, or they fail at both."
`He did not say, however, that these findings doom humanity to poverty or environmental ruin. “It doesn’t tell us what’s theoretically possible,” he said, noting that the study only projects the results of continuing with business as usual.

                Laura Parker, "143 Million People May Soon Become Climate Migrants: Climate change will drive human migration more than other events, a new report warns. But the worst impacts can be avoided," National Geographic, March 19, 2018, https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/03/climate-migrants-report-world-bank-spd/, reported, "Climate change will transform more than 143 million people into “climate migrants” escaping crop failure, water scarcity, and sea-level rise, a new World Bank report concludes.
                Most of this population shift will take place in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America—three “hot spots” that represent 55 percent of the developing world’s populations.
                This worst-case scenario is part of a ground-breaking study focused on the impacts of slow-onset climate, as opposed to more visibly dramatic events such as extreme storms and flooding. The report, Groundswell—Preparing for Internal Climate Migration, also shifts the focus from cross-border migration, which has drawn global attention as refugees and migrants flee war, poverty and oppression, to in-country migration, which involves many more millions of people on the move in search of viable places to live. The 143 million represent 2.8 percent of the three regions’ population."
                The study points out that there are already a significant number of climate refugees, but there is still a small window to avoid the worst case scenario, if strong action on greenhouse gasses is take quickly.

                Darryl Fears, "Tougher climate policies could save a stunning 150 million lives, researchers find," The Washington Post, March 20, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/03/20/tougher-climate-policies-could-save-a-stunning-150-million-lives-researchers-find/?utm_term=.2b546a564f02, reported, "There is an overlooked benefit to greatly lowering carbon emissions worldwide, a new study says. In addition to preserving Arctic sea ice, reducing sea-level rise and alleviating other effects of global warming, it would probably save more than 150 million human lives.
                According to the study, premature deaths would fall on nearly every continent if the world’s governments agree to cut emissions of carbon and other harmful gases enough to limit global temperature rise to less than 3 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. That is about a degree lower than the target set by the Paris climate agreement."
                The lives that would be saved according to this study would be from reduced air pollution, which is particularly bad in cities in Asia. This is in addition to the huge number of lives that would be saved because increased heat, drought, flooding, sea level rise, and other effects of global warming.

                Global warming carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.4 percent globally, in 2017, after holding steady for three years. About two-thirds of the emissions increase came from Asia.  China produced a 1.7 percent increase in carbon emissions, from increased automobile use, and still growing fossil fuel use in generating electric power, even as its efforts to reduce coal burning began to take effect. The rest of Asia, including India and Indonesia, had a 3 percent increase in CO2 emissions.
                Carbon emissions were down in 2017 in the U.S. by .5 percent, while Brittan, Mexico, and Japan also had reduced carbon emissions. In the European Union, over all carbon emissions rose by 1.5 percent, although several of its nations reduced those emissions.
                The biggest factor in reducing carbon emissions where they occurred, and in keeping them from rising further where they increased, was a huge increase in renewable energy, particularly solar, wind and hydro power. Some of the increase came from a 1 percent increase in coal burning, as some Asian nations increased its use faster than it was reduced in China, the U.S. and some other countries. Increased auto use, particularly in developing economies, was a factor, greatly increased by a huge increase in the number of less fuel efficient SUVs purchased, made more feasible with low gasoline prices. In addition, worldwide energy efficiency increased by only 1.7 percent in 2017, less than in each of the three previous years (Brad Plumer, "Behind the Increase in Gas Emissions Last Year," The New York Times, March 23, 2018).

                Arctic Sea Ice winter extent was by a small amount the second lowest in know history, in winter 2017-18, an indication of increasing global warming (Kendra Pierre-Louis, "Arctic sea Ice Nearly Hit Low this Winter," The New York Times, March 24, 2918).

                Julia Conley, "Species Threatened as Climate Crisis Pushes Mother Nature 'Out of Synch': In a new study showing that the timing of species' natural events is failing to synchronize, 'everything is consistent with the fact it's getting warmer,'" Common DreamsApril 17, 2018, reported, "The warming of the Earth over the past several decades is throwing Mother Nature's food chain out of whack and leaving many species struggling to survive, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
                The study offers the latest evidence that the climate crisis that human activity has contributed to has had far-reaching effects throughout the planet.
                A paper by ecologists at the University of Ottawa examined 88 species on four continents, and more than 50 relationships between predator and pray as well as herbivores and the plants they eat, and found that food chain events are taking place earlier in the year than they have in the past, because of the warming climate.
                'Most of the examples were about food,' Heather Kharouba, lead author of the paper, told the National Observer. 'Is it available or is it not?'
                In the study's findings, Kharouba added, 'everything is consistent with the fact it's getting warmer...All the changes we see are exactly what we would predict with warmer temperatures and how we would expect biology to respond.'
                'It demonstrates that many species interactions from around the world are in a state of rapid flux,' Boston University biology professor Richard Primack told the Associated Press. 'Prior to this study, studies of changing species interactions focused on one place or one group of species.'
            The scientists looked at research going back to 1951, which showed that in previous decades, birds would migrate, animals would mate and give birth, and plants would bloom later in the year, allowing the animals to find the food they needed at specific times.
            These events have been occurring about four days earlier per decade since the 1980s, according to the National Observer. On average, the timing is now off by a full 21 days for the 88 species the researchers examined.
                In Washington state's Lake Washington, the very bottom of the food chain has been affected, according to the research, as plant plankton is now blooming 34 days earlier than the organisms that feed on them.
                Even smaller changes can have a major impact on animal populations: plants in Greenland are now blossoming just three days earlier than baby caribou are born, throwing off the species that has survived on them and causing more of the animals to starve.
                'It leads to a mismatch,' Kharouba said. 'These events are out of synch.'
                The 'mismatch' could begin contributing to the endangerment of species that are unable to find food they've relied on, the researchers said.
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                Morgan Gstalter, "Six more US scientists selected for Macron’s ‘Make Our Planet Great Again’ program," The Hill, May 3, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/news/385978-macrons-make-our-planet-great-again-program-attracts-6-us-scientists?link_id=7&can_id=eeec7bb85738353f63c04c374644a697&source=email-progressive-breakfast-the-right-lashes-out-at-uprising-teachers&email_referrer=email_347175&email_subject=progressive-breakfast-the-right-lashes-out-at-uprising-teachers, reported, "French President Emmanuel Macron’s climate science initiative “Make Our Planet Great Again” has attracted six more U.S.-based scientists to do their research in Europe.
                CNN reported Wednesday that the six U.S.-based scientists were selected as part of a larger group of 14 given grants to study climate science and biodiversity.
The grant winners hail from U.S. universities like Duke, Yale, Florida State and MIT.
                The $70 million initiative was created last year after President Trumppulled out of the Paris climate agreement.
            The joint initiative between France and Germany offers the international community an opportunity to conduct their research at European institutions."

            Joe McCarthy, "Mass Death of Baby Penguins in New Zealand Points to Climate Change: The birds starved to death, April 24, 2018, https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/mass-death-penguins-new-zealand-climate-change/?utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=US_Apr_26_2018_Thur_content_digest_actives_alive_180d, reported, "When scientists opened the stomachs of 11 young penguins that washed up on beaches in northern New Zealand, 10 had nothing in their guts and one had a small amount of grass, according to the South China Morning Post.
                It was a stark confirmation that these birds — and scores of others — had starved to death.
                Over the past two weeks, New Zealand’s Department of Conservation’s Tauranga office has received at least 58 calls of little penguins washing up on the shores of Omaha Beach and Tawharanui Peninsula during a record marine heat wave and tropical storms in the Tasman Sea, SCMP reports.
                The penguins were all emaciated, a clear sign of starvation, and follow-up analysis by a team at Massey University proved that most of the penguins had entirely depleted their fat reserves and were beginning to digest muscle, according to the New Zealand Herald.
                This mass starvation, according to the scientists, is because of freak weather patterns driven by climate change that made it hard for the penguins to find food after 'moulting,' when birds shed feathers to make room for new growth."

                Julia Conley,"Going Backward in Trump Era, Big Bank Investment in World's Dirtiest Energy Projects Surged in 2017: Every single dollar that these banks provide for the expansion of the fossil fuel industry is a dollar going to increase the climate crisis,'" Common Dreams, March 28, 2018, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/03/28/going-backward-trump-era-big-bank-investment-worlds-dirtiest-energy-projects-surge reported, "Going backward in the era of Trump—and despite international efforts to curb the climate crisis by reducing carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels—a new study out Wednesday details how major banks invested heavily in the world's dirtiest energy sectors in 2017, pouring $115 billion into tar sands, offshore oil drilling, and coal mining projects.
                'Every single dollar that these banks provide for the expansion of the fossil fuel industry is a dollar going to increase the climate crisis,' said Stephen Kretzmann of Oil Change International, one of the groups behind the study (pdf).
                The findings of the report—entitled 'Banking on Climate Change'—were described by author and activist Naomi Klein as "terrifying."
            This is a terrifying report and the Alberta tar sands are at the dead centre of it: 'Extreme' fossil fuel investments have surged under Donald Trump, report reveals.' 
                Until they end their funding of dirty energy, Kretzmann added, 'these banks will be complicit in our climate catastrophe, plain and simple.'
Institutions including JP Morgan Chase, TD Bank, and Bank of America increased their funding of dirty energy by 11 percent from 2016 to 2017, flouting the Paris Climate Agreement.
                The tar sands sector, known as the dirtiest source of energy on the planet, received major support from banks last year, with financing going up by 111 percent to $98 billion. JP Morgan Chase quadrupled its funding of the industry, a year after researchers found tar sands operations were a major cause of pollution.
                Environmental campaigners also denounced banks for their support of industries that have caused destruction to communities by building pipelines with no regard for citizens' homes and human rights. Dirty energy projects funded by financial institutions in 2017 included the Line 3 Tar Sands pipeline proposed by Enbridge, which TD Bank, Citibank, Royal Bank of Canada, and MUFBGall invest in; and new coal plants expected to be build across Southeast Asia, bankrolled by Mizuho, MUFG, and SMFG.
                'These banks fund the projects that are killing the planet, destroying indigenous sacred sites, and violating the human rights of citizens," said Tara Houska of Honor the Earth. "The financial industry is on notice—the human rights policies banks claim are in place must be enforced. Stop funding fossil fuels and move into a green economy.'
                While major banks have continued funneling money into planet-killing energy projects, the report noted, the World Bank announced last year it would cease funding of oil and gas extraction after 2019. Last fall, the Norwegian government announced it would divest its sovereign wealth fund—the largest in the world—of all its oil and gas shares.
            'It is not surprising that we see the world's largest sovereign wealth fund managers no longer prepared to take the increasing risk associated with oil and gas assets, which do not have a long-term future,' said Paul Fisher of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, when Norway made its announcement.
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                Andrea Germanos, "'Incredible' News as Banking Giant HSBC Ditches New Coal, Tar Sands, and Offshore Arctic Drilling Projects: The development is 'yet another signal to Donald Trump and the rest of the world that, despite their worst laid plans, the era of fossil fuels is coming to a close,'" Common Dreams, April 20, 2018, http://search.searchddn.com/?page=newtab&i_id=maps_&uid=dbcd1227-257b-4935-9031-39dc3b6e9222&source=-bb9&ap=appfocus84&uc=20180409, reported, "In another signal that "the era of fossil fuels is coming to a close," Europe's biggest bank, HSBC, announced Friday that it will no longer fund oil or gas projects in the Arctic, tar sands projects, or most coal projects.
                The move was cheered by climate campaigners on social media, who said, 'This is huge,' and called it "incredible news."
                According to Daniel Klier, group head of strategy and global head of sustainable finance at the financial giant, the bank recognizes 'the need to reduce emissions rapidly to achieve the target set in the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global temperatures rises to well below 2°C and our responsibility to support the communities in which we operate.'
                The changes are laid out in HSBC's updated energy policy, which says it will no longer provide financial services for
a) New coal-fired power plant projects, subject to very targeted exceptions of Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam in order to appropriately balance local humanitarian needs with the need to transition to a low carbon economy. Consideration of any such exception is subject to: (i) independent analysis confirming the country has no reasonable alternative to coal; (ii) the plant’s carbon intensity being lower than 810g CO2/kWh; and (iii) financial close on the project being achieved by 31 December 2023
b) New offshore oil or gas projects in the Arctic
c) New greenfield oil sands projects
d) New large dams for hydro-electric projects inconsistent with the World Commission on Dams Framework
e) New nuclear projects inconsistent with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) standards
                The announcement, said Kelly Martin, director of Sierra Club's Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign, 'is an important step forward for Europe's largest bank, and yet another signal to Donald Trump and the rest of the world that, despite their worst laid plans, the era of fossil fuels is coming to a close. There is no future in Arctic fossil fuel operations. There is no future in tar sands. And there is no future in coal.'
                According to Keith Stewart, senior energy strategist at Greenpeace Canada, "Financial institutions around the world are seeing the reputational and material risks these pipelines pose in a post-Paris world where respecting Indigenous rights and the need to transition off of fossil fuels is smart business and not just good public relations.'
            Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who appears to be ready to subsidize the widely opposed Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline, should take note of the shift by HSBC, added Stewart.
                'Before deciding to write a check to Kinder Morgan, Justin Trudeau should ask himself if he wants to rush in where HSBC fears to tread,' he said.
                While HSBC's announcement, as well as similar actions taken by other banks like BNP Paribas, should be lauded, the institutions need to go further, added Sierra Club's Martin.
                She said that 'it cannot be overstated how critical it is that HSBC and the world's other major banks immediately end financing for all fossil fuel projects around the world. Institutions should no longer continue financing any fossil fuel projects when cheaper, cleaner, more reliable energy solutions like wind and solar are readily available.'   
                The news come a month after a report showed that banks are continuing to bankroll the climate crisis by funneling $115 billion into tar sands, offshore oil drilling, and coal mining projects. 
                That report, entitled 'Banking on Climate Change' and endorsed by dozens of environmental groups, ranked HSBC the seventh worst in the world for the financing of 'extreme fossil fuels.' It also found that from 2016 to 2017—"Even as the impacts of climate change become increasingly apparent"—it made a $2.6 billion increase in such financing.
                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License."

            While natural gas remains the number one fuel for generating electricity in the U.S., in 2018, an increasing number of electric generating utilities are finding solar and wind cheaper, and are going to these renewables rather than building new fossil fuel powered plants, and some gas plants have been shut down in a switch to cheaper renewables (Ivan Penn, "Natural Gas Is Still Number One, But Renewable Energy Is Shaking Up the Utility Industry," The New York Times, March 29, 2018).

            Rocks in large formations in Oman and other parts of the world naturally pull carbon dioxide out of the air and incorporate it as part of the rock. Some scientists favor using this rock to do that on a large scale, to limit climate change. But it would take a tremendous amount of the mineral, properly positioned ,to have a significant effect. One scientist said that if properly configured, the rock un  Oman could store at least a billion tons of CO2 a year. Current yearly worldwide emissions amount to almost to 40 billion tons of CO2 (Henry Fountain, "How Oman’s Rocks Could Help Save the Planet." The New York Times, April 26, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/04/26/climate/oman-rocks.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=collection).

            Several groups of young college Republicans, led by the Yale College Republicans, have been proposing using carbon taxes to fight global warming (Lisa Friedman, "Unusual Plan from Young Conservatives: Carbon Tax," The New York Times, March 7, 2018).

          Brad Plumer, "Clean Energy Ideas That Could Prove Odd Enough to Work," The New York Times, March 17, 2018, contains a discussion of some innovative ideas for alternative energy that are being tested, or at least suggested.

                Andrea Germanos, "'This Is Huge': Opposition Forces Kinder Morgan to Halt Trans Mountain Pipeline" 'This is a sign that organizing works, and it could well be the beginning of the end for this dangerous pipeline,' says 350.org's Clayton Thomas-Muller," Common Dreams, April 09, 2018, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/09/huge-opposition-forces-kinder-morgan-halt-trans-mountain-pipeline, reported, "Environmental and indigenous groups are cheering after Kinder Morgan announced Sunday it was halting most work on its controversial Trans Mountain expansion pipeline project, citing continuing opposition.
                'This is a sign that organizing works, and it could well be the beginning of the end for this dangerous pipeline,'  declared Clayton Thomas-Muller, a Stop-it-at-the-Source campaigner with 350.org.
                'This is huge,' added British Columbia-based advocacy group Dogwood.
                I the company's statement announcing the move, chairman and CEO Steve Kean said Kinder Morgan was suspending "all non-essential activities and related spending" as a result of the "current environment" that puts shareholders at risk.
                'A company cannot resolve differences between governments,' he added, referencing resistance from B.C. lawmakers that is at odds with support for the project coming from Ottawa and neighboring Alberta. 'While we have succeeded in all legal challenges to date, a company cannot litigate its way to an in-service pipeline amidst jurisdictional differences between governments,' Kean said.
                Unless legal agreements are reached by May 31, Kean said that 'it is difficult to conceive of any scenario in which we would proceed with the project.' (There are still 18 pending court cases that could thwart the project, the Wilderness Committee notes.)
                B.C. Premier John Horgan, for his part, said in a statement Sunday, 'The federal process failed to consider B.C.'s interests and the risk to our province. We joined the federal challenge, started by others, to make that point.'
                'We believe we need to grow the economy, while protecting the environment. We want to work to address these challenges together. But we will always stand up for British Columbians, our environment, and the thousands of jobs that depend on our coast."
                Stopping the fossil fuel project, though would reap benefits beyond the two provinces the pipeline runs through, as author and climate campaigner Bill McKibben noted:
                Bill McKibben (@billmckibben), "Odd to watch Alberta fighting with Ottawa fighting with BC, as if the interests of a) First Nations and b) Planet Earth are not also--indeed mostly--on the line. Carbon doesn't stop at provincial or national borders," #StopKM
                As such, apart from Horgan's pushback, the project has faced fierce and sustained opposition from a range of groups who demand the rights of land, water, indigenous groups, and others trump those of Big Oil.
                Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of Coast Protectors said that 'after some long hours in the boardroom,' Kinder Morgan came 'to the inevitable conclusion that that you simply can't ram a pipeline through in the face of such opposition—legal, political, on-the-ground opposition. It's impossible.'
                Offering a similar reaction, Greenpeace Canada's climate and energy campaigner Mike Hudema, said:
                "Investors should note that the opposition to this project is strong, deep and gets bigger by the day. This announcement shows that this widespread opposition has reached critical mass. British Columbians' desire to protect clean water, safeguard the environment and stand behind Indigenous communities cannot be ignored or swept under the rug. We encourage Kinder Morgan to shelve this project before the litany of lawsuits, crumbling economics, and growing resistance against the pipeline does it for them."
                While the company 'looks ready to pack it in,' said Wilderness Committee Climate Campaigner Peter McCartney, the opposition is 'not going anywhere until this pipeline no longer poses a threat to the coast, the climate, and Indigenous communities along the route.'
                Despite such threats, Ottawa and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley are still aggressively pushing for the project.
                'This pipeline must be built," Notley declared Sunday, and threatened legal action "to impose serious economic consequences on B.C. if its government continues on its present course." She added that her province 'is prepared to be an investor in the pipeline.'
                Trudeau—who's touted his country's 'unwavering... commitment to fight climate change'—said on Twitter, 'Canada is a country of the rule of law, and the federal government will act in the national interest. Access to world markets for Canadian resources is a core national interest. The Trans Mountain expansion will be built.'
                Thomas-Muller, however, said that 'Kinder Morgan's investors have seen that people all across Canada are choosing Indigenous rights, clean water, and a safe climate over this dangerous pipeline. Now it's time for Justin Trudeau to do the same.'
                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License."

                Kendra Pierre-Louis, Can the Games be Green?," The New York Times, February 21, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/newsletters/2018/02/21/climate-change?nlid=52235981, reported, "Last month, we told you about how climate change may limit the available sites for future Winter Olympics. The organizers of the Pyeongchang Games say they want to do their part to limit their impact on global warming. That raises a question: How sustainable are the Olympics?
                The Pyeongchang organizing committee estimates the Games will generate 1.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, of which roughly a third will come from transporting athletes and spectators to South Korea and housing them. The emissions total is a bit more than Barbados produces in a year. The organizers are raising funds to buy carbon offsets, but how much they secure won’t be finalized until the end of the month."

                Ailene Rogers, "How is education throughout the U.S. dealing with climate change?" The New York Times, February 21, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/newsletters/2018/02/21/climate-change?nlid=52235981, reported, "While scientists overwhelmingly agree that human activity is the primary driver of global warming, climate change is presented as a controversial subject in a significant number of American classrooms, according to research from the National Center for Science Education, which monitors anti-science teaching.
                In a 2016 study that surveyed 1,500 public middle- and high-school science teachers, roughly 75 percent said they devoted at least one class session to climate change. But of those teachers, around 30 percent taught their students that scientists are split on whether recent climate change is the result of human activities, and 10 percent emphasized the views of scientists who think that it is not."

                "Climate Change Trends and Impacts on California Agriculture: A Detailed Review, by Tapan B. Pathak 1,* , Mahesh L. Maskey 2, Jeffery A. Dahlberg 3, Faith Kearns 4, Khaled M. Bali 3 and Daniele Zaccaria, 2  Agronomy, Received: 9 November 2017; Accepted: 21 February 2018; Published: 26 February 2018, https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/4405251/Agronomy-08-00025.pdf, * Correspondence: tpathak@ucmerced.edu; Tel.: +1-209-228-2520
found, "Abstract: California is a global leader in the agricultural sector and produces more than 400 types of commodities. The state produces over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts. Despite being highly productive, current and future climate change poses many challenges to the agricultural sector. This paper provides a summary of the current state of knowledge on historical and future trends in climate and their impacts on California agriculture. We present a synthesis of climate change impacts on California agriculture in the context of: (1) historic trends and projected changes in temperature, precipitation, snowpack, heat waves, drought, and flood events; and (2) consequent impacts on crop yields, chill hours, pests and diseases, and agricultural vulnerability to climate risks. Finally, we highlight important findings and directions for future research and implementation. The detailed review presented in this paper provides sufficient evidence that the climate in California has changed significantly and is expected to continue changing in the future, and justifies the urgency and importance of enhancing the adaptive capacity of agriculture and reducing vulnerability to climate change. Since agriculture in California is very diverse and each crop responds to climate differently, climate adaptation research should be locally focused along with effective stakeholder engagement and systematic outreach efforts for effective adoption and implementation. The expected readership of this paper includes local stakeholders, researchers, state and national agencies, and international communities interested in learning about climate change and California’s agriculture."
                The full article is at: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/4405251/Agronomy-08-00025.pdf.
                Findings included, "The impacts of climate change on crop yields for different field crops such as alfalfa, cotton, maize, wither wheat, tomato, rice, and sunflower in Yolo County and throughout the Central Valley as seen in Figure 11 [40,41] were modeled using a process-based crop model named Daycent. The model provided best estimates of yields for the period from 2000 through 2050 under high- and low-emission scenarios. While alfalfa yields were predicted to increase under climate change, yields from tomato and rice remain unaffected. The effect on wine grape yield is not expected to be high; temperature increases might adversely influence fruit quality. Heat waves in May predicted yield losses of 1–10% for maize, rice, sunflower, and tomato, whereas heat waves in June affected maize and sunflower yields [41]. Overall, a 4 C increase in temperature may reduce yields from most fruits by more than 5%, and this figure may reach up to 40% in some important regions [42]."
                "Many fruit and nut crops require cold temperatures in winter to break dormancy. This requirement defines a location’s suitability for the production of many tree crops [43,44]. These fruit and nut species adapt to temperate or cool subtropical climates where chilling each winter is needed to achieve homogeneous and simultaneous flowering and steady crop yields. Quantifying chilling requirements is crucial for the successful cultivation of such crops, and temperature records are converted into a metric of coldness. The lack of adequate chilling hours can delay pollination and foliation, reducing fruit yield and quality [45]. The effects of insufficient winter chill can vary among species. Walnuts and pistachios depend on synchronization between male and female flowering that is regulated by the number of chilling hours. For various stone fruits, a lack of winter chill results in delayed foliation, reduced fruit set, and poor fruit quality. In many cases, insufficient winter chilling hours result in reduced tree crop performance.
                Figure 12 portrays historic and projected future changes in winter chill in California according to two different chilling models: chilling hours and dynamic models [44]. This research aimed at determining time-line management measures, such as the spraying of dormancy-breaking chemicals, as a predictor of crop yield potential for the season. The study reported that climatic conditions by the end of the 21st century would no longer support some of the main tree crops currently grown in California."

                A set of recent studies has shown that climate change is moving the north-south boundary between western dry climate and eastern wet climate in the United States toward the East, and that it has moved about 140 miles eastward in the last few decades. The line runs through the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas (Pakalolo, "A North American Climate Boundary Has Shifted 140 Miles East Due to Global Warming," Daily Kos, April 16, 2018,  https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/4/16/1757171/-A-North-American-Climate-Boundary-Has-Shifted-140-Miles-East-Due-to-Global-Warming).

            Livia Albeck-Ripka, "How Six Americans Changed Their Minds About Global Warming," The New York Times, February 21, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/02/21/climate/changed-minds-americans.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=6&pgtype=collection, reported, "Nearly 70 percent of Americans now say that climate change is caused mainly by human activity, the highest percentage since Gallup began tracking it two decades ago. The number of Americans who say they worry 'a great deal” about climate change has risen by about 20 percentage points.'"

                Andrea Germanos, "In 'Tremendous Victory for Taxpayers, Public Health, and Planet,' Federal Court Rejects Trump Admin.'s Attempt to Suspend Methane Rule: The late Thursday ruling 'once again sends a message to this administration that it will not get away with illegal handouts to industry'," Common Dreams, February 23, 2018, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/02/23/tremendous-victory-taxpayers-public-health-and-planet-federal-court-rejects-trump?utm_term=In%20%27Tremendous%20Victory%20for%20Taxpayers%2C%20Public%20Health%2C%20and%20Planet%2C%27%20Federal%20Court%20Rejects%20Trump%20Admin.%27s%20Attempt%20to%20Suspend%20Methane%20Rule&utm_campaign=News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%27Corruption%2C%20Plain%20and%20Simple%27&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%27Corruption%2C%20Plain%20and%20Simple%27-_-In%20%27Tremendous%20Victory%20for%20Taxpayers%2C%20Public%20Health%2C%20and%20Planet%2C%27%20Federal%20Court%20Rejects%20Trump%20Admin.%27s%20Attempt%20to%20Suspend%20Methane%20Rule, reported,  "A court has once again rejected the Trump administration's effort to suspend an Obama-era rule aimed at reducing releases of methane from oil and gas operations on federal and tribal land.
                'The decision,' writes Meleah Geertsma, a senior attorney with NRDC, 'once again sends a message to this administration that it will not get away with illegal handouts to industry, at the expense of Americans' health and the environment.'
                The latest rebuke to the attempt to derail the Bureau of Land Management's Waste Prevention Rule was delivered late Thursday by the U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California in response to suits filed by a number of environmental groups, as well as the states of California and New Mexico over the rule suspension.
                'The BLM's reasoning behind the Suspension Rule is untethered to evidence contradicting the reasons for implementing the Waste Prevention Rule, and so plaintiffs are likely to prevail on the merits,' Judge William Orrick wrote in his ruling (pdf). 'They have shown irreparable injury caused by the waste of publicly owned natural gas, increased air pollution and associated health impacts, and exacerbated climate impacts.'
                Orrick granted a preliminary injunction requiring the Interior Department to enforce the regulation, eliciting praise from environmental groups.
                'Though they seem to think otherwise,' said Kelly Martin, Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign director, 'Donald Trump and [Interior Secretary] Ryan Zinke are not above the law. Once again, the courts are serving as a critical backstop against their reckless attempts to unravel key protections for our air, water, and climate. This ruling is a victory for our communities' health and the climate, and we will continue to fight to hold this administration accountable and defend this critical clean air standard.'
                Echoing Martin, Robin Cooley, an Earthjustice attorney representing tribal and conservation citizen groups, said the decision marked 'a tremendous victory for taxpayers, public health, and the planet.'
                'The court made it clear that the Trump administration is not above the law—Interior Secretary Zinke cannot yank away a common sense rule that was the product of years of careful deliberation simply to appease his friends in the oil and gas industry,' Cooley continued.
                Added Peter Zalzal, lead attorney with Environmental Defense Fund, the "protections restored by this decision will help to prevent the waste of natural gas, reduce harmful methane, smog-forming and toxic pollution, and ensure communities and tribes have royalty money that can be used to construct roads and schools."
                The setback for administration's climate attacks and deregulation agenda follows similar decisions, as The Wilderness Society noted in its press release:
     January 16: Wyoming District Court denies industry trade groups and several states request for preliminary injunction, to prevent the rule from going into effect.
     May 10: The effort to kill the methane rule via Congressional Review Act fails with bipartisan support, 51 to 49.
     October 4: California court overturns the Interior Department’s decision to unilaterally suspend many of the most important protections of the methane waste rule without providing any opportunity for public comment.
                The Hill also notes that 'The BLM formally proposed earlier this month to repeal most provisions of the methane rule. Thursday's ruling was only on the one-year delay, so it does not directly affect the proposed repeal.' Also of note is that when the Obama administration unveiled the BLM rule, some climate groups like 350.org offered just tepid praise, saying that truly protecting communities from "the devastating impacts of climate change means keeping fossil fuels in the ground.'
                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License."

                The Environmental Defense Fund, in April 2018, announced plans to launch the MethaneSAT to locate and measure methane leaking and entering the atmosphere from around the world. The International Methane Agency says that Methane leaks in gas pipes and storage are relatively inexpensive to fix and to do so would save gas companies millions of dollars. The agency says perhaps half of all methane entering the atmosphere are from such leaks (John Schwartz, "Plan to Track Methane Leaks from Above," The New York Times, April 12, 2018).

                Deb Haaland, "Trump’s Solar Panel Tariff Will Cost 23,000 Us Jobs," Newsweek, January 31, 2018, reported in a forwarded E-mail, "President Donald Trump just slapped a whopping 30 percent tariff on solar panel imports." This will hurt the solar industry, and as a result the economy, likely costing 30,000 jobs and stopping the growth of an expanding industry.

                 Lisa Friedman, "E.P.A. Announces a New Rule. One Likely Effect: Less Science in Policymaking," The New York Times, April 24, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/24/climate/epa-science-transparency-pruitt.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=5&pgtype=collection, reported, "The Environmental Protection Agency announced a new regulation Tuesday that would restrict the kinds of scientific studies the agency can use when it develops policies, a move critics say will permanently weaken the agency’s ability to protect public health. 
            Under the measure, the E.P.A. will require that the underlying data for all scientific studies used by the agency to formulate air and water regulations be publicly available. That would sharply limit the number of studies available for consideration because much research relies on confidential health data from study subjects."
                If the rule is approved, there is a good possibility it would be struck down in federal court.

                Andrea Germanos, "Federal Court Blocks Trump's 'Bizarre Attempt to Encourage Toxic Tailpipe Pollution:' Appeals court ruling hailed as win for consumers, public health, and planet," Common Dreams, April 23, 2018, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/23/federal-court-blocks-trumps-bizarre-attempt-encourage-toxic-tailpipe-pollution?utm_term=Federal%20Court%20Blocks%20Trump%27s%20%22Bizarre%20Attempt%20to%20Encourage%20Toxic%20Tailpipe%20Pollution%22&utm_campaign=News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20Sanders%27%20Plan%20to%20Guarantee%20Every%20American%20a%20Job&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20Sanders%27%20Plan%20to%20Guarantee%20Every%20American%20a%20Job-_-Federal%20Court%20Blocks%20Trump%27s%20%22Bizarre%20Attempt%20to%20Encourage%20Toxic%20Tailpipe%20Pollution%22, reported, "A federal court on Monday stopped another of the Trump administration's attacks on clean air—its indefinite delay of stricter penalties for automakers producing vehicle fleets that don't meet fuel efficiency standards.
                'Today's court order is a big win for New Yorkers' and all Americans' health and environment,' declared New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
                The ruling (pdf) [https://ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/ca2_order_vacating_delay.pdf] by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit means the higher fine—going from $5.50 per tenth of a mile per gallon to $14 per tenth of a mile per gallon of fuel a vehicle guzzles beyond the standards—stays in place."

                Julia Conley, "Researchers 'Staggered' by 'Crazy, Crazy' Record-Setting Warm Winter in Arctic: Arctic warming is just a symptom of 'disease' that's getting worse, say climate scientists, as U.S. leaders refuse to curb human activities that contribute to climate crisis," March 7, 2018, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/03/07/researchers-staggered-crazy-crazy-record-setting-warm-winter-arctic?utm_term=Researchers%20%27Staggered%27%20by%20%27Crazy%2C%20Crazy%27%20Record-Setting%20Warm%20Winter%20in%20Arctic&utm_campaign=News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20Who%20Are%20the%20Nuclear%20War%20Profiteers&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20Who%20Are%20the%20Nuclear%20War%20Profiteers-_-Researchers%20%27Staggered%27%20by%20%27Crazy%2C%20Crazy%27%20Record-Setting%20Warm%20Winter%20in%20Arctic, reported, "This past winter has set a worrying record in the Arctic, as scientists examining the effects of climate crisis continue to express dismay at the region's warmest winter since researchers began documenting the climate there.
                At the northernmost tip of Greenland, researchers were 'staggered' when they recorded more than 60 hours of above-freezing temperatures in February. Before last month, scientists had observed Arctic temperatures rising above freezing only in the month of February, both for brief periods—suggesting that the region is rapidly changing due to the warming of the Earth.
                'It's just crazy, crazy stuff,' Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado, told the Associated Press. Serreze is known for his research on the decline of sea ice in the Arctic. 'These heat waves—I've never seen anything like this.'
                'The extended warmth really has staggered all of us,' Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute, said.
                In Barrow, Alaska, also known as Utqiaġvik, February was 18 degrees warmer than normal while the whole season was about 14 degrees warmer, according to researchers.
                Sea ice in the Arctic Circle also retreated to unprecedented low levels this winter, covering about 5.4 million square miles—62,000 fewer square miles than last year.
                The reports of the record-setting Arctic winter come as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shuts down parts of its website dedicated to climate science and rolls back regulations meant to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
                'The underlying disease that's causing this [Arctic warming] is getting worse," Jennifer Francis said, a research professor at Rutgers University, said. "These are just the symptoms.'
                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License."

            EPA has proposed using only scientific research that is, or can be, made public. This would eliminate a huge amount of research that is, and must be, kept confidential to keep people's health information confidential (Lisa Friedman, "Narrower Scope for EPA Rules," The New York Times, March 27, 2018).

            Andrea Germanos, "Judge Drops Charges Against 13 Who Argued Pipeline Civil Disobedience Action Was "Necessary" to Save Planet: 'We are part of the movement that's standing up and saying, 'We won't let this go by on our watch,'" Common Dreams, March 28, 2018, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/03/28/judge-drops-charges-against-13-who-argued-pipeline-civil-disobedience-action-was?utm_term=Judge%20Drops%20Charges%20Against%2013%20Who%20Argued%20Pipeline%20Civil%20Disobedience%20Action%20Was%20%22Necessary%22%20to%20Save%20Planet&utm_campaign=The%20Great%20Big%20Fight%20Against%20Many%20Great%20Big%20Threats%20%7C%20Your%20Week%20In%20Review%20&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-The%20Great%20Big%20Fight%20Against%20Many%20Great%20Big%20Threats%20%7C%20Your%20Week%20In%20Review%20-_-Judge%20Drops%20Charges%20Against%2013%20Who%20Argued%20Pipeline%20Civil%20Disobedience%20Action%20Was%20%22Necessary%22%20to%20Save%20Planet, reported, "Climate activists are cheering after a district judge in Boston on Tuesday ruled that 13 fossil fuel pipeline protesters were not responsible for any infraction because of the necessity of their actions.
                Bill McKibben, who was slated to be an expert witness in their case, tweeted a celebratory 'Good golly!' in response to the ruling, adding, 'This may be a first in America. '
                The charges the defendants faced stemmed from actions they took in 2016 to block Spectra Energy's fracked gas West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline. While they had spent a year and a half preparing a climate necessity defense to present to a jury trail, prosecutors prevented that from happening last week when they reduced the criminal charges to civil infractions. 'By reducing the charges,' the Climate Disobedience Center argues, 'the prosecutor has avoided what could have been a groundbreaking legal case.'
                Judge Mary Ann Driscoll, did, however, allow each of the defendants to explain to the court why they were motivated to take part in their actions to stop the Massachusetts pipeline. After that, according to a lawyer for the defendants, she said they were not responsible by reason of necessity.
                We were in West Roxbury Court today for #climatetrial. The criminal charges were reduced to civil infractions, then after testimony the activists were all found not responsible by reason of necessity.
                Speaking on the steps outside the courthouse following the verdict, defendant and noted climate activist Tim DeChristopher said they 'asked the judge to recognize that that evidence was out there—that's it clear across our society the severity of climate change, the degree to which the government response has been a failure, and the degree to which regular folks like us have a necessity to act to prevent this harm.'
                'Hopefully, next time around we'll be able to do that with a jury, and we'll keep fighting,' he said.
                Defendant Callista Womick spoke outside the courthouse as well, saying that 'it's hubristic to think we can keep poisoning the planet and keep living on it.' As such, she said she took part in the protest because she saw it as 'part of my duty to my fellow human beings and fellow life forms.'
                According to defendant Karenna Gore, director of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary (and daughter of former Vice President Al Gore), what happened in the courtroom was 'really important,' though she noted 'the irony' of being found not responsible for the infractions because 'we are making ourselves responsible.'
'We are part of the movement that's standing up and saying, 'We won't let this go by on our watch. We won't act like nothing's wrong,' she said. 'We're going to be speaking up in new ways,' she added.
                'We're going to be demanding that the people who are in elected office, and also the corporations who are putting their costs, the cost of their doing business, for their own profits... on the public, they're putting that cost on future generations. And we are taking responsibility to say 'no' to that.'
                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License."

                Brad Plumer, "C_ima__ _Ha_g_," The New York Times, March 28, 2018, https://static.nytimes.com/email-content/CLIM_523.html?nlid=52235981, reported, "Last week, lawmakers in Washington took a significant step toward addressing climate change. They just didn’t call it that.
            Buried in the $1.3 trillion spending bill passed by Congress and grudgingly signed by President Trump were surprisingly large increases in funding for clean energy programs at the Department of Energy. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which has helped reduce the cost of solar power, got a 14 percent bump. The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which funds long-shot technologies like algae biofuels, got a 16 percent increase. The Office of Nuclear Energy got a 19 percent increase."

            Steve Hanley , "California Poised To Hit 50% Renewable Target A Full Decade Ahead Of Schedule," Clean Technica, December 21 2017, https://cleantechnica.com/2017/12/21/california-poised-hit-50-renewable-target-full-decade-ahead-schedule/, reported, "Every year, the California Energy Commission releases its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) report, which gives details about the mix of energy experienced by all utilities within the state during the preceding 12 months. The report for this year, released in November, shows that all three of the state’s investor-owned utilities — Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric — are projected to derive 50% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020. That is a full decade ahead of schedule. PG&E reports it used 32.9% renewable energy in the past year. The figure for SoCal Edison was 28.2%. San Diego Gas & Electric led the pack with 43.2% renewable energy."

            The area on and near the coast of Louisiana is rapidly disappearing from a threefold onslaught. Levies along the Mississippi have for many years prevented flooding that brings new soil to maintain the delta. Global warming has brought rising seas, along with more frequent and more powerful storms flooding and washing away the land. Some communities, including the Indigenous people who have been the heart of the shrimping industry, have already been forced to move. The question is when others will be forced out as the land shrinks, and how much will be done at what cost to slow the land loss, and the need to move (Kevin Sack and John Schwartz, "Left To Louisiana’s Tides,
A Village Fights For Time:
For the community of Jean Lafitte, the question is less whether it will succumb to the sea than when — and how much the public should invest in artificially extending its life)," The New York Times, February 24, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/02/24/us/jean-lafitte-floodwaters.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=3&pgtype=collection).

                Josh Haner, "Easter Island is Eroding," The New York Times, March 15, 2018, via E-mail referencing:  https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/03/14/climate/easter-island-erosion.html?emc=edit_clim_20180315&nl=&nlid=52235981&te=1, reported, Easter  "Island faces another grave threat. Rising sea levels, the result of carbon emissions in far-off lands, are eroding Easter Island’s coasts at a rapid pace. Waves are beginning to reach the statues and platforms built by the ancient civilization and archaeologists fear that cultural heritage will be lost."

                Lisa Friedman, "Tuvalu is growing (for now)," The New York Times, February 14, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/newsletters/2018/02/14/climate-change?nlid=52235981, reported, "A new study shows that the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, long considered all but doomed by rising sea levels, has grown slightly since the 1970s.
                At first glance, the findings, published in the journal Nature Communications ,appear to challenge the conventional wisdom that low-lying nations might one day disappear into the sea. But the lead author, Paul S. Kench, a coastal geomorphologist (the study of how the earth’s surface is formed and changed) at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, said simply that the effects of climate change on islands can be complicated.
                'Our work isn’t suggesting they have nothing to worry about,' said Dr. Kench, who has been studying climate and islands for about 20 years. 'But there is more to this than the simple, linear doomsday scenario.'
                The reason? Islands are dynamic ecosystems, he said, which means that changing wave patterns and sediment dumped by storms might be offsetting the erosion caused by rising seas. Some of Tuvalu’s islands grew, and some shrank, but averaged together they gained overall.
            Similar things could happen with other island nations, Dr. Kench said, depending on the nature of the sand and other ecosystem dynamics."

                Amy Yee, "Geothermal Energy Grows in Kenya)," The New York Times, February 23, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/23/business/geothermal-energy-grows-in-kenya.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=7&pgtype=collection, reported, "Verdant hills stretch into the distance at Hell’s Gate National Park, where zebras, buffalos, antelopes, baboons and other wildlife roam an idyllic landscape of forests, gorges and grassy volcanoes near the shores of Lake Naivasha."
                "The valley’s animal herders have long known the unusual properties of the ground under their feet. On chilly days, they warmed themselves near vents that emit plumes of hot steam. Now, Kenya is increasingly harnessing that steam to turn generators that can allow it to expand electrical service and power its rapidly growing economy.
                "The park, about 50 miles from the capital of Nairobi, sits over the East African Rift, a huge fracture in the earth’s crust that also cuts through Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and other countries. Steam from here helped generate 47 percent of Kenya’s electricity in 2015, with hydropower (nearly 35 percent) generating much of the rest.
Kenya has pushed hard to harness its geothermal capabilities. It generated 45 megawatts of power with geothermal energy in 1985 and now generates about 630 megawatts; nearly 400 megawatts of that production has come online since 2014."
                "That explosive growth has made geothermal power a promising source of renewable energy for a country of 44 million people that is expected to nearly double in population by 2050."
                Prices for solar, wind, and battery storage have been continuing to decline and have reached the point where renewables are increasingly squeezing out all forms of fossil fuel power, including natural gas. From March 2017 to March 2018 the cost of constructing  new solar plants decreased by 20 percent, while prices for onshore wind declined 12 percent, according to the Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) report: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-28/fossil-fuels-squeezed-by-plunge-in-cost-of-renewables-bnef-says. Since 2010, the prices for lithium-ion batteries used in energy storage have declined 79 percent (Joe Romm, "Stunning drops in solar, wind costs mean economic case for coal, gas is ‘crumbling’: Things are only going to get tougher for gas and coal compared to renewables," Think Progress,
                Jessica Corbett, "Analysis: More Than 100 Cities Now Mostly Powered by Renewable Energy: 'Cities not only want to shift to renewable energy but, most importantly—they can'," Common Dreams, "February 27, 2018, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/02/27/analysis-more-100-cities-now-mostly-powered-renewable-energy?utm_term=Analysis%3A%20More%20Than%20100%20Cities%20Now%20Mostly%20Powered%20by%20Renewable%20Energy&utm_campaign=News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20%22Don%5Cu2019t%20Agonize%2C%20Organize%21%22&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20%22Don%5Cu2019t%20Agonize%2C%20Organize%21%22-_-Analysis%3A%20More%20Than%20100%20Cities%20Now%20Mostly%20Powered%20by%20Renewable%20Energy, reported,  "More than 100 cities across the globe are now mostly powered by renewable energy, a number that has more than doubled over the past three years, according to a review of environmental data collected from entities worldwide.
The new analysis, a tally of information collected by the U.K.-based group CDP and released Tuesday, accounts for towns and cities that get at least 70 percent of their electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar. In addition to publishing its complete list, the group created an interactive map that features key details about some municipalities' transitions.
            While only four U.S. cities made the list—Aspen, Colorado; Burlington, Vermont; Eugene, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington—the group says 58 localities in the United States have committed to a full transition. Among the largest cities on CDP's list are Auckland, New Zealand; Nairobi, Kenya; Oslo, Norway; and Vancouver, Canada. Forty-seven of the cities listed are located in Brazil. More than 40 cities—from Burlington to Reykjavik, Iceland to Basel, Switzerland—are fully powered by renewables.
                'Through our diverse mix of biomass, hydro, wind, and solar, we have seen first-hand that renewable energy boosts our local economy and creates a healthier place to work, live, and raise a family,' said Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, who urged 'other cities around the globe to follow our innovative path as we all work toward a more sustainable energy future.'
                'Cities are responsible for 70 percent of energy-related CO2 emissions and there is immense potential for them to lead on building a sustainable economy. Reassuringly, our data shows much commitment and ambition,' said Kyra Appleby, CDP's director of cities. "Cities not only want to shift to renewable energy but, most importantly—they can.'
                The new data reflects the rapidly growing trend to commit to a renewable energy transition at a local level. CDP noted in a statement that Tuesday's analysis "comes on the same day the UK100 network of local government leaders announce that over 80 UK towns and cities have committed to 100 percent clean energy by 2050, including Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, and 16 London boroughs."
                The group attributed the rising excitement about energy transitions in part to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, which claims to be 'the broadest global alliance committed to climate leadership, building on the commitment of over 7,400 cities and local governments from six continents and 121 countries representing more than 600 million residents.' The alliance launched last summer, after U.S. President Donald Trump revealed his intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.
                The transition trend is being driven not only by a widespread desire to eliminate the use of oil and gas—which is fueling the global climate crisis—but also by economic arguments. An International Renewable Energy Agency report (pdf) published in January found that "by 2020, all the renewable power generation technologies that are now in commercial use are expected to fall within the fossil fuel-fired cost range, with most at the lower end or undercutting fossil fuels," meaning 'electricity from renewables will soon be consistently cheaper than from most fossil fuels.'
                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License."

                Nick Corasaniti and Brad Plumer, "New Jersey Takes a Big Step Toward Renewable Energy (and Nuclear Gets Help, for Now)," The New York Times, April 12, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/12/nyregion/new-jersey-renewable-energy.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=collection, reported "New Jersey significantly altered the future of its energy sector on Thursday, passing two bills that set ambitious goals for expanding renewable power and curtailing greenhouse gases in the state.
                The bills, which require power companies in New Jersey to generate 50 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and subsidize existing nuclear power plants, mark one of the biggest new policy steps that any state has taken toward cutting greenhouse gases since President Trump was elected."

                David Roberts"Solar panels have gotten thinner than a human hair. Soon they’ll be everywhere," Vox, South Korean scientists have created solar PV cells that are 1 micrometer thick, hundreds of times thinner than most PV and half again as thin as other kinds of thin-film PV. (The research is in a paper published in Applied Physics Letters last June.)"
            "This isn’t the thinnest solar cell ever, either. Back in February 2016, MIT researchers made solar cells so small and light they could sit atop a soap bubble without popping it. Here’s how they did it (from the press release)."
            "Researchers say the same fabrication process could work with a number of different materials, including quantum dots or perovskites, yielding solar cells small and transparent enough to be embedded in windows or building materials."
                "Now, all these lab breakthroughs are just that: lab breakthroughs. It’s a long road from the lab to a commercial product. Plenty could go wrong in between.
                But the trends in solar innovation are clear. Cells are getting smaller and smaller, and more and more flexible, using new fabrication techniques that are less and less resource-intensive.
                It’s all super expensive now, and probably will be for a while. Eventually, though, these new methods will find their way into markets and start getting scaled up. With scale, costs come down.
                Tiny solar PV will change the world
            PV is different from any other energy technology. It can change the way we view power, from something we generate at a specific location to something we harvest, everywhere. Sufficiently cheap, small, and flexible solar cells could be integrated into our building materials, streets, bridges, parking lots, vehicles, clothes, even our skin."

                Over the past decade, Saudi Arabia has been investing heavily in solar energy (Stanley Reed, "From Black Gold to Golden Rays," The New York Times, February 6, 2018).

                The use of solar power to generate electricity around the world increased by 12% in 2017 (Somini Semgupta, "Use of Solar Power Grew, But only 12% Globally," The New York Times, April 6, 2018).

                Derrick Z. Jackson, "Catching a Breeze: America's belated push to develop offshore wind energy," The American Prospect, Spring 2018 issue, April 20, 2018, http://prospect.org/article/catching-breeze, reported, Three years ago, after the collapse of Cape Wind off Nantucket Sound, renewable offshore wind energy in the United States was “a stone dead market,” according to Thomas Brostrøm, president of Ørsted North America. His Danish parent company, formerly DONG Energy, has built more offshore wind farms than any country in the world.
.               .               .               .               .               .               .               .
                Fortunately for Mitchell and for friends of renewable energy, the stone-dead market has been reborn with a speed that has stunned offshore wind advocates. The United States may be an embarrassing quarter-century behind Denmark in putting its first offshore wind farm into the water—a five-turbine, 30-megawatt project off Block Island, Rhode Island, completed in late 2016—but it is still on the verge of that very transformative change Mitchell talked about a hopeful five years ago.
                This year, the Bay State will select the developers for between 400 and 800 of the 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power mandated by Massachusetts. Based on the bids, 1,600 megawatts (or 1.6 gigawatts) would power up to one million homes, nearly a third of the households in the state. Projects are being announced, planned, and approved all the way from New England to the South Atlantic. As evidence that offshore wind is an unprecedented economic opportunity, even the Trump administration—no friend of green energy—has thus far continued the Obama-era program of competitive leasing for offshore wind projects in federal waters.
            A year ago, the government awarded a lease of 122,000 acres of ocean off Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke called the $9 million lease sale “a big win” for energy independence and economic boosting. In October, Zinke met with the energy minister of wind energy pioneer Denmark as the two nations signed an agreement to share information about the industry. In January, Zinke’s energy policy counselor, Vincent DeVito, traveled to Denmark, where Bloomberg quoted him as saying that the United States is working “quite aggressively” to pursue a “robust expansion of offshore wind.”

                Mark Hefflinger, Communications And Digital Director, Bold Alliance, "SOLAR XL: Resisting Keystone XL by Building Clean Energy in the Pipeline’s Path," CREDOBlog, April 6, 2018, https://blog.credomobile.com/2018/04/solar-xl-resisting-keystone-xl-building-clean-energy-pipelines-path/?source=newsletter, reported, "TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels per day of dirty tarsands from Canada through hundreds of American homes, farms and ranches. It would cross the delicate Sandhills in Nebraska and put the critical Ogallala Aquifer and sacred Indigenous sites like the Ponca Trail of Tears at risk. Farmers, ranchers and indigenous Nations are fighting with everything they have to protect the land and their communities from eminent domain for private gain.
                We refuse to allow the Keystone XL to put our land and water at risk. We already have the solutions we need, which is why we’re building solar panels directly in the path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The solar panels are being connected to Nebraska’s power grid, generating clean, renewable energy for the state – as opposed to a risky pipeline that would provide little benefit to Nebraskans. If Keystone XL is approved, TransCanada would have to tear down clean and locally produced energy to make way for its dirty tarsands pipeline.
            The SOLAR XL project is organized by Bold Nebraska, with support from partners including 350.org, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International and CREDO."

                Michael Coleman "Zinke Cancels Chaco Canyon lease sale," Albuquerque Journal, March 1st, 2018, https://www.abqjournal.com/1140105/zinke-cancels-chaco-canyon-lease-sale.html, "U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has canceled an oil and gas lease sale near Chaco Canyon in northern New Mexico until the agency can further review the impact on cultural artifacts in the area.
                The sale was set for March 8."

            Coral Davenport and Hiroko Tabuchi, "E.P.A. Prepares to Roll Back Rules Requiring Cars to Be Cleaner and More Efficient" The New York Times, March 29, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/29/climate/epa-cafe-auto-pollution-rollback.html?rref=collection%2Fbyline%2Fcoral-davenport&action=click&contentCollection=undefined&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection, "The Trump administration is expected to launch an effort in coming days to weaken greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards for automobiles, handing a victory to car manufacturers and giving them ammunition to potentially roll back industry standards worldwide.

                The move — which undercuts one of President Barack Obama’s signature efforts to fight climate change — would also propel the Trump administration toward a courtroom clash with California, which has vowed to stick with the stricter rules even if Washington rolls back federal standards."

                A provision aimed at encouraging the use of parts from trucks destroyed or damaged in accidents has been allowing trucks legally to operate with rebuilt engines that spew as much as 40% - 55% more pollution than newer trucks are required to be limited to (Eric Lipton, "Steering Big Rigs Around Emissions Standards," The New York Times,February 15, 2018).

                  "A Bold, Divisive Plan to Wean Californians From Cars: Legislation would allow more home building along transit routes to reduce gas-guzzling commutes. Some who support the goal have denounced the method," The New York Times,March 16, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/16/business/energy-environment/climate-density.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection, reported, "It’s an audacious proposal to get Californians out of their cars: a bill in the State Legislature that would allow eight-story buildings near major transit stops, even if local communities object.
                The idea is to foster taller, more compact residential neighborhoods that wean people from long, gas-guzzling commutes, reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.
                So it was surprising to see the Sierra Club among the bill’s opponents, since its policy proposals call for communities to be 'revitalized or retrofitted' to achieve precisely those environmental goals. The California chapter described the bill as “heavy-handed,” saying it could cause a backlash against public transit and lead to the displacement of low-income residents from existing housing.

                Jessica Kutz, "What’s quelling the anxiety of electric-car drivers?, New Mexico Political Report, March 22, 2018, http://nmpoliticalreport.com/816486/whats-quelling-the-anxiety-of-electric-car-drivers/?mc_cid=f20759c93e&mc_eid=cde7993ced, reported, "In October, governors from Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming signed an agreement to add high-speed charging stations to every major interstate in the region. Christian Williss, director of transportation fuels and technology at the Colorado Energy Office, said his state aims to make charging “as quick and convenient” as gassing up.
                It’s up to each state to figure out its individual infrastructure plans. Colorado released its own plans in January, which include installing signage so that both EV and non-EV drivers become familiar with charging locations, and building out fast-charging corridors.

                "World's first electrified road for charging vehicles opens in Sweden," Guardian, April 12, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/12/worlds-first-electrified-road-for-charging-vehicles-opens-in-sweden, reported, "The world’s first electrified road that recharges the batteries of cars and trucks driving on it has been opened in Sweden.
                About 2km (1.2 miles) of electric rail has been embedded in a public road near Stockholm, but the government’s roads agency has already drafted a national map for future expansion.
                Sweden’s target of achieving independence from fossil fuel by 2030 requires a 70% reduction in the transport sector.

                A University of Wisconsin-Madison study found that U.S. federal legislation requiring gasoline to contain 10% ethanol resulted in greatly increased carbon dioxide pollution, greatly outweighing any benefits of the move, between 2008 and 2012. One result was an increase in cultivated land of 7 million acres, causing CO2 to be released from the soil. Over all, the increase in CO2 entering the atmosphere as a result of the switch to ethanol was equivalent to having 20 million new cars on the road each year (Lee Bergquist, "Ethanol's unintended effects debated," Albuquerque Journal, August 10, 2018).

                "Graphene Makes Concrete Twice As Strong While Reducing Carbon Emissions,"  Slapshot, May 3, 2018, https://science.slashdot.org/story/18/05/03/2230218/graphene-makes-concrete-twice-as-strong-while-reducing-carbon-emissions, "In a recent study, University of Exeter's Center for Graphene Science used nanoengineering technology to add graphene to concrete production. The resulting graphene concrete is two times stronger than traditional concrete and four times as water resistant, but with a much smaller carbon footprint compared to the conventional process of making concrete. According to the research, the addition of graphene cuts back on the amount of materials needed in concrete production by nearly 50 percent and reduces carbon emissions by 446 kg per ton."

                Michael Greenstone, "Four Years After Declaring War on Pollution, China Is Winning: Research gives estimates on the longer lives that are now possible in the country," The New York Times, March 12, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/12/upshot/china-pollution-environment-longer-lives.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=12&pgtype=collection, reported that China's effort to reduce pollution, begun in 2014, is bringing results, though with costs. "In particular, cities have cut concentrations of fine particulates in the air by 32 percent on average, in just those four years."

                "If China sustains these reductions, recent research by my colleagues and me indicates that residents will see significant improvements to their health, extending their life spans by months or years.
                How did China get here? In the months before the premier’s speech, the country released a national air quality action plan that required all urban areas to reduce concentrations of fine particulate matter pollution by at least 10 percent, more in some cities. The Beijing area was required to reduce pollution by 25 percent, and the city set aside an astounding $120 billion for that purpose.
                To reach these targets, China prohibited new coal-fired power plants in the country’s most polluted regions, including the Beijing area. Existing plants were told to reduce their emissions. If they didn’t, the coal was replaced with natural gas. Large cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, restricted the number of cars on the road. The country also reduced its iron- and steel-making capacity and shut down coal mines.
                The rapid rate of change has had human costs. In some instances Chinese authorities have taken extreme measures to reduce pollution. For example, coal boilers used to provide heat were removed from many homes and businesses before replacements were available, leaving many without heat during the winter.

                Global Citizen, on April 10, 2018, https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/kids-won-climate-change-case-in-colombia/?utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=US_Apr_10_2018_Tues_content_digest_actives_alive_180d, carried several environmental reports in its Newsletter, "These Kids Won a Court Case Forcing Colombia to Protect the Amazon: It sets a precedent that could lead to similar victories around the world," reported, "It looked like a long shot when 25 kids, aged 7 to 26, sued the government of Colombia for failing to protect the environment.
                Never before had a climate change case been heard in Latin America, the charges seemed too far-reaching, and environmental degradation has been accelerating in the country in recent years.
                But after hearing the case, the country’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of the children and now the government must come up with an action plan for stopping deforestation in the Amazon and escalate its fight against climate change, according to the human rights groups Dejusticia, which supported the plaintiff’s case."
                Environmental and agricultural ministries across both national and local governments are required to take part in this project, Reuters reports.  
                'It is clear, despite numerous international commitments, regulations, and jurisprudence on the matter, that the Colombian State has not efficiently tackled the problem of deforestation in the Amazon,' the court said.
                The judges said that the forest is an 'entity subject of rights,' essentially conferring human rights upon the vast and varied ecosystem, according to Reuters.      'This is a historic ruling both nationally and internationally,' César Rodríguez Garavito, director of Dejusticia and the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said in a statement.
                At the national level, it categorically recognizes that future generations are subject to rights, and it orders the government to take concrete actions to protect the country and planet in which they live,” he added.
                The outcome of the case could reverberate around the world: A series of cases, mostly led by youths, are taking off in multiple other countries, according to Reuters.
These cases could be bolstered by international agreements that countries entered.
Through the Paris Climate Agreement, 195 countries around the world have vowed to fight climate change. Although this particular agreement is voluntary in nature, the judges in Colombia viewed it as binding enough to invoke it in their ruling.
And as the effects of climate change become more apparent around the world, the argument made by young people that governments are threatening their future may gain momentum.
                "Deforestation is threatening the fundamental rights of those of us who are young today and will face the impacts of climate change the rest of our lives," the plaintiffs wrote.
"We are at a critical moment given the speed at which deforestation is happening in the Colombian Amazon,” they added. “The government's lack of capacity and planning as well as its failure to protect the environment makes the adoption of urgent measures necessary."
                Global Citizen campaigns to empower youth activists around the world and you can take action on this issue here."
                India’s Most Polluted Rivers Are Now Legally Humans," https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/indias-polluted-rivers-now-legally-humans/, reported, "The Ganges and Yamuna rivers are now legally considered “living human entities,” following the ruling of a high court in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.
                That means that causing harm to the rivers amounts to the same thing as harming a human.
                It’s a radical legal ruling that’s beginning to gain credibility and momentum around the world and it has the potential to completely change how countries protect the environment.
                'The rivers are central to the existence of half of the Indian population and their health and well being,'the court wrote. 'They have provided both physical and spiritual sustenance to all of us from time immemorial.'
                How and if this ruling can be implemented is unknown, especially when you consider the scale of harm caused daily to the Ganges River, which absorbs more than a billion gallons of waste each day. Seventy-five percent of this is raw sewage and domestic waste. The rest comes from industrial runoff — mostly from tanneries that leak extremely toxic substances.
                The Yamuna river is similarly contaminated. Both rivers are victims of India’s population explosion that has been supported by slapdash development. In some cities that straddle the Ganges, for instance, the infrastructure is so outdated and incapable of coping with the population that human waste isn’t even filtered before it flows into the river.
Lax regulation and enforcement has also created a climate of industrial impunity — factories can dump huge quantities of toxic chemicals without even facing a fine.
But this new ruling could empower regulatory bodies that have previously been hobbled by a lack of authority and corruption. It could also begin to unlock funding for necessary sanitation systems throughout the country.
                The Indian government has been trying to clean the river up for decades, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has poured billions into the latest round of efforts.

                Advocates believe that existing efforts at cleaning the rivers will now be expedited. The ruling could also mean that fines and penalties will now be dispensed at a much higher rate, potentially creating a powerful deterrence.
                The first river to gain legal protection in the world River in New Zealand, which gained the status along with a national park.
                Through 'personhood,'a lawsuit can be brought on behalf of land or water. In the past, lawsuits would have to hinge on some human factor — if a human was being harmed by pollution, for instance.
            Defenders of wildlife can be more aggressive in their legal challenges to overdevelopment, deforestation, pollution, and more, by showing that the rights of the park or river are being harmed.
                'This settlement is a profound alternative to the human presumption of sovereignty over the natural world,' Pita Sharples told The New York Times at the time.
                The Whanganui River was championed by indigenous groups that do not view nature as something to be owned. They view humans, plants, animals, and the natural world as having equal claims to life. When viewed from this perspective, it’s logical to extend the same legal protections to bodies of land and water and all the organisms found on them.  
                In India, the Ganges River is regarded as sacred, the embodiment of the goddess Ganga. It seems like such a distinction would guarantee it even greater rights."

                New York City and eight coastal California cities and counties, including San Francisco and Oakland, have filed lawsuits in federal court against ExxonMobil and other oil and gas companies, charging that by contributing to global warming induced climate change, they injured their communities under common law, while on April 17, 2018, in the first such case filed in state or municipal court, the City of Boulder, Boulder County and San Miguel County, CO filed suit in Colorado District Court against ExxonMobil and Suncor Energy, Canada's largest oil company, seeking compensation for damage and adaptation costs resulting from extreme weather events resulting from their contributions to global warming induced climate change (Elliott Negin, "ExxonMobil Is Being Sued for Climate Damages by American Inland Communities for the First Time: Communities in Colorado—one of the fastest-warming states—have joined coastal cities in trying to make Big Oil pay," Portside, April 17, 2018, https://portside.org/2018-04-17/exxonmobil-being-sued-climate-damages-american-inland-communities-first-time).

                Vinod Sreeharsha and Clifford Krauss, "Brazilian Auction Draws Oil Companies Back to Offshore Drilling," The New York Times,
March 29, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/29/business/brazilian-auction-draws-oil-companies-back-to-offshore-drilling.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=9&pgtype=collection, reported, "Exxon Mobil and other oil companies opened their wallets at an offshore oil auction in Brazil on Thursday in a sign that the industry was stepping back into the deepwater drilling business."

                Following unusually high, and in some cases record high, temperatures in the Northeastern United States in early winter, "Nor’easter Live Updates: At Least 5 Die as Storm Topples Trees and Strands Travelers," The New York Times, February 3, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/02/us/bomb-cyclone-noreaster.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=3&pgtype=collection, reported, "A fierce nor’easter battered the Atlantic Coast on Friday, toppling power lines, stranding thousands of travelers, inundating coastal roads and homes with churning seawater and killing at least five people.
            The storm’s effects were felt as far south as Georgia and as far north as Maine. In Rhode Island, the winds were so severe that officials shut down the Newport Bridge. In New York City, most flights were grounded for a time on Friday afternoon. And in the Washington suburbs, downed trees were strewn across the streets.
            More than 3,000 flights were canceled, and more than 3,500 others delayed across the country on Friday, according to FlightAware, many at coastal airports in the storm’s path. Amtrak suspended service along its Northeast Corridor, and more than two million people lost electricity. Meteorologists at the National Weather Service said coastal flooding had damaged homes, closed roads and sent at least one car floating down a street, warning that more water-related destruction could be forthcoming."
                Radio weather reports told of a third major storm dumping deep snow from northern New England to southern Appalachia, disrupting transportation, including thousands of flights, and reducing human activity, on March 21, the first day of spring in 2018.

                In the drying Western United States water, increasingly, has been becoming an issue. Laura Paskus,  "East Mountain water application spurs protests from residents, silence from State Engineer," New Mexico Political Report, March 26, 2018, http://nmpoliticalreport.com/817967/east-mountain-water-application-spurs-protests-from-residents-silence-from-state-engineer/?mc_cid=28fdd44a4e&mc_eid=cde7993ced, reported, "The tony neighborhoods tucked into the juniper-dotted grasslands on the east side of the Sandia Mountains represent yet another battleground in New Mexico’s water wars, one in which the state’s top water official has abandoned one side for the other.
                Last week, testimony ended in a trial over whether a private company can pump more water—114 million gallons more each year—from the Sandia Basin.
Nancy Benson and her husband live in San Pedro Creek Estates, where they built their retirement home in 2000 after living in Albuquerque. She is shocked the state would consider granting the application after rejecting it previously. “This area is fully appropriated, there is nothing extra,” she said. “The scale of this is just mind-bending.”
                Like other East Mountain residents who are protesting the application, she has firsthand knowledge of drying domestic wells. “We assumed our builder knew what he was doing, so when we built the home we drilled [our well] to a little over 150 feet,” Benson said. “In 2011, that well went dry.” They drilled a second well to 300 feet, she said, which cost them about $10,000.
                During the trial, she had a few minutes to address District Court Judge Shannon Bacon. “The essence of my point was that she can’t protect us from climate change—nobody can—but we urged her to deny the Aquifer Science appeal to pump 312,000 gallons of water each day for thousands of new homes from this extremely fragile aquifer that just barely meets the needs of the existing homes,” Benson said. “Many people who testified had already lost their wells to drought.”
            In Bernalillo County, hydrogeologist Philip Rust and his colleagues have found through the county’s water level monitoring project that, on average, water levels in the East Mountain area are dropping 1.8 feet per year. And many domestic wells are drying within the Sandia Basin, a 400-mile area that stretches from Placitas to Tijeras and Sandia Crest to Edgewood.
                It’s happening elsewhere, too. A peer-reviewed study published earlier this year of more than 2 million groundwater wells in 17 states, including New Mexico. The researchers found that one-in-30 wells no longer produce water, and they noticed two “hot spots” for drying in New Mexico. One of those is the Estancia Basin just south of Moriarity.
                Conditions aren’t likely to improve in the short- or long-term: Compared with last year’s relatively wet conditions, most of New Mexico is currently experiencing moderate to extreme drought, and as the region continues warming, there will be even more pressure on both rivers and aquifers."

                Laura Paskus, "Grim forecast for the Rio Grande has water managers, conservationists concerned," New Mexico Political Report, March 5, 2018, http://nmpoliticalreport.com/811259/grim-forecast-for-the-rio-grande-has-water-managers-conservationists-concerned-en/?mc_cid=aa580161b9&mc_eid=cde7993ced, reported, "According to the National Water and Climate Center’s forecast for the Rio Grande Basin, the water supply outlook for spring and summer remains “dire.” In his monthly email, forecast hydrologist Angus Goodbody noted that while storms did hit the mountains in February, particularly along the headwaters in Colorado, snowpack in some parts of the Sangre de Cristo’s continued to decline. That means the river and its tributaries will receive less runoff than normal this spring and summer—and many areas may reach or break historic low flows.
            Last week, a new study in the peer-reviewed journal, Nature, also heralded troubling news. According to the authors, more than 90 percent of snow monitoring sites in the western United States showed declines in snowpack—and 33 percent showed significant declines. The trend is visible during all months, states and climates, they write, but are largest in the spring and in the Pacific states and locations with mild winter climates. To drive home the numbers, they noted the decrease in springtime snow water equivalent—the amount of water in snow—when averaged across the entire western U.S. is 25 to 50 cubic kilometers, or about the volume of water Hoover Dam was built to hold in Lake Mead.
            Lake Mead in late February was at less than 40 percent capacity
And conditions on the Colorado River, which feeds Lake Mead, don’t look good this year.
                The March forecast for the Colorado River Basin remains “well below average.” Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States, has already dipped below 40 percent of capacity and its “bathtub ring” is about 130 feet tall. As of Sunday, the lake’s water level was 1,088 feet above sea level. If it reaches 1,075 feet, that will trigger federal rules that cut the amount of water Nevada, Arizona and California can take.
                Meanwhile, water users in the three states, including cities like Las Vegas and Los Angeles, the Central Arizona Project, irrigation districts in southern California and tribes, are all keeping a close eye on Lake Mead—and trying to work out a drought contingency plan to avoid those federally-mandated cuts if the reservoir keeps dropping."

                Shaleene B. Chavarria and David S. Gutzler, "Observed Changes in Climate and Streamflow in the Upper Rio Grande Basin," https://doi.org/10.1111/1752-1688.12640, Paper No. JAWRA170108P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA), March 6, 2018, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1752-1688.12640,
            Observed streamflow and climate data are used to test the hypothesis that climate change is already affecting Rio Grande streamflow volume derived from snowmelt runoff in ways consistent with modelbased projections of 21stCentury streamflow. Annual and monthly changes in streamflow volume and surface climate variables on the Upper Rio Grande, near its headwaters in southern Colorado, are assessed for water years 1958–2015. Results indicate winter and spring season temperatures in the basin have increased significantly, April 1 snow water equivalent (SWE) has decreased by approximately 25%, and streamflow has declined slightly in the April–July snowmelt runoff season. Small increases in precipitation have reduced the impact of declining snowpack on trends in streamflow. Changes in the snowpack–runoff relationship are noticeable in hydrographs of mean monthly streamflow, but are most apparent in the changing ratios of precipitation (rain + snow, and SWE) to streamflow and in the declining fraction of runoff attributable to snowpack or winter precipitation. The observed changes provide observational confirmation for model projections of decreasing runoff attributable to snowpack, and demonstrate the decreasing utility of snowpack for predicting subsequent streamflow on a seasonal basis in the Upper Rio Grande Basin."
                The full paper is available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1752-1688.12640.

                John Schwartz, "Canada’s Outdoor Rinks Are Melting. So Is a Way of Life, The New York Times, March 20, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/20/climate/canada-outdoor-rinks.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=8&pgtype=collection, reported,            "A rink like the Williamses’ used to offer good skating in this part of Canada from early December into March. But on this late February afternoon, the temperature outside was 55 degrees and rain had fallen steadily all day.  The week before, two feet of snow — mostly gone now, with leftover mounds seeping foggy wisps into the saturated air — blanketed the ground."

                "But Mr. Williams is finding it hard to maintain the ice in a warming world. “There’s a huge difference between when I grew up and was skating outside, and the last five years of skating out here,” he said. “Will my kids, my grandkids, be able to play in an outdoor rink? Probably not. It might be a dying tradition.”
            That day last month happened to be the warmest Feb. 20 in recorded history for Waterloo. The previous record was set in 2016, noted Robert McLeman, an environmental scientist at Wilfrid Laurier University here."

                Ceylan Yeginsu, "Heaviest Snow in Decades Batters U.K., Ireland and the Continent," The New York Times, March 1, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/01/world/europe/uk-weather-warning.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=7&pgtype=collection, reported, "Mediterranean beaches blanketed in white. Blizzards and 'life threatening' conditions in normally snowless areas of Britain, where there is also a developing natural gas shortage. Motorists stranded overnight on a highway in Scotland.
            Since last Friday, Europe has been locked in a Siberian weather pattern that has pummeled the Continent with snow, freezing rain and brutal wind chills, paralyzing cities unaccustomed to more than a thin wet film of snow and killing dozens of people, mainly older and homeless people.
                The weather system that is being called the “Beast From the East” has hit Britain especially hard, with some areas buried in up to three feet of snow and pushing temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 10 Celsius).

            Kendra Pierre-Louis, "Europe Was Colder Than the North Pole This Week. How Could That Be?" The New York Times, March 1, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/01/climate/polar-vortex-europe-cold.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection, reported, "Subfreezing temperatures have spread across much of Europe over the past week, stretching from Poland to Spain. Snow fell in Rome for the first time in six years. Norway recorded the lowest temperatures of the cold snap: minus 43 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 42 Celsius) in the southeast part of the country on Thursday.

                And on Friday, Britain and Ireland were buffeted by a storm that brought snow and high winds, along with cold that was expected to linger for days.
                If Europe feels like the Arctic right now, the Arctic itself is balmy by comparison. The North Pole is above the freezing mark in the dead of winter; there are no direct measurements there, but merging satellite data with other temperature data shows that temperatures soared this week to 35 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius). That is 50 degrees Fahrenheit above normal, and 78 degrees warmer than in parts of Norway.
                The Arctic warmth and the European cold snap have raised questions over whether the unusual weather occurrences are linked to each other, and if they are somehow related to climate change. Here are some answers."
                A major one is that with climate change, the low pressure over the Arctic that used to keep its cold in place most of the time, is now broken through, with cold running sojuth, and warmer air moving in from the south.
                Ceylan Yeginsu, "‘I’ve Never Seen Anything Like This’: Snow Brings Rural U.K. to a Halt," The New York Times ,March 6, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/06/world/europe/uk-snow-pennines.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection, reported, "After a week of blizzards, freezing rain and brutal wind — some of the worst winter weather Britain has seen in decades — the sun finally emerged in northern England on Monday, piercing the thick gray storm clouds and melting layers of ice that had sent cars spinning off roads and left towns and cities paralyzed for days.
                For most of England, the warmer conditions brought a thaw after a week of chaos, but for many in remote regions like some of the hills of the Pennines, the worst was far from over.
                The extreme winds and snows, created by the collision of two weather systems, Storm Emma and a blast of arctic Siberian air nicknamed the Beast from the East, left several rural communities stranded for days with limited food and fuel, prompting the military to drop emergency supplies by helicopter on Monday.
                Snowdrifts piled up to seven feet high in the northern Pennines, leaving some residents trapped in their homes for more than 48 hours before emergency services and volunteers were able to dig them out.
                Local farmers were hit especially hard, with several losing livestock because of the deep snows, freezing temperatures and wind gusts up to 105 m.p.h. The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs was being called upon to release emergency funds to help defray the costs of disposing of hundreds and perhaps thousands of sheep carcasses, at a cost of about $25 to $30 per animal.
                Supermarkets ran out of milk, bread and fresh vegetables and some residents were cut off from urgent medical supplies."

                   "Devastating Dust Storm Strikes India, Killing at Least 94," The New York Times, May 3, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/03/world/asia/india-dust-storm.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection, reported, "A powerful dust storm ripped through northern India on Wednesday, killing at least 94 people and toppling houses, trees and electricity poles, government officials said.
                The storm damaged communities in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, where over 400 people were injured as thunder pierced the sky and visibility plummeted. Cities and villages in at least four other states lost power, the authorities said."

                Laura Paskus, "When rivers, or at least their remnants, return," New Mexico Political Report, March 2, 2018, http://nmpoliticalreport.com/810233/when-rivers-or-at-least-their-remnants-return-en/?mc_cid=293785a9b3&mc_eid=cde7993ced, reported from La Ciénega de Santa Clara, Mexico, "Alejandra Calvo crosses a barren stretch of desert in Sonora, México almost daily during certain times of the year. The route could easily disappear beneath blowing dust and when rain does fall here, it renders the road impassable. There are no birds or wildlife here, not even any visible plants.
                It wasn’t always like this: Until the 1960s, the Colorado River spread across this delta on its path to the Sea of Cortez.

                Hiroko Tabuchi and Kendra Pierre-Louis, "Valentines Day Mood Killer)," The New York Times, February 14, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/newsletters/2018/02/14/climate-change?nlid=52235981, reported, "Cacao thrives in a narrow band around the Equator, and only under specific conditions — high humidity, abundant rain and fairly constant temperatures. And in Ivory Coast and Ghana, which together produce over half of the world’s chocolate, higher temperatures are expected to sharply reduce areas suitable for cultivation. One study predicted that, given current temperature trends, as much as 90 percent of the cacao-growing regions examined would become less suitable for the crop by 2050.
                At the same time, chocolate is a contributor to climate change. The chocolate industry has been a primary driver behind illegal deforestation in Africa’s cacao-growing regions, the environmental advocacy group Mighty Earth said in a reportlast year."

                Laura Paskus, "It’s only April and a stretch of the Rio Grande has already dried," New Mexico Poliical Report, April 5, 2018, http://nmpoliticalreport.com/822352/its-only-april-and-a-stretch-of-the-rio-grande-has-already-dried-en/, reported, "In springtime, rivers are supposed to swell with snowmelt, filling their channels and triggering fish to spawn. This year, however, the Middle Rio Grande has already dried south of Socorro.
                Record-low snowpack in the mountains upstream means that the state’s largest river is in trouble this year. And so are the species and communities that depend on it.
            Earlier this week, biologists headed to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge to start scooping up endangered fish from pools and puddles and relocating them to a stretch of the river that is still flowing."

                Hiroko Tabuchi, Nadja Popovich, Blacki Migliozzi And Andrew W. Lehren, "Mixing Water and Poison," The New York Time, February 6, 2018, https://www.wral.com/mixing-water-and-poison/17318447/, reported, "Anchored in flood-prone areas in every U.S. state are more than 2,500 sites that handle toxic chemicals, a New York Times analysis of federal floodplain and industrial data shows. About 1,400 are in areas at highest risk of flooding.
            As flood danger grows — the consequence of a warming climate — the risk is that there will be more toxic spills like the one that struck Baytown, Texas, where Hurricane Harvey swamped a chemicals plant, releasing lye. Or like the ones at a Florida fertilizer plant that leaked phosphoric acid and an Ohio refinery that released benzene.
            Flooding nationwide is likely to worsen because of climate change, an exhaustive scientific report by the federal government warned last year. Heavy rainfall is increasing in intensity and frequency.
            At the same time, rising sea levels combined with more frequent and extensive flooding from coastal storms like hurricanes may increase the risk to chemical facilities near waterways.
                The Times analysis looked at sites listed in the federal Toxic Release Inventory, which covers more than 21,600 facilities across the country that handle large amounts of toxic chemicals harmful to health or the environment.
            Of those sites, more than 1,400 were in locations the Federal Emergency Management Agency considers to have a high risk of flooding. An additional 1,100 sites were in areas of moderate risk. Other industrial complexes lie just outside these defined flood-risk zones, obscuring their vulnerability as flood patterns shift and expand."
                 Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich, "Here Are the Places That Struggle to Meet the Rules on Safe Drinking Water," The New York Times, February 12, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/climate/drinking-water-safety.html?em_pos=small&ref=headline&nl_art=0&te=1&nl=&emc=edit_clim_20180214, reported, "To ensure that tap water in the United States is safe to drink, the federal government has been steadily tightening the health standards for the nation’s water supplies for decades. But over and over again, local water systems around the country have failed to meet these requirements.
                In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that, since 1982, between 3 and 10 percent of the country’s water systems have been in violation of federal Safe Drinking Water Act health standards each year. In 2015 alone, as many as 21 million Americans may have been exposed to unsafe drinking water.
            Struggling to Meet New Water Quality Standards
                Some rural water systems, especially in Texas and Oklahoma, have had many violations as new rules have gone into effect over the past decade.

Total violations per community water system, 2004-2015, Total violations per community
water system, 2004-2015
No data, 5, 10, 25, 50

                The problem is particularly severe in low-income rural areas, the study found. And the researchers identified several places, including Oklahoma and West Texas, that have repeatedly fallen short in complying with water safety rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency over the past decade."

                Kirk Semple, "‘A Bomb on the Doorstep’: Venezuela Fishermen Fight an Oil Giant," The New York Times, February 25, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/25/world/americas/venezuela-fishermen-pdvsa.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection, reported, "At his toes was Amuay Bay, and the life-giving fish stock it supported: That’s what he was fighting for. Way over on the opposite shore, beyond the wind-kicked whitecaps, sat his adversary: the hulking, state-run oil plant and its failing machinery."
                “For generations, Amuay’s fisherman have pulled snapper, mackerel, sardines, clams and crabs from these waters to feed their families and sell to wholesalers who cart the catch to markets and restaurants elsewhere.
                But the plant, part of the largest refinery complex in Venezuela, has from time to time spewed contaminants into the bay and the adjoining Caribbean Sea, threatening the livelihood of families living in this poor fishing village of several thousand on the country’s northwest coast.
With each spill — scores of them over the past three decades, residents say — fishermen have been forced to suspend their work as plumes of contaminants turned the water’s surface into a shimmering toxic kaleidoscope, poisoned fish and waterfowl, killed mangroves and soiled the town’s beaches."

                Jacqueline Williams, "Drilling in ‘Australia’s Galápagos’ Raises Hopes of Jobs and Fears of Spill," The New York Times, March 24, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/24/world/australia/australia-drilling-the-bight.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=7&pgtype=collection, reported, "It has been called Australia’s answer to the Galápagos: a stretch of rich, pristine ocean facing the Antarctic that is home to calving whales and teeming fisheries that have turned local boat captains into tuna barons.
            But now the waters, known here as the Great Australian Bight, or just the Bight for short, have drawn a different sort of resource industry: The Norwegian oil giant Statoil plans to start drilling by the end of 2019 to tap what experts call one of the world’s great remaining natural gas reserves.
                Here in a country built on resource extraction, where the fossil fuel industry has a long history of political connections that often give it priority over the environment, people fear that this haven for some of the most unusual marine life in the world will be damaged and put at even greater risk from a spill."

                There is now some 87,000 tons of plastic in the Pacific Ocean, between California and Hawai'i, much of it in a huge swirl. As the plastic breaks up into small pieces, much of it is eaten by fish, and is likely to work its way up the food chain to human beings (Livia Albeck-Ripka, "87,000 Tons of Plastic and Counting in the Pacific," The New York Times, March 23, 2017).

                Sydney Greene"Large portions of West Texas sinking at alarming rate, new report finds," The Texas Tribune (Facebook @TexasTribune, Twitter @TexasTribune, Instagram @Texas_Tribune), March 22, 2018, https://www.texastribune.org/content/republish/119760/, reported, "
                Nearly two years after a pair of giant West Texas sinkholes gained national attention, new research in the area shows they likely won't be the last in the region. 
                A report released Thursday by geophysicists at Southern Methodist University says a 4,000-square-mile area near the 'Wink Sinks' is showing signs of alarming instability. 
                'The ground movement we’re seeing is not normal. The ground doesn’t typically do this without some cause,' SMU geophysicist Zhong Lu said in a statement. 
                The Wink Sinks — two gaping sinkholes that sit between the small towns of Wink and Kermit atop the largely tapped out Hendrick oilfield — gained national attention in 2016 after a study revealed they were at risk of collapsing into each other as they grew and the land around them sank. 
                But the new report says the damage could be much more widespread. Over almost three years, researchers tracking geological activity over four oil patch counties in the Permian Basin found that decades of oil activity and its effects on rocks below the earth's surface has contributed to the area’s ground sinking and uplifting — including one area where the ground sank almost 40 inches. 
                The report warns that the area of instability could be larger than the surveyed land — and that the entire region is vulnerable to human activity because of its geology. 
                'This region of Texas has been punctured like a pincushion with oil wells and injection wells since the 1940s, and our findings associate that activity with ground movement,' study co-author Jin-Woo Kim said in a statement. 
                A previous SMU report focused on the Wink Sinks, warning that they were continuing to grow while the land around them was sinking. Kim said Texans in the area should pay special attention to roads, like FM 1053 near Imperial, that are experiencing rapid sinking.  
                'When residents take the roads, they may need to be alerted. Also, the rapid subsidence will not be stopped in a few years, creating cracks and potholes," Kim told The Texas Tribune. "Therefore, Texas [Department of Transportation] may need to suspend the use of the roads, or if needed, they have to consider relocating them.' 
                The Texas Department of Transportation could not be reached for comment as of Thursday afternoon."

                Jake Johnson,  'Truly Wicked': Trump EPA Dissolves Program That Studies Effects of Chemical Exposure on Children: 'Finally America's children will be allowed to choke on the freedom of a lighter regulatory burden'," Common Dreams, "February 27, 2018, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/02/27/truly-wicked-trump-epa-dissolves-program-studies-effects-chemical-exposure-children?utm_term=%27Truly%20Wicked%27%3A%20Trump%20EPA%20Dissolves%20Program%20That%20Studies%20Effects%20of%20Chemical%20Exposure%20on%20Children&utm_campaign=News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20%22Don%5Cu2019t%20Agonize%2C%20Organize%21%22&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20%22Don%5Cu2019t%20Agonize%2C%20Organize%21%22-_-%27Truly%20Wicked%27%3A%20Trump%20EPA%20Dissolves%20Program %20That%20Studies%20Effects%20of%20Chemical%20Exposure%20on%20Children, reported, 

"As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the leadership of Scott Pruitt moves to make it easier for big industry to dump dangerous chemicals into the nation's air and water, the agency announced late Monday that it is dissolving a program that funds studies on the effects of pollution and chemical exposure on America's children.
            —Kevin Gosztola
                Called the National Center for Environmental Research (NCER), the program previously provided millions of dollars in grants per year to researchers studying the effects of chemicals on children's health. The EPA's move, first reported by The Hill, will eliminate the NCER in the process of consolidating three EPA offices.
                Critics responded to the move with outrage, denouncing it as 'truly wicked' and further proof of the Trump administration's willingness to sacrifice the health of the public in the service of its corporate-friendly deregulatory agenda.
                 Kate Aronoff @KateAronoff
                Finally America's children will be allowed to choke on the freedom of a lighter regulatory burden
                                15 people are talking about this
                Scott Pruitt's EPA is shutting down program that monitors effects of chemicals on children's health. Truly wicked
                While the decision to dissolve the NCER was portrayed by the EPA as an effort 'to create management efficiencies,' experts argued that the move is perfectly in line with the Trump administration's push to gut funding for research programs and undercut the agency's ability to regulate and fine corporate polluters.
                'They make it sound like this is a way to create efficiency, but it masks what's happening to this actually programmatic, scientific function of NCER....That makes you think, 'Is this really just an efficiency argument masking their real intention to get rid of the research grant program, which they have said they want to do in the past?'' Tracey Woodruff, a former senior scientist and policy advisor at the EPA under Clinton and Bush, said in an interview with The Hill.
                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License."

                Jacey Fortin, "Michigan Will No Longer Provide Free Bottled Water to Flint," The New York Times, April 8, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/08/us/flint-water-bottles.html?rref=collection%2Fbyline%2Fjacey-fortin&action=click&contentCollection=undefined&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection, reported, "Michigan will stop providing free bottled water to the city of Flint, Gov. Rick Snyder said on Friday.
                City officials criticized the decision, in part because Flint is still recovering from a crisis that left residents with dangerous levels of lead in their tap water beginning in 2014.
            But Michigan officials said lead levels in the water there have not exceeded federal limits for about two years, so the state was closing the four remaining distribution centers where residents have been picking up cases of free water since January 2016.
                'We have worked diligently to restore the water quality and the scientific data now proves the water system is stable and the need for bottled water has ended,' Mr. Snyder, a Republican, said in a statement on Friday."
                "'We did not cause the man-made water disaster, therefore adequate resources should continue being provided until the problem is fixed and all the lead and galvanized pipes have been replaced,” she (the Flint mayor) said in a statement." There are still contaminated pies in the water distribution system.

                Bryan Denton, "Burning Coal for Survival in the World’s Coldest Capital," The New York Times, March 15, 2018, Bryan Denton, reported
"But for the nearly 1.5 million residents of the capital [of Mongolia], Ulan Bator, the misery of winter is now defined almost singularly by the smoke rising out of the city’s chimneys. Since 2016, in addition to being the world’s coldest capital city, it has also had the distinction of being the one with the highest recorded levels of air pollution, surpassing notoriously polluted megacities like Beijing and New Delhi." The direct cause is the use of coal for heating, in this very cold location.

                Jessica Corbett, "In 'Huge Win for Pollinators, People, and the Planet,' EU Bans Bee-Killing Pesticides: 'Authorizing neonicotinoids during a quarter of a century was a mistake and led to an environmental disaster. Today's vote is historic,'" Common Dreams, April 27, 2018, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/27/huge-win-pollinators-people-and-planet-eu-bans-bee-killing-pesticides?utm_term=In%20%27Huge%20Win%20for%20Pollinators%2C%20People%2C%20and%20the%20Planet%2C%27%20EU%20Bans%20Bee-Killing%20Pesticides&utm_campaign=News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20%27Huge%20Win%20for%20Pollinators%2C%20People%2C%20and%20Planet%27%20as%20EU%20Bans%20Bee-Killing%20Pesticides&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20%27Huge%20Win%20for%20Pollinators%2C%20People%2C%20and%20Planet%27%20as%20EU%20Bans%20Bee-Killing%20Pesticides-_-In%20%27Huge%20Win%20for%20Pollinators%2C%20People%2C%20and%20the%20Planet%2C%27%20EU%20Bans%20Bee-Killing%20Pesticides, reported, "Faced with mounting scientific evidence that bee-poisoning neonicotinoids, or neonics, could cause an "ecological armageddon," European regulators on Friday approved a "groundbreaking" and "historic" ban on the widely-used class of pesticides—an announcement met with immediate applause by campaigners."

                Jim Robbins, "Gray Ghosts, the Last Caribou in the Lower 48 States, Are ‘Functionally Extinct’," The New York Times,    April 14, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/14/science/gray-ghost-caribou-extinct.html, reported, "The battle to save the so-called gray ghosts — the only herd of caribou in the lower 48 states — has been lost.
            A recent aerial survey shows that this international herd of southern mountain caribou, which spends part of its year in the Selkirk Mountains of northern Idaho and Washington near the Canadian border, has dwindled to just three animals and should be considered 'functionally extinct,' experts say."

                Jessica Corbett, "In Decline 'Invariably of Humanity's Making,' 1 in 8 of World's Bird Species Threatened by Extinction: Emphasizing concerns about the man-made climate crisis, experts note that "while the report focuses on birds, its conclusions are relevant to biodiversity more generally," Common Dreams, April 23, 2018, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/23/decline-invariably-humanitys-making-1-8-worlds-bird-species-threatened-extinction?utm_term=In%20Decline%20%22Invariably%20of%20Humanity%27s%20Making%2C%22%201%20in%208%20of%20World%27s%20Bird%20Species%20Threatened%20by%20Extinction&utm_campaign=News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20Sanders%27%20Plan%20to%20Guarantee%20Every%20American%20a%20Job&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20Sanders%27%20Plan%20to%20Guarantee%20Every%20American%20a%20Job-_-In%20Decline%20%22Invariably%20of%20Humanity%27s%20Making%2C%22%201%20in%208%20of%20World%27s%20Bird%20Species%20Threatened%20by%20Extinction, reported "The world's 11,000 bird species are in the midst of a major biodiversity crisis—with one in eight threatened by extinction—because of human activity, according to a five-year study published Monday.
                State of the World's Birds (pdf) [https://www.birdlife.org/sites/default/files/attachments/BL_ReportENG_V11_spreads.pdf], conducted by the U.K.-based charity BirdLife, found that 40 percent of bird species populations worldwide are in decline due to various man-made threats.
            'Agricultural expansion, logging, overexploitation, urbanization, pollution, disturbance, and the effects of invasive alien species are all driving bird declines and diminishing the natural world,' the report details. "Longer term, human-induced climate change may prove to be the most serious threat of all."
                Although the study focused solely on the state of bird species, as BirdLife International CEO Patricia Zurita explained in the introduction, the findings have broader implications.
                'Birds are more popular and better studied than any other comparable group and are consequently an excellent means through which to take the pulse of the planet,' Zurita wrote. 'So, while the report focuses on birds, its conclusions are relevant to biodiversity more generally.'
                Experts estimate that global warming—driven largely by greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels—is currently affecting 33 percent of world's threatened bird species.
                That number is expected to rise as a growing number of species struggle to adapt to warming temperatures, which are disruptive to migratory and breeding patterns and well as predator-prey relationships. The consequences of these disruptions could travel all the way up the food chain, as detailed in another study published this month.
                While the climate crisis is identified as the most serious long-term threat, currently, the greatest threat to birds is unsustainable agricultural practices.
                In recent centuries, there has been a surge in demand for tropically grown products such as coffee, cocoa, sugar, palm oil, and soya, which has contributed to a dramatic expansion of farming. The report claims that 'the area of Earth's land surface given over to agriculture has increased more than sixfold over the past 300 years.'
                Noting that researchers estimated 74 percent of the 1,469 threatened species are impacted by agriculture, the Guardian charted the number of species at risk by threat:
threats to birds
                A key element of the broader agricultural threat is the use of neonicotinoids, pesticides that are common in North America and Europe—despite mounting opposition. Experts are concerned not only how neonics, as they are called, impact seed-eating birds, but also how their buildup in soil and plants could have long-term and further-reaching consequences.
                'The data are unequivocal. We are undergoing a steady and continuing deterioration in the status of the world's birds,' concluded Tris Allinson, BirdLife's senior global science officer, and lead author of the report. "The threats driving the avian extinction crisis are many and varied, but invariably of humanity's making."
                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License."

            "Sudan, the Last Male Northern White Rhino, Dies in Kenya," The New York Times, March 20, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/20/science/rhino-sudan-extinct.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=7&pgtype=collection, reported, "The last male northern white rhinoceros died on Monday at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya following a series of infections and other health problems."

                Jessica Corbett, "'Beyond Comprehension': In Just Two Years, Half of All Corals in 'Forever Damaged' Great Barrier Reef Have Died: Global warming, researchers warn, 'is rapidly emerging as a universal threat to ecological integrity and function,'" Common Dreams, April 19, 2018, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/19/beyond-comprehension-just-two-years-half-all-corals-forever-damaged-great-barrier?utm_term=%27Beyond%20Comprehension%27%3A%20In%20Just%20Two%20Years%2C%20Half%20of%20All%20Corals%20in%20%27Forever%20Damaged%27%20Great%20Barrier%20Reef%20Have%20Died&utm_campaign=News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20%27Deeply%20Disappointing%27%20to%20%27Disgusting%27%20as%20First%20Democrat%20Backs%20Pompeo&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20%27Deeply%20Disappointing%27%20to%20%27Disgusting%27%20as%20First%20Democrat%20Backs%20Pompeo-_-%27Beyond%20Comprehension%27%3A%20In%20Just%20Two%20Years%2C%20Half%20of%20All%20Corals%20in%20%27Forever%20Damaged%27%20Great%20Barrier%20Reef%20Have%20Died, reported, "'Beyond comprehension: In the summer of 2015, more than 2 billion corals lived in the Great Barrier Reef. Half of them are now dead.'
—The Atlantic: Between March and November of 2016, a 'record-breaking' marine heatwave caused rampant
 coral bleaching around the globe, and the Great Barrier Reef, located off the coast of northeastern Australia, lost nearly a third of its corals.
                When corals bleach from a heatwave, they can either survive and regain their color slowly as the temperature drops, or they can die," explained Terry P. Hughes, the report's lead author and director of the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.
                While the team of researchers focused on the 2016 heatwave, Hughes shared with The Atlantic early results from a follow-up wave last year:
                Combined, he said, the back-to-back bleaching events killed one in every two corals in the Great Barrier Reef. It is a fact almost beyond comprehension: In the summer of 2015, more than 2 billion corals lived in the Great Barrier Reef. Half of them are now dead.
            What caused the devastation? Hughes was clear: human-caused global warming. The accumulation of heat-trapping pollution in the atmosphere has raised the world's average temperature, making the oceans hotter and less hospitable to fragile tropical corals.
                People often ask me, 'Will we have a Great Barrier Reef in 50 years, or 100 years?' Hughes said. 'And my answer is, yes, I certainly hope so—but it's completely contingent on the near-future trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions.'
                Following the 2016 heatwave, Hughes's team found that across the Great Barrier Reef, 'fast-growing staghorn and tabular corals suffered a catastrophic die-off, transforming the three-dimensionality and ecological functioning of 29 percent of the 3,863 reefs comprising the world's largest coral reef system.'
                The severity of that heatwave's impact surprised even experts, as it was far more powerful than past bleaching events, which have caused five-to-ten percent of corals to die off, Hughes told the Guardian.
                Bleaching occurs when the coral expels algae that lives within it and provides food. For past mass bleaching events, corals either recovered when the water cooled down, or died slowly of 'starvation.' However, with the 2016 heatwave, Hughes said, 'That's not what we found.'
            'About half of the mortality we measured occurred very quickly,' he explained. Rather than starving, 'temperature-sensitive species of corals began to die almost immediately in locations that were exposed to heat stress,' which radically altered the mix of coral species that now live in the sprawling 1,400-mile system.
                Global warming, the report concludes, 'is rapidly emerging as a universal threat to ecological integrity and function, highlighting the urgent need for a better understanding of the impact of heat exposure on the resilience of ecosystems and the people who depend on them.'
                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License."

            Oceana, "Corals, Sponges, Underwater Canyons Get New Protections off U.S. West Coast: More than 140,000 sq. miles of living seafloor safeguarded from impacts of bottom trawling," April 10, 2018, http://usa.oceana.org/press-releases/corals-sponges-underwater-canyons-get-new-protections-us-west-coast?utm_campaign=enews&utm_content=201804enewsUS&utm_source=en&utm_medium=email, Contact: Ashley Blacow: ablacow@oceana.org, reported, "Late yesterday, the Pacific Fishery Management Council unanimously voted to protect more than 140,000 square miles of seafloor habitat, including corals, sponges, and rocky reefs, off the U.S. West Coast. Once implementing regulations are issued by NOAA Fisheries, the Council’s action will more than double the spatial extent of seafloor protections off the U.S. West Coast. Deep sea coral gardens, sponge beds, underwater canyons, and high relief structures like rocky reefs provide homes for commercially and recreationally important fish species including more than 90 species of rockfish off California, Oregon, and Washington. Corals and sponges also provide habitat for a myriad of other ocean creatures including octopus and sea stars."

            Overfishing of once plentiful abalone has not only greatly reduced an important food source, but is leading to deaths as divers take extreme risks trying to harvest them in deeper, more dangerous, waters (Kimon De Greef, "Divers Risk Drowning and Sharks to Poach Abalone Worth $200 a Pound," The New York Times,  March 31, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/31/world/africa/south-africa-abalone-poaching.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=7&pgtype=collection).

                A fiery tanker collision and sinking in the south china sea, in January 2018, has caused a nearly invisible toxic chemical to spread across one of Asia's most important fishing grounds, threatening fish from China to Japan and beyond (Steven Lee Myers and Javier C. Hernandez, "A Ghostly Spill Menaces Asia's Richest Fisheries," The New York Times, February 13, 2018).

                "‘Sentinel’ Dolphins Die in Brazil Bay. Some Worry a Way of Life Has, Too," The New York Times, April 2, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/02/world/americas/brazil-dolphins-sepetiba-bay.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=5&pgtype=collection, reported, "Something ominous was happening in the turquoise waters of Sepetiba Bay, a booming port outside Rio de Janeiro [Brazil]. Beginning late last year, fishermen were coming across the scarred and emaciated carcasses of dolphins, sometimes five a day, bobbing up to the surface.
                Since then, scientists there have discovered more than 200 dead Guiana dolphins, or Sotalia guianensis, a quarter of what was the world’s largest concentration of the species. The deaths, caused by respiratory and nervous system failures linked to a virus, have subsided, but scientists are working to unravel the mystery behind them."
                "The dolphins are 'sentinels,' said Mariana Alonso, a biologist at the Biophysics Institute at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, one of a number groups working to understand the epidemic. 'When something is wrong with them, that indicates the whole ecosystem is fractured.'”

            Migrating shore birds are in serious decline, around the world. There are several causes, climate change, coastal development, destruction of wetlands, and hunting. Several species in particular have suffered major decline since 1974. Pectoral sandpipers have lost 50% of their population. Hudsonian Godwits have lost 70% of their numbers. The 19 North American migratory shore bird populations as a group have declined by 40%. Extinctions are quite possible (John W. Fitzpatrick and Nathan R. Senner, "The Globe's Greatest Travelers Are Dying," The New York Times, April 29, 2018).

                Pascal Bonnefoy, "With 10 Million Acres in Patagonia, a National Park System Is Born," The New York Times, February 19, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/19/world/americas/patagonia-national-park-chile.html?rref=collection%2Fissuecollection%2Ftodays-new-york-times&action=click&contentCollection=todayspaper&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=5&pgtype=collection, reported, "An eagle soared over the lone house atop an arid hill in the steppes of Patagonia Park.
                In the valley below, not far from the town of Cochrane, President Michelle Bachelet announced the creation of a vast national park system in Chile stretching from Hornopirén, 715 miles south of the capital, Santiago, to Cape Horn, the southern tip of South America, where Chile splinters into fjords and canals.
                The park is the brainchild of Kristine McDivitt Tompkins and her husband, Douglas Tompkins, who founded The North Face and Esprit clothing companies, and starting in 1991, put $345 million — much of his fortune — buying large swaths of Patagonia."


Edward O. Wilson*

Republished with author's and publication's permission from The New York Times, March 3, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/03/opinion/sunday/species-

                The history of conservation is a story of many victories in a losing war. Having served on the boards of global conservation organizations for more than 30 years, I know very well the sweat, tears and even blood shed by those who dedicate their lives to saving species. Their efforts have led to major achievements, but they have been only partly successful.

                The extinction of species by human activity continues to accelerate, fast enough to eliminate more than half of all species by the end of this century. Unless humanity is suicidal (which, granted, is a possibility), we will solve the problem of climate change. Yes, the problem is enormous, but we have both the knowledge and the resources to do this and require only the will.

                The worldwide extinction of species and natural ecosystems, however, is not reversible. Once species are gone, they’re gone forever. Even if the climate is stabilized, the extinction of species will remove Earth’s foundational, billion-year-old environmental support system. A growing number of researchers, myself included, believe that the only way to reverse the extinction crisis is through a conservation moonshot: We have to enlarge the area of Earth devoted to the natural world enough to save the variety of life within it.

                The formula widely agreed upon by conservation scientists is to keep half the land and half the sea of the planet as wild and protected from human intervention or activity as possible. This conservation goal did not come out of the blue. Its conception, called the Half-Earth Project, is an initiative led by a group of biodiversity and conservation experts (I serve as one of the project’s lead scientists). It builds on the theory of island biogeography, which I developed with the mathematician Robert MacArthur in the 1960s.

                Island biogeography takes into account the size of an island and its distance from the nearest island or mainland ecosystem to predict the number of species living there; the more isolated an ecosystem, the fewer species it supports. After much experimentation and a growing understanding of how this theory works, it is being applied to the planning of conservation areas.

                So how do we know which places require protection under the definition of Half-Earth? In general, three overlapping criteria have been suggested by scientists. They are, first, areas judged best in number and rareness of species by experienced field biologists; second, “hot spots,” localities known to support a large number of species of a specific favored group such as birds and trees; and third, broad-brush areas delineated by geography and vegetation, called ecoregions.

                All three approaches are valuable, but applying them in too much haste can lead to fatal error. They need an important underlying component to work — a more thorough record of all of Earth’s existing species. Making decisions about land protection without this fundamental knowledge would lead to irreversible mistakes.

                The most striking fact about the living environment may be how little we know about it. Even the number of living species can be only roughly calculated. A widely accepted estimate by scientists puts the number at about 10 million. In contrast, those formally described, classified and given two-part Latinized names (Homo sapiens for humans, for example) number slightly more than two million. With only about 20 percent of its species known and 80 percent undiscovered, it is fair to call Earth a little-known planet.

                Paleontologists estimate that before the global spread of humankind the average rate of species extinction was one species per million in each one- to 10-million-year interval.

                Human activity has driven up the average global rate of extinction to 100 to 1,000 times that baseline rate. What ensues is a tragedy upon a tragedy: Most species still alive will disappear without ever having been recorded. To minimize this catastrophe, we must focus on which areas on land and in the sea collectively harbor the most species.
Building on new technologies, and on the insight and expertise of organizations and individuals who have dedicated their lives the environment, the Half-Earth Project is mapping the fine distribution of species across the globe to identify the places where we can protect the highest number of species. By determining which blocks of land and sea we can string together for maximum effect, we have the opportunity to support the most biodiverse places in the world as well as the people who call these paradises home. With the biodiversity of our planet mapped carefully and soon, the bulk of Earth’s species, including humans, can be saved.

                By necessity, global conservation areas will be chosen for what species they contain, but in a way that will be supported, and not just tolerated, by the people living within and around them. Property rights should not be abrogated. The cultures and economies of indigenous peoples, who are de facto the original conservationists, should be protected and supported. Community-based conservation areas and management systems such as the National Natural Landmarks Program, administered by the National Park Service, could serve as a model.

                To effectively manage protected habitats, we must also learn more about all the species of our planet and their interactions within ecosystems. By accelerating the effort to discover, describe and conduct natural history studies for every one of the eight million species estimated to exist but still unknown to science, we can continue to add to and refine the Half-Earth Project map, providing effective guidance for conservation to achieve our goal.
                The best-explored groups of organisms are the vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes), along with plants, especially trees and shrubs. Being conspicuous, they are what we familiarly call “wildlife.” A great majority of other species, however, are by far also the most abundant. I like to call them “the little things that run the world.” They teem everywhere, in great number and variety in and on all plants, throughout the soil at our feet and in the air around us. They are the protists, fungi, insects, crustaceans, spiders, pauropods, centipedes, mites, nematodes and legions of others whose scientific names are seldom heard by the bulk of humanity. In the sea and along its shores swarm organisms of the other living world — marine diatoms, crustaceans, ascidians, sea hares, priapulids, coral, loriciferans and on through the still mostly unfilled encyclopedia of life.

                Do not call these organisms “bugs” or “critters.” They too are wildlife. Let us learn their correct names and care about their safety. Their existence makes possible our own. We are wholly dependent on them.

                With new information technology and rapid genome mapping now available to us, the discovery of Earth’s species can now be sped up exponentially. We can use satellite imagery, species distribution analysis and other novel tools to create a new understanding of what we must do to care for our planet. But there is another crucial aspect to this effort: It must be supported by more “boots on the ground,” a renaissance of species discovery and taxonomy led by field biologists.

                Within one to three decades, candidate conservation areas can be selected with confidence by construction of biodiversity inventories that list all of the species within a given area. The expansion of this scientific activity will enable global conservation while adding immense amounts of knowledge in biology not achievable by any other means. By understanding our planet, we have the opportunity to save it.
As we focus on climate change, we must also act decisively to protect the living world while we still have time. It would be humanity’s ultimate achievement.

*Edward O. Wilson is a university research professor emeritus and an honorary curator of entomology at Harvard, and a scientist on the Half-Earth Project.

Environmental Activities

Compiled by Stephen Sachs

            350.org was engaged in a major campaign, in May 2018, to "stop fossil fuels: Build 100% Renewables," aimed at stopping all new coal oil and gas project, and switching to clean renewable energy. This includes numerous specific efforts incduding: #ThumaMina: Tell the Development Bank of Southern Africa to publicly commit to not funding the Thabametsi coal-fired power plant; deCOALonise.africa: End the age of coal in Africa!; #SolarXL: Resisting the Keystone Pipeline by building clean energy in the path of the pipeline; and - among many others - Unesco: protect culture not coal: askin Unesco to “Protect our priceless cultural sites from coal and climate change. Issue a statement calling for a stop to all fossil fuel development that threatens World Heritage Sites, and demanding governments comply with the Paris Agreement.”

For details go to: http://act.350.org/.

                The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), continues to be involved in many activities including fighting the Trump Administration's attack on science. It is involved on many issues including: Clean Energy, Clean Vehicles, Food & Agriculture, Global Warming, Nuclear Power, and Nuclear Weapons.
                For more information visit: www.ucsusa.org.

            Wild Earth Guardians, "Learn how we're enforcing transparency under Trump: Information is power," E-mail, April 16, 2018, stated, " In 1913, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis coined the phrase 'sunlight is the best disinfectant.' A century later, as we grapple with the era of Trump, this sentiment is truer than ever. 
                In the latest issue of Wild at Heart (http://www.wildearthguardians.org/FlexPaper/Publications/WGnews30-hi/WGnews30-hi.html), we look at what it means to enforce transparency under the Trump administration. Read our featured article, in which Climate and Energy Director Jeremy Nichols explains why we filed a whopping 238 Freedom of Information Act requests last year—and why Trump can no longer get away with ignoring them—while Endangered Species Advocate Taylor Jones describes our use of FOIA to dig up dirt on the Interior Department’s war on prairie dogs."

            Carbonfund.org Foundation (carbonfund.org), among its many projects, continues to in engage in "planting trees around the world, in large, formally-managed and long-term tree-planting projects, restoring areas devastated by storms and natural disasters, improving soil quality, absorbing carbon dioxide emissions from the air, and providing local employment opportunities. 
                Among its other work, the foundation:
                Has supported 180 projects across 23 countries and 40 US states?
            Preserves 750,000 acres of Amazon Rainforest in Brazil?
                Supports wind energy projects in the US and around the globe?
                Funds truck stop electrification projects across the US to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
                Runs North America's first carbon neutral product certification label?
            Operates a boys and girls overnight summer camp in New Hampshire aimed at traditional outdoor play and environmental learning called Camp Quinebarge?
                For more information go to: carbonfund.org.

            Conservation Voters, New Mexico, stated via-E-mail, February 12, 2018, media Contact: Liliana Castillo at 575-219-9619 or liliana@cvnm.org, "Conservation Voters New Mexico Statement in Response to BLM’s Revised Methane Rule, "Today, the Trump administration proposed a new Methane and Waste Prevention rule, which guts the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) 2016 rule. The rule aims to limit wasteful venting and flaring of methane from oil and gas operations on public lands. This impacts New Mexicans directly due to the Four Corner’s 'hot spot,' a cloud of methane the size of Delaware, hanging over the San Juan Basin. Conservation Voters New Mexico Executive Director Dennis Foster released the following statement:
                'Last year, hundreds of New Mexicans took thousands of actions, expressing their overwhelming support for pollution standards to reduce methane waste and keep our air clean. In addition, a bipartisan group of members of Congress rejected the type of special interest pandering that the Trump administration put on display today by proposing to severely weaken the BLM’s Methane and Waste Prevention Rule,' says Demis Foster, CVNM Executive Director. 'The Trump administration continues to put the worst actors in the oil and gas industry ahead of taxpayers, Western communities and hard-working families. In light of these dangerous actions at the federal level, we urge action at the state level to address methane pollution and protect the health of our families.'"

                Rabbi Arthur Waskow  of the The Shalom Center "Beyond Destructive Gas/Oil Pipelines, to Birthing a Joyful Community," April 25, 2018, https://theshalomcenter.org/content/beyond-destructive-gasoil-pipelines-birthing-joyful-community, wrote, "Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) is a national network of activists who are opposing gas/oil pipelines that are infrastructure for fracked fossil fuels, the Canadian tar sands oil, etc. etc.
                BXE will be connecting with the Poor Peoples Campaign in its own climactic action on May 23-25, as the Poor Peoples Campaign ends its 40 days of local action in state capitals with a massive outpouring in Washington, DC.  I think many members and friends of The Shalom Center may find it valuable to connect with BXE’s work across the country."
                " Back to BXE: It publishes a calendar of pipeline protests being planned, in the works or on-going. They update the calendar at least every two weeks. It is available at: https://beyondextremeenergy.org/no-new-infrackstructure-2018-action-calendar/ . It is a calendar primarily for actions aimed at stopping the building of any new fossil fuel infrastructure. Submissions for this listing should be sent to actions@beyondextremeenergy.org and should include location, date(s), description (short) and contact info.
                The BXE Calendar, as of April 30, 2018, also above, near the beginning of Upcoming Events."

            Center for Biological Diversity, "Suit Targets Oil Leases on 2 Million Acres of Grouse Habitat," Endangered Earth, No. 930, May 3, 2018, reported via E-mail, "Our battle continues to save some of the West's most iconic animals.
                This week the Center for Biological Diversity and allies filed suit over Trump actions that gut protections for imperiled greater sage grouse, rare birds famous for their elaborate mating dances. Our lawsuit includes a challenge of indiscriminate oil and gas leases on nearly 2 million acres of the birds' prime habitat in five states.
            At issue are two Trump directives rolling back hard-won compromises to preserve dwindling grouse populations and cutting the public out of oil and gas planning on our public lands.
            'Trump can't ignore the law to fulfill the fossil fuel industry's wish list
,' said the Center's Michael Saul. 'There's no scientific or legal basis for these policies, and no public support. What Trump's doing is both wrong and illegal.'"


BXE No New InFRACKstructure 2018 Action Calendar, April 18, 2018, beginning May 1, 2018, https://beyondextremeenergy.org/no-new-infrackstructure-2018-action-calendar/. Beyond Extreme Energy is publishing a calendar of actions being planned, in the works or on-going. We will publish it at least every two weeks. It is available at www.beyondextremeenergy.org, and it is also distributed via email and social media. It is a calendar primarily for actions aimed at stopping the building of any new fossil fuel infrastructure. Submissions for this listing should be sent to actions@beyondextremeenergy.org and should include location, date(s), description (short) and contact info.
Actions to stop fossil fuel expansion: 
May 7, nationwide, #ShutDownChase day of action. “JPMorgan Chase is one of the most destructive businesses on the planet.” For more info, including about an April 26th Mobilization call, go to: https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/shutdownchase
May 12, Hammond, IN: “Walk the Line” Pipeline Walk: March against Enbridge Line 6.  https://walkthelinenwi.com
May 19, worldwide: Hands Across the Sand, “Say NO to dirty fuels and YES to clean energy.”  www.handsacrossthesand.com 
June 9, Washington, DC, and elsewhere: March for the Ocean. “NO to offshore oil testing, leasing, drilling and spilling, NO to plastic and other forms of Ocean pollution and YES to protecting our coasts at risk. YES to a Healthy Ocean and Clean Water for All. https://marchfortheocean.org/
June 23-25, Washington, D.C.:  Beyond Extreme Energy convergence and actions, including as part of Poor Peoples Campaign mass demonstration on June 23 and at FERC (and elsewhere) on June 25: “There are cracks appearing at FERC; it is time to escalate.” http://beyondextremeenergy.org
July 21, Washington, D.C: This is Zero Hour march. A youth-led call for climate action. “Center the voices of diverse youth in the conversation around climate and environmental justice.” http://thisiszerohour.org
 To be determined/finalized:
May 9, Richmond, VA.: Dominion Power shareholders meeting
Mid-June, North Carolina Walk to Raleigh to Stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline: www.apppl.org
Early September, San Francisco, CA.: Demonstration at Global Climate Action Summit. http://peoplesclimate.org
Sept. 29, Washington, D.C.: Demonstration calling for a halt to the expansion of gas and oil infrastructure and for renewables now. For more information: keepermaya@delawareriverkeeper.org
Vancouver, British Columbia: Stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline, Protect the Water, Land and Climate. https://protecttheinlet.ca
Mahwah, NJ:  Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp. Support the Ramapough Lenape Nation in defending their right to pray and speak out against new pipelines on their ancestral lands in New Jersey. https://www.facebook.com/splitrockprayercamp                                             
Baltimore, MD: #WeAreCovePoint will be at MDE offices in Baltimore on Wednesdays during lunch time, reminding state officials that their job is to protect our air (and climate), not Dominion Energy’s profits. Sign up for a Wednesday shift. 
Middletown, NY, every Saturday 11 am-noon: Shut Down CPV gas-fired power plant on Route 6. www.blog.protectorangecounty.org
Giles County, WV: Tree-sit to prevent cutting down of trees for Mountain Valley Pipeline: https://www.facebook.com/appalachiansagainstpipelines/
Southern Louisiana, L’eau Est La Vie Camp. No Bayou Bridge pipelinehttps://www.facebook.com/LeauEstLaVie/
Camp White Pine, Huntington County, Pennsylvania: Stop the Mariner East 2 pipeline.  https://www.facebook.com/CampWhitePinePA/
Lancaster Against Pipelines, Lancaster, Pa.: Stop the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline.         www.wearelancastercounty.org
Virginia: Three Sisters Resistance Camp: More info here.
Cloquet, Minnesota: Resistance to Enbridge Line 3:  More info here
Southeastern Justice First Tour, April 12 to June 23: https://www.dogwoodalliance.org
 Other actions of note:
May 13/Mother’s Day to June 23/Summer Solstice: Poor People’s Campaign actions: A National Call for Moral Revival. Nonviolent moral fusion direct actions in numerous state capitols each Monday during that 40 day period. Final action in DC on June 23.  https://poorpeoplescampaign.org/.

Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), Earth Week to Action: Climate Justice and Health @ Seattle, University of Washington, Suzallo Library Research Commons is May 8 @ 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM. For more information go to: http://www.psr.org/news-events/events/.

The 13th Annual Global Solutions Lab  is June 17-25, 2018, at the United Nations in New York and Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, PA.  Participants, from around the world, will be briefed by, interact with and question UN experts (from the UN Development Program, UN Environmental Program, UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO, FAO and other UN agencies) and then, working collaboratively in small teams, develop designs, programs and strategies that deal with one of the critical problems facing our world. The participants present their work to a group of UN corporate and foundation leaders. After this their work is published in a book. This year's theme is Eliminating Extreme Poverty by 2030
The Global Solutions Lab is a structured learning experience that fosters creativity, disruptive innovations, global perspectives and local solutions. It is intense, fast-paced, and for many, transformative.
                For information visit: Global Solutions Lab:  www.designsciencelab.com.

Summit Series: Cultivating the Globally Sustainable Self is July 5-8, 2018 at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Banff, Canada, and hosted by the University of Alberta and James Madison University. For details visit: www.jmu.edu/summitseries.

The Fifteenth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability is January 17-19, 2019, at UBC Robinson Square, Vancouver, BC, Canada. For details visit: http://onsustainability.com/2019-conference.

World Sustainable Development Summit 2019 may be in February 2019, at India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi, India. For details visit: http://wsds.teriin.org. 

The 7th annual workshop of Rising Voices: Collaborative Science with Indigenous Knowledge for Climate Solutions may be in April 2019. For details go to: iitc.org.

The 8th International Conference on "Livelihoods, Sustainability and Conflict: Religion, Conflict, and Reconciliation,” may be in March 2019, hosted by Kennesaw State University Conflict Management Program at Kennesaw State University Center for Continuing Education 3333 Busbee Drive Kennesaw, GA 30144. For more information go to: http://ccm.hss.kennesaw.edu/events-programs/.

Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking – Fifth Edition, 266 pp., can be downloaded at: http://www.psr.org/assets/pdfs/fracking-compendium-5.pdf.


UN NGO Climate Change Caucus, with numerous task forces, is at: http://climatecaucus.net.

On the Frontlines of Climate Change: A global forum for indigenous peoples, small islands and vulnerable communities can be subscribed to at: http://www.climatefrontlines.org/lists/?p=subscribe. See postings on the website at: http://www.climatefrontlines.org/en-GB/node/148.

350.org focusses on stopping and mitigating global warming induced climate change: http://act.350.org/.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is concerned with the proper use of science in decision making, and of using science to prevent public harm in many areas, especially concerning the environment: www.ucsusa.org.

The Indigenous Environmental Network works on environmental issues  from an Indigenous point of view: http://www.ienearth.org.

The League of Conservation voters (LCV) is concerned with environmental issues: https://www.lcv.org.

Food & Water Action Fund (https://www.foodandwateractionfund.org) and Food and Water Watch (https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org) work to protect food and water.

Ocean River Institute is a non-profit that provides opportunities to make a difference and go the distance for savvy stewardship of a greener and bluer planet Earth: https://www.oceanriver.org.

Waterkeeper Alliance is a global movement for swimmable, drinkable, fishable water: https://waterkeeper.org.

WildEarth Guardians works to protect and restore wildlife, wild places and wild rivers in the American West: wildearthguardians.org.

Nuclear Information and Resource Service focuses on the dangers of nuclear arms and nuclear power: https://www.nirs.org.

Earth Policy Institute, dedicated to building a sustainable future as well as providing a plan of how to get from here to there: www.earthpolicy.org.

Wiser Earth lists more than 10,700 environmental and environmental justice organizations at: http://www.wiserearth.org/organization/

Earthwatch, the world’s largest environmental volunteer organization, founded in 1971, works globally to help the people of the planet volunteer realize a sustainable environment: http://www.earthwatch.org/.

Avaaz.org works internationally on environmental and peace and justice issues: http://www.avaaz.org.

The Environmental Defense Fund works on environmental issues and policy, primarily in the U.S.: http://edf.org.

Earthjustice focuses on environmental issues and action: http://action.earthjustice.org.

The Sierra Club works on environmental issues in the United States: http://action.sierraclub.org.

SaveOurEnvironemnt.org, a coalition of environmental organizations acting politically in the U.S.: http://ga3.org/campaign/0908_endangered_species/xuninw84p7m8mxxm.

The National Resources Defense Council works on a variety of environmental issues in the U.S.: NRhttp://www.nrdconline.org/, asd is affiliated with the NRDC Action Fund work http://www.nrdcactionfund.org.

Care 2 is concerned about a variety of issues, including the environment: http://www.care2.com/.

Rainmakers Oceania studies possibilities for restoring the natural environment and humanity's rightful place in it, at: http://rainmakers-ozeania.com/0annexanchorc/about-rainmakers.html.

Green Ships, in fall 2008, was is asking Congress to act to speed the development of new energy efficient ships that can take thousands of trucks off Atlantic and Pacific Coast highways, moving freight up and down the costs with far less carbon emissions and more cheaply:  http://www.greenships.org.

Carbon Fund Blog carries climate change news, links to green blogs, and a green resource list, at: http://carbonfund.blogspot.com/2008/03/sky-is-falling.html. Carbon Fund is certifying carbon free products at: http://www.carbonfund.org/site/pages/businesses/category/CarbonFree.

Grist carries environmental news and commentary: http://www.grist.org/news/,

Green Inc. is a new blog from The New York Times devoted to energy and the environment at: greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com.

Planting Peace is, "A Resource Center for news and activities that seek to build a powerful coalition to bring about cooperation and synergy between the peace movement, the climate crisis movement, and the organic community." Their web site includes extensive links to organizations, articles, videos and books that make the connections, at: http://organicconsumers.org/plantingpeace/index.cfm, Planting Peace is sponsored by the Organic Consumers Association: http://organicconsumers.org/.

The Global Climate Change Campaign: http://www.globalclimatecampaign.org/.

The center for defense information now carries regular reports on Global Warming & International Security at: http://www.cdi.org.