This is the problem with Hillary: She is willing to say ‘yes’ to green technology and green jobs, but she is showing no signs of being willing to say ‘no’ to the oil and gas lobby, which we know is funding her campaign significantly.
—  Naomi Klein, author of the best-selling book, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate,” which is out in paperback today. Watch her interview on Democracy Now! this morning.
President Obama on Climate

The Clean Power Plan is the right move, given today’s political environment. I think it’s another perfect example of the Obama administration’s political philosophy: rhetorically address the major and systemic issues facing the country and the world, assess the legal and political frameworks for action, and sensing no real action from Congress, make programmatic adjustments that will have the smartest and most comprehensive impacts short of legislation.

I see another Medicaid-expansion like fight about to take place in the states: will the states create their own custom-tailored rules to reach their state specific emissions goals or will they let the EPA write those rules for them? Of course, if Medicaid is any example, the fight will be long, drawn-out, and expensive.

A piecemeal approach is far from the comprehensive legislative fix we need. And it surely will not win any love from Republicans or the fossil fuel industry. But here’s the caveat.

These rules will hasten the demise of the coal industry. Coal is losing market share to natural gas and renewable power and simply cannot sustain itself for long into the twenty first century. With rules in place that highlight just how destructive coal is, the writing is on the wall. What needs to happen now is extensive community revitalization efforts in the towns that the coal industry has exploited throughout Appalachia. The human cost of coal cannot be ignored, nor separated from the environmental cost.

The second caveat is this: come December, the Obama Administration has tangible commitments and programs in place to highlight in Paris as the world’s leaders convene to discuss climate. With executive agreements with China and Mexico and informal talks with India and other nations, including many African nations, Obama may have the beginnings of a serious coalition to accomplish something.

Think about that. The Iran Agreement will pass regardless of what the Republican caucus wants. And more Democrats support a climate deal than the Iran deal. Meaning the President might be more successful on climate change with two Republican controlled houses of Congress than two Democratic ones (see: weak Cap and Trade bill in 2009 that excluded Agriculture). Say what you will, but that’s great politics. And amazing news for the environment.

Pope Francis talks about natural resources as something that everybody has a right to. This, of course, is a challenge to a pretty basic principle of private property under capitalism.
—  Naomi Klein. Watch her interview on Democracy Now! today. Her best-selling book, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate,” is now out in paperback.
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President Obama just did what no other president has to fight climate change

On Monday, President Barack Obama unveiled a new plan that could ultimately surpass even the Affordable Care Act as his most significant domestic achievement. In a new set of regulations called the “Clean Power Plan,” the White House announced the first-ever restrictions on carbon emissions by power plants. The plan includes both limits and incentives for change.

For the past quarter-century, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been gathering data from more than 400 scientists around the world on climate trends.

The report on 2014 from these international researchers? On average, it was the hottest year ever — in the ocean, as well as on land.

Deke Arndt is a climate scientist with the agency and an author of the State of the Climate in 2014 report, released Thursday. It’s the lower atmosphere that’s warming, not the upper atmosphere, he points out — just as the total of greenhouse gases in the lower atmosphere continues to increase. That’s not a coincidence.

Science Confirms 2014 Was Hottest Yet Recorded, On Land And Sea

Photo credit: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images
Caption: Floodwaters from rising sea levels have submerged and killed trees in Bedono village in Demak, Central Java, Indonesia. 

Over the last twenty years scientists have been talking about British Columbia becoming like California, and here we are. We’re California,” Hebda sighed. In the long term, longer, drier summers could mean losing the rainforest, the heart and soul of Pacific ecotourism, forever.

“What we’re experiencing now is the kind of future that will become the norm here within a few decades,” said climate scientist Trevor Murdock at the University of Victoria, adding that we should “still expect extreme years on top of the new normal, and [that] those extremes will be new extremes that we haven’t yet seen in recorded history.”

“I certainly envisioned this to be the condition with climate change; I didn’t envision it to happen so quickly.

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When viewed in just the right way, Earth is covered in swirling brushstrokes that put Van Gogh’s most famous works to shame. Differences in temperature and pressure, friction and other phenomena cause fluids like water in the ocean and air in the atmosphere to move in mesmerizing patterns. Sometimes it just takes a supercomputer to see the dance. 

These images represent the next generation of ocean current models that reveal some of the hidden action. Produced by the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Lab, the top image shows Atlantic Ocean water surface temperatures and the bottom illustrates the Southern Ocean’s currents and eddies flowing eastward around Antarctica. 

Both are part of the lab’s Climate, Ocean and Sea Ice Modeling program to project global alterations to the planet from climate change using the most advanced technologies and methods. Models were built using a supercomputer that operates 8,000 processors simultaneously and verified against real-world satellite and shipboard observations. 

Keep reading

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KQED NEWS: Fighting Climate Change and Food Waste With ‘Imperfect Produce’

From the farm to the fridge, it’s estimated that 40 percent of what could be eaten just isn’t, and that can impact climate change.

Produce broker Ron Clark is co-founder of a new startup called Imperfect Produce, which is working to change consumers’ perceptions and find homes for “cosmetically challenged” produce.