Climate Change REALITY! On the Ground Snap Shots

Indigenous Peoples have been sounding the alarm that our climate was changing for decades but few were listening.

Early in 2019, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released their report that stated clearly that ALL life on Earth is in extreme danger if we do not achieve “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” by 2030.

This was TWO YEARS AGO!! We’re running OUT OF TIME!

We are collectively witnessing more than enough evidence to support our calls to action, yet our addiction to fossil fuels continues to add millions of tons of green house gases (GHGs) to the atmosphere each year. Attempts to curb this addiction have largely been unheeded.

Below is a collection of information from a variety of sources that provide a snapshot on the effects of how the rapidly changing climate is threatening forests, mountains, grasslands, and oceans and all life within some of the most critically impacted ecosystems around the world from the exponential increases in extraction and new and more damaging end uses that have far reaching consequences. Some provide insight into the rising levels of CO2 and stories from around the world that offer narratives, scientific evidence, data on rising ocean levels and the devastating consequences as law and policy makers drag their feet and cater to the most destructive industries. Even now as we watch in horror as natural disasters ravage countries, continents, cultures, and displace lives on an epic scale, the so-called solutions being proposed are mired in a capitalist-centered system that has and continues to be responsible for the ever-growing planet wide climate chaos.



Climate Chaos and Collateral Damage – Endangered Species:

Climate Change Threatens a Giant of West Virginia’s Landscape, and It’s Rippling Through Ecosystems and Lives As the climate continues to heat up, a cascade of ecosystem effects could pose more risk to the elusive Cheat Mountain salamander and other species tucked inside these Allegheny Mountains—starting with further declines in red spruce, whose reddish-brown trunks stand tall on the landscape and in the lives of West Virginians. The state’s spruce population, now around 50,000 acres after decades of logging and pollution, provides a cool, moist refuge for the beloved Cheat Mountain salamander and West Virginia’s northern flying squirrel, affectionately nicknamed Ginny. Both were granted Endangered Species Act protection in the 1980s after serious declines of red spruce, and the salamander remains threatened.  The trees also keep streams cold for native brook trout, West Virginia’s state fish and a tourist draw.  Scientists warn that red spruce are especially vulnerable to drought conditions projected to become more common as the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere traps ever more heat. Higher temperatures will dry out the soil, lead to more intense drought and damage the state’s forested land cover.  Nearly a decade ago, a report from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources marked the trees as “highly vulnerable” and predicted they may disappear entirely as the temperature rises.”People always love to say nature’s resilient, and it is,” said Bartgis, who was a scientist for the natural resources departments in West Virginia and Maryland, and then for the nonprofit Nature Conservancy. “Nature is like people. It’s resilient to a point, and we can’t keep pushing that limit. Or we can see consequences that we haven’t seen before.”At one point, red spruce covered the Monongahela National Forest with their thick branches and canopies of yellow-green pine needles. Starting in the 1800s, the timber industry began chopping down the massive trees, using steam trains that threw off hot cinders and ignited fires. Later in the 20th century, acid rain, caused by the combustion of coal—some of it dug out of mountains nearby—wreaked havoc on the recovering trees.

Brazil Amazon deforestation soars to 11-year high under Bolsonaro (Reuters) – Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest rose to its highest in over a decade this year, government data on Monday showed, confirming a sharp increase under the leadership of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro. The data from Brazil’s INPE space research agency, which showed deforestation soaring 29.5% to 9,762 square kilometers for the 12 months through July 2019, sparked an uncharacteristic admission by the government that something needed to be done to stem the tide. It was the worst level of deforestation since 2008, heaping further pressure on the environmental policy of Bolsonaro who favors developing the Amazon region economically. The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest and is considered key to the fight against climate change because of the vast amounts of carbon dioxide it absorbs. Risks to the forest drew global concern in August when fires raged through the Amazon, drawing sharp criticism from France’s President Emmanuel Macron. At a briefing to discuss the numbers, Environment Minister Ricardo Salles said the rise in deforestation showed the need for a new strategy to combat the illegal logging, mining and land grabbing which he said were to blame. Environmentalists and nongovernmental organizations placed the blame squarely on the government, saying that Bolsonaro’s strong pro-development rhetoric and policies to weaken environmental enforcement are behind the rise in illegal activity. “The Bolsonaro government is responsible for every inch of forest destroyed. This government today is the worst enemy of the Amazon,” said Marcio Astrini, public policy coordinator for Greenpeace, in a statement. Bolsonaro’s office directed Reuters to remarks made by Salles and another official and did not comment further on the issue.

Sumatran rhino becomes extinct in Malaysia after death of last female The Sumatran rhinoceros – the world’s smallest rhino – has become extinct in Malaysia after the last surviving individual died in captivity, zoologists have said. The Wildlife Department in eastern Sabah state on the island of Borneo said the rhino, named Iman, died of cancer on Saturday. She had uterine tumours since her capture in March 2014. There are now estimated to be fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos left in the wild, with some estimates suggesting numbers are as low as 30, as poaching and industrial-scale deforestation have destroyed the natural habitats they once roamed. Department director Augustine Tuuga said in a statement that Iman, who was reportedly 25 years old, was suffering significant pain from growing pressure of the tumours to her bladder but her death had come sooner than expected. Iman’s death comes just six months after the death of the country’s only male rhino, and another female rhino also died in captivity in Sabah state in 2017. Efforts to breed them have been futile but Sabah authorities have harvested their cells for possible reproduction. “Despite us knowing that this would happen sooner rather than later, we are so very saddened by this news,” said Sabah’s deputy chief minister Christina Liew, who is also environment minister. Ms Liew said Iman had escaped death several times over the past few years due to sudden massive blood loss, but that wildlife officials managed to nurse her back to health and obtained her egg cells for a possible collaboration with Indonesia to reproduce the critically endangered species through artificial insemination. The Sumatran rhino, the smallest of five rhinoceros species, once roamed across Asia as far as India, but its numbers have shrunk drastically due to poaching and deforestation which have left populations isolated.

‘Functionally Extinct’ Koalas Have Now Lost 80% of Habitat Following Recent Fires, Experts Say –The recent Australian brushfires and extended drought have decimated the koala population to the point where it may be “functionally extinct,” according to an expert at the Australian Koala Foundation, as theDaily Mail in the UK reported. Functionally extinct means the population has become so limited that koalas no longer play a significant role in their ecosystem. Furthermore, the population is so depleted and colonies of koalas are isolated from each other, making the long-term viability of the beloved marsupial susceptible to disease and unlikely to survive much longer, as Forbes reported.   “If we combine all of the estimated deaths of koalas in the bushfires, there could be 1,000 koalas that have been killed in the last two months,” said Deborah Tabart, chairwoman of the Australian Koala Foundation, to the Daily Mail. She added that 80 percent of their habitat has been destroyed.  In May, the Australia Koala Foundation estimated there were only 80,000 healthy wild koalas, which rendered them functionally extinct, according to a press release.  The stubborn marsupial has struggled with the climate crisis. When confronted with brushfires, rather than run away, koalas climb trees and curl into a ball as a danger-avoidance strategy. While they are normally quiet, they will yell for help when a situation seems dire. “Koalas don’t make noise much of the time,” said Prof Chris Dickman, an ecology expert at Sydney University, to the BBC. “Males only make booming noises during mating season. Other than that they’re quiet animals. So hearing their yelps is a pretty bad sign things are going catastrophically wrong for these animals.” Koalas are notoriously picky eaters and will often eat 2.5 pounds of eucalyptus leaves per day, which is how they get both their nutrition and hydration. Conservationists have raced to install water stations for dehydrated koalas that have not had access to eucalyptus leaves. However, the hotter and drier weather brought on by a changing climate has dried out the leaves of the eucalyptus trees that the koalas rely on, according to The Washington Post. Suburban developments have taken over the forested beaches that koalas are native to and have left the species with fewer and fewer food sources and safe habitats.

CO2 Levels Rising!

Greenhouse gases hit another record high in 2018, UN agency says – Levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have again hit a fresh record high, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said Monday. According to its latest Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, globally averaged concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) hit 407.8 parts per million (ppm) last year, compared to 405.5 ppm in 2017. This is 47% higher than the estimated pre-industrial level in 1750. The WMO added that atmospheric methane amounted to 1869 parts per billion (ppb) last year, another new high, while nitrous oxide hit 331.1 ppb in 2018. Methane is over double the pre-industrial level, while nitrous oxide is 23% higher than the pre-industrial level. In a statement accompanying the bulletin’s release, the WMO said there were “multiple indications” that the rise in atmospheric levels of CO2 was “related to fossil fuel combustion.” The bulletin comes before the COP25 climate summit in Madrid, which is scheduled to take place next month. “There is no sign of a slowdown, let alone a decline, in greenhouse gases concentration in the atmosphere despite all the commitments under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change,” Petteri Taalas, the WMO’s secretary general, said in a statement. “We need to translate the commitments into action and increase the level of ambition for the sake of the future welfare of… mankind,”

Greenhouse gas nitrous oxide emissions have ‘increased substantially’ in the past decade, study finds – Emissions of nitrous oxide — a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide — are going up faster than we thought. It’s countries in east Asia and South America that are making the biggest contribution to the increasing emissions, according to a study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change. Natural sources of nitrous oxide include our oceans and rainforests, but it’s the human sources that are of most cause for concern — specifically agriculture, including nitrogen fertiliser use and livestock manure. We’ve known for decades that nitrous oxide emissions are increasing, but since 2009 there has been a “substantial increase” in these emissions, said Pep Canadell, executive director of the Global Carbon project and an author of the new research. Most countries report their nitrous oxide emissions using the methodology of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This approach assumes a linear relationship between the amount of nitrogen fertiliser used and the nitrous oxide emissions that come out at the other end, said Dr Canadell, who is also a chief research scientist at the CSIRO. “Using atmospheric data for the first time, we show that the [linear] relationship is not true when there are regions around the world that over-fertilise,” he said. “So there’s this threshold [of fertiliser use], and past that amount — which is well above and beyond what plants need — we find an exponential growth in nitrous oxide emissions.”

Carbon Concentrations Rise to Highest Level in at Least Three Million Years – The press release from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says it all: “Another year, another record.” It is a record we do not want. It is a record of political failure. It is a record based on the politics of climate denial. We have crossed another climate threshold that, yet again, signals we are in deep trouble. We are now experiencing levels of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas, that the earth has not experienced for three to five million years. We are walking – more like stumbling with stupidity – into the unknown. But we know there will be consequences. If we do not change our current trajectory quickly, we risk leaving a very different and dangerous world to our children and grandchildren.According to the WMO’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, which collects data from fifty four countries, the average concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached 407.8 parts per million in 2018, up from 405.5 parts per million (ppm) in 2017.Carbon dioxide is not the only gas on the rise. Methane is the second most important long-lived greenhouse gas. According to the WMO, atmospheric methane reached a new high of about 1869 parts per billion (ppb) in 2018 and is now 259% of the pre-industrial level. Levels of nitrous oxide are 123% of pre-industrial levels.The rise of all three gases shows we are in deep trouble. “This continuing long-term trend means that future generations will be confronted with increasingly severe impacts of climate change, including rising temperatures, more extreme weather, water stress, sea level rise and disruption to marine and land ecosystems,” says the WMO. “There is no sign of a slowdown, let alone a decline, in greenhouse gases concentration in the atmosphere despite all the commitments under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. “We need to translate the commitments into action and increase the level of ambition for the sake of the future welfare of the mankind,” he added. Taalas also points out that the last time that the earth experienced comparable concentration of carbon dioxide was some 3-5 million years ago, when temperatures were 2-3°C warmer and sea levels were 10-20 meters higher than now. Although we know that we have to reduce emissions now, the WMO predicts that global emissions are not estimated to peak by 2030, let alone by 2020. Richard Black, the director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit in the UK, told The Guardian: “This record level of greenhouse gases should act as a sobering reminder to governments that so far they are collectively reneging on the pledge they made at the Paris summit, of attempting to keep global warming to 1.5C.”

 US leads greenhouse gas emissions on a per capita basis, report finds –Greenhouse gas emissions surged to a record high in 2018 and countries, including the United States, are falling short of their stated emission reduction targets, a new report from the United Nations Environment Programme found. The report, published on Tuesday, measures the emissions gap, or the difference between what needs to be done to curb greenhouse gas emissions, and what is actually being done. Now in its tenth year of publication, the researchers behind the report found that the gap is as wide as ever. “The summary findings are bleak,” the report said. “Countries collectively failed to stop the growth in global GHG emissions, meaning that deeper and faster cuts are now required.” To prevent temperatures rising above 1.5º Celsius — a target set by the Paris Agreement — emissions will need to be reduced by 7.6% annually for the next decade. “Every day we delay, the more extreme, difficult and expensive the cuts become,” the report said. Overall, China is the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases, although the United States is highest when measured on a per capita basis. The U.S. is at least 15% above its emission reduction target outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement, which the country remains a part of for now. In 2017, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the agreement, but it does not technically take effect until November 2020. U.S. carbon emissions did fall by 14% between 2005 and 2017, although recent and looser regulations over things like power plant and vehicle emission standards has led to an uptick over the last few years. The report outlined ways in which countries can reduce emissions, and said for the United States that could include making the electricity supply 100% carbon free. Implementing policies to make all new buildings and cars clean by 2030 was mentioned as another key area that could have a big impact. It is instrumental for the United States and the other G20 nations to drive worldwide policy on reducing greenhouse gases since together the members account for 78% of all emissions.

Global temperature rises could bring ‘destructive’ effects, U.N. says (Reuters) – Global temperatures could rise sharply this century with “wide-ranging and destructive” consequences after greenhouse gas emissions hit record levels last year, international climate experts warned on Tuesday. The head of the World Meteorological Organization said global temperatures could rise by 3-5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels this century – more than three times agreed limits – if nothing is done to stop rising emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions surged to a record level last year, the United Nations said in its “Emissions Gap Report”, released ahead of U.N. climate talks in Madrid next week aimed at spurring world leaders to limit climate change. It measures the amount of emissions cuts needed to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, as agreed in the 2015 Paris Agreement. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year warned of huge global changes if that target is not met, such as the loss of nearly all coral reefs and most Arctic sea ice. Under current national pledges to cut emissions, “temperatures can be expected to rise by 3.2C this century, bringing wide-ranging and destructive climate impacts,” said a summary of the report by the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP). “Being a grandfather – we don’t want to leave that for our grandkids,” the report’s lead author John Christensen told a Geneva news conference.“With 3 degrees we would lose a fairly big fraction of the current (agricultural) yield and areas like Africa where the population is growing would really suffer,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. The UNEP report said the safest temperature threshold set in Paris – of 1.5C – was still achievable, but would require emissions cuts of 7.6% a year between 2020-2030. Limiting the rise to 2C it would mean annual cuts of 2.7%. “We are talking about transformational change now – incremental change simply will not make it. We simply need to transform societies in the next 10 years,” Christensen said.

UN calls for push to cut greenhouse gas levels to avoid climate chaos Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases in the next decade to avoid climate chaos, the UN has warned, as it emerged that emissions hit a new high last year.  Carbon dioxide emissions in 2018, also accounting for deforestation, rose to more than 55 gigatonnes, and have risen on average by 1.5% a year for the past decade, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) annual emissions gap report.  Global emissions must fall by 7.6% every year from now until 2030 to stay within the 1.5C ceiling on temperature rises that scientists say is necessary to avoid disastrous consequences. The only time in recent history when emissions have fallen in any country at a similar rate came during the collapse of the Soviet Union. During the financial crisis and recession, emissions in the US and Japan fell briefly by about 6% but soon rebounded.  However, technologies such as renewable energy and electric vehicles are now available, and increasingly cheap, which could enable deep cuts in carbon without jeopardising economic growth.John Christensen of the Technical University of Denmark, a co-author of the report, told the Guardian the cuts in emissions now required were “unprecedented”.Postponing action could no longer be an option, said Inger Andersen, executive director of UNEP. “Our collective failure to act early and hard on climate change means we must now deliver deep cuts to emissions [of] over 7% each year, if we break it down evenly over the next decade. This shows that countries simply cannot wait.”Without such urgent action the world’s fate would be sealed within the next few years as carbon would rise to such a level as to make dangerous levels of warming inevitable, she said. “We need quick wins to reduce emissions as much as possible in 2020, then stronger [commitments under the Paris agreement] to kickstart the major transformations of economies and societies. We need to catch up on the years in which we procrastinated.”

Cut global emissions by 7.6 percent every year for next decade to meet 1.5°C Paris target – UN report — On the eve of a year in which nations are due to strengthen their Paris climate pledges, a new UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report warns that unless global greenhouse gas emissions fall by 7.6 per cent each year between 2020 and 2030, the world will miss the opportunity to get on track towards the 1.5°C temperature goal of the Paris Agreement. UNEP’s annual Emissions Gap Report says that even if all current unconditional commitments under the Paris Agreement are implemented, temperatures are expected to rise by 3.2°C, bringing even wider-ranging and more destructive climate impacts. Collective ambition must increase more than fivefold over current levels to deliver the cuts needed over the next decade for the 1.5°C goal. 2020 is a critical year for climate action, with the UN climate change conference in Glasgow aiming to determine the future course of efforts to avert crisis, and countries expected to significantly step up their climate commitments. “Our collective failure to act early and hard on climate change means we now must deliver deep cuts to emissions – over 7 per cent each year, if we break it down evenly over the next decade,” said Inger Andersen, UNEP’s Executive Director. “This shows that countries simply cannot wait until the end of 2020, when new climate commitments are due, to step up action. They – and every city, region, business and individual – need to act now.” “We need quick wins to reduce emissions as much as possible in 2020, then stronger Nationally Determined Contributions to kick-start the major transformations of economies and societies. We need to catch up on the years in which we procrastinated,” she added. “If we don’t do this, the 1.5°C goal will be out of reach before 2030.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that going beyond 1.5°C will increase the frequency and intensity of climate impacts, such as the heatwaves and storms witnessed across the globe in the last few years. G20. G20 nations collectively account for 78 per cent of all emissions, but only five G20 members have committed to a long-term zero emissions target. In the short-term, developed countries will have to reduce their emissions quicker than developing countries, for reasons of fairness and equity. However, all countries will need to contribute more to collective effects. Developing countries can learn from successful efforts in developed countries; they can even leapfrog them and adopt cleaner technologies at a faster rate.

Hate to sound like a broken record, but we just set a scary new CO2 record – The amount of carbon dioxide in our planet’s atmosphere has reached a new high. April’s average was 413.52 parts per million, a new record, according to a spokesperson at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  The last time there was this much CO2 in our atmosphere, there were trees growing at the South Pole. Humans weren’t yet a thing. In other words, we’re living in uncharted territory.  The planet’s carbon dioxide levels rise and fall over the course of each year, and usually peak in May when Earth’s vast northern forests spring back to life. (The most widely used measurements are made at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s remote observatory at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, to avoid picking up CO2 from nearby cars and plants.)   Scientists predict that we could pass the 415 ppm threshold this month. Since the Industrial Revolution, the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has increased by more than 45 percent. That’s mostly thanks to the various demands of modern life: gas-guzzling cars, refrigerators, hamburgers, Bitcoin … you name it. Our gizmos and gadgets have largely been powered by the carbon-rich fossil fuels stored in the planet’s underground reservoirs.. Oil, for example, was created from the remains of dead plants, animals, and bacteria that have been compressed and pressure-cooked underground over millions of years. Some oil deposits are more than 300 million years old, meaning that they actually predate the dinosaurs.


C02 Levels Top 415 PPM for First Time in Human History – The human species experienced an alarming milestone this weekend: for the first time since Homo sapiens evolved, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels surpassed 415 parts per million (ppm), CNN reported. The carbon dioxide high was recorded by the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii and tweeted out by theScripps Institution of Oceanography Saturday, which regularly updates C02 levels. The observatory recorded a daily C02 reading of 415.26 ppm, which is the first time the daily level topped 415 ppm. Meteorologist and climate action advocate Eric Holthaus sounded the alarm about that data point in widely-shared retweet.”We don’t know a planet like this,” he said.Carbon dioxide levels did not top 300 ppm in the 800,000 years before the industrial revolution, according toUSA Today. A study in April used computer models to confirm that carbon dioxide levels today are the highest they have been in three million years. The study also showed that current levels would be at around 280 ppm if it weren’t for the burning of fossil fuels by human beings, leading to climate change.The last time carbon dioxide levels were this high was 5.3 to 2.6 million years ago during the Pliocene epoch, when beech trees grew in Antarctica, temperatures were three to four degrees Celsius warmer and sea levels were 20 meters (approximately 65.6 feet) higher.


‘We Don’t Know a Planet Like This’: CO2 Levels Hit 415 PPM for First Time in 3 Million+ Years – Atmospheric levels of carbon registered 415 parts per million over the weekend at one of the world’s key measuring stations, a concentration level researchers say has not existed in more than 3 million years – before the dawn of human history.Taken at the Mauno Loa Observatory in Hawaii by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the measure continues the upward trend of atmospheric carbon concentration that lies at the heart of the global warming and climate crisis:Meteorologist Eric Holthaus, a journalist who covers the climate crisis for Grist, contextualized the latest readings in a tweet that was shared widely on Sunday: One person responded to the Holthaus tweet by asking, “How is this not breaking news on all channels all over the world?”Rich Pancost, head of the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol in the U.K., said that the best guess of the scientific community is that global atmospheric carbon levels have not been this high for “about 3 millions years… [m]aybe more.” Writing on his Informed Comment blog Monday, historian Juan Cole said that life on Earth in that pre-historic era, known as the Pliocene Period, is not a place humans would recognize:  In the Pliocene, it was much hotter. In the Pliocene, oceans were much higher, maybe 90 feet higher. That is our fate, folks. That is what 415ppm produces. It is only a matter of time, and some of the sea level rise will come quickly. Amsterdam, New Orleans, Lisbon, Miami – the list of cities that will be submerged is enormous.   Elsewhere online, reaction to the unsettling milestone was met with a mix of frustration, alarm, and fresh demands for urgent action to address the crisis.  “If the threshold seems unremarkable (it shouldn’t),” wrote Jonathan Shieber atTechCrunch, “it’s yet another indication of the unprecedented territory humanity is now charting as it blazes new trails toward environmental catastrophe.”

Climate: Related Weather Disasters

Bombogenesis: An ‘unprecedented’ bomb cyclone will bring 100-mph winds to the West Coast – A rare West Coast “bomb cyclone” is forecast to sweep into southern Oregon and northern California later Tuesday and into Wednesday, bringing 100-mph wind gusts to the coast and multiple feet of snow to the mountains. “This is a unprecedented storm given the track and strength and will being very dangerous conditions to the area,” the National Weather Service in Medford, Oregon, said. “High winds and heavy snow is expected to impact the area.”As it approaches the coast, the storm is forecast to undergo what’s known as bombogenesis, which is said to occur when a storm’s central barometric pressure drops at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. (A millibar is a way of measuring air pressure.) The lower the pressure, the more powerful the storm. “This can happen when a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, such as air over warm ocean waters,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. “The formation of this rapidly strengthening weather system is a process called bombogenesis, which creates what is known as a bomb cyclone.”  The word bombogenesis is a combination of cyclogenesis, which describes the formation of a cyclone or storm, and bomb, which is, well, pretty self-explanatory. Many nor’easters – big storms that wallop the East Coast – are the product of bombs. The contrast in temperature between polar air spilling over the eastern U.S. and the relatively warm Gulf Stream waters sets the stage for cyclogenesis on the boundary between these air masses. The word bombogenesis is a combination of cyclogenesis, which describes the formation of a cyclone or storm, and bomb, which is, well, pretty self-explanatory.In the 1940s, some meteorologists began informally calling some big coastal storms “bombs” because they develop “with a ferocity we rarely, if ever, see over land,” said Fred Sanders, a retired MIT professor, who brought the term into common usage by describing such storms in a 1980 article in the journal Monthly Weather Review. Many nor’easters – big storms that wallop the East Coast – are the product of bombs. The contrast in temperature between polar air spilling over the eastern U.S. and the relatively warm Gulf Stream waters sets the stage for cyclogenesis on the boundary between these air masses.

A Bomb Cyclone Is One of Two Major Storms Walloping the U.S. Thanksgiving Week – Two major storms are already walloping the U.S. in time for Thanksgiving. A winter storm that has already killed one moved from Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska into the Midwest Wednesday, while a “bomb cyclone” hit the Oregon coast Tuesday evening, according to an Associated Press story published by The Washington Post. “This is an unprecedented storm given the track and strength and will bring very dangerous conditions to the area,” the National Weather Service (NWS) in Medford, Oregon, said of the second storm, according to USA Today. “High winds and heavy snow is expected to impact the area.”The first storm unleashed nearly three feet of snow on Colorado and led to one death and two injuries when a tractor-trailer collided with two trucks near Vail, Colorado, the Associated Press reported. It also forced the Denver airport to cancel around 30 percent of its flights.The storm is expected to heap a foot of snow on a region stretching from the Plains, to the upper Mississippi Valley, to the upper Great Lakes and northern Maine, and could disrupt airports along the way, NPR reported.It is also predicted to unleash wind gusts of more than 50 miles per hour in the Midwest and Ohio Valley region, according to NWS.The second storm already set a record for the lowest pressure for the month of November Tuesday evening, when its central pressure bottomed out at 970 millibars, according to NWS.  “In general, the lower the pressure, the stronger the storm,” The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang explained. The storm strengthened through a process called bombogenesis, when a cyclone’s pressure drops at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. Storms that accomplish this feat are referred to as “bomb cyclones.” Medford NWS staffer Tom Wright said the air pressure of Tuesday’s storm dropped even more quickly than that, according to an Associated Press story published by The Columbian.

Storms in France, Greece and Italy leave ‘biblical destruction’ – Nine people have died as violent storms swept through parts of France, Greece and Italy over the weekend, causing flash floods, landslides and the collapse of an overpass. Greek media described the storms as leaving a trail of “biblical destruction” in some areas of the country while the overpass collapse in northern Italy brought back a chilling reminder of Genoa’s Morandi bridge giving way during a thunderstorm in August 2018, killing 43 people. Flash floods in France’s Côte d’Azur claimed the lives of four people, while two others are believed to still be missing. Three of the victims were found in cars that were swept away in floods in the Var region, and the fourth was among a group being rescued by the fire brigade when the dinghy carrying them to safety capsized. A tractor in a flooded area after heavy rain in Roquebrune-sur-Argens, France. Photograph: Valéry Hache/AFP via Getty Images One of the worst affected towns was Roquebrune-sur-Argens in the Var, where the Argens River rose seven metres. The French meteorological office said three months’ worth of rain had fallen in less than 48 hours. Members of the French civil defence took part in rescue operations in a number of flooded areas around Cannes and other coastal towns. The orange alert was lifted in the Var and Alpes-Maritimes regions on Monday as the water receded, leaving an estimated 4,500 homes without electricity. Two other French departments, the Puy-de-Dôme and the Gironde, were placed on high flooding alert. Water reaches the houses after the Ticino River overflowed its banks in Pavia, Italy. Jean-Luc Videlaine, the prefect for the Var region, said the rain had been of “historic” intensity and there was considerable damage. Jean-Pierre Hameau of Météo France said the storms and flooding should not be blamed on climate change. Hameau said the phenomena, known in France as cévenols, or Mediterraneans, were relatively frequent in the region. “They occur three or six times a year. It often begins in September when the Mediterranean is warm and there is rising hot air in the south,” Hameau said. “This usually happens in September and October, but sometimes we find these conditions in November. It’s not linked to global warming. We had these cévenols before and there hasn’t been an increase since temperatures rose. However, we have noted an increase in the intensity of the rains.”

 Angry Venetians say cruise ships are partly to blame for flooding – You have probably heard about the record-breaking tides that have flooded Venice in recent weeks. The city had to close St. Mark’s Square three times in one week as it grappled with the worst string of high tides that it has faced since 1872. Businesses, homes, churches, and streets filled with cold salt water, and the estimated cost of damages so far is one billion euros.Adding insult to injury is the fact that Venice has been pouring billions of euros into a massive infrastructure project since 2003. Called Mose, it is supposed to protect against this very kind of extreme high-tide incident, but it is neither complete nor effective. Critics have been calling it a waste of time and money since the beginning, but now, in light of the climate crisis, their suggestions are being taken more seriously.What anti-Mose activists would like to see (among other things) is an end to giant cruise ships entering the historic lagoon in which the city was built. They argue that, not only is overcrowding a problem (I’ve written about this for TreeHugger), but that the ships themselves are contributing to the flooding. Apparently, the ships create huge wakes that in turn erode the ancient and fragile foundations of the cities, which were never designed to withstand such wear and tear. A website called Venezia Autentica explains how it happens: “The displacement in cruise ships is roughly around 50 percent of its gross tonnage: a 100,000t ship will move 50 million liters of water. Even though performed relatively slowly, the movement of such a massive amount of water erodes the hundreds- and even thousands-year-old foundations of the palaces and the streets of Venice. Big ships are not the only cause of this phenomenon, of course. Heavy (and too-fast-moving) motor traffic is to be blamed also for the holes (yes, real holes) being carved in the foundations.” The lagoon has been dredged to make room for bigger ships of all kinds. Not only has this destroyed coastal habitats for many fish, rodents, birds, and plants, but it has had a direct effect on flooding: “The heavy digging of the canals to let big ships into the Venetian Lagoon increases the amount of water that enters and exits the lagoon during tides. The direct and most obvious effect on the city of Venice is the increase in number and intensity of high waters, or Acque Alte, which partially flood the city.” This just adds more fuel to the anti-cruise ship fire. Angry protesters marched in the wet streets this weekend, called for Mose to be terminated, demanding that mayor Luigi Brugnaro resign, and demanding an end to huge ships if Venice is to be saved from the climate crisis.

EPA Releases Report Advising Communities to Prepare for Climate Change-Related Disasters – Policymakers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a report in the Federal Register outlining how local communities should start planning for near-future catastrophes associated with climate change.As first reported by the Washington Post, the 150-page report – titled “Planning for Natural Disaster Debris” – offers updates to the 2008 report by advising local government bodies to go “beyond resilience to anticipate, plan, and prepare for impacts” of climate change. In particularly, it addresses how local communities can cope with debris and disaster following floods, hurricanes, wildfires only intensified by a changing climate.”Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of some natural disasters,” reads the report citing a 2014 National Climate Assessment. “The amount of debris generated by natural disasters, and the costs to manage it, will likely increase as a result.”Citing “climate change” or “a changing climate” a total of 29 times, the report veers somewhat from recent comments made by the agency’s own administrator Andrew Wheeler, who told CBS in an interview that “most threats from climate change are at 50 to 75 years out,” though the threats represent “an important change we have to be addressing and we are addressing.” Just last fall, the Trump administration released a federally mandated major climate report produced every four years by more than 300 independent and government scientists. Writing in the Fourth National Climate Assessment, report author Brenda Ekwurzel said at the time that the findings “made it clear that climate change is not some problem in the distant future. It’s happening right now in every part of the country. When people say the wildfires, hurricanes and heat waves they’re experiencing are unlike anything they’ve ever seen before, there’s a reason for that, and it’s called climate change.”

How vanishing lizards in Madagascar led to a troubling discovery about deforestation and climate change – Barry Sinervo and two dozen coauthors in 2010 published a scientific paper that dismayed wildlife experts.  Sinervo had developed a model for predicting local extinctions of lizard populations, based on how much global warming increased a location’s temperature. The collaborators tested the model’s validity against records collected at 200 sites in Mexico, where they had studied this reptile group for decades. Between 1975 and 2008, these temperature-sensitive animals had disappeared from 12 percent of locations where they’d previously been spotted. The researchers then applied the model globally to anticipate future extinctions of such reptiles. They forecast that by 2080, 40 percent of lizard populations around the world would go extinct.  But an anomaly caught Sinervo’s attention. Other researchers had reported that one-fifth of lizard populations had already vanished from the jungles of Madagascar, the California-size island off Africa’s southeast coast, far more than observed in the mainland forests just a few hundred miles away. The two adjacent regions should have been roughly the same. He speculated that something about Madagascar’s sky-high deforestation – it has lost half of the forest cover it had in 1950 – made the remaining forest less suitable for lizards. He wondered if the welter of clearings on the island was turning the remaining jungle anomalously hot. In March, he and four colleagues in the U.S. and Brazil published a paper in the journal PLOS One proving his suspicion correct, and substantiating the conclusions of a handful of other recent papers that, in malicious combination with climate change, deforestation is roasting the planet. ‘They’re like canaries in the coal mine … except they’re lizards.’“Climate change is really bad and deforestation at a local scale makes it even worse,” he said. “The lizards told me that.”  What happens within and immediately around a deforested area is obvious to anyone who has ever stumbled across a clearing in the woods. One new study shows that globally, forest cover makes land on average of 4°C (7.2°F) cooler. The effect is even stronger in dense tropical forests.

Nicola Sturgeon declares ‘climate emergency’ at SNP conference  – Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has declared a “climate emergency” in her speech to the SNP conference.The SNP leader told delegates in Edinburgh she was inspired after meeting young climate campaigners who had gone on strike from school.Ms Sturgeon said “they are right”, and pledged to “live up to our responsibility” to halt climate change.She also announced what she described as the SNP’s “biggest campaign on the economics of independence”.Labour is expected to press the UK government to declare a national climate emergency on Wednesday.The party will call for a dramatic cut in the UK’s carbon emissions, with leader Jeremy Corbyn also calling for a UK-wide ban on fracking.Fracking has already been halted in Scotland by Ms Sturgeon’s devolved government.  It comes after weeks of strikes by school pupils and protests by Extinction Rebellion protestors, which have targeted both the UK and Scottish parliaments.Ms Sturgeon told the conference that Scotland is a “world leader” on climate change, and is already committed to being carbon neutral by 2050. She pledged that the country would continue to “lead by example” as our obligations to the next generation are “the most important we carry”.

Over a Million Forced to Evacuate as ‘Potentially Catastrophic’ Cyclone Fani Makes Landfall in India – A storm that meteorologist Eric Holthaus characterized as “one of the strongest” cyclones in India’s recorded history made landfall on Friday amid warnings of “potentially catastrophic” wind, rain, and ocean surges. Over a million people were reportedly forced to evacuate Thursday as Cyclone Fani—classified as the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane—hurtled toward India. Tens of millions of people are in the path of the massive storm.”Meteorologists are calling the storm a near-worst-case scenario for coastal zones, as it will push an enormous storm surge inland, inundating homes, roads, and businesses near sea level—not just in eastern India but potentially also north into Bangladesh,” the Washington Post reported. “This low-lying stretch of coast along the Bay of Bengal is one of the most vulnerable to storm surge in the world.”Bishnupada Sethi, special relief commissioner for the Indian state of Odisha, told Al Jazeera that at least two people have died since the storm made landfall Friday.Oxfam India, which is helping deliver emergency relief in response to Cyclone Fani, said the storm has already “wreaked havoc in the state of Odisha.””Heavy rainfall and high-speed winds have destroyed livelihoods leaving families in urgent need of help,” the group wrote. “They are in urgent need of safe drinking water, medical and hygiene supplies, food, and long-term recovery and rehabilitation support to cope with the disaster.” Bimal Pandia, an officer with Oxfam, told The Guardian Friday morning that the storm is “quite serious now; the wind is blowing at between 120 and 150km/hour.”  Many trees have been uprooted outside our house,” “but since we are not able to venture outside it’s difficult to tell the damage.”

U.S. Southeast Atlantic Coast Facing High Threat of Sea-Level Rise in Next 10 Years  – New research shows 75 percent of the Atlantic Coast from North Carolina to Central Florida will be highly vulnerable to erosion and inundation from rising tides by 2030, negatively impacting many coastal species’ nesting habitats.The new data reflect a 30 percent increase in highly vulnerable areas in the region since 2000, the date of previous projections from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Coastal Vulnerability Index.The findings come from a study in the The Journal of Wildlife Management, which was led by Betsy von Holle, a biologist at the University of Central Florida.Some of the coastal species at risk include loggerhead and green sea turtles, threatened species that nest along the shoreline and already face challenges such as an uptick in infectious diseases. According to the study, sea-level rise will increase the risk of erosion in about 50 percent of the nesting areas for those species by the next decade.“We need to know not only what areas are going to be the most affected by sea-level rise, but also those species most vulnerable to sea-level rise in order to figure out management plans for coastal species,” von Holle says. Seabirds don’t fare any better, according to the study. High-density seabird nesting habitat along the coast for the gull-billed tern and the sandwich tern is expected to have approximately 80 and 70 percent increased risk of erosion and inundation from sea level rise by 2030, respectively.

GHGs and a Deteriorating Climate

Electric vehicles emit more CO2 than diesel ones, German study shows -Electric vehicles in Germany account for more CO2 emissions than diesel ones, according to a study by German scientists. When CO2 emissions linked to the production of batteries and the German energy mix – in which coal still plays an important role – are taken into consideration, electric vehicles emit 11% to 28% more than their diesel counterparts, according to the study, presented on Wednesday at the Ifo Institute in Munich.Mining and processing the lithium, cobalt and manganese used for batteries consume a great deal of energy. A Tesla Model 3 battery, for example, represents between 11 and 15 tonnes of CO2. Given a lifetime of 10 years and an annual travel distance of 15,000 kilometres, this translates into 73 to 98 grams of CO2 per kilometre, scientists Christoph Buchal, Hans-Dieter Karl and Hans-Werner Sinn noted in their study. The CO2 given off to produce the electricity that powers such vehicles also needs to be factored in, they say.When all these factors are considered, each Tesla emits 156 to 180 grams of CO2 per kilometre, which is more than a comparable diesel vehicle produced by the German company Mercedes, for example. The German researchers, therefore, take issue with the fact that European officials view electric vehicles as zero-emission ones. They note further that the EU target of 59 grams of CO2 per km by 2030 corresponds to a “technically unrealistic” consumption of 2.2 litres of diesel or 2.6 litres of gas per 100 kms.


Louisiana House to debate keeping industrial pollution reports secret – Louisiana legislators are considering whether chemical plants and other industrial facilities should be allowed to conduct voluntary pollution audits that would remain secret and to grant legal immunity for certain violations discovered by the audits.A bill authorizing the audits advanced out of the House Natural Resource and Environment Committee on Wednesday (May 1) by a vote of 13 to 3. It now goes to the full House for debate.House Bill 510 was backed by the chemical and oil industries and mirrors similar legislation recently enacted by more than 20 other states, including Texas and Mississippi. The bill was opposed by environmental groups and legal scholars who called it a vaguely-crafted piece of legislation that affords protections for wrong-doing. “Public health and environmental decisions need no secrecy,” said Oliver Houck, a Tulane University law professor. “To the contrary, they are very much assisted by full disclosure.” Houck noted that rules requiring public records of toxic releases have helped to curb pollution and inform communities about health and safety risks.Louisiana has nearly 500 large facilities regulated under the Clean Air Act. Many of them are concentrated in the Mississippi River communities between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, where cancer risk is considered high by federal regulators. Republican Rep. Stuart Bishop of Lafayette proposed HB 510 and defended it as a “tool for industry to promote better business.” By granting facilities a measure of legal immunity, the bill would allow more open communication with the state Department of Environmental Quality, the agency that regulates the chemical and oil industries, Bishop said.


Permafrost collapse is accelerating carbon release – This much is clear: the Arctic is warming fast, and frozen soils are starting to thaw, often for the first time in thousands of years. As the temperature of the ground rises above freezing, microorganisms break down organic matter in the soil. Greenhouse gases — including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide — are released into the atmosphere, accelerating global warming. Soils in the permafrost region hold twice as much carbon as the atmosphere does — almost 1,600 billion tonnes1. What fraction of that will decompose? Will it be released suddenly, or seep out slowly? We need to find out. Current models of greenhouse-gas release and climate assume that permafrost thaws gradually from the surface downwards. Deeper layers of organic matter are exposed over decades or even centuries, and some models are beginning to track these slow changes. But models are ignoring an even more troubling problem. Frozen soil doesn’t just lock up carbon — it physically holds the landscape together. Across the Arctic and Boreal regions, permafrost is collapsing suddenly as pockets of ice within it melt. Instead of a few centimetres of soil thawing each year, several metres of soil can become destabilized within days or weeks. The land can sink and be inundated by swelling lakes and wetlands. Abrupt thawing of permafrost is dramatic to watch. Returning to field sites in Alaska, for example, we often find that lands that were forested a year ago are now covered with lakes2. Rivers that once ran clear are thick with sediment. Hillsides can liquefy, sometimes taking sensitive scientific equipment with them. This type of thawing is a serious problem for communities living around the Arctic (see ‘Arctic permafrost’). Roads buckle, houses become unstable. Access to traditional foods is changing, because it is becoming dangerous to travel across the land to hunt. Families cannot reach lines of game traps that have supported them for generations.


There’s so much CO2 in the atmosphere that planting trees can no longer save us – Humans emit roughly 30 to 40 billion tons of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere each year. If we keep it up, Earth will continue to heat up and ultimately devastate our way of life.So what can we do about it?Most scientists agree that we need a way to capture some of that CO2 out of the atmosphere. One idea is to plant lots of trees. Trees use CO2 in order to grow. They also release oxygen, so it’s a win-win. But studies indicate that we simply can’t grow enough trees to capture the necessary amount of CO2 that would help us meet the goals set by the Paris Agreement. In truth, we would have to cover the entire contiguous US with trees just to capture 10% of the CO2 we emit annually. There’s just not enough room on this planet to have the farmland it takes to feed the world plus the space to plant the necessary number of trees. In other words, many of us would starve if we tried using trees to solve our emissions problem.


Phase out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to end UK contribution to global warming – The UK can end its contribution to global warming within 30 years by setting an ambitious new target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says today.Ten years after the Climate Change Act became law, now is the right moment to set a more ambitious goal. Achieving a ‘net-zero’ target by the middle of the century is in line with the UK’s commitment under the Paris Agreement; the pact which the UK and the rest of the world signed in 2015 to curb dramatically the polluting gases that cause climate change.Scotland has greater potential to remove pollution from its economy than the UK overall, and can credibly adopt a more ambitious target of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 2045.Wales has slightly lower opportunities than the UK as a whole, and should adopt a target for a 95% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.This is a crucial time in the global effort to tackle climate change. Global average temperature has already risen by 1°C from pre-industrial levels, driving changes in our climate that are apparent increasingly. In the last ten years, pledges to reduce emissions by the countries of the world have reduced the forecast of global warming from above 4°C by the end of the century to around 3°C.  Net-zero in the UK would lead the global effort to further limit the rise to 1.5°C.The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has emphasised the vital importance of limiting further warming to as low a level as possible and the need for deep and rapid emissions reductions in order to do so. The CCC’s recommended targets, which cover all sectors of the UK, Scottish and Welsh economies, are achievable with known technologies, alongside improvements in people’s lives, and should be put into law as soon as possible, the Committee says.


Nicola Sturgeon declares ‘climate emergency’ at SNP conference  – Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has declared a “climate emergency” in her speech to the SNP conference.The SNP leader told delegates in Edinburgh she was inspired after meeting young climate campaigners who had gone on strike from school.Ms Sturgeon said “they are right”, and pledged to “live up to our responsibility” to halt climate change.She also announced what she described as the SNP’s “biggest campaign on the economics of independence”.Labour is expected to press the UK government to declare a national climate emergency on Wednesday.The party will call for a dramatic cut in the UK’s carbon emissions, with leader Jeremy Corbyn also calling for a UK-wide ban on fracking.Fracking has already been halted in Scotland by Ms Sturgeon’s devolved government.  It comes after weeks of strikes by school pupils and protests by Extinction Rebellion protestors, which have targeted both the UK and Scottish parliaments.Ms Sturgeon told the conference that Scotland is a “world leader” on climate change, and is already committed to being carbon neutral by 2050. She pledged that the country would continue to “lead by example” as our obligations to the next generation are “the most important we carry”.

GET READY! World Governments and Corporations Prepare and/or Try to Deny Climate Change

Rebellious Times — It can sometimes seem a lonely road to walk. Voices in the wilderness: a plucky band of writers doing their best to explain the science of climate change, anxiously watching as the countdown-clock ticks away. Producing carefully-written, fully-referenced content, only to watch people turn over and go back to sleep. Facing condemnation, derision, ridicule, from those to whom any notion of deviation from Business as Usual is anathema. Yes, the lot of the climate change campaigner has indeed felt like a lonely road at times. But not any more. Something extraordinary has happened. People have woken up. Switch to the UK in April 2019 and it’s not swords and shields but locks, glue, dance and song. The extraordinary protests by the new group, Extinction Rebellion, have brought not only climate breakdown into the limelight, but also biodiversity-loss, pollution and themyth that you can have infinite growth on a finite planet. Over the same period, vast numbers of schoolchildren have undertaken strikes and organised their own demonstrations. Swedish student Greta Thunberg has admonished administration after administration on her tour of European capital cities. Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, starkly warned companies that if they don’t adjust to the reality of global warming, they will simply cease to exist. To top all of that off, David Attenborough delivered his bluntest warnings to date in a lengthy and compelling documentary – “Climate change: the facts”. In the light of all these developments, it almost feels as if I can put my feet up! Of course, neither I nor we will put our feet up: if you don’t hear from some Team-SkS members for a while, you can guarantee they are still busy on things climate-related, in various other ways. We know there will always be political opposition to climate science; the usual suspects will not stop peddling their contrarian talking-points and they will not go unopposed.


The Teenager Schooling World Leaders on Climate Change — For hundreds of thousands of young people, Greta Thunberg is an icon. At only 16, she’s proving you don’t have to be an adult to make a world of a difference. Today, the Nobel Peace Prize nominee is among the most influential voices speaking out about Earth’s dire climate crisis.The teen first learned about the devastating, lasting impact of climate change when she was just 11 years old. Dismayed by adults’ unwillingness to respond, she decided to take action herself. She began by making small changes in her own life—cutting meat and dairy from her diet and convincing her parents to also live moresustainably.Frustrated by the lack of attention from policymakers, Greta held a strike in August 2018, missing class to sit in protest in front of the Swedish Parliament with a sign that read “Skolstrejk för Klimatet” (“School Strike for the Climate”). She vowed to hold strikes every Friday until Sweden was in alignment with the Paris Agreement.People in Sweden (and now, the world over) began to take notice of Greta’s stance. After a viral TED Talk where she explained her call to action, others began to join in her protests. Today, #FridaysforFuture has grown to be a global phenomenon, with hundreds of thousands of young people from over 125 countries standing alongside Greta.In addition to her Nobel Peace Prize nomination, Greta’s actions have earned her speaking engagements at the World Economic Forum and COP24—but most importantly, they’ve ignited a new generation to create change and stand up for the future.Greta says she owes her dogged determination in part to being on the spectrum: “I think if I wouldn’t have had Asperger’s I don’t think I would have started the school strike, I don’t think I would’ve cared about the climate at all… That allowed me to focus on one thing for a very long time.” Her #FridaysforFuture protest on March 15, 2019 drew 1.6 million strikers, from 2,000 locations, across all seven continents. She wants world leaders to know that change is coming, whether they like it or not.


The Greta effect? Meet the schoolgirl climate warriors – This Friday, like many Fridays before it, Haven Coleman will not be attending school. The 13-year-old is taking a stand.Coleman, from Denver, Colorado, is risking her education to strike for climate change action. She told the BBC her decision was down to one person: Greta Thunberg. “Once we found Greta, we were like, ‘Oh that’s amazing, let me try, let me do something similar’,” Coleman said. When Thunberg sat outside Sweden’s parliament on 20 August, 2018, aged 15, she cut a lonely figure. Carrying a “school strike for climate change” sign, she said she was refusing to attend classes until Swedish politicians took action. Nine months on, Thunberg is no longer alone. Energised by her climate strike movement, Fridays for Future (FFF), students are vowing to boycott school on Fridays until their countries adhere to the 2015 Paris agreement, which aims to prevent global temperatures from rising 1.5C (34.7F) above pre-industrial levels. On 15 March, an estimated 1.6 million students from 125 countries walked out of school to demand climate change action. The next co-ordinated international protest takes place on Friday, before another global strike on 24 May. Coleman, the co-director of US Youth Climate Strike, is one of them. She founded the organisation with Isra Hirsi, the 16-year-old daughter of Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and Alexandria Villaseñor, 13. “It’s really cool because it’s driven by girls. I think that’s amazing,” she said.   Learning about the effects of deforestation on sloths – her “favourite animal” – was her gateway into climate activism. But it was Thunberg’s school walk-out, she said, that prompted her to start striking on her own. So she began descending the steps of the Denver Capitol Building every Friday with her “school for climate strike” placard. With the help of Hirsi, who’s from Minneapolis, and Villaseñor, who’s from New York, she led a nationwide strike on 15 March across all 50 states.


UK Parliament declares climate change emergency – BBC – MPs have approved a motion to declare an environment and climate emergency. This proposal, which demonstrates the will of the Commons on the issue but does not legally compel the government to act, was approved without a vote. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who tabled the motion, said it was “a huge step forward”. Environment Secretary Michael Gove acknowledged there was a climate “emergency” but did not back Labour’s demands to declare one. The declaration of an emergency was one of the key demands put to the government by environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion, in a series of protests over recent weeks. Addressing climate protesters from the top of a fire engine in Parliament Square earlier, Mr Corbyn said: “This can set off a wave of action from parliaments and governments around the globe. “We pledge to work as closely as possible with countries that are serious about ending the climate catastrophe and make clear to US President Donald Trump that he cannot ignore international agreements and action on the climate crisis.”


‘Activism Works’: UK Parliament Makes History in Declaring Climate Emergency – The U.K. Parliament made history on Wednesday by becoming the first to declare an environment and climate emergency.MPs in the House of Commons passed the motion put forth by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn following debate.“This can set off a wave of action from parliaments and governments around the globe,” Corbyn said in a statement, which called attention to the recent wave of actions demanding urgent action on the climate crisis.”Protesters and school-strikers told us to act,” he said. “Governments never act without pressure and we must keep the pressure up. I’m proud that the Labour Party brought this motion to the House, and now we will carry on this work by developing our plans to deliver a Green Industrial Revolution.””Now it’s time for real action to tackle climate change,” Labour added on Twitter. Climate activists welcomed the development—and the grassroots power that made it happen—but also stressed that it must be followed by a dismantling of business-as-usual to truly behave as though it’s an emergency. “We have no time to waste,” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in prepared remarks. “We are living in a climate crisis that will spiral dangerously out of control unless we take rapid and dramatic action now.”Corbyn also praised youth who’ve led recent climate strikes. “The truth is they are ahead of the politicians on this—the most important issue of our times,” said Corbyn.


‘Call It a Crisis’: Report Details Failure of Cable and Network Outlets to Accurately Describe Climate Emergency –Name and shame. That’s the dual directive from a new report that calls on news organizations to use appropriate language when discussing the climate crisis — even as the report calls them out for inaction.The report — titled ‘Call It a Crisis’: The Role of U.S. Network News in Communicating the Urgency of Climate Change — analyzed the coverage of ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News to determine just how much urgency the influential outlets bring to their reporting. According to David Arkush, managing director of Public Citizen’s Climate Program, the specific words that journalists and news anchors use — or choose not to use — matters.”The words we use to characterize an issue make a difference in how it is perceived and prioritized politically,” said Arkush.When outlets with massive nightly audiences like the ones the report studied “consistently fail to use language that conveys that climate change is a crisis or emergency,” Arkush added, “they unwittingly put a heavy thumb on the scale in favor of complacency and inaction.”Fox News was the worst offender, with the use of “climate crisis” coming in for only five mentions during the coverage period — all of which, as Public Citizen noted, were efforts to “minimize the issue with false logic, mockery or misinformation.” But other news networks weren’t much better than the conservative channel. The only network to use the term in double digits was CNN, and only 16 of the 26 mentions were by a host. Van Jones, whose eponymous show ran every other Sunday during the survey period, accounted for six of those mentions.


Climate change and the journalists who are trying to save you – We’re at a one-day conference at the Columbia School of Journalism on climate coverage, and we’re wired and exhausted and hopeful and sad. But when it comes to this coverage, in her own experience, “anything overly sad didn’t really work,” she says. The question of how to tell the story of climate change—to account for all that’s lost and will be lost—in a way that does not make people want to turn away is at the forefront here at Covering Climate Now, a conference and initiative that The Nation and Columbia Journalism Review announced last month. In a report titled “The media are complacent while the world burns,” CJR’s Kyle Pope and The Nation’s Mark Hertsgaard laid out the recent history of journalism’s failure to tell accurate and compelling stories about climate change, which reached a pivotal point in the 1980s when media outlets “fell victim to fossil-fuel-industry propaganda,” repeating their lies. From there, a confluence of institutional issues—including many journalists’ tendency to cover climate change as a debatable topic rather than scientific fact and an attention economy, driven by social media platforms, that prioritizes quick, cheery stories—have only worsened the problem.“This is beyond any doubt the most compelling story of our time,” Bill McKibben tells the audience here via Skype. “It touches on every single part of human life and thus every beat that journalists cover.”McKibben joined the conference from California during the tour for his book Falter, one of several new releases—including Benjamin Wallace-Wells’ The Uninhabitable Earth and Nathaniel Rich’s Losing Earth—to take on this story this spring. But on a daily basis, most of the climate coverage we see, Washington Post columnist and panelist Margaret Sullivan points out, happens at prestige or legacy publications—much less often at the local level or at broadcast organizations where so many Americans get their news. And that coverage often reflects journalists’ reluctance to identify with activist movements of any kind. Journalists “don’t feel comfortable generally being advocates,” she says. “They feel comfortable being observers and tellers of a story and impartial, sort of neutral observers. I think that that does need to change on a topic as important as this.”


Because ‘The House Is on Fire,’ Naomi Klein Takes Centrism-Obsessed Media to Task for Failed Climate Coverage – News coverage of the climate crisis can no longer rely on the false pretense of objectivity, writer and activist Naomi Klein said Tuesday. “There is a confirmation bias among the largest chunk of journalists out there who really pride themselves on being centrists,” Klein said Tuesday during a town hall at the Columbia Journalism School in New York. “There’s an absolute fetish for centrism, for seriousness defined by splitting the difference—and not getting too excited about anything”The mainstream media is “profoundly distrustful of people who are saying ‘actually, the house is on fire,'” Klein said, citing the impulse among many journalists to remain objective and hear both sides. “But guess what,” said Klein. “The house is on fire.”The journalism school’s publication, The Columbia Journalism Review (CJR), is joining with The Nation to launch an initiative, #CoveringClimateNow, to change coverage of the climate crisis.In an essay describing the initiative from April 22, Mark Hertsgaard, environmental correspondent for The Nation, and Kyle Pope, the publisher of CJR, described how they see the journalist’s job in the climate crisis as one of sounding the alarm.”Instead of sleepwalking us toward disaster, the U.S. news media need to remember their Paul Revere responsibilities,” wrote Hertsgaard and Pope, “to awaken, inform, and rouse the people to action.”Part of that mission, Klein said, is pushing back on conventional wisdom about the role of extractive technologies in furthering neoliberal economic development. “You can’t leave it all to the markets,” Klein said, laying out a vision of the future that leaves neoliberalism behind.”You have to plan,” Klein added. “You have to regulate.”Further, said Klein, the entire project of neoliberalism “falls apart” if the climate crisis is reality.  Watch Klein’s comments:


Is The New World Order’s Global Annihilation Agenda Ramping Up? – New World Order globalists are seeking to eliminate 90% of the human race, in a bid to protect the environment. Those for mass death have convinced themselves that the only way to save the planet is to eliminate “useless eaters.” The NWO and globalization has been happening for some time now, but there always appears to be a moment when the agenda’s rhetoric is ramped up to disturbing levels, complete with apocalyptic death.  Even leftist totalitarian comedians like Bill Maher have joined in the horrific agenda pushing by saying he just wants people to, “Not have kids, DIE, and stay dead.” Maher said humans hurt the environment, so the solution is for them to die. (Did Maher forget he’s a human?) “As he argued that humans hurt the environment, he concluded that it would be better for Earth for more people to ‘not have kids, die and stay dead,’” reports Leftists truly believe the planet will be destroyed if humans are allowed to survive much longer. Left-wing nut case Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez warns that planet Earth only has 12 more years before it will be destroyed by “climate change” — a completely fabricated junk science narrative invented by power-hungry Leftists who are almost universally illiterate in the realm of real science, reported Natural News. There are far too many humans who believe that the slaughtering and killing off of billions of other humans is the answer to “climate change.” Because globalists truly believe humans are a threat to the planet, they have no qualms whatsoever about calling for the mass genocide of human beings around the world. After all, they are trying to “save the planet,” they tell themselves, which translates in their twisted and sociopathic minds, that the ends justify the means. Natural News further wrote that the global annihilation agenda is ramping up, and with it comes increased rhetoric. In fact, laws are now being pushed that will allow governments to efficiently dispose of billions of bodies by “recycling” them back into the food supply. (Soylent Green, anyone?)  In the state of Washington, for example, a new “human composting” bill has been passed by the state House and Senate. Once signed into law, it would allow human corpses to be liquefied and flushed into the sewer system. From there, “biosludge” is collected by every city in America — including Seattle — where it is dehydrated and trucked out to the rural farms in surrounding areas. There, it’s dumped on farm fields after being dishonestly labeled “free fertilizer” for farmers. Effectively, what this means is that human corpses are going to be “recycled” back into the food supply in Washington. Soon, this will be authorized across America. It’s one of the necessary steps before the globalists unleash their “kill switch” biological weapon that’s designed to kill off at least 90% of the global population. Once that is accomplished, human labor will be replaced by automated robots, while armed Google “suicide drones” seek out and exterminate the human survivors living in the rubble of cities like Seattle.-Natural News


Facebook Hires Koch-Funded Climate Deniers for ‘Fact-Checking’ -It may not come as a surprise that leading climate denier Donald Trump has made more than 10,000 false or misleading claims since he became president, according to fact-checkers at the Washington Post. As the Post reports, Trump’s “tsunami of untruths just keeps looming larger and larger.” Much of this tsunami of untruths will get reposted on Facebook as fact. Those hoping that Facebook will accurately check Trump’s statements and clean up the torrent of fake news on its platform will have to think again, especially if you are concerned about climate change.In what can only be described as verging on the bizarre, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has given the contract to fight fake news to an organization that pushes fake news on climate change. According to reports in Think Progress and Grist, Facebook has announced that it was teaming up with, which is an offshoot of the anti-science media site, The Daily Caller.The CheckYourFact website brags that: “Our mission is a non-partisan one. We’re loyal to neither people nor parties — only the truth. And while the fact-checking industry continues to grow, there are still countless assertions that go unchecked. We exist to fill in the gaps.”In fact, the opposite seems to be true. As Think Progress outlines:The Daily Caller, which has published misinformation about climate science for years, was co-founded by the science-denying Fox News host Tucker Carlson and is backed by major conservative donors, including Charles and David Koch, the billionaire fossil fuel barons who are the single biggest funders of climate science misinformation.  Think Progress includes a link back to 2015, when a peer-reviewed paper from scientists at Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute was published in the journal Nature Geoscience. The Daily Caller tried to twist the research to argue that “global warming is nothing new.” One of the world’s leading climatologists, professor Michael Mann, whose own work has been distorted by The Daily Caller, told Think Progress: “It is appalling that Facebook has teamed up with a Koch-funded organization that promotes climate change denial. Facebook must disassociate itself from this organization.”


Microsoft joins group seeking to kill off historic climate change lawsuits – Microsoft has joined a conservative-led group that demands fossil fuel companies be granted legal immunity from attempts to claw back damages from the climate change they helped cause. The stated goals of the Climate Leadership Council (CLC) include a $40-a-ton fee on carbon dioxide emissions in return for the gutting of current climate change regulations and “protecting companies from federal and state tort liability for historic emissions”. Microsoft has become the first technology company to join the CLC, which includes oil giants BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, Total and ConocoPhillips among its founding members. Handing legal immunity to these oil companies would squash a cavalcade of recent climate lawsuits launched by cities and counties across the US, including one by King county, Washington, where Microsoft is based. “When Microsoft is underwater it should ask itself if this is a good deal,” said Matthew Pawa, a lawyer representing King county, which includes Seattle, in its lawsuit against five major oil companies. Pawa also represents New York City in its suing of the same five firms – BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell. “Microsoft and other tech companies have been looking for a whizz-bang technocratic solution to climate change and they think this is it,” he said. “But they don’t know what they are doing. This is a raw deal that would stick taxpayers with the bill for decades of carbon pollution.” Facing rising costs from sea level rise, storms and heatwaves, a growing band of elected officials from across the US have turned to the courts to force fossil fuel producers to pay compensation to ameliorate the escalating damages. Many of these claims point out that firms like Exxon privately knew of the consequences of climate change for at least 40 years, long before it was a public issue, only to deny the problem and block meaningful action to address it.