Monday, August 20, 2018

Big oil and climate change


Though oil and gas companies have known about global climate change for decades, they've deferred reducing crude and gas production until the second half of this century. But with global weather patterns in flux, activists have been demanding that energy companies set and commit to more rapid action on curbing oil and gas production in line with the Paris climate agreement.
New calls for action come amidst forecasts by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that, by 2014, demand for oil and gas could fall by almost 50 percent - but only if carbon emissions reduction targets are met. With this threat to profits, many ask if big oil companies are serious about addressing global climate change.

Facing an eventual drop in demand, energy companies delay caps on the production of carbon-emitting products.

Oil majors like Royal Dutch Shell has acknowledged that climate change will be a major challenge for years to come, but Total and others are still expecting strong demand for fossil fuels over the next few decades – and Exxon Mobil is under investigation over financial disclosures for climate change.
Anthony Hobley, CEO for the financial think-tank Carbon Tracker, told Counting the Cost that when it comes to profits and compliance with international carbon reduction agreements, big energy companies are sending mixed messages:
"I think they've been a bit schizophrenic. They are looking at climate risk and we're now being deluged with disclosure and scenario analysis from the companies that are, effectively, stress testing their business models against a Paris compliant two degrees pathway. But then when they talk to investors they're still talking up demand." Read More

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

“Hothouse Earth” Co-Author: The Problem Is Neoliberal Economics


BY SHIFTING to a “wartime footing” to drive a rapid shift toward renewable energy and electrification, humanity can still avoid the

apocalyptic

future laid out in the much-discussed “hothouse earth” paper, a lead author of the paper told The Intercept. One of the biggest barriers to averting catastrophe, he said, has more to do with economics than science.

When journal papers about climate change make headlines, the news usually isn’t good. Last week was no exception, when the so-called hothouse earth paper, in which a team of interdisciplinary Earth systems scientists warned that the problem of climate change may be even worse than we thought, made its news cycle orbit. (The actual title of the paper, a commentary published in the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences, is “Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene.”)

Coverage of the paper tended to focus on one of its more alarming claims, albeit one that isn’t new to climate researchers: that a series of interlocking dynamics on Earth — from melting sea ice to deforestation — can feed upon one another to accelerate warming and climate impacts once we pass a certain threshold of warming, even after humans have stopped pouring greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The best chance we have for staying below that catastrophic threshold is to cap warming at around 2 degrees Celsius, the target enshrined in the Paris Agreement.

That’s all correct and plenty daunting. Yet embedded within the paper is a finding that’s just as stunning: that none of this is inevitable, and one of the main barriers between us and a stable planet — one that isn’t actively hostile to human civilization over the long term — is our economic system. Read More

Thursday, August 2, 2018

State of the Climate 2017- American Meteorological Society


State of the Climate 2017

An international, peer-reviewed publication released each summer, the State of the Climate is the authoritative annual summary of the global climate published as a supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
The report, compiled by NOAA’s Center for Weather and Climate at the National Centers for Environmental Information is based on contributions from scientists from around the world. It provides a detailed update on global climate indicators, notable weather events, and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations and instruments located on land, water, ice, and in space.


(https://www.ametsoc.org/ams/index.cfm/publications/bulletin-of-the-american-meteorological-society-bams/state-of-the-climate/

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'? Nafeez Ahmed


A new study partly-sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history." Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to "precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common."


(https://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-civilisation-irreversible-collapse-study-scientists?CMP=share_btn_fb

Monday, July 30, 2018

California's Trees are Dying at Catastrophic Rate | Archangel Ancient Tree Archive


Note from David Milarch: “The gut feeling I had about our forests when I started Champion Tree Project all those years ago, and then Archangel Ancient Tree Archive more recently was that we needed to move fast to save our forests. Man-made threats are placing tremendous pressure on the survival of not just the trees, but on people, too. This new photo essay from BuzzFeed is an example of why Archangel is so vital to the survival of California’s trees. I wanted to share this with you so you can see what keeps us motivated to act. Please join the fight.“

John Muir, naturalist and cofounder of the Sierra Club, wrote of the forests in the Sierra Nevada, “Going to the woods is going home.” Unfortunately, since 2014 that home has seen unprecedented levels of tree mortality with as many as 129 million trees across 8.9 million acres lost. Where once stood a lush, green forest, there are now trees turning yellow and brown. The alarmingly accelerated pace of their death has been linked to the stress caused by climate change, more specifically increased temperatures, years of severe drought, and an unhealthy overgrowth due to years of fire suppression, which led to a significant spike in bark beetle infestations.

Photographer Mette Lampcov spent three days in November 2017 in California documenting the Sierra National Forest’s dead trees, as well as the homeowners forced to reckon with their dying surroundings. According to the US Forest Service’s 2017 Tree Mortality Aerial Detection Survey results, the Sierra National Forest has seen the largest number of tree deaths in California national forests, with nearly 32 million since 2010. The change in landscape was immediately noticeable, said Lampcov: “As you drive up a steep road heading into the Sierras, you start seeing the dead trees. It’s overwhelming and hard to explain what endless views over mountains look like with a sea of brown and yellowing trees. The area is so affected by dead trees; you smell fires and hear chainsaws all day long. Everywhere you look there are dead trees.”


(https://www.ancienttreearchive.org/californias-trees-are-dying-at-catastrophic-rate/

Sustainable Security: Global Ideas for a Greater Britain


For the Rethinking Security group the priorities to be addressed follow on from earlier studies, not least by Oxford Research Group’s seminal 2006 paper, , with its emphasis on inequality and progressive marginalisation, climate disruption and militarism, the latter so often leading to the early recourse to military intervention.

Instead of the current security paradigm, what should instead be proposed is a progressive change to far greater concentration in addressing these underlying drivers of conflict. However, this leads on to the key question: is it actually possible to address such a radical change in policy within the confines of a short and intense period such as a general election campaign or change of leadership?

https://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/sustainable-security-global-ideas-for-a-greater-britain

Monday, July 9, 2018

High-Level Political Forum

High-Level Political Forum #HLPF2018 begins today at the @UN. @IRENA is at this High-Level Political Forum to help bring renewable energy solutions to the forefront of addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (#SDGs). Details on some of our key events, here: bit.ly/2MkSSe5