Odds and Ends 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke: Climate Change Has Nothing to Do With Wildfires

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke claimed Sunday that climate change has nothing to do with global warming, despite disastrous, deadly wildfire season. America is better than letting these radical groups control the dialogue about climate change, he said, reiterating his belief that logging and active forest management is the real key to preventing wildfires. Zinkes comments echo the position he advanced in a Twitter two days before Zinkes op-ed, pinning the blame on bad environmental laws which arent allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized but…

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‘It saved our business’: Italy’s farmers turn low into high with cannabis

Hemp cultivation for non-pharmaceutical could help revert desiccation of farm land Italian farmers are in crisis as low prices of wheat, desiccated land and big companies importing grain take their toll. But some have found a solution: growing cannabis. Hemp cultivation has been legal in Italy since 2016, and over the last few years the amount of land dedicated to the plant has increased from 400 hectares (1,000 acres) in 2013 to 4,000 hectares today. The law which allows cultivation for non-pharmaceutical use of plants with up to 0.2% of…

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Your Next Weather Apocalypse: The Smokestorm

This story originally appeared on Grist and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. As wildfire smoke descended on Seattle last week, the sun turned an apocalyptic shade of red and the city breathed in some of the unhealthiest air in the world. A new word to describe this phenomenon graced the headlines: “smokestorm.” The person who coined the term is Cliff Mass, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington and revered Seattle meteorologist. “A Smokestorm is Imminent,” read the title of his blog post last Saturday, in which he projected the…

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Timelapse Shows 10 Billion Tons of Ice Calving Off a Glacier in Greenland

On June 22, 2018 a team of scientists from NYU captured an iceberg the size of Manhattan calving off the Helheim Glacier in Greenland over a duration of 30 minutes. The four mile wide, one mile across, and half mile thick chunk of ice weighed roughly 10 billion tons. According to an article in National Geographic: This event in itself isn’t necessarily a harbinger of climate doom. “Calving happens,†says Kristin Poinar, a glaciologist from the University of Buffalo. “Ice isn’t a good building material—you could never build a skyscraper…

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New University Rules Encourage Scientists to Avoid Air Travel

Last December, on a dark evening in Baltimore, Anna Scott left her apartment and dragged her bag three minutes to the train station. She eventually caught her train, the Crescent, claimed a comfortable seat to cuddle up in, and took out her laptop full of files related to her PhD work on urban temperature at Johns Hopkins. The Crescent would be her home for the next 27 hours. The same weekend, Arvind Ravikumar, a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford, showed up at the train station in Los Angeles and got on…

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Michael Bloomberg: Why Im Supporting Democrats in 2018

I’ve never much liked political parties. I’ve always believed that we should put country before party. Too many politicians practice the reverse, with terrible consequences for the American people. But although I don’t believe in partisanship, I very much believe in the importance of politics and elections. That’s how we make change and progress in a democracy. Over the years, I have supported candidates in both parties who were willing to break with partisanship and the special interests and seek common ground around solutions to make America better. I’ve focused…

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Antarctic ice melting faster than ever, studies show

Rate of melt has accelerated threefold in last five years and could contribute 25cm to sea-level rises without urgent action Ice in the Antarctic is melting at a record-breaking rate and the subsequent sea rises could have catastrophic consequences for cities around the world, according to two new studies. A report led by scientists in the UK and US found the rate of melting from the Antarctic ice sheet has accelerated threefold in the last five years and is now vanishing faster than at any previously recorded time. A separate…

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Lessons from Montecito: Science’s Credibility Is At Stake

For applied scientists—that intrepid cadre who get their hands dirty in the sometimes dangerous world beyond the ivory tower, participating in difficult decisions with little time and major consequences—getting the right answer is only half the battle. The other half is successfully explaining what they’ve found, and what it means. This winter’s debris flows in the posh community of Montecito, California, which led to more than 20 deaths, provided examples of success and failure on both counts. And those successes and failures have ramifications far beyond managing geophysical risks. WIRED…

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Sea Level Rise in the SF Bay Area Just Got a Lot More Dire

If you move to the San Francisco Bay Area, prepare to pay some of the most exorbitant home prices on the planet. Also, prepare for the fact that someday, your new home could be underwater—and not just financially. Sea level rise threatens to wipe out swaths of the Bay's densely populated coastlines, and a new study out today in Science Advances paints an even more dire scenario: The coastal land is also sinking, making a rising sea that much more precarious. Considering sea level rise alone, models show that, on…

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How Bill Gates aims to clean up the planet

Its a simple idea: strip CO2 from the air and use it to produce carbon-neutral fuel. But can it work on an industrial scale? Carbon capture and storage (CCS) The Observer Sun 4 Feb 2018 04.00EST Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Carbon Engineerings direct air capture plant in Squamish, British Columbia, one of the few such facilities in the world. Photograph: pembina.org Its nothing much to look at, but the tangle of pipes, pumps, tanks, reactors, chimneys and ducts on a messy industrial estate outside the…

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HUME BOOM! Heat from Brit Hume’s burn on Al Gore defender is enough to melt the ice caps

It all started with Brit Hume mocking Al Gore’s turn-on-a-dime views on what constitutes global warming after the Goracle abandoned his “warmer winters” approach in favor of what’s currently happening in the U.S.: Next he’ll tell us that if the earth cools, it will cause hot weather —> https://t.co/SOOJZMjl7B — Brit Hume (@brithume) January 6, 2018 But Hume’s #science resume was called into question by a defender of Gore: Hey Brit where did you get your climate science degree? — Nancy J (@nardwein) January 7, 2018 Read more: https://twitchy.com/dougp-3137/2018/01/06/hume-boom-heat-from-brit-humes-burn-on-al-gore-defender-is-enough-to-melt-the-ice-caps/

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The Potential Pitfalls of Electric Cars, in 5 Charts

If we're going to put the brakes on climate change, electric cars will be crucial. At least, that's the general consensus: Get the heck out of that Hummer, and into something without an exhaust pipe. At least seven countries plan to ban the sale of cars with internal combustion engines sometime in the next few decades, and the specter of losing out on markets like the UK, France, and most of all China (the world's biggest car buyer) has pushed the auto industry to mobilize. This week, Ford announced plans…

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New York City plans to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue oil companies

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Its up to the fossil fuel companies whose greed put us in this position to shoulder the cost of making New York safer and more resilient New York City is seeking to lead the assault on both climate change and the Trump administration with a plan to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue the worlds most powerful oil companies over their contribution to dangerous global warming. City officials have set a goal of divesting New Yorks $189bn pension funds from fossil fuel companies within five…

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Macron awards US scientists grants to move to France in defiance of Trump

Frances president awards millions of euros to 18 American scientists to relocate in effort to counter Donald Trump on the climate change front Eighteen climate scientists from the US and elsewhere have hit the jackpot as Frances president, Trump declared he would withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord. More than 5,000 people from about 100 countries expressed interest in the grants. Most of the applicants and 13 of the 18 winners were US-based researchers. Macrons appeal gave me such a psychological boost, to have that kind of support,…

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Too right it’s Black Friday: our relentless consumption is trashing the planet | George Monbiot

Growth must go on and its destroying the Earth. But theres no way of greening it. So we need a new system, writes Guardian columnist George Monbiot Everyone wants everything how is that going to work? The promise of economic growth is that the poor can live like the rich and the rich can live like the oligarchs. But already we are bursting through the physical limits of the planet that sustains us. Climate breakdown, soil loss, the collapse of habitats and species, the sea of plastic, million plastic bottles…

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