Over the last century, the average annual temperature has increased 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit, with increases in some areas up to 4 degrees. Changes in forest cover, stream flows, and snowpack are already occurring in our region and will continue. The average annual temperature is expected to increase up to 10 degrees by the time today’s infants enter old age. The winters here are likely to get wetter and the summers drier. Insultingly, people living in the Pacific Northwest are being asked to help further facilitate these devastating changes to our environment by allowing coal trains to export coal to Asia to accelerate global warming.
It is increasingly likely that hundreds of millions of people will be displaced from their homelands in the near future as a result of global warming. That is the stark warning of economist and climate change expert Lord Stern following the news last week that concentrations of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere had reached a level of 400 parts per million (ppm).
I have so far chosen to follow the Keystone campaign from a safe distance. After staring into a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence in West Virginia and barely escaping, I was pretty sure I wasn’t ready for jail again.
Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have passed 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human history. Data released on Friday from two monitoring stations in Hawaii run by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography show that the daily average of climate-warming greenhouse gas has passed 400ppm for the first time in the 50 years that the two stations have been recording. 350ppm is widely considered to be the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere.
The world at present is fast approaching a climate cliff. Science tells us that an increase in global average temperature of 2°C (3.6° F) constitutes the planetary tipping point with respect to climate change, leading to irreversible changes beyond human control. A 2°C rise is sufficient to melt a significant portion of the world’s ice due to feedbacks that will hasten the melting. It will thus set the course to an ice-free world. Sea level will rise. Numerous islands will be threatened along with coastal regions throughout the globe.
The pretense in these speeches, including one by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, was consistently that Obama has not already approved part of the pipeline, that he is guilty of inaction, that the government is failing to act, that what's needed is action -- as if our government were not actively promoting the use of, and using vast quantities of fossil fuels, not to mention fighting wars to control the stuff.
Environmental activists and concerned individuals from a wide range of political and ideological positions converged on Washington D.C. to demand an end to the Keystone XL Pipeline. Eco-Socialists, anarchists, Obama supporters, clean energy advocates, Sierra club members, Green party members, organic farmers, Deep Green Resistance volunteers, Unitarians and Quakers were among the many groups represented at the diverse gathering.
Last night during his State of the Union address President Obama urged Congress to adopt an “all of the above” approach to climate change. Wind energy, solar power and other “bipartisan market based solutions” were offered up as the way forward alongside a pledge to rapidly increase domestic oil and gas production. Shortly before acknowledging the seriousness of the climate crisis with a fairly in depth recitation of recent trends in natural disasters, President Obama declared, “We produce more oil at home than we have in fifteen years...we produce more natural gas than ever before.”
When Mister Craig Steinke, CEO and chief shareholder of R2 Energy, came to Castellón to convince the local Mayors and press of the benefits of Fracking and oil extraction he told them a pack of lies. 41 mayors of local towns affected by the Fracking Application gathered in the ‘Municipal Palace, with press, TV, and a picket from the Anti Fracking Platform outside. Here we refute those lies one by one, and illustrate the criminal scandal of Fracking.
Say what you want about the Obama administration's relative ignoring of climate issues: Many of his top scientists are paying rapt attention, and they think we're about to get our butts kicked—although dumping the news at 4pm on a Friday gives some indication of where it sits in federal priorities.
Another year, another set of climate records. Here are the top ten signs you are living in a warming world, 2012 edition: 1. Hot enough for you? Though it’s only mid-December, it’s already clear that 2012 will be the hottest year on record for the contiguous United States. “The warm November virtually assures that 2012 will be the warmest year on record in the U.S.,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently observed.
West Antarctica has warmed much more than scientists had thought over the last half century, new research suggests, an ominous finding given that the huge ice sheet there may be vulnerable to long-term collapse, with potentially drastic effects on sea levels.
At the U.N. climate talks in Doha, developing nations are accusing the United States and other wealthy nations of not sufficiently pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions and failing to pay poorer nations for loss and damage from weather events caused by climate change. We’re joined in Doha by Ronald Jumeau, Seychelles ambassador for climate change and representative of the Alliance of Small Island States. We’re also joined by Martin Khor, executive director of the South Centre in Malaysia
The harassment faced by U.S.-based climate scientists has been well documented in the media—but not the harassment of scientists in Europe, Canada or the rest of the world. That's because there hasn't been much to report.
Arctic sea ice cover melted to its lowest extent in the satellite record yesterday, breaking the previous record low observed in 2007. Sea ice extent fell to 4.10 million square kilometers (1.58 million square miles) on August 26, 2012. This was 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 square miles) below the September 18, 2007 daily extent of 4.17 million square kilometers (1.61 million square miles).
Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything. Well, the truth is the people we all see most often talking about the weather aren't doing much talking about global climate change. TV weather forecasters for any number of stupid reasons for the most part are keeping their mouths shut about climate change. After all, it might not be good for ratings, it might be a downer from the happy banter of the Action News Team, it might all be too much for their little brains. I don't know, but a frightening amount of these people don't even believe in climate change and, why should it be different.
We periodically ask our readers and supporters to support us with a financial donation. We are hoping to raise $500 this Spring for our ongoing operations. We've been busy lately fixing technical problems, planning improvements for our tech infrastructure, and talking about how we can bring more original content in the future to our readers.
Checks and cash are accepted, but contact us to make special arrangements.
What we've been up to lately:
Server improvements and optimization: You may have noticed that the website hasn't been down very much in the past month. Dave and Chuck have been busy cleaning up the server, slaying evil spambots and otherwise optimizing the server and websites. This is necessary so we can make further tech improvements and have a stable environment to publish more original content.
Infoshop News: We recently started a project which will upgrade Infoshop News to the latest version of Drupal, a popular content management system. This will allow us to do more interesting things with Infoshop News, from multimedia to subject tagging. This new software will also help us prevent downtime problems. We expect this project to be finished by the end of Summer 2013.
Infoshop Library: This week we will resume adding content to the Infoshop Library (http://www.infoshop.org/Library), which has been relocated to new software on our site. Content from the old library will be re-added to the library in the next couple of months. We will also be planning ways for more volunteers to get involved with this project.
Infoshop OpenWiki: The wiki is currently offline, but the old wiki content will be migrated to the website in the next couple of months.
Infoshop Forums: The Infoshop Forums will be migrated to our Drupal website this summer. We haven't decided yet if old content and user accounts will be migrated.
If you'd like to help with any of this, please get in touch!