"

Have you cut your energy consumption — and greenhouse gas emissions — by 40 percent in recent years? Didn’t think so. Neither have I, or many of the other seven billion people on the planet. In a draft of their final report that was leaked last week to The New York Times, scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have concluded that the world is not heeding their repeated warnings, and that mankind’s heavy use of fossil fuels — and emissions of carbon dioxide — are increasing, not declining by 25 to 40 percent, as they recommended.

Resistance remains strong. If plan A is prevent climate change through massive, collective sacrifice, let’s face it: It’s time to start working on plan B.

"

— William Falk, in Why climate change is inevitable (via theweekmagazine)

'Extremely likely' humans responsible for global warming

breakingnews:

AP: It is ‘extremely likely’ that human activity is responsible for global warming observed since the 1950s, a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says.

It is the strongest language that the group has adopted since its 2007 assessment in which it said global warming was ‘very likely’ man made.

bobbycaputo:

Astounding Personal Shots of Hurricane Sandy

As the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches, New Yorkers are starting to reflect anew on the disaster and its aftermath.

The International Center of Photography and the Museum of the City of New York are highlighting that journey in a jointexhibitioncalled “Rising Waters: Photographs of Hurricane Sandy.”

The 100 photographs in the exhibition were selected from nearly 6,000 entries submitted to an open call. They include high-resolution photos from professionals as well as photos from storm victims taken with mobile phones.

"I tried to focus more on the interest of what is depicted rather than on image quality or sharpness or composition. This is intended to be a little more descriptive," ICP curator Kristen Lubben said.

(via wilwheaton)

"Yet Americans bought as many electric bicycles as they did electric cars last year. About 53,000 electric bicycles were sold, according to Dave Hurst, an analyst with Navigant Research who tracks the industry. Electric car sales came in at 52,835."

Marc Gunther on E360. I didn’t even realize electric bikes were a thing. It will be interesting to see if they help with reducing both pollution and the obesity problem as the article suggests.

Perhaps the least surprising research of the year:

Researchers looked at soot and various greenhouse gases that don’t last very long in the atmosphere, such as methane, ozone in the lower altitudes and the factory-made refrigerants known as HFCs.

Previous studies have shown that cutting these types of air pollution could slow climate change, buying time to bring carbon dioxide emissions under control. The new research shows that such cuts would also significantly slow the rate of sea level rise—by more than 20 percent per year, which could keep the rise under a meter by the end of the century.

Cutting these so-called short lived climate forcers by 30 to 60 percent would prevent roughly a degree Celsius of additional warming, meaning less thermal expansion of ocean waters and less meltdown of ice sheets.

Al Jazeera English: Egypt struggles with climate change

Wonk Blog reports on a new study that uses computer simulations to predict what trade routes will be open in the arctic, given current rates of shrinking Arctic sea ice.
the researchers found that open-water vessels will be able to, in theory, cross the Northwest Passage and North Sea Route regularly in the summer by 2050 without icebreakers. And icebreaker ships may be able to ram right through the North Pole
he change here is quite striking. Right now, no commercial shipping goes through the Northwest Passage that hugs northern Canada. Yet by mid-century, those routes could potentially be clear for open-water vessels every other summer. Likewise, the Northern Sea Route that hugs Russia is projected to be open in late summer 90 percent of the time, up from 40 percent today. 

Wonk Blog reports on a new study that uses computer simulations to predict what trade routes will be open in the arctic, given current rates of shrinking Arctic sea ice.

the researchers found that open-water vessels will be able to, in theory, cross the Northwest Passage and North Sea Route regularly in the summer by 2050 without icebreakers. And icebreaker ships may be able to ram right through the North Pole
he change here is quite striking. Right now, no commercial shipping goes through the Northwest Passage that hugs northern Canada. Yet by mid-century, those routes could potentially be clear for open-water vessels every other summer. Likewise, the Northern Sea Route that hugs Russia is projected to be open in late summer 90 percent of the time, up from 40 percent today. 

Reuters:

President Barack Obama’s promise to attack climate change is likely to light a fire under federal agencies slow to comply with a mandate to cut energy use - which could be very good news for companies that specialize in systems that save power.

Waiting in the wings are the likes of Honeywell International Inc, Johnson Controls Inc and Ameresco Inc that are ready to carry out heating and cooling system upgrades, lighting retrofits and similar projects in some of the government’s 500,000 buildings….

In October, Honeywell won an $80.6 million project to improve energy efficiency at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, the largest such project ever awarded by the federal government, according to Orzeske. Most such projects are in the $10 million to $15 million range, he added.

The upgrades are expected to save more than $170 million over 20 years, guaranteed by Honeywell through the contract.

"Over the past two decades, as Lessig notes, sixteen different new laws have passed that ad additional teeth to copyright restrictions, while not a single one has passed restricting industrial carbon output. There are genuine debates to be had over music piracy and global warming, but surely the vast majority of us would agree that factories pumping carbon into the atmosphere with impunity are a more pressing concern than illegal Kanye West downloads. Yet the congressional record is clear: sixteen to zero. Why? Because content business and carbon polluters spent billions of dollars supporting candidates from both parties over that period. So we have a political class that spends its time protecting Mickey Mouse and Lady Gaga instead of the planet."

— Steven Johnson on page 158 of his book, Future Perfect

"We don’t, in a sensible world, want to hand on an increasingly dysfunctional world to our grandchildren, to leave them with the real problem. I don’t want to be confronted by my future grandchild and (have) them say: ‘Why didn’t you do something?’"

— Prince Charles • On the issue of climate change and why he doesn’t want his soon-to-be-born grandson to question why he didn’t do more about it. (via shortformblog)

(via shortformblog)