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Arlington Vision 2020 Committee/Mass. Climate Action Network (MCAN) Chapter

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This page includes content from the Climate Change News blog, which is maintained daily by David Landskov, and content from our old SA blog archives.

  • The Great Barrier Reef Has Been Forever Changed by Global Warming, Scientists Warn

    Climate Change News Apr 19, 2018 | 04:17 am

    The Great Barrier Reef Has Been Forever Changed by Global Warming, Scientists Warn Rising temperatures in 2016 caused a catastrophic die-off of almost 30 percent of the iconic reef. A bleak new study describes the profound damage that climate change has wreaked on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.  Rising temperatures in 2016 “cooked” swathes of corals, the scientists found, causing the catastrophic die-off of almost 30 percent of the world’s largest coral reef system.Global warming has already radically — and possibly permanently — transformed the reef’s ecology, according to the study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature.  If action is not taken promptly and comprehensively to curb warming, it could be “game over” for the reef, scientists warned.“It’s catastrophic,” Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, a New South Wales-based climate researcher who was not involved in the new study, told Australia’s ABC News after reviewing the research.  “There might have been a glimmer of hope that it wasn’t as bad or might recover faster than we thought.  But this paper made the reality very present.  The bleaching will forever change the Barrier Reef.” Read more at The Great Barrier Reef Has Been Forever Changed by Global Warming, Scientists Warn

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  • Wednesday 18

    Climate Change News Apr 19, 2018 | 03:52 am

    Wednesday 18

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  • Tuesday 17

    Climate Change News Apr 19, 2018 | 03:50 am

    Tuesday 17

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  • VW's Electrify America to Install EV Chargers at Walmart Stores

    Climate Change News Apr 18, 2018 | 19:21 pm

    VW's Electrify America to Install EV Chargers at Walmart Stores Volkswagen AG (VOWG.DE) unit Electrify America will install electric vehicle charging stations at more than 100 Walmart Inc (WMT.N) store locations in 34 U.S. states by mid-2019 as part of Electrify’s plans to bolster charging infrastructure across the country, the two companies said on Wednesday. “We recognize that electric vehicles are going to grow and become more relevant,” Mark Vanderhelm, vice president for energy at Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, told Reuters. “We are trying to get out in front of that.” The Walmart charging stations are part of a broader Electrify America project to install 2,000 chargers at nearly 500 charging stations across the country by June 2019. Wayne Killen, Electrify America’s senior director for infrastructure, said that 80 percent of the Walmart charging stations would be at store locations alongside highways, while the remaining 20 percent would be in metro areas. Killen said the highway locations will primarily provide chargers for trips between U.S. cities but also cross-country journeys along Interstate 10 between Santa Monica, California and Jacksonville, Florida, plus Interstate 80 that runs from San Francisco and Teaneck, New Jersey. “These charging stations will go a long way toward convincing folks that there are a lot of chargers out there,” Electrify America’s Killen said. Clusters of four to 10 chargers will be installed at the Walmart charging stations. VW has agreed to spend $800 million in California and a total of $2 billion nationwide on clean car infrastructure as part of its agreement after admitting to diesel[…]

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  • Boulder Sues Exxon over Climate Change:  Wildfires, Droughts and Water Are a Few Reasons Why

    Climate Change News Apr 18, 2018 | 19:14 pm

    Boulder Sues Exxon over Climate Change:  Wildfires, Droughts and Water Are a Few Reasons Why The Colorado city and two counties are suing oil companies Exxon and Suncor over the costs of climate change.  They’re already dealing with the damage. In Boulder, Colorado, climate change means extreme weather and wildfires.  It means worrying about water security for people and farms, and about heat waves and mosquito-borne diseases.  These aren't just future risks—they're problems the city and its surrounding county are facing now. On Tuesday the city and Boulder County joined San Miguel County, home to the ski slopes of Telluride, in suing two fossil fuel companies—ExxonMobil and Suncor—over the costs of dealing with climate change. Their lawsuit is the latest in a string of legal actions by communities that are attempting to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for the problems climate change creates.  Until now, the plaintiffs had been coastal cities and counties worried primarily about sea level rise. The new case takes climate litigation to the middle of the country, where the risks take on new shapes and high costs. The Colorado communities are already seeing climate-related damage to property, health and safety, and "the damage will only multiply as climate change worsens," the lawsuit says. It points to the dwindling snowpack, which is critical for the state's agriculture, water supply, and $5 billion ski industry.  (This month, the snowpack in the mountains of southern Colorado was less than 50 percent of normal.)  It also raises concerns about the loss of water flow into the Colorado River, and about extreme summer heat, wildfires, and[…]

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  • MIT Spin-off Faces Daunting Challenges on Path to Build a Fusion Power Plant in 15 Years

    Climate Change News Apr 18, 2018 | 19:06 pm

    MIT Spin-off Faces Daunting Challenges on Path to Build a Fusion Power Plant in 15 Years Commonwealth Fusion Systems has pledged to build a commercial fusion reactor based on new superconducting magnets. Fusion power is always two or three decades away.  Dozens of experimental reactors have come and gone over the years, inching the field forward in some regard, but still falling short of their ultimate goal: producing cheap, abundant energy by fusing hydrogen nuclei together in a self-sustained fashion. Now an MIT spin-off wants to use a new kind of high-temperature superconducting magnet to speed up development of a practical fusion reactor.  The announcement, by Commonwealth Fusion Systems, based in Cambridge, Mass., caused quite a stir.  CFS said it will collaborate with MIT to bring a fusion power plant online within 15 years—a timeline faster by decades than other fusion projects. CFS, which recently received an investment of US $50 million from Eni, one of Europe’s largest energy companies, says the goal is to build a commercial fusion reactor with a capacity of 200 MWe.  That’s a modest output compared to conventional fission power plants—a typical pressurized water reactor, or PWR, can produce upwards of 1,000 MWe—but CFS claims that smaller plants are more competitive than giant, costly ones in today’s energy market. It’s certain that, between now and 2033, when CFS expects to have its reactor ready for commercialization, the company will face a host of challenges.  These revolve around key milestones that include:  fabricating and testing the new class of superconducting magnets, and using them to build an experimental reactor, which CFS named[…]

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  • Drought Returns to Huge Swaths of U.S., Fueling Fears of a Thirsty Future

    Climate Change News Apr 18, 2018 | 07:26 am

    Drought Returns to Huge Swaths of U.S., Fueling Fears of a Thirsty Future Global warming, worsening droughts, vanishing groundwater and growing populations will make the U.S. more vulnerable to water shortages in the 21st century, experts say. Less than eight months after Hurricane Harvey pelted the Texas Gulf Coast with torrential rainfall, drought has returned to Texas and other parts of the West, Southwest and Southeast, rekindling old worries for residents who dealt with earlier waves of dry spells and once again forcing state governments to reckon with how to keep the water flowing. Nearly a third of the continental United States was in drought as of April 10, more than three times the coverage of a year ago.  And the specter of a drought-ridden summer has focused renewed urgency on state and local conservation efforts, some of which would fundamentally alter Americans’ behavior in how they use water. In California, for example, officials are considering rules to permanently ban water-wasting actions such as hosing off sidewalks and driveways, washing a vehicle with a hose that doesn’t have a shut-off valve, and irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians.  The regulations, awaiting a final decision by the California State Water Resources Control Board, were in force as temporary emergency measures during part of a devastating five-year drought but were lifted in 2017 after the drought subsided. Water restrictions, either forced or voluntary, are nothing new to states and communities where battling drought is often a part of life.  In Amarillo, Texas, the city’s water department stresses conservation with the message, “every drop counts,”[…]

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  • Children's Health Is Disproportionately Affected by Climate Change

    Climate Change News Apr 18, 2018 | 07:17 am

    Children's Health Is Disproportionately Affected by Climate Change They're more vulnerable than adults. Rising temperatures, drought, and weather disasters can threaten people’s health.  Nobody is exempt.  But … Perera:  “The health of children is disproportionately affected by climate change.” Frederica Perera is director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health.  She says children are vulnerable because their immune systems are not mature.  And, their rapidly growing bodies are more sensitive to damage from disease and environmental contaminants. In particular, children are more likely than adults to die from diarrheal disease, which is expected to become more common in some areas as the climate warms. And some children are at more risk than others. Perera:  “It is the children living in low income countries and communities who are most affected.” Low-income communities often lack the resources to effectively prevent and treat illness.  What’s more, climate change-related food shortages can lead to malnourishment, which puts children at greater risk of other health problems. To help protect children, Perera says we need to limit global warming by reducing fossil fuel emissions. Read more at Children's Health Is Disproportionately Affected by Climate Change

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  • Wind-Fanned Wildfires Threaten to Spread in Parched Oklahoma

    Climate Change News Apr 18, 2018 | 07:06 am

    Wind-Fanned Wildfires Threaten to Spread in Parched Oklahoma Wildfires which have killed two people in western Oklahoma could spread and more could ignite as wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour whip an area where scant rain has fallen in five months, fire and forestry officials said on Tuesday. Several wildfires have begun in the past week, and the largest, dubbed the Rhea Fire, began on Thursday.  By Tuesday it covered nearly 250,000 acres, in western Oklahoma, and was only 3 percent contained, said Shawna Hartman, spokeswoman for Oklahoma Forestry Services....Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency for 52 of the state’s 77 counties because of the wildfires and critical conditions for more fires to start.Western Oklahoma has had no significant rainfall in more than 150 days, while the relative humidity is extremely low, said Hartman.“This presents unprecedented conditions for this part of Oklahoma for sure,” Hartman said in a phone call.There was a “100 percent chance” that a spark would ignite if it flew into the state’s dry grasslands, she said, and any fire would spread rapidly because of the high winds. Read more at Wind-Fanned Wildfires Threaten to Spread in Parched Oklahoma

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  • Tesla Aiming to Build 6,000 Model 3 Cars per Week by End-June

    Climate Change News Apr 18, 2018 | 06:58 am

    Tesla Aiming to Build 6,000 Model 3 Cars per Week by End-June Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) is aiming to ramp up production to 6,000 Model 3 cars per week by the end of June to reach its weekly goal of 5,000 and allow for a margin of error, automotive news website Electrek reported on Tuesday, citing a letter to employees from Chief Executive Elon Musk. Underscoring Tesla’s need to roll out cars quickly to customers and collect needed revenue, the company will also begin working around the clock on the Model 3 sedan, adding another shift within general assembly, and both the body and paint shops, Electrek quoted Musk as saying....The news comes a day after Tesla temporarily suspended its Model 3 assembly line in what the company said was a planned pause, its second since February, to improve automation and address bottlenecks that have delayed production. “We will be stopping for three to five days to do a comprehensive set of upgrades.  This should set us up for Model 3 production of 3,000 to 4,000 per week next month,” Electrek quoted Musk as saying. “Another set of upgrades starting in late May should be enough to unlock production capacity of 6,000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of June,” he added. Read more at Tesla Aiming to Build 6,000 Model 3 Cars per Week by End-June:  Report

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