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Envision Arlington/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.

  • 16-Year-Old Greta Thunberg Cheers 'Beginning of Great Changes' as Climate Strike Goes Global

    Climate Change News Feb 18, 2019 | 07:30 am

    16-Year-Old Greta Thunberg Cheers 'Beginning of Great Changes' as Climate Strike Goes Global Because "present and future on this planet are at stake," say teen climate activists, "we won't be silent any longer" The world may be edging toward "environmental breakdown"—but 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg sees signs for hope. Pointing to global walkouts planned for March 15, Thunberg—whose "school strikes for climate" helped galvanized similar actions worldwide—said, "I think what we are seeing is the beginning of great changes and that is very hopeful." "I think enough people have realized just how absurd the situation is," she told the Guardian.  "We are in the middle of the biggest crisis in human history and basically nothing is being done to prevent it." In a sign of that realization, thousands of students from dozens of communities across the United Kingdom skipped class on Friday to join the ranks taking part in the weekly climate actions. In fact, it's "incredible" that the movement "has spread so far, so fast," she told "Good Morning Britain." Read more at 16-Year-Old Greta Thunberg Cheers 'Beginning of Great Changes' as Climate Strike Goes Global

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  • Predicting Climate Change

    Climate Change News Feb 18, 2019 | 06:45 am

    Predicting Climate Change Understanding carbon cycle feedbacks to predict climate change at large scale. Thomas Crowther identifies long-disappeared forests available for restoration across the world.  He will describe how there is room for an additional 1.2 trillion new trees around the world that could absorb more carbon than human emissions each year.  Crowther also describes data from thousands of soil samples collected by local scientists that reveal the world's Arctic and sub-Arctic regions store most of the world's carbon.  But the warming of these ecosystems is causing the release of this soil carbon, a process that could accelerate climate change by 17%.  This research is revealing that the restoration of vegetation and soil carbon is by far our best weapon in the fight against climate change. Read more at Predicting Climate Change

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  • Toon of the Week - Global... Climate... Change... Is... A... Hoax

    Climate Change News Feb 18, 2019 | 06:00 am

    Toon of the Week - Global... Climate... Change... Is... A... Hoax 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #7

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  • Poster of the Week - Adults Keep Saying We Owe It To The Young People To Give Them Hope, But I Don't Want Your Hope.

    Climate Change News Feb 18, 2019 | 05:27 am

    Poster of the Week - Adults Keep Saying We Owe It To The Young People To Give Them Hope, But I Don't Want Your Hope. 2019 SkS Weekly Digest #7

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  • Sunday 17

    Climate Change News Feb 18, 2019 | 04:50 am

    Sunday 17

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  • Is This the Tipping Point for Electric Vehicles?

    Climate Change News Feb 17, 2019 | 06:45 am

    Is This the Tipping Point for Electric Vehicles? A new report by McKinsey forecasts a rapid switch from gas guzzlers to electric vehicles on the world's roads will be boosted by the plummeting costs of owning a battery powered vehicle. The consulting firm's 2019 Global Energy Perspective report foresees a two-thirds drop in the cost of EV battery packs by 2030.  The tipping point at which EVs will be cheaper to own than internal combustion engine-powered vehicles is forecast to be reached in the early 2020s: The timing of total cost of ownership (TCO) parity in the U.S. and China is comparable to Europe, with China slightly earlier and the U.S. slightly later, reflecting differences in fuel taxation and subsidies for electric vehicles. After this tipping point, "economic considerations alone" would be sufficient to accelerate the growth of EV sales, says McKinsey.  Car sharing and autonomous driving will add further incentives to go electric.  Improving battery technologies will mean that even long-haul trucks could be economically electrified during the second half of the next decade. Read more at Is This the Tipping Point for Electric Vehicles?

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  • 6 Compelling Reasons Climate Change Might Be a National Emergency

    Climate Change News Feb 17, 2019 | 06:00 am

    6 Compelling Reasons Climate Change Might Be a National Emergency There is talk of a national emergency declaration.  The National Emergencies of 1976 spells out the broad powers and limitations of such an executive declaration....If a precedent is being set for national emergencies, there is a compelling argument for a future leader to consider climate change.  Here are six reasons why.National security.  Numerous reports by military entities note the immediate threats of climate change to national security.  The American Security Project website compiles a good list of recent reports and articles on this topic.  A 2019 Defense Department report stated:The effects of a changing climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to Department of Defense (DoD or the Department) missions, operational plans, and installations.Public Health.  An array of public health concerns can be linked to climate change: increased heat related illness, vector-borne diseases in places they have traditionally not thrived, water-borne disease in flood waters, cardiovascular stress, injuries from extreme weather events, respiratory problems, and so forth.The Centers for Disease Control website says:Climate change, together with other natural and human-made health stressors, influences human health and disease in numerous ways.  Some existing health threats will intensify and new health threats will emerge.  Not everyone is equally at risk.  Important considerations include age, economic resources, and location.Sea Level Rise.  According to NOAA, nearly 40% of the U.S. population lived in counties bordering shorelines in 2010.  By 2020 that number could be closer to 50%.  A NOAA Ocean Services website is clear:Scientists have determined that global sea level has been steadily[…]

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  • Climate Damages:  Uncertain but Ominous, or $51 per Ton?

    Climate Change News Feb 17, 2019 | 05:10 am

    Climate Damages:  Uncertain but Ominous, or $51 per Ton? According to scientists, climate damages are deeply uncertain, but could be ominously large (see the previous post).  Alternatively, according to the best-known economic calculation, lifetime damages caused by emissions in 2020 will be worth $51 per metric ton of carbon dioxide, in 2018 prices. These two views can’t both be right.  This post explains where the $51 estimate comes from, why it’s not reliable, and the meaning for climate policy of the deep uncertainty about the value of damages....How much can we afford?As explained in the previous post in this series, deep uncertainty about the magnitude and timing of risks stymies the use of cost-benefit analysis for climate policy.  Rather, policy should be set in an insurance-like framework, focused on credible worst-case losses rather than most likely outcomes.  Given the magnitude of the global problem, this means “self-insurance” – investing in measures that make worst cases less likely. How much does climate “self-insurance” – greenhouse gas emission reduction – cost? Several early (2008 to 2010) studies of rapid decarbonization, pushing the envelope of what was technically feasible at the time, came up with mid-century carbon prices of roughly $150 – $500 per ton of carbon dioxide abated.[1]  Since then, renewable energy has experienced rapid progress and declining prices, undoubtedly lowering the carbon price on a maximum feasible reduction scenario. Even at $150 to $500 per ton, the cost of abatement was comparable to or lower than many of the worst-case estimates of the SCC, or climate damages per ton.  In short,[…]

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  • Saturday 16

    Climate Change News Feb 17, 2019 | 04:50 am

    Saturday 16

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  • Putting the Sun in Sunshine State?  Florida’s About-Face on Solar Power

    Climate Change News Feb 16, 2019 | 22:19 pm

    Putting the Sun in Sunshine State?  Florida’s About-Face on Solar Power Solar power has long been a pet issue for progressives and environmentalists.  But in Florida, utilities are starting to embrace the technology for economic reasons. There’s a new crop sprouting in southern Florida.  Amid fields of sweet corn, squash, and okra dotting the landscape outside Miami, rows and rows of solar panels now soak up the Florida sunshine.  Azure skies tinge the deep black solar cells blue.  They stand like silent sentinels awaiting activation. On a windy day in mid-January, only some panels are turning the golden rays into electricity for testing.  Elsewhere in the 465-acre field, construction workers in fluorescent vests and hard hats step through weeds to reach clusters of wires dangling at the ends of each row, waiting to be connected to the rest of the facility. Despite being the Sunshine State, Florida has long lagged when it comes to tapping into the abundant rays overhead.  But now that is changing as utility companies in the state have begun to recognize solar power as a vital component of a diverse energy future. “The utilities are putting out solar like you wouldn’t believe,” says James Fenton, director of the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center. Florida power companies haven't always been so solar-friendly.  In 2016 the industry spent $20 million on a ballot initiative that could have undercut the expansion of residential solar power.  But as solar has become more economically viable, the state’s utility companies now see opportunity more than competition in the technology. Florida[…]

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