Facts with Links

Ask the climate scientists who drill the ice cores, and constantly update their research for evidence of a dangerously changing climate.  Ask economists who are not paid by industries about the opportunities in changing from a fossil fuel economy to green energy. Ask the children why a stable climate is important.

  • Why is Earth’s climate changing?
  • What are these changes and how do they affect us?
  • What can we do?  – Build, retrofit and plan for energy efficiency
  • What can we do? – Invest in clean energy
  • What can we do? – Protect resources – water, air, soil, forests, biodiversity
  • What can we do? – Govern for sustainability
  • Why aren’t we doing these things?

Why is Earth’s climate changing?

“Most climate scientists agree the main cause of the current global warming trend is human expansion of the “greenhouse effect”– warming that results when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth toward space.  … Over the last century the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil has increased the concentration of atmospheric CO2. …Humans have increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration by a third since the Industrial Revolution began. This is the most important long-lived “forcing” of climate change. “      http://climate.nasa.gov/causes/

What are the changes and how do they affect us?

“The evidence for rapid climate change is compelling: Sea level rise…, Global temperature rise…, Warming oceans…, Shrinking ice sheets…, Declining Arctic sea ice, …Glacial retreat…, Extreme events…, Ocean acidification…..”    http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

“Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as floods, coastal storm surges, droughts, and heat waves,”  Washington State Integrated Climate Response Strategy.

See below for specific effects:  Acid oceans, Drought, Extinction of plants and animals, Floods, Food shortage, Glacier retreat, Human health. Insect infestation, Ice cap shrinkage, Storm intensity, Military vulnerability, Shoreline damage, Social instability, Water shortage

 Acid Oceans

Acidity in ocean killed NW oysters according to a NOAA study. Oysters is a $110million per year industry. They can start oyster growth in an artificial setting now, but it is unclear what will happen as ocean acidification gets more severe.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017961101_oceanacidification12m.html

Coral reefs, with a quarter of all marine species, feed 275 million people, 20 % of coral reefs have been lost in past few decades and most of the rest may die by the end of the century.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/coral-reefs-will-be-gone-by-end-of-the-century-2352742.html

Costs of damages

Damages to health, crops, timber and other things in 2005 from pollution from electric generation, vehicles and heat generation are estimated at $120bn, not counting damages from climate change which may more than double that amount.   Hidden Costs of Energy by National Academy of Sciences 2009

http://dels-old.nas.edu/climatechange/

Extinction of plants and animals

Global warming is the biggest cause of biodiversity loss, followed by commercial forestry & bioenergy croplands. “The aggregate loss of biodiversity and ecosystem service benefits associated with the global loss of forests, for example, is estimated to be between USD 2 and 5 trillion per year, according to the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study.” http://www.oecd.org/document/35/0,3746,en_2649_37465_49742179_1_1_1_37465,00.html

A living species of plant or animal disappears every 20 minutes because of man’s activities. At this rate, 30% of species could be extinct in 100 years.       http://whatismissing.net/#/home

Food shortages – reduced grain harvests

Every Celsius degree warming decreases global grain yields by 10%.   The 2010 heat wave in Russia reduced its grain harvest by 40%. Two billion people spend 50 to 70% of their income on food. Rice yields /acre in Japan has not risen for 16 yrs. “Wheat yields have plateaued in Britain, France & Germany. Western Europe’s 3 largest wheat producers”   The New Geopolitics of Food by Lester Brown in Foreign Policy May/June 2011

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/04/25/the_new_geopolitics_of_food?page=full

 Food shortages – Reduced seafood harvests

Acidity in ocean killed NW oysters according to a NOAA study. Oysters is a $110million per year industry. They can start oyster growth in an artificial setting now, but it is unclear what will happen as ocean acidification gets more severe.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017961101_oceanacidification12m.html

Food shortages – seafood and acid oceans

Coral reefs, with a quarter of all marine species, feed 275 million people, 20 % of coral reefs have been lost in past few decades and most of the rest may die by the end of the century.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/coral-reefs-will-be-gone-by-

 Greenhouse gas emissions rising

Carbon dioxide emissions are at a historic high and rising.   Under current policies, we estimate that energy use and CO2 emissions would increase by a third by 2020 and almost double by 2050. This would likely send global temperatures at least 6oCelsuis [10.8oF} higher. Such an outcome would confront future generations with significant economic, environmental & energy security hardships” Richard Jones deputy director IEA

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=clean-energy-lags-put-world-on-pace-for-6-degrees-celsius-of-global-warming

http://www.iea.org/press/pressdetail.asp?PRESS_REL_ID=436

Greenhouse gas emissions rising

Without new policies, by 2050, more disruptive climate change is likely to be locked in, with global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions projected to increase by 50%, primarily due to a 70% growth in energy-related CO2 emissions.

The atmospheric concentration of GHGs could reach 685 parts per million (ppm) by 2050. As a result, the global average temperature increase is projected to be 3°C to 6°C higher by the end of the century, exceeding the internationally agreed goal of limiting it to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

{OECD Org Econ Coop & Dev, 34 countries in EU, N Amer, AusNZ, Chile, Israel Japan, Korea, founded 1950   

http://www.oecd.org/document/13/0,3746,en_2649_37465_49078989_1_1_1_37465,00.html

Human Health

Climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter. Global warming that has occurred since the 1970s caused over 140 000 excess deaths annually by the year 2004.  The direct damage costs to health (i.e. excluding costs in health-determining sectors such as agriculture and water and sanitation), is estimated to be between US$ 2-4 billion/year by 2030.  Many of the major killers such as diarrheal diseases, malnutrition, malaria and dengue are highly climate-sensitive and are expected to worsen as the climate changes.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs266/en/

Milk production decline

“decline in milk production due to climate change will vary across the U.S., since there are significant differences in humidity and how much the temperature swings between night and day across the country. The authors also found that dairy farmers are already clustering in the most comfortable areas for cows, such as the cool coastal counties of Washington state.  …But the outlook isnt good for areas across the southern U.S. where cows are already less productive in the heat of the summer.”

http://www.washington.edu/news/2012/07/11/got-milk-climate-change-means-stressed-cows-in-southern-u-s-may-have-less/

 Military vulnerability

“Reducing greenhouse gases while implementing adaptation measures is basic risk management. …As the American Security Project’s new Climate Security Report makes clear, climate change threatens national security. It acts as an accelerant of instability around the world and it poses clear dangers to America’s homeland security…. Climate change will impose costs. There are costs of inaction. We can either pay now by investing in clean energy technologies and sensible measures to adapt to the consequences of a warming climate, or we will pay later in disaster response….By unleashing American ingenuity and entrepreneurship to develop solutions, we can avoid the worst consequences of climate change and protect our vital national security interests in the process.” Lieutenant General Dan Christman et al.       http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/climate-change-real-threat-al-qaeda

“Climate Change will be a threat multiplier…Our overreliance on oil is a national vulnerability.”   Reasons: economic impacts of oil shock; oil can be used as weapon against us.  Ensuring America’s Freedom of Movement; A National Security Imperative to Reduce U.S. Oil Dependence, CNA Oct 2011

A Military  Advisory Board of 11 3&4star generals & admirals recommends 30% reduction in our use of oil through greater efficiency and alternative fuels.

http://www.cna.org/EnsuringFreedomofMovement

“…global climate change will ‘fuel aggression against the US” and present challenges to many nations and to global stability.  Climate change is making food shortages worse. … 3 billion people will face water shortages,. In 2008, 20m people were driven from homes by climate related calamities, 4 times the number displaced by violence.

Sustainability can help the military: enhance readiness; maximize operational capability; reduce total life cycle costs of Army systems, material, facilities, and operations; and enhance the quality of life of soldiers, their families, and the community.” The Army has soldiers in nearly 80 countries and spread over 14 million acres of land.

In 2010 the Army paid $2.7 billion for fuel. In Afghanistan the military incurs one casualty for every 24 ground resupply convoys, mostly fuel and water. Sustainability & National Security report for Center for Strategic Leadership U.S. Army War College by Jim Hartman PhD  2011         http://www.csl.army.mil/

Shoreline instability

Coral reefs protect low islands and coasts from storm surges. 20 % of coral reefs have been lost in past few decades and most of the rest may die by the end of the century.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/coral-reefs-will-be-gone-by-end-of-the-century-2352742.html

Social instability – Refugees  Fifty million “environmental refugees” will flood into the global north by 2020, fleeing food shortages sparked by climate change, experts warned at a major science conference that ended here Monday.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jnW80NlFZ259UCgMAHSd3ekHutiQ?docId=CNG.aa651167cd0af745b3cb395cf1d402e3.c41

Temperature rise

“Under current policies, we estimate that energy use and CO2 emissions would increase by a third by 2020 and almost double by 2050. This would likely send global temperatures at least 6 degrees Celsius [10.8 degrees Fahrenheit] higher. Such an outcome would confront future generations with significant economic, environmental and energy security hardships — a legacy that I know none of us wants to leave behind,” [according to] IEA deputy executive director Richard Jones.”

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=clean-energy-lags-put-world-on-pace-for-6-degrees-celsius-of-global-warming

The 450 scenario of IEA World Energy Outlook 2011 gives us a 50% chance of limiting temp increase to 2oC if CO2 emissions peak in 2017 at 32.7 Gigatons.  The rate of growth of emissions exceeded global GDP.

“The new data provide further evidence that the door to a 2°C trajectory is about to close,” said IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol.

http://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/news/2012/may/name,27216,en.html

Water shortages and desertification

300m people in China & India are being fed now by over pumping water, half the world’s population lives in places where water tables are falling.   1,400 square miles of land in China turns to desert every year.  Mongolia, Lesotho and Central Africa, N Korea, and Haiti are suffering heavy soil losses.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/04/25/the_new_geopolitics_of_food?page=full

Water shortages in the US

We may see permanent drought in US Southwest by 2050

http://www.livingrivers.org/archives/article.cfm?NewsID=765

What can we do?  – Build,  retrofit, and plan for energy efficiency

“National Academy and McKinsey reports, both published in 2009, suggested that plain old efficiency had at least as much potential to deliver a rapid carbon-cutting wallop. Both analyses said that within a mere 10 years, the U.S. could cut total energy use by 20 percent or more. …An investment of $500 billion in efficiency would end up saving $1.2 trillion in energy costs.”

http://e360.yale.edu/feature/why_does_energy_efficiencys_promise_remain_unfulfilled/2367/

Build, retrofit, and plan for energy efficiency

“Europe is facing rising oil and gas prices, threats to the security of energy supply and energy poverty as well as the already noticeable consequences of climate change.   Energy efficiency is the quickest, cheapest and most direct way to turn these challenges into real opportunities.    Europe ‘s 2020 targets (as of 2007) are 20% Energy saved, 20% Energy from Renewable Energy, 20% Greenhouse gas reduction       http://www.eceee.org/EEES/EEW_brochure

http://www.nationalacademies.org/morenews/20091019.html/

What can we do? – Invest in clean energy

Invest in clean energy – at home

George Shultz shows off his rooftop solar panels charging his electric car. (Yes the same George Shultz who was Reagan’s Secretary of State.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR39TfpyAgY

Installation costs for solar fell by 20% in 2011

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/27/fastest-growing-industry-us-solar-energy

Invest in clean energy – Cost of Solar PV systems

Installed cost of PV systems dropped 10% last year. The amount of solar power in the US doubled in 2010, and was set to double again in 2011.

http://www.the9billion.com/2011/03/15/us-solar-power-doubled-in-2010-set-to-double-again-in-2011/

Invest in clean energy –  Cost of wind energy 2012

The levelized cost of Energy from wind has gone down because of improvements in capacity with low-wind-speed technology, and thus an increase in land area where they can operate, and reductions in turbine prices and in cost of operating & maintaining projects.

“ The addition of this 200 MW wind farm [NextEra Energy Resources] demonstrates that renewable energy can compete on an economic basis with more traditional forms of generation fuel, like natural gas, and allows us to meet the state’s Renewable Energy Standard at a very reasonable cost to our customers  “ Reuters article

“Lower wind power costs mean $54 million in saving for consumers..” Consumers Energy MI

Recent Developments in the Levelized Cost of Energy from U.S. Wind Power Projects Feb 2012, Wiser et al Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/ems/reports/wind-energy-costs-2- 2012.pdf.

Invest in clean energy   – a Jacobson Plan
A green energy economy is affordable and ripe with opportunities. The Jacobson and Delucchi plan, explains how investment now in solar, wind, water, geothermal, wave, and tidal energy development combined with energy reducing technology, smart grid, electric vehicles and batteries can supply our needs. Their analysis shows that if we invest only in green sources for all new energy within 17 years, and replace pre-existing energy sources with green energy by 2050, that the consumer costs for energy would be similar to what we are spending today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR39TfpyAgY

Invest in clean energy – business opportunities

The transition to a low-carbon energy sector is affordable and represents tremendous business opportunities, but investor confidence remains low, and investments are not meeting goals set to stabilize the climate.   Tracking Clean Energy Progress 2012 International Energy Agency      http://www.cleanenergyministerial.org/news/iea_releases_report.html

Six states now get more than 10% of their electric power from wind.  6.8 GW of new wind power was connected in the US in 2011, up from 5.2 GW in 2010. Prices of turbines are down 25% since 2008.

http://eetd.lbl.gov/news/article/15226/new-study-finds-the-us-wind-power-market-riding-a-wave-that-is-likely-to-crest-in

Invest in clean energy – worldwide investments

Worldwide investment in clean energy was $260bn 2011.   $55bn of private investment in the US, much of it because of 1603 treasury grant program, 1703 loan guarantee & production tax credit (PTC)     Ethan Zindler, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Mar 27 2012 testifying to Senate committee on finance ,Subcommittee on Energy Nat Resources & Infrastructure

A US solar panel maker is building in the Middle East and Australia with sophisticated technology for integrating facilities with current networks.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-13/first-solar-beats-chinese-by-making-sun-power-predictable.html

India awarded contracts for 350 MW solar last December and is auctioning contracts for 20,000 MW more. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-29/india-may-auction-1-gigawatt-to-double-solar-capacity.html

What can we do? – Protect resources – water, air, soil, forests, biodiversity

Invest in forest preservation

NNRG’s supports the growth of a profitable, sustainable, and environmentally sound timber industry in Washington State, primarily through our Northwest Certified Forestry program for small landowners.

http://nnrg.org/about

What can we do? – Govern for Sustainability

Renewable Energy Policy Network Renewables 2011 Global Status Report

“By early 2011, at least 118 countries had some type of policy target or renewable support policy at the national level, up from 55 countries in early 2005. There is also a large diversity of policies in place at state/provincial and local levels….Commercial wind power … now exists in at least 83 countries. Solar PV capacity was added in more than 100 countries during 2010. …China …was the top installer of wind turbines and solar thermal systems. …India is fifth worldwide in total existing wind power capacity and is rapidly expanding many forms of rural renewables such as biogas and solar PV….At least 20 countries in the Middle East, and Africa have active renewable energy markets….One of the forces propelling renewable energy policies and development is the potential to create new industries and generate jobs. Total investment in renewable energy reached $211 billion in 2010. …Asset finance of new utility-scale projects (wind farms, solar parks, and biofuel and solar thermal plants) accounted for almost 60% of the total….Investment in small-scale distributed generation projects (mainly solar PV) …accounted for more than 25% of total investmtne in renewable energy.”Renewable energy grew even in 2009 when many other businesses were shrinkinghttp://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=8&ved=0CFYQFjAH&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ren21.net%2FPortals%2F97%2Fdocuments%2FGSR%2FREN21_GSR2011.pdf&ei=82Y6UKD2CcShiALs6YHYBw&usg=AFQjCNEKgTyF_g55TjwvbhnkoDyNvSIizA       http://bit.ly/ZpYJ

Lobby for government policies for sustainability

Even though wind developers can sell power bet $30 and $70/MWh, and compete with fossil fuel generated electricity without subsidies Investment in wind energy in US is dropping from 9500 MW new power generating capacity in 2012 to 500MW in 2013. Uncertainty about wind energy credits are a factor.

Ethan Zindler, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Mar 27 2012 testifying to Senate committee on Finance, Subcommittee on Energy Nat Resources & Infrastructure

Lobby with Children’s voices Video: 7 year old  Olivia Binfield reciting a poem   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e86hSRwkVoA&feature=related

Monitor CO2 emissions  – by country

The US decreased carbon emissions 1.7% in 2011 largely due to switching from coal to natural gas and mild winter,. And transport efficiency. They have fallen 7.7% since 2006, largest of all countries or regions.  EU emissions are lower by 1.9%.  Japan increased emissions 2.4% with more fossil fuels used after Fukushima.  Per-capita emissions in China and India are 63% and 15% of OECD Average

http://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/news/2012/may/name,27216,en.html

Monitor  CO2 emissions – Clean Energy 

Greenhouse gas emissions from solar photovoltaics & wind are about 5% of those of coal, same for nuclear, when you count the manufacturing, use and decommissioning of the sites according to the Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

http://www.nrel.gov/news/press/2012/1832.html 

Sustainability – make it a priority

Juan Verde – Towards a green economy

“The climate change debate is over… We will live in a carbon constrained world…. We will see an unprecedented growth in green technology use and innovation which will result in historic business and investment opportunities for governments and businesses that seize the moment.”      http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxCibeles-Juan-Verde-Towards

Why aren’t we doing these things?

Corporate resistance – April 1998 memo for APE on plan for Global Climate Science Communications describing national media relations program to promote public uncertainty about climate science

http://www.euronet.nl/users/e_wesker/ew@shell/API-prop.html

Exxon funded 40 organizations in campaign to undermine global warming protection. Bush Administration pro petroleum policies.

http://www.exxposeexxon.com/facts/dailyfacts.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-br8Yewo9A0&feature=related

http://www.skepticalscience.com/

http://www.desmogblog.com/

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=029130BFDC78FA33

http://www.energyfactcheck.org/

http://www.exxonsecrets.org/maps.php

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