How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking the Planet

 

In 1988, George H. W. Bush, running for President, promised that he would fight “the greenhouse effect with the White House effect.” He did not, nor did his successors, nor did their peers in seats of power around the world, and so in the intervening decades what was a theoretical threat has become a fierce daily reality. As this essay goes to press, California is ablaze. A big fire near Los Angeles forced the evacuation of Malibu, and an even larger fire, in the Sierra Nevada foothills, has become the most destructive in California’s history. After a summer of unprecedented high temperatures and a fall “rainy season” with less than half the usual precipitation, the northern firestorm turned a city called Paradise into an inferno within an hour, razing more than ten thousand buildings and killing at least sixty-three people; more than six hundred others are missing. The authorities brought in cadaver dogs, a lab to match evacuees’ DNA with swabs taken from the dead, and anthropologists from California State University at Chico to advise on how to identify bodies from charred bone fragments. Read More

The World’s Largest Floating Solar Plant Is Finally Online

 

Sungrow Floating Power Plant

The world’s largest floating solar power plant is now online in China. Built by Sungrow, a supplier of PV inverter systems, the 40MW plant is now afloat in water four to 10 meters deep, and successfully linked to Huainan, China’s grid. The placement was chosen in large part because the area was previously the location of coal mining operations; and, as a result, the water there is now mineralized and mostly useless. The lake itself was only formed after years of mining operations, the surrounding land collapsed and created a cavity that was filled with rainwater.

Floating solar plants are advantageous because they put otherwise useless water and land to good use, and the water naturally cools the system and the ambient temperatures, improving generation and limiting long-term damage from heat.

(https://futurism.com/the-worlds-largest-floating-solar-plant-is-finally-online

GCF signs off funding for Barbados water sector resilience project

caribbeanclimate

PRESS RELEASE – Songdo,

On 1 November, GCF and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) signed the Funded Activity Agreement (FAA) for the project Water Sector Resilience Nexus for Sustainability in Barbados (WSRN S-Barbados).

The project aims to make the provision of potable water in Barbados less vulnerable to the impacts of hurricanes which have been increasing in intensity over the past decades. It involves installing a photovoltaic (PV) power generation field next to one of the main pumping stations, yielding a mitigation benefit from the reduced dependency on diesel-generated electricity. In addition, the installation of water storage tanks and rainwater harvesting systems in several strategic locations on the island will ensure that any disruptions in water supply do not lead to immediate loss of potable water to vulnerable populations.

Patrick Van Laake, Senior Ecosystems Management Specialist at GCF and Task Manager for the project, stated: “The 2017 Atlantic…

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Historic Climate Change ruling that puts ‘all world governments on notice’

Dutch appeals court upholds landmark climate change ruling | Environment | The Guardian

Campaigners celebrate at the Hague after the court of appeal upheld the historic climate ruling on the Dutch Government. Photograph: Chantal Bekker Chantal Bekker/GraphicAlert/Urgenda Foundation

A court in The Hague has upheld a historic legal order on the Dutch government to accelerate carbon emissions cuts, a day after the world’s climate scientists warned that time was running out to avoid dangerous warming.

Appeal court judges ruled that the severity and scope of the climate crisis demanded greenhouse gas reductions of at least 25% by 2020 – measured against 1990 levels – higher than the 17% drop planned by Mark Rutte’s liberal administration.

The ruling – which was greeted with whoops and cheers in the courtroom – will put wind in the sails of a raft of similar cases being planned around the world, from Norway to New Zealand and from the UK to Uganda.

Marjan Minnesma, the director of the Urgenda campaign which brought the case, called on political leaders to start fighting climate change rather than court actions.

She said: “The special report of the IPCC emphasises that we need to reduce emissions with much greater urgency. The Dutch government knows that as a low-lying country, we are on the frontline of climate change. Our own government agencies recently concluded that in the worst case scenario sea levels might rise by 2.5 to 3 metres by the end of the century. The court of appeal’s decision puts all governments on notice. They must act now, or they will be held to account.”

Jesse Klaver, the leader of the Dutch Greens welcomed the decision as “historic news”. He told the Guardian: “Governments can no longer make promises they don’t fulfil. Countries have an obligation to protect their citizens against climate change. That makes this trial relevant for all other countries.”
Read More

How America’s Allies Can Protect the Liberal World Order From Trump

 

The order that has structured international politics since the end of World War II is fracturing. Many of the culprits are obvious. Revisionist powers, such as China and Russia, want to reshape global rules to their own advantage. Emerging powers, such as Brazil and India, embrace the perks of great-power status but shun the responsibilities that come with it. Rejectionist powers, such as Iran and North Korea, defy rules set by others. Meanwhile, international institutions, such as the UN, struggle to address problems that multiply faster than they can be resolved.

The newest culprit, however, is a surprise: the United States, the very country that championed the order’s creation. Seventy years after U.S. President Harry Truman sketched the blueprint for a rules-based international order to prevent the dog-eat-dog geopolitical competition that triggered World War II, U.S. President Donald Trump has upended it. He has raised doubts about Washington’s security commitments to its allies, challenged the fundamentals of the global trading regime, abandoned the promotion of freedom and democracy as defining features of U.S. foreign policy, and abdicated global leadership. Read More

Humanity is a scourge upon the planet and should be quarantined on Earth, as they are not evolved enough to be let lose on the galaxy.

Earth from the Moon

Final call to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe’
It’s the final call, say scientists, the most extensive warning yet on the risks of rising global temperatures.
Their dramatic report on keeping that rise under 1.5 degrees C says the world is now completely off track, heading instead towards 3C.
Keeping to the preferred target of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels will mean “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”.
It will be hugely expensive – but the window of opportunity remains open.
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-45775309?SThisFB

Our symbiotic guardians: bacteria, viruses, yeasts, and other microscopic species who defend us.

A Doomsday Vault for Seeds Isn’t Enough, We’ll Also Need One for Our Germs

“These microbes co-evolved with humans over hundreds of millenia,” lead researcher and professor of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Anthropology at Rutgers-New Brunswick University, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello said in a statement. The 20th century is undoing all that good evolution, and as our microbiomes lose diversity and industrialization sweeps across nations, conditions from allergies to obesity will continue to rise.

(https://www.inverse.com/article/49529-microbiome-vault-for-global-health?utm_campaign=science-innovation-2018-10-03&utm_medium=inverse&utm_source=newsletter