Greta Thunberg calls out ‘forces of greed’ in surprise Glastonbury climate speech

 Greta Thunberg called out “the forces of greed” as she made a surprise climate speech at Glastonbury on Saturday (25 June). The 19-year-old campaigner, from Sweden, spoke from the Pyramid Stage in front of a backdrop that shows how global temperature have risen. “We are at the beginning of a climate and ecological emergency. 
This is not the new normal, this crisis will continue to get worse… until we prioritise people and planet over profits and greed,” she said. 

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Coastal Fire Shows Even the Rich ‘Are Not Safe From Earth Breakdown’

Coastal Fire Shows Even the Rich ‘Are Not Safe From Earth Breakdown’

 As a fast-moving brush fire near Laguna Beach, California destroyed well over a dozen homes on Thursday—including five multimillion-dollar mansions—a prominent environmental researcher and advocate warned that the wealthy are not immune from the disastrous effects of the climate emergency, even as the fossil fuel-driven crisis harms the poor disproportionately.
“No matter how rich you are, you are not safe from Earth breakdown,” tweeted Los Angeles-based climate scientist Peter Kalmus, a member of Scientist Rebellion.
Emphasizing that it is still May—months before the wildfire season typically reaches its peak—Kalmus said that “the only way out” of Southern California’s historic drought is to “fight side by side and to strip power away from the rich corporatists who are leading us deeper into catastrophe, even as their own homes burn.”

‘Our House Is Truly on Fire’: Earth Now Has 50% Chance of Hitting 1.5°C of Warming by 2026

Our House Is Truly on Fire’: Earth Now Has 50% Chance of Hitting 1.5°C of Warming by 2026

 The World Meteorological Organization warned Monday that the planet now faces a 50% chance of temporarily hitting 1.5°C of warming above pre-industrial levels over the next five years, another signal that political leaders—particularly those of the rich nations most responsible for carbon emissions—are failing to rein in fossil fuel use.
                           “For as long as we continue to emit greenhouse gases, 
                temperatures will continue to rise.”
In 2015, by comparison, the likelihood of briefly reaching or exceeding 1.5°C of global warming over the ensuing five-year period was estimated to be “close to zero,” the WMO noted in a new climate update. The report was published amid a deadly heatwave on the Indian subcontinent that scientists say is a glimpse of what’s to come if runaway carbon emissions aren’t halted. Thus far, the heatwave has killed dozens in India and Pakistan.   Read More

Forget massive seawalls, coastal wetlands offer the best storm protection money can buy

 How wetlands reduce storm effects
Coastal wetlands reduce the damaging effects of tropical cyclones on coastal communities by absorbing storm energy in ways that neither solid land nor open water can.
The mechanisms involved include decreasing the area of open water (fetch) for wind to form waves, increasing drag on water motion and hence the amplitude of a storm surge, reducing direct wind effects on the water surface, and directly absorbing wave energy.
Wetland vegetation contributes by decreasing surges and waves and maintaining shallow water depths that have the same effect. Wetlands also reduce flood damages by absorbing flood waters caused by rain and moderating their effects on built-up areas. Read More

Campaign to save Bermuda seagrass beds gets under way

Efforts are under way to protect Bermuda’s native seagrass beds – and the species that rely on them to survive.

Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, said the ministry launched a restoration project last summer, installing large mesh cages over struggling seagrass areas around the island.
Mr Roban said: “Anyone swimming or boating around our Island last summer is likely to have noticed that many of our seagrass meadows have disappeared, for example at Admiralty Park and Somerset Long Bay.
“In a few places where the seagrass is short, it no longer provides refuge for juvenile fish, newly settled spiny lobsters and other small animals.
“This loss of seagrass will very likely upset the dynamics of our shallow water environment as well as negatively impact recreational and commercial fisheries

5 Things To Know About Hurricanes And Climate Change After The Vice Presidential Debate

5 Things To Know About Hurricanes And Climate Change After The Vice Presidential Debate

Hurricanes are only part of the story. I co-authored a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report on attribution of contemporary weather events to climate change. The subject of hurricanes and climate change was a key component of the report. Before I deal with the “frequency” and “intensity” question, it is important to remind readers that hurricanes (Atlantic basin and eastern Pacific) represent only a subset of global tropical cyclones. Climate change impacts are equally relevant to typhoons (western Pacific) and cyclones (Indian Ocean, Australia). I often see people utilize statistics about Atlantic hurricanes (or landfalling U.S. storms) to make broad statements about climate change and tropical cyclones. Such geographically-biased assessments are unfortunate because scientific studies have shown that activity varies as a function of the basin.

Who should be responsible for removing CO2 from the atmosphere?

World Economic Forum 

As a Small Island Sustainable State (SISS), (hopefully) a sustainable nation, the Cayman Islands should be concerned with atmospheric carbon as this is what drives climate change and, more importantly for SISS Sea Level Rise. In thirty years Sea Level Rise will be the largest issue affecting these islands.

I must therefore question what are we doing to mitigate climate change? 
My reason for asking this question is this; when we go to the International Community for mitigation funding the first question we shall be asked is; “What have you done so far in your islands  to help yourselves?”  
I realize that my readers will be saying that we are so small a nation that nothing we can do will make any difference given the size of the global problem. This is however about facilitating the ability to obtain funding in future.  Not having a reasonable answer will not be in our best interests.
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Equitable shares of CDR responsibility

Our research looks at how to assign responsibility for CDR equitably to countries and regions, using model scenarios as a starting point.

We developed two different approaches to sharing out CDR needs – one based on culpability for climate change (following a “polluter pays” principle) and the other based on for addressing it.

Our modelling takes into account different pathways of how human society can either stay below 1.5C or overshoot temporarily and bring temperatures back down. This is representative of the emissions scenarios used for the special report on 1.5C by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Our method allowed us to explore how responsibility varies with the strength of near-term emission reduction targets – and, thus, the level of peak warming and total amount of CDR required – as well as with the socioeconomic assumptions that underlie each scenario.

In our first approach, countries with more responsibility for causing climate change take a greater share of the burden. We allocated CDR in proportion to the degree to which countries’ cumulative per-capita emissions exceed the global average. Following this scheme brings countries closer together in terms of their per person contribution to climate change.

Our second approach allocates CDR to those countries that have the capability to deploy it, using GDP per capita as a measure of their ability to pay for CDR. In other words, those countries that are relatively wealthy shoulder more of the burden. Countries with below-average GDP per capita are spared from any CDR obligation.

The figure below shows how these different approaches (centre and right-hand panels) – as well as a “least-cost” option (left) – translate into CDR quotas for individual countries and regions (lower panels). The box plots display the range of model scenarios – including limiting warming to 1.5C with little or no overshoot (black squares), limiting to 1.5C after a large overshoot (grey circle) and missing 1.5C, but limiting warming to 2C (white circles). https://bit.ly/2Du7qsU

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

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.”
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Regional Scientists To Present 1.5 Report at Caribbean Climate Change Conference

PRESS RELEASE – Port-of-Spain: October 9, 2017: When scientists and researchers meet in Trinidad at the International Climate Change Conference for the Caribbean this week, it will be in the aftermath of the devastation wrought in the region by successive monster storms in the current 2017 Hurricane Season.

The conference, which is being hosted by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) in association with the European Union (EU) funded Global Climate Change Alliance Plus Initiative (GCCA+) runs from October 9 to 12. It brings together regional scientists to update regional stakeholders on the ongoing regional research in climate change, inform on actions being undertaken to build climate resilience across the region by regional and international organisations, and discuss issues related to climate finance and the science, policy and finance nexus.

Scientists will present the key findings of the 1.5 to Stay Alive research project for the Caribbean region, which was funded by the Caribbean Development Bank. This should offer more insight into the consequences of global warming exceeding a 1.5 degree Centigrade threshold and provide our regional climate change negotiators with a more robust science-based platform for further insisting at the forthcoming Conference of Parties (COP) at the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) that global mitigation efforts need to be scaled up so that global warming does not exceed this threshold.

The meeting is being held under the theme “Adaptation in Action” which CCCCC’s Deputy Executive Director and Science Advisor Dr. Ulric Trotz said because this best describes the focus of regional institutions and countries in the face of threats posed by Climate Change.

“The 2017 Hurricane Season shows us that we must be proactive in building resilience in the small nation states of the region. And while adaptation and mitigation are critical, climate financing is a much-needed lifeline if the region is to successfully pursue a low carbon climate resilient development pathway. We cannot survive unless we are able to build to withstand these super storms,” he said.

Climate negotiators and Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Focal Points from across the region are also in attendance.

Other sponsors include the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), United Nations Development Programme Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (UNDP J-CCCP) and Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

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