Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation 

Working for peace, social justice and principled nonviolence since 1976

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Facts and Information about the Climate Crisis (PRINTED resources)

A few easy-to-read articles about the changing climate are at www.heatisonline.org/main.cfm
A comprehensive blog on climate science, climate politics, and related matters is at http://thinkprogress.org/climate/issue/?mobile=nc
http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com
www.skepticalscience.com
www.realclimate.org
www.nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews
http://capitalclimate.blogspot.com
James Hansen, the NASA scientist who is perhaps the top worldwide expert sounding the alarm, has a personal site at www.columbia.edu/~jeh1
www.SolvingTheClimateCrisis.com 
On August 2, 2012, Democracy Now! aired this interview (available in video, audio, or text) with climate expert Bill McKibben.  He discusses an industry-funded climate change denier whose recent research changed his mind.  Here is a link:  http://www.commondreams.org/video/2012/08/02-0
On September 16, 2012, GRAIN published this information about how corporations profit from the “Green Economy” that people seek as a response to the environmental crisis and the climate crisis.  Here is a link:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/09/16-1
Bill McKibben:  “Time for Outrage on Behalf of the Planet”  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/07-2
Arctic Sea Ice Hits Record Low, Washington Post, 08-27-2012
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/arctic-sea-ice-hits-record-low-scientists-say/2012/08/27/0e11a63a-efe6-11e1-892d-bc92fee603a7_story.html?hpid=z2
The Arctic has lost enough ice to cover Canada:  http://grist.org/news/how-much-ice-has-the-arctic-lost-enough-to-cover-canada/

Use solid science to counter the deceptive disinformation campaign that the fossil fuel industry and right-wingers are funding:  We would be making much more progress in protecting the earth’s climate if right-wingers and fossil fuel corporations were not harassing climate scientists, aggressively lying and deceiving the public, and intimidating politicians and the news media.  Learn more about this – and how to counter the deceptions – at www.skepticalscience.com     For more on the same topic, please also see http://skepticalscience.com/climate-change-irreversibility-and-urgency.html

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse summarizes 2012’s extreme weather as part of our climate crisis – and he calls for divestment from fossil fuel businesses.  See this link:  http://gofossilfree.org/senator-whitehouse-commends-fossil-fuel-divestment-movement-from-the-senate-floor/

Extreme weather in the U.S. has increased seriousness and urgency of cleaning up carbon pollution:  Danielle Baussan and Daniel J. Weiss wrote the article “Cleaning up Carbon Pollution 101,” for the Center for American Progress, which you can read at this link:  http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/news/2012/12/13/47962/cleaning-up-carbon-pollution-101/?elq=470ab7bedd614d248994c51da8d83343  The article says that after the U.S.’s recent extreme weather, “[T]here is a new urgency in our nation to adopt additional carbon pollution reduction measures.  In 2011 and 2012, 21 such events each caused $1 billion or more in damages.  This new evidence demonstrates that our climate change problem is much more imminent and severe than previously thought.  Instead of idly waiting for the next devastating storm, flood, drought, or heat wave to hit, we should tackle climate change head on by further reducing our carbon pollution. “  The article continues, “The World Bank, International Energy Agency, and the U.N. Environment Programme have all issued reports since the presidential election last month predicting a steep escalation in carbon pollution in the atmosphere over the coming decades.  These warnings heighten the necessity of reducing carbon and the other pollutants responsible for climate change. If we don’t take action now, we will inevitably face more devastating changes to our weather, water, land, air, and food supply.”  See the link above for the rest of the article.

The climate crisis is far more serious than most people recognize:  A 15-minute video explains it very clearly:  Your kids and grandkids will almost certainly live in a terribly hostile world because oil and coal companies and governments have refused to deal seriously with the climate crisis.  We really must act now – and act boldly – if your kids and grandkids will have a livable world in the future.  The facts are simple.  I implore you to watch this easy-to-understand 15-minute video with clear language and compelling visual images:  www.grist.org/climate-change/climate-change-is-simple-we-do-something-or-were-screwed

World Bank report warns about climate warming:  Mark Jensen from Pierce County’s United for Peace group summarized a new report on climate change commissioned by the World Bank.  The report is titled, “Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4-Degree-Celsius Warmer World Must Be Avoided.”  Mark Jensen writes, “The report, by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics, warns that ‘without serious policy changes’ the average global temperature will rise by 4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, causing ‘the inundation of coastal cities; increasing risks for food production potentially leading to higher malnutrition rates; many dry regions becoming dryer, wet regions wetter; unprecedented heat waves in many regions, especially in the tropics; substantially exacerbated water scarcity in many regions; increased frequency of high-intensity tropical cyclones; and irreversible loss of biodiversity, including coral reef systems,’ in the words of 52-year-old World Bank President Jim Yong Kim in his foreword (p. ix).”  The 84-page report details the harsh consequences of these changes.  Info:  www.ufppc.org/quotations-mainmenu-39/11287

Five crucial new findings about the climate crisis:  The article at this link summarizes some new information:  www.alternet.org/print/environment/5-crucial-new-findings-about-climate-change

International Energy Agency warns that we can’t use 2/3 of the world’s fossil fuel reserves without risking dangerous climate damage:  Stephen Leahy from Inter Press Service wrote an article about this for the annual UN climate negotiations session starting in November.  His article says the UN climate session must prevent the consumption of those reserves.  Read the article at www.truth-out.org/news/item/12900-the-writing-is-on-the-wall-at-upcoming-climate-summit

Coal extraction shifts from Appalachia to Montana and Wyoming.  Coal burning shifts from U.S. to China and India:  Just as “Peak Oil” marks the maximum amount of oil that can be pumped out of the ground before this resource declines in productivity, likewise coal extraction has peaked in Appalachia.  The most cost-effective sites have been exploited already.  Growing community-based campaigns to protect their land, water and air – and related environmental regulations – have put the squeeze on coal.  Low-priced natural gas is out-competing coal as a fuel to burn for generating electricity, so coal now generates 35% of our nation’s electricity, down from 50% before.  Coal companies are seeking new markets, including the booming economies of China and India, which together use about 2/3 of the coal burned in the whole world.  In 2010, almost half of the coal used in the world is used by China.  The U.S. is the second largest user, followed by India.  All other nations combined use only about 1/3 of the coal.  The coal companies’ new strategy is to mine coal in Montana and Wyoming, ship it in long uncovered rail cars to Pacific Ocean ports in Wash. and Ore., and ship it to China, India, and some other Asian nations, where it would be burned and return to us as air pollution and severe climate damage.  This has provoked the movement to stop the coal trains in the Northwest and led the Western Washington FOR to focus our 2012 Fall Retreat (Saturday November 10) on the coal train crisis.

In September 2012, the Seattle publication The Stranger published this very good article titled “It’s Time to Freak Out About Climate Change.”  Read it at http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/its-time-to-freak-out-about-climate-change/Content?oid=14657581

In the summer of 2012 the American Meteorological Society produced this Information Statement about the climate:  http://www.ametsoc.org/policy/2012climatechange.html

Climate information:  During June in the US, 3,215 high-temperature records tied or broken, a massive drought parched much of the country, and extreme storms occurred from coast to coast.  (Source:  “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math,” Rolling Stone, July 19, 2012. www.moveon.org/r?r=277940&id=47071-1179559-LuCQlOx&t=5)   Also, “9 of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000.” (Source:  “Loading the Climate Dice,” The New York Times, July 22, 2012.  www.moveon.org/r?r=277941&id=47071-1179559-LuCQlOx&t=6)   Politicians and mainstream media keep pretending that climate disruption is not yet proven, or is less serious than scientists say, or might occur only in the future.  Climate disruption is happening already, and it will continue to get worse.  We need very bold action, and we need it immediately!  A Chinese saying says the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, and the next best time is now.

Greenland’s gigantic glacier breakup is more evidence of climate crisis:  An iceberg twice as large as Manhattan Island broke off from Greenland in mid-July.  Two years before another chunk twice that size had broken off.  Experts have called this latest news “dramatic” and “disturbing.”  Prof. Andreas Muenchow of the University of Delaware stated, “Northern Greenland and Canada have been warming five times faster than the average global temperature.”  Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, stated that temperatures have increased there by about 4 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 30 years.  In mid-July scientists also reported that during June the Arctic had lost the largest amount of sea ice ever recorded.

Mainstream News Coverage Was Biased in Favor of the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline:  When experts at the nonprofit organization Media Matters (www.mediamatters.org) analyzed news coverage between August 1 and December 31, 2011, they discovered how badly mainstream news media had distorted the issue in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline.  They slanted the debate in favor of the pipeline’s supporters (the SUPPORTED) column below.  But this just scratches the surface.  Among other things, Media matters’ researchers also found that the media repeated the inflated (and widely discredited) industry jobs numbers, and they also downplayed environmental concerns about the pipeline.  Read the full report at www.mediamatters.org/research/201201260005   See this graph of who was hosted or quoted about the Keystone XL:

 

supported

opposed

neutral

Broadcast:

79 %

7 %

14 %

Cable:

59 %

16 %

25 %

Print:

45 %

31 %

24 %

More methane is coming from Siberia:  In December 2011, scientists observed enormous amounts of methane coming from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off Russia’s northern coat.  Scientists are alarmed and worried about this latest bad news. 

Canadian tar sands are terrible in many ways:  Some people want to extract oil from the tar sands in the middle of Canada, but many other people recognize that this would severely damage Canada’s environment, people’s health, and the world’s climate.  In mid-January 2012 President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline proposal that would run through the U.S. to an export terminal in the Gulf of Mexico.  He emphasized that he was not rejecting it because it was a bad idea, but only because there was not enough time for an adequate review.  Later he approved Keystone XL’s southern leg and ordered federal agencies to fast-track approvals of various aspects to hasten the construction of this horribly damaging project.

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) passed a strong new statement about climate change:  For several years the AMS has focused on weather without meaningfully addressing the climate crisis.  TV weather reporters have been frustratingly shy about mentioning climate change in the context of reporting on extreme weather events.  Recently, though, the AMS produced a new statement that says, in part, “There is unequivocal evidence that Earth’s lower atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; sea level is rising; and snow cover, mountain glaciers, and Arctic sea ice are shrinking. The dominant cause of the warming since the 1950s is human activities.”  Many TV weathercasters say they are afraid to say much for fear of backlash from viewers or bosses.

Bill McKibben reports that even industry-funded Climate Change Deniers can't ignore planet’s warming:  This was reported in some media.  On August 2, 2012, Democracy Now! aired a great interview (available in video, audio, or text) with climate expert Bill McKibben.  He discusses an industry-funded climate change denier whose recent research changed his mind.  Here is a link to the Democracy Now! program:  http://www.commondreams.org/video/2012/08/02-0

U.S. general proclaims, “Climate change is a national security issue” -- Ross Gelbspan wrote:  In March, 2007, the U.S. Army War College sponsored a conference on the security implications of climate change. “Climate change is a national security issue,” retired General. Gordon R. Sullivan, chairman of the Military Advisory Board and former Army chief of staff, said in releasing a report that grew out of the conference.  “[C]limate instability will lead to instability in geopolitics and impact American military operations around the world.”

U.S. budget focuses on militarism and largely ignores climate crisis:  Climate crisis threatens the security of the whole world, but the U.S. still focuses half of our federal budget on military matters and only a tiny amount of our federal budget to addressing the climate crisis.  China spends only 1/6 as much as the U.S. on the military, but China spends twice as much as the U.S. does on climate security.

Climate disruption can threaten civil liberties and democracy:  If climate disruption causes economic, social and political disruption, government might choose to ignore civil liberties and democracy, and might respond to the emergency with militaristic and totalitarian responses to impose order on a chaotic society.  This could feed into the “Shock Doctrine” as Naomi Klein explains in her book, The Shock Doctrine.  The solution will be a police state with massive violations of human rights and the privatization of resources into the hands of extremely rich people and giant corporations.  They will allow the extremely rich people to cope with the chaos at the expense of everyone else, who will have to scramble in the ruins for the means of survival.

China and India burn more coal than the rest of the world combined:  In 2010, almost half of the coal used in the world is used by China.  The U.S. is the second largest user, followed by India.  These three nations use about 2/3 of the coal burned in the whole world.  All other nations combined use only about 1/3 of the coal.

US power plants produce 72% of the pollution that disrupts our climate:  In early January the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report showing that U.S. power plants are responsible for 72% of the pollution that causes global climate disruption.  Coal-fired power plants are the very worst.

18% of Washington state’s electricity comes from coal:  The State of Washington uses 18% of our electricity from coal.  The TransAlta coal plant in Centralia sends its power wherever.  We will transition that power plant off from coal.  The remaining coal is the importation of coal-based power by the privately owned electric utilities.  Puget Sound Energy needs to decide whether to continue with coal in Montana for use here – or move ahead to clean green energy jobs in WA.  This is a big deal for reducing climate problems here.

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) burns huge amounts of coal:  People in Thurston County and several other counties in Washington State get electricity from Puget Sound Energy (PSE).  PSE generates a lot of electricity from a coal-fired electricity plant in Colstrip, Montana.  What should we know about this?

New website uses simple language to describe the problem and focus on solutions:  http://www.climatevictory.org/intro.html

We recommend two books written by Olympia author Gar W. Lipow:  Solving the Climate Crisis Through Social Change  is subtitled, Public Investment in Social Prosperity to Cool a Fevered Planet.  This hardbound book is highly informative and enjoyable to read.  Our friend Gar Lipow has a masterful knowledge of the issues and excels at “connecting the dots” between social & economic justice issues and the climate crisis.  His book explains how social and economic injustice feed into the climate crisis – and also how solving those problems can relieve the climate crisis.  He also wrote a paperback version of the book that has modest amounts of text accompanying colorful pictures.  This version is titled Cooling a Fevered Planet.  It provides less detailed content than the hardbound book, but is easy to read and grasp.  Information:  For more information contact Gar W. Lipow glipow@gmail.com  (360) 943-1529 and the webpage for the hardbound book, www.SolvingTheClimateCrisis.com  Also see the Grist blog at http://grist.org/author/gar-lipow/  An online technical reference is at http://www.nohairshirts.com

In September 2012, the Seattle publication The Stranger published this very good article titled “It’s Time to Freak Out About Climate Change.”  Read it at http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/its-time-to-freak-out-about-climate-change/Content?oid=14657581

In the summer of 2012 the American Meteorological Society produced this Information Statement about the climate:  http://www.ametsoc.org/policy/2012climatechange.html

The nonprofit organization “Forecast the Facts” recommends these relevant articles:
“Numb, hopeful, families endure post-Sandy recovery,” Associated Press, 12-9-12
http://act.engagementlab.org/go/600?t=7&akid=326.14428.DHReJE
“AP-GfK Poll: Belief in global warming rises with thermometers, even among science doubters,” Washington Post, 12-14-12
http://act.engagementlab.org/go/601?t=9&akid=326.14428.DHReJE
“New study shows Sandy a climate game-changer,” Mother Nature Network, 11-15-12
http://act.engagementlab.org/go/602?t=11&akid=326.14428.DHReJE

The Open Atmospheric Science Journal (http://www.benthamscience.com/open/toascj/) is a reliable source of information.  It has published articles by James Hansen, the prominent and highly respected atmospheric scientist.

 

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