It’s Time To Declare War On Climate Change

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By Jon Queally in EcoWatch. In a new piece published Monday in The New Republic, the co-founder of the global climate action group 350.org said there is simply no more time to waste and that a full-scale mobilization, like the one orchestrated by the U.S. government during World War II, is now necessary if the adversary—human-caused global warming and the climate change that results—is to be vanquished. “World War III is well and truly underway,” McKibben wrote. “And we are losing.” With the introductory paragraphs reading like a battlefield assessment in which melting ice sheets, firestorms and historic floods represent the movements of enemy forces, McKibben offered a rebuke to the inaction of world leaders who have refused to acknowledge the scale of the attack:

The Axis Of Destruction And Hope

Law enforcement arrest people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline on a newly constructed roadway near Fort Rice in Morton County yesterday afternoon. The rock bed road connects to Highway 1806 and will allow construction vehicles to access ranch land for building the pipeline. (Photo:Tom Stromme/The Bismarck (N.D.) Tribune)

By Bill McKibben for Common Dreams – If you want to understand the climate crisis today, you need to journey roughly along the 95th parallel, from Louisiana in the south to the the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in the Dakotas. In the Bayou State, there’s great courage, as local people work to rescue their neighbors from rising waters. So far, 20,000 people have been snatched to safety from homes, offices, hospitals, schools in the wake of a three-day siege of endless rain that broke flood records on river after river. The images are astonishing, like something from Mad Max: a thousand cars trapped on an interstate as helicopters dropped food to keep people alive.

Scorching July Is World’s Hottest Month On Record

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By Andrea Thompson for Climate Central – The reign of record hot months in 2016 continues, with last month claiming the title of hottest July on record globally, according to data released by NASA on Monday. This July was also the hottest month on record for the world. The streak means that 2016 is still well on its way to upsetting last year as the hottest year on record. Or as Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, said on Twitter, there is still a 99 percent chance 2016 will take the top slot.

Italy To Make Food Waste A Thing Of The Past

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By Natasha Geiling for ThinkProgress. Italy, known for its amazing food, is facing a related problem — food waste. According to government estimates, the country currently wastes about five million tons of food every year. To combat the issue, the Italian government recently passed a new law aimed at making it easier for both retailers and consumers to prevent food waste. The law aims to cut food waste by 1 million tons each year. Proponents of the law argue it will make it easier for businesses to donate food, as the law relaxes regulations that have kept some restaurants, farmers and retailers from donating their leftover or unsold food. The law will clarify that food can still be donated even if it has passed its sell-by date, and allow farmers to donate unsold food to charities without having to pay extra. It also earmarks 1 million euros to be used by the Italian agricultural ministry to research ways of packaging food that prevent it from spoiling in transit.

FERC Will Not Conduct Virginia Pipeline Study

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By NBC 29 News. NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will not conduct a study on three pipelines projects, including the hotly contested Atlantic Coast Pipeline, slated to cut through Virginia. FERC’s study would have analyzed potential environmental, social, and economic impacts associated with these natural gas pipelines. Many groups, including the Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club, are unhappy the study is off the table. The chapter’s director, Kate Addleson, released a response to FERC’s choice to not move forward with an environmental impact statement. Addleson believes the study was, “necessary to assess the need and consequences of the proposed pipeline projects in Virginia.” Addleson also says the choice is in direct opposition to the requests of landowners, concerned citizens, and even elected officials.

Climate Science: Revolution Is Here

Elan valley, Wales. Flickr/Richard Walker. Some rights reserved.

By Paul ROogers for Open Democracy – Heatwaves of more than 50⁰C in Iraq and India in recent weeks are yet further indications that climate disruption is a present-day reality, not something for the future that the world can respond to at leisure. They come in the wake of manymonths of increasing global temperatures and successively escalating years: 2014 the warmest on record, 2015 exceeding that, and 2016 confidently expected to be even higher (see “The climate pioneers: look south”, 22 June 2016)

Alaska Climate Impact: Collapsing Mountains, Shattered Lives

Helicopters ferry water to drop on a wildfire just south of Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo: Dahr Jamail)

By Dahr Jamail for Truthout – The impacts of anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) across Alaska are devastating to witness. In late June, due to glaciers melting at unprecedented rates, the side of a mountain nearly a mile high in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park, which had formerly been supported by glacial ice, collapsed completely. The landslide released over 100 million tons of rock, sending debris miles across a glacier beneath what was left of the mountain.

Obama Broadens Use Of ‘Climate Tests’ In Federal Project Reviews

If it withstands challenges, final White House guidance will broaden the use of climate litmus tests like the one President Obama imposed as he considered, and rejected, the Keystone XL pipeline. Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

By John H. Cushman Jr. for Inside Climate News – Strengthening the hand of advocates for action on the climate crisis, the Obama administration issued final guidance calling on federal agencies to fully consider greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, and the costs they impose on society in deciding on major projects. The action this week by the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality has been under intense discussion for six years. It could significantly affect how the government decides, for example, whether to approve major infrastructure projects, how to manage national forests, and how much to charge for leases of coal on public lands.

Dahr Jamail | Alaskans Witness Collapsing Mountains, Shattered Lives

Helicopters ferry water to drop on a wildfire just south of Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo: Dahr Jamail)

By Dahr Jamail for Truthout – The impacts of anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) across Alaska are devastating to witness. In late June, due to glaciers melting at unprecedented rates, the side of a mountain nearly a mile high in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park, which had formerly been supported by glacial ice, collapsed completely. The landslide released over 100 million tons of rock, sending debris miles across a glacier beneath what was left of the mountain.

People Who Estimate Floods Can’t Assume Climate Isn’t Changing Anymore

Lt. Dennis Feazell, of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, contacts his command center as he and a co-worker search flooded homes in Rainelle, W. Va., Saturday, June 25, 2016.

By Marlene Cimons for Climate Progress – For decades, ever since scientists began estimating the threat of floods, the stale-sounding concept of “stationarity” has been a big factor in their deliberations. “Stationarity,” the theory that certain things that contribute to floods don’t change over time, traditionally included climate. Assuming a non-changing climate, experts relied on historical flood risk data to gauge the danger of future floods. But stationarity — as once defined — no longer exists.

Tunisia: On Frontlines Of Struggle Against Climate Change

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By Hamza Hamouchene for ROAR Magazine – Kerkennah is a group of islands lying off the east coast of Tunisia in the Gulf of Gabès, around 20km away from the mainland city of Sfax. The two main islands are Chergui and Gharbi. When approaching the islands by ferry, one is struck by a curious sight: the coastal waters are divided into countless parcels, separated from one another by thousands of palm tree leaves. This is what Kerkennis call charfia, a centuries-old fishing method ingeniously designed to lure fish into a capture chamber from where they can be easily recovered.

Pipeline Expansion Threatens U.S. Climate Goals, Study Says

A new report calls for a climate test in the federal permitting process of all fossil fuel projects to ensure that they fit within national climate policies. Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

By Phil McKenna for Inside Climate News – Proposed new and expanded pipelines that would pump natural gas from the fracking hub in the Appalachian Basin to power plants and other consumers throughout much of the eastern half of the U.S. will commit the country to high carbon emissions. That level will be too high for the U.S. to meet its climate goals, according to a report by the environmental advocacy group Oil Change International. Collectively, the 19 pending pipeline projects would enable a doubling of natural gas production from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia

California Fast Tracks Solar Permits

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By Zahra Hirji for Inside Climate News. California cities are leading the nation in eliminating one of the biggest hurdles to the growth of residential solar: lengthy and confusing permitting. Spurred by a recent state law, hundreds of California communities have streamlined their permit process for small residential solar systems over the past year, some bringing it down to a single day. Some cities have also fast-tracked inspections to within a few days of permit approvals. The outcome? The state’s biggest cities are now processing and signing off on hundreds of these solar projects each month. San Jose, for example, streamlined its permit review and approval process last August and has since approved more than 4,500 residential rooftop solar permits. That’s a nearly 600 percent increase over the previous year, when San Jose, California’s third-largest city, permitted a mere 661.

Scientists Caught Off-Guard By Record Temperatures

Palestinians cool off in the Mediterranean sea during a hot day in Gaza City July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

By Zoe Tabary for Reuters – LONDON, July 26 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Record temperatures in the first half of 2016 have taken scientists by surprise despite widespread recognition that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense, the director of the World Climate Research Programme said. The earth is on track for its hottest year on record with June marking the 14th straight month of record heat, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said last week.

Climate Activists Disrupt American Petroleum Institute Event At DNC

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By Desiree Kane an Anthony Rogers-Wright. Philadelphia, PA – Today environmental activists, Indigenous youth, and other concerned citizens disrupted a Politico event sponsored the American Petroleum Institute, the leading American trade group of the fossil fuel industry. The event, “Energy and the Election at the DNC”, featured prominent Democratic lawmakers and energy advisors including, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA), Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA), Ed Rendell, former PA Gov., Trevor Houser, Hillary For America Energy Policy Advisor, and Heather Zichal, former Obama climate official. More than a dozen activists were forcibly removed from the event after openly criticizing the fossil fuel industry and entrenched political leaders. Additionally, activists dropped a 400-sq-foot banner from the building across the street, and picketed the entrance to the event as it began.