By Staff of Responsible Scientists – On September 20, 2016, 375 members of the National Academy of Sciences, including 30 Nobel laureates, published an open letter to draw attention to the serious risks of climate change. The letter warns that the consequences of opting out of the Paris agreement would be severe and long-lasting for our planet’s climate and for the international credibility of the United States.
By Alex Kirby for Climate News Network – LONDON, 18 September, 2016 – A group of senior defence experts in the US has warned that climate change is a threat to the country’s security, with the stark message that “the impacts of climate change present significant and direct risks to US military readiness, operations and strategy”. They are members of the Climate Security Consensus Project, a bipartisan group of 25 senior military and national security experts − many of whom have served in previous Republican or Democratic administrations.
By Jeremy Brecher for Dollars & Sense. A series of reports by the Labor Network for Sustainability (LNS), and partners provides good news: The U.S. can meet the targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction that climate scientists say are necessary while also creating half-a-million jobs annually and reducing the cost of energy to consumers. The reports, gathered in the LNS Climate, Jobs, and Justice Project, also show that protecting the climate in a way that maximizes the benefit for working people and discriminated-against groups will take deliberate public policies and action by unions and their social movement allies. The Clean Energy Future will create a substantial number of new jobs. The increase in jobs created, compared to the business-as-usual scenario, will start around 200,000 per year in 2016–2020 and rise to 800,000 a year in 2046–2050. The average job gain compared to business-as-usual scenario is 550,000 per year for the entire period.
By Alexis Bonogofsky for Truthout – Early in the morning on August 19, 2016, Chad Jacobson, a 36-year-old Montanan, lifelong fisherman and soon-to-be father received a text message from a friend who is one of Montana’s many fly-fishing guides. “Can you believe they shut down the Yellowstone?” said the text. Jacobson grew up in a family of fishermen and makes it a priority to get out on the rivers as often as possible throughout the year. He was stunned.
By Terry Macalister for Truth Dig – LONDON—Civil society campaigners have accused the European Union of pouring unprecedented amounts of state aid into a huge energy project that runs counter to its own climate change objectives. Critics say funding the construction of new gas pipelines from the Caspian region is also causing misery to communities living along the 3,500 kilometre route, while helping to prop up an autocratic regime in Azerbaijan. The concerns about the Southern Gas Corridor project come amid expectations that the European Investment Bank (EIB), which is owned by European Union member states
By Nika Knight for Common Dreams – Humans are turning the planet into a ‘polluted wasteland full of debris, desolation, and filth,’ says Pope Francis. Pope Francis on Thursday put forth an urgent call for people to actively work to save the environment, proposing that the Catholic Church add such a duty to the list of “seven mercies,” which includes feeding the hungry and visiting the sick, which Catholics are required to perform.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.