Posts filed under ‘Climate’

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint Still Matters

We don’t recommend taking personal actions like limiting plane rides, eating less meat, or investing in solar energy because all of these small tweaks will build up to enough carbon savings (though it could help). We do so because people taking action in their personal lives is actually one of the best ways to get to a society that implements the policy-level change that is truly needed. Research on social behavior suggests lifestyle change can build momentum for systemic change. Humans are social animals, and we use social cues to recognize emergencies. People don’t spring into action just because they see smoke; they spring into action because they see others rushing in with water. The same principle applies to personal actions on climate change.

Read Reducing Your Carbon Footprint Still Matters by Leor Hackel and Gregg Sparkman at Slate.

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October 29, 2018 at 10:38 am Leave a comment

4 big takeaways from the UN’s alarming climate change report

The new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, is out. Its prognosis for the planet is grim: We may have as little as 12 years to act on climate change — to slash global emissions 45 percent — to reach this target.

The report was commissioned by the United Nations to see what would happen if global average temperatures rose by 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, and what it would take to cap warming at that level.

The new report is meant to build on that agreement, and it is exhaustive, with 132 authors, drawing on more than 6,000 peer-reviewed research articles. The overarching conclusion is that every fraction of a degree of warming matters. Letting temperatures rise will exact a huge toll on lives, natural systems, and the economy. Fighting to keep warming in check — which will include radically and rapidly reducing coal and oil consumption, among other things — will save lives, the food supply, and homes.

Read 4 big takeaways from the UN’s alarming climate change report by Umair Irfan at Vox.

October 10, 2018 at 10:42 am Leave a comment

Analysis: Climate action could bring $26 trillion economic boost, but we’re wasting time

Experts have been significantly underestimating the commercial benefits associated with climate action according to a major new report, which calculates how the global economy could enjoy a $26 trillion boost by 2030 if efforts to stop climate change are scaled up.

The latest analysis, released last week by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, found that if global infrastructure investment over the next 15 years is channeled into environmentally beneficial schemes such as renewable energy and green transport, the economic and social benefits are likely to far outweigh any costs.

Alongside a $26 trillion economic boost, the analysis also found that ambitious climate action to cut emissions from energy generation, cities, industry and agriculture could usher in 65 million new low-carbon jobs and avoid more than 700,000 premature deaths from air pollution, compared to a business-as-usual scenario through to 2030.

Read  Analysis: Climate action could bring $26 trillion economic boost, but we’re wasting time by Madeline Cuff and James Murray at Green Biz.

September 10, 2018 at 10:49 am Leave a comment

World is finally waking up to climate change, says ‘hothouse Earth’ author

The scorching temperatures and forest fires of this summer’s heatwave have finally stirred the world to face the onrushing threat of global warming, claims the climate scientist behind the recent “hothouse Earth” report.

Following an unprecedented 270,000 downloads of his study, Johan Rockström, executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, said he had not seen such a surge of interest since 2007, the year the Nobel prize was awarded to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“I think that in future people will look back on 2018 as the year when climate reality hit,” said the veteran scientist. “This is the moment when people start to realise that global warming is not a problem for future generations, but for us now.

Read World is finally waking up to climate change, says ‘hothouse Earth’ author by Jonathan Watts at The Guardian.

August 20, 2018 at 10:47 am Leave a comment

Breaking it down: how carbon pricing addresses climate change

 

Pollution isn’t free. There is a real cost to the environment and our health when someone — an individual or a business — pollutes, leaving the air, water, or land less clean for everyone.

Economists tell us that putting a price on pollution will reduce emissions; but there is often a misunderstanding or lack of clarity on exactly how it achieves this.

As illustrated in our recent infographic series, it’s helpful to think of solutions in the near-term, mid-term, and long-term. Some of the near-term changes are the most clear. For example, individuals can save money by reducing the amount of electricity they use by making small changes. This can include switching to LED light bulbs, sealing leaks in windows and doors, using programmable thermostats, or alternatives to solo car travel for some of their trips, like carpooling, or if they’re in cities, cycling, walking or taking transit. But these behavior change nudges that carbon pricing provides doesn’t end there. In fact some of the bigger potential savings come in the medium and longer term.

Read Breaking it down: how carbon pricing addresses climate change by Sara Hastings-Simon at the Pembina Institute.

August 15, 2018 at 10:38 am Leave a comment

Aging in the Age of Climate Change

After water poured into lower Manhattan subway lines, two million Con Ed customers lost power and Breezy Point took a direct Hurricane Sandy hit, Cornell University’s Elaine Wethington now examines the toll on senior citizens in the wake of major storms and climate change.

July 30, 2018 at 10:13 am Leave a comment

Climate change impacts on birds we love

What will climate change mean for the more than 45 million American birdwatchers? Much more importantly, what will it mean for the birds we most love and enjoy?

In Case You Missed It

With birds finely tuned to their living conditions – landscape, vegetation, weather, food, water – we know that a warming globe will add to the problems they already face.

The Audubon Society’s “Birds and Climate Report” website offers a useful overview. At the site’s core: its maps of changing climate ranges for 588 North American species, over half of them heading for trouble.

Read Climate change impacts on birds we love at Yale Climate Connections.

June 18, 2018 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

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