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The Climate Change Thread

Idaho stripped climate change lessons from education guidelines last year, but people are pushing back by revising the standards in hopes the state legislature will pay attention:;smtyp=cur


The political fight over global warming has extended to science education in recent years as several states have attempted to weaken or block new teaching standards that included information about climate science. But only in Idaho has the state legislature stripped all mentions of human-caused climate change from statewide science guidelines while leaving the rest of the standards intact.

Now teachers, parents and students are pushing back, hoping to convince the Republican-controlled Idaho Legislature to approve revised standards, which science proponents say are watered down but would still represent a victory for climate-change education in the state. The Idaho House education committee could vote as soon as Wednesday on whether to allow the revised language into the state’s curriculum.

“We’re hopeful that we can put a final bow on this,” said Scott Cook, the director of academics at the Idaho State Department of Education, who helps lead a committee of teachers, parents and scientists urging that climate change be included in the standards.

The battle started in early 2016, when Idaho was working to update its decade-old science standards for kindergarten through 12th grade, which outside education groups said were out of date. Lawmakers rejected a new set of standards, which were closely modeled after national guidelines developed by a consortium of states and science organizations and included information on climate change, saying more input from the public was needed.

Last year, the House education committee accepted the new standards, but only after scrubbing five sections related to climate change. The passages about climate change were “surgically removed,” said Glenn Branch, deputy director of the National Center for Science Education, which monitors anti-science legislation.

Now, Mr. Cook’s committee has reworked those passages in an effort to win approval from lawmakers. The revised standards include natural causes of climate change alongside those driven by humans, and, in response to lawmakers’ requests, they emphasize potential solutions to climate change.
The Rio Grande River is already in bad shape, but a border wall will exacerbate that to very bad levels:

Quote:Last month, Congress passed a $1.3 trillion spending package to keep the government funded through September. Tucked in between increases in military spending and funding for highways, lawmakers set aside $641 million to build 33 miles of border wall along the lower reaches of the Rio Grande, the beleaguered river that divides Texas and Mexico. That move could exacerbate flooding in border communities and cause lasting damage to the ecosystem, and it’s landed the Rio Grande on an annual list of the country’s most endangered rivers.

“It’s not the border wall that caused the river to be in such bad shape, but the border wall could be a last nail in the coffin,” said Scott Nicol, co-chair of the Sierra Club’s borderlands team. 
Are you surprised?

Quote:A NASA program that cost $10 million per year to track carbon and methane, key greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, has been cancelled, a US space agency spokesman said Thursday.

The end of the program -- called the Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) -- which tracked sources and sinks for carbon and made high-resolution models of the planet's flows of carbon -- was first reported by the journal Science.

"Now, President Donald Trump's administration has quietly killed the CMS," the report said, describing the move as the latest in a "broad attack on climate science" mounted by the White House.

The journal said NASA "declined to provide a reason for the cancellation beyond 'budget constraints and higher priorities within the science budget.'"
Time to fess up:

Quote:When the research was published in Nature on May 16, it was like a bomb dropped. A greenhouse gas is billowing into the atmosphere from a source somewhere in East Asia that no one can identify at a rate scientists have never before seen, and it’s ignited a scientific dash to get to the bottom of it.

All countries are supposed to comply with the rules laid out in the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which banned the production of CFCs—chlorofluorocarbons, which deplete the ozone layer and contribute to global warming—with only temporary exception of a few economically developing countries. If everyone fulfills their end of the deal, the amount of CFCs in the atmosphere should gradually wane over the course of several decades. (CFCs can live in the atmosphere for more than half a century.)

CFC levels plummeted through the 1990s, and then stagnated between 2002 and 2005. But in in 2014, mysterious toxic plumes of CFC-11—a type of CFC—began to drift across the Pacific Ocean. Stephen Montzaka, a chemist who studies and monitors CFCs for The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), was shocked.

“I’ve been making measurements of long-lived gases in the atmosphere for nearly three decades,” he said to The Outline in a phone call. “And this is the most surprising and unexpected thing I’ve seen.”

CFCs are monstrous molecules. When the chlorine in CFCs reaches the ozone layer—a part of the atmosphere that absorbs the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, which causes cancer and negative health defects in humans—the chlorine converts life-saving ozone into oxygen. We’ve known this since 1973, when scientist James Lovelock published a landmark study proving that after only using CFCs for a couple decades, a gigantic hole had opened up in the Antarctic atmosphere, allowing deadly radiation to leak in. As greenhouse gases, CFCs are also thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide, and are able to heat in the atmosphere and warm the earth faster than most other airborne molecules on earth.
Now that China isn’t accepting products from other countries for recycling, much of it is going to landfills:
I posted a Sen. Cornyn quote about how much he likes Scott Pruitt's anti-environment policies, and that includes these three proposals that are really going to hurt:

Quote:Two proposals threaten to cripple the EPA’s environmental rule-making process, while the third guts the only major federal policy to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

On Thursday, the EPA issued a formal notice to solicit ideas on how the agency performs regulatory cost-benefit analysis, heeding industry players who complained that the Obama administration exaggerated the benefits of environmental rules and downplayed the costs to companies. The proposal could have wide-ranging effects, creating obstacles for future regulations and compelling the agency to reassess existing rules.

“Many have complained that the previous administration inflated the benefits and underestimated the costs of its regulations through questionable cost-benefit analysis,” Pruitt said in a statement. “This action is the next step toward providing clarity and real-world accuracy with respect to the impact of the agency’s decisions on the economy and the regulated community.”

Over a month ago, Pruitt proposed a rule to dramatically limit the public health research the EPA can use to write regulations. The new rule would bar regulators from citing any research that cannot release raw data, disqualifying most major epidemiological studies that grant subjects anonymity to share personal health information. Scientists have panned the proposal ― based on legislation Republicans in Congress have repeatedly tried and failed to pass ― as “an attack on science.” 

Three weeks earlier, Pruitt ― his tidal wave of scandals only just beginning to crest ― announced plans to reverse an Obama-era rule tightening fuel economy standards on vehicles. The rule would have required vehicles sold in the United States to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, putting them closer in line with automobiles in the rest of the developed world and saving car owners $3,200 to $5,700 in gasoline costs over a vehicle’s lifetime. The regulation would also have prevented vehicles from spewing an addition 600 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere ― equivalent to the entire annual emissions of Canada. Last week, the EPA’s science advisers rebuked the agency for ignoring its own research in concluding that the regulations were too stringent.
(06-02-2018, 10:00 PM)Iron Maiden Wrote: Now that China isn’t accepting products from other countries for recycling, much of it is going to landfills:

Australia's waste disposal is basically screwed over this too. Although it had been going downhill for a while, with a huge backlog of stuff like glass forming man made hills in certain places.
It's one of the most outrageous situations of civic failure I can think of. Or it ought to be. The public was paying these companies to RECYCLE this stuff and basically what that meant was using China as the worlds shit receptacle/bottomless money fountain yet again. A notoriously mercurial place, who have a habit of noticing they are being screwed eventually and policy-lurching to a halt quite suddenly.
It's a colossal civic and business failure. No one should have been given public contracts to provide an important government service using such a precarious business model. People should be utterly furious. I don't think they are though.
Well, this is disconcerting and the EPA is no help in this era:

Quote:The American oil and gas industry is leaking more methane than the government thinks — much more, a new study says. Since methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, that is bad news for climate change.

The new study, published Thursday in the journal Science, puts the rate of methane emissions from domestic oil and gas operations at 2.3 percent of total production per year, which is 60 percent higher than the current estimate from the Environmental Protection Agency. That might seem like a small fraction of the total, but it represents an estimated 13 million metric tons lost each year, or enough natural gas to fuel 10 million homes.

Thanks to a boom in hydraulic fracturing in states like Texas and Pennsylvania, natural gas has quickly replaced coal as the leading fuel used by America’s power plants. It has also helped, to some extent, in the fight against climate change: When burned for electricity, natural gas produces about half the carbon dioxide that coal does. The shift from coal to gas has helped lower CO₂ emissions from America’s power plants by 27 percent since 2005.

But methane, the main component of natural gas, can warm the planet more than 80 times as much as the same amount of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period if it escapes into the atmosphere before being burned. A recent study found that natural gas power plants could actually be worse for climate change than coal plants if their leakage rate rose above 4 percent.
Well, shit.  Yesterday, July 5th, temperatures in northern Siberia, along the Arctic Ocean coast, reached 90 degrees fahrenheit.  In winter, the area can get as low as -90 fahrenheit, so positive 90 seems... problematic.
If you're happy, you're not paying attention.

Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny: 
Glad that you guys worked that out amongst yourselves.

Yeah, it's really bad this summer. I read a thread that talked about how Ireland is completely unprepared for this level of heat - everything from most houses not having or built for AC to parents not knowing they can't leave their kids in hot cars.
home taping is killing music
The Interior Department has commissioned a $1,700,000 expedited environmental review of the impact of leasing part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas drilling, according to a FOIA document:
The island of Palau is aiming to go 100% solar by the end of 2019, thanks to some help from the private sector:

Quote:Like most islands, Palau, a Pacific island nation that bills itself as a pristine paradise, currently relies on diesel fuel to supply almost all of its electricity. It’s both polluting and expensive; residents pay more than twice as much per kilowatt-hour than an average American, even though someone earning minimum wage there only makes around $5,000 a year.

But Palau is in the middle of a new experiment: Over the next year and a half, the country will shift to 100% renewable energy, at no cost to the government, in what is likely to be the fastest national transition to renewable energy ever to occur. In a new program, the partners behind the work in Palau plan to now help other small island nations do the same thing.

Technology is helping drive Palau’s transition. When the country’s president happened to meet the CEO of Gridmarket–an analytics company that originally spun out of a public-private partnership in New York City after Hurricane Sandy–at a large environmental tech conference called EarthX in 2017, the two realized that they could work together. Gridmarket’s predictive analytics and mapping platform uses AI to analyze a city or region property-by-property, create a strategic plan for renewable energy, and then creates a digital marketplace for solar panel manufacturers and other solution providers to bid on the job.

“We basically go into a place and gobble up all of the data that’s available using our system,” says Nick Davis, CEO of Gridmarket. Using data points such as climate and weather, energy costs, local laws, and the physical characteristics of each site, the company creates profiles for each property. In New York City, these are linked to addresses. In Palau, where conventional street addresses often don’t exist, the profiles can be linked to latitude and longitude. That building-by-building analysis was used to create Palau’s national RFP for clean energy, including battery storage, microgrids at government buildings and schools, and larger 20-30 megawatt systems that can feed into the local grid.

Typically, Davis says, a single 30-megawatt project might take three to four years to come to fruition, after first securing land rights and negotiating power purchase agreements, but using the tech platform shrinks that time. In Palau, where GridMarket started working in the second quarter of 2018, the first solar projects will be installed by the end of the year.
This is the view from the office today around noon.  That's not fog, or clouds.  It's smoke from some of the nearly ~600 wildfires currently burning in British Columbia.  I don't even remember wildfire smoke making its way to my little town before a few years ago.  From what I understand, this season is even worse than last year - which was a record-breaking bad season for wildfires.

I'm no climate expert, but seems to me this might just be connected with the so-called "global warming".

I'm in the Tacoma area in Washington state. Its smokey here also. At least it's not raining ash like last year. Still bad though. I've had a headache all day.
Is this bad?  It sounds bad:

Quote:The oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic has started to break up, opening waters north of Greenland that are normally frozen, even in summer.

This phenomenon – which has never been recorded before – has occurred twice this year due to warm winds and a climate-change driven heatwave in the northern hemisphere.

One meteorologist described the loss of ice as “scary”. Others said it could force scientists to revise their theories about which part of the Arctic will withstand warming the longest.

The sea off the north coast of Greenland is normally so frozen that it was referred to, until recently, as “the last ice area” because it was assumed that this would be the final northern holdout against the melting effects of a hotter planet.

But abnormal temperature spikes in February and earlier this month have left it vulnerable to winds, which have pushed the ice further away from the coast than at any time since satellite records began in the 1970s.
It's almost like the many, many, many, many, many, many warnings given by scientists over the years actually carry weight.

Laugh with me brothers, as we walk into the fire together.
"I mean don't get me wrong fucking the wolf man is impressive but ugh." - Waaaaaaaalt
That shit keeps me up at night.
Big oil wants the federal government to spend big money protecting it from climate change.

That sound you just heard was my eyes rolling so hard, my head was somehow engulfed into an endless void.

Quote:As the nation plans new defenses against the more powerful storms and higher tides expected from climate change, one project stands out: an ambitious proposal to build a nearly 60-mile "spine" of concrete seawalls, earthen barriers, floating gates and steel levees on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Like other oceanfront projects, this one would protect homes, delicate ecosystems and vital infrastructure, but it also has another priority — to shield some of the crown jewels of the petroleum industry, which is blamed for contributing to global warming and now wants the federal government to build safeguards against the consequences of it.

The plan is focused on a stretch of coastline that runs from the Louisiana border to industrial enclaves south of Houston that are home to one of the world's largest concentrations of petrochemical facilities, including most of Texas' 30 refineries, which represent 30 percent of the nation's refining capacity.

Texas is seeking at least $12 billion for the full coastal spine, with nearly all of it coming from public funds. Last month, the government fast-tracked an initial $3.9 billion for three separate, smaller storm barrier projects that would specifically protect oil facilities.

That followed Hurricane Harvey, which roared ashore last Aug. 25 and swamped Houston and parts of the coast, temporarily knocking out a quarter of the area's oil refining capacity and causing average gasoline prices to jump 28 cents a gallon nationwide. Many Republicans argue that the Texas oil projects belong at the top of Washington's spending list.

"Our overall economy, not only in Texas but in the entire country, is so much at risk from a high storm surge," said Matt Sebesta, a Republican who as Brazoria County judge oversees a swath of Gulf Coast.

But the idea of taxpayers around the country paying to protect refineries worth billions, and in a state where top politicians still dispute climate change's validity, doesn't sit well with some.
Today, California voted to make all of its electricity emissions-free by 2045, which is a pretty massive deal:

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