“One, climate change is real. Two, climate change is caused by human activity. Three, climate change has already caused devastating problems in the United States and around the world. And, four, it is imperative the United States transform its energy system away from fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy.”
Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont
“I want to to know why the pipeline is the very first, number one item on the agenda in this new Congress. Who does this new Republic Congress work for? Foreign oil companies or the American people?”
Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts
Bill Moyers (www.billmoyers.com) has done great job of summing up what happened in Congress last week regarding this bill as it passed the House and is working it's way through the Senate. Read and watch how Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders (our New England senators) respond to this bill by clicking on the web link.
To understand Keystone one needs to look at and understand the Alberta Tar Sands project. The photographer, Garth Lenz, has does an amazing job of photographing and showing us what this project is all about. Take a look by clicking here.
COPENHAGEN — Denmark, a tiny country on the northern fringe of Europe, is pursuing the world’s most ambitious policy against climate change. It aims to end the burning of fossil fuels in any form by 2050 — not just in electricity production, as some other countries hope to do, but in transportation as well.
Read the entire article here.
80% of bottles and cans with a deposit on them are recycled, while only 23% of containers without a deposit on them are recycled.
1.5 billion bottles end up as trash or litter each year that would instead get recycled if Question 2 is passed. That's enough bottles to fill Fenway Park up to the Monster Seats.
The updated Bottle Bill will save our cities and towns about $6.7 million a year in litter pick up and trash disposal costs. (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; Study conducted by DSM Environmental Services, Inc.)
Go to: www.yeson2ma.org for all the information.
False statements are being made in advertisements (Bottling companies have spent $8 Million so far on advertisements containing many erroneous facts.)
"90% of the state has curbside recycling": NO! It is closer to 46% and 77% of the non-deposit bottles and cans presently end up NOT being recycled.
"Politicians get to keep all those nickels that pile up if you don't redeem deposits": NO! The money NOW goes into the state's general fund but under the new law it will go into funds earmarked specifically for environmental programs, to clean up state parks, and aid municipalities to control litter.
"There will be higher prices for products covered by the new bill": NO! Statistics from other states do not show this.
"There will be a tax on Milk Bottles": NO! MILK IS EXEMPT!!!
"The tax will go up again 5 years": NO! There is no provision for this in the bill. It will be reviewed in 5 years to check progress just like the old fee (it is not a tax; it is a redeemable fee) that has NEVER been increased since 1982.
Check out the facts and VOTE YES ON QUESTION 2.
Climate Central | By John Upton
Posted: 08/21/2014 3:52 pm EDT Updated: 08/21/2014 3:59 pm EDT
This story originally appeared on Climate Central.
To wind farm opponents, wind turbine syndrome is a manifold malady triggered by acoustic pulses and other unfortunate side effects of large wind turbines. To wind farm developers, syndrome claims can mean stomach-churning marches into courtrooms and municipal hearings, where legal teams defend projects against allegations they’re responsible for everything from headaches and sleeplessness to vertigo, blurred vision, and forgetfulness.
In these legal fights, the wind energy developers are winning. To the judges presiding over the cases, evidence that wind turbine syndrome exists has seemed as wispy as the cirrus clouds that can herald a stiffening breeze.
The Energy and Policy Institute, a clean energy advocacy group, reviewed rulings from 49 lawsuits and similar complaints filed in five Western countries. In a report published last week, the group says it could find just one case of a court siding with neighbors who claimed wind turbines had made them ill. That one ruling out of 49 is being appealed in Massachusetts.
“These claims about wind turbines causing health impacts are not being upheld, which means there isn’t sufficient evidence to prove that wind turbines cause any problems with human health,” said Gabe Elsner, the nonprofit’s executive director. “That’s a big deal, because claims about that are used across the globe by anti-wind advocates to try to slow the development of wind farms.”
The 49 legal rulings identified by the institute came out of environmental, utility, civil, and higher courts since the late 1990s in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the U.K.
Elsner said the study began, in part, to provide wind developers’ attorneys with ideas and legal precedents to help them defend projects in court. “These claims about health impacts kept coming,” he said.
Of the eight American cases, the one instance where neighbors succeeded in hobbling wind turbine operations was in the Cape Cod town of Falmouth, Mass. A government board sided last year with neighbors, including a Vietnam War veteran recovering from PTSD, who said they were sickened by a pair of town-owned wind turbines. The turbines were installed in 2010 to power a wastewater treatment plant and to sell excess electricity onto the local utility’s grid.
The turbine blades are being locked down every night from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and all day on Sundays and some holidays, while the town appeals the ruling in superior court. “We borrowed money to pay for these things, and we need that money to pay the bonds,” Town Counsel Frank Duffy said.
The Energy and Policy Institute and others trace claims of far-reaching health problems associated with wind turbines to 2009, when an American pediatricianpublished a book that popularized the phrase “wind turbine syndrome.” But scientists who have examined the claimed links between wind turbines and health problems have almost universally rejected them.
“Of course wind turbines make noise, and we all know that noise can be annoying,” said Melissa Whitfield Aslund, a scientist at the Canadian consulting firm Intrinsik, whose clients include wind energy developers. “Once sited properly, where you have appropriate noise regulations in place, and where people aren’t being exposed to excessive amounts of noise, there’s no direct evidence of adverse effects on human health.”
Whitfield Aslund collaborated with six Intrinsik colleagues to review nearly 60 studies dealing with the the health effects of wind turbines. The review, which was published in June in the journal Frontiers in Public Health, includes recommendations for protecting neighbors from the noise impacts of wind turbines, such as considering local conditions affecting how far sound travels when siting wind turbines -- not just measuring the distances to the nearest home. The report says the nocebo effect, in which a patient can be convinced that something benign is making them sick, could be responsible for many of the health complaints associated with wind turbines. So, too, the scientists wrote, could be the annoyance and worries that some people experience when unwanted turbines go up in their neighborhoods. Such emotions in general have been linked by medical researchers to symptoms that resemble those of wind turbine syndrome.
“There’s really nothing else about wind turbines that’s unique to wind turbines that would be expected to cause any adverse health impacts,” Whitfield Aslund said.
But try telling that to the 19 Lake Winds Energy Park neighbors in Michigan's Mason County who are suing over what they say are reduced properties' values and pain and suffering. Headaches, ringing in the ears, dizziness, stress, "extreme fatigue," nausea, and a "diminished ability to concentrate" are among the ailments they claim to be suffering because of the constant gyrations of the 56 turbines. Their attorney, Craig Horn, who worked on a similar case in the past, is largely focused on complaints of sleeplessness and headaches.
"The further you get away from sleep disturbance and headaches, the more difficult it is to find sound science to back those up," Horn said. "I’ve had now 40 individuals that I've represented, and their lives are markedly different than they were pre-wind farm. It's not like they're suffering from cancer or anything — they're not going to die from it. It primarily can be tied back to sleep disturbance, and they have a greater incidence of headaches."
Originally published on Climate Central
By Brian Kahn
The world just experienced its hottest June on record. The heat was driven in large by part by the hottest ocean temperatures since record keeping began more than 130 years ago. That makes this the third-warmest start to the year.
The global temperature was 1.3°F above the 20th century average in June according to data released on Monday by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). That bests the previous hottest June record, set in 1998, by 0.05°F.
June was the 352nd consecutive month in a row with temperatures that were above the global average. The last cooler-than-average month was February 1985, the month of “Careless Whisperer.” The June hot streak extends back even further, with the last cool June coming in 1976 when people were grooving to Wings’ chart topper, “Silly Love Songs.”
The lengthy stretch of hot months is being driven primarily by the rise of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Human activities are responsible for much of that rise and with recent carbon dioxide milestones passed, emissions show no sign of slowing.
Regionally, there were a few particularly hot spots. Notably, New Zealand had its hottest June as did large part of East Africa and chunks of Southeast Asia. There were a limited number of cool spots, mostly in Alaska, which baked through the first five months of the year, and far eastern Siberia.
When looking at land areas only, this was the 7th-hottest June. Temperatures averaged over land were 1.7°F above average.
It’s the ocean surface temperatures that put the month over the top. Temperatures were 1.2°F above average. That’s a smaller number than the 1.7°F land averages, but oceans tend to lag behind air temperatures. And despite being a smaller number, oceans cover 70 percent of the planet, which tend to give them more weight on global temperatures.
This June represents a significant milestone for the world’s oceans. Not only was it the hottest June for oceans since record keeping began in 1880, but it was the most anomalously warm ocean temperature for any month. That means temperatures were more freakishly above average this past June than at any other time in the period of record. The previous record was a four-way tie with May 2014 being the most recent month.
This June’s temperature record also represents a global mark for the warmest the oceans have ever been. The record heat happened to hit in June, when oceans are at their warmest, giving temperatures a further boost.
The news comes on the heels of last week’s State of the Climate report, an annual climate check-up for the globe. The report showed that 2013 saw record amounts of heat trapped in the upper half mile of the ocean, a phenomenon that scientists think is contributing to the “pause” in global warming.
Of course, talking about a “pause” is a bit of an overstatement. This year is on track to be the third-warmest. NCDC also said that 9 of the 10 warmest Junes have occurred since 2000 (with 1998 being the lone holdout).
El Niño, the climate phenomenon on the tip of every weather geeks’ tongue, has the potential to ratchet up the global temperature even further by year’s end. Though there’s been an El Niño watch in place for months, the phenomenon, which is characterized by warm waters in the eastern tropical Pacific, has yet to form. Forecasters give it a 75 percent chance of forming by fall, though, which could make the year end on a hot note. Whether it would be enough to overtake 2010, the year of “Tik Tok,” as the hottest year on the record remains to be seen.
Thanks to favorable weather and record production from solar and wind power, renewable energy accounted for approximately 31 percent of Germany’s electricity generation in the first half of 2014.
Production of wind and solar in particular saw substantial gains over the same time last year. Solar grew by 28 percent in the first half of 2014 compared to 2013 and wind power grew by 19 percent over the same period last year. “Solar and wind alone made up a whopping 17 percent of power generation, up from around 12-13 percent in the past few years,” reported Renewables International.
As a point of comparison, approximately 13 percent of the U.S. electricity supply was powered by renewables as of the end of 2013, roughly half of Germany’s rate.
Check out the entire article at:
A few of us have been watching the 9-part documentary series on Showtime called "Years of Living Dangerously." It is a series of stories going into the many diverse ascepts of Climate Change. Definitely worth the viewing. For those who don't subscribe to Showtime, the website is loaded with information and shorts from the show. You can watch the first episode for free online. yearsoflivingdangerously.com
Check out this current Ted Talk about the emergent patterns of climate change. The visuals of the global patterns of climate movement and how it is all connected is enlightening. Gavin Schmidt: The emergent patterns of climate change.
Click here for a new report just out by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The report warns that the effects of human emissions of heat-trapping gases are already being felt, that the ultimate consequences could be dire, and that the window to do something about it is closing. A very important article to read.
By Annie-Rose Strasser on March 1, 2014 at 11:18 am
If you want to invest in the future of Apple, you better have a stake in the future of the planet.
That’s the message Apple CEO Tim Cook sent on Friday at Apple’s annual shareholders’ meeting, after a conservative think tank, the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), derided the company for hiring former Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson and focusing on sustainability efforts. Prior to the meeting, NCPPR released a statement saying that government-imposed environmental standards could be bad for business, and Apple should be doing more to fight them.
“We do a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive,” Cook said of the NCPPR’s call, according to Mashable. “We want to leave the world better than we found it.”
He then advised, “If you want me to do things only for [return on investment] reasons, you should get out of this stock.”
After the meeting, NCPPR released a statement saying, “After today’s meeting, investors can be certain that Apple is wasting untold amounts of shareholder money to combat so-called climate change. The only remaining question is: how much?”
While some company CEOs have opted to leave climate change up to God, Apple has taken action. Under the leadership of Cook, the company has massively increased its use of renewable energy over fossil fuels. By Apple’s own count, it increased its use of renewables from 35 percent in 2010 to 75 percent worldwide . The company aims to up that number to 100 percent. To that end, last year Apple announced it would build one of the world’s largest solar arrays. And while NCPPR thinks that’s all bad news for stakeholders, the numbers say otherwise: The project is projected generate about $11 million in annual revenue, and to add 7,400 jobs in Cupertino, California.