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Astronomy Photographer of the Year Awards
(Photo used courtesy of the Royal Observatory Greenwich)
We're launching a new feature this month -- Creatively Green
SJS/GreenPolicy360 siterunner: After many years of step-by-step green work that led to our global GreenPolicy360 network and online site, with its challenges, opportunities and sharing of green best practices, and tens of millions of visitors and views, and friends and associates in nearly every country on Planet Earth, it is time to stretch a bit as we prepare for 2020 and our next decade of the 21st century.
So to celebrate being here together, we are launching a creative extension, a new venture that brings original and shared long-form writing to our readers and friends. Think of our latest as a journey, a first step in mind-expanding long-form adventures, essays and poetry, contemporary, classic and futuristic. The boundaries of our "Creatively Green" content require only passion, commitment and green ideas front-of-mind.
Apropos adventuring, let's go. Thank you Heather: From Scientist to Activist
From Scientist to Activist
By Heather Price
September 5, 2019
“Dr. Doom.” A few students joked, as we walked out of the seminar room. I didn’t laugh. I was uneasy, wondering if some of the climate forecasts from today’s chemistry department seminar would come to pass sooner than expected.
It was 1998, and this was the response from a few of my fellow University of Washington grad students, and when I first felt the unease of understanding the climate crisis. The talk was presented by Dr. Richard Gammon, one of my PhD advisors, and a co-author of the First Scientific Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 1990). Dr. Gammon’s seminar included overheads of the latest scientific findings, forecasts, and implications of the 1995 IPCC report and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. This was my first time truly understanding the science and implications the climate crisis.
"Today, I see myself more as a doctor advocating for a patient.
My patient is the Earth."
Time to Sign up for the Bioneers Conference -- October 18-19-20 in Marin, California
One of a kind meet-up of green visionaries and activists from around the globe, sharing and celebrating
Celebrate the 30th Annual Bioneers Gathering
The Bioneers, GreenPolicy360's long-time Planet Citizen friends and associates
Sept. 4, 2019
CNN Presidential Town Hall on Climate Change
Media/Social Media Responds to the #ClimateTownHall
Dahr Jamail Tells the Tale: 'It's baked in'
May the Wind Fill Your Sails
Visit GreenPolicy360's associate, Strategic Demands, for more on the G7 Summit
US Gas-Oil Production Dominates
When it comes to these new oil and gas fields, production from the US is set to eclipse the rest of the world.
The Amazon Rainforest Burns, It's the Burning Season
As Greenland's ice sheets and the Arctic region melt at an historic rate due to fossil fuel emissions/greenhouse gas (GHG) global climate disruption, what can be said of the tragedy, and irony, of a U.S. president pushing regressive climate policy, then voicing his anger this week at being rejected when he attempts to make a deal to 'buy Greenland'. What a world in which we live...
Maritime Industry Shifts Course w/ IMO 2020 Shipping Regulations
Trump's latest -- Kill the Clean Power Plan
- States Sue the U.S.
- Via the Wall Street Journal (subscription) / States Sue Trump Administration Over Rollback of Power-Plant Regulations
- New York and California lead group saying the government isn’t meeting its Clean Air Act role
Trump: Cut Endangered Species Act Protections
- Via the NY Times / The New Threat to Endangered Species? The Trump Administration
- Via Vox / The Endangered Species Act is incredibly popular and effective. Trump is weakening it anyway
A million species are threatened worldwide. This is how Trump responds
Historic heat wave in Greenland... and historic fires in the Arctic
The Arctic is on fire, but it's just not trees that are burning, it's peatlands. The problem is supremely urgent.
“(Y)ou can burn well over 1,000 years of carbon accumulation in one single fire.”
The climate event will take place on Wednesday, September 4, in New York City. CNN is inviting candidates who meet the Democratic National Committee's polling threshold for the September primary debate to participate.
For the Science
The familiar maxim that the climate is always changing is certainly true. But even when we push our perspective back to the earliest days of the Roman Empire, we cannot discern any event that is remotely equivalent — either in degree or extent — to the warming over the past few decades. Today’s climate stands apart in its torrid global synchrony.
July 20th, 1969 / July 20th, 2019
SJS / GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: It was a mind-changing year. Beginning with the historic "Earthrise" photo taken as Apollo 8 astronauts circled the moon in preparation for Apollo 11 and humankind's first step on the Moon.
History shifted, cognitive awareness changed as together we welcomed a new 'Whole Earth' vision.
We surprised ourselves, looking back for the first time at the oasis of Earth, our home planet in full blue-green color, all life as we know it suspended in the darkness and vastness of space.
This was to many, including your writer, the beginnings of the modern environmental movement. To protect and preserve life became an ongoing mission that we continue every day. A gift of life.
On this 50th anniversary of the 1969 Moon landing let's celebrate as planet citizen voyagers...
David Attenborough: It’s time we humans came to our senses
“We cannot be radical enough in dealing with these issues,” he told Members of Parliament when asked if the UK should bring forward its new target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, as some campaigners have called for. But he said the real issue was what is politically possible.
“Because it costs money in realistic terms, dealing with these problems mean we have to change our lifestyles,” he told the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee. “The question of how fast we can go is how fast we can carry the electorate with us.” Getting to net zero within three decades was a “tough target” but he “hoped to goodness” the UK could achieve it.
Attenborough compared changing morality towards slavery in Britain in the nineteenth century to changing attitudes on climate change today. “I suspect we are right now in the beginning of a big change. Young people are the stimulus bringing that about.”
The movement of school pupils striking over climate change, sparked by Greta Thunberg in Sweden last year, was a beacon of hope, he said. “The most encouraging thing I see of course is that the electorate of tomorrow are making their voices very, very clear.” Turning to an audience of young people in parliament behind him, he said: “It is their world we are playing with. It is their future in our hands.”
Environmental Working Group: “The spectacle of the president straining to document a positive environmental record should be seen for what it is – utter fantasy.
There has never been a president who has actively pursued an agenda so hostile to the environment and public health at the behest of polluters than Mr. Trump.”
Experts watching the speech said many of the president’s claims were not based in fact. Those achievements that were real, they said, were the result of actions taken by his predecessors. And they noted the one conspicuous omission from the whole discussion: any mention of climate change, the overarching environmental threat that Mr. Trump has mocked in the past.
The US President Continues His Assault on Environmental Laws/Regulations and Policy
GreenPolicy360: The record of the president on the big picture security issues is a veritable failure. On two existential issues GreenPolicy continues to sound the alarm about, climate and nuclear weapons, the president's record is abysmal by any reasoned accounting. On climate disruption, threats to the global atmosphere, consequences across the nation and globe as a result of environmental impacts to the economy, on biodiversity, life as we know it, the president races to dismantle decades of environmental work even as he attempts to take credit for 'clean air, clean water' work accomplished since the 1960s and 1970s, the foundations of the modern environmental movement. On nuclear weapons, his administration throws out nuclear weapons agreements, abandons nuclear treaties, refuses to enter into nuclear arms control negotiations, speeds up the development of 'usable' nuclear weapons systems, expands the nuclear weapons into space with next generation hyperspace delivery systems, and yet in spite of all of this claims 'he' is 'the answer' to security.
GreenPolicy360 strongly disagrees with those who are ignoring the gathering dual threats of escalating climate crisis and the current proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Remember, elections count. The manager of the Trump2020 campaign, Brad Parscale, is going after 2016's non-voters and if successful will deliver another four years of this administration, its anti-environmental policies and a US nuclear weapons rush sparking a new nuclear arms race with Russia and China, and across Europe, the Mid East, Near East and Asia.....
Know about GOTV? If not, it's time you learn a digital bit about how marketers like Brad Parscale target, motivate, and Get Out the Vote....
Historic European Heat Wave while Alaska Bakes
"An Epic Saga"
"It's an epic saga,” David Wallace-Wells says. “It's the kind of thing that we only used to see in mythology and theology. We really do have the fate of the world and the species in our hands.”
Another climate communicator, Katherine Hayhoe from Texas Tech University, goes on to explain the need for storytellers like Wallace-Wells to translate the work of scientists like her.
“We’re not missing the apocalyptic vision of the future, I think we've got that in spades... What David’s book does is it takes what we've been saying in scientific assessments for years and even decades, and it rephrases in a way that’s hopefully more accessible for people to understand how bad this could be.”
Update On Democratic Party Presidential Debate
GreenPolicy pushes for presidential debate on #ClimatePolicy and #ClimateSolutions
MOUNTING PRESSURE from climate change activists appears to be working on the Democratic National Committee, which has taken up consideration of proposals that could result in a *focused* presidential debate.
The DNC executive committee gathered... and referred two resolutions regarding climate change discussions to a committee. The committee has scheduled a vote on the measures on Aug. 23, according to activist group Sunrise Movement. A DNC official confirmed Tuesday that the next phase of the resolution process will begin in late August.
Activists said that last week's debates proved a conversation focused solely on climate change is necessary. Roughly 15 minutes of the pair of two-hour debates were focused on the issue.
Eight Minutes + Seven Minutes = 15 Minutes Among Twenty Candidates
The first climate question arrives more than 80 minutes into the Dem presidential debate on both nights
It's Now Obvious, the Democrats via their DNC Need a #ClimateDebate for #ClimateSolutions
"Tonight’s debate made it crystal clear that the media and the political establishment are out of touch with our generation," said Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement. "Our survival is worth more time than vague, irrelevant, and trivial questions posed 80 minutes into the debate to a few minor candidates."
GreenPolicy360: In 2016, during all the US presidential debates, a climate policy question was asked, what, once? Tonight (June 26th) the US Democratic Party starts their presidential campaign debate, in Miami, even as the current US pres denies the big picture, the climate/global/atmospheric threat, the existential challenges, the national/state and local #ClimateCrisis impacts.
For decades now the GreenPolicy team has warned of the gathering crisis and we have urged a New Vision, a strategic vision with New Definitions of National and Global Security. The time is now for the Democratic Party to step up and face the great challenge of our generation -- climate disruption, climate crisis.
In Florida, the consequences of sea level rise are vivid and VERY real.
Globally, this is an existantial crisis, climate disruption, that is, atmospheric disruption, what GreenPolicy360 calls the disruption of the "thin blue layer", earth's life protecting atmosphere.
Speaking of climate disruption, global security and protection/preservation of the atmosphere, watch this scientist talk of the clear and present dangers of nuclear war. We are "one mistake away" from nuclear war initiated by any of the nuclear weapons countries (the U.S., Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, France, the U.K., North Korea) leading to regional impacts spreading to global winter and collapse of civilization.
We need New Definitions of National and Global Security and concerted action now to protect our common security and prevent the fast escalating threats to life as we know it.
No question is of more critical importance to Florida’s future, or to the Democrats’ chance to take the state in next year’s presidential election. It is so important that some activists had hoped that climate change would be the sole focus when 20 Democrats take the debate stage for the first time in this campaign on Wednesday and Thursday in downtown Miami.
Climate change is now among the top three 2020 election issues cited by Florida Democrats, according to a new statewide survey. Some 71 percent of Florida voters, including 85 percent of Democrats, support government action to address climate change, according to the survey by Climate Nexus in partnership with the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, which polled 1,558 registered Florida voters online this month.
All of Miami Beach is low-lying, but parts are just a foot or two above sea level, making it prone to flooding during storms and extreme high tides, according to Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales. Add the estimated 9 inches that sea levels have risen in the region in the past 100 years, and you have a recipe for costly flooding.
Then there is the problem of the very ground on which Miami Beach and much of South Florida sits. Made from the remnants of ancient coral reefs, the porous limestone beneath the region is not unlike Swiss cheese, with natural underground "pipes" that allow water to bubble up to the surface...
Agriculture Department buries studies showing dangers of climate change
“Why the hell is the U.S., which is ostensibly the leader in science research, ignoring this?” said one USDA scientist. “It’s not like we’re working on something that’s esoteric -- we’re working on something that has dire consequences for the entire planet.”
The Trump administration has refused to publicize dozens of government-funded studies that carry warnings about the effects of climate change, defying a longstanding practice of touting such findings by the Agriculture Department’s acclaimed in-house scientists.
The studies range from a groundbreaking discovery that rice loses vitamins in a carbon-rich environment — a potentially serious health concern for the 600 million people world-wide whose diet consists mostly of rice — to a finding that climate change could exacerbate allergy seasons to a warning to farmers about the reduction in quality of grasses important for raising cattle.
All of these studies were peer-reviewed by scientists and cleared through the non-partisan Agricultural Research Service, one of the world’s leading sources of scientific information for farmers and consumers.
Trump administration rule will boost the coal industry
"It's a rule to increase emission because it's a rule to extend the life of coal plants," said Conrad Schneider of the Clean Air Task Force.
"You invest in updating an old coal plant, it makes it more economic to run it more to pay off that investment."
Trump EPA finalizes rollback of key Obama climate rule
Jerry Brown responds forcefully to the Trump policy
“If climate change causes more volatile frequent and extreme weather events, you’re going to have a scenario where these large providers of financial products — mortgages, home insurance, pensions — cannot shift risk away from their portfolios.” Rostin Behnam said. Behnam, who sits on the federal government’s powerful five-member Commodity Futures Trading Commission, continued to explain. “It’s abundantly clear that climate change poses financial risk to the stability of the financial system... we are not taking steps to protect the people of our country with the best facts, the best science, the best numbers.”
At the “One Planet Summit” in December 2017, eight central banks and supervisors established a Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System (NGFS). Since then, the NGFS has grown to 40 Members and 6 Observers, representing 5 continents. The Network’s purpose is to help strengthening the global response required to meet the goals of the Paris agreement and to enhance the role of the financial system to manage risks and to mobilize capital for green and low-carbon investments in the broader context of environmentally sustainable development. The NGFS published on 17 April 2019 its first comprehensive report “A call for action” which proposes first recommendations aiming at facilitating the role of the financial sector in achieving the objectives of the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The Democratic National Committee Shouldn't Say No
Via Earth Institute / Columbia University
The Trump Administration is losing on climate in the courts. More than two and a half years into the Trump Administration, no climate change-related regulatory rollback brought before the courts has yet survived legal challenge. Nevertheless, climate change is one arena where the administration’s rollbacks have been both visible and real. In total, the Sabin Center’s U.S. Climate Deregulation Tracker identifies a total of 94 actions taken by the executive branch in 2017 and 2018 to undermine and reverse climate protections.
84 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump
Via the NY Times / June 3, 2019
Children and the Future: Rights to Health and Life
Trump administration escalates war on climate science
European Election Results: Green Surge in European Parliament
- As Germany took climate change to heart, it was only a matter of time before its politics did too
European Green Party (EFA) coalition could hold balance of power in European Union parliament
- • https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/05/27/green-wave-has-swept-european-parliament-show-demand-climate-action-green-parties
- • https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/european-greens-surge-as-voters-abandon-old-parties-over-climate/2019/05/27/185be506-8085-11e9-b585-e36b16a531aa_story.html
Green Leader, Ska Keller, to become President of European Commission?
The presidency of the EU Commission, currently held by Jean-Claude Juncker, is among those up for grabs.
More @ Green Stories of the Day - https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Green_Stories_of_the_Day
360 'Big Picture' Perspective
China moves far ahead on green public transportation, the US lags behind on new economic/energy strategies while ramping up a military budget larger than the next 10 nations combined. The US announces a new generation of nuclear weapons. Russia and China realign and move to match. Economic wars and 'hot wars' are threatened and declared across the planet. We watch as the US maneuvers against Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and against Russia, China... The US puts in place sanctions and punitive actions against scores of perceived adversaries and against former allies in Europe and across the globe as treaties, agreements, cooperative talks and negotiations breakdown. Polling tracking these US actions demonstrate internationally that the world public is turning away from support of the US, now seen as a 'major threat to peace' and purveyor of a booming arms trade.
The US initiated trade war and tariffs against China are drawing a strong response (see the Bloomberg article below) and it is not a surprise that the Chinese are accelerating their Eurasian strategy, alternative global supply chains, building counter alliances, tech capabilities, and boosting their military and nuclear weapons. Alternative exchange, financial and trading systems, moving away from the dollar and petrodollar, are in process. Geo-political relationships of the past are giving way and many are asking what the latter years of the 21st century will bring as global climate impacts internationally, across interconnected environments, roll out...
Follow GreenPolicy360 for more on international strategic/military/nuclear issues at www.strategicdemands.com
How the oil industry and other polluters paid for studies to downplay climate change and give the GOP cover for inaction:
“You want to understand the climate crisis today? It’s 25 years of corruption in Washington.” -- Elizabeth Warren, campaigning for US president, May 2019
Money Talks, Opponents of U.S. Climate Action Listen
The Climate Action Now Act, passed last week by the House in a 231-190 vote, would bar the U.S. from pulling out of the 2016 Paris Agreement, the landmark accord that seeks to limit global temperature increases tied to greenhouse gas emissions. President Donald Trump announced in June 2017 that the U.S. would withdraw from the agreement. The bill would require the Trump administration to submit an annual plan for complying with the agreement, including a 26 to 28 percent reduction from 2005 greenhouse gas emission levels.
A MapLight analysis of Federal Election Campaign data found that 65 House members who opposed the measure received $268,965 from the 10 largest oil and gas companies in the U.S. since the beginning of the year. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has received $35,300 from the fossil fuel giants since the start of the 2019-20 election cycle — the most of any lawmaker. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., received $8,500 from the oil and gas companies, the most of any cosponsor. Twenty-five supporters of the legislation received a total of $78,850 from the oil and gas companies, according to FEC data.
Marathon Petroleum Corp. contributed $131,000 to lawmakers who didn’t support the bill, more than any of the top 10 U.S. companies. The Findlay, Ohio-based oil company, which publishes an annual report on the risks and opportunities presented by climate change, gave $16,750 to seven supporters of the legislation.
ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil and gas company, gave $43,750 to 20 supporters of the climate bill, as well as $75,500 to 34 members who declined to support the measure. The Irving, Texas-based giant has vehemently denied reports that its scientists knew about the effects of greenhouse gas emissions for a half-century and took no action.
The House climate bill, sponsored by Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., can now be considered by the Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., however, has promised “this futile gesture to handcuff the U.S. economy through the ill-fated Paris deal will go nowhere here in the Senate.”
Maplight, Revealing Money's Influence on Politics
The MapLight analysis considered 2019-20 election cycle donations by the 10 largest U.S. energy companies and their employees, ranked by market capitalization as of May 7, 2019. The companies include Exxon Mobil Corp. ($324.6 billion); Chevron Corp. ($225.3 billion); ConocoPhillips ($68.9 billion); EOG Resources Inc. ($53.3 billion); Occidental Petroleum Corp. ($44.7 billion); Marathon Petroleum Corp. ($40 billion); Phillips 66 ($39.3 billion) Anadarko Petroleum Corp. ($38.1 billion); Valero Energy Corp. ($35.2 billion); and Pioneer Natural Resources Co. ($24.9 billion).
European Election Results: Green Surge
- • https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/05/27/green-wave-has-swept-european-parliament-show-demand-climate-action-green-parties
Eight European countries have called for an ambitious strategy to tackle climate change – and to spend a quarter of the entire EU budget on fighting it.
The joint statement says the EU should have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 "at the latest".
It was signed by France, Belgium, Denmark, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.
The group says their plan can "go hand in hand with prosperity" and "set an example for other countries to follow."
Bill McKibben, Planet Citizen
Bill McKibben, GreenPolicy360's former adviser, writes of climate change/global warming and the existential threat we all face.
Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? / Henry Holt and Co.
In the 30 years I’ve been working on this crisis, we’ve seen all 20 of the hottest years ever recorded. So far, we have warmed the earth by roughly two degrees Fahrenheit, which in a masterpiece of understatement the New York Times once described as “a large number for the surface of an entire planet.” This is humanity’s largest accomplishment, and indeed the largest thing any one species has ever done on our planet, at least since the days two billion years ago when cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) flooded the atmosphere with oxygen, killing off much of the rest of the archaic life on the planet. “Faster than expected” is the watchword of climate scientists—the damage to ice caps and oceans that scientists (conservative by nature) predicted for the end of the century showed up decades early. “I’ve never been at a climate conference where people say ‘that happened slower than I thought it would,’” one polar expert observed in the spring of 2018. At about the same time, a team of economists reported that there was a 35 percent chance that the United Nations’ previous “worst-case scenario” for global warming was in fact too optimistic. In January 2019 scientists concluded the Earth’s oceans were warming 40 percent faster than previously believed.
“We are now truly in uncharted territory ... physical threats so different in quantity that they become different in quality, their effects so far-reaching that we can’t be confident of surviving them with our civilizations more or less intact.
One is large-scale nuclear war; it’s always worth recalling J. Robert Oppenheimer’s words as he watched the first bomb test, quoting from Hindu scripture: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” So far, the cobbled-together and jury-rigged international efforts to forestall an atomic war have worked, and indeed, for much of the last 50 years those safeguards, formal and informal, have seemed to be strengthening. That we have nuclear nightmares again is mostly testimony to the childishness of President Trump and his pal in North Korea—they seem nearly alone in not understanding “why we can’t use them.”
Second on that list of threats is the small group of chemicals that, just in time, scientists discovered were eroding the ozone layer, a protective shield that 99 percent of us didn’t even know existed. Had those scientists not sounded the alarm, we would have walked blindly off a cliff—literally, in many cases, as cataracts are one of the most common symptoms of being bathed in the ultraviolet radiation that the ozone layer blocks. Within a decade, the chemical companies had ceased their obstruction and the Montreal Protocol began removing chlorofluorocarbons from the atmosphere. The ozone hole over the Antarctic now grows smaller with each decade, and now scientists expect it will be wholly healed by 2060.
And the third, of course, is climate change, perhaps the greatest of all these challenges...
This year's Earth Day is Protect Our Species and draws draw attention to rapid global destruction of species and reduction of the world's plant and wildlife populations.
"All living things have an intrinsic value, and each plays a unique role in the complex web of life. We must work together to protect endangered and threatened species."
Dwindling population sizes and range shrinkages amount to a massive anthropogenic erosion of biodiversity and of the ecosystem services essential to civilization. This biological annihilation underlines the seriousness for humanity of Earth’s ongoing sixth mass extinction event.
We now need... sustained and collaborative action with one common goal: to eliminate our carbon emissions as soon as possible and replace our dependence on coal, oil and gas with clean sources of energy that don’t produce carbon pollution. This means solutions large and small, mundane and inspiring.
Greta Speaks to the European Union
Our Planet's #PlanetCitizen David Attenborough... “Fifty years ago, we didn’t even realize what the problem was. Maybe thirty years ago we did recognize what the problem was but didn’t know much about it, thinking, 'That’s way in the future'. Now we know that it’s right here ahead of us.”
Measuring and Monitoring
"We don't know a planet like this." That was the reaction of meteorologist Eric Holthaus to news that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have reached heights not seen in the entirety of human existence -- not history, existence.
According to data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is over 415 parts per million (ppm), far higher than at any point in the last 800,000 years, since before the evolution of homo sapiens.
- Weather +
- April 19: 413.86 ppm
- April 18: 413.43 ppm
- April 17: 413.63 ppm
- Oh Mauna, what a Keeling Curve you have
- Keeling's Curve has been called one of the most important scientific works of the 20th century
- Eurasia, Trade, Economic Development, Environmental Impacts & Risks
- 21st Century -- GeoPolitical Shift
Kids in 123 countries strike to protect the climate
“This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice.”
An estimated 1.4 million young people in 123 countries skipped school Friday to demand stronger climate policies in what may be one of the largest environmental protests in history.
Looking to the Future --- and the Perils of 'Short-term' Thinking
Our inability to look beyond the latest news cycle and distractions of the day
The 22nd Century: Get Ready, It's Not So Far Away As You Might Think It Is
It’s a milestone year frequently cited in climate change news reports, stories about future technologies and science fiction. But it’s so far ahead, clouded with so many possibilities, that the route we will take to get there is difficult to see. I rarely consider that, like my daughter, millions of people alive today will be there as 2100 arrives, inheriting the century my generation will leave behind. All the decisions we make, for better and worse, will be theirs to live with.
Modern society is suffering from “temporal exhaustion”, the sociologist Elise Boulding once said. “If one is mentally out of breath all the time from dealing with the present, there is no energy left for imagining the future...” We can only guess her reaction to the relentless, Twitter-fuelled politics of 2019. No wonder wicked problems like climate change or inequality feel so hard to tackle right now.
That's why researchers, artists, technologists and philosophers are converging on the idea that short-termism may be the greatest threat our species is facing this century.
New solutions are needed for a global arms control architecture.
Rethinking Arms Control... Understanding and responding to the challenges of the 21st Century.
Global Poll (Pew Research): Climate change increasingly ranks as the world’s most pressing security threat
Fears about American power grow
Nations in the survey say the influence of the U.S. is a major threat to their countries, (and) more people now say it is a threat than in 2013 and 2017. Indeed, in 10 countries, roughly half or more now claim that American power is a major threat to their nation.
Via the New York Times / Rift Between Trump and Europe Is Now Open and Angry
Europeans push back against the Trump administration’s unilateralism
Visit GreenPolicy360's associate -- #StrategicDemands
U.S. President, rejecting climate science consensus, announces conference of climate science deniers
Climate Science Continues to Advance Despite Science Denial in the White House
Top U.S. Universities, Science Research, Technology and Applications Join Together
School of Science | MIT News | Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
Caltech, in partnership with the MIT School of Science, the Naval Postgraduate School, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Facing the certainty of a changing climate coupled with the uncertainty that remains in predictions of how it will change, scientists and engineers from across the country are teaming up to build a new type of climate model that is designed to provide more precise and actionable predictions.
Leveraging recent advances in the computational and data sciences, the comprehensive effort capitalizes on vast amounts of data that are now available and on increasingly powerful computing capabilities both for processing data and for simulating the Earth system.
The new model will be built by a consortium of researchers led by Caltech, in partnership with MIT; the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS); and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which Caltech manages for NASA. The consortium, dubbed the Climate Modeling Alliance (CliMA), plans to fuse Earth observations and high-resolution simulations into a model that represents important small-scale features, such as clouds and turbulence, more reliably than existing climate models. The goal is a climate model that projects future changes in critical variables such as cloud cover, rainfall, and sea ice extent more accurately — with uncertainties at least half the size of those in existing models...
February 12, 2019
Glimpse the future climate in US cities via the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
The interactive mapping uses 12 different measures to describe climate, including minimum and maximum temperature and total precipitation for winter, spring, summer and fall. Two emissions scenarios are considered – one that assumes high current emissions continue and one that assumes emissions peak mid-century and then decline. Numerous future climate forecasts are considered as generated by 27 different climate models.
February 7, 2019
February 5, 2019
- Vision Problem: Via the Washington Post / The "Glaring Hole" as Trump Gives State of the Union Speech
- “The Trump administration has been silencing science for 2 years now and pretending that climate change doesn’t exist, despite the excellent work of [its] own scientists. Trump’s SOTU was more of the same,” Joel Clement, Harvard Center for Science and International Affairs.
- Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), new chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, tweeted, “Trump and his cronies have spent the last 2 years leaving our environmental future in the hands of the fossil fuel industry, denying #ClimateChange, and imperiling the public health of our communities.” That committee holds a hearing today on climate change impacts and the need for action.
- Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), new chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, tweeted, “We heard a lot of talk from @realDonaldTrump tonight on manufactured crises, but we heard nothing on one of the most important challenges of our time: #ClimateChange.” The committee holds a hearing today on addressing the environmental and economic effects of climate change.
- Last year was Earth's 4th-warmest year on record, coming in behind 2016, the planet's warmest recorded year, according to information released Wednesday by NOAA, NASA and the U.K. Met Office.
- Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty Threatened
Photo via the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust/Charlotte Rhodes
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Caring and Protecting
The DSWT/KWS Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit works hard to protect the wildlife in this stunning pocket of Kenya. Wondering what kind of patients we encounter?
- • https://www.facebook.com/thedswt/photos/the-dswtkws-mara-mobile-veterinary-unit-works-hard-to-protect-the-wildlife-in-th/10153841155309889/
GreenPolicy360 in Clearwater/St.Pete/Tampa, encouraging and assisting in the start-up of the new U.S. House climate change committee. Go Kathy Castor, move with all due speed ! The times demand decisive action.
Follow Progress of the Green New Deal at GreenPolicy's New Deal Site
More re: the risks of nuclear weapons @StrategicDemands, GreenPolicy360's associate
“The blindness and stupidity of the politicians and their consultants is truly shocking in the face of nuclear catastrophe,” Brown said. “We know that thousands of these weapons on high alert could be launched by mistake…. We are almost like travelers on the Titanic, seeing the iceberg up ahead but enjoying the elegant dining and the music.”
“The danger and probability is mounting that there will be some kind of nuclear incident that will kill millions, if not initiating exchanges that will kill billions.”
Six milestones—in energy, transport, land use, industry, infrastructure, and finance—that would need to be met by 2020 to bend the curve in global greenhouse gas emissions and put the world on a pathway consistent with the Paris international climate agreement.
Andrew Wheeler, Trump's EPA pick says climate change 'not the greatest crisis'. The former coal lobbyist took over the EPA when his predecessor Scott Pruitt resigned after months of controversy. Wheeler says, in confirmation hearings (reported by few media outlets), that "he is carrying out the president’s “regulatory reform agenda” and that the US is the “gold standard for environmental progress”.
Economically feasible CO2 reduction of emissions?
Via CNN / Carbon emissions increased 3.4% in 2018, marking the second-largest annual gain in more than two decades, according to preliminary power generation data analyzed by the Rhodium Group, an independent economic policy research provider... US power sector emissions as a whole rose by 1.9% and that the transportation sector "held its title as the largest source of US emissions for the third year running," due to a growth in demand for diesel and jet fuel offsetting a modest decline in gasoline use.
The lack of strategy in the country's decarbonization efforts, the research says, has contributed to the gap in meeting the goal set in the Paris Agreement on climate change, a landmark 2015 accord that the US Trump administration has promised to abandon. President Trump has at times denied the basic science of climate change, which states that burning coal, oil and natural gas produces emissions that trap heat in the atmosphere, warming the planet. But it has become increasingly clear that warming is happening faster than previously thought and with worse results.
Brookings climate study: The Paris international climate agreement "significantly reduces" carbon emissions relative to a business-as-usual case. But it also further confirms how much existing pledges, called nationally determined contributions, are nonetheless insufficient.
The clock, physics, politics demand action.
January 1, 2019
Check out Green Trending News. Follow a Tag, a Thread, Link In.
Visit GreenPolicy360's GreenLinks. Pick a fave Green org. Join Up.
December 30, 2018
GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: William Westermeyer writes of a science agency that was established thru the work of Congressman George E Brown, Congressman from East LA and a leader of California's initiatives in environmental science. Gingrich disbanded the US Office of Technology Assessment in the 1995, after its warning on climate change. Today, the science office to advise the president, Office of Science and Technology Policy also brought into existence by George Brown, is moribund with its science executive positions going unfilled. The president is on record saying he doesn't need the science... The nation, and world, heads into 2019 as science and guidance of visionary leaders are set aside.
On the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 8 Mission ...
Q: What are the main science questions you (JPL/Caltech/NASA) hope OCO-3 will answer?
The big science question is about the movement of carbon dioxide between plants and the atmosphere.
If you look at the ground-based data, it almost looks like the planet is breathing. Plants in the northern hemisphere take up carbon dioxide as they grow in the spring and summer, reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by a few parts per million. In the fall, the leaves drop and carbon is released back into the air.
But every year is different. There are changes in the forests in Canada. El Niño years affect the carbon cycle.
What we want to do is find drivers of the plant uptake of carbon and use that to better predict what will happen in the future. If we have a warmer, drier climate, will plants keep taking up as much carbon?
Planet Citizens in Action
Can the world kick its fossil-fuel addiction fast enough?
GreenPolicy360 and our Associate StrategicDemands.com explore Earth's existential threat environment
- Escalating Risk of Use of Nuclear Weapons
- Warning to Today's Generation
- Planet Citizens, Look to the Future
US Departure from International Cooperation:
"Sovereignty", the New Administration's Buzzword
The International Climate Agreement goes forward without the US
Nations around the world reject the US decision
Climate News / Climate Focus, Climate Politics
Battle in the US Congress between the Climate Denial faction and Science Advocates
- GreenPolicy360 and Strategic Demands Advance New Definitions of National Security
Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s budget director:
“Regarding the question as to climate change, I think the President was fairly straightforward —
We’re not spending money on that anymore; we consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that.”
- White House budget director Mick Mulvaney rejects climate as a security issue:
- “Regarding the question as to climate change, I think the president was fairly straightforward – we’re not spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money.”
- "It would be sad, and dare I say even catastrophic, were special interests to prevail over the common good and lead to manipulating information in order to protect their own plans and interests"...
- "The Pope took particular aim at those who reject the science behind global warming..."
"What's up with sea level rise?"
Destruction of Life, Large 'Charismatic' Creatures & the "Tiny Little Ones"
The 8 Million+ Species We Don’t Know
By Edward O. Wilson / NY Times
The most striking fact about the living environment may be how little we know about it. Even the number of living species can be only roughly calculated. A widely accepted estimate by scientists puts the number at about 10 million. In contrast, those formally described, classified and given two-part Latinized names (Homo sapiens for humans, for example) number slightly more than two million. With only about 20 percent of its species known and 80 percent undiscovered, it is fair to call Earth a little-known planet.
- To effectively manage protected habitats, we must also learn more about all the species of our planet and their interactions within ecosystems.
The best-explored groups of organisms are the vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes), along with plants, especially trees and shrubs. Being conspicuous, they are what we familiarly call “wildlife.” A great majority of other species, however, are by far also the most abundant. I like to call them “the little things that run the world.” They teem everywhere, in great number and variety in and on all plants, throughout the soil at our feet and in the air around us. They are the protists, fungi, insects, crustaceans, spiders, pauropods, centipedes, mites, nematodes and legions of others whose scientific names are seldom heard by the bulk of humanity. In the sea and along its shores swarm organisms of the other living world — marine diatoms, crustaceans, ascidians, sea hares, priapulids, coral, loriciferans and on through the still mostly unfilled encyclopedia of life.
Do not call these organisms “bugs” or “critters.” They too are wildlife. Let us learn their correct names and care about their safety. Their existence makes possible our own. We are wholly dependent on them.
"Tiny Blue Green"
- More than Meets the Eye
"A single kind of blue-green algae in the ocean produces the oxygen in one of every five breaths we take"
- ~ from "The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One" by Sylvia Earle
Seventy percent of the Earth's surface is ocean and here, in myriad life forms, "tiny blue-green" organisms are essential to preserving life on the planet
The Unseen and the Seen
- A 21st Century paradigm in development @ GreenPolicy360
GreenPolicy360 Archive Highlights 2018
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Digital Citizens, Digital Rights Movement
- #OpenAccess - https://twitter.com/hashtag/openaccess?src=hash
- #OpenData - https://twitter.com/hashtag/OpenData?src=hash
- #DigitalRights - https://twitter.com/hashtag/DigitalRights?src=hash
- #InfoSec - https://twitter.com/hashtag/InfoSec?src=hash
- #Cybersecurity - https://twitter.com/hashtag/cybersecurity?src=hash
Planet Citizens, Digital Rights @GreenPolicy360
Links via GreenPolicy's Digital360 Network
- Alliance for Affordable Internet - http://a4ai.org/
- ArcGIS Open Data Platform - https://opendata.arcgis.com/about
- ASPI Cyber Policy - http://cyberpolicy.aspi.org.au/
- Center for Data Innovation - http://www.datainnovation.org/ - http://www.datainnovation.org/2014/04/the-economic-impact-of-open-data/
- Center for Democracy and Technology - https://cdt.org/
- (FB) https://www.facebook.com/CenDemTech
- (TW) https://twitter.com/CenDemTech
- (Wiki) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_for_Democracy_and_Technology
- Citizen Lab - https://citizenlab.ca/
- Code for America - http://codeforamerica.org/issues/openness/
- CommonFutures EU/Int'l - http://CommonFutures.eu/the-future-of-open-possibly-the-largest-open-network-in-the-world
- Creative Commons - http://CreativeCommons.org
- Data.gov, US Government open data - http://www.data.gov/
- 124K+ data sets as of 2015 - http://www.data.gov/metrics
- EcoInforma http://www.data.gov/ecosystems/ecoinforma/
- Dbpedia - http://dbpedia.org/About
- Decent Security - http://www.decentsecurity.com/blog/
- Digital Bill of Rights - http://jameslosey.com/post/79356515492/an-overview-of-calls-for-rights-or-principles-for-the
- E Pluribus Unum, Dispatches on Open Government and Technology - http://e-pluribusunum.org/
- Electronic Frontier Foundation - https://www.eff.org/
- (RSS) https://www.eff.org/rss
- (Wiki) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Frontier_Foundation
- (Parker Higgins-EFF) https://twitter.com/xor
- (recommended by EFF)
- Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) - https://www.epic.org/
- Energy and Environment Legislation Tracking Database (US) - http://NCSL.org/issues-research/energyhome/energy-environment-legislation-tracking-database.aspx
- eQualit.ie - https://equalit.ie/equalit-ie-manifesto/
- Advancing the International Bill of Human Rights - http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/Compilation1.1en.pdf
- Fact-Checking Projects
- Beginning with PolitiFact, the original project at Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PolitiFact.com
- Fight for the Future - http://www.fightforthefuture.org/
- Freedom of Information Requests/Government Attic (US) - http://GovernmentAttic.org
- (TW) https://twitter.com/FreedomofPress
- (FreedomPress Organizations) https://freedom.press/organizations
- Freedom Online Coalition - http://www.freedomonline.ee/ - http://www.freedomonline.ee/about-us/Freedom-online-coalition
- Freenet - https://freenetproject.org/
- Fundar - http://fundar.org.mx/
- Future of the Internet (blog) - http://futureoftheinternet.org/blog/
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Data_Protection_Regulation
- Github and Open Data update - https://github.com/project-open-data - http://m.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/02/catch-my-diff-githubs-new-feature-means-big-things-for-open-data/283673/
- Global Digital Citizen Foundation - https://globaldigitalcitizen.org/
- Global Network Initiative - https://globalnetworkinitiative.org/
- Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy - https://globalnetworkinitiative.org//principles/index.php
- Global Open Data Initiative - http://GlobalOpenDataInitiative.org
- Global Partners - http://www.global-partners.co.uk/
- Global Voices - http://globalvoicesonline.org/-/topics/digital-activism/
- GNU Project - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Project
- Government Accountability Project - http://www.whistleblower.org/
- Government Lab - http://thegovlab.org/
- GovFuturesLab - Reimagining governance for an age of planetary challenges and human responsibility
- GovLoop (US) training/social media/open gov - https://www.govloop.com/
- GovTrack - https://www.Govtrack.us/
- GreenPolicy360 / Digital Citizen - http://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Digital_Citizen
- Information Technology and Innovation Foundation - http://www.itif.org/
- Institute for the Future - http://iftf.org/govfutures
- Internet Archive - Wayback Machine - https://archive.org/
- Internet.org "Connecting the World" - https://info.internet.org/en/
- Internet Bill of Rights / Internet Rights and Principles Coalition - http://internetrightsandprinciples.org/site/
- Internet Freedom Festival (IFF)
- Internet Governance Project - http://www.internetgovernance.org/
- Internet Society - http://www.internetsociety.org/who-we-are/mission
- IT for Change (India) - http://www.itforchange.net/
- Linked Data - http://linkeddata.org/
- Mobile Commons - https://www.mobilecommons.com/about/
- Mozilla Foundation Webmaker Tools - https://webmaker.org/en-US/tools
- New Media Rights - http://www.newmediarights.org/
- Online Magna Carta - http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/mar/12/online-magna-carta-berners-lee-web 
- Open Access Publishing - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_access
- Open Congress (U.S.) - https://www.opencongress.org/
- Open Data Institute UK-Int'l - http://TheODI.org/about-us - http://TheGuardian.com/public-leaders-network/2013/oct/22/open-data-institute-summit-gavin-starks
- Open Data movement_Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Data
- Open Data Nation - http://www.opendatanation.com/ ("Smart Cities and Small Businesses")
- Open Data Research Network - http://opendataresearch.org/
- Open Data - World Bank - http://data.worldbank.org/
- OpenDemocracy - https://www.opendemocracy.net/about
- (TW) https://twitter.com/opendemocracy
- Open Government Initiative (US) - http://www.whitehouse.gov/open
- Open Government in Practice - https://openlibrary.org/books/OL24435672M/Open_Government
- Open Government Partnership - International - http://OpenGovPartnership.org
- Open Institute - http://openinstitute.com/
- Open Knowledge Foundation Lab - http://okfn.org/
- (Blog) PublicBodies.org - http://blog.okfn.org/2013/07/09/introducing-open-knowledge-foundation-labs/
- Open Rights Group - https://www.openrightsgroup.org/
- Open Science - http://opensciencefederation.com/
- Open Secrets/Center for Responsive Politics - http://www.opensecrets.org/
- Open Source @Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source
- Open Source Hardware (wiki) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_hardware
- Open Standards Principles (UK) - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/open-standards-principles/open-standards-principles
- Open State Foundation - http://www.openstate.eu/
- Open Technology Institute/New America Foundation - http://newamerica.org/oti/
- OpenGov Foundation - http://OpenGovFoundation.org
- OpenGov Hub - https://twitter.com/OpenGovHub
- OpenMedia International - https://openmedia.org/
- OpenNet Initiative - http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/research/opennet
- Peer 2 Peer-P2P Foundation - http://p2pfoundation.net/
- Personal Democracy Forum/Media - https://personaldemocracy.com/
- Civic Hall - http://civichall.org/
- Piwik analytics - http://piwik.org/
- Privacy Rights in the Digital Age (Published 2016)
- Project on Government Oversight - http://www.pogo.org/
- PublicAgenda - http://PublicAgenda.org
- Public Resource Org ("Making Government Information More Accessible") - https://public.resource.org/
- RDF Standards - http://W3.org/RDF
- Reform Government Surveillance - https://www.reformgovernmentsurveillance.com/
- Research Data Sharing without Barriers - https://RD-Alliance.org
- Reset the Net - https://www.resetthenet.org/
- SafeGov - http://www.safegov.org/
- Save the Internet (US) - http://www.savetheinternet.com/sti-home
- Schneier on Security - https://www.schneier.com/about.html
- Software Freedom Law Center - https://www.softwarefreedom.org/
- SpiderOak - https://spideroak.com/
- State Decoded - http://StateDecoded.com
- Sunlight Foundation - http://sunlightfoundation.com/
- (FB) https://www.facebook.com/sunlightfoundation
- (G+) https://plus.google.com/+sunlightfoundation/posts
- (TW) https://twitter.com/sunfoundation
- Measuring the Impact of Open Data
- The Constituent (US) - https://The-Constituent.com
- Thoughtworks - http://www.thoughtworks.com/
- UN/United Nations Promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism - https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/10/15/un-investigator-report-condemns-mass-surveillance/
- US Gov-EPA Databases - http://Water.EPA.gov/aboutow/owow/data.cfm
- VYPR VPN - http://www.goldenfrog.com/vyprvpn
- Web We Want (World Wide Web Foundation) - http://webfoundation.org/2013/12/announcing-the-web-we-want/ - https://webwewant.org/
- WebTAP / Web Transparency & Accountability Project (Princeton University) - https://webtap.princeton.edu/
- Jimmy Wales / Founder - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Wales
- Wikiversity - https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Wikiversity:Main_Page
- World Summit on the Information Society +10/ - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Summit_on_the_Information_Society
- Worldwide Web Consortium - http://www.w3.org/
- WWW Origins-Foundation, est. by World Wide Web founder Tim Berners-Lee, "devoted to all people having access to the Web"
- WebFoundation.org -- "The Web Belongs to All of Us"
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