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Reposted from mettle fatigue by rebel ga

Flora's Organics is the tiny one-woman organic seedling/plant/flower/veg/fruit nursery of VERY LOW INCOME kosak Mona Twocats-Romero, a Native American in the running at the WellsFargo Works Project small business $25,000 Contest. Please click on that link and then on the red rectangular button at the lower left side of her video at that page to vote for her organic business, help save bees and other natural pollinator species, and yeah, help save the planet.

This is a literal "Thing Global, Act Local chance for ALL OF US to make a difference:

Kosak mtwocats started Flora's Organics with the fall 2014 garden planting season, donating to community-garden-related non-profit organizations in Bakersfield a third of the plants she grew from seed to help them get a start, as well as selling to customers.
Your browser may not let you back to her page if you go to look at other businesses entered, so here's her contest entry page again.

Flora's Organics is so small that delivery of purchases is only throughout the Kern County CA Bakersfield-and-environs area, but customers who can drive from further away can arrange a meet-up to pick up their purchases. Here's Flora's Organics website and a July 2014 diary on her start-up. Here's the Flora's Organics listing in the Kos Katalogue GARDENING AND SUPPLIES section and this is mtwocats at Daily Kos.

Two clicks is all it takes to give Flora's Organics YOUR VOTE ... a vote to make a big banking industry heavy hitter help a hardworking low-income Native American woman instead of just the upper 1% for a change. Please put your political convictions into your clicks - it's not a lot to ask and it can keep her struggling little business, her sole income, from going under, and instead raise her up and an earth-friendly earth-saving business too. How often does an opportunity like that come along? Not a lot. Please help by clicking here and then on the red rectangle below left (of course!) at her video at the contest page.

Reposted from Scout Finch by New Minas
Pope Francis gestures as he leaves at the end of meeting with youths at the seafront during his pastoral visit in Naples March 21, 2015.   REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi - RTR4UB3L
Pope Francis on the verge of asking Catholics to step up together to fight climate change.
Science and religion don't always mix, but Pope Francis is expected to lay the groundwork for a massive campaign to fight climate change:
With that complicated history looming, Pope Francis, once a chemist, will soon issue an authoritative church document laying out the moral justification for fighting global warming, especially for the world’s poorest billions.

Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a Scripps Institution of Oceanography climate scientist, briefed the pope on climate change. He said scientists felt they were failing in getting the world to understand the moral hazard that man-made warming presents. Now, he said, scientists who don’t often turn to religion are looking forward to the pope’s statement.

The news comes on the heels of a study which reaffirms the link between conservative religious faith and climate change doubt:
The result, at the broadest level, was that Catholics and Protestants were generally less worried about climate change than those who are religiously unaffiliated (although Jews were more worried). Zooming in more closely, meanwhile, Arbuckle and Konisky found that it was evangelical Protestants who really stood out as being climate unconcerned. “Individuals that affiliate with an Evangelical Protestant church, all else equal, are less likely than both Mainline and Protestant churches to be worried about climate change,” they wrote.

And not just that — the study goes further and singles out the role of biblical fundamentalism. “These findings suggest that individuals in religious traditions that are more prone to teach biblical literalism are less likely to express high degrees of concern about the environment,” the authors write.

Once again, Pope Francis seems to be leading the Catholic Church in a new direction. We can only hope he will make the case to conservative Catholics, particularly in the United States, to start taking climate change more seriously and get aggressive on ways to combat it.

There is a new study out in Nature that's gotten some attention. According to the coverage, the study proves that not only will global warming stop, but the next decade is going to actually get cooler.

Sound wrong? Well, it is. Sou at "Hot Whopper" has a lengthy post that dives into the issue and debunks a Bob Tisdale post at WUWT. The Nature paper looks at the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, a medium-term trend in Atlantic Ocean temperatures, and comes to the conclusion that we can expect 0.5°C of cooling in the coming decades, at least according to the press release.

It's all rather complicated, but the controversy comes down to the fact that the paper uses linear detrending to come to its conclusion. As Sou details, there are a number of papers in the scientific literature explaining why that is not a proper way to separate natural variability from external forces (like pollution).

But if you are overwhelmed by Sou's post and the conversation around this study, you're in luck, because Michael Mann didn't mince words in his tweet about it. Mann points to studies from 2014 and 2015 that found the use of linear detrending of sea surface temperatures to define the AMO to be "fatally flawed."

Mann is undoubtedly someone who would know about the AMO, considering he's the one that coined the term.


Top Climate and Clean Energy Stories:

The fossil-fuel industry’s campaign to mislead the American people. The parallels between what the tobacco industry did and what the fossil fuel industry is doing now are striking.

Warming oceans could mean typhoons are 14% stronger by 2100, study says. Today, typhoon wind speeds are around 10% stronger than they were in the 1970s. A 10% rise translates to a 33% increase in destructiveness, the researchers say.

Shell sought to influence direction of Science Museum climate programme. “These emails reveal that the Science Museum is a significant cog in Shell’s propaganda machine,” said Chris Garrard, from the anti-oil sponsorship campaign group BP or not BP?

Google, Apple, Facebook against N.C.'s renewable mandate freeze. The companies operate data centers in three western counties. They wrote they don't want legislation to pass that would freeze current Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard levels.
The Arrogance of Jeb Bush. You simply cannot be a leader of the Republican Party without appearing to know less than a fifth grader about earth science.


Mon Jun 01, 2015 at 06:26 AM PDT

This is not good

by VL Baker

United States flags and smoke billowing from the chimney at the Marshall Steam Station.  Operating since 1965, this coal-fired power station has a 2,090-megawatt generating capacity and emitted 11.5 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2011.
There are no words. Obama opens thousands more acres of public land to coal mining.  

This is your land. It has been put in trust for protection so that there will (always?) be a pristine environment for all generations to escape to when we need to replenish our connection to nature.

There seems to be a cognitive dissonance in this administrations approach to climate change. What about the Earth is burning up due to fossil fuels do they not understand? It's a simple concept: When you realize that the burning of fossil fuels is responsible for making our planet unlivable for our species, you stop.

Especially, the American people don't deserve having to subsidize an industry that is clearly contributing to its ability to have a habitable planet.

David Roberts writing at Vox describes the frustration of the Obama Administration's 'all of the above' climate policy.

Yesterday, the US Bureau of Land Management released its regional management plan for the Buffalo Field Office in Wyoming, which oversees most of the Powder River Basin, where the bulk of Western coal is located.

Long story short: the government is going to lease lots more coal. Specifically, BLM "has estimated that it would issue 28 coal leases encompassing 106,400 acres with approximately 10.2 billion tons of coal."

According to a Greenpeace Report, burning those 10.2 billion tons of coal would produce 16.9 billion metric tons of CO2. Here's a graphic from that report, comparing the emissions represented by coal leases to the emissions reduced by Obama's Clean Power Plan:

The graph above shows clearly how nonsensical the move to open up for more coal drilling really is.

2016 is make or break for climate change. Our survival on a livable planet depends on realistic policy and actions to mitigate climate change. There is no other issue as crucial. We must choose climate champions in 2016 to lead us out of this death sentence for our planet.

Reposted from Sunday Train by Mokurai

The US Energy Information Administration released a story last week which sounded like good news: Nonpetroleum Share of Transportation Energy at Highest Level Since 1954. "Since 1954" means, since before I was born or, as hard as it is to wrap my brain around, a period spanning six decades.

So, surely this is good news? Well, if you have glanced at their accompanying chart, no, not so much. A more descriptive headline would be, "US transport continues to be addicted to petroleum as its primary energy source". And digging into the US EIA numbers reveals that the situation is even more grave than the chart to the right would make you think.

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Reposted from Climate Change SOS by VL Baker
The Guardian

British art collective Kennard Phillipps have reimagined the bucolic US artwork Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth to show how it would look after an oil spill, as part of a Greenpeace video campaign against Shell’s exploration of the Arctic

It breaks my heart to see this iconic Andrew Wyeth painting reflecting the damage that we have done to our world. I saw the original painting in the Wyeth Museum in Brandywine, PA and will never forget its power and beauty.

The original:

Christina's World    by Andrew Wyeth

Fri May 29, 2015 at 07:54 AM PDT

Whoa! Look at Alaska!

by VL Baker

Alaska sets new record for earliest day with temperatures in the 90s!

Temperature in Alaska on the afternoon of May 23, 2015, based on data from NOAA's Real-time Mesoscale
Unbelievable that Alaska would have its first day in the 90's before we do in my area in Florida.

From NOAA:

This temperature map of Alaska shows the unusual warmth on May 23, 2015, at 2 p.m. local time in Fairbanks.  Based on NOAA’s Real-time Mesoscale Analysis data, it shows air temperatures at 2 meters (6.6 feet) above the ground. Temperatures below 45° are shades of blue, and temperatures above 45° are shades of orange and red.


The 91° temperature at Eagle smashed that location’s all-time record for May. It was 30.1° hotter than the average daily high temperature in May (59.5°F), and 18.1° warmer than the average high temperature in July, Eagle’s warmest month of the year. So far this month, Eagle has set or tied ten daily high temperature records.

Alaska is now at high risk for wildfires due to heat and dryness.
The new record edged out the previous “earliest day in the 90s” record, set on May 24, 1960, when Fort Wainwright (near Fairbanks) had a high of 92°F and Circle Hot Springs (northwest of Eagle) had a high of 90°F. The high temperature at Eagle during that heatwave was 83°F.
We have arrived at extreme weather due to climate change a lot faster than was predicted.
Are we ready to make the necessary changes both in policy and in our own lives?

Chris Mooney at the Washington Post has a wonderful piece debunking a recent Forbes post by Heartland's increasingly irrelevant James Taylor. Unsurprisingly, Taylor tries to mislead readers by saying that polar ice has stopped shrinking and started growing back, so climate change isn't anything to worry about.

But in reality, there's been a 5.5% downtrend in sea ice area (the more accurate term) over the period in question, so Taylor's whole post is simply wrong. By using vague and unscientific terminology and by cherry-picking a short time period, he managed to write something that has been passed around the deniersphere as evidence that "all is well."

This is exactly the type of deception that we've seen before, so it's just another opportunity to point to the great .giffrom Skeptical Science showing the difference between the denier approach and an honest one.

As usual, we see that in the case of polar ice, those two approaches are polar opposites.


Top Climate and Clean Energy Stories:

Big energy has ‘privileged access' to top EU climate officials, claim campaigners. 94% of the EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete’s meetings have been with business lobbyists, mostly representing the heavy industry and fossil fuels sectors.

Flawed forecast from Ducey and climate change skeptics. Gov. Doug Ducey and the Legislature might want to rethink those $100 million in cuts to education and put some of that cash into a science class ... for themselves.

Oil lobby group recruited Canadian minister for secret strategy meeting. “This is a government minister giving political and communications advice to the industry he is supposed to be regulating,”

The national security threat that Republicans are ignoring. Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul have, at best, equivocated, saying climate change is probably real but maybe not anthropogenic. So, you know, nothing to be done. (In millennial-speak: ¯_(ツ )_/¯.)

The Death Toll From India’s Hellish Heat Wave Is Now More Than 1,800. Climate change has played a part in making heat waves in India more frequent and more severe, according to the country’s National Disaster Management Authority

Reposted from Lefty Coaster by Lefty Coaster

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists have taken the sobering step of moving their Doomsday Clock from 11:55 up to 11:57 the closest we've been to to global catastrophe since 1987 and the bad old days of Reagan's unrestrained arms race with the Soviet Union. Two reasons were cited by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists "catastrophic warming' and the US and Russia's programs to "modernize" their nuclear weapons arsenals.  

The Bulletin

"Unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity, and world leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe. These failures of political leadership endanger every person on Earth.” Despite some modestly positive developments in the climate change arena, current efforts are entirely insufficient to prevent a catastrophic warming of Earth. Meanwhile, the United States and Russia have embarked on massive programs to modernize their nuclear triads—thereby undermining existing nuclear weapons treaties. "The clock ticks now at just three minutes to midnight because international leaders are failing to perform their most important duty—ensuring and preserving the health and vitality of human civilization."

Another unmistakable sign our leaders need to start addressing these threats to our common survival with the urgency and gravity they deserve. A poll at the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists website shows that 68% of respondents think the clock should be even closer to midnight (shudder).

When Shell executives hire consultants to tell them how to deal with 4 degrees of temperature increase, and the Obama Administration tells Shell to go ahead and drill offshore in the arctic, our political and economic leaders continue to dismiss the long term consequences of their actions.    

NTSB Faults Shell's Risk-Taking in Arctic Oil Rig Wreck

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Reposted from DK GreenRoots by VL Baker
Our democracy reads like an open book. What you see is what you get. You follow the money you get your answers. That's the way fast tracking of the TPP went down in the Senate. The Guardian did the math and it's pretty simple; you grease the palm you get the vote.
Fast-tracking the TPP, meaning its passage through Congress without having its contents available for debate or amendments, was only possible after lots of corporate money exchanged hands with senators. The US Senate passed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) – the fast-tracking bill – by a 65-33 margin on 14 May. Last Thursday, the Senate voted 62-38 to bring the debate on TPA to a close.
Using data from the Federal Election Commission, this chart shows all donations that corporate members of the US Business Coalition for TPP made to US Senate campaigns between January and March 2015, when fast-tracking the TPP was being debated in the Senate:

    Out of the total $1,148,971 given, an average of $17,676.48 was donated to each of the 65 “yea” votes.
    The average Republican member received $19,673.28 from corporate TPP supporters.
    The average Democrat received $9,689.23 from those same donors.

The amounts given rise dramatically when looking at how much each senator running for re-election received.

Democracy 101. See, I told you it was easy.

Next action will be in the House. Let's see if making more noise will drown out the  money shuffling. Contact your congress critter ask them to reject fast tracking the TPP

Street Address of the Copenhagen Consensus Center: A Parcel Service in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Investigative journalist Graham Readfearn has a post on DeSmog that takes a critical look at Lomborg's oft-repeated claim that his Copenhagen Consensus Center works with seven Nobel laureates. Turns out that—unless Lomborg can speak to the dead—the number is inflated, because Robert Fogel died two years ago. Realistically, the number of laureates Lomborg actually works with is closer to two, and those two probably aren't so reliable.  

Let's take a look at the six laureates other than Fogel who Lomborg cites. One only participated in the Rethink HIV project back in 2010, and another hasn't worked with CCC since 2008. As for the "Post 2015 Consensus" (CCC's most recent project), there were only two Nobel laureates on its expert panel, suggesting that Lomborg can claim two current laureates at most.

And those two, smart as they may be, probably aren't the best positioned to talk about climate change. One's a senior fellow at the Koch-created and Koch-funded, free-market-idolizing Cato Institute, and the other is Thomas Schelling, who at 94 has maintained the same stance on climate (faith in the free market, no need for emissions reductions) since the late 1970s, despite the decades of new evidence since then.

So, it turns out Lomborg's Nobel laureate panel isn't quite as robust as he'd like you to believe, considering the seven experts he cites are either dead, no longer working with CCC, or blinded by their devotion to free market ideology.

Perhaps Bjorn's intentionally keeping the staff to a minimum, given the difficulty of holding meetings in the CCC's PO box-based headquarters.

Top Climate and Clean Energy Stories:

Memo to Jeb Bush: denying human-caused global warming is ignorant. The frontrunner for the Republican presidential ticket exhibited Stage 2 climate denial last week

Climate of change: The Catholic church's dance with science. From Galileo to genetics, the Roman Catholic Church has danced with science, sometimes in a high-tension tango but more often in a supportive waltz. Pope Francis is about to introduce a new twist: global warming.

El Niño, Climate Change Linked to Texas Storms. Scientists say ferocious storms that caused flooding in Texas and Oklahoma may just be the beginning of a very wet year

Can US meet its climate goals? New study says ‘Yes'. Ahead of global climate talks in December, a new study outlines how the US can meet its ambitious goals to cut back on carbon emissions.

Reposted from mettle fatigue by rebel ga

     This intro focuses on a specific California solar program, then below the fold is information on an extraordinarily comprehensive and up-to-date dot-org website (run by N.C. State Univ, funded by DOE) for finding state by state and by US territories (how often do they get remembered, right?), and "Federal"/nationally the incentives and assistance programs for energy, efficiency and renewables.  (And of course there's always energystar dot gov although that serves more the folks with discretionary income.)

      Myself, I was trying to learn if my dedicated-little-panel solar-powered attic-exhaust fan (because I couldn't find a cool-roof-paint business to paint my roof to decrease a.c. elec bills/footprint in this ruinously hot area) is rebate-able at all. First I shlepped hours through webpages of my local electricity company (PG&E) which I found "non-optimal" in clarity, under-updated, and as a result somewhat misleading.

      The California energy assistance program as listed at www dot benefits dot gov was informative but didn't help my tightly-specific situation, partly because I'm already receiving low-income discounts on my elec & gas bills, and Medical Baseline on elec as a Dr-certified severely disabled person).

      So, next, I spoke on the phone with lots of nice actual human beings with lots of information, such as at PG&E's 1-800-933-9555 "Smarter Energy Line" (found here - your own elec & gas companies may have similar info lines) but none of it applicable to me.  As in the past, I find there's a donut hole fall-into-able by low-income folks whose medical expenses zero out their tax liability so we can't benefit from tax-credit incentives and have to try to save up for one little conservationist or bill-saving improvement per decade or so because we don't have the income to be able to pay even low-rate loan interest for doing any "bundled" [PG&E's term] improvements that would qualify for rebates.

      Meanwhile, bestfren found and and sent me this SFGate link with state-wide applicability (even 'though, again, not me): Low Income Homeowners Get Free Solar Panels... where the key paragraph says

To qualify, applicants must live in a neighborhood designated as disadvantaged by the state [map at that link]. They must own their homes and make no more than 80 percent of their community’s median household income.
     I emailed it to friends, saying "According to the inter-active map of disadvantaged areas —hard to use, at least by me, but I managed finally to fine it down enough— it looks like you are in one of the shockingly many designated neighborhoods/areas, and you are certainly low income enough - those seem to be the 2 requirements.  (I don't qualify, my neighborhood is not disadvantaged according to the map.) It's a short article.  PLEASE GIVE IT A READ!!!! Maybe an answer to even atheist prayers" and one of them emailed back in under an hour, "It's got an online application form. I applied. Here's hoping!!"

      For programs in all states, territories, etc.,:

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