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Climate Change SOS Blogathon - Daily Report for Thursday, August 23rd

Welcome to Day 4 of the Climate Change SOS Blogathon. Today's highlights include a live chat with Rep. Henry Waxman beginning at 8 AM PDT and an hour long conversation at 2 PM with  Brian Kahn and colleagues Francesco Fiondella and Kevin Coffey from Columbia's International Research Institute for Climate and Society.

Yesterday's posts elegantly and succinctly touched on so many of the key climate change issues  -- the infuriating failure of politicians to address the most pressing problem of our era; the disproportionate impact of climate change on the poor; the prevalence of disinformation and the need for climate change education; the disruption to natural patterns of life which are entwined with our concept of home and self; climate as a "global commons problem;" the hope for a sustainable clean energy future; the fight against apathy, helplessness, to act before it is too late.

Let's hear from the authors.

Wild Hops (Humulus lupulus) and Raspberries in the Woods near Shchekino. Near village Shchekino, Klin Raion, Moscow Oblast. Photo by carlfbagge.

"Our identities, as families and communities, are tightly coupled to the uniqueness of the landscape and climate around us. Obviously, the context of loss that day on the sailboat was personal, for me and for my community of friends, but as we comforted each other and celebrated together, the salty arms of the Pacific Northwest enfolded and held us. As a scientist, a deeper layer of poignancy resonated with me. The capacity for personal loss does not stop at the door to your home, or your parent’s home, but rather continues out into the landscape of your life. This is the place to find traction in communicating about climate change. We are all connected to the landscapes, the food, the seasons and the iconic organisms of the places where we call home." From Raspberries, Salmon, Hops: Personal loss and climate change (Sarah Moffitt)

Climate Change SOS Blogathon: Breaking Romney's eerie silence on climate change (Bill McKibben)

I’m no apologist for Barack Obama—I led the largest civil disobedience action of his presidency (and the last 30 years) outside the WhIte House to protest tar sands oil. But Romney’s silence is simply unacceptable. We have to demand that he tell us what he thinks about an issue that will dominate everything from ag policy to foreign policy for decades to come.

So at the action fund we’ve set up a way to aggregate signatures from Americans asking for his opinion. We’ll deliver them to him as creatively as we can in a few days. Would you please sign on yourself, and then figure out how to share this with your friends?

And I’ll keep praying that Hurricane Isaac dies down in the Atlantic. If it hits Tampa during the GOP convention, I suppose it would help deliver the message—but an awful lot of other people would suffer along the way.

Climate Change SOS: Which Side Are You On(Franz Matzner)
The point here is that powerful individuals-- CEOs, legislators, politicians—all have a clear choice to make.  There is no insurmountable, magical hand forcing corporate CEOs, politicians, and business owners to keep polluting.  There are those who are choosing to secure a cleaner, healthier, safer future for our children, and those who are choosing to defend the status quo.  

It’s a matter of ethics, the stakes are incredibly high, and no one should shy away from holding those accountable who continue to inflict suffering instead of combating it.  And the question for our nation’s leaders is:  which side are you on?

Climate Change SOS: Where Was the Gas? (TheFatLadySings)

So how did one of the nation's top producers of natural gas come to be without gas in throes of a record-breaking Arctic freeze? This is a story familiar to many in the developing world.

Many Rio Arriba residents scraped by without fuel for heat or cooking. Some lost water as well as pipes either  froze or burst in unheated homes. Gas Company of New Mexico pegged the two coldest counties, Rio Arriba and Taos, as the last to be restored. Rio Arriba's closest neighbors, Los Alamos and Santa Fe counties, are the wealthiest in New Mexico. Los Alamos is home to a national laboratory and Santa Fe to the state legislature while Rio Arriba is the stomping grounds of Hispanics, Native Americans and gas wells. Could money and influence have had anything to do with Rio Arriba's predicament?

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math: CCSOS(Tom Athanasiou)
The situation in the US is now so serious, so certifiably insane, that we Americans can be forgiven a bit of strategic self-involvement. We have to do whatever it takes to turn the American supertanker, and if that means temporarily putting the really big problem of – oh, let’s call it international solidarity – aside, so be it. The movement is an ecosystem, and we don’t all have to do the same thing. But do note that we never quite get around to the “acting globally” part of the equation. And that, despite all, despite even mad dogs and Republicans, climate remains a global commons problem.

And that the “cooperative management” that’s needed to solve such a problem, as Elinor Ostrom explained in her 2009 Nobel lecture (delivered to commemorate her receipt of the economics prize) is only possible in the presence of “institutions that bring out the best in humans” by supporting “free communication,” “trust,” and “equitable outcomes.” [i] And this means taking a very serious whack at not just the problem of domestic transitional justice (what fee-and-dividend is all about) but global transitional justice as well.

Move Beyond Coal Now! The Global Anti-Coal Movement Is Here (Justin Guay)
The truth is there is an international movement brewing of communities across the globe that are standing up to the forced removals, economic hardships, and deadly pollution that accompany coal projects. Often, activists come from the poorest sections of society, with the most to lose from both industry reprisals and climate change.  But their heroic efforts have shown that the coal industry is also vulnerable; they have shown that a clean energy future is possible; and they have shown that we don't need to wait for governments to get on board. We can fight climate change right here, right now, by standing up to the fossil fuel industry and demanding clean energy. Now it's time to join them.
CCSOS:Take it from Yale: What we really need to communicate about climate change (Valkano for Citizen’s ClimateLobby)
The opportunity: Based on extensive research done by the Yale Project over the years, here are the five most important things that need to be communicated to the public about climate change:
1)    Climate change is happening
2)    We're causing it this time
3)    There are serious consequences to humans and nature
4)    Experts agree on the first 3 points
5)    There are lots of options to solve this problem and to make our lives better.
Among these, number four is perhaps the most critical. Leiserowitz characterizes this as a “gateway belief.” Those who understand that scientists are in agreement on climate change and its causes are likely to accept the first three points. Those who accept the first three points are likely to be concerned or alarmed about the situation and expect their government to do something about it. This is where that elusive phenomenon called political will kicks in, and we inch closer to the tipping point for pricing carbon.  
Karl Burkart: The Solutions to Climate Change are within our Grasp - CCSOS
The numbers game has changed. Solar and Wind power is now competitive with coal power in much of the United States, and the old thinking about the Grid not being able to handle intermittent sources of renewable power has proven to be overblown. Many believe the grid can currently handle a 1/3 renewable mix with no substantial grid upgrades, and using conventional grid technologies available today NREL estimates the U.S. grid could “easily handle” an 80% mix of renewable energy by mid-century .
Attacks on climate change education are attacks on our future (jrosenau)
Climate change poses an enormous global challenge. In order for future citizens to be able to make scientifically informed decisions about how to deal with the challenge, the science of climate change needs to be taught—accurately, thoroughly, and without compromise—in the classroom.
Time Is Wasting (John Crapper)
So here we are 33 years later.  I would like to say that I've been totally dedicating my life to energy issues and the environment but that has not been the case.  Like the ebb and flow of the tide, my participation and motivation level has risen and fallen over the years.  

Thirty-three years ago we didn't use the terms climate change and global warming.  They weren't really part of the common lexicon.  The world's population was 4,225,863,840.  It is now over 7 billion.  I had a lot more hope back then.  
I hope the time to seriously address climate change has finally come.  I am not overly optimistic.  But thanks to all of you involved with putting together this blogathon,  I now have "hope I can believe in".  

I can't do anything about the sand that has already passed through my hourglass.  I must deal with the present. I must take personal responsibility.  I must guard against my apathy.  I must try.   Because as Gooserock said: "Time is wasting!"

If you are a registered member on Daily Kos, you can also follow all postings by clicking this link for the Climate Change SOS Blogathon Group.  Then, click 'Follow' and that will make all postings show up in 'My Stream' of your Daily Kos page.

Climate Change SOS Blogathon - August 20-August 24, 2012
Diary Schedule - All Times Pacific

Announcing the blogathon, Climate Change SOS Blogathon: Romney's Illiteracy & Election Vulnerability was posted on Sunday, August 19th by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse.

The diary has bios of our special guests, including lawmakers, scientists and activists.

The blogathon is being organized by Bill McKibben, boatsie, and Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse.

8:00 am: Climate Change SOS Wednesday : What did you do once you knew? by boatsie.
8:00 am: Climate Change SOS Blogathon: Breaking Romney's eerie silence on climate change by Bill McKibben.
10:00 am: CCSOS: Take it from Yale: What we really need to communicate about climate change by Valkano.
10:00 am: Move Beyond Coal Now! The Global Anti-Coal Movement Is Here by Jguay (with Nichole Ghio).
10:00 am: Attacks on climate change education are attacks on our future by Joshua Rosenau.
11:00 am: Climate Change SOS: Which Side Are You On by Franz Matzner.
3:00 pm: Karl Burkart: The Solutions to Climate Change are within our Grasp - CCSOS by Karl Burkhart.
4:00 pm: Raspberries, Salmon, Hops: Personal loss and climate change by Sarah Moffitt.
5:00 pm: "Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math:" CSOS by Tom Athanasiou.
6:00 pm: Climate Change SOS: Where Was the Gas? by TheFatLadySings.

  • Tuesday, August 21

8:00 am: Climate Change SOS Daily Report by boatsie.
10:00 am: Climate Change SOS: We Really Can't Afford to Wait by JanF.
11:00 am: Climate Change SOS...Solutions for a way forward by beach babe in fl.
12:00 pm: We are not just berries and fish by Jeff Mears.
1:00 pm: A Tiny Island in a Sea of Change by jessc.
2:00 pm: Climate Change SOS: Cities Key To Low Carbon Future by Peter Erickson.
3:00 pm: Breaking Up With Polluters To Save The Climate: CCSOS by bdemelle.
4:00 pm: Climate Change SOS: Soil is the Solution, or the most important environmental story I'll ever write by citisven.
5:00 pm: Climate Change SOS...It'™s time we face the truth by Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop.
6:00 pm: Climate Change SOS: Five Recent Hits From The Climate Letter Project by WarrenS.

  • Monday, August 20

5:00 am: Climate Change SOS Blogathon: Could better analysis save humanity? by A Siegel.
8:00 am: Climate Change SOS Daily Report by boatsie.
9:00 am: Alarm bells on climate change as extreme weather events sweep the world: CCSOS by Martin Khor.
10:00 am: Climate Challenge: Two Questions For Mitt Romney by danieljkessler.
12:00 pm: Climate Change SOS Blogathon: Visions of the Future? by John Abraham.
1:00 pm: Why Climate Literacy Matters by Mark McCaffrey.
2:00 pm: Climate Change SOS: Are Americans Waking Up? by Jill Richardson.
4:00 pm: Ignore climate Cassandra at our peril by Mike Mann.
5:00 pm: Building Resilience in a Changing Climate: CCSOS by Richard Heinberg.
6:00 pm: Climate change just isn't Santa anymore. by rb137.

Please remember to republish these diaries to your Daily Kos Groups.  You can also follow all postings by clicking this link for the Climate Change SOS Blogathon Group.  Then, click 'Follow' and that will make all postings show up in 'My Stream' of your Daily Kos page.

Climate Action!

If you happen to wander over to Mitt Romney’s website, try to decipher his policy positions on climate change.  But don’t look too long; climate change isn't even mentioned once.

The stakes are too high to play politics with our lives.  Please sign our petition that asks Mr. Romney two simple questions:

  • Do you disagree with the scientific consensus that humans are warming the planet?
  • If not, what do you plan to do to solve the climate crisis if you are elected President?

When enough people ask, will deliver this petition to Romney campaign headquarters to see if he's ready to answer.

Please stay tuned for our follow-up report!

Originally posted to Climate Change SOS on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 07:25 AM PDT.

Also republished by Pink Clubhouse and J Town.

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