Welcome to Day 1 of Daily Kos' weeklong blogathon "Forward on Climate" in the lead up to a huge Sunday, February 17th rally in Washington, D.C. cosponsored by Bill McKibben of 350.org, the Sierra Club and the Hip Hop Caucus.
Today's Top Climate Stories
Climate change impacts absent from FEMA's redrawn NYC flood maps
When the federal government released updated flood maps for the New York City region recently, residents were shocked to find that the number of houses and businesses in the region's flood zone had doubled since the maps were last revised, in 1986.
But it now appears that those maps might have underestimated the extent of New York's flood risk, because they don't factor in the effects of future climate change. Scientists say that by the 2080s, sea levels off the city's coast could rise by as much as 5 feet from melting glaciers, making storm surges more severe and causing floods much further inland than the new maps indicate.
CALGARY, Canada — Crude from Alberta's oil sands sells at a 30 percent discount to its U.S. counterpart. TransCanada Corp. Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling plans to narrow that gap whether or not his Keystone XL pipeline to the Gulf of Mexico wins approval from the Obama administration.A Presidential Decision That Could Change the World
Canada's second-largest pipeline company proposes to pipe oil 3,000 miles across Canada to the Atlantic Coast, allowing producers to pick it up there and send it by tanker to the Gulf, Girling said in an interview. He expects U.S. passage of Keystone "very soon," but the East Coast route makes sense in any event because of rising production from Alberta, Girling said.
Presidential decisions often turn out to be far less significant than imagined, but every now and then what a president decides actually determines how the world turns. Such is the case with the Keystone XL pipeline, which, if built, is slated to bring some of the “dirtiest,” carbon-rich oil on the planet from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. In the near future, President Obama is expected to give its construction a definitive thumbs up or thumbs down, and the decision he makes could prove far more important than anyone imagines. It could determine the fate of the Canadian tar-sands industry and, with it, the future well-being of the planet. If that sounds overly dramatic, let me explainSandy survivors also recognize the importance of taking action to stop the XL pipeline:
A day before President Obama’s State of the Union Address, survivors of Superstorm Sandy and climate activists will gather at the White House to deliver 280,000 signatures urging President Obama to lay out a plan to tackle climate change. The survivors will speak briefly about their experiences and read from an open letter to the president, calling on him to take bold action, starting with rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline permit.Climatic changes may affect avian population
Birds may have to be physically moved to sustainable areas’
A new ornithological study carried out jointly by Durham University (United Kingdom) and BirdLife International on Asian avian populace warns that climatic changes are threatening the balance of the protected sites and “in extreme cases, birds may have to be physically moved to climatically sustainable areas for survival”.
The research published in the journal of Global Change Biology, while examining the conversation sites and Important Bird Areas (IBAs) for 370 Asian birds, expressed concern over the biodiversity hotspots of eastern Himalaya and lower Mekong River basin regions.
Van Jones is an activist and leader on human rights and a clean-energy economy. He is President and Co-Founder of Rebuild the Dream and a frequent and favored speaker at Netroots Nation.
Shaye Wolf, Climate Science Director at the Center for Biological Diversity, writes about how record heat
"warped train tracks, melted the tarmac at Reagan National Airport and smashed thousands of daily temperature records across America:"As his second term begins, the president has a clear opportunity to revolutionize his whole approach to fighting human-made climate change. And 2012 couldn’t have made a more powerful case for urgent action against the greenhouse gas pollution creating this problem.
It wasn’t just the heat: 2012 also bedeviled us with chaotic weather. Climate change, research shows, is driving up the risk of extreme weather such as this summer’s devastating drought, which affected more than half the country, and adding destructive power to storms like Hurricane Sandy.
As a scientist, I’m deeply concerned that 2012’s blazing temperatures are just a taste of what lies ahead.
Forward On Climate" Blogathon - Green For All Press Teleconference
Green For All Press Teleconference
on Communities of Color & Climate Change
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 11:00 am EST
With President Obama’s inaugural speech renewing America’s commitment to combating climate change and the expectation that the President will reveal more details about his plans on the issue in the State of the Union this Tuesday, Green for All is hosting a press teleconference to highlight why communities of color should care about climate change and what they can do to take action.
The press teleconference will feature Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Green for All CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, MSNBC political analyst and Politic365 Executive Editor Jeff Johnson, Superstorm Sandy survivor and environmental activist Tanya Fields, and African-American solar panel manufacturer Mark Davis. Q&A session with participants to immediately follow.
To receive call-in information, please RSVP via email firstname.lastname@example.org to Alyssa Cocchi.
Green For All is a national organization dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans through a clean energy economy. The organization works in collaboration with the business, government, labor, and grassroots communities to create and implement programs that increase quality jobs and opportunities in green industry – all while holding the most vulnerable people at the center of its agenda. For more information, please visit www.greenforall.org.