CLIMATE ADAPTATION

I want to punch climate change in the face. A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.


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Millions (and millions) of mayflies hatched in Wisconsin and Minnesota caught on radar. Via BoingBoing

There are good reasons for any species to think darkly of its own extinction. Ninety-nine percent of the species that have lived on Earth have gone extinct, including more than five tool-using hominids. A quick glance at the fossil record could frighten you into thinking that Earth is growing more dangerous with time. If you carve the planet’s history into nine ages, each spanning five hundred million years, only in the ninth do you find mass extinctions, events that kill off more than two thirds of all species.

But this is deceptive. Earth has always had her hazards; it’s just that for us to see them, she had to fill her fossil beds with variety, so that we could detect discontinuities across time. The tree of life had to fill out before it could be pruned.

Ross Andersen’s paradoxically gloomy yet intellectually pleasing piece, “Humanity’s deep future.

webofgoodnews:

This Pop-Up Solar Power Station Can Be Installed Instantly Anywhere In The World

At the push of a button, this shipping container instantly transforms into a pop-up solar power station: Hidden solar panels slide out of drawers on each side and immediately start generating energy wherever they’re needed, whether for disaster relief or in a remote village far off the grid.

—If that’s not good enough for you, then there’s also this:

The first model, released this month, includes onboard atmospheric water generators that pull water from the air. “We’re able to provide water without a water source,” says McGuire.

Read more

Interesting. I work in international development, and I can’t see who’d pay for these. Taxpayers? 

It seems the media loves them more than the markets. Diesel and gas generators are way waayyy cheaper. They’re produce more energy for more people in more places. They’re more accessible, easily repairable and replaceable, and are a more efficient response mechanism than a battery (solar panels charge a battery, then the battery is plugged into power station or some other distribution hub). In fact, many states already have long-term contracts with utilities to use the more reliable and time tested fossil fuel generator.

Utility power companies should consider using temporary power plants (coupled diesel or gas generators coupled, electric transformers with built-in power substation, fuel tanks and other power accessories) when no other possible alternative source of power generation, such as diesel-powered generators, is available to supplement the electricity shortfall during repairs and maintenance.

These plants can, for example, use a 100 MW rental power plant for six months to avoid power interruptions and continuously supply electricity to critical areas such as airports, data centers or hospitals… See here.

The fact that they’re dirty and pollutive does not trump their utility or world-wide acceptance.

I’d also point out that, as sexy as these units are, solar rental systems already exist. They’re used in the field by temporary construction crews, and possibly by disaster response teams (it’s unclear from their website), but their utility, availability, deployment times, maintenance and other costs are still unproven.

Finally, who is responsible for disposing the batteries?

(via fastcompany)

Asker Anonymous Asks:
Hello, I really need help in making a decision I was accepted to two universities GMU and AU for there environmental science programs I want to concentrate in policy, which one should I choose??
climateadaptation climateadaptation Said:

Choose the one with the researcher you most want to work with…

DeSmogBlog is quite biased, but the article is worth checking out. Obama is typically portrayed by lefty and enviro-media as an effective leader with respect to climate change actions. I have on a number of occasions posted on the administrations adaptation and resilience plans and actions.

But, what’s under the radar - what media is ignoring - is that Obama directed his administration to implement very aggressive oil and gas drilling plans formulated under Bush and the oil industry. For example, just last week, Obama opened up the Atlantic coast for offshore drilling.

The Obama administration is reopening the Eastern Seaboard to offshore oil and gas exploration, approving seismic surveys using sonic cannons that can pinpoint energy deposits deep beneath the ocean floor. Via AP

Thus, environmental blogs are missing one half of the story. Check it out…

The loss of human culture is frightening. Nearly all the threatened languages are spoken by indigenous peoples and, along with the languages, the traditional knowledge of these cultures is being forgotten. The names, uses, and preparation of medicines, the methods of farming, fishing and hunting are disappearing, not to mention the vast array of spiritual and religious beliefs and practices which are as diverse and numerous as the languages themselves.
According to a report by researchers Jonathan Loh at the Zoological Society of London and David Harmon, the steep declines in both languages and nature mirror each other. One in four of the world’s 7,000 languages are now threatened with extinction, and linguistic diversity is declining as fast as biodiversity – about 30% since 1970.

I wonder - can recording and storing a lost language conserve a culture? How?

Canada. Now.

sdzoo:

Even Galapagos tortoises enjoy watermelon in the summer. Watch the full video.

Pretty harsh article on Miami’s situation with sea level rise. Miami actually has a lot of control over its own population growth and zoning laws. Mayor Stoddard may be right about his state’s politicians, but he’s just as culpable by allowing rapid development.

Will this make a difference?

That escalated quickly.

Climate change poses a direct threat to the infrastructure of America that we need to stay competitive in this 21st-century economy. That means that we should see this as an opportunity to do what we should be doing anyway, and that’s modernizing our infrastructure, modernizing our roads, modernizing our bridges, power grids, our transit systems, and making sure that they’re more resilient. That’s going to be good for commerce and it’s obviously going to be good for communities.
–– President Obama, delivering remarks at the Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience Meeting, July 16, 2014

dendroica:

A double rainbow lights up spectacular scenery in Kirkjufell, Iceland. Picture: Peter Rolf Hammer/HotSpot Media (via Pictures of the day: 4 June 2014 - Telegraph)