I want to punch climate change in the face. A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature. - FAQs - Follow - Face - Ask - Donations - Climate Book Store

Recent Tweets @climatecote

Asian Development Bank’s new climate infographic quantifies how south Asia economy will be hit by climate impacts.

I think the bank underestimates the hit to GDP. If a storm wipes out major infrastructure (think Japan’s Fukushima), the effects on economies and lives will last for decades.


This White-tailed Ptarmigan was spotted with her four chicks up at Logan Pass yesterday. She is part of a research study to determine changes in habitat location and breeding numbers.

White-tailed ptarmigans are well-adapted to high elevations and cool temperatures. Rising temperatures (3x the global average rise in temperature) at high elevations over the last century means change for this alpine specialist.

According to researcher David Benson, data from the ptarmigan study shows that “white-tailed ptarmigan in Glacier have changed distribution, altered habitat preferences, and perhaps on a local scale, experienced declining population numbers in late summer.” (ms)

What a beeeeautiful bird! Lives in Montana. Of course, endangered because humans.

The report claims the eruption could strand 10 million travelers.

Driving in Japan.

If Mogadishu occupies an ambiguous space in our minds and hearts, it is because ours is a land with an overwhelming majority of pastoralists, who are possessed of a deep urbophobia.

Maybe this is why most Somalis do not seem unduly perturbed by the fate of the capital: a city broken into segments, each of them ruthlessly controlled by an alliance of militias.

by Somali writer Nuruddin Farah (1988). I read this mind blowing quote while researching migration as a climate adaptation option for certain cities.

Urbaphobia" - the condition that cities are a threat to rural life. As a consequence, said cities will not obtain the support required for their long term existence.

I’m not sure of the cultural scale required for urbaphobia to supplant the viability of cities, but it is an interesting concept. Perhaps, for example, Detroit needed a certain level of support from the surrounding rural areas in order to survive. If true, which other cities are threatened by this phobia?

Massive toxic spill in British Columbia pollutes streams and lakes. The Mount Polley Mine mines copper and gold. These mines require massive amounts of toxic acids to “eat” the rocks that contain the copper and gold. The waste is “contained” in a big retention pond (in this case a huge lake). The ponds just sit there with no plans for clean up. Humans are banned from the ponds. Governments say they are safe (despite that ponds fail on average of 30%).

Millions of tons of harmful metals, soils, and wastewater spilled into pristine habitat. Canada’s response? Whooppsy! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Above images: NASA and CBC.

An earthen dam at Mount Polley Mine in British Columbia breached on August 4, 2014, sending contaminated water surging into nearby lakes. Wastewater and metal-laden sand spilled from a retention basin and triggered a water-use ban in Likely, British Columbia, and other nearby towns. Local authorities had lifted the ban as of August 12.

On August 5, nearly all of the wastewater in the retention basin had drained, exposing the silty bottom. Hazeltine Creek, normally about 1 meter (3 feet) wide, swelled to a width of 150 meters (490 feet) as a result of the spill. In the aftermath of the flood, a layer of brown sediment coated forests and stream valleys affected by the spill. Notice how much forest immediately north of the retention basin was leveled. Debris, mainly downed trees, are visible floating on Quesnel Lake.


Several excellent Canadian, environmental, and political tumblrs are covering the spill:

Asker chromac Asks:
Hi Michael, I was wondering if you've been following the recent events at Mount Polley. What's it all about and what's its significance? Thanks, Dom.
climateadaptation climateadaptation Said:

Hey chromac, I heard of the spill. Lucky it wasn’t near people or significant habitat. Still, pretty devastating. There’s some excellent coverage on tumblr here:  A quick skim of the headlines and it’s pretty clear the Canadian government’s response is in favor of the mine. Best, Michael


#streetart flower arrangement in Brussels

This is one of the two toughest arguments any active environmentalist will face in their career: Environmental protection violates my property rights." The other tough argument is: "Environmental protection will cost hundreds of jobs."

There are a ton of techniques to overcome these objections (going to law school doesn’t hurt, though it’s damned expensive). The best way is to work together. I know, I know, cats and dogs, democrats and republicans, heaven and hell. But you’d be surprised at how easy it is to work together so long as each side agrees to listen to one another.

There are two books I recommend that can help you functionally overcome these objections. Both of these books start by insisting you build a strong foundation of negotiation skills. The first is Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, the other is Overcoming Obstacles in Environmental Policymaking.They’ll also serve you well in other contexts.

Amazing (yes really!) to watch what happens when thunderstorms strike the world’s busiest airport, Atlanta-Hartsfield. The planes fly around the storm clouds to land safely. Must see.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
Please can you add animal cruelty tag to the Bull vs Condor post
climateadaptation climateadaptation Said: