Climate Adaptation

CLIMATE ADAPTATION

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


about.me - FAQs - Follow - Face - Ask - Donations - Climate Book Store


“ there is a false nostalgia for primitive agriculture, based on limited transportation and the arduous conversion of raw materials into comestible commodities. Rarely is it admitted, much less emphasized, that cheap, quick food — including its embodiment through our sometimes obnoxious agribusiness corporations — is the single most important advance in human history. ”

—    Writer Tyler Cowen on GMO food and the locavore movement.

Unimaginable horror as helicopter-borne poachers massacre 22 elephants before hacking off their tusks and genitals 

"In a scene of inconceivable horror, these slaughtered elephant carcasses show the barbaric lengths poachers will go to in their hunt for nature’s grim booty.

The bodies were among a herd of 22 animals massacred in a helicopter-borne attack by professionals who swooped over their quarry.”

The scene beneath the rotor blades would have been chilling - panicked mothers shielding their young, hair-raising screeches and a mad scramble through the blood-stained bush as bullets rained down from the sky.

When the shooting was over, all of the herd lay dead, one of the worst such killings in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo in living memory.

'It's been a long time since we've seen something like this,' said Dr Tshibasu Muamba, head of international cooperation for the Congolese state conservation agency, ICCN, as he surveyed the macarbre scene at Garamba National Park.”

via the Daily Mail

Urban growth, Uganda (1974-2008)

Check out the delta, the water is highly eutrophic.

Via Climate Nasa

Witness the death of American liberalism. Aging coastal states will be overwhelmed by conservative ideology very soon. Good luck America!

U.S. Teen Birthrates Are Down, But Still High in the Bible Belt

Teen birthrates are highest in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, and New Mexico, with slightly lower concentrations in the neighboring states of Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Arizona. New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts have the lowest rates of teen births.

What factors lie behind this geographic pattern? […]

Teenage births remain high in more religious states. The correlation between teenage birthrates and the percentage of adults who say they are “very religious” is considerable (.69). The 2009 study posited that attitudes toward contraception play a significant role, noting that “religious communities in the U.S. are more successful in discouraging the use of contraception among their teenagers than they are in discouraging sexual intercourse itself.”

Teen birthrates also hew closely to America’s political divide. They are substantially higher in conservative states that voted for McCain in 2008 (with a correlation of .65) and negatively correlated with states that voted for Obama (-.62).

Class plays a substantial role as well. Teen births are negatively associated with average state income (-.62), the share of the workforce in knowledge, professional, and creative class jobs (-.61), and especially with the share of adults who are college graduates (-.76). Conversely, teen birthrates are higher in more working class states (with a positive correlation of .58).

Read more at The Atlantic Cities.[Image: Centers for Disease Control]

(via theatlantic)

Overpopulation

These are excellent.

A Tetw reading list

The Worst Mistake in History by Jared DiamondCould civilisation itself be a crisis measure, a result of the overpopulation brought about by the unique success humanity? A fascinating perspective on progress.

The Behavioral Sink by Will Wiles (via Jared Keller) - What does a perfect world look like? A scientist builds a utopia for mice, and the results remind us that we should be careful what we wish for.

The Case Against Babies by Joy Williams - A strong argument for abstaining from  reproduction.

Planet of Weeds by David QuammenDecreasing biological diversity tends to favour adaptable invasive species, like us.

The Coming Storm by Don Belt (via Longform.org) - Bangladesh, the most crowded place on Earth, offers a sobering glimpse of out planet’s future.

"Is Environmentalism Failing?" Presented in a debate format, with heavy hitters arguing for and against the question. The audience is polled before and after the debate to see which side was more persuasive. 

The Sustainable Living Festival

The Sustainable Living Festival is an annual festival held since 1998 in Melbourne at Federation Square and Birrarung Marr along the Yarra River. 

The three-day program includes presentations by local government representatives, environmental and renewable energy groups, experts in climate science and solutions, workshops, demonstrations and discussions about sustainability, and art and music. Wiki

New Orleans’ population has declined 30% since hurricane Katrina. Homes left abandoned are being ‘taken back’ by nature. Snakes and pests are moving in closer to the city, too.

More at the NYTimes

"In 2009," Angus and Butler continue, "the U.S. military used 5.7 trillion gallons of oil, just under 16 million gallons a day. Its operations produced an estimated 73 million tons of greenhouse gases," making it the biggest polluter - and the largest petroleum gobbler - in the universe. In fact, in just four years, 2003-2007, the Iraq War resulted in 141 metric tons of CO2 emissions - the equivalent of 25 million cars. "Those who claim [that] slowing population growth," Angus and Butler write, "will stop or slow environmental destruction are ignoring these real and immediate threats to life ... Corporations and armies aren't polluting the world and destroying ecosystems because there are too many people, and they won't stop if the birth rate is reduced. If Afghan women have fewer babies, the US military won't stop firing shells made of depleted uranium into their villages. Nor will military bases in Afghanistan stop dumping toxic wastes into open burn pits."

Too Many People? Population, Immigration, and the Environment

“ Since 99 percent of all solid waste in the United States today comes from industrial processes, eliminating all household waste would have little impact on per se waste," they write. Similarly, the majority of greenhouse gas emissions "originate in industrial and commercial operations. Attributing these emissions to consumers is, to say the least, misleading. ”

—    

Commenting on the book, Too Many People? Population, Immigration, and the Environment, Eleanor Bader makes the point that environmentalists are ignorant of the actual impacts that their daily-environmentalisms have. Have a read, it’s worth your time.

I’ve argued these same points many many times on this tumblr - that the way to affect change is to get involved in government. Learn what the Federal Register is, find out how local permitting and development works, and write to your local representatives. These things have more tangible impacts on quality of environment than recycling, protesting, locavoring, and shopping green (all good things-ish, but they really make little to no difference in the world).

MIT: China's pollution costs $112B in annual health care

"China’s unprecedented growth is carrying a steadily steeper price tag as its air pollution hikes the nation’s health care costs, finds a new study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Although China has made substantial progress in reducing its air pollution, MIT researchers say its economic impact has jumped from $22 billion in 1975 to $112 billion in 2005. The costs result from both lost labor and the increased need for health care because ozone and particulates in air can cause respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

"The results clearly indicate that ozone and particulate matter have substantially impacted the Chinese economy over the past 30 years," Noelle Selin, an assistant MIT professor of engineering systems and atmospheric chemistry, said in announcing the findings that appear in the February edition of the journal Global Environmental Change.

The study, by researchers at the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, said pollution’s economic impact has grown, because population growth increased the number of people exposed to it and higher incomes raised the costs associated with lost productivity.”

Read the rest at USA Today