Climate science researchers from Arizona State Univ. are launching a first-of-its-kind online “game” to better understand the sources of global warming gases. By engaging “citizen scientists,” the researchers hope to locate all the power plants around the world and quantify their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The game has officially begun and is housed on a website called “Ventus.” Ventus (the Latin word for wind) has a simple interface in which users enter basic information about the world’s power plants. By playing the game, people around the globe can help solve the climate change problem.
Phoenix Arizona’s pyramid of complexities looks shakier than most because it stands squarely in the crosshairs of climate change. The area, like much of the rest of the American Southwest, is already hot and dry; it’s getting ever hotter and drier, and is increasingly battered by powerful storms. Sandy and Katrina previewed how coastal cities can expect to fare as seas rise and storms strengthen.
Phoenix pulls back the curtain on the future of inland empires. If you want a taste of the brutal new climate to come, the place to look is where that climate is already harsh, and growing more so — the aptly named Valley of the Sun.
Journalists have to get with the program in this regard when they present a problem to the public. They should, in 2013 and going forward, equally invest exploring options and solutions to the same extent as they used to get the facts of the story. There are plenty of tools and techniques he could have discussed to respond to this problem. Why didn’t he present solutions? That article is 5,000 words long! 10x the length of regular reports!
I think you should demand that, going forward, half his words should be dedicated to exploring options. Not pushing them, but discussing them as a way of “informing the public of the facts.” You might be surprised by the response if you ask.
Did you know that you can shape how subsidies work? Did you know that you can submit your own draft legislation? Did you know that you can help change the permitting, building, and zoning laws in your town? Probably not. Yet those are the very solutions that this long-winded article leaves out.
Write to the author and demand he stop with the old school journalism and start empowering his readers with real tools to stop the harms he’s exposing. (He might respond with some lazy trope that he can’t dip into advocacy. He’s wrong. Exploring 5 or 10 solutions to a problem is providing factual information. Journalists know the difference. So, preempt this scaredy-cat reply by asking what’s the point of reporting any problem if it’s not subsuming a public action for change?).
The photo above showing a desert monsoon thunderstorm pushing off to the east of Catalina, Arizona was taken on the evening of August 5, 2012. A jagged cloud-to-groundlightning bolt dominates the scene while the gentle arc of a rainbow adds colorful accents. It’s not the shield of rain and dust that paint this rainbow bow in shades of red, orange and yellow but rather the fact that the bow formed close to sunset. Longer path lengths of sunlight when the Sun lies near or below the horizon are responsible for reddening sunsets and rainbows alike. Note that rainbows only occur opposite the Sun (antisolar point) — directly behind the camera.”
We have already experienced close to 1 degree Celsius of that increase, which accounts, at least in part, for last summer’s colossal fires and record-setting temperatures - and it’s now clear that we’re just getting started.
Billion dollar weather disasters, by NOAA. This takes a minute to grasp. See the green bar on the far far right? It shows the number of climate related events in 2011 that exceeded one billion dollars. So far, it shows 12 event at $200 billion dollars in damage - the highest number of events and most costs in history. Background:
To date, the United States set a record with 12 separate billion dollar weather/climate disasters in 2011, with an aggregate damage total of approximately $52 billion. This record year breaks the previous record of nine billion-dollar weather/climate disasters in one year, which occurred in 2008.
These twelve disasters alone resulted in the tragic loss of 646 lives, with the National Weather Service reporting over 1,000 deaths across all weather categories for the year.
Previously only 10 events were reported; the two new billion-dollar weather and climate events added to the 2011 total include:
The Texas, New Mexico, Arizona wildfires event, now exceeding $1 billion, had been previously accounted for in the larger Southern Plains drought and heatwave event. This is in line with how NOAA has traditionally accounted for large wildfire events as separate events.
The June 18-22 Midwest/Southeast Tornadoes and Severe Weather event, which just recently exceeded the $1 billion threshold
NOAA continues to collect and assess data regarding several other extreme events that occurred this year including the pre-Halloween winter storm that impacted the Northeast and the wind/flood damage from Tropical Storm Lee. Currently, these events are not over the $1B threshold using the available data.
A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.
I'm a climate change consultant specializing in climate adaptation, environmental law, and urban planning based in the U.S. In addition to traveling and hiking, I research, publish, and lecture on how cities can adapt to climate change.
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