Heartbreaking and absolutely infuriating. Click through for article and video.
Posts tagged cities.
For the first time in human history, carbon dioxide levels reached an average daily level of 400 parts per million, as reported this week. The last time the atmosphere contained this much carbon dioxide was 3 million years ago.
This new data comes from the Mauna Loa observatory and a set of data continuously collected since 1958: The Keeling curve. This represents almost a 50% increase since the beginning of the industrial age. Although there is some seasonal variability (that little jagged edge) due to seasonal vegetation sucking up a bit of the CO2 every year, the trend is clear … and it’s not good.
So what does that mean? The effects are not something to look forward to. The last time the CO2 level was this high, way back when, here’s what the world was like:
Back then, it was a different world. Global average temperatures during the period were between 5.4 and 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit (3 to 4 degrees Celsius) higher than today, and sea level was as much as 131 feet (40 meters) higher in some places.
While the average (which is calculated from levels over the past several days) has since dropped back to 399 (as of today), the saddest part is that both of those numbers are unacceptable. 400 is just a little more catchy. With 401 and beyond right around the corner, what now? We must cut emissions as fast as humanly possible.
Because we are mighty humans, and it is possible.
We need to take care, because we all share this air. Read about the science of our CO2 contribution here. Watch this episode of It’s Okay To Be Smart to gain some hope maybe.
What do you think is the #1 thing we can do to change? What are YOU willing to do?
This milestone got some buzz this week. These articles don’t show the harsh reality that billions of people are going to buy cars, laptops, cell phones, homes with lightswitches, heat, and A/C, and all the luxury goods we westerners enjoy.
Countless tens of millions of miles of roads, power lines, fiber optic cable, drinking water and sewer pipes, gas pipelines, and other infrastructure are slated to be built for decades on end.
There is no way emissions will stop growing. Every projection shows this (see the preeminent IEA’s ‘Fact Sheets’ for some sobering stats).
The question is not, What are you willing to do? No, it’s Who is going to deny billions and billions of people in China, south Asia, Africa, India, South America, and eastern Europeans from accessing these goods and services in the coming years? Who’s going to stop growth?
A zoom in of Marcos Island, Florida, an upscale community on the Gulf Coast side of the state. The city is was built on marshy barrier islands and is susceptible to beach erosion and sea level rise. It’s surrounded by protected conservation land, marine protected coast land, and was, until today, restricted from rapid development and expansion. The Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, is set to reverse the trend by signing a slate of bills that would allow aggressive development in this and other protected areas around the Everglades. Over 20 environmental regulations and decades of environmental and land conservation battles are about to be destroyed at the stroke of a pen. But, if you’re a real estate developer, it sure is a pretty place to bulldoze…
Insurance companies shunning Florida over climate risk, report says - South Florida Business Journal ›
Insurance industry is leaving home and business owners (and cities) in the dust by pulling out of high-storm areas.
A new report by nonprofit environmental coalition Ceres says the insurance industry is shunning Florida markets because of increased storm activity, while insurers have done little to prepare for climate change.
The Ceres report is littered with references to insurers applying special conditions to Florida. Excerpts from the report:
• Several insurers describe screening out securities or real assets from coastal regions (particularly Florida) and arid regions with perceived water scarcity such as the Southwest. Particularly following the spate of destructive storm and drought activity in 2012, these investment screening practices should be noted by real asset owners and bond issuers.
• Already, divestiture from coastal counties and municipalities is a reality. This ranges from simple embargos like that adopted by Hudson Insurance Company (“We have determined not to buy State of Florida bonds,”) to more general policies.
• Torchmark Group said in its survey response, “In response to the potential for major catastrophe losses, the companies have not purchased investments such as Florida Windstorm bonds, Oil Casualty bonds, etc. We continuously monitor conditions in all sectors that are, or could be, affected by future climate developments.”
“Our climate is changing, the weather is becoming more intense…It’s going to cost a lot of money and a lot of lives…The big issue (is) how do we adapt…because it doesn’t look like the people who are in charge are going to do what it takes to really slow down this climate change, so we are going to have to adapt. And adapting is going to be very, very expensive.”
…in an airplane hangar filled with trucks, airplanes and helicopters used by the state to fight fires.
I’m very tempted to jump on a plane and go to this conference. It’s run by the UNISDR (United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction). It’s basically a conference where politicians, stakeholders, and leaders in DRR gather to discuss and share ideas.
The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is now the world’s foremost gathering of stakeholders committed to reducing disaster risk and building the resilience of communities and nations.
- A stronger and more sustainable ISDR movement world-wide that leads to increased responsibility for reinforcing resilience to disasters.
- A dynamic and trend-setting forum for decision makers, partners, experts and practitioners to announce initiatives, launch products, share information, promote campaigns, and provide evidence around disaster risk reduction.
- Directions and new alliances for the development and use of new tools and methodologies aimed at understanding and applying the economics and investment in disaster risk reduction.
- A forum to discuss progress and consult over a post-Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA).
- Events that follow-up and progress on the 2011 Global Platform (examples may include an update on disaster loss in schools and hospitals, accounting for disaster losses, the status of National Platforms, and progress of the Children’s Charter for Disaster Risk Reduction).
Cool project to revisit news stories that made a big splash back in the day. First up: a giant floating barge of garbage from 1987.
-Jody, BL Show-
Imagine revisiting a big scandal from the past in video form. That (seems) to be what Retro Report is all about. Fantastic! Want more!
A dog walks on cracked ground at the Las Canoas dam, some 59 km north of the capital Managua on April 26, 2013.. A large area of the dam has been dry since last February, as most of its water have been used by rice farmers for their crops, affecting around hundreds of peasants living in the area, according to local media.
[Credit : Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters]
Metro Phoenix sees first 100-degree day of year,The temperature hit 100 degrees at 1:15 p.m. today for the first time this year.
It’s going to be one heck of a year…
Great built environment news from the Middle East. They’re getting into disaster management (and a bit of climate adaptation). The conference was held last month in Aqaba, Jordan. And you can view and download a boatload of power point presentations by the speakers, here.
Not sure how long the resources will be online, so get them while they last!
The conference will provide a forum for Arab politicians, policy makers, planners, academia and development experts to discuss issues and challenges facing the region with regard to disaster risk reduction. This session is being co-organized by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and the League of Arab States (LAS).
For legal peeps - an interesting regulatory takings theory in play against Gov. Cuomo! Fun stuff.
Communities Work to Hold Back Storm-Swollen Waterways
A tiny, flood-prone community breathed easier after shoring up a makeshift levee holding back the rain-swollen Mississippi River. Other Midwest communities scrambled to fend off waterways that threatened to overflow as more storms marched through the region.
Volunteers hustled earlier this week to shore up weak spots in a levee hastily built last week to stop the Mississippi from overrunning the flood-weary hamlet of Clarksville. At times toiling in heavy rain, crews built a second wall of dirt and sandbags behind the original barrier and now calm has been restored. The Mississippi appeared to be receding, ever so slowly, from the community 70 miles north of St. Louis.
Annual spring floods. Short term approaches.
Interesting project in the Great Lakes. It provides climate adaptation related grants, training, and information for GL residents.
Freshwater Future developed the Great Lakes Community Climate Program to provide training and ongoing support to community groups and citizens to enable them to incorporate climate adaptation into their work.
The program includes three components: training on climate adaptation for community-based groups, a resource toolkit, and a grants program. Freshwater Future partnered with EcoAdapt to offer climate symposia in cities in the Great Lakes region and to develop a Great Lakes Climate Adaptation Toolkit for community use.