I disagree with the NC’s fear-mongering tone. But, I agree that shining a light on the very real problem of climate impacts on things like agricultural products that we enjoy, makes the issue of adaptation a bit more understandable. As I’ve argued many times on my tumblr, it’s fine to invest in alternatives to “stop global warming.” But those advocacy efforts shouldn’t distract people - especially decision makers - away from very real problems that need to be addressed right now. I’m unconvinced that transitioning away from oil consumption asap will have any mitigating effect on the problems such as the one presented below.
What won’t climate change affect? Well, cross trail mix and cherry pie off that ever-shrinking list. It turns out that crisp apples, chewy almonds, ripe plums and a host of other nuts and stone fruits might become much more costly to grow — or not grown at all in some spots — because of rising winter temperatures, according to a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS One.
The problem, say researchers: The trees that produce these goodies need a certain number of hours at cold temperatures — or “winter chill” — in order to blossom and produce maximally. And the author’s extensive climate change modeling shows achieving adequate winter chill will become increasingly more difficult in growing zones across the world, from South Africa to southern Australia to California’s Central Valley. (The U.S. fruit and nut industry generates about $93 billion in income annually.)
That could mean lower crop yields unless growers either take either costly measures to adapt to warmer winters or move their stocks northward — a forced migration that might not work in many cases, according to Nature Conservancy climate scientist Evan Girvetz, a co-author on the study. I asked Girvetz to serve up the nutty details (look out, pistachio lovers!) and to talk about how he as a climate scientists deals with depressing studies like this coming out nearly every week.
Andrew Revkin, environmental writer at the NYTimes, tweeted about me! I wrote a piece for GOOD.is on Obama’s Executive Order 13514, which establishes a sustainability program in the federal government. The order includes a requirement that all federal agencies establish a climate adaptation plan. Once those plans are up and running, they’re reported to the President. Really cool stuff.
Brian Smith, President of Coca-Cola Mexico talks about adapting Coke’s business to climate impacts. Smith seems sincere when he says that he didn’t understand what the climate impacts were for his company. Now Coke is finding those impacts to be an opportunity to run a cleaner business and save money. FOr e example, he wants his group to be water neutral, meaning he wants to find a way to replace all the water Coke-mx extracts. They’ve planted 23 million trees to create new water resources, and have another 10 million on deck for planting this year.
I’m reposting this in full because so many of the stories seem equally compelling. Please give a skim and consider adding Alternet to your RSS. It’s from the Reuters enviro network, and is pretty high quality.
Two sections stand out for me, Vietnam and Global (after the jump). I invest in Vietnam’s currency (called the Vietnamese Dong [yep]). Vietnam is developing very, very rapidly. Their coastal development is a concern with respect to sea level rise, but they have a lot of innovative engineers. In the Global section (at the end), there’s a fascinating piece that I bookmarked for tomorrow on adaptation and corruption. Can’t wait to dig into that one!
I do hope you take a few minutes to at least skim these stories. OK, it starts and ends at the quotation marks:
“Please take a look at this month’s top climate stories from AlertNet Climate, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s daily news website on the human impacts of climate change.
Urban Omnibus has created a list of 50 ideas for new cities, each idea has a related article such as the first “Combat climate change by adapting our existing building stock” which this article relates to this. The list is part of an online project from the Architectural League to create a new kind of conversation about design in New York City, but the ideas can also be applied to any city.
The list can be found here and an article explaining the list can be found here
Recall that BPA originally was used for an estrogen drug. Now it’s used to make plastic and line cans. As of 2010, Canada labeled it as a toxic substance, and the EU banned it in baby bottles. The FDA is reviewing BPA safety. Btw, Coke is concerned with adaptation, especially with respect to water resources, rare for a big company.
Coca-Cola shareholders are demanding the company disclose how it is addressing consumer concerns overa controversial chemical used in the epoxy linings of its beverage cans.
But the company is refusing to provide that information.
More than a quarter of the shareholders voted for the disclosure, as well as an outline for a plan to phase out the chemical, bisphenol A, from its products. Coke’s annual meeting was held Wednesday in Atlanta.
“While we are respectful of the proponents’ requests [for a written report], we believe the report requested would not have provided additional or useful information to our shareowners beyond what is already publicly available on our website,” said the company in a statement.
Coca-Cola’s website states that “reliable scientific evidence” shows that bisphenol A – or BPA – levels in can linings are safe. It says the only commercially viable systems for lining cans contain BPA.
Mark Hertsgaard and James Hansen: Adapting to Climate Change Now. NASA climate scientist and 350.org funder, James Hansen talks with Nation reporter Mark Hertsgaard about climate change. Hertsgaard writes about adaptation.
Starts slow, but gets interesting when Hansen disagrees with Hertsgaard.