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.


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Killing of Environmental Activists Rises Globally

Interesting that the investigators found that “authorities and security forces” (e.g., government) are complicit. I wonder how they found this information (or if they assumed it)?Anyone have this report? If so, can you kindly send it to me?

Growth for Growth's Sake Will Kill Us All?   

Thought provoking piece by Al Jazeera guest writer questions the limits of perpetual economic growth. What do you think?

Aggressive growth is impossible ecologically and implausible economically. We need economic strategies at the local, state and national levels that prioritize community benefit over corporate gain, and which presume a need for local resiliency instead of depending on uncontrolled growth. We also need to develop new strategies to democratize wealth in the face of extreme inequality.

Like the programs developed in “the state and local laboratories of democracy” that led to the New Deal, numerous experiments percolating across the country in the “new economy” — building cooperative and community-owned businesses, developing locally focused supply chains at a municipal and regional level, building new forms for public ownership of essential services like banking and power generation — may just point the way.

The end of growth poses a long-term systemic challenge, and such explorations suggest that a new direction may be quietly being explored in the midst of economic and ecological degradation. It is a direction that is likely to accelerate as economic and social pain of the decaying economic system continues to force Americans to explore solutions that take us beyond the tired nostrums of the past.”

Gar Alperovitz is a professor of political economy at the University of Maryland and a founder of the Democracy Collaborative. He is the author of “What Then Must We Do?: Straight Talk about the Next American Revolution.”

What is your personal opinion on The Nature Conservancy? Seems like an ideal environmental non-profit to work for.

A question by Anonymous

Hey Anon,

TNC has a great reputation. They have high-turn over though, so they act more as a stepping stone for experienced and mid-level environmental careerists (any readers at TNC? Is this perspective accurate??). I’m also not clear on how successful they are at meeting their mission or campaign goals - though I’m sure this information is readily available on their website.

Cheers,

Michael

Nestlé chairman warns against playing God over climate change

Good read, not for everyone though, since it’s from a multi-gabllionaire’s perspective.

Green groups may be more damaging than climate change deniers

It’s been more damaging than the right-wing denialism in terms of how much ground we’ve lost. Because it has steered us in directions that have yielded very poor results.

I think if we look at the track record of Kyoto, of the UN Clean Development Mechanism, the European Union’s emissions trading scheme – we now have close to a decade that we can measure these schemes against, and it’s disastrous.

Not only are emissions up, but you have no end of scams to point to, which gives fodder to the right. The right took on cap-and-trade by saying it’s going to bankrupt us, it’s handouts to corporations, and, by the way, it’s not going to work. And they were right on all counts. Not in the bankrupting part, but they were right that this was a massive corporate giveaway, and they were right that it wasn’t going to bring us anywhere near what scientists were saying we needed to do lower emissions.

So I think it’s a really important question why the green groups have been so unwilling to follow science to its logical conclusions.

Sober commentary from Naomi Klein.

“ Iceland’s 300+ glaciers losing 11 billion tons of ice a year. Several have already melted away, and many more will disappear in the next decade. ”

—    Above, one of Iceland’s longest bridges now stands over dry land. Via Daily Climate.
33 Resilient Cities Announced by The Rockefeller Foundation : The Rockefeller Foundation

Links to the rest of the cities, here. What’s surprised me most was Oakland, California(!) made the final cut. Also, Bill Clinton and Olosegun Obasanjo were on the panel. Bizarre stuff.

I’m VERY skeptical of National Wildlife Federation’s claim that these polar bears dug into the soil to cool down. NWF claims that these particular bears were over heated and needed to cool down their body temperatures. Cute, but I don’t believe it for a second! Here’s the description of these pics from the the NWF’s bleeding-heart blog post: 

Heartbreaking new photos of polar bears in Hudson Bay show just how real the climate situation is for the hungry and stressed bears, as news continues to break on their steep decline and worsening condition.

The heat-stressed polar bears were digging holes in the dirt, trying to stay cool by lying on the permafrost below. The photos were taken by Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. He just returned from the Hudson Bay in Canada, where he and scientists observed the polar bears. His polar bear photos are available for sharing (credit the National Wildlife Federation).

Wrong. This is exactly how polar bears sleep. They dig shallow holes to curl up in, hold their backs against the wind, and nap for about 8 hours.

Misleading blog posts like the above contribute to science illiteracy. The NWF should show 1) that these particular bears don’t normally sleep like this. After all, this is how polar bears sleep - explain why are these bears an exception. 2) Show the baseline data that these particular bears were in fact heat stressed. These guys look fat and healthy. 3) Show that these bears actually cooled off after their nap. In the least, show a correlation between heat stress and cooling off vis a vis digging a hole. And 4) show where and how the bears learned this behavior. After all, temperatures do swing in the Arctic. Polar bears are prepared for these normal swings.

I just see polar bears doing their normal sleepy time. And that these photos were taking from a helicopter on a long-lens, which tells me the bears weren’t actually baselined nor studied.

I’ve left a note for the blog post’s author to clarify and will post an update.

Creating and Expanding Funding Streams for Adaptation Planning and Implementation

Cities and communities are confronted with planning and implementing climate adaptation with very few resources available to help pay for the help they need. Adaptation funding is competing against already limited funding for schools, police, and libraries from scarce local resources. So, while adaptation is a responsible long-term investment for communities, it is usually very difficult to secure adequate funding for planning and implementation. During this webinar we will explore ways to use existing mandates for implementing adaptation, give an example of how adaptation is moving forward in the City of Cleveland, and provide a forum for discussion on challenges and creative ways to move adaptation forward.

This webinar is the first of the National Adaptation Webinar Series and is sponsored by EcoAdapt and Georgetown Law Center and hosted by CAKEx.org.
Agenda
This webinar will focus on identifying existing adaptation funding streams and using existing resources and mandates to implement adaptation. 
Webinar will take place from 1:00-2:00 PM EST 

1:00-1:15Lara Hansen. Ph.D.Chief Scientist and Executive Director, EcoAdapt, will discuss "The State of Adaptation in the United States". Download the presentation.
1:15-1:30Sara P. HoverterSenior Fellow (health & climate) and Adjunct Professor, Georgetown Law Center, will discuss federal opportunities and challenges to supporting state and local adaptation. Download the presentation.

1:30-1:45 Jenita McGowan, Chief of Sustainability, City of Cleveland will discuss the Cleveland Climate Action Plan and the challenges and plans for implementation. Download the presentation.

1:45-2:00 Open discussion and questions for panel members.
Excellent adaptation webinar from EcoAdapt and CAKEX.
The Year the Monarch Didn'€™t Appear

Related to Obama’s voracious support for ethanol. See my earlier post on how the president’s policies supporting ethanol fuel is devastating conservation land across the United States.

Report: Obama's ethanol policy has ravaged the environment | Al Jazeera America

Obama is no environmentalist. He’s helped increase fracking, expanded off-shore oil drilling, continues to stealthily approve parts the Keystone XL Pipeline, weakened endangered species protection, and will sign off on Alaska’s horrifying Pebble Mine gold mine.

Toxic Lakes From Tar-Sand Projects Planned for Alberta

One big concern surrounding end-pit lakes is that the contaminated water will spread through the boreal ecosystem, the tract of trees and marshland that stretches around the top of the world from Canada to Russia and Scandinavia. Boreal forests store almost twice as much carbon as tropical forests.