I’m going to do all this reading and research anyway… might as well share what I learn!
NEWS
+
VIEWS
June 15 2019

carbon offsets, attacking climate science instead of climate change, fighting fire with fire, surf’s up

ProPublica has an in-depth report about carbon offsets from forest conservation. The article describes how even one of the best programs in the world was running into practical, political and scientific obstacles that won’t be fixed with funding alone. This produces very poor results for those (like me) who try to offset carbon emissions (particularly for travel) by buying forest-based offsets. A UC Berkeley researcher says “we’re deluding ourselves if we think these forestry programs will be able to accurately quantify — and therefore, cancel out — the amount of pollution claimed in an offset.” I will continue to buy offsets, as I am convinced it will encourage (albeit imperfectly) conservation and restoration that will contribute to climate goals.

A New York Times op-ed notes that despite denial of climate science in the Republican party, the message of clean energy is growing more and more popular in Republican-controlled states like South Carolina. WFPL News reports on researchers charting a course for a low-carbon economy for Kentucky. Dave Roberts explains why natural gas is not a “bridge fuel” or a “middle ground” if we are to achieve even modest climate targets. An article in the Atlantic notes that Joe Biden has now released an ambitious climate plan, as have many other Democratic candidates. Biden’s plan has much in common with the Green New Deal, and Vox reviews how important the climate issue has become to democratic voters…

read more
May 31 2019

a low carbon diet, earthworms impact climate, a political tipping point for climate, don’t be the laughingstock of the galaxy

What we eat is a big part of our climate footprint, especially in California with relatively low-carbon electricity. The New York Times has a superb analysis of the climate impact of various dietary choices (based in part on a recent study in Science) that concludes: (1) some foods (beef, lamb, cheese) have a bigger impact than others (pork, chicken and eggs), with plant-based foods typically having the lowest impact; (2) what you eat matters a lot more than whether it’s local or organic; (3) even small shifts, like eating less meat and more plants, or switching from beef to chicken, can reduce your climate footprint, and; (4) food waste is a significant part of our carbon footprint. Interestingly, the scientific study noted that the carbon footprint of producers of particular foods can vary by a factor of 50, suggesting there are important opportunities for individual producers to reduce the carbon footprint of their products (a key argument for a carbon tax).

A report by the Associated Press describes recent flooding in Houston, which is becoming a common occurrence. The Guardian reviews the link between climate change and hurricanes, noting that the intensity of hurricanes (not necessarily their frequency) is expected to increase as the world warms. InsideClimate News reports on a recent study that concludes it would be prudent to plan for 6.5 feet of sea level rise by 2100, over twice what was previously suggested by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The difference is due to a developing understanding about ice sheet dynamics…

read more

IN BRIEF: PAST
CLIMATE NEWS

MORE MY TAKES
 

NEWS
+
VIEWS
I’m going to do all this reading and research anyway… might as well share what I learn!
June 15 2019

carbon offsets, attacking climate science instead of climate change, fighting fire with fire, surf’s up

ProPublica has an in-depth report about carbon offsets from forest conservation. The article describes how even one of the best programs in the world was running into practical, political and scientific obstacles that won’t be fixed with funding alone. This produces very poor results for those (like me) who try to offset carbon emissions (particularly for travel) by buying forest-based offsets. A UC Berkeley researcher says “we’re deluding ourselves if we think these forestry programs will be able to accurately quantify — and therefore, cancel out — the amount of pollution claimed in an offset.” I will continue to buy offsets, as I am convinced it will encourage (albeit imperfectly) conservation and restoration that will contribute to climate goals.

A New York Times op-ed notes that despite denial of climate science in the Republican party, the message of clean energy is growing more and more popular in Republican-controlled states like South Carolina. WFPL News reports on researchers charting a course for a low-carbon economy for Kentucky. Dave Roberts explains why natural gas is not a “bridge fuel” or a “middle ground” if we are to achieve even modest climate targets. An article in the Atlantic notes that Joe Biden has now released an ambitious climate plan, as have many other Democratic candidates. Biden’s plan has much in common with the Green New Deal, and Vox reviews how important the climate issue has become to democratic voters…

read more
May 31 2019

a low carbon diet, earthworms impact climate, a political tipping point for climate, don’t be the laughingstock of the galaxy

What we eat is a big part of our climate footprint, especially in California with relatively low-carbon electricity. The New York Times has a superb analysis of the climate impact of various dietary choices (based in part on a recent study in Science) that concludes: (1) some foods (beef, lamb, cheese) have a bigger impact than others (pork, chicken and eggs), with plant-based foods typically having the lowest impact; (2) what you eat matters a lot more than whether it’s local or organic; (3) even small shifts, like eating less meat and more plants, or switching from beef to chicken, can reduce your climate footprint, and; (4) food waste is a significant part of our carbon footprint. Interestingly, the scientific study noted that the carbon footprint of producers of particular foods can vary by a factor of 50, suggesting there are important opportunities for individual producers to reduce the carbon footprint of their products (a key argument for a carbon tax).

A report by the Associated Press describes recent flooding in Houston, which is becoming a common occurrence. The Guardian reviews the link between climate change and hurricanes, noting that the intensity of hurricanes (not necessarily their frequency) is expected to increase as the world warms. InsideClimate News reports on a recent study that concludes it would be prudent to plan for 6.5 feet of sea level rise by 2100, over twice what was previously suggested by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The difference is due to a developing understanding about ice sheet dynamics…

read more

IN BRIEF: PAST
CLIMATE NEWS

MORE MY TAKES