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2013 SkS Weekly News Roundup #22A

Posted on 29 May 2013 by John Hartz

  • A fossil fuel-free New York State by 2050
  • Biocide: a Memorial Day for planet Earth
  • China's emissions peak hard to predict
  • Climate change and least developed countries
  • Climate change is real, so do something about it
  • Forestry programmes bogged down in Latin America
  • Geoengineering: our last hope, or a false promise?
  • Green groups attack UK resistance to EU climate goals
  • Humans caused climate change, study shows
  • UK emissions must be halved by 2030
  • Uncertainty is no excuse for procrastinating on climate change
  • What about the heat-island effect?

A fossil fuel-free New York State by 2050

An in-depth look at Stanford and Cornell's 100 percent alternative energy road map for New York state.

A fossil fuel-free New York State by 2050 by Bruce Melton, Truthout News Analysis, May 26, 2013

Biocide: a Memorial Day for planet Earth

Memorial Day weekend is a time to reflect on loved ones lost, and also an opportunity for many to get outside to enjoy God's green earth. Yet our consumption-driven lifestyles, and our continued burning of fossil fuels in stupendous quantities (even George W. Bush declared that our nation is "addicted" to oil), make it less and less likely our earth will remain green for future generations. For our children and their children, Memorial Day weekend may become a time to reflect on another loved one lost: Mother Earth. 

Biocide: A Memorial Day for Planet Earth by William Astore, The Huffington Post, May 24, 2013

China's emissions peak hard to predict

Many variables will factor into when China's greenhouse gas emissions will peak, and the issue requires more in-depth analysis, Zhou Dadi, vice-chairman of the National Energy Advisory Committee, told China Daily on Friday. 

Recent media reports said China's greenhouse gas emissions might peak before 2025.

The Chinese government has always attached great importance to climate change issues and has actively responded, said Zhou, who is also a professor at the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Emissions peak hard to predict,expert says by Wu Wencong,China Daily, May 27, 2013

Climate change and least developed countries

As this example shows, the needs of Least Developed Countries have traditionally not been addressed in the present-day climate negotiations. Successful market instruments, such as the Clean Development Mechanism have primarily benefited emerging economies, in particular China, which currently holds 61% of all Certified Emissions Reductions. This puts the LDCs in a tricky situation: On the one hand they argue for a global agreement and limiting of global temperature rise to a maximum of 1.5°C. On the other hand, they lack the means to foster a strong negotiation position.

Climate Change and Least Developed Countries: A Himalayan Perspective by Olivia Gippner, e-Interntaional Relations, May 26, 2013

Climate change is real, so do something about it

With a new study showing 97 percent of scientific papers on climate change since 1991 agree that fossil fuels are largely responsible, the doubters need to stand aside so public-policy initiatives to protect the Earth can proceed.

Climate change is real, so do something about it, Editorial Board, Philadelphia Inquirer, May 26, 2013

Forestry programmes bogged down in Latin America

Issues related to the ownership of forest carbon and to prior consultation mechanisms threaten to derail plans for the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation of Forests (REDD+) in some countries of Latin America, according to experts.

The problems are hindering the design of Mexico’s plan in the framework of the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD). In Panama, they have prompted the country’s indigenous peoples to withdraw from the programme.

Forestry programmes bogged down in Latin America by Emilio Godoy, Inter Press Service (IPS), May 25, 2013 

Geoengineering: our last hope, or a false promise?

Geoengineering — the deliberate, large-scale intervention in the climate system to counter global warming or offset some of its effects — may enable humanity to mobilize its technological power to seize control of the planet’s climate system, and regulate it in perpetuity.

But is it wise to try to play God with the climate? For all its allure, a geoengineered Plan B may lead us into an impossible morass.

Geoengineering: Our Last Hope, or a False Promise? Op-ed by Clive Hamilton, International Herald Tribune, May 26, 2013 

Green groups attack UK resistance to EU climate goals

Green campaigners and industry experts have hit out at the government's plans to block new EU-wide renewable energy targets, which they say are essential to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and creating a green economy.

Green groups attack government resistance to EU climate change goals by Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, May 26, 2013

Humans caused climate change, study shows

A new study has proven the obvious (okay, maybe the accepted) fact that humans are responsible for the climate change.

Published in the journal “Environmental Research Letters,” the new study surveyed thousands of peer-reviewed scientific papers to find that 97.1 percent of them agreed that climate change is caused by human activity.

Humans Caused Climate Change, Study Shows by Susmita Baral, Greener Ideal, May 25, 2013

UK emissions must be halved by 2030

Europe should commit to a tough new target to halve emissions by 2030, Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has said.

The Lib Dem Cabinet minister said the goal was ambitious but achievable as the Government set out its position ahead of efforts to secure a new international deal in 2015 on tackling global warming.

But the UK will oppose a European Union wide renewable energy target because it is "inflexible and unnecessary," he added.

Climate Change: UK Emissions Must Be Halved By 2030, Says Ed Davey, Thge Huffington Post UK, May 25, 2013

Uncertainty is no excuse for procrastinating on climate change

Today we released research which reduces the range of uncertainty in future global warming. It does not alter the fact we will never be certain about how, exactly, the climate will change.

We always have to make decisions when there are uncertainties about the future: whether to take an umbrella when we go outside, how much to spend on insurance. International action on climate change is just one more decision that has to be made in an environment of uncertainty.

Uncertainty no excuse for procrastinating on climate change by Roger Bodman & David Karoly, The Conversation, May 27, 2013

What about the heat-island effect?

For years, anti-science global-warming deniers have claimed the instrumental temperature record that shows steady warming is skewed because of the so-called heat -island effect in urban areas. The instrumental temperature record shows warming of about 1.2 degrees Celsius since 1952.

Global Warming: What about the heat-island effect? by Bob Berwyn, Summit County Citizens Voice, May 27, 2013

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Comments 1 to 2:

  1. Not sure where else to post this. My Representative in the US House sent this out with his most recent newsletter. There are some pretty familiar "skeptic" names on the list.

    A Panel Discussion Looking at: The Origins and Response to Climate Change

    Hosted by:

    Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E. (WV-01) And The West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation

    Location: 5000 NASA Boulevard, 5th Floor Conference Room, Fairmont, WV 26554
    Date: May 30, 2013
    Time: 09:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.
    Format: Opening Statements (3-minutes from each panelist), Roundtable Discussion and Question and Answer with the audience/media
    Topics for Discussion:

    1. What Factors Are Causing Climate Change?

    2. Science Behind Climate Change

    3. How Do We Balance Economic Growth With Climate Change?

    4. Developed and Developing Countries: Who Has The Responsibility?

    5. What Are Appropriate Policy Responses?


    • Rep. David B. Mckinley, P.E. – Congressman and host, First Congressional District of West Virginia

    • Dr. John Christy- Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center, University of Alabama in Huntsville

    • Dr. Joe Casola- Staff Scientist and Program Director for Science and Impacts, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

    • Dr. Jim Hurrell- Director, National Center for Atmospheric Research Earth System Laboratory

    • Dr. A. Scott Denning- Professor, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University

    • Dr. Thomas Sheahen, physicist and author

    • Dr. Richard Thomas, professor and Chair of the Biology Department, West Virginia University

    • Ms. Annie Petsonk, International Council and Environmental Defense Fund

    • Mr. Marc Morano, Executive Director and Chief Correspondent, Climate Depot

    • Mr. Myron Ebell, Director of Energy and Environment, Competitive Enterprise Institute

    • Mr. Dennis Avery, Director of Center for Global Food Issues, Hudson Institute

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  2. Perhaps we should try to emphasize the other effects of burning fossil fuel other than climate change.

    It's really a no brainer.

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