2013 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21A

Can climate-friendly development survive a fossil fuel boom?

The planes from Johannesburg to Mozambique's airports of Maputo, Tete and Pemba are full of business people these days. My neighbours on the flight from South Africa last week were not heading to Mozambique's beautiful resorts but there to take up the opportunities from the oil, gas and coal revolution that is transforming parts of the country and potentially the entire economy.

Can climate-friendly development survive a fossil fuel boom? by Sam Bickersteth, Chief Executive, CDKN, AlertNet, May 21, 2013

Climate warnings, growing louder

The news that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, the most important global warming gas, have hit 400 parts per millionfor the first time in millions of years increases the pressure on President Obama to deliver on his pledges to limit this country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Warnings, Growing Louder by the Editorial Board, New York Times, May 19, 2013

Fresh water “more precious than gold” in Bangladesh

Fahima Begum rises each morning at dawn and walks two kilometres to a small pond, the nearest source of fresh water. On her way she passes the rusty old hand-pumped tube well that used to supply water to her village in Bangladesh’s arid Barind region until the water table here dropped out of reach.

Fresh Water “More Precious Than Gold” in Bangladesh by Naimul Haq, Inter Press Service (IPS), May 22, 2013

Heartland Institute wastes real scientists' time – yet again

Wouldn't it be nice to live in a world where armchair experts gave up fighting over whether climate change is occurring?

Heartland Institute wastes real scientists' time – yet again by John Abraham, Climate Consensus- the 97% Blog, The Guardian, May 20. 2013 

Heat-related deaths in Manhattan projected to rise

Residents of Manhattan will not just sweat harder from rising temperatures in the future, says a new study; many may die. Researchers say deaths linked to warming climate may rise some 20 percent by the 2020s, and, in some worst-case scenarios, 90 percent or more by the 2080s. Higher winter temperatures may partially offset heat-related deaths by cutting cold-related mortality—but even so, annual net temperature-related deaths might go up a third. The study, published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, was done by a team at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the Mailman School of Public Health.

Heat-Related Deaths in Manhattan Projected to Rise, The Earth Institute, Columbia University, May 20, 2013 

How bad is the rebound from energy efficiency efforts?

Consumers do end up using more energy when energy-using technology gets more efficient, but these rebound effects are minimal, experts say.

How Bad Is the Rebound from Energy Efficiency Efforts? by Umair Irfan and ClimateWire, Scientific American, May 21, 2013

No matter how strong the evidence, deniers will keep denying

But what exactly is a consensus? If science really is debate, then how can there be scientific debate in the presence of a consensus? Does a consensus imply hegemony and rigidity?

No matter how strong the evidence on climate change, deniers will keep denying by Stephan Lewandowsky, The Conversation, May 20, 2013

Stressed ecosystems leaving humanity high and dry

Everyone knows water is life. Far too few understand the role of trees, plants and other living things in ensuring we have clean, fresh water.

This dangerous ignorance results in destruction of wetlands that once cleaned water and prevented destructive and costly flooding, scientists and activists warn.

Around the world, politicians and others in power have made and continue to make decisions based on short-term economic interests without considering the long-term impact on the natural environment, said Anik Bhaduri, executive officer of the Global Water System Project (GWSP), a research institute based in Bonn, Germany. 

Stressed Ecosystems Leaving Humanity High and Dry by Stephen Leahy, Inter Press Service (IPS), May 21, 2013

The Canadian "War on Science"

This is a brief chronology of the current Conservative Canadian government’s long campaign to undermine evidence-based scientific, environmental and technical decision-making. It is a government that is beholden to big business, particularly big oil, and that makes every attempt to shape public policy to that end. It is a government that fundamentally doesn’t believe in science. It is a government that is more interested in keeping its corporate masters happy than in protecting the environment.

The Canadian War on Science: A long, unexaggerated, devastating chronological indictment by John Dupius, Confessions of a Climate Libraian, Climate Blog, May 20, 2013

Understanding storms and global warming

Imagine standing next to Parable Creek, an imaginary rocky brook in New England. The water is rushing past you from left to right, around the rocks that emerge tall above the surface of the stream, mounding over the top of those that are lower down. The deepest parts of the steam are relatively flat but show ripples that belie the presence of other rocks and sunken branches that are well below the water line. 

Understanding Storms and Global Warming: A Quaint Parable by Greg Laden, Greg  Laden's Blog, May 21, 2013

Who’s escaping climate change ‘mire and muck’?

On This American Life this weekend, Ira Glass tried to jog the climate conversation out of the “mire and muck” with an hourlong discussion of impacts and options related to human-driven global warming. Below you can offer examples of people or institutions you see avoiding the pitfalls and paralysis surrounding this “super wicked” issue.

Who’s Escaping Climate Change ‘Mire and Muck’? by Andrew Revkin, DotEarth, New York Times, May 20, 2013  

Who's paying the price for global warming?

U.S. taxpayers have so far borne the brunt of climate change costs

Who's Paying the Price for Global Warming? by David Biello, Scientific American, May 19, 2013

Posted by John Hartz on Thursday, 23 May, 2013

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