Showing posts with label Climate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Climate. Show all posts

14 November 2017

A War Plan Orange For Climate Change

Hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Harold Stark promulgated his guidance through a famous cable: “EXECUTE AGAINST JAPAN UNRESTRICTED AIR AND SUBMARINE WARFARE.” Although the attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise, the idea of war with Japan was not. The war in the Pacific was guided by War Plan Orange, a secret strategy the U.S. military had been developing, refining, and updating since 1906.

11 October 2017

Are Catastrophic Disasters Striking More Often?

by Jay L. Zagorsky

No sooner had Hurricane Harvey’s record rains receded from Houston and neighboring cities than the residents of Florida began bracing for a wallop from an even more powerful storm. Following that another category five hurricane, Maria, ravaged the Carribean. And hurricane season hadn’t even peaked yet.

27 September 2017

Climate Risks Grow For Emerging Asia If U.S. Exits Paris Accord

by Dan Steinbock, Difference Group

If America does withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, emerging Asia will pay the highest price.

As I left Manila recently, tropical storm Isang passed the Batanes area in northern Philippines. When I flew to Guangzhou, the low-pressure area morphed into a tropical depression southeast to Taiwan and then into a typhoon in the South China Sea. On August 23, Hato’s eye was directly over Hong Kong as rapid intensification turned it into a category 3-equivalent typhoon. Days later, Hato had left behind 26 people killed, and damages amounting to $1.9 billion in mainland China.

12 September 2017

This is how your world could end

Peter Brannen

Many of us share some dim apprehension that the world is flying out of control, that the centre cannot hold. Raging wildfires, once-in-1,000-years storms and lethal heatwaves have become fixtures of the evening news – and all this after the planet has warmed by less than 1C above preindustrial temperatures. But here’s where it gets really scary.

If humanity burns through all its fossil fuel reserves, there is the potential to warm the planet by as much as 18C and raise sea levels by hundreds of feet. This is a warming spike of an even greater magnitude than that so far measured for the end-Permian mass extinction. If the worst-case scenarios come to pass, today’s modestly menacing ocean-climate system will seem quaint. Even warming to one-fourth of that amount would create a planet that would have nothing to do with the one on which humans evolved or on which civilisation has been built. The last time it was 4C warmer there was no ice at either pole and sea level was 80 metres higher than it is today.

The modern world will be much more of a killing fieldMatthew Huber, paleoclimatologist

I met University of New Hampshire paleoclimatologist Matthew Huber at a diner near his campus in Durham, New Hampshire. Huber has spent a sizable portion of his research career studying the hothouse of the early mammals and he thinks that in the coming centuries we might be heading back to the Eocene climate of 50 million years ago, when there were Alaskan palm trees and alligators splashed in the Arctic Circle.

4 September 2017

Climate Finance In India: A Case Of Policy Paralysis – Analysis

By Srinivas Raman

Pursuant to the Paris Agreement, India has been spearheading the clean energy revolution in Asia and has set itself ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions and follow sustainable development by generating 175 gigawatts of renewable energy (RE) by 2022.

To achieve its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) goals, India requires a whopping USD 200 billion as climate finance. The USA’s exit from its erstwhile commitments under the Green Climate Fund coupled with the shift in priorities under the Trump administration adds pressure on India and other developing countries to generate climate finance independently and place less reliance on international aids and subsidies. Towards this end, India has started developing its climate finance instruments by further economic liberalization and by following international best practices.

In recent years, India has introduced ‘green bonds’- innovative financial instruments to fund the RE sector. Green bonds have been successfully issued by several large corporate and financial institutions such as Yes Bank, Axis Bank and Hero Future Energies which have raised millions of dollars. In May, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) recognized and legitimized the use of these debt instruments and has laid down detailed disclosure guidelines which need to be followed for the issuance of green bonds.

22 August 2017

Paul Krugman shows why the climate campaign failed

Summary: Like all of Krugman’s work, we can learn much from his latest column about climate change. See this annotated version to see how he shows why 30 years of climate crusading has produced so little policy action in the US.

Krugman is a brilliant economist, with a knack for explaining technical details to the general public. He is also an insightful political analyst, albeit of the left-wing hack kind. In yesterday’s column he shows us the latter in action — and why three decades of climate activism has accomplished so little.

It’s Not Your Imagination: Summers Are Getting Hotter.” So read a recent headline in The Times, highlighting a decade-by-decade statistical analysis by climate expert James Hansen. “Most summers,” the analysis concluded, “are now either hot or extremely hot compared with the mid-20th century.”

Krugman starts with a look at the past. Hansen’s graphs in the New York Times are what Edward Tufte calls “chart junk” in his classic work about graphics — they lack a scale for the change in temperature. All we know is that summers have grown warmer. How much? The article does not say.

For a wider perspective see this graph from the Executive Summary of the Third Draft of the Climate Science Special Report, part of the Fourth National Climate Assessment. (CCSR of NCA4). Oddly, it is not in the current Fifth Draft. It shows the hottest day in the 48 contiguous US States by year. The line has been rising since the 1960s, but remains below the levels during the long Dust Bowl. The real message here is that individual graphs can look spectacular, but no one graphic — no matter how animated — can capture the complexity of climate change.

28 July 2017

Asia under water: How 137 million people's lives are being put at risk

By Ben Westcott and Steve George

The 28-year-old fled her home country of Myanmar in January with her two daughters, escaping the latest outbreak of violence, and was living in the Kutupalang Makeshift Settlement in Bangladesh when cyclone Mora arrived five months later and displaced up to 500,000 people.

"My house was shattered. It broke the wooden planks supporting my hut and blew away the polythene rooftop. The wind and water destroyed whatever little possessions we had," she told UNICEF workers in June.

Khorsheeda's hut was severely damaged during Cyclone Mora in June 2017.

Several weeks later, across the Himalayas in South China, over 12 million people were forced to flee their homes as flood waters rose for yet another year.

In China's southeastern Jiangxi province alone, flooding this year has so far caused $430 million in damages and economic losses. In neighboring Hunan province, 53,000 homes have been destroyed -- and the flooding has yet to fully recede.

Increasingly severe weather, triggered by climate change, is putting hundreds of millions of people at risk across the rapidly developing countries of southern Asia.

A man using an improvised flotation device in floodwaters in Liuzhou, Guangxi in July 2017.

"In the next 30 years, it is projected that heavy rainfall events will be increasing ... in Asia, by about 20% for sure," climate scientist Dewi Kirono at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) told CNN.

Eating Beans Instead Of Beef Can Help Mitigate Climate Change: US Researchers

American researchers have demonstrated that eating beans instead of beef could achieve approximately 46-74 per cent of the reduction needed to meet the 2020 greenhouse gas emission target for the country.

A study by a team of researchers in the United States has shown that making a small and simple change in dietary habit can help America achieve three-fourths of the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target set by the Obama administration.

The research paper, authored by Helen Harwatt, Joan Sabate, Gidon Eshel, Sam Soret and William Ripple, analyses how substituting one food for another – beans for beef – could provide a fillip to achieving the climate change target.

The researchers demonstrate that eating beans instead of beef could achieve approximately 46-74 per cent of the reduction needed to meet the 2020 GHG target for America. Beef is the highest GHG-emitting food item while beans is a low GHG-intensity food. The emissions from the former range from 9kg to 129kg CO2e/kg. Legumes, on the other hand, emit only 12kg CO2e/kg and are a high-protein food.

The substitution will thus not only help cut down on emissions; it will also improve nutrition. According to the US Department of Agriculture, beef provides 332 kilocalories (kcals) and 14.4 grams (g) protein per 100g of raw weight, whereas raw beans provide 341kcals and 21.6g protein per 100g of weight.

14 June 2017

Robert Steele: Beyond the Paris Climate Deal – Can Russia Lead the Way?

Robert David

The President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, pulled out of the Paris Climate Deal for very good reasons – political reasons, economic reasons, cultural reasons, and intelligence reasons. He understood that the Paris Climate Deal is yet another attempt by the globalists led by the Rothschilds and the Vatican and the undisclosed higher levels of Freemasonry, to subvert all nations and all peoples for the profit of the 1%.

The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has refused to condemn his fellow President, while also indicating that Russia will continue its commitment to the Paris climate change agreement, seeing no alternative. I humbly propose an alternative that has not been discussed.

While some might dispute the science behind the climate deal, I do not. What I dispute is the assumption that we can continue with the Western economic and engineering practices that continue to favor the 1% over the 99%, and focus only on reducing the symptoms of those bad practices.

I also note that there has been no discussion of the Western practice – largely led by the United States of America and its rogue Deep State elements in the military-industrial complex – of weather modification, nano-plastic pollution of water, and the deliberate federally-sanctioned sale of a wide variety of foods, beverages and medicines, especially vaccines, that are poisonous. The hidden agenda of the globalists is de-population.

11 June 2017



By now, most people have heard much about the implications of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. They have heard critics denounce the dismissive message this sends about a global crisis and the implications for U.S. global leadership at international fora addressing the issue. They have heard Trump say it was a bad deal and that it was going to have a negative impact on American jobs (despite being non-binding).

But are there any implications of this move for the Department of Defense? Not directly, though there will be indirect consequences as it engages international partners.

Trump’s decision creates more tension across the international environment in which the United States must work. Our allies in militaries across the world are likely to be able to compartmentalize the fact that Washington isn’t the partner it could be in addressing this global crisis, but they will also be aware that Trump thumbed his nose at them. This snub may make America’s allies less willing to cooperate with or trust the United States, which in turn makes the Defense Department’s job harder than it needs to be. Trump’s decision will create a leadership void in the international community that could provide an opportunity for nations like China to gain more global influence. In sum, the strategic environment is now more challenging, and that will make the Defense Department’s mission more challenging as well.

9 June 2017

*** The U.S.: A Hostile Environment for Climate Change?

It can be difficult to separate the important from unimportant on any given day. Reflections mean to do exactly that — by thinking about what happened today, we can consider what might happen tomorrow.

Just days before the election that won Donald Trump the U.S. presidency, the Paris Agreement on climate change was enacted. The deal's list of signatories grew to include most of the globe in the months that followed. Then on Thursday, Trump announced his plan to pull out of the accord, confirming rumors that have been circulating for the past week. Though he left the door open to renegotiation, the United States will now join the lonely ranks of nonparticipants, which currently comprise only Nicaragua and Syria. For the most part Trump's rejection of the deal, touted as a landmark achievement in December 2015, is symbolic. As various forces advance the effort to address climate change, the industries, investors and military interests underpinning Washington's environmental policy will continue to dictate its actions on the issue. But the United States' withdrawal from the pact nevertheless raises an important question: Will China be able to fill the hole in global leadership that its Western rival will leave behind?

Despite the overwhelming consensus it inspired, the Paris Agreement itself has always been weak at its core. International courts, after all, have few ways to enforce it, and without consequences for those who fail to comply with its stipulations, there is little opportunity to hold shirkers accountable. Instead, compliance with the deal is — and will continue to be — largely driven by technological progress, economics and the political imperatives of individual nations.

The Consequences of Leaving the Paris Agreement

By James McBride

President Donald J. Trump has strongly criticized the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate reached by President Barack Obama’s administration, arguing that the global deal to cut back carbon emissions would kill jobs and impose onerous regulations on the U.S. economy. As a result, in June 2017 he announced that the United States will exit the agreement. With the United States producing nearly one-fifth of all global emissions, the U.S. withdrawal from the accord could undercut collective efforts to reduce carbon output, transition to renewable energy sources, and lock in future climate measures.

Debate over the impact of withdrawal continues. While Trump has rolled back climate regulations at a federal level, thirty-four states, led by California and New York, have undertaken their own ambitious carbon reduction plans.

What is the status of the Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement was finalized at a global climate conference in 2015, and entered into force in November 2016 after enough countries, including China and the United States, ratified it. The nearly two hundred parties to the deal—only Syria and Nicaragua have failed to sign on—committed to voluntary reductions in carbon emissions with the goal of keeping global temperature increases below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius), a level that the assembled nations warned could lead to an “urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet.”

5 June 2017

Withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement Is Immoral And Irrational

Gwynne Taraska

Ditching the climate agreement would run counter to the economic and security interests of the American people.

The Paris Agreement is a historic pact to curb climate change and build global resilience to its effects. A decision by the Trump administration to withdraw from the agreement would be a moral violation—and an attack on the interests of the American people.

The Significance of the Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is a major feat of diplomacy, given that more than 190 countries are signatories. It is also a major feat for the planet, given that it is well positioned to be effective in limiting carbon pollution. First, the agreement is a springboard for sustained efforts to curb climate change. Every five years, countries submit new national-climate goals and take stock of their collective progress in limiting warming.

Second, the agreement draws all countries into the climate effort, making it a truly global movement. Both developed and developing countries—including the major emerging economies, such as China and India—submit national goals under the pact. In fact, it was leadership from the United States that was pivotal in bringing all countries to the table.

3 May 2017

** U.S.-China Climate Relations: Beyond Trump

By Jackson Ewing

Jackson Ewing is the Director of Asian Sustainability at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) in New York, where he leads projects on environmental cooperation, responsible resource development, and international climate change policy. This piece is part of a special RCW series on the U.S.-China geopolitical relationship. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

The days of cooperative climate change action in Washington and Beijing were short-lived.

After decades of friction in the climate arena, the United States and China spent the last three years of former U.S. President Barack Obama’s second term in office building a partnership that caught even close observers by surprise. In a March 2016 joint presidential statement, Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping declared climate change a “pillar of the U.S.-China bilateral relationship” and committed to ratifying the lauded Paris Agreement. The countries were by then drawing on more than two years of bilateral agreements on clean energy and emissions reduction targets, along with subnational agreements between cities, states, and provinces to bolster technical cooperation in areas ranging from carbon pricing to clean energy to sustainable urban infrastructure.

This cooperation reversed a history of recriminations and posturing that long defined the Sino-American climate change relationship. China would often emphasize its continuing poverty challenges, development needs, and relative lack of historical culpability for the climate problem, while the United States trotted out the common refrain that holding negotiations is well and good, but ultimately pointless if China fails to reduce emissions in internationally verifiable ways. For years, this divide between Beijing and Washington stubbornly persisted.

1 May 2017

The US View On Climate Change

-- this post authored by Martin Armstrong

As one of the 97 countries to ratify the Paris Climate Change Agreement which came into force last year, the United States government has been starting to show signs that it takes the threat of global warming seriously.

As our infographic below shows, this proactive approach is supported by 79 percent of the population. Despite this, only 36 percent of US citizens see climate change as a serious problem - compared to 52 percent globally - and when asked if they would be prepared to contribute an extra dollar each month to combat the issue, almost half said they would not.

This chart looks at the US attitude towards climate change in 2016.

29 April 2017

The World's Climate Will Suffer if China Decides to Convert Its Coal Into Natural Gas

Matthew Brown

(BEIJING)—China's conversion of coal into natural gas could prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths each year. But there's a catch: As the country shifts its use of vast coal reserves to send less smog-inducing chemicals into the air, the move threatens to undermine efforts to rein in greenhouse gas emissions, researchers said Tuesday. 

The environmental trade-off points to the difficult choices confronting leaders of the world's second largest economy as they struggle to balance public health and financial growth with international climate change commitments. 

Between 20,000 and 41,000 premature deaths annually could be prevented by converting low-quality coal in the country's western provinces into synthetic natural gas for residential use, according to the findings of researchers from the United States and China published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

If the gas were used for industrial purposes, fewer deaths would be averted and they would carry a steeper price — a dramatic increase in carbon dioxide emissions, according to the researchers and a separate report released Tuesday by Greenpeace. 

26 April 2017

Pathways and obstacles to a low-carbon economy

The energy transition is happening. But the pace of change depends on a range of technical, business, and societal factors. 

Technological advances and falling prices are driving the momentum toward low-carbon energy production across the globe. In this episode of the McKinsey Podcast, McKinsey partner Arnout de Pee and Lord Adair Turner, chair of the Energy Transitions Commission and the Institute for New Economic Thinking, speak with McKinsey Publishing’s Cait Murphy about the shift toward renewable resources and the future of sustainable development. 

Podcast transcript 

Cait Murphy: How can the world produce the energy it needs to broaden prosperity without damaging the environment beyond repair? The Energy Transitions Commission, whose members comprise leaders from the public, private, and social sectors, is dedicated to answering that question. 

Speaking with us today is Lord Adair Turner, head of the Energy Transitions Commission, and Arnout de Pee, a partner at McKinsey’s Sustainability and Resource Productivity group. I’m Cait Murphy of McKinsey Publishing. 

Let’s start with the broad question. Lord Turner, what is meant by the term “the energy transition,” and why is such a transition necessary? 

Lord Adair Turner: The term “energy transition” describes the fact that over the next several decades, we are going to have to achieve a really dramatic transition in the world away from reliance on fossil fuels. Fossil fuels have been absolutely essential to the original industrial revolution, to the growth of prosperity that we’ve achieved in an increasing number of countries over the last 200 years. 

In order to limit global warming to below two degrees centigrade above preindustrial levels, we will have to really very significantly move away from fossil fuels, while still delivering in many countries even more energy use than there is today. 

25 April 2017

Comparative Assessment of China and U.S. Policies to Meet Climate Change Targets

China and the United States together emit more than 40 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) according to the latest available data.[1] Therefore any successful global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must include meaningful contributions from both countries. Each country has started down this path by committing to reduce CO2 emissions and both have announced plans, policies, and programs to meet those commitments. However, the character of the carbon problem in each country is different and so while the plans, programs, and policies they are pursuing have some similarities, the emphasis is different.

China and the United States have different fundamental energy supply potential. China’s energy resource base is coal-intensive, while the United States has large oil and gas reserves. China does not have the option of dramatically increasing natural gas or oil supplies unless it chooses to import them. In fact, China has become the world’s largest importer of oil—importing 6.71 million barrels per day in 2015.[2] Energy security, which has historically been a political priority in the United States, now receives less attention due to the recent boom in shale oil and gas. The opposite is true for China, which faces no significant growth in domestic oil and gas production, forcing it to import more oil and gas. Due to a combination of logistical obstacles and slow growth in coal reserves, China is now a net importer of coal, and thus energy security is becoming more of a concern.

20 March 2017

Trump’s Defense Secretary Cites Climate Change as National Security Challenge

by Andrew Revkin

James Mattis’ unpublished testimony before a Senate panel recognizes a threat others in the administration reject or minimize. 

Secretary of Defense James Mattis has asserted that climate change is real, and a threat to American interests abroad and the Pentagon’s assets everywhere, a position that appears at odds with the views of the president who appointed him and many in the administration in which he serves. 

In unpublished written testimony provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee after his confirmation hearing in January, Mattis said it was incumbent on the U.S. military to consider how changes like open-water routes in the thawing Arctic and drought in global trouble spots can pose challenges for troops and defense planners. He also stressed this is a real-time issue, not some distant what-if. 

“Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today,” Mattis said in written answers to questions posed after the public hearing by Democratic members of the committee. “It is appropriate for the Combatant Commands to incorporate drivers of instability that impact the security environment in their areas into their planning.” 

11 March 2017

Who's Still Fighting Climate Change? The U.S. Military

By Laura Parker

Who's Still Fighting Climate Change? The U.S. Military

Despite political gridlock over global warming, the Pentagon is pushing ahead with plans to protect its assets from sea-level rise and other impacts. Here's how.

Tests of the Orion spacecraft were made at Naval Station Norfolk in August 2013. The low-lying base is at risk from rising seas. 

NORFOLK, VIRGINIATen times a year, the Naval Station Norfolk floods. The entry road swamps. Connecting roads become impassable. Crossing from one side of the base to the other becomes impossible. Dockside, floodwaters overtop the concrete piers, shorting power hookups to the mighty ships that are docked in the world’s largest naval base.

All it takes to cause such disarray these days is a full moon, which triggers exceptionally high tides.

Norfolk station is headquarters of the Atlantic fleet, and flooding already disrupts military readiness there and at other bases clustered around the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, officials say. Flooding will only worsen as the seas rise and the planet warms. Sea level at Norfolk has risen 14.5 inches in the century since World War I, when the naval station was built. By 2100, Norfolk station will flood 280 times a year, according to one estimate by the Union of Concerned Scientists.