Showing posts with label Can Humans Reverse Climate Change?. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Can Humans Reverse Climate Change?. Show all posts

Saturday

ClimateChangeKids Challenge Government and Win

Timeline Photos






The future is borrowed from the Youth.  

8 Oregon Kids I dubbed the #ClimateChangeKids just accomplished what many of their elders have failed to do.  They took the bull by the horn in the Court System, Lost, Appealed, and Won.  And have used Climate Science as the tool that will ensure their State meets carbon emission standards by getting the US Court to direct: to apply the agency’s own findings that climate change presents an imminent threat to Washington and demands immediate action, The agency must use: the most current and best available climate science when deciding to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.

Kids understand the threats climate change will have on our future,” said 13-year-old petitioner Zoe Foster. “I’m not going to sit by and watch my government do nothing. We don’t have time to waste. I’m pushing my government to take real action on climate, and I won’t stop until change is made.” 


— Our Children's Trust (@OCTorg) June 24, 2015

The effect of this decision is that for the first time in the United States, a court of law has ordered a state agency to consider the most current and best available climate science when deciding to regulate carbon dioxide emissions,” said Andrea Rodgers of the Western Environmental Law Center, attorney for the youth petitioners. “The court directed Ecology to apply the agency’s own findings that climate change presents an imminent threat to Washington and demands immediate action. The ball is now in Ecology’s court to do the right thing and protect our children and future generations.” 



BREAKING: Washington State Youth Win Unprecedented Decision in their Climate Change Lawsuit! #350ppm #climatejustice

Washington State Youth Win Unprecedented Decision in their Climate Change Lawsuit Judge Orders Washington Environmental Agency to Consider Youth-Proposed Carbon Dioxide Reductions.    Read the full press release and decision here: http://ourchildrenstrust.org/sites/default/files/15.06.24WADecisionPR.pdf

June 24, 2015 For inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Andrea Rodgers 206-696-2851 rodgers@westernlaw.org Julia Olson 415-786-4825 julia@ourchildrenstrust.org Washington State Youth Win Unprecedented Decision in their Climate Change Lawsuit Judge Orders Washington Environmental Agency to Consider Youth-Proposed Carbon Dioxide Reductions Seattle, Washington – On Tuesday, King County Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill issued a landmark decision in Zoe & Stella Foster v. Washington Department of Ecology, the climate change case brought by eight young citizens of Washington State. In her decision, Judge Hill ordered the Washington Department of Ecology (“Ecology”) to reconsider the petition the eight youth filed with Ecology last year asking for carbon dioxide reductions, and to report back to the court by July 8, 2015, as to whether they will consider the undisputed current science necessary for climate recovery. Last June, the young petitioners filed a petition for rulemaking to Ecology requesting that the agency promulgate a rule that would limit carbon dioxide emissions in Washington according to what scientists say is needed to protect our oceans and climate system. The youth also asked Ecology to inform the Legislature that existing statutory greenhouse gas reductions must be revised based on current climate science. On August 14, 2014, Ecology denied the petition without disputing the underlying scientific bases for petitioner’s plea. Arguing that they have a fundamental right to a healthy environment, and that they are faced with increasing harms posed by climate destabilization and ocean acidification, the young petitioners filed an appeal of the denial to vindicate this right on behalf of themselves and future generations. “The effect of this decision is that for the first time in the United States, a court of law has ordered a state agency to consider the most current and best available climate science when deciding to regulate carbon dioxide emissions,” said Andrea Rodgers of the Western Environmental Law Center, attorney for the youth petitioners. “The court directed Ecology to apply the agency’s own findings that climate change presents an imminent threat to Washington and demands immediate action. The ball is now in Ecology’s court to do the right thing and protect our children and future generations.” In a footnote to her order, Judge Hill explained her plain reasoning for rejecting Ecology’s plan to delay action, referencing a December 2014 report from Ecology: “Ecology suggests no change in greenhouse gas reduction standards until after an international climate conference scheduled in Paris in December 2015, thus delaying action for at least a year from the date of the report or one year and five months after the report’s original due date. Neither in its briefing nor in oral argument of this appeal did the Department seek to justify this suggested delay. The report itself states that after the Paris conference Washington would be better informed how the state’s limits should be adjusted.” “Kids understand the threats climate change will have on our future,” said 13-year-old petitioner Zoe Foster. “I’m not going to sit by and watch my government do nothing. We don’t have time to waste. I’m pushing my government to take real action on climate, and I won’t stop until change is made.” The court’s opinion acknowledges that climate change is currently happening and will have devastating impacts on the natural environment of Washington. Citing Ecology’s December report, the court wrote: “Washington State’s existing statutory limits should be adjusted to better reflect the current science. The limits need to be more aggressive in order for Washington to do its part to address climate risks.” Ecology has recognized that “we are imposing risks on future generations (causing intergenerational inequities) and liability for the harm that will be caused by climate change that we are unable or unwilling to avoid.” Current climate science finds that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels must be reduced from the current global annual mean concentration of 401 parts per million, to 350 ppm by 2100 in order to achieve 1 climate stabilization and protect our oceans from catastrophic acidification. “This encouraging court decision reminds us that there is still good basis for optimism about legal strategies that aim to require governments to draft an action plan consistent with a more stringent mitigation target than the ones that are commonly discussed,” said the youth’s expert, NASA climate scientist Dr. Pushker Kharecha. “I hope the Department of Ecology realizes that such a plan would be 2 more achievable than they think in this case, and that they will therefore choose to amend their decision accordingly.” “This is a decision of immense national significance,” said Julia Olson, executive director of Our Children’s Trust, the nonprofit spearheading similar cases around the country. “Judge Hill acknowledges the urgent and dire acceleration of global warming, refuses to accept any more bureaucratic delay, and mandates that the State consider and act in just two weeks time on the youth’s scientific evidence that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide must be reduced to 350 ppm. This judge understands the role of the NOAA, Global Greenhouse Reference Network, Global CO2 for April 2015 (http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/ 1 global.html). Dr. Pushker Kharecha is a climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (http://www.giss.nasa.gov/ 2 staff/pkharecha.html) and Columbia University Earth Institute (http://www.earth.columbia.edu/eidirectory/displayuser.php? userid=1860). judiciary to enforce citizen’s rights to fair evaluation of their grounded petitions and the critical urgency that government act substantively and without delay to protect the state’s resources and the children who depend on them.” “The court's decision brings a feeling of triumph,” said 14-year-old petitioner Aji Piper. “But I know there is still a lot of work to be done. We may have one a battle, but we're still fighting a bigger war.” The youth petitioners acted with the help of Our Children’s Trust, an Oregon-based nonprofit orchestrating a global, game-changing, youth-driven legal campaign to establish the right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate. The legal effort advances the fundamental duty of government today: to address the climate crisis based on scientific baselines and benchmarks, and to do so within timeframes determined by scientific analysis. Our Children's Trust is a nonprofit organization advocating for urgent emissions reductions on behalf of youth and future generations, who have the most to lose if emissions are not reduced. OCT is spearheading the international human rights and environmental TRUST Campaign to compel governments to safeguard the atmosphere as a "public trust" resource. We use law, film, and media to elevate their compelling voices. Our ultimate goal is for governments to adopt and implement enforceable science-based Climate Recovery Plans with annual emissions reductions to return to an atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration of 350 ppm. www.ourchildrenstrust.org/ The Western Environmental Law Center is a public interest nonprofit law firm. WELC combines legal skills with sound conservation biology and environmental science to address major environmental issues throughout the West. WELC does not charge clients and partners for services, but relies instead on charitable gifts from individuals, families, and foundations to accomplish its mission. http://www.westernlaw.org ###

 NOAA, Global Greenhouse Reference Network, Global CO2 for April 2015 (http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/ 1 global.html). Dr. Pushker Kharecha is a climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (http://www.giss.nasa.gov/ 2 staff/pkharecha.html) and Columbia University Earth Institute (http://www.earth.columbia.edu/eidirectory/displayuser.php? userid=1860). 








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Monday

EPA June 22 Climate Change Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2015
 
EPA Report: For the US, Global Action Now Saves Lives and Avoids Significant Climate Change Damages

WASHINGTON –The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released one of the most comprehensive analyses to date on the economic, health and environmental benefits to the United States of global climate action.  The peer-reviewed report, "Climate Change in the United States: Benefits of Global Action," examines how future impacts and damages of climate change across a number of sectors in the United States can be avoided or reduced with global action. The report compares two future scenarios: a future with significant global action on climate change, where global warming has been limited to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and a future with no action on climate change (where global temperatures rise 9 degrees Fahrenheit).  The report then quantifies the differences in health, infrastructure and ecosystem impacts under the two scenarios, producing estimates of the costs of inaction and the benefits of reducing global GHG emissions. 

“Will the United States benefit from climate action? Absolutely. This report shows us how costly inaction will be to Americans’ health, our environment and our society. But more importantly, it helps us understand the magnitude of benefits to a number of sectors of the U.S. with global climate action,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “We can save tens of thousands of American lives, and hundreds of billions of dollars, annually in the United States by the end of this century, but the sooner we act, thebetter off America and future generations of Americans will be.”

The report examines how the impacts and damages of climate change across a number of sectors in the United States can be avoided with global action.   The findings include:

• Global action on climate change reduces the frequency of extreme weather events and associated impacts.  For example, by 2100 global action on climate change is projected to avoid an estimated 12,000 deaths annually associated with extreme temperatures in 49 U.S. cities, compared to a future with no reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This is more than a 90 percent reduction from what we would expect with no action.

• Global action now leads to greater benefits over time. The decisions we make today will have long-term effects, and future generations will either benefit from, or be burdened by, our current actions. Compared to a future with unchecked climate change, climate action is projected to avoid approximately 13,000 deaths in 2050 and 57,000 deaths in 2100 from poor air quality. Delaying action on emissions reductions will likely reduce these and other benefits.

• Global action on climate change avoids costly damages in the United States. For nearly all of the 20 sectors studied, global action on climate change significantly reduces the economic damages of climate change. For example, without climate action, we estimated up to $10 billion in increased road maintenance costs each year by the end of the century.  With action, we can avoid up to $7 billion of these damages.

• Climate change impacts are not equally distributed. Some regions of the United States are more vulnerable than others and will bear greater impacts. For example, without action on climate change, California is projected to face increasing risk of drought, the Rocky Mountain region will see significant increases in wildfires, and the mid-Atlantic and Southeast are projected to experience infrastructure damage from extreme temperatures, heavy rainfall, sea level rise, and storm surge. 

• Adaptation can reduce damages and costs. For some sectors, adaptation can substantially reduce the impacts of climate change. For example, in a future without greenhouse gas reductions, estimated damages from sea-level rise and storm surge to coastal property in the lower 48 states are $5.0 trillion dollars through 2100.  With adaptation along the coast, the estimated damages and adaptation costs are reduced to $810 billion.
The report is a product of the Climate Change Impacts and Risks Analysis (CIRA) project, led by EPA in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Pacific Northwest National Lab, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and other partners.  The CIRA project is one of the first efforts to quantify the benefits of global action on climate change across a large number of U.S. sectors using a common analytic framework and consistent underlying data inputs.  The project spans 20 U.S. sectors related to health, infrastructure, electricity, water resources, agriculture and forestry, and ecosystems.

Explore the report: www2.epa.gov/cira
See a short video: https://youtu.be/_Iz0NKA1yuo
Register for a public webinar on report scope and findings:
June 22, 2015 at 3 p.m. EST

June 23, 2015 at 3:30 p.m. EST:




Thank You for stopping by-Share and Comment below. If additional information in needed or you have a question let me know. Together we can make a difference and create a future that will benefit everyone. Build a Green StLouis Green Building Tips and Resources via: Scotty- St Louis Renewable Energy Green Blog
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Humans vs Climate Change

Geoengineering: Can Humans Reverse Climate Change?

posted by: Jasmine Greene
Geoengineering: Can Humans Reverse Climate Change?

Geoengineering techniques have been around since 1965 when scientists suggested spreading reflective material over the ocean to bounce back 1% sunlight back to space [Source: Scientific America]. Unfortunately this idea was complete bunk, but geoengineering has been gaining traction recently due to rising temperatures. There are currently two different geoengineering techniques: solar radiation management and carbon sequestering.

Solar radiation management, while potentially the fastest way to cool the planet, also is temporary and could potentially have many side effects. One of the proposals currently being discussed is the creation of manmade volcanic eruptions. Sulfide gases would  be injected into the stratosphere every one to four years, providing the earth with a "grace period" of up to 20 years before major cutbacks in greenhouse gas emissions would be required [Source: UCAR]. Unfortunately, this technique could thin the ozone layer if enough aerosol is injected into polar stratospheric clouds. Other negative effects include changing weather patterns, drought, acid rain and respiratory problems in humans. If done properly, however, this technique could potentially drop average temperatures 0.6 degrees Celsius [Source: 21st Century Challenges]. A less risky solar radiation management plan involves whitening of marine clouds. Ocean spray is released into the atmosphere to increase the reflectiveness of clouds. The extra changes the size of the water particles in existing clouds, making them whiter. This technique can be stopped at any time and is part of the natural process of "ocean spray". It can be deployed quickly and rolled out cheaply and effectively, though it could potentially interfere with wind and weather patterns [Source: Guardian]. This problem also does not address ocean acidification or ways to actually decrease  the amount of CO2.

While solar radiation management only looks at decreasing overall temperature, carbon sequestration looks for ways to decrease overall CO2 levels. Iron deposition into the ocean is one method of carbon sequestration. The iron encourages phytoplankton growth, which removes carbon from the atmosphere, potentially on a permanent basis. While this sounds promising, there is no way to predict how this could effect marine life and nutrient balance in the ocean and could lead to poisonous algae spread [Source: Spiegel]. There are two methods of geoengineering that do not have harmful side effects: reforestation/afforestation and biochar. Reforestation is the process of replanting trees in cleared areas and afforestation is planting trees in areas that were never forest or haven't been for years. Currently, deforestation accounts for 25% of the world's greenhouse gase emissions [Source: Monga Bay]. While planting trees would help to decrease the amount of CO2, the time it takes for trees to regrow and biomass to rebuild is significant. Reforestation could be used alongside biochar. Biochar is charcoal made through pyrolysis of biomass, which is then buried and mixed with normal soil. Not only does it make the soil fertile, it holds potential for long-term carbon storage, possibly for millenia. Craig Sams, founder of Carbon Gold, believes biochar could potentially reduce CO2 levels to pre-industrial levels by 2050 if it were used in 2.5% of the world's agricultural fertilizer [Source: Popular Mechanics]. Biochar is easily measured, making it great to figure out effectiveness of its carbon sequestration and it is at much lower risk of returning to the atmosphere than living organisms since it is mainly inert [Source: Treehugger].

While many of the "quick-fix" geoengineering proposals have many negative side effects, they are mostly presented in worst-case scenario and are generally temporary. The more long-term solutions like reforestation and the usage of biochar may work better, but it takes longer to see the effects. Either way, no geoengineering technique will be effective if the average global carbon emission does not decrease.

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