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Tilley's Track

by Prof Allen Tilley |

Disclaimer: the material in this section is not necessarily the policy of the Sierra Club. The referenced materials are the responsibility of the publishers/writers and Mr. Tilley’s analysis is intended to provoke thought and action, but not necessarily endorsed or held as policy by the Sierra Club.

About Allen Tilley

To receive these items in your email, please join the listserv called the Global Warming Study Group: GWSG lists.unf.edu/mailman/listinfo/gwsg   



Sent 7/25

1.  Because cattle are inefficient processors of their feed, beef uses far more resources and contributes far more carbon to the atmosphere than its alternatives, including chicken and pork.  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/21/giving-up-beef-reduce-carbon-footprint-more-than-cars


2.  Global heat set a new high last month, and the month before.  “We are living in the steroid era of the climate system,” said NOAA’s climate monitoring chief Derek Arndt.  http://mdjonline.com/view/full_story/25472497/article-World-breaks-monthly-heat-record-2-times-in-a-row-?instance=special_coverage_bullets_right_column


3.  The heads of state of the US and China are part of a long list of leaders expected for a September UN meeting on climate in New York to prepare for a 2015 conference in France.  Rally organizers hope to have a million marchers to support them.   http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/24/barack-obama-xi-jinping-ban-ki-moon-climate-summit


4.  A new court ruling would require the government to consider the social cost of carbon released from the extraction of fossil fuels on federal land when permits are requested.  http://www.climatecentral.org/news/social-cost-carbon-court-ruling-17800


5.  Renewables provided 55.7% of new energy in the US during the first half of this year.  Solar accounted for about a third of new energy.  Renewables now account for 16.3% of US capacity.    http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/07/renewables-provide-56-percent-of-new-us-electrical-generating-capacity-in-first-half-of-2014?cmpid=WNL-Wednesday-July23-2014


6.  Navigant Research estimates that wind will supply 7.3% of electricity globally by 2018.  http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/25828


7.  An Oregon SU study finds that 15,000 years ago the northern Pacific and Atlantic oceans became synchronized in their transfer of heat north, tipping off a period of rapid climate change.  http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-07/osu-son072314.php


8.  Deforestation shrinks markedly when forests are managed by local communities.  10-20% of greenhouse gas emissions annually result from deforestation.  http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jul/25/forests-land-rights-deforestation-climate-change



Sent 7/21


1.  An ACEEE scoring of 16 nations on energy efficiency placed Germany first, the US thirteenth.  http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Global-Ranking-for-Energy-Efficiency-US-Near-Bottom-Germany-Near-Top?utm_source=Daily&utm_medium=Headline&utm_campaign=GTMDaily 


The report itself:  http://aceee.org/portal/national-policy/international-scorecard


2.  In under 3 minutes the Rocky Mt. Institute explains why solar and wind ramp up so quickly.  For one thing, if you build a natural gas plant it will produce a certain amount of energy every year.  If you build a pv factory, it will produce energy producers every year.  http://climatecrocks.com/2014/07/18/why-solar-is-taking-over/   In under 4 minutes, Amory Lovins goes on to explain why we need not wait for cheap bulk energy storage to transition to renewables.  http://climatecrocks.com/2014/07/19/the-myth-of-energy-storage-vs-baseload/


3.  Stress from climate disruption can lead to cooperation as well as conflict.  Examples are the international cooperation over water supply from the Colorado and Mekong rivers.    The article begins by questioning some of the links claimed between climate stress and conflict.    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diana-liverman/what-if-climate-change-tr_b_5599886.html


4.  Based on a new study State of the Climate in 2013, the head of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center says that “the climate is changing more rapidly now than it has at any time in the historical record.”  “More than 400 scientists from 57 countries contributed to the report.”  http://news.sciencemag.org/climate/2014/07/report-climate-changing-more-rapidly-any-point-record  Further details from the report:  http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/07/18/3461677/noaa-state-of-the-climate-warmer/


5.  The BRICS nations have established a bank with $100 b to fund infrastructure and sustainable development.  http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/2014/07/20/brics-100bn-sustainable-development-bank-launched-by-worlds-largest-developing-economies/


6.  While melting permafrost releases methane and contributes to heating, a thermokarst lake over millennia becomes a net carbon sink.  http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/47608


7.  Google Street View cars are now equipped with methane sensors, and some Google city maps are already indicating methane releases.  http://blogs.nature.com/news/2014/07/google-maps-methane-leaks.html


8.  WA State just lowered the cost of its residential solar power by standardizing and simplifying the permitting process.  http://grist.org/news/washington-state-just-lopped-up-to-2500-off-the-cost-of-solar-panels-heres-how/?utm_source=syndication&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed 



Sent 7/16


1.  India is financing their solar program partly by doubling the tax on coal.  Utility-scale solar power is expected to be cheaper than new coal power in India by the end of the decade.   http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/modi-accelerates-solar-revolution-doubles-tax-on-coal-57890


2.  The urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has recently been posed (by the NY Times, among others) as a choice between acting on CO2, and acting on methane and a package of other forcers more short lived than CO2.  Joe Romm assembles expert testimony that we need to act on all fronts.  http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/07/10/3457703/climate-co2-methane/?elq=~~eloqua..type--emailfield..syntax--recipientid~~&elqCampaignId=~~eloqua..type--campaign..campaignid--0..fieldname--id~~


3.  Producing metals takes 9.5% of the world’s energy.  Iron and aluminum are the greatest pigs.  http://news.sciencemag.org/climate/2014/07/iron-driver-climate-change


4.  NOAA has developed a high resolution climate model able to deal with regional precipitation changes.  It has identified the drying of Southwestern Australia as due to human causes, and predicts increased drying as the century goes on.  http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jul/14/southern-australia-faces-water-crisis-by-end-of-century-due-to-climate-change


5.  Australian Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corporation, which includes Fox and the Wall Street Journal, does not consider that climate disruption has much in store for anyone save low lying islands.  “We shouldn’t be building windmills and all that rubbish.”  http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/07/13/3459584/rupert-murdoch-climate-change-rubbish/  As of February 2013, new wind power was cheaper than new coal in Australia.  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-06/australia-wind-energy-cheaper-than-coal-natural-gas-bnef-says.html  The Guardian supplies more on Murdoch’s ignorance and its impact.  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/jul/14/rupert-murdoch-doesnt-understand-climate-basics


6.  Eight charts tell the story of a planet increasingly suffering under climate disruption.  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2014/jul/14/8-charts-climate-change-world-more-dangerous


7.  Private companies may contract through a power purchase agreement to place and maintain solar panels on the roofs of homes or business and sell them the power produced.  Utilities typically claim that such practices are tantamount to acting as a utility.  The Iowa Supreme Court is the latest to disagree, making them the 23rd state where such arrangements are legal.  http://grist.org/climate-energy/in-iowa-solar-is-fighting-back-against-utilities-and-winning/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Daily%2520July%252016&utm_campaign=daily 

8.  China is mandating that electric vehicles make up at least 30% of central government auto purchases by 2016; the provinces come under the order following that.  http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/07/china-requires-electric-vehicles-to-make-up-30-percent-of-state-purchases?cmpid=WNL-Wednesday-July16-2014 



Sent 7/11


1.  A draft report submitted to the UN by 30 international organizations focusing on the leading 15 national emitters of greenhouse gasses sketches a way to keep warming below 2° C.  Columbia U’s Jeff Sachs observes “We have just about exhausted the carbon budget.  The world is unfortunately engaged in a massive gamble.” Effective emissions cuts need to be rapid and severe.  http://www.climatecentral.org/news/co2-emissions-2-degrees-target-17744?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climatecentral%2FdjOO+Climate+Central+-+Full+Feed  The Guardian supplies further information.  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/08/un-roadmap-climate-change  The US would need to cut emissions back to 1901 levels by 2050.  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-09/fix-the-climate-problem-easy-cut-u-s-emissions-to-1901-levels.html


2.  Shifting wind patterns in the Antarctic are warming subsurface waters twice as rapidly as we had thought.  The warmer waters will greatly speed the destabilization of ice sheets, increasing the rate of sea level rise.  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-07/giant-antarctic-ice-shelves-could-melt-faster-than-expected/5579678


3.  The US and China have signed eight agreements on climate, including one to share carbon capture and sequestration technology.  http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/08/usa-china-climatechange-idUSL2N0PJ20920140708


4.  The World Council of Churches, representing half a billion Christians, is divesting its fossil fuel holdings.  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/11/world-council-of-churches-pulls-fossil-fuel-investments


5.  A summary article on Miami’s submergence provides some unusually blunt commentary on the willingness to ignore it among both politicians and citizens.  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/11/miami-drowning-climate-change-deniers-sea-levels-rising  A growing number of major cities are conducting vulnerability studies and taking measures to deal with risks.  http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/2014/07/10/207-global-cities-say-climate-change-is-a-threat-to-local-economy/


6.  Increasing wealth among Republicans correlate with increasing climate denial; among Democrats and independents, it does not.  http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/07/climate-denial-wealth-rich-republicans



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