It’s Gettin’ Hot In Here: ‘China Starts Televising The Sunrise On Giant TV Screens Because Beijing Is So Clouded In Smog’
From The Daily Mail:
The smog has become so thick in Beijing that the city’s natural light-starved masses have begun flocking to huge digital commercial television screens across the city to observe virtual sunrises.
The futuristic screens installed in the Chinese capital usually advertize tourist destinations, but as the season’s first wave of extremely dangerous smog hit - residents donned air masks and left their homes to watch the only place where the sun would hail over the horizon that morning.
Serious air pollution plagues most major Chinese cities, where environmental protection has been long sacrificed for the sake of economic development.
Coal burning and car emissions are major sources of pollution. In recent years, China has beefed up regulations and pledged financial resources to fight pollution.
… what changed was the context. Now, that is a really important lesson for us about how change occurs. We put it off and we delay. We wait until the last minute until nothing else, you know, can possibly get in the way. Until we really have to act now. Then we wait a bit longer, right. And then we do it. And we do that very consistently and that’s the lesson of World War II and that’s the lesson of so many crises, that we wait and we wait and then we panic and then we respond and we do extraordinary things.
A quote from Paul Gilding's talk at Powershift 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. Gilding is one of the world’s most experienced and respected business advisors and public speakers on sustainability and climate change.
You can check out the rest of his presentation here.
Perhaps the best analogy yet for the insane cold weather now afflicting the US came from science blogger Greg Laden, who created the viral image above. “Go home, Arctic,” it reads. “You’re drunk.”
When it comes to the reason why the United States is currently experiencing life-threatening cold—with temperatures in the negative-20s in the Upper Midwest, and wind chills much lower than that—that’s actually not so far from the truth. “It’s basically the jet stream on a drunken path going around the Northern Hemisphere,” explains Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis. In other words, we’re experiencing record-breaking cold temperatures because a wavy and elongated jet stream has allowed frigid Arctic air to travel much farther south than usual.
And according to Francis’ research—which has drawn increasing attention in the past few years—we’re seeing more of just this kind of jet stream behavior, thanks, at least in part, to the rapid warming of the Arctic.
The start of Chris Mooney's look at the science behind the bone-chilling polar vortex over at Climate Desk. You can check out the rest of his article here.
It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here: ‘How Many Gigatons of CO2?’ (Infographic)
Designed by David McCandless, this infographic… illustrates the amount of carbon dioxide that has been released into the atmosphere, how much can “safely” be released into the atmosphere and how much fossil fuel companies have ready to burn. It also associates the amount of global warming that will occur after different amounts of carbon release. If you read about climate change, you’ll sometimes hear these figures called the "carbon budget" or "the math of climate change." It is an important and powerful concept to absorb and should change your thinking on how fast we must act. (Source: Treehugger)
*This is a very handy reference for those of us still fighting climate change denial. However, I do have an issue with the infographic’s title, specifically, its use of the word “believe.” Science is not about beliefs, it is about facts. People can choose to accept the facts or they can ignore them, but either way facts remain facts. I think a better (more scientifically robust) title would be ‘Do you accept the facts of climate change?’
Infographic: Global Sea Level Rise Projections and Risk to the U.S.A.
A 2012 study by the U.S. Geological Survey determined that sea levels along the East Coast will rise three to four times faster than the global average. The study named Norfolk, New York City, and Boston as the three metro areas most vulnerable to the devastating effects of rising sea levels—ranging from the dramatic increase in storm surge, as winds scoop up water from the sea and dump more of it farther from the coast than ever before, to the steady erosion of roads, buildings, and arable soil as seawater creeps inland.
Indeed, the statistics are impressive. It’s estimated that some 50,000 wind turbines have been exported from this mini-kingdom between the North and Baltic seas, nearly 50 percent of the wind-powered generators worldwide. But sales are declining now that large industrialized nations, such as India, China and the US, are emulating the Danes’ success.
In addition to the graceful, towering turbines made of fiberglass and steel, however, Denmark has also given the world a shining example of sustainability: The parliamentary monarchy is widely seen as a laboratory and model for how an entire country can make the transition away from coal, oil and gas and toward energy generated from renewable resources.
Today, already 24 percent of the electricity consumed in Denmark comes from wind power — a world record. There are plans to increase this to 50 percent by 2020, and the country intends to become entirely independent of fossil fuels by 2050.