… 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.
If you are under 30 today, you are on track to find out in your lifetime what unmanageable climate change will be like. Business, politics and economics seem to have no response. What is going wrong and how can you use your voice if you want this fixed in time to fix your future?
One of the world’s top climate diplomats, John Ashton is now an independent commentator and adviser on the politics of climate change. From 2006-12 he served as Special Representative for Climate Change to three successive UK Foreign Secretaries, spanning the current Coalition and the previous Labour Government. He was a cofounder and, from 2004-6, the first Chief Executive of the think tank E3G. From 1978-2002, after a brief period as a research astronomer, he was a career diplomat, with a particular focus on China. He is a visiting professor at the London University School of Oriental and African Studies, and a Distinguished Policy Fellow at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College.
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)
In the past 65 years, Canada’s national average winter temperature has risen 3.2 degrees.
This reaffirms what many suspected. Canada is getting hotter faster than ever before and at a faster rate than almost any other country. Rain, snow, sleet and hail storms are becoming more erratic. What were once considered exceptional weather patterns – the kind researchers reject to avoid skewing their data – are becoming common.
Canada’s infrastructure wasn’t built for this kind of climate. And much of the burden falls on municipal governments, with road, sewer and transit systems that can barely cope with existing weather conditions, let alone future vagaries.
Local public health officials are also paying close attention to vulnerable populations as extreme heat and cold become more frequent. They use climate projections to plan West Nile virus prevention – milder winters and springs can mean more mosquitos carrying the disease.
It’s a big deal for businesses, too, although many don’t know it yet. “Or they don’t want to know: They see it as a kind of capitulation,” said Blair Feltmate, who runs Canada’s Climate Change Adaptation Project.