SNAPSHOT: A Year of Climate Extremes

 
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2018 was another year of hell and high water as the extreme weather impacts predicted by decades of climate science and advocacy continued to accelerate. The rolling series of storms, floods, wildfires, severe heat, and drought produced a constant stream of headlines from around the world, making the human and ecological devastation of extreme weather one of the toughest but most important aspects of the climate change story.

The year opened with daunting but hardly surprising reports that an unstable global climate did record damage in 2017, with all the evidence pointing to the need for faster action on greenhouse gas reductions. Insurers warned of a $1.7-trillion gap in severe weather coverage over the next 10 years, while the U.S. National Institute of Building Sciences said investments in climate resilience pay off sixfold. In the run-up to a landmark report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in September, stressing the urgency of a 1.5°C target for average global warming, a small avalanche of studies and reports showed that the 2.0°C “guardrail” previously suggested by climate science would be insufficient to hold off severe impacts around the world.

While much of the news coverage of extreme weather focused on impacts in developed countries, governments and climate justice advocates continually reminded the rest of the world that the poorest countries and regions are almost invariably the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. As the 2018 United Nations climate conference in Katowice approached, the Climate Vulnerable Forum held a “carbon-free” virtual forum that demanded 1.5°C action for the world’s most vulnerable nations.

Severe Storms and Floods

At one time or another in 2018 just about every part of the world saw the extreme impacts of severe storms and flooding. While not every storm (or wildfire, heat wave, or drought) could be linked directly to the climate crisis, it’s settled science that climate change “loads the dice” for extreme weather events, making them more frequent and severe. The year also saw improvements in the science that allows attribution of specific events, pointing toward an emerging opportunity for litigation and liability focused on climate polluters.

The local impacts of severe storms and floods were chilling, and often heart-rending. A flash flood in Jordan in late October killed 18 people, most of them children and teachers on a school trip. A mudslide in Montecito, California, left 17 dead, 40 missing, and the immediate area looking like a First World War battlefield. An intense hurricane literally wiped a small Hawaiian island off the map, and Typhoon Mangkhut killed 64 in the Philippines before continuing on to southern China and Hong Kong, just a couple of weeks after another typhoon sent an empty fuel tanker careening into a bridge in Japan. Floods and landslides killed 200 people in Japan, even as the country missed an opportunity for a shift to renewable energy, and Fiji entered a frightening new era of extreme weather. Late autumn storms killed six people across northern Italy and flooded 70% of historic Venice.

In Canada, British Columbia endured heavy flooding in mid-May as it prepared for the approaching wildfire season. New Brunswick warned of possible municipal sewage contamination as floodwaters hit record levels, and a review of historical records showed the country’s weather getting wilder. One of a half-dozen tornadoes that suddenly hit Ottawa September 21 turned a beloved, wooded neighbourhood into a logging camp, and the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op pointed to the need and opportunity to build a more resilient, distributed local electricity system.

A Harvard University study concluded that 4,645 people died as a result of Hurricane María in 2017—73 times the official estimate from the U.S. government under Donald Trump—and hurricanes cost the Caribbean $3 billion in tourist revenue in 2017.

Boston confronted two “100-year storms” within weeks. Hurricane Florence bore down on North Carolina, a state that had previously tried to legislate sea level rise out of existence, eventually turning North and South Carolina into an archipelago until drenching floodwaters dissipated. The experience prompted North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to set a 2025 deadline to reduce his state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40%.

Less than a month later, a super-heated ocean boosted Hurricane Michael into a 250-kilometre-per-hour monster that churned through an impoverished part of the Florida Panhandle. Gaps in emergency response had some survivors worried that “they’re doing us like they did New Orleans.”

Fire and Heat

At mid-year, wildfires and heat emergencies were sweeping North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Eurasia, with the constant stream of news showing signs of finally burning climate denial to the ground.

Veteran climate hawk and meteorologist Eric Holthaus pointed to the firestorms sweeping much of the western United States as evidence that a new era of “fire tsunamis” has begun. “You can imagine standing in front of a tsunami or tornado and trying to stop it from destroying homes,” incident commander Ben Brack told the Denver Post. “A human response is ineffective.”

“The official term for the hellish meteorological event that hit La Veta [Colorado] is a ‘firestorm,’ a self-propelling explosion of flame generated by strong and gusty winds from a particularly intense fire over extremely dry terrain,” Holthaus explained. “When a fire gets hot enough, it can generate its own weather conditions and wind speeds can approach hurricane force, drying out the surrounding land.” U.S. firefighters got their first taste of a “fire tornado,” and a similar incident grabbed a responder’s hose and pulled it 100 feet in the air before letting go. “Sorry for the profanity,” wrote Vanderhoof, B.C., firefighter M.C. Schidlowsky at the end of an incident video on her Instagram feed.

A climate impact assessment pointed to wildfires as one part of the “apocalyptic threat” California faces if climate change is not brought under control, after an earlier assessment found that the state’s private utilities lost $20 billion in value after a prior round of blazes. Within months, both assessments were out of date, as the Camp Fire near Sacramento became the worst conflagration in California history, killing at least 85 people and destroying 14,000 homes.

British Columbia declared a(nother) state of emergency in late August in response to an epic wildfire season, as smoke from the province’s more than 600 fires worsened air quality in many parts of Canada. Analysts and activists connected dots between a year of severe climate impacts and energy policies destined to make the problem worse—including Ottawa’s decision to buy a leaky, 65-year-old pipeline from Houston-based Kinder Morgan.

An after-action review found that the emergency response to the Fort McMurray wildfire in 2016 largely neglected nearby Indigenous communities, even as it relied on some of them to shelter evacuees. Studies found that drought and heat make it tougher for forests to regenerate after a fire, that intense, repeat wildfires pollute rivers and threaten water supplies, and that homes destroyed in fires produce a disturbing spike in airborne toxic compounds. Fire, drought, and insect infestations were putting large swaths of the Canadian boreal forest at risk, and a new round of boreal mapping pointed toward future increases in all three.

Extreme Temperatures and Drought

Drought, extreme heat, and, sometimes, extreme cold showed that climate change is about a far wider range of localized effects than just “global warming.” The Washington Post captured a snapshot of the story at mid-summer: from scorching high temperatures in the Middle East and Southern California, to 51.3°C heat in Ouargla, Algeria, that set a record for all of Africa. North America set or tied temperature records in Montreal; Ottawa; Los Angeles; Denver; Mount Washington, New Hampshire; and Burlington, Vermont. A northeastern “heat dome” brought stifling temperatures above 100°F to Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, DC. While “no single record, in isolation, can be attributed to global warming,” the Post wrote, “collectively, these heat records are consistent with the kind of extremes we expect to see increase in a warming world.”

In Siberia, while actual weather observations are scarce, modelling put the temperature above 32°C July 5, more than 22°C above normal. “It is absolutely incredible and really one of the most intense heat events I’ve ever seen for so far north,” wrote meteorologist and blogger Nick Humphrey.

Record highs were recorded in Glasgow, Belfast, and Shannon in Ireland; Castlederg in Northern Ireland; Tbilisi, Georgia, and Yerevan, Armenia, in Eurasia; several locations in southern Russia; and in the Middle East in Quriyat, Oman. And experience in Iran showed that it didn’t take record high heat to trigger public protests, a violent response, and at least one strange burst of paranoia from a senior public official.

European cities were on track for more severe climate impacts. Studies linked a winter deep freeze across much of North America to climate change and found a strong correlation between Arctic warming and wacky winter weather, while a massive storm pushed temperatures at the North Pole 30°C higher than normal. The world’s oceans marked the warmest recorded temperatures in 2017.

Farmworkers in the United States were dying of heat-related illness, and 70 people in southern Quebec, most of them impoverished, died in a summer heat wave. An Omani fishing village endured a record 24-hour period in which the low temperature was 42.6°C, and a heat wave in Karachi, Pakistan, killed at least 65 people. A study found that 3.0°C average global warming would lead to a fivefold increase in heat waves in Africa. A sweltering summer left 72% of Britons concerned about climate change; Alaskans faced severe impacts due to surging Arctic temperatures; Colorado ski operators stood to lose billions of dollars due to warmer, drier winters; and an early snow drought was expected to cut reservoir levels, resulting in billions in costs across the western United States.

Cape Town, South Africa, was on track to run out of water on April 22, until the imminent threat of Day Zero prompted residents to cut their per capita consumption by half.

Human Impacts and the Way Forward

Droughts and floods drove global hunger to a 10-year high, wiping out previous gains and prompting United Nations agencies to call for greater emphasis on climate resilience. A migrant caravan from Central America heading toward the United States was driven primarily by climate-induced drought, and millions around the world were being displaced each year by climate impacts, while the Trump administration scaled back its quota for incoming refugees. The poorest and most marginalized bore the brunt as air pollution killed eight million people per year, and many young adults faced a wrenching ethical dilemma as they weighed whether to become parents.

Analysis showed that the economic costs of climate change will hit hardest in India and the United States, placed the annual cost of unchecked sea level rise at $27 trillion by 2100, and stressed that compensation for loss and damage—the unavoidable costs that vulnerable countries and regions face due to climate disasters—must push beyond market-based measures like insurance.

Puerto Rico was in the midst of a major mental health crisis a year after Hurricane María, and Fort McMurray faced higher rates of depression, substance abuse, and post-traumatic stress after its 2016 wildfire. British Columbia unveiled a mental health plan for 2017 wildfire evacuees just as its 2018 wildfire season kicked off, and the overwhelming devastation from Hurricane Florence hit poor and rural North Carolinians the hardest. Australian farmers demanded practical solutions to the climatic changes they could see unfolding before their eyes, local solar installations pointed toward a better way to rebuild Puerto Rico, and a study found that a suite of urban solutions could free billions of people from climate impacts by 2050.

Media largely missed the memo on the urgency of the IPCC report on 1.5°C pathways, a new Canadian climate atlas showed that the crisis is real, and Texas fossils—without a trace of irony—sought federal government funding to protect their vulnerable, greenhouse gas-producing operations from climate change.

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The Doug Ford government’s abrupt cancellation of an eastern Ontario wind power development is running headlong into concerns about the reliability of the province’s electricity supply over the next two to four years.

‘Groundbreaking’ Supreme Court Ruling Mandates Fast Carbon Cut in The Netherlands

Dutch campaigners are declaring an “immense victory for climate justice” after a strongly-worded supreme court judgement December 20 upheld governments’ human rights duty to protect citizens from climate change and ordered The Netherlands to cut greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 1990 levels by the end of this year.

Austria to Set 2040 Carbon Neutral Target as Greens Join Coalition Government

Austria is poised to become a European “forerunner” in climate protection and set a 2040 carbon-neutral target after the centre-right People’s Party (Oe Vp) and the Greens announced a coalition government last Thursday.

Bioenergy Faces Scrutiny Over Coal Plant Conversions, Forest Loss

Bioenergy entered 2020 facing renewed scrutiny over its potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with scientists in Europe and the United States warning that coal-to-biomass power plant conversions could actually fuel the climate crisis.

‘Normal Weather Doesn’t Exist Anymore,’ Says Veteran CBC Climatologist Dave Phillips

From an overheating Arctic to a frigid B.C. Lower Mainland and Maritimes, from a parched (then drowning) Prairie region to an epically deluged Eastern Canada, the fingerprints of the climate crisis were all over the extreme weather events experienced by Canadians in 2019, says legendary Environment Canada climatologist David Phillips.

As Amazon Rainforest Approaches a ‘Tipping Point’, Scientists Say There’s Still Time to Act

An interlinked and frightening triad of rising temperatures, escalating deforestation, and wildfire is pushing the Amazon rainforest ever closer to a “tipping point” that will effectively destroy much of the precious ecosystem that is also one of the world’s critical carbon sinks, two renowned rainforest experts warn.

Tropical Staple Trees Would Save 20.19 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Tropical staple trees rank #14 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. This option could eliminate 20.19 gigatons of atmospheric carbon dioxide at a cost of $US120.1 billion, producing savings of $627 billion.

Bank of England Sets Climate Stress Test

Russia Imprisons Peaceful Protester Inspired by Thunberg

Brazilian Amazon Sees Doubling of Deforestation Rate for November

The Amazon suffered more than twice as much deforestation last month as it did in November 2018, a savage uptick which will bring Brazilian rainforest destruction in 2019 to an area nearly as large as Puerto Rico.

South Korea Temporarily Shuts 10 Coal Plants, Dials 41 Others Back to 80% Output

A sputtering coal industry has taken yet another hit, with South Korea temporarily shuttering 10 of its 60 coal-fired power plants in a bid to curb air pollution, reports Reuters.

Peatlands Restoration Would Save 21.57 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Peatlands restoration is ranked #13 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. It can avoid 21.57 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. While data are too variable to permit a global accounting of costs, those hundreds of millions of acres of protected lands will permanently secure 1,200 gigatons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.

NY Transit Agency Launches Flood Control Tests

Researchers Spot Changes in Oldest Arctic Ice

Melting Permafrost Turns Arctic into Net Source of Greenhouse Gases

As scientists grow ever more certain that the Arctic is becoming a net contributor to climate change as its carbon- and methane-heavy permafrost melts, the 35 million people who call the polar region home fear exposure to heavy metals and dangerous pathogens, while witnessing a collapsing food chain.

House of Commons Motion Backs a Green New Deal for Canada

The first motion filed in the reconstituted House of Commons calls for MPs to endorse a Green New Deal for Canada.

Climate Crisis Could Drive $20 Trillion in Losses, Trigger Global Financial Meltdown

Climate change is the next economic threat that could trigger a global financial meltdown by destroying up to US$20 trillion in market value, independent journalist Nick Cunningham writes for Oilprice.com.

Scientists Urge ‘Peak Meat’ by 2030, But Farm Rep Sees More Complex Picture

Having all but the poorest countries on Earth achieve “peak meat” consumption by 2030 will be critical in the fight to keep global temperatures from rising beyond the relative safety of the Paris targets, say 50 scientists in a letter to The Lancet Planetary Health Journal.

One Scottish Peat Fire May Have Released Six Days’ Worth of National Emissions

California Battery Incentive Pivots to Wildfire, Blackout Resilience

U.S. Declared ‘Climate Criminal’ as ‘Stalemated’ COP 25 Limps to a Close

Reporters on the ground described two weeks of stalemated United Nations climate negotiations limping to a close, a diplomat branded the United States a “climate criminal” for its stance on the crucial issue of loss and damage, and the hundreds of youth, Indigenous, and other community representatives onsite talked about the grassroot action back home that will continue to spur faster, more ambitious climate action, as COP 25 entered its final hours in Madrid.

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/

Decision on Teck Frontier Mega-Mine Will Test Canada’s Climate Action Commitment

The massive Teck Frontier tar sands/oil sands mine in Alberta is emerging as an early test of the re-elected Trudeau government’s climate commitment, with a cabinet decision due in February and campaigners gearing up to oppose a megaproject that would run through 2067 and increase Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by six million tonnes per year.

Swiss Parliament May Instruct Central Bank to Divest Fossil Assets

The newly-constituted parliament in Switzerland, elected in a fall vote in which the climate crisis took centre stage, may soon instruct the country’s central bank to drop all fossil fuel assets from its US$800-billion investment fund, Reuters says in an exclusive report this week.

Minority Communities Face Greatest Risk as Atlantic Coast Pipeline Pushes Into Rural America

Promising jobs and property tax revenue, owners of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline are pushing ahead against grassroots resistance and expert testimony, both maintaining that such gains are outweighed by the potential for great harm to be borne mostly by rural, African-American, and Indigenous communities, as well as delicate ecosystems.

U.S. Heat Waves Cause 25,000 More Premature Births Per Year

An estimated 25,000 babies per year were born prematurely in the United States over a 20-year span due to heat waves, according to a study last week in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Long History of Waste, Shrinkage Due to Climate Change Put Majestic Colorado River At Risk

One hundred years after politicians ignored warnings that even the majestic Colorado River could not sustain all the demands on its water from seven different states, policy-makers are still ignoring the science—a path that is particularly unwise in a climate emergency, Grist reports.

District Energy Systems Gain Ground Despite High Up-Front Cost, Low Gas Prices

Community-based district energy systems are spreading across Canada despite steep up-front costs and tough competition from cheap natural gas, with innovative examples popping up in Vancouver, Yellowknife, Charlottetown, and more than 2,600 other places in between.

Thunberg Named Time Magazine Person of the Year

For speaking truth to power, and inspiring millions of people of all ages around the world to do the same, 16 year-old #FridaysForFuture founder Greta Thunberg has been named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019.

Saskatchewan Train Derailment Leaks 1.5 Million Litres of Crude

Vancouver Port Expansion Raises Air Quality Concerns

Minnesota Regulator Sees Little Impact on Lake Superior from Line 3

Colorado Rethinks Dam Safety

Logging Costs Ontario 650,000 Hectares of Forest, 16.5 Mt of Carbon Storage Over 30 Years

Despite persistent claims that Canada has a near-zero deforestation rate, Ontario alone has lost an expanse of productive forest equivalent to 10 times the City of Toronto in the last 30 years, along with 16.5 million tonnes of carbon storage capacity, according to a new report released last week by the Toronto-based Wildlands League.

Oceans Face Oxygen Loss, Acidification as Warming Challenges Ability to Absorb Carbon

With the Earth’s oceans rapidly and dangerously losing oxygen due to a combination of global warming and pollution, Greenpeace is urging countries to restore and protect the planet’s marine ecosystems, both for their own sake and because a healthy ocean is vital to fighting the climate emergency.

Wildfire

PG&E, Wildfire Victims Reach $13.5-Billion Settlement

Bankrupt utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has reached a tentative US$13.5-billion settlement with the victims of devastating wildfires that killed dozens and destroyed tens of thousands of homes across its Northern California service area.

Canadian Sustainable Beef Standard is ‘Marbled with Loopholes’

Lacking real substance, marbled with loopholes, and in need of a crash course in regenerative agriculture is Corporate Knights’ assessment of the green burger promise being served up by the Calgary-based Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB).

Extended Drought Cuts Mighty Victoria Falls to a Trickle

Clearing the Air Leads to Rapid Public Health Gains

Enbridge Leaves Construction Debris in Mackinac Straits for Months

South Velvet Monkeys Face Stress, Mortality in South Africa Drought

Bird Conservation Group Declares Against California Wind Project

Need to Get It Right: Article 6 Could Trigger Faster Carbon Cuts or Massive Greenwashing

It could make or break the success of the Paris Agreement. It’s a notably complicated section of an international accord that is already arcane and nuanced by real-world standards. And as negotiations passed their midpoint Friday, many participants at this year’s UN climate conference, COP 25, said they would rather postpone final drafting of Article 6 than settle for a bad decision.

Former Oilpatch Roughneck Traces Hardships of Fossil Employment, Urges Better Deal in Carbon-Free Transition

The boom and bust nature of a fossil-fuel based economy, together with the callous greed of those at the top, means a “pretty brutal, pretty unforgiving” existence for oilpatch workers, self-described “oilpatch brat,” one-time roughneck, and oil and gas anthropologist Rylan Higgins writes in a recent CBC op ed.

Saudi Aramco IPO Shows Weakening Global Oil Market, Perils for ‘Wexit Albertans’

Saudi Arabia’s long-awaited bid to raise investment dollars through an initial public offering (IPO) for its massive, state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco, has produced two equal and opposite results: the deal has taken its place as the biggest IPO in history and pegged the company’s value at about US$1.7 trillion, while simultaneously pointing to the fragility of the global oil and gas industry.

Washington State Shifts Ferry Fleet from Diesel to Batteries

The west coast of North America is making initial moves toward decarbonizing marine shipping and aviation, with Washington State Ferries switching its vessels from diesel to batteries and Richmond, British Columbia-based Harbour Air Seaplanes just days away from testing the world’s first all-electric commercial aircraft.

Tree Intercropping Would Save 17.2 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Tree Intercropping places #17 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. Intercropping on 571 million acres globally by 2050 would sequester 17.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide and, after a total investment of US$147 billion, save $22.1 billion over the 30-year span.

Pirates Seize Fully-Loaded Supertanker Off Nigeria, Kidnap 19 Crew

Flooding Brings ‘Unprecedented Damage’ to East Midlands Farmers

Bulk Storage Facility Collapse Dumps Uranium Into Detroit River

‘Shrubbier’ Tundra Could Speed Permafrost Melt

What’s Driving the Antarctic Meltdown

Throne speech Ottawa 2019 climate action emissions Trudeau Payette

Wilkinson Vows Tougher 2030 Emissions Target as Throne Speech Promises Net-Zero by 2050

A 2050 deadline to achieve net-zero emissions, a price on carbon in every part of the country, and new initiatives on energy-efficient buildings, zero-emission vehicles, “clean, affordable power”, and climate change adaptation are major elements of the legislative program the incoming federal government laid out in the Speech from the Throne delivered in Ottawa yesterday by Governor General Julie Payette.

Canadian Food Prices Set to Rise $487 Per Family, with Climate a Major Cause

The average Canadian family will pay $487 more for food next year, and the authors of the country’s annual food price report are pointing to climate change as a major cause of the increase.

Thunberg arrives Madrid COP 25 bossito:Twitter

‘Two Worlds Collide’ as Urgent Street Protests Meet Slow, Deliberate COP Negotiations

With negotiations at this year’s United Nations climate conference in Madrid, COP 25, reaching their midpoint, some delegates and observers are getting a sense of what Climate Home News calls “two worlds about to collide”.

New Coal Plant Construction Puts Indonesia at Odds with 1.5°C Carbon Target

Even as its neighbours join the rest of the world in turning increasingly away from coal, Indonesia is charging full steam ahead with new coal plant construction, putting any hope of aligning with a 1.5°C average global warming target under the 2015 Paris Agreement in serious jeopardy along the way.

‘Unglamourous’ Manure Workshop Brings Ground-Up Solutions to COP 25

The emissions reduction potential of manure was the decidedly…earthy, if “unglamourous” focus of a pre-conference workshop attached to United Nations climate negotiations in Madrid, according to ECO, the daily conference newsletter produced by Climate Action Network-International.

Scotland Looks to Plant Trees on Underused Land

Heat, Climate Extremes Bring Infrastructure Challenges to St. Louis

Residents Consider Retreat from North Carolina Barrier Island

WMO Declares 2010s the Warmest Decade on Record as Climate Impacts Accelerate

The 2010s are almost certain to take their place as the warmest decade on record, and 2015-2019 as the five-year span with the highest average temperatures ever, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reports, in a dire provisional statement released Tuesday at the beginning of this year’s United Nations climate negotiations in Madrid.

António Guterres

COP 25: Guterres Conveys ‘Hope, Not Despair’ as Vulnerable Countries Demand Action

UN Secretary General António Guterres showed up with a mix of urgency and hope, the Climate Vulnerable Forum called for a commitment from countries to adopt more ambitious climate targets by next year, and delegates heard from youth leaders and businesses, movie stars and retired politicians pushing for faster, deeper carbon cuts as COP 25 negotiations in Madrid got under way Monday and Tuesday.

Fossil of the Day Award Australia Brazil Japan Climate Action Network International COP 25

Australia, Brazil, Japan Share Fossil of the Day (Dis)Honours as COP Negotiations Get Under Way

Australia, Brazil, and Japan found themselves in a three-way tie yesterday for Fossil of the Day, the coveted award from Climate Action Network-International for the country or institution that has done the most to obstruct progress at UN climate negotiations, taking place this year in Madrid.

82 Days of King Tide Flooding Becoming the New Normal for Florida Keys

Rising sea levels coupled with the impact of recent hurricanes on the Gulf Stream have left residents of the Florida Keys enduring massive “king tides” nearly three months in excess of the norm, and as much as 18 inches higher than customary, with one Key Largo neighbourhood reporting 82 days of flooding in a row.

60% of Toxic Superfund Sites in U.S. Are Vulnerable to Climate Impacts

With 60% of America’s toxic Superfund sites at risk from climate impacts like storm surge and flooding, wildfires and rising seas, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must urgently incorporate climate change into its risk assessments and response protocols, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) states in a report release last month.

Post-Cold War Necessity Makes Cuba a Model for Scaled-Up Urban Farming

Cuba is emerging as a model for countries intent on feeding dense urban populations in a warming world, after the geopolitics of the Cold War ended with the island nation’s remarkable success with urban farming.

Mental Health Expertise Meets Sandbags in Helping Communities Build Climate Resilience

It was judicious use of mental health expertise, along with many, many sandbags, that enabled Fargo, North Dakota to weather the challenges of the epic 2009 Red River flood. That was one of the experiences that pointed to a basic precondition for building communities’ ability to face the climate emergency: Recognizing climate change as a profound threat to mental health, responding with messages of “hopeful realism” and ongoing compassion, particularly for older adults and children, and helping communities acquire the psychological and social resilience to cope.

Supporting Women Smallholders Would Save 2.06 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Supporting women smallholders ranks #62 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. It would reduce 2.06 gigatons of atmospheric carbon dioxide by 2050 and produce $US87.6 billion in net savings.

New EU Pollution Controls Undercut Investments in Coal Refurbishments

‘Unprecedented’ Interest Could Pour $4B into Oil and Gas Drilling Off Newfoundland and Labrador Coast

Oil and gas exploration off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to boom in the next few years, with fossils poised to spend up to C$4 billion on what they hope will be the province’s next big production project, the Financial Post reports.

Cut Carbon by Giving Citizens More Transportation Choices, Veteran City Planner Urges

A key step in getting Canadian urbanites out of high-emitting cars is to shed the notion that roads are natural habitat for cars alone and redesign city streets to give citizens more transportation choices, former Toronto chief planner and mayoral candidate Jennifer Keesmaat argues in a Globe and Mail op ed.

Include People with Disabilities in Climate Disaster Planning, Researchers Urge

Frequently facing pre-existing health problems and mobility issues, and too often isolated from their broader community, people with disabilities are profoundly vulnerable to climate disasters like hurricanes, flooding, extreme heat, and wildfire, a reality that policy-makers must recognize and act upon, according to a recent letter in the journal Science.

Residential LEDs Would Save 7.8 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Ranked #33 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, using residential LED lighting to replace incandescent and fluorescent bulbs could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 7.8 gigatons between now and 2050. In addition to its climate benefits, LEDs would save roughly US$1.7 trillion in energy costs over the same 30-year span.

Melting Ice Sculpture Replaces Absent Boris Johnson During Channel 4 Climate Debate

$38.9-Million Price Tag Made Dorian NS Power’s Most Expensive Hurricane Ever

Ocean Warming Devastates Once-Prosperous Angolan Fishing Town

Nine Climate Tipping Points Could Pose ‘Existential Threat to Civilization’, Scientists Warn

With this year’s United Nations climate conference set to kick off in Madrid Monday morning, the Earth is in danger of crossing as many as nine crucial climate “tipping points” that represent an “existential threat to civilization”, scientists warn in a commentary published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

McKenna Pledges Fast Action on Infrastructure Through a ‘Climate Lens’

Infrastructure and Communities Minister Catherine McKenna donned a hard hat for her first major speech in her new portfolio this week, telling the Federation of Canadian Municipalities she plans to get money out the door and shovels in the ground on projects that are all undertaken through a “climate lens”.

Arctic Temperatures Up to 11° Above Normal Produce Treacherously Thin Ice

Treacherously thin ice, arriving very late, is one of the immediate impacts of the shockingly warm temperatures this autumn across much of the far North, reports The Canadian Press.

Alaska National Wildlife Refuge

Trump Administration Plans Massive Expansion for Alaska Oil Drilling

Continuing its assault on Obama-era environmental protections in the Arctic, the Trump administration released a draft proposal earlier this month to open as much as 81% of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve—critical habitat for endangered caribou, grizzlies, wolves, and migratory birds—to exploratory drilling for oil.

U.S. Agency Voluntarily Suspends Oil and Gas Leases Over Climate Impacts

More Renewables Means Better Health in U.S. Midwest

New Snow Helps Restore Glaciers in High Mountain Asia

Carbon emissions from a coal plant in Germany

Record GHG Concentrations Prompt Call for Drastic Action to Reduce Emissions

A pair of alarming reports from United Nations agencies shows greenhouse gas emissions at record levels and rising at a faster annual rate, meaning that efforts to counter the climate crisis must increase three- to five-fold to avoid a world of 3.2°C average global warming in less than 100 years.

Doug Ford Ontario government

Seven Youth Sue Ford Government for ‘Tearing Up Ontario’s Climate Laws’

Seven Ontario youth are suing the Doug Ford government for “tearing up the province’s climate laws and violating their Charter rights to life, liberty, and security of the person,” Ecojustice announced yesterday.

BC LNG LNG Canada

B.C. Directs $830 Million in Subsidies to Climate-Busting LNG Industry

British Columbia paid out C$830 million in subsidies to help build its liquefied natural gas industry in 2017-18, according to a report released this week by the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

Air quality Lahore Pakistan

‘Hazardous’ Air Quality in Lahore, Pakistan Prompts Amnesty International Action Alert

Amnesty International has issued what it describes as an unprecedented Urgent Action alert for an entire city, calling on its global network to defend the health of Lahore, Pakistan.

Sumatra elephant

Fires Driven by Drought, Forest Clearing Ravage Sumatran Elephant and Tiger Habitat

Fires across Indonesia this summer and fall, driven by a wet season cut short by drought, drained peatlands turned to tinder, and farmers conducting slash-and-burn forest clearing, have ravaged habitat for critically endangered Sumatran elephants and tigers.

Climate Could Collapse U.S. Military in 20 Years, Pentagon Says

Adapting to Climate Costs French Ski Resorts Millions

Plastic Pollution Making Latin American Communities Uninhabitable

Woman holding a koala

UPDATE: Climate Community Reacts After Business Journal Overstates Koala Extinction Risk

The massive bushfires sweeping New South Wales, Australia have experts debating whether koalas are now “functionally extinct”, after flames killed more than 1,000 of the animals and burned 80% of their habitat.

Alberta_oil_energy

Secession Would Make Alberta the World’s Biggest Per Capita Carbon Polluter

If Alberta ever pursued some of its louder residents’ “Wexit” dreams and separated from the rest of Canada, it would instantly become the world’s biggest carbon polluter, with per capita emissions three times higher than Saudi Arabia, currently the worst colossal fossil among the world’s nations.

‘Being Rich Matters’ as $7.9 Trillion in Future Climate Impacts Hit Africa Hardest

The impacts of climate change could cost the world’s economy US$7.9 trillion by 2050, according to the latest climate resilience index from a leading UK-based finance and economics magazine.

Energy poverty

Online Tool Connects Energy Poverty to Climate, Housing Crises

A group of sustainability specialists is out with a new online mapping tool to help policy-makers navigate the challenging nexus between the climate crisis, the housing crisis, and poverty, to ensure that no one is left behind in the transition out of a fossil economy.

New Interactive Map Shows Sharp Decline in Boreal Caribou

Kalamazoo River tar sands oil spill

Keystone Spill Affected 10 Times More Land Than Regulator First Reported

The 1.4 million litres of tar sands/oil sands bitumen that spilled from the Keystone pipeline late last month affected 10 times more land than North Dakota state regulators initially reported, state environmental scientist Bill Seuss said Monday.

Solar Panels

Study Shows One in Three Americans in Communities with 100% RE Targets

With renewable energy generation nearly doubling in the United States since 2008, a new report from UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation lists 11 states plus Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, as well as more than 200 cities and counties. that have either committed to or already met 100% clean electricity targets.

Lamu Coal Plant Protest Kenya

African Development Bank Pulls Plug on Kenya Coal Plant

In a major blow to fossil interests in Africa, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has declined to fund a coal-fired power plant in Kenya, and otherwise signalled a strong turn away from future coal projects and towards renewables.

Woman and child walking in forest

‘New Kind of Protected Area’ Would Store Carbon, Conserve Nature’s Ecological Services

Rapid climate change should be the catalyst for Canada to embrace “a new type of protected area” devoted to sequestering carbon, argues Dan Kraus, senior conservation biologist at the Nature Conservancy of Canada, in an opinion piece for the Toronto Star.

Coastal GasLink Opens 700-Unit Man Camp Near Chetwynd, B.C.

Batteries Keep Lights On in Queensland After Coal Unit Fails

San José Looks to Microgrids After PG&E Power Shutoffs

Providence, RI Leads the Way on Environmental Justice

First Cyber-Attack on Wind, Solar Shows Uneven Security

Plant-Rich Diet Would Save 66.11 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

A plant-rich diet places #4 on the Drawdown list of climate solutions. While data vary too widely for a comprehensive global accounting, Drawdown sees a global shift away from the “meat-centric, highly processed, often excessive Western diet” cutting atmospheric carbon dioxide by 66.11 gigatons by 2050, saving trillions of dollars in health care costs, and boosting global GDP by as much as 13%.

California, 22 Other States Launch Latest Suit Against Trump Fuel Economy Rollback

Nearly two dozen U.S. states are taking Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the U.S. Court of Appeals to defend California’s long-standing right to set its own, tougher standards for vehicle fuel efficiency.

Absence of Other Choices Drives Indigenous Role in Oil and Gas

The potent power of oil and gas is dividing Indigenous communities in western Canada, with one side championing the industry as the only available path away from poverty, while the other condemns it as a neocolonialist destroyer of Indigenous values and the global climate.

‘Ridiculously Effective’ Transit Discount Boosts Low-Income Access

Eighteen months after the City of Toronto dropped transit prices for low-income riders, the numbers are in, and they prove that cheaper transit enables people to transform their lives.

Microgrid Saves Four Lives During PG&E Power Shutoff

A microgrid in northwestern California provided life-saving emergency power when Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), desperate to manage wildfire threats, conducted its first planned Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) in October.

Efficient Water Distribution Would Save 870 Megatons of Carbon by 2050

More efficient water distribution places #71 on the Drawdown list of climate solutions. It could cut atmospheric carbon dioxide by 870 megatons by 2050 at a cost of US$137.4 billion, producing net savings of $903.1 billion.

Climate Crisis Reinforces Global Inequities

Controversial Mega-Dam Opens in Laos

Doctors Urge Rapid Decarbonization to Avert Life-Long Health Impacts of Climate Change

The increase in extreme weather and air pollution due to climate change is seriously harming human health, and a world of food shortages, infectious diseases, floods, and extreme heat will produce life-long health risks for a child born today unless countries move swiftly to curb carbon pollution, according to the latest annual climate and health update published this week by the prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet.

Venice Submerged by Second-Highest Tidal Floodwaters Ever

Eighteen months before Venice’s state-of-the-art flood barrier is scheduled to be complete and operational, the so-called “Floating City” is drowning, submerged this week under the second-highest climate change-driven tidal floodwaters on record.

Flames Reach Sydney Suburbs as Australians Face ‘Most Dangerous Bushfire Week Ever’

With 150 wildfires burning on the country’s east and west coasts and 85 raging across New South Wales, 46 of them out of control and 14 at an “emergency level”, the premier of Australia’s most populous state declared a seven-day state of emergency Monday and officials issued an unprecedented “catastrophic” fire warning for Sydney, where bushfires were breaking out in suburbs just a few kilometres from the city centre.

TC Energy Restarts Keystone Pipeline While Studying Why 1.4 Million Litres Spilled

TC Energy is restarting the Keystone pipeline while it works to understand why the line spilled more than 1.4 million litres (9,120 barrels) of tar sands/oil sands diluted bitumen along a quarter-mile/0.4-kilometre stretch of northeastern North Dakota late last month. The incident has only strengthened the resolve of Nebraska landowners fighting the company’s efforts to expropriate their land to build the fiercely-contested Keystone XL pipeline.

Climate Change Makes the Most Destructive U.S. Hurricanes 330% More Frequent

The United States faces the most destructive hurricanes more than three times as often as it did a century ago, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that blames the shift “unequivocally” on climate change.

A 2030 Vision: Here’s What Life is Like if We Win on Climate

Far lower CO2 emissions, cleaner air and water, less meat on the dinner table, and less spending on consumer goods are key features of a near future in which humanity brings climate change under control, Danish Member of Parliament Ida Auken writes in a recent post for the World Economic Forum.

Solnit: From Online Networks to Urban Congestion, Silicon Valley ‘Fuels the Climate Crisis’

From enabling the rise of climate deniers like Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, to boosting the powers of the surveillance state to crack down on climate activism, to luring people off bikes and buses with Internet-dependent services like Uber, Silicon Valley is “fueling the climate crisis,” activist intellectual Rebecca Solnit contends in a post for Resilience.org.

Climate Crisis Drives More Migrants Toward Incarceration by ‘Border-Industrial Complex’

The sprawling private prison system in the United States is a direct beneficiary of a climate crisis that is putting millions of people at the mercy of a growing “border-industrial complex”, author and journalist Todd Miller writes in a recent opinion piece for Al Jazeera.

Climate Costs to Taxpayers Will Spiral Unless Australia Introduces New Policies

Magdalen Islands Crumble Into the Sea as Protective Ice Melts

Fuel Crisis Leaves Yemeni Farmers Without Irrigation

EXCLUSIVE: Brazil Crude Oil Calamity Spells Warning for Canada

Eight weeks ago, the famed white sand beaches of northeast Brazil began blackening as globs of toxic oil suddenly appeared to coat or contaminate crustaceans, fish, sea turtles, birds, rocks, and shallow mangrove nurseries sheltering all manner of marine life. An investigation by Paul McKay.

Latest Fossil Bankruptcy Could Add 1,400 Orphan Wells, Pipelines to Alberta Cleanup Backlog

Alberta is on the hook for as many as 1,400 more abandoned oil and gas wells and associated infrastructure after the officers and directors of Calgary-based Houston Oil & Gas Ltd. laid off their staff and contractors, shut down the company, and walked away from their responsibility to clean up after themselves.

New Studies Show Global Emissions Rising, G20 Climate Investments Falling in 2018

Countries are still increasing their greenhouse gas emissions and scaling back their investments in GHG reductions, making 2020 a crucial year to turn the tide on the climate crisis.

Green Budget Coalition Urges Ottawa to Acknowledge Cost of Climate Impacts

Next year’s federal budget must acknowledge the hundreds of millions of dollars Canadians are already paying due to climate change and its impacts, the 22-member Green Budget Coalition says in a set of recommendations released last week.

Study of Fracking-Related Earthquake Shows B.C. Rock Formations in ‘Hair-Trigger State’

Fracking operations should proceed with caution in gas-rich northeastern British Columbia, with recent research into last November’s fracking-induced 4.5 magnitude earthquake near the Site C dam site revealing underground rock seams in a hair-trigger state—needing only a small injection of fracking fluid to induce “seismicity”.

Home Storage Delivers Back-Up Power in Vermont Blackout, and EV Batteries Could Do Even Better

When a major rain and wind storm knocked out power supplies for 115,000 Vermont households on Hallowe’en, the 1,100 Green Mountain Power customers participating in a home battery pilot project did just fine.

Virginia Set to Embrace Carbon-Free Energy, Join RGGI After Democrats Win Legislative Majority

Virginia is on track to accelerate its drive for carbon-free energy and join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in the northeastern United States, after Democrats took control of the state legislature in off-year elections last week.

Scotland Restores Degraded Peatlands to Boost Carbon Capture

As part of its pledge to achieve net zero emissions by 2045, Scotland has begun an ambitious program to restore its degraded peatlands, stating that the boggy ecosystems, which at present cover 3% of the planet’s surface, store twice as much carbon as all of its forests combined.

Educating Girls Would Save 59.6 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Educating girls ranks #6 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. By 2050, if universal education is achieved in low- and lower-middle-income countries, educating girls can eliminate 59.6 gigatons of carbon dioxide, with costs and savings that are both incalculable.

Ford Government to Spend Two Years Researching Impacts of Climate Change

Climate Models May Have Overestimated Arctic Warming

More Than One Million Hit by East Africa’s ‘Worst Flooding in a Lifetime’

Does Buying Local Hurt Farmers in Other Countries?

Climate Crisis Will Bring ‘Untold Suffering’ Without Major Societal Shifts, 11,000 Scientists Warn

Major shifts in global society will be needed to avoid “untold suffering due to the climate crisis,” according to a statement endorsed by more than 11,000 scientists from 153 nations and published this week in the journal BioScience.

Pipeline Politics: Who Buried the Lede?

Award-winning investigative reporter Paul McKay looks into how mainstream media tilts coverage by assigning climate science missing-in-action status.

Brazilian Indigenous Forest Defender Dies in Ambush by Illegal Loggers

A young Indigenous warrior from the Guajajara tribe in northern Brazil was shot dead and another was wounded in an ambush by illegal loggers, after the government of President Jair Bolsonaro left tribes to defend their lands from increased incursions by logging and mining interests, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reports.

New Delhi Declares Health Emergency, Restricts Car Traffic to Reduce Dangerous Air Pollution

India’s capital, New Delhi, declared a public health emergency Monday and banned some cars from its roads in an effort to reduce alarming levels of dangerous air pollution.

German Engineers Make Substitute Steel, Concrete from Carbon-Storing Algae

German engineers have developed a process that turns algae into a carbon-sequestering replacement for steel and concrete that is as climate friendly as it is strong.

Tropical Forest Restoration Would Save 61.23 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Restoration of Tropical Forests places #5 on the Drawdown list of climate solutions, with potential to cut atmospheric carbon dioxide by 61.23 gigatons by 2050.

Tokyo Prepares to Host Hottest Olympics Ever

UK Sets Nation-Wide Fracking Moratorium

The United Kingdom has issued a temporary moratorium on shale gas fracking, citing the industry’s inability to “reliably predict and control tremors”.

Canadian CEOs’ Lobby Calls for Climate Risk Assessment, Still Wants More Pipelines

The lobby group representing CEOs of Canada’s biggest corporations is calling on businesses to disclose the long-term risks they face as a result of the climate crisis.

Multi-Strata Agroforestry Would Save 9.28 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Multistrata Agroforestry places #28 on the Drawdown list of climate solutions, with the potential to cut atmospheric carbon dioxide by 9.28 gigatons by 2050, with an up-front cost of $26.8 billion but net savings of $709.8 billion.

#FridaysforFuture in China Begins with Planting Trees

Local Livelihoods Threatened by Amazon Mini-Dams

Survival Strategy Raises Hope for Corals Facing Ocean Warming

Dolphins Shift North Into Warming Potomac River

Keystone Pipeline Spills 1.4 Million Litres in North Dakota

Repairs and clean-up could take anywhere from 10 days to two or three months after the Keystone pipeline spilled more than 1.4 million litres (9,119 barrels) of tar sands/oil sands diluted bitumen along a quarter-mile/0.4-kilometre stretch of northeastern North Dakota Tuesday.

Sea Level Rise Could Put Three Times More People at Risk World-Wide

Deploying a far more accurate method than has been used to date to predict future sea level rise, researchers say three times more people than previously thought will face inundation by 2050, with some of the world’s greatest cities at risk of going under the waves.

Diesel Trucks, SUVs Imperil Health, Drive Up Carbon Emissions

Big diesel trucks and ever more numerous sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are driving up lung-damaging emissions of small particulate matter, while producing enough extra carbon dioxide to significantly imperil efforts to hold average global warming below 2.0°C, according to a two-year study released this week by the University of Toronto’s Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research (SOCAAR).

UN Scrambles to Relocate Climate Conference After Chile Withdraws as Host

Chile’s decision to withdraw from hosting this year’s United Nations climate conference, COP 25, has international climate hawks calling for a quick effort to reorganize and relocate the meeting, to avoid losing time in the effort to speed up global greenhouse gas emissions and deliver assistance for vulnerable communities.

FAO Calls for ‘Good Policy Choices’ to Combat Food Waste

In a global first, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has fully measured how as much as 20% of food produced in different world regions is lost somewhere between harvest and market—critical knowledge for researchers and policy-makers struggling both to combat hunger and curb greenhouse gas emissions from food waste.

Qatar Spends LNG Fortune on Outdoor Cooling to Host 2022 World Cup

Gearing up to host the World Cup of soccer in 2022, fabulously wealthy Qatar is using its revenues from liquefied natural gas (LNG) extraction to air condition city streets, markets, and stadiums that would otherwise be death traps as temperatures soar to levels that are lethal to life.

Front-Line Protests, Solid Research Drive Indonesia to Quit Coal, Protect Biodiversity

From the transition off coal, to protecting the biodiverse islands that helped inspire the theory of evolution, a combination of front-line protests and solid research is pulling Indonesia toward a more aggressive response to the climate crisis.

‘Unprecedented’ Antarctic Warming Spells Trouble for Emperor Penguins

With Antarctica warming at “unprecedented” rates, British researchers are calling for much stronger efforts to protect the emperor penguin, as the sea ice upon which the birds depend for their breeding and molting cycles grows ever more uncertain in depth and duration.

Warren Climate Plan Draws Wildfire Wisdom from Tribes

Kinder Morgan Faces City Lawsuits Over Texas Aquifer

B.C. Lays Plans to Modernize Disaster Response

Bangladesh Oil Spill Threatens Breeding Ground for Endangered Ganges Dolphin

Microgrid Protects Fremont, California Fire Department from Power Outages

Inuit Hunters Report No Whales Off Alaska, Blame Warming Waters

Climate-Induced Starvation May Push Countries to War

U.S., Australia Refuse to Pitch In as 27 Countries Pledge $9.8 Billion to Green Climate Fund

More than 27 countries, excluding the United States, promised US$9.8 billion to the United Nations Green Climate Fund (GCF) by the end of a two-day pledging conference last week in Paris, aimed at beginning the process of replenishing the badly-depleted fund.

U.S. House Democrats to Unveil Climate Displaced Persons Act

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are planning to introduce a Climate Displaced Persons Act that would see the country welcome at least 50,000 climate migrants per beginning in 2020.

Central Bank Office in San Francisco Traces Financial Risks of a Destabilized Climate

A destabilized climate could lead to a precipitous decline in property values, cutting communities off from the tax base they need to fund climate adaptation while banks stop lending in areas that experience repeated floods, according to an analysis released earlier this month by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

New Brunswick to More Than Double Protected Areas by End of 2020

New Brunswick is earning praise from conservation groups after promising to more than double its protected lands and freshwater, from 4.6 to 10% of the province, by the end of next year.

Jordan Scrambles to Keep from Running Dry

Ohio Firefighters Get No Information on Drilling, Fracking Chemicals

India Plans 55 Gigawatts of New Solar, Wind Development Along Border with Pakistan

India is planning 55 gigawatts of new solar and wind development along its often contentious border with Pakistan, according to a dispatch last week by Agence France-Presse.

15,000 Rally with Thunberg in Vancouver as Youth Lawsuit Lists Climate-Related Injuries

An estimated 15,000 supporters crowded through downtown Vancouver for the city’s first weekly climate strike since the federal election, with #FridaysforFuture founder Greta Thunberg on hand to lend her support to a youth lawsuit against federal climate inaction that was launched the same day.

Wildfires Force 180,000 to Evacuate as California Declares State-Wide Emergency

Failed power line equipment is showing up once again as a possible root cause of a massive wildfire that has forced 180,000 people to evacuate in California wine country, prompted Governor Gavin Newsom to declare a state-wide emergency, and led the state’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, to cut off power for 940,000 accounts, totalling more than 2.3 million users.

Thawing Arctic Tundra Emits 600 Megatonnes More Carbon Per Year Than It Absorbs

Thawing Arctic permafrost is now emitting 600 million tonnes more carbon each year than its resident plants like lichen and wild blueberry can absorb in summer, according to research just published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Severe Weather Sets Off ‘Stormquakes’, Scientists Find

Small Increases in Air Pollution Put Children’s Mental Health at Risk

Klamath River Gains Legal Rights as ‘Person’

Scientists Draw Hope from Trees that Survived California Drought

TODAY: 15 Canadian Youth File Suit Against Ottawa’s Slow Response to Climate Crisis

Fifteen Canadian youth are filing a lawsuit against the federal government today, accusing Ottawa of violating their rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by contributing to the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for the climate crisis.

Climate Community Declares the Win as Polling Shows Climate Concern Driving Vote

The Canadian climate community is taking a victory lap and getting ready for the hard work ahead, after this week’s federal election largely delivered on the hope that the climate crisis would emerge as a key issue setting the composition of the country’s new government.

Climate Change Puts 100% of Arctic Bird Species at Risk, But Fast Action Can Stem the Impact

Should humanity fail to keep average global warming below 2.0°C, 100% of all Arctic bird species and 98% of those that make their homes in the northern boreal forest will be at high risk of extinction.

370,000 Australians Sign E-Petition in Two Days After Government Blocks Climate Emergency Declaration

In the two days after Australia’s climate-denying Liberal coalition government blocked a motion to declare a climate emergency in the country, 370,000 citizens signed a record-breaking e-petition urging their government to ring the fire alarm on climate.

Warming Could Drive Up Risk of Ebola Epidemics in Africa

The risk of Ebola epidemics in Africa—especially in less-developed countries with high birth rates—will increase significantly if the world does not act aggressively to rein in global warming, according to a new paper in the journal Nature Communications.

‘Tectonic Shift’ in Swiss Elections Sees Green Parties Gain as Climate Concern Mounts

Switzerland’s Green Party is declaring a “tectonic shift” after seeing a six-point jump in its popular vote, to 13.2%, in national elections in which concerns about climate change took centre stage.

Toronto’s $1.25-Billion Waterfront Project Gains Urgency Due to Climate Change

South Florida Shows Signs of Looming Climate Refugee Crisis

Wildfire Pollution Puts 10 Million Indonesian Children at Risk

At Least 500 Jaguars Died or Lost Habitat in Amazon Wildfires

With Climate on the Agenda, Advocates Call for Legislated Targets, Fossil Industry Phasedown

As election results rolled in last night in downtown Ottawa, climate hawks assessed the results of the first campaign in Canadian history where climate change was at the top of the political agenda. Now, they say the next step is to hold a reconfigured parliament accountable for the domestic action and international commitments that will make the country a world leader in responding to the climate crisis.

Climate Won’t Be on Next Year’s G-7 Summit Agenda, White House Declares

Climate change won’t be on the official agenda when the United States takes its turn next June to chair the annual G-7 meeting, though there’s already speculation that representatives of the world’s biggest economies won’t be willing to skip the topic.

B.C. Regulator Takes Global View of GHG Emissions from Kitimat LNG Project

An upcoming public consultation will focus at least in part on the greenhouse gas impact of Chevron Corporation’s Kitimat LNG project, after the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) prevailed on the California-based colossal fossil to assess the project’s climate footprint from a regional and global perspective.

Engineers Look for New Methods to Protect Arctic Ice Roads from Rapid Warming

As the Arctic continues to warm three times faster than the rest of the planet, researchers are working hard to find ways to materially strengthen the melting snow and ice roads that for many Northern communities are the only practical way to receive heavy necessities like fuel and construction materials.

Fossil Emissions Kill Almost as Many as Tobacco, and Public Health Campaign Models Apply

The air pollution produced by fossil fuels kills almost as many people globally each year as tobacco use—a fact that jurisdictions ramping up their fight against climate change should share widely with both public health officials and the public as a whole, write policy experts Lourdes Sanchez and Nina Renshaw.

Artificial Leaf Promises Renewable Energy Source that Mimics Photosynthesis

The Artificial Leaf shows up on Drawdown’s list of Coming Attractions—a category of climate solutions that weren’t yet ready for widespread adoption when the book appeared, but seemed likely to contribute to a decarbonization target by mid-century. The technology would use a process based on natural photosynthesis to produce energy.

Powerful ‘Bomb Cyclone’ Takes Out Power for 500,000 in U.S. Northeast

Kentucky Coal Miners Slag McConnell’s Failure to Support Health Benefits

India Looks to Flood-Resistant Home Construction

Vietnam Needs ‘Urgent Measures’ to Stem Mekong Delta Erosion

IMF Country Analyses Will Include Climate

Investors Still Flock to Beach Hotels Wiped Out by Hurricanes

Federal Regulator Second-Guesses Auditor After Fire Safety Review Finds Gaps at Trans Mountain Tank Farms

Fire protection systems at three oil storage facilities attached to the Trans Mountain pipeline fell short of industry best practices in some ways, even though they met “applicable regulations, codes, and standards,” according to an independent audit conducted three years ago and only released this week under access to information laws.

‘Fountain’ of Escaping Methane Leaves Arctic Researchers Transfixed

Russian, Chinese, and Swedish scientists on a recent expedition to study the environmental consequences of marine permafrost melt in the Eastern Siberian Sea report seeing a patch of ocean “boiling” with methane bubbles—leaving them transfixed by the size of the “fountain” of escaping greenhouse gas.

Demographers Urge Contraceptive Access, Lower Birth Rates to Counter Climate Threat

With 44% of the world’s annual pregnancies unwanted, the global population projected to hit 10.8 billion by 2100, and the need to curb greenhouse gas emissions growing ever more urgent, the New York-based Population Council is urging especially sub-Saharan leaders to expand access to contraception.

Trees Weakened by Hurricane Dorian Could Hit Halifax Power Lines in Next Storm

Palm Oil Causes 39% of Borneo Forest Loss Since 2000

Farmers Try New Techniques to Outrun a Changing Climate

Majority of Canadians, 65% of Northerners Support Extending Arctic Oil and Gas Drilling Ban

More than half of Canadians support a permanent ban on Arctic oil and gas drilling, and nearly two-thirds of northerners want the current ban extended to 2026, according to an Environics Research poll released last week by WWF-Canada.

Set Climate Risk Reporting Rules Or Have Them Imposed, Carney Warns Major Companies

Major corporations have received a two-year ultimatum from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney to devise their own approach to reporting the climate risks they face, or have global regulators develop a set of rules and make them mandatory.

IMF Calls for $75/Ton Carbon Tax to Hold Average Warming to 2.0°C

A global carbon tax of US$75 per ton by 2030 would limit average global warming to 2.0°C, and any economic disruption that resulted could be offset by returning the proceeds to citizens, the International Monetary Fund concludes in a study released last week.

42 Dead, 15 Missing as Typhoon Hagibis Brings Record Rains to Japan

At least 42 people are dead,15 are missing, and 198 were injured in and around Tokyo after Typhoon Hagibis, which means “speed” in Tagalog, brought record rains to many parts of Japan’s main island of Honshu on Saturday.

Waste-to-Energy as a ‘Bridge’ Strategy Would Save 1.1 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Waste-to-Energy ranks #68 in Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the potential to cut carbon emissions by 1.1. gigatons over a 30-year period.

Distressed Animals Alarm B.C. Climate Watchers

Mexico Fish Catches Could Fall 30% in 30 Years

Declare Climate Crisis a Public Health Emergency, Health Organizations Urge Federal Parties

Nearly two dozen organizations representing more than 300,000 Canadian health professionals are out with a call for all the country’s political parties to treat the climate crisis as a public health emergency.

Warren Releases Environmental Justice Platform

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) released a new environmental justice plan this week as she continued her quest for her party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

Watt-Cloutier: Protecting the Arctic from Runaway Warming is ‘the Test of Our Time’

Protecting the Arctic from rapid warming is one of the essential steps in averting runaway climate change for the entire planet, Inuit leader Sheila Watt-Cloutier states in an opinion piece for the Globe and Mail.

Confusion Reigns as California Utility Cuts Power in 34 Counties to Reduce Wildfire Risk

California is getting a close-up look at the challenge of trying to prevent severe climate emergencies, and the costs of relying on a “feeble” power utility to adapt on the fly, after Pacific Gas & Electric took 800,000 to a million electricity accounts offline Wednesday in a bid to avert another season of devastating wildfires.

Big Investment Funds BlackRock, Vanguard Resist Shareholder Resolutions for Climate Action

Two of the biggest investment funds in the United States, BlackRock Inc. and Vanguard Group, are consistently voting against shareholder resolutions calling for faster, more effective action to address the climate crisis.

Climate Disasters Cost U.S. Health Care $10 Billion in 2012: NRDC

Calgary Hires Climate Change Planner

In Nunavut, Jobs Come as a Region Thaws

Permafrost Study Updates Maps to Help Communities Adapt

Climate Change May Reduce Soil’s Ability to Absorb Water

Saskatchewan Farm Family Shifts to Regenerative Agriculture

Google Searches for ‘Climate Change’ Outstrip Game of Thrones in September

With concern about climate change heating up and interest in Winterfell cooling down (because…wait for it…Winter is Coming, Jon Snow), it was bound to happen: last month, United States Google searches on the climate crisis finally exceeded those for Game of Thrones, for the first time since the long-running TV melodrama became a thing.

Net Zero Buildings Would Save At Least 1.7 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Net Zero Buildings place #79 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, capable of sequestering 7.1 gigatons of carbon by 2050 if only 9.7% of new buildings hit the standard. Net zero designs, which enable a structure to generate as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year, integrate multiple energy solutions, so Drawdown calculates their impact as a single system.

Fall Foliage Colours in Nova Scotia, U.S. Point to Later Autumn

Millions Left On Unstable Ground by ‘Radical Warming’ in Siberia

Wildfires, Heat Drive Tunisian Youth to Join Climate Protest

Texas Gets Too Hot for Outdoor Baseball

U.S. Institute Probes Health Effects of Wildfires

Mont Blanc Glacier at Risk of Collapse Triggers Evacuations, Road Closures

With a glacier on Mont Blanc, Italy’s highest mountain, at risk of collapse, authorities closed roads and evacuated Alpine hamlets late last month, while Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte called for action on climate change.

Explainer: Arctic Warming Affects Northern Communities, Reshapes Global Weather Patterns

Rapid ice loss is already having a devastating impact in the world’s Arctic and Antarctic regions. And in an explainer on the implications of an ice-free Arctic, CBC stresses that what happens in the polar region doesn’t stay there.

Road Tests Show LNG Trucks Producing Higher NOx Than Diesel, with Little or No GHG Benefit

Trucks fuelled with liquefied natural gas (LNG) produce twice to five times the oxides of nitrogen as the equivalent running on diesel, and only cut tailpipe greenhouse gas emission by 3.0 to 14%, Brussels-based Transport & Environment reports, citing road tests commissioned by the government of The Netherlands.

Repopulating the Mammoth Steppe Could Keep 1.4 Trillion Tons of Carbon Sequestered in Permafrost

Drawdown lists Repopulating the Mammoth Steppe as a Coming Attraction—one of a collection of climate solutions that are not yet ready for widespread adoption, but should be able to contribute to global decarbonization by 2050. The solution hinges on reintroducing herds of migratory herbivores to the Arctic regions of the world, where vast stores of carbon are locked in the permafrost.

UN Cites Sand, Dust Storms as Global Threat

Global Migration Agency Self-Censors to Accommodate Trump

Kathmandu Faces Rise of Dengue Fever as Climate Warms

Toronto Unanimously Adopts Climate Emergency Resolution, Still Rebuilds Major Highway

The City of Toronto unanimously adopted a climate emergency resolution Wednesday morning and reaffirmed its plan to bring its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero before 2050.

Sea Level Rise, Severe Storm Surge Could Sever Nova Scotia’s Land Link to Canada

The 23-kilometre land link that connects Nova Scotia to the rest of Canada is at risk as climate change drives up sea levels and makes severe storms more frequent.

Donner: No Federal Party Has a Plan to Hit a 1.5 or 2.0°C Climate Target

At the midpoint in Canada’s climate change election, analysis by a University of British Columbia climatologist shows that none of the federal parties have put forward platforms that support holding average global warming to 1.5 or 2.0°C.

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Dozens of Countries Agree to Tackle Short-Lived Climate Pollutants

Faster, more coordinated reductions in short-lived climate pollutants (SLPCs) may be one of the lower-profile but more important results of last week’s United Nations Climate Summit in New York, after environment ministers from dozens of countries agreed to focus on a class of greenhouse gases that has mostly been overlooked so far in international climate agreements, InsideClimate News reports.

First Nations, Landowners, Local Governments File Objections to Trans Mountain Pipeline Route

Construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion could be held up by objections from dozens of First Nations, landowners, and local governments along the route, the Globe and Mail reports.

Dismantling Climate Icon Culture: Make the Story ‘About Greta’s Facts, Not Her Face’

The “climate icon culture” surrounding #FridaysForFuture founder Greta Thunberg has Heated publisher Emily Atkin thinking the focus for the wider climate community “should be about Greta’s facts, not her face”.

Suzuki and Yano: Climate Action Must Counter ‘Unequal Privilege’, Rebuild Democratic Systems

At a time when 70 to 75% of Canadians are largely disengaged from a political arena often dominated by “unproductive partisan pot shots and misplaced accountability,” getting serious about climate solutions is one way for politicians to earn trust, two of the country’s leading environmentalists argue in a post for the David Suzuki Foundation (DSF).

Rice Intensification Would Save 3.13 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

A change in rice cultivation methods known as a System of Rice Intensification (SRI) lands at #53 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. Wider adoption of the technique could cut carbon dioxide emissions by 3.13 gigatons and save US$678 million by 2050.

Hibernia Restarts Offshore Drilling After Oil Spills Shut Down Production

Amazon Wildfires Decline Sharply in September

U.S. Judge Blocks Logging in Tongass National Forest

Giant Iceberg Break in Antarctica is Unrelated to Climate Change

Warming Will Produce Rapid Sea Level Rise, Annual ‘100-Year’ Storms, Declining Fish Stocks, Shrinking Glaciers Without Fast Climate Action: IPCC

The world’s oceans will rise nearly one metre (three feet) by 2100, 100-year coastal storms and flooding will happen annually, fish stocks will see serious declines, snow and ice cover will diminish, and killer storms will get wetter and more powerful without fast action to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, concludes the latest science report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), issued last week after a contentious negotiating session in Monaco.

Beer: Emissions Are Set to Rise Through 2050. And Fossils Think Climate Protesters Are the Naïve Ones?

With the latest trend report for fossil fuel consumption projecting higher carbon dioxide emissions through 2050, Canadian fossils are expressing the odd view that the million or more people who took to the streets for #ClimateStrike Friday are naïve to expect a rapid phasedown of fossil production.

Trudeau Promises to Plant Two Billion Trees Over 10 Years, with Funding ‘Offset’ by Trans Mountain Pipeline Revenue

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau promised last week that a second-term government under his leadership would invest C$3 billion over 10 years to plant two billion trees across the country. But a Liberal Party backgrounder says the cost of the program would be “offset” by revenue from the controversial and financially fragile Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

All Eyes on 2020 After UN Climate (Action) Summit Fails to Deliver

The tepid results of last week’s United Nations Climate Summit pointed to the need for political will to match the urgency of the climate crisis, the opportunities in climate solutions, and rising public demand that governments take action, E3G co-founder and CEO Nick Mabey writes for Climate Home News.

Temperate Forest Restoration Would Save 22.61 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Temperate forest restoration places #12 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. The research team estimates that by 2050, temperate forests will naturally grow by 235 million acres and could sequester 22.61 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions.

World Bank Says Pricing Pollution Won’t Kill Economic Growth

Whitehorse, Yukon Declares Climate Emergency

Coal Plants in Asia, India Gulp Limited Water Supplies

UN Climate Summit Falls Short as Major Emitters Fail to Commit

With 77 smaller countries pledging to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but the world’s biggest emitters largely failing to step up, UN Secretary General António Guterres’ much-anticipated Climate Action Summit is being cast as a missed opportunity to gain ground in the fight to get the climate crisis under control.

‘Climate is Fast Outpacing Us’, Hitting ‘Sooner and Faster’ Than Expected, Agencies Warn UN Summit Delegates

The world’s leading international climate science agencies are predicting 2.9 to 3.4°C average global warming by 2100 based on governments’ current climate commitments, “a shift likely to bring catastrophic change across the globe,” The Guardian reports.

Global Backlash Against Plastics Emerges as Latest Threat to Fossil Industry

Just when they thought they were ready for the decline of gasoline- and diesel-fuelled cars, driven by surging electric vehicle sales, a mounting aversion to plastics is undercutting fossil producers’ latest plan to save their industry, according to market analysts at New York-based MSCI.

Nearly 1,500 Dead in France’s Summer Heat Wave

Warming May Disrupt ‘Great Orgy’ of Coral Spawning

Former U.S. Emergency Official Accused of Bribes in Puerto Rico Hurricane Recovery

Health Professionals Flag Anaesthetic as Potent Greenhouse Gas

BP Plans Continuous Monitoring to Reduce Climate-Busting Methane Leaks

McGill Law Student Wins Global Essay Contest Arguing for Future Generations’ Climate Rights

A McGill University law student earned a spot at the United Nations Youth Climate Summit this past weekend by writing the winning submission to The Economist’s Open Future Essay Competition.

Trump White House Ignores Climate Crisis Driving Guatemalan Exodus to U.S.

The Trump White House ignored warnings from its own acting homeland security department that poverty and food scarcity, partly driven by climate change, had helped make Guatemala the single biggest contributor to undocumented migration to the southwestern border of the United States, NBC News reports.

Five Dead in Southeast Texas as Tropical Depression Imelda Dumps Up to 43 Inches of Rain

At least five people are dead in southeast Texas after Tropical Depression Imelda dropped up to 43 inches (1.1 metres) of rain on the region, becoming the seventh-wettest tropical cyclone in U.S. history.

Trip to Block Island Test Site Shows U.S. Offshore Wind Has Arrived

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is out with a detailed, exquisitely-designed and -illustrated look at the offshore wind boom now getting under way off the east coast of the United States.

McKibben: A World Run on Renewables Would Never Go to War for Oil

If the world ran on renewable energy, it would never be at risk of going to war for oil, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben argues in a post for The Guardian.

Small, Sustainable Ocean Farms Would Produce Food and Fuel, Capture CO2 and Nitrogen

Ocean farming is featured as one of Drawdown’s “coming attractions”—climate solutions that weren’t ready for prime time when the book appeared, but could make a difference by mid-century. 

South Dakota Judge Stalls Lawsuit Aimed at Keystone XL Protesters

California Seeks to Reduce Wildfires with Home Battery Incentive

Climate Crisis Wreaks Havoc on Zambia’s Fragile Economy

Pennsylvania Utility Shuts Three Mile Island, Site of Worst-Ever U.S. Nuclear Accident

New Models Put Warming at 6.5 °to 7.0°C by 2100 Without Fast Action to Cut Carbon

Average global warming could hit 6.5° to 7.0°C by 2100, up to two degrees higher than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s latest scenarios, if humanity doesn’t get its greenhouse gas emissions under control, according to new modelling by two leading research agencies in France.

North America Bird Population Falls by Three Billion in 50 Years

North America’s bird population has declined by three billion, 29% of its total population, since 1970, according to a new study in the journal Science in which top ornithologists and government agencies from Canada and the United States warn of an “overlooked biodiversity crisis”.

Unlike 2020 Democrats, No Canadian Politician is Spotlighting Big Oil’s Climate Influence

Although three of the major parties running in Canada’s federal election have put forward serious climate plans, “none of them explicitly names the oil and gas industry as the main barrier to avoiding warming having double the effect on Canada compared to the rest of the world,” reporter Geoff Dembicki writes in an analysis for The Tyee.

Energy Transition Plan Shows Nova Scotia Cutting Emissions 50%, Creating 15,000 Green Jobs by 2030

Supplying 90% of Nova Scotia’s electricity from renewable sources, cutting energy consumption in social housing 60%, tripling energy efficiency in the electricity sector, electrifying personal and public transportation, cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half, and creating 15,000 green jobs are the key 2030 targets in a plan for the renewal of the province’s Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, released this week by the Halifax-based Ecology Action Centre.

Pollution Controls Will Decline as Alberta Shutters Monitoring Office, Ex-Official Warns

The former chief monitoring officer of Alberta’s Environmental Monitoring and Science Division (EMSD) is raising the alarm about the province’s decision last week to shutter the office and fold it into a new administrative structure, at the same curtailing its stand-alone climate change office, warning that the province’s monitoring of fossil-driven industrial pollution will continue to decline as a result.

Mississauga to Seek Public Input on 10-Year, $450-Million Climate Plan

The City of Mississauga is going out for public comment on its draft of a 10-year, C$450-million climate plan aimed at cutting its greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.

Big Investors Demand Faster Action on Climate Change, Amazon Deforestation

With the United Nations Climate Summit coming up in New York City next week, investor groups with tens of trillions of dollars at their command are calling for more effective government action on climate change and deforestation. But that isn’t stopping some of Wall Street’s biggest asset management companies from voting against climate change resolutions that would begin to bring colossal fossils like ExxonMobil and Duke Energy into the fight.

Solar Sister Helps African Women Become Renewable Energy Entrepreneurs

OECD Numbers Show Donor Countries Falling Short on Climate Adaptation Finance

The wealthy economies whose contributions are expected to pay for climate action in developing countries are failing to fund efforts to adapt to the climate crisis, with just under one-fifth of the dollars secured in 2017 earmarked to help communities adapt to climate change impacts, according to a new report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Blown Fracking Well in Louisiana on Fire Since August 30, Could Burn for Another Month

A fracked gas well in northwest Louisiana that blew out August 30 was still on fire as of September 12, and was expected to keep burning for another month until a relief well can be built, DeSmog Blog reported last week.

UK Takes Heat for Plan to Leave Abandoned Rigs in North Sea with Toxic Oil, Chemicals Onboard

The United Kingdom is running into outrage from the European Commission and five EU countries after allowing Shell to leave some of its decommissioned oil rigs in place in the North Sea, with thousands of tonnes of toxic crude oil and chemicals still onboard.

Alberta Looks for Advantage, But Oil Prices Recede Within Days of Saudi Drone Attack

Canada’s biggest oil refinery came in for some unwanted scrutiny and Alberta put itself forward as a more stable source of supply in the wake of the devastating drone strike on a Saudi oil production facility over the weekend. But within days of the attack, analysts were already talking down the impact the attack by Houthi rebels would have on global oil supplies or prices.

Clean Cookstoves Would Save 15.81 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Clean cookstoves are ranked #21 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with the ability to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 15.81 gigatons by 2050. Nearly three billion households—40% of the people on earth—prepare meals over open fires fueled by wood, coal, animal dung, or agricultural refuse. Drawdown estimates that replacing these traditional methods with newer, cleaner technologies would cost US$72.16 billion, roughly $41 per stove, for a net saving of $166 billion in total operational costs over the 30-year period.

Australia Natural Disaster Minister Questions Climate Reality as Wildfires Burn

Cambridge University Takes Red Meat Off the Menu

Climate Acceleration is ‘Scary’, Says Ex-UK Chief Scientist

Hurricane Dorian Damage Hits Annapolis Valley Worse Than Expected

Climate Change Affects One-Third of UK Bird Species

Drought-Resistant Gene Could Help Barley Withstand Climatic Changes

Canada’s Climate Change Election: Will Extreme Weather Drive the Vote?

As Canada’s federal election moves into its first full week, one of the looming questions is how and whether voters’ concerns about climate change, extreme weather, and environment will translate at the ballot box.

Trump Threatens Military Action After Drone Strikes Cut Saudi Oil Production by Half

Saudi Arabia’s daily oil output has been cut by half after Houthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen claimed responsibility for a drone strike on what CNN describes as “among the world’s largest and most important energy production centres”.

New Analysis Shows ‘Enormous Area’ of the Earth Above 2.0°C

Some of the planet’s hot spots are already above the temperature agreed by scientists and politicians as the maximum allowable to prevent a disastrous climate crisis, Climate News Network reports, in a summary of a detailed and evocative analysis from a team led by Washington Post climate specialist Chris Mooney.

Atlantic Canada Rethinks Infrastructure, Tree Planting to Prepare for More Frequent, Severe Storms

A steady stream of hurricane-force storms has Atlantic Canada rethinking its approach to electricity grids, shoreline defences, and even tree planting, while insurance companies brace themselves for damage claims that are set to double every five to seven years.

Extreme Weather Displaces a Record Seven Million People in First Six Months of 2019

A record seven million people were displaced from their homes by extreme weather in the first half of this year, marking 2019 as “one of the most disastrous years in almost two decades” before Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas or the rest of the Atlantic hurricane season got under way, the New York Times reports.

Even When Fracking Stops, Earthquakes Continue

Bahamas Utility Was Already Working on Microgrids When Dorian Struck

Rising Temperatures Will Undercut Solar Performance

‘Time to Pull the Plug’: Report Shows Construction Delays, Safety Issues Delaying Trans Mountain, Making Pipeline a Financial Loser

Construction challenges, steadfast opposition from landowners along the route, shocking safety and health risks at two tank farms, and the looming risk of construction “man camps” near B.C. Indigenous communities all call into question the federal government’s stated belief that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will open on schedule in 2022, Vancouver-based Stand.earth concludes in a blockbuster report released Wednesday.
The resulting delays could boost the project’s completion costs, undercutting its financial viability and turning the now publicly-owned pipeline megaproject into a “white elephant”, Stand says.

Kenney’s ‘Foreign Influence’ Probe Draws Criticism from All Sides

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is under fire from all sides, after unveiling details of a taxpayer-funded investigation of supposed foreign-funded pipeline opposition that includes an email “snitch line” for Albertans to report allegedly “un-Albertan” activities by their neighbours.

‘Climate Apartheid’ Hits Dorian Survivors Denied Temporary U.S. Entry from Bahamas

The treatment of 119 Bahamian hurricane survivors denied entry to the United States is being described as an early example of the “climate apartheid” many more parts of the world will face as the impacts of climate change accelerate.

Weathered Crude from Deepwater Horizon Disaster Could Take Decades to Biodegrade

Pollution from the deadly Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in 2010 could take decades to biodegrade, with golf ball-sized clods of weathered crude oil staying buried on Gulf Coast beaches, according to a new paper in the journal Scientific Reports.

Developing Countries Look for More Money, Greater Efficiency as Green Climate Fund Goes for Replenishment

The developing world will remember which rich countries kept their promises and which ones didn’t when it comes time to replenish the Green Climate Fund, the most important United Nations financing mechanism that will enable the majority of the world’s countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change impacts.

Japan Nuclear Regulator Announces New Probe of Fukushima Disaster

Japan’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority is opening a new investigation into the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March, 2011 that forced 160,000 people to evacuate, many never return, and is now expected to take “decades and decades” to clean up.

Squamish Nation Pans Poor Consultation by Woodfibre LNG

Polar Bear Health Study Highlights Value of Inuit Community Knowledge

Adaptation Efforts Need $1.8 Trillion by 2030 to Avert ‘Climate Apartheid’

Countries must invest US$1.8 trillion in climate adaptation funding by 2030 to prevent a world of “climate apartheid”, in which the wealthiest pay to protect themselves from sea level rise and mounting food shortages while everyone else suffers.

First Nations List Climate Action as First Priority for Next Federal Government

Just two days ahead of the official launch of Canada’s federal election, expected later this morning, the Assembly of First Nations released a policy paper identifying climate change as the top priority for the next federal government.

Amazon.com Faces First-Ever Walkout as Employees Join Global Climate Strike September 20

Tech behemoth Amazon.com will face the first strike in its 25-year history September 20, when staff at its Seattle headquarters walk off the job to protest their employer’s inaction on the climate crisis.

India’s Coal Sector Faces Stranded Asset Risk as Demand Falls, Water Supplies Run Short

India’s coal sector faces a multitude of serious threats, as customers report they have more supply than they need, water supplies run short, and affordable renewable energy and hydropower increasingly undercut demand for their product, states a report released last week by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and the Applied Economics Clinic at Boston’s Tufts University.

Report Links Human Rights Abuses to Raw Materials for EVs, Solar Panels, and Wind Turbines

The raw materials behind electric vehicles, solar panels, and wind turbines are being linked to local land rights infringements, corruption, violence and death, with 87% of the 23 largest companies supplying the industry’s six most essential minerals facing allegations of abuse over the last 10 years.

Large Methane Digesters Would Save 8.4 Gigatons of Carbon Equivalent by 2050

rge methane digesters rank #30 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8.4 gigatons by 2050. They operate at less cost than the conventional coal and natural gas power plants they replace, and would produce an estimated US$148.83 billion in savings over 30 years.

PEI’s Cavendish National Park Loses 80% of Trees in Hurricane Dorian

Montreal North Shore Nets $50M in Federal Flood Prevention Funds

Air Monitoring Shows Benzene Spikes as South Porland Worries About Oil Storage Tanks