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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A new study in the journal Nature Climate Change is suggesting that Arctic sea ice loss may be a consequence of the atmospheric conditions driving colder winters in parts of North America, Europe, and Asia, rather than the cause of a series of cold snaps dating back to the polar vortex of 2013-2014.

Power Prices Hit $9,000/MWh as Texas Grid Declares First Supply Emergency Since 2014

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) issued its first emergency alert since January 2014, after record demand driven by a summer heat wave last week pushed electricity prices above $9,000 per megawatt-hour and reduced the sprawling state’s electricity reserves from at least 3,000 to less than 2,300 MW.

Living Buildings Would Revitalize the Environment, Build Community

Living buildings is one of the 20 carbon reduction options that Drawdown lists as Coming Attractions—strategies that weren’t ready for prime time when the book was published, but looked like promising approaches through mid-century.

Wisconsin Mayor Raises Safety Concerns After Deadly Enbridge Pipeline Explosion

Town Sees Population Rise, Crime Surge After Devastating California Wildfire

B.C. Actively Promotes Fracking Boom as New Study Reaffirms Climate Impact

British Columbia is taking heat from two different news outlets for its avid support of natural gas fracking to feed its liquefied natural gas (LNG) boom, just as a new study reasserts the connection between fracking and a continuing increase in climate-busting methane emissions.

Water Shortages in 17 Countries Put One-Quarter of Global Population at Risk

From India to Iran to Botswana, the New York Times is out with text and graphics that illustrate the 17 countries, home to one-quarter of the world’s population, that are at increasingly urgent risk of running out of water, according to new data from the World Resources Institute (WRI).

Pediatricians, Public Health Link Children’s Health Hazards to Climate Crisis

The Canadian Paediatric Society and the Ontario Public Health Association are both out with new warnings about the impacts of climate change on children’s health.

Fracking Sites in Texas, New Mexico Need $9 Billion to Dispose of Salty, Radioactive Wastewater

Oil and gas fracking producers in Texas and New Mexico will be looking for more than US$9 billion over the next decade, just to drill new wells to dispose of their polluted water, according to analysis published late last month.

India Plans to Cut Coal Imports, Boost Domestic Production

India is planning to cut its coal imports by at least one-third over the next five years, while boosting domestic coal mining and renewable energy generation to take up the slack.

Alberta Reviews Prevention, Response in Wake of ‘Massive’ Wildfire Season

New York Officials Tour Quebec Cree Territory Before Deciding on New Hydro Project

First Big U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Runs Into Fishing Industry Concerns

Lack of Soil Nutrients Could Undercut Amazon Carbon Sequestration

BREAKING: Australia Tries to Drop 1.5°C Target from Pacific Declaration as Endangered Countries Demand Real Carbon Reductions

Australia is trying to water down references to the climate “crisis”, the long-term goal of 1.5°C average global warming, a ban on new coal-fired generation, and an end to fossil subsidies in the final declaration from this week’s annual Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ meeting in Tuvalu, according to an annotated draft seen and reported by Climate Home News.

IPCC Land Report Paints Stark Picture for Food Supplies, Charts Course for Immediate Action

Global food supplies, species and ecosystem diversity, and the health and safety of populations are all in peril without immediate, wide-ranging shifts in land use, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes in a landmark report released in Geneva last week.

‘Stunning’ Poll Results Show Canadian Public ‘Ahead of Our Politics’ on Climate Action

Two-thirds to 84% of Canadians would accept bold measures to address climate change, more than four-fifths see the climate crisis as a serious problem, 47% consider it extremely serious, and one in four “report thinking about climate change often and are getting really anxious about it,” according to a new Abacus Data poll commissioned by Seth Klein, an adjunct professor of urban studies at British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University.

Massive Arctic Heat Wave Produces Record Ice Melt in Greenland, Wildfires in Siberia

Caught up in the harrowing fallout from the planet’s hottest July—and June—on record, Greenland shed a mind-boggling 10 billion tonnes of ice in a single day, while Siberia lost a Belgium-sized section of its boreal forests to monster wildfires that have sent emissions soaring.

EU Urged to Draw the Line After Brazil’s Amazon Deforestation Increases 278% in July

An influential UK newspaper is calling on the European Union to step up and help prevent a global deforestation disaster, after Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research reported that Amazon rainforest destruction had “exploded” to an estimated 2,254 square kilometres in July.

Afforestation Would Sequester 18 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Afforestation—cultivating timber plantations on previously depleted land—comes in at #15 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. By sequestering carbon in timber, soil, and biomass, newly-planted forests can reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by 18.06 gigatons, Drawdown calculates. And from an initial implementation cost of US$29.44 billion, a net operational savings of $392.33 billion is projected to grow.

Ethiopia Plants 350 Million Trees in a Day, Breaks Global Record

Peru Can Gain from Ancient Water-Saving Methods

July Likely to Be Hottest Month Since Record-Keeping Began in 1880

With another week still go to in the month, dozens of climate experts are already predicting that heat waves covering North America, Europe, and the Arctic will make July 2019 the hottest month since record-keeping began in 1880.

Babies with Congenital Heart Disease More Likely Near Active Oil and Gas Sites

Mothers living near active oil and gas sites in Colorado are 40 to 70% are more likely to give birth to babies with congenital heart defects (CHDs) compared to their counterparts in areas with less intensive fossil development, researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health conclude in a study published last week in the journal Environment International.

Global Water Crisis Requires Local Solutions, Not More Megaprojects

Human-scale water conservation methods, both ancient and modern, not big-budget, Delhi-directed megaprojects, will be critical to helping India survive and gain resilience as monsoon rains fail and temperatures rise, says journalist and environmental activist Meera Subramanian.

Record Heat, Humidity Create New Risks for Elite Athletes

Athletes around the world whose sports demand extreme exertion at whatever temperatures nature has on hand are increasingly guarding against the dangerous physiological stresses that heat and humidity bring.

Local Naturalist Blames Climate Change, Human Activity for Steep Drop in Alberta Bird Populations

Alberta bird populations have declined dramatically over the last 50 years, and a Calgary naturalist and citizen scientist is blaming a combination of human activity and climate change.

Protecting Africa’s Forest Elephants Would Prevent Three Billion Tonnes of Carbon Emissions

Failing to protect Africa’s remaining elephants from extinction could further accelerate the climate crisis, as the massive herbivores play a significant role in allowing long-lived hardwood trees of the rainforest to grow huge and dense enough to store vast quantities of carbon.

Perennial Food Crops Could Boost Soil Carbon and Food Security, Reduce Deforestation

Replacing soil-depleting annual food species with perennial crops is one of the 20 carbon reduction options that Drawdown lists as Coming Attractions—strategies that weren’t ready for prime time when the book was published, but looked like promising approaches through mid-century.

Wildfire Hits Near Idaho Nuclear Lab

Spread of Ticks Through U.S. Poses New Threats for People, Pets, Livestock

Six-Year California Drought Killed 150 Million Trees, Turned Carbon Sink Into Source

Landmark Court Case Holds France Responsible for Air Pollution Impacts

Scientists Propose ‘Absurd’ Snow Cannon to Avert Antarctic Ice Loss

India Renewables Capacity On Track to Overshoot Paris Target by 60%

India is on track to overshoot a key Paris Agreement target by nearly 60% by obtaining close to two-thirds of its installed electricity capacity from renewable sources by 2030, according to a new report from the country’s Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

12,000-Litre Hibernia Oil Spill Produces ‘Russian Roulette’ for Ocean Wildlife

As cleanup efforts continue in the wake of last Wednesday’s 12,000-litre spill in the Hibernia oilfield off the Newfoundland coast, questions are being raised about the wisdom of letting fossils self-report on the cause and extent of such incidents, and the effort they put in in response.

Canada’s Approach to Trans Mountain Violates International Law, Washington State’s Lummi Nation Asserts

Canada is violating the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and sidestepping international environmental law in its handling of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and a proposed three-berth marine container terminal south of Vancouver, contends the Lummi Nation in northwest Washington state, in a letter this week to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Forget Mars: Ex-NASA Exec Says Agency’s Next Mission Should Be Studying, Acting on Climate Change

Amid a flood of news accompanying the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, and continuing hype about humanity returning to the lunar surface and pushing on to Mars, a former deputy administrator of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) says the agency should focus its attention closer to home.

Yellowknife-Area Wildfire Triples to 900 Hectares

Heat Wave May Shut Down French Nuclear Plant

U.S. Coastal Seawalls to Cost $400B

Palm Oil Harvest in Malaysian Forests Drives Orangutan Population Down 30%

Open Letter Backs Heiltsuk Nation Call for Compensation in Nathan E. Stewart Diesel Spill

Searing Heat Waves Leave Europe’s Alpine Resorts High and Dry

Alberta Fossil Spills 320,000 Litres of Crude Oil, ‘Produced’ Water

Visibly Retreating Glacier Motivated UK’s Theresa May to Net Zero Goal

Leaving Wood Debris on Forest Floor Can Spur Regeneration, Boost Biodiversity

2.0°C Would Bring ‘Profound Climate Shifts’ to Every City in the World

Virtually 100% of all global cities will experience profound shifts in climate by 2050 if average global warming reaches 2.0°C, with 77% on track to experience the temperature and rainfall patterns now associated with equatorial regions and 22% projected to suffer conditions never before seen in any city on Earth, says a new study.

Two Million People Lose Access to Water as Drought, Dam Management Problems Hit Harare

Only about half of the 4.5 million people living in the Zimbabwe capital of Harare and four satellite towns have access to municipal water supplies, with some suburbs going weeks without water and reported cases of typhoid beginning to emerge, Climate Home News reports.

Climate-Driven Drought, Deforestation Create Devastating Challenges for Honduran Farmers

Though long accustomed to poverty, violence, and political corruption, many Honduran farmers are experiencing an ongoing drought compounded by deforestation as a whole new level of suffering and fear—with little hope of resolution.

Utility Safety Outages in California, Nevada Boost Interest in Solar and Storage

With utilities in two southern U.S. states resorting to planned outages to stop their equipment from sparking wildfires during dry, windy conditions, power users are looking for more reliable electricity—and solar and storage battery providers are stepping up to respond.

Chevron Gets Two-Month Oil Spill Under Control After California Orders Action

Two months and 800,000 gallons (three million litres) of crude oil-contaminated water later, Chevron Corporation has been ordered by California officials “to take all measures” to shut down an oil spill into a dry creek bed in Kern County and prevent any and all future disasters.

Decentralized Renewables Create Jobs, Boost Economic Activity in India, Kenya, Nigeria

Off-grid energy systems already employ as many people as centralized utilities in India, Kenya, and Nigeria, and that total is expected to more than double by 2022-23, Power for All reports in its first-ever census of employment in rural electrification.

Replacing Cotton with Industrial Hemp Could Reduce Demand for World’s ‘Dirtiest Crop’

Substantially replacing cotton with industrial hemp is one of the 20 carbon reduction options that Drawdown lists as Coming Attractions—strategies that weren’t ready for prime time when the book was published, but looked like promising approaches through mid-century.

‘Unprecedented’ Heat Wave Drives Alert, Nunavut Temperature Above Victoria, BC

Monsoon Flooding in India, Nepal Kills 90, Displaces One Million

New Orleans Catches a Break as Hurricane Barry Weakens to Tropical Depression

New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and other Louisiana communities caught a break over the weekend as Barry, the first named storm of the 2019 season, briefly came ashore as a hurricane before being downgraded to a tropical storm, then a tropical depression.

CBC: Climate Action Costs Less, Delivers More Side Benefits Than Estimates Usually Assume

Reversing the climate crisis will cost less and deliver more positive impacts than most estimates usually assume, and that gap in analysis is shaping up as a barrier to climate action, CBC reported last week, as part of its In Your Backyard climate series.

Record Arctic Heat Produces Wildfires, Health Alerts in Alaska and Beyond

A record heat wave across Alaska and much of the Arctic is thawing tundra and sucking moisture out of circumpolar forests and peat bogs, triggering wildfires and choking, black smoke that are starting earlier, burning hotter, and spreading farther north than they have before.

‘Staggering’ Data Dump Shows CSIS Spying on Northern Gateway Pipeline Protesters

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association says a “staggering”, 19-volume trove of previously restricted documents it published last week shows the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) illegally spied on activists and environmentalists opposing the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline.

New Investment, Demand from New Data Centre Make Georgia a Hot U.S. Market for Solar

The southeastern U.S. state of Georgia has emerged as the country’s hottest new market for solar, driven largely by data centre demand from tech giant Facebook and regional reaction to the punishing, 30% tariff the Trump administration imposed on solar components from China in 2018.

Ocean Acidification Could Drive Mass Extinction Without Rapid Drop in CO2 Emissions

Ocean acidification driven by ever-increasing carbon dioxide levels could take on a life of its own and begin driving a sudden, mass extinction if emissions are not brought under control by the year 2100, according to a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Building with Wood Could Sequester Carbon, Produce Fewer Emissions Than Concrete

Building with wood is making a comeback, and is included in Drawdown’s list of “coming attractions” as a decarbonization option that hasn’t yet hit the mainstream, but could be a part of a wider set of post-carbon solutions by 2050.

Transit Agencies Fail to Report, Take Action on Sexual Violence

Climate Making Some Homes Uninsurable

New Orleans Already Flooding as Tropical Storm Barry Nears Louisiana

Arctic Waters Now Warmer than Great Lakes

Thawing Permafrost Uncovers Centuries-Old Moss

Saulteau First Nation Deploys Sheep to Protect Tree Seedlings Without Chemical Sprays

Conservation Groups Appeal Trans Mountain Approval on Behalf of Endangered B.C. Orcas

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is headed back to court, with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Living Oceans Society asking an appeal court to rule that the federal cabinet failed to protect British Columbia’s endangered southern resident orca population when it re-approved the controversial, C$9.3-billion project.

UN Stresses Adaptation Funding as Frequency of Global Climate Disasters Hits One Per Week

The frequency of major climate disasters has reached one per week around the world, a top United Nations official warns, in a new report that calls for developing countries to prepare now for the “profound impact” they will continue to face.

Buildings, Coastlines, Northern Communities Face Worst Climate Impacts

Buildings, coastlines, and Northern communities in Canada face the most serious risks from climate change, according to a new report produced for the federal Treasury Board by the Council of Canadian Academies.

‘Anti-Climate-Deficit Bill’ Would Filter All Federal Policies Through Climate Crisis Lens

The duty to safeguard Canadians against profound fiscal and physical harm now demands that all major policies and actions be viewed through the lens of the climate crisis, investigative reporter Justin Ling writes in a Globe and Mail op ed.

Forest Herbicides, Monocultures Drive Wildfires, Harm Wild Species

Forest companies using herbicides and mechanical removal methods to eradicate aspen from the spruce and pine crops they want to harvest are depriving moose of a winter food source and making wildfires more likely in Alberta forests, the Edmonton Journal reports.

Pact for a Green New Deal Holds 150 Town Halls, Reaches 7,000 Canadians in Two Months

wo months after a diverse collection of Indigenous, civil society, environmental, and labour groups launched the Pact for a Green New Deal in Canada, organizers have issued a report summarizing key recommendations submitted to date by thousands of interested citizens.

Intensive Silvopasture Could Cut Methane Emissions, Boost Carbon Sequestration in Animal Agriculture

Intensive silvopasture is one of the 20 carbon reduction options that Drawdown lists as Coming Attractions—strategies that weren’t ready for prime time when the book was published, but looked like promising approaches through mid-century.

Ottawa, PEI Earmark $14.5 Million for Climate Adaptation Centre

China Pushes UNESCO to Ignore Coal Plant Impacts on Bangladesh Tiger Habitat

Four Wildfires Force Evacuations on Greek Island of Evia

Record Flash Floods Produce Downpours in Washington, DC Metro

Germany Makes Kerosene from Sunlight, Water, and CO2

Climate Damages Could Hit $69 Trillion by 2100

The impacts of climate change could cost the global economy US$69 trillion through 2100 if average global warming is allowed to hit 2.0°C, according to a new study by consultants at Moody’s Analytics.

Study Shows Huge Carbon Capture in Reforestation, But Scientists Debate the Numbers

Humanity could recapture about two-thirds of the carbon pollution it has poured into the atmosphere by restoring 2.2 billion acres/890 million hectares of forest cover around the world, according to a widely-disputed study of current and potential forestation published last Thursday in the journal Science.

Governments, Corporations Face 1,300 Climate Lawsuits in 28 Countries Since 1990

With more than 1,300 legal actions on the books in 28 countries since 1990, a new report is pointing to litigation as a powerful tool for addressing governments’ and corporations’ role in the climate crisis.

Montreal Boosts Heat Relief for At-Risk Populations While Toronto Cuts Back

Eastern Canada’s two biggest cities have unveiled contrasting approaches as the summer heat wave season looms: while Montreal is making a renewed effort to protect vulnerable populations, Toronto is raising concerns that it is cutting back access to life-saving cooling centres.

Physical, Psychological Stress of Annual Wildfires Has Westerners Moving East

Made physically and psychologically ill by choking smoke from wildfires that grow ever more commonplace as the climate crisis escalates, more and more western Canadians are grimly choosing the painful social and economic costs of relocating over the toxic toll of remaining.

Fossil-Friendly Canadian Export Agency Cited for Poor Disclosure, Environmental and Human Rights Violations

A federal export credit agency with a history of massively supporting fossil industry exports over clean technology is taking fire for failing to consider the environmental, human rights, and ethical implications of its financial support to Canadian businesses.

Parks Canada Tries to Duck Climate Reality After Warming Threatens Alberta Historic Site

When a near century-old alpine hut high in the Rockies was precipitously threatened by thawing permafrost last August, Parks Canada struggled with just how much to publicly link the event to climate change—a poor decision, say those urging straight talk on the growing crisis.

Ottawa-Area Solar Farm Uses Sheep for Herbicide-Free Weed Control

Two years after a family of Ottawa Valley sheep farmers partnered with French-owned EDF Renewables on a “vegetation abatement” pilot, their herd has grown, they have a significant secondary source of income, and EDF has secured a herbicide-free way to keep over-enthusiastic weeds from overtaking its solar arrays.

California Heat Wave Cooks Mussels in Their Shells

Permafrost Could Lose 5-15% of Stored Carbon by 2100

Canada Faces December 2020 UNESCO Deadline for Progress on Wood Buffalo Park

Severe Drought, Failing Crops Drive Lithuania to Declare Emergency

Weekday Car Ban in Paris Hits Nearly Three Million Vehicles

China Tips Plans for Faster Carbon Cuts as Severe Weather Impacts Mount

China announced plans last weekend to finalize new, tougher carbon reduction targets that reflect the “highest possible ambition” to combat the climate crisis, just days before government forecasters linked a series of extreme weather events sweeping the country to a changing climate.

Project Reconciliation Promises $6.9-Billion Trans Mountain Bid as Early as Next Week

The Indigenous-led Project Reconciliation is expected to announce a C$6.9-billion bid for majority ownership of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline as early as next week, with the group’s leadership promising a proposal that will “work for all sides”.

Scientists Scramble to Understand Sudden Drop in Antarctic Sea Ice

Researchers startled by a sudden nosedive in Antarctic sea ice since 2014—at a rate that makes current Arctic melting look slow by comparison—are pointing to the likelihood of further accelerated melting at both poles as yet another reason to limit average global warming to 1.5ºC.

Ottawa Finalizes Carbon Price Plan for Large Industrial Emitters

The Trudeau government closed out the spring legislative season last week with the final version of a regulation that sets a carbon price for large emitters, includes a price break for steel and fertilizer companies, and creates incentives for emitters to invest in cleantech companies and support decarbonization projects overseas.

Garossino: Despite Pipeline Approval, $70-Billion Federal Plan is Canada’s Best Shot at Decarbonizing

While the Trudeau government disappointed its climate allies with its much-anticipated decision to re-approve the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, it has also crafted a more complicated record on energy and carbon by committing to C$70 billion in low-carbon investment over a 12-year span, reporter Sandy Garossino writes in a provocative post last week for National Observer.

Seismic Lines for Fossil Exploration Boost Climate-Busting Methane Releases at Least 7%

Climate-busting methane released when fossil explorers cut seismic lines through natural landscapes are enough to drive up Canada’s estimated greenhouse gas emissions from land use by at least 7%, according to a study released last week by a University of Calgary researcher.

$30-Billion PG&E Bankruptcy Plan Includes New Name, New Negotiations with Solar and Wind Suppliers

A US$30-billion bankruptcy plan, a new name, a compensation fund for wildfire victims, and the right to renegotiate contracts with older renewable energy suppliers are the elements of a plan taking shape to pull California utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) out of insolvency, after its power lines were blamed for the inferno that literally burned Paradise to the ground last summer.

Scientists Debate Whether Revised Temperature History Reduces Available Carbon Budget

A recent revision of sea surface temperature records from the mid-20th century to the present has scientists and policy-makers considering whether the carbon budget to keep average global warming to 1.5°C should be revised downwards by as much as a third—and questioning researchers whether the update is relevant to the climate impact communities actually experience on the front lines of the crisis.

Now More than Ever, Transition Must Speed Up, RMI’s Kortenhorst Says

Sea Ice Loss Affecting Jet Stream

9.1°C Warming Would Make Siberia Habitable, Melt 25% of Region’s Permafrost

Climate-Driven Heat Stress Could Put 80 Million Jobs at Risk by 2030, UN Agency Warns

Heat stress caused by climate change could put the equivalent of 80 million jobs at risk by 2030, with poor countries facing the most serious impacts, according to an International Labour Organization (ILO) report released Monday.

Michigan Attorney General Sues Enbridge to Shut 66-Year-Old Line 5 Pipeline

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a lawsuit last Thursday against Calgary-based Enbridge Inc., demanding the company shut down the 66-year-old Line 5 pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac.

Europe Mobilizes as ‘On-the-Fly’ Attribution Study Tags Climate Change for Record Heat Wave

With the south of France feeling like Death Valley this past weekend, and much of Italy on “red alert,” attribution science experts have declared that climate change made the current heat wave “at least five times more likely, and 4.0ºC hotter” than would have been the case without global warming.

Regional Governor Blames Climate Change After Freak Hail Storm Hits Mexican Cities

A freak summer hail storm buried cars and blanketed the cities of Guadalajara and Tlaquepaque, Mexico June 30, with news reports placing the total ice accumulation between three feet and two metres.

U.S. Military Exceeds National Emissions of Portugal, Sweden

While steadily recognizing climate change as a top threat to national security, the Pentagon continues to produce more carbon emissions than some mid-sized European economies, thanks largely to troop deployments intended to protect its access to oil in the Persian Gulf.

Scientists Publish ‘Radical’ Blueprint to Buy Time for Endangered Coral Reefs

Human intervention may be able to “buy time”, boost the resilience of endangered coral reefs, and give them a better chance of surviving climate change by adopting the “radical tools” in a new blueprint issued last month by a committee of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Grist reports.

Protesters Blockade Coal Mine to Highlight Germany’s Reliance on Fossil Fuels

Hundreds of climate protesters broke through police lines and blockaded a 48-square-kilometre open-cast lignite (soft coal) mine in western Germany late last month, drawing attention to the country’s continuing reliance on fossil fuels and the dire risk it poses to a remnant of the 12,000-year-old Hambach Forest.

Smart Highways Would Turn Roads Into a ‘Positive Social, Environmental Force’

A shift to smart highways is one of the 20 carbon reduction options that Drawdown lists as Coming Attractions—strategies that weren’t ready for prime time when the book was published, but looked like promising approaches through mid-century.

New York Becomes Biggest City Ever to Declare Climate Emergency

Water Scarcity Drives Rise of Desalination Plants

Canada Joins California on Tailpipe Emissions Standard, Clean Vehicle Development

Canada is aligning its automobile tailpipe emissions standard with California and will work with the most populous U.S. state to promote cleaner-running vehicles, under a new agreement that puts the country onside against the Trump administration’s attempt to roll back fuel efficiency targets introduced by President Barack Obama in 2012.

New Government in Denmark Aims for 70% Carbon Reduction by 2030

A 70% greenhouse gas reduction by 2030 is on the agenda for Denmark, after the country’s centre-left Social Democrats reached a deal with three other parties that will enable them to form a minority government.

Poorest Will Face ‘Climate Apartheid’ if Crisis Deepens, Rule of Law Crumbles

Near-universal failure to acknowledge the magnitude of the climate crisis risks setting the stage for an era of “climate apartheid,” in which private wealth becomes the only guarantor of (relative) well-being and positive social forces like democracy and the rule of law crumble, warns a recent United Nations report.

Saudis Lead Fossil States to Block 1.5°C Report, Declare Island States a ‘Disposable Global Zone’

A landmark report on 1.5°C pathways was forever dropped from formal consideration in United Nations climate negotiations, and Climate Action Network-International scorched countries for their “weak political positions on responding to the climate crisis,” as mid-year negotiations to implement and push beyond the 2015 Paris Agreement wrapped up yesterday in Bonn.

Europe Bakes as Early Summer Heat Wave Drive Temperatures Above 40°C

With nighttime temperatures exceeding 30°C in Madrid and weekend day temperatures expected to soar far above normal for June in many cities across their continent, Europeans are struggling to keep hydrated and cool, while officials work to staff hospitals and warn of “extreme” forest fire risk

Fragmented Federal Approach Drives Climate Scientists Out of the Field, Evidence for Democracy Warns

More than three-quarters of Canadian climate scientists say their highly qualified colleagues are leaving the field and 94% rely on foreign logistical support to carry out their research, thanks to a fragmented federal approach to research funding, Evidence for Democracy reports in an analysis released this week.

Kenya Environmental Tribunal Cancels Licence for 1,050-MW Coal Plant

Citing an “outright disregard” for public consultation and a cavalier attitude to environmental protection, Kenya’s National Environment Tribunal has withdrawn the environment licence granted in 2016 to an East African investment firm that, together with General Electric, was looking to build the 1,050-megawatt, US$2-billion Lamu coal-fired power plant on the coast.

Analyst Sees Next Opportunity for U.S. Pipeliners in Contaminated Fracking Water

Having done their very best to boost an oil and gas fracking industry that leaves behind massive quantities of contaminated water, U.S. pipeline companies are looking to their next big business opportunity in hauling that water.

Richmond, B.C. Council Votes to Hold Fossils Accountable for Climate Impacts

Ford Legal Aid Cuts Hit Funding for Climate Emergency Cases

Biggest Eastern U.S. Oil Refinery to Close After Epic Fire, Extensive Damage

Canada Funds Training for Women Climate Leaders in Francophone Africa

Oregon state capitol ZehnKatzen/Wikipedia

‘Send Bachelors and Come Heavily Armed’: Rogue Senators Threaten Violence, Destroy Oregon Climate Bill as Democratic Majority Caves

An Oregon senator promised violence against state police, threats from right wing militia shut down the state legislature, and a website using the “blue lives matter” slogan touted a crowdfunding campaign supporting the renegade legislators over the local constabulary, after Democrats tried to pass a carbon cap-and-trade bill introduced by Governor Kate Brown.

Webinar: 1.5°C Still Doable Without ‘Unproven, Dangerous’ Geoengineering

It isn’t too late to limit average global warming to 1.5°C without resorting to geoengineering, and deploying geoengineering technologies such as carbon capture storage (CCS) and solar radiation management (SRM) would be counterproductive and dangerously irresponsible, according to panelists at an April 25 webinar.

Saudi Arabia Obstructs UN Adoption of IPCC’s 1.5°C Pathway Report

Countries participating in mid-year climate negotiations in Bonn this month are at risk of excluding the IPCC’s landmark report on 1.5°C pathways from their consideration of climate science, with alarmed health professionals calling out Saudi Arabia for its continuing refusal to accept the conclusions in the October, 2018 special report.

U.S. Health Professionals Call for Fracking Moratorium

An ever-growing chorus of American scientists, health professionals, politicians, and media is calling for a country-wide moratorium on fracking, as evidence accumulates that the industry and the known carcinogens it relies on are causing profound harm to public and ecosystem health.

Time for ‘We the North’ Fans to Understand ‘Hellish’ Climate Impacts in Canadian Arctic

To truly earn the “We the North” slogan, Canadians everywhere—basketball fans and otherwise—need to understand—and come together to help prevent—the downright “hellish” changes that a warming climate is bringing to the Arctic and all of its inhabitants.

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Canada Still Lacks ‘Orderly, Effective’ Plan to Welcome Climate Refugees

Nine years after federal civil servants first urged Ottawa to “plan an orderly and effective response” to help resettle at least some of the tens of millions of people forecast to be displaced by climate impacts by 2050, Canada has no comprehensive plan to do so, and international law isn’t helping.

Reducing Climate Damage Claims Depends on Flood Zone Mapping, Public Awareness

Mapping flood zones, raising public awareness, and investing heavily in climate mitigation are necessary pre-conditions for making a proposed “high-risk” insurance pool (rather than the public purse) available to homeowners at risk of overland flooding.

Midwestern Rains to Produce Near-Record Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico

Boaty McBoatFace Research Sub Makes Sea Level Rise Discovery

BREAKING: Canadian Senate Passes Impact Assessment Act, B.C. Tanker Ban, Arctic Drilling Moratorium

The Canadian Senate adopted Bills C-69 and C-48 last night, along with a lower-profile measure enshrining a moratorium on Arctic oil drilling, clearing the way for the country’s new Impact Assessment Act and a federal ban on large tanker traffic off British Columbia’s environmentally sensitive north coast to become law.

India’s Sixth-Largest City Runs Out of Water

India’s sixth-largest city has run out of water, after a crippling drought and heat wave left its four main reservoirs completely dry.

Permafrost in Remote Canadian Arctic Thawing 70 Years Earlier Than Predicted

Permafrost in the remotest parts of the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, providing further evidence that the global climate crisis is accelerating and drawing the planet ever closer to dangerous feedback loops.

RCMP Has ‘Army’ of Officers to Protect B.C. Pipeline, No Time to Investigate Murdered Indigenous Woman

Though suddenly possessed of an “army” of officers to thwart peaceful protests against TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern British Columbia, the region’s RCMP couldn’t muster a single constable last summer to help desperate family members search for 18-year old Jessica Patrick of Lake Babine Nation—and have since demonstrated little inclination to investigate her murder.

Global Plastics Boom Drives Annual CO2 Increase to Seven-Year High

The global boom in plastics was a key factor driving the sharp rise in carbon dioxide emissions in 2018, Greenpeace UK’s award-winning Unearthed news site reports, based on analysis of the latest world energy review released by colossal fossil BP.

EPA Tosses Lifeline to U.S. Coal with Rollback of Obama’s Clean Power Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has unveiled long-anticipated plans to complete its rollback of President Barack Obama’s signature Clean Power Plan, the latest in Donald Trump’s failing campaign to resuscitate his country’s dying coal industry.

Northeastern B.C. Drought Forces Fossils to Cut Fracking Water Use

CBC Casts Plastics Pollution, Climate Crisis as ‘Symptoms of the Same Disease’

UK Considers Massive Rewilding Plan

Russian Climate Campaigner Seeks Asylum in Germany

Trans Mountain Pipeline Approval Triggers New Lawsuits, Leaves Fossils Unsatisfied

In a move condemned by critics as the height of cynicism, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several senior cabinet ministers announced re-approval of the C$9.3-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion Tuesday afternoon, not 24 hours after their government pushed a climate emergency resolution through the House of Commons.

Ottawa Could Face Youth Charter Challenge After Approving Trans Mountain Expansion

With its decision yesterday to re-approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the Trudeau government could find itself face to face with a constitutional challenge filed by a leading environmental lawyer—on the urging of his 13-year-old daughter, a school climate strike veteran in Esquimalt, British Columbia.

Bui: Time for a Federal Leaders’ Debate on Climate Crisis [Sign-On]

After seeing the climate crisis crash into the two places she calls home, Vietnam and Ottawa, Our Time Ottawa organizer Vi Bui is pushing for Canada’s Green New Deal and calling for a leaders’ debate on climate during the federal election this fall.

Exxon, Amazon Head List of Companies that Fail to Reveal Climate Impact

ExxonMobil, Amazon, and UK grocery retailer Tesco head the list of 707 major global companies with combined value above US$15 trillion that have failed to reveal their full impact on the climate crisis, water shortages, and deforestation, according to CDP, the non-profit formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project.

Resource Development, Climate Impacts, Federal Negligence Bring Wood Buffalo Park Close to Heritage in Danger List

A UN agency is on the verge of placing Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada’s largest, on the World Heritage in Danger List, and urging the country to take far more strenuous measures to protect the territory and its extraordinary biodiversity.

South Pacific Islands Lead Fight for Faster Carbon Cuts as UN Prepares for September Summit

South Pacific islands whose very existence is imperiled by climate change continue to use the “moral force” of their endangerment to build consensus on the imperative for swift climate action. With two weeks of mid-year climate negotiations under way in Bonn, Germany, and a United Nations special summit on climate coming up in September, Time Magazine is out with a timely recap of their progress since the 2015 conference that adopted the Paris Agreement.

Dengue Risk to Hit Two Billion More People in 2080 Unless Carbon Emissions Are Curtailed

Based on a warming scenario “roughly representative of the world’s current emissions trajectory,” more than two billion additional people will be at risk of dengue fever by 2080, within its current geographic range and well beyond, according to a study just published in the journal Nature Microbiology.

New Fossil Investment in China Hits 14-Year Low

China’s investment in building new coal and other thermal power plants hit a 14-year low last year, down to ¥78.6 billion (US$11.35 billion) across the fossil sector and ¥6.44 billion ($930 million) for the most polluting fuel of all.

Regenerative Agriculture Would Save 23.15 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Regenerative Agriculture places #11 on the Drawdown list of climate solutions, with the potential to cut atmospheric carbon dioxide by 23.15 gigatons. It carries an up-front cost of US$57.2 billion, but promises savings of $1.93 trillion, by 2050.

Canadian Arctic Island Collapses by a Metre Per Day

Greenland Loses Two Billion Tons of Ice in a Day

U.S. Water Supplies Affect Pacific Northwest Hydro Generators

Senate Committee Urges Federal Support for Northern Climate Resilience

The climate resilience of Canada’s Northern communities—many of them Indigenous—is an urgent priority that calls for better financial and technical support from the Trudeau government, the Special Senate Committee on the Arctic concludes in a recent report.

Oceans Could Lose 17% of Biomass by 2100 Unless GHG Emissions Are Brought Under Control

The world’s oceans could lose 17% of their biomass by 2100 if humanity fails to get greenhouse gas emissions under control, representing a devastating blow to biodiversity and a terrifying reduction in a resource base upon which much of humanity ultimately depends.

Investigative Report Links Foreign Funding to Pro-Fossil Propaganda Outlet

Urgent alert to Jason Kenney and Vivian Krause! Another “foreign-funded radical” has just been identified, and the unity of our country will hang in the balance until you can direct all your taxpayer-funded investigative might toward…Alberta-based Rebel Media and its self-styled “Rebel Commander”, not-quite-disbarred former lawyer Ezra Levant.

Autonomous Vehicle Use Could Hit 75% by 2040

Autonomous vehicles are included in Drawdown’s list of “coming attractions” as an up-and-coming climate solution that hasn’t yet become the norm.

Sierra Urges B.C. to Declare Forest and Climate Emergency

Toxic Tailings Don’t Belong in Athabasca River

New Zealand Boosts Funding for ‘Wellbeing Budget’

Feds Fund Four Climate Resilience Projects in Greater Montreal

Mathematician Sees Climate Solutions in Restaurant Kitchens Everywhere

TBT: Modern Homes Burn Eight Times Faster, Emit More Toxics Than 50 Years Ago

Villages Evacuate, Leaving Sick and Elderly Behind, as India’s Crippling Drought Deepens

Families in hundreds of villages in parts of India have been forced to leave the sick and the elderly behind, as they evacuate their communities in the face of extreme heat and drought.

Iowa Democrats Cite Climate as Second-Highest Voting Priority as 2020 Caucuses Approach

Climate change has landed as the second-highest ballot box priority, right behind abortion rights, for Democrats voting in the all-important Iowa caucuses early next year.

Forest Product Companies See Opportunity in Canada’s Single-Use Plastic Ban

The federal government’s plan to ban single-use plastic products like straws and cutlery as early as 2021 could put new pressure on carbon storage in Canada’s threatened forests, with the forest products industry just a few years from being able to accommodate the new demand.

‘Data is Power’ as Alaska Tlingit and Haida Draft Climate Adaptation Plan

With no climate plan currently in place in the state of Alaska, and federal efforts focused on the state’s rapidly melting northern regions, the Indigenous peoples of the southeast are forging ahead, determined to acquire more data on climate issues most pertinent to them like the rise of lethal phytoplankton which thrive in warmer coastal waters.

Ellicott City, Maryland Faces Implications of Two ‘1,000-Year Floods’ in 22 Months

A small Maryland river town which endured a terrifying 1,000-year storm in May 2018, having barely recovered from the one that hit in 2016, is struggling to decide how best to move forward—even as some of its citizens who suffered most remain reluctant to invoke climate change as the underlying cause.

Annual Peace Index Cites Climate Change as ‘Tipping Point’ for Conflict

Climate change will threaten peace in countries around the world in the next decade, according to the latest edition of an annual index produced by Australia’s Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).

Heat Impacts in African Cities Set to Grow 50-Fold

Climate Crisis Propels Greens to Top of the Polls in Germany

Victoria School Board Poised to Declare Climate Emergency

Green Flood Control Gains Ground in Texas

Alberta Wildfire Specialist Links Fort Mac Megafire, B.C.’s 2017 Fire Season to Climate Change

The 2,117 wildfires that hit British Columbia in 2017 and the massive megafire that consumed much of Fort McMurray, Alberta a year earlier were both connected to climate change, and a similar impact is already visible as this year’s fire season gets under way, University of Alberta wildland fire specialist Mike Flannigan told The Canadian Press earlier this week.

Mothers, Grandmothers in Siberian Coal Region Beg Trudeau for Environmental Refugee Status

Mothers and grandmothers desperate to get their loved ones away from the physically and psychologically toxic effects of trying to live at the epicentre of Siberia’s dismally-regulated coal mining and processing industry have made a heartfelt appeal, direct to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau via YouTube, to be admitted to Canada as environmental refugees.

Inuit Call for Federal Partnership to Address ‘Life and Death’ Climate Impacts

With the Arctic warming at nearly twice the national average rate, Canada’s Inuit are urging the federal government to form a working partnership grounded in the recognition that climate change is a matter of life and death for them—even if it remains an abstraction for many living south of the (melting) ice.

Great Lakes Due for Extreme Highs, Lows as Climate Change Shifts Water Levels

With 2019 precipitation in the region running 150 to 200% or more above normal, water levels in the Great Lakes have risen by as much as 0.3 metres (one foot) from the same time last year, inundating shoreline communities and leaving experts certain of yet another marker of a destabilizing climate.

String of Cancellations Could Spell the End of New Gas Plants in California

The latest in a string of project cancellations is opening up the possibility that California will never have to build another new natural gas plant.

U.S. Utilities Invest in Technology, Build Customer Trust to Cope with Future Storms, Wildfires

Facing the rising threat of wildfires in the west and devastating storms throughout the country, American utilities say they’re improving their storm response strategies, “hardening” and digitizing grids, and building proactive relationships with customers who don’t want to be left in the dark.

U.S. Farmers Fall Far Behind on Planting After Record Midwestern Floods

After suffering through the wettest year on record, and with rain continuing to bucket out of June skies, American corn farmers are desperately behind on planting, with little relief in sight and their distress compounded by Donald Trump’s trade war with China and Congressional Republicans’ reluctance to provide flood relief.

Stiglitz: Green New Deal Would Deliver the Second World War-Scale Investment to Confront the Climate Crisis

Describing the climate crisis as the “third world war,” Nobel laureate and former World Bank chief economist Joseph E Stiglitz is urging critics of the Green New Deal to take a second look at an agenda that could avert catastrophe and usher in a new golden age for America.

Nutrient Management Would Save 1.81 Gigatons of Carbon by 2050

Nutrient management ranks #65 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions, with potential to eliminate 1.81 gigatons of carbon dioxide and save a total of US$102.3 billion by 2050.

Alberta Courts Wildfires by Leaving Watch Towers Unstaffed

Mangroves Shelter Coastal Areas from Cyclones

Climate Emergency Declarations Should Lead to Citizen Assemblies, Greater Resilience

BREAKING: Ottawa to Ban Single-Use Plastics as Soon as 2021

The Trudeau government is planning to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021, as part of a wider plastic pollution strategy set to be released today in coordinated announcements by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, CBC revealed in an exclusive report late Sunday afternoon.

Bloomberg Funds $500-Million Campaign to Shut All U.S. Coal Plants by 2030

Billionaire former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is donating US$500 million over three years to Beyond Carbon, a new push to phase out all remaining coal plants in the United States by 2030 and begin the process of shutting down the country’s natural gas plants.

Kenney Unveils Fossil ‘War Room’, Faces Criticism on Carbon Tax Repeal, Wildfire Impacts

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced the cost but few details of his much-touted, C$30-million oil and gas “war room” Friday, prompting immediate pushback from the environmental groups he vowed to target during the recently-concluded provincial election campaign.

Keystone Wins Court Appeal, But Further Legal Challenges Await

Opponents of the ever-controversial Keystone XL pipeline are exploring “all available legal avenues” to halt the project, after a U.S. appeal court overturned a judge’s decision to reject its construction permit in Montana last November.

Women, Younger Voters, and Key Provinces Cite Climate as Top Ballot Box Issue

Climate change continues to place as a top ballot box concern in the months leading up to federal election in October, with nearly six in 10 Canadians saying the issue will influence their vote and women more than men, younger voters more than older ones, and voters in Quebec, the Atlantic, and British Columbia giving higher priority.

India Bakes Under Stifling Heat Wave as Data Show Warming Trend

Much of the Indian subcontinent was blanketed in a stifling heat wave last week, with five of the 15 hottest places on the planet located in India or Pakistan and the northern town of Churu hitting a high of 50°C (122°F) on Monday.

Cracked, Leaking Storage Tanks Point to Alarming Safety Risks for Leading U.S. LNG Exporter

A series of leaks and cracks in the massive liquefied natural gas storage tanks operated by Cheniere Energy, the Houston company that until recently had a virtual monopoly on U.S. LNG exports, is raising alarming questions about a company that has seen a decade of rapid growth and enjoyed steady support from Trump Republicans and Obama Democrats alike.

Cracks in Scottish Nuclear Reactor Could Mean Massive Evacuations

Thunberg, #FridaysforFuture Win Amnesty International Award

Rising Heat Will Kill Hundreds More in U.S. Cities

U.S., Canadian Youth Take Climate Inaction to Court as Juliana Gets a Hearing, ENJEU Argues Class Action

Major youth climate lawsuits in the United States and Canada both advanced this week, with the 21 plaintiffs suing the United States government for its inaction on the climate crisis finally getting to petition for their day in court, and Montreal-based ENvironnement JEUnesse arguing for its class action suit against the Trudeau government.

Ottawa’s Climate Response Violates the Rights of an Entire Generation, Class Action Argues

Lawyers representing Montreal-based ENvironnement JEUnesse went to court yesterday to make the case for the organization’s class action suit against the Trudeau government’s inadequate response to the climate crisis.

Ottawa Announces $15-Million Lifeline After Ontario Cuts Successful Tree Planting Program

The federal government has tossed an emergency lifeline to Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program, committing C$15 million over four years after the Ford government suddenly cut the non-profit initiative in its 2019 budget.

‘Conflicts Are Predestined’ Where Climate Disasters Threaten Food, Water, Livelihoods

Governments must invest new effort and money to prevent climate change from driving new conflicts, according to a diplomatic statement drafted by the German foreign office.

Big Companies Foresee $970 Billion in Climate Risk, $2.1 Trillion in Gains from Climate Action

More than 200 of the world’s biggest companies anticipate nearly US$1 trillion in business risk—more than half of it in the next five years—due to climate change, but $2.1 trillion in benefits from climate-friendly products and services, according to an analysis of thousands of corporate disclosures by CDP, the UK non-profit formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project.

Rainforest Destruction in Brazil Hit 10-Year High in May

Brazil recorded its worst rate of rainforest destruction in a decade over the crucial month of May, with the government’s own satellite imagery showing illegal loggers stepping up their activity under the deregulatory regime of President Jair Bolsonaro.

Trump’s EPA Offloads Thousands of Deaths by Changing Its Math

Vulnerable Red Sea Corals Get a Break from Desert Dust

Minnesota Appeals Court Rejects Line 3 Pipeline Approval

Fossils were disappointed and Enbridge saw its share price fall 4.7% Monday, after a Minnesota appeals court ruled a state regulator had failed to properly consider the impacts of a Lake Superior oil spill in its approval of the proposed Line 3 pipeline replacement.

Quebec LNG Megaproject Would Boost Emissions by 37 Million Tonnes Per Year

The GNL Quebec liquefied natural gas megaproject would increase life cycle greenhouse gas emissions by more than 37 million tonnes per year, a group of more than 150 Quebec scientists is warning in an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier François Legault.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraction_of_petroleum

Abandoned Well Cleanup Could Take 2,800 Years, Alberta Regulator Tells Industry

It may take more than 2,800 years to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells across Alberta, National Observer and Star Calgary reveal in an exclusive report this week, after obtaining a September 2018 presentation to a private industry gathering by a senior official with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).

MMIWG Inquiry Highlights Connection Between Megaproject Work Camps, Sexual Violence

Natural resource companies and their regulators must factor in the safety and security of Indigenous women and girls at every step in planning and developing a project, Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls concluded this week, in a final report in which five out of 231 recommendations were devoted to the connection between megaproject work camps and sexual violence.

Study Predicts End of Civilization by 2050 if Global Warming Hits 3.0°C

An alarming new study by Australia’s Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration is pointing to the “high likelihood of human civilization coming to an end” by 2050—with the all-important caveat that that’s the outcome to expect if humanity fails to take action on the climate emergency and get greenhouse gas emissions under control.

Mass Puffin Die-Off in 2016 Shows the ‘Ocean is Screaming’

Climate change is being blamed for the starvation deaths of up to 9,000 Alaskan puffins and other seabirds in 2016, and millions in less than a decade, after rising sea temperatures prompted the fish they eat to migrate north.

Kenney Courageously Strikes Back After Wildfires Defame Alberta’s Oilpatch

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is all set to strike back at the perfidious wildfires besmirching the fossil industry’s good reputation, reports Canada’s satirical online magazine, The Beaverton.

Recycled Paper Would Save 900 Megatons of Carbon by 2050

Recycled paper ranks #70 on Drawdown’s list of climate solutions. By 2050, recycled paper could eliminate 900,000 megatons of carbon dioxide emissions at an initial cost of US$573.5 billion, with eventual savings that are too indefinite to calculate.

Heat Wave, Drought Sweep Two-Thirds of India

Number of Pikangikum Wildfire Evacuees Grows to 1,300

Alberta Wildfires Shut In 65,000 Barrels Per Day

Hotshot Crews from Oregon, Montana to Assist with Alberta Blazes

Fire Recovery Takes Longer for Less Affluent California County

Scientists Study Non-Toxic Microbeads as Arctic Climate Solution

Canada Can Hit Paris Targets, ‘Zero Out Carbon’ by Mid-Century, Study Shows

Canada can get its energy system on track to meet its targets under the Paris Agreement and “zero out carbon pollution” by mid-century by adopting a menu of 10 technically feasible options to cut carbon emissions, the David Suzuki Foundation concludes in a report issued last week.

Oregon Senate Adopts Five-Year Fracking Moratorium

The Oregon State Senate adopted a five-year moratorium on oil and gas fracking last week, after amending a House resolution calling for a 10-year ban.

Kenney Kills Carbon Tax, Offers ‘Hopes and Prayers’ as Wildfires Rage

With Alberta Premier Jason Kenney helpfully pointing out that carbon taxes don’t prevent forest fires, multiple communities were under evacuation orders and crews across Alberta, British Columbia, and northern Ontario spent the week fighting the flames as an early fire season hit full stride.

Ban Non-Electric Cars to Improve Air Quality, Extend Lives, Bloomberg Editors Urge

One of the surest ways to improve air quality and extend lives shortened by pollution is for cities to ban non-electric cars, two opinion editors with Bloomberg News conclude in a recent post.

World’s Dirtiest Air, Cheapest Solar Produce Challenge and Opportunity for Modi’s Second Term

The world’s dirtiest air and its lowest prices for installed solar will be two of the influences shaping Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second term of office in India, according to news reports circulating around the time of his swearing-in last week.

Japan’s 2018 Killer Heat Wave Was ‘Essentially Impossible’ Without Climate Change

Japan’s heat wave in July 2018 could not have happened without climate change.

Toronto Islands Face Distressing Lake Rise, High Winds

B.C. Liberal ‘Climate Candidate’ Downplayed Oil and Gas Health Risks

Smithsonian’s New Fossil Hall Sends Powerful Climate Message

Bodies Emerge from Mount Everest Ice as Atmosphere Warms

Coastal First Nations Demand Senate Passage of B.C. Tanker Ban

A coalition of nine First Nations from coastal British Columbia is demanding that unelected senators endorse the Trudeau government’s bill to ban tanker traffic on the province’s northern coast, after the Senate Energy Committee defeated the measure on a tie vote May 15.

Australia Reports Rising Emissions, Sees Strong Renewables Potential, as Adani Mine Fight Intensifies

The intensity surrounding recent national elections in Australia is rolling over into the post-campaign period, with the country’s greenhouse gas emissions still rising, its potential for renewable energy development still catching attention, the fight over the massive Carmichael coal mine reaching a fever pitch, and its most heavily-populated state feeling the full force of climate-driven drought.

Scientists Consider Possible Climate Connection to Severe Midwest U.S. Tornado Season

With the American Midwest looking like assembly line central for tornadoes this spring, many are wondering whether a toll of 1,000 twisters and counting means climate change—or just a very bad year.

Mexican Wildfire Jumps Rio Grande, Burns Historic Site in U.S.

Shuttered California Oil Rigs Could Find New Life as Artificial Reefs

Historic Drought Creates Snags for Panama Canal Shippers

Local Fracking Suspended After Earthquake Near Alberta’s Brazeau Reservoir

An earthquake last March near the Brazeau Reservoir, a large dam in east central Alberta, has prompted the province’s energy regulator to restrict oilfield fracking in the surrounding area.

Spill Response Only Recovers 15% of the Oil Lost in an Average Marine Spill

News reports of a recent oil spill recovery drill off the coasts of British Columbia and Washington State are shining a light on an alarming reality: that only about 15% of the oil is recovered after the average marine spill.

Alberta Party Leaders Unanimously Back C-69 Amendments from Unelected Senate Committee

The 187 amendments to Canada’s proposed Impact Assessment Act adopted by the unelected members of the Senate Energy Committee would make the bill acceptable to Alberta, according to a joint letter signed by Premier Jason Kenney, opposition leader Rachel Notley, Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel, and Alberta Liberal leader David Khan.

Energy Revolution Must Give Low-Income Communities Better Access to Affordable Technologies

It isn’t an energy revolution if it doesn’t “provide low-income communities with better access to affordable clean energy technologies”, Yale Environment 360 reports, in a post that points to the nearly one-third of U.S. households that struggle to cover their energy bills.

Louisiana Plans for Big Population Movements as Gulf Coast Washes Away

Responding to rising seas and their attendant storm surges, Louisiana has developed a 1,500-page plan to keep its citizens as safe as possible under the circumstances.

Firefighters Scramble to Defend High River

PG&E to Cut Power to Avert Wildfires, and Californians Aren’t Ready

U.S. Utilities Want to Charge Billions for Toxic Coal Ash Cleanup

Community Solar in Minnesota Helps Veterans, Families in Need

Air Pollution Causes Unprecedented Weakening in Asian Monsoon

Local Ecological Knowledge Shows Climate Impact on Mediterranean Species

Climate Could Lead European Forests to ‘Live Fast, Die Young’