As the Philippines reels from one of the worst storms in history, the annual U.N. climate summit is opening today in Warsaw, Poland. Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground, says rising sea levels caused by global warming increased the size of the storm’s surge, while the heating of the oceans threatens more extreme storms that could form into typhoons. We also air the emotional plea of Yeb Saño, a member of the Philippines Climate Change Commission, urging action on global warming at last year’s climate summit in Doha.
The people are still reeling from the impact of possibly the biggest typhoon to strike the country. Death toll numbers are rising rapidly. There is massive devastation. Many are still trying to contact their relatives, friends and comrades, but communication systems are down, in the hardest hit areas. How should we, as activists and socialists, respond to the crisis? Firstly, we have to support and take whatever measures are necessary to protect the people. This means all measures that bring the people immediate relief.
An almost complete breakdown of law and order in Tacloban city, where Typhoon Haiyan caused devastating damage after it struck the Philippines on Friday, is being seen as an ominous sign of what may soon follow in other regions. The total death toll from what is thought to have been the most violent storm ever to strike land is expected to rise well above 10,000 – the number estimated to have been killed in one island alone.
A new paper explores how policy makers can work with the uncomfortable knowledge that the prospects for holding average global warming to below two degrees Celsius are rapidly decreasing. They identify for the first time key uncertainties, risks and opportunities associated with alternatives to the two degree target of international climate policy, published in the peer-reviewed journal Climate Policy.
Thom Hartman Program, TruthOut, September 25, 2013
Three quarters of a billion people is a lot of people. And that's how many people, within the next 22 years, will almost certainly run low on water – a necessity of life – in just the regions whose rivers are supplied with water from the glaciers in the Himalayas. To put that in perspective, 750 million people is more than twice the current population of United States. It's about the population of all of Europe. In the year 1900 there were only 500 million people on the entire planet. Seven hundred fifty million people is a lot of people.
Many of the ills of the modern world — starvation, poverty, flooding, heat waves, droughts, war and disease — are likely to worsen as the world warms from man-made climate change, a leaked draft of an international scientific report forecasts. The report uses the word "exacerbate" repeatedly to describe warming's effect on poverty, lack of water, disease and even the causes of war.
Super-typhoon Haiyan – thought to be the strongest recorded storm ever to hit land – has barrelled through the Philippines with winds up to 195mph and waves as high as five metres. The category 5 storm, which made landfall at dawn on Friday on Samar island in the central Philippines, blew westward in a devastating streak across a number of islands, including Leyte, Cebu, Bohol and Negros, where it brought down power lines, knocked out communications, caused landslides and left streets flooded.
We told you on Monday about an open letter penned by James Hansen and three other prominent climate scientists calling on the world to ramp up development and deployment of “safer” nuclear power. The scientists argue that renewable energy isn’t enough to spare the world from the wrath of global warming, and that the power of the atom needs to be better tapped to help get us off fossil fuels.
Canada’s tar sands are emitting more greenhouse gases per barrel now than they did five years ago, according to a new environmental report card. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers found per barrel greenhouse gas emissions for tar sands and other unconventional oil sources — like oil shale — have grown by 21 percent, and total emissions have grown from 90 million metric tons in 2008 to 109 million metric tons in 2012.
John Abraham and Dana Nuccitelli, The Guardian, November 8, 2013
In yesterday's Virginia governor's race, Terry McAuliffe's win over anti-science Republican Ken Cuccinelli is showing that being a climate-change denier is a losing political position. Certainly the election was about many issues, but climate change was the most striking difference between the two candidates. Virginia's voters clearly rejected Cuccinelli's attacks against climate scientists and his head-in-the-sand views. Ken Cuccinelli has a history of not only discounting scientists but spending taxpayers' money to actively attack them.