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More than 7,000 news items!


[Recovery]: from Reuters, Wed Jan 14 2015:
Experts warn governments to plan for climate change migrants
Governments need to plan better for rising migration driven by climate change, experts said on Thursday, citing evidence that extreme weather and natural disasters force far more people from their homes than wars. Projections by leading climate scientists of rising sea levels, heatwaves, floods and droughts linked to global warming are likely to oblige millions of people to move out of harm's way, with some never able to return.

Guess who's coming to dinner.
[Read more stories about: migration changes, global warming, rising sea level]
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[Recovery]: from Reuters, Wed Jan 14 2015:
China sets 2020 "artificial weather" target to combat water shortages
China aims to induce more than 60 billion cubic metres of additional rain each year by 2020, using an "artificial weather" programme to fight chronic water shortages, the government said on Monday. China's water resources are among the world's lowest, standing at 2,100 cubic metres per person, or just 28 percent of the world average.... Artificial rain is created by rocket-launching chemicals, such as silver iodide, into clouds to boost rain. China used the technology, known as cloud seeding, to scatter clouds ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.... Around 70 percent of China's rivers and lakes have become too polluted to use.

I've looked at clouds from both seeds now.
[Read more stories about: drought, geoengineering, food crisis]
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[Climate Chaos]: from Cleveland Plain Dealer, Wed Jan 14 2015:
Ohio renewable energy policies spurred growth, now driving away business, report says
Ohio's renewable energy policies sparked tremendous investment in the industry, but recent moves by state lawmakers have slowed that growth and threaten its future, according to a report released Tuesday. Ohio was No. 13 in the country for new capacity and private investment in wind at the end of 2012, according to the Pew report. However, new investment halted in 2013 because of "uncertainty" created by legislative debate over Ohio's renewable energy standards and the expiration of a federal production tax credit, according to the report.

Just what the (bad) doctor ordered.
[Read more stories about: capitalist greed, coal issues, governmental corruption, renewable energy]
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[Species Collapse]: from Science, Wed Jan 14 2015:
Plan to save monarch butterflies backfires
It started with the best of intentions. When evidence emerged that monarch butterflies were losing the milkweed they depend on due to the spread of herbicide-resistant crops in the United States, people across the country took action, planting milkweed in their own gardens. But a new paper shows that well-meaning gardeners might actually be endangering the butterflies' iconic migration to Mexico. That's because people have been planting the wrong species of milkweed, thereby increasing the odds of monarchs becoming infected with a crippling parasite.

Sorry!
[Read more stories about: massive die-off, stupid humans]
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[Recovery]: from Scientific American, Tue Jan 13 2015:
2015 Begins with CO2 above 400 PPM Mark
The new year has only just begun, but we've already recorded our first days with average carbon dioxide levels above 400 parts per million, potentially leading to many months in a row above this threshold, experts say. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography records of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels show that Jan. 1 was the first day of the new year above that concentration, followed by Jan. 3 and Jan. 7. Daily averages have continued at this level or higher through Jan. 9, though they could continue to dance up and down around that mark due to day-to-day variations caused by weather systems. But even with those fluctuations, 2015 will likely see many months above 400 ppm, possibly starting with the very first month of the year.

I'm pretty sure that 400 ppm was a Wild-Assed Guess (WAG), and so isn't really anything to fear, much, really.
[Read more stories about: carbon emissions, economic myopia, ecosystem interrelationships]
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[Recovery]: from Grist, Fri Jan 9 2015:
Challenging the divine right of big energy
... The new calendar that renamed 1792 as Year One had, after all, been created to start society all over again. In that little junk shop on a quiet street in San Francisco, I held a relic from one of the great upheavals of the last millennium. It made me think of a remarkable statement the great feminist fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin had made only a few weeks earlier. In the course of a speech she gave while accepting a book award she noted, "We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings."... As it happens, the planet's changing climate now demands that we summon up the energy to leave behind the Age of Fossil Fuel (and maybe with it some portion of the Age of Capitalism as well).

This sounds as if the Age of Constant Growth might be coming to a close!
[Read more stories about: economic myopia, people rise up]
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[Recovery]: from Globe & Mail, Fri Jan 9 2015:
Oil sands must remain largely unexploited to meet climate target, study finds
The study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, does not single out the Alberta oil sands for special scrutiny, but rather considers the geographic distribution of the world's total fossil fuel supply, including oil, coal and natural gas reserves, and their potential impact on international efforts to curb global warming.... As previous studies have already shown, roughly two-thirds of fossil fuels that can already be extracted at a competitive price will need to remain unburned before 2050 to achieve this goal. The new analysis shows that in order to optimize costs and benefits, that two-thirds cannot be evenly distributed around the world, but must be skewed toward more carbon-intense fuels situated far from potential markets. The computer model suggests that it will be next to impossible to meet climate targets if those fuels are tapped to a significant degree, even as producers continue to develop these reserves.... The study uses a more conservative estimate of 48 billion barrels as the current reserve and then finds that only 7.5 billion barrels of that, or about 15 per cent, can be used by 2050 as part of the global allotment of fossil-fuel use in a two-degree scenario. The figure assumes that new technologies will make possible a reduction in the carbon intensity of oil sands production. If this does not happen, the authors say, then even less of the oil-sands reserve should be extracted.

Tell ya what, oil sands: take your 15 cents on the dollar, and we won't sue you for environmental reparations.
[Read more stories about: climate impacts, carbon sequestration, alternative energy, oil issues, coal issues]
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[Recovery]: from BBC, Thu Jan 8 2015:
Antibiotics: US discovery labelled 'game-changer' for medicine
The heyday of antibiotic discovery was in the 1950s and 1960s, but nothing found since 1987 has made it into doctor's hands. Since then microbes have become incredibly resistant. Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis ignores nearly everything medicine can throw at it. Back to soil: The researchers, at the Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, turned to the source of nearly all antibiotics - soil. This is teeming with microbes, but only 1 percent can be grown in the laboratory. The team created a "subterranean hotel" for bacteria. One bacterium was placed in each "room" and the whole device was buried in soil. It allowed the unique chemistry of soil to permeate the room, but kept the bacteria in place for study.... The lead scientist, Prof Kim Lewis, said: "So far 25 new antibiotics have been discovered using this method and teixobactin is the latest and most promising one.... Tests on teixobactin showed it was toxic to bacteria, but not mammalian tissues, and could clear a deadly dose of MRSA in tests on mice.

This would be so exciting if Big Ag wasn't trying to wipe out all soil bacteria everywhere, as a precondition for using the dead top-substrate as a medium to grow corn and soybeans. So much fewer weeds, right?
[Read more stories about: holyshit, antibiotic resistance, technical cleverness, soil issues]
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[Climate Chaos]: from DesdemonaDespair, Sat Jan 3 2015:
50 Doomiest Graphs from 2014
Measured number of plastic items per square kilometer in the world's oceans... Velocities of retreating glaciers in West Antarctica ... Precipitation anomalies over South America during the active monsoon season, September 2012-May 2013... 1200 scenarios of future CO2 emissions, projected to 2100... World ecological footprint of human consumption...

Des does doomy dramatically.
[Read more stories about: holyshit, death spiral, unintended consequences, tipping point]
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[Climate Chaos]: from Guardian, Thu Jan 1 2015:
Time is running out on climate denial -- But is it running out fast enough?
In short, if we take action to slow global warming, the worst case scenario involves draconian government regulations that trigger an economic recession. If we don't, the worst case scenario involves an economic recession too, but also a host of other global and societal catastrophes. Although Craven doesn't look at the probabilities of these worst case scenarios, they're also heavily weighted towards the case for taking action to curb global warming. There are lots of options to slow global warming that don't involve drastic government regulation, and that can even be beneficial for the economy. If we decide that we've gone too far in cutting carbon pollution, it's relatively easy to scale back government policies.... In other words, if we take too much action to curb climate change, the worst case scenario (upper left grid) is easily avoided. If we don't take enough action, we may not be able to avoid some of the worst consequences in the bottom right grid.

There's no "us" in "deniers."
[Read more stories about: death spiral, climate impacts, faster than expected, arctic meltdown]
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[Species Collapse]: from Associated Press, Wed Dec 31 2014:
More Monarchs return to Mexico, but now face cold
More Monarch butterflies appear to have made the long flight from the U.S. and Canada to their winter nesting ground in western Mexico, raising hopes after their number dropped to a record low last year. But experts still fear that unusual cold temperatures will threaten the orange and black insects. While an official census won't be ready until mid-January, observers are seeing healthy populations of butterflies bunched together on fir and pine trees in protected sanctuaries... Mexico's National Meteorological Service predicts 55 cold fronts for the country through May, a 15 percent increase from the average, and with the possibility for repeated cold systems to extend into March and April.

We're going to have to knit them little hats, coats and mittens.
[Read more stories about: global warming, massive die-off, migration changes, sixth extinction]
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[Climate Chaos]: from Washington Post, Tue Dec 30 2014:
Delaware-size gas plume over West illustrates the cost of leaking methane
The methane that leaks from 40,000 gas wells near this desert trading post may be colorless and odorless, but it's not invisible. It can be seen from space. Satellites that sweep over energy-rich northern New Mexico can spot the gas as it escapes from drilling rigs, compressors and miles of pipeline snaking across the badlands. In the air it forms a giant plume: a permanent, Delaware-sized methane cloud, so vast that scientists questioned their own data when they first studied it three years ago.... The country's biggest methane "hot spot," verified by NASA and University of Michigan scientists in October, is only the most dramatic example of what scientists describe as a $2 billion leak problem: the loss of methane from energy production sites across the country.

We call 'em Man-made Earth Farts.
[Read more stories about: climate impacts, holyshit, methane release]
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[Climate Chaos]: from Politico, Tue Dec 30 2014:
2015, the year the GOP strikes back at Obama food policies
The Obama administration is becoming increasingly involved in what Americans put on their dinner plates and in their cereal bowls, from requiring school children to be served fruit to eliminating trans fats in doughnuts. But the new Republican Congress is already laying the groundwork to push back in 2015. As the opening bell sounds for the 114th Congress, don't be surprised to see GOP lawmakers take on school nutrition. The $1.1 trillion omnibus this month included provisions to allow states more flexibility to exempt schools from the Department of Agriculture's whole-grain standards if they can show hardship and to halt future sodium restrictions...

You are what you(r kids) eat.
[Read more stories about: governmental idiocy, corporate farming]
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[Species Collapse]: from Reuters, Tue Dec 30 2014:
Monarch butterfly eyed for possible U.S. endangered species protection
Monarch butterflies may warrant U.S. Endangered Species Act protection because of farm-related habitat loss blamed for sharp declines in cross-country migrations of the orange-and-black insects, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said on Monday. Monarch populations are estimated to have fallen by as much as 90 percent during the past two decades because of destruction of milkweed plants they depend on to lay their eggs and nourish hatching larvae, according to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

No crying over spilled milk(weed).
[Read more stories about: canary in coal mine, corporate farming, ecosystem interrelationships, global warming, koyaanisqatsi, massive die-off, sixth extinction]
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[Recovery]: from Wisconsin State Journal, Mon Dec 29 2014:
Technique for turning manure into drinkable water could help lakes
Dane County is setting aside about $1.3 million for new technology officials say could turn lake-fouling dairy cow manure into crystal clear water. The process would be installed at a county-sponsored biodigester just outside of Middleton that this year began collecting natural gas from manure and other waste, and extracting about half of the phosphorus before the manure-waste mixture is spread on farm fields as fertilizer.

Not quite straw-into-gold or water-into-wine but close!
[Read more stories about: corporate farming, smart policy, technological innovation]
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[Climate Chaos]: from Al Jazeera, Mon Dec 29 2014:
At least 24 killed in Malaysia, Thailand floods as 200,000 evacuated
Severe flooding in Malaysia and Thailand has killed at least 24 people and forced the evacuation of more than 200,000, according to official data reported Sunday. Northeastern Malaysia and southern Thailand are regularly hit by flooding during the annual northeast monsoon, but this year the rain has been particularly heavy. Scientists have predicted that as climate change worsens, storm patterns will become less predictable and more severe.... Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak toured some of the worst-hit areas this weekend, stopping in Kelantan where the number of displaced people doubled to over 80,000 from Friday, following his return from a vacation in Hawaii on Friday. Najib was criticized for his absence during the calamity, after being photographed playing golf with U.S. President Barack Obama.

We will assume the two world leaders were conferring about climate change.
[Read more stories about: weather extremes]
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[Resource Depletion]: from Los Angeles Times, Mon Dec 29 2014:
State's drought having pronounced effect on wildlife
...aby squirrels are just one of many animals fleeing their homes and risking their lives to search for food sources that have been diminished by drought. California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials said drought has forced more bears and deer to venture onto mountain highways, where many are struck and killed by vehicles.

Let them drink cake.
[Read more stories about: drought, massive die-off]
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[Recovery]: from Sheffield, University of, Mon Dec 29 2014:
Switch from cattle fields to 'carbon farms' could tackle climate change, save endangered animals cheaply
Changing cattle fields to forests is a cheap way of tackling climate change and saving species threatened with extinction, a new study has found. Researchers from leading universities carried out a survey of carbon stocks, biodiversity and economic values from one of the world's most threatened ecosystems, the western Andes of Colombia. The main use of land in communities is cattle farming, but the study found farmers could make the same or more money by allowing their land to naturally regenerate.

I'm raisin' a whole herd of carbons.
[Read more stories about: carbon emissions, carbon sequestration, climate impacts, people rise up]
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[Recovery]: from Youth Power Indiana, Thu Dec 18 2014:
A Message from Santa's Elves


How am I supposed to believe in elves, when Rudolph is missing?
[Read more stories about: people rise up, arctic meltdown]
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[Climate Chaos]: from Politico, Mon Dec 15 2014:
How the 'War on Coal' went global
Congressional Republicans who vow to defeat President Barack Obama's "War on Coal" can do little to defend the industry against a growing international threat -- the drying up of its once-promising markets overseas. Just a few years ago, domestic producers had high hopes for selling coal to energy-hungry Asia, but prices in those markets are plummeting now amid slowing demand and oversupply, ceding much of the market space to cheaper coal from nations like Indonesia and Australia. Meanwhile, a lot of U.S. coal can't even get out of the country, thanks to greens' success in blocking proposed export terminals in Washington state and Oregon. And China, the world's most voracious coal customer, just pledged to cap its use of the fuel and is promising to curb its greenhouse gas pollution.

War on Coal = Peace on Earth
[Read more stories about: carbon emissions, climate impacts, coal issues]
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[Species Collapse]: from London Guardian, Mon Dec 15 2014:
Earth faces sixth 'great extinction' with 41 percent of amphibians set to go the way of the dodo
A stark depiction of the threat hanging over the world's mammals, reptiles, amphibians and other life forms has been published by the prestigious scientific journal, Nature. A special analysis carried out by the journal indicates that a staggering 41 percent of all amphibians on the planet now face extinction while 26 percent of mammal species and 13 percent of birds are similarly threatened.

41 + 26 + 13 doesn't even equal 100!
[Read more stories about: deforestation, global warming, habitat loss, hunting to extinction, overfishing]
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[Recovery]: from Marketplace, Mon Dec 15 2014:
Growing Styrofoam out of mushrooms
In a college dorm room, under a twin XL bed, a company was born. Ecovative, a biodesign company based in Albany, NY, began as a science project for Gavin McIntyre and Eben ...
[Recovery]: from The Independent (UK), Sat Dec 13 2014:
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
The collapsing oil price that is reshaping the global economy could derail the green energy revolution by making renewable power sources prohibitively bad value, experts have ...
[Climate Chaos]: from Climate Progress, Fri Dec 12 2014:
Top Scientists To Media: Stop Using 'Skeptic' To Describe Climate Science Deniers
Four dozen leading scientists and science journalists/communicators have issued a statement urging the media to "Please stop using the word 'skeptic' to describe deniers" ...
[Biology Breach]: from Climate Progress, Fri Dec 12 2014:
The Ocean Now Has At Least 700 Pieces Of Plastic Per Person On Earth
A study published on Wednesday estimates that the ocean contains over 260,000 tons, or 5.25 trillion pieces, of plastic. The study found that the amount of microplastics, ...
[Recovery]: from Midwest Energy News, Fri Dec 12 2014:
Minnesota will 'get the ball rolling' on community solar today
Expectations are high today as Minnesota's largest utility begins accepting applications for community solar projects at 9 a.m. today. It's anyone guess show many solar ...
[Climate Chaos]: from NBC News, Fri Dec 12 2014:
2014 Boils Toward Warmest Year Ever with Three More Records Broken
Even if it's freezing in your personal universe, Earth as a whole just broke three "warmest" records and is likely to see 2014 go down as the warmest since record ...
[Climate Chaos]: from BBC, Thu Dec 11 2014:
Global group of Catholic bishops call for end to fossil fuels
Catholic bishops from around the world are calling for an end to fossil fuel use and increased efforts to secure a global climate treaty. Catholics, they say, should engage ...
[Climate Chaos]: from Associated Press, Wed Dec 10 2014:
As US cleans up, it's exporting more pollution
Heat-trapping pollution released into the atmosphere from rising exports of U.S. gasoline and diesel dwarfs the cuts made from fuel efficiency standards and other efforts ...
[Recovery]: from London Independent, Wed Dec 10 2014:
Organic farming can feed the world if done right, scientists claim
Organic farming is much more productive than previously thought, according to a new analysis of agricultural studies that challenges the conventional "biased" view ...

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What is causing an uproar about former Sen. Michael Rubio (D) getting a job with Chevron?
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The ApocaDocs try to make fun of the horror of environmental collapse by locating a handful of news items every day, and giving each a punchline. The stories are categorized into five main topics: Species Collapse (ecosystem interrelationships, invasive species, the sixth extinction, pesticide effects, and more); Resource Depletion (peak oil, peak phosphorus, overfishing, topsoil loss, aquifer declines, and more); Biology Breach (toxic runoff, radiation, GMOs, pharmwater, contamination, and idle destruction); Climate Chaos (global warming, weather extremes, ocean warming, and more); and Infectious Disease (pandemics, viruses, antibiotic resistance). To avoid deep depression, we also include stories of Recovery (alternative energy, innovations, species restoration, better policies, social change, and the like). For more information, see About The ApocaDocs.
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