Enviro News Wrap: Climate Science Confirmation (again); Beleaguered Oceans; Tar Sands Skyline, and more...
GlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up and comments on the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:
- Global warming is real, and it was just confirmed again for about the millionth time. The only people that doubt human-caused climate change are people that benefit from climate change denial or people that believe misinformation campaigns by people who benefit from climate change denial. The argument of there being debate about climate change science is false and should die like the thousands of species that are dying off right now in one of the largest die offs in earth's history.
- The higher the price of fossil fuels the more incentive people have to switch to alternatives; like solar, electric vehicles, energy efficiency, biking instead of driving, etc. Higher prices hurt the average citizen but it increases the rate of adoption to renewable energy. What is really effective is consistent high prices, spikes scare people but does not change behavior. We have created an economy where we can get addicted to products that have artificially low prices, do terrible damage to society, and when we want to switch to an alternative the only option is for everyone to pay high prices for the old product while paying for the new product as well. The structure of our economy is making the transition to renewable energy difficult and slow.
- SolarCity, the largest residential solar installer in the US, just won a $500,000 investment from Goldman Sachs to fund their leasing product. This is a huge vote of confidence in US solar installation companies by a big bank that.
- With atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations increasing we are running toward some extreme changes, mainly in high temperatures and dry land. Living in Seattle I expect the weather to be like Oakland in 20-30 years and like Turkey in 30-60 years. Hopefully we will avoid the worst of the potential of climate change and in a hundred years my grandchildren are able to still live this far south from the north pole.
- First humans ate most of the fish out of the ocean then we warmed the ocean and increased its acidity, further impacting fish populations. Our oceans soak up most of our pollution, and the consequences are increasingly dire.
- Washington uses the most renewable energy in the nation for one reason: hydro power. That's right, we damed up our whole State and besides destroying some habitat and killing lots of river dwellers we are leading the US in energy awesomeness. California has a lot of renewable energy and so does Oregon, the rest of the US should really take a lesson from the West coast.
- Tar Sands oil is terrible, and its effect is visual in Ontario where a huge pile of petroleum coke is sitting as a public eyesore. 350.org is serious about the risks of tar sands the keystone XL pipeline because the effects of harvesting such dirty oil are unacceptable.
- Fresh water is becoming more scarce while the fossil fuel industry is using more of it. Yet another reason why the price of fossil fuels are going up and yet another reason why we need to stop using fossil fuels.