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Why Do We Need to Curb Climate Change? Watch This Video.

Peter Lehner

Posted April 28, 2014

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What does climate change look like? Everyone has a different answer. To a Texas rancher, it’s the drought that’s starving his cattle. To a worried mother in New York City, it’s the stultifying heat wave that’s setting off her child’s asthma. To an Iowa farmer, it’s hundreds of acres of unplanted fields, either withered by drought or flooded by heavy rains. To a New Jersey homeowner, it’s the storm that has destroyed her seaside community.

Every year since 2010, NRDC has encapsulated the year’s climate change impacts into a 2-minute video. Every year, this task becomes more challenging, as more communities in America and worldwide feel the devastating impacts of climate change. This past year was no exception: two-thirds of the country sweltered in a vast July heat wave; wildfires burned 1.2 million acres of U.S. forest in June alone. But this year, 2014, could at last mark a major turning point. This is the year that America, as a nation, will take steps to reduce the biggest source of climate pollution in the country: carbon pollution from existing power plants. This could be our best chance yet to slow down the runaway train of climate change. We can’t afford to squander it.

In June, the EPA will release its first-ever proposal to limit pollution from existing power plants, which are responsible for 40 percent of U.S. carbon emissions. The proposal will likely be based on a blueprint created by NRDC, which demonstrates that we can cost-effectively reduce this pollution 21 to 31 percent by 2020, compared to 2012 levels. The economic benefits of the plan, from lives saved, illnesses reduced, and climate damage avoided, range from $21 billion to $53 billion by 2020—that’s over and above cost.

The proposal will likely build on solutions that are already working on the ground. The number of people impacted by climate change may be growing, but so is the number of people who are benefitting from climate change solutions: whether it’s a factory worker who sustains her family during the recession because she works on building wind turbines; or a homeowner who enjoys a more comfortable home and lower energy bills by installing better insulation. In fact, a full 25 percent of the U.S. population lives in states that are already successfully cutting carbon pollution from power plants.

 We know that clean energy and efficiency solutions work. But we need to expand these solutions to cut more pollution, and we need to do it now.  

Reducing carbon pollution from power plants is absolutely vital to protecting ourselves and future generations from the most devastating impacts of climate change. The Obama administration is serious about seizing this moment. We can’t afford to lose momentum. The limits EPA proposes need to be strong; and President Obama, Congressional and state leaders need to know that their constituents support this critical effort to limit dangerous carbon pollution. Speak out and demand strong limits on carbon pollution from power plants.

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Comments

GAIApr 30 2014 10:33 AM

We are at the end of the Holocene, a little past half-precession. Solar energy has decreased by 9% (123 Wm^2) since the Holocene Optimum. This modern warm period is the second warm pulse near half-precession. The Eemian, the interglacial which precedes this one, experienced two strong warm pulses right at its very end before the drop into glaciation.

The two possibles for the climate going forward is a long cold bumpy ride to the next Optimum (a double precession cycle) or descent into glaciation. (MIS-11 the ONLY double precession interglacial did not have all that stable a climate between peaks since it was near the tipping point into glaciation.)

Since 2005 when Lisiecki and Raymo, completely trounced Berger and Loutre’s 2002 modeling, no one has challenged Lisiecki and Raymo conclusion.

QUOTE
"the June 21 insolation minimum at 65N during MIS 11 is only 489 Wm2, much less pronounced than the present minimum of 474 W/m2. In addition, current insolation values are not predicted to return to the high values of late MIS 11 for another 65 kyr. We propose that this effectively precludes a ‘double precession-cycle’ interglacial [e.g., Raymo, 1997] in the Holocene without human influence.”
UNQUOTE

This agrees with the Ruddiman’s “Early Anthropogenic Hypothesis” - the ONLY thing keeping us out of the next ice age is Carbon Dioxide, a much needed plant food. (SEE: Carbon starvation in glacial trees recovered from the La Brea tar pits, southern California)

So why would anyone in their right mind who realizes that the 'Little Ice Age" was right on time (half-precession) for the big drop into glaciation want to strip the earth of the security blanket keeping us out of glaciation???


Current insolation value = 474 W m−2
for 21 June insolation 65◦ N

Glacial inception figures from a fall 2012 paper "Can we predict the duration of an interglacial? "
MIS 13a - insolation = 500 W m−2
MIS 15a - insolation = 480 W m−2
MIS 17 - insolation = 477 W m−2


That paper also says:
Quote
"Because the intensities of the 397 ka BP and present insolation minima are very similar, we conclude that under natural boundary conditions the present insolation minimum holds the potential to terminate the Holocene interglacial. Our findings support the Ruddiman hypothesis [Ruddiman, W., 2003.]..."
UNQUOTE

Ignore Geologic History at your peril. Mother Nature does not care and since I am old with no children I think it would be really interesting to witness the arrival of the next glaciation.


OH, and just in case you were wondering the "Polar Vortex" pattern we saw over the USA this winter is the same shape as the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Rutgers shows the Northern Hemisphere winter snow extent has been trending up since 1967. And the Antarctic sea ice has been above 2 sigma for all 12 months.

Looks like I may get my wish! and Humans may get the next bump up in intelligence they so disparately need. (Humanoid brain cases increase in size with the challenges presented by glaciation)

Mitchell KlebanoffMay 1 2014 06:28 PM

Reaching young people with different messaging. One blogger responded to the video this way: "Gas Makes Me High" #Climate Change Enters Popular Culture wp.me/p4rqAj-6S

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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