Back in May, official temperatures soared to 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) as humidity levels spiked in Cairo, Egypt. The early high heat and humidity sparked anxiety among residents worrying over the coming summer. Public complaints about official temperatures being lower than actual measures were widespread among a populace vulnerable to heat exposure in a notoriously hot region of the world suffering the ongoing impacts of human-forced warming. The below video captures some of the sentiment of a few months ago, when concern that record global temperatures in the range of 1 degree Celsius above 1880s averages might result in harm to Egypt’s populace was widespread and growing.” Sourced through Scoop.it from: robertscribbler.com GR: This summer’s deaths are sad harbingers of escalating weather extremes as the planet warms and ocean evaporation increases. Urban heat islands intensify the extremes. This bad for humans, pets, and factory-farmed animals, but for now, wild animals outside cities will not suffer as much. Of course, other human impacts are killing wild animals and plants. Increased transpiration during heat waves will hurry our innocent fellow creatures along the road to extinction.
Rooftop solar panels are the best source of renewable energy. Apart from their manufacture, the panels are nonpolluting. As important, they remove energy production from the hands of a few wealthy investors and place it in our hands.
There are situations where rooftop solar panels are not practical. Places with lots of trees, and multifamily apartment buildings both pose challenges. Large trees surround my house. This keeps my home cool in summer without supplemental cooling, but it makes rooftop solar panels ineffective. I will eventually create an on-the-ground panel array, but until that becomes possible, there is an alternative.
This morning (July 28, 2015), with one phone call, I switched my four electric utility accounts (two residential, two commercial) to 100% clean energy from renewable sources. The option to switch was available from my electricity supplier and from several other companies. The renewable energy types are a mix, but wind and solar are the largest. Beginning August 1, my energy bills will increase by 1.02 cents per kWh.
- No installation costs,
- no rooftop collectors
- no storage batteries
- Just 100% clean energy.
How it Works
My utility company will increase its purchases of renewable energy by an amount equaling my monthly usage.
Who Can Switch?
Clean-energy programs are available in the U. S. and Canada. They might be available in other countries, but I do not have information for those. Any U.S. homeowner, renter, or business that pays for electricity can switch. Utility companies will charge 1 to 2 cents per kWh to switch you to clean energy. An independent company, the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS), verifies electricity sources and certifies the providers through the Green-e Program.
- Click here to find providers and their charges in your state.
- Check the certification of the providers here.
What are the Benefits and Costs of Switching to Clean Electricity?
- More money goes into renewable energy production
- CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions decline
- air quality improves
- ocean acidification slows
- the rate of global warming slows.
Cost: The average electricity usage for U. S. homes is 900 kWh per month. This means that when someone switches to renewable electricity sources, their utility bill will increase between $9.00 and $18.00 per month, $108 and $216 per year.
According to the U. S. Census Bureau, there are about 123 million households and 31 million businesses (most are quite small and use no more electricity than an average household) in the United States. If all households and businesses shifted to clean energy, the total increase in their utility bills would be between $17 billion and $33 billion per year. That’s less than one percent of the $3.8 trillion U. S. budget. I am not saying that the U. S. Federal Government should pay for the switch, but why not offer an incentive program that rebates the additional cost as a tax credit? The program wouldn’t have to be permanent. It would draw attention to the opportunity to switch, and help get the ball rolling.
The Future: Challenges and Opportunities
Energy from gas and oil is used for most space heating and transportation. However, the proportion of heating with electricity has increased rapidly due to the increased efficiency of heat pumps. It now amounts to 40% of the total. Likewise, the proportion of transportation powered by electricity is increasing. Storage batteries are becoming more efficient and electric automobiles are gaining in popularity.
Switching to renewable electricity sources is a huge opportunity. Only about 2% of electricity generated in the U. S. comes from renewable sources (sunlight and wind). Now that certified sources are available and making the switch is not difficult, the amount of electricity from renewable sources could rise quickly.
Make the Switch Now
- Choose your local clean-energy provider here and see if they are certified here. It might be the same company as your utility company, but another company authorized for your area might charge less. Find your chosen company’s phone number.
- Find your electric utility account number.
- Call your chosen clean-energy provider and ask them to switch your account. I haven’t checked with all the companies to see what information in addition to your utility account number might be required. For me, that was all I needed.
Extinction Information Resources
Causes of Extinction
My blog covers the things that people do to cause extinctions and reduce biodiversity. These deeds of ours are woven into individual and our collective habits and beliefs. Stopping them will alter our society and our culture. It will be difficult. Our population must be reduced, our food choices must change, and our resource harvest must decline. Nothing less will succeed. Search the blog using the following terms for recent reports: Burning, Coal, Construction, Deforestation, Desertification, Energy, Farming, Fishing, Fracking, Grazing, Hunting, Invasive Species, Logging, Mining, Oil, Pesticides, Pet Trade, Pollution, Population, Roads, and Soil.
Climate change will become the major cause of extinction. Here’s its search link on my blog: Climate Change.
For more reading, my Internet newsletters include a wider variety of articles than my blog.
“Greenland’s glaciers flowing into the ocean are grounded deeper below sea level than previously measured, allowing intruding ocean water to badly undercut the glacier faces. That process will raise sea levels around the world much faster than currently estimated, according to a team of researchers led by Eric Rignot of the University of California, Irvine (UCI), and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
The researchers battled rough waters and an onslaught of icebergs for three summers to map the remote channels below Greenland’s marine-terminating glaciers for the first time. Their results have been accepted for publication in the journal Geophysical Research Letters and are now available online. Sourced through Scoop.it from: climate.nasa.gov
GR: It would be prudent to pay attention to the worst climate model predictions. That way, when we get more bad news like this, we won’t have such a sinking feeling.
#EcoSciFi and #Climate-Change)
The Tsaeb warriors appeared at a time when Earth’s intelligent creatures were endangering their own existence. War and environmental pollution were destroying the planet. These destructive forces were also sorting out Earth’s intelligent species by extinguishing those least able to compete. Evolutionary trial and error favored the swift and strong, and it favored species with a long-term view of their lives and instinctive acceptance of responsibility for their behavior. The rabbits were the first evolving species to understand and reject the destructive effects of industry and war; they formed the warrior guild and began helping evolution weed out irresponsible species.
In Corr Syl’s time and in ours, Humans are endangering their own existence. Unchecked, the Human population is spreading across the land plowing and bulldozing natural ecosystems. We are introducing invasive species, and harvesting plants and animals so fast that nature can’t recover. It is not surprising that wildlife biologists report that the numbers of many animal and plant species are sinking toward extinction.
The lands that we do not destroy, we pollute with artificial fertilizers, pesticides, and a plethora of chemicals in municipal wastes. However, the most widespread and deadly pollutants of all are the big-molecule greenhouse gasses emitted by our industries, automobiles, and fires. CO2 is the principal culprit among these gasses. When we burn fuels such as wood, coal, or gasoline, oxygen from the air combines with the carbon in the fuel. A 6.3-pound gallon of gas produces about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) when burned. Though the new big CO2 molecules float in the atmosphere, they weigh more than the original carbon atoms in the fuel. Here’s a clear explanation of what happens from the U. S. Department of Energy.
CO2 drifts up into the air where it admits light from the sun and blocks heat radiating back from Earth’s warmed surface. The oceans absorb some of the CO2 and this causes seawater to become more acidic.
The oceans also absorb some of the heat trapped in the atmosphere by CO2. Since the Industrial Revolution when our CO2 production shot up, the oceans have protected Earth’s climate by absorbing CO2 and heat.
The atmosphere and the oceans are warming. As they warm—and it takes only a few degrees—mountain glaciers and the great polar ice sheets begin to melt. This adds fresh water to the oceans, diluting their salinity and further increasing acidity. Rising ocean acidity is reaching the point where it is beginning to kill corals and shellfish. At the same time, our harvest of fish from the oceans has substantially reduced many species’ numbers. Since all sea creatures, like all land creatures, depend on one another, numbers of many species are falling.
As the atmosphere and oceans warm, changes occur in the great atmospheric pressure systems that steer cyclones and hurricanes. The North Polar Region is becoming warmer even more rapidly than other latitudes. In the past, cold heavy air at the pole blocked warm moist air from the south. Now, that air flows farther north than it used to and the global pattern of atmospheric and oceanic circulation is changing.
We are entering a period when evaporation from the warmed oceans is increasing, and the oceans are returning stored heat to the atmosphere. Storms, floods, droughts, cold spells, and heat waves are growing stronger.
Evolution took millions of years to cull the Tsaeb for species capable of living as stable elements of Earth’s ecosystems. I wrote that the Tsaeb wars were terrible, but I let them run for millions of years without destroying the Earth. Had they been as destructive as the side effects of our current population growth and pollution, there wouldn’t have been time for evolution to select for wisdom. The challenge for Humans today is greater than it was for the Tsaeb. Our impact on the Earth is far more abrupt than the damage caused by Tsaeb wars. In hundreds, not millions, of years, our pollution and habitat destruction will transform Earth into a barren planet with few species, little soil, and horrible storms. We’ve known this for only a few decades. Now we have only decades to change our ways and save our forests, seas, and ourselves.
What’s Next for Earth?
Some believe that we already have the wisdom needed to take the long view of things and change our way of life. If you agree and you want to help, you may wish to begin by acquiring a general picture of what’s happening. Some of the best sources are those that fuel the Rebel Mouse newsletters on my website. Go to https://garryrogers.com/climate-news, and https://garryrogers.com/natcon-news. Many of the sources I use for the newsletters have excellent libraries of reviews and information. For more combined climate and nature-conservation news and information try http://www.scoop.it/t/ecoscifi. One of the sources is the blog by Robert Scribbler.
There are many good books on human impacts. Here are two on climate change that I like.
From near my home in central Arizona, left to right: 1) Long strands of algae in stream water polluted by fertilizer runoff from farms. 2) Total algae cover of pond polluted by fertilizer runoff from farms. 3) Land with its surface scraped in preparation for destruction by houses and streets. 4) Jet condensation trails. 5) Recreation destruction of a stream bank.
“There was a press release from the National Astronomy Meeting – which I go to every couple of years – suggesting that the Sun is will return to Maunder Minimum-like conditions during the 2030s. This has been picked up by some as suggesting that we’re heading for a mini-ice-age.
“This kind of idea has been addressed before. The basic problem is illustrated in the figure to the right. If the Sun returns to Maunder minimum-like conditions, then that might imply a reduction in Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) of maybe as much as 3Wm-2. However, to determine the corresponding change in forcing requires considering the geometry of the Earth (approximately spherical) and the albedo (about 0.3). A reduction of TSI of 3Wm-2 would produce a change in solar forcing of about 0.5Wm-2.
“Anthropogenic forcings have, however, probably increased by more than 2Wm-2 since 1750, are currently rising at around 0.4Wm-2/decade, and will probably (unless we start reducing our emissions) continue to rise at at least this rate. A reduction in solar forcing of 0.5Wm-2 by the mid-2030s will therefore only offset about a decade’s worth of increasing anthropogenic forcings. Globally, therefore, the effect will likely be small, as illustrated by the second-to-last figure in this article.
“I should, however, be a little bit careful, as it is possible that such a change in solar forcing could have quite significant regional impacts. This paper suggests that
For a high-end decline in solar ultraviolet irradiance, the impact on winter northern European surface temperatures over the late twenty-first century could be a significant fraction of the difference in climate change between plausible AR5 scenarios of greenhouse gas concentrations.
“So, a return to Maunder minimum-like conditions could have quite large regional impacts, but globally is likely to have a relatively small effect, and would probably only delay global warming by about 10 years” — Posted by: And Then There’s Physics.
Bumblebees, a linchpin of the global food supply, are vanishing across huge swaths of North America and Europe as a result of climate change, a new study says. Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.usnews.com
GR: Earth’s lands, like its oceans, can’t take anymore. Though many species are better adapted to warming than bumblebees, none will escape human impacts unchanged.
GR: Running out of time. Species extinctions, intensifying storms, dying forests and the seas. Scientists study the causes, activists fight small battles and talk about solutions, and our corporate-controlled governments and politicians say it isn’t practical just now to change course. The article below and others describe the approaching disaster.
Science News: “Our oceans need immediate and substantial reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. If that doesn’t happen, we could see far-reaching and largely irreversible impacts on marine ecosystems, which would especially be felt in developing countries. That’s the conclusion of a new review study published today in the journal Science. In the study, the research team from the Ocean 2015 initiative assesses the latest findings on the risks that climate change poses for our oceans, and demonstrates how fundamentally marine ecosystems are likely to change if human beings continue to produce just as much greenhouse gases as before.” www.sciencedaily.com
We have ignored the warnings and relentlessly burned gasoline, oil, and coal; now we must prepare for Act II, the Age of Storms. This story is in the Climate News, but its importance justifies a repeat.
From the conclusion:
“As for phase 3 climate change — that’s a transition to a runaway hothouse and a stratified/Canfield Ocean state. And we really don’t want to see that either. But before we get there, it’s a transition to an age of glacial melt and tremendously potent storms.”
The great ice sheets are melting with increasing velocity. Melt ponds are forming over Greenland, then pounding heat down through the ice like the smoldering hammers of ancient Norse fire giants. Warming mid-depth ocean waters are eating away at the undersides of Antarctica’s great ice shelves. Pools of fresh water are expanding outward from the bleeding glaciers, flooding the surface zones of the world’s oceans. Sea level rise rates have jumped to 4.4 millimeters per year. And the North Atlantic Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is slowing down.
(Accelerating ice mass loss from Antarctica, Greenland and other continental glaciers and ice caps [GICs]. Image source: Geophysical Research Letters.)
Keeping all this in mind, let’s talk a little bit about the ugly transition to phase 2 climate change. A transition it now appears we’re at the start of. The — you should have listened to Dr. James Hansen and…
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Take note of the cold spot in the North Atlantic. From the movie The Day After Tomorrow: Terry Rapson: “We found something extraordinary… extraordinary and disturbing, that is. You recall what you said in New Delhi about how polar melting might disrupt the North Atlantic Current?”
Jack Hall: “Yes.”
Terry Rapson: “Well… I think it’s happening.”
Year to-date is record warm
FRISCO — April’s globally averaged temperature was the fourth-warmest on record, at 1.33 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, according to federal climate trackers releasing the monthly Global State of the Climate update.
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