Climate Change. Part 33.
If Ocean Cleanup fails....
Public opinion on environment.
Climate change in early 2019.
Sea rise from Antarctic melting.
Denmark fights cow flatulence.
Disconnect between the EPA and
climate scientists. Change is
A million species may go extinct!.
Potential shortage of drinking
water for over 200 million people.
Canadian Parliament declares
a national climate emergency.
Alternate approaches if the Ocean Cleanup projects fails:
Laurel Hamers, writing for Science News, listed four alternate methods of reducing the Garbage Patches:
- Collect trash from rivers and streams before it gets into the ocean. The City of Baltimore, MD has such a project in place.
- Collect trash that is deposited on ocean beaches before it has a chance to be washed away.
- Restrict the use of plastic for single-use items, like grocery bags and plastic straws.
- Recycle/reuse plastic. 1 A new type of plastic used to manufacture cans can be broken down chemically into its original ingredients and rebuilt multiple times. 2
2019-JAN-15: Overview of climate change and global emissions at the start of 2019:
Writing in The Atlantic magazine, Robinson Meyer concludes that:
"The year 2018 was not an easy one for planet Earth." 3
There are some positive indicators:
- The cost of wind and solar electrical generation continue to decrease.
- The most popular luxury automobile in the U.S. is now an electric car.
However, these are overwhelmed by negative factors:
- The amount of heat-trapping gasses entering the atmosphere drastically increased during 2018, both in the U.S. and in other countries across the world.
- Meyer writes:
"When climate scientists want to tell a story about the future of the planet, they use a set of four standard scenarios called “representative concentration pathways,” or RCPs. ... The worst case is RCP 8.5."
- Zeke Hausfather, an analyst and climate scientist at Berkeley Earth, noted that since 2005, total global greenhouse-gas emissions have most closely tracked the RCP 8.5 worst-case scenario in which the world’s average temperature would rise by 4.9 degrees Celsius, or nearly 9 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rob Jackson, an Earth scientist at Stanford University and the chair of the Global Carbon Project said:
“That’s an inconceivable increase for global temperatures -- especially when we think about them being global average temperatures. Temperatures will be even higher in the northern latitudes, and higher over land than over the ocean."
2019-JAN-28: Climate Change Deniers in Congress are fewer:
There are a total of 535 voting members in Congress: 435 representatives and 100 senators.
The Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF) has surveyed the makeup of the 116th (current) Congress following the midterm elections. They found that a total of 150 members of Congress are "climate deniers." CAPAF defined "deniers" as those who believe that:
- Climate change is not real or is a hoax; and/or
- Climate has always been changing and continues to do so; the Earth is just in a standard cycle of warming; and/or
- The science around climate change is not settled; and/or
- Since they are not scientists themselves, they cannot know for certain; and/or
- Humans are contributing to a changing climate but are not the main contributors.
All of the deniers are Republicans. This is a reduction by 30 members from before the elections. Deniers make up 28% of current members of Congress, and almost 60% of Republican members. 4
A Monmouth University poll sampled the opinion of the U.S. public. Data was collected between NOV-09 to 12. This is shortly before the federal Government's Fourth National Climate Assessment was released and before President Donald Trump’s subsequent remarks which questioned the report. Their poll found that:
- 78% of all U.S. adults believe that climate change is real and is adversely affecting the weather. This is an increase of 8 percentage points since late 2015.
- For the first time, a majority (64%) of Republicans agree. This is an increase by 15 percentage points since 2015-DEC.
- 92% of Democrats agree. This is an increase by 7 percentage points since 2015-DEC.
- 78% of Independents agree. This is an increase by 4 percentage points since 2015-DEC.
- Majorities of Democrats (56%), Republicans (55%), and independents (53%) do not think it is likely that Congress will act on climate change in the next few years.
- The poll's margin of error is ±3.5 percentage points (95% confidence).
- The authors of the poll note that:
'The proportion of Americans who are very worried about global warming has more than tripled since its lowest point in 2011. Increasing numbers of Americans say they have personally experienced global warming and that the issue is personally important to them." 5
2019-JAN: U.S. Gallup Poll results the state of the nation, on environment and other topics:
Gallup periodically conducts a national poll, asking the same group of questions each time. They determine the public's level of satisfaction with various aspects of life in the U.S. In the most recent poll, conducted during early 2019-JAN, the highest level of satisfaction is with the status of the U.S. military, at 78%. The lowest was the nation's efforts to deal with poverty and homelessness, at 25%, and the nation's campaign finance laws at 20%.
Approximately in the middle was the "quality of the environment" in the U.S. at 43%. This is the lowest response to this question since this poll was first taken in 2001. 6
2019-FEB-06: Good news for a change: A new calculation on sea level rise due to ice cliffs:
A side-effect of global warming involves the Antarctic ice cliffs collapsing into the ocean, melting, and raising the sea level around the world. This is an important threat to all of the many world's cities that are located on the shores of the oceans, and would also pose a threat to low-lying areas like the present shore line of Florida, US which would be under water.
In the recent past, computer simulations indicated that these ice cliffs would rapidly collapse, causing a major sea level rise by the end of the 21st century and beyond. A rise of 2.1 meters (almost 9 feet) by the year 2100 was recently estimated.
A group at King's College London in the UK led by Tamsin Edwards has performed a computer simulation of marine ice cliffs on the shores of Antarctica. It showed that a rapid collapse of such cliffs was very unlikely to have happened during warming spells over the past three million years. They analyzed sea level rises during the mid-Pliocene period about 3.3 to 3.0 million years ago, the most recent interglacial period from 130 to 115 thousand years ago, and the past 25 years. They predicted that the ice cliff instability will not occur in our near future, but could increase sea levels as much as 4 meters (13 feet) by the year 2200. 7
2019-JAN-22: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-NY) speaks about the end of the world:
During an interview with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, she said:
"Millennials and Gen Z and all these folks that come after us are looking up, and we're like, 'The world is going to end in 12 years if we don't address climate change, and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?' " 15
Unfortunately, her statement, when taken out of its context, is ambiguous. Much of the media ridiculed her. They interpreted her words as meaning that the world will cease to exist sometime during the year 2031 unless we tackle climate change now. What she apparently meant was that if we continue on our present relative inactivity about climate change, then by the year 2031, there is no obvious path forward that the people of the world could prevent the eventual collapse of civilization at some unknown time in the future.
Climate scientist Michael Mann responded:
"There is no scenario for stabilizing warming below 2°C that doesn’t require rapid reductions in carbon emissions over the next decade. 16
2019-FEB-28: Denmark fights cow flatulence:
All mammals fart. Some do more than others. It happens because of swallowed air, gas-producing food and drink, anxiety, childbirth, and the effects of aging. Humans typically do this 14 times a day. Cows are also mammals. They expel more methane gas than humans because they are much larger and heavier. But, of the total methane they produce, over 90% comes from their mouths in the form of burps.8 Methane is a major greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming/climate change.
Kate Torgovnick May, writing for www.Ideas.Ted.com said:
"According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock — including cows, pigs, sheep and other animals — are responsible for about 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Cows are the primary offenders, and each animal releases 30 to 50 gallons a day on average. ... With an estimated 1.3 to 1.5 billion cows on the planet, that’s a whole lot of methane." 8
Denmark has committed to reducing greenhouse gasses by 40% by the year 2020. Their Danish Economic Council decided to take action against cow-produced methane by proposing a tax of 2,280 kroner (about US $344) yearly on each cow. 9 (Various web sites quote very different values.)
2019-MAR-29: Disconnect between climate researchers and the EPA:
Andrew Wheeler heads the federal Environmental Protection Agency. In a recent interview, he said that global warming is not a problem at this time. He said:
"Most of the threats from climate change are 50 to 75 years out." 10
Climate researchers disagree. Joeri Rogelj, a climate scientist at the Imperial College London in the UK said:
"The next decade is really critical."
Drew Shindell, a climate scientist at Duke University in Durham, NC compares climate change to steering a huge ship. He said:
"You have to turn way in advance because it takes a long time."
Countries at the 2015 Paris climate accord agreed to limit future warming to "well below" 2º Celsius (about 3.6º Fahrenheit) over preindustrial temperatures, and to aim for a goal of 1.5º C (about 2.7º F). The 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that attaining the lower target would prevent more species from going extinct and would make it easier for humans to adapt to climate changes.
"Humans have already unleashed enough greenhouse gases to raise the planet's average temperature by about 1 degree C. At current rates, we will emit enough in the next 10 years to all but guarantee another half-degree of warming." 10
During the week of 2019-APR-01, climate scientists will meet in Scotland to prepare the next IPCC report.
Last year's report, based on hundred of scientific studies, found that"
- By 2030, the level of worldwide emissions of greenhouse gases must drop to about half of 2010 levels, and
- By about 2050, worldwide carbon emissions must drop to near zero,
if we are going to reach the 1.5º C goal.
Lamontagne, a systems analyst at Tufts University in Medford and Somerville, MA, said that it is critical how well we manage to reduce emissions in the next decade, He said.
"Our actions today are going to lock future generations in to a climate that they'll have very little control over."
Rosen commented that reaching the target:
"... would be expensive, but theoretically feasible. The IPCC estimated that achieving a 1.5-degree world will require $2.4 trillion in clean energy investments every year until 2035. That's equivalent to 2.5 percent of the world's combined gross domestic product.
Lamontagne's team calculated the price tag could be as high as 3 percent or 4 percent of global GDP to max out at 2 degrees of warming by 2100."
"Failing to act also carries a hefty cost. One study estimated that 4 degrees of warming would rob the world economy of $23 trillion per year; another found that by 2100, unmitigated climate change will reduce global incomes by 23 percent. The toll could reach hundreds of billions of dollars per year in the U.S. alone, according to a 2018 report commissioned by Congress. ..."
"So far, countries' official pledges to reduce emissions under the Paris accord fall far short of what's needed to meet the 1.5-degree target."
2019-MAY-10: UN report: One million species could become extinct:
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), approved a summary of the 7th session of its IPBES Plenary, meeting in Paris. Chairperson, Sir Robert Watson, said:
The overwhelming evidence of the IPBES Global Assessment, from a wide range of different fields of knowledge, presents an ominous picture. The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.
The Report also tells us that it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global. Through ‘transformative change’, nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably – this is also key to meeting most other global goals. By transformative change, we mean a fundamental, system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values.
The member States of IPBES Plenary have now acknowledged that, by its very nature, transformative change can expect opposition from those with interests vested in the status quo, but also that such opposition can be overcome for the broader public good."
The summary draws on 145 expert authors from 50 countries with inputs from another 310 authors,and review of about 15,000 scientific and government sources. including indigenous and local knowledge. Co=chair Prof. Sandra Díaz from Argentina said:
"Biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people are our common heritage and humanity’s most important life-supporting ‘safety net’. But our safety net is stretched almost to breaking point. The diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems, as well as many fundamental contributions we derive from nature, are declining fast, although we still have the means to ensure a sustainable future for people and the planet."
The Report finds that around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades, more than ever before in human history!
"The average abundance of native species in most major land-based habitats has fallen by at least 20%, mostly since 1900. More than 40% of amphibian species, almost 33% of reef forming corals and more than a third of all marine mammals are threatened. The picture is less clear for insect species, but available evidence supports a tentative estimate of 10% being threatened. At least 680 vertebrate species had been driven to extinction since the 16th century and more than 9% of all domesticated breeds of mammals used for food and agriculture had become extinct by 2016, with at least 1,000 more breeds still threatened.
Ecosystems, species, wild populations, local varieties and breeds of domesticated plants and animals are shrinking, deteriorating or vanishing. The essential, interconnected web of life on Earth is getting smaller and increasingly frayed. This loss is a direct result of human activity and constitutes a direct threat to human well-being in all regions of the world." 11
2018-MAY-12: Carbon Dioxide levels reach new heights:
CO2 levels in the Earth's atmosphere have fluctuated between about 170 to 300 ppm (parts per million) over the interval from 800,000 years up until the industrial age began in the 18th century CE. It is the gas that is most responsible for global warming. The level has increased rapidly since.
Current CO2 levels are routinely measured at the top of Mauna Loa, on the island of Hawaii.
The carbon dioxide level in the Earth's atmosphere exceeded 415 parts per million there for the first time in at least 800,000 years. 12 It has been increasing about 2.5 ppm per year in recent years. But the increase from 2018 to 2019 is expected to be about 3.0.
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt oversees about 20% of the land area in the U.S. When Matt Cartwright (D-PA) questioned him about the CO2 milestone during a hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee, He said that:
"I didn’t see that particular fact. ...I haven't lost any sleep over it."
Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) said:
"An overwhelming consensus of the world’s climate scientists are losing sleep. It is a hair-on-fire crisis for them." 13
2019-MAY-29: Possible future water shortage in Asia:
About 221 million people (3% of the world's population), depend upon glaciers melting in the high mountain ranges in Asia -- including the Himalayas -- for their water supply. However, these glaciers are shrinking. Water security may be threatened within a few decades.
Glaciologist Hamish D. Pritchard of the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge wrote an article in Nature on MAY-29. The study found that If nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gas production, the annual melt water flowing from the glaciers could be noticeable reduced by the year 2090. 14
2019-JUN-18: Canadian Parliament declares a national climate emergency:
Catherine McKenna (Liberal), a MP (Member of Parliament) and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, introduced a motion to ParliamentI that declared:
"... Canada is in a national climate emergency which requires, as a response, that Canada commit to meeting its national emissions target under the Paris Agreement and to making deeper reductions in line with the Agreement's objective of holding global warming below two degrees Celsius and pursuing efforts to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius."
2 ºC is equivalent to 3.6 ºF; 1.5 ºC is equivalent to 2.7 ºF.
All members of Parliament (MPs) from the Progressive Conservative party and Maxime Bernier, the People's Party leader voted against the motion. The Liberals, New Democrats, Bloc Quebecois and Green Party MPs voted in favor. The motion passed 186 to 63. 17
More information on these topics will be added as it becomes available.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Laurel Hamers, "4 ways to tackle ocean trash besides Ocean Cleanup’s broken system," Science News, 2019-JAN-04, at: https://www.sciencenews.org/
- Laurel Hamers, "This plastic can be recycled over and over and over again," Science News, 2018-APR-26, at: https://www.sciencenews.org/
- Robinson Meyer, "Are We Living Through Climate Change’s Worst-Case Scenario?," The Atlantic, 2019-JAN-15, at: https://www.theatlantic.com/
- Sally Hardin and Claire Moser, "Climate Deniers in the 116th Congress," Center for American Progress Action Fund, 2019-JAN-28, at: https://www.americanprogressaction.org/
- "Climate Concerns Increase; Most Republicans Now Acknowledge Change," Mommouth University, 2018-NOV-29, at: https://www.monmouth.edu/
- Megan Brenan, "Americans Most Satisfied With Nation's Military, Security," Gallup, 2019-JAN-28, at: https://news.gallup.com/poll
- Carolyn Gramling, "Collapsing ice cliffs may not contribute to sea level rise," Science News, 2019-FEB-06, at: https://www.sciencenews.org/
- Kate Torgovnick May, "Methane isn’t just cow farts; it’s also cow burps (and other weird facts you didn’t know about this potent greenhouse gas)," Ideas.Ted.Com, 2018-SEP-22, at: https://ideas.ted.com/
- Stephen Gadd, "Farmers up in arms over proposed methane tax on cows," CPHPost Online, 2018-SEP-28, at: http://cphpost.dk/
- Julia Rosen, "Why the next decade will be critical in the fight against climate change," ArcaMax, 2019-MAR-29, at: https://www.arcamax.com
- "Media Release: Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’," Ipbes, 2019-MAY-04, at: https://www.ipbes.net/
- Ryan W. Miller & Doyle Rice, "Carbon dioxide levels hit landmark at 415 ppm, highest in human history," USA Today, 2019-MAY-13, at: https://www.usatoday.com/
- Chris D'Angelo, "Interior Chief On Soaring Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide: 'I Haven’t Lost Any Sleep’," Huffington Post, 2019-MAY-15, at: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/
- Carolyn Gramling, "Himalayan glacier melting threatens water security for millions of people," Science News, 2019-MAY-29, at: https://www.sciencenews.org/
- William Cummings, " 'The world is going to end in 12 years if we don't address climate change,' Ocasio-Cortez says," USA TODAY, 2019-JAN-22, at: https://www.usatoday.com/
- Joe Romm, "Michael Mann: 'There is no scenario for stabilizing warming below 2°C that doesn’t require rapid reductions in carbon emissions over the next decade,' Think Progress, 2019-JAN-31, at: https://thinkprogress.org/
- Rachel Aiello "Canada's House of Commons has declared a national climate emergency," CTV News, 2019-JUN-17, at: https://www.ctvnews.ca/
The following reports in this section that discuss environment and climate change may be of interest to you:
- Part 1: 2013: Quotes. Background. Bay of Bengal incident. Decline in Canada's arctic ice cover.
- Part 2: 2013/2014: Canada loses its seasons. 316 North American cities to be under water.
- Part 3: 2013/2014: Christians, Republicans' & Democrats' beliefs differ. Volcanoes cause pauses in global warming. Americans' views on climate change.
- Part 4: 2014/2015: How Americans viewed climate change. HFC limits. Groups abandoning ALEC. Paris Conference reaches agreement.
- Part 5: 2016-FEB to AUG: Climate change concerns: Ocean levels rising. Displacement of animal species.
Greenland glacier melting. "Third Pole" glaciers melting.
- Part 6: 2016-SEP: Flooding on the U.S. East coast. U.S. and China ratify the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Pres. Obama: trends are "terrifying."
- Part 7: 2016-SEP: Obama comments on warming (Con't). 31 countries ratify Paris agreement. Trump zigzags on Climate Change.
- Part 8: 2016-Summer/Fall: Events showing that climate change is adversely affecting life on Earth
- Part 9: 2016-OCT: Did God send Hurricane Matthew as an anti-LGBT message to humanity? Alternate opinions. Hurricane Matthew re-enters Atlantic Ocean.
- Part 10: 2016-NOV: U.S. Costal real estate threatened. Rapid temperature rise in the Arctic. Very large poll about climate change.
- Part 11: 2016-DEC: President-elect Trump's climate change beliefs. New heads of federal government departments. Extinction of 11 species.
- Part 12: 2016-DEC: President-elect Trump's 16 Promised Plans on Energy and the Environment.
- Part 13: 2017-JAN: 2016 Was The Hottest Year On Record, Ever.
- Part 14: 2017-JAN: Recent Climate Change Measurements!
- Part 15:2017-JAN to APR:
Climate Change Debate is Changing. What if All the Earth's Glaciers Melted?
- Part 16: 2017-JAN to APR: Donald Trump Becomes President. EPA Foe Installed as Head of EPA! Hundreds Die During Flood in Colombia. Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere Reaches New High.
- Part 17: Studies of the Effects
of Sea-level Rise in California between Now and the Year 2100.
- Part 18: President Trump Decided that the U.S. Will Quit the Paris Agreement.
Explosive Reactions to his Plan, nationally and globally.
- Part 19: More Reactions to the U.S.
Withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Record high temperatures in San Francisco and elsewhere.
- Part 20:2017-AUG/SEP : Group of 20 summit meeting, Hurricane Harvey attacks Texas. Is climate change increasing the
severity or frequency of hurricanes?
- Part 21: 2017-SEP: 2017-SEP: Can government regulations help? U.S. record high temperatures. Did God send Hurricane Harvey to attack TX?.
Hurricane Irma attacks Caribbean, FL, SC, GA. Hurricanes Jose & Maria.
- Part 22: 2017-SEP/OCT: The most expensive recent hurricanes to attack the United States. Does God use Hurricanes to send a message?
Conflicts, climate change cause rise in hunger.
- Part 23: 2017-OCT to 2017-DEC: All UN states have signed the Paris Agreement. Government report contradicts the President. Comment by
the Union of Concerned Scientists.
- Part 24: 2018-JAN to MAY: New temperature records. President signs bill increasing research."Onion's" amusing fake news. Sea levels rising; cities under water.
Climate change beliefs as function of age.
Proposed Mount Trumpmore project. Volcano in Hawaii. How global warming is affecting California.
Animal, Insect, & Bird Ranges Shrink.
Nutrients in rice reduced. California Governor's comments.
- Part 25: 2018-JUN & JUL: During 2018-JUN: A very few encouraging signs. Hurricanes slowing as winds increase. Changes in Antarctic ice and environment. Norway's growing season increased. A new world highest temperature. Future ocean levels.
- Part 26: 2018-JUL: New York City reports to the UN. Impacts of
humans burning up all our fossil energy. WWW.CLIMATECENTRAL.ORG's tools.
Death Valley, CA, sets new record. Disappearing wetlands in Louisiana. Climate change affecting Northern lands. Hurricane Florence.
- Part 27: 2018-AUG & SEP: Disappearing wetlands in Louisiana. Climate change affecting Northern countries. Hurricane Florence attacks the Carolinas. Pat Robinson's "Shield of Protection" doesn't work.
- Part 28: 2018-SEP & OCT: Trump Admin. predicts: 7ºF temperature
rise by the year 2099. Impact of climate change on women. Green Building Week & commitment. New IPCC report predicts a "Strong Risk of
as early as 2040.
- Part 29: 2018-OCT & NOV: Southern Baptist Convention downplays IPCC Report. Climate changing Fall season. Ozone layer continues to heal.
Trump Confuses Weather
- Part 30: 2018-NOV: Hope for people who have no access
to clean water. Trump Administration releases National Climate Assessment report.
Reactions to the report.
- Part 31: 2018-DEC: How to lie about climate change. UN head repeats warning. Major report on Arctic climate. Greenhouse gases soar. Can climate scientists be trusted?
- Part 32: 2019-JAN-MAR: 2019-JAN/FEB: Collecting plastic
trash from the"Great Pacific Garbage Patch."
Copyright © 2019 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2019-JAN-10
Latest update: 2019-JUN-18
Author: B.A. Robinson