[GWSG] Microbial feedback; a pLAn; 100% cities; Clinton's positions; divesteds outperform; signs of the transition

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Tue Apr 14 09:26:59 EDT 2015

1.  Microbes activated in thawing permafrost produce heat which increase thawing in a positive feedback of undetermined strength.  http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/04/08/3643953/greenland-permafrost-thaw-microbes/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=cptop3
The carbon release from Arctic permafrost is expected to be “gradual and prolonged” (though a strong microbial feedback would abbreviate the schedule).   http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/09/arctic-carbon-bomb-may-never-happen-say-scientists

2.  Los Angeles has ambitious sustainability goals.  In order to keep visible track of progress and to manage it, the city has developed a dashboard called pLAn which renders the city’s sustainability situation public and visible.  The dashboard, linked in the story, presents progress on a primary measure for each goal and links to details.  http://www.govtech.com/Los-Angeles-Unveils-Dashboard-to-Measure-Sustainability-Efforts.html  Grist provides a broader look at LA’s plans.  http://grist.org/cities/l-a-just-called-it-says-go-find-another-dystopia/?utm_campaign=horizon_daily_feed&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter

3.  Vancouver aspires to be the world’s greenest city, running on 100% renewable energy.  It joins over fifty cities which have set that energy goal, including San Diego, San Francisco, Sydney, and Copenhagen.  Their time frames differ, with some set for 2020 and others somewhat later.   http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/10/vancouver-commits-to-run-on-100-renewable-energy

4.  Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton’s positions on climate are similar to President Obama’s, for good (supports carbon reductions, knows something about the topic) and worse (supports the natural gas “bridge” rhetoric and fracking).  http://grist.org/climate-energy/8-things-you-need-to-know-about-hillary-clinton-and-climate-change/
Her positions do put her far ahead of her likely Republican opponents.  http://ecowatch.com/2015/04/13/hillary-clinton-2016-presidential-bid/?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=dbb5370b12-Top_News_4_13_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-dbb5370b12-85965093

5.  In a comparison of indices by MSCI, securities which have divested from fossil fuels have begun to outperform those which have not, with the divergence becoming marked in 2013.  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/10/fossil-fuel-free-funds-out-performed-conventional-ones-analysis-shows

6.  The performance of divested securities is another indicator that we may indeed have begun to replace fossils fuels with renewable energy.  It joins flat emissions last year while the global economy grew 3%, a 17% growth in development of renewables last year, grid parity for renewables in a spreading number of regions, a decline in coal usage in China and elsewhere, and adoption of meaningful emissions targets by nations around the world.  Recent analyses by Deutsche Bank, the Bank of Britain, the Swiss National Bank, and Citigroup (noted in previous mailings of this list—google the bank and “climate change”) are consistent with the beginning of a move away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy.  Now we need to pursue emissions control vigorously and also keep the fossils from trashing the world on their way out with fracked landscapes and aquifers, exploding pipelines, and lifeless oceans.  I feel that we are emerging from Spenser’s Cave of Despair (Faerie Queene I.ix).  To get a view from within that cave, see Jonathan Franzen’s “Carbon Capture” in the April 6 New Yorker.   http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/04/06/carbon-capture  Franzen’s counsels of despair are rhetorically compelling but, like those of Bjorn Lomborg, employ the fallacy of the Occluded Middle.  Despite what they say, we are capable of pursuing both emissions control and conservation.  My readiness to discern the beginnings of an energy transition follows up on a Guardian essay from the previous news list.    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/07/are-we-reaching-a-positive-climate-change-tipping-point
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.unf.edu/pipermail/gwsg/attachments/20150414/019f8f87/attachment.html 

More information about the GWSG mailing list