[GWSG] Climate talk; reflective cooling; fans; novel rec; Keys submerging; Arctic at 118F; points tipping; solar vs. coal

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Thu Jun 24 09:01:54 EDT 2021

1. Ezra Klein and four knowledgeable people discuss the climate crisis and the way forward, providing a great deal of illumination in a vigorous interchange. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/22/magazine/what-if-american-democracy-fails-the-climate-crisis.html

2. Reflective surfaces can cool cities economically if they are in normally upwind areas. https://phys.org/news/2021-06-urban-cooling-strategies-surfaces.html

3. Air conditioning protects us during heat waves—and adds to the heat, both through production of the electricity needed and through the inevitable release of the HFCs used as coolants. Electric fans can provide effective, energy-efficient cooling (in spite of what you may have heard). https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/heat-waves-2021-western-us-climate-change-1187805/#recipient_hashed=fe17c36079354ec46082a9a7c8fc19c8d3b811c991613e650512e53c322cb659

4. Thinking about heat waves is a good time to decide to read Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2020 novel, The Ministry for the Future. It opens with a wholly convincing heat wave in India which kills 20 million people, and goes on to recount some successful climate action strategies, sticking close to the current state of politics, societies, the law, technology, and the climate as it portrays a world learning to survive. Due out in paperback this month. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ministry_for_the_Future
Try this one even if you bailed out as I did on Robinson’s portrayal of New York escaping sea level rise by climbing onto stilts. This one is for real.

5. The Florida Keys are going under. A proposal to raise the streets has not found state funding. Problems abound. “For example, should we spend money on raising roads if people aren’t paying to raise their yards? We are blazing trails here. We are ahead of everyone in having to think about this.” NOAA projects 10-20” of sea level rise by 2040 for SE Florida.  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jun/24/florida-keys-climate-change-sea-level-rise

6. Ground temperatures in the Arctic have reached 118F. https://cleantechnica.com/2021/06/23/ground-temps-reached-118f-in-the-arctic-circle-yesterday/

7. A leaked draft report from the UN’s IPCC warns that we are close to crossing climate thresholds of no return (tipping points). https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jun/23/climate-change-dangerous-thresholds-un-report?utm_campaign=Carbon%20Brief%20Daily%20Briefing&utm_content=20210624&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Revue%20Daily

8. In much of the world it is now cheaper to build new solar power stations than to operate existing coal plants. For example, in India the LCOE for solar is $25 per MWH, and the cost of power from an existing coal plant is $26 per MWH. China has a similar margin.  https://reneweconomy.com.au/building-new-solar-now-cheaper-than-keeping-coal-plants-open-bnef/

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