San Juan Capistrano, CAUSA
Hometown: San Juan Capistrano
August 2, 2011
I'm Chuck Buck, currently chair of the Sierra Club's OC Global Warming Committee. We are working hard to encourage cities and the public to take steps to reduce energy waste and to promote renewable energy production, so our planet will survive!
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Solar Storage - the next step in getting free of fossil fuels
Part of our future? Yes if we have the political will:
Important article in "The Week" magazine.
Interesting TED talk video.
One idea to address Climate Change from, believe it or not, the US Congress.
We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting
Solar panel breakthroughs:
Other related links:
On Keystone Pipeline:
While climate changes are occurring more quickly than scientists have ever predicted, most people’s knowledge of these realities remains hazy and clouded by political overtones.
A new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which combines the work of 2,000 scientists from 154 countries, drawing from millions of observations from more than 9,000 scientific publications, confirms and strengthens previous predictions and adds one new and very important observation. Even 100 percent emissions reductions will no longer keep our climate from changing dangerously.
More from the International Panel on Climate Change ("IPCC"):
Greenland ice discharge has increased 632% in the last decade.
Northern Hemisphere snow cover has decreased by more than 50% since 1962.
Earth is warmer today than in the Medieval Warm Period.
Permafrost has warmed by 3.6 degrees and 5.2 degrees (F) in Russia and the North American Arctic since the early 1980s. This might not sound like much but once it hits 33 degrees, it’s gone.
Sea level rise rate has nearly doubled since 1993.
Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide (the three most important global warming gases) since 1750, have increased to levels higher than they have been in 800,000 years.
Methane has caused more than half of global warming (52%).
Aerosols (sulfur dioxides) have masked half of global warming (57%). Sulfur dioxides are global cooling pollutants.
Volcanoes have masked 5 percent of global warming, not caused it as another myth would have us believe. Volcanoes release both global warming and global cooling gases and particles. We now know that when the math is done—and it has never been as accurate as it is today—volcanoes cool, not warm.
The solar sunspot cycle has cooled earth by 2% between 1978 and 2011, not warmed it as yet another myth says.
There have been twice as many high temperature records vs. cold records since the late 1970s.
Good News: The Solutions are Within our Grasp
The economic evaluations of the solutions to climate change show that 1 percent of global gross domestic product ($540 billion in 2012) is what we need to spend to control climate pollution every year - using existing technologies, techniques and policy.
This $540 billion may sound like a lot, but it's no more than we spend on either the Clean Water Act or the Clean Air Act in the US every year.
Recent exciting news:
Important information about the future of residential solar panels in California
Report about how utilities are moving nationwide to slow the growth of rooftop solar, especially where higher billing credits are given ratepayers for power generated by rooftop solar panels in California.
SOCAL Connected 2013
"The fire has consumed nearly 225 square miles of picturesque forests. Officials estimate containment at just 7 percent."
"The California Department of Finance said the state has spent more than $44 million fighting fires since the July 1 beginning of the budget year.
Lawmakers budgeted $172 million for the entire season.
'We're eight weeks in and we've spent roughly a quarter of what's budgeted,' said H.D. Palmer, the spokesman for the department.
The $172 million budgeted for firefighting this fiscal year is more than has been set aside in previous years, but costs exceeded the budget last year. The state budgeted $92.8 million last year, but costs have hit $221 million and fourth-quarter expenses are still being reconciled, Palmer said.
Meanwhile, the federal government announced Monday it would reimburse the state as much as 75 percent of the cost of fighting the Rim fire, now the 13th largest in California's recorded history."
As of today, "The blaze has scorched 348 square miles of brush, oaks and pines and 11 homes, as of Saturday, an area larger than the cities of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose combined."
From Joanna Clark - Op/Ed comments to "The Patch"
Species adapt or they go extinct. And the rate at which we're causing change in the environment, living species don't have the time to adapt.
Past mass extinction events lasted more than a million years, not the current hundreds of years that we're causing through our man-made impact on Climate Change/Global Warming.
Republican critics claim that a carbon tax would have a negative effect on our economy. This could theoretically happen but it is succeeding elsewhere. Also, to do nothing to contain CO2 emission would have a devastating impact on the future economy multitudes greater than any carbon tax could possibly render.
Look at what is happening in California cities such as Lancaster and Sebastopol. Sebastopol expanded on Lancaster's solar ordinance by requiring all new homes to include solar systems that provide 2 watts of photovoltaic-derived power per square foot of insulated building area. According to the Press Democrat, "the system must offset at least 75 percent of the building's total annual electric load. Homes and businesses constructed in areas were solar isn't possible must either pay a fee or look into other means of alternative energy." Locally, we need to pressure our city councils to follow their lead. Orange County, with it's sunny climate most of the year, seems an obvious choice to implement widespread solar energy.
Another stab at a solution is what's happening in Lincoln and Rocklin. These cities have implemented neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) friendly ordinances. NEV's are restricted to streets with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. Local businesses quickly realized that NEV owners bought local, and they installed recharging stations for their NEV customers.
Example links to "The Patch":
< http://lakeforest-ca.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/climate-change-end-game-or-a-second-chance_0d84e715 >
Laguna Niguel-Dana Point
< http://lagunaniguel-danapoint.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/climate-change-end-game-or-a-second-chance_178e38a7 >
Progress is being made-- we just need to ramp it up (a lot):
Now Hiring: 210,000 Workers to Cut Carbon Pollution
Sunrun Helps You Save on Utilities. America's Leading Solar Company.
See Calendar for More Information
In the News! Recent Articles of Interest:
Click on Blue Titles to open link
We need to slow incremental damage while taking out an insurance policy against the growing risk of catastrophic damage.
The study, published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that ocean acidification can degrade not only individual species, as past studies have shown, but entire ecosystems. This results in a homogenized marine community, dominated by fewer plants and animals. "The background, low-grade stress caused by ocean acidification can cause a whole shift in the ecosystem so that everything is dominated by the same plants, which tend to be turf algae," said lead author Kristy Kroeker, a postdoctoral researcher at the Bodega Marine Laboratory at UC Davis. In most ecosystems, there are lots of different colorful patches of plants and animals -- of algae, of sponges, of anemones," Kroeker said. "With ocean acidification, you lose that patchiness. We call it a loss of functional diversity; everything looks the same."
This is a fantastic visual of changes in atmospheric CO2 over 800,000 years.
The first set of graphs shows the year-by-year change in CO2 levels at various locations throughout the Earth. The red dot is Mauna Loa. When the time progression stops at Jan 2012, the graph on the right will show the historic data back to 800,000 years ago based on ice core samples.
Hurricane Sandy and an extensive drought made 2012 the United States' second costliest year for natural disasters since 1980, federal officials said today (June 13).
Weather and climate disasters racked up $110 billion in damages across the country last year, according to a report released today by the National Climate Data Center (NCDC).
A huge solar sail designed to demonstrate the viability and value of propellant-free propulsion is slated to blast into space in November 2014, mission officials say.
Globally, we emit at least 48 percent more than we did in 1992. Being the world’s largest emitter and second largest economy, China can cripple any climate agreement merely by opting out, meaning that any agreement that hopes to curb emissions must cater to Chinese interests. Read about China's encouraging new move towards carbon emission cap.
Excellent site on renewable energy and other sustainable business approaches.
Why would a region practically soaking in oil (the Middle East) invest so heavily in renewable energy like solar power?
The answer: money. By reducing their own local demands for petroleum and natural gas, they can sell more of those fossil fuels on the lucrative international market, Bloomberg reports.
"The 400 is a reminder that our emissions are not only continuing, but they're accelerating; that's a scary thing," Butler said Saturday. "We're stuck. We're going to keep going up."
Who’s connecting the dots on the extraordinary bout of extreme weather events hitting the U.S.? No, it’s not the “liberal” media. It’s Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report, the popular conservative news aggregation site.
How climate change and bad policy caused the massive fires currently devastating the West
If you want proof that the earth’s climate is changing, go virtually anywhere in the Southwest in the summer. Chances are high that you will see a brown line of haze on the horizon and smell smoke in the air from a forest fire somewhere in the arid region.
Read the entire report on-line: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13389
Tide gauges show that global sea level has risen about 7 inches during the 20th century, and recent satellite data shows that the rate of sea-level rise is accelerating. As Earth warms, sea levels are rising mainly because: (1) ocean water expands as it warms; and (2) water from melting glaciers and ice sheets is flowing into the ocean. Sea-level rise poses enormous risks to the valuable infrastructure, development, and wetlands that line much of the 1,600 mile shoreline of California, Oregon, and Washington. As those states seek to incorporate projections of sea-level rise into coastal planning, they asked the National Research Council to make independent projections of sea-level rise along their coasts for the years 2030, 2050, and 2100, taking into account regional factors that affect sea level.
Sea level along the U.S. west coast is affected by a number of factors, including climate patterns such as the El Niño, effects from the melting of modern and ancient ice sheets, and geologic processes, such as plate tectonics. Regional projections for California, Oregon, and Washington show a sharp distinction at Cape Mendocino in northern California. South of that point, sea-level rise is expected to be very close to global projections. However, projections are lower north of Cape Mendocino because the land is being pushed upward as the ocean plate moves under the continental plate along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. However, an earthquake magnitude 8 or larger, which occurs in the region every few hundred to 1,000 years, would cause the land to drop and sea level to suddenly rise.
Melting of land ice is now the largest component of global sea-level rise (about 65%), largely because ice loss rates are increasing.
Global sea level is projected to rise 8-23 cm (3-9 in) by 2030, relative to 2000 levels, 18-48 cm (7-19 in) by 2050, and 50–140 cm (20-55 in) by 2100.
Vertical land motions caused by plate tectonics and the ongoing response of the Earth to the disappearance of North American ice sheets have a significant impact on sea-level rise along the Washington, Oregon, and California coasts.
Sea level along the California coast south of Cape Mendocino is projected to rise 4-30 cm (2-12 in) by 2030, relative to 2000 levels, 12-61 cm (5-24 in) by 2050, and 42-167 cm (17-66 in) by 2100. These projections are close to global sea-level rise projections.
For the Washington, Oregon, and California coasts north of Cape Mendocino, sea level is projected to change between -4 cm (-2 in) (sea-level fall) and +23 cm (9 in) by 2030, -3 cm (-1 in) and +48 cm (19 in) by 2050, and 10-143 cm (4-56 in) by 2100. These values are lower than projections further north.
An earthquake magnitude 8 or greater along the Cascadia Subduction Zone would suddenly raise sea level along parts of the coast by an additional 1-2 meters (3-7 feet) over projected levels north of Cape Mendocino.
Uncertainties grow as the projection period lengthens. Confidence in the projections is high for 2030 and perhaps 2050. By 2100, we are confident only that the value will fall within the uncertainty bounds.
Most coastal damage is caused by the confluence of large waves, storm surges, and high astronomical tides during a strong El Niño.
Some models predict a northward shift in North Pacific storm tracks, and some observational studies report that largest waves are getting higher and winds are getting stronger. Observational records are not long enough to confirm whether these are long-term trends.
Even if storminess does not increase in the future, sea-level rise will magnify the adverse impact of storm surges and high waves on the coast.
Storms and sea-level rise are causing coastal cliffs, beaches, and dunes to retreat at rates from a few cm/yr to several m/yr. Cliffs could retreat more than 30 m (about 100 feet) by 2100.
Wetlands are likely to keep pace with sea level until 2050. Their survival until 2100 depends on maintaining elevation through high sedimentation, room to move inland, or uplift.
JR: Last year, scientists explained that the Greenland Ice Sheet “could undergo a self-amplifying cycle of melting and warming“ that is “difficult to halt.” A new study finds we may be close to a “tipping point.” Climate Central has the story.
The Greenland ice sheet is poised for another record melt this year, and is approaching a “tipping point” into a new and more dangerous melt regime in which the summer melt area covers the entire land mass, according to new findings from polar researchers.
The ice sheet is the focus of scientific research because its fate has huge implications for global sea levels, which are already rising as ice sheets melt and the ocean warms, exposing coastal locations to greater damage from storm surge-related flooding.
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