Category Archives: Climate

Fracking Boom in U.S. and Canada Largely to Blame for Global Methane Spike, Study Finds

By Julia Conley, Common Dreams, Aug 15

New research by a scientist at Cornell University warns that the fracking boom in the U.S. and Canada over the past decade is largely to blame for a large rise in methane in the earth’s atmosphere — and that reducing emissions of the extremely potent greenhouse gas is crucial to help stem the international climate crisis.

Professor Robert Howarth examined hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, over the past several decades, noting the fracking boom that has taken place since the first years of the 21st century. Between 2005 and 2015, fracking went from producing 31 billion cubic meters of shale gas per year to producing 435 billion cubic meters.

Nearly 90 percent of that fracking took place in the U.S., while about 10 percent was done in Canada….

read more and see links at Common Dreams

We only have 12 years to save the planet

Letter, Washington Post, 1/14/19. See the calendar for Richard Whiteford’s presentation on climate change in Downington on June 17.

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions surged 3.4 percent in 2018, but that doesn’t stop climate change deniers from peddling their “climate change is a hoax” snake oil [“U.S. greenhouse gas emissions spiked 3.4 percent in 2018,” Politics & the Nation, Jan. 8]. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climate Assessment reports late last year made it clear that the world must cut carbon dioxide emissions by at least 45 percent in 12 years to preserve any hope of maintaining a livable planet.

Twelve years. All of humanity should be tackling the climate change problem as though their lives depend on it — because they do. Do climate-change deniers not have children and grandchildren? For what reason are they willing to forfeit the welfare of future lives?

Two immediate needs are to convert energy systems from fossil to clean-energy technology and to tax fossil fuels at their source. Converting world energy from fossil to clean energy would stimulate economies and negate the need for developing countries to rely on fossil fuels to build their economies.

Richard Whiteford, Downington, Pa.

The writer is a climate change adviser and board member of World Information Transfer, a nonprofit organization promoting environmental health and literacy.

Climate action and today’s youth, program on May 23

Thursday, May 23, 7 p.m.: Video of Greta Thunberg, Swedish high schooler who became a world phenomenon by launching a students’ strike for solving the climate crisis, plus a panel of students discussing the video and the Green New Deal movement.

Room 101, Business and Public Management Center, 50 Sharpless St., West Chester 19382. Park across the street in Sharpless Parking Garage. All welcome.

Doors open at 6:30 so come then for environmental and community group exhibits. No refreshments this time but you can fill up your refillable water bottles.

Program presented by the West Chester Green Team, which includes Chester County Citizens for Climate Protection, Ready for 100, Plastic-Free Please, and Don’t Spray Me!

This is the second in the Green Team’s hot button environmental series, addressing issues at the forefront of people’s thinking at this time in our history.

More info about the program: karamarie3@icloud.com

About the Green Team: https://wcgreenteam.wordpress.com/

To download the poster below, click here: Climate action & youth

Climate action 5-23-19 jpg

PA Has a Climate Action Plan – Now PA Needs Climate Action

Mark Szybist, NRDC, 5/6/19

Last week, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf joined the U.S. Climate Alliance and his Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) unveiled a new Climate Action Plan. These are welcome and exciting developments, but they also highlight how much work the Commonwealth has to do – especially in the power sector – to cut economy-wide emissions 80 percent by 2050, the goal set by Wolf’s recent Executive Order on climate.

Pennsylvania’s Climate Change Act

Pennsylvania’s Climate Change Act of 2008 requires the DEP to assess the “potential impact of climate change” on the state’s people, economy and natural resources, and to create a Climate Action Plan that recommends strategies to mitigate the impacts. The DEP must evaluate the costs, benefits, and economic opportunities of mitigation policies, and the plan must be updated every three years.

This year’s Climate Action Plan, the DEP’s fourth since 2009, is the first to detail strategies for adapting to climate change impacts, as well as strategies for cutting pollution. That’s because the impacts of climate change are not just “potential” in Pennsylvania; they’re occurring, mostly in the form of extreme weather, and Pennsylvanians are paying for it. One striking statistic from the Plan is that since 2006, the state Department of Transportation has spent over $190 million to recover from more and more flood-related disasters….

read more and see many links at NRDC

Greta Thunberg’s TED talk

“…If the emissions have to stop, then we have to stop the emissions….”

“… If a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school for a few weeks, imagine what we could all do together if we wanted to….”

“…The one thing we need more than hope is action….”

— Greta Thunberg, November 2018

She says more, and more forcefully, in 11 minutes than most speakers in hours!

To listen to her TED talk, click here (not on the image).

Yes, climate change is costly

Chart from “Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Overview” at National Centers for Environmental Information, NOAA. The last 3 years have been way above average (adjusted for changes in GPI) in the number of weather events with damage over one billion dollars in the US, and 2019 is starting out the same way. Military bases are among the affected areas (see here).

Why climate change is a national security issue

Besides the threat of climate refugees desperate to escape droughts and storms trying to migrate (as is the case already with some pressing at the US-Mexican border), US military bases such as the often-flooded Naval Station in Norfolk VA are also in jeopardy.

Emailed by the national Sierra Club, this photo of Offutt Air Force Base in Sarpy County, Nebraska, shows damage from the recent flooding there (photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force taken by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake):

Here is the Sierrra Club comment:

Exacerbating Circumstances

Was climate change the cause of last month’s “bomb cyclones” and catastrophic flooding in Nebraska, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Iowa? No one can say for sure, although the magnitude of recent storms, floods, and wildfires—and the fact that the 18 hottest years on record have all been since 2001—certainly suggest a correlation. “Climate change is here,” says Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune. “We can’t stop the rain if it comes, and we can’t stop the rivers from rising….

Local lawmakers, municipal leaders push for renewable energy

Daily Local News, Apr 2, 2019

WEST WHITELAND—Local lawmakers and municipal leaders found out what it will take to transition to 100 percent renewable energy at PennEnvironment and Sierra Club’s Chester County Ready for 100 program in West Whiteland.

More than 150 Chester County residents explored clean energy and energy efficiency at the expo Saturday, and learned how they can transition their homes to cleaner resources to help reduce carbon footprint.

“I am very pleased to see the current focus on our environment and climate change,” said state Rep. Christina Sappey. “We have a responsibility to next generations to take immediate action to protect and preserve what we’ve done right, correct what we haven’t and implement strategies that get us to 100 percent renewable energy. It’s for these reasons I am honored to do whatever I can to work with our environmental advocacy partners towards this goal.”

The event also featured a panel discussion, “Our Clean Energy Future,” which engaged attendees in a discussion about how to push our communities and the state of Pennsylvania to transition away from dirty fossil fuels. The panel featured local elected officials and energy experts who showcased the existing momentum there is to transition away from dirty fossil fuels and how our community can help.

“Climate change is real,” said Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan. “It is happening, and we do cause it. It is something that as a country we, and frankly, a world, we need to deal with as quickly, as rapidly, and as aggressively as we possibly can.”

Houlahan is a cosponsor of The Climate Solutions Act which calls for 100 percent Renewable Energy by 2035 and sets greenhouse gas emission targets to 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050….

read more at Daily Local News