Environmentalists against war frictional electricity examples


With half the Arctic summer sea ice gone, the impacts of climate change are becoming dramatically visible – despite the Carbon Baron’s decades-long coverup of the damage they knew they were inflicting on the planet. Meanwhile, as humans have harnessed rivers, built dams, and dug wells to quench our growing civilization, we now have — for the first time — a picture of what all those generations have wrought on our blue planet‘s most defining resource.

McKibben has been at the forefront of climate change action for 30 years, first as a journalist with the New York Times then an activist with 350.org. He says climate change is the first ever time-limited test humanity has faced. "If we don’t solve it soon we won’t solve it and there’s no guarantee that we’re going to — at the moment we’re losing."

"These guys know in 30 years we’ll run the world on sun and wind because it’s free, but they don’t want to surrender any sooner than they have to. They want to squeeze more cash out of this operation — but they’re going to break the planet if they do."

McKibben welcomed the government’s recent announcement that it will not grant new deep-sea oil and gas exploration permits. "It’s one of the signals that world needs to hear. Very few people have figured out we need to cut off the supply as well as demand . . . it’s rare and encouraging to see a government that’s figured out where the future lies."

"Now it’s clear what scientists warned about has come true, and come true much more quickly and with much more force than even the most dire predictions. Half the summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone and we’re still near the beginning of climate change, which is why the fight has never been more urgent than it is now."

New Zealand has a "front row seat" to climate changes effects, he says. "It’s your neighbours in the Pacific whose nations are disappearing, people are having to evacuate their homes. Because the tide means they can’t live in places where humans have lived for thousands upon thousands of years. It’s not their fault. Global warming manages to very efficiently injure most those who have done least to cause it — it’s injustice on steroids."

"Thirty years ago the big fossil fuel guys — Exxon and the rest — knew everything there was to know about climate change. They had good scientists hard at work on it and they understood how fast the temperature was going to go up, and they believed their scientists. Exxon started building all its drilling rigs higher to compensate for the rise in sea level they knew was coming.

McKibben says that campaign has recently paid rich dividends with a climate-change-denier now in the White House. "We’ve gone from arguably one of the smartest leaders the US has ever had to a grotesque buffoon, and in his buffoonery threatening to drag down not only an important nation but also the whole planet."

He says the campaign to divest money from fossil fuels has gone much better than he expected. Since the campaign was launched six years ago $US6 trillion has been divested from fossil fuel companies. It’s an area where New Zealand needs to do more work, he says.

(May 21, 2018) — For millennia, humans have harnessed rivers, built dams, and dug wells to quench our growing civilization. Now, for the first time, we have a picture of what all those generations have wrought on our blue planet‘s most defining resource.

Newly analyzed data from groundwater-detecting satellites "reveals a clear human fingerprint on the global water cycle," according to a study out Wednesday in the journal Nature. It’s the kind of result that is equal parts terrifying and long-expected in its implications.

The authors used the satellite data to construct a map of 34 rapidly changing regions around the world, painting a unified picture of current hot spots of water scarcity and excess. Nearly every activity that involves people requires water — rice farming, nuclear power, aluminum smelting, you name it — so the lives of people living where reserves are being rapidly depleted are under grave threat.

"The resulting map is mind-blowing, and has staggering implications for water, food, and human security that we are just not aware of or prepared for," says study co-author Jay Famiglietti, a water scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "We are very literally seeing all of the hotspots for climate change, for changing extremes of flooding and drought, and for the impact of human water management define themselves.

The map offers a powerful first glimpse of what climate change and over-exploitation of water resources looks like — a "global pattern of freshwater redistribution, due to climate change," according to Famiglietti. It’s stark, visual evidence that the way humans use water is unsustainable.

The study’s authors took 14 years of data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), which measures minute fluctuations in the Earth’s gravitational field as water moves around the planet. They then tried to track down the root causes of the biggest changes they found — an analysis that took eight years to complete.

The footprints left behind by massive feats of engineering are also visible in the new map. You can see the consequences of the filling of major reservoirs, like the one bound by the massive Three Gorges Dam in China, of the diverted rivers in India, and of the exploitation of the High Plains aquifer in the central United States for agriculture.

To be sure, there are drawbacks to this study, says Kate Brauman, a water researcher at the University of Minnesota who was unaffiliated with the research. The main problem is related to the fact that the GRACE satellite’s output is not very geographically specific.

"Relatively small changes in weather make a big difference" on the huge regions the study covers, says Brauman. She says the method the authors used identifies only large-scale changes — roughly the size of Kansas or larger. That’s too coarse a view to spot individual water-wasters, but it’s possibly accurate enough to raise hope for monitoring and governing previously untracked and unregulated large-scale abuses.

The next generation of GRACE satellites, launching on Saturday, should provide additional evidence of exactly how humans are altering the planet’s water cycle, and with more accuracy. And in another 15 years or so, Rodell says, his team should be able to draw even bolder conclusions about exactly which parts of the world are being affected most by shifts in rainfall and changing water policies.