Climate, politics & money - headlines
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Guide Claims Warsaw COP19 Climate Talks Were Captured By Corporate Fossil Fuel Interests
Graham Readfearn, DeSmogBlog
THERE were two logos on the grey felt conference bags offered to delegates at the recent COP19 United Nations climate change negotiations in Warsaw. One was the official COP19 logo, embroidered onto the flap of the document bag inside which negotiators…
(29 November 2013)
Parts of Australia reaching threshold where it is impossible for normal life to continue because of the heat, says climate impacts researcher
Paul Brown, Climate Code Red
UN bodies and health authorities are being advised to prepare for a world temperature rise of 4°C because scientists no longer believe that politicians are capable of holding the temperature rise below the internationally agreed limit, 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
Mark Maslin, professor of climatology at University College in London, was speaking at a conference here which also heard that some parts of the world were already in danger of becoming too hot for humans to inhabit...
Dr. Liz Hanna, from the Australian National University’s National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, said parts of her country were already reaching the threshold where it was impossible for normal life to continue because of the heat.
She said the Australian Government was ignoring climate change and still expecting places like Darwin (* see note) to expand. But that was unlikely because they would soon become untenable. “If employers ask people to continue to work in temperatures above 37°C, they will be killing them in increasing numbers,” she said...
(17 November 2013)
Look What's Slowing Down Global Warming
Tim McDonnell, Mother Jones
Climate deniers like to point to the so-called global warming "hiatus" as evidence that humans aren't changing the climate. But according a new study, exactly the opposite is true: The recent slowdown in global temperature increases is partially the result of one of the few successful international crackdowns on greenhouse gases.
Back in 1988, more than 40 countries, including the US, signed the Montreal Protocol, an agreement to phase out the use of ozone-depleting gases like chlorofluorocarbons (today the Protocol has nearly 200 signatories). According to the EPA, CFC emissions are down 90 percent since the Protocol, a drop that the agency calls "one of the largest reductions to date in global greenhouse gas emissions." That's a blessing for the ozone layer, but also for the climate. CFCs are a potent heat-trapping gas, and a new analysis published today in Nature Geoscience finds that slashing them has been a major driver of the much-discussed slowdown in global warming...
(10 November 2013)
Rejecting Man’s Bid For Refugee Status, Court Rules Climate Change Is Not ‘Persecution’
Emily Atkin, Think Progress
Though the ocean is slowly swallowing his home island nation, 37-year-old Ioane Teitota cannot be deemed a ‘climate change refugee’ and cannot seek permanent asylum in New Zealand, according to a Tuesday court ruling.
Teitota and his wife are currently living in New Zealand, having left Kiribati — a low-lying Pacific Island nation near the equator — in 2007. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report, released in September, predicted that ocean levels will rise by as much as three feet by the end of the century due to climate change, meaning the island is slated to mostly disappear by 2100.
Concerned with the visible effects of a rising ocean, Teiota and his wife left the country in 2007. They obtained New Zealand work visas, which eventually expired. The couple continued to live in the country illegally, and had three children, all born in New Zealand.
Despite being born in the country, New Zealand law does not afford citizenship to Teiota’s children. So, he petitioned the courts for asylum, claiming he was a legal refugee that had been subject to persecution through a climate change-induced forced exodus.
But New Zealand’s High Court refused the petition, saying among other things that a refugee is someone that is persecuted, which requires human interaction. Though the term “persecution” is not defined in the international Refugee Convention, it “well founded fears to life or freedom on a convention ground, some form of serious harm, or serious violations of civil or human rights,” the court ruled...
(26 November 2013)
Climate change: No longer electoral Kryptonite!
Tom Steyer, Grist
How did things go so wrong for a conservative Republican in the coal-rich state of Virginia? Earlier this month, voters in that closely watched battleground state rejected Ken Cuccinelli’s extreme, right-wing bid for governor and dealt a serious blow to the deep-pocketed oil companies that backed his candidacy.
Of course, now is when the number-crunchers confer behind closed doors, in hushed tones, about what it all really means — for the midterms in 2014 and the primaries in 2016, for soccer moms and NASCAR dads, for women’s bodies and marriage equality, and for climate change.
I am here to tell you: A new political dynamic is emerging. Climate change is a winner, not a loser...
(30 November 2013)
Top EU powers retreat further on aviation emission plans
Ben Garside, Reuters
Britain, France and Germany want to curtail further a European Union plan to regulate CO2 emissions from flights, setting up a clash with Brussels keen to maintain the bloc's climate policy which has sparked threats of a global trade war.
The EU's three biggest economies want to regulate emissions from domestic EU flights only, scaling back a Brussels proposal that would charge any airline for emissions made over European airspace, British and EU officials said Thursday.
"We currently feel that a scope covering flights within the European Economic Area would be the best way (forward)," a UK government spokesman said, referring only to Britain's position...
(28 November 2013)
Just 90 companies caused two-thirds of man-made global warming emissions
Suzanne Goldberg, The Guardian
The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests.
The companies range from investor-owned firms – household names such as Chevron, Exxon and BP – to state-owned and government-run firms.
The analysis, which was welcomed by the former vice-president Al Gore as a "crucial step forward" found that the vast majority of the firms were in the business of producing oil, gas or coal, found the analysis, which has been published in the journal Climatic Change...
View interactive graphic
(28 November 2013)
Man Faces One Year In Jail For Protesting JPMorgan’s Fossil Fuel Investments
Emily Atkin, Climate Progress
If what the Reverend Billy says is true, JPMorgan Chase Bank is the leading cause of climate change. The multi-billion dollar banking company — the largest in the United States — is currently the biggest underwriter of the global coal industry, which has accounted for more than 36 percent of cumulative carbon emissions since 1854.
“Who is putting money into coal fired power plants? Who is putting CO2 into the air? Who’s investing in tar sands, fracking, mountaintop removal, and these pipelines that leak and explode? JP Morgan Chase!” Reverend Billy, who is not a real reverend and whose real name is William Talen, shouted while invading a Chase Bank in Brooklyn this past June. Talen was clad in a white suit and armed with a band of activists in hats resembling the now-extinct golden toad. The Chase employees were not happy.
So unhappy, in fact, that the bank manager filed a complaint with the police, and now Talen has been arrested and charged with riot, trespass, unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct. The New York prosecutor in charge of the case is demanding that Talen go to prison for one year...
(25 November 2013)
Change the politics - caro2francq/flickr
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