Friday, November 30, 2018

"Thousands of [Australian] students join climate protest"

Here is a related short poem from my forthcoming book Carbonfish Blues:


into nameless moonfish
inside their mothers,

into students
of students,

into birds
saving skies

flying places

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, Masters of Advanced Studies in Climate Science and Policy (MAS CSP) Early Consideration Deadline is January 8, 2019

Corey J. Gabriel, Ph.D., J.D., the Program's Executive Director, wrote "Basically, we are training students to have a strong grounding in both policy and climate science to then go into local, state and national climate policy (and energy, environment al etc.) positions and actually understand all of the important things happening, both on the science side and the politics/policy side.  This is challenging to do, the topic is large and complex.  That means that we really need exceptionally strong students, with both quantitative backgrounds and some experience in policy or the corporate world, who can then take the job of, for example, implementing a climate action plan, but do so knowing how to interpret the science of sea level rise uncertainty and also be able to understand why getting more electric cars on the road is so important and what the best policy to do that may be.  To transform society, we need professionals who can understand the whole problem and then identify the best solutions."

"The key component of this degree is the Capstone project (mini thesis).  Examples of Capstones within the last year include a new county by county climate change scenario dependent west nile virus vulnerability map for the California Department of Health and creating and implementing a new Climate Change Studies Minor at UCSD."

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Guardian: "Climate change 'will inflict substantial damages on US lives'"

It's like we're on a ship headed for a bleached coral reef, and scientists and activists are unable to persuade captains to change course to avoid major impact that will increase suffering beyond what these captains, and publics they serve, can imagine.  Today's issue of The Guardian has an article by Oliver Milman noting "'without significant reductions, annual average global temperatures could increase by 9F (5C) or more by the end of this century,' a previously released chapter [of the US National Climate Assessment] states." As a reminder, the recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report noted "Coral reefs, for example, are projected to decline by a further 70–90% at 1.5°C (high confidence) with larger losses (>99%) at 2°C (very high confidence)."

Jen Christensen and Michael Nedelman at reported "Climate change will shrink US economy and kill thousands, government report warns."

Robinson Meyer wrote at "A Grave Climate Warning, Buried on Black Friday."

Similarly, Bill McKibben has an excellent article in the November 26 issue of The New Yorker, "HOW EXTREME WEATHER IS SHRINKING THE PLANET," noting "The [recent IPCC] report did not mention that, in Paris, countries’ initial pledges would cut emissions only enough to limit warming to 3.5 degrees Celsius (about 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, a scale and pace of change so profound as to call into question whether our current societies could survive it. [. . . .] The extra heat that we trap near the planet every day is equivalent to the heat from four hundred thousand bombs the size of the one that was dropped on Hiroshima. [. . . .]  Alex Steffen, an environmental writer, coined the term 'predatory delay' to describe 'the blocking or slowing of needed change, in order to make money off unsustainable, unjust systems in the meantime.' The behavior of the oil companies, which have pulled off perhaps the most consequential deception in mankind’s history, is a prime example."

Violence is not acceptable, but neither is public apathy.  As Asimov said in a Bill Moyers' Interview, "A little [effort] is better than nothing. [. . . .] I have to say I can’t wait until everyone in the world is rational, just until enough are rational to make a difference."

Friday, November 16, 2018

Yale Climate Connections: "How do I break bad news about climate change?"

Many of my friends and colleagues wish I read this article long ago.  As with climate solutions, better late than never.  In last night's Honors Climate Change Poetry Seminar, I used this Soylent Green film scene "Sol Goes Home" with the poetry prompt "Letter to the Future."  In other words, some solutions are better than others.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Bill McKibben: "At least five people burned to death in their cars trying to flee CA [Camp Fire] inferno."

Bill McKibben's Twitter page offers some of the best climate updates. Today I saw his update about California's Butte County Fire now known as the Camp Fire. As a reminder, this climate is from carbon dumped in the air about 30 years ago, and we've dumped in much more since then. Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine your loved one burned to death in a car because he or she could have been.

The linked article noted "The blaze — fueled by bone-dry humidity and winds topping 50 mph — exploded from nearly 1,000 acres to over 10,000 acres in a matter of a few hours Thursday and completely overwhelmed Paradise — a town of about 30,000 residents. [par break] Homes burst into flames, fast-food restaurants, markets, businesses and gas stations were reduced to ash and the community’s hospital was turned into rubble."

In other business, the Children's Trust Climate Lawsuit is "on hold" again.

6:41 p.m. Update: "At Least 9 Dead In Butte County Fire; 6,500 Homes Lost, 90,000 Acres Burned"

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Defeat of Washington Initiative 1631 (Carbon Tax)

At least when Titanic hit the iceberg, lifeboats left about half full. With "a handful of oil companies, including BP, Chevron, and Koch Industries," according to Robinson Meyer at The Atlantic, spending nearly "$31 million" to kill Initiative 1631, lifeboats this time are all being destroyed on our watch. I'm still meeting people who believe "We haven't hit an iceberg.  We can keep on as usual.  Our boat is fine." I don't know what planet they inhabit, but it's not this one. As Pubali said in his sutras thousands of years ago, "Wake the fuck up!"

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Washington Post: "Supreme Court refuses to block young people’s climate lawsuit against U.S. government"

Robert Barnes and Brady Dennis reported in The Washingon Post "the Supreme Court on Friday night refused to halt a novel lawsuit filed by young Americans that attempts to force the federal government to take action on climate change, turning down a request from the Trump administration to stop it [10 days] before trial."

The article quoted Julia Olson, the youth's attorney, “We have overcome everything the government has thrown at us. It is not luck. It is the strength of the case and the strength of the evidence and the strength of the legal arguments we are making.” 

I said a prayer driving over the Chehalis River again in Washington this would happen.  The article continued "Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch would have stopped the suit. The other justices did not indicate how they voted on the government’s request."