10 Things Everyone Needs to Know About the Risks of Climate Change
What might our future look like if we fail to address the climate crisis?
Rising Global Temperatures: Staggeringly high temperature rise by 2100, especially over land, of up to a 10°F increase over much of the United States and extreme temperatures of up to 122°F threatening most of the central, southern, and western U.S. Already the Earth’s ten hottest years ever recorded all have occurred since 1997.
Dramatic Sea Level Rise: Sea level rise of more than 6 feet by 2100, with levels expected to rise faster along the U.S. East Coast than in any other densely populated part of the world. The first 40 inches of rise alone would flood 13,000 square miles of the US, forcing Southern Louisiana and South Florida to be abandoned. By 2050 in New York City rising sea levels combined with a category 3 hurricane would sink lower Manhattan, southern Brooklyn and Queens underwater. Globally, it would create more than 100 million environmental refugees. Continue Reading…
We’re Number One — In Financial Damage From Climate Change
This week, just in time for the Copenhagen climate convention, the annual Global Climate Risk Index was released, telling how vulnerable each country in the world is to the costs of climate change. Guess who was number one in financial losses from climate change? The United States.
Surprised? There’s a reason you haven’t heard much about the extent of climate change threat to the US. Strange bedfellows are trying to conceal the threat posed to the US by global warming. No, they’re not the crowd that denies global warming even exists, or that it isn’t caused by man-made greenhouse gasses. They’re people who don’t deny the scientific findings about climate change, but who for political reasons underplay its devastating impact on the US. Continue Reading…
Climate Change in California: The Future Has Arrived
Climate change is not a far off threat — the impacts are already being felt in California and they’re going to get steadily worse in the coming decades.
For more than a generation, scientists have predicted that climate change caused by human activity will result in more frequent and intense heat waves, escalating severity of weather events, accelerated sea level rise, and a growing public health crisis. For California, these are no longer just predictions - the harmful effects of climate change are all around. Here are just a few of the climate impacts we are already seeing in California:
Frequent and Intensifying Heat Waves: 164 Californians died during the July 2006 heat wave, along with more than 25,000 cattle and 700,000 farmed fowl. This is a harbinger of what’s to come over the next 20-60 years. Heat waves in just Los Angeles alone have more than tripled over the past 100 years. Since 1980, nighttime temperatures have increased about three times as much as daytime temperatures, resulting in lower wheat, maize and barley yields. Researchers anticipate that extreme heat waves will be commonplace by 2039. Continue Reading…
Coming Soon to a Job Near You!
California is at the forefront of driving the expansion of the clean energy economy. California’s groundbreaking climate law, the Global Warming Solutions Act — AB 32 — is the most comprehensive climate legislation enacted anywhere in the US. But this law is at risk from political interests, backed by oil company resources, which are trying to overturn it.
AB 32 opponents are using a job-loss argument, creating a false divide between job creation and climate protection. They’ve done this is spite of the fact that green jobs have grown by 5% during a recessionary period where net jobs in our state fell. California already has 500,000 green jobs. We’ve got 12,000 clean energy businesses and we hold 40% of the US patents in solar, wind and advanced battery technology. Sixty percent of all clean energy venture capital is invested here (the runner-up state, Massachusetts, has 10%), with a large spike coming in the years after the passage of AB 32. Continue Reading…
Making Climate Protection Worker-Friendly
“There are no jobs on a dead planet.” That’s how one union leader answered those who say that unions should be concerned only about jobs, and leave the planet to someone else to take care of. Many unions and both labor federations hailed Barack Obama’s bold talk about solving America’s jobs crisis by putting millions of people to work in “green jobs” that would solve the climate crisis by transforming America to a low-carbon economy. Obama’s stimulus bill emphasized renewable energy and energy conservation; many unions and state labor departments have added “green” programs to their job training. Continue Reading….
What the CBO Isn’t Telling Congress: Climate Change Threatens Millions of Jobs
While fewer and fewer people are willing to publicly deny the validity of global warming science, those who oppose action to protect the climate have taken up a new strategy: Denying that climate change will have a major impact on the U.S. economy.
This denial is rejected by most economists who have studied climate change. In a survey of 144 top climate economists released November 4, 2009 by the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law, 84% agreed that “the environmental effects of greenhouse gas emissions, as described by leading scientific experts, create significant risks to important sectors of the United States and global economies.” A majority stated that sectors that will be negatively affected include agriculture, fishing, forestry, insurance, and health services. Continue Reading…
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