The Climate Change Thread

Where Fellowship and Camaraderie lives: that place where the CPS membership values fun and good fellowship as the cement of the community
User avatar
wosbald
Lonergan Fan Club President
Lonergan Fan Club President
Posts: 23531
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:34 pm

+JMJ+

EarthBeat Weekly: World's hunger for gold deadly for miners, environment
Image

Image
A new area of unregulated gold mining in Peru's Madre de Dios region leaves a barren, cratered scar in the forest. (Photo/Barbara Fraser)
Ecuador landslide kills 5, leaves more than 60 homeless

=================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Editor's Note: EarthBeat Weekly is your weekly newsletter about faith and climate change. Below is the Nov. 20 edition. To receive EarthBeat Weekly in your inbox, sign up here.

=================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Four women and an adolescent boy were killed, several more people were injured and more than 60 were left homeless by a landslide Wednesday at a gold mine in the Esmeraldas region on Ecuador's north coast. There are more than 50 small mines in the same area — some legal, many illegal, and all operating under conditions that are hazardous for the workers and their families.

Even the legal mines should not be operating now, because of court injunctions dating back a decade and because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Fr. Enry Armijos, coordinator of Ecuador's National Ecological Ministry Network, which was launched three years ago by the Catholic Church, but which also includes other organizations.

Government officials know the mines are functioning, but turn a blind eye, Armijos told me the day after the landside. "No one says anything, except when a catastrophe like this happens," he said.

Meanwhile, backhoes gouge craters in the mature tropical forest in the remote region near the Colombian border. The dream of a fortune draws Ecuadorians and Colombians from far away, especially now that other jobs have vaporized with the pandemic. Miners and their families live near the craters in shacks made of plastic tarps.

Stripped of trees, the soil is unstable, and little or nothing is done to shore up the sides of pits like the one that collapsed on Wednesday. Heavy rains cause landslides and wash silt, often combined with the mercury and cyanide used to process the gold, into a nearby river.

[…]

Image
Rescuers search for bodies after landslide trapped miners in Ecuador. (Photo/Courtesy of RENAPE)

The story is not uncommon. With international gold prices high, this kind of low-tech, high-risk mining has spread around the globe. The World Bank estimates that this style of mining employs at least 40 million people worldwide, in most of Africa, all of the Amazonian countries, Central America, Indonesia and other Asian nations.

[…]

But the cost is high. Camps around unregulated mines tend to be lawless, violent places where women and girls are trafficked for sex and bandits ambush miners heading to town to sell their gold. The business, which some say is more lucrative than the illegal drug trade, is linked to organized crime and illegal groups, including the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which launder money through the mining operations and use the gold to finance their activities.

The environmental damage from this kind of mining, where workers use backhoes to dig huge pits or blast away the soil with high-pressure hoses, is also extensive. Along with deforestation, mercury from gold processing accumulates in fish — and in the bodies of people who eat them. (That's also a legacy of the California gold rush, by the way.)

Of course, there would be no gold rush if no one bought gold. But despite consumer-awareness campaigns and increased official scrutiny, illegal gold is "laundered" through legal refineries in places like Switzerland and the U.S., making it appear to be legal. This award-winning multimedia report by journalists Paula Dupraz-Dobias and Dominique Soguel provides a striking close-up view of how the process works.

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

User avatar
Jester
Brother of Tuttle
Brother of Tuttle
Posts: 2702
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:10 pm
Location: Pleasant Hill, MO

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by Jester » Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:03 pm

FIGHT LAUGH FEAST

“Liberal Christianity” may be more appealing to the masses than “conservative Christianity,” -TNLawPiper

I am become meme,
Destroyer of shorts -Elon

User avatar
wosbald
Lonergan Fan Club President
Lonergan Fan Club President
Posts: 23531
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:13 am

+JMJ+

Loyola Chicago launches School of Environmental Sustainability as center for research, action [In-Depth]
Image

Image
Until September, the School of Environmental Sustainability at Loyola University Chicago was known by another name. That month, the board approved a plan to elevate it from an institute into a full academic school, the first of its kind within the global Jesuit university network. (NCR photo/Brian Roewe)

Loyola University Chicago boosted its commitment to addressing environmental and climate change issues with the unveiling Dec. 14 of its new School of Environmental Sustainability.

The school, Loyola's 11th, upgrades the status of its seven-year-old Institute for Environmental Sustainability, which already was one of only a handful of such programs at U.S. Catholic colleges. It is the first environmental sustainability school in the global Jesuit academic network.

In remarks at the virtual grand opening, Loyola Chicago president Jo Ann Rooney said the School of Environmental Sustainability "reflects the centrality of caring for our planet to our Jesuit mission." She added that it "reflects the urgency of our deepened commitment to address climate change in all of its aspects: scientific, economic, social and cultural."

Nancy Tuchman, founding dean of the institute-now-school, called the launch "a milestone accomplishment in the university's 16-year sustainability initiative."

Although the institute has always had its own faculty and granted degrees, Tuchman told EarthBeat before the event that the change in status raises its stature within the university, which is marking its 150th anniversary. The school plans to add new research labs and double its faculty and staff. It also has set a goal of tripling its undergraduate and graduate enrollment.

The school has played a leading role in Loyola's own sustainability plans, continuing efforts headed by the institute, including progress toward the university's goal of eliminating its carbon dioxide emissions — which have been halved since 2008 — by 2025.

Its two teaching labs and other programs have transformed the university in other ways — running a local farmers market, hosting an annual climate conference, converting food waste into fuel for its shuttlebuses and even producing hand sanitizer during the coronavirus pandemic.

Image
At Loyola University Chicago's School of Environmental Sustainability, students in the Searle Biodiesel Lab convert waste vegetable oil from the cafeteria fryers into biodiesel to fuel the school's shuttlebuses. (NCR photo/Brian Roewe)

[…]

Reflecting the Jesuit mission

Tuchman said the decision, approved unanimously by the board of trustees in September, reflects the urgency of addressing problems like climate change and environmental degradation. Such concerns, she added, are central to the mission of the Society of Jesus — which last year made protecting creation one of its four apostolic priorities — and were articulated by Pope Francis in his 2015 encyclical "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home."

"The pope has really made a beautiful road map for the work of Catholic colleges, universities, schools — all Catholic organizations if they care to take it up — and we certainly are highly motivated to take up the pope's road map to an integral ecology," she said.

[…]

Research leads to greener campuses

Under Tuchman's leadership, the Institute of Environmental Sustainability established six undergraduate degree programs and two graduate tracks. The new school will continue the institute's leading role in modeling the principles it teaches, especially in the greening of campus infrastructure.

Eight of the buildings on Loyola's three campuses have green roofs, and the School of Environmental Sustainability is housed in one of seven LEED-certified buildings on campus, meeting standards for energy efficiency and environmental design set by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Those efforts have helped slash the campus carbon footprint by more than half since 2008, and the university has committed to achieving LEED certification with all new construction, as well as with renovations, where possible.

Image
In the 3,100 square-foot "ecodome" greenhouse, students at Loyola University Chicago's School of Environmental Sustainability grow lettuce, rhubarb and other produce using a variety of aquaponics techniques. (NCR photo/Brian Roewe)

The new school's 3,100-foot "ecodome" greenhouse serves as a learning environment for students, while its sloped roof collects rainwater for reuse, after ultraviolet disinfection, in the greenhouse and for flushing toilets.

The School of Environmental Sustainability and adjacent San Francisco residence hall are also heated and cooled by the Chicago region's largest geothermal energy system, which circulates water through pipes from 91 wells — each 500 feet underground, where temperatures remain around 57 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.

The water draws heat from the surrounding soil in the winter to warm the buildings, while the soil cools the water in the summer.

"So the earth is acting almost like a battery where it holds that heat energy for us. And we need it in the winter, but we pack it back in, we recharge it again all summer long," Tuchman said.

[…]

Image
Along with its own cafeterias, the biodiesel lab at Loyola University Chicago collects waste vegetable oil from other institutions around Chicago, such as the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium. (NCR photo/Brian Roewe)

[…]

"It's using and reusing. So we don't bring soap in, we don't bring fossil fuel-based diesel, but instead we're using waste products to run the campus," Tuchman said.

And the lessons are resonating.

When students overseeing the school's aquaponics system found that plant leaves were yellowing because of a lack of iron in the water, they elected to try dropping discarded iron bolts from the facilities department into the water instead of ordering iron from a chemical supply house. Sure enough, the iron levels rose and the leaves turned green again.

Image
Several aquaponics systems throughout the School of Environmental Sustainability allow students to study and apply urban agriculture practices. (NCR photo/Brian Roewe)

Building on sustainability principles

The School of Environmental Sustainability will also continue the institute's commitment to the sustainability principles of reduce, reuse and recycle.

Students have worked with vendors at athletic events to achieve zero landfill waste with steps like eliminating single bags of chips. The school competes in a national "zero waste" competition for colleges and holds its own "WasteWeek." When students leave for the summer, the school collects used clothing and unopened food and toiletries for donation to local charities and schools. It also tracks and analyzes Chicago's air and water quality.

Plans for the future include new research labs focusing on biodiversity, ecological restoration and environmental health, as well as greater interdisciplinary collaboration. There are already dual degree programs with the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health and the Quinlan School of Business, including a sustainable business MBA.

The new school is also working with the Vatican's Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development to develop evaluation criteria for schools taking part in its Laudato Si' Action Platform, which encourages Catholic institutions to make seven-year plans to achieve "total sustainability" by meeting a set of benchmarks across seven goals inspired by the encyclical.

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

User avatar
wosbald
Lonergan Fan Club President
Lonergan Fan Club President
Posts: 23531
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Fri Dec 25, 2020 1:25 pm

+JMJ+

Pope Francis: Vatican City commits to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050
Image
Solar panels are seen on the roof of the Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican in this Dec. 1, 2010, file photo. In a video message, Pope Francis told the Virtual Climate Ambition Summit that Vatican City is aiming for net zero carbon emissions. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis pledged Vatican City State would achieve net-zero carbon emissions before the year 2050, and he urged everyone in the world to be part of a new culture of care for others and the planet.

“The time has come for a change in direction. Let us not rob the new generations of their hope in a better future,” he said in a video message for a global summit.

Pope Francis was one of about 75 leaders who contributed to the Climate Ambition Summit, which was held online Dec. 12. Co-hosted by the United Nations, the United Kingdom and France, and in partnership with Chile and Italy, the meeting marked the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

During the meeting, the leaders renewed or strengthened investment pledges and commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality.

[…]

In his message, Pope Francis said everyone has a responsibility “to promote, with a collective commitment and solidarity, a culture of care, which places human dignity and the common good at the center.”

That means there are some measures that can no longer be postponed, he said, including implementing strategies to reduce net emissions to zero.

The Holy See is committed to this objective, he said.

Vatican City State will work to reduce net emissions to zero by 2050, he said, and it will continue to strengthen and expand its efforts toward greater energy efficiency, improved resource management, sustainable transportation and waste management, and reforestation.

The Holy See also is committed to promoting a greater understanding of integral ecology, he said.

“Politics and technology must unite behind an educational process which favors a cultural model of development and sustainability focused on fraternity and an alliance between human beings and the environment,” he said.

In a written message for the summit, Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, said more must be done to help the poor and the planet.

“God has entrusted us with this planet and its wonderful resources,” he wrote, appealing to world leaders to look at earth’s assets as a common good for all people and to focus much more on those who are the poorest and most vulnerable.

Governments should also stop investing in fossil fuels and help poor communities who need sustainable and “green” energy.

“We are one human family and we can only count on each other for taking care of our common home,” he added.

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

User avatar
Goose55
Minister to Monster Truckers
Minister to Monster Truckers
Posts: 11858
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:44 pm
Location: Southern Arizona, U.S.A.

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by Goose55 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 11:56 am

Raising Florida Keys roads for sea level rise could cost $1.8 billion.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/raising-keys ... 31462.html
"At present we're on the wrong side of the door. But all the pages of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so." ~ C.S. Lewis

User avatar
wosbald
Lonergan Fan Club President
Lonergan Fan Club President
Posts: 23531
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:08 am

+JMJ+

Vatican City State is pesticide-free, imports green energy
Image

Image
Solar panels are seen on the roof of the Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican in this Dec. 1, 2010, file photo. (Credit: CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Image

ROME — Reaching “zero emissions” for Vatican City State is an achievable goal and is another green initiative it has been pursuing, said the head of its department of infrastructure and services.

The Vatican’s reforestation program has seen 300 trees of various species planted over the past three years, and “an important milestone” is the tiny nation “has achieved its goal of being pesticide-free,” Father Rafael Garcia de la Serrana Villalobos, told Vatican News in mid-December. He also said the electricity the Vatican imports is produced entirely from renewable sources.

The walled-in area of Vatican City State covers about 109 acres, including extensive gardens, and the papal property at Castel Gandolfo extends over 135 acres, including about 17 acres of formal gardens, residences and a working farm.

De la Serrana said their new watering system for the Vatican Gardens has saved about 60% of water resources.

“We are promoting green economy policies, that is, circular economy policies, such as the transformation of organic waste and bio-waste into quality compost, and a waste management policy based on the concept of considering it not as waste but as a resource,” he said.

The Vatican no longer sells single-use plastic products and about 65 percent of regular waste is being successfully separated for recycling, he said; the goal for 2023 is to reach 75 percent.

About 99 percent of its hazardous waste is properly collected, “allowing 90 percent of waste to be sent for recovery, thus giving value to the policy of treating waste as a resource and no longer as waste,” he said.

Used cooking oils are collected to produce fuel, and the Vatican is studying other ways to further recover urban waste so it can be “transformed into a resource, both thermal and electrical, as well as the transformation of hospital waste into fuel, thus avoiding its management as hazardous waste,” he said.

“There will be a gradual replacement of the car fleet with electric or hybrid-powered vehicles,” he said.

These and other projects are part of the Vatican’s goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions. Pope Francis pledged the city state would reach this goal before 2050.

[…]

De la Serrana told Vatican News that “climate neutrality can be achieved by Vatican City State primarily through the use of natural sinks, such as soil and forests, and by offsetting emissions produced in one area by reducing them in another. Of course, this is done by investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency or other clean technologies such as electric mobility.”

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

User avatar
wosbald
Lonergan Fan Club President
Lonergan Fan Club President
Posts: 23531
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:49 am

+JMJ+

Extreme heat, wildfires, storms marked advance of climate change in 2020 [In-Depth, Year-End News Roundup]
Image

Image
People in Yorba Linda, Calif., are seen near the Blue Ridge Fire Oct. 26, 2020. (CNS/Reuters/Ringo Chiu)

CLEVELAND — Extreme global temperatures, wildfires and hurricanes continued to plague the planet during 2020, prompting U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to appeal to the world to end its "war on nature."

In a speech at Columbia University Dec. 2, Guterres warned that continued growth in fossil fuel extraction and usage would feed a growing cycle of warming that will place all of humanity in danger.

"The state of the planet is broken. Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal," he said.

Guterres' concern emerged as the World Meteorological Organization projected that 2020 would end about 1.2 degrees warmer than the last half of the 19th century when industrialization led to increased usage of oil, coal and natural gas. Climate scientists expect 2020 to be one of the three hottest years on record.

Ecologists also expressed concern that widespread deforestation is leading to diminished biodiversity and increasing the risk of disease pandemics such as COVID-19.

A study published in the Aug. 5 issue of the science journal Nature added to a growing body of evidence that connects trends in human development and biodiversity loss to disease outbreaks.

[…]

Citing how climate change most negatively affects poor and marginalized communities, Pope Francis continued speaking of the importance of caring for creation while questioning the benefits of increased consumerism and the burning of fossil fuels.

Image
A child pushes a bicycle through a flooded road in Marcovia, Honduras, Nov. 18, 2020, after the passing of Huricane Iota. (CNS/Reuters/Jorge Cabrera)

"Now is the time to abandon our dependence on fossil fuels and move, quickly and decisively, toward forms of clean energy," Pope Francis said as he marked the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation Sept. 1.

“We have caused a climate emergency that gravely threatens nature and life itself, including our own,” the pope said.

Acknowledging the pope's longstanding concerns for the environment, global observances took place for the fifth anniversary of his encyclical, ‘Laudato Si'’, on Care for Our Common Home.

[…]

Image
Firefighters in Detroit, Ore., assess damage to a church Sept. 14, 2020, in the aftermath of the Beachie Creek Fire. (CNS/Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

User avatar
wosbald
Lonergan Fan Club President
Lonergan Fan Club President
Posts: 23531
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:19 am

+JMJ+

Cross-shaped solar array lights up Mundelein Seminary for New Year [In-Depth]
Image

Image
A 300-kilowatt solar energy project went into commercial operation Dec. 25 on the campus of the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois. (UMSL/Mundelein Seminary)

The Christmas star shining over Mundelein, Illinois, this season was the sun, as a 300-kilowatt solar energy project went into commercial operation Dec. 25 on the campus of the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary.

The project was inspired by Pope Francis' encyclical ‘Laudato Si'’: on Care for Our Common Home, as well as by Cardinal Blase Cupich, who as leader of the Chicago Archdiocese has stressed the importance of energy efficiency, university president and seminary rector Fr. John Kartje told EarthBeat.

It is the first solar energy generating plant on a U.S. Catholic seminary campus and the first in the Chicago Archdiocese, according to a statement from the university.

Because the once-rural campus includes some 1,300 acres of land, and solar technology has become both more economical and more efficient, Kartje and other administrators decided to look seriously at the possibility that the school could generate some of its own power.

The solar array, which took about a year to plan and build, will generate 20-25% of the kilowatt hours of electricity that the university and seminary use.

It is expected to recover the initial $800,000 investment in fewer than 10 years, and it will save the school $1 million in energy costs over the next 35 years, according to David Brochu, CEO of PureGen Power, a local solar energy development firm that provided the technical expertise for the project.

[…]

A mechanical engineer who has been working in the solar energy field since 2007, Brochu took the lead in bringing together a group of investors who were supportive of the seminary, as well as in planning and design, obtaining the necessary permits, and overseeing installation.

The Mundelein project takes advantage of "Illinois Shines," a state-managed incentive program that provides credits for solar energy systems. Program participants can either install a solar energy system on their own property to offset their energy use, as Mundelein did, or subscribe to a community solar project in exchange for a share of the electricity it generates.

In Mundelein's case, the utility company buys back the credits from a group of investors who formed a limited liability company, USML Laudato Si' Solar, which takes its name from the university and the encyclical.

That company owns the solar energy system, leasing the land from the university. In turn, it sells the electricity generated by the solar array to the seminary at a discounted rate. The university eventually will take ownership of the facility.

"What it allows us to do is build a solar power plant and sell the electricity back to the university, so that they save money over the life of the project," Brochu told EarthBeat.

[…]

The campus will draw energy from the system during the day, supplementing it with electricity from the conventional grid if necessary. It will also draw from the conventional grid at night. On a very sunny day, excess energy that is generated can be exported to the grid, further offsetting costs under the metering system used in Illinois.

The original design called for a rectangular array of solar panels, but when Brochu saw it would not occupy the entire area set aside for the project, he changed the design to a cross.

"I thought it would be a great idea [for] a Catholic seminary, and I think it's a great tribute to our Lord," he said.

"If you're flying into O'Hare [Airport], anybody coming in from the northwest or northeast [will] see it if it's daytime," he added.

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

User avatar
wosbald
Lonergan Fan Club President
Lonergan Fan Club President
Posts: 23531
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:25 am

+JMJ+

Biden administration signals commitment to Paris climate deal [In-Depth, Interview]
Image
A coal-fired power-plant is seen along the Ohio River in Moundsville, W.Va., in this 2017 file photo. A preelection poll finds that a large majority of Catholic voters have some concern about climate change. (Credit: Brian Snyder/Reuters via CNS)

YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon — Joe Biden’s promise to return the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement will hopefully lead “a new level of diplomatic engagement and additional climate finance resources.”

Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 United Nations deal aimed at limiting the increase of the global temperature to 1.5° Celsius (2.7 °Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

“The good news is that since the signing of the Paris Agreement, the long-term outlook has improved, and we have seen some signs of progress,” said Marilyn Shapley, a senior policy and legislative specialist for the Catholic Relief Services, the development aid agency of the U.S. bishops.

“President-elect Biden has signaled he will rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and renew and strengthen U.S. climate commitments,” she added.

“However, countries must continue to take bolder collective actions to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, especially to try to limit the global warming to 1.5° Celsius,” she told Crux.

The developed world promised to provide $100 million for the climate mitigation needs of the developing world by 2020, something Shapley says hasn’t been done.

“According to reports by the Office for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and others, the $100 million commitment has not been met. While there was a promising 11 percent increase according to OECD’s 2017 report, only about 20 percent was for adaptation, when ideally it would have been 50 percent,” she said.

What follows are excerpts of her conversation with Crux.

===========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Crux: The Paris agreement allocated money to the climate mitigation needs of developing countries. Developed countries had pledged to ramp up climate financing by $100 million by 2020. Has that commitment been met?

Shapley: No. According to reports by the Office for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and others, the $100 million commitment has not been met. While there was a promising 11 percent increase according to OECD’s 2017 report, only about 20 percent was for adaptation, when ideally it would have been 50 percent.

In addition to pushing for the $100 million commitment to be met, countries should also work on how to better track the resources being committed. And there is increasing evidence that the public finance going to the least developed countries should ideally be in the form of grant instruments instead of loans, especially given the burden of debt many countries have, and the budget constraints emerging as countries continue responding to COVID-19.

The argument in Africa is that if rich nations fail to pay to save the rainforests, then they will have to cut down the forests to build their economies …

In line with Pope Francis’s call for us to not ‘rob the new generations of their hope in a better future,’ there are alternative ways to grow an economy without causing irreversible damage to the rainforests. Economic models have shown that there is economic gain to be had with bold climate action.

Along those lines, recognizing the need for urgent action, the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group, which is made up of more than 40 of the world’s least developed countries, including more than 30 countries in Africa, is pushing other countries around the world to increase their climate solutions ambitions. These countries are leading by example by making their own commitments.

In places like Madagascar and Central America, CRS is seeing ways to help communities tackle poverty while still caring for creation. For example, in Madagascar, which has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, we’re working with farming communities on ways to improve their income while at the same time preserving the surrounding rainforest.

Global carbon emissions in 2015 stood at about 50 billion tons. By 2019, the figure had increased to 55 billion tons. Does this signal the Paris Agreement is failing?

The good news is that since the signing of the Paris Agreement, the long-term outlook has improved, and we have seen some signs of progress. However, countries must continue to take bolder collective actions to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, especially to try to limit the global warming to 1.5° Celsius.

[…]

How does the promise of America’s return to the climate agreement affect things?

President-elect Biden has signaled he will rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and renew and strengthen U.S. climate commitments. Hopefully, this renewed focus leads to a new level of diplomatic engagement and additional climate finance resources, especially for the Green Climate Fund and adaptation efforts focused on meeting the needs of the most vulnerable.

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

User avatar
wosbald
Lonergan Fan Club President
Lonergan Fan Club President
Posts: 23531
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:24 am

+JMJ+

Subject Header: Economic Magisterium/Integral Ecology/Seamless Garment/Fratelli Tutti
Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 14 / pg 14

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"THE CATHOLIC THREAD: pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 150 / pg 150 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151
"The Statement on Social Justice": pg 6
"Pro-life Bills/Laws": pg 15
"THE CHRISTIAN THREAD": pg 8 / pg 8 / pg 9
"I'm Starting to Like This Pope": pg 65 / pg 121 / pg 121 / pg 122 / pg 127 / pg 128 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 130 / pg 130 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 132



Faith groups have a key role to play in reducing climate-linked violence [In-Depth, Interview, Video]
Image


By now it's well understood that climate change leads to rising seas and rising temperatures. It is also increasingly linked to rising conflicts.

In 2014, the Pentagon issued a major report that referred to climate change as both posing "immediate risks to U.S. national security" and being "a 'threat multiplier' because it has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we are dealing with today — from infectious disease to terrorism."

Last year, Stanford University convened a group of top climate scientists, political scientists, economists and historians to examine the degree to which climate change has exacerbated conflicts in the past century. While it concluded that climate has had a limited effect on conflicts to date — less than factors like low socioeconomic development, weak governments and social inequalities — their study projected that warming of 2 degrees Celsius and beyond will substantially increase the risk of armed conflict.

"War is the negation of all rights and a dramatic assault on the environment," Pope Francis tweeted on Nov. 6, the United Nations-designated International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. He added that true integral human development must work to avoid all wars.


Tweet from Pope Francis, @Pontifex account, Nov. 20, 2020
► Show Spoiler
Religious communities have a critical role to play in mitigating and resolving violent conflict stemming from rising global temperatures, says Karenna Gore, founder and director of the Center for Earth Ethics at Un𝗂on Theological Seminary, in New York City.

In October, Gore received the 2020 Faith-in-Action Award from the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy (ICRD) for her work on how faith communities can both promote stewardship and preempt violent outbreaks.

EarthBeat recently spoke with Gore and James Patton, ICRD president and CEO, about the role of religion in mitigating and resolving violent conflicts fueled by climate change.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. (The full interview is available in the video at the top of the page or by clicking here.)

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

EarthBeat: The U.S. Pentagon calls climate change a "threat multiplier." What does that mean with regard to violent conflicts?

Patton: It's not really just about sea level rise and different temperatures in different places in the world. If the sea does rise a meter, it will put a billion people on the move, and those people go to places that are already economically stressed. And oftentimes, that causes clashes [over resources] between groups of migrants and the host communities that they land in.

Then you add to that changes in rainfall patterns, seasonal glacial melt and how that affects fresh water availability, crop viability, high heat, increased winds, drier conditions contributing to wildfires. All of these things have an incredible impact on water and food availability, on livelihoods, on infrastructure. And that pushes people — usually people who are already economically disadvantaged — to struggle with one another over scarce resources.

When they do that, it very easily manifests in the kind of identity conflict that ICRD works on. People start to scapegoat one another around things like their tribes, their ethnicity, their faith. You see this oftentimes with migrant groups, particularly if they're moving across borders from the global south to the north, or underdeveloped to more developed countries that have better resources. … The host communities then react to these immigrant groups negatively. And we've seen spikes in xenophobia across the world, particularly in the west and in Europe, that are all connected to some of these issues.

The fighting in Syria is a great example of the impact of drought. Rainfall patterns changed, food availability was impacted, and then people started to contest the leadership, and that was not accepted of course by [Syrian President] Bashar Al Assad. And it led to rebellion that led to incredible violence that has led to death and displacement throughout the region that has had significant ancillary effects and impacts, all grounded in what might be one of the most important climate-driven conflicts of recent times.

Image
People walk past damaged buildings at the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus, Syria Dec. 2. (CNS/Reuters/Omar Sanadiki)

Gore: Probably one of the main things to lift up is the migration that results when people can no longer feed their families and are so desperate that they need to leave. And that did of course happen in the 2010 drought in Syria, and it has happened also [in] Central America, in what's known as the Dry Corridor, where a lot of migration is coming from.

[…]

What role can religious communities play in helping to mitigate some of the violence related to climate change?

[…]

In the situation we're in now, where there's going to be increasing strain and pressure and tension because of climate impacts and also because of the kind of system that is extracting and exploiting so many people's ecosystems … faith communities bring it into a place of moral discourse about right and wrong and also can lift up nonviolence. That is a really strong tradition within a lot of faith communities.

There's also on the front end the level of cause. The fossil-fuel energy extraction system and how that operates, the way big multinational agricultural corporations are operating on local food systems — on that level, there's also an opportunity for faith communities to be leading the way.

Pope Francis says this very well in Laudato Si', that part of the problem is that there's not enough contact with people who are excluded from decision making, and that includes diplomacy. And so one of the things that religion and diplomacy can do is to be with the people in the real values they're living, and take the best of that to help forge a better way.

Image
Corn is seen in Baja Verapaz, Guatemala, in 2009. In 2019, after three years of drought in Central America that destroyed crops of corn and beans, Guatemala declared a true state of emergency, according to Catholic Relief Services officials. The lack of food or ways to produce it has fueled migration. (CNS/Reuters/Daniel Leclair)

Are there examples of religious communities who are doing this right now?

Gore: Last year, I was working with a community in Virginia … that was objecting to the placement of a giant fracked gas compressor station of a pipeline in a historically African American community. And amazingly, given the odds, they won this fight.

And as I witnessed it, it was largely due to the level of commitment and the clarity and the grounding and the strength that came from the interfaith work between a Black Baptist community and a community called Yogaville, where Swami Dyananda was leading the way. There was a very concerted effort to have prayer and a ceremonial approach — taking meals together, setting your intention before a march, for example — in a way that I think qualitatively changed the nature of the resistance to that compressor station.

In any of these situations, where there is something destructive toward a community, there can be the impulse to finger point and blame and turn on each other. Or you can appeal to some higher sense of purpose that brings you together and clarifies what's happening and brings people to a greater level of commitment. And so I saw that work in an interfaith way in Virginia.

[…]

Image
This map from the Pan-Amazonian Socio-Territorial Conflict Atlas (2017-2018) shows that Brazil, which comprises 60% of the Pan-Amazon's territorial area, tops the list of the largest number of conflicts, 995 of the total, followed by 227 conflicts in Colombia, 69 in Peru and 17 in Bolivia. (CNS/Courtesy of GRUTER, Research and Extension Group on Land and Territory in the Amazon)

[…]

Image
Tribal fighters loyal to the Yemeni government pose for a photo by a tank near Hodeida, Yemen, June 1, 2018. There are flattened plastic water containers strewing the ground. (CNS/Reuters/Stringer)

[…]

Image
Displaced Somali women from drought hit areas wait to fill their containers at a water filling station April 3, 2017, at a camp in Dollow, Somalia. (CNS/Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)

Where can religious communities and leaders being most effective in these climate-related conflict situations? Can they be proactive, before conflicts begin, or can they help lessen tensions once conflicts start to develop?

[…]

Gore: Forgiveness, redemption, changing your sense of belonging to include those who you considered to be the enemy or the other — that is a place where faith leaders obviously can play a very positive role.

In the case of climate and environmental issues, I think it's very important to look at the trajectory that we're on right now in the world. That although we know the urgency of shifting to another energy system, the world still gets 80% of our energy from fossil fuels, and half of the global warming emissions that are up in the atmosphere now have been put up there in the last 20 years, which is the time that we've known the most about this and have had the most available alternatives.

Image
Floodwaters surround a home in Vietnam's province of Quang Tri Oct. 18. Two dioceses in central Vietnam hit by some of the worst floods in the country's history are struggling to provide emergency aid for hundreds of thousands of victims. (CNS/Reuters, via handout/Ho Cau)

Because we know that climate disruptions will lead to migration and conflict, mitigating conflict for religious actors also means changing this trajectory. Questioning and telling the truth, which is also such a part of prophetic tradition and certainly in the Judeo-Christian heritage that Pope Francis has very wisely drawn on for his work in speaking out about climate. That we must look at the truth and we must tell the truth, no matter how difficult it is for people to hear.

The arguments that are made for continuing on this trajectory are often that we need economic growth to end poverty, no matter whether there's a lot of pollution and depletion … and so we need to understand that in fact it's a very counterproductive model that we have now.

The U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, explained in a report that actually climate change would undo the last 50 years of progress and drive over 100 million more people into poverty. … We need to be asking the deep, serious questions about what is development for? What is the meaning of life? How do you measure a good society?

For those things, we need to be very mindful and respectful of the spiritual and faith communities that have been thinking about these things for many generations. And they ought to be consulted about any development that affects their community. These are people who should have a seat at the table.

And the faith leaders can be part of the conversation, setting a conversation based around ethics so it's not just about money, it's about well-being. It's about what we want to be handing down to the future generations that we are proud of and that is sustainable. This is a really big challenge. We know that it's here, and we know that it's coming with stronger force. And if faith communities can step up and do this in a good way, we can make the world better in the process.

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

User avatar
wosbald
Lonergan Fan Club President
Lonergan Fan Club President
Posts: 23531
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Tue Jan 26, 2021 1:09 am

+JMJ+

Green New Deals need to respect diverse cultures, Vatican official says
Image
Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, Vatican foreign minister, is pictured Capitol Hill in Washington in this July 24, 2018, file photo. In a recent speech, Archbishop Gallagher said debates about Green New Deals need to respect diverse cultures and avoid imposing one globalized model. (Credit: Bob Roller/CNS)

ROME — With a number of nations considering some form of a “Green New Deal” for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it is important that these efforts respect diverse cultures and economic policies, and avoid imposing a “uniform” model that ends up causing division, said Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, the Vatican’s foreign minister.

Current political debates about the issue seem, on the one hand, “to lead to a discordance of opinions and, on the other, favor imposing that singular cultural model” that “unifies the world, but divides persons and nations,” he said Jan. 23.

It is important that promoting human and social development and well-being also includes “the defense and care of culture, especially if we feel it as an indispensable instrument for understanding the world and for seeking the common good,” he said.

The archbishop spoke during a daylong course Jan. 23 sponsored by the Centesimus Annus pro Pontifice Foundation, which seeks to implement the teaching of St. John Paul II’s 1991 encyclical on social and economic justice.

[…]

In his talk in Italian, the archbishop noted the various Green New Deal proposals being looked at by the United States, the European Un𝗂on and the World Economic Forum, among others.

In general, most proposals seek to: reduce carbon pollution; direct government investments in infrastructure improvements and wind and solar energy; boost efficiency of transportation systems and energy usage; promote advanced technology; and favor new financial instruments.

In fact, many of the programs “do not call into question either the industrial system, which historically is the source of pollution, or the financial (system) of the international markets,” but are actually programs that tend to respond to existing economic trends with industrial solutions, he said.

“We also understand that improvements in the scientific and technological fields help us to reduce the very serious environmental problems that afflict the world,” he said. “However, we can never be credible environmentalists without a critical eye on the modern idea of progress understood as a reassuring linear progression of human possibilities by way of unlimited technological advancement.”

Any culture that imagines the things humanity can produce will be the best solution or will save the world, he said, will end up “destroying mankind and its environment.”

[…]

“The rule for the relationship between human beings and nature, therefore, is not the pursuit of profit, but the pursuit of the common good through the reasons of faith,” the archbishop said.

It would be a mistake, however, to reduce the economic and social teachings of the church to “a generic invitation to deference toward the values of freedom and social justice because, as Christians, we are called to charity and universal fraternity as a joyous observance of God’s will,” he added.

While many Green New Deals being looked at represent the hope for a historical change of course for a better future, he said, there is also a focus on “certain themes that seem to narrow rather than broaden environmental reflection,” thereby risking an environmentalism that becomes “uniform and even.”

He said Pope Francis highlighted a similar tendency in his encyclical Fratelli Tutti when he wrote, “Local conflicts and disregard for the common good are exploited by the global economy in order to impose a single cultural model. This culture unifies the world, but divides persons and nations, for ‘as society becomes ever more globalized, it makes us neighbors, but does not make us brothers.'”

That is why, the archbishop said, he proposed people do their utmost to safeguard and promote the wealth of human cultures that have a role to play in promoting the common good.

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

User avatar
wosbald
Lonergan Fan Club President
Lonergan Fan Club President
Posts: 23531
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:04 pm

+JMJ+

Fight against climate change can’t be done alone, cardinal says
Image
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, speaks in a video message released Jan. 25 to the virtual "Climate Adaptation Summit" hosted by the Netherlands. Parolin said climate change is a global problem that requires the commitment and collective response of all humanity. (Credit: CNS photo/Vatican Media)

ROME — Climate change is a global problem that requires the commitment and collective response of all humanity, said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state.

In a video message Jan. 25 to the virtual “Climate Adaptation Summit” hosted by the Netherlands, Cardinal Parolin said that the scientific data available shows “the urgent need for swift action within a context of ethics, equity and social justice.”

“Nothing can be accomplished by working alone,” he said. “The COVID-19 pandemic teaches it very well.”

[…]

In his message, Parolin extended Pope Francis’ greetings to the participants and expressed the pope’s “closeness, support and encouragement.”

“We all know that climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political, and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day,” he said.

Acknowledging the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Cardinal Parolin highlighted that it was a problem “not only of the domain of technology, but also a question of consumption patterns, education and lifestyles.”

“This is a moral and humanitarian imperative, especially since the greatest negative consequences of climate change often affect the most vulnerable: the poor and future generations,” he said.

Although the poor are the least responsible for global warming, he added, they are affected the most by it “since they have the least adaptive capacity and often live in geographical areas which are particularly at risk.”

Parolin encouraged world leaders at the conference to a “global and shared long-term strategy” that can effectively define a new model of development “built on the synergistic bond between the fight against climate change and the struggle against poverty.”

“We are standing before a momentous challenge for the benefit of the common good. We have no alternative but to make every effort to implement a responsible, unprecedented collective response, intended to work together to build our common home,” Parolin said.
Last edited by wosbald on Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

User avatar
mustangii
Brother of the Briar
Brother of the Briar
Posts: 1849
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Warrensburg MO
Contact:

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by mustangii » Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:09 pm

Human impact is less than .5% so quit being global warming/climate change assholes. It is a normal cycle. Get over it.
edm
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and The Word was God. John 1:1
ASE Master Certified Tech
Chrysler Master Certified Tech
Right wing Conservative and proud of it

User avatar
durangopipe
The Goat Fairy
The Goat Fairy
Posts: 9518
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:58 pm

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by durangopipe » Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:34 am

We need to take this seriously!

Image
The majority is always wrong; the minority is rarely right.
Henrik Ibsen

User avatar
Del
Sneaky Snusser
Sneaky Snusser
Posts: 44003
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Madison, WI
Contact:

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by Del » Sat Jan 30, 2021 10:28 pm

Goose55 wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 11:56 am
Raising Florida Keys roads for sea level rise could cost $1.8 billion.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/raising-keys ... 31462.html
In the Keys, elevating to a standard that would keep roads dry in a 2045 king tide, when sea rise is predicted to be nearly a foot higher
I'm confident that Biden's Paris Accord compliance will turn the sea back by then.
G.K. Chesterton — 'It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.'

User avatar
wosbald
Lonergan Fan Club President
Lonergan Fan Club President
Posts: 23531
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:58 am

+JMJ+

We're approaching critical climate tipping points: Q&A with Tim Lenton [In-Depth, Interview]
Image

Image
An endangered African penguin emerges from the water at Seaforth Beach, South Africa, Nov. 3, 2020. (CNS/Reuters/Sumaya Hisham)

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Editor's note: This story originally appeared at Mongabay and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Image

Over the past 20 years, the concept of "tipping points" has become more familiar to the public. Tipping points are critical thresholds at which small changes can lead to dramatic shifts in the state of the entire system.

From a climate standpoint, the melting of Arctic sea ice is a simple example. As sea ice melts, less sunlight is reflected into space and more heat is absorbed by the ocean, further hindering the formation of sea ice and thereby leading to more warming. The positive feedback loop is leading toward ice-free summers in the Arctic, which will have dramatic implications for the Arctic ecosystem and knock-on effects for ocean circulation and weather patterns. The effects are already being observed, with Arctic sea ice extent trending sharply downward since the 1970s.

Image
Climate scientist Tim Lenton, director of the Global Systems Institute at Britain's University of Exeter (Mongabay)

Awareness of climate tipping points has grown in policy circles in recent years in no small part thanks to the work of climate scientist Tim Lenton, who serves as the director of the Global Systems Institute at Britain's University of Exeter.

In 2008 Lenton was the lead author of an influential Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) paper that identified nine tipping points and ranked them by their near-term likelihood of occurring. These included: Arctic Sea-Ice; the Greenland Ice Sheet; the West Antarctic Ice Sheet; the Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation; the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO); the Indian Summer Monsoon; the Sahara/Sahel and West African Monsoon; the Amazon Rainforest; and the Boreal Forest. Lenton and his colleagues have since added tropical coral reefs and the East Antarctic Ice Sheet to the list.

When Lenton published the PNAS paper, some aspects of the predictions were still theoretical, but since then, the evidence for some tipping points has strengthened as the rate of disruption has increased and our ability to observe change has improved.

Image
Map of potential policy-relevant tipping elements in the climate system in Tim Lenton et. al. 2008 original paper. These have since been updated to include coral reefs and the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. (Montabay/Tim Lenton et. al.)

Map of potential policy-relevant tipping elements in the climate system in Tim Lenton et. al. 2008 original paper. These have since been updated to include coral reefs and the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. (Montabay/Tim Lenton et. al.)

"Some of the tipping elements are changing more rapidly than others," Lenton told Mongabay during a December 2020 interview. "The most concerning include the West Antarctic Ice Sheet — part of it looks to be in irreversible retreat — and the Amazon rainforest — where droughts and changing fire regimes are accelerating forest loss, alongside renewed human pressures."

The evidence base of cascading effects between tipping points has also expanded.

"A decade or so ago we identified this as a theoretical possibility with some idea of what the causal interactions could be," he said. "Now we have more direct evidence of causal interactions, like the role of Arctic sea-ice retreat and resultant warming in permafrost thawing and accelerating Greenland ice sheet melt."

Lenton says the the rate at which we appear to be approaching several tipping points is now ringing alarm bells, but "most of our current generation of politicians are just not up to this leadership task."

"Younger generations are looking at them with dismay and rightly rebelling."

The pandemic however may have caused a shock to the system that could trigger what he calls "positive social tipping points" that "can accelerate the transformative change we need" provided we're able to empower the right leaders.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that when a threat is truly urgent we can act decisively and put aside neoliberal economics in favor of saving lives. But politicians immediately started talking about 'building back better' rather than taking the opportunity to 'build forward better' — i.e. to chart a new economic and ecological path."

Lenton spoke about these issues and more in a conversation with Mongabay Founder Rhett A. Butler.

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

[…]

Mongabay: In your highly-cited 2008 PNAS paper, you and your co-authors identified several tipping points. Has that list changed since then? And have some of those tipping points progressed more rapidly than others?

Tim Lenton: The list has changed somewhat over time, but not as much as thought it might. I put question marks on some of the original list and map to show I was less sure about them. Tropical coral reefs are now on the list, as is part of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet draining the Wilkes Basin.

Some of the tipping elements are changing more rapidly than others. The most concerning include the West Antarctic Ice Sheet — part of it looks to be in irreversible retreat — and the Amazon rainforest — where droughts and changing fire regimes are accelerating forest loss, alongside renewed human pressures.

You've warned about the risk of one tipping point potentially triggering another tipping point as a sort of cascading domino effect. How has the science around that idea improved over the past decade?

A decade or so ago we identified this as a theoretical possibility with some idea of what the causal interactions could be. Now we have more direct evidence of causal interactions, like the role of Arctic sea-ice retreat and resultant warming in permafrost thawing and accelerating Greenland ice sheet melt. Also the contribution of Greenland melt water to disrupting North Atlantic deep water formation and the Atlantic overturning circulation. Plus we now have some models for how the interactions could play out.

[…]

Image
Rainforest near Porto Velho, Brazil, Aug. 16, 2020. (CNS/Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino)

[…]

Image
Glaciers and icebergs in Antarctica (Mongabay)

Arguably, there has been very little progress in curbing carbon emissions since your 2008 tipping points paper despite a growing body of scientific evidence on the need to take action. What do you think it will take to catalyze an appropriate sense of urgency among the general public and politicians? And has the COVID-19 pandemic made any difference on this front?

I think there is an appropriate sense of urgency among many in the general public who protested together and forced government declarations of a "climate emergency." The problem is we need urgent action and most of our current generation of politicians are just not up to this leadership task. Younger generations are looking at them with dismay and rightly rebelling.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that when a threat is truly urgent we can act decisively and put aside neoliberal economics in favor of saving lives. But politicians immediately started talking about "building back better" rather than taking the opportunity to "build forward better" — i.e. to chart a new economic and ecological path.

In January, the United States will have a new president. What would you like the Biden administration to prioritize?

Tackling climate change and inequality through the green new deal. Go to the places where people feel they are going to lose out — the coal belt and the rust belt — and work with the communities there to chart a prosperous alternative future for them, then resource them to get to that greener future — just like we are seeing with the German "coal commission."

Lastly, tipping points seem like a potentially depressing topic. What gives you hope?

My kids. And identifying positive social tipping points that can accelerate the transformative change we need.

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

User avatar
TheShepherd
Usher
Usher
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:09 am

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by TheShepherd » Thu Feb 04, 2021 1:31 pm

https://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2 ... ate-models

Image

Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin was tall and rugged, with the flowing beard and raucus mustache popular in the late 1800s. As a young geology professor, he hiked the flatlands of southeast Wisconsin, surveying tracks of long-gone glaciers. It was popular at the time to speculate on what caused the rise and fall of ice ages, and Chamberlin seized on one theory that pointed to a gas.

“The effect of the carbon dioxide and water vapor is to blanket the earth with a thermally absorbent envelope,” he wrote in 1899. He concluded that doubling that gas in the atmosphere would raise the temperature of the Earth by 8 or 9 degrees Celsius.

This relationship between carbon dioxide and the Earth’s temperature came to be known as the greenhouse effect. Chamberlin was right about the linkage, though he was off in the numbers.

The numbers are still elusive.

“We’ve grown leaps and bounds in our ability to collect climate data, particularly in the last 30 years since we’ve had satellites,” says Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist at the Breakthrough Institute, a think tank in Oakland, California. “But at the end of the day, we need to know what is likely to happen in the next few decades and the rest of the century and centuries to come. And for that, you need some sort of model.”

The science of climate modeling – forecasting – has produced 30 or more different versions that try to predict how changes in the atmosphere will alter the climate.

All point in the same direction: Add greenhouse gases and warming will follow. But the details vary.

“There are some things where there are very robust results and other things where those results are not so robust,” says Gavin Schmidt, who heads NASA’s respected climate modeling program at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. But the variances push skeptics to dismiss the whole field.

“There’s enough stuff out there that people can sort of cherry-pick to support their preconceptions,” says Dr. Hausfather. “Climate skeptics ... were arguing that climate models always predict too much warming.” After studying models done in the past 50 years, Dr. Hausfather says, “it turns out they did remarkably well.”

But climate modelers acknowledge accuracy must improve in order to plot a way through the climate crisis. Now, a team of climatologists, oceanographers, and computer scientists on the East and West U.S. coasts have launched a bold race to do just that.

They have gathered some of the brightest experts from around the world to start to build a new, modern climate model. They hope to corral the vast flow of data from sensors in space, on land, and in the ocean, and enlist “machine learning,” a kind of artificial intelligence, to bring their model alive and provide new insight into what many believe is the most pressing threat facing the planet.

Their goal is accurate climate predictions that can tell local policymakers, builders, and planners what changes to expect by when, with the kind of numerical likelihood that weather forecasters now use to describe, say, a 70% chance of rain.

Tapio Schneider, a German-born climatologist at the California Institute of Technology and Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, leads the effort.

“We don’t have good information for planning,” Dr. Schneider told a gathering of scientists in 2019. Models cannot tell New York City how high to build sea walls, or California how much to spend to protect its vast water infrastructure.

They simply vary too much. For example, in 2015 in Paris, 196 countries agreed there will be alarming consequences if the planet warms by 2 degrees Celsius, measured from the industrial age. But when will we get there? Of 29 leading climate models, the answer ranges from 20 to 40 more years – almost the difference of a human generation – under current levels of emissions. That range is too wide to set timetables for action, which will require sweeping new infrastructure, everything from replacing fossil fuels to switching to electric vehicles to elevating homes.

“It’s important to come up with better predictions, and come up with them fast,” Dr. Schneider says.

Most climate modelers use past data when they create a model. But that means there is a fire hose of fresh climate measurements that go mostly unused – from satellites, balloons, ships, planes, weather stations, and thousands of sensors floating in the seas. Dr. Schneider wants to plug into that stream and force a new model to learn from it.

“The crux is to use more data, period,” he says. He and his colleagues have spent two years figuring out how to do it.

“The original idea was not to start over,” Dr. Schneider says. He talked with a friend at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Raffaele Ferrari, an Italian researcher who, befitting his name, has a penchant for automotive analogies. They realized, Dr. Ferrari says, “that you can take a race car and start replacing parts but pretty soon it becomes easier to build a new race car.”

The two men had been friends since they met one summer while graduate students in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Dr. Ferrari pursued oceanography, and helped build a much-used model for the oceans called the MIT General Circulation Model.

Oceans and the land are intimate partners with the atmosphere, but they often are studied separately. Dr. Schneider and colleagues at Caltech study the air; Dr. Ferrari and MIT researchers study the sea. Both men realized the advantage of joining forces.

In 2017 and 2018, Dr. Schneider convened a series of workshops at Caltech, grandly called the Future of Earth Systems Modeling. “We just invited the best people in the world” to hash through the topic, he says.

Their consensus was that “the development of climate models was struggling; something was not working,” Dr. Ferrari says. “They were looking for new ideas.” Gradually, they concluded they should build a new model. They named it the Climate Modeling Alliance – the acronym CliMA is “climate” in Italian and Spanish.

It is “scary to start with a blank slate,” Dr. Schneider says.

But Dr. Ferrari notes, “By starting from scratch, you can clean up a lot of what has happened over time.”


Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
MIT researcher Raffaele Ferrari is working with a team to create a new climate model.
Building a disruptor
It also is audacious. The group mapped out a project that will take at least five years of work by teams at Caltech, MIT, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and other institutions – tens of thousands of hours of research. It will take money – at least $25 million – that typically would come from government grants, but that appeared unlikely early on because of the Trump administration’s disaffection with science.

And it threatens to ruffle feathers in the climate science world, especially at the established modeling centers, like Dr. Schmidt’s NASA group at Goddard. “I think they have oversold what they can do,” Dr. Schmidt says. Is a new model needed? “They would say yes. I would probably say no.”

There are three main U.S. government-funded climate centers: in New York City; Boulder, Colorado; and Princeton, New Jersey. Rather than compete with the established centers for federal financing, CliMA turned to private money. Soon, it won a pledge from former Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt and Wendy Schmidt, whose philanthropy for the environment ranges from oil cleanup competitions to deep-sea submersibles. They pledged most of the funds needed for the first three years, and with smaller grants, CliMA launched on Sept. 11, 2018.

John Marshall, who developed the oceans model at MIT, says getting funds from outside the government is “a hugely important part of the project.”

“I see the project as a disrupter, like an Uber project,” he says. “Any organization which has been going for a long time, it kind of ossifies.”

The other distinguishing feature, Dr. Marshall notes, is those working on it. “The model is actually less important than the team of scientists that you have around it,” he contends. In fact, the 60 to 70 researchers and programmers in the CliMA group represent a veritable United Nations.

Somebody put a map on the wall at the CliMA house, a converted provost’s home at Caltech, and asked everyone to pinpoint their homes. “There were a lot of needles,” Dr. Schneider says.

Meltwater from the Laohugou No. 12 glacier flows though the Qilian Mountains in China’s Gansu province. Glaciers in the rugged region are rapidly disappearing as a result of global warming.

A climate model that “learns”
CliMA decided on an innovative approach, to harness machine learning. Satellite and sensor information is freely available – much of it for weather forecasters. Dr. Schneider envisions “training” their model with the last three decades of data, and then routinely feeding it the latest updates. The model itself could “learn” from the data and calibrate its performance with formulas refined by AI, even as the climate changes.

Climate models work by dividing the globe into a grid. That allows computers to replicate conditions by calculating atmospheric formulas for each grid cell. These are not simple equations that focus only on the level of carbon dioxide; models now handle hundreds of factors that influence climate, ranging from solar radiation, particles from volcanoes, dust, ocean spray, and savannas, to agricultural fields and sea ice.

They do this in grid cells typically about 15 to 30 miles square and a few miles deep. CliMA strives for much smaller cells, but to model Earth’s whole atmosphere they would need supercomputers thousands of times faster than presently exist. Instead, CliMA will drill down on a sampling of smaller grids – some little more than 100 feet square and 15 feet deep – and use AI to teach the rest of the grid formulas from those samples.

By focusing on this level of detail, the CliMA group hopes to pick up influences on the climate that are often just roughly estimated. Chief on Dr. Schneider’s list is to gauge the influence of clouds. Low, flat, stratocumulus clouds gird huge swaths of the planet at any given time. But they are so wispy there is no good way of including them in models.

They “are really important for Earth’s climate. They cool Earth by about 8 degrees Celsius globally, simply by reflecting sunlight,” Dr. Schneider says. Existing climate models underestimate their effect – he calls it a “blind spot” – creating large uncertainties in the models. At extreme levels of greenhouse gases, Dr. Schneider says, stratocumulus clouds could disappear entirely, jolting temperatures of the Earth. It might be one reason there were crocodiles in the Arctic 50 million years ago, the most recent hot period in Earth’s history.

But the team had a problem. While computers have gotten faster and faster, the very mechanics used by computer modelers is creaky. They have to tell a computer what to do, step by step, in a “language” the computer can decipher.

Since 1957, scientists have often used a programming language called Fortran. It is fast: Once written, it causes computers to act with great efficiency. That efficiency is vital when the number crunching is as big and complex as it is in a climate model, carrying out trillions of calculations per second.

But Fortran is clunky and laborious to write. It must be further modified for today’s supercomputers. For younger programmers, it is kind of like ancient Latin. “If you tell undergrads you want help writing Fortran, nobody wants to get involved,” says Dr. Ferrari. “They think it’s the end of their career.”

Newer languages – there are dozens, with names like Python, C, and C++ – are easier to write, but they take more time to process in the computer. For the CliMA modelers, that was a dilemma.

“They said they thought they wanted to use Julia. I was tickled pink, really.” – Alan Edelman, a mathematician at MIT who created a new computer language (Julia), which members of the Climate Modeling Alliance are using (shown here with his corgi, Phil)
The man with the answer occupied an office on the seventh floor of MIT’s “CSAIL” building – the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence labs. Alan Edelman is known for bringing his pet corgi to classes and then dispatching students to find it when it wanders off. “He hasn’t figured out that the dog doesn’t sit there,” chuckles a colleague.

Dr. Edelman also is an award-winning mathematician who pondered the computer language conundrum, and developed a new language in 2009. He called it Julia, and it bridged the language gap, he says: as fast as Fortran, and easier to use than Python.

In September 2018, he got a “Dear Professor Edelman” email from Dr. Ferrari, and six hours later three fellow MIT professors who had been at the Caltech climate modeling sessions were perched on the narrow couch in his office.

“They said they thought they wanted to use Julia,” Dr. Edelman recalls. He immediately saw Julia and CliMA as a perfect match. “I was tickled pink, really.”

But Julia had relatively few users, and in California, Dr. Schneider was worried it might flop. “Everyone was excited about Julia – so much so that I was very nervous, because it felt like too much groupthink,” he recalls. “What we’re trying to do has its own risk. Do we really want to load the risk of a new language on top of it?”

But the simplicity of using Julia was a game-changer. When the CliMA group began to cautiously use the new language, Dr. Edelman suddenly realized that other scientists and younger graduate students were poking their heads into his lab to learn about this new whiz-fast programming tool. People from different disciplines were interacting. “I didn’t see this coming,” he says.

The group at CliMA was quickly convinced. “There was no way we could have done it with another language,” Dr. Ferrari says. “After three or four months, we realized there was no way we could go back.”

“Julia paid off for us better than they would have imagined,” Dr. Schneider admits.

With Julia, the team released CliMA 0.1, part of the first version of the model, in June. Dr. Schneider says their work is ahead of schedule, and he is encouraged.

They are a step toward providing climate information that will be useful at a local or regional level, helping predict the frequency of droughts, extreme rainfalls, heat waves, and major storms. Dr. Schneider even envisions a cellphone app that could give information to anyone contemplating, say, the purchase of a house or planning future crops for a farm.

“You need granular information on a local level,” Dr. Schneider says. “The challenge, in the climate area, is how to make information actionable. There’s a large gap between what we scientists communicate and what people can actually use.”

To bridge that, they are looking to weather forecasters. “When they tell you that tomorrow it might rain, you don’t know exactly what to do. You want to know whether the probability is 10% or 100%,” Dr. Ferrari says. “If it’s 10%, you’re going to get an umbrella; if it’s 100% you might not go for a hike. So knowing that ... is crucial.”

Ultimately, he and Dr. Schneider say, they expect to achieve that.

“We’ll see at the end,” Dr. Ferrari says. “It’s always a mistake to say that you shouldn’t try something new. Because that’s how you change the world.”

User avatar
Jester
Brother of Tuttle
Brother of Tuttle
Posts: 2702
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:10 pm
Location: Pleasant Hill, MO

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by Jester » Thu Feb 04, 2021 1:36 pm

TheShepherd wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 1:31 pm
https://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2 ... ate-models

Image

Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin was tall and rugged, with the flowing beard and raucus mustache popular in the late 1800s. As a young geology professor, he hiked the flatlands of southeast Wisconsin, surveying tracks of long-gone glaciers. It was popular at the time to speculate on what caused the rise and fall of ice ages, and Chamberlin seized on one theory that pointed to a gas.

“The effect of the carbon dioxide and water vapor is to blanket the earth with a thermally absorbent envelope,” he wrote in 1899. He concluded that doubling that gas in the atmosphere would raise the temperature of the Earth by 8 or 9 degrees Celsius.

This relationship between carbon dioxide and the Earth’s temperature came to be known as the greenhouse effect. Chamberlin was right about the linkage, though he was off in the numbers.

The numbers are still elusive.

“We’ve grown leaps and bounds in our ability to collect climate data, particularly in the last 30 years since we’ve had satellites,” says Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist at the Breakthrough Institute, a think tank in Oakland, California. “But at the end of the day, we need to know what is likely to happen in the next few decades and the rest of the century and centuries to come. And for that, you need some sort of model.”

The science of climate modeling – forecasting – has produced 30 or more different versions that try to predict how changes in the atmosphere will alter the climate.

All point in the same direction: Add greenhouse gases and warming will follow. But the details vary.

“There are some things where there are very robust results and other things where those results are not so robust,” says Gavin Schmidt, who heads NASA’s respected climate modeling program at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. But the variances push skeptics to dismiss the whole field.

“There’s enough stuff out there that people can sort of cherry-pick to support their preconceptions,” says Dr. Hausfather. “Climate skeptics ... were arguing that climate models always predict too much warming.” After studying models done in the past 50 years, Dr. Hausfather says, “it turns out they did remarkably well.”

But climate modelers acknowledge accuracy must improve in order to plot a way through the climate crisis. Now, a team of climatologists, oceanographers, and computer scientists on the East and West U.S. coasts have launched a bold race to do just that.

They have gathered some of the brightest experts from around the world to start to build a new, modern climate model. They hope to corral the vast flow of data from sensors in space, on land, and in the ocean, and enlist “machine learning,” a kind of artificial intelligence, to bring their model alive and provide new insight into what many believe is the most pressing threat facing the planet.

Their goal is accurate climate predictions that can tell local policymakers, builders, and planners what changes to expect by when, with the kind of numerical likelihood that weather forecasters now use to describe, say, a 70% chance of rain.

Tapio Schneider, a German-born climatologist at the California Institute of Technology and Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, leads the effort.

“We don’t have good information for planning,” Dr. Schneider told a gathering of scientists in 2019. Models cannot tell New York City how high to build sea walls, or California how much to spend to protect its vast water infrastructure.

They simply vary too much. For example, in 2015 in Paris, 196 countries agreed there will be alarming consequences if the planet warms by 2 degrees Celsius, measured from the industrial age. But when will we get there? Of 29 leading climate models, the answer ranges from 20 to 40 more years – almost the difference of a human generation – under current levels of emissions. That range is too wide to set timetables for action, which will require sweeping new infrastructure, everything from replacing fossil fuels to switching to electric vehicles to elevating homes.

“It’s important to come up with better predictions, and come up with them fast,” Dr. Schneider says.

Most climate modelers use past data when they create a model. But that means there is a fire hose of fresh climate measurements that go mostly unused – from satellites, balloons, ships, planes, weather stations, and thousands of sensors floating in the seas. Dr. Schneider wants to plug into that stream and force a new model to learn from it.

“The crux is to use more data, period,” he says. He and his colleagues have spent two years figuring out how to do it.

“The original idea was not to start over,” Dr. Schneider says. He talked with a friend at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Raffaele Ferrari, an Italian researcher who, befitting his name, has a penchant for automotive analogies. They realized, Dr. Ferrari says, “that you can take a race car and start replacing parts but pretty soon it becomes easier to build a new race car.”

The two men had been friends since they met one summer while graduate students in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Dr. Ferrari pursued oceanography, and helped build a much-used model for the oceans called the MIT General Circulation Model.

Oceans and the land are intimate partners with the atmosphere, but they often are studied separately. Dr. Schneider and colleagues at Caltech study the air; Dr. Ferrari and MIT researchers study the sea. Both men realized the advantage of joining forces.

In 2017 and 2018, Dr. Schneider convened a series of workshops at Caltech, grandly called the Future of Earth Systems Modeling. “We just invited the best people in the world” to hash through the topic, he says.

Their consensus was that “the development of climate models was struggling; something was not working,” Dr. Ferrari says. “They were looking for new ideas.” Gradually, they concluded they should build a new model. They named it the Climate Modeling Alliance – the acronym CliMA is “climate” in Italian and Spanish.

It is “scary to start with a blank slate,” Dr. Schneider says.

But Dr. Ferrari notes, “By starting from scratch, you can clean up a lot of what has happened over time.”


Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
MIT researcher Raffaele Ferrari is working with a team to create a new climate model.
Building a disruptor
It also is audacious. The group mapped out a project that will take at least five years of work by teams at Caltech, MIT, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and other institutions – tens of thousands of hours of research. It will take money – at least $25 million – that typically would come from government grants, but that appeared unlikely early on because of the Trump administration’s disaffection with science.

And it threatens to ruffle feathers in the climate science world, especially at the established modeling centers, like Dr. Schmidt’s NASA group at Goddard. “I think they have oversold what they can do,” Dr. Schmidt says. Is a new model needed? “They would say yes. I would probably say no.”

There are three main U.S. government-funded climate centers: in New York City; Boulder, Colorado; and Princeton, New Jersey. Rather than compete with the established centers for federal financing, CliMA turned to private money. Soon, it won a pledge from former Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt and Wendy Schmidt, whose philanthropy for the environment ranges from oil cleanup competitions to deep-sea submersibles. They pledged most of the funds needed for the first three years, and with smaller grants, CliMA launched on Sept. 11, 2018.

John Marshall, who developed the oceans model at MIT, says getting funds from outside the government is “a hugely important part of the project.”

“I see the project as a disrupter, like an Uber project,” he says. “Any organization which has been going for a long time, it kind of ossifies.”

The other distinguishing feature, Dr. Marshall notes, is those working on it. “The model is actually less important than the team of scientists that you have around it,” he contends. In fact, the 60 to 70 researchers and programmers in the CliMA group represent a veritable United Nations.

Somebody put a map on the wall at the CliMA house, a converted provost’s home at Caltech, and asked everyone to pinpoint their homes. “There were a lot of needles,” Dr. Schneider says.

Meltwater from the Laohugou No. 12 glacier flows though the Qilian Mountains in China’s Gansu province. Glaciers in the rugged region are rapidly disappearing as a result of global warming.

A climate model that “learns”
CliMA decided on an innovative approach, to harness machine learning. Satellite and sensor information is freely available – much of it for weather forecasters. Dr. Schneider envisions “training” their model with the last three decades of data, and then routinely feeding it the latest updates. The model itself could “learn” from the data and calibrate its performance with formulas refined by AI, even as the climate changes.

Climate models work by dividing the globe into a grid. That allows computers to replicate conditions by calculating atmospheric formulas for each grid cell. These are not simple equations that focus only on the level of carbon dioxide; models now handle hundreds of factors that influence climate, ranging from solar radiation, particles from volcanoes, dust, ocean spray, and savannas, to agricultural fields and sea ice.

They do this in grid cells typically about 15 to 30 miles square and a few miles deep. CliMA strives for much smaller cells, but to model Earth’s whole atmosphere they would need supercomputers thousands of times faster than presently exist. Instead, CliMA will drill down on a sampling of smaller grids – some little more than 100 feet square and 15 feet deep – and use AI to teach the rest of the grid formulas from those samples.

By focusing on this level of detail, the CliMA group hopes to pick up influences on the climate that are often just roughly estimated. Chief on Dr. Schneider’s list is to gauge the influence of clouds. Low, flat, stratocumulus clouds gird huge swaths of the planet at any given time. But they are so wispy there is no good way of including them in models.

They “are really important for Earth’s climate. They cool Earth by about 8 degrees Celsius globally, simply by reflecting sunlight,” Dr. Schneider says. Existing climate models underestimate their effect – he calls it a “blind spot” – creating large uncertainties in the models. At extreme levels of greenhouse gases, Dr. Schneider says, stratocumulus clouds could disappear entirely, jolting temperatures of the Earth. It might be one reason there were crocodiles in the Arctic 50 million years ago, the most recent hot period in Earth’s history.

But the team had a problem. While computers have gotten faster and faster, the very mechanics used by computer modelers is creaky. They have to tell a computer what to do, step by step, in a “language” the computer can decipher.

Since 1957, scientists have often used a programming language called Fortran. It is fast: Once written, it causes computers to act with great efficiency. That efficiency is vital when the number crunching is as big and complex as it is in a climate model, carrying out trillions of calculations per second.

But Fortran is clunky and laborious to write. It must be further modified for today’s supercomputers. For younger programmers, it is kind of like ancient Latin. “If you tell undergrads you want help writing Fortran, nobody wants to get involved,” says Dr. Ferrari. “They think it’s the end of their career.”

Newer languages – there are dozens, with names like Python, C, and C++ – are easier to write, but they take more time to process in the computer. For the CliMA modelers, that was a dilemma.

“They said they thought they wanted to use Julia. I was tickled pink, really.” – Alan Edelman, a mathematician at MIT who created a new computer language (Julia), which members of the Climate Modeling Alliance are using (shown here with his corgi, Phil)
The man with the answer occupied an office on the seventh floor of MIT’s “CSAIL” building – the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence labs. Alan Edelman is known for bringing his pet corgi to classes and then dispatching students to find it when it wanders off. “He hasn’t figured out that the dog doesn’t sit there,” chuckles a colleague.

Dr. Edelman also is an award-winning mathematician who pondered the computer language conundrum, and developed a new language in 2009. He called it Julia, and it bridged the language gap, he says: as fast as Fortran, and easier to use than Python.

In September 2018, he got a “Dear Professor Edelman” email from Dr. Ferrari, and six hours later three fellow MIT professors who had been at the Caltech climate modeling sessions were perched on the narrow couch in his office.

“They said they thought they wanted to use Julia,” Dr. Edelman recalls. He immediately saw Julia and CliMA as a perfect match. “I was tickled pink, really.”

But Julia had relatively few users, and in California, Dr. Schneider was worried it might flop. “Everyone was excited about Julia – so much so that I was very nervous, because it felt like too much groupthink,” he recalls. “What we’re trying to do has its own risk. Do we really want to load the risk of a new language on top of it?”

But the simplicity of using Julia was a game-changer. When the CliMA group began to cautiously use the new language, Dr. Edelman suddenly realized that other scientists and younger graduate students were poking their heads into his lab to learn about this new whiz-fast programming tool. People from different disciplines were interacting. “I didn’t see this coming,” he says.

The group at CliMA was quickly convinced. “There was no way we could have done it with another language,” Dr. Ferrari says. “After three or four months, we realized there was no way we could go back.”

“Julia paid off for us better than they would have imagined,” Dr. Schneider admits.

With Julia, the team released CliMA 0.1, part of the first version of the model, in June. Dr. Schneider says their work is ahead of schedule, and he is encouraged.

They are a step toward providing climate information that will be useful at a local or regional level, helping predict the frequency of droughts, extreme rainfalls, heat waves, and major storms. Dr. Schneider even envisions a cellphone app that could give information to anyone contemplating, say, the purchase of a house or planning future crops for a farm.

“You need granular information on a local level,” Dr. Schneider says. “The challenge, in the climate area, is how to make information actionable. There’s a large gap between what we scientists communicate and what people can actually use.”

To bridge that, they are looking to weather forecasters. “When they tell you that tomorrow it might rain, you don’t know exactly what to do. You want to know whether the probability is 10% or 100%,” Dr. Ferrari says. “If it’s 10%, you’re going to get an umbrella; if it’s 100% you might not go for a hike. So knowing that ... is crucial.”

Ultimately, he and Dr. Schneider say, they expect to achieve that.

“We’ll see at the end,” Dr. Ferrari says. “It’s always a mistake to say that you shouldn’t try something new. Because that’s how you change the world.”
Wos, is that you?
FIGHT LAUGH FEAST

“Liberal Christianity” may be more appealing to the masses than “conservative Christianity,” -TNLawPiper

I am become meme,
Destroyer of shorts -Elon

User avatar
Del
Sneaky Snusser
Sneaky Snusser
Posts: 44003
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Madison, WI
Contact:

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by Del » Thu Feb 04, 2021 8:16 pm

The Climate Dogmatists have reached their High Middle Ages.


The Crusade is under way, and woe to the heretics and unbelievers!
G.K. Chesterton — 'It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.'

User avatar
wosbald
Lonergan Fan Club President
Lonergan Fan Club President
Posts: 23531
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: The Climate Change Thread

Post by wosbald » Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:00 pm

+JMJ+

Tribes, faith leaders petition Biden to end Enbridge Line 3 pipeline [In-Depth]
Image

Image
Protesters demonstrate against the Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline in northwestern Minnesota on Dec. 17, 2020. (Sarah LittleRedfeather/Honor the Earth)

Native tribes and faith leaders are together calling on President Joe Biden to intervene in the ongoing construction of the long-contested Line 3 pipeline in northern Minnesota.

Nearly 3,800 people have signed a petition organized by Interfaith Power & Light. The petition, along with a separate letter signed by 345 faith leaders and organizations, asks that the president use executive actions to stop the $2.6 billion Enbridge Energy project — a 1,097-mile replacement pipeline that, once complete, would transport daily 915,000 barrels of Canadian tar sands oil, which produces larger quantities of greenhouse gas emissions than typical crude oil.

Opponents of the Line 3 pipeline say it will exacerbate climate change — estimating its emissions will be the equivalent of pollution from 50 coal-fired power plants — and is unnecessary at a time when infrastructure investments should shift toward clean energy. Indigenous tribes, led by the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, add that Line 3, which would span 337 miles in Minnesota, violates their land rights under treaties and endangers wetlands where wild rice grows, and other places they consider sacred.

Appealing to Biden's Catholic faith, the petition quotes Pope Francis' 2015 encyclical "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home," where he wrote that the Earth "now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted" through irresponsible use of the planet's resources.

"In your inaugural address, you said 'a cry for survival comes from the planet itself.' We hear that cry," the interfaith petition reads, "it is being sung by our Indigenous siblings standing in the cold Minnesota winter against this destruction of the sacred. Join their prayer and stand against Line 3."

The petition and letter are part of an ongoing campaign that has united the faith community with Indigenous tribes and environmentalists against the oil pipeline. In the six years since the fight against Line 3 began, faith groups and clergy have been present at prayer circles, public hearings and demonstrations where some have been arrested.

Image
Faith leaders form a prayer circle inside the office of Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz as part of an action opposing the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline in February 2020. (Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light)

During a Feb. 10 digital rally, Tara Houska, who is Ojibwe from Couchiching First Nation and a tribal attorney, said it was "really powerful" to see people of faith come together with Indigenous communities in this stand.

Speaking from the Welcome Water Protectors Camp in Palisade, one of the frontline camps along the bank of the Mississippi River, roughly 200 yards from one of the Enbridge construction sites, Houska said they are fighting to protect the wild rice and, with it, the culture of their people.

The pipeline, she added, represents a mentality where "we're taught that we must extract to live, rather than to live in balance and to live in a way that respects all life."

"That's what this fight is really about. It's not just the expansion of the tar sands and climate crisis and fossil fuels and emissions and all those things. … Water is life. We can't live without it," Houska said.

Construction of the replacement pipeline began in early December, after Enbridge received final permits from state agencies, including the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, which denied tribal requests to place a stay on construction until the appeals process plays out.

Tribal leaders and their allies say that Enbridge is rushing to complete construction before they have their day in court.

[…]

Alberta, Canada-based Enbridge, one of the world's largest pipeline companies, has said the pipeline renovation is essential to safer transportation of the tar sands oil. The project is expected to employ 4,000 workers and to substantially increase pipeline capacity.

But opponents argue that transporting the oil at all poses a danger by extending reliance on fossil fuels. They add that construction will damage the ecosystem and tribal lands, in addition to the he possibility of destructive oil spills. They have also raised safety questions, after one worker died in an accident in late December, and another last week was trapped in a piece of machinery that fell into a wetland.

Image
Winona LaDuke, a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and executive director of Honor the Earth, speaks during a digital rally Feb. 10. LaDuke and other tribal and faith leaders spoke about their efforts to end the long-contested Line 3 pipeline in northern Minnesota. (EarthBeat screenshot)

Enbridge did not respond to a request for comment. In past press statements, the company has said it passed years of regulatory reviews and has 70 public comment meetings. It has called safety "a top priority," and in response to concerns the project would become a COVID-19 super-spreader event, it conducts regular testing and is following public health guidelines.

Demonstrations against the pipeline have been occurring almost daily, and pipeline opponents say there is an increasing police presence. On Feb. 10, two "water protectors" were arrested after locking themselves to construction equipment near Fond du Lac. Another six people were also arrested.

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

Post Reply