2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #15
Posted on 15 April 2017 by John Hartz
A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. Articles of signifigance as determined by the editor are highlighted in the Editor's Picks' section.
An Indian court says glaciers and rivers are 'living entities.' Could the same approach work in the US?
A Hindu devotee performs a ritual as she offers prayers to the Sun god in the waters of the Ganges River during the Chaiti Chhath Festival in Kolkata, India. The Gangotri glacier feeds the Ganges. (Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters
Just weeks after a high court in the Indian state of Uttarakhand granted legal personhood to the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, the same court recently extended that same standing to the Gangotri and Yamunotri glaciers that feed them.
The finding follows New Zealand’s mid-March passage of a law recognizing the Whanganui River – a feature that the Maori people consider an ancestor – as a living entity. And the Indian court’s effort to protect the vanishing glaciers also carries religious overtones, since both the rivers and glaciers are considered sacred sites to many Hindus.
“The past generations have handed over the ‘Mother Earth’ to us in its pristine glory and we are morally bound to hand over the same Mother Earth to the next generation,” the two ruling justices wrote, according to India’s Hindustan Times.
An Indian court says glaciers and rivers are 'living entities.' Could the same approach work in the US? by David Iaconangelo, Christian Science Monitor, Apr 7, 2017
Déjà vu all over again: Heartland Institute Peddling Misinformation to Teachers about Climate Change
I have had the thrill of sharing the latest discoveries in the classroom with students who asked probing questions, when I was a faculty member of a University. That journey of discovery is one that parents and family members delight in hearing about when students come home and share what they have found particularly intriguing.
What if the information the student shared was not based on the best available evidence? Misinformation would begin to spread more widely. If corrected, the student might distrust the teacher who may have not known the source material was compromised.
This scenario is not fiction. It has happened and may still be occurring in some U.S. schools. Anyone concerned about this can learn more with an update forthcoming from those who keep track – the National Center for Science Education (NCSE).
Déjà vu all over again: Heartland Institute Peddling Misinformation to Teachers about Climate Change by Brenda Ekwurzel, Union of Concerned Scientists, Apr 7, 2017
China's Xi Outshines Trump as the World's Future Energy Leader
US President Donald Trump (L) sits with Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) during a bilateral meeting at the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, on April 6, 2017. Credit: Jim Watson Getty Images
Much of Pres. Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Fla., sits less than two meters above the Atlantic Ocean, meaning big parts of the resort could rest beneath the waves by the end of this century as seas rise in response to global warming. Already nearby communities like Miami Beach are flooded even when the sun shines, as higher seas push water up and out of the porous limestone underneath the ground in southern Florida.
China is no better off, with cities from Hong Kong to Shanghai at increasing risk of inundation. Other threats such as extreme weather, farms turned to desert and choking smog are all exacerbated by climate change that results from rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in the air. Even China’s efforts to combat those rising concentrations—in part by switching from burning coal to capturing the power latent in rivers like the Yangtze—falter in the face of global warming, as a result of less water in those rivers due to drought and the dwindling glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau.
But all that seems to exist in an alternate universe where facts matter, because Trump and China’s Pres. Xi Jinping apparently ignored climate change at their inaugural meeting last week. Although the two leaders apparently found time to discuss everything from North Korea’s nuclear capability to a potential reset of trade relations, climate change was never mentioned, even though Trump might have wanted to take the opportunity to directly fact check his Tweet from last year that China invented climate change to cripple U.S. manufacturing.
The silence was not a surprise, however, even if the focus
China's Xi Outshines Trump as the World's Future Energy Leader by David Biello, Scientific American, Apr 11, 2017
Sun Apr 9
- Americans Used A Lot Less Coal in 2016; Here’s Why by Bobby Magill, InsideClimate News, Apr 7, 2017
- Complacency threatens climate change action by Terry Macalister, Climate News Network, Apr 6, 2017
- More Renewable Energy for Less: Capacity Grew in 2016 as Costs Fell by Phil McKenna, Inside Climate News, Apr 6, 2017
- Déjà vu all over again: Heartland Institute Peddling Misinformation to Teachers about Climate Change by Brenda Ekwurzel, Union of Concerned Scientists, Apr 7, 2017
- Icebergs Are Swarming Shipping Lanes in the Arctic by Brian Kahn, Climate Central, April 6, 2017
- Church Leaders Are Begging Their State’s Senator To Give Up Global Warming Denial by
- We’re Hurtling Toward the Worst CO2 Levels the Earth Has Seen in Over 200 Million Years by Patrick Caughill, Furturism, Apr 7, 2017
- Trump v. The Earth, Opinion by Amy Davidson, The New Yorker, Apr 10, 2017 Issue
Mon Apr 10
- Huge blow': Back-to-back bleaching covers two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef by Peter Hannam, Sydney Morning Herald, Apr 10, 2017
- Rising Waters Threaten China’s Rising Cities by Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, Apr 7, 2017
- Is 100% renewable energy realistic? Here’s what we know. by David Roberts, Vox, Apr 7, 2017
- Climate change action is good for the economy – and Britain is the proof, Opinion by Michael Howard, Guardian, Apr 9, 2017
- Energy Dept. Scrubs Paris Agreement From Climate Page by Brian Kahn, Climate Central, Apr 7, 2017
- Yes, we can do ‘sound’ climate science even though it’s projecting the future by Kevin Trenberth & Reto Knutti, Conversation US, Apr 5, 2017
- Educators Decry Conservative Group's Climate 'Propaganda' Sent to Schoolteachers by Phil McKenna, InsideClimate News, Apr 10, 2017
- An Indian court says glaciers and rivers are 'living entities.' Could the same approach work in the US? by David Iaconangelo, Christian Science Monitor, Apr 7, 2017
Tue Apr 11
- Youth organisation wants legal push to reduce carbon emissions by Jamie Norton, New Zealand Herald, Apr 10, 2017
- How did the Great Barrier Reef reach 'terminal stage'? – video explainer by David Fanner, Guardian, Apr 9, 2017
- The Single Shining Hope to Stop Climate Change, Opinion by Michael Mann, Time Magazine, Apr 8, 2017
- Global Warming Could Thaw Far More Permafrost Than Expected, Study Says by Zahra Hirji, InsideClimate News, Apr 10, 2017
- There's Now a Mathematical Equation Showing How Fast Humans Are Wrecking Earth by Robin Scher, Alternet, Apr 10, 2017
- NASA puts the Earth up for adoption by Madeline Holcombe, CNN, Apr 10, 2017
- China's Xi Outshines Trump as the World's Future Energy Leader by David Biello, Scientific American, Apr 11, 2017
Wed Apr 12
- Great Barrier Reef at 'terminal stage': scientists despair at latest coral bleaching data by Christopher Knaus & Nick Evershed, Guardian, Apr 9, 2017
- Guess Who’s for a Carbon Tax Now, Opinion by Tina Rosenberg, New York Times, Apr 11, 2017
- China solar, wind to attract $780 billion investment by 2030 - research report by David Stanway, Reuters, Apr 11, 2017
- The Most Insane Claims From the Climate Conspiracy Manual Just Sent to Thousands of Teachers by Maddie Stone, Gizmodo, Apr 11, 2017
- There Was Nothing Normal About America’s Freakish Winter Weather by Brian K Sullivan, Bloomberg News, Apr 10, 2017
- Atmospheric CO2 levels accelerate upwards, smashing records by Barry Saxifrage, National Observer, Apr 10, 2017
- The March for Science is Getting Organized by Brian Kahn. Climate Central, Apr 10, 2017
- Scientists just uncovered some troubling news about Greenland’s most enormous glacier by Chris Mooney, Energy & Environment, Washington Post, Apr 11, 2017
Thu Apr 13
- Emerging nations urge rich countries to honour climate finance pledges - statement by Elias Glenn, Reuters, Apr 11, 2017
- Developing Nations Call for New Trust Fund on Forest Protection, International Press Service (IPS), Apr 11, 2017
- Heartland: What's your story? by Sarah, Skeptical Science, Apr 10, 2017
- Why the Hell Did the New York Times Just Hire a Climate Denier? by Kate Aronof, In These Times, Apr 12, 2017
- Ruins, Not Reefs: How Climate Change Is Fast-Forwarding Coral Science by Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic Magazine, Apr 11, 2017
- Scottish islands hold out for government U-turn on windfarm subsidies by Adam Vaughan, Guardian, Apr 13, 2017
- Climate change upsets lives guided by nature, Native Americans say by Ellen Wulfhorst, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Apr 12. 2017
- Where climate change is threatening the health of Americans by Jacqueline Howard, CNN, Apr 13, 2017
Fri Apr 14
- Scientists seek holy grail of climate change in Oman's hills by Sam McNeil, Associated Press/ABC News, Apr 13, 2017
- The quest to capture and store carbon – and slow climate change — just reached a new milestone by Chris Mooney, Energy & Environment, Washington Post, April 10, 2017
- World Must Reach Net Zero Emissions Sooner, Study Finds, to Reach Paris Climate Goal by Nicholas Kusnetz, InsideClimate News, Apr 13, 2017
- Hey Look, Another Record Low Month for Sea Ice by Brian Kahn, Climate Central, Apr 11, 2017
- Federal Climate Research, Targeted for Elimination by Trump, Lauded by Scientists by John H Cushman Jr, InsideClimate News, Apr 12, 2017
- Scientists can be advocates and maintain scientific credibility by Dana Nuccitelli, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Apr 12, 2017
- New study shows worrisome signs for Greenland ice by John Abraham, Climate Consensus - the 97%, Guardian, Apr 14, 2017
Sat Apr 15
- The World’s Snowiest Place Is Starting to Melt by Justin Noble, National Geographic, April 7, 2017
- Obama’s ‘clean coal’ investments are now helping Trump officials push fossil fuels by Chris Mooney, Energy & Environment, Washington Post, April 13, 2017
- Exodus From Canada's Oil Sands Continues as Energy Giants Shed Assets by Nicholas Kusnetz, InsideClimate News, Apr 14, 2017
- Suzuki wants journalists to forget the Dow Jones, report on climate every day by Elizabeth McSheffrey, National Observer, Apr 13, 2017
- The Carbon Brief Interview: Brian Deese by Leo Hickman, Carbon Brief, Apr 10, 2017
- Scott Pruitt calls for an ‘exit’ from the Paris accord, sharpening the Trump White House’s climate rift by Chris Mooney, Energy & Environment, Washington Post, April 14, 2017