Thor Hanson's new book explains the biology behind climate change and why some species may be better able to survive a quickly changing planet.
By Tara Lohan
When it comes to climate change, nature hasn't had the luxury of waiting for foot-dragging politicians or stonewalling corporations or science deniers. Countless species are already on the move.
"Just as the planet is changing faster than anyone expected, so too are the plants and animals that call it home," writes biologist Thor Hanson in a new book that explores the field of climate change biology.
In Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid: The Fraught and Fascinating Biology of Climate Change, Hanson talks to scientists all over the world about how plants and animals are moving and changing, and why some are inherently better set up for success than others. Hanson also discusses evolution-in-action, what happens when hundreds of thousands of species hit the road at once, and what we can learn from scientists with a front-row view of the climate crisis.
Hanson's own understanding of the climate crisis comes from decades of fieldwork where climate issues rose to the top, even when it wasn't the intended area of investigation. "You'd go to the field expecting to study one thing and come home with a very different dataset because the conditions on the ground had changed so much," he told The Revelator.
What have you learned about which species are most vulnerable to climate change and those that are better capable of adapting?
If you start to look for overarching themes in the field of climate change biology, one that comes out quickly is the difference between specialists and generalists in nature. And by that I mean the creatures or plants that are very flexible and general in how they can behave and adapt. Those are the ones that are particularly good at thriving under a variety of conditions. And there are many examples of this that we're so familiar with, like dandelions, which can bloom any time of year. They can grow in the gravel of your driveway and be small and tiny. Or they can grow in the lush area of the lawn that you water and be gigantic. They're just extremely flexible generalists.
So animals or plants that are in that category are already well-suited to cope with change.
The ones that stand out as the most vulnerable oftentimes are the specialists that depend upon a particular type of habitat or relationship. For example, the very tightly co-evolved relationships between pollinators and the flowers they pollinate. Sometimes it's one pollinator specializing on one particular flower. Those kinds of tight relationships are very much at risk from this kind of rapid environmental change.
Is it possible to quantify how many species are moving in response to climate change and how that's changing ecosystems?
I spoke with a number of people about this, but one in particular, a scientist named Greta Pecl, said that we know that between 25% to 85% of species on the planet are moving already in response to climate change. But when it comes to what that means and how those novel ecosystems with all these new neighbors will get along in the future, she said "we haven't really got our shit together on that."
It's extremely complicated to try to predict how these ecosystems will settle through this period of change. Animals, plants, pests, pathogens — all of these things are moving and recombining in habitats in ways that they never have before.
Are you surprised by how fast some of the change is happening?
Yes, the speed of the responses for some things has been almost instantaneous. One of the great examples of that would be the Humboldt squid in the Gulf of California. When the waters warmed, fishers and everyone there thought that the squid had moved on. It's a mobile species and things had gotten too hot and they disappeared.
But when folks went out and did surveys, they found in fact that the squid were still there and more plentiful than ever. But the warm water or the stress from that heat had triggered a complete lifestyle change where they were maturing twice as fast, reaching only half their normal size and eating different foods.
Their adult bodies were so much smaller and so different that they were too small to bite the hooks that people had been using for decades to catch these big squid. The few that they could hook, they assumed must be juveniles or maybe even another species, and they were throwing them back.
So that is an example of the inherent flexibility built into a species. We all have a bit of what they call in biology, plasticity. It's built into your genome to be able to deal with a certain amount of environmental change. Some species, like this squid, have a lot of it. Some species have very little. So it's the ones that lack plasticity that are more at risk.
That's an example of what we see a lot in nature right now is these plastic responses that are already built into species' genomes. But there are now a few examples of evolution taking place in response to climate change and taking place quickly.
One of these stories comes to us from a scientist named Colin Donihue, who did some work on a little anole lizard that lives in the Turks and Caicos islands in the Caribbean. Colin and his team were there surveying and taking all these measurements of the lizard because there was going to be a project to remove non-native rats that were eating the lizards. And they wanted to see the response to getting rid of those rats.
But two weeks after their field season, two category four hurricanes slammed across the island with extreme winds, uprooting trees and destroying structures and causing flooding. That took the rat eradication project off the books, but Colin and his team realized it was a rare opportunity to look at what impact the hurricane had on those lizards.
So they went back down there, repeated the same field measurements and learned that the surviving lizards had measurably larger toe pads and stronger front legs for gripping tight to the branches and tree trunks they were holding onto during those high winds. And the odd part was that their back legs were smaller.
To figure out why they simulated hurricane-force winds with a leaf blower and watched the behavior of the lizards. They learned that, in fact, they hold on tightly with those strong front legs and their back legs and tail flap out like a sail in the wind. So if you have smaller back legs, it's less drag and you have a better chance of hanging on through the hurricane.
They documented all of this and then went back again later and showed that indeed these traits were being passed on to the next generation. And then they looked at a broad sweep of anoles across the Caribbean and found that this sort of selection — this evolution — has been going on in response to hurricanes all over the place. Wherever you have frequent, strong hurricanes, the anoles in those populations have these larger toe pads and stronger front legs.
So you can really see the effects of extreme weather playing out just over the course of a few generations.
Are you ever worried that when people read about the ways that some species are adapting it may make them think that climate change won't be a problem for most plants and animals?
Yes, it's a concern, I think, of anyone working in this field. They want to document what's going on, but not give people the sense that everything's going to be fine. In fact, it's not going to be fine. There's still a great cause for worry. This is still a crisis.
It's always important in a discussion of climate change biology to call out that we have some very compelling and even inspiring examples of rapid change and response and survival. But those are counterbalanced by the many species that can't respond quickly — that don't have that flexibility — and that are at risk of perishing.
But what the study of climate change biology allows us to do is not to cease worrying, but rather to worry smart. It puts us in a much stronger position in terms of how we allocate scarce resources to these problems. If you understand the species and the systems that are most vulnerable, if you understand the ones that have some natural resilience, you're in a much better position to manage the crisis.
And another thing that can be in short supply is emotional capital. I think it's very easy to feel despair, to feel overwhelmed by such a large problem. So worrying smart also allows us to allocate our emotional capital, too.
On that note, did you come away from this research feeling more worried or hopeful?
When you think about all these scientists who've spent their whole careers studying species or ecosystems that might be really suffering, you'd think that they would have more reason to worry and lose hope than anyone.
Yet what I encountered, without fail, was people who remained passionate and committed to their research efforts really felt like what they were doing was making a difference. And I came away from that surprised and somewhat gratified by the power of curiosity as a response to this crisis. It's a balance to the negative feelings.
I mean, despair, if you will, just leads to more despair. But curiosity leads to learning. And it leads to action. I really saw that across the board with the scientists that I spoke with. And I took that as a message of inspiration.
Tara Lohan is deputy editor of The Revelator and has worked for more than a decade as a digital editor and environmental journalist focused on the intersections of energy, water and climate. Her work has been published by The Nation, American Prospect, High Country News, Grist, Pacific Standard and others. She is the editor of two books on the global water crisis.
Reposted with permission from The Revelator.
On her 82nd birthday, Jane Fonda was arrested. Approaching the capitol steps, Fonda was grabbed by the capitol police and put into handcuffs. But Fonda wasn't alone. She and 138 other people were arrested, and they were all there for a reason: the U.S. government's dismal response to the climate crisis. This kind of celebrity direct action is rare, especially among the Hollywood elite who are advocating for climate action as their new pet cause. Because of this it's more important than ever to dive into the celebritization of the climate crisis. Today we're going to figure out if celebrity advocacy is actually working as well as determine who is actually doing the work to build the movements we need to effectively foster a just transition.
Before we dive into the specifics of celebrity climate action culture, we need to first understand if their advocacy is even effective. The answer is… complicated. Indeed, as one paper puts it, celebrities like Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio have become the new polar bears, assuming the imagery of the new harbingers of climate change. But the ramifications of celebrity influence on various environmental issues can differ wildly. With their widely watched personas comes some amount of power as well as the filtering of political ideas and theories of change through that persona. Essentially, celebrities have become nodes through which many people learn about climate issues or perhaps are inspired to take action. So the result of this celebrity influence is very much dependent on the celebrity's politics. Some figureheads like Prince Phillip and David Attenborough champion false ideas of overpopulation and propose neoliberal and eugenicist solutions, while others, like Jane Fonda push for movement-based direct-action to end fossil fuel extraction. The spectrum of celebrity solutions to the climate crisis is almost as broad as the number of climate celebrities. But the way celebrities relate to movements, usually as figureheads rather than as comrades, perpetuates a "heroic individual" narrative that runs counter to anti-hierarchical, grassroots movement philosophies.
If you want to learn more about the celebritization of climate action check out the video above!
Our Changing Climate is an environmental YouTube channel that explores the intersections of social, political, climatic, and food-based issues. The channel dives into topics like zero waste and nuclear energy in order to understand how to effectively tackle climate change and environmental destruction.
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Over the past decade, rapid advances in solar energy technology, falling costs of clean energy systems and government-sponsored incentives have driven the popularity of installing solar panels to a record level. For readers wondering, "who is the best solar installer near me?" here's the good news: To capitalize on the projected growth of solar power, a large number of new solar installers and electricians are opening up shop across the country, which creates healthy competition for your business.
The growing number of competing solar installers presents both challenges and opportunities for a customer. One one hand, having more options may make for a more difficult decision. But on the other, savvy investors can use competition between local installers to their advantage. The competition between solar companies can lower the cost of solar panels, saving you thousands of dollars.
To make sure you're getting the best bang for your buck, we recommend getting free quotes from a few certified solar installers near you. You can get connected with top solar companies in your area by filling out the 30-second form below.
So, How Do I Find the Best Solar Installer Near Me?
To get a concrete understanding of the cost and process of installing a solar panel system on your home, it's best to contact a solar installer near you. Typically, most solar installers will offer a free consultation during which they analyze your current energy use, roof layout, budget, product availability and energy goals. Then, they'll offer a proposal customized to your specific needs.
To ensure they're securing the best possible value from their investment in renewable energy, savvy customers will get proposals from several companies and compare costs and warranties. Companies frequently run specials and promotions on solar products or energy efficiency packages, so be sure to ask about those when reaching out for quotes.
When choosing the best solar installer for your job, look for a company that provides homeowners with assistance when applying for the federal solar tax credit as well as any applicable local rebates and solar tax incentives. If applicable, installers will also help you get connected to the net metering program offered by your utility company, and most will walk you through solar financing options if you're unable to pay cash for your system.
It's a good idea to be familiar with financial incentives and financing options prior to your consultation to ensure an installer covers everything available. If an installer doesn't have a thorough knowledge of local programs or doesn't offer help with applying for rebates or solar loans, it may not be the best company to do business with.
Here are some other things to consider when looking for the best solar installers near you:
- Licenses and certifications: Legitimate installers hold state-mandated electrical licenses as well as North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certifications.
- Customer reviews: Checking a company's Better Business Bureau rating and reviews from customers around the web can give you a better sense of an installer's service.
- Additional services offered: Some installers have tree removal, roof repair, solar battery installation and energy monitoring services. If you need these or other solutions to complete your installation, look for a full-service installer.
- Financing options: Whether you're paying in cash, taking out a loan or wanting to lease solar panels, make sure the installers you're considering have the financing options you need.
How Do I Read a Solar Proposal?
Choosing a few top solar installers near you and booking consultations is the easy part. Once you get proposals from each company, however, things may get a bit more confusing. Reading and understanding those proposals is one of the most important steps in choosing a solar installer. Here are a few items to look out for in a proposal:
|Solar Proposal Element||What to Look for from Solar Installers Near You|
The size of a solar energy system is measured in kilowatts, which is abbreviated to kW. A kW is a common unit of energy measuring power generation — or consumption.
The size of your system will be based on how much energy you use in your home and will determine how many solar panels you need to purchase. For example, if you need a 5kW system and are purchasing panels with a 340-watt output, you'll need 15 panels. (5kW / 340W = 14.7 panels)
Estimated annual solar production
Your estimated annual solar production is a measure of how much energy your system is expected to produce in one year. You can compare this figure with the usage shown on your utility bills to calculate how much energy your system will offset.
Estimated energy burden
When creating a proposal, a solar installer will ask how much electricity your home uses each year. They use this to calculate your estimated energy burden, which reflects how much money you could expect to spend on energy without a solar system.
Watch out for number inflation here, as installers will often factor in rising utility rates over time. If an installer estimates a high energy burden, it makes it easier for them to calculate high estimated lifetime savings. If you get multiple proposals and one reflects a much higher estimated energy burden than the others, the installer may be using shady sales tactics.
Estimated lifetime savings
By comparing your energy burden with your estimated annual solar production, solar installers can estimate the lifetime energy savings generated by a system.
Compare this key figure to other proposals to evaluate which company may offer the best return on investment (ROI).
What Should I Expect from My Solar Panel Installation?
So, you've compared your proposals and picked a winner. A trustworthy solar installer will walk you through the process from beginning to end, but here's a good idea of what to expect when installing solar panels:
|Solar Installation Step||What to Expect from Solar Installers Near You|
Sign contract and submit paperwork
Customers should be prepared to provide a copy of a utility bill, a down payment (depending on their chosen financing) and a signature for their net metering agreement if applicable.
Obtain permits and approvals
Similar to some other home improvements, an approved permit from the presiding city or county is required for solar projects in most areas. The solar installer will handle the permitting, but this process can take a few days to weeks depending on the efficiency of the area.
Most energy providers also require approval for solar installations in their network. This can come in the form of a net metering agreement or interconnection agreement.
Once all the permits and approvals are secured, the company will schedule a day to install the solar panels, inverters and other equipment.
The timing will vary depending on the complexity of the installation, but most are completed in less than one day.
Both the presiding permitting office and utility company need to inspect the installation before it can be turned on. The solar installer will handle the inspection logistics, but scheduling and completing an inspection can take a few weeks.
Obtain PTO and turn system on
Once your utility provider approves the inspection and processes the necessary paperwork, it issues permission to operate (PTO). Obtaining PTO is the final step before a system can be turned on.
After this happens, your solar installer will notify you and walk you through the steps of turning the system on or come and do it for you if necessary.
FAQ: Solar Installers Near Me
Who is the best solar panel provider?
Though we can recommend some top solar companies that operate across the U.S., the best solar panel provider and installer for you will depend on where you live. We encourage readers to compare quotes from local companies, read reviews and talk to neighbors who have installed solar panels. Referrals are also a popular method for finding a trusted installer.
What is the average cost of installing a solar system?
The cost of installing solar will vary greatly depending on the size of the system, your location and the type of solar panels and other products you choose. On average for a modest system, one can expect to pay between $15,000, and $20,000 after the tax credit is applied.
Is installing solar panels worth it?
Unless you deal with a shady property, a rainy climate or an unfit roof, solar panels are one of the most reliable investments you can make. Most solar panel installations pay for themselves in energy savings within five to 10 years and last an expected lifetime of 25 years. Even if you intend to move, solar panels add to property value, so your investment is protected.
How much will solar help me save on my electric bill?
Energy savings depend on a variety of factors such as monthly energy usage, the size of the system and the size and shape of the roof exposed to sunlight. The best way to calculate estimated savings on your electric bill is to consult a solar installer near you.
By Jake Johnson
Amid a deadly northwestern heatwave that scientists have described as "the most extreme" in recorded history, footage uncovered by CNN shows Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin flippantly dismissing the established science of human-caused climate change during an event hosted by a GOP-aligned advocacy group.
"I don't know about you guys, but I think climate change is — as Lord Monckton said — bullshit," Johnson said, mouthing the expletive. "And by the way, it is."
Johnson — a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee — was echoing the sentiment of British conservative Christopher Monckton, a fervent climate denier who in 2010 led a Tea Party rally in a call-and-response decrying global warming as "bullshit."
"Imagine being a U.S. senator in 2021 while millions of Americans suffer from record-breaking heat, drought, fire, and flood, and being confident enough to say climate change is 'bullshit,'" tweeted climate journalist Emily Atkin, author of the HEATED newsletter. "Clearly he does not think there will be consequences for this."
Watch a clip of Johnson's remarks:
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) calls climate change “bullshit” at a Republican women’s luncheon in Wisconsin last month. https://t.co/DXG8QAZ2t6— The Recount (@The Recount) 1625664749.0
The Wisconsin senator's comments came during a luncheon hosted by the Republican Women of Greater Wisconsin in June — which, according to newly released satellite data, was the hottest June on record in North America.
"The heat dome above western Canada and the northwest United States generated headlines around the world as daily temperature records were shattered across British Columbia, Washington, and Portland," The Guardian reported Wednesday. "The new data reveals this was part of a broader trend that built up over several weeks and a far wider area, which is underpinned by human-driven climate disruption."
In a statement to CNN on Tuesday, Johnson insisted that he is "not a climate change denier," a claim belied by his past comments casting doubt on the consensus view among scientists that human activity — specifically the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere — is behind rapidly rising global temperatures.
"I absolutely do not believe that the science of man-caused climate change is proven. Not by any stretch of the imagination," Johnson said during a 2016 interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I think it's far more likely that it's just sunspot activity or something just in the geologic eons of time where we have changes in the climate... The Middle Ages was an extremely warm period of time, too. And it wasn't like there were tons of cars on the road."
Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.
A heat wave scorched the U.S. West just before the official start of summer, bringing record-breaking temperatures, worsening a dangerous drought and offering yet another example of how the climate crisis has upended our idea of normal.
The immediate cause of the hot weather was a high pressure system over the U.S. West, combined with the fact that soils are already parched from an ongoing drought, as The AP reported. However, these kinds of high pressure systems, or "heat domes," are unusual so early in the year, and this year's is particularly severe, UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain told NPR.
"It's not only unusual for June, but it is pretty extreme even in absolute terms," Swain told NPR. "It would be a pretty extreme event for August."
Burning Through the Records
The heat wave broke records from California to the Great Plains, including records for the hottest day during any month within 100 to 150 years. Here are some of the highpoints, as CNN reported:
- Palm Springs, California tied its all-time high temperature of 123 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday.
- Salt Lake City, Utah tied its all-time high of 107 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday.
- Colorado Springs, Colorado hit 100 degrees on the earliest date on record Thursday.
- Phoenix, Arizona broke a record by experiencing temperatures of more than 115 degrees for five days in a row as of Saturday, as AZ Central reported.
[5:43 PM] 107°F. We have now tied the highest temperature EVER recorded at Salt Lake City in any month of the year, in the last 147 years of records. It has only happened twice before: July 2002 and July 1960. #utwx pic.twitter.com/lySLjV748q
— NWS Salt Lake City (@NWSSaltLakeCity) June 15, 2021
The high temperatures continued across the U.S. West on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), but were expected to fall again at the start of this week, as CNN reported.
Even when relief comes from the heat, however, the U.S. West is still in the midst of a dangerous drought that at once fueled and was fueled by the heat wave.
"The drought is leading to extremely low soil moisture, which is making it easier for these high pressure systems to generate extreme heat waves because more of the sun's energy is going into heating the atmosphere rather than evaporating nonexistent water in the soil," Swain told NPR.
At the same time, the high temperatures further dry out the soil.
The drought, known as the megadrought, has lasted for two decades and about half of it can be blamed on greenhouse gas emissions, according to The AP. And there are chances it could get even worse.
"This current drought is potentially on track to become the worst that we've seen in at least 1,200 years," University of California, Irvine Earth system scientist Kathleen Johnson told The Guardian.
It isn't just the drought that has been linked to climate change. The high temperatures themselves were also predicted by climate models.
"Climate change is loading the weather dice against us," Nature Conservancy chief scientist Katharine Hayhoe told The Guardian. "We always have a chance of rolling a double six naturally, and getting an intense record breaking summer heatwave. But decade by decade as the world warms, it's as if climate change is sneaking in and taking one of those numbers on the dice and turning it into another six, and then another six. And maybe even a seven. So we are seeing that heatwaves are coming earlier in the year, they are longer, they are stronger."
In fact, the West could see another heat wave within the next 10 days, according to NPR. And more frequent and extreme heat waves are on forecast for the future if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Kristie L. Ebi, a professor at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the University of Washington, told The AP.
"Climate change is harming us now," Ebi said. "It's a future problem, but it's also a current problem."
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By Jake Johnson
As the United Nations General Assembly kicked off in New York City on Monday, activists unveiled a new version of their digital "Climate Clock" to spotlight the extent to which rich countries are reneging on their vow to invest $100 billion a year in a global green energy fund designed to assist developing nations.
The message was displayed in New York City's Union Square along with a climate-action timeline updated to reflect the alarming findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's latest report, which U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called a "code red for humanity." The new clock estimates that the international community has roughly seven years and 300 days to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avert the worst of the climate emergency.
"The new IPCC report sent a clear, unequivocal message: we are in a climate emergency, and without drastic corrective action on track for climate catastrophe," Laura Berry, Climate Clock research and advocacy director, said in a statement.
Organizers of the Climate Clock display in New York—which first went live last September—noted that the United States in particular is under fire from campaigners for failing to live up to its obligations.
"Africa needs countries like the U.S.—that are the greatest contributors to the problem—to also contribute the most to helping solve it," said Climate Clock global ambassador Jerome Ringo. "The United States is only 5% of the world's population but is responsible for 25% of the world's carbon emissions. We must contribute our fair share to the Green Climate Fund."
According to the Climate Clock's new "Lifeline" message, rich nations still owe nearly $90.5 billion in annual financing for the Green Climate Fund, a U.N.-backed initiative established in 2010 with the goal of helping low-income nations develop robust and sustainable renewable energy systems.
"Africa, like other developing regions who suffer disproportionate climate impacts from CO2 historically released by industrialized nations, deserves a lifeline," said Ringo.
The updated Climate Clock debuted as world leaders prepared to hold informal climate talks at the U.N. General Assembly, which is taking place just over a month before the key COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested it's unlikely that wealthy nations will nail down pledges to reach the $100 billion-a-year Green Energy Fund investment target in upcoming negotiations, despite lofty rhetoric from rich countries stressing the need to treat the climate crisis as an existential emergency.
"I think getting it all this week is going to be a stretch. But I think getting it all by COP, six out of 10. It's going to be tough," said Johnson. "But people need to understand this is crucial for the world. Some countries are really stepping up to the plate. Others, some G20 countries, need to do much more."
An analysis released Monday by the humanitarian group Oxfam International estimates that "wealthy nations are expected to fall up to $75 billion short of fulfilling their longstanding pledge to mobilize $100 billion each year from 2020 to 2025 to help the most vulnerable countries adapt to the dangerous effects of climate change and reduce their emissions."
Nafkote Dabi, Oxfam International's global climate policy lead, said in a statement that "the pandemic has shown that countries can swiftly mobilize trillions of dollars to respond to an emergency—it is clearly a question of political will."
"Let's be clear, we are in a climate emergency," said Dabi. "It is wreaking havoc across the globe and requires the same decisiveness and urgency. Millions of people from Senegal to Guatemala have already lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones because of turbo-charged storms and chronic droughts, caused by a climate crisis they did little to cause. Wealthy nations must live up to their promise made twelve years ago and put their money where their mouths are. We need to see real funding increases now."
Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.
By Tara Lohan
It's hard not to think about how hot it's been — even if you live somewhere that has escaped the heat in the past few weeks. When British Columbia clocks temperatures of 121° F, it gets the world's attention. As it should.
Here are six reasons why we need to be paying more attention to heat waves.
1. Deadly Numbers
Heatwaves may seem to lack the drama of other weather events with named storms and categorized wind speeds, but they're actually the most deadly severe weather event.
Last week's heat dome that locked the Pacific Northwest in a sweltering vice is an apt reminder. The prolonged stretch of record-high temperatures in British Columbia is estimated to have claimed around 300 lives. Another 76 deaths were reported in Washington and Oregon.
Across the world, things have been heating up — with deadly results. Between 1998 and 2017, heatwaves killed 166,000 people, the World Health Organization reports. That includes 70,000 who perished in Europe's 2003 heatwave.
2. Yep, Climate Change
Not surprisingly, climate change is making things worse. An increase in global temperatures has resulted in a rise in the frequency of heatwaves. In the years to come, climate change is expected to also make heatwaves more severe and longer lasting.
As people pump up the air conditioning and stay indoors, that also puts increased pressure on the electrical grid. New research found that these extreme weather events are triggering more failures of critical infrastructure.
Power failures, for example, have jumped 60% since 2015. The combination of excessive heat and blackouts in major U.S. cities would have calamitous results. In Detroit, the researchers found in their modeling, that could mean 450,000 exposed to dangerous temperatures and a whopping 1.7 million in air conditioning-reliant Phoenix.
3. The Dangers of Humidity
The most recent deadly heatwave hit the arid West, increasing concerns about wildfires.
An aerial image of the McKay Creek fire in British Columbia acquired by the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8 on June 30, 2021 during the region's record-breaking heatwave. NASA
Our bodies sweat to help keep us cool. But when the relative humidity is too high that moisture from our skin can't evaporate as well and we don't cool down. Scientists have identified the related wet bulb temperature of 95° F as the upper limit of what we can tolerate when conditions are both hot and extremely humid.
By midcentury, models predict, climate change will make wet bulb temperatures near 95° F a reality. But new research shows that areas in South Asia, the coastal Middle East and the coastal southwest of North America are already hitting that critical point.
4. Inequity Makes It Hotter
Not all people will face the same risks — even if they live in the same cities. Neighborhoods that lack tree canopy and green space, and have more road surfaces and large buildings, could be as much as 20° F hotter.
A 2020 study of 108 cities published in the journal Climate found that areas with higher temperatures are almost always the same neighborhoods that have experienced historic racist housing policies such as "redlining."
"This study reveals that historical housing policies may, in fact, be directly responsible for disproportionate exposure to current heat events," the researchers wrote. Another recent study in Nature Communications found that people of color have a higher risk than whites of high heat exposure in all but six of the largest 175 cities in the United States.
5. Wildlife at Risk
People aren't the only ones feeling the heat. The Pacific Northwest's recent heatwave also threatens cold-water-loving salmon. The Columbia and Snake rivers this year are seeing temperatures within two degrees of the "slaughter zone" that killed 250,000 sockeye in 2015, The Seattle Times reported.
When water temps rise above 62, #salmon are "more vulnerable to disease, and as temperatures climb higher, they wil… https://t.co/idBET1J1Vy— NWF - Idaho (@NWF - Idaho) 1624993175.0
The heatwave hit at the peak of the sockeye run, and also when spring and summer chinook and steelhead are migrating. Some fish are being pulled out of the river and trucked to hatcheries for spawning.
"We are crossing the line to temperatures that can be disastrous for fish," Michele DeHart, manager of the Fish Passage Center, told The Seattle Times. "I would say the outlook is pretty grim."
6. Vicious Circle
The hotter it gets, the more fortunate people who have air conditioning crank up the dial and the longer they'll need to leave it running. In a fossil-fuel driven world, that means even more emissions that will continue heating the planet.
Already 10% of global electrical use is from people trying to stay cool with air conditioning and electric fans, according to the International Energy Agency. Expect that number to climb as temperatures get hotter and more people become able to afford A/C.
The International Energy Agency reports that over the next 30 years, air conditioning may be one of the top drivers of electricity demand. "Without action to address energy efficiency, energy demand for space cooling will more than triple by 2050 — consuming as much electricity as all of China and India today," the agency reports.
That makes the need for high-efficiency cooling extremely vital. Not to mention more widespread use of renewable energy and, of course, drastically curbing climate emissions.
Reposted with permission from The Revelator.
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A new study has revealed an unexpected impact of the climate crisis: it's actually making Earth dimmer.
The paper, published in Geophysical Research Letters last month, found that there had been a significant drop in Earth's reflective capacity, or albedo, in the last three years of records.
"The albedo drop was such a surprise to us when we analyzed the last three years of data after 17 years of nearly flat albedo," lead study author and New Jersey Institute of Technology researcher Philip Goode said in a press release.
The new research is based on measurements of a phenomenon called earthshine. This is something it is actually possible to witness yourself, as NASA explains:
A new Moon occurs when all of the Sun's light is reflected away from Earth, and the side of the Moon facing Earth is barely visible, as illustrated in the above figures. Sometimes the dark face of the Moon catches Earth's reflected glow and returns that light. The dark face of the Moon has a faint shine, a ghostly version of a full Moon. The phenomenon is called earthshine.
The brightness of earthshine is determined by the earth's albedo, or reflective ability, NASA details further. Albedo, and therefore earthshine, tend to increase when there are more clouds to reflect sunlight.
Researchers have been measuring earthshine data from the Big Bear Solar Observatory in Southern California from 1998 to 2017, the press release said. During this time, they observed that Earth's brightness decreased by half a watt per square meter, with most of this decline occurring in the final three years of data measurements. This amounts to a 0.5 percent decrease in Earth's albedo.
Earthshine can also be influenced by the brightness of the sun, but the researchers found that the sun's brightness did not change at the same time as the effects they observed. Instead, they think the change is due to the warming of the ocean.
"The recent drop in albedo is attributed to a warming of the eastern pacific, which is measured to reduce low-lying cloud cover and, thereby, the albedo," they wrote.
They found that their falling earthshine measurements corresponded with a decrease in low-lying clouds over this part of the ocean, as measured by NASA's Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) project, the press release explained. The area has been heating because of the reversal of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which in turn has been associated with climate change.
While the dimming of the earth may seem like a curiosity, it could actually be part of a harmful climate feedback loop. A less reflective planet absorbs more sunlight, which means more heating. The study's observations therefore contradict one theory that a warmer planet would also be a cloudier one, and that this might help to put the breaks on even further warming.
"It's actually quite concerning," University of California at Riverside planetary scientist Edward Schwieterman, who was not involved with the study, said in the press release.
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That's why this coming Saturday they are celebrating this year's Climate Week NYC with a block party in an imperiled urban greenspace.
"This year during Climate Week NYC, we are joining forces to reimagine NYC as a city free of fossil fuels, a lush eco city fueled by 100% renewable energy," the group wrote in a press release sent to EcoWatch. "NYC has the opportunity to ramp up its efforts and design and implement the most ambitious climate action plan yet, setting an example for cities around the country and the world."
The BLOCK PARTY IN THE GARDEN will take place this coming Saturday, September 25 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Elizabeth Street Garden. It will feature musical guests including Patti Smith, Nikolai Fraiture of The Strokes, local doowop group Acapella Soul, Pathway to Paris co-founder Jesse Paris Smith and DJ Jonathan Toubin.
The BLOCK PARTY IN THE GARDEN will take place this coming Saturday, September 25 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Elizabeth Street Garden. Noam Galai / Getty Images
The event is co-hosted by Helm Bike, a new electric bike company, which is offering free test rides. There will also be boxing lessons from Overthrow New York, yoga classes from Modo Yoga NYC, a raffle, workshops, refreshments, chances for local action and activities for children. In case of rain, the event will be rescheduled to Sunday.
The Elizabeth Street Garden is a rare urban greenspace in lower Manhattan that is currently under threat from development. Since 2012, its supporters have been fighting to protect it from city plans to convert it into affordable housing for senior citizens, Thrillist reported. A non-profit organized to protect the space sued the city in 2019, and a decision is still pending.
"We absolutely need truly affordable housing, but we also need community green space," the garden's standing Executive Director Joseph Reiver told Thrillist. "One should never come at the expense of the other. Not when alternatives exist."
Pathway to Paris further argued that protecting the space was critical given environmental conditions in the city and the planet.
"Losing green space that is vital to community building and connection, in a district with one of the lowest ratios of public open space in the city, would be a major step backwards in the pathway to reimagining NYC," the group wrote in its press release.
Pathway to Paris was founded in 2014 by musicians and activists Jesse Paris Smith and Rebecca Foon and has worked since then to unite musicians, artists, activists, experts and ordinary people through a series of events dedicated towards turning the Paris agreement into reality.
Climate Week NYC is a yearly event hosted by the Climate Group and the UN to promote climate action.
"It is the time and place where the world gathers to showcase leading climate action and discuss how to do more, fast," the group explained on its website.
This year, it is running from September 20 to 26.
Republican Representative Louie Gohmert from Texas made headlines Wednesday after comments he made about climate change and the orbit of the Earth and moon went viral.
In a virtual House Natural Resources Committee hearing, Gohmert asked Jennifer Eberlien, the associate deputy chief for the U.S. Forest Service, whether the Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management can "change the course of the moon's orbit or the Earth's orbit around the sun" because "obviously, that would have profound effects on our climate."
This was not the first time Gohmert made comments like this. Last month, in an interview with Fox Business Network, he said, "We can't do anything substantive about the climate change right now, when the moon's orbit is apparently changing some, the Earth's orbit is changing some, according to NASA." It's unclear if the comments, which were widely mocked on social media, were made in earnest, or if they were Gohmert's way of insinuating that addressing climate change is impossible.
He may also have been referring to a debunked myth that solar flares are to blame for climate change, as he stated "there's been significant solar flare activity" before posing the question. Gohmert is a long-time climate change denier, having repeated other classic climate denier talking points over the years.
"The 'science-y sounding' reasons most politicians use to reject climate change are not primarily due to lack of education or knowledge. No: they are deliberately manufactured and offered as palatable excuses to hide the real problem: solution aversion. They don't want to fix it," climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe explained on Twitter.
The "science-y sounding" reasons most politicians use to reject climate change are not primarily due to lack of edu… https://t.co/55CIhfssBW— Prof. Katharine Hayhoe (@Prof. Katharine Hayhoe) 1623265741.0
For a deeper dive:
What Is Climate Change? Is It Different From Global Warming?
Climate change is actually not a new phenomenon. Scientists have been studying the connection between human activity and the effect on the climate since the 1800s, although it took until the 1950s to find evidence suggesting a link.
Since then, the amount of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases) in the atmosphere have steadily increased, taking a sharp jump in the late 1980s when the summer of 1988 became the warmest on record. (There have been many records broken since then.) But climate change is not a synonym for global warming.
The term global warming entered the lexicon in the 1950s, but didn't become a common buzzword until a few decades later when more people started taking notice of a warming climate. Except climate change encompasses a greater realm than just rising temperatures. Trapped gases also affect sea-level rise, animal habitats, biodiversity and weather patterns. For example, Texas' severe winter storms in February 2021 demonstrate how the climate isn't merely warming.
Why Is Climate Change Important? Why Does It Matter?
Marc Guitard / Moment / Getty Images
Despite efforts from forward thinkers such as SpaceX Founder Elon Musk to colonize Mars, Earth remains our home for the foreseeable future, and the more human activity negatively impacts the climate, the less habitable it will become. It's estimated that Earth has already warmed about one degree Celsius, or two degrees Fahrenheit, since the start of the Industrial Revolution around the 1750s, although climate change tracking didn't start until the late 1800s. That warming number may not sound like much, but this increase has already resulted in more frequent and severe wildfires, hurricanes, floods, droughts and winter storms, to name some examples.
Then there's biodiversity loss, another fallout of climate change that's threatening rainforests and coral reefs and accelerating species extinction. Take rainforests, which act as natural carbon sinks by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But as rampant deforestation is occurring everywhere from Brazil's Amazon to Borneo, fewer trees mean that rainforests are becoming carbon sources, emitting more carbon than they're absorbing. Meanwhile, coral reefs are dying as warming ocean temperatures trigger bleaching events, which cause corals to reject algae, their main food and life source. Fewer trees, coral reefs and other habitats also equate to fewer species. Known as the sixth mass extinction, a 2019 UN report revealed that up to a million plant and animal species could become extinct within decades.
It can be easy to overlook climate change in day-to-day life, or even realize that climate change is behind it. Notice there's yet another romaine lettuce recall due to E. Coli? Research suggests that E. Coli bacteria are becoming more common in our food sources as it adapts to climate change. Can't find your favorite brand of coffee beans anymore? Or that the price has doubled? Climate change is affecting that too. Climate change is also worsening air quality and seasonal allergies, along with polluting tap water. Not least, many preliminary studies have also drawn a line between climate change and the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that is still gripping much of the world. Future pandemics are likely to happen more frequently until the root causes, such as deforestation, are addressed.
Speaking of larger-scale issues, global water scarcity is already happening more frequently. The Caribbean is facing water shortages due to rising temperatures and decreased rainfall; Australia's dams may run dry by 2022 as severe wildfires increase and Cape Town, South Africa has already faced running out of water.
As touched upon earlier, it's one thing to be inconvenienced by a lack of romaine lettuce for a couple of weeks or higher coffee bean prices, but reports warn how climate change will continue to threaten global food security, to the point of triggering a worldwide food crisis if temperatures surpass two degrees Celsius.
Many of these factors are already contributing to climate migration, forcing large numbers of people to relocate to other parts of the world in search of better living conditions.
Unless more immediate, drastic action is taken to combat climate change, future generations will have to contend with worst-case scenario projections by the end of the 21st century, not limited to coastal cities going underwater, including Miami; lethal heat levels from South Asia to Central Africa; and more frequent extreme weather events involving hurricanes, wildfires, tsunamis, droughts, floods, blizzards and more.
What's Happening and Why?
Fiddlers Ferry power station in Warrington, UK. Chris Conway / Moment / Getty Images
The Earth's temperature has largely remained stable until industrial times and the introduction of greenhouse gases. These gases have forced the atmosphere to retain heat, as evidenced by rising global temperatures. As the planet grows warmer, glaciers melt faster, sea levels rise, severe flooding increases and droughts and extreme weather events become more deadly.
The Greenhouse Effect
In the late 1800s, Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius studied the connection between the amount of atmospheric carbon and its ability to warm and cool the Earth, and while his initial calculations suggested extreme warming as carbon increased, researchers didn't start to take human-induced climate change seriously until the late 20th century.
But proof of human-led climate change can be traced to the 1850s, and satellites are among the ways that scientists have been tracking increased greenhouse gases and their climate impact in more recent years. Climate researchers have also documented warmer oceans, ocean acidification, shrinking ice sheets, decreased snow amounts and extreme weather as among the events resulting from greenhouse gases heating the planet.
Numerous factors contribute to the production of greenhouse gases, known as the greenhouse effect. One of the biggest causes involve burning fossil fuels, including coal, oil and natural gas, to power everything from cars to daily energy needs (electricity, heat). From 1970-2011, fossil fuels have comprised 78 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions.
Big Ag is another greenhouse contributor, particularly beef production, with the industry adding 10 percent in 2019. This is attributed to clearing land for crops and grazing and growing feed, along with methane produced by cows themselves. In the U.S. alone, Americans consumed 27.3 billion pounds of beef in 2019.
Then there's rampant deforestation occurring everywhere from the Amazon to Borneo. A 2021 study from Rainforest Foundation Norway found that two-thirds of the world's rainforests have already been destroyed or degraded. In Brazil, deforestation reached a 12-year-high in 2020 under right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro. As it stands, reports predict that the Amazon rainforest will collapse by 2064. Rainforests are important carbon sinks, meaning the trees capture and remove carbon from the atmosphere. As rainforests collapse, the remaining trees will begin emitting more greenhouse gases than they're absorbing.
Meanwhile, a recent study revealed that abandoned oil and gas wells are leaking more methane than previously believed, with U.S. wells contributing up to 20 percent of annual methane emissions.
Not least is the cement industry. Cement is heavily used throughout the global construction industry, and accounts for around eight percent of carbon dioxide emissions.
Natural Climate Change
Granted, natural climate change exists as well, and can be traced throughout history, from solar radiation triggering the Ice Ages to the asteroid strike that rapidly raised global temperatures and eliminated dinosaurs and many other species in the process. Other sources of natural climate change impacts include volcano eruptions, ocean currents and orbital changes, but these sources generally have smaller and shorter-term environmental impacts.
How We Can Combat Climate Change
Participant holding a sign at the climate march on Sept. 20, 2020, in Manhattan. A coalition of climate, Indigenous and racial justice groups gathered at Columbus Circle to kick off Climate Week with the Climate Justice Through Racial Justice march. Erik McGregor / LightRocket / Getty Images
While the latest studies and numbers can often feel discouraging about society's ability to prevent the worst-case climate scenarios from happening, there's still time to take action.
As a Society
In 2015 at COP 21 in Paris, 197 countries came together to sign the Paris Agreement, an international climate change treaty agreeing to limit global warming in this century to two degrees Celsius, and ideally 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels; it's believed that the planet has warmed one degree Celsius since 1750. Studies show that staying within the two-degree range will prevent the worst-case climate scenarios from happening. Achieving this goal requires participating parties to drastically slash greenhouse gas emissions sooner rather than later. However, there have already been numerous setbacks since then, from former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrawing from the Paris Agreement in 2020 to world leaders, such as China, the world's biggest polluter, failing to enact aggressive climate action plans. Yet many of the treaty participants have been slow to implement changes, putting the world on track to hit 3.2 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century even if the initial goals are met. However, it's worth noting that U.S. President Joe Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement in 2021, and pledged to cut greenhouse gases in half by 2030.
Then there's the Montreal Protocol, a 1987 global agreement to phase out ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons, chemicals that were commonly used in air-conditioning, refrigeration and aerosols. Recent studies show that parts of the ozone are recovering, proving that a unified commitment to combatting climate change issues does make a difference.
On a smaller scale, carbon offset initiatives allow companies and individuals to invest in environmental programs that offset the amount of carbon that's produced through work or lifestyle. For example, major companies (and carbon emitters) such as United Airlines and Shell have pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in part by participating in carbon offset programs that remove carbon from the atmosphere. The problem is that these companies are still producing high levels of fossil fuel emissions.
While individuals can make a small impact through carbon offsets, the greater responsibility lies with carbon-emitting corporations to find and implement greener energy alternatives. This translates to car companies producing electric instead of gas vehicles or airlines exploring alternative fuel sources. It also requires major companies to rely more on solar and wind energy for their energy needs.
In Our Own Lives
While it's up to corporations to do the heavy lifting of carbon reduction, that doesn't mean individuals can't make a difference. Adopting a vegan lifestyle, using public transportation, switching to an electric car and becoming a more conscious consumer are all ways to help combat climate change.
Consuming meat relies on clearing land for crops and animals, while raising and killing livestock contributes to about 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization. By comparison, choosing a plant-based diet could reduce greenhouse gas footprints by as much as 70 percent, especially when choosing local produce and products.
Riding public trains, subways, buses, trams, ferries and other types of public transportation is another easy way to lower your carbon footprint, considering that gas-powered vehicles contribute 95 percent of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.
Electric cars and trucks have come down in price as more manufacturers enter the field, and these produce far lower emissions than their gas counterparts. Hybrid vehicles are another good alternative for lowering individual emission contributions.
Buying locally produced food and items is another way to maintain a lower carbon footprint, as the products aren't shipped or driven long distances. Supporting small companies that are committed to sustainability is another option, especially when it comes to clothes. Fast fashion has become a popular option thanks to its price point, but often comes at the expense of the environment and can involve unethical overseas labor practices. Not least, plastic saturates every corner of the consumer market, but it's possible to find non-plastic alternatives with a little research, from reusable produce bags to baby bottles.
Those interested in becoming even more involved can join local climate action organizations. Popular groups include the Sunrise Movement, Fridays for Future, Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, to name a few. Voting, volunteering, calling local representatives and participating in climate marches are additional ways to raise your voice.
It's taken centuries to reach a climate tipping point, with just a matter of decades left to prevent the worst-case climate scenarios from happening. But there's still hope of controlling a warming climate as long as individuals, companies and nations make an immediate concerted effort to lower greenhouse gas emissions. As the world already experienced with the COVID-19 pandemic, a rapid unified response can make all the difference.
Meredith Rosenberg is a senior editor at EcoWatch. She holds a Master's from the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism in NYC and a B.A. from Temple University in Philadelphia.
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Usually, humans huddle up in blankets to stay warm in the winter.
For the glaciers of Switzerland, however, the opposite is true. A ski resort in the Swiss Alps is using blankets to protect a glacier from melting in the summer sun.
"We lay the fleece over the glacier like a natural protective shield," Gian Darms, who handles snow conditions for a cable car operator called Titlis Bergbahnen, told Reuters.
Resort staff at one of Switzerland's most popular Alpine destinations are covering parts of Mount Titlis with a pro… https://t.co/f3oFPTr0My— Reuters (@Reuters) 1630102200.0
The strategy is being employed atop the 10,623-foot Mount Titlis. The mountain's glacier has already lost ice in the last few decades and is expected to disappear entirely within the next 50 years due to the climate crisis.
To delay this process, resort employees spend five to six weeks every summer covering parts of the glacier with protective polyester fleece. This radiates the sun's energy back into the atmosphere, preventing melting and also preserving the snow that fell on the glacier the winter before. The employees then remove the coating and use collected snow to fill any cracks in the glacier's surface.
While this is not the first year that the resort has employed this strategy, the amount of glacier covered has increased over time to almost 100,000 square meters (approximately 1,076,391 square feet).
"[W]e've been covering more and more in the last few years," Darms told Reuters in a video. "Almost 30,000 square meters [approximately 322,917 square feet] more this year alone."
The ski resort's actions are a symptom of how the climate crisis is impacting mountain glaciers in addition to polar ice. A 2019 study found that the European Alps would lose around two-thirds of their glacier cover by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced and more than 90 percent if no action is taken. Another study published this year concluded that mountain glaciers were melting at unprecedented rates, with the fastest-melting glaciers in Alaska and the Alps.
This has serious implications for the European ski industry, Reuters noted, and other resorts have attempted to cover their glaciers. The first time this was tried in Switzerland was in 2004 when white tarpaulin was used over the Gurschenfirn glacier above the Andermatt resort, according to the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL). Since then, seven other glaciers in the Swiss Alps have been covered. One small glacier at the Diavolezza resort was even "brought back to life" using this tactic, according to WSL.
A recent study from WSL, ETH Zurich and the University of Fribourg found that this strategy was effective to protect smaller local glaciers, such as those at resorts. In Switzerland, Glaciers under coverings experienced approximately 60 percent less ice and snow loss than other glaciers nearby. However, the strategy is not cost-effective on a wider scale. It would cost a little more than $1 billion a year to cover all of Switzerland's glaciers.
"The only way to effectively limit the global retreat of glaciers is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus the warming of the atmosphere," study leader Matthias Huss concluded.
The move reflects pressure on European fossil fuel companies like the Netherlands-based Shell to shift towards cleaner sources of energy in response to the climate crisis, The New York Times reported. It also comes around four months after a Dutch court ordered the company to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 45 percent of 2019 levels by 2030.
"After reviewing multiple strategies and portfolio options for our Permian assets, this transaction with ConocoPhillips emerged as a very compelling value proposition," Shell Upstream director Wael Sawan said in an announcement. "This decision once again reflects our focus on value over volumes as well as disciplined stewardship of capital."
The Permian Basin is the largest oil field in the U.S., and the sale comes as production is recovering there following the coronavirus pandemic, The New York Times noted. It produced 4.7 million barrels a day in August, which is up almost 400,000 barrels a day from January and represents more than 40 percent of U.S. oil production. In an indication that its decision is motivated by climate concerns, Shell said in its announcement that its Upstream division was concerned with creating "a more focused, competitive and resilient portfolio that provides the energy the world needs today whilst funding shareholder distributions as well as the energy transition."
Shell on its own has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and reducing oil production by as much as two percent per year through 2030.
However, the sale to ConocoPhillips means that overall oil production in the region will likely not decrease. Instead, it reveals a split between European and U.S. fossil fuel companies, Reuters observed. While BP and Shell have pledged to move slowly away from crude production and invest in renewable energy sources like wind and solar, ExxonMobil and Chevron have remained committed to oil and gas.
However, historically, both U.S. and European fossil fuel companies continued production despite being aware of the possible consequences of the climate crisis. An internal document from Shell written in 1986 warned of consequences like flooding and forced migration, as Benjamin Franta wrote for the London School of Economics.
ConocoPhillips now emerges as one of the largest producers in the Permian Basin, Bloomberg reported. The company currently holds 750,000 net acres in the Permian, and the sale will add around 225,000 net acres and more than 600 miles of associated infrastructure to that total, according to Reuters.
"We are very excited to enhance our position in one of the best basins in the world," the company's CEO Ryan M. Lance told The New York Times.
However, ConocoPhillips has also said it will increase its emissions reduction targets, Reuters reported.
Mapping Methane in the Permian Basin youtu.be
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