BlueGreen Alliance

Good Jobs, Clean Environment, Green Economy

Jan 29

The BlueGreen Source for Thursday, January 29, 2015

YOU SHOULD KNOW… 

Republicans in Congress are looking to affect future regulations by trying to tie the hands of scientists at government agencies. (Washington Post)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"When you think of what's the greatest and best use of sites like these, the choice is really having it sit there or making it productive with solar panels." – Dennis Loria of Greenwood Energy in a story about installing renewable energy on Superfund sites. (E&E News)

WHAT’S TRENDING 

Gas tax – Conservative groups like Americans for Prosperity (AFP) are railing against attempts to fix our country’s failing infrastructure by raising the gas tax. But other groups, like the AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Congress supporting the increase. The letter said, “we urge you to support an increase to the federal fuels user fee, provided the funds are used to ease congestion and improve safety, because it is the most cost efficient and straightforward way to provide a steady revenue stream to the Highway Trust Fund.” 

Climate change in Congress – The House Natural Resources Committee has agreed to put climate change on its agenda. (The Hill) 

Looking up – Take a look at five reasons why investments in clean energy will be looking up over the next few years. (Forbes)

Cheap gas not a problem for renewables – The Energy Information Agency says cheap oil won’t really impact renewables but may cause U.S. carbon pollution emissions to rise. (The Guardian) 

BLUEGREEN LINKS

Triple Pundit: NREL Report Reveals the Steady Rise of Renewables

Center for Public Integrity: Republican bills take aim at EPA science, rulemaking

The Equation: Minnesota Scientists, Engineers, Economists, and Health Professionals Support Clean Energy

Duluth News Tribune (MN): Local view: Hottest year means Minnesota should act now

That's it for The Source today. Don't forget to tell your friends about this great resource. You can sign up here.

Jan 28

The BlueGreen Source for Wednesday, January 28, 2015

YOU SHOULD KNOW… 

Yesterday, Congressman Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, the Communications Workers of America, United Steelworkers, Sierra Club and the American Federation of Teachers joined the BlueGreen Alliance in calling on Congress to oppose “Fast Track” trade legislation that would keep trade deals shrouded in secrecy and remove the ability of Congress to protect American workers, our environment and public health. (Al-Jazeera America and San Francisco Chronicle)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“We need to put fast track on the slow track to ensure that the TPP is done right,” said BlueGreen Alliance executive director Kim Glas. “We need fair, transparent trade that doesn’t engage the U.S. in a race to the bottom."

WHAT’S TRENDING 

Blue/Green leadership – Utility Workers Union of America National President Mike Langford highlights the successful efforts of his union and a number of BlueGreen Alliance members in pushing for a new California law that will reduce methane leaks and create good jobs. (Huffington Post) 

Business and the Clean Power Plan – Here’s a thoughtful look at what it will take to get more businesses to support the need for climate action and the Clean Power Plan. (The Guardian)

100% - Students, teachers and parents are asking school districts in Charlotte and Durham, North Carolina to switch to 100 percent renewable energy.

Bad move – The West Virginia Senate has moved a bill forward that would roll back the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. (West Virginia State Journal) 

BLUEGREEN LINKS

Nature: Senate vs science

Bloomberg BNA: Rhetoric on EPA, Climate Show Divisions Among Republican Presidential Hopefuls

The Hill: Court battle set for Obama climate rule

Northwest Public Radio: Renewable Energy Capacity Equals Economic Growth In Oregon And Washington

New York Times: A Climate Hawk Separates Energy Thought Experiments from Road Maps

SFist: Now Mayor Lee Wants A City-Run Clean Energy Program, On His Terms

That's it for The Source today. Don't forget to tell your friends about this great resource. You can sign up here.

Jan 27

The BlueGreen Source for Tuesday, January 27, 2015

 

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

 

Source: Center for American Progress Action Fund

 

A new map highlights where every governor in the country stands on climate change and clean energy. (Think Progress)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"'I'm not a scientist' won't be a winner in the presidential field," - Republican strategist Ford O'Connell of the now common response Republican lawmakers and candidates about climate change. (Reuters)

WHAT’S TRENDING

In the courts – The Obama administration told an appeals court that 12 states should not be allowed to preemptively challenge the Clean Power Plan. (The Hill)

Worse blizzards – Climate change may drive blizzards to be far more severe in the future. (Washington Post)

2014 was hot – British scientists confirm U.S. findings that 2014 was a truly hot year—tied for the warmest on record. (New York Times)

$48 million – That’s how much Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Heisting-Simons family have invested in a Clean Energy Initiative that will fund local, state and national energy stakeholders. (North American Windpower)

Fast Track – U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman will testify before both houses of Congress today and will push for Fast Track trade authority. Leaders from the BlueGreen Alliance will hold a press call today to talk about why this is a bad idea for workers and the environment. (The Hill)

BLUEGREEN LINKS

Newsweek: Puberty Comes Earlier and Earlier for Girls

Minneapolis Star Tribune: As Midwest warms, its economy will suffer

The Guardian: We should not surrender to climate change

Houston Chronicle: BP witness says spill hasn't caused long-term illness

That's it for The Source today. Don't forget to tell your friends about this great resource. You can sign up here.

Posted In: The Source
Jan 26

The BlueGreen Source for Monday, January 26, 2015

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

India and the U.S. are cooperating to address climate change and boost clean energy production. President Obama said of the deal reached between himself and Prime Minister Modi, “Perhaps no country could potentially be more affected by the impacts of climate change, and no country is going to be more important in moving forward a strong agreement than India. So we appreciate his leadership.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY

The West Virginia Board of Education has failed in their attempt to cast doubt over climate science in the classroom. An editorial on the matter sums it up nicely, “Thank heaven, the state Board of Education finally sided with science.” (Charleston Gazette)

WHAT’S TRENDING 

The next trend – Expect to see an influx of Republican led states, like Kansas, attempt to take over workplace safety enforcement as a way to limit workplace safety enforcement. (KMBC) 

Cap-and-trade – A Virginia Republican state lawmaker is pushing for the state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative —a cap-and-trade program nine states in the Northeast participate in to lower emissions using market forces. (Washington Post) 

Solar – The looming drop in the Investment Tax Credit may put the brakes on solar projects around the country. (New York Times)

Florida – A commentary highlights the solar energy potential of the Sunshine State. (Pensacola News Journal)

Coming up – The BlueGreen Alliance’s Executive Director Kim Glas will be a featured speaker at the Symposium on Energy in the 21st Century on April 17 in East Syracuse, New York.

BLUEGREEN LINKS

The Hill: Santorum: Obama climate actions will have 'zero impact'

Los Angeles Times: The carbon that's killing India, and how California can help

Washington Post: The D.C. area’s unprepared for an emergency, big or small

Politico: After Senate climate votes, Dems see rift in GOP

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Full disclosure: Another toxic villain rides into the sunset 

That's it for The Source today. Don't forget to tell your friends about this great resource. You can sign up here.

Jan 23

The BlueGreen Source for Friday, January 23, 2015

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

Cities are responsible for around 70 percent of CO2 emissions. A new report shows cities like Boston could be emitting twice the official estimates of methane. (Climate Central)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“We are now upping our environmental focus and launching this new coverage to bridge the gap between the urgency of environmental and energy problems and a public that too often finds them mystifying, off-putting, daunting and dizzying,” writes Chris Mooney, Washington Post reporter about the newspaper’s environmental coverage.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Climate talks with India – As India Prime Minister Modi arrives in the U.S. to meet with President Obama, clean energy and climate change are expected to be a major topic. (USA Today)

Risky Business – An updated report on the effects of climate change—Risky Business—reveals Iowa’s economy and crop yields would be the hardest hit among Midwestern states. (Des Moines Register)

80,000 chemicals – In the past three years, the EPA has assessed fewer chemicals than ever in the pursuit of knowing more about what’s in consumers’ cleaning and other products. (Public Integrity) 

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Los Angeles Times: Environmentalist Tom Steyer opts out of Senate race

The Hill: State polls show lack of support for gas tax hikes

Reuters: U.N. asks countries for climate plans after record warm 2014

Daily News: Bill and Melinda Gates call for action 'right now' on global warming, see better future for poor in 2030

That's it for The Source today. Don't forget to tell your friends about this great resource. You can sign up here.

Jan 22

You Can Help Investigate the Link between Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events

 

 

How it works

Did you know that your screen saver time on your computer can help us investigate climate change? Yes! All you need to do is download the program and it will run actual climate models on your computer. These are versions of the same models climate scientists use to investigate the role of heat-trapping emissions in future scenarios.

Now, instead of scientists needing giant supercomputers to crank out 50 model runs, we have turned the world into a supercomputer. And we get thousands of model runs to better describe the changing statistics of extreme events.

Running multiple model simulations is a powerful forecasting technique. It is based on the premise of chaos theory, where even a small change in the initial conditions of the model can have a drastic impact on final results. This is the same premise of time travel in pop culture, where even a small change in events in the past can change the course of history.

As your computer crunches the numbers you can watch the changing temperature over an entire year using the historical sea surface temperature and other input data for that year. The action happens on 2-5 second intervals (depending on processor), equaling 15 minute time steps in the model. Your computer can finish a simulation in less than 2 weeks!

Screen saver image of model running. This is the vorticity field, a measure of rotation in the atmosphere. Image by author

Screen saver image of model running. This is the vorticity field, a measure of rotation in the atmosphere. Image by author

What we study

What can results from your computer tell us? Specifically, we study changes in the frequency and severity of extreme events.

We have published several studies on heat waves in Russia in 2010, Texas/Oklahoma in 2011, and the U.S. drought of 2012. We recently presented results at a major scientific conference on the role of human-made climate change in the California drought. Currently, we are investigating the role of heat-trapping emissions on heat extremes in the western United States.

You can be a climate detective

When I first started as a Masters student, I came across and interesting piece in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society on the climateprediction.net project. The article described how my own computer could run a climate model. This was very exciting! I was one of the first people to sign up back in 2004.

As fate would have it, my graduate school work was based on ensemble prediction, which involves running multiple model simulations, and is the premise of the citizen science project. This led me to where I am today, one of the researchers in the climateprediction.net project.

I am now a climate detective, digging through evidence of humanity’s footprints on extreme events. I hope you will join me on this fascinating and important journey.

Posted in: Global Warming Tags: , , ,

About the author: Roberto Mera is a climate scientist and Kendall Science Fellow in climate attribution. His work entails analyzing specific carbon emissions to determine how they are affecting global temperatures and extreme heat events. He holds a Ph.D. in marine, earth and atmospheric science from North Carolina State. See Roberto’s full bio.

Jan 22

From EDF: 2014 hottest year on record. What's your plan, Congress?

The following blog by Benjamin Schneider communications manager at EDF was originally posted on the EDF Voices blog. The original post is online here.

What many suspected has now been confirmed: 2014 was the hottest year ever recorded. If there was ever a signal for Congress to take action and slow America's greenhouse gas emissions, this is it.

Image credit: Peter Arnold

Details in the report, which was released Friday by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, paint a bleak picture:

  • Record-high temperatures were recorded all over the globe, including a scorching summer in Australia and thehottest summer in 500 years in Europe.
  • The ocean surface was warmer than usual, which led to destructive Pacific storms.
  • In records that date back to 1880, the 10 warmest years have all been recorded since 1997 (and except for 1998, the 10 hottest years have occurred since 2000).
  • Incredibly, the record was reached in a year without El Niño, a weather event that typically contributes to high temperatures around the world.

This is the latest, clearest signal we’ve yet received that the planet is in trouble, and it won’t be the last.

From melting ice sheets to surges in extreme weather events around the globe, we’re starting to see the consequences of unchecked warming already. And we risk severe, even catastrophic, consequences if our leaders don’t do something about it.

A vast majority of Americans support broad action by our government to address climate change.

If members of the new Congress want to show they are serious about governing, they will listen to the calls of the government's top climate experts and of everyday Americans alike. Our leaders have a responsibility to deal with this threat to the nation’s future.

While China has surpassed us as the world's largest emitter, the United States still retains a significant lead in per-capita emissions.

It’s well past time for action. Let’s see if Congress is up to the challenge.

Jan 22

From USW: Join a Union Be Happy

The following blog is from USW's blog. The original post is available online here

Posted In: United Steelworkers
Jan 22

The BlueGreen Source for Thursday, January 22, 2015

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

In 2014 U.S. wind power installations rose six-fold—adding 4.7 gigawatts of new onshore wind capacity in 2014 in comparison to 764 megawatts the year before. (Bloomberg)

Source: AWEA

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“It’s really disappointing,” to see leaders continue to ignore that reality, guest of the first lady at the State of the Union and climate activist told Salon. ”I’m hoping we can start moving past that discussion — which really is just limiting the time we have to deal with climate change and to adapt — to discussions about how we can adapt, and how we can move quickly to mitigate the impacts of climate change.”

WHAT’S TRENDING

$48 million to cut emissions – Two charitable organizations commit to providing $48 million over three years to help states reduce emissions. (New York Times)

Taking the gavel – As Senator Inhofe takes back the gavel at the Environment and Public Works Committee, the expectation is that he’ll pursue policies that weaken attempts to curb climate change and work to build transportation infrastructure. (The Hill)

Small town politics – Toms River, NJ mayor is ready to build up better defenses after Hurricane Sandy battered the town, but first he wants to be convinced climate change is real. (RTCC)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Star Tribune: Obama taps Brian Deese, longtime economic and budget aide, to replace Podesta in senior role

The Hill: Obama issues order on Arctic climate change

Reuters: India to push renewable energy drive during Obama visit

That's it for The Source today. Don't forget to tell your friends about this great resource. You can sign up here.

Jan 20

The BlueGreen Source for Tuesday, January 20, 2015

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

Five countries rise to the top on global renewable energy investments in 2014. The results are surprising. (EcoWatch)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Without a state production tax credit in place, surrounding states have a competitive advantage over Nebraska,” said Nebraska State Senator Jeremy Nordquist, a sponsor of one of the state’s proposed bills to boost renewable energy investments. (KNOP)

WHAT’S TRENDING

The big speech – The State of the Union is tonight. Many energy industry groups prepare for shoutouts in the speech. Our Executive Director Kim Glas was on The Bill Press Show this morning previewing it. (E&E News & The Bill Press Show)

135 years – In 135 years of record-keeping, 2014 stands out as the hottest year on record. (AP)

Stalling investments – A law that freezes Ohio’s renewable energy mandate is also putting investor interest in the state’s clean energy industry on ice. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Explaining the PTC – Colorado’s Senator Bennet explains the importance of the Production Tax Credit for the wind industry. (Durango Herald)

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Tampa Bay Times: Florida climate change researcher to attend State of the Union with Michelle Obama

Reuters: Papal text says man betrays God by destroying the environment

Climate Central:7 Things To Know About the EPA’s Methane Limits

Crosscut: House looking to pass a bill banning some flame retardants

That's it for The Source today. Don't forget to tell your friends about this great resource. You can sign up here.