Global Warming Facts and Effects – Global Warming Climate Change

February 25, 2013

Thousands rally in Washington against climate change

Category: Uncategorized – 12:36 am

Solving Climate Change – Follow the Money by Peter Meisen

Category: Uncategorized – 12:36 am

by: Peter Meisen

Climate change is the challenge of our time. It’s not our only global problem: terrorism, water shortages, fishery depletion, pervasive hunger and poverty all persist on the planet. Yet climate affects everything, and how we deal with this issue will make matters better or worse for all the rest.

Over the past century, our energy investments have created a wealthy, dynamic global economy. We now understand that continuing this path is unsustainable as fossil fuel resources decline and environmentally destructive carbon dioxide emissions accumulate — threatening our economy and way of life.

The only way to shift the direction of climate change is to shift our energy investments.

The International Energy Agency projects that $9-$15 trillion will be invested in the next few decades to meet the world’s growing energy demand. To tackle climate change, it is essential that renewables, clean technologies and energy efficiency receive the lion’s share of this investment.

Entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, pension funds and individual investors will drive this transition and benefit handsomely. Formerly known as “alternative energy,” this new sector has become mainstream, creating thousands of new jobs in research and manufacturing. The opportunities are global, as India and China strive to raise living standards of 2 billion people. So far, these two nations have followed the same energy path as the west. Solving climate change will require both the west and east to cooperate and invest in the transition from fossil fuels to renewables.

Growth rates for renewables are impressive, with wind and solar industries increasing 20% – 40% each year since 2000. The commercialization of these renewables has attracted Shell, General Electric, British Petroleum and other energy multinationals to initiate significant financial commitments. Yet solar, wind and geothermal remain less than 2% of the global energy mix, even though some experts suggest that these renewables could supply 50% of our energy requirements in 2050. That would be a 2,500% increase from today’s level, offering investors strong return potential.

Efficiencies are coming from government policy and technical breakthroughs. Several countries and states are banishing the incandescent bulb for the more efficient compact florescent (CFL). Looking forward, the light-emitting diode (LED) is the next generation of energy efficient lighting, using just a fraction of today’s wattage-wasting bulbs. Gas-electric hybrid cars get 2-3 times the mileage of our current Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard fleets, with the promise of plug-in hybrids getting over 100 miles per gallon. Breakthroughs will double solar cell efficiency and windmills have grown to megawatt-size turbines. Each of these new technologies is a huge business opportunity, creating new jobs while improving both efficiency and performance.

The first warnings about carbon dioxide emissions came 50 years ago. Like cigarettes, the consequences seemed so far in the future that doing nothing was easier than making any real change. Now, the leading scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have projected a warmer world, rising sea levels, stronger storms, species extinction and spreading topical diseases. Minimizing these effects would clearly benefit all humanity.

Most everyone has now seen the Earth at Night visual from NASA — a beautiful nighttime mosaic of our planet from space. Presently, two-thirds of all those lights come from fossil fuel power generation. Coal and natural gas remain the fuels of choice for generating electricity, while petroleum is used predominately for cars, trucks, trains and planes. We are truly addicted to fossil fuels to run our modern society.

If we continue building and funding the world’s energy needs as we did in the last century, we deserve the consequences. If we embrace the “energy revolution” (Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, September 24, 2007), investments in clean energy solutions will flourish and dominate the 21st Century. Climate change will be solved by shifting investments from fossil fuels to renewables, clean tech and energy efficiency. To track our progress, follow the money.

Peter Meisen (info(at) is President of the Global Energy Network Institute. GENI ( focuses on the interconnection of electric grids between nations, with an emphasis on tapping abundant local and remote renewable energy resources. GENI partnered with KLD Research and Analytics ( to launch the KLD Global Climate 100 Index – an index of 100 global companies that demonstrate leadership in providing solutions to climate change through the themes of renewable energy, clean technology, efficiency and future fuels.


February 18, 2013

Climate Change in Obama State of the Union

Category: Uncategorized – 12:08 am

Will Climate Crush Society? by Stephen Ewings

Category: Uncategorized – 12:08 am

by: Stephen Ewings

What affect will climate change have on our society as we know it? This question poses considerable analytical problems for governments around the world. We all watched the events of Hurricane Katrina unfold on our TV screens as the storm developed over the Gulf of Mexico. We saw how this storm intensified and struck the coast of the USA with the ferocity unparalleled in recorded memory. These events unfolded before our eyes and we were shocked at the aftermath, where we saw civil society breakdown into what some called total anarchy. Now imagine the same event only 10 times worse, that is what the world could be facing if the trends in climate change continue.

We are increasingly a coastal species, 44% of the world’s population lives within 150 km (approx 100 miles) of the coast. This is more people than inhabited the entire planet in 1950. Mass migration to the coasts will continue in the decades ahead. Most of this population growth is concentrated in large coastal cities. As coastal population grows, along with the activities that accompany this growth, the coastlines are radically altered. Clearing, land reclamation, and channelling for flood and tidal waters destroy coastal wetlands. Port development, road building, coastal construction, tourist resorts and the mining of beach sand for construction material obliterate shorelines. These activities often increase coastal erosion and damage habitats, for example, seagrass beds are destroyed by boat propellers and coral reefs poisoned, often away from the development site.

Much of our scientific research has focussed on trying to understand the way that Climate Change and Global Warming affects the planet. Recently, we are also turning our attention to the human cost that these changes are having on our society. One area of research that has attracted considerable attention has been what effect weather has on crime and social disorder.

If the predictions of Global Warming and Climate Change are correct then society will have to develop adaptation and mitigation strategies to combat these dramatic changes. Hurricane Katrina provides us with a window into the aftermath of extreme weather events and allows us to look other social problems such as crime, health, and mental health enabling us address these issues.

Let us look at crime for example. After the Katrina destroyed most of New Orleans some residents of New Orleans who remained in the city began looting stores and competing for the scares resources available. This also happened in Mississippi were residents looted their local stores and casinos. Many looters were in search of food and water that were not available to them through any other means.

The world saw a city of carjacking, murders, thefts, and rapes that flooded the news. The response of the governments in the USA to the social disorder and crime was to send in thousands of National Guard and federal troops along with numbers of local law enforcement agents from across the country by the state to bring law and order back to the city and to prevent any further social disorder. “They have M16s and are locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill and I expect they will,” Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco said. A number of arrests were made throughout the affected area, including near the New Orleans Convention Center. A temporary jail was constructed of chain link cages in the city train station. On the face of it, how society deals with climate change and crime are just as important as the other massive challenges that face governments.

In terms of health, climatic changes over recent decades have already affected some health outcomes. The World Health Organisation estimated, in its “World Health Report 2002”, that climate change was estimated to be responsible in 2000 for approximately 2.4% of worldwide diarrhoea, and 6% of malaria in some middle-income countries. Warmer average temperatures combined with increased climatic variability alter the pattern of exposure to thermal extremes and resultant health impacts, in both summer and winter. People’s mental health and related behaviour, is positively or negatively influenced by both external social and climate factors. According to the World Health Organisation, mental health problems are set to increase significantly by the year 2020, and will be the second greatest cause of illness after heart disease by 2050 if present trends continue.

The effect of the weather on anti-social behaviour has received a lot of attention in recent times. It has been argued that there are always motives for this type of behaviour. It could be personal enmity, hatred or a hundred other reasons why people commit these offensive acts. Police collect every minute detail during the investigation for possible clues to identify the culprit and the motivation for the offence. However, did you know there is also research that suggests there may be other reasons why people commit offences? This research has suggested that the weather may have an affect on the way people behave in society.

Various weather conditions such as Heatwaves , high humidity, wind, pollution of the air and water along with overcrowded living conditions can greatly influence the numbers of incidences that occur. A number of weather-related crime studies in France, the UK and US have suggested that assaults, particularly domestic violence, murder, robbery and suicide were high following high temperature associated with the combination of other meteorological parameters.

If the results of these studies on weather and crime are correct then police, instead of responding after an offence is committed, can greatly help to prevent the crime. This also highlights the role of criminologists, environmentalists, geographers and meteorologists apart from the other sciences now have in helping combat the social conditions that we may find ourselves living under. Many have argued that we have to take proactive measures with cooperation from the police to minimise the occurrence of all offences in vulnerable areas by implementing various community-based development programmes and other eco-friendly practices like creation of green belts in the high temperature areas, enforcing tougher laws for industrial discharge (air and water), restriction on density of human settlement, etc. Such initiatives will greatly improve living conditions and hopefully improve our environment and lives.

Steve Ewings is the founder of and during the “daylight hours”, manages a range of renewable energy programs, focusing on proof of concept, technology development and early commercialisation. Before the sun rises, and after it sets he continues to develop and maintain the Global Greenhouse Warming web site (and teach an online climate change course). The science of the site draws on the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports and leans towards renewable, or at least very low emissions technology in seeking to answer the anthropogenic causes of global warming.

Since early childhood and growing up in the Great Victoria Desert of Australia Steve has had an interest in what is now often referred to as ‘sustainability’. This fascination continued in his undergraduate degree in archaeology and palaeoanthropology, gravitating towards exploring Indigenous colonisation patterns of Australia’s arid inland.

Steve said, “The idea that people sustained themselves for tens of thousands of years in an arid country leads me to believe that a particular philosophy underpins sustainable living. As a manager at Uluru Kata National Park for three years I had the pleasure of working with Anangu, (the traditional Indigenous land owners) and the same Pitjantjatjara speaking people I grew up amongst in the desert. This provided an opportunity to have a hands on role in managing one of Australia’s iconic landscapes and learning from the Traditional Owners.

My journey continues both in providing opportunities to learn from, and to apply past lessons in looking for solutions to global warming.”


February 11, 2013

James Hansen: Why I must speak out about climate change

Category: Uncategorized – 12:02 am

How Can Anyone Deny Climate Change After The Summer’s …

Category: Uncategorized – 12:02 am

by: Alison Withers

Since the UN has called an emergency meeting for September 24 2010 to discuss the issue of spiralling food prices this writer makes no apology for returning to the subject of food prices and climate change in this article.

The meeting has been prompted by predictions from “experts” that food prices are expected to rise by a further 10% in the coming months.

In addition riots have been taking place in the capital of Mozambique, where hundreds were injured and seven people died. The riots were prompted by a government decision to raise bread prices by 30%.

The tragedy is that the price rises are most likely to hit basic staples like wheat, rice sugar and palm oil – the basics that people can’t do without and that are used in so many processed foods.

They are also the foods that the poorest people around the world cannot do without. By mid 2011, according to Philip Shaw, chief economist at Investec, continued commodity price rises would push food price inflation up to 7-8%.

The situation in 2010 is not the same as it was in 2008, when there were also food riots in many parts of the world. Then it was caused by low global stocks of wheat. This time the problem is countries hoarding their surplus stocks and in some cases scrambling to buy more.

Part of the cause is that Russia, the world’s fourth largest wheat producer, has banned exports following this summer’s severe drought and warned that the ban may remain until after the 2011 harvest.

The summer’s extreme weather appears to have been the main factor and it hasn’t only affected Russia. Ukraine has been hit by unusually dry weather and Canada has had unusually wet weather while China and Pakistan have suffered unprecedented levels of monsoon flooding. An estimated 230 million people have been affected by this year’s floods around the world, which have left more than 4,200 people missing or dead.

Add to that the flooding and mudslides in Guatemala, the prediction that the Chinese harvests could be reduced by up to a fifth as a result of climate change and the fact that the UK’s seven warmest years since 1600 have been in the last decade and it is difficult to understand how there could still be climate change deniers in the world.

This all comes at a time when we know food production needs to be increased to meet growing demand from newly-affluent emerging economies like China and India, in addition to the predicted population growth up to 2050.

Two things need to happen and quickly. The first is that every country in the world needs to put action on global warming and climate change to the very top of its action list. That won’t be easy in the midst of an ongoing global recession, but it is hard to argue that it isn’t a top priority.

There is much innovative research going on, whether it is the ongoing development of genetically modified and disease resistant seeds or the work of the Biopesticides Developers in researching and developing low-chem agricultural products such as biopesticides, biofungicides and yield enhancers which are more environmentally friendly than the chemical-based products that have been implicated in various health and environmental pollution conditions.

The second top priority issue, therefore is that the processes of developing and licensing new and more innovative, as well as more environmentally friendly, agricultural tools has to be unified and speeded up across the world.

Copyright (c) 2010 Alison Withers
Consumer journalist Ali Withers asks how anyone can continue to be a climate change denier when the UN has called an emergency meeting this month to discuss spiralling food prices as food riots break out in Mozambique over a 30% rise in the price of bread and extreme weather across the planet continues.

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February 4, 2013

Climate Change – The Story No One is Covering

Category: Uncategorized – 12:12 am

Climate Change and Global Warming Are Not a Myth Judging by …

Category: Uncategorized – 12:12 am

by: Alison Withers

How can anyone doubt the accumulating evidence that something major and alarming has been happening to global weather patterns after this summer?

Unprecedented monsoon weather has put vast areas of Pakistan under water and displaced some 20 million people while mudslides have destroyed whole villages and towns in China. Russia is one of 16 countries that have declared 2010 its hottest ever summer and is facing the loss of up to a third of its wheat crop.

A large chunk of ice has separated from Greenland and Niger is suffering famine and floods and, again, the loss of its crops.

Is 2010 just one isolated and extreme summer?

Actually it’s not if you look back over the last decade and remember from the Tsunami across S Asia in December 2004, the hurricane that destroyed much of New Orleans, major earthquakes in China and Haiti, flooding in the Irrawady Delta, Indonesia, and massive fires in dry weather in Greece and other parts of Europe because of dry, hot summers.

To the British-born environmental campaigner Lewis Pugh, who was recently interviewed by Riz Khan, on the TV Channel Al Jazeera, there’s no question that the whole planet is at risk.

This is a man who has swum all the oceans, across the North Pole, where once there was ice, and in the Himalayas to highlight what is going on – and says he has witnessed for himself the changes that are happening in even the remotest parts of the planet, not just once but every time he goes back to these places.

He is in no doubt that the situation is urgent and of such overriding importance that all governments should be putting it at the top of their agendas.

Yet there is pessimism already about the possibility of agreement on action on global warming from November’s next climate summit due in Cancun, Mexico.

US chief negotiator Jonathan Pershing is quoted in a BBC online article on August 7 as saying that many developed countries are back-pedalling from the progress that was made at Copenhagen last December.

He, also, warned that the extreme weather events of the summer were “consistent with the kind of changes” to be expected from climate change and that quick action was needed.

This is all putting even greater pressure on our abilities to make progress in producing enough food – at affordable prices – to make inroads into a scandalous situation where more than a billion people in the world are suffering from malnutrition if not outright starvation.

Of course, for some, it’s all just another opportunity to make money. Speculators on the commodities markets must be rubbing their expensively manicured hands with glee at the fortune to be made in pushing up the price of such basics as wheat. Well, there’s no money to be made in sub-prime mortgages any more and investors expect a return on their investment.

There have, however, been a few bright spots in the week’s news.

They include an agreement between the US and Brazil that Brazil’s £13.5 million of debt will be converted into a fund to protect Brazil’s coastal rainforests. Ecuador also has announced a scheme intended to lock up up to a fifth of its oil reserves if rich nations will compensate it with &pound3.6 billion, equating to half the oil’s value and payable over ten years.

If agreed the scheme would protect its Yasuni National Park, one of the most bio-diverse areas of rainforest in the world. The UN Development Programme has agreed to administer the project’s trust fund and several EU countries are supporting the idea.

In London Ahmed Djoghlaf, secretary general of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, also spoke out against countries cutting their protection of biodiversity because of the current global economic crisis, warning that destroying nature increases economic insecurity, not to mention countries’ ability to produce enough food.

There are plenty of innovative ideas for improving the world’s food production, from Genetically Modified crops, through cloning to the Biopesticides Developers’ work on producing more environmentally friendly, bio-pesticides, fungicides and yield enhancers to contribute to increasing farm production sustainably without damaging the environment.

The sad thing is that too often governments are still relying on old and arguably discredited methods of pulling their countries out of recession.

While they are, perhaps understandably, focused on the current state of their own economies, if they don’t soon change focus to the global situation the question is what, eventually, will they have left to govern?

Copyright (c) 2010 Alison Withers
Surely no-one could deny climate change is happening after the summer’s collection of natural disasters from Greenland through Russia to Pakistan and China, suggests writer Ali Withers. When will governments give top priority to global warming and climate change and focus on that and sustainable agriculture?

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