(don’t) spend a penny

But the rise of bitcoin is also happening at a specific moment in history: Humanity is decades behind schedule on counteracting climate change, and every action in this era should be evaluated on its net impact on the climate. Increasingly, bitcoin is failing the test….

But what they might not have accounted for is how much of an energy suck the computer network behind bitcoin could one day become. Simply put, bitcoin is slowing the effort to achieve a rapid transition away from fossil fuels. What’s more, this is just the beginning. Given its rapidly growing climate footprint, bitcoin is a malignant development, and it’s getting worse…..

In just a few months from now, at bitcoin’s current growth rate, the electricity demanded by the cryptocurrency network will start to outstrip what’s available, requiring new energy-generating plants. And with the climate conscious racing to replace fossil fuel-base plants with renewable energy sources, new stress on the grid means more facilities using dirty technologies.

Grist, 5 Dec 2017

thanks to David Hanig

I know where I’m placing my bet!

Humans will be extinct in 100 years because the planet will be uninhabitable, according to Australian microbiologist Frank Fenner, one of the leaders of the effort to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. He blames overcrowding, denuded resources and climate change.

“For years now, we have heard that we are at a tipping point. Al Gore warned us in An Inconvenient Truth that immediate action was required if we were to prevent global warming.”

“Only two conclusions can be drawn: Either these old warnings were alarmist, or we are already in far bigger trouble than the U.N. Claims.”
Reuters, 18 Jun 2015

thanks to David Mulberry

frenzied beetles upset apple cart

Climate change could be throwing common tree killers called mountain pine beetles into a reproductive frenzy.

A new study suggests that some beetles living in Colorado, which normally reproduce just once annually, now churn out an extra generation of new bugs each year.

The insects, says Jeffry Mitton, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, were swarming close to 2 months too early that year.

It seemed so implausible that when he told colleagues about the encounter, some didn’t believe him. “This would really upset the apple cart,” Milton remembers thinking.

Science AAAS, 16 Mar 2012

back to the trees!

Climate justice is the understanding that we will not be able to stop climate change if we don’t change the neo-liberal, corporate-based economy which stops us from achieving sustainable societies. It is the understanding that corporate globalization must be stopped.

Indigenous Peoples, peasant communities, fisherfolk, and especially women in these communities, have been able to live harmoniously and sustainably with the Earth for millennia.

They are now not only the most affected by climate change, but also the most affected by its false solutions, such as agrofuels, mega-dams, genetic modification, tree plantations and carbon offset schemes.

Instead of market-based climate mitigation schemes, the sustainable practices of these peoples and communities should be seen as offering the real solutions to climate change.

The Global Justice Ecology Project website

All is lost!

From depression to substance abuse to suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder, growing bodies of research in the relatively new field of psychology of global warming suggest that climate change will take a pretty heavy toll on the human psyche as storms become more destructive and droughts more prolonged.

For your everyday environmentalist, the emotional stress suffered by a rapidly changing Earth can result in some pretty substantial anxieties.

Two years ago, Camille Parmesan, a professor at Plymouth University and the University of Texas at Austin, became so “professionally depressed” that she questioned abandoning her research in climate change entirely.

“I don’t know of a single scientist that’s not having an emotional reaction to what is being lost,” Parmesan is quoted saying in the National Wildlife Federation’s 2012 report.

Grist, 28 Oct 2014

countdown!

(CNSNews.com) – The world has “500 days to avoid climate chaos,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said alongside Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department on Tuesday.

“We have 500 days to avoid climate chaos,” Fabius said. “And I know that President Obama and John Kerry himself are committed on this subject and I’m sure that with them, with a lot of other friends, we shall be able to reach success in this very important matter.”

Fabius was referring to the next big United Nations climate conference, scheduled to open in Paris, France in November 2015, or in 565 days’ time.

CNSNews, 13 Mqy 2014

we’re the problem

When kangaroo numbers rise beyond the land’s ability to sustain them, we cull them. When rabbits breed like, well rabbits, we poison them.

Given the terrible damage that billions of humans are inflicting on Earth, why are we not controlling our numbers, albeit in more humane ways?

A report published recently by Britain’s Optimum Trust said: “The most effective personal climate change strategy is limiting the number of children one has. The most effective national and global climate change strategy is limiting the size of the population”

It warned in its report that each Briton produced nearly 750 tonnes of carbon dioxide in a lifetime, equivalent to 620 return flights between London and New York.

Britain is expected to add another 10 million people by 2074. Multiply that by 75 Tonnes and you get, well, Buckleys chance of meeting well intentioned emission targets.

Just as Australia will have Buckley’s chance of meeting targets – and that’s assuming that those who masquerade as leaders set any – if its population keeps growing.

Sian Matkins, staff writer for The Age, 8 Jun 2007 – screen copy held by this website

see also – in their own words

blind as a …

A changing climate could hamper the ability of some bat species to hunt effectively using sound, according to a new study. Bats calling at low frequencies will hear echoes from an object further away than bats calling at high frequencies, says study co-author Holger Goerlitz, a biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany.

One thing is clear: global warming will impact the pure physics of sound that bats use to echolocate.
National Geographic, 10 Dec 2012

important scientific study left incomplete!

Long-term global warming could cause loaves of bread to shrink in size due a reduction in the amount of protein in grains, Australian scientists have found. Dr Glenn Fitzgerald, a senior researcher for the state government of Victoria who led the study, said the amount of protein in the grain is set to reduce by 2 to 14 per cent if carbon dioxide levels increase as anticipated.

Asked about the taste of the 2050 loaves, he said: “We haven’t actually eaten them. We baked the loaves of bread for scientific processes,” he said. “They get dried out. I don’t know what it tastes like.”
The Telegraph (UK) 23 Jun 2013

as bald as a chicken

May was Earth’s hottest month on record — and as the planet gets warmer, chickens are struggling to adapt.

Their body temperatures rise, which leads to higher mortality rates and an increased risk of disease that may threaten global poultry supply in the next decades. Enter geneticist Carl Schmidt and his team from the University of Delaware, who believe that reducing a chicken’s feather count — making it look bald, basically — will cool it down and reduce health risks.
Time, 27 Jun 2014