theremembrancer:

Global wildlife populations have halved in just 40 years, as recorded by WWF’s Living Planet Report 2014 and measured by the Living Planet Index. Wildlife’s continued decline highlights the urgent need for sustainable solutions to humanity’s increasing demand on our natural resources, according to the report released today.

Populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined by an average of 52%. Freshwater species populations have suffered a 76% decline, an average loss almost double that of land and marine species.

The report shows that the biggest recorded threat to biodiversity comes from the combined impacts of habitat loss and degradation, driven by unsustainable human consumption. The report notes that the impacts of climate change are becoming of increasing concern.

Read More »


About 3,000 species of wildlife around the world have seen their numbers plummet far worse than previously thought, according to a new study by one of the world’s biggest environmental groups.The study Tuesday from the Swiss-based WWF largely blamed human threats to nature for a 52 percent decline in wildlife populations between 1970 and 2010.It says improved methods of measuring populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles explain the huge difference from the 28-percent decline between 1970 and 2008 that the group reported in 2012.Most of the new losses were found in tropical regions, particularly Latin America.WWF describes the study it has carried out every two years since 1998 as a barometer of the state of the planet."There is no room for complacency," said WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini, calling for a greater focus on sustainable solutions to the impact people are inflicting on nature, particularly through the release of greenhouse gases.

About 3,000 species of wildlife around the world have seen their numbers plummet far worse than previously thought, according to a new study by one of the world’s biggest environmental groups.

The study Tuesday from the Swiss-based WWF largely blamed human threats to nature for a 52 percent decline in wildlife populations between 1970 and 2010.

It says improved methods of measuring populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles explain the huge difference from the 28-percent decline between 1970 and 2008 that the group reported in 2012.

Most of the new losses were found in tropical regions, particularly Latin America.

WWF describes the study it has carried out every two years since 1998 as a barometer of the state of the planet.

"There is no room for complacency," said WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini, calling for a greater focus on sustainable solutions to the impact people are inflicting on nature, particularly through the release of greenhouse gases.

theneweaarth:

In a TED talk about climate change, Lord Nicholas Stern traces the devastating environmental impact of the growth of various areas of the world, especially China.  Similarly to McKibben, Stern uses climate change to describe a “domino effect” of consequences across the globe, including war over natural resources and overpopulation of urban areas.  In order to meet the energy demands of a growing global economy, Stern urges listeners to invest in clean and renewable energy resources, which is also a solution McKibben offers to combat the destruction of the planet.  By using both negative examples of how climate change affects the planet and positive examples of how various cities and countries are supporting environmentalism, Stern, like McKibben, effectively convinces us that environmentalism is necessary and possible.

descentintotyranny:

Floods, forest fires, expanding deserts: the future has arrived
Evidence from around the world supports scientists’ assertion that global warming is already happening
Sep. 27 2014

Climate change is no longer viewed by mainstream scientists as a future threat to our planet and our species. It is a palpable phenomenon that already affects the world, they insist. And a brief look round the globe certainly provides no lack of evidence to support this gloomy assertion.
In Bangladesh, increasingly severe floods – triggered, in part, by increasing temperatures and rising sea levels – are wiping out crops and destroying homes on a regular basis. In Sudan, the heat is causing the Sahara to expand and to eat into farmland, while in Siberia, the planet’s warming is causing the permafrost to melt and houses to subside.
Or consider the Marshall Islands, the Pacific archipelago that is now struggling to cope with rising seas that are lapping over its streets and gardens. Even the home of the country’s president Christopher Loeak is feeling the effects. “He has had to build a wall around his house to prevent the salt water from inundating,” Tony de Brum, the islands’ foreign minister, revealed recently.
"Our airport retaining wall that keeps the saltwater out of the landing strip has also been breached. Even our graveyards are also being undermined – coffins and bodies are being dug out from the seashore."
Across the planet, it is getting harder and harder to find shelter from the storm. And things are only likely to get worse, say researchers.
As Europe continues to heat up, energy demands are expected to drop in northern countries, but equally they are destined to soar around the Mediterranean and in the south where there will be a desperate need for cooling and air-conditioning that will drive up power costs.
By the middle of the century, forest fires and severe heatwaves will be increasingly common while crops will be devastated and vineyards will be scorched.
Similarly, in the Alps, lack of snow and melting ice will make skiing, walking and climbing far less enticing for tourists. So if you are planning to cash in that little nest egg you have been nurturing to buy a retreat on the continent, think very carefully which part of Europe you pick. By this reckoning, Norway looks a good bet, as does Scotland.
Other parts of the world face different problems created by the billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide that we now pump into the atmosphere from factories, power plants and cars. In Asia the main issue concerns the presence and absence of water. In the south-east of the region, continued sea-level rises threaten to further erode farmlands and coastal towns and cities, while inland it will be water scarcity that will affect most people’s lives. In this latter case, higher temperatures will combine with lack of water to trigger major reductions in rice yields.
In its latest report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that up to 139 million people could face food shortages at least once a decade by 2070.
Perhaps most alarming of all the forecasts that concern the future warming of our planet is the work of Camilo Mora at the University of Hawaii. His research – which involved using a range of climate models to predict temperatures on a grid that covered the globe – suggests that by 2047 the planet’s climate systems will have changed to such an extent that the coldest years then will be warmer than even the hottest years that were experienced at any time in the 20th century.
"Go back in your life to think about the hottest, most traumatic event you have experienced," Mora said in an interview with the New York Times recently. “What we are saying is that very soon, that event is going to become the norm.”
In other words, our species – which is already assailed by the impact of mild global warming – is now plunging headlong into an overheated future for which there are no recorded precedents.

descentintotyranny:

Floods, forest fires, expanding deserts: the future has arrived

Evidence from around the world supports scientists’ assertion that global warming is already happening

Sep. 27 2014

Climate change is no longer viewed by mainstream scientists as a future threat to our planet and our species. It is a palpable phenomenon that already affects the world, they insist. And a brief look round the globe certainly provides no lack of evidence to support this gloomy assertion.

In Bangladesh, increasingly severe floods – triggered, in part, by increasing temperatures and rising sea levels – are wiping out crops and destroying homes on a regular basis. In Sudan, the heat is causing the Sahara to expand and to eat into farmland, while in Siberia, the planet’s warming is causing the permafrost to melt and houses to subside.

Or consider the Marshall Islands, the Pacific archipelago that is now struggling to cope with rising seas that are lapping over its streets and gardens. Even the home of the country’s president Christopher Loeak is feeling the effects. “He has had to build a wall around his house to prevent the salt water from inundating,” Tony de Brum, the islands’ foreign minister, revealed recently.

"Our airport retaining wall that keeps the saltwater out of the landing strip has also been breached. Even our graveyards are also being undermined – coffins and bodies are being dug out from the seashore."

Across the planet, it is getting harder and harder to find shelter from the storm. And things are only likely to get worse, say researchers.

As Europe continues to heat up, energy demands are expected to drop in northern countries, but equally they are destined to soar around the Mediterranean and in the south where there will be a desperate need for cooling and air-conditioning that will drive up power costs.

By the middle of the century, forest fires and severe heatwaves will be increasingly common while crops will be devastated and vineyards will be scorched.

Similarly, in the Alps, lack of snow and melting ice will make skiing, walking and climbing far less enticing for tourists. So if you are planning to cash in that little nest egg you have been nurturing to buy a retreat on the continent, think very carefully which part of Europe you pick. By this reckoning, Norway looks a good bet, as does Scotland.

Other parts of the world face different problems created by the billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide that we now pump into the atmosphere from factories, power plants and cars. In Asia the main issue concerns the presence and absence of water. In the south-east of the region, continued sea-level rises threaten to further erode farmlands and coastal towns and cities, while inland it will be water scarcity that will affect most people’s lives. In this latter case, higher temperatures will combine with lack of water to trigger major reductions in rice yields.

In its latest report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that up to 139 million people could face food shortages at least once a decade by 2070.

Perhaps most alarming of all the forecasts that concern the future warming of our planet is the work of Camilo Mora at the University of Hawaii. His research – which involved using a range of climate models to predict temperatures on a grid that covered the globe – suggests that by 2047 the planet’s climate systems will have changed to such an extent that the coldest years then will be warmer than even the hottest years that were experienced at any time in the 20th century.

"Go back in your life to think about the hottest, most traumatic event you have experienced," Mora said in an interview with the New York Times recently. “What we are saying is that very soon, that event is going to become the norm.”

In other words, our species – which is already assailed by the impact of mild global warming – is now plunging headlong into an overheated future for which there are no recorded precedents.

descentintotyranny:

World on track for worst-case warming scenario
Sep. 22 2014
Presidents, prime ministers and ministers flying into New York City on Tuesday for a one-day United Nations summit on climate change have their work cut out for them. And this is why. As the graph above shows, despite everything they have done so far, we are on a clear course to extreme global warming.
Since the ignominious 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, over a hundred nations have pledged action on emissions. The world has seen a major shift away from coal in favour of gas, which emits fewer greenhouse gases. Solar panels have become much, much cheaper and are being deployed in regions around the world, as are other renewable sources of energy. But the latest number-crunching – published on Sunday in Nature Climate Change – shows that none of this is enough.
"Our study shows no progress in curbing global carbon emissions," says Corinne Le Quéré at the University of East Anglia in the UK. Global carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning and cement production grew 2.3 per cent in 2013. They are expected to increase a further 2.5 per cent this year. “And they are projected to be around that for the next five years,” says Le Quéré. “There is no progress in spite of all the talk.”
Read More

descentintotyranny:

World on track for worst-case warming scenario

Sep. 22 2014

Presidents, prime ministers and ministers flying into New York City on Tuesday for a one-day United Nations summit on climate change have their work cut out for them. And this is why. As the graph above shows, despite everything they have done so far, we are on a clear course to extreme global warming.

Since the ignominious 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, over a hundred nations have pledged action on emissions. The world has seen a major shift away from coal in favour of gas, which emits fewer greenhouse gases. Solar panels have become much, much cheaper and are being deployed in regions around the world, as are other renewable sources of energy. But the latest number-crunching – published on Sunday in Nature Climate Change – shows that none of this is enough.

"Our study shows no progress in curbing global carbon emissions," says Corinne Le Quéré at the University of East Anglia in the UK. Global carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning and cement production grew 2.3 per cent in 2013. They are expected to increase a further 2.5 per cent this year. “And they are projected to be around that for the next five years,” says Le Quéré. “There is no progress in spite of all the talk.”

Read More

misssuckerpunch:

"Animal agriculture:
Uses tons of grain that could be fed directly to people
Uses tons of fresh water that could be used to grow healthy food
Creates tons of urine and feces that ruin our lakes, rivers and drinking water
Creates about 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions
Contributes to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer
Causes epidemic zoonotic diseases
Contributes to the creation of antibiotic resistant “super bugs”
And is heavily subsidized by our tax dollars.”


About 3,000 species of wildlife around the world have seen their numbers plummet far worse than previously thought, according to a new study by one of the world’s biggest environmental groups.The study Tuesday from the Swiss-based WWF largely blamed human threats to nature for a 52 percent decline in wildlife populations between 1970 and 2010.It says improved methods of measuring populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles explain the huge difference from the 28-percent decline between 1970 and 2008 that the group reported in 2012.Most of the new losses were found in tropical regions, particularly Latin America.WWF describes the study it has carried out every two years since 1998 as a barometer of the state of the planet."There is no room for complacency," said WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini, calling for a greater focus on sustainable solutions to the impact people are inflicting on nature, particularly through the release of greenhouse gases.

About 3,000 species of wildlife around the world have seen their numbers plummet far worse than previously thought, according to a new study by one of the world’s biggest environmental groups.

The study Tuesday from the Swiss-based WWF largely blamed human threats to nature for a 52 percent decline in wildlife populations between 1970 and 2010.

It says improved methods of measuring populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles explain the huge difference from the 28-percent decline between 1970 and 2008 that the group reported in 2012.

Most of the new losses were found in tropical regions, particularly Latin America.

WWF describes the study it has carried out every two years since 1998 as a barometer of the state of the planet.

"There is no room for complacency," said WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini, calling for a greater focus on sustainable solutions to the impact people are inflicting on nature, particularly through the release of greenhouse gases.

descentintotyranny:

World on track for worst-case warming scenario
Sep. 22 2014
Presidents, prime ministers and ministers flying into New York City on Tuesday for a one-day United Nations summit on climate change have their work cut out for them. And this is why. As the graph above shows, despite everything they have done so far, we are on a clear course to extreme global warming.
Since the ignominious 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, over a hundred nations have pledged action on emissions. The world has seen a major shift away from coal in favour of gas, which emits fewer greenhouse gases. Solar panels have become much, much cheaper and are being deployed in regions around the world, as are other renewable sources of energy. But the latest number-crunching – published on Sunday in Nature Climate Change – shows that none of this is enough.
"Our study shows no progress in curbing global carbon emissions," says Corinne Le Quéré at the University of East Anglia in the UK. Global carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning and cement production grew 2.3 per cent in 2013. They are expected to increase a further 2.5 per cent this year. “And they are projected to be around that for the next five years,” says Le Quéré. “There is no progress in spite of all the talk.”
Read More

descentintotyranny:

World on track for worst-case warming scenario

Sep. 22 2014

Presidents, prime ministers and ministers flying into New York City on Tuesday for a one-day United Nations summit on climate change have their work cut out for them. And this is why. As the graph above shows, despite everything they have done so far, we are on a clear course to extreme global warming.

Since the ignominious 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, over a hundred nations have pledged action on emissions. The world has seen a major shift away from coal in favour of gas, which emits fewer greenhouse gases. Solar panels have become much, much cheaper and are being deployed in regions around the world, as are other renewable sources of energy. But the latest number-crunching – published on Sunday in Nature Climate Change – shows that none of this is enough.

"Our study shows no progress in curbing global carbon emissions," says Corinne Le Quéré at the University of East Anglia in the UK. Global carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning and cement production grew 2.3 per cent in 2013. They are expected to increase a further 2.5 per cent this year. “And they are projected to be around that for the next five years,” says Le Quéré. “There is no progress in spite of all the talk.”

Read More

misssuckerpunch:

"Animal agriculture:
Uses tons of grain that could be fed directly to people
Uses tons of fresh water that could be used to grow healthy food
Creates tons of urine and feces that ruin our lakes, rivers and drinking water
Creates about 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions
Contributes to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer
Causes epidemic zoonotic diseases
Contributes to the creation of antibiotic resistant “super bugs”
And is heavily subsidized by our tax dollars.”

The death of Lord Rasler Helos Nabradia was but one of many tragedies to befall the Kingdom of Dalmasca. 

The air of hope that had surrounded Her Royal Highness Princess Ashe’s wedding was now quite lost: Dalmasca had been set adrift, at the mercy of history’s restless tides.