Climate change

Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup Releases Guidelines for Considering Traditional Knowledges in Climate Change Initiatives

On September 22, 2014, Guidelines for Considering Traditional Knowledges in Climate Change Initiatives was released as an informational resource for Tribes, agencies, and organizations across the United States interested in understanding Traditional Knowledges in the context of climate change.

The Third National Climate Assessment issued in May 2014 contained a chapter dedicated to the impact of climate change on tribal peoples. In light of the increasing recognition of the significance of Traditional Knowledges in relation to climate change, a self-organized, informal group of indigenous persons, staff of indigenous governments and organizations, and experts with experience working with issues concerning Traditional Knowledges felt compelled to develop a framework to increase understanding of issues relating to access and protection of Traditional Knowledges in climate initiatives and interactions between holders of Traditional Knowledges and non-tribal partners.

The Guidelines were originally developed to inform the Department of Interior’s Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science in May 2014. To learn more, visit: http://climatetkw.wordpress.com/.

Georgetown Climate Center Releases State Adaptation Progress Tracker

Many states have started taking actions to prepare their communities for climate change, and some have even developed specific adaptation plans to guide their work. The Georgetown Climate Center has developed an online tool that tracks how much progress each state is making towards its climate adaptation efforts, and also provides state profile pages that include a detailed breakdown of each state’s adaptation work and links to local adaptation plans and resources.

To learn more, visit: http://www.georgetownclimate.org/adaptation/state-and-local-plans.

White House Announces Priority Agenda to Enhance Climate Resilience of America’s Natural Resources

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the Administration is announcing a Climate and Natural Resources Priority Agenda that represents a first of its kind, comprehensive commitment across the federal government to support the resilience of our natural resources.

This agenda identifies a suite of actions that the federal government will take to enhance the resilience of America’s natural resources to the impacts of climate change and promote their ability to absorb carbon dioxide.

The agenda, which was called for in the President’s Executive Order on Climate Preparedness, was developed jointly by federal agencies and is informed by the President’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience and other stakeholder engagement.

For more details on this announcement, see the White House Fact Sheet. The full agenda can be accessed at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/enhancing_climate_resilience_of_americas_natural_resources.pdf.

Climate depression is for real. Just ask a scientist

Read the full post at Grist.

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.

Parmesan has a pretty serious stake in the field. In 2007, she shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore for her work as a lead author of the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In 2009, The Atlantic named her one of 27 “Brave Thinkers” for her work on the impacts of climate change on species around the globe. Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg were also on the list.

Despite the accolades, she was fed up. “I felt like here was this huge signal I was finding and no one was paying attention to it,” Parmesan says. “I was really thinking, ‘Why am I doing this?’” She ultimately packed up her life here in the States and moved to her husband’s native United Kingdom.

Being Prepared for Climate Change: A Workbook for Developing Risk-Based Adaptation Plans

This workbook and the associated resources guide users to develop a risk-based climate change adaptation plan consisting of a vulnerability assessment and an action plan to reduce the most pressing risks.

EPA Provides Additional Information on Clean Power Plan

As part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s extensive outreach since issuing the proposed Clean Power Plan, EPA is making additional information and ideas available for public comment in a notice of data availability (NODA). At the same time, EPA is following through on its commitment made in June to propose goals to reduce carbon pollution in areas of Indian Country and U.S. Territories where fossil-fuel power plants are located.

EPA has engaged in unprecedented outreach to a broad range of stakeholders since proposing the Clean Power Plan, including states, utilities, industry, public health and environmental groups, labor, and community groups. During the many meetings, conference calls, and the nearly 1.5 million public comments the agency has received so far, stakeholders have identified a wide range of ideas and information.

In issuing today’s NODA, EPA is seeking to ensure that all interested parties are aware of the issues and ideas that have been consistently raised by a diverse group of stakeholders, so that everyone has the opportunity to consider them as they formulate their comments, which are due on Dec. 1, 2014. Notices of data availability are commonly used to present additional information for the public to consider. They do not change a proposal, nor are they a complete summary of the wide variety of ideas that have been raised. They allow EPA to continue seeking ideas and comments on these and many other issues as the agency works toward a final rule that is flexible and empowers states to chart their own, customized path to meet goals for reducing harmful carbon pollution.

In a separate but related action, EPA is proposing goals for areas of Indian Country and U.S. Territories where fossil-fuel fired power plants are located to reduce their carbon pollution by 2030. Proposed goals for these areas were not included in the June 2014 proposed Clean Power Plan. The supplemental proposal relies on the approach used in the June 2014 Clean Power Plan and is based on new information and data provided through additional outreach to covered facilities and tribal and territorial governments. The proposal outlines a diverse range of options that tribes and territories could use to meet their goals. EPA will hold a public hearing on the supplemental proposal on Nov. 19, 2014 in Phoenix, Ariz. and will accept comment through Dec. 19, 2014.

Today’s actions are part of the common-sense steps laid out in President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and the June 2013 Presidential Memorandum. Power plants account for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. While there are limits in place for arsenic, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particle pollution emissions, there are currently no national limits on carbon pollution from power plants.

In 2009, EPA determined that greenhouse gas pollution threatens Americans’ health and welfare by leading to long-lasting changes in our climate that can have a range of negative effects on human health and the environment. Taking steady, responsible steps to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants will protect public health, continue the United States’ international environmental leadership, and move the nation toward a cleaner, more stable environment for future generations, while supplying the reliable, affordable power needed for economic growth.

Want to Solve Climate Change? Tackle Inequality

Read the full story at Shareable.

Humanity’s central challenge in the 21st century is to meet the human rights of all people within the capacity of Earth’s life-support systems. In other words, we need to get into the doughnut: the safe and just sweet spot between social and planetary boundaries.