Mar 21 2014

Climate Roundup: AAAS Report Issues Strong Warning, NASA Study on Collapse, California Drought and Wildfires, and White House Climate Database

Each week Uprising will analyze the most pressing climate change stories of the past week with our guest Kelly Mitchell, Coal Campaigner for Greenpeace.

Climate scientists are often criticized for not being clear and strong enough in their certainty that climate change is real. Now, the American Association for the Advancement of Science has released a report this week called What We Know, underlining the urgency of climate change. It is not often that the leading scientific group in the nation makes a foray into public policy. In the report the AAAS said, “we consider it our responsibility as professionals to ensure, to the best of our ability, that people understand what we know: human-caused climate change is happening, we face risks of abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes, and responding now will lower the risks and costs of taking action.” Click here for a Guardian article about the story.

To add to the alarm bells, a new NASA study has concluded that global civilization could collapse within just decades. The results are based on a mathematical model that takes into account, among other things, climate change, and also overconsumption of resources. According to the Guardian newspaper, “The …model offers a highly credible wake-up call to governments, corporations and business – and consumers – to recognise that ‘business as usual’ cannot be sustained, and that policy and structural changes are required immediately.” Click here for a Guardian article about the story.

Despite our earthquake earlier this week, one of the most serious threats that California faces each year are wildfires. Now, the historic drought facing this state has raised serious fears of a catastrophic series of wild fires. The more parched the land, the greater the danger of accidental fires getting out of control. John Laird, the secretary for natural resources, told press, “This is going to be a fire season outside any normal bounds. Anything could happen at any time.” Click here for a Guardian article about the story.

In yet another small indication that the Obama Administration is quietly beginning to take seriously the threat of climate change, the White House this week announced a website called Climate Data Initiative. The web-based database is designed to gather in one place, data related to climate risks in order to help federal agencies better respond to disasters. Click here for an LA Times article about the story.

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