Learning Resilience From Peru’s Ancient Civilizations As the UN’s COP 20 climate negotiations in Lima slowly progressed last year, I went on a journey through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a valley close to Cusco, the capital of the Incan empire of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. I wanted to see how climate change is already affecting the Peruvian Andes and how researchers are working to evaluate the effects of climate change and help locals who are adapting to them. My first stop was Moray, an archaeological site that lies about 3,500 metres above sea level. Moray hosts what may have been an agricultural research centre in the age of the Incas. Scientists believe that the area of concentric terraces was used by farmers to experiment with growing different species of wild plants at different heights.
New Fund Will Help More Seattle Residents Build Rain Gardens RainWise garden Image by Lisa Stiffler Seattle’s RainWise rain garden program is spreading green stormwater solutions across the city, but the rebate program has been out of reach for some homeowners with more modest incomes. While RainWise offers generous reimbursements—$4,600 on average for the installation of rain gardens and cisterns—the homeowner has to pay for the work upfront, then wait up to two months for the program to pay them back. It’s an expense that not everyone can shoulder. A new financial program called the Green Infrastructure Rebate Advance Fund (GIRAF) should remove that hurdle by bridging the payment gap.
Cost of Energy Efficiency Is under Half the Cost of Building Coal Power Plants After mining the results of energy efficiency programs representing every US region, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) researchers have reported the initial result that the average total cost of saved energy is only 4.4 cents per kilowatt hour. This means that smarter uses of energy can replace dirty coal at a fraction of the cost of building coal plants to generate electricity (and without polluting our air or exacerbating climate disruption). Because most of us are not energy nerds who think in terms of kilowatt hours, it may help to put this in context. The average rate U.S. utilities charge residential customers is about 13 cents per kilowatt hour.
List of timelines From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This is a list of timelines currently on Wikipedia. §Types Coal-Country States Declare War on Obama’s Climate Rules This story is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. This week, representatives from the state-level agencies that manage electric grids met in Washington, D.C., for a collective freak-out about President Barack Obama’s flagship climate policy. The Clean Power Plan, as it’s called, aims to slash the nation’s carbon footprint 30 percent by 2030. It would require every state to reduce the carbon “intensity” of its power sector — that is, how much greenhouse gas is emitted for every unit of electricity produced. There’s a unique reduction target for every state, and a likewise diverse array of things for state regulators to hate: They argue the plan is a gross overreach of federal authority; that it will bankrupt utility companies, drive up monthly bills for ratepayers, and lead to power shortages; that states won’t be adequately credited for clean-energy steps they’ve already taken; and that the deadlines for compliance are just downright impossible to meet.
Microplastic Particles Move Up Marine Food Chain on B.C. Coast Plastic fibres and particles in West Coast waters are being consumed and passed up the food chain by tiny marine creatures that apparently mistake them for food, according to a new study from the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre. Researcher Peter Ross and his colleagues found plastic litter in the digestive systems of two key species of plankton that are eaten in large numbers by salmon and baleen whales. Adult salmon returning to the Strait of Georgia may be consuming up to 91 plastic particles a day by eating plankton, and juveniles leaving fresh water up to seven particles a day, while a humpback whale could ingest more than 300,000 particles a day, according to the researchers’ estimates. Several recent studies have documented ingestion of plastics in the wild by fish, bivalves and crustaceans.
SustainAbility's 10 trends for 2015 1. Scales Tip on Global Climate Change Action With rising civic activism, surging numbers of corporate commitments and more decisive action by local and national governments, global climate change diplomacy is showing new signs of life. The November 2014 deal between the US and China to cut emissions by 2030 breaks the longstanding impasse over the relative responsibilities of rich and poor nations to take action. Civil Rights Movement Timeline (14th Amendment, 1964 Act, Human Rights Law) Jan. 23 The 24th Amendment abolishes the poll tax, which originally had been instituted in 11 southern states after Reconstruction to make it difficult for poor blacks to vote. Summer The Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), a network of civil rights groups that includes CORE and SNCC, launches a massive effort to register black voters during what becomes known as the Freedom Summer. It also sends delegates to the Democratic National Convention to protest—and attempt to unseat—the official all-white Mississippi contingent.
Debate on climate change should be over THE state Senate this week had a brief but telling debate about climate change. It ended, depressingly, with a mostly party-line vote that very well could have taken place years earlier, with Republicans resisting the science on humankind’s clear role in reshaping our global climate. At issue was an amendment proposed by state Sen. Cyrus Habib, D-Kirkland, to a worthwhile energy policy bill that simply added the international scientific consensus: “The Legislature finds that climate change is real and that human activity significantly contributes to climate change.” State Sen.