A Grim Holiday Season Awaits America’s Hungry

       

A pallet of canned food sits in a warehouse at the SF-Marin Food Bank on November 13, 2015 in San Francisco
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

america.aljazeera.com - by Ned Resnikoff - November 26, 2015

. . . When ... households run out of money and food stamp benefits, many turn to food pantries and soup kitchens. At this time of year, emergency food assistance charities — often referred to as “the last line of defense against hunger” by the people who manage them — see a sharp spike in the number of meals they distribute per month.

That spike would be a challenge under normal conditions. The past few years, however, have been anything but normal for food assistance charities. Besides the usual ebb and flow of seasonal demand, soup kitchens and food pantries are now struggling to address skyrocketing year-round demand for emergency aid.

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How the Third Industrial Revolution Will Create a Green Economy

A photograph of a city skyline at dusk with lamps in the foreground that resemble stylized trees.

Image: A photograph of a city skyline at dusk with lamps in the foreground that resemble stylized trees.

huffingtonpost.com - October 20th, 2015 - Jeremy Rifkin

The global economy is slowing, productivity is waning in every region of the world and unemployment remains stubbornly high in every country. At the same time, economic inequality between the rich and the poor is at the highest point in human history. In 2010 the combined wealth of the 388 richest people in the world equaled the combined wealth of the poorest half of the human race.

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Resilience in the SDGs: Developing an Indicator for Target 1.5 that is Fit for Purpose

                            

odi.org - Aditya Bahadur, Emma Lovell, Emily Wilkinson, Thomas Tanner - August 2015

CLICK HERE - Resilience in the SDGs - Developing an indicator for Target 1.5 that is fit for purpose (7 page .PDF file)

We outline a comprehensive approach for developing a cross-sectoral, multi-dimensional and dynamic understanding of resilience. This underpins the core message of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that development is multi-faceted and the achievement of many of the individual development goals is dependent on the accomplishment of other goals. It also acknowledges that shocks and stresses can reverse years of development gains and efforts to eradicate poverty by 2030. Crucially, this approach to understanding resilience draws on data that countries will collect for the SDGs anyway and entails only a small additional burden in this regard.

(CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION)

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Cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions Won't Slow Global Economic Growth — Report

          

Increased use of low-carbon energy sources instead of fossil energy sources is making it easier for countries to decouple economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report.  Photograph: Mick Tsikas/Reuters

New report from green think tank Heinrich Boll shows OECD countries grew their economies 16% in last decade – and cut greenhouse gas emissions 6.4%

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH REPORT - Turning point: Decoupling Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Economic Growth

theguardian.com - by Bruce Watson - September 26, 2015

As the world works out how to avoid catastrophic climate change, one of the biggest questions remaining is whether we can continue to grow economically without also increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

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Syrian Civil War Prompts First Withdrawal From Doomsday Seed Vault In The Arctic

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was opened on Feb. 26, 2008. Carved into the Arctic permafrost and filled with samples of the world's most important seeds, it's a Noah's Ark of food crops to be used in the event of a global catastrophe. AFP/Getty Images

Image: The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was opened on Feb. 26, 2008. Carved into the Arctic permafrost and filled with samples of the world's most important seeds, it's a Noah's Ark of food crops to be used in the event of a global catastrophe. AFP/Getty Images

npr.org - September 23rd, 2015

A tall rectangular building juts out of a mountainside on a Norwegian island just 800 miles from the North Pole. Narrow and sharply edged, the facility cuts an intimidating figure against the barren Arctic background. But the gray building holds the key to the earth's biodiversity.

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FEMA - Hurricane Sandy National Flood Insurance Program Claims Review

                                                    

fema.gov

Flood insurance policyholders: If you filed a flood insurance claim after Hurricane Sandy, you may be eligible to have your claim reviewed and you can ask us to take another look.

Our call centers have extended hours to assist you. You can call toll-free 866-337-4262.

Why are we doing this?
There have been allegations that some policyholders were underpaid for their Hurricane Sandy claims and that the claims process was not effective. FEMA wants to make sure policyholders who filed Sandy claims are paid what they are owed under their policy.

Our resource page has the full list of times and more information to assist you:

CLICK HERE - FEMA - Hurricane Sandy National Flood Insurance Program Claims Review

https://www.facebook.com/FEMA/posts/10153263822614965

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Fossil Fuels Losing Cost Advantage Over Solar, Wind, IEA Says

      

Photographer - Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg

bloomberg.com - by Tara Patel - August 31, 2015

  • Renewable technologies no longer cost outliers, report says
  • No single technology is cheapest under all circumstances

The cost of producing electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind has dropped significantly over the past five years, narrowing the gap with power generated from fossil fuels and nuclear reactors, according to the International Energy Agency.

“The costs of renewable technologies -- in particular solar photovoltaic -- have declined significantly over the past five years,” the Paris-based IEA said in a report called Projected Costs of Generating Electricity. “These technologies are no longer cost outliers.”

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Tesla Moves Into Home Energy Storage

Elon Musk unveils Tesla Energy, his plan to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy on an extreme scale. Picture: Patrick T Fallon

iol.co.za - by

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NASA: On the U.S. East Coast, Sea Level is Rising Two or Three Times Faster Than Average

Glacial Rebound: The Not So Solid Earth

nasa.gov - August 26, 2015

When you fill a sink, the water rises at the same rate to the same height in every corner. That's not the way it works with our rising seas.

According to the 23-year record of satellite data from NASA and its partners, the sea level is rising a few millimeters a year -- a fraction of an inch. If you live on the U.S. East Coast, though, your sea level is rising two or three times faster than average. If you live in Scandinavia, it's falling. Residents of China's Yellow River delta are swamped by sea level rise of more than nine inches (25 centimeters) a year.

These regional differences in sea level change will become even more apparent in the future, as ice sheets melt. For instance, when the Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is totally gone, the average global sea level will rise four feet. But the East Coast of the United States will see an additional 14 to 15 inches above that average.

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Solar is Having a Great Year, Except on Wall Street

      

Solar panels are seen in the Palm Springs area, California April 13, 2015. Picture taken April 13, 2015.
Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

reuters.com - by Nichola Groom - August 14, 2015

By almost any measure, the U.S. solar market is on fire.

Installations of solar panels are expected to soar by a third this year, the price of solar power is now cheap enough to compete neck and neck with gas and coal-fired power in places like California, and the fledgling industry received a vote of confidence last week when U.S. President Barack Obama announced a groundbreaking plan to curb power plant emissions. Even China's currency devaluation could cut panel costs for U.S. solar installers.

Wall Street, however, has been dumping solar shares this year, largely on concern, which investors say is misplaced, that tumbling oil prices will sap demand for alternative energy, even though oil isn't used to generate power.

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Solar Is a Serious Threat to Electric Utilities

energymanagertoday.com - by Karen Henry - August 5, 2015

Eighty percent of electric utilities believe distributed generation (DG), particularly solar photovoltaic (PV), is a serious challenge to their business, according to the 2015 Strategic Directions: US Electric Industry Report released by Black & Veatch.

The global engineering consulting company conducted an industry-wide survey from May 14 through June 5, 2015, to examine how electric utilities balance the intersecting interests of regulation and reliability with increased customer participation in the grid. More than 400 electric utility or electric industry stakeholders completed the online questionnaire.

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Disastrous Sea Level Rise Is an Issue for Today's Public - Not Next Millennium's

             

huffingtonpost.com - by Dr. James Hansen - July 27, 2015

. . . 2°C global warming, rather than being a safe "guardrail," is highly dangerous. . . .

. . . My conclusion, based on the total information available, is that continued high emissions would result in multi-meter sea level rise this century and lock in continued ice sheet disintegration such that building cities or rebuilding cities on coast lines would become foolish. . . .

. . . A startling conclusion of our paper is that effects of freshwater release onto the Southern Ocean and North Atlantic are already underway and 1-2 decades sooner in the real world than in the model (Fig. 2). 

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CLICK HERE - Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics - Earth's energy imbalance and implications

CLICK HERE - Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms: Evidence from Paleoclimate Data, Climate Modeling, and Modern Observations that 2°C Global Warming is Highly Dangerous

OR

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EPA Report Cites Benefits of Limiting Emissions, Climate change

By William Yardley, LA Times, June 23, 2015 | Photo: Jim Cole, Associated Press

coal-fired plant is Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H.  (Jim Cole / Associated Press)

EPA report cites benefits of reducing emissions, including at power plants, and of limiting climate change. This coal-fired plant is Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H.  (Jim Cole / Associated Press)

Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change could prevent tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of billions in economic losses in the United States, according to a new study by the Environmental Protection Agency.

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New Study Links Global Warming to Hurricane Sandy and Other Extreme Weather Events

            

Escalators to the South Ferry Whitehall St. subway station in the financial district of Manhattan are shown flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. A new study finds that without human-caused global warming, the New York subways might not have been flooded. Photograph: HANDOUT/Reuters

The paper finds that global warming is putting extreme weather on steroids

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Attribution of climate extreme events

theguardian.com - by John Abraham - June 22, 2015

One of the hottest areas of climate research these days is on the potential connections between human emissions, global warming, and extreme weather. Will global warming make extreme weather more common or less common? More severe or less severe? 

New research, just published today in Nature Climate Change helps to answer that question by approaching the problem in a novel way.

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Coal Crash: How Pension Funds Face Huge Risk From Climate Change

           

Coal is moved on a conveyor belt at the PT Bukit Asam open pit coal mine in Tanjung Enim, South Sumatra province, Indonesia. Photograph: Dadang Tri/Getty Images

Special report: The plummeting coal sector and a growing green divestment movement is leaving firms who still invest in fossil fuels and connected pension holders heavily exposed

theguardian.com - by Damian Carrington and Caelainn Barr - June 15, 2015

The pension funds of millions of people across the world, including teachers, public sector workers, health staff and academics in the UK and US, are heavily exposed to the plummeting coal sector, a Guardian analysis has revealed.

It has also found that just a dozen people, including the owner of Chelsea FC, Roman Abramovich, own coal reserves equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of China, the world’s biggest polluter. The UN, which advocates a shift to clean energy, has more than $100m (£65m) invested in coal through its own pension fund.

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