December 07, 2011 | 1:01 PM
5.9%: The scariest number you'll see this week[caption id="attachment_5521" align="alignright" width="159" caption="© 2010 Flickr/krapow CC BY-NC-SA 2.0"][/caption]First: The bad news. An analysis released over the weekend tells us that global carbon emissions leaped 5.9% in 2010, the largest absolute jump since the Industrial Revolution. Compare the nearly 6% increase in pollution last year to the 3% yearly growth in 2000-2010, and 1% in the 90s. Notice a trend? We've already told you that the amount of carbon pollution we release every year (almost 35 gigatons) would be enough to fill the balloons in two billion Thanksgiving Day parades. And it's only increasing. In 2009, we could take a little bit of comfort in the 1.3% decline in carbon pollution, almost entirely due to the global financial crisis. The fact that we experienced such a large jump in 2010 without a full economic recovery should give even the most hardened climate "inactivist" pause. Moreover, we are causing the climate crisis without even creating revolutionary economic breakthroughs, or a strong foundation for a long-term, sustainable economy. More than half of the pollution growth came directly from regular old coal-fired power plants - not magic job-creating machines, rocket ships to explore other planets, or a teleportation system. So that was the bad news. How about some good news? It's not cause to celebrate in the streets, but as pollution increases, more Americans are acknowledging the reality of climate change. A new report from Pew shows that 63% of Americans believe there is solid evidence global warming is happening -- up from 57% in 2009 and 59% in 2010. Within that group, those who understand that humans are causing global warming increased, while those who think it's natural warming stayed flat. Since last year, there was a jump from 32% to 38% of those who view global warming as a "very serious" problem. These numbers are still below the all-time high in 2007, when 77% of Americans believed global warming was happening. But they do suggest we're moving back in the right direction.
December 06, 2011 | 12:38 PM
How is climate change impacting the water cycle?
Climate change is increasing our risk of both heavy rains and extreme droughts. But why is that? Aren't the two contradictory? Take a look at our new visual guide to how climate change impacts the water cycle. You might remember the water cycle from school: Water evaporates from the land and sea and returns to the earth as rain and snow. Climate change is intensifying that cycle. Higher temperatures mean there is more evaporation. Warmer air can hold more water vapor, which can lead to more intense rainstorms. But much of the water runs off into the rivers and streams, and the soil remains dry. More evaporation from the soil increases the risk of drought. This graphic draws a picture of how global warming changes the water cycle, and in turn is changing the weather we see outside. Take a look at this graphic and share it with your friends. And if you'd like even more detail on climate change and the water cycle, check out my recent blog post here.
December 05, 2011 | 1:26 PM
Extreme weather: A visual guide
Climate change is a problem we are facing right now, and it affects the weather we see every day. The next time someone asks you what climate change is, try using this graphic as a handy visual guide.
December 05, 2011 | 9:35 AM
Clean energy: It’s time to get realOver the next few weeks, we're going to explore the ins and outs of how we can use clean energy to solve the climate crisis. We're going to break down its job creation potential, how energy efficiency can save you money (and who doesn't like that?), the ways the Pentagon is driving clean energy innovation and so much more. Stay tuned.
December 02, 2011 | 1:12 PM
"Debunking" deniers: Practical tips[caption id="attachment_5441" align="alignright" width="202" caption="Source: U.S. Government"][/caption]Have you heard about The Debunking Handbook? It's a must-read for anyone interested in dispelling the misinformation put out by climate change deniers. The Handbook's tips are taken not from the latest climate science, as you might expect, but from psychological research. As its authors, John Cook (creator of the Skeptical Science website) and Stephan Lewandowsky (a professor of psychology at the University of Western Australia) explain, debunking a myth requires more than just "packing more information into people's heads." Our brains don't work like hard drives -- they're much more complex. Rooted in this science of how people think, the Handbook lays out the following advice for effective debunking:
- Focus on the truth, not the myth. You want to increase your audience's familiarity with the right facts, not the misinformation. Don't give the myth more attention than it deserves, or your efforts might "backfire." It even helps, before you mention a myth, to add an explicit disclaimer: "The information to follow is FALSE!"
- Less can be more. Although it might be tempting to list every piece of evidence that disproves a denier's argument, research shows this is "overkill." It's best to keep your argument simple. People are most likely to believe information that's easy to understand.
December 02, 2011 | 10:38 AM
Thinking creatively about the climate crisisEarlier today, our Chairman, former-Vice President Al Gore, along with Alex Bogusky, PSFK and some of the top innovators in the gaming community met in New York to talk about the resulting concepts and dive into the findings of the Future of Gaming report.
November 30, 2011 | 10:07 AM
From the globe to your (hopefully not flooded) backyard[caption id="attachment_5340" align="alignright" width="240" caption="© 2006 Flickr/kl801 cc by 2.0"][/caption]The new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) challenges us to think beyond changes in global average temperature and consider the impacts of climate change in our own backyards. Take for example, the backyards of people in New York State, which according to a report sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), is already seeing the impacts of climate change. The state has warmed more than 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1970, and heavy downpours are happening more often. The sea level has also risen up to one foot since 1900 in some locations. These trends are likely to continue as carbon pollution builds up in the atmosphere.
November 29, 2011 | 12:56 PM
Roz Savage: Around the world with her own two handsThis year, Roz Savage, environmental campaigner and our own Climate Presenter, became the first woman to row solo across "the big three" (the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans). A holder of multiple world records, Roz's ultimate goal is to help people learn about environmental issues and inspire change through rowing.
November 29, 2011 | 12:36 PM
93 countries, 1083 cities and one goal
November 29, 2011 | 9:45 AM
Thankful for CAFEWe have many things to be thankful for this holiday season, but add this one to your list. These new fuel standards will keep money in our pockets, help us kick our oil addiction, and protect the environment.
Before You Go
At Climate Reality, we work hard to create high-quality educational content like blogs, e-books, videos, and more to empower people all over the world to fight for climate solutions and stand together to drive the change we need. We are a nonprofit organization that believes there is hope in unity, and that together, we can build a safe, sustainable future.
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