understanding climate change blog
A Nov. 5, 2012, press release from consulting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers
LLP warns current CO2 reductions put us on target for 6 degree average global
For the third year in a row, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is participating in Blog Action Day, and suggesting some helpful articles on climate change.
Learn why “Climategate” got so much attention, what scientists and skeptics are saying about it, and whether the scandal is mostly hype or if it warrants concern.
The Citizen’s Guide to Climate Policy empowers everyday citizens with the knowledge to go up against industry lobbyists and fight for strong climate change legislation.
A bark beetle outbreak is causing widespread damage in Western forests, but we have every reason to believe the forest will recover.
We know that heating, cooling and operating our buildings is responsible for 40 percent of total energy expenditures in this country. That’s a huge percentage. But we also know how to test, evaluate and improve buildings so that energy use can be cut dramatically.
Greg Franta’s work on climate change and the built environment, as reflected in his book Cooling the Warming, is at the core of Rocky Mountain Institute’s Reinventing Fire initiative.
Put your thoughts to paper (or take a compelling photograph) for a chance to be published!
The new White Houe report on climate change effects on the U.S. comes at a key time for major environmental policy.
This easy-to-read graph shows the effects of slight climate change on crops, sea levels and weather.
President-elect Barack Obama addressed a new chapter in climate change in a video shown at the Global Climate Summit. Check it out here!
Climate change is only a symptom of human overpopulation.
Taking personal responsibility for private-property protection in light of ongoing climate change and the hazards associated with same.
The fourth annual Earth Hour is Saturday between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Turn off the lights and take a stand against climate change!
Climate change researchers have found that Thoreau's observations in the mid-1800s help measure changes in climate.
New studies show that Antarctica is, in fact, becoming warmer, despite what the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says.
Research shows a direct connection between global warming and our extreme weather.
So, I just read an article in the Washington Post that said the Internet is now home to some 15 million blogs and that most bloggers consider this medium a form of therapy. And as I’ve been agonizing of late about so many things (my inability to get around to writing blog entries being one of them…), I figured I’d just join the crowd on the cybercouch.
Believe it or not, the global warming debate still exists. The Inhofe EPW Press Blog now has 650 scientists that speak out against the fact that global warming is real and manmade. But are these sources credible?
Climate Change is a real threat to the future of humankind, but within that threat is the seed of opportunity.
The House votes on the Climate Energy Bill Friday and President Barack Obama encouraged the passage of the bill.
Mankind has a historic opportunity to visualize its own future, and the future of the planet
Couldn’t we create a sustainable healthy planet just because we decided to?
Animated DVD empowers kids on climate change.
This year, why not resolve to go on an energy diet? The idea is to set a few measurable goals to make your home more energy efficient and then keep track of your progress.
Cam compares the population density of his home to some of the most densely populated countries in the world....
Cam thinks people worry about the small things (bugs), when they should be more concerned about the big things (climate change).
A new report issued by The Lancet, an international medical journal, says global warming and climate change will create health risks for billions of people worldwide.
This week the G-8 met and talked about climate change but did not accomplish most of their goals because of a lack of cooperation from developing countries.
350.org founder, Bill McKibben, asks college students across the nation to “Do The Math” on why climate change matters and urges them to demand divestment from fossil fuels on campus.
An overview of the permafrost meling tipping point.
Global surface temperatures may be flat, but we’ll pay for this “respite” eventually.
Pro-Natura International is changing how the world fuels itself by turning renewable biomass and other waste products into green charcoal.
The word is that nitrogen trifluoride is more of a problem than previously thought, and it's used to manufacture all kinds of high-tech equipment, including thin-film solar panels.
The G-20 met in Pittsburgh this week to discuss global economic issues and agreed to eliminate fossil fuel subsides to combat gloabl climate change.
Meet the new green team! Here are the people Obama picked for key environmental posts in the new administration.
From IBM to Sprint to Dell, companies are going green and even realizing they can save green too.
As the planetary ecology falters, and finite resources are depleted, communities everywhere will be challenged to create vibrant local economies that function within and help to renew local ecosystems.
Now playing in select theaters, Carbon Nation is a non-preachy, solutions-based documentary that proves the benefits of a low-carbon economy.
Gather your friends to host a party or just enjoy the quiet as you turn off the lights for one hour to show your love for the planet.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program launched its 2011 Change the World, Start with Energy Star Campaign. This campaign encourages and inspires Americans to commit to energy efficiency by highlighting grassroots efforts of individuals all over the United States.
The role of natural cycles and anthropogenic forces on the climate are explained. We also demonstrate that the current global warming trend is happening at a faster rate than earlier periods and humans are responsible for the current warming trend.
In this posting we will ask the question if the climate is reaching a tipping point. We will define climate tipping points and use the paat to determine if we are reaching tipping points. We will also discuss climate feedback amplification.
We are focusing our attentions in the wrong place. Motorcyclists, mountain-bikers, skiers and steeplechasers all learn the same lesson: When you have a lot of forward momentum you have to train your attention beyond the short-term challenges. You need to be thinking ahead. You need to form a picture of yourself successfully negotiating the coming obstacles. You have to visualize the successful outcome. Your reflexes and, hopefully, some previous visualization are taking care of the ruts under the tires of your bicycle. Your attention should be trained on the area where you will arrive in the next few seconds. Your mind visualizes the best route and your body begins making adjustments in your approach.
If you focus on the intermediate obstacle, you’re likely to hit that obstacle.
It’s recently occurred to me that I don’t hear anyone describing the world in which we want to live 20 years from now. Almost no one, it seems, is visualizing the successful outcome. We’re too busy arguing about where to drill for oil.
We’re here to confront our own biology, the essential nature that tells us to keep reproducing and expanding. If you could view the entirety of human experience from the dawn of our evolution to the present, if you could pick the human century you’d like to witness first-hand, you might choose this one.
We need a new "green revolution" to ensure a healthy habitat for humanity's future.
Solar energy is the ultimate source of all life, and there's lots of it.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce Oates sings the praises of mixed-species perennial pastures for in-between seasons—even if they don't fully alleviate the need for watching and waiting.
A solar-powered cooker made out of cardboard boxes, which aims to reduce carbon emissions, deforestation and the spread of water-borne diseases, took home the first prize at the Climate Change Challenge.
From books and blogs to television news and online media, there are dozens of sources for learning about global warming. We want to know: Where do you go for reliable information about global warming?
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently moved back the minute hand on the symbolic Doomsday Clock by one minute, in part because of what they see as hope for mitigating catastrophic climate change. Tell us what you think about their decision.
The National Wildlife Federation has released a report that explains the effects of climate change on winter weather. Warmer winters and heavy snow are causing problems for agriculture, wildlife, communities and even the skiing industry — and the NWF is calling for policy reforms to reduce emissions to slow the effects of global warming. Read on to learn more.
A team of mountaineers have set out for Mount Everest's "death zone" to pick up trash which has resurfaced as an effect of climate change.
An explanation of why one degree Celsius makes such a big difference in our climate.
A new report from the World Bank warns of what a 4-degree global warming world will look like.
The news on climate change isn't good, but renewable energy could lead us to a brighter future.
Environmentalist and journalist Bill McKibben clarifies the equations behind global warming, and points to the movement that could be spurred by the math.
A new episode in the PBS series Journey to Planet Earth, hosted by Matt Damon, will feature Mother Earth News contributing editor and visionary Lester Brown’s “Plan B” on how we can save civilization in the face of global climate change.
Al Gore is calling on Americans to support a rapid transition to renewable energy. Tell us what you think.
What should we do about climate and energy issues? These three articles raise interesting questions.
"Grass, Soil, Hope" by Courtney White is a new book from Chelsea Green Publishing that discusses combating climate change through land-based carbon sequestration efforts such as composting and increasing biodiversity.
The USDA first published a plant hardiness zone map based on temperature in 1960. Hardiness zones are based on the average annual extreme minimum temperature. What's your zone?
A recent Gallop poll concludes there is a big significance difference betwen what scientists and the general public know about climate change. This posting discusses two basic facts about climate change that can't be refuted.
This posting present comments by leading scientific organizations, individual scientists and government leaders pertaining to human induced climate changes. All agree that climate change is anthropogenic and that it has become a serious problem.
Former Vice President Al Gore thinks 2009 needs to be the year that America creates a climate bill. And he's got a plan to back it up!
This is a rundown of films that came out in the last few years. These films cover a wide range of environmental topics, from energy, climate, and fuel, to food, farming, and health. Many of the films have won awards or been critically acclaimed.
We have three big challenges confronting us: preserving our habitat, controlling our population and reforming our economic systems.
Humanity needs a new spiritual vision to cope with its shrinking habitat.
Taking a bus or a train can be a great green way to reach your vacation destination. We'd like to hear more about your bus or train travels and what you liked, or didn't like, about the experience. Share your story here!
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
Farms which have earned Rainforest Alliance certification go beyond conserving the environment and improving the lives and livelihoods of farm workers; they also help to curb climate change.
We wanted to write up a post about asparagus to explain how farmers look at the crop, but also as a sort of apology to our customers. We have spent many hours in the field and on the phone seeking farmers with an existing asparagus supply. We had man
Drought is hard on us out here in Farm Country. But drought in the midst of boiling hot summer is amongst the worst conditions I can imagine.
Worrying about keeping up with Justin's chores while trying to maintain my 8-5 day job was a losing battle.
All of us farmers,large and small, are a big part of the engine that drives the economy
of rural communities, rural counties and rural states.This year, we are learning a lot about what happens when that engine sputters.
After months of waiting, worrying and hoping, the clouds finally arrived here at Yellabird Farm last week and brought us the long-sought gift of good rain. It was a great two days of slow and soaking moisture that the cracked soil guzzled up...
One thing I know for sure is that many in the local farm and food scene are working through the same issue. We are numbers people in search of numbers. We aren’t crazy unscientific loons like our industrial brothers and sisters think we are.
A new study finds that warming temperatures will cause up to two-thirds of the earth's permafrost to disappear by 2200, unleashing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The Union of Concerned Scientists is ready for Obama to take over and find a solution to our energy, environmental and economic problems through a clean energy economy.
Round two of three international conferences to determine new emissions standards for the next Kyoto Protocol meets this week and next week in Poznan, Poland.
Lester Brown from the Earth Policy Institute held a teleconference on Dec. 11 to discuss the advantages of a green economy, for the environment and the U.S. work force.
In this posting we discuss the role of the positive Arctic Feedback Factor in amplfying climate change. We also discuss how this feedback factor triggers the release of methane from the floor of the Arctic Ocean and from the permafrost.
This posting will discuss how clouds, volcanoes and water vapor effect the climate.
Bill McKibben is doing a national tour to raise awareness about climate change and to build a movement around changing the way we use energy.
Many media outlets are pulling no punches when it comes to global climate change as a major factor in Hurricane Sandy's catastrophic destruction.
Earth warming is causing rapid glacier melt all over the world raising the average sea level at an alarming rate.
Describes hopeful developments toward healthful soil and a safer climate.
Climate change is here to stay, with violent and unpredictable weather. This presents challenges to home gardeners, so is there a way to storm proof our gardens?
Hold onto your hats, Congress is debating climate change. Right now the U.S. House is considering the Waxman-Markey climate bill. Here's where you can find more information about what is, and isn't, in the bill.
Maddy Harland writes about principles that underpin our understanding and practical application of permaculture. She relates them to designing a green home and garden but also explains how permaculture can help us to create more sustainable lifestyle
This posting will discuss the role of volcanic and anthropogenic release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It will also discuss they play in global warming and ocean acidification.
This posting discusses the role of the Milankovitch Cycles in initating glaical/interglacial periods. It also discusses the role of sunspots in short term climate change.
It's surprisingly easy to figure out how many carbon dioxide emissions come from producing the electricity for your home, or burning a full tank of gas. Check out this carbon calculator, or find out how to do a quick ballpark estimate.
Solar lights replacing kerosene lamps in developing countries do more than solve energy poverty, they are also helping curb climate change by reducing black carbon emissions.
At a time when greenhouse gas emissions from cars and electricity generation around the world are at an all-time high, Heifer International in Cameroon is leading initiatives and programming to help reduce such emissions from livestock production there.
Two homesteaders discuss their experience with the weather applicable to their mountain homesteads in Washington and Colorado.
Homes in the United States a responsible for one fifth of all carbon dioxide emissions. Simply taking steps to reduce these on a domestic level will help positively impact carbon outputs, decreasing environmental damage.
How fast climate change will require you and your descendants to move north in order to keep farming and gardening a serious question you should be asking yourself.
A couple years ago I signed up to receive “word of the day” emails from Wordsmith.org (like I needed one more thing every day in my in box, but I couldn’t help myself…I’m a word nerd).
Cam describes the benefits of writing this blog and his recent book.
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking comments until Nov. 28 on how it should rule on global warming pollutants.
The U.S. Forest Service began hosting roundtable discussions on March 29 (continuing until May 12) to give citizens the opportunity to voice their opinions on the future management of national forests.
In an era of increasing volatility of the weather and climate, we need new coping skills. Preparedness is an important factor in dealing with bad weather events.
Winter wasn't very hard this year, well at least so far, and even if it gets more normal winter like, there's not much time left. Our bees have done well, and it looks like it might be a great summer ahead.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
Taking into account production, processing, consumption and disposal, the Environmental Working Group found that if everyone in the U.S. gave up meat or cheese one day a week for a year, it would be equivalent to taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
Recipes for satisfying gluten-free breakfasts.
Fall may be turning to winter, but there’s still time to enjoy those last sunny days before the harsh chill settles in.
This year's Blog Action Day topic is water, and thousands of bloggers around the world are joining together to provide valuable information, increase awareness and help readers learn more about the state of water, why they should care, and what they can do to help.
Protecting the fig tree for the winter felt like putting it to bed for a long sleep. Chopping wood with the Chopper 1 is a thing of joy and beauty and that's no joke. Do it yourself corn bin helped our neighbor keep the racoons out.
Launching Anna's new E book on cover crops in a no till garden and talking about the recent power failure that prompted us to do some Off Grid Homesteading which taught us a few lessons on using golf cart batteries for supplemental lighting.
Check out this compelling roundtable discussion of four expert climate change scientists.
This is an announcement inviting you to participate in a global web cast discussion on climate crisis on November 14, 2012. This is hosted by the Climate Reality Project and Al Gore.
Cam is getting worn out trying to keep up with watering during a drought.
Every fall Cam is tired of gardening and vows to make his vegetable garden smaller. Every spring he is excited about getting back in the garden and ends up making it bigger!
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how the new energy and climate legislation that creates opportunities in green building.
Four proposed climate bills on the Senate's table for July, and they will probably form one combined bill. Learn about the proposed laws that could affect you and your children for years to come, and voice your concerns to your Senators.
Top bar hive modifications, turkey traps, and gourmet potatoes are just a few of the topics covered in the past week of blogging we've been up to. Homesteading healthcare and a new virtual book club round off the week with several reader comments.
Where we find a wealth of information for projects and enjoyable reading.
Since her first house move, MOTHER EARTH NEWS blogger Cathie Ackroyd, has become so very conscious of the impact we humans have had and are having on our planet’s environment and hoped to find a place to settle that would allow us to gain an element of self-sufficiency in a relatively car-free community.
While many of those visiting our Hostel are farmers and homesteaders themselves, some come from that “city culture” and seem to take their first hesitant steps outside of a flatly paved driveway when they arrive at our place. Wide eyes, a sense of adventure.
Experts say that that bathroom and kitchen remodels--once a sure-fire way to move a home for sale--aren't necessarily the ticket anymore. Creating a house that feels homey and welcoming is most important.
To freshen up your home without a major remodel, clean up and invest in lower-cost fixes such as paint, hardware and window coverings.
We use more water than we need in our homes every day. If you’re curious to know how much water your own home might be wasting, check out this infographic on U.S. residential water consumption from eLocal.com.
I’d like to introduce the words farmden and farmdener into the English language. I wonder if there are any other farmdeners out there. And just what is a farmden? It’s more than a garden, less than a farm. That’s my definition, but it also could be described as a site with more plants and/or land than one person can care for sanely. A gardener and garden gone wild, out of control.
In this Wind Energy Blog, we talk with a representative from The Nature Conservancy to learn more about the environmental impacts of wind energy. Despite the many concerns about the impacts these wind farms can have on wildlife, there are no current regulations that wind farm developers must follow before building their wind farms.
How a small group of committed people can truly make a change for good.
Riches sometimes come from natural resources - not always connected with dollar signs.
Carrotmob, a project of Virgance, a company that organizes activism campaigns, works to create social change by rewarding green businesses through consumer buying. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains more about this innovative activism group.
As the costs and consequences of climatological and ecological instability become impossible to ignore, people are recognizing the need to be more prepared for the challenges we could face in the short-term and the long-term. A variety of initiatives are arising to share ways of becoming more resilient—i.e., able to survive and thrive in the face of dangers and even disasters.
My inbox is stuffed this week with emails from bloggers and pundits heralding the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report confirming for the world that global warming is real and that we have, indeed, done our share to cause it.
For almost two decades, the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive group has done what the experts said was impossible. Namely, they have taken DNA from over 70 of the most magnificent trees on the planet; have cloned thousands of individuals from this original DNA and are actively re-planting/re-foresting these champion trees.
The U.S. Congress has retuned from summer recess, but conflict might keep the Senate from drafting climate and energy legislation quickly.
By focusing on environmental change this Earth Day, we can reach our green potential. Green initiatives need to be implemented, both individually and collectively, for us to reduce our environmental impact.
The environmental advocacy group, Earth Day Network, is rallying environmental activism through a climate rally and a new site where the environmental community can learn about issues and events. Learn more about their efforts and how you can get involved.
Sensor Plug update along with a report on Sunflowers being used as a cover crop and when to properly harvest onions.
Talking about the new Chocolate Turkeys we saw on Saturday and how to properly plant into a kill mulch without doing much damage to the killing.
Many years ago, years before I moved to the country, I was what would be considered "a prepper." I saw disaster every time I turned on the TV, or read the news on the internet, or visited forums that talked about stockpiling beans and bullets. I panicked, thinking I could never have enough control for the sake of my family, never be "prepped" enough.
Docking of dairy cows serves no purpose and causes pain and discomfort for the
The place I call home these days is The FarmSchool, a fertile 180-acre strip of ridge top in Athol, where 15 student-farmers are spending a year learning the ins and outs of growing food, managing forests, and raising animals for meat. I arrived at the farm in October, just as the leaves were reaching their peak brilliance. The Farm School — which offers three-day programs for schoolchildren, a summer camp, a full-time middle school, and the apprenticeship program I’m in — takes us through all seasons of farming, weaving together class work and on-farm training.
Many criticize eliminating coal mining in West Virginia because of the amount of jobs the sector provides. A wind farm, however, would employ over 200 local residents during the two-year construction phase, and create 40-50 permanent maintenance jobs afterward. A wind farm would also allow the mountain to be used for other purposes, like sustainable forestry, mountain harvesting, and gathering of wild forest plants, creating additional jobs and the opportunity for stable income for locals.
The past year was a rewarding one for apple discovery, because I potentially found the apple that started my apple search about sixteen years ago — the ‘Harper’s Seedling’ apple.
To learn more about large wind energy degrees, Brittney Tyler-Milholland and Brenna Long talk with educators at Iowa Lakes Community College about the wind energy degree program in this Wind Energy blog. Iowa Lakes had the first wind energy program in Iowa.
If someone told you that you were losing money just by sitting in your home, you would probably want to do whatever you could to change that. Well the reality is that your home is using up energy regularly, and there is a huge chunk of that energy that you do not even need. Luckily, we live in a time when technology is constantly coming up with ways to fix problems such as these. Here are some of the ways that technology can help to save the environment, as well as your wallet.
A video documenting the "One Day Cob House" build in Reno, Nevada.
Another season of pigs and the work of raising, feeding and butchering them in the urban setting.
Incorporating charcoal into the soil helped Amazonian farmers grow better crops, and its new industrial version is promoted as a panacea for both agriculture and the global climate. Those claims are not realistic.
This posting will discuss the relationship of weather and climate and how global warming affects this relationship to trigger climate change
Mankind’s use of fossil fuels during the last 200 years has dumped millions of years of sequestered carbon into the atmosphere in the form of Carbon Dioxide. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, 315 gigatons of carbon have been added to the atmosphere, leaving the carbon cycle 315 gigatons out of balance.
How do you keep backyard chickens safe from poultry predators? With a bit of elbow grease and a few tips, your girls will be safe from sharp teeth.
A story of life, death and rebirth of a hoop house.
Outdoor kitchens, dining areas and living rooms are a great way to expand your home's living space. Designers offer advice on how to make the most of the great outdoors--in your own backyard.
With its newest offering, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company gives homebuyers the flexibility of a kit house with the fine craftsmanship they expect from the flagship small home builder.
As part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above strategy to
expand safe and responsible domestic energy production, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Nov. 7, 2012, a lease for commercial wind energy development 11 nautical miles off the coast of Delaware.
Finally! Design experts and contractors say granite and marble have lost their luster. Find beautiful, natural alternatives to that and solutions to other common design mistakes, including dull color pallettes and overused water features.
Jason Helvingston of Orlando, Fla., fights for his right to grow food in his front yard garden after the City of Orlando cited him for illegal gardening, pitting food self-sufficiency against city ordinance.
Des Moines, Iowa, gardeners may soon find themselves in hot water with their City. A local resident recently took front yard veggie growers to task for what the resident feels to be unsightly lawn growth. Beets and berries, it seems, do not have the same aesthetic appeal as a green, freshly-mowed front lawn.
In this blog we talk about our three differnet types of solar technology that we have on the Homestead.
You may want to think twice the next time you reach for that cola. A recent study has found that one can of soda a day can increase chances of prostate cancer by 40 percent.
Why Tesla cars, Space-X and other creations of Elon Musk are not the kind of visionary thinking we so desperately need.
Get an introduction to Building Biology, the science and philosophy of healthy and ecological building that originated in Germany 60 years ago.
Are you up to the 2 Mile Challenge? Sign up and help replace 100,000 car trips with healthy, pollution-free bicycle travel!
The federal government spent more taxpayer money on 2012 severe weather cleanup than on schools or roads, reports the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Strict ceilings on resource use, with rationing, can halt and reverse climate disruption. Australia's experience shows why the alternative to rationing, a carbon tax, is too indirect and too politically toxic to succeed.
Creating a micro-climate is an essential tool for your survival and homesteading skills. Making the right micro-climate for your plants specific needs will not only help them survive, but thrive as well.
Over the last 2 decades BeeWeaver has seen change in who keeps bees, and why they keep bees. The journey of the last 20 years has not been easy for the bees but the efforts of these New Beekeepers will keep the amazing honeybee a part of our word.
Medical marijuana was a $1.7 billion industry last year--just shy of Viagra as pot-related businesses crop up across the country.