The Good News…The Bad News…Week of March 24, 2017 - Years Of Living Dangerously

The Good News…The Bad News…Week of March 24, 2017

By Margaret Badore

We’re in a race against time to solve climate change. Can the good news catch up to the bad?

This week, we got reports of serious climate impacts coming in from all around the world, from Peru to the Arctic. But new research shows positive progress on beef and the impact of clean energy on the economy.

The Bad News

FLOODING TURNS DEADLY IN PERU

The usually arid coasts of Peru have been hit with the worst floods in 20 years, caused in part by warmer ocean water. The floods have killed over 70 people. Read More 

2017 SETS NEW RECORD LOW FOR ARCTIC ICE

The National Snow and Ice Data Center announced this week that this year marks a new low for sea ice in the Arctic. With 14.42 million square kilometers of sea ice, the new record is 97,000 square kilometers less than the previous record—an equivalent to the size of the state of Maine—which was set in 2015. Read More

BOUNCY GRASS BUBBLES ARE AN OMINOUS SIGN

Melting permafrost is a less discussed source of greenhouse gas. As permafrost’s icy composition melts, it releases methane once trapped, potentially creating a dangerous feedback loop. In famously frozen Siberia, methane is forming bouncy, grass-covered bubbles, which seem increasingly common. One report says 7000 of these bubbles have been identified, up from about 15 last year. Read More

KEYSTONE XL GETS PERMIT

The Keystone XL pipeline, which was rejected under Obama, has been resurrected. Today, the project received a permit from the State Department, following a 60 day review. Read More

The Good News

CLIMATE ACTION WOULD BOOST THE GLOBAL ECONOMY

A new report finds that avoiding catastrophic climate change would boost the global economy. A transition to a low-carbon economy, according to the report, would cost about $1.8 trillion a year, while at the same time would yield $10 trillion per year in benefits by 2050. Read More

AMERICANS CUT BACK ON BEEF

A new report out this week showed that Americans reduced the amount of beef they ate by 19 percent from 2005 to 2014. Beef can have one of the heaviest environmental footprints of all foods, so the cutback on burgers and steaks is good for the climate too. The report estimates that the associated reduction in pollution is equivalent to taking 39 million cars off the road, about a sixth of the total number of vehicles registered in the U.S. Read More

MEET THE PEOPLE WORKING TO FIX CLIMATE CHANGE

The Environmental news site Grist has released its annual list of 50 inspiring people working to solve climate change. This year’s list includes our own Camila Thorndike and Page Atcheson, founders of Our Climate and organizers of the #PutAPriceOnIt campaign. Read More 

CALIFORNIA CONTINUES TO FIGHT FOR A BETTER CLIMATE

Yesterday, California passed the nation’s strictest regulations on “super pollutants,” which includes black carbon from diesel exhaust, hydrofluorocarbons from refrigerators, and methane from cow manure. These greenhouse gases don’t stay in the air as long as carbon dioxide, but they can cause much more warming in the short-term. Read More