Canada is Warming at Twice the Rate of the Globe, Says New Report

April 20, 2019

For The Real News, I speak to Keith Stewart of Greenpeace Canada about a new study showing that Canada is warming at twice the rate as the rest of the world, and that northern Canada is warming at three times the global rate.

As Keith states: “It’s kind of a standard joke that oh, in Canada it would be nice if it was a little warmer. The problem is the rate of change. We haven’t historically– well, in the geological record climate has changed a lot over time– but we’re trying to pack change that usually take 50,000 to 100,000 years into 50 years. Because we’re burning fossil fuels and sort of increasing the greenhouse effect trapping heat, which it then causes a whole bunch of other changes. You might think oh, a little bit warmer that would be nice, but you’re also changing rainfall patterns. You’re going to have drought in some places. You are going to have more wildfires, the kinds we’ve seen in B.C. and Alberta the last couple of years where people literally couldn’t breathe. Walking outside in Vancouver was like breathing eight packs, smoking eight pack of cigarettes. In urban areas, one of the warnings in the report is we’re going to see even more flooding. In particular, the kind of flash flooding which in one incident here in Toronto back in 2013, we saw $960 million worth of damage in a couple of hours. We saw street cars under water. People had to be rescued from the GO train by boat. These kinds of severe impacts– the heat waves, the droughts, the wildfires, the flooding– these cause enormous damage to our economy, they cause enormous damage to our health, and we’re only seeing the thin edge of the wedge here.”

My discussion with Keith can be seen and listened to here:

Canada is Warming at Twice the Rate of the Globe, Says New Report

How Big Tech Helped Big Oil Automate the Climate Crisis

For The Real News, I speak with Gizmodo reporter Brian Merchant about the merging interests of Big Tech and Big Oil.

As Brian explains, major tech companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft are helping fossil fuel companies to extract more oil and gas at lower cost.

These companies increasingly profit from our dependence on fossil fuels even as they claim to be leaders in the battle against climate change.

My discussion with Brian can be watched here:

https://therealnews.com/stories/how-big-tech-has-helped-big-oil-automate-the-climate-crisis

Toxic Coal Ash Afflicts Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic

During my recent visit to Puerto Rico, I spoke for The Real News with environmental attorney Ruth Santiago about Puerto Rico’s extreme dependence on fossil fuels and the mountains of toxic coal ash being produced by American energy giant AES Corp.

Our discussion can be watched and listened to here:

https://therealnews.com/stories/toxic-coal-ash-afflicts-puerto-rico-and-the-dominican-republic

 

Puerto Rico Faces a Flood of Fracked Gas in Wake of Hurricane Maria

I recently travelled to Puerto Rico to examine the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

While there, I learned that, faced by an existential climate crisis, the Trump administration is exploiting the island’s severe energy challenges to promote the interests of America’s fracking and LNG industries.

This is my report for The Real News:

 

My thanks to my Real News colleagues Steve Horn and Oscar Leon for their excellent work on this report.

Puerto Rico’s Government Was Warned Climate Catastrophe Was Coming, But Didn’t Listen

March 21, 2019

In Puerto Rico, I spoke to environmental activist Juan Rosario about the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

As Juan explains, Puerto Rico’s government was warned that a monster hurricane was inevitable, but did too little to prepare.

My interview with Juan can be watched and listened to here:

https://therealnews.com/stories/puerto-ricos-government-was-warned-climate-catastrophe-was-coming-but-didnt-listen

Insect Apocalypse: New Study Reveals Stunning Decline in Insect Populations

For The Real News Network, I speak to ecologist Francisco Sanchez-Bayo of Sydney University in Australia about a new study showing alarming rates of decline in insect populations.

If current trends persist, the earth could be essentially devoid of insects within about a century.

My discussion with Dr. Sanchez-Bayo can be seen and listened to here:

https://therealnews.com/stories/insect-apocalypse-new-study-reveals-stunning-decline-in-insect-populations?fbclid=IwAR0UwONv6n2pq3vwMO-pk30zi62ePF6IwJlQFv1_7a0laLBb323GejJcrXg

Study: Loss of Stratocumulus Clouds Could Precipitate Extreme Global Warming

56 million years ago, the Earth experienced a brief, cataclysmic hot spell now known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM.

After heat-trapping carbon leaked into the sky from an unknown source, the planet, which was already several degrees Celsius hotter than it is today, gained an additional six degrees.

The PETM another episodes of intense warming were more extreme than theoretical models of the climate have been. Even after accounting for differences in geography, ocean currents, and vegetation during these past episodes, paleoclimatologists realized that an important but unknown factor was missing from their models.

Now, a new study in the scientific journal Nature Geoscience indicates that hitherto unknown factor is cloud cover. According to the study, decks of stratocumulus clouds, which cover about 20 percent of the low-latitude oceans, become unstable and break up into scattered clouds when CO2 levels rise above 1,200 parts per million.

This instability triggers a surface warming of a stunning 8 degrees Celsius globally.

For The Real News Network, I spoke to a co-author of the study, Professor Tapio Schneider. Our discussion can be watched and listened to here:

https://therealnews.com/stories/study-loss-of-stratocumulus-clouds-could-precipitate-extreme-global-warming