Climate Change Roundup

Food Insecurity

Less or lower quality food could be on the way:

A World Bank report stresses that the impact of climate change on food production could be severe, especially given that the benefits of carbon dioxide fertilisation, which is an increase in rate of plant growth due to increasing carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere, are still uncertain. The lower nutritional value of foodgrain would have “strong repercussions on food security and are likely to negatively influence economic growth and poverty reduction in the impacted regions”, the report, titled “Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts and the Case for Resilience”, has said.

Stronger storms

The same report details that

“In Southeast Asia, the degradation and loss of coral reefs will diminish tourism, reduce fish stocks, and leave coastal communities and cities more vulnerable to storms,” the WB said.

Climate risks for Southeast Asia in a two-degree Celsius increase would likely lead to sea levels rising as much as 50 centimeters by the 2050s.

“This will cause greater destruction and result in flooding fields for extended periods, and inundate delta areas with intrusions of salt water into fields and in groundwater used for drinking.”

The report also projects typhoons will increase in intensity to Category 4 and 5.

Our government’s response:

From the President:

President Obama is preparing regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, senior officials said Wednesday. The move would be the most consequential climate policy step he could take and one likely to provoke legal challenges from Republicans and some industries.

At this point, the GOP would legally challenge it, if the President said that he likes puppies.

Meanwhile, in Congress, the GOP showing that it too takes the global threat to our civilization seriously, takes decisive action:

Republicans in the US House of Representatives want NASA out of the climate-change business.

A bill floated by leaders of the House Science Committee seeks to restore “proper balance to NASA’s science portfolio” by slashing roughly US$500 million from the agency’s Earth science division, which received $1.785 billion this year. The move is part of a broader push by Republicans to replenish NASA’s planetary science division, which has seen drastic cuts in recent years.

But the severity of the Earth science cuts even shocked Steven Squyres, a planetary scientist at Cornell University in New York, who led the planetary community’s 2011 decadal survey. He told lawmakers today that the proposed cut to Earth science research is “alarmingly deep”.

But Republicans dismissed such concerns. “Over the last five years, the Earth science programme has grown by over 40% at the expense of other critical missions,” said Representative Steve Palazzo (Republican, Mississippi). “There are 13 agencies within the government that fund over $2.5 billion in climate change research, but only one agency in the government does space exploration.”



To my friends in the Philippines, look, I know it’s your home and all, but let’s face it, you’re going to be sharing your living room with a shark soon, so I’d like to extend my invitation for you to come to the United States and set up a refugee camp in front of our nation’s Capitol building. And maybe feel free to let passing congressmen and staffers what you think of them.

Maybe bring your soon-to-be shark roommates with you.


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