Stop US corporate Democrat climate debate ban


This 25 June 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Candidates and activists are pushing for a Democratic presidential debate on climate change. The DNC [Democratic National Committee] says no. What gives?

Apparently, the establishment DNC is scared that in a debate on the extremely important climate change issue, it would turn out that left-wing candidates like Bernie Sanders have better policies than the corporate right-wing candidates with their links to fossil fuel Big Money; like 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had.

Inadvertently, the Wall Street DNC Democrats by their ban show how important the subject of global warming is.

By Jane Kleeb, Chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party in the USA, 12 July 2019:

There is NO debate — the climate crisis is here and is impacting communities across the world. Whether you live in a rural or urban town, climate change impacts your water, livelihood and health. What used to be a 100-year flood happens every few years, and across the nation extreme summer heat is putting lives at risk.

That’s why Our Revolution is calling on the Democratic National Committee to hold a debate focused solely on the climate crisis. We know the current debate format does not allow in-depth conversations on ideas or solutions, and we can’t afford to keep ignoring a crisis that puts every living being on earth at risk.

Click here to sign on if you agree that there should be a climate debate, and send us a note in your own words on why you want DNC members in your state to vote to make it happen. We will then directly deliver your name and comments to your state party leaders so they know how much you care about climate change and why you want the DNC to lead on this issue.

Tell the DNC: Host a debate on the climate crisis! The majority of presidential contenders agree that we need to hold a climate debate, so it makes no sense that the DNC is ignoring both candidates and grassroots voters.

Demonstrators demand climate change debate, photo Sarah Silbiger / Getty Images

As the Democratic Party Chair here in Nebraska, I respect the DNC as an institution of Democratic leaders across our country who do work every single day to build up the grassroots and get local Democrats elected. I am also committed to fighting for reforms within the DNC to make sure our party reflects the will of the people.

When we run to get elected as a party leader or a public official, we do so because we want to make our party and communities stronger — and part of that is ensuring that the climate crisis is thoroughly debated so that the American people can make an informed decision.

Add your name to demand that the DNC move forward with a climate debate!

In Solidarity,

Jane Kleeb
Chair, Nebraska Democratic Party & Our Revolution Board Member

A Science Group Is Offering $100,000 To Host A Democratic Climate Change Debate Despite A DNC Ban: here.

One more problem is that the Democratic National Committee has not just banned a party organised climate change debate. It has threatened to punish candidates for participating in a climate change debate organised by others as well.

So, what will happen around the debate announced here below?

From Tiernan Sittenfeld, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, League of Conservation Voters in the USA, 12 July 2019:

CLIMATE SUMMIT ANNOUNCEMENT

LCV is joining The New Republic and Earther for their climate change summit for the Democratic presidential candidates on September 23 in New York City. It’s critical that climate change be front and center in upcoming debates, but this is a great opportunity to get the candidates to discuss climate in an in-depth way. Want to be involved? Sign up to be updated on the latest details, including which candidates will be there, opportunities for YOU to submit questions, and more.

SIGN UP

A climate summit will give us the chance to hear directly from Democratic presidential candidates about how they would confront the climate crisis. Add your name to receive updates about the summit.

I’m thrilled to let you know that LCV is joining The New Republic and Earther for their climate change summit for Democratic candidates. This event is sure to be a unique opportunity to engage candidates in extended discussions about their plans to confront the climate crisis.

During the first debates in Miami, with a combined 240 minutes of discussion, climate received only 15 minutes. Ironic, being that the event took place in a city poised to sink into the ocean.

Poll after poll shows that voters see climate change as a top issue in the presidential primary. At this summit, the moderators can really dig into questions like ending our dependence on fossil fuels and what that means for society. We can see candidates putting the communities most damaged by the climate crisis at the center of the discussion, where they belong. And climate change can receive the urgency and attention it deserves.

It’s imperative to get these discussions in motion now, because climate change is the defining issue of our time, and the 2020 presidential election is our last, best chance to stop the crisis.

That’s why we’re thrilled to be joining The New Republic and Earther in their climate change summit. LCV is proud to play an integral role informing the moderators and hosts on the candidates’ environmental records and climate change plans. And we want you to be a part of the summit, too.

We want to keep you updated on the latest details, including which candidates will be there, opportunities for YOU to submit questions, and more. Sign up now.

We have less than 12 years left to make a real impact in the climate crisis, and we must make sure the next president is ready to tackle climate change on day one.

Thanks for fighting this fight with LCV.

Tiernan Sittenfeld
Senior Vice President, Government Affairs
League of Conservation Voters

P.S. Check out this article from The New Republic and Earther for more information on the climate summit

From U.S. News and World Report, July 2, 2019:

Mounting pressure from climate change activists appears to be working on the Democratic National Committee, which has taken up consideration of proposals that could allow a presidential debate on the topic.

The DNC executive committee gathered over the weekend and referred two resolutions regarding climate change discussions to a committee. The committee has scheduled a vote on the measures on Aug. 23, according to activist group Sunrise Movement. A DNC official confirmed Tuesday that the next phase of the resolution process will begin in late August.

Activists said that last week’s debates proved a conversation focused solely on climate change is necessary. Roughly 15 minutes of the pair of two-hour debates were focused on the issue.

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Macron’s police attacks French climate activists


This 28 June 2019 video from France shows Paris police pepper spraying peaceful protesters. The police violence begins at 7:53.

By Will Morrow:

Paris police use pepper spray against seated climate change protesters

2 July 2019

In the latest act of police violence in France, dozens of riot officers surrounded a group of peaceful climate change protesters sitting on and blocking a road in Paris on Friday, dousing them in pepper spray and assaulting them.

The police attack occurred on the Pont Sully, which crosses the Seine River. A group of around 50 protesters were sitting on the bridge and blocking traffic. As the police began dousing them in pepper spray, they raised their hands above their heads and shouted “nonviolent.” The police then charged the group with shields raised and began dragging them away. Videos of the event show the police using pepper spray against those who come to pour water on protesters who have already been sprayed.

For the next 10 minutes, the police stroll around the group, spraying into their faces from 20 centimeters away and ripping protective goggles off them, as dozens of onlookers stand and film with their phones.

The scene in Paris, videos of which have been shared thousands of times and triggered an outcry on social media, recalls the police’s pepper spraying of University of California Davis students protesting social inequality and tuition fee increases in November 2011.

It occurs amid the Macron administration’s massive mobilization of riot police over the past six months to violently repress “yellow vest” protesters opposing social inequality, austerity and the slashing of taxes for the super-rich.

More than 12,000 people have been arrested, and police have used tear gas, rubber bullets, baton charges and attack dogs, while Macron has deployed the military to the streets and leading French officials have called for the use of live ammunition to “put an end” to the protests.

Twenty-three protesters have lost the use of an eye after being shot by police rubber bullets, five have lost a hand from stun grenades, and one protester has lost a testicle.

Zineb Redouane, an 80-year-old retiree from Marseille, was killed by police on December 1, 2018, after she was hit in the face by a police stun grenade while closing the blinds of her apartment.

Not a single police officer has been criminally charged.

Macron’s minister of ecological transition and solidarity, Francois de Rugy,

the successor of Nicolas Hulot, who resigned from the Macron administration, being sick of its lack of pro-climate pro-environment policies

the former Socialist Party deputy who moved with Macron to form La Republique en Marche in 2017, defended the police assault in Paris on Friday, telling BFM-TV: “These are very radical militants with supposedly nonviolent but completely paralyzing methods. The riot police had to be mobilized to take them one by one. It finished with gas aimed at making them leave.”

Saturday demonstration in Nantes against disappearance of Steve Carico, feared drowned after police assault

The police assault took place the day before a march of 1,000 young people against police violence in Nantes, the sixth-largest city, located in the far west of the country. The protesters demanded justice for Steve Caniço, a 24-year-old animator who disappeared and is feared to have drowned in the Loire river on June 21, due to a police crackdown on a techno music festival that night. The demonstrators carried a banner reading “Where is Steve?”

The police claim they launched the assault on the festival because the music went on for half an hour past the authorized ending time of 4:00 a.m.

In response to late music, they entered the festival grounds with attack dogs and riot shields and shot tear gas. Fourteen people jumped into the Loire River to escape, including Steve Caniço, who has not been seen since.

The massive escalation of police violence in France is part of a shift to the right and the building up of police states by capitalist governments throughout Europe and internationally. It is a response to the massive growth of social inequality, and an initial growth of strikes and demonstrations by workers and young people seeking to oppose environmental destruction, social inequality, militarism and capitalist oppression. The ruling class is responding to the first signs of popular opposition with the development of a police state and the elevation of fascist and far-right political forces.

The climate protest attacked by police in Paris on Friday was organized by Extinction Rebellion. The group organized protests in the UK this year that were met with a brutal crackdown. In the course of two weeks of protests in April, more than 10,000 police were deployed and arrested 1,130 people. The London police are pressing to charge every one of the people arrested in the protests.

Extinction Rebellion was founded in May 2018 in the UK and launched with an open letter in October by a group of environmentalists.

Two hundred thirty years after the storming of the Bastille prison launched the French Revolution in 1789, President Emmanuel Macron’s government carried out mass preventive arrests, rounding up well known “yellow vest” protesters on Bastille Day in Paris yesterday. Macron was booed and jeered as he drove in the motorcade down the Champs-Elysées on the traditional military parade Sunday morning: here.

Research published in this week’s issue of Nature Communications reveals a considerable chance for an ice-free Arctic Ocean at global warming limits stipulated in the Paris Agreement. Scientists from South Korea, Australia and the USA used results from climate models and a new statistical approach to calculate the likelihood for Arctic sea ice to disappear at different warming levels: here.

Pentagon contribution to global warming, new study


This 28 August 2017 video from the USA says about itself:

Pentagon dumps tons of hazardous waste yearly without disclosing pollution harm

Pop quiz – name the entity that takes the title for largest polluter in the US? As a recent piece in Counterpunch points out, it’s actually not a corporation but rather the Department of Defense. The Pentagon dumps more than 700,000 tons of hazardous waste a year. Frank Vera, an Air Force veteran and founder of http://www.georgeairforce.info, says the Air Force and Marines never address the pollution problems, out of fear for losing their jobs.

From Lancaster University in England:

U.S. military consumes more hydrocarbons than most countries — massive hidden impact on climate

June 20, 2019

The US military’s carbon footprint is enormous and must be confronted in order to have a substantial effect on battling global warming, experts argue.

Research by social scientists from Durham University and Lancaster University shows the US military is one of the largest climate polluters in history, consuming more liquid fuels and emitting more CO2e (carbon-dioxide equivalent) than most countries.

The majority of greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting routinely focuses on civilian energy use and fuel consumption, not on the US military. This new study, published in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, calculates part of the US military’s impact on climate change through critical analysis of its global logistical supply chains.

The research provides an independent public assessment of the US military’s greenhouse gas emissions. It reports that if the US military were a nation state, it would be the 47th largest emitter of GHG in the world, if only taking into account the emission from fuel usage.

Report co-author Dr Patrick Bigger, of Lancaster University Environment Centre, said: “The US Military has long understood it is not immune from the potential consequences of climate change — recognising it as a threat multiplier that can exacerbate other threats — nor has it ignored its own contribution to the problem.

“Yet its climate policy is fundamentally contradictory — confronting the effects of climate change while remaining the largest single institutional consumer of hydrocarbons in the world, a situation it is locked into for years to come because of its dependence on existing aircraft and warships for open-ended operations around the globe.”

Despite the recent increase in attention, the US military’s dependence on fossil fuels is unlikely to change. The US is continuing to pursue open-ended operations around the globe, with the life-cycles of existing military aircraft and warships locking them into hydrocarbons for years to come.

The research comes at a time when the US military is preparing for climate change through both its global supply networks and its security infrastructure. This study brings transparency to one of the world’s largest institutional consumers of hydrocarbons at a time when the issue is a hot-button topic on the US Presidential campaign trail. Leading Democratic candidates, such as Senator Elizabeth Warren, are asking critical questions of the role of the US military in climate change and examining its plans for the future.

Co-author Dr Benjamin Neimark, Associate Director of the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business at Lancaster, said: “This research provides ample evidence to support recent calls by activist networks to include the US military in Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s Green New Deal and other international climate treaties.”

Co-author Dr Oliver Belcher, of Durham University’s Department of Geography, said: “Our research demonstrates that to account for the US military as a major climate actor, you must understand the logistical supply chain that makes its acquisition and consumption of hydrocarbon-based fuels possible.

“How do we account for the most far-reaching, sophisticated supply chains, and the largest climate polluter in history? While incremental changes can amount to radical effects in the long-run, there is no shortage of evidence that the climate is at a tipping point and more is needed.”

The researchers’ examination of the US military ‘carbon boot-print’ started with the US Defense Logistics Agency — Energy (DLA-E), a powerful yet virtually unresearched sub-agency within the larger Defense Logistics Agency. It is the primary purchase-point for hydrocarbon-based fuels for the US Military, and a powerful actor in the global oil market, with the fuels it delivers powering everything from routine base operations in the USA to forward operating bases in Afghanistan.

“An important way to cool off the furnace of the climate emergency is to turn off vast sections of the military machine,” added Dr Neimark. “This will have not only the immediate effect of reducing emissions in the here-and-now, but create a disincentive in developing new hydrocarbon infrastructure integral to US military operations.”

Other key findings of the report include:

  • In 2017 alone, the US military purchased about 269,230 barrels of oil a day and emitted more than 25,000 kt- CO2e by burning those fuels. In 2017 alone, the Air Force purchased $4.9 billion worth of fuel and the Navy $2.8 billion, followed by the Army at $947 million and Marines at $36 million.
  • If the US military were a country, it would nestle between Peru and Portugal in the global league table of fuel purchasing, when comparing 2014 World Bank country liquid fuel consumption with 2015 US military liquid fuel consumption.
  • For 2014, the scale of emissions is roughly equivalent to total — not just fuel — emissions from Romania. According to the DLA-E data obtained by the researchers, which includes GHG emissions from direct or stationary sources, indirect or mobile sources and electricity use, and other indirect, including upstream and downstream emissions.
  • The Air Force is by far the largest emitter of GHG at more than 13,000 kt CO2e, almost double that of the US Navy’s 7,800 kt CO2e. In addition to using the most polluting types of fuel, the Air Force and Navy are also the largest purchasers of fuel.

MEDICAL GROUPS WARN ON CLIMATE CHANGE Nearly 75 medical and public health groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Heart Association, are calling for a series of consensus commitments to combat climate change, saying the phenomenon is a “health emergency.” [AP]

German police attack pro-climate movement


This 1 March 2019 video from Germany says about itself:

Germany: Swedish teen activist Thunberg joins Hamburg climate school strike

Teenage Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg joined thousands of demonstrators as they marched through Hamburg on Friday, calling for more and faster action on climate change. The protesters, predominantly students and pupils, marched under the motto ‘Fridays for Future’, skipping Fridays classes, to highlight the importance to act sustainably immediately.

‘Fridays for Future’ was begun by a then 15-year-old Thunberg in August 2018 when she started protesting for climate justice in front of the Swedish parliament building in Stockholm on Fridays instead of attending school.

The school strike protests have subsequently been adopted and expanded by students and young people around the globe. Speaking to the assembled crowd of young protesters, Thunberg said “Yes we are angry. We are angry because the older generations continue to steal our future, right now.”

By Harold Hambacher in Germany:

German police threaten climate change protesters

17 June 2019

Ahead of the cross-border protest for climate justice planned in the German city of Aachen on June 21, the city’s police praesidium has sent a letter to the organisers of Fridays for Future that can only be described as a blatant attempt to intimidate protesters.

The threatening letter, which was also sent to parents’ associations, the education ministry of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, and district administrations in Cologne and Düsseldorf, explicitly threatened youth with a police response and criminal prosecution. The letter warned against “aggressive confrontations” and informed “disrupters” that they should expect to be kettled: groups could be “‘enclosed’ by the police” and “individuals could be taken into custody.”

The letter to students, teachers, and parents, which was undoubtedly sent with the agreement of the state government and North Rhine-Westphalia’s Interior Minister Herbert Reul (Christian Democrats, CDU), was also published on the police website, where it is declared in large type, “Police can also take measures against children and young people.”

The provocative letter comes in the lead-up to the “Climate Justice without Borders” student strike and march planned for Friday, June 21. Some 20,000 participants are expected. School students, university students, academics, and artists from 16 countries have already announced their intention to participate in the protest in Aachen, which is located on the borders of Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

To give their threats extra weight, the police employed the tried and tested tactic of pointing the finger at an alleged “minority prepared to commit violence” in order to justify the use of ruthless violence from the outset. Based on the fact that the group “ende Gelände” is protesting the logging of the nearby Hambacher forest by the RWE energy concern on the same weekend, the police wrote, “Keep your distance from groups ready to commit violence like ‘Ende Gelände’, don’t allow yourselves to be instrumentalised to conduct illegal acts! Do not fall into the ‘criminality trap’.”

Further on in the letter, another threat is made, “The police are also obliged to protect private property rights”, and the police will not hesitate to provide “those damaged” with the personal details of the culprits, as has happened in the past. In a first draft of the letter, the police even claimed that protesters in the past had been ordered to make compensation payments totaling €2.1 million. However, this false report on an ongoing legal trial, which RWE is pursuing, had to be removed by the police.

In fact, the Fridays for Future organisers have explicitly declared their solidarity with the protests against the logging of the Hambacher forest. They call for participation in a protest planned at the Garzweiler mine, and declare together with the Hambacher forest protesters on their Facebook page to make “the holiday weekend into a weekend for climate justice.”

The police letter threatening all of these protests represents a frontal assault on the right to demonstrate. For several weeks,
until the European elections in May, the climate protests organised by students were tolerated. But now, with the elections over, the authorities are showing their true colours and the police state is rearing its ugly head.

As in France, where the state cracked down violently against Yellow Vest protesters six months ago, German authorities are now preparing to brutally attack peaceful protests. The police are even threatening children and young people with kettling, detention, and criminal prosecutions.

The warning in the letter that young people could “fall into the ‘criminality trap’” merely by taking part in the protest is particularly revealing. This statement is entirely in keeping with the new Police Obligations Law, which
criminalises under certain circumstances the mere participation in a protest, and similar laws in almost every German state. North Rhine-Westphalia’s new police law, passed in December 2018, permits people to be detained for up to 28 days for a mere suspicion that they may conduct a criminal act.

Tens of thousands have taken to the streets on several occasions to protest against the law. The letter from the Aachen police thus is not merely directed at the students who are organising the climate justice protest, but also against all workers and young people who are moving into struggle against militarism, war, and social inequality. At one stroke, it sheds light on the true balance of power, while at the same time underscoring the hopelessness of appealing to any of the bourgeois parties which keep the state running smoothly.

It is clear that there is only one way to fight for the preservation of natural resources and the basic necessities of life: young people must turn to the working class, which is the only force capable of overturning the source of this destruction: the capitalist profit system. They must take up the fight for a socialist society based on the needs of the vast majority, and not the profit interests of the banks and major corporations.

The first international mass demonstration organized by Fridays for Future, the student environmental activist group, brought together young people from 15 countries in Aachen, Germany on June 21. The protest in Germany’s westernmost city, near the borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, was held under the slogan, “Climate Justice Without Borders—United for a Future.” Some 40,000 students demanded a rapid shutdown of coal-fired power plants and other measures: here.

Increased solar radiation penetrating through the damaged ozone layer is interacting with the changing climate, and the consequences are rippling through the Earth’s natural systems, affecting everything from weather to the health and abundance of sea mammals like seals and penguins: here.

Large portions of Europe were hit by intense heat waves over the past week. Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic all experienced their hottest-ever temperatures for the month of June. France recorded its hottest day ever on Friday, reaching a high of 45.9 degrees Celsius (115 Fahrenheit) at the town of Gallargues-le-Montueux near Montpellier, in the southern Gard region, making it temporarily warmer than California’s notoriously hot Death Valley: here.

Why Yellowstone, USA elk migrate


This 2017 video says about itself:

Take an Epic Journey With the Elk of Yellowstone | Short Film Showcase

Travel with elk herds on their incredible migration from Wyoming’s ranch lands to Yellowstone’s high-alpine meadows in Elk River.

From the University of California – Berkeley in the USA:

What drives Yellowstone’s massive elk migrations?

Study finds elk have the means to adapt to changing climate cues, but migratory shifts may have unknown ripple effects throughout the region

June 14, 2019

Summary: Yellowstone’s migratory elk rely primarily on environmental cues, including a retreating snowline and the greening grasses of spring, to decide when to make the treks between their winter ranges and summer ranges, researchers show. Their study combined GPS tracking data from more than 400 animals in nine major Yellowstone elk populations with satellite imagery to create a comprehensive model of what drives these animals to move.

Every spring, tens of thousands of elk follow a wave of green growth up onto the high plateaus in and around Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, where they spend the summer calving and fattening on fresh grass. And every fall, the massive herds migrate back down into the surrounding valleys and plains, where lower elevations provide respite from harsh winters.

These migratory elk rely primarily on environmental cues, including a retreating snowline and the greening grasses of spring, to decide when to make these yearly journeys, shows a new study led by University of California, Berkeley, researchers. The study combined GPS tracking data from more than 400 animals in nine major Yellowstone elk populations with satellite imagery to create a comprehensive model of what drives these animals to move.

“We found that the immediate environment is a very effective predictor of when migration occurs,” said Gregory Rickbeil, who conducted the analysis as a postdoctoral researcher in Arthur Middleton’s lab at UC Berkeley. This is in contrast with some other species, such as migratory birds, which rely on changing day length to decide when to move, Rickbeil pointed out.

The results, published in the current issue of the journal Global Change Biology, suggest that, as climate change reshapes the weather and environment of the park, elk should have the means to adjust their migratory patterns to match the new conditions.

While this adaptability may benefit the survival of the elk, it may also have unknown ripple effects in local economies and throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem — one of the last remaining large, nearly intact ecosystems in Earth’s northern temperate zone, which encompasses about 18 million acres of land managed by more than 25 public entities and hundreds of private landowners. Another recent UC Berkeley-led study suggests that climate change is likely to hit National Parks harder than other areas of the country.

“The decisions that these animals make about when to migrate are absolutely dependent on changes in the landscape, changes that are ultimately governed by the climate,” said Middleton, an assistant professor of environmental science, policy and management at UC Berkeley and senior author on the study. “And in the future, with climate change, we should expect the timing of these mass movements to be altered, which will affect the other wildlife and the people who depend on them, including predators, scavengers and hunters across the ecosystem.”

Though the migration study’s period was too short to say whether or not climate change is already affecting migratory timing, the tracking data did reveal a surprising trend: Elk on average arrived on their winter ranges 50 days later in 2001 than in 2015. This change had been noted by wildlife managers in the area, but had yet to be quantified on the ecosystem scale until now.

“This [study] provides great insight into the adaptation strategies of elk to climate change in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem,” said Jonathan Jarvis, former director of the National Park Service, who now serves as executive director of the Institute for Parks, People, and Biodiversity at UC Berkeley.

Jarvis noted that more broadly, the new picture of the Yellowstone elk migrations provided by the study’s comprehensive mapping effort “clearly demonstrate the need to think and operate at the landscape scale.” He added, “For the park managers, this kind of research gives them options and incentives, such as protection of migration corridors and seasonal habitats, for ensuring elk and other keystone species in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem will persist.”

Eating and being eaten

Yellowstone’s approximately 20,000 migratory elk are among the most important large mammals in the ecosystem, comprising about 10 million or so pounds of animal biomass pulsing in and out of the parks and adjacent wilderness areas each year — so where they can be found at any given time matters to both animals and humans alike.

“These elk eat a lot of things, and they are eaten by a lot of things, so wherever these masses of hundreds or thousands of elk are on the landscape determines who gets to eat and who doesn’t,” Middleton said. “In some cases, this could be sensitive populations of carnivores, like grizzly bears or wolves, and on the human side, it could be hunters, some of whom are making their income as outfitters and guides.”

Recent studies have shown that threatened grizzly bears depend heavily on newborn elk calves as a food source in spring — right when the migration is happening — and that a Yellowstone wolf kills, on average, 16 elk per year. Meanwhile, each fall, thousands of hunters from around the country pay guides for the chance to harvest an elk in the wilderness near Yellowstone.

While a smattering of studies has investigated the migration of individual herds in the park, none before this study had investigated the phenomenon on an ecosystem scale. To get a more complete picture of migration, Middleton partnered with state and federal wildlife managers in the Yellowstone region to pool information on 414 elk across nine herds that had been fitted with GPS collars between 2001 and 2017.

Rickbeil then analyzed the data to pinpoint when each elk made its trek from winter range to summer range and back again and used satellite images to infer the conditions on the ground during journeys.

He found that elk tended to leave their winter ranges and set out to their summer ranges as soon as the snow had melted and during the “green-up,” when fresh, nutritious plant growth began to sprout. Likewise, encroaching snowfall and hunting pressure cued them to make the return journey.

The team was surprised by the extent of the elks’ flexibility: One year, a female elk might migrate in early May, but the next year in late July, depending on the timing of snowmelt and green-up.

“They’ve got a big brain and big eyes, and they can look around and, to a large degree, see changes on the landscape and react to them,” Middleton said.

However, Rickbeil notes, the snow cover and vegetation couldn’t fully explain why the elk are now arriving so much later at their winter ranges. Variations in snow depth, which cannot be inferred from satellite data, might explain part of the dramatic change, Rickbeil said.

Alyson Courtemanch, who manages the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s Jackson elk herd as part of her job as a wildlife biologist with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, says knowing the whereabouts of the elk is critical to her job setting hunting seasons and managing the spread of diseases among wild elk and domestic cattle.

“We’ve been observing a lot of really interesting changes over the past decade about the way that elk are moving across the landscape, specifically of the timing of the migrations,” said Courtemanch, who supplied GPS data on the Jackson herd for the study. “This analysis helped confirm a lot of things that people on the ground had suspected were happening, but that weren’t really quantified.”

“It seems like these animals can adapt to changing climates, which is likely a good thing,” Rickbeil said. “But there will be a lot of consequences to these changes.”

Study co-authors include Jerod A. Merkle of the University of Wyoming; Greg Anderson, Douglas E. McWhirter and Tony Mong of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department; M. Paul Atwood of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game; Jon P. Beckmann of the Wildlife Conservation Society; Eric K. Cole of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Sarah Dewey and David D. Gustine of the National Park Service; Matthew J. Kauffman of the U.S. Geological Survey and Kelly Proffitt of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

This research was supported by the National Geographic Society, Grant WW-100C-17; the Knobloch Family Foundation; the George B. Storer Foundation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Climate change increases risk of wars


This 12 June 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Climate Change Concentration Camps

Family separation is one of the most controversial actions the Trump administration has taken and now the victims of climate change may be the next locked in cages.

Climate change refugees are on their way and the Trump administration is preparing for them by housing migrants where Japanese Americans were interned during WWII.

Is Donald Trump creating Climate Change Concentration Camps?

This 10 June 2019 video from Stanford University in the USA says about itself:

Synthesizing views from experts in different fields, a new study led by Katharine Mach, Director of the Stanford Environment Assessment Facility, and co-authored by Kenneth Schultz, Professor of Political Science at Stanford, finds that climate has affected the risk of armed conflict to date and its impact is expected to increase substantially with future warming.

As a Dutch general remarked, climate change is a major factor in causing war in Syria.

From Stanford University in the USA:

How much does climate change affects the risk of armed conflict

As global temperatures climb, the risk of armed conflict is expected to increase substantially

June 12, 2019

Intensifying climate change will increase the future risk of violent armed conflict within countries, according to a study
published today in the journal Nature. Synthesizing views across experts, the study estimates climate has influenced between 3% and 20% of armed conflict risk over the last century and that the influence will likely increase dramatically.

In a scenario with 4 degrees Celsius of warming (approximately the path we’re on if societies do not substantially reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases), the influence of climate on conflicts would increase more than five times, leaping to a 26% chance of a substantial increase in conflict risk, according to the study. Even in a scenario of 2 degrees Celsius of warming beyond preindustrial levels — the stated goal of the Paris Climate Agreement¬ — the influence of climate on conflicts would more than double, rising to a 13% chance.

“Appreciating the role of climate change and its security impacts is important not only for understanding the social costs of our continuing heat-trapping emissions, but for prioritizing responses, which could include aid and cooperation,” said Katharine Mach, director of the Stanford Environment Assessment Facility and the study’s lead author.

Climate change-driven extreme weather and related disasters can damage economies, lower farming and livestock production and intensify inequality among social groups. These factors, when combined with other drivers of conflict, may increase risks of violence.

“Knowing whether environmental or climatic changes are important for explaining conflict has implications for what we can do to reduce the likelihood of future conflict, as well as for how to make well-informed decisions about how aggressively we should mitigate future climate change,” said Marshall Burke, assistant professor of Earth system science and a co-author on the study.

Finding consensus

Researchers disagree intensely as to whether climate plays a role in triggering civil wars and other armed conflicts. To better understand the impact of climate, the analysis involved interviews with and debates among experts in political science, environmental science, economics and other fields who have come to different conclusions on climate’s influence on conflict in the past.

The experts, who also served as co-authors on the study, agree that climate has affected organized armed conflict in recent decades. However, they make clear that other factors, such as low socioeconomic development, the strength of government, inequalities in societies, and a recent history of violent conflict have a much heavier impact on conflict within countries.

The researchers don’t fully understand how climate affects conflict and under what conditions. The consequences of future climate change will likely be different from historical climate disruptions because societies will be forced to grapple with unprecedented conditions that go beyond known experience and what they may be capable of adapting to.

“Historically, levels of armed conflict over time have been heavily influenced by shocks to, and changes in, international relations among states and in their domestic political systems,” said James Fearon, professor of political science and co-author on the study. “It is quite likely that over this century, unprecedented climate change is going to have significant impacts on both, but it is extremely hard to anticipate whether the political changes related to climate change will have big effects on armed conflict in turn. So I think putting nontrivial weight on significant climate effects on conflict is reasonable.”

Planning ahead

Reducing conflict risk and preparing for a changing climate can be a win-win approach. The study explains that adaptation strategies, such as crop insurance, post-harvest storage, training services and other measures, can increase food security and diversify economic opportunities, thereby reducing potential climate-conflict linkages. Peacekeeping, conflict mediation and post-conflict aid operations could incorporate climate into their risk reduction strategies by looking at ways climatic hazards may exacerbate violent conflict in the future.

However, the researchers make clear there is a need to increase understanding of these strategies’ effectiveness and potential for adverse side effects. For example, food export bans following crop failures can increase instability elsewhere.

“Understanding the multifaceted ways that climate may interact with known drivers of conflict is really critical for putting investments in the right place,” Mach said.

Medical and military leaders have come together to warn that climate change not only spells a global health catastrophe, but also threatens global stability and security: here.

Global climate change presents a serious national security threat that could affect Americans at home, impact U.S. military operations and heighten global tensions, according to a study released today by a blue-ribbon panel of retired admirals and generals: here.

The National Intelligence Council has completed a new classified assessment that explores how climate change could threaten US security in the next 20 years by causing political instability, mass movements of refugees, terrorism, or conflicts over water and other resources in specific countries: here.

US military operations to protect oil imports coming from the Middle East are creating larger amounts of greenhouse gas emissions than once thought, new research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shows: here.

A single nuclear warhead could cause devastating climate change, resulting in widespread drought and famine that could cost a billion lives, warn researchers: here.

Greenland‘s vast ice sheet has long been home to Project Iceworm, an abandoned Cold War-era U.S. Army initiative designed to deploy ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads against the Soviet Union. When the project was shuttered in 1967, military planners expected that any materials left on site would be safely frozen in ice and snow in perpetuity. Now, melting ice in a changing Arctic has remobilized some toxic waste at one Project Iceworm site and threatens to do the same at other project sites: here.

Rare and fragmented chalk grasslands may take at least half a century to recover from the damage done to them by military training, according to new research published in the British Ecological Society’s Journal of Applied Ecology. Dr Rachel Hirst and colleagues found that, while neutral (mesotrophic) grasslands took between 30 and 40 years to re-establish after disturbance during military training, areas of chalk grassland took at least 50 years to recover: here.

Climate change threatens South American monkeys


This 2009 video says about itself:

Great video from BBC Earth epic Wild South America. Learn more about the secret life of Bromeliads, a type of plant that thrives in an extreme rainforest environment. Watch as the plant is used as a drinking well for thirsty tree top monkeys and a swimming pool for preening brightly coloured birds.

From the University of Stirling in Scotland:

Monkeys face climate change extinction threat

June 12, 2019

Monkeys living in South America are highly vulnerable to climate change and face an “elevated risk of extinction”, according to a new University of Stirling-led study.

The research, involving an international team of scientists, found that a large percentage of non-human primates — including monkeys, lemurs and apes — are facing substantial temperature increases and marked habitat changes over the next 30 years.

The team, led by Dr Joana Carvalho of Stirling’s Faculty of Natural Sciences, said that New World monkeys — which live primarily in tropical South America — will be particularly affected.

Dr Carvalho said: “Based on our analysis, it is clear that New World monkeys in particular can be considered highly vulnerable to projected temperature increases, consequently facing an elevated risk of extinction.”

The study looked at all 426 species of non-human primates contained within the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List database — and examined their exposure risk to changes in climatic and land use conditions forecast for the year 2050. The authors considered the best-case scenario — slowly declining emissions, with appropriate mitigation measures put in place — and the worst-case scenario, assuming that emissions continue to increase unchecked.

The team identified key regions where future conditions will be particularly bleak for species — with New World monkeys exposed to extreme levels of warming. They said that 86 percent of Neotropical primate ranges will experience maximum temperature increases of greater than 3°C, while extreme warming — of more than 4°C — is likely to affect 41 percent of their ranges, including many areas that presently harbour the highest number of primate species.

Dr Carvalho continued: “Studies that quantify what magnitudes of warming primates are able to tolerate physiologically are lacking. However, we have reason to believe that extreme temperature increases — as those predicted based on the low mitigation scenario — would most likely surpass the thermal tolerance of many species.”

Professor Hjalmar Kuehl, senior author of the study and primatologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, said: “Climate-change mitigation measures have not yet been systematically included into on-site management and strategic development of primate conservation.

“Given the timescale on which climate change and resulting impact on primate populations will occur, efforts for integrating climate change mitigation measures need to be enhanced urgently in order to be able to develop and implement appropriate actions.”

The study also suggests that anticipated changes in how humans use the land and alter existing primate habitats will exacerbate the negative effects on primate populations brought about by global warming.

According to the authors, about one quarter of Asian and African primates will face up to 50 percent agricultural crop expansion within their range, while undisturbed habitat is expected to disappear nearly entirely across species’ ranges and will be replaced by some form of human-disturbed habitat.

The authors conclude that “urgent action” is required — in relation to the implementation of climate-change mitigation measures — to avert primate extinctions on an unprecedented scale.

The study also involved Professor Bruce Graham, University of Stirling; Dr Gaëlle Bocksberger, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology; Dr Christoph Meyer, University of Salford; Professor Serge Wich, Liverpool John Moores University; and Hugo Rebelo, Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetics Resources in Portugal.

A Noah’s Ark strategy will fail. In the roughest sense, that’s the conclusion of a first-of-its-kind study that illuminates which marine species may have the ability to survive in a world where temperatures are rising and oceans are becoming acidic. Two-by-two, or even moderately sized, remnants may have little chance to persist on a climate-changed planet. Instead, for many species, “we’ll need large populations,” says Melissa Pespeni a biologist at the University of Vermont who led the new research examining how hundreds of thousands of sea urchin larvae responded to experiments where their seawater was made either moderately or extremely acidic. The study was published on June 11, 2019, in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: here.