Thunberg's UN Speech

December 12, 2019

This girl is on fire.

Video: Greta Thunberg's Plea

December 11, 2019

Reposting. If you have not seen probably worth your 4 minutes.

CBS News is doing the best climate coverage on American TV.

Greta Keeps Drivin' em Wild

December 11, 2019

You may have heard, Greta (which my spell check keeps correcting to “Great”) Thunberg is Time’s Person of the Year.

Unexpectedly, I found out that I had been honored as well, in a small way.


That Thunberg is the youngest individual ever named TIME’s Person of the Year says as much about the moment as it does about her. The 92-year-old franchise is rooted in the so-called Great Man theory of history, the notion that powerful individuals shape the world. Historically that has meant people who worked their way up the ladders of major organizations and were at home in the corridors of power. But in this moment when so many traditional institutions seem to be failing us, amid staggering inequality and social upheaval and political paralysis, we are seeing new kinds of influence take hold. It is wielded by people like Thunberg, leaders with a cause and a phone who don’t fit the old rubrics but who connect with us in ways that institutions can’t and perhaps never could.

When she first heard about global warming as an 8-year-old, Thunberg says she thought, “That can’t be happening, because if that were happening, then the politicians would be taking care of it.” That they weren’t is precisely what motivated her to act, as it has youth the world over who are forcing us to confront the peril of our own inaction, from the student-led protests on the streets of Santiago, Chile, to the young democracy activists fighting for rights and representation in Hong Kong to the high schoolers from Parkland, Fla., whose march against gun violence Thunberg cites as an inspiration for her climate strikes.

“I’d like to tell my grandchildren that we did everything we could,” she told TIME from the coast of Virginia in mid-November, as she prepared to cross the Atlantic by sailboat, “and we did it for them and for the generations to come.”

For sounding the alarm about humanity’s predatory relationship with the only home we have, for bringing to a fragmented world a voice that transcends backgrounds and borders, for showing us all what it might look like when a new generation leads, Greta Thunberg is TIME’s 2019 Person of the Year.

More reactions below:

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Normally NOAA’s Arctic Report card is an official report that tends to flatten out some of the more dire implications of the statistical updates.
Not so much this year.
The press conference audience was struck by the grim tone of the newest results from across the arctic. Fisheries impacted, populations suffering, ice disappearing, permafrost melting. Not much attempt to soft pedal the message.

NOAA video summary above, – PBS Newshour and Washington Post reporting below.

Washington Post:

The Arctic is undergoing a profound, rapid and unmitigated shift into a new climate state, one that is greener, features far less ice and emits greenhouse gas emissions from melting permafrost, according to a major new federal assessment of the region released Tuesday.

The consequences of these climate shifts will be felt far outside the Arctic in the form of altered weather patterns, increased greenhouse gas emissions and rising sea levels from the melting Greenland ice sheet and mountain glaciers.

The findings are contained in the 2019 Arctic Report Card, a major federal assessment of climate change trends and impacts throughout the region. The study paints an ominous picture of a region lurching to an entirely new and unfamiliar environment.

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New research boosting alarms about Greenland melt.
The lead researcher is savvy enough to know the work has political implications, and readers need to act on it. He tweets accordingly.

Congruent with the spirit of activism we are hearing from scientists at the annual American Geophysical Union conference, where I am all week.

Washington Post:

The Greenland ice sheet’s losses have accelerated so fast since the 1990s it is now shedding more than seven times as much ice each year, according to 89 scientists who use satellites to study the area.

The sheet’s total losses nearly doubled each decade, from 33 billion tons per year in the 1990s to an average now of 254 billion tons annually. Since 1992, nearly 4 trillion tons of Greenland ice have entered the ocean, the new analysis found, equivalent to roughly a centimeter of global sea-level rise.

While a centimeter may not sound like much, that uptick is already affecting millions.

“Around the planet, just 1 centimeter of sea-level rise brings another 6 million people into seasonal, annual floods,” said Andrew Shepherd, a University of Leeds professor who co-led the massive collaboration with NASA researcher Erik Ivins.

The results, from a scientific group called the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE), were publishedTuesday in the journal Nature.

The research suggests an alarming pace of change for the Earth’s second-largest body of ice, which could theoretically drive over 20 feet of sea-level rise over a millennium.

The recent Greenland losses, the experts suggest, match a more dire sea-level projection outlined by the United Nations’ chief climate science body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Under that high-end scenario, Greenland could contribute about 16 centimeters, or around half a foot, to ocean levels by 2100.

“What that means is that really, the midrange scenario becomes what was previously the upper scenario, and they will have to invent a new upper scenario, because one currently doesn’t exist,” Shepherd said.

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