Climate news for your monday morning cup of coffee:
- A United Nations summit working toward an international agreement to work against climate change begins today and lasts through December 12. The agreement is supposed to be created in its final form by this time next year.
- The United Nations meetings come in the context of reports that indicate that greenhouse gases reached their highest ever recorded level last year.
- Some nations, such as Ireland, are still fighting the process of reaching a climate change accord. Who knows what part the lame duck US government will take in these current talks?
- Activists in Europe can use the Time To Lead web site to file comments urging a strong international commitment to meaningful reductions in emissions. Greenpeace urges people to upload their photographs to be shown in a slideshow of people supporting climate change at the UN conference.
- Opponents of action to confront climate change have developed a new tactic: To claim that environmental action to deal with climate change is too expensive given the worldwide economic recession that threatens to turn into a depression. Investment in public works projects to create clean-energy infrastructure could be just the thing to jump start the world economy. Then again, the damage caused by climate change harms the economy, but anti-environmentalists have always been a rather irrational lot.
- Emblematic of more grassroots opposition to clean energy comes in the form of the people in southern Wales who just defeated efforts to build a wind farm near their town. Windmills are “monstrosities”, say the people who seem quite happy with all the other modern changes to their landscape – deforestation, big roads, noisy cars, etc.
- New photographs show that the Wilkins Ice Shelf, a giant chunk of ice in Antarctica, is getting ever closer to crumbling and falling into the sea.
- The resulting rise in sea level would make things even worse for people in Venice, who are suffering the worst floods there in 22 years.