Climate Letter #1106

“In Defense of Biodiversity:  Why Protecting Species from Extinction Matters.”  This is by Carl Safina, the prize-winning author of seven books about life in the animal world.  Safina makes one eloquent argument after another in opposition to those who are indifferent or ambivalent about the mass extinction that is now underway.  A mass extinction is defined as one where the entire planet becomes inhospitable to life, not just one region.
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Two Australians offer opinions on the subject, “Do we have the capability to reverse global warming within a meaningful timeframe?”  David Spratt and Ian Dunlop, both well-known in their home country, show how tight the line is, how great the risks have become, and how the absence of strong leadership impedes the accomplishment of doing the things we are capable of doing.  I commend the realistic nature of their analysis.
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Amy Harder, writing for Axios, describes tensions in the Democratic Party over what approach the party should take in addressing climate change.  There is an opportunity here for someone who has a fresh face and strong leadership ability to step up and make a case powerful enough to attract a large following, especially including young people.  I have no idea who that person would be.
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Geothermal heat pumps have practical application for saving energy in some locations (Inside Climate News).  This story explains how they work and their advantages for space and water heating and air-conditioning purposes.  One company has plans for a community-wide project that would help to lower costs.
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An update on the opportunities for hydrogen as a replacement for both natural gas.  It is clearly going to have a role, but the size and extent of that role are hard to predict.  The level of activity and successful development work is greater than the level of publicity it generates.
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An unfavorable review of the way humans have added outer space to their list of things to spoil (the Guardian).  A full assessment by the UN will be forthcoming.  “The 2018 assessment is really the first one to have a substantial section on rocket emissions, not just a passing thought… we now understand that the climate and ozone impacts of rocket exhaust are completely intertwined.”
Carl
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