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climate & energy justice

Climate Crisis

Latest NOAA Update: July 2017 global average ocean and land temperature was second highest July on record, behind 2016 by 0.09°F. Land temperatures were hottest July on record, passing 2016 by 0.14°F. July was 41st consecutive July and 391st consecutive month with temperatures above 20th century average.

“We have a planetary emergency.”
— NASA climatologist James Hansen, October 2012
Read about his 2015 report showing sea level could rise as much as 10 feet in the next 50 years or watch a 15-minute video explanation.

“The climate crisis [has] morphed from a ‘grandchildren’ problem to a banging-down-the-door problem.”
— Author Naomi Klein, September 2014

“We’re probably getting to the point where we’re looking at the ‘safe zone’ in the rearview mirror, even as we’re stepping on the gas.”
— Princeton climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer, September 2014

“The whole system is warming up, relentlessly.”
— Gerald A. Meehl, National Center for Atmospheric Research, January 2016

“Climate change is not an environmental issue. It is a systemic issue that will impact just about everything in our lives.”
— Daniel Zarrilli, Chief Resilience Officer, City of New York

Sub-categories

Global Heat Wave Continues for Fourth Year through June – News Release from NC WARN

As regional heatwaves, wildfires and other extremes continue their nightmarish advance alongside the incredible rate of global heating, the oil, gas and power industries don’t want the public to know about the methane-climate connection. They prefer to keep building unneeded power plants and pipelines while stifling the transition to economically superior clean energy solutions.

Natural gas building boom fuels climate worries, enrages landowners – Center for Public Integrity

But Robert Howarth, an environmental biology professor at Cornell University, estimates that methane emissions produced by shale gas from wellhead to delivery could add up to a 12-percent leak rate — causing substantially more warming in the short term than coal. Howarth sees the rapid rise in gas development as a contributor to the recent spike in global temperatures, including record-breaking heat waves in 2015 and 2016. “The buildout of pipelines,” he said, “is a true climate disaster.”

Record 4-year Global Heating Continues As Whistleblower Complaint Leads to Inquiry into Underreporting of Methane Emissions — Note to Editors from NC WARN

The EPA’s inspector general’s office announced Wednesday that it will evaluate EPA methane emissions estimates for the oil and gas sector to determine “whether concerns about technical or other problems with [the Allen studies of 2013 and 2014] were … addressed or resolved” by the EPA. Those problems were the subject of a June 2016 complaint filed by NC WARN. See report on Inspector General's announcement in Inside Climate News.

Focus should be on methane emissions — Letter to the Editor of the Charlotte Observer

By Ron Bryant. I appreciate the Observer’s reporting on the climate treaty but want to add some important facts from Cornell University’s Methane Project. Natural gas is not a “cleaner” option to coal, as methane, including that leaked/vented from natural gas operations, is 100 times worse than CO2.

Please Tell the People: Global Heat Wave Continues in 2017; Methane from Fracking is Major Cause – The Greensboro Times

This ongoing heat wave supports the case made by Cornell scientists and others who argue that methane emissions from the US fracking boom are a key factor in the unexpected rate of heating since 2014. That fracking boom is being driven by Duke Energy and other utilities burning more and more shale gas. 

Please Tell the People: Global Heat Wave Continues in 2017; Methane from Fracking is Major Cause – Note to News Editors from NC WARN

The nation’s largest carbon-polluting utility is trying to build up to 20 fracked gas-fired power plants in the Carolinas alone, plus the $5.6 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline to supply those plants with fracked gas. Thus Duke Energy is responsible for much of the methane emissions that are now driving the climate crisis.

Ending fracking’s methane releases is crucial to averting a climate crisis — News & Observer

Op-Ed by Jim Warren. The fracking boom of recent years – which poisons air and water in thousands of communities and causes earthquakes – has also accelerated the climate crisis at the worst possible time. The good news is that scientists say reducing methane emissions can slow warming in the crucial short term, buying more time to replace fossil fuels with renewables and slowing deforestation.

Calendar says winter, climate says spring — Associated Press

Spring has sprung early – potentially record early – in much of the United States, bringing celebrations of shorts weather mixed with unease about a climate gone askew.

Earth sets heat record for third straight year — The Boston Globe

Earth sizzled to a third-straight record hot year in 2016, with scientists mostly blaming man-made global warming with help from a natural El Niño that’s now gone.

Duke Energy Sidestepping Pollution Controls at Duke University Project – News Release and Letter from NC WARN

Duke Energy is attempting to save money by avoiding standard pollution controls at the fracked gas-fired power plant it proposes to build on the Duke University campus. This would allow a key respiratory pollutant to be emitted at a rate ten times higher than allowed at most other facilities – and the plant would be disastrous for the climate.

Emergency Methane Action

Watch press conference at the Governor's office in Raleigh on June 15, 2017 featuring Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the NC NAACP.
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blackburn-homeThe John O. Blackburn Award
Read the inspiring stories of Dr. Steve Wing, Joyce and Rev. Nelson Johnson, and other recipients of NC WARN's Blackburn Award.

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