How prepared are American cities for increased natural disasters? Over the years, Americans have insisted on expanding and building cities and suburbs in locations that are clearly threatened by natural hazards. This week’s monster tornado in Oklahoma demonstrates this. Cities and states have encouraged people to live in these areas through city planning, architectural design, and the so-called need for “economic development.”
Thus, instead of encouraging people to not live in these hazard zones, city leaders have created methods to help people survive relatively normal lives there. Houses in California must meet specific earthquake design standards, buildings in Oklahoma have “safe rooms,” and countless structures must be stable enough to handle floods and erosion along American coastlines. These are adaptations. Not good adaptations (I believe people should not be encouraged to live in these areas), but there it is.
With the climate changing, the impacts on communities are likely to increase. Incidences of natural disasters are expected to rise, costing many lives and causing a need for an endless stream of disaster aid.
Researchers at MIT teamed up with the non-profit ICLEI to survey cities around the world. The goal was to compare how they were adapting to climate change impacts, or preparing for future impacts. Progress, the researchers found, is very slow in the US, while cities around the world are far more advanced. 
It’s a great read, very visual so if you don’t have time you can skim it.
Survey: U.S. Cities Report Increase in Climate Change Impacts, Lag Global Cities in Planning

How prepared are American cities for increased natural disasters? Over the years, Americans have insisted on expanding and building cities and suburbs in locations that are clearly threatened by natural hazards. This week’s monster tornado in Oklahoma demonstrates this. Cities and states have encouraged people to live in these areas through city planning, architectural design, and the so-called need for “economic development.”

Thus, instead of encouraging people to not live in these hazard zones, city leaders have created methods to help people survive relatively normal lives there. Houses in California must meet specific earthquake design standards, buildings in Oklahoma have “safe rooms,” and countless structures must be stable enough to handle floods and erosion along American coastlines. These are adaptations. Not good adaptations (I believe people should not be encouraged to live in these areas), but there it is.

With the climate changing, the impacts on communities are likely to increase. Incidences of natural disasters are expected to rise, costing many lives and causing a need for an endless stream of disaster aid.

Researchers at MIT teamed up with the non-profit ICLEI to survey cities around the world. The goal was to compare how they were adapting to climate change impacts, or preparing for future impacts. Progress, the researchers found, is very slow in the US, while cities around the world are far more advanced. 

It’s a great read, very visual so if you don’t have time you can skim it.

Survey: U.S. Cities Report Increase in Climate Change Impacts, Lag Global Cities in Planning

(via urbnist)

Here are the hard facts. Climate change made Typhoon Haiyan the dangerous storm it was, and it is absolutely urgent that our leaders connect the dots to prevent worse in the future @ 350.org
Typhoon Haiyan influenced by climate change, scientists say @ Sydney Morning Herald
Is climate change to blame for Typhoon Haiyan? The Philippines has been hit by 24 typhoons in the past year but the power of Haiyan was off the scale, killing thousands and leaving millions homeless. Is there even worse devastation to come? @ Guardian

Here are the hard facts. Climate change made Typhoon Haiyan the dangerous storm it was, and it is absolutely urgent that our leaders connect the dots to prevent worse in the future @ 350.org

Typhoon Haiyan influenced by climate change, scientists say @ Sydney Morning Herald

Is climate change to blame for Typhoon Haiyan? The Philippines has been hit by 24 typhoons in the past year but the power of Haiyan was off the scale, killing thousands and leaving millions homeless. Is there even worse devastation to come? @ Guardian

The sharing economy: Grist’s theme for January | Grist
This thing we call “the sharing economy” — the messy, fascinating world of networked goods exchange, freecycling, carsharing, and beyond — is an unusual hybrid of normally warring sensibilities and belief systems.
It’s got enough touchy-feely-huggy utopianism to turn the stomach of any self-respecting contemporary skeptic. But it’s got enough market-economics pragmatism to raise the hackles of your typical leftie communitarian.
The sharing economy, in other words, cuts across our assumptions in intriguing ways. That’s one reason we’ve picked this subject as our January theme here at Grist. Another is that the sharing-economy vision offers one imaginable route around that big pileup on the road just ahead of us, where an out-of-control growth economy is slamming into the physics of climate.
Why is there so much buzz and innovation around sharing right now? Part of it is the limping economy, of course — the “real one,” the one that’s all what’s mine is mine. Part of it is a growing awareness that mindless consumption is a big ingredient in the recipe for our sweating climate. And then there’s technology.

The sharing economy: Grist’s theme for January | Grist

This thing we call “the sharing economy” — the messy, fascinating world of networked goods exchange, freecycling, carsharing, and beyond — is an unusual hybrid of normally warring sensibilities and belief systems.

It’s got enough touchy-feely-huggy utopianism to turn the stomach of any self-respecting contemporary skeptic. But it’s got enough market-economics pragmatism to raise the hackles of your typical leftie communitarian.

The sharing economy, in other words, cuts across our assumptions in intriguing ways. That’s one reason we’ve picked this subject as our January theme here at Grist. Another is that the sharing-economy vision offers one imaginable route around that big pileup on the road just ahead of us, where an out-of-control growth economy is slamming into the physics of climate.

Why is there so much buzz and innovation around sharing right now? Part of it is the limping economy, of course — the “real one,” the one that’s all what’s mine is mine. Part of it is a growing awareness that mindless consumption is a big ingredient in the recipe for our sweating climate. And then there’s technology.

Visualizing Every Single Carbon Emission In Your City | Co.Exist
Hestia is a new project that lets you see the whole picture of emissions, from that SUV idling at a red light to the power plant down the block.
We know, in the aggregate, that highways and buildings produce a lot of carbon. All those cars and trucks, and all those office towers and shopping malls—with their heating systems, and lighting, and appliances: It all adds up. No doubt. But that highway and that building and that airport? And how they compare? You can’t really appreciate it until you have good data, and, even more important, a good way of visualizing it.

Visualizing Every Single Carbon Emission In Your City | Co.Exist

Hestia is a new project that lets you see the whole picture of emissions, from that SUV idling at a red light to the power plant down the block.

We know, in the aggregate, that highways and buildings produce a lot of carbon. All those cars and trucks, and all those office towers and shopping malls—with their heating systems, and lighting, and appliances: It all adds up. No doubt. But that highway and that building and that airport? And how they compare? You can’t really appreciate it until you have good data, and, even more important, a good way of visualizing it.

Extreme weather poses a growing risk to the stability of insurance companies and has broad ramifications for the economy and society. Our new report shows what insurers, regulators and investors can do to address climate change risks. To learn more and to download the report, follow the link below! @ Ceres

Extreme weather poses a growing risk to the stability of insurance companies and has broad ramifications for the economy and society. Our new report shows what insurers, regulators and investors can do to address climate change risks. To learn more and to download the report, follow the link below! @ Ceres

Watch 131 Years of Global Warming in 26 Seconds | Climate Central
While temperatures have been blistering this summer, this video takes the longer historical view. It comes to us from our friends at NASA and is an amazing 26-second animation depicting how temperatures around the globe have warmed since 1880. That year is what scientists call the beginning of the “modern record.” You’ll note an acceleration of those temperatures in the late 1970s as greenhouse gas emissions from energy production increased worldwide and clean air laws reduced emissions of pollutants that had a cooling effect on the climate, and thus were masking some of the global warming signal. The data come from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, which monitors global surface temperatures. As NASA notes, “in this animation, reds indicate temperatures higher than the average during a baseline period of 1951-1980, while blues indicate lower temperatures than the baseline average.” 

Watch 131 Years of Global Warming in 26 Seconds | Climate Central

While temperatures have been blistering this summer, this video takes the longer historical view. It comes to us from our friends at NASA and is an amazing 26-second animation depicting how temperatures around the globe have warmed since 1880. That year is what scientists call the beginning of the “modern record.” You’ll note an acceleration of those temperatures in the late 1970s as greenhouse gas emissions from energy production increased worldwide and clean air laws reduced emissions of pollutants that had a cooling effect on the climate, and thus were masking some of the global warming signal. The data come from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, which monitors global surface temperatures. As NASA notes, “in this animation, reds indicate temperatures higher than the average during a baseline period of 1951-1980, while blues indicate lower temperatures than the baseline average.” 

saveplanetearth:

Rising ocean acid levels are ‘the biggest threat to coral reefs’: The speed by which oceans’ acid levels have risen has caught scientists off-guard, says the head of NOAA @ Guardian
Oceans’ rising acid levels have emerged as one of the biggest threats to coral reefs, acting as the “osteoporosis of the sea” and threatening everything from food security to tourism to livelihoods, the head of a US scientific agency said Monday.The speed by which the oceans’ acid levels has risen caught scientists off-guard, with the problem now considered to be climate change’s “equally evil twin,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) chief Jane Lubchenco told The Associated Press.”We’ve got sort of the perfect storm of stressors from multiple places really hammering reefs around the world,” said Lubchenco, who was in Australia to speak at the International Coral Reef Symposium in the northeast city of Cairns, near the Great Barrier Reef. “It’s a very serious situation.” (…)

saveplanetearth:

Rising ocean acid levels are ‘the biggest threat to coral reefs’: The speed by which oceans’ acid levels have risen has caught scientists off-guard, says the head of NOAA @ Guardian

Oceans’ rising acid levels have emerged as one of the biggest threats to coral reefs, acting as the “osteoporosis of the sea” and threatening everything from food security to tourism to livelihoods, the head of a US scientific agency said Monday.

The speed by which the oceans’ acid levels has risen caught scientists off-guard, with the problem now considered to be climate change’s “equally evil twin,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) chief Jane Lubchenco told The Associated Press.

We’ve got sort of the perfect storm of stressors from multiple places really hammering reefs around the world,” said Lubchenco, who was in Australia to speak at the International Coral Reef Symposium in the northeast city of Cairns, near the Great Barrier Reef. “It’s a very serious situation.” (…)