Wednesday, July 18, 2012

CLIMATE NEWS from Catholic Coalition on Climate Change

From: Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, Wednesday, July 18, 2012, Responses to Severe Weather...



story from Yahoo! News reports that Last year in the continental United States has been recorded as the country's hottest year since 1895, government scientists have said.  The article quotes Jake Crouch, a scientist at the National Climatic Data Center, who says It's hard to pinpoint climate change as the driving factor, but it appears that it is playing a role.  Dr. Crouch also said that What's going on for 2012 [referring to the record-breaking heat and extreme drought] is exactly what we would expect from climate change.

separate story from Reuters reports that Climate change increased the odds for the kind of extreme weather that prevailed in 2011, a year that saw severe drought in Texas, unusual heat in England and was one of the 15 warmest years on record, scientists reported on Tuesday . . . In the 22nd annual "State of the Climate" report, experts also found the Arctic was warming about twice as fast as the rest of the planet, on average, with Arctic sea ice shrinking to its second-smallest recorded size.

Read the full State of the Climate in 2011 report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

SEVERE WEATHER II: Drought is Largest Disaster in History of U.S.

Amidst record-setting heat across the country, the United States is currently experiencing the worst drought in 25 years.  CNN reports that Authorities have declared more than 1,000 counties in 26 states as natural disaster areas as 61% of land in the lower 48 states [is] experiencing drought conditions. View pictures here.  Yahoo! News reports that this makes the current drought the largest natural disaster in America ever.

The article notes that In America's Corn Belt, the prognosis for farmers is grim as fields and pastures become drier by the day.  The Weather Channel reports that Almost a third of the nation's corn crop is already showing signs of damageand on Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released yet another report predicting that farmers will get only a fraction of the corn anticipated last spring when they planted 96.4 million acres, the most since 1937.


More on the EPA Rule to Limit Power Plant Pollution

The National Catholic Rural Life Conference (NCRLC), a Coalition partner, is encouraging its members to advocate and support the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s new source performance standards for carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants (Docket number EPA–HQ–OAR–2011–0660).  NCRLC believes this the proposal is a standard that would mean cleaner air and a cleaner Creation by limiting carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants.  To lend your voice in support, take action here by sending a comment on the rule to the EPA.

Australian Bishops Provide Guidance on Carbon Tax

Reuters reports that Australia unveiled its most sweeping economic reform in decades on Sunday with a plan to tax carbon emissions from the nation's worst polluters, reviving hopes of stronger global climate action with the largest emissions trade scheme outside Europe . . . "It's time to get on with this, we are going to get this done," said Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

In order to help Catholics faithfully reflect on a carbon tax, the Catholic Education Office of Melbourne, Australia has published an excellent summary in very short and clear paragraphs on this issue.

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