#climate change
At COP 25, Young People Had the Force With Them

At COP 25, Young People Had the Force With Them

Resembling fearless and determined Jedi warriors, the young participants at the UN Climate Conference on Wednesday took over the meeting briefly, flooding the COP stage, to deliver a message about the need for the Parties to have a greater sense of urgency in their work to reach consensus on the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

Why This Matters:  The students are a constant reminder to the leaders here that the future is literally watching them.  The young people have masterfully used a simple and clear set of messages — that the countries here are failing and must be more ambitious, the countries must act with a greater sense of urgency, and the young people will not be ignored.

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Heroes of the Week:  Youth Activists That Flooded the Stage at the UN Climate Meeting

Heroes of the Week: Youth Activists That Flooded the Stage at the UN Climate Meeting

This week’s climate meeting had lots of “stars” come to deliver important messages — Harrison Ford, Mike Bloomberg, Al Gore, John Kerry and of course, Greta Thunberg.  But the young activists from Fridays for the Future and countless other youth groups who were everywhere at this meeting had an even bigger impact.  They flooded the […]

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Interview of the Week: Amelia Draper, Meteorologist, NBC4 Washington, D.C.

Interview of the Week: Amelia Draper, Meteorologist, NBC4 Washington, D.C.

Amelia is a meteorologist who reports daily during the afternoon newscast on climate change stories. ODP:  You have persuaded your local news producers to give you a short segment every day to discuss the issues surrounding climate change.  Were they reluctant?  Did you worry that you might not have enough stories to fill the time […]

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General Motors’ Massive “COP” Out

General Motors’ Massive “COP” Out

On Tuesday, while governments struggled mightily to deal with the climate emergency at the UN Climate Meeting and U.S. stakeholders tried to make lemonade out of the U.S. pullout of the Paris Accord by proclaiming that U.S. Governors, Mayors, and major corporations are “Still In,” back in Detroit, General Motors rolled out their largest SUV ever — adding 7 full inches to the Tahoe truck. 

Why This Matters:  Transportation accounts for 23% of carbon emissions globally according to the IPCC.  As long as gas is cheap, car companies will keep making gas guzzlers and the public will keep buying them.

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Ho Ho No: Ice on Top of Snow — Bad for Humans and Reindeer Too

Ho Ho No: Ice on Top of Snow — Bad for Humans and Reindeer Too

An Associated Press report earlier this week went viral because it hits a little too close to home this time of year — unusual weather patterns are causing reindeer to go hungry because as rain (as opposed to snow) falls during the winter in the Arctic, it creates thick layers of snowy ice that blocks their access to food.  In much of the U.S. we will likewise be battered with a “parade” of combo snow/ice storms for the days until Christmas, snarling all kinds of travel plans.

Why This Matters: Ice is only good in Disney movies.

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Chile Makes Good On Its Promise of an Azul COP

Chile Makes Good On Its Promise of an Azul COP

One of the major ways that this year’s UN Climate meeting is greatly different from previous ones is its recognition of oceans as a major part of the climate problems (with support from the findings of the IPCC’s recent Oceans and Cryosphere report) and also its solutions. Chile’s Foreign Minister, Teodoro Ribera Neumann explained today that Chile elevated ocean issues because they are integral to both climate change and to his country.

Why This Matters:  The UN climate meetings in the past had failed to take oceans into account when looking at how to address climate change and that, frankly, was a major oversight.

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Nature-Based Climate Solutions Like #30×30 Gaining Traction With New COP Leaders

Nature-Based Climate Solutions Like #30×30 Gaining Traction With New COP Leaders

Yesterday was #HumanRightsDay and the importance of access to and conserving nature as a basic human right was emphasized repeatedly at the UN Climate Meeting in Madrid — sustaining biodiversity is increasingly recognized for its benefits to addressing the climate emergency. And as developing countries are stepping up to fill the leadership void at the Climate Meeting, their leaders are looking for multifaceted climate solutions that conserve biodiversity and provide for sustainable use of natural resources.

Why This Matters:  It is just this simple — without biodiversity, life on Earth for humans is not possible.  But if we started by protecting or restoring 30 percent of the planet by 2030 for nature itself, that would provide huge carbon capture as well as biodiversity benefits.  

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U.S. NGOs, Companies and States Moving Forward at UN Meeting, But Feds Are MIA

U.S. NGOs, Companies and States Moving Forward at UN Meeting, But Feds Are MIA

The U.S. government is visibly absent here in Madrid — it does not have a meeting pavilion to showcase the nation’s efforts and to give its government participants a place to convene other governments and stakeholders to show what is happening in the U.S. on climate change.  But the U.S. is still well-represented at the UN Climate Meeting by an army of environmental groups, state and local governments, corporations, and philanthropists.

Why This Matters:  U.S. Stakeholders are putting up a brave front and have not taken their foot off the gas (bad pun) — and, in fact, are working to increase the actionable commitments by U.S. stakeholders.  But being “in” simply is not enough for the U.S., which had led the prior COPs and is the second-largest emitter. 

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Attribution Science Connects Extreme Weather to Climate Change

Attribution Science Connects Extreme Weather to Climate Change

If you read my (Miro’s) Bright Ideas op-ed over the weekend then you saw that the tired argument of “yes the climate is changing, but we don’t know how much humans are contributing to it” has been around for at least 20 years. Luckily, that excuse for inaction is finally starting to wear thin as […]

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Let’s Panic About Climate Change Like It’s Y2K

Let’s Panic About Climate Change Like It’s Y2K

by Miro Korenha, co-founder and publisher of Our Daily Planet  I know I’m not the only one, but the thought that 2020 is just three weeks away truly astounds me. The other day as my nostalgia got the best of me, I clicked on an internet article about Y2K and the pandemonium that surrounded the […]

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Climate Change Causing Birds to Shrink

Climate Change Causing Birds to Shrink

  In September we wrote about a study that revealed that bird populations have declined nearly 30 percent — a loss of 3 billion birds — in the last fifty years. While scientists don’t quite know what’s caused this decline, new evidence shows that in addition to species decline, North American migratory bids have been […]

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Interview of the Week: Ari Rubenstein, Fridays for the Future and Mother Earth Project

Interview of the Week: Ari Rubenstein, Fridays for the Future and Mother Earth Project

Ari Rubenstein is a high school junior who one of the leaders of the DC area “Fridays for the Future” student protest group and a Co-Founder of the Mother Earth Project, which encourages communities worldwide to decorate parachutes with artwork and concerned comments about the environment, march with them, and take them to their local politicians […]

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