March 20 News: Climate Change Could Wipe Out Most Of World’s Rare Forests, Say Researchers

Other stories below: Florida inland residents may pay with sea level rise; It’s the GOP vs. the Navy — on Clean Energy Use

Climate change could wipe out rarest forests

Many of the world’s rarest and richest forests, located in high-altitudes, could be all but wiped out by the combined impact of man-made climate change and habitat destruction.

An international scientific team has warned of the near-total loss of one of the world’s most delicate ecosystems, the Mexican cloud forest, along with 70 percent of its plant and animal species, as a result of human pressures.

“Cloud forests occur only at certain high altitudes and their species are exceptionally vulnerable to the loss of the cool, moist environment that sustains them,” explains Rocio Ponce-Reyes of ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED), who led the study.

It’s the GOP vs. the Navy — on Clean Energy Use

In 2012, if you want to reduce your use of fossil fuels in favor of clean energy sources, expect to be taken to task by Republicans. Even if you’re the United States Armed Forces.

Under most of the mainstream media radar, the U.S. military has emerged as one of the nation’s biggest adopters of clean technologies including solar power, wind energy, green buildings, and biofuels. And why not — who knows better the cost, in dollars and human lives, of our (to use George W. Bush’s phrase) addiction to oil? The Pentagon is the world’s largest single consumer of energy, spending about $15 billion a year and accounting for 70 percent of the entire U.S. government’s energy bill. Even more to the point, one out of eight soldiers killed in Iraq between 2003 and 2007 were protecting fuel convoys, a telling statistic that has continued in Afghanistan as well.

So you would think that any effort to diversify the military’s fuel sources away from petroleum, and help end our dependence on often-hostile foreign oil suppliers, would be cheered by politicians of all stripes. And you would be wrong.

Obama to highlight energy strategy during two-day tour

With rising gas prices squeezing consumers at the pump and the Republican presidential field blaming the White House, President Obama will head out on a two-day tour of various energy ventures this week to highlight his efforts to increase production and lower prices.

The president will visit a solar production facility that powers 17,000 homes in Nevada, oil and gas drilling sites on federal land in New Mexico and a stretch of the Keystone Pipeline in Oklahoma, Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday.

Florida’s Inland Residents May Pay as Sea Levels Climb

Telephone repairman Josh Smith lives in Jasper, which is Florida’s most inland city, according to the state’s Geological Survey.

Even 75 miles (121 kilometers) from the Atlantic Ocean, Smith isn’t immune to rising seas and stronger storms caused by global warming. That’s because U.S. taxpayers help insure against hurricane damage for nearly 5 million Americans, mostly in Florida (BEESFL), whose homes are less than four feet (1.2 meters) above normal high tides. The programs pit beachfront property owners against inland residents who subsidize their policies.

Europe’s Forecast Raises Wheat Worries

Temperatures will average higher than normal across all of Europe until June, with the exception of the U.K., Iberia and southern parts of the continent in April, Weather Services International said Monday, just as the region’s wheat crops are already suffering from prolonged dry conditions.

WSI—a private forecaster for professionals in the agriculture, energy and aviation markets and federal and state government agencies—said a lack of North Atlantic “blocking,” an atmospheric phenomenon that affects weather patterns, will likely result in warmer temperatures and reverse the prevailing trend experienced since 2008.

“As we head into late spring and early summer, we expect a distinctly different pattern than what we’ve observed over the last four years, [which] should result in greater chances for summer heat in western and northern sections, rather than southern and eastern sections,” said Chief Meteorologist Todd Crawford.

Winds of change blow through China as spending on renewable energy soars

The remote, wind-blasted desert of northwestern Gansu could be the most unloved, environmentally abused corner of China. It is home to the country’s first oilfield and several of the coalmines and steel factories that have contributed to China’s notoriety as the planet’s biggest polluter and carbon dioxide emitter.

But in the past few years, the landscape has started to undergo a transformation as Gansu has moved to the frontline of government efforts to reinvent China’s economy with a massive investment in renewable energy.

The change is evident soon after driving across the plains from Jiuquan, an ancient garrison town on the Silk Road that is now a base for more than 50 energy companies.

In a globalized world, what role for the World Bank?

When President Obama names his pick to replace outgoing World Bank President Robert Zoellick, that nominee will take over an institution whose role in the global economy is becoming ever more unclear.

In part, the World Bank is a lender. But its biggest borrowers are the rapidly growing powerhouses of the developing world, countries like China and India that can arguably borrow plenty of money on their own from private investors.

The bank is also an aid donor, giving grants to some of the world’s poorest countries. But these contributions represent only a small fraction of the aid money distributed by developed countries, private groups like the Gates Foundation and other institutions.

And the bank is also an investor in private companies in emerging economies. But these investments are a drop in the sea of capital that now moves easily to places once considered too poor or too risky.

The question now is whether the bank’s new leader, who could be named in the coming days, can enhance the institution’s role at a time when developing countries are emerging as the engines of world economic growth.

25 Responses to March 20 News: Climate Change Could Wipe Out Most Of World’s Rare Forests, Say Researchers

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    Cloud forests, with isolated ecosystems, will be the first to go, but all forests are in trouble, including here in the US. Mortality has tripled in both the US and Canada since 1971, and that doesn’t include the ones that have been logged. Forests can collapse and revert to prairie or even desert, as in the Middle East.

    This has many bad consequences, including loss of carbon sinks. We need to address this with the same determination being shown to get us off fossil fuels.

  2. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    GOP vs Navy: link comes back to this post.

  3. Nick Berini says:

    Note: The link for the ‘GOP vs. Navy’ article isn’t working.

  4. Jason Miller says:

    Here’s an article on the loss of hummocks (small hill like islands) around the Chesapeake Bay due to sea level rise.

    “‘Ghost’ wild areas haunt Chesapeake Bay region” –

  5. Dr.A.Jagadeesh says:

    The issue needs serious consideration.
    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP), India

  6. Chris Winter says:

    I believe this is the same GOP vs. Navy story.
    McCain sees another Solyndra in Navy biofuels spending
    By Carlo Munoz — 03/15/12 02:07 PM ET

    The Navy has spent more than $400 per gallon for roughly 20,000 gallons of algae-based biofuel for testing, McCain said.

    That kind of substantial investment in green fuels, especially during a time of shrinking defense budgets, is simply unacceptable, he said.

    Except, AIUI, defense budgets aren’t really shrinking significantly. And even if they were, it’s hard to imagine that no cut could be found to balance out these expenses for biofuels R&D.

    Here’s a related item:
    U.S. Senate nixes biodiesel, cellulosic biofuels tax credit extansion {sic}

  7. prokaryotes says:

    Monckton: I discovered a cure for HIV

    Nature on AIDS Contrarians: Any of this ring a bell?

    The University of Florence has launched an inquiry into the teaching activities of an academic who assisted on a course that denies the causal link between HIV and AIDS, and supervised students with dissertations on the same topic.

    The Italian university’s internal ‘special commission’ will examine the “teaching behaviour and responsibility” of molecular biologist Marco Ruggiero, a university spokesman told Nature.

    The move follows a letter to the institution’s rector, Alberto Tesi, by an Italian campaign group called the HIV Forum, which represents people infected with HIV and others concerned about the disease. It calls on him to disassociate the university from the “science and activities” of Ruggiero, who, the group says, is “internationally known” for denying the widely accepted link between HIV and AIDS, and promotes a potential cure for HIV involving an enriched probiotic yoghurt for which there is no proven evidence.

  8. prokaryotes says:

    How does a real traumatic event work its way into popular culture, and become eventually digested, not just as fact, but as myth, symbol, and archetypical reference point?

    We’ve seen how that works for say, WWII and the holocaust (turn on the history channel any night, or watch “Saving Private Ryan”,”Schindler’s List” and “Captain America” back to back), Vietnam (“The Deer Hunter”/”Apocalypse Now”/”Rambo: First Blood”).
    For nuclear weapons and the nuclear age, you might try “Them”/”Godzilla”/”The Day the Earth Stood Still” (the original, please).

    Anyway, the above is an example of the mythification by way of sci-fi of the worst nuclear accident of the age(I know. There’s another one still climbing the charts..).
    Kind of reminds me of the “Afghan war meets Blair Witch” effort of a few years ago, called “The Objective”.

  9. prokaryotes says:

    Jose Gregorio Briceno, Venezuela State Governor, Claims To Be Victim Of Oil Spill Cover-Up
    Says he was “sacrificed” for speaking out over oil leak

    In fact nations which still pump oil are a problem, because they indirectly cause terror through out the world. So what we gonna do about this?

  10. prokaryotes says:

    Joe, what about a topic on what each of us is guessing on climate extremes for this year/summer?

  11. John Tucker says:

    A mutant/zombie thriller? Wonderful. Just what education on radiation needs.

  12. prokaryotes says:

    spooky video pressing home the point that only the House Republicans and their leader Paul Ryan stand between us and CIVILIZATIONAL COLLAPSE

    Seems legit.

  13. prokaryotes says:

    In China, millions make themselves at home in caves,0,2352472.story

    Probably the best place for climate chaos.

  14. prokaryotes says:

    “”It’s cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It’s quiet and safe,” said Ren, a ruddy-faced man with salt-and-pepper hair who moved to the Shaanxi provincial capital, Xian, in his 20s. “When I get old, I’d like to go back to my roots.”

    More than 30 million Chinese people live in caves..”

    It will be stoneage all over again, just like Einstein predicted.

  15. prokaryotes says:

    Lol, LA Times really trying hard to prepare us for tuff times…

    N.Y. chef promotes roaches, other insects as food of the future,0,5537226.story

  16. prokaryotes says:

    Clondike 2.0

    2012 US Biochar Conference is a practical exploration of biochar use in agriculture — in farms, vineyards, and orchards — plus scientific results on biochar production and use from a wide range of expert international presenters

    July 29 through August 1 at Sonoma State University


  17. prokaryotes says:

    Uhm, apparently they want a lot of money for participants. Though im checking how legit they are, cause they are not supported by IBI.

  18. prokaryotes says:

    Ok they are listed. But wow more than 600 $ for attending the conference…

  19. J4zonian says:


    This is a symptom of people who are so addicted to their meat-centered diets they can’t imagine living on plants like most of the people in the world do, and their addiction and despair make this the only alternative they can come up with. It’s like poor people living on cat food when they could easily afford a healthy plant-based diet. Those of us who know better need to show that alternatives do exist.