One Last #Climate Warning in New IPCC Report: ‘Now or Never’ — Inside Climate News #ActOnClimate #KeepItInTheGround

Marshall Fire December 30, 2021. Photo credit: Boulder County

Click the link to read the article on the Inside Climate News website (Bob Berwyn). Here’s an excerpt:

Whatever words and phrases the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may have been parsing late into Sunday night, its new report, issued Monday, boils down to yet another dire scientific warning. Greenhouse gas emissions need to peak by 2025 to limit global warming close to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), as targeted by the Paris Agreement, the report says.

In a way, it’s a final warning, because at the IPCC’s pace, the world most likely will have burned through its carbon budget by the time the panel releases its next climate mitigation report in about five or six years.

Even with the climate clock so close to a deadline, it’s not surprising that the IPCC struggled to find consensus during the two-week approval session, said Paul Maidowski, an independent Berlin-based climate policy researcher and activist. The mitigation report may be the most challenging of the three climate assessments that are done every five to seven years under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, he said.

The first two reports of each IPCC assessment cycle, one on the physical basis of climate science, and another about impacts and adaptation, are mostly based on unyielding physics, like how much global temperature goes up for every added increment of CO2, and how fast and high sea level will rise based on that warming.

But the mitigation report, which outlines choices society can make to affect the trajectory of climate change, has to reconcile those scientific realities with economic and political assumptions that are not constrained by physics, Maidowski said. Other researchers have described the IPCC report as a mechanism to determine what is politically possible, he added. If those assumptions—for example about future availability of carbon dioxide removal technology—don’t materialize, “then you are left with illusions, essentially,” he said.

The IPCC has “blinded itself” to deeper questions of sustainability and is thus asking the wrong questions, like how to decouple economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions, he added. Instead, it should be more up front about acknowledging the physical limits of the planet, and start asking how to downscale current resource consumption to a sustainable level.

The report found that “without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, limiting global warming to 1.5°C is beyond reach.”

[…]

On the hopeful side, the panel noted that renewable energy costs have dropped by as much as 85 percent in the past decade, and that new policies in many countries have accelerated deployment of wind and solar power…

An Unrealistic Leap of Faith

The contradictions between scientific reality and hopeful political assumptions identified by Maidowski are clear in the new report, which says, on the one hand, that greenhouse emissions need to peak in the next three years, while also finding that average annual greenhouse gas emissions from 2010 to 2019 were higher than in any previous decade.

Believing that emissions can peak by 2025 on that trajectory requires an enormous and unrealistic leap of faith, and many climate scientists, including NASA researcher Peter Kalmus, are not buying it.

“This IPCC report is absolutely harrowing. Wake up everyone,” Kalmus wrote on Twitter. “Brief summary of the new IPCC report: We know what to do, we know how to do it, it requires taking toys away from the rich, and world leaders aren’t doing it,” he continued.

#SouthPlatteRiver canal project clears second round — The #Nebraska City News-Press

The Platte River is formed in western Nebraska east of the city of North Platte, Nebraska by the confluence of the North Platte and the South Platte Rivers, which both arise from snowmelt in the eastern Rockies east of the Continental Divide. Map via Wikimedia.

Click the link to read the article on the Nebraska City News-Press website. Here’s an excerpt:

A proposal to build a canal that would divert South Platte River water from Colorado to Nebraska under a 1923 interstate compact advanced to the final round of debate March 29 after senators amended it to include conflict-of-interest provisions…

LB1015, introduced by Sen. Mike Hilgers of Lincoln, would authorize the state Department of Natural Resources to develop, construct, manage and operate the canal and its associated storage facilities, called the Perkins County Canal Project, under the terms of the compact.

Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh of Omaha introduced an amendment on select file that would prohibit the department’s director, employees and their immediate family members from having a direct or indirect financial interest in any entity that is party to a contract or from having a financial interest in the ownership or lease of any property relating to the development, construction, management or operation of the project. Senators voted 44-0 to adopt the amendment.

A second Cavanaugh amendment, adopted 44-0, would extend the conflict-of-interest provision to members of the Legislature and elected officials in the executive branch of state government…

After adopting the amendments, lawmakers advanced LB1015 to final reading by voice vote.

#Colorado #Snowpack ‘Just Okay’ According To State Climatologists — CBS #Denver

Colorado snowpack sub-basin filled map April 6, 2022 via the NRCS.

Click the link to read the article on the CBS Denver website (Spencer Wilson). Here’s an excerpt:

“(The) snowpack is fairly decent,” Assistant State Climatologist Becky Bolinger said. “I wish it were a little bit better. I would feel more comfortable if we were, you know, above average at this point. But we’ve been keeping along with average a little bit, lagging behind occasionally, but then getting up there.”

You can check the models from the Colorado Climate Center here https://climate.colostate.edu/co_cag/index.html

Bolinger said the focus now becomes making sure there’s an even temperature for the snowpack to melt, if it melts too quickly, we could lose some of that hard-earned moisture. More late-season snowstorms would be good too… but not if it’s too stormy.

Westwide SNOTEL basin-filled map April 5, 2022 via the NRCS.

4 #Colorado Companies Awarded For Slashing Pollution — 303 Magazine

Leprino Foods headquarters in North Denver April 22, 2020.

Click the link to read the article on the 303 Magazine website (Ellie Sullum). Here’s an excerpt:

Every year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) honors companies nationwide for significant progress in pollution prevention This year, the EPA awarded four Colorado-based companies for their contributions to the state’s sustainability efforts…

Taco Star

A Thornton staple, family-owned Taco Star now has four locations in the Denver Metro Area. The Colorado fast-food chain updated its infrastructure to feature LED lighting, low-flow sink aerators and sustainable commercial refrigerators. Refrigeration is the leading source of energy misuse, making Taco Star’s transition a vital step towards energy conservation within Colorado’s sustainability work. Overall, Taco Star’s activities have contributed to an annual cost savings of $4,695, 32 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent avoided and 13,000 gallons of water conserved…

Leprino Foods Company

Based in [Denver], Leprino Foods Company is a leading dairy manufacturer. With over 5,000 employees in multiple locations, they specialize in producing mozzarella cheese and popular dairy products. Conventional dairy production is a leading polluter industry. To reduce the company’s footprint, Leprino Foods installed sustainable equipment to limit greenhouse gas and water use. They also implemented cleaning and production process improvements to lower waste brine…By overhauling its equipment and systems, the company modeled water conservation processes for others in the industry to follow…

Management and Engineering Services

Headquartered in Longmont, Management and Engineering Services LLC provides business consulting services. They specialize in consulting with government agencies and private companies that operate on public lands. Over a three-year span, the company installed water reduction equipment, stopped stocking disposable office products and implemented renewable energy throughout the building. They also promoted a bike-to-work program and provided bicycles for employees. Through their efforts to improve Colorado’s sustainability, Management and Engineering Services embodies the purpose of their own work in environmental business solutions.

Learn more about the 2021 EPA Region 8 Pollution Prevention (P2) Award Program here.