Climate change is the likeliest reason that China embraced wheat flour

woman carries sheaf of wheat

In ancient China, millet was the common grain crop grown for flour. But dry farming technology discovered in the Sui Dynasty (A.D. 581-618) made wheat a viable crop and by the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907), wheat had replaced millet as China’s largest crop. There was enough time in the growing cycle to harvest wheat if millet crops failed and experimentation with wheat flour when it became available, proved it to be an almost endlessly versatile cooking ingredient. It is used in China to make noodles, breads, desserts and dumplings, which became foundational staples of the Chinese diet. read more

Bill Maher guest talks about Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s excellent training

Bill Maher guests
Bill Maher guests

If you’re still wondering whether Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) is worth putting time into, here’s another testimony to mull over. On Bill Maher’s RealTime, guest Bradley Whitford talks about the high quality training CCL offers to teach Americans how to talk about climate change with Republicans. Because climate change needs to be a lobbying priority and conversations about it must take place on both sides of the aisle.

Trump shut down NPS for climate change tweets but can’t block new unofficial Twitter account

Over at the Palmer Report, Bill Palmer tells us the way National Park employees found to stand up to Trump, who is blocking federal employees from commenting on climate change to the extent that he has issued a gag order to prevent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from mentioning it and has deleted tweets made by the National Park Service (NPS) and even suspended the Twitter account of one park account that tweeted about climate change. An anonymous group of individuals has created an unofficial Twitter account for park and climate change news that Trump can’t touch.

The anonymous Park Service account is @AltNatParkSer, which bills itself as The Unofficial “Resistance” team of U.S. National Park Service. Not taxpayer subsidised!

Here are the details of what happened:

In his first days in office, Donald Trump has made a point of censoring and restricting what the National Park Service can and cannot say on its various official Twitter accounts. After the NPS tweeted photos of Trump’s small inauguration crowd, he temporarily suspended its Twitter privileges. And when the Badlands tweeted about climate change today, those tweets were then deleted. But now some unnamed individuals within the National Park Service have created an unofficial Twitter account that Trump can’t touch.

Trump doesn’t have the ability to shut down a Twitter account, or to suspend it from being usable; only Twitter the company would be able to do that. Instead he’s been sabotaging the National Park Service Twitter accounts by presumably threatening to fire people if they dare to tweet things he doesn’t like, or if they tweet during times when he’s put them in the penalty box. But he can only do that if he knows who’s tweeting. read more

POTUS will lead in reversing climate change & healing the world

Obama announcing Clean Power PlanSpeaking via live feed from the White House today, a visionary President Obama announced his administration’s new Clean Power Plan, which has been created to reverse climate change and help heal our world of the effects of global warming. The President joined Pope Francis in calling for global citizens and industry leaders to make immediate and sweeping changes in how we live, work and do business.

“There is such a thing as too late, when it comes to climate change,” the President commented, and pointed out that 14 of the hottest years in over 100 years of recorded history have occurred in the past 15 years.

Watch President Obama’s enthusiastically received speech:

In my lifetime, I can’t remember being so moved by a president’s speech. We look to society’s top leaders to protect and guide us, but so often they fail us instead. Today, Obama’s demeanour and announcement visibly demonstrated that he completely has our backs and I am so grateful to him.

The President also laughed at Big Money’s false claims that environmental protections will hurt most the poor and vulnerable of our country. President Obama pointed out that neighbors in social and environmental justice communities are in reality, those being hardest hit by the impacts of fossil fuel pollution and the effects of climate change and stand to benefit most from the changes outlined in his Clean Power Plan.

We should name hurricanes after climate change denying politicians

Hurricane Marco Rubio

Hurricane Marco RubioI agree: we need a new naming convention for tropical storms and hurricanes. The Ivans, Andrews and Katrinas of this world should not be made to suffer when the blame for climate change rests largely on the shoulders of climate change denying politicians who continue to encourage commercialization of natural resources and phenomenal pollution of our beloved Planet Earth.

In future, let us have Hurricanes Paul Ryan, John Boehner, Michelle Bachman and Senator Marco Rubio … and leave the unnamed innocents to remain peaceably anonymous.

Report on Adolescent Girls and Climate Change

Plan International’s new report, Weathering the Storm: Adolescent Girls and Climate Change, calls for better integration of the needs of adolescent girls in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes.

The findings presented in the report are based on interviews with girls involved in Plan International’s programmes in Ethiopia and Bangladesh. We were particularly keen to learn from girls themselves how climate change is impacting their lives, and what they think policy makers should do differently.

The impacts of climate change – whether they are gradual changes in weather patterns aggravating chronic drought and food security, or the more rapid onset emergencies such as cyclones and floods – are different for different populations. While inevitably children everywhere are badly affected, the report illustrates how girls, in particular, are bearing the greatest burden. The report evidences how increased climate stresses are exposing a growing number of adolescent girls to very specific risks:

  • More girls and women are dying during disasters;
  • An increasing number are enduring early and forced marriages; and
  • More girls are being exposed to sexual violence and the curtailment of their education.

It also emphasises the gap in adaptation policy and funding to address the adaptation costs being borne by adolescent girls. The girls themselves were clear on where they felt that policy priorities should be targeted.

They want:

  • Greater access to quality education where they can learn skills to improve their adaptive capacity;
  • Greater protection from violence, especially early forced marriage, sexual violence and forced labour; and
  • They want their concerns to be heard and acted upon by policy makers.
  • read more

    US Chamber of Commerce fighting climate regulations

    The US Chamber of Commerce has spent $488 million in the past 11 years on lobby efforts. Now they’re throwing their weight and cash behind trying to block regulation that will cap carbon emissions. Now they want the Environmental Protection Agency to hold hearings to prove

    that greenhouse gases pose enough of a danger to public health to justify regulations controlling their emissions under the Clean Air Act.

    It’s fortunate that William Kovacs, the chamber’s top environment specialist, isn’t buying into this tactic to stall environmental change so companies can continue to make financial profits at the risk of the world’s health. When he said as much this triggered a series of defections by the chamber’s eco-sensitive members

    who already disagreed with the chamber’s stance on greenhouse gas legislation.

    Three utilities announced plans to either quit the chamber or resign their seats on its board. Then Nike Inc. resigned its board seat, and Apple Inc. quit the organization, saying it “supports regulating greenhouse gas emissions, and it is frustrating to find the chamber at odds with us in this effort.” read more