Lyme Disease: Emerging Climate Pandemic in the USA

ticks.jpgLyme Disease is emerging as a climate-driven pandemic in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, and the prevalence is rising, even in places where Lyme disease never existed before. Now, healthcare professionals are looking for a reason for the increase in cases.

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Leveraging Linkages from the SDGs into Climate Action

by Sarabeth Brockley and Joseph Robertson

Late on Sunday, August 2, the member states of the United Nations succeeded in adopting by consensus an ambitious outcome document from the intergovernmental negotiations on 17 global goals for reducing human suffering and expanding dignity, peace, opportunity and resilience. These 17 Sustainable Development Goals are the outline for international cooperation between 2015 and 2030. The stated mission is to “to free the human race within this generation from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet for the present and for future generations.”

SDG-chart

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Multi-Meter Sea Level Rise already a Threat

hansen-140923.jpgIt’s time to stop waffling so much and say that the evidence is pretty strong: multi-meter sea level rise is an issue for today’s public, not next millennium’s

In 2005 I argued that ice sheets may be more vulnerable than IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) estimated, mainly because of effects of a warming ocean in speeding ice melt.[1]  In 2007 I wrote “Scientific Reticence and Sea Level Rise”, describing and documenting a phenomenon that pressures scientists to minimize the danger of imminent sea level rise.[2]

About then I became acquainted with remarkable studies of geologist Paul Hearty.  Hearty found strong evidence for sea level rise late in the Eemian to +6-9 m (20-30 feet) relative to today.  The Eemian is the prior interglacial period (~120,000 years ago), which was slightly warmer than the present interglacial period (the Holocene) in which civilization developed.  Hearty also found evidence for powerful storms in the North Atlantic near the end of the Eemian period.

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Climate Countdown Web Series Tracks Progress to Paris


Climate CountdownI have just launched my new web-series Climate Countdown — with fellow CCL and Pathway to Paris member Nicole Crescimanno — based around 2015 as the year for the global community to solve the climate change crisis. The web-series maps out what scientists, activists, policy makers and citizens are actually doing to tackle this problem. We examine different facets of this complex issue and break it down into bite-sized bits. Join us as we follow the people who are crafting paths toward a pivotal global climate change agreement this December in Paris — COP21.

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ADP Co-Chairs Release New Draft Streamlined Negotiating Text

Today, the Co-Chairs of the ADP—the ad-hoc all-nation working group that is responsible for writing the Paris climate agreement—released their new draft of a potential streamlining approach for the standing legal text, agreed in Geneva, in February. The Co-Chairs note, in a preface, to this new draft, that “inclusion of certain (sets of) articles or paragraphs is without prejudice to the views of the Parties, and that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”

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Report from the Climate Summit of the Americas

The Climate Summit of the Americas, hosted by the provincial government of Ontario, brought together infranational leaders from the US, Canada and Latin America. These ministers and heads of government from 23 jurisdictions around the hemisphere gathered to share their experience of effective climate action and to agree to a shared Climate Action Statement—the first of its kind.

Cities and territories don’t have official standing in the global climate negotiations; they need to be invited by their national governments, or by an NGO observer, and can’t negotiate as cities or territories. While the Lima-Paris Action Agenda and the NAZCA Portal focus on subnational and non-state actors’ contributions to the global climate response, these leaders still have no recognized role in the process. So, a concerted effort is being made to ensure their leadership, their insights, and their capabilities, are put into action.

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World Summit of Climate & Territories in Lyon, France (Day 1)

The World of Summit Climate & Territories (July 1st and 2nd) was the first event of its kind organized in the perspective of COP21. During two days, non-state actors, local leaders, experts and NGOs discussed how local authorities and actors could be more efficiently and effectively involved in the success of COP21.

Their message is clear: civil society and local authorities will be the ones in charge of implementing the different commitments of the Paris agreement. Ronan Dantec and Jean-Jack Queyranne opened the Summit by saying: “We are here to act.”. The international climate strategy has to honor local authorities’ role in leading the response on the front lines.

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Full Report from the CCL 2015 Conference

An idea whose time has come


In 2010, when Citizens’ Climate Lobby brought 25 citizen volunteers to Capitol Hill, it felt like a big challenge to get enough people to go the distance, to meet with all 535 voting members of Congress. This year, we brought 36 times as many people, and it is looking more like we will need more elected officials to welcome and build relationships with all the citizen lobbyists coming to make democracy work.

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The 2015 CCL International Conference is Now Open in Washington, DC

In 2009, three Citizens’ Climate Lobby core team members went to Capitol Hill, to start building a new way for citizens to engage Congress on climate and energy policy. In 2010, 25 volunteers came from around the U.S. Last year, CCL brought 608 citizen volunteers to Capitol Hill, for 507 meetings in 2 days. This morning, the 2015 CCL International Conference opens, with more than 900 citizen volunteers attending.

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Pope Francis: On Caring for our Common Home

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The Papal Encyclical Letter Laudato Si (Praised Be) focuses “on caring for our common home”. It makes clear the too rarely explained link between ecological ethics and a life of faith. For many, it seems like a shift in the politics of how we can or should talk about the climate. But what it makes clear, above all, is that we are intimately connected, through a fabric of resources and relations, in a way that implies a deep and inescapable ethical obligation.

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