‘No safe place’: Kiribati seeks donors to raise islands from encroaching seas – the Guardian

A view of mangrove shoots planted by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and others on Tarawa, an atoll in the Pacific island nation of Kiribati, 2011(by Eskinder Debebe, UN Photo CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr).

Pacific state needs billions for its ambitious plan – its president demands wealthy nations act to help now

Developing countries vulnerable to the worst ravages of global heating have spent the past week at United Nations climate talks urging more support from wealthy nations. The Pacific state of Kiribati has a very specific and unusual demand – that its islands be physically raised up to escape the encroaching seas.

Kiribati (pronounced Ki-ri-bahss, a local translation of “Gilberts”, its name under British colonial rule) is comprised of 33 coral atolls scattered across a huge expanse of ocean in the central Pacific ocean, between Hawaii and Australia. It covers more than 1.3m sq miles, making it one of the world’s largest nations when sea area is included, but is one of the smallest in terms of land, with most of its 120,000 population crammed into the narrow outcrops that make up Tarawa, its capital.

No part of Kiribati’s land rises more than two metres above the ocean, making it one of the most vulnerable places in the world to the sea level rise being driven by global heating. Several small islands have already been inundated by water, with parts of others eroded by the advancing tides. Intruding salt water threatens the ability to grow crops and risks the fresh groundwater that sits upon the porous reefs that form the basis of the islands.

CLIMATE CHANGE FROM A TO Z – the New Yorker

Snippet from the New Yorker Article: Climate Change from A to Z

In an urgent and beautifully composed call to action in the format of an “A to Z” narrative accompanied by bold illustrations by Wesley Allsbrook, Elizabeth Kolbert mixes serious informative facts with a dash of wry humor to acknowledge our collective failure to adequately address our climate crisis while offering some possible tools to help us try harder and do better.

Corporate Greenwashing

Greenwashing - Street Art in Nantes, France (by elkhiki CC BY 2.0 via Flickr).

Advertising is an incredibly powerful tool for convincing us to buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like. Last year the United States spent nearly $300 billion on advertising, and now that we are only about six weeks from Christmas, we can expect to be inundated with ads […]

How Belize Cut Its Debt by Fighting Global Warming – the New York Times

Aerial view of the Caribbean Sea and the Split in Caye Caulker, Belize (by Falco Ermert CC BY 2.0 via Flickr).

Belize faced an economic meltdown. The pandemic had sent it into its worst ever recession, putting the government on the brink of bankruptcy.
A solution came from unexpected quarters. A local marine biologist offered Prime Minister Johnny Briceño a novel proposal: Her nonprofit would lend the country money to pay its creditors if his government agreed to spend part of the savings this deal would generate to preserve its marine resources.

Cop27: coral conservation groups alarmed over ‘catastrophic losses’ – the Guardian

The few survivor corals of the 2016 bleaching event are now facing increased per capita predation by coral-eating Crown of Thorns starfish and Drupella snails (courtesy of ARC CoE for Coral Reef Studies/ Gergely Torda CC BY-ND 2.0 via Flickr).

You don’t have to travel far from the sprawling convention center that’s staging the UN climate talks in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to see what’s at stake. This coastal resort town is fringed by an ecosystem seemingly facing worldwide cataclysm from global heating – coral reefs.

As negotiators haggle over an agreement that may or may not maintain a goal to restrain global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, the nearby corals face a more brutally unyielding scenario.

Even if the 1.5C limit is kept, more than 90% of worldwide reefs will be destroyed by severe aquatic heatwaves with the more likely temperature increase of 2C, meaning all coral formations will face their doom. We face the “stark reality that there is no safe limit of global warming for coral reefs” as Adele Dixon, a researcher at University of Leeds’ School of Biology, put it after unveiling this grim research earlier this year.

A coalition of coral conservation groups have used the Cop27 summit in Egypt to express alarm over “catastrophic losses” in coral cover – half the world’s reefs are thought to have died in the past three decades – and call for radical action in a decade they call “the last chance for a turning point in favour of coral reef survival”. Governments must speed up efforts to expand marine protected areas, cut water pollution and restore corals, the coalition has demanded.

A Fossil Museum Uses the Past to Reimagine Climate’s Future – The New York Times

A detail from the frieze above the front entrance to the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits (by John Fladd CC BY 2.0 via Flickr).

As the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum undergoes a major redesign, its leaders hope it can do more to engage the public and educate visitors about the realities of climate change.

“How we present this information in a way it can help communities is a challenge,” she said. “If you go too far in the hope direction, it goes against the science. But we need to bring people in.” – Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga

The Earth is Heating Up

Earth's surface temperature each year from 1900–2020 compared to the 1981-2020 average, based on temperature histories put together by three different research groups: NOAA (red), University of East Anglia (pink line), and NASA (orange line). All show Earth is warming. (Image courtesy of NOAA Climate.gov, adapted from State of the Climate 2020).

The entire planet is feeling the effects of a warming atmosphere and ocean, from Sudan to Siberia, and we are way passed denial or debate. Whether forest and brush fires, or droughts and water shortages, we are all in this together and we need to continue to take the steps needed now to get off of fossil fuels and move to renewables as fast as humanely possible. I think of action in terms of sober optimism and aggressive incrementalism…