Pope Francis heartened environmentalists around the world in June when he urged immediate action to save the planet from the effects of climate change, declaring that the use of “highly polluting fossil fuels needs to be progressively replaced without delay.”
But some of the largest American Catholic organizations have millions of dollars invested in energy companies, from hydraulic fracturing firms to oil sands producers, according to their own disclosures, through many portfolios intended to fund church operations and pay clergy salaries.
This discrepancy between the church’s leadership and its financial activities in the United States has prompted at least one significant review of investments. The Archdiocese of Chicago, America’s third largest by Catholic population, told Reuters it will reexamine its more than $100 million worth of fossil fuel investments.…
Not to freak you out or anything, but scientists have just revealed that octopuses are so weird they’re basically aliens.
The first full genome sequence shows of that octopuses (NOT octopi) are totally different from all other animals – and their genome shows a striking level of complexity with 33,000 protein-coding genes identified, more than in a human.
There we were thinking it was quite freaky enough when they learned how to open jam jars.
US researcher Dr Clifton Ragsdale, from the University of Chicago, said: ;The octopus appears to be utterly different from all other animals, even other molluscs, with its eight prehensile arms, its large brain and its clever problem-solving abilities.
‘The late British zoologist Martin Wells said the octopus is an alien. In this sense, then, our paper describes the first sequenced genome from an alien.’
NOAA July 2015 – USA – Below Normal For 3rd Year in a Row
Holy CO2! Pope declares Sept. 1 to be annual global warming prayer day?! – Announces World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
Pope Francis has decided to set up a “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” which will be celebrated on September 1st annually.
The annual World Day of prayer for the Care of Creation offers to individual believers and to the community a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation, raising to God our thanks for the marvellous works that He has entrusted to our care, invoking his help for the protection of creation and his mercy for the sins committed against the world in which we live. The celebration of the Day on the same date as the Orthodox Church will be a valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion with our orthodox brothers. We live in a time where all Christians are faced with identical and important challenges and we must give common replies to these in order to appear more credible and effective. Therefore it is my hope that this Day can involve, in some way, other Churches and ecclesial Communities and be celebrated in union with the initiatives that the World Council of Churches is promoting on this issue.
EPA’s Gina McCarthy: Global Warming ‘affects everything and everyone we know and love. It affects our kids’ – ‘Don’t Debate Climate Change Any Longer’
Ice Amazingly Persists in Hudson and James Bay
While the world frets over global warming, sea ice amazingly persists as far south as James Bay in Canada–not much farther north than Maine–as seen in this NASA color satellite image of swirling ice patterns from yesterday, August 8, 2015 (click for full size): NASA MODIS image of sea ice persisting as far south as James Bay (Canada) on 8 August 2015. Two weeks ago it was reported that the worst mid-summer ice conditions in 20 years was preventing the routine delivery of supplies by ship in eastern Hudson Bay, and a Canadian ice breaker had to be called in to help.
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Summer polar bear habitat then & now – little impact from 2007 record-breaking sea ice low
Sea ice looks low for this time of year but how does it compare to 2007, when summer ice habitat for polar bears hit a record-breaking low? What can the impact of 2007 ice levels on polar bears tell us about what to expect this year? By this date in 2007 (8 August, Day 220, NSIDC Masie map below), there was almost 1 million km2 less ice than there is this year (map above). However, look which polar bear subpopulations not only survived, but thrived, through the 2007 low ice summer: Chukchi Sea, Southern Beaufort, Barents Sea, Davis Strait, Foxe Basin, Western Hudson Bay, and Southern Hudson Bay. That’s all of the subpopulations for which we have recent data. There is more than a month left in the melt season, of course. However, while 2012 finished with a lower minimum ice extent due to a massive mid-August storm that broke up a lot of ice (Simmonds and Rudeva 2012), by the end of the first week of August (i.e, the 8th), there was more ice in 2012 than in 2007 and a bit less than this year (2012, 6.3 mkm2; 2007, 5.6 mkm2; 2015, 6.5 mkm2). This means if less summer ice for a longer period of time impacts polar bear health and survival, conditions in 2007 should have had a noticeable impact on polar bears around the world. They didn’t. That suggests even if this September sea ice minimum is as low as 2007, it won’t have any negative impact on polar bear health or survival. The most profoundly negative documented impacts have come from thick sea ice in spring or suboptimal spring snow levels (Crockford 2015) and the evidence shows that variation in the extent of summer ice is simply irrelevant to polar bears. In all cases, the maps below are for 2007, followed by 2015 (click to enlarge). Chukchi Sea [2007, 278 thousand kms; 2015, 416 thousand kms – see maps below] The latest study ended in 2011 but began in 2008, the year after the record-breaking (at the time) 2007 September low, and yet the bears were described as in excellent physical condition and reproducing well (Rode et al. 2014a). Although no population count was done, these characteristics are the signature of a population that is stable or increasing. …
Claim: Severe droughts could lead to widespread losses of butterflies by 2050
From the CENTRE FOR ECOLOGY & HYDROLOGY and the Edith’s Checkerspot Club comes this tale of possible bug disaster we’ve all heard before. Except, Nature often finds a way, and scientific claims of extinction sometimes end up being proven wrong by nature itself. — Widespread drought-sensitive butterfly population extinctions could occur in the UK as early […]
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“A Disgrace to the Profession” by Mark Steyn – now available
In the US you can order Mark Styen’s book here and orders can be shipped to the UK, if not from Amazon then try Mark’s own bookstore. It has cartoons by me and was a fun project to be involved in. It is also a hugely entertaining and informative read and, although I might be slightly biased, I think this is going to be this summer’s must-read climate tome! Posted by Josh
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