The National Research Council just reported that the costs of electricity from fossil fuels were $120 billion just on air pollution’s impact on health, not counting the effects of mercury, ecosystem damage, or the climate warming impact of carbon emissions. Natural gas is ‘cheaper’ than coal; ethanol’s hidden costs are similar to coal’s. Cars have hidden costs of $56 billion in damages.
Thomas Friedman writes in the New York Times on “global weirding”, which happens when climates change. Extreme weather events become more common. He wants the climate-science community to meet and publish a simple 50-page report on What we Know, adding the skeptics’ worst errors — and their funding.
Researchers have found that coastal summer fogs in central California have decreased by about a third since the early 20th century. They don’t attribute the decline directly to climate change, but do suggest that the state’s redwoods, which transpire a lot, may be stressed by lower summer humidity.
Greenland’s glaciers are melting, contributing to a rise in sea levels. What’s more, they are melting faster than before, according to two studies just published. The increase is due to both a warmer atmosphere and a warmer ocean, which melts the glaciers from below. Fjords apur rising sea-levels.
This New York Times analysis from Davos stresses the importance of developing greener technology, which will reshape the world economy. The winner will dominate that economy, and reap most of the jobs it creates. Its sobering conclusion: “Climate change has become a theater of geopolitical competition.”