Tag Archives: climate change

Much hotter conditions, more extreme weather await Nebraska, northern Plains, scientists say

By Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

A much warmer future awaits the next generation of Nebraskans as a result of climate change, according to state and federal scientists. The state also is expected to see more rain and snow, but the additional moisture may not be enough to counteract the stress of a warming world on agriculture, they said. Additionally, the region is likely to see an increase in wintertime rain and ice. Last week, two climate scientists discussed some of the impacts during a briefing on the
National Climate Assessment, published last fall. Continue reading here.

Upcoming Nebraska Events – Free & Open To The Public 

Nebraska Climate Summit: A One-Day Session On Climate & Climate Change. March 21, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm at the
Nebraska Innovation Campus, 2021 Transformation Drive in Lincoln. Martha Shulski, director of the state climate
office based at the School of Natural Resources at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Tyler Williams,
Nebraska Extension climatologist, as well as partners
across the university and state will lead the one-day information session on climate and climate
change. Registration capped at 350. Lunch provided. Register for the event here.

Nebraska Solar Schools Earth Month Event
Save the Date! Our speaker will be Mary DeMocker, author of The Parents’ Guide To Climate Revolution: 100 Ways to Build a Fossil-Free Future, Raise Empowered Kids, and Still Get a Good Night’s Sleep. April 11, 2019, UNO’s Thompson Center, 6705 Dodge Street, Omaha. RSVP & parking permit
required. Download flyer here for additional details.

Also written by Nancy Gaarder
11 easy steps to going green and having fun in the process, Omaha World-Herald

OPPD’s board set to take an environmental tilt. What will it mean for electricity costs?

By Aaron Sanderford, Omaha World-Herald

The costs of OPPD going further, faster on renewables and carbon are not yet clear. OPPD officials have said they had not yet determined how much more, if any, customers are paying for electricity because of the renewable energy the utility has already added to the mix . . . People should not draw a direct correlation between renewables and rising rates, said Javier Fernandez, the district’s chief financial officer . . . If the next OPPD board aims the utility at 100 percent renewables or zero carbon, [Russ Baker, director of OPPD’s environmental and regulatory affairs] said OPPD management will work with them to mull what that would look like, what it might cost and how technology would need to change. Read more here.

Image Credit: Facebook, one of a growing number of corporations committed to sourcing 100% of their energy from renewables and encouraging their suppliers to do so, as well. Facebook’s goal is to reach that level by 2020. RE100

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

REPORTS OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

  • Lazard’s recently-released Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) analysis reports that solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind costs have dropped an astounding 88% and 69% since 2009, respectively.
  • Sierra Club’s 2018 Case Study Report: Ten cities that have made commitments to be powered entirely with clean energy. Download the Case Studies 2018 Report (PDF} in English or Spanish.
  • Free SEPA Research: Non-Wires Alternatives: Case Studies from Leading U.S. Projects
    In today’s electricity market, non-wires alternatives are capturing public attention and inspiring decision makers to explore the grid benefits and potential cost savings resulting from integrating new distributed technologies in place of new infrastructure upgrades.

In Farm Country, Grappling With the Taboo of Talking about Climate Change

By Bryce Oates, Climate, Rural Environment and Agriculture Project, Civil Eats

Despite the heated political rhetoric on both sides of the issue, the realities of the changing climate are driving farmers of all stripes to take action . . . [The] evidence that agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere—as well the role farm practices can play in both mitigating and helping farmers adapt to climate change—has only mounted. And while some advocates are working to bring the conversation to the fore among rural communities, others are more focused on supporting farmers to change their practices and build healthy soil, regardless of what language they use. Read the entire article here.

iStock Photo: Farmer surveying drought conditions.

LINKS TO MORE INFORMATION

  • USDA Climate Hubs
    Our new national and regional websites are designed to ensure that stakeholders from around the Nation can quickly and easily find the information they need to manage climate change risks and ensure the resilience of their production systems.
  • Northern Plains Climate Hub
    The Northern Plains Climate Hub, which serves Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota, delivers science-based knowledge, practical information, management & conservation strategies, and decision tools to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners with the goal of helping them adapt to weather variability and changing climatic conditions.
  • National Farmers Union’s Climate Column
  • Nebraska Farmers Union
    Nebraska Farmers Union members approved five top priorities for 2018 at their last state convention. These Special Orders of Business include: Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and Net Metering: The members of the Nebraska Farmers Union support an increase of the maximum guaranteed access level for net-metering from 25 kilowatts to 100 kilowatts.  Secondly, the members support changing and updating current state law to allow single owners the option of aggregating their multiple meters for the purpose of net metering.
  • The Nebraska State Climate Office (NSCO) is an organization dedicated to delivering science-based climate services at the local and state level. NSCO’s focus is on weather and climate monitoring, climate services, and stakeholder engagement. NSCO’s office includes operation of the Nebraska Mesonet, a state-wide weather observation network with nearly 70 locations across Nebraska that assess local conditions.

NSCO’s Links to More Information

ADDITIONAL PUBLICATIONS OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

FEATURED YOUTH CLIMATE ACTION: OUR CHILDREN’S TRUST
Our Children’s Trust elevates the voice of youth to secure the legal right to a stable climate and healthy atmosphere for the benefit of all present and future generations. Through our programs, youth participate in advocacy, public education and civic engagement to ensure the viability of all natural systems in accordance with science. 

Our mission is to protect earth’s atmosphere and natural systems for present and future generations. We lead a game-changing legal campaign seeking systemic, science-based emissions reductions and climate recovery policy at all levels of government. We give young people, those with most at stake in the climate crisis, a voice to favorably impact their futures.

YouTube Video: 

RECOMMENDED BOOK

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming
By Paul Hawken  (Editor), Tom Steyer (Foreword)

The 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, based on meticulous
research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world.

Midlands Voices: It is time for Nebraska to prepare for climate change

By Donald Wilhite, Omaha World-Herald

The writer is professor and director emeritus in climate science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is the founding director of UNL’s National Drought Mitigation Center.

I applaud The World-Herald for publishing several articles on climate change and its implications for Nebraska on June 18. Educating all Nebraskans about both the threats and opportunities associated with climate change is vital to adapt to and prepare for the changes that lie ahead.

Both globally and locally, few people deny that our climate is changing. Globally, we have experienced 400 consecutive months where the average temperatures have exceeded the 30-year average. However, many people still reject the notion that human actions, specifically the burning of fossil fuels and land use changes, are the primary reasons for the observed changes. Continue reading.

ALSO PUBLISHED BY THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD

Midlands Voices: Creighton president among Catholic institutions to sign climate declaration


By president of Creighton University
Omaha World-Herald

Days before I began my presidency at Creighton University, on June 18, 2015, Pope Francis released his groundbreaking encyclical on ecology. In Laudato Si’ he affirmed nearly 30 years of Catholic teaching that human-caused climate change is an urgent moral issue which damages the earth, threatens human life and dignity and unjustly burdens the poor.

To celebrate the third anniversary of Laudato Si’, I am proud to join 600 other U.S. Catholic educators and leaders as a signatory to the Catholic Climate Declaration. The declaration calls on President Donald Trump to remain in the Paris climate agreement and announces that the U.S. Catholic community is “still in” on actions to meet the goals of the agreement. Read more here.

Photo: Creighton University’s parking lot solar canopies

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

  • Nearly 600 institutions back Catholic Climate Declaration, National Catholic Reporter
    The covenant’s Climate Energies program has lined up nearly $10 million in projects to help dioceses, parishes and Catholic organizations install energy-efficient and renewable energy projects. Jesuit Fr. Daniel Hendrickson, president of Creighton University, told reporters June 18 that the Omaha, Nebraska-based school has decreased its greenhouse gas emissions from electricity by nearly 25 percent, a savings of $2 million, and remains committed to its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
  • Download Laudato Si’  here.
  • The Pope Is Not Alone!, NRDC Archived Post
  • Religious Statements on Climate Change, Interfaith Power & Light

We Are Still In Website
Mayors, county executives, governors, tribal leaders, college and university leaders, businesses, faith groups, and investors are joining forces  to continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement.

NEBRASKA STATE CLIMATE OFFICE

  • The Nebraska State Climate Office (NSCO) is an organization dedicated to delivering science-based climate services at the local and state level. NSCO’s focus is on weather and climate monitoring, climate services, and stakeholder engagement. NSCO’s office includes operation of the Nebraska Mesonet, a state-wide weather observation network with nearly 70 locations across Nebraska that assess local conditions.

NSCO’s Links to More Information

Climate Change: In Midlands, warming means coping with extremes

By Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

And the warming is continuing to accelerate. Federal researchers calculate that –- absent reductions in greenhouses gases –- the Great Plains and Midwest have a realistic change of averaging 5 degrees warmer by midcentury, and 9 degrees warmer by the end of the century,

The changes that are occurring are unprecedented, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln concludes in a 2014 analysis of climate change –- and the most authoritative study to date at a statewide level. The effects of warming are reaching into every corner of life, from the farm to the garden, from the doctor’s office to the jogging track, according to those interviewed by The World-Herald and the Associated Press. Read more here.

Pixabay Photo

The Nebraska State Climate Office (NSCO) is an organization dedicated to delivering science-based climate services at the local and state level. NSCO’s focus is on weather and climate monitoring, climate services, and stakeholder engagement. NSCO’s office includes operation of the Nebraska Mesonet, a state-wide weather observation network with nearly 70 locations across Nebraska that assess local conditions.

NSCO’s Links to More Information

Iowa university to install NEXTracker solar+storage power plant

By Chris Crowell, Solar Builder Magazine

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0178.JPG

Iowa-based Ideal Energy is constructing a 1.1 MW power plant at the Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in Fairfield, Iowa, using the NEXTracker NX Flow integrated solar-plus-storage system. The project will be built on University land and, when completed, it is projected to be one of the largest solar-plus-storage power plants in the state, producing enough energy to cover nearly a third of the University’s annual electricity usage. In addition to those savings, NX Flow will use peak-shaving to significantly reduce MUM’s utility bill during high-demand times. Read more here.

RELATED: Massachusetts’ first community solar plus storage project now operational,
by Chris Crowell

MORE ON SOLAR PLUS STORAGE 

ADDITIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

NEW REPORT

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the progress made by more than 900 public and private-sector organizations that are driving energy efficiency in the U.S. economy through their participation in the Better Buildings Initiative. Moreover, partners across the Better Buildings Initiative are sharing their innovative approaches and successful strategies to accelerate the adoption of energy efficient technologies and practices. The 2018 Better Buildings Progress Report released today highlights this progress in the commercial, industrial, residential and public sectors to improve energy productivity.

CARBON EMISSIONS / CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS

EV NEWS

Commentary: To fight climate change, we must change our vocabulary

By Dick Munson, Director of Midwest clean energy for the Environmental Defense Fund, Guest Opinion, Midwest Energy News

Each fall, Chicago throws a Humanities Festival to promote “the lifelong exploration of what it means to be human,” attracting thoughtful authors and expressive performers. Two lectures on a recent Saturday afternoon provided fresh perspectives on how environmentalists combat pollution and envision a healthier planet.

For me, those discussions revealed how we can tap different threads — specifically faith and literature — to make our cases more effectively.

Read more here.

 

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

‘Landmark’ decision casts youth as official intervenors in pipeline case

By Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

It’s rare to see millennials attending a PUC hearing, or even someone not on the payroll of an organization involved in the process. But administrative law judge Ann O’Reilly accepted the argument by Youth Climate Intervenors that their generation will disproportionately feel the burden of climate change.

“In a landmark decision she granted us standing,” said Akilah Sanders-Reed, the 23-year-old who founded the group. “She acknowledged we (young people) had a stake in it and that we deserved a seat at the table. What that means is that the Youth Climate Intervenors have the same rights in that courtroom as Enbridge Energy does.” Read more here.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

This Pathway is the Best Opportunity for Corporate Utility-scale Solar PV Procurement

By Jennifer Deloney, Associate Editor, Renewable Energy World

A new report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) said that innovation is enabling more corporate solar procurement, with new purchasing models, declining costs, and increased interest by corporate purchasers driving this segment.

NREL said that as of July, corporate customers have contracted for more than 2,300 MW of utility-scale solar PV. In addition, corporate procurement of utility-scale solar PV grew from about 1 percent of annual installed utility scale capacity in 2014 to 9 percent in 2016, and it accounted for 17 percent so far this year. Click here to learn more. 

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST