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Institutionalizing delay: foundation funding and the creation of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations

December 26, 2013 Comments off

Institutionalizing delay: foundation funding and the creation of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations (PDF)
Source: Climatic Change

This paper conducts an analysis of the financial resource mobilization of the organizations that make up the climate change counter-movement (CCCM) in the United States. Utilizing IRS data, total annual income is compiled for a sample of CCCM organizations (including advocacy organizations, think tanks, and trade associations). These data are coupled with IRS data on philanthropic foundation funding of these CCCM organizations contained in the Foundation Center’s data base. This results in a data sample that contains financial information for the time period 2003 to 2010 on the annual income of 91 CCCM organizations funded by 140 different foundations. An examination of these data shows that these 91 CCCM organizations have an annual income of just over $900 million, with an annual average of $64 million in identifiable foundation support. The overwhelming majority of the philanthropic support comes from conservative foundations. Additionally, there is evidence of a trend toward concealing the sources of CCCM funding through the use of donor directed philanthropies.

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Tracing anthropogenic carbon dioxide and methane emissions to fossil fuel and cement producers, 1854–2010

December 2, 2013 Comments off

Tracing anthropogenic carbon dioxide and methane emissions to fossil fuel and cement producers, 1854–2010
Source: Climatic Change

his paper presents a quantitative analysis of the historic fossil fuel and cement production records of the 50 leading investor-owned, 31 state-owned, and 9 nation-state producers of oil, natural gas, coal, and cement from as early as 1854 to 2010. This analysis traces emissions totaling 914 GtCO2e—63 % of cumulative worldwide emissions of industrial CO2 and methane between 1751 and 2010—to the 90 “carbon major” entities based on the carbon content of marketed hydrocarbon fuels (subtracting for non-energy uses), process CO2 from cement manufacture, CO2 from flaring, venting, and own fuel use, and fugitive or vented methane. Cumulatively, emissions of 315 GtCO2e have been traced to investor-owned entities, 288 GtCO2e to state-owned enterprises, and 312 GtCO2e to nation-states. Of these emissions, half has been emitted since 1986. The carbon major entities possess fossil fuel reserves that will, if produced and emitted, intensify anthropogenic climate change. The purpose of the analysis is to understand the historic emissions as a factual matter, and to invite consideration of their possible relevance to public policy.

Ecological sensitivity: a biospheric view of climate change

December 22, 2011 Comments off
Source:  Climatic Change

Climate change is often characterized in terms of climate sensitivity, the globally averaged temperature rise associated with a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 (equivalent) concentration. In this study, we develop and apply two new ecological sensitivity metrics, analogs of climate sensitivity, to investigate the potential degree of plant community changes over the next three centuries. We use ten climate simulations from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report, with climate sensitivities from 2–4°C. The concept of climate sensitivity depends upon the continuous nature of the temperature field across the Earth’s surface. For this research, the bridge between climate change and biospheric change predictions is provided by the Equilibrium Vegetation Ecology model (EVE), which simulates a continuous description of the Earth’s terrestrial plant communities as a function of climate. The ecosensitivity metrics applied to the results of EVE simulations at the end of the twenty-first century result in 49% of the Earth’s land surface area undergoing plant community changes and 37% of the world’s terrestrial ecosystems undergoing biome-scale changes. EVE is an equilibrium model, and, although rates of ecological change are not addressed, the resultant ecological sensitivity projections provide an estimate of the degree of species turnover that must occur for ecosystems to be in equilibrium with local climates. Regardless of equilibrium timescales, the new metrics highlight the Earth’s degree of ecological sensitivity while identifying ecological “hotspots” in the terrestrial biosphere’s response to projected climate changes over the next three centuries.

Full Paper (PDF)
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