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Climate Change

March 8, 2014 | By Seema Mehta and Michael Finnegan
Anti-fracking advocates repeatedly interrupted Gov. Jerry Brown's speech at the California Democratic Convention in Los Angeles on Saturday, chanting and waving signs as he gave his first major speech since declaring his intention to run for reelection. Chanting “No fracking!” and waving signs that said “Another Democrat Against  Fracking,” scores of protesters repeatedly drowned out Brown as he tried to deliver a speech arguing that California has prospered while politicians in Washington, D.C., have fiddled.
March 5, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Chipotle fans - and there are many - are in a near panic over a recent report from the company which seems to suggest that climate change could cause guacamole to disappear from the chain's menu. The reality may be much less dramatic. The hullaballoo started earlier this week when the blog drew attention to Chipotle's annual report, filed last month with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In a section of the report covering “risks related to operating in the restaurant industry,” the Mexican-style chain mentioned that “changes in food and supply costs could adversely affect our results of operations.” Factors for such changes include “general economic conditions, seasonal fluctuations, weather conditions, global demand, food safety concerns, generalized infectious diseases, fluctuations of the U.S. dollar, product recalls and government regulations,” according to Chipotle.  The company went on to describe how prices for many ingredients “escalated markedly” during 2013 and will likely continue to rise during 2014, especially for avocados and meat.
March 5, 2014 | By Amy Hubbard
Chipotle stirred up the media and guacamole lovers with news that it could "suspend" guacamole from its menu due to global warming. But a restaurant spokesman tells the Los Angeles Times: "This is way overblown. "  The annual report from the restaurant chain warned: "Increasing weather volatility or other long-term changes in global weather patterns, including any changes associated with global climate change, could have a significant impact on the price or availability of some of our ingredients.
March 4, 2014 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON - As international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions stall, schemes to slow global warming using fantastical technologies once dismissed as a sideshow are getting serious consideration in Washington. Ships that spew salt into the air to block sunlight. Mirrored satellites designed to bounce solar rays back into space. Massive "reverse" power plants that would suck carbon from the atmosphere. These are among the ideas the National Academy of Sciences has charged a panel of some of the nation's top climate thinkers to investigate.
February 25, 2014 | By Geoffrey Mohan
An unusual swarm of volcanic eruptions over the last 14 years may be partially responsible for the slowing of global warming, a new report suggests. The 17 eruptions from 1998-2012 pumped sulfur dioxide into Earth's upper atmosphere, where it formed liquid particles that reflected more sunlight back to space, moderating the larger-scale warming of the planet surface, according to the study published online Monday in Nature Geoscience. PHOTOS: Erupting volcanoes Adding the volcanic activity into calculations effectively reduced the discrepancy between observed temperature trends and the models that underpin the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's reports on climate change attributable to human activity.
February 19, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
A new study broadens a notion held by the earliest criminologists: Periods of higher temperatures -- on an hour-by-hour or week-to-week basis -- are likely to produce more crime. The study by Matthew Ranson of Abt Associates, a research and consulting firm in Cambridge, Mass., suggests global warming will trigger more crimes including murders and rapes over the next century, with social costs estimated to run as high as $115 billion. Between 2010 and 2099, climate change can be expected to cause an additional 22,000 murders, 180,000 cases of rape, 1.2 million aggravated assaults, 2.3 million simple assaults, 260,000 robberies, 1.3 million burglaries, 2.2 million cases of larceny and 580,000 cases of vehicle theft, the study published this week in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management says.
February 17, 2014 | By Karin Klein
It's been snowing in the Eastern United States like nobody's business. Crazy, wild cold and snowstorms. Predicting the weather might be hard, but predicting that extreme cold weather will produce a lot of hot air from climate deniers is easy. In fact, the number of myths floating around about climate change is pretty extensive, and I thought it might be helpful to address them, one by one, over the course of the year. For today, though, snow and cold are on people's minds. And that means plenty of people saying that this is strong evidence, if not downright proof, that the planet is not heating up. There's an elegant, if not complete, counterargument that comes via MIT's Knight Science Journalism Tracker, one of my favorite daily blog reads.
February 16, 2014 | By Paul Richter
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Sunday called on Indonesians to mobilize against climate change, part of a broader effort to enlist help from developing nations that have resisted pressure to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Speaking to a young audience at an urban shopping mall, Kerry made an impassioned argument that the archipelago's economy and physical survival is threatened as temperatures and water levels rise. He urged ordinary Indonesians to apply political pressure on leaders who, by overwhelming margins, still doubt the threat will affect their interests.
February 14, 2014
Re "Obama's pipeline dilemma," Opinion, Feb. 12 Doyle McManus aptly points out several of the political pros and cons related to President Obama's decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. What he fails to address is the need for fossil fuels to be left underground and for us to convert to renewables. McManus suggests procrastination by Obama might be a virtue. The destruction of Canada's boreal forest and the continued release of carbon into the atmosphere don't qualify. Far more virtuous would be for Obama to follow through on his 2013 inauguration promise: "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations....
February 14, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON -- President Obama will ask Congress for $1 billion to create a "climate resilience fund" to pay for research, preparation and infrastructure aimed at dealing with the extreme weather and new conditions associated with shifts in the weather. Obama will include the fund in his 2015 budget proposal, due out next month, and plans to discuss the idea during a visit to drought-stricken California on Friday, the White House said. Like much of his budget plan, though, the president's request is likely to meet resistance among Republicans in Congress.
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