12-07-2023  9:42 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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Future of Lloyd Center Includes Teardown, But Keeping the Ice Rink

New owners submit plans for mixed-use and open spaces, residences and promenades, to city.

Atmospheric River Brings Heavy Rain, Flooding and Warm Winter Temperatures to the Pacific Northwest

The National Weather Service reported that rainfall records were shattered in some areas of the Olympic Peninsula. Washington and Oregon officials have urged drivers to use caution as standing water and flooding affect roadways. 

Oldest Black Church in Oregon Will Tear Down, Rebuild To Better Serve Community

As physical attendance dwindles, First African Methodist Episcopal Zion is joining the growing trend of churches that are re-imagining how best to use their facilities.

Cities Crack Down on Homeless Encampments. Advocates Say That’s Not the Answer

Homeless people and their advocates say encampment sweeps are cruel and costly, and there aren't enough shelter beds or treatment for everyone. But government officials say it's unacceptable to let encampments fester and people need to accept offers of shelter or treatment, if they have a severe mental illness or addiction.


Letitia Carson Traveling Exhibit at Tamástslikt Cultural Institute

Letitia Carson was one of the first Black women to settle in Oregon. ...

OHCS Announces Homeowner Assistance Fund Application Portal to Close on December 20

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) is closing the Oregon Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) program to most new applicants to...

2024 Rose Festival Court Applications Are Open

Applications for the 2024 Rose Festival Court Program presented by Unitus Community Credit Union are now available on the Rose...

Talk A Mile Event Connects Young Black Leaders with Portland Police Bureau Trainees

Talk A Mile operates on the idea that conversation bridges gaps and builds empathy, which can promote understanding between Black...

Turkey Rules the Table. But an AP-NORC Poll Finds Disagreement Over Other Thanksgiving Classics

Thanksgiving may be a time for Americans to come together, but opinion is divided over what's on the crowded dinner table. We mostly...

Centenarian survivors of Pearl Harbor attack return to honor those who perished 82 years ago

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — Ira “Ike” Schab had just showered, put on a clean sailor's uniform and closed his locker aboard the USS Dobbin when he heard a call for a fire rescue party. He went topside to see the USS Utah capsizing and Japanese planes in the air. He scurried...

Ex-Alaska Airlines pilot who tried to cut plane’s engines is released from jail; must avoid aircraft

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An ex-Alaska Airlines pilot accused of trying to cut the engines of a passenger flight while off-duty and riding in an extra seat in the cockpit was released from jail pending trial Thursday, after an Oregon judge approved it with conditions that include keeping away from...

Missouri RB Cody Schrader wins Burlsworth Trophy

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Missouri running back Cody Schrader has won the Burlsworth Trophy, given to the nation's best player who started his Division I career as a a walk-on. Schrader, who walked on two years ago after transferring from Division II Truman State, leads Division I...

AP names LSU's Daniels unanimous SEC offensive player of year; Watson named top defensive player

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels is the unanimous pick as Associated Press Southeastern Conference offensive player of the year, while Mississippi State linebacker Nathaniel Watson is defensive player of the year. Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz won coach of the year honors Monday after...


Why Are Bullies So Mean? A Youth Psychology Expert Explains What’s Behind Their Harmful Behavior

Bullied children and teens are at risk for anxiety, depression, dropping out of school, peer rejection, social isolation and self-harm. ...

Federal Agencies Issue $23 Million Fine Against TransUnion and Subsidiary

FTC and CFPB say actions harmed renters and violated fair credit laws ...

First One to Commit to Nonviolence Wins

Every time gains towards nonviolence looked promising, someone from the most aggrieved and trauma-warped groups made sure to be spoilers by committing some atrocity and resetting the hate and violence. ...


What is patently obvious to all Americans right now is the adolescent dysfunction of Congress. ...


Man fires shotgun outside Jewish temple in upstate New York as Hanukkah begins, no one injured

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A man fired a shotgun twice outside a Jewish temple in upstate New York, hours before the start of Hanukkah on Thursday, then said “Free Palestine” as he was taken into custody, police said. No one was injured. The episode in the state capital of Albany took...

Maternal mortality rate is much higher for Black women than white women in Mississippi, study says

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Black people make up about 38% of Mississippi's population, but a new study shows that Black women were four times more likely to die of causes directly related to pregnancy than white women in the state in 2020. “It is imperative that this racial inequity is...

Last of 3 Palestinian college students shot in Vermont leaves hospital

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The last of the three college students of Palestinian descent who were shot and seriously injured in Vermont during their Thanksgiving break has been released from a Burlington hospital and will undergo rehabilitation. Hisham Awartani, who is paralyzed from...


Brit Marling has created 'A Murder at the End of the World,' a whodunit only Emma Corrin can solve

From the “Knives Out” films to TV's “Only Murders in the Building," and even season four of Netflix's “You,” closed-circle murder mysteries are alive and thriving. And now, there's FX's “ A Murder at the End of the World" to solve, a new Agatha Christie-inspired series...

Illinois appeals court affirms actor Jussie Smollett's convictions and jail sentence

An appeals court upheld the disorderly conduct convictions Friday of actor Jussie Smollett, who was accused of staging a racist, homophobic attack against himself in 2019 and lying about it to Chicago police. Smollett, who appeared in the TV show “Empire,” challenged the role of a...

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Dec. 10-16

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Dec. 10-16: Dec. 10: Actor Fionnula Flanagan (“Waking Ned Devine”) is 82. Actor-singer Gloria Loring is 77. Drummer Walter “Clyde” Orange of The Commodores is 77. Country singer Johnny Rodriguez is 72. Actor Susan Dey is 71. Musician Paul...


Donald Trump returns to court, lauds his defense expert who sees no evidence of accounting fraud

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump returned to his civil fraud trial Thursday to spotlight his...

Israel and US are at odds over conflicting visions for postwar Gaza

JERUSALEM (AP) — The United States has offered strong support to Israel in its war against the Hamas militant...

Jon Rahm bolts for LIV Golf in a stunning blow to the PGA Tour

Masters champion Jon Rahm bolted for Saudi-funded LIV Golf on Thursday for what's believed to be more money than...

Israel and US are at odds over conflicting visions for postwar Gaza

JERUSALEM (AP) — The United States has offered strong support to Israel in its war against the Hamas militant...

Hopes for a Mercosur-EU trade deal fade yet again as leaders meet in Brazil

SAO PAULO (AP) — The heads of state from South America's Mercosur trade bloc gathered Thursday in Rio de Janeiro...

Ospreys had safety issues long before they were grounded. A look at the aircraft's history

WASHINGTON (AP) — When the U.S. military took the extraordinary step of grounding its entire fleet of V-22...

Tim Lister CNN
 Hurricane Sandy is now considered to be the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, killed more than 250 people in seven countries, and caused an estimated tens of billions of dollars in damage.

(CNN) -- On Dec. 11, 1997, the world agreed that climate change needed to be tackled. The grandly named United Nations Framework on Climate Change adopted the Kyoto Protocol on that day, and it was eventually ratified by 191 countries. Now it's about to expire with a whimper.

Of the major industrial powers, only the European Union is prepared to continue adhering to the Kyoto pact's provisions on cutting greenhouse gases into 2013. Canada, Russia and Japan have already said they won't. The United States never ratified the agreement. So attention is turning to devising a "Kyoto 2.0."

This week, nearly 200 delegations have gathered in Qatar to plan for a new international climate pact that would come into effect in 2020. But there are huge disagreements between developed and developing countries over sharing the burden.

The Kyoto agreement envisaged binding cuts in emissions by the industrialized world -- but not by rapidly industrializing countries like China and India. They are now the largest and third-largest generator of carbon emissions, respectively, and developing countries account for more than half the world's emissions, according to the International Energy Agency.

The global economic slowdown has helped curb emissions in the developed world. But China and the United States were together responsible for more than 40% of emissions in 2009. U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide have risen by 10.5% since 1990. And China is heavily reliant on coal -- the most carbon-intensive of fossil fuels -- to drive its economic growth.

The stakes for the environmental health of the globe and its citizens have gotten a lot higher in the last 15 years, amid widespread crop failures in the Northern Hemisphere, changing weather patterns, acidifying oceans and a record ice melt in the Arctic Ocean. Right now, a Russian tanker carrying liquefied natural gas is steaming through the Arctic on its way to Japan -- the first such vessel ever to take the route, thanks to thinner ice cover.

The last decade has seen nine of the hottest years on record. And in a new report, the World Bank cites the "nearly unanimous" prediction by scientists that the globe will warm by as much as 4 degrees Celsius this century. It expects the consequences to include "the inundation of coastal cities; increasing risks for food production potentially leading to higher malnutrition rates; many dry regions becoming dryer, wet regions wetter."

"Recent extreme heat waves such as in Russia in 2010 are likely to become the new normal. ... Tropical South America, central Africa, and all tropical islands in the Pacific are likely to regularly experience heat waves of unprecedented magnitude and duration," according to the World Bank study.

The World Meteorological Organization, a U.N. agency, reported last week that global carbon dioxide emissions had risen by 50% since 1990. There's fresh evidence that they are still rising, and an overwhelming majority of climate scientists say the warming of the planet is accelerating, with consequences we can't predict. Scientists describe this as the "cascade of uncertainties."

The WMO calculates that the volume of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has now reached 390.9 parts per million, roughly 40% higher than the level before the Industrial Revolution. 375 billion tons of carbon have been released into the atmosphere since 1750.

About half has been absorbed by the oceans and the Earth's biosphere; the rest will remain in the atmosphere for centuries, gradually cooking the planet.

The latest data from the WMO also shows that emissions of nitrous oxide are 20% higher than in the preindustrial era, and are accelerating. That's a cause for concern because nitrous oxide is much more "toxic" that carbon dioxide; its impact on the climate is about 300 times greater. About 40% of the nitrous oxide emitted is from human activity, according to WMO estimates.

There are glimmers of renewed interest in climate change. President Barack Obama, in his victory speech on the night of the election, said he wanted to "pass on a country that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet."

The European Union has already cut in its emissions by one-fifth, compared with 1990, and is considering extending that to 30% by 2020.

A U.N. program is encouraging small-scale projects that address warming at the local level. One such project is in the sprawling Indian city of Ahmedabad, where a fleet of buses running on compressed natural gas is reducing air pollution. In a city of 7 million, one-fifth of commuters have jumped off their motorcycles and scooters and onto the buses.

But there is already widespread doubt that at the global level, aspirations will be matched by deeds.

Three years ago, at the abortive climate talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, rich countries promised the poor they would raise $100 billion by 2020 to help them cope with climate change. Budget pressures in developed countries make that target look very distant now. Nongovernmental organizations like Oxfam are lobbying for new taxes on the aviation and shipping industries to help raise the money. They contrast the rapid recovery in the U.S. from the effects of Hurricane Sandy with the disastrous consequences from the same storm for Haiti, where up to 2 million people may face malnutrition after crops were washed away.

The notion of shared sacrifice is not one familiar to climate talks. China never tires of pointing out that while it is the largest emitter of carbon dioxide, its emissions per capita are still far lower than those of the U.S. But that may not be for long: Last year alone, they rose 9%.

The danger, according to multiple scientific studies, is that without a redoubling of efforts to curb emissions, the goal enshrined in Kyoto, Japan, of restraining warming to 2 degrees Celsius this century, compared with the preindustrial era, will soon be unattainable.

Right now, the goal of limiting warming to 2 degrees by 2100 seems like a pipe dream. If emissions continue their current path, the target will be breached within two decades.

The European Environment Agency says the average temperature on the continent in the last decade was already 1.3 degrees Celsius above the preindustrial level. The vast majority of glaciers in Europe are retreating; river flows are decreasing throughout Southern and Eastern Europe.

"By the late 21st century, European plant species are projected to shift several hundred kilometers to the north, forests are likely to contract in the south and expand in the north, and about half of the mountain plant species may face extinction," the EEA says.

Farmers in the U.S. Midwest have just endured the worst drought in 50 years; the bread baskets of Ukraine and Russia have similarly shriveled in the face of intense heat.

Technologies exist that will allow humanity to make a rapid dent on emissions. Renewable energy accounts for double the amount of power it did just six years ago. Carbon sinks deep underground can capture and store emissions from gas flaring. Better vehicle emissions standards, reforestation and a developed carbon trading market would all help.

There are all sorts of green gestures at the 18th meeting of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change in Qatar, one of the world's highest emitters of carbon dioxide per capita. Examples are "paperless" documentation and buses run on natural gas to ferry delegates to the conference center, which is partly powered by solar panels. But the political will required of 194 delegations to bring the world closer to a new climate pact is yet to be tested.

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