New Coating Helps Solar Panels Shed Snow

Scientists score another for my alma mater. University of Michigan: In an advance that could dramatically improve the productivity of solar panels in cold climates, a University of Michigan-led team has demonstrated an inexpensive, clear coating that reduced snow and ice accumulation on solar panels, enabling them to generate up to 85% more energy in […]

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Red Christmas: December Heat Waves Keep Coming

Washington Post: If you’ve been dreaming of a white Christmas, it’s probably time to throw in the towel. Most of the Lower 48 will be looking at a spike in temperatures over the coming days that could send highs some 30 degrees or more above normal. In many spots, the weather on Christmas Eve and […]

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5 Ice Age Mammoths Discovered Near Busy Road in England

Near a busy road in Britain’s Cotswolds, Sally and Neville Hollingworth, a couple who spends part of their time hunting fossils, made an extraordinary find: The skeletons of five prehistoric mammoths that are about 220,000 years old.

The mammoths are in a remarkable state of preservation, with Neanderthal tools — including an axe — and the remains of elk, beetles and snails nearby. Some of the pollen and plant fossils found at the site are extinct.

Once the enormity of the discovery was realized, DigVentures, a team of archeologists who lead crowdfunded archeological excavations, were called in to dig the site.

“Exciting doesn’t cover it,” Lisa Westcott Wilkins of DigVentures told The Observer, as The Guardian reported. “Other mammoths have been found in the UK but not in this state of preservation. They’re in near-pristine condition. You can’t take it in.”

“Archaeological sites from this period are rare, and critical for understanding Neanderthal behaviour across Britain and Europe. Why did so many mammoths die here? Could Neanderthals have killed them? What can they tell us about life in ice-age Britain? The range of evidence at this site gives us a unique chance to address these questions,” Wilkins added.

The mammoth fossils are thought to be from a time when the region was between two glacial periods and experiencing mild weather. Neanderthals traveled south to the area seeking warmer temperatures, The Guardian reported.

The type of extinct prehistoric elephant discovered by the Nevilles, the Steppe mammoth, is the largest of its species, and originated in Africa around five million years earlier. This type of mammoth weighed two or three times as much as an African elephant. Not much is known about how the Neanderthals existed in ice-age Britain, but clues are hoped to be gained from the well-preserved site.

“We have evidence of what the landscape was like. We know what plants were growing there. The little things are really revealing the context of these big, iconic giants. It’s a glimpse back in time. That’s incredibly important in terms of us understanding how climate change especially impacts environments, ecosystems and species,” Ben Garrod, an evolutionary biologist and professor at the University of East Anglia, told The Observer, The Guardian reported. Garrod will join Sir David Attenborough and archeologists from DigVentures in a BBC One documentary, Attenborough and the Mammoth Graveyard, airing on December 30.

Garrod hypothesized that the Neanderthals could have made camp at the site and may have actually chased the mammoths into the mud, or perhaps just happened upon them. “Maybe they found them there already and got a free meal,” he said to the Telegraph, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Garrod told The Observer that finding such intact skeletons is a rare find in England, The Guardian reported. DigVentures, who raised funds for the digging, analysis and research of the artifacts, hopes to raise more funds for further excavations at the site. Natural flooding is currently keeping the site safe from fossil hunters.

“This is one of the most important discoveries in British palaeontology,” Garrod told The Observer, as reported by the Swindon Advertiser.

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Groups urge bigger targets, more equity as RGGI states consider changes

Europe’s Gas Crunch Worsens

Above, cold weather moving into Europe, will exacerbate gas demand. See my video this month for context. Reuters: MOSCOW/FRANKFURT/LONDON, Dec 21 (Reuters) – European gas prices hit a new record high on Tuesday after a pipeline that brings Russian gas to Germany switched to flow east, a move the Kremlin said had no political backdrop, […]

Volunteer Spotlight: Pauline Banducci

Volunteer Spotlight: Pauline Banducci

By Katie Zakrzewski

For this month’s volunteer spotlight, CCL highlights the volunteer efforts of Pauline Banducci. Pauline is a volunteer with the Massachusetts Berkshire chapter of CCL, and lives in Monterey, Massachusetts. Pauline joined the Print Media Action Team in March of 2020. A former Peace Corps member who served in the Philippine Islands, Pauline devoted herself to stopping climate change after returning to her place of service and seeing the climate changed environment. She has worked to use Twitter and precise timing to maximize the views of her tweets, and to make sure that prominent Twitter users will see her message. 

Why did you get involved in the climate movement, and why did you choose CCL?

I was in the Peace Corps in the Philippine Islands, and 17 years after leaving, returned with my daughter to visit my host family. She was so disappointed, because the beautiful coral I had raved about was colorless — the hard coral was bleached, the soft coral completely absent. Climate change. Amazingly, my sister in Canada told me about CCL. Inspired by Uli Nagel, our chapter co-leader, who traveled 500 miles in Florida on an electrically assisted tricycle talking about the climate, I joined. My grandson keeps me motivated.

What are some projects that you’ve been working on as a volunteer?

Our Berkshire chapter was approached by the Williams College Women’s Soccer Team interested in doing a project to fulfill hours for community service. Our chapter recommended an upcoming En-ROADS Zoom session. Afterwards, I asked if they’d be willing to give quotes about their climate concerns, carbon pricing, and their photos. With the help of the CCL template on Community, I created digital postcards of each woman. I included their photo, a quote, their hometown and state. When CCL began pushing carbon pricing to the Senate, I tweeted the postcards to each player’s member of Congress and, if possible, their CCL chapter, since many of the women were from different states. All of this is available on Community. I posted these in each Congressional timezone at the times I believed that zone would be most likely to see it. 


Volunteer Spotlight: Pauline Banducci

Who are you reaching with your social media efforts?

I’m glad when environmentalists see my messages but want to reach people who don’t see this content as often. For me it’s not about the number of followers but the variety. I often tweet to conservative open-minded folks who have a big following. When they retweet something, it can get a conversation started. 

Tell us more about your other outreach effort involving op-eds. 

I was able to get two op-eds written by young women of color placed in the conservative-leaning Springfield Republican. After approaching the newspaper for nearly two years, with no luck, the editor finally responded with a request for op-eds written by young people. They gave us four days! The print copy covered a half-page on two separate Sundays, and included photos of the young women. The op-eds had an impact on the local community and, we hope, our Congressman. 


Volunteer Spotlight: Pauline Banducci


Volunteer Spotlight: Pauline Banducci

What did this process teach you about working with the media in this capacity?

Editors and reporters are always short-staffed and overwhelmed. My attitude towards the media is unfailingly polite, patient and understanding. A tip I received from a reporter at the LA Times: “Send emails between 7 and 8 a.m. on Monday, so your email is high up in the inbox before their deadlines begin on Tuesday.” I have found, if you can “jump” for the media when they do call, they remember this and call again. Relationships with media take time, their plate is full, and I want to be respectful of this. My focus is to make their job easier.

What are some of your goals moving forward?

Currently a small group of us, led by our state coordinator, Gary Rucinski, is in the process of scheduling an editorial board meeting with a major newspaper, which we hope will include a supportive member of Congress. I am also pitching Katharine Hayhoe’s book to our local tri-state NPR station, another way to get CCL mentioned.

The post Volunteer Spotlight: Pauline Banducci appeared first on Citizens' Climate Lobby.

Airlines Prepare for Busy Travel Week Amid Omicron Surge

The rapid spread of the variant is looming over holiday travel, but airports are getting busier as travelers try to stick to plans to see friends and family over the holidays.

Biden administration approves expansion of solar power on U.S. land

We Owe More Than Gratitude to Wildland Firefighters

The brave men and women who fight forest fires are overworked, poorly compensated, and considered disposable by the bureaucrats who hire them.

As Inflation Rises, Cost-of-Living Raises Gain Popularity

Higher prices, a worker shortage and a revitalized labor movement are bringing about the return of pay increases tied to inflation, known as cost-of-living adjustments, or COLAs.

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