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California Drought

If you live in California, Australia or Scandinavia, 2014 may feel like the hottest year on record. Not quite; on a global scale, it’s “only” third-hottest.

The global average surface temperature for January through July was 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit (0.66 degrees Celsius) above the 20th century average, tying with 2002 as the third warmest in records going back to 1880, according to National Climatic Data Center data released today.

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Solar's Growing Pains: Today's Top Reads

Good afternoon! Here are today's top reads:

  • Taking up arms where birds feast on buffet of salmon (NY Times)
  • California’s Record Heat Is Like Nothing You’ve Ever Seen... Yet (Bloomberg)
  • How climate friendly is bike sharing? It's complicated (Climate Central)
  • Why is a major green group backing a Republican who supports the Keystone Pipeline and offshore drilling? (National Journal)
  • How to talk about climate change so people will listen (Atlantic)
  • Your coffee is getting fancier, but is it getting better for the world? (Fast Company)
  • Booming rooftop solar power suffers growing pains (Scientific American)
  • Nepal and India begin relief efforts as monsoon floods claim at least 180 lives (Guardian)
  • Taiwan's 'vanishing canyon' erasing quake record (BBC)
  • Golf copes with a wetter, warmer climate (Daily Climate)

Visit www.bloomberg.com/sustainability for the latest from Bloomberg News about energy, natural resources and global business.

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If hot thermometers actually exploded like they do in cartoons, there would be a lot of mercury to clean up in California right now.

The California heat this year is like nothing ever seen, with records that go back to 1895. The chart below shows average year-to-date temperatures in the state from January through July for each year. The orange line shows the trend rising 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit per decade.

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Many Republicans Privately Support Action On Climate

Emissions

Bloomberg BNA -- In stark contrast to their party's public stance on Capitol Hill, many Republicans privately acknowledge the scientific consensus that human activity is at least partially responsible for climate change and recognize the need to address the problem.

However, they see little political benefit to speaking out on the issue, since congressional action is probably years away, according to former congressmen, former congressional aides and other sources.

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'I'd Like To Be Under The Sea': Today's Top Reads

Good afternoon! Here are today's top reads:

  • Deadly plane crash turns green evangelical into Brazil kingmaker (Bloomberg)
  • As climate changes, 'underwater mortgage' may take on new meaning (Bloomberg)
  • How the U.N. is grappling with the role of cities in sustainable development (CityLab)
  • This Kenyan school harvests all the water that students need to drink (Fast Company)
  • Humans now strongest driver of glaciers melting, study finds (Guardian)
  • Drillers illegally using diesel fuel to frack (Scientific American)
  • Oil industry threatens to take its underwater air guns and go home (National Journal)
  • Expanding existing farmland would benefit climate (Climate Central)
  • Health officials trying to quell fear of Ebola spreading by air travel (NY Times)
  • S.C. coal plant, efficient but doomed, offers lessons for states grappling with EPA rule (Greenwire)

Visit The Grid for the latest about energy, natural resources and global business.

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178494729

Looking to buy a house? That’s great, unless you’re in your 20s and 30s and regularly read climate reports. They tend to project dramatic changes to the climate over the next 50 years, and given that current life expectancy is hovering around 80, we’ll likely be around to see it.

So. If you’re looking to settle down for the long haul, where’s the best place to do it?

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How to Stop Tax Inversions With a Carbon Levy. Seriously

Coal Plant

President Obama and legislators are embroiled in a debate over whether and how to punish companies that seek U.S. tax relief by buying a smaller foreign company and legally reincorporating in its country. So-called tax inversions are at a record high, and Obama has suggested it's not a victimless activity.

“It’s not right,” he said on August 6. “The lost revenue to Treasury means it has got to be made up somewhere, and that typically is going to be a bunch of hard-working Americans, who either pay through higher taxes themselves” or cuts to government services. (Would that some of his donors agreed...)

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Groups Sue EPA for Failing to Make Polluters Pay

Bloomberg BNA -- Seven environmental advocacy organizations have filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency for letting polluters off the hook for contamination they caused, Earthjustice announced Aug. 11.

EPA has failed to issue key rules mandated by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, also known as the Superfund Act, that would help prevent major spills of hazardous substances, Earthjustice said in a statement.

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Bloomberg BNA -- The release of asbestos fibers from hundreds of roofs shattered by missiles fired on southern Israel from Gaza has caused a spreading environmental hazard, state authorities said, announcing a plan to remove and replace all asbestos roofs built in the border area before 2005.

Asbestos roofs in frequently targeted Gaza perimeter communities “are becoming a dangerous threat,” Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz said during a tour of the area Aug. 7.

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About The Grid

Nations and companies face rising competition for strategic resources — energy, food, water, materials — and the technologies that make best use of them. That's sustainability. It's about the 21st-century race for wealth, health and long-term security, across the global grid.

Analyses or commentary in this blog are the views of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg News.

Eric Roston, Editor
eroston@bloomberg.net

Tom Randall, Deputy Editor
trandall6@bloomberg.net

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