Showing posts from April, 2016

Republican War On Science And Climate Change

Is there, on the Left, an anti-science predilection, that matches the Right?
There’s a widespread misconception about science denial – that on issues like the safety vaccines and genetically modified foods (GMOs), denial is found predominantly on the political left, mirroring the denial of evolution and climate science on the political right. This assumption has even been presented on The Daily Show, but it’s supported by precious little evidence. In fact, as Chris Mooney documented in great detail in 2014:[The data] do not support the idea that vaccine denial is a special left-wing cause. As for GMOs, while resistance may be strongest on the far left, worries on this issue are quite prominent across the spectrum as well.  In neither case are these beliefs a mirror image, on the left, of climate change or evolution denial [on the political right].new YouGov poll provided some data on this
The YouGov poll also asked respondents “Generally speaking, how much trust do you have that wha…

Global Warming, a liberal plot?

For all my years being involved in following the global warming crisis, the one thing that I haven't been able to figure out is why it became so politicized.  I still don't know the answer to that but I'd like to respond to the constant drum of denial that I see on the internet.  Two of the most frequent arguments raised by the deniers is first: the purported consensus is a creation of government funding for climate research, and second:  it is a liberal plot to ruin our economy.

Well, to both of those I present Exxon.  Their research determined decades ago that gas and oil consumption was going to be a threat to the planet, in fact as late as the 1960's:
A document discovered by DeSmog reveals that Exxon was aware as early as the late 1960s that global emissions of CO2 from combustion was a chief pollution concern affecting global ecology.  Those details were found in a 1970 report, “Pollution Is Everybody’s Business,” authored by H.R. Holland, a Chemical Engineer re…

World Bank: Carbon Pricing Is Coming

Last October, calls went out for carbon pricing to help the reduction in atmospheric carbon dioxide.  Now the IMF and the World Bank are making carbon pricing a newly urgent cause.
The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are pressing governments to impose a price tag on planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions, using economic leverage and technical assistance that institutions like the United Nations cannot muster. But the leaders of the World Bank, the I.M.F. and other major global institutions say cutting emissions enough to stave off the worst effects of climate change will not be possible unless all fossil fuel polluters are forced to pay for the carbon dioxide they emit. “There is now an overwhelmingly obvious scientific consensus that the more carbon pollution we put into the air the more impact it has on warming the massive melting of the Arctic, the cycles of droughts and flooding, the die-offs of coral reefs,” the World Bank’s president, Jim Yong Kim, said in an intervi…

Melting Land Ice Update -- Greenland and Gulf of Alaska

Scientists have discovered sub-glacial lakes deep in the ice of Greenland.
One lake, described in the journal Cryosphere, once held billions of gallons of water and emptied to form a giant crater – 2 km across and around 70 m deep – in just a few weeks.
Dr Howat and his colleagues detected the crater on a spot about 50 km inland from the southwest Greenland coast earlier in 2014. “The fact that our lake appears to have been stable for at least several decades, and then drained in a matter of weeks – or less – after a few very hot summers, may signal a fundamental change happening in the ice sheet,” Dr Howat said. In addition to adding to the increase in sea level:
The melting of Greenland’s glaciers has also added a large boost of freshwater to the North Atlantic which could alter ocean currents and the ocean’s ability to take up carbon dioxide.  The alteration of the ocean current is likely to be to the Gulf Stream which keeps Europe relatively warm for its latitude, and as a result,…

Miami Update

I've previously mentioned the threat to Florida.  The impact is already real.

The densely populated megalopolis of South Florida is losing it's water wells as sea water intrudes into the Biscayne Aquifer. Salt water has already moved 6 miles inland in Broward County and is likely to continue to creep westward. A report titled Climate Change AND Sea-Level Rise IN Florida notes the hellish calamity that will affect Florida's urban populations, economy, ecosystems and coasts. Anyone planning to move to Florida, not to mention mortgage companies, should be reading that report carefully.

Later this summer there'll almost certainly be a Florida update on the Zika virus.

Global Warming is Human Caused

A new study shows that global warming is 97%  anthropogenic, i.e., due to human activities.

The study considered temperature changes for the period of 1951–2010. During that time, global surface temperatures warmed about 0.65°C. During that same period, their statistical approach which combines observations and climate models outputs found that humans have caused 0.67 ± 0.12°C warming, while natural factors have had essentially no effect on global temperatures (-0.01 ± 0.02°C).
This diagram is not from the study, but illustrates the point it makes:

This diagram is from the study:

Bottom line, humans are fouling their nest.  The future looks grim and we can only blame ourselves (or at least the Republicans who keep us from trying to solve the problem).  

You Don't Have To Be A Scientist

to wonder what is happening to our planet.  All you have to do is to be paying attention and you will see the something here and something there that is new and appears to be telling us that we might be in danger, maybe in great danger of events beyond our control.

For example,
Emerging from a winter that has had staggeringly warm Arctic temperatures, scientists monitoring the vast Greenland ice sheet announced Tuesday that it is experiencing a record-breaking level of melt for so early in the season. ... Dramatic increases in sea level over the next few years are possible due to the melting Greenland ice. And this is having another impact on our planet.  The North Pole which has been slowly moving towards Canada has been diverted by the loss of mass from melting Greenland ice towards England, specifically along the Greenwich Meridian.

And wildfires:  Once Confined to a Season, Burn Earlier and Longer:
The first Alaska wildfire of 2016 broke out in late February, followed by a second…

Young People Suing Government and Oil Companies Over Climate Change

This is what has to happen.  I'll be gone before it gets really bad, but young people, including my grandkids, are going to be around.  And they should have the right to have a say over what is going to be done to preserve their future.  When I was in college we shut down the freeway over the war in Vietnam.  That really didn't do very much.   Nixon still took years and thousands of lives to get us out of there.  Global warming is a by far bigger deal than the Vietnam war was.  Young people need to rise the occasion.  And now some have.  They're suing the government.

Here are the young people bring the lawsuit.
A group of youngsters just won a major decision in their efforts to sue the federal government over climate change. An Oregon judge ruled Friday that their lawsuit, which alleges the government violated the constitutional rights of the next generation by allowing the pollution that has caused climate change, can go forward.  Federal District Court Magistrate Judge Th…

Babies, The Casualties Of GMO Fear

There are some real reasons why the creation of GMO's, genetically modified organisms, should be watched carefully.  But much of the fear of GMO's is emotional and unwarranted, and could seriously endanger us.  Here is an example.

There was once a problem with the "screwworm"
the screwworm, a particularly nasty insect that once caused millions of dollars of losses in the livestock industry, is instructive. Female screwworm flies lay eggs in open wounds of animals and humans. The larvae feed on the living flesh and attract more egg-laying females. If not treated, the animal dies. This was a world-wide problem but it was solved by spreading males sterilized by radiation.
The impact was decisive. The last cases of screwworm in the United States were reported in 1982. By the end of 1985, most of Mexico was screwworm-free and the eradication program had moved on to Guatemala and Belize, now also free of the pest. This ranks as perhaps the greatest insect-control success …

A Carbon Tax Success

I believe the carbon tax is essential to preserving our planet for human life.  Republicans, deniers, conservatives, insist that a carbon tax will hurt poor people.  Aside from the fact that uncontrolled global warming will certainly hurt the poor, and everyone else, far more, and aside from my astonishment that Republicans and conservatives might actually care about the poor, their claim simply isn't true.

British Columbia has had a carbon tax for some, and it is so successful that BC businesses are asking for an increase.
A carbon tax may be a controversial topic in the United States, but in one Canadian province, this eight-year-old policy has been such a success that on Wednesday more than 100 businesses said they support a tax increase.  The proposed plan includes myriad recommendations, like reducing emissions in the so-called built environment, industry, and transportation sectors by 40 percent compared to 2007 levels. Yet among the 32 recommendations, raising the carbon t…