Tag Archives: global warming

That’ll show ‘em!

bildeA fierce band of protesters – self-described ‘Patriots’ – stormed the old neighborhood yesterday:

A dozen or so protesters wearing red, white and blue showed up at Mote Marine Laboratory to protest World Environment Day, a UN Program hosted by the County this year.

There were signs of course – the kind that shatter world views:

“Sun makes climate change. Not man.”

“Save the U.S. from the UN.”

They even had a spokesman (can’t have all eleven talking at once):

“We’re here because we’re concerned with the involvement of the United Nations in Sarasota and the United States . . . There is no reason for them to be here. Oceans do not rise. Temperature has not risen in 17 years. There is no such thing as man-made climate change.”

I’m convinced.

No matter: it’s required to say ‘but on the other hand’

But equivalency is essential – we must report both ‘sides’ say our media stars!!! From here:

climate pie chart

And thus does Steve Doocy lead the nation

The climate deniers have had a triumphant run over the last 20 years. Their campaign, financed mostly by the fossil fuel industry, has succeeded in changing American’s attitudes and beliefs. (They had a little help from their friends.)

A recent paper from the Union of Concerned Scientists analyzes how FOX News Channel and the opinion pages of the WSJ reference climate science. The entire thing is here.

 . . . . examined six months of Fox News Channel content and one year of representations in the Wall Street Journal opinion section based on keyword searches for the terms “climate change” and “global warming.” Our team examined transcripts and articles to determine whether these media outlets mentioned climate science, action on climate change (personal action or government policies), both, or neither.

There are charts and specifics a-plenty

Over a recent six-month period, 93 percent of Fox News Channel’s representations of climate science were misleading (37 out of 40 instances). Similarly, over the past year, 81 percent of the representations of climate science in the Wall Street Journal’s opinion section were misleading (39 out of 48 instances).

. . .  the misleading citations include broad dismissals of human-caused climate change, disparaging comments about individual scientists, rejections of climate science as a body of knowledge, and cherry picking of data. . . .  much of this coverage denigrated climate science by either promoting distrust in scientists and scientific institutions or placing acceptance of climate change in an ideological, rather than fact-based, context

 

Julian Lennon is 49 and tomorrow Earth Day is 42

In the 1950’s film Gigi, Maurice Chevalier (I know, you never heard of him)) strolled the boulevards of Paris singing:  “Oh I’m so glad that I am not young anymore”.

None of us iz anymore.

Be kind to your planet.

Climate miscellaney, and saying it isn’t a problem always solves the problem. Right?

Here in my region we’re heading into a third year of serious drought. Last year’s rainfall was 16 inches below normal. Scary, but not as scary as the fact that in just the first three months of this year, we’re already seven inches behind.

Via a trackback to Whatever Works, I discovered Greenfrye‘s blog (here).  It’s a frackin’ good resource for climate information with lots of handy links and includes a “Climate Denial Crock of the Week” feature, an amusing (at first) but ultimately maddening read that also features dozens of delicious videos. (He’s frequently wonky, but there’s plenty there for we mere mortals.)

A few minutes later, I came across this story at the famous lefty rag Scientific American:

LONDON (Reuters) – The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter, making this decade critical in efforts to contain global warming, scientists warned on Monday.

A recent panel (lost link, sorry) of environmentalists said that Al Gore’s movie hurt because it energized the deniers and recast global warming as a political issue instead of a scientific human issue. That rings true; Gore’s traditional opponents – like those chicken hawks who mocked his Vietnam service by saying he wasn’t, you know, in battle carrying a gun so it didn’t count. At least not like it counted sitting on the sidelines taking pot shots at those who did go into battle and came home wiser and with less enthusiasm for sending their younger brothers off to become the next batch of dead soldiers – piled on.

This planet of ours has a problem, but not to worry –  I’ll close my eyes, click my heels, and make it all go away. Easy.

You didn’t know about this because it only happened everywhere else on Planet Earth, just not here in USA! USA! USA!

We look pathetic enough with our insane refusal to address the horrific costs and poor outcomes of our health care system. We look worse yet when we are 5% of the world’s population and use 25% of its energy and when we incarcerate more people per capita (by a huge factor) in the US than any other free nation on earth while hundreds of thousands have died on our streets and still do while we deny that we long ago lost the poorly conceived War on Drugs. And we can pretend that angry eyes aren’t turned our way from South of our border as entire regions become war zones fighting the drug cartels who kill and maim to bring our drugs to us.

The world may sit back and actuallyl enjoy it when our time comes to face the awful truths but meanwhile, I invite them to go ahead – go ahead and just make fun of us for this bit of silliness and greed. We’ve been asking for it.

Earth Hour was observed yesterday across Planet Earth (except, well, you know, here). The story is at Scientific American:

Oh this young fella didn’t leave his brain at the door, no sirreee!

A columnist at Town Hall dot com reviews the new book by Sen. James Inhofe, The Greatest Hoax. Inhofe’s not fooled by all that climate science crap, and young David, who reviews Inhofe’s masterwork, is so aboard. He agrees with most every word and remarkably adds this:

An international carbon tax program is one of the most hideous ideas forged in the minds of men.  Since all known life forms are carbon-based, it is a proposal to control all life. 

He also tells us that there are 408, four-hundred-and-eight-fer-elvis’-sakefootnotes!!!! And as we all know, footnotes!!!! mean it’s all real. I’ve seen this conflation before with conservative books . . . apparently if there are footnotes!!!! that means it’s absolutely to be treated as a scholarly work. I think a great deal was made on FOX News about how Ann Coulter”s last book had 80, eighty-fer-elvis’-sake,  footnotes!!!! (I think half were ibid’s.)

(I have a small book, much treasured, published 22 years ago, called The Next One Hundred Years by Jonathan Weiner. It’s all about that climate science and global warming stuff. It’s barely 200 pages and yet has 54 solid pages of notes and sources. That apparently makes it the bible. )

The chart is from here. Nice site – you might want to visit.

You gets whay you pays for. And climate skeptics pay.

Mouthpieces are a dime a dozen. But they do get busy and quite obedient when the pay is really good. Like $8.6 million. From a single donor. Ever hear of the Heartland Institute? They are a right-wing think tank whose mission is to “cast doubt on climate science”. They’ve been around for a while, doing the dirty, making the world safe for fossil fuels, the ‘free market’ and the extraction industries. But a rash of newly leaked memos and reports – in a world of curtains to hide behind, that’s how we get our information now – gives us a glimpse of what’s behind that curtain . Who funds Heartland?

Most eyes will probably fall first on the “Anonymous Donor” who, the documents show, personally funded Heartland’s “climate change projects” to the tune of $8,602,267 between 2007 and 2011. The largest donation came in 2008 when “he” donated $3.3m – the same year that Heartland began its annual climate change conferences which have attracted just about every prominent climate sceptic since. This mystery donor has apparently pledged a further $1m for “climate change projects” during 2012.

That’s ‘personally funded’. A man. One person. Until now information about their funding had been sparse. The story in The Guardian doesn’t name anyone, but they hint rather nakedly that the wampun comes from  one of those famous American Libertarian brothers, whose ’causes’ usually align well with the growth of their personal wealth. (To be polite, Koch Industries makes some proper token public donations.

Click the chart for a clearer version.

From Greenpeace - IRS data

Of course, they get a little help from their friends.

Many of the Republican Senate candidates are signatories of the Koch Industries’ Americans For Prosperity No Climate Tax pledge and the FreedomWorks Contract From America.

Heartland is also committed to creating an alternate science curriculum in K-12 classrooms – which would be cool, eh? Combined with the ‘creationism’ curriculum, we could produce an entire generation scientifically illiterate.  (Now that’s the way for a world power to stay on top!)

So, we have an anonymous millionaire donor – whose agenda and/or vested interest we know not – funding an effort to discredit the teaching of climate science in schools? How can that ever be justified or considered democratic, let alone judged to be in the pupils’ best interests?

But the dropping of jaws doesn’t end there. Next up, we learn that Heartland paid a team of writers $388,000 in 2011 to write a series of reports “to undermine the official United Nation’s IPCC reports”. Not critique, challenge, or analyse the IPCC’s reports, but “to undermine” them. The agenda and pre-ordained outcome is clear and there for all to see.

The leaked documents are here.

Climate zones, they are a’ changin’. I think it’s Al Gore’s fault

For a long time, the US Department of Agriculture has designated different planting ‘zones’ throughout the country as a guide for growers. Their ratings are based on ‘extreme minimum temperature’. Garden books and seed packets usually say in what zone a plant can flourish and in what zones it can’t. But it’s the agricultural industry itself, the largest consumer of such data, that must pay the closest attention to these ratings to assure successful crop yields.

So with this change, the USDA now joins the Pentagon and NASA in acknowledging that global warming is real and must be part of all strategic planning. (I don’t mention any international science organizations or UN agencies because our conservative brethren know them all to be anti-American.)

My area of SW Florida has always been 9(b) – but now it’s officially a 10(a) zone. The temperature variation is not large (we go from a 5 to 10 degree variation to a 10-15 degree variation), but the USDA sees it as permanent.

. . . entire states, such as Ohio, Nebraska and Texas, are now in warmer zones . . . it reflects the new reality.

They’ve moved 18 key cities from Fairbanks to Honolulu into warmer zones.

It’s great that the Federal government is catching up with what the plants themselves have known for years now, that the globe is warming” . . .  said [a] Stanford University biologist.

This is unlikely to be the last time they will have to adjust the zones. What’s most shocking to me is the speed of the temperature change – the data they used was collected from 1976-2005. That’s stunning.

(Also, here in zone 10a, we’ve been in drought for four of the last ten years. )

I’m sure FOX News can straighten them out

They don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, so NASA actually thinks the globe is warming just like those other delusional environmentalist whackos at The Pentagon. They even say so in this article at their website.

Just look at this lying timelapse video they created – Global Warming: 1880-2011. Disgraceful.

All things end, but then what?

The great Thailand flood just won’t stop. Over half the country is now underwater. Two million people are already displaced and the waters haven’t yet reached Bangkok, although that is imminent. (Dark blue indicates flooded areas.)

How do peoples and nations deal with disasters on such a monumental scale?  The waters will doubtless recede. Or mostly recede. But this is still just stunning in its reach and, I assume, its consequences.

More Sunday funnies and still not funny.

Thanks Don in Mass

Who needs the Weather Channel when we’ve got Rush?

The thrice married (or is it four times?), often morbidly obese, onetime drug addict, son of privilege, college dropout Mr. Limbaugh of Palm Springs has the full dirty on those heat wave weather reports. Thanks to some good digging by Elaine Magliara at Jonathan Turley’s res ipsa loquitur,  we now know that the hot weather heat index is fake, fakety, fake, fake. But the cold weather heat index  is truly, completely, entirely on the up and up.

RUSH NOW

They’re playing games with us on this heat wave, again . . . Going to be 116 in Washington. No, it’s not. It’s gonna be like 100, maybe 99. A heat index, manufactured by the government to tell you what it feels like when you add the humidity in there.

116. When’s the last time the heat index was reported as an actual temperature? It hasn’t been, but it looks like they’re trying to get away with doing that now.

RUSH THEN

An hour ago, the wind chill factor in New York City was minus two. In Chicago, an hour ago, the wind chill factor was minus 19. An hour ago, the wind chill factor in Washington was minus one. In Philadelphia, an hour ago, the wind chill factor was minus eight. Make a note, ladies and gentlemen: whenever it’s hot outside, we get news story after news story about global warming. Now that it is freezing, record cold  [Moe's translation: not manufactured] . . . Now that it’s cold, record cold out there, we will not see any news stories on the major networks questioning global warming. There is one in the LA Times today: “Game Over on Global Warming?” with a question mark after it. It has some interesting statistics in it, but not one story — not one story — will we see about global warming maybe not being real, in the middle of record cold.

Both measurements come from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, a division of the communist and very gay Commerce Department. The discerning Mr. Limbaugh of course, knows which is worthy of belief.

When did Rush add the ‘man-made’ part to his denial script?

A decade ago, Limbaugh had a grand time mocking climate scientists (his favorite target was of course Al Gore) for their ‘hysteria’ saying that the earth was warming. “The  whole thing is a hoax” he shouted across the socialist AM radio spectrum. “There is no warming” he shouted.

Vanity Fair listened to him in 2005 as his voice dripped with scorn for those warning about the consequences of a changing climate.:

“Even though quite a few scientists are now backtracking on their once-dire predictions of melting ice caps and worldwide flooding, Algore and a few hard-line doomsayers are sticking to their thermostats.” . . . . Similarly, Limbaugh scoffed in See, I Told You So, “Despite the hysterics of a few pseudo-scientists, there is no reason to believe in global warming”.

Now, here’s Rush in 2011 in a headline at his website:

The Manmade Global Warming Hoax Thrives on Faith, Not Facts

Notice the ‘manmade’ he’s slipped in there, shamelessly adjusting the script. It had to be changed of course, since it’s gotten a little harder to deny warming outright. His words this time start with the assumption that the warming is real – just not manmade. (He used the word ‘manmade’ in his little rant seven times. I counted. That’s not by accident.)

And still they listen to him . . .

Rush Limbaugh, that son of privilege and college drop out, knows nothing about the issue, cares nothing about the issue, but he knows what sells hemorrhoid creams and survival kits.

Dana Rohrbacher is an embaressment

A spokesman for the Iraqi president has said that the congressional delegation chaired by US Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) is no longer welcome in the country. Here’s what Rohrbacher said:

“Once Iraq becomes a very rich and prosperous country… we would hope that some consideration be given to repaying the United States some of the mega-dollars that we have spent here in the last eight years,” Rohrabacher told journalists at the US embassy in Baghdad.

“We were hoping that there would be a consideration of a payback because the United States right now is in close to a very serious economic crisis and we could certainly use some people to care about our situation as we have cared about theirs.”

He said he raised the issue in a meeting with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Rohrabacher, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the US House of Representatives, declined to give specifics on how much should be paid back, or over what timeframe.

Want another great Rohrbacher quote? Here ya’ go:

“Is there some thought being given to subsidizing the clearing of rainforests in order for some countries to eliminate that production of greenhouse gases? … Or would people be supportive of cutting down older trees in order to plant younger trees as a means to prevent this disaster from happening?”

I guess he skipped fourth grade.

The future? Not my problem

This from Politico a few days back – the House Energy and Commerce committee which wants to block EPA rules basically (they want to override EPA on the science of global warming, cuz they’re all such great climatologists) – now want to forbid EPA from declaring carbon dioxide to be a greenhouse gas. Truth. They really do – rename it and problem goes away.

“Some Republicans refuted the claim that global warming science has been settled. “We should not put the U.S. economy in a straightjacket because of a theory that hasn’t been proven,said Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas). “To put this amendment into the law I think would go against everything that people on both sides of the aisle say they’re for.””

That’s kind of the same reasoning John Yoo used to define torture – “it’s torture when it results in organ failure”. And heaven’s sake, we don’t need seawalls just because floods might happen. And why vaccinate little Johnny when it’s probably going to be little Susie who gets polio? Seat belts? Nonsense, I can’t see the car around the corner that’s going to hit me!

When Barton’s ‘proof’ arrives, it will be too late; perhaps he’ll see it when  his favorite golf course is underwater.

And then there was this from Ezra Klein:

Confronted by one of the most significant threats our planet faces, the 31 House Republicans charged with coordinating America’s response refused to even admit the underlying facts.

1956: Report on climate change

Here’s an interview from a 1956 General Electric radio program called “Excursions in Science: Climate and Industrial Activity”. As greenman, who posted this video, notes: Many climate deniers still seem to think global warming was invented by Al Gore, in 2006. As this recently uncovered recording from 1956 shows, the outlines of climate change science have been clear for many decades.

The entire video runs almost ten minutes, but the relevant portion begins at 7:47 in.

I know there’s no global warming cuz it snowed a lot last winter

A frequently heard refrain from the right (how in the hell did this become political?) that shows utter ignorance of how global warming works. It’s not too hard. Warming temperatures (mean temperatures – measured on a planetary scale) mean more evaporation from oceans, and the excess water rises into the atmosphere. Water has to go somewhere, requiring rain to fall – and now that we have more water up there, more water must come down here. That’s why we’re not expecting more storms, we’re expecting more severe storms. This is also why we had so much snow in the temperate zones last winter. The water goes up and the water comes down.

Here are a few facts about the ongoing flooding crisis in Pakistan (6,000,000 people directly affected; 2,000,000 homeless). Expect to see more of this:

  • one fifth of the country under water
  • two years of crops washed away
  • towns and villages across the country disappeared in two days
  • a year’s worth of rain fell in ONE DAY

Why we pay taxes

At least one of the reasons – and a real good one. So that organizations like NASA can educate the nation in science  while going about their work. They have produced this video at their Goddard Space Center. Which, incidentally, is where the much-maligned Jim Hanson hangs his hat.

Something I didn’t know

Hard to believe of course. Here’s something I didn’t know:

” . . . it’s notable that despite the claims that all these revelations have seriously damaged the public’s confidence in “climate science,” 54 percent of voters in Republican pollster Frank Luntz’s poll, released on January 21, 2010, believed that climate change is either “definitely” or “probably” occurring, compared with just 18 percent who believed that it is “definitely” or “probably” not occurring. An even larger majority, 63 percent, say they believe climate change is likely caused by humans. So far, at least, the skeptics have lost the larger battle, despite the irresponsible reporting of it in the media.”

From Eric Alterman’s column at American Progress, which I recommend to anyone interested in a reporter’s examination of the issue, the coverage and the known facts. Alterman is primarily a media critic, so go there just for the fun of it. When observing the state of today’s media, he’s kind of  Jon Stewart as an academic, with glasses and a beard. More serious, but just as biting. He’s at The Nation too.