Climate Change general thread Pt.3

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Climate Change general thread Pt.3
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Simultaneous warming events in the northern and southern hemispheres [such as we have at present], have not occurred in the past 20,000 years, which is as far back as it is possible to analyse with sufficient precision to compare with modern developments. [url=]Svante Björck’s study[/url] thus goes 14,000 years further back in time than previous studies have done. “What is happening today is unique from a historical geological perspective”, he says. [url=]Source[/...

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The global average surface temperature in 2011 was the ninth warmest since 1880, according to NASA scientists. The finding continues a trend in which [b]nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern meteorological record have occurred since the year 2000[/b]....

The average temperature around the globe in 2011 was 0.92 degrees F (0.51 C) warmer than the mid-20th century baseline.

“We know the planet is absorbing more energy than it is emitting,” said GISS director James E. Hansen. “So we are continuing to see a trend toward higher temperatures. Even with the cooling effects of a strong La Niña influence and low solar activity for the past several years, 2011 was one of the 10 warmest years on record.”...

The only year from the 20th century in the top 10 warmest years on record is 1998.



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[url= is stacking the Senate with climate change deniers[/url]

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New IPCC report warns of increases in extreme weather events

Global warming is leading to such severe storms, droughts and heat waves that nations should prepare for an [b]unprecedented onslaught of deadly and costly weather disasters[/b], an international panel of climate scientists said in a new report [url=][2... summary][/url] issued Wednesday.

The greatest threat from extreme weather is to highly populated, poor regions of the world, the report warns, but [b]no corner of the globe — from Mumbai to Miami — is immune[/b].

The document by a Nobel Prize-winning panel of climate scientists forecasts stronger tropical cyclones and more frequent heat waves, deluges and droughts. [url=][5-minute YouTube video][/url]

The [url=]594-page report[/url] blames the scale of recent and future disasters on a combination of man-made climate change, population shifts and poverty.

In the past, the [b]Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change[/b], founded in 1988 by the United Nations, has focused on the slow inexorable rise of temperatures and oceans as part of global warming. This report by the panel is the first to look at the less common but far more noticeable extreme weather changes, which lately have been costing on average about $80 billion a year in damage.

— Associated Press


NASA Scientist: Climate Change is a Moral Issue on a Par With Slavery

"...We can't simply say there's a climate problem and leave it to the politicians. They're so clearly under the influence of the fossil fuel industry that they're coming up with cockamamie solutions which aren't solutions. That is the bottom line.."

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That NASA scientist is James Hansen.

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Earth Near Point of No Return, Scientists Warn  - by Randy Shore

"Effects of civilization on planet threaten collapse of ecosystems in 50 years - with no going back.."


A Global Call: Eco Warriors Arise! - by Vandana Shiva

"Ahead of the Rio + 20 Earth Summit, a call for a paradigm shift. None of us are immune to the crisis or the response to it. None of us are bystanders..."


Hope is for the Lazy: The Challenge of our Dead World  -  by Robert Jensen

"our world is not broken it is dead.."


[url='s PM Stephen Harper faces revolt by scientists[/color][/url]

The Guardian wrote:
Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper, faces a widening revolt by the country's leading scientists against sweeping cuts to government research labs and broadly pro-industry policies.

The scientists plan to march through Ottawa in white lab coats on Tuesday in the second big protest in a month against the Harper government's science and environmental agenda.

Harper is accused of pushing through a slew of policies weakening or abolishing environmental protections - with an aim of expanding development of natural resources such as the Alberta tar sands.

His government is also accused of jeopardising Canada's scientific reputation by shutting down the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), a research station that produced critical evidence to help stop acid rain.


The Disaster that Made the Modern World

Two centuries later, with our changing climate, Tambora's power still haunts us.

  • The Year Without Summer: 1816 and the Volcano that Darkened the World and Changed History
  • William K. Klingaman and Nicholas P. Klingaman
  • St. Martin's Press (2013)

While we are undoubtedly changing climate, climate is changing us.

The warming of the last 50 or 60 years is likely the root cause of the low-grade civil wars that have been flaring up in the belt just south of the Sahara, from northern Nigeria to South Sudan and the Horn of Africa. Australia is adapting to a new regime of droughts and bushfires followed by rains and floods. Dengue fever is returning to Florida.

Here in B.C., we've seen our forests turn into a pine-beetle utopia, and climate change may finish off the wild salmon regardless of fish farms. Our governments are doing as little as possible about it.

Like St. Augustine praying for release from his sexual urges, we dream of a future without fossil fuels -- "But not yet, O Lord!" Clearly our changing climate will eventually impose fossil-fuel celibacy on us whether we're ready or not, and that will mean extremely difficult political and economic decisions.

Two hundred years ago, climate change drove politics in ways the politicians of the day didn't even recognize. But their responses helped create our world.

The agent of climate change in 1816 wasn't carbon dioxide; it was the Indonesian volcano Tambora. When it erupted in April 1815 it threw 55-million tons of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. There it converted into sulfuric acid and spread in tiny droplets around the world, screening a small percentage of sunlight.


Most Worst-Polluting Countries Now Have Laws to Combat Climate Change

Legislation to curb carbon dioxide are now law in 61 countries, though more action is needed


"Merchants of Doubt" 

“Climate Change War” Is Not a Metaphor

Slate: Despite all the data and debates, the public still isn’t taking that great of an interest in climate change. According to Gallup, the fraction of Americans worrying about climate “a great deal” is still roughly one-third, about the same level as in 1989. Do you think that could ever change?

Titley: A lot of people who doubt climate change got co-opted by a libertarian agenda that tried to convince the public the science was uncertain—you know, theMerchants of Doubt. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of people in high places who understand the science but don’t like where the policy leads them: too much government control.

Where are the free-market, conservative ideas? The science is settled. Instead, we should have a legitimate policy debate between the center-right and the center-left on what to do about climate change. If you’re a conservative—half of America—why would you take yourself out of the debate? C’mon, don’t be stupid. Conservative people want to conserve things. Preserving the climate should be high on that list.

Slate: What could really change in the debate on climate?

Titley: We need to start prioritizing people, not polar bears. We’re probably less adaptable than them, anyway. The farther you are from the Beltway, the more you can have a conversation about climate no matter how people vote. I never try to politicize the issue.

Most people out there are just trying to keep their job and provide for their family. If climate change is now a once-in-a-mortgage problem, and if food prices start to spike, people will pay attention. Factoring in sea-level rise, storms like Hurricane Katrina and Sandy could become not once-in-100-year events, but once-in-a-mortgage events. I lost my house in Waveland, Miss., during Katrina. I’ve experienced what that’s like.

Slate: How quickly could the debate shift? How can we get past the stalemate on climate change and start focusing on what to do about it?

Titley: People working on climate change should prepare for catastrophic success. I mean, look at how quickly the gay rights conversation changed in this country. Ten years ago, it was at best a fringe thing. Nowadays, it’s much, much more accepted. Is that possible with climate change? I don’t know, but 10 years ago, if you brought up the possibility we’d have gay marriages in dozens of states in 2014, a friend might have said “Are you on drugs?” When we get focused, we can do amazing things. Unfortunately, it’s usually at the last minute, usually under duress.



The U.S. military is preparing for conflict, retired Navy Rear Adm. David Titley says in an interview.


Why don't we sue these jerks for the damage they are causing to mankind?


Why climate deniers are winning: The twisted psychology that overwhelms scientific consensus

There's a reason why overwhelming evidence hasn't spurred public action against global warming

 The twisted psychology that overwhelms scientific consensusSarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh (Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst/AP/J. Scott Applewhite/Tomas Rebro viaShutterstock/Salon)

In the run-up to Earth Day this year, two major reports were released by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the largest such body in the world. On March 31, Working Group II released its report, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, and on April 13, Working Group III released its report,Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate ChangeBoth reports cited substantially more evidence of substantially more global warming and related impacts than past reports have, and they did so more lucidly than in past iterations.

As climate scientist and communicator Katharine Hayhoe told Salon, “This time around, to its credit, the IPCC has gotten a lot more serious about improving its ability to communicate the report’s message, through graphics and other ancillary products.” There was also a greater sophistication in how to conceptualize, measure and compare things, even where substantial uncertainties are involved. And there was a substantial list of more than 90 major impacts already recorded on every part of the planet.

Yet, one of the most disturbing stories to emerge around the reports was the New York Times report that language about the need for $100 billion in crisis funds to aid poor nations was removed from the Working Group III executive summary for policymakers during the final round of editing. The action neatly encapsulated the yawning gap between the growing danger of climate change — and growing maturity of climate scientists — on the one hand, and the utter lack of political will on the other.


Lessons to Learn

But there’s a pattern here on the positive side as well. In 2004, Oreskes reframed the informal experience of climate consensus as a subject for formal knowledge — and that has helped climate scientists gain a much better self-understanding of what they’re doing, through a succession of further studies. Likewise, just this past month, Lewandowsky’s uncertainty papers have taken the informal knowledge that uncertainty means more unkown risk, and reframed uncertainty as the subject for scientific study. It’s too soon to know what will happen as a result, but the potential is obvious if we can put an end to knee-jerk do-nothing arguments based on uncertainty.

Likewise, the dysfunctional impact of conspiracist ideation is just one example of how the scientific community itself has an underdeveloped immune system — as does the much broader “reality-based community,” which takes science seriously as a primary source of information. There would be great potential for any project that would take this informally recognized (by some) reality and make it the subject for rigorous scrutiny, just as Oreskes did in 2004 or as Lewandowksy did this year. That’s a tall order, but it’s possible that the two of them just might do something like that. They are currently working together on a paper on the effects of denial on the scientific community. It’s obviously way too soon to say what it will look like, much less what impact it will have. But we do know that bringing “peripheral,” informally known subject matter to light can be an incredibly powerful way of moving human understanding forward. And there’s no field of human understanding that needs that more than the science of saving our planet — and, not incidentally, ourselves.


Take a look at the chart from 1700 to present day.

The Keeling Curve

The Scripps CO2 measurements at Mauna Loa have been supported for many years by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and have more recently been supplemented by Earth Networks, a technology company that is collaborating with Scripps to expand the global GHG monitoring network. Support for website development was provided in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.



I have noticed that scientists are very conservative in their estimates. So if anything it could be a lot worse.

Rise in global sea levels could have 'profound consequences'

By Matt McGrathEnvironment correspondent



Ice sheetImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Scientists believe that global sea levels could rise far more than predicted, due to accelerating melting in Greenland and Antarctica,

The long-held view has been that the world's seas would rise by a maximum of just under a metre by 2100.

This new study, based on expert opinions, projects that the real level may be around double that figure.

This could lead to the displacement of hundreds of millions of people, the authors say.

The question of sea-level rise was one of the most controversial issues raised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), when it published its fifth assessment report in 2013.

It said the continued warming of the planet, without major reductions in emissions, would see global waters rising by between 52cm and 98cm by 2100.

Many experts believe this was a very conservative estimate.

Ice scientists are also concerned that the models currently used to predict the influence of huge ice sheets on sea levels don't capture all of the uncertainties about how these are now melting.

Judgement day

To try to get a clearer picture, some of the leading researchers in the field carried out what is termed a structured expert judgement study, where the scientists make predictions based on their knowledge and understanding


Paying some piddling carbon tax will do nothing to defend us from what lies ahead

The carbon tax is just misdirection, and nothing compared to the bills that are coming


Paying for flood-proofing

Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, rugged individualism tends to disappear when you're up to your waist in basement water.

And in any case, let's not forget where we live. This is Canada, for heaven's sake. The cost of flood-proofing this country will be largely paid for with tax revenue. It's inevitable.

It is a clear and present danger at this point, and what are we discussing? A meaningless bit of window-dressing sin tax that would barely cover the cost of morning coffee once a week for most drivers, and is largely being rebated to taxpayers through the income tax system (it is revenue neutral) rather than put toward, say, digging diversion channels or building barriers or strengthening sewer systems, etc.

Our political leaders, presumably, know all this. If they don't, they bloody well should. And in any case, they aren't talking about the cost of remediating damage. (A Liberal acquaintance says he's pretty sure Trudeau addressed it in a debate several years ago, but said I'd have to check).

The carbon tax debate is misdirection. Rather than posing at gas stations filling up their vehicles, Conservative politicians could pose outside homes right here in Ottawa filled with filthy river water. And perhaps Liberals could show a little courage and start talking about protecting the country, rather than fiddling with bicycle chains.



Trailblazers 2019: Pembina Institute's Karen Tam Wu pushes Vancouver to reduce carbon emissions from buildings


  • Karen Tam Wu has been one of Vancouver's strongest proponents of the passive-house standard to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Karen Tam Wu has been one of Vancouver's strongest proponents of the passive-house standard to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Tam Wu is the B.C. managing director of the Pembina Institute. The think tank has been working closely with the City of Vancouver in advancing policies around green and low-carbon buildings. According to her, buildings do not receive as much attention as transportation, although the former generate more than half the carbon emissions in the city.

One initiative that has generated a lot of international attention for Vancouver is its promotion of the passive-house standard, which focuses on insulation and airtight design to achieve energy efficiency.

“Vancouver is definitely a major leader and has created a hub of passive-house activity, certainly in North America,” Tam Wu said.

The Pembina Institute is also collaborating with the city on a project regarding energy retrofits for social housing.

“Our existing buildings are going to be standing for decades more, and we really need to come up with more innovative solutions on how do we reduce our carbon footprint,” she said.


Leading Canada's transition to clean energy


This is what climate change looks like. I like living in a rain forest and if it dries out too much it will be catastrophic.

  The last 30 days have been bone dry on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

According to Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist, rain has been in short supply over the second half of April and the first two weeks of May.

Lundquist said in Port Hardy, 46 millimetres of rain has fallen compared to the usual 78 millimetres over a 30-day period.

It’s even drier in Comox, which has only seen 16 millimetres of the wet stuff compared to the average of 42 millimetres of rain.

Tofino residents have only experienced half as much rain as usual over the past 30 days, with 59 millimetres compared to 114 millimetres.

“It’s been dry all around the south coast,” Lundquist said.

And there’s no rain in sight for at least the next week – or longer.

“Usually we get some rain in May but the forecast out to a week and perhaps as far out as 10 days is pretty dry,” Lundquist said.

The River Forecast Centre said with diminished snowpacks and early melt this year, risks have shifted towards the increased likelihood of low flow conditions this summer in most areas of the province.

“Along with 2015 and 2016, this year is amongst the lowest May 15th snowpacks that have been observed in B.C. over the past 40 years,” the centre said in a release.

“Spring and summer weather will continue to play a key role in whether or not low flows emerge through the summer.”

Meanwhile, a ridge of high pressure building from the northwest will bring summer-like temperatures over the next few days, with no rain in the forecast.


We are probably hooped and Canada needs to own up to its own responsibilities


Here’s a project for environmentalists in Australia to tackle and shut down


Let’s try this again 

I don’t care what the conference goers say, and I’m one of them, but the resulting global warming damage from these conferences has to stop


Greta Thunberg: Climate change 'as urgent' as coronavirus


'We Are In A Relentless Arctic Heatwave...'

"This is the biggest story of the day by a long shot and almost nobody in [North] American politics and media seems to give a shit at all."

But full speed ahead with TMX anyway, right Canuckleheads?


We Face So Many Crises. Let Youth Lead, Serve and Vote

They’ve proven their power, determination and ability to mobilize. Hand over the reins.


As in wartime, climate youth leaders are mobilizing to secure our collective future. Photo by Jackie Dives.

Climate change will be the defining issue facing today’s youth, with profound consequences for their futures, families, communities and careers. How we confront the largest collective action puzzle of human existence will be the story of their lives. We would do well to fully engage them in the exercise as soon as possible.

Let youth vote

According to Veterans Affairs Canada, of those who enlisted during the Second World War, about 700,000 were under the age of 21 (about 64 per cent of the total). Canada did not keep age data of the war dead. However, approximately 44,000 Canadians died in the war, and if one assumes those killed had the same demographic proportions, then about 28,000 would have been below the age of 21.

These hundreds of thousands of young people signed up at our collective request and were willing to risk death. What they could not do, however, was vote. The federal voting age until 1970 was 21. Just as the young people today who will be most impacted by climate change don’t get a say in choosing our elected leaders, so it was then that generations of young people sacrificed themselves in wars decided upon by people they were disenfranchised to select.

Many of the teenage climate strikers, in Canada and abroad, have revived the call to lower the voting age. A new initiative to lower the voting age to 16 has emerged in B.C., led mainly by teenage climate strikers. In the U.K., the young climate strikers include lowering the voting age to 16 in their manifesto. As someone whose political activism started as a teenager in the nuclear age, and who mobilized in the 1980s with hundreds of others who could not vote, I have long believed that lowering the voting age represents the next logical step in the evolution of the franchise. Today, if there was ever a compelling reason to do so, the climate emergency is indisputably it.

image atom

It’s a Waiting Game for BC Teens Hoping to Get the Vote


We have all watched as these amazing, passionate and well-informed young people have sounded the emergency alarm, roused us into the streets and pushed our political leaders back on their heels. (And conversely, we have all met plenty of older people whose lack of political knowledge and understanding is mind-blowing, yet no one suggests this should deny them the right to vote.) How preposterous then that our society deems today’s climate strike leaders unfit to cast a ballot.

Surely, the case is now clear that denying these people the right to vote represents a grave injustice. What’s more, we need these voters lickety-split — we need their clear-headed priorities in the political debate, and we need those who seek to be our elected representatives to feel the practical pressure of winning the favour of these young people. Extending the franchise would be politically transformative, and doing so deserves a place of priority in any climate emergency agenda.

As we mobilize to confront the current crises and consider the role of young people today, let us indeed embrace some core lessons from the last great mobilization: let them lead, let them serve, and let them vote.  [Tyee]


Noam Chomsky: “Trump Is the Worst Criminal in History, Undeniably”


Could you explain why what Donald Trump is doing institutionally actually is unique and does matter on its own terms?


This sounds strong, but it’s true: Trump is the worst criminal in history, undeniably. There has never been a figure in political history who was so passionately dedicated to destroying the projects for organized human life on earth in the near future.

That is not an exaggeration. People are focused now on the protests; the pandemic is serious enough that we will emerge from it at terrible cost. The cost is greatly amplified by the gangster in the White House, who has killed tens of thousands of Americans, making this the worst place in the world [for the coronavirus]. We will emerge [from the pandemic, but] we’re not going to emerge from another crime that Trump has committed, the heating of the globe. The worst of it is coming — we’re not going to emerge from that.

The ice sheets are melting; they’re not going to recover. That leads to exponential increase in global warming. Arctic glaciers, for example, could flood the world. Recent studies indicate that on the present course, in about fifty years, much of the habitable part of the world will be unlivable. You won’t be able to live in parts of South Asia, parts of the Middle East, parts of the United States. We’re approaching the point of 125,000 years ago, when sea levels were about twenty-five feet higher than they are now. And it’s worse than that. The Scripps Oceanographic Institute just came out with a study that estimated that we are coming ominously close to a point [similar to] 3 million years ago, when sea levels were fifty to eighty feet higher than they are today.

All around the world, countries are trying to do something about it. But there is one country which is led by a president who wants to escalate the crisis, to race toward the abyss, to maximize the use of fossil fuels, including the most dangerous of them, and to dismantle the regulatory apparatus that limits their impact. There is no crime like this in human history. Nothing. This is a unique individual. And it’s not as if he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Of course he does. It’s as if he doesn’t care. If he can pour more profits into his pockets and the pockets of his rich constituency tomorrow, who cares if the world disappears in a couple of generations?

As far as the government is concerned, we’re seeing something pretty interesting. Parliamentary democracy has been around for 350 years, starting in England in 1689 with the so-called Glorious Revolution, when sovereignty was transferred from the royalty to the parliament. The beginnings of parliamentary democracy in the United States [came] about a century later. Parliamentary democracy is not just based on laws and constitutions. In fact, the British constitution is maybe a dozen words. It’s based on trust and good faith, the assumption that people will act like human beings.

Take Richard Nixon. Pretty rotten guy, but when the time came that he had to leave office, he left office quietly. Nobody is expecting that with Trump. He doesn’t act like a human being. He’s off somewhere else. He [doesn’t] even make appointments that can be confirmed by the Senate. Why bother? I don’t like somebody, I’ll throw them out. One Republican, Lisa Murkowski, dares to raise a small question about his nobility, [and he] came down on her with a ton of bricks — I’m going to destroy you.


Suzuki: Multiple Crises Signal the Need to Change Course

"People are calling for change. It's time."


Suzuki of course is correct

How many decades now has he been sounding the alarm about our climate emergency?


This is what the CBC does well, very well. Sticking their right-wing noses into politics, not so much!


Two former Trump officials to be investigated for posting papers denying climate change


Biden pitching a much vaster climate plan than Obama ever attempted

Climate activists celebrate "major step forward," while oil industry warns of costs.


Alberta inquiry steps into a past era's dark denial


Deep water temperatures hit 'scary' highs in Gulf of St. Lawrence


Experts haven't seen anything like it since records started in 1915


Is It Time for an Emergency Rollout of Carbon-Eating Machines?

Facilities that suck carbon dioxide out of the air could be powerful weapons for fighting climate change. But their deployment requires a huge wartime-style investment.