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Archive for the ‘Climate Change Series’ Category

Climate Change: Basically, we’re f***ed…

In Climate Change Series on January 21, 2014 at 7:00 am

aAfterculture Artifacts

From DAVE POLLARD

Requiem for a Species

We [now] have no chance of preventing emissions rising well above a number of critical tipping points that will spark uncontrollable climate change.

I‘ve added professor Clive Hamilton’s new book Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change to my “Save the World Reading List” (retroactively). It’s the natural next step after the 15 essential readings and really sums up where we (our species and our planet) are now.

Clive starts out by saying what climate scientists know but are afraid to say:

Over the last five years, almost every advance in climate science has painted a more disturbing picture of the future. The reluctant conclusion of the most eminent climate scientists is that the world is now on the path to a very unpleasant future and it is too late to stop it. Behind the facade of scientific detachment, the climate scientists themselves now evince a mood of barely suppressed panic. No one is willing to say publicly what the climate science is telling us: that we can no longer prevent global warming that will this century bring about a radically transformed world that is much more hostile to the survival and flourishing of life. This is no longer an expectation of what might happen if we do not act soon; this will happen, even if the most optimistic assessment of how the world might respond to the climate disruption is validated. More…

Climate Change Denier George Will Keeps Getting Nuttier…

In Climate Change Series on January 10, 2014 at 8:50 am

c
From NYMag

George Will hates climate science, and everything that springs from climate science, including any non-carbon-intensive mode of transportation, like fuel-efficient cars, or, heaven forbid, trains. Will’s column today celebrates his belief that Americans are once again disproving President Obama’s Big Government Social Engineering by flocking to ever-larger and less-fuel-efficient vehicles:

Have consumers thanked him for trying to wean them from their desire to drive large, useful, comfortable, safe vehicles that he thinks threaten their habitat, Earth? The 2013 numbers tell the tale of their ingratitude. In 2013, for the 32nd consecutive year, the best-selling vehicle was Ford’s F-Series pickups. This supremacy began, fittingly, in the first year of Ronald Reagan’s deregulatory presidency.

It is nice, in these dark socialist times, that Will can still detect the flicker of freedom in the hearts of Americans flocking toward Reaganite Freedomcars. And it is true that the Ford F-Series is the single best-selling vehicle in the U.S. But the single best-selling vehicle by itself accounts for less than 5 percent of all vehicles sold. More…

Arctic Sea Ice: The Death Spiral Continues…

In Climate Change Series on April 9, 2013 at 5:01 am

From CLIMATE DENIAL CROCK OF THE WEEK

After watching several videos of the breakup of Beaufort sea Ice during the dead of winter, I decided to contact a leading ice expert, Walt Meier of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, for analysis and perspective. I mixed his comments in with the increasingly-on-the-same-page warnings from his fellow scientists around the country.
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Global Warming: Heat Records Exceed Cold by Increasing Margins…

In Around the web, Climate Change Series on July 17, 2012 at 5:22 am

From PETER SINCLAIR
Climate Denial Crock of the Week

Climate Central:

As the climate has warmed during the past several decades, there has been a growing imbalance between record daily high temperatures in the contiguous U.S. and record daily lows. A study published in 2009 found that rather than a 1-to-1 ratio, as would be expected if the climate were not warming, the ratio has been closer to 2-to-1 in favor of warm temperature records during the past decade (2000-2009). This finding cannot be explained by natural climate variability alone, the study found, and is instead consistent with global warming.

When you look at individual years, the imbalance can be more stark. For example, through late June 2012, daily record highs were outnumbering record daily lows by a ratio of 9-to-1.The study used computer models to project how the records ratios might shift in future decades as the amount of greenhouse gases in the air continues to increase. The results showed that the ratio of daily record highs to daily record lows in the lower 48 states could soar to 20-to-1 by mid-century, and 50-to-1 by 2100.
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Climate Denial Crock of the Week: Welcome to the Rest of Our Lives…

In Around the web, Climate Change Series on July 11, 2012 at 6:10 am

From CLIMATE CROCKS
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ABC News:

Hundreds of thousands of Americans were left without power for days after a violent storm front moved through from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic last week. But what if — in the case of a blackout — you could just use your car to power your home?

It might sound futuristic, but in Japan it is already happening.

In Ginza, a posh shopping district in the heart of Tokyo — customers looking to buy a car can do something they can’t do anywhere else in the world — walk into a Nissan dealer and buy an all electric Leaf that will integrate into their home’s energy supply. Simply put More…

Dear Climate Change Deniers: ‘This Is Just the Beginning’…

In Climate Change Series on July 9, 2012 at 6:13 am

From WORLD VIEW OF GLOBAL WARMING

Huge areas of drought spread across the United States, while heat and wildfires add to climate woes.

More than 2,000 heat records were broken last week around the U.S. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)…

“You know, as time goes on, we always expect to set new records, but there should be an equal number of highs and lows. And in the 1950s and the ’60s and ’70s, that was the case. But by the time we got to the 2000s, the ratios of highs to lows was about two-to-one and this year so far it’s running at about a ratio of ten-to-one. And so clearly this is just not natural variability anymore.”

More than three quarters of the area of the lower 48 states is in drought and dry conditions, apparently the most since weekly detailed drought mapping began in 2000. The National Drought Monitor map and analysis as of July 3, by the National Drought Mitigation Center, shows areas suffering “exceptional drought” More…

Thank God Global Warming is a Hoax

In Around the web, Climate Change Series on August 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm

From MARK MORFORD
SFGate

I mean, right? You know? Because gosh Jesus in angry apocalyptic heaven, wouldn’t it be just terrible if it were all true?

Wouldn’t it be horrible if all this stunning, insanely mounting, irrefutable evidence — death, floods, fires, heat waves, the worst this and the most violent that in 1,000 years — were some sort of surefire, cumulative sign that we have, if not directly caused, then wildly accelerated and amplified the imminent implosion of this planet?

But we didn’t! And we haven’t! And we aren’t! I mean, whew.

I am delighted to remember that hardcore science has lied, misguided, misnomered and whatever else weird science does to confuse the world about the real impact humanity has had on global ecosystems. All those thousands of highly trained scientists educated at the finest universities, learning the most difficult and fraught information of our age, all in universal agreement that humankind’s actions directly affect climate change, and they are all totally full of it because they are clearly in cahoots with Nazi Liberal Jesus, the solar panel manufacturers and the hippies who want me to compost my KFC Double Down wrapper. more

Are we prepared for whatever’s coming?

In Books, Climate Change Series on March 23, 2010 at 7:07 am

From ADBUSTERS

Just as in 1939 we had to give up on a massive scale the comfortable lifestyle of peacetime, so soon we may feel rich with only a quarter of what we consume now. If we do it right and with enthusiasm, it will not seem a depressing phase of denial but instead, as in 1940, a chance to redeem ourselves. For the young, life will be full of opportunities to serve, to create, and they will have a purpose for living.

- James Lovelock from The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning

If people know anything about the British scientist James Lovelock, it is his theory of a living Earth, known as Gaia. Lovelock began formulating this revolutionary vision in the late 1960s while working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. It was there, not far from the ground zero of West Coast counterculture, that he began to wonder: Might the Earth possess a sophisticated planetary intelligence, one that regulates the countless interactions of plants, animals, minerals, gases and the sun’s heat (all of the ingredients and products of ever-evolving life) in such a way as to maintain a climate homeostasis amenable to a lush, living planet? In short, does Mother Earth like life, and does she do her best to make us comfortable?

Once regarded as a quasi-mystical expression of longing more than a science-based insight, Lovelock’s theory has overcome the skepticism of his peers. Over the course of four decades of research and experiment, Gaia has officially graduated from a hypothesis to a theory. It is now widely accepted that the biosphere’s elements are no passive collection of independent actors responding to conditions but together form a living web that actively creates and maintains those conditions, including temperature. Lovelock has been compared to Copernicus and Darwin for fathering and nurturing the Gaia paradigm.

More at Adbusters
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Livestock and Climate Change: What if the key actors in climate change are… cows, pigs, and chickens?

In Climate Change Series on January 20, 2010 at 7:21 am


From ROBERT GOODLAND AND JEFF ANHANG
Worldwatch Institute
Thanks to RON EPSTEIN
Ukiah

Whenever the causes of climate change are discussed, fossil fuels top the list. Oil, natural gas, and especially coal are indeed major sources of human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). But we believe that the life cycle and supply chain of domesticated animals raised for food have been vastly underestimated as a source of GHGs, and in fact account for at least half of all human-caused GHGs. If this argument is right, it implies that replacing livestock products with better alternatives would be the best strategy for reversing climate change. In fact, this approach would have far more rapid effects on GHG emissions and their atmospheric concentrations—and thus on the rate the climate is warming—than actions to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.

Livestock are already well-known to contribute to GHG emissions. Livestock’s Long Shadow, the widely-cited 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), estimates that 7,516 million metric tons per year of CO2 equivalents (CO2e), or 18 percent of annual worldwide GHG emissions, are attributable to cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, camels, horses, pigs, and poultry. That amount would easily qualify livestock for a hard look indeed in the search for ways to address climate change. But our analysis shows that livestock and their byproducts actually account for at least 32,564million tons of CO2e per year, or 51 percent of annual worldwide GHG emissions.

Complete article available here
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Fidel Castro on Climate Change, Copenhagen, and Obama

In Climate Change Series on January 6, 2010 at 9:19 am


From FIDEL CASTRO RUZ
Thanks to Pinky Kushner
Ukiah

As the Revolution celebrated its 51st anniversary two days ago, memories of that January 1st of 1959 came to mind. The outlandish idea that, after half a century — which flew by — we would remember it as if it were yesterday, never occurred to any of us.

During the meeting at the Oriente sugar mill on December 28, 1958, with the commander in chief of the enemy’s forces, whose elite units were surrounded without any way out whatsoever, he admitted defeat and appealed to our generosity to find a dignified way out for the rest of his forces. He knew of our humane treatment of prisoners and the injured without any exception. He accepted the agreement that I proposed, although I warned him that operations under way would continue. But he traveled to the capital, and, incited by the United States embassy, instigated a coup d’état.

We were preparing for combat on that January 1st when, in the early hours of the morning, the news came in of the dictator’s flight. The Rebel Army was ordered not to permit a ceasefire and to continue battling on all fronts. Radio Rebelde convened workers to a revolutionary general strike, immediately followed by the entire nation. The coup attempt was defeated, and that same afternoon, our victorious troops entered Santiago de Cuba.

more→

Copenhagen Accord Notes

In Climate Change Series on December 23, 2009 at 10:30 am

From ROSALIND PETERSON
Redwood Valley

1) The United States is committed to implement qualified economy-wide emissions targets for 2020 to be submitted to the United Nations by January 31, 2010.

2) The U.S. Senate will be under the gun to pass their Cap & Trade, Energy & Jobs bill (S1733 or another similar bill) prior to January 31, 2010 to be in compliance with this Accord.

3) The current bill before the U.S. Senate will not reduce any pollution emissions until 2017 and then only a 17% reduction of 2005 identified greenhouse gas emissions (water vapor, a greenhouse gas, is excluded from this legislation). Thus, no action is planned by the Copenhagen Accord or the United States in reducing any greenhouse gases until 2017 or 2020.

4) The EPA, without any passage of legislation and under authority from a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, is now on track to immediately begin to reduce all pollution from every greenhouse gas source. Without interference from Congress or the White House compliance with the Accord will begin in 2010, and could put the United States in the lead in taking immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. The EPA model could set and example for the entire world and the United States would be immediately demonstrating its commitment to protecting the environment.

5) The Accord is weak in that no implementation of greenhouse gas reductions is to take place until 2020.

6) The Accord will use various approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions “…including opportunities to use markets, to enhance the cost-effectiveness of, and to promote mitigation actions…” This means that (S1733) a Cap & Trade System will be used in lieu of actual immediate reductions to allow polluters to “Buy & Sell the “Right to Pollute” between 2010 and 2017 or 2020. No pollution reduction will take place until either of these target dates. more→

In The Long Run We’ll All Be Dead

In Climate Change Series on December 14, 2009 at 4:39 pm


From digby
[Thanks to Janie]

I suspect that one of the things that allows the mendacious global warming deniers (as opposed to the delusional global warming deniers) think they have in their favor is the relatively long time horizon. If temperatures rise by 10 degrees by the 21st century, well, that’s their problem, right?

But this article in the NY Times today brings home the fact that there are very likely to be serious consequences quite soon, not the least of which is probable mass migration:

The glaciers that have long provided water and electricity to this part of Bolivia are melting and disappearing, victims of global warming, most scientists say. If the water problems are not solved, El Alto, a poor sister city of La Paz, could perhaps be the first large urban casualty of climate change. A World Bank report concluded last year that climate change would eliminate many glaciers in the Andes within 20 years, threatening the existence of nearly 100 million people.

It’s not about the planet, which is quite able to deal with climate change. It’s about the humans that live on the planet. The problems caused by climate change will cause huge dislocations of populations.

If they’ve ever thought about it, which is doubtful, Palin and her buddies would probably find that stimulating. She and her bloodthirsty brethren would love to have an excuse to “protect what’s theirs” in the event of massive shifts in population. (After all, Palin couldn’t even stand to live in Hawaii because of all those icky minorities.) But regardless of GI Joe and Jane seige fantasies, the fact is that climate change is going to affect large numbers of people in a fairly short period of time. And those people are going to move somewhere and cause dislocations and wrenching social change all across the planet. It’s not just about driving a Chevy Tahoe or the price of gasoline. It’s about starvation, migration and war.
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It’s Going to Be Beautiful

In Climate Change Series on December 13, 2009 at 12:13 pm

From BILL McKIBBEN
Yes! Magazine

There are reasons to be encouraged about the negotiations in Copenhagen, and ways to get involved in your own backyard.

I know many of you are busy preparing for this weekend’s vigils, and I know you’re all hearing a lot about the climate talks in Copenhagen.

But since we’re all working on the same team, I wanted to give you an inside/outside sense of all that’s happening in one of the more important weeks in the history of this ball of rock and water we call the earth.

From inside Copenhagen, our crew (which at exactly 350 mostly young souls is reportedly the largest accredited delegation to the talks!) reports the following:

  • It’s cold and gray and the sun sets at 3:30 pm, but exciting to be in a world where everyone is focused on the climate. Sometimes, amongst all the wonderful activists from every corner of the world, you can really sense how the planet might come together.
  • As of Wednesday evening, the 350 target is still in the treaty’s “negotiating text.” Our movement’s lobbying efforts-both in the UN and around the world-might end up bearing fruit. Few negotiators have managed to avoid our briefing papers on the science of 350, and many of them are showing their support in style with 350 ties and lapel pins. more→

Armed with peer-reviewed science, we fight for a sustainable world

In Climate Change Series on December 11, 2009 at 8:32 am

From NARESH GIANGRANGE
Transition Culture

Transition reflections from Copenhagen

Klimaforum the people’s conference has started slowly. Maybe a 1000-2000 of us in many different locations feeling our way into perhaps the defining moment of our life and times which this conference represents and reflect the hopes an fears of our generation in a way that no other I have even been to does. There is a tension and an intensity that I have never felt before. Even though the first day felt a bit like a party conference, people wandering in and out of speeches that went on too long.

The mood is subdued and quiet, and focussed on the positive and the possibilities of going forward from here. I am sure many know this is the alternative conference. This conference  sits alongside the main COP15 conference at the Bella centre about 4 km away from where we the people are meeting.

Full article here

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The Human Ecology of Collapse – Part One

In Climate Change Series on December 10, 2009 at 9:32 am

From JOHN MICHAEL GREER
Author, The Long Descent

… Beneath all the yelling, though, are a set of brutal facts nobody is willing to address. Whether or not the current round of climate instability is entirely the product of anthropogenic CO2 emissions is actually not that important, because it’s even more stupid to dump greenhouse gases into a naturally unstable climate system than it would be to dump them into a stable one. Over the long run, the only level of carbon pollution that is actually sustainable is zero net emissions, and getting there any time soon would require something not far from the dismantling of industrial society and its replacement with something much less affluent. Now of course we would have to do this anyway, since the world’s fossil fuel supplies are depleting fast enough that production limits will begin to bite hard in the years and decades ahead, but this simply sharpens the point at issue… more→

The climate denial industry is out to dupe the public. And it’s working. – George Monbiot

In Climate Change Series on December 8, 2009 at 12:13 pm

From GEORGE MONBIOT
The Guardian

Think environmentalists are stooges? You’re the unwitting recruit of a hugely powerful oil lobby – I’ve got the proof

When you survey the trail of wreckage left by the climate emails crisis, three things become clear. The first is the tendency of those who claim to be the champions of climate science to minimise their importance. Those who have most to lose if the science is wrong have perversely sought to justify the secretive and chummy ethos that some of the emails reveal. If science is not transparent and accountable, it’s not science.

I believe that all supporting data, codes and programmes should be made available as soon as an article is published in a peer-reviewed journal. That anyone should have to lodge a freedom of information request to obtain them is wrong. That the request should be turned down is worse. more→

The Heat Is On

In Climate Change Series on December 5, 2009 at 7:20 am

From ANNIE LOWREY
Slate Magazine

Here is how the story now known as ClimateGate broke: On Nov. 17, an unknown person somehow gained access to a huge cache of emails and data files from the University of East Anglia’s climate research unit (CRU) and put them on the Internet. The hacker posted links to the data on prominent climate-skeptic blogs, just weeks before the Dec. 7 start of the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen. Then, the documents were distributed with the ominous preface: “We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps. We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents.”

The approximately 1,000 emails and 3,000 documents purportedly showed that an elite cabal of climatologists had massaged decades of data to fool the world into believing in the myth of anthropogenic climate change. (The perpetrators offered no explanation why the scientists might want to do this. My best guess: All climatologists secretly despise GDP growth.) The scientists had apparently altered the world’s biggest record of global surface temperature readings, trashed discordant evidence, and publicly humiliated climatologists who reached differing conclusions.

Climate blogs went wild. The British press soon glommed onto the story with characteristic maniacal glee. One typical post by James Delingpole in the Daily Telegraph, for instance, read: “If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW. The conspiracy behind the Anthropogenic Global Warming myth … has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed.” more→

Why We Find it so Hard to Act Against Climate Change

In Climate Change Series on December 3, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Solving the “It’s Not My Problem” problem. A psychologist on what keeps us from coming to terms with the climate crisis.

From GEORGE MARSHALL
Yes! Magazine

It should be easy to deal with climate change. There is a strong scientific consensus supported by very sound data; consensus across much of the religious and political spectrum and among businesses including the largest corporations in the world. The vast majority of people claim to be concerned. The targets are challenging, but they are achievable with existing technologies, and there would be plentiful profits and employment available for those who took up the challenge.

So why has so little happened? Why do people who claim to be very concerned about climate change continue their high-carbon lifestyles? And why, as the warnings become ever louder, do increasing numbers of people reject the arguments of scientists and the evidence of their own eyes?

These, I believe, will be the key questions for future historians of the unfurling climate disaster, just as historians of the Holocaust now ask: “How could so many good and moral people know what was happening and yet do so little?”

This comparison with mass human rights abuses is a surprisingly useful place to find some answers to these questions. In States of Denial: Knowing About Atrocities and Suffering, Stanley Cohen studies how people living under repressive regimes resolve the conflict they feel between the moral imperative to intervene and the need to protect themselves and their families. more→

Six Things We Know For Sure in the Wake of ClimateGate

In Climate Change Series on December 2, 2009 at 2:08 pm

From ROB HOPKINS
Transition Culture

Is there anything in these emails that leads one to assume that climate change is not happening?  No.  Writing in the Sunday Times, Bryan Appleyard tried to carve in stone what we know for sure about climate change (in spite of acknowledging that there are never certainties in science, rather “all science can ever be is the best guess of the best minds”).  We know that the climate is warming, and that this is caused by emissions of greenhouse gases, and that if this continues, “nasty things probably start happening within the next century, possibly within the next decade”, although of course there are many extreme events already happening attributed by many to climate change.

Jeff Masters at wunderground.com puts it thus, “even if every bit of mud slung at these scientists were true – the body of scientific work supporting the theory of human-caused climate change – which spans hundreds of thousands of scientific papers written by tens of thousands of scientists in dozens of different scientific disciplines – is too vast to be budged by the flaws in the works of the three of four scientists being subject to the fiercest attacks”.  Indeed.

We are talking about a scientific case that has been built up over 20 years or so of peer-reviewed science.  As Greenfyre puts it, “Which studies were compromised, how? Be specific. Cite papers and data sets. What is the evidence? Where is it? What work is affected? How? Show me the evidence that says so”.  It is much easier just to fling muck around than to be specific.  Nothing has emerged this week that puts the actual science behind climate change in question at all. more→

Question #1: What if Al Gore’s Climate Change Conclusions Are Wrong?

In Climate Change Series, Dave Smith on November 17, 2009 at 7:39 am

From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

I don’t trust Al Gore. He wrote Earth In The Balance, and then, after becoming Vice President, said and did nothing about the environment for eight long years. That doesn’t mean he is wrong. But now, working in his own investment firm, promoting the cap-and-trade scam, one must question motives and intent and be open to what other scientists are also saying before drawing one’s own personal conclusions and taking action…

Question #2: Who will make the Big Bucks from Climate Change?

Question #3: Who are the Climate Change Deniers?

Gore’s Guru Disagreed…

Calling him “a wonderful, visionary professor” who was “one of the first people in the academic community to sound the alarm on global warming,” Gore thought of Dr. Revelle as his mentor and referred to him frequently, relaying his experiences as a student in his book Earth in the Balance, published in 1992. Gore’s warmth for Dr. Revelle cooled, however, when it became clear that he had misunderstood his former professor: Although Dr. Revelle recognized potential harm from global warming, he also saw potential benefits and was by no means alarmed, as seen in this 1984 interview in Omni magazine: more→

The best current overview of peak oil, what it means, and what we should do

In Around the web, Climate Change Series on November 16, 2009 at 4:36 pm


From GAIL TVERBERG
The Oil Drum

I decided to write another rather basic level article because there are so many people I meet who have heard a bit about the oil situation, and it is hard to point to one single article to give an overview of some of the current issues. Regular readers will find many repeats of graphs. There are some new ones, as well, from the Denver ASPO-USA conference. Because there is so much to tell, the story gets a little long.

We live in a finite world. It is clear that at some point, we will eventually start hitting limits—we won’t be able to extract as much oil, or we won’t be able to mine as much silver or platinum, or fresh-water aquifers that have built up over millions of years will run dry.

We are reaching limits in several areas, but the one I would like to talk about here is oil production. Oil is essential, because nearly all transportation depends on oil, and because a huge number of goods use oil in their manufacture (including textiles, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, asphalt, plastics, lubricating oils, and computers). Oil is also essential for our current agricultural system–growing food and transporting it to market.

Why people are concerned about a decline in oil production

Keep reading at The Oil Drum

See also Abiotic Oil
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Take Action! United States Navy to Conduct Massive Atmospheric Experimental Tests Starting As Early As September 15, 2009

In Climate Change Series on September 15, 2009 at 8:18 pm

From ROSALIND PETERSON
Redwood Valley

An article in Space.com (1) titled, “NASA Rocket to Create Clouds Tuesday” by Clara Moskowits, Staff Writer – September 14, 2009, was unexpectedly forwarded to me today.

According to the article: “…A rocket experiment set to launch Tuesday aims to create artificial clouds at the outermost layers of Earth’s atmosphere. The project, called the Charged Aerosol Release Experiment (CARE)…”This is really essentially at the boundary of space,” said Wayne Scales, a scientist at Virginia Tech who will…study the physics of the artificial dust cloud as it’s released…CARE is slated to launch Tuesday between 7:30 and 7:57 p.m. EDT (2330 and 2357 GMT) from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia….”

“…CARE will release its (aluminum oxide) (4), dust particles a bit higher than that, then let them settle back down to a lower altitude.”What the CARE experiment hopes to do is to create an artificial dust layer,” Professor Scales told SPACE.com. “Hopefully it’s a creation in a controlled sense, which will allow scientists to study different aspects of it, the turbulence generated on the inside, the distribution of dust particles and such.” CARE is a project of the Naval Research Laboratory and the Department of Defense Space Test Program. The spacecraft will launch aboard a NASA four-stage Black Brant XII suborbital sounding rocket…Researchers will track the CARE dust cloud for days or even months to study its behavior and development over time…If CARE cannot launch Tuesday, the team can try again between Sept. 16 and Sept. 20, 2009…”

The U.S. Navy, NASA, and the U.S. Defense Department have made a decision to conduct one or more atmospheric tests, in order to create an aluminum oxide dust cloud without the permission, and for the most part, the knowledge of the citizens of the United States. These aluminum oxide particles may eventually return to earth polluting our air, water and soils. The tests may damage the various atmospheric boundaries that protect life on earth – no one has any idea what damage this dust cloud and the testing on this dust cloud may do to our climate, agriculture, human health or the amount of infrared and UV radiation reaching the Earth.

It is time to contact elected officials today and protest this action which may begin as early as today, September 15, 2009. The Navy is already conducting warfare testing in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Gulf of Mexico and has more ranges in the planning and permit stages. Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Barbara Boxer noted in a June 19, 2009. Letter to Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce: Keep reading→

The Fallacy of Climate Activism

In Around the web, Climate Change Series on August 31, 2009 at 7:14 am

From Adam D. Sacks
Grist Magazine – Excerpts

August 31, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California

…the battle against greenhouse-gas emissions, as we have currently framed it, is over.

It is absolutely over and we have lost.

We have to say so…

If we climate activists don’t tell the truth as well as we know it—which we have been loathe to do because we ourselves are frightened to speak the words—the public will not respond, notwithstanding all our protestations of urgency.

And contrary to current mainstream climate-activist opinion, contrary to all the pointless “focus groups,” contrary to the endless speculation on “correct framing,” the only way to tell the truth is to tell it.  All of it, no matter how terrifying it may be…

If we live at all, we will have to figure out how to live locally and sustainably.  Living locally means we are able get everything we need within walking (or animal riding) distance. We may eventually figure out sustainable ways of moving beyond those small circles to bring things home, but our track record isn’t good and we’d better think it through very carefully.

Likewise, any technology has to be locally based, using local resources and accessible tools, renewable and non-toxic.  We have much re-thinking to do, and re-learning from our hunter-gatherer forebears who managed to survive for a couple of hundred thousand years in ways that we with our civilized blinders we can barely imagine or understand.

Living sustainably means, in Derrick Jensen’s elegantly simple definition, that whatever we do, we can do it indefinitely. We cannot use up anything more or faster than nature provides, we don’t poison the air, water, or soil, and we respect the web of life of which we are an intricate part.  We are not separate from nature, or above it, or in any way qualified to supervise it. The evidence is ample and overwhelming; all we have to do is be brave enough to look.

How do we survive in a world that will probably turn—is already turning, for many humans and non-humans alike—into a living hell? How do we even grow or gather food or find clean water or stay warm or cool while assaulted by biblical floods, Keep reading→

Report: Rising Sea Levels, Temperature Inevitable In California, State Must Prepare

In Around the web, Climate Change Series on August 3, 2009 at 10:04 pm

From Huffington Post

August 4, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Even if the world is successful in cutting carbon emissions in the future, California needs to start preparing for rising sea levels, hotter weather and other effects of climate change, a new state report recommends.

It encourages local communities to rethink future development in low-lying coastal areas, reinforce levees that protect flood-prone areas and conserve already strapped water supplies…

The report was compiled after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger directed agencies in November to devise a state climate strategy. It comes three years after the Republican governor signed California’s landmark global warming law requiring the state to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

Most countries have focused on cutting greenhouse gases in the future, but researchers say those efforts will take decades to have an effect while the planet continues to warm. States have only recently begun to look at what steps they must take to minimize the damage expected from sea level rise, storm surges, droughts and water shortages because of the climate changes.

Over the last century in California, the sea level has risen by 7 inches, average temperatures have increased, spring snowmelt occurs earlier in the year, and there are hotter days and fewer cold nights.

The report warns that rising temperatures over the next few decades will lead to more heat waves, wildfires, droughts and floods.

“We have to deal with those unavoidable impacts,” said Suzanne Moser, a research associate at the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California Santa Cruz. “We can’t pretend they are not going to happen and we have to prepare for that.”

Keep reading Report

See also: It’s Official: This July Was State’s Coldest Since 1924
~~

The coming great cook-out? Part 4 of 4

In Climate Change Series on July 2, 2009 at 5:19 am

From DON SANDERSON
Mendocino County

July 2, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

George Was Right!

On June 22, Sonja Sharp reported on Mother Jones that the far northern Siberian town Oymyakon was undergoing an unprecedented heat wave. The previous day temperatures were recorded at just under 32 C, or nearly 90 degrees F (32.6 C is the highest ever recorded temperature), with weekend temperatures in the high 80s. This past winter, temperatures twice dropped to -60.2 C, or nearly -86 F, marking one of the coldest winters the village of once-nomadic reindeer herders has suffered in nearly a century.

At the moment, we appear to be experiencing a duel between a cool sun and a warming atmosphere. The sun has been warming, with short respites, for millions of years, as astrophysicists assure us it will continue to do. So, I know how I’m betting.

I often wonder why I’m bothering to write these, especially given the doubts I have that we humans can get our heads out of pails filled with meaningless distractions. Oh, my, Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died, as headlines informed us. I’m sure this caused distress for some. How many others died as they did? Do you know of any who haven’t or won’t? How many will die if we cook the Earth? How many will die if we exhaust the Earth’s productive soils and fresh water, as we are doing, and food production collapses.

Let’s not talk about such depressing things, it is too distressing. Let’s leave it to the experts to save us, those engineers who created all those wonderful electronic devices that we must have. Let’s go shopping, which is always fun.

Funny thing, I’m unafraid to look these concerns and the pending failure of the capitalist economy in the face, and I’m still the happiest I’ve ever been as I live in the moment. It is a astoundingly beautiful world, perpetually wondrous, perpetually changing. I don’t mean here the world of the big box stores, fast food outlets, and filling stations, indistinguishable wherever found in the country and increasingly the world. I’m speaking of, for example, a tree in my backyard.

Every leaf on that tree is unique as even a simple examination will discover; it never existed previously and shall never again. No two trees, no two blades of grass, no two sparrows are identical, even to themselves moment to moment. Everywhere in the natural world, I see such uniqueness, such amazing beauty and complexity, trillions of cells working cooperatively. Who could be bored, if they are aware? I am in such awe and so thankful of having had the opportunity to have such experiences.

My overwhelming concern is that we may destroy these gifts. In fact, all over the Earth we are doing so – in order to construct, duplicate, more cars, more televisions, more computers, more fashionable clothing, and more “educated” children who can plug into the corporate workplace. All of these soon become old and new better products are ever coming that we must have. I find this so sad, as I hope you do. Keep reading→

Home

In Around the web, Climate Change Series on June 14, 2009 at 11:24 am









Free, on-line film. One and a-half hours of earth’s beauty, devastation and hope…
Narrated by Glenn Close. HOME
Thanks to Dave Pollard.
~~

The coming great cook-out? Part 3 of 4

In Climate Change Series on June 10, 2009 at 9:43 pm

From DON SANDERSON
Mendocino County

June 11, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

A Green Bubble?

But how can I explain, how can I explain to you?
You will understand less after I have explained it.
All that I can hope to make you understand
Is only events; not what has happened.
And people to whom nothing has ever happened
Cannot understand the unimportance of events.

~T.S. Eliot, “The Family Reunion”

Search for certainty as much as we can, and we’ll invariably fail. That’s the story told by the so-called new science of emergence that is infiltrating all the old sciences and taunting classical beliefs that humans and their sciences and technologies can overcome. Below is a five act tragedy or comedy – it’s difficult to say which, though I’m reminded of Laurel and Hardy and the Three Stooges – centered on our dilemma.

Global warming news
Record cold has been experienced in the past few weeks across the Southern Hemisphere, in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Our own spring has become cool. The sun is acting strangely and may be throwing a kink in the immediate prospects of rapid global warming. George W. Will and friends have been arguing for years that the climate is not warming, it is cooling. They are surely savoring the news, recognizing confirmation, and preparing to twist it. Here is my, more likely I believe, contrary twist.

The sun goes through roughly an 11-year cycle of activity, from stormy to quiet and back again. Solar activity often occurs near sunspots, dark regions on the sun caused by concentrated magnetic fields. It is much warmer during solar maximum, when sunspot cycle and solar activity is high, versus solar minimum, when the sun is quiet and there are usually no sunspots.

The coming great cook-out? Part 2 of 4

In Climate Change Series on May 28, 2009 at 10:56 pm

From DON SANDERSON
Mendocino County

May 29, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

A View From Afar

Here I sit in outer space, occasionally intercepting so-called information broadcast by dying print media and internet blogs of unknown origins. Some are reporting that the recession will be over in a couple of months, but jobs and house prices will continue shrinking until sometime next year. Anyhow, though individual debt is at al all time high, consumer confidence is increasing – but, wait, their purchasing isn’t. A lot of this just doesn’t compute, but there is more.

The really big news that isn’t headlined by the popular media is that the Waxman-Markey energy and climate bill is on the House floor. As with all such legislation, as far as I can tell from discussions, it is likely so convoluted that no one truly understands it. “Plenty of folks are horrified—for entirely opposite reasons.” Keith Johnson wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “Even with all the compromises, conservatives are still aghast at the costs of what they call a giant ‘energy tax.’

Thanks to all the compromises, some environmentalists are aghast at what they see as a toothless bill. You could drive yourself insane plowing through the nearly 1,000 pages and try to work out how all the overlapping policies, regulators, giveaways, exemptions, and mandates actually affect U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions over the next four decades.”

Not to worry. The White House assures us, in a statement released May 22, 2009, “Coupled with the announcement about setting a new national policy to both increase fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas pollution, the legislation that passed out of House Energy and Commerce Committee is a historic leap towards providing clean energy incentives that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create millions of new jobs all across America. The President has been clear that if there are disparate impacts on consumers and business during the transition period, they should be compensated. Make no mistake – this bill sets aggressive emissions reductions targets and provides for a program that invests in the technologies needed to bring about a clean energy future.”

Keep reading→

The Fierce Urgency of Now

In Climate Change Series, Dave Smith on March 25, 2009 at 8:35 pm

[The car-centric dinosaur Masonite Monster Mall feeds the Climate Change disaster rather than alleviating it. We need transitions to inviting, walkable, bikable, sustainable, small towns run with renewable energy systems... with jobs based on organic farming and localized, appropriate technology. -DS]

Yes, windmills and dams deface the landscape but the climate crisis demands immediate action

From Bill McKibben

Don’t be too “Canadian” about the backlash – this is no time for Mr. Nice Guy

Watching the backlash against clean energy projects build in Canada has moved me to think about what Americans have learned from facing this same problem. I have been thinking and writing for several years about overcoming conflict-avoidance and the importance of standing up for “Big Truths” even at the price of criticizing fellow environmentalists.

It’s not that I’ve developed a mean streak. It’s that the environmental movement has reached an important point of division, between those who truly get global warming, and those who don’t.

By get, I don’t mean understanding the chemistry of carbon dioxide, or the importance of the Kyoto Protocol, or those kinds of things – pretty much everyone who thinks of themselves as an environmentalist has reached that point. By get, I mean understanding that the question is of transcending urgency, that it represents the one overarching global civilizational challenge that humans have ever faced.

In the U.S., there are all manner of fights to stop or delay every imaginable low-carbon technology. Wind, solar, run-of-river hydro – these are precisely the kinds of renewable energy that every Earth Day speech since 1970 has trumpeted. But now they are finally here – now that we’re talking about particular projects in particular places – people aren’t so keen.

Opponents of renewable energy projects point out (correctly) that they have impacts – there are (overstated) risks to birds from wind turbines, to fish from run-of-river hydro, that the projects mean “development” somewhere there was none and transmission lines where there were none before.

They point out (again correctly) that the developers are private interests, rushing to develop a resource that, in fact, they do not own, and without waiting for the government to come up with a set of rules and processes for siting such installations.

The critics also insist that there’s a “better” site somewhere – and again they’re probably right. There’s almost always a better site for anything. The whole business is messy, imperfect.

If we had decades to burn, then perhaps the opponents would be right that there’s a better site, and a nicer developer. There’s always a better site and a nicer developer. But in the real world, we have at most 10 years to reverse the fossil fuel economy. Which means we have to do everything quickly – conservation and plug-in cars and solar panels and compact fluorescents and 100-mile food and tree planting. And windmills, windmills everywhere there is wind, just like off the shores of Europe.

Keep reading The Fierce Urgency of Now at The Toronto Star via Common Dreams→
~~

The coming great cook-out? Part 1 of 4

In Climate Change Series on March 19, 2009 at 8:18 am

From Don Sanderson

3/19/09 Ukiah, North California

That global warming is occurring has become obvious here in Northern California. As I am writing this paragraph, it is now the second week in December, we still have tomatoes and peppers ripening in our garden. Last year, some made it until Thanksgiving, a November first here in the experience of a 90 year old friend and native.

We are now entering a citrus climate, so what’s not to love? Avocados next? Mangos? Beginning last winter and continuing though this fall, except for a brief rainy spell, we have had a high pressure system above more typical of summer. When we have had frosts, the cold hasn’t come from the north, but from loss of ground heat to the empty sky typical of a desert. We now have had rainfall amounts characteristic of areas several hundred miles south and water shortages are becoming critical. The creek in front of our home, which typically still has had pools into July, emptied in May last year and early April this – fifteen years ago it was nearly perennial and hosted successfully spawning steelhead. Fires that burned all over the area early in the summer are forcing winemakers to filter the smoke chemicals out of their wine.

Funny, though I point out to others that these are likely effects of global warming and may be expected to get worse, it doesn’t appear to be changing anyone’s behavior. From discussions, many seem to feel that ‘they’ will fix it, whoever ‘they’ are. Besides, some of my friends are reading that some ‘authorities’ are saying that this will only increase land for agriculture in the north – if climate change is indeed happening, which these persons doubt.

A mid-January, 2009, addendum: we finally had a frost in mid-December followed by a couple inches of rain; the creek remains dry and warm sunny days are predicted for a week or more into the future. In late January, 2009, still no more rain, local lakes are at record lows, and we are reading the news of terrible droughts in Argentina and Australia. Perth is in danger of becoming uninhabitable.

Early March, 2009, addendum: we’ve had maybe 7 or 8 inches of light rain since the middle of February and the creek is running, though I can now step across at some places without getting wet; will that get us through the summer? It was just reported that Lake Mendocino’s water level is now at 55 percent, whereas it was at 96 percent at this time last year, so let’s not hold our breaths. I learned a week ago or so that the Colorado Plateau drought, which is now more than 11 years old, is threatening the water supplies of Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, San Diego, and so on. It appears we should be expecting this situation of confront us soon. Meanwhile, the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and the forecast is more of the same – well, maybe a sprinkle. Keep reading→

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