“Climate-Change Counter Movement”

climate policy doonesburyGary Trudeau nailed it a few years back in this strip.  (Click on it to see the whole thing.)  There was a study out that flags the nearly one billion dollars that goes to fund the climate denialism movement each year.  The excellent Suzanne Goldenberg got the whole story in The Guardian in December.  (One of the many things, I’m sure, that I missed as I cast my radar across the horizon.)   In any event, social scientist Robert Brulle conducted the study, published in Climatic Change, one of the key peer-reviewed journals covering climate.  He’s quoted in the article:  “It is not just a couple of rogue individuals doing this. This is a large-scale political effort.” Continue reading


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Inaction = Catastrophe

withering corn AR5 WGIIUS Secretary of State John Kerry is a man with things on his mind:  Putin’s bad attitude, genocide in Syria, a ticking clock for a Palestinian and Israeli peace deal.  Yet with all this, he knows that the climate system needs to be at the top or near the top of his priority list.  His reaction to the new report on Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability from the IPCC is clear:  “The costs of inaction are catastrophic.”  His statement yesterday reminds us that we are on very thin ice and we can hear it starting to crack. Continue reading


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Extreme Weather – 2013 Edition

wmo coverThe World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issued its “Annual Climate Statement” today in Geneva.  There was nothing particularly revelatory:  We’re still looking at a looming catastrophe.  In fact, for millions, the catastrophe has already occurred.  Ask the folks in the Philippines, or California, or Britain, or Australia.  Yes, but what about all the cold weather in the Eastern half of the US this year you ask.  Well, it’s climate change too:  the polar vortex has been weakened by the melting of Arctic ice, allowing cold air to migrate south.  (Sorry, denialists.)  Continue reading


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What We Know

what we knowI think it’s, to be honest, more-than-a-little absurd that scientists and policy makers feel the need, at this late date, to further underscore the immediacy, the clarity and the solid basis of the climate science that has been showing us, for decades, that we are in a crisis – and that catastrophe is looming. Continue reading


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Blockbuster Paper on Major Emitters

guardian major emittersThere is a characteristically excellent story from The Guardian on a blockbuster paper that’s just come out in one of the premier science journals, Climatic Change.  The Guardian reports that “The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests.” Continue reading


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Summary for Policymakers – The Physical Science

ipcc_altlogo_full_rgbIn September, the IPCC kicked off its cycle for the Fifth Assessment Report with the release of its look at the physical science, aka the Working Group I report.  I just wanted to bring to your attention the fact that they’ve now issued the finalized Summary for Policymakers (SPM) with all of its graphics.  This had been held up in the pipeline as final edits and review were performed.  It is a document well worth reading.  In fact, if you want to have the most thorough and, at the same, most easily readable overview of what the scientists have been seeing, then this is what you should read.  You can find the SPM here. Continue reading


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Ocean Impacts – IPCC Fifth Assessment Report

IPCCAR5oceanacidificationgraphThe first part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) has been out for a couple of weeks.  Looking at the physical science, AR5 covers the full range of how greenhouse gases are changing the face of our planet.

One area that is getting more attention this time around is the ocean.  As you can see here, for instance, as carbon Continue reading


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New IPCC Assessment Report Kicks Off

ar5 wg1The Fifth Assessment Report – AR5 for short – kicked off this morning in Stockholm.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, held a press conference to announce the findings of the first working group (WG1) on “The Physical Science Basis.”  (The rest of the AR5 will roll out in three more reports culminating in the Synthesis Report in October of next year.)

The lead in the press release today is “Human influence on the climate system is clear.”  That’s for those who have been living in another solar system for the past ten years.  For the rest of us, the report underlines a lot of what we already have learned.  It is a herculean task for the 259 authors Continue reading


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