Thursday, September 24, 2015

CO2 ocean acidification, series by Craig Welch, Seattle Times

Last year I came across a excellent investigative series about ocean acidification and its impacts written by Craig Welch of the Seattle Times.  At the time I posted the following over at my other blog Citizen's Challenge since I believe this is information more people should be familiar with and just the sort of educational opportunity I like sharing.  Not sure why I never posted it over here.  But, recently I was reminded of Craig's articles while participating in a couple internet comment threads and experiencing the shear nonsense some people have been sucked into believing with the help of con-men such as one Jim Steele and pals.

Anyone out there who doesn't understand what ocean acidification is all about, but who would like to learn, I recommend this series as a great place to begin your educational journey.

Seattle Times had a disturbing front page story by Craig Welch reporting on his four years worth of research into current impacts of an acidifying ocean on the life forms within our oceans.

"Acidification already eating away at tiny creatures along our coast" 
Craig Welch  |  Seattle Times  |  April 30, 2014
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Documenting Sea Change: The story begins.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Seepage, impacts of a chimera - Lewandowsky, Risbey, Oreskes study

Stephan Lewandowsky together with James Risbey and Naomi Oreskes published a new study looking at how the contrarian PR campaign has influenced the way serious climate science was being done.  Here's the abstract followed by some more information regarding the pause and a previous "Seepage" study.

Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 2015 

The “Pause” in Global Warming: Turning a Routine Fluctuation into a Problem for Science

Stephan Lewandowsky
University of Bristol and University of Western Australia
James S. Risbey
CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Hobart, Tasmania
Naomi Oreskes
Harvard University

Contrarian discourse about a “pause” in global warming has found traction in climate science even though there is little evidence for anything but a fluctuation in the warming rate similar to earlier deviations from a longer-term trend.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell - Profiles in Self-Delusion

These past decades its been painful, in fact increasingly hideous, watching self-absorbed Republican/libertarian self-interest bulldozing ahead with their ruthless cynical campaign of malicious disinformation, all dedicated to out screaming legitimate and critical scientific information thus crippling public education about the global climate situation we are creating for our world (no one escapes).  

It's as though the GOP leadership has been reduced to egomaniacal fools who possess no conception of the reality that humanity and society is utterly dependent on our biosphere's good health, which in turn is dependent on moderate global weather patterns, among other things such as constructive environmental stewardship. 

A couple years back Joseph Romm Ph.D. wrote "The coming GOP civil war over climate change" an optimistic take on the struggle within the Republican Party between those who are committed to demonizing then ignoring serious science and their few remaining rational souls.  Unfortunately it looks like the civil war is over and that the one time Grand Old Party has really and truly jumped down the poopshoot of reality denial in favor of a whole hearted embrace of their delusions of self-grandeur and being God's personal appointed agents of tribalism who defiantly see the greater world and anyone not in their clique as an enemy.  

But, enough of my struggle to understand what's happening out there - this post is about sharing Joe Romm's recent article where he considers Senator Mitch McConnell's (Republican Majority Leader) commitment to destroying any and every effort to reducing fossil fuels consumption.

In Radical Shift, GOP Leaders Actively Embrace Catastrophic Climate Change
BY JOE ROMM SEP 11, 2015 

Over the past year, GOP leaders, driven by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), have made a radical shift in the party’s public position on climate change. They are now actively seeking to destroy a global climate deal.

In any other universe this would be a major news story. ...

In fact, for most of the past quarter-century, most of the GOP leadership has at least given lip service to the idea that global warming is a global problem that needs a global solution. Not only have they abandoned that public position, but they now apparently believe the role of the “exceptional” and “indispensable” nation is to actively work to undermine the world’s best chance to save billions of people — including generations of Americans — from needless misery.

In its Monday piece, “GOP to attack climate pact at home and abroad,” Politico reports:
“Top Republican lawmakers are planning a wide-ranging offensive — including outreach to foreign officials by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office — to undermine President Barack Obama’s hopes of reaching an international climate change agreement that would cement his environmental legacy.”

Let’s set aside Politico’s ridiculous framing, whereby the purpose of Obama’s efforts to achieve a global climate treaty is strictly personal and political — to “cement his environmental legacy” — rather than what it in fact is, moral and science-based, to avert centuries of misery for billions of people. For Politico, such framing is a feature, not a bug.

What’s radical is the nakedly immoral and self-destructive greed underlying McConnell’s strategy, which includes one of his aides “informing foreign embassies about GOP plans to oppose Obama’s strategy on global warming.”  

Consider that the Pope’s recent climate encyclical …  

Later there's this tidbit: 

Last November, the Obama administration leveraged the Clean Power Plan (CPP), which cuts carbon pollution from the electric utility sector, to get Xi Jinping to announce China’s game-changing commitment last year to peak CO2 emissions in 2030, “and to make best efforts to peak early.”

McConnell immediately complained he was “particularly distressed” by this deal because it supposedly “requires the Chinese to do nothing at all for 16 years.”
In fact, China had also pledged to double its carbon-free power capacity between 2015 to 2030, ...

As if to directly rebuke McConnell, two weeks later the Chinese announced that they would peak in coal consumption by 2020! By the spring it was clear that the Chinese would beat their coal and CO2 targets by several years.

McConnell apparently decided his crusade to persuade GOP governors to simply defy the new EPA standards and thereby block U.S. climate action wasn’t enough. …
… McConnell’s actions end the pretense that the GOP leadership has any interest whatsoever in trying to globally address the gravest preventable threat America faces. As Chait notes, ... without a peep of protest from within the party or the conservative movement — says everything you need to know about the party’s stance on climate change.” …  (For the rest of Joe Romm's story link here)


For more about Joseph Romm

October 10, 2012

Why Aren't Politicians Listening to Joe Romm About Climate Change?

For years, he's been arguing that talking about the science of warming is a winning political strategy. Now, new polling data are backing him up.

He's been called "America's fiercest climate blogger." And as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a former Clinton administration official on clean energy, and an MIT-trained physicist, the subjects he covers are vast -- ranging from energy policy to the role of rhetoric in communications, as discussed in his new book Language Intelligence. But there's been a recurrent theme over the years at Joe Romm's popular blog Climate Progress -- the argument that political leaders, and perhaps most prominently President Obama, need to step up and explain to the public why global warming is such a dramatic threat to our livelihoods and future. 
Now, a raft of new polls are showing that this issue has the potential to move independent and swing voters -- the subject of the first Climate Desk Live Capitol Hill briefing on October 10. So we stopped to chat with Romm, who will present at the briefing, about his unusual take on this subject.
Climate Desk: You've been writing for a long time about how climate is a winning political issue. So what first got you onto this? ...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Whatever happened to Dr. Mann's "hockey stick graph"? part 2

Dr. Mann's Hockey Stick times three dozen!

I came across this collection of over three dozen climate studies that examined Earth's climate history from various angles.  Interestingly these studies consistently produce a hockey stick shape graph reflection of what's happened here on Earth.  

The list was put together by Professor Jim Milks over at EnvironmentalForest.blogspot.    It underscores the substantive nature of the much maligned and misrepresented "Hockey Stick Graph" which actually first appeared in the iconic Keeling Curve, but was made infamous by the Republican/libertarian's malicious attack against the paleoclimate studies of Dr. Mann, et. al.  
{I informed Dr. Mann of posting this. He pointed out: thanks Peter,
yes—it’s a good site, and I have linked to some of their stuff before.
There is one slight error in the piece below (the Keeling Curve is definitely *not* the Hockey Stick!).
To which I responded: That's my layperson's sloppiness at work - From my perspective seems to me that our planet's skyrocketing CO2 levels over the past couple centuries looks frighteningly akin to a "hockey stick" shape.  But your point is taken.}

This PR campaign singled out Dr. Mann lead researcher of a large team of experts who's evidence these special interests simply refused to acknowledge.

Reality is that Dr. Mann's work isn't needed to make the point that we are really screwing up our planet's climate system, (the thing we and our society depend on for everything).  

With thanks to Dr. Milks' for his permission, I reprint his Hockey Stick Graph Collection:

Sunday, October 27, 2013
Enough hockey sticks for a team

One of the persistent denier myths is that the Hockey Stick (usually meaning Mann et al. 1999) has been discredited.  Not only is that myth false but Mann et al. (1999) has been validated through the publication of numerous hockey stick graphs since 1999.  Here is a brief list of the ones I know:

Crowley 2000: Used both his own and Mann et al. (1999)'s hockey sticks to examine the cause of temperature changes over the past 1,000 years.  Found that natural forcings could not explain twentieth century warming without the effect of greenhouse gases.

Huang, et al. 2000: Reconstructed global average temperatures since AD 1500 using temperature data from 616 boreholes from around the globe.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Climate blogger Steven Goddard exposes himself. Amazing.

I came across an interesting website a few weeks back.  It's not some fantastic new information source. This one is different. it's more along the lines of a taste of divine justice whilst dispensing a dose of moral comedy.

As for background story, there's a character on the internet who personifies the Republican/libertarian echo-chamber's approach to confusing climate science awareness by throwing as much excrement as it as possible and then ignoring all opportunities to educate himself.  His name is Steven Goddard, no, not the respected late rocket scientist Robert Goddard, just some schmuck desperately trying to steal some luster off another's great name, (like the George C. Marshall Institute, which has absolutely nothing to do with the man who died in '59).

At first it was a mystery, who was this character?  By and by it turned out to be one Tony Heller.  You may ask who is Tony Heller?  Beats me.  It only get's interesting because now another Tony Heller has stepped up to the internet plate with his website Exposed:

Who is this Tony Heller Exposed?  Well he claims to be the dude hiding behind Steve Goddard's name.  Yeah, it's twisted.  In his own words: "Exposed is me, the person behind Steve Goddard, an over-the-top-climate denying troll.  I'm blowing the whistle on myself and sometimes others."  To learn more about Tony aka Goddard aka Heller visit here.

In truth, I'm not sure what to make of his blog, except that more people ought to be aware of it.  Why?  Because it seems to me there are some good lessons in this approach - that is, in watching how one of the clowns comes clean, or is it tastes some of his own vile poison?  You decide.  Here are a few snippets: