View Full Version : IPCC Issues New & Very Pessimistic/Apocalyptic Report

Peter Lemkin
03-31-2014, 04:27 PM
IPCC report warns of future climate change risks, but is spun by contrarians

The latest IPCC report (http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/images/uploads/IPCC_WG2AR5_SPM_Approved.pdf)predicts future food and water supply insecurities, calls for both mitigation and adaptation

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2014/3/28/1395997331021/IPCC-011.jpgThe opening session of IPCC meeting in Yokohama. Photograph: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-change) has just published its latest Working Group II report (http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/images/uploads/IPCC_WG2AR5_SPM_Approved.pdf) detailing impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability associated with climate change. The picture it paints with respect to the consequences of continued climate change is rather bleak.
For example, the report discusses the risk associated with food insecurity due to more intense droughts, floods, and heat waves in a warmer world, especially for poorer countries. This contradicts the claims of climate contrarians like Matt Ridley (http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/2014/03/28/matt-ridley-op-ed-is-a-laundry-list-of-ipcc-misrepresentations/), who have tried to claim that rising carbon dioxide levels are good for crops.
While rising carbon dioxide levels have led to 'global greening' in past decades and improved agricultural technology has increased crop yields, research has indicated that both of these trends are already beginning to reverse (https://skepticalscience.com/ridley-murdoch-lomborg-greenwash-global-warming.html). While plants like carbon dioxide, they don't like heat waves, droughts, and floods. Likewise, economist Richard Tol has argued (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/27/ipcc-author-climate-report-alarmist) that farmers can adapt to climate change, but adaptation has its costs and its limits. In fact, the IPCC summary report notes that most studies project a decline in crop yields starting in 2030, even as global food demand continues to rise.
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2014/3/31/1396224969879/SPM.7.jpgSummary of projected changes in crop yields, due to climate change over the 21st century. Yellow indicates studies that project crop yield decreases, blue indicates studies projecting increases. From IPCC AR5 WGII SPM.The report also discusses risks associated with water insecurity, due for example to shrinking of glaciers that act as key water resources for various regions around the world, and through changing precipitation patterns. As a result of these types of changes, the IPCC also anticipates that violent conflicts like civil wars will become more common.
The number of people exposed to river floods is projected to increase with the level of warming over the remainder of the century. Sea-level rise will also cause submergence, flooding, and erosion of coastal regions and low-lying areas. And ocean acidification poses significant risk for marine ecosystems; coral reefs in particular.
The general risk of species extinctions rises as the planet warms. Moreclimate change (http://www.theguardian.com/science/scienceofclimatechange) means that suitable climates for species shift. The faster these climate zones shift, the more species will be unable to track and adapt to those changes.
"Many species will be unable to track suitable climates under mid- and high-range rates of climate change (i.e., RCP4.5, 6.0, and 8.5) during the 21st century (medium confidence). Lower rates of change (i.e., RCP2.6) will pose fewer problems."

The report also estimates that global surface warming of approximately 2°C above current temperatures may lead to global income losses of 0.2 to 2.0 percent. However,
"Losses are more likely than not to be greater, rather than smaller, than this range ... few quantitative estimates have been completed for additional warming around 3°C or above."

Even in the IPCC's most aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reductions scenario, we only limit global warming to around 1°C above current temperatures. In a business-as-usual scenario, temperatures warm about another 4°C – yet we have difficultly estimating the costs of warming exceeding another 2°C. In other words, failing to curb human-caused global warming poses major risks to the global economy.
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2014/3/29/1396134149881/IPCC_AR5_temp_rise.jpgNevertheless, there will be a certain amount of climate change that we won't be able to avoid, and the IPCC report notes that adaptation to those changes is also critically important. However, we first need to accept the scientific reality of human-caused climate change in order to plan for what's to come.
As a notable counter-example, the state of North Carolina recently introduced a bill that would require state coastal planning to ignore all new scientific research (http://www.skepticalscience.com/NC_SLR_saga.html) with regards to sea-level rise. Obviously we can't adapt to threats if we deny their existence. However, the IPCC report notes that many governments are already beginning to take steps to adapt to climate change impacts in their regions.
The good news is that the IPCC reports that many of these climate risks can be reduced by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and thus avoiding the worst climate change scenarios. The IPCC states with high confidence that risks associated with reduced agricultural yields, water scarcity, inundation of coastal infrastructure from sea-level rise, and adverse impacts from heat waves, floods, and droughts can be reduced by cutting human greenhouse gas emissions.
In the end it all boils down to risk management (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/mar/04/cartoon-climate-change-contrarian-managing-risk). The stronger our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the lower the risk of extreme climate impacts. The higher our emissions, the larger climate changes we'll face, which also means more expensive adaptation, more species extinctions, more food and water insecurities, more income losses, more conflicts, and so forth.
Contrarians have tried to spin the conclusions of the report to incorrectly argue (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-28/the-two-numbers-climate-economists-can-t-stand-to-see-together.html)that it would be cheaper to try and adapt to climate change and pay the costs of climate damages. In reality the report says no such thing. The IPCC simply tells us that even if we manage to prevent the highest risk scenarios, climate change costs will still be high, and we can't even grasp how high climate damage costs will be in the highest risk scenarios. As Chris Field, Co-Chair of Working Group II noted,
"With high levels of warming that result from continued growth in greenhouse gas emissions, risks will be challenging to manage, and even serious, sustained investments in adaptation will face limits"

We're committed to a certain amount of climate change, and as glaciologist Lonnie Thompson famously put it (http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/TBA--LTonly.pdf), "The only question is how much we will mitigate, adapt, and suffer". The latest IPCC report confirms that minimizing adaptation and suffering through risk management (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/aug/23/climate-change-greatest-risk-management-failure) by reducing human greenhouse gas emissions is a no-brainer.

You can download the whole report - or portions of it here: (http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/)

Albert Doyle
04-01-2014, 02:48 PM
Greg Burnham would be happy to know that a bill is going to Congress to disallow discussion of man-made climate change.

The republicans got it to this point by successfully passing anti-global warming bills in redneck states like North Carolina and Virginia. Typical bastions of rural ignorance and representatives like Strom Thurmond etc.

The republicans continue to be a backwards embarrassment to America.

Charlie Prima
04-01-2014, 03:33 PM
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Peter Lemkin
04-01-2014, 05:26 PM
Consensus: 97% of climate scientists agree
http://climate.nasa.gov/system/content_pages/main_images/Temp_anomaly.jpgTemperature data from four international science institutions. All show rapid warming in the past few decades and that the last decade has been the warmest on record.

http://climate.nasa.gov/assets/images/public/inner/reddit_btn.png (http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=300&winname=addthis&pub=xa-509aab6761a0674a&source=tbx-300&lng=en-US&s=reddit&url=http%3A%2F%2Fclimate.nasa.gov%2Fscientific-consensus&title=Climate%20Change%3A%20Consensus&ate=AT-xa-509aab6761a0674a/-/-/533af69c59e3a039/2&frommenu=1&uid=533af69c045d1b06&ufbl=1&ct=1&pre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.cz%2F&tt=0&captcha_provider=nucaptcha)264 (http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus#)

Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities,1 (http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus#ft1)and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. The following is a partial list of these organizations, along with links to their published statements and a selection of related resources.


Statement on climate change from 18 scientific associations"Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver." (2009)2 (http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus#ft2)

American Association for the Advancement of Science"The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society." (2006)3 (http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus#ft3)

American Chemical Society"Comprehensive scientific assessments of our current and potential future climates clearly indicate that climate change is real, largely attributable to emissions from human activities, and potentially a very serious problem." (2004)4 (http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus#ft4)

American Geophysical Union"Human‐induced climate change requires urgent action. Humanity is the major influence on the global climate change observed over the past 50 years. Rapid societal responses can significantly lessen negative outcomes." (Adopted 2003, revised and reaffirmed 2007, 2012, 2013)5 (http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus#ft5)

American Medical Association"Our AMA ... supports the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fourth assessment report and concurs with the scientific consensus that the Earth is undergoing adverse global climate change and that anthropogenic contributions are significant." (2013)6 (http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus#ft6)

American Meteorological Society"It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide." (2012)7 (http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus#ft7)

American Physical Society"The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now." (2007)8 (http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus#ft8)

The Geological Society of America"The Geological Society of America (GSA) concurs with assessments by the National Academies of Science (2005), the National Research Council (2006), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) that global climate has warmed and that human activities (mainly greenhouse‐gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s." (2006; revised 2010)9 (http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus#ft9)


International academies: Joint statement"Climate change is real. There will always be uncertainty in understanding a system as complex as the world’s climate. However there is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring. The evidence comes from direct measurements of rising surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures and from phenomena such as increases in average global sea levels, retreating glaciers, and changes to many physical and biological systems. It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities (IPCC 2001)." (2005, 11 international science academies)10 (http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus#ft10)

U.S. National Academy of Sciences"The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify taking steps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere." (2005)11 (http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus#ft11)


U.S. Global Change Research Program"The global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced increases in heat-trapping gases. Human 'fingerprints' also have been identified in many other aspects of the climate system, including changes in ocean heat content, precipitation, atmospheric moisture, and Arctic sea ice." (2009, 13 U.S. government departments and agencies)12 (http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus#ft12)


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.”13 (http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus#ft13)

“Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely* due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”14 (http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus#ft14)

*IPCC defines ‘very likely’ as greater than 90 percent probability of occurrence.


List of worldwide scientific organizationsThe following page lists the nearly 200 worldwide scientific organizations that hold the position that climate change has been caused by human action.

U.S. agenciesThe following page contains information on what federal agencies are doing to adapt to climate change.


1W. R. L. Anderegg, “Expert Credibility in Climate Change,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vol. 107 No. 27, 12107-12109 (21 June 2010); DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1003187107.
P. T. Doran & M. K. Zimmerman, "Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change," Eos Transactions American Geophysical Union Vol. 90 Issue 3 (2009), 22; DOI: 10.1029/2009EO030002.
N. Oreskes, “Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” Science Vol. 306 no. 5702, p. 1686 (3 December 2004); DOI: 10.1126/science.1103618.

2Statement on climate change from 18 scientific associations (2009) (http://www.aaas.org/sites/default/files/migrate/uploads/1021climate_letter1.pdf)

3AAAS Board Statement on Climate Change (2006) (http://www.aaas.org/news/press_room/climate_change/mtg_200702/aaas_climate_statement.pdf)

4ACS Public Policy Statement: Climate Change (2010-2013) (http://portal.acs.org/portal/PublicWebSite/policy/publicpolicies/promote/globalclimatechange/WPCP_011538)

5Human‐Induced Climate Change Requires Urgent Action (2013) (http://sciencepolicy.agu.org/files/2013/07/AGU-Climate-Change-Position-Statement_August-2013.pdf)

6Global Climate Change and Human Health (2013) (https://ssl3.ama-assn.org/apps/ecomm/PolicyFinderForm.pl?site=www.ama-assn.org&uri=%2fresources%2fdoc%2fPolicyFinder%2fpolicyfile s%2fHnE%2fH-135.938.HTM)

7Climate Change: An Information Statement of the American Meteorological Society (2012) (http://www.ametsoc.org/policy/2012climatechange.pdf)

8APS National Policy 07.1 Climate Change (2007) (http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/ssi/american-physical-society.pdf)

9GSA Position Statement on Climate Change (2010) (http://www.geosociety.org/positions/position10.htm)

10Joint science academies' statement: Global response to climate change (2005) (http://nationalacademies.org/onpi/06072005.pdf)

11Understanding and Responding to Climate Change (2005) (http://masgc.org/climate/cop/Documents/TNA_CC.pdf)

12Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (2009) (http://downloads.globalchange.gov/usimpacts/pdfs/climate-impacts-report.pdf)

13IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Summary for Policymakers (2007) (http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-direct-observations.html)

14IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Summary for Policymakers (2007) (http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-understanding-and.html)

Peter Lemkin
04-01-2014, 05:31 PM
IPCC reports consensus on emerging climate change risks





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The consequences of human-driven global climate change as this century progresses will be wide-ranging. Yet public discussion has focused narrowly on a largely spurious debate about the basic science of climate change.

Source The Conversation
UPDATED 9:10 AM - 31 MAR 2014

Uncertain future for Australia's tourism, agriculture industries: IPCC report (http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/03/31/uncertain-future-australias-tourism-agriculture-industries-ipcc-report)

By Anthony McMichael (http://theconversation.com/profiles/anthony-mcmichael-56), Australian National University; Colin Butler (http://theconversation.com/profiles/colin-butler-2065), University of Canberra, and Helen Louise Berry (http://theconversation.com/profiles/helen-louise-berry-8608), University of Canberra
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Impacts volume of the Fifth Assessment Report (http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/#.UxaQorG4ayQ) will be released today. Here, three contributors to the health chapter explain the ideas and evidence behind the report.
The consequences of human-driven global climate change as this century progresses will be wide-ranging. Yet public discussion has focused narrowly on a largely spurious debate about the basic science and on the risks to property, iconic species and ecosystems, jobs, the GDP and the economics of taking action versus taking our chances.
Missing from the discussion is the threat climate change poses to Earth’s life-support system – from declines in regional food yields, freshwater shortage, damage to settlements from extreme weather events and loss of habitable, especially coastal, land. The list goes on: changes in infectious disease patterns and the mental health consequences of trauma, loss, displacement and resource conflict.
In short, human-driven climate change poses a great threat (http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMra1109341), unprecedented in type and scale, to well-being, health and perhaps even to human survival.

https://62e528761d0685343e1c-f3d1b99a743ffa4142d9d7f1978d9686.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.c om/files/44613/width237/93nwctw9-1395705664.jpgExtreme weather events have contributed to a rise in global food prices.'Palm Trees, Wind and Ocean' by Brooke/Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/60699107@N00/360867322/in/photolist-xTxho-ytMDf-yCVwG-zk3uo-CLiY3-G59c5-Gv3TL-JUasF-P9TPn-23BCEn-2mq8Rq-2uvC92-31nQvJ-3nBG5S-4mAgSa-4mEprJ-4rC1yq-4rT75h-4x42Wb-4x43fS-4xRzaG-4FQHL7-4HbL5D-4JEiRt-4LwZXz-4VVWtK-54SQzw-56S8uT-5kyByB-5rTjG6-5sHtJQ-5ye9hh-5HherR-5Q4c2a-5QNcHT-5Rw7V1-5TgcpK-5XV4kk-5ZDwpr-62szR4-658TcX-66cKyi-67GVcR-6cT6QP-6eZC2k-6pEd47-6s4eqx-6xwJ3M-6BxaJS-6DcmY9-6EgcyC), CC BY-NC-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/)

The human health chapter in the second (“Impacts”) volume of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/#.UxaQorG4ayQ) concludes that the scientific evidence of many current and future risks to health has strengthened in recent years. The chapter, as in all IPCC reports, reviews all existing scientific evidence and is subject to external peer-review.
During at least the next few decades, the chapter states, climate change will mainly affect human health, disease and death by exacerbating pre-existing health problems. The largest impacts will occur in poorer and vulnerable populations and communities where climate-sensitive illnesses such as under-nutrition and diarrhoeal disease are already high – thus widening further the world’s health disparities.
Currently, the worldwide burden of ill-health clearly attributable to climate change is relatively small compared with other major blights on health such as from poverty, poor sanitation and exposure to tobacco.
Even so, in this early stage of human-driven climate change researchers in many countries have reported that rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns have, variously, increased heat-related illnesses and deaths, altered the distribution of some water-borne infectious diseases and the insect transmitters (vectors) of some diseases (such as malaria), and have reduced food yields in some already food-insecure populations.
Less certainly, extreme weather events, influenced in part by climate change, are likely to have contributed to the recent rise in global food prices.

https://62e528761d0685343e1c-f3d1b99a743ffa4142d9d7f1978d9686.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.c om/files/44610/width668/r9xvy6rf-1395705158.jpgClimate change may render some regions uninhabitable. Shutterstock (http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-106885685/stock-photo-heat-haze-rises-as-powerlines-blur-into-the-distance.html?src=ZBvVVrxSDzzYpo2KZhXVqg-1-7)

The chapter discusses three impact categories in particular:

under-nutrition and impaired child development due to reduced food yields
injuries, hospitalisations and deaths due to intense heat waves, fires and other weather disasters and
shifts in the seasonal duration and spatial range of infectious diseases.

There is also mounting evidence (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2799237/) of the adverse health consequences of workplace exposure to heat extremes, including reduced work capacity and productivity.
Looking ahead to 2100, for which some modelled scenarios now project an average global warming of 4 degrees Celsius, the report foresees that in such conditions people won’t be able to cope, let alone work productively, in the hottest parts of the year. And that’s assuming social and economic institutions and processes are still intact. Some regions may become uninhabitable.
Impacts on mental health could be similarly extreme, further limiting our collective capacity to cope, recover and adapt.
Overall, while limited health gains from climate change may occur in some regions, the health chapter concludes from the evidence that harmful impacts will greatly outweigh benefits. The impacts of climate change will also undermine hard-won gains achieved through social development programs, impeding progress in the world’s poorest countries.
The world community has dithered for two decades over climate change since it rose to prominence during the 1992 Earth Summit (http://www.un.org/geninfo/bp/enviro.html). As valuable time to reduce the risks (mitigation) has been squandered, the need to also focus on managing risk (adaptation) has increased. But excessive reliance on adaptation carries its own risks (http://greenhouse-2013.m.asnevents.com.au/event/abstract/6126) – including fooling ourselves that we don’t need immediate and aggressive mitigation.

https://62e528761d0685343e1c-f3d1b99a743ffa4142d9d7f1978d9686.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.c om/files/44614/width237/7yyb3sxz-1395706053.jpgPublic health programs can help manage the effects of climate change.Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (http://www.flickr.com/photos/106853342@N04/10717237335/in/photolist-hk3Dh4-hk4ij7-dyPSsL-b6Kgj2-c4aUVy-kUSxTZ-kUTT4G-kUSwYJ-kUSp9W-kUTuv5-kUR2LD-kUTmb9-kUR4vi-kUS3Bx-kUQUrX-kUTJ7J-kURyTZ-kURj12-kUSQnS-kUQBoR-8nz8rf-9y7gkx-b6KgFD-hdNxZq-hdNo5K-dNH7d2-9Ui5LZ-b6KgVz-b6KhcM-a9HWA2-bF9SKa-bF9SU6-bseZRb-b6Kg7D-8tU1zt-7FgYEk-fmJFJK-8GNyx2-b6KfSK-b6Kgvc-9VuPBP-7AcdLk-b6KhmV-baGyq4-9yaeuA-9yaexw-9y7fvM-9y7gop-9yadWs-9y7fAc-9yaehW), CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

The health chapter concludes that the most immediate effective way to manage health risks is through programs that introduce or improve basic public health measures. It also notes the need to boost human rights-based access to family planning.
As climate change proceeds, additional climate-specific measures (such as enhanced surveillance, early warning systems and climate-proofed building design) will be needed to protect population health, even in high-income settings. Recent extreme events such as the severe heat waves and fires in Australia in 2009-2014 and in Russia in 2010 underscore this need.
The chapter offers some cheer in stressing that the near-term and relatively localised health “co-benefits” (http://www-ramanathan.ucsd.edu/files/pr189.pdf)from reducing greenhouse emissions (mitigation) could be very large. Reducing emissions of methane and black carbon, for example, may avoid more than two million deaths per year.
Other mitigation actions (http://download.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140673609617591.pdf) likely to improve physical health, social connectedness and mental health include:

encouraging communities to be more active via improved public transport and reduced car reliance
reducing exposures to temperature extremes with well-insulated energy-efficient housing and
promoting healthier diets through the transformation of food production and processing systems.

https://62e528761d0685343e1c-f3d1b99a743ffa4142d9d7f1978d9686.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.c om/files/44611/width668/d99f3r3b-1395705292.jpgImpacts of climate change on mental health limit our capacity to cope, recover and adapt. Tim Caynes (http://www.flickr.com/photos/70021771@N00/4895714866/in/photolist-8sBPt1-9geR1m-aBQHSm-cBoq7s-dp3YvJ-by96Za-dpbQxz-dpbPmB-dpbJuc-dpbUM7-dpbVRU-dpbXiA-dpc2hw-dpbSyA-dpbRrG-aBjTsr-8KncvA-8pgjjh-e5Usgc-7zVKL1-8Nqfn3-97VwCD-ayxEqb-ayxEeC-c5UiJQ-84rHDG-9poZG6-ayTVf1-b2DPZ4-dMsbGW-9YabE4-bqxV6a-bLMB14-8ChXrJ-9Ubg4t-8qpTBY-7MH14D-dKmW5R-7K2VJG-cSc6Sm-ixCc1r-eiPD5j-8XmRKy-bgKBUz-bw1xNi-bHYQke-aRVYSa), CC BY-NC (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/)

In economic terms, the IPCC chapter judges that the health co-benefits from reducing emissions would be extremely cost-beneficial. They would, for example, be one thousand times greater than the economic co-benefits to agricultural yields from reduced exposures to short-lived, crop-damaging, airborne climate pollutants.
Overall, the up-front costs of reducing emissions could be substantially offset by early and extremely large health (and other) benefits.
Of course, none of this matters if human well-being, health and survival mean little to us. In that case we can emit all we like, then suffer, dwindle or even die out as a species and leave this planet to recover and thrive without us. One way or another we will then emit less.
We have a closing window of time in which to do something about global climate change.

Peter Lemkin
04-01-2014, 05:37 PM
If climate and ecosystem change and destruction - including: destruction of species, famines, violent storm killing millions, forced migrations, starvation, wars due to climate change, water shortages, depletion of sea and land animals and plants, disruptions of crops and Natural system [and one could easily go on...as I do in my courses] doesn't scare you......then go back to sticking your head in the dirt, like an ostrich. Its called reality and some reality is not easy for many to take - so they take the easy road - called denial....as the cognitive dissonance is too great for their fragile sensibilities. Strange to me that many who can face that JFK assassination and 911 were false-flag coup d'etats are afraid to look into the SCIENCE of global climate change - caused by humans - all too many humans - a plague on the planet - a species out of balance. Anyway, the deniers are in good company with the oil companies, the large multinationals, the Koch Bros. and many others of that ilk. Enjoy the denial while it lasts................not long.

Charlie Prima
04-01-2014, 06:36 PM
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Albert Doyle
04-01-2014, 07:40 PM
Seems like the science is right there.

Charlie Prima
04-02-2014, 12:21 AM
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Lauren Johnson
04-02-2014, 01:47 AM
Da professor is in da house!!::clown::

Peter Lemkin
04-02-2014, 04:33 AM
It's so sad that you either don't know the difference between Science and Science Fraud, or know it's fraudulent and promote the lies and half-truths for some other purpose.

You're simply posting to nay-say, without any evidence. I got my degrees and training at what is rated as the second or third best university in the US, precisely on the relevant subjects involved . I know it is somewhat popular for some in the 'research' orbit on JFK to be Anthropogenic Climate Change deniers. Look who you are in bed with and who is funding the few [3-5%] of scientists speaking against the consensus. The Koch Bros. are the biggest funders of those Climate Change denial scientists, followed by right-wing 'endowments' that fund pro-war; pro-oligarchy; pro-corporatism; anti-democratic ideas and activities. This is an exact parallel to what was done funding pro-cigarette voodoo science by the Tobacco lobby. The science is undeniable and firmly established in the scientific literature at this point, and has been since the 1950s when Rachael Carson wrote The Silent Spring. Many laughed at her then...but few are now. In that short time period, the situation of Environmental destruction and climate change has exponentially increased with the increase in technology and population growth of humans. The Native Americans noted back about 500 years ago that the European invaders besides being genocidal and filed with hate, were out of balance with and estranged from Nature - and correctly predicted they would destroy themselves due to these attitudes. One of many wise Native Americans was Chief Seattle. I would suggest you consider his words.

https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1226985080p2/331799.jpg (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle)Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle) > Quotes

Chief Seattle quotes:

“The earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth.”
― Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle), [I]The Chief Seattle's Speech (https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/39908027)

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”
― Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle)
__________________________________________________ _____
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children”

“The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”
― Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle)

“The earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.

Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. We did not weave the web of life, we are merely strands in it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves.”
― Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle)

“Continue to contaminate your bed and you will one night suffocate in your own waste. When the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses all tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men, and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires. Where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone. And what is to say good-bye to the swift and the hunt; the end of living and the beginning of survival.“
― Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle)

“If all the beasts were gone,
men would die
from a great loneliness of spirit,
for whatever happens to the beasts
also happens to the man.
All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the Earth
befalls the sons of the Earth.”
― Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle)

“Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. ”
― Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle)

“All things share the same breath - the beast, the tree, the man. The air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.”
― Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle)

“When the green hills are covered with talking wires and the wolves no longer sing, what good will the money you paid for our land be then”
― Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle)

“Earth does not belong to us; we belong to earth.
Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints.”
― Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle)

“When the Earth is sick, the animals will begin to disappear, when that happens, The Warriors of the Rainbow will come to save them.”
― Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle)

“All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the earth
Befalls the sons of the earth.
Man did not weave the web of life,
He is merely a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the web,
He does to himself.”
― Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle)

“Tribe follows tribe, and
nation follows nation, like the waves of the sea. It is the order of
nature, and regret is useless. Your time of decay may be distant, but
it will surely come, for even the White Man ... cannot be exempt from the common destiny.”
― Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle), The Chief Seattle's Speech (https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/39908027)

“Like a man who has been dying for many days, a man in your city is numb to the stench.”
― Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle)

“There is no death. . . Only a change of worlds.”
― Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle)

“This We Know. All Things Are Connected”
― Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle)

“The earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.”
― Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle)

“The Earth does not belong to man; Man belongs to the Earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”
― Chief Seattle (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/331799.Chief_Seattle)

Native Peoples worldwide have throughout time and even today are much more in contact with environmental realities and environmental justice/ethics than the out-of-touch city-dwellers and befoulers of their own bed 'civilized' humans can ever be. I suggest you read Derrick Jensen threads on this Forum - of the need to dismantle much of what passes for 'civilization' if we and other species are to survive

Charlie Prima
04-02-2014, 05:05 AM
- edited -

Peter Lemkin
04-02-2014, 06:05 AM
Secret funding helped build vast network of climate denial thinktanks

Anonymous billionaires donated $120m to more than 100 anti-climate groups working to discredit climate change science

• How Donors Trust distributed millions to anti-climate groups (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/14/donors-trust-funding-climate-denial-networks)

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Environment/Pix/columnists/2013/2/14/1360842744447/Funding-climate-deniersnn-008.jpgClimate sceptic groups are mobilising against Obama’s efforts to act on climate change in his second term. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120m (£77m) to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-change), the Guardian has learned.
The funds, doled out between 2002 and 2010, helped build a vast network of thinktanks and activist groups working to a single purpose: to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarising "wedge issue" for hardcore conservatives.
The millions were routed through two trusts, Donors Trust (http://www.donorstrust.org/) and theDonors Capital Fund (http://www.donorscapitalfund.org/), operating out of a generic town house in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. Donors Capital caters to those making donations of $1m or more.
Whitney Ball, chief executive of the Donors Trust told the Guardian that her organisation assured wealthy donors that their funds would never by diverted to liberal causes.
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Environment/Pix/columnists/2013/2/14/1360844795458/Koch-Industries-Executive-008.jpgThe funding stream far outstripped the support from more visible opponents of climate action such as the oil industry or the conservative billionaire Koch brothers. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images"We exist to help donors promote liberty which we understand to be limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise," she said in an interview.
By definition that means none of the money is going to end up with groups like Greenpeace, she said. "It won't be going to liberals."
Ball won't divulge names, but she said the stable of donors represents a wide range of opinion on the American right. Increasingly over the years, those conservative donors have been pushing funds towards organisations working to discredit climate science or block climate action.
Donors exhibit sharp differences of opinion on many issues, Ball said. They run the spectrum of conservative opinion, from social conservatives to libertarians. But in opposing mandatory cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, they found common ground.
"Are there both sides of an environmental issue? Probably not," she went on. "Here is the thing. If you look at libertarians, you tend to have a lot of differences on things like defence, immigration, drugs, the war, things like that compared to conservatives. When it comes to issues like the environment, if there are differences, they are not nearly as pronounced."
By 2010, the dark money amounted to $118m distributed to 102 thinktanks or action groups which have a record of denying the existence of a human factor in climate change (http://www.theguardian.com/science/scienceofclimatechange), or opposing environmental regulations.
The money flowed to Washington thinktanks embedded in Republican party politics, obscure policy forums in Alaska and Tennessee, contrarian scientists at Harvard and lesser institutions, even to buy up DVDs of a film attacking Al Gore.
The ready stream of cash set off a conservative backlash against Barack Obama's environmental agenda that wrecked any chance of Congress taking action on climate change.

Peter Lemkin
04-02-2014, 06:09 AM
The Lessons of Easter Island By Jared Diamond, Ph.D. http://away.com/features/easterisland.html
In just a few centuries, the people of Easter Island wiped out their forest, drove their plants and animals to extinction, and saw their complex society spiral into chaos and cannibalism. Are we about to follow their lead? Among the most riveting mysteries of human history are those posed by vanished civilizations. Everyone who has seen the abandoned buildings of the Khmer, the Maya, or the Anasazi is immediately moved to ask the same question: Why did the societies that erected those structures disappear? Among all such vanished civilizations that of the former Polynesian society on Easter Island remain unsurpassed in mystery and isolation.
Easter Island, with an area of only 64 square miles, is the world's most isolated scrap of habitable land. It lies in the Pacific Ocean more than 2,000 miles west of the nearest continent (South America), 1,400 miles from even the nearest habitable island (Pitcairn). Its subtropical location and latitude— at 27 degrees south, it is approximately as far below the equator as Houston is north of it—help give it a rather mild climate, while its volcanic origins make its soil fertile. In theory, this combination of blessings should have made Easter a miniature paradise, remote from problems that beset the rest of the world.
Giant Statues, Thriving Population
Easter Island's most famous feature is its huge stone statues, more than 200 of which once stood on massive stone platforms lining the coast. At least 700 more, in all stages of completion, were abandoned in quarries or on ancient roads between the quarries and the coast, as if the carvers and moving crews had thrown down their tools and walked off the job. Most of the erected statues were carved in a single quarry and then somehow transported as far as six miles, despite heights as great as 33 feet and weights up to 82 tons. The abandoned statues, meanwhile, were as much as 65 feet tall and weighed up to 270 tons.
The Dutch Admiral Roggeveen, onboard the Arena, was the first European to visit the island on Easter Sunday 1722. He found a society in a primitive state with about 3,000 people living in squalid reed huts or caves, engaged in almost perpetual warfare and resorting to cannibalism in a desperate attempt to supplement the meager food supplies available on the island. During the next European visit in 1770 the Spanish nominally annexed the island but it was so remote, under populated and lacking in resources that no formal colonial occupation ever took place. There were a few more brief visits in the late eighteenth century, including one by Captain Cook in 1774. An American ship stayed long enough to carry off twenty-two inhabitants to work as slaves killing seals on Masafuera Island off the Chilean coast. The population continued to decline and conditions on the island worsened: in 1877 the Peruvians removed and enslaved all but 110 old people and children. Eventually the island was taken over by Chile and turned into a giant ranch for 40,000 sheep run by a British company, with the few remaining inhabitants confined to one small village.
For at least 30,000 years before human arrival, a subtropical forest of trees and woody bushes towered over a ground layer of shrubs, herbs, ferns, and grasses. The earliest radiocarbon dates associated with human activities are around 400 to 700 A.D., in reasonable agreement with the approximate settlement date of 400 estimated by linguists. The period of statue construction peaked around 1200 to 1500, with few if any statues erected thereafter. Densities of archaeological sites suggest a large population; an estimate of 7,000 people is widely quoted by archaeologists, but other estimates range up to 20,000, which does not seem implausible for an island of Easter's area and fertility. Eventually Easter's growing population was cutting the forest more rapidly than the forest was regenerating. The people used the land for gardens and the wood for fuel, canoes, and houses— and, of course, for lugging statues. As forest disappeared, the islanders ran out of timber and rope to transport and erect their statues.
Disappearing Forests, Scarce Food
People also found it harder to fill their stomachs, as large sea snails and many seabirds disappeared. Because timber for building seagoing canoes vanished, fish catches declined and porpoises disappeared from the table. Crop yields also declined, since deforestation allowed the soil to be eroded by rain and wind, dried by the sun, and its nutrients to be leeched from it. Intensified chicken production and cannibalism replaced only part of all those lost foods. Preserved statuettes with sunken cheeks and visible ribs suggest that people were starving.
With the disappearance of food surpluses, Easter Island could no longer feed the chiefs, bureaucrats, and priests who had kept a complex society running. Surviving islanders described to early European visitors how local chaos replaced centralized government and a warrior class took over from the hereditary chiefs. By around 1700, the population had dwindled to one-quarter, then one-tenth of its former number. Around 1770 rival clans started to topple each other's statues, breaking the heads off. By 1864 the last statue had been thrown down and desecrated.
As we try to imagine the decline of Easter's civilization, we ask ourselves, "Why didn't they look around, realize what they were doing, and stop before it was too late? What were they thinking when they cut down the last palm tree?" I suspect, though, that the disaster happened not with a bang but with a whimper. Any islander who tried to warn about the dangers of progressive deforestation would have been overridden by vested interests of carvers, bureaucrats, and chiefs, whose jobs depended on continued deforestation. Our Pacific Northwest loggers are only the latest in a long line of loggers to cry, "Jobs over trees!" The changes in forest cover from year to year would have been hard to detect. Only older people, recollecting their childhood’s decades earlier, could have recognized a difference.
Learn and Live
By now the meaning of Easter Island for us should be chillingly obvious. Easter Island is Earth writ small. Today, again, a rising population confronts shrinking resources. We, too, have no emigration valve, because all human societies are linked by international transport, and we can no more escape into space than the Easter Islanders could flee into the ocean. Corrective action is blocked by vested interests, by well-intentioned political and business leaders, and by their electorates, all of whom are perfectly correct in not noticing big changes from year to year. Instead, each year there are just somewhat more people, and somewhat fewer resources, on Earth. It would be easy to close our eyes or to give up in despair. But there is one crucial difference. The Easter Islanders had no books and no histories of other doomed societies. Unlike the Easter Islanders, we have histories of the past—information that can save us. My main hope is that we learn from the fates of societies like Easter's.
Jared Diamond, Professor of Physiology at the UCLA School of Medicine, is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies. He is a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Fellowship, and has conducted wildlife research throughout the world.

Peter Lemkin
04-02-2014, 06:20 AM
How do we know humans are the primary cause of the warming?A large body of evidence supports the conclusion that human activity is the primary driver of recent warming. This evidence has accumulated over several decades, and from hundreds of studies. The first line of evidence is our basic physical understanding of how greenhouse gases trap heat, how the climate system responds to increases in greenhouse gases, and how other human and natural factors influence climate. The second line of evidence is from indirect estimates of climate changes over the last 1,000 to 2,000 years. These estimates are often obtained from living things and their remains (like tree rings and corals) which provide a natural archive of climate variations. These indicators show that the recent temperature rise is clearly unusual in at least the last 1,000 years. The third line of evidence is based on comparisons of actual climate with computer models of how we expect climate to behave under certain human influences. For example, when climate models are run with historical increases in greenhouse gases, they show gradual warming of the Earth and ocean surface, increases in ocean heat content, a rise in global sea level, and general retreat of sea ice and snow cover. These and other aspects of modeled climate change are in agreement with observations.

Climate Model Indications and the Observed Climatehttp://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/human-and-natural-influences-300.gif (http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/human-and-natural-influences.gif)
Simulated global temperature in experiments that include human influences (pink line), and model experiments that included only natural factors (blue line). The black line is observed temperature change.
Global climate models clearly show the effect of human-induced changes on global temperatures. The blue band shows how global temperatures would have changed due to natural forces only (without human influence). The pink band shows model projections of the effects of human and natural forces combined. The black line shows actual observed global average temperatures. The close match between the black line and the pink band indicates that observed warming over the last half-century cannot be explained by natural factors alone, and is instead caused primarily by human factors.

800,000 Year Record of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Concentrationshttp://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/800k-year-co2-concentration-300.gif (http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/800k-year-co2-concentration.gif)
Carbon dioxide concentration (parts per million) for the last 800,000 years, measured from trapped bubbles of air in an Antarctic ice core. The 2008 observed value is from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii and projections are based upon future emission scenarios. More information on the data can be found in the Climate Change Impacts on the U.S. (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/goodbye?src=http://www.globalchange.gov/usimpacts) report.
Over the last 800,000 years, natural factors have caused the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration to vary within a range of about 170 to 300 parts per million (ppm). The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by roughly 35 percent since the start of the industrial revolution. Globally, over the past several decades, about 80 percent of human-induced CO2 emissions came from the burning of fossil fuels, while about 20 percent resulted from deforestation and associated agricultural practices. In the absence of strong control measures, emissions projected for this century would result in the CO2 concentration increasing to a level that is roughly 2 to 3 times the highest level occurring over the glacial-interglacial era that spans the last 800,000 or more years.

Energy from the Sun Has Not Increasedhttp://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/solar-variability-300.gif (http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/solar-variability.gif)
Global surface temperature (top, blue) and the Sun's energy received at the top of Earth's atmosphere (red, bottom). Solar energy has been measured by satellites since 1978.
The amount of solar energy received at the top of our atmosphere has followed its natural 11-year cycle of small ups and downs, but with no net increase. Over the same period, global temperature has risen markedly. This indicates that it is e
xtremely unlikely that solar influence has been a significant driver of

Peter Lemkin
04-02-2014, 06:20 AM
How do we know the Earth's climate is warming?Thousands of land and ocean temperature measurements are recorded each day around the globe. This includes measurements from climate reference stations, weather stations, ships, buoys and autonomous gliders in the oceans. These surface measurements are also supplemented with satellite measurements. These measurements are processed, examined for random and systematic errors, and then finally combined to produce a time series of global average temperature change. A number of agencies around the world have produced datasets of global-scale changes in surface temperature using different techniques to process the data and remove measurement errors that could lead to false interpretations of temperature trends. The warming trend that is apparent in all of the independent methods of calculating global temperature change is also confirmed by other independent observations, such as the melting of mountain glaciers on every continent, reductions in the extent of snow cover, earlier blooming of plants in spring, a shorter ice season on lakes and rivers, ocean heat content, reduced arctic sea ice, and rising sea levels.
The Global Surface Temperature is Risinghttp://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/global-temp-and-co2-1880-2009-300.gif (http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/global-temp-and-co2-1880-2009.gif)
Global annual average temperature measured over land and oceans. Red bars indicate temperatures above and blue bars indicate temperatures below the 1901-2000 average temperature. The black line shows atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration in parts per million.
Global average temperature is one of the most-cited indicators of global climate change, and shows an increase of approximately 1.4°F since the early 20thCentury. The global surface temperature is based on air temperature data over land and sea-surface temperatures observed from ships, buoys and satellites. There is a clear long-term global warming trend, while each individual year does not always show a temperature increase relative to the previous year, and some years show greater changes than others. These year-to-year fluctuations in temperature are due to natural processes, such as the effects of El Ninos, La Ninas, and the eruption of large volcanoes. Notably, the 20 warmest years have all occurred since 1981, and the 10 warmest have all occurred in the past 12 years.

U.S. Surface Temperature is also Risinghttp://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/contiguous-us-temp-300.gif (http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/contiguous-us-temp.gif)
Annual surface temperatures for the contiguous U.S. compared to the 20th Century (1901-2000) average. Calculated from the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN version 2). More information: U.S. Surface Temperature Data (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/cag3.html), USHCN v2 (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ushcn/).
Surface temperatures averaged across the U.S. have also risen. While the U.S. temperature makes up only part of the global temperature, the rise over a large area is not inconsistent with expectations in a warming planet. Because the U.S. is just a fraction of the planet, it is subject to more year-to-year variability than the planet as a whole. This is evident in the U.S. temperature trace.

Sea Level is Risinghttp://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/sea-level-rise-300.gif (http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/sea-level-rise.gif)
Annual averages of global sea level. Red: sea-level since 1870; Blue: tide gauge data; Black: based on satellite observations. The inset shows global mean sea level rise since 1993 - a period over which sea level rise has accelerated. More information: Coastal Sensitivity to Sea Level Rise (USGCRP) (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/goodbye?src=http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap4-1/final-report/default.htm) andClimate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/goodbye?src=http://www.ipcc.ch/).
Global mean sea level has been rising at an average rate of approximately 1.7 mm/year over the past 100 years (measured from tide gauge observations), which is significantly larger than the rate averaged over the last several thousand years. Since 1993, global sea level has risen at an accelerating rate of around 3.5 mm/year. Much of the sea level rise to date is a result of increasing heat of the ocean causing it to expand. It is expected that melting land ice (e.g. from Greenland and mountain glaciers) will play a more significant role in contributing to future sea level rise.

Global Upper Ocean Heat Content is Risinghttp://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/ocean-heat-content-300.gif (http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/ocean-heat-content.gif)
Time series of seasonal (red dots) and annual average (black line) of global upper ocean heat content for the 0-700m layer since 1955. More information: BAMS State of the Climate in 2009 (http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams-sotc/2009/bams-sotc-2009-chapter3-global-oceans-lo-rez.pdf).
While ocean heat content varies significantly from place to place and from year-to-year (as a result of changing ocean currents and natural variability), there is a strong trend during the period of reliable measurements. Increasing heat content in the ocean is also consistent with sea level rise, which is occurring mostly as a result of thermal expansion of the ocean water as it warms.

Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover is Retreatinghttp://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/snow-cover-extent-300.gif (http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/snow-cover-extent.gif)
Average of monthly snow cover extent anomalies over Northern Hemisphere lands (including Greenland) since Nov 1966. Right: Seasonal snow cover extent over Northern Hemisphere lands since winter 1966-67. Calculated from NOAA snow maps. FromBAMS State of the Climate in 2009 report (http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams-sotc/2009/bams-sotc-2009-chapter2-global-climate-lo-rez.pdf).
Northern Hemisphere average annual snow cover has declined in recent decades. This pattern is consistent with warmer global temperatures. Some of the largest declines have been observed in the spring and summer months.

Glacier Volume is Shrinkinghttp://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/glacial-decrease-300.gif (http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/indicators/glacial-decrease.gif)
Cumulative decline (in cubic miles) in glacier ice worldwide. More information: Global Climate Change Impacts in the U.S. (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/goodbye?src=http://www.globalchange.gov/usimpacts)
Warming temperatures lead to the melting of glaciers and ice sheets. The total volume of glaciers on Earth is declining sharply. Glaciers have been retreating worldwide for at least the last century; the rate of retreat has increased in the past decade. Only a few glaciers are actually advancing (in locations that were well below freezing, and where increased precipitation has outpaced melting). The progressive disappearance of glaciers has implications not only for a rising global sea level, but also for water supplies in certain regions of Asia and South America.

U.S. Climate Extremes are Increasinghttps://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cmb-lib/cmb-templates/images/zoom.pngEnlarge above graph (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/cei/graph/cei/01-12). Annual Climate Extremes Index (CEI) value for the contiguous United States. Larger numbers indicate more acive climate extremes for a year. More information: CEI (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/cei/).
One way climate changes can be assessed is by measuring the frequency of events considered "extreme" (among the most rare of temperature, precipitation and storm intensity values). The Climate Extremes Index (CEI) (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/cei/) value for the contiguous United States is an objective way to determine whether extreme events are on the rise. The figure to the left shows the the number of extreme climate events (those which place among the most unusual of the historical record) has been rising over the last four decades.

Peter Lemkin
04-02-2014, 06:46 AM


Charlie Prima
04-02-2014, 12:01 PM
- edited -

Albert Doyle
04-02-2014, 01:57 PM
What you say is true. Scientists do respond rationally to market forces.

They say whatever they are paid to say, or they find another line of employment.

I'm glad you've taken this first step toward understanding how the world actually works.

Now examine the big picture of carbon taxation, and who pays for the "science" to establish that tax structure.

Do nothing. Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the sea level rise...

Keith Millea
04-02-2014, 06:19 PM
Native Peoples worldwide have throughout time and even today are much more in contact with environmental realities and environmental justice/ethics than the out-of-touch city-dwellers and befoulers of their own bed 'civilized' humans can ever be. I suggest you read Derrick Jensen threads on this Forum - of the need to dismantle much of what passes for 'civilization' if we and other species are to survive

The Sioux and other tribes have just set up a "spirit camp" to give a face to their struggle against the Keystone pipeline.

Story and video below:


R.K. Locke
04-02-2014, 06:34 PM
Just to give a bit of balance to this discussion, here are some Corbett Report episodes about climate change/AGW/call it what you will:






To make it easier, here is a link to all the search results:


I am still on the fence where this issue is concerned. I haven't studied it enough detail. I have, however, listened to a few of those Corbett Report episodes, and they definitely gave me pause for thought. I am 100% behind the idea of protecting the environment; but if it doesn't start with the activities of governments and major corporations (the biggest polluters by far) then it's pretty clear what kind of agenda is at work, whether the science supports it or not.

Peter Lemkin
04-02-2014, 08:12 PM
U.N. Climate Panel Issues Dire Warning of Threat to Global Food Supply, Calls for Action & Adaption

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued its most dire warning yet about how greenhouse gases have driven up global temperatures and extreme weather, while threatening sources of food and water. "Throughout the 21st century, climate-change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hot spots of hunger," the report says. We are joined by two climate scientists who helped write the IPCC’s report: Princeton University Professor Michael Oppenheimer and Saleemul Huq, a climate scientist at the International Institute for Environment and Development in London. We are also joined by Tim Gore, head of policy for Food and Climate Justice at Oxfam. "[Fossil fuel companies] are the drug suppliers to the rest of the world, who are junkies and hooked on fossil fuels," Huq says. "But we don’t have to remain hooked on fossil fuels. Indeed, we are going to have to cut ourselves off from them."

Transcript This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: The United Nations’ top climate body has warned that human-driven climate change has impacted every corner of the globe, with the poorest suffering the worst effects. In its latest report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says greenhouse gases have driven up global temperatures and extreme weather, while threatening sources of food and water.
And the worst is yet to come. The report (http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2/) declared, quote, "Throughout the 21st century, climate-change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hot spots of hunger." Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the IPCC, said nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change.

RAJENDRA PACHAURI: There is a reason for the world not really neglecting the findings of this report, because they are profound. And let me repeat once again, we have said very categorically in this report, the implications for human security. We have reasons to believe that if the world doesn’t do anything about mitigating the emissions of greenhouse gases and the extent of climate change continues to increase, then the very social stability of human systems could be at stake.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re joined now by three guests. Here in New York, Michael Oppenheimer is with us, professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University. He’s one of the main authors of the 32-volume report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
In London, Saleemul Huq joins us, a climate scientist at the International Institute for Environment and Development in London, also the director of the International Center for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh. He’s the lead author of one of the chapters in the just-released IPCC report.
And Tim Gore is head of policy for Food and Climate Justice at Oxfam. He was a civil society observer at the recent IPCC meeting in Yokohama, Japan, joining us by Democracy Now! video stream from Sweden.
We welcome you all to Democracy Now! Let’s begin with Saleemul Huq in London. Can you talk about the significance of this report, how it differs from the previous report and the warning that it represents in the world?
SALEEMUL HUQ: Well, it’s made a significant new finding since the last report seven years ago, in that we now have very, very strong evidence of climate change actually happening all over the world on—both on land as well as in the oceans, which we didn’t have the last time around. So there’s no question that it’s already happening and we’re living in a climate-changed world already. It then goes on to make projections into the future and says that if we continue to warm at the rate that we are now, we’re heading for 4 degrees or above by the end of the century, and that is really a catastrophic scenario in terms of the potential impacts that are likely to happen. Even at a lower temperature of 2 degrees, we can still possibly manage, but there will be significant losses in certain parts of the world of ecosystems and, indeed, human lives, as well.
AMY GOODMAN: And that 2 percent, just explain for—we have a global audience, but, of course, we have a lot of Americans here, and the 2 percent is more—2 degrees, rather.
SALEEMUL HUQ: Sure. Well, it’s 2 degrees centigrade, which is over three-and-a-half degrees Fahrenheit. And that’s the temperature threshold at which the global leaders in countries around the world have agreed that we need to stay below that, under which we can probably manage to cope with the impacts in most parts of the world, although even that will be difficult in some parts of the world. But if we go well above that to 4 degrees, which is where we are headed at the moment, then we would not only double, but we increase by orders of magnitude the potential impacts, in some cases unpredictably. And that’s really what we want to avoid. And hence, what we need to be doing in the longer term is to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases that cause the problem, so that we can bring the temperature down to 2 degrees or below and not to 4 degrees, where we are headed.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Michael Oppenheimer, could you comment on what Dr. Saleemul Huq said, especially the significance and likely impact of a possible 4-degree change in temperature, which is where we 'e headed if present emissions aren't reduced? And also speak specifically about what this report says about the issue of food production and security.
MICHAEL OPPENHEIMER: OK, let me comment specifically on a couple of aspects of the report, which are important from the point of view of what will affect human beings. And for the first time, we have evidence that the climate changes, which we knew were happening, are actually affecting the welfare of humans. And I’ll give you two examples.
Number one, crop yields, which for a long time had been growing at the rate of 10 or 15 percent per decade and managing, therefore, to keep up with population changes and also dietary changes—people eating up the food chain—those gains have slowed and, in many areas, have been reversed, with crop yields actually decreasing in some areas. In fact, many more decreasing—crop yields decreasing in many more areas than areas where they’re increasing. And that’s a worrisome trend. And unless there are major changes in technologies—for instance, introducing genetically modified organisms or improved crops—we’re just going to have a growing shortfall between the demand and the supply of food. That’s going to lead to increasing malnutrition and perhaps starvation in some areas as the decades progress in the century.
The other interesting area is that human health is being directly affected. There are more area—there are more cases now of people dying from heat-related death related to climate change than are being saved by the warmer winters. So we’re having more heat-related deaths tied to climate change than we are benefiting from the warmer winters. Together, that presents a very difficult picture, because we are sure—we are sure that heat waves, intense heat are going to increase as we go into the future.
Those are just two examples of how, as we move from a slightly warmer world of today to—as Saleem said, a 2-degree Celsius warmer world—to a 4-degree Celsius warmer world, eventually things spin out of our control. We had better reduce the emissions that are causing the problem, while at the same time getting better at adapting to climate change, because we’re stuck with some of it.
AMY GOODMAN: Tim Gore, you’re with a nongovernmental organization, with Oxfam. You’re head of the Food and Climate Justice division of Oxfam. Talk about what this means and where justice fits into the whole issue of climate change.
TIM GORE: Sure. Well, both Saleem and Michael have outlined some of the areas of the report that we are most concerned about, as well, particularly the impacts on food and the impacts on hunger. And Saleem is absolutely right. What’s really different about this report is that it’s saying this isn’t just an issue for the future. The future projections are worrying enough, but what’s really significant here is that the report is saying that this thing—these impacts are happening now. We can already see the impact on crop yields, as Michael was saying.
But the report also is clear that we can already see the impacts of climate change on food prices. So in the years since the last IPCC report was released in 2007, we’ve seen several instances of extreme food price volatility. And each of those have been connected in some way to extreme weather events which are hitting harvests in big crop-producing areas, whether in the U.S., in Russia or in Australia and so on. And that’s a very different picture of how climate change is impacting on food than we’ve had in the past. We’ve long said that climate change is a problem for poor farmers in developing countries that don’t have the resources that they need to cope with changing seasons, changing rainfall patterns, increasing temperatures, but what we’re hearing now is that climate change is a problem for global agriculture. It’s having global implications, including on food prices. And for Oxfam, that’s a big problem, because we know that people that spend upwards of 50 percent of their incomes on food are the ones that get really badly affected when prices rise so rapidly. And that’s just a foretaste of what we can expect in the future if we don’t get a grip on climate change.
AMY GOODMAN: Tim Gore is—
TIM GORE: You asked about it being a justice problem, and I would just say that, for us, it’s intrinsically a question of justice, because not only is it the inequalities in wealth and power which are driving climate change, it’s the fossil fuel industry which is making absolutely no bones about the fact that it’s going to continue to burn fossil fuels at a rate of knots, driving greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and driving this problem. That’s a problem of inequality of wealth and power of those corporations. But it’s also—it’s the poorest, it’s the least vulnerable [sic] that are ill-prepared to cope and are going to—are already feeling those impacts first and worst. And so, if anything, climate change is set to increase the inequalities that we see on this planet, and that really is a worrying picture for us.
AMY GOODMAN: Tim Gore is with Oxfam. They just put out a report (http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/policy/hot-and-hungry-how-stop-climate-change-derailing-fight-against-hunger) called "Hot and Hungry" on the first day of the IPCC meeting in Yokohama, Japan. We are also joined by Saleemul Huq and Michael Oppenheimer, both co-authors of the newly released [Intergovernmental] Panel on Climate Change report (http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2). We’ll come back to them in a moment.

AMY GOODMAN: "The History of Climate Change Negotiations in 83 Seconds." And for our radio listeners, you can go to our website at democracynow.org to see the whole 83 seconds. Yes, this is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh. As we talk about the new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2/), let’s go back to the recent U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, Poland, in 2013. We spoke with Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu (http://www.democracynow.org/2013/11/22/africa_is_being_pushed_closer_to), the former chair of the Africa Group at the U.N. climate change negotiations from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mpanu spoke about developed countries’ obligations to address the impacts of climate change.

[B]TOSI MPANU-MPANU: Well, it’s certainly not charity. I think it’s rather something along the lines of compensation, because runaway climate change is putting one billion Africans in harm’s way. Today those Africans have to go through adverse effect of a global phenomenon that they didn’t create. It’s actually creating not only droughts, floods; it’s creating conflicts, because people have to go further and further to get some water, and other people are not just welcoming them. So, Mr. Jones can drive two SUVs in the U.S., while a poor African is fighting to get some water. So it’s about doing what’s right. And it has to be done in two ways: to reduce their lifestyles, the consumption of carbon, in the North, and to provide some resources so that we can deal with the climate change phenomenon which was imposed on us.
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to get the comments of our guests today, Saleemul Huq and Michael Oppenheimer. Michael Oppenheimer, professor at Princeton University, and Saleemul Huq, both are co-authors of the newly released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2/). We’re also joined in Sweden by Tim Gore of Oxfam. Saleemul Huq in London, if you can talk about the effect of climate change on the least-developed countries, sticking with this theme of how this increases disparity in the world?
SALEEMUL HUQ: That’s absolutely right. As you heard from Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, poor countries have been hit hardest by the impacts of climate change and are already seeing those impacts. And there’s a group of poorest countries in the world called the least-developed countries, which are 50 of the poorest countries in the world, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, but also in Asia, including my country, Bangladesh, and these countries are recognized to be the most vulnerable. And there are obligations that the rich world have taken on to support them and help them. They have made pledges of funding, but they haven’t met those pledges fully yet, so that’s one aspect that they need to do.
On the other hand, one of the recent, if you like, new outcomes from the Fifth Assessment Report is that these countries aren’t sitting idle. They’re actually going ahead and trying to adapt to the potential impacts of climate change and the ones that they’re seeing. I’ll give you the example of my country, Bangladesh. Bangladesh has a very far-reaching climate change strategy and action plan. They’re putting in the order of a half-a-billion dollars of their own money into implementing it. At the same time, they’re asking for international donors to match that, and they’ve matched it to about half that level. But the country is not sitting idle; they’re going ahead at community level, at national level, at sector level. And so are a number of other least-developed countries. So, in many ways, the least-developed countries are actually leading the world in trying to find ways to tackle the impacts of climate change and adapt. But there is a limit to what they can do. As I said, perhaps up to 2 degrees, they can do it, but beyond that, it’s going to be much more difficult.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: I want to go back to comments that our Oxfam guest, Tim Gore, made about fossil fuels. The largest oil and gas company in the world, ExxonMobil, just released a report (http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/environment/climate-change/managing-climate-change-risks/carbon-asset-risk) after the IPCC report this week, saying that climate policies are, quote, "highly unlikely" to stop it from producing and selling fossil fuels in the near future. ExxonMobil’s report says, quote, "We believe producing these assets is essential to meeting growing energy demand worldwide, and in preventing consumers—especially those in the least developed and most vulnerable economies—from themselves becoming stranded in the global pursuit of higher living standards and greater economic opportunity." That’s a report from ExxonMobil released after the IPCC report came out this week. So, Michael Oppenheimer, could I get you to comment first on the impact of fossil fuels and what this means?
MICHAEL OPPENHEIMER: Well, first of all, the problem is caused, by and large, by burning coal, oil and, to a lesser extent, natural gas—the fossil fuels, which, by and large, power our society. It’s rather interesting that Exxon felt compelled to make any statement about it at all. What they’ve done in the past is fund groups to kick up a smokescreen of contrarian science—or contrarian non-science—to confuse the public. I think the company is slowly coming around to realizing that that won’t do much good over the long term. This is a problem that has to be grappled with. On the other hand, I don’t expect Exxon to say, "We’re going to give up the oil business." That is their business, after all. The question is: How are they going to position themselves with respect to particular U.S. political initiatives which will eventually happen again, like the bill in Congress in 2009 that was aimed at controlling emissions? Are they going to oppose President Obama’s efforts to use his regulatory authority to control emissions? Those are the key questions. The rest of it is rhetoric.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, talking about that politics, I mean, the House has approved a measure that would effectively force government agencies to stop studying climate change. The measure calls on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and related bodies to focus on forecasting severe weather, but not exploring one of its likely causes. I’m wondering if you could address this and the overall climate, if you will, in the United States—you’re a professor at Princeton University—around this pushback on whether humans are causing climate change?
MICHAEL OPPENHEIMER: Well, first of all, that’s clearly an ostrich-head-in-the-sand policy: If you pretend you can’t see it, then it’s not happening. And it doesn’t—isn’t going to do us any good, obviously. It isn’t going to stop climate change. And it’s symptomatic of, unfortunately, an attitude that we’ve seen in parts, particularly the House of Representatives, you know, where people just don’t believe in science. And that’s something that has to change, or else we can never effectively grapple not only with this problem, but a whole raft of issues in our very highly technological society. You know, what the future holds in that regard, it’s hard to tell. I’m not the first one to point out to you that this country is polarized terrifically politically. This is a problem which, if it’s going to be solved, goes to the root of our energy system. We need a bipartisan approach to solving it. And the political rhetoric and the political inaction, that is freezing everything these days, really gets in the way.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Tim Gore, before we continue, I’d like you to talk about some of the work that Oxfam has done and its experience with people on the ground dealing with the impact of climate change. You’ve spoken specifically about an irrigation project in Zimbabwe, for instance. Could you talk about the impact already being felt in many parts of the world as a consequence of climate change?
TIM GORE: Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, Oxfam is working in many countries right around the world already grappling with those impacts, with small-scale farmers across sub-Saharan Africa, working with them to understand how the seasons are changing, what that means for their cropping patterns, helping them to think about different seeds, different planting regimes, helping with small-scale irrigation schemes. Actually, in Bangladesh, in Saleem’s country, Oxfam is doing a lot of work on early warning systems to make sure that fisherfolk and other people living in highly vulnerable areas, essentially below sea level, get the information that they need about incoming storm surges or cyclones, so that they can get out of harm’s way in time. So, I think, as Saleem says, there’s a whole raft of action that is going on now in some of the poorest countries to try to adapt to climate change. And that’s very welcome, and we’re working on that in partnership with many other organizations.
But as Saleem has also said, there are real limits here to what the poorest countries can do on their own. You only have to look at the amount of money that rich countries are spending on adaptation. In the U.S., for example, I think the Congress approved something like $60 billion for the recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy in New York. I mean, those are the orders of magnitude that we’re talking about in terms of dealing with this problem. Another example from the U.S. is the amount of money that—public money that’s currently being spent to support farmers in the U.S. to deal with climate impacts or to insure their crops, something on the order of a billion or so—for a billion dollars of public money going in to support the insurance schemes that protect farmers in the U.S. in the wake of losses like we’ve seen from the droughts in 2012 or currently ongoing in California. Now, that’s—those are huge sums of money, of public money, being invested by rich countries in their own protection, their own adaptation, their own preparedness for climate impacts. Poorest—the poorest countries on the planet simply don’t have those resources to draw upon. They are investing some of their money, but they need more support from the international community, from the rich countries that, in the end, have emitted most of the greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. And it’s they that are responsible for providing some of that money to make sure that the poorest people, who are least responsible for this problem, get the kinds of resources that they need to adapt.
And the example that you gave from Zimbabwe is important, because it’s an example, actually, of the limits to adaptation. And although we can do a lot and we must do a lot to adapt to climate change, we’re also starting to see already in some instances that there are limits to adaptation. You can’t adapt to any types of climate impacts. And that particular example in Zimbabwe is of an irrigation scheme where it helps the local community to deal with more erratic rainfall, but when you get very extreme droughts, the water table drops so low that there is not enough water pressure to get water into the system. And it just goes to highlight that in the end, although we must increase our efforts to adapt very rapidly, unless we also reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, the levels of global warming we’re going to see will also surpass our adaptive capacities within the next two, three, four decades. And so, it’s absolutely critical that we scale up adaptation, but at the same time we drive down greenhouse gas emissions. That’s the only way to protect the poorest people on the planet from going hungry because of climate change.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to a report (http://heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/CCR-IIb/Full-Report.pdf) released the same day as the IPCC report by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, or NIPCC. The study was funded completely by the Heartland Institute, a think tank that’s systematically questioned climate change. This is what the report had to say about global warming: quote, "A modest warming of the planet will result in a net reduction of human mortality from temperature-related events. More lives are saved by global warming via the amelioration of cold-related deaths than those lost under excessive heat. Global warming will have a negligible influence on human morbidity and the spread of infectious diseases, a phenomenon observed in virtually all parts of the world," they said. Tim Gore, can you comment on this pushback, but also talk about the kind of momentum, if there is momentum, leading not just to Peru next year, but the binding summit that will take place in Paris in 2015? The Heartland Institute may not be significant in the world, but in the United States it’s part of that force that’s trying to prevent any kind of binding action on climate change.
TIM GORE: Yeah, and this is—you know, goes back to the problem of corporations like Exxon, the powerful economic interests that are currently profiting from our high-carbon economic model and that stand to lose the most from a transition to a low-carbon, fair alternative. And, you know, we know that, when you can track the financing from those groups into groups like the Heartland Institute and others that are lobbying the U.S. government, lobbying interests also in Brussels, trying to prevent the European Union from taking more ambitious action on climate change, lobbying in the Australian context, as well, and are behind many of the more aggressive steps that the Australian government has taken on climate change in recent months, as well. So, this is an incestuous influence of the fossil fuel industry. We’re seeing it in our planet politics all around the world, and it’s working directly against the interests of the poorest and the most vulnerable people on the planet, who are already being impacted by climate change.
And we have to stand up to that. And I think that’s why you’re seeing an increasing movement starting to build, starting to swell, with strong roots there in the U.S. around divestment, around starting to say, actually, if we want to get serious about tackling this problem, there’s no question of a partnership with some of these energy companies. They simply don’t have any interest in seeing climate change tackled. What we have to do is we have to get the money, the investment, out of those companies and into cleaner, sustainable, renewable energy alternatives.
AMY GOODMAN: Saleemul Huq, we just—
TIM GORE: And that, I think—
AMY GOODMAN: We just have 15 seconds, if you could comment from London on that point of where you’re going from here? And, Michael Oppenheimer, 15 seconds, as well.
SALEEMUL HUQ: Well, I think, you know, to cite the example of the fossil fuel companies that you mentioned, it’s like they are the drug suppliers to the rest of the world who are junkies and are hooked on fossil fuels. But we don’t have to remain hooked on fossil fuels. Indeed, we are going to have to cut ourselves off from them if we want to see a real transition and prevent the kinds of temperature rises that I mentioned, up to 4 degrees. The only way is to wean ourselves off the fossil fuels that we use at the moment.
AMY GOODMAN: Professor Oppenheimer?
MICHAEL OPPENHEIMER: I just want to point out it’s not just a problem for the rest of the world. Just think about Hurricane Sandy. Think about how hard it was to deal with that storm. That’s today’s storms. Think about what happens over the next 10, 20, 30 years, when sea level goes up and the storms, in all cases—in most cases, get worse.

Albert Doyle
04-02-2014, 09:15 PM
I think the material Peter posted (which I read all of) proves the science.

Lauren Johnson
04-02-2014, 09:45 PM
I think the material Peter posted (which I read all of) proves the science.

Albert, that is the point. The only way to refute global warming is to caste doubt on the science itself. If we let this stand, then we might as well go back to "debating" whether cigarette (excuse me, nicotine delivery devices) are hazardous to one's health. Yah, let's have us a good 'ol American debate. Yah, baby. Free speech rocks. The American way.

Although, I am now going to contradict myself. I do have questions about the behavioral sciences and economics. I just have one word. Just one word. Tavistock.

A story: 6 months ago I was standing at 17,000' 3 miles from Everest Base Camp. I was looking down on the Khumbu glacier -- the disappearing Khumbu glacier, which started melting in earnest 50 years ago. It's just stunning. The view? Unbelievable. Looking up at Nuptse, Pumori, the edge of the Khumbu icefall, and the top 300' feet of Everest. The other stunning part was looking at how much of the glacier is gone, which is very easy to see because of the lateral moraines define the old margins of the glacier.

Yah, sure. Sun cycles, and other bull shit dreamed up by non-think tanks.

No, I didn't get to EBC. I got pulmonary edema, which is a fatal condition, and I had to get helicoptered out. Trip over.

Charlie Prima
04-02-2014, 10:27 PM
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Albert Doyle
04-03-2014, 03:53 AM
Have you also examined the misconduct in detail?

Yes, Climate Crock has exposed the falsehoods waged by deniers well:


Peter Lemkin
04-03-2014, 04:33 AM
Just to give a bit of balance to this discussion, here are some Corbett Report episodes about climate change/AGW/call it what you will:






To make it easier, here is a link to all the search results:


I am still on the fence where this issue is concerned. I haven't studied it enough detail. I have, however, listened to a few of those Corbett Report episodes, and they definitely gave me pause for thought. I am 100% behind the idea of protecting the environment; but if it doesn't start with the activities of governments and major corporations (the biggest polluters by far) then it's pretty clear what kind of agenda is at work, whether the science supports it or not.

For Deep Political issues I think James Corbett is one of the best, that said, he is not trained in the sciences [was an English major] and not good on Environmental change. It is a scientific topic and while I understand well why those who with good reason don't trust authorities that run the World, I don't understand the jump from that to include scientists, generally. There is a consensus among those scientists trained in the related fields. A few are paid to 'believe' otherwise [as was the case with tobacco and Monsanto and one can go on and on...]...a very few believe otherwise on their own....and most of them are highly religious, I find - and likely believe both the biblical tale that the Earth was created for 'man's use and abuse' and that their benevolent god wouldn't allow such a thing to happen. Whatever, the consensus is in and it gets worse and worse [the predictions and the timetable], as the junk humans are pouring into the environment increase and begin to take effect. If one knows the amounts of CO2, Methane, CFC's, other greenhouse gasses, chemicals, aerosols, pharmaceuticals, plastics, waste, junk of every kind and more chemicals unknown in nature are poured into water, air, soil by the hundreds of millions of tons/day to expect the system [Gaia] to NOT change is foolish - and change is what we see - dramatic change and matching exactly the time frame and amounts of these things dumped into the environment. This alone with the out of control increase in population, overuse of resources, deforestation, paving over the planet, bringing up and burning buried sources of Carbon, invention of unique exotic chemicals and even lifeforms - this is to any biological or environmental scientist the logical prescription for disaster - which is where we are headed. Those of you with children or grandchildren are not leaving them a secure World - in fact, quite the opposite. We have befouled our bed and home, and now are going to pay the price. Estimates are a minimum of 4 degrees C increase and maximum of 10 by the end of the Century. Humans nor most other species can handle what that will bring. Even a 2 degree [on average] increase will bring disaster almost unimaginable. Currently we have had slightly less than 1 degree, but that is increasing very quickly! It is not just climate change that is the problem. It is the entire blind view of humans to use anything they want, generate any byproducts and waste they want, and to be out of balance with Nature. On can, as we have, but not for long. We are headed for the same end [if for different reasons] as the dinosaurs - and not in a timeframe that is normal for species destruction. At the moment aprox. 250 species are going extinct EVERY DAY, with the rate increasing quickly. We have cut more than half of all forests and paved them over or planted single crops that do not turn CO2 into biomass the way trees do. We have taken away the habitat from most other species....and soon will our own. Humans are on that same list - and the ONLY cause of it. It is suicide and specicide on a grand scale. It is very sad. If some humans want to destroy the Planet and life on it because it makes them rich and powerful, they must be stopped. If others blindly follow because they don't understand the science and can't see beyond their TV and backyard, they must be made aware. We are totally out of balance with Nature. We are the unnatural species and have no right to destroy other living things; nor have we the right to kill those innocent young and yet unborn humans who will suffer horrible fates due to what we have done and are doing, continue to do. Most of the coral reefs are now dead. Most of the fish that humans have overused in the seas are gone or soon will be. The glaciers and icecaps are melting. The sea is both warming and becoming more acidic - as well as filled with poisons. Ditto water bodies on land. The air is poisoned as is the air and both are warming. Warm air has more energy and means more violent weather patterns - which is what we see. Chemicals are killing many species. Drugs are killing many species. Humans are getting more cancer and rare diseases. All is rapidly spinning out of control. Yet, the deniers who reject the consensus of scientists expect these same scientists will come up with some technological fix....well, don't hold your breath. The ONLY thing that will save the day, in part, is a completely new paradigm of our relationship with the Planet, with Nature and with how we live on Gaia - back to how the Native Americans and other Indigenous peoples understood they were part of the web of life and not apart from it. Our hubris has destroyed us and life on the Planet. We are on the abyss and must change immediately and with such a great degree of change it will shock most and be painful. There is no other choice. Climate change is ONLY ONE of many interrelated things humans have done and are doing to destroy the ecosystem on our only Planet - our and other species home! Most humans have no awareness of the balance of Nature - nor its necessity. Environmental scientists and others do. Fail to heed the warnings at the species' [ours and all others] peril. It is that bad - and that 'late'. It is now known that most civilizations of the past collapsed due to environmental degradation - but that was in a limited area - now we are 'globalized' and our changes 'globalized', as well. We will soon go the way of the Easter Islanders, the Inca, and so many other civilizations. The Sahara was once forested and lush. Humans caused it to become desert. Ditto Mesopotamia. Time to wake up and deal with the hard realities or die, as a species. The other species already are.......

Charlie Prima
04-03-2014, 11:18 AM
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Albert Doyle
04-03-2014, 02:45 PM
Sure you did. Your use of the emotional propaganda term "Denier" destroyed your credibility.

With you and your one-liners determining credibility - right?

The science Peter shows, and you are in denial of, adequately proves global warming. The crap you write is the classic means by which deniers deny global warming.

Deniers say CO2 always followed temperature in the ice core record. While true deniers don't give heed to the fact this record spike in CO2 might precipitate an unprecedented temperature rise that could have apocalyptic consequences. Deniers think their usual tricks somehow get them around this.

Charlie Prima
04-03-2014, 03:11 PM
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Peter Lemkin
04-12-2014, 02:57 PM
The Climate Deniers Are Using the Same Tactics as the Tobacco Industry By Thom Hartmann (http://www.opednews.com/author/author1486.html)

(image by IMAGE: INTERNET (http://tumeke.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-problem-for-climate-deniers-like.html))

As it becomes increasingly obvious that global warming is entering doomsday scenario territory, the fossil fuel industry is ramping up the propaganda war.

Last week, the so-called Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) released its fifth report "debunking" the findings (http://nipccreport.org/reports/ccr2b/pdf/Full-Report.pdf) of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
According to the NIPCC report, which was published by the conservative think tank the Heartland Institute, global warming is nothing to worry about. It's just a natural process that's happened hundreds of times before. If anything, the report concludes, global warming could be a good thing because extra CO2 in the atmosphere means more air for plants to breath.
Not surprisingly, Fox So-Called News has picked up on the NIPCC report and is treating it like real science. (http://www.truth-out.org/:http:/www.foxnews.com/science/2014/04/09/new-report-claims-un-findings-on-climate-change-is-just-bunch-hot-air/?utm_term=0_876aab4fd7-160aa3dc43-303421281&utm_content=bufferc0d9a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer)
But if you're wondering why 97 percent of scientists disagree with the NIPCC on global warming, Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast says it's because the entire climate science community has been "corrupted (http://www.foxnews.com/science/2014/04/09/new-report-claims-un-findings-on-climate-change-is-just-bunch-hot-air/?utm_term=0_876aab4fd7-160aa3dc43-303421281&utm_content=bufferc0d9a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer)" by environmentalists.

In reality, though, it's the NIPCC and the Heartland institute that are corrupt and dishonest.
To quote Deep Throat, just follow the money.
The Heartland Institute, the think tank that published the NIPCC report, is largely funded by the fossil fuel industry and its allies. In fact, it's received around $67 million dollars over the past 30 years from donors like Exxon Mobil, the Koch Brothers, and the Scaife Foundation. All stand to get very, very rich if we continue pumping greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere (http://www.desmogblog.com/heartland-denial-palooza-sponsors-have-received-67-million-exxonmobil-koch-and-scaife-foundations).
The NIPCC report's leading authors, meanwhile, are a virtual who's who of the climate denial industry. Dr. Fred Singer, the group's founder, has been pushing the lie that global warming isn't a big deal for decades now, and fossil fuel companies have helped him out (http://www.desmogblog.com/s-fred-singer) all along the way. Another author, Craig Idso, actually used to work for coal giant Peabody Energy (http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/04/08/heartland-institutes-smoke-and-mirrors-attempt/198805).
Make no mistake about it: the NIPCC report is one giant scam created by the fossil fuel industry to trick the public into thinking global warming is a lie.
History, it seems, is repeating itself in the worst possible way. Back in the 1990s, the people behind the NIPCC climate change denial machine used to shill for another not-so-reputable industry: the tobacco industry.
As lawsuits and Congressional hearings turned public opinion against the tobacco industry, the Heartland Institute pushed out bunk study after bunk study claiming that there was no connection between secondhand smoke and cancer.
In 1998, for example, current Heartland President Joseph Bast argued (http://heartland.org/policy-documents/july-1998-five-lies-about-tobacco-tobacco-bill-wasnt-about-kids) in a piece for the think tank's website that the "EPA had to twist and torture its data to find a public health risk from secondhand smoke."
The Heartland Institute's PR campaign was so crucial to the tobacco industry's cause that Phillip Morris executive Tom Borelli actually listed supporting the Heartland Institute as one of his company's most important strategies in a 1993 memo called (http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/action/document/page?tid=ufu92e00) the "Five Year Plan."
At the same time as Heartland towed the big tobacco party line, NIPCC founder Fred Singer was busy pumping out some blatant pro-tobacco of his own. In 1993, he joined up with the Philip Morris' favorite PR firm APCO Associates to "debunk" studies showing the link (http://www.exposethebastards.com/who_is_s_fred_singer) between secondhand smoke and cancer.

All this, of course, was done to protect the interests of giant tobacco companies who denied in front of Congress that nicotine was addictive.
There are few coincidences in history. The fossil fuel industry today appears to be following the exact same script used by the tobacco industry in the 1990s.
If you're an optimist, you might point to tobacco settlement of the 1990s and say that eventually the truth will prevail and the bad guys will get outed.
But remember, it took more than 30 years after Surgeon General Luther Terry warned the American people about the dangers of smoking to hold the tobacco industry accountable for the deaths it was causing and continues to cause.
With global warming, we may not have that kind of time. Some scientists think runaway climate change could kill off the human race in a matter of decades.
It's time for the American people and the media to wake up and call out the climate denial industry for what it is, a scam, before it's too late.

After all, the future of humanity is at stake.

Albert Doyle
04-12-2014, 05:50 PM
Who most closely represents the way the American Government is run? Global Warming aware people or the Heartland deniers? The FBI warns that environmentalists are dangerous terrorists. So which side and its effect does the US government more closely resemble?

Peter Lemkin
04-13-2014, 06:34 AM
Odds that global warming is due to natural factors: Slim to none
April 11, 2014

McGill University

An analysis of temperature data since 1500 all but rules out the possibility that global warming in the industrial era is just a natural fluctuation in the earth’s climate, according to a new study.

Polar bear in melting Arctic. Statistical analysis rules out natural-warming hypothesis with more than 99% certainty.
Credit: © st__iv / Fotolia

[Click to enlarge image]

An analysis of temperature data since 1500 all but rules out the possibility that global warming in the industrial era is just a natural fluctuation in the earth's climate, according to a new study by McGill University physics professor Shaun Lovejoy.

The study, published online April 6 in the journal Climate Dynamics, represents a new approach to the question of whether global warming in the industrial era has been caused largely by man-made emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Rather than using complex computer models to estimate the effects of greenhouse-gas emissions, Lovejoy examines historical data to assess the competing hypothesis: that warming over the past century is due to natural long-term variations in temperature.
"This study will be a blow to any remaining climate-change deniers," Lovejoy says. "Their two most convincing arguments - that the warming is natural in origin, and that the computer models are wrong - are either directly contradicted by this analysis, or simply do not apply to it."
Lovejoy's study applies statistical methodology to determine the probability that global warming since 1880 is due to natural variability. His conclusion: the natural-warming hypothesis may be ruled out "with confidence levels great than 99%, and most likely greater than 99.9%."
To assess the natural variability before much human interference, the new study uses "multi-proxy climate reconstructions" developed by scientists in recent years to estimate historical temperatures, as well as fluctuation-analysis techniques from nonlinear geophysics. The climate reconstructions take into account a variety of gauges found in nature, such as tree rings, ice cores, and lake sediments. And the fluctuation-analysis techniques make it possible to understand the temperature variations over wide ranges of time scales.
For the industrial era, Lovejoy's analysis uses carbon-dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels as a proxy for all man-made climate influences - a simplification justified by the tight relationship between global economic activity and the emission of greenhouse gases and particulate pollution, he says. "This allows the new approach to implicitly include the cooling effects of particulate pollution that are still poorly quantified in computer models," he adds.
While his new study makes no use of the huge computer models commonly used by scientists to estimate the magnitude of future climate change, Lovejoy's findings effectively complement those of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he says. His study predicts, with 95% confidence, that a doubling of carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere would cause the climate to warm by between 2.5 and 4.2 degrees Celsius. That range is more precise than - but in line with -- the IPCC's prediction that temperatures would rise by 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius if CO2 concentrations double.
"We've had a fluctuation in average temperature that's just huge since 1880 - on the order of about 0.9 degrees Celsius," Lovejoy says. "This study shows that the odds of that being caused by natural fluctuations are less than one in a hundred and are likely to be less than one in a thousand.
"While the statistical rejection of a hypothesis can't generally be used to conclude the truth of any specific alternative, in many cases - including this one - the rejection of one greatly enhances the credibility of the other."

Story Source:
The above story is based on materials (https://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/channels/news/global-warming-just-giant-natural-fluctuation-235236) provided by McGill University (http://www.mcgill.ca/). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

S. Lovejoy. Scaling fluctuation analysis and statistical hypothesis testing of anthropogenic warming. Climate Dynamics, 2014; DOI: 10.1007/s00382-014-2128-2 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00382-014-2128-2)

Albert Doyle
04-13-2014, 01:38 PM
In America "Heartland" roughly equates to the red states and their Republican constituency. If you look at a political map of America the Republican states are mostly the rural and farming states drawn along some very precise political and geographical borders. This is basically the divide and conquer strategy of some very criminal powers that exploit the differences of Americans for their purposes. More and more Republicanism in America is equated with criminal international and progressive acts and policies.

Peter Lemkin
05-08-2014, 03:46 AM
NERMEEN SHAIKH: A major new report (http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report) warns that human-driven climate change is already having dramatic health, ecological and financial impact across the nation. The study, known as the National Climate Assessment, was released by the White House on Tuesday and is being called a possible "game changer" for efforts to address climate change. The study details how the consequences of climate change are hitting on several fronts: rising sea levels along the coasts, droughts and fires in the Southwest, and extreme precipitation across the country.
AMY GOODMAN: The assessment finds the number and strength of extreme weather events have increased over the past 50 years. And it describes an ongoing sea-level rise, which it says will increase the risk of erosion and storm-surge damage, raising the stakes for the nearly five million Americans living in coastal areas. The report also concludes the past decade was the country’s warmest on record, and the human influence on climate has, quote, "roughly doubled the probability of extreme heat events." After the report was released Tuesday, President Obama spent part of day discussing its major findings with television meteorologists from across the country.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The assessment is clear: Not only is climate change a problem in the future, it’s already affecting Americans. It’s increasing the likelihood of floods, increasing the likelihood of drought. It’s increasing the likelihood of storms and hurricanes. It’s having an impact on our agriculture. It’s having an impact on our tourism industries. And people’s lives are at risk. So, the emphasis on the climate action plan that I’ve put forward, as well as this assessment, is there are things we can do about it, but it’s only going to happen if the American people and people around the world take the challenge seriously.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, for more, we’re joined now by Radley Horton. He’s a climatologist at the Center for Climate Systems Research at Columbia University. He co-wrote the Northeast region chapter of the new National Climate Assessment.
Radley Horton, welcome to Democracy Now! Talk about these overall findings and the significance of your report.
RADLEY HORTON: So this is the most comprehensive look yet at how climate change is already affecting the United States. We’re seeing sea levels eight inches higher on average; in the Northeast, a foot higher. We’ve seen average temperatures go up by one-and-a-half degrees; two degrees in the Northeast. We’re seeing the heaviest rain events already getting stronger. So climate change is already happening, and it is having impacts for all Americans. That’s one of the key messages of the report.
AMY GOODMAN: What makes your report different?
RADLEY HORTON: So I think what’s unique about this report is how comprehensive the voices were that were included in this discussion. So we had about 300 authors. We had scientists, public/private-sector stakeholders, members of indigenous groups, local communities, all getting together and really identifying climate changes that are happening right now, also beginning to propose solutions. And if you compare this report to, say, the IPCC report, with that global take, you find a sort of closer look at different slices of American society here. So we have assessments for eight regions, a variety of sectors. We looked for the first time at some of the ways that impacts across sectors can create double whammies. For example, we looked back at Hurricane Sandy, how we saw failures in the electrical grid having impacts on our ability to distribute food, to keep heat and power on for other people, and how that just created a broad variety of impacts.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: And you co-authored the Northeast region part of the report, so could you speak specifically about the impacts here?
RADLEY HORTON: Absolutely. So, some of the things that we highlighted in the Northeast are that we’ve had faster sea-level rise than the global average. We’ve actually had about a foot of sea-level rise in the Northeast. That’s already changing the frequency of coastal flooding. We have so much infrastructure along the coast. A lot of it’s aged. It’s critical, everything from I-95 to our rail corridors, Amtrak, commuter railroad; as I mentioned earlier, those electrical substations; wastewater treatment plants. As sea levels rise and we get more frequent coastal flooding, that infrastructure is going to continue to be compromised, and our most vulnerable populations are going to suffer more. But it’s not just sea-level rise. We’ve also seen the fastest increase in heavy rain events, downpours in the Northeast, roughly a 70 percent increase in the amount of rain in those very intense storms just since the middle of the last century.
AMY GOODMAN: What causes these kind of climate changes?
RADLEY HORTON: Yes, so at the most general level, of course, as greenhouse gas concentrations have gone up, we’ve got about 40 percent more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now than we did under pre-industrial conditions. That is warming the planet. It’s changing the amount of moisture in the atmosphere. As the ocean expands, it’s causing sea levels to rise. When we start to get into some of the regional variations, why we’re seeing differences in the Northeast versus other areas, part of the story is that the land is just sinking a little bit in the Northeast. But another part of the story—
AMY GOODMAN: What does that mean?
RADLEY HORTON: OK, so, basically, New York City and much of the Northeast coast is actually sinking at about three inches per century, really just in response to the last ice age. So it has nothing to do with the climate change that’s happening right now. It’s really just sort of the surface of the land sinking down. So we have about eight inches of global sea-level rise. We have a little bit of land sinking. But there’s another factor in the Northeast from a research perspective that we’re looking at: Will the strength of the Gulf Stream change in a way that will cause the ocean height to come up a little bit along the Northeast coast? That’s emerging research. But really, the bottom line is that sea-level rise alone, you know, the sort of central projection is two to three feet this century. You could call that a fairly conservative projection. That will more than triple the frequency of coastal flooding in the Northeast, even if storms don’t get any stronger. You wouldn’t need stronger hurricanes. Just raising that baseline turns what used to be one-in-a-hundred-year flood event into something that you can expect during the lifetime of the typical mortgage.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: You’ve also suggested that some cities and states have taken steps to limit the impact of climate change and reduce emissions. What are some of those steps? Where are those places, first of all? And what more do you think needs to be done?
RADLEY HORTON: Yeah, so I’m glad you brought that up. That’s another way that this assessment really differs from some of the past work. In the last five or six years, we really have seen more articulation of the ways that we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the variety of steps we can take to deal with some of these climate changes that are basically bound to happen. In terms of some of the places that are at the vanguard, a lot of it is cities. You know, certainly think of places like New York; Los Angeles has a climate action plan; San Francisco; Boston.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: So what kinds of steps has New York taken, for example?
RADLEY HORTON: OK, so New York City has done a variety of things. They are looking at elevating critical infrastructure, raising homes, also green infrastructure. It’s expanding wetland areas to the extent that’s possible. Also, there have been some strategies to deal with more frequent heat waves that are expected in the future. So this is planting more trees so that we have more shade, putting cooling centers in so to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our population when we have heat waves. Those are a couple of the things New York City has done.
AMY GOODMAN: Now, on the issue of Superstorm Sandy, the intensity of the hurricane, explain what causes this kind of intensity.
RADLEY HORTON: Yeah, so, a hurricane, part of the story—it takes a lot of factors to come together to generate a hurricane. At the beginning, for a hurricane like Sandy, the story starts over West Africa with sort of a small depression, just a low-pressure system that has to form. As it gets out over the Atlantic Ocean, if the conditions are right, if you have a warm upper ocean, if the wind patterns are consistent, that storm can grow and grow. Now, what we can say in terms of how Sandy might have been impacted by a changing climate, there’s really only one piece where the link is 100 percent, and that’s the issue of the amount of coastal flooding. As I said earlier, sea levels a foot higher in the Northeast than they were a century ago, the majority of that due to climate change, that raised the floor. It raised that baseline. When Sandy came, it pushed the floodwaters further inland. It pushed the wave damage further inland.
There’s emerging research looking at questions like how the intensity of the storms themselves might change. Will a warming upper ocean make storms stronger? There’s a lot of reason to think so, but it’s not a sure thing, because we’ve got to look at other things, like how the change in wind directions in the atmosphere could change. Then there’s also even more speculative, but potentially very important research talking about changes in the Arctic, loss of sea ice. Could that actually change these jet stream patterns? If you recall, we had this sort of very unusual configuration that allowed Sandy to take this sort of left hook. It’s too early to say whether climate change could make that sort of thing more common, but from a risk perspective, it may be worth considering. And we can say for sure that higher sea levels are going to increase coastal vulnerability, not just in the Northeast, but elsewhere.
AMY GOODMAN: On the first anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, then-Mayor Bloomberg here in New York said the city is being rebuilt to better handle future storms.

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: If another storm like Sandy ever approaches our shores, it will find a far different city from the one that Sandy left behind, a city much more able to withstand the kind of surging sea waters and punishing winds that Sandy brought. We are building New York City back stronger and smarter so that we’ll be resilient to a broad range of extreme weather events in the future, including big coastal storms.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Mayor Bloomberg. Is it true the—New York is preparing, this region, New York, New Jersey?
RADLEY HORTON: I think it is true that New York City has shown leadership. It goes back to before Sandy. Bloomberg convened an adaptation task force back in 2008. We had PlaNYC beginning to look at ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, going back even further than that. So New York City, I think, has stepped up and faced the climate risks. We’re having the climate conversation here. The infrastructure sectors are looking at their vulnerabilities today to things like heat waves, heavy rain events. But we have to keep in mind that these projected changes are very large. And I mentioned earlier, we have aging infrastructure. It’s a major challenge. And I think everybody needs to be at the table in New York City, but also nationally, right, because there’s huge coordination issues involved here, as well.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: And does the report make specific suggestions as to what particular cities and states ought to be doing to limit the effects of climate events like Hurricane Sandy?
RADLEY HORTON: Yeah, so what the report does is proposes a range of possible strategies. It talks a lot about why we need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions quickly if we want to get on a trajectory that avoids the really extreme sea-level rise, that avoids big changes in the frequency of heat waves. And it also talks a lot about adaptation, proposing a range of different strategies.
AMY GOODMAN: Earlier this year, news broke that the entire state of California is in drought for the first time in 15 years. More than three-quarters of California is experiencing extreme drought. California Governor Jerry Brown urged residents to curb their usage by, for example, refusing glasses of water in restaurants. Governor Brown said the drought was tied to long-term climate change. He went on to say, quote, "We are playing Russian roulette with our environment." Southern California has also been battling a string of wildfires. This is Governor Brown speaking in January.

GOV. JERRY BROWN: It’s important, first of all, to awaken all Californians to the serious matter of drought, because we’re facing perhaps the worst drought that California has ever seen since records began being kept about a hundred years ago. Well, I think the drought emphasizes that we do live in an era of limits, that nature has its boundaries, and we have to be as efficient and elegant in the way we live and the way we conduct ourselves.
AMY GOODMAN: Your response to California Governor Jerry Brown? And talk about the difference between what’s happening in the Northeast and what’s happening on the West Coast.
RADLEY HORTON: Yeah, so it’s really important to emphasize that different regions are going to experience climate change in different ways. In the Northeast, we’re very worried about more heavy rain events. In parts of the West, California, and the Southwest, water is a big concern right now, not having enough water. And a lot of the climate change projections suggest that will get worse. We can’t say for sure how much climate change is causing what’s been experienced in the last year specifically, but we can say that higher temperatures are going to mean more evaporation. You’d need more rainfall, basically, just to maintain the soil balance, moisture balance that you need for agriculture. Another huge projection out of the West is a lot of the snowpack is expected to decrease, right, as temperatures rise. That snowpack is sort of the vital reservoir for summer moisture, as that snow melts, provides rain—provides water for the agriculture. If that snowpack reservoir decreases, it’s a huge issue, huge water issue. And along with that decrease in water, more competition for the remaining water and greater risk of wildfires, as you alluded to earlier.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: So you mentioned agriculture. What does the report say about the likely impact of climate change on food production?
RADLEY HORTON: Yeah, so the—the story on agriculture is a complicated one in the U.S. The report acknowledges that in the next couple decades, increases in carbon dioxide due to global warming could help crops a little bit for a couple decades. We also do expect to see the growing season expand, right, as temperatures rise.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: How will it help crops? How will—
RADLEY HORTON: Most crops do well when they have extra carbon dioxide. They’re able to basically decrease the amount to which they’re sort of exposed to the atmosphere. They can get that carbon dioxide easier. The bottom line is it can mean that they don’t have to give up as much water. They can sort of hold the water they have better with more carbon dioxide. And also we might have a longer growing season.
But that’s really only part of the story. We have to also be thinking about how pests might change. A lot of weeds are going to do really well with climate change. A lot of insect pests that are damaging to agriculture and ecosystems, more broadly, will do well, as well. So I think in the longer term, and as we look to other parts of the world, the guidance really is that climate change is posing huge challenges to agriculture.
AMY GOODMAN: Fox doesn’t see it that way. I wanted to turn to Dana Perino, the co-host of Fox News’s The Five. She’s the former spokesperson for President Bush. She took issue with President Obama’s focus on climate change, challenging meteorologists to shift the conversation away from climate change and towards, of all things, the 2012 attacks in Libya.

DANA PERINO: Tomorrow President Obama is going to do interviews with meteorologists all across the country about a new climate change report.

ERIC BOLLING: Yes, because the science is settled.

DANA PERINO: I hope they ask him about Benghazi.

ERIC BOLLING: Yeah, there you—

DANA PERINO: Like the weatherman from, like, Montana should ask him about Benghazi. That’d be great.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Dana Perino on Fox. Radley Horton?
RADLEY HORTON: So, from a risk management perspective, the question is: Is climate change something we need to be thinking about? And I think this report, just released, makes it very clear that sea-level rise is going to dramatically change the frequency of coastal flooding. It’s going to have impacts on all sectors of America, right? Our ports. Think about all the military installations along the coast, our valuable cities. There are huge economic implications. So, climate change can also be a risk multiplier, can have impacts on the probability of certain types of conflict around the world, too. It’s not just a question of what’s happening within our borders.
RADLEY HORTON: So I think—yes.
AMY GOODMAN: What about the Midwest?
RADLEY HORTON: The Midwest is an area where we’ve seen some increase in heavy rainfall events, as well. It’s an area where agriculture in the next couple decades may be able to do a little better as those carbon dioxide concentrations go up with a longer growing season. In the bigger term, though, we expect much more frequent heat waves. Those very heavy rain events, those downpours, can pose big challenges.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: But in the U.S., there are still some who believe that climate change isn’t occurring, or if it is, humans have nothing to do with it, human activity has nothing to do with it. And even the majority who do believe it’s happening aren’t that concerned about it. So does the report say anything about how to make climate change a more urgent issue for more Americans?
RADLEY HORTON: So this report, for the first time, talks about communication strategies. It talks about ways for some of this climate information, which is being produced to a greater extent than ever before, can actually sort of get into decision making. Just to give one example from the Northeast, in Maine, they’re working a lot right now on basically expanding the size of drainage pipes—it sounds very boring—those sort of culverts under roads. They need to be replaced every year. And when there’s storm damage, they need to be replaced even more frequently. We’re basically mainstreaming making those pipes wider than they used to be to accommodate some of these heavier rainstorms. So the climate information is coming in, and it’s sort of informing decision making in everything from sort of mundane ways—how to expand, you know, storm pipes—to grand thinking about our coastlines.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: What impact do you think this report is likely to have on some of the climate policies that the Obama administration is considering?
RADLEY HORTON: Well, I think this report really tells the story very succinctly about how all Americans are going to be impacted by climate change, how it’s a nonpartisan issue. When people are suffering, when people are making decisions about investments, decisions about where they want to live, how to protect their most vulnerable communities, they’re not thinking in a political context. So I think the report lays out, the science is clear: Climate change is already happening. Sure, there are going to be some uncertainties, but from a risk perspective, we know enough already about how rising sea levels are changing the frequency of coastal flooding. Higher temperatures are loading the dice towards more frequent heat events and heavier rain events. From a risk perspective, are we better off considering those changing probabilities or assuming we’ll continue to get what we used to get in the past?
AMY GOODMAN: The issue of the House of Representatives voting—passing legislation that said NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, cannot talk about climate change but only talk about severe weather? Also, the Tennessee Legislature not fully outlawing public transit, but going in that direction?
RADLEY HORTON: Yeah, so, I mean, we need to see these links. Extreme weather events are not just weather. They’re not just something that you predict a few days in advance. As the climate is changing, as sea levels rise, as temperatures go up, the probabilities change. So climate change and increasing greenhouse gases are impacting these extreme events that we know are so critical for society. That’s one of the real messages from this report.
AMY GOODMAN: Finally, it’s very interesting that President Obama did interviews with meteorologists yesterday, because they are key in shaping this country’s attitude. I mean, they flash "severe weather," "extreme weather" as their lower third when they’re talking. People often just tune into TV or radio to get weather reports. But rarely do they ever link those two words, "severe weather," with another two, "global warming" or "climate change." In fact, a number on—I’m not just talking Fox, but on the networks are climate deniers. When they speak off air, even sometimes on air, they question whether humans are involved with climate change. Talk about the significant role of meteorologists in all of this.
RADLEY HORTON: Yeah, I think meteorologists are critical, as you say. Local news is still a critical source of information for a lot of people. They want to hear about what’s happening right where they live, what’s been happening recently, that local context in which most people make their decisions. So, meteorologists are a trusted source of information. If they can help sort of spread this message that climate change is already changing the frequency of these extreme events, it’s already changing the context in which people are planting crops, making other decisions about their water usage, it can be a huge additional source of information and help people connect the dots, right, because people are sort of starting to observe some of these changes, but they lack that sort of broader context, in some cases, that this isn’t just a local phenomenon. We’re seeing global changes.
AMY GOODMAN: Should they be certified as a meteorologist if they haven’t had this training or education? Or do they have it, and they just don’t talk about it on television?
RADLEY HORTON: I don’t know enough to answer the question specifically about different meteorologists’ training. I think there’s—my thought would be probably there’s a broad range of perspectives in terms of the background. Some people have probably gone a lot further in their training than others. But, you know, I think you can certainly cite a lot of examples around the country of meteorologists who are bringing in some of this climate information. And hopefully the president’s interaction with meteorologists yesterday will further that.

Peter Lemkin
05-11-2014, 06:33 AM
NASA [partly] funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'?

Natural and social scientists develop new model of how 'perfect storm' of crises could unravel global system

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/About/General/2010/11/1/1288641509988/This-NASA-Earth-Observato-006.jpgThis Nasa Earth Observatory image shows a storm system circling around an area of extreme low pressure in 2010, which many scientists attribute to climate change.

A new study partly-sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.
Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history." Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to "precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common."
The independent research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary 'Human And Nature DYnamical' (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (http://www.sesync.org/), in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The HANDY model was created using a minor Nasa grant, but the study based on it was conducted independently. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics.
It finds that according to the historical record even advanced, complex civilisations are susceptible to collapse, raising questions about the sustainability of modern civilisation:
"The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent."

By investigating the human-nature dynamics of these past cases of collapse, the project identifies the most salient interrelated factors which explain civilisational decline, and which may help determine the risk of collapse today: namely, Population, Climate, Water, Agriculture, andEnergy (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/energy).
These factors can lead to collapse when they converge to generate two crucial social features: "the stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity"; and "the economic stratification of society into Elites [rich] and Masses (or "Commoners") [poor]" These social phenomena have played "a central role in the character or in the process of the collapse," in all such cases over "the last five thousand years."
Currently, high levels of economic stratification are linked directly to overconsumption of resources, with "Elites" based largely in industrialised countries responsible for both:
"... accumulated surplus is not evenly distributed throughout society, but rather has been controlled by an elite. The mass of the population, while producing the wealth, is only allocated a small portion of it by elites, usually at or just above subsistence levels."

The study challenges those who argue that technology will resolve these challenges by increasing efficiency:
"Technological change can raise the efficiency of resource use, but it also tends to raise both per capita resource consumption and the scale of resource extraction, so that, absent policy effects, the increases in consumption often compensate for the increased efficiency of resource use."

Productivity increases in agriculture and industry over the last two centuries has come from "increased (rather than decreased) resource throughput," despite dramatic efficiency gains over the same period.
Modelling a range of different scenarios, Motesharrei and his colleagues conclude that under conditions "closely reflecting the reality of the world today... we find that collapse is difficult to avoid." In the first of these scenarios, civilisation:
".... appears to be on a sustainable path for quite a long time, but even using an optimal depletion rate and starting with a very small number of Elites, the Elites eventually consume too much, resulting in a famine among Commoners that eventually causes the collapse of society. It is important to note that this Type-L collapse is due to an inequality-induced famine that causes a loss of workers, rather than a collapse of Nature."

Another scenario focuses on the role of continued resource exploitation, finding that "with a larger depletion rate, the decline of the Commoners occurs faster, while the Elites are still thriving, but eventually the Commoners collapse completely, followed by the Elites."
In both scenarios, Elite wealth monopolies mean that they are buffered from the most "detrimental effects of the environmental collapse until much later than the Commoners", allowing them to "continue 'business as usual' despite the impending catastrophe." The same mechanism, they argue, could explain how "historical collapses were allowed to occur by elites who appear to be oblivious to the catastrophic trajectory (most clearly apparent in the Roman and Mayan cases)."
Applying this lesson to our contemporary predicament, the study warns that:
"While some members of society might raise the alarm that the system is moving towards an impending collapse and therefore advocate structural changes to society in order to avoid it, Elites and their supporters, who opposed making these changes, could point to the long sustainable trajectory 'so far' in support of doing nothing."

However, the scientists point out that the worst-case scenarios are by no means inevitable, and suggest that appropriate policy and structural changes could avoid collapse, if not pave the way toward a more stable civilisation.
The two key solutions are to reduce economic inequality so as to ensure fairer distribution of resources, and to dramatically reduce resource consumption by relying on less intensive renewable resources and reducing population growth:
"Collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion."

The NASA-funded HANDY model offers a highly credible wake-up call to governments, corporations and business - and consumers - to recognise that 'business as usual' cannot be sustained, and that policy and structural changes are required immediately.
Although the study based on HANDY is largely theoretical - a 'thought-experiment' - a number of other more empirically-focused studies - byKPMG (http://www.kpmg.com/global/en/issuesandinsights/articlespublications/future-state-government/pages/resource-stress.aspx) and the UK Government Office of Science (http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/goscience/docs/p/perfect-storm-paper.pdf) for instance - have warned that the convergence of food, water and energy crises could create a 'perfect storm' within about fifteen years. But these 'business as usual' forecasts could be very conservative (http://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-the-rise-of-the-post-carbon-era/).

Dr Nafeez Ahmed (http://www.nafeezahmed.com/) is executive director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development (http://www.iprd.org.uk/) and author of A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilisation: And How to Save It (http://www.crisisofcivilization.com/) among other books. Follow him on Twitter @nafeezahmed (https://twitter.com/NafeezAhmed)

Peter Lemkin
05-13-2014, 05:48 PM
New studies show global warming (http://www.democracynow.org/topics/global_warming) has helped cause an irreversible collapse of the ice sheet in western Antarctica. Scientists from NASA and the University of Washington say human driven-climate change (http://www.democracynow.org/topics/climate_change) has sped up the glaciers’ retreat, threatening a global sea rise in the coming centuries from four to 13 feet. In a video released by NASA, scientist Eric Rignot of the University of California-Irvine said the melting has "passed the point of no return."

Eric Rignot: "We’ve passed the point of no return, and at this point it’s just a matter of time before these glaciers completely disappear to sea. This system is evolving very fast and is progressing exactly as you would expect if it was about to collapse to sea. They’re retreating at rates of about a kilometer per year. If these glaciers were sustaining this rate of retreat, they would disappear completely in a couple of centuries."
Rising sea levels pose the biggest threat to coastal areas and low-lying island nations, which are vulnerable to surging waters like those seen in Superstorm Sandy (http://www.democracynow.org/topics/hurricane_sandy).