Our Common Good

Humans must immediately implement a series of radical measures to halt carbon emissions or prepare for the collapse of entire ecosystems and the displacement, suffering and death of hundreds of millions of the globe’s inhabitants, according to a report commissioned by the World Bank. The continued failure to respond aggressively to climate change, the report warns, will mean that the planet will inevitably warm by at least 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, ushering in an apocalypse.

The 84-page document,“Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must Be Avoided,” was written for the World Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics and published last week. The picture it paints of a world convulsed by rising temperatures is a mixture of mass chaos, systems collapse and medical suffering like that of the worst of the Black Plague, which in the 14th century killed 30 to 60 percent of Europe’s population.

A planetwide temperature rise of 4 degrees C—and the report notes that the tepidness of the emission pledges and commitments of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will make such an increase almost inevitable—will cause a precipitous drop in crop yields, along with the loss of many fish species, resulting in widespread hunger and starvation. Hundreds of millions of people will be forced to abandon their homes in coastal areas and on islands that will be submerged as the sea rises. There will be an explosion in diseases such as malaria, cholera and dengue fever. Devastating heat waves and droughts, as well as floods, especially in the tropics, will render parts of the Earth uninhabitable. The rain forest covering the Amazon basin will disappear. Coral reefs will vanish. Numerous animal and plant species, many of which are vital to sustaining human populations, will become extinct. Monstrous storms will eradicate biodiversity, along with whole cities and communities. And as these extreme events begin to occur simultaneously in different regions of the world, the report finds, there will be “unprecedented stresses on human systems.” Global agricultural production will eventually not be able to compensate. Health and emergency systems, as well as institutions designed to maintain social cohesion and law and order, will crumble. The world’s poor, at first, will suffer the most. But we all will succumb in the end to the folly and hubris of the Industrial Age. And yet, we do nothing. [continue]

mothernaturenetwork:

Great Barrier Reef heating upThe warming increases the risk of coral bleaching, wherein the symbiotic organisms that allow coral to thrive are expelled.

mothernaturenetwork:

Great Barrier Reef heating up
The warming increases the risk of coral bleaching, wherein the symbiotic organisms that allow coral to thrive are expelled.

After Warmest 12-Months On Record, U.S. Poised To See Warmest Year Ever In 2012 By Joe Romm Sep 2012

barrywone-blog:

Graphic illustrating temperature anomalies for some of the warmest years on record in the U.S., and how much cooler than average the September through December period would need to be to avoid setting a record for the warmest year. Credit: Climate Central/NCDC.

Climate Central notes “according to The Weather Channel, taking only the years since World War II, the odds of not surpassing the warmest year are just 7 percent.” But that estimate, of course, downplays the effect on the odds of the recent manmade warming.

Entire story.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: U.S. EXPERIENCES THE MOST EXTREME EIGHT-MONTH PERIOD FOR WEATHER EVER RECORDED

barrywone-blog:

The period from January to August 2012 saw the most extreme weather in recorded history throughout the contiguous U.S., according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The agency’s Climate Extremes Index, which tracks the top 10 percent extremes in drought, precipitation, and temperature, was more than double the average value since the index was started in 1910.

The eight-month period between January and August was also the warmest on record for the lower 48 states, according to NOAA’s State of the Climate report. The report shows that the summer of 2012 was the third warmest ever recorded for the U.S. — only .2 degrees F lower than the summer of 1936, during the height of the Dust Bowl.

Our climate system, juiced by carbon pollution, is smashing old records faster than a baseball player on steroids.

climateadaptation:

Republicans officially want the federal government to give hand-outs to private businesses. Media too effin’ stupid to report the double-talk.

Here.

justinspoliticalcorner:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick, is a virulent denier of climate science, with a voting record to match.

favorite of the Koch brothers, Ryan has accused scientists of engaging in conspiracy to “intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change.” He has implied that snow invalidates global warming.

Paul Ryan Promoted Unfounded Conspiracy Theories About Climate Scientists.In a December 2009 op-ed during international climate talks, Ryan made reference to the hacked University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit emails. He accused climatologists of a “perversion of the scientific method, where data were manipulated to support a predetermined conclusion,” in order to “intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change.” Because of spurious claims of conspiracy like these, several governmental and academic inquiries were launched, all of which found the accusations to be without merit. [Paul Ryan, 2/11/09]

Paul Ryan Argued Snow Invalidates Global Warming Policy. In the same December 2009 op-ed, Ryan argued, “Unilateral economic restraint in the name of fighting global warming has been a tough sell in our communities, where much of the state is buried under snow.” [Paul Ryan, 2/11/09]

Paul Ryan Voted To Eliminate EPA Limits On Greenhouse Pollution. Ryan voted in favor of H.R. 910, introduced in 2011 by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas pollution. [Roll Call 249, 4/7/11]

Paul Ryan Voted To Eliminate Light Bulb Efficiency Standards. In 2011, Ryan voted to roll back light-bulb efficiency standards that had reinvigorated the domestic lighting industry and that significantly reduce energy waste and carbon pollution. [Roll Call 563, 7/12/11]

Paul Ryan Voted For Keystone XL. In 2011, Ryan voted to expedite the consideration and approval of the construction and operation of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. [Roll Call 650, 7/26/11]

Paul Ryan Budget Kept Big Oil Subsidies And Slashed Clean Energy Investment.House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed FY 2013 budget resolution retained a decade’s worth of oil tax breaks worth $40 billion, while slashing funding for investments in clean energy research, development, deployment, and commercialization, along with other energy programs. The plan called for a $3 billion cut in energy programs in FY 2013 alone. [CAP,3/20/12]

H/T: Brad Johnson at Climate Progress

quickhits:

Global Warming ‘Skepticism’ or Willful Ignorance? In 2009, Pew put out what should have been a wake up call for anyone confused by the politicization of science. In a study of the scientific community, Pew found that a whopping 6% of all scientists were Republican. And no serious person wondered why. Republicans had been anti-science for years; from evolution to global warming to Reagan’s missile defense fantasy, conservatives have most always gotten reality dead wrong. For years, it was the argument of many on the right that there should no federal funding for HIV/AIDS research. Why? Because there has never been a “cure” found for a virus. This “we ought to just give up before we even start” attitude wasn’t just proven wrong in the long run (AIDS isn’t cured, but is not a treatable disease and not a death sentence), but it was deeply unscientific. At a certain point in history, there was no cure for rabies — to name one of literally thousands of diseases. If we followed the right’s line of thinking, no disease in history would ever have been cured, because no one would even have tried. “It’s never been done, therefore it’s impossible” is what passes for logic among conservatives, not scientists. But there’s still that 6% of scientists who are Republican. There seems to be one main difference between your average Republican and your Republican scientist — a scientist is, by definition, willing to change their mind. For the rest of the GOP hive-mind, sticking to an argument long after it’s been proven wrong is considered a good thing. And so it is that when a conservative scientist changes his mind, it’s a case of giving in to reality’s liberal bias.
Richard Muller, New York Times: Call me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause. My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which I founded with my daughter Elizabeth. Our results show that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.
 Bonus fun; the Berkley study was partly funded by the Koch brothers. All of this leads The Guardian’s Leo Hickman to ask, “What evidence will it take to convince climate sceptics?” and finds that the answer is that they probably can’t be persuaded.Rather than join Muller on his road to Damascus, many climate sceptics have predictably been tempted by the neon signs directing them to turn back instead. Muller, as a result of his “conversion”, is now being painted as a figure of distrust and scorn, in much the same way that they have viewed many climate scientists over the years. His research methodologies and results are being mocked and slammed for being simplistic and “agenda driven”.
 For climate “skeptics,” evidence is irrelevant. Ask any creationist — you can always poke the tiniest whole in a finding and use that tiny hole to convince the non-scientist that the whole idea is deeply, deeply flawed. But the fact that the flatearthers can’t be persuaded is all the proof you need that they aren’t practicing science — they’re preaching dogma. And they can’t be persuaded. Already, they’re taking an almost irrelevant finding from the Berkley study out of context and using it to attack the study as a whole. This isn’t science, it’s religion. The worst thing about conservative boneheadedness on science is that their thinking leads to global disaster. But the second worst thing is how smugly proud they are of how wrong they are. Imagine them during Isaac Newton’s day; “Gravity? LIBTARD! Birds fly, smoke rises — so-called ‘gravity’ is obviously a hoax, you mental midget! HAHAHAHAHA!” They’re insufferably certain that the completely idiotic things they say are true and that anyone who disagrees is an idiot. It’s like watching someone mock you for believing skulls aren’t bullet-proof — while putting pistols to both your foreheads. So, “What evidence will it take to convince climate sceptics?” It’s pointless to even try. They’re idiots and they’re intent on remaining idiots, in the face of whatever evidence you might have. They put all their effort into justifying their willful ignorance. There is no convincing, there is only finding ways to work around them. They are, quite literally, “stuck on stupid” — because they choose to be. -Wisco [image source]

quickhits:

Global Warming ‘Skepticism’ or Willful Ignorance?

In 2009, Pew put out what should have been a wake up call for anyone confused by the politicization of science. In a study of the scientific community, Pew found that a whopping 6% of all scientists were Republican. And no serious person wondered why. Republicans had been anti-science for years; from evolution to global warming to Reagan’s missile defense fantasy, conservatives have most always gotten reality dead wrong. For years, it was the argument of many on the right that there should no federal funding for HIV/AIDS research. Why? Because there has never been a “cure” found for a virus. This “we ought to just give up before we even start” attitude wasn’t just proven wrong in the long run (AIDS isn’t cured, but is not a treatable disease and not a death sentence), but it was deeply unscientific. At a certain point in history, there was no cure for rabies — to name one of literally thousands of diseases. If we followed the right’s line of thinking, no disease in history would ever have been cured, because no one would even have tried. “It’s never been done, therefore it’s impossible” is what passes for logic among conservatives, not scientists.

But there’s still that 6% of scientists who are Republican. There seems to be one main difference between your average Republican and your Republican scientist — a scientist is, by definition, willing to change their mind. For the rest of the GOP hive-mind, sticking to an argument long after it’s been proven wrong is considered a good thing. And so it is that when a conservative scientist changes his mind, it’s a case of giving in to reality’s liberal bias.

Richard Muller, New York Times:

Call me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which I founded with my daughter Elizabeth. Our results show that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.


Bonus fun; the Berkley study was partly funded by the Koch brothers.

All of this leads The Guardian’s Leo Hickman to ask, “What evidence will it take to convince climate sceptics?” and finds that the answer is that they probably can’t be persuaded.

Rather than join Muller on his road to Damascus, many climate sceptics have predictably been tempted by the neon signs directing them to turn back instead. Muller, as a result of his “conversion”, is now being painted as a figure of distrust and scorn, in much the same way that they have viewed many climate scientists over the years. His research methodologies and results are being mocked and slammed for being simplistic and “agenda driven”.

For climate “skeptics,” evidence is irrelevant. Ask any creationist — you can always poke the tiniest whole in a finding and use that tiny hole to convince the non-scientist that the whole idea is deeply, deeply flawed. But the fact that the flatearthers can’t be persuaded is all the proof you need that they aren’t practicing science — they’re preaching dogma.

And they can’t be persuaded. Already, they’re taking an almost irrelevant finding from the Berkley study out of context and using it to attack the study as a whole. This isn’t science, it’s religion.

The worst thing about conservative boneheadedness on science is that their thinking leads to global disaster. But the second worst thing is how smugly proud they are of how wrong they are. Imagine them during Isaac Newton’s day; “Gravity? LIBTARD! Birds fly, smoke rises — so-called ‘gravity’ is obviously a hoax, you mental midget! HAHAHAHAHA!” They’re insufferably certain that the completely idiotic things they say are true and that anyone who disagrees is an idiot. It’s like watching someone mock you for believing skulls aren’t bullet-proof — while putting pistols to both your foreheads.

So, “What evidence will it take to convince climate sceptics?” It’s pointless to even try. They’re idiots and they’re intent on remaining idiots, in the face of whatever evidence you might have. They put all their effort into justifying their willful ignorance. There is no convincing, there is only finding ways to work around them.

They are, quite literally, “stuck on stupid” — because they choose to be.

-Wisco

[image source]
mikeo56:

Federal court upholds Obama EPA’s climate change regulations
 A federal appeals court panel ruled Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency had acted properly when it set the nation’s first limits on greenhouse gases.  
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concluded that the EPA’s 2009 finding that greenhouse gases endanger human health and the environment was based on “an ocean of evidence,” saying the agency’s move to limit those emissions from cars and trucks was “neither arbitrary nor capricious.”
Republican Response:

“This ‘big win’ for the Obama EPA is a huge loss for every American, especially those in the heartland states which rely on fossil fuel development and the affordable energy that comes with it,” said Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla), the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

The Republicans sycophantic worship of greed is as undeniable as global warming. Too bad global warming does not selectively kill only Republicans. Makes our job in protecting life on earth that much more difficult. Republican Inhofe and his fellow climate deniers will go down in history as the asskissingest bottom feeders ever shit on this Earth.
In addition, Mitt Romney supports nullifying EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
One For The EPA and Fuck the Shiteating Republican Party of Cowardly Greed

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/06/26/153958/federal-court-panel-upholds-epa.html#storylink=cpy

mikeo56:

Federal court upholds Obama EPA’s climate change regulations

A federal appeals court panel ruled Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency had acted properly when it set the nation’s first limits on greenhouse gases.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concluded that the EPA’s 2009 finding that greenhouse gases endanger human health and the environment was based on “an ocean of evidence,” saying the agency’s move to limit those emissions from cars and trucks was “neither arbitrary nor capricious.”

Republican Response:

“This ‘big win’ for the Obama EPA is a huge loss for every American, especially those in the heartland states which rely on fossil fuel development and the affordable energy that comes with it,” said Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla), the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

The Republicans sycophantic worship of greed is as undeniable as global warming. Too bad global warming does not selectively kill only Republicans. Makes our job in protecting life on earth that much more difficult. Republican Inhofe and his fellow climate deniers will go down in history as the asskissingest bottom feeders ever shit on this Earth.

In addition, Mitt Romney supports nullifying EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

One For The EPA and Fuck the Shiteating Republican Party of Cowardly Greed


theperplexedobserver:

Global Warming Is A Hoax?
“We are having extreme weather all across the country. Freak storms are downing power lines and uprooting trees. Wildfires burn out of control in Colorado. A heat wave is gripping the entire country. What will it take before global warming deniers admit that climate change is real? “

theperplexedobserver:

Global Warming Is A Hoax?

We are having extreme weather all across the country. Freak storms are downing power lines and uprooting trees. Wildfires burn out of control in Colorado. A heat wave is gripping the entire country. What will it take before global warming deniers admit that climate change is real?

Hoaxes require verisimilitude to make sure everyone’s taken in. So it was necessary to make sure that Arctic sea ice is melting ahead of the record pace set in 2007, and wildfires are burning out of control across Siberia, and there is massive flooding n British Columbia, and…We’ll see what bizarreness next week brings. Because these guys are good. You’d almost swear this is what global warming looks like, since it’s exactly what scientists have been predicting for decades. Indeed, the head of the nation’s climate data center, in Asheville, N.C., used the kind of scary language we’ve come to expect from climate alarmists, calling the record–breaking week “a super-heated spike on top of a decades-long warming trend.
What we’re seeing is a window into what global warming really looks like. It looks like heat, it looks like fires, it looks like this kind of environmental disaster … This provides vivid images of what we can expect to see more of in the future.

~Princeton University’s Michael Oppenheimer, a lead author for the UN’s climate science panel.

US wildfires are what global warming really looks like, scientists warn (via socialuprooting)

Arctic Sea Levels Reach Record Low In June

mohandasgandhi:

globalwarmist:

Sea ice in the Arctic has melted faster this year than ever recorded before, according to the US government’s National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC). [Guardian]

Satellite observations show the extent of the floating ice that melts and refreezes every year was 318,000 square miles less last week than the same day period in 2007, the year of record low extent, and the lowest observed at this time of year since records began in 1979. Separate observations by University of Washington researchers suggest that the volume of Arctic sea ice is also the smallest ever calculated for this time of year.

Scientists cautioned that it is still early in the “melt season”, but said that the latest observations suggest that the Arctic sea ice cover is continuing to shrink and thin and the pattern of record annual melts seen since 2000 is now well established. Last year saw the second greatest sea ice melt on record, 36% below the average minimum from 1979-2000.

arctic sea ice

Meanwhile, as Anna blogged about, the most influential countries do not care.

This is 1,000,000x more important than any other news story. The mainstream media has utterly failed to report on climate change as time continues to quickly run out for our planet, which means time is running out for us. Environmental sustainability is possible. We just need to care.

sciencebriefs:

A clear change in salinity has been detected in the world’s oceans, signalling shifts and an acceleration in the global rainfall and evaporation cycle. In a paper published in the journal Science, scientists reported changing patterns of salinity in the global ocean during the past 50 years, marking a clear fingerprint of climate change.

Lead author, Dr Paul Durack, said that by looking at observed ocean salinity changes and the relationship between salinity, rainfall and evaporation in climate models, they determined the water cycle has strengthened by four per cent from 1950-2000. This is twice the response projected by current generation global climate models.

“Salinity shifts in the ocean confirm climate and the global water cycle have changed. These changes suggest that arid regions have become drier and high rainfall regions have become wetter in response to observed global warming,” said Dr Durack. With a projected temperature rise of 3ºC by the end of the century, the researchers estimate a 24 per cent acceleration of the water cycle is possible.

Scientists have struggled to determine coherent estimates of water cycle changes from land-based data because surface observations of rainfall and evaporation are sparse. However, according to the team, global oceans provide a much clearer picture.

sigma-x:

According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC), La Niña conditions are no longer present in the equatorial Pacific, where sea surface temperatures were approximately average as of May 13. The threshold for a La Niña is for these temperatures to be 0.5°C below average or cooler. CPC forecasts that neutral conditions will persist though the summer, with a 41% chance of an El Niño event developing in time for the August – September – October peak of hurricane season. El Niño conditions tend to decrease Atlantic hurricane activity, by increasing wind shear over the tropical Atlantic.

I hadn’t realized we were in a La Nina period.  This is extremely scary, since we’ve seen record highs in temperatures around the world, despite the fact that La Nina is qualified by lower than usual temperatures.  

Which means, that when El Nino starts forming up next summer, the climate is going to get very, very nasty.   

carolinafrica:

“Among the environmental trends undermining our future are shrinking forests, expanding deserts, falling water tables, collapsing fisheries, disappearing species, and rising temperatures. The temperature increases bring crop-withering heat waves, more-destructive storms, more-intense droughts, more forest fires, and, of course, ice melting. We are crossing natural thresholds that we cannot see and violating deadlines that we do not recognize.” - Lester Brown

carolinafrica:

“Among the environmental trends undermining our future are shrinking forests, expanding deserts, falling water tables, collapsing fisheries, disappearing species, and rising temperatures. The temperature increases bring crop-withering heat waves, more-destructive storms, more-intense droughts, more forest fires, and, of course, ice melting. We are crossing natural thresholds that we cannot see and violating deadlines that we do not recognize.” - Lester Brown