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Energy and Global Warming News for June 27th: Dust-Bowl-ification spreads to southern Italy; Clean energy by Nobel Prize-wining Grameen Bank; DC Metro crash symptom of crumbling infrastructure

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"Energy and Global Warming News for June 27th: Dust-Bowl-ification spreads to southern Italy; Clean energy by Nobel Prize-wining Grameen Bank; DC Metro crash symptom of crumbling infrastructure"

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It’s my birthday (how coincidental!), and I’m on a rare plane trip (from a peak oil meeting — more on that later), so this will be the only post today.  And yes, this is really yesterday’s other news.

Dust-Bowlification is predicted to happen all over the world — see NOAA stunner: humanity faces permanent Dust Bowls in Southwest and around the globe.  But it’s happening some places now:

Deserts crossing Mediterranean

The Sahara Desert is crossing the Mediterranean, according to Italian environmental protection group Legambiente which warns that the livelihoods of 6.5 million people living along its shores could be at risk.

”Desertification isn’t limited to Africa,” said Legambiente Vice President Sebastiano Venneri.

”Without a serious change of direction in economic and environmental policies, the risk will become concrete and irreversible.” A recent report by Legambiente estimated that 74 million acres of fertile land along the Mediterranean were turning to desert as the result of overexploited land and water resources.

Legambiente said that southern Italy was at severe risk in addition to the islands of Sicily and Sardinia where 11% of all arable land showed signs of drying up. ”Semi-arid coastal regions like southern Italy are prone to the effects of desertification due to farmers’ dependence on water from underground aquifers instead of rainfall,” said Legambiente spokesman Giorgio Zampetti. According to Zampetti, pumping too much fresh water out of these underground deposits can result in seawater leaking in to replace it, effectively poisoning the groundwater.

As an example of the long-term consequences, Legambiente pointed to Egypt where it said brackish groundwater had compromised half the country’s farmland.

“The south of Italy isn’t the only part of the country at risk,” added Zampetti. ”Aquifers around the Po Delta in northern Italy have also begun showing signs of saltwater contamination.” Experts said that the Po River, which is Italy’s longest waterway and nearly dries up in parts when industrial consumption peaks, is one of the most visible examples of desertifying climate change in Italy. Italy is not the only country in Europe losing fertile land.

Legambiente estimated that desertification affects more than a fifth of the Iberian Peninsula with early indicators also present along the French Riviera.

Across the Mediterranean, Legambiente said that countries like Libya, Tunisia and Morocco were losing 1,000 square kilometers of fertile land every year.

Legambiente experts predict that between 1997 and 2020, desertification will have forced over 60 million people in sub-Saharan Africa to leave their homes, many of whom will head north to Europe.


Better lives in Bangladesh – through green power

Here in the Bangladesh countryside, amid the emerald-green rice paddies and farmers threshing crops with their bare feet, are beige cows, giant haystacks”¦ and solar energy panels – 200,000 of them scattered throughout the country.

This clean-electricity source is part of an innovative program conducted by Grameen Shakti, the environmental arm of Grameen Bank, which won a Nobel Peace Prize for its pioneering use of microloans in Bangladesh.

Its projects also include biogas production, improved cookstove technology, and solar power training centers for women.

Grameen Shakti (meaning “village energy” in Bangla) was started in 1996 as a way to bring electricity and better living standards to the country’s rural poor. “At that time, 85 percent [of the total population of 140 million] had no electricity,” says Dipal Barua, the nonprofit group’s managing director.

He’s speaking from his 19th floor office, which is lined with solar panel prototypes and overlooks the country’s capital, Dhaka.

Crash Puts Focus on Aging Rail Fleets

The train that rear-ended another in Washington on Monday evening, killing nine people, was made up of some of the oldest cars in Washington’s relatively young subway system, cars that had been cited for vulnerabilities before. But federal data show that many other cities are also using outdated rail equipment.

More than a third of the equipment in the nation’s seven largest rail transit agencies was rated in marginal or poor condition by the Federal Transit Administration this spring. Replacing all the equipment that has exceeded its useful life and finishing all outstanding station rehabilitations for just those seven large systems would cost roughly $50 billion, the agency estimated, and keeping the systems in a state of good repair after that would cost an estimated $5.9 billion a year.

A fight for the Amazon that should inspire the world

While the world nervously watches the uprising in Iran, an even more important uprising has been passing unnoticed – yet its outcome will shape your fate, and mine.

In the depths of the Amazon rainforest, the poorest people in the world have taken on the richest people in the world to defend a part of the ecosystem none of us can live without. They had nothing but wooden spears and moral force to defeat the oil companies – and, for today, they have won.

Brown proposes £60bn climate fund

Prime Minister Gordon Brown wants to set up a £60bn annual fund to help poor countries deal with climate change.

He hopes it will break the deadlock over who will pay developing nations to adapt to the changing climate and who will help them obtain clean technology.

Countries must reach a binding global agreement on carbon emission cuts at December’s Copenhagen summit, he said.

The summit is seen as the last chance to negotiate a successor to the Kyoto agreement, which expires in 2012.

Environmentalists Rachet Up Campaign Against Oil Sands

In a broadside aimed squarely at Canada’s energy heartland, a coalition of 18 leading environmental groups launched a high-profile campaign this week, calling on the United States government to discourage imports of crude oil derived from tar sands.

Led by the Sierra Club, the coalition is asking Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton not to issue permits to Canadian energy companies that want to build pipelines between Alberta to the American Midwest. The group will also be lobbying lawmakers in Washington to adopt a low-carbon fuel standard, similar to one in California, as another means of preventing Alberta crude from finding its way into American engines.

Major economies consider halving world CO2

Major economies including the United States and China are considering setting a goal of halving world greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 when they hold a summit in Italy next month, a draft document showed.

The text also says the 17-member Major Economies Forum (MEF) will seek to double public investments in low-carbon technology by 2015 and boost funding from both public and private sources as well as from carbon markets to fight global warming.

The draft was put forward by the United States and Mexico at talks in Mexico this week, without reaching accord before a MEF summit on July 9. U.S. President Barack Obama launched the MEF to help toward a new U.N. climate pact due in December.

A rough term in Supreme Court for environmentalists draws to a close

Environmental interests were trounced in the 2009 Supreme Court term that ends Monday.

In five high-profile cases, the justices overturned decisions that favored environmentalists. They ruled in favor of the Navy in a case pitting national security concerns against the welfare of marine mammals; limited the scope of liability for a Superfund cleanup; and reversed a decision that held no cost-benefit test could be used to determine the best technology for withdrawing water from rivers to cool power-plant turbines.

In addition, the court held that five conservation groups lacked standing to challenge U.S. Forest Service regulations and found that the Army Corps of Engineers, not U.S. EPA, has permitting authority over mining-waste discharges under the Clean Water Act.

China plans massive wind farm for northwest

China plans to build several gigantic wind farms that will each generate as much electricity as the Three Gorges Dam. One such project will be built in the northwestern Gansu province by 2020, a senior official announced today.

The vice governor of Gansu province, Feng Jianshen, told reporters that his province’s wind power base will top 20 gigawatts within 11 years — 10 times its current levels.

Insights Into How Climate Change Might Impact Species’ Geographic Ranges

A new study by a team of researchers led by Jessica Hellmann, assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame, offers interesting insights into how species may, or may not, change their geographic range “” the place where they live on earth “” under climate change. The lead author on the paper is recent Notre Dame doctoral degree recipient Shannon Pelini.

“¦In a paper appearing in this week’s edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Hellmann and her team describe how they tested the assumption that populations at the northern edge of a species’ range will increase with warming and thereby enhance the colonization process by using two butterflies: the Propertius duskywing and the Anise swallowtail. Hellmann notes that butterflies serve as a kind of flagship species for studying the effects of climate change. They live and die relatively quickly and researchers have garnered a substantial amount of information about them and their habits. Insects in general are important subjects for climate studies because of the key role they play in areas such as pollination and the cycling of nutrient in ecosystems.

Climate change shortens fishing season

The rapidly changing weather pattern blamed on global warming is hurting the fishing industry, depriving fishermen and their families not only of income but also their own places to live.

However, the government seems unprepared to respond to the effects of global warming as well as to its impact on the population, mostly the poor, who are at risk, civil society groups said on Wednesday.

In a study conducted three months ago on Camiguin Island, the umbrella group NGOs for Fisheries Reform (NRF) found that fishermen suffered from twin effects of global warming: “We found the social and economic impact of climate change on coastal communities,” NRF’s Dennis Calvan said.

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38 Responses to Energy and Global Warming News for June 27th: Dust-Bowl-ification spreads to southern Italy; Clean energy by Nobel Prize-wining Grameen Bank; DC Metro crash symptom of crumbling infrastructure

  1. Leland Palmer says:

    In the absence of carbon negative energy strategies, climate change is irreversible.

    With carbon negative energy strategies, climate change is reversible.

    Read, Lermit, 2003:

    http://www.etsap.org/worksh_6_2003/2003P_read.pdf

    Abrupt climate change (ACC) is an issue that ‘haunts the climate change problem’ but has so far bee neglected by policy makers. This may have been because of an apparent lack of practicable measures for effective response, apart from risky geoengineering. If achieved on a sufficiently large scale, a portfolio of Bio-Energy with Carbon Storage (BECS) technologies, yielding a negative-emissions energy system, may be seen not only as benign geoengineering, free of the risks associated with other geoengineering, but also as one of the keys to being prepared for ACC. The nature of sequential future decisions is discussed; these will need to be taken in response to the evolution of future events, which is as yet unknown. The impact of such decisions on land-use change is related to a specific bio-energy conversion technology. The effects of a precautionary strategy, possibly leading to eventual land-use change on a large scale, is modeled using FLAMES (see Appendix A). Modeling shows that, using BECS, and under strong assumptions appropriate to imminent ACC, preindustrial CO2 levels can be restored by mid-century.

    By transforming coal fired power plants to biomass energy, enhanced efficiency, and carbon capture, they can be made carbon negative – they can actually transfer carbon back underground at the same time that they generate electricity.

    Such carbon negative strategies can be hugely synergistic, because they simultaneously transfer carbon back underground, generate useful electricity, displace fossil fuel use, and can be managed to assist in wildfire prevention, all at the same time.

    What I advocate is burning biochar in the coal fired power plants, while transforming them to oxyfuel combustion, increased efficiency by adding a topping cycle, and then deep injection of the resulting CO2 into saline aquifers or deep basalt deposits for storage or chemical sequestration.

    Coal fired power plants are located on rivers and lakes (to provide cooling water), which offer the possibility of using river barges to transfer the biochar to the power plant. All of the farmland and forest upstream from the coal fired power plant then becomes potential biochar collection area, with the biochar coming from agricultural waste, insect killed trees, manure, sewage sludge, urban trash, and other sources of biomass energy.

    What I advocate is local production of biochar, and transport of this fuel, which is as energy dense and transportable as coal but much cleaner, to existing coal fired power plants, which could then be retrofitted to oxyfuel combustion, enhanced efficiency, and deep injection of the CO2.

    Climate change does not have to be irreversible, if we start putting carbon back underground. It is possible to do this and generate electricity from biomass at the same time.

  2. lizardo says:

    Happy Birthday (from Waxman and Markey) and me

  3. Neal Mock says:

    Happy Birthday. You have given us all the gift of steady insight and inspiration to buck the tide of business as usual. Like a great classroom teacher, your impact in the long term is greater than you will ever know. Thank you.

  4. Thinker says:

    I am not sure what point you are making here. The NOAA report was a look at past droughts from periods before instrumentation. They concluded that droughts of the past were worse than those of today and stated that we “could” experience very severe droughts. However, since we have developed irrigation and the storage of water with dams and reservoirs, I am sure we can survive.

    [JR: Quite, quite, wrong about NOAA report. Try pushing this nonsense elsewhere.]

  5. Richard L says:

    Joe, Happy Birthday from me too. And I take the opportunity to thank you for your work – I have learned a lot from Climate Progress and I am grateful for it.

    Thinker:

    I am hoping for more than ‘survival’ for our civilization, but I think if trends don’t change we may be grasping for survival after all. Are you ‘sure’ enough to guarantee our ‘survival’ with your own resources (i.e. money, water and food and housing, etc) and the resources of your children ?

    I am a Civil/Environmental engineer turned energy auditor and solar designer/installer. I have been studying many of these issues for my whole life. I actually know someone who spent time in the Antarctic doing research. If you are going to throw out such ridiculous comments (forgive my judgement, but I can’t hold back), at least provide the source of your information – preferably the original scientific document, not some editorial….

  6. Dano says:

    However, since we have developed irrigation and the storage of water with dams and reservoirs, I am sure we can survive.

    Don’t know much about farming, fresh water supplies, in-stream use or irrigation, eh?

    Best,

    D

  7. Thinker says:

    Actually I know quite a bit about it. I was raised on a farm in the pacific northwest and still live in the agricultural west. Water is, of course, a major issue. The quantity of food we eat today could not be produced without our irrigation technology and the water we reserve via man made structures. Our farmers will continue to make strides in producing more food per acre with less resources so long as we allow them to.

  8. dhogaza says:

    The quantity of food we eat today could not be produced without our irrigation technology and the water we reserve via man made structures.

    Couldn’t be produced without more resources than we had in the past …

    Our farmers will continue to make strides in producing more food per acre with less resources so long as we allow them to.

    Less resources.

    Interesting.

    Well, climate change is going to give you the opportunity to prove that claim.

  9. Brewster says:

    “since we have developed irrigation and the storage of water with dams and reservoirs, I am sure we can survive.”

    And just where are those dams and reservoirs going to get the water?

    Here in southern Alberta, water rights for irrigation are already being sold out completely every year. We can set up a pipeline from Northern Alberta for the short run, but that’s limited as well.

  10. SecularAnimist says:

    The commenter “Thinker” is a regular regurgitator of denialist and obstructionist propaganda on comment threads everywhere.

    Global warming isn’t happening.
    (Tell a lie about the science.)
    It’s a liberal hoax.
    (Say something snide about Al Gore.)
    There is no scientific consensus
    (Tell another lie about the science.)
    It won’t be harmful.
    (Tell another lie about the science.)
    It’s too expensive to do anything about it.
    (Tell a lie about the economics.)
    It’s too late to do anything about it.
    And it isn’t happening.
    Repeat ad nauseum.

    That’s what “Thinker” calls “thought”: whatever inane, ignorant, dishonest, incoherent drivel ExxonMobil pays Rush Limbaugh to spoon-feed him.

    Such is the “thinking” of Ditto-Heads.

  11. john richardson says:

    Joe- Happy Bithrday! :)
    Could you find out the scoop on this CBS report about the EPA censoring this anti- global warming report? I know you will be able to cut thru the crap in the MSM and let us know what the deal is!
    And thatnk you AGAIN for your tireless work RE the Waxman -Markey BIll…your leadership was one of the main reasons it passed!

    And what is UP with Kucinich not voting for it?
    john

  12. David B. Benson says:

    john richardson — The most recent thread on Real Climate, etitled Bubka, demonlishes that censoring nonsense.

  13. paulm says:

    Go eat cake and take a break!

  14. Brewster says:

    John Richardson

    As Dave says, the Science was demolished in RealClimate.

    Jonathan Hiskes demolished the political aspect in Grist…

  15. Mossy says:

    Happy birthday, Joe. Thanks for all your wonderful, thought-provoking posts.

  16. Gail says:

    *singing* Happy Birthday to You, Joe!

    Leland Palmer, you give me hope. And I can assure you there will be plenty of trees to burn, at least, until they’re all gone.

    Drove to Philly today and the leaves there are all wilted as well, despite ample rain.

    By the end of the summer, at the latest, all other noises will be drowned out by the racket of chain saws.

  17. Leland Palmer says:

    Hi Gail-

    It’s a sad fact that we have already intervened in the forests, by bringing about climate change, and by injecting a good portion of the 300-500 billion tons of carbon we have dug out of the ground as fossil fuels into them. If we don’t harvest carbon from them and put it back into the ground, it will burn in huge wildfires and go into the air, if global warming proceeds as fast as we fear it will.

    Chris Field says that if we follow some of the worst case scenarios, we could see 100-500 billion tons of carbon coming out of the tropical forests into the atmosphere in huge wildfires by 2100. Areas as diverse as Siberia and Southeast Asia are already burning, at increased rates. One study I read in Science in 2006 found a 600 percent increase in wildfires with only a one degree C increase in temperature, in the Western United States. Would a 3 degree C increase in temperatures therefore mean a 216 fold increase in wildfires?

    We need to convert the coal plants to carbon negative power plants, and start putting as much carbon as we can back underground as quickly as we can. Agricultural waste accounts for about two thirds of the 1.2 billion tons of “waste” biomass that the Oak Ridge National Labs study “Billion Ton Vision” found available each year in the U.S., with the rest coming from forests and urban waste.

    This carbon need not come from clear-cutting existing forests. It could come from biomass plantations, and from agricultural waste. We could take agricultural waste, for example, and turn it into biochar, returning half of it to the soil and burning half of it in the converted coal fired power plants, for example. This would improve soil properties, decrease fertilizer use, increase soil fertility, and produce biochar for the power plants all at the same time.

    I think that part of the carbon should come from existing forests, though. We should cut firebreaks through the forests, and harvest maybe 2/3 of all the insect killed trees, the fire killed trees, and the combustible undergrowth. This could be transformed into biochar by mobile units, and the resulting biochar shipped via truck or rail to rivers, then floated down the rivers to the power plants.

    Biomass plantations should also be planted on millions of acres of marginal agricultural land. This could be managed in such a way that soil fertility is enhanced at the same time biomass is harvested.

    Finally, we need massive replanting efforts, IMO. It is possible to replant trees, in little biodegradable plastic cones, from cargo aircraft, and plant hundreds of thousands of trees a day that way. This has already been done successfully, and doing this would make a very profitable carbon sequestration business, by the way, I think.

  18. PaulK says:

    Thinker,

    You’re going to have to cite page and paragraph number of any reports or papers used to bolster your argument. Using only NOAA or IPCC documents, while laudable, is not a guarantee against denial of their existence. Some tips. You are not allowed to claim the earth is cooling or even stable. UAH and RSS are unreliable and run by deniers. No set of observations can refute model projections.

  19. paulm says:

    Hospitals were put on high alert today as the Met Office issued its first ever heatwave warning, designed to signal impending extreme weather events. Temperatures are forecast to reach 33C this week and it is thought that the UK could be placed on the highest level of the government’s Heatwave Plan by midweek, a category that denotes a state of “emergency”.

  20. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    Natura non facit saltus?

    boing, boing, boing. Me thinks nature does take leaps.

  21. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    Oh yeah, Happy birthday and thanks for the posts

  22. Gail says:

    Good morning Leland Palmer, today we have a bright sunny day, just beautiful.

    I like your plan, I hope it works. No matter what, we are going to have a very different landscape and lifestyle very soon. I think that the estimate for wildfires by 2100 is overly optimistic because it only take a couple of seasons of severe drought to kill trees. So I would expect we will be harvesting dead trees very soon – look at the story in this entry about desertification of the Mediterranean by way of example.

    The other thing I wonder about is what sort of trees can be planted en mass. Does anybody really know what species will grow in a climate that is unpredictable and likely to vary over time?

  23. Modesty says:

    Happy Birthday, belatedly!

    By the way, isn’t your daughter turning “e” years old on October 24? (!)

    International day of climate action: October 24. http://www.350.org

  24. Leland Palmer says:

    Hi Gail-

    Thanks for your support and input. :)

    I like your posts too, they always seem to make sense, to me.

    I don’t know, about the tree species.

    We do have a highly developed aerial bombardment military technology, though, developed to sow landmines from the air. I was wondering the other day if computer controlled equipment could plant a mixture of maybe 10 different species, according to a computer controlled plan – and with GPS guided cones, plant each tree exactly where it is wanted.

    Perhaps that is technological overkill, though.

    A lot of this stuff needs to be calculated by ecologists and forest management experts. A computerized plan could be constructed, predicting variable weather, with an overall objective of returning Earth to pre-industrial conditions of climate stability in 50 years, or so.

    I’ve been looking at the power plants, using the CARMA (Climate and Resource Monitoring for Action) database plugged into Google Earth. It looks to me like the whole Mississippi basin including especially the Ohio river could be made into a huge biochar collection and transportation system, with road and rail transport included too.

    Kansas State University also has the NatCarb database, and the database files from there are available, and can be read by Excel with some fiddling.

    We are blessed to live in a rich country, with navigable rivers, beautiful weather (until now, anyway) abundant rainfall, highly developed transportation networks, and huge amounts of wealth. I think it would be fairly easy for us to implement a carbon negative plan like this. We even have deep saline aquifers for carbon storage underlying much of the country, and a potential truly massive chemically reactive carbon sequestration sink in the basalt layers of the San Juan de Fuca plate off the Pacific Northwest.

    I think this plan would work, here in the U.S., in Europe, in Russia and Siberia. When I look at China and India though, everything looks unfamiliar. I’m having a hard time even finding the power plants, over there, on Google Earth. And many of the rivers look very wild and not navigable.

    It may be that the Chinese and Indians would have to follow a lower technology, higher human labor approach. But they do have the manpower to do this, and I think that the entire world is getting through the denial phase, and is going to want effective action.

  25. dhogaza says:

    Could you find out the scoop on this CBS report about the EPA censoring this anti- global warming report? I know you will be able to cut thru the crap in the MSM and let us know what the deal is!

    Even Anthony Watts is respinning it as the suppression myth has been an epic fail:

    The EPA only gave a few days for internal comments, read page 3. The real problem here is not Carlin’s report, but the fact that the EPA threw caution to the wind, and gave a very small comment period internally, which was unheard of for something of such importance. It’s just like our boneheaded Congress adding 300+ pages to the “Climate Change Bill” at 3AM the morning before the vote. Who could refute that with perfect citations in that short of time? Who could do it in a week?

    The process is corrupt. – Anthony

    Look closely at what Watts is claiming.

    1. Carlin’s report is full of mistakes and is essentially shit

    2. The problem isn’t Carlin, it’s that he wasn’t given enough time to do a proper job of proving his case.

    3. Inherent in Watts statement is the notion that *if* Carlin had been given more time, he would not have cocked it up so thoroughly, but would still have proven mainstream climate science to be wrong.

    I think this spin is hilarious. Watts followers think it makes sense. But then again, they would …

  26. dhogaza says:

    More Watts spin. I think it’s hilarious. This is in response to Leif Svaalgard, a solar physicist (though he seems to mostly write software for a living) who at times, at least, tries to force Watts et al to be rational, though he is himself equally a denialist of CO2-forced warming. Svaalgard points out a couple of glaring errors on the part of Carlin, and Watts responds:

    REPLY: You’re assuming he knew it was wrong. As a solar physics expert, you know immediately what the status is of several datasets that you deal with. 99.99999% of the rest of the world does not. Haste makes waste. I agree with that, but Leif I strongly disagree with you here on your criticism because the EPA forced a comments window that was abnormally small for arguably the most far reaching “finding” they would ever deal with. The haste is the fault of the EPA and the unreasonable policy.

    The EPA is the culprit here. – Anthony

    In black-and-white – it is the EPA’s fault that Carlin’s report is garbage.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  27. Yuebing says:

    As of right now, googling:

    epa carlin suppressed

    returns 5,300 hits.

    The EPA will have to respond. Forcefully, I hope.

    The stuff going on over at Watts’s is hilarious.

  28. Yuebing says:

    This is probably bad etiquette, but I am quoting a comment from WUWT left at 11:21 today (their time) Maurice writes:

    “If the report is indeed so flawed, the EPA could have left it on the record and refuted it point by point as evidence in future lawsuits that the scientific process prevailed.”

    Great idea Maurice!

  29. Yuebing says:

    Here are some of the emails between Carlin and superiors at the EPA regarding Carlin’s cut and paste report. Carlin must have been on vacation when the Supreme Court ruled CO2 comes under the Clean Air Act.

    http://www.eenews.net/public/25/11519/features/documents/2009/06/25/document_daily_03.pdf

  30. dhogaza says:

    Well, the interesting thing that comes from that is climate change wasn’t on Carlin’s plate, and other work he was supposed to be doing (a database project) was late and his boss was a bit annoyed at him over that.

    Some martyr.

  31. David B. Benson says:

    PaulK — Nothing wrong with RSS. Just remeber that it is lower troposphere, not surface.

  32. paulm says:

    The world is going the way of the Aral Sea.

    David Suzuki’s Big Picture is definitely worth a read.

  33. Leland Palmer: How much diesel fuel does your plan require to move all of that vegetation? I see a huge absence of numbers and mathematics in your plan. I also see that you have done no research into bomber planting. I notice the farmers never plant corn and wheat that way. It is easy to come up with “armchair” ideas. It isn’t so easy when you actually have to carry it out. Why don’t you raise capital and start a company to do all that stuff? I double dare you to actually do something instead of just write posts. Put your own money where your mouth is.

  34. “The Sahara Desert is crossing the Mediterranean.” If we could get THAT story into the Main Stream Media TV newscasts, it would really help turn things around.

  35. Andy says:

    Regarding species movement northward from climate change: there is going to be as much or more of a west to east movement in North America as there will be south to north as areas outside of the tropics dry out. I predict that much of the U.S. eastern deciduous forest and the southern pine forests will be devastated by punctuated droughts and begin to look a lot like central Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Mesquite and other “brush” or more likely some invasive plants such as autumn olive will take over from the trees that now dominate east of the Mississippi.

  36. Gail says:

    Andy you are correct, see my blog. What is happening here in NJ makes me wonder whether much of anything can survive climate change, which is happening too fast for trees to adapt or migrate.

  37. David B. Benson says:

    Asteroid Miner — I fear you overrate the average adult American’s knowledge of geography.

  38. dhogaza says:

    It appears that Carlin plagiarized most of the report, right down to the figures.

    Again, some martyr.

    But it appears that Senator Inhofe is taking up his cause, and Pielke, Jr, who should really know better, has already gone on record embellishing the martyrdom of Carlin.