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Weekend Open Thread

By Joe Romm  

"Weekend Open Thread"

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I’m trying out a new feature for reader comments and feedback.

Lots of websites, including those with more posts and readers, have open threads for readers to post their thoughts and news.

Climate Progress has some of the best commenters in the science blogosphere, but not as many opportunities to post useful stuff on the weekends because there are fewer articles.  Also, I don’t run the Energy and Global Warming News on Saturday or Sunday, so my few weekend posts get a lot of off-topic comments.

Anyway, here’s a chance for you to post links to interesting weekend news/links (as DavidCOG just did with this piece, “New climate denialism: Who promotes it, and how to answer it“).  Or you can just opine on whatever’s on your mind.  Or suggest topical topics that CP should cover in the coming week.  Or link to some jokes and cartoons — can’t get enough of those in these new Dark Ages!

‹ Video: Glenn Beck brings ExxonMobil-linked religious front group to tell Christians not to believe in “man-caused” climate change

Yale profile of Wunderground.coms Jeff Masters: The ignorance and greed that human society is showing [on climate change] will be to our ultimate detriment and possible destruction. ›

99 Responses to Weekend Open Thread

  1. Jeff Huggins says:

    Good

    I like the new feature already and will try to opine tomorrow. That way, I can think today: usually best to do things in that order.

    Cheers,

    Jeff

  2. Below is a letter I sent yesterday to over 60 media contacts:

    As reported in the Associated Press (10/4/2010), Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is once again questioning the research of noted climate scientist, Dr. Michael E. Mann. Not to be outdone, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) has submitted a letter to The Washington Post (10/12/2010) stating, “that Mr. Mann’s global warming projections were rooted in fundamental errors of methodology that had been cemented in place as “consensus” by a closed network of friends.”

    I thought it might be constructive to see how Dr. Mann’s published work stacks up against other, more recent temperature reconstructions. The results appear at the link noted below and are described in an easy-to-read, illustrated format.

    http://profmandia.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/shooting-the-messenger-with-blanks/

    Dr. Mann’s result that shows modern climate considerably warmer than past climate has been verified by many scientists using different methodologies (PCA, CPS, EIV, isotopic analysis, and direct T measurements). Consider the odds that various international scientists using quite different data and quite different data analysis techniques can all be wrong in the same way. What are the odds that a hockey stick is always the shape of the wrong answer? The only reasonable conclusion is that Barton and Cuccinelli are shooting the messenger with blanks.

  3. LucAstro says:

    Yesterday I read/heard two stories/programs that were inspiring y informative. One is the Guardian piece by their guest editor, Antony Hegarty, who writes about the incompatibility of tackling climate change and prioritising economic growth:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/oct/15/climate-change-economic-growth-capitalism

    The second piece is maybe the last interview of Hermann Scheer, one of the world’s leading advocates for solar power. He just died at the age of sixty-six. This German economist and politician helped make Germany a renewable energy powerhouse and inspired many across the world to expand the use of solar power. Scheer had been member of the German Parliament for three decades. Could we adapt his political strategy and use it in the USA or CANADA or AUSTRALIA?
    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/10/15/hermann_scheer_1944_2010_german_lawmaker

  4. JohnBike says:

    Joe,

    Not sure if you covered the up tick in corn futures from October 8th, but the article I saw blamed it on too much rain in June and too little rain in July and August. No surprise there, but the next reason was what caught my attention,

    and warmer than usual nights, “did not allow corn to pollinate as it normally would,”

    Full article,

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/grains-rally-after-usda-cut-corn-crop-estimates-2010-10-08

    Can you say global warming side effect?

    John

  5. Peter M says:

    Great Idea

    lots of stuff to discuss and ask questions about———

    local climate, vegetation anomaly- New Climate news

  6. Phillip Y says:

    Linked here is the Yale Climate Change Study that assesses public knowledge of the issue. All the questions are included.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/39453532/Yale-Climate-Change-Study

  7. Michael says:

    Joe, I’d like to see a post on the Multivariate ENSO Index with regards to the strength of the current La Nina, since I think it is significant that it shows a record low for this time of the year, and a near record low overall and yet temperatures are still near or at records, especially in the more ENSO sensitive satellite data. Perhaps also a comparison to 1955, like how much warmer it is than it was then.

    The most recent (August-September) MEI value shows a continued drop from earlier this year, reaching -1.99, or 0.18 sigma below last month’s value, and 3.39 standard deviations below February-March, a record-fast six-month drop for any time of year, while slowing down a bit at the shorter time scales. The most recent MEI rank (lowest) is clearly below the 10%-tile threshold for strong La Niña MEI rankings for this season. One has to go back to July-August 1955 to find lower MEI values for any time of year.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/klaus.wolter/MEI/

  8. Rob Honeycutt says:

    If folks haven’t checked it out yet, Peter Sinclair has a new video up. I’m sure Joe will do a post about it soon but if you want to check it out sooner click here.

  9. Bruce says:

    I would like to know if there’s any follow-up research on the 2009 US East Coast Sea-level rise anomaly (http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/publications/EastCoastSeaLevelAnomaly_2009.pdf)
    Around my in-laws’ beach cottage in Maine, we’re seeing high tide levels higher than people remember seeing in decades.
    According to NOAA (http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends.shtml), our sea level has been going up 1.8mm/year. I’m wondering if the sea-water that I see over the dike rd. to the beach is a definite local effect of GW, or just anomalous wind-driven tide.

  10. Al says:

    Joe,

    I am a resident of the congressional district where the author of the “Oregon Petition” has an outside chance of being elected to congress. I would like to see a prominent tab on your site directing me to a permanent page which briefly encapsulates the major facts of the global warming debate including argument points for both sides.

    I’m sure many people besides myself, involved in climate discussions at ground level, need a reference page where they can quickly review and refresh in their minds the basic facts about climate change.

  11. Esop says:

    #10 (Al)
    Check out John Cook’s site http://www.skepticalscience.com

  12. James Newberry says:

    I’ve read that lifetime carbon dioxide radiative forcing (planet heating) is up to 100,000 times the heat of combustion for a given mass of hydrocarbon material. Some discussion of this profound dis-economy (not to mention all other dis-economies including ocean acidification) would be of interest. If heat of combustion is priced at a couple dollars, what is the cost of this radiative forcing per unit mass (pound, etc.) by the economics profession, especially Nobel Prize winners?

  13. peter whitehead says:

    We need to counter the simple minded soundbites of the looney right by simple sound bites.

    I love calling them Mad Hatters. Others call them Teabaggers.

    We need a simple alternative that sums them up. SO:

    Please don’t call them the Tea Party. They are totally connected to another liquid.

    Let’s start a viral campaign to call them the OIL PARTY.

    As for the GOP?
    They are the BOP -BIG OIL PARTY.

    Make it simple, say it over and over, that’s what they do, so let’s do it ourselves.

    Remember: OIL PARTY

    BOP

    every time

  14. MapleLeaf says:

    Joe, Please consider covering this. Watts continues to lie and distort, and even misrepresent the science on Arctic sea ice.

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/10/16/anthony-watts-pants-on-fire/

    Thanks.

  15. fj2 says:

    We have to free our imagination . . .

    joestiglitz Joseph E. Stiglitz
    The Consumer Economy: A Delusion of Humanity? http://is.gd/g4FoZ #video

  16. fj2 says:

    GOOD GOOD
    Ideas for cities: Talent Districts http://su.pr/3TCIkO

  17. Colorado Bob says:

    Extreme weather forces Indonesia to import rice

    Indonesia will be forced to import rice in bulk and reduce exports of other commodities
    after extreme weather harmed agriculture over the past few months, officials said Friday.

    http://www.seeddaily.com/reports/Extreme_weather_forces_Indonesia_to_import_rice_999.html

    The local climatology agency has predicted that the extreme weather across the archipelago will continue until March next year.

    A similar weather pattern occurred in 1998, but this year’s rainfall was more intense, according to the agency.

  18. Colorado Bob says:

    From the Joint Typhoon Warning Center -
    Typoon Megi wil be making landfall in the northern Philippines with these forecast wind speeds :
    36 HRS, VALID AT:
    180000Z — 18.3N 123.2E
    MAX SUSTAINED WINDS – 135 KT, GUSTS 165 KT

    That’s 155 mph sustained winds with gusts to 190 mph.

    http://www.usno.navy.mil/JTWC/

  19. Colorado Bob says:

    Poor harvests, soaring demand from China and market speculation have “exploded” the cotton market, traders say, with December future prices in New York hitting record highs of almost 120 cents a pound yesterday, before subsiding in later trading.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/inflation-fears-mount-as-cotton-prices-hit-new-high-2108250.html

  20. Colorado Bob says:

    SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Movie director James Cameron is pledging to donate $1 million to fight Proposition 23, the ballot measure that would suspend California’s landmark global warming law.

    In making the pledge Friday, The Sacramento Bee reports that Cameron joins environmental groups, green tech advocates, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and others in opposing the proposition.

    http://www.sacbee.com/2010/10/16/3108451/green-energy-fuels-both-sides.html

  21. Heraclitus says:

    I have a question – what is the best use of a concerned non-expert’s time? I spend time on a number of non-climate-specific blogs countering the usual nonsense and occasionally bringing up the more interesting and important issues. Is it worth it? It’s certainly very rarely a pleasant or rewarding experience and the problem with honesty and integrity is it takes time. Should we just leave them to it?

    [JR: I'd say it's worth doing. You might pick one or two blogs to focus on.]

  22. mrhallorann says:

    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for the opportunity for us to contact you direct. One question – did you get my email asking for your thoughts on the Guardian piece a few weeks back talking about privately funded geo-engineering? I didn’t even get an acknowledgement from you, which was a bit disappointing given what an incredible article it was. In case you missed it, here it is again:

    blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100055500/global-cooling-and-the-new-world-order/

    Look forward to hearing what you think of this.

    Cheers,
    mrhallorann

    [JR: Uhh, that is not the piece you mean. I'm more than a bit disappointed you'd link to such unmitigated disinformation and hate speech.]

  23. Scrooge says:

    I think we should come up with names for future disasters in the US. Like when Oklahoma has a severe drought with crop failures we should call it the Inhofe drought. That way for years people when asked why were they homeless or why their relatives died they can say Inhofe. For a Texas heatwave that rivals Russia’s and the deaths there we can call it the Barton or Perry heatwave.

  24. Wit's End says:

    I have been thinking all week about the revolving door of climate change, which echoes that of finance between government employees, banks, and academics. In the case of climate change science, there is an unseemly whirl of employment between government agency appointments, academia, and polluting industries. Oh, and then along came this monumental report “Big Oil Goes to College” on Climate Progress, a devastating critique.

    This triumvirate amounts to a stranglehold on society and makes me wonder if we live in democracy or fantasy. Market Watch had a story helpfully informing us that the Obama EPA has approved a 50% increase in the amount of ethanol allowable in gasoline blends – to which I left the following observation:

    Ethanol is folly. The emissions from burning biofuels contain peroxyacetyl nitrates, which create even more potently toxic ozone than gasoline. Ozone is killing trees at a rapidly accelerating rate. Just consider the implications. As trees die, so do all the species that depend upon them for food and habitat.

    Ozone is also causing massive reductions in annual crop yields. As the background levels of tropospheric ozone inexorably increase, so will the damage to plants…and since THEY are at the bottom of the food chain, mass starvation will inevitably ensue.
    Maybe we should rethink that whole burning stuff up for energy idea…

    Pictures and music and more at witsendnj blog…ideas welcome!

  25. Chris Winter says:

    Heraclitus, It’s certainly time-consuming. I just spent several hours going through one thread at the Guardian to compose and post six responses.

    It’s no fun either, seeing the same people repeating the tired arguments that were just demolished upthread, demanding all sorts of evidence while providing none (or none that’s valid.)

    But I do think it’s worth it, and I think it’s having an impact. Where I used to see wall-to-wall contrarians, I now find more than half the posts are debunking their nonsense.

    I keep wishing for better software on the newspaper comment sections. Not only to the user interfaces badly need improvement, but there’s a great opportunity to get instant poll results by aggregating the post ratings. This probably wouldn’t be statistically significant but still could be useful.

  26. Sarah says:

    An open post is a good idea. Thanks.

    The NYT waffles again. An ongoing four-year drought in the Euphrates valley “might” be related to anthropogenic climate change.

    ‘Droughts have always taken place here, but “the regional climate is changing in ways that are clearly observable,” said Jeannie Sowers, a professor at the University of New Hampshire who has written on Middle East climate issues. “Whether you call it human-induced climate change or not, much of the region is getting hotter and dryer, combined with more intense, erratic rainfall and flooding in some areas. “‘

    Then the article goes on to shift the blame to bad irrigation projects, leaving the sense that this is a local issue with no relation the the rest of the planet.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/14/world/middleeast/14syria.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=Syria&st=cse

  27. David B. Benson says:

    Joe — Yes, one of these threads each weekend, please.

  28. John Hollenberg says:

    For a little levity, see this parody of climate denier Christine O’Donnell:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8ABXZcfZCQ

  29. Great iea. Thanks.

    Joe, one of the seldom mentioned GHGs is methane. Could you do an article on it shich links to oil and gas drilling? The recent disaster in the Gulf of Mexico had to release millions of tons of methane. The effects of which ought to be figured into calculations of BP’s liability. Since metane is 25 times more dangerous as a GHG than CO2 i it likely that the huge increases in atmospheric methane exacerbates arctic ice melt?

    Also, since the Deepwater Horizon explosion was caused by the dissociation of methane hydrates, could you do another article on how these hydrates, are formed. My understanding is that they form from CO2, methane and fresh water, not salt water, and could not occur in the Gulf or anywhere else were it not for the billions of gallons of fresh water put into bore holes by oil and gas producers to pressurize wells.

    When I read about the hydrate explosions in the Arctic, Lake Biakal, Indonesia, and the effervesence off the coast of Oregon I can’t help but believe that the earths crust is being further dissolved by hydrate dissociation as well as subsidence from the chemical stew created by oil and gas drilling.

    Pls enlighten us.

    Thanks.

  30. Gord says:

    Good idea.

    Looking forward to the posts.

  31. Jack says:

    I received an advance copy of the new book, “Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet,” by new author from NYC Ibrahim Abdul-Matin. The book was a good read, focusing on the intersections between faith and environment. He made a convincing case for harnessing the power of religion for the environmental movement. He used Islam as a case study. He argues that using religious texts, traditions, beliefs to make ‘saving the Earth’ relevant for people of faith is a powerful way to get more people involved. His website is http://www.greendeenbook.com

  32. paulm says:

    The CO2 profile is suppose to be one of the steepest in recent geological history.

    I think we are definitely in for ice sheet break up in a most spectacular and rapid fashion.

    http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/climatechange/Science/38809/a-look-at-longer-term-sea-leve.asp

  33. paulm says:

    Its the end of agriculture as we know it.
    The decline of global civilization is accelerating. Crop failures due to extreme weather events are becoming overwhelming. Russian is taking a beating this year, Canada is suffering in silence…

    http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/38947/clean-up-weather-for-deadly-ru.asp

    http://www.stockhouse.com/Community-News/2010/Oct/4/Is–perfect-storm–setting-stage-for-massive-food-

  34. paulm says:

    Here is a good interview with Lester Brown….I would say people are beginning to feel uneasy now….

    “…People are beginning to feel uncertain now.”
    http://environment.about.com/od/activismvolunteering/a/lesterbrown.htm

  35. paulm says:

    From the interview you can see that even she does not get it…

    Antony phoned Björk:’People make bad decisions when their ship is sinking’
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/audio/2010/oct/12/antony-bjork

  36. Colin J. Cameron says:

    There was a program on last night that I happened upon, called Conspiracy Theory, and it’s hosted by Jesse Ventura. The network is TruTV, which isn’t a network I’ve watched before.

    Here’s their program on global warming:

    http://www.conspiracytheoryjesseventura.com/2009/12/watch-episode-3-global-warming-conspiracy-theory-jesse-ventura/

    Jesse Ventura is hardly an authority whose opinion is cited by many people and TruTV appears to have copied it’s format from the National Enquirer so neither carries much weight but the conspiracy theory formula is quite effective at gaining certain credulous adherents. It was especially humorous to hear a recycled John Birch Society conspiracy theory on the New World Order mixed in with other standard fare straight out of The Paranoid Style in American Politics by Richard Hofstadter.

    I’ve tried to categorize the area of conspiracy theory beliefs in a way that expresses how these beliefs are subject to a different standard of truth. The point was to provide myself with a schematic for organizing beliefs just as heuristics & cognitive biases are distinguished from theories supported by empirical evidence. Conspiracy theories seem to fall into the area of motivated cognition (hot cognition), propaganda or myth. Questions about the motivations of adherents to these beliefs are inescapable but the real distinction is between disinformation and science. Global warming denialism is black propaganda (or grey) at it’s source but is carried by credulous adherents who hold fantastic beliefs that serve particular emotional needs just as the Stabbed in the Back legend served the emotional needs of Germans in post-WWI Germany. It’s less an empirical belief than a statement of how they feel about the world, and the epistemological criteria for science and conspiracy theories are commensurately different because they’re not the same kind of belief. And attempting to argue with denialists by using rational proofs can be fruitless because their beliefs are closer to a religious belief which can’t be questioned.

    The strategy for dealing with disinformation should be different than what’s used to prove anthropogenic global warming. What’s being proved is that the denialism is being funded by members of the fossil fuel industry who are supporting engaged in a disinformation campaign. The willing consumers of this disinformation have ideological and political-psychological reasons for their wishful thinking but these should be addressed directly at their core beliefs. For instance, fear of change could be framed as avoiding the massive changes that inaction would bring. And so on. My point is simply that people don’t disbelieve the science of global warming, they’re reacting emotionally (see the Political Brain by Drew Westen) to what they hear and making a motivated cognitive decision as to what they’ll believe. They’re not reacting to the world as it is but to a world as they’d like it to be.

  37. Dibble says:

    Chris Winter says:
    October 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    “It’s no fun either, seeing the same people repeating the tired arguments that were just demolished upthread, demanding all sorts of evidence while providing none (or none that’s valid.)”

    That’s certainly the case. I also think that people should have a look at actively countering the spin that goes on in the WUWT.

    I bet it’s not rewarding, but given that it’s a site supposedly dedicated to the science of climate change with heavy traffic, there’s a real chance that some people actually turn up there to learn, and are getting fed plain propoganda instead. The downside of engaging with Watts and trying to expose the junk scicnce in his political assault, is that he’ll be able to trumpet his ‘hits’ as an indicator of winning support.

    What to do?

  38. caerbannog says:

    A little off-topic — oh, wait… this is an open thread, so guess it’s not OT after all.

    A little-known blogger (William Connolley of http://www.scienceblogs.com/stoat) has just been elevated to the world’s second most important global-warming activist (right behind Al Gore)! Details at: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/10/14/lawrence-solomon-global-warming-propagandist-slapped-down/

    Eat yer heart out, Dr. Romm!!!!

  39. _Flin_ says:

    Considering policy and measures: German power costs will rise 1.5 €-Ct. per kWh due to heavy invests in Photovoltaics.
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-10-15/german-power-costs-to-rise-as-renewable-subsidy-leaps.html
    A big discussion is being started whether the now 3.5 €-Ct. is “too high a price”.

  40. LT says:

    This article from George Monbiot http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2010/10/11/the-values-of-everything/ draws attention to a very interesting report, “Common Cause: the case for working with our cultural values ” by Tom Crompton of the WWF. The report throws some very useful light on why facts about global climate disruption and other “greater than self issues” just bounce right off some folk who ought to know better. Personally I have been driven mad by many scientifically literate people in my day to day circle who seem to respond to more facts only by hardening their denial and descending into what seems to be an extraordinary break out of pre-enlightenment thinking. Here at last is an explanation that makes some sense, along with some very useful pointers for getting around the problem.

  41. perceptiventity says:

    Have deep respect for this blog its creator and all the pundits.
    Precisely because of rational and sane behaviour. Sorry if I waste your time with this but I am not american and would like the natives help with this entertaining video by ex US millitary servicemen

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtmpaM0PqyI&feature=player_embedded

    tell me it’s a hoax, because otherwise it’s a major paradime shift for me personally and the rest of humanity. Cheers and thanks in advance to anyone who cares to comment

  42. Heraclitus says:

    Chris – it’s that “several hours” that I’m wondering about. I’ve done much the same, I’ve even spent several hours of my own following up apdavidson references trying to see if there was any kernel of sense in it (seems not). I get the sense that after the first dozen or so comments it’s often just the two entrenched sides who keep reading – looking at the approval stats this seems to be borne out. Are we just talking to ourselves by this point? Do we just reinforce the impression of an intractable dialogue? I’m loathe to leave the idiocy unaddressed in case anyone does look, but is that effective use of time?

  43. Peter M says:

    Some Garden News from my locale

    After the hot and dry summer- some hardy shrubs partially burned and defoliated

    Poison Ivy is growing larger, spreading into my garden and is becoming increasingly toxic

    My cold hardy palms however did very well- many new fan leaves (these are planted in the ground in Connecticut) They suffered no effects from the ‘endless summer’ but enjoyed the sub tropical weather

  44. John Mason says:

    Chris – you have my sympathy too! I’ve given up on BBC threads and am not far off the same with the Guardian, unless I land on the first 50 page – I suspect most people do not bother reading beyond that. No matter how much science one uses to counter the entirely predictable denialist talking-points that the couple of dozen regular activists routinely regurgitate, they are at it again just the same the following day – a really strong smell of Astroturf fills the air!

    Davidson seems absolutely convinced of his pet theory as he posts a sort-of abstract of it at almost every opportunity, which hasn’t encouraged me to read much further!

    This open thread idea is a sound one, Joe. It gives us a general forum area in which to exchange snippets of interest.

    Cheers – John

  45. adelady says:

    Some good news for a change. Australia finally starts getting its act together.

    http://www.theage.com.au/environment/ceos-to-sit-at-carbon-table-20101017-16p4a.html

  46. fj2 says:

    Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet, Tim Jackson

    Contents

    Acknowledgements Forewords by Herman E. Daly, Bill McKibben, Mary Robinson and Pavan Sukdev
    1. Prosperity Lost
    2. The Age of Irresponsibility
    3. Redefining Prosperity
    4. The Dilemma of Growth
    5. The Myth of Decoupling
    6. The Iron Age of Consumerism
    7. Keynesianism and teh ‘Green New Deal’
    8. Ecological Macro-economics
    9. Flourishing – Within Limits
    10. Governance for Prosperity
    11. The Transition to a Sustainable Economy
    12. A Lasting Prosperity Appendices List of Figures, Tables and Boxes List of Acronyms and Abbreviations Notes References

    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Prosperity-Without-Growth/Tim-Jackson/e/9781844078943

    ISBN: 1844078949
    ISBN-13: 9781844078943
    Pub. Date: Dec 2009
    Publisher: Earthscan Publicaitons Ltd.

  47. MarkF says:

    fj2 thanks for the book reference.

  48. paulm says:

    Does anyone know of a source with the CO2 emissions of nations based on their consumptions figures factored in? Would be very useful to have.

    growing greener at the expense of the rest of the world
    While we comfort ourselves with our conservation and recycling, we pollute other nations
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/oct/17/global-warming-environment-west-waste

  49. MarkF says:

    something I would like to see.

    re: “too expensive to make the transition”

    Is anyone keeping a tab of the current costs of not making the transition?

    seems like a useful tool in the argument.

    for instance, this spring there was an unprecedented hail storm in Alberta. I recently saw a figure of one half billion dollars damage caused by the storm.

    what was the cost of the biblical flooding in Tennessee? I has to be in the billions.

    the cost of the record rainfall in eastern USA a few weeks ago?

    these are just two examples.

    add then up, and see then, if it’s too expensive to get off oilcoal.

    I would like to see someone keeping track for ready reference.

    this might be something that could be run as a “cost of doing nothing” section at this site, for instance.
    (if the owner thought it was workable)

    any ideas?

  50. MarkF says:

    I guess I’d better not help with the math.

  51. Wit's End says:

    Palingates made a video about the Koch brothers plus has the trailer to “Astro-turf” wars…get the popcorn!

  52. fj2 says:

    52. MarkF, The Stern Review, details the rapidly accelerating costs of not acting on climate change.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stern_Review
    Of course there was controversy; over $10 trillion invested in fossil fuel infrastructure made this inevitable but Stern answers later in the Wikipedia listing.

    Stern’s later comments
    In April 2008 Stern said that the severity of his findings were vindicated by the 2007 IPCC report and admitted that in the Stern Review, “We underestimated the risks [ . . . ] we underestimated the damage associated with temperature increases [ . . . ] and we underestimated the probabilities of temperature increases”. In June 2008, Stern said that because climate change is happening faster than predicted, the cost to reduce carbon would be even higher, of about 2% of GDP instead of the 1% in the original report.”

    Not doing anything to reduce carbon will rapidly become lethal for civilization.

    Full text of the Stern Review, from HM Treasury
    http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/sternreview_index.htm

  53. Michael says:

    Colorado Bob (20) -

    It now looks like Megi will hit the Philippines as a Cat 5; winds are currently at 155 knots (180 mph, and 220 mph gusts), making it the world’s strongest storm this year. That should deserve an article, since it is rather uncommon for a Cat 5 to make landfall.

  54. Lewis C says:

    Mark -

    I’d second the call for a page dedicated to extreme weather, in that scattering these events through the threads, mostly as off-topic inputs, doesn’t present a clear picture of their ongoing cumulative impacts – particularly on agriculture, food prices and starvation.

    Joe’s fine posts on occaisional major events are of course very welcome, but again they cannot present an assembly of all that is going on.

    An extreme weather events page looks like an excellent idea.
    Anyone third this suggestion ?

    Regards,

    Lewis

  55. Mark says:

    In a dissapointing first sally Labour’s new finance spokesman in the UK suggests a job creation stimulus – by building more roads!!! The political establishment really do not get it! From The Observer:

    “In a departure from Labour’s policy at the general election, Johnson will call for a big increase in capital spending on road building and construction – probably funded by a far higher levy on banks and action against bankers’ bonuses – to boost economic activity and create jobs.”

  56. Dibble says:

    It’s a commonly cited mantra of denialism to cite the “trillions of dollars” it will cost to move to a low carbon economy. I’ve never seen a reference for this…ever.

    On the other hand the Stern review (http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/CLOSED_SHORT_executive_summary.pdf) was clear. Actions to “reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the
    worst impacts of climate change” would cost around 1% of global GDP a year against the “Review estimates that if we don’t
    act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least
    5% of global GDP each year, now and forever. If a wider range of risks and impacts
    is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to 20% of GDP or more.

    That is a rough idea of the gamble the world is taking on the tiny chance that the deniers are right.

  57. Michael says:

    Dr. Masters reports on Super Typhoon Megi, saying that it could have sustained winds as high as 200 mph, which would be (I think) a world record if true (even Tip had sustained winds of only 190 mph):

    At 8:09am EDT (12:09 UTC), the aircraft measured winds at flight level (8,000 feet) of 220 mph. The SFMR surface wind measurement instrument recorded surface winds of 186 mph in regions where heavy rain was not contaminating the measurement, but found surface winds of 199 mph in one region of heavy rain. Now, this measurement is considered contaminated by rain, but at very high wind speeds, the contamination effect is less important than at lower hurricane wind speeds, and it is possible than Megi’s surface winds are close to a sustained 200 mph. This is supported by the flight level winds of 220 mph, which support surface winds of 199 mph, using the usual 10% reduction rule of thumb.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1661

  58. Colorado Bob says:

    Michael @ 57 -

    This part of the Philippines suffered last season from intense rainfall. Apparently the storm is slowing down, and turning more to the south.

    It’s a monster -

    http://www.goes.noaa.gov/sohemi/sohemiloops/shphil.html

  59. Colorado Bob says:

    From Dr. Masters -
    ” the storm is expected to re-intensify and hit the Chinese coast between Hainan Island and Hong Kong as a major typhoon on Friday. ”

    1 hour ago :
    100,000 Evacuated as Floods Batter Hainan

    From Friday to mid Sunday the province received 200 mm of rainfall, on average, and the rainfall in some places was even as high as 426 mm (16.77 in.), he told reporters.

    http://english.cri.cn/6909/2010/10/18/1461s599823.htm

    Oct. 6 -

    Parts of the island received an average 324.7 mm ( 12.75 in.) of rainfall.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-10/07/c_13544860.htm

  60. David B. Benson says:

    Robert Bostick — Wikipedia might be a good place to start learning about methyl clathrates. These naturally form in sea water, world-wide, wherever the prssure is great enough and the temperature cool enough. It is the case that CO2 also forms clathrates and the phase transition diagram will be similar, but I don’t know it.

    Methyl clathrates blowouts happen whenever the temperature of the sea water above the clathrates (those being in the sea floor) rises enough. I don’t know why blowouts are associated with drilling, but it seems to be more than just random.

    Joe Romm has done earlier posts on the methane being expressed from melting permafrost.

  61. Colorado Bob says:

    Farmers in Cagayan, a rice- and tobacco-producing region of more than 1 million people about 250 miles (400 kilometers) northeast of Manila, have been warned to harvest as much of their crops as possible before Typhoon Megi hits or risk losses, Cuarteros said, adding the typhoon would hit amid the harvest season.

    http://www.seattlepi.com/national/1104ap_as_asia_typhoon.html

  62. fj2 says:

    http://www.rollingstone.com:80/politics/news/17390/220013 Obama’s truly historic presidency in Rolling Stone Oct 28 Issue.

  63. Jeff Huggins says:

    Yikes

    I was going to make an observation about meaning, and perhaps I still will. But after reading and perusing many of the comments here, the word that strikes me is “yikes”, in the sense that so much thinking from so many people on so many dimensions of the problem can cause “mind fragmentation” and is somewhat paralyzing in and of itself.

    I wonder, sometimes, if we aren’t making the problem more complicated than it is? Sometimes answers (or big parts of them) stare us in the face, but we’d rather do nearly anything OTHER THAN actually do what they indicate.

    For example, history shows (and an understanding of “human nature” from the scientific standpoint also strongly suggests) that large societies do not normally undergo substantial changes (of the size needed to face and address climate change) without very substantial activism. Most of the large-scale changes have involved immense activism — at a minimum — and (unfortunately) many changes resulted only from an eventual resort to large-scale conflict, i.e, war. Yet, in the meantime, we act as if once-a-year events, periodic new books, letters to Senators, and so forth will carry the day. Why? I’m not sure. Is it because most of the people leading the movement, and most of us, don’t really understand how major change happens in society? In other words, is it because we don’t understand humans, and human societies, and how change happens? Or, is it because we “understand” (in theory, or at least subconsciously) but do not want to face the realities that come with that understanding? In other words, that we don’t want to do the things that are normally required to facilitate positive societal change? So, we would rather write and write and write, and write more, in the hopes that writing more will do the trick?

    This is not to say that writing won’t help. It’s often immensely helpful. But it won’t be sufficient. And, IF it is to be helpful, it shouldn’t mislead us into thinking that it WILL be sufficient. In other words, one of the main ways in which writing can be helpful, if it is going to be helpful, is to help us understand the facts associated with humans, human societies, how societies change, and (thus) what we need to being doing if we really want to face and address global warming. In other words, writing should understand its own limits and roles. The first thing that writing should understand is that “I (writing) can’t do this by myself”. The second thing that writing should understand is that “I (writing) must necessarily enlist active activism, in the sense of the physical world, beyond the internet and in the streets themselves, and I should enlist active activism quickly and effectively, because the clock is ticking”.

    It seems to me that writing and internet-only activity, and a preference for avoiding the sorts of things that humans have had to do in the past in order to bring about positive societal change, all entice and lull us into a feeling that we can get away with not doing those things, i.e., that we can effect societal change without lifting much more than the fingers it takes to type things into our keyboards. Well, I have bad news for us: We’ll have to lift more than those fingers.

    The climate itself, of course, doesn’t give one hill of beans about what we write. (This doesn’t mean that writing isn’t helpful, but does mean that it won’t be sufficient.) But — and this is the part that we don’t seem to understand — even society doesn’t give all that much attention to what is ONLY written. People are social beings, and we take many of our clues, especially about the most deeply troubling things, from what other people DO, not from what is written. If you write to me that there is some injustice taking place, but don’t do anything else about it, and don’t “get out there” to address it, and don’t put it atop your own priorities, and don’t “sacrifice” anything to resolve it, then why should I think that it’s really all that important, even to you, let alone me? Spoken words are cheap, and written words are (in these senses) almost as cheap, or at least “easy”. This is what’s missing from the present dialogues. Indeed, it seems to be a theme that is sidelined.

    From a societal standpoint, much of society (with the help of the media) categorizes and (to a degree) sidelines people concerned about climate change as “those climate change folks” or “environmentalists”. The movement is categorized and sidelined, or at least positioned as “not the norm”, “not the mainstream”.

    But that’s not my point. My point is that the same thing takes place within the movements themselves. It seems to me that people who argue that large-scale activism will be required, and that we’ll need to mount huge boycotts, and so forth, are categorized and sidelined, effectively speaking anyhow. “Those activists and boycott-suggesters!” Society has a way of ignoring those REALITIES that it simply doesn’t find comfortable or convenient. So, some people ignore the reality of climate change itself. But many people who don’t ignore THAT reality DO ignore the reality that our own efforts will have to become much larger, much more effective, and (in many cases) much more activistic than our efforts have been so far. That is, IF we want to actually face and address climate change, rather than merely complain about it.

    So, are we going to pick and choose what inconvenient truth to acknowledge and what other inconvenient truth to entirely ignore and attempt to “hope into nonexistence”? Or, are we going to face reality, as inconvenient as it might be, and call on ourselves to think more creatively about our next steps?

    I was going to offer some of my own observations about the role of meaning as it relates to finding better pathways forward, but I’ll leave that until another time. Right now, the question is, to what degree are we willing to face reality? Much more will be necessary, in our efforts, than merely writing and sending letters to politicians. Do we “get it”? Who does?

    Cheers for now,

    Jeff

  64. David B. Benson says:

    Jeff Huggins — Other than the immediate, daily, sensory impressions, most people learn most of what they “know” about reality (and fantasy) by listening and reading.

    So appropriate rhetoric is important. Joe Romm has a post or two about rhetoric.

    And in does make a difference: Racheal Carson’s Silent Spring.

  65. fj2 says:

    The following are summary excerpts of an article from the October 28, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone.

    The Case for Obama
    The charges are familiar: He’s a compromiser who hasn’t stood up to the GOP or Wall Street.

    But a look at his record reveals something even more startling — a truly historic presidency

    The historic progress that Obama has made is evident in eight key areas:

    1. Averting a Depression

    2. Sparking Recovery

    3. Saving Detroit

    4. Reforming Health Care

    5. Cutting Corporate Welfare

    6. Restoring America’s Reputation

    7. Protecting Consumers

    8. Launching a Clean-Energy Moon Shot

    “You have this conundrum,” says Wilentz, the Princeton historian. “Obama has an admirable record of accomplishment, but the political dynamics are all moving the other way. How do you explain that?”

    Pressed on this connect, Axelrod argues that the president has been too busy with governance to get caught up in the scrum of politics. “We’re focused on trying to build a better country for the future,” he says. “The president’s attitude is that the politics will ultimately take care of itself.”

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/220013

  66. Lewis C says:

    Michael at 62 -

    A 200mph wind is a truly fearsome event.

    For those not aware of the details of wind’s power, it is perhaps worth noting that its power rises with the cube of its velocity: for each doubling of speed there’s an 8-fold rise of power.

    Thus a 200mph wind has 8 times the power of a 100mph wind, and 64 times that of a 50mph wind.

    The difference in destructive force between a wind of 50 & 200mph is thus (in plain figures) that between 50 and 3,200.

    Brick houses can be erased down to their foundations by such windspeeds as Megi contains. God help those in the path of this storm.

    Regards,

    Lewis

  67. Mike says:

    Flat Earth after all?

    A warming world could leave cities flattened
    New Scientist
    15 October 2010

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20827825.100-a-warming-world-could-leave-cities-flattened.html

    Over the last decade, rock avalanches and landslides have become more common in high mountain ranges, apparently coinciding with the increase in exceptionally warm periods. The collapses are triggered by melting glaciers and permafrost, which remove the glue that holds steep mountain slopes together.

    Worse may be to come. Thinning glaciers on volcanoes could destabilise vast chunks of their summit cones, triggering mega-landslides capable of flattening cities such as Seattle and devastating local infrastructure.

  68. Paulm says:

    Always wondered how mountain erosion happen to the extent we now see. Well the reality is that we have been living in a relatively gentle period which seems to be the exception. Now that it’s warming up things are starting to rumble again.

  69. Colorado Bob says:

    I have started a thread on Megi over at NewsVine , going to post updates as this thing unfolds.
    http://coloradobob1.newsvine.com/_news/2010/10/17/5306623-super-typhoon-megi

  70. Lewis C says:

    Mike at 72 -

    In addition to increased volcanism, a phenomenon that seems likely to be related to GW-driven changes in the cryosphere (and the oceans’ dispositions) is that of strange rise in severe earthquakes at the end of the ’90s, which is still intensifying. The article in Digital Journal titled: “Six volcanoes erupt simultaneously in Russia”

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/279526

    gives an overview of the growing understanding that earthquake and volcanic activity are accelerating in response to global warming. For want of a better hypothesis, the redistribution of global pressures as the cryosphere is degraded is held responsible.

    There is a link in the article to what appears to be yet another hockey stick data series reflecting the sudden >8-fold rise after about a century of stasis in the frequency of extreme earthquake events, as provided by the USGS.

    http://www.thehorizonproject.com/earthquakes.cfm

    According to USGS data, that intensification has continued since 2006 (the last year graphed).

    Regards,

    Lewis

  71. Colorado Bob says:

    Tropical Storm Ketsana and Typhoon Parma struck the northern Philippine island of Luzon within a week of each other in September and October last year, triggering the worst flooding in recent history.

    The twin storms killed more than 1,000 people, affected nearly 10 million and caused damage worth $US4.3 billion ($A4.34 billion) according to the World Bank and international humanitarian agencies.

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/super-typhoon-roars-towards-philippines-20101018-16pf6.html

  72. joyce says:

    Jeff (68) -
    You hit the nail on the head with regard to talk/click/letters, etc. I coordinate a volunteer program composed of science based education around climate change issue called “Carbon Masters.” After completion, volunteers spearhead various community/neighborhood/county projects designed to help with mitigation, adaptation or education. One of my volunteers and I decided we should make up t-shirts with “Carbon Masters” on one side and “Just Do Stuff” on the other…

  73. Jeff Huggins says:

    To David Benson (Comment 69)

    Hi David. Thanks for the comment.

    My point, of course, was not that writing, reasoning, rhetoric, etc. aren’t important or that they don’t make a difference. They are and do, of course. And there are many more examples than Silent Spring, although that’s a good one.

    My point, instead, is that they aren’t sufficient, by themselves, to accomplish the sorts and degrees of societal change we need. And history shows that point, plentifully. It’s not a question of EITHER writing OR activism and action, of course. BOTH are needed. And that is my point.

    Regarding the point you make in your first paragraph, the degrees to which I’d agree or disagree with it, and in what senses, depend on what you mean by it. Indeed, it depends on what you mean by “knowing”. There are many degrees of “knowing” something, and a great many of those degrees — indeed, probably most of them — don’t result in sufficient “knowing” or “understanding” or whatever to result in actual decisions and actions commensurate with that “knowing”. We “learn” many things by reading — of course — and perhaps most of them by reading and listening, but we learn many more things by seeing and doing and watching others, sometimes in parallel with reading and listening. We are very social beings. And, if we read something that is inconsistent with what we think we SEE or what we think we have experienced, on a first-hand basis, we usually give preference to what we’ve SEEN or EXPERIENCED over what we’ve merely read. This is true until or unless we can reconcile the two, that is, understanding how what we’ve read and what we’ve seen or experienced fit together. Also, of course, if someone tells us X and then does Opposite X, we tend to doubt X (at least as it relates to them) and give more weight to their actions than their words.

    I believe that words and writing are very important, but Not Nearly Sufficient. Indeed, as I mentioned earlier, if the words and writing give the impression that they can be sufficient, they are (in that sense) diminishing their own validity and helpfulness, at least when it comes to matters where the reality is that MORE than writing will be necessary. In other words, we shouldn’t be fooled by words into relying entirely on writing to solve the world’s problems. What we DO will be taken to be more important than what we SAY, of course, and that goes for how serious other people — our audiences — think we are when it comes to our actual concerns.

    There are a number of experiments, too (and it happens in everyday life), where someone says he thinks exactly the opposite of what he just read, even if what he just read is more likely valid, or exactly the opposite of what he thought he knew, IF other influential people in the room, that is, in the experiment, say the other thing. In other words, when it comes to many matters — and especially the matters of most importance — people take many of their clues from what other people DO. This is one of the biggest issues with our problem “communicating” climate change. Reports and books and so forth have been written for a long time, and are now written more and more, about the immensity of the problem, the immorality of not dealing with it, and the terrible things that will happen if we don’t. Then, the very same people (who are writing and reading about it) can amass only modest numbers of people — only a minority of the people even within their own numbers — to participate in half-day events, once a year. Again, “how big can the problem really be if people who write ‘disaster’ only show up, in small numbers, at events that occur once a year?” THAT is an issue. Similarly, “how important can the problem really be if, when The Times writes about it, it’s only on page 10?” THAT is an issue. Indeed, the people in the media themselves must not genuinely appreciate the weight of the problem, even though they read about it all the time, and even write about it, because it seems LESS IMPORTANT to them than preserving their conventions of “balance” and their respectful conventional deference to the editor who decides what doesn’t go on the front page.

    So, one might ask, (going beyond the question of how much reading matters), how much does WRITING itself change the views of people who WRITE? Of course, to a great degree on most occasions. It’s hard NOT to be influenced by your own writing. But, ask this: How much does Andy Revkin really “understand” about the global warming problem and the corresponding problem of societal change? It might be tempting to say, a lot! After all, he writes and reads about it all the time. But if he really “got it”, given what the science indicates, would he continue to defer to journalistic “balance”, other such conventions, “both sides of the story”, and blah blah blah? More concretely, the media themselves pay attention to (and cover) ACTIONS when they are large enough to convey “seriousness”. In other words, ten thousand people could write a letter, or a book, asking and arguing that a certain coal plant be shut down. The media won’t cover it. But, if the same ten thousand people go out and demonstrate so effectively that the coal plant IS shut down, at least for a significant period as a starter, the media will cover it, much more. So, here we have an example of people who are in the business of writing, and who also read a lot and would not discount the value of what’s written, themselves demonstrating that ACTIONS speak louder than WORDS. WHO CARES if ten thousand people send a letter to shut down a coal plant. That’s not interesting. But if ten thousand people get up in the morning and actually bother to go out and try hard to shut down the coal plant, that’s worth paying attention to and covering! And if they succeed, that’s definitely something to cover to an even larger degree. On this note, even though the media (given their responsibility to society) SHOULD be more proactive, and should not need to wait for such activism in order to report on important matters, nevertheless their conventional choices DO make the point I’m talking about: They (the media) understand that a matter is more important, and seen to be more important, if people get off their butts, out of the house, and actually DO something that lends weight to what is written about. Here, I’m not being critical of anyone here, to be sure. CP does a great job. But, the point (again) isn’t that writing isn’t helpful. Instead, it’s that writing isn’t sufficient.

    Hopefully that helps to clarify what I was trying to say earlier.

    Thanks David.

    Be Well,

    Jeff

  74. fj2 says:

    This seems pricey but may be cost effective on a campus scale and David Gershon seems to have a proven track.
    http://www.socialchange2.com/

    Social Change 2.0, David Gershon, 2009
    http://www.socialchange2.com/index.php/author/empowering-a-climate-change-movement

    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Social-Change-20/David-Gershon/e/9780963032775

    http://www.nytimesknownow.com/index.php/campus-sustainability-day-8-webcast/

    Campus Sustainability Day 8: Empowering A Low Carbon Movement at Your Campus WEBCAST
    Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 1:00 – 2:30PM EST

    Moderator: Andrew C. Revkin, Presenter: David Gershon

    Site link to live webcast: $195.00, Archived CD Only (for PCs): $195.00,
    Site link to live webcast + Archived CD (for PCs): $292.50

    Campus Sustainability Day 8:
    Empowering A Low Carbon Movement at Your Campus:
    Strategies and Tools for Behavior Change, Community Engagement, and Large Scale Transformation

    This webcast will offer tools and techniques that you can apply to the carbon reduction activities you are doing on your own campus, and in your community. With the U.S. Senate unable to pass climate legislation, as American citizens we are left to our own devices. But even if legislation had passed, the speed and magnitude of change our scientists tell us is needed, goes well beyond anything political leaders were contemplating. The social change tools at their disposal—command and control, and financial incentives, at their best—are designed for slow, incremental change.

    David Gershon’s three decades of behavior-change and large system transformation research has proven that people are willing to change when they have a compelling vision and the necessary tools to help bring it to fruition. To stay motivated, people need others of like mind going on the journey with them. And, with a well-designed change platform that is replicable and scalable, these behavior changes can be widely disseminated throughout a college or university campus, community, country and across the planet. He calls this approach “social change 2.0.”

    Gershon’s social change strategies and tools have helped tens-of-thousands of households achieve a 25% carbon footprint reduction, and over 300 U.S. cities have implemented them community-wide. They have also spread to China, Japan, Korea, Canada and Australia. The lessons and strategies he has learned can inform the approaches you employ on your campus and in your community.

    His social change 2.0 approach can be applied to help reduce your campus’s and America’s carbon footprint at this critical juncture when our national government has come up short, and Americans aspire to be responsible citizens of the planet.

  75. David B. Benson says:

    Jeff Huggins @78 — Yes.

  76. catman306 says:

    Climate Change Confirmers need to recognize each other on the street and in their vehicles. There’s more of us every day.

    A small bumper sticker on all of our vehicles identifying ourselves as a “Climate Change Confirmer” might go a long way to get this movement out of the closet and into the minds of politicians. Those elected politicians use the same roads that we do. And so do the oil and coal executives. And the whores at the MSM. It just might make them all nervous. I, for one, would like to help make them nervous.

    Free distribution at collages and universities might be a good way to get this outing process started.

  77. David Smith says:

    81 Catman306 – I have been working on this concept and have included a page on my web site for bumper stickers. I thought that to advance the discussion nationally with a simple public expression would be a great positive thing. Your message is simple, and I would like to include it in my collection. This “Climate Change Confirmer” Could be the simplest statement. I was looking for such a statement.

    My site is http://www.stockbridgegreen.com see the “Bumper stickers” page.

  78. Sarah says:

    Jeff-
    Excellent points.
    One very simple thing that we can all do is to bring up the topic of climate in conversations (real face to face talking to actual people) where we might normally hesitate to discuss “politics” or controversial issues. In face to face encounters people are more willing to listen, far less likely to flame, and may be even provoked to think. It’s valuable to bring up the topic even to those who disagree at the moment. I think all of us can be more influenced by the opinions of neighbors, co-workers, and acquaintances than we are willing to admit.
    Likewise, speaking up in public forums (e.g. polical town halls, etc) has a dispoportional impact.
    If you go to Washington DC, visit your rep offices and demand in person that they act.

    Joyce: Good work, science education is also key at all levels.

    What next? Civil rights and anti-war activism took decades to turn the country. Unfortunately, catastrophes rally the public better than most anything else. Some do anyhow, 911 did, Pearl Harbor did, but Katrina didn’t, nor have repeated floods in the Mississippi valley over the last few years. No doubt we’ll have more catastrophes, but waiting around to say “I told you so” is not a very worthy goal.

    What else? Conservation at home will not win this one, even if every reader of this site and all their friends and families could magically live carbon-neutral lives. The problem and the solutions are too big.

    Consider the two options if your parachute doesn’t open as you plummet from a plane. You can just shrug and enjoy the view on the way to your death, or you can struggle with all you have to find a way to slow your decent. I suspect that most readers here are of the second type.
    How do we harness all that drive to fight and the varied talents represented here?

  79. catman306 says:

    A google search for denial antonym yielded ‘confirmation’.

    Climate change denier

    Climate Change Confirmer

    Someday someone’s Google search will yield:

    “Fox News has confirmed this evening that climate change is real and happening now. Take action immediately.”

  80. Wit's End says:

    Somewhere I read of a terrific sign at Copenhagen – System Change Not Climate Change.

    Probably too long for a bumper sticker.

  81. Jeff Huggins says:

    Hey Everyone!

    I had a thought — perhaps someone else has already had it, though I haven’t read many of the comments above.

    Perhaps we should try to use this “place” — that is, the weekend open thread — to share thoughts and ideas regarding the topics of social change and positive activism, i.e., to discuss the question of how to make substantially more progress?

    I think it would be great to enter into such a discussion, and to “get real” and “get creative” about such matters, and it would be worth the time and effort under two conditions: First, it would be worth the time and effort if enough of us did it. And Second, it would be worth the time and effort if some number of the leading organizations participated in the dialogue or at least read the comments and suggestions and let us know that they were doing so. In other words, I’d be happy to share my thoughts and suggestions, and enter into that discussion, IF a decent number of us were doing so and IF leaders of the movements themselves would read and consider our comments and suggestions. There’s no use writing if nobody is reading!

    What do you think? Would (enough) people like to discuss real social change, and real and creative ways to try to bring it about? And, would there be a way to enlist the readership of at least some of the leaders of the key climate movements, to read the comments and suggestions and genuinely consider them? If so, it might be worth a try. If not, then we get back to the problem: How do we know if our time here is well spent, if we sit and write observations and ideas but if nobody considers them?

    Please let me know what you think.

    Cheers,

    Jeff

  82. joyce says:

    Gosh Jeff. I’m way too busy “doing” things to talk much about it… ;-)

    I lurk on several quality cc/sustainability blogs/sites and have picked up many ideas to run with. You could call me an “idea plagerizer.” I hate to see a good idea go to waste. If people would participate in such an activity–I’m sure I’d learn a lot.

  83. John Mason says:

    Megi has broken at least one world record. At landfall, its central pressure was down to 885mb!!!!

    WTPQ20 RJTD 180300
    RSMC TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVISORY
    NAME TY 1013 MEGI (1013)
    ANALYSIS
    PSTN 180300UTC 17.4N 122.6E GOOD
    MOVE W 10KT
    PRES 885HPA
    MXWD 125KT
    GUST 175KT

    175knots is just over 200mph – just within the EF-5 rating in the operational enhanced Fujita scale for tornado intensity. In other words this whole storm is like a severe tornado, except it’s tens of miles across….

    Cheers – John

  84. David Smith says:

    # 86 – Great Idea, Jeff – an activism forum. However, I don’t think we should not depend on existing organizations to take action. Each of us share responsibility and need to activate. I think change will finally occur when we are far beyond the present level of street action.

  85. catman306 says:

    #71 Lewis C

    In the middle 60s, I served aboard a Coast Guard weather ship in the North Pacific (OSV) as a common sailor. One day in the morning the seas were ‘flat ass calm’, where we could look over the side and see our reflections in the water, just a gentle ground swell. By 6 PM, the ships anemometer had broken while reading 120 knots. The next morning we witnessed 100 foot seas, which were pretty exciting in a 25 year old, 255 foot, 1600 ton ship.

    It’s nice to know that some of the data points we helped to collect are STILL being used. bathothermograph, sonde, windsonde and others. We had an oceanography lab. (Pardon my spelling, spell checker no help at all)

    I can’t imagine 200 mph winds, and fear for sailors in that area and for the people on the shore.

  86. homunq says:

    CLIMATE ANONYMOUS
    Step 1: We have a problem

    I like the idea of a simple bumper-sticker-type slogan which would identify a person as acknowledging the reality of HCD (human climate disruption). But I’m not quite satisfied with “Climate Change Confirmer” – it sounds too much as if it the person is pro-climate-change.

    So how about the above?

    As a strong atheist, I can’t fully embrace the 12 steps. But I absolutely agree with steps 1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, and 12 (acknowledgement, responsibility, amends, and witness). I think that the message of the above would be that the person is on a path to trying to resolve the problem, which is exactly the message we need.

    Actually, a real Climate Anonymous organization, under the same decentralized, local-meeting principles of AA, would be a great thing.

    Do others agree? I’d love to hear other simple, inclusive, identifying slogan ideas.

  87. Raul M. says:

    Third option in parachoting is an overwhelming
    disorientation.
    Fourth option don’t do it.
    Dang spell checker.

  88. I have put up my diagram of global warming inactivist think-tanks, “You are in a maze of twisty little think-tanks”, onto FortuneCity:

    http://inactivism.fortunecity.com/think-tanks/

    It includes the There’s a ton of available information which I’ve yet to add, and I hope to add it in the coming weeks.

    frank

  89. catman306 says:

    James Newberry says:
    October 16, 2010 at 1:15 pm
    “I’ve read that lifetime carbon dioxide radiative forcing (planet heating) is up to 100,000 times the heat of combustion for a given mass of hydrocarbon material.”

    I’ve wondered about this number 100,000. At RealClimate, someone said it was way to high. They said 2 or 3 times / year. Could a real climatologist please supply the correct number? Or maybe a link to a post?

  90. Adrian says:

    Is Monday morning still the weekend?

    1. I think it would be helpful if comments and replies could be organized into threads. That way, for example, Jeff Huggins’ comments and others’ replies would be sequential, as would the rather horrifying info about Megi.

    2. Regarding activism. Yes, yes, yes! The need to think/write and then act/do–concertedly, en masse, is as necessary as ever it was in history. Nix on decoupling the two.

    Two kinds of action are needed, negative/against and positive/for: direct non-violent action (cheers to the folks picketing PNC bank for funding mountaintop removal, for example) and creative community action (tonight I’m meeting with others from my town who are formulating a sustainability plan based on input from residents).

    Neither form of action will work alone, but in concert will have synergistic effects–as long as backed by thinking/writing–and messaging, as Mike Roddy has suggested elsewhere.

    Some kind of forum/discussion zone/clearing house as suggested by Jeff H. would be very useful–to keep regular readers informed, to create unity out of fragmentation, to inspire us in all our different locales.

    Is Joe, through his relentless, on-message posting helping to spearhead a broad-based movement?

  91. MarkF says:

    I think I will start a blog at ebloggers (free google blog)

    just for the purpose of attempting to keep track of the costs of climate related disasters. I will not be inhibited by saying “this probably can be attribute to global warming”

    If anyone has any ideas on how to go about this, let me know.

    It is simple to start a blog at eblogger. I will just go ahead and do this.

    I just checked on the tennessee flooding, cost is around two billion dollars so far.

    WPLN News View All
    NPR Nashville:

    ” Flood Damage Estimates Rise Beyond $2 Billion
    Wednesday, May 19th, 2010, by Blake Farmer
    The flood damage to private property in Nashville is quickly approaching $2 billion. According to estimates released by city officials Wednesday, more than 11,000 parcels sustained some kind of damage during this month’s historic rainfall.

    The running totals don’t include public buildings and infrastructure. Those estimates are just coming out, but it is already clear Metro Water Services will take the biggest hit. The K.R. Harrington water treatment plant will cost $40 million to fix, and that’s not the department’s largest expense. Director Scott Potter says the Dry Creek sewage plant is in even worse shape.

    “It’s the waste water treatment plant in Rivergate and it was pretty much halfway completely destroyed.”

    It will cost $100 million to restore all of the underground tunnels and electronics at Dry Creek. Until then, sewage will only be partially treated before flowing into the Cumberland River. The total damage to the water department is estimated at $200 million.”

  92. Jeff Huggins says:

    A Social Change Forum, or Activism Forum, or (frankly) What To Do Next? Forum

    Thanks to those of you who think that some sort of place/forum focused specifically on social change, activism, and what to do next makes sense.

    It’s worth trying.

    I’ll try to post a few thoughts/ideas on next weekend’s open thread, and I’ll try to read others’ comments along those lines too. And, if I can remember, either before next weekend or after, I’ll see if I can check with Joe to see if CP might offer a specific open thread, weekly, specifically for the topic of social change — a good label for it perhaps. If there could be a dedicated “social change” weekly open thread, we wouldn’t have to sort through all the other science-oriented info and other things. It would be nice to have a dedicated thread for ideas and conversation related to social change, activism, ideas for the movement, and so forth.

    Cheers for now,

    Jeff