Open Thread Plus Cartoon of the Week by Joe Romm Posted on October 22, 2011 at 7:43 am 7Share This 19Tweet This Share this: "Open Thread Plus Cartoon of the Week" Share: A cyber-penny for your thoughts, links, bold ideas and humor. « Suppress The Vote: GOPer Sets Up Illegal ‘Show ID To Vote’ Sign At Massachusetts Polling Station Public Parks Should Be Occupied » Close Like Climate Progress on Facebook Don't show this to me again 90 Responses to Open Thread Plus Cartoon of the Week prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 9:01 am New Biochar Tshirt Text = Biochar is a key technology for reaching low carbon dioxide atmospheric concentration targets. Available in Europe + U.S. http://galaxymachine.de/ You support my projects such as http://biochar.be and can help bring awareness to the topic of Biochar, solutions and climate change. Lazarus says: October 22, 2011 at 9:04 am Can anybody with a bit more intelligence comment on this ‘paper’ that appeared on WTFUWT?; wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/vaughn-sun-earth-moon-harmonies-beats-biases.pdf Is Watts the brunt of a practically joke but doesn’t realise it? Even if somehow it actually makes sense to some boffin somewhere what is clear from the comments is that Watts certainly hasn’t got a clue any more than than the rest of his posse. He must have been told it was something that supported the ‘skeptic’ position and cast doubt on ‘the consensus’ and just went with it. It also confirms that he doesn’t have a clue about science in general and just posts things that he assumes confirm is biases. I have been giving this some thought and I think this paper could be randomly generated nonsense. Using the SCIgen tool or similar you will get a paper with real science related words but combined in a way to confound. Any graphs or charts would then have to be vague with poor or non existent captions. Wit a bit of touching up, this is exactly what Watts has allowed to be published. But the real clincher for me is the lack of introduction. How could someone write one about randomly generated sciency sounding rubbish without giving the game away? What better to do than just ask ‘the community to think about’? I also cannot find any record of the alleged author and their academic record – who is this guy? Perhaps I’m wrong and I’m just too stupid to understand these things, it wouldn’t be the first time, but my suspicion is that there is more going on here than a tentative attempt to publish real research. Joe Romm says: October 22, 2011 at 10:09 am What’s will publish anything (e.g. Goddard) and is easily punked. Jeff Huggins says: October 22, 2011 at 10:28 am The Scientific Community Ought To Speak Up and Get Much More Active, and Now’s The Time To Do It Given the immense gravity of the climate change problem; and given the current lack of progress in the U.S. to address it, or to even acknowledge it deeply and responsibly; and given the fact that, with understanding comes responsibility; and given the crucial period we’re presently in (in the coming months, not only will we be considering and electing our political leaders for another four years, but the process will also call, or not call, for them to give us straight answers, develop stances, and craft promises); given all these things and more, it is a CRUCIAL TIME for the scientific community and individual scientists to do whatever it takes to make sure that the public understands the situation, to make sure that the media provide responsible understanding, and to make sure that political leaders and would-be political leaders are made to come to grips with reality, or embarrassed if they don’t. No kidding. At this point there should be five thousand scientists surrounding the White House in protest, at least. Consider this: The Occupy Wall Street folks have hit the streets because they want their (largely valid) concerns known, and they have the courage and verve to know when things are serious and to do something about it. What about the scientific community? The scientific community understands the reality, depth, gravity, and urgency of climate change. The scientific community has plenty of eyes and ears to see and hear that we, as a society and political system, are getting virtually nowhere when it comes to responsibly acknowledging and addressing climate change. The scientific community can understand, I should hope, that these next two-to-twelve months are CRUCIAL. So the scientific community should be yelling from the rooftops at this point, not taking ‘no’ for an answer, nor the normal push-back or BS. There’s a great Bob Dylan song, “What Good am I?” Please listen to it. What good am I, if I know and don’t do … if I turn a deaf ear to the thunderin’ sky, what good am I? … If my hands have been tied, must I not ask, who has tied them, and why? Purposefully get OUT of your comfort zones, scientists. Appreciate this fact: If you are still in your comfort zone, and feeling comfortable, then you’re probably not doing nearly enough, under the circumstances. And at this point, Dr. Chu is not doing nearly enough — that much is crystal clear. He has apparently become much more of a politician, in the unfortunate and problematic senses of that term, and has apparently forgotten about the immense responsibility that must necessarily accompany the scientific understanding that he has. When I first heard that he had been appointed, I was deeply happy. Now I’m deeply disappointed. President Obama and he have dropped the ball, and it’s time for the scientific community to wake up the world, in no uncertain terms, with a loud and persistent alarm clock. Scientists, do whatever it takes, and don’t let society push the “snooze” button any more! Be Well, Jeff prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 10:41 am There must be a stronger messaging about climate facts and implications we face. The prime example here is the lost sea ice. Denial and waiting is no longer an option. We need urgent immediate actions to prevent worst case scenarios, which affect every single species on the planet and have the chance to disrupt our civilization. Lewis Cleverdon says: October 22, 2011 at 11:54 am Jeff - “…..If my hands have been tied, must I not ask, who has tied them, and why …..?” Both Holdren and Chu are scientists of very high renown – and I’ve never heard a word of critique of their personal integrity. They knew at a glance the implications of the NSIDC permafrost-melt graph of the onset of early, rapid, and very severe methane emissions committing us to unendurable warming. And they are all but silent. - So who has tied them, and why ? Assuming they’re just salarymen who accept orders for silence – with those orders based on a bizarre serial misreading of umpteen positive climate polls – denigrates both their intelligence and their integrity. They have to see a rational purpose, a coherent policy, behind the Whitehouse suppression even of any rhetoric on climate. As scientists, without that rationale for inaction, they’d stick with their integrity and resign, and make headlines worldwide by doing so. They have that choice, but don’t use it. - So who has tied them, and why ? So maybe it is time we binned the repeatedly discredited ‘received wisdom’ about the reason for Whitehouse inaction ? Because if we don’t get that reason correct, we cannot possibly formulate an effective strategy nor a spread of tactics for commensurate change. Regards, Lewis joyce says: October 22, 2011 at 12:51 pm I have wondered if in their “heart of hearts” they share Lovelock’s view, that there is really not a lot we can do about it–what will happen will happen, so have advised the WH not to waste energy trying to hold bact the inevitable… (Probably I’m projecting my own thoughts on days when I read particularly grim reports.) prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm I thought about this, but it seems unlikely, because as more we emit, we commit to dangerous climate change and risk abrupt scenarios with the chance of runaway climate change. I think that Lovelock is overly optimistic with the stability of the polar region. He talks about alligators who roamed the arctic in the past, but this took many many years. After the ice is gone, seismic activity, methane destabilization and all kind of instability will occur. There is really not a lot of options or tell me? The movie “The age of Stupid” shows a lifeboat in the ocean with renewable energy generation, but how do you expect to eat, when there is a die off from ocean acidification? If we do not act the only plausible way to sustain life, seems to lay in orbital stationary systems and lunar bases at the lunar poles, where there is water. 6thextinction says: October 22, 2011 at 2:49 pm by “binned” do you mean stored? i’m not familiar with that verb. i very much agree with your last sentence. meanwhile, time is running out, so right now i advocate a huge number of tar sands protesters in dc on nov. 6. if you can’t go, hire a young unemployed science major to go in your place. or an english major, always my choice. cleverer signage. Lewis Cleverdon says: October 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm Sorry – British use of ‘binned’ as meaning dropped into a waste-bin – I guess trash can would be the US equivalent. I’m glad we agree over the critical need to identify the actual reason for Obama’s inaction on climate. Pretty much everything hangs on getting that right. Regards, Lewis Jeff Huggins says: October 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm Lewis, if I understand your point correctly (and I may not?), I disagree. People who are brilliant natural scientists, of the highest integrity, may not UNDERSTAND other important aspects of the picture: human psychology/sociology, some of the ethical considerations, the interplays between the public and private sectors, and so forth. Meanwhile, Obama is a lawyer-politician. He may not — and almost certainly does not — understand some things, and in any case he is making some sort of judgment between the “felt necessity” on his part of his own second term, versus what would or might be best for humankind. There are plenty of reasons — plenty — to think that the interplay between the sort of understanding that Obama has, and the sort that Chu has, and the sort that Holdren has, and the sort that Obama’s pollsters and political advisers have (and the problem might be mainly there), leaves some big gaps and a lot to be desired. I do not, for a moment, trust that they have good, wise, justified, and responsible reasons for the decisions they are apparently making. I’m not saying that they are bad people, of course, or (necessarily) that they lack integrity. Misinformed integrity, and poor judgment, can result in bad judgment on any particular matter, even if there’s no issue of integrity. Part of the reason that I don’t blindly trust their judgment, when their actions don’t seem to warrant a smiley-face, so to speak, is that I’ve been in so very many situations in which presumably brilliant people make deeply bad judgments that ultimately fail or that ultimately harm others in some way. A few times the problem has been one of integrity, but usually it’s simply bad information, or a misinterpretation of information, or the use of a deeply misinformed paradigm, or simply poor judgment. The President has been President for nearly three years, and look where we’ve gotten regarding climate change?! Look what he hasn’t done that he could easily have done. All I can conclude is that there are deep, deep problems of judgment in the White House, with respect to climate change. I don’t know why. Lewis Cleverdon says: October 22, 2011 at 10:00 pm Jeff – I’m sorry not to have put my point more clearly – I realize that I should have written of Holdren and Chu that: “They have to see a *credibly* rational purpose, an *internally* coherent policy, behind the Whitehouse suppression even of any rhetoric on climate. As scientists, without that *credible* rationale for inaction, they’d stick with their integrity and resign, and make headlines worldwide by doing so.” I’d entirely agree that the White house lacks “good, wise, justified, and responsible reasons for the decisions they are apparently making,” and I’m sorry you gained the opposite impression. The lousy decision-making might be down to poor communications, but these people are among the best there are at evaluating scientific, political and public opinion monitoring issues, so it seems wholly implausible that a three-year-long foul up is on that level. So, rather than yet again proposing the hypothesis that I’ve posted before, I hoped that you might look afresh at the question of “Who tied them, and why ?” You come near the answer in my view in proposing one option: “the use of a deeply misinformed paradigm”. This is not about lack of information on the climate threat – Obama’s team arguably have the best on the planet given their access to classified satellite data. Rather it is about how the first priority for the elite of any empire – even before its further expansion or its aggrandizement – is its maintenance against the rise of a rival power. China’s rise to global economic dominance is mathematically inevitable, barring upsets, given its rate of graduates’ production, its growing access to resources worldwide, its population’s scale and work ethic, etc. Unless the Whitehouse somehow transcends almost all previous empires’ responses, it is compelled to find some means to disrupt China’s growth. The successful Weinberger ploy of “push them up an arms race until they go bust” relied on Soviet Russia’s gullibility in pursuing the arms race – which China notably declines to repeat. Far less costly and dangerous than actually going to war with its nuclear-armed rival to global dominance (which has been the default resort of many threatened empires of history) there arose the unconventional option of allowing business-as-usual to impose climatic destabilisation on China, via an obdurate “brinkmanship of inaction” over the climate issue. Edward Teller’s promotion of sulphate aerosol geo-engineering further promised an “off-switch” for warming once its job was done – thus providing an exit-strategy for the policy, and, I suspect, making it attractive enough for its original adoption by Bush & Cheyney. (The diplomatic twin track, as displayed at Copenhagen, is a deal so inequitable that China’s growth would be halted and, in the ensuing retrenchment, the present regime and its command economy would very likely be ousted, thus potentially achieving the desired goal with the least commitment to global warming). From a strategic standpoint the policy’s risks to America would seem minor compared to the accustomed risk-profiles of a nuclear exchange – China’s per capita food production is only a fraction of America’s, while its population is already resentful of the acknowledged corruption within the communist bureaucracy, and also of the lousy employment rights and wages, which the official ‘unions’ do little to remedy. By these measures it is patently far more vulnerable to destabilization than is America. On top of which, climate models to date have projected extreme climate impacts over China far earlier than those over America. All of which adds up to an internally coherent case for a US policy of inaction on climate – albeit one that cannot be described to the US public and requires the diversionary circus of denial and the spurious claims of “lack of public support” to excuse Obama’s inaction – and it is also one that offers the highly seductive incentive to ethically-minded insiders that it precludes the US ending up at war with China to break its bid for global dominance. Before classing this analysis as merely speculative, readers would do well to answer the question of just how else the US empire expects to meet the priority of deflecting the Chinese bid for global dominance ? And is that means preferable to a supposedly temporary marginal global warming ? Personally I abhor the policy of inaction as being both genocidally immoral, and grossly imprudent. The unknown risks of abrupt feedback responses, and of enough warming entering the oceans to trigger a mass collapse of clathrates and uncontrollable warming thereafter, mean that there must be a cut-off point where scientists with the integrity of Chu and Holdren can no longer support the policy. Notably the most cogent criticisms by insiders to date have been from the Joint Chiefs – who are professionally accustomed to assessing threats’ worst-case scenarios – with their public warnings of the untenable threat-multiplier effect, and from Holdren, with his public warning of the weaknesses of all albido restoration options “considered thus far” – which included Teller’s sulphate aerosols. I hope this note goes some way to answering Dylan’s question “Who has tied them, and why ?” but there’s one aspect of my earlier note that bears repeating: until we correctly identify that question’s answer, our chances of formulating effective strategy and tactics will remain near zero, as they have been since 2000. It really doesn’t matter how earnestly or persistently or fiercely we carry on barking our message – if we’re barking up the wrong tree, we just ain’t going to catch what we’re after. The starting point is identifying which tree the game is sitting in. All the best, Lewis Raul M. says: October 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm If people rebuild after the latest disasters in the same places with the same style- say the flooding was only 6″ deep in the home an ruined some but the response is to rebuild the same way it might not work out well if the flooding happens the same in the coming year. Thing of how the masses react might show more than how a political leader thinks. Once heard one say do they need me to wipe their a**** for them? Raul M. says: October 22, 2011 at 8:38 pm Who ties the scientists hands- study of human behavior may go to the study of the difference between concerted, problem solving actions versus panic (umm, confused and just complaining style actions). I don’t know that the level of someone’s intelligence or power abilities would be determining factors in the styles of responses. Obviously there are responses already. But helping people to see that a nice home could be distorted this year and next just after it had been rebuilt might be as much work as rebuilding the home. Such work for free? That’s nice of you. People will come to realize such anyway. Chris Lock says: October 22, 2011 at 11:10 am This is a link to an excellent article about the 10 ethical challenges of the tar sands. Ethical oil the tar sands is not! This link is to an online left leaning, union friendly, environmental Canadian newspaper centered in western Canada and headquarters in Vancouver. http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2011/10/14/Canadian-Ethical-Challenges/ 1-Bigness (Scale) 2-Pace 3-Petrolization of Economy 4-Money 5-Energy security and next week we get the second half of the article Patrick Linsley says: October 22, 2011 at 2:12 pm I’m already sure what one of them is going to be. Poisoning the people of the ‘First Nations’ (otherwise known as Native Americans here) who use the rivers that the oil sand operations are leaching chemicals into for fishing, causing high rates of cancer among the poorest people in Canada. There is nothing ethical about tar sand oil (and make sure to use ‘tar sand’ and not ‘oil sand’ that’s another turn of phrase by big oil). There’s a t-shirt slogan for ya. prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 11:20 am UPDATE — Poles Apart: The Latest on Saving the Ozone Layer There’s good news and bad news from opposite ends of the earth on the condition of the ozone layer. Overall, these scientific findings show that the ozone layer is starting to recover, thanks to the Montreal Protocol, the treaty responsible for the phasing out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-destroying chemicals. But we’re not out of the woods yet. A thin layer of ozone in the stratosphere protects life on earth by screening out dangerous ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. The ozone layer has been badly damaged by elevated levels of chlorine and bromine in the stratosphere due to man-made CFCs and other ozone-destroying chemicals. As a result, humans are at higher risk of skin cancer, cataracts, and immunological illnesses; animals and plants on land and in the ocean are also endangered. Showing that we really can come together to solve big problems, more than 40 countries agreed to the Montreal Protocol in 1987. Now, every country on earth belongs to this treaty. Under the treaty (and the Clean Air Act here in the U.S.) we’ve already phased out CFCs and other dangerous chemicals, and many others are being eliminated world-wide over the coming decades. Scientists have long predicted that phasing out these chemicals will let the ozone layer slowly heal. And now there’s evidence that the recovery has begun. … Fully closing the ozone hole will still take decades, because these long-lived chemicals take so long to leave the air. The size of the hole can vary from year to year, depending partly on just how cold it gets in the stratosphere over Antarctica each winter. But if we keep reducing the ozone-depleting chemicals, scientists expect the Antarctic ozone layer to recover after the middle of this century. … The Arctic stratosphere was unusually cold this winter – in part because the lower atmosphere over the Arctic was unusually warm. (More heat trapped in the lower atmosphere by greenhouse gases means a colder stratosphere.) Scientists expect recovery of the Arctic ozone layer between 2020 and 2035. Due to broader climate changes, Arctic ozone concentrations may keep increasing through this century. … David Doniger’s Blog UPDATE — Poles Apart: The Latest on Saving the Ozone Layer Print this page Posted October 21, 2011 in Curbing Pollution, Solving Global Warming Tags: CFCs, cleanair, climatechange, globalwarming, HFCs, MontrealProtocol, ozonedepletion, ozonehole, ozonelayer, pnp, pollution Share | | | There’s been a lot of news recently about the holes in the ozone layer at the North and South Poles. Here’s an update of a post from May 20th, with new information, images, and links. The 2011 Antarctic Ozone Hole: Source: World Data Center for Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere There’s good news and bad news from opposite ends of the earth on the condition of the ozone layer. Overall, these scientific findings show that the ozone layer is starting to recover, thanks to the Montreal Protocol, the treaty responsible for the phasing out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-destroying chemicals. But we’re not out of the woods yet. A thin layer of ozone in the stratosphere protects life on earth by screening out dangerous ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. The ozone layer has been badly damaged by elevated levels of chlorine and bromine in the stratosphere due to man-made CFCs and other ozone-destroying chemicals. As a result, humans are at higher risk of skin cancer, cataracts, and immunological illnesses; animals and plants on land and in the ocean are also endangered. Showing that we really can come together to solve big problems, more than 40 countries agreed to the Montreal Protocol in 1987. Now, every country on earth belongs to this treaty. Under the treaty (and the Clean Air Act here in the U.S.) we’ve already phased out CFCs and other dangerous chemicals, and many others are being eliminated world-wide over the coming decades. Scientists have long predicted that phasing out these chemicals will let the ozone layer slowly heal. And now there’s evidence that the recovery has begun. A terrific guide, called “Twenty Questions and Answers About the Ozone Layer,” has just been published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and others. This is a great introduction – for reporters, teachers, students, and others – to the science of ozone depletion, the successful world-wide effort to save the ozone layer, and the connections to climate change. Download the guide here. Ozone depletion, serious in the “mid-latitudes” where we live, is even worse in the extreme north and south. The worst depletion takes place over Antarctica. A continent-sized “hole” in the ozone layer has appeared there every September (springtime in the southern hemisphere) since the early 1980s. Special conditions make the impact of ozone-depleting chemicals so severe there: A vortex of super-cold air is trapped over Antarctica every winter. It is so cold there that clouds form in the stratosphere and serve as catalytic surfaces for chemical reactions that free up the most potent ozone-destroying chlorine and bromine compounds. When the sun returns at the end of the long winter, ozone is rapidly destroyed. NASA scientists report that this year’s Antarctic ozone hole was the ninth largest on record. At the top of this post, and just below, are compelling images of this year’s hole, day-by-day, from July (the depths of the Southern Hemisphere’s winter) through mid-October. Source: NASA And here is a graphical history showing the ozone layer before and after ozone-depleting chemicals in the stratosphere had built up to the critical level (about 2 parts per billion chlorine) that cause the Antarctic ozone hole. This and next image courtesy of NOAA ESRL Chemical Sciences Division, Boulder, Colorado, USA (http://esrl.noaa.gov/csd/) Fully closing the ozone hole will still take decades, because these long-lived chemicals take so long to leave the air. The size of the hole can vary from year to year, depending partly on just how cold it gets in the stratosphere over Antarctica each winter. But if we keep reducing the ozone-depleting chemicals, scientists expect the Antarctic ozone layer to recover after the middle of this century. What about the North pole? The ozone layer is damaged over the Arctic too, though we don’t usually see the same kind of ozone depletion there as over Antarctica. The reason is that Arctic stratosphere is not as cold, and air doesn’t get trapped as tightly there (think of northern cold fronts spinning south out of Canada). But there are exceptions. 1997 was a bad spring for Arctic ozone. And this spring, the World Meteorological Organization reports, ozone levels over the Arctic dropped 40 percent to record low levels. (See also this Nature article (subscription required), by scientists from NASA, NOAA, and other institutions.) The Arctic stratosphere was unusually cold this winter – in part because the lower atmosphere over the Arctic was unusually warm. (More heat trapped in the lower atmosphere by greenhouse gases means a colder stratosphere.) Scientists expect recovery of the Arctic ozone layer between 2020 and 2035. Due to broader climate changes, Arctic ozone concentrations may keep increasing through this century. Arctic Ozone Loss March 30, 2011, courtesy of NASA’s Earth Observatory So what is happening between the poles, where most people live? The Twenty Questions guide reports that, comparing average levels from 2005-2009 with average levels from 1964-1980, total ozone levels were down about 3.5 percent in the northern mid-latitudes (35°N-60°N) and down about 6 percent in the southern mid-latitudes (35°S-60°S). That includes all of the United States north of Raleigh, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Albuquerque, and Los Angeles. It includes almost all of Europe, as well as Asia north of Tehran and Tokyo. The ozone layer’s recovery is expected to take until 2030 and 2055 in the northern and southern mid-latitudes, respectively. Ozone levels have been least affected in tropical latitudes (20°N-20°S). The Twenty Questions guide also explains the important connections between protecting the ozone layer and protecting the climate. The most direct link is that CFCs and many other ozone-depleting chemicals are also powerful greenhouse gases. The Montreal Protocol’s phase-out has produced huge climate benefits as a bonus, equivalent to 11 billion tons of CO2 reductions in 2010 alone. This is more than five times the emission reductions targeted for that year by the Kyoto Protocol, and it’s also equivalent to delaying the growth in global CO2 emissions by 7-12 years. A second connection is that the stratosphere and the lower atmosphere (the troposphere) are tightly linked. Ozone depletion itself has slightly reduced the total amount of heat trapped in the atmosphere, since ozone itself is a greenhouse gas. But this small negative effect is far outweighed by the heat trapped by CFCs and other greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. When greenhouse gases warm the troposphere, the stratosphere gets colder, and that can worsen ozone depletion. There are other complex interactions. For instance, scientists recently reported the Antarctic ozone hole is responsible for changing rainfall patterns across the southern hemisphere A third linkage is in the choice of replacements as we phase out the remaining ozone-depleting chemicals. We can replace them in air conditioners, insulating foams and other uses with chemicals that are powerful greenhouse gases (e.g., most hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs). Or we can steer towards chemicals that trap less heat – including various hydrocarbons and newer, less potent members of the HFC family. The United States, Canada, and Mexico recently renewed a proposal to phase-down the heat-trapping HFCs under the Montreal Protocol. (See here and here.) A similar proposal was relaunched by small island nations led by Micronesia. While these proposals drew the support of 90 countries last year, China and India were not willing to go along, but India and the United States have set up a bilateral task force to study HFC alternatives and options for moving forward. International support for HFC curbs is growing. India and China were increasingly isolated in this summer’s Montreal treaty negotiations. The parties gather again in Bali in November (during American Thanksgiving), and we’ll see how much more progress is made. The bottom line is that the global effort to save the ozone layer under the Montreal Protocol has been one of the world’s best investments in my lifetime. But we’re not finished yet. There’s more to be done under this valuable treaty to protect both the ozone layer and the climate. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/ddoniger/update_–_poles_apart_the_late.html The post is so informative, that i hardly can cut stuff, but you can visit the link and read the entire report from David Doniger, Policy Director, NRDC Climate Center, Washington, D.C. prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 11:26 am Fighting for a climate change treaty Treaty to ban chemicals that harmed the ozone layer came about when there was consensus between science and politics An $8bn industry For more than 40 years, the generally non-toxic and non-flammable compounds known as CFCs were widely produced and used in refrigerants, propellants, and solvents. They were first manufactured as a safe alternative to ammonia and sulphur dioxide in refrigeration in the early 1930s. Their widespread success, due to their unique and seemingly miraculous chemical properties, propelled an $8bn industry that employed 600,000 people directly and was reaching new heights of manufacturing at the time of Molina and Rowland’s discovery. As CFC production swelled to meet the global demand for aerosol and refrigeration, so too did the release of these ozone-depleting compounds into the atmosphere. Unlike carbon dioxide, CFCs are a foreign element in the atmosphere. When released, CFC molecules rise and reach the ozone layer where they encounter UV radiation. The strong radiation breaks down these molecules into their simpler parts, most notably chlorine atoms. Molina and Rowland realised these now free chlorine atoms could react and deplete the ozone layer. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that one chlorine atom can destroy 100,000 ozone molecules. Continuing to produce CFCs at such high levels would inevitably have depleted more of the ozone layer and would have led to greater harm to humans from UV rays. Further studies concurred with Molina and Rowland’s findings and predicted losses of ozone that would have greatly increased cases of skin cancer and eye damage. Other detrimental impacts included reduced productivity in plants and crops and harm to marine life and air quality. The findings provoked wide-ranging reactions. Emboldened by the passage of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts in the United States, the science and environmental communities wanted the US government to ban production and use of CFCs. They saw the depletion of the ozone layer as a grave, imminent threat that needed to be met with decisive action. The CFC industry, led by DuPont, which accounted for nearly 50 per cent of the market, attacked the theory as unfounded, arguing that no stratospheric ozone loss had been observed. DuPont and other CFC manufacturers lobbied extensively to prevent states from passing bills banning CFC use. The ‘ban-now-find-out-later’ approach DuPont also embarked on an advertising campaign to undermine the idea that CFCs damaged the ozone layer, while simultaneously arguing that any hasty restrictions would have a disastrous impact on businesses, jobs and the economy. DuPont’s chairman, Irving Shapiro, announced to several major newspapers that “the ‘ban-now-find-out-later’ approach thrust upon an $8bn segment of industry, both in the headlines and in many legislative proposals, is a disturbing trend. Businesses can be destroyed before scientific facts are assembled and evaluated … The nation cannot afford to act on this and other issues before the full facts are known.” Public health concerns, however, trumped industry arguments and consumers began boycotting aerosol sprays. Pressure from environmentalists and consumer groups resulted in a ban on aerosol sprays in 1978. In the end, though, the ban turned out to be only a partial victory for both sides. Nearly all sprays were banned, but numerous putatively “essential” uses of CFCs in air conditioners and refrigerators remained unregulated. The United States was the only major CFC-producing nation to voluntarily eliminate CFCs in aerosols, although relatively minor producers such as Canada, Denmark and Sweden soon followed suit. And while European nations today are at the forefront of promoting climate change legislation, in the 1970s and 1980s, CFC-producing giants like England and France were reluctant to impose restrictions. After these initial efforts by individual nations, progress toward an international CFCs agreement ground to a halt in the early 1980s. This was largely because protecting the ozone layer produced an unprecedented problem for human society. The public and governments were being told that the impacts of a thinning ozone layer would not be seen for decades. Yet in order to prevent much higher risks of skin cancer and cataracts, it was essential to act now and begin phasing out CFCs. Manufacturers continued to resist, arguing that in the absence of suitable substitutes, curtailing CFC production would result in significant job losses and a large reduction in the supply of air conditioners and refrigerators. They argued that action on CFCs would harm both the developed and developing world. On top of this, almost all nations would have to agree on a coordinated phase out and eventual ban of the industrial compounds since the release of CFCs by any one nation would have a global impact. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/10/201110181380654112.html This also a great read… Jeff Huggins says: October 22, 2011 at 11:23 am Harvard, Obama, Romney, Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, Climate Change, and the Question of Wisdom v. Nonsense A few years back, Harvard’s President, Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, said this: “It is urgent that we pose the questions of ethics and meaning that will enable us to confront the human, the social and the moral significance of our changing relationship with the natural world.” As a Harvard alum myself, I believe that Harvard already understands this much: It is deeply unwise to foul your own nest. And this too: If you’re not only fouling your own nest, but also the nest of everyone else on the planet, that’s not only deeply unwise, but it’s also deeply immoral. I find it interesting, and amusing, that if Mitt Romney is eventually the Republican nominee, both contenders for the White House will be Harvard alums: Obama, of course, and Romney, who was a JD-MBA and Baker Scholar. In my view, Harvard ought to be doing a GREAT DEAL MORE to insist that, and ensure that, our leaders face and address climate change honestly, responsibly, and promptly. Does Harvard produce leaders of genuine wisdom and responsibility, or does it produce clever and charismatic — but deeply irresponsible and ineffective — politicians? Really and seriously, what good does it do to have universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Yale, U.C. Berkeley, and so on, if the leaders and other grads that come from those places, and others, can do no better than lead a society into the immense and growing problems we presently have — including and especially climate change? Humankind is fouling its own nest, and the U.S. is a leading culprit — and we know it! What does Harvard make of that? Many of the so-called leaders who have contributed to the problem, and are still contributing to it, and even ignoring it, are from Harvard. What’s THAT about? And what is Harvard doing about it?? I would sit here and list the types of things that I think Harvard SHOULD be doing (and doing in a way that doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer), but I won’t, at least not presently. Why? Because if Harvard leaders and faculty, and students, can’t think of the things they ought to be doing at this point, that would signify a HUGE failure not only of wisdom, but also of imagination. Harvard is, I think, better than that; or at least it’s capable of being better than that. As an aside, one of the longest-serving members of the Board of Directors of ExxonMobil is a Harvard B-School professor. He’s the author of books with such titles as ‘True North’. William (Bill) George. My goodness: the company that is perhaps most responsible for confusing the public and keeping us addicted to oil. What is THAT about? If I were a student at Harvard B-School today, I’d be picketing any class that he might teach, until he either changes ExxonMobil’s course, or else resigns from the Board and makes a stink about ExxonMobil’s irresponsibility in the process. I appeal to Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, and to other Harvard leaders and faculty, and also to Harvard students, to show dramatically more leadership than you’ve been showing so far, with respect to climate change. These next two to twelve months are crucial. Be Well, Jeff Jeff Huggins U.C. Berkeley, 1981, Chemical Engineering Harvard Business School, 1986, Baker Scholar prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 11:30 am This is entirely ignored in the lame stream media, with video Storm death toll rises in Central America Pleas for humanitarian aid as more than 100 people are killed in flooding and landslides provoked by days of heavy rain. Almost 152cm of rain have accumulated in the past 10 days. The cumulative record of Hurricane Mitch, which devastated the region in 1998, killing 11,000 people, was 86cm, said German Rosa Chavez, the Salvadoran natural resources minister, on Friday. Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes urged the international community to send humanitarian aid, saying in a televised message to the nation on Wednesday: “El Salvador is going through one of the most dramatic disasters in its history”. Everton Fox, Al Jazeera’s meteorologist, said “The arrival of three tropical systems in barely a week has brought flashfloods and mudslides into much of Central America. Hurricane Jova, Tropical Depression 12 and most recently, the remnants of Tropical Depression Irwin, have all caused widespread devastation to the region.” The United Nations has classified Central America as one of the parts of the world most affected by climate change. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2011/10/2011102241527998644.html Spike says: October 22, 2011 at 11:56 am More on this from Jeff Masters: “Contributing to the record-intensity rains were ocean temperatures off the coast of El Salvador that were 0.5 – 1°C above average during the first half of October, allowing more water vapor than usual to evaporate into the air. Over the past ten days, rainfall amounts of over a meter (39.4″) have fallen over a large area of southwest El Salvador. At Huizucar, an astonishing 1.513 meters (4.96 feet) of rain fell in the past ten days.” http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1967 prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 11:33 am Salmond honoured with climate award Alex Salmond has joined Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jean Charest as a winner of an international climate change award. The First Minister has been awarded the third South Australia International Climate Change Award. The prize recognises efforts made by governments in responding to the challenges of climate change. Mr Salmond said: “It is a great honour to receive this award, which I accept as recognition of the fact that our legislation on climate change is truly world-leading. “The Scottish Government has already taken the lead with our ambitious legislation to cut emissions by 42% by 2020 and we are continuing to demonstrate that leadership to world leaders by being part of the Climate Group where our strong example can inspire other nations to equally ambitious action. “The Scottish Government recognises the urgency of addressing climate change and is an active partner in the common desire to create a sustainable future.” Mr Rann said the award honoured the First Minister’s long-term commitment to leading Scotland towards a low-carbon future. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5itYw95MaBtAn8Mr9yQYwxTrtFGmQ?docId=N0217921319286517461A prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 11:38 am MunichRe, IBM Top Green Company Rankings Newsweek magazine list compares the environmental footprints and reporting practices of big companies. Munich Re scored well across all three metrics for a composite score of 83.6 percent. The company founded its Geo Risks Research Department in 1974 and more recently launched the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative to help adapt insurance to fit the impacts of climate change. Operationally, the company achieved carbon neutrality in its Munich headquarters in 2009, and targets 2012 to be carbon-neutral throughout its worldwide reinsurance group operations. When announcing plans for a 2.5-megawatt solar power system at its Plainsboro, N.J. facility, Tony Kuczinski, president and CEO of Munich Reinsurance America, noted that the success of the company’s core business is “inextricably linked to environmental protection, so a sustainable approach is an indispensable component of our business strategy.” Close behind with a composite score of 82.5 percent, was IBM. Like Munich Re, Big Blue’s environmental push dates back decades as it formalized its corporate environmental policy—designed to make IBM an environmental leader in all its business activities—in 1971. http://www.insurancenetworking.com/news/climate-change-munich-re-29192-1.html Andy Heninger says: October 22, 2011 at 5:46 pm One oddity on IBM’s green reputation, Samuel J. Palmisano, CEO of IBM is a member of Exxon-Mobil’s board of directors. prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 6:23 pm Board of directors As of February 5, 2009, the current ExxonMobil board members are: Michael Boskin, professor of economics Stanford University, director of Oracle Corporation, Shinsei Bank, and Vodafone Group Larry R. Faulkner, President, Houston Endowment; President Emeritus, the University of Texas at Austin William W. George, professor of management practice, Harvard Business School James R. Houghton, Chairman of the Board, Corning Incorporated Reatha Clark King, former chairman, Board of Trustees, General Mills Foundation Philip E. Lippincott, retired Chairman of the Board, Scott Paper Company and Campbell Soup Company Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chairman and CEO, Carlson Companies Samuel J. Palmisano, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, IBM Corporation Joaquin Pelayo, Chairman of the Board and President, McGraw Hill. Steven S Reinemund, retired Executive Chairman of the Board, PepsiCo Walter V. Shipley, retired Chairman of the Board, Chase Manhattan Corporation Rex Tillerson, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Exxon Mobil Corporation Edward E. Whitacre, retired Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, AT&T http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExxonMobil#Board_of_directors ‘Exxon’s attitude is simply — ‘Look, we’re Exxon and we are going to do it our way,” said Monks, whose fund owns $5 million in Exxon shares. ‘There isn’t any possibility of having a civil dialogue.’ Exxon takes issue with Monks’ assertions about transparency. The oil company does listen to its shareholders and even has a portal on its Web site that allows investors to communicate with directors, company spokesman Rob Young said. ‘Mr. Monks had access to senior management to discuss his proposal and he will be afforded a chance to speak at the annual meeting,’ Young said. And the Irving, Texas, company last year named IBM ( IBM – news – people ) Chief Executive Samuel Palmisano as its presiding director. ‘He has no power,’ Monks said of Palmisano’s expanded role. Exxon opposes Monks’ proposal, writing in its proxy statement that its board of directors is in the best position to evaluate and organize the company’s senior management. In a rare public move, members of the Rockefeller family last year backed the call for change at the top of Exxon. John D. Rockefeller founded the Standard Oil Co — Exxon’s precursor – in 1870. Neva Goodwin Rockefeller said this month that her family members still support splitting Exxon’s top two jobs, but this year she is focusing on a proposal aimed at assessing the costs of climate change. MORE CALLS FOR CHANGE Chevron shareholders are also likely to give executives an earful over a proposal requesting a report on the policies and procedures used to assess the adequacy of host country laws. http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2009/05/20/afx6448345.html prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 1:52 pm High-Level Radioactive Cesium Detected in Kashiwa, Near Tokyo Up to 276,000 becquerels of cesium per kilogram of soil was detected 30 centimeters below the surface on Friday after an abnormal level of airborne radiation was found earlier in the week. http://www.panorientnews.com/en/news.php?k=1334 Japan: Radiation Cleanup Will Cost at Least $13 Billion, Premier Says http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/21/world/asia/japan-radiation-cleanup-will-cost-at-least-13-billion-premier-says.html Japan Earthquake May Have Struck Atmosphere First Tokyo- (PanOrient News) The devastating earthquake that struck Japan on March 11 this year may have rattled the highest layer of the atmosphere even before it shook the Earth, a discovery that one day could be used to provide warnings of giant quakes, scientists find. The magnitude 9.0 quake that struck off the coast of Tohoku in Japan in March ushered in what might be the world’s first complex megadisaster as it unleashed a catastrophic tsunami and set off microquakes and tremors around the globe. Scientists recently found the surface motions and tsunamis this earthquake generated also triggered waves in the sky. These waves reached all the way to the ionosphere, one of the highest layers of the Earth’s atmosphere. Now geodesist and geophysicist Kosuke Heki at Hokkaido University in Japan reports the Tohoku quake also may have generated ripples in the ionosphere before the quake struck. Disruptions of the electrically charged particles in the ionosphere lead to anomalies in radio signals between global positioning system satellites and ground receivers, data that scientists can measure. Heki analyzed data from more than 1,000 GPS receivers in Japan. He discovered a rise of approximately 8 percent in the total electron content in the ionosphere above the area hit by the earthquake about 40 minutes before the temblor. This increase was greatest about the epicenter and diminished with distance away from it. “Before finding this phenomenon, I did not think earthquakes could be predicted at all,” Heki told OurAmazingPlanet. “Now I think large earthquakes are predictable.” Analysis of GPS records from the magnitude 8.8 Chile earthquake in 2010 revealed a similar pattern, Heki said. These anomalies also may have occurred with the Sumatra magnitude 9.2 earthquake in 2004 and the magnitude 8.3 Hokkaido earthquake in 1994, he added. If true, further research could lead to a new type of early-warning system for giant earthquakes. The anomaly is currently seen before earthquakes only with magnitudes of about 8.5 or larger, Heki cautioned. Still, if researchers can detect what specifically causes this ionospheric phenomenon, it also might be possible to detect precursory phenomena for smaller earthquakes, he said. Heki did caution that the ionosphere is highly variable — for instance, solar storms can trigger large changes in total electron content there. Before researchers could develop an early-warning system for earthquakes based on ionospheric anomalies, they would have to rule out non-earthquake causes. http://www.panorientnews.com/en/news.php?k=1292 prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 2:10 pm UN says 1.2 mln people affected by torrential rain in Central America The WFP also said it was “very concerned” about both the immediate and long-term impact on food security this latest natural disaster has on many of the region’s poorest, who have already been severely affected by rising food prices. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/22/c_131205625.htm prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 2:12 pm SPAIN AN elderly British couple have been drowned by flash flooding while holidaying in Spain. The married pair, 70 and 72, were swept to their deaths by a wall of water. They were sat outside a market-place in the quiet town of Finestrat on the Costa Blanca, a few miles from Benidorm. Torrential rain caused a river to burst its banks around midday yesterday. Five other people have been injured, which took the town by surprise as it had not been raining there. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3887978/Brit-couple-killed-in-Spain-flooding.html prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm Fighting intensifies in famine stricken region UN agencies and NGOs are calling for more aid. They say the famine has claimed a thousand lives. GINNY STEIN: Kenya’s military continued its advance with troops and tanks backed by air strikes moving towards the strategic central Somalia town of Afmadow where Somali government forces are already fighting. Torrential rains and heavy, muddy soil has made slow work of the advance but Kenya remains committed, despite threats of reprisals by Al Shabaab militants. http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2011/s3344855.htm prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 2:26 pm More dust storms expected as Texas drought lingers Gill believes dust storms could become more common as Texas’ drought continues. The state just finished its driest 12 months ever and was blistered by triple-digit heat until early September. This year is on track to be the driest in Texas history, with the average rainfall in the first nine months about 25 percent less than in the same period in 1956, the previous driest year, when 11.23 inches fell. Lubbock has had just 3.16 inches of rain since Jan. 1. But two other farming techniques that help limit dust storms aren’t much of an option this year. Typically, farmers leave plants in fields after the harvest to help hold the soil in place. They also plant other crops, called cover crops, after the harvest to give the soil something to hang onto in late fall and winter. This year, there are few plants to leave in fields after farmers abandoned to the drought the cotton that’s one of the region’s major crops. And, there’s been no rain to grow cover crops. There’s also concern that other advances since the Dust Bowl could be in jeopardy. Water in the Ogallala Aquifer has been diminishing for years, causing worry in Kansas, Nebraska and other states that rely on it. And, funding for the federal Conservation Reserve Program, which pays farmers to keep land at high risk of erosion out of production, is in jeopardy as Congress looks to cut costs. Still, Wade said he doesn’t expect big cuts to the conservation reserve program. “The program has proven to be very successful in reducing soil erosion throughout the High Plains of Texas and the Great Plains,” he said, “and this week’s happening shows how important these types of programs are when conditions such as the current drought set in.” http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gNwuo3Lt9_n7Bltd-JyuXcHGqR9Q?docId=ba519edd78d143a3b3049ed45a40a447 20 years ago Isaac Asimov warned of the diminishing of the Ogallala Aquifer in “Our Angry Earth”. prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 2:31 pm Drought dampens hopes of wildlife survival The drought is incomparable to anything in Texas history, said Dan Jones, wildlife biologist for Montgomery County with Texas Parks and Wildlife. With the “worst short-term drought on record,” Jones said the only comparison for these conditions is back in the 1950s when a four-year drought limited rainfall. However, while Texas is in its second year of the drought with a rainfall deficit increasing, the drought 60 years ago brought more rain and also offered more natural habitat for wildlife before more urbanization over the decades, Jones said. “If these folks have the ability to house these animals for an extended time, that would be good because the outcome is unknown,” he said. “If they can hold them and take care of them until conditions improve, that’s probably going to increase the survival of the animals.” Drought conditions are also limiting the amount of animals rehabilitators can care for because they are keeping them longer, but Winkelmann said they take in as many as they can. http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/courier/news/drought-dampens-hopes-of-wildlife-survival/article_2ad7cded-34d3-57aa-a1a1-303dec47ddce.html prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm Shrinking Beef Supply Spurs Record Prices as Sales Decline Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) — U.S. feedlots probably bought fewer cattle last month as a Texas drought reduced the number of available animals, signaling tight beef supplies, record meat prices and higher costs for restaurants such as Sonic Corp. Purchases probably fell 3.2 percent to 2.385 million head of cattle from a year earlier, according to a Bloomberg News survey of 10 analysts. The government will report inventories at 3 p.m. in Washington. In the 12 months ended Oct. 1, Texas, the leading beef producer, had the driest period since records began in 1895. This week, cattle futures for December delivery rose to $1.24475 a pound in Chicago, a record for the most-active contract. Sonic, a drive-in hamburger chain, said that beef was one of the “primary cost drivers” in the quarter ended Aug. 31. Ground beef jumped to $2.868 a pound in September, the highest since at least 1984. “Because of drought, we’re going to have fewer cattle for the next several years,” Tim Petry, a livestock economist at North Dakota State University in Fargo, said in a telephone interview. Lower placements at feedlots last month “should be the start of a trend that will ultimately go to lower beef production,” he said. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-10-21/shrinking-beef-supply-spurs-record-prices-as-sales-decline.html prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 2:29 pm More drought likely for Southeastern Colorado The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Thursday released its forecast for coming months, based on new observations that show La Nina will influence weather patterns. La Nina is a cooling trend in the Pacific Ocean that sends moisture to the northern tier of the United States, often causing drought in the southern plains. This year’s La Nina was a mixed bag for Colorado, with record snowfall in the mountains and extreme drought in the Rio Grande basin and southeastern corner of the state. The year was marked by a rash of fires across Southern Colorado last spring, followed by a heavy runoff that began three weeks later than usual. Heavy agricultural losses were reported for dryland wheat, corn and other crops. Herds of cattle were thinned out in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows all of Texas, most of New Mexico, Arizona and Southeastern Colorado under drought conditions that began more than a year ago. Pueblo has had 7.7 inches of rainfall so far this year, about 70 percent of average. “The evolving La Nina will shape this winter,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “There is a wild card, though. The erratic Arctic oscillation can generate strong shifts in the climate patterns that could overwhelm or amplify La Nina’s typical impacts.” The oscillation could cause wide swings in temperatures and precipitation patterns over the winter months, although it is impossible to predict when or where they will occur. The Arctic oscillation is always present and fluctuates between positive and negative phases. The negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation pushes cold air into the U.S. from Canada. The Arctic oscillation went strongly negative at times the last two winters, causing outbreaks of cold and snowy conditions in the U.S. such as the “snowmaggedon” storms of 2009-10 on the East Coast. http://www.chieftain.com/news/local/more-drought-likely-for-southeastern-colorado/article_756a6788-fc65-11e0-83e5-001cc4c03286.html prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 2:37 pm Flood cost industries $113M The flood of 2011 cost manufacturers in six Northeastern Pennsylvania counties $113 million and has placed close to 2,000 jobs in jeopardy, a study by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center found. The study, released Friday, quantified the flood’s impact on 503 of the 567 total manufacturing companies in Luzerne, Columbia, Wyoming, Sullivan Susquehanna and Bradford counties, who employ one in seven residents in the region. More than 95 percent said they were indirectly affected by the flood through employee time off, material shortages and delayed incoming and outgoing deliveries, amounting to $28.47 million and $47.46 million in lost production. A smaller number reported direct damages totaling $65.3 million, including $17.8 million in equipment losses, $6.4 million in inventory losses and $2 million in building damage or loss. Only $6.7 million of those losses were covered by flood insurance, as many businesses damaged by flooding were outside the 100-year flood plain, NEPIRC Director Eric Esoda said. Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/Flood_cost_industries__113M_10-22-2011.html Apparently CEO’s of fossil fuel industries do not care and laugh their ass off, about such problems like lost jobs or 100 million…. prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm New Scientist magazine – 22 October 2011 “Climate Change” Special http://www.newscientist.com/issue/current Joan Savage says: October 22, 2011 at 3:18 pm Bold ideas? Sequential restructure of the commercial transportation system to eliminate dependence on fossil fuels. And at each step of the way, continue to deliver a diversity of products. Do so with an eye to reducing personal vehicle dependence. Modifications of rail, air, truck, barge, local delivery vehicles, internet-based product order, are all on the table. Example to ponder: Ironically, it was Victorians who went to the market on foot, selected and purchased groceries, and had heavier orders delivered to the house. The delivery truck or wagon saved energy by going a route from house to house. Tipping the delivery boy instead of buying petrol, what an idea. prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm So any suggestions? How do we turn it off (quickest way)? This does seem a bit tricky as it is projected to melt for at least the next 500 years. And above 1 meter SLR seems a given. Joan Savage says: October 22, 2011 at 4:27 pm Prehistoric fast reversal is associated with disruption of ocean salinity. That could happen, but it would be a fool’s paradise if folks went on burning fossils. Reference article: Catastrophic meltwater discharge down the Hudson Valley: A potential trigger for the Intra-Allerød cold period. Jeffrey P. Donnelly, Neal W. Driscoll, Elazar Uchupi, Lloyd D. Keigwin, William C. Schwab, E. Robert Thieler, Stephen A. Swift. Geology. 2004. Abstract Glacial freshwater discharge to the Atlantic Ocean during deglaciation may have inhibited oceanic thermohaline circulation, and is often postulated to have driven climatic fluctuations. Yet attributing meltwater-discharge events to particular climate oscillations is problematic, because the location, timing, and amount of meltwater discharge are often poorly constrained. We present evidence from the Hudson Valley and the northeastern U.S. continental margin that establishes the timing of the catastrophic draining of Glacial Lake Iroquois, which breached the moraine dam at the Narrows in New York City, eroded glacial lake sediments in the Hudson Valley, and deposited large sediment lobes on the New York and New Jersey continental shelf ca. 13,350 yr B.P. Excess 14C in Cariaco Basin sediments indicates a slowing in thermohaline circulation and heat transport to the North Atlantic at that time, and both marine and terrestrial paleoclimate proxy records around the North Atlantic show a short-lived (<400 yr) cold event (Intra-Allerød cold period) that began ca. 13,350 yr B.P. The meltwater discharge out the Hudson Valley may have played an important role in triggering the Intra-Allerød cold period by diminishing thermohaline circulation. prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 3:44 pm How Global Warming Fell Off the National Agenda Now that ‘climate change’ has become a bête noire, environmentalists need to broaden their strategy By DOMINIQUE BROWNING There’s been much hand-wringing — but perhaps not enough soul-searching — among environmentalists about how climate change got to be the political third rail. The New York Times ran a lengthy piece asking “Where Did Global Warming Go?” which raised more questions than it answered. Here is some more explicit finger-pointing, along with a few proposals. I speak as an informed, and deeply concerned, citizen; as a grumpy environmentalist fatoosted by my tribe; and as a person who has had a lifelong career in “communications.” But mainly, I’m up at night worrying about global warming because I’m a mom who hopes someday to have grandchildren. And I don’t like the terrifying mess my kids will face. (By the way, “climate change” is yesterday’s weak phrase; it doesn’t begin to convey the intensity of trouble that is now upon us. I’m going with “climate chaos.”) President Obama: He has taken no leadership in educating the public about global warming. The reasons are plentiful, and all political. Bottom line? He does not act as if he has a moral responsibility to tell Americans the truth about what is going on. But we can’t blame the President for everything. (MORE: Is Obama Bad for the Environment?) Major Media: When the media loses interest, so do its citizens. Joe Romm at Climate Progress has done a superb job of analyzing the decline of media coverage, as well as spotlighting inaccuracies. Newspapers seem to misplace their moral compasses from time to time, too. Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2011/10/20/how-global-warming-fell-off-the-national-agenda/ Great Read prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm Reframe Global Warming as an Air Pollution Problem: Polls show over and over again that Americans support air pollution controls. In the short term, regulating mercury emissions is the single most important thing we can do to cut down on carbon emissions. Several key rules have been in consideration for months, including the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, and the Cross State Regulations. We need national support for those rulings, because mercury is a truly terrible poison that damages our children’s (and fetuses’) lungs, hearts and brains. We know exactly why climate chaos has fallen off the national agenda. We’ve let it happen. And by “we” I mean everyone from environmentalists to doctors to scientists to teachers to politicians, to parents. There’s no one else to blame. We care about this issue. But we’ll be more ardent, and more focused, when the message is more urgent: we should fight global warming because our lives depend on it. prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 4:02 pm Court upholds Clinton-era ban on forest road-building The judges’ decision is strong enough, experts say, that it probably spells an end to the protracted legal battle over the 2001 rule for nearly 50 million acres of public land. A federal appeals court Friday upheld a Clinton administration rule that bans road-building and logging on roughly a quarter of the country’s national forestland. The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals could settle one of the most contentious conservation issues of the last decade. The 2001 roadless rule, issued in the final days of the Clinton administration, generated lawsuits, conflicting court opinions and repeal efforts. Conservation groups hailed the Clinton regulation for protecting large expanses of relatively untouched wild lands. But many Western governors and timber and energy interests denounced the ban for placing so much public land off-limits to natural resource development. The appeals decision came in response to a second lawsuit filed by the state of Wyoming, which has 3.25 million acres of roadless forest covered by the rule. A spokesman for Wyoming Republican Gov. Matt Mead said his office was reviewing the decision and could not say what it would do next. The state could ask the full 10th Circuit to review the decision or petition the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-forest-roadless-20111022,0,4615261.story Theodore says: October 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm Here is a link to one of my all-time favorite articles on CSP and the difference between it and intermittent sources of power. http://social.csptoday.com/news/depth-addressing-loopholes-current-approach-towards-csp-storage This is basically why I’m not a fan of solar PV or wind energy without storage. This point of view deserves greater attention. prokaryotes says: October 22, 2011 at 6:35 pm Easter Island just became 1 million percent more impressive. (i.imgur.com) http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/llc4f/easter_island_just_became_1_million_percent_more/ David B. Benson says: October 22, 2011 at 7:16 pm Good to read about the roadless ruling. We need more forests and less motorized vehicles. richard sequest says: October 22, 2011 at 11:00 pm What happended to the “Leave a Reply” section at the end of each Climate Progress article? Joe Romm says: October 23, 2011 at 8:39 am Apologies. Still there on permalink but for “Read More” posts you need to click on the comments icon. I’m working on this. Paul magnus says: October 23, 2011 at 12:52 am Climate Chaos Very disturbing all the recent animal die-offs. With the escalation of extreme events one gets an uneasy feeling that humans may be next http://calgary.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20111022/dead-birds-wasaga-beach-111022/20111022/?hub=CalgaryHome CTV Calgary- Hundreds of dead birds wash up on Ontario shore – CTV News calgary.ctv.ca CTV Calgary – Canadian television’s online home for news about Calgary Paul magnus says: October 23, 2011 at 12:56 am real wacky weather record temp swings…. Dramatic 50-Degree Temperature Drop Looms By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist Adding insult to injury is the fact that lows Wednesday night should dip into the teens and 20s. Denver may even come within a few degrees of reaching its record low this night. That would not be the only temperature record Denver challenges next week with Monday’s highs set to approach or even exceed records throughout the region. Paul Magnus says: October 23, 2011 at 1:49 am Oh the irony of it all…. Climate Portals shared a link. Canada escalates fight against EU fuel rules http://www.calgaryherald.com Efforts by Canadian officials and the oilpatch are ramping up to quash a proposed fuel standard European Union member states are set to discuss Tuesday that labels oilsands crude highly polluting Paul Magnus says: October 23, 2011 at 1:49 am “As you know, there are a number of European coun-ries who have invested huge amounts of money in the oilsands and in our energy projects, companies from England, France, the Netherlands, Norway and so on,” Oliver said, noting their potential disadvantage should the standard be implemented. “So we’re – you know, we’re building up support.” European firms Royal Dutch Shell PLC, BP PLC, Total S.A. and Statoil ASA have all poured money into the oilsands. Paul Magnus says: October 23, 2011 at 1:50 am http://www.smh.com.au/business/put-money-where-mine-mouth-is-to-reap-rewards-20111021-1mcef.html Paul Magnus says: October 23, 2011 at 1:51 am Australia’s toughest climate challenge: what to do about coal exports? If they survive the next election our carbon tax-cum-emissions trading scheme Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/put-money-where-mine-mouth-is-to-reap-rewards-20111021-1mcef.html#ixzz1ba6cfUz1 Paul Magnus says: October 23, 2011 at 1:52 am The industry is hoping to double or triple export volumes in the next five to 10 years, to as much as 1 billion tonnes a year, up from about 300 million tonnes this year. Paul Magnus says: October 23, 2011 at 1:53 am It is hard to imagine little Australia will get to chew up 11 per cent of the whole world’s carbon budget for the next four decades, so it can increase coal exports. ”We have a choice between a billion tonnes of year of coal exports, or a climate with the food and water security fit for the worlds people,” says Spratt. ”We can have one or the other, but not both.” Paul Magnus says: October 23, 2011 at 1:56 am The carbon price should be at source bar that at the border…. Paul Magnus says: October 23, 2011 at 1:58 am Can psychology overcome a climate of resistance? – October 21, 2011 http://blogs.nature.com/news/2011/10/psychological_engineering_and.html People know about climate change. For years now, media stories and scientific reports have poured down on the public, telling them that climate change is real, dangerous and happening now. But for some reason the public has not risen up, en masse, and demanded policy solutions, stopped driving cars and started planting trees. Heck, many can’t bring themselves to believe it is real. Others believe it, but go on with their lives without confronting it, paralyzed by the enormity of the problem. Paul Magnus says: October 23, 2011 at 1:59 am People are less likely to buy an energy efficient fridge if it costs more money now, even if it will save them twice as much in energy bills over the long run. So incentive programs should figure out how to deliver those savings right away. Paul Magnus says: October 23, 2011 at 2:00 am I believe Hansens Carbon pricing model covered this…. Paul Magnus says: October 23, 2011 at 2:05 am Really leaders should just be declaring States of Emergency. It looks like we will be seeing a relatively very warm run of years now. I do believe with the accelerating extreme weather associated with the temp peaks we will be seeing widespread SoE anyway. Hopefully they will use them to implement Carbon rationing. Paul Magnus says: October 23, 2011 at 2:10 am http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/262580/pm-takes-charge-of-flood-crisis Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has invoked the disaster prevention law to take full control of flood operations as run-off from the North has started surging into Bangkok. prokaryotes says: October 23, 2011 at 3:13 am This wall is 2000 years old… Ancient Roman wall collapses at Pompeii after flash storms er heavy rains in Pompeii November 30, 2010 in this file photo. Photograph by: Ciro De Luca, Reuters Rome (AFP) – Part of an ancient Roman wall has collapsed at the archaeological site of Pompeiii in southern Italy following flash floods and storms across the country, a spokeswoman said Saturday. The wall, built with the Roman “opus incertum” technique using irregularly shaped stones and concrete, collapsed on a stretch of the ancient city’s external walls, near the Porta di Nola, in an area open to the public. An archaeological team is assessing the damage but there is no risk to public safety, the spokeswoman told AFP. The collapse happened on Friday, a day after heavy storms lashed Italy, causing flash floods across parts of the country which killed two people, brought the capital Rome to a temporary standstill and left damage in its wake. “I have publicly said several times how worried I am about the effect that violent rains could have on Pompeiii,” Culture Minister Giancarlo Galan said in a statement released Saturday afternoon. He said the ministry was working on “a plan to salvage and secure the site” and called on curators “to act immediately to put in place the most urgent security measures”. Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Ancient+Roman+wall+collapses+Pompeii+after+flash+storms/5592552/story.html Yeah, act immediately, the world needs urgent security measures to combat climate change, but since humans are possible too stupid to figure it out. prokaryotes says: October 23, 2011 at 3:23 am The city of Pompeii is a partially buried Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Along with Herculaneum, Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in the year AD 79. The eruption buried Pompeii under 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) of ash and pumice, and it was lost for nearly 1700 years before its accidental rediscovery in 1749. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2,500,000 visitors every year. The inhabitants of Pompeii, as those of the area today, had long been used to minor quaking (indeed, the writer Pliny the Younger wrote that earth tremors “were not particularly alarming because they are frequent in Campania”), but on 5 February 62, there was a severe earthquake which did considerable damage around the bay and particularly to Pompeii. The earthquake, which took place on the afternoon of the 5th of February, is believed to have registered between about 5 and 6 on the Richter scale. On that day in Pompeii there were to be two sacrifices, as it was the anniversary of Augustus being named “Father of the Nation” and also a feast day to honour the guardian spirits of the city. Chaos followed the earthquake. Fires, caused by oil lamps that had fallen during the quake, added to the panic. Nearby cities of Herculaneum and Nuceria were also affected. Temples, houses, bridges, and roads were destroyed. It is believed that almost all buildings in the city of Pompeii were affected. In the days after the earthquake, anarchy ruled the city, where theft and starvation plagued the survivors. In the time between 62 and the eruption in 79, some rebuilding was done, but some of the damage had still not been repaired at the time of the eruption. It is unknown how many people left the city after the earthquake, but a considerable number did indeed leave the devastation behind and move to other cities within the Roman Empire. Those willing to rebuild and take their chances in their beloved city moved back and began the long process of reviving the city. An important field of current research concerns structures that were being restored at the time of the eruption (presumably damaged during the earthquake of 62). Some of the older, damaged, paintings could have been covered with newer ones, and modern instruments are being used to catch a glimpse of the long hidden frescoes. The probable reason why these structures were still being repaired around seventeen years after the earthquake was the increasing frequency of smaller quakes that led up to the eruption. A recent multidisciplinary volcanological and bio-anthropological study of the eruption products and victims, merged with numerical simulations and experiments indicate that at Vesuvius and surrounding towns heat was the main cause of death of people, previously supposed to have died by ash suffocation. The results of this study show that exposure to at least 250 °C hot surges at a distance of 10 kilometres from the vent was sufficient to cause instant death, even if people were sheltered within buildings. The people and buildings of Pompeii were covered in up to twelve different layers of tephra, in total 25 metres deep, which rained down for about 6 hours. Pliny the Younger provided a first-hand account of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius from his position across the Bay of Naples at Misenum, in a version which was written 25 years after the event. The experience must have been etched on his memory given the trauma of the occasion, and the loss of his uncle, Pliny the Elder, with whom he had a close relationship. His uncle died while attempting to rescue stranded victims. As Admiral of the fleet, he had ordered the ships of the Imperial Navy stationed at Misenum to cross the bay to assist evacuation attempts. Volcanologists have recognised the importance of Pliny the Younger’s account of the eruption by calling similar events “Plinian”. The eruption was documented by contemporary historians and is generally accepted as having started on 24 August 79, relying on one version of the text of Pliny’s letter. However the archeological excavations of Pompeii suggest that the city was buried about three months later; This is supported by another version of the letter which gives the date of the eruption as November 23. People buried in the ash appear to be wearing warmer clothing than the light summer clothes that would be expected in August. The fresh fruit and vegetables in the shops are typical of October, and conversely the summer fruit that would have been typical of August was already being sold in dried, or conserved form. Wine fermenting jars had been sealed over, and this would have happened around the end of October. The coins found in the purse of a woman buried in the ash include one which includes a fifteenth imperatorial acclamation among the emperor’s titles. This cannot have been minted before the second week of September. So far there is no definitive theory as to why there should be such an apparent discrepancy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pompeii prokaryotes says: October 23, 2011 at 4:22 am The green speech David Cameron should give The prime minister has been dangerously silent about his ‘greenest government ever’: this is what he could and should say http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2011/oct/13/green-economy-speech-cameron Cameron is kinda lame prokaryotes says: October 23, 2011 at 4:55 am Compare the information about the hamster Anthony Watts from Wikipedia (highly biased) and Sourcewatch http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Anthony_Watts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Watts_(blogger) prokaryotes says: October 23, 2011 at 7:45 am 285 of the world’s largest investors, representing assets of $20 trillion reiterated “the calls we have made about the importance of domestic and international climate change policy in catalyzing the required levels of investment needed to transition to a low-carbon economy. The investor group, which includes Swiss Re, HSBC, and CalPERS, wants governments to commit to short-, medium- and long-range targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, along with enforceable legal mechanisms and timelines for achieving those targets. In their statement, they note that countries attracting the most investment in energy efficiency and renewables are those with strong, consistent, long-term policies and incentives required for investors. That policy is essential “to shift private sector investment from high-carbon to low-carbon assets,” they say. Among their recommendations are: Comprehensive energy and climate change policies that accelerate deployment of energy efficiency, renewable energy, green buildings, clean vehicles and fuels, and low-carbon transportation infrastructure. Comprehensive policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industry, land-use changes, deforestation and agriculture. Financial incentives that shift the risk reward balance in favor of low-carbon assets: strong, sustained price signals on carbon, well-designed carbon markets, and ending fossil fuel subsidies The statement was sent to the G20 and other governments. It was coordinated by the Investor Network on Climate Risk, the European Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change and the Investors Group on Climate Change in Australia and New Zealand. 207 Corporations Call on Governments The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Network for Climate Action, which includes some of the world’s largest corporations, issued a statement to the world’s governments in advance of the Durban summit. Signatories include Shell, eBay, Nestle, Vodaphone, Unilever, Alcoa, Proctor & Gamble and Johnson and Johnson. Although the corporations are based in 29 countries, 115 are from Europe – only 13 are from North America. It starts by saying, “As business leaders, we are committed to action on climate change, sustainable development and the green economy. Green growth offers the potential to create a more prosperous and resilient economy, and deliver innovation, new industries and jobs. We continue to broaden understanding among our peers of the economic case for green growth and the urgency of meeting the 2°C challenge.” “The window to stabilise global warming to less than 2°C has almost closed. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has shown that CO2 emissions in 2010 were the highest on record, and are still rising. While there are examples of strong policies and actions to prevent dangerous climate change, with current progress we will cross the 2°C boundary,” they say. They call on governments to immediately act on their own and to break the deadlock at Durban – or face “permanent damage to their credibility on this issue.” http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/23060 sent a clear message to the fossil funded denial machine, put people like Monckton, Koch’s, Watts, Rex Tillerson on trial for crimes against humanity! prokaryotes says: October 23, 2011 at 7:47 am An major earthquake struck eastern Turkey on Sunday, near the city of Van. The U.S. Geological Survey reported a magnitude of 7.3, though Turkey’s National Earthquake Monitoring Center reported a magnitude of 6.6. The USGS reported a depth of 4.5 miles, or 7.2 km; the center in Turkey said the quake was about 3 miles, or 5 kilometers, deep. The quake took place 12 miles from Van, at 1:41 p.m. local time, the USGS said. Video from CNN Turk showed the inside of shaking buildings, and people gathering outside on the streets. The area is “no stranger to having these seismic events,” but Sunday’s quake is considered major, CNN Meteorologist Reynolds Wolf reported. One concern is displacement of water along Lake Van, which could send water gushing into nearby areas, particularly along the west side, Wolf reported. http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/23/world/europe/turkey-earthquake/?hpt=wo_c2 Worldwide is an uptake in seismic activities prokaryotes says: October 23, 2011 at 7:57 am Renewable Energy Increasingly Attractive to Pension Funds, Oil, Insurance, Industrial Companies Progressive oil companies, insurance companies, industrial, companies, major utilities and pension funds will all soon be big investors in renewable energy, says Swiss-based Bank Sarasin. The more prices fall, the greater their interest becomes. Lower prices mean a shorter payback period for investments. The payback period for a wind project, for example, is a fraction of that for nuclear. Combined with the safety concerns over nuclear power and construction costs – which tend to skyrocket once build-out begins, renewable energy is a much more attractive investment, says Sarasin. Banks would rather lend to wind projects that can be built in 12-18 months than to nuclear plants, which take 10-15 years to build. Pension funds are already big investors in renewables, as many of them seek investments that address climate change and decentralized energy that jump start emerging nations. It’s inevitable that oil and gas firms invest in clean energy to diversify beyond their finite business model. Statoil in Norway is staking out expertise in offshore wind. Many of the majors have had renewable energy divisions for many years, such as BP Solar and Shell Wind. Also, insurers such as Allianz and Munich Re are investigating investments in wind and solar plants to boost profits, says Sarasin. Renewable energy has been the fastest-growing energy industry segment for the last ten years. Worldwide clean energy investments reached an all time high of $45.5 billion in the third quarter of 2011. http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/23057 prokaryotes says: October 23, 2011 at 11:09 am The story of the fingerprints circulated around the world—“buried treasure verified by science,” the Toronto Globe and Mail declared—and many Turner scholars relented on the question of attribution. “It was the pressure of the media,” Biro said. “They were beginning to look foolish.” In 1995, the painting, called “Landscape with a Rainbow,” was sold as a Turner at the Phillips auction house in London. An undisclosed bidder bought it for more than a hundred and fifty thousand dollars—a sum that would have been even higher had the painting been in better condition. It was the first art work officially authenticated based on fingerprint identification. A retired truck driver named Teri Horton hired Biro to examine a large drip canvas, painted in the kinetic style of Jackson Pollock, that she had bought for five dollars at a thrift shop in San Bernardino, California. After inspecting the work, Biro announced that he had found a partial fingerprint on the back of the canvas, and had matched it to a fingerprint on a paint can that is displayed in Pollock’s old studio, in East Hampton. André Turcotte, a retired fingerprint examiner with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, supported the results. But the International Foundation for Art Research, a nonprofit organization that is the primary authenticator of Pollock’s works, balked, saying that Biro’s method was not yet “universally” accepted Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/07/12/100712fa_fact_grann prokaryotes says: October 23, 2011 at 11:33 am Still reading the story, but the guy is apparently a fraud :) prokaryotes says: October 23, 2011 at 11:39 am Lawsuits had piled up against Peter Paul Biro and his family business. In two instances, there were allegations that art works had vanished under mysterious circumstances while in the care of Peter Paul. In one of the cases, Serge Joyal, who is now a senator in Canada, told me that he left a nineteenth-century drawing with the Biros to be restored. Before he could pick it up, Peter Paul notified him that it had been stolen from his car and that there was no insurance. Biro, however, never filed a police report, and Joyal says that Biro pleaded with him to wait before going to the authorities Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/07/12/100712fa_fact_grann prokaryotes says: October 23, 2011 at 11:48 am Biro claimed that he and his brother had found the circular painting, which looked like Raphael’s “Madonna della Sedia,” at an antique store in Boston; Biro had purportedly found a fingerprint on it that matched a fingerprint on an undisputed work by Perino. What’s more, he said, he and his brother had invented a unique ultrasound instrument—they called it a Perinoscope—and used it to detect a note hidden inside a secret compartment in the picture’s frame. The note was written in Italian and was dated April 5, 1520—the day before Raphael died. The Old Master appeared to have dictated a message to Perino, just before his death. The note said, “These are the words of my master as he instructed me to say and to do. If my faithful Perino has finished my last Madonna he has now the greatest treasure of all in his hands.” Raphael’s signature appeared in partial form, suggesting that he had been too ill to finish writing his name. According to colleagues, Lafferty, who had once been a combative and astute financial analyst, was nearing the end of his life, and had grown less mentally agile; bored and lonely, he was drawn to Biro. One colleague recalls that the painting, which Lafferty spoke of as the “holy grail,” gave Lafferty “something to live for.” In a 1999 letter, Lafferty wrote that he had already invested eight hundred thousand dollars in the project. Lafferty’s accountant, Luc Desjardins, told me that altogether Lafferty spent well over a million dollars—but the painting never sold. A research team at Harvard analyzed the secret message, and, according to Lafferty’s summary of its findings, it had never seen “sixteenth-century ink act as it does on that particular document.” Caroline Elam, a leading scholar on the Renaissance, suggested that the work was “a very skilled, elaborate and expert hoax.” Colorado Bob says: October 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm Tennis to baseball-sized hailstones were reported from south of Norman, to near Okemah to near Ada. Storm chasers took video of shattered windshields and baseball-size hail near Ada in Pontotoc county. A few of the stones measured 3″ thick. (Click the video link to watch.) Read more: http://www.kjrh.com/dpp/news/local_news/severe-storms-and-hail-produce-storm-damage-across-oklahoma#ixzz1bdDdYzXA otter17 says: October 23, 2011 at 5:57 pm I came across a WUWT post where a Danish scientist, named Aslak Grinsted, came to comment on Willis Eschenbach’s analysis of his recent peer-reviewed paper.. **** If commenting, please be cordial and diplomatic (like my comments), yet stand with Aslak. ***** wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/20/only-a-century-ya-wimps/ Also, here are some interesting WUWT posts, particularly check out the comments. wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/21/dr-ben-santer-speaks-on-climate-modeling-and-everything-else/ wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/22/weekend-open-thread/ otter17 says: October 23, 2011 at 5:58 pm Oh, and just a disclaimer, the last two links I gave are kinda lengthy. Check them out if ya feel inclined. otter17 says: October 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm Oh, and brighter news… Next weekend I am going to create a sign that says “Ask Me About Climate Change” and maybe another that says “350.org”. Then, I am going to proceed to sit in one of Pittsburgh’s parks and see who wants to chat as they walk by. I am going to figure out some logistics concerning how to provide materials and instructions to other people. I may start to recruit people I talk to here in Pittsburgh at first to also sit in one of the parks and do the same thing. Obviously if they need training in climate science knowledge, provide them the reading material to get trained up (also have them sit in with a more senior volunteer). Climate change does not have an advertising campaign. The National Academy of Sciences statement on climate change is not broadcast to the public every day (more like never). I intend to make a volunteer advertising campaign and protest group that will hopefully be modular and eventually scattered to cities and towns throughout the world. I would like to somehow integrate into 350.org’s structure. I can spare an hour or two per weekend to advertise for climate change, can you? Brian R Smith says: October 23, 2011 at 6:44 pm Excellent idea. Here in Willits I will do the same but on Thursdays at the Farmer’s Market where everybody is up for produce, music & information. I will go with the Ask Me sign, a 3 page info sheet (one one local, county & Calif state info). I cant get to Washington but I can do this. Any body else? otter17 says: October 23, 2011 at 6:48 pm Great, I figured people were already doing something like this. I’ll write your name down as interested, Brian. Let me get a bit organized this week, maybe make a Facebook group, and then I’ll get in contact with you again in the next Open Thread, probably exchange email addresses somehow. Ok? joyce says: October 23, 2011 at 11:19 pm keep me in the loop, too. I’d be interested in your results and approaches. I run a science based educational program through our local Extension office on climate change–and volunteers fan throughout the community educating in various ways in civic organizations they belong to, they also develop projects, run info booths, etc. Info booths attract either folks who already know, or people who want to argue, which is often discouraging because there is not a baseline of scientific knowledge to carry a conversation. Be sure to bring a terrific sense of humor along. I’ve got terrific stories! I’m sure you will, too. You’re brave to go out there alone. Terrific. otter17 says: October 24, 2011 at 5:03 am Thanks Joyce for the encouragement. It is good to know that you have other people doing this via civic groups, projects, etc. My vision may change, but for now I envision for this group to be scattered for the most visibility. It isn’t so much as convincing people, just that the passersby notice somebody with a sign that says “climate change”. otter17 says: October 24, 2011 at 5:07 am And I’m sure I will get my share of people yelling hateful things at me. Good stories, right? I plan to encourage an extremely civil code of conduct among all volunteers. If people yell and scream, always maintain composure and be cordial. The calm rational approach will not convince the misinformed person, but it WILL make observers wonder. otter17 says: October 24, 2011 at 5:24 am FACEBOOK GROUP MADE joyce and Brian R Smith: Find my Facebook group called. “One Protest: Climate Change” It is a tentative name and fluid rules for now. Paul Magnus says: October 24, 2011 at 8:52 am This report might hellp with messaging…. http://blogs.nature.com/news/2011/10/psychological_engineering_and.html Paul Magnus says: October 24, 2011 at 8:53 am http://www.cred.columbia.edu/guide/ otter17 says: October 25, 2011 at 7:31 am Thanks much for the supporting information Paul! otter17 says: October 25, 2011 at 7:41 am http://www.facebook.com/groups/182684518481190/ Brian R Smith says: October 23, 2011 at 6:32 pm In this 1958 clip from the Bell Science Series film “The Unchained Goddess” (I love the pre-Gaia title), Frank C. Baxter delivers a great 1 min.+ description of the potential for industrial emissions to raise global temperature & drown half the Southeast US. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lgzz-L7GFg&feature=player_embedded I watched Baxter in this series on Saturday mornings in 1958 at age 11 while my parents, grateful, slept in. This 1 min. short is a great discussion opener for community climate forums or passing on to family, etc. Baxter is assisted by Richard Carlson who we all fondly remember from The Magnetic Monster, It Came From Outer Space, and Creature From The Black Lagoon. Early on, science & science fiction combined in my imagination as a wonderful, hopeful! continuum of ideas and images. I am still a hopeful kid, but a deeply discouraged political adult. Chris Winter says: October 23, 2011 at 9:14 pm Consider this in the humor category: http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/my-book/ “The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the Worldd’s Top Climate Expert” by Donna LaFramboise It’s got 74 customer reviews on Amazon, and 67 of them are 3 stars or higher. I suspected “ballot-stuffing” because it was touted on DotEarth’s column about BEST by a commenter who disses Dr. Mann’s MBH98. A quick page-through of the reviews confirmed this. The book is just another “exposé” of the IPCC. Most who praised it called it great journalism, but one fellow thought the exposé wasn’t thorough enough. Chris Winter says: October 23, 2011 at 9:26 pm The story about CBS and coffee prompted more humor. So nothing about flooding, drought or more severe and frequent storms causes much concern? Now we’ll hit them where they live. Once the world learns of the threat to coffee, tea and chocolate, we’ll really get their attention. And if that still doesn’t work: Truffles — you’re next! LT says: October 24, 2011 at 3:38 am The Queensland Government (Australia) has launched this website http://hardenup.org/ to encourage citizens to “Harden Up” in the face of more extreme weather events while at the same time planning massive increases in coal mining and coal seam gas extraction. Go figure! Chris Winter says: October 25, 2011 at 11:16 am Totally OT, but I can’t resist. Every now and again there comes a classic headline. One such appears this morning in USA Today: “1 million get shot to save on loans.” The paper itself is behind a paywall, but you can look up the story on Lexis/Nexis.