Open Thread Plus Newt Romney Cartoon

A cyber-penny for your thoughts.!/httpImage/image.jpg

Plus a bonus global warming cartoon:


By Alex Hallatt, From the Cartoonist Group.

65 Responses to Open Thread Plus Newt Romney Cartoon

  1. prokaryotes says:

    Behind the Scenes of NASA’s Upcoming MMORPG

    In the case of the upcoming NASA MMORPG, Daniel Laughlin, project manager of NASA’s Learning Technologies cited research over the past decade indicating that games have tremendous potential to enhance learning. Laughlin stated, “The goal of the MMO project is to tap into the power of games to inspire and promote learning specifically in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)”. Laughlin also added, “Based on the existing literature as well as my own experiences gaming, an MMO was the logical choice for a game project for NASA.”

    If you like to play the worlds current top MMO, i can recommend Star Wars the old Republic… not really a STEM game but it is a very smart and well thought out game experience.

    You can buy Star Wars within 5 minutes, here (official release is the 20th) Use this Link

  2. prokaryotes says:

    Death toll in Philippine floods rises to 440
    Houses swept into the sea while people slept

    Some of the worst affected areas included Cagayan de Oro city, which reported 215 dead, and nearby Iligan city which lost 144 residents, Philippine National Red Cross secretary-general Gwen Pang told AFP.

    Earlier, more than 250 people were killed and almost twice that number were missing after a typhoon hit the southern Philippines, officials said on Saturday, triggering flash floods and landslides and forcing tens of thousands from their homes.

    Typhoon Washi, with winds gusting up to 90km/h hit the resource-rich island of Mindanao late on Friday, bringing heavy rain that also grounded some domestic flights and left wide areas without power.

    The Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) said 256 people were killed in flash floods in Mindanao and another island. Soldiers and police were recovering more bodies washed ashore in nearby towns.

    The death toll might still rise because there are still a lot of missing people,”

  3. prokaryotes says:

    Our extreme weather: Arctic changes to blame?
    “The question is not whether sea ice loss is affecting the large-scale atmospheric circulation…it’s how can it not?” That was the take-home message from Dr. Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University, in her talk “Does Arctic Amplification Fuel Extreme Weather in Mid-Latitudes?”, presented at last week’s American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. Dr. Francis presented new research in review for publication, which shows that Arctic sea ice loss may significantly affect the upper-level atmospheric circulation, slowing its winds and increasing its tendency to make contorted high-amplitude loops. High-amplitude loops in the upper level wind pattern (and associated jet stream) increases the probability of persistent weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere, potentially leading to extreme weather due to longer-duration cold spells, snow events, heat waves, flooding events, and drought conditions.

  4. prokaryotes says:

    The 2011 Eastern Pacific hurricane season: a strange one
    Hurricane season officially ends next week on November 30 in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and it is likely that we won’t see any more named storms in either basin. It was a strange hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific, but in the opposite sense of the Atlantic’s strange season. The 2011 Eastern Pacific hurricane season featured a well below-average number of named storms–eleven (fifteen is average). However, all but one of these storms reached hurricane strength, the highest proportion of hurricanes in a single season ever recorded. Six of the hurricanes became intense hurricanes, double the normal. An average Eastern Pacific hurricane season has 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes. It is common for an Eastern Pacific hurricane season to have fewer named storms than usual during a La Niña year, like this year. It is unusual to have so many hurricanes and intense hurricanes in a La Niña year. The only La Niña years to record so many intense hurricanes in the Eastern Pacific were 1971 and 1985

  5. prokaryotes says:

    Micro and Macro Burst here we come…

  6. prokaryotes says:

    I can only say that this years weather in germany was super odd.

    The spring was the driest every recorded, the summer was above average wet – though a bit cold, almost wettest november on record and now it is so warm it is considered “strange”.

    And thanks to how our system works, people keep on driving their fossil consuming cars.

    What we see now can be considered, consequences of emissions, emitted decades ago.

  7. climatehawk1 says:

    New at It’s Burning: Dawn of the Undead: Fake Twitter Accounts return. Someone, likely in the fossil fuels industry, is funding robo-ads through a spam network of bogus accounts.

  8. Mike Roddy says:

    You were good on Olbermann yesterday, Joe. Nice to see that you’re getting the hang of TV appearances.

    We need Countdown. Are his ratings approaching MSNBC? Does Gore’s channel have a chance to get a big audience? I suggest that they schedule some of Maher’s guests more often, people like Taibbi and Sanders.

  9. Colorado Bob says:

    Tropical Storm Washi dumped on Mindanao more than a month of average rains in just 12 hours.

  10. muoncounter says:

    Rick Perry out Rick-Perrys even Rick Perry. The guy who hates big government sure knows how to play the system: Perry ‘retired’ in January to double-dip benefits

    Nice. Too bad the teachers and municipal employees laid off by Perry’s state budget cuts don’t get a salary and a pension. This must merit at least one “Oops!”

  11. prokaryotes says:

    Is somebody interested in buying the domain

  12. prokaryotes says:

    I can also setup a complete “State of the Art” Joomla CMS or basically everything else.

    My latest project website with Joomla

  13. Colorado Bob says:

    Best Book of 2011: Kivalina: A Climate Change Story

    Thankfully for us, and the world, science author Christine Shearer made such a journey in 2008, and her extraordinary chronicle of a native Alaskan village’s demise and inevitable relocation due to climate changes, a breakthrough lawsuit for accountability, and the harrowing legacy of misinformation and deceit by multinational corporations, ranks as one of the most timely and important books to be published in 2011 — and in the past decade.

    Written with the verve of an investigative journalist and the insight of a scholar, Kivalina: A Climate Story should be required reading for all power brokers in the climate change debate — in particular, President Obama and his special envoy for climate change Todd Stern, and the dawdling U.S. Congress and its embarrassing numbers of climate change deniers.

  14. climatehawk1 says:

    Interesting to compare NYT coverage of Congress with its coverage of global warming. The e-mail alert for today’s breaking story reads, in pertinent part, as follows:

    “Senate Votes to Extend Payroll Tax Cut for Two Months

    “WASHINGTON — In the ultimate cap to a year of last-minute, half-loaf legislation, the Senate voted overwhelmingly on Saturday to extend a payroll tax cut for a two months, with the chamber’s leaders and the White House proclaiming victory, even as they pushed the issue of how to extend the tax cut and unemployment benefits into the new year. …

    “The agreement — should it get through the House — mirrors a series of 11th-hour deals devised by the the 112th Congress that appear to solve an impending crisis, but simply push it forward …

    “A failure to even extend a modest tax break for 160 million Americans for a single year — something both sides would love as political feather’s in their election-year caps — is particularly remarkable in a Congress charged with far more significant items.

    “‘Today is an important day for our country,’ said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, as he explained from the Senate floor Saturday why his chamber would be voting on a bill, conceived Friday in private between Senate leaders to extend the tax for only two months. ‘We are doing today exactly what the Founding Fathers thought we would do,’ and passage of the bills is ‘an accomplishment important for the American people.’

    Notice that the reporting is very judgmental, and positions the quote from Reid in such a way as to make him appear either openly cynical or stupid. The NYT does this regularly with political news, so it does know how to take a position, in a news story. The mystery is why it is so assiduous about writing stories about global warming as neutrally (and even cluelessly) as possible.

    That said, some credit is due. Today’s story on methane actually discusses climate science as if it were settled.

  15. dijidog says:

    why the hell would anyone do that?

  16. prokaryotes says:


    12-16-11 2 – Breaking News Keystone XL Pipeline, with Joe Romm – Countdown with Keith Olbermann

  17. prokaryotes says:

    The Keyword here is “MORDOR”. Tar Sand exploration creates Mordor like landscapes and destroys environment literally for ever.

    Wake-Up Call From Yellowstone: Keystone XL Must Be Shelved


    The first step in getting at the tar sands is to clear-cut the forest and dice it into a harrowing wasteland of access roads

    Once the tar sands are dug out, processors use huge amounts of hot water to separate out the bitumen. Once the tar sands are dug out, processors use huge amounts of hot water to separate the sand from the bitumen. The waste goes into enormous tailings ponds, where, in the best case, there it sits.

    To get bitumen from deeper underground, tar sands companies must drill into the clay and coal where it lodges. To coax it from the earth requires pumping huge amounts of hot water in the ground, or “cooking” the land with steam, sometimes for months.

    The heat comes from natural gas. We’re burning one of our cleanest fuels, in other words, to get at some of the dirtiest, pumping out unmitigated tons of planet-warming carbon emissions in the process.

    Next we have to turn this stuff into fuel, a bit like spinning straw into gold. It takes refining so extensive its akin to alchemy, requiring intensive energy use. To get tar sands crude to the refineries, we run it through pipelines.

    At room temperature, though, bitumen is nearly solid, a kind of cross between tar and soft coal. To run through pipelines, it must be diluted with natural gas liquids, which are highly volatile, then pumped under pressure at temperatures as high as 150 degrees F.

    We are getting more and more raw tar sands bitumen, which is more corrosive and more abrasive than normal crude oil. That means it’s harder on pipelines.


    The second point in messaging here when talking about pipeline safety is the higher corrosivity of bitumen.

  18. Jeff H says:

    Degrees of Separation and Degrees of Climate Change

    Most people have heard of the idea of “six degrees of separation” — that every person is connected to every other person through a network of friends or acquaintances via five or six steps. It’s my understanding that the Facebook folks recently did a study in which Facebook users were connected to each other via a chain of friends/acquaintances of about 4.7 folks, on average.

    It may very well be the case that our ability to face and address climate change will be greatly enhanced if we make productive (although challenging) use of this notion, and that our ability to do so may remain rather unfruitful if we don’t.

    For example, Joe probably knows someone who knows someone who knows President Obama quite well. Or, perhaps, the number of steps between Joe and the President is even less than that. Similarly, Joe probably knows someone who knows Jon Stewart quite well. Similarly, Bill McKibben probably knows someone who knows E. O. Wilson quite well, and E. O. Wilson probably knows the president of Harvard (Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust) well, or at least knows someone who does. Similarly, via one or two or three steps, folks here are probably connected to many folks, including (just as example) Paul Ehrlich, Robert Reich, Jim Hansen, an ABC or NBC or PBS news anchor or two, and so forth.

    My point is this: We’re going to need to draw on — and utilize — these sorts of networks in targeted and creative ways. AND, importantly, we’re going to need to do so in ways that call on, encourage, and help people (including each other) to step beyond the conventional, self-imposed confines of their roles to do what human responsibility would have us do. Here’s what I mean:

    Imagine these people, all of whom might already be deeply concerned about climate change: A leading scientist who is on the fence about speaking out more publicly about climate change because of a concern that scientists are only supposed to “do science” and “not get involved”. A bright and noted leader of a major consulting firm, with high credibility in the business community (for example, the leader of McKinsey or Bain or etc.) who knows full well that climate change is real and should be addressed, but who is concerned that some clients will be upset, and perhaps lost, if he or she speaks out more publicly, or even privately to government and corporate leaders, to push us towards addressing climate change. A leading reporter who understands the problem but is mired in the journalistic paradigm of so-called “balance”, resulting more in confusion than in a responsible communication of genuine understanding to readers. A university president who speaks only softly, or on campus, about climate change for fear that someone (some parents of students, some funders?) will be upset if she/he speaks our more strongly and publicly. And so forth.

    If all of these people, and others like them, network well — but not to the extent of helping each other shed their conventional, self-imposed role limitations or narrow concerns — we won’t get very far. Some of the biggest — perhaps THE biggest — enablers of the continuation of business-as-usual are these conventional role limitations and the associated comforts that attend them. They cause otherwise capable and responsible people to see their ethical responsibilities and “safe ground” in terms of their professions and paid roles rather than in terms of genuine human responsibilities: with understanding comes responsibility.

    So, we need to utilize — energetically and creatively and in targeted fashion — the idea of six (or five, or four, or three, or etc.) degrees of separation. We need to network one-on-one, two-on-one, three-on-one, or whatever it takes. AND we need to do so in a way that asks, encourages, and helps people to live up to their responsibilities as full humans, and to show some real leadership, which will often mean going one step farther to do something that might normally not be done in light of the conventional self-imposed professional role-handcuffs. For example, a scientist might actually have to speak out publicly, like Jim Hansen. A leading climate activist might actually have to take a stand that puts conditions on whether he’ll vote for President Obama again that have to do with President Obama’s actions before the election. A leading news anchor, hosting a Republican debate, might have to actually have the nerve to ask the Repubs a clear question about their stances regarding climate change, including the reasons for those stances. The leaders of major consulting organizations might actually have to speak out, and take public stands, to encourage both businesses and government to face and address climate change. The leaders of universities might actually have to do so — indeed, they should have been doing so all along, much more than they have.

    You get it, right? We have to network, along our chains of friends and close acquaintances, in targeted fashion, to ask and encourage and help people live up to their responsibilities AS HUMANS and not stay confined within the contrived bounds of “what they think is appropriate for a scientist to do, according to convention”, and so forth, as the case may be.

    If we do not reach out along our networks, person to person, and especially to those who have platforms and credibility to “move the needle of change”, and if we do not do so in a way that causes people to ignore what is considered “politically correct and comfortable” and instead do what the situation calls for, we will (I’m afraid) continue to suffer from near-zero progress. It is a challenging thought. But I see no way around it. Key enablers of the status quo are these conventional “comfort zones” we all have, and paradigms, regarding “what a person in profession X does and doesn’t do”. They overlap and interlock, and their net result is to enable business-as-usual and to prevent responsible change. Indeed, the very definition of ‘responsible leadership’ these days will (should) involve breaking through and going beyond them — living up to what a full conception of human responsibility calls for.

    Be Well,


  19. Gingerbaker says:

    Andrew Revkin has what appears to be a misleading denialist-tinged article re methane release in the NYT:

  20. Just wondering says:

    I can’t help but notice that the story about Semilitov finding methane plumes roughly 100 times larger than last year is conspicuously absent from I am wondering if this is due to the fact that Romm finds that the story is simply too despair inducing?

  21. Joe Romm says:

    That’s not what he found.

  22. prokaryotes says:

    Because the game is out of stock almost everywhere else. And unless you like to wait days or even weeks of your pre-order arriving at your doorsteps maybe even next year, lol.

  23. Just wondering says:

    Semilitov said, “”Earlier we found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of metres in diameter. This is the first time that we’ve found continuous, powerful and impressive seeping structures more than 1,000 metres in diameter.

    If I am not mistaken, he was out there last year studying the shelf. That means the plumes increased 100 fold in one year. But even if he is referring to his 2009 expedition, that would mean a 100 fold increase in 2 years.

  24. prokaryotes says:

    Also you save like 10 bucks … best offer imho, go figure.

  25. wili says:

    Good reason to have a post on this finding–to clear up exactly what was and what was not found. As it is, we are left with the arguably sensationalized article from the Independent and clearly (and typically) underplayed Revkin piece in the NYT blog. If nothing else, it could be a continuation of your critique of how NYT covers climate issues.

    In any case, the whole issues is to important, imho, not to be discussed openly here in a dedicated thread.

    Meanwhile, thanks for all your great work–keep it up.

  26. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    It’s worth noting that the 2009/2010 plumes had to be 100ms diam to give a ratio of area increase of 1 to 100 with the 1,000ms diam 2011 plumes. By contrast, the earlier plumes being only 50ms diam would give a ratio of area increase of about 1 to 286, which would be over 8 doublings during the interval.

    I’m puzzled by the very muted response to Semiletov’s report of the findings of the joint US-Russian expedition. The AGU hasn’t posted a video of his presentation, nothing here or on Real Climate or on SkS, and nothing in the Guardian.

    Is there (despite his being one of Russia’s most senior arctic scientists) perhaps something adrift with his account, or with the Independent’s report of it ?
    Or could the expedition’s findings as reported perhaps challenge conventional assumptions to the extent of time being needed to assess their implications ?
    – Anywhere near even just a 100-fold increase of the 8Mts CH4 /yr output reported by the earlier expedition would plainly have seminal implications – on a GWP value of 105 on 20yrs, 800Mt CH4 would represent 84.0Gt CO2e –
    which seems outlandish.

    A post clarifying just what the expedition is reported to have found would be very helpful.



  27. Mike Roddy says:

    Yeah, Andy really embarrassed himself here. The good commenters slammed him pretty hard.

  28. Mike Roddy says:

    Here’s Semiletov’s presentation, which has been ignored by all of the media except Dot Earth (which slammed it):

  29. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Another victim of climate change is the useful word ‘glacial’ as in “the justice system moves at a glacial pace.”

    The justice system still does but glaciers do not, ME

  30. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    People in the detached somnambulistic state of consumer fugue, read of hundreds drowned in the Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan etc, and it passes them by. Until it is they who are stricken, but by then it’s too late. Some robopath is paid, in pieces of silver or by having his egomania further inflated, to deny that anything is happening, or that it is unusual, or that we can afford to do anything about it, or that action is ‘cost effective’, so we sleep-walk over the cliff.

  31. Belgrave says:

    There’s now a load of discussion of this on Real Climate under the report on day 5 of the AGU meeting.

    Lots of different opinions but generally that, even if it doesn’t mean Apocalypse Now it’s worrying & needs careful watching. For now, we’ll have to be patient & wait for the full report around next April (which should be just in time to make it into the next IPCC report).

  32. Just wondering says:

    I hope Romm is reading this exchange because frankly his silence on this story is causing me almost as much concern as the story itself.

  33. Joe Romm says:

    I blogged on this last year. Will update Monday or Tuesday.

  34. Colorado Bob says:

    The report is coming , but my reading is they rushed to make this years meeting with a rough cut , prompted by the monster they have just looked down .

  35. Colorado Bob says:

    Mike –
    Thanks for this link with a 2010 base line. My reading about this 2011 expedition was that they were towing much better equipment than Semiletov’s ever had access to in his 20 year work.
    The seismic package was state of the art.
    These things are going to be scary big, and the imaging work being down now is what I want to see.
    My bet :
    Pingo like formations cracking the upper softer permafrost with ice pillars moving up just like salt domes on the Gulf Coast. These crack that permafrost allowing for zillions of pathways for gas to move through a thawing system.

  36. Andy says:

    I think most folks are waiting for Semiletov’s latest publication to come out before getting down to a serious discussion of the impact of this latest methane data. Semiletov has published on this subject just recently and I think that some folks are confusing his latest 2011 data (unpublished) with his 2009 publication and 2010 data (discussed in some news reports). Semiletov seems to be stating that a major change occurred this summer.

    I note though that Revkin dismisses it before he even knows the volume of these emissions. He’s becoming close-minded. Everything he sees supports his world view even when it doesn’t.

    Regardless, the estimates of methane and carbon dioxide emissions from arctic permafrost and methane clathrates is already thought to be on their way to becoming equal about one-third of all current anthropogenic emissions by the end of this century and throughout the next and beyond. Why Revkin and others dismiss this is beyond me. This estimate already has some arctic climate scientists calling for the near term implementation of geoengineering as the only way to prevent this.

  37. Colorado Bob says:

    Mike I read the Dot Earth post , when it had zero comments. And it reminded me of that Greenland GPS study that made the show in SF.

    Revkin , fails to understand that the velocity of the carbon dump doesn’t appear in the geology. We are doing 175 mph in our big earth hot rod , and we’re out on the hood installing a nitro-methane injector to get to 200 mph.
    We’ve put roughly 1/3 of the fossil carbon we can get at, …. back in action in 175 years.
    This matters a lot, because the earth has never chose to do that this fast.

  38. Andy says:

    Ok, even more confusing is that the AGU poster discusses Shapkova and Semiletov’s 2008 to 2010 data; not the data from their latest expedition for which the lab results probably are even completed yet. He’s simply stating his observations from this summer in the news accounts (Guardian article).

    Clearly the Russian’s are excited about what they saw, but this is a clear case of science proceeding way slower than news reporting. This is why so many scientists are reluctant to talk about their work before publication even though you can see them squirming to do so. Look at the confusion this has wrought.

    And want to bet that when they do publish sometime in 2012 or 2013 that many journalists will remember this early confunktation (my word = widespread online confusion) and dismiss it as old news.

  39. Colorado Bob says:

    My bet :
    All made possible by a much warmer ocean flowing over them , the ocean floor in Sept. in 5 years will be live with bubbles, in some places, it will appear as boiling mud.

    This will all move faster due to what the GPS just reported about West Greenland 2010. 1/4 of an inch rise in 5 months , thanks to an “extra 100 Billion tons of melting”.

    Anybody wanted bet this isn’t a 500 year event ?

  40. Colorado Bob says:

    ME –
    “Glacial Pace “, and “500 year event” are both on the extinction list.

  41. Colorado Bob says:

    An analysis of bee collection data over the past 130 years shows that spring arrives about 10 days earlier than in the 1880s.

  42. Colorado Bob says:

    The change picked up speed in 1970 , with the bulk happening since the.

  43. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    If Semiletov were merely a self-publicist hyping the findings, rather than a highly reputable senior scientist trying to inform the community, then he might be expected to do far more than just a single interview with the Independent.

    Moreover, this was a joint research trip with US scientists, as well as with his own expert colleagues, so any distortion of the facts would be against the certain knowledge of predictable exposure. And I’d not heard that Russian scientists were any less careful of their reputations than scientists of other nations.

    The idea voiced in Real Climate comments that coal is what matters and methane will be no more than a minor addition seems rather unlikely. – Given that with a successful climate treaty we’d do well to end anthro GHG outputs by 2050, and thus end additional anthro-warming by say 2080, this implies ~70 years of rising warming driving both sub-sea and surface permafrost emissions, plus the other major feedbacks, plus their own interactions.

    Putting it numerically, the 8MtCH4/yr reported previously from the ESAS would, under the 105 GWP value appropriate for a fast feedback, need only ~6 doublings to give an annual CO2e output greater that the present annual anthro-CO2e output.

    In this light, how could scientists’ observations of a very rapid advance of ESAS methane outputs, this early in the curve of global warming, be other than of seminal importance ?



  44. Jay Alt says:

    Someone on that thread gave a link to the NOAA sampling station at Pt Barrow, AK [given below]. That is about as close to the shallow sea / area-in-question at as you can get, on US soil. Plotting CH4 vs time shows no change in the seasonal cycle or magnitude. I wonder if the expedition upgraded their search instruments this season.

  45. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Yep plus others not yet within our view, ME

  46. Greg Junell says:

    @Bob. Did you mean 500,000 year event?

  47. Prokaryotes – I guess you meant to write that it was the driest (not wettest) November in Germany ever recorded? There were places which didn’t get any rain at all and November 2011 more likely than not was one of the driest month ever recorded (including summer months!) in Germany.

  48. Lionel A says:

    Aye Mulga, and Revkin seems to be amongst the ranks of those robopaths (nice one) as David Roberts at Grist shows.

  49. Spike says:

    UK drought still causing environmental problems in southern England

  50. TKPGH says:

    Regarding the cartoon, I’d like to resurrect and old bumper sticker from the 90’s (Sorry, I can’t help it)

    NUCK FEWT!!!

    Happy Holidays.

  51. Lionel A says:

    The Keyword here is “MORDOR”. Tar Sand exploration creates Mordor like landscapes and destroys environment literally for ever.

    Kinda reminds me of the arsenic mining carried out in Cornwall, England during the 18th and 19th centuries the sites of which are still so contaminated with wider spread contamination. Although Alberta is going to be affected far worse and over a much larger area.

    The link above is only a starter point for those interested.

  52. thanes says:

    Loved your appearance on Countdown, but one point- even if energy intensity of Tar Sands is made less, even less than Saudi oil, hell if it were made energy-free to mine, it would still be game over for the environment. 200-400 gT of carbon in the ground must stay in the ground, regardless of the ease of exploitation. Don’t you think you give the fossil-fuelists an avenue of distraction if you pick on the Tar Sands energy intensity rather than stay focused on the prime issue?

  53. Lionel A says:

    Good spot on Countdown Joe.

    I am pleased that we in the UK could watch this.

    Is it not ironic that at a time when Canada seems hell-bent on going against the mitigation of GHGs by developing tar sand that debate should have begun in Canada to replace the national symbol of the Beaver by the Polar Bear.

    I do not think that the penny has dropped in Canada’s upper circles that the climate change issue is real, pressing and going to affect them and soon.

  54. mulp says:

    Interesting issue ad playing on a Boston, Mass TV station:

    “Hi, this is Pastor Tracy, [pictures of mom and baby] As an evangelical mom and church leader, I believe every life [classic baby in womb picture] is a precious gift from God [sky] and I expect members of Congress [picture of Capitol Building] to protect the unborn here in Massachusetts. [flags on house fronts] Coal burning power plants in our region [classic coal plant with smoke billowing] have helped raise mercury levels in our waters threatening our unborn [mom and infant] with permanent brain damage. That’s why I’m counting on Senator Brown to defend the EPA’s ability to protect ….”

    I wish I had another 30 seconds so I knew who is sponsoring the ad.

    This is the kind of ad I’d like to see running everywhere over the next 10 months targeting Republicans. In Kentucky, Senator McConnell can be targeted on mountain top removal valley fill, coal slurry floods, and the EPA efforts to mitigate the damage and loss of life. And a big effort to defeat him should be a high priority among progressives, liberals, environmentalists, pro-lifers, evangelicals. After all, what is Christian and pro-life about the conservative Republican energy policy that supports massive environmental destruction because anything else is unprofitable.

  55. prokaryotes says:

    Yes, you are probably correct Baerbel. Thank you for pointing this out.

  56. prokaryotes says:

    There is a lot of potential for advertising campaigns to use the climate outlook to sell products. Everybody needs new products, products which are free of poison to the planet and inhabitants.

    Electric car conversion, renewable energy generation, environmental friendly productions, sustainability….

    Lets create accountability credits? If my Co2 footprint is below certain threshold i get a tax break. Because it helps to stewardship our livelihoods, hence prevents cost from disaster impacts. Co2 free zones in cities, where only hybrid or electric vehicle transport is permitted. These areas will shortly become the most famous residence areas, because they are cleaner, make people less ill!

  57. prokaryotes says:

    Egg Shells FTW!

    Eggshells could be used to fight global warming

  58. mulp says:

    From LOE (Living on Earth):

    “The ads were produced by the Evangelical Environmental Network. Reverend Mitchell Hescox is president. He says 100 other faith leaders, the National Association of Evangelicals and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have signed on. Reverend Hescox and colleagues have visited the offices of dozens of members of Congress in recent years to lobby on the issue saying:

    “HESCOX: If their faith is important to them, and life is important to them, shouldn’t you be concerned about what mercury does to our unborn children?”

  59. David B. Benson says:

    Brazilian off-shore oil may be worse than Canadian tar sands.

  60. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Gaia will fix it. Just give her a couple of hundred thousand years.

  61. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Out of idle curiosity-how so?

  62. David B. Benson says:

    Thought is that annual production will be very much larger.

  63. prokaryotes says:

    Study: Eating less keeps the brain young
    December 19, 2011
    Overeating may cause brain aging while eating less turns on a molecule that helps the brain stay young.

  64. wili says:

    I think that was me. Did you change the setting to methane rather than CO2 (which it seems to default to)?

    Meanwhile, I see that Joe has now composed a main post on the two major stories to come out of the Arctic recently–permafrost melt and seabed methane. Thanks for that, Joe, but you don’t really cite or address directly the work or statements of Semiletov or Shakhova. Are they not trustworthy sources on this? Who were the others on the expedition this fall? Have you contacted any of them? Do you think the elevated readings for methane at the Barrow station, cited abover, are relevant here? The “plumes” and “torches” discussed by Semiletov and Shakhova do not sound like phenomena generated by surface methanogens. Am I missing something? (Sorry for the rapid-fire questions, but it is an issue of…concern.)