Open Thread and Cartoon of the Week

A cyber-penny for your thoughts.
Educational Initiative

Stephanie has kindly given me permission to reprint her cartoons. So I said I’d post the link to Paypal where you can donate to her if you like her cartoons.  CLICK HERE (then click where it says donate).

35 Responses to Open Thread and Cartoon of the Week

  1. climatehawk1 says:

    Citizens’ Climate Lobby is pushing the Save Our Climate Act, H.R. 3242, which would establish an escalating tax on carbon, with the proceeds being returned to all Americans as an annual dividend payment. If you are concerned about global warming, one of the most effective things you can do is urge your Congressperson to cosponsor H.R. 3242. It only has 10 cosponsors so far, which is frankly pretty pathetic. Another good thing to do, of course, is join CCL.

    As for the past week, I guess the ocean acidification information stands out as the big, scary item. Lots more discussion of Peter Gleick and Heartland–all I can say is, if you deplore Gleick’s actions, whatever criticism you have needs to be multiplied by 100 or 1,000 for Heartland and its systematic program of obfuscation and deception extending over many years.

  2. Raul M. says:

    Those toys are an important distraction from the foreshadowing!
    If solar yard light toys have plastic covers for the solar cells that lasts long then customers will have better faith in it being a good toy.

  3. Sailesh Rao says:

    In the Animal Feed Science and Technology Journal, Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang simply demolished the arguments of the International Livestock Research Institute scientists and firmly established that the livestock sector is responsible for at least 51% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The ILRI scientists declined to respond to their peer-reviewed paper, which can be downloaded at

    With all due respect, I now call on climate scientists to either scientifically respond to Goodland and Anhang’s analysis in the Animal Feed Science and Technology Journal or go vegan in order to indicate the seriousness with which they view the climate change issue.

  4. Leif says:

    Amide all the gloom and doom in the world, I trust that you will find inspiration in this report of survival under almost impossible conditions.

    A short report and accompanying 6 minute video of rebirth. The story ain’t over until the fat lady sings.

  5. Tom King says:

    For a long time I’ve felt that a segment of the population would undergo a mental breakdown when their contradictions became unmanageable. Thus climate deniers might actually require clinical therapy when 500 billion tons of solid delusion simply melt away into seas of sorrow.
    What I didn’t expect was that media junkies like me would also experience some difficulties when we severed our connection with the mainstream media. I’m thinking there needs to be an AA type group that can help people extricate themselves from the cogs of the mainstream media machine. Of course, I say this with only a half serious tone. But even half serious issues need to be considered. There WILL be casualties walking around when the dust hits the fan/tornado. And the casualties will not be purely physical in nature.

  6. Raul M. says:

    The plants, bugs, and birds have decided it’s spring around here in Gvl. Fl. And the little house wrens(?) have started finding nest spots again. The winds have seemingly much greater strength and longevity it’s almost the sounds reminiscent of the beach as the waves come with great power.
    Solving my nature deficit delusion may be even too exciting. But even though hell and high water may come too soon for my liking, it’s still the natural world.

  7. Jay Alt says:

    Nicaragua bids to stem deforestation with eco-soldiers

  8. Peter says:

    Strange winter in the northeast. My two ‘Windmill Palms’ aka Trachycarpus Fortunei have come through with flying colors- just covered with plastic they have suffered no damage to their fan leaves. The Needle Palm another robust fan palm- just wrapped in plastic has endured well- no damage.

    The USDA now rates my location a zone 6a- at least from the period from 1980-2006. In the last 5 years we have not seen in my Connecticut locale a temperature below -5F- and this winter nothing to zero F- making this a ‘zone 7a’. Since these palms are now the same as they where in the Autumn of 2011, it appears they will develop further this summer. They now have trunks from about a half a meter to 2/3 of a meter.

  9. John Tucker says:

    With it so much in the news here are some tornado statistics.

    You have to remember a mix of conditions make tornadoes possible and determine how severe they are.

    While the number of strong tornadoes seemingly might have decreased up until recent times the number of actual tornadoes seems to be in the increase.

    Certainly the intensity and length of the season seems to be increasing.

    Ill see what the stats and research says and post what I find. Some of you could possibly clarify things so chime in.

    First off:

    US January tornadoes:
    ( )

    Daily Counts and Annual Running Trends – at bottom of post ( )

  10. climatehawk1 says:

    And of course, I should also add, thanks, Joe, for your terrific work.

  11. Bob Lutz, former vice chairman of GM, was on Real Time with Bill Maher last night. He brought up the typical denial arguments such as “it hasn’t warmed in 15 years” and “extreme weather is normal”. He also wanted to know why his home in the Florida Keys isn’t under water yet.

  12. Alexander Davis says:

    Mr. Romm, Stephanie McMillan of Code Green might not be the best person to associate with ThinkProgress. She’s a vaxxer – someone who opposes vaccination – among other unpalatable assertions.

  13. BBHY says:

    When they can no longer denial climate changes, they will simply switch to a different meme, in which the conservatives tried to save the climate but were blocked by liberals.

    I have no doubt at all that they will suddenly pick that up and have complete amnesia of their past denial.

  14. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    Nah, they will go straight to it’s too late.
    and remind everybody about how they supported cap and trade in the nineties and how Obama did nothing. See opposition forgotten already.

  15. EDpeak says:

    We should all welcome new research..but one has to be careful not to set oneself up for failure by mis-framing the debate..what if it later turns otu to be not 51% but “only” 25% from the “livestock sector” that is responsible for anthropogenic GHGs?

    It would still be very prudent to move to a planet based diet. Let’s not set it up as a numbers arms race, lest mistakes (even if only `10% are mistakes and 90% are correct in studies) lead folks to dismiss us, because we mis-framed as “the reason to move to a plant based diet is that 51%” when we should frame it as, “it’s better for your own health, plus helps the environment, and a substantial, significant percent of GHGs comes from…” whether that substantial percent is 20% or 51% or what have you.

    Again, not opposed to new studies, they are good..but let’s not say that the 51% is “the” reason to change diet.

    Also personally I’m vegan (although, no I don’t really like Peta) but we win more allies when we remind other they don’t have to go 100% vegan, certainly not overnight: even cutting in half or even decreasing 20% their meat/dairy intake, will help their health and the planet. It will then be their own personal decision whether, if, or when to cut down further. That message resonates better. And send them great recipes too ;-) is a great website for that the health section for example. Peace.

  16. Theodore says:

    Check out the anti-solar cartoon.

    Apparently she is one of those anti-everything environmentalists.

    It reminds me of the people who oppose desalination plants because dumping the brine back into the ocean will make the ocean water too salty.

  17. Irv Beiman says:

    I’ve been in China for 20 years, working on getting organizational change. My Chinese wife and I have built two co’s in strategic areas recognized as being #1 in their space. I write to you now not for commercial reasons, but because I’ve been researching climate change for the past 5 years. I’ve downloaded >2000 articles & organized them into >200 folders & published 4 articles applying strategy execution to balancing econ dvlpmt & env’al sustainability.
    Now there is a real and present danger: Check out this link:
    This is a 16 page “flip doc”. It is important to recognize there is an enormously serious and focused effort underway now to cope with what is being called an ARCTIC METHANE EMERGENCY

    I first saw the report of 1km diameter methane plumes arising from the Arctic Ocean floor 4 – 6 weeks ago. This 16 page doc has been created since the December report. That is FAST. Depending on time line and conditions methane can have 20x to 70x to 120x the global warming potential of CO2.

    These scientists are immensely concerned and serious about this.

    I encourage you to read through this doc so you can understand what is happening. How to cope begins on page 10. The more people who know about this, the better, because increasing awareness of the collective “we” has the potential to create opportunities for more creative and innovative change. Raising awareness level is the first step in creating constructive change.

    We need to move fast. I hope you can share this with your network(s) and ask each person to do the same. This is happening in our lifetime!

    Sharing information to increase awareness is the FIRST STEP in stimulating a constructive response to the crisis.


  18. Richard D says:

    Thanks Sailesh,
    The Herrero et. al. (2011) paper Goodland and Anhang seek to debunk, is in my opinion the more plausible document. The 51 % figure here is a bold claim and needs proper evidence. However, the 2009 paper of Goodland and Anhang, appears to include livestock respiration into GHG emissions which is a fundamental error.

  19. Sou says:

    We are getting so used to extreme events that they almost appear to be normal.

    The latest in our part of the world is the unseasonal rain of the past week. It has broken records in many places and flooded huge areas in New South Wales and Victoria. The umpteenth 100 year flood in some places, unprecedented rain and floods in many others. Many towns and cities under water as well as large areas of farmland.

    It’s got so deniers are saying because it’s not catastrophic it’s ‘nothing to worry about’. (The definitions of extreme and catastrophic keep changing. Some deniers are trying to say if an event has occurred any time in the past 4.5 billion years then it’s not extreme!)

  20. Joe Romm says:

    I had seen it. Hard to find a cartoonist one agrees with on everything.

  21. Spike says:

    Yes I was reading this article earlier today – some huge quantities of rain in sudden deluges reported

  22. Spike says:

    Michael Mann featured in todays Observer in the UK, centering on the threats he has received from screwballs

  23. Sailesh Rao says:

    Richard, can you tell me why the breathing contribution is a fundamental error? Isn’t that how the carbon stored in the vegetation/soil gets converted to CO2 in this unbalanced ecosystem?

    I would like to understand this better. Thanks!

  24. Sailesh Rao says:

    Thanks for the feedback, EDpeak! You are right that if the number turns out to be 40% and not 51%, it doesn’t mean that we can continue our current violence towards animals and Nature.

    WIth regard to whether our diet is a personal decision, I would like to differ with you. It is actually an intensely political decision as my diet choices affect all of you (forest destruction, 18-51% GHG emissions, etc.) and vice versa. Also, it is very difficult to “cut down” on our animal foods consumption as long as we believe that consumption to be ethical and desirable.

  25. Richard D says:

    Hi Sailesh,

    respiration of animal and plants are part of a net zero cycle:

    Methane from ruminants is a different issue.

    ” Isn’t that how the carbon stored in the vegetation/soil gets converted to CO2 in this unbalanced ecosystem? ”
    Hmm, yes but the amount of imbalance in the ecosystem, at least an example I can think of, such as loss of carbon sink by forest clearance is not connected to the amount of respiration of the animals involved. You’d have to count the forest clearance directly.
    Hope that makes sense.

  26. J4zonian says:

    But if you simply regift people with the money won’t they use it to buy more energy, thus making all the denialists really believe the rebound effect is true?

    The money should be used to help people who couldn’t afford it otherwise to get off carbon–get efficient and install solar (POV, passive, water heating, etc.), wind generators, etc.

  27. J4zonian says:

    ‘Too late’, ‘still nothing to worry about’, ‘we’ll be OK’, or

    1. the market 2. hydrogen 3. so-called non-dirty coal 4. nuclear 5. geoengineering 6. other

    will take care of it.

    They will use these sequentially and simultaneously and whatever sticks to the wall… As they did with cap and trade and all the alternatives suggested, they play whichever one is gaining ground against all the others; if one of those then begins to gain ground suddenly it won’t work but all the others (ncluding the recently rejected) are the answer. At some point most will probably surrender to reality but it’s almost certain to be too late by then. It’s up to us to do everything we can without them, and at the same time, heal their afflictions as much as they’re willing to be healed.

  28. John Tucker says:

    Probably one of the most relevant discussions on the matter is here with references.

    I think this year is going to probably hold more surprises with respect to tornadoes for us.

  29. John Tucker says:

    The Sun is a bit active all of a sudden – for those of you who watch this kind of stuff.

  30. John Tucker says:

    hmmm….. moving into x class territory as a spot 1429 comes around.

  31. Sailesh Rao says:

    Richard D,

    The Skeptical Science note assumes an ecosystem in equilibrium, which probably hasn’t happened since humans started messing with them. At present, the biomass of livestock on the planet dwarfs that of wildlife by a factor of 23:3 and this is causing the carbon cycle imbalance that Goodland and Anhang were trying to account for. Please take a look at the article:
    which states that accounting for the livestock respiration is mandatory due to this imbalance.

  32. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Clearly being from the shallow end of the gene pool in regard to intellectual endowment is no barrier to rising high in capitalist business.

  33. Raul M. says:

    Seeing as how scientists discovered that a black hole ejects matter streams from time to time, is it thought of that a black hole could be the source of the dark matter? Or does dark matter fields expand from the black holes and subsequently drift?