Climate Open Thread Plus Heat Wave Cartoon of the Week by Joe Romm Jul 7, 2012 9:45 am Share 16 Tweet Comment A penny for your cyberthoughts. America’s Hotter Than… By Mike Luckovich, From the Cartoonist Group. Related Post: Hell And High Water Strikes, Media Miss The Forest For The Burning Trees Tags humor Share 16 Tweet Comment 27 Responses to Open Thread Plus Heat Wave Cartoon of the Week Steve says: July 7, 2012 at 10:19 am Very interesting that at a time when all hell has broken loose with fires, storms, heat, drought and floods, the CEO of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson, has the audacity to say climate change is nothing to worry about because we can adapt. More thoughts on that theme in this Huffington Post blog: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-valk/rex-tillerson-climate-change_b_1642508.html?utm_hp_ref=green Dennis Tomlinson says: July 7, 2012 at 11:00 am At 6:30PM, the electronic sign outside the United Center on West Madison St. in Chicago reported the temperature at 101F. Four hours later, the same sign reported the temperature at 95F. There was scarcely a breeze, and the stars shown above in the nighttime sky. What, oh what could have been holding in all that excess heat nearly two hours after sunset? An aside: Niel Diamond, at age 70, has still got IT. Joan Savage says: July 7, 2012 at 11:12 am The gardens that are doing well in my area in the Northeast are those where hand-watering or drip irrigation is readily available. I’m part of a community garden that lost its hose supply and has tried to keep up by hauling water in 5 gallon buckets from a watering hole. It wasn’t really working, and fortunately a new hose supply has been found. Our plants’ growth lags behind the gardens that have easy watering options. Here in the Northeast it is not feasible to irrigate large agricultural fields due to uneven terrain, no large aquifer, variable groundwater quality. (Peter Glieck pointed out that the Great Lakes watershed is precipitation dependent.) In hot dry conditions some small gardens can survive, while bigger operations can be in trouble. Spike says: July 7, 2012 at 11:19 am More from BBC on flooding in Russia http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18751198 Jack Burton says: July 7, 2012 at 11:47 am Having experienced record rainfall here in NE Minnesota a couple weeks ago. Something like 7-8 inched or more in a 24 hour non-stop thunderstorm, I have to say it was an experience nobody alive here ever remembers. The incidents of record rainfall events in Minnesota are on a steep upward trend. Something clearly is forcing more extreme rain falls. I read the British press regularly, and they have been on an extreme roller coaster of weather events for several years! When C02 passed 400PPM in the northern hemisphere recently, I thought to myself “Game Over!” “This isn’t going to be reversed, the climate of 50 years ago isn’t coming back” A quick look at co2 emission rates will turn your hair white! The new and vast releases of methane both at sea and in the tundra are truly shocking. We may have a decade left before events spiral out of control. Now no model predicted this fast of a warming event. If models are wrong, there is a slight chance we already tipped into a new state and the extremes are just the sorting out process as climate tries to settle into a new normal! Lisa Boucher says: July 7, 2012 at 12:11 pm The truly sickening phenomenon is the morphing of denial into fatalism (or even nihilism). After days and weeks of record heat (in June, no less) my right-wing neighbor finally admitted yesterday that human activity is changing the climate. However, she added, “But there’s nothing we can do.” When I explained the necessity of an immediate transition to available technology than emits much less carbon, and simply using less energy, she brushed that off as impractical. She also has a visceral (and irrational) hatred for wind turbines. Oh, but she goes to church every Sunday, adores her grandchildren, and considers herself to be a highly moral person. Lisa Boucher says: July 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm While I was searching for something else this morning, I discovered an extensive set of Teacher Lesson Plans from NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory. “The intended audience ranges from elementary to high school science. Their instructional use and application is left entirely to the discretion of the classroom teacher…. All of the materials in the ‘Greenhouse Gases and Earth’s Changing Climate’ curriculum were prepared by a science education specialist in collaboration with scientists and technicians at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.” Doug Bostrom says: July 7, 2012 at 1:15 pm Intense flooding in the Black Sea region of southern Russia killed 103 people after torrential rains dropped nearly a foot of water, forcing many to scramble out of their beds for refuge in trees and on roofs, officials said Saturday. Many people were asleep when the flooding hit overnight in the Krasnodar region, and the water rushed into the area around the hard-hit town of Krimsk with such speed and volume that rumors emerged that local officials had opened a nearby water reservoir. Muddy water coursed through streets and homes, in some cases high enough to flow over the hoods of cars and even as high as rooftops, according to witnesses. People waded through waist-high water or maneuvered the streets in boats on Saturday. About 5,000 residences were flooded, the Krasnodar governor was quoted as telling the Interfax news agency. “Nobody remembers such a flood in all (of the area’s) history,” Alexander Tkachev said. More Leif says: July 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm A side effect of the denier effort is the tunnel vision that prevents people from visualizing solutions. Though daunting, there are many obvious ones and more less obvious. Most involve green jobs and money savings for the majority. The big ones do involve social change and money transfer from the few to humanity at large and there-in the present logjam. It is important to remember that the present dilemma is 200+ years in the making by very powerful forces, to jell to this point. Undoing the mess will take generations even if we start today. Every week that passes most likely will add yet another generation of mitigation efforts at this point. Yet what are the options but to start. Efficiency first at every turn. Years ago, at the hight of the Alaska pipeline production, I recall a report that the US wastes the equivalent energy of the Alaska Pipeline’s production. Money from each of us to the pockets of the already rich. Plus 19 pounds of CO2 for every gallon burned for one and all. WASTED! That has not changed to this day. Stopping profits from the pollution of the commons will go a long way and help pay for the costs of mitigation, money from the pockets of the original exploiters as justice would imply IMO. Once a green economy is established, more income from the sun’s energy abundance will help further development of more green energy. This all is just a start no doubt, but start we must. I would also advocate pricing energy to the cost of ALL social services, from military and health care to street sweepers, while making distributed energy production available to all. No more taxes. No deficit. A cash cow in every yard… Jack Burton says: July 7, 2012 at 1:57 pm Sad to say that your neighbor is probably so brainwashed by the ceaseless right wing denial machine that she can’t generate independent thought based on information and analysis. I never took anyone’s word for climate change, I read what was available and formed my opinion on the science. And the science is truly frightening! Even I did not expect the wild wacked out climate events that are piling up one after the other decades BEFORE most models predicted these results. With El Nino cranking up, we have the potential for record heat and some epic extreme weather events. Just look what happened to the state of Victoria Australia last El Nino. Record fire storms with several hundred dead! Ken Barrows says: July 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm One dilemma, however, is that one person’s waste is another’s job. Frank Zaski says: July 7, 2012 at 2:37 pm This hot weather is increasing awareness of climate change and has created a good opportunity to push harder on our agendas. Energy efficiency has the best chance to move forward in this political environment. We need a major “Summerization” (as well as “winterization”) program to reduce peak as well as total electric demand. This should be in all categories – residential, commercial and industrial. colinc says: July 7, 2012 at 5:37 pm It’s not a bug, it’s a feature! Merrelyn Emery says: July 7, 2012 at 5:46 pm Perhaps you should reconsider your comment about the suggestions from the Union of Concerned Scientists, ME Steve says: July 7, 2012 at 5:54 pm Precisely, Frank, and thanks for highlighting the obvious. One more widespread vicious heat wave and record wildfire breakout — and we will get them since it’s only early summer — and people are going to start thinking about their own adaptation strategies, and wondering aloud — WTF is going on???? They’ll be soon asking, What can you do to hedge against one week of 100-plus temperatures and no power to run the AC? We need to tell them the adaptation measures which also contribute to mitigation. The most obvious is insulating the base camp (viz. one’s home) against excessive heat build-up when you don’t have AC or ceiling fans working — save electricity by biting the bullet and investing in dual-pane windows (with or without tinting), avoiding aluminum frames, and installing shades, blinds, shutters to reflect sunlight. And use them regularly. There are bigger ticket items as well (solar panels with the future ability to go off-grid to ensure your own personal supply of electricity, for example), and it would be interesting to see articles or links to articles on how to start adapting and mitigating at the same time. Even basic health habits on how to avoid dehydration during heat waves might help… People are getting increasingly poised to listen and learn. Give them what they need (and get them here and elsewhere so they can coincidentally get informed on the politics, disinformation agenda, scientific studies and warnings, etc.) In short, use the emerging crisis and need for practical information as the backdoor invitation to enlighten more people on all the climate change issues. Leif says: July 7, 2012 at 6:21 pm There are no doubt a few jobs involved Ken, but it is mostly about profits. If jobs were a concern, please explain the our outsource of jobs to China and India. Stopping profits from the pollution of the commons will change the dynamic of where profits are made. If you throw a paper cup out the car window here in Alaska, it is a $1,000 fine if caught. Throw 19 pounds of toxic waste out your tailpipe and the already rich get richer and “We The People” sweeten it with tax subsidies to boot. Follow the MONEY. Go figure. Chris Machens says: July 7, 2012 at 7:51 pm In today’s “Intolerance” G.W. Griffith would dedicate a chapter to the Skeptics http://galaxymachine.de/en/movies/item/intolerance-love-s-struggle-throughout-the-ages.html EDpeak says: July 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm Well Merrelyn I found her comment and Lisa said (as I read her) that focusing on just personal actions (as opposed to also industry etc) and on only 20% (rather than admittingi we need deeper cuts) won’t cut it…and that science agrees…but there’s not need to debate either-or since both are true – we need to find better ways of communicating including, I acknowledge, about “first steps” as well as be honest about the much larger steps that the science says we ultimately need – where “ultmately” means” “very soon” (and should have been “yesterday”) EDpeak says: July 7, 2012 at 8:06 pm Yes the heatwave is a chance to educate but we must do it carefully Environmentalists need to be careful (even though the science is clear that global warming makes such heat waves more common) about not ending up talking *only* (or almost only) about heat. As I pointed out elsewhere: Warming is complex, some heat goes from oceans to land,&vice versa, so the fluctuations allow the deniers to sow doubt..yes the climate is warming, but we’ll get a cool break for a bit, then another heatwave, back&forth..even though the overall trend is heating, it’s easy to be misinformed. Beset STARTING PLACE: Look at the CO2 level http://goo.gl/ok6HE way off the charts,of the last 800,000yrs(*was* higher during dinosaurs but florida then was underwater). That’s the graph we need to show *every* (or almost every) time we speak, write, post, discuss with friends etc (not too hard to sketch a rough graph by hand: zig-zag back and forth between 180ppm and 280ppm until the last zag, then shoot up vertically as far as the eye can tell, until 394ppm (current, or 292ppm the seasonally adjusted average) of today. Gotta be Energizer Bunny about the CO2 Graph of the last 800,000 years! Merrelyn Emery says: July 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm Yes, of course it is both (and more) that is required and I’m sure the Union of Concerned Scientists is working at many levels. This particular example is a sample of what individuals can do to help, and of course they can. To reject it on such spurious grounds is not helpful to anybody. The fatalism that Lisa herself has observed is exactly what you get when individuals feel totally powerless. Steve’s comment on the same article is a much more thoughtful, and realistic, approach to generating a grass roots movement towards sanity, ME John Hollenberg says: July 7, 2012 at 9:26 pm Texas drought kills estimated 500 million trees: http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/07/12616567-500-million-dead-trees-in-texas-mean-boom-times-for-trimmers?lite Artful Dodger says: July 7, 2012 at 10:30 pm Jack, it’s not the models… it’s just that NOBODY expected the world to abandon reason, and follow the A1F1 emissions scenario. Plug those assumptions into the models, and they’re remarkably prescient. perceptiventity says: July 8, 2012 at 6:13 am Intense warm climate intervals–warmer than scientists thought possible–have occurred in the Arctic over the past 2.8 million years. That result comes from the first analyses of the longest sediment cores ever retrieved on land. They were obtained from beneath remote, ice-covered Lake El’gygytgyn (pronounced El’gee-git-gin) (“Lake E”) in the northeastern Russian Arctic. perceptiventity says: July 8, 2012 at 6:14 am http://www.skepticalscience.com/Siberian-Lake-Holds-Clues_NSF.html sarah says: July 8, 2012 at 12:04 pm Another risk of coal: “Seventeen hours after salvage crews started to dig through tons of spilled Wyoming coal, derailed freight hoppers and twisted ruins of a collapsed railroad bridge, authorities on Thursday discovered an automobile buried in the wreckage with two bodies inside.” “http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-07-06/news/ct-met-train-derailment-folo-20120706_1_bridge-collapse-coal-cars-coal-train” Ironically: “While the investigation of the derailment continued, extreme heat causing the steel rails to expand between the ties, called a rail kink, was identified as a likely cause of the derailment that led to the subsequent bridge collapse, a Union Pacific spokesman said.” Chris Winter says: July 8, 2012 at 6:55 pm It looks like this is just east of Ukraine. I wonder if the Chernobyl area is affected. Mulga Mumblebrain says: July 9, 2012 at 5:22 am It’s a variant of the Dunning-Kruger phenomenon. Moreover the Right never admit error and cannot learn from mistakes. Their hypertrophied egos cannot take it. And the concept of ‘blood cement’ where you have committed an egregious crime and therefore cannot leave your gang or tribe anymore, for the shame and guilt of it, must be beginning to afflict those who are beginning to realise that they have destroyed their own descendants. If the devastation were not so great, and the imbecilic culpability so extreme, you’d pity them.