October 2 News: ‘Skepticism Around Climate Is Abating’ In The U.S., Says Top UN Official

Christiana Figueres, the United Nations’ top climate change official, expressed optimism Monday that skepticism of scientific views on global warming is on the wane in the United States. [The Hill]

The current Congress has been spectacularly adept at not doing stuff. They’ve passed fewer bills than any other Congress in the past 50 years. They can’t get appropriations bills finished on time. They nearly let the highway bill expire. So it’s hardly a stunner that, this weekend, the 112th Congress managed to let the farm bill lapse as well. [Wonk Blog]

A season of warmer ocean waters that has been expected to produce a Niño episode and perhaps bring relief from the continuing drought may turn out to be a bit weaker than advertised, according to climate experts. [New York Times]

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has lost more than half its coral cover since 1985, according to a new study published Monday. The loss has been spurred by a combination of factors including hurricanes, coral-eating starfish and coral bleaching. [Washington Post]

On Monday, Ikea, not known as a retailer of pricey products, announced that beginning in 2016 all of the lighting products it sells will be LEDs, as will all of the lighting in its stores. The company phased out incandescents in 2010 (and plastic bags in 2007). [New York Times]

New York regulators expect to reopen their rulemaking process for natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing, casting doubt on whether a 4-year-old moratorium on development will be lifted before next year. [Associated Press]

Chinese solar companies are being forced to speed up plans to move a big chunk of their manufacturing offshore as Europe looks increasingly likely to join the United States in implementing duties on imports of Chinese-made solar equipment. [Reuters]

The NGO Islamic Relief has urged the UN to establish a global contingency fund for disaster prevention as it is cheaper to help prepare for floods and drought than spend billions on emergencies. [Guardian]

Major emerging economies’ obligations to cut emissions under a climate change agreement should not be the same as those of rich countries, Brazil’s chief negotiator said, signalling a retreat to an old position that has hamstrung years of U.N. negotiations. [Reuters]


20 Responses to October 2 News: ‘Skepticism Around Climate Is Abating’ In The U.S., Says Top UN Official

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    Global warming skepticism is not abating fast enough, though. There is still a stubborn and substantial minority that is succeeding in blocking change. Media performance is not improving significantly, and the oil companies will exploit their passivity to stall action as long as possible.

    The American people should not have to put the pieces together on their own. It’s time for a serious public education project.

  2. Will Fox says:

    Some of the readers’ comments on TheHill are enough to make you weep. The ignorance is just simply staggering.

  3. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    Bill McKibben & friends are planning a “20 cities in 20 days” Do the Math tour in November. Only 2 of the 20 are scheduled in Ol’ Dixie. Two others – Omaha and Salt Lake City – are in deep red states. The rest are in rather friendly territory, with 6 on the left coast.

  4. In America we let the Comfortable be the enemy of the Good. And win! We’re open-hearted that way.

  5. ColoradoBob says:

    Climate Change to Cripple Southwestern Forests
    Trees Face Rising Drought Stress and Mortality as Climate Warms

  6. ColoradoBob says:

    The study points out that very large and severe wildfires, bark-beetle outbreaks and a doubling of the proportion of dead trees in response to early 21st-century warmth and drought conditions are evidence that a transition of southwestern forest landscapes toward more open and drought-tolerant ecosystems may already be underway.

  7. Leif says:

    I think that we need to have a serious GOVERNMENT and capitalism education process Mike. We must quit looking at this as an awakening of the people, rather an awakening of the powers that be, by the PEOPLE. Recent polls have shown that the majority of the people favor increasing emphasis on green sustainable energy with a margin of ~3::1. The people get it even if the path is not well marked. It is the powers that be that keep putting detour signs up to their “concession stands” that are being bypassed! “Highway 61” just leads to the waste lands…

  8. ColoradoBob says:

    Moving to the extremes …….

    Vancouver , Canada just booked it’s driest Sept in 118 years of records,
    Nova Scotia it’s wettest ……
    “It’s one of the wettest moments in Eastern Canadian history,” said climatologist David Phillips of Environment Canada.

  9. Tami Kennedy says:

    Brazil has taken the wrong approach for the BRIC countries. Their rapid growth is mostly on the back of carbon-intensive economies. They could show more global leadership in the environmental arena than the wasteful U.S. by agreeing and implementing goals. Maybe shaming the U.S. into action. The U.S. government doesn’t seem to be interested otherwise.

  10. ColoradoBob says:

    Irreversible warming will cause sea levels to rise for thousands of years to come, new research shows

    Great Barrier Reef Has Lost Half of Its Coral in the Last 27 Years

  11. Mike Roddy says:

    Bill should make stops in Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Atlanta. It’s important that people in those towns are told that they have been lied to.

  12. Mike Roddy says:

    We can’t shame the oil companies. They must be defeated.

  13. Ken Barrows says:

    November 22, 2012
    Skepticism in the USA regarding global warming has increased 15% after most of the country experienced frost conditions during the past month.

  14. Vic says:

    Amazing how the Great Barrier Reef has disappeared at a similar rate to the arctic icecap. Another similarity is the fact that the reef is/was lighter in colour than the surrounding open ocean which means we have yet another positive feedback mechanism with negative outcomes for every single one of us.

  15. Mark Shapiro says:

    You can’t shame any companies. They don’t have feelings and they do have powerful PR.

    But you CAN shame CEOs. They have reputations and legacies to worry about, and they benefit very little from corporate PR.

    Shame people, not companies.

  16. Merrelyn Emery says:

    A systems change is underway, ME

  17. David B. Benson says:

    BRICS countries. South Africa recently joined.

  18. Merrelyn Emery says:

    This is a very interesting development probably indicating a change of dynamics. I wonder what has changed behind the scenes, ME

  19. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Why pick on St Cecilia’s Day?