Open Thread Plus Cartoon Of The Week

Posted on

"Open Thread Plus Cartoon Of The Week"

Opine away!

Via Skeptical Science

Tags:

« »

57 Responses to Open Thread Plus Cartoon Of The Week

  1. Colorado Bob says:

    More flood warnings as Britain set for three inches of rain

    http://travel.aol.co.uk/2012/12/29/UK-weather-flood-warnings-three-inches-of-rain/

  2. Spike says:

    Yes it’s tipping it down in England at present again – just come back in drenched. Our pig ignorant government has been caught napping:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/28/britain-pulling-plug-flood-defences

    The effects on crops can only be guessed at at the moment, but worrying portents are being discussed;

    http://www.hgca.com/publications/documents/markets/November_2012_HGCA_crop_development_report_FINAL.pdf

  3. Will Fox says:

    I’ve spent the last couple of hours on the Facebook page for Richard Dawkins, trying to argue the case for global warming. If anybody would like to join in, here’s the link.

    Be warned though… some head-exploding posts here. Not good for your blood pressure:

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151338084425155&set=a.496176595154.294030.8798180154&type=1#

    (scroll back for previous comments)

  4. Mike Roddy says:

    Fracking will never be safe, and “more regulation” is useless:

    http://vimeo.com/44367635

    Fox’s short video includes an illustrated sequence with a professor, showing well casing failure rates, and why they are inevitable.

    The oil companies don’t care if they destroy our drinking water and our future. They are the ones who should be arrested, not the peaceful protestors.

    • Gestur says:

      Mike, thanks for the link. It’s a good presentation of the risks. If you haven’t already done so, consider reading the piece in the Guardian a while back that provides one with more of the impact on the people living in this frenzy of exploitation, in this case in western North Dakota’s Bakken shale play. For me it was truly a heart wrenching read, especially this passage:

      Even some veteran oil patch workers express surprise at the Wild West frenzy underway. A rancher near White Earth recalls a conversation he had with an oil worker last summer. “There’s going to be nothing left in northwest North Dakota,” the oilman said. “I’m 62 years old and I’ve worked 40 years in oil fields all over the country, but I’ve never seen any place like this. It’s a free-for-all out here. It will be a toxic waste dump. No one will be able to live here.”

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/04/north-dakota-fracking-boom-family

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        The sheer hatred of life and the delight in polluting, poisoning and destroying it is rising to a really hideous crescendo. The Right know, somewhere in the barren wastes of their psyches, that their psychology of greed and contempt for all that is other to themselves has been exposed as unutterably evil, and out of rage and spite they are bringing everything down on all our heads rather that leave anything left to be salvaged by the decent fraction of humanity.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      They will be, one day, if civilization holds together long enough. Otherwise the anarchic mob will prove more volatile.

  5. Robert Callaghan says:

    Why is climate change presented like a menu item you select from a drop down list. At the one end, you have scientists like Guy McPherson and Kevin Anderson who think the earth is set to fry by 2050. The IPCC is irrelevant. The COP talks are worse than useless. Green energy websites are unrealistically optimistic. I guess there’s a lot of money at stake. Between Cap’n’Trade and green energy policies, are we not seeing the tree for the forest?

    • wili says:

      We are in Britain in ’40-’41.

      The bombs are now falling all around us:

      Sandy,
      Mega-Drought,
      Mega-Heat,
      Broken Ice Cap…

      But we have no Churchill.

      Instead we have a series of Chamberlains and worse, appeasing or even promoting the Nazi German cause.

      And of course no one is asking anyone to sacrifice to give some glimmering hope of a survivable world for our kids.

      Instead, we are sacrificing them for the pleasure of buying things we mostly don’t need, going places we mostly don’t want to go, and doing things we mostly don’t want to do.

      It is almost unimaginable in its idiocy and in its monstrosity.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        It’s more like Stalingrad, 1942, and we need a Zhukov. This is an even bigger and bloodier war with evil than the Eastern Front of WW2. And first we simply must recognise and never cease denouncing the denialists as forces of evil.

    • Paul Klinkman says:

      I’m unreasonably pessimistic about the climate change forecast.

      I’m unreasonably optimistic about the possibilities of green energy, because I’m an inventor and I can see what works. If we could get the assault weapons industry, aka the National Rifle Association minus 17 assorted deer hunters, to defend solar energy with their cold, dead hands, maybe we’d get somewhere.

      I’m fairly realistic about the political possibilities. Bumpy ride coming up. Around 1980 a trillion dollars worth of new nuclear power plant construction was cancelled through mass protests and exposure of massive industry fraud. We already signed one atmospheric treaty around ozone-depleting gases.

    • Superman1 says:

      We’re all fossil fuel addicts, and like most addicts, the addiction is more precious than life itself. By the end of the century, seven billion will be gone. If one thousand more generations could have survived with proper stewardship, that’s seven trillion people we have eliminated.

      • Merrelyn Emery says:

        You keep using the addiction analogy Superman but it is misleading. From my observations, Americans waste all resources nonchalantly and carelessly. This behaviour is easily fixed with some very simple mechanisms while addictions are extraordinarily difficult to cure. The problem is bad enough without confusing it, ME

        • Merrelyn Emery says:

          Is there anybody out there? My comment from 27th Dec is still locked up and I would like this one released too, thanks, ME

        • David Smith says:

          On the other hand, becoming more efficient slows the decent, but we don’t solve the problem until we stop burning fossil fuels completely or nearly completely – The end of the age of fire.

        • Superman1 says:

          Now, we’re getting into semantics. We’re addicted to lifestyle activities enabled by technology, which today is enabled mainly by unlimited availability of cheap fossil fuel. My neighbors probably average two overseas flights per year for vacation, and perhaps three or more long domestic flights for family purposes. What’s the easy fix for that? And, how long would a politician last who supported termination of such fossil fuel extravagance? It’s fundamentally addiction, and I did not chose that term accidentally.

  6. Paul Klinkman says:

    NPR story: thousands of people are turning out to hearings, to protest a new coal port to ship coal to China. Building the coal port is immoral for climate change reasons.

    Good potential story. You’re encouraged to find some coverage.

    • wili says:

      Good idea.

      I guess I expected to see something here on Lisa Jackson’s resignation from head of the EPA, too. I would love to see some discussion about what this might mean for Keystone, fracking, and other issues.

      But I know it all takes lots of work to try to cover everything relevant to CC.

  7. prokaryotes says:

    Obama Urges Senate Leaders to Put Together a Tax Deal http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/30/us/politics/president-obama-urges-last-minute-tax-deal.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    What are the odd’s for a carbon tax? That would be btw the best way to indirectly tax rich people (who own high in carbon factories, shares and such). Ofc, this tax income should benefit those with low carbon footprint.

  8. prokaryotes says:

    There is today a talk on “Plant hacking” (translation in english optional from the drop down menu)

    Info (translated)
    http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fevents.ccc.de%2Fcongress%2F2012%2FFahrplan%2Fevents%2F5323.en.html&act=url

    Begins in 6 hours (GMT+1, 23:00)

    Stream will be here
    http://saal4.rtmp.29c3.fem-net.de/

  9. prokaryotes says:

    Extreme weather: ‘Turbulent times ahead’ for UK

    The culprit for much of the extreme weather that the UK has seen this year is the jet stream.

    Usually, this river of air in our upper atmosphere flows in a fairly straight line from the east coast of America, east across the Atlantic.

    It fluctuates a little all the time, but this year, it underwent large variations and then got locked in these unusual patterns.

    Tim Palmer, professor of climate physics at the University of Oxford, explains: “When the jet stream moves up to the north, and then travels back down to the UK, it brings with it cold air, blizzards, very severe and unpleasant weather from that perspective.

    “On the other hand, when the jet stream moves south, then we get these periods of intense flooding, which we have seen through the second part of this year.”

    But Professor Palmer says that with climate change, the jet stream could become far more variable.

    He says: “The question of how it will change is still a very active research problem, and we don’t have clear-cut answers yet.

    “But I think there is quite a big possibility that what we will see is the jet stream undergoing quite dramatic and erratic excursions.”

    And the UK’s geographical position under the jet stream means that we could see the worst of this.

    Prof Palmer explains: “I think it is a bit unwise, and possibly even a bit dangerous, to think that the climate of the UK will just gradually warm and we’ll transition to a more balmy southern European climate. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20803992

    • Lewis Cleverdon says:

      Here in central Wales there were over 800 breeding ewes sold at the local market a fortnight ago – which is completely unheard of in December. As one neighbour remarked to me,
      “If feed and hay prices are so high that it costs more to keep them through the winter than their lambs will fetch next year, what else can we do ?”

      Make no mistake, the collapse of UK agriculture has begun. It is still potentially remediable, but it will take an early commensurate binding climate treaty to save it – that is, one including the mandated governance of arctic Albedo Restoration, ASAP.

      Regards,

      Lewis

  10. David Goldstein says:

    Since learning of the Arctic Methane Emergency Group’s (AMEG) warnings re: methane release, I have been wondering if (1) They are just plain wrong (2) They are not just plain wrong and well…things are due to get much more interesting soon. It has struck me for some time now that the Arctic Sea Ice melt has been this weird anomaly- what has happened there is just so far beyond the bounds of the projections. Is it the case that we have simply placed a bit of a ‘cognitive dissonance’ wall around it- not wanting to make the (possible) logical conclusion that if this long acknowledged ‘canary in the coal mine’ of CC is now dying, that other- particularly geographically proximate – climate aspects are undergoing similar speed-ups. If so- perhaps that is what Waddhams and the AMEG are making the case for. Uh-oh.

    • Superman1 says:

      What about if the AMEG proposal is a ‘trial balloon’ for the British military, the equivalent of the threat of Iraq weapons in 2002, as a precursor to higher level of action? Our military leaders and their intelligence counterparts understand what lies ahead, and it will affect their grandchildren along with everyone else’s. At some point, to save their grandchildren, they, and possibly their counterparts from Russia and China and Britain, will use the levers of power they control and, one way or another, implement CO2 reduction worldwide. Maybe the AMEG proposal is the shot across the bow.

  11. prokaryotes says:

    Safecast: DIY and citizen-sensing of radiation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K-mihfvUNo

    Interesting project of mapping global radiation, at the end the speaker reveals how future devices will be developed to sense pollution / emissions.

  12. Joan Savage says:

    Fact-checking Arctic ice extent:

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    Ice extent is at the previous record low for this date, set in 2007-08.

  13. David B. Benson says:

    This is quite an amazing graphic:
    http://synoptic.envsci.rutgers.edu/site/sat/sat.php?sat=nhem&url=../imgs/wv_nhem_anim.gif
    which I certainly found helpful.

  14. prokaryotes says:

    Another interesting 29c3 congress talk:

    MILLIONS OF LESSONS LEARNED ON ELECTRONIC NAPKINS
    On the way to free(ing) education

    Massive open online courses are the vogue of the season when it comes to discussing the future of university-level education. But we’re only starting to see what education at this scope means and how it can be supported best, in terms of both didactics and technology. This talk is an inside report by two instructors who have delved into the experience of teaching large audiences online. We share the lessons that we have learned: how to spark student interest, how to put intuition before formal theories, how to streamline production and much more. And we point out what needs to be done to truly democratize education from the viewpoint of both the students and the instructors. http://saal6.rtmp.29c3.fem-net.de/

    Starts now

  15. prokaryotes says:

    Re Consumerism, consumption, resource depletion

    Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object, service or practice is no longer wanted even though it may still be in good working order. Obsolescence frequently occurs because a replacement has become available that has got, in sum, more advantages than the inconvenience related to repurchasing the replacement. Obsolete refers to something that is already disused or discarded, or antiquated.[1] Typically, obsolescence is preceded by a gradual decline in popularity

    Driven by rapid technological changes, new components are developed and launched on the market with increasing speed. The result is a dramatic change in production methods of all components and their market availability. A growing industry sector is facing issues where life cycles of products no longer fit together with life cycles of required components. This issue is known as obsolescence, the status given to a part when it is no longer available from its original manufacturer. The problem of obsolescence is most prevalent for electronics technology, wherein the procurement lifetimes for microelectronic parts are often significantly shorter than the manufacturing and support life cycles for the products that use the parts. However, obsolescence extends beyond electronic components to other items, such as materials, textiles, and mechanical parts. In addition, obsolescence has been shown to appear for software, specifications, standards, processes, and soft resources, such as human skills. It is highly important to implement and operate an active management of obsolescence to mitigate and avoid extreme costs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsolescence

  16. prokaryotes says:

    Julian Knight: We cannot keep soaking up the threat of flooding
    Whether caused by climate change or home building, the tide will not be turned by insurers http://www.independent.co.uk/money/insurance/julian-knight-we-cannot-keep-soaking-up-the-threat-of-flooding-8433060.html

  17. Matt Owens says:

    updated estimates of ice loss from Antarctic and Greenland glaciers have opened the door for much improved projections of economic and social losses resulting from sea level rise. more here: http://climatewatch.typepad.com/blog/2012/12/estimated-future-ice-loss-rates-updated-dec-2012.html

    • David B. Benson says:

      Thank you for posting this link.

      It is actually quite important. I’ll hope you bring that article to the attention of many people. I”ll attempt to do my part as well.