Climate Open Thread Plus Toles Cartoon Of The Week by Joe Romm Feb 16, 2013 9:01 am Share 18 Tweet Comment Opine away! Tags humor Share 18 Tweet Comment 45 Responses to Open Thread Plus Toles Cartoon Of The Week fj says: February 16, 2013 at 9:10 am Best one yet. Guess, weapon of mass destruction wouldn’t have the same ring? Robert Callaghan says: February 16, 2013 at 10:07 am Words of Mass Destruction We are taking 3 separate, independent roads to the biggest mass extinction event in history. 1) Co2 to air — polar methane motherlode ends life on earth. 2) Co2 to oceans – did 4 of 5 past mass extinctions 3) Us on land – hit 50% land impact = food web disintegration Tami Kennedy says: February 16, 2013 at 10:39 am Rand and Lapierre “target” the EPA Jacob says: February 16, 2013 at 12:04 pm Funny, when the real effects of climate change hit we’ll all be wishing we had semi-automatic assault rifles to defend ourselves from criminals. I hope when that day gets here people will wonder why they pushed so hard to get rid of them, when they become victims without protection. There is a disconnect on the issue of gun-control. Guns don’t kill people, crazy people (and bad guys) with guns kill people, punishing law-abiding citizens is not going to keep bad guys from getting guns and using them against law abiding citizens who lack them. I have zero confidence in the authorities to be there when I need them to protect me from criminals, so I’d feel safer being able to take care of them myself in the event I cross paths with them. There are few issues I agree with hardcore conservatives on and this is one of them, it concerns me that liberal people are so willing to give away rights in the name of some illusional security. fj says: February 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm Curious, how those people dedicating their lives to prevent the social chaos you describe as inevitable are likely the ones most repulsed your very personal solution. Thomas Gibbons says: February 16, 2013 at 2:37 pm I just traveled 150 miles to Chicago to see the movie “Chasing Ice” http://www.chasingice.com/ , and I thought some people might be interested in a quick review. This is the glacier documentary in which James Balog and his coworkers have obtained several years-long sequences of time-lapse photographs of receding glaciers. There were a couple of Climate Progress posts on it in late 2012. His skill with a camera exceeds mine by light years, although I have done some glacier photography http://www.gibbworld.com/glaciers/glacierpics.html. We see what Balog can do early in the film when he wades barefoot into freezing surf to obtain pictures of water breaking over some iceberg chunks. I was hooked immediately. They planted cameras controlled by timers near glaciers in Greenland, Alaska, Iceland, and elsewhere. We see some of the difficulties with the electronics, which threatened the project’s future for a while. We also watch Balog’s troubles with his knee, which inspired his doctor to tell him to stop hiking. He ignored the doctor’s warning, of course. There is a darkly amusing scene showing his problems just with walking (to get the facts) juxtaposed with the talking heads of the usual gang of global warming deniers (accusing scientists of fakery. The payoff comes when we see the images of glaciers racing forward while the glacier fronts crumble even faster, eating the glaciers from front to back and shrinking them. Other images show glaciers shrinking top to bottom so rapidly that, in the time lapse pictures, it looks like they are deflating. My only criticism is that these images went by too fast; I wanted to study them – come on DVD! His purpose was just to show in a dramatic fashion how glaciers are going away, and he certainly succeeded. The problem is that the movie is just barely available. There were a few showings at a small Chicago Loop theater, the Gene Siskel Film Center, and little else in the region. It has not been shown at all in my home state of Iowa. So I have been posting reviews wherever I can to help spread the word. If enough people talk it up, maybe it will get a wider release. SecularAnimist says: February 16, 2013 at 3:09 pm Please spare us the rote regurgitation of the NRA’s script. Turboblocke says: February 16, 2013 at 3:21 pm According to the CDC in 2011 there were 19,766 suicides by firearm, 85 by accidental discharge of firearms and 11,101 homicides by firearms. There were also 32,163 injuries by firearms. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr61/nvsr61_06.pdf Ray Kondrasuk says: February 16, 2013 at 3:32 pm I wish the NRA would abandon its anemic analogy. Guns fire high-velocity projectiles that inflict structural damage… marked to considerable to massive… on what they strike. The NRA esteems marksmanship, so this might be more accurate and on-target: “Guns don’t kill people. People, using guns as they are designed and intended to be used, kill people.” Mulga Mumblebrain says: February 16, 2013 at 4:33 pm Guns don’t kill people-bullets do. Merrelyn Emery says: February 16, 2013 at 4:45 pm So many who comment here appear to have had the fight knocked out of them when it comes to dealing with climate change. It is not the first time people have had to confront circumstances where the odds were stacked against them. But they did not lose their fighting spirit. And please don’t try to tell me how serious this is as, as one who practices systems science, I am well aware of future possibilities. So it is an intriguing question and here is my first hypothesis: the assumption of total human dominance has become so ingrained that when it can no longer be sustained, the individual experiences a complete loss of confidence. This combined with long periods of dependency on ‘benign’ authorities and the reliable supply of daily necessities is sufficient to reduce resiliency to a bare minimum. And when faith is lost in both the authorities and the supply, it is difficult to see any light at the end of the tunnel, ME Ray Kondrasuk says: February 16, 2013 at 6:11 pm Here’s a one-minute FOX News take on the global warming portion of Obama’s SOTU address: FOX – John Stossel – 10:36 CT mark 12 February 2013 (one minute one second on topic of global warming) Guests: Michael Moynihan of Newsweek/The Daily Beast, syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock Graphic on screen bottom: Is Obama right that we must stop global warming now? Stossel: I was struck by what he said about climate change: “We must do more to combat climate change” and “There is overwhelming judgement of scientists that Hurricane Sandy was caused by climate change?” Moynihan: This is an amazing sleight of hand. I give him credit for… for being that sort of devious about this. The previous sentence says “Sandy”, the next sentence says “overwhelming evidence”. There is not overwhelming evidence that climate change… ah… caused Hurricane Sandy. Stossel: There is no evidence that it caused Hurricane Sandy. Moynihan: There’s…there’s evidence that maybe the sea level rises has… y’know… made the water… there’s no evidence of the actual hurricane itself and the frequencies of these hurricanes are the result of climate change… it’s just bunk! That… there’s a lot of bunk in this but let’s just pick on this one. That is… is… y’know… throw it out there… hopefully we can get some federal program to… to solve this… nothing more. Stossel: There is a lot of evidence that the climate is warming… Moynihan: Of course. Yes… absolutely… Murdock: (coyly smiling) But I think… I think climate change might have been responsible for the full moon that was a very large factor in the destruction of Hurricane Sandy. (laughter from audience…) Obama’s actual words: But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late. Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/state-of-the-union-2013-president-barack-obamas-speech-transcript-text-87550_Page4.html#ixzz2L4vpbuoC Joan Savage says: February 16, 2013 at 7:37 pm For those of us who can’t literally march forward tomorrow, consider investing some time this weekend to encourage new 2013 legislation for Clean Energy Victory Bonds. These bonds would be US Treasury Bonds that support clean energy development. http://cleanenergyvictorybonds.org/ I read about this great idea in the magazine, Green America. It is endorsed by Center for American Progress (the parent organization for Think Progres and Climate Progress), CERES, 350.org, Presidential Climate Action Project and the American Sustainable Business Council. Paul Klinkman says: February 16, 2013 at 8:49 pm If guns don’t kill people, why don’t the get up? — Guns specially designed to kill large masses of people, wielded by people deranged enough to kill large masses of people, kill large masses of people. Jacob says: February 16, 2013 at 11:10 pm Never heard of it, since you know so much about it please tell me what it says. Villabolo says: February 17, 2013 at 12:00 am Assault weapon would be a better choice. Jacob says: February 17, 2013 at 12:07 am “Curious, how those people dedicating their lives to prevent the social chaos you describe as inevitable are likely the ones most repulsed your very personal solution.” I believe you meant “…repulsed by your…”, am I correct here? I don’t pretend to have lived in parts of the world where daily life is really bad and they dream of the pacific living we largely experience in the U.S. However, I have experienced a taste of the worst of what this country has to offer, which wasn’t pretty in itself, I’ve witnessed things happen I don’t wish upon any good/innocent person. Law enforcement officials couldn’t be bothered to show up, and this is when the good times were rolling. Far be it for me to offend the sensibilities of the theoretically offended crusaders of peace and justice. The reasons for the inevitable deterioraton of social order have been well documented here on his site. When Ice cap goes, normal weather patterns go, food production goes, etc.,etc., the reasons go on ad infinitum, the dominoes will fall. The chaos which ensues will render the efforts of those dedicated to preserving order moot. Game over for civilization as we know it. Those dedicated to preying on defenseless people will only be hindered by people who have the means to protect themselves. If our law enforcement officials can’t make it to every incident now, in good times, where will they be when the excrement hits the fan? Think outside the box, and not from your pinnacle of privelege and supreme comfortability. DRT says: February 17, 2013 at 12:18 am Wouldn’t it be great if you could take your dividend from a Fee and Dividen program and roll it directly into Clean Energy Victory Bonds. Gordon says: February 17, 2013 at 12:55 am Why do people who want to keep them insist that guns don’t kill people. Of course they do. It’s what they’re designed for! People kill people using guns! No guns – no gun killings. Duh! Paul Magnus says: February 17, 2013 at 4:21 am A hellish world awaits future generations, as climate disruption multiplies the degradation of nuclear facilities and waste storage sites. Inundation on our coast will force abandonment sites, with nuclear material left to natures whims. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/16/hanford-nuclear-tank-is-l_n_2701197.html?utm_hp_ref=green Belgrave says: February 17, 2013 at 5:55 am I wish I didn’t agree with Jacob, but I’ve actually thought along these lines for some time. In the UK restrictions on gun ownership are now so severe that, when civilised society collapses, only the armed forces and professional criminals will have access to firearms (the police also – they are supposed to be usually unarmed, but I think they carry guns more often than most people realise). If you were a former member of the security forces who had to feed your own children and there was food available to steal, what would you do? So called “transition towns” will simply be overrun & any citizens who resist will simply be killed. During the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, when food packages were dropped around the Louisana Superdome, they were simply comandeered by gangs of young men and, unless they had something to barter, older people, families, the sick & disabled, etc. just had to do without. The effects of climate change will, I believe, be nastier than anyone who has not been poor & powerless in somewhere like Somalia, Cambodia or North Korea can even imagine (imagine the worst of all those 3 very different systems combined). After another “great dying” what will remain is small tribal groups struggling to survive on an environmentally ravaged planet and ruled by local warlords. In this society, incidentally, women will, once again be reduced to mere chattels – feminists should be paying more attention. I’m now 62 but, barring accidents, I expect to see the beginning of these bad times. Finally, to come back to the main subject, I read a while ago (and may not have got the details right) where a climate scientist was asked what he could most usefully do to help his young child survive in the future and he replied “Buy her a gun and teach her how to use it”. P.S. It wasn’t you Joe – I’m sure of that. Raul M. says: February 17, 2013 at 7:05 am Most law enforcement personel work for money. Just a guess. If socitial colapse happens such as during a storm event, things change. If law enforcement personel give up hope of pay and food gets scarce, well things would have changed even further. That I am going to somehow survive socitacal colapse due to reocurring storms — seems hurrrnnggrreeyy people would be everywhere. It also seems that most would secume within a few days after lack of food and water. Too sad and probably too true to change so sudenly without training. Good luck in doing something good that makes life worthwhile. Raul M. says: February 17, 2013 at 7:31 am Then there is also the karma point of — To escape that I had helped cause the environmental collapse by my use of fossil fuels for years. So to believe that the Earth was made by God’s laws and I disobeyed those laws and was trained to disobey those laws through upbringing yet am still unable to have changed my controll of circumstance shows little about my desire to obey God’s laws. Or something like that. So to survive to a point where I am responsible and live by God’s laws after the socital sollapse would show my desire to live within sustainability perameters and my ability to live within those perameters. Of course it would be harder to live within strict sustainability rules and I would have had almost no training so with my last I could claim to have lived in the pluse age of mankind reaping what good I could from the grandest ponzi scheem of mankind. Thanks it was a fine life with little to make of it for future generations except the fundamental return to strict laws of sustainability, probably until sustainability becomes impossible for some few survivors. There are still years to feed upon the fat of society once collapse trully comes of age. fj says: February 17, 2013 at 7:56 am You readily admit that you are not worldly and you are cordially invited to travel and see the world and you’ll likely acquire a different less scary perspective unless you have difficulties with unreal thoughts. And, one statistic you might find of interest is that in your global travels, by far, the most likely way you’ll be injured or killed will be in road accidents where globally over 3,000 people are killed per day and 1.3 million people are killed and 50 million are gravely injured per year. The world’s roads are the places were the rule of law truly breaks down even in our supposedly most advanced cities. Brian R Smith says: February 17, 2013 at 9:21 am If you haven’t watched Bill Moyers’ Nov. 2012 interview with Naomi Klein on capitalism & climate change, it’s well worth the time. http://billmoyers.com/segment/naomi-klein-on-capitalism-and-climate-change/ Spike says: February 17, 2013 at 10:49 am Thanks for that link – I had missed it. She is inspiring and I am glad to hear she is now teamed up with McKibben and fully engaged in the climate crisis. fj says: February 17, 2013 at 11:54 am Although weapon of mass destruction is probably a better description and Ralph Nader likely wrong calling McDonalds the greatest mass murderer of all times. catman306 says: February 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm In case you missed it, here’s how climate deniers get funded: “Here’s How Billionaires Launder Their Climate-Denial Cash Kevin Drum Have you been reading today about Donors Trust, the 800-pound gorilla of climate-denial funders that you’ve never heard of? Well, Andy Kroll told you all about them right here at MoJo last week: Andy Kroll http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/donors-trust-donor-capital-fund-dark-money-koch-bradley-devos Sasparilla says: February 17, 2013 at 2:10 pm Secret funding helped build vast network of climate denial think tanks in the U.S. far outspending the Koch’s and Exxon’s of the world and is done anonymously – slipped through the cracks the other day: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/14/funding-climate-change-denial-thinktanks-network Joan Savage says: February 17, 2013 at 2:29 pm The Guardian’s US Environment Correspondent Suzanne Goldberg has also written on the role of Donor’s Trust. Here’s one from three days ago: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/14/funding-climate-change-denial-thinktanks-network Ando one about how Donors Trust funded opposition to wind farms: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/15/media-campaign-windfarms-conservatives Joan Savage says: February 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm Real time watching of the Forward on Climate Rally – and the camera person has a good view. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q2YpdHuBCA Joan Savage says: February 17, 2013 at 3:24 pm It’s still listed as ‘live’ but it’s not anymore. Joan Savage says: February 17, 2013 at 3:25 pm Sierra Club’s live link: http://action.sierraclub.org/site/PageServer?pagename=forwardonclimate_livestream john byatt says: February 17, 2013 at 3:28 pm Australians complete list of where our politicians stand on climate change please post at blogs you may visit https://uknowispeaksense.wordpress.com/election-2013/ , Merrelyn Emery says: February 17, 2013 at 3:47 pm Thanks Joan, let’s hope this leads to something really big over there, ME catman306 says: February 17, 2013 at 4:12 pm All of the links are ‘waiting for processing’ although the first was live and working correctly an hour ago. I don’t think MSM wants us to see what’s happening. Orders from their Fossil Fuel boss, perhaps? catman306 says: February 17, 2013 at 4:38 pm Ignore me. The rally was over and the live stream is now a YouTube video. Bill McKibbon speaks at about 2:55. He said the Sierra Club estimated the crowd of marchers at 50,000. Mulga Mumblebrain says: February 17, 2013 at 8:33 pm ‘…so far’, fj, so far. Mulga Mumblebrain says: February 17, 2013 at 8:42 pm Where they SAY that they stand, john. Many of these will certainly be ‘non-core’ positions, designed to fool the public. Moreover, once Abbott emerges from his ‘nice guy’ chrysalis, and reveals his true, invariable, unchangeable colours, which include being a dedicated climate destabilisation denialist, a lot of his troops will revert to type, if only to further their promotion chances. The ‘Lackey Country’ is in a downwards spiral, fueled by the Right following the Tea Party model, and the so-called ‘Labor’ Party selling-out, comprehensively and completely. David B. Benson says: February 17, 2013 at 11:23 pm For 2009 in the USA 33,808 deaths by automobile: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/transportation/motor_vehicle_accidents_and_fatalities.html George says: February 18, 2013 at 12:37 am I certainly hope so. I own guns precisely for that reason, so if absolutely necessary, I can kill people who would do my family or myself any harm. I practice, practice, practice and am now very good at hitting targets large and small from very far distance, awkward angles and “impossible shots”. It’s fun. My plan is to never use a gun. But I can’t plan for what you will do, or what your neighbor will do or what the government will do, so I try hard to plan for the possibility that one of you will act irrationally and attempt to do me or my family harm. No shame in that. I’m simply not willing to be a victim of some crime or assault, nor am I willing to be disarmed under any circumstances. Should anyone try to disarm me, I will resist, including if necessary, with violence. I have no intention of letting anyone disarm me and take away my tools for protection. I know that I am the only person who can protect me and firearms level the playing field like none other. Being disarmed simply will never be allowed to happen. Eric Grimsrud says: February 18, 2013 at 10:29 am I have a question. One hears that the oceans are saturated w.r.t. CaCO3 (limestone). If so, I would think that the concentration of Ca ion in the oceans would be equal to the some of all carbonate-based species, carbonate ion, bicarbonate ion and carbonic acid. But it is not. Ca ion is about 4 times greater than the sum of those 3 species. Thus, it would appear that the oceans are not saturated w.r.t. CaCO3. This is an important point w.r.t. the effect of acidification on shelled critters. Can anyone help me better understand this apparent contradiction. Thanks. rollin says: February 18, 2013 at 1:00 pm The calcium carbonate ion concentration and solid carbonate is an equilibrium reaction driven by pH. Once pH rises more calcium carbonate will pass into solution, the source being the shells of animals as well as any CaCo3 rock available. Plankton have calcium carbonate shells and form the basement of the ocean food chain. Once the basement is removed by shell depletion all those above die. Look up ” Our acidifying Ocean” by Stanford U and “This Is Your Ocean on Acid” for further details. Eric Grimsrud says: February 19, 2013 at 10:46 am FYI, I believe I have learned the best answer to my question. It is found in the term, lysocline, a point in the ocean depths above which is indeed saturated with CaCO3. And this region of course is where the shell bearing critters live. Only below that depth are the oceans not saturated. Mulga Mumblebrain says: February 19, 2013 at 6:31 pm This is the way the world ends-with a (little) bang, after all.