Open Thread Plus Cartoon Of The Week

Opine away.

It Would Have Been Sooner

By Alex Hallatt, the Cartoonist Group


30 Responses to Open Thread Plus Cartoon Of The Week

  1. Will Fox says:

    Mitigating climate change? Guiding responsible research in geoengineering

    Geoengineering – the use of technologies to alter Earth’s climate system – has emerged as a potentially promising way to mitigate the impacts of climate change. But such efforts could present unforeseen new risks. That inherent tension has thwarted both scientific advances and the development of an international framework for regulating and guiding geoengineering research.

    Read more:

  2. Brian R Smith says:

    On what investors are doing as a result of government failure to act on climate change, a Bloomberg should-read article:

    Investors Embrace Climate Change, Chase Hotter Profits

    “Now the smart money is taking another approach: Working under the assumption that climate change is inevitable, Wall Street firms are investing in businesses that will profit as the planet gets hotter.”
    Like buying up water rights & farmland, increased mining with sea ice retreat, bioengineering mosquitoes to fight dengue fever.

    And this: “[ ] ..Nephila Capital Ltd., an $8 billion Bermuda hedge fund that trades in weather derivatives. The firm is named after a spider that, according to local folklore, can predict hurricanes. “

    Weather derivatives?!

  3. Another example of kicking the can down the road, where the possibility of short term political gain trumps long term survival.

    I guess that no one will listen until we all stop buying gasoline for transportation, and then they will just increase the subsidies for oil companies.

  4. Paul Klinkman says:

    There’s perfectly good, affordable, effective environmentally benign geoengineering out here. Unfortunately, the kind of geoengineering that you hear about in the press is almost always nowhere near environmentally benign, or affordable.

  5. Joan Savage says:

    Opining – The last balloon would have filled its frame just by adding insect infestations and forest fires.

    I’m guessing that next-up the public learns more about inter-related climate change effects.

    What happens when food can’t move by barge because the rivers are too low, nor move by rail because heat has kinked the rails, nor by truck because the highways suffer from heat-heaves or subsidence from loss of underlying groundwater?

    We are way over due to divert military spending over to upgraded infrastructure and emergency preparedness.

  6. Joan Savage says:

    An indication about the state of mind of the new Pope Francis.

    “Pope Francis wants ‘poor Church for the poor'”


    As well as representing poverty and peace, he said St Francis “loved and looked after” creation – and he noted that humanity was “not having a good relationship with nature at the moment”.

  7. Joan Savage says:

    NOAA posted a map of the 111 new U.S. Daily Highest Max Temperature Records set on March 15, 2013.

  8. Raul M. says:

    I’m sure that burning fossil fuels is geoengeneering. I’m sure that much of this blog is directed to the various ways that burning fossil fuels engeneeres the Earth. I’ m sure that people would like to overlook how geo engeering happens. Probably till overlooking becomes to much.

  9. Greg says:

    Meade South Dakota broke their record for the date by 14.0! degrees.

  10. Ken Barrows says:

    I am still waiting for him to condone birth control for married couples. Take what you can get, I suppose.

  11. Matt Owens says:

    A radical plan:

    This idea would enhance overall health, increase lifespan, add hundreds of hours of free time per year per person, save most people $9,000 each year…and it would do all this while cutting greenhouse gas emissions and juicing the economy with a construction boom.

  12. What food? The effects of climate change will wipe out our food supply along with causing all the other problems you mention.

    You want food? Start growing it.

  13. I read the article. Thanks for the reference. This has got to be the sickest sh•t I have ever read. Capitalism is clearly incompatible with a habitable planet.

  14. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It’s rather like some species of hyper-active maggots infesting a not quite yet dead animal, caught in a forest fire, and burning to death. They feast greedily on its flesh, not realising, apparently, (or caring-their maggot brains being tiny and programed for greedy flesh-eating, only) that when the beast is dead their gluttony, too, will quickly end, as they in turn are consumed by the flames.

  15. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Or get yourself an assault-rifle and prepare to take some ‘Second Amendment’ action on those ‘evil Greenies’ with their ‘organic’ gardens.

  16. Joan Savage says:

    Geophysical Research Letters published a pre-print version of “High biolability of ancient permafrost carbon upon thaw” by JE Vonk et al.

    Vonk et al found that old (as in, >21,000 14C yrs old former permafrost sourced) dissolved organic carbon (DOC) mobilized from permafrost soils into surface water and 17-33% became biolabile within two weeks in aquatic conditions.

    This is rapid uptake, when compared to observations of DOC biolability in soils within 5 years, not weeks.

    Basically, as the permafrost melts, the ancient dissolved organic carbon is quickly taken up into biologic processes.

    I’d like to hear comments from those with more background on the positive and negative forcings involved in this form of biolability.

  17. Joan Savage says:

    Philip, I suppose you were speaking rhetorically, but I do garden.

    My comment is on what is likely to happen next in the public eye that can be clearly understood as climate-change related, following the “storms, floods and droughts” in the cartoon, which I hope we can agree already includes spotty crop production.

    This year, globally and nationally we are likely to have enough food somehow, but not in the usual places. That’s why I suspect climate-related transportation failure could attract attention.

    The projections for 2012/13 grain production are less than 2011/12, and more than 2010/11.

  18. Paul Magnus says:

    Oh boy the end of the world is nigh…. broad is the word of the day.

    Climate Chaos ·

    Wildfires rage in Colorado as fears grow over continued drough
    Two wind-driven blazes char 800 acres and cause evacuations near Lory State Park in signal of early start to wildfire season

    UK farmers face disaster as ‘perfect storm’ strikes
    Prince’s Countryside Fund says agriculture is confronting a worse crisis than the foot-and-mouth outbreak of 2001. “This crisis is unique because it’s so broad,”

  19. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Yes, there is a very special something about empty shelves, and very high prices also have winning ways when it comes to conversation starters, ME

  20. BlackDragon says:

    Holy pope, that hurts. We are so screwed.

  21. jyyh says:

    that’s pretty near Bakken, isn’t it?

  22. fj says:

    Yes, shoe leather communities can be really nice places to live and provide many great solutions including those to climate change.

    But, advanced net zero transportation and transit will have the ability to support and improve upon the dynamics of this civilization and beyond while removing emissions from at least one very important industrial sector; probably many; and very quickly.

  23. Tami Kennedy says:

    Let’s drill and burn more gas and oil for it builds the economy. Just ask the GOP.

  24. William P. Gloege says:

    Visiting the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History a year ago we found no exhibit and barely mention of global warming.

    One would think our National Natural History Museum would highlight the most serious threat to earth ever. Is Washington “political correctness” at work here?

    I wrote the Museum and they responded there are mentions of global warming in several exhibits (well, we didn’t see them and we spent quite a while at the Museum).

    I wrote Senators Boxer and Feinstein asked them to ask the Museum in writing why they had no major global warming exhibit. This is an outrage, the Museum bowing to Big Oil and Coal and the right wing. What else would be the reason for no exhibit on global warming? They are supposed to teach citizens real science.

    I urge you blog readers to write your Senators and Congressmen, and contact the Museum to ask why no global warming exhibit.

    Reading this blog is good. Doing something is better. Thank you.

  25. William P. Gloege says:

    Phil, you want me to start growing food?

    Are you suggesting the same global warming heat will not hit my back yard? And water shortage? If they hit my place too, food won’t grow in my yard any more than it will in Kansas.

    Phil, you got to explain that one to me. Thanks.

  26. William P. Gloege says:

    Joan, unlike most posters about global warming threats, you got it right. Food is the biggie. For some reason, most writers about GW want to focus on sea level rise. We can all move inland and escape that, right?

    But food shortages? Where do we run? Is the US storing food for these shortages? No, that would be politically impossible because it would be admitting the loss of food is possible.

    There will be food grown in some places in the world when the big heat hits. We will import that food, but it will be super expensive. Many who don’t have the money will starve – just like right this moment in Africa.

    Don’t say it can’t happen here, too. There is a current report that says 10 million Americans are underfed now due to poverty. So, is it hard to imagine 150 million underfed when Big GW hits?

    Anyone who thinks emissions will be curbed has to be delusional. Blogs and other GW writers can’t say it because it is too “negative” or “alarmist”. Sometimes truth is alarming. Sorry.

  27. Alex Smith says:

    Re bioavailability of carbon in permafrost, see also the paper with lead author Rose Cory.

    In addition to studying the process of newly released carbon materials in all sorts of water (thermokarst ponds, rivers) – their team found that SUNLIGHT, rather than inhibiting bacterial growth – was an additional positive agent speeding up decomposition (and so greenhouse emissions).

    My radio interview with Dr. Cory is here:

    Rose M. Cory Arctic researcher finds new process pumping up greenhouse gas emissions from melting permafrost. From Radio Ecoshock 130227 17 min Lo-Fi 4 MB

  28. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    They left a few letters out of ‘Necrophilia’ Capital Ltd. Bloody typos!

  29. Spike says:

    Yes UK farmers are having a torrid time largely due to climate mediated floods and rises in feed costs:

  30. William P. Gloege says:

    This blog used to invite reader comments on all stories. Then our comments got limited to “Open Threads.”

    Now the Open Thread opportunities have nearly disappeared. When they do appear, they are introduced with a dismissive, “Opine away.”

    I always got more from the reader comments than the articles.(could that be why they were eliminated? More hits on reader comments than VIP articles?) Can anyone tell me a climate blog where reader comments are welcome? Thanks.