Open Thread And Cartoon Of The Week

Opine away!



49 Responses to Open Thread And Cartoon Of The Week

  1. Will Fox says:

    New battery design could help solar and wind energy power the grid

    Researchers have designed a low-cost, long-life battery that could enable solar and wind energy to become major suppliers to the electrical grid.

  2. prokaryotes says:

    Interesting cartoon, a few question come up…

    – Should you really get that worried (i.e. getting drunk to forget about the world’s problems)?

    – Is the general climate scientist really that desperate? That is not at all my impression.

    The basic question is how much you let the negative news affect your personal feelings. I know Joe had a post on this earlier but for me i just participate to help improve my and others understanding of the subject we call climate change. It has become a kind of routine. Yes, i was angry and afraid but that was just a brief period. I think im just kind of realistic, pragmatic person when it comes to my knowledge about the various threats originating from climate change.

    Further i adjust my lifestyle as best as i can to lessen my impacts on the environment. Though, if there were a demonstration for more climate action, i might even hit the street to voice my concerns more loudly.

    But getting drunk, is really the worst way to deal with it :)

  3. Nell says:

    Chasing Ice

  4. prokaryotes says:


  5. David K says:

    On CBC: James Hansen fires back at Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver.

  6. prokaryotes says:

    Sea Surface Temperatures in the Northeast Continental Shelf Reach Highest Level in 150 Years

    The measurements of the sea surface temperatures were done via both contemporary satellite remote-sensing data and ship board measurements dated since 1854. The data shows that the temperature has increased more than one degree Celsius only five times, and the SST in 2012 saw the highest increase.

  7. It’s a cartoon. Satire? Sarcasm. Not to be taken literally.

  8. rollin says:

    Are there any projects ground tracking methane release in the tundra regions or ocean regions?

    How about polar albedo change measurements, any satellites specifically measuring that parameter in different wavelengths?

  9. prokaryotes says:

    Using aging, retrofitted pipelines to ship oil — what could go wrong?

    Until the Pegasus pipeline ruptured on March 29, leaking an estimated 147,000 to 210,000 gallons of heavy crude oil into the town of Mayflower, Ark., few Arkansans knew it was even there.

    In fact, thousands of miles of pipelines snake through the heart of the United States. Proponents insist that pipelines are the safest way to transport oil — safer than trucks or trains or tankers. Yet, in recent years, the Yellowstone River spill in Montana, the Kalamazoo River spill in Marshall, Mich., and now the Mayflower spill have alerted Americans to the dirty dangers that lurk underneath the country.

    There are 175,000 miles of onshore and offshore “Hazardous Liquid” pipelines pumping petroleum and its byproducts across the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which oversees all pipelines. From 1990 to 2011, more than 110 million gallons of mostly crude oil and petroleum products spilled from these pipelines, many of which now carry chemicals that are much different than those for which they were designed.

  10. rollin says:

    James Hansen is a great scientist and a great man, too bad he must spend so much time refuting know-nothing politicians and corporate drones. I do like the way he puts them in their place.

  11. fj says:

    Agreed . . . and yet, in my neighborhood still recovering from Sandy, the small batch brewery’s bourbon has been on occasion, a welcome source of enlightenment.

  12. Raul M. says:

    Well down in Fla. one could catch wild varieties of mosquitoes or even cat scratch fever from cat fleas and have senior moments much more frequently as the neurological problems progress. What is the mosquitoes borne thing called?

  13. prokaryotes says:

    6 months after Sandy, thousands homeless in NY, NJ

    Homeowners are tortured by uncertainty over ever-changing rules on how high they’ll need to rebuild their homes to protect against the next storm

  14. Superman1 says:

    When I read about NOAA and other civilian agencies having problems getting funding for monitoring climate change in different regions, especially the Arctic, I’m getting the uneasy feeling that responsibility for these efforts is transitioning from the civilian agencies to Defense and Intel. This will insure the reality of climate change does not reach public consciousness, and we can still have debates about what is possible based on minimal data.

  15. prokaryotes says:

    BREAKING: Delays push expected Keystone XL start date to late 2015 – Business – CBC News

  16. prokaryotes says:

    America now has more solar energy workers than coal miners
    As of 2012, the U.S. employs more than 119,000 people in solar jobs, an increase of 13 percent over 2011.

  17. fj says:

    Yes, a continual work in progress in slow motion.

    A prelude for when the stuff hits the fan.

    Can we hope for lots going on behind the scenes like the Army’s net zero initiative amplified for immediate rollout on demand; or, dream on.

  18. fj says:

    We will never have more cyclists than China.

    They have one-half billion.

  19. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Getting drunk need not be negative. You’ve just got to know your limitations. If not, you get a fatty liver, then cirrhosis, or a plethora of other ills. You’ve got to understand whether you change when lubricated. If you’re a nasty drunk, then you’d better lay off. Too much drinking can make you nasty, too, through subtle and not so subtle changes to your brain. Better pick your drinking mates well, too. And don’t go trying to embrace the reflection of the moon in any river, or similar body of water.

  20. Superman1 says:

    There are only two major statistics that are relevant here: global CO2 emissions, and global CO2 atmospheric concentration. We know how they have gone, how they are going, and we have a pretty good idea of how they are going to go. All these other statistics are worse than meaningless; they divert our attention from what’s really important.

  21. Frank Zaski says:

    A quote from the Motley Fool:
    It may have been a long time coming, but the technology for renewable fuels is very close to the point that they can can compete on the open market against traditional energy sources. First Solar just recently announced a deal with El Paso Electric (NYSE: EE ) that it will sell electricity to El Paso from its Macho Springs solar facility for 5.79 cents per kilowatt hour, less than half what El Paso pays for electricity from coal. Also, the Federal Energy Regulation Commission has stated that 83% of all additional energy generation in the U.S. for Q1 2013 came from either wind or solar facilities. Perhaps the route to developing better solutions wasn’t the smoothest, but it’s hard to deny the overall outcome.

  22. fj says:

    Yes Hansen gave a good response.

    Let’s hope it gets a lot stronger.

    Climate change is accelerating and it is changing things on this planet that is also causing the climate to change even faster.

    There are a lot of thing he can be saying to further emphasize the danger we are in right now.

    A huge amount of ice has melted . . .

    A huge amount of heat has gone into the oceans we are not feeling yet.


    Tropical storm Sandy was a thousand miles wide that stretched a third across the Atlantic . . .

  23. fj says:

    It is really encouraging that Hansen is focusing on getting the message out.

  24. fj says:

    But they are still largely controlling the conversation when they say he is exaggerating to get him to be over-careful about describing what is.happening right now.

    From the changes we are seeing now and what we know where the missing heat has gone, one degree is a big deal.

  25. There are plenty of mosquito borne things. One of them is malaria. Is that what you’re thinking of?

  26. prokaryotes says:

    CEO Elon Musk not only promised to honor the company’s 8-year battery warranty under pretty much all conditions — “lighting the pack on fire with a blowtorch is not covered” — but Tesla also rolled out a plan that allowed owners to upgrade to a top-of-the-line Model S anytime their car goes in for service. Musk also hinted that today’s 265-mile range on the most-expensive model wasn’t any kind of endgame; but rather that a 500-mile battery could be available within 4 years. To top it off, Tesla finished the first quarter having outsold the much less expensive Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, to become the most popular plug-in vehicle in the U.S.

    He suggested a 500-mile battery — nearly twice as good as the best they can offer today — could be available at about the 4-5 year mark in the life of Model S, which launched last year. “That’s about the point at which you’d see a significant change and it would allow us in the same volume and weight to put in a lot more range. ” So that would be 2016 or 2017. And when asked whether current owners could possibly purchase it replied, “ I think that’s a pretty good likelihood, yeah.”

    Tesla is breaking new ground, not only by being a maker of purely electric cars, but especially by controlling the sales and service of those vehicles at the corporate level. While that’s getting it into trouble with various state laws that ban manufacturers from selling cars directly to consumers and may force it to take its fight to Washington to try to get national legislation passed, it also means it can conduct business very differently. Normally, dealers make more from servicing cars than selling them. For Tesla, service has gone from a liability to an opportunity. Just like that.

    500 miles battery the coffin nail for the gasoline car?

  27. Bill says:

    Why aren’t we getting behind Thorium reactors (molten salt). China sees the benefits. Many others are working on Thorium reactors. The US seems to have lost it’s mojo, it’s leadership instinct.

    Thorium reactors eliminate the waste storage problem and they shut down automatically in a malfunction. Operators must work to keep the reaction going, whereas in Uranium reactors many operators and expensive safety gear is need to keep the reaction under control.

    Thorium will be the Next Big Thing – let’s get behind it. Google it and see all the activity.

  28. Raul M. says:

    Meningitis and Encephalitis usually have a fast onset.
    The center for disease control has several varieties of cat scratch fever listed and some have slow onset of neurological debility. Eye problems are usually noted first without the eye doc being able to say any reason found in the eye itself, that the problem might be in the nerve. Months later (still cat scratch fever) other problems manifest without any linking signs as to why.
    If a patient has a spinal fluid test and there are white blood cells in the spinal fluid then one may guess that the infection is throughout the body and would take prolonged antibiotics to clear up. Where the nerve damage happens is quite variable. So it may look like senior moments happening much more frequently.
    I haven’t heard of cats being given shots for such or even being tested for such. Such a quandary.

  29. prokaryotes says:

    … the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) – is estimated to have, for a significant deployment, a lead time of 40 to 70 years.

    In the meantime, renewable energy – notably wind and solar technologies – are being developed and deployed at a fast rate.

  30. fj says:

    He must nix the pipeline immediately and get on with saving humanty.

  31. prokaryotes says:

    The fuel cycle is more costly and the needed protections for workers, plant safety and the public are considerably more than for existing fuels. Compared to uranium, the thorium fuel cycle is likely to be even more costly. In a once-through mode, it will need both uranium enrichment (or plutonium separation) and thorium target rod production. In a breeder configuration, it will need reprocessing, which is costly.

    As Dr Peter Karamoskos says:

    Without exception, [thorium reactors] have never been commercially viable, nor do any of the intended new designs even remotely seem to be viable. Like all nuclear power production they rely on extensive taxpayer subsidies; the only difference is that with thorium and other breeder reactors these are of an order of magnitude greater, which is why no government has ever continued their funding.

  32. Raul M. says:

    WikiHow has an article suggesting that 40% of cats catch the bartonella bacteria at some point during their lives. I don’t know the prevelance of the neurological variety and I guess it is different within different areas.
    Another site suggests a blood test for a cat at about $89.
    Does the animal shelter test on the cats up for adoption?
    Or the breeders or the neighbors?
    Maybe they could call the neurological debilitating variety cat scratch senior moments all day.

  33. prokaryotes says:

    I’m working on a digital magazine called “Climate State”. If anybody likes to contribute his own work for the 1st issue (must be 0-day content or big news, thoughts, ideas etc), then let me know.

    The scope is to get a nice readable layout with the major bits on the topic of Climate Change.

    Distribution of the first issue via and later possibly through the various App stores. Also looking for potential advertisers. Please contact me via, thanks!

  34. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The world doesn’t want American ‘leadership’ any more. What it wants (if I might be so bold as to speak for humanity) is American doing its best, and if that makes it ‘First Amongst Equals’ so be it-it will all be to the good.

  35. fj says:

    Again, Hansen can be a lot stronger, forceful, and a lot more direct. From what I have seen of Elizabeth Warren, she could be a good model.

    Hansen’s attitude should be on a high level simple and no-nonsense direct and mad as hell (for my money): “these are the facts”.

    And this is “world is round simple”.

    “When you look across the vast expanse of an ocean or desert you might think the world flat if you know nothing; from space it is a different story and I have been head of NASA’s Goddard Space Center for 40 years and I am giving you the facts.”

    And here is the place you can drill down on them if you want more . . .

    Or, if you want to drill down on them now and you have the time, the concentration, patience . . . we can drill down on here and now . . .

    “All this stuff is life threatening important on the largest possible scale . . . ”

    “We are in a crisis of the extreme kind . . .”

  36. Superman1 says:

    The Deniers who post on this site match anything the Inhofe crowd can offer; only the flavor is different. Blame the media, blame the politicians, blame the fossil energy companies. Blame everyone but those mainly responsible: the public in the advanced nations addicted to overconsumption, and the public in the developing nations yearning to become addicted to overconsumption.

  37. fj says:

    Accelerating buildouts to stuff which will ultimately greatly limit CO2 emissions are meaningful statistics.

    Efficiency is probably one of the best strategies since it tends to be low cost and produce minimal buildout emissions.

    Poor peole first is another. People have to get their heads around the idea that they are not being taken advantage of when they do this.

  38. Superman1 says:

    Good first step, but you need to make it more personal. If we follow the present business as usual trajectory of fossil fuel use, and all credible projections are that we will, then the global climate models (without positive feedbacks) predict 5-6 C by the end of the century. Under the best of conditions, small children today have low probability of reaching a ripe old age, and under the worst of conditions (strong feedbacks) will have low probability of reaching a ripe middle age.

  39. Raul M. says:

    Learning of natural ways for obeyance to become entwined into the relationships of mankind and nature.
    Certainly one could become disheartened by time constraints to accomplish all that is needed. Better not to become disheartened by constraints as well.

  40. Raul M. says:

    Other constraints as well.

  41. Frank Zaski says:

    While all the attention is given to the Keystone XL, the expansion of the Enbridge Alberta Clipper tar sands pipeline thru ND and MN to a port on Lake Superior is being overlooked.

    Enbridge, the company that leaked 1 million gallons of tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River, is planning to expand this tar sands pipeline from 570,000 bpd to 880,000 bpd. The Keystone XL capacity is 800,000 bpd. See page 16566

    There are plans to ship this oil thu the Lakes. Increased transport of refined and tar sands oil in pipes and especially on the Great Lakes greatly increases the chance of spills that could do major damage.

    The Great Lakes provide drinking and other water to tens of millions of US and Canadian citizens and businesses, a multi-billion dollar tourist, boating and fishing industries and tens of thousands of jobs, a multi-billion dollar increase in shore-line property values, and immeasurable recreation and quality of life value.

    The Great Lakes are fresh water, surprisingly shallow and much more vulnerable. The average depth of Lake Huron is only 195 feet, Lake Erie 62 feet and Lake St. Clare 10 feet. (Tankers travel 26 miles over this lake thru a channel.)

    Four large ships have sunk in the great Lakes in the past 55 years. And, the Exxon Valdez spilled only 260,000 barrels in 1989 and the much larger Alaskan coastline still hasn’t recovered. Last summer, the largest ship on the Great Lakes was grounded because of low water levels.

    The profits of a few Canadian companies and a little more oil or the US are not valid reasons to endanger the tremendous water, jobs, wealth and quality of life the Great Lakes provide

  42. Chris Winter says:

    This paper (subscription required for full text) discusses the possibility of injection wells causing large earthquakes.;G34045.1v1

    The largest occurred in Oklahoma in November 2011 and caused some damage near its epicenter.

    (h/t: a comment at ClimateSight)

  43. 6thextinction says:

    Aren’t they ordering more examples of global warming (in hopes of awakening the public, not drinks?

  44. 6thextinction says:

    what americans can learn from any movement is it is the only thing that works with a reluctant-to-do-anything-about-the-problem government. Ex: voting rights for women; the five day, 44 hr work week; civil liberties; equal pay for equal work, and the now occurring LGBT rights. understands this. join their efforts. forget writing your representatives or president. too late for that.

  45. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    And do not forget toxoplasmosis.

  46. Chris Winter says:

    Two very useful animations of Arctic ice retreat are here:

    (H/T: a Few Things Ill-Considered)