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Open Thread And Cartoon Of The Week

By Joe Romm  

"Open Thread And Cartoon Of The Week"

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81 Responses to Open Thread And Cartoon Of The Week

  1. Spike says:

    The forecast is for some more unusual weather conditions in Europe this week.

    “The core of the heat will build from Hungary and Serbia into Romania and Bulgaria leading to a heat wave. Temperatures will in these areas will be 10-20 degrees above normal.
    Some major cities that will be impacted by this heat wave include Budapest, Sofia, Belgrade and Bucharest.”

    And:

    “Depending on the exact track of the storm, locally heavy rainfall could fall over areas recently impacted by record flooding in central Europe. Anyone in this region should closely monitor the situation, as renewed flooding could occur.”

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/heat-wave-for-eastern-europe/14266535

  2. Tami Kennedy says:

    Maybe if we keep all the GOP deniers close enough for generations there will be more coal.

    • Lisa Boucher says:

      Yes, but Republican CO2 molecules don’t cause global warming, because they respect our freedoms.  Only liberal commie CO2 is a problem.

  3. Spike says:

    A good discussion of the drought in the US at Live Science:

    Last year in the Southwest, the drought killed trees and desert plants, and spawned unprecedented wildfires, all “related to a drought that wasn’t as bad compared to what we could get,” Overpeck said, adding, “I worry that we could get one of these really long precipitation-deficit droughts, coupled with the warming temperatures. That would be a devastating climate emergency.”

    http://www.livescience.com/37471-worsening-drought.html

  4. Spike says:

    Southern California faces 30-40% loss of snow cover by mid-century:

    http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/ucla-climate-study-predicts-dramatic-246820.aspx

  5. Will Fox says:

    Met Office holds emergency meeting to discuss Britain’s increasingly unpredictable weather patterns

    Friday 14 June 2013

    The weather has been so unusual over the past few years that the Met Office is concerned that the repercussions of climate change may already be upon us.

    The forecaster is concerned by a sequence of increasingly strange weather in the UK, which includes the coldest spring in 50 years this year, the wettest summer in a century last year, as well as droughts and the prolonged winter.

    It has called an unprecedented meeting of experts to discuss Britain and Europe’s increasingly unpredictable weather patterns in a bid to determine if they represent a fundamental shift as a result of climate change or simply come down to variable weather.

    [...]

    “there is emerging research which suggests there is a link between declining Arctic sea ice and European climate.”

    Read more — http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/met-office-holds-emergency-meeting-to-discuss-britains-increasingly-unpredictable-weather-patterns-8658613.html

    • Brooks Bridges says:

      Is it possible that the 0.1% (or less) is finally realizing their wealth will not be able to protect them from climate change?

    • Colorado Bob says:

      WF -
      Resulting in a 30% drop in wheat production.

    • “The weather has been so unusual over the past few years that the Met Office is concerned that the repercussions of climate change may already be upon us.”

      Duh-uh! They’re just realizing that “climate change may already be upon us?” Everybody who comments regularly on this blog knew that at least a year ago.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        The Met Office is civil service therefore ‘boat-rocking’ is frowned upon. Speaking out probably breaches ‘The Official Secrets Act’, what with Old Blighty being a fully paid-up member of ‘The Free World’.

        • Spike says:

          Possibly going the same way as the BBC, a mere Ringwraith now following the Hutton enquiry and the onslaught that followed. Budgets are under pressure and incurring the Chancellor’s fossil-fuelled wrath might be disastrous. Promotion is likely to go to those who are content to busy themselves with their science and not frighten the horses.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

          The BBC has been a propaganda service for the Right for a long, long time. I’d say that the rot set in under Thatcher, although all Western MSM has never, ever, been ‘Leftwing’ in any meaningful sense. Of course, for the totalitarian Right, any opinion to their Left is ‘Communism’.

    • wili says:

      Their own W. Churchill put it best, though in another set of circumstance:

      “The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays is coming to its close.

      In its place we are entering a period of consequences.”

  6. BobbyL says:

    New projections show that world population will grow to nearly 11 billion by 2100 due to unexpected high birth rates in Africa. Will there be enough food in a projected 6C world? It seems very likely that one of these two projections (11 billion people, 6C) will turn out be way off the mark. The question is, which one?
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2341084/Global-population-soar-11-billion-2100-African-population-quadruples.html

    • The direct implication of these two mutually incompatible facts is that we’ll never get to 11 billion.

      The indirect implication is that we won’t be at the current number of 7 billion either, but at a much lower one.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        That is plainly the preference of those who own, and therefore control, the planet. They have been prattling on about ‘population reduction’ for decades. I share their aim, but certainly not their preferred means.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      The Daily Mail- a good source.

      • Dennis Tomlinson says:

        “It’s the dirty story of a dirty man
        And his clinging wife doesn’t understand
        His son is working for the Daily Mail
        It’s a steady job but he wants to be a paperback writer”
        –John & Paul

    • Superman1 says:

      Read Six Degrees by Mark Lynas. As we approach that number, many species go extinct, including ours. Right now, that’s the most probable case; we, as a species, don’t have what it takes to overcome the challenge of climate change. We are a failed experiment; we learned to develop technology without learning how to control its consequences. Maybe next time….

  7. prokaryotes says:

    Hidden rift valley discovered beneath West Antarctica reveals new insight into ice loss http://climatestate.com/magazine/2013/06/hidden-rift-valley-discovered-beneath-west-antarctica-reveals-new-insight-into-ice-loss/

    A finding from last year, thought it is worth a repost today.

  8. Brooks Bridges says:

    A very unsettling piece covering a broad area. It is really a MUST READ. Of course, after reading, you’ll wonder if doing so just put you on a list – not to worry – reading CP probably already has you there.

    Link includes not only concerns over effects of climate change, earth quakes, etc., but also a global shortage of oil by 2015 and US government preparations for likely wide scale civil unrest from all of the above.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/earth-insight/2013/jun/14/climate-change-energy-shocks-nsa-prism

    • BobbyL says:

      There is good reason to worry as TransCanada fights back. This article explains:
      Non-Violent Keystone XL Activists = ‘Eco-Terrorists,’ According to TransCanada Documents
      Vague language also ensnares journalists, researchers and academics
      http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/06/14

      Excerpts from the article:
      “TransCanada also built a roster of names and photos of specific individuals involved in organizing against the pipeline, including 350.org’s Rae Breaux, Rainforest Action Network’s Scott Parkin and Tar Sands Blockade’s Ron Seifert. Further, every activist ever arrested protesting the pipeline’s southern half is listed by name with their respective photo shown, along with the date of arrest.”

      “Another portion of TransCanada’s PowerPoint presentation discusses the various criminal and anti-terrorism statutes that could be deployed to deter grassroots efforts to stop KXL. The charge options TransCanada presented included criminal trespass, criminal conspiracy, and most prominently and alarmingly: federal and state anti-terrorism statutes.”
      “It’d be easy to write off TransCanada and law enforcement’s antics as absurd. Will Potter, in an article about the documents, warned against such a mentality.”

      “This isn’t empty rhetoric,” … “In Texas, a terrorism investigation entrapped activists for using similar civil disobedience tactics. And as I reported recently for VICE, Oregon considered legislation to criminalize tree sits. TransCanada has been using similar tactics in [Canada] as well.”

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        ‘Give me six lines written by the most honourable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him’. Richelieu knew how it works. These developments have been rapid and utterly expected, particularly under Obama, with the so-called ‘War on Terrorism’ (really a ‘War of Terrorism’)being the ideal means by which the elite will maintain control in a world where capitalism is imploding, where ecological collapse is gathering strength and where the West is being eclipsed by rising non-Western powers. The use of anti-terror powers against Greens is absolutely certain, and I’m quite surprised it hasn’t happened yet. Greens are demonised in the Rightwing MSM in a manner reminiscent of previous elite smear campaigns, and, in Australia at least, the lumpen mass of Dunning-Krugerites have been brainwashed into a real fury of hatred against environmentalism. ‘Extreme Greens’ is an ubiquitous term of abuse for anyone who gets in the capitalists’ way, in even the least manner. Being basically dead souls, late capitalist ‘aspirational’(ie greedy) man is basically defined by his material possessions, having no spiritual ones. By defining Greens as evil ‘Commos’ who want to take away their SUVs, McMansions, air-conditioning, Jetskis etc, they have induced a state of raw hatred in the lower depths. The slow economic strangulation of the working and lower middle classes, by the rich, has been blamed, instead, on Greens, refugees, trade unionists, welfare recipients etc. All too easy, given the active sabotage of public education for decades, and the growth of mass imbecility and ignorance. I suggest that if you want to see the parameters of the coming assault on environmentalism, study the war waged on Arab-Americans in the name of ‘anti-terrorism’, and try to imagine how long you could retain your sanity in a super-max hellhole.

        • Agreed, and well said. For just one of hundreds of examples, Michelle Malkin (of Fox News) calls us “environmental thugs.” The “thugs” moniker comes originally from Ayn Rand who said anyone wanting to collect taxes and use them for the public good is a thug because he is stealing what rightly belongs to the individual at the “point of a gun.” No mention, of course, of the social contract or the common welfare (except for militarism, spying on innocent people, etc. — plenty of money for that).

          Yes, the elite would love to go violent on the greens, and we would be wise to at least attempt to preempt such activities by attacking the terrorism laws while there is still time (if there is still time).

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

            It is too late, without a doubt. It got too late, I would say, when the Supreme Court handed the Presidency to Bush. That is taking the leap of faith to believe that Gore in power would not have been another Clinton, Bill, or Obama. That said, I would propose two central causes for the descent into a New Dark Age of Total Control, of thought, deed and inclination. The rise of the Right to total global dominance and the death of the collectivist, empathic, collaborative tendencies in the West, and the ascent of China, which has the civilizational supremacists of Western ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’ utterly pulsating with fear, resentment and outrage.

          • Merrelyn Emery says:

            Just sing and dance in the streets mate, like the Turks did. Who looks like the thugs then? ME

  9. Jeff Huggins says:

    Time to Wake Up, Start Asking, Start Finding Out, and …

    I hope most people were out having fun last night — a Friday. I, on the other hand, happened to be watching the cable news stuff while I was doing indoor chores.

    Why this message? Well, I just wanted to let people know — in case you missed it while at the movies or out to dinner — that the cable news media have nearly unanimously announced, in essence, that Hillary Clinton is clearly running for president, that she is already the overwhelming front-runner for the Democratic nomination, and that (according to the more liberal or centrist media) she will most likely beat whoever the Repubs can offer up. CNN, MSNBC, and Fox all presented this news, or strongly implied it, each with their own flavor and from their own perspectives.

    What matter to us? Well, it strikes me as interesting and problematic that we have very, very little idea — really — about where Hillary stands with respect to climate change and what sorts of things she might or would do as a leader to address it, if anything. Indeed, if actions speak louder than words, then the signs are fairly disturbing if you happen to be someone who is concerned about climate change. Whose State Department was it that practically ignored climate change when issuing its favorable environmental impact report regarding Keystone XL?

    All of this adds up to one thing, among others: The time is NOW to find out where Hillary actually stands on climate change, and what sort of genuine leadership she can muster and demonstrate, BEFORE we have to accept her as the nominee by mere default and inertia, and WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME to enlist other would-be nominees who would be serious about climate change, in order to make sure we have some real choices during the primary process.

    The race has begun, and it is up to us (us, CAP, the environmental organizations, etc.) to find out as soon as possible where Hillary stands and what sort of proactive leadership she can muster and is willing to muster, if any. If we don’t, we’ll only have ourselves to blame.

    Cheers,

    Jeff

    • Actually, we have a pretty clear idea of where Hillary stands on climate change. She, along with a bunch of her cronies, tried to sneak the Keystone pipeline approval through using a biased “study” and a bunch of back room, insider deals.

      She’s given a little lip service to black carbon (airborne soot) — helped get a couple million thrown at a problem that needs billions and billions to address. And, like Obama, I’m sure she would SAY that global warming is a big problem — for future generations — and DO zilch about it.

      Most likely she’ll become president — and BUA will continue until they whole damn system collapses.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        Hillarious is, in my opinion, bad, bad, news, as are all ‘electable’ US politicians. But at least she’s no ‘confidence-trickster’ pretending to be what she is not, unlike another individual, now, I’d say, probably the most dangerous person ever to occupy the office, who seems set on far out-Bushing Shrub the Lesser. You really need to go Green or Anarcho-Syndicalist-anything but the business stooges. That way lies ruin, total ruin.

      • Superman1 says:

        Where Hillary stands now is where the electorate stands now, and where she will stand if elected is where the electorate will stand at that time. Don’t expect her (or any politician) to lead troops into battle who have zero interest in fighting.

    • Superman1 says:

      Time to accept that our species does not have what it takes to overcome the challenge of climate change. We do not have the long-term perspective required to address problems with multi-decadal lag times, and we don’t have the discipline to return to some semblance of sustainability. With the Arctic unraveling before our eyes, the articles posted here should be describing implementation and results of mandates to eliminate non-essential uses of fossil fuels; instead, we exult in Moniz winning some debating points against a Congressman.

    • prokaryotes says:

      From the Center for American Progress

      Think Again: Blame the News for the Public’s Ignorance About the Climate http://climatestate.com/magazine/2013/06/think-again-blame-the-news-for-the-publics-ignorance-about-the-climate/

    • prokaryotes says:

      The release of huge quantities of previously stored “multiyear/deep layer” carbon deposite and equivalent greenhouse gases (CO2/CH4/N2O, from soil and water) can act like a trigger to boot the earth systems. This boot begins initially with a transition phase depending on the rate of emissions and in further development creates several large scale carbon excursions (see PETM). After each tipping point (loss of sea ice albedo or loss of carbon sinks) the situation accelerates. At the end of a climatic shift, the temperature setup of the entire planet will have changed – so far until a new equilibrium energy budget is reached.

      Today we are already in the process to trigger a large scale climate change because of the quantities of CO2 equivalent emissions released and what is projected under business as usual scenarios. The outcome – severity of earth climate changes depend on our actions today, we can still modulate the temperature curve.

      In between the atmosphere and what we release, there is the ocean which acts like a buffer or think a battery which first soaks up most of released carbon. The ocean carbon determines the ocean state and is adversely affected by carbon, which leads to ocean acidification (resulting decrease in pH will has negative consequences, primarily for oceanic calcifying organisms), warmer water (Increase of storm intensity), oxygen depletion, changes which affect ocean and land life profoundly. Of particular concern is the ocean’s phytoplankton situation as it is responsible for roughly 50% of the atmosphere’s oxygen content. Warmer waters create coral bleaching, thus destroys the world’s coral reef’s, a ocean ecosystem “the rainforest of the ocean” and contains major food web’s.

      A climate shift creates stress on the environment, which in turn leads to the extinction of species which can not adapt in time. Food basket of the world are all prone to weather extremes, our food and water security is paramount. Today we are still able to modulate the climate shift, which primarily relates to the quantities of CO2 in the atmosphere. That is why we need to address all things which increase or decrease the CO2 content in earth atmosphere, to reduce heat trapping gases. If we do not do this, there will be no “security” measure capable to sustain our ordered Society.

      The concept of “security” is totally inadequate to deal with a climate shift. Our security system is developed to function within the realms of a balanced climate state – a situation with an equilibrium energy budget. Security depends on a balanced climate state to function.

  10. I’ve never really asked the question, but with several neighbors who are certified financial planners, should we all not be asking just how much climate risk is in the various annuities that they sell? Surely, none of them has enough and if enough start asking that question pressure for action will grow.

  11. Paul Magnus says:

    “The IEA authors believe governments will find it easier to take smaller focused measures than to shift their entire economies to clean energy systems.”

    This seems to be what Obama is doing. Only he needs to step it up more and he needs to alert the public about the whole situation to stir action and gain support.

    • Superman1 says:

      That’s like saying a three pack-a-day smoker with spots on his lungs might be alright if he cuts down very gradually, so as not to experience any ‘discomfort’. Nice words on paper, and they sound so good, but if Mother Nature wants ‘cold turkey’, either that’s what you do or pay the consequences. And, I think ‘cold turkey’ on fossil fuel use is what Mother Nature wants NOW, not ten years, five years, or tomorrow!

  12. prokaryotes says:

    How much do oceans add to world’s oxygen?

    Ocean plants called phytoplankton contribute between 50 to 85 percent of the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere.

    http://earthsky.org/earth/how-much-do-oceans-add-to-worlds-oxygen

  13. Colorado Bob says:

    With Climate Change, No Happy Clams
    NPR

    Carbon emissions are slowly acidifying ocean waters, forcing marine life to adapt. Oysters and other shellfish, for example, may have a harder time building their shells, according to NOAA’s Richard Feely. At Quilcene, Washington’s Taylor Shellfish Hatchery, research director Benoit Eudeline says he’s already seeing those effects.

    FEELY: Well, we’ve been looking at the pH of seawater and the carbon dioxide concentration of seawater for now close to 30 years, and it’s been a work that I’ve done as part of my work in NOAA. And we worked together with about 15 different laboratories throughout the world in a World Ocean Circulation Experiment conducted back in the 1990s.

    And now we continue that with some researchers as part of the international GO-SHIP program, and we’ve been studying the distribution of carbon dioxide throughout the world oceans. And we also monitor it in a number of hydrographic stations, time series stations throughout the world, and we can actually see the changes in pH over time. In fact, we now know explicitly from the measurements that the pH is changing about .02 pH units per decade.

    FLATOW: What percentage is that?

    FEELY: Well, over the last 15 years ago, that’s about a 16 percent increase in the acidity of the oceans

    http://www.npr.org/2013/06/14/191614377/with-climate-change-no-happy-clams

    • John says:

      slowly by human standards, but 10 times faster than when ocean acidification caused earth’s largest mass extinction event 260 million years ago. Acidic oceans may have been responsible for 4 out of 5 of earth’s mass extinction events.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      The denialist here deny acidification, of course, as they deny every ecological crisis. They usually impress the Dunning-Krugerites by saying that it isn’t ‘acidification’ but the seas becoming ‘less alkaline’. It gets the usual strong run in the MSM sewer, either total support in the Murdoch cess-pool, or the old ‘equivalence’ between science and malign imbecility in the rest of the ‘Fee Press’.

    • Rabid Doomsayer says:

      And yet they will be caught by surprise. While they are so scared of us, they need to fear the Tea Party types wising up.

      They fear me, who has not touched a gun in thirty years. They should fear those whose guns would “need to be pryed from their cold dead hands”.

      • Merrelyn Emery says:

        Rabid, when some of the T partiers ‘wise up’, you will see another civil war fuelled by massive inequality. That’s the time to ‘play possum’ and organize behind the scenes, ME

        • catman306 says:

          Use NO electronic media: social media, email, cell phone, land line phone, or thumb drive with internet connected computers.

          Don’t trust the medical profession. Medical mistakes kill many more than 100,000 per year. People who earn their living from the medical profession are routinely BAU supporters (at least in this area).

          I believe, without proof, that many of these mistakes are not.

  14. KXL oil = half a trillion dollars in “social costs”

    When you apply the new US government calcuations for “social cost of carbon” SCC to the oilsands that would flow through Keystone XL you end up with around half a trillion dollars in “monetized damages” to society.

    Here are links to my recent charts and articles on the new SCC calculations and how they add up to half a trillion in damages from KXL

  15. Raul M. says:

    TIME and Space | By Jeffrey Kluger
    Spacecraft and telescopes are not built by people interested in what’s going on at home. Rockets fly in one direction: up. Telescopes point in one direction: out. Of all the cosmic bodies studied in the long history of astronomy and space travel, the one that got the least attention was the one that ought to matter most to us—Earth.
    TIMELAPSE
    Watch the world change over the course of nearly three decades of satellite photography
    Pictured: The megacity of Dubai grows in the desert, from 1984 to today

    Google shows a time lapse view.

  16. Spike says:

    The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has long warned that a quarter of the world’s farmland is “highly degraded”.

    The main culprits are natural disasters, including droughts, floods and desertification. These pressures have now reached critical levels, with climate change expected to worsen the situation, according to the FAO’s annual report The State of Food and Agriculture.

    http://www.iede.co.uk/news/2013_2183/small-farmers-buffeted-climate-change

  17. Raul M. says:

    Really cool home made air conditioner. And it is an easy design.http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF0J8OvDSmM

  18. Spike says:

    The importance of the world’s forests for climate change mitigation:

    http://theconversation.com/explainer-how-much-carbon-can-the-worlds-forests-absorb-14816

  19. Colorado Bob says:

    The torrential downpour over Eagle Pass dropped 16.65 inches of rain in 36 hours, according to the National Weather Service, and a flash flood watch remained in effect for Maverick County until midnight Sunday. The heaviest rain fell between 11 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Saturday

    http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Flood-destroys-140-homes-in-Eagle-Pass-4603034.php

  20. prokaryotes says:

    Carbon Dioxide Is ‘Driving Fish Crazy’
    http://climatestate.com/magazine/2013/06/carbon-dioxide-is-driving-fish-crazy/

    Another highlight from last years finding on how much CO2 uptake interferes with our crucial environment.

  21. Mark Belgium says:

    Encouraging to see how in the UK politicians en scientists talk about CC.
    Talking:
    i. Aubrey Meyer, Global Commons Institute
    ii. Professor Andrew Shepherd, University of Leeds, and Professor Myles Allen, University of Oxford
    iii. Professor Julia Slingo, Chief Scientist, and Dr Jason Lowe, Met Office
    Worth watching this! ( this is how politicians should behave: asking intelligent questions and listen to the scientists, it is really refreshing after watching US republicans being …)
    http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=13291&player=windowsmedia

    • Spike says:

      Unfortunately our zombies are on the ascent within government:

      The parliamentary debate on the energy bill resumes in the Lords on Tuesday and is set to be distorted by a small but influential group of global warming contrarians. This group arrogantly believe they have a better understanding of the complicated science of climate change than the vast majority of leading scientists in the field.

      “David Cameron meanwhile has sadly promoted other members of this reckless gang of deniers to positions of influence. Hence, we briefly had avowed sceptic and hater of windfarms, John Hayes, as energy minister. We still have an environment secretary, Owen Paterson, who declared on the BBC’s Any Questions that climate change was not real, and Michael Gove appears to be systematically removing its teaching from the education syllabus.

      The mood in the Conservative party, no doubt influenced by the rise of Ukip, is now so anti-science and irrational, that the new part-time energy minister, Michael Fallon, recently dismissed climate change as “theology”. Small wonder investors in the low-carbon economy are spooked.”

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jun/18/energy-bill-debate-climate-contrarians

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        Spike, there’s been no ‘change’ in the Tories. They were always Rightwing fanatics, and, therefore, inevitably ferociously anti-environmental. Sure Cameron promised the exact opposite, but he was lying. He’s quite good at it.

  22. SecularAnimist says:

    Superman1 wrote: “Time to accept that our species does not have what it takes to overcome the challenge of climate change.”

    You clearly don’t have what it takes to do anything but whine.