Open Thread Plus Cartoon Of The Week

Opine away!

H/t Skeptical Science


80 Responses to Open Thread Plus Cartoon Of The Week

  1. Bob LaVelle says:

    “The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for May 2013 tied with 1998 and 2005 as the third warmest on record, at 0.66°C (1.19°F) above the 20th century average of 14.8°C (58.6°F).”

  2. Will Fox says:

    What you should know about vs. what the mainstream media tells you about:

  3. Spike says:

    Channel Island and France co-operate on large tidal generation project:

  4. prokaryotes says:

    Canada Calgary Aerial View + Bob Sanford speaks Floods (Climate) June 22, 2013

  5. Raul M. says:

    M.E. mentioned Mother Nature following The Law. That is an amazing path of thought and with Mother Nature it is more does than just thought. Sould we also behave more in line so that behaving in line becomes more the automatic response?

  6. Spike says:

    As one UK activist put it beautifully:

    “By digging up the past, and burning it in the present, we are burning the future.”

  7. rollin says:

    The law controls the wrong actions and fails upon scale-up. Apparently it is illegal to kill another person but legal to wage chemical warfare on a whole world. Apparently it is illegal to poison a person or make their property unlivable but it is quite legal to do it on a world-wide basis.

  8. Raul M. says:

    A church work group has a donation of heat reflective roof paint and someone who would enjoy a cooler home. The someone can’t afford AC and the church work group doesn’t want to do all that. Someone’s home needs reroofing and that could be put off for 10 years with the cool paint and so the group decides to act one weekend. The someone’s homes’ roof is repainted and all of a sudden it is the place where friends who can’t afford AC want to visit for longer and longer times. What should the someone do? Would the visitors even drive the someone out of home?

  9. Raul M. says:

    Would the church work group act quickly to increase the number of homes that are protected with the heat reflective roof and southern exposure paint?

  10. Jeff Huggins says:

    Joe, why — even on an “Open Thread” that begins with “Opine away!” — do my comments go into “awaiting moderation” and get published (typically) hours and hours later?



  11. Spike says:

    Yes – the law, like taxes, is for the little people.

  12. Joe Romm says:

    How about you don’t post the same EXACT thing every day?

  13. Jeff Huggins says:

    Joe, it’s not the same exact thing every day, and the audiences are sometimes different, and the point is an immensely important one, I believe. And, on top of that, I haven’t heard any responses — well-thought-out and valid responses — to the point itself.

    Even though this is an “Open Thread”, inviting people to “Opine away!”, and even though some audiences probably only read the open thread comments each week (and certainly most audiences don’t read every comment under every article), are you not going to allow (for what real reason?) my earlier comment today?

    Are you resistant/against the idea that it would behoove us all to understand Hillary Clinton’s position and commitments with respect to climate change asap, in concrete terms, as one very important step towards trying to avoid being in the same position four years from now as we are in today? And if so, why? (Please explain in concrete terms, with your best reasoning, rather than merely dismissing the point for some tangential reason.)

    Let me know, please.



  14. catman306 says:

    This repost properly belongs right here because if the Main Stream Media won’t tell Americans what is really going on, someone else has to, and here is a way. I’m sure low powered FM stations will gladly broadcast real information about climate change to fill their broadcasting schedules. Yes, some could be in Spanish. We need to get the word out to all those rural areas of red states where even the internet is hard to connect to. Stop the climate disruption brain washing.

    This is BIG.

    Own your own low power FM station to get out our climate disruption message, a chance to break the MSM monopoly:

    In Historic Victory for Community Radio, FCC Puts 1,000 Low-Power FM Frequencies Up For Grabs

  15. Gingerbaker says:

    Volvo testing in-road electric charging in Sweden!

  16. SecularAnimist says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I know you were asking Joe, but with all due respect, just as another regular commenter, personally, no, I don’t think it is all that important at the moment to “understand Hillary Clinton’s position and commitments with respect to climate change asap”.

    First, she may or may not even run; and if she does, there will be plenty of opportunity during the Democratic primaries to press her on that question.

    Second, from everything that she has done and said regarding climate change so far, there is every reason to believe that she is more or less similar to Obama in her “position and commitments” and that she is, and has been, fully on board with and indeed an architect of the Obama administration’s international climate policy. And to the extent that she is not in agreement with anything Obama is saying or doing, she is highly unlikely to express any such views for some time to come.

    I think it is FAR more important “ASAP” to press Obama himself on the issue. If you want to make an impression on Hillary Clinton, that’s the way to do it: by demonstrating that there is a public movement for action on global warming that can effectively hold the Obama administration to account, and that IF she becomes president, that’s what she is going to face.

    And if you just can’t wait to get involved in the next election cycle, then I suggest you focus on the 2014 mid-term elections. Run for Congress as a Green, or run against a climate-unfriendly Democrat in the primary or something. Remember, for all that a president may be able to do single-handedly through executive action, there are very measures that require Congressional action.

  17. Superman1 says:

    Jeff, If you want to get everything posted immediately, become a reliable rubber stamp for pushing renewables and you’ll have no problem. State the hard truth, as I do, and you’ll get 75% of your posts removed.

  18. Jeff Huggins says:

    SecularAnimist, thanks for your thoughts. Although we have the same aims, we seem to disagree on these points. Briefly, first, according to the large majority of Democratic/progressive pundits, and judging from her own actions, Hillary is already running, in effect. And that’s important for a number of reasons, only one of which is (according to the same pundits) that the fact that Hillary is running is likely to influence other potential nominees — some of them potentially excellent ones — to not enter the contest. Second, if you understand and consider the concept of ‘ambition’, you’ll recognize that the idea that Hillary will face a lot of pressure from folks like us to do something about climate change AFTER she’s elected, is much less likely to influence her, or to enter into her “calculus”, than the realization that she won’t be nominated in the first place if she doesn’t take climate change seriously now, and demonstrate that to the degree that we are convinced to vote for her in the first place. Third, my whole point is that, if we want to end up in a position in which we don’t have to beg and plead to our leaders to do things they promised to do in order to gain our votes in the first place, (as we have to do today), we need to choose our future leaders wisely, and that is a very-long-lead-time process. Hence, starting now. Otherwise, the future will be a repeat of the past — and look where we are today! It’s pretty simple — and compelling — when you consider it in those terms. That said, you’re right that I’m asking for a response from Joe to my earlier questions. (But I do appreciate your message and comment. Thanks!)



  19. Jeff Huggins says:

    Superman1, alas, I understand your point and believe you. The whole thing amazes me. I wish it weren’t the case. Maybe someday.

  20. Jeff Huggins says:

    (To clarify, I DO support renewables, of course, and a quick transition to them! But I do agree that there are some vitally important topics that seem to be “off limits” here, and that’s unfortunate.)

  21. BobbyL says:

    Sources say Obama will probably give a speech on Tuesday about climate measures.

  22. prokaryotes says:

    Hi Superman1, not sure you saw this but check out

    The Sublime of Superman, Man of Steel

    A cool movie with a cool background plot! And from Hollywood, i’m super surprised!

  23. Superman1 says:

    I support renewables as well. But, as Anderson has emphasized, we have a near-term emissions problem that cannot be solved through the supply side, and REQUIRES drastic reductions in fossil fuel use. That’s why I repeatedly call for immediate elimination of all non-essential uses of fossil fuel.

  24. Superman1 says:

    By itself, elimination of non-essential uses of fossil fuel will also eliminate the aerosol shield from the fossil sulfates, and could lead to unacceptable temperature peaks in the interim. That’s why parallel rapid reductions in carbon recovery and some type of low-risk geo-engineering are required. My problem is that neither Hillary or Obama will propose anything near the order of magnitude of what is required.

  25. Colorado Bob says:

    Looking at these floods, and the ones in Pakistan in 2010, I can’t help thinking that warm rain is falling on the glaciers and snowfields, at ever higher altitudes.

    Mr. Kukreti and about 800 pilgrims sought refuge in the stone temple, which was built in the eighth century 11,759 feet above sea level and dedicated to Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction.

  26. Jeff Huggins says:

    Read This Article

    A remarkably honest and clear article about what corporations (really!) should be doing regarding climate change, from Harvard Business School (no kidding!):

    ‘Corporate Leaders Need to Step Up on Climate Change’, by Michael Toffel (HBS) and Auden Schendler (Aspen Skiing Company)

    Here’s the link:

    (The article was first published on under the title, ‘Corporate Sustainability is Not Sustainable’.)

  27. prokaryotes says:

    The next time someone claims HAARP is responsible for extreme weather, show him this video

  28. Colorado Bob says:

    Changing ocean temperatures, circulation patterns affecting young Atlantic cod food supply

    June 20, 2013 — Changing ocean water temperatures and circulation patterns have profoundly affected key Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf zooplankton species in recent decades, and may be influencing the recovery of Atlantic cod and other fish stocks in the region.

  29. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Two ‘burnings’ doesn’t do it for we. I like variety. Besides, as the floods show, it won’t just be ‘burning’. I think a simple ‘destroying’ would be preferable. Then it’s succinct and dreadfully accurate.

  30. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    If every roof was painted thus, what would be the effect on global albedo? It seems a staggeringly easy way to restore some reflectivity lost by the disappearance of snow and ice cover. The energy saving on not needing air-conditioning is more icing on the cake.

  31. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Exactly! The law is an ass, with apologies to donkeys.

  32. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    What’s wrong with pushing renewables? Surely they must be a gigantic part of any solution to this catastrophe.

  33. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Superman, do you believe that terrestrial albedo restoration, as in painting surfaces, primarily roofs, with reflective substances is possible? I think it has to be safer, if effective, than stratospheric meddling. And I don’t really think that reducing inessential carbon use and utilising renewable energy need be an ‘either one or the other’ situation. We need both, can surely have both, and such a choice is a false one, in my opinion.

  34. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Whooppee!! Another ‘great’ speech! I’ll suspend my judgment, for what it’s worth, until I see the action.

  35. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    If Northeastern oysters have already been negatively impacted by ocean acidification, ought not the plankton have been similarly impacted?

  36. Colorado Bob says:

    The West Fork fire in Colorado :

    Fire behavior on the West Fork fire was extreme; it made a close to seven-mile run in a northeasterly direction. Eric Norton, fire behavior analyst for the NIMO Team, said, “The fire behavior we saw yesterday was so extreme, it was undocumented and unprecedented.” The fire more than doubled in size going from 12,001 acres to close to 29,000 acres today.

    The West Fork Complex, including the West Fork, Papoose and Windy Pass fires, is reported at 53,544 acres.

  37. Merrelyn Emery says:

    OUR law is an ass but there are other laws, totally implacable and non-negotiable with inbuilt punishments beyond our current imaginings, ME

  38. prokaryotes says:

    Alberta is a centre of climate-change denial, but not all Albertans deny reality of global warming

  39. Mark E says:

    I’ve been around these pages for a couple years now and my answer is “Hillary who?”

    If you care so much about it, do a proper column and offer it to some blog (not necessarily this one) as a guest post.

    And if it appears here, I will skip it, because I’m really not interested.

  40. prokaryotes says:

    Yesterday Harper was so overwhelmed from the devastation of the flooding going on, he was unable to communicate to the press. News media actually silenced his voice, narrating then for him.

  41. Greatgrandma Kat says:

    The Northeast oyster beds are not the only ones affected. A report last night on Northwest TV told of the ever increasing drop in northwest oysters, the larva are not surviving in the increasingly acidic waters of Northern Washingon and southern British Columbia waters. Production is down and producers are in trouble, they have been hit hard this year.

  42. prokaryotes says:

    Some towns did not received flood warnings, which lead to unprepared citizens.

  43. Superman1 says:

    Mulga, Obviously, we need both. But, many who push renewables don’t stress the urgency or requirement of drastic reductions in fossil fuel use starting NOW. Remember, available energy in whatever form is what we want; drastic reduction in fossil fuels is what Mother Nature wants. And, she bats last!

  44. Superman1 says:

    Mulga, I am very uncomfortable about stratospheric meddling; it violates my experience in scaling up systems gradually. My concern is that climate sensitivity is much larger than we have been assuming, and if we ever did cut back seriously on fossil fuels, the interim temperature swing would bring us over the cliff. We have a real challenge in temperature profile control, at scales never before attempted, and we may be left with no other choice but geo-engineering in parallel.

  45. Superman1 says:

    It’s a question of priorities. First, we do what Mother Nature wants (drastic reduction in fossil fuel use starting NOW), and then we do what we want (renewables). If we can do them in parallel, great. But, if all we do is switch to renewables, we will go over the cliff in the process (assuming we haven’t done so already).

  46. prokaryotes says:

    An ice nucleus is a particle which acts as the nucleus for the formation of an ice crystal in the atmosphere.
    The presence of ice nuclei increase the temperature that ice will form in the atmosphere from around −42°C to about −10°C. There are many processes that can take place in the atmosphere to form ice particles; the simplest is by water vapor depositing directly onto the solid particle. The presence of an ice nucleus can also cause a previously supercooled water droplet to freeze through contact, immersion or dissolution within the water that would otherwise have stayed in the liquid phase at a given temperature.[1]
    Ice particles can have a significant effect on cloud dynamics. They are known to be important in the processes by which clouds can become electrified, which causes lightning. They are also known to be able to form the seeds for rain droplets.
    Many different types of particulates in the atmosphere can act as ice nuclei, both natural and anthropogenic, including those composed of minerals, soot, organic matter and sulfate. However, the exact nucleation potential of each type varies greatly, depending on the exact atmospheric conditions. Very little is known about the spatial distribution of these particles, their overall importance on global climate through ice cloud formation and whether human activity has played a major role in changing these effects.
    Recent research shows that bacteria found in the atmosphere all over the world may be responsible for much ice nucleation.

  47. Superman1 says:

    What we need are seven billion citizens of this planet spending all their waking hours (other than satisfying minimal survival needs) working collectively to do whatever it takes to save the biosphere. What we have are 6.99 billion people either maximizing self-indulgence in the here-and-now, or hoping to. How do we close this gap?

  48. Superman1 says:

    Lest we forget: all these events are from emissions made decades ago. We still have a climate warming commitment of about another four decades (or more) from what we have emitted recently. These are the GOOD OLD DAYS!

  49. Will Fox says:

    ScienceCasts: The “Sleeping Giant” in Arctic Permafrost

  50. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Headline news from the near future: There were no new disasters in the Land of Oz today. The PM has announced she is setting up a special expert taskforce to investigate this most unexpected incident, ME

  51. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Headline news from the near future: There were no new disasters in the Land of Oz today. The PM has announced she is setting up a special expert taskforce to investigate this most unexpected incident, ME

  52. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The (Ig) Nobel ‘Peace’ Prize has been a bad joke for decades. Obama, however, is the nadir, so far.

  53. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Well, Super, I hate to be the bearer of sad tidings, but I am in furious agreement with all you say, here. Unfortunately, however, we will never get 6.99 billion to act sanely. About five or six billion, at a guest, are not terminally insane with advanced robopathy. Once the obstacles, the rich and their political and propaganda stooges are disempowered, tremendous work could be achieved, what with the money and technology at our disposal. But every day makes me more pessimistic that we are too far gone, the resistance is too ruthless and powerful and the surfeit of catastrophes, in multiform ecological collapse, resource depletion, economic implosion and geo-political contention are just too far advanced to be confronted, simultaneously. Twenty-five years ago I was optimistic, but the triumphant rise of the Right since then has dashed my hopes, almost entirely.

  54. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    In fact, Gran, I was thinking of the Pacific, so meant North-West, but am terminally geographically challenged.

  55. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Gaia is sending the bone-heads a message. Will they listen? Pigs might levitate!

  56. Spike says:

    For once I agree with Superman’s direction of argument here. I have long thought an international cap on production of fossil fuels, declining each year, is the only likely way we shall avoid catastrophe if that remains possible. The pricing would follow on from the restricted supply, and increasing fossil energy costs would drive new clean energy deployment.

  57. Spike says:

    We can pray that harper and his boneheads will be amongst the political, casualties. I fear it will take much more of the same however, such is the blanket of ignorance, and media FUD spreading.

  58. Spike says:

    In Alaska as of Saturday, the total number of acres burned has already surpassed last year’s total of 287,000 acres. The total number of acres burned is currently 344,000.

  59. catman306 says:

    Only TEAMS of web surfers could keep up with ‘natural disasters’ occurring weekly, no, daily, on the seven continents, the world’s oceans, and, of course, the atmosphere. Not to mention the political and social problems these disasters are causing. I know I can’t keep up with it all.

    Superman1: The GOOD OLD DAYS occurred during the last century when natural disasters were rare enough to be unexpected headline news. You don’t want to be accused of being an optimist, do you? Just kidding.

  60. Superman1 says:

    “For once I agree with Superman’s direction of argument here.” You need to make that a more frequent occurrence! However, a cap on production will allow the rich to continue their profligate ways, and will severely penalize the poor due to increased prices. We need a strict global rationing mandate NOW; applicable to rich and poor alike!

  61. wili says:

    Thanks for that link, I hadn’t heard about those Alaska fires.

    We’ve had quite a week or so:

    Record fires in CO, fires raging in NM and now in AK, worst wind damage ever in MN; Calgary under water, and deadly flooding in France, Germany and India. (And doubtless I’m missing some.)

    Still, the MSM almost completely leaves out gw connections, and rarely connects any dots.

    These events do provide news coverage, and most outlets allow for comments. We have to start flooding comments about these events with pointers to GW and to other related events. We need to have a critical mass at these comment areas greater than the denialist hordes (to the extent that there are any real people behind most of these).

    Perhaps people could report back here when they successfully get comments in, especially when these prompt useful discussion?

  62. Superman1 says:

    Mulga, “I am in furious agreement with all you say”. Make that a habit, and try to convince some of your fellow Ozs to follow suit. I agree with your argument, and I don’t see a clear path out of where we are today. When I read between the lines of Anderson’s papers, he is really saying the same thing. Adding realistic targets and realistic models, we can’t get there from here.

  63. Colorado Bob says:

    So one week ago in Alaska, a heat wave set-up,
    Fairbanks wasn’t one of the locations that broke their all time records. But looking at their 10 day forecast, “blocking high” is written all over it.

  64. Colorado Bob says:

    •The highest recorded temperature was 94°F in 1991.

  65. catman306 says:

    This might be a good time to investigate whether humans can cause a blocking high to move using science and technology.

    I wonder what spraying a fine mist of water, at the highest altitude an air tanker can fly, would accomplish? Moving that blocking high would seem to be a high priority to lessen the melting of permafrost and tundra if we knew how to do it safely, i.e., without causing more harm than good.

  66. Colorado Bob says:

    Cat –
    This whole pattern reminds me of Russia in 2010, and Greenland 2012. Both had extreme precipitation events “down stream” from the high.

    And Central Europe this past month :

    Floods caused by a blocking high pressure system
    The primary cause of the torrential rains over Central Europe during late May and early June was large loop in the jet stream that developed over Europe and got stuck in place. A “blocking high” set up over Northern Europe, forcing two low pressure systems, “Frederik” and “Günther”, to avoid Northern Europe and instead track over Central Europe. The extreme kink in the jet stream ushered in a strong southerly flow of moisture-laden air from the Mediterranean Sea over Central Europe, which met up with colder air flowing from the north due to the stuck jet stream pattern, allowing “Frederik” and “Günther” to dump 1-in-100 year rains. The stuck jet stream pattern also caused record May heat in northern Finland and surrounding regions of Russia and Sweden, where temperatures averaged an astonishing 12°C (21°F) above average for a week at the end of May. All-time May heat records–as high as 87°F–were set at stations north of the Arctic Circle in Finland.

  67. Colorado Bob says:

    The West Fork fire gained ground overnight into Sunday, growing about 4,000 acres to an estimated 70,257 acres, and continuing its threat to tourist towns on the west edge of Colorado’s San Luis Valley………….
    In some places, spruce beetles have killed up to 90 percent of trees, turning sprawling stands of timber into tinder-dry fuel.

    Read more: West Fork fire grows to 70,000 acres in Colorado, cabins threatened – The Denver Post

  68. Superman1 says:

    In all seriousness, to be a credible optimist, there needs to be a basis for optimism. I remember when Pearl Harbor was attacked; even though the first few months were grim, people were optimistic about the final outcome. We had the resources, the industry, the technology, the people, and above all, the motivation to win.

  69. Superman1 says:

    If those myriad resources existed for climate change, one could have a solid basis for optimism. However, I see very little of that in the climate change ‘fight’. I see the opposite, especially in the critical area of people willing and motivated to do what it takes to win. If you are optimistic, what’s your evidentiary basis?

  70. Superman1 says:

    You have gotten into the modus operandi of the medical community; don’t remove cause, but use a treatment to eliminate a symptom that will result in another symptom making an appearance (side effect). For health and climate, #1 is remove cause first, and worry about technology and treatments later! In both cases, treatment is a lot more profitable than removing cause.

  71. 6thextinction says:

    I’m not optimistic, same as the rest of you, but the answer is the people, collectively and individually. Collectively, we need to work together (; Sierra Club, Citizens Climate, etc. nationally; and whoever we can find most effective locally). Individually we reduce our population; use mass transit; get solar panels; buy local; have a garden; reduce, recycle, reuse; and talk about it to others. How many of ThinkProgress posters are doing all the above?