Memo to the Editors: Stop the unscientific online polls!
Please click here and freep this poll until the magazine has the decency to take it down.
A number of climate scientists I know are baffled at the new direction of Scientific American. One has gone so far as to cancel his subscription. I thought this was overblown until I actually looked at what SciAm is doing and read the articles in question.
In my entire life I never imagined I would read the following sentence in a Scientific American article:
There will come a time when governments are forced to act on global climate change. Its impacts will be increasingly devastating and undeniable. Its costs will swell like a tsunami. We will see many more Katrinas with victims stranded not because governments are incompetent, but because they are overwhelmed.
When that time comes, politicians’ careers will depend on taking action. Clearly, that moment hasn’t yet arrived.
At a debate in Pennsylvania’s 12th district to fill the seat left by Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA), Republican candidate Tim Burns denied the existence of global warming. “I don’t believe in manmade global warming,” Burns told the audience last Friday, as ThinkProgress captured in this exclusive footage. Burns also seemed not to understand that cap-and-trade plans include tariffs on countries that don’t limit
carbon emissions, nor that both China and India have established aggressive climate plans — including cap and trade programs — to limit their own carbon pollution:
First of all, I don’t believe in manmade global warming. And if I did, cap-and-trade would not be an appropriate way to address it. Cap-and-trade will do a couple of things. It will increase artificially the energy costs here in the United States, but it will not increase the costs anywhere else in the world. So, if we would believe, which I don’t, that man is causing global warming with increased carbon, all that would do is ship the carbon production from here to China and India where they don’t have cap-and-trade imposed on them.
Burns could have learned about the reality of climate change by consulting the National Academies of Science — which said “the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” — or by simply asking his own constituents, such as the climate scientists at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, in the 12th District.
“I find it interesting that politicians continue to ignore the science,” Dr. Steve Hovan, chair of the Geoscience Department at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, told the Wonk Room in an phone interview. “My professional opinion is that it’s real and that it’s something to be concerned about.”
Hovan was sympathetic to the challenge politicans and average citizens have in understanding the scope and urgency of the threat of global warming pollution, especially as climates scientists usually just focus on the long term picture and don’t try to tackle the economic or political implications of the problem. However, before he ran off to teach his next class, Hovan concluded that he believes policymakers should tackle global warming pollution now, not later:
It’s a big enough problem that if we don’t start now, we may not get a handle on it. I think the Academies of Science is right that we need to get a grip on this now before it becomes ungrippable.
Calling it a major milestone, the Obama administration on Monday approved what investors say will be the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant and one that more than doubles all of U.S. solar output and can power at least 300,000 homes. The project in the Mojave Desert near Blythe, Calif., is the sixth solar venture authorized on federal lands within the last month. All are in desert areas.
By Climate Guest Blogger on Oct 26, 2010 at 10:28 am
Out of 37 gubernatorial races this November, only two feature Republicans that are climate hawks, saying on the campaign trail that global warming pollution must be slashed. Brad Johnson has the story.
In the liberal states of Vermont and Hawaii, Republican lieutenant governors Brian Dubie (R-VT) and James “Duke” Aiona (R-HI) explicitly acknowledge the greenhouse threat of fossil fuel pollution. The island state of Hawaii is profoundly threatened by the global warming and ocean acidification caused by fossil fuel pollution. Aiona has “set a bold and ambitious goal for Hawaii to cut its consumption of foreign oil in half within eight years”:
By Climate Guest Blogger on Oct 26, 2010 at 9:49 am
The latest mantra of the anti-science, pro-pollution extremists is, “We’re not arguing the science of climate change.” They do this so they can dispute the charge of “denier” to the media, but then they immediately turn around and start arguing the science of climate change. Brad Johnson rips away the curtain cloaking the Tea Party puppeteers at Americans for Prosperity.
The pollution-funded Americans for Prosperity (AFP) claims not to question the science of global warming, arguing that its massive Astroturfing campaign against climate policy hinges purely on economic arguments. However, footage from the new documentary (Astro)Turf Wars reveals that AFP officials in fact are radical climate science deniers, promoting untenable conspiracy theories to challenge the overwhelming scientific consensus that fossil fuel pollution is dangerously warming the planet.
By Climate Guest Blogger on Oct 26, 2010 at 9:32 am
Guess bloggers Ken Berlin and Bracken Hendricks first posted this on TPM Cafe.
In 1973, Motorola demonstrated the world’s first cell phone, weighing in at close to four and a half pounds. It was not introduced into the U.S. until 1983, and after slow growth at first, over the course of just ten years from 1997 to 2007 the total number of mobile phone subscriptions jumped from reaching 8% of global population to serving nearly half of all the world’s inhabitants. By the close of 2009, the number of cellular phone users had grown still further to 4.6 billion in a world of 6.8 billion people. Today, universal access to information through cellular technology is transforming service delivery in areas as diverse as health care, agriculture and banking. Mobile phones are allowing developing countries to leapfrog a generation of infrastructure, while unleashing innovation, new markets, and economic development the world over.
A similar technological revolution is taking place in the clean energy industry today. Driven by pressures from rising global demand for finite energy supplies, national security pressures from oil dependence, the increasing threat of economic disruptions due to climate change, and the need to create a more efficient, productive and globally competitive economy, many countries are making massive investment in clean energy technologies.
As in the telecom revolution, these investments by the private sector in clean energy will create countless economic opportunities, and transform the way we all do business. But unlike our recent experience with telecommunications, the United States may miss out on most of the economic benefits of deploying clean energy technology. To date, the United States has been far less effective than our Asian and European competitors at deploying existing clean technology or commercializing energy innovations broadly across our economy.
Edited by Joe Romm, we cover climate science, solutions and politics. Columnist Tom Friedman calls us "the indispensable blog" and Time magazine named us one of the 25 "Best Blogs of 2010." Newcomers, start here.