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Lubchenco says, “This report is a game changer,” Holdren says it’s time to act “after many years of dithering and delay,” plus a new website with full report, summaries, charts, AND a slideshow

By Joe Romm on June 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm

"Lubchenco says, “This report is a game changer,” Holdren says it’s time to act “after many years of dithering and delay,” plus a new website with full report, summaries, charts, AND a slideshow"

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The Administration has put together a terrific new website, globalchange.gov, on its landmark 13-agency report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States.  Every possible summary and graphic you could want is there — heck they even have the embed codes for their slideshow:

GlobalChange.Gov–US Impacts Summary

If you didn’t catch the live webcast, then the next best thing is this liveblogging by Anne Polansky, Sr. Associate for Climate Science Watch, at DailyKos.

I happened to catch a little bit of the pre-webcast, in which Obama’s science advisor John Holdren said this report was the “most up-to-date, authoritative, and comprehensive” analysis of the impacts of human caused global warming on the United States.  Holdren later said, climate disruption is “already affecting things we value, and will affect every region” of the country.”

Climate Science Watch’s Rick Piltz, whistleblower extraordinaire, explains why this report is even more newsworthy — 8 years of Bush administration climate-science muzzling:

This is the first climate science report to come out under the Obama administration and the most significant US climate impacts assessment since the first National Assessment issued in 2000. The Bush-Cheney administration essentially suppressed the 2000 National Assessment report and abandoned support for the scientist-stakeholder interaction it had initiated.

Holdren gave Jane Lubchenco the final words.  And they made clear that even if the NYT doesn’t get it, the NOAA administrator certainly does:

This report is a game-changer.

All of the foot-dragging we’ve seen stems from the perception that climate change is a problem that is down the road, that it will happen sometime in the future, that the problem is remote.  The report states unequivocally that climate change is happening now, and in our own backyards.  It affects things people care about.  The report is good science, science that informs policy. The science does not dictate policy.  We must act sooner than later….

Climate change affects you and the things you care about.

Hear!  Hear!

The Union of Concerned Scientists has “combed through the report to produce one national and eight regional fact sheets based on findings explained throughout the report”:

  • National Assessment
  • Northeast Assessment (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia)
  • Midwest Assessment (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin)
  • Northwest Assessment (Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Western Montana)
  • Great Plains Assessment (Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas (Central), Wyoming)
  • Southeast Assessment (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas (Gulf Region), Virginia)
  • Southwest Assessment (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, West Texas, Utah)
  • Alaska Assessment
  • Islands Assessment (Hawaii, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Palau, the Samoan Islands of Tutuila, Manua, Rose, and Swains; and islands in the Micronesian archipelago, the Carolines, Marshalls, and Marianas)

More to come.

Related Posts:

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59 Responses to Lubchenco says, “This report is a game changer,” Holdren says it’s time to act “after many years of dithering and delay,” plus a new website with full report, summaries, charts, AND a slideshow

  1. RunawayRose says:

    I just printed the MidWest assessment, and will read it with great interest.

  2. Tim R. says:

    The report is great. I especially like the way it is so accessible — even the average denier will be be able to understand it if they want to.

    But just like the IPCC blew it on sea level change last time around, this report blows it on a critical climate issue. Black carbon is all but ignored. Black carbon is now the second most devastating climate change pollutant after carbon dioxide, but perhaps even more important since it is the only climate pollutant of such magnitude that is short-lived. Significant reductions of black carbon emissions can, in the next two decades, provide a significant reduction in climate forcing while we figure out how to sequester past GHG emissions.

    But this report gives black carbon a single insignificant mention, just like the policy makers that will use this report ignore this critical issue. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another five years to get black carbon policy up to speed.

  3. Brewster says:

    Tim;

    “so accessible — even the average denier will be be able to understand it if they want to.”

    Hopeless optimist.

  4. Aaron says:

    Will this report add any strength to arguments for increasing targets for the Waxman Markey bill?

    I like that the report is written using language anyone could understand. This way not only does it serve as a synopsis of the current scientific literature, but also, is educational to the masses.

  5. paulm says:

    Looks like they need to phase out coal plants.

  6. Brilliant report and fantastic data made so readily available. I salute the people who worked so hard, for so long to bring us this report.

    But I watched the press conf streaming live on the White House web site and was disappointed when a reporter asked “So, do we have a handful of years, a handful of decades or a handful of generations to stave off the worst consequences” and the scientist at the mic flat out refused to answer. In fact, no one associated with the report during the press conference was willing to give the kind of strong, powerful soundbite that will play in every headline, every webcast, TV and radio broadcast and wake people up.

    I understand their scientific reluctance to say anything that sounds definitive and might be twisted, but at the same time they missed a golden opportunity to put the reality of their report in terms the average citizen will grok.

    If you want to stop the “David Letterman vs Sarah Palin” controversy from chewing up all the news oxygen available the sound bite: “Climate change affects you and the things you care about” is not going to get that job done.

    Until we told people in no uncertain terms that cigarette smoking kills you we didn’t turn the tide on that issue.

    Until we tell people that they have already run out of time and drastic action is needed right now then we will not be telling them a truth that will motivate them to the very action we need.

    Who is going to tell the people that their “house is on fire” instead of telling them that “all the conditions for conflagration exist?”

  7. MikeN says:

    How often is the government going to issue these ‘game-changers?’

    The issued something like this in 2000, and it ended up being required to come with a warning label that the science doesn’t meet the standards of the Federal Information Quality Act.

    [JR: Mike, your pushing these denier talking points has officially gotten tiresome. Had you bothered to read the post, you would know that the Bush administration suppressed the report and than muzzled US climate scientists so they couldn't talk about impacts. They even tried to claim the science wasn't up to "their standards," which is pretty laughable coming from people who have all but declared war on science.

    So the short answer to your first question is -- "Once." Now go and spread your sly disinformation somewhere else.]

  8. SecularAnimist says:

    JR wrote: “Mike, your pushing these denier talking points has officially gotten tiresome.”

    It would be less tiresome if MikeN showed the slightest capability for independent thought rather than slavishly cutting and pasting other people’s talking points, which he often doesn’t even seem to understand.

  9. David B. Benson says:

    Is The Sky The Limit For Wind Power? High-flying Kites Could Light Up New York
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615102038.htm

    How many wedges for tapping the jet stream?

  10. Anne says:

    Thx for the honorable mentions…. too bad the first half of the online stream was superseded by a routine press briefing (mostly reporters joking n jostling…. and a no-show from the “I’m a science guy” President O… not even a slight mention… or blog post from the WH… or nuthin…

    Oh well, sooner or later he will “get” that health care and climate change aren’t really all that different from one another as social issues… it just takes a while to connect the dots.

  11. Pat Richards says:

    There was one aspect to Mike’s comment that struck home. While this report is massive, comprehensive and puts a lot of info in one place and is all to the good, it does kind of feel like the first great flood of the global warming era has been the Great Research Study Flood. Seems like we have a new one come out just about every week these days. At some point I think the public is going to get report overload and just start tuning it all out. That’s also the danger in endlessly debating Waxman-Markey to death over the next 6 to 9 months before/if it is ever signed into law.

    To those with eyes to see and minds to think, no more studies on the imminent dangers of climate change are necessary. We’re already convinced. To those who still deny, no number of additional new and stunning studies is going to get them to pull their heads out of the sand. For those who still don’t care enough to take a little time to find out the facts and make up their own mind on the issues, well, they’re probably not going to change their ways either just because more new studies have come out.

    I do kind of wish more of the scientific community and all that research money would shift focus to studying and reporting on solutions instead of telling us what we already know.

  12. jorleh says:

    Have they asked advice from the prince of pseudoscience, always wrong and ridiculous denier delayer Lomborg? There is something rotten in Denmark?

  13. ken levenson says:

    Joe,

    opening slide of CO2 concentrations is a must for best PPTs

    coupled with the “civilization window” ppt, #1 best – makes for scary contemplation!

    Note that the “civilazation window” ppt needs to be updated per MIT/Hadley projections….

    …seams like we’re toast to quote Benson….

  14. Sasparilla says:

    I find it somewhat disheartening that here we are the day after this briefing (afternoon yesterday) and I couldn’t find a single article on the front web pages of the NYT, Washington Post or the Journal. There were front page articles on the how the White House is proposing to regulate the financial industries. Maybe they shouldn’t have released things like this on the same days.

    There was a article in the WSJ about how the debate isn’t over in washington (trying to throw cold water on the cap and trade) on what to do about global warming with good ol’ Bjorn Lomborg featured prominently.

    The whole conference seems like it was largely a non issue in the media to everyone but the few of us who are actively interested.

    Its a fantastic web site they released, its unfortunate the White House apparently really blew the delivery – what a wasted opportunity.

  15. Realist says:

    Once again a laughably wrong, easily disprovable report surfaces as “proof.”

    Notice even the usually reliable, in the tank for Obama, news outlets are keeping their distance. They have been embarrassed by this sham long enough.

    It will take about two days for the huge holes and outright lies in this report to surface.

  16. jeff Id says:

    This report exaggerates nearly every detail. Am I allowed to say that?

    It is nothing but propaganda and misrepresents the scientific conclusions it purports to discuss scientifically. They have overstepped badly and it will backlash on them.

  17. Joe says:

    I can’t believe anyone is so gullible to believe this crap.

  18. Lou Grinzo says:

    Sasparilla: Of course they didn’t give it much coverage. They care more about making money than anything else, and they don’t like to stir up the locust-like swarms of deniers who cover the virtual ground with their cut-and-pasted nonsense. The last thing they want is to be seen as being on someone’s side in an argument, even if that side has the facts and science behind them and the other side has nothing more than the gaseous emissions of Limbaugh and his ilk.

  19. SecularAnimist says:

    “Realist” and “jeff Id” are Ditto-Heads. They get their “climate science” from Rush Limbaugh. They are mental slaves of corporate-funded, fake, phony, trumped-up, scripted, focus-group-tested, teleprompted, denialist propaganda. They have been systematically brainwashed by so-called “conservative” radio & cable TV to obediently believe, say and do whatever the fossil fuel corporations pay Rush Limbaugh & Bill O’Reilly & Sean Hannity to tell them to believe, say and do.

    Their in-depth understanding of anthropogenic global warming is as follows: “Global warming = Al Gore = “liberal” = bad.”

    So they visit this blog, and like MikeN, they slavishly cut and paste the scripted talking points that have been spoon-fed to them, because it makes them feel good to be obedient.

  20. Tom says:

    “It seems that what they are asking us is who are we to believe, their bought-and-paid scientific hucksters or our lying eyes, focused in piles of snow in Britian in the month of June?”

  21. Leland Palmer says:

    We climate realists face a huge challenge – we are asking heavily propagandized people who have been conditioned to parrot talking points installed by a propaganda system to change their minds.

    John Dean talked about the deliberate creation of authoritarian personalities in his book Conservatives Without Conscience.

    An online book “The Authoritarians” by Bob Altemeyer of the University of Manitoba was reportedly a major source for John Dean, in writing his book.

    Denial is comfortable – is asks only that people be satisfied with themselves.

    Facing the climate crisis is uncomfortable. It’s a hard leap for most people, and it causes considerable personal anguish.

    So, many of us are still in denial. Many of us find it more comfortable to continue to believe in our own rightness and the rightness of our way of life than to accept and embrace change.

    And the fossil fuel companies are more than willing to funnel a very small proportion of their profits into a propaganda system that encourages denial.

  22. robert says:

    Great stuff man. Let the deniers take that. Lets embrace this report

    Which scientists were involved by the way

  23. Morris says:

    Jeff ID “This report exaggerates nearly every detail. Am I allowed to say that?”

    Jeff, you may say it, but your opinion is self evidently worthless. The report in fact is extremely conservative in presenting the threat level to the United States.

    Scientists are in general just not good at explaining what they know in terms the average person can understand. So that when they speak of “loss of trout and salmon” habitat, what they are saying is bye bye aquatic ecosystems on the east and west coasts. Field and Stream becomes Desert and Algae.

    In this extremely conservative report, I challenge you to find one single fact which has been overstated.

    Show us your knowledge, Ken the expert.

  24. jeff Id says:

    Morris,

    I tried before but it is in currently in moderation.

  25. Aaron says:

    Again, the so called “corrupt” scientist argument is getting really tiresome. The deniers who claim this, obviously haven’t met a practicing scientist before. The funny thing is, you have to back up your statements with data and/or other literature. Therefore, you can’t just make stuff up and greatly exaggerate the conclusions from your data.

  26. dhogaza says:

    This report exaggerates nearly every detail. Am I allowed to say that?

    Yes, though since you’ve already proven yourself to be an idiot elsewhere, there’s really nothing to be gained by your doing so.

  27. dhogaza says:

    For those not familiar with Jeff ID, he’s another engineer convinced he’s smarter than the thousands of professionals working in climate science, and has proven them not only to be wrong but dishonest frauds as well.

    Interestingly, those who deny modern evolutionary biology include a disproportionate number of engineers convinced they’re smarter than the thousands of professionals working in the field. And, they, too, proclaim this field of scientific study to be nothing than a “fraud”.

    We could move on to smoking-is-harmful denialists (such as Lindzen), HIV denialists, etc.

  28. Rick Covert says:

    Joe Says:

    June 17th, 2009 at 9:31 am
    I can’t believe anyone is so gullible to believe this crap.

    Joe,

    The Bushies believe it which is why they suppressed the report for 8 years and the energy PR firm flaks like the Global Climate Coalitions own scientists believe it

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/science/earth/24deny.html?_r=2&ref=energy-environment

    and global warming denier extraordinaire Frank Luntz believes it.

    http://www.aspenlawschool.com/books/plater_environmentallaw/updates/02.6.pdf (See page 7 item 1)

    You are the only one gullible enough, apparently, who doesn’t believe it.

  29. jeff Id says:

    I got cut again so I tried again.

    That really hurts coming from someone technically illiterate dhog.

  30. dhogaza says:

    That really hurts coming from someone technically illiterate dhog.

    Yeah, right. That’s me!

  31. Leland Palmer says:

    Here’s a link to Altemeyer’s online book “The Authoritarians”.

    This is what we are up against:

    http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer/drbob/TheAuthoritarians.pdf

    What is Authoritarianism?

    Authoritarianism is something authoritarian followers and authoritarian leaders cook up between themselves. It happens when the followers submit too much to the leaders, trust them too much, and give them too much leeway to do whatever they want–which often is something undemocratic, tyrannical and brutal. In my day, authoritarian fascist and authoritarian communist dictatorships posed the biggest threats to democracies, and eventually lost to them in wars both hot and cold. But authoritarianism itself has not disappeared, and I’m going to present the case in this book that the greatest threat to American democracy today arises from a militant authoritarianism that has become a cancer upon the nation.

    We know an awful lot about authoritarian followers. In one way or another, hundreds of social scientists have studied them since World War II. We have a pretty good idea of who they are, where they come from, and what makes them tick. By comparison, we know little about authoritarian leaders because we only recently started studying them. That may seem strange, but how hard is it to figure out why someone would like to have massive amounts of power? The psychological mystery has always been, why would someone prefer a dictatorship to freedom? So social scientists have focused on the followers, who are seen as the main, underlying problem.

    Maybe we’re evolved to follow authoritarian leaders, and be authoritarian followers. Perhaps sheltering under a strong, brutal leader and truly believing in what he says is an evolved survival strategy.

    If so, maybe we really are too stupid as a species to live.

  32. Petras says:

    This report has really brought into focus the real problems that we are facing. Based on this, I am going to stop driving today. It is 10 miles to work, so I will have to start (and end) my day a lot earlier (later), but what else can I do?

    Next winter, I will set my thermostat at 45 and only take hot showers when the skin rashes get bad. It is the least that I can do. Come on, we really have to put our actions in line with the impending doom. If you do otherwise, you are part of the problem. There is no sacrifice too great to save the world!

    Unfortunately, I won’t be able to see how you readers react to this post because I’m now powering down my computer forever. I hope that you join me. I will make my future points using my strong voice on the street corner.

  33. dhogaza says:

    So if Petras develops a hangnail but fails to amputate his foot this proves he never had a hangnail in the first place.

    That appears to be the “point” of that little piece of “sarcasm”.

  34. Morris says:

    Interesting.

    Maybe the denialsphere will devote itself to lemming-like assaults on the report. Eventually, after countless efforts, they will collapse in exhaustion.

    jeff Id, Joe, Tom, here it is! Go get it:

    http://downloads.globalchange.gov/usimpacts/pdfs/climate-impacts-report.pdf

    Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, Thomas R. Karl, Jerry M. Melillo, and Thomas C. Peterson,
    (eds.). Cambridge University Press, 2009

  35. dhogaza says:

    Maybe the denialsphere will devote itself to lemming-like assaults on the report. Eventually, after countless efforts, they will collapse in exhaustion.

    Since the report simply summarizes mainstream science, they don’t need to read it to know it’s wrong.

  36. jeff Id says:

    I’ve tried to reply morris, so far no luck.

  37. dhogaza says:

    I’ve tried to reply morris, so far no luck.

    Perhaps you’re not aware that Joe tends to not approve comments that tediously repeat endlessly debunked denialsphere talking points.

  38. Morris says:

    “Since the report simply summarizes mainstream science, they don’t need to read it to know it’s wrong.”

    Up until recently, the denialsphere had been enjoying the support of an administration that was (fill in the blank) their own scientists. Now we have a solid report which, as you say, summarizes the main stream science. Coming from a new quarter. This has got to get them revved up.

    You know, I think I saw the “hockey stick” in there.

  39. jeff Id says:

    I’ll put them on the Air Vent later so you and several thousand others can see.

  40. Ben says:

    Considering this report was not done by the Obama Admin. only re-released with a PR campaign and graphics showing bad weather events, how can this report be “the most up-to-date, authoritative, and comprehensive” analysis of the impacts of human caused global warming”

  41. Morris says:

    dhogaza,

    I’ll think I will skip the denialist baiting in the future. i just went and looked at Hot Air Vent. There is no end to the creativity of these people.

    JR is correct in keeping the conversation above this tripe.

  42. dhogaza says:

    Considering this report was not done by the Obama Admin. only re-released with a PR campaign and graphics showing bad weather events, how can this report be “the most up-to-date, authoritative, and comprehensive” analysis of the impacts of human caused global warming”

    Name an authoritative, comprehensive analysis of the impacts that is more recent.

  43. Jeff Id says:

    Morris,

    I see you found the big shiny sticker at the top. What about the science, which the Air Vent is rife with?

  44. Morris says:

    Jeff

    http://downloads.globalchange.gov/usimpacts/pdfs/climate-impacts-report.pdf

    569 references.

    That is Science.

    I said tripe, not rife, but now that you mention it..

  45. Jeff Id says:

    rife
      /raɪf/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [rahyf] Show IPA
    –adjective
    1. of common or frequent occurrence; prevalent; in widespread existence, activity, or use

  46. Jeff Id says:

    Dhog, that is why you are technically illiterate.

  47. Jeff Id says:

    JR are you going to let the posts through or keep them in limbo. What is the big deal?

    [JR: The big deal is that I have a long-standing policy of not publishing long-debunked denier talking points, since they force me and everyone who comes here to waste time. One quick look at your blog makes clear that your only contribution to the environment is your mastery at recycling the garbage Pielke and his ilk put out.]

  48. Jeff Id says:

    Thanks for the clarification.

  49. dhogaza says:

    Dhog, that is why you are technically illiterate.

    And every fucking person with any notion of how statistical reconstructions work.

    Except you, of course.

    You’re two orders of magnitude more brilliant than einstein, in your own mind.

    Hey, dude, if you’re so convinced that your analysis is right, and a mere dude with a degree in mathematics is wrong (that would be wrong), publish!

    Write it up!

    Submit it!

    You’ll be famous with your FULL FUCKING NAME as being the guy who proved than Mann’s mathematics is so bad that it MUST BE INTENTIONAL, THUS FRAUD!

    (taken from your own statements)

  50. dhogaza says:

    JR are you going to let the posts through or keep them in limbo. What is the big deal?

    Jeff, I pointed out Joe’s policy … you didn’t really need to ask him to clarify that you’re essentially a cut-and-paste troll with minimal sciency skills that inflate your own importance in your own mind …

  51. dhogaza says:

    Dhog, that is why you are technically illiterate.

    One more point, if your “proof” had merit, it would be famous by now, at least in the denialsphere, and if at all technically literate, in the literature.

    The reality is that you’re a crank, convinced of your ability to bring down and entire field of science. You’re a perpetual-machine builder, an evolution-violates-SLOT “prover”, etc.

    A crank.

    (I’m not saying you hold those views, only that you’re a crank, as are those that do).

    Science will ignore you. Now that Ryan has teamed up with you, you may get more notice, but that’s only because Ryan works hard to be competently wrong, even if he is wrong.

    And is honest about it.

    Not you, though.

  52. Paul Middents says:

    Prometheus passed on but Pielke Jr. lives:

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/

    The CCSP report is under the lens.

    Roger’s bottom line remains consistent. Their is no peer reviewed evidence that anything bad will happen. Any policy changes must be vetted through Roger.

  53. Jef I says:

    It was quite famous for a two month old blog.

  54. Tim L says:

    Leland Palmer Says:
    June 17th, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    believing in what they say is a survival strategy.

    If so, maybe we really are too stupid as a species to live.

    This is spot on!
    thank you for posting!

    P.S. I wish I could read Jeff ID response even though it maybe denial tripe.

  55. Chris Winter says:

    Jeff Id wrote (in part):

    “What about the science, which the Air Vent is rife with?”

    Perhaps you meant “overrife”? ;-)

    Hot Air Vent, you call it? Well, I’ll probably regret it, but I’ll take a look.

  56. Chris Winter says:

    OK, I figured out that it’s “airvent (dot) com.” Couldn’t get in though; your server must be busy. I’ll try again later.

  57. Chris Winter says:

    I just downloaded and paged through the “Climate Impacts” report. It is a visual delight! The use of graphics is truly masterful. Edward Tuffte would be proud.

    I have no doubt that it’s equally substantive. I’m printing a copy now, and feeling lucky I have a printer that can do it some justice. After that I’ll read it carefully.

  58. Michael says:

    Hey, have you seen this news article?
    New details about Michael Jackson’s Death Emerge
    I was wondering if you were going to blog about this…