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Open Thread and Toles Climate Denier Cartoon

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A cyberpenny for your thoughts.

http://cdn.svcs.c2.uclick.com/c2/b6478df02100012f2fca00163e41dd5b

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68 Responses to Open Thread and Toles Climate Denier Cartoon

  1. Lionel A says:

    So I figure that could be a whole ice-hockey team falling through captained by Pat Michaels with Chip Knappenberger as goal defender with Roy Spencer, John Christy, Richard Lindzen and Fred Singer in play and plenty of reserves sitting on the benches.

  2. NASA has confirmed 2011 as the 9th warmest year on record globally:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2011/

    Also, last month was the 10th warmest December in the GISS record, with North America and Europe being much warmer than normal:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2011&month_last=12&sat=4&sst=1&type=anoms&mean_gen=12&year1=2011&year2=2011&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=reg

    • prokaryotes says:

      NASA just released this animation

      Global Temperatures 1880-2011 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF5FxpedVlw

      What everybody can do is this, always vote videos,reddit’s etc up and comment, even if it’s a short. Another way you can help spread climate change awareness.

    • prokaryotes says:

      If anyone from NASA is reading this. Messaging starts with proper file names. The Gis data ensemble for instance is named “Fig1.gif”. This way, you do not know at a later time what this fiel is about, secondly and most important, this way Google Image will never list this graphic. Use something like “NASA_annual_2011_surface_air_temperature_anomaly.gif”. This is a proper discription and handy for syncing search terms.

    • Spike says:

      NCDC confirms the very warm autumn in the UK – I live in central England and November was notably and oddly warm.

      “November 2011 was the second warmest November on record for the UK, behind 1994, at 2.9°C (5.2°F) above normal. It was also the second warmest autumn on record for the UK in more than a century, with temperatures 2.1°C (3.8°F) above average. November 2006 was the warmest at 2.3°C (4.1°F) above average. In Central England, autumn temperatures were the second warmest in at least 350 years.”

  3. Marc Anderson says:

    Toles is great.

    Fellow CP readers, I’ve started a Signon petition calling on Clear Channel to disavow Rush Climate Misinformer of 2011 Limbaugh and his immoral deception. Please sign and pass it on! http://signon.org/sign/stop-limbaughs-distortion

  4. Colorado Bob says:

    The pressure on food prices continues :
    Coffee
    Coffee Crop in Colombia Shrinks to Lowest Level Since 1976
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-17/coffee-crop-in-colombia-shrinks-to-lowest-level-since-1976.html
    Bloomberg
    Kenyan Coffee Output Fell 13% in 2010-11 as Drought Cut Yields
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-17/kenyan-coffee-output-fell-13-in-2010-11-as-drought-cut-yields.html

  5. prokaryotes says:

    @BarackObama Barack Obama
    President Obama gives a preview of his State of the Union address: OFA.BO/1dYF4f #SOTU2012
    https://twitter.com/#!/BarackObama/status/160769603306401792

  6. prokaryotes says:

    Include trees in climate modelling, say scientists

    Climate models should include the effects of trees on the local climate, say agroforestry experts

    But trees can affect the local climate in a region, for example by reducing the maximum temperature and increasing humidity, said Van Noordwijk. Depending on where the weather station is placed, with respect to the tree canopy, the data may be different and this might produce different results, he said.

    “Unfortunately … climate scientists have not made much effort to quantify [the effects of trees]. By not looking at that, we are missing a large opportunity to understand how we can adapt.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jan/16/climate-change-forests?CMP=twt_gu

    Re Plant Albedo
    http://climateforce.net/2012/01/13/the-daisyworld-model/
    The Daisyworld Model

  7. prokaryotes says:

    Why Don’t We Have Abundant Solar Power? Blame Financing, and Industry, not Science

    Getting solar power to be as cost-effective as traditional electricity sources is known as reaching “grid parity”, and several locations around the world have already succeeded in making it a reality. How can the rest of the world join in? While scientists and engineers will be crucial in that development, loan officers and bankers may hold the key to bringing solar power to the masses.

    http://singularityhub.com/2012/01/21/why-dont-we-have-abundant-solar-power-blame-financing-and-industry-not-science/

  8. prokaryotes says:

    2011 Hottest La Niña Year on Record, 11th-Hottest Overall

    So, yesterday, NOAA scientists from the NCDC reported that while La Niña events kept the world cooler than in some very recent years, “2011 tied with 1997 for the 11th warmest year on record.” Interestingly, in the 21st century, it was the 2nd-coolest year on record, while it tied the 2nd-warmest year of the 20th century. La Niña, which has a strong cooling effect, kept it ‘mild’ in these days of extreme warming.

    However, it was pointed out that 2011 was actually the hottest La Niña year on record.

    In the U.S., “the average temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 53.8 degrees F, 1.0 degree F above the 20th century average, making it the 23rd warmest year on record.”

    Average precipitation across the U.S. was fairly normal, but that’s actually a little inadvertently deceiving. Extreme, record-breaking drought in some areas of the country was essentially matched by extreme precipitation in other areas. In other words, exactly what the climate doctors have been predicting for many moons.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/2011-hottest-la-nina-year-11th-hottest-overall.html

  9. My vote for most interesting but overlooked media story of the week was:

    “Fossil fuels are sub-prime assets, Bank of England governor warned. Open letter to Sir Mervyn King says overexposure to high-carbon assets by London-listed companies risks creating a ‘carbon bubble’”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jan/19/fossil-fuels-sub-prime-mervyn-king?newsfeed=true

    Science — and even IEA — say we can burn only 20% of proven fossil fuel reserves. But the markets haven’t taken this into account leading to massive over-exposure to carbon for high-carbon companies.

    It isn’t just fossil fuel infrastructure we are going to have to abandon…it is also a big chunk of stock prices in over exposed industries.

    It is a game of chicken right now with high-carbon companies racing to be the ones that sell that last 20% first…with no plan to mitigate the damage to larger society when the bubble pops.

  10. Another really amazing Toles climate cartoon yesterday: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/toles

    Toles once again captures the essential contradiction that emerges when some chunk of society decides to ignore climate science.

  11. prokaryotes says:

    Why does the NYT has still this “concern trolli’ish” blogger Revkin? (i won’t link to his today post, because this would help him.)
    He writes about extreme weather and plays it down …

    He is just cherry picking to foster his agenda. No mentioning of insurancer cost and uptake of statistical measured large events (Munich Re or Deutsche Bank report) no comments about “record breaking events”.

    NYT should replace Revkin with Romm! Seriously!

    • catman306 says:

      But then I’d have to read the NY Times everyday! Joe would have a much larger audience and THAT would be a good thing.

  12. Speaking of ignoring climate science. The MSM seems to think the only potential oil spills that would come from these contested tar sands pipelines are the liquid kind.

    As I try to make clear in my most recent article, every drop of oil will be spilled one way or the other. Every barrel the companies don’t spill as liquid will become a gigantic burnt oil spill into our environment. That spill will continue to turbo-charge our weather and acidify our oceans for centuries.

    Note to news media: Every barrel will be spilled.

    http://www.vancouverobserver.com/blogs/climatesnapshot/2012/01/18/all-oil-pumped-down-enbridges-north-bc-pipeline-will-be-spilled

  13. Jeff H says:

    Media Coverage, Messaging, Will, and Action

    In a great ClimateProgress post titled, ‘Network News Coverage of Climate Change Collapsed in 2011′ (by Joe, dated January 9, 2012), Robert Brulle provided some great and candid analysis.

    (Dr. Brulle is a professor of sociology and political science at Drexel.)

    Dr. Brulle asks, “What drove this?”, referring to the collapse in network news coverage, and he responds by listing three factors, the first of which is this:

    “1) Failure of the political elite to focus on this issue (Elite Cues) The Obama administration has not discussed this issue at all, as you [Joe] have previously blogged.”

    Dr. Brulle’s analysis is right on, and Joe must (I assume) appreciate that it’s right on, having featured it in his post.

    Nor does it take a genius to realize that it’s right on.

    So the — or at least AN — actionable question is this:

    What can be done — what can WE do — to dramatically shift the Obama Administration’s “philosophy” and approach having to do with how they are approaching climate change from a messaging standpoint?

    By asking this, I’m not asking about the rhetorical details, although those do eventually become important, of course. But the present problem is more one of “will”. President Obama is dodging the issue in what he says and in how he says it. He’s doing that by choice. (All I can say is that people who don’t see that at this point must either be brain-dead or, more likely, in denial about it. In any case, Joe certainly sees it.)

    So, how do WE get President Obama to make that choice differently?

    That is a concrete question, and one that we’ve been largely dodging. Yet dodging it is immensely counterproductive.

    Yes, people have pointed this out — the big problem with President Obama’s messaging, or rather lack of it — and Joe has done a very good, and perhaps great, job of doing that. But nobody is talking about what we can, should, and must try to DO about that. Again, the first problem (and chief one) is one of “will” — it’s a problem of choice and of strategy — not chiefly one of method/style.

    Again, this is a pivotal issue, and an actionable one. (If you don’t believe me, read Robert Brulle’s comments in the post cited above. Also re-read President Obama’s own statement regarding Keystone XL.) But we aren’t facing and addressing it.

    I hope this comment has been clear and concrete enough. And I hope this topic is taken up by CP/Joe. In case the matter isn’t clear enough yet — in case I haven’t posed it clearly enough — the issue is not one of rhetorical style/talent/etc. (that’s not the immediate issue that I’m raising, anyhow; it’s not the rate-limiting step). Nor is the issue the fact THAT President Obama’s messaging and focus on climate change have been deeply insufficient. That much is clear and has been pointed out. Instead, the question is this: What are we going to DO about it — to demand, encourage, and prompt President Obama to see things differently and to CHOOSE to put climate change into the public dialogue clearly, straightforwardly, and with the verve and courage that the matter calls for?

    Can I be more clear than that? (If I’ve been unclear, please let me know precisely how, and then I’ll try to clarify.)

    Let’s be clear about this: We are most likely not going to be successful at changing what Rex Tillerson (ExxonMobil) says or does about climate change, or what Bill O’Reilly says or does, or what Republicans in the House of Reps say or do, or at beginning to change what the broad public places suitably high on the radar screen, if President Obama is avoiding the issue and being mushy-mouthed when he infrequently finds the will to discuss it.

    Some people might say that the economy and jobs are the more pressing and vital issues, that THAT’s why President Obama has not focused on climate change and should not focus on it. But have those people forgotten their own rhetoric and analysis? Addressing climate change will be good for the economy and jobs. (Doing so will also be good for national security.) Indeed, the President’s present strategy and messaging are nearly a wholesale retreat from what he should be saying. And what people don’t seem to see is this: that is MORE of a problem to the movement, and to the aim of encouraging responsible wisdom in American, than whatever Glenn Beck and Marc Morano say.

    Let’s put it this way: It is MORE of a problem that President Obama is not talking clearly about climate change, about the moral need to address it, about the wisdom of addressing it, and about the economic advantages of addressing it, than it is that Marc Morano, Beck, O’Reilly, and ExxonMobil are confusing the matter.

    And, in any case, considerations of ethics, leadership, responsibility, honesty, and transparency require that President Obama shift his approach. But that is a whole additional discussion.

    In any case, clear enough, I hope.

    Cheers,

    Jeff

    • prokaryotes says:

      Just referring to your point 1) about the collapse of climate change media coverage and what should Obama do about this. You suggest discussing it?

      Joe is much more specific when calling for a climate change speech.

      But what you mean by “philosophy”, to me it appears Obama has a “strategy”, which is not very visible, for several reasons. And if one looks carefully you see progress.

      I think after the KS decline, we can expect more from Obama. Possibly next step to announce another stimulus for Clean Tech, in best case to redirect subsidies to this kind of programmes.

      This really is a very progressive president. But i agree he needs to get more pronounced with his messaging about the climate change threat.

      This very topic requires to be dealt with as the top priority, because it is.

    • Mark Shapiro says:

      Jeff,

      The best single thing WE can do is craft a simple, compelling message for the President — and for the rest of us.

      What is the best phrase?
      What is the best sentence?
      What is the best paragraph?

      Hint: It’s not “save the planet”.
      The floor is open.

      • 6thextinction says:

        to obama, how about, “if you don’t speak out about global warming, i won’t vote for you.”

        do what you choose in the voting booth, but sending that one sentence, by mail or phone, will result in the biggest impact.

        • Jeff H says:

          I think you’re right, 6thextinction. To be even more clear, I’d put it like this: “If you don’t treat climate change with the seriousness it demands, speak out about it, educate the public about it, let us know the best ways to address it, and make it into one of the top-tier issues in the public mind, I won’t vote for you.”

          (Of course, brevity has its benefits, so shorter statements that encompass this whole meaning would be better.)

          Note (to anyone else reading) that our message to Obama on this front need not rhyme or be witty. It need not be Shakespearean. It just needs to be clear, genuine, and most of all — implemented. It’s a matter of will.

          In any case, the message above reflects the stance I’m taking (and have taken), so I hope the White House is reading.

          Thanks for the comment, 6thextinction. Be Well,

          Jeff

      • Jeff H says:

        Thanks for your comment, Mark. I think that “messaging” and narratives and the best possible wording are all important, and I think that as many people as possible should take those matters seriously when writing or talking about climate change. That said, I think the present problem is one of “will”. Any and all words — fancy ones, clumsy ones, and so forth — would be helpful, if sincere, if they’d get President Obama to get with the program, so to speak. And, the honest, accurate, and sincere messages that he ought to be able to use should be clear enough to him, if he’s been paying attention, or else Joe and others can help him. (If the White House has become so confused that it has lost track of what it really ought to tell the American people, and has lost track of what the word ‘leadership’ means, then the folks there should feel free to call me, or call Joe, or a number of other people. Have them call Bill McKibben!)

        Cheers and Thanks, Jeff

  14. Colorado Bob says:

    There is another cyclone in the Mozambique Channel named “Funso”, the second one in a week . Dando, rained 8.1 inches in 24 hrs., on the Southern Mozambique border last week -

    Maputo – At least five people have been killed and more than 5 000 families displaced in flooding in Mozambique’s southern region, government officials said on Friday.

    Tropical storm Dando, which brought heavy rain, destroyed thousands of homes and flooded hundreds more. Dozens of schools and health centres were also severely damaged or totally washed away.

    Agricultural lands in several districts are under water, wiping out crops. Livestock also perished in the flooding caused by rivers overflowing their banks.

    http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/5-000-families-displaced-in-Moz-storms-20120120

  15. Greg says:

    I’ve taken to responding on comment areas on meteorological and news sites that are too ‘hot’ to make direct climate related comments: “Don’t worry, go back to your cabins, it’s just an electrical fault’ I’m thinking it would make a great t-shirt.

  16. prokaryotes says:

    John Cook from Skeptical Science gives a talk about his website and climate change science

    Climate Change: The Full Picture http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZVnzTBk1Uw

  17. prokaryotes says:

    Still one of the best climate change assessments (messaging warnings), even though it’s a bit dated and bad video quality.

    Berkeley University: Dan Miller Extreme Climate Change http://climateforce.net/2012/01/21/berkeley-university-dan-miller-extreme-climate-change/

  18. prokaryotes says:

    What i find strange is, that i have problems finding a Al Gore video of one of his speech @ you tube.

    Where is his video channel?

    All i got is a TED talk from 2008, but only because one of the user i subscirbed to, has it uploaded. Looking at the concentrated campaign against Al Gore, which heavily taps youTube to attack his credibility. This is really a fail, to not put out the “true message”. All you find is the typical bs from people tied with the denial machine or the mob it attracts (which i consider minor). But it’s a very vocal minority, which run concentrated actions to downvote, flood comment section with slurs and ad hominem. Some of those at least are coordinated by WUWT. They have about 30 active users atm.

  19. prokaryotes says:

    Key receptors in the brains of fish — like this puffer fish — can be impaired by rising levels of carbon dioxide in the world’s oceans.

    Rising human carbon dioxide emissions may be affecting the brains and central nervous systems of sea fish, with serious consequences for their survival, according to new research.

    Increasing concentrations of CO2 in the world’s oceans have serious consequences for the survival of marine life.
    CO2 interferes with a key brain receptor in fishes’ brains, affecting their ability to hear, smell, turn and evade predators. http://news.discovery.com/animals/fish-brains-carbon-dioxide-climate-change-120115.html

  20. Colorado Bob says:

    Unless one has the attention span of a hamster, the news this 3rd week of January is grim, the #2 exporter of corn, Argentina, just just lost 1/3 of their plantings.
    Rains are in the picture, but it’s been 95F degrees there, and corn has a short window when fruiting . Living things don’t have sex at 95F, CORN IS NO DIFFERENT.
    At Yellowstone , living things are having foreplay at 95F degrees. But not the bears.

    • Colorado Bob says:

      I looked up my own poor place today……..

      Let’s use Childress, Texas, as the push pin.
      If this drought has northern heart, it’s somewhere on an axis between Childress, and Wichita Falls, Texas.
      The hottest summer ever seen had 5 states in the running , Childress made over 100F on April 2nd last year. They ended the year with this record :
      Dec. 31st 2011 -
      83F degrees, old record was in 1951 ….. 76F degrees . A 7F Degree record on New Years Eve. Beating the 1951 record, and that was very bad drought that lasted for years.
      I live in this part world, since Oct. 1st 2010 …… We have seen less than 6 inches of rain.

      • Colorado Bob says:

        Yesterday, at my station , the numbers were 24F Degrees above average day, and 10F degrees above average at night.

        Tomorrow we have wind speeds to 65 mph. Last April 2nd it was 100F degrees just 65 miles from me. If we get .25 inches of rain we are still under 6 inches 16 months.

  21. Colorado Bob says:

    I’m 63rd year , I’ve seen this before.

  22. Colorado Bob says:

    Everything has muscles now, like we have never seen.

    We rolled that climate odometer folks, we’re out here with that “Hot Rod Lincoln”.

    “Chlinkin’ the guard rail posts”.

  23. David B. Benson says:

    NREL considers thermal storage as enabling a greater penetration of solar PV:
    http://www.nrel.gov/csp/pdfs/52978.pdf
    The study is limited in scope but skillfully makes a case for the virtues of thermal storage. I doubt that 95% efficiency is obtainable but I doubt that using, say, 80% would change the major conclusions.

    Of course, being NREL the thermal storage is supposedly energized by concentrated solar. Any sufficiently hot source will do and I see no obstacles to that source being nuclear fission. I suggested that already in
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/12/07/open-thread-20/#comment-147890

  24. prokaryotes says:

    Scientists design solar cells that exceed the conventional light-trapping limit

    Scientists have found that the key to overcoming a light-trapping limit lies in increasing the density of optical states in the absorbing material. The finding could lead to the design of highly efficient solar cells that are also very thin, and therefore inexpensive.

    The best performing solar cells are those that are thick enough to absorb light from the entire solar spectrum, while the cheapest solar cells are thin ones, since they require less, and potentially cheaper, material. In an attempt to combine the best of both worlds, a team of scientists has outlined designs for solar cells that can absorb light from the entire solar spectrum yet are as little as 10 nanometers thick. The new design approach, which could lead to improved low-cost solar cells, requires overcoming a thermodynamic light-trapping limit proposed in the 1980s. http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-01-scientists-solar-cells-conventional-light-trapping.html

  25. MA Rodger says:

    Has someone got at Roy Spencer?
    I noted his UAH global temp anomaly for 2011 was higher than RSS, the first time that’s ever happened (in his 1981-2010 based figures).
    A quick UAH/RSS comparison shows UAH values were gently dipping below RSS up to the year 2000. Thereafter UAH has been catching up on the RSS lead at an accelerating rate, with UAH taking the lead in Spring 2011.
    Over the last few years, the difference between them has been changing at a rate of 0.3 deg per decade. That’s a real big difference that likely requires some explanation.

  26. prokaryotes says:

    About a year ago, the scientists detected that ozone degradation above the Arctic for the first time reached an extent comparable to that of the ozone hole above the South Pole.
    At a level of around 13 miles above the ground, 80 per cent of the ozone was lost, potentially exposing people on Earth’s surface to harmful ultraviolet-B rays from the sun, which can cause sunburn and skin cancer.

    According to the study, occurrence of the Arctic ozone hole was mainly due to the extraordinarily cold temperatures in the ozone layer that is located at about 18 km height in the stratosphere, i.e. the second layer of the earth’s atmosphere.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2089537/Ozone-hole-Arctic-actually-caused-COLD-weather.html

    • prokaryotes says:

      Before the discovery of the north pole ozone hole.

      According to a Japanese study, the ozone hole over the Antarctic may slam shut within four decades. Tatsuya Nagashima of the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Ibaraki simulated the gases seeping into the ozone layer, 10 to 15 miles high in the stratosphere. He found that declining levels of chlorine from recently banned chlorofluorocarbons should enable the ozone to return to early-1980s levels by 2040. But another study, conducted by physicist Drew Shindell of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, suggests that recovery of the ozone layer will be delayed 10 to 20 years by rising levels of two gases—methane and nitrous oxide—that also contribute to greenhouse warming. At low latitudes, methane in the stratosphere breaks down into hydrogen oxides, which attack ozone. Nitrous oxide can decompose to form ozone-eating nitrogen oxides. “In 60 or 70 years, there should be no more depletion from chlorine, but since there will be all these greenhouse gases, it will not look like it used to in the 1970s,” Shindell says. Fortunately, the ozone layer should still be robust enough to provide protection from solar ultraviolet rays. http://discovermagazine.com/2002/nov/breakozone/

      • prokaryotes says:

        Looking at projections of future methane and nitrous oxide rise, it appears that the north pole will lose likely the complete ozone layer..

        This was not considered previously. This is a unknown unknown, another black swan. We need to get rid of fossil emissions (and Co2 and nitrous oxide) NOW. Otherwise the only places habitable for future generations are underground.

  27. Spike says:

    UK rivers likely to run dry as climate change kicks in says Environment Agency

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jan/22/england-rivers-environment-agency?INTCMP=SRCH

  28. Aaron Lewis says:

    The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) was founded by reasonable and prudent men to be the “watchman” of our climate. Those reasonable and prudent men did not want surprises and they trusted climate science to raise the warning if climate change was to become significant.

    Looking at IPCC AR4 published in 2007 as a summary of the work of our “watchmen”, and we see that their culture has changed. Now, “alarmist” is the worst epitaph in their vocabulary. AR4 failed to predict the sea ice retreat, the increased melting of Greenland, and the rapidly increasing releases of carbon from the Arctic that we are now seeing. AR4 dramatically understated the changes in weather over the last 4 years. This makes their longer range forecasts worthless. Every time we are surprised by climate change is proof that climate science has not done its job as watchman.

    Moreover, forecasts of climate change need to be made with reference to risk based endpoints. Forecasts made in terms of global temperature changes, provide no decision support to policy makers, planners, or builders. Forecasts of climate change should be made in terms of how those changes will affect water supplies, food production, infrastructure, and time frames for those impacts should be clearly stated. None of that is in “average global temperature”.

    These days, climate science wants to do “pure science” and not be tied to any economic, or political, or social need. This is a road to ruin. Without good practical climate science, poor decisions will be made. If poor decisions are made, then the society and infrastructure that supports climate science will fail.

    Climate Science needs a culture change.

    • 6thextinction says:

      climate scientists come under unbelievable attacks and threats by deniers and probably paid henchmen when they publish their discoveries and conclusions.

      it’s media, and elected and gov’t personnel, that are the enemies or ignorers of truth and big media is owned by big corporations, who are legally “people” now.

      tell me how to change their culture, and i’ll join you.

  29. Raul M. says:

    Since algebra 2 has over the years become higher math to me, the concept of climate scientists having to prove it makes even less sence than it did years ago!

  30. Although climatology is not my field of science (I study the molecular biology of tropical parasites), I have followed the discussion and tried to read and understand the papers. Joe Romm’s website is also a great source of information. I am convinced that human-induced climate warming is the most important (and perhaps the very last) problem for the human species. My realistic evaluation of the primitive anti-science political processes in our country and others has led to an overwhelming pessimism that we can reverse or even slow the changes that will rapidly lead to perhaps the greatest mass extinction in the history of the earth even greater than the Permian-Triassic “Great Dying” which destroyed more than 95% of life on earth.

    But last week something marvelous happened. There has been an ongoing and apparently very successful attempt to pass a bill in the US that, to address the real problems of theft of intellectual property, would essentially impose a type of censorship on the internet worse than that used by the Chinese government against its own citizens. I can appreciate the problems with the online piracy of intellectual property but I also believe that the internet is something special in the intellectual evolution of mankind and exemplifies freedom of speech and freedom of thought as it is rapidly binding the entire world into a single sentient being.

    But suddenly on Wednesday of last week, more than 400 web sites routinely used by millions of people world-wide decided to protest against these bills and simply shut down, while providing users with the phone numbers and emails of all their Federal representatives and Senators. The effect was instant and enormous. The phone systems of almost all the congress people almost collapsed from the irate calls and their email systems overflowed with complaints. And suddenly many congress people turned 180 degrees and decided that these bills were in fact bad and should not be pushed. So in spite of all the financial political contributions from the lobbyists and the power of large corporations and powerful friends, our government representatives saw the power of the people and made up excuses not to vote for these bills.

    This to me was astounding and opened my eyes to a new way to produce political change in our country.I finally can see a way forward to achieve progress on fighting climate warming. The overwhelming power of the truly millions of people using the internet can clearly do anything. It is true democracy unblemished by Republican filibusters or Tea Party control of the House. For once I am almost an optimist. Our leaders will be beholden to the people if they want to keep their jobs, and the people will undergo a learning experience beyond belief, and in doing so may actually save the planet and our own civilization.

  31. Lionel A says:

    I figure this upcoming film ‘Greedy Lying Bastards’ should be highlighted here, it has already had a mention in this Think Progress post and articled in the UK Guardian .

  32. Chris Winter says:

    http://hot-topic.co.nz/puppets-on-a-string-us-think-tank-funds-nz-sceptics/

    Puppets on a string: US think tank funds NZ sceptics

    by Gareth on January 24, 2012

    The Heartland Institute, the US organisation that plays a key role in organised climate denial, has directly funded New Zealand’s most prominent sceptics, a search of US Internal Revenue Service documents has revealed.

    (H/T: Greg Laden’s Blog)