Open Thread, New Cartoon and a Request

Ten cyberpennies for your thoughts. But I’d like some real pennies in return for our new cartoonist, Stephanie McMillan:

Stephanie has kindly given me permission to reprint her cartoons. She notes that “cartoonists are struggling and economically collapsing along with the newspapers that used to be our living.”

So I said I’d post the link to Paypal where you can donate to her if you like her cartoons.  CLICK HERE (then click where it says donate).

If we can crowd-source her some support, perhaps she’ll even write a special cartoon just for Climate Progress readers.

She writes, “Code Green is the only weekly editorial cartoon focusing exclusively on the environmental emergency.” Here is some of her work on recent events:



If you’d like to support her cartoons, CLICK HERE and click on DONATE.



40 Responses to Open Thread, New Cartoon and a Request

  1. climatehawk1 says:

    My usual request to USA and Canada readers–join Citizens’ Climate Lobby and support the Save Our Climate Act, HR 3242.

    Also, check out this hilarious video: I’m a Climate Scientist.

  2. Colorado Bob says:

    Alpine Texas –
    Corn to Batopilas: Recounting a journey to aid starving Tarahumara

    The story of our community’s response to the drought and hunger in the Sierra Tarahumara is one worth telling.

    Last fall I witnessed firsthand the withered crops and the conditions that the people of those highlands were facing as a result of the current drought.

    In early December, Jim Glendinning and I put a small ad in this and other local papers asking for help in the form of monetary contributions.

    Despite a tight economy here at home, people on this side of the border looked past negative press regarding Mexico and reached out to help their neighbors. We received a tremendous response. In a little over a week we had collected nearly $1,300, which we wired to the Cuauhtémoc Food Bank to buy food basics and distribute in a remote community called Retosachi.

  3. Spike says:

    The drought in southern and eastern England continues to cause problems with river flows and agriculture, and supplies over the summer are threatened

  4. john tucker says:

    fair enough – just please dont judge all prospects for nuclear energy by the way Tepco behaves, the equipment they use and their emergency procedure.

    Anyway this was just released from the EIA but actually happened back in 2008 –

    Asia surpasses north America in petroleum consumption. ( )

  5. john tucker says:

    Here are the links to the complete set of Heartland documents while they last (links at bottom) [ ]

    Heartland may dispute authenticity of one but doesn’t have transparency or a open door policy, and has a rather poor record of truthfulness.

    So logically if it is believable and is true in parts it should technically be assumed to be true as a whole until we learn conclusively otherwise.

    Thats what you get for running a shady secretive organization.

  6. Bob Doublin says:

    I’ve been reading Stephanie’s great cartoons for years.If I wasn’t waiting to transition into my second phase of unemployment benefits I’d donate something.She also started a group RAGE:Resistance Against Global Ecocide.

  7. Found a couple of interesting videos on youtube of Dr. Mann:

    “Battle-hardened”: Michael Mann and the Climate Wars

    Climatologist Michael Mann Headlines 2012 U.Va. EnviroDay Event

  8. dan allen says:

    Stephanie illustrated a wonderful graphic novel with Derrick Jensen — ‘As The World Burns’. She’s great.

  9. Chris Winter says:
    Heartland Institute. More lobbyists with tax exempt status
    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    This is rich. The owner of the above blog wrote to Heartland inquiring about their tax-exempt status.

    One Diane Bast at Heartland responded that “I’m pretty sure you aren’t smart enough to know the difference between politics and public policy. ‘Teacher’ in your email address is a dead giveaway.”

    Just that. No more.

  10. Chris Winter says:
    Wildfire Trends: You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
    February 19, 2012 | 10:25 AM | By Craig Miller

    Research continues to suggest that this century will be a brutal one for wildfires.

    The reasons seem pretty straightforward: “The warmer it gets, the more fires we have,” fire scientist Mike Flannigan told reporters at a major science conference in Vancouver this weekend. Flannigan is a professor at the University of Alberta and also works for Canada’s natural resources agency.

    Flannigan says fires already claim an area roughly the size size of India each year (If you’re wondering how that’s even possible, he says the acreage includes grasslands, which can actually burn more than once a year). And he says the toll will rise, driven by three main factors:

    * The warmer it is, the longer the fire season
    * The warmer it is, the more lightning strikes occur
    * The warmer it is, the drier the “fuels” waiting to ignite

  11. Raul M. says:

    If an amuture was to open the discussion of how the evidence of climate change has grown so much stronger, how could the Discusser judge what conclusions the members of the discussion could form about relevant actions needed to avert worst outcomes?
    As the group would think “we should take action” is a given, and lench mob mentality is counterproductive, what leads could the opener of the discussion suggest to keep the discussion focused on finding ways to be proactive?
    Certainly the ones who pretend that we aren’t affected and won’t be affected, would stand out as ______
    uncaring and ignorant.
    Also the conservative claim that praying to God will give all answers seems to lack a time limit that must be met to prepare.
    So it does get back to how to judge the capabilities of the individuals involved in the revelation of the coming weather. As it is we need help in how to prepare.

  12. John Tucker says:

    not directly just because of heat and drought either:

    NASA Satellites Reveal Surprising Connection Between Beetle Attacks, Wildfire ( )

    Also these fires release lots of stored mercury into the environment:

    Scientists Estimate Mercury Emissions from U.S. Fires; West Coast and Southeastern States are Major Emitters

    ( )

  13. Thanks so much for the kind comments and generous support! Climate Progress readers are fabulous!

  14. Grodzins says:

    I am very glad you at last found a cartoonist! She seems perfect for the job.

  15. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    The Climatewatch post misses the core point about the rise of wildfires globally – which may be obvious to some, but needs saying for the great majority of people who’ve yet to comprehend either feedback dynamics or the utter deficiency of plans to end anthro-GHG emissions.

    Like several other feedback effects of AGW, the rise of global wildfire is being driven by the the AGW effect of the northward retreat of rainfall globally (see NCAR drought severity maps for this century) which is leaving increasing areas of forest and other ecologies increasingly prone to combustion, as well as warming making them increasingly prone to terminal insect attack and hence to combustion.

    The core consequence of rising wildfire is rising emission of GHGs (at up to 200 TsCO2 /acre) which compound the rate of global warming, thus compounding the increase of both wildfire and other feedbacks.

    This dynamic is gaining momentum under the present mere 0.7C of AGW, and plans for ending anthro-GHG outputs cannot rationally be expected to halt warming at less than 2.0C. Which means that the feedbacks will not be halted by halting our emissions – on the contrary, they will continue to accelerate their GHG outputs regardless of the control of additional anthro-emissions.

    When people find the spine to face this reality, maybe we’ll start talking about the need to control both ongoing emissions AND the global warming due to past emissions.
    Roll on that day.

    Until then, we’re just whistling in the dark.



  16. Paul Magnus says:

    look at the history of people from the beginning, our history is a history of steady increases in energy efficiency. But there’s never been a point in human history where that’s caused us to consume less, where that’s caused energy efficiency to fall—and you see that throughout, in every category of energy consumption. If you look back far enough, over the long term, over the size of the whole economy, the better we get at doing things, the more things we do.

  17. Paul Magnus says:

    Boeing has a new, more efficient jet, but we’ve been running that experiment with jets for more than 40 years. We know what the result is—it’s not that energy consumed by flying goes down. We might have flown just as much with efficiency gains, but I don’t think so.

    If the only car available were the Model T, for example, we wouldn’t have the car-dependent culture that we have today.

  18. Paul Magnus says:

    It’s our wanderlust that’s the trouble….The main environmental gain from trains over planes is that people don’t like it as much, you wouldn’t go to LA for a meeting, and then come back the next day if you had to go by train. So there’s a gain there—travel would fall. But just because a train is more energy efficient than an airplane, that doesn’t turn trains into an environmental benefit. If you think about global travel, if you think about being able to go anywhere in a day, and all you have to do is sit down for a few hours and watch movies, the astonishing luxury of it—if you think about what we can do, it’s incredible, but it’s too easy.

  19. Paul Magnus says:

    We could do a lot of things with renewable energy, but it would necessitate a huge investment, and also a major cutback in consumption, because they just don’t work as well as fossil fuels do. You’d be very disappointed if you ran your car off your solar array outside your garage. There’s a reason people don’t have solar-powered cars—they’d give up on them very quickly. Any switch to renewable forms would require real sacrifice.

  20. Raul M. says:

    Apple says that it’s new data center gets a LEED platinum certification, has a heat reflecting roof, and will have
    Solar power and fuel cell power of gigantic capacity.

  21. Raul M. says:

    Kind comment- those cartoons show expressive characters. Thanks.

  22. Tom King says:

    I’ve only lately realized that the mainstream media has adopted a policy of selling the controversy rather than selling the truth. Thus our society has found itself gradually drifting away from reality. This had lead me to the moral imperative of disconnecting from the mainstream. From here on, its all blogs. I consider myself fortunate to have found the best starting point.

  23. fj says:

    great Code Green comic strip

    sorry, for the non sequitur

    gotta luv net-zero mobility

    Mind-reading skateboard gets cues from neuroheadset (w/video)


  24. thanes says:

    I second the motion. Hawk, what chapter are you active with? I’m in Atlanta.

  25. climatehawk1 says:

    No chapter, I am in rural Vermont, and haven’t had the time to try to organize one. But I do have time to publicize it. :) Just finished writing a letter to the editor of our local paper that urged the same.

  26. John Tucker says:

    “mainstream media has adopted a policy of selling the controversy rather than selling the truth.”

    Valid point well made.

  27. climatehawk1 says:

    This seems pretty specious to me. You can run an electric auto on PV installed outside your garage, or you can run it on renewable energy from the utility system–supplied by wind, PV, geothermal, biomass, and solar thermal electric. The latter is a particularly good approach, because electric and plug-in hybrid autos provide a form of built-in storage. We’ve done very little in general to promote these technologies, and yet they have survived and prospered. Sure, fossil fuels work better–because there is a multi-trillion-dollar production, distribution, and consumption network that has been installed around them over the past century. And, of course, “better” does not reflect their impact on the global climate.

  28. Dick Smith says:

    Great video…and hello from CCL, Madison.

  29. John Tucker says:

    Well Anthony Watts has again proved he is good for something – even if it was again the opposite of what he intended:

    Watts suggested that stylometry and textometry be preformed on the Heartland strategy memo.

    Watts also suggested an open source java app called JGAAP.

    Shawn Lawrence Otto did just that. Guess who consistently won the authorship award? – not Peter Gleick but …

    Heartland Institute president Joe Bast!

    ( )

    You will recall Watts focus probably also contributed to the eliminating of urban heat island error in the surface record by subsequent investigations after his strong allegations – reveling they had a cool bias! – which was reemphasized recently in the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project:. ( )

    Thanks !

  30. John Tucker says:

    Back in 2007 surface station placement was all the rage on the newly created watts site:

    ( )

  31. John Tucker says:

    Looking at the old climate audit posts – its amazing how fixated they were on the “hockey stick” It turned out to be true of course.

    ( )

    The hocky stick was published back in 1998.

    Its a shame with all the time and resources the denialists have wasted over the years they couldn’t have put it to more productive use.

    Reading back they spent so much time and effort looking foolish just because they were unable to change their minds.

  32. Andy Hultgren says:

    Joe, care to take on Michael Levi’s impressively irresponsible comments as quoted in this NPR article on Keystone XL (feel free to take on the rest of the article as well…).

    Here are Levi’s key talking points:

    “‘If Canada can’t produce this oil, we’ll have higher oil prices than we otherwise would,’ says Michael Levi, senior fellow for energy at the Council on Foreign Relations.

    ‘The Keystone XL pipeline helps make sure that this resource can be developed if it’s economically needed,’ Levy says. “And so that’s good for the U.S. economy.'”

  33. John Tucker says:

    George Monbiot has now published two of the best pieces out there in the Denialgate Heartland exposure IMHO.

    I will be watching to see who embraces the spirit of his latest piece.

    It seems Heartland may have rather diverse and far reaching tentacles:

    Anything to Declare?

    So one might have expected that he of all people would be aware of the importance of declaring an interest, especially when that interest potentially conflicts with a report he has written.

    When the Heartland Institute story broke, I remembered that in 2009 Mr Booker flew to New York to speak at a Heartland Institute conference. He then lavishly praised the conference in his Telegraph column. But not a word did he say about whether he was paid by the Heartland Institute to speak and what hospitality he might have received.

    Now that the documents, if authentic, show that the institute has been funded among others by fossil fuel and tobacco companies, as well as the ubiquitous Charles Koch, I thought this would be a good moment to broach the issue. On Thursday, I phoned my old friend and asked him whether he was paid to attend. After some blustering and expressions of outrage that I would even consider asking such a question, he conceded that he had in fact received an honorarium of $1,000 from the Heartland Institute, and that it had also paid his airfare and hotel bill.

  34. Joe Romm says:


  35. Jay Alt says:

    Joe & all –
    Re: MSM & other coverage of tar sands emissions paper by Canadian scientists.

    Comparing one tar sands project to world coal production is a limiting view, despite the size of the Athabasca monstrosity.
    Alberta invented the technology and Big Oil is just the warming up. They’ll want to mine the tar sands of Utah. Then they’ll “need” the Green River shale deposits of US west. Those shale formations likely contain more oil than the tar sands. Canada is but a starting point and those two sources only consider North America.

    Discussing about the problem in piecemeal is just what the opposition wants.

  36. John Tucker says:

    As for the whole Gleick/Heartland affair:

    Ethically if scientists and activists believed the climate change projections they should have taken a harder line against denier PACs long ago. Lying to Heartland, and admitting it for the sole purpose of confirming information to release to the public was the correct ethical choice.

    How many past injustices have we wondered how people just went along with it and did nothing. Afraid of speaking out, losing their job, imprisonment or whatever instead of doing what was right. Instead of telling people what was going on.

    The people who should be most ashamed are those criticizing Dr Gleick in the academic community that allowed organizations like Heartland to buy opinions of “experts” at their institutions and affiliated organizations.

    I imagine a lot of the criticism comes from knowing deep down they should have done more but lacked the courage to act.

  37. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The mountain ash eucalypt forests in south-east Australia emit large quantities of volatile oils, that hang like a mist over the crowns of the trees. This fog catches fire in a ‘crown fire’ and the fire-front can move at astonishing speed. These gases spontaneously combust around 50 degrees Celsius, and on the day of the fire disaster in February 2009 the temperatures reached 47 degrees, a local record.