Posts Tagged climate change
Outstanding read, excellent and timely points.
As the American Right loses credibility – from the Tea Party to the neocons – there’s a chance for the reassertion of rationality, a new respect for empirical evidence and disdain for propaganda. Perhaps most importantly is the recognition of the grave threat from climate change, says Winslow Myers.
By Winslow Myers
Because the United States is the wealthiest nation on the planet, Americans have the luxury of being proactive in ensuring their future security. But the path to that security looks very different from the way it did even a few years ago.
A primary example of this transformed security context is the realization that there is only one atmosphere surrounding the earth. Unless all nations make a concerted effort to convert to sources of clean energy, global mean temperatures will continue to rise and cause undesirable extremes of weather.
A tornado forming over Oklahoma. (Photo credit: U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
Strategic competition between superpowers like Russia, China and the U.S. becomes irrelevant to the larger crisis of fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions from all countries. The violence of storms in one country may be intensified by the environmental policies of another country, and vice-versa.
By Michael Collins
(Washington, DC 11/18) Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org. had some tough words for the oil giants at the organization’s events in the nation’s capital. He announced to a packed house at the Warner Theater, “We’re going after the fossil fuel industry” for trying to wreck the future. It’s that simple. He argued that we have a choice. Either we take on the oil giants and end their rapacious behavior or we find a way to change the laws of physics to accommodate the insanity of ongoing pollution in the face of calamitous outcomes.
Shell, Exxon, BP, and the others in the fossil fuel industry were portrayed as world killers, rogue corporations whose relentless pursuit of profits threatens the lives and culture of every human being on earth.
The 350.org Do the Math Tour started in Seattle on November 7. The nationwide tour visits 21 cities across the country and culminates in Salt Lake City on December 3. Yesterday’s presentation at the Warner Theater was followed by demonstration during which participants encircled the White House to remind President Barack Obama to hold fast on suspending work on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The math is simple and painful in its implications: Read the rest of this entry »
The elephant has grown so enormous that it is pressing against all four walls, the floor, and the ceiling of the living room.
All summer we have blasted through high temperature records, drought and fire in the Midwest, and heat waves on the East Coast followed by storms so destructive that they tear up the ozone layer. It’s been predicted for decades: rising temperatures, more rainfall on the coasts, less rainfall inland. Now it’s here and getting worse.
Dr. James Hansen, NASA climate scientist, has compared seasonal temperatures over the past three decades with those from the three decades before that. There was not much change in the temperature from the 1950s through 1970s. But in the 1980s, temperature started to creep up. And it increased more and more in the next two decades. Very high temperatures called “hot anomalies” occurred over just 0.1% to 0.2% of the globe from 1951 to 1981, but over the past several years, they
occurred over 10% of the globe. Dr. Hansen concluded that “the area covered by extreme hot anomalies will continue to increase in coming decades and that even more extreme outliers will occur.” Read the rest of this entry »
The summary below is an abridged version of a National Academy of Science paper due August 6. The lead author, Dr. James E. Hansen, has been researching and writing about climate change for decades. His body of work qualifies him as our greatest or one of greatest living scientists. We will continue our walk off of a very high cliff until the threats of climate change are fully recognized and the subject of a massive effort to limit the damage. Hansen is a professor at Columbia University and directs NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He has been a fearless advocate concerning the extreme dangers of climate change at a very real personal cost. Harassment and personal attacks are common for those who can’t handle the truth. We owe Hansen a profound debt of gratitude for his brilliance and personal courage. Michael Collins
By James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Reto Ruedy — July 2012
The greatest barrier to public recognition of human-made climate change is probably the natural variability of local climate. How can a person discern long-term climate change, given the notorious variability of local weather and climate from day to day and year to year? Read the rest of this entry »
Extent of surface melt over Greenland’s ice sheet on July 8 (left) and July 12 (left). Measurements from three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet had undergone thawing at or near the surface. In just a few days, the melting had dramatically accelerated and an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12. In the image, the areas classified as “probable melt” (light pink) correspond to those sites where at least one satellite detected surface melting. The areas classified as “melt” (dark pink) correspond to sites where two or three satellites detected surface melting. The satellites are measuring different physical properties at different scales and are passing over Greenland at different times. As a whole, they provide a picture of an extreme melt event about which scientists are very confident. Credit: Nicolo E. DiGirolamo, SSAI/NASA GSFC, and Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory
› Hi-res of left image
› Hi-res of right image
350.org organized “Connect the Dots” on Saturday May 5, 2012. People all over the world generated local events to connect the dots between climate change and extreme weather. Droughts, floods, hurricanes, seasonal change, etc. are a function of accelerating and damaging climate change.
Headed by Bill McKibben, 350.0rg runs “online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions … led from the bottom up by people in 188 countries.”
If the rulers won’t deal with the problem, the people will.