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During an August 4 meet and greet in Manchester, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was filmed telling Granite State voters that “breathing” contributed to climate change. This weekend when a NextGen Climate volunteer asked Christie whether he stood by those comments, Christie called the statement “ridiculous,” denied ever making the comments, and then touted his record of supporting solar energy in New Jersey. Learn more at nh.nextgenclimate.org

Big week for getting called out on climate canards.  First Rick Santorum introduced some fresh climate denial crocks, and got clobbered, first here, by the very scientists he claimed to quote, and now Chris Christie tries to slip by the old “breathing causes climate change” crock.

If only these candidates would watch this video series, so much embarrassment could have been avoided. I treated this topic some years ago…

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Wild Bees and Climate Change

September 3, 2015

From a series in High Country News.

3cyclonesWall Street Journal:

HONG KONG—A strong El Niño has sent sea temperatures in parts of the Pacific Ocean to their highest level since the late 1990s, Australia’s government weather watchdog said Tuesday.

The water in some areas is now within 0.9 degree Fahrenheit (0.5 degree Celsius) of the level seen during the El Niño of 1997-8, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said, with temperatures expected to peak later this year. El Niños occur when winds in the equatorial Pacific slow or reverse direction, causing the water to warm over a vast area, which in turn can upend weather patterns around the world.

The El Niño of the late ’90s brought severe drought to parts of Southeast Asia and heavy flooding to North America. This year’s hasn’t yet had such dramatic effects, and experts say the likely impact is still hard to predict.

“From now until December we need to expect dry conditions [in Australia and Asia] but we can’t be sure of the severity,” said Agus Santoso, a senior research associate at the Climate Change Research Center at the University of New South Wales. “The deviation from normal is strong but the impact on rainfall is hard to predict.…Farmers need to be prepared emotionally and financially.”

Sydney Morning Herald:

The powerful El Nino continues to intensify in the Pacific and is now the strongest since the record-breaking 1997-98 event, the Bureau of Meteorology said. Read the rest of this entry »

New Energy News:

The 40% growth in yearly additions to U.S. energy storage capacity from 2013 to 2014 was big news but growth for 2015 is expected to more than triple to 220 MW.

The numbers explain why over half the utility executives queried in Utility Dive’s recently released State of the Electric Utility 2015 survey picked energy storage as the most important emerging technology.

“When an industry grows 40% in a year and is forecast to grow another 300% the next,” said GTM Research energy storage analyst Ravi Manghani, “the opportunities will not be limited to just one segment or one technology. They will be in the entire value chain and each step in it.”

The growth is expected to continue for at least the next five years, added Manghani, author of the GTM Research-Energy Storage AssociationU.S. Energy Storage Monitor 2014 Year In Review.

“After a short-term lull in utility projects in 2016, growth will resume and remain steady through 2019, resulting in over 800 MW of installations in 2019 and cumulative deployments of over 2.5 GW,” according to the report.

“The vast majority of energy storage deployments in the U.S. take place in a small number of markets with the right policy, regulatory drivers, and wholesale market designs,” explains the report, which covers only electrochemical and electromechanical storage.

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“Utilities are embracing storage because they don’t see it as a threat,” Berkshire Hathaway Energy Vice President for Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Jonathan Weisgall recently observed. “It is not taking away revenue or electrons. It is enhancing what utilities are doing to deal with renewables.”

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That Catchy Coke song from the 70s? It’s back, and repurposed.

Professor Jason Box:

Sometime May, 2014 AirZafari (+299 55 28 19) guest photographer Ruben Wernberg-Poulsen captured a new perspective on massive Greenland glacier calving.  In addition to the massive scale of the event seen clearly from the air, I think we’ve never seen that basal ice so clearly and so graphically from this birds eye perspective.

The video is from none other than the site than that which  grabbed headlines as the world’s fastest glacier calved a giant area (12.4 sq km) and retreated (at least temporarily) to a new record minimum between 14 and 16 August, 2015 [1].

A rough dimension of the 2014 iceberg in the aerial video suggests a volume of ~180 million cubic meters of ice. If spread out over the Washington DC Mall from the Capitol steps to the Washington Monument (1.8 km x 0.4 km), this ice  would have a depth (~375 m) more than twice the 169 m height of the Washington Monument.

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More evidence that reading this blog will keep you ahead of the curve. (he said modestly…)

On monday I posted the interview between Bill Maher and climate science denying Republican Presidential candidate (is there any other kind?) Rick Santorum.
I also posted interviews that I conducted with the scientists whose work Santorum distorted and misquoted. (see one below)
Now the fact-checking website Politifact has weighed in.

Politifact:

Maher kicked off the debate by naming climate change as one of his main concerns for the 2016 election and challenged Santorum’s skepticism. Santorum, who has repeatedly called climate change “a hoax,” shot back by arguing that there really isn’t scientific consensus.

politifact

“I’m not alone,” Santorum said on Maher’s Aug. 28 HBO show. “The most recent survey of climate scientists said about 57 percent don’t agree with the idea that 95 percent of the change in the climate is caused by CO2.”

Santorum, pressed by an incredulous Maher, repeated the claim: “There was a survey done of 1,800 scientists, and 57 percent said they don’t buy off on the idea that CO2 is the knob that’s turning the climate. There’s hundreds of reasons the climate’s changed.”

“Rick, I don’t know what ass you’re pulling that out of,” Maher retorted.

“I’m not! I’ll send you the survey,” Santorum promised.

Several readers wrote to us asking about Santorum’s numbers, so we asked his campaign to send us the survey as well. They didn’t get back to us, but we did find the figure.

Here, author of one of the misquoted studies, Bart Verheggen:

In short, Santorum’s claim commits “two orders of mischaracterization,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, who studies climate change public opinion at Yale University. He not only uses a flawed statistic, but also misstates what it’s allegedly disapproving.

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