If you’ve missed the other segments of our interview with Glaciologist Eric Rignot – do not, repeat, do not, miss this one.

Rignot was a co-author of the “holy shit moment” paper from last spring, showing that large areas of the West Antarctic Ice sheet are now in “irreversible decline”.
That news made for one of my most harrowing videos of the last year, which you can, and should view if you have not – below the fold.

I’m keeping these clips from our interviews minimally edited – I want the raw video to speak for itself to current readers, and to historians, who will undoubtedly understand all too well why we were peeling our jaws off the floor after this one.

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President Obama’s aggressive stance on climate displayed in the State of the Union address is more evidence that Climate will no longer be a side issue in future Presidential campaigns.

Now, while sounding out the potential for a White House bid in 2016, Mitt Romney has signaled that he has (again) shifted course on climate – proving that, while the GOP does not like science, they can read polls. (above, see his snide and sarcastic mention of climate change at the 2012 GOP convention)
More evidence that Republicans are being forced, kicking and screaming, by reality to re-calibrate their climate stance.

weathervaneDes Moines Register:

Romney, though, kept his focus on the issues. He said that while he hopes the skeptics about global climate change are right, he believes it’s real and a major problem.

He said it’s not enough for Americans to keep their own carbon emissions in check when much of the rise in greenhouse gases globally is coming from countries such as China and India.

Climate change drew little attention from either candidate in 2012, when Romney sought to deny President Barack Obama, a second term. At that time, Romney said he believed global warming was occurring but he was skeptical of its man-made origins and questioned spending to curb carbon emissions.

Mother Jones:

For Romney, this is his second about-face on climate change. In his 2010 book, No Apology, he called human activity a “contributing factor” to melting ice caps. And in the run-up to the 2012 Republican primaries, Romney backed a reduction in emissions to curb anthropogenic global warming. “I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer,” he told the Manchester Union-Leader in 2011. “And…I believe that humans contribute to that. I don’t know how much our contribution is to that, because I know there have been periods of greater heat and warmth in the past, but I believe that we contribute to that. So I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing.”

But as the 2012 campaign evolved, Romney reversed course. He said that he opposed curbing carbon dioxide emissions. He declared, “We don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet.” Instead, he pledged to increase coal production and ramp up oil exploration. At the Republican convention in Tampa, he turned climate change into a punch line. “I’m not in this race to slow the rise of the oceans or to heal the planet,” he remarked during his nomination speech—a jab at President Obama’s 2008 campaign promise that his victory would mark “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

A Romney spokesman says the former governor’s remarks on Monday are “consistent with what he said on the trail in 2012 about climate change.” Perhaps. It just depends which 2012 comments he’s referring to.

Here, an ad from Tom Steyer’s Next Gen climate political action group that ran in the DC area during Obama’s SOTU speech – compares climate deniers to flat earthers and tobacco shills.

 

 

We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

No longer just a war on science.

Tip to Climate Deniers. In the war between you and reality, in the long run, the smart money will be on reality.

In the short clip above, the painfully obvious edit occurs at about :40 seconds in.

ClimateProgress:

The official website for House Republicans has posted on YouTube a version of President Obama’s State of the Union address which cuts out comments where the President was critical of Republican rhetoric on climate change, ThinkProgress has learned.

In the website’s “enhanced webcast” of the State of the Union speech, President Obama’s comments criticizing Republicans for saying they are “not scientists” when it comes to climate change are erased.

At the 43:25 minute mark, President Obama is supposed to say “I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what — I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.”

Instead, the entire section is skipped. Obama’s comments resume with “The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.”

You can watch the gop.gov version of the video here.

FYI, according to Climate Progress, “Boehner’s Press Secretary Michael Steel told ThinkProgress Wednesday afternoon that the video edits were not intentionally made. “It was inadvertent.” Steel said via e-mail. “We are working with YouTube to figure out what happened.”

Well, I’m not a scientist, but I am a videographer, and a YouTuber.  When I screw up a video, I don’t “work with YouTube” – I take it down and put up the correct version.

The Marx Brothers could not have staged this better.

Wonkette:

…the entire passage is missing, with a painfully obvious skip in the words, and picks up only with Obama saying, “The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.” Maybe they left that part in since it sounded like we could start bombing the climate if it refuses to comply with our demands.
President’s unedited climate remarks here.

 

 

 

I was at an American Wind Energy event yesterday in Lansing Mi, listened to a lot of industry and utility folks describe how they are integrating wind into their systems.

Nutshell takeaway:

Coal – less.

Wind – More.

Solar – coming.

Natural gas – depends on price.

Policy – would be nice to have one

Not much doubt that everyone gets that we are transitioning to renewables, and soon. Obviously some spread in how fast they think it will happen.
Found this on Cleantechnica – Energy analyst Michael Liebrich seems to get the general gist of where things are going, better than most.

Cleantechnica:

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Financial Times (FT) held an excellent panel discussion tonight on technology, innovation, business, and the future of energy. It was a wonderful event, and I have several great clips from it to share in the coming days and weeks. To start with, here’s a short one from Michael Liebreich (above).

If you are not a video person, the essence of the clip is in the title: “Energy Efficiency & Distributed Renewables Will Kill Energy Suppliers.” I think that captures it well enough.

In case you are not already aware, Michael Liebreich was the founder of New Energy Finance (which was in 2009 sold to Bloomberg L.P and became Bloomberg New Energy Finance), was the CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance for years before switching to Chairman of the Advisory Board in 2014, and is a former member of the Zayed Future Energy Prize selection panel, among many others things.

Above, the passage in President Obama’s State of the Union address devoted to climate change.  The White House broadcast included a split screen with graphics illustrating the President’s points.

The section, which came towards the end of the address:

And no challenge — no challenge — poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.

2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record. Now, one year doesn’t make a trend, but this does — 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century.

I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what — I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.

That’s why, over the past six years, we’ve done more than ever before to combat climate change, from the way we produce energy, to the way we use it. That’s why we’ve set aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history. And that’s why I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts. I am determined to make sure American leadership drives international action. In Beijing, we made an historic announcement — the United States will double the pace at which we cut carbon pollution, and China committed, for the first time, to limiting their emissions. And because the world’s two largest economies came together, other nations are now stepping up, and offering hope that, this year, the world will finally reach an agreement to protect the one planet we’ve got.

UPDATE Analysis from Joe Romm at Climate Progress:

With a climate scientist watching in his wife’s box, Obama eviscerated those who ignore the warnings from scientists and the Pentagon. He responded directly to the absurd “I’m not a scientist” dodge used by many conservatives (including Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, who delivered the GOP response):

I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what  — I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.

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The Newest “This is Not Cool” video from Yale Climate Connections is a snapshot of interviews from last month’s Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

Weeks before the official announcement, scientists gathered at the annual American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco were well aware that data was showing 2014 would be among the hottest years on record.  I managed to participate in a number of key sessions – here is a small sampler.

“We started in the early 1990s to see if there was anything happening, and I think we’ve been going thru discoveries and discoveries, – each time, going, – wow.”

Glaciologist Eric Rignot interviewed by John Cook at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, December 2014. This is part of a continuing series aimed at bringing those interviews to a wider audience.

 

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