The historic Derecho of summer 2012 was a key piece of one of my favorite videos.

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My number one – #FoxNews Kills.

COVID is the Quiz, Climate is the final exam.


1. Science denial can be deadly

The danger of ignoring science is the top lesson from Michael Mann, director of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center. “By rejecting what the leading health scientists were telling us, the current administration’s policies of inaction on Covid-19 have needlessly already cost us more than 100,000 lives,” he said.As the co-author of the famous “hockey stick graph,” Mann was among the first to confirm how levels of heat-trapping pollution have jumped with the burning of fossil fuels. As a result, he’s endured years of accusations, lawsuits and death threats — even as his work was repeatedly confirmed by other scientists.

Penn State climatologist Michael Mann says the peril of ignoring research has been put in stark relief by Covid.He sees a kindred spirit in Dr. Anthony Fauci, now facing similar attacks for simply speaking scientific truth to power. “If there is a silver lining, it is that the failure of the current administration to respond meaningfully to the pandemic lays bare the deadliness of ideologically motivated science denial,” Mann said. “This applies to the even greater crisis of human-caused climate change and the need to treat it as the emergency it is.”

2. The search for a cure is global but your chances of survival are local

In March, a group of governors joined a White House conference call, desperate for federal help in finding ventilators and PPE for their overflowing hospital ICUs. “Try getting it yourselves,” Donald Trump replied. Those words not only squandered the unique power of the presidency to focus the nation’s makers on a single mission, they also created the kind of frantic bidding wars between American states that can lead to corruption and waste.

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Major Eruption in Sumatra

August 10, 2020

Again, trying to find out more.

Terrible news today of the passing of Konrad Steffen.

I interviewed “Koni” as his colleagues knew him, in 2015, in Ilulisat, Greenland.
No details yet, but apparently an accident during Greenland research.

ETH Board:

Konrad Steffen, Director of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), has died following an accident in Greenland this past weekend. With Koni Steffen’s death, the ETH Domain has lost an extremely prominent researcher who was also a uniquely kind and committed man. He was a pioneer in research into climate change who regularly took part in research projects in the Arctic and Antarctic. The ETH Domain expresses its sincere sympathy to his family.

Konrad Steffen, who had been conducting research into climate change – notably in the Arctic and Antarctic – for over 40 years, died at the weekend following an accident in Greenland. As Director of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), he was regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities in this field.

“With Koni Steffen’s death, we have lost a uniquely kind and committed colleague. Everyone in the ETH Domain is greatly saddened by this loss”, said ETH Board President Michael Hengartner. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends, to whom we send our heartfelt condolences”. 

Born in 1952, Konrad Steffen was a dual Swiss and American citizen. He had headed the WSL since 2012. Having studied natural sciences, he gained a doctorate from ETH Zurich in 1984. In 1990 he was appointed as Professor of Climatology at the University of Colorado in Boulder, USA, where he subsequently headed the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES). As of 2012, he was also Professor for Climate and Cryosphere at ETH Zurich and at EPFL in Lausanne. 

UPDATE: see video interview above.


A global crisis has shocked the world. It is causing a tragic number of deaths, making people afraid to leave home, and leading to economic hardship not seen in many generations. Its effects are rippling across the world. 

Obviously, I am talking about COVID-19. But in just a few decades, the same description will fit another global crisis: climate change. As awful as this pandemic is, climate change could be worse.

I realize that it’s hard to think about a problem like climate change right now. When disaster strikes, it is human nature to worry only about meeting our most immediate needs, especially when the disaster is as bad as COVID-19. But the fact that dramatically higher temperatures seem far off in the future does not make them any less of a problem—and the only way to avoid the worst possible climate outcomes is to accelerate our efforts now. Even as the world works to stop the novel coronavirus and begin recovering from it, we also need to act now to avoid a climate disaster by building and deploying innovations that will let us eliminate our greenhouse gas emissions.

You may have seen projections that, because economic activity has slowed down so much, the world will emit fewer greenhouse gases this year than last year. Although these projections are certainly true, their importance for the fight against climate change has been overstated. 

Analysts disagree about how much emissions will go down this year, but the International Energy Agency puts the reduction around 8 percent. In real terms, that means we will release the equivalent of around 47 billion tons of carbon, instead of 51 billion.

That’s a meaningful reduction, and we would be in great shape if we could continue that rate of decrease every year. Unfortunately, we can’t. 

Consider what it’s taking to achieve this 8 percent reduction. More than 600,000 people have died, and tens of millions are out of work. This April, car traffic was half what it was in April 2019. For months, air traffic virtually came to a halt.

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From Desmogblog.

I learned more about this in researching the new videos that will drop this week…

Dr Andrew Dessler, one of the world’s most well regarded atmospheric experts, made a simple observation on twitter in regard to the current flooding in India.

Immediately attacked as a “scientist” (in quotes) by serial liar, grifter and egomaniac Michael Shellenberger (MA Anthropology, current Fox News, Breitbart darling..)

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Revolver, released this week 55 years ago. Some say it’s their best album.

If you haven’t heard this one in a while, give it a listen.


H/T to John Fugelsang.

After waiting around for 3 hours yesterday, I decided this turbine wasn’t going up before dark, so decided to come back.

Made it in a nick of time to jump out of the car and set up camera at this site. Apex Wind Energy’s 360 MW Isabella Wind site in Michigan is ginormous, and has the tallest towers in the state, one of which you see here.

New video, coming out soon, will explain how renewable energy is now competitive everywhere in the US, one more reason why 90 percent renewable electricity by 2035 is very do-able.

Can we all agree that engineers are amazing?

On Beyond Zebra! (Classic Seuss): Dr. Seuss: 9780394800844:  Books

As described below, we have now set a record for the number of named storms in The Atlantic at this time of year.
Continued storm formation at this pace means Meteorologists will run out of alphabetized names for the storms, and be forced to resort to Greek letters,

CBS News:

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is racking up storms at breakneck speed. To date, the season is about two weeks ahead of record pace and it’s only one third of the way through. On Wednesday, the news became more concerning as the research team at Colorado State University (CSU) — the standard bearer for seasonal forecasts — released the most dire forecast in their 37-year history.

Labeling the 2020 hurricane season “extremely active,” the team is now predicting 24 named storms, including 12 total hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes — each figure about double that of a normal season. If the forecast proves accurate, 2020 would be the second most active Atlantic hurricane season, behind only the record-shattering 2005 season which brought Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma.

Only 21 storm names are allotted each year because the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z are not used. As a result, if 24 tropical storms are indeed named, the National Hurricane Center will have to employ the Greek alphabet for overflow. This has only happened one time on record — in 2005 when the Atlantic experienced 28 named storms.

In addition, CSU is forecasting a 75% chance that the U.S. coast will be struck by a major hurricane — Category 3 or greater — during the 2020 season. This is significant because damage increases exponentially with wind speed. Category 3, 4 and 5 systems cause 85% of all hurricane damage.

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