New installment of Inside Climate News’ earth-shaking-but-not-mainstream-cracking report on what Exxon knew, and when they knew it, on climate change.  The new revelations reheat the simmering issue of whether fossil fuel companies, like tobaco companies before them, deliberately conspired to cover up what they already knew about climate change, and thereby are liable for huge societal costs.

Further down, Dana Nuccitelli discusses in the Guardian.

Inside Climate News:

ExxonMobil may face renewed legal challenges from plaintiffs claiming that it should have acted to address the risks of climate change, based on new evidence that its own researchers warned management about the emerging threat decades ago.

In an online petition drive, in public statements and behind the scenes, environmental advocates and their political allies are pressing federal and state authorities to launch investigations, subpoenas or prosecutions to pin down what Exxon knew and when. The oil giant’s critics say Exxon might be held liable either for failing to disclose the risks to shareholders and financial regulators, or for manufacturing doubt to deceive people about the science of climate change.

“I think the case is already there to be made,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island. He has raised the possibility of a Justice Department investigation under federal racketeering law. A former prosecutor, he is one of the Senate’s leading voices for action to address the climate crisis.

Dana Nuccitelli in the Guardian:

Coinciding with the InsideClimate News revelations, a group of climate scientists sent a letter to President Obama, his science advisor John Holdren, and Attorney General Lynch, calling for an investigation “of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change.”

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Presidential Candidates Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are both Florida based, but refuse to acknowledge the process that is turning Miami into the Venice of the West. In this key electoral state, climate denial still plays to a certain audience, but flooding denial is getting a bit harder. Might be a good conversation starter for whoever gets the Democratic nomination.

Below, my video on South Florida Sea level rise beat the media by 4 months on the “ban on the words climate change” story – I’m told it was a teaching tool at Al Gore’s recent Climate Reality event in Miami.

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The net effect of climate denial, tobacco denial, and science denial in general is to create a population that does not trust science, evidence, or fact, and instead relies on the pronouncements of ideological zealots like Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump, who serve their own ends, and in general, those of the most wealthy and powerful in society.

The current status of the GOP nomination process shows just how advanced that process is.  For a Republican candidate to opine that the earth is more than 5000 years old is considered edgy and risky with the base.  And of course, climate science, as this quote from right wing radio blowhard Rush Limbaugh shows,  is beyond the pale.

Media Matters:

RUSH LIMBAUGH: There’s so much fraud. Snerdly came in today ‘what’s this NASA news, this NASA news is all exciting.’ I said yeah they found flowing water up there. ‘No kidding! Wow! Wow!’ Snerdly said ‘flowing water!?’ I said ‘why does that excite you? What, are you going there next week? What’s the big deal about flowing water on Mars?’ ‘I don’t know man but it’s just it’s just wow!’ I said ‘you know what, when they start selling iPhones on Mars, that’s when it’ll matter to me.’ I said ‘what do you think they’re gonna do with this news?’ I said ‘look at the temperature data, that has been reported by NASA, has been made up, it’s fraudulent for however many years, there isn’t any warming, there hasn’t been for 18.5 years. And yet, they’re lying about it. They’re just making up the amount of ice in the North and South Poles, they’re making up the temperatures, they’re lying and making up false charts and so forth. So what’s to stop them from making up something that happened on Mars that will help advance their left-wing agenda on this planet?’ And Snerdly paused ‘oh oh yeah you’re right.’ You know, when I play golf with excellent golfers, I ask them ‘does it ever get boring playing well? Does it ever get boring hitting shot after shot where you want to hit it?’ And they all look at me and smile and say ‘never.’ Well folks, it never gets boring being right either. Like I am. But it doesn’t mean it is any less frustrating. Being right and being alone is a challenging existence. OK so there’s flowing water on Mars. Yip yip yip yahoo. You know me, I’m science 101, big time guy, tech advance it, you know it, I’m all in. But, NASA has been corrupted by the current regime. I want to find out what they’re going to tell us. OK, flowing water on Mars. If we’re even to believe that, what are they going to tell us that means? That’s what I’m going to wait for. Because I guarantee, let’s just wait and see, this is September 28, let’s just wait and see. Don’t know how long it’s going to take, but this news that there is flowing water on Mars is somehow going to find its way into a technique to advance the leftist agenda. I don’t know what it is, I would assume it would be something to do with global warming and you can — maybe there was once an advanced civilization. If they say they found flowing water, next they’re going to find a graveyard.

Coal Getting Smoked Worldwide

September 29, 2015

Yesterday’s announcement that Shell was retreating from the Arctic and writing off 7 billion dollars in investments is just one of the symptoms of a wider fossil fuel swoon.

Politico:

A leading “clean coal” lobbying shop is cutting half its staff and reorganizing to reflect the U.S. coal industry’s market losses and the industry’s continued financial struggles.

The 22-year-old American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity will lay off its chief of staff and also plans to eliminate several middle-management positions. The nonprofit is also seeking to get out of its lease for its downtown Washington office.

“Like many of our members, we are facing tough times that necessitate tough decisions on how best to effectively operate,” the group’s CEO, Michael Duncan, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in a statement Monday morning to POLITICO.

Zerohedge.com:

The global commodity collapse is finally starting to take its toll on what China truly cares about: the employment of the tens of millions of currently employed and soon to be unemployed workers.

On Friday, in a move that would make even Hewlett-Packard’s Meg Whitman blush, Harbin-based Heilongjiang Longmay Mining Holding Group, or Longmay Group, the biggest met coal miner in northeast China which has been struggling to reduce massive losses in recent months as a result of the commodity collapse, just confirmed China’s “hard-landing” has arrived when it announced on its website it would cut 100,000 jobs or 40% of its entire 240,000-strong labor force.

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Previous polling has already indicated that even a majority of Republicans back action on Climate Change, and two thirds of Americans are less likely to vote for a candidate that denies the science of global change.

Representative Chris Gibson, and New York Republican, is one of that emergent majority, and he is collecting sponsors for a resolution in the House acknowledging climate change and the need to work cooperatively to address it.

Beginning with a list of “Whereas..” related to climate impacts, the resolution urges action –

gibsonGibson.house.gov:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives commits
to working constructively, using our tradition of American ingenuity, innovation, and exceptionalism, to create and support economically viable, and broadly supported private and public solutions to study and address the causes and effects of measured changes to our global and regional climates, including mitigation efforts and efforts to balance human activities that have been found to have an impact.

NYTimes:

WASHINGTON — A majority of Republicans — including 54 percent of self-described conservative Republicans — believe the world’s climate is changing and that mankind plays some role in the change, according to a new survey conducted by a trio of prominent Republican pollsters.

The results echo a number of other recent surveys concluding that, despite the talk of many of the party’s candidates, a significant number of Republicans and independent voters are inclined to support candidates who would back some form of climate action. It may also point to a problem facing Republicans seeking their party’s presidential nomination: The activists who crowd town hall meetings and Republican presidential caucuses and primaries might not reflect the broader attitude of even the Republican electorate.

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New research out of Penn State underlines the increased risk to the US East Coast due to storms.

Meanwhile, a new tropical storm is spinning up, and perhaps taking aim at the northeast….

Phys.org:

Flood risk for New York City and the New Jersey coast has increased significantly during the last 1,000 years due to hurricanes and accompanying storm surges, according to a study by Penn State University, Rutgers University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University and Tufts University.

For the first time, climate researchers compared both sea-level rise rates and storm surge heights in prehistoric and modern eras and found that the combined increases of each have raised the likelihood of a devastating 500-year flood occurring as often as every 25 years.

“A storm that occurred once in seven generations is now occurring twice in a generation,” said Benjamin Horton, a Rutgers marine and coastal sciences professor. Horton also is the principal investigator on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Science Foundation grants funding the research.

The study, “Increased Threat of Tropical Cyclones and Coastal Flooding During the Anthropogenic Era,” was published today in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). This study is unique because researchers combined sea-level records, hurricane and storm surge models to look at flooding in the New York City region in the two time periods – prehistoric (pre-anthropogenic, A.D. 850 to 1800) and modern (anthropogenic, 1970 – 2005).

Flooding heights increased 1.2 meters from the prehistoric era to the modern era, researchers found. “This is mainly due to the rising sea level. Sea levels have been rising in the modern era because of human activity,” Horton said. “Sea-level rise between hurricanes raises the ‘baseline’ water level and makes flooding more likely.”

Flood heights increased 1.2 meters from the prehistoric era to the modern era, mainly due to rising sea level, researchers found.

Carbon Brief:

Much of the damage wreaked by Hurricane Sandy was a result of the 3-4m storm surge it caused, the study says.

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