April 28, 2016
And some of them were fools
Who were making plans and thinking of the future
With the energy of the innocent
They were gathering the tools
They would need to make their journey back to nature
While the sand slipped through the opening
And their hands reached for the golden ring
With their hearts they turned to each other’s heart for refuge
In the troubled years that came before the deluge Some of them knew pleasure
And some of them knew pain
And for some of them it was only the moment that mattered
And on the brave and crazy wings of youth
They went flying around in the rain
And their feathers, once so fine, grew torn and tattered
And in the end they traded their tired wings
For the resignation that living brings
And exchanged love’s bright and fragile glow
For the glitter and the rouge
And in the moment they were swept before the deluge
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April 28, 2016
Here, Zeke Hausfather on how global temperatures have been measured.
April 28, 2016
New study profiles decreasing oxygen levels in oceans.
Above, scientists tell us about what’s happened in Earth’s deep past when the process went to extremes.
The oceans are getting warmer — they are, after all, where 90 percent of global warming actually ends up. And when they warm up they expand, because that’s what warm water does. This raises our sea levels, but it also has another effect — it reduces the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water. That’s simply physics: Warmer water contains less oxygen.
April 28, 2016
New polling from Yale and George Mason University. Not good news for science denying politicians.
As the election year develops, we can also expect more headline making extreme events that will make a repetitive drumbeat for campaign messages. Should be interesting, and I hope to take part.
A new public opinion survey finds that “Americans across political lines, except conservative Republicans, would support a presidential candidate who strongly supports taking action to reduce global warming.”
The survey of 1,004 registered voters by the Climate Change Communication programs at Yale and George Mason University yielded a number of important findings consistent with earlier polling this year by Gallup.
The new survey found a growing number of registered voters understand global warming is happening: “Three in four (73%, up 7 points since Spring 2014) now think it is happening. Large majorities of Democrats — liberal (95%) and moderate/conservative (80%) — think it is happening, as do three in four Independents (74%, up 15 points since Spring 2014) and the majority of liberal/moderate Republicans (71%, up 10 points).”
April 27, 2016
It was former Saudi Oil Minister Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani who first said, “We did not leave the stone age because we ran out of stones.”
Move away from fossil fuels, and many things start to look different.
More evidence that the Oil industry’s troubles are not just another cycle. Not only are Oil’s most entrenched and privileged tyrants thinking of a world after oil, but cracking the door to a more open society.
What is it about fossil fuels that make governments more closed, insular, and anti-democratic?
Recent news from Saudi Arabia reminded me of this piece from Tom Friedman:
When I heard the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, declare that the Holocaust was a “myth,” I couldn’t help asking myself: “I wonder if the president of Iran would be talking this way if the price of oil were $20 a barrel today rather than $60 a barrel.” When I heard Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez telling British Prime Minister Tony Blair to “go right to hell” and telling his supporters that the U.S.-sponsored Free Trade Area of the Americas “can go to hell,” too, I couldn’t help saying to myself, “I wonder if the president of Venezuela would be saying all these things if the price of oil today were $20 a barrel rather than $60 a barrel, and his country had to make a living by empowering its own entrepreneurs, not just drilling wells.”
As I followed events in the Persian Gulf during the past few years, I noticed that the first Arab Gulf state to hold a free and fair election, in which women could run and vote, and the first Arab Gulf state to undertake a total overhaul of its labor laws to make its own people more employable and less dependent on imported labor, was Bahrain. Bahrain happened to be the first Arab Gulf state expected to run out of oil. It was also the first in the region to sign a free trade agreement with the United States. I couldn’t help asking myself: “Could that all just be a coincidence? Finally, when I looked across the Arab world, and watched the popular democracy activists in Lebanon pushing Syrian troops out of their country, I couldn’t help saying to myself: “Is it an accident that the Arab world’s first and only real democracy happens not to have a drop of oil?”
Saudi Arabia is a country near-synonymous with the oil industry, but now the kingdom is moving to end what it calls its “addiction to oil” with a new plan.
The plan, known as Vision 2030, was announced Monday by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the fast-rising 31-year-old said to be at the helm of Saudi Arabia’s plans to modernize its economy. In an interview with al-Arabiya news channel conducted in his palace in Riyadh, Mohammed said that under the plan, the country will exist “without any dependence on oil” by 2020 and would soon be a “global player” on the world investment stage.
That would mark a big change. Since large quantities of oil were discovered in the then-nascent Saudi kingdom in 1938, the oil industry has come to dominate the country’s economy. Revenue from the industry earned the Saudi government billions and enabled the ruling royal family to offer generous benefits to Saudi citizens. In recent years, the oil industry had accounted for an estimated 90 percent of the government’s income.
April 27, 2016
Money Quote: “I am 80 and in the 80 years of my life, I’ve never seen such severe drought.”
April 26, 2016
Above, an NBC News report from Earth Day, 1970, contains a dire warning about climate change.
This is the most underreported story of the last, oh, say,… 50 million years.
Throughout Exxon’s global operations, the company knew that CO2 was a harmful pollutant in the atmosphere years earlier than previously reported.
DeSmog has uncovered Exxon corporate documents from the late 1970s stating unequivocally “there is no doubt” that CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels was a growing “problem” well understood within the company.
“It is assumed that the major contributors of CO2 are the burning of fossil fuels… There is no doubt that increases in fossil fuel usage and decreases of forest cover are aggravating the potential problem of increased CO2 in the atmosphere. Technology exists to remove CO2 from stack gases but removal of only 50% of the CO2 would double the cost of power generation.” [emphasis added]
Those lines appeared in a 1980 report, “Review of Environmental Protection Activities for 1978-1979,” produced by Imperial Oil, Exxon’s Canadian subsidiary.
A distribution list included with the report indicates that it was disseminated to managers across Exxon’s international corporate offices, including in Europe.
[click here to download the full PDF version of “Review of Environmental Protection Activities for 1978-1979”]
The next report in the series, “Review of Environmental Protection Activities for 1980-81,” noted in an appendix covering “Key Environmental Affairs Issues and Concerns” that: CO2 / GREENHOUSE EFFECT RECEIVING INCREASED MEDIA ATTENTION.
[click here to download the full PDF version of “Review of Environmental Protection Activities for 1980-1981”] Read the rest of this entry »