What we eat matters.
What we grow but waste, might matter even more. Below.

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27decanom

Marshall Shepherd in Forbes:

WMAZ-Macon Meteorologist Matt Daniel summed it up this way,

The comment I dislike the most is when people talk about cold weather and people type “So much for global warming…” Not really a joke to me. Also, it proves someone doesn’t have the understanding of the definition of weather vs climate. You’ll see people type that a lot in the next week or two on professional meteorologists’ social media pages.

What we are seeing right now in the United States is just,………well……wait for it……”winter”…..Even as climate warms, we will always have winter (cold weather, snowstorms, blizzards). Winter is related to how the Earth is tilted on its axis as it moves around the Sun. In a previous Forbes piece, I described how the axial tilt of our planet determines our seasons.

Now having said that, our weather is governed by a series of undulations or wave patterns. The “valleys” (troughs) in those waves allow cold, dense air to ooze into the U.S. The “hills” (ridges) in the waves are typically associated with warm conditions. If you search Arctic Amplification on the Internet, there is some evidence that climate change is causing more wavy, high amplitude “valleys” and “hills” in the jet stream pattern. This could be associated with more extreme cold events and more extreme heat/drought events. The science is still emerging on this process, but it should be monitored and not dismissed.

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Dark Snow Project Chief Scientist Jason Box had a big hand in this spectacular examination of Greenland’s melt.
Superlative climate communication. Definitive Greenland video.

Graham Readfern in Guardian:

Climate-science deniers love to fling around accusations that climate change models are massively over-egging the global warming pudding and should not be trusted (climate scientist Zeke Hausfather has a great technical explainer on this).

While many pseudo-sceptics are quick with an unfounded criticism, it’s rare for them to put their own alchemy to the test by making firm projections about what’s to come.

But sometimes they do and the results are often spectacularly and comically bad. Let’s have a look at a few.

 

The $10,000 bet

In 2005, two Russian solar physicists, Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev, accepted a $10,000 bet with the British climate modeller James Annan that will be concluded in a couple of weeks.

At the time, Annan had been looking around for sceptics willing to put money behind their predictive prowess.

He bet the two Russians $10,000 that the six years between 2012 and 2017 would be warmer than the six years between 1998 and 2003.

Temperature data from the US National Climatic Data Centre – since renamed the National Centres for Environmental Information – would be used.

Annan thought human-caused global warming would keep pushing temperatures higher. The Russian pair thought solar activity would drop away and this effect would be enough to cause global temperatures to fall.

With only one month of data to go, you don’t need a maths degree to see who is rubbing their hands.

So far, only two years between 1998 and 2003 rank in the top 10 warmest years, compared with at least five years between 2012 and 2017.

Annan told me: “Yes I am confident of winning the bet, even the threatened eruption of Agung couldn’t matter … even if it had happened earlier this year. With only a few weeks to go, there is no chance of sufficient cooling for me to lose.”

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Seven Banned Words

December 19, 2017

Al Gore:

China’s move to create the world’s largest carbon market is yet another powerful sign that a global sustainability revolution is underway. With the top global polluter enacting policies to support the Paris Agreement and transition to a low carbon economy, it is clear that we’re at a tipping point in the climate crisis. Economic opportunities will flow to those countries who establish leadership in the markets of the future. American states, cities, businesses, investors, and citizens understand this opportunity. Leaders everywhere must choose to either act to solve the climate crisis, or watch their nations fall behind.

Scientific American:

China is set to introduce its equivalent of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan next week, even as the Trump administration prepares to discard its electricity rule for the carbon sector.

China will debut an emissions trading system as soon as today that will begin by covering coal- and natural-gas-based power production. The program will eventually expand to a variety of manufacturing and industrial sectors.

“It is important to bear in mind that the first phase will be embryonic,” said Li Shuo, senior global policy adviser for Greenpeace East Asia, who has been briefed on some details of the coming plan. He stressed those could change before the launch.

The plan initially will include 11 different emissions baselines for power plants based on whether they run on coal or gas, their size, and other details, Li said.

“This means gas plants would be competing with other gas plants with similar scale,” he said, adding that the trading component of the program would initially be limited. It’s unclear what the starting price for emissions allowances will be.

It’s a slower start than the Chinese government initially promised, but environmentalists say that’s prudent. The world’s second-largest economy and largest global emitter of greenhouse gases has limited monitoring and verification capabilities.

“It is precisely the lack of transparency that has worried investors in other Chinese markets, and carbon markets are known for being notoriously tricky,” said Paul Bledsoe, a former Clinton White House climate adviser. China must also build the legal infrastructure that will allow it to hold companies accountable for noncompliance.

So greens say it makes sense for China to focus first on the power sector, which is its largest single source of emissions, before expanding.

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One of the media’s most shameful failures in a shameful century is certainly the failure to adequately cover Donald Trump’s Russian connections.

Sad to say, historians of the future, if there are any, may not even view that as the worst example in this decade.
I’ve been talking about the continuity between the so-called “Climategate” email hacks, and the Trump/Russia scandal, since right after the ’16 election. Now starting to get some mainstream traction.

supportdarksnow

Mother Jones:

Seven years earlier, Trump was riffing on a very different set of hacked emails. The real estate mogul had called into Fox News after a blizzard to declare that climate change was a hoax. Trump claimed that “one of the leaders of global warming” had recently admitted in a private email that years of scientific research were nothing but “a con.”

Trump was referring to the 2009 Climategate scandal, in which emails from climate scientists were hacked and disseminated across the internet. Climate change deniers claimed the messages showed scientists engaging in misconduct and fabricating a warming pattern that didn’t really exist. Multiple investigations ultimately exonerated the researchers, but not before a media firestorm undercut public confidence in the science—just as world leaders were meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, to attempt to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.

In hindsight, the Climategate hack, clearly timed to disrupt the Copenhagen negotiations, looks like a precursor to the hack that helped shape the outcome of the 2016 election. That’s how John Podesta, the Clinton campaign chairman whose stolen emails were posted on WikiLeaks in the final weeks of the campaign, sees it. The parallels go beyond the hacks themselves. “I think it was the intentionality of influencing the public debate,” he says.

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New Republic:

Climate change no longer threatens national security, according to the White House.

That’s what President Donald Trump will decree when he lays out his national security strategy on Monday afternoon. According to Reuters, Trump’s strategy document “does not repeat former President Barack Obama’s 2016 description of climate change as a U.S. national security threat.” In other words, we don’t have to worry about drought-fueled civil wars, flooded U.S. military bases, or melting sea ice opening up new pathways for Russian ships to traverse the Arctic.

But climate change, no matter what Trump decrees, is an obvious threat to national security. Rising oceans are expected to swallow 128 U.S. naval bases by 2100 if climate change continues on its current pace. Worsening droughts are expected to cause water and food shortages in developing countries primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, which could exacerbate tensions in areas that are already volatile. Catastrophic events fueled by drought and extreme weather are also expected to worsen refugee crises throughout the world.

All of this has implications for the safety of U.S. combat troops and the homeland. Here’s to hoping that pretending problems don’t exist is as effective as actually preparing for them.

Circa:

Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Va., is surrounded by water. It’s Lt. Col. Kevin Osborne’s job to make sure the base doesn’t drown.

And as the commander of the 633rd Civil Engineer Squadron, located at the longest continually running Air Force base in America, Osborne’s got a lot to protect. Namely, a fleet of powerful F-22 Raptors, advanced fighter jets valued at about $340 million each.

A real threat to the military

During a tour of the base in November, Osborne told Circa about the consequences of uncontrolled flooding situations — situations that are projected to become more frequent as human-caused climate change worsens.

“If we don’t protect against sea level rise and our base becomes flooded, it will impact the mission that we are not ready to defend our United States against threats abroad,” he said.

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