Seriously guys, I did this one seven years ago.

Recently updated for Senator Ted Cruz.

AP did it. Give the comedians a chance, too.

New handbook on climate communication from the IPCC has been released.

It follows the basic principles that those on the front lines have worked out over the past few decades.

  1. Be Confident – people will trust you more if you use an authentic voice
  2. Talk about the real world, not abstractions
  3. Connect with what matters to your audience
  4. Tell a human scale story – show the human face of science – your own story, perhaps
  5. Lead with the knowns, not the uncertainty
  6. Use effective visual communication – focus on the human side of the equation

The greatest advances have not been on the science, but on how we get the mass of people to understand it – see experts weigh in below.

Below, a few years ago, John Cook asked leading scientists to give their best “Elevator Pitch” on climate. They generally incorporate some best practices. Read the rest of this entry »

The increasing domination of Republican grass roots by, well, let’s face it, Religious nut jobs, has lead the party to embrace the paranoid and irrational, while fleeing the discipline of reason and evidence.
I have no quarrel with sincere spiritual feeling or insight, but using religion as an excuse for paranoia, hatred and racism is one of history’s oldest con games.

Hence, Obama born in Kenya, Mexico will pay for wall, there is no climate change.

In a related development:

ThinkProgress:

This morning Fox & Friends, Donald Trump’s favorite TV show, ran a segment on the deadly flu season, which has killed at least 37 children so far. Dr. Marc Siegel, a practicing physician and Fox News contributor, suggested various techniques to avoiding contracting or spreading the flu and emphasized the importance of getting a flu shot.

“The flu shot, which I still say everybody out there should get, is about 30-percent effective, but it actually decreases spread around the household, it decreases severity, and it’s very smart to get it. Of the children that have died, 80 percent of them in the past hadn’t gotten a flu shot,” Siegel said.

At the very end of the segment, Siegel asked if the three Fox hosts — Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, and Ainsley Earhardt — had gotten their flu shot. “No, I have not gotten one,” Kilmeade said.

Earhardt then revealed that Kilmeade refuses to get flu shots. Kilmeade confirmed that and dismissed flu shots as only 30 percent effective — a point that Siegel had already addressed. When Siegel told Kilmeade he should get the flu shot to protect his children, Kilmeade said that he would not because his kids needed to “build up their immunity.”

Read the rest of this entry »

gasflame

Natural gas – “the bridge fuel” to a renewable world, we’ve been told.
That was a lot more true in 1985 than it is now.

5 years ago big energy manufacturers were fighting over natural gas turf. Now they are fleeing in disarray.

Outlines not yet completely clear, but there are suggestions that Natural gas could be going the way of coal sooner than any one thought.

Green Tech Media:

Amidst the madness of 2017, a bigger shift was missed than probably any other — right at the commanding heights of the economy: Natural gas fizzled out of the plan for the future.

That’s major.

Natural gas is no longer a contender or pretender, just a relic of the past, likely to fall as far and as fast as Old King Coal, and maybe faster. This has repercussions for the economy of many states and nations, and the politics of the transition in terms of what we ask for and what we will get.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

The big signal that got some coverage in the pink pages (FT) and energy-wonk trade press in November was the closure of Siemens and GE’s gas turbine-making capacities. Just to recap for those that missed it, first Siemens, the giant European champion of the electric power revolution, laid off 7,000 workers. It reported that it had a capacity to make 400 100MW gas turbines annually but only had received orders for 110 in 2017. Ouch. Retrain!

And then GE: Two weeks later, it laid off 20,000 workers in its gas-related business, including turbine-making teams around the world. Remember, just about five years ago Siemens and GE battled for the gas business of Alstom, the French descendent of the same companies GE came out of in the early 20th century. GE paid $10 billion for it and declared a coup.

But now, they’re writing it off. Their strategic choices under Jeff Immelt are being questioned by the market: while the Dow is up about 30 percent over the past 12 months, GE’s stock is down about 45 percent. (Indeed, GE won the “honor” of being the Dow Jones Industrials worst-performing stock of 2017.)

Not just GE and Siemens.

Nikkei Asian Review:

TOKYO — The dawn of renewable energy is starting to pinch at companies that build fossil-fuel-fired power plants, forcing substantial layoffs at manufacturers such as Japan’s Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems.

Read the rest of this entry »

Scientists get tired of repeating the same facts over and over again. Lesson from Comms and marketing is, by the time you are ready to hurl from repeating, your audience is hearing for the first time.
So, once again.

Associated Press:

President Donald Trump’s description of the climate on planet Earth doesn’t quite match what data show and scientists say.

In an interview with Piers Morgan airing Sunday on Britain’s ITV News, the president said the world was cooling and warming at the same time and that claims of melting ice caps haven’t come true.

TRUMP: “There is a cooling, and there’s a heating. I mean, look, it used to not be climate change, it used to be global warming. That wasn’t working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place.”

Ten different climate scientists contacted by The Associated Press said the president was not accurate about climate change. Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis responded in an email: “Clearly President Trump is relying on alternative facts to inform his views on climate change. Ice on the ocean and on land are both disappearing rapidly, and we know why: increasing greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels that trap more heat and melt the ice. ”

THE FACTS: The world hasn’t had a cooler than average year since 1976 and hasn’t had a cooler than normal month since the end of 1985, according to more than 135 years of temperature records kept by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The last four years have been the four hottest years on record globally, with 2010 the fifth hottest year, according to NOAA. Every year in the 21st century has been at least three quarters of a degree (0.4 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 20th century average and in the top 25 hottest years on record, NOAA records show.

globaltempsBEST17

And while a good chunk of the United States had a frigid snap recently, most of the rest of the world was far warmer than normal, according to temperature records.

temp_models460

Climate models vs actual Temps, from Gavin Schmidt at NASA

Zeke Hausfather of the Berkeley Earth temperature monitoring program — initially funded by non-scientists who doubt that the world is warming — said in an email: “The world has been warming steadily over the past 50 years, with 17 of the past 18 years being the warmest since records began in the 1850s. It is not accurate to say that the climate has been ‘cooling as well as warming’.” Read the rest of this entry »

It took a long time and many failures before legal challenges finally began to bite into the tobacco industry.
Similarly, legal challenges to the global fossil fuel industry and its practices of distorting and suppressing climate science – sometimes from their own researchers, have met with little success.
But now, with New York City putting its full weight behind the efforts, climate legal teams have the kind of firepower and funding sufficient to take on the world’s most powerful industries.

Washington Post:

The New York City government is suing the world’s five largest publicly traded oil companies, seeking to hold them responsible for present and future damage to the city from climate change.

The suit, filed Tuesday against BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell, claims the companies together produced 11 percent of all of global-warming gases through the oil and gas products they have sold over the years. It also charges that the companies and the industry they are part of have known for some time about the consequences but sought to obscure them.

“In this litigation, the City seeks to shift the costs of protecting the City from climate change impacts back onto the companies that have done nearly all they could to create this existential threat,” reads the lawsuit, brought by New York corporation counsel Zachary Carter and filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

tobaccoroad

It remains unclear whether a new wave of litigation — propelled by stronger climate science, reports about how much some companies knew about climate change decades ago, and somewhat divergent legal strategies — will succeed where those efforts failed.

In California last year, Marin County, San Mateo County and the city of Imperial Beach similarly sued a group of fossil fuel companies over damage related to climate change — citing a theory called “public nuisance,” which basically argues that companies are causing an injury to the localities under common law. The cities of San Francisco and Oakland and the city and county of Santa Cruz have also filed suit.

“I think the significant development here is that this is the first of these cases in this last year that’s filed outside of California,” said Michael Burger, who directs the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University. If more and more localities sue, “we might be able to see adequate pressure applied to these companies to inspire action on climate change,” he said.

So far, that has not been the response. ExxonMobil has instead reacted strongly to the claims, seeking in Texas court to depose California state officials and others involved in bringing the cases for “potential claims of abuse of process, civil conspiracy, and violation of ExxonMobil’s civil rights.”

Climate change “is a complex societal challenge that should be addressed through sound government policy and cultural change to drive low-carbon choices for businesses and consumers,” Curtis Smith, head of U.S. media relations for Shell, wrote by email, “not by the courts.”

BP and ConocoPhillips, two other defendants named in the lawsuit, declined to comment.

Exxon responded to New York’s lawsuit on its blog, where the firm has also challenged investigative reports from InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times that showed the company was an early pioneer in climate-change science in the 1980s, reports that were cited in the suit.

“ExxonMobil welcomes any well-meaning and good faith attempt to address the risks of climate change,” wrote Suzanne McCarron, Exxon’s vice president of public and government affairs. “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a global issue and requires global participation and actions. Lawsuits of this kind — filed by trial attorneys against an industry that provides products we all rely upon to power the economy and enable our domestic life — simply do not do that.”

ThinkProgress:

Richmond, California has become the ninth city in less than a year to bring major fossil fuel companies to court over climate change. On Monday, the city announced that it was filing a lawsuit against 29 oil, gas, and coal companies — including Chevron, BP, and Exxon — to try and hold them accountable for their role in climate change and its impacts on the community.

The lawsuit comes less than two weeks after New York City became the largest city to file a lawsuit against fossil fuel companies for their role in climate change in the hopes of obtaining funds to help offset the cost of adaptation and mitigation projects related to sea level rise. Alongside New York, seven other California cities and counties have filed lawsuits against a range of oil, gas, and coal companies, each seeking damages worth billions of dollars to help pay for current and future infrastructure updates necessitated by climate change. Los Angeles’ city council has also introduced a motion asking the city attorney to look into potentially filing a similar lawsuit on behalf of the city.

Unlike other cities and counties that have filed lawsuits, however, Richmond argues that it is uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because of both its location and its particular economic reality. Richmond is surrounded on three sides by water, and is home to some of the poorest communities in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a median household income of $55,102 and poverty rate of 17.5 percent, according to the U.S. Census. Richmond is also a predominantly Hispanic and black community that has struggled with industrial pollution due to the presence of several oil refineries and plants operated by Chevron.

In previous instances, climate litigation has found little success because of how difficult it has been to tie particular events or consequences to specific actors. In 2008, for instance, the Alaskan village of Kivalina filed a lawsuit against fossil fuel companies for their role in sea level rise; a year later, a district court dismissed the lawsuit because of a lack of evidence linking sea level rise to the actions of particular fossil fuel companies. Because greenhouse gas emissions are created by almost everyone — from companies extracting oil to people driving cars — it’s impossible, the court claimed, to pin the consequences of climate change on a single, or handful, of particularly bad actors. Read the rest of this entry »

Yeah, some things are just true whether you like them or not.

As the Republican Party spins deeper and deeper into an imaginary swamp, worth reviewing why science is the absolute anti-thesis of the Authoritarian idea that only what the “great leader” says is true.

ABC News:

Last November, Sargent and other flat Earth believers gathered at an Embassy Suites hotel in Raleigh, North Carolina, for the Flat Earth International Conference, an educational seminar where individuals and organizations discuss scientific questions about Earth.

Sargent said he thinks there are more people who believe the theory than just those outspoken on the subject.

“You know flat-Earthers,” he told ABC News’ Eva Pilgrim. “I guarantee it. But you don’t know who they are because they are afraid of talking about it.”

Read the rest of this entry »