I produced the above just before the publication of the Pope’s encyclical on climate.
It still holds up.
Apologies for bad sound a couple places.

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One of the key drivers behind Russian boldness in attacking elections around the world, is that time is running out for fossil fuels.

The Trump administration embodies Big Fossil’s last grasping hand from the grave.

They don’t  have a prayer.

But that doesn’t keep ’em from trying.

Vox:

The Trump administration has used a variety of excuses to legitimize its record-setting rollbacks on environmental protections: calling global warming a hoax, or arguing that the economic consequences of increased regulation would outweigh their benefit.

The latest justification? The Bible.

In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, a media outlet that also seems to double as a propaganda arm of the Trump administration, Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt said his Christian convictions led him to conclude that America should use gas and coal freely because natural resources exist purely for man’s benefit.

“The biblical world view with respect to these issues is that we have a responsibility to manage and cultivate, harvest the natural resources that we’ve been blessed with to truly bless our fellow mankind,” Pruitt told CBN’s David Brody.

In that same interview, Pruitt condemned the “weaponization” of the EPA and criticized the “environmental left” for “tell[ing] us that, though we have natural resources like natural gas and oil and coal, and though we can feed the world, we should keep those things in the ground, put up fences and be about prohibition.”

Pruitt’s tenure at the EPA has been controversial. He was involved in persuading Donald Trump to leave the Paris climate accords and has spearheaded a number of rollbacks of Obama-era initiatives, including reversing the Clean Power Plan, as well as smaller repeals like on a ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which has been shown to cause developmental problems in children. He’s also drastically reduced the number of fines the EPA has collected on businesses that break the law by making use of toxic or dangerous chemicals.

But as far as his biblical assertion goes, Pruitt’s words reflect a wider trend among American evangelicals, who largely have not embraced scientific thought on environmentalism or global warming.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Missoulian:

Being a voice for the wilderness often leaves Tri Robinson feeling like a biblical voice in the wilderness.

“How do you get evangelicals to understand that caring for creation is not a liberal agenda, but a Christian agenda?” the retired pastor asked before a series of presentations in Missoula. “I see it as a sanctity-of-life issue. With climate change, the first to suffer will be the poor.”

Robinson founded the Vineyard Boise Church in Idaho and considers himself a evangelical political conservative. He came to Missoula on Friday to talk about his efforts to reconnect Christian religion with young people, in part through environmental issues.

“Millennials are open to Christianity, and they value the things like civil rights, social justice and the environment,” Robinson said. “But they see evangelicals standing against all of that. We compromised those things we value when 83 percent of evangelicals voted for (President Donald) Trump. Caring for creation and the poor and the stranger are things Jesus commissioned us to do. And the millennial perception is we’re really missing it.”

Recent polling by Yale University and George Mason University found that conservative Republican support for the idea that climate change is real has fallen 13 points since 2008, to 37 percent. However, 63 percent of liberal-to-moderate Republicans agreed global warming is happening. In comparison, 67 percent of moderate-to-conservative Democrats felt that way, along with 97 percent of liberal Democrats.

Columbus Dispatch:

Sarah Spence is a Republican through and through.

Her dad taught her how to shoot a gun when she was around 14.

As a teenager, she baby-sat for the children of conservative candidates for the Ohio House.

Read the rest of this entry »

And, oh yeah, I’ve been bringing you those voices for years now, at this blog, thru these videos.
You’re welcome.

Hey, don’t get mad at me.

Andrew Freedman in Mashable:

There is growing scientific support for one of the most provocative and counterintuitive ideas in climate change research, which holds that rapid Arctic warming may be causing colder winters across large swaths of the Northern Hemisphere.

A new study, to be published in the journal Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society,found that a weakening polar vortex, potentially set in motion by the rapidly warming and melting Arctic, has become more common during the past four decades. This results in colder winters across large regions of Europe and Russia, but also occasionally in the U.S. as well.

The study is the first to show that changes in winds in the stratosphere substantially contributed to a mysterious winter cooling trend in northern Europe and Asia, including a region already known for being frigid: Siberia.

The study, written by a group of European and American researchers, found that a weakening in the wintertime polar vortex can explain 60 percent of the observed cooling in Eurasia since 1990. That figure increases to 80 percent if other influences on winter weather, including El Niño events, are also included.

“In winter, the freezing Arctic air is normally ‘locked’ by strong circumpolar winds several tens of kilometers high in the atmosphere, known as the stratospheric polar vortex, so that the cold air is confined near the pole,” said study co-author Marlene Kretschmer from the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impacts Research in Germany, in a press release.

“We found that there’s a shift towards more-persistent weak states of the polar vortex. This allows frigid air to break out of the Arctic and threaten Russia and Europe with cold extremes.”

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idahoemily

Emily Her – Idaho Statesman photo

Not just the NRA taking a beating among the emerging generation.

Turns out young people don’t want their planet to be par-boiled any more than they want to get shot with an AR-15.
Who could have known?

New York Times:

A years-long battle over whether Idaho would require its science teachers to teach about global warming was resolved Thursday when the State Senate education committee voted to adopt standards that included sections on human-caused climate change.

Idaho’s legislature had scrubbed all mentions of human-caused climate change from its teaching standards last year. The State Department of Education then put forth revised standards, but this month the House education committee voted to gut the supporting content, which was designed to help teachers assign coursework and included multiple mentions of climate change. On Thursday, the Senate committee approved the revised standards in full, including the supporting content, on a 6 to 3 vote that drew support from both parties. Because both chambers did not agree to reject the standards, they will go into effect.

State Senator Janie Ward-Engelking of Boise, a Democrat on the education committee, said the supporting content was important to include. “When a new teacher comes in, they need to see all the concepts that they’re responsible to teach,” Ms. Ward-Engelking said. “To be honest, it’s kind of embarrassing that it’s been so controversial.”

The climate science standards won out in part because of activism by students like Senior Emily Her, of Timberline High School in Boise.
Below, in an Op-Ed, she expressed her initial frustration at the roadblocks “conservatives’ kept throwing in the way of science.

Idaho Statesman:

On Feb. 1, I entered the Idaho Capitol to testify in front of the House Education Committee in support of the revised science content standards. I clutched my testimony in one hand, and in the other a thick, binder-clipped petition containing the names of more than 1,000 Idahoans.

Of the hundreds of standards  previously approved, only these five standards referencing anthropogenic climate change were struck down. I knew my audience was the same elected officials that rejected the first incarnation of these standards in 2016. Every year since, these standards have been further developed by a diligent team of scientists and educators with the students’ best interests in mind, yet they continue to be met with skepticism.

Emboldened by the support of public comments (over 99.5 percent favoring the proposed standards), the petition I held that garnered over 1,000 Idahoan signatures in three days, and the absolute belief that students have the right to a holistic education, I sincerely believed my testimony would be heard.

In it I highlighted my experiences as a student engaging in inquiry-based learning. Unfortunately, during my testimony, the words “climate change” spurred an immediate reaction from Chair Julie VanOrden of Pingree. She immediately interrupted me by saying, “Excuse me … but we need to talk about the standards themselves. If you would stick to that topic that would be great.”

Read the rest of this entry »

A lot of comment this week on the new video about Jerry Taylor, formerly a reliable climate “skeptic” voice on Fox News and elsewhere – who turned completely when he actually started looking at the data with an open mind.
Turns out that’s not a unique experience.

The Physicist:
Richard Muller made himself a high profile name in the anti-science community by making a number of outrageous and uninformed statements about climate scientists and science some years back.
That’s probably what helped him attract Koch Brothers funding to re-examine global temperature records. To his credit, he assembled a crack team and did a comprehensive analysis.
Spoiler, they found what every other crack team had found before.

The TV Meteorologists:

At an American Meteorological Society event a few years ago, Greg Fishel, a TV Weather caster from Raleigh, NC, came up to shake my hand. Apparently the Climate Crocks videos were an important part of his process in moving from “hard core” denial, to  reality. Read the rest of this entry »

windresourceUS

A high-resolution map based on NOAA weather data shows a snapshot of wind energy potential across the United States in 2012. (Credit: Image by Chris Clack/CIRES)

A lot of the biggest advances in renewable energy might not be the most obvious.
The United States is richly blessed with renewable resources, solar and wind, but a lot of those resources are not in places where the majority of the population lives. Hence transmission lines.
Transmission has always been important to generation – typically transmission costs can be up to half the cost of new energy from even traditional sources like coal and nuclear power.

Another big road block is resistance from local landowners and governments to placement of new transmission lines from high wind and solar, much of it in the central US,  to high population areas of the east and west.

It’s important, because if this bottleneck can be resolved, according to recent research, the US could move quickly to very high renewable penetration in electricity.

solarresource_US

A high-resolution map based on NOAA solar irradiance data shows a snapshot of solar energy potential across the United States. (Credit: Image by Chris Clack/CIRES)

NOAA:

The United States could slash greenhouse gas emissions from power production by up to 78 percent below 1990 levels within 15 years while meeting increased demand, according to a new study by NOAA and University of Colorado Boulder researchers.

The study used a sophisticated mathematical model to evaluate future cost, demand, generation and transmission scenarios. It found that with improvements in transmission infrastructure, weather-driven renewable resources could supply most of the nation’s electricity at costs similar to today’s.

“Our research shows a transition to a reliable, low-carbon, electrical generation and transmission system can be accomplished with commercially available technology and within 15 years,” said Alexander MacDonald, co-lead author and recently retired director of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) in Boulder.

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