Administration has tried to bury the new National Climate Assessment – perhaps an even more significant scientific document, for Americans,  than the recent IPCC report – in that it is the work product of the American government’s own science agencies.

Let’s make sure the Black Friday news dump strategy doesn’t work.

Climate Nexus:

This U.S. federal government report shows that:

  • Human activity, like burning fossil fuels, is the primary cause for the warming temperatures we are undoubtedly experiencing.
  • By the end of this century, fighting climate change will save hundreds of billions of dollars just in public health costs, and save thousands of lives a year.
  • Americans are already paying for climate change as it makes storms more damaging, heat waves more deadly, wildfires more common, allergies worse and some diseases more widespread.
  • The U.S. military, as well as many farmers, businesses, and local communities are already planning for and adapting to climate change.
  • Climate change is a clear and present danger to the health and wealth of the American people.

Topline findings of the report include:

Human activity, primarily burning fossil fuels, is causing climate change. There is no credible alternative to global warming emissions to explain the warming.

  • Global average temperatures have risen 1.8°F (1.0°C) since 1901, predominantly because of human activity, especially the emission of heat-trapping gases.
  • Globally, 16 of the last 17 years are the warmest years on record.
  • Depending on the region, Americans could experience an additional month to two month’s worth of days with maximum temperatures above 100°F (38°C) by 2050, with that severe heat becoming commonplace in the southeast by 2100.

Economic losses from climate change are significant for some sectors of the U.S. economy.

  • In some sectors, losses driven by the impacts of climate change could exceed $100 billion annually by the end of the century.
  • If emissions continue unabated, extreme temperatures could end up costing billions upon billions in lost wages annually by the end of the century, and negatively impact the health of construction, agricultural and other outdoor workers.
  • Many aspects of climate change – including extreme heat, droughts, and floods – will pose risks to the U.S. agricultural sector. In many places, crop yields, as well as crop and grazing land quality, are expected to decline as a result.
  • We may be underestimating our level of risk by failing to account for multiple impacts occurring at once, or not planning for impacts that will span across government borders and sector boundaries.
  • Our aging infrastructure, especially our electric grid, will continue to be stressed by extreme weather events, which is why helping communities on the frontlines of climate impacts to adapt is so crucial.

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CBS on New Climate Report

November 23, 2018

They tried to bury this new report from government sources, by releasing it on Black Friday.
Let’s prove that calculation wrong.

In case it comes up.

Yale Climate Connections:

A confession. That cartoon where someone is hunched over the computer, unable to tear away from furious typing, because someone is wrong on the internet? That was me. Or at least it used to be.


As a lifelong scientist and educator, I simply could not let stand an idle comment about volcanoes emitting more CO2 than humans. Allowing misinformation to just sit there – uncorrected – was too much to bear. (And did you know that it would take three Mt. St. Helens eruptions plus one Mt. Pinatubo eruption every day to keep up with human emissions? See? I can’t help myself.)

I’ve since calmed down a bit and learned to be more strategic in my climate change debunking efforts. In the age of bots, trolls, and sycophants, one has to pace oneself.

The spectrum of ‘persuadability’

After several years of reading, responding to, and cataloging the discourse around climate change, I now see a pattern becoming clear: Not every person offering pushback is doing so for the same reason. Sure, some people are itching for a fight, but myriad others have genuine questions, hold only tentative beliefs, or are in-sync with the mainstream science but not inclined to do anything about it. Gauging someone else’s underlying position can help focus one’s attention on whether – and how – to engage.

Spectrum graphic

See note at the end of this posting for a detailed description of each.

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Click for Larger

It’s Thanksgiving, and the Northeastern US has colder than normal conditions, and of course the idiot Troll-in-Chief is all over it.


Your sanity guide to navigate Trump tweets and Holiday dinner at Uncle Dittohead’s is here. You’re welcome.

Above, from the University of Maine, see today’s temperature anomalies – big red band of warmth across western North America, and cold blue in the east – related to big kink in the jet stream, which scientists have been describing for years as a response to defining sea ice in the arctic – see videos below.

The weather pattern we are seeing today is much like the “bomb cyclone” pattern we saw last January, and the ‘Polar vortex” of winter 2014 – cold US east, warm, dry west coast and Alaska.
The big warm ridge over western North America has brought unusual warmth to Alaska, and of course we know about the warm, dry weather in California.

Weather Channel:

Areas near the West Coast also had above-average conditions in October, and this warmth extended into Alaska, which set a new October record high at 9 degrees above average.

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True? or False? Consider the source, and compare to others.

Seriously, people, if you have not read the piece below in the Washington Post, drop everything and do so now – I’ll wait.

Washington Post:

A new message popped onto Blair’s screen from a friend who helped with his website. “What viral insanity should we spread this morning?” the friend asked.

“The more extreme we become, the more people believe it,” Blair replied.

He had launched his new website on Facebook during the 2016 presidential campaign as a practical joke among friends — a political satire site started by Blair and a few other liberal bloggers who wanted to make fun of what they considered to be extremist ideas spreading throughout the far right. In the last two years on his page, America’s Last Line of Defense, Blair had made up stories about California instituting sharia, former president Bill Clinton becoming a serial killer, undocumented immigrants defacing Mount Rushmore, and former president Barack Obama dodging the Vietnam draft when he was 9. “Share if you’re outraged!” his posts often read, and thousands of people on Facebook had clicked “like” and then “share,” most of whom did not recognize his posts as satire. Instead, Blair’s page had become one of the most popular on Facebook among Trump-supporting conservatives over 55.

“Nothing on this page is real,” read one of the 14 disclaimers on Blair’s site, and yet in the America of 2018 his stories had become real, reinforcing people’s biases, spreading onto Macedonian and Russian fake news sites, amassing an audience of as many 6 million visitors each month who thought his posts were factual. What Blair had first conceived of as an elaborate joke was beginning to reveal something darker. “No matter how racist, how bigoted, how offensive, how obviously fake we get, people keep coming back,” Blair once wrote, on his own personal Facebook page. “Where is the edge? Is there ever a point where people realize they’re being fed garbage and decide to return to reality?”

Brian Stelter on Twitter:

“If you hate the media, you’re more likely to be fooled by a fake headline.” AND you’re more likely “to confuse news and opinion.” But you’re ALSO more likely to think you never need any help finding accurate info


Nieman Lab:

Don’t like the media? Think it’s all “lies” or “fake”? Then you’re probably not as good at reading the news as your less perpetually annoyed peers.

That’s one finding from a new study from the News Co/Lab at Arizona State, in collaboration with the Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas. Those who have negative opinions of the news media are less likely to spot a fake headline, less likely to differentiate between news and opinion — but more confident in their ability to find the information they need online.


The study surveyed 4,854 people in three cities — Kansas City, Fresno, and Macon, Georgia — and asked them what was the first word that came to mind when they saw the word “news.” About 62 percent responded with something negative — “fake,” “lies,” “untrustworthy,” and “BS” were the sample responses given, though one imagines the researchers have a Word doc somewhere with some even more vigorous adjectives. The remaining 38 percent responded with something positive or neutral (like “factual”).

That divide — a positive or negative reaction to “news” — mapped onto a number of other elements the researchers surveyed.

For instance, people were given three at least somewhat plausible headlines and ledes that might appear in their local newspaper. Two were real; one was fake. Those with positive attitudes fared better in figuring out which was which. In Kansas City, 82 percent of the half-glass-full types figured out which was fake, versus only 69 percent of the half-glass-empties. (The fake headline? “New study: Nearly half the nation’s scientists now reject evolution.”)

Another question asked people to categorize stories as news, opinion, analysis, or sponsored content. The negatives were less likely than the positives to correctly identify the news — though not by a super-wide margin, 74 percent to 80 percent.

So do the people who are bad at reading the news know they’re bad at it? Not so much. Another question asked which of these best described them:

— “I do not need help finding the information I need online.”
— “I could occasionally use some help in finding the information I need online.”
— “I frequently need help finding the information I need online.”

Those with negative reactions to the word “news” were less likely to say they ever needed help (34 percent) than those with positive or neutral reactions (42 percent).

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Not Yemen, not Burma.

Climate Terror in the land of Hot Tubs.

“Legal and illicit production is thought to have used 4.1 terawatt-hours of electricity in 2017, almost equal to the output of the Hoover Dam.”


Indoor growers are looking to cut spiraling electricity consumption with custom-built microgrids in U.S. states where cannabis cultivation is legal.

The firms are considering solar, co-generation and battery systems as ways to cut the cost of energy, which is the second-biggest overhead for many growers, said Duncan Campbell, vice president of project development at Scale Microgrid Solutions, which targets the sector.

Legal cannabis cultivation in the U.S. consumes an estimated 1.1 terawatt-hours of electricity a year, according to the 2018 Cannabis Energy Report, published by Scale Microgrid Solutions along with New Frontier Data and the Resource Innovation Institute.

That’s enough to power the whole of Newark, New Jersey or Anaheim, California, the report states.

Electricity demand from indoor and greenhouse-based growers is causing a significant uptick in energy use and carbon emissions across states where cannabis has been legalized, said Campbell. Growing facilities “are essentially data centers for plants,” he said.

The city of Arcata, California proposed restrictions on cannabis growers after residential consumers faced rising electricity bills, the Scale Microgrid Solutions report notes.

In Denver, meanwhile, cannabis growing was found to be responsible for 4 percent of total electricity consumption, putting the city on the verge of missing its energy reduction goals.

The Scale Microgrid Solutions report, based on responses from 81 cultivators and thought to be the most extensive of its kind, said legal cannabis growing electricity consumption is forecast to increase 162 percent between 2017 and 2022.

Legal and illicit production is thought to have used 4.1 terawatt-hours of electricity in 2017, almost equal to the output of the Hoover Dam.

Electricity use is highest under indoor growing conditions, said Campbell, but could also be high in greenhouses. Many growers have been willing to pay the cost because indoor and greenhouse cultivation offers better quality and higher yields than outdoor farming, he said.

In nascent legal cannabis markets, electricity costs might not be a concern because of the high value of crops. However, Campbell said, maturing legal cannabis markets are typically seeing increased competition between growers and deep cuts in the price of produce.

This is making growers more aware of the need to save electricity costs, he said. The simplest means to achieve this is by swapping traditional high-pressure sodium lighting for LEDs.

LEDs not only consume less energy than high-pressure sodium lights, but also release less heat into growing rooms, cutting the amount of electricity used for ventilation and cooling.

Growers can also potentially save energy by using fresh air for cooling and heating, although in practice many cultivators are wary of doing this because of the risk of introducing pathogens into growing areas, said Campbell.

A third option is to offset energy use through solar self-consumption, he said.

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On viewing the above, one reaction is, could this be the core of a downtown skyscraper with offices, condos and shops surrounding?


The energy storage industry is all about incremental improvements, so it’s rare to see a product come to market that does something radically different.

That happened last week when the stealthy Swiss/Southern Californian startup Energy Vault went public with an unusually creative grid storage concept. It devised a six-armed crane that stacks concrete blocks with cheap and abundant grid power, and drops them down to retrieve electricity when needed.

The company pitches this as a durable, trustworthy solution for the thorny problem of storing electricity for long periods of time.

The lithium-ion batteries that account for almost all of new grid storage deployments make economic sense for 4-hour duration, even 6-hour, but they get too expensive for super-long durations. Meanwhile, longer-term storage is getting more valuable as cheap but intermittent wind and solar power continue their rise on the grid.

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