Emily Atkin in Heated:

Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election in part because people didn’t vote.About 40 percent of voting-eligible Americans did not cast a ballot in the 2016 race. Almost half of those 2016 nonvoters were nonwhite, and about two-thirds were people under the age 50. Those are demographics that far more likely to vote Democratic. The outcome probably would have been different had they voted.

A big reason for voter non-participation is politically-motivated voter suppression. But another is a general lack of enthusiasm. That’s why, in the lead-up to Decision Day, progressive organizations have been spending millions on ads that to inspire the 2016 non-voting crowd to get to the polls. And they’ve been analyzing those ads in the hopes of answering an essential question: What works? What actually fires people up enough to increase their likelihood to participate in the election?

The progressive group MoveOn is one of those organizations doing such analysis—and they shared their results with HEATED. Right now, the Democratic-aligned group is in process of running a $770,000 get-out-the-vote ad campaign on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other sites, targeted specifically to non-white voters under age 35 in 14 different battleground states. 

There are 24 different ad spots in MoveOn’s campaign, each focusing on a different issue. But in terms of driving voter enthusiasm, one ad is doing much better than all the others.

It’s a clip of Joe Biden talking about climate change.(above)


New York Times:

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has recently removed the chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the nation’s premier scientific agency, installed new political staff who have questioned accepted facts about climate change and imposed stricter controls on communications at the agency.

The moves threaten to stifle a major source of objective United States government information about climate change that underpins federal rules on greenhouse gas emissions and offer an indication of the direction the agency will take if President Trump wins re-election.

An early sign of the shift came last month, when Erik Noble, a former White House policy adviser who had just been appointed NOAA’s chief of staff, removed Craig McLean, the agency’s acting chief scientist.

Mr. McLean had sent some of the new political appointees a message that asked them to acknowledge the agency’s scientific integrity policy, which prohibits manipulating research or presenting ideologically driven findings.

The request prompted a sharp response from Dr. Noble. “Respectfully, by what authority are you sending this to me?” he wrote, according to a person who received a copy of the exchange after it was circulated within NOAA.

Mr. McLean answered that his role as acting chief scientist made him responsible for ensuring that the agency’s rules on scientific integrity were followed.

The following morning, Dr. Noble responded. “You no longer serve as the acting chief scientist for NOAA,” he informed Mr. McLean, adding that a new chief scientist had already been appointed. “Thank you for your service.”

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I interviewed Andrea Dutton (@DrAndreaDutton) during last year’s American Geophysical Union conference, and was reviewing those files today as well.
Her discussion of the last interglacial is lucid and illuminating.

Also, you may know that Dr Dutton is a MacArthur Fellow. Nice video describing her work below.

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So I’m working on an Antarctic update piece, and I pulled out the interview with Scripps expert Jeff Severinghaus – who had just returned from a research trip to Antarctica himself.
We talked about a lot of things, but I had forgotten this piece, when I asked him to clarify a reliable climate denial trope – “NASA Says Antarctica is not Melting”.

Likely that readers of this blog are familiar, but I treated the meme in some detail a couple years ago.

Anyway, so Jeff gave a lucid explanation of a first-order Physics refutation of the purported study. It involves ice, and Archimedes.

GM Knew

October 27, 2020

We knew #Exxonknew, now we newly know GM and Ford knew, too.

Huge article in ClimateWire (EENews), excerpted here.

Above, after making a big splash debuting the Hummer EV last week, GM back to regular form with this ad in my mail feed this morning.


Scientists at two of America’s biggest automakers knew as early as the 1960s that car emissions caused climate change, a monthslong investigation by E&E News has found.

The discoveries by General Motors and Ford Motor Co. preceded decades of political lobbying by the two car giants that undermined global attempts to reduce emissions while stalling U.S. efforts to make vehicles cleaner.

Researchers at both automakers found strong evidence in the 1960s and ’70s that human activity was warming the Earth. A primary culprit was the burning of fossil fuels, which released large quantities of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide that could trigger melting of polar ice sheets and other dire consequences.

A GM scientist presented her findings to at least three high-level executives at the company, including a former chairman and CEO. It’s unclear whether similar warnings reached the top brass at Ford.

But in the following decades, both manufacturers largely failed to act on the knowledge that their products were heating the planet. Instead of shifting their business models away from fossil fuels, the companies invested heavily in gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs. At the same time, the two carmakers privately donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to groups that cast doubt on the scientific consensus on global warming.

It wasn’t until 1996 that GM produced its first commercial electric vehicle, called the EV1. Ford released a compact electric pickup truck in 1998.

More than 50 years after the automakers learned about climate change, the transportation sector is the leading source of planet-warming pollution in the United States. Cars and trucks account for the bulk of those emissions.

This investigation is based on nearly five months of reporting by E&E News, including more than two dozen interviews with former GM and Ford employees, retired auto industry executives, academics, and environmentalists. Many of these details have not previously been reported.

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Don’t have the paper or much evaluation yet.

New paper describes a possible cloud feedback that enhances warming.
Conventional wisdom is that every few years there are papers that come up with much lower, or much higher, values for climate sensitivity, and yet the pendulum always swings back to around 3 degrees C.

UPDATE: Andrew Dessler responds:



The equilibrium climate sensitivity of Earth is defined as the global mean surface air temperature increase that follows a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. For decades, global climate models have predicted it as between approximately 2 and 4.5 °C. However, a large subset of models participating in the 6th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project predict values exceeding 5 °C. The difference has been attributed to the radiative effects of clouds, which are better captured in these models, but the underlying physical mechanism and thus how realistic such high climate sensitivities are remain unclear. Here we analyse Community Earth System Model simulations and find that, as the climate warms, the progressive reduction of ice content in clouds relative to liquid leads to increased reflectivity and a negative feedback that restrains climate warming, in particular over the Southern Ocean. However, once the clouds are predominantly liquid, this negative feedback vanishes. Thereafter, other positive cloud feedback mechanisms dominate, leading to a transition to a high-sensitivity climate state. Although the exact timing and magnitude of the transition may be model dependent, our findings suggest that the state dependence of the cloud-phase feedbacks is a crucial factor in the evolution of Earth’s climate sensitivity with warming.

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Today, this morning in Pennsylvania.

UPDATE: Trump today in Pennsylvania tripling down on conspiracy theory.
In a pandemic, this is homicidal.

Above, as I’ve mentioned before, Trump is now doubling down on his “It’s a hoax” meme, asserting that the virus will disappear from the media after the election.

Below, in a charge that climate scientists know well, Trump asserts that Physicians are ginning up Covid hysteria to make more money. Further down, Emergency Physicians respond.

The parallels between the response to Covid-19 and society’s response over 30 years to climate change, have only become more starkly clear and brutally ironic in recent days.

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What Joe Should have Said

October 25, 2020

Unsatisfied with Biden’s debate answers on climate solutions. He obviously left himself open to misinterpretation and bogus attacks. Not necessary.

Anybody out there that might have campaign connections?
Dems have to up their game talking about climate solutions. See my piece about What Kamala Should have Said.

A lot of that applies here.

Washington Post:

Before the debate, President Trump said his advisers urged him to interrupt less and let Joe Biden talk more, the better to let the Democratic nominee slip up.

Toward the end of the debate, Trump may have gotten what he wanted — a Biden comment about closing down the oil industry that probably won’t play well in states up for grabs this November, such as Texas and Pennsylvania. But there’s also evidence that Trump is the candidate on the defensive when it comes to public opinion and climate change.

Here’s what happened:
Trump: “Would you close down the oil industry?” 
Biden: “Yes. I would transition.”
Trump: “That is a big statement.”
Biden: “That is a big statement.”
Trump: “Why would you do that?”
Biden: “Because the oil industry pollutes, significantly. … Because it has to be replaced by renewable energy over time, over time. And I’d stop giving to the oil industry, I’d stop giving them federal subsidies.”
Trump: “Basically, what he is saying is he’s going to destroy the oil industry. Will you remember that, Texas? Will you remember that, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma?”
Biden: “He takes everything out of context. But the point is, we have to move toward a net zero emissions. The first place to do that by the year 2035 is in energy production. By 2050: Totally.”

Biden’s “yes” answer to closing down the oil industry was potentially serious enough for him to try to clarify his remarks to reporters later at the airport. He said he would stop giving money to the oil industry, rather than close it down entirely: “We’re not going to get rid of fossil fuels. We’re going to get rid of subsidies for fossil fuels.”


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Energy geeks, help me out here.

The vid above talks about new Tesla battery tech in the context of “Vehicle to Grid” (V2G) applications.

The news about extremely long battery life seem to be solid, – (see below, I am not familiar with this source)
but I thought I heard Elon Musk say on “Battery Day” that the company was not going to pursue V2G. What gives?

Next Big Future:

Jeffrey Dahn is an energy expert who is working with Tesla. He has been testing lithium ion batteries for three years and has reached 10,000 and even 15,000 discharge and charging cycles. The lithium ion batteries they are testing have not reached the end of life. They have shown minimal degradation.

A 350 kilometer (217 miles) range electric car would be able to drive over 2 million miles with 10,000 charges. However, the only reason Dahn cannot claim 30,000 charging cycles is that he will need about six more years to prove that the batteries last that long. Tesla is making longer range cars with 400 miles range and in the next few years will have 500-700 mile range cars. This likely means that 30,000 charging cycles for a 500 mile range car would mean 15 million mile range vehicles.

This also means that the better lithium ion batteries can be used for vehicle to grid and many other applications.