In another time, people like Donald Trump’s supporters burned the library at Alexandria.


AT 10 AM the Saturday before inauguration day, on the sixth floor of the Van Pelt Library at the University of Pennsylvania, roughly 60 hackers, scientists, archivists, and librarians were hunched over laptops, drawing flow charts on whiteboards, and shouting opinions on computer scripts across the room. They had hundreds of government web pages and data sets to get through before the end of the day—all strategically chosen from the pages of the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—any of which, they felt, might be deleted, altered, or removed from the public domain by the incoming Trump administration.

Their undertaking, at the time, was purely speculative, based on travails of Canadian government scientists under the Stephen Harper administration, which muzzled them from speaking about climate change. Researchers watched as Harper officials threw thousands of books of aquatic data into dumpsters as federal environmental research libraries closed.

But three days later, speculation became reality as news broke that the incoming Trump administration’s EPA transition team does indeed intend to remove some climate data from the agency’s website. That will include references to President Barack Obama’s June 2013 Climate Action Plan and the strategies for 2014 and 2015 to cut methane, according to an unnamed source who spoke with Inside EPA. “It’s entirely unsurprising,” said Bethany Wiggin, director of the environmental humanities program at Penn and one of the organizers of the data-rescuing event.

Back at the library, dozens of cups coffee sat precariously close to electronics, and coders were passing around 32-gigabyte zip drives from the university bookshop like precious artifacts.

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Ben Santer lives in a rarified strata, known not only as an impeccable scientist, but widely recognized as one of those most frequently and mercilessly targeted by climate deniers.
He remains calm, proud, resolved, and increasingly, outspoken.


Global Heat Threepeat

January 19, 2017



Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported on Wednesday that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016, trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row.

The findings come two days before the inauguration of an American president who has called global warming a Chinese plot and vowed to roll back his predecessor’s efforts to cut emissions of heat-trapping gases.

In reality, the Earth is heating up, a point long beyond serious scientific dispute, but one becoming more evident as the records keep falling. Temperatures are heading toward levels that many experts believe will pose a profound threat to both the natural world and to human civilization.

In 2015 and 2016, the planetary warming was intensified by the weather pattern known as El Niño, in which the Pacific Ocean released a huge burst of energy and water vapor into the atmosphere. But the bigger factor in setting the records was the long-term trend of rising temperatures, which scientists say is being driven by increasing levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

The Chinese exercise more power over the climate than we thought.


More from new EPA designate. Scott Pruitt, who, to his credit, admits his boss is full of shit.

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Why post this on a climate blog?
Because I’ve been saying that climate denial and racism are fundamentally linked for years, and the Republican Party just proved it to the world.

Because we are going to have to confront ignorance in all its forms, which has been licensed and emboldened by the narcissistic, bullying, racist, misogynist, Climate Denier in Chief.

And because, having spent a few moments hugging a friend, a soft spoken, hard working, professional who I’ve watched struggle to earn respect, and an American masters degree, who had garbage dumped on her driveway after the election, for no other reason than that she was from Zimbabwe,  I can’t wait, I really. really. can’t. wait. to confront one of these.

I promise to be polite.

Note to kids. If you spend your life tip toeing around to please the wealthy and powerful, to the point of denying the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate, this is what you grow up to be.

The Honorable Scott Pruitt.

My friend Collin Maessen of the Realsceptic blog caught up with Katharine Hayhoe at AGU last month.

Below, Hayhoe and others answer the question, what would you say to Donald Trump?

John Cook at a private roundtable in San Francisco, December 2016.