I’m inaugurating a new genre of YouTube memes.

While I caution my catastrophist friends (get it?) that we are not looking at imminent human extinction, there are enough climate disasters in the pipeline to supply us with many decades of fascinating youtube videos.

Description:

When the Camp Fire tore through Paradise, California in November 2018, many pet owners lost track of their beloved pets. Thankfully, many of these owners reunited with their pets in the days after the fire was contained. But unfortunately, Courtney Werblow and her family weren’t this lucky. Weeks passed, and the Werblows didn’t hear anything about their cat Timber….

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No secret we’ve had anomalous weather patterns across the US heartland over the last 6 months.

I spent quite a bit of time trying to pull together the best explanations from the most credible researchers, trying to tease out the climate signal from the noise.
I spoke to Jennifer Francis, senior researcher at Woods Hole, Michael Mann of Penn State, Jeff Masters of Weather Underground, Jim Overland of NOAA, and CBS News Meteorology expert Jeff Berardelli.
The connection between loss of arctic ice and extreme weather in the temperate zone has never been more clear.

As climate change gets more obvious, Deniers get more imaginative.

Right Wing Watch:

Mark Taylor, a radical right-wing conspiracy theorist and so-called “firefighter prophet,” appeared on the “Up Front In The Prophetic” radio program yesterday, where he declared that the tropical storm that is forming in the Gulf of Mexico is man-made and was created to punish the state of Georgia for recently passing a radical anti-choice “heartbeat bill.”

A trough of low pressure that has been sitting over Georgia is likely to strengthen into Hurricane Barry and is expected to strike Louisiana this weekend. Taylor, who has repeatedly asserted that the Illuminati creates and controls the weather, said it is “retaliation for the Georgia heartbeat bill.”

“That’s the first thing that comes to mind,” he said, “because when Roe v. Wade comes down, where is [the issue] going to go? It is going to go to the states. And you have states out there like Georgia—and there are a couple of others out there—that have gone as far as making this stuff illegal for abortion. You’ve got to remember, what is abortion? The sacrificing of kids. What does that sacrifice do? Abortion is the food source for Baal; Baal being the strongman over America. That’s what empowers Baal. You’re taking Baal’s food source and he’s not liking it, so this is retaliation from the enemy that I would say is from that heartbeat bill.”

If you’re willing to rape Mother Earth, well, that’s just the beginning.
As recent events show, climate denying politicians are heavily over-represented among the ranks of abusers and predators brought to light since the MeToo movement caught fire.

Above, I interviewed Katharine Hayhoe just as she was becoming well known (before Time Magazine named her a top 100 influential). She was already under attack from hateful climate deniers – but she remains unintimidated.

Scientific American:

One scientist was called Climate Barbie.

Another was described as an “ugly fake scientist.” A third had an erect penis drawn on her car window while she was in the field researching sea-level rise.

Such is the life of many female climate scientists in 2018.

All researchers face the risk of being criticized when speaking publicly about their findings. But women in the field describe being attacked based on their gender. They’ve endured insults, sexual taunts and degrading comments about their professional acumen. Most of their harassers use social media, email and the phone for their attacks. But there’s a fear that it could become physical.

Threats of death, rape and other forms of violence have left a number of researchers feeling concerned for their safety. They worry about opening envelopes with handwritten addresses and answering phone calls from unfamiliar numbers. Anonymous emails that try to entice a response cause agitation.

“We get this additional layer of hate mail, and people, I think, find it easier to put us down because we are women, or feel like they have more right in telling us what is right or wrong despite our expertise, which is always frustrating,” said Andrea Dutton, a geologist at the University of Florida and an expert on sea-level rise.

Dutton said she often hesitates to answer the phone after she’s quoted in the media. The feeling can last for days, prompted by harassing attacks in the past from unfamiliar numbers.

One prominent researcher who has spoken about being harassed asked not to be quoted in this article. She worries it would trigger a new wave of trolling. Her concern goes beyond online attacks and hateful phone calls. She’s worried for her safety.

Below, I caught up with Dr. Hayhoe a few months later, and asked her about what it’s like to be a climate scientist in Texas.

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BBC News Night:

It’s almost 10 years since hackers stole thousands of emails and other documents from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit.

The scandal, known as “Climategate”, rocked the scientific world.

Sceptics picked up on a small number of emails that seemed to suggest scientists had been deliberately manipulating data to exaggerate evidence of climate change.

It wasn’t true, but what followed is thought to have shaped public opinion and could possibly have influenced the UN climate agreement that year.

Kayleen Devlin reports for Newsnight on how battle lines and public opinions have changed since then.

Fossil powered autocratic leaders have consistent messaging about renewable energy. They don’t like it.
But they love birds. They’re all about the birds. And now, the worms.

Reuters:

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin questioned on Tuesday the use of wind power, saying wind turbines were harmful to birds and worms. 

Russia, a world-leading producer of fossil fuel, is lagging other countries in its development of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind-powered energy.

Wind power is rarely used in the country to generate electricity. Enel Russia (ENRU.MM) pledged 90 million euros to build a power generation facility by 2024 with a capacity of 71 megawatts. 

“Wind-powered generation is good, but are birds being taken into account in this case? How many birds are dying?” Putin said at a televised conference on industry in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg.

“They (wind turbines) shake, causing worms to come out of the soil. This is not a joke,” he said. 

Putin added that people would not like to live on a planet dotted with “rows of wind-powered generators and covered by several layers of solar panels”.

RenewEconomy:

Russian worms are mostly safe for now. The country that remains the fourth biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world has little in the way of wind power.

The source of Putin’s concern about worms? Obscure anti-wind blogs going back nearly a decade. The problem appears nowhere in scientific literature. Bird deaths caused by wind turbines are a fraction of those caused by cars, buildings, and cats, which kill billions each year.

At least, however, Putin appears to have changed his tune on the impacts of climate change – at least to a degree. Having previously pointed to the benefits of a warming climate in a country with such a severe winter, Putin’s government now concedes that “global climatic changes are taking place in the world, which have a rather significant effect on economic issues”.

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