Brilliant example of the resiliency of a diversified system.

Reminds me of the excellent explanation of how wolves changed rivers in Yellowstone, below. Worth a review even if you have seen it before.



Marshall Shepherd in Forbes:

National security. Numerous reports by military entities note the immediate threats of climate change to national security. The American Security Project website compiles a good list of recent reports and articles on this topic. A 2019 Defense Department report stated:

The effects of a changing climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to Department of Defense (DoD or the Department) missions, operational plans, and installations.

I served as an expert scientist and author on a National Academy of Sciences report on climate change impacts on U.S. Naval Operations so have a first-hand view of this challenge. A top admiral is also quoted as saying climate change is the biggest threat in the Pacific not North Korea.

Public Health. An array of public health concerns can be linked to climate change: increased heat related illness, vector-borne diseases in places they have traditionally not thrived, water-borne disease in flood waters, cardiovascular stress, injuries from extreme weather events, respiratory problems, and so forth. The Centers for Disease Control website says:

Climate change, together with other natural and human-made health stressors, influences human health and disease in numerous ways. Some existing health threats will intensify and new health threats will emerge. Not everyone is equally at risk. Important considerations include age, economic resources, and location.

Sea Level Rise. According to NOAA, nearly 40% of the U.S. population lived in counties bordering shorelines in 2010. By 2020, that number could be closer to 50%. A NOAA Ocean Services website is clear:

Scientists have determined that global sea level has been steadily rising since 1900 at a rate of at least 0.04 to 0.1 inches per year. Sea level can rise by two different mechanisms with respect to climate change. First, as the oceans warm due to an increasing global temperature, seawater expands—taking up more space in the ocean basin and causing a rise in water level. The second mechanism is the melting of ice over land, which then adds water to the ocean.

Increased sea level causes transportation issues because of “blue sky” flooding, threatens drinking water supply because of saltwater intrusion in some locations, and amplifies risk from hurricane-related storm surge. Many U.S. military installations are also at or below sea level, which creates challenges for the Department of Defense.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wally Broeker, someone I wish I could have met.  Known for being right before almost anyone else.

“We play Russian roulette with climate .. no one knows what lies in the active chamber of the gun.” – Wally Broeker, Nature, 1987

Science, August 1975:

Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?


If man-made dust is unimportant as a major cause of climatic change, then a strong case can be made that the present cooling trend will, within a decade or so, give way to a pronounced warming induced by carbon dioxide. By analogy with similar events in the past, the natural climatic cooling which, since 1940, has more than compensated for the carbon dioxide effect, will soon bottom out. Once this happens, the exponential rise in the atmospheric carbon dioxide content will tend to become a significant factor and by early in the next century will have driven the mean planetary temperature beyond the limits experienced during the last 1000 years.


Interview here with Broeker’s Granddaughter, Filmmaker Anna Keyes:

Obit below:

Read the rest of this entry »

Schizo about this one, as finding a better way for yahoos to tear up wilderness spaces doesn’t seem like a great idea to me.

That said, looks like this new electric truck/EV platform has nutsy capabilities – at a price. But prices fall, in recent experience, faster than we imagine.


RJ Scaringe is a classic car guy who likes efficiency. We share a common wish. Why not have classic cars with modern electric drivetrains? I asked what possessed Rivian to build an electric SUV and pickup truck when everyone else is focusing on small to crossover electric vehicles?

Having spent a decade under the radar, starting in 2009 at one of the worst times to invest in a car company, this MIT Ph.D. automotive engineer decided the world needed another EV. But RJ knew it had to be different, with a new architecture, a new building process, and something that answered a real need, not hype. RJ started with a clean sheet and designed Rivian’s first vehicle, a coupe.

Getting investors onboard a decade ago was no easy task. Early on, Rivian focused on building a core technology team with the right EV competencies — again, not easy a decade ago. The team grew to over 600 employees over the following decade, discreetly.

Rivian now has an ex-Mitsubishi plant and purpose-designed in-house software. The coupe was dropped and RJ went for the gusto, designing something until now no other automaker dared to touch, an electric pickup truck (and an electric SUV).

RJ told me that he found there is a wish to get dirty, to throw the kids in the vehicle, and to go off-road for adventures in the US. But EVs are mostly cool and trendy road cars. I asked if Subaru is what Rivian is going after and the answer was Subaru meets Land Rover.

Read the rest of this entry »



You’ve attracted quite a bit of negative attention for being in that position as well. The whole Climategate “scandal”.

Climategate, in hindsight, is very interesting, because it involved hacked emails, and Saudi Arabia and Russia were both involved. WikiLeaks and Julian Assange …

You were really on the vanguard of that whole thing.

In my recent book, The Madhouse Effect, we talk about what played out in the last presidential election. The assault on climate scientists, Climategate, was almost a training ground. It was the same actors and the same mission. Climategate was about trying to distract the public and the policymakers with a fake scandal going into the Copenhagen Summit [also known as the United Nations Climate Change Conference] in 2009, which was the first opportunity for meaningful progress on international climate policy in years.

A compelling case can be made that Russia’s involvement and Saudi Arabia’s potential involvement in the last [US] election was about a half-trillion-dollar oil deal between Russia and ExxonMobil that had been blocked because of the sanctions against Russia.

What’s the first thing that happened under the now-infamous Paul Manafort? They changed the Republican platform to try to get rid of those sanctions. Then Trump appointed Rex Tillerson, the former head of ExxonMobil, as Secretary of State. Is that a coincidence?

It was the same players and the same motive and the same disingenuity. In the case of Climategate, there have now been the better part of a dozen investigations in the US and the UK, and they have all come to the conclusion there was no impropriety on the part of the scientists whose emails had been stolen. The only wrongdoing was the criminal theft of the emails in the first place.

The science that we are doing is a threat to the world’s most powerful and wealthiest special interests. The most powerful and wealthiest special interest that has ever existed: the fossil fuel industry.

They have used their immense resources to create fake scandals and to fund a global disinformation campaign aimed at vilifying the scientists, discrediting the science, and misleading the public and policymakers. Arguably, it is the most villainous act in the history of human civilisation, because it is about the short-term interests of a small number of plutocrats over the long-term welfare of this planet and the people who live on it.

So, once again, to be in a position to be fighting on the right side of a battle between good and evil – which frankly it is – is a privilege.

Mike sees things largely the way I called them 2 days after the ’16 election (below) – and I’ve seen nothing to change my mind.
We are in a battle for the survival of civilization with a global fossil fuel mafia. Read the rest of this entry »

Alex Steffen on Twitter:

Hey, it’s worth unpacking this latest column from @BretStephensNYT, because it’s saying outright what has been a quiet strategy of the Carbon Lobby for decades.

And that strategy is one that every person who wants to act of climate needs to understand.

What it says is this: Climate change is either a civilization-threatening crisis, or it’s not.

If it is, we need massive action, “and we don’t have a moment to lose in substantially decarbonizing the global economy, no matter what the financial cost or political pain.”

If it not that kind of a crisis, though, we should (he says)

“think of climate change roughly the same way we think about global poverty—a serious problem we can work patiently to solve without resort to extreme measures…”

“If the former, then another windmill subsidy or carbon-trading scheme won’t do. We need to take extreme measures: to declare a national emergency, strictly ration every citizen’s carbon footprint, raise taxes on the rich+ middle class alike to fund trillions in green [projects]”
(Note here that he is setting up the straw man that the only way to cut emissions would be to take the most unpalatable steps of raising middle class taxes and rationing people’s use of carbon… This is purposeful.)
“If the latter, however, then can we at least end the apocalyptic talk, especially since we aren’t prepared to take more than piecemeal steps?”

Here we come to the purpose of this piece.
For decades, a core part of the Carbon Lobby strategy has been what I think of as “scare and despair.”

The first part of that is to raise the threat of dire hardships if we act on climate: Rationing! Socialist gulags! Lawn taxes!

The second part of this strategy, though, is induced despair.

As a corrupt politician was quoted by the great journalist Lincoln Steffens

“We know that creating public despair is possible and that it is good politics.”
A primary mechanism of the creation of public climate despair is keeping folks focused on the gap between the scale of of policies we need—state carbon taxes; Federal action like the GND; stronger global treaties that embrace 1.5º as our goal—and what can be won politically.

But in this effort, both the definition of winning and the nature of the fight must be what the Carbon Lobby wants them to be, and climate advocates have to agree to both.
Winning must always mean massive action at the highest levels of power, delivered thru mass-mobilizing campaigns

“Whatever else might be said of it, the Green New Deal [is] a remarkably honest attempt to offer a massive answer to what its authors see as an epochal problem” Read the rest of this entry »

John Fogerty song.

Damn, How have I never heard this version before?

One of the rare covers that
beats the original.

Met myself a comin’ county welfare line.
I was feelin’ strung out, hung out on the line.
Saw myself a goin’, down to war in June.
All I want, all I want is to write myself a tune.

Wrote a song for ev’ryone,
Wrote a song for truth.
Wrote a song For ev’ryone
And I couldn’t even talk to you.

Got myself arrested, wound me up in jail.
Richmond ’bout to blow up, communication failed.
If you see the answer, now’s the time to say.
All I want, all I want is to get you down and pray.

Wrote a song for ev’ryone,
Wrote a song for truth.
Wrote a song for ev’ryone
And I couldn’t even talk to you.

(guitar solo)

Wrote a song for ev’ryone,
Wrote a song for truth.
Wrote a song for ev’ryone
And I couldn’t even talk to you.

Saw the people standin’ thousand years in chains.
Somebody said it’s diff’rent now, look, it’s just the same.
Pharoahs spin the message, ’round and ’round the truth.
They could have saved a million people, How can I tell you?

Wrote a song for ev’ryone,
Wrote a song for truth.
Wrote a song For ev’ryone
And I couldn’t even talk to you.

(repeat x 2)

Acoustic version with Jeff Tweedy below. Read the rest of this entry »