Insect populations are suffering “death by a thousand cuts”, with many falling at “frightening” rates that are “tearing apart the tapestry of life”, according to scientists behind a new volume of studies.

The insects face multiple, overlapping threats including the destruction of wild habitats for farming, urbanisation, pesticides and light pollution. Population collapses have been recorded in places where human activities dominate, such as in Germany, but there is little data from outside Europe and North America and in particular from wild, tropical regions where most insects live.

The scientists are especially concerned that the climate crisis may be causing serious damage in the tropics. But even though much more data is needed, the researchers say enough is already known for urgent action to be taken.

Insects are by far the most varied and abundant animals on Earth, with millions of species and outweighing humans by 17 times. They are essential to the ecosystems that humanity depends upon, pollinating plants, providing food for other creatures and recycling nature’s waste.

The studies show the situation is complex, with some insect populations increasing, such as those whose range is expanding as global heating curbs cold winter temperatures and others recovering from a low level as pollution in water bodies is reduced.

The good news is that the raised profile of insect declines in the past two years has prompted government action in some places, the scientists said, while a “phenomenal’’ number of citizen scientists are helping with the huge challenge of studying these tiny creatures.

The 12 new studies are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Nature is under siege [and] most biologists agree that the world has entered its sixth mass extinction event,” concludes the lead analysis in the package. “Insects are suffering from ‘death by a thousand cuts’ [and] severe insect declines can potentially have global ecological and economic consequences.”

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Brian Brettschneider having a little bit of fun with perennial climate denial memes.
Gavin Schmidt reminds us of his swipe at this in 2007.

Real Climate:

We are forever being bombarded with apparently incredible correlations of various solar indices and climate. A number of them came up in the excoriable TGGWS mockumentary last month where they were mysteriously ‘improved’ in a number of underhand ways. But even without those improvements (which variously involved changing the axes, drawing in non-existent data, taking out data that would contradict the point etc.), the as-published correlations were superficially quite impressive. Why then are we not impressed? 

To give you an idea, I’m going to go through the motions of constructing a new theory of political change using techniques that have been pioneered by a small subset of solar-climate researchers (references will of course be given). And to make it even more relevant, I’m going to take as my starting point research that Richard Lindzen has highlighted on his office door for many years:

That’s right. Forget the economy or the war(s), the fortunes of the Republican party in the US Senate are instead tied closely to the sunspot cycle.
more real climate here

Other science correlation below:

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2020 Year in Review

January 12, 2021

From climate scientist and boxer Ella Gilbert.

Like the neo-nazi demonstrators in the capitol last week, who pooped on Capitol floors and smeared it on walls, climate deniers wish to leave a science denial turd behind as they are chased out of the White House.

Above, William Happer, one of the White House’s favored “climate experts”, insists that carbon dioxide has been unfairly discriminated against.
““The demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler,”

NOAA has released a statement disavowing the bogus “climate science” flyers:

Washington Post:

Controversial papers questioning the seriousness of climate change led by David Legates, a senior official at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration appointed by President Trump, have been published online without White House approval.

The papers, which were published on nongovernment websites, bear the imprint of the Executive Office of the President and state they were copyrighted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). But they were disavowed.

“These papers were not created at the direction of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy nor were they cleared or approved by OSTP leadership,” OSTP spokeswoman Kristina Baum said in an email.

The papers make controversial and disputed claims about climate science, including that human-caused global warming “involves a large measure of faith” and that computer models are “too small and slow” to produce meaningful climate simulations.

Legates did not reply to requests for comment regarding why the papers were published bearing the seal of the Executive Office of the President when they were not approved.

Legates, a climate skeptic and climatology professor at the University of Delaware, has been a mysterious figure at NOAA since he started in September. Shortly after joining the agency he was detailed to a position overseeing the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which coordinates federal climate change research, while remaining a NOAA employee.

David Legates
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I’m working to help get more wind turbines and solar farms sited around the upper Midwest, mostly in my home state of Michigan.
Climate change is obviously a primary driver, but it’s not the only one.

You don’t have to spend much time in rural areas to understand there are problems. The same kinds of ills that devastated cities in the 80s and 90s now plague small towns from Ohio to Minnesota. Manufacturing jobs that once paid a living wage are gone, the farm economy exists but farmers themselves are going bankrupt at record rates. Schools are closing and consolidating, as young people leave and don’t come back.

Yet there’s a lot that’s good here.
It’s beautiful, for one thing. People want to live here, if they can make it.
How to bring those economies back to life?
Renewable energy is one way. We’re looking at a brand new 300 million dollar wind project about to start up just to the south of me. The coal-backed astro-turfed group that tried to stop it is still angry, and they’ll be back, but we’re turning the page on them.

Art Cullen is editor of the Storm Lake Times in Northwest Iowa. I don’t agree with some of the specifics he mentions here, but the gist is spot on.

Art Cullen in the Washington Post:

STORM LAKE, IOWA — I kept looking for someone I knew as I watched protesters crash through the Capitol windows. They all seemed so familiar. People from my little town in Northwest Iowa were out in D.C. to protest. These graybeards in flannels, MAGA caps and camo pants? I know and grew up with them. Would most be incited by the president to risk prison by ransacking Congress? I wouldn’t bet on it.

A man popped into the live TV feed from inside the building who claimed:

“The government did this to us.”

What did the government do? He never got that far before disappearing. He should be found and jailed. Then, we should earnestly ask ourselves what he was talking about, because that guy shares a perspective with tens of millions who think they somehow got cheated.

Well, they have been cheated over the past half-century, while fed a steady diet of baloney about welfare queens and immigrant marauders, in part to keep the working class fighting among each other.

The average blue-collar manufacturing wage around here is about $18 per hour, barely enough to get by. Those union jobs in the industrial heartland that once paid double that are long lost, south of the border or to China. Ottumwa, Iowa, once a manufacturing hub, is half its size from 50 years ago. Capital flows to the coasts. We get left with hog confinements and the manure that goes with them.

It breeds a resentment that fosters racism and rage. Jobs in meatpacking pay half what they did when I was in high school in 1975. Immigrants moved in, and the Anglos either bailed out for the big city or stayed behind, nursing a grudge. Some of them get mad enough to grab a gun.

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Energy Informatiom Agency:

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest inventory of electricity generators, developers and power plant owners plan for 39.7 gigawatts (GW) of new electricity generating capacity to start commercial operation in 2021. Solar will account for the largest share of new capacity at 39%, followed by wind at 31%. About 3% of the new capacity will come from the new nuclear reactor at the Vogtle power plant in Georgia. 

Solar photovoltaics. Developers and plant owners expect the addition of utility-scale solar capacity to set a new record by adding 15.4 GW of capacity to the grid in 2021. This new capacity will surpass last year’s nearly 12 GW increase, based on reported additions through October (6.0 GW) and scheduled additions for the last two months of 2020 (5.7 GW). More than half of the new utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity is planned for four states: Texas (28%), Nevada (9%), California (9%), and North Carolina (7%). EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook forecasts an additional 4.1 GW of small-scale solar PV capacity to enter service by the end of 2021. 

Wind. Another 12.2 GW of wind capacity is scheduled to come online in 2021. Last year, 21 GW of wind came online, based on reported additions through October (6.0 GW) and planned additions in November and December (14.9 GW). Texas and Oklahoma account for more than half of the 2021 wind capacity additions. The largest wind project coming online in 2021 will be the 999-megawatt (MW) Traverse wind farm in Oklahoma. The 12-MW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot project, located 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, is also scheduled to start commercial operation in early 2021. 

Natural gas. For 2021, planned natural gas capacity additions are reported at 6.6 GW. Combined-cycle generators account for 3.9 GW, and combustion-turbine generators account for 2.6 GW. More than 70% of these planned additions are in Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. 

Battery storage. EIA expects the capacity of utility-scale battery storage to more than quadruple; 4.3 GW of battery power capacity additions are slated to come online by the end of 2021. The rapid growth of renewables, such as wind and solar, is a major driver in the expansion of battery capacity because battery storage systems are increasingly paired with renewables. The world’s largest solar-powered battery (409 MW) is under construction at Manatee Solar Energy Center in Florida; the battery is scheduled to be operational by late 2021.

Financial Times (Paywall):

US coal miners’ last-ditch hope for shipping big volumes to Asia has crumbled as the developer of a sprawling export terminal abandons its project on the Pacific coast. 

The Millennium Bulk Terminal would have loaded 44m metric tonnes a year of thermal coal for export to electric utilities — a potential boost for producers reeling from the decline of coal-fired power generation in the US. 

But the project’s bankrupt owner on Saturday pulled the plug, making it the last of more than half a dozen proposed west coast coal ports never to be built. “It’s the end of the pipe dream that Asia can save the US coal industry,” said Clark Williams-Derry, analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a research group that favours clean energy. 

The terminal’s demise is a victory for climate activists who fought to hinder coal exports and their associated carbon emissions. It is a blow to the economies of Wyoming and Montana, whose open-pit mines in the Powder River Basin would have supplied the facility on the Columbia river in coastal Washington state. 

It also runs counter to the pro-coal agenda of outgoing president Donald Trump. 

“About 10 years ago there were maybe a half-dozen major terminals proposed for the west coast because of some excitement about PRB coal. All those have fallen through,” said Matt Preston, research director for North American coal markets at Wood Mackenzie, a consultancy. 

US coal exports peaked at 125.7m short tons in 2012. In 2019 they had fallen to 93.7m short tons and the majority was metallurgical coal used in steelmaking, not thermal coal burnt by power plants to generate electricity, according to the US Energy Information Administration. In the first nine months of 2020 US coal exports were down 32 per cent on the year.

Wyoming Public Media:

A long sought after terminal to ship coal internationally from Washington may soon no longer be in the cards. A federal bankruptcy court has authorized the rejection of the ground lease between the Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview, LLC and Lighthouse Resources Inc, effective this Friday, Jan. 8.

Lighthouse, owner of the Millennium Facility via a debtor, has sought to ship coal off the Washington coast for years; Millennium submitted permit applications back in 2012. The western state, though, never permitted the project and it’s since been held up in court. Wyoming is currently involved in litigation hoping to bring the port to fruition.

This whole process of degrading truth had spreading hatred against those that tell it, is not new to climate scientists.
Below, comment on one of my video threads, about 10 years ago. Note poster’s screen name.

They moved on to threats against Michigan’s Governor, then Georgia’s Secretary of State.
Now they’re threatening Mike Pence, and any Republican who is considered “disloyal”.

UPDATE: Marc Morano, who follows me obsessively, responded to this post almost instantly on twitter, below.

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Climate Denial Kingpin Marc Morano (above), who I interviewed in 2012 at a science denial conference, hates masks, doesn’t believe in science generally, and joined in spreading conspiracies and hate speech in the wake of this week’s attempted Trump coup. Covid seems to have sent my poor friend Marc around the bend.

Do we get who and what everybody is now?


Some climate deniers, including some with ties to the Heartland Institute and other organizations that have historically helped to create the false impression that there is sizeable scientific disagreement on climate change, also directly expressed support for the attackers and called for more violence.

“Striking fear in politicians is not a bad thing,” the @ClimateDepot Twitter account tweeted on the afternoon of January 6 in a message describing the Capitol as then-“under siege.”

“Thomas Jefferson: ‘The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,” @ClimateDepot tweeted seconds later.

“What’s needed next is mass protests to storm state Capitols and the CDC to end Covid lockdowns once and for all,” the thread continued, referring to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The @ClimateDepot Twitter accountcreated in April 2009, is held by Marc Morano, the communications director for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), a Washington, D.C.-based think-tank with a history of receiving funding from ExxonMobil and the conservative dark money organization Donors Trust. Morano serves as the executive director of CFACT’s website, which as DeSmog’s database profile puts it, “regularly publishes articles questioning man-made global warming.”

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Above, a May, 2020, facebook posting from Kevon Martis, a leading midwest dirty energy activist, who boasts he is a “Senior Fellow” at the coal-funded lobbying firm E&E Legal, well known to anyone who has followed the intimidation and attacks on climate science over the last decade.
A reasonable person might well read the above post and have … questions – especially in light of recent events.

We know from years of evidence that distortion, intimidation and veiled threats have been a standard part of the toolkit for anti-wind, and anti-solar activists, at least in my neck of the midwest. I’ve documented in two videos, below.

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