Somebody turned up this 2011 speech by Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson the other day – it’s making the rounds enough that it got the attention of billionaire Tom Steyer – resulting in this web ad aimed at millennials.

Phys.org:

Tiny ocean fossils distributed widely across rock surfaces in the Transantarctic Mountains point to the potential for a substantial rise in global sea levels under conditions of continued global warming, according to a new study.

The study, led by Northern Illinois University geologist Reed Scherer, indicates the massive East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) has a history of instability during ancient and could be vulnerable to significant retreat and partial collapse induced by future climate change. The EAIS is the world’s largest and most significant player in potential .

The evidence is in the microscopic ocean fossils, known as diatoms, the researchers say.

antarc_diatom

For decades, scientists have been embroiled in a heated debate over how the diatoms, which were first discovered in the 1980s, became incorporated into the “Sirius Group,” a series of glacial sedimentary rocks exposed along the Transantarctic Mountains.

One group of scientists argued that the diatoms accumulated in a marine basin after ice sheet retreat and later, after it got much colder, were moved by the growing glaciers to the mountains. This interpretation suggested a dramatic retreat of the ice sheet between 3 million and 4.5 million years ago, during warm periods of the Pliocene Epoch. But other scientists contended the ice sheet remained stable for at least the past 5 million years, arguing that the diatoms were carried by the wind and deposited atop older sediments.

antarcti_pliomelt

“During certain intervals of Pliocene warmth, the sea level could have been as much as 75 feet higher than it is now,” Scherer said. Read the rest of this entry »

Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Political conservatives are embracing new technologies such as solar and wind, as well as energy efficiency technologies.

“For young conservatives, clean and efficient energy isn’t something fringe or futuristic. It’s a regular and growing part of their lives, and they want their elected leaders to support renewable energy in common-sense ways that grow the economy, promote energy independence and defend American families from pollution,” said Michele Combs, founder and chair of Young Conservatives for Clean Energy Reform, following a rally in Washington, D.C., co-hosted not only by the  Christian Coalition but also by the American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association and Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions.

Eric Holthaus in the New Yorker:

The G.O.P. has long equated climate-friendly legislation with economic suffering. In June, for instance, Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, proposed rolling back “all climate-change regulations under the Clean Air Act” in order to promote growth. (Never mind that, in the years to come, the significantly greater economic risk actually lies in sticking with fossil fuels.) But Trump is also out of step with his potential voters.

Back in March, before he clinched the nomination, Yale University’s Program on Climate Change Communication found that sixty-one per cent of registered Republicans support the idea of carbon dioxide being regulated as a pollutant, and seventy per cent support tax rebates for people who purchase solar panels or energy-efficient vehicles. The same month, Gallup reported that concern over global warming was at an eight-year high in this country. The rise of Trump, in other words, coincides with a growing conservative focus on environmental conservation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comforting news for your children from Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

In 4 billion years the sun will expand to engulf planet earth, so why worry about climate change?

Don’t laugh – I hear versions of this argument all the time.

Millenials,  you might want to review your support for this guy. There’s such a thing as smoking too much weed.

USAToday:

Libertarian candidate for president Gary Johnson believes that humans aren’t being shortsighted by ignoring climate change, but are simply taking the “long-term view.”

“In billions of years, the sun is going to actually grow and encompass the Earth, right? So global warming is in our future,” the former New Mexico governor said during a 2011 National Press Club luncheon event. 

In a 2011 clip, surfaced by Mother Jones, Johnson discusses his “long-term view” on climate change and his stance on government spending to combat climate change.

His thoughts: if the world is going to meet a fiery end, why throw money at the problem now?

Johnson notes in the 2011 speech, he does not believe the United States should be involved in cap and trade taxation, and should instead lend “certainty” to the energy fields.

“When you look at the amount of money we are looking to spend on global warming — in the trillions — and look at the result, I just argue that the result is completely inconsequential to the money we would end up spending,” he said. “We can direct those moneys to other ways that would be much more beneficial to mankind.

I hear all the time from these “God’s eye view” idiots.   Technically, it’s true the sun will one day die by expansion, (See Below), this is meaningless to all that human beings will ever know, experience, or love. Your grandchildren will not be impressed by your cosmic view, Gary.

Read the rest of this entry »

Reviewing my investigations of the climate denial movement has convinced me that it’s been a proving ground for the Alt/Right hate groups behind madman Donald Trump.

One reason: here we are in a critical Presidential election – what has the media been snookered into talking about? Emails.

I know it’s old news for the well-informed, but I still hear this nonsense from (generally elderly) climate deniers.

UPDATE:

More confirmation of my thesis. As I sometimes do, I tweet out popular  videos from past months so that those who haven’t seen them get a chance.  I did that this morning for Katharine Hayhoe’s “Climate Science Elevator Pitch” Video. Here is one response.

45blacked2

chevybolt

At a climate solutions talk several years ago, I gave a glowing description of exotic electric vehicles like the Tesla, and showed how the technology was further along than most people thought, with the innovations of then-little-known startup, Tesla Motors.

A very earnest member of the audience objected – “But we have to get away from cars completely – what about other alternatives and mass transit?”

I explained that electric cars are important because, even if the US were to launch an Apollo scale program to bring our mass transportation system up to European standards, a 20 year program under best scenarios – we’d still be relying on cars for a big chunk of transport.  That’s still true – but there is a new wrinkle.
It may be that the mass transit solution that replaces automobiles, will be, radically rethought, automobiles.

As mass market EV’s now are becoming reality, we have an additional wild card, autonomous driving technology, – which, in combination with electrified transit,
seem ready to disrupt the way Americans, and the rest of the world, move around.

Autonomous vehicles will be here sooner than anyone thought, and they will have an internet-like impact on society.
That’s one reason why Uber has an estimated market cap 20 billion dollars higher than General Motors. Who knew?

But don’t count GM out, just yet.

If you can remember the time you asked yourself, “Why would I ever need to send an email?”, get ready for the world to be turned inside out again.

NYTimes:

A first affordable long-range electric car, which I drove last month and which blew my mind, is not a Tesla. I had to fly from Silicon Valley to Detroit to drive it because the vehicle was invented not by a celebrated start-up, but by that hoariest cliché of tarnished American manufacturing glory, Chevrolet, which is owned by General Motors.

The car is the Chevy Bolt EV, a squat, wedge-shaped compact hatchback. It is an important car for G.M., and, in a larger sense, for the traditional auto industry. It demonstrates the seriousness with which automakers are taking the threat posed by start-ups that are promising to alter everything about the car business. Not only is the Bolt the first inexpensive long-range electric on the road, but it will also function as G.M.’s platform for testing new models for ride-sharing and autonomous driving.

But few industry analysts think Tesla will meet its production goals, and the very fact that there is a waiting list highlights its fundamental hardship. Tesla paved the way for the broad acceptability of electrics, but the Model 3 is, at this point, merely a concept car. G.M.’s Bolt goes on sale this year, and the company will probably be able to make enough to satisfy everyone who wants one.

Read the rest of this entry »

SEC Now asking What #ExxonKnew

September 21, 2016

This seems like a big deal.  Official investigations heating up almost as fast as the planet.

Wall Street Journal:

The SEC sought information and documents in August from Exxon and the company’s auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, according to people familiar with the matter. The federal agency has been receiving documents the company submitted as part of a continuing probe into similar issues begun last year by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the people said.

The SEC’s probe is homing in on how Exxon calculates the impact to its business from the world’s mounting response to climate change, including what figures the company uses to account for the future costs of complying with regulations to curb greenhouse gases as it evaluates the economic viability of its projects.

The decision to step into an Exxon investigation and seek climate-related information represents a moment in the effort to take climate change more seriously in the financial community, said Andrew Logan, director of the oil and gas program at Ceres, a Boston-based advocacy organization that has pushed for more carbon-related disclosure from companies.

“It’s a potential tipping point not just for Exxon, but for the industry as a whole,” he said.

As part of its probe, the SEC is also examining Exxon’s longstanding practice of not writing down the value of its oil and gas reserves when prices fall, people familiar with the matter said. Exxon is the only major U.S. producer that hasn’t taken a write down or impairment since oil prices plunged two years ago. Peers including Chevron Corp. have lowered valuations by a collective $50 billion.

CNBC:

The Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly investigating Exxon Mobil over how it factors in climate risk in pricing its projects.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that the investigation is looking into the company’s accounting practices.

Read the rest of this entry »