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.

At a small private gathering in San Francisco, December 2016, a number of key players in communicating climate risks gathered to brainstorm on the way forward.

chinathankstrum

Reuters:

China’s energy regulator has ordered 11 provinces to stop more than 100 coal-fired power projects, with a combined installed capacity of more than 100 gigawatts, its latest dramatic step to curb the use of fossil fuels in the world’s top energy market.

In a document issued on Jan. 14, financial media group Caixin reported, the National Energy Administration (NEA) suspended the coal projects, some of which were already under construction.

The projects worth some 430 billion yuan ($62 billion) were to have been spread across provinces and autonomous regions including Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi and other northwestern areas.

Putting the power projects on hold is a major step towards the government’s effort to produce power from renewable sources such as solar and wind, and wean the country off coal, which accounts for the majority of the nation’s power supply.

“Stopping under-construction projects seems wasteful and costly, but spending money and resources to finish these completely unneeded plants would be even more wasteful,” said Greenpeace in a statement.

The move follows similar initiatives last year and comes after the government said in November it would eliminate or delay at least 150 GW of coal-fired power projects between 2016 and 2020 and cap coal power generation at 1,100 GW.

To put it in perspective, some 130 GW of additional solar and wind power will be installed by 2020, equal to France’s total renewable power generation capacity, said Frank Yu, principal consultant at Wood Mackenzie.

“This shows the government is keeping its promise in curbing supplies of coal power,” Yu said.

NBC News:

The leader of China’s Communist Party lectured the American president-elect on Tuesday about the virtues of globalization, free trade and even green energy — a sign of just how much international politics has changed.

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PBS Frontline doc on the first world leader our New President will be meeting with.

It’s about how an unpopular politician became a popular leader. Might have some relation to our current situation. Just sayin’.

We’re all busy, so start at 14:40. Stay till at least 22:00.

New York Review of Books:

In 2000 Sergei Kovalev, then the widely respected head of the Russian organization Memorial, observed in these pages that the apartment bombings in Russia in September 1999, which killed three hundred people and wounded hundreds of others, “were a crucial moment in the unfolding of our current history. After the first shock passed, it turned out that we were living in an entirely different country….”1

The bombings, it will be recalled, were blamed on Chechen rebels and used as a pretext for Boris Yeltsin’s Kremlin to launch a bloody second war against Chechnya, a republic in the Russian Federation. They also were crucial events in promoting Vladimir Putin’s takeover of the Russian presidency as Yeltsin’s anointed successor in 2000 and in ensuring his dominance over the Russian political scene ever since.

As John Dunlop points out in The Moscow Bombings of September 1999, the attacks were the equivalent for Russians of September 11, 2001, for Americans. They aroused a fear of terrorism—along with a desire for revenge against the Chechens—that Russians had not known since Stalin used the supposed terrorist threat as a pretext to launch his bloody purges of the 1930s. Yet unlike in the American case, Russian authorities have stonewalled all efforts to investigate who was behind these acts of terror and why they happened. In the words of Russian journalist Yuliya Kalinina: “The Americans several months after 11 September 2001 already knew everything—who the terrorists were and where they come from…. We in general know nothing.”

Dunlop, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, seeks in his book to provide the “spade work” for an official Russian inquiry, if it ever were to be initiated (a highly doubtful proposition as long as Putin remains in power). He draws on investigative reporting by Russian journalists, accounts of Russian officials in law enforcement agencies, eyewitness testimony, and the analyses of Western journalists and academics. The evidence he provides makes an overwhelming case that Russian authorities were complicit in these horrific attacks.2

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I’d pay to watch that movie. In fact, I think I did.

Favorite line in the clip above, “You let Jason operate the drill?”

BBC

The British Antarctic Survey is to pull all staff out of its space-age Halley base in March for safety reasons.

The highly unusual move is necessary because the Brunt Ice Shelf on which the research station sits has developed a big new crack.

BAS officials say neither staff nor the base are in any immediate danger but believe it would be prudent to withdraw while the situation is assessed.

The plan would be to go back once the Antarctic winter is over, in November.

Halley station comprises a series of hi-tech pods that are mounted on hydraulic legs and skis so that they can be moved periodically further inland, to get away from the shelf edge where icebergs are calved into the ocean.

Unpredictable situation

BAS is in the process of conducting such a move right now. The relocation is all but complete, with the last pod currently in the final stage of being shifted 23km to the new site.

The move was necessitated by a chasm that had opened up in the shelf and which threatened to cut off Halley. But this huge fissure to the west of the station is not the cause of the temporary closure.

Rather, it is another break in the ice some 17km to the north and east of the new base position. It has been dubbed the “Halloween Crack” because it was discovered on 31 October.

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Green Day: Troubled Times

January 17, 2017