Above – Netflix suggestion for a long weekend.


Just over a decade ago, the American Farm Bureau Federation declared war on legislation to slow down global warming. The organization, a lobbying powerhouse,argued that a “cap-and-trade” proposal making its way through Congress would make fuel and fertilizer more expensive and put farmers out of business.

Farmers swarmed Capitol Hill wearing caps with the words “Don’t Cap Our Future.” And it worked. The legislation died, derailing the boldest plan Congress had crafted to cut greenhouse gas emissions. 

Now, the Farm Bureau might be changing course. This week, it announced that it had formed a coalition that plans to push the government to adopt dozens of policy changesthat would make it easier for farmers to reduce emissions from agriculture. 

“We’re going to have a real common sense, science-based discussion about how we protect the climate, and our farmers want to be part of that,” said Zippy Duvall, president of the Farm Bureau.

The proposals don’t entail regulation or mandatory cuts to agricultural greenhouse gases. Instead, they are voluntary and sometimes involve paying farmers to reduce emissions. Still, the new Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance brings together groups that have often butted heads on environmental policy, from agricultural lobbies, like the Farm Bureau and the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, to climate advocates, like the Environmental Defense Fund and the Nature Conservancy. 

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Genuinely creepy commercial above points to a real issue. New study of young people’s anxiety about the future.

Climatic Change – November 2020 – Eco-reproductive concerns in the age of climate change:

Media reports and public polls suggest that young people in many countries are increasingly factoring climate change into their reproductive choices, but empirical evidence about this phenomenon is lacking. This article reviews the scholarship on this subject and discusses the results of the first empirical study focused on it, a quantitative and qualitative survey of 607 US-Americans between the ages of 27 and 45. While 59.8% of respondents reported being “very” or “extremely concerned” about the carbon footprint of procreation, 96.5% of respondents were “very” or “extremely concerned” about the well-being of their existing, expected, or hypothetical children in a climate-changed world. This was largely due to an overwhelmingly negative expectation of the future with climate change. Younger respondents were more concerned about the climate impacts their children would experience than older respondents, and there was no statistically significant difference between the eco-reproductive concerns of male and female respondents. These and other results are situated within scholarship about growing climate concern in the USA, the concept of the carbon footprint, the carbon footprint of procreation, individual actions in response to climate change, temporal perceptions of climate change, and expectations about the future in the USA. Potential implications for future research in environmental psychology, environmental sociology, the sociology of reproduction, demography, and climate mitigation are discussed.


More than half of child and adolescent psychiatrists in England are seeing patients distressed about the state of the environment, a survey has revealed.

The findings showed that the climate crisis is taking a toll on the mental health of young people. The levels of eco-anxiety observed were notably higher among the young than the general population, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, which has just launched its first resources to help children and their parents cope with fears about environmental breakdown.

In a survey of its members working in the NHS in early September, the organisation asked: “In the last year have you seen patients who are distressed about environmental and ecological issues?”

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Shark Encounter

November 21, 2020


As promised, a little history.
The new video this week, which should be nearby, features Scripps Institution of Oceanography Ice Ace, Jeff Severinghaus.

It was my first face to face interview with Jeff, but we interacted a decade ago when I was working on my “Crock of the Week” series, when he assured me that my narrative was accurate in relation to his work. It was a big confidence builder because the subject, how the planet warms and cools into and out of glacial periods, is complex.

Rewatching it today, it’s pretty wonky stuff, but I think it holds up.

Below, Caerbannog666 on Twitter shares this Severinghaus talk, where he covers this topic at about 31:00.

Half the country is living in an imaginary Universe. How is that?
The War on Science conducted against climate scientists over the last 40 years is a huge part, I believe the most important underlying driver, behind America, and the World’s, disconnect from science, journalism, and respect for factual information.

I bagged a long sought after interview late last March, with Jeff Severinghaus (we have a connection I’ll explain tomorrow) of Scripps Oceanographic Institute.
Big Ice guy.

Jeff has some current research that I’ll be examining in coming videos, but as I spoke to Jeff he was just returning from a stay in Antarctica, so I asked him to summarize the best assessments.

Then of course, Covid hit, and my county in Michigan got devastated by a dam failure, and a whole load of the madness that is 2020 got in the way – but I finally came back around to this.
I matched Jeff’s clips with some from Richard Alley and Eric Rignot, well known to readers here. They spoke to me in New Orleans in 2017.

I had also talked to Susheel Adusumilli, also of Scripps, and I featured prominently the new work from Stef Lhermitte, of Delft University of Technology. Then I wrapped it with a summary from Twila Moon of the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
My Yale Climate Connections colleague Karen Kirk also had a pass at this research as well, her @CC_Yale piece:

Karen Kirk in Yale Climate Connections:

Climate researchers have long monitored ice sheet dynamics in the Amundsen Sea, focusing specifically on the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers. The two sit side by side on Antarctica’s western peninsula covering an area roughly the size of nine U.S. coastal states stretching from Maine to Maryland. The two glaciers alone store ice that could account for about 4 feet (1.2 meters) of global sea level rise. Their “seaboard” location may help bring increased public attention and interest to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which if it melted could raise seas by a catastrophic 11 feet (3.4 meters).

An international effort led by the British Antarctic Survey recently published two papers (Hogan et al. and Jordan et al.) showing the first detailed maps of the seafloor at the edge of the Thwaites Glacier. The team mapped deep submarine channels that have been funneling warm water to this vulnerable location. High-resolution imagery pinpoints the pathways that allow warm water to undermine the ice shelf. Lead author Kelly Hogan of the British Antarctic Survey says the findings will improve estimates of sea-level rise from Thwaites Glacier. “We can go ahead and make those calculations about how much warm water can get under the ice and melt it,” Hogan said.

The other researchers, led by Stef Lhermitte, found stark visual confirmation of glacier disintegration using decades of time-lapse satellite imagery. Their work sheds light on the accelerating feedback process, wherein the rapid loss of ice is opening the door to ever-increasing melting.

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First make sure he’s gone.

Then, Lauren Kurtz has 10 suggestions.
Kurtz is Executive Director of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund.

Scientific American:

Below are 10 recommendations for the Biden administration that would dramatically improve scientific integrity protections across agencies. The recommendations span from revising the policies themselves to strengthening other aspects of government.

– Clearly prohibit political interference and censorship. Unfortunately, a number of agency policies focus only on “traditional” areas of misconduct, such as plagiarism and data fraud, and do not even address censorship or other political interference. For example, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) are missing these critical provisions—which means that even the most blatant efforts to undermine science can go uncontested. If ever it was clear why protecting CDC and NIH science and scientists protects the public, surely it is the federalpandemic response.

– Similarly, protect scientists’ communication rights. Scientists must have clear rights to speak directly to journalists and members of the public, including correcting agency communications that reference their work. Agencies vary widely in the sorts of communication rights that scientists have, which can lead to disastrous results—such as when the Trump administration successfully prevented scientists at the CDC (where scientists have weak communication rights) from speaking about the looming COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020. Preventing scientists from speaking directly to the public not only muzzles scientists but prevents the public from making informed decisions about their health and safety. 

 – Acknowledge that attempts to violate scientific integrity, even if ultimately not fruitful, are still violations. In one notable case, attempts to censor a climate report at the National Parks Service were found to be perfectly within the scientific integrity policy because the report was ultimately published intact. Meanwhile, the scientist who authored the study—and who had fought valiantly for publication—was terminated from her position. Imagine if attempted murder were not a crime, and only “successful” murders were prosecuted.

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Can we get this guy out of here already?


President Trump has denied federal disaster aid to Pennsylvania for Tropical Storm Isaias. The denial was issued three weeks after Trump vowed retribution against the state’s Democratic governor for imposing restrictions to contain the pandemic.

Trump on Wednesday turned down Gov. Tom Wolf’s request for millions of dollars in disaster aid to help nine counties in eastern Pennsylvania recover from Isaias, which swept up the East Coast in August. Wolf submitted his request on Oct. 5.

The damage in Pennsylvania was too minimal to qualify for disaster aid, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said in a statement to E&E News yesterday.

Trump had criticized Wolf at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa., on Oct. 26, and vowed payback for restrictions that included Wolf’s order closing nonessential businesses and limiting the size of gatherings such as campaign events.

“I’ll remember it, Tom. I’m going to remember it, Tom,” Trump told a cheering outdoors crowd.

Pretending to hold a phone to his ear, Trump impersonated Wolf: “‘Hello, Mr. President, this is Gov. Wolf. I need help. I need help.’ You know what? These people are bad.”

Trump’s remarks drew criticism at the time from Pennsylvania’s Democratic senator, Bob Casey, who told Spotlight PA that it was “outrageous for President Trump to threaten to withhold funding from Pennsylvanians during a global pandemic.”

Wolf said in his aid request that Isaias had caused $27.6 million in damage to public facilities. That amount, if confirmed by FEMA and the White House, would exceed the minimum threshold of damage that Pennsylvania would have to show to be eligible for disaster aid.


NEW YORK — As half of HGTV’s “Property Brothers,” Jonathan Scott is all about transforming interior spaces. Now he’s revealing a massive space he’d like to transform — the Earth.

“Jonathan Scott’s Power Trip” is his new documentary about solar power and why this clean, renewable source of energy is being stifled by what he calls an “archaic, old boys system” that’s financially addicted to fossil fuels.

“It’s just so frustrating when you see how rigged the game is,” he tells The Associated Press. “I’ve always been willing to be the person that stands up and speaks and says something.”

The film premieres Monday night as part of “Independent Lens” on PBS stations across the country and contains interviews with environmentalist and former Vice President Al Gore and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. It takes Scott from Georgia farmers suffering with skyrocketing energy bills to coal miners in Kentucky with black lung. He reveals his own grandfather died of the ailment.

Scott, who directs and co-wrote the film, argues that utility companies have fed disinformation about renewable energy and purposely frustrated consumer choice with a government mandated legal monopoly.

“There’s so much misinformation, I’m taking all of the truth and I’m putting it in one place. Everything that I’m showing in the film, there’s no discussion or debate or doubt about it anymore,” he said.

In some cases, he found utilities shifting the cost of coal ash cleanup onto the very same customers who contracted cancer from the waste. “We constantly keep letting them take away our rights and we let them pollute our communities,” he said.

In an interview with the AP, Scott discussed why he believes solar isn’t a partisan issue, why he’d like to install more solar panels on “Property Brothers” and why he wrote a song for the film. Answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.


AP: What’s fascinating in the film is that pro-solar voices can be found from die-hard Democrats like Al Gore to Tea Party leaders like Debbie Dooley.

Scott: I intentionally wanted to make sure that both sides of the political aisle were represented in the voices because what I discovered during the journey is it’s not a partisan issue. It’s just there are a lot of very powerful corporations that have realized if they can try and make us think it’s a partisan issue, they’re more likely to succeed in slowing things down and keeping the status quo.

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Hurricane guru Jeff Masters told me “Hurricanes are like bananas, they come in bunches.”

Nowhere more true than in Louisiana and Nicaragua this year.

Astounding, and sobering, images here.