File under “things you stumble across while trying to make sense of this year’s hideous fire disasters.”

I have doubts.


The Republican Party has spent several years crafting a climate message that moves the GOP away from its denier past.

President Trump blew that apart this week.

As fires rage along the West Coast and Hurricane Sally threatens to pound the South, Trump openly embraced conspiracy theories that reject basic tenets of climate science.

He revealed having a deep distrust of scientists and claimed that temperatures will begin cooling soon, even though the global average has increased 2 degrees Fahrenheit over 140 years.

By flatly rejecting scientific evidence of warming so close to an election, Trump is weakening his prospects for reelection in a race where climate change is an accepted fact among many Republicans, said Doug Heye, a longtime GOP strategist and former spokesman of the Republican National Committee. Trump’s claims also threaten down-ballot candidates.

“It’s a setback and hurts Republicans in their efforts in congressional and statewide races this cycle,” Heye said. “But it also makes it harder for Republicans moving forward because the issues of climate change is of dramatically higher concern for younger voters than it is older voters, and how you vote when you’re 22 or 27 is a very good predictor of how you’re going to vote when you’re 52 or 57.”

Yesterday, Trump was pressed repeatedly on his assertions about climate change, including by reporters on Fox News. Brian Kilmeade, host of “Fox & Friends,” asked Trump to acknowledge that rising temperatures are a problem that people younger than 35 care about.

UPDATE: found the Fox&Friends clip I was looking for:

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I don’t take pleasure in someone else’s pain, but damn it people..


Oregon Republican state senator Fred Girod was one of 11 Republicans who made headlines when they walked out of the senate – some even leaving the state – so that a quorum could not be achieved for a climate change bill.

As Wikipedia states:

“From June 20, 2019, all 11 Republican state senators for Oregon, including Girod, refused to show up for work at the Oregon State Capitol, instead going into hiding, some even fleeing the state. Their aim was to push the vote on a cap-and-trade proposal that would dramatically lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to combat climate change to voters instead of being instituted by lawmakers. The Senate holds 30 seats, but 1 is vacant due to a death. Without the Republican senators, the remaining 18 Democratic state senators could not reach a quorum of 20 to hold a vote. Although several Republican state senators returned to the Senate chamber on June 29, 2019, leading to the cap-and-trade bill being sent back to committee, while other bills were passed, Girod was missing, and it was stated that he would not return for the month’s legislative session.”

Now with wildfires raging in Oregon, climate change has come to Girod’s doorstep. Literally.

Oregon Live:

MILL CITY — Fred Girod stood near the edge of a steep drop between what remained of his house and the Santiam River, grasping the destruction days after the Beachie Creek wildfire destroyed homes, businesses and landmarks along the canyon.

The walls of the one-story home had collapsed, leaving two stone columns and a chimney that rose out of the rubble. The heat and flames had twisted the frame of the deck where he would sit to watch bald eagles, ospreys and sunrises.

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Bill McKibben launched the fossil fuel divestment campaign in July, 2012 with his Do the Math article in Rolling Stone. Above graph is the performance of Big Oil stocks versus the S&P 500 since then.


Global oil consumption is slated to plateau early this decade even without vastly stronger measures to combat climate change, BP said in a new analysis.

Why it matters: BP now sees this moment arriving a decade sooner than last year’s version of their long-term outlook for oil-and-gas, coal, renewables, cars and more.

  • The new projection signals how the COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping analysts’ views of the energy future.
  • The timing of peak oil demand, and the slope of its decline, will affect carbon emissions, corporate strategies and the finances of oil-producing nations. 

Driving the news: BP projects demand for liquid fuels (a rough oil proxy) entering a long plateau in the early 2020s in their “business as usual” (BAU) scenario.

  • It assumes “government policies, technologies and social preferences continue to evolve in a manner and speed seen over the recent past.”
  • Oil demand plateaus at roughly 100 million barrels per day — where it was before the pandemic drove it downward — for almost 20 years, and then declines slightly through 2050.
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Take a break from the Disastrous fires, and impending hurricanes, and relax with this news from Antarctica.

Paper and some sobering videos, ( with some kind of protection that won’t let me post them) here.

Washington Post:

Two Antarctic glaciers that have long kept scientists awake at night are breaking free from the restraints that have hemmed them in, increasing the threat of large-scale sea-level rise.

Located along the coast of the Amundsen Sea in West Antarctica, the enormous Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers already contribute around 5 percent of global sea-level rise. The survival of Thwaites has been deemed so critical that the United States and Britain have launched a targeted multimillion-dollar research mission to the glacier. The loss of the glacier could trigger the broader collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet, which contains enough ice to eventually raise seas by about 10 feet.

Crevasses on Pine Island Glacier

The new findings, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, come from analysis of satellite images. They show that a naturally occurring buffer system that prevents the glaciers from flowing outward rapidly is breaking down, potentially unleashing far more ice into the sea in coming years.

The glaciers’ “shear margins,” where their floating ice shelves encounter high levels of friction that constrain the natural flow of ice, are progressively weakening and in some cases breaking into pieces.

“The stresses that slow down the glacier, they are no longer in place, so the glacier is speeding up,” said Stef Lhermitte, a satellite expert at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands who led the new research along with colleagues from NASA and other research institutions in France, Belgium, Austria and the Netherlands.

While many of the images have been seen before, the new analysis suggests that they are a sign of further disintegration to come.

“We already knew that these were glaciers that might matter in the future, but these images to me indicate that these ice shelves are in a very bad state,” Lhermitte said.

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Remember when Michael Moore told us there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush?
Turns out there was.

From an Open letter to progressive voters from a group of 170 leading environmentalists:

Twenty years ago, the green Party snatched the White House from a climate-change leader and handed it to George W. Bush. In Florida, no less than 97,488 progressive voters snubbed Al Gore for Ralph Nader, letting Bush win the state, and therefore the presidency, by 537 votes, or so the Supreme Court ruled. The result was no moral victory for Green voters. The result was the Iraq War, hundreds of thousands of violent deaths and environmental devastation in the Middle East, two conservative Supreme Court justices, including the chief justice and a right wing reactionary, and eight unrecoverable years of accelerated climate change.

Daily Beast:

A group of some of the most revered and longest-active environmentalists issued a dire warning to the next generation of activists on Monday: Don’t vote for the Green Party this year. And don’t sit out the election either. 

The warning, coming in the form of a letter signed by more than 170 top environmental leaders, is an explicit recognition that third-party voting—including from within their own community—has tipped presidential elections in the past. It’s also a plea to those who remain on the fence about Joe Biden, or who believe that they should cast a protest vote for someone else, that the stakes are simply too high. 

“Angry right-wing voters and liberal absentees put Trump in the White House in 2016,” the letter reads. “In 2020 the same unholy team could keep him there. Progressives who vote for the Green Party candidate, or write in Henry David Thoreau, or refuse to vote at all for lack of an ideal choice will give Donald Trump precisely what he wants, and enough such pious gestures will produce catastrophic results.”

Warnings like these have become fixtures of election cycles ever since 2000, when Ralph Nader’s presence on the ballot likely cost Al Gore critical votes in Florida. In 2016, NextGen Climate, an environmental group that backed Hillary Clinton’s election, ran ads pleading with voters who cared about climate change to not take teh Libertarian candidate, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, seriously. President Barack Obama bluntly declared in one radio interview: “If you vote for a third-party candidate who’s got no chance to win, that’s a vote for Trump.” 

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Cloud of Mystery

September 15, 2020

Lenticular clouds are sometimes mistaken for UFOs.
This time lapse is extraordinary.

I think we’ve talked about this before, but the images here are amazing.