On this day, 60 years ago, May 25, 1961, John Kennedy challenged America to put a man on the moon before the end of that decade.

Though the technologies needed to achieve that goal had only been envisioned, not yet built, bold expert engineers thought the goal was within reach, and that the alternative, of ceding Cold War technological supremacy to the Soviet Union, was not acceptable.

Similarly today, President Biden has set goals for climate action that some feel are too optimistic. In our case the technologies needed are fully available already, with more improvements sure to come.

Going thru my interview with Emily Atkin, who edits the great climate newsletter Heated.

I’m working on a piece about the crossover between climate denial and the tsunami of Bullshit that is swamping our democracy.

Above, Atkin mentions congressional hearings, and the endless nattering of fossil fuel tools, which made me think of the clip of Scientist Richard Alley handling Dana Rohrabacher, on ice ages and “earth wobbles”. (which are real, just not responsible for current warming)

As fires raged in California last year, I interviewed Daniel Swain of UCLA on the science. He made note that along with the flames, conspiracy theories also raged.

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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Markets starting to respond to climate reality.
Insurance companies are getting hammered. The way they adjust will affect our perception of climate change.

I’ve been reading an advance copy of Mike Mann’s new book, The New Climate War, which will be out in January.

Anyone wishing to have as up-to-date summary of the battle over climate as possible, could hardly do better than this book. Dr. Mann’s narrative is urgent, insightful, and accurate, and I know that because I’ve been following closely nearly every step of the story as he tells it.

Dr. Mann has been one of my key mentors on all aspects of climate science, and with his long time, hard-won experience (see below) as a target for climate deniers of all stripes, he has the perspective to bring the big picture into sharp focus.

Public Affairs Books:

A renowned climate scientist shows how fossil fuel companies have waged a thirty-year campaign to deflect blame and responsibility and delay action on climate change, and offers a battle plan for how we can save the planet. 

Recycle. Fly less. Eat less meat. These are some of the ways that we’ve been told can slow climate change. But the inordinate emphasis on individual behavior is the result of a marketing campaign that has succeeded in placing the responsibility for fixing climate change squarely on the shoulders of individuals.
Fossil fuel companies have followed the example of other industries deflecting blame (think “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”) or greenwashing (think of the beverage industry’s “Crying Indian” commercials of the 1970s). Meanwhile, they’ve blocked efforts to regulate or price carbon emissions, run PR campaigns aimed at discrediting viable alternatives, and have abdicated their responsibility in fixing the problem they’ve created. The result has been disastrous for our planet.
In The New Climate War, Mann argues that all is not lost. He draws the battle lines between the people and the polluters-fossil fuel companies, right-wing plutocrats, and petrostates. And he outlines a plan for forcing our governments and corporations to wake up and make real change, including:

  • a common-sense, attainable approach to carbon pricing- and a revision of the well-intentioned but flawed currently proposed version of the Green New Deal;
  • allowing renewable energy to compete fairly against fossil fuels
  • debunking the false narratives and arguments that have worked their way into the climate debate and driven a wedge between even those who support climate change solutions
  • combatting climate doomism and despair-mongering 

With immensely powerful vested interests aligned in defense of the fossil fuel status quo, the societal tipping point won’t happen without the active participation of citizens everywhere aiding in the collective push forward. This book will reach, inform, and enable citizens everywhere to join this battle for our planet.

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A few months ago, I posted a piece, based on interviews with leading permafrost experts, that pushed back, hard, on the “we’re all gonna die and there’s nothing we can do” catastrophism around the so-called “methane bomb” in the arctic. (I’ll repost that one below if you have not seen it)

That’s not to say that we don’t have a problem. When people tell me that the world is about to end, my response is that we’re not getting off that easy.
Above, more from the same researchers, looking at a little more fine grained data from the permafrost – and observations of a phenomenon that is coming into sharper focus.
As the planet warms, permafrost is softening, causing microbes to awaken and begin feeding on the organic matter therein – releasing more CO2 and methane. Good enough – but a lot of folks don’t understand that THAT process alone is not a world breaker – in fact, as more vegetation springs from softened permafrost, photosynthesis is kicking in – carbon is being stored, and in some models, actually sequestering more carbon.

The more pressing issue coming into focus is that the permafrost does not melt uniformly, and tends to collapse here and there into thousands, maybe millions, of lakes – that break through the surface “active layer” of the permafrost, and into the reservoir of more deeply stored carbon.
These lakes are hot-spots of carbon and methane release, and could add substantially to the total output in coming centuries.
It’s not the sudden catastrophic impact of disaster movies, but, as one of the experts, Katey Walter Anthony, told me, “..it’s a strong headwind.”

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Climate change was showing up as a frequent question in Townhall meetings that terrorized Republicans following Donald Trump’s election.
It was a harbinger of climate’s emergence this year as a top-of-mind issue for voters, if not ever-clueless mainstream journalists.

With his recent announcement that he had actually read the Mueller report, Rep. Justin Amash, from Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District, came out in favor of impeaching Donald Trump – the first GOP representative to do so.
May it be a wave.

Meanwhile however, good to remember that on other issues, the honorable Rep is still mired in primordial goo. Skip to about 1:30 if you want to avoid the nice lady’s long winded question.
Now that he’s done with the Mueller report, Rep. Amash might take time to read the IPCC report.

Below, the video I made on the flurry of Townhall queries includes my own attempt to pin down a squirmy Republican denier.

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The First Climate Election

November 6, 2018

In a country so closely divided as the US is right now, the emergence of climate as an issue that a significant number of voters care about can be a game changer in close races.
We have seen in this cycle a number of Democratic politicians embrace climate, and more broadly, a respect for science and fact, as an issue – as well as advocating for clean energy strategies.

Prominently, Andrew Gillum in his run for the extremely important Florida Governor seat, and Beto O’Rourke in his Texas Senate race, have been fearless and out front on climate change and renewable energy.

In regions like South Florida, Rep. Carlos Curbello, a Republican, has joined a bipartisan “climate caucus” as a means of demonstrating concern about climate and the sea level rise so obvious in his district.

Regardless of today’s results, the importance of climate and clean energy as a political issue has crossed a threshold.

Vox:

The industry’s dilemma is brought home by a recent bit of market research and polling done on behalf of the Edison Electric Institute, a trade group for utilities. It was distributed at a recent meeting of EEI board members and executives and shared with me.

The work was done by the market research firm Maslansky & Partners, which analyzed existing utility messaging, interviewed utility execs and environmentalists, ran a national opinion survey, and did a couple of three-hour sit-downs with “media informed customers” in Minneapolis and Phoenix.

The results are striking. They do a great job of laying out the public opinion landscape on renewables, showing where different groups have advantages and disadvantages.

The takeaway: Renewables are a public opinion juggernaut. Being against them is no longer an option. The industry’s best and only hope is to slow down the stampede a bit (and that’s what they plan to try).

In our polarized age, here is something we almost all agree on: Renewable energy is awesome.

Here’s the most striking slide in the presentation:

poll18

In case you don’t feel like squinting, let me draw your attention to the fact that a majority of those surveyed (51 percent) believe that 100 percent renewables is a good idea even if it raises their energy bills by 30 percent.

That is wild. As anyone who’s been in politics a while knows, Americans don’t generally like people raising their bills, much less by a third. A majority that still favors it? That is political dynamite.

Meanwhile, there are some on the climate action side who view Republicans like Rep. Curbelo as “climate peacocks”, more show than substance.

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Dear Lamar,…

December 2, 2015

msusat

Rabbit Run:

The news has been full of Lamar Smith, Chair and Poohba of the House Science Committee fulminating about NOAA and his attempts to gangplank Tom Karl.  In a recent op-ed in the Washington Times (fishrap whose time and sugar daddy has come and gone) Smith writes

NOAA often fails to consider all available data in its determinations and climate change reports to the public. A recent study by NOAA, published in the journal Science, made “adjustments” to historical temperature records and NOAA trumpeted the findings as refuting the nearly two-decade pause in global warming. The study’s authors claimed these adjustments were supposedly based on new data and new methodology. But the study failed to include satellite data.

Atmospheric satellite data, considered by many to be the most objective, has clearly showed no warming for the past two decades. This fact is well documented, but has been embarrassing for an administration determined to push through costly environmental regulations.

Now this is very popular on the SKS list of denial as the El Nino driven SURGE is pushing global temperatures through the roof.  Certain folk, including Congressman Smith, invoke the UAH MSU global temperature record as their gold standard.  Yet anybunny looking into the matter knows of the serial screwups and the teeth pulling needed to get any information about the majic Spencer and Christy use to transform microwave intensity to temperatures and how it is hard to figure out what and where is actually being measured.

All is not clear in Alabama.

A friend of the Rabett Run knows quite a bit about MSU units and how Roy Spencer and John Christy have danced with the data.

He wrote a letter to Lamar Smith.

Eli thought reproducing the letter would be a public service.  It is a bit long for a tweet, and, indeed some additional comments have been added at the end.

————————————————–
Rep. Lamar Smith,
Chairman House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
2321 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

RE: your Op-Ed  26 November in The Washington Times

Chairman Smith:

I read your op-ed with considerable interest.  I’m a retired engineer whose work experience included several years in satellite design.  As I read your article, my impression was that you do not understand the so-called “satellite temperature” data developed by Roy Spencer and John Christy of UAH.  Allow me to provide some information.

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