An Oxford University study of over 50,000 participants, published this month in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Climatic Change
: Dietary greenhouse gas emissions in meat-eaters are twice as high as those in vegans
This morning the U.S. government released
the newest National Climate Assessment, which "concludes that the evidence of human-induced climate change continues to strengthen and that impacts are increasing across the country." You can explore the assessment here. Previously.
The iconic monarch of the North Woods is dying at an alarming rate.
Is it climate change, a brain-piercing parasite, or is something else to blame?
Scripps Institute of Oceanography projects that next month its monitoring station will for the first time measure CO2 at 400 parts per million.
Atmospheric CO2 has risen from 280 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution. 400 ppm is an arbitrary milestone that we'll blow right past on our way to 450 ppm within a few decades. This is an unprecedentedly fast rate of increase and it's getting faster. Not all measuring stations are exactly the same: A NOAA station in the Arctic measured CO2 at 400 ppm last year. [more inside]
In a report released [Tuesday], the World Bank analyzed the consequences of allowing temperatures to reach 4°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. ... the report's authors admit that predications are a challenge. Still, they do their best to try to paint a picture, and boy, is it grim.
Dramatic and unprecedented
plumes of methane have been have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean. [more inside]
Carbon dioxide emissions increased
by the largest amount on record
in 2010, exceeding
the worst case scenario outlined by the IPCC four years ago.
Yale's 2010 Environmental Performance Index (EPI)
ranks 163 countries on 25 performance indicators tracked across ten policy categories covering both environmental public health and ecosystem vitality. These indicators provide a gauge at a national government scale of how close countries are to established environmental policy goals.
Australia is copping another pounding from natural disasters.
After the floods across Brisbane (previously
) in South-east Queensland, North Queensland
is in the firing line for a Category 5
cyclone called Yasi
The official warning: THIS IMPACT IS LIKELY TO BE MORE LIFE THREATENING THAN ANY EXPERIENCED DURING RECENT GENERATIONS. [more inside]
Phytoplankton Population Drops 40 Percent Since 1950.
Estimates are that the population of these little critters that form the base of the global food chain and that "also gobble up carbon dioxide to produce half the world's oxygen output" is declining by roughly one percent annually. One possible causal factor cited for the decline is global warming. The latest findings on that issue are out, too, and in case you were still wondering: Ten key indicators show global warming "undeniable"
. [more inside]
"...Arctic sea ice – frozen seawater that floats on the ocean surface – is now at its lowest physical extent ever recorded for the time of year, suggesting that it is on course to break the previous record low set in 2007.
Earth has been 0.65C warmer over the past 12 months than during the 1951 to 1980 mean, and that the global temperature for 2010 will exceed the 2005 record."
set to be the warmest year on record.
Odds of Cooking the Grandkids
: "There is a horrible paper in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which looks at how the limits of human physiology interact with upper-range global warming scenarios. The bottom line conclusion is that there is a small - of order 5% - risk of global warming creating a situation in which a large fraction of the planet was uninhabitable (in the sense that if you were outside for an extended period during the hottest days of the year, even in the shade with wet clothing, you would die)." [more inside]
is well known as the author of Cool It
and The Skeptical Environmentalist
, books which challenge the scientific consensus on climate change and global warming. Howard Friel, previously known for his book The Record of the Paper
, a critical look at the New York Times' coverage of American foreign policy, has a book coming out in March which asserts that Lomborg's Cool It lies constantly, citing sources which contradict or are irrelevant to his points
. Lomborg, in response, has posted a rebuttal to Friel (PDF)
In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year
, NATO may lose in Afghanistan
, the UK gets a regime change
, China needs to chill
, India's factories will overtake its farms
, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum
, the stimulus will need an exit strategy
, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2"
, African football
will unite Korea
, conflict over natural resources will grow
, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled
, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable)
, technology will grow ever more ubiquitous
, we'll all charge our phones via USB
, MBAs will be uncool
, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest
, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world
. And so the Tens
The Economist: The World in 2010
. [more inside]
Geoengineering and the New Climate Denialism.
"[S]ometimes the politics around an issue become so twisted that it's necessary to address the politics before we can have a real discussion about the problems and how to solve them. That's the case with geoengineering
New Year’s Day 2030.
A new report from Forum on the Future
, Climate Futures
(6.7MB PDF), maps out five possible scenarios for how climate change might affect our collective future by 2030. Meanwhile, the WWF
has released a report, Climate Change: Faster, Stronger, Sooner
(1.65MB PDF) which claims that global warming is accelerating at a faster rate
than climate change experts had previously predicted. [Via Gristmill and Disinformation]
of Americans say global warming is real and poses a threat to humanity. Which is good because if the global temperature raises by 4 degrees
we're all dead. However only 44 percent would be willing to face any financial hardship in the name of a solution.
Dystopian storytelling is pillar of Western narrative tradition
, but this decade has seen a significant shift in the way our apocalypse is told. Orthodox tales of government tyranny
are giving way to visions of humans running helpless
in the wake of environmental meltdown
. From the plausible to the fantastic
, most of this fiction remains hauntingly real while the non-fiction can get downright scary
. In 2008, the 20th anniversary of climatologist James Hansen's landmark speech before Congress
, popular art is beginning to reflect an increasingly bleak public sentiment on the future, playing out some of our worst nightmares. It may be that these writers and directors are wishing for the end of the world
, but even so, they are certainly giving voice to the creeping feeling that indeed, we might not make it.
"...will future climate change refugees become a new caste of service sector workers inhabiting a sort of Floating Hotel & Duty Free Mall ... ?" Small island states
are on the front line.
Today marks the official 8-language launch of 350.org
and the start of global action
against climate change. But what does this 350 number
? As author Bill McKibben
and a chorus
of scientific voices suggest, it means everything to the planet. If we want an earth at all, we'll need an Earth at 350
Inconvenient Truths: Get Ready to Rethink What It Means to Be Green
. Last month, Wired published what it called "10 green heresies" which makes the case for urban living, intensive forest management and, er, air conditioning, among other things.
Meet Joules the climate change-sceptic robot.
Joules is employed to teach 8-14 year-old school children in the UK about energy use. Joules says
: "oil and gas could be in short supply in about 50 years time. The earth is believed to be getting warmer and sea levels apper to be rising. Energy Chest is funded in part by the world's biggest oil company: ExxonMobil
. [more inside]
Enjoy life while you can. Because we're doomed.
Global warming has passed the tipping point
, and catastrophe is unstoppable. James Lovelock
is still at it. (Previously.
Biofuels worsen global warming
, according to two studies published in Science
last week. Current US biofuel policies would double carbon emissions over the gasoline alternative. More details: ScienceExpress fulltext pdf
of study #1, powerpoint
summary of study #1, abstract
of study #2, summary
of both, policy recommendations
pdf (via: 1
). [more inside]
In what it calls "the final wake-up call to the international community
," a UN report (press release
, 21 MB PDF
) warns that damage to the environment is reaching a "point of no return
" and now threatens "humanity's very survival
." Oh, c'mon, tell us what you really
Not ones for subtlety, the Death of Environmentalism
are at it again with a Manifesto for a New Environmentalism
. Their Apollo Alliance
is getting early support from both Clinton
But it's not the only "new environmentalism" out there. There's this New Environmentalism
, while others would include both market-based approaches among the the idols of old environmentalism
John Doerr: Seeking salvation and profit in greentech.
This is a grim talk from a man who is well-connected
with the tech industries best and brightest. He spent a year talking with scientists, experts, and politicians the world 'round about industry and the atmosphere. And as a result he has put a few hundred million dollars toward disruptive technologies
... because he is scared -- scared shitless -- about what lies ahead. He also ca
lls us to action
Connie Meskimen of Hot Springs, Arkansas has a down-to-earth explanation for climate change!
What the scientists and the Fifth Column environmentalists bent on wrecking American industry hope that you'll overlook!
Want to increase your energy efficiency and use more renewable energy? Want to install solar panels on your roof, buy a hybrid car, put in new storm windows, or make any number of other green improvements to your home or business? Want to save money doing it? DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency
. Just click on your state and take it from there.
Climate change a 'questionable truth'.
Margaret Wente looks beyond the hysteria surrounding the climate change debate. Hysteria her own newspaper has been contributing to
It may feel hip to go carbon neutral
, but are carbon offsets real
? Now you can find out by reading Clean Air Cool Planet's Consumer's Guide to Carbon Offsets
which asseses 30 providers of carbon neutrality and sets out criteria for understanding which are doing the best to help you save the planet. The consumer's guide reads more like an enviro geeks master's thesis, but it quickly becomes clear that the core of the matter is additionality
, i.e. to what extent will this investment create emission reductions in addition to those that would have occured in its absence
If this is all too much for you and just want to cut to chase and save the world, you should just take the pledge at Treasure Our Planet
. It's pretty simple stuff.
Climate change denial
gets a sort of semi-mainstream platform in the UK. The author, Christopher Monckton
, seems to be a colourful
figure. Now that all the major political parties accept that it's time to do something about climate change, is this a last ditch effort by 1980s right wing relics
to stave off the inevitable? Or are we going to be hearing a lot more
of this kind of stuff, post-Stern Review
Anyone interested in climate change
or is still wondering about it's potential effects and possible solutions should check out this must-read Special Issue of Scientific American. Here is a freebie article they have posted online called A Climate Repair Manual.
The Campaign Gore Can't Lose.
Al Gore makes the case for global warming. (Trailer)
Even the hard-bitten conservatives at the National Review are impressed.
Can Al Gore lead the way to a new environmental majority?
The Climate of Man.
The New Yorker has made Elizabeth Kolbert's
three-part series on climate change (previously mentioned here
) available online. Part I: How the earth is changing, Part II: The curse of Akkad
, and Part III: What can be done?
Say goodbye to the Holocene, and hello to the Anthropocene
. [Via WorldChanging.]
of the mind
: Of kids, lies and Oil
. The American Petroleum Institute partners
with The National Science Teacher's
(NSTA) and Scholastic
(see: Scholastic's creedo
provide K-12 lesson plans, on energy and oil, which resemble the API's own "Teacher Lesson
and snappy flash presentations
such as Progress
which are bundled with fun stuff
cool facts. The NSTA/API lessons teach all about energy and oil except the global environmental impacts
. Didactic bonus from NSTA's
oil-friendly curriculum : a surrealistic gallery of oil industry
for kids to download.
Recent glacial melt speedup in Greenland
shocks researchers, while the Pentagon games scenarios
Climate Change : Don't worry, says the DOE's Energy Ant
good, like cows, m'kay
. Extra credit : Play the Oil and natural Gas
, or the "Industry Lesson Plan Game" (that, and more, inside)
The bias of balance : new study of how media "evenhandness" distorts truth
"Two researchers argue, in a paper published this month in the journal Global Environmental Change, that following the norms of American journalism, U.S. media have promulgated a bias in the coverage of climate change essentially by giving too much credence to climate skeptics at the expense of the scientific consensus." - "Reporters and editors at four of the nation's top newspapers
[ New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal ] adhered to the journalistic norm of balance at the expense of accurately reporting scientific understanding of the human contributions to global warming" (an earlier work
in this vein).