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Bjørn Lomborg on global warming

Global warming skeptic Bjørn Lomborg changes position, saying global warming is "undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today" and "a challenge humanity must confront." He says in a new book forthcoming this year that governments should levy a tax on carbon and spend billions annually on research for new technologies. I suppose it's hard to ignore when 10 of 10 key indicators show the world is warming, and Lomberg is not the first prominent skeptic to change position. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Sep 1, 2010 - 37 comments

Global Warming and its Discontents

You've heard of the IPCC, but have you heard of the MEA? The term "global warming" has been with us for 35 years. The idea that CO2 would cause the planet to heat up has been with us significantly longer, discovered in the early 20th century by the Swedish scientist, Svante Arrhenius (previously). However, the concept of global warming is not without its problems (and this has nothing to do with solar flares). [more inside]
posted by outlandishmarxist on Aug 30, 2010 - 25 comments

100 Square Miles and Drifting

On August 5, 2010 in the north-east corner of Greenland, about 100 square miles (251 square kilometers) of the Petermann Glacier broke off (or calved, see: glacial geology terminology), and in time for the 35th anniversary for the coining of the term "Global Warming". The glacier has been showing signs of breaking up in the last few years, but this is the most dramatic loss for the Petermann Glacier in ten years, yet still far from being the largest calving event in recorded history. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 10, 2010 - 22 comments

Executive Decarbonization

With the climate bill dead and blame portioned, Ezra Klein asks what happens when congress fails? He concludes that "regulations to reduce carbon emissions are alive and well. The Environmental Protection Agency can attack carbon as a pollutant, and the Obama administration's announcement that efforts to hamstring the EPA will be vetoed suggests that they mean to do exactly that." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 30, 2010 - 18 comments

Well, I guess that proves Robert Frost's famous poetic conjecture

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]
posted by saulgoodman on Jul 29, 2010 - 60 comments

"If not now, when? If not us, who?"

Kabuki Democracy: Why a Progressive Presidency Is Impossible, for Now. And what we should do about it. (one-page link)
posted by mek on Jul 12, 2010 - 96 comments

If global warming is real, why is it cold outside?

"...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."

2010 set to be the warmest year on record.
posted by p3on on Jun 20, 2010 - 306 comments

5 Percent Too High

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]
posted by symbollocks on May 7, 2010 - 47 comments

Building a Green Economy

Building a Green Economy, Paul Krugman on the economics of Climate change.
posted by afu on Apr 9, 2010 - 10 comments

Lovelock: we're too stupid to prevent climate change

James Lovelock, 90, says we're too stupid to prevent climate change. "I don't think we're yet evolved to the point where we're clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change." One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is "modern democracy", he added in an extended interview. "I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while." He thinks only a catastrophic event would now persuade humanity to take the threat of climate change seriously enough, such as the collapse of a giant glacier in Antarctica.
posted by stbalbach on Mar 30, 2010 - 78 comments

You're like the wind. In my NIMBY.

The future of Cape Wind will be loudly contested for another few weeks. The latest wrinkle seems to be conflicting claims about the project's impact on sacred Wampanoag rituals and cultural heritage. There might even be a movie about it all. Previously. [more inside]
posted by vrakatar on Mar 15, 2010 - 19 comments

The Idea of Anthropogenic Global Climate Change

In 1896, Swedish physical chemist and Nobel laureate Svante Arrhenius calculated that doubling CO2 in the atmosphere would raise Earth's temperature 5-6°C. The idea didn't get traction at the time, in part because many believed it impossible for humanity to affect the climate (sound familiar?), but Arrhenius might have been on to something. Historian and physicist Spencer Weart's history of the century-long scientific investigation and popular debate will re-frame your perspective on today's crisis and arm you to educate the uninformed. If you don't know the history, you are probably repeating it. [After I-don't-know-how-many years, my first FPP]
posted by guanxi on Mar 6, 2010 - 34 comments

The President Giveth and the Congress Taketh Away

Frustrated with congress' inability or unwillingness to pass comprehensive greenhouse gas regulation legislation and bolstered by a Supreme Court decision upholding the EPA's power to regulate greenhouse gases under the existing authority of the Clean Air Act, President Obama early in his term reversed the Bush administration's position and extended power to the EPA to do the job, partly to provide congressional Democrats with extra leverage to push for a meaningful deal. Fellow Democrat Jay Rockefeller (who recently drew progressive ire by announcing he wouldn't support a push to include the public option during the HCR budget reconciliation process) has helpfully just introduced a bill that would take the power to regulate greenhouse gases away from the EPA yet again.
posted by saulgoodman on Mar 4, 2010 - 25 comments

Friel vs Lomborg

Bjørn Lomborg 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).
posted by Pope Guilty on Feb 23, 2010 - 52 comments

Bin Laden Criticizes U.S. for Inaction on Global Warming (SLNYT)

Al Jazeera releases a new (as of yet unauthenticated) tape in which the terrorist leader accuses the US and other large nations of inaction. Osama suggests boycotting the American dollar and quotes Noam Chomsky. [more inside]
posted by ®@ on Jan 29, 2010 - 74 comments

Open source climate data and algorithms

Do you want to personally verify climate science? You can, with open source data and algorithms. OpenTemp.org: An Open Analysis of the Historical Temperature Record. Clear Climate Code: Python reimplementation of GISTEMP, the NASA GISS surface temperature analysis. EDGCM: a research-grade Global Climate Model (GCM) with a user-friendly interface that can be run on a desktop computer.
posted by stbalbach on Jan 15, 2010 - 42 comments

The (nuclear) path not taken

Nuclear engineers are never taught about the other kind of nuclear reaction. But a working prototype was built over 40 years ago. "The thick hardbound volume was sitting on a shelf in a colleague’s office when Kirk Sorensen spotted it. A rookie NASA engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Sorensen was researching nuclear-powered propulsion, and the book’s title — Fluid Fuel Reactors — jumped out at him. He picked it up and thumbed through it. Hours later, he was still reading, enchanted by the ideas but struggling with the arcane writing. “I took it home that night, but I didn’t understand all the nuclear terminology,” Sorensen says. He pored over it in the coming months, ultimately deciding that he held in his hands the key to the world’s energy future." [more inside]
posted by Araucaria on Dec 21, 2009 - 77 comments

Meet the Man Who Could End Global Warming

Meet the Man Who Could End Global Warming The miracle solution goes by different names: the sodium fast reactor, the integral fast reactor, the liquid-metal-cooled reactor. It burns nuclear waste, emits no CO2, and shuts itself down in an accident. We have enough fuel to power the whole world for tens of thousands of years. It will end global warming, and even if global warming is just another paranoid Armageddon fantasy, it will save us from the dying oceans and starvation and resource wars that are inevitable as the world's energy supply dwindles. It will unleash new industries and revitalize America's manufacturing industry.
posted by vronsky on Dec 18, 2009 - 185 comments

Dow Jones Index for Climate Change

A "Dow Jones Index for Climate Change". The IGBP Climate-Change Index distills complex climate change factors into a single number, like how the Dow Jones distills the markets to a single number, and visually graphs it over time.
posted by stbalbach on Dec 12, 2009 - 14 comments

Climategate?

The public's opinion of the field of climatology has been shaken by the leaked CRU emails. While it's arguable that the messages show any wrongdoing, many pundits have now reached the conclusion that global warming is a hoax, coverup and conspiracy, years in the making with millions of faked datapoints. Sarah Palin has written an editorial saying Obama should boycott the Copenhagen COP15 summit.
posted by mccarty.tim on Dec 9, 2009 - 270 comments

Need ammo?

How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic: "...a handy one-stop shop for all the material you should need to rebut the more common anti-global warming science arguments constantly echoed across the internet."
posted by Neilopolis on Dec 5, 2009 - 142 comments

ClimateGate?

The University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit suffered a security breach this week. Hackers made off with thousands of email correspondences between some of the world's top climate scientists, and posted them to the Internet1.

Tony Hake has posted an article at The Examiner, highlighting what he feels are the most egregious examples of scientists manipulating and hiding data to support the established theories about Climate Change. Some of the scientists involved counter that the quotes are taken out of context, and that "People are using language used in science and interpreting it in a completely different way".

1 I'm not going to link to them, but the Examiner article mentions where to get them.
posted by Who_Am_I on Nov 20, 2009 - 146 comments

Oil: enough energy to melt glaciers!

It may win the All Time Millenial Award for Maximal Irony.
posted by Corduroy on Nov 18, 2009 - 33 comments

The Economist: The World in 2010

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 begin.

The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 14, 2009 - 60 comments

Environmental Discrimination?

Tim Nicholson, a UK former executive, believes he was fired for his environmental views. He has sued his former employer for discrimination on grounds of the Employment Equality act, which states that employees may not be discriminated against for religious or philosophical beliefs. His former employers argue that his views were political, and thus do not fall under the act. [more inside]
posted by mccarty.tim on Nov 3, 2009 - 28 comments

Superfreakonomics: It's getting hot in here.

The Freakonomics follow up, Superfreakonomics, contains a chapter on climate change that lives up to the best selling contrarian style of authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. However actual climate scientists were not pleased with the chapter. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the book "repeats tired global cooling myths," "unfairly trashes climate models" and "advocates rolling the dice on unproven technology" among other faults. They have also been accused of misquoting climate scientist Ken Caldeira. Levitt and Dubner respond to their critics, Global Warming in SuperFreakonomics: The Anatomy of a Smear. [more inside]
posted by afu on Oct 18, 2009 - 128 comments

350 ppm is all we've got

350 ppm [more inside]
posted by wilful on Sep 27, 2009 - 73 comments

Pizzly? Grolar Bear? Polargrizz? Polzly? Nanulak?

The Polar Bear/Grizzly Hybrid: The Ursid Hybrid cross has been attested since a hunter (with a Polar Bear license, and yes, they can be had) shot one in 2006 on Banks Island in Canada's Northwest Territories. Climate change may also play a role, causing an increasing overlap in range and mating season. Polar Bears do show a surprising resilience despite the overwhelming, increasing threats to their survival. Hunting policy itself may play a role, reducing the number of males and driving the females to mate out of season and range. The Native Inuit hunters who are permitted to hunt Polar Bears for subsistence (enabling the sport hunt, which may or may not benefit the Native economy, leading many Natives to support sport hunting) have come into sharp conflict with outside environmentalists. Welcome to the new Far North.
posted by fourcheesemac on Aug 24, 2009 - 38 comments

3D Mapping

Durango Bill's Home Page. With topics that include: 3D end-to-end tour of the Grand Canyon, the origin and formation of the Colorado River, and examples of river systems that cut through mountain ranges instead of taking easier routes around them in Ancestral Rivers of the World. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jul 22, 2009 - 5 comments

Break on through to the greener side

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus want to change the way countries think about global warming. Instead of treating carbon as a pollutant, and legislating our way out of a climate crisis, they suggest a "challenge" approach to the problem—igniting a creative fire under companies and even the federal government to create new and cheaper solutions instead of more loophole-filled legislation. [more inside]
posted by littlerobothead on Jun 24, 2009 - 17 comments

Luke Cole has died.

Luke Cole, founder of environmental justice organization Center for Race, Poverty, and the Environment (scroll down for bio), has died in a car accident in Uganda. A lawyer, he was representing the village of Kivalina, Alaska, in a lawsuit against 24 oil companies who are alleged to have contributed to global warming. Dozens of people have written tributes to Cole on his Facebook profile. Cole's wife survived the crash. [more inside]
posted by granted on Jun 7, 2009 - 8 comments

Waste heat: the other global warming

The Other Global Warming. Waste heat (second law of thermodynamics) over the next 300 years could add 3 degrees of warming.
posted by stbalbach on May 29, 2009 - 41 comments

Climate projection roulette wheel

MIT has completed the most comprehensive computer climate model to date to project how much warming will occur in the 21st century. The biggest unknown is not nature, but human actions to address the problem. To illustrate the results of 400 simulations they use a roulette wheel display - which wheel is spun and where the ball stops no one knows. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on May 20, 2009 - 31 comments

Geoengineering

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."
posted by homunculus on May 2, 2009 - 70 comments

Solar Towers are a magnificent alternative to solar cells.

A solar updraft tower generates electricity with nothing more than a greenhouse and a tall chimney. A 195 meter tall prototype in Spain cheaply operated at 50 kW for years. Now there are plans to build others, including a 40 MW tower, 750 meters tall (near twice as tall as the current tallest structure in the EU). Two others, a 200 MW tower in Australia (previously discussed) or a 400 MW tower in Namibia could become the tallest structure of any kind if built: 1km and 1.5km tall, respectively. Yet even those are dwarfed by the theoretical super chimney which could stand 5km tall and 1km wide. Such a tower would use the Earth's atmosphere itself as the greenhouse, could cause rain, reduce global warming and generate over 300,000 MW of "green" electricity. [more inside]
posted by brenton on Mar 24, 2009 - 63 comments

Is the Science Settled Enough for Policy?

A great lecture on global warming given by Professor Stephen Schneider at Stanford University Professor Schneider discusses the pitfalls of presenting scientific ideas on global warming to the public.
posted by nola on Mar 15, 2009 - 13 comments

Keepin' real with geothermal engineering

Global warming quick fixes roundup, featuring the new water spray cooling method. There's also biochar carbon sequestration for the soil, or perhaps growing reflective crops, or growing crops with seawater in barren deserts. For the oceans, we have iron fed green algae management, and crop waste dumping too. In the skies, there's sunshading to reflect the problem rays, or perhaps a volcano simulation by filling the atmosphere with sulphur. Finally, there's an idea for a three-mile high superchimney that does it all.
posted by Brian B. on Feb 22, 2009 - 57 comments

What do you say to THAT, Mr. Gore?

If Global Warming Is Real, Then Why Is It Cold?
posted by flatluigi on Jan 16, 2009 - 140 comments

Arctic icemelt unambiguous evidence

Arctic Melt update: Scientists now have unambiguous evidence that the theorized phenomenon known as "polar amplification" has in fact been occurring for the past 5 years. It was not expected to be seen for at least another 10 or 15 years. "We're in a vicious positive feedback loop." [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Dec 18, 2008 - 87 comments

We're not doomed, but we are in danger.

Gwynne Dyer's new book Climate Wars discusses the conflicts likely to result in the near future from our changing climate. The first chapter ("The Geopolitics of Climate Change") is available here. He is now on a lecture tour [various lecture notes] and speaks on the subject [MP3 of radio interview] next Monday in Toronto. [more inside]
posted by stinkycheese on Dec 3, 2008 - 6 comments

The Northwest Passage

Scientists are now revising earlier projections about the speed at which global warming will impact the arctic ice sheet. By 2013 it could very well disappear in the summer months, opening up new sea lanes for commerce and, potentially, "a quarter of the earths oil and natural gas resources". Several arctic countries are thinking ahead, while it appears others have been for quite some time.
posted by Glibpaxman on Nov 23, 2008 - 47 comments

Climate Futures

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]
posted by homunculus on Oct 21, 2008 - 24 comments

Put the gun down, and step away

The clathrate gun hypothesis has been discussed previously, but now might be a good time to start considering it less hypothetical. [via] [more inside]
posted by 5MeoCMP on Sep 24, 2008 - 50 comments

"Total Warming"

Global Warming. [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Sep 19, 2008 - 64 comments

ForestFilter

Old Growth Forests Are Valuable Carbon Sinks. "Contrary to 40 years of conventional wisdom, a new analysis published in the journal Nature suggests that old growth forests are usually 'carbon sinks' - they continue to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and mitigate climate change for centuries." Seven Best National Parks for Visiting Old Growth Forests. 20 Visually Arresting but Threatened Forests. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Sep 14, 2008 - 32 comments

Santa set adrift

For the first time in at least 125,000 years, the Arctic ice cap is an island. (previously)
posted by Knappster on Sep 1, 2008 - 55 comments

The 4th degree

80 percent 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.
posted by Artw on Aug 10, 2008 - 89 comments

There Could Be Blood

Andy Grove on Our Electric Future - "Energy independence [viz.] is the wrong goal. Here is a plan Americans can stick to." Perhaps some infrastructure spending1,2 is in order? [etc., &c., cf.] [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 15, 2008 - 14 comments

US Eastern Seaboard the spillway for a "slow wave" of melting Greenland glaciar water

Melting Greenland glacier water forms a "slow wave" that stays in the Atlantic for at least 50 years before reaching the Pacific, according to a new study. The water piles up in the Atlantic. "It is often assumed that sea levels will rise instantaneously, but that is unlikely, given what we know about ocean dynamics." Fifty years after the meltwater is released from Greenland, sea-level rise could be 30 times greater around Greenland and down the eastern side of North America, including the Gulf of Mexico, than in the Pacific Ocean. Sea-level rises in Europe are around six times that of the Pacific, but only a fifth as great as on the opposite shore of the Atlantic.
posted by stbalbach on Jul 8, 2008 - 43 comments

Lester Brown's Plan B 3.0

In Lester R. Brown's new book Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (2008, full-text)) - an update to Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble (2006, full-text) - he calls for a war-time mobilization (ch.13) to save global civilization (already showing Early Signs of Decline (ch.6)) from Deteriorating Oil and Food Security (ch.2), Rising Temperatures and Rising Seas (ch.3), Emerging Water Shortages (ch.4), and Natural Systems Under Stress (ch.5)
posted by stbalbach on Jul 2, 2008 - 15 comments

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