The Kinder Morgan fracked gas pipeline
The Climate Could Hit a State Unseen in
50 Million Years!
emissions continue on their current trajectory, new findings show that by
mid-century, the atmosphere could reach a state unseen in 50 million years.
Back then, temperatures were up to 18 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius)
warmer, ice was almost nowhere to be seen and oceans were dramatically higher
than they are now.
The implications of the research, published in
Nature Communications, are some of the starkest reminders yet that humanity
faces a major choice to curtail carbon pollution pushing the climate outside
the bounds that have allowed civilization to thrive.
Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have varied for millennia,
fluctuating largely on natural cycles. Humans have added dramatically more
carbon dioxide to the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution, though,
raising carbon dioxide from 280 parts per million to nearly 410 parts per million.
Scientists have been able to track the
historic changes in carbon dioxide through a number of methods, from air
pockets in Antarctic ice cores to sludge on the deep sea floor. The new
research compiles 1,500 of these carbon dioxide estimates.
The carbon dioxide
levels in the atmosphere today are ones that likely haven't been reached in 3
dioxide levels at Mauna Loa Observatory are already nearing last year’s peak.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping and President Obama struck a deal to limit greenhouse gases, with China committing for the first time to cap carbon emissions and Obama unveiling a plan for deeper U.S. emissions reductions through 2025.
BEIJING — China and the United States made common cause against the threat of climate change, staking out an ambitious joint plan to curb carbon emissions as a way to spur nations around the world to make their own cuts in greenhouse gases.
The landmark agreement, jointly announced here by President Obama and President Xi Jinping, includes new targets for carbon emissions reductions by the United States and a first-ever commitment by China to stop its emissions from growing by 2030.
2014 Pentagon Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap
"Drastic weather, rising seas and changing storm patterns could become 'threat multipliers' for the United States, vastly complicating security challenges faced by American forces, the Pentagon said in a new report on the impact of climate change released Monday....
The new report suggests broader cooperation and emphasis on the issue. Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, said the Defense Department will work with the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, among other organizations. He also said the United States must work with other nations. 'Climate change is a global problem,' the secretary said. 'Its impacts do not respect national borders. No nation can deal with it alone. We must work together, building joint capabilities to deal with these emerging threats.”
Washington Post, Oct. 13, 2014
CLIMATE CHANGE and ECONOMIC CHANGE
The ties between the economy and the climate — both in the way that the current system is hampering progress in addressing the issue and how worsening change will hurt the economy — are hard to dispute.
It may sound like it’ll cost a lot to fight climate change. But it may cost more to stay on our current course of taking little action. The cost of failing to adapt could be a staggering $1,240 trillion, compared to $890 trillion if we make changes. The U.S. Director of the Office of Management and Budget has estimated that it will cost the United States billions of dollars if we fail to act, given the cost of increasingly intense damage from storms, wildfires, and drought.
More on this at: https://bay169.mail.live.com/?tid=cmMRPKdwhD5BGSRwAiZMKAdg2&fid=flinbox
The U.S. is #1 in wind power
because we have.....
Outstanding wind resources – The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that our wind energy potential is 10 times the amount of electricity consumption for the entire country.
The most productive wind turbines in the world – Taller towers and longer blades have made wind turbines more efficient, and project developers have been smart about siting the turbines in environmentally friendly and wind resource-rich locations.
Thus, our turbines are nearly twice as productive as those in China and Germany.
And, we’ve also had a policy incentive that rewards electricity production. A key policy at the federal level – the production tax credit (PTC) – has offered tax relief to projects based on how much power they produce. This incentive spurred the wind power development that has made the U.S. #1. Once again, though, the PTC has expired, putting wind power’s momentum at risk!
Where Do Americans Stand on Climate Change?
62% oppose the subsidies that the federal
government gives to oil, gas and coal
Reason-Rupe/ Princeton Survey Research Associates
65% favor setting stricter emission limits on
power plants in order to address climate change.
Pew Research Center
Americans overwhelmingly believe that
climate change is a serious problem.
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner/ SierraClub
Arctic Is Getting Darker, Absorbing More Heat.....
Earth's ability to reflect solar radiation is decreasing owing to the dramatic melting of Arctic Ocean sea ice.
Climate scientists have hypothesized for decades that melting sea ice at the North Pole hastens global warming by decreasing the amount of heat from the sun that’s reflected back into space.
More dark ocean and less snow-covered ice equals less reflection—makes sense, right? While researchers developed models to demonstrate how this could happen, its occurrence has never been confirmed by data—until now.
According to a new study conducted at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, between 1979 and 2011 the average levels of Arctic albedo—the technical
term for the fraction of solar energy reflected from Earth’s surface —decreased from 52 percent to 48 percent.
Here’s the problem:
Reduced albedo creates a feedback loop. Higher temperatures lead to less albedo lead to higher temperatures lead to less albedo…and so on.
And the observed percentage is twice as much as model-based studies had forecast.
Carbon Dioxide Tops 400 ppm for First Time in Human History
The 400 ppm threshold is widely recognized as a dangerous level that could drastically worsen human-caused global warming.
Scientists are warning the planet has now reached a grim climate milestone not seen for two or three million year.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has topped 400 parts per million, widely recognized as a dangerous level that could drastically worsen human-caused global warming.
Scientists say that 350 ppm is the maximum atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide for a safe planet. Environmentalist, Bill McKibbon said, "The only question now is whether the relentless rise in carbon can be matched by a relentless rise in the activism necessary to stop it."
Leading climate scientist Michael Mann, distinguished professor of meteorology at Penn State University, asked about this, added that " 400 parts per million means that 400 is the number of molecules of CO2 for every million molecules of air;. Just two centuries ago, that number was only 280 parts per million. So if we continue to add carbon to the atmosphere at current rates, we’ll reach a doubling of the pre-industrial levels of CO2 within the next few decades.
What it means is that we have to go several million years back in time to find a point in earth’s history where CO2 was as high as it is now. And, of course, we’re just blowing through this 400 ppm limit.
If we continue to burn fossil fuels at accelerating rates, if we continue with business as usual, we will cross the 450 parts per million limit in a matter of maybe a couple decades. We believe that with that amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, we commit to what can truly be described as dangerous and irreversible changes in our climate."
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report, following its 7 year Study- 9/27/13
The current pace of global warming is happening 10 times faster than any time over the last 65 million years!
Revealed by Stanford scientists, Noah Diffenbaugh and Chris Field, following IPCC study - From an article in Think Progress by Ryan Koronowski
What follows includes portions of an article from The Guardian by Fiona Harvey - 9/27/13
The IPCC has concluded that "Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time." "It is unequivocal."Mankind is the major cause of the increase in global warming
" The evidence has grown thanks to more and better observations, a clearer understanding of the climate system and improved models to analyze the impact of rising temperatures."
"Our assessment of the science finds that the atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amount of snow and ice has diminished, the global mean sea level has risen and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased," said Qin Dahe, co-chair of the working group that wrote the report.
"The burning of fossil fuels is the main reason behind a 40% increase in C02 concentrations since the industrial revolution."
" The oceans have acidified as they have absorbed about a third of the carbon dioxide emitted."
The full 2,000-page report for policymakers by the IPCC raised its projections of the rise in sea levels to 10-32 inches (26-82 centimeters) by the end of the century. The previous report predicted a rise of 7-23 inches (18-59 centimeters).
Using four scenarios with different emissions controls, the report projected that global average temperatures would rise by 0.3 to 4.8 degrees C by the end of the century. That's 0.5-8.6 F.
Only the two lower scenarioA summary of s, which were based on significant cuts in CO2 emissions, came in below the 2-degree C (3.6 F) limit that countries have set as their target in the climate talks to avoid the worst impacts of warming.
In their starkest warning yet, they said, "Even if the world begins to moderate greenhouse gas emissions, warming is likely to cross the critical threshold of 2C by the end of this century.
Almost 200 governments have agreed to work out a U.N. deal by the end of 2015 to combat global warming, partly by shifting from fossil fuels towards renewable energies.
In Spite of the Arctic Air in the USA this winter (2014)- The Earth Continues to Get Hotter!
This week’s big climate news isn’t that half of America is shivering through another cold snap brought on by the second coming of the polar vortex. It’s that the entire planet continues heating up in spite of it.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just released climate datafor 2013showing that last year was the fourth warmest since record keeping began in the 1800s. That makes 2013 the 37th consecutive year global temperatures were above the 20th-century average. This week NASA also released global temperature data identifying 2013 as the seventh warmest recorded by its scientists. NOAA and NASA have slightly different ways of measuring temperatures at the poles, which can change readings. But the agencies arrived at the same conclusion: Higher concentrations of man-made greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are warming the planet. Last year “adds to the evidence for ongoing climate change," said NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt. "While one year or one season can be affected by random weather events, this analysis shows the necessity for continued, long-term monitoring." Schmidt’s point about long-term trends is essential. There’s an old maxim: Climate is what you expect; weather is what you get. Yes, climate influences weather, but no single weather system tells us much about the climate. This is a key distinction to make as Americans in the Midwest and the East Coast slog through a winter fraught with Arctic temperatures and multiple snowstorms. Just because it is cold today does not mean the planet has stopped heating up; it’s just as easy to find contrary fodder for debate, especially if you are in Australia right now. True, climatologists debate just how much influence global warming has on individual droughts, heat waves, and hurricanes—but there is near unanimous agreement that greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are “juicing” the climate, making extreme weather more severe and frequent.
Scientists are even investigating whether the polar vortex that's freezing America has been influenced by the accelerating melt of Arctic sea ice, which may be impacting atmospheric circulation.
In that case the freak cold snap will be strong evidence that global warming is occurring.
Greenland Ice Sheet Loses Its Last Grip!
By Becky Oskin, | March 16, 2014
Greenland is losing the battle against rising air and ocean temperatures, a new study finds. The last bulwark to fall is the northeast corner of the Greenland Ice Sheet, which started shrinking rapidly in 2003, according to a new study.
The northeast Greenland ice sheet lost more than 10 billion tons of ice per year since 2003, according to the study, published March 16 in the journal Nature Climate Change. Once thought immune to global warming's effects, melting in northeast Greenland could significantly boost Greenland's contribution to sea level rise.
By Stefano Salustri - Greenland Ice Melt
A freshly published study found that the ice sheet covering over 80 per cent of Greenland is now melting more rapidly than expected since at least 2003.
The ice sheet covering the surface of Greenland is the second largest in the world after Antartica’s. Scientists have known for decades that the country’s ice sheet has been melting, but the speed at which the phenomenon has been occurring of late is rather alarming.
In 2012 scientists noticed that for the first time since 1889, 97 per cent of the ice sheet covering Greenland was experiencing a melting phenomena. Experts are particularly worried about the consequences that the melt of the northeastern ice stream can have on the rest of Greenland, since it stretches some 370 into the interior of the country and could therefore change the entire mass balance of the ice sheet.
The ice sheet melting in the northeastern region of Greenland is the latest bad news coming from the advancing global warming and, according to scientists, may soon result in sea levels rising more rapidly than previously expected.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense’s 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review:
The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world. These effects are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.
US Solar Industry Provides Employment for More People than Coal and Oil Combined
Published: Friday 7 February 2014
By Christina Sarich
"In the past four years, 50,000 well paying jobs were added—many of them building and installing solar panels and this employment rate is expected to continue growing at a steady pace."
"The high cost of solar, which was one factor slowing the industry’s growth is also now quickly changing. More than 51 percent of people are now installing solar not just to protect the environment, but because it is cheaper."
General Electric to Invest More than 1 Billion a Year in Renewable Projects -
G.E’s Energy Financial Services CEO, David Nason, told Bloomberg News that renewable power is the EFS’s fastest-growing energy market.
“We see renewable energy providing very significant returns going forward,” Nason said. “We have a robust pipeline in the U.S. for the next couple of years.”
The company is looking to invest in solar and wind because these forms of energy employ GE equipment such as wind turbines and power inverters. And CEO Jeff Immelt has made the area a key part of his desire to bring the company back to its manufacturing origins.
YALE PROJECT ON CLIMATE CHANGE COMMUNICTION
- About two out of three Americans say weather in the U.S. has been worse over the past several years, up 12 percentage points since Spring 2012. Nearly two in three Americans (63%) believe global warming is happening. Relatively few – only 16 percent – believe it is not.
- Those who believe global warming is happening are more certain of their convictions than those who do not. Of the 63% of Americans who believe global warming is happening, most say they are “very” (33%) or “extremely sure” (27%). By contrast, of the unconvinced, fewer are very (28%) or extremely sure of their view (18%)
on Energy and Climate Change
- A majority of respondents (52%) believe climate change is happening, while 26 percent believe it is not, and 22 percent say they “don’t know.”
- A large majority (77%) says the United States should use more renewable energy sources (solar, wind & geothermal) in the future. Among those who support expanded use of renewable energy, nearly7 out of 10 think the U.S. should increase the use of renewable energy “immediately”.
_Military Names Fossil Fuel Dependence....
"Our Nation's Greatest Security Threat"
View Military PowerPoint Address from 2012
NH Local Energy Solutions Conference
There are new signs of the climate crises unfolding
across our planet.
Monitoring stations in the Arctic are measuring carbon dioxide levels at more than 400 parts per million.
The global CO2 level has recently been accelerating upward, with the
global level currently standing at 395 ppm, soon to rise past 400. It's going
in the wrong direction. Scientists say we need to get to 350 ppm (or below)
to avoid irreversible, catastrophic climate change.
Before the Industrial Age, levels were at just 275 ppm. The added
carbon pollution is already taking a devastating toll: extreme weather,
massive wildfires, droughts, rising sea levels and scores of species --
from polar bears to pikas -- struggling to survive their rapidly changing environments.
The Writing Is on the Wall for Coal
We are in the midst of a massive, historic retreat in the nation’s
use of coal to produce electricity. The primary reason: coal-fired
power plants – expensive new facilities and decades-old dinosaurs
alike – can’t compete in today’s marketplace, when investors and
customers are moving to cleaner, cheaper alternatives. Regionally,
a new milestone came in April, when a New England regional electric
grid operator announced that, during the previous month, there was
not a single hour when a New England coal plant was economic, i.e.,
able to compete with other energy sources on cost.. New
Englanders should seize the chance to reduce emissions, improve
air quality, and realize the savings from cleaner energy.
Other News Articles:
1 Semi- Successful outcome of Durban International Climate Conference
2. Shocking Discovery of Methane Plumes in Arctic
3. EPA Challenges Toxic Air Emissions and Mercuy from Power Plants
4. Link proven between fracking and water contamination
1.11th-hour agreement in Durban sees Big Three legally bound to reduce carbon emissions.
“Climate change accord reins in China, US and India--the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters.“The fact that their soaring emissions – China's and India's growing by more than 9 per cent annually, America's by 4 per cent – will now be brought into a binding reduction framework, gives some hope that the world may hold the expected rise in global temperatures under the danger threshold of 2C above pre-industrial levels.” “Without their participation, the chances of this were zero.”Formally entitled the "Durban Platform", this agreement commits the world community to "develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force... applicable to all parties" – which means a wholly new legally binding climate treaty for everyone. Work on it will begin "with urgency" in the first half of next year and it will be signed no later than 2015, and will come into effect and be implemented no later than 2020.A major fear of environmentalists was that a new treaty coming into force by 2020 would mean "locking in a decade of inaction", but the agreement deals with this in two ways. Firstly, it explicitly recognises for the first time the so-called "emissions gap" – the fact that when all the pledges that all the countries in the world have made about reducing CO2 are combined, that is still far from enough to halt global warming. Secondly, it established a group to work on raising the carbon-cutting ambitions of all countries, in the years before the new treaty comes into force.”
2. Shock as retreat of Arctic sea ice releases deadly greenhouse gas.Russian research team astonished after finding 'fountains' of methane bubbling to surface
Tuesday 13 December 2011
Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region.
The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years.
In an exclusive interview with The Independent, Igor Semiletov, of the Far Eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that he has never before witnessed the scale and force of the methane being released from beneath the Arctic seabed.
"Earlier we found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of metres in diameter. This is the first time that we've found continuous, powerful and impressive seeping structures, more than 1,000 metres in diameter. It's amazing," Dr Semiletov said. "I was most impressed by the sheer scale and high density of the plumes. Over a relatively small area we found more than 100, but over a wider area there should be thousands of them."
Scientists estimate that there are hundreds of millions of tonnes of methane gas locked away beneath the Arctic permafrost, which extends from the mainland into the seabed of the relatively shallow sea of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. One of the greatest fears is that with the disappearance of the Arctic sea-ice in summer, and rapidly rising temperatures across the entire region, which are already melting the Siberian permafrost, the trapped methane could be suddenly released into the atmosphere leading to rapid and severe climate change.
Dr Semiletov's team published a study in 2010 estimating that the methane emissions from this region were about eight million tonnes a year, but the latest expedition suggests this is a significant underestimate of the phenomenon.
In late summer, the Russian research vessel Academician Lavrentiev conducted an extensive survey of about 10,000 square miles of sea off the East Siberian coast. Scientists deployed four highly sensitive instruments, both seismic and acoustic, to monitor the "fountains" or plumes of methane bubbles rising to the sea surface from beneath the seabed.
"In a very small area, less than 10,000 square miles, we have counted more than 100 fountains, or torch-like structures, bubbling through the water column and injected directly into the atmosphere from the seabed," Dr Semiletov said. "We carried out checks at about 115 stationary points and discovered methane fields of a fantastic scale – I think on a scale not seen before. Some plumes were a kilometre or more wide and the emissions went directly into the atmosphere – the concentration was a hundred times higher than normal."
Dr Semiletov released his findings for the first time last week at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.
3. EPA CHALLENGES MERCURY AND TOXIC AIR EMISSIONS FROM POWER PLANTS!
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for power plants to limit mercury, acid gases and other toxic pollution from power plants, keeping 91 percent of the mercury in coal from being released to the air. Harmful particle pollution will also be reduced, preventing hundreds of thousands of illnesses and up to 17,000 premature deaths each year. Currently, there are no national limits on the amount of mercury and other toxic air pollution released from power plant smokestacks.
4. Fracking Contaminates Water
Federal Officials LINK Water Contamination to Fracking for the First Time
The agency's findings could be a turning point in the heated national debate about fracking.
In a first, federal environment officials today scientifically linked underground water pollution with hydraulic fracturing, concluding that contaminants found in central Wyoming were likely caused by the gas drilling proces.
The Clean Economy: A National and Regional Green Jobs Assessment
A recent Brookings Institute report found that the clean-energy economy employs 2.7 million American workers across a diverse group of industries — greater than the number of people employed by the entire fossil-fuel industry — and that clean tech has outperformed the national rate of job creation during the recession.
Read more here:
New Hampshire in Top 10 States for Per Capita Oil Savings From Solar Hot Water
Concord, NH- New Hampshire could reduce pollution and dependence on fossil fuels through the deployment of off the shelf, cost-effective solar hot water technology, according to a new report by Environment New Hampshire. New Hampshire ranks 7th in the nation for oil savings from solar hot water.
AccordingBy taking advantage of this cost effective technology that harnesses solar energy to produce hot water for homes and businesses, New Hampshire could reduce global warming pollution by the equivalent of taking 22,000 cars off the road.
“By tapping the heat of the sun we can reduce the fossil fuels we use for our heating and hot water needs while putting people to work in our communities,” said Environment New Hampshire’s Program Associate Jessica O’Hare. “We have long had the technology and the know-how to harness the free heat of the sun to get hot water, and more than ever we have a workforce that is ready to install these affordable solar panels on roofs across the state,” continued O’Hare
A supporter of solar policies, Senator Amanda Merrill representing Durham, Lee, Rollinsford, Epping and Dover agrees that solar should be used for hot water and electricity. “The report released by Environment New Hampshire offers further support for the proposition that turning to renewable energy sources will help decrease our reliance on fossil fuel and decrease harmful air emissions associated with use of such fuel,” said Senator Merrill. “It also reminds us that we should be encouraging the use of renewable sources for providing thermal energy as well as electric power—the latter being a more commonly discussed application. I applaud Environment New Hampshire for their work on this important issue.”
Senator Nancy Stiles talked to the importance of solar hot water: “As your Senator for District 24, I am working with other Senators to create smart policies that allow opportunities for alternative energies that will help us reduce our dependence on fossil fuels,” state Senator Stiles. “Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative has been able to take advantage of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to install solar hot water on a number of household roofs.” continued Senator Stiles.
Solar water heating has the potential to reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels and curb pollution that causes global warming and respiratory problems. Solar water heating delivers a variety of benefits to the economy as well:
• Countrywide, Solar water heating could reduce energy bills by $9.9 billion annually, saving residential customers 3.2 percent and businesses 1.6 percent of their current energy expenditures.
• In NH, we could we can reduce our oil use by 37 gallons per resident.
• In total, we can save just over five million gallons of oil and simultaneously promote job growth and improve our energy security.
VOTERS OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORT AIR POLLUTION RULES
75% of Voters Believe EPA, Not Congress, Should Determine Air Pollution Standards; Majority Believe Economic and Health Benefits of Clean Air Rules Outweigh Costs.
WASHINGTON DC Oct 12, 2011 A new, nationwide poll shows that by a wide margin, voters of both political parties and in all regions of the U.S. disagree with Congress’ anti-Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agenda and support the EPA’s new rules to limit air pollution from coal-fired power plants. Two-thirds of the respondents – 67 percent – oppose Congress delaying implementation of the air pollution rules, according to the national survey of 1,400 voters conducted by Hart Research Associates and GS Strategy Group and sponsored by Ceres.“American voters, both Democrats and Republicans, are unified in backing prompt EPA action on the clean air rules,” said Ceres president Mindy Lubber. “Regardless of affiliation, voters want a healthy environment"
88% of Democrats, 85% of Independents, and 58% of Republicans oppose Congress stopping the EPA from enacting new limits on air pollution from electric power plants.·
67% of voters support the CSAPR and 77% of voters support the Toxics rule.·
65% of voters surveyed are confident that the health and environmental benefits of air pollution standards outweigh the costs of complying with them.·
79% of voters agree that the rules are important to enact for health reasons.·
75% of voters believe a compelling reason to implement these rules is the boost to local economies and thousands of new jobs that will be created from investments in new technology.
Across the country, polls reveal an America more committed than ever to a clean energy path. Nearly 90 percent of us want more renewable energy from our utilities. Nearly 80 percent of us want measures that will give us better gas mileage in our cars and more energy savings in our homes and offices.
Most representatives who supported the House clean energy bill won their races. In California, voters soundly thrashed Proposition 23, a
measure that would have derailed that state’s visionary global warming law.
Here are some recent findings from a Kelton Research survey of solar/climate issues:
- 94% of Americans polled believe it's important to develop and use solar power;
- 80% want federal subsidies shifted from fossil fuels to solar;
- 70-80% want the Government to tackle climate change;
- 49% would pay more for clean, reliable solar energy
SIX GLOBAL WARMING SKEPTICS CHANGE THEIR MINDS:
6 global warming skeptics who changed their minds Climate change doubters have just lost one of their leading lights, as writer Bjorn Lomborg calls for a worldwide carbon tax. But he's not the first high-profile defector
posted on September 1, 2010, at 2:15 PM FROM:
Bjorn Lomborg, a renowned climate change skeptic, recently announced he's changed his mind on the topic.
With 2010 shaping up as the warmest year on record and unprecedented heat waves gripping the planet, global warming skeptics have suffered another blow with the defection of the "most high-profile" member of their camp, author Bjorn Lomborg. But Lomborg isn't the first doubter to accept the scientific consensus that human carbon emissions are warming the planet and need to be curtailed. Here, a review of several prominent cases:
1. Bjorn Lomborg, Danish academicLomborg made waves with his 2001 book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, which argued that global warming was no big deal, and fighting it would be a waste of money. This month, he's publishing Smart Solutions to Climate Change, which argues that a global carbon tax should be imposed to raise $150 billion a year to address global warming.
Before quote: "In 20 years' time, we’ll look back and wonder why we worried so much." (2002)
After quote: "We actually have only one option: we all need to start seriously focusing, right now, on the most effective ways to fix global warming." (2010)
2. Dmitri Medvedev, Russian presidentRussian leaders are famously skeptical of global warming, with then–President Vladimir Putin quipping in 2003 that a warmer Russia "wouldn't be so bad" because "we could spend less on fur coats, and the grain harvest would go up." Then Russia caught fire this summer, choking Moscow with deadly smoke, devastating agricultural production, and convincing Medvedev and other leaders that perhaps global warming is a threat, after all.
Before quote: Climate change is "some kind of tricky campaign made up by some commercial structures to promote their business projects." (2009)
After quote: "Unfortunately, what is happening now in our central regions is evidence of this global climate change, because we have never in our history faced such weather conditions in the past." (2010)
3. Michael Hanlon, British science journalistHanlon, science editor for The Daily Mail, was a self-professed skeptic on climate change until a recent trip to Greenland, where he witnessed the accelerated disintegration of the country's massive ice sheet. A few days on the melting ice floes, he says, "is certainly enough to blow a few skeptical cobwebs away."
Before quote: "Global warming, indeed much of environmentalism, has become a new religion. Like the old religions, environmentalism preaches much good sense, is well meaning, but has a worrying lack of logic at its core." (2000)
After quote: "I have long been something of a climate-change sceptic, but my views in recent years have shifted. For me, the most convincing evidence that something worrying is going on lies right here in the Arctic." (2010)
4. Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic Magazine
In 2001, Shermer hosted a Skeptics Society debate on global warming, prompted by Lomborg's Skeptical Environmentalist. He sided, predictably, with the skeptics. Then he looked at the science, and in 2006 reached a "flipping point," acknowledging the "overwhelming evidence for anthropogenic global warming."
Before quote: "Scientists like Bjorn Lomborg in The Skeptical Environmentalist have, in my opinion, properly nailed environmental extremists for these exaggerated scenarios." (2008, referring to 2001)
After quote: "Because of the complexity of the problem, environmental skepticism was once tenable. No longer. It is time to flip from skepticism to activism." (2006)
5. Gregg Easterbrook, American journalist and authorEasterbrook was an early skeptic of global warming, writing an influential book, A Moment on the Earth, in 1995 that was dismissive of mankind's role in climate change. By 2006, he'd been swayed by the decade of climate research, and wrote an essay entitled "Case Closed: The Debate About Global Warming is Over."
Before quote: "Instant-doomsday hyperbole caused the world’s attention to focus on the hypothetical threat of global warming to the exclusion of environmental menaces that are real, palpable, and awful right now." (1995, PDF)
After quote: "The science has changed from ambiguous to near-unanimous... Based on the data I'm now switching sides regarding global warming, from skeptic to convert." (2006)
6. Stu Ostro, Weather Channel senior meteorologistA recent survey found that many meteorologists and TV weathercasters are skeptical (or even "cynical") about anthropogenic global warming (AGW), and Ostro used to fit in that camp. Now he regularly explains the connection between man-made climate change and the extreme weather roiling the world.
Before quote: Large swings in temperature "happened long before humans had a chance to influence the environment, [and] typically occurred within a 10-year period, indicating that drastic climate change can occur through natural means, and quickly." (1999)
After quote: "When it comes to skepticism about AGW, you could say I have street cred," but "it could be said that I 'converted' and became a 'believer.'" (2010)
From Madeline McElaney, Program and Outreach Coordinator
New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association
The New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association, The New England Carbon Challenge, a joint initiative of the University of NH and Clean Air-Cool Planet, and The University of NH Cooperative Extension are proud to announce the release of their new comprehensive web tool – the Energy Project Connector. This web tool makes starting a home energy project much easier.
So how does it work? It searches all the federal, state and utility incentives available to New Hampshire residents for a home energy job and then provides a list of all the contractors and energy auditors who can do that work in a given area. The reported information is specific to each user based on where they live and what kind of project they are interested in pursuing. This tool compresses hours and hours of web research and investigation into a relatively simple 15 minute exercise.
This really is a powerful tool. _____________________________________________
What is a Bloom Box?
Please click on the youtube video below to find out:
Climate Change News:
NASA Says it's the Hottest Year on Record
Worldwide, 2010 is on track to
become the warmest year on record. The new finding comes on the tail of a NASA announcement that 2000 to 2009 was the warmest decade in history. "This is just the tip of the iceberg. The models are projecting a substantial warming into the 21st century," one research meteorologist said. (Sacramento Bee, 7/27/10).
Plankton Decline Across Oceans as Waters Warm
A new article reveals for the first time that microscopic marine algae known as"phytoplankton" have been declining globally over the 20th century, and scientists say the decline appears to be linked to rising water temperatures. "Phytoplankton is the fuel on which marine ecosystems run. A decline of phytoplankton affects everything up the food chain, including humans," the lead author said (Science Daily, 7/28/10).
Marine Biodiversity Strongly Linked to Ocean Temperature
A team of scientists has mapped and analyzed global biodiversity patterns for over 11,000 marine species ranging from tiny zooplankton to sharks and whales. The researchers found that temperature was strongly linked to biodiversity for all groups studied. These results imply that future changes in ocean temperature, such as those due to climate change, may greatly affect the distribution of life in the sea (Science Daily, 7/29/10).
Obama Assigns Responsibilities for Arctic Research to a White House
President Obama released a memorandum that moved arctic science
coordination activities conducted by the Interagency Arctic Research and Policy Committee (IARPC) to a White House council under the direction of Obama's science adviser, John Holdren. This should strengthen and improve the activities of IARPC (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 7/23/10).
Broken Icebreaker Fleet Puts Freeze on U.S. Polar Research
The U.S. Coast Guard announced that its only operational heavy
icebreaker, the Polar Sea, was operational no longer. Icebreakers
are crucial at both poles to open the way for scientists to study water
below the ice, including biological productivity and processes such
What Is Climate and Climate Change?
Our weather is always changing and now scientists are discovering
that our climate does not stay the same either. Climate, the average
weather over a period of many years, differs in regions of the world
that receive different amounts of sunlight and have different geographic
factors, such as proximity to oceans and altitude
Climates will change if the factors that influence them fluctuate. To change climate on a global scale, either the amount of heat that is let into the system changes, or the amount of heat that is let out of the system changes. For instance, warming climates are either due to increased heat let into the Earth or a decrease in the amount of heat that is let out of the atmosphere. The heat that enters into the Earth system comes from the Sun.
Sunlight travels through space and our atmosphere, heating up the land surface and the oceans. The warmed Earth then releases heat back into the atmosphere. However, the amount of sunlight let into the system is not always the same. Changes in Earth’s orbit over thousands of years and changes in the Sun’s intensity affect the amount of solar energy that reaches the Earth. Heat exits the Earth system as the Earth’s surface, warmed by solar energy, radiates heat away. However, certain gases in our atmosphere, called greenhouse gases, allow the lower atmosphere to absorb the heat radiated from the Earth’s surface, trapping heat within the Earth system. Greenhouse gases, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, are an important part of our atmosphere because they keep Earth from becoming an icy sphere with surface temperatures of about 0°F. However, over the past century or so the amounts of greenhouse gases within our atmosphere have been increasing rapidly, mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Consequently, in the past one hundred years global temperatures have been increasing more rapidly than the historic record shows. Scientists believe this accelerated heating of the atmosphere is because increasing amounts of these greenhouse gases trap more and more heat.
There are many different factors that complicate this system, including clouds, volcanic eruptions, oceans, and people. Additionally, there are likely factors that affect climate which we have yet to identify. Factors interact, resulting in global cooling, global warming, or even contributing to both.