Hunter Cutting, Director of Strategic Communications at Climate Nexus, talks about the upsides of the issues surrounding climate change. “One of the very interesting things I think about this whole issue is it’s actually not a scientific problem. Thanks to work of scientists we’re actually pretty clear what causes global warming,” said Cutting. “What we’re really talking about is moving our economy from a fossil fuel economy to renewable energy economy and the cost to that is marginal at best.”

From here.

Richard Alley takes a page (unintentionally, I’m sure) from my playbook for debating creationists: You wanna tell us global warming isn’t real? Then go back to North Korea where you are obviously from, you Anti-American commie non-patriot!

Well, he doesn’t say it exactly that way, but you can hear it for yourself. The point is, if you deny the basic physics of climate change science, you might as well tell us that our system of national defense and apple pie are all made up too!

From Peter Sinclair’s series of elevator pitches:

“Hi Professor.”

“Oh, hello, RP, come on in. Great to finally have a student come by for office hours! What can I do you for?”

“Well, Professor, I think I’ve narrowed down my undergraduate thesis topic, and I wanted to run it by you and see what you think.”

“Certainly, my boy, that’s a great idea. Much better to get some input on the project near the beginning so you don’t end up going off the rails later on! So, have a seat and tell me what you were thinking.”

RP remained standing.

“Well, eventually I want to prove that global warming isn’t so bad.”

“Whoa, hold on a second, that’s rather begging the question, don’t you think? We don’t prove or disprove something like that. We propose hypotheses and them and the data and the science lead us where they may. I’m pretty sure global warming has a down side, but even if I didn’t know that, I wouldn’t think you’d start out an undergraduate thesis with a presumption it is good or bad.”

“Well, professor, I get that, but I actually wanted to look at the damage cost of bad storms, how that goes down rather than up over time, but first I just wanted to show that there are fewer hurricanes.”

“Um, RP, you can ask the question, ‘Is there a change in hurricane frequency’ for a certain time range, or ‘is there a change in damage costs’ then see if it goes up or down, but you can’t set out to ‘prove there are fewer…’”

“Oh, I’ve got data, Professor, I just need to work out the statistics. So I have a plan.”

“Well, OK, then, what’s the plan, then? Tell me about your data? A quick warning, first. Hurricanes are actually rare beasts, when you think about it. Think about most statistics. To characterize a population you want minimally dozens of observations. To look at change over time you might want dozens a year. That’s the only way to track something like hurricanes.”

“OK, fine, professor. Well, first, I am going to look only at Atlantic hurricanes.”

“RP, the Atlantic hurricane basis is the smallest one, it has the fewest hurricanes. Plus, under global warming while tropical storms are expected to increase, it is thought the Atlantic may experience frequent years with significantly attenuated tropical storm activity owing to Saharan dust and teleconnections with …”

“Right, then, I’m only going to look at the biggest ones, maybe just Category 3 and 4.”

“RP, that is exactly the opposite of what you should do, that reduces your sample size even more you should include all…”

“Then, I’m only going to count landfalling hurricanes.”

“RP, you have pretty much guaranteed that your sample sizes are going to be too small, you’ve latched on to the part of the system with the highest variability and …”

“So thanks for the great advice, professor, I’ve got to go!”

RP steps out into the hallway and sees his friend. “Hey, wait up, Andy, I’m done with my meeting about my thesis!” The door closes behind him.

Office hours can be so lonely. Even when a student actually shows up.

“You can believe the United States Navy or you can believe the Senator with the snowball.”

“You can believe the Pope or you can believe the Senator with the snowball.”

“We can believe [great American corporations] or we can believe the Senator with the snowball.”

“You can believe every single major American scientific society, or you can believe the Senator with the snowball.”

Remember earlier this year when Senator James Inhofe stood on the floor of the United States Senate and displayed a list of supposed climate scientists who question the reality of global warming? That list was produced by the Heartland Institute, who now use the list and it’s infamy to raise money. One of the “climate scientists” on that list was Willie Soon. We’ve talked about Willie Soon before (see: Science Denialists Make Fake Journal, Get Shut Down, Willie Soon Gate, and Willie Soon, will he soon be fired?) and he is now been exposed by the New York Times for ethical violations. I understand that he has testified before Congress before. I wonder if his testimony can now be re-examined.

Anyway, just thought you’d like to know. And that you might enjoy the above meme.

Oh, and there has been some interest in who is on the list. This is the list of “those who can not be challenged!”… Continue reading

I don’t have a strong opinion on dog sledding, but if you are a musher you need to know that, like ice fishing and hockey, dog sledding is at risk from climate change. From Vice News, about Alaska’s Iditarod:

…on Tuesday, race organizers announced that the starting point of this year’s race will be moved due to a lack of snow, a change that has happened only one other time in the race’s 43-year history, in 2003.

“While some snow did fall east of the Alaska Range over the past couple of weeks, other parts of the trail, in very critical areas, did not get much or any of it,” Iditarod CEO Stan Hooley said.

Meanwhile, it appears likely that global warming is causing Grizzly Bears to come out of hibernation early, so be careful if you are in or near Yellowstone:

On Monday, park officials confirmed sightings of a grizzly in the center of the park, feeding on a bison carcass. The bears don’t usually begin to emerge from hibernation until the beginning of March, making this bear’s arrival about three weeks early.

“We have had bears observed in February before, in a few other years,” Kerry Gunther, Yellowstone National Park’s bear management biologist, told VICE News. “But this year, lately, it’s been unseasonably warm. Certainly springlike temperatures, almost summerlike temperatures.”

Several grizzlies have also been spotted beyond the park’s boundaries in Montana and Wyoming.

And if you are a ski bunny, Climate Change Could Decimate the American Ski Industry

…The Summit at Snoqualmie, near Seattle, closed its highest and last remaining open slope last week because of poor conditions. The situation there hues closely to what’s happening all across the West.

“Based on a 60-year record, the total amount of snow that we’ve lost in the West varies anywhere from 15 to 60 percent,” Noah Molotch, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, told VICE News.

… winter sports recreation generates $67 billion annually for the US economy, propping up 900,000 jobs. Its collapse could kill entire local and regional economies across the West or in New England.