Category Archives: Climate Change

Almost Like Praying: Lin-Manuel Miranda and Maria

The phrase “It is almost like praying” is from the song Maria, from the musical West Side Story. The phrase refers to the name itself, if I understand the somg correctly, which makes sense from a Catholic point of view because the name Maria and variants of it thoroughly indurate the prayer-text.
Continue reading Almost Like Praying: Lin-Manuel Miranda and Maria

WaPo Opinion Piece: Extinction is fine, Climate Change is no big deal

R. Alexander Pyron, a professor of Biology at George Washington University, wrote an OpEd in the Washington Post urging us humans to care much less than we do about species extinction. In the essay he says: Continue reading WaPo Opinion Piece: Extinction is fine, Climate Change is no big deal

Roger Pielke Junior Is Telling People To Shut Up Again

I usually ignore Junior’s yammering whines, but in this case there is an interesting and helpful response providing the bigger picture, a thing to learn from.

For context, I provide below links to selected posts of my own about Junior.

This most recent event involves an Op Ed published by the largely anti-science-even-if-it-is-bad-for-the-economy The Wall Street Journal, by Pielke Jr. In it he attacks Michael Mann, and does so in a ham-handed and factually incorrect way. In other words, just another day in the life of Junior.

Since I let my subscription to the Wall Street Journal expire in 1971, and they hold their cards close to their golden chest, I provide the response, by defender of science Peter Fontaine, as graphic: Continue reading Roger Pielke Junior Is Telling People To Shut Up Again

President Obama and Vice President Gore

Syria Will Sign The Paris Climate Accord

It is now being reported that Syria will sign the Paris Climate Pact.

This will leave the United States as the only country in the entire world that has not signed the accord. This may be the first time that the US was quite so alone in an international agreement. The reason the US has not signed is because Donald Trump decided this. Many assume this is because Trump, the Petroleum Industry and Russia are in cahoots over oil. I think not. The main driving force for Trump Policy is this one single thing: Did the black guy do it? If the black guy did it, then undo it. Paris is a product of President Obama’s administration, therefore it can not stand under Trump. Never ind what our country, or the world, wants or needs. Continue reading Syria Will Sign The Paris Climate Accord

Global warming is messing up sports

Global Warming is messing up Hockey.

It is too warm too many days for the usual low tech solutions (like, “it is cold out”) to support casual neighborhood hockey play, which is considered a key feeder for the varsity, college, and pro levels. See: Global Warming Is Bad For Hockey. This is from the NHL Sustainability Report: Continue reading Global warming is messing up sports

Nicaragua Poised To Embarrass America

We, and by “we” I mean “Donald Trump and his Republicans,” are already in a position of disdain by most of the rest of the world for being only one of three nations not signed on to the Paris climate pact.

The other two countries were a) Syria, not really a country any more, and b) Nicaragua.

Nicaragua is now joining the pact, according to Vice President Murillo, reported here:

“It is the only instrument we have in the world that allows the unity of intentions and efforts to face up to climate change and natural disasters,” Murillo said.

Nicaragua, a poor Central American nation that is often threatened by hurricanes, was the only nation to reject the agreement in 2015, and has argued for far more drastic action to limit rising temperatures.

The latest round of negotiations take place after a string of powerful hurricanes ravaged Caribbean island nations and caused billions of dollars in damage along the Texas and Florida coastlines.

Climate scientists have said warmer air and water resulting from climate change may have contributed to the severity of the storms. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has disputed such claims as an attempt to “politicize” natural disasters.

Man Bites Dog: Republican Senator Admits Climate Change is Real

Alaska Public Media reports that Alaska Senator and Republican Lisa Murkowski, while speaking at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention, broke with the anti-Science Trump/Republican position on climate change. Specifically, she said: Continue reading Man Bites Dog: Republican Senator Admits Climate Change is Real

Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change, Must Read Book

Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Changeis everyperson’s guide to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. The IPCC issues a periodic set of reports on the state of global climate change, and has been doing so for almost two decades. It is a massive undertaking and few have the time or training to read though and absorb it, yet it is very important that every citizen understands the reports’ implications. Why? Because human caused climate change has emerged as the number one existential issue of the day, and individuals, corporations, and governments must act to implement sensible and workable changes in behavior and policy or there will be dire consequences.

Continue reading Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change, Must Read Book

Watching the Earth breath from space: OCO-2 and measuring CO2

The OCO-2, aka, Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2, is a satellite that measures CO2 in the atmosphere, using a spectrograph.

From a news article in today’s Science, “One of the crowning achievements of modern environmental science is the Keeling curve, the detailed time series of the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) begun in 1958 that has enabled deep insights into the mechanisms of global climate change. These measurements were difficult to make for most of their 60-year history, involving the physical collection of air samples in flasks at a small number of sites scattered strategically around the globe and the subsequent analysis of their CO2 inventories in a handful of laboratories throughout the world.”

The purpose of the OCO-2 was to make these measurements much more accurate and efficient, and to provide more granularity in the details. The space craft was launched in July 2014, replacing an earlier OCO (OCO-1, if you like) which was launched in 2009.

Do not tell Donald Trump about this satellite. He’ll have it shot down.

Anyway, the current issue of Science Continue reading Watching the Earth breath from space: OCO-2 and measuring CO2

New Book by Michael Mann and Meg Herbert

The Tantrum that Saved the World is a kickstarter fueled campaign to produce a children’s book about climate change.

The book will come in two parts. the first part is the story about a small girl child who finds out about, and attempts to address, global warming (more or less … you’ll have to read the book to find out the details!). the second part is about the science of climate change, expanding on the first part.

According to Michael Mann, “We wrote this book because, in our view, nothing like it exists. It educates by entertaining kids. It encourages action by inspiring them.” For her part, illustrator Megan Herbert wanted to turn her “frustration about climate inaction into something positive, to tell myson that I care about the world that I’m passing onto him. I want all kids to understand the challenges ahead and to be inspired to act positively rather than be overwhelmed.”

The book will be printed in an eco-friendly way, especially the eVersion of it!

Click HERE to visit the Kickstarter page and get in on this during the first hours of the campaign, which just started!

Check out the video:

Other books by the same authors:

GRANDMOTHERS CHAIR by AH

The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy by MM

The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines by MM

Dire Predictions, 2nd Edition: Understanding Climate Change by MM

Tragic and Unprecedented California Deadly Fire

The news is bad, and is being widely covered. Here I just want to make a remark or two about the link between big fires and global warming.

As of last report, there are 15 known dead and 150 or more missing. Hopefully they are only virtually and not actually missing; there is a lot of confusion and communication resources are in many cases down.

Wild fires are tricky in more ways then one. It is easy to get caught in one (I’ve manage that myself), and it is hard to predict or fully understand why some years have more than others. There has been a long term trend nationally towards fewer wild fires, for several reasons, most of which have to do with human activities. The most significant part of that trend is that humans caused many, huge, often deadly wild fires in the past. The worst wildfire ever in Minnesota, in terms of Death toll, was during World War I and had mainly to do with farming and railroads being a bad mix. Cutting lots of land to farm provides the fuel, and in those days, railroads were travelling tinderboxes sparking fires everywhere they went. Continue reading Tragic and Unprecedented California Deadly Fire

Climate and energy are becoming focal points in state political races

Just a pointer to my colleague John Abraham’s current post in The Guardian:

The latest example, Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Otto has a strong clean energy proposal

As soon as Donald Trump won the presidential election, people in the US and around the world knew it was terrible news for the environment. Not wanting to believe that he would try to follow through on our worst fears, we held out hope.

Those hopes for a sane US federal government were misplaced. But they are replaced by a new hope – an emerging climate leadership at the state level and a continuation of economic forces that favor clean/renewable energy over dirty fossil fuels. In fact, it appears that some states are relishing the national and international leadership roles that they have undertaken. Support for sensible climate and energy policies is now a topic to run on in elections.

This change has manifested itself in American politics. One such plan stems from my home state, but it exemplifies work in other regions. I live in the state of Minnesota where we are gearing up for a gubernatorial election, which is where this plan comes from.

My state is well known as somewhat progressive, both socially and economically. The progressive policies resulted in a very strong 2007 renewable energy standard, which helped to reduce carbon pollution and create 15,000 jobs.

As an aside, it is really painful for me to…

Click here to find out about John’s pain!

An Interesting New Graphic Showing Climate Change

This graphic, by Boggis Makes Videos and put on YouTube just a few days ago, breaks all the rules of how to make effective, understandable graphs for the general public. However, if you follow all those rules, it is difficult or impossible to get certain message across. Therefore, this graphic is necessary if a bit difficult. I would like you to watch the graphic several times with a prompt before each watching so that you fully appreciate it. This will only take you six or seven minutes, I’m sure you weren’t doing anything else important. Continue reading An Interesting New Graphic Showing Climate Change

Rebecca Otto’s Clean Energy Plan for Minnesota

Earlier today, Minnesota Gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Otto released her energy transition plan. It an ambitious plan that puts together several elements widely considered necessary to make any such plan work, then puts them on steroids to make it work faster. To my knowledge, this is the first major plan to be proposed since the recent dual revelations that a) the world is going to have to act faster than we had previously assumed* and b) the US Federal government will not be helping.

Here’s the elevator speech version: Minnesota residents get around five thousand dollars cash (over several years), monetary incentives to upgrade all their energy using devices from furnaces to cars, some 80,000 new, high paying jobs, and in the end, the state is essentially fossil fuel free.

About half of that fossil fuel free goal comes directly from Continue reading Rebecca Otto’s Clean Energy Plan for Minnesota