Category Archives: Climate Change

These heat waves are global warming connected

It really is true that global warming has made heat waves more common and more severe. The heat wave last month that affected the American southwest was one of these. Yet, of the 433 local broadcast events in local TV affiliates in Phoenix and Las Vegas to mention the heatwave (which was current news at the time) only one event mentioned a climate change connection, and that was to downplay it.

Similarly, governments are ignoring the connection.

This is the people who are supposed to help or at least disseminate correct information, letting everyone down for, I assume, political reasons. Shame on them.

Media Matters has a more detailed analysis here.

Please, MSNBC, can we stop now?

MSNBC has added Bret Stephens, climate denier formerly of the WSJ, lately of the NYT, to their list of commenters. Shame on them.

Also, shame on Wikipedia and others for referring to Stephens as a journalist. He is no more a journalist than Anne Coulter. He is a commenter. (He’s way better than Coulter, of course.)

Prior related posts:

Out of the gate, Bret Stephens punches the hippies, says dumb things

Honestly, New York Times? You are entitled to publish all the opinions, but not to endorse your own facts!

My letter to the New York Times

Dear New York Times: Climate Change Is Real

The New York Times Bites It With New Climate Denier Columnist

Apparently the widespread opposition to Stephens, which included a lot of tweeting, has driven him off Twitter.

And, MSNBC has added climate denier Hugh Hewitt as a host of a Saturday morning program. Read this expose from MMFA for the documentation on Hewitt’s climate denial.

Atlantic Hurricane Season 2017 (frequently updated)

UPDATE (Aug 30th)

Irma is a new named storm in the Eastern Atlantic. See this post for details, eventually.

UPDATE (Aug 29th)

There is a system currently raining on Cabo Verde, off the West Coast of Africa (nee Cape Verde) that is expected to develop. It is on the verge of becoming a tropical depression. The National Hurricane Center has estimated that there is a high probability of this stormy feature becoming a tropical storm in a couple of days or so. If it gets a name, it will be Irma, unless some other large rotating wet object takes that name first.

UPDATE (Aug 29th)

How is the Atlantic Season doing so far, in relation to most hurricane seasons?

Using data from NOAA, we can say that on average (using the 1966-2009 baseline) we reach the eight named storm in the Atlantic (Harvey is the eighth) on September 24th. So, we’re having more named storms than average.

This year so far we’ve had 3 hurricanes. Normally one reaches that number of hurricanes on September 9th. That’s a week and a half from now, so we can declare this year a bit above average in this measure, but not spectacularly so.

So far this year we’ve had one major hurricane (Category 3 or above). There are some years with zero major hurricanes, but on average one major hurricane occurs by September 4th. So, we’re close to average now.

UPDATE (Aug 29th)

The following posts discuss various aspects of Harvey

Harvey The Hurricane: Truly Climate Change Enhanced

Is Harvey a failure of the assumption that we’ll adapt to climate change?

Harvey’s effects on petroleum pricing and related things

UPDATE:

I’m writing up Harvey here on its own post. This is going to prove to be an important hurricane. If you are in Texas get caught up right now.

UPDATE:

Well, finally, something interesting happened in the Atlantic! Tropical Depression Harvey is heading for Texas and in a very short amount of time is going to whip up into a hurricane and hit the Lone Star State right on the coastline.

From the NWS HPC:

1. Harvey is likely to bring multiple hazards, including heavy
rainfall, storm surge, and possible hurricane conditions to portions
of the Texas coast beginning on Friday.

2. Heavy rainfall is likely to spread across portions of eastern
Texas, Louisiana, and the lower Mississippi Valley from Friday
through early next week and could cause life-threatening flooding.
Please refer to products from your local National Weather Service
office and the NOAA Weather Prediction Center for more information
on the flooding hazard.

3. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from Port Mansfield to High
Island, Texas, indicating the possibility of life-threatening
inundation from rising water moving inland from the coast during the
next 48 hours. For a depiction of areas at risk, see the Storm
Surge Watch/Warning Graphic at hurricanes.gov.

4. The Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map is available on the NHC
website. This product depicts a reasonable worst-case scenario –
the amount of inundation that has a 10 percent chance of being
exceeded at each individual location. Because the Flooding Map is
based on inputs that extend out only to about 72 hours, it best
represents the flooding potential in those locations within the
watch area.


We still hear the yammering that climate change has not affected storms. “They said there would be more storms. There’s no more storms,” they say.

They are wrong in so many ways. For example, the total energy observed in tropical storms around the globe is up. There have been several big huge scary storms in the tropics in recent years, some of which are unprecedented in their size, strength, rapidity of forming, when they formed, where they went, and what they messed up. Other types of storms show either likely increases or, if not clearly increased yet, still show strong liklihood of increasing in the future based on models. Models that are good.

This is from Emannuel 2005, showing his “Power Dissipation Index” over time and sea surface temperatures.

Smoothed Power Dissipation Index (dotted line, a measure of hurricane intensity) versus Tropical Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature (solid black line)

This shows the long term up and down swings in total tropical storm activity, and an overall upward trend exactly as expected with effects from global warming.

This is from “Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years” by Kerry Emanuel, Nature 436:686-688.

See also this post for more details.

Roger Pielke Jr. is one of those yammering fools (I used to try to be nice to him until he accused me of horrible things a few months back and almost none of them were true!) who will tell you this. Roger says, there have bee no more landfalling Atlantic Hurricanes in the US recently than ever before. But trying to figure out what is occurring on the Earth by only considering what the smallest of the Hurricane basins produces, and only counting the small subset of those hurricanes that hit the US (and, by thew way, ignoring some of them such as Hurricane Sandy in order to fudge the numbers) is like trying to get a handle on the frequency of major train derailments by watching the 100 mile length of track you drive along five times a year on the way up north fishing. Nobody would do that. Except Roger.

The normal number of named Atlantic storms is 12.1 of which 6.4 are hurricanes, and 2.7 major hurricanes, in a given year. The record high is 28 named storms, and the record low, is 4.

There have been various predictions for how much storm activity we expect this year. The predictions that are most recent and most reliable call for 11, 12, 11-15, 14, 11-17, and 15.3 storms. So, generally, close to average plus.

The prediction I watch most closely is from PSU’s Earth System Science Center. PSU has been making very accurate predictions for a number of years. For this year, they predict 15.3 +/- 3.9 named storms this year (i.e., about 11 to 20 with the best guess being 15). Their prediction will drop a little if there is a mild El Niño this year, but that seems increasingly unlikely. Also, PSU has a second alternative model that produces a lower estimate, of around 12.4.

So, in short, barring an El Niño, we can expect a near average but slightly above average year for Atlantic hurricanes. And no, that does not mean that global warming is not happening. It means that no derailments are expected along a particular section of recently maintained rail track.

Anyway, for the second year in a row, IIRC, we got cheated on our A storm. Below, I’ve put the official list of storm names for the Atlantic 2017 season (as headings, we’ll fill in info as the year progresses), but the first tropical storm to talk about today, 19 days into the season, is Bret (one ‘t’). Arlene happened last April.

Tropical storms don’t happen in the Atlantic in April. ‘Cept for Arlene. Generally, it seems like the boundaries are becoming enfuzzied. Expect more “extraseasonal” storms over the next few years, and expect eventually, perhaps a decade from now, for the National Hurricane Center crew to be asked to start watching year round, because a tropical storm that hits your fleet in April is still a tropical storm. Even if Roger says it doesn’t exit.

Bret

Bret formed near the very southern edge of the Atlantic Hurricane basin.

This is the earliest far south forming hurricane in the Atlantic Basin. So, our first storm of the season happened months early, the second storm hundreds of miles south, compared to normal. Roger that.

Bret will menace the northern edge of South America, then in a few days from now it will be gone. Bret is not expected to strengthen and will not be a hurricane. Nor will it hit the United States of America. Therefore, according to Roger, Bret, as novel as it is, does not exist.

Cindy

The next storm, to be named Cindy, is very likely to form from a disturbance now seen in the south-central Gulf of Mexico. This is fairly typical place to see a tropical storm or hurricane form this time of year. Cindy will likely become a north-moving tropical storm, and will likely stay just at tropical storm strength, coming ashore somewhere between Houston, Texas and Morgan City, Louisiana. The chances of Cindy wetting down NOLA is very good, but again, this will not be a hurricane. This will happen some time late Wednesday, most likely.

While possible-Cindy would transform from a tropical storm to a depression with landfall, the storm will track up the Mississippi and cause lots of rain.

Don


Emily


Franklin


Gert


Harvey


Irma


Jose


Katia


Lee


Maria


Nate


Ophelia


Philippe


Rina


Sean


Tammy


Vince


Whitney

Michael Mann Receives A Schneidy!

Michael Mann, author of some of the best books on climate science (including The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, and Dire Predictions, 2nd Edition: Understanding Climate Change) and discoverer of the Hockey Stick (the graph, not the actual stick) has been very appropriately awarded the coveted Stephen H. Schneider Award.

Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center, Penn State, will receive the seventh annual Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communications from Climate One at the Commonwealth Club.

The $15,000 award is given to a natural or social scientist who has made extraordinary scientific contributions and communicated that knowledge to a broad public in a clear and compelling fashion. The award was established in honor of Stephen Henry Schneider, one of the founding fathers of climatology, who died suddenly in 2010.

The jurors for the award state that Mann exemplifies the rare ability to be both a superb scientist and powerful communicator in the mold of Schneider.

“Professor Mike Mann has been a world leader in scientific efforts to understand the natural variability of the climate system and to reconstruct global temperature variations over the past two millennia,” said Ben Santer, climate researcher, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. “This critically important work led to the famous ‘hockey stick’ temperature reconstruction. The hockey stick provides compelling evidence for the emergence of a human-caused warming signal from the background noise of natural fluctuations in climate.”

Mann will receive the award — presented by Climate One, a project of the Commonwealth Club of California and underwritten by Tom R. Burns, Nora Machado and Michael Haas — in December during the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in New Orleans.

Mann is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and has written “Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change” and “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars.” He is also co-author with Tom Toles, Washington Post editorial cartoonist, of “The Madhouse Effect.” He is co-founder of the science website RealClimate.org.

“Stephen Schneider was a role model and mentor to me, and I am truly humbled to receive the Stephen Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communications,” said Mann. “While none of us can fill the very large shoes Steve left behind, we can honor his legacy by doing our best to inform the public discourse over human-caused climate change in an objective, clear and effective manner.”

The first recipient of the Schneider Award was Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences, Penn State.

Trump Lied

I got a letter from a Minnesota-based teacher who is getting inundated by students asking questions about Paris. Many of those questions are dogwhistles (the students do not realize that) indicating that they’ve been getting their information from Trump supporters, or so I can confidently guess. (The school is in an area where many voted for Trump.)

Here’s my response. Short version: he lied about everything.

Most people in Minnesota who have asthma have it because of coal plant generated pollution. Shutting down the coal plants is a primary step in reducing climate change. So, even without climate change, if we could replace coal plants with clean energy production, which we can do, why would we not do that? Anybody in the room have asthma? Anybody in the room not know that asthma is not just an inconvenience, but a potential cause of death?

(And the list of diseases and disorders goes way beyond Asthma)

President says: “The green fund would likely obligate the United States to commit potentially tens of billions of dollars of which the United States has already handed over $1 billion. Nobody else is even close. Most of them haven’t even paid anything — including funds raided out of America’s budget for the war against terrorism. That’s where they came.”

Other countries have contributed a great deal. The US is the biggest per capita producer of Carbon, and stands to be in the top three countries to benefit from the economic benefits of Paris. So, we pay 3 billion of a total 10 or 11 billion.

This money is not from defense funds, that’s just a scare tactic. It comes from the State Departments economic support funds. In other words, it comes from human rights and such. Trump should love that.

Plus the money does stuff. We’ll get a return on that investment. Like less asthma.

President says: “We’re getting out, but we will start to negotiate, and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair.”

NO, actually, you get to negotiate if you are in. The agreement was set up to have continuous negotiations.

President says: “China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. So, we can’t build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement. India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020.”

Bald faced falsehood. There are no such restrictions or permissions on any country as part of Paris. The expectation is that market forces and consideration of other issues such as disease will reduce the use of coal very quickly over the next few decades.

Kids in todays classrooms will still have kids with asthma, because this is all going very slowly, but the grandkids will hear the word “asthma” and think the same thing folks today think when they hear “gout” or “scurvy” or “rickets.” Diseases that don’t happen any more.

President says: “Compliance with the terms of the Paris accord and the onerous energy restrictions it has placed on the United States could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025, according to the National Economic Research Associates. This includes 440,000 fewer manufacturing jobs — not what we need.”

This is based on a study funded by the anti-science foundations US CoC and the American Council for Capital Formation, and others. It is pretty much made up.

The future jobs in this country are in clean energy. Solar and wind are creating jobs at a much higher rate than coal/gas/etc. Rebuilding the electric grid is going to require people, Americans specifically, and is going to support businesses. Especailly good for Minnesota. 75% of the North American new clean energy infrastructure was built by two companies based in Minnesota, and much of the trucking done to complete those jobs was done by a trucking company based in Minnesota.

President says: “Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree — think of that, this much — Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100. Tiny, tiny amount.”

First, that is not a small amount. Second, the Paris deal was compared in an MIT report to market forces working on their own. So, the Paris deal is market forces plus a little extra. Why is Trump against that? Third, the Paris deal is also the framework to allow countries to adjust the overall changes needed as time goes on. There are uncertainties, esp. with respect to carbon sinks. This is not a reason the Paris deal does not make sense. It is the reason the Paris deal does make sense. Without the deal, an optimistic 0.2 degree difference would become a 0.5 degree difference. That’s huge.

Maybe it would help if we changed units. Use the new unit I just invented, the “Trump”. There are 10,000 Trumps in a Kelvin. So, the Paris deal gives us 2000 Trumps. That’s YUGE!

President says: “China will be able to increase these emissions by a staggering number of years, 13. They can do whatever they want for 13 years. India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries.”

China is slated to cut its carbon use more than most other countries, as does India. This is just looking at a long term projection/plan and cherry picking part of it and ignoring the rest.

President says: “Believe me, we have massive legal liability if we stay in.”

Believe me, we have massive legal liability if we get out. Remember all those kids with Asthma? When the US is the only country causing a worldwide disease and people realize that, we will have liability.

President says: “As someone who cares deeply about the environment, which I do, I cannot in good conscience support a deal that punishes the United States, which is what it does.”

Noe he isn’t, no he doesn’t, and no he shouldn’t.

See this post for many links to many commentaries about Trump’s folly. See this post for the Washington Post’s fact checking, which I used in part for this commentary.

We’ll always have Paris

If you are upset about Trump and upset about Trump pulling the US out of the Paris agreement, please let me help you get through the day.

Trump announcing that the US is pulling out of Paris does not mean the end of Paris, the end of action on climate change, or much else about global warming. I’ll explain why in a moment. The US pulling out of Paris could even be interpreted as better than the US staying in. I’ll explain that too.

I’m not saying that Trump should have pulled out, I’m just saying that at the moment, if you are deeply concerned about the climate and the future, which you should be, don’t let this get you down too much because when you add up all the complications and nuances, Trump’s decision about Paris is not that different than his decision about immigration. A big league tweet followed by an awkward presentation of his racist America First agenda followed by not much.

First, I’m going to list a few reasons that PAREXIT is not the end of the world. None of these arguments individually means much, but this will give you an idea of how this is not YASBTTTD (yet another simple bad thing that trump did). Then, I’ll tell you the real meaning of PAREXIT and why, in my view, this will backfire on Trump. Then, I’ll give you a few money quotes and links to commentary by my smart and trusted colleagues so you can read all about it.

1) We have made arrangements and are part of Paris already, and leaving the Paris agreement therefore will take time. It will likely take a few years, which is longer than trump will be President. Here is the President of the European Commission explaining that since Trump does not “get close to the dossier” (translation: can’t read or think) he has announced a thing he can’t really do.

2) There are almost 200 nations in the agreement, and the US would have been only one of them. Yes, we are the bigliest and the bestliest and among the most polluting and all that. But think about this for a second. How many times in the past has there been something like a 200:1 ratio of countries on two different sides of something? Answer: Never. Not once has that ever happened. Even Hitler had a couple of other bad hombres on his side. The sheer yugeness of this imbalance makes what Trump does not count for much. See below for more aspects to this part of PAREXIT.

3) If the US were to remain an active participant in Paris, with Trump and his anti-environmental, anti-planet Republicans in charge, they would ruin the agreement. Right now, there are a lot of people quietly breathing a sigh of relief that the next few years of acting on Paris can ignore the US.

Trump has said and done a lot of dumb things, and among those things have been a number of serious insults to other countries. The whole building a wall along the Mexican border thing is a good example. Trump’s attack on a huge portion of the world, directly, and insult to everyone else, indirectly, with his stance on Immigration seriously affected the view other countries have of the US. His coziness with Putin pisses off Europe. Every chance he has had to be nice vs. insult a foreign leader, he’s chosen the bully-brat approach and mostly insulted.

All this together made everyone else in the world look at Trump with suspicion. But, world leaders remained diplomatic, sometimes even hopeful, said nice things, and tried to live with it all.

Then, Trump went to the Middle East and Europe. While in Europe he violated the old proverb, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.” By the time Trump returned to the US, his standing among world leaders was pretty nearly ruined.

But not totally ruined, there may have been some hope, and he still got along with the Orb People.

But then, PAREXIT happened and the Trump is now on the very edge of being a full on pariah globally, and the US is teetering on the edge of utter irrelevance in the areas of diplomacy, trade, or anything that requires cooperation or conversation. The following graphic is optimistic, allowing for a tiny bit of hope which we assume Trump will erase within the next week or two.

And that is the true meaning of PAREXIT

This all sounds bad but it can be good, and here’s why. Once the rest of the world is allowed to no longer take the US seriously, and more importantly, once the rest of the world is required to not take the US seriously for their own preservation and protection, then they can do something about trump and the Republicans.

For example, if other countries are trying to meet Paris goals, they may need to suspend trade with the US. If you are Argentina and you are mostly non-fossil fuel powered, you can’t really buy cars or electronic parts from the Dirty US, can you? You’ll get them from Germany or France. If you are Mexico, and you are trying to meet Paris goals, you can’t let American based airlines land in your country. It is not Trump that is going to shut down all the trade agreements. It is everyone else.

When US business that supply manufactured good and technology overseas are shut down by the Paris countries (= all the countries) and all those nice people in Wisconsin and Michigan who want to fly down to the Maya Riviera next January can’t, the disastrous nature of Trump’s decisions and Trump himself will gain special meaning.

And it goes on from there. The US has to negotiate and communicate and get along. Remember just a few days ago when the UK intelligence services said they would stop sharing certain information with the US because of photos from Manchester being released? That was a line of crap. The photos were released to news agencies by a British based source. That was something else going on. It was the UK intelligence services creating an opportunity to “USEXIT” the special relationship before it became a disaster, because trust with the US was gone. Just to be clear, the thing that keeps getting called the “special relationship” is not just some valentine’s day card aphorism. It has a specific meaning. It means that the US and the UK share intelligence between each other at the same level that we share intelligence within our own services. No other two countries do that, or maybe a couple but not most. The UK has been for years in a special place within that special relationship, having experienced the worst case of double-agent caused loss of trust ever, years ago, and ever since then the Americans have been able to hold the UK’s feet to the fire and make them feel bad whenever necessary. It was like the UK had an affair and the spouse (the US) could never really trust them again. Now, with Trump, the shoe is on the other foot, an the UK is seriously reconsidering the marriage.

Every single thing the US does from now on will be tainted, until Trump is gone and not replaced by the equivalent. The US is now a second-level power. It is now Russia, China, and the EU (with Germany leading) that run the world with Japan.

Look for big moves. Look for the “G-7 minus one” because if you are the other 6 countries in the G-7, you do not want Trump at the table. Maybe Mexico will build a wall and make Trump pay for it. Other things. Many other things.

PAREXIT is not about Paris or the climate. It is about the end of American exceptionalism, and there are both bad and good things about that.

And now the other things. Some of this is from before PAREXIT but very much related.

A Veteran’s Day warning: Trump’s climate policies will create more war, more refugees

Donald Trump’s climate policies would create dozens of failed states south of the U.S. border and around the world. They would lead to hundreds of millions of refugees and more authoritarian demagogues like Trump himself.

Trump’s policies would assure that a tremendous number of people become veterans of one of the ever-growing number of climate-related conflicts.

Trump just cemented his legacy as America’s worst-ever president

Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris treaty is a mostly symbolic act. America’s pledges to cut its carbon pollution were non-binding, and his administration’s policies to date had already made it impossible for America to meet its initial Paris climate commitment for 2025. The next American president in 2020 can re-enter the Paris treaty and push for policies to make up some of the ground we lost during Trump’s reign.

However, withdrawing from the Paris treaty is an important symbolic move…

REFERENDUM NOVEMBER 3, 2020 ON TRUMP’S WITHDRAWAL FROM PARIS AGREEMENT NOVEMBER 4, 2020

Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement means that the United States formally abdicates its role as world leader on November 4, 2020. By coincidence, the United States will hold a referendum vote – and, make no mistake, it will be a referendum vote – on November 3, 2020.

RL Miller, cofounder of Climate Hawks Vote, states: “Trump’s fuck you to the world redoubles our determination to end his regime. We will take back Congress in 2018, expose him for the traitor and grifter that he is, and elect climate candidates up and down the ballot, culminating in the election of a climate hawk President on November 3, 2020 to restore America’s place in the world.”

Paris Agreement: What Experts Say vs. What the White House Says

In President Trump’s speech today announcing his intention to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement, there were several false and misinformed statements.

Trump falsely claims Paris deal has a minimal impact on warming

In a speech from the White House Rose Garden filled with thorny lies and misleading statements, one pricks the most: Trump claimed that the Paris climate deal would only reduce future warming in 2100 by a mere 0.2°C. White House talking points further assert that “according to researchers at MIT, if all member nations met their obligations, the impact on the climate would be negligible… less than .2 degrees Celsius in 2100.”

The Director of MIT’s System Dynamics Group, John Sterman, and his partner at Climate Interactive, Andrew Jones, quickly emailed ThinkProgress to explain, “We are not these researchers and this is not our finding.”

Trump’s Paris exit: climate science denial industry has just had its greatest victory

The foundation for Trump’s dismissal of the Paris deal – and for the people who pushed him the hardest to do it – is the rejection of the science linking fossil-fuel burning to dangerous climate change.

Or rather, Trump’s rejection of the Paris deal was built on the flimsy, cherry-picked and long-debunked talking points of an industry built to manufacture doubt about climate science. Once you fall for those arguments, making an economic case suddenly feels plausible.

Trump Abandons Paris Climate Deal At Bidding of Fossil Fuel Interests

Condemnation from environmental groups was swift.

“President Trump’s decision to exit the Paris Climate Agreement sends a dangerous signal to the rest of the world that the United States values fossil fuel industry profits over clean energy innovation and the health and well-being of our citizens,” Earthworks’ Executive Director, Jennifer Krill said in a statement. “The over 12 million people living within a half mile of an oil and gas facilities deserve action to reduce air pollution, not head-in-the-sand climate denial.”

Tobacco To Fossil Fuels: Tracing the Roots of Trump’s Claims on Paris Climate Deal

To understand why President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the global Paris climate agreement, we might start by looking at the sources he relied on to justify his decision.

But we’re not going to start there, but we will end there.

Instead, let’s go back to the early 1990s….

We’ll always have….oh, never mind

The Paris Climate Agreement represents rational order. It aligns the planet’s nation-states behind a common understanding of our gravest collective threat. It provides a weak but coherent structure for needed actions. Flawed and tentative though it is, it plants a stake in the ground for humanity’s collective will to save itself. It memorializes what global climate sanity there is.

That’s why Trump can’t stand it….

Withdrawal From Paris Climate Accord Makes Covfefe Sense

For the first time in history, the United States has removed itself from a worldwide agreement negotiated to protect the world’s atmosphere.

Trump’s reputation as a dealmaker is a sham, walking away from Paris proves it

His decision Thursday to abandon the Paris climate agreement proves he is in reality one of the worst dealmakers in history.

Of course, with six bankruptcies and an astounding 4,000 lawsuits over three decades, Trump has always been less of a dealmaker and more of a con man, as Michael Bloomberg and so many others have described him.

The world needs the U.S. in fight against climate change

President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement is not only bad for the country, it’s bad for the world.

The Paris Agreement is the fruit of more than 20 years of negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The accord was struck almost exactly 50 years after researchers presented President Johnson with the first official expert report warning of the dangers from burning large amounts of fossil fuels.

Heartland Institute BS Book

I had the immense pleasure and great honor of joining Molly, Nick, and Tim on the Geeks Without God podcast to talk about the recent mailing of a book and some other material about climate change to science teachers, by the Heartland Institute. This mailing was an effort to sow seeds of doubt about climate science, but the way they pulled off this little caper will probably have the opposite effect.

The Heartland Institute does not survive this conversation. No kittens or puppies were harmed, though.

Go Here To Listen To the Podcast, and Support Geeks Without God (not safe for work, depending on where you work)

As you listen, you may find the following items of use.

For more information about the Heartland Institute, go HERE.

Also, this.

For more information about the Consensus Project (the good guys) go HERE.

NASA GISS is HERE.

The Berkeley Earth Project is HERE.

For more on Judith Curry, go HERE.

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 10.47.39 AM

Stop punching the hippies

My coffee mug, just sayin:

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 10.50.14 AM

To find out more about ALEC, go HERE.

More on the police state.Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 10.56.17 AM

Public input for Minnesota on the Volkswagen settlement.

This is what a science textbook looks like

LOL:Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 11.03.06 AM

Making Sense of Climate Denial, Climate Denial 101 course

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Collecting meteorites

Recommended books about climate change:

The central scientific argument explained most clearly: Dire Predictions, 2nd Edition: Understanding Climate Change

But what about the models, were the models wrong or right? Climatology versus Pseudoscience: Exposing the Failed Predictions of Global Warming Skeptics

In the eyes of a political cartoonist: The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy

A cogent account of he politics of climate denial: The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines

Follow the money: Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

A climate insurgency manual

Against Doom: A Climate Insurgency Manual by Jeremy Brecher is a new and helpful book a the growing and essential literature.

Late in 2015, nearly two hundred countries signed the Paris Agreement acknowledging their individual and collective duty to protect the earth’s climate—and willfully refused to perform that duty. In response to this institutional failure and to growing climate destruction, we are witnessing the birth of a global nonviolent constitutional insurgency. Against Doom: A Climate Insurgency Manual tells how to put strategy into action—and how it can succeed. It is a handbook for halting global warming and restoring our climate—a how-to for climate insurgents.

Honestly, New York Times? You are entitled to publish all the opinions, but not to endorse your own facts!

Honestly, it is hard to have an honest conversation about science with science obstructors or deniers. That is how you know you are conversing with a denier. You try to have the conversation, and it gets derailed by cherry picking, misdirection, faux misunderstanding, or lies.

I don’t care how far a person is from understanding a scientific concept or finding. I don’t care how complex and nuanced such a finding is. As long as the science is in an area that I comfortable with as a scientist, educator, and science communicator, I’ll take up the challenge of transforming scientific mumbo jumbo into normal descriptive language or an appropriate story, so the person gets from not having a clue to getting the basic idea. That’s for regular people having an honest conversation, which generally includes students.

But that is often not how it goes.

A common theme in the non-honest conversation is false balance. The fact that there is an opposing view, regardless of its merits or lack of merit, is sufficient to insist that that view be on the table and given a fair hearing. Someone recently said that global warming is not real because CO2 molecules are the same temperature as the other molecules in the atmosphere, an utterly irrelevant thing meant to confuse and misdirect. That statement is not a required part of an honest conversation, it is utterly non-honest, and should be ignored as nefarious yammering. But, we often see media giving equal weight to such yammering, ignoring the motives behind it.

You already know that the New York Times has hired an OpEd columnist who has a history of denial of science, including climate science. He also has a history of analyses of social or political things that has offended a lot of people.

When pressed to reconsider, by the scientific community widespread, the New York Times responded that lots of people agree with this columnist about climate change, therefore his hire is legit. Here, the New York Times is guilty of false balance, of giving credence to senseless yammering as though it was the same as real science.

I personally don’t like the idea of having a lot of far right wing (or even medium right wing) columnists in a publication that I pay for, so I don’t subscribe to such publications. But, major national media outlets are going to have a range of columnists and commenters, and there is nothing inherently wrong with that. That is why I am happy to subscribe to the Washington Post even though there are a few right wing columnists there.

But here’s the thing. A columnist with a hard right viewpoint is one thing. An Editorial Staff that allows columnists, of any political stripe, to abuse reality and misstate facts about science in order to make a political point is incompetent.

Readers should expect editors to strictly enforce the concept that columnists are very much entitled to their own opinions, but in no way entitled to their own facts. The New York Times is making the mistake of confusing objections to this columnist with an attempt to silence a particular point of view. That is not what it is. Rather, the objections are to the New York Times editorial policy, on the OpEd page, supporting alt-facts.

The facts at risk of denigration and dismissal here are widely accepted and established, usually. In some cases, there are uncertainties that are dishonestly exploited and incorrectly characterized, which is pretty much the same thing as trying to have one’s opinions and one’s facts at the same time: not valid commentary and bad journalistic practice. This particular columnist has exploited the fact that there is variation in nature to assert that there is variation in scientific opinion. This is a misreading of both nature and science, coming from someone who knows little about either, and that misreading is being sanctioned by the people who run the New York Times.

I don’t care, and I think most don’t care, if he New York Times has a right winger like Bret Stephens on the OpEd staff. But if the editors of that section of this news outlet allow this individual or any columnist to misrepresent important aspects of reality, as he very much did in his very first column just out, then that editorial staff is acting unprofessionally and should probably look for a job at one of those entertainment outlets that disguises itself as “news.”

I’m pretty sure that at this time the editors at the New York Times do not understand this distinction. Keep your conservative columnist, Grey Lady, that’s up to you. Some will like that, some will not. But do know that you can’t keep being thought of as the paper of record if you allow frequent and unchecked abuse of facts and reality within that discourse. That is just a bad idea, beneath such a widely respected publication, and I and others expect it to stop soon.