Rush Limbaugh, leader of the Republican Party, fires Mitt Romney

Rush Limbaugh In Charge Of GOP

Rush Limbaugh, the de facto leader of the Republican Party, fires Mitt Romney

We all know Rush Limbaugh is the Godfather of the Republican Party. You listen to him, and do what he says, or you’re out. People often say that the President of the United States is the “leader of the free world.” No, sorry. If the POTUS is a Republican, Rush Limbaugh becomes the leader of the free world. Can you think of a scarier thought than Rush Limbaugh calling the shots for the entire planet Earth?

(I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. But I digress.)

Anyway, even when the President is not a Republican, Rush still runs the Republican party. He is now in charge of both the Senate and the House, because if you are a Senator or a House rep, and a Republican, you do what Rush says or you are out.

Similarly, Rush Limbaugh is the gatekeeper for the Republican Party’s process of putting up candidate for president.

Not long ago, Mitt Romney seemed to be indicating that he was thinking about running for President. Shortly after that, he indicated that he thought Anthropogenic Global Warming was for real and important. Then Rush said this:

Rush Limbaugh Ends Mitt Romney’s Presidential Aspirations over Global Warming


Then, Romney said this:

‘After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee.”

And so, in this manner Rush Limbaugh has fired Mitt Romney.

I hate the expression, “Grow a pair.” But, really, Republicans, do grow a pair when you get a chance. This is embarrassing.

Peter Sinclair has the whole story and more, here: One Week after Acknowledging Climate – Romney Out of Race

Elections matter!

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 8.12.15 AM

Who is Willie Soon?”

According to DeSmogBlog, Willie Wei Hock “Soon is a prominent climate change skeptic who has received much of his research funding from the oil and gas industry.” He thinks the sun causes the climate change we’ve been observing over the last few decades: Continue reading

Prior to the middle of the 20th century there are few really large blizzards recorded for New England. Then they start happening, then they start to increase in frequency. At this point, expect about one every other years, but also, expect that number to increase over time because of global warming.

I made a graph based on information provided in a post at Jeff Master’s Wunderblog.

Big_New_England_Snow_Storms

Denial of climate change, as seen here, is fast becoming a thing of the past.

Denial of climate change, as seen here, is fast becoming a thing of the past.

Imagine you are a Senator in denial of climate change science and you just won re-election by less than 20% of the vote. In six years, about 10% of your voters will be dead, replaced with a different 10% harvested from America’s youth. The dead old white guys were on board with denying climate change, the new voters want you to address climate change. That 10% shift closes that 20% advantage in your voting base. Your political career is over unless you do something about it. People are changing their minds and politicians will eventually follow.

Peter Sinclair has a post at Climate Denial Crock of the Week on Rick Perry’s apparent shift towards thinking climate change is for real. We recently saw a vote in the Senate that has most Senators admitting it is real, though very few Republicans admitted it is human caused. But a few did. One of the most conservative and traditional entities on the planet, The Vatican, is now telling us that not addressing climate change is immoral. Expect at least some US priests and bishops refusing communion to climate change deniers! (Maybe.) The National Hockey League recognizes global warming as a threat to their sport. Pipelines to transport fossil Carbon-based fuels are seen as less and less viable every day. Even utility bosses now routinely see renewable, clean, energy sources as a big part of the future, and the American Petroleum Institute sees anthropogenic global warming as a major threat to our future, which they acknowledge must be addressed by shifting away from … petroleum!

A while ago the National Hockey League issued a report expressing concern over global warming. With open air, inexpensive and easy to produce “ice” (the term of art for where you play hockey) being an essential gateway drug for the sport, anthropogenic global warming represents a real threat. I wrote about that here.

Today, the Minneapolis Department of Parks and Recreation closed outdoor skating and hockey rinks in the city because of warm weather, and this winter we’ve had the usual (recently elevated?) number of cars and people crashing through lake ice.

Regionally, there have been one or two (or more?) annual ice fishing contests permanently cancelled because they were being cancelled due to warm weather frequently enough that it was no longer worth supporting the effort.

Keystone XL is effectively obsolete.


James Lenfesty, a retired editori
Oil Spill

Fracking spills, earthquakes, pipeline spills, global warming, add up to making Keystone XL and similar projects a bad idea.

al writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, has an Op Ed in that paper suggesting that by the time Keystone XL pipeline is built it would be obsolete. He acknowledges that by out dated reckoning the pipeline might have been a good idea, but not by modern standards.

… zero carbon emissions is what the times require, for carbon emissions are dangerously altering the global climate and the chemistry and temperature of oceans and lakes, endangering almost every living thing.

Which is why I, a 70-year-old grandfather, along with thousands of other citizens, have pledged that if the Keystone XL tar-sands pipeline is approved, we will peacefully contest every foot of its construction across the heart of America.

He also discusses oil trains and carbon taxes. Go check it out.

Pipelines like Keystone XL would mainly carry costly crude

Keystone XL Protest

Keystone XL Protest

One of the costs of that crude is the side effects of mining and fracking. And, a new cost is being added to fracking; liability for earthquakes caused by it.

In a case expected to set a precedent for future earthquake claims in Oklahoma, the state Supreme Court will consider whether two oil companies can be held liable in state court for injuries a Prague woman suffered during the 2011 earthquake.

An attorney for one of the companies has said the lawsuit, if successful, would cause energy companies to abandon wastewater disposal wells across the state.

“These wells will become economic and legal-liability pariahs,” attorney Robert Gum told a Lincoln County judge during an October hearing in the case. Gum represents New Dominion LLC, a Tulsa-based oil and gas company, in the lawsuit.

Tulsa World has the story.

Not all pipeline spills are oil

Here’s an update on a North Dakota salt water pipeline spill:

More than 4 million gallons of a mixture of fresh water, brine and oil have been pumped from the area affected by the largest saltwater spill of North Dakota’s current energy boom, according to a report issued Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency.

…brine, is an unwanted byproduct of oil and natural gas production that is much saltier than sea water and may also contain petroleum and residue from hydraulic fracturing operations. Some previous saltwater spills have taken years to clean up….

The mixture of fresh water… is being transported to a well site to be injected underground. Saltwater is usually pumped underground for permanent storage …

…The latest spill is almost three times larger than one that fouled a portion of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in July. Another million-gallon saltwater spill in 2006, near Alexander, is still being cleaned up nearly a decade later.

Democratic state lawmakers have promised to file legislation that would mandate additional monitoring and safeguards for pipelines that carry briny oilfield wastewater…

The story is here.

Keystone XL Debate Does Not End

Meanwhile, in the US Senate, the current Keystone XL pipeline debate has continued, moving a likely vote to next week. The reason is that several Democrats who actually support the pipeline wanted to continue the debate, joining the majority of Democrats who also want to see the debate continue. This may reflect a strategy to be to get as many pro-Carbon fuel advocates on record as being on the wrong side of an issue many expect to turn over during the next two years. This is largely done through the amendment process, which requires Senators (if the amendments come to a vote) to put their position on record. This record, in turn, can make or break later election bids. From The Hill:

“We don’t want Sen. McConnell especially after all the hop-de-do about an open process, open amendments, to shut it down at his whim. We are not ready to do that yet, there are more amendments pending,” [Democrat Chuck] Schumer said….

Schumer wouldn’t say how many more amendment votes Democrats would like to see. Over 150 amendments have been filed to the Keystone bill.

Ahead of Monday’s vote, McConnell laughed at Democrats for wanting more amendments, arguing they have had more opportunities to add measures to the underlying bill than Republicans had all of last year.

We shall see. He who laughs last votes first.

Years ago before there was a lot of paleo climate data, there were some rather simplistic graphs of ancient climate used to make basic points like “around this time it was warmer than around this other time when it was cooler. Maybe. One of those graphs depicts the now debunked “Medieval Warm Period.” (We now call this the Medieval Climate Anomaly, which included both warm zones and cool zones, was on average, globally, kind of warm, but not as warm as today.)

One of those graphs is shown here, but I’ve carefully labeled it so it will not be misunderstood:

So-Called_Medieval_Warm_Period_Not_A_Real_Thing

This graph was shown on the Senate Floor by James Inhofe, the famous climate science denier from Oklahoma. This graph has been long discredited. Senator Inhofe should be censured for this.

You should know that this graph has a long and interesting history … Continue reading

Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley

Lord Matthew White Ridley will be familiar to most of you as the person who wrote a really good book on evolutionary biology, but later became a “lukewarmist,” a variety of climate change denier who claims global warming is real but not important. To him, this may apply. He is armored in protective privilege as a wealthy member of the royal class of Britain, and he makes some of his money mining coal on his own land.

Ridley has made a remarkable claim that leaves some of us wondering what his next move should be, and what it will, in fact, be. Continue reading

Potential Sea Level RiseSea level rise is a serious issue, and the sea is rising because of global warming. How bad can it get?

The USGS has estimated the potential contribution of melting ALL of the glacial ice around the world to sea level rise. This is very rough, because many different factors affect sea level, including ocean temperature, gravity, and current. But this gives a rough idea. If the release of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses continues apace, we could actually see the eventual melt of all of this ice. If we stop releasing these greenhouse gasses in a reasonable time, it is unlikely that these very large numbers will be achieved. But it is important to realize the potential, to understand that the amount of available ice to melt into the sea is so large that that factor in and of itself will not come to our rescue.

I made a map, which is also very approximate, indicating about where the sea will reach in much of North America, and posted it here.

So, the following data are from the USGS. The total is Continue reading

ClimateChangeAndAgricultureWe are seeing more studies linking climate change to potential or actual changes in agricultural production, and not in a good way.

Midwest Agriculture and Economic Risks of Climate Change

A study in Iowa suggests that increased high temperatures will have a negative effect on crops. From the Des Moines Register:

The report’s grim assessment for the state, designed to look at the business risks from climate change, is similarly gloomy for other Midwest states and their largest cities, including Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Minneapolis.

Agriculture will be particularly hurt by climate change, it said, with corn, soybeans and wheat yields slashed as much as 85 percent by the next century in the leading farm states of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Missouri. Livestock also is expected to experience reduced productivity and other challenges.

Continue reading

Climate Change Hoax Guru Jim Inhofe

Gets his science from the Bible, invented the term “climate change hoax”.

He’s paid for by big oil, he takes up hours of the Senate’s time going on and on with the most senseless drivel ever heard in that building (see video below) and he has single handedly probably done more to stop action in this country on climate change. That clearly makes him one of the worst people in the world. I’m rather pissed off at the people of Oklahoma. They sent him there. They should be ashamed.

Emily Atkin has an update on Jim The Moron Inhofe’s latest ranting about the “climate change hoax”.

Continue reading

Climate Scientist Michael Mann, author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, gave a talk at Trinity College a couple of days ago on climate change and ethics. Just so you know, the Hockey Stick is a graph Mann and colleagues produced during the late 20th century showing how rapid recent global warming stands in stark contrast to previous centuries of climate change. The research itself has been repeatedly reconfirmed, refined, replicated, and verified, so it is for real. See, for example, this post by Stefan Rahmstorf.

Anyway, here’s the interview: Continue reading

Brazil already has an iffy electrical grid, apparently, but very hot conditions are pushing it over the edge. Also, they had a small problem related to a nuclear plant (nothing nuclear, don’t worry). From Reuters:

ONS said it orchestrated 2,200 megawatts of controlled outages in eight states as the hottest day of the year in Sao Paulo, where the temperature hit 36.5 Celsius (97.7 Fahrenheit), and other southeastern cities led to surging demand from air conditioners and other power-hungry appliances.

Eletronuclear, a unit of state-run power company Eletrobras , said nuclear reactor Angra I powered down automatically at 2:49 p.m. local time (1649 GMT) due to a drop in frequency on the national grid. The company said there were no risks to workers or the environment due to the stoppage.

For the first time, ambient temperature in this part of Australia has been measured at just below 50 degrees above zero C. That is 122 degrees F. Hot.

This is near Shark Bay, which is already hot. So hot, normally, that the bay has a very high evaporation rate, causing the water to be very saline, too saline for snails to live, and thus, this is one of the only places in the world where you can find stromalites. This is also where the dolphins showed up one day to play with the humans, and continued to do this regularly. It became an important dolphin study site for that. Oh, and there are sharks. But I digress. The climate news from the area:

“It looks like we might get some 49s but with the observational network pretty sparse out there, it’s probably unlikely that we’ll actually observe a 50,” Mr Hicks said

Current modelling suggests the heat will linger in the region, extending the area of potential 50-degree condition to the Pilbara by Friday.

“The longer the air sits over the land, the more it heats up,” Mr Hicks said. “It just sits there and just bakes … Those poor buggers living out there tend to swelter for quite a few days in a row.”

Australia has recorded just three days of 50-degree heat since instruments were standardised nationally with the bureau’s formation in 1910. The most recent was on February 20, 1998, when the mercury hit 50.5 degrees in the Pilbara town of Mardie.

The bureau sparked international interest two years ago when it updated its weather charts to add temperature coding for both 50-52 degrees and 52-54 degrees.

Heat records are expected to continue to tumble as global warming pushes up background conditions, climate experts say.

But there is some good news.

A possible category-one cyclone forming off the Kimberley coast will help break up that region’s extreme heat if it pushes moisture and clouds into the Pilbara, Mr Duke said.

Here are a couple of helpful graphics looking at global warming in relation to ENSO events. During La Nina years, we expect the earth to cool(ish). During El Nino years we expect the earth to warm(ish). This pattern sort of cycles over several years, with neutral years in between (it isn’t a very regular cycle). The influences of the tropical Pacific, manifest as La Nina and El Nino periods is then, of course, superimposed over the longer term warming trend caused by increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Technically, 2014, which was the warmest year during the instrumental record beginning in the 19th century, was a neutral year, though there were some El Nino tendencies.

This graph, from Climate Central, helps show this relationship:

Original caption: Global annual average temperature anomalies (relative to the 1961-1990 average) for 1950-2013, based on an average of the three data sets from NASA, NOAA and the U.K. Met Office. The January-to-October average is shown for 2014. The colouring of the bars indicates whether a year was classified as an El Niño year (red), an ENSO neutral year (grey) or a La Niña year (blue).

Original caption: Global annual average temperature anomalies (relative to the 1961-1990 average) for 1950-2013, based on an average of the three data sets from NASA, NOAA and the U.K. Met Office. The January-to-October average is shown for 2014. The colouring of the bars indicates whether a year was classified as an El Niño year (red), an ENSO neutral year (grey) or a La Niña year (blue).

Dana Nuccitelli is the master of animated climate change graphs. He has produced a graph that shows the surface temperature record for only La Nina years, only El Nino years, and all the years together, in a way that makes the point. The original graphic can be found here, and further discussion of it can be found here. Here is the moving GIF … but if it doesn’t move for you go to one of the provided links and get to the original version.

ENSO_Temps_1024

It is nice to know that the 97% consensus on climate change science is assumed to be a real thing by the leaders. This is John Kerry talking about climate change, in Peru.

He notes that scientists were telling us that climate change is real and already happening in 1988, and he notes that in Rio 1992, the UN Secretary General delcared that he was persuaded that we are on the road to tragedy. He mentioned the superstorm happening now on the West coast and says, “It’s become common place now to hear of record breaking weather events.”

Ten Years of RealClimate

In the spring of 2004, when we (individually) first started talking to people about starting a blog on climate science, almost everyone thought it was a great idea, but very few thought it was something they should get involved in. Today, scientists communicating on social media is far more commonplace. On the occasion of our 10 year anniversary today it is worth reflecting on the impact of those changes, what we’ve learned and where we go next.

Why we started and why we continue

RealClimate is one of the more important climate science blogs out there. If you don’t know about it, you should!

Read the rest of the story here.

The Providence Journal has published an Op Ed by climate scientist Michael Mann. You should read the whole thing, but I found the following paragraphs to be one of the better written descriptions of the situation we are in:

Here’s what my fellow scientists and I know: Thermometers and satellites all point to the fact that the world is rapidly warming. Glaciers are shrinking, the ocean is heating and expanding, precipitation is falling in heavier doses, and we’re watching the Arctic icecap shrink away.

Why the rapid warming? Heat-trapping carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has increased about 40 percent since pre-industrial times. It comes from major industries that extract and burn coal and oil, as well as tropical deforestation.

Now, climate risks are staring us in the face….

Mann reminds us that those who support climate science denialism such as Dennis Slonk, who had previously written for the Journal, insist that denialists are merely asking legitimate questions of scientists and the science. Mann then asks, if this is so, why have deniers in Congress called for criminal investigations of the scientists, and why would someone send a climate scientist a package of mysterious white powder, which, even if the powder is inert (as it turned out to be) is probably a terrorist act.

I recommend reading this Op Ed, it is quite enlightening.

Michael Mann also has an Op Ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, HERE.

Joireman with students in his lab at WSU. (Photos by Rebecca Phillips, WSU)

Joireman with students in his lab at WSU. (Photos by Rebecca Phillips, WSU)

There are a lot of possible answers to that question, but whatever set of answers you like, you have to account for change. Certain social justice or reproductive rights issues are less important now than they they have been in the past, not because the issues are less important, but because they are more settled. A new change you have to account for now, for a certain voting bloc of women, is Climate Change. Science 2.0 has a summary of a recent study — Don’t Believe In Global Warming? Women Won’t Vote For You — suggesting that for some, climate change has become a woman’s issue.

The study is by Jeff Joireman and Richie Liu is “Future-oriented women will pay to Reduce Global Warming: Mediation via political orientation, Environmental Values, and Belief in Global Warming.” and here is the abstract:

The present work addresses calls to clarify the role of gender in climate change mitigation and adaptation by testing a theoretical model linking gender and concern with future and immediate consequences to mitigation actions through political orientation, environmental values, and belief in global warming (gender x time orientation ? liberal political orientation ? environmental values ? belief in global warming ? willingness to pay to reduce global warming). Drawing on a sample of 299 U.S. residents, structural equation modeling and bootstrapped indirect effects testing revealed support for the model. Interaction analyses further revealed that women scored higher than men on model variables among respondents who routinely consider the future consequences of their actions, but the gender difference was reversed among those low in concern with future consequences (on liberal political orientation and willingness to pay to reduce global warming). Practical and theoretical implications are considered.

The study has a press release by Rebecca Phillips:

Politicians who discredit global warming risk losing a big chunk of the female vote….women who consider the long-term consequences of their actions are more likely to adopt a liberal political orientation and take consumer and political steps to reduce global warming.

Jeff Joireman, associate professor of marketing at Washington State University, demonstrated that “future-oriented” women are the voting bloc most strongly motivated to invest money, time and taxes toward reducing global warming.

Joireman said belief in global warming is positively linked to outdoor temperatures, so in light of recent record-breaking heat, people – especially future-oriented women – may have climate change on their minds during next week’s midterm elections.

September was the hottest on record in 135 years, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration projects 2014 will likely break the record for hottest year.

This year’s political contests are also heated, with environmental ads surging to record levels. More than 125,000 political spots cite energy, climate change and the environment – more than all other issues except health care and jobs – according to an analysis by Kantar Media/CMAG.

Motivating the wider populace to engage and take action on global warming, however, is an ongoing challenge, said Joireman.
“Decisions that affect global warming pose a dilemma between what is good for individuals in the ‘here and now’ versus what is good for society and the environment ‘in the distant future,’” he said.
“Unfortunately, it can take several decades for the lay public and lawmakers to realize there is a problem that needs fixing,” he said. “This is clearly the case with global warming, as the consequences of our current lifestyle are not likely to be fully realized for another 25 to 50 years.”

…Joireman investigated how the time element contributes to people’s willingness to address climate change.

For the study, he focused on the personality trait called “consideration of future consequences.”

Those who score high on the trait scale tend to be very worried about the future impacts of their actions, while those with lower scores are more concerned with immediate consequences.

… his team polled 299 U.S. residents, with an age range of 18-75. Forty-eight percent of the respondents were female and 80 percent were Caucasian.

Women scored higher than men on liberal political orientation, environmental values, belief in global warming and willingness to pay to reduce global warming when their concern with future consequences was high.

But it wasn’t a simple gender difference. Women scored lower than men on liberal political orientation and willingness to pay when their concern with future consequences was low.

Joireman said a specific chain of influences makes future-oriented women more likely to take action. First, they are more politically liberal.

Liberals are more likely to value the environment, which makes them more likely to believe in global warming, he said. All together, these effects lead to a willingness to pay more in goods, services and extra taxes to help mitigate climate change.

“Future-oriented women, for example, might be more willing to pay higher prices for fuel-efficient cars, alternative forms of transportation and energy-efficient appliances. They might also eat less meat – all to help lower greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

The question for environmental advocates now, said Joireman, is to “figure out how to motivate all people to engage in behaviors that reduce global warming. To be effective, we will likely need to tailor persuasive messages to appeal to the consequences people value.
“If people are not worried about future consequences, we have to try to appeal to their more immediate concerns,” he said, “like encouraging them to buy a fuel-efficient vehicle so they can instantly start saving money on gas.”

Peter Gleick, renowned scientist, great guy, crappy journalist.

First, let me catch you up. On Valentine’s Day, there was a release of documents from the Heartland Institute documenting their budget and the status of their fund raising, as well as their strategy for protecting corporate interests in light of overwhelming evidence that Anthropogenic Global Warming and other climate change requires us to alter our global energy strategy. Heartland has been involved in science denialsm for some time. They are one of the groups that worked to deny evidence of the negative health effects of smoking, among other things. Heartland, a Libertarian “think” tank is a relatively small player in the overall climate discussion, and the documents indicate that the annual balance of their budget has been diminishing owing to reductions in contributions. Nonetheless, the documents painted a picture of systematic dishonesty. In particular, the documents seemed to indicate that Heartland was launching a bought and paid for effort to interfere with the teaching of good science in our K-12 educational system, replacing honest science with the willful misdirection we know of as science denialism. Continue reading

Please read and pass on.

Climate researchers are in need of immediate legal assistance to prevent their private correspondence from being exposed to Chris Horner and the American Tradition Institute who are using Freedom of Information (FOI) to harass researchers. (For context please see: http://wapo.st/pQg0JC and http://wapo.st/oiua7V) The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has recently stated: “the sharing of research data is vastly different from unreasonable, excessive Freedom of Information Act requests for personal information and voluminous data that are then used to harass and intimidate scientists.” The complete AAAS statement is available at http://bit.ly/p04sIq

Please visit the site Scott A. Mandia has set up and donate a few bucks after you read his post.