Archive for category Global Warming
Chris Hayes is the first cable host to interview Tim DeChristopher. Rachel Maddow announced such an interview a couple of years ago, but then substituted some hack from EarthJustice who didn’t approve of civil disobedience.
My favorite part is when Tim explains that it’s already too late to avoid the tipping points that trigger drastic climate change, but that makes it even more urgent to reform our political system. The current corrupt regime won’t be able to cope with a planetary emergency.
The Republican members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee boycotted today’s hearing on Gina McCarthy, President Obama‘s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Lacking the votes to defeat approval of McCarthy’s nomination, they decided to deprive the committee of a quorum. Apparently Republicans are worried that the EPA might enforce the Clean Air Act, thus helping to reduce the effects of climate change.
Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) was not happy.
“Their opposition, even to allowing us to vote, shows how outside the mainstream they are, it shows how obstructionist they are,” the senator continued. “It shows how their pledge to do better with women voters is false. How could you have a more qualified woman than Gina McCarthy? This is outrageous.”
“They’re fringe, they’re out of the mainstream,” she reiterated — and trying to impose their “pro-pollution stance” on the Obama administration. Boxer further noted that they’d be examining their parliamentary options, which would include potentially changing committee rules.
To the opposition, Boxer offered some advice: Take a page out of the mainstream Republicans’ playbook and “get out of the fringe lane.”
McCarthy has already answered over 1,000 written questions from GOP committee members, more than any other Obama nominee.
This is how the tail wags the dog in the U.S. Senate. Nice work, GOP
UPDATE: An instrument near the summit of Mauna Loa in Hawaii has recorded a long-awaited climate milestone: the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere there has exceeded 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in 55 years of measurement—and probably more than 3 million years of Earth history.
350 parts per million is what many scientists, climate experts, and progressive national governments consider to be the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere.
On December 19, 2008, in a courageous act of civil disobedience, Tim DeChristopher protested an oil and gas lease auction of 116 parcels of public land in Utah’s red rock country, conducted by the Bureau of Land Management. DeChristopher decided to participate in the auction, signing a bidder registration Form and placing bids to obtain 14 parcels of land (totaling 22,500 acres) for $1.8 million. DeChristopher was removed from the auction by federal agents, taken into custody, and questioned.
The auction was later declared illegal by incoming Obama Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar.
Nonetheless, DeChristopher was aggressively persecuted by George W. Bush-appointed federal prosecutors a judge who’s tenure included Chief of Staff for Senator Orrin Hatch. DeChristopher courageously refused all plea offers to avoid jail time. On July 26, 2011, Judge Dee Benson sentenced DeChristopher to two years in prison;
Peaceful Uprising is organizing a screening of Bidder70 in Salt Lake City: the first that Tim will be able to attend since the movie premiered last year! In conjunction with this event, the filmmakers (Beth & George Gage) have partnered with a film distributor, Gathr Films, to organize countrywide simultaneous theatrical screenings.
An hour-long post-screening discussion and Q&A with Tim will be streamed so that everyone, no matter where they are watching, will be able to participate: by watching and/or sending questions via Twitter. It wouldn’t be a true PeaceUp celebration without song, which is why we’ve invited our dear friend Bryan Cahall (whose song Arise you will recognize in the movie) to join in a jam session as well.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Sign up to host your own local screening of Bidder 70: http://
2. Join PeaceUp in helping Gathr spread the word, by inviting your friends to their Facebook event, sharing it via the Twitter webs and updating your Facebook status:https://www.facebook.com/
3. Contribute to Bidder70?s IndieGoGo Distribution campaign (http://www.indiegogo.com/
4. Come to Salt Lake City. Details about our SLC Screening can be found by clicking HERE.
“I would point out that people like me who support hydrocarbon development don’t deny that the climate is changing. I think you can have an honest difference of opinion of what’s causing that change without automatically being either all-in that’s all because of mankind or it’s all just natural. I think there’s a divergence of evidence. I would point out that if you’re a believer in the Bible, one would have to say the Great Flood is an example of climate change, and that certainly wasn’t because mankind had overdeveloped hydrocarbon energy.”
—Republican Congressman from Texas Joe Barton, during today’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing on the Northern Route Approval Act, legislation which would authorize Congress to approve the Keystone pipeline.
Yeah. New rule, if you think talking about 4000plus year old myths borrowed from a culture that in turn borrowed them from another that borrowed them from still another culture should be sited as scientific evidence to use against something that pretty much every peer reviewed climate work has found actual evidence for, you are too god damn stupid to be allowed to open your slobbering slack jawed maw in public. You are certainly the last person who should be allowed to vote on legislation that demands at least a sixth grade level of science comprehension. In fact, you should likely have your legal status as an adult human being taken away to protect yourself and others.
In short, you might be a Texas republican.
Hell, at least Idaho and Texas keep doing their level best to make sure Utah isn’t the national embarrassment.
Joe Romm of Think Progress points out that, among the other things they are completely wrong about, the political opponents of climate science also think that we can go backwards by cutting carbon emissions.
This notion that we can reverse climate change by cutting emissions is one of the most commonly held myths — and one of the most dangerous, as explained in this 2007 MIT study, “Understanding Public Complacency About Climate Change: Adults’ mental models of climate change violate conservation of matter.”
…The fact is that, as RealClimate has explained, we would need “an immediate cut of around 60 to 70% globally and continued further cuts over time” merely to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of CO2 – and that would still leave us with a radiative imbalance that would lead to “an additional 0.3 to 0.8ºC warming over the 21st Century.” And that assumes no major carbon cycle feedbacks kick in, which seems highly unlikely.
We’d have to drop total global emissions to zero now and for the rest of the century just to lower concentrations enough to stop temperatures from rising. Again, even in this implausible scenario, we still aren’t talking about reversing climate change, just stopping it — or, more technically, stopping the temperature rise…
We all need to understand that it’s too late to prevent global warming, and that climate change is happening now. It’s irreversible (except over thousands of years). All we can do at this point is try to minimize the amount of warming, and develop plans to cope with the effects of climate change on our economy and way of life. But our political system thrives on myths, and the truth is still getting shouted down.
UPDATE: Rush Limbaugh is claiming contrary to basic physics that “carbon in the atmosphere may actually be making things cooler, not warmer.”
It came as no surprise to people concerned about the environment that the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline was shoddy and misleading. It’s been suspected for some time that the fix is in for the Obama administration to approve the pipeline. Andy Kroll of Mother Jones discovered just how badly this is being rigged (emphasis added).
The contractor that produced the bulk of the report was Environmental Resources Management (ERM), an international consulting firm. On the day the State Department published the Keystone impact report, the agency also released a cache of documents that ERM submitted in 2012 to win the contract to produce the Keystone environmental report. That cache included a 55-page filing in which ERM stated it had no conflicts of interests writing the Keystone report.
But there was something strange about ERM’s conflict-of-interest filing: The bios for the ERM’s experts were redacted.
Here’s what those redactions kept secret: ERM’s second-in-command on the Keystone report, Andrew Bielakowski, had worked on three previous pipeline projects for TransCanada over seven years as an outside consultant. He also consulted on projects for ExxonMobil, BP, and ConocoPhillips, three of the Big Five oil companies that could benefit from the Keystone XL project and increased extraction of heavy crude oil taken from the Canadian tar sands.
Another ERM employee who contributed to State’s Keystone report—and whose prior work history was also redacted—previously worked for Shell Oil; a third worked as a consultant for Koch Gateway Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of Koch Industries. Shell and Koch* have a significant financial interest in the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. ERM itself has worked for Chevron, which has invested in Canadian tar sands extraction, according to its website.
President Obama has the final say regarding the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline. He delayed the process until after last year’s election. A final decision on the Keystone XL remains months, if not a year or more, away. Will it be thumbs up or thumbs down?
A residential subdivision was evacuated due to the toxic spill, and Interstate 40 was closed.
Delving further into Tom Allen’s Dangerous Convictions, Winning Progressive points out four specific examples of how conservatives principles have led to disastrous real world policy consequences:
- The Iraq War
- Health care
- Climate Change
Consider the area of tax policy – conservative principles say “tax cuts pay for themselves” despite significant real world evidence that’s not the case. Read the rest of this entry »
An estimated 40,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C. on Sunday for the Forward on Climate Rally on the National Mall. The rally preceded a march to the White House to urge President Barack Obama to take action against climate change and reject the Keystone XL pipeline.
350.org founder Bill McKibben said at the rally, according to a statement, “For 25 years our government has basically ignored the climate crisis: now people in large numbers are finally demanding they get to work.” He added, “We shouldn’t have to be here — science should have decided our course long ago. But it takes a movement to stand up to all that money.”
Sunrise this morning at the U.S. Capitol (UPI photo)
I’m enjoying the all-day MSNBC coverage of President Obama’s second inauguration, unlike Mitt Romney who says he won’t be watching today.
So far, it has been a refreshing does of patriotism, from the emotional Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir rendition of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” to the President’s call for equality for “our gay brothers and sisters.” And he promised, “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”
I think the President’s intentions are good, even though I often disagree with his decisions. I think he wants to do his best for the voters who entrusted him with the office for another four years. From today’s reporting:
Departing the West Front of the U.S. Capitol after delivering his second inaugural address on Monday, President Obama wanted to take one last glance of the hundreds of thousands of Americans gathered to celebrate his second term. After all, it would be his last.
“I want to take a look one more time,” Obama said, lingering for a few short moments to savor the view as the crowd shuffled past him. “I’ll never see this again.”
I don’t think he was referring to Justice Scalia’s Renaissance-style hat.
Do something. Peaceful Uprising
One of the popular global climate change denier lines has been that while the arctic was melting, the Antarctic was gaining ice, and those stupid PhDs just aren’t smart enough to know that weather can be different in different places. That’s higher learning for ya! Pinheads! Intellectuals! Don’t know anything!
(Also, as one well known Faux news caster might say, “tide goes in and comes out, you can’t explain that!”)
A few minor issues with that. First of all, even if Antarctica is gaining ice, this doesn’t actually change whether or not the earth is warming. Different weather in different places? Yeah, pinhead scientists. Also, while there might be ice gain, there was definite loss. The climate is certainly shifting.
Sadly, it also turns out that even the misleading statement that there is ice gain in Antarctica is wrong. Not just misleading, because the more important truth is hidden, but actually wrong.
“We can state definitively that both Greenland and Antarctica are losing mass, and as [the] temperature goes up we are going to lose more ice.”
I am not sure that will change the minds of the deniers. If basic reality is not convincing, how would carefully studied reality be any more convincing? But it is always good to see more data.
Oh yeah, that anniversary…
As you most likely don’t recall, back in November of 2009, a collection of people who have a hard time translating english into thought, latched their little mindless grasps of the future onto a massive collection of stolen emails as the new and improved proof that climate change is a lie perpetrated by the weather channel and Al Gore. Or something. A short walk down amnesia lane will remind you that apparently if you use the word “trick” in your email, everything you have ever said or done is therefore suspect. The possibility that “trick” might mean a cleaver way of accomplishing something was just too much for the anti-science (and seemingly also anti-dictionary) crowd to grasp.
Good times had by all.
Such denial is par for the course for the anti-fact crowd. What was fun to watch this particular time around is that their total failure to comprehend what was actually in the emails lead them to the conclusion that these emails where the smoking gun, the final straw, the last great proof that we would never have to hear about the farce that was climate change ever again. Ever!
Read the rest of this entry »