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Posts Tagged ‘Climate Change’

The Right’s Inability to Grasp Climate Change May Be Funny, But It’s Also Very Dangerous

February 12, 2010

The so-called Snowpocalypse has brought out the funny bone in the right-wing media, but their inability to correctly draw causal connections is very dangerous.

Climate change conspiracies are hardly new, but the so-called Snowpocalypse in Washington D.C. has returned them front-and-center to every single right-wing media outlet.

A Fox News anchor smugly claimed that the record snow had not only buried people’s cars — it was also “burying” global warming theories. In a World Net Daily radio segment, someone joked that liberals would soon be claiming the snowfall — and global warming — was the Tea Party movement’s fault. And the family of Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, built a six-foot-tall igloo on Capitol Hill and topped it off with a sign that read, “Al Gore’s New Home,” before posting it on Facebook to the delight of climate change non-believers across the country. (From a commenter: “What if the D.C. tent cities became IGLOO cities?? The irony!” Bashing global warming and the homeless in one fell swoop — classy.)

For years since climate change has been accepted fact among the bulk of the international scientific and environmental community, many people have contended that global warming is a farce brought on by a New World Order (often embodied by the relatively powerless United Nations) to construct a world government that will undermine American sovereignty and make us all slaves to Al Gore and his green business cronies, who will be swimming in our green — our hard-earned cash. Certainly not all global warming deniers fall into this particular conspiracy camp, but it’s among the more popular story-lines.

MORE HERE

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Doug Mills/The New York Times - President Obama with Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao, across from him, the prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh, right, and other world leaders at the Copenhagen climate summit on Friday.

JOHN M. BRODER
NYT
December 18, 2009

COPENHAGEN — President Obama announced here on Friday night that five major nations, including the United States, had together forged a climate deal. He called it “an unprecedented breakthrough” but acknowledged that it still fell short of what was required to combat global warming.

The agreement addresses many of the issues that leaders came here to settle. But it has left many of the participants in the climate talks unhappy, from the Europeans, who now have the only binding carbon control regime in the world, to the delegates from the poorest nations, who objected to being left out of the critical negotiations.

By the early hours of Saturday, representatives of the 193 countries who have negotiated here for nearly two weeks had not yet approved the deal and there were signs they might not. But Mr. Obama, who left before the conference considered the accord because of a major storm descending on Washington, noted that the agreement was merely a political statement and not a legally binding treaty and might not need ratification by the entire conference.

Continued>>>

Doug Mills/The New York Times - President Obama returned from Copenhagen early Saturday, landing at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland amid a major winter storm

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Global Boiling: An Alphabet Of Nations

The Wonk Room-  By Brad Johnson on Dec 8th, 2009 at 6:30 pm

It’s day two of the Wonk Room’s on-the-scene coverage of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. The skies are briefly blue, a reprieve from the darkness that engulfs this northern city for most of the day.

As the nations of the world gather in Copenhagen, the Wonk Room has prepared this alphabetical journey of the impacts of climate change around the globe.

A

East Antarctica, long stable, is now losing ice.

B

Bolivia needs $1 billion over the next seven years to build reservoirs, as the glaciers that hold the nation’s water supply are shrinking rapidly.

C

Leatherback sea turtles that spawn on the beaches of Costa Rica are threatened with extinction by warmer temperatures and rising seas.

D

Denmark joined United States, Norway, Canada, and Russia in identifying climate change as “the most important long-term threat” to future existence of polar bears.

E

The rapidly warming highlands of Ethiopia are becoming too hot for its elite athletes, such as local-born Haile Gebrselassie, to train there.

F

Noting the unprecedented floods this year in Fiji, Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama recently warned that rising sea levels affect not just the islands’ economies, but put into doubt the very existence of his nation.

G

Greece suffered through another storm of extreme wildfires this summer as heat waves and drier conditions increase.

H

Global warming-fueled hurricanes, intense poverty, and widespread deforestation combine to form a gathering storm of disasters for Haiti.

I

The deforested peatlands of Indonesia are drying, disintegrating, and burning.

J

The increasingly early arrival of cherry blossoms in Japan reflects rising global temperatures.

K

The more frequent and severe droughts that are killing off the elephants will likely trigger more conflicts in the arid lands of northeast Kenya.

L

The incidence of wildfires in the cedar forests of Lebanon has increased tremendously over recent years.

M

“If things go business-as-usual, we will not live, we will die,” Maldives President Mohammad Nasheed told the UN General Assembly. “Our country will not exist.”

N

The ministers of Nepal have held the world’s highest cabinet meeting on Mount Everest, as rapidly rising temperatures have reduced snowfall over the mountains and caused glaciers to melt.

O

More than 50 per cent of the population of Oman lives on coastlines vulnerable to rising seas, but its supplies of peridotite may help sequester carbon dioxide emissions.

P

The massive floods that killed hundreds in the Philippines this summer are becoming the norm.

Q

Petroleum-soaked Qatar emits 60 tons of carbon dioxide per person, the most of any nation on earth.

R

Increased floods and malaria outbreaks from global warming, deforestation, and unsanitary conditions have hit Rwanda hard in the past decade.

S

The inhabitants of the Alpine villages of Fieschertal and Fiesch in Switzerland have asked for the Pope to bless their prayers for the restoration of their nation’s glaciers, which shrank by 12 percent over the past decade.

T

Newly discovered, exotic species like the fanged frog of Thailand are especially vulnerable as climate change will further shrink their already restricted habitats.

U

Agriculture in the United States has been ravaged this year by catastrophic droughts in Texas and California, heat waves in Louisiana and Nebraska, storms across the High Plains and the Midwest, floods in North Dakota and Minnesota, and torrential rains in Illinois and Georgia.

V

Speaking from Vatican City on the eve of the Copenhagen conference, Pope Benedict XVI counseled “all people of good will to respect the laws laid down by God in nature and to rediscover the moral dimension of human life.”

W

Warming oceans and sea level rise threaten the coral reefs of the remote Polynesian islands of Wallis and Futuna.

X

The nomadic descendents of Kublai Khan in Inner Mongolia, where Xanadu once stood, are being driven from the grasslands as the Chinese government attempts to fight the region’s desertification.

Y

Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, may be the first capital city in the world to run out of water, as drought and overuse diminish its supply.

Z

On the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, the flow of Victoria Falls is far below average, as drought and high temperatures reduce the Zambezi.

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We Are Now in a Crucial Moment — It’s Time to Make a Decision

Al Gore

HuffPo- Posted: December 7, 2009 03:49 PM

Editor’s note: This guest post was written by former Vice President Al Gore for the Hopenhagen movement.

The world has arrived at a moment of decision.

As long as we continue to depend on dirty fossil fuels like coal and oil to meet our energy needs, and dump 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere, we move closer and closer to several dangerous tipping points—points which scientists have repeatedly warned would, if crossed, threaten to make it impossible for us to avoid irretrievable destruction of the conditions that make human civilization possible on this planet.

I’ve said it numerous times already, but right now we are trapped in a dangerous cycle—borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf, and then burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that’s got to change.

Right now, here in the US and all over the world, people are demanding action. There is a much broader consensus than there was when President George H.W. Bush negotiated—and the Senate ratified—the Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992. And there’s much stronger consensus than when we completed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.

The road to the signing of an agreement in Copenhagen will not be easy, but the world has traveled this path before. More than twenty years ago the US signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty to protect the ozone layer, and strengthened it to the point where we banned most of the major pollutants that created the hole in the ozone over Antarctica. And we did it with bipartisan support: President Ronald Reagan and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill joined hands to lead the way.

We can do it again and solve the climate crisis, protecting our planet for future generations.

Help turn Copenhagen into Hopenhagen at Hopenhagen.org

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wattsupwiththat.com | 23.07.09

A new peer-reviewed climate study is presenting a head on challenge to man-made global warming claims. The study by three climate researchers appears in the July 23, 2009 edition of Journal of Geophysical Research. (Link to Abstract)

Full Press Release and Abstract to Study:

July 23, 2009

Three Australasian researchers have shown that natural forces are the dominant influence on climate, in a study just published in the highly-regarded Journal of Geophysical Research. According to this study little or none of the late 20th century global warming and cooling can be attributed to human activity.

The research, by Chris de Freitas, a climate scientist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, John McLean (Melbourne) and Bob Carter (James Cook University), finds that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a key indicator of global atmospheric temperatures seven months later. As an additional influence, intermittent volcanic activity injects cooling aerosols into the atmosphere and produces significant cooling.

“The surge in global temperatures since 1977 can be attributed to a 1976 climate shift in the Pacific Ocean that made warming El Niño conditions more likely than they were over the previous 30 years and cooling La Niña conditions less likely” says corresponding author de Freitas.

“We have shown that internal global climate-system variability accounts for at least 80% of the observed global climate variation over the past half-century. It may even be more if the period of influence of major volcanoes can be more clearly identified and the corresponding data excluded from the analysis.”

Source

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Bill McKibben: Why I’m Planning to Get Arrested on Monday (and You Should, Too)

By Bill McKibben, Yale Environment 360. Posted February 24, 2009.

With thousands of big names and small gathering, the first massive protest of its kind against global warming will put the heat on DC.

It may seem odd timing that many of us are heading to the nation’s capital early next month for a major act of civil disobedience at a coal-fired power plant, the first big protest of its kind against global warming in this country.

After all, Barack Obama’s in power. He’s appointed scientific advisers who actually believe in… science, and he’s done more in a few weeks to deal with climate change than all the presidents of the last 20 years combined. Stalwarts like John Kerry, Henry Waxman, and Ed Markey are chairing the relevant congressional committees. The auto companies, humbled, are promising to build rational vehicles if only we give them some cash. What’s to protest? Why not just give the good guys a break?

If you think about it a little longer, though, you realize this is just the moment to up the ante. For one thing, it would have done no good in the past: you think Dick Cheney was going to pay attention?

More importantly, we need a powerful and active movement not to force the administration and the Democrats in Congress to do something they don’t want to, but to give them the political space they need to act on their convictions. Barack Obama was a community organizer — he understands that major change only comes when it’s demanded, when there’s some force noisy enough to drown out the eternal hum of business as usual, of vested interest, of inertia.

Consider what has to happen if we’re going to deal with global warming in a real way. NASA climate scientist James Hansen — who has announced he plans to join us and get arrested for trespassing in the action we’re planning for March 2 — has demonstrated two things in recent papers. One, that any concentration of carbon dioxide greater than 350 parts per million in the atmosphere is not compatible with the “planet on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted.” And two, that the world as a whole must stop burning coal by 2030 — and the developed world well before that — if we are to have any hope of ever getting the planet back down below that 350 number.

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Dangerous Sea Level Rise Imminent Without Large Reductions of Black Carbon

News Blaze- Published: December 12,2008

The world is already close to passing the tipping points for abrupt climate change events, and if strong measures aren’t taken immediately the results will be catastrophic, concluded panelists during a side event at the UN climate conference in Poznan Tuesday night. Both scientific experts and government representatives alike at the event sponsored by the Federated States of Micronesia and Sweden, stressed the urgent need for fast-action mitigation measures that should be implemented and expanded immediately in order to avoid devastating consequences such as sea level rise.

Dr. Hermann Held of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research pointed out that land ice melt is being vastly underestimated, and that non-linear abrupt climate change is not being taken into account as it should be by the climate convention. The world is already committed to an astounding 2.4 degrees of warming, due in part to the warming effects of black carbon – a substance that is now considered the second-greatest contributor to climate change after CO2 – which are being “unmasked” by reductions of SO2, which produces a cooling effect.

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Environmental Progress Is a Cause for Right-Wing Paranoia

By Janet Smith, Intelligence Report. Posted December 12, 2008

Some conservatives have the wild notion that environmental policies are out to destroy American’s freedoms.

Addison, Texas — “Environment is not about saving nature,” the founder of Freedom Advocates, Michael Shaw, sternly warned an audience of antigovernment “Patriots” and far-right conspiracy theorists during a mid-July conference. “It’s about a revolutionary coup in America. [Environmentalism] is to establish global governance and abandon the principles of Natural Law.” Sustainable development policies, Shaw argued, will require “a police state” and ultimately “turn America into a globally governed homeland where humans are treated as biological resources.”
Shaw’s fearful call to arms against environmentalism was sucked in whole hog during the Ninth Annual Freedom 21 conference held in a Dallas-area Crowne Plaza hotel. Co-hosted by the Texas Eagle Forum, a hard-line Christian Right organization, and the anti-“New World Order” American Policy Center (APC), the three-day convergence included such right-wing heavyweights as the error-prone conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, gay- and feminist-hating Phyllis Schlafly, and the far-right Constitution Party’s presidential candidate, Chuck Baldwin.

MORE HERE

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