0:00 Stuart Varney, Fox News
1:35 My video “The Evidence for Climate Change Without Computer Models or the IPCC” is at Youtube Video
4:06 Exchange with PrairieDoggedRez is on the forum at
4:40 The RSS trend line is calculated through an interactive graph at woodfortrees.org. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this site, and neither does the site’s owner (in a disclaimer.) I use it simply because this is the source PDR uses.
10:04 - Decadal temp graph from “The recent pause in global warming (2): What are the potential causes?” — Met Office, July 2013
14:14 - Graph of CO2 correlation from “Climate Sensitivity during the Phanerozoic: Lessons for the Future” - Royer, 2009.
So here are the notes I alluded to at the end of the video. Remember, you have to explain all the things carbon dioxide explains:
1) How did the Earth escape from its ice-bound conditions during the pre-Cambrian?
2) Why was the Earth much hotter than today during the Cambrian, even though solar output was much weaker.
3) What caused past temperature swings lasting millions of years, and why does CO2 correlate so well with these temperature swings over the last 500 million years?
4) What caused the ice sheets to melt during the most recent deglaciation?
5) What has caused temperatures to rise so steeply in the last 40 years?
6) Why have temperatures been hitting record highs over the last 18 years, even though all other factors have been conspiring to push temperatures down? What’s keeping them up?
And please don’t post these, for the reasons given:
Galactic rays did it
This is a hypothesis expounded by Nur Shaviv, so read Shaviv’s paper. Even if the hypothesis is sound, galactic rays work on periods of around 20 million years, not on decadal timescales, and Shaviv says they don’t explain recent warming (#5 on the list). Neither do they explain deglaciation (#4) or the escape from snowball Earth (#1).
Cosmic rays did it
Cosmic rays become more intense during weak periods of solar activity every 11 years. The hypothesis is that they seed clouds, and that clouds cool the Earth down. Whether or not they do seed clouds has still not been shown. But even if they do, clouds have a warming as well as a cooling effect, and most research shows their overall effect is neutral. And of course cosmic rays don’t explain the recent rise in temperature (#5), because solar output has been getting weaker, so there should be more cosmic rays and that is supposedly another cooling factor. Yet the Earth is not cooling. And cosmic rays don’t explain past temperature swings (#3) or the escape from snowball Earth (#1) or deglaciation (#4) etc.
The sun did it
Clearly not. The Earth was much hotter than today at a time when solar output was much weaker (#2 on the list). The sun can’t explain the escape from snowball Earth (#1) or the swings in temperature over the last 500 million years (#3) or the recent rise in temperature (#5). And while slightly greater insolation explains the spark that started deglaciation, it doesn’t explain what amplified this warming to melt a chunk of ice the size of a continent (#4).
God did it
Sign of desperation.
On Tuesday 23rd September global leaders - from government, finance, business, and civil society - will meet at the UN headquarters in New York to discuss climate change. It will be the first time the UN has tackled the subject since Copenhagen in 2009. We want the leaders to commit NOW to agreeing an ambitious climate treaty at the COP 21 Conference in Paris next year.
Let’s show them our commitment to reducing global emissions by making one small and easy change - skipping meat for one day a week. Show your support below by pledging to go meat free on Mondays and together let’s urge world leaders to act!
More: Meat Free Monday Pledge
They could’ve called this article “Look at how ‘supply-side’ economics, anti-environmentalism, and all-around pro-oligarch legislation and ideology has destroyed some of the most iconic, classic Americana.”
Oh, and gentrification-based laws are also robbing us of the classic ice-cream truck jingle. “Family values” my ass.
Edit: Make a drinking game out of how many times you see the word “classic” here or in the link. This is depressing enough to get hammered for.
In its dealings with Africa, China has taken its lead from centuries of European colonial exploitation there. Take all that you want, and too bad if the natives suffer for it.
China, with its rapidly urbanizing population, is the world’s biggest importer of wood products. And in its dealings with Mozambique, it is increasingly buying timber that is illegally harvested, according to a new report (pdf). The nonprofit Environmental Investigation Agency compared Mozambique’s official harvest numbers to global import numbers and calculated that 93% of Mozambique’s timber was illegally harvested in 2013, up from 76% in 2007—and most of that goes to China.
That’s perhaps no surprise; Mozambique is poor and timber is a good source of income. But the level of illegal logging and timber smuggling for the Chinese market is way beyond sustainable levels, despite claims to the contrary by Mozambican officials, according to the EIA. If the excessive focus on just a handful of commercial timber species continues, the country’s commercial stocks will be largely depleted in the next 15 years.
The illegal exports mean that Mozambique suffered losses of $146 million in potential export and exploration taxes from 2007-2013, the EIA says. That could have covered the 2014 state budget for poverty-alleviation programs more than twice over. It could, alternatively, have covered 30 years of law enforcement for Mozambique’s National Forest Program, according to the report from the EIA.
China is taking a lot of heat for its apparent neo-colonialism, but Chinese officials have generally waved such criticism aside as unfounded. But, just last week, China’s ambassador to Tanzania admitted that Chinese behavior in Africa is less than exemplary. shanghaiist.com
“Our people just cannot shake their bad habits,” Lu said, in an interview (link in Chinese) with the Chinese paper Southern Metropolis News yesterday. “Tanzania hosts ambassadors from about 70 countries, but none of them needs to constantly worry like us about consular protection issues,” Lu [Youqing] added.
Chinese citizens have been caught smuggling ivory out of Tanzania, and some are operating illegal gold mining operations throughout Africa.
They’re importing raw materials from Africa, while exporting standard Chinese business practices. Just what Africans don’t need — more corruption.
Until Bt corn was genetically altered to be poisonous to the pests, rootworms used to cause billions of dollars in damage to U.S. crops. Named for the pesticidal toxin-producing Bacillus thuringiensis gene it contains, Bt corn now accounts for three-quarters of the U.S. corn crop. The vulnerability of this corn could be disastrous for farmers and the environment.
“Unless management practices change, it’s only going to get worse,” said Aaron Gassmann, an Iowa State University entomologist and co-author of a March 17 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study describing rootworm resistance. “There needs to be a fundamental change in how the technology is used.”
The draft Radio Equipment Directive outlines a range of harmonized rules for bringing “radio equipment,” which includes mobile phones and modems, on the market. The rules aim to make sure that the increasing range of devices don’t interfere with each other and respect health and safety requirements. Part of the directive focused on reducing waste.
MEPs called for a renewed effort to develop a common charger for certain categories of radio equipment—particularly mobile phones. They amended the draft law to stipulate that the ability to work with common chargers will be an essential requirement for radio equipment. It will be up to the European Commission to decide which specific types of radio equipment will have to meet the requirement.
Rapporteur Barbara Weiler said that the directive is “an efficient tool to prevent interference between different ratio equipment devices.”
“I am especially pleased that we agreed on the introduction of a common charger. This serves the interests both of consumers and the environment. It will put an end to charger clutter and 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste annually,” she said.
The proposed design for a universal charger uses a Micro USB connector—already used by many mobile manufacturers, including Samsung and Nokia.
There’s no denying the importance of coal in America.
The combustible black rock provides about 40% of the United States’ electricity and plays a vital role in the economy of places like West Virginia.
But there’s also no getting around the major health and environmental problems caused by both coal mining and coal burning.
This is kind of precious. So what happens when a village council in Alaska wants a mining project to go forward but the EPA report comes back pointing out the negative environmental consequences? The council goes out and hires their own expert to rebut the claims.
So they hired Dr. Donald Macalady, professor emeritus of chemistry and geochemistry at the Colorado School of Mines, and the school’s previous director of the Center for Environmental Risk for the job.
Only one problem, the good Dr’s own study predicted even more dire consequences.
Macalady’s report said the mine would likely eliminate the salmon spawning runs “in a large portion of the area’s watersheds,” and that this “elimination will be essentially irreversible.”
But here’s where it gets really good, the Village council president just assumed that their cherry picked expert from the School of Mines would naturally greenlight the project, so she sent his report to the EPA without reading it. So what does the village council do when they finally realize the study doesn’t say what they wanted it to say, ask for it back of course.
The Iliamna Village Council has asked to rescind an analysis it submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that backs up conclusions by the federal agency about the potentially negative impacts of large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay region.
Macalady’s review was accompanied by a letter from the village council president, Lorene Anelon, dated June 29, in which she expressed frustration with the EPA process.
Days later, she submitted a council resolution, dated July 2, rescinding the review and directing it not be made part of the official record as the council’s position. The resolution says the council “inadvertently” sent in written testimony signed by Anelon and that Anelon hired Macalady “without full authority of the Council” to submit testimony for the EPA comment period.
Sadly for Anelon and the corrupt village council, the EPA called “no take backs.”
The comments were among the thousands submitted on the EPA assessment that can be read online. The EPA, in a statement Tuesday, said comments made to the public comment docket cannot be retrieved once submitted. Policy dictates that to make changes, people must submit another comment referring to their previous comment correcting any errors and/or re-stating their position or opinion, EPA said.
Though not relevant to the story, rumor has it the EPA also called “shotgun” and “not it.” Then just for lulz:
June 30 was the deadline for comments on the EPA’s revised assessment, which found construction of a large-scale mine near the headwaters of a world-premier salmon fishery could have major impacts on streams and wetlands even without a mishap. A final report is expected later this year and could affect permitting decisions for the proposed Pebble Mine project.
So not only did the futile attempted retraction come too late, the council ran out of time to send in any revision to their comments. They have to live with the Macalady’s report being their only scientific input.
Too bad, so sad. It’s getting to the point where you can’t reliably trust industry shills to shill for industry. Illustrating this I’ll just close with one more section from Macalady’s report:
Macalady, in his review, said build-out from the mine “will change forever the cultural and social environment of the region. Additional development is a possibility, but it is difficult to imagine what would be the economic basis for this development. Fisheries will probably be gone, sporting activities that are attractive to wilderness lovers will be very limited due to mining damages to the landscape. Economic survival in the post-mining environment could be much more difficult than it is at present.”
Since the start of the New Year the GOP has had such a laser focus on fiscal matters that they’ve had time to introduce or advance the following anti-science bills in state legislatures:
When I left the GOP in 2009 I had a choice - I could have remained an (I)ndependent, but it’s exactly this type of anti-science bullshit that forced me to register Democrat rather than to take non stand on important science issues.
With the new legislative session beginning in most states around the country, this is the time that we see creationist bills crop up all over the place. Colorado has one (HB 13-1089), disguised, as many of them are, as a bill to boost “academic freedom” — but only about subjects where they think the textbooks and the scientific consensus are wrong.
The bill creates an “Academic Freedom Act” (act) for both K-12 public schools and institutions of higher education in the state of Colorado (act). The provisions of the acts direct teachers to create an environment that encourages students to intelligently and respectfully explore scientific questions and learn about scientific evidence related to biological and chemical evolution, global warming, and human cloning.
I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that the bill just happens to require “academic freedom” on those ideas on which they think the scientists have it completely wrong. Because if they were actually interested in “academic freedom” and wanting students to “intelligently and respectfully explore scientific questions,” wouldn’t that apply to all scientific questions?
UPDATE: A welcome news bulletin from Phil Plait, Colorado bill is “DOA”