memeengine asked: I think I heard a snippet on the radio about an American state passing legislation stating that water-level estimates could only use historical data extrapolated linearly. Have you heard of this? Can scientific prediction models be legislated? Thanks for the time (and the blog in general)
Thanks for following me! Your heard right. North Carolina banned city planners on the coast from using climate science to plan for sea-level rise.
The bill forces planners to use “historic trends” from 100 years ago. This trend shows levels rising only 8 inches over the next 50 or so years. Already, the NC coast erodes on average 2 to 8 feet every year(!), and American taxpayers pay to restore those beaches to the tune of millions. All to protect shoddily built beach homes.
Why did they ban climate change science? A recent report showed that sea-levels will rise by about 30 or so inches over the next 50 or so years, and city planners ought to take measures to protect people’s property, public sewer systems, roads, and wildlife. Here’s a bitchy article from one of the scientists who wrote the report.
Republican politicians disagreed with the report, so they banned planners from using any climate science.
Again, why? Because the public did not show up to the hearings… Frankly, Americans don’t participate in government. We barely get get off the couch to vote (voting ranges an embarrassing 20-55%). We’re fantastic at whining and signing the latest vogue petition, but get us into city hall or read drafts of a bill? Pshaw. Ain’t gonna happen.
I digress. I wrote a few posts about the law from several different angles to show what the bill does, how tax payers pay for their bad planning, and how NC restores it’s beaches. Check them out. Also, if you can find it in your country, try to find the Stephen Colbert piece called “Sink or Swim.”
The Galileo Movement, launched in Australia, has stated its prime mission is to stop the Government’s current efforts to introduce a price on greenhouse gas emissions and boasts a list of advisors resembling a who’s who of international climate change denial.
Looks like another politician got caught lying today. This time a climate denying state senator from Minnesota got busted for lying to the public about his resume, his “college degree,” and for taking science classes. He used these “facts” in a manner to shape policy in Minnesota. But, really, who cares? I highly doubt that he’ll be forced to resign for lying about his credentials. After all, it’s not a scandal that rises to such incredible national significance as tweeting your dong.
Jungbauer, who sits on the state’s Senate Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee, proudly calls himself the “No. 1 global warming denier in Minnesota.” He also claims to have a bachelor’s degree from the Moody Bible Institute with a “background in biochemistry.” The first claim is easy enough to believe, but as for the second, MinnPostreported yesterday that Jungbauer never graduated, and that the closest thing he has to a bachelor’s of science is a ministerial ordainment from Christian Motorsports International, which provides “chapel services” at “races, car shows, cruise-ins, and tractor pulls.”
Florida State University’s Economics department recently accepted money from conservative billionaire Charles Koch. The donations would provide the econ. department with two new faculty members but there’s a hitch - faculty members would not choose who to hire (which is how academic departments traditionally hire) but rather they’d be chosen by the Charles Koch’s foundation.
Needless to say that many of the faculty at Florida State are unhappy with this decision. Today professors Ray Bellamy and Kent Miller outlined their objections in the Tallahassee Democrat. The Democrat firewalls its content so below are the major points that Bellamy and Miller make.
Climate deniers got you down? Check out this lecture with what seems to be some high quality data used to debunk the debunkers. Starts slow, but then shifts to grab your attention. Last month, Dr. John Mashey broke down the climate denier claims with an intensity and depth that has yet to be duplicated.
His lecture is here, and is a must watch. He also hints that there are lawsuits brewing against those who are funding climate denial campaigns.
(I wrote about the lecture last month, but can’t figure out how to use tumblr’s search function. Hit me up if you know some tumblr search tips?)
When I give conference talks on climate adaptation, I try to compel my audience to pay attention by describing who is doing adaptation. My first slide is “Serious Business”, where I point out that the CIA, the Dept. of Defense (e.g., Navy, Marines, Army, etc.), the National Intelligence Council, bomb maker Northrup Grumman, and military systems support co’s, GE and IBM, and many others, are spending billions researching the impacts from climate change.
Indeed, the CIA has a dedicated division for its climate and security project, available here, called the Center on Climate Change and National Security. Charles Mead and Annie Snider of the Medill National Security Reporting Project, report that the CIA has been watching natural disasters around the world. Analysts are studying the socio-economic and socio-ecological effects of disaster on countries and regions, such as Pakistan and Bangladesh.
There is no arguing that impacts should be taken less seriously. Unless you’re a Republican in bed with big oil and gas (btw, my one sentence response to deniers is here);
In 2007, a report by retired high-ranking military officers called attention to the national security implications of climate change, and the National Intelligence Council followed a year later with an assessment on the topic. But some Republicans attacked it as a diversion of resources.
And when CIA Director Leon Panetta stood up the climate change center in 2009, conservative lawmakers attempted to block its funding.
“The CIA’s resources should be focused on monitoring terrorists in caves, not polar bears on icebergs,” Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said at the time.
The article is critical of the intelligence agency’s actions, and points to questions whether it has the capability and resources to handle large scale climate impacts:
Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a 23-year veteran of the CIA who led the Department of Energy’s intelligence unit from 2005 to 2008, said the intelligence community simply wasn’t set up to deal with a problem such as climate change that wasn’t about stealing secrets.
A must watch clip. Republican Bob Inglis challenges fellow republicans to, “Go on the record so your kids and grandkids can see what you said about climate change.” He makes two analogies that are easy to comprehend. First, if you take your kids to the doctors and 98 recommend treatment, and 2 recommend do nothing, which will you take? This is a stronger version of my argument that you can’t pit the ignorant against the educated, and call it a controversy. Second, Inglis goes on to say to his fellow “conservatives and business advocates in the room. China doesn’t think climate change will hurt business. At all. In fact, they’ve hit the fast forward button while the U.S. has hit pause. China is several years ahead in green technology.”
A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.
I'm a climate change consultant specializing in climate adaptation, environmental law, and urban planning based in the U.S. In addition to traveling and hiking, I research, publish, and lecture on how cities can adapt to climate change.
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