Posts tagged global warming.
An analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that 93 percent of Fox News’ recent climate change coverage was misleading. Over the last two years, several leading scientists have told Media Matters the same thing, calling Fox’s climate change stories “completely wrong,” “patently false,” and “utter nonsense.” Here are ten scientists who have criticized Fox for distorting science to downplay the threat of climate change:
Read what each had to say at Media Matters.
“Media Matters” is a non-profit that monitors, critiques, and helps correct the media’s coverage of today’s news. The above reactions are from climate scientists are to comments made by FOX News’s frequent climate denier/guest, Joe Bastardi. Bastardi is not a climate scientist or researcher, nor is he peer-reviewed published.
Noam Chomsky applies his trademark ‘bleak assessment’ technique to the media’s mishandling of climate change reporting. Chomsky meanders and swerves in circles climate, media, politics, and healthcare in this difficult to follow interview. But, he nails several reasons why there is a “climate controversy.” The first 3 or so minutes are worth watching.
I must say that, as usual with starry-eyed interviewers of Chomsky, he’s allowed to ramble on and on (and on and on. Who the heck trained these journalists??). I think maybe die-hard Chomsky fans will know what I mean by this. He’s also showing his age…
Still, the prolific philosopher - no scientist - easily pulls apart the media’s complacency.
Noam Chomsky: How Climate Change Became a ‘Liberal Hoax’
(F)rom The Nation and On The Earth Productions, linguist, philosopher and political activist Noam Chomsky talks about the Chamber of Commerce, the American Petroleum Institute and other business lobbies enthusiastically carrying out campaigns “to try and convince the population that global warming is a liberal hoax.” According to Chomsky, this massive public relations campaign has succeeded in leading a good portion of the population into doubting the human causes of global warming.
Known for his criticism of the media, Chomsky doesn’t hold back in this clip, laying blame on mainstream media outlets such as the New York Times, which will run frontpage articles on what meteorologists think about global warming. “Meteorologists are pretty faces reading scripts telling you whether it’s going to rain tomorrow,” Chomsky says. “What do they have to say any more than your barber?” All this is part of the media’s pursuit of “fabled objectivity.”
Of particular concern for Chomsky is the atmosphere of anger, fear and hostility that currently reigns in America. The public’s hatred of Democrats, Republicans, big business and banks and the public’s distrust of scientists all lead to general disregard for the findings of “pointy-headed elitists.” The 2010 elections could be interpreted as a “death knell for the species” because most of the new Republicans in Congress are global warming deniers. “If this was happening in some small country,” Chomsky concludes, “it wouldn’t matter much. But when it’s happening in the richest, most powerful country in the world, it’s a danger to the survival of the species.”
Visit TheNation to learn more about “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate,” and to see the other videos in the series.
Jim Hansen takes analysis of summer extremes & greenhouse heating back through 30’s. Rebuts critics and says his conclusions, even with different baselines, hold up. Click for his update. He says this figure illustrates key points, as follows:
“United States summer temperature anomalies (Fig. 5) are particularly instructive. Despite the small area of the contiguous 48 states (covering only about 1.5% of the world’s area), the effect of global warming during the past three decades is readily apparent. Only two of the past 15 summers have been cooler than either the 1931-1980 or 1951-1980 average. There is even a hint of the increased variability that the “bell curve” reveals more convincingly.
“Fig. 5 is an alternative view of the concept that is being illustrated with the ‘loaded dice’. In either case, it is important that the public understand that the anomalous warmth of 2012, even though its extremity is caused by global warming, should not be assumed to represent a new norm. Climate will continue to be variable and there is still a significant chance of a season being cooler than the long-term average.
‘Fig. 5 also reveals that the 1930s heat was exceptional. It was not until 2012 that the 1936 extreme temperature was exceeded by a significant amount.”
The video shows the oddly chosen yet strategically significant Svalbard, Norway, which is located in the Arctic circle. Many strange things continue to happen here.
It’s one of the world’s major climate research sites, where scientists measure the impacts from climate changes. The bizarre Svalbard Global Seed vault is also located here.
Oddly, from about 1944 to the mid-60s, millions and millions of tons of pollutive coal continuously burned in open pits - the military left the island during the end of WW-II and forgot to put the fires out. Even stranger is that a handful of German troops were the last soldiers to surrender WW-II, four months after the war had ended.
Svalbard has a truly strange history. The ice has been melting across the islands as well as across the North Pole. This opened up new and fabled shipping routes and has governments scrambling to chop up the newly exposed lands for natural resources, such as coal, gold, and diamonds.
After Russia planted a flag on the sea floor to claim land in the North Pole for mining natural resources, America, Russia, Canada, and Denmark increased their military presence in the north.
Watch the above video to see and hear why this place is so special to humanity.
“Scientists are exploring dripping passages by the light of headlamps, mapping out an ecosystem from 307 million years ago, just before the world’s first great forests were wiped out by global warming. This vast prehistoric landscape may shed new light on climate change today.
Dating from the Pennsylvanian period of the Carboniferous era, the forest lies entombed in a series of eight active mines. They burrow through the rich seams of the Springfield Coal, a nationally important energy resource that underlies much of Illinois and two neighboring states and has been heavily mined for decades.”
The left is always looking for a way to control you. They’re always trying to make you feel guilty, so you’ll give them power so they can lord it over you. They do it on the environment all the time. …
We have to have all sorts of government regulations now because of the threats of hydrofracking. It’s the new bogeyman. It’s the new way to try to scare you … And they’re preying on the Northeast, saying, “Look what’s going to happen. Ooh, all this bad stuff’s gonna happen, we don’t know all these chemicals and all this stuff, what’s gonna happen?” Let me tell you what’s going to happen: Nothing’s going to happen, except they will use this to raise money for the radical environmental groups so they can go out and continue to try to purvey their reign of environmental terror on the United States of America.Rick Santorum, Feb 9 in Oklahoma
In 2010, Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed held the world’s first presidential cabinet meeting underwater to demonstrate the danger of sea level rise to his island nation. Nasheed was instrumental in bringing adapting to climate change into mainstream conversation. He resigned today under political pressure.
Greenpeace protests Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s anti-environment government.
““The Harper government continues to fail Canadians and the world on the most urgent issue of our time,” said Christy Ferguson, Greenpeace climate and energy unit head. “We need to turn away from the tar sands and make Canada a win on climate change.”
Canada has failed to meet its Kyoto commitments and opposes an extension of the agreement. At its current rate, Canada will also fail to meet the weakened greenhouse gas reduction targets set by the Harper government in 2009 – targets which, even if achieved, would be inadequate to address the scale and urgency of the climate crisis. The scientific community has said much deeper cuts by industrialized nations are necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change.”
The Straight Dope’s Cecil Adams replies to a reader about geoengineering. It’s a great read, quiet concise and easy to understand. Geoengineering, basically, is a way to control the earth’s climate. The most popular, and cheapest way, would be to release sulfur dioxide particles into the atmosphere to block the sun, thereby cooling the earth and - viola! - climate change solved!
But, not so fast.
Cecil has a good list of reasons why it’s a bad idea, including sulfur dioxide’s effects on ozone depletion and potentially less sun for solar power. I’d add two objections to the list.
- First, we’d use more oil, gas, and coal. The thinking is that when energy becomes more efficient and cheap the rate of consumption increases. Fossil fuels will get used more, depleting the resource faster. One way of thinking about this is lightbulbs. It’s been found that when people change their lightbulbs to more energy efficient ones, they use the lights more. Ironically, they effectively cancel any savings. This is called the Jevons Paradox, which is well worth looking into. So, by extension, markets would be less incentivized to become more energy efficient when there’s no threat of climate change or other environmental impact. (Click here for the economics of geoengineering).
- The second objection I’d bring to the table is the question of governance. As in, who’d manage the Earth’s climate? Who’d be in charge of the geoengineering projects? Who would decide how cool or hot the planet should be? Should China manage the Earth’s climate? What about Germany, they have a lot of engineers, right?
This gets even more complicated when one factors in the fact that some countries will benefit from slowed climate change. Canada and Russia for example have incentives to slow climate change from the environmental, forestry, and agricultural perspectives.
There’s even the question of war. What happens when one of these countries just goes ahead and starts a geoengineering project on their own? Worse, what if that country goes rogue and moves to create a mass cooling in order to control global agriculture (or some other nefarious purpose)?
In any case, I’m against geonengineering, no matter how cheap and well intentioned.
In your recent column on conspiracy theories about the government injecting chemicals into the atmosphere, you disparaged the idea of geoengineering, or at least using sulfur dioxide to counter global warning. But you don’t defend your position. Is it a good or bad idea, and why?”
“One problem at a time, muchacho. First I had to explain why it was unlikely that aliens had absconded with Earth’s gold using genetically engineered man-monkey slaves. Having dispatched that issue, we now turn to the advisability of shooting crap into the atmosphere to solve the problem of crap in the atmosphere. Call me crazy, but I don’t think this is the world’s best plan.
The basic idea is simple. Our problem is global warming, right? We know when volcanic eruptions blast vast quantities of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, the pollution blocks sunlight and the earth noticeably cools off. Therefore, if we create artificial volcanoes to pump sulfur dioxide or other substances into the air on purpose, the resultant global cooling will cancel out global warming and we can go on happily burning fossil fuels and generally making a mess of the environment just like before….”