Wednesday 20th of February 2019

a quarter of a nobel prize...

T

I was at a loss to write a new article to bother someone (you) with… It did not bother me that I had no idea. There’s always something. The news is full of amusing crap, like the Russians shooting at Ukrainian Navy boats trying to get through Russian territorial waters without permission; like the war on Yemen continuing with more kids dying of starvation and diseases such as cholera because of the Saudis and the USA; like Theresa May pushing her Brexit salad mix at the table of the Europeans — and of course we have Trump, clowning mad as ever, like an idiot amusing himself.

 

Then there is our own government, under Scummo’s beer-drinking boganical and fairdinkumologistic leadership, strolling at full yobo speed with the tomato sauce bottle in hand, towards another greasy barbecue with burned snags and bread rolls, and a baseball cap advertising something, while the Conman, er sorry, Cormann, the Belgian sidekick, is wafting on about Victoria’s bumdrum. Electable? ‘Fraid not.

 

So I fell from my chair when I stumbled on a quarter-Nobel Prize winner, Ivar Giæver, telling me (us) that Global warming is crap on Youtube (and to the world at large). My life of dedication to the cause felt shaky. Ivar was far more educated than I was and I had to pay strict attention to what such a quarter-decorated man would say on the subject, despite his being accompanied by quite disappointing PowerPoint-slides — very naïve images for a giant of sciences. Well, he did not say global warming is crap. He said that global warming was a pseudo-science, which is basically the same thing. Our Tony Turdy, not a scientist and being a Rhodes scholar liar, is entitled to say without flinching that “global warming is crap.” Ivar Giæver is more refined in his choice of denigration.  I needed to investigate. Was I wrong? How did I manage to be so wrong for so long?

 

Ivar Giæver is an old Norwegian physicist who followed Esaki's discovery of electron tunnelling in semiconductors of 1958, and Ivar Giæver showed that tunnelling also took place in superconductors, demonstrating tunnelling through a very thin layer of oxide surrounded on both sides by metal in a superconducting or normal state. Giæver's experiments demonstrated the existence of an energy gap in superconductors, one of the most important predictions of the BCS theory of superconductivity, which had been developed in 1957. Giæver's experimental demonstration of tunnelling in superconductors stimulated the theoretical physicist Brian Josephson to work on the phenomenon, leading to his prediction of the Josephson effect in 1962. Esaki and Giæver shared half of the 1973 Nobel Prize, and Josephson received the other half.

 

We must take our hat off to Ivar. But despite being a scientist with a quarter of a Nobel Gong to his name, his own investigation of global warming was leaving a lot to be desired. The more he went into it, the more he waffled. His exposé was very amateurish and poorly presented to an audience of people who seemed to have not one more brain-cell than dead cockroaches on a kitchen bench. We all can make mistakes and I could have done, but within the first few seconds, Ivar did a plenty. He admitted sourcing a lot of his information on global warming from Google searches. So do I, but I also follow some heavy-duty scientists and I am less dumb than Ivar on a good day.

 

Because the subject has become taboo in scientific circles, he claimed, apparently it “cannot” be discussed in the open, thus in his mind climate change has become a “religion” rather than an investigation. This is rubbish of course. No-one is stopping anybody to present VALID arguments to the contrary.

 

For Ivar, a pseudoscience is one that only pick and choose the elements/bits/results that suit the pseudo-theory, not the complete gamut of information that could show some contrariety... He is in good company with himself, when talking of such pseudoscience. He only picked and chose the bits that suited his pseudo-scientific denialism… One could see he was shooting himself in the foot from the beginning. He was going to bleed to death.

 

At the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, Giæver commented on the significance of the apparent rise in temperature by stating: "What does it mean that the temperature has gone up 0.8 degrees Kelvin: probably nothing." Referring to the evidence in his presentation, Giaever added "I pick and choose when I give this talk just the way the previous speaker picked and chose when he gave his talk."

 

The previous speaker was Mario Molina, a full Nobel Prize winner for his work on the Antarctic ozone layer hole created by CFCs. Contrarily to Ivar, Mario was also a strong advocate for global warming awareness. In his presentation, Giæver concluded with this pronouncement: "Is climate change pseudoscience? If I'm going to answer the question, the answer is: absolutely."

 

Okay… he chose to answer his own question, thus he knew his answer before asking the question. Quite infantile or part of the arsenal of tricks by politicians trying to make an unsustainable point.

 

Giæver repeated the same shit in a speech in 2015, referring to data on global average temperature (GISTEMP) published amongst others by NASA that show global average surface temperature has risen less than 1 K in 140 years, and not risen at all for the years from 2000-2014. A main point of Giæver's speech is the reliability of the statistical calculation of this temperature with respect to the spatial distribution of measurement locations over the globe, especially what he sees as poor coverage in the southern hemisphere.

 

One can find a lot of suitable stretchy crap on Google. Giæver did that by the spade-full. And of course 2015, 2016 and 2017 showed up as the “warmest years on record” by a long shot.

 

So, Giæver is currently a science advisor with the conservative thinktank, The Heartland Institute.

 

Where do we start the scientific lampooning? What have we got here? What’s the point of Giæver’s spew?

 

Giæver “sins” a lot by much omission. His views on the subject of global warming were breathtakingly simplistic, with no real sciences. He talked shit glibfully… with not much brilliance either — English not being his native lingo — but he mentioned Steven Chu — a full-bore denialist as a friend.

 

To Giæver, global warming is a “mystery”… He cannot fathom the science in it... Fair enough. It’s a mystery to a lot of people too, and there is a lot of data, some of which he challenges and dismisses with half-baked or crude erroneous arguments. To his credit, Giæver mentioned the possibility that sustainable development could be fair enough for some planetary safekeeping, though like some pollies in Australia, he hates windmills. The wind turbines give him the shits. Give him nuclear power any day. And he mentioned the Chinese…

 

And to Ivar Giæver, everything changes… Sounds like a line from that spin-off of Dr Who… He says our present warming is part of the up and down of such changes. I hope he’s right but I know he’s wrong. We know things change.

 

To illustrate that “things change”, he even showed us a couple of photos comparing him and his bride then, with him and his old woman now… How insensitive is this?

 

Not once did he have any consideration for feedback mechanisms in the process of global warming. Yes, he mentioned that the centres of Greenland and Antarctica “were gaining ice”, but no mention of the fast diminishing north polar ice.

 

Ivar had a bit of fun with polar bears because their number is going up and up, as Norwegian and Canadian shooters are not killing their babies for fur any more. Good for you. Yes, as Giæver mentioned there are more seals in the region for polar bear food, but he “forgot” to mention that there is far less ice to provide the rafts necessary for the bears to use as “cribs” for the young.  Bears are thus seen more and more often on dry land, scavenging.

 

At one stage or another, as the USA and Russia open commercial polar routes — now free of ice in summer, and open new military bases north of the polar circle in preparation for WW3, the ice that is melting will totally vanish within our (your) lifetime. Some estimates on present trend place the final summer ice in about 2045. Polar Bear will have to swim all summer long and I’d be dead for quite a while. Send me a text about it though...

 

As mentioned in my article “the Antarctica conundrum”, gaining ice in the centre of that continent is not a puzzle. Warmer air carries more humidity and this “driest continent on the planet” is getting more humid due to global warming. One would not feel the difference between minus 50 and minus 47 degrees Celsius either. The edges of Antarctica and of Greenland are melting fast — faster than what is gained at the centre by snow — and the trends have “accelerated”.

 

And the melting of the ice and of glaciers is retarding the full effect of global warming, like ice melting in our whisky.

 

Then Ivar waffled on and on about things that were not relevant to the problem, like plants needing CO2 to survive, etc… as if we did not know. He even tried to be funny when mentioning that Iowa corn farmers were 100 times more efficient than Africans — and that their corn was turned into ethanol which was a costly scandal.  Obviously not for the US farmers, as, as afar as I know, corn farmers in Africa are far and few in between, except possibly in South Africa. He actually read an article on Google that “CO2 made animal shrink… and plant shrink”, and he had a glibbish laughter about people not shrinking “unfortunately”. Guffaw…

 

I could go on and on about Ivar’s unscientific approach to this dilemma. It was embarrassing to see a quarter of a Nobel prize making an arse of himself on behalf of the Heartland Institute. When he tried to compare 800 million cars spewing CO2 into the earth’s atmosphere and a small room where one burns a few matches to create some CO2, he muffed his sad delivery, like an old man trying to crack a joke but forgets the punch line. Of course the horse went into a bar and asked: “…”. Sorry I lost the plot… Ah yes, Noah’s flood was a big flood. Idiot. But the stupid thing that Mr quarter Nobel prize is forgetting is that the CO2 in a conference room CANNOT BE COMPARED to the CO2 in the atmosphere. Global warming does not happen because of CO2 alone, but because of the way CO2 absorbs energy from the sun infrared spectrum...

 

And Giæver mentioned the starving Indians who did not eat solar panels — you know the ones that Lomborg (illustrated by our own Bill Leak) described, as if they could eat coal lumps or “safe” nuclear waste instead. Idiots. All idiots. Ah yes, the story about the horse was about New Yorkers in 1900, having a horse shortage, wondered how they could find more beasts — and find more shovellers to remove the horse-shit from the streets...


He even showed a picture of plate tectonics accompanied by Norman from Mad Magazine without mentioning the dates… which Gus, being quite informed about these things, knew they went back about 2 billion years ago. Nothing to do with climate, but with “everything changes”… OF COURSE WE KNOW THIS, YOU FUCKWIT! Even the dinosaurs knew that — or if they did not know, they soon found out about it… from an economist.

 

Gus Leonisky

 

Local horse-shit shoveller...

meanwhile, the weather...

After a record-cold Thanksgiving, temperatures continued to plummet as heavy snowfall across the Midwest grounded or delayed over 6,000 flights, wreaking havoc on Americans’ holiday travel plans.

The Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend is usually the busiest travel day of the year, as millions of Americans return home from visiting relatives. However, much of the country was snowed in this year, leading to over 1,200 flight cancellations and 5,000 delays, according to FlightAware.com.

In the Midwest, blizzard-like conditions swept down from the Great Lakes, blanketing Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Wisconsin and Nebraska. Hundreds of flights were cancelled at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport – the sixth-busiest airport in the world – while Kansas City International Airport shut down on Sunday afternoon as crews fought to clear the runway.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/usa/444919-snow-storm-thanksgiving-flights/

 

(CNN)Average summer temperatures in the UK could soar by up to 5.4 degrees Celsius (9.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2070 unless greenhouse gas emissions are adequately cut, the country's weather body has warned. 

Sea levels in London could also rise by up to 1.15 meters by the end of the century, with increased risk of flooding throughout the country, according to the country's most comprehensive projections of climate change, released by the Met Office Monday.The figures represent the worst-case scenario in terms of climate change, in which global emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise over the course of the century.But even if the targets set out by the Paris Climate Agreement are met, keeping global temperature rises below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, the impacts of climate change on the country are expected to be severe. The UK's average annual temperature would be still projected to rise by up to 2.3 degrees Celsius by 2100 under that more positive scenario. Sea levels could also rise by up to 70 cm in London, with cities including Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast facing rises in the levels of their bodies of water of over half a meter.


Read more:
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/26/uk/uk-climate-change-projections-scli-gbr-intl/index.html

Read from top.

when no one's looking ...

...

"The decision to release this damning report when families are beginning to celebrate the holidays and newsrooms are short-staffed is a brazen attempt to bury the truth from the public that we must act now to move off fossil fuels and stabilize the climate," Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said in a statement.

"Releasing this report when no one is looking, tweeting his annual nonsense about global warming and cold weather, and announcing that he'll use the upcoming U.N. climate meetings as a fossil fuel tradeshow, Trump is doubling down on his climate denial for the holidays—as many families are still reeling from unnatural climate disasters across the country," Hauter continued. "The science is way past in on climate change... We must prepare for our climate future in spite of Trump."

From deadly wildfires to catastrophic hurricanes and other extreme weather events, the "impacts of global climate change are already being felt in the United States and are projected to intensify in the future," notes the congressionally mandated report—the first of its kind released since President Donald Trump took office in 2017.

Authored by officials from over a dozen federal agencies, the report warns that in the absence of aggressive action to quickly slash carbon emissions, the climate crisis will continue to have increasingly devastating effects on the environment, wildlife, and human health.

"It is very likely that some impacts, such as the effects of ice sheet disintegration on sea level rise and coastal development, will be irreversible for many thousands of years, and others, such as species extinction, will be permanent," the report warns.

 

Read more:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/11/23/heres-dire-climate-report-t...

 

 

Read from top.

a wind change or a dead calm?...

“Climate change is running faster than we are and we must catch up sooner rather than later before it is too late.”

Sir David Attenborough told the delegates: “Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate Change.”

The world is currently on course to overshoot by far the limits for global warming agreed in the landmark 2015 Paris accord on climate change, which were intended to prevent more extreme weather, rising sea levels and the loss of plant and animal species.

To maximise the chances of success in Poland, technical talks began on Sunday, a day early, with delegates from nearly 200 nations debating how to meet the Paris target of limiting global warming to between 1.5 and 2.0 degrees Celsius

Michal Kurtyka, Poland’s deputy environment minister and president of the talks, said that without success in Katowice, Paris would not be a success, as it had only decided what was needed, not how it could be done.

Moreover, the wider political environment had changed.

“The wave of optimism and global co-operation that carried us to and through Paris has now crested, broken and is now tumbling,” he told delegates

 


Read more:

https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/famed-naturalist-david-attenborough-warns-world-leaders-human-civilisation-could-collapse/news-story/4d55eb49551f9612e575e0817e5ece73

 

Read from top.  

Wow... This report is coming from NEWS LIMITED — a Murdoch media outlet. Is there a wind of change in the Old Man's brain? Has his wife, Jerry, managed to turn him around?

 

rupe and jerry

Of 20 delegations to the G20 in Argentina, 19 countries were telling porkies, especially Australia, about their "reductions" of CO2 emissions and only one told the truth: The USA — with Trump in charge — coud not care less. 

Has old Uncle Rupe changed his views and start telling Trump where his bread is buttered? I don't think so...


 

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the cost of externalities...

As Mr Trump and many of us have found, one big lie often leads to other lies and evasions to support it for example, in economics.

The Nobel Prize for economics this year was awarded to Professor William Nordhaus for his economic modelling of climate change. One conclusion from his work was that coal would have no added value to industry if the cost of its externalities of health, social and environmental, were accounted for.

 

The Australian Government has to deny these facts to support a continuation of coal power, some denial for an economics-above-all government.

It is difficult to find the word "externalities" used by this government simply because it means coal is expensive in contrast to other modalities and their energy cost modelling collapses.

To doctors, this denial is unconscionable considering air pollution in NSW causes deaths, illness and large health costs, yet this appears to go unmentioned by any minister in the federal or state governments.

To address this world emergency our body politic needs massive reform in its thinking and governance.

Hopefully, the advice of one Minister to our young people demonstrating for their future — "I want kids to be at school to learn about how you build a mine, how you do geology, how you drill for oil and gas, which is one of the most remarkable scientific exploits of anywhere in the world that we do" — was the low point of this government.

Unfortunately, the Government tolerates climate deniers, so their constituents must instead vote them out to save lives.

Future climate policy must be guided by scientific expert opinion and removed from the vicissitudes of political chicanery by the implementation of new environmental laws which have application to health.

Dr David Shearman is the Honorary Advisor to Doctors for the Environment Australia and Emeritus Professor of Medicine at Adelaide University.

 

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-07/climate-change-denialism-holocaust-david-attenborough-coal/

 

Read from top.

solidarności with heartland...

A Polish trade union has issued a joint statement with a notorious American climate science denial group rejecting the scientific consensus on climate change. 

The statement, signed by the Chicago-based Heartland Institute and the trade union Solidarity was released as UN climate talks took place in Katowice, the centre of Poland’s coal heartland region of Silesia.

The talks, known as COP24, are widely considered to be the most important climate meeting since the 2015 summit in Paris and will aim to finalise the rulebook to implement the Paris Agreement. 

In the statement, the trade union Solidarity and the Heartland Institute express “skepticism of the assertions of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that the world stands at the edge of a climate catastrophe”.

In October, the IPCC released a report saying the world had 12 years to reduce its emissions by 45 percent and take “transformative and unprecedented” measures to hold global warming to 1.5C. Beyond that threshold, it warned of serious impacts including a virtual wipe-out of coral reefs.

The Solidarity-Heartland statement adds that “neither organisation opposes the goal of clean air nor supports the elimination of coal from the world’s energy portfolio” and calls on “an end to the war on science and scientists by powerful state-backed forces”. 

It was signed by James Taylor, senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, Jaroslaw Grzesik, the chairman of Solidarity’s energy and mining secretariat and Dominik Kolorz, the president of the Solidarity in the Silesian region. 

The statement was issued after Solidarity representatives met members from the Heartland Institute on the fringe of COP24 in Katowice. Both parties agreed to “begin working together more closely to advance sound, science-based public policy” as well as “educating the public and policymakers on climate policy” with a focus on educating young people.

Solidarity said it had translated the Heartland Institute’s latest report into Polish and was “very satisfied by the new science and policy presentations”. 

On Tuesday, the Heartland Institute held an event in Katowice city centre claiming that the fact global warming is caused by increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was “climate totalitarianism” propaganda invented by “the socialist internationalist green movement”.  

DeSmog UK attempted to report on the event but was denied accreditation by the Heartland Institute.

Only 10 people are reported to have attended the event, which was live-streamed on Youtube and had been watched by about 50 people at the time of writing, according to the video platform.

The alliance between Solidarity and the Heartland Institute will come as a blow to the Polish government, which has so far balanced urging progress on finalising the Paris rulebook with reluctance to significantly reduce the share of coal in its energy mix. 

Poland relies on coal for 80 percent of its electricity and a significant share of household heating. A draft government proposal could see coal’s share of power generation reduced to 60 percent by 2030.

At the start of the conference, Polish president Andrzej Duda said climate change needs to be tackled, but not at the expense of the coal workers who made the Silesia region thrive as an industrial centre.

 

Read more:

https://www.desmogblog.com/2018/12/06/polish-trade-union-and-climate-science-denial-group-issue-statement-rejecting-scientific-consensus-climate-change

 

 

Read from top.

The Heartland Institute is a global warming denialist outfit with no scientific expertise apart from people like Ivar Giæver (read at top) who are infantile (I am polite) on the subject. Now what we need to make global warming better understood is for GW to show some real local teeth, and suddenly a season of Polish crops gets wiped out by (record) heat and drought, and the winter becomes more bitter than ever recorded, while the North pole stays balmy. This will happen... but the sooner the better to drive the issue home.

insurance catastrophe...

 

Four "storms of the century" in about as many days...

 

Insurers are bracing for a flood of claims after Sydney's "catastrophic" hailstorm yesterday, which saw many parts of the city pelted with hail up to 8 centimetres wide. 

Key points:
  • Insurers will prioritise claims from the Sydney hailstorm after it was declared a "catastrophe"
  • A catastrophe is declared when the damage bill is likely to be in the tens of millions of dollars or higher
  • The storm was fed by humid air driven down from the tropics and triggered by a trough

 

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared the storm a catastrophe and said claims so far had been mostly about damage to motor vehicles, including smashed windscreens.

Residents have also been ringing their insurers about damage to tiled or metal roofs and flooding.

ICA spokesman Campbell Fuller said the financial impact of the storms would be significant.

"It won't be known for some days, or even several weeks," he said.

 

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-21/sydney-hailstorm-declared-a-catastrophe/

 

In down-town Gus-ville, the hail was the size of apricots...

 

MEANWHILE:

Policymakers have severely underestimated the risks of ecological tipping points, according to a study that shows 45% of all potential environmental collapses are interrelated and could amplify one another.

The authors said their paper, published in the journal Science, highlights how overstressed and overlapping natural systems are combining to throw up a growing number of unwelcome surprises.

“The risks are greater than assumed because the interactions are more dynamic,” said Juan Rocha of the Stockholm Resilience Centre. “The important message is to recognise the wickedness of the problem that humanity faces.”

The study collated existing research on ecosystem transitions that can irreversibly tip to another state, such as coral reefs bleaching and being overrun by algae, forests becoming savannahs and ice sheets melting into oceans. It then cross-referenced the 30 types of shift to examine the impacts they might have on one another and human society.

Only 19% were entirely isolated. Another 36% shared a common cause, but were not likely to interact. The remaining 45% had the potential to create either a one-way domino effect or mutually reinforcing feedbacks.

Among the latter pairings were Arctic ice sheets and boreal forests. When the former melt, there is less ice to reflect the sun’s heat so the temperature of the planet rises. This increases the risks of forest fires, which discharge carbon into the air that adds to the greenhouse effect, which melts more ice. Although geographically distant, each amplifies the other.

By contrast, a one-way domino-type impact is that between coral reefs and mangrove forests. When the former are destroyed, it weakens coastal defences and exposes mangroves to storms and ocean surges.

The deforestation of the Amazon is responsible for multiple “cascading effects” – weakening rain systems, forests becoming savannah, and reduced water supplies for cities like São Paulo and crops in the foothills of the Andes. This, in turn, increases the pressure for more land clearance.

Until recently, the study of tipping points was controversial, but it is increasingly accepted as an explanation for climate changes that are happening with more speed and ferocity than earlier computer models predicted. The loss of coral reefs and Arctic sea ice may already be past the point of no return. There are signs the Antarctic is heading the same way faster than thought.

Co-author Garry Peterson said the tipping of the west Antarctic ice shelf was not on the radar of many scientists 10 years ago, but now there was overwhelming evidence of the risks – including losses of chunks of ice the size of New York – and some studies now suggest the tipping point may have already been passed by the southern ice sheet, which may now be releasing carbon into the atmosphere.

“We’re surprised at the rate of change in the Earth system. So much is happening at the same time and at a faster speed than we would have thought 20 years ago. That’s a real concern,” said Peterson.

...

downloaded academic research of 2018 was the Hothouse Earth paper, which considered how tipping points could combine to push the global climate into an uninhabitable state.

The authors of the new paper say their work goes beyond climate studies by mapping a wider range of ecological stress points, such as biodiversity loss, agricultural expansion, urbanisation and soil erosion. It also focuses more on what is happening at the local level now, rather than projecting geo-planetary trends into the future.

“We’re looking at things that affect people in their daily lives. They’re things that are happening today,” said Peterson. “There is a positive message as it expands the range of options for action. It is not just at an international level. Mayors can also make a difference by addressing soil erosion, or putting in place social policies that place less stress on the environment, or building up natural coastal defences.”

Rocha has spent 10 years building a database of tipping points, or “regime shifts” as he calls them. He urges policymakers to adopt a similar interdisciplinary approach so they can better grasp what is happening.

“We’re trying to connect the dots between different research communities,” said Rocha. “Governments also need to look more at interactions. They should stop compartmentalising ministries like agriculture, fisheries and international relations and try to manage environmental problems by embracing the diversity of causes and mechanisms underlying them. Policies need to match the scale of the problem.

“It’s a little depressing knowing we are not on a trajectory to keep our ecosystem in a functional state, but these connections are also a reason for hope; good management in one place can prevent severe environmental degradation elsewhere. Every action counts.

 

READ MORE:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/20/risks-of-domino-effe...

 

And read from top.

a world without waste nor political hot air...

from Ken Livingstone

 

Amid growing climate change concerns what politicians fear most is not standing up to the coal and oil industries but having to tell the people that they need to buy and consume less.

As two hundred nations gathered in Poland to discuss climate change the opening comments of David Attenborough went global across the world’s media.

“Right now we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years… climate change… If we don’t take action the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon… Leaders of the world, you must lead. The continuation of civilisations and the natural world upon which we depend is in your hands,” said Attenborough.

He went on to recommend that ordinary people make a change every day by using public transport and other measures to reduce carbon emissions.

Yet for all Attenborough’s warnings we have seen the election of a climate change denier to the White House in the form of Donald Trump and the recent election of a Brazilian president who also denies climate change. So what is the truth?

The simple fact is that the twenty warmest years in our history have been in the last twenty-two years and the four warmest years have been the last four years on our planet.

Scientists are now warning that we need to increase our actions to tackle climate change by at least five times, merely to stop the increase in temperature going above 1.5 centigrade.

It’s not just temperatures that threaten our existence. Since 1970, we have wiped out 60 percent of birds, mammals, reptiles and fish across our planet. This information comes from a World Wildlife Fund reportwhich drew on the evidence of 59 scientists around the world.

The report warns that the rapid increase in the waste of food and other resources is wiping out the web of life on which our society depends for clean air and water. The director of science and conservation at the WWF, Mike Barrett, warned that we “are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff.”

He pointed out that a similar 60 percent wiping out of the human population would be the equivalent of killing every human in Europe, China, Africa and the Americas. He went on to warn that nature is not just nice to have but it is our life support system.

The simple fact is we are running out of time and unless we find ways to restore our eco systems and tackle climate change we face the prospect of humanity’s extinction by the end of the century. Since the dawn of civilisation we have destroyed eighty-three percent of all mammals and half of all plants and it could take millions of years for the world to recover.

The WWF report pointed out that the main cause of wildlife loss is the destruction of natural habitats, mainly to create new farmland. Three quarters of all the land on our planet has now been affected by our activities. Here in Britain, we have seen the loss of most of our wildlife and we have less biodiversity than a hundred and eighty-eight other nations.

Although politicians at their conferences keep agreeing to limit the rise in the earth’s temperature to two degrees centigrade and if possible just 1.5 degrees by the end of this century. This would still mean the destruction of all our coral reefs which play a vital part in sustaining the population of fish. There will also be rising sea levels and increasing violent weather events.

This year’s storms have devastated South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and Tonga. Hurricanes also caused widespread damage in the USA and wildfires erupted in California, Canada and Greece, claiming many lives. In Kerala, India nearly one and a half million people were forced out of their homes by violent floods, which also occurred in East Africa and Japan.

In the last one hundred years the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has gone up by a third. The increase in greenhouse gas emissions has doubled since 1971, mainly caused by industrial activity.

The UK’s Met Office [national weather service] has warned that rising sea levels and climate change threaten over one and a half million homes with the prospect of farmland being turned into marshes and beaches washed away by the end of the century.

The UK Climate Projections recent report predicted the sea around our shores will have risen by between three and four feet by the end of the century, putting 1.7 million homes at risk.

Many coastal towns will have to be abandoned, with large parts of the counties of Kent, Somerset and Essex being submerged under the sea. The worst example is that the sea could now extend so far into Britain that it could overwhelm the city of Cambridge.

The rise in sea level would leave 100,000 coastal homes and other buildings at risk, with another 100,000 vulnerable to collapse from landslides.

The report warns that, unless we reduce our emissions, the temperature will have risen by four degree centigrade by the end of the century, with melting glaciers and ice caps overwhelming the Thames Barrier and flooding London.

But it’s not just here in London that we are at risk. Houston, Shanghai and Jakarta are increasingly vulnerable to storms and flooding. The charity Christian Aid warned in its recent report that city planners are failing to prepare for what is coming. Most of our biggest cities are built close to the coast or by large rivers and all are now at risk.

In 2015, 195 countries meeting in France agreed to keep global warming below two degrees. But the US has now announced it intends to withdraw from this agreement, and here in Britain once of the first actions of the newly elected Tory government back in 2010 was to reduce funding for green energy and has now unleashed a new strategy for a vast increase in fracking across the country.

Even the Tory MP Zac Goldsmith has warned his government of the risk of a political backlash. The fracking near Blackpool caused several minor earthquakes which forced the company Cuadrilla to halt operations after a 0.8 magnitude tremor.

 In 2017, we saw fifteen deadly weather disasters: heatwaves, floods and droughts. If I think back to the 1960s there would be one or two violent weather events this year, now it’s become a regular part of our news coverage.

In September, Indonesia was struck by a tsunami and an earthquake that killed thousands and left many missing. Given the thousands of lives lost this year with just a one degree increase I dread to think how many more are going to die, even if we cap the increase at 1.5 centigrade.

Even to meet that target carbon, emissions have to be cut by forty-five percent by 2030, but they’re still going up and most of the difficult decisions that should have been taken at the Poland conference have been deferred to the next meeting.

Although the US has a climate change denying president, latest opinion polls show that eighty percent of Americans believe climate change is happening, including a majority of Republicans.

Nicholas Stern, who cooperated with me when I was mayor of London and is author of a landmark report on climate change economics, said: “It is clear that the progress we are making is inadequate given the scale and urgency of the risks we face… a much more attractive clean and efficient path for economic development and poverty reduction is in our hands.”

It was twenty-six years ago, in 1992, that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed, binding governments to a commitment to reduce the level of carbon emissions. Yet, now a quarter of a century on, even if we achieve the target set by those governments, the world’s temperature will increase by more than three degrees centigrade.

It’s not just that politicians lack the courage to stand up to the coal and oil industries but what they fear most is having to tell all of us that we need to buy and consume less. A third of all the food used in Europe and North America ends up wasted and thrown away. More and more of the things we buy are just left in our cupboards and drawers until they are eventually thrown out.

I grew up in that post-war world where nothing was wasted and our pleasure came from the time we spent with our friends and family, but over these last fifty years the Western world has switched to an obsession with shopping and consumption and we spend less time with our friends and our family. We can either go back to that world without waste or we are going to destroy the world of our children.

 

read more:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/447317-climate-change-global-warming/

 

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Note: Tsunamis have nothing to do with CO2, but to the planet being "flexible" with cracks. 

the view from the hypocrites...

Opinion

Trump Imperils the Planet

Endangered species, climate change — the administration is taking the country, and the world, backward.


By The Editorial Board [NYT] 

The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.


It’s hard to believe but it was only three years ago this month — just after 7 p.m., Paris time, Dec. 12, to be precise — that delegates from more than 190 nations, clapping and cheering, whooping and weeping, rose to celebrate the Paris Agreement — the first genuinely collective response to the mounting threat of global warming. It was a largely aspirational document, without strong legal teeth and achieved only after contentious and exhausting negotiations. But for the first time in climate talks stretching back to 1992, it set forth specific, numerical pledges from each country to reduce emissions so that together they could keep atmospheric temperatures from barreling past a point of no return. 

Two weeks ago, delegates met at a follow-up conference in Katowice, Poland, to address procedural questions left unsettled in Paris, including common accounting mechanisms and greater transparency in how countries report their emissions. In this the delegates largely succeeded, giving rise to the hope, as Brad Plumer put it in The Times, that “new rules would help build a virtuous cycle of trust and cooperation among countries, at a time when global politics seems increasingly fractured.” 

But otherwise it was a hugely dispiriting event and a fitting coda to one of the most discouraging years in recent memory for anyone who cares about the health of the planet — a year marked by President Trump’s destructive, retrograde policies, by backsliding among big nations, by fresh data showing that carbon dioxide emissions are still going up, by ever more ominous signs (devastating wildfires and floods, frightening scientific reports) of what a future of unchecked greenhouse gas emissions is likely to bring. 

The conference itself showcased the very fossil fuels that scientists and most sentient people agree the world must rapidly wean itself from. Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, set the tone by declaring he had no intention of abandoning coal, which provides nearly four-fifthsof Poland’s electricity. The United States and three other major oil producers — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Russia — refused to endorse an alarming report issued in October by the United Nations scientific panel on climate change calling for swift reductions in fossil fuel use by 2030 to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, which it said were approaching much faster than anyone had thought


Wells Griffith, Mr. Trump’s international energy and climate adviser, managed in one quote to summarize the dismissiveness of the American delegation and its fealty to the president’s apparently unshakable conviction that anything that helps the environment must inevitably hurt the economy. “The United States has an abundance of natural resources and is not going to keep them in the ground,” he said. “We strongly believe that no country should have to sacrifice their economic prosperity or energy security in pursuit of environmental sustainability.” The administration is full of zero-sum philosophers like Mr. Griffith. The idea that sustainability may be a necessary condition of future economic growth appears never to have crossed their minds. 

Further depressing the proceedings were recent defections and political troubles in countries that, along with the United States, had been expected to lead the way to a low-carbon energy future. Germany, which long ago walked away from carbon-free nuclear power, is having a hard time cutting back on coal because of political opposition. In Australia, a prime minister was kicked out of officebecause he wanted to reduce the use of coal, which Australia produces in abundance. China, despite admirably aggressive investments in wind and solar power, has yet to get a firm grip on its emissions from coal-fired plants. The new president-elect of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, not only named an outspoken climate-change denier as his foreign minister but also, reversing his predecessors’ policy, pledged to open up the Amazon to mining and farming. This will threaten biodiversity in one of the world’s great rain forests while crippling its ability to act as a sink for carbon emissions.

No country’s backsliding, of course, compares with Mr. Trump’s. Determined to demolish President Barack Obama’s entire climate strategy, Mr. Trump has in the past year replaced Mr. Obama’s clean-power plan, which was aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, with an essentially useless substitute that would emit 12 times the pollution envisaged by the Obama plan. He has proposed weakening a major Obama regulation requiring automakers to nearly double the fuel economy of passenger vehicles by 2025. (This rollback, The Times reported this month, came after a lot of whining by oil interests, not, as one might suspect, from the auto companies, which had accepted the challenge.) And the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department have taken multiple steps to roll back Obama-era efforts to control emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas many times more powerful than carbon dioxide. These three programs formed the basis of Mr. Obama’s pledge at the 2015 Paris meeting to reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. 

The health and environmental effects of the Trump rollbacks, as documented by a Times investigation published this week, are far-reaching and potentially devastating. 

This holiday season has brought more gifts to fossil fuel interests; every day is Christmas Day for the likes of Murray Energy and ExxonMobil. This month, the E.P.A. proposed killing an Obama rule that would effectively block the construction of new coal-fired power plants. The Interior Department relaxed restrictions on oil and gas drilling in areas inhabited by the sage grouse, a threatened bird. Also in December, the department released an environmental-impact statement that would open all or part of the 1.5 million-acre coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to leasing and exploration. The area had been off limits to drilling for decades until Congress, late last year, approved an amendment sponsored by Senator Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, to open it up.


All this is fundamentally Mr. Trump’s doing. A series of early executive orders established the pro-fossil fuel policy framework; Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, and Ryan Zinke, the interior secretary, filled in the details. Mr. Pruitt has left Washington and Mr. Zinke is in his final days, both finishing under ethical clouds. They will deserve, along with Mr. Trump, history’s censure for doing virtually nothing to move to a more responsible energy future — and for not doing so at just the moment when the world needed the kind of leadership that Mr. Obama and his secretary of state, John Kerry (and Bill Clinton and Al Gore before them), tried to provide. 

The numbers are not great. The goal in Paris was to keep warming from exceeding 2 degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels, and if possible to hold the line at 1.5 degrees, thresholds that scientists deemed unacceptably risky. Delegates knew that even if every country managed to fulfill its individual pledges, the world would be on pace for 3 degrees of warming in this century. So they agreed to tighten the targets as time went on, but instead they’ve slid backward. Many large emitters are not on track to meet their self-imposed goals. That includes America, despite the retirement of many coal-fired plants in favor of cleaner natural gas, the increasing cost competitiveness of renewable fuels like wind and solar power, and the valiant efforts of states like California to sharply reduce their own emissions and lead where Mr. Trump will not. 

The bottom line, according to the Global Carbon Project, is that after three years in which emissions remained largely flat, global levels of carbon dioxide increased by 1.6 percent in 2017 and are on pace to jump by 2.7 percent this year. Some scientists have likened the increase in emissions to a “speeding freight train.” That has a lot to do with economic growth. It also has a lot to do with not moving much faster to less carbon-intensive ways of powering that growth. Or in Mr. Trump’s case, moving in the opposite direction.

 

read more:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/26/opinion/editorials/climate-change-environment-trump.html?

 

G.L.:

Dare I say that the NYT and many other "left" (corporate liberal) media have been barking mad about Trump this and Trump that — because Trump is Trump. I agree Trump is not helping the planet but he only represents two years of mucking global warming while we've been mucking it up for more than 150 years — with many skeptics septics at the forefront of bullshit paying big cash to make sure the problem stays in the doubtful area. Some people, including most western media pay lip service to the problem to look good and collect advertising moneys from the coal merchants. 

 

Should WE (me and you) want to help retard the full effect of global warming (alredy on a plus 6 degrees Celsius by 2120), we need to stop emmitting EXTRA CO2. Not one single molecule more of the stuff. ALL OUR ENERGY SUPPLY, ALL OUR TRANSPORT MEANS, ALL OUR ACTIVITIES NEED TO BE 100% CARBON NEUTRAL. NOW!

 

No ifs and buts. 


The NYT needs to fight ugly against all the pro-coal and oil merchants. No NYT staff should be using one drop of gas more... Capiche? Trump is only a stooge and we are the morons who burn coal and oil — a bit less may be with the windmills and the solar panels — but we still travel up-there in the fuel guzzling - CO2 pumping aeroplanes... 

 

WE NEED TO STOP THIS INSANITY NOW. Trump at least is the least insincere of all of us... He does not care about the problem.

 

Read from top.

 

Then we get this even more hypocritical stuff:

 

Stop messing with the market, Mr. President

 

THE MARKETS HAVE BEEN AT THE CORE OF CREATING GLOBAL WARMING. Whether Trump fiddles with the markets or not is IRRELEVANT. What is relevant is that Capitalism has outlived its welcome and we need to find a way to place an infinite price on the planet.

bullshit from obama...

Former president of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister, said former President Barack Obama had nothing to do with America’s increased oil production and actually frustrated many areas of the energy sector.

Obama claimed he was responsible for America’s recent oil boom during an event hosted by Rice University’s Baker Institute on Tuesday night.

Hofmeister challenged his assessment.

 

Read more:

https://www.westernjournal.com/former-oil-president-says-obama-nothing-increased-fuel-production/?

 

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polar bear troubles...

“I've been in Novaya Zemlya since 1983, yet I've never seen such a massive polar bear invasion,” head of local administration, Zigansha Musin, said, adding that at least five predators seem to be staying at the village all day long.

While polar bears don’t normally hunt humans, preying on various sea mammals instead, a close encounter with them can result in serious injuries or being mauled to death.

To fend off the beasts, Belushya Guba has already erected some fences and tried to scare the predators off by vehicles and warning shots. Some bears, however, seem to be eager to stay in the town despite all the efforts of humans.

The town ultimately decided to hunt down a few animals – which proved to be easier said than done, since the polar bears are an endangered species protected in Russia. The administration has asked the national nature protection watchdog for permission to shoot and kill the most rowdy bears, yet the request has been denied. The watchdog, however, is set to dispatch a team of specialists to the troubled village to try and tackle the problem without unnecessary violence.

 

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/russia/451074-russia-polar-bear-invasion/

 

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As the ice becomes scarce, as the polar bear hunting has stopped, they bear have to find food wherever they can. This is a problem directly related to global warming.