Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pentagon and neocon - global climate disruption is a threat multiplier

Your climate-doubting uncle needs to know that the Pentagon, the insurance companies, and this forward-thinking neocon with "impeccable conservative credentials" see the threats posed by climate change and the need for action:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Advice from Gelman & Fung, in AmSci piece on Freakonomics shortcomings

Good advice for all of us (yes, including me) -
"It is easy to be preemptively defensive of one’s own work, or of researchers whose work one has covered. Viewing alternative points of view as useful rather than threatening can help take the sting out of critiques. And if you’re covering subject matter outside your expertise, it pays to get second—and third and fourth—opinions."
- from Freakonomics: What Went Wrong? Examination of a very popular popular-statistics series reveals avoidable errors

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

(Minor) grocery alert - pudding precaution

If you bought instant pudding recently, perhaps on sale, at a local store, taste it before you commit an entire dessert to it.  (Mine - 2 of 2 - had mold.)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Trip report - "Wild Weather" Climate One panel talk at SF's Commonwealth Club Dec 13

Tuesday afternoon I drove down to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco  for an evening Climate One event titled  "Wild Weather", a panel discussion with a host, 3(?) IPCC authors and an extreme-weather crop insurance startup CEO.  I've blogged it here at my climate blog (the Climate One blogger did a more complete post), and the take-home local message - besides the obvious "yes climate is changing, extreme weather events are increasing, and things can be done to adapt,  in the short run at least"  is that unless others from up here want to go too, & discuss & brainstorm along the way, San Francisco is too far to go for an event like this. 

An extra $13k a year

"If the average American family still got the same share of income they earned in 1980, they would have... $13,000 more in their pockets a year.

What we need to do . . . other than moving back toward a balance that would begin getting that $13,000 a year into middle-class pockets . . . is to put Americans to work modernizing our infrastructure with projects that will serve us well for 20 and 50 and 100 years. Projects that can be financed cheaply now, when the cost of borrowing is low and contractors are eager for work."
From Nick Hanauer in Bloomberg Businessweek; h/t Andrew Tobias.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Durban and everything that matters - The Economist on climate talks and the long view

"A hundred years from now, looking back, the only question that will appear important about the historical moment in which we now live is the question of whether or not we did anything to arrest climate change. Everything else—the financial crisis, the life or death of the euro, authoritarianism or democracy in China and Russia, the Great Stagnation or the innovation renaissance, democratisation and/or political Islam in the Arab world, Newt or Mitt or another four years of Barack—all this will fade into insignificance beside the question of whether we managed to do anything about human industrial civilisation changing the climate of Planet Earth..."

How many people do you know, who've been impacted by the past year's floods and other weather disasters? Know anyone with stock in Toyota? ("Toyota Motor Corp., poised to lose its crown as the world's largest carmaker this year, cut its profit forecast 54 percent after Thailand's worst floods (but see 2012-07 update below) in almost 70 years disrupted production.") Insurance companies?
(for those impelled to note that no single event can be laid at the feet of climate change: see fractional risk attribution. (or (update) the mid-2012 NOAA report; Texas drought said to be many times more likely, because of climate change))

* 2012-07 update/correction:  while projections (and ocean salinity data) do indicate that dry areas will (and do) get drier and wet areas wetter, a July 2012 NOAA report - looking at (and finding) links between some recent extreme weather events and climate change - did not find the 2011 floods in Thailand to be linked to climate change.

"We will be judged by those who come after us, both by what we did do and what we didn't do, in the time given to us."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Climate hero Anjali Appadurai calls her...elders to account, at Durban climate talks

Edited; I wasn't comfortable with the tone.
Next time, let her speak - and rouse the old guys from negotiating business as usual - first.

"It always seems impossible, until it's done."

Friday, December 09, 2011

PRWatch - Grassroots vs. Astroturf, checklist of differences

"The "Occupy Wall Street" movement is providing a real-time case study of the difference between a true grassroots movement and a corporate-backed astroturf movement. ..."LinkRead here.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Dave Roberts - The brutal logic of climate change - 2C *not* safe, yet we're headed for worse. Course change needed ASAP. (Anyone else awake locally?)

See Dave Roberts on this, in Grist. Summarized:
A new [? - ed.] peer-reviewed paper by climate scientists Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows ... paints a grim picture:
  • The commonly accepted threshold of climate "safety," 2 degrees C [3.6 degrees F] temperature rise over pre-industrial levels, is now properly considered extremely dangerous;
  • even 2 degrees C is drifting out of reach, absent efforts of a scale and speed beyond anything currently proposed;
  • our current trajectory is leading us toward 4 or 6 (or 8 or 10) degrees C, which we now know to be a potentially civilization-threatening disaster.
Wouldn't it be smarter to talk about this?

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Hotter, drier, meaner: Trends point to a planet increasingly hostile to agriculture

Adaptation's not going to fix this. (Those who say "let's just adapt" to climate change, & not fight it, aren't thinking it through.)

Two recent papers clarify climate change cause, continuation

(edited - plus a Thursday update from study author Knutti below.)
Two peer reviewed papers, taking different approaches, document the human influence on and the continuation of global warming.