Monday, November 25, 2013

Connect the dots (special Red State edition)

In the popular debate about climate change, the "debate" is often framed as one group of scientists arguing for the objective reality of climate change, and another group of scientists who are skeptical of climate change, or at least the anthropogenic aspects of it. Take for example this fairly recent article in Forbes magazine that connects the dots in a very interesting way...

The Coming Revelation Of The 'Global Warming' Fraud Resembles The Obamacare Lie: In this article a contributor to Forbes known as Peter Ferrara explains how climate change and Obamacare are both "designed" by liberals to take away personal rights of people (Obamacare) and industries (global warming) in order to give them both over to the government, and of course, the U.N.

So how does Mr. Ferrara come to the conclusion that global warming is a sham? He mentions criticism of the AR-5 that comes from a group of Scientists that contributed to the document Climate Change Reconsidered II.These scientists claim that the evidence for climate change is shaky, and inconclusive. In the article he mentions four specifically, Craig Idso, Robert Carter, S. Fred Singer, and Willie Soon. Lets see if we can find any of these fellows on a google search...

Heartland Institute faces fresh scrutiny over tax status: Apparently the organization know as the "Heartland Institute," which bankrolled the Climate Change Reconsidered II, is being accused of purposefully undermining scientific discoveries about climate change. This institute is funded by donations from many large corporations, and private donars (which are normally anonymous, more on that later.) According to this article, the Heartland Institute paid Craig Isdo's organization $11,600 a month to produce this paper, and  S. Fred Singer made a paltry $5,500 a month for his contributions. Don't feel too sorry for Fred though, according to this website his organization (of which he has been the sole member of for 20 years) has accumulated over $1.5M tax free, mostly from the Heartland Institute.

Lets look another individual on the list, Robert Carter. There are a few tidbits concerning him on the internet

Australian University Dumps Bob Carter, Advisor To Multiple Global Climate Science Denial Groups: According to this article, Bob Carter has been removed from an unpaid adjunct professorial status (how do you get fired from working for free) and it seems that last year he was offered $1,667 a month for his work with the Heartland Institute. Skeptical Science is even keeping tabs on Bob over here, in a effort to document his claims.

So what about Willie Soon? It appears that in 2003, he produced research that argued current climate conditions are unremarkable when compared to climate events in the past 1,000 years. According to this article, that study was underwritten by $53,000 from the American Petroleum Institute. According to this article by the Boston Globe about Soon...
Over the last dozen years, he has received research funding of more than a $1.2 million from sources such as ExxonMobil; Southern Company, a foundation run by the Koch brothers, conservative energy moguls; and industry trade group American Petroleum Institute, according to public documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Greenpeace, the environmental advocacy group.
The four researchers cited in this article all have ties to Heartland Institute, as well as other organizations with a vested interest in continuing with a "business as usual" approach to climate change. The next logical question is  who funds the Heartland institute? In a leaked document, the following people and organizations were documented giving to the institute: GlaxoSmithKline, Microsoft, GM, anonymous private donations (one donor gave 14M over several years), tobacco and alcohol companies, as well as...

Yep, you guessed it the Koch brothers! So there you have it, the evidence against climate change comes from a report that argues against the  IPCC's findings, which comes from research backed by private organizations and individuals, which have a strong vested interest in denying climate change. And what about Peter Ferrara, the articles author? Besides writing for Forbes, he just happens to be the "Director of Entitlement and Budget Policy for the Heartland Institute." Now we truly have gone full circle.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The wierding weather of 2012 and 2013

Someone has compiled data of record setting, and otherwise odd weather for both the year 2012 and 2013. So much for the "halt in global warming" that climate skeptics like to point out. 

Find out more Here... 2013   2012

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Connect the dots (special tar sand and fracking edition)

  • The dangers of fracking: This interesting interactive website explains the health and environmental costs associated with fracking.
  • IEA confirms tar sands pipelines are key to production growth: For a long time now activists have been fighting the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. This report confirms how pivotal the pipeline's construction is for production to grow 
  • First Nations to Resume Blockade in Canadian Fracking Fight: The first nations of Canada are keenly aware of the dangers fracking poses to their water resources and way of life. They formed a blockade which was broken up by Royal Canadian Mounted Police, but that was not enough to stop them
  • As Canadian Province Puts Fracking on Hold, Will Others Follow?: In the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, government officials announced a moratorium on fracking. This announcement was made as a first nations fracking resistance movement continues to make its presence known throughout Canada 
  • Anti-fracking measures win in Lafayette, Boulder, Fort Collins: Despite a well funded campaign to allow fracking to begin in the Boulder area, the measures to allow facking failed to pass in the ballot box. It turns out people don't like the idea of fracking near their homes
  • Fracking Boom Leading to Fracking Bust: Scientists: Scientist are putting the long term viability of alternative fossil fuel sources into question. Despite the insistance of energy executives that the Unites States is poised to be the 21st century Middle East, evidence is mounting that the "Boom" will "Bust" sooner rather than later
  • US to be No. 1 oil producer, but it won't last: By 2015 The United States could be the #1 producer of oil in the world. Despite this possibility, The International Energy Agency warns that it will not last long. Interestingly perhaps, the report cited predicts that while both China and Russia have large reserves of oil shale, they are not predicted to develop this resource like the U.S. The report also mentions that China will see the biggest absolute increase in power generated from renewable resources...

Monday, November 11, 2013

The weirding weather

Typhoon Haiyan is pictured from the International Space Station on November 9, 2013, taken by astronaut Karen Nyberg courtesy of NASA. One of the strongest typhoons ever to make landfall devastated the central Philippines, killing more than 1,000 people in one city alone and 200 in another province, the Red Cross estimated on Saturday, as reports of high casualties began to emerge.  REUTERS/NASA/Handout via Reuters  (PHILIPPINES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT DISASTER TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) 

Typhoon Haiyan is pictured from the International Space Station on November 9, 2013

Philippine Rep Makes Plea for 'Global Solidarity' to Fight 'Climate Madness': In the wake of a deadly typhoon that wracked the Country, Philippine's representative to the COP 19, Naderev "Yeb" SaƱo, used some direct language concerning climate change

The Amazon Rain Forest Is Drying Out, Probably Because Of Climate Change: Climate scientists have warned for a long time that a warming world could leave the Amazon Rainforest dry, and now data is confirming an increase in the duration of the Amazon's dry season

Alaska Roasts During October, Reigniting Wildfire: Climate models predict that global warming will result in greater increases in the temperatures at the poles, compared to the tropics. This article highlights the unusually warm weather in Alaska during October

July 24th: Heat Wave continues in Siberia: July is always warm in Tampa Bay, however this year Siberia gave us a run for our money. Norilisk, one of the most northerly cities in the world, clocked in at 32.0°C (89.6°F) in July of this year.

Last Time Arctic Was This Warm Was 120,000 Years Ago: We know its getting warm in the Arctic, but to add some context to that statement, the last time it has been this warm was well before humans discovered agriculture.

Analysis: Waterworld USA: Climate Harming Regional Waters: This article delves into regional water challenges for the united states, based on climate change predictions. It looks like we are in for water scarcity, flash floods, and droughts. At least for the time being we still have enough water to keep fracking

Climate Change & The Jet Stream: New research on climate change is showing that as the planet warms the jet screen gets "wavier," that increases the probability of more extreme weather events

Colorado’s ‘Biblical’ Flood in Line with Climate Trends: How do you end a drought? One way to do it is with a 1 in 1000 year deluge. As the chart illustrates below, the Boulder area was in a drought, until this one rain event came to town

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Denial and disenlightment

Tar sands hell in Detroit: What happens when you combine the Koch brothers with a legally appointed dictator? Find out in this article (spoiler alert, middle class Americans get screwed)

Energy companies fighting solar power: In California, large energy companies are attempting to stop consumers from installing battery arrays, by claiming they are fraudulently storing conventional energy and reselling it on the grid.

Scientists warn of the dangers of the United States fossil fuel production: With the development of unconventional fossil fuels, the United States is poised to be the worlds leading producer of fossil energy. However, climate scientists warn that the U.S. is quickly destroying it's credibility in global discussions of greenhouse gas emissions.

Indigenous Brazilians launch protest: Indigenous Brazilians are protesting throughout Brazil over proposed legislation that would take away indigenous Brazilians rights to the exclusive use of resources (in usufruct) of their traditional lands. Shockingly, this proposal is backed by agribusiness and mining interests. 

Deepening disenlightenment: The peak oil myth of those tree hugging environmentalists is over, its time to frack our way to fossil fuel abundance and celebrate our rightful return to global dominance, what could possibly go wrong?

Ecuador seeks global solutions, globe isn't interested: Ecuador is sitting on large reserves of oil that is located under old growth rainforest. In an attempt to justify not developing this lucrative resource, Ecuador proposed the world pay them a small portion of its actual value, to keep it in the ground and preserve one of the worlds few remaining  biodiversity hot-spots. Guess what happened...

Canada decides to ease of government oversight of oilsands projects: The Canadian government has confirmed it is backing away from assessing the environmental impact of new oilsands projects. I am sure those virtuous fossil fuel executives will properly self-regulate their environmental practices. 

Oil companies developing alternatives to Keystone XL pipeline: Canadians are developing rail lines to move oil products into the United States, even if the Keystone XL pipeline fails to be approved. Canadians are intent on living the dream!