Climate Change May be Readying to Split the Heavens over the U.S. Southeast — So What Can We Do?

None of us are bystanders when it comes to climate change. Whether we’re aware of it or not, we’re all caught up in the most pressing trouble of our age. Our great burning of fossil fuels is steadily turning the Earth’s climate into something terrible. Once we realize this, the imperative for action becomes as clear and keen as a razor’s edge.

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Only a few weeks after severe rains inundated Louisiana, another powerful atmospheric bomb may be leveling its sights toward a broad region of Florida and the US Southeast. Rainfall amounts in excess of one foot are expected over portions of Florida as a tropical depression is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm as it churns in from a record-hot Gulf of Mexico. Coastal portions of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina may see 5-10 inches of rain over the coming few days. And long range forecasts indicate a possible tropical storm or weak hurricane threat to interests from the Outer Banks through New England by late this week.

The storm, fueled by unprecedented levels of ocean and atmospheric heat and moisture, has the potential to dump rains at rates capable of overwhelming local infrastructure. If this happens, vehicles and homes will once more be under the gun for severe and damaging flooding in a summer that has seen a seemingly endless litany of such events across the U.S. and around the world.

Florida Floods Inbound

(NOAA QPC forecast shows that parts of coastal Florida near Tampa could experience more than a foot of rainfall this week as a tropical depression moves in from the Gulf. Heavy rains are predicted to hammer most of Florida and the U.S. southeastern coastline. Such rainfall events are fueled by global warming which generates a heavier load of moisture held aloft in the Earth’s atmosphere, producing more extreme rainfall events.  Image source: NOAA.)

Behind the 8-Ball on Climate Change

Events like these increasingly drive home the point — whether we like it or not, we are now entering a new climate era. How dangerous and destructive that era will be still depends on our actions as individuals, communities, and nations.

Earlier this month, the IPCC issued two stark announcements. Though probably not a surprise to readers and researchers here, these statements will likely come as a shock to most of the climate-concerned world. The first statement indicated that the Paris 2 degrees Celsius target could not now be achieved without a rapid reduction of fossil-fuel burning to about zero combined with the application of a number of yet-to-be-developed negative carbon emissions technologies that would draw some of that massive, heat-trapping CO2 overburden out of the air. The second statement declared that given the likely difficulty of hitting the 2 C target, and considering the fact that 2016 will probably have already hit near 1.2 C above 1880s temperatures, the feasibility of keeping warming below Paris’ provisional 1.5 C target is now highly questionable.

In other words, even the fast-feedback biased Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity models show that the window for 1.5 C is probably closed and the 2 C window is slamming shut pretty fast. To this point, we should give a concerned nod to Hansen et al.’s shot-across-the-bow assessment of paleoclimate, where the 405 parts per million CO2 and 490 ppm CO2e currently in the Earth’s atmosphere hints that long-term warming from simply a maintained level of these greenhouse gasses is about 3-4 C (see How Sensitive is our Climate?).

Regardless of how climate sensitivity ultimately pans out, the world is in kind of a rough spot with some bad climate outcomes likely already locked in. Sadly, we are experiencing the first forays of these now, as the past week brings news of a freak lightning strike killing hundreds of Arctic-native reindeer in Norway, while three tropical cyclones formed simultaneously in the record-hot Atlantic. Tropical Depression 9 is expected to dump a foot or more of rainfall over parts of Florida just a couple of weeks after Louisiana experienced a flood disaster whose damages now rival that of Hurricane Andrew — resulting in a massive housing crisis with 86,000 people seeking federal aid.

Lake Mead New Record Lows

(Warming the Earth’s atmosphere increases both evaporation and precipitation intensity, resulting in more extreme floods and droughts. We see this in various record rain and drought events now ranging the world. At Lake Mead, Nevada — a key U.S. reservoir — water levels again hit new record lows this year, nearing the mandatory end-year rationing level of 1,075 feet. Image source: U.S. Lakes Online.)

At the same time, and on the other end of the hydrological scale from Louisiana (and possibly Florida), Lake Mead, Nevada, after suffering from a decades-long Colorado River drought, is edging closer to the mandatory rationing line where multiple states will see water supplies cut. Practically everywhere we look, from species migrating toward the poles, to ever-more-extreme weather, to the worst global coral-bleaching event on record, to the burning Amazon rainforest, to the thawing tundra, to diseases like Zika leaping out of the tropics, to algae blooms spreading dead zones into rivers, lakes, and oceans, we can see these climate impacts growing stronger and starker.

Meanwhile, near-future vulnerabilities are becoming clearer. In one example, the Department of Energy just issued a new report showing, as has been stated here on this blog many times, that our current centralized power infrastructure is very vulnerable to even relatively moderate levels of warming, related extreme weather, and sea level rise.

The trouble is getting locked in, but it becomes even worse if we continue to emit carbon, to burn fossil fuels. So given this harsh context — a context that should be a call to action for everyone living upon the warming Earth — there is now clear and present cause to both ask and answer the question, What can we do? How can we respond before climate chaos sets in and it becomes difficult or even impossible to act effectively?

Mobilization for Climate Action

Many years ago, I asked the same question of myself — what could I do?

Back in 2011, after having kept a close watch on the emerging threat that was climate change and after having read James Hansen’s seminal book, Storms of My Grandchildren, I decided that something had to be done. 350.org was holding a ‘stop the pipeline’ rally that November and I signed up to participate. I wanted to get arrested along with climate leader Bill McKibben, but I let myself be swayed by family concerns. So braver and more noble souls than I stood on that thin line. Nonetheless, I did my own small part. More importantly, I returned from the rally even more resolved and, in a few short months, I started this blog. My climate activism has continued ever since.

Stop the Pipeline

(350.org and NRDC’s spearhead effort to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline was ultimately successful due to broad and ardent climate activism. However, in order to prevent the worst effects of climate change, a great number of other pipelines, wells, and coal mines will have to be blocked or halted. It’s a simple fact, really, that we need to choose between a livable future and continuing to burn dangerous fuels. And that’s the reason why political participation and activism is so very important at this time. Image source: On Earth.)

Another person I respect, my father-in-law, is a long-standing member of the Sierra Club. If you’re not familiar, the Sierra Club is a 126-year-old environmental organization that supports an active transition away from fossil fuels and is currently involved in various anti-fracking and coal plant shutdown actions. This summer, my father-in-law participated in county meetings in King George, Virginia in an effort to get fracking banned in that region. For some reason, fossil-fuel interests are keen to frack King George. Apparently, there’s a decent amount of tight oil in this part of Virginia. In any case, my father-in-law helped to get strong anti-fracking regulations put in place for the county — so strong that the fracking interests are now, like TransCanada, threatening to sue.

We Can Do This Together

My good friend Colorado Bob used to be an oil worker. He, like so many of us, was part of a system that generated the harms that are now coming. Bob is now one of the most outspoken advocates for climate awareness and action that I know. For years, he’s written and linked to internet articles on the subject of climate change. He’s an active voice on some of the most prominent climate forums, like Weather Underground and ClimateProgress to name just a couple. Bob’s out there every day doing something to raise awareness, to educate people, to get us all moving in the right direction. Many of the concerned people who frequent this blog like Greg, Wili, Cate, DT Lange, ThereAreSoManyThings, TheSecularJurist, Kevin, June, Mulga, Redsky, Leland Palmer, Spike, Bill h, mlparrish and so many more have done something similar.

NASA Modified poster

(Houston, we have a problem… NASA recently modified this World War II-era poster to illustrate the need for a global mobilization to prevent harm due to human-caused climate change. Join NASA and become a part of that necessary action today. Image source: NASA.)

There’s an active debate ongoing as to whether or not climate scientists should become political advocates for climate action. Underlying this debate is a notion that climate change is somehow an issue with sides — that there’s some kind of legit, moral, non-biased middle ground a scientifically informed person can take. The truth is that climate change simply will continue to happen and worsen if we keep burning fossil fuels, and that non-bias in this case can swiftly tip into immorality. Once it is realized that climate change will result in mass migration, mass destruction of wealth and property, and a high risk of mass loss of human and animal life, it becomes abundantly clear that something must be done. These facts render the issue of climate neutrality in the sciences a moot point. Even those intending to remain non-biased will inevitably draw fire, as simply reporting facts on the issue, as Michael Mann found during the 2000s, has made scientists a target of fossil-fuel monetary and political interests seeking to obscure these facts from the public eye — a simple truth that scientists like James Hansen realized long ago. In his case, activism was not just morally courageous, it was practical and scientific. Something terrible was happening, would continue to happen if we didn’t do something about it. Hansen’s point on this was amazingly clear:

Only in the last few years did the science crystallize, revealing the urgency – our planet really is in peril. If we do not change course soon, we will hand our children a situation that is out of their control… [emphasis added]

As out-of-control as that future threatens to become, the bravery and resolve of some of this nation’s children in the face of that threat is, quite frankly, astonishing. If you think you’re too young to act, just take a look at Our Children’s Trust. In this case, a group of preteens and teenagers are taking on the federal government over climate change. They’re claiming that the government isn’t living up to its sacred pledge to protect their health and welfare. If these kids have the intestinal fortitude to go at the Feds with all legal guns blazing, to set aside huge chunks of their lives to take on an issue that is so important to everyone, then there’s no excuse for us adults.

Every Life Matters

Back when I was writing about Hurricane Sandy slamming into the U.S. northeast, my wife was involved in the sheltering of animals displaced by the disaster, as part of the response effort in the region. She and many others spent days housed in the gymnasium at a local community college, taking cold showers and eating rations provided by local disaster agencies, putting themselves at risk walking dogs as a powerful ice storm followed the devastating coastal low. Their compassion for the voiceless, the innocent and the helpless are a part of what we will need to effectively deal with climate change. Part of our challenge will be to help the living creatures and forests of our world survive the rapid warming and the climate disruptions that result. We must open our hearts to the plight of the innocent, the poor, and the voiceless, and not turn our eyes away in callous denial of harm done.

Fish Lizard Island

(When it comes to facing climate change, every life matters. From fish, to coral reefs, to forests, to polar bears, to companion animals, to human beings, confronting climate change is ultimately an effort to save lives. Great Barrier Reef image source: The Guardian.)

Have my father-in-law, Colorado Bob, McKibben, Hansen, Mann, Our Children’s Trust, my wife and tens of thousands of other advocates, scientists, and everyday people won the war on climate change? Heck no. We see the results of our present failings with increasing extremity each and every day. But the point is that our actions have mattered and, more importantly, have become a part of a potential for heroism on a mass scale, a global effort to shift energy and climate policy and to help those that suffer due to the changes. All of us have the opportunity now to become a part of what will probably be the biggest life-saving effort ever undertaken by our race.

A Call to Act

Big or small, all our actions have an impact and we can all do something through the simple impetus of deciding to do the right thing. We can join 350.org and the Sierra Club, we can vote for candidates who promise strong action on climate change, we can speak out in support of the science, we can cut the lion’s share of meat out of our diets, we can install solar panels on homes and businesses, we can ride bikes, and support electric vehicles. We can raise awareness among our families, friends and neighbors. We can plant gardens and help to rejuvenate the carbon-capturing soil. We can join community, state, national and international aid and response networks to help people and animals harmed or displaced by climate change. We can defend the IPCC and other scientific agencies from politically-motivated attacks by fossil-fuel special interests. We can all become part of the action supporting positive responses and blocking the use of destructive fuels like oil, gas and coal.

What we ultimately choose to do first is not as important as the simple decision to begin to do something. The important thing is to act, to act now, and to resolve to do more each day. To become a part of a necessary growing effort. To stand up and make the moral decision to become a soldier in a global mobilization, not only to fight for the lives of our children and grandchildren, but for all the poor and innocent creatures of this Earth — human or otherwise — who are now so vulnerable to a rising disaster of fossil-fuel burning’s making.

So please join with me in lifting our voices in this call to act, swiftly, with purpose, and now.

Links:

IPCC — Two degree climate target not possible without ‘negative emissions’

IPCC Special Report to Scruitinize Feasibility of 1.5 C Climate Goal

How Sensitive is Our Climate?

Climate Sensitivity, Sea Level Rise, and Atmospheric CO2

Lightning Kills 323 Reindeer in Norway

NOAA

350.org

Sierra Club

The Guardian

Our Children’s Trust

The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars

NASA

Weather Underground

ClimateProgress

King George Moves to Protect Water Supply From Fracking

On Earth

Storms of My Grandchildren

Our Grid is Incredibly Vulnerable to Climate Change

Bill McKibben

NRDC

Hat tip to Greg

Hat tip to DT Lange

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Leave a comment

283 Comments

  1. VERONICA DESMOND

     /  August 30, 2016

    Had to share the link below on FB. Is this funny or what!
    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/donald-trump-climate-change-golf-course-223436

    Reply
    • Funny, but not surprising. Just goes to show that his climate change denial only goes so far as it doesn’t affect his personal bottom line. Trump — will deny climate change in public, attack wind mills and do all other sorts of nonsense, but when it comes to sea level rise, Trump wants to build a wall. Trump needs to know that walls are very poor responses to threats. With sea level rise, the wall ultimately fails if you keep burning fossil fuels. With mass migration — walls generate large pools of displaced persons on the other side, either resulting in invasion by circumventing the wall or in mass human tragedy. Pretty short sighted in either case, but more and more of what we’ve come to expect from Trump — ignore the problem until it’s too bad to ignore, then just slap a wall on it.

      Reply
  2. Glad to see you back, Robert, and with a very inspiring article too!

    I was keeping this comment for the next article, so it would not disappear in the end of a long thread like the fire in the Awá reservation had… and it ended up being on topic for this one:
    For those who choose reforestation as one of their climate acts:
    http://phys.org/news/2016-08-amazon-forests-biodiversity-mitigate-climate.html

    A scientific model and assorted experiments confirmed that the greater the biodiversity, the greater the resilience of an ecossystem, and well preserved areas of the Amazon may survive medium (3-4oC) increases of global temperature. The model simulated conditions in the Amazon Rainforest, and found that the biodiversity of fragments is one of the biggest factors in whether or not they can survive.

    One of the pratical considerations of that is for reforestation projects. Bigger diversity on those can help both the new forest formation (there are studies here that show that for the mata Atlantica Biome, which I´m most familiar with, a new forest must include at least 30 tree species to grow reasonably, and should have 80+ tree species to grow optimally), and later, the resilience of said forest.

    Reforestation needs land, and so, not anyone can do it (I´m luck to live in a country where land is far cheaper than it´s in the USA, Canada, Japan, Europe, etc, so that is my main climate act), but for those who can, remember to diversify yor trees!

    Reply
    • Thanks for this, Umbrios. Wishing you much luck with the reforestation effort. I’m thinking we’ll probably need a lot of this globally. But Brazil is just so critical to it all.

      Reply
      • I came across a couple of interesting items on forests this week.

        One is on the necessity to ensure “filling” areas of forest to establish and maintain a suitable humidity ‘gradient’ to ensure adequate rainfall. “How forests attract rain: an examination of a new hypothesis.” by Douglas Sheil and Daniel Murdiyarso in BioScience (2009). http://bioscience.oxfordjournals.org/content/59/4/341.abstract http://bioscience.oxfordjournals.org/content/59/4/341.full.pdf+html

        The other is something people who take over a damaged or logged area should consider working on. Even if you don’t plant trees in the areas previously used as roads, you absolutely m.u.s.t. break up the compressed surface of the roads to re-establish the pre-logging/farming hydrological functioning of the forest. Otherwise the forest will suffer both droughts and floods from the one problem – water running out of the forest too fast to soak into the soil properly.

        (Off topic. This bloke is the second European I’ve seen who talks about soil being too ~warm~ as a problem in absorbing rainfall/water. Is this some kind of linguistic or translation issue where German or East European language speakers conflate/confuse the meanings or antonyms of cool/warm and moist/dry , or is it a real difference in concepts.)

        Reply
    • George W. Hayduke

       /  August 31, 2016

      This is something that has been on my mind for quite some time. How about a guerilla tree planting movement. More so on public lands. Would something like this be feasible? Here in Montana we have a good amount of public land, I know this may not be legal but neither is murder yet the government is complicit in it by continuing to support the FF industry. If anything could people research their public forests and at least plant for diversity?

      Great article Robert, especially the latter part/call to action. I became a bicycle mechanic right out of high school because even 25 years ago I saw the need to get off of fossil fuels, still waiting (with all my tools) for the transition, biked to work in some nasty weather over the last few years but it’s worth it.

      Reply
      • Hi umbrios27, George W. Hayduke, Robert-

        Great article, Robert.

        George – I’ve been really impressed by the Chinese Grain for Green program, in which the Chinese government simply provided organization and then paid farmers to plant trees. For them, and for many societies around the world, this seems like a good model. Even the U.S. has the migrant farm workers that Trump so reviles, who could be employed this way, on public lands as you say.

        The total cost before that program was suspended was about 1.51 billion yuan, equivalent to about 230 million U.S. dollars. That doesn’t seem like a lot of money, especially spread over a decade or two. The program succeeded in reforesting 8.216 million hectares of marginal farmland – 0.8% of the land area of China.

        Something is going on in China that appears to be generating a CO2 absorption signature visible from space.

        https://earth.nullschool.net/#2016/08/30/2230Z/chem/surface/level/overlay=co2sc/orthographic=87.35,29.70,2048/loc=97.867,32.750

        Notice that minimum CO2 concentration in the provinces close to Sichuan can go as low as 330-350 ppm during some parts of the day. This appears to me to be in the early afternoon, although earth.nullschool still seems to have the time signature 12 hours off, I think. I’ll be corresponding with them about this apparent bug in their time stamp.

        We should demand something similar in the U.S., I think. It’s not a lot of money, and it appears to be having a big enough effect to be visible from space, although that is not confirmed. Perhaps rural provinces of China like Sichuan always had high CO2 absorption in the late summer. Maybe it has something to do with the fast growing bamboo forests in that area. But something over there appears to be working.

        It’s a shame that the Chinese government suspended the program. But it looks like the world and the Chinese people can continue to reap the benefit from this far-sighted program for decades to come.

        Priorities around the world need to change. Hundreds of billions for fossil fuel subsidies but not a dime to plant trees? We need to change that.

        Reply
        • About the apparent bug in the

        • Woops, wrong button.🙂 Hi umbrios27 – inspiring post, your local area adoption efforts.

          About the apparent bug in the earth.nullschool CO2 map time stamp:

          When you use most of the other time stamps from most of the other earth.nullschool maps, the local time for maximum CO2 absorption works out to be early afternoon.

          When you assume that “now” actually means a time close to the real now, and go to outside sources for the local time in China, the local time for maximum CO2 absorption works out to be early afternoon.

          This time zone converter map helps, once you realize that the actual times for each country are displayed in the little labels for each country.

          http://www.worldtimezone.com/

          So theory says maximum CO2 absorption should be in the early afternoon, during maximum photosynthesis. This CO2 daily minimum agrees with the other earth.nullschool maps and with outside sources for the time. And the daily minimum in CO2 concentration seems to correspond with maximum temperatures. So, predictions of theory and actual results seem to match, so I’m 90% sure or above that the earth.nullschool CO2 time stamp has a bug in it.

          The time stamp on most of the other earth.nullschool maps appears to be correct. I thought that the apparent bug was just a 12 hour difference, possibly due to a mental error when converting to military time format, but now I’m not sure.

          I’ve been looking around the world for persistent dark areas in the CO2 map, corresponding to areas below the CO2 average concentration (apparent carbon sinks).

          The northern boreal forests, especially Siberia, are good carbon sinks in the late summer. The northern boreal forests are subject to fire, but he overall balance appears to be strongly carbon negative, so they are still good carbon sinks.

          The Chinese rural areas appear to be really great carbon sinks, as discussed above, maybe the best in the world. This might be associated with the Chinese Grain for Green tree planting program. High CO2 emissions might be masking the absorption from other areas outside rural China like Sichuan.

          The Adriatic sea, between Italy and Croatia/Bosnia/Slovenia, is a persistent carbon sink, it looks like. This is a known phenomenon sometimes called the Adriatic carbon pump, in which dense salty water from solar evaporation sinks and carries carbon down into deep areas of the ocean.

          Both South America and Africa appear to be a mixed bag, with huge fire emissions balancing still huge CO2 absorption. So, as Robert has discussed, they may be roughly carbon neutral. This is scary, because they used to be such great carbon sinks.

          Possible areas of hope – fire suppression and tree planting. Paying farmers to plant trees, worldwide, would seem to be a tiny cost, and might help stabilize CO2 levels.

        • Oh, crap, I got the cost wrong.

          The amount paid to farmers was 151.36 billion yuan, equal to about 22.66 billion U.S. dollars. Over 8 years, from 1999 to 2007, that works out to about 2.8 billion dollars per year. Of course, the farmers were also being paid not to grow crops on that marginal farmland, subject to erosion.

          I should have realized that reforesting 0.8 percent of the land area of China would cost more than what I was saying.

          Still humanity spends maybe 500 billion dollars per year subsidizing fossil fuels,

        • Leland, even the new numbers are still very low, compared to state expenditure elsewhere. I´d bet that the return in ecossystem services (even ignoring the CO2, just in water conservation and diminishing air pollution and therefore, sickness and early deaths) of this program is bigger than 23 billion dollars. This still would make a lot of sense economically.

      • He, George, depending on local law, it may not even be “guerrila”. Here in Brasil it´s possible for an enterprise or an individual to adopt (legally) public garden or forest areas. The area is not privatized: it can´t be fenced, can´t be used for domestic animal pasture, can´t be used for extrativism, etc. The only economical use permited is propaganda, as the person who adopts the area may put signs in the area.

        What I´m doing is actually that. When I moved to Mairiporã, I bought a 0,6 hectare farm, but it has a neighboring 2,4 hectare forested municipal area. I´ve applied for guardianship of the neighboring area and got it, so now I´m tending to this fragment (which, both areas accounted for, has the 3 hectare minimum area that can keep an Atlantic Forest fragment viable ecologically). Guardianship mainly involves trash removal (the area had been invaded in the past, and a lot of construction and domestic trash lingered), keeping an eye out to prevent new invasions and reforestation.

        In the public area, I´m not planting anything that isn´t from the Atlantic Forest Bioma, and native of São Paulo State. I confess that in the farm area I´m being less kosher, adding an edible garden and exotic fruit trees near the house, and planting a few amazonian trees and more heat-loving Atlantic Rain Forest trees that don´t normally thrive in São Paulo (cacau, cupuaçu, brazil-nut, camu-camu, bacupari, cashew, brasil-wood).

        Leland, I´ve seem your posts about the Grain for Green program, it really seems like a terrific ideia, and one of the few rays of hope. And you´re right, it´s a great return of results for buck too. Reforesting and conserving natural areas is cheap in “state economics” terms. Prices are always so small, that it pains to see that more of these efforts aren´t done.

        But the smallish price-tags and very easy to monitor results are the “problem”. There´s no room for corruption in those budgets. It´s easier to recognize too expensive tree seedlings than to recognize that an airport, for example, was overpriced. And if public money is spent, but no trees are planted, it´s quite easy to discover it (you´re monitoring the sucesse of the Grain for Green program and I´d guess you´re not even in China). So, these incredible cost-effective policies are often shunned by governments. It´s good to see exceptions, like the one you´ve pointed in China. We´ll need those exceptions to become the rule, but it is an uphill batle.

        Reply
        • Hi umbrios27-

          Thanks, agree 100%. It’s nice to have the law enforcement perspective on the problem. Yes, it seems hard to make money off of corruption in the tree planting programs, like you say. The costs are low enough that maybe governments or private foundations could just pay a high enough price for tree planting that planters could profit honestly from the programs. That’s what worked in the Chinese Grain for Green – the farmers liked it, and made some small amounts of honest money from it.

          Most of the money went to big farmers, though, they say. But so long as the trees get planted, that is tolerable, I think.

          I’m more and more sure that the apparent CO2 daily concentration minimums in China are real, and not some sort of artifact.

          Earth.nullschool is awesome. This appears to be the programming effort of mainly one guy. From an old satellite, earth.nullschool is getting data, or modeling based on data, that appears to be showing daily maximums in CO2 absorption. This is just incredible, and is a wonderful individual effort.

          Your land adoption efforts are inspiring. I don’t know if this is possible in the U.S. or not, but it should be. I need to look into that, thanks.

    • Abel Adamski

       /  August 31, 2016

      Umbrios and others.
      There is a conservation organisation in Aust that I signed up to and my monthly donation goes towards conservation and protection, but also buying land and creating reserves and regenerating forests and natural environments.
      http://www.bushheritage.org.au/

      Reply
      • That´s always a good alternative, Abel. I like planting trees myself, but I do known that this is a privilege that not everyone has.

        Reply
  3. dblundin

     /  August 30, 2016

    Thanks you so much for this blog, it is such a wealth of information every time. I think we CAN do it too, if we somehow develop a deep sense of Love for and trust in life. Fear is not enough to mobilize us into action.

    Reply
    • Part of response is recognizing the threat. You can’t respond unless you’re aware. The other part is morale — meaning a belief in the response, a sense of hope that the action will generate a positive effect. If the effort is motivated by love and compassion, then it would be the most positive result possible.

      Reply
  4. coloradobob

     /  August 30, 2016

    Kind words , I certainly don’t deserve. Hope your mom is doing well.

    The paper, A Brewing Storm: The climate change risks to coffee report, was commissioned by Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand and released on Monday.

    The Climate Institute said in a news release that 80 to 90 percent of the 25 million coffee farmers worldwide were “smallholders who are among those most exposed to climate change.” The report said that if no “strong” climate action was taken, coffee producing areas could halve in decades, with wild coffee facing potential extinction by 2080.
    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/30/is-this-the-last-of-your-latte-climate-change-set-to-hit-coffee-hard-report.html

    Reply
    • Nope, you earned them.

      Stark report there, Bob. Was chatting with my Aunt and Uncle in Hatteras about just this subject this past weekend. As you well know, it’s not just Coffee — so many species that produce things that add taste and color to the human world are under threat due to warming. As we lose life, we lose the beauty in experience. If living things start to fail, it seems that life becomes more a drudgery and far less a joy.

      Reply
  5. I´m also going to do a bit of shameless propaganda (Robert, if this comment is not ok, don´t hesitate in taking it down).

    A NGO here from Brasil, Projeto Golfinho Rotator (Spinner Dolphin Project ), is running for a Japanese Award that is decided by online voting. They´re a very effective NGO, doing miracles with very low funding, the most important NGO defending dolphins in Brasil, and the second most important defending cetaceans.

    They´ve achieved victories like a law that protects dolphins from being approached by tourist boats in Brasil (the dolphins and other cetaceans may choose to approach the boats, but boats can´t stalker them), and laws limiting the number of tourists that can visit the main dolphin spots per day. They also keep a huge educational campaign with fishers, teaching better ways of fish that won´t damage dolphin populations, and together with Project Tamar they´ve created a dolphin and turtle safe hook , so that fishers won´t bycatch cetaceans or turtles alongside the fishes.

    Caveat: one of the directors of this NGO is a friend of mine, and I didn´t actually see the videos of the competitors in this award (can´t see videos in this computer).

    Gaining this award would do a big difference for this NGO, so, if you guys can, the award link is here: http://www.okayama-tbox.jp/esd/pages/6439 . The project is labeled Spinner Dolphin Project working for a Sustainable Development on a Brazilian Oceanic Island, Fernando de Noronha . Thanks.

    Reply
    • June

       /  August 30, 2016

      Done, umbrios. Sounds like a great project.

      Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  August 30, 2016

      Spinner Dolphins could be the happiest animals on Earth.

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  August 30, 2016

        Reply
        • George W. Hayduke

           /  August 31, 2016

          That cartoon brought me to tears…

        • Thanks for everyone who helped, and thanks for the lovely cartoon, Coloradobob! Actually, for the whole series of them, I didn´t knew R. Cobb before, and his work is amazing!

        • I think this is a great cartoon as I would like to think that creatures like the dolphins would live even if we wont, and maybe that is the way it should be. *Sigh*

          But this is a great article, Robert, and thank you for it.

          Sheri

    • Abel Adamski

       /  August 31, 2016

      Do ed

      Reply
    • Thanks for giving us the opportunity to help promote this effort.

      Reply
  6. June

     /  August 30, 2016

    Welcome back Robert. Speaking of courageous people, here’s an update on the North Dakota pipeline protest. I know it’s a long excerpt, but these folks exemplify the spirit of commitment and unity that are essential in the fight against the fossil fuel interests. It’s worth reading the entire article.

    North Dakota oil pipeline protesters stand their ground: ‘This is sacred land’

    The population of the camp ebbs and flows. Many have given up jobs and brought their families here, and a core of between 500 and 1,000 people live here semi-permanently. Some, such as Wiyaca Eagleman, a member of the Sicangu Lakota from Rosebud, South Dakota, have been here since the beginning of April. He plans to be here, he said, “as long as it takes”.

    Hundreds more join when they can, swelling the camp’s numbers on weekends. Others come when they get time and bring what supplies they can.

    It is an unprecedented gathering. Members of more than 90 Native American nations and tribes have a presence here, according to Eagleman, who has become a sort of unofficial spokesman for the protest camp. Up the road, where the building site was besieged, the flags of many of those nations now fly together. The unity on display here is a dream come true for Eagleman. “There has been no moment like this in history,” he said.

    On Saturday, a delegation from the Crow nation arrived from Montana, bearing offerings of firewood and 700lb of buffalo meat. That’s truly historic: the Crow and the Lakota have been enemies for more than a century. They were at war once; the Crow acted as scouts for Gen George Custer. Buffalo meat has powerful symbolic value: a gesture of solidarity and friendship from longtime former foes.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/29/north-dakota-oil-pipeline-protest-standing-rock-sioux

    Reply
  7. coloradobob

     /  August 30, 2016

    Climate change ‘mother of all risks’ says Aviva CEO amid calls to end fossil fuel subsidies

    “Making a profit is essential in business,” Mark Wilson, chief executive of Aviva, said in a media note on the Overseas Development Institute’s (ODI) website. “But we will only be in business in the future if we act sustainably and create wider long term social value. That’s just good business – and not acting sustainably is very bad business indeed.”

    “Climate change in particular represents the mother of all risks – to business and to society as a whole,” Wilson added. “And that risk is magnified by the way in which fossil fuel subsidies distort the energy market. These subsidies are simply unsustainable.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/30/climate-change-mother-of-all-risks-says-aviva-ceo-amid-calls-to-end-fossil-fuel-subsidies.html

    Reply
    • The fact that we’re still subsidizing the problem when it comes to climate change really says a lot about how far behind the 8 ball we are when it comes to mitigation. Let’s hope we can get enough political capital to end them soon. The rising availability and lower costs for renewables just keeps making this action more possible. But, again, there’s a political battle here that needs to be won.

      Reply
  8. VERONICA DESMOND

     /  August 30, 2016

    Thank you so much Robert for the relentless work you do to save our lovely planet.

    Reply
  9. – Indeed

    “None of us are bystanders when it comes to climate change.”

    “We Can Do This Together”

    “The important thing is to act, to act now, and to resolve to do more each day… make the moral decision…”
    – RS

    – Indeed

    – Thanks for the personal side too in your warm and reasoned clarion call to action.
    DT

    Reply
    • Also, I add to my witty take:
      “The weather is broken — we broke it.”

      ” We must fix it if we are to survive.”

      Then, there is that old saying of shopkeepers everywhere, ” if you break it — you own it.”

      Well, the climate now owns us.

      Good luck to all…

      Reply
    • Cheers, DT. I was thinking about you when surfing this weekend. Amazing what a few waves can do to help clear the mind and heart.

      If you break it, you own it — apparently in spades.

      Reply
      • Cheers.🙂

        Reply
      • Thanks for the energetic and mind clearing thought.
        Were you going left or right?

        When I surfed I had fairly weak upper arm strength for catching waves — mostly from a childhood injury.
        But, I have very strong legs — and if I caught a wave with a wall of any height — I could dig in on bottom turns like you wouldn’t believe.
        You know — using the Gs from the vertical drop then taking full and firm control and going lateral… Whee.

        Double cheers…

        Reply
  10. – This is the first time I’ve seen ‘hack’ used in an weather/atmospheric context:

    ‘Wildfire smoke hacks clouds’

    Plumes of wildfire smoke envelop and alter clouds, potentially affecting local weather, according to new research based on serendipitous airborne measurements of clouds in smoke from Canadian fires. The new data confirms clouds embedded in smoke are likely to warm up the atmosphere around clouds, causing the clouds to dissipate faster.

    “At first we were looking at the data for aerosols only, using observations from the aircraft to quantify and characterize the light scattering by these particles,”

    Things really get complicated, however, when you add clouds and aerosols together…

    Smoke causes clouds to darken, which means less sunlight is being reflected back into space. That means more solar energy is being trapped between the clouds and the smoke, warming the air and affecting the local weather…
    http://blogs.agu.org/geospace/2016/08/30/wildfire-smoke-hacks-clouds/

    Reply
    • ‘When the clouds are embedded in smoke, heating occurs right around the clouds. This accelerates the process of evaporation of existing clouds, causing them to dissipate, and suppresses the upward flow of moisture from the surface needed to form new clouds, as reported in previous studies. The result is less cloud cover.

      When the smoke forms a layer above a certain type of lower-level clouds, the air is warmed above the clouds, forming an inversion layer, like those that trap smog over a city. The inversion layer can cause the lower-level cloud cover to increase and spread out, Gautam said. But these heating effects of smoke can vary for different types of clouds.’

      Reply
    • Thanks for this, DT. It’s nice to get another confirmation for what we’ve been observing here. It is pretty complicated. The smoke provides local heating and the initial effect described. But, longer term, it appears to also seed the atmosphere with particulate so that when the water vapor ramps up, which it does due to the warming, it can really spur a flash deluge. Not to mention the lightning fodder these particulates provide.

      Reply
      • You’re welcome, Robert.

        There are many cause/effect interactions taking place in a crowded atmosphere.

        Not to mention the multitude of chemical aerosols put there by humans.
        I think of all the evaporative toxic/noxious concoctions we have created that end up in the atmosphere. Many, or most, are petrochemical as well.

        Reply
  11. Mulga Mumblebrain

     /  August 30, 2016

    Excellent, heart-felt, statement (thank-you for the kind acknowledgement). We really need determination, optimism and collaboration to survive from here. It will require a total change in our economic system, where profit maximisation is replaced as the supreme priority by long-term human survival. That MUST be the ultimate aim of all our actions. It seems almost ridiculous to point that out, but the system at present does not recognise the centrality of life and its continuance in all the glorious diversity that the simplifiers seemingly cannot comprehend. It is going to take massive passive resistance in the end, laying bodies on the line, because ‘democracy’ under capitalism is irredeemably corrupted by money power.

    Reply
  12. – Socio-hydrology

    ‘The demise of the Maya civilization: water shortage can destroy cultures ‘

    Something really drastic must have happened to the ancient Maya at the end of the Classic Period in the 9th Century. Within a short period of time, this advanced civilization in Central America went from flourishing to collapsing…
    Now, researchers at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) may have found the explanation: the irrigation technology that served the Mayans well during periods of drought may have actually made their society more vulnerable to major catastrophes, according to a new study published in Water Resources Research, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

    The lessons learned may also help us to draw important conclusions for our own future…

    Socio-hydrology

    “Water influences society and society influences water,” said Linda Kuil, a PhD student at TU Wien and lead author of the new study. “The water supply determines how much food is available, so in turn affects the growth of the population. Conversely, population increases may interfere with the natural water cycle through the construction of reservoirs, for example.”
    http://blogs.agu.org/geospace/2016/08/30/the-demise-of-the-maya-civilization-water-shortage-can-destroy-cultures/

    Reply
    • Civilization depends on access to water and by extension water in the form of food. Drought is a top civilization wrecker — and it goes hand in glove with deforestation typically. Climate change is a drought multiplier, especially for certain regions.

      In the modern world, water/food is shared through international trade. So some drought regions can sustain civilizations that they wouldn’t otherwise. But if you have expanding drought in this context, then the international system’s vulnerability becomes apparent as water scarcity risks food scarcity.

      The Syrian drought and Russian heatwaves of the late 2000s provide a good example of how this new kind of drought pressure can impact modern societies and the stability of the international system. And with rising climate change, you have an amplifying baseline drought pressure combined with the dice getting increasingly loaded for these powerful, extreme events.

      Reply
      • Right.
        And also there are regions/countries using their dwindling water supplies to grow crops for export dollars.

        Reply
  13. coloradobob

     /  August 30, 2016

    In 1967 I got a subscription to the LA Free Press , their cartoonist was Ron Cobb. There is one, he did of the Earth sitting in a meat grinder, all the consumer crap we love coming out of the bottom. I’m looking for that one. In the mean time here’s some more of his work , he started at the Free Press 50 years ago –

    Reply
  14. coloradobob

     /  August 30, 2016

    Reply
  15. coloradobob

     /  August 30, 2016

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  August 31, 2016

      I do love Cobb. He lived out here, in Sydney, for a while in the early 70s when things were so very optimistic here. I suppose you’ve seen that interesting documentary about him? I think he’s actually a genius at cartooning, a noble profession in the right hands.

      Reply
    • g. orwell

       /  August 31, 2016

      GREAT STUFF! it’s not at all dated. Hope ya locate “EARTH in a MEAT GRINDER” pic…we’re ‘virtually’ in it @ this site….

      Reply
    • Great social commentary here. Amazing art and a poignant re-telling of history. Having not lived in 1967, I can get a real sense of the tension of the times. They should display these works in the National Gallery.

      If you dig up Earth in a meat grinder, would really like to see it.

      Reply
  16. Cate

     /  August 30, 2016

    Welcome back, Robert, and thank you so much for this very moving and inspiring “call to arms.” It is so encouraging to see stories like the North Dakota pipeline protests and Scotland’s aspiring to become the first 100% renewables nation in Europe (by 2030.) I believe there is much room for optimism, and there is certainly huge scope for continuing and ramping up action, particularly pressure on our elected representatives and their agencies.

    Case in point: here in Canada, protesters have disrupted National Energy Board public hearings into the proposed Trans-Canada pipeline which will bring Alberta bitumen to east coast ports, thence to be shipped to the Gulf for processing. The NEB has now cancelled its Montreal schedule amid claims that NEB panelists met secretly with a Trans-Canada consultant—in flagrant violation of the NEB’s constitution as a court–and then tried to cover up the meetings with lies and misinformation.

    The process is now seen as “broken” by many interested parties. Watch to see whether and to what end the federal minister intervenes, and in what way the process will be rehabilitated and carried forward. Opponents of pipelines must remain vigilant and vocal if we are to have any chance of stopping this.

    http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/08/30/news/neb-suspends-energy-east-hearings-minister-not-ready-step

    Reply
    • As someone who’s a bit of an outside reporter, I often wonder if the various anti-pipeline action groups have established effective communications with other groups so that they can coordinate as industry responds. The opposition is pretty widespread and I think the effort could have added impact if it could not only anticipate industry moves, but stay ahead of them.

      Reply
  17. coloradobob

     /  August 30, 2016

    Reply
  18. coloradobob

     /  August 30, 2016

    Reply
  19. coloradobob

     /  August 30, 2016

    This is last one, until I find the one one I’m hunting , as one can see Mr. Cobb was light years ahead of his time. And nuclear war was at the top of his list –

    Reply
  20. coloradobob

     /  August 30, 2016

    I lied –

    Reply
  21. coloradobob

     /  August 30, 2016

    Reply
  22. coloradobob

     /  August 30, 2016

    The Cobb Book
    Ron Cobb, of course, has been working in the movie biz since the mid ’70’s, doing incredible production design work for flicks such as Conan The Barbarian, Alien, Aliens, Dark Star, Back To The Future, Total Recall, Firefly and so on & so on.
    But did you know he used to be a cartoonist too? The Cobb Book was unleashed in 1975, and was a ‘ best of’ sampler of Cobb’s political, environmental & satirical strips done for The Los Angeles Free Press.

    Reply
  23. coloradobob

     /  August 30, 2016

    Reply
  24. coloradobob

     /  August 30, 2016

    Reply
  25. coloradobob

     /  August 30, 2016

    I FOUND IT !!!

    Reply
  26. You bet, he was on of the best.
    This may be what you were looking for:

    -collapseofindustrialcivilization.com

    Reply
  27. Row, row, row yer boats!

    Reply
  28. Jeremy in Wales

     /  August 31, 2016

    “None of us are bystanders when it comes to climate change” but here in the UK after a pleasant summer climate change for most people seems like a distant possibility and they are definitley bystanders at the moment. Unfortunately the threat has to seem imminent to awaken many people from their slumber, You can mention climate change in conversation but in most cases it elicits little recognition.
    Why is this?
    OK a large part of the population is scientificly illiterate, I remember a long conversation with an otherwise intelligent colleague who could not grasp that melting floating ice did not raise sea level.
    The bigger problem is political. The worldwide neo-liberal agenda for decades has been to indoctrinate people to accept that spending on the poor, on education, on health is not for the greater good but that it is to your detriment. With climate change it means why should I stop burning oil/coal/gas, stop eating meat, when I will not see the benefit. Solidarity within society has in part been lost.
    But there are signs that the mood is changing, whether US politics Trump and Sanders, Brexit, the EU getting balls over Apples unpaid taxes. There is just no compelling narrative or road map as yet.
    I think we can get there but it is bit like trying to get a supertanker to change course. Turn the rudder and it reacts 20 miles further on.
    Power to your keyboard Robert.

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  August 31, 2016

      As Marx observed, a dominant class projects its values onto society and normalises them. We have been ruled for forty odd years by psychopaths who call themselves by several aliases-‘neo-conservatives’, ‘neo-liberals’, ‘libertarians’, ‘conservatives’, and my favourite, ‘wealth creators’. Through their indoctrination apparatus, their MSM, advertising, PR, entertainment and increasingly, the privatised ‘mis-education’ system, they have imposed their ‘values’ onto one society after another, willingly or unwillingly. The most badly affected are the Anglosphere dystopias, thanks to the efforts of Thatcher, Reagan and the Quislings cum confidence-ticksters, Blair, Clinton and Obama. The true ‘values’ of these creatures are well known to psychology, and have been denounced throughout history by just about every religion or philosophy, worth the title, that I know of. They are insatiable greed, narcissistic self-adoration and ego-mania, unscrupulousness and the complete absence of empathy and compassion (save, sometimes, for one’s own group) for other living creatures. Once these dead souls took over, our fate was sealed-UNLESS we remove them from power, once and forever, and replace them with humane beings.

      Reply
    • Cheers, Jeremy. Lots of haze out there. It’s good to have a bit of clarity now and then🙂

      Reply
  29. Greg

     /  August 31, 2016

    A new post. Like fresh dew in the morning and a fresh cup of Java. Yea. So, an update on the Nikola truck debuting December 1st which you devoted a post to. They advertise zero emissions which seemed impossible as it needs a liquid fuel for the turbine to haul 1200 miles between stops. Turns out they are using a fuel cell generator and hydrogen which they intend to produce from 50 fueling stations powered by solar. Its getting interesting.

    http://insideevs.com/nikola-one-truck-turns-to-hydrogen-fuel-cell-power-for-zero-emission-driving/

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  August 31, 2016

      Greg –
      Great video link on that last thread.
      What the deniers don’t understand is that people go to the field for 15 years , and fine zip. Then one day they hit the jack pot.
      To brand them as frauds has always made my blood boil.

      Please re-post that link. t

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  August 31, 2016

        He dug for 15 years and then found his first fossil for the PETM. That is true science indeed.

        Reply
    • 12volt dan

       /  August 31, 2016

      regarding the fuel cells. I wonder if they are looking to Ballard for the fuel cells. a progressive Canadian company (imo) they have pioneered the PEM fuel cell but haven’t had a lot of success bringing it to the market http://ballard.com/

      One thing I have learned for off grid purposes is the excess power generated from solar after the batteries are charged is some what wasted or hard to capture however, feeding a fuel cell with the power results in production of hydrogen and oxygen and can pressurize the h to 200 psi. so the excess power can be converted to fuel and stored.

      of course the hydrogen is extremely volatile and had to store.if these problems can be addressed then home power gets more versatile and less dependent on fossil fuels.

      my little pipe dream

      Reply
    • Wow, that’s pretty ambitious. These guys apparently mean serious business. More power to them if they can get the hydrogen problem worked out. Careful RE nat gas link, though. Hydrogen from water electrolysis (renewables-powered) and hydrogen from nat gas are not the same animal when it comes to climate change. One is zero emissions, the other is not.

      Agree with Bob RE the video from the last page. Amazing discovery there.

      Reply
  30. coloradobob

     /  August 31, 2016

    As for topic at hand, all plots show this thing in Southern Gulf. landing near Tampa, and raking the entire coast once it crosses Fla. Like belt sander on wood. There’s a low off Texas putting down huge amounts of water. It’s drifted back into the Gulf . This thing looks like the no name storm that hit La.

    The Governor of La., complained that this storm had no name. He’s right, let’s name now. the “Fist Full of Dollars Storm”.

    Reply
  31. martinmackerel

     /  August 31, 2016

    Great post, but please do not use the phrase “all lives matter”. That is deeply problematic and unnecessary.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  August 31, 2016

      Picky, picky picky, name the one life that doesn’t . My vote , , John Wilkes Booth..

      Every life matters.

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  August 31, 2016

        As I read it, Robert uses “all lives matter” here with an expanded meaning that encompasses the lives of all the other fellow creatures and living entities with whom we share this planet, and for whom we need to protect and keep all their habitats fit and flourishing.

        In my view, using this phrase in this context gently underlines how limited and humano-centric is our perspective anyway, compared to where we need to get. As part of the process of fighting climate change, we must become true stewards of the planet, learning to see ourselves as more than just consumers or, worse, destroyers.

        CB says, Every life matters. To that I would add, All life matters.

        Reply
        • labtekjen

           /  August 31, 2016

          Cate… I really like that. All life matters.

      • wharf rat

         /  August 31, 2016

        First storm should start with A… Anthony Watts

        Reply
    • martinmackerel

       /  August 31, 2016

      Yes, I agree that Robert used this phrase in an expanded sense. Yes, I agree that every life matters.

      The reason the phrase “all lives matter” is problematic is that *it was not uttered* until the phrase “black lives matter” became popular. It is voiced as a *retort* to black lives matter. People say “black lives matter” because they need to, because in our society, black lives are not valued as highly as others. “All lives matter” seeks to make race invisible again, to shut up those who insist that racism is real and affects the lived experience of us all, to detriment of people of color, especially black people.

      So, I understand what Robert was trying to say, but it has terrible connotations. Therefore, I repeat, Robert, please find another way to phrase what you are trying to communicate. Thank you.

      Reply
      • – How about — LIFE MATTERS.

        Reply
      • Language polarization is a problem. The thing here is to attempt to overcome corrupt phrasing, not to bow to it. If, for example, we can create a different meaning out of this particular phrase, then we’ve become racism iconoclasts. I’ll be honest, the use of the term here was an intentional attempt to turn racism on its ear and to use the phrase in an attempt to undermine what is another form of racism — humanocentrism.

        Now I think there’s probably a number of people who’d disagree with this particular use because they’ve already ceded the power of these words. I’m just not willing to do that.

        Reply
  32. Cate

     /  August 31, 2016

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/30/nasa-climate-change-warning-earth-temperature-warming

    Quoting Gavin Schmidt, “the highest-profile scientist to effectively write off the 1.5C target”:

    “Maintaining temperatures below the 1.5C guardrail requires significant and very rapid cuts in carbon dioxide emissions or co-ordinated geo-engineering. That is very unlikely. We are not even yet making emissions cuts commensurate with keeping warming below 2C.”

    “It’s the long-term trend we have to worry about though and there’s no evidence it’s going away and lots of reasons to think it’s here to stay,” Schmidt said. “There’s no pause or hiatus in temperature increase. People who think this is over are viewing the world through rose-tinted spectacles. This is a chronic problem for society for the next 100 years.”

    Reply
  33. coloradobob

     /  August 31, 2016

    I think we can get there but it is bit like trying to get a supertanker to change course. Turn the rudder and it reacts 20 miles further on.
    Power to your keyboard Robert.

    Make no mistake, we aren’t turning the Exxon Valdez from ,Bligh Reef we are turning 20,000 years of human history., and culture. from .suicide .

    A much bigger turn of wheel. .

    Reply
    • In fact, we want to turn 4 billion years of evolution…

      Reply
    • Regardless of your perspective, it’s a huge turn. One that’s absolutely necessary.

      Reply
      • Jeremy in Wales

         /  August 31, 2016

        I am not pessimistic that we cannot make the turn, it is the speed of change that is the real problem. Locally a lot of people raise money for the local hospital, running a cafe, or the local hospice, even the four all Wales air ambulance helicopters are largely funded via charitable efforts. Local residents recycle – 60% of local waste at the last count or support local businesses – beer festival in local pub with 60 beers, heaven. So the will is there, it just needs to be led and informed. Easier said than done since not everyone reads Robertscribbler -yet!

        Reply
  34. Andy_in_SD

     /  August 31, 2016

    If Lake Okeechobee is in the cross hairs of this dump it may turn out quite poorly regarding the Algae blooms as more outflow would be required sending out the Algae rocket fuel.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  August 31, 2016

      The plots show it North of the lake but that’s just more shit in the lale.

      Reply
      • Andy_in_SD

         /  August 31, 2016

        Yup,

        North runs into the lake, south and sides are the outflow.

        Reply
  35. Andy_in_SD

     /  August 31, 2016

    One thing to bear in mind, we WILL eventually reduce our atmospheric carbon emissions. It will occur by our concerted effort to do so, or by attrition of our species to lower numbers. Either way, it will occur.

    Reply
  36. So many of us gotta’ throw in our proverbial 2 cents..can’t resist myself! Hard to understand folks(especially denialist-ostriches) speaking in ‘absolutes’. But I’m likely conveying that very 99.9% disdain in their direction, like a fine hypocrite in form.

    All reminds me of heated religious debate, from back in yesteryear. Perhaps the way we currently view deniers, is akin to how the devout used to perceive atheists?

    Then there’s that underlying sense of guilt. Does the avg poster here have an environmental footprint somewhere around 30~300x that of the subsistence-Bangladeshi? If you flew/drove around a continent to warn of rising seas & temps, does it justify the carbon-expense? With the tech world we all have this info to share, yet what kind of damage did we(mostly inhabitants of about 40 OECD nations) cause, building up to this very point in time?

    Apologize for expressing skepticism, amidst a sea of hopeful voices..yet for the sake of balanced debate/discussion & other’s insights, feel it’s worthwhile to post these thoughts.

    Respect & admiration for the fine work RS has done, with this here site. Been able to learn a lot about environmental issues around the globe. Out of 1000 of us(cross section of the populace), how many would be prepared to even absorb the depth & breadth of these issues?

    I’m afraid to receive an honest answer there. Likely centuries back, almost no one listened to Malthus; then decades back, most ignored/criticized Paul Ehrlich. Seems difficult for so many to accept hard facts.

    Our awareness & feelings of responsibility, appear to be an ever-increasing issue of importance. Then within group-think, so many supposed & professed ideals go missing. Getting close to 7.5 billion of us running about now .. that’s a lot of agendas.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  August 31, 2016

      Aghast In Japan /
      The net is full of dense bullshit that no one can follow. You are one of those chosen few.

      Try saying things in 3 sentences. Clear, Compact, Concise.

      Reply
    • So the problem is both systemic and individual. If you work as individuals to solve it at the systemic level by cutting fossil fuel support, blocking pipelines, and taxing carbon, for example, then the individual is more fully empowered to make a rising personal response. Without access to alternatives, people in western societies have limited choices. But now that such alternatives are becoming available, there are increasing options for individuals to shrink their carbon footprints here.

      The key here is not to blame the victim who’s basically a captive in a consumption based society linked to fossil fuels — but to empower her. To incentivize and encourage lower consumption and non fossil fuel consumption and to rapidly shrink that footprint. To drum up a base of support for all the good and helpful actions. In other words, the center of gravity here for climate change is fossil fuel burning. And we’ve got to keep our eyes on that bit of the puzzle, otherwise we’re not focused on the most effective actions. But as we add in responses, we can also work not just on mitigation, but attempts at rejuvenation and dealing with the other needed aspects of sustainability (population restraint, etc).

      But the way we’ve linked fossil fuels to consumption based economics is a very fast track to severe harms. And we should be very clear on that point. Take that out, we have more room to maneuver. More time to turn the wheel.

      Reply
      • Appreciate your reply, Robert, & you’re likely conveying insights on commitments we all have to undertake. Wish I could share in your powerful optimism.

        Then I look at our societal behaviour. So much is shaped & crafted on greed, need & desire. Individually, people can be amazing & inspiring. Within larger groups? Let’s agree that at the very least..the jury’s deliberating on that.

        Advertising, erasing the line between wants & needs. Bullying smaller nations/regions to keep our system churning it out. Next car, Iphonespydevice, whatever…

        A possibly plummeting economy, because so much of this housa’cards has been erected upon debt & affordable energy.

        Bills are coming due, my friend.

        Does the underprivileged, global 60~80% REALLY want our imparted wisdom, from the bully pulpit we spent the past century arranging? Sorry, I’m skeptical.

        Today I’m simply hoping the world isn’t again upon a careless path to more insane war.

        & Boulder Bob? Sorry ol’timer..next time I’ll slap on the colours quickly, with a broad brush!

        :^) ..Peace to all

        Reply
    • “Perhaps the way we currently view deniers, is akin to how the devout used to perceive atheists?” –> Hope it isn´t. I see deniers as simply being wrong. Out of psicological necessity, the better ones, or self-serving egotism, others, or like that marvelous video someone posted here (I can´t remember who it was now, sorry), because they´re simply old enough that they´re not going to see the big wave clash in their lifes. And, as an atheist, I see atheists of the past as being right in face of gargantual opposition🙂 .

      Don´t be too quick to judge, too… people in this site are educated and have acess to the internet, things that are correlated with having money (and with money, often comes huge footprints), but… those things aren´t as correlated with money now as they were in the past. And a lot of people here talk about how they´ve changed their lifes to prevent what they can of the cataclism, with testimonials of what they´re doing that are quite amazing. I´m VERY far from being the most dedicated one, for example, I´m not a vegan, and not even a vegetarian, though I do try to reduce meat and avoid beef, and my personal footprint is closer to 2x the average Bangladesh, not 30x or 300x.

      Reply
      • Umby27, Thanks for your reply. I’ve enjoyed reading many of your contributions here over the yrs.

        The analogy I made(religion) was more an observation of the “us vs them” that seems to invariably & stubbornly persist within our societies, in the myriad forms. Of course, them ostrich-deniers would also like to reduce this issue down to good ol’ belief, as opposed to respecting hard, scientific data, & it’s sober implications.

        & I’m sorry if my words read as a form of judgement. Wasn’t really my intent. Basically wanted to consider the very inherent problems of our western lifestyle, within the habits/excess of avg citizens. For emphasis, suggesting even the well-informed & conscientious of us, are likely living lives that cannot be forever sustained.

        I see a confluence of many of these issues turning into raging white water, & we’d best all don a helmet. Hence my meandering, chicken little-posting…

        Peace

        Reply
        • He, now I get it. But the problem with the “us versus them” mentality is that is a bit biological… humans, like all social animals, categorize others as “in-group” and “out-group”, protecting the first, and being dismissive (at best) or agressive against the other.

          In an ideal world, we´d consider all humans as in-group (maybe the real ideal would be all life as in-group, but I can´t see how it could work… we still need to eat something). I don´t believe we´ll reach the ideal world without a few centuries more of domestication, but I do believe humanity has been domesticating itself since the beggining of History, fastrekking evolution so that we now have a lot less bloodlust than our ancestors, and if civilization doesn´t fail, our descendants will think of us as bloodlust and violent.

          But we did reach a point of our self-domestication where in real life situations, though the in-group/out-group mentality remains, it´s often possible to find common ground and take “out-group” people back to the “in-group”. Easier when done in person (contrasted with online… too few emotional feedbacks online, much more chances of miscommunication), but can be done anyways, specially if a person is aware of the division and tries consciently to ignore the biological urge to be agressive. Note that this is different from convincing a person of an argument. Making the other person “agree” with you is often unecessary, though… the “in-group” instinct makes people mirror the habits of other “in group” people, and the change in habits and actions is the one that´s really needed.

          It´s kind of funny to see a person from Japan complaining about western lifestyle (Japan and China are considered the paramounts of eastern thinking here in Brasil), but I get what you mean. There are a million siren calls to have an unsustainable lifestyle, and most are either with the sirens or too poor to swim to them.

          And remember, if they weren´t poor, they would be with the sirens in an instant. There´s a saying here in Brasil: “Intelectuais gostam de pobres. Pobres gostam é de luxo.” (Intelectuals like poverty. The poor like luxury. ). With 7 billion people, this must be untrue somewhere, but I haven´t met the person yet. People like being well-fed and confortable, and like to avoid physical hardship that´s not their choice (sports don´t count, backbreaking work does) and like to have lots of choices of fun things to use their time with.

          And depending on where one lives, it´s impossible to have a fully sustainable lifestyle. One part of the ecological footprint of each individual is the government part… the share due by each citizen of their government actions and pollution (since each citizen benefits from government services too). For some countries, that part of the footprint is already too big.

          But, in the other side, western thinking gave us gender equality, democracy and laicism. And that´s part of the reason why so many people try to change their lifestyles or their countries of residence to more westernized ones. For the most part, the western lifestyle does deliver being well-fed and confortable, avoiding physical hardship and having lots of choices of fun things to use time with (actually, the last part is the one some people have problems with. Womans having choices over their lifes and/or anyone being able to choose what kind of sexual relationships they want to have are things that are “offensive” for many).

          The world is becoming more western, more globalized, by the minute. That´s not actually bad, in my opinion. “Western” definitions are also changing. Laicism is getting stronger, including more respect to other cultures, to the idea that one can have their beliefs and habits as long as one is not hurting anyone else. There´s bound to be a lot of struggle and cultural clashes yet, but if humanity and our civilization survives the environmental crises that are upon us, I´m betting on the western point of view to prosper.

          Does this encourages people to consume more? Yes, it does. Also encorages people to have less children, specially woman. And please, do realize that the miserable Bangladeshs wouldn´t live in poverty if given the choice. A person shackled by abject poverty (I mean the kind of poverty where one can´t be sure of something to eat in the next day, not the kind of poverty where one needs to go with hand-me-down clothes to school) lives a very “sustainable” life, but it´s not a life I´d wish for anyone, and not a life anyone but a madmen would choose to have.

          All our efforts to curb climate change and environmental degradation may be in vain. But seriously, if all humanity needed to life in abject poverty to stop climate change, we´d have already failed. No one is going to choose that, and if that was the result of all efforts, well, that´s what I´d call collapse of civilization.

        • Thanks again for your comprehensive reply. I really like that Brasilian expression..thought provoking indeed. FTR, I’m a wayward Canadian who meandered here in search of Yoko Ono.

          Not sure what organized society I totally agree with? IF I could assemble one from a mess of pieces, would probably be a hybrid of mostly Japanese & Scandinavian philosophy..whatever that would be like?! There’d certainly be a Brasilian carnival, with passionate dancing wedged in (weather permitting:^)

          Take care.

  37. coloradobob

     /  August 31, 2016

    It’s raining like Asia over my house now. Straight down giant drops, no wind/ It rained over 8 inches Southwest of me in the last 2 days. Part of the same SUCK LOW that hit Colorado Springs.

    Colorado Springs sends snowplows to clean up heaps of hail

    http://www.9news.com/weather/more-rain-possible-in-colorado-springs-after-flooding/311212620

    Reply
  38. coloradobob

     /  August 31, 2016

    And grapes. .

    Reply
  39. wili

     /  August 31, 2016

    Wonderful and heartfelt. And thanks for the mention. For now I’ll just note that action can be as simple as starting or maintaining a garden, and that this kind of action has immediate benefits for the physical and mental well being of the ‘actor.’

    And that non-action can be just as important as action. Non-actions like not (or minimizing) doing things that directly add to the problem: flying, driving, meat and dairy eating, over cooling and over-heating our houses, needless shopping…Also not supporting banks, companies, and industries that most contribute to the problem. Basically, if almost all of us in the relatively high-consumption part of the planet don’t massively engaged in such non-actions, there’s no way we’re gonna make it.

    But the really big bad actors, the Koch’s and such, the 1% and .001%…they really need to be taken down, and fast. I don’t know if a continuation of Bernie’s ‘revolution’ will be the way to that end, or if some other movement will do it. But it’s getting pretty damn close to pitchfork time, it seems to me.

    Reply
    • Great points here, Wili. May be worth a separate post altogether.

      Reply
    • Jeremy in Wales

       /  August 31, 2016

      Have we reached peak stuff – and is that why all western economies are stuttering?

      Personally I have paid more attention to buying local produce from local companies and local shops – to circulate more money in my immediate vicinity. But even that can be difficult, who owns a company, can you find a local alternative? But I fall victim to avarice as much as most people do so this is no simple option.

      But sorry I like meat especially local beef and lamb. We still have local butchers and the one in the market has his own farm so you now where the meat comes from and that they are feed largely on grass.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  August 31, 2016

        Simplify in a meaningful way. There is a great lady from Japan, an eccentric tidy upper, who has found a world following despite her work mostly in Japanese. She’s worth a study as it applies to much more than the inside of one’s home. To summarize she connects with the material world around her and if the object does not bring “joy” and its analogues to the individual it is eliminated.
        http://tidyingup.com/

        Reply
        • Greg

           /  August 31, 2016

          The Japanese have a great amount of old wisdom to bring back to our future. They have forced some amazing efficiencies even within their rampant modern materialism.

        • Jeremy in Wales

           /  August 31, 2016

          My main vice is maps and books but apart from that I am in control but the other half is another matter!!!

    • Even if you don’t have your own garden, you can use a service/site like this one to find really local produce. If you do have your own garden, this is a good way to advertise and get a bit of cash to keep on gardening.

      I’ve linked the map for Los Angeles Ripe Near Me

      Reply
  40. coloradobob

     /  August 31, 2016

    Last night I watched the PBS fund drive.

    They used the Mamas and the Papas. Michelle is last one left. It broke my heart. So here’s music from all these dead people.

    THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS- FULL ALBUM

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  August 31, 2016

      I am alone , and crushed, and old.

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  August 31, 2016

        Tomorrow I will give you all new hope. In mean time just listen to the MAMAS & THE PAPAS

        Reply
        • Cate

           /  August 31, 2016

          CB, I know. I watched it too, teary-eyed. What music that was–and it was all about the music and nothing but the music. Then I went and listened to Eve of Destruction on YouTube because McGuire’s voice always puts it right.

        • Cate. I listened to it and, strangely enough, it reminded me of Country Joe and The Fish

          … and it occurred to me that the generation that grew up with the constant fear of nuclear war was a lot more direct, downright brutal, about the possibility of death in war than we are now. There doesn’t seem to be much in current music that matches the flourishing of political songs in the 60s and 70s, though what we’re facing now is just as dangerous to just as many people.

    • “All the leaves are brown… “

      Reply
  41. coloradobob

     /  August 31, 2016

    John Madden

    : ” Never mind the mule is blind, Just load the wagon.”

    Reply
  42. Welcome back, Robert. Always miss you during the pauses. Truth to tell, don’t know how you keep up this magnificent effort day after day.

    Another good post at Neven’s blog on what is transpiring in the Arctic as we enter the final stages of the 2016 melt season.

    Reply
  43. coloradobob

     /  August 31, 2016

    Steve Earle – Texas Eagle

    Reply
  44. coloradobob

     /  August 31, 2016

    May mother;s garden –

    Reply
  45. Reply
  46. Reply
    • Awesome — and then some…

      Reply
    • Year after year now it looks like Hawaii is shifting more into the path of these things. It used to be a rare event that tropical systems threatened Hawaii. Now they’re just rolling in one right after the other.

      Reply
      • These powerful ‘tropical’ storms wandering to the north is what I’ve noticed over the past months.
        Historically, I suppose, cold robust weather in the polar regions and the Gulf of Alaska was the dominate force.
        Maybe a bit of a vacuum formed that attracted these ‘new’ storms.

        Reply
      • Greg

         /  August 31, 2016

        Jeff Masters did a piece on this very subject in 2014:
        https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2749

        Reply
        • Thanks, Greg.

          – JM 2014:


          Why an Increase for Hawaii?
          Even though their model predicted that fewer tropical cyclones would form in the Eastern Pacific in a future climate with global temperatures 2°C (3.6°F) warmer than at present, more of these storms made their way to Hawaii. This occurred because of three factors:

          1) A shift in the upper air steering currents, caused by movement of the upper-level westerly subtropical jet poleward so that the mean steering flow near Hawaii became more east-to-west.

          2) A tendency for storms near Hawaii to be stronger (stronger hurricanes tend to move more to the northwestward in the Northern Hemisphere, due to a phenomenon known as beta drift, caused by the variation in the Coriolis parameter across the width of the storm.)

          3) A northwards shift in the genesis location where Eastern Pacific tropical storms formed, due to warming of the ocean waters.

  47. Pretty graphic — left to right follow the orange bars.

    Reply
  48. coloradobob

     /  August 31, 2016

    The best music ever made by a group no one remembers.

    Reply
  49. Andy_in_SD

     /  August 31, 2016

    There’s always space available for some good news.

    California – Statewide records for solar generation shattered
    Figures don’t include power produced on residential rooftops

    California’s solar industry has been setting records, and then breaking them, for total energy generated from utility-scale solar installations all summer.

    According to PV Magazine the California Independent System Operator, which controls the state’s power grid, reported a new record for power generation at 6.16 gigawatts on June 7. For comparison’s sake, that’s roughly three times the output of the now-shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station when it was operating at full capacity.

    http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2015/aug/24/ticker-statewide-record-solar-generation-shattered/

    Reply
  50. coloradobob

     /  August 31, 2016

    The best music ever made,

    Reply
    • Will tell Neska (Linda) LaFlamme of your admiration. She lives in Luray VA and teaches piano to kids like my granddaughter.

      Reply
  51. coloradobob

     /  August 31, 2016

    Reply
  52. coloradobob

     /  August 31, 2016

    One more song that no one remembered , the one I was looking for.

    Back To The Family-Jethro Tull

    Reply
  53. coloradobob

     /  August 31, 2016

    Just remember-

    2016 is not nearly as crazy as 1968. We shot 2 great leaders by now. Burnt cities down. And the conventions, were yet to come.

    Reply
  54. 44 south

     /  August 31, 2016

    All you hopelessly optimistic, good hearted people are missing the point.
    This was all spelt out back in the 70s, quite clearly and brilliantly by R Cobb,amongst many. It was clear to me THIS was going to end badly even then; I got my combat training in 1974!
    Do any of you actually read the comments on denialist blogs or at the end of any article on climate change?
    The insanity is undiminished! The majority think us deluded overly concerned at best, and evil tools of the new world order at worst.
    Meantime the forecast temperature for September 4th (father’s day), where I live is 25c!!!
    I shall continue to care for and improve my few acres, plant more trees, etc. But trying to deal with the idiots out there…
    I’m done. I wish you all well.

    Reply
    • Josh

       /  August 31, 2016

      Optimism is a necessity. Grim optimism perhaps, but optimism nonetheless.

      You’re right that this situation has been forseen for some time, but I don’t think it is missing the point to think that the status quo can change.

      Just because not much has changed so far doesn’t mean nothing can ever change. The sooner the better of course, but any others we can recruit to the cause – it all helps.

      On the other hand, giving up helps nobody. (I don’t mean that personally though, God knows this mess can take its toll)

      The fact remains that we don’t have to convince the whole world to make an impact.

      Meanwhile polluting companies are starting to face court cases, activism continues to block fossil fuel developments. Is it too late? Well, only if you want to stop all consequences. Consequences are coming for sure, but we can reduce them. How can it ever be too late to stop trying to save lives?

      I’ll reiterate- lack of progress so far doesn’t mean there will never be any progress. I would argue that there has been at least some progress. Now we need to keep up the pressure.

      Reply
    • Josh

       /  August 31, 2016

      I’ve now realised the whole of my last comment could’ve been put more succinctly as:

      All the more reason to try harder!

      Reply
  55. Abel Adamski

     /  August 31, 2016

    http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/countries-pro-nuclear-agenda-making-slower-progress-climate-change-39432
    Countries with pro-nuclear agenda making slower progress on climate change

    By Joshua Hill on 30 August 2016
    Cleantechnica

    A new study of European countries has found that countries with strong commitments to nuclear energy are making slow progress when it comes to their climate change targets.

    The new study, published in the journal Climate Policy and authored by researchers at the University of Sussex and the Vienna School of International Studies, showed that progress towards reducing carbon emissions and increasing renewable energy sources has been higher in countries without nuclear energy or in countries with plans to reduce their existing nuclear capacity.
    Countries with pro-nuclear agenda making slower progress on climate change
    The study divided European countries into three roughly equal size groups:

    Group 1: No nuclear energy (such as Denmark, Ireland, and Norway)
    Group 2: Existing nuclear commitments but with plans to decommission (e.g. Germany, Netherlands and Sweden)
    Group 3: Plans to maintain or expand nuclear capacity (eg Bulgaria, Hungary, and the UK)
    The resulting analysis found that countries in Group 1 had reduced their emissions by an average of 6% since 2005, and increased their renewable energy sources to 26%. Countries in Group 2 did even better, reducing emissions by 11% and growing renewable energy to 19%. Group 3 countries, however, only managed a 16% renewables share, and average emissions actually increased by 3%.

    The authors behind the research conclude that “the gigantic investments of time, money and expertise in nuclear power plants, such as the proposed Hinckley Point C in the UK, can create dependency and ‘lock-in’ — a sense of ‘no turning back’ in the nation’s psyche.”

    Reply
    • Nuclear is a big resource and time sink. The cost of direct renewables transition is much lower and can be achieved in a modular fashion. You can add renewables to anything from a home on up to a big power plant. You can put them mostly anywhere there are rooftops, roads, or mixed green/agricultural spaces. You can invest anything from 5,000 to 5 billion dollars in a system. This diversity of options really empowers a fast build out — the kind that’s needed given the current situation.

      Reply
    • miles h

       /  September 1, 2016

      i read some years ago (sorry, no link!) that if you take the carbon content of a nuclear station – from the mining and heat-processing of limestone to make tens of thousands of tons of concrete; the multi-year construction and the energy taken to do it; the energy-dense high-grade and stainless steel; all the mining necessary to extract uranium and refine it; all the necessary infrastructure, etc etc… and average it out over the design-life of the reactor – often only 30 years or so – nuclear energy is as carbon dense as burning fossil fuels. it is not a solution to CO2. (and if you start counting the carbon density of disposing of the waste products it just gets worse…).

      Reply
  56. Ryan in New England

     /  August 31, 2016

    We missed you during your short hiatus, Robert. I’ve been extremely busy myself the past coupe months and haven’t been able to comment as frequently as usual. I’ve been volunteering and dong everything I can to make sure Trump is not elected, as a vote for him would be a nail in the climate change coffin. This particular article seemed to speak to me, as everything I do these days is done with my impact on the climate on my mind.

    This was a great post, Robert. Very powerful and moving writing, which (honestly) I have come to expect from you🙂 You’re a valuable and crucial source for original reporting on the greatest challenge mankind has ever faced. Thank you for all you do, Robert!!

    Reply
    • Thank you for pitching in, Ryan! I, for one, really appreciate your work in the field. And I think that turning the tide against Trump could also be a tool for bringing more pro-climate response folks into Congress. We have a huge opportunity with this election to bring climate issues to the forefront. And you’re helping us to do it!

      Reply
  57. 44 south

     /  August 31, 2016

    Mary Gauthier “Mercy Now”

    Reply
  58. Ryan in New England

     /  August 31, 2016

    According to NASA (no surprise to readers here) the Earth is warming at a rate unprecedented in at least the last thousand years.

    The planet is warming at a pace not experienced within the past 1,000 years, at least, making it “very unlikely” that the world will stay within a crucial temperature limit agreed by nations just last year, according to Nasa’s top climate scientist.

    This year has already seen scorching heat around the world, with the average global temperature peaking at 1.38C above levels experienced in the 19th century, perilously close to the 1.5C limit agreed in the landmark Paris climate accord. July was the warmest month since modern record keeping began in 1880, with each month since October 2015 setting a new high mark for heat.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/30/nasa-climate-change-warning-earth-temperature-warming

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  August 31, 2016

      Ryan, could not a statement that the planet is ‘..warming at a rate unprecedented in at least the last thousand years’, not be described as ‘soft denialism’? After all, as far as I am aware, you have to go back 55 million years to the PETM to see such rapid rises in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, and the temperature rises since 1880 seem, so far, to be ten to twenty rimes faster than them. It seems to me to be reminiscent of the decades of downplaying the disaster we have seen in the IPCC Reports, where the excuse has always been that the Reports need to achieve ‘consensus’ with climate destabilisation criminals like Saudi Arabia, Australia, Russia and the USA.

      Reply
  59. Spike

     /  August 31, 2016

    Thank you for your mention of my small efforts Robert – coming from you it really means a lot, and this article is a very fine dissertation on what it should mean in a time of looming chaos and division to be really human. The great men in history always understood it, and we in our puny way can only attempt to live up to their ideals.

    “Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.”

    And:

    “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    I shall be going a little quiet over the next 6-8 weeks as our UK government is ignoring and perverting science to justify a murderous onslaught on our wildlife, and I shall be out in the fields at night taking direct action to frustrate it, catching what sleep I can. And there is an anti-Brexit march on Saturday to fit in – all part of opposing the rising tide of irrationality, arrogance, insularity, contempt for life and truth, and brutal anthropocentrism that threatens to sweep away so much of the natural world and human cooperation for good. All power to the elbows of those scientists, activists, and writers who stand up at this critical juncture.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your efforts, Spike. You’re an unsung hero, my friend. Well, maybe I’ve sung a little about you. In any case, fair winds, and best wishes for your success. If you have a chance, please post back and let us know how things are going on the ground from time to time.

      –R

      Reply
    • Jeremy in Wales

       /  August 31, 2016

      Stay safe, Spike, it is dangerous work you are doing. Cannot understand why the English are going down this route, invest the money in testing cattle and vaccinate the Badgers, and change farmers behaviour – cattle transported all over the shop – madness. There are alternatives.
      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/sep/09/frequent-tb-testing-for-cattle-more-effective-than-badger-culls

      Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  August 31, 2016

      Well done Spike. More power to you! Give my best regards to the badgers.

      Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  September 1, 2016

      Cheers to you Spike! Stay strong and safe during the fight. The only way we an turn the tide of science denial/anti-intellectualism is with people like you🙂

      Reply
  60. The thrust of this post is exactly right. I’ve been encouraged, these last five years, to see that when we fight we often win. More often than I would have suspected.

    Reply
  61. THIS IS ABOUT >>>>> VALUES <<<<>>>> VALUE <<<<<

    EARTH, PLANTS, HABITATS, LAND BASES, FORESTS, LAKES, RIVERS, STREAMS, WATERS, ANIMALS, HOMO SAPIENS? Or NOT?

    I suggest a better organization is Deep Green Resistance http://deepgreenresistance.org/en/ — or Greenpeace or the Indian tribal coalitions.

    I don't think much of the bourgeois white conscience-salving 350.org, Climate Progress and the Sierra Club. Corporate business as usual. If they could have done something, we wouldn't be having this conversation at this late date. Sierra settles lawsuits too early, meaningless. 350 has lots of nice conscience-soothing marches and events.

    EVERYBODY SHOULD BE ON THE SAME PAGE EVERY DAY: KEEP 80% OF THE CARBON IN THE GROUND AND HERE's HOW.

    Reply
    • JPL

       /  August 31, 2016

      Thom,

      Tell us about the 350.org marches and events you’ve been to and what you feel they could do to improve.

      John

      Reply
    • I absolutely support the efforts by 350.org. They’ve been essential in the push to curtail fossil fuel use and cut emissions. They are strong leaders on many necessary environmental fronts and, most importantly, they support actions that actually work to generate real policy change and to hold bad actors accountable.

      I should be very clear that the above article was written with this fact in mind — various agencies are now spending a good amount of money in an attempt to discredit the necessary work done by 350.org and its leader — Bill McKibben. Anyone concerned about the climate should rally now behind this wonderful organization that is a cornerstone of what is probably the most important social justice movement of our times and provide a much-needed support to it.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  August 31, 2016

        This is not a zero sum game. Any and all efforts are welcome and necessary. This is becoming a multi-front existential battle and any sniping of our brothers is destructive. There is no single right way to do this and any contribution should be embraced with possibly the exception of geo-engineering efforts, the “nuclear” option.

        Reply
        • Mulga Mumblebrain

           /  August 31, 2016

          I agree Greg. I think Thom was somewhat mistaken to denounce 350.org and the others as ‘bourgeois’. The bourgeois we have always with us, and that’s a fact, but they are not a great, undifferentiated, mass, and, like all people (theoretically) are capable of doing good and of intellectual and spiritual growth. One place they do need to improve, it seems to me, is in the gross materialism of life under capitalism. We must make do with less, and live through our actions, not our possessions. After all, despite Jack Benny’s declaration, we can’t take it with us. Besides, the bourgeoisie have money, and money in the Universal Lubricant of action, still, although we’d better end that, too, if we make it through.

    • June

       /  August 31, 2016

      Of course there’s much work to be done, but the progress that has been made, the broadening of efforts, and their increasing visibility is due largely to Bill McKibben and 350.org. The enormity of the task before us just means many more of us have to show the same level of commitment that they have.

      Reply
  62. wharf rat

     /  August 31, 2016

    167 Tiny Maps Tell the Major Story of Climate Change
    Climate change just got another telling visual courtesy of the famed temperature spiral creator. But rather than a graph, it’s a series of 167 maps.
    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/tiny-maps-climate-change-20652

    Reply
  63. wili

     /  August 31, 2016

    Some human societies have actually enhanced the ecosystems in which they lived. We could do so again. http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/summer-2016/article/some-people-enhanced-the-environment-not-degraded-it-over-past-13-000-years

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  August 31, 2016

      wili, we really know what to do. And that is restore the planet’s biomass, which will protect biodiversity, and cease seeing Life on Earth as simply a ‘profit opportunity’. What does it profit a man if he loses his own soul? And our souls are not little, discrete, isolated packages. Our souls are just buddings-off of that Great Soul that is Life on Earth, three billion years plus in the creating.

      Reply
  64. wili

     /  August 31, 2016

    Neven has more on the disappearing ice on the Pacific side of the Arctic: http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2016/08/2016-mega-dipole.html#more

    Reply
  65. Kalypso

     /  August 31, 2016

    I think that we will take action on reducing fossil fuels, but it won’t be enough. I think that we’ll probably end up doubling preindustrial CO2 and experience a warming of 2-3 degrees C by the end of the century. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think we can prevent 2 degrees of warming now. If we can get our act together now we’ll have a decent shot at preventing 3 degrees or more of warming.

    Reply
    • Kalypso

       /  August 31, 2016

      I re-read this and realized it probably wreaks of pessimism. I apologize for that and I laud the efforts of the authors of this blog and all its commenters/contributors to solve the climate crisis. As a young marine biologist (I’m 23), I know that climate change is and will continue to be a major factor influencing not only my life but the life of every living thing on the planet. I have been very concerned about this issue since I first learned of it in middle school. I enjoy the blog and appreciate it very much. I find it refreshing when compared with the main stream media which won’t even utter a word about climate change.

      Reply
      • No worries, Kalypso. It’s understandable. The problem is pretty daunting. But it does become a bit more manageable if we all pull on the big rope together. Nothing’s really certain at this point other than that if we’re going to have much hope, we’re going to need to work together like mad to get the things that need doing done.

        Reply
      • Whachamacallit

         /  August 31, 2016

        I can sympathize, as a fellow 23-year-old geologist. Honestly though, my most optimistic vision is that we “only” reach somewhat less than 3 C by 2100, and I’m more convinced that we’ll hit or pass 4 C by the end of this century. In respects how bad it’ll be, I spent my capstone researching the Permo-Triassic Mass Extinction, and while my professor strongly disagreed with Peter Ward, it still doesn’t paint a great picture for our chances if we totally screw up.

        Reply
  66. – Air pollution: The Texas Observer Verified account ‏@TexasObserver 5h5 hours ago

    Study: Smog from TX oil and gas industry will cause more than 140,000 asthma attacks in children in 2025

    Reply
  67. Greg

     /  August 31, 2016

    This storm has may have some bad chapters ahead in a new world of Atmosphere 2.0, Over 20 inches of rain reported, by the way, in parts of western Cuba.

    Reply
    • Kalypso

       /  August 31, 2016

      I have been watching the weather channel for a while following TD 9 and its potential path. Some of the language I’ve been hearing the meteorologists use to describe the storm track remind me a little of Sandy and how it hooked into the coast. The fact that it could strengthen over the warm Gulf Stream waters is yet another reason for those of us in New England (I live in CT) to keep a close eye on this system. I wonder if these hooked storm tracks are related to the Arctic sea ice melt? Will this type of storm track become more common because of climate change?

      Reply
      • labmonkey2

         /  August 31, 2016

        I’ve been watching, too. And wondering what all this additional water will do to the already weak subsoil limestone formations.
        Massive number of sinkholes in Florida’s future, I’m afraid.

        Reply
  68. Reply
  69. Greg

     /  August 31, 2016

    This storm may go inland west of Charleston. Going to be a long weekend for Florida and the East Coast.

    Reply
    • Reply
      • According to the National Hurricane Center, Hermine just formed in the Gulf: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

        Reply
      • Speaking of which, Gaston just re-strengthened to a Cat 3 in the middle of the North Atlantic east of Bermuda. Does anyone else see this as odd? I mean, we have a major hurricane running strong at 34 N in the Central North Atlantic of all places!

        Reply
      • Cone of moisture just shifted west as well. Looks like everywhere along teh Southeast and Gulf Coasts from Central FL north to Hampton Roads is under the gun for a major rain event.

        Reply
        • I do believe that we drove the weather a bit crazy….🙂

        • Yeah. Right on that one.

        • Greg

           /  August 31, 2016

          Crazy implies unpredictable. Predictable, we just can’t do it with current models. We haven’t nailed the new modeling to match the increasing energy in the system and the change in its dynamics. If we could it would be so very helpful. In the mean time. Crazy

        • Shawn Redmond

           /  August 31, 2016

          Could it be that the models are using to long a time frame? Most work from a thirty year average, yes? The weather patterns in my neck of the woods through the eighties and nineties were the same as in my grandfathers time through the beginning of the last century. He was born in 1892 and died in the eighties. Maybe if they used the last twelve or fifteen years they would be closer. Is there any merit in this?

  70. June

     /  August 31, 2016

    Costa Rica powered by renewable energy for over 100 days

    The Latin American country is now aiming for a year without fossil fuels…The majority of the nation’s renewable energy came from hydroelectric power plants and a combination of wind, solar and geothermal energy.

    In Europe, renewables account for over half of the Sweden’s energy. In 2015, Sweden’s prime minister announced his country would work towards becoming “one of the first fossil fuel-free welfare states of the world”.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/costa-rica-renewable-energy-100-days-power-climate-change-a7217441.html

    Reply
  71. – USA – Stagnant air — biotic/human tissue destroying ozone on the rise.
    This is. and will be, a problem — both for fossil fuel ozone/air pollution and wildfire smoke.

    Reply
  72. – The ‘DenialSphere’ at work…

    Reply
  73. Suzanne

     /  August 31, 2016

    Seth Meyers on his show last night…takes on this election and the “lack” of talk about Climate Change. IMO…worth watching:

    “We’ve had 8 …500 year weather events this year in the U.S.”…..says Climatologist..
    Meyers asks: “It is insane that Climate Change isn’t the biggest topic this election”

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  August 31, 2016

      Oops…sorry Robert…didn’t realize I pasted it twice to my comment.

      Reply
  74. Jimbot

     /  August 31, 2016

    If governments were serious about reducing fossil fuel use they could mandate, as a starter and a for instance, a 2 litre capacity limit for engines in all passenger vehicles, including SUV’s, along with a HP limit. But what fun would that be?

    Instead, we have this news today:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-18/u-s-gasoline-demand-rises-to-record-in-july-as-pump-price-drops

    Sorry to put a damper on all the positive vibes.

    Reply
    • Unlike wind and solar, EVs haven’t yet reached a high enough level of penetration to start pulling the consumption curves into the negative. Soon, though.

      Reply
      • PlazaRed

         /  September 1, 2016

        In response to the EV vehicles not having taken off, or that the cost is prohibitive, I have been saying for years that its not necessary to have a new vehicle only the power system.
        I have a small Renault van for work mainly, it has front wheel drive so everything that makes it go is under the hood. There are probably many millions of vehicles like this.
        If the total engine and gearbox unit were removed from under the hood then there would be a huge space with only the drive shafts and brake system in it.

        Now my idea which constantly falls on deaf ears is to fit a small electric power unit that somehow joins up to the wheels, the drive shafts are already there or they could be replaced with others form the electric unit.
        A power pack/battery could be fitted in the rear of the vehicle, or in the place of the existing fuel tank, along with a charging point and in fact a few solar panels could be attached to the 3 square meter roof as well.
        As a result of this conversion the weight of the vehicle would also be considerably reduced.

        If such a system was available to fit to my van I would buy it instantly but the idea of the many thousands of dollars for a new vehicle is prohibitive.
        Why make new vehicles when we already have millions of them that should be easy to convert to electric?

        Reply
        • 12volt dan

           /  September 1, 2016

          electrical conversion kits are out there. here’s a Canadian link
          http://www.canev.com/conversions.php

          No ideas on the cost though

        • PlazaRed

           /  September 1, 2016

          For 12 Volt Dan.
          Thank you for that link, I have to go to Canada in October so I’ll look them up and get on with any ideas I can work out with them. Millions of us in the European world dont want to buy a new vehicle just to have the motor part, we can use our exsisting vehicles and save all the costs and matirials of a new one.
          I installed solar electric in my work shop 9 years ago for a cost of $500, all in panels, invertor, regulator, batteris etc and apart from upgradeing the batteries its all going along fine.
          The savings are massive with just the costs of the National company supply running at $150 a year giving times 9, = $1350. and of course never paying a bill over nine years for consumption.
          People here think I and others are crazy but this solar thing works and works well for both the enviroment and the wallet!

        • PlazaRed

           /  September 1, 2016

          FOOT NOTE,
          Just now on the Spanish national news TVE 1 they were reporting that the rise in sales of NEW vehicles has risen 14.8% over last years August sales.
          Based on this type of news its easy to see that some of us dont want this.To continue with this system is yet another waste of everything that should not be wasted?
          I and several of my neighbours here are quite happy to continue with out vehicles. My Renault van is now over 27 years old, first registered in June 1989.

          Crazy but true, they will pay me about $2000 to scrap it but nothing to convert it to Electric?
          These people are so far out of their trees they are not even in the continant with the forrests in it, as they cut all of them down to burn as well.

        • Abel Adamski

           /  September 2, 2016

          Romania.
          http://motherboard.vice.com/read/marc-areny-electric-car-conversion?trk_source=recommended

          The Low-Cost, DIY Romanian Tesla

          What do you do if you can’t afford a Tesla? You build one yourself. Marc Areny did just that, for only $13,000.

          In 2011, the half-French, half-Catalan engineer sold his property in France and moved to Pitesti, Romania, planning to make “an electric car anyone could afford, not just elites,” he told me in flawless Romanian.

          He started with his foster country’s national car, a 2005 Dacia Logan, Renault’s low-cost brand. He got rid of the petrol related parts and replaced them with batteries and an electric motor.

          “I’m a regular guy trying to find solutions for regular people.”

          The car doesn’t have Tesla’s huge touchscreens and gizmos, but it’s reliable, as fast as a gas-powered car, and will take you to your destination, he said. It has since taken him 12,500 miles, he told me, no repairs needed, and will run for 100 miles on just $1.80 and a six-hour charge.

    • In any case, the much-needed carbon tax would help as would your suggestion of limiting fuel tank size.

      Reply
      • 12volt dan

         /  September 1, 2016

        Maybe a carbon tax on the engine size? I think some European countries are doing that now
        maybe some of the guys across the pond could verify that for me

        Reply
        • miles h

           /  September 1, 2016

          not sure about other EU countries, but in the UK electric cars and very low emission cars pay no annual road tax, rising to £250 a year for bigger engines over 2.5litres. but there are too few bands of tax and £250/year is the maximum.
          but apropos of the original post, i think a much better change would be to change building regulations so that all new constructions are to ‘passivhaus’ standard.

        • PlazaRed

           /  September 1, 2016

          There are various tax charges in the UK for engine sizes.
          As far as I know elecrtic vehicles pay no tax and gasoline/ diesel vehicles pay incerasing tax based on engine sizes.
          Some European countries have indicated to ban registration of new fosil fuel vehicles from about 2025. After that all cars at least have to be fueled by renewables.
          Their systems are so complex that even though I am from the UK and live in mainland Europe, its almost impossible to give acurate information as each country is a law unto itself and in Spain where I live I dont think there are at the moment any diferensiations for anything as the govenment just wants the badly needed cash in.
          Having said that over 40% of electricity in Spain is from renewables.

          The above information is not 100% correct as it would need and extensive investigatioon to verify what over 30 countries are actually doing, (or saying WHAT THEY are doing?)

  75. Jay M

     /  August 31, 2016

    Quite a blob in the gulf, and Gaston peers with a well defined eye: (083116)

    Reply
  76. Thanks for this motivating post, Robert. Climate Action Alliance of the Valley (Harrisonburg VA) had a small gathering last night to raise some money for the WV flood victims. Our speakers were our Fire Chief who had led a Search and Rescue team in Rainelle WV and the program director of the Great Appalachian Valley Conservation Corps who a month later had taken a work crew to Rainelle to gut houses and help out wherever. We raised over $1100.00 but it should have been much more. Another group in town is planning a demonstration of solidarity with the Bakken pipeline protester this week. Sierra Club and JMU are bring Josh Fox’s new movie to town the end of the month, and October 1 the Democratic candidate for Congress is holding a district-wide listening session on climate change, sustainability. Later in October our group is planning a forum to hear from some of our many immigrants about how CC is affecting their friends and relations back in their home countries. The other university in town, EMU, has just launched a Center for the Study of Sustainability and Climate Change. The great turning is happening, but that ship is huge. You and your readers keep me going–thanks to all.

    Reply
  77. Greg

     /  August 31, 2016

    Looks like life on Earth may have just been pushed back another 200 million years. These Stromatolites interestingly were found in newly exposed rock previously snow covered in Isua, Greenland. Don’t think evolution can account for that soon on Earth. Case for life from outer space seeding our planet strengthened?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/08/31/3-7-billion-year-old-fossils-may-be-the-oldest-signs-of-life-on-earth/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_fossil-sos-120pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

    Reply
  78. labmonkey2

     /  August 31, 2016

    Spotted this over at Climate State:

    Climate Change Manifestations – more reinforcement of what we know.

    http://climatestate.com/2016/08/31/climate-state-documentary-climate-change-manifestations-issue1/

    Reply
    • This link is a bit too unwieldy with a great many sensational sounding Youtubes.
      After quick peak I withdrew….
      Thx anyways.

      Reply
      • labmonkey2

         /  September 1, 2016

        Title video is the only one to watch – the rest are there and tagged as references. It is 24+ minutes long, but does the job of linking changes in climate to changes in geography – on a global scale. Impetus is how these planetary features are interconnected – and how the results of an off-balance climate impact the places we live.

        Reply
  79. – 27:00 UTC

    – Gov. Scott declares state of emergency in 51 counties
    WJXT Jacksonville – ‎23 minutes ago‎
    A state of emergency was declared Wednesday for 51 counties in North and Central Florida as Tropical Storm Hermine churned in the Gulf of Mexico. The system, which became a named storm about 2 p.m. Wednesday, has the potential to reach hurricane …
    https://twitter.com/StuOstro/status/771141605487054848

    Reply
    • Reply
      • – WU
        Gulf of Mexico’s Hermine Finally Gets its Name; Hurricane Madeline Lashing Hawaii

        By: Jeff Masters and Bob Henson , 10:50 PM GMT on August 31, 2016


        Extremely rich moisture available to Hermine
        Near record-warm ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are evaporating near-record amounts of water vapor into the atmosphere for Hermine to feed off of. At 8 am EDT Wednesday, the upper-air balloon sounding at Tampa, Florida measured 2.5” of total precipitable water (TPW)—the amount of water that would result if one condensed all the water vapor in a column above and precipitated it out. This value ranked in the upper 1% of all TPW measurements taken at the site since 1948. According to the National Weather Service, Tampa’s all-time greatest precipitable water sounding was 2.85” on September 6, 2004, when Hurricane Frances was crossing Florida (though SPC lists one higher value around 3.1”, year unknown). TPW values close to that record level were analyzed by satellite over the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday afternoon, so it is possible Tampa may challenge its TPW record in the next day or two (thanks go to Sheldon Kusselson for some of these links).

        Reply
  80. – Not an everyday sight for this region of the E. Pacific:

    Satellite Tracks Hurricanes Madeline and Lester in the Pacific
    Published on Aug 31, 2016

    This animation of NOAA’s GOES-West satellite imagery from August 29 to August 31 shows the movement of Hurricane Madeline approaching Hawaii in the Central Pacific Ocean and Hurricane Lester in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

    Reply
    • – WU
      By: Jeff Masters and Bob Henson , 10:50 PM GMT on August 31, 2016

      Category 4 Lester still a threat to Hawaii
      About 1000 miles east of Hilo, Hurricane Lester continues to blast the open ocean with top sustained winds of 130 mph as of the 5 pm EDT advisory from NHC. (Advisories on Lester will be issued by CPHC starting at 11 pm EDT, as the hurricane moves west of 140°W into that agency’s area of responsibility.). Computer models agree that Lester’s westward path will start bending toward the west-northwest by Thursday, with the hurricane gradually weakening as it encounters greater wind shear and waters churned up by Madeline. The NHC outlook has Lester as a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday, as it approaches the longitude of the Big Island.

      Reply
  81. More potentially serious economic fallout with Zika. I would love to know why exactly the Chinese acted now –

    China to require U.S. imports to be mosquito-free. Athena Cao, USA TODAY August 10, 2016 http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/08/10/china-requires-us-exports-prove-mosquito-free/88529046/
    “In a move that could create export delays and add cost, China is now requiring that imported American goods be mosquito-free to prevent spread of the Zika virus, according to a trade advisory issued Wednesday by one of the world’s largest shipping lines.”

    Reply
    • Genomik

       /  September 1, 2016

      Malaysia just had their first case. What a fricken nightmare Zika will be in SE Asia! Especially if it causes subtle brain damage to adults.

      Reply
  82. The value of thoughtful speakers and those who listen.
    “The tide” from the opening of Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’.
    It’s just a ‘yarn’ told aboard a sailing boat to ‘tolerant’ listeners.

    ‘The Heart of Darkness’:

    The NELLIE, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without a flutter of the sails, and was at rest. The flood had made, the wind was nearly calm, and being bound down the river, the only thing for it was to come to and wait for the turn of the tide

    The sea-reach of the Thames stretched before us like the beginning of an interminable waterway. In the offing the sea and the sky were welded together without a joint, and in the luminous space the tanned sails of the barges drifting up with the tide seemed to stand still in red clusters of canvas sharply peaked, with gleams of varnished sprits. A haze rested on the low shores that ran out to sea in vanishing flatness. The air was dark above Gravesend, and farther back still seemed condensed into a mournful gloom, brooding motionless over the biggest, and the greatest, town on earth
    The Director of Companies was our captain and our host. We four affectionately watched his back as he stood in the bows looking to seaward. On the whole river there was nothing that looked half so nautical. He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified. It was difficult to realize his work was not out there in the luminous estuary, but behind him, within the brooding gloom

    Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other’s yarns — and even convictions…

    – J. Conrad
    1899

    ###
    I read the entire Norton Critical Edition 25 yrs ago — footnotes and commentary.
    What an experience. What a yarn…

    Reply
    • g. orwell

       /  September 1, 2016

      I started this sea story years ago; have been thinking ’bout finishing it….
      This guy can write.
      Thanks for your post amidst all the crap(the debacles of humanity) we gotta sift thru in this wonderful blog and comment section.

      Reply
    • Cate

       /  September 1, 2016

      dt, read the exact same edition, some years before you did, though.😉 Amazing writer. Conrad was a master of the craft of writing prose in English, which was for him a second language.

      Reply
      • g. orwell

         /  September 2, 2016

        “…which was for him a second language.”
        yeah, not well known; GOOD you mentioned this. TX

        Reply
  83. Jay M

     /  September 1, 2016

    looks like quite a push, what a mess it will be

    Reply
  84. Jimbot

     /  September 1, 2016

    Thanks for your reply RS
    I was actually thinking of limiting engine size/power ( hence maximum fuel consumption potential ), but fuel tank size is an idea too, might give the EV’s an equalizer. Here in BC we have had a carbon tax for several years, it doesn’t seem to make much difference. Everybody still needs to heat their houses and almost all still insist on driving ever more deluxe vehicles anywhere they happen to want to go. The idea of living closer to their place of work seems like a quaint notion best suited for a fringe minority to most I think.

    Along the same theme, it would be a lot less resource intensive to convert the existing rolling stock to EVs ( or even less work, hydrogen combustion ) than replacing it all with new EV’s. Again, the public would be hard to convince. A lot of them consider it a huge deal going from a Ford to a Chev.

    Reply
    • 12volt dan

       /  September 1, 2016

      Iceland is the leader in hydrogen powered cars with their free geothermal energy used to produce it. Hydrogen combustion engines require quite a bit of conversion to run it ie; higher compression ratios and super chargers. personally I think the fuel cell is a better set up but i’m not up on the latest info. here’s a link (somewhat dated) on their progress. Interestingly Dalmer s supplying the fuel cells which if memory serves was purchased from Ballards car division.
      http://www.csmonitor.com/Technology/Energy/2009/0212/iceland-strides-toward-a-hydrogen-economy

      Reply
  85. “Tropical Storm Hermine Prompts Emergency Declaration In Florida”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tropical-storm-hermine-florida_us_57c789b9e4b078581f110f0e

    …On its current path, the system would dump as much as 10 inches (25 cm) of rain on coastal areas of Georgia, which was under a tropical storm watch, and the Carolinas.

    Lori Hebert, 40, woke up on Wednesday to flood waters seeping into her house in the Tampa Bay region. Catfish came onto her driveway as the street flooded in Gulfport, a small waterfront city.

    “We haven’t gotten the main storm yet,” she said, loading a dozen sandbags into her van.

    U.S. oil and gas producers in east of the Gulf of Mexico removed workers from 10 offshore platforms, moved drilling rigs and shut some output because of the storm…

    Oh, the irony. Even at a place like HuffPo, where at least some people know better. The only connection they draw is that the storm is disrupting oil workers in the gulf … yet fail to note that, perhaps, oil production might have something to do with the storms. (At least the oil production shutdown is a bit of a negative feedback!)

    Reply
  86. Reminds me of Hermie, from the epic ‘coming-of-age’ book/film, “The summer Of ’42”.

    Not sure there’s any innocence to indoctrinate anymore…

    Reply
  87. Greg

     /  September 1, 2016

    A few well spoken remarks by President Obama at Lake Tahoe today making the connection between climate change concerns and other environmental concerns.
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/obama-open-conservation-tour-lake-tahoe-hawaii-080453713.html

    Reply
  88. PlazaRed

     /  September 1, 2016

    Winds on Hermine storm now up to about the 60 to 80 knot level.
    I can’t post a link to the wind speed finding but over on the WU I’m sure that there is plenty of information right now at about 5 am,
    Comments arround 880.

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3410

    Reply
  89. Cate

     /  September 1, 2016

    http://news.sky.com/story/climate-change-will-make-uk-coastline-more-dangerous-10560138

    BRITAIN’S COASTLINE BECOMING MORE DANGEROUS

    In the past couple of weeks, fourteen people have died in UK coastal waters, swimming, diving, or boating.

    Part of the reason for this alarming upswing in drownings may be rip-tides: not that they are becoming faster or stronger, but they are becoming much more unpredictable because of climate change. Huge storms can change the underwater topography of Britain’s sandy shores overnight, which in turn can change the flow of waters over those areas in unexpected ways.

    A deckhand on a scuba diving boat said: “You may come down here three or four times and be absolutely fine, and then on the fifth time it can all change and you can be caught out by it.”
    .

    Reply
  90. Kalypso

     /  September 1, 2016

    There are upwards of over 200 forest fires burning in Indonesia right now. I hope they don’t belch out a lot of carbon dioxide.

    http://mashable.com/2016/08/30/riau-firefighting/?utm_content=buffer9db4c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer#5keZxtmp.Gqy

    Reply
    • June

       /  September 1, 2016

      Better late than never, but if he had spoken out during his first term it would have had a lot more impact. Congress still would have tried obstructing action, but he would have given the issue visibility and a sense of urgency the public needs to hear and respond to. Still, if he follows through in focusing on it after he leaves office, it might wake up more people to the current and future impacts, and provide a bigger push for action.

      Reply
  91. Kalypso

     /  September 1, 2016

    And here’s some good news. Insurance companies are calling on nations at the G20 summit to cut fossil fuel subsidies by 2020. I think this is a BIG step in the right direction. It would be even better if they factored in the price of weather disasters into the cost of fossil fuels.

    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN1142GN?utm_content=bufferc6440&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Reply
  92. Greg

     /  September 1, 2016

    There is a danger of life-threatening inundation (from storm surge) within the next 36 hours along the Gulf coast of Florida from Aripeka to Indian Pass. One positive aspect of Sandy’s legacy and previous storms is the rapid emergence of the National Weather Service prototype Storm Surge Watch/Warning graphic. These are being issued for the first time operationally with Hermine.

    Reply
  93. FYI — not sure of its meaning/importance:

    Reply
  94. This is big deal — bad news — very poor decision making here!

    ”Like it’s been nuked’: Millions of bees dead after South Carolina sprays for Zika mosquitoes’ – WaPo

    South Carolina Just Annihilated Millions of Bees By Accident

    To prevent Zika-infected mosquitoes from taking root in South Carolina, officials in Dorchester County gave the go-ahead to spray a powerful insecticide over the countryside. The effort resulted in the unexpected deaths of millions of bees at a time when these critical pollinators are struggling worldwide.

    As reported in the Washington Post, parts of Dorchester County were sprayed on Sunday morning with a common pesticide, called Naled, that kills mosquitoes on contact. Unfortunately, it does the exact same thing to bees. Normally, this pesticide is sprayed by trucks, but given the urgency surrounding Zika, county officials decided, in their infinite wisdom, to spray Naled from the air—something that had never been done before in South Carolina.
    http://gizmodo.com/south-carolina-just-annihilated-millions-of-bees-by-acc-1786042200

    Reply
    • June

       /  September 1, 2016

      This is awful. The story says the beekeepers were given no warning to cover their hives. Unbelievable. And who knows how many people were exposed. This pesticide is banned in the EU.

      Reply
    • Insanity. I have never understood the idea that because a poison kills something smaller, enough won’t eventually kill you.
      So American exporters will now have to spray all containers at Chinese ports, including perishable goods (the Chinese are buying up all our pecans, a small tragedy in itself). How do you remove that from food? (Maybe a silver lining, we may eventually get our pecans back).

      Reply
  95. Odd that this video had just been posted this summer: ‘Category 5 “Hurricane Phoenix” hits Tampa Bay (worst case disaster scenario)’. Obviously Hermine is no Cat 5 storm, but still…

    Reply
    • Sorry – my bad: that video is in fact 2 years old (though I just encountered it a couple weeks ago.) Nevertheless, still a good one.

      Reply
    • Man, that was a good one. They’ve been planning for a worst-case scenario like this since I was living there for several months after Katrina, probably before then. Tampa really is a sitting duck. This may be the storm that breaks the US Government’s back (not to mention Florida’s).

      Reply
  96. We have more bad new on the Arctic. The record lows we’ve been having (2007, 2012, min. volume 2016?) are the new normal.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/record-low-arctic-sea-ice-normal-nasa-says-153834569.html?post_id=849730738387034_1423912210968881#_=_

    Reply
  97. Plus paleoclimate data going back to 1500 shows the Anthropocene really started in 1850!

    https://www.yahoo.com/tech/m/7955f9df-e0bc-3d33-93e0-a77e2cfabc9a/ss_paleoclimate-data-shows.html

    Reply
  98. coloradobob

     /  September 1, 2016

    A 1,000-year flood is supposed to be extremely rare. Its chance of occurring in a given year: 0.1 percent.

    So how do we explain that in the span of just five months, the United States logged no fewer than four deadly 1,000-year floods in states as widespread as Texas, West Virginia, Maryland and Louisiana – following a 1,000-year-flood that ravaged South Carolina last October.

    It appears that the calculation of a 1,000-year event may no longer be the most accurate statistic. It was based, as are our increasingly common 100-year natural disaster events, on data from the past. We may, in other words, already have shifted so far into a new climate regime that probabilities have been turned on their head.

    https://www.edf.org/blog/2016/09/01/we-just-had-five-1000-year-floods-less-year-whats-going

    Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  September 1, 2016

      Clutching at straws now Bob.
      Soon they will be hinting at telling the truth, not too strongly now but just an odd passing hint!
      I never thought at our age we would live to see what we are seeing and I think back too when we were young and of Buuiterfield Blues Band, its a Buitiful day and hosts of others like Santan and Country Joe, along with lost marvels like Ferver Tree, Jefferson Airplane, Zappa of course and countless others who tried to interprit the musical runes of the spheres who were intwined were in out past airs? How pleasent youth was, to be so wasted on the young, while the future lurked in out hidden mysteries?
      Reams of papres form a road from our birth to this point in time but this bridge is only for those who dare to walk it?
      The apex of the pyramid is not its sumit!
      Like a leaf upon a Breeze, we shall pass this way but once?
      Now older but still cherishing the springtime of our youth,
      We fall upon this slumbering land,
      To invigorate life, anew?

      Reply
      • PlazaRed

         /  September 1, 2016

        So sorry for the spelling mistakes of the above, it seems that the keyboard and the computer have a life and world of ideas of thier own?

        Reply
  99. I started a blog about finance and politics years ago, but as time went by I came to believe that global warming/climate change was key, and spent more and more time and effort on that issue. It is the greatest threat our civilisation faces. I focussed on the economics of fighting climate change because I am a money manager, and what made me start to move away from the very great pessimism I had felt was the chart of the decline in solar panel costs. ( http://volewica.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/ever-cheaper-solar-power-part-second.html )

    The more I studied the problem the clearer it became that renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels and are getting cheaper still. Already wind and large-scale solar are cheaper than coal, already the Tesla Powerpack is about as expensive as peaking power gas. And these costs continue to decline.

    Lazard, one of the go-to ppl for electricity costings (the other is BNEF) provided the estimates below in November last year. ( https://www.lazard.com/media/2390/lazards-levelized-cost-of-energy-analysis-90.pdf) Since November, we have had solar contracts coming in at $30/MWh (Dubai–a year ago the same auction produced $59/MWh) and $29/MWh (Chile) way below Lazard’s 2017 estimate of $46/MWh. Basically this is *half* the cost of the cheapest coal, and *one fifth* of the most expensive. This is compellingly cheap, even for climate change denialists.

    Concentrated solar power (CSP) which can produce power 24/7 via molten salts storage is also plunging in price ($70/MWh in Dubai), half Lazard’s average estimates. Wind is also getting startlingly cheap as the technology improves. In fact, we have the technology and the economics to transition right now to 100% renewables in electricity generation, and will have the economics very soon to do the same in transport (battery costs are falling fast but aren’t quite there yet). We could slash CO2 emissions by 50% within 10 years, and by 85% within 20. It’s not technology or economics which stops us but inertia, ignorance and powerful vested interests.

    These facts are not widely known. Ppl still think that renewables are much more expensive than fossil fuels, and to switch to them would cause economic disaster. So I spend a lot of time informing ppl of these facts. Whether it makes a difference I don’t know. And it gets very dispiriting arguing with the determinedly ignorant, Yet demented plutocrats with access to vast financial resources continue to spread lies and misinformation. We must do what we can. So I keep going. And I thank you for doing the same.

    Reply

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