Rex Tillerson Named as Secretary of State Amidst CIA Report of Russian Attack on U.S. Election

For those saying that this is the first time they’ve heard of Russia’s attack on the US election or of the serious and harmful conflict of interest that occurs when a billionaire demagogue who’s aligned with fossil fuel special interests, couldn’t care less about the integrity of American democracy, and denies human-caused climate change takes office, then I have ‘news’ for you. We were writing about this back in July.

*****

Some have said that President-Elect Donald Trump’s stated support of Russian hacking and conduct of espionage operations against the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election while subsequently attacking the CIA is ‘on the verge of treason.’ Mind you, these charges come from a member the Tea Party — the musket-toting Joe Walsh — and not from the democrats or journalists who’ve been warning the U.S. electorate about Russian interference apparently aimed at placing Trump as President since the summer. A fact that has come into harsh focus now that a CIA report on Russian espionage has been brought to the attention of the press. A report that would have been discussed publicly prior to the election, and not after, if republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hadn’t voiced doubts or threatened to politicize the matter.

(Former CIA Counter-Terrorism official Phil Mudd expresses outrage at Trump’s attacks on one of the US’s top intelligence agencies.)

This week, notably after an election in which Russia, urged on or enabled by some republican party leaders, dug up emails in what for any rational observer was an obvious effort to smear the political opponents of republicans and in which republicans were largely found technically if not popularly victorious, Mitch McConnell is now singing a different tune. The Senate Leader strongly condemned any foreign breach of U.S. cyber-security and noted that “the Russians are not our friends.”

Bravo Mitch. But one has to ask the entirely pertinent question — where was your sense of patriotic concern three months ago??? 

Former CIA Director Michael Morell was pretty clear in his expert opinion on the matter:

“A foreign government messing around in our elections is, I think, an existential threat to our way of life. To me, and this is to me not an overstatement, this is the political equivalent of 9/11.”

Sadly, this political firestorm likely won’t end with the CIA report or with the Congressional inquiry. Trump will claim the FBI’s non-attribution of intent in Russia’s obvious espionage efforts as cover for his own harmful actions. Actions that first cheered-on Russian espionage and have, over the past week, produced an adversarial relationship between a President-elect and an agency — the CIA — whose chief mission it is to keep Americans safe from the kind foreign aggression we’ve apparently just experienced.

Oil CEO Friend of Russia as U.S. Secretary of State

Meanwhile, on Monday, the man who benefited the most from this CIA-reported Russian interference in the U.S. election — Donald Trump — was busily promoting ‘Friend of Russia’ Rex Tillerson into the office of the Secretary of State. In this case, the phrase — elections have consequences — has just produced a gigantic payoff for all those CIA-identified Russian email hacking and fake news dissemination efforts in the form of the man Russia lauded for helping its petroleum industry open new fossil fuel extraction and burning efforts in the Arctic.

Rex will come to head an agency whose stated goals include the promotion of human rights and the advancement of U.S. policy aimed at mitigating and reducing the harms produced by human-caused climate change. But what Rex has done — for his entire 41 year career at Exxon — is promote the kind of oil extraction efforts in Russia that will saddle the Earth with yet one more gigantic carbon bomb and broker business deals with some of the worst human rights abusers in modern history.

russia-oill-production

(Russian efforts to increase oil and gas production focus on Arctic regions of East and West Siberia. Exxon Mobile under Tillerson was slated to provide Russia with extraction assistance when plans were shut down by U.S. sanctions against Russia following its invasion of the Ukraine. Tillerson opposes sanctions and has, in the past, looked the other way when Russia has acted in an abusive fashion. Image source: EIA.)

For Rex and Exxon, in an admittedly risky courting of a Russian dictator well known for cynically turning against his ‘friends,’ a big deal with Russia promised to produce billions in profits by opening up Arctic oil exploration. Back in 2013, an arrangement was moving along in which Exxon would provide technical expertise for extracting a massive pile of hard to reach oil and gas reserves. Exxon didn’t seem concerned by the fact that Russia had betrayed a similar contract with British Petroleum, thrown one of the competitors to state-run Rosneft in jail, or forced a Total Oil CEO to flee Russia due to ‘sustained harassment.’

In 2014, the high-risk game that Exxon was playing with Russia went sour after Russia invaded the Ukraine. The U.S. under President Obama, decided to apply sanctions against Russia for its military occupation of Ukraine. And in subsequent years, Exxon lost at least 1 billion due to the combined sanctions and Russian military aggression. Russia, meanwhile, saw its Arctic oil extraction efforts slow due to lack of access to western technical expertise. Tillerson, at the time, used his position as Exxon CEO to put pressure on the U.S. to lift sanctions. Such efforts were arguably against the national interest — which focuses on containing and preventing aggression by foreign powers — and aimed at simply fattening Exxon’s and, by extension, Rex’s bottom line. In critiquing an Exxon CEO, we might lable these actions as amoral profit-seeking that runs counter to the national interest. But place Tillerson as Secretary of State and we end up with moral hazard writ large. For Tillerson, if he promotes similar goals while in office, would be wrongfully using a public appointment to pursue a personal monetary interest — in other words opening up the U.S. to corruption and enabling Tillerson to perpetrate graft.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., Exxon was facing its own troubles due to its promotion of climate change denial after Exxon scientists warned the company that climate change would produce serious and wide-ranging impacts. Various attorney generals across the U.S. investigated the oil giant for misleading the U.S. public in its numerous climate change related communications and through political activities that supported climate change skeptics and deniers. Meanwhile, Exxon shareholders filed their own suit against the company claiming that the corporation’s stated oil reserves did not take into account planned responses to climate change. Overall, these wide-ranging legal entanglements paint a broad picture in which Exxon is consistently charged with misleading both the public and its shareholders on the critical emerging issue of climate change. And all of this happening while Rex Tillerson, the newly appointed Secretary of State, was at the helm.

In the end, it’s pretty obvious what will result from Tillerson’s appointment as Secretary of State. First, U.S. efforts to mitigate climate change by working with foreign powers will be stymied and/or sabotaged. Trump has stated that he wants to withdraw from the Paris Climate Summit — and who better to lead those efforts than climate change denial promoter Rex Tillerson? But more to the point, U.S. foreign policy under Tillerson is even more likely to roll back sanctions against Russia for its attack against the Ukraine. And not only would this embolden Russia to future aggression while opening up another major source of global carbon emissions, it may also produce personal profits for Rex Tillerson and short term corporate profits for Exxon — if Russia doesn’t screw him and the U.S. over. And after directly attacking the U.S. election to get what it wants in an act of international cyber-warfare aggression the likes of which has never been perpetrated against this country, it appears that Russia has all the worst of intentions at heart.

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161 Comments

  1. Shawn Redmond

     /  December 13, 2016

    Only marginally OT. I can’t remember when I first saw this but just finished watching it again today and it seems more relevant now than ever before. Two hours well spent. What a way to go: life at the end of empire.

    Reply
    • Daddy-o

       /  December 14, 2016

      shawn- thanks for that…saw that some years back but definitely more powerful than ever….

      Reply
  2. it’s hard not to feel like we are toast (per global warming) now that the country is in control of right wing folks who generally deny AGW is happening. But I don’t think it makes sense to make more of this than the loss of Al Gore in 2000 or to the weak “all of the above” Obama presidency. We have had many opportunities to choose a significantly different path, one that might have recognized the existential crisis of CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere and oceans. This latest development just builds on our past missteps and doubles down on fossil fuel economics. We have to wait now for right wingers to get worried about AGW.

    Reply
    • So I disagree with this. Under Obama we saw the advancement of clean energy like never before. It still wasn’t fast enough. But it was getting there. With Trump, it’s all in full reverse. His polices are worse than Bush II. Worse than Reagan. And not only does he threaten dissolution of climate policy. He threatens to completely undermine the U.S. system and produce a wreckage that may paralyze any future effort that may come from a more positive administration. Furthermore, this notion of ‘waiting for right wingers’ is pretty much daft. Waiting for right wingers got us into this mess in the first place. They will never do the right thing. Which is all the more reason why we must act now rather than play ‘sit and wait’ as you suggest.

      Reply
      • go for it! I support you. If you feel a wind in your sails, I am happy for you. What path forward are you suggesting as corporate oligarchs take over important government functions and agencies? I read this piece and I agree with you. Did I miss something in the piece that laid out a plan to prevent terrible outcomes?

        My action plan is to keep trying to find a way to reach right wingers. I read something this piece this am: Have we been talking about climate change all wrong?
        https://thinkprogress.org/conservative-nostalgia-action-26749903c352#.rzpcqwc3r

        I am processing this message and trying to figure out if nostalgia can be useful when talking with right wingers. I think talking in silos of left and right political spheres is part of our public policy problem, but I wonder how to talk with folks who deny evolution, who think the world is a few thousand years old, etc. What basis do we have for discussion? Maybe it is, hey, did you ever see a drought like this one? or a forest fire in November? What the heck is going on?

        And what do I say if the answer is acts of God, we need to pray more, this is caused by same sex marriage or shared public bathroom facilities, etc. ??

        This situation is discouraging.

        Reply
        • I think we should continue to attempt to communicate with those on the right. However, I also think that we should not expect a positive response. We must use a carrot and stick approach. And we must realize that there’s an ongoing warfare of harmful ideology vs helpful progressive thinking. And we must do everything we can now to win. Our future and theirs depends on it. But we should not give them the power to determine our future. We must decide now that even if we can’t convince them, that we will fight them.

        • gonna be ugly two years in the fight mode and then we get report card on the fight in the form of midterm elections. Meanwhile, have to be careful about the terms and tactics of fight to avoid electoral backlash like the one that gave us Mr. Law and Order President Nixon when too many of us actively fought against racism and the Vietnam war. This is a really tough situation. fight the good fight. fight the smart fight.

          I don’t know how much we should worry about the Obama surveillance and drone assassination policies now passing to a new president. This would be a good time for Obama to issue a Snowden pardon, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. The imperial presidency has been gathering steam throughout my lifetime. Obama is the first president who claimed the right to kill US citizens without due process. That seems like a big line to have crossed, took out habeas corpus and 4th and 5th amendments in one fell swoop. ugly times

          One thing that Putin and Trump have in common is the willingness to engage in imperial power politics. Both appear to want to wield absolute power and they both like an oligarchy that looks a lot like the old feudal system. Could be a hard time to be a peasant or serf.

        • Suzanne

           /  December 13, 2016

          I found this video by John Cook from the Univ. Of Queensland…on how to respond to climate science denial quite helpful. Maybe it will help you when your talk to right wingers:

        • Thanks for this, Suzanne.

        • Matt

           /  December 14, 2016

          Still think there is no better science communicator (or better put anti-science de-bunker) than Peter Hadfield AKA Potholer 54 on Youtube.
          Just wish he would take a more active role…….

      • Ken Weaver

         /  December 16, 2016

        Hi,

        Not OP, but had a thought I wanted to put some thoughts out there:

        I’m afraid I disagree with your approach to right wingers. Criticizing politicians is fine (everyone hates politicians), but given the cyclical nature of politics and the unfortunate partisanship that has taken hold of this country, I don’t believe this fight is winnable without winning the hearts and minds of conservatives, or at least Republicans (party was not always indicative of ideology). I think it’s a mistake to paint them all as unredeemable; there are good people that are conservatives, and we need to connect with them on this issue, or we can’t win. Supporting (the few) Republicans and conservatives who are willing to fight climate change is a really important battle. Kelly Ayotte was the only Republican senator who accepted climate change as a reality, and after receiving no funding from the fossil fuel industry, she was (narrowly) voted out of office. This sends a strong signal that Republicans must obey on this issue, and I think if the Republican party doesn’t change on the issue, the battle is lost, I think.

        Reply
  3. Ailsa

     /  December 13, 2016

    I’m confused – can this be? Are you saying that Trump is a Russian puppet? And the CIA are having to work against him? Incredible Bond-movie stuff, if so! (Run it by me again if I’ve got completely the wrong end of the stick)

    Reply
    • Trump profitted from Russian espionage during the election. And he is acting in a way that is in alignment with Russian interests. In Trump, Russia got what it wanted. And Trump shows more loyalty to Russia than he does to the U.S. when he attacks the CIA for doing its job. So what is there to be confused about, Ailsa?

      Reply
      • Ailsa

         /  December 13, 2016

        I’m not disagreeing with you Robert, just kind of… aghast. Flabbergasted. True Bond territory has been entered if so. The whole planet is under Goldfinger’s grip… and it truly makes me scared.

        Reply
        • Good description. And, no, I was just replying — apologies if I came across as a bit sharp. I don’t know — maybe call it Gilded Finger?

        • Ailsa

           /  December 13, 2016

          Hah, fool’s gold indeed! And absolutely no apology needed.

        • var

           /  December 14, 2016

          > Gilded Finger?

          Goldtoupee.

    • labmonkey2

       /  December 13, 2016

      Well…..yeah. And I really miss this guy’s regular Thurber readings on Fridays at the end of his show.
      Keith nails it here.
      http://video.gq.com/watch/the-closer-with-keith-olbermann-is-there-a-russian-coup-underway-in-america?c=series

      Reply
      • Pretty spot on. I experienced something similar — no hacking as I keep things pretty locked down. But I did have Trump supporters send me a picture of Trump pointing a gun at me as a death threat. So yeah, the ugliness is just extraordinary. If, as a younger person, you’d told me this kind of thing would happen in the U.S. in the 2010s, I wouldn’t believe you. But here we have destabilization, an attempt to inflict the US with more fossil fuel dependence, and a very dictatorial man that’s now on a path to the White House with only the electoral college standing in his way.

        Reply
        • Ailsa

           /  December 13, 2016

          Wow, them sending you that picture is horrific

        • I might write about it at some point this week. Not sure if it is the right message to send or not. But my general sense is that keeping these things in the dark just makes matters worse.

        • Ailsa

           /  December 13, 2016

          The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum quotes:

          “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
          Because I was not a Socialist.

          Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
          Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

          Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
          Because I was not a Jew.

          Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

          Do what you do so very well, but take care in these dangerous times, my brave friend.

        • Which is why we must not just think of ourselves. An injustice done to one is an injustice done to all.

        • mulga mumblebrain

           /  December 14, 2016

          There do seem to be efforts afoot to get the Electoral College to NOT elect Trump. No-one knows how that would pan out, but it looks very risky to me. For a start, the Republicans would use it in the future (if there is one) to their own benefit. The spectre of bribery and black-mail hoves into view. Then you have to anticipate the reaction of the Trump voters to such a constitutional coup. Somehow I don’t think they, and their ‘Second Amendment Values’, will accept it peacefully.
          I fully understand why Trump fills sane people with horror. But I think it far more likely to succeed that Trump be confronted with massive peaceful resistance. The DAPL pipeline protests look like a good template, and the Democrats need to be made into a recent alternative to oligarchic plutocracy, not its reserve for when their preference, the Republicans, are on the nose. That effort could start in Democratic states like California, with sane and effective policy, that can be a role model for the boondocks when sanity appears there. These states would have ready allies around the world, particularly in India, Germany and China. The REAL reasons Trump is President elect are the refusal of Democratic voters to turn out to vote, and the Republican’s efforts at gerry-mandering and electoral roll purging.

  4. Thanks for this article, Robert. I´m not from the USA and I´m chilled, I can´t imagine how can it be, to be there and see these things done to your country.

    Reply
    • Mark in New England

       /  December 13, 2016

      It sucks big time, let me tell you! I’m still stuck in the anger phase of the stages of grief. To think that enough of our fellow citizens couldn’t see through such a blatant narcissistic charlatan is a national embarrassment and endangers us all, as Robert has so eloquently described here. Political intelligence is in short supply in the USA, in large part due to the prevalence of right wing propaganda, much of it Murdoch owned; and the lack of critical thinking.

      Reply
      • What’s even harder for me to understand, without the obvious elephant in the room of Russian interference, is that Hillary won the popular vote by as much or more than Obama in 2016. We have a popular vote democratic victory of 2.8 million. Trump’s Presidency is basically as illegitimate as any Presidency in history.

        Reply
        • I think the Trump presidency is clearly the most illegitimate presidency in the country’s history. He lost the popular vote big time and that’s not even adjusting for the vote suppression that happens before votes start getting counted. The problem is there appears to be very little that we can do about this except adopt a react/resist/fight mode. We are on our heels in a major way at a moment when we need to be on our toes and working on an effective pro-active response to AGW.

          I think adopting war/fight language in response to Trump may be a mistake and I don’t see how we take up a different language or intellectual frame given our situation.

        • It’s the only effective response to a bully… Not to say it’s a good response. But there you have it.

    • It’s terrible. Most rational people are incapable of processing it. Just going about their daily business. The rest have committed to various acts that they feel will help the situation. Protest actions, signing on with NGOs, helping 350.org, getting renewable energy now, trying to help NASA and scientists, making phone calls to Congress etc. Of course, then you also have a substantial number of people who are also still plugged into this increasingly disunified siren song of right wing media outlets. Some of them you can talk to. Others appear to be pretty much lost at this time. I focus on those I can change.

      Reply
  5. Keith Antonysen

     /  December 13, 2016

    If the commentary by Tony Seba is even half way right, fossil fuels will become stranded assets in quite a short period. Fossil fuel costs are going up, and renewable energy costs are coming down. Energy storage costs are coming down.
    Tony Seba begins his commentary discussing how the horse and buggy era changed very rapidly to the use of motor vehicles and gives examples where further such rapid disruptions have happened without the “experts” being aware that change was on the way. He applied the concepts he promoted to energy storage, the development of electric vehicles, and differing ways transportation would occur in the future.

    Reply
    • So sad… But I think this is an appropriate counter-measure to what might be on the way.

      Reply
    • Keith Antonysen

       /  December 13, 2016

      George, that’s what happened in Australia after the 2013 election after the extreme right wing LNP was elected. Also, a number of Agencies dealing with climate change were axed or attempts were made to axe them.
      Currently, the LNP is pushing to develop the largest coal mine in the Southern Hemisphere. The goals presented to Paris are a sham; they won’t be met, revealed by a few sources; and then, they support a huge new mine to top it off.

      Reply
    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  December 14, 2016

      That’s what happened in Canada under Harper, the harper-inger of Trump. They just destroyed decades of environmental research, trashing libraries, much just sent to garbage dumps. Similar efforts were made in Australia under Abbott, but targeting personnel more. These creatures are our enemies, the enemies of our children and the enemies of Life on Earth. And like all psychotic bullies there is no point not facing them, because they’ll come after you. In Australia they just grow more and more vicious, egged on by the Rightwing MSM, the Murdoch cancer in particular.

      Reply
      • Spike

         /  December 14, 2016

        In the UK we have similar politicians but the natural tendency here to give people the benefit of the doubt, to shrug shoulders and think that someone sensible will sort it out, and that anyway I’m not really interested in politics and I’m kinda preoccupied and not too affected personally – all this gives them a free ride to wreak havoc. There are already dark mutterings about abolishing our Climate Change Act after Brexit.

        I keep wanting to shake my countrymen hard and quote Pericles at them “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you. ” Wake up FFS!!

        Reply
  6. redskylite

     /  December 13, 2016

    Glad to see that the Energy Department is not submitting to requests to release a list of people involved in Climate Change matters. If Trump was truly a great businessman, he would know that you cannot run a business without science on board.

    Alienating the science community is not a way forward to anything but failure.

    Did his father teach him nothing ?

    R.S – Sorry to read that you received the distressing photo, that can really impact your psych if you are low and let it.

    Bravo to the DoE . . . .

    Energy Department says it won’t give Trump team list of climate change staffers

    http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/12/energy-department-says-it-wont-give-trump-team-list-of-climate-change-staffers/

    Reply
    • Thanks, Redsky. Much appreciated. But having dealt with some rough characters as a police officer and as a member of the U.S. armed forces, I’m pretty good at not internalizing threats. It just serves to heighten awareness and motivation to action for me.

      Reply
    • Ailsa

       /  December 13, 2016

      Bravo DoE indeed.

      Reply
    • Spike

       /  December 14, 2016

      I read somewhere that if Trump had invested his inheritance in a passive mutual fund he would be better off than he is now, such has been the negative value of his own business acumen. It didn’t surprise me.

      Reply
  7. Suzanne

     /  December 13, 2016

    Almost twenty years ago a Russian by the name of Alexander Dugin wrote a book called.Foundations of Geopolitics
    And it has some really interesting ideas about achieving global domination for the Russians.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundations_of_Geopolitics

    Here’s a taste:
    Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, head of the International Department of the Russian Ministry of Defence, apparently advised in the project.[1] Klokotov stated that in the future the book would “serve as a mighty ideological foundation for preparing a new military command.”

    Dugin has asserted that the book has been adopted as a textbook in many Russian educational institutions.[1]

    The book emphasizes that Russia must spread Anti-Americanism everywhere: “the main ‘scapegoat’ will be precisely the U.S.”

    In the United States:

    Russia should use its special forces within the borders of the United States to fuel instability and separatism. For instance, provoke “Afro-American racists”. Russia should “introduce geopolitical disorder into internal American activity, encouraging all kinds of separatism and ethnic, social and racial conflicts, actively supporting all dissident movements – extremist, racist, and sectarian groups, thus destabilizing internal political processes in the U.S. It would also make sense simultaneously to support isolationist tendencies in American politics.”[1]
    _____________________________
    Sound familiar? I don’t know what the Russians have on the Lunatic…but the more I read…the more I am convinced this whole election has been heavily influenced by Russian operatives. Yes, I know how that may sound…but how is it any weirder than the Election Cycle of 2016? We are truly living in some kind of Twilight Zone episode or in a spy novel.

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  December 13, 2016

      Also, listening to UrbanView on Sirusxm this morning to to Joe Madison’s (i.e.d The Black Eagle) show…and he told his listeners that he was told by a Intelligent Officer last night…that Trump was in fact aware of what the Russians were doing to interfere with the election. Madison was purposely apprised of this by the Intel Officer because he trusted that Madison would get the information out to the public and never give away the source. Madison did in fact say he would go to jail before he would ever reveal the persons name.

      Again, I know this is all heresay..and sounds bizarre..but how is anything surrounding the Lunatic not bizarre?

      Reply
  8. A most appropriate comment from “dumboldguy” on a post at Peter (Greenman) Sinclair’s ClimateCrocks.com.
    Worth a quick read.

    Reply
  9. Loni

     /  December 13, 2016

    If Russia had helped Hillary, there would be no end of press coverage about it, and the “good Americans” I know would be shouting “TREASON”, but are so capable of turning a blind eye to the situation in reverse. Not much backbone there, if one can’t vote against their best interest on moral grounds.

    I agree with you, Robert, the worst part is the lost time and dismantled progress that this precedency intones. This borders on being a suicide pill.

    I do however take some hope in that I see a looming case for Bastille Day in America. I would like to be a fly on the wall in some of those offices at Homeland Security.

    Reply
  10. Paul Querns

     /  December 13, 2016

    First time comment-er, long time reader. We have just had what is called a “Jim Crow” election. Through a process called cross-checking among the several key states that allow it, hundreds of thousands to millions of people with common minority names were removed from voter registry’s around the country. Gregg Pallast, think I spelled it right? Just got back from Michigan and was finding that Hillary actually won due to uncounted provisional ballots but he and Jill Stein were shut down by the powers that be and all efforts to find the truth halted. We don’t need the Russians when we have Republicans. And yes, we now live in an Oligarchy, the mob has finally taken control, and we are being re-turned back into a Petro-state. I hope this makes sense, also a movie called “The best Democracy money can buy” helps explain further. The Russian thing is just a distraction. I am 51 years old, have followed and (I guess use the word) believer and student of Global Warming since the 80’s. Democracy died with Reagan, I guess I’m just waiting for the first ice free-arctic ocean event, or pray that Trump screw’s up something so bad, his own party impeaches him, but, then we have Pence. Either way…were cooked.

    Reply
    • So I think that these are both important issues. I cover the Russian angle because it’s absolutely related to fossil fuel emissions policy and climate change policy aimed at curtailing emissions. In addition, I think there’s further relevance in that the more democracy in the US is compromised, the more it opens us up to these kinds of harmful outside influences.

      RE the Jim Crow election in 2016 — absolutely. Cross check is a problem and purges in swing states that are moved closer to the margin likely had an impact. The fact that recounts have been stymied are a pretty terrible problem. But without attention by the press, by judges, and by governors or legislatures what can be done? I’d absolutely write about it. But it’s not my particular focus area. Greg Palast does great work. But, unfortunately, he’s kind of a voice in the wilderness. http://www.gregpalast.com/

      Reply
    • Also worth noting that Facebook blocks links to Greg Palast…

      Reply
  11. miles h

     /  December 13, 2016

    200 species A DAY are becoming extinct…. http://www.globalresearch.ca/life-on-earth-is-dying-thousands-of-species-cease-to-exist/5561829 …slightly OT, but not wholly unrelated.

    Reply
  12. miles h

     /  December 13, 2016

    and for those who have asked about timeframes for the impacts of climate change to kick in…. http://www.hawaii.edu/news/2013/10/09/study-in-nature-reveals-urgent-new-time-frame-for-climate-change/

    Reply
    • Ailsa

       /  December 14, 2016

      Very shocking. Extract:

      ‘The study was published in the October 10 issue of Nature and provides an index of the year when the mean climate of any given location on Earth will shift continuously outside the most extreme records experienced in the past 150 years.

      ‘The new index shows a surprising result… Under a business-as-usual scenario, the index shows the average location on Earth will experience a radically different climate by 2047. Under an alternate scenario with greenhouse gas emissions stabilization, the global mean climate departure will be 2069.

      ‘“The results shocked us. Regardless of the scenario, changes will be coming soon,” said lead author Mora. “Within my generation, whatever climate we were used to will be a thing of the past.”’

      Reply
    • bostonblorp

       /  December 14, 2016

      Climate change used to be about the grand children… then the children.. and now it’s right here in our lives, grimly staring us in the face. It’s frightening how quickly it has ramped up.

      Reply
      • when you talk to conservatives, you need to talk about the world of our grandparents and ask how do we get that back. Future impacts don’t speak to conservatives. Look how fast we have lost things. The message is behind us: remember how good things used to be? How do we get that back? (you lose if they bring up a wall)

        Reply
  13. Cate

     /  December 13, 2016

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/demagogue-in-chief_20161211

    Chris Hedges on Trump as quintessential demagogue.

    “Trump is the sick expression of a dysfunctional political system and mass culture that celebrate the most depraved aspects of human nature—greed, a lust for power, a thirst for adulation and celebrity, a penchant for the manipulation of others, dishonesty, a lack of remorse and a frightening pathology in which reality is ignored. He is the product of our escapist world of constant entertainment. He embodies the mutation of values in American society that has culminated in an enormous cult of the self and the abandonment of the common good.”
    “When a population becomes distracted by trivia,” wrote Neil Postman, “when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people becomes an audience and their public business a vaudeville, then a nation finds itself at risk: cultural-death is a clear possibility.”

    Reply
    • So, I guess I need to keep saying this. The vote was suppressed. And despite this, a majority of Americans voted for Clinton. So, yes, those of who voted for Trump deserve responsibility. But we shouldn’t blame the victim — who tried to do the right thing here.

      (edited)

      Reply
    • So further to this point, Trump has now apparently lost the popular vote by more than 2.8 million which puts Hillary on par with Obama in that measure.

      Reply
    • Thanks for posting that Cate, I read it yesterday, it’s dead on. I was lucky enough to see Hedges speak at our university last year.

      Reply
  14. rustednut

     /  December 13, 2016

    The East Antarctic ice sheet appears to be more vulnerable than expected, due to a strong wind that brings warm air and blows away the snow. That is the conclusion reached by a team of climate researchers led by Jan Lenaerts (Utrecht University/KU Leuven) and Stef Lhermitte (TU Delft/KU Leuven), based on a combination of climate models, satellite observations and on-site measurements. “Tens of meters of rising sea levels are locked away in Antarctica”, says Lenaerts. “And our research has shown that also East Antarctica is vulnerable to climate change.”

    https://www.kuleuven.be/english/news/2016/mysterious-crater-on-antarctica-is-indication-of-vulnerable-ice-sheet

    Reply
  15. Cate

     /  December 13, 2016

    Dahr Jamail does a round-up.

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/38689-as-north-pole-melts-in-november-wildfires-rage-across-us-well-into-winter

    Not to worry, though. Trump will gut climate change research in the US and destroy all federal climate data to date. Now that’s a way to make that bad old climate change disappear in a hurry!

    I’m sure it was reported that some sectors of the population believe that climate change will end when Trump is president and everything will go back to normal. I suppose pretending it doesn’t exist is one way to make it end.

    Reply
    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  December 14, 2016

      Cate, can you imagine the reaction when the Trump desperadoes finally realise that they have been dudded-again! That’s when clever realists will appeal to their commonsense, if they have any, and their concern for their children. If Trump was lying about ‘Making America Great Again’, then he’s probably lying about climate destabilisation, too.

      Reply
    • vardarac

       /  December 14, 2016

      > and destroy all federal climate data to date

      Wouldn’t this stuff be archived by everyone who has even a passing interest in it?

      Reply
    • I think the sector that’s most in denial happens to be republicans in Congress and the guy who’s about to enter the White House (or just stay in Trump Tower as the case may be).

      Reply
  16. kay

     /  December 13, 2016

    The truth must get control of the media; the biggest media outlets we can and fast. Whoever controls the message controls the destiny of human civilization. It is important to flood even the fake news sites with true information, as well as writing newspapers and news channels and posting on any and all sites that mention the topic. Flood the airways with the truth and eventually even the hard headed will get it. Right now they are flooded with propaganda;; fossil fuel funded propaganda.

    Reply
  17. Suzanne

     /  December 13, 2016

    A new DemocracyNow piece on Exxon ;
    With President-elect Donald Trump expected to nominate ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, we look back at the investigative series by the Pulitzer Prize-winning news organization InsideClimate News, which revealed Exxon knew that fossil fuels cause global warming as early as the 1970s but hid that information from the public. We speak to Neela Banerjee of InsideClimate News and former Exxon scientist Ed Garvey.

    Reply
  18. Trump Trumpets His Real Plans

    by Ralph Nader

    Even for a failed gambling czar, Donald Trump has been surprisingly quick to show his hand as he sets the course of his forthcoming presidency. With a reactionary fervor, he is bursting backwards into the future. He has accomplished this feat through the first wave of nominations to his Cabinet and White House staff.

    Only if there is a superlative to the word “nightmare” can the dictionary provide a description of his bizarre selection of men and women marinated either in corporatism or militarism, with strains of racism, class cruelty and ideological rigidity. Many of Mr. Trump’s nominees lack an appreciation of the awesome responsibilities of public office.

    Let’s run through Trump’s “picks”:

    http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/12/13/trump-trumpets-his-real-plans

    (I presume he wrote this before T’s Rex announcement.)

    Reply
  19. when I was a kid growing up in Texas the State Treasurer was Jesse James. I think he got re-elected many times. The Trump appts remind me of JJ. I think Bernie Madoff has died, otherwise he would like a shoe-in to take over at the SEC.

    Reply
    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  December 14, 2016

      Madoff’s still extant, mike, suffering only a ‘civic death’ in a neat 150 year sentence, and he’s snug and cozy in the Butner Correctional Institute. Perhaps he could run the SEC from ‘inside’, as part of his ‘rehabilitation’.

      Reply
  20. I have this quote, had it forever, and I keep it to remind myself that there are always plans within plans.

    “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

    CIA Director William Casey, 1981

    Anything changed in the last 35 years? Not hardly.

    RS: How can you trust the CIA to tell the truth about anything? Really? That’s like listening to Exxon about climate change! JFK was closing the CIA down, it was already on paper as was the plan to end of the Vietnam War, and he got shot in the face for his trouble and the CIA director he FIRED was put in charge of the investigation. Who said Oswald did it from behind through a tree with a crappy gun and chopped up the film shown to the public to ‘prove’ it.

    Trust the CIA? Their job is to LIE.

    In 2003 the CIA said Saddam has nuclear bombs and Condoleeza said there will be a mushroom cloud over DC so let us go save the Iraq people. By causing the death of over a million of them while turning that country into an irradiated DU ammo dump wasteland.

    How’d that work out?

    Pinochet comes immediately to mind, as does how the Shah of Iran was put into place over a moderate elected president who wanted to nationalize their oil fields. Or Saddam for that matter who was another CIA plant and was put in power in a CIA-orchestrated coup. The list of lies and assassination by the CIA is like reading a horror story of the Soviet Union or East Germany except it was from our ‘exceptional’ country, one that always follows the rule of law excepting of course when our dear leaders choose not to. Then the CIA comes into play to MAKE you believe. They hire the best psychologists in the country and it works.

    Robert, you are so on with what the climate is doing but with politics…I have to disagree with this. There is exactly zero evidence being presented. ZERO. Oh, it concerns ‘state security’ and we are such children that we should never be allowed to decide based on evidence presented. What evidence? It’s secret, nothing to see here.

    The FBI sent their counterterrorist expert who stood in front of Congress and SAID HE DISAGREED WITH EVERYTHING the CIA was saying.

    Why didn’t that make it into the rightwing snot rag WaPo owned by uber capitalist oligarch Jeff Bezos who has CIA contracts worth twice what he paid for that rag? I mean, really?

    I hate seeing this used toilet paper man as President as much as you. More, probably, because I’m far more oriented left and vividly remember fighting against everything Nixon was doing (and getting beat by cops for it) as a teen in the late 60s and early 70s. Being beaten for holding a sign saying “bring my uncle Kenny home’ by laughing cops teaches you things that no college ever will.

    Hell, I’ve been here emotionally before and I understand that you (and many others here) are grasping at straws to explain all this. It was what I felt when Nixon was re-elected in 1972 and again when that brain-damaged Alzheimer’s patient neoliberal Reagan was put into the presidency in 1980.

    Parroting this as fact is just as bad as Trump saying let’s move on it never happened. Or Obama saying the same thing about the W Bush war criminals. Both stances are wrong. You have convicted without evidence, convicted on the say-so of untrustworthy people with their own agendas. That is police state tactics and what the rightwingers like Trump are so good at doing. Drop the emotional baggage. Think about this far deeper.

    …Maybe our overbearing security state has left us with a few limited choices: one where we let the FBI use discretionary investigative innuendo to undermine the election of Clinton, or one where we let the CIA, ex-post-facto, undermine the legitimacy of a Trump Presidency. Though if the key hacking evidence is held by the NSA, they will be the intelligence agency holding all the Trump cards.

    …Truth is, we know nothing about the veracity of this leaked information from the CIA. As to the truth of these reports, I remain agnostic in these matters and highly recommend others do too.

    Reply
    • So I’ve thought about this for a long time and I have a few points to make:

      1. Not every CIA is equal. The CIA under Reagan, as with Casey in 1981, would be completely different from a CIA under Obama for example or under Bush in the early 2000s. To compare these agencies as you have with the present one is to commit the logical fallacy of comparing apples and oranges. The CIA in this case has different personnel and a mission that is rather significantly evolved from its roles in the past. A lot of criticism has been heaped on the CIA for past mis-steps and abuses. And this is certainly earned. However, to simply say, as you have, that CIA = evil liars is a false frame.

      2. CIA is one of the chief intel gathering bodies. And completely ignoring what it puts out involves not taking all the facts into account.

      3. In the article above, I write about what we already know. We know that 17 intelligence gathering agencies agree that Russia interfered with the U.S. election. Some agencies do not identify motive, the CIA has.

      4. The article focuses on hacked emails and information warfare as has been reported by CIA and others. To claim that the article focuses on hacking of voting booths, etc, is a dramatic mis-characterization.

      5. Proof? The CIA has produced a secret report that has not been published. To claim that an article reporting about a leaked report has no proof is like claiming that cloudy days are low-light. The CIA provided a report to the press based on its findings. We are writing about the report. We do not have proof because that proof is currently classified. The CIA states it has evidence to support its conclusions. Various people have been briefed on this evidence/report. And it would make sense that as much of this report is declassified as possible so that the public isn’t kept entirely in the dark on the issue of evidence.

      6. The FBI and the CIA agree that Russia interfered with the US election. The CIA attributes motive, the FBI does not. It’s not so much the FBI’s word against the CIA on this one. On the main point, the agencies agree. The CIA evidently believes it has motive.

      7. You may not be concerned. But given the larger context of Trump’s relationship with Russia, his publicly asking the Russians to hack Hillary’s and DNC’s emails, and the relationship of numerous Trump advisers to Russia (including Tillerson and one of his chief campaign advisers who worked in the Ukraine and aided Russia in generating a puppet state there prior to the revolution and invasion) provides more than enough proof for concern. And failing to take these obvious cause and effect relationships and links into account is to basically operate in a state of naivete.

      Finally, you and others have pushed this ridiculous meme that I’m somehow smart on climate and dumb on politics. That’s easy to say, but hard to back up. What I will say is that those of you who continue to agitate against democrats and those of us who are concerned about Trump function at the height of stupidity. You provide cover for a man who is vastly harmful for this country. And whether you realize it or not, you’re helping him to deflect attention away from matters of critical importance to both national security and the health of the human race.

      P.S. An anthropologist writing in Counter-Punch doesn’t know crap about the intelligence community and how it functions. I’ve taken down your linked article for what it is — smoke and mirrors at worst and a complete lack of understanding of how these agencies function leading to false conclusions at best. I worked in and with the intel community for the better part of ten years. And I wrote the Jane’s report on the Powell Briefing that ID’d the likelihood that the information the CIA was using at the time was outdated and that Saddam could have moved or removed the Chem-bio agents in question as was reported by UN bodies.

      Why am I saying this? What I’m trying to tell you is that just because I agree that CIA at this time has a cause for concern, I am not some kind of CIA shill that takes a completely uncritical approach to the agency as you have conjectured in your ridiculous comment above. I have taken the breadth of evidence and data and reporting into account and written a fact based article that highlights various clear causes for concern that you ignore at your own hazard.

      –RS

      Reply
  21. Abel Adamski

     /  December 14, 2016

    Meanwhile back to our warming Globe and the effects of Global Dimming which reduce solar radiation to the
    earths surface by up to 30% in some places (far more than a Solar Minimum) and yet the globe keeps on warming

    https://www.metabunk.org/debunked-global-dimming-vs-global-brightening-as-evidence-for-geoengineering-or-chemtrails.t2182/

    However, whilst the pollution created Global Dimming reported on in the excellent BBC Documentary was cleaned up by the global antipollution laws enacted to eliminate acid rain prior to the diagnosis of global dimming and the measurement of its effect.
    South Eat Asia, China, India , even in Europe that level of pollution has been returning since the late 90’s

    Reply
  22. Suzanne

     /  December 14, 2016

    Climate and Extreme Weather News for December 6th to 12th 2016

    Reply
  23. Matt

     /  December 14, 2016

    OT:
    Damn it… it was looking good for a couple of days re: arctic sea ice extent Dec 10 up 207k Dec 11 up 178k, but noticed it has dropped back already…. Dec 12 up 101k and Dec 13 only 42K….. just cannot maintain sharp increases.
    Is this due to new ice onset being melted back by warmer SST’s???
    Of note today… Sydney records hottest overnight December temperature on record and the return of Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) disease in Tasmanian Oysters again.
    Its only Dec 14 and we have 18C waters here in Tassie! 😦

    Reply
    • Yep. Been watching this too. I rocketed upward but it just can’t seem to hit the baseline. If the fall lag carries on into winter, then that’s pretty bad news. In any case, it looks like this year is a record low for average sea ice extent throughout the year (not at peak melt during end summer). The Arctic is getting hammered into a new shape that’s pretty unrecognizable.

      Reply
  24. Great article Robert – I hope you have this blog on a safe server well out of harm’s reach – you’re one of the very few telling the truth,

    Reply
  25. Ryan in New England

     /  December 14, 2016

    When Trump won the election I was horrified. I knew that he would have a very pro-business anti-climate administration. I had never imagined it would be this bad.

    “President-elect Trump is creating a government of, by, and for the oil and gas industry,” stated Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Never before have we seen such a concentration of extreme wealth and privilege in a single cabinet.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-administration-anti-environment_us_58507c5ae4b0ee009eb44512

    Reply
    • It’s bad. It’s worse than Bush II. It looks even worse than Reagan’s first picks. Nothing good is going to come from any of this. It appears the Administration is aiming to tear down every positive move Obama made on climate and energy and then some.

      Reply
  26. coloradobob

     /  December 14, 2016

    NAIROBI, Dec 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Kenya needs to brace itself for worsening drought in 2017, the United Nations said on Tuesday, using a new early warning system that predicts the availability of forage for animals in the country’s arid livestock-dependent north.

    People and animals’ lives are at risk because they have not had a chance to recover from drought in 2014 as rains were also poor in 2015 and 2016, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.

    “We really are concerned that the situation is going to deteriorate rapidly early into next year,” Piers Simpkin, a livestock expert with FAO in Kenya, told a news conference.

    “There is serious drought looming in early 2017.”

    http://news.trust.org/item/20161213162012-vq6br/

    Reply
  27. coloradobob

     /  December 14, 2016

    Trump questionnaire recalls dark history of ideology-driven science
    Paul N. Edwards, University of Michigan

    For me, as a historian of science and technology, the questionnaire – bluntly characterized by one DoE official as a “hit list” – is starkly reminiscent of the worst excesses of ideology-driven science, seen everywhere from the U.S. Red Scare of the 1950s to the Soviet and Nazi regimes of the 1930s.

    http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/article/Trump-questionnaire-recalls-dark-history-of-10795201.php

    Reply
  28. Vic

     /  December 14, 2016

    AGU Arctic Report Card 2016

    “standing room only”

    Reply
    • Vic

       /  December 14, 2016

      They almost got through the whole press conference without mentioning the Jennifer Francis word. I find the body language after the 44 minute mark rather fascinating.

      Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  December 14, 2016

      Thank you for posting. I was especially interested in the last few minutes when Jennifer Francis got to respond. Fascinating.

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  December 14, 2016

        The environment has steadily declined since scientists started doing the annual report card, now in its 11th year, co-author Donald Perovich said.
        “When it started, you kind of had to listen closely because the Arctic was whispering change,” said Perovich, who works at Dartmouth College’s Thayer School of Engineering in New Hampshire.
        “Now it is not whispering anymore. It is speaking change. It is shouting change.”

        Read more at: Link

        Reply
    • Nancy

       /  December 14, 2016

      Thank you for posting this. I wish the local TV meteorologists would talk about the Arctic and how it can impact our weather patterns. But most of them are climate change deniers, and their station managers don’t want to upset their viewers. That is how the public stays dumb and quiet about climate change. In the Boston area, there are a number of climate change deniers on the air.

      Reply
      • Suzanne

         /  December 14, 2016

        Nancy,
        Those meteorologists that are CC Deniers and still allowed on the air…should be fired…IMO. We just cannot have that kind of ignorance with a constant on-air presence. So many of the public..identify what they know about weather (climate) through their local meteorologists.

        Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  December 14, 2016

      Vic,
      Here is a shorter Arctic Report Card video for those in your orbit who may not be willing to listen to the longer one you posted:

      Reply
  29. Bluesky

     /  December 14, 2016

    Hi Robert.

    Mind my language, I’m from denmark.

    What is your/ yours opinion on the albedo affect? This year Antartic sea ice has been as much as 2500 million km2 under average, and right now we are under 2000 million km2 below average + it’s summer down there right now with a sun almost as strong as we have here in my country in the summer, are we going to see a very high jump in temperature like peter wadhams, nasa, and the artic news says we will in very short time if this continues?

    Seems like the year around 1984 the antartic sea ice was in a big decline too, but that was many years ago, but shoulden’t it have the same affect back then on global temperatures?

    They also seems to have different measurements peter wadhams and the artic news. Both are really high though also nasa’s numbers.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=5484

    Maybe we are lucky and antartic sea ice will increase again next year to the same levels as the last couple of decades, but still this must have a huge effect if only for one year?

    Thanks, you have the best site, I follow it closely.

    Reply
    • You can get kind of chicken and egg with this because there are a lot of self reinforcing cycles involved. The trigger, of course, is global warming. How the various atmospheric and ocean feedbacks interplay is what pretty much everyone is trying to untangle right now.

      Albedo gain is absolutely an issue. But what we are seeing during 2016 appears to be more of a handshake between longer term albedo loss and the effect of the warming world ocean and atmosphere coupled with ongoing south to north heat transport from the middle latitudes and sometimes the tropics. For example, during Summer we did not experience new record lows in sea ice coverage during 2016, which would have kicked the albedo loss/ Arctic heat gain effect up a notch. However, what we have seen is a continued state-change type heat gain being pulled into the system and corresponding with the post 2007 period. For example, recently ice free regions in the Barents, Kara, and Chukchi seas and in Baffin and Hudson Bays are taking in excess heat over time and this is really altering the atmospheric moisture content and circulation which is also pulling in more heat. In other words, the big albedo loss that has been ongoing since 2007 has been a major driver of the present trend. But if you’re looking at 2016 in particular, you’re seeing south to north heat transfer and related major ocean warming during Spring, Fall and Winter take a big jump higher on the back of the longer term albedo-loss/ocean heat gain trend.

      Reply
  30. Cate

     /  December 14, 2016

    Uni of Toronto is sponsoring a “guerilla archiving” event to save environmental data from Trump. Can you help? Click the link for a very interested list of possible activities, if you are computer-inclined at all….. 😉

    https://ischool.utoronto.ca/content/guerrilla-archiving-event-saving-environmental-data-trump

    There is a Call to Action underway coming out of the Technoscience Research Unit at the University of Toronto, and happening at the Faculty of Information.

    Two professors are calling on citizens to figure out if they “Care about Trump, data, or the environment?” Volunteers are invited to join in a full day of hackathon activities in preparation for the Trump presidency.

    This event collaborates with the Internet Archive’s End of Term 2016 project, which seeks to archive the federal online pages and data that are in danger of disappearing during the Trump administration. This event is focused on preserving information and data from the Environmental Protection Agency, which has programs and data at high risk of being removed from online public access or even deleted. This includes climate change, water, air, toxics programs. This project is urgent because the Trump transition team has identified the EPA and other environmental programs as priorities for the chopping block.

    The Internet Archive is a San Francisco-based nonprofit digital library which aims at preserving and making universally accessible knowledge. Its End of Term web archive captures and saves U.S. Government websites that are at risk of changing or disappearing altogether during government transitions.

    The Internet Archive has asked volunteers to help select and organize information that will be preserved before the Trump transition. End of Term web archive: http://eotarchive.cdlib.org/2016.html(link is external) New York Times article: “Harvesting Government History, One Web Page at a Time” http://nyti.ms/2gDz5Kj(link is external)

    RSVP and up-to-date information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1828129627464671/(link is external)
    Bring: laptops, power bars, and snacks. Coffee and Pizza provided.

    Reply
  31. coloradobob

     /  December 14, 2016

    Drought strikes centuries-old California oaks

    This helps explain why the most water-stressed blue oaks produced such tiny leaves, says Dawson. “When you have your stomata closed, and you can’t fix carbon in photosynthesis, how can you grow a leaf?”
    Scarier yet, “every one of those trees with the tiny leaves is now dead,” says Dawson. This establishes miniscule leaves as an indicator of impending blue oak doom. “When they show a leaf size change, you can say you’re going to lose those plants, they’re not going to be able to come back. It’s too late for those trees.”
    Many of the trees that died were big, old behemoths more than 250 years in age. “They’d seen droughts before. But nothing like this,” Dawson says. Tree ring work by other researchers indicates this drought was the most severe to hit California in at least 600 years.

    Read more at: Link

    Reply
  32. Cate

     /  December 14, 2016

    Agriculture causing the surge in methane? Really? Anyone here buying that?

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38285300

    Btw, don’t Shakhova & Co have a new study coming out soon? Dec 2016 sticks in my mind for that, for some reason…..?

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  December 14, 2016

      RS, my apologies for a previous post with multiple links—I copy-pasted without paying attention! grrrr

      Reply
  33. coloradobob

     /  December 14, 2016

    Politics & Global Warming, November 2016

    Key Findings
    Drawing on a nationally representative survey (n=1,226; including 1,061 registered voters) conducted soon after the 2016 election, this report describes how American registered voters view a variety of current and proposed global warming and clean energy policies. Key findings include:

    Global Warming Policies

    Seven in ten registered voters (69%) say the U.S. should participate in the international agreement to limit climate change (the Paris COP21 agreement), compared with only 13% who say the U.S. should not.
    Two-thirds of registered voters (66%) say the U.S. should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, regardless of what other countries do.
    A majority of registered voters want President-elect Trump (62%) and Congress (63%) to do more to address global warming.
    A majority of registered voters say corporations and industry should do more to address global warming (72% of all registered voters; 87% of Democrats, 66% of Independents, and 53% of Republicans).
    Nearly eight out of ten registered voters (78%) support taxing global warming pollution, regulating it, or using both approaches, while only one in ten opposes these approaches.
    If Congress passes a fossil fuel tax, the most popular uses of the revenue are developing clean energy (solar, wind), improving America’s infrastructure, assisting workers in the coal industry who may lose their jobs as a result of the tax, and paying down the national debt.
    Seven in ten registered voters (70%) support setting strict carbon dioxide emission limits on existing coal-fired power plants to reduce global warming and improve public health, even if the cost of electricity to consumers and companies would likely increase – a core component of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Democrats (85%), Independents (62%) and Republicans (52%) all support setting strict limits on these emissions.
    Two in three registered voters (66%) support requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a carbon tax and using the money to reduce other taxes (such as income tax) by an equal amount – a plan often referred to as a “revenue neutral carbon tax.” 81% of Democrats, 60% of Independents, and 49% of Republicans support this policy.
    A large majority of registered voters say the Federal government should prepare for the impacts of global warming, prioritizing impacts on public water supplies (76%), agriculture (75%), people’s health (74%), and the electricity system (71%).

    Link

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  December 14, 2016

      Where were these people on election day? How many of those who say they believe in CC and want something done…voted for the Lunatic, or worse yet, stayed home? These findings really hit a nerve for me. I did everything to make CC a priority to help people understand how crucial it was to keep a “denier” out of the WH. Several people told me that they believed in CC science, but couldn’t vote for Hillary …and really didn’t believe that the Lunatic was going to be “that bad” on CC issues…or that he was just pandering and wouldn’t follow through. It was so frustrating. I wonder with these outrageous appointments what do they think now?

      Reply
  34. Hi Cate-

    There was a new expedition to the East Siberian Arctic Seas area in 2016. Semiletov says that at each of about 20 stations set up in the past, methane releases are increasing:

    ““We have obtained a range of interesting data, but we won’t announce them until scientific papers are published. However, we have proved methane releases are increasing at the shelf. We reached and examined about 20 stations which had been measured earlier and each one showed the releases increasing. To underline that methane mega releases – with the area of over 1 km – are registered only at the East Siberian Shelf,” said head of the TPU’s Arctic Sea’s Carbon Study International Laboratory, RAS Associate Member Igor Semiletov.”

    So at each one of about 20 monitoring stations measured earlier, releases have increased. There was a controversy about whether these releases are a natural phenomenon unrelated to global warming – let’s hope the new results lay that BS to rest. Mega-releases, with an area of over 1 km, are occurring.

    Let’s hope they publish soon.

    Reply
    • Leland,
      Do you have any idea where or when they might publish? I sure would like to see their actual figures. Not something I would want to miss.

      Reply
      • Hi-

        I would too. I’ve been trying to use Google Scholar to find such papers. This paper might be interesting, but it is behind a pay wall and might be based on data from 2015, since it was first published in September of 2016.

        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1134/S1028334X16080110

        The first ever application of electromagnetic sounding for mapping the submarine permafrost table on the Laptev Sea shelf.

        Reply
        • Leland,
          I was able to get the full article. I can sometime wheedle a scientific article out of my library, but this does it for the year. But it’s basically procedural without much in the way of actual methane measurements. I tried to link here and even to copy it, but failed both times. If you know how to do it, advise and I will try again.

          Also, I have been trying to keep an eye on publications from SWERUS-C3 that might give an indication of the magnitude of methane emissions in the area they covered. At least beyond the original reports of unspecified venting reaching the atmosphere. Again I have come up empty. I did come across two hopeful sounding abstracts on Google Scholar, but again they are behind a paywall and more is beyond me.
          http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2014AGUFM.B43B0250T
          http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2015EGUGA..17.5782G
          SWERUS participants and Semiletov/Shakova are clearly working closely together and must know the magnitude of methane releases. Very frustrating.

        • I’m working on this. But due to the sensitivity of the issue, I want to get this right before publishing. Methane as an issue has been used as a hand grenade in the past. And I’d like to try to promote a more unified discussion than get people running off to their various corners this time.

        • Thanks, Robert.
          The methane situation is absolutely fascinating, as I think I have mentioned before. I will follow as best I can. And who can resist Dragon breaths and Dragon Watch?

  35. Suzanne

     /  December 14, 2016

    “Is Donald Trump pushing more Scientists towards Political Activism?” at Scientific American today….
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-donald-trump-pushing-more-scientists-toward-political-activism/

    Kelly Ramirez was distraught as she watched the US presidential election results come in on 9 November. The soil microbial ecologist at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology in Wageningen started texting friends—all women scientists—back in the United States. They were appalled at the eventual winner, Republican Donald Trump, for what they saw as his cavalier attitude towards facts and discriminatory actions against groups such as Muslims, Latinos and women.

    Although few of the scientists had any experience with political activism, they felt an urge to respond to Trump’s victory. “By Thursday I said, ‘enough crying about it: let’s do something,’” Ramirez says.

    The result was a pledge signed by more than 11,000 women scientists in which they commit “to build a more inclusive society and scientific enterprise”. It is just one manifestation of the scientific community’s unusually active response to the incoming president. Around the world, individual researchers and representatives of scientific societies are signing letters of protest or advice, offering to counsel Trump’s transition team and ramping up efforts to communicate the value of science to the public.

    Reply
  36. JPL

     /  December 14, 2016

    @anthropocene

    Thanks for your recent link to the podcast with Shaun Chamberlin that talked about David Flemings posthumously published book “Lean Logic – A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive it”. I picked up a copy at the library last evening and all I can say is I’ve never read anything like it. It really a dictionary/encyclopedia.

    I will be buying a copy of this. It’s incredible. Here’s the description from http://www.leanlogic.net/

    “Lean Logic does not conform.

    It is a community of essays about inventive, cooperative self-reliance in the face of great uncertainty.

    Lean Logic acknowledges, with honesty, the challenges ahead in finding our way out of an economy that has all but destroyed the very foundations upon which it depends – the climate, the complex ecological system and the community and culture which gives meaning to life.

    But rather than inducing despair, Lean Logic is rare in its ability to inspire optimism in the creativity and intelligence of humans to nurse our ecology back to health, to rediscover the importance of place and play, of community and culture, and of reciprocity and resilience.

    It is not a book to read from start to finish. Begin in the middle, with something, anything, that sparks your interest, and let the signposts pull you through a chaotic web of ideas, brimming with humour and originality, with elegance and contradiction.

    Lean Logic is a dictionary of empowerment.”

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  December 14, 2016

      Thanks for the book review. I listened to the EcoShock radio interview that was linked here the other day and was considering buying it. Your comment has sealed the deal.

      Reply
    • anthropocene

       /  December 14, 2016

      You’re welcome JPL. I listened to the interview swinging between tears and wonder. Wonder because much of what was being explained I knew instinctively but had never put into a coherent set of thoughts. Tears because how I (and many others) live is so far removed from what was being described. Next years resolutions are 1) read the book 2) start changing fundamental aspects of living.

      Reply
      • JPL

         /  December 14, 2016

        Same.

        I checked out Dredd’s blog for the first time last month and came across an image that really stopped me in my tracks, a stab at what the US could look like if all of the polar ice caps melt:

        https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dAumW2rcvh8/TcFNpz-ZXdI/AAAAAAAADR8/ZhoDUpcZ1G0/s320/

        from a post called Will This Float Your Boat?

        Now, of course it’s an artist’s conception, but the possibility that it even could be possible was another reminder that we’re in uncharted territory now. The election of Trump is just as absurd (to me anyway) and yet is has come to pass. I’m in a similar place to the one you described, still solidly stuck in the old (and slowly self-destructing) system but working to find the path forward. I think Fleming’s work will be a welcome source of inspiration in that endeavor. Man, could I use some right about now!

        John

        Reply
        • So the elevation in Central North America is a rather a bit higher than the 220 foot sea level that will come if all the glaciers melt. Distribution of water at the surface of the ocean due to gravity may generate some high variances. But it’s worth noting that the standard maps do not show North America being cut in half.

          Here’s National Geographic’s rendering for the shoreline movement due to all ice melting for the North America region. That said, it’s still pretty ridiculous — with whole states and hundreds of communities completely wiped off the map.

          Perhaps even more stunning in the view of Asia:

        • humanistruth

           /  December 15, 2016

          I got “page does not exist” from the “Will this Float Your Boat?” link.

  37. Bluesky

     /  December 14, 2016

    From the artic sea ice forum, reports from a newly research on the artic sea ice.

    Reply
  38. Reply
  39. Right-Winger Rick Perry, DAPL Board Member, Picked for Energy Secretary

    “Rick Perry is on the board of the #DAPL parent company. This glaring conflict of interest should disqualify him from serving as Energy Sec.”

    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/12/13/right-winger-rick-perry-dapl-board-member-picked-energy-secretary

    Reply
  40. coloradobob

     /  December 14, 2016

    Hundreds of Scientists Rally in San Francisco to Stand Up For Science
    By: Jeff Masters ,

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3523#commenttop

    Reply
  41. coloradobob

     /  December 14, 2016

    Bill McKibben on Why Exxon Mobil Is the Worst Oil Company

    Rex Tillerson doesn’t just come from any oil company. He comes from the one that knew about climate change but spent decades lying to the public about it for profit.

    Link

    Reply
  42. “We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident” (Dr. Hansen & Sophie).

    Reply
  43. Keith Antonysen

     /  December 14, 2016

    The Guardian has republished an article about Exxon climate scientists knowing about the impact of CO2 on the atmosphere, yet, they funded denier groups:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/08/exxon-climate-change-1981-climate-denier-funding

    In light of what Exxon already knows, Tillerson apparently displays recklessness to the nth degree in wishing to developing Arctic oil fields with the Russians. Apart from that, Dr Barber has suggested that large ice bergs pushed by wind and currents are a danger to any oil drilling platform that might be placed in the Arctic.

    Reply
  44. Vic

     /  December 15, 2016

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

    Trump’s transition team has announced that Elon Musk will be on the President’s Strategic and Policy Team, a group of high-profile businessmen that “will be called upon to meet with the President frequently to share their specific experience and knowledge as the President implements his economic agenda.”

    https://electrek.co/2016/12/14/tesla-elon-musk-donal-trump-apple-tim-cook/

    Meanwhile, A senior Chinese state planning official told the China Daily newspaper on Wednesday that Beijing could slap a penalty on an unnamed US automaker for monopolistic behaviour, a warning that came days after Mr Trump questioned acknowledging Taiwan as part of “one China”.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-15/donald-trump-holds-meeting-with-silicon-valley-executives/8122360

    Reply
  45. coloradobob

     /  December 15, 2016

    Bluesky’s top clip above –
    Frozen in young ice 3-4 feet thick near the North Pole in winter at -40F , clear and calm. A South to North jet comes along , and in 24 hours its 32F, with 50 mph winds. A 72 degree rise in 24 hours.

    Well worth watching, strange days have found us.

    Reply
  46. coloradobob

     /  December 15, 2016

    Comets, and large rock impactors

    FM16 Press Conference: Defending the home planet

    Reply
  47. coloradobob

     /  December 15, 2016

    Well the AGU is doing a bang up job of what is being presented this year – (FM16 is Fall Meeting)

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  December 15, 2016

      Everyone watch this.

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  December 15, 2016

        Paraphrasing …………..
        “With Land Sat 8 we are now watching all the out glaciers om Earth in real time.”

        Reply
        • So I love how Jerry Brown is now saying that California will launch satellites if Trump refuses to allow NASA to do so.

  48. coloradobob

     /  December 15, 2016

    NASA built and launched Landsat 8. The images are almost perfect match to Landsat 7. It was designed for 5 years , Landsat 7 is 16 years old.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  December 15, 2016

      I have to stop , and digest just what the these folks are saying.
      First, these are not greedy cheating scam artistes looking to pad their bank accounts.
      Second , this entire presentation underscores NASA’s importance. on how fast President Cheetoes golf resorts will need sea walls.

      Reply
  49. coloradobob

     /  December 15, 2016

    FM16 Press Conference: How animals will fare in a changing climate

    Reply
  50. coloradobob

     /  December 15, 2016

    My cold weather numbers –
    Mineral Hot Springs , Colorado the first week of January, 1970. Altitude 9,000 feet. The commune had 10 wood burning stoves, our wood pile was aspen trees. A road was cut , we went and got the logs. Aspen burns like toilet paper, and has the BTU output of Jello.
    On January 1st 1971, we went to 55 below zero. For the next week our daytime high was 50 below . Bright clear days, and bright clear nights with winds speeds near zero.
    I moved to another commune at 10, 600 feet just across the valley , 2 years later. One night in it was 26 F at our cabin, and it was -45 F at Alamosa.

    I worked on the condos at Crested Butte in the winter later on. We lived in Salida. We when we went home one night in December. It was – 60F at the Texaco gas station in Gunnison , it was 28 on the top of Monarch Pass.

    I drilled at Strawberry in Utah. It was – 40 F.

    I have a very kine memory of the old cold. And believe me climate change has murdered it.

    One never forgets if their pecker is about freeze solid.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  December 15, 2016

      I always love when you share your stories and wisdom, Bob. Thank you so much 🙂

      Reply
  51. coloradobob

     /  December 15, 2016

    Bingo –

    Donald Trump once backed urgent climate action. Wait, what?
    “As negotiators headed to Copenhagen in December 2009 to forge a global climate pact, concerned U.S. business leaders and liberal luminaries took out a full-page ad in the New York Times calling for aggressive climate action. In an open letter to President Obama and the U.S. Congress, they declared: “If we fail to act now, it is scientifically irrefutable that there will be catastrophic and irreversible consequences for humanity and our planet.”
    One of the signatories of that letter: Donald Trump.
    Also signed by Trump’s three adult children”

    http://grist.org/politics/donald-trump-climate-action-new-york-times/

    Reply
  52. coloradobob

     /  December 15, 2016

    Up is down, lite is black, 2 plus 2 is 55.

    This the world we live in.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  December 15, 2016

      I spent my entire life watching the world. This the world we live in.

      Reply
      • coloradobob

         /  December 15, 2016

        2 plus 2 is 5. Good is bad, Up is down, night is day, top is bottom, shit is breakfast.

        Reply
  53. coloradobob

     /  December 15, 2016

    Next he forms his own army, then he burns the Capital, then he asks for special powers.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  December 15, 2016

      Hitler had his own army first . President Cheetoe has one in the wings . The only problem is what color they will pick.
      It won’t be Lavender .

      My guess is red,

      Reply
  54. coloradobob

     /  December 15, 2016

    Watch for the “Special Powers”. All tyrants ask for that just after they come to power.

    Reply
  55. coloradobob

     /  December 15, 2016

    Hell comes to breakfast.

    Lone Wati

    Reply
  56. coloradobob

     /  December 15, 2016

    He will pull a stunt , after 1-20-2017. Or use an event . Just to get more power.

    Mark my words.

    Reply
  57. coloradobob

     /  December 15, 2016

    Unlike most folks I read Caesar’s Commentaries. .

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  December 15, 2016

      President Cheetoe is a very old thing.
      The little guy will gain , while his cabinet is the richest people world has ever seen.

      Reply

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